The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 3: Ark of Hope]

The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 3: Ark of Hope]
Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Pinary.

The Controller was late.

The Apprentice paced back and forth in front of his teacher's chair, fiddling nervously with something in the pocket of his jacket. It wasn't like him to be late, the Apprentice knew, and unless this was supposed to be another of his lessons in disappointment or the dangers of trust, it didn't bode well for the start of the battle.

That wasn't to say that the battle wasn't coming together. The competitors had already been selected; they were being held in stasis, each one hovering a bit above one of the nine gold rings embedded in an arc in the floor of the infinite, metallic plane. The Controller, always more prepared than the Apprentice, had even completed work on his round locations. Save for the Apprentice's rounds, the battle could probably have run itself.

Just as the Apprentice was considering activating one of the many failsafes his teacher had shown him, one of the screens switched from an image of the first round to the face of the Controller.

"This is a recorded message," the image said, its voice sounding tinny and distant. "Its playback means that a sufficient number of tripwires have been activated- the inevitable is closing in, so I'm doing what I must. The battles are to continue on schedule; consider running them to be a test of what you've learned, along with operating the other affairs I've informed you of. Further messages will be rare, but I will be watching. Remember what you've learned. Trust is death."

As the screen flicked back to its image of the first round, the Apprentice slowly took his hand from his pocket. He had to run the battle himself. Alone. He had to make everything go cleanly, keep everything in order, make sure all of the Controller's plans went off without a hitch. He was going to have to work out every little thing his teacher had mapped out and make sure it didn't go off the rails.

...No. No, he got to run the battle himself. Alone. He got to make everything go how he wanted it to go, make sure whichever plans he wanted to enact would go off without a hitch. If the Controller wanted to go gallivanting off right as the battle was going to start, then he was just going to have to deal with the consequences. After all, what was it he was always saying? Oh, right.

Trust is death.

The Apprentice chuckled as he slowly lowered himself into his teacher's seat. He was going to enjoy this. With one lazy hand, he reached over to one of the many unlabelled switches and flicked it up.

With a snap, the Viscount's consciousness returned, as did those of the other eight contestants. He couldn't tell if they'd been asleep for minutes or years, but he stopped caring as soon as the hunger came back. God, he was hungry.

The Apprentice's voice cut into his reverie, and he knew it was going out more as pure meaning than just words. For most, it was a convenience, but for the Viscount, it hurt. Pure, unprocessed meaning.

"Welcome, one and all." The human-looking man in the chair stood up and walked forward to address the nine. "You're probably wondering just what you're doing here, and we'll get to that in short order. First, I have something for each of you."

There was a small satchel sitting on the floor, and he reached down to scoop it up as he walked past. As he neared the ring farthest to his left, he pulled out a small coin and tossed it at the cloud of smoke trapped there. It passed through what looked to be some sort of force field, then came to rest in the center of the cloud. He moved around the arc of rings, tossing one coin in to each trapped being. When he came to the book, it snapped to the cover like a magnet.

"These coins are your identification. In this sort of competition, we can't trust you not to try to switch appearances around or some such. In order to prevent that, each coin has been engraved with your name, a picture of you, and some piece of information from your life, something like a comm frequency or an address that's difficult to remember if you haven't lived with it for years. If you lose the coin, you forfeit your chance at victory."

The Viscount looked at his coin. "Viscount Hethwell," it read, "08389 block, cell 607." Of course, the Controller would pick that bit of information. He'd worked under the Grandmaster for how many years now, and he picks that little embarrassment. Typical.

"But of course, you don't know what you're competing for just yet, do you?" The Apprentice had returned to the chair and was addressing the assembled competitors again. "Well, let me put it to you this way: I need someone to do a job. They need to be clever, resourceful, and willing to go to any lengths necessary to accomplish their goals, and to that end, I've assembled you here to compete for the position."

He stood up again, and the Viscount idly wondered why the Controller wasn't starting the battle off instead of his incompetent little student. The Controller, now there was a guy who knew how to run things. He kept a good, tight ship, not like this sloppy novice.

"Now, the nature of the position is such that I can't tell you about it just yet, but I assure you that you are all uniquely qualified for it in your own ways, and whoever it is that makes it to the end of the competition will be handsomely rewarded for their efforts.

"Of course, I'm sure you're all ready to get going, so let's proceed with your introductions. If you're to have a fair chance at this, you'll need to know what you're up against."

The ring furthest to the Apprentice's right lit up, drawing everyone's attention to a pair of beings that really had no business fitting in a ring that would comfortably encircle a single, normal-sized human. They didn't look particularly uncomfortable, they were just too large to fit in the space they were clearly fitting in. It was sloppy, in the Viscount's opinion. The Controller wouldn't've messed that up- he knew details, he did.

"This," the Apprentice said, not making any note of the disparity, "is Augustus, Divine Arbiter, and his god, Azungrada the Destroyer. Azungrada here, formed of the finest materials in its particular universe, will only act on orders given to it by its Arbiter- which, oddly enough, it also gives him from time to time. Seems a bit counterproductive to me, but who am I to judge?"

As soon as the next ring lit up, it was obvious that its occupant and Augustus weren't going to get along. "Here we have His Holiness, Pope Triumphian the First. His god couldn't be here in person, but he left a token of his appreciation nonetheless- His Gloriousness here can call on the might of his god, not to mention previous popes, and up 'til now, he's used that to lead his people to defeat over quite a number of clearly-deserving races. I imagine he's already cataloguing the sinfulness and lack of worth of the rest of you, so look sharp!"

"Next up, garbed in its Renaissance best, is a mannequin that it's probably easiest to just call Parliament. What started out as a vigilante-ish man's jail-slash-aviary quickly became too problematic for him to keep in one place, so he packed them all up in this enchanted mannequin and brought them around with him on his escapades. They've been forced to form a government of sorts to get anything done inside that wooden head of theirs, and like any government… well, let's just call them inefficient."

The fourth ring came to life, and its occupant was somehow managing to demonstrate two forms simultaneously, despite the fact that they were both occupying the same space and time without displacing one another. Sloppy, to the Viscount's mind.

"Redclaw here, Warchief of the Lakes People, was never a fan of civilization." The acting Grandmaster didn't seem realize that the werewolf being both a human and a wolf at once wasn't physically possible, just continuing on with his descriptions. "He killed his own father to win command of his people, then proceeded to rally them against the hideously civilized people that occupied the rest of his world. Unfortunately for him, my timetable and his didn't exactly line up, so before they got very far, his people found themselves without a leader. Perhaps if he comes out on top in this little competition, he'll be able to go back and take up his position once again."

"Following him, we have Cthaasa, an ithaqu whose work makes him both a castout from his own society and excellently suited for the task I need someone for. He's far from the most attractive member of his race, but that's a small price to pay for the extra abilities he's granted himself through experimentation and discovery. A true innovator; alas, an investigation threw his work into an unfavourable light, and he was shipped off to war."

"Our next contestant, a lovely purple-handed number, probably just looks like 'some sort of spider-person' to most of you. I must say, you're missing out- Cepra Samedi is far from an eyesore, as far as Lycaridans go. She's spent her life ending those of others, and she's become quite a dab hand at it. That hand of hers can't have hurt her efforts- you'll find that getting nicked by it leaves you composed of more silver than you're used to."

"Mr. Saturday, now... Somewhat less fetching, if you ask me. Honest to a fault, unable to be harmed by accidents, and armed to the gills, he won't likely make things easy for any of you- but then, where's the fun in easy?"

The eighth ring held what looked to be an ordinary (if dusty) book hovering in the center. "In here, you'll find one Vex Ardayne, who recently went and got himself trapped by an ancient curse. Don't think he's helpless in there, though; he's got a universe of knowledge to use against you, and though he may not have a handle on it just yet, I can't imagine you'll want to be on his bad side once he gets his metaphorical feet under him."

The ring around the Viscount lit up last, and the Apprentice pointedly introduced him in the exact same manner as the rest of the contestants. He wanted them to know he wasn't an ordinary contestant, obviously. God, could he get any more petty? He didn't deserve his position, and they both knew it; the moment he got the chance, the Viscount was going to show him who the Controller really trusted.

"Finally, we have the Viscount," recited the Apprentice, not attaching any particular significance to this contestant over any others. Had the Controller chosen to inform him of his intentions of planting an agent in the battle, his Apprentice might've snuck in a hint or two that people would only realize after the fact. As it was, the kid didn't have any clue, so he didn't do anything of the sort. "Had he lived a life typical of his species, he would've faded into nothingness an hour or two after he was born and amounted to nothing more than a wispy, boring nonevent. Instead, thanks to his natural paranoia and mistrust, he's lived a rich, full life, eating the memories of whoever encounters him. I'd be careful of that."

It figured- half-truths at best, with a major swath of his life just ignored. Oh, the Apprentice was going to get what he deserved, just as soon as the Viscount got his shot.

The Apprentice, ignorant of the Viscount's intentions, just ambled back over to the Controller's chair and finished the pre-prepared spiel.

"Now, having gotten you all acquainted, let's get started. I'm just going to make it simple: prove to me that you're the right being for the job. I'll be watching you every step of the way, so go ahead- show me what you've got."

With the flick of a switch, the nine contestants vanished, swept off to their first round.

