View Full Version : VoD R1: The Strongest vs ErrorBlender

07-31-2014, 10:35 PM
Bl.An.C. (ErrorBlender): Android suit, weapon/equipment manifestation.
Wildfire (The Strongest): Flame projection, empowered in fire, and fire doubles.

The stories below are posted in the order that they were submitted and may not be the order in the title or of the character blurbs above. When giving feedback (and you should), please keep the authors of the respective stories anonymous even if you know which one it is.

Three knocks, two second intervals between each one. Its Deul.

Cooper stood from his chair and escaped the game he was playing on the table. It was solitaire and it seemed he was losing. The man’s face was pale with a visible burn wound on his right side, and his eyes were a paler green. He ran his fingers through his silver brown hair and sighed, as he knew fully what Deul could have visited for.

He reached for the doorknob but the black mechanical suit he wore blared a warning. “Warning: Heat temperature of doorknob is high, precaution necessary.” The suit pulsated with green lines along his arms, legs and torso. It was sleek and seemed to fit him perfectly like a jump suit.

He didn’t bother checking the peephole, no one man could heat it that much and know the code. As he opened the old wooden door, the man behind it came into view. It was Deul Bul indeed, the Wildfire as others would call him. He adorned himself with a dark greatcoat buttoned up to the collar that hid his lower face. Everything that could have been seen of his face was covered by a mask. Smoke escaped his sleeves and collar.

“Come in, the owner hates smokers.” Cooper said, ushering his companion in his apartment.

“I don’t smoke, Cooper. You should know that.” Wildfire said jokingly. “It would be detrimental to my health.”

The scientist smiled and laughed a bit. The comfort of just speaking with another person relaxed him. Deul went inside and moved towards the table.

“You working on something?” Deul asked as he skirted the table, noticing the card game and how badly Cooper was losing it. “Or are the cards taking your entire afternoon?”

“I’m still trying to wrap my head around what happened.” The man said. “It was too fast.”

“Don’t burden yourself too much with it, it’s been weeks.” Deul replied. “It was everyone’s fault; everyone that participated.”

Even with the comforting words, Cooper still looked downcast. It seemed like something else was bothering him. Deul decided against asking for more into and proceeded towards the small kitchen. It was white tiled with the stove and other appliances pushed to the wall. The table faced the kitchen itself, it was a semicircular one with one leg. Just above it was a rectangular opening to the kitchen through the wall.

“What do you have in the fridge?” Deul asked genuinely curious.

“Just some fish.” Cooper answered as he sat on the chair and pooled back all his cards into one deck.

“I’ll get cooking. It’s been years since I’ve cooked other than food.” Deul said. “I’ll try my powers and see if I can control it enough not to burn it.”

Cooper let out a laugh. “We’ll be lucky if the room isn’t cinders.”

“No arguments with the chef.” Wildfire joked back, pointing his finger at Cooper then he notices something. Was the saltshaker there on the stove earlier? He took it and placed it back on its shelf. As he does, he notices a piece of paper, it looks old and decrepit but the words on it were legible. It was in the handwriting of someone they both knew. “Hey, did you know about this?” Wildfire hands the note to Cooper through the window.

Cooper squints his eyes and brushes off the soot from the paper. Right there, clear as day, were the words: “Not your fault.”

“Where did you get this?” Cooper asked.

“Got it at the top of the shelf; your saltshaker was on the stove for some reason.” Deul said, taking a pan and using a bit of his own heat to begin heating its bottom. “How recent do you think that letter is?”

“Let’s find out.” Cooper muttered. With one swift movement, the suit he was wearing consumed his head, keeping it in a helmet with one jade optic that served as both seeing apparatus and recorder. Three gray rectangular mechanisms slid into place towards the eye, completing the transformation from Cooper to Bl.An.C..

“Analysis: Paper seems to be of months old, not surprising.” Bl.An.C. remarked. “But the ink on the paper is very recent; a day or two old.”

