ForumsArt, Music, and WritingThe Way of Moderation has ended (page 566)

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Cenere
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Cenere
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http://i428.photobucket.com/albums/qq1/Cerene_Cerine/hinthintnudgewinknudge.jpg

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the_manta
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"Command any unit?


command ALL the units!
Cenere
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http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/5449/alltheunits.jpg

It seems like AG might actually make it.
Might.

kingryan
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kingryan
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Do we really want to give Thoad that power?

And nice work with KRs bit Stroppykins, it was well written.

ONWAARRRDSS!!!

Strop
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Strop
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Thanks KR.

but this is my own body, I'm my own person,


Ironically, this is a line frequently heard while working in an Aged Care unit. Invariably to people whom we've diagnosed with having advanced dementia, who literally couldn't tell their butt from a hole in the ground. But goshdarnit, they're just fine and they'll continue living by themselves, in that house that was actually sold twenty five years ago when their daughter told them that they weren't safe to live alone anymore and why don't they come stay with them.

Funnily enough the "old person" jokes that comprise KingRyan's character would suggest that he does have some kind of cognitive deficit, maybe even secondary to normal pressure hydrocephalus (seeing as he has a shocking memory, he can barely walk in a straight line, and he keeps falling asleep, the three main clinical signs of NPH which, naturally, might just as easily be explained by the constellation of other "old people problems" we frequently encounter such as Alzheimer's, osteroarthritis and osteoporosis, and sleep apnoea.) But by definition, as a character KR does not have dementia, as his ailments don't actually prevent him from carrying out his various activities of daily living independently... they just make him perform them in strange and wonderful ways.

Anyway, I've got one more update for you guys coming up, most of it is actually written by Xzeno (big hint), but as I informed the active participants via email, I had to tweak some important things. That said, by Wednesday I hope Telstra has done their part and I'll be able to give you detailed instructions of what I want done next, and maybe even in the meantime I'll be able to back up all this new material with supplementary images!
Cenere
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You know, this is the internet, there are no diseases, just obstacles to performing perfectly.
Or it's considered quirks.
Or veteran unlocks.

Strop
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Strop
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You know, this is the internet, there are no diseases, just obstacles to performing perfectly.


Well that's one way to put it. But IMMA DOCTOR, AND DARN IT AT LEAST I COULD WRITE A LITTLE MORE ACCURATELY THAN THE SCENARIOS IN HOUSE!?!?!? xD

"You unlocked DEMENTIA!" :P

As I was saying, this update was written mostly by Xzeno. I've tweaked a part in the middle for the purpose of tying in character developments and to make the progression flow a little smoother.

