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View Full Version : VoD R1: BoomerangReturns vs Tantalum



Jessepinwheel
08-03-2014, 12:04 AM
Karal (Tantalum): Metal skin, electricity absorption.
Sirius Nightshade (BoomerangReturns): Sociopathic, shadow manipulation, magically enhanced knife, half-demon.

I did not receive Tantalum's story before the late due date, so he can no longer receive points for his story and BoomerangReturns wins by default. However, both stories are below and feedback is nonetheless appreciated.

The sun had fallen between the two mountaintops far in the horizon, being replaced by the full moon, transferring it’s white light on the earth below as the summer heat of the day turned into a cool and breezy night. The sky was clear, not a cloud in sight. Twinkling stars littered the clear sky, complimenting the moon‘s glow. The beautiful dim light of the night, and the silence that should accompany it, was jarred by the various street lights spread across the city. The silence of the night was marred by the obnoxious noises of the metal beasts that slid across the concrete roads. People yelling as they walked down the street. The occasional police siren.

But, that was the city for you.

The park was the only area of the city that wasn’t completely drowned in street lights and unnecessary precautions. It was always open, where people could simply walk into the premises late at night. The area after hours mostly consisted of teenagers, kids looking for places to do their drugs or have sex. Some adults would come here on the prowl for young meat to kidnap, although nobody ever put a stop to anything that happened here. Other than the dim moonlight through the crevices of the trees around the park and the distant glow of the city, the place was rather dark. One side contained the playgrounds; the monkey bars, the slides, the swings, etc. The other side was a large field that had been neatly tended to over the years, leaving the grass short but fresh. The playground would be where the adults prowl, however the field was used for various parties or hang outs by the teenagers or adults that weren’t complete pedophiles.

The field was where Sirius decided he would set up camp in for tonight. He never camped anywhere for too long, so he would probably be out of the park by the time the sun began it’s rise. He sat upright in the cool grass, looking straight up at the moonlit sky, next to a figure. Karal, a woman he had known all his life, ever since he was merely a child. She was walking along the streets, just as he was. They met, and he decided that he would take her in. Her values and morals were much better than his own, and yet she still took acceptance to his own marred and evil morals. That takes character. Then again, she did not talk all that much, and if she did, it was all an array of electrical sparks. So, she didn’t talk much to question his own morality.

“A beautiful night, I would say,” Sirius commented to nothing in particular, as he glanced up into the night sky. A solitude of car horns and screams only in the distance, accompanied with mostly natural lighting from the twinkling stars and the bright full moon. That was one thing that brought Sirius the closest to humane, even if it wasn’t that near.

Sirius heard sparks come out from Karal before witnessing them unfold into words in front of him.

/\/ Indeed It Is /\/

Sirius was perfectly fine with not having to speak with Karal. He never had to before. Ever since he found her, wandering about. For one reason or another, he had befriended her. He was content with somebody at his side, especially someone who couldn’t speak full words. It gets lonely being a sociopath. He was content now more than ever in fact, in fact. Just sitting on the ground, looking up at the night sky. Appreciating all of the stars littered along with the glowing moon. The sounds of owls and various other nocturnal animals. The rustling of the bushes.

Wait. There was no wind.

The rustling couldn’t have happened on it’s own.

His moment of tranquility and peace was shattered in a mere second. It only took a split moment, his cold glance went from the sky to right in front of him, his eyes glaring forward. It was the bush a mere few feet in front of him. Once more, Sirius heard movement within. His right hand moved to the sheathed knife at his belt, clasping it. Suddenly, a figure burst from the bushes with a sharpened blade in their grasp, moving towards Sirius. Out of instinct and adrenaline, he rolled out of the way as the shadowed male stuck his knife deep into the dirt. It would have been his heart.

Karal was up at her feet, running beside Sirius as he got to his feet as well. The opposing person struggled to his feet, and the moonlight illuminated the male’s facial features. He had dirty blonde hair running past his shoulders, sapphire blue eyes, and a stellar, unsullied complexion. He was in raggedy, torn apart clothes, with a sharpened rock used as a deadly blade.