“And it’s in her handwriting.” Deul pointed out. The Wildfire grabbed some oil from the shelf and poured a bit onto the pan.

“Statement: That would be impossible. She died.” Bl.An.C. said, even Deul could sense the hollow feeling in Bl.An.C.’s monotonous words. “She died in…”

“…in front of our eyes. She sacrificed herself.” Deul finished the sentence he knew that Cooper wouldn’t. His shoulders sagged at the thought of her death.

The helmet whizzed back, jade eye and gray locks deconstructed themselves along with the rest of the helmet, to reveal his human face once more. “She wanted us to live.” She wanted me to live.

“We could’ve pulled it off without her sacrifice.” Cooper began. “We could be sipping coffee at the clan house, laughing that day away.”

“But that wasn’t what happened, Cooper.” Deul said as he set the pan onto the stove and opened the refrigerator to get the fish. “She sought the quickest way for the end of it but sadly it was the end of her as well.”

“We could have stopped her! There were other ways to end it. Other ways to have prevented it!” Cooper slammed his fist onto the table and the deck of cards scattered onto the floor. “If I had more time to think then as I did now…”

Deul kept silent, his hands busy with the fish. From behind his mask and bowl-like collar, he frowned. The memory of that incident burned in his memory, in nearly person that was there. It was a frightful sight, flames everywhere and explosions rocked every building. Debris kept falling from Stickpage City’s higher buildings and flashes of energy and power surged from place to place. It was a battlefield, a war between two armies that each consisted of several elite people; gladiators.

The android-suited man leaned back onto his chair, unable to rid himself of the guilt that began from that day. It never ceased to grow as time passed. His thoughts lingered on plans that could have helped her. Plans that should have prevented it but he knew that it did nothing to console himself but he couldn’t help it. Cooper then noticed a breeze that passed him.

“Did you turn the fan on?” Cooper asked.

“There’s a fan here?” Deul asked, looking over his shoulder as he flipped the fish with a flick of his wrist.

“I felt a breeze.” Cooper furrowed his brows and scanned the room, the couch just near the window was closed and the door was as well. He approached the window, to see if any cracks were apparent on it or it was only slightly closed. He tapped the glass and saw that it was stable then his eyes dart towards the scene outside. Rubble and desecration lined the street and sidewalk. No, there was no sidewalk. Just a lot of turned over cars and chunks of still burning wood or oil. There were people trying to contain some of the violence outside, most of them police. People were throwing molotovs, while others had bats or anything they could get their hands on for a weapon. He sighed and checked the windowsill, and eventually concluded nothing was open to let in any sort of wind. His eyes then fall onto his scattered cards on the floor. Everything was scattered but something was odd. Nine cards faced up while the rest were face down, that should not have been odd enough but the nine were visibly separated, as if the face down ones were disgusted at those that were face up and left them at the center. He moved in closer, watching them as he sat down back on his chair near the kitchen.

“Nine of hearts, ace of diamonds, king of spades, ace of spades, eight of clubs, five of hearts, king of diamonds, six of diamonds, five of spades.” Cooper said under his breath. “Nine, A, K, A, eight, five, K, six, five…”

“What are you saying?” Deul asked, wondering what his friend was saying.

“The cards, they’ve fallen in a pattern.” Cooper replied then he repeated the sequence in his head. What about their equivalent numbers? Nine, one, twelve, one, eight, five, twelve, six, five. Alphabetic? I, A, L, A, H, E, L, F, E. No sense!

Cooper looks intently on the cards on the floor, ignoring Deul’s words that probably meant he was overanalyzing the random fall of cards. Perhaps he was, but this was the first time his mind wandered elsewhere from that day. It’s a relief rather than insanity. The cards are in pattern; hearts, diamond, spades and club. What if I pair the numbers up, maybe add them by their house? Nine, one, thirteen, eight, five, eighteen, five. Their letters are: I, A, M, H, E, R, E. I AM HERE.

“I am here.” Cooper mouthed then blurted them out soon after.