---

The Way of Moderation: I Dream of Leon

A crystal drop of water feel from the sky. A perfect sphere of clarity, the liquid fell as though frozen in time. Leon watched as it joined a murky puddle below. He watched it ripple and fall silent. For a moment, he felt the infinite blackness below him. Glassy-eyed fishermen and tentacled horrors flitted below him. But from that darkness Edward had risen. There was a silvery flash as Leon drew his blade with cutting speed. He thrust his blade up through the dark wetness as though to pierce the heavens themselves. The gnoll stood, wrapped in gleaming armor, shining sword penetrating the downpour of gray and black.
Leon's ears flattened as he heard the deafening sound of metal on metal. He held his sword half-heartedly aloft, tail tucking between his legs as the earth itself heaved below him. There was an awful crunching of concrete as the street exploded. A geyser of sewer water spurted from the heaving earth as a massive metal thing raised itself from the dark. It pulled itself up, supported on three spindly legs. Caked dirt and concrete fell from its electrum plating as it turned its unblinking eye away from Leon. Its pupil dilated, mighty blue iris vanishing as an enormous red beam carved a line of steam through the thick gray sheets of rain. It struck a building, instantly resulting in its fiery destruction. Iris returning to normal, the tripod thing rolled its bloodshot eye back to Leon. The gnoll, of course, bravely turned his back and ran. He courageously spent a breath whistling for his hyena companion, as though it would need instruction to flee. The tripod leaned the bulk of its body forward and hopped. Its base began to spin, allowing it to land on its next spindly leg, which too hopped forward. So it propelled itself, hopping one leg at a time, leaning forward and twirling its yellow-gold legs. It fired beams of fiery death, keeping pace with Leon as it wantonly obliterated buildings and turned sidewalks into smoking craters. Thanks to the tripod's hilariously inefficient mode of transit, Leon had time to steal a glace at the growing conflagration behind him. Just another day in the life.
Leon tried to dodge down the occasional alley, but the tripod jovially smashed through the flaming wreckage of whatever building Leon had used to cover his escape. Between the heat ray and the thick rain, building after building was reduced to little more than a pile of steaming logs. Leon, out of breath in his heavy armor, had long since slowed to a gentle jog. The thing, he concluded, was incapable of sight while attempting to fire, making it ideal for frenzied pursuit but unsuited for actually achieving anything. Leon smiled at their unlikely kinship. The tripod apparently felt no such brotherhood, as it sent Leon running with another steaming ray.
Chill watched the clouds of black smoke with a growing sense of dread. The blaze was approaching the castle. They had faced many a flamer, but no single enemy comparable to whatever was causing the blaze. Whatever it was, it was a being of utter chaos. If not powerful, it possessed enough bad attitude and moxie to produce a similar effect. Besides, something capable of such destruction was surely â" at that moment, Leon and Marley burst from an alley, taking in huge breaths with every stride.
"Figures." Chill sighed.
"Leon!" Manta yelled, bounding towards the armored gnoll. "What do you think you're doing? And how!?"
"Running!" Leon shouted. "What, you think I did that!? I can't set a fire on a rainy day!" Leon stopped to pant. "A desert village on the other hand..."
"Then what in the name of Queen Carlie caused that blaze?" one of Manta's fishmen asked. Leon laughed.
"Oh man, you guys should see this thing. It's so freaking stupid! It hops around with its big giant eyeball--" Leon stretched out the skin under his eye to emphasize the point â" "But it can't hit the broad side of a ****** Nazi." Leon cackled as the ragtag band looked up at him. "Oh, it's quite proficient at obliterating everything in its path though. You might want to watch out for that. Toodles!" Leon resumed his mad dash towards anywhere else, cape weighed down by rain, as the yellow tripod burst through the same burning alley from which Leon had emerged.
Its gaze instantly shifted to a new target as Leon streaked off towards safety. For once in its existence, it fired a dead on accurate shot, directly at Chill. Without hope, the boy threw up a wall of ice. To his surprise, the beam reflected off the shining ice, bouncing towards Leon. The ray of fiery karma failed again, however: Leon's cape billowed out of the way just in time. The beam reflected again off his shining armor. The proximity to the beam instantly dried Leon's cape, but the gnoll himself, while wrapped in steel, was as wet as ever.
The beam bounced from the ice sheet, to Leon, then back to the tripod thing itself. Leon winced at the boom. He watched the rainbow of colors dancing across the sidewalk and stared in awe at his elongated shadow, the only sliver of darkness in an otherwise phantasmagorical display. The actual explosion was surely more glorious, but Leon turned around only in time to see the smoking remains of the tripod fall to pieces.
