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The Way of Moderation has ended (page 566)

Posted Aug 20, '10 at 12:33am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

Okay, in that case, while we're waiting for crimson and xzeno to finish, Thoad, if you do manage to contact Poison in the meantime, see if you can get him to review the entry. I'll hold off reading it until I have both in front of me.

 

Posted Aug 20, '10 at 1:47am

thepossum

thepossum

3,096 posts

You know, you could always look for Poison in the CountingTime chat room, if he's online he'll probably be there.

 

Posted Aug 21, '10 at 6:19pm

crimsonblade55

crimsonblade55

5,718 posts

Right so at this point I think its safe to say were done on our entry. I just pieced together everything together, and sent that to Xzeno so he can make sure everything is in proper order and can then send it your way once thats done, so hopefully you should be getting our entry in today or tomorrow I would imagine depending on whether Xzeno checks his email or not I guess.

 

Posted Aug 21, '10 at 8:49pm

Xzeno

Xzeno

2,354 posts

I sent in our entry. It's longer than I had expected. I'd like to thank Crimson for being a fantastic partner. Perhaps even a stabilizing influence.

 

Posted Aug 22, '10 at 8:10am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

Cool. All that's left is to somehow get a hold of Poison. POISONNNNN????

Oh yeah, and show you what happened between rounds 8 and 9.

 

Posted Aug 22, '10 at 3:48pm

thoadthetoad

thoadthetoad

5,814 posts

Poison said that he'd contacted you saying everything was all okely-dokely.

 

Posted Aug 28, '10 at 1:58am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

Huh... I hope that means he contacted Cenere because I certainly don't see anything!

Oh wait, here it is. He apparently forgot to actually send the email.

Good!

This means we will be able to reach a decision tomorrow (assume approximately 24 hours from this post). I am also finishing the scenes in between and the background plot at large.

If one member of each team could post their entry here for the public perusal, that would be great. Xzeno, Crimson, you may need to check whether your entry actually fits into one post, as I suspect it may not.

 

Posted Aug 28, '10 at 3:37am

Xzeno

Xzeno

2,354 posts

Final version, I hope:

Part Nine: Between a Rock and a Leon

"I'm with Crimson!" Thoad proclaimed.
"Nope." Leon stated flatly.
"But..." Thoad started.
"No buts." Leon countered. "You're with Frank."
"Why do you make the rules?" Thoad demanded fairly.
"Crimson, you and I are the best fighters here, don't you agree?" Leon asked personablely.
"Agreed." Crimson affirmed.
"So we should team up." Leon concluded.
"You were my first choice as well." Crimson stated.
"That was easy." Leon echoed The Bullman.
"Uh, well, you have about forty-five seconds left." Strop said sheepishly. "No fighting until the time is up!" With that, the ninja jumped back to a safe distance.
The victestents, standing in an area relatively clear of debris, stood on there own sides of the clearing in teams, regarding one aother. Leon nocked an arrow, placing the string within the groove, but not drawing the bow. Thoad pointed his shotgun at Leon. That one growled. His hyena followed suit, snapping and jumping towards Thoad. Instantly, Leon secured his bow and arrow with one hand and caught the hyena by the scruff of the neck. He tossed the animal back a bit and shouted something in gnollish. The hyena bowed its head in silence. Leon turned to Thoad and made a sort of downward gesture with his open hand.
"Can we just..." he insinuated, returning his free hand to his bow, pointed down and away from anyone, but ready to be aimed and fired.
"Leon's got the right idea." said Frank, drawing, nocking and holding his bow in the same manner. With some reluctance, Thoad lowered his gun. All looked at the timer. About fifteen seconds remained.
Fourteen.
Thirteen.
Twelve.
Suddenly, Crimson drew his sword, running the dull edge along his back. He raised his other arm as well, mimicking the motion. He brought both arms down in a symmetrical fashion. A blob of misty energy erupted suddenly in his open hand. Leon glanced at the timer. Only a small amount of sand remained: About four seconds' worth.
Three.
Two.
The victestents, the final four, stood under a chandelier in a somewhat clear area, watching each other. Thoad, with his malicious grin and finger on the trigger, looked ready to fire at the drop of a pin. Leon stood fully erect, towering over the others. His hood was pulled over his head, but it did not hid his gleaming yellow eyes, glancing from Frank to Thoad and back again, or his mouth, contorted into something between a smile and a threat. His hold on his bow was relaxed, but controlled. Leon's hyena stood beside his master, teeth bared and ready to leap into the fray. Frank held his bow more firmly than Leon. He looked about, from person to purpose, analyzing. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, he shifted his weight to the left. Crimsonblade stood still and silent, muscles tense, magic and blade ready. All watched out of the corners of their eyes as the last grains of sand ran through the glass.

With a giggle, Thoad began to aim his shotgun at Leon. Crimson was too quick, however: He threw the blob of white mist at the zombie slayer. As it flew through the air, the blob morphed, becoming a perfect orb of clear glass. Thoad quickly adjusted his aim and fired on the orb. Leon ignored the explosion of glass and shot, calmly drawing his bow and firing the through the cloud of mist and shards of glass. The arrow would have struck Frank dead in the heart, so it may have been for the better for Leon that the pirate leaped to his left, firing an arrow as he did. Leon watched as the arrow found its mark, breaking the chain supporting the chandelier. Leon turned and ran to avoid the falling mass of glass, metal, and oil lamps. His hyena followed suit, diving for an upturned table. Crimsonblade darted off, tripping slightly over a chair. Thoad jumped and fell backwards out of the way. Frank, having been prepared for the event, did a side roll and ran to a round table, which he kicked over to serve as cover. Meanwhile, the chandelier hit the ground with explosive force, sending bits of glass and wood flying through the air. Leon swore and dived under a chair. He turned his head away as the shockwave knocked over tables, chairs, and other doodads. He looked at the now burning wreckage of the chandelier.
"Why would it explode?" Leon asked out-loud of no one. The manner of the explosion was fishy: It was a powerful explosion, but not a particularly fiery one, eliminating lamp oil as a possible cause. Leon chose to ignore it, as he found the idea of a chandelier packed with plastic explosives entirely keeping with what he knew of Armor Games. Instead, he focused his efforts on locating his opponents.

While Leon was looking for the opponents, Crimson used the chaos as an opportunity to finish a new spell he had been working on. Unfortunately for him, he was not given enough time to do so. As Leon spotted Thoad and Frank, they spotted Leon and Crimson, on opposite ends of the flaming chandelier. Thoad had his shotgun pointed directly at Crimson, while Leon and Frank had their bows pointed at one another...again. Crimson pulled his hands up, almost as if surrendering to Thoad, though of course this was not his intention. When he saw that Thoad was planning on standing his ground, he quickly decided to do away with this facade, putting his hands in a more threatening stance. Leon and Frank kept themselves ready to attack each other. Crimson imagined that Leon could probably take a hit from an arrow, but his enemy could probably dodge one. As for Thoad, Crimson knew he had to do something to deal with his shotgun. He had very few options when it came to long range projectiles, and the ones he could use were ineffective as they simply shattered against his enemy's shotgun, though they seemed to have been enough to deflect his bullets.

Crimson typically could be patient enough in waiting for something to happen, but knew that this time someone would have to be the first to pull the trigger. Unfortunately for him his opponent was the impatient type. Thoad's shotgun fired. With no time to think, Crimson ducked below cover. Shot grazed his hood, popping it off his head. He snatched it back on and blasted another orb at Thoad, who shot it in mid-air once again. Leon and Frank meanwhile were having their own firefight with each shooting at the other, some getting dodged, some getting deflected, and one that surprisingly got hit by the blast of the orb, set on fire and almost hit Frank in the leg. At this rate they were all bound to run out of ammo, while Crimson had an unlimited supply of magic at his disposal. Hoping that Thoad and Frank would not realize this, all he had to do was push the attack, and hope that nothing happened to Leon.