“Yes, you are.” Deul laughed.

“A spirit! A poltergeist!” Cooper yelled. “Someone is here!”

Deul looked at Cooper’s estranged face, then he thinks back to the saltshaker and the unknown author of the note and at how recent it was. “Could it be?”

“It could be her.” Cooper said. “With this city being the hub of nearly every super human or at least extraordinary human, I’ll believe anything right now.”

“So her spirit lingers with us.” Deul mused. “Must take a lot of effort to move items.”

“I hear it takes willpower to move objects as a spirit.” Cooper said as he looks around the room. “Are you there?”

“I have my doubts whether she could move any other object. That girl may have the willpower, but even will gets exhausted.” Deul said, adding a bit of seasoning to the fish. His hand was alight the entire time just below the pan.

“There’s got to be a way.” Cooper said. “…has to be a way to confirm that it is her and not some other ghost.”

“Cooper, apparitions such as these could be here because of unfinished business.” Deul said. “Perhaps she wishes to say something before she leaves forever.”

Cooper narrowed his eyes and leaned forward with his hands on his lap. “Probably. But we need to confirm.”

“Some say that these ghosts will remember the events that led up to their untimely demise.” Wildfire said as he set down the pan onto the stove, allowing it to cool.

“We could use that.” Cooper said. “What do we have that’s unique and from that timeline?”

Both Cooper and Deul began to think. Deul, however, stopped thinking and went back to cooking. “She’ll make herself known if it is her. I’m sure she can hear us.”

“Is the fish ready?” Cooper moved towards the table and buried his face into his hands, combing his hair as he tried to remember anything that could help them identify the poltergeist.

“Almost so, metal man.” Wildfire said. “Although it is burnt on one side, I’m sure.”

Cooper smiled. “At least the apartment isn’t burned down.”

“Where’s your faith in me?” Wildfire asked.

“It burned down when you singed my face back then.” Cooper said. Although he meant it as a joke, the reality was that it did happen. It was his own fault though. He remembered his own flaring rage, uncontained and released but against Wildfire’s own fiery hatred, his stood little chance. It’s a miracle they’re both friends.

“It had to be done or your own flame would have consumed you.” Wildfire said. “Or my flames would have. You know better than to talk to me on my worst or during a heated battle.”

“I…I just had to. You could have helped at that point.” Cooper closed his eyes.

“I know.” Wildfire paused. “I know that now.” Deul then got a plate from one of the shelves just above him and plated his fish. Quickly, he set it on the table through the window. “Tell me if I burnt it more than I should have.”

Cooper pokes it. Pieces of it crumble.

“Well, it isn’t ashes, I’ll give you that.” Cooper commented. The fish looks burnt on one side. Deul hands him a fork which he gladly takes. The scientist then attempts to flip it over and discovers something that widens his eyes.

“It’s her.” Cooper managed to say after several seconds of staring.

“How sure are you?” Wildfire asked but when he goes around the wall and towards the table. He would not believe what he saw but how couldn’t he believe? It was right there.

Etched onto the fish’s scales, were the words: It’s me, Cooper. It’s Alice.

“It’s really her.” Cooper said, his mind a mix of sudden happiness and confusion at how this is possible. “I need to speak with her.” He said as he bolts upright on his chair.

“You already are, Cooper.” Deul said frankly. “The thing is that conversations would only hold very small details consisting of phrases or very short sentences.”

“I need it to be long. Isn’t there some sort of ritual? Or some weird item that allows me direct contact with Alice?” Cooper looks at Wildfire then it hits him. “You.”

“I can’t contact the dead, Cooper. I can only burn.” He stated.

“No, not you as in you. YOU as in your curse.” Cooper gestured to Deul by opening both palms. “You made a deal or something with the spirits, right?”

“Yeah bu…” Deul stopped as he pieced together what Cooper was planning. “No Cooper. Don’t you dare ask the spirits.”

“I want to. She gave up her life for my meaningless and problematic one.” Cooper argued. “I can’t have that bearing down on me.”