As they appeared in various locations, scattered around the area near an abandoned warehouse, a voice trailed after them, distant and tinny and only familiar to one of them. "I've left the language bypass disabled for now. Until it comes online, you'll find yourself without any help in communicating with one another. You're all from vastly different times and places- I look forward to seeing how you cope."

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Schazer.

In Parliament's halls, silence broke.

A hundred inmates, awed or cowed or merely curious, roused a hundred more who never slept. A hundred more rose to the occasion, telling the first two hundred to shut up and stop asking the same damn questions.

Did you hear that? The fuck could I not? Hwat in tsi world hwas sat maniac talking about!? Heh, you think that was Avery, you toothless idiot? We should send out scouts If not him, sen who? Shut yer ugly lispin' face, slimeball. Hmmmake me. Look, is an'one gon' bother actch'ly doing anything about it, or... I think we may agree that was certainly not Avery. Oh, criminy, can we at least kick that pompous windbag out ...Yeh, that's what I figured. Yeah, could be that fucker's idea of a prankOhohoho, you think our humourless bastard Lordship has a capricious side? I think not Oh, shut up Kid's got a point, for once SILENCE, ALL OF YOU.

The throng didn't so much as shut up as have their collective discussion ricochet round to how on earth the last guy had managed to raise his voice so well. Some protested, some applauded the speaker's efforts to make something productive happen, and - as usual - some told the rest to shut their faces so the rest wouldn't have to keep suffering fools.

I already stated we first require a scout Look, keeping on track for like five fucking seconds Not Avery. You are fool to think otherwise Kyahahaha, the look on all of your faces You blithering idiot, none of us have faces Figure of speech, sunshine It's not that stupid a proposition Um, well, it sort of is-

And so on. Marshal Frank Lucchese sighed, or at least wished he could do something other than just be. Reynard, he queried, on the offchance the serial killer was listening. Not like there was any architecture or tangible crowd in this prison to waylay his voice, but "finding" anyone was always a crapshoot.

What? Reynard humoured the dictator, or perhaps he was just seizing the invitation to force his unpleasant personality on the murderer of millions. They were far from friends, but each took a small solace in the fact the other wasn't a sniggering madman.

The other nice, if double-edged sword of a thing, was that they were both smart. And paid attention. And had been in each other's company for several centuries, now. There weren't any buttons left unpressed, all of them having been long-worn down by two men not inclined to snipe and snarl anyway.

The man's speech... you noted it, yes? Especially the tense. Hai still do not understa Oh shut up


Does he expect us to prove ourselves with no eyes and ears?

Frank, you know I hate rhetorical questions, so let's just agree on what's what. He'd obviously fit right in here. What kind of task would we be better for than Avery himself?

Lucchese thought about that for a minute, struggling to see anything conclusive against the background static of idiots' arguments.

Wishing they'd all be quiet, Frank? Let me try something.

And then there was light. Blinding, argument-immolating merciful light, streaming in through the eyes of a blue jay. Reynard just flew, savouring this nonsensically blissful bittersweet freedom that only a man who finds himself a corporeal bird after centuries of being less than nothing can feel.

Then the rest of those idiots ignored the marshal's roars for order in the lull, and the air around Parliament burst in a maelstrom of feathers and wings. The strength was seemingly plucked from the blue jay's with the flash-flock, and Reynard plunged into the meadow below. His only satisfaction was seeing a cocky magpie that tried to chase after him suffer a similar fate.

Within a much-emptier Parliament, the marshal wished - over the conflicting mess of eyes he was simultaneously looking out of - that he could sigh. Again.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by 50,000 Unstoppable Watts!.

Saturday still remembered the boy's face. It would be a grave disservice to forget one's killer. He was younger than his sister, couldn't have been more than thirteen. But he gripped the gun like he'd used it before, or like the great, hulking beast of revenge was teaching him how, whispering in his ear, "Kill the old fuck." His eyes betrayed no second thoughts. His clothes and hair were caked with sweat; he'd come a long way, come running, knowing what was to transpire and knowing he might arrive to see his beloved sister in a heap on the grass. He'd been better prepared than old Bo by a damn sight.

"Good kid."

Saturday didn't realize he was awake 'til he spoke. It was hard to tell lately. He rested on something rough, prickly--branches, he guessed. His view of the sky was like swiss cheese through a blanket of leaves. A crisp summer breeze washed over Saturday. He might've been more refreshed if he could really feel it. Wasn't quite the same since he'd died. Even so, he smiled at the sentiment. It was a nice day in Lord-Knows-Where.

Crick. Crrrrick.

Saturday's branch gave out. He tumbled fifteen feet to the ground, cussing all the way.

Can smoke laugh? One might've found out if anyone had been observing the Viscount at this particular moment, for the mist around his "mouth" puffed and wrinkled as he watched the old man fall. <font color="#4040A0">What a buffoon, he thought to himself. I might've picked a better one to watch. Then again, the weaker he is, the more likely he is to seek allies. The Viscount kept his distance, content to stalk from the shadows for now. He had a feeling about this one, a feeling that there was something more to him, something dangerous. He needed watching.</font>

Saturday stumbled to his feet. He spat leaves and flaired out his coat, trying to clean himself of the dirt from the fall. Then, as he retrieved his hat and cane, he felt something grasp his shoulder. Something rigid, pointy.

Claw. Claw. Claw. It's the spider thing. It's got to be the spider thing. It's gonna rip my ribcage open. I'm dead. I'm dead. I lost already. I lost and I'm gonna die and I'm dead. Arse piss hell shit damn--

Chirp chirp.


A kingfisher perched on his shoulder, eying him curiously. When he turned to face it, it tilted its head. Saturday followed suit.

"Well ain't you a cute lil' avian."


"You flutter on outta here, now. Ah'm thinkin' there's 'bout t' be a scuffle soon."


The bird assaulted his coat. Saturday cussed and flailed, accomplishing exactly nothing. The bird came up a few moments later with a big coin with Saturday's face on it. He stared at it for a solid few seconds before he remembered what it was for.

"...Oh, shit! Hey, gimme that back, y' mangy flappin' bastard!"

The kingfisher took off, heading for a warehouse to the east. Saturday bounded after it like the oaf he was.

Can smoke sigh? One might've found out if anyone had been observing the Viscount at this particular moment, for the mist around his "mouth" poured forth in a steady stream as he watched the old man chase the bird. <font color="#4040A0">Well, he thought to himself, I guess even my instincts are wrong from time to time. Either way, at least Saturday was headed for the warehouse; chances were better of finding someone else there, someone worth the effort of stalking. Viscount followed at length, cursing his judgment.</font>
[Image: sig.gif]
(04-11-2014, 12:35 AM)Schazer Wrote: »pffft dingle your pringles more like hop on your popcorn
(06-03-2014, 03:10 AM)Dragon Fogel Wrote: »DON'T EDIT POSTS YOU'LL GET MODKILLED wait a minute.
Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by MalkyTop.

Clink. Flip. Catch. Clink. Flip. Catch.

Whatever was going on, whoever that man was, he certainly was well-informed. The information inscribed on Cepra’s coin proved that fact.

But even with all his information, he was not confident that she was the best in the world?

Clink. Flip. Catch.

Of course, being the best in the world didn’t mean much in a multiuniversal competition, but Cepra was already having a hard time comprehending most of the things she had seen in the last few minutes. Her competition certainly were weird. She just chalked it up as different species and weird magic shit she hadn’t encountered yet.

‘Handsomely rewarded.’ She didn’t like jobs like this, where the people try to be all coy and smart and condescending, trying to draw a hired hand in by acting like they were doing you a favor. There were other ways to get ‘handsomely rewarded,’ other ways besides sitting in a dark bar and waiting for someone to come up with a nervous glance in their eye and a large sack in their hand. It usually involved looting still-warm corpses.

Cepra flipped the coin once more in the dark and it clinked against the rings on her fingers.

She sorely wished she could carve it up and add to her jewelry collection. But that would probably count as ‘losing’ it. Also, her claws weren’t tough enough to scratch it.

‘Handsomely rewarded.’ She had to admit that she was intrigued. But after that, he’d have to die. After she got whatever job he wanted done and accepted the handsome reward, she would reach over and claw his guts out. He looked soft and squishy enough.

But first, eliminating the competition.

Cepra flipped through the snippets of information she got of them. Eviscerate, eviscerate…would dismembering it count as killing it? No, burning it would be good and probably take care of all the little flighty beasts inside it too. Eviscerate, eviscerate, eviscerate, burn…and…hm…

Maybe she could just steal its coin.

Welp, plans’re finished. Cepra sat, contented with herself, though already bored of how routine it was obviously going to be. But the sooner she got everything done, the sooner she could be rid of this whole affair. Honestly, the least he could do was an advance payment.

She continued sitting in the dark.

Maybe it was too much to expect any of the others walking inside this nice, dark warehouse. If they were competitors for the assassination job (and honestly, the others didn’t even look like they could assassinate their way out of a paper bag), then they probably knew better than to walk right into a dark and abandoned building.

But then she’d have to go outsiiiiiiide and outside was briiiiight and stuuuuupid.

Oh well.

Cepra slid the coin under her goggles. It covered one eye and would probably get really annoying after a while, but it seemed a good place to tuck it away. And then she scuttled her way across the ceiling and towards an insufferably bright window. It pushed open very easily.

Well, shit. A nice, big meadow. Meaning she’d be easily seen. And there was no place to hide herself away and wait.

Maybe she had to act friendly to get close.