Leon slide behind an overturned barrel that presumably once contained root beer. Thoad was some forty yards away, crouched over a smashed, fish-shaped fountain, pistol gripped tightly in his hands. Frank was in hiding. Crimson stood on top of a table, magic and sword at the ready. After glancing around for Frank, he hurled a bolt of black and red matter at Thoad. The bolt smashed into the reminants of the fish fountain, sending bits of rock flying. They bounced harmlessly off Thoad's helmet while that one ducked further behind the rim of the fountain. Leon ran out from behind the barrel towards a crate. The crate had evidently contained some sort of remotely edible foodstuff, as it appeared to have been clumsily smashed open and completely emptied of its precious contents. The fact that this had happened before Leon arrived on the scene was further proof that it once contained the legendary decent party food. The oil lamp perched undisturbed on the intact corner of the crate attested to the surgical precision of the hunter-gatherer instincts of the AGers. At least that was how Leon interpreted the evidence.

As the gnoll slid behind the crate, Frank took aim at Crimson. The swordsman was focused on using his spells to keep Thoad from opening fire. Frank smirked slightly. He nocked an arrow and aimed, only to see Leon doing the same out of the corner of his eye. Frank fired his arrow at the leg of Crimson's table and turned to face Leon. The table leg shattered as the arrow hit, sending Crimson stumbling forward, spell faltering. Seeing an opportunity to fire unhindered by magic, Thoad popped out of cover and started to aim his pistol. Leon was too fast, however, instantly retraining his shot and firing on Thoad. The arrow met its mark, striking Thoad's helmet directly in the forehead. The wooden shaft shattered as Toad was knocked backward off his feet, helmet flying off his head. He hit the ground rather badly, smacking into the floor. He rolled over to clutch his head, now throbbing on all sides due to the arrow and his landing.

Frank nocked and fired a second arrow with remarkable haste. The second arrow also met its mark: The oil lamp on Leon's crate. Leon tossed his bow aside and preformed a backward roll, using his arms to spring into a standing position as he finished the roll, to avoid the burning oil; not that he was afraid of burning oil under normal circumstances, but president forced him to take a more extreme course of action. As he realized the lamp was not, in fact, going to explode, he quickly picked up his bow before it was consumed by the burning oil. He was aiming his bow at Frank when he noticed a painful sensation on his right leg. He looked down to see the end of his cape burning. With a shout, he started to flap about wildly in an attempt to pat it out, dancing away from the ever-advancing fire all the while. His hyena trotted up to see what was the matter.
"Kill! Main!" Leon commanded, pointing in Thoad's vague direction as he tripped over his cloak. The hyena ran off, jaws snapping.

Thoad's finger tips closed around the edge of his helmet. He exhaled with relief, having army-crawled across the floor to retrieve it. He looked over his shoulder as he secured the helmet on his head to see Leon's hyena running towards him at full speed. Thinking quickly, Thoad flipped the helmet off of his head and into the hyena's face. The animal whimpered as it was struck in the nose, but it barreled towards mostly undeterred. Thoad sat up to aim his pistol, but the hyena barreled into him, knocking him over. Thoad grunted as he slammed into the ground again. The hyena stood with its front paws just under the boys shoulders, snarling. It lunged for Thoad's throat, but the boy rolled quickly to the left. As he rolled, he pistol whipped the hyena in the side of the head. It let out a yelp before lunging for Thoad once more. Thoad pulled himself forward with his legs and thrust his pistol at the animal, lodging it just below its jaw. The hyena was confused momentarily. It jerked its head out of the way as Thoad pulled the trigger twice. The hyena jumped back in terror from the loud noise. Thoad paused only for a second to breath before aiming for the hyena again. The hyena launched back into action, knocking Thoad over with his paws. Thoad jammed his forearm into the hyena's neck and tried with all his might to hold it off. The hyena, trying to get a better angle to push against Thoad, inadvertently placed his paw on the zombie slayer's solar plexus. Thoad sputtered slightly as the beast crushed the wind out of him. In a desperate attempt to survive, he began pistol-whipping the hyena repeatedly in the side of the head. It effortlessly pushed his arm down and brought its face a half an inch from his. With a final smack, Thoad let his pistol fall to the floor. The hyena growled. Thoad sighed.
"I surren-" Thoad started, but the hyena snapped, lunging for his face. Thoad attemted to roll out of the way to safety, but the hyena caught him on the side of the face, producing two lacerations and a ragged puncture wound garnished with a cut. Thoad, thinking quickly, drew his crowbar and struck his attacker in the ribs with one clean motion. The hyena responded by sinking its teeth into Thoad's left shoulder and tossing him across the floor. Thoad landed on his back with a thud, clutching his shoulder in pain. The hyena moved in for the kill. Thoad threw his hands in front of him, brought his knee up to cover his body and turned his head away. The hyena reared on its back legs, easily pushing past his guard and battered him with its paws. Thoad shouted and swung his crowbar wildly. The hyena dodged the clumsy crowbar swings and struck Thoad across the face with a paw, leaving a few more lacerations. Thoad opened his eyes as the hyena focused on clawing and ripping at his chest and abdomen. Ignoring the pain for a moment, he swung his crowbar, hitting the hyena on the side of the head. The hyena yelped. Thoad seized the moment and hit him again. The hyena jumped off Thoad and began to growl. Thoad struggled to his feet. The hyena snapped its jaws and jumped at Thoad, but this time, Thoad was ready: Using both hands, he caught the hyena in the throat with his crowbar while dodging to the side. The hyena sailed past him, stumbling. It turned back to face him, coughing.
"Hey! That's enough!" shouted Leon from behind a broken table "We don't want to kill him!" With a final growl, the hyena ran away from Thoad and back to its master.

Thoad examined his injuries. Most of them appeared to be surface wounds. Even his shoulder wasn't particularly bad, though it was by far the worst. He would live he concluded as he ran to pick up his helmet and gun.