“Sirius Nightshade…,” He began, “We meet again”

He had been calm all night. The nature and soft grass had soothed him. However, The temporary veil of stability that had covered the mind of the male had been completely torn away. His hand grasped at the collar of his dark black jacket, his eyes becoming wild. He snarled under his breath. “What do you want, you insolent fool! You dare try to sully a GOD?!”

The male only smirked, his blue hues glittering against the faint light. “You don’t remember me…do you? Quentin?”

Sirius froze for a moment. He remembered that name.

Quentin seemed to realize that Sirius had remembered. “Heh..That’s right. You killed my family, for no reason! It’s because of you that I’m just a bum on the streets! I’ve been looking to finally, FINALLY get my revenge for the evil you have committed!”

All the sociopath needed was a moment to freeze. To remember. His lips curled into a devilish smile. The sweet taste of their blood that dripped off of his blade. What a great day that was.

“You can try…,” He teased, his lips slowly running across his lips, “I’ll taste your blood, I bet it tastes sweeter than your mother and father’s”

That was all it took to set Quentin off. He let out a shrill battle cry and charged Sirius with his weapon of sharpened earth. He thrust his arm forward in an attempt to slice the sociopath in the middle of his chest. He read the attack with clear precision, jumping to the side as Quentin stabbed into the air. Sirius drove his elbow into the center of his knife arm, as his other hand balled into a fist before driving into the male’s sternum. He stepped back, stunned, as Sirius kneed him in the abdomen. Quentin responded by swiping his knife quickly across Sirius’ face, grazing his cheek. The sight of his own crimson blood dripping down his face enraged him. Both hands grasped the hand that held his knife, simultaneously twisting it until he let go of the blade in pain. He attempted to punch Sirius, where he craned his neck to avoid the hit, before thrusting his foot upwards to the chin of his opponent. The stunned Quentin was then kneed once more, and Sirius landed a clean right hook that sent him on the ground, coughing up blood. It was an easy win for Sirius. The vengeful male had not trained nearly enough to match his speed and tactics.

He smirked, his hand moving to the sheath on his belt and pulling out his beloved knife with the true grace of a swordsman. He looked to drive the blade into Quentin’s skull, putting him out of his misery right then and there. Quentin, still coughing up blood, put his hands up, his eyes wild with fear.

“Please…No!” He begged.

/\/ Sirius, No /\/

Sirius was surprised to see the sparks materialize in front of him, and it caused him to stop his motion. He turned to Karal. He had completely forgotten she was standing there. She must have been watching the small altercation unfold before her eyes, silently taking in everything. He read her expression. It seemed as though she did not want to see this man die, even if he had tried to kill him first. A noble thing.

/\/ He was blinded by revenge. He seems apologetic /\/

Sirius turned his gaze back to the male on the ground, as he made every attempt to crawl away from him, while still simultaneously begging for his life to be spared. He was trying to live at this point, not kill him Maybe Karal was right. He did not need to die. He was blinded by the revenge. He wanted to avenge his family. He didn’t know why he was sparing the son of a bitch. Maybe it was Karal’s influence. Maybe he was feeling generous. Either way, he fully turned to Karal. He was ready to walk away, and spare someone’s life for the first time.

However, he didn’t think Quentin was still able to move.

He wasn’t crawling away from him. He was crawling to his blade of rock that had been jutted into the ground a couple of feet away from where he was. Quentin shot up from the ground, pouncing towards Sirius in an attempt to stab him through the back of his skull while he wasn‘t looking as he screamed a battle cry. Sirius was beneficial that he both had his knife still in his hand, and had quick reflexes to match. He turned a full 180 degrees in a second flat, swinging Massacre as he spun until the blade proceeded to enter and exit Quentin’s neck in one fluid motion, leaving a bloody line between his head and shoulders. His head slid off of his body. The head, still adorning a smile, fell on the ground along with his body.