Or maybe she had to get the hell out of here and into the nice forest over on the other side before having to start up conversations with weirdo not-assassins who somehow were competent enough to be considered for this fishy job that she hated uuurrrrrgggh.

Cepra ran towards the forest.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

Triumphian was displeased.
When he had regained motion, he found himself standing in a lake bed. Most people would take a look around, or reflect on the words of being who had spoken to them, but Triumphian had other thoughts.

"How dare he."
Triumphian was more than displeased, he was disgusted that some being had the gall to go and abduct him of all people. He was certainly capable of dealing with the other beings in this so called competition be it through fear or through force, but that wasn't the point. The point was that he, His Holiness the Glorious Pope Triumphian the First of the Holy Empire of Lagran was taken without notice and entered against his will.

The Lagran gripped his left hand tight, and noticed that there was something inside it. He temporarily set aside his rage and looked it over. The coin was obviously the one described by the Apprentice, simply thinking about him made Triumphian growl. It read "Visions 3:50"

"Hmm..." Triumphian began to recall to the corresponding line. "Ah yes... Anger in any shape will blind even the best of us. Even when it is deserving, one must quell his anger, and release it only when truly fit."

Triumphian took a deep breath. "Yes, this...first being, he is watching, if I make my anger apparent, he will be put on his guard. No, I must instead calm myself, and deal with whatever foolishness he has trust me into. I will deal with him later." The Pope finally looked around, hoping to find a clue to what exactly that being had wanted from him.


Triumphian looked behind him to see a man wearing a robe spouting gibberish and pointing at him. Slightly above that man was his large metal snake god. Upon realizing that that this was Agustus and his so called god, Azungrada, Triumphian growled once more. Mere moments later, the two reptilian creatures were grappling with each other as Agustus looked on.
Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Dragon Fogel.

[color=#7COFCA]Augustus smiled as he watched his god battle the enormous lizard. It had been obvious from the moment of his introduction that this "Pope Triumphian" creature was nothing more than a false prophet, spreading lies about some worthless god, rather than the very real power of Azungrada.

And how fortunate that, as soon as this contest had started, he had been deposited so close to the infidel. Clearly, Azungrada must have willed it so.

"Repent, beast! Confess to your sins of blasphemy, and perhaps Azungrada will show you mercy in the next life!"

Admittedly, based on what the Apprentice had said, it was unlikely this brute would understand Augustus' words. The Divine Arbiter hardly cared. It was Triumphian's own fault if he was not open to Azungrada's holy truth.[/color]

Triumphian growled. How dare this lowly human with his false god assault His Holiness!

Granted, the statue was powerful. But Triumphian was not about to allow himself to be defeated before the contest had even begun. Focusing his strength, the Pope lifted himself up, still grappling with the metal serpent.

Both combatants were powerful, but Azungrada had a clear advantage: it would not tire. Triumphian would not be able to hold it off forever.

Then he realized where he was, and grinned. Summoning all of his strength, he lifted Azungrada as high as he could. It was tiring, but in a moment, that would be irrelevant.

With a loud splash, Triumphian flung the false god into the lake.

[color=#7COFCA]Augustus' jaw went slack. The lizard turned to him, grinning with all of its sharp teeth showing.

"This must be very difficult for you," Pope Triumphian said, in a language Augustus couldn't understand. "To see the object you wrongfully worship so easily overcome by true holy power." In truth, the lizard was exhausted; but this mere human would still be no threat to him. This was especially clear as Augustus ran over to the shoreline and knelt.

"This... This must be a test!" Augustus shouted, tears streaming down his face. "Azungrada allowed the heretic victory to test my faith. And now, to prove my worth, I must free my god from the depths of this lake! Fear not, O Azungrada! I will not fail you!"[/color]

Triumphian laughed at the pathetic excuse for a human and bounded off; that was one competitor he had nothing to worry about now. Perhaps he could even open the poor infidel's mind to the true faith, in time. But for now the other competitors were of more concern. Augustus was weak and pathetic.

It was about a minute later that the lizard realized his coin was gone. He glanced back at the lake as he realized where it most likely lay now.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Akumu.

Redclaw had been bounding across the snow, feeling every muscle and tendon sing with the sweet ache of real use. Fanned out behind him were his warriors, all one-hundred fourteen of them. All of them were fierce, strong, worthy, but none were his equal. He threw his head back and howled exuberantly, and one by one his entire pack joined in until the whole land was ringing which their triumph. The first blow had been struck, and though the degenerate artificers may not have yet realized it, war was coming. And Redclaw would be its chief.

It was with this thought still reverberating in his mind that Redclaw vanished.

Now he found himself deposited on the wrecked, rusting remains of a large car. Sunlight filtered down through the overhanging foliage, and snowmelt streamed off of his fur to run in rivulets down the metal hulk. Redclaw wondered if placing him here, on this machine, was meant as a jibe at him. Its destruction was already complete, however, so there was no harm in it. The undergrowth of the forest was already beginning to work its way in and prise apart any remaining structure. In his hand was the coin that the puffed-up pissant had tossed at him while he was held motionless. Above an engraving of his own snarling face, it read "Redclaw, Son of Redtooth, Warchief of the Lakes People" and below it had simply "114." Redclaw snorted and squeezed closed his fist, but the coin stubbornly refused to crumple. Biting down on it similarly had no effect. It was an impressive material, at least. He slipped it behind his badge of office for safe-keeping.

Of course, he had no intention of competing for the "position" promised. He was already in a very comfortable position and only wished to return to it. If he was gone too long, Greymane would take over as Warchief in his stead, and it would be a shame to have to kill his strongest warrior to reassert himself. He lifted his nose to the wind and sniffed rapidly in different directions, trying to catch the scent of his clan. There was nothing, not that he expected much. The mountains rising in the distance and the warm air already told him he was nowhere near Lakes territory.

Past the treeline, a commotion at the edge of a small lake caught Redclaw's attention. The huge lizard was grappling with the metallic snake, before lifting it over his head and hurling it into the lake. Triumphan and Azungrada, Redclaw recalled. Triumphan was even larger than he, and clearly had an impressive strength. He would be a worthy foe, if it ever came to that. Past the lake, a lone building stood in the verdant meadow, rising out of the ground like a cyst on the land. Redclaw grimaced in distaste. At least he could leave this place better than he found it, he thought, loping through the trees around edge of the meadow, towards the offending structure.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Sanzh.

What had started as a routine flight had rapidly turned into something else for Cthaasa. What he was expecting was to spend time locked inside of an armored canister, land, order two companies to subjugate the local dissidents of this backwater world, and then retire to a prefabricated outpost while he waited for orders from his superiors. He had not expected was that he would be forcibly ripped from his module, wake up to be thrown into a competition against several other beings, and then be relocated again. A circumstance such as this had long been dismissed from his mind based on the sheer improbability of it.

Cthaasa reoriented himself after having left stasis. His first thought was how different his surroundings were-- he was used to a blanket of communications traffic and visual feeds, and all that information was now gone. His next thought was just how unprotected he was. Going from a meter of armor in every direction to nothing was disorienting. He looked around, craning his neck and allowing a multitude of eyes to examine his surroundings. Aside from a shed, there was little to see in the immediate vicinity-- he could hear commotion in the distance, but was for now unconcerned.

His thoughts drifted back to the earlier meeting. While he was curious as to how he ended up here, he had no interest in whatever employment opportunity was being offered. While it would be a likely reprieve from the danger involved in military service, but forcing himself to be subservient-- to a human, no less-- felt offensive. What could he gain from servitude? The thanks of an inferior? However, there was no doubt in his mind that some of the other individuals would be more interested in what was offered, but he felt like he could ignore them for now. Let them whittle each other down, he would deal with them on his own time. He had some doubts that his own enhancements would be enough to deal with them in whatever unspecified competition was expected of the group.

His mind drifted to the coin he grasped. One side had his visage, rendered in immaculate detail. He idly flipped it to check the other side, snarling as he read it to himself. How he managed to learn that was curious-- that particular experiment he regretted, if only because he was too incautious when he was working on it. Perhaps this human did have something to offer-- maybe not in terms of the job he was offering, but there were other characteristics that intrigued him.

Cthaasa needed to think. He wanted to figure out where to go. Pulling on the shed door, he slipped inside. It was small, but he lacked a human’s bulk and had space. For now, he planned. He’d make a more definite resolution soon enough.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by MalkyTop.

Cepra suddenly stopped.

Sounds of rustling. Vibrations in the ground. Coming towards her.

Cepra had a number of hands she could have used to smack her forehead with, but opted to look around for a hiding place instead. It only took her a few seconds for her to remember that there weren’t any hiding places in a meadow, so she tried crouching low to hide in the grass. She found herself still a bit too tall to really hide in it. But it was okay, because she was the color of grass. Unfortunately, she was the color of dead grass.

She stood up straight again. The sneaky kill approach wasn’t going to work well here, and in any case, whoever was coming must have seen her in the first place if it was coming over here. There was nothing around to really use as a weapon, so it would have to be good ol’ fisticuffs, the best kind of cuffs. So she stared out towards the moving shape coming her way and readied her claws. The thing came closer.

Then it sped past her.

Cepra whirled around, her mouth dropping open slightly.

The thing, now that she was looking closely at it, looked like a dumb beast of labor and it had just completely disregarded her in favor of the warehouse she was just at.

The warehouse she had been hiding in but decided that nobody was going to enter it anyways.