Crimson analyzed the situation once again. Thoad was, as far as he could tell, pacified at least for the moment by the hyena's vicious attack on him, so he did not seem to be much of a threat at this point, but Frank was still on the battlefield, and had the potential to defeat them if he was smart and agile enough. Crimson put away his sword as this battle turned out to be almost completely ranged, and he needed to free up his sword hand for more spell casting. Leon was still in a firefight with Frank, both were making a couple of decent hits, but most not hitting each other directly. An arrow shot by Leon hit one of the walls behind Frank exploding on contact for no reason that Crimson could think of. He thought about the chandelier and figured that the placed may have been set-up with traps by Strop, or built by a 4chan user. Regardless he knew that keeping the room intact was unlikely at this point, so there was no point in holding back. He summoned two explosive orbs rapid-fire at Frank hoping one would hit....neither did. Frank seemed to be good at dodging and attacking at the same time, shooting an arrow at Crimson as both orbs flew by him. Crimson ducked behind cover while Leon shot another arrow at Frank, scratching at his pant-leg. This was barely a distraction though as he was able able to dodge another round of orbs. Crimson got impatient at this point putting all of his focus on hitting Frank, leaving no attention to Thoad or his location in the current battle. Leon and Crimson both shot more projectiles at Frank, but with no true success having to dodge whatever Frank shot back. Luckily he knew Frank would run out of ammo eventually, and so all he had to do was continue to fire at him and provoke his enemy to use only ranged attacks. He got up to shoot another orb only to get an arrow fly straight towards his head. He quickly turned his head sideways getting his cheek cut open and his hood as well. He went back into cover, throwing off his hood from his head and covering the wound with his hand. Leon seemed to have been enough to keep Frank busy for the moment so he took the opportunity to adjust his code. Once he was done he stood back up from his cover to hopefully finish the fight. He placed both of his hands in the direction of Frank, shooting off multiple faster orbs at his opponent, littering the room with explosions of glass flack as he did so. Frank was not able to completely dodge this attack getting small scrapes across his body, with Thoad and Leon both getting caught in the mix. Crimson was confident that the battle would soon be theirs before he suddenly lost control of his body. The whole room started stuttering, moving in slow motion. Crimson realized what this was. It was a side effect of a low FPS rate. They were experiencing lag from too many objects having to be processed at the same time. Frank took advantage of this to basically teleport to the other side of the room in front of Crimson. They both pulled out their swords, and swung at each other in slow stuttered motions, before Leon ended the close quarters battle with an arrow. Frank was forced to move away from them in order to dodge it, leaving room for Crimson to shoot a few more orbs at him, which were able to push him back even further. Frank was forced to retreat. Crimson was able to cut Frank's quiver off his back during the attack, but knew that such an attack would be too risky to do again, because of its potential to lag the whole room somehow. Unfortunately this meant that since he updated an existing code, without thinking about holding on to the original that he would be out of one of his best ranged attacks. Even with that in mind Leon and Crimson had their opponents cornered.

Slowly, Leon drew his knife into the icepick grip. Crimson held his sword at the ready, other hand extended to compile when necessary. He and Leon exchanged glances. Using only this silent signal as a prompt, they began to advance slowly but steadily. Frank, who was standing on a table in front of a tasteful ice sculpture, inhaled as he brought his sword into a ready position.
"You go in, I'll shoot." Leon instructed, knowing that Crimson's ranged checking abilities were hindered. Crimson nodded and continued his advance. With some reluctance, Leon put away his knife and drew his bow, knowing that it was the best way to win. He nocked an arrow, aiming at Frank.
"Hey Crimson, you forget about me?" Thoad shouted from across the room. Crimson whipped his head around to see Thoad, standing, pistol at the ready, about to shoot. Reacting quickly, Crimson compiled a fiery spell, launching himself ten feet into the air and out of the bullet's path with a blast of fire. He hovered briefly, surrounded by a ring of fire, before diving towards Frank. The pirate, eyes wide, dived off the table and preformed a sideways roll, narrowly escaping the destruction that followed: Both hands on his sword, trail of fire behind him, Crimson smashed into the ice sculpture, destroying it and the table. A wave of fire extended about five feet out, scorching the ground.
"Loner's blessings, Crimson!" Leon shouted as droplets of melted sculpture fell around him. He pivoted rapidly and released his arrow at Thoad, who darted behind an overturned table.

Seeing Crimson's moment of weakness, Frank rushed in for the kill... or knock out, as the case may be. Crimson unflinchingly stood and faced his attacker. Sword arm hanging at his side, he raised his empty hand at Frank. Waves of blue energy emanated from his hand. As Frank ran into them, he shivered slightly, slowing down as they sent a chill down his spine. He felt no other ill effect as he swung his blade at Crimson. Crimson parried the blow easily, bringing his sword into a guard position. Frank, undeterred, made a stabbing motion towards Crimson's neck. Crimson blocked the blow by raising his sword. Frank quickly retracted his blade and made to take advantage of Crimson's opening by way of a thrust to the gut. Crimson turned away from Frank, preforming a wing-arm block aided by a plank of wood he magically created. Frank's sword stuck a quarter-inch into the wood. With some embarrassment, he yanked it free. Crimson spun around for another strike against Frank. Frank employed an upward block. Before Crimson had time to attack, Frank brought his sword down in a diagonal slash. Crimson hopped out of the way, blade above his head. Frank pulled his sword to his side, ready to stab. Crimson's eyes widened as Frank started his thrust. Just then, Leon grabbed Frank's sword arm from the side, twisting it upward. With his other arm, he threw Frank backward by the neck. Briefly, Leon's expression of cool determination met Frank's look of fiery defiance. Then Frank went sailing backward, flipping through the air. Had Leon executed the throw correctly, Frank's neck would have been snapped neatly while the flipping motion disguised the fact. As such, however, Leon deliberately preserved Frank's life, allowing the pirate to preform a back hand spring to a safe fighting position. Taking advantage of the brief respite, Crimson glanced at Thoad. Thoad had constructed a makeshift bunker out of a table and chairs. Crimson was impressed by Thoad's zombie fighting instincts, but underwhelmed by his short-sightedness: The swordsman created a bolt of crackling lightning in his hand and hurled it at Thoad. The bunker burst into flame as the bolt slammed into it, forcing Thoad to retreat. Leon watched as Thoad hid behind yet another table which was, as luck would have it, directly behind Frank, albeit about a hundred feet back. Leon smirked as he drew his knife with his right hand, flipping it around to an icepick grip. He began to run at Frank. As he closed in, Frank made a horizontal strike at Leon's chest. Leon shifted into a low stance, easily ducking under the blade. As he slid past Frank, he slashed at his side with his knife. Frank shouted as Leon produced a deep, upward-angled cut. As the gnoll returned to a standing position, he stabbed Frank in the back with a hammerfist. Frank took the blow with a dull grunt, focusing his attention on Crimson as Leon continued on towards Thoad. As he ran, he saw a man dressed in a white button-down shirt approaching him from the right.
"Hors d'vor, sir?" asked the man, offering Leon a plate of crab cakes. Reacting instantly, Leon knocked the tray away with his left hand, grabbing the boy's wrist. At the same time, he kicked the boy's leg out from under him and kneed him in the gut. The man was in an uncomfortable position, falling forward, supported by one leg and the arm that Leon was twisting behind his back. Meanwhile, Leon's right hand was in a guard position, protecting Leon's face and ready to stab the man in the neck with a snap of his elbow. Leon paused his fluid motion and took a breath, looking at the man. After a moment, he released his arm, allowing him to fall face first on the ground. Leon continued on, leaving the hors d'vor server uncharacteristically not stabbed. Thoad, misinterpreting Leon's relative gentleness as an act of brutality, pointed his gun at the running gnoll.
"Freeze!" He shouted. Leon continued running. "Freeze or I'll shoot!" Thoad demanded awkwardly, not used to nonlethal problem solving. This time, Leon responded by taking off towards the wall to join the throng of innocents huddled by what was left of their tables.
"Out the way, kid!" Leon shouted at a boy in a black shirt with flames, shoving him, despite the fact that the kid was in no way in the way and Leon had to dodge out of his way to push the kid in the first place. With that, Leon waded into the crowd, stooping to lower his profile.

Eyes glinting from under his hood, Leon peered intently at Thoad from a dark corner. Thoad had not lost sight of Leon, but he was hesitant to fire for fear of hitting someone else. What Leon need was a distraction. He stroked his hyena idly. He had considered sending his hyena to distract Thoad, but knew it would be shot before it could do damage, as Thoad had no incentive to let it live. The death of the hyena was, of course, undesirable. Leon knew that if he drew his bow, Thoad would no longer hesitate to fire. At a loss for what to do, Leon looked back at Crimson, hoping the swordsman was not in need of ranged support.

