totally is a cicada
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: seaside and spires
Originally posted on MSPA
I said this would start by 10 GMT and it is indeed 9:59 as I type this little bit. All of the info on the location is included in the intro, with the one exception that no-one starts near the light, which shall make sense after you have circumnavigated my overdone wall of text, which is what happens when I try to write quickly, strangely enough... and now, I shall go and edit the first post and the title... any errors, any questions, anything really, will be dealt with in the morning. Or the afternoon, which ever comes first...
Consider two silhouettes, pitted against a spotlight of unknown description. The first, on the left, is the larger of the two, though admittedly not by much. Starting at the top, one can definitely discern it to be human - see, here, a nose, or something doing a marvellous job of masquerading as one, then a mouth, then shoulders, then it all goes wrong. So what if you can't be sure of the details, what with it being black and all, but the bottom half of this being looked more like the gnarled roots of some ancient tree than the punier roots, better known as legs, that define a human being. Now for the second - we finished at the bottom last time, so move your eyes on upwards, past the reassuring appearance of legs, up past what can be assumed to be the torso, and then to the head. Well, kind of a head, for where one would seek an valley for the neck, a mountain for the chin and another peak for the nose, what is actually found is a remarkably smooth curve. The end result is the unshakable feeling that you are looking at a finger on legs. But enough of this. You want something to sink your teeth into, right? So here it comes...
From where and whenever to somewhere totally different entirely - here there is also darkness with a sole penetrating light, but this time there were seven extra pairs of eyes viewing the scene. Eight orbs, fabricated from some exotic material that each gave off its own fuzzy glow into the aether, small sparks of light, specks jumping from the surfaces of the orbs to pop, to vanish, to be lost in the darkness forever, however long that might be. Each of the eight was a different colour, but one could generally see that said colours were merely various shades of red, green and blue, lumped together in groups dependent on their colour - all except one sphere, this one silently static, a brilliant white and the only one not to hold a sentient entity or two. Seven beings, plucked suddenly from whence they came, now dazed and confused, waiting for something, despite not knowing there to be something about to happen.
The eight orbs formed a perfect ring, and in the centre of this ring, there was presently action. Radiating out from the centre came four beams that travelled for a while, then hit some invisible wall just before the orbs and split, going off to make other ends meet in arcs that soon formed a perfect circle, divided into quarters by the original outbursts. Then rose, from the center of the design, a little arrow, pointing into the newly created sectors, that began to spin, slowly at first, but then picking up some considerable speed, becoming a blur as the quarters were filled with colour - two purples, one somewhat darker and outlined in cream, and two blues, one purer than the other. An agonising wait followed, during which the arrow, which those with keen eyes would have noticed bore a resemblance to the second hand of an antique clock, became just a circle of light, hovering and flickering, but slowing...
A blue. Not the pure one, but one a tad lighter than that. This colour was then mirrored by the final orb, and the spinner evaporated without notice, and peace was somewhat restored for a few more seconds...
All the competitors heard it. A faint, but just about audible tap, tap, tap, tap-
"Ladies and gentl- oh, damn, I can't exactly say that can I?"
"For goodness sake, I told-"
"Nevermind, nevermind. Right, gentlemen, we are proud to present... drumroll please..."
There was indeed a drumroll accompanying what happened next. The last red orb and the first green orb parted somewhat unexpectedly, with all the other spheres shuffling around to compensate. In this new opening, two figures could now be spotted.
"For the pleasure of pure entertainment, for some reason probably programmed into the very soul of the omnipotent mind, it is impossible to beat a good battle. And so, my friends, for the purpose aforementioned, you eight have been gathered here today in order to fight, battle, struggle, scuffle, impugn, brawl; whatever fancy word you wanna use, the end result is the same - The Battle Majestic!"
Timed to perfection, the two shadows came into the light. A billowing black cape, a monocle and a ghastly grin were the highlights of the first, the man who was once mistaken for a tree. Not that one could do that now, though some of the skin was a little gnarled and wrinkled in places, but no. And then the second - well laced shoes, an aubergine pinstripe suit, velvet gloves, and hair. Lots of it. In parody of the orbs that kept the player captive, the golden strands here dropped to the shoulders from all sides, then decided to stay there for a quick break, stopping the casual observer from seeing behind the veil. It looked a lot like someone had dressed a hairball up in a suit, and that was pretty much the case. But there was the tiniest chink in this armour, and through there one contestant had a rather disconcerting view of a twinkling eye, with no discernable colour in the iris. It was this mop that did the talking, and was about to do so again.
"So, chances are if you have a few grey cells to put together, you'll be wanting to know who on (insert world of choice here)" - not many people have the ability to pronounce brackets, but this speaker had obviously been practising - "... I am, and indeed, the identity of my colleague here. I have a couple of names, but for the time being, call me S."
In a voice worryingly like that a grandfather would use to show affection for his grandchildren, the previously silent figure, in the ebony cape spoke up:
"Yeah, he prefers to remain relatively annonymous. I've never quite gotten that - he's probably a bit shy under all that hair. Now, I'm Talis, pleased to meet you all, blah de blah whatever. We are not, I'd like to stress, the beings for whom this fight shall fill the hole of entertainment - we are under orders, from, ahem, those higher up than us, to organise and referee this fight, though I'm not sure about the referee bit."
