The Phenomenal Fracas (GBS2G6) [Round Five: The Ambitus Phenomenon]

The Phenomenal Fracas (GBS2G6) [Round Five: The Ambitus Phenomenon]
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by Ixcalibur.

Thatix had been aware of a slight buzzing noise, but this was something that she had just attributed to getting used to her new form. She had not been aware that it had been the work of someone else until it swelled into a screeching cacophonic symphony of heartrending anguish and dreadful sorrow. For a moment the entirity of Thatix's mind was focused, bound in sadness and pain. Then as suddenly as it had come across her, the sensation faded, sending her mind freewheeling off in several different directions at once. One segment of her mind, though not particuarly germane, had been forcibly reminded of the time she had discovered her mother's body in her bedroom, her wrists bloody, slashed upon shards of her broken mirror. The pain that she had felt back then a dilute form of what had just been inflicted upon her. The Council were stronger than she remembered them being, which kind of made sense because what did she think that time would stand still while she was dead? One of them was now evidently powerful enough to force a soulcrushing depression upon someone, and that was something that had been done without the intent to kill. It was just one of them showing their hand, their powers that they had accrued. Demonstrating that Thatix didn't stand a chance against them. What a bunch of bastards.

Okay it wasn't as though they didn't have a point. Their powers had probably blossomed and flourished while she had lay rotting in a forest. It was difficult to discern approximately how much time had passed in her absense, primarily because she was dead when all that time was passing and it's hard to notice things when you are dead, but also because she'd been ripped from any frame of reference. All she had to go on was how much older the council looked, and bizzarely they looked the exact same age as when she had first saw them. But, whatever! Geez! Enough trying to figure out what year it is already! She forced her mind to move on from it's latest fixation and considered how she was going to defeat them. Her mind got no further than this when she noticed that most of them weren't even paying her any attention. Man talk about inconsiderate, you drag someone all the way out to some crazy town in the middle of the desert to kill her and then you just ignore her. That's like... well she didn't even know what that was like, but it was pretty damn impolite. Petulantly she turned her attention to the council members who had not yet wandered off.
"Hey!" she exclaimed. "I'm right here! If you want to kill me so badly then...?" She trailed off, her attention drawn to Councilman Miq. How long had Miq been a dustbin with teeth? Oh right yes of course Miq was always a bin. She was just thinking of someone else or something. How foolish of her. She looked back at the council, who were now looking at her a little bemused. "Erm... what was I saying...?" She trailed off again. "Nevermind, the point is that I am here and come and get me!"

[Image: XM5sGnt.png][Image: oD2Q6os.png][Image: 6SlFOCz.png][Image: fXUWhDZ.png][Image: C53uhZF.png][Image: BvZArpd.png][Image: lam0slf.png][Image: JmQq9We.png][Image: TGjrdJF.png][Image: zwqYyze.png][Image: OMnWsrl.png]
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by MalkyTop.

Not far beyond the gate, Eureka suddenly stumbled into a wall and leaned on it, possibly even attempted to phase through it as something seemed to just dig through her head, dance around for a bit with no regard to the safety of such important organs as her brain, then waltz right out of her ear. It reminded her of the small feeling of depression and helplessness she had felt when she realized she could just be tossed around dimensions by one guy as easily as she herself could toss an apple hand to hand. It reminded her of the small jumps her heart made when she was almost certain there was somebody just right next to her and he was about to drag her further into the dark alleyway to quietly silence her. It was extremely inconvenient. Especially since as soon as she was able to shake it off and continue walking, someone just randomly came up to her.

Eureka had no idea who he was, having paid only the slightest attention to the introductions, but whoever he was didn't really matter much. She just made some hasty assumptions about him as soon as he showed up. Didn't make introductions, ergo, impolite. It didn't matter that he might have thought the Prisdigenater or whatever did it for him. To Eureka, he was impolite.

His sense of style was horrible. It stood out waaaay too much. True, he was mostly wearing the same as she. A sweatshirt, scarf and jeans. But really, orange? Purple? Blue? Totally not good for hiding in alleyways. It did not matter that he probably didn't really think about hiding in alleyways when he had chosen his clothes for the day or that it was possible that orange, purple and blue would be perfect camouflage in at least one universe. Eureka just labeled him as moronically lackadaisical and naively carefree.