With some poise and class, Cepra shouted something that sounded much like a mess of spitting and hissing, and then reached over with one lanky arm and yanked the passing tail.

It immediately slipped out of her hand, but it had tripped up the dumb beast a little and she was a bit satisfied to see some bleeding there. Considering that the last time she saw it, she had seen it be a beast and a man at the same time, Cepra didn’t really recognize it at all. But she was still very ready to kill it.

The beast stumbled and turned to face her, eyes more frustrated than feral. She noticed it still kept looking back towards the warehouse and slid slowly backwards. And, though it was still tense and ready to attack, it seemed more defensive than offensive. It was reluctant to fight her.

Well, of course. Nobody wanted to fight the…oh…shoot, what was the new nickname? Well, nobody wanted to fight her. Because fighting her meant death.

She continued pacing forwards, standing as tall as she could to look down on the dumb beast. It finally stopped, realizing that she wasn’t going to just leave it alone.

And then they waited.

Waiting was the best part. What happened next was all up to the imagination. But she honestly wanted to be done of the whole affair as soon as possible, so it was probably best to cut it short.

She thrust another arm forward. The beast jumped back and clamped its jaws around it, but she easily picked it up and slammed it against the ground. When that didn’t make it let go, she used two other hands to attempt to pry the jaw open and then maybe tear him in half, but it swung and managed to get a swipe at her face. She stumbled back and the beast let go. Her pride stung from the fact that a simple cart-puller wasn’t even dead yet and she swept a long leg around and tripped it up before pouncing on it to tear open its belly.

Then something small, fast, and feathery swooped down and blinded her, fluttering in her face as it tried to pry the silver from her horns.

When she finally managed to knock it away, the beast was gone, having wasted enough time on her. She looked around for the feathery thing, but it had gone too.

Cepra kicked the ground. She was pretty certain this wouldn’t have happened if she had hidden herself in a nice, dark corner, but nooooooooooo, she had to be impatient and sloppy and what if this story started floating around? What would happen to her reputation, huh?

She saw something glittering on the ground and, despite her rage, picked it up instinctively. It was a coin very similar to her own.

And then there was another sound that made her turn around, a sound that was somewhat loud and somewhat hopeful. It was one of those things that she was supposed to compete against. A quick glance of the coin confirmed that it was his.

He said some things and she stared at his face, looking steadily less amused as time went on. He seemed to be talking more to himself than to her, really. He must have known that they couldn’t understand each other. Yet, he still talked. And then he stretched out a hand and bared his teeth at her in an obviously passive-threatening way. Ah, yes. This communicated much more than the nonsense he was saying. ’Give back the coin and nothing else will have to happen.’ Give back the coin or die.

Well, she needed another fight after how horribly that last one went.

Cepra laughed at the scrawny little thing trying to passive-threaten her and said, <Try and take it, little one.> She flipped the coin tauntingly before dropping it down her shirt.

Mr. Saturday, for his part, let his friendly smile falter. He couldn’t speak spider, but he figured that, after all the effort he went through just forcing himself to even get the damn thing's attention, he just got a ‘no.’

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Dragon Fogel.

Augustus regained his composure stood up. This was unacceptable.

The mighty Azungrada was trapped at the bottom of the lake, and that heretic was to blame. He would be punished, but first, Augustus had to retrieve his god from the depths. Unfortunately, he lacked the means to do so on his own, and so he would have to search for tools, and possibly the assistance of others. And it was unlikely he would find either by simply standing at the edge of a lake.

Pope Triumphian had gone south; not wanting to deal with the heathen just yet, Augustus headed east, where he came across a small shed. He doubted such a small structure would have anything of immense use; still, there might be something that could aid in his salvage operation. He opened the door.

And then, suddenly, he found himself unable to move.

Cthaasa was pleased. He hadn't expected to gain a servant so soon. But what would be the best use for this one?

As he mulled over his options, he gave Augustus a simple order to "stay perfectly still".

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Akumu.

The spider-woman, with her stick limbs and bloated abdomen, had not even seemed worth Redclaw's time as he had headed to help bring things back to a state of nature. But she was stronger and tougher than he could have imagined, another foe who could give him a good fight. In the shadow of the warehouse, he was still trying to catch his breath after being slammed against the ground, all four hundred pounds of him lifted by only one of her arms like he was a rag doll. Around gulps of air, his lips bunched back to expose his dagger-like teeth, somewhere between a smile and a canine display of aggression. He was starting to see some benefits to being dragged into this mess.

Still, Cepra could be a problem. She supposedly could turn flesh to silver with just a scratch of a claw – engaging her directly would be far too risky. If a single wound could force him to revert, he would have no chance against her. But then why had she not ended things? Redclaw suspected she had no regard for him, didn't see him as a threat, which would give him an edge when he took her down...

Redclaw slumped against the corrugated sheet metal wall. He was thinking like a damned arbiter, not a warchief! He should walk straight to her, declare his challenge, and show why it was he who lead the Lakes People to battle. If one wound would end him, then by god he would not receive one wound. Of course this was foolish, impetuous – he spun about with a snarl and punched straight through the wall, hooked his arm around the steel beam on the other side, and pulled.

Slowly, slowly, the beam began to bend, flexing the surrounding wall outwards. Redclaw's tongue lolled out over his teeth and his eyes dilated to deep black pools as adrenaline flooded his system. Finally, with a scream of both wolf and metal, the beam tore free of the rivets holding it to the cross-beam in the roof, and the whole thing came down. The roof fell into the interior of the building, sending up a great plume of dust. A whoomph and the tinkling of shattered glass followed as the displaced air blew out all the windows around the outside of the warehouse. All in all, it was a short, understated, but wholly effective demolition. Redclaw stepped back to look at his handiwork, quite pleased with himself. And with any luck, the collapse would draw the attention of someone worth fighting.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Sanzh.

While Augustus could not voluntarily move, his eyes still adjusted themselves to follow the sickly alien as he paced around him. Were he capable of motion, he would have long since strangled the impudent pest and used his corpse as an example of the fate all heretics must suffer. For now, he had to endure the alien’s circling and occasional chittering to himself as the creature regarded his prize.

Cthaasa had not expected acquiring a tool to be as easy as this. When he was detained, he was surrounded by competent combatants, not the type to walk into a trap that had been barely prepared at best. This human-- the so-called Divine Arbiter-- had clearly been separated from his protector and had the apparent foolishness to go out unprotected. Cthaasa supposed this was human nature, to go out unprotected and uncertain of your surroundings, fumbling and incompetent.

Part of Cthaasa wanted to take the human’s sword and eviscerate him while he was still helpless. It would certainly remove him as a threat permanently, and allow him to focus on escaping this competition. And yet Cthaasa deliberated.

There was so much potential here. A chance to test his experimentation outside of the controlled environment of the laboratory? A chance to do so away from the prying inquiries of his superiors, always interested in keeping him constrained? If anything this competition was no longer about the possible reward at the end as much as it was about the possibilities it offered. The alien quickly came to a new plan. He was going to delve through the depths of the Divine Arbiter’s experiences and memories and ensure that he could not resist his new superior. He paused for a moment, examining his surroundings. There was commotion elsewhere-- a collapsed building, likely one of the other participants engaging in frivolous destruction-- but it could wait. He had a human to exploit, and he was going to savor the task.

Azungrada, half-buried in mud and stuck at the bottom of the lake, stirred.

Despite the distance between the two, it was clear to the metal entity that its chosen charge was in danger. Not merely physical danger-- wounds could be recovered from-- but mental danger. The stability of his faith was in question as that heretic pried through him. The enormous snake thrashed, working to free itself and recover Augustus from those who dared threaten him. The infidel that had the audacity to attack his charge in such a perverse manner would surely suffer once he was free.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Schazer.

"Silence, you louts," growled the Marshal, apparently exasperated with the image he was receiving from several dozen eyes. A gull and several passerines were knocked off Parliament with gusts of his great wings, and his talons dealt a dislodging kick to a rifleman before settling on the mannequin's polished dome of a head.

"Inside again. All of you."

Chris Skinner, a lorikeet who trafficked slaves before Avery caught up with him, was only too happy to oblige. He was later adamant that being brandished in Luchesse's sizable fish-owl talons to make a point had little do with it.

One by one, the flock dissipated in little pops of warping light, save for a water king penguin whose guttural alien tongue barely registered as a language (though Luchesse thought it prudent - considering the galactic Colosseum's sadistic champion stood at a robust five feet tall - to not order the penguin into doing anything or another). Reynard and the magpie eventually found their strength again and flew back, vanishing in turn.

"Right. Listen up, the lot of you." The Marshall closed his eyes, to at least make the sensory input less disorienting for Parliament's inhabitants. Jack "Ringer" Marshall, a desperado-turned-Greater Roadrunner, materialised for all of three seconds before the fish-owl lunged from his Parliamentary perch, and ripped the queue-jumper apart. The Marshall (Frank, not Jack) settled amongst the flowers, swivelled his ears dollward, and continued as if nothing had happened.

"For those of you too busy squabbling to notice, we have recently been extracted from Lord Avery's clutches. We, as a-" Luchesse didn't really bother with hiding his disgust, suspecting most of his fellow inmates would agree with it- "collective, have been given an opportunity to work for a man whose power exceeds Lord Avery's."


Luchesse's eyes snapped open, his head twisted round, and he raised his wings in a huffy preparation for an eviscerating swoop. It was the penguin. That changed things a little.