He glanced at Massacre, elongated by the crimson red blood dripping from the blade. A devious smile crossed his face as he brought the knife to his lips. His tongue protruded from his mouth, as it ran along the blade, slowly licking off the blood upon it.

Sirius panted, his pitch black hues staring at the downed body as his devious smile twisted into a frown. He had almost died. Sirius Nightshade, the ruler of the night, had almost died by a simple commoner who wanted revenge for something he had done many years ago. And why was that?

Because he had listened to Karal.

She was supposed to be his friend. She should have accepted his morals, and why he would want to kill him in the first place. This was when he came to the slow conclusion that she had done this to him before. She had influenced him to do good in this world. To spare lives, to not go into confrontation even when they did deserve it. She had been turning him away from his true path. The path of a psychopath. How could he have missed this simple knowledge? Why did it take this long for him to finally figure it out?

His back was completely turned to robot Karal. He heard her step towards him, in an attempt to comfort him for what had just happened. However, he didn’t need comforting. For he had won the battle, but almost lost the war. His shoulders moved up and down as his breathing grew heavy. He had been influenced by yet another common person. Yet another person making the attempt to bring him down to their size. He was a GOD. A lord of the night! He did not need anybody. He only needed himself. Finally, he had realized this. For the second time.

He wanted to take Karal’s head off of her shoulders. To end her now. But he knew even his knife could not get through the metal exoskeleton of her body. No, he couldn’t defeat her in battle. But he no longer wanted anything to do with her. Slowly, he sheathed his knife in his belt, before reaching down to one of the pockets of his calves. He pulled out his flash bang, pulling the pin before she could ask what he was doing. He dropped it down between the two, and ran off into the night as the bang blinded and deafened her. By the time she would come to, he would be gone. .

New moon, silent winds, and not a stir to be heard within the darkness of the city park. One with the darkness, a cloaked man stepped soundlessly through an unlit path, slinking between rows of blackened lampposts.

Sirius was a cautious man; confident in his knowledge, yet vigilant of his surroundings. He kept a steady pace, entering deeper into the park centre. By his suspicions, he was not completely alone; fortunately they were not the sort to hide... or so he had previously thought.

Reaching into his pocket, Sirius withdrew his phone, its colour complimenting the rest of his surroundings and attire. The screen displayed a single text message, received from a familiar contact.

'To your left.'

Hesitantly Sirius followed the instruction, pivoting towards the park's play area. It was a modern place, yet somewhat surreal in appearance, with typical slides and monkey bars styled as irregular carbon-plastic artistry. Unlit spotlights were dotted amongst the benches and chairs, and dull spotlights were arranged evenly along the tarmac floors.

His target was facing towards him, sitting idly upon one of the park swings. Her head was lowered, and a grey hooded jacket concealed her visage. Upon her lap was a gadget identical to Sirius' own, confirming she was the one who contacted him.

"You remember my face." the cloaked man spoke, slowly removing his own hood as he approached nearer. His hair was a jet black, his eyes an emerald hue, and his face blemished by a sinister scar across his left side.
His phone buzzed in response, all but a second later.

'You remember I told you not to come back.'

"Then what brings you upon my path?" Sirius asked.

Several seconds later, another text.

'Nostalgia. Nothing more.'

"Funny. I would have said the same."


|---|


Sirius took a seat upon the opposite swing, and Karal turned to observe. Her face remained shadowed, but the little which Sirius was able to see, was in fact his own reflection. The same metallic sheen covered both her hands, and assumedly the rest of her body. Without her concealment she would look quite inhuman, but Sirius did not recall her minding her own appearance at all.

"I remember you being more talkative," the man stated. Even as a mute, Sirius knew Karal had more convenient ways of communicating than this; but Karal appeared to ignore the notion, writing another response upon her phone's display. Observing further, he took note of a makeshift cable linked to the device, with the other end leading around her wrist. An occasional spark discharged from the bare wires, flickering no brighter than the screen itself. Sirius had not seen Karal use her power in this way before, but it did explain how she was texting faster than he could talk.