And then there was his request. Eureka glanced at Riko. She supposed he was one of those people who didn't beat around the bush. Asking her to do something for him especially without offering something in return. Greedy. Selfish. Rude. She already did rude, didn't she?

Okay, to be fair, he was only asking for something simple. But really, and anybody could see it coming, if she let him continue to demand from her, he'll keep asking more and more of her until finally she'd be nothing more than his dogged employee. Who wasn't paid. On the other hand, if she refused, who was to say he wouldn't harbor any grudge and try to get back at her? Show her why 'nobody refuses meeeee!' and such? But then again, by showing weakness, she'd be letting people walk all over her. But then again, she tends to let people do that anyways just so that they could leave sooner. But then again...

Riko's brow slightly furrowed as he wondered why the cloth mage was taking quite a while to answer. And why was she glaring at him like that? He was sure there wasn't any sort of disgusting blemish for her eyes to be drawn to...? Maybe?

Suddenly, she grabbed a tight hold on his hood and, as he stumbled in surprise, his sweatshirt suddenly lengthened slightly, even got a little baggier. As he tried to murmur out his thanks, he couldn't help but notice Eureka was now rushing ahead of him. He briefly wondered if he had insulted her somehow but then realized there could be something behind them and turned around.

There, a little ways behind, was Muriegro. Riko made a few assumptions of his own and thought that this was who Eureka was hurrying away from. Muriegro, noticing that Riko was mostly alone again, started picking up speed to catch up with him. Riko, a little unnerved, thought that there was power in numbers and started walking faster to catch up with Eureka. Eureka glanced back and saw Riko still following her, added 'creepy stalker' to her list of assumptions, and walked even faster until she was on the line between speed-walking and jogging. It would have been a little amusing to watch if there hadn't been an apocalyptic-style event going on.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by Anomaly.

Syvex clung to the side of the aqueduct and waited for Blackmask to make his entrance. He noted a high-pitched ringing noise, but attributed it to some nearby machinery or something. Nothing out of the ordinary, though it seemed to be getting louder. He then noticed Blackmask walk into the building and begin to examine a vase of some sort. Avast. Syvex jumped through the portal, falling from the ceiling and grabbing Ripper with his numerous claws before the pirate could respond. Syvex never intended to kill him, of course; he was simply trying to incite fear. Before he could jump back through the portal or otherwise escape, however, the ringing noise increased to an intense cacophony, causing both to drop to the ground in pain. Syvex weakly lifted an arm to open another portal, but before he could finish, the pirate managed to flip the switch on his jetpack, enveloping Syvex in flames. He managed to open a portal once the noise subsided and he regained his senses, and he promptly crawled through and emerged back under the aqueduct. His severe burns made it difficult for him to keep a grip on the wall, but he had already begun to regenerate.

Syvex, you idiot! Are you just trying to get killed? You're trying to make allies, not enemies! Ambushing the scientists at Interstice for entertainment is one thing. But now you have a jetpack pirate who wants you dead, and who knows about the others? Focus! Syvex thought to himself as he regenerated, going back over which competitors would be safe to approach. Blackmask was definitely his enemy at this point. Maybe the cloth mage? That didn't seem entirely unreasonable. Syvex waited a few more minutes for his body to be whole enough for movement, then climbed back up the aqueduct and proceeded down the path. Pausing on the opposite side of the building Syvex saw Finch in the dark alley. She was being followed by Riko, clearly trying to escape him. The scientist, in turn, was being followed by the cultist. Looks like I can help out most involved here. Except the scientist, naturally.

Syvex opened a portal two meters above a nearby rooftop, straining to keep in intact from this distance. He then slithered down the side of the building, closer to the chase. Muriegro was at the back of the line, making him the first target. Syvex pushed himself further and created a second portal directly under the cultist's feet, dropping him on the rooftop. Riko looked back, puzzled by the sudden disappearance of Muriegro, when the portal was suddenly opened under him as well. You wanted to talk? Go right ahead. Finch noticed the disappearance of both the scientist and the cultist, confused but also relieved she was no longer being followed. Syvex continued down the side of the building and towards her, deciding it would be prudent to attempt an alliance while it was still convenient.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by granolaman.

Tamerlane dwelt on what the Prestidigitator had said. “No one leaves here until one of you dies.” What did it mean? Was this merely a contest? A game? Did this all-powerful man go to so much trouble to hunt down men and women for no purpose other than gladiatorial combat? He didn't have time for this. The King had given him a mission to complete and the King is not a man to be kept waiting. Those that defied the King end up dead, or worse. Tamerlane shuddered at the thought of those who weren't given their sweet release. Thank the gods the King couldn't get his family.