"Do you have a reason?" snapped the Marshall, clacking his beak in annoyance.

"Si'Nitethit work for no man."

"You're happy being Avery's slave again then, when we fail to earn this appointment?"

"Si'Nitethit," thundered the penguin, shuffling with highly muscular gracelessness toward the Marshall, "work for no man that does not best him."

"Oh, fantastic. So you're happy to waddle off back under Avery's tyranny."

"Little shrieking bird has not bested Si'Nitethit." Snap, went his ten inches of daggerlike beak. Luchesse was very determinedly imagining how this must look to the rest of Parliament, with their two pairs of eyes fixed on each other.

"Oi, Si'Nit. Y'lookin' fer summen to best? Some eh those folks we met are havin' a parlay jes 'cross the fields yonder."

Luchesse and Si'Nitethit afforded a hyperstereoscopic view for their fellow inmates. Just as the stilt had interrupted, Samedi and Saturday were having some kind of argument. The penguin squawked in an admirable approximation of a bellowed warcry, and charged at the pair as fast as his slapping feet could carry him. The stilt scratched one foot with the other, and clicked her tongue at the fish-owl.

"Got rid eh that great lug fer yeh, Maar-shill. Now, yeh'd best figger how t'get our own Parlay movin', don'tcher reckon?"

Witch Matila (noted kidnapper and cannibal) of the Bleak Marsh giggled, and vanished with a gangly-legged (and probably sardonic) bow. Luchesse craned his head over the tops of seed-head grass and flowers, glanced up at the still-motionless form of Parliament, and crrrk-ed to himself.

"May we agree," he began, trying to ignore the angry squawking of a five-foot penguin in the middle distance, "that until we figure out how to move Parliament on its own, we are in no state to engage our competitors?"

Nobody said a word. The Marshall considered that a small and damned merciful victory. He got to thinking. Thinking led to one easy option, which was looking increasingly terrible as the echoes of altercation were out-shouted by the brawling itself and oh, happy day. Vizier Chordeilis was strutting about like a magician who had not been reduced to half a foot of smug red cardinal, his delectably wringable neck cricked - all the better to stare snootily down his beak at a much bigger bird. Luchesse scowled, afraid the insufferable little creature had an elegant solution to their predicament.

"I know you're considering manpower to move our prison, Marshall, but brute force simply will not do. Parliament must not disobey the Laws."

Faaaantastic. Of course it had to come back to the Laws. Of course their salvation was down some convoluted path, skittering and squirming round syntax and spellcraft. Of course every decent-sized avian with strength enough to pool in Parliament was as stupid or violent as Si'Nitethit.

"Fine, Chordeilis. You get us moving."

"Gladly," smirked the Vizier. The shouting was getting closer.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

"Now... where was I?"

The Holy One continued walking away from the lake, not actually caring about the loss of the coin. If it was important, surely the blessings of his god would place it back in his hands. And even then, why should he care about this competition set forth by some being that ripped him away on the holiest of days? No, Triumphian had other plans. While the vague offer from the being certainly felt genuine, what reason did he have to accept? Triumphian was the chosen Holy Leader of most of the known universe. He had behind him power from not only his god, the creator and shaper of his race, but that of his forefathers as well. He scoffed at this being, thinking that he had anything that Triumphian would want.

Now, with the heathen and his false idol dealt with, the remaining issues were only a handful. However, he was not such a fool to believe that they would be easy. First and foremost, was of course getting home. While he knew that the Holy Empire could run itself for at least a small period of time, under the orders of his bishops, without the power of his god the widely spread race had the capacity to destroy themselves without their leader. The second thing on his mind was converting someone, anyone into a disciple, or at least finding an ally. However, with the lack of any others able to speak with him, both would prove difficult.

Pope Triumphian considered the other participants for a moment. He doubted that most would bow down to his holy power, as they seemed to be formidable opponents themselves. Now that Azungrada had been dealt with, the most dangerous would probably be the Viscount, what with his ability to eat memories. After that, the book, Vex, seemed like the highest priority, followed by the assassin, as she was an assassin, and then the scientist, who had been described as "excellently suited" for whatever they had come here to do. The Warchief was in a position similar to him, a leader without his people, and while he could be an issue, Triumphian felt confident enough in his holy powers to deal with him. The Saturday person and the mannequin were hardly on his mind, but Triumphian made a note not to underestimate them.

While he had made his miscellaneous thoughts, Triumphian had reached a tree. There were not many trees in his planet, but there were enough that he knew that a single one all alone was somewhat odd. He looked at it, and thought he saw something sparkle, but ignored it and turned away from it.

Now, out of all of the others, the one who has the largest chance of being helping me escape and return to my empire is the book. He began walking once more. Finding it here should not prove too difficult. However, convincing it to my side may be. However, if it truly has so much knowledge, then a simple language should not be too difficult for it to figure out...


Redclaw had just finished surveying the wreckage of the warehouse and was about to leave when he saw the wandering Triumphian walk in his direction.
It is Triumphian once more... He would make a great opponent.
Redclaw thought of the ramifications of dominating the Pope in combat. Doing so would possibly place him as a high threat... but one to be feared if he also claimed the defeat of Azungrada as well...
Yes, he thought, I will challenge him. Redclaw clenched his fist and smiled, striding to Trimphian.

"Triumphian! I am Redclaw, Son of Redtooth, Warchief of the Lakes People."

Triumphian looked up quizzically at the werewolf. Before Triumphian could let out a reply to Redclaw's gibberish, a reply that wouldn't be understood, Redclaw leaped at the Pope.
This is just not my day...

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by 50,000 Unstoppable Watts!.

"Hey, there's my--Ohhhh hell."

Of course. Of course. That blasted feathery turd would have to lead him right to the god-damned spider. Saturday recalled a man who hated spiders. No logical reason for it, just couldn't stand the things. How alien they looked, the way they clicked when they walked. Drove him nuts. Drove the man from Saturday's recollection nuts, that is. He cussed at that stupid old shit who passed the hate of spiders on to him.

Then, he began talking directly to the thing, somehow suddenly thinking it could understand him. He was a beast of delusion in that way.

"Pardon me, but ah... Ahem... Y'think ah could be havin' that coin, there? A little flyin' mischief-maker went 'n' boosted it from me."

The spider just stared. Saturday recalled a man who didn't like how it stared.

"...Right... Ain't gettin' a word a' this, are ya. Welp, ah... Y' can understand gestures, cain't'cha?"

He pointed to the coin, then to himself. Then he held out his hand and put on the biggest smile he could manage. Now, Saturday didn't recall a man who was forgetful, because that man never knew it; but just the same, he'd forgotten that his smile could be a bit disconcerting to folk. Worse yet, he'd forgotten that his face paint--Was it paint? It didn't wash off--compounded his creepiness. He had no idea he looked like a wolf bearing its fangs.

So of course, when the spider dropped the coin down its coat, he was visibly frustrated.

"Wanna play hardball, eh..."

And then he fell. Just toppled over backwards, like a scrawny red-haired pillar knocked off-balance. What was strange was that, when he hit the ground, he didn't stop falling. The ground undulated like water buckling from impact, and he vanished into his shadow.

Won't get fancy. Not worth the bother. Just take it and get gone.

For a moment, Cepra just stared. The shadow danced and flickered as though it were still bound to its creature of origin. Yet the creature was gone. The thin silhouette bowed and tipped its hat, then began to slither, wiggling across the jagged blades of grass. Cepra found herself not so much attacking the ground as pawing after the shadow like a simpler beast chasing a light on the wall. It did not register her swipes, only danced about with immunity. She clicked her fangs angrily and doubled her efforts, smashing the earth where the blackness loomed.

She became so embroiled in the chase that she did not notice the needle-thin strands of shadow bleeding off, rising steadily up and around her. She didn't notice, until they billowed out to the thickness of her arms and seized her all at once with a chorus of whipping and snapping. Cepra swung and squirmed, cutting a tendril here and there, but still they swarmed and wrapped around her, binding her in place. The shadow clamped down on her, but she struggled yet.

She tensed up as she saw the shadows converge on the ground, forming a black, slimy puddle. It convulsed and coiled upwards 'til it came above her head, then began to take the shape of... something. Not quite a man; like it, but something far more devilish. Viscous black skin; thin arms with clawed hands; beady golden eyes; and a leery, crescent grin.

Well, I suppose I got fancy anyhow.

Saturday grinned, but did not say a word. He wondered how it'd sound in this form. But words did no good here, he knew. The creature would nevertheless understand this: that he did not like being trespassed upon. Were he estranged from his possessions, he would quite simply take them back. He reached out a monstrous, clawed hand, his sights on the indent in her coat where his coin hid...


...and stopped cold when he heard a booming cry off to his right.

"What'n seven hells..."

Saturday turned. His arms drooped stupidly at his side. His mouth settled into a deadpan stare, a straight yellow slit across his face. His light-bulb eyes flickered on and off, an approximation of blinking. Had he the presence of mind, he might've recalled a man who would be damnable stunned at the sight before him. Then again, he was doing a fine job of that as he was.

"...Is... Izzat a penguin?"
[Image: sig.gif]
(04-11-2014, 12:35 AM)Schazer Wrote: »pffft dingle your pringles more like hop on your popcorn
(06-03-2014, 03:10 AM)Dragon Fogel Wrote: »DON'T EDIT POSTS YOU'LL GET MODKILLED wait a minute.
Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Sanzh.