'It is less tiring to speak this way,' read her simple response. 'I hope you do not mind."

Sirius gave no answer, but looked somewhat irritated all the same. If anything had not changed, it was her singular passion for electric sustenance.

'I understand you were looking for me? After this many months, too.' Karal turned towards Sirius, shifting discussion back to the topic at hand.

"Don't be too ecstatic," Sirius talked down on her, "You simply became relevant to me again."

'That means you want something from me.' Karal begun to swing gently on her seat.

"Your assistance, to be exact. You are already familiar with what I mean."

Karal solemnly shook her head.
'I told you before, Sirius. I'm not helping you again.'

"Considering you took your time to be here, I think you would like to hear me out."

Karal shrugged at the the man's retort, and acted a long sigh.

'More money?' she assumed.

"Money would make things easier," Sirius could not deny, "But no. This time I seek something far less trivial."

-And in return?-

"The usual."

'...' For the first time, Karal hesitated significantly. It did not take much longer for her curiousity to get the better of her. 'How much of the usual?'

"Enough to power this city for a week, if you could carry that much. I have the locations."

'I ...' Karal glanced up, and her left hand clasped her right as she held in deep thought.
'I can't,' she finally set her resolve, turning back to Sirius with a shake of her head. 'I can't let myself make that mistake again.'

"But you will," said Sirius, "And this is why I let you live." His sick grin almost reached to his scar line as he spoke. "You're logical enough to ignore your morality, but brainwashed to think you're bound to them. The sooner I correct that, the sooner I can harness your potential. For you and me both."

'Yes...' Karal responded, clearly at unease. 'I feared you would not let me leave so easy.'

"Would you rather I tortured you into it?"

'I made a solution.'

A pause followed, and Sirius' eyes narrowed.

"Pray tell, Karal."

'Your target. A half-inanimate corpse, possessed by spectres.'

"You're already aware." Sirius did little to hide his surprise.

'I... knew him personally,' Karal said reluctantly. 'This is the sort of thing you like experimenting with, yes? It would be nice to let him rest.'

"If he's dead, he's resting just fine." Compassion had never been one of Sirius' finer points. "I'll simply be making use of what he left over."

'He was stored in an armoured truck overnight,' Karal added -- and Sirius' smug expression vanished abruptly. 'Personnel which you could dispach in minutes. Magnetic locks which I could undo in seconds. After learning this, you came to track me.'

"You're not able to observe as well as I." Sirius deduced this with certainty. "For you to have learned this, that means--"

He paused mid-sentence, there was no time. His dagger, Massacre, was drawn in a flash, its edge already lined with his own blood. A razor-sharp slash left Karal's phone divided in two, and only her reflexes prevented her wrist suffering the same fate.

But it was far too late. Upon checking his own display, Karal had sent everything she had needed to.

The girl's pre-sent messages could not have put it any more bluntly. 'We'll be parting ways here.'


|---|


Sirius found himself caught off guard - in the least pleasant way he could imagine. The entire area was immediately flooded in a brilliant white; every park lamp and spotlight surged with blinding brightness, illuminating everything in sight. These were no ordinary street lamps - that much was for certain - and their positions rendered every object in the play area without a shadow.

Sirius was disoriented and blinded for a moment, but his new predicament was clear as day. The light rendered his darkness abilities close to null, and the distinct click of a dozen firearm safeties were heard from every direction.

"Sirius Nightshade." The stern voice of the faction officer was heard via megaphone, no more than 50 meters away. The other troops were stationed evenly, surrounding Sirius and Karal in a circle. Each appeared to have additional floodlights positioned next to them, it was clear they were taking no chances here.
"We have permission to shoot on sight," the officer gave fair warning. "Unhand the civilian and raise your hands."