Crimson jumped up onto a long serving table, dodging food as he ran. Frank was close behind, running along the ground while trying in vain to aim his longbow. He was down to his last arrow and was aiming to stop Crimson... semi-permanently. Crimson took a wild leap through the air, landing on another long table. Frank spotted a chandelier hanging over the table, just above a cake shaped like a castle, adorned with golden frosting and dancing sprites, somehow untouched by the hungry masses. As Crimson ran towards the cake, Frank stopped, aimed and fired, bringing the chandelier crashing down, smashing the beautiful cake and forcing Crimson to skid to a halt. Frank charged Crimson, blade swinging, but Crimson was ready. He threw out his hand, palm out, quivering, sending a spring-shaped wave through the air with a horripilating sound. It struck Frank in the chest, causing him to shiver and and lose control of his sword for a moment. Just as quickly as he had thrown the palm, he pulled his hand back, formed a fist and threw a punch, sending a clod of earth flying at high velocity towards Frank. It struck Frank on the shoulder and exploded, sending chunks of hardened dirt flying. Crimson then made a leaping attack a Frank, swinging his namesake blade in a downward arc. Frank parried, recovering from Crimson's failed quivering palm. Crimson struck again, but Frank blocked it easily, returning the volley. Crimson blocked and dodged, but was soon pushed back by Frank's unrelenting assault. He created a wall of sparkling blue, halfway between water and energy. Frank did not let up: He bashed at the water block with a hacking motion, leaving glowing scars in its surface. Crimson was momentarily taken aback by this unexpected result. He would have to use more reliable code in the future. Suddenly, the shield broke, sending shards of rainbow water flying along with a few broken Jpegs. Without batting an eye, Frank continued with the same hacking motion, attempting to break Crimson as well. Crimson blocked the strike, bringing his sword up, then down, running it along his back, keeping Frank's arm extended. With his free hand, Crimson caught Frank's sword arm, bringing his own sword around his back, stopping just short of chopping Frank in half. Crimson glared at the pirate, letting him know he could have killed him. Frank's eyes betrayed some panic, but he quickly kneed Crimson twice, first in the crotch, then in the gut. Barely grunting, Crimson used his free hand to punch Frank square in the face. The pirate stumbled and fell backward. Crimson raised a hand, creating a cloud of yellow mist around his fingers. He then swung his sword in an arc, lifting one knee. The sword began its decent toward Frank, about to cleave him in-

"Hey you!" shouted a voice behind Leon. The gnoll whipped around with a start.
"Huh? What is it?" demanded Leon, straightening as he looked at his shouter .It was a boy, no older than sixteen, wearing a black button-down shirt with flames. The kid was holding a knife.
"Don't push me." The kid commanded, rather politely.
"Who are you?" Leon asked. "Oh!" Leon added, recognition flashing across his face. "I push who I want. Classy shirt, by the way."
"Blow me!" the kid quipped with equal class, swinging his knife at Leon. Leon struck the kid's arm rapidly, pulling the knife from his grip. He held on to his wrist, twisting his arm behind his back and clutching his shoulder with his other hand, creating s human shield.
"This is kinda bull." the kid observed. Leon ignored him and ran toward Thoad, protected by the person. His hyena followed him closely. Thoad considered the situation briefly before pointing his gun at Leon. He pulled the trigger quickly, firing two shots in rapid succession. The first grazed the human shield's shoulder, while the other struck him directly. Thoad continued to pull the trigger, but the gun was empty. He swore loudly. Seeing this, Leon tossed his screaming victim to the ground, still holding on to the knife. He resumed his running pace, looking at the knife he had acquired. He pushed a button on the side of the knife. The blade retracted. He pressed it again. The blade popped up.
"Switch blade." he said out loud, tossing the blade aside. Thoad hid under a table, changing magazines. Leon slowed to a walk as he neared the table, drawing his flail. He approached the table where Thoad was hiding, chuckling slightly. Thoad was struggling to reload his gun while Leon swung the flail over his head. He let it swing once to build momentum before bringing it crashing down with both hands. Thoad rolled out from under the table, firing over his shoulder as he scrambled for another table. His shots missed Leon, hitting the ceiling. Thoad skidded under another table, trying to formulate a plan. Leon stalked over to the table, signaling the hyena with his head. The hyena ran around to corner Thoad as Leon smashed the second table with a two-handed flail strike. Thoad rolled out once again, leaping at the hyena. He caught the surprised animal around the neck, jamming his arm into its mouth to hold it open. He swung his legs over its back, doing his best to hold it down. With his free hand, he pointed his gun at the hyena's head.
"Marley!" Leon shouted. "Let him go."
"No, [sexual intercourse] you!" Thoad shouted. "Freeze or your dog dies!"
"Chill out, man." Leon said calmly.
"No, you chill out!" Thoad responded lamely. Leon looked around. He was twenty feet from Thoad. He would not have time to reach him before he shot Marley. Had his bow been drawn, he would have been able to shoot Thoad. Leon cursed himself for fighting with his flail. His yellow eyes glinted as they darted around, trying to find a way to get Thoad before he could kill the hyena.
"Bite." Leon commanded. Marley snapped down with glee, crushing Thoad's forearm effortlessly. Thoad shouted in pain, but managed to hold on. Slowly, he began to squeeze the trigger. There was no way out. The hyena would die, then Leon would spread Thoad's brains across the wall. He had to spring into action immediately to avoid being shot himself. He sunk into a fighting stance, dropping his mace, ready to spring. Thoad was tearing up with pain. Leon could snap his neck before he could do more than kill the hyena. It was a flawless plan.
"I surrender." said Leon coolly, slowly raising his hands, open palms outward. Thoad breathed a sigh of relief, pulling his arm free from the now apathetic hyena and rolling onto his back. Leon walked over, concluded that Marley was unharmed and turned towards Thoad.
"You alright?" Leon asked, crouching down beside Thoad.
"No!" said Thoad, shocked that Leon would ask such a stupid question, despite his crushed bone.
"Will you be alright?" Leon asked, inspecting the arm.
"I'll- I'll be fine." Thoad grunted struggling to his feet with Leon's help.
"Good luck." Leon said.
"Thanks." said Thoad, looking around for Crimson.
"Thoad..."
"Yeah Leon?"
Leon slapped him on the back of the head. "Don't touch my dog."

Crimson was surprised by Leon's surrender, but more so by Thoad's determination to win. He had profiled both of them incorrectly up to this point seeing each of there personalities much differently beforehand. Thoad, while still injured even after the second attack by Leon and his hyena, seemed to be determined to attack, and Crimson could not underestimate him any longer. He was at the disadvantage going up against two formidable foes by himself, especially with one of his most reliable codes rendered useless by his own carelessness. He would have to fight in even more of an unorthodox manner then before. He thought of some of the codes he was working on, but before he could think clearly Frank was already prepared to attack him again. Crimson was able to hold a fair defense against Frank's sword fighting skills up till this point, but knew his own weaknesses and realized by this point that, in a head-to-head sword fight, he would lose against Frank. He needed to defend himself and formulate a plan. He blocked a few swings from Frank, deflecting one or two along the way. He had to create some distance. He reused his rocket spell to shoot back to his original position on the other side of the room. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Thoad pulling himself back together, and preparing to fire at him. His top priority at this point had to be removing Thoad from the battle, at least temporarily if he could. He thought about all of the codes he had in his library and which ones would work. Then he remembered one for a game he never got around to making past the first day, with a single animated GIF. Frank was closing in and Thoad was aiming his gun so he would have to be quick. He stabbed his sword into the ground, and searched through his scrolls for the right one as Frank closed in on him.