The Viscount was unbearably hungry.

There was always a nagging hunger, but each second he went without satisfying his hunger just amplified the desire to consume. The jump from pocket dimension to pocket dimension that came with his entry into the battle only seemed to exacerbate that longing. While he had been trailing Mr. Saturday, there were far too many witnesses to allow him to satisfy himself without throwing a countless number of his plans into disarray-- that would not do well at all, not when isolated from the many fail-safes he had established. No, he needed to find someone alone, someone who he could feed on and surreptitiously withdraw from without arousing suspicion.

He drifted across the lake, the water roiling as he moved over it. Between the clear sky and the water, he was difficult to distinguish. The cloud of smoke, as he rolled across the water, noticed some motion further away-- not the commotion near the warehouse, something else. Directing himself closer, the Viscount could see two of the contestants-- the scientist and one of the two religious figures. Augustus was motionless, while the alien circled and seemed to talk to the frozen figure. Was he unaware of the inability to communicate? Why hadn’t Augustus raked his sword across the sickly, diminutive figure and ended his life? These questions only took up a brief moment of time before the Viscount realized the opportunity he had. Cthaasa was distracted and was, at least for the moment, a meal waiting for him to devour.

The smoke entity accelerated, wind rushing past him. Caution was something he could temporarily ignore; it was doubtful the alien would survive for that long, considering there were others much more powerful than the alien. He could satisfy his hunger and go back to being unnoticed.

Cthaasa felt a slight rush of wind. He adjusted himself to face the disturbance, but before he could was overcome by what appeared to be a cloud of blue gas. The creature began to swirl and coalesce around him, starting at his head. Cthaasa’s mind raced past his own reflexes, attempting to psychically dominate the Viscount. But, unlike his current pawn, the cloud had no neurons to manipulate, nothing to grasp onto. As the blue gas wrapped itself around him, the alien struggled to free himself. The cloud had a surprising feeling of resistance for something wispy and obscure.

His head hurt as the Viscount scoured his memories, tearing through his mind in search of information. Cthaasa attempted to recoil to escape, but the swirling cloud remained focused around his head. The buffeting left him helpless, at the mercy of this ambusher.

And then it stopped. The cloud left as quickly as it arrived. Cthaasa re-examined himself-- he seemed to be fine, albeit somewhat disoriented. Augustus seemed to be motionless still. The ithaqu wondered just what had happened-- there had only been eight contestants, and this locale seemed to be abandoned. Were there more of these creatures? His hand fidgeted over his coin.

Or it would have, were it not floating along the billows of the Viscount.

Cthaasa was struck by panic. While he had no interest in the supposed prize of this competition, there was some importance to the coin. If anything, it had a fragment of compromising information. He would need to retrieve it, dominating his thrall further could wait.

“Time to move, puppet.” He said to the human, beginning to walk.

Augustus did not understand what the ithaqu had said, or even much of what had just happened. He did, however, understand that he was involuntarily following Cthaasa as it attempted to trail the Viscount.
Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

What is this?
A reserve???
[Image: MU2DE.gif]
you bet it is
ill see you guys after school
Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

Once in an uncertain time ago, there was a robot. This robot was able to traverse the forest and the surrounding area, and use the three traits in order to earn its freedom.
The three traits may have changed in name, but their core did not. They were the three aspects that showed that robot had proven itself a being that was truly alive. Someone worthy of living in a world out of the forest, able to solve problems, endure hardships, and treat the world with care. There were few robots that succeeded. And there were many that did not.

"Activation has happened."
Waking up unsure of its surroundings and without a purpose, the robot explored the area around him. The robot exited its initial area and with and after mustering up some courage, it embarked on a quest to define who it was. As it continued, it had to develop intelligence and cleverness to figure out the path to continue its quest. Eventually, after much perseverance, the robot had thought it reached the sufficient goals to enter the forest, where it suspected it would find freedom. Newly clad with a name chosen by itself, the robot entered the Dark Woodland.

"AMPERSAND." Ampersand was taken aback at unanticipated awareness. "AFTER ASPECTS ASSURED, AMPERSAND EARNS ESCAPE."

Ethereal audio advanced, "ALTRUISM, ENDURANCE, AND SMARTS."


While Ampersand attempted to present the various aspects of its quest, it was unable to. Despite all of its work, the voices would not accept its explanations. Dejected, the robot retreated. From its perspective, it only heard two words.
However, had there been a being with normal sense of hearing, it would have also heard a few others.

But such was the mystery of this forest...

When Ampersand eventually exited the forest, it saw a very odd sight.

"What qxc ghrj ys tjkl skjryfkn owbfyb swunh ub tbys hkiqqy wrdsrt? GGE AWF DW YT!"
"Grhakn eh kjy, r rjkk make yhre tff bgrrk! J dwll make efa draw gjjol! FAHFAJEWFAW QIWW HJFEW LEJJ AN KLJFLAJF!!!"

Ampersand hid back behind a tree as it spotted what seemed to be a man being attacked by a penguin, with what seemed to be an arachnid humanoid standing and snickering at the two. Ampersand decided to avoid them and attempt to continue on, back to the Kingfisher's Tree, with hopes that the bird would have answers it needed for its escape.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by MalkyTop.

Nobody could say that Cepra didn’t have a sense of humor. She had plenty. It’s just that it usually involved the humiliation, mutilation, or outright death of another.

It helped that she was able to break free of her constraints once her captor was distracted. It helped that the giant bird careened right towards the shadowman rather than her. Things were more humorous when you weren’t personally the one in danger, in any case.

She stood a ways away and watched. Not only for the entertainment, but for the information. Eventually, he would have to do his little shadow trick again and…yes, there we go…

She watched and sighed as the bird-thing angrily stomped at its unreachable prey. The spider didn’t know many things, but she did know that she couldn’t eviscerate shadows.

Eliminating him another way would probably be good.

And while the shadowman was distracted, Cepra slid his coin out and tossed it over her shoulder among the tall grass. It may have glinted in the air as it fell, or it may have rolled around on the ground a bit or maybe it flew away. Cepra didn’t see and didn’t care. The only thing that mattered was that it was an inconvenience to him and possibly a step closer to victory for her.

And…well, she was still in a fighting mood.

Several hundred pounds of spider collided with several hundred pounds of penguin and they tumbled around, breaking free from any shadowy hindrances, penguin already tearing into spider’s shoulder, spider taking full advantage of her excessive number of appendages, et cetera, et cetera. Cepra had ridiculous strength. But the penguin somehow never managed to stay in any of her arms’ grasps for long and the two tumbled about in a confusing ball of violence that was only stopped when the two were forcibly separated by a bunch of shadow-tendrils.

“Alright, alright! I don’ wanna see your face ‘round here, and I don’ wanna see your ugly mug either, but y’got somethin’ o’ mine I need ‘n’ I can’t get it if th’ two o’ ya don’ stop fightin’—“

No, nobody could understand this rant besides him, but man, it felt so good to yell at something.

The penguin kicked and squawked while the spideress chuckled to herself.

“Now I just want—‘ey!”

Cepra had lashed out at the penguin with a purple claw. The scratch resulted in another flurry of activity and struggle and Saturday, desperately thinking of any solution whatsoever, settled for flinging the violent penguin away as hard as he could where it would hopefully crack its head against a rock.

Saturday suddenly felt like his old elementary school teacher.

He turned to Cepra, who was still grinning widely. Urgh. “As fer you…”

And he reached for his coin. Or tried to, but it turned out that his coin wasn’t there. Like it stood him up on their first date or something. (Not that he was interested in coins, not in that way, no.)

“Wha—where izzit?!”

The captive arachnid grinned and shrugged, as if to say, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’

Shit. Shit, shit, shit. Did it drop out in the middle of the fight? Was it lost in the grass? Did the penguin somehow have it? Shitty shit shit crap balls.

Cepra, in the meantime, got tired of leering knowingly at the man and instead sat back in her bonds. She probably shouldn’t have gotten involved in a pointless fight. Sure, fights were fun, but she had to stay focused here. Rein in her instincts and all that. Every time she did, it didn’t work out at all so well. But, hey, she was happy enough with different approaches. Variety being the spice of life and all that.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Mirdini.

Well. Might as well take stock.

Vex had hardly had time to form a coherent thought following Anaminendes’ lecture when he felt his new reality lurch – as if the very fabric of the book’s interior were undergoing some tremendous, instantaneous earthquake. Vex went hurtling through the Encyclopedia’s depths, eventually crashing against a remarkably wide torrent of information seemingly sealed by a familiar green glow.

Fuck… this just part of the housewarming?

Vex had almost finished righting himself – huh, there’s still an up in this place – when he caught another window opening in his peripheral vision.

I thought the old coot was gone, what’s he playing a-

Upon peering out of the window he realized that this was most certainly not the Scholar’s work – a flash in a small part of his mind noting that the Encyclopedia had never encountered this environment before. Vex ignored the niggling thought in favor of examining the figure his portal was fixated on.

<font color="#806020">“You’re probably wondering just what you’re doing here.“

Vex had seen plenty of preening assholes in his line of work, but he hadn’t once come across any that could rival his own abilities (or ego, for that matter) – which had made tearing their lives and organizations apart all the more entertaining.