'I wish we could have met under friendlier terms.' The criminal scrolled to the last of his received messages, his tension rising by the second. 'You are a dangerous person. I don't think it is safe to risk your influence any more. We'll meet later.'

"Impossible..." Sirius barely managed an utterance. Even in her naivety, Karal was no less of a fiend than himself. To devise a setup which not only left him powerless, but which she could walk out unharmed... But something, at some point of this, did not add up. Even in their earlier crimes, Karal had never been one to be concerned with concealing her figure. If she spoke in her usual manner, she would be recognised. And best of all, the cops had been manipulated to think she was completely uninvolved.

"I see now."

Karal was not siding with the police; she was escaping from them. There were only two exits from the park; with the second one being a mile away, he deduced exactly which direction she had left to.

Rather unexpectedly, Karal found herself pulled back by the hood; exposing her featureless face, her sharpened silver hair, and the signature imprint across her left cheek. She swung around in retaliation, sparks trailing from her left fist as she counter-assaulted her pursuer -- only to have it caught mid-swing by the wrist. Sirius only looked on at the girl with an almost hysteric grin, mouthing his crucial discovery.

"They just didn't know who you are."


|---|


"Is that..." Murmurs spewed from and between the faction members.
"No doubt, we saw the sparks."
"What do you mean, both??"
"Caused the last two city blackouts on her own? We don't have enough men for this."
"Doesn't matter." The officer took charge, instilling order between the rest. "Wound both of them. Fire at will. Kill if deemed necessary. Keep them inside this field until we have backup."

Upon overhearing the instruction, Karal realised they did not have the time to trade glares. Instinctively, she and Sirius both ran for cover -- all of which was terribly sparce, given they were in a flat playground without buildings. Automatic gunfire ran ablaze, assailing both figures as they made a difficult escape.
Karal was not agile, but managed to shake off the bullets denting her upper body. Beneath the park's slide, the two of them were shielded from most angles, but even that would not hold for long against the sustained, rattling gunfire coming from all sides.

"So this is what you asked for?" Standing opposite Karal, Sirius was laughing. "You think you can escape your past so easy, and at my expense??"

Clear bullet-holes through his shoulder and left thigh flowed freely. Three well-placed shots had disabled his left arm entirely. And yet, in his frenzied disbelief, he could only laugh at his sheer amazement of the girl before her.
"You can't turn back on your resolve, Karal! If you stopped regretting your choices, you would never have to face them!" A stray bullet ricocheted inside the shelter, barely catching Sirius' waist. Karal flinched more than Sirius did, for Sirius was simply too busy regaining his breath.

"Let's make this simple," he finally proposed, now trying to calm his hysteria. "I'm not going to die here. And you know what you have to do."

Finally, Karal raised a quivering arm. Thin arcs followed her fingertips in strict patterns, rendering her thoughts in the air in front of her.

-I don't have to do anything.-

"You think I even need words to get through to you?" Sirius had lost all control of his obnoxious cackling at this point. "Your fragile conscience will break itself anyway! As long as you fear death, you don't have a choice!"

Two more rounds pierced into the shelter, imminently threatening their well-being. The structure as a whole would not hold out for much longer. Karal no longer knew if she was right, but now it was made certain that she had not won.

-... Fine.- Dismissing her first string of words for another, Karal admitted her defeat - and following this, prepared to take action. Cyan flashes rippled over her exterior as she focused her innate energy. This was going to cost her later, but there was no other way in sight.

A powerful shockwave tore through the air, the result of an immense electromagnetic pulse spanning half the park in size. Within seconds, Every light in the playground had flickered and dimmed to black -- and every communication device nearby was completely fried, leaving the officers helplessly uncoordinated against what was to come.

"You are such a good tool." The last of his words were spoken with an air of malevolence more intimidating than anything Karal had experienced. "Now let me finish the job..."