Family… Tamerlane's mind flashed to memories of a moonlit caravan. Broken bodies strewn everywhere, his parent's throats slashed through and his own hand holding the knife. A cackling mind-mover standing over the young boy as the realization of what he'd done crawls onto his face. That laugh, that insane laughter… The pain became unbearable, the boy's scream sounded across the desert.

Wait a minute, these aren't my memories. Tamerlane snapped back to reality, a cold sweat forming on his body. A nightmare, I've let my mind wander and the other contestants have already begun their attack. He glanced across the arena. Before him, a towering city reflected the moon's pale light, below him, the vast expanses of a desert stretched beyond the horizon. His attention turned to the contenders. Most of them had already wandered into the city; only the swarm of glowing insects and the trash bin remained. I've let myself be distracted. I have the battlefield advantage; I should have killed one of them by now instead of playing catch-up. He looked across the edge of the aqueduct. It was quite the long distance to the sandy dunes; his powers couldn't extend that far and it would take too long to climb down. Along the walkway, piles of sand had been swept up and deposited by the wind. I'll have to settle with this for now. It'll be more than enough to dispose with either of these entities.

Tamerlane concentrated his mind and focused his willpower. The sand began to twist into the air towards his hand. The grains slid up his sleeve and settled along his arm, enveloping it and securing themselves tightly. Around his fist, the sand started taking the form of an enormous scythe head as wide as his shoulders, as long as his leg and as sharp as a blade. He took care to move the sand slowly, trying not to agitate his arm, already raw from his encounters earlier today.

Now the swarm was yelling at the bin. An odd sight indeed, but it showed that the swarm was at least cognitive. Neither of these things seemed to be the cause of the memory (my memory?), but Tamerlane was pressed for time and couldn't go hunting down the one responsible, he'd just have to let it go, for now. Of the two before him, the trash can seemed the easiest target, and the cloud of insects had already grown increasingly angered towards it. Bad luck, mimic, Tamerlane began walking towards the dispute. Tendrils of sand flicked up at his coattail as the blade finished materializing. But the King is waiting and I cannot return until one of you is dead. And the King is not a man to be kept waiting.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by Not The Author.

Miq didn't really have any clue what was going on. She'd been hanging around in a back alley when she was suddenly somewhere else; indoors, judging by the lack of airflow and sunless heat. But that hadn't lasted long, quickly replaced by some bridge high above some sandy wasteland. She'd dealt with teleportation before, and tended to get a bit fuzzy-headed afterwards. Still, it was a new place, with the promise of more shiny objects to add to her modest collection...

Some man continued to yammer away, and she found herself on the outskirts of a city. Kind of an odd city, what with the lack of noise. Usually there'd be people and cars and golems and probably an airship or two what with the apparent size of the place, but aside from a few distant shouts and odd cries bouncing off her aluminum exterior the place seemed abandoned. I mean, sure, there was that one kinda excruciatingly painful noise, but that wasn't really a noise because it wasn't coming from anywhere. And there were those other guys, sure, but there were only seven of them and didn't exactly constitute a population.

The fist thing Miq did was exactly the sort of thing she usually did when surrounded by people: stop smiling and blend in. It seemed to work; those around her quickly left to explore the city, and paid little attention to the innocent wastebasket.


...Most of them, anyway.

The Lady that was a Swarm of Insects was difficult for Miq to gauge. She appeared to be a person, and Miq did not eat people without good reason. On the other, she seemed fairly angry and was asking for something and was also bugs! Miq tended to attract bugs, and while they weren't the tastiest of morsels, there were a lot of them just sort of floating there. And these ones were twinkly! That had to count for something. Maybe just a couple...

And then there was the other guy, the Man in the Coat. He wasn't angry, exactly, but he was more focused on Miq than the bug lady was. Miq did not like to be scrutinized; no Mimic did. It went against the entire point of being a Mimic in the first place! The man was a bit... disconcerting, as well; there was just some intensity about him that struck Miq as get away from this guy as quickly as possible. Also there was that nasty-looking blade thing forming up on his arm. That couldn't be good.