The man he saw through the window before had that same air, but there was something else to it – if he was the one that’d managed to move the book and open the window, he might actually have the muscle to back up his swagger. To Vex, it just meant he’d finally found someone that might actually prove a worthy opponent. Having him lick his boots when this was all over would b- fuck, my new boots are just going to rot in that tomb.

Regardless, Vex Ardayne certainly wouldn’t let some schmuck force him into anything. He might be stuck in Encyclopedic form and from what little attention he’d been paying to the man’s monologue (a possible weakness?) stuck in some sort of competition with a variety of other beings – but that just makes this fair. Now Vex hadn’t made it through years of criminal empire-building without some very perceptive instincts – and they were currently flashing red. The Encyclopedia’s disorientation, the field he and the other “contestants” (who he’d only been given flashes of as the man discussed them) were trapped in, it didn’t add up to just another kingpin to take down.

Then again, instincts were boring. So this guy might be a step above your dime-a-dozen arms dealer with what he’d apparently done - nothing a little improvisation couldn’t take care of. Vex hadn’t gotten to where he was without a gamble or two.

”show me what you’ve got.”

The window snapped shut, leaving Vex somewhat disoriented with only the warm green glow of Anaminendes’ safeguards for company. Reclining into nothingness, Vex thought back to his entry into the book – after all, before he’d be able to get to work he’d have to figure out how to make the damn volume follow his commands. The shining green pillar beside him made his cheek ache-


Information flashed through his mind, almost overwhelming his consciousness before Vex managed to slow the torrent down to a trickle.

That… must be what the bookworm was talking about.

While most of what he’d gotten from that wave of information were archival trivialities /sourcematterintegrityreliantupon/des.tendenciessuppressionincreasingly/infoflowstoillusoryoutputsactivation/ what he wanted was…


Reading- well, remembering over how to manipulate the Encyclopedia’s physical form left Vex rather incredulous – a bunch of condensed Zen garbage like “focus your mind” and “belief leads to action” and god knows what else. Sure, he’d play along – he had to - but there had to be a better way to control it than sitting in the darkness and meditating like some antiquated monk. A more sophisticated- yes.


Throughout Vex’s consolidation of his position within the Encyclopedia the volume itself hadn’t been idle. Transported to yet another pocket universe it found itself in a most peculiar position, some five hundred meters in the air above a picturesque meadow. Gravity took a few moments to reassert itself, but soon enough ἐγκυκλοπαιδεία was tumbling cover over cover towards a landscape it couldn’t seem to record.


Vex had an irrational fondness for an ancient television program, a minor tic he’d taken care to conceal from his lieutenants – wouldn’t want them to go thinking he was soft in the head. There wasn’t anyone else to see whatever he did within the void of the Encyclopedia, however.

Vex could barely stifle a giggle in his retro-future captain’s chair as he gazed upon the bridge of the USS Enterprise-D.

It’ll do.


The Encyclopedia continued its descent, accelerating at a curiously familiar rate of 9.80665 m/s^2. Though the sky was free of cloud cover the book still barely constituted a speck of dust in the eyes of anyone prescient enough to look up. Achieving terminal velocity without much fanfare, it plummeted straight towards a rather peculiar scene – that of a bright red cardinal perched upon a mannequin dressed in its Renaissance best.

Tsk. So barbaric.

Chordeilis turned away from the disgraceful sight of Si'Nitethit’s squawking charge and set to contemplating Parliament’s position. Unlike the boorish Luchesse, he had respect for the Laws Lord Avery had bound them with – well, as much respect as twisting them to his owns ends required. An unmatched manipulator of men and kingdoms before his unfortunate capture, the vizier had capitalized upon his diplomatic expertise within Parliament to distinguish himself from the chaff of common mass-murderers and dictators he’d been imprisoned with.

That the obnoxious Luchesse was a chief rival to what passed for an organizing force within Parliament was a perennial nuisance, one he’d hopefully be able to diminish with the help of the bizarre situation the collective was in. Luchesse being forced to come to him for help had to stick in the fish-owl’s craw, and if he could get the mannequin moving he’d at the very least further ruffle the Marshall's feathers - a perk the Vizier certainly didn't mind.

Unfortunately for Chordeilis, he had barely begun formulating the spectacular series of grammatical gymnastics necessary to impel Parliament when his plot was crushed – quite literally – by the sudden arrival of a solid three kilograms of knowledge terminating its meteoric descent on Parliament’s head.


Vex felt nothing of the rather severe impact the Encyclopedia sustained upon landing (a landing which the volume remarkably took without a scratch), absorbed instead in his attempts to coax the tome into motion – and, more importantly, into showing him what was actually going on outside of its boundless interior. The instructions he’d inherited from the Scholar were helpful, but infuriatingly vague. The Encyclopedia would follow the Archivists wishes, but only if they were clear and precise – something seemingly incompatible with another guideline that insisted he had to “relax his mind” to further understand the book’s workings.

Screw this, I’m not going to sit around thinking this over while those other… people can just rip this thing apart.

He flipped a promptly materialized switch to activate the ship’s viewscreen, thinking – no, knowing it’d show what was going on outside - and was swiftly treated to the sight of a large bi-
/Family Spheniscidae, often termed Penguin, extinct since 2086 following/ – Vex shook his head.

Damn book’s talking to me now.

In the few moments he’d been distracted the penguin had been flung clear of two other figures – the spider-woman and the man who’d been referred to as “Saturday” (no doubt a pseudonym), who seemed to be squabbling over…

Oh fuck, where’s that damn- ah.

Vex’s coin rested in a patch of grass immediately beside Parliament, a scant few centimeters away from another one of those damn birds. Managing to manipulate the bridge’s controls further to zoom in on the chip, he briefly wondered where in the universe that prick had managed to find that piece of information – just another thing Vex’d have to wring out of him once this was all over.

Alright. Now to get this heap of paper moving – and keep that /Family Strigidae, colloquially termed Fish-owl/ from getting to my bargaining chip.</font>
Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Schazer.

"Right. Can you hear this?"

It wasn't like Vex had any way of knowing - the owl's gaze already fixated on the tome after it had crushed the cardinal - but Luchesse had, with only some fiddling with controls on Vex's part that didn't really exist.

Frank glared at the book, harbouring some very sudden-onset mixed feelings for it that had more to do with his unmitigated disgust for the Vizier.

"I was thinking you couldn't be that petty," drawled a blue jay, who was apparently competing for both Luchesse and Vex's annoyance as it jabbed an experimental beak into Encylopedia's cover, "even if I can sympathise with wanting Chordeilis gagged, so this does explain a lot. And in case you cared, Si'nit's making all manner of friends-"

"Get off!"

"Ah. So it speaks."

"Get off it," growled Luchesse, "unless it's telling you it's set to detonate in five seconds. In which case, stay there."

"Manners, Frank," smirked Reynard. How a little corvid managed to inject so much venom into a tiny shift in pose was a mystery, but so were the whereabouts of a good chunk of Reynard's victims. In a couple of notorious cases, chunks of them. "Yes, you may be biggest and baddest bird of all the big bad generals that'd still get off on being in charge of this asylum, and yes-" Reynard paused here to let Vex get another ineffectual word in edgewise "-you may decorate yourself with dissenters' entrails until you feel like a war hero again, with ribbons of intestine and tail-feather, and an iron cross that can be Si'nit's foot-"

Luchesse kicked Encylopedia aside, opting to snatch Reynard up in a talon. The book fell with an unexplosive thud at Parliament's feet, which (along with Vex's luckily-untranslated outburst) pulled the pair's attention long enough for the Marshal to compose himself.

"That is obscene, Reynard." The jay ignored his compatriot's dangerously calm tones, doing his damnedest to shrug.

Wait, was that owl speaking Tuscan?

"My point is, you'll not win the war for Parliament from without. Nor will your self-styled rise to power ever amount to anything if you do not realise that Avery was a definitive bastard."

Reynard had an actual smirk on his beak by this point. He could feel it, and it made him burst with pride and smirk even harder.

"Some of us saw fit to discuss it, as you paraded around. He named us Parliament for a reason, Frank."

The blue jay vanished. Elsewhere, a penguin stopped becoming a limp mess after Parliament's enchantments failed to sustain its distance with an extra bird, and resumed trying to gouge Cepra's eyes out.

"Do- do you parla Toscano!?" yelled Vex. It caught the Marshal's attention, anyway.

"Italiano, si. You're another contestant?"

Fuck. Italy /Former name of the Republic of Tuscany (Circa 2076)/? "I, uh... no. Non parla Toscano, or Italiano. I just recognised snatches of it - look. You were talking fine to that other bird, can any of you lot speak English? Parla fucking English?"

The fish-owl cocked his head one side. "You're an encylopedia. Which speaks."

"Hanswer his question, boy," crooned a swan. It wasn't the mute swan, and it wasn't a black one, so Luchesse felt pretty comfortable with trying to tear a chunk out of its neck when it tried to wrap itself around him.

"Ooh, fiesty has ever~" it purred, which left the fish-owl no choice but to retreat with a sense of personal violation. "Let me handle se book, se guests halways told me haI had a way with my tongue. Hyou can wait for me inside, make yourself comfortable."

The swan winked, somehow, dispelling Vex's qualms about an owl growling archaic Tuscan in the face of an apparently nymphomanic, probably-sociopathic swan that apparently spoke his goddamn language. Reynard (the blue jay) burst out of nowhere again and told a conflicted Luchesse to quit his grandstanding and come back inside. A final coquettish wink, and Frank vanished with a shudder.