“The spirits will grant your wish Cooper but be warned that the deals you and they keep are kept forever in their memory and most of the time have strings attached!” Wildfire said but he saw Cooper’s determination. “Price! You don’t know WHAT you’re tampering with!”

“Your presence should be enough to call them down and hear my plea.” Cooper said as he knelt down, his eyes squeezed shut and his teeth grit tightly. Wildfire quickly grabbed him by the shoulders and tried to shake him off the trance.

“You aren’t like this Cooper! Think straight!” Wildfire’s growing frustration began to heat him up, the smoke travelled up from his coat and faint embers of a blaze could be felt churning inside of him.

“It is the only way to save Alice from a fate she never deserved or had to take.” Cooper muttered.

“What is done is done, Price!” Wildfire yelled, his hands dug in deep into the armor. “Focus on what she gave you! What life she gave for you to live!”

“I’m sorry.” Cooper said in a hushed tone. His eyes loosened from their tight squeeze and he felt free. The whispers from beyond echoed in his head, whirled his thoughts with ideas. He questioned them and they answered. Within a few minutes, the scientists relaxes even more, his arms sag on his side as if he has relinquished all control of his body.

Deep in the recesses of his mind, Cooper’s soul left his body. He could see himself, shook around by Deul in an attempt to wake him from his spiritually induced coma. Everything around him seemed to vibrate and objects blurred to his vision except for one person in particular. One person he suspected was here. And he was right. It was indeed Alice.

“Alice!” Cooper said, he felt his negativity wash away and quickly replaced by a surge of joy.

“Cooper? How?” Alice couldn’t help but smile as she ran towards her beloved and into his arms. “I’m glad I could see you one last time.”

“And I, you.” Cooper whispered to her. Cooper put her in arms length and gazed at her longingly.

“How did you manage to do this?” She asked, reluctant to break away from the hug.

Cooper’s face looked down. “You don’t deserve death, Alice.”

Alice looked confused. “I don’t understand.”

“If anyone deserved to die it was me. You need to live.” Cooper said and finally let go of Alice. “But I’m not sorry for the deal I took to make this happen.”

“What deal?” Alice asked again urgently. “What did you do?”

Cooper shook his head. Alice slowly began to blur from his vision and he was left alone.

“The deal has been struck.” Cooper opens his eyes to reveal nothing but pearl white irises. Deul releases his grip and soon realizes the futility of any attempt after it. Cooper was lost.

Slowly, the scientist’s body began to disintegrate and then accelerated into a typhoon of particles. In one quick motion, the small atoms merged into one spot and vanished. Deul was left alone in the room, left to his thoughts and own flaming hands. He searched for signs of Cooper but to no avail.

Suddenly, a touch on his shoulder alarms Wildfire. He turned around, his hands ablaze once more. He was about to lunge when his eyes stare into the person in front of him. She was a woman that wore a pristine white lab coat with brown eyes that matched her similarly long brown hair. She had one of her hands in her pockets as she looked at Deul with tearful eyes.

“Did he…really do that?” She asked, her face filled with horror and sadness.

The woman was none other than Alice, the girl that sacrificed herself. Wildfire stepped back in surprise.

“He switched places with you didn’t he?” Wildfire began to ask.

Alice looked down, crestfallen at the sudden realization of Cooper’s own sacrifice. “Cooper!” Alice yelled. “You were supposed to live!” She collapsed, her eyes wept as she buried her face into her hands.

Wildfire had, during his long time walking to StickPage City, forgotten one of the greatest detriments to modern civilization. That was the smoke detector. For the average citizen, perhaps they were a godsend, or just a background item easily forgotten until it needed new batteries. For Wildfire, it was an immediate lesson in the difficulties he would find if he continued to seek residence in the city itself. Every piercing wail of the smoke detector, dutifully informing Wildfire that, yes, there was indeed smoke detected in the room, deepened his agitation. He’d walked in, paid for a room, and had thought nothing more of it. Look what that had managed to get him.