"Ah-ha!" The Bug Lady seemed to have shifted her attention to the Coat Man. "It figures you would be the first to move against me. Chancellor Miq was always... Always, um..." But the Coat Man wasn't paying attention to her. He was focused on Miq, who realized that just sitting there would probably not be conducive for her continued survival, and chose that moment to bound through the archway leading into the city proper.
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by MalkyTop.

Eureka was glad that there was nobody to bother her anymore. At least right now. Knowing how things worked, there would probably be someone else coming over soon to demand some sort of help with fashion design or whatever. She quickly ducked into a nice, dark alleyway, noted that the two buildings beside it had some helpful (or not-so-helpful) labels for some reason, and almost immediately tripped over a body and hit her head on a fallen trashcan.

The plain woman wobbled up to her feet after groaning on the filthy ground a little, still feeling woozy and quite unlucky. Rubbing her forehead didn't help at all. She didn't know why she did that. Instead of massaging the pain out, it made her head throb even more. Stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid...still, she was thankful that her hand didn't come out bleeding at least.

Eureka decided that she would employ her philosophy with people with this horrible headache, that is, by ignoring it, it would leave her alone eventually. It was the only thing she could do, honestly. Unlike with people, she couldn't exactly tell it to go away and hope it complied or help it out with some favor so it would leave. Ha, sentient headaches. Now that would be stupid.

In any case, her pretending that the headache wasn't there wasn't making the headache go away but she doggedly continued pretending and stared down at the body she tripped over, pretending that she wasn't feeling all sorts of dizzy and pretending that tripping over a random dead body wasn't disgusting at all. It seemed he had died of blood loss, judging by the blood that was on the ground near him and was now also all over her shoes. Either that, or it was a lack of head that killed him. Completely ignoring every strict rule of forensics, Eureka nudged the headless body a little so that she could see the wound better. There was a big gaping hole around where his heart would be, so maybe he died from a lack of a heart as well. He had a really nice hat, though.

The clothes mage stooped over to pick up the hat gingerly, trying to pick it up in a way that would give her the least contact with the almost-dried blood. Some of it dripped down the brim. Despite all the blood, it was a very nice hat. Nice fabric, classy look, even a little silk band around it...a sort of dirt color. Stood out a little, she supposed. People who wore hats probably looked like they were hiding something and wait what was that.

It turned out that this sudden paranoid reaction wasn't merely paranoia. The thing that had killed the man hadn't left yet. It looked vaguely like a dinosaur except she was sure dinosaurs didn't have that many teeth and their claws certainly weren't that sharp and usually she only saw them as mounted bones--

The beast leapt. Eureka, still dizzy, had raised the hat up, instinctively toughening it to a razor sharpness, but her instincts were much too sluggish and damn she was about to die from blood loss or lack of head or heart but then something fell from the rooftops and killed the thing quite quickly and efficiently.

The thing that killed the thing turned towards her, teeth glistening in a grin. Eureka had not moved a bit and decided that her instinctive reaction would still be put to good use.

Syvex had of course seen the monster long before but reasoned that hey, it hadn't attacked yet. No reason for him to interfere. As soon as the woman noticed it, he had leapt down like a glorious hero, making sure to be as flashy and heroic as possible. Then he turned and tried to make his grin encouraging. It didn't seem to work. The cloth mage still looked quite stiff.

"Hello," he tried, attempting to be polite. "How are you?"

Eureka said nothing. She was trying to be sure that she wasn't hallucinating and that for some reason, her mind was being spiteful and showing her a monster when in actuality it was a person in front of her.

Syvex waited for a moment before continuing. "I'm glad I caught up before anything serious your hand bleeding?"

Eureka looked down at her hand. It was indeed bleeding. Apparently she had clutched the sharpened hat too hard and now she had cut her hand. Great. Cool. Perfect. Eureka dropped it and it buried itself in the ground as she dug around for her roll of bandages. As soon as she felt it, a piece snaked out and tied itself around her hand. "Okay, so yeah, you're one of the other guys I think," Eureka sighed, the throbbing in her hand somehow sharpening her concentration. "Yeah, great. What do you want."

"I suppose you're wondering why I didn't just let that kill you...I'm not all that bad. I'm just searching for an alliance. A 'look-out-for-each-other' kind of thing."