"I knew I should have organized these things better" Crimson thought to himself. He found the scroll only to have his shoulder grazed by a bullet, with Frank point blank in front of him. He used his orb spell to quickly push Frank back leaving him frozen in place afterwords, open to another shot from Thoad, but saving him from a swift defeat at Frank's blade. He ran back to the cover that was left over from their earlier stand-off, leaving his blade in the ground. He would need it to be there in order to use the spell properly. Frank had at this point recovered from the orb attack and was moving back towards Crimson again so he had very little time to pull this spell off. He pulled out his letter scroll and looked for the one that corresponded to the one he needed to activate the spell, E, because it fit with a WASD movement set-up in game. He pressed the letter, and the sword lit up acting as a beacon or way point to summon an old creation of his called Sasquatch, or at least that's what it appeared to be. The Sasquatch object was programmed to move towards whatever enemy was the most injured to take care of it first. This was fortunate for Crimson since that would be Thoad at this point. His observations told him at this point that programming objects would react to real life objects the same way as if they were real life objects, something he learned after being attacked with a ball revamped ball. Sasquatch ran towards Thoad as Frank moved in front of Crimsons sword near grabbing distance of it. Crimson used the rocket spell again shooting himself towards his blade, grabbing it out of the ground shooting head straight into Frank. He deflected Franks sword, pushing himself sideways awkwardly rolling into the ground, dropping his blade again. He scrambled towards it, grabbing it again only to have to turn around and deflect another one of Frank's attacks. He moved backwards deflecting attacks as he went, trying to think of a way to get space between him and Frank. He would have to disorient his opponent somehow. He deflected a thrusting move from Frank, and pulled out a scroll that played a generic metal song at max volume. Frank cover his ears for a second, allowing Crimson an opening. He shot himself towards the opposite wall passing by the Sasquatch object and Thoad who was predictably running away from it while shooting. Sasquatch was not unbeatable, but could take a bullet or two, and even then was not programmed to feel pain anyways. Crimson feet skidded across the ground as he landed again.

"I think I'm getting the hang of this spell" he said to himself quietly. He looked again at Thoad and the Sasquatch object smashing through everything on its way towards him adding
"It's a good thing I never added that attack code to him."

Leon was impressed. Crimson had lasted longer than Leon had expected.
"He's lasted longer than I expected." Leon said to Marley. The hyena acknowledged Leon's musing with a snort. Leon was also impressed by Thoad's tenacity, but he chose not to vocalize this thought. He prowled over to an intact chair and sat down, watching Crimson and his bizarre creation. He concluded that the Sasquatch, while large, was not a particularly powerful spirit, as it had not yet destroyed the relatively weak Thoad. Leon wondered why Crimson would summon such a weak spirit in the guise of a significant one: Such a cheap scare tactic seemed beneath Crimson. Then again, he was desperate. Among the other incorrect conclusions Leon had reached: He believed Sasquatch to be an earth spirit and he thought Crimson should have asked for his help casting spells. With these well-informed but entirely out of context musings, Leon resumed watching the battle.

Thoad turned around to face Crimson's Sasquatch. The hulking object lumbered towards him undeterred. With a shout, Thoad ran at it, jumping. He grabbed onto Sasquatch's right arm, holding on with is legs and one good hand. He grasped the fur tightly as he readjusted his legs for a better hold. Sasquatch, meanwhile, in an effort to get to Thoad, was walking in a wide circle, as Thoad was always to his left. Thoad took a deep breath and released his handhold. He fell back, hanging upside down from Sasquatch's arm by his legs. Ignoring the sensation of blood rushing to his head and the pain of his legs, he drew his pistol and took aim at Sasquatch's legs. He quickly fired five shots, two of which hit Sasquatch's right leg, one of which hitting Sasquatch's left leg. He felt the monster's gait change as it adjusted to its injured legs. With that, Thoad pulled himself up, grunting. With relief, Thoad wrapped his good arm around Sasquatch's arm, supporting himself.

"Interesting fight, huh?" said a voice from beside Leon. He turned to see a woman with long, dark green hair stand beside him. Her beautifully-shaped eyebrows were familiar to Leon, but he couldn't quite place her.
"Sparrow." he remarked.
"Oh, no, not me. I'm T-" she started.
"Smell like a sparrow to me." Leon cut her off suspiciously. The woman blushed.
"I'm sure you can guess why that might be the case." she giggled.
"Heh." Leon chuckled, turning his eyes back to Crimson.
"Gnolls have strong senses of smell, don't they?" The woman asked, even though they both knew the answer. As always, Leon ignored her attempts at friendly conversation.

Meanwhile, Frank and Crimson dueled furiously. Crimson was trying desperately to keep up with Frank's quick strikes. Fortunately for him, the pirate never went for the kill. Crimson employed his best moves, strongest attacks and most effective strategy, but one fact stood in his way: Frank had greater technical skill. He was always one step ahead of Crimson; his guard seemed impassable while he punished Crimson for every opening. Crimson paused for a moment to collect himself. Frank pressed the attack, striking at Crimson's left side. Crimson tried once more to employ his most basic -- and most effective -- block/strike combination. He blocked Frank's sword, running his own sword around his back as he moved in past Frank's over-extended sword. Frank, however, had been expecting that exact move. With his free hand, he delivered a punch to Crimson's chin, sending him reeling back. Frank followed up with a round kick aimed at Crimson's knee. Crimson pulled his leg up, avoiding the blow. Undeterred, Frank used the momentum of the round kick to deliver a spinning back kick with his other leg. That one struck Crimson in the solar plexus, sending him falling backward, gasping for air. With a final glance towards Crimson, Frank ran off to help Thoad.

"Should have killed him." Leon commentated.
"He'd be disqualified." the woman reminded him.
Leon turned towards her. "I meant Thoad." He chuckled. She shook her head, smiling.

Frank ran between Sasquatch's legs, slashing at the right one. The beast's limp became even more pronounced at its leg sustained further damage. Thoad, meanwhile, wrapped his legs around Sasquatch's neck, sitting on its shoulders. He pulled out his crowbar and set to work bashing Sasquatch's skull with the sharp end of the crowbar. The beast seemed to ignore the blows, but Thoad persisted. With great effort, he struck Sasquatch so hard that his crowbar stuck in its head. He attempted to pull it out, but it remained stuck firm. Crimson, meanwhile, stood up, clutching his chest and gasping for breath. He saw that Sasquatch was doing its job adequately and took a moment to catch his breath before rejoining the fray.

"How is she?" Leon asked the woman.
"Transcendent." she replied, grinning. Leon chuckled: Perhaps he hadn't asked the question he thought he had asked.