Blacker than the empty night sky, a hostile haze swept across the playground, encasing his visage; nothing could be seen within, save for a pair of enraged, blood-red eyes hovering at its centre. Tendrils of perfect dark multiplied into the dozens, ensnaring all in the vicinity which dared stand against a god. The sound of gunfire did not fade, but was drowned out by a cacophony of screams and bloodshed; of laceration and snapping bones; of relentless, demonic slaughter and abandonment of mercy.


|---|


The sixty-second nightmare felt like an eternity for every party involved. Sirius gradually emerged from the fog, his eyes regaining their intimidating green shade. His clothes remained punctured, yet every one of his wounds had healed entirely, save for the eternal scar lining his face. The very last of the armed men were held up by his tendrils of shadow, wringing out the last of him before dumping the body at Karal's feet.

"So, my dear subordinate in crime." Sirius turned to the last survivor, his murderous smile still unfading. "Are you coming?"

-Get away.- Karal was still shaking, and her floating words were less legible than before.
-I'm not wrong.- - This isn't what humans-*-

"Think, Karal." Another tendril shot through her rendered words, snatching the same arm to lift her above ground.
"If you wanted to atone, you only had to get yourself arrested. Apparently you're smarter than that."

-No- -...- Karal was not sure what to think. She gave little resistance, and her head lowered with slight remorse.

-I almost got you killed- -And you still want my help?-

"I won't forget this stunt of yours," Sirius said coldly. "If you tried that again, I would be lifting you by the neck instead."

Karal stumbled for a proper response, but Sirius did not pause for long.

"I don't need to hold grudges. So long as I can control you, it would be a waste to have you killed."

-I don't follow...-

"You are able to fight," the man began to clarify. "Follow instructions, easy to negotiate with. Completely desensitised to murder. I could not ask for more in a subordinate."

-But...- -those things...- -are not very moral.-

"And nor is your vice of energy theft," Sirius sighed, releasing Karal and turning away from her. "If you don't have a problem with that, follow me."


|---|


In uncomfortable agreement, the pair took the darkened path from which they had arrived, seemingly uncaring of their feuds, nor the massacre they had left behind them.

-This will be the very last time.- Karal reassured her undesirable partner.
"You said that the last time." Sirius nodded.
-No more killing?-
"I promise nothing."
-My side of the deal first? That pulse exhausted me.-
"A fair request. It's on the way."
-Carry me there.-
"And now you're really asking for death..."

Boomerang
08-03-2014, 10:26 AM
Okay, so I just have to say that Tantalum's story came out much better than mine did, in my personal opinion. It's a shame she couldn't make it to the due date, because I feel like she beat me in every aspect. She depicted Sirius far better than even I was able to in this bout. I made Sirius out to be a personality he wasn't necessarily, and it cost me the better story. Tantalum, I thoroughly enjoyed this read, and with that end, I feel as though maybe we should create another collaboration with Sirius instead of Titus.

Tantalum
08-03-2014, 11:12 AM
Many thanks for the kind words. Whoever knew a few hours of word-proofing could be so costly xP but what's done is done.

To return CnC-- I especially liked how the environment was characterised, much more so than what I had attempted. It was pretty interesting to play Karal as Sirius' conscience (and a faulty one at that), and the few skirmishes held a fair amount of impact. My largest gripe would've been how one-dimensional Quentin acted throughout; his backstory was really typical for the sort of thing Sirius would do to people, and some variation to that would've helped establish him better as a main character.
Most descriptions around the fights and surroundings were clear, though I felt more could be put into showing the characters' emotions and gestures alongside it. The story rounded out with a clear twist and conclusion, but the climax leading to it could have been a lot more suspenseful; Quentin's battle cry should have been the first thing mentioned IMO, rather than a pre-told description of the plot twist to come, to help conserve that feeling of surprise.

I don't think I'm able to commit to another collab just yet, since I expect life's gonna be fairly busy this month and the next. I'm up for a simple battle any time, though x). Congrats on your win regardless, and good luck in the next round.