"So. Halone at last, Mr. Ardayne." Behind the rather graceless bulk of the swan, the mannequin loomed motionlessly above.

A second later, its head twitched, and it stooped and grabbed the Encylopedia like it had done this every day of the life it didn't have.

"Shit, hang on-"

"Sorry, Mr. Ardayne," the swan interjected, batting a wing and not sounding the least bit sorry, "but Parlhament doesn't agree with yours truly sat Ms Samedi would make delightful company. Hour distraction's sadly exhausted himself, so hwe must depart."

Vex couldn't think of a way to explain he'd lost his coin without losing the coin to the glorified birdcage, so settled for fuming as the two strange vessels marched for the treeline.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Dragon Fogel.

The bird had caught Viscount by surprise.

Yes, technically he had known they were around, but he hadn't expected one to be right there, at that time, flying directly towards him. He'd known Parliament would pose a problem if he hoped to make the others forget he was a contestant; there were simply too many birds to consume the memories of each individual in a reasonable amount of time.

The immediate problem, however, was that as he drew near the blue jay, Reynard snatched the two coins the Viscount held: Cthaasa's, and his own.

Viscount considered fighting back to reclaim his prize, but as he drew towards the jay, a number of other birds emerged from the nearby mannequin.

As the flock drew near, Reynard demonstrated precisely how much smirking could be accomplished with a beak. Viscount opted to flee; he was unprepared for such a fight, least of all with two other competitors chasing him already.

Cthaasa's attempted pursuit soon ran into a problem. The smoke-creature had escaped, and there was now a flock of birds (and a mannequin) between him and his quarry.

Then he noticed two shiny coins in the talons of a blue jay, and none on the form of the unknown creature.

He ordered Augustus to charge towards the jay. As the Divine Arbiter did so, not fully understanding why, a rooster crowed out a warning.

Reynard turned quickly, and saw Augustus approaching. He reasoned that the coins were the man's objective, and he was never one to give up a bargaining chip. He flew back towards Parliament, still holding the coins.

Cthaasa was undeterred. He simply changed Augustus' orders, and told his thrall to charge through the birds towards the jay, and destroy any of them that interfered. Augustus complied, and rushed forward.

This raised a number of strong objections from Parliament's members.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Akumu.


Redclaw leapt for Triumphian, claws spread wide. His Holiness managed to fall backwards and bring his staff up around to block the leap, pinning Redclaw's arms to his torso. The Warchief strained forward with snapping jaws as the pair tumbled over, almost reaching the scaled throat of his adversary. Triumphian shoved outwards and the werewolf's momentum carried him past, flipping through the air to land in a crouch, digging furrows in the grass as he skidded back. As soon as he came to a stop, he surged upwards to fly at Triumphian again.

The saurian had pushed himself back onto his feet with his powerful tail, and was already whipping around in anticipation of the next attack. God's power flowed through him and through his holy staff, amplified by the righteousness of his predecessors to emerge as a blast of purifying light. The outermost layer of Redclaw's fur burst into flame, but his trajectory was unchanged and he slammed headlong into Triumphian and propelled them both crashing into the ruined remains of the warehouse.

The pair smashed through the flimsy material of the downed roof and into a maze of metal beams and smashed crates. Careening off one of these beams, werewolf and Lagran flew apart. Redclaw rolled about, yowling and beating at his burning fur, casting leaping shadows across the wreckage. These faded into the murk of the dust-choked air as the fires went out, leaving Redclaw's coat patchier and much less regal than usual. He got to his feet, wincing as some burnt skin crackled and split. All together, it could have been much worse. It turned out Triumphian was not an opponent to be taken down by a single over-powering strike. This was fine by Redclaw: it simply meant that the hunt could begin. He padded into the gloom in search of his prey.

Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 1: Circumlocution]
Originally posted on MSPA by Sanzh.


Augustus’ sudden emergence and attack on Parliament quickly dispelled a host of minor arguments common to the vessel. Heated discussion of future plans was put on the shelf, along with the usual disputes over leadership-- they could wait until this sword-wielding priest had been subdued. There was a definite consensus among the inmates that the preservation of Lord Avery’s collection was permissible.

How to go about ensuring that preservation, however, was still argued. A swing of Augustus’ sword towards the mannequin was still dodged, but even as the silvery blade almost intersected with a wooden arm there was a lively enough dispute. The more masochistic serial killers argued for not dodging at all and just going for the priest’s neck, cowardly con-men favored trying to reason with him or retreating, and a fair number just wanted the others to remain silent and leave defeating Augustus to the more experienced combatants of Parliament.

Parliament tossed the book it held aside, freeing a hand to fight. The collective vision of the vessel still could see the book, as it remained subject to the adulation of a swan. As the mannequin weaved around to avoid Augustus’ sword, various members of Parliament took wing, surrounding the man in a flurry of wings and talons. Despite this, the priest remained doggedly determined to recover the coins, still ferociously attacking and swiping at the wooden birdcage.

One of the birds-- a gyrfalcon and former war criminal-- noticed a sickly-looking alien on the periphery of the battle. Despite not fighting either of the two combatants, the alien still seemed to be engaged in the proceedings as he murmured and motioned to himself. He directed himself upward, floating for a brief moment before dive-bombing the alien. The alien turned to look and saw the falcon descending a moment too late. The gyrfalcon’s talons grasped and cut through the weak skin and tendons of one of the creature’s appendages, spilling blood. The alien collapsed, still conscious but clearly injured.

The Divine Arbiter was facing difficulties of his own. His inability to completely control his actions hampered his ability to fight-- the occasional involuntary movements caused by Cthaasa’s meddling threw off his own rhythm as he attacked and dodged. The birds did not help either as they circled around him.

As he fought, he had a brief but sudden feeling of freedom. The mannequin swung a wooden arm at him, and he sidestepped without a feeling of sluggishness. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Cthaasa, clearly incapacitated. The priest felt no desire to fight for that insidious, controlling alien, and quickly shifted from pushing an offensive to remaining cautious. The mannequin flung another limb at him, but he leaped back a moment before the strike could connect.

His foot felt two things. One was a book. The other was a swan, retreating to the comparative safety of Parliament. He picked up the book, tilting it and examining it guardedly while remaining attentive to the mannequin and the cloud of birds around it.

The mannequin froze. Many of the birds disappeared in flashes of silvery light, retreating to the inside of their vessel to figure out what they were to do. Others began to perch atop the mannequin, watching Augustus as he stood there. Neither combatant was quite willing to re-engage, and so they remained at a stand-off distance, each eyeing each other and posturing what could either be an explosion of violence or some form of negotiation-- the con-men and politicos had begun again in convincing Parliament to use the pirate priest to their own ends.

Further away, Cthaasa forced himself to get up. The injury had staggered him, as well as surprised him. It only reminded him of his vulnerabilities, despite his significant experimentation on himself. His eyes shifted to notice a mockingbird. Considering the day’s proceedings, he was not surprised when the bird began to talk.

“Well, look at what we have here. I don’t suppose you remember me, Cthaasa Xhe?” The passerine’s warbling was recognizable and irritatingly loud.

Cthaasa didn’t want to talk to this bird-- his concerns were recovering the thrall he had obtained and nursing his wounds-- but he spoke the same language as him and the bird apparently knew his full name, something of a rarity. “How do you--” He began, but was quickly interjected by the bird.

“Oh, so you don’t remember me at all? What a waste. The illustrious scientist Cthaasa Xhe, so quick to remember his triumphs yet completely ignorant of his failures. I would have thought you had learned something since your trial, but evidently you did not. Not even that you didn’t do a good job of covering up your tracks.”

Cthaasa shuffled through a number of people, all of whom had wronged him. It was a long list, and the mockingbird’s vague notions did not help him in pin-pointing just who he was talking to. Then it dawned on him. Cthaasa’s multitude of eyes widened.

“You mean you’re--”

“Ah, now the brilliant scientific mind figures it out! You wronged me, Cthaasa Xhe. You experimented on me, you kept me in conditions unfit for a human inferior, but I got back at you. Oh yes, I remember the look on your face when it was decided you were to spend the rest of your fragile life away from the comfort and security of your laboratory.”

Cthaasa attempted to interject, but was quickly cut off.

“And don’t tell me about how you were only interested in scientific discovery, and how it was all in the name of progress. You were a sadist, Cthaasa Xhe. You still are. I managed to throw you out of the lofty kingdom you built for yourself once, and I can do so once again.”

The mockingbird continued its tirade. “Only now, it’s not Cthaasa the enlightened scientist, defending himself against outrageous claims. It’s Cthaasa the beggar, alone with no allies and no support. You don’t even have your coin, the one bargaining chip you could have had.”

If smug was a possible expression for the passerine, that would be what Cthaasa saw. The bird was, true to its species, mocking him. He didn’t even bother to speak and let the bird interrupt him, he just let it continue.

“Now then, Cthaasa Xhe, I would certainly enjoy remaining here and watching you struggle, but I’m afraid your chosen thrall is about to be dismantled and I feel that would make a much more amusing display. Your suffering is almost-pitiable, but just not the visceral entertainment I am in need of.”

The bird disappeared in a silver flash. Cthaasa could only think about how we wanted that coin back and that former ithaqu killed-- preferably in a painful manner, but he did not feel that to be necessary.

Re: Those people belonging to unique urls over varied tips can certainly jot it all
Originally posted on MSPA by Pinary.