Briefly, Wildfire considered silencing the detector with a cone of flame. He was dissuaded only with the reality that doing so would bring him real trouble. This detector, it seemed, was its own device, not tied to a larger system. Starting another fire seemed to be pushing his luck. The last thing he wanted was to be forced to flee from a building amidst a deluge of water. The sprinklers he had recognized, even before he recognized the inherent flaw in his plan for living.

That flaw only deepened when the smoke rising off Wildfire’s body accumulated enough that, indeed, the main system triggered, and Wildfire was running out into the street, along with the rest of the population in the apartment, to somewhere safe from the “fire”. This day, it seemed, was well on its way to becoming the proverbial rainy day.

Walking brought him across a desert, and into a kitchen. For the longest time, Wildfire had thought himself approaching a mirage. Perfectly straight lines in the desert were a rarity. To find a kitchen was nothing short of a miracle. That the kitchen was inhabited by another already pushed the scenario into an impossibility. That fact did nothing to deter the kitchen, or its apparently mechanized denizen from existing.

“Declaration: You are just in time to try some of my new omelets.” The voice was synthetic, yet distinctly male. It unnerved Wildfire to watch the figure’s motions. They seemed a pale mimicry to what life would produce. Bl.An.C, as he knew the figure to be, was a prominent figure in the city. Had he already risen so far that Observer Protocol’s leader was making him a breakfast in a contrived situation out in the desert?

“Affirmation: Of course you have. After all, your reputation precedes you. The blaze but a few miles south of the city. It still burns. How could I not put myself in your path?”

Wildfire’s mind, somewhere, rejected the scenario, and for a moment that whole scene seemed prepared to change. The clear blue sky developing clouds, which quickly threatened to deluge the area.

“Supplication: The rain threatens both our comforts. Let us not have such a conflict now.” As if in recognition of the truth of those words, the clouds briefly abated, a ray of light briefly illuminating the kitchen in the desert. It vanished, though, as Wildfire rejected the lie a second time. Here was nothing to help him understand the situation any better. Wildfire found himself to be, metaphorically, in the dark. His subconscious’s depiction of the android-suited man, however, seemed to know everything there was to know about the situation. With an ease and sense of purpose that could surely only come after months of frequent use, the suit deftly pulled ingredients from cupboards so quickly that there wasn’t a moment to look into them. Each one seemed to simply have exactly what was looked for exactly where it was expected to be.

Then there was the marvel of the android body. Tools of war transformed to make sense in the kitchen. Laser precision created perfect cubes of onion and meat, which were slid into the pan. A jet of fire from a missile’s propulsion source set the recipe into the eventual formation of an omelet.

Except it was all interrupted by the sudden sound of the oven, which had previously displayed no intent to heat anything, burst into flames.

Bl.An.C. did not seem to mind, instead reaching for, and finding, a fire extinguisher to quell the blaze. But the occurrence piqued Wildfire’s interest. As he did so, the clouds began to settle, but only enough to cast a sudden darkness across the scene, as if it were all occurring at night, or in a darkened room.

Wildfire looked up at the sound of knocking, expecting it to be thunder and lightning, but there was none, and he found instead that the sound seemed to come from the cabinets themselves. Then from the walls. The knocking had no preferred area, simply moving about where it willed. Though there was no measurable pattern beyond the steady beating, Wildfire thought it a blaring declaration: Poltergeist.

“Bl.An.C., there is a poltergeist in this kitchen.” Wildfire stated. The statement normally would have been met with some resistance, but this projection of the burning man’s understanding of the Observer Protocol leader was well aware that such was the case.

“Query: How can so much knocking be produced by a single entity?”

Wildfire pondered that, before concluding:

“There must be more than one, but the odds of such happening are so low that unless it were deliberately engineered—“

Recollection hit, as he realized what was happening. Experiences he had believed himself to be finished with had just made him the closest thing to a qualified expert on the paranormal in the alleged room. He remembered time spent with a spirit hunter, the criteria for identifying hauntings, in this case the poltergeist, and he remembered that first disastrous attempt to draw a spirit into a trap of his own making.