Frank ran back towards Sasquatch.
"Now!" He shouted, slashing at Sasquatch's other leg. Thoad was entirely unsure as to what Frank's plan was, but he took the exclamation to mean "stop faffing around with your crowbar and hit the damn thing", so he delivered a palm-heel strike to the back of Sasquatch's head, less because he thought a palm-heel strike was the appropriate attack and more because he knew that a palm-heel strike -- unlike a punch -- would make it look like he knew what he was doing. Regardless of the effectiveness of the particular attack, Sasquatch fell forward, collapsing on the ground. Thoad landed somewhat gracefully.
"You alright?" Frank asked.
"Couldn't be peachier!" Thoad replied, yanking his crowbar from the defunct Sasquatch's head. With that, the monster vanished.
"Now we just have to take down-" Frank started. His words died in his mouth as he and Thoad turned to see Crimson running towards them, sword ready, hurling orbs of black matter. The rubbery orbs bludgeoned Frank, who tried to slash them out of the air. As he recovered from the assault, Crimson swung his sword at him, full force. Frank dodged the attack and swung at Crimson, who parried just in time. He attacked with two horizontal slashes, forcing Frank to hop backwards. He was about to make another attack when Thoad struck him in the side with the flat part of his crowbar. Crimson whipped around, on hand pointed at Frank, shooting a jet of flame, sword hand swinging at Thoad. Thoad dodged under the sword and swung his crowbar at Crimson's knee. Crimson lifted his leg, dodging the attack. Once again, Crimson was attacked from behind: Frank slapped Crimson on the head to let him know he was there. As Crimson turned, Frank punched him in the face full force. Crimson threw up his guard, thinking Frank would attack with his sword. Frank instead punched Crimson in the chest. Crimson responded by hitting Frank with a backfist. Thoad used the opportunity to hit Crimson in the back with his crowbar. Crimson let out a shout of pain. Frank used the opportunity to punch Crimson in the face once again. Crimson recoiled, ducking. Thoad elbowed him in the face while Frank kneed him in the ribs. Crimson threw a few sweeping punches as Frank and Thoad continued the assault.

"Do you think Crimsonblade has a chance?" Leon asked suddenly.
"Crimsonblade? Is he the one with--" she started.
"The crimson blade, yeah." Leon finished impatiently. The woman looked over to see Frank holding Crimson's arms while Thoad close-punched him in the gut school-bully-style.
"It's looking grim." she observed dryly.

Somewhere between the punches to the abdomen and the kicks to face, Crimson realized that he had made a grave miscalculation: He had vastly overestimated is ability to take on both Frank and Thoad at once. Fortunately, he knew to look on the bright side of things: He had learned an important life lesson. Specifically, he learned that trying to fight Frank and Thoad at the same time resulted in him being beaten like a red-headed stepchild. He backed up, guarding his entire body to the best of his ability, making no effort to attack. He had a simple plan for victory: Escape, divide, ???, profit. To complete the first step of his plan, he would have to get a bit more aggressive. Thoad was the weakest link, so he knew he would have an easier time going through him. Without warning, Crimson sprung at Thoad, shouting and struck Thoad with a back-fist and a tiger paw, causing Thoad to recoil, turning his face away. Crimson followed up with an elephant punch to the gut and sternum, knocking the wind out of Thoad before turning to Frank. He swung his sword at Frank, who blocked. Crimson the delivered a front kick to Frank's pelvis. Seeing that his first blow was successful, Crimson quickly attempted another front kick with his other leg. Frank blocked it neatly with an outside twist kick and punched Crimson in the floating rib. Crimson quickly kicked at Frank's knee. Frank dodged Crimson's low kick only to see Crimson's sword swinging towards him. Before he could block it, Crimson released the sword, sending it flipping through the air, over Frank's head. Before Frank could respond, Crimson used his rocket spell. He flew through the air, leaving a trail of ghostly images of himself in he wake. He stopped rocketing as he caught his sword midair. He landed on one knee, catching himself with both hands. He bowed his head, hiding his bloodied face from Frank and Thoad. He began to look up slowly, drawing a scroll.

There was a puff of smoke. Leon whipped his head around to see the ninja pony trotting towards him.
"Is he bothering you, ma'am?" Strop asked the green-haired lass.
"Leon? No, he's been a perfect gentleman." she replied with a smile.
"Oh... then what is he doing?" Strop asked, not the least bit reassured by Leon's apparent innocence.
"We were commentating on the match." Leon informed him. "Crimson is doing better than I expected."
"Looks like he might have a fighting chance." Strop observed.
"I wouldn't go that far." Leon shot back.
"He needs to play his cards right." the woman added. Strop nodded. "By cards, I clearly mean spells." Leon nodded.
"Frank's wounds might get the better of him." Leon added.
"Wishful thinking?" Strop half-asked half-guessed.
"He'll need medical attention." Leon pointed out.
"They all will." said the woman.
"I'll take everyone but Leon to Armor Hospital when this is over." Strop said defensively. Leon chuckled.
"Armor Hospital? I'm sure the doctors there will have them fixed up in no time." the woman mused. Strop and Leon burst into laughter, one more bitterly than the other.

Thoad and Frank ran towards Crimson, staying together. Crimson held the scroll with his left hand, right hand working to compile the script. Finally, he fired a small orb of white light out of his finger. It flew towards Frank, leaving a trail of glowing blue energy. The orb split into two ords, each traveling at forty-five degree angles. Those two orbs then split into four, then into eight, creating a cone of blue lines. The orbs then changed direction sharply, merging together again in the same fashion as they returned to their original trajectory. The orb/orbs had left trails of blue energy outlining the shape of a diamond, which was evidently purely aesthetic in nature, because the orb continued to fly towards Frank as though the splitting never happened. It struck Frank directly chest, sending him flying backward. As Crimson had hoped, Thoad continued to charge unabated. Instead of attacking with his crowbar, as Crimson anticipated, Thoad threw an iron broom sweep kick. Crimson hopped backwards, pulling his leg out of the way. Even more unexpected, Thoad followed up with a creeping dragon sweep kick. Crimson fell, catching himself before he slammed into the ground. Thoad struck Crimson in the rubs with the blunt part of his crowbar. Crimson let out a shout of pain as he collapsed onto the ground. Thoad kicked him in the ribs. Out of the corner of his eye, Crimson saw Frank running up to him, sheathing his sword. Crimson tried to get up, but Frank was too fast: He axe kicked Crimson, knocking him back down, face first. Crimson rolled over, trying to get a better angle. He tried to protect his face and body with his hands as his opponents accosted him, Thoad punching his face while Frank worked the body.

"Okay." said Strop. "Crimson's not looking good. I think I should call them off and take him to Armor Hospital."
"He's fine." Leon growled.
"Technically, he hasn't surrendered or been knocked out. You can't stop the fight yet." The green-haired woman added.
"Lady, I'm not sure he can surrender. Thoad's curb-stomping his face." Strop pointed out.
"You underestimate me, Strop." Leon said, grinning.

"Thoad, stop, he's had enough." Frank ordered. Thoad stomped on Crimson's face again.
"Stop!" Frank said more forcefully.
"Oh, stop. I thought you said 'stomp'." Thoad replied innocently. During the brief exchange, Crimson had stealthily drawn a new scroll, keeping it hidden from Frank and Thoad. Frank drew his sword, pointing it at Crimson's throat.
"You're beaten. Surrender." he commanded, knowing that Crimson was in no position to argue. Deliriously, he raised his left hand near his face. Frank continued to stare at him with grim determination. Crimson dropped his pretensions of deliriousness, face alert and focused. From his left hand, he fired a beam of sizzling, yellow-green energy. It hit Frank in the chest, sending him flying upward and backward. Crimson got up, sword at the ready, and fired a cloud of particle effects at Thoad. The cloud was harmless, but Thoad didn't know that: He fell backward, trying to shield his face. Crimson used the rocket spell again, closing the ten-foot gap between him and Thoad. Using the spell's momentum, he kneed Thoad in the face, sending him skidding back another two feet. Thoad sprung to his feet, crowbar swinging. Crimson dodged it and preceded to attack Thoad, always going for his injured side so that Thoad had greater difficulty blocking. In desperation, Thoad swung wildly at Crimson, giving the swordsman the chance he needed: Crimson blocked Thoad's strike and twisted around to the right, sinking, so that his back faced Thoad. Using the momentum of his block, he swung the blade around and stabbed at Thoad over his right shoulder. The stab hit Thoad in the abdomen, but Crimson pulled the otherwise lethal blow. Just as quickly, he whipped back around, unwinding his body with extreme speed. With his left hand, he grabbed Thoad's head, using the centrifugal force to slam the side of his head on an adjacent table. Crimson looked for Frank, ignoring Strop, who was running over to examine Thoad's unconscious body. Soon, Crimson caught sight of Frank, getting to his feet, with a circular burn mark on his chest.