"Well quite. The Executive like a bit of chaos, and to that end, you might notice if you've had the bright idea of surveying your fellow combatants, that everyone's that little bit different. Variety is the spice of life, they say, but I'd ammend that to the spice of death. Now, let's get to know each other a bit better, shall we? Take it away, Talis."
A spotlight clicked on, far above the orbs. This focused on a green sphere, and presently all the colour drained away, leaving its contents plainly visible.
"Goodness only knows quite what this is, and to be honest I'm not entirely sure, but Sen here is the result of bio-terrorism gone mad - take note of those pods you can see, that's where the real trouble lies. Not that Sen alone doesn't cause trouble..."
The spotlight swirled once again, settling now on the orb dictated by the spinner, turning it transparent once again.
"This is John Swift. Notice the big stick? I'm being a bit unkind, calling it a stick; it is, if one wants to get technical, an amplifier of magic, that of ice in this case. That's the main thing to watch out for here, but it isn't the only thing, I hasten to note!"
By now one could tell that the spotlight was choosing its path randomly - well, no, it wasn't, but still...
"Next we have Vexmagog. You won't believe your ears if he told you what he was capable of, or your eyes, or your nose for that matter. Be wary too of that arm of his - there's more to this dishevelled deity than meets the eye, if the eye can be trusted."
"Now for Alexander Striensand - he's a minor, folks, so not too much bloodshed and general gruesomeness in front of him, alright? Well, OK, actually he's more than capable of causing that himself, what with his power over fire and all that..."
"OK, this really is a wolf. Yeah. Um, yeah. I'm not exactly sure how one really introduces a wolf, but then this is technically a not-wolf, so I don't have to. Seriously though, watch out here - there's something going on under that fur of his..."
"Quite how someone gets the last name Helix I've no idea, but Jacob Helix here has got it attached to him, along with a nice broadsword, a love of classical music and some so called "quantum magic". Have fun with that."
"Remember folks, we can't help the way we were born, which in Blitz Wykerr's case was something of a bizarre circumstance that ended up with him having a bond more substantial than normal with his father. He's also currently "asleep", but that's not what it seems... trust me..."
"Finally, we have one Steven Taylor, who isn't sporting those rather fetching white gloves just to keep his hands warm - they've got some power in them, let me tell you - one hand to create, the other to destroy, and I'm not telling you which one's which."
The spotlight faded, and once again the hairball took centre stage.
"Right, here's how it works - you guys get set loose in some location, one of you kills someone else, the remaining seven get a nice change of scenery, another canvas to splatter red, and this continues right done 'till we get one lucky bugger, better known as a "winner" who is let loose to roam freely, with only those nice little moments at two in the morning to remember this by. Got that? If you want me to repeat anything, or to answer any questions, tough."
Light. Actual, proper light. Now the contestants could see that the orbs they inhabited were set down in what appeared to be a municipal park, if it weren't for the lack of any soul in the vicinity. Or any breeze, for that matter. That should have been noticed, for it would have given them the second inkling that something wasn't quite right. The first should have been the horizon. And the sky. Well, actually, the lack of a horizon or sky, for it appeared that this park, as normal as one would find in any town, was positioned on the interior surface of a gigantic sphere. Buildings could be seen clinging on to the walls, and as one by one the gazes of the players moved upwards, it became apparent that the light was coming from a smaller sphere, suspended in the centre of the sphere in which they stood, that was hung from a pylon protruding from a uptown tower block.
"Welcome to round number one - Wainwright Omega 57 is, I believe, the proper name for where you currently stand, but for simplicity's sake I shall refer to it as a Bubble Universe, for that is what it is. It's a colony, to be held in orbit around a body of your choice, where human settlers can live whilst the terraforming of aforementioned astronomical body takes place. Or at least, in this case, once lived. I don't know whether you can make it out from where you're all standing, but there's a bit of a hole in it... I don't, by the way, know what's outside, but out there there isn't any air, so good luck finding out. Actually, to be brutally honest, I don't know why there's still air in here, but if it's been here for twenty-three years, I doubt it'll be going anytime soon. But yes, there was a bit of an impact, meteorite I think, and that kinda caused everyone to abandon sphere, which is a pity really. This place was the first of its kind to actually be a proper town, with schools, hospitals, offices - everything. Artificial gravity keeps you to the surface, so you can walk up the walls of this sphere onto what's currently the ceiling, if that takes your fancy. It might, actually, because if you climb that pylon up there, you can go into the light source there. It used to be the nucleus of this place, regulating tempetature, humidity and all that - I bet you could have some fun up there. But I waffle unduly - too much more and I'll ruin the fun of finding it out for yourself. Go now; let the battle commence!"
With that, the duo were gone, with no sign of any mechanism through which the disappearance could have taken place. The cages, at this signal, started to move, each following its own trajectory, to deposit each player a fair distance from the others, for where would the fun be in having the bloodshed commence immediately, The Executive had asked.