Instinctively turning, Wildfire saw the doorframe, and hanging from it the lure that he had nailed there so many years ago, when still human. This desert, it was not really a desert, was just his understanding of the likelihood of anything surviving in those woods, now that it had become a beacon for every spirit for leagues. And now the lot of them were here, anchored to this one point that he was in. Clarity filled his being, and the projected Bl.An.C. sensed that it was no longer needed to focus Wildfire’s attention on the issue that had been buried.

“Statement: There is one way to purify this place, now, to dispose of this haunting.”

Wildfire raised both arms, pointing at different areas to maximize the area ignited in as little time as possible, his gloves having been slipped into his pockets.

“Burn it to the ground in cleansing fire.” He responded. As the embers began to rise, he sensed the impending fall of life-returning rain.

08-02-2014, 03:49 PM
Okay, so I have to say that this was one of the battles I anticipated the most to CnC, because of the pure talent between the both of you. I enjoyed both story 1 as well as story 2, and I believe it was a great battle between both.

Okay, so the ending put me on the feels train. I loved how Wildfire and Cooper were projected as good friends, and no battle had to commence for this to be a great story. I believe it was terrifically paced, and a great read.

Really, there's only one problem I have, and it's rather small, but did confuse me

“What are you saying?” Deul asked, wondering what his friend was saying.

The repetition just didn't sit well with me. I could just be nitpicking, but I would rather it have been

“What are you saying?” Deul asked, wondering what it was his friend was babbling about.

Really, that's honestly the only problem I had and other than that I thought it was a wonderful story.

I really liked how this story was more about the subconscious of Wildfire than anything else. The ending, "Burn it to the ground in cleansing fire" Was pretty cool as well.

One gripe I have is that I feel like it was a bit rushed in terms of pace. I feel like the poltergeist as a whole could have gone on just a little bit longer, and there were some points where I was slightly confused as to what was going on. Still, wonderful story!

At the end of the day, I have to go with Story 1. Great fight you guys, and I'll leave the things I missed to other CnC'ers.

08-05-2014, 10:55 PM
Alright, so I just read through ErrorBlender's story (I have yet to read through The Strongest's story), and I've got to say, I really liked it! You and The Strongest are definitely skilled writers. However, I do have some things to suggest that could make your story better.

Deul looked at Cooper’s estranged face, then he thinks back to the saltshaker and the unknown author of the note and at how recent it was. “Could it be?”

That's actually not what estranged means. Estranged refers to being alienated from somebody else. It's as if you're assuming Cooper's face is alienated itself, which really doesn't make sense.

Wildfire’s growing frustration began to heat him up, the smoke travelled up from his coat and faint embers of a blaze could be felt churning inside of him.

You could have used a better word than churning. The word churning only refers to liquids. Considering that you're using the word churning to refer to the embers of the blaze (a gas), I'd prefer you to use a word like gleaming or glistening.

She was a woman that wore a pristine white lab coat with brown eyes that matched her similarly long brown hair.

This could be reworded to "She was a woman with brown eyes, which had matched her similarly long brown hair, who wore a pristine white lab coat." You're describing this sentence as if the white lab coat has its own pair of brown eyes.

- - - - -

Great story all around though! The tone was upbeat and exciting, and I really enjoyed it!

Excellently written story and the grammar is fine, but the tone it was being told at was a bit dull and monotonous.

It's just, when you have sections like this:

Recollection hit, as he realized what was happening. Experiences he had believed himself to be finished with had just made him the closest thing to a qualified expert on the paranormal in the alleged room.

It's sections like these that make this story lack emotion as if it's being foretold by a robot, especially with all these detailed descriptions of what the characters think of themselves and everything that's happened or believe will happen.

Overall, pretty enjoyable story! Just excite it up a bit, haha. :D