Strop poofed back in beside Leon and the green-haired lady.
"Is Thoad safely at Armor Hospital?" the lady asked Strop.
"In a manner of speaking." he replied.
"It's looking like a close match after all." Leon said.
"Crimson's more beat up." the woman observed.
"And Frank seems to be the better fighter." Strop added. "But that was some fancy footwork. I didn't know Crimson had it in him."
"Crimson may have taken a beating, but Frank's been injured longer; he's lost a lot of blood." Leon growled. Strop too had noticed how much Frank's knife wounds had bled. "He's exhausted."
"So is Crimson, he's just more composed." Strop offered lamely.
"Frank still has technical skill." the lady said.
"You underestimate his fatigue." Leon responded. "At this point, Crimson may be able to match him in swordsmanship. And his magic is unaffected by his tiredness."
"Maybe you're right, McAcid." Strop said vaguely, considering Crimson's magical powers.
"It's a long shot." Leon admitted.
"We shall see." Strop stated.

Crimson saw out of the corner of his eye a group of people, but was too preoccupied with Frank to get a good look at who they were. He could tell Frank was starting to feel the effects of his wounds, but the adrenaline in his veins was losing it's effect as well. Frank lunged at him with his sword in front. Crimson deflected his attack only to have the sword redirected towards the side of his left leg, cutting it open instead of his chest. He used the rocket spell again, turning it into an almost predictable move by this point towards the wall to his right, slamming into the wall on impact. He knew if he didn't do something or more importantly create something soon that the battle would be lost. Frank started closing in on him again, though this time he was acting a bit more sluggish then before. He decided that the best solution at this point was to create as much distance as possible. He waited for Frank to got close enough before shooting himself upwards flipping upside down and landing his feet on the ceiling, which in turn only caused the cut on his leg to become strained and cut open even more. He tried to ignore the cut, and used the spell again to shoot him to the opposite end of the room, where he slammed his back against the wall again. This time Frank was on the other side of the room and was not able to close in on him quite as quickly as before, but he had to be sure he was given enough time so he pushed his sword into the ground directly in front of him, and pulled out his letter scroll again, pressing E multiple times to summon 3 Sasquatchs. The Sasquatchs only had one opponent this time who was by default the most injured. They all ran in a straight line towards him. Crimson looked to make sure his plan was working on to find that Frank, like everyone else in this fight thus far, went against his expectations, and did not fall for such a distraction again, instead trying to dodge them while running towards Crimson as if he was a goal in an American football game, and the Sasquatchs were his opponents who were trying to tackle him to the ground. Crimson pulled out his scrolls realizing that he had very little time at this point to put together anything new, so he looked through what he had, a rocket spell, fire, orbs that lagged the arena, that could also be dodged, a couple of other ridiculous spells that were fairly easy to dodge as well without trickery, and his Sasquatch object which would follow his enemy. He then realized what he could do, copying and pasting together a spell as fast as he could before compiling it together, hoping that the spell would not have a syntax error in it. Frank managed to outmaneuver the Sasquatch objects which were tailing on him from behind as they all ran towards Crimson. The compiling failed because of a syntax error. He quickly looked at the line with the error in it again.

"Of course I had to miss a semicolon of all things" he said sarcastically to no one in particular. He recompiled the code hoping at this point that no more errors would show up. The compiling completed just as Frank started closing the gap between them, with no more then 10-15 feet between them. Crimson put his right fist in front of him.

"Now try to dodge this you-" Crimson cut himself off realizing that this was not the time for him be witty. He opened his palm and out of it came what could only be described as an army of mini-Sasquatchs who ran towards Frank, though it would be more accurate to say that they didn't really run towards him, but instead FLEW LIKE SUPERME....err SUPERSASQUATCHS. Crimson quickly turned off his caps lock spell which some how also got activated somewhere in the whole process. He watch as Frank tried to run sideways out of the way only to have all of the Sasquatchs give chase, whether they be miniature and flying or the large running variant. The mini-Sasquatch's were acting as a hybrid of the the explosive orbs and regular Sasquatchs whose codes he had pasted together almost in a make shift fashion. He was originally shooting for heat seeking orbs, but this worked for him is well. The mini's caught up to Frank as he started to desperately swing at them, hitting one of them only to have it explode pushing him face first into the ground, scrambling to get back up, before they finally cornered him, with the mini-Sasquatchs exploding as they collided with him. Crimson made sure only to create a small amount between 5-10 so as to not cause too much harm to Frank, but Frank was still set on fire from the explosions and then smothered by the other 3 which thankfully put the flames out. Crimson made a quick spell to destroy all of the Sasquatchs that were left so that they wouldn't do any more damage, before slumping himself back up onto his feet. He limped towards with his good leg. When he reached Frank he decided that he would try to be witty again.

"I remember you said something to me before, I think it went something like this" he pulled his blade out and put it up against Frank's throat.
"You're beaten, Surren-" this time he was cut off by Strop who appeared out of nowhere in front of both of them, making it clear by his expression alone that the match had already been decided. Crimson sheathed his blade and tried to limp over to Leon for celebration before Strop grabbed him and Frank both, creating a smoke screen before all 3 of them disappeared.

 