"I'm taking credit for that." he announced as he walked back to the others, brushing imaginary dust from his armor.
Thoad rounded on Leon, trance broken by the gnoll's arrogance.
"Credit for almost getting us all killed? Or credit for burning down half the city?" Thoad demanded.
"Well, if I hadn't bravely run to intercept the beam, that thing would still be standing. But can I take credit for burning the city? I didn't know that was an option."
"That's bull, man!" Thoad asserted.
"Metal Bullman!" Leon corrected, whipping out his sword once again. Thoad made a start for his shotgun, but Leon thrust it harmlessly up through the rain again. "I grabbed the bull by the horns on this one! I-"
"You talk tough, but you're no hero." a fishman interjected.
"Pfft, shows what you know about being a hero. I've run away from more monsters than a fishstick like you has ever seen!" Leon eyed the fishman up and down. He didn't look like the type, but Leon couldn't be too careful. Fishman warriors, in his experience, came in two varieties and this one wasn't carrying sharkbones.
"Run away? Ha, you're just a coward." the fishman replied, incredulous.
"Look," Leon said frankly "I'm not necessarily saying that I blocked that laser on purpose. I'm just saying that my immense capacity for bull**** extends beyond the verbal realm, and you guys should credit me for that."
"I can't believe this guy!" Thoad exploded. "You talk about all the great adventures you have, but the only thing you've ever done to HELP any of us involved trying to leave us to die!"
"Nonsense!" Leon declared. "I helped Crimson beat the stuffing out of you!"
"That's another thing! As soon as we actually get to a fight, you make your partner do all the work! You're only even in this tournament because of Crimson, and YOU were the one who didn't get hurt! You didn't even DO anything!"
"That's not true! I maimed a fourteen year old boy." Leon pouted.
"No, your pet did that. And by the way, I looked it up, and hyenas aren't dogs." Leon's ear twitched.
"I'm sorry, do you have a pet hyena? Did you grow up around hyenas? Were you raised by hyena men? Are you the freakin' Metal Hyena Man? No? Then I think I know a bit more about what is and isn't a dog, than you do, Thoadsy." Leon growled.
"This, this right here, is exactly what I'm talking!" Thoad shouted.
"You know," Leon mused "if I didn't know any better, I'd say you were a wee bit bitter."
Thoad opened his mouth to reply, but a bandaged hand stifled it. Another bandaged hand planted itself firmly on Leon's breastplate, and between the bickering duo, stood a ninja horse.
"Thoad, status update."
"I was just picking Manta's platoon up at the rendezvous point when this guy almost got us all killed." Thoad grumpily replied.
"I don't doubt you, but can the editorial." Strop snipped, then he motioned to Manta and Chill. "All accounted for, guys?"
Two nods. "All present."
Satisfied, Strop then rounded on the gnoll. "Leon. So nice of you to drop by."
The gnoll toothily grinned. "It's been too long."
Studiously ignoring the animosity simmering from the other parties, Strop cut to the chase. "Look, I'mma cut to the chase. Are you gonna go off and do your own thing again, or are you gonna stick around and help us defend the castle?"
"Ooh, a last stand?" Leon cackled maniacally. "Sounds like fun."
"What the hell, Strop!?" Thoad blustered. "The guy's a furry liability! If you let him on board we'll probably get wiped out by a meteorite or something, and that's not how I want to die! I want to die by snoo sn-"
"Not now, Thoad," Strop said resolutely. "You may not agree with his methods. I don't agree with his methods. But the chaos that surrounds Leon, also carries a certain luck, and in war, luck is a skill."
This drew further protests from not only Thoad, but also Chill, Manta, and therefore, Manta's men, all of which Leon regarded with lopsided amusement. Strop ground his palm into his face trying to think of a way to explain his decision while stayind unilateral.
"Guys, who here has been in a war?"
Manta and Thoad started talking at the same time, but Strop cut them off. "Slaying zombies isn't the same as war. And Manta, I'm sorry to say, but your father dying in battle isn't the same as you being in a war. Do you understand that?"
They were both silenced. Strop went on. "Leon's madness is what comes from being in the wars, isn't that right, Leon?"
"I thought I told you I didn't want to talk abou my past," Leon reminded him.
"Here's the deal then," Strop folded his arms. "Frankly I never thought you were moderator material. But circumstances are what they are, I want to see if you can extend your uncanny skill for self-preservation to the rest of this city. Seeing as you're so mercenary, I guess I'll call you our new consultant."
"That's settled, then," Leon said, punching his gauntlets together. "I can start Monday."
Strop was unamused. "You'll start now, so get on that wall."
"Well," Thoad grumped. "I think this is a load of bull-"
But his words were washed away by a boom. The wave of sound flooded the ears of the ragtag group, broken only by the sound of steel slicing the air.
"Alright everyone." Leon barked "time's a-wastin'. Battle stations."