Posted Aug 28, '10 at 3:30pm

thoadthetoad

thoadthetoad

5,814 posts

*throws arms in air*
I'm fairly certain that me/Poison lost!
*posts anyway*
Thoad had just heard the words coming out of Strop's mouth, and immediately tensed up his face-muscles into a toothy ragefaec. The rest of the victestants seemed to take it less of a shock and were instead more calm, especially crimsonblade, the magic user. Thoad ran to crimson, knowing him best (as well as knowing he'd be great in a fight), and yelled, "CRIMSON, I CALL UPON THEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!"
Crimson responded fairly cool-ly, "Hmm sounds interesting, though its even more interesting that the one who criticized magic the most would want to team up with a magic user. Though I think it would be even more interesting to team up with Leon." Thoad was destroyed by this, and saw one other person he vaguely recalled seeing that one time at that one place. Yes! He was a pirate, surely he would be able to beat Crimson at his own game! A swashbuckler, just what he needed.
"Hello! It seems that we are paired by default because Crimson wants to be with Leon," Thoad said to him. He responded with a "Well I don't know who else to be with, so uh, sure." Thoad is glad by this, and quickly asks to clarify, "By the way, you're a pirate, right?" he thought this might be a good way to break the ice with a total stranger he was about to fight with.
"Cabin boy, but yeah," he responded. Thoad felt his chances of becoming a moderator drop about 11%. Which was bad because he only had a 13% chance to begin with.
"Right then, let's just get ready," the green-clad would-be moderator mumbled as he ran to a table. He grabbed a plank from one of the table-benches and ripped it off. "Nah, too... planky," he mumbled to himself. He then ripped off one of the chair legs as he pushed off a user. "Sorry, I will be needing this." Meanwhile, Frank had just unsheathed his sword.
Thoad thought for a moment and realized he had his plastic pellet gun with him the whole time, which would also probably work as a bludgeon. Crimson and Leon seemed to be well aquainted, which wasn't good for Frank and Thoad.
Thoad just thought of something for a second, "HOSH*T, I just realized we need a plan!" he yelled as the last couple of minutes for choosing partners was ending. Frank agreed, but didn't have any particular idea for a plan. Thoad was on the job, pulling a small sheet of paper out of his helmet. "For emergencies!" He said with a grin.
He reads directly out of his ad-lib plansheet. "Okay! You give me your <insert ranged weapon here>, and you catapult me above them and behind them. I fire <insert ranged weapon here> at them while you charge them with <insert weapon here>. If we're lucky, <insert enemy here> will target me, and <insert enemy here> will target you. Or even luckier, they will be confused by the pieces of paper I will take out of my hat and throw at them as I catapult over, and then I shall give a swift heel-kick after the donkey-squeal used to-"
Little did thoad know, Strop just yelled "OKAY NOW GO AT IT!" Frank tapped thoad's shoulder and pointed at crimson and him, holding a defensive yet ready-for-attack stance.
"Tricky b*st*rds know I'm an aggressive fighter!" Thoad shouted. Thankfully it didn't seem they were able to hear Thoad telling Frank the ad-lib plan. Frank simply nodded, mumbling "Maybe this'll be so crazy, it'll work."
So Frank cupped his hands and put them low as Thoad ran straight towards leon and Crimson. They didn't seem to figure out what T&F (The most catchy team name they could come up with) were about to do. So the catapult happened, the now-airborne zombie slayer didn't quite get enough height, so he hopped off of crimsons head. Crimson was now drawn to Thoad, wanting to beat him for both mocking the great mightyness of magic as well as the hopping-on-the-head thing.
Leon seemed to catch notice of frank charging them with his cutlass unsheathed. He opened fire as soon as he noticed. Frank did his best to dodge the attacks, and was hit in the left shoulder as he charged. Thoad was firing on Frank. Thankfully for them, Crimson was using a form of code-magic to stop thoad's arrows. Crimson took some focus to do these spells, however.
Noticing that Crimson was focused on preventing Thoad from damaging Leon, Frank went for Crimson in the back. Crimson was just barely able to notice and block the incoming blow. Thoad saw this as a chance to fire on them both at the same time. An arrow toward's Leon and Crimson whizzed through the air.
The one whizzing towards Leon, missing entirely. The one towards Crimson had a clear hit in the leg though. Frank and Thoad continued mixing up their attacks like this, going from target to target for a good 3 minutes before the green shooter ran out of ammo. "YO FRANK, BETA FORMATION X-53 2!!!!" he yelled, charging into the cluster-cuss of crimson's blade (which was now magically on fire), Leon's firing, and Frank's surprisingly good swordsmanship. The three of them had their focus broken for only a second or two until they realized that Thoad was talking out of his *ss again.
And so the fight continued, Frank's shoulder wound had a finger stuffed in it once or twice, Thoad pushed (or rather kicked) the arrow through Crimson's leg, Leon and the rest of the crew were all being beaten mercilessly by each other. They eventually became tired. It was either now or never that they'd finish each other off. Frank had the bright idea to try and set a trap while they might be a bit less tired than their enemies.
A whisper was given to Thoad, and somehow he managed to hear it. They started running from the fight scene, yelled at a few of the ArmorGamers to GTFO of their tables, and overturned the tables so the legs were pointing towards them. They ducked under the tables and seemed to be dead silent. A couple of the more immature ArmorGamers made a joke about manlove as Crimson and Leon went to see what was going on exactly.
Likely because they took a few too many hits to the head, as well as being tired, they walked in the middle of the two tables. They tripped and fell on their faces. Frank and Thoad managed to make a tripwire! Frank unsheathed his Pirate's cutlass and put it at Crimson's throat as thoad brought an entire chair to the scene and raised it above Leon's head. It was fairly obvious that they'd one.
As soon as it was apparent and dead and done, Thoad fell on his butt, realizing that he hadn't made a single joke during the entire fight. Which was really a shame, he missed making bad jokes. He looked at Frank to try and redeem himself by making a pun, but he came up short. He lost his sense of humor. That or it was hiding.

 

Posted Aug 29, '10 at 12:26am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

Okay guys, I think it's time!

First off, I must say that despite all talk of the contrary, this had to be one of the most delay-fraught rounds (second only to the time my laptop keyboard broke while I was on a busy elective, which was entirely my fault.) This time, though, it was kinda everybody's fault for a whole host of different reasons (everybody, that is, except Cenere). Due to this I decided it'd be most fair if we could somehow try to be as accomodating as possible even if it meant a little extra time, and so it is that we've now come to this point. I do feel that there were a few inevitable disparities, but we've done what we can, and besides, the story of the WoM is much larger than winning and losing (although winning is nice).

To reiterate, this incarnation of the WoM is a prototype, a casting call with which to discover stories of heroes and villains, so that this can become a larger project, which I originally stated to be a fighting game with RPG elements (or the other way around). To this end I haven't been disappointed, and remind everybody who has taken part thus far that I'll be continuing to work with certain people once the tournament is over. I'll also remind you now that characters I wish to include in the larger WoM project are not restricted to the winners, only that winning in these rounds gives one a better chance of representation due to increased exposure and incentive to continue participating in the tournament. Once the tournament has been completed, I will make an announcement clarifying all this.

This said, we must come to a decision, and I must convey this decision to you, with detailed feedback. I guess I'll start with the announcement, and after that, I'll provide the commentary.

Winner of Round 9: Crimsonblade and Xzeno

As I said before, timing was a big issue here. I confess that setting such a loose group task like this was done with the intent for a delay, as the round started just before I had to apply for jobs and sit exams at the same time. However I did lay out some criteria both explicitly and implicitly, so I judged based on how well those were executed.

Thoad and Poison got a slightly raw deal here in that Thoad's computer kinda died, leaving Poison in the lurch, and then I had difficulty contacting both to see how things were going, and then they had difficulty contacting me because I fell ill. In the end the entry was a bit of a rush job and while it starts fairly strong and characteristic, it sputtered and ended rather vaguely. I won't go into to much detail because of the circumstances surrounding its writing, but stress that there will be more opportunity to explore the characters of Frank and Thoad even after a loss. Just wait for the next round and you will see what I mean!

As for Crimson and Xzeno's entry, they took a prodigously long time to get it together, but having read it, I can see why. In painstaking detail the action unfolds, blow for blow, ekeing out a million references to old details of the characters, developing existing threads, and even introducing several new ones (what is this strange fictional universe that Leon is bringing into the WoM!?) What I found particularly commendable about this entry is that it really shows great thought went not just into the mechanics of that one battle, but also of how it fit into the whole story at large. It is an ambitious approach, but precisely the kind of thing I wanted to see at this stage of the project.

However the approach was not without its disadvantages. The sheer amount of content and detail requires a engaging narrative style, and this was the single biggest weakness of the entry. One golden rule of writing a compelling story is to "show, not tell", which, for our purposes, means immersing the reader in the action through writing what is perceived, as opposed to what actually happens. This then also means leaving interpretation up to the reader, thus engaging their imagination. However certain things in the entry required a very precise description e.g. "employed a wing-arm block" (which I certainly understood, though I don't know about what the majority of people would make of it!), and so the entry reads more like a clinical objective account, or even instructions for filming. Because of the logistical challenges this round presented, this criticism is really more of a tip for future writing than cause for deductions, but for aspiring writers it is by far the most important lesson in actual process of writing, and one that I'm still struggling to learn myself.

Okay, that's it from me. I now turn the floor over to Cen, should he have anything he'd like to say about this round. Following this, I will then contact people with their assignments, and post the scenes that I've been now promising for quite a while!

Many thanks to you all, and onward to the climax of the tournament!

 
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