As Leon marshaled the forces, a horde of koalas poured through a newly-created gap in a building. Each wore a gray uniform, complete save for boots. Some sported red armbands adorned with swastikas. Most were armed with carbine rifles. A few held grisly knives or vintage submachine guns. The one closest to the group turned its smoldering red eyes towards them and opened its terrible beak, letting loose a blood-curdling screech.
Leon wasted no time.
"Nazi beaked koalas. I've seen this before." he stated. "Thoad, I want you to man the traps. You can hold them off in the trenches. Crimson, hang back with Thoad. You're pulling double duty to reinforce defenses and protect Thoad. Chill..." Leon paused in consideration. "Just rework the tapestry of creation according to your whim. Manta, you're with me. We'll lead the fishman squads. Keep the koalas apart. Tight-knit groups will attract fire." Leon stood, wrapped in steel, blade in hand. The koalas surged forward like a tsunami of white supremacy.
"We're outgunned and outmanned. How are we going to defend the castle?" A nagging voice asked. Leon's steely eyes were fixed on the wave of koalas. Leon raised his sword.
"We pray for heaven and fight like hell!"

---

Okay. Here we are. BATTLE STATIONS EVERYBODY.

A little note here which I probably shouldn't make but for the purposes of expediting our progress I will make- it seems that Leon's already hard at work bringing in the random (I mean, Nazi beaked koalas? wtf???) My impression is that an astute character will notice that Leon, for all his chaotic gallivanting, has summed up the skills of the characters very appropriately in the few seconds he's been on the wall. One reason he's been so successful in the tournament so far is because for all his BS, he's more observant and appreciates the big picture better than most of the other characters, a likely byproduct of his continued survival through that past he just doesn't want to talk about.

Current status

Asherlee- melee, directly in front of the wall. About to be joined by Manta and Leon
Chill- on the front of the wall, on buffs duty
Crimson- on the wall, manning ranged support
Dank- maintaining the uplink between Kingryan's virtual interface and the wall's console
Devoidless- surveying and patrolling the air
Dragonmistress- piloting Devoidless
KingRyan- on the Northern high guard tower, updating incoming info on the battle
Leon- with Manta
Manta- heading towards the base of the wall between Thoad's traps and the moat
Maverick- en route to the wilderness
Nill- MIA
Strop- will go where needed
Thoad- manning the trenches and traps in front of the wall
Zophia- on the wall towers trying to establish more turrets

Many of those listed will have upcoming assignments, which will be further explained via email soon.

That's it from me for now!
Cenere
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Cenere
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Strop cut to the chase. "Look, I'mma cut to the chase.

This might be my favourite part of the entire WoM. Just this.

And Leon, once again showing that a completely mad antihero is rather amusing to watch. As long as you are just watching, and not caught in the horrible events that take action around him.
Who knows who might be the target of the next deflected laser ray from this karma Houdini.
Maverick4
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like Rebel troopers on a Corellian frigate.


Yeah, but, didn't they all die?
Cenere
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Cenere
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Yeah, but, didn't they all die?

Nooooo... That was... Uh, not them... At all...
And even if it was, that obviously does not mean... That anything will happen to, uh, anybody...
Especially not horrible, painful death.
In any way, shape, form or appearance as murderous jetpack propelled raptors.
Strop
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ROCKET PROPELLED RAPTOR!

ftw

Yeah, but, didn't they all die


in order to avoid answering the question, I shall award you +1 internets.
Maverick4
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Maverick4
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Especially not horrible, painful death


*sudden image of Mav falling into a ditch in the Wilderness, with no one around to rescue him*

in order to avoid answering the question, I shall award you +1 internets.


Awesome! Now I have... 1 internets.
kingryan
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Oh great, Strop's foreshadowing has killed us all. Although that probably wouldn't be the first time that that has happened...

It's kinda scary that this thing is actually getting nearer and nearer to the end...

Strop
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Okay guys, check your email. There's a big one sitting in your inbox.

FOR GREAT JUSTICE

Nurvana
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Yeah, but, didn't they all die?


Epic foreshadowing :-0
M1LKMAN
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M1LKMAN
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Forshadowing FTW, hints!!111

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