Eureka almost rolled her eyes but belayed it for a moment. Even though this was most certainly a set-up for a backstabbing, it was actually comforting to know where exactly the backstabber was. And as long as this thing kept up its facade of helpfulness, at least it would be helpful and protect her sometimes. She supposed it meant that she would have to protect it too sometimes or whatever though. Though actually, if you kept your enemies closer, then even if you knew where they were, didn't that still make it easier for them to backstab you?

Syvex looked a little impatient, or at least bored. "Yeah, sure," she replied dismissively. His smile grew again. "Excellent."

Eureka hoped this wasn't one of those deal with the devil dealies.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by SleepingOrange.

Laguja pressed its priest to keep up with the scientist; the brain-picking it intended to do was not impossible over distance, but it was faster and more accurate if the pincushion didn't have to waste power and focus on spanning large gaps. Muriegro sped as Riko did, who in turn was attempting to keep up with Eureka while avoiding the silent cultist. A refrain of Yakety Sax might have been more appropriate to the scene than the erie silence occasionally punctuated by disconcerting shrieks, right up until the darkness opened a gaping maw and the robed figure dropped into it, followed immediately by the scientist being devoured by his own shadowy portal.

Both fell a short distance; Muriegro, as the taller and more athletic, merely stumbled slightly, but Riko's knees buckled and he collapsed. The pair seemed to be at the top of a tall building, which gave an impressive view of much of the surrounding city. Several taller buildings were dotted around, however, creating holes in the panorama and limiting the strategic value of the position.

The priest turned his head silently, hand still in his pouch; Laguja had most of what it needed, or at the very least enough, and began reshaping the way Riko saw the world.

Riko hadn't even had time to yell with surprise before he was crashing down on an unfamiliar roof. He landed hard and collapsed, grabbing his ankle. It didn't feel broken, but there was almost certainly a sprain... Didn't he have a dose of that soft tissue repair accelerant somewhere? As he patted his pockets absently, he heard someone speaking to him and looked up.

The one the Prestidigitator had called High Priest Muriegro was pulling back his hood; rather than the scarred savage Riko had expected based on his description, the man before him was a fine-boned and nervous-looking young man. His eyes were narrowed with worry as he spoke, and when he closed his mouth, he tended to bite his lip.
"What just happened?"

Riko of course didn't know, so he just shrugged and stood up. He'd honestly been a bit worried that the man he'd taken for a psychotic cultist had been planning on attacking, but the confused figure in front of him was making no aggressive move and seemed more intent on conversing than battling. He might make a more likely ally than the gruff cloth-mage had proved to be; still, he vaguely remembered the host saying some... thhhhh...

The pincushion didn't swear so much as emote annoyance at itself. It had momentarily forgotten that the bastard that had put them here had described for everyone to see the nature of its fleshy tool; it was the work of a moment to cull the troublesome memory from the chemist's overstuffed mind, but it was an unforgivably stupid mistake. Overwriting it was similarly no problem, but it was frustrating.

Remembered... Remembered that Muriegro had been described as some sort of witch doctor, he thought. A magical healer of some sort; really, Riko couldn't recall why he hadn't sought the man out sooner: he seemed to be the only contestant that wasn't an utter psychopath, a monster, or solitary and rude. The scientist flashed a smile at the nervous priest. "So... I saw you talking to someone; do you still have a connection to the world outside?"

He didn't see any reason to lie right now. He waved the communicator vaguely, nodding. "Yeah, it works on-..." Trustworthy or not, Muriegro didn't seem like there was any way he'd understand quantum communications technology. Or radios for that matter. He trailed off lamely with an "Er, yes I do."

Laguja was overjoyed. This was better than it could have hoped for! Not only was it proving easy to subtly nudge its target's emotions the way to wanted, but he had communication with someone outside the battle. If it was going to take its revenge on the false god who had put it here, that would doubtless prove an invaluable tool, doubly so if the scientist's friends were powerful. It let a smile creep into Riko's perception of the priest. "That's amazing!"
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by Wojjan.

Reserve I guess.
It's too late on the day for me to make sense, and churning out posts late in the evening never benefitted me. I'll finish this post tomorrow.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur.
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by Anomaly.

That could've gone a lot worse. Syvex made his way around the decapitated corpse and back out of the dark alley, Finch following behind in no particular hurry. The serpent noticed the expression of unease on her face... or was it disgust? He was never very good at reading human expressions. "I can tell you still don't trust me in the slightest. And why should you? Is there anybody who can trust a giant snake monster, even after it saves their life? I guess you're thinking that I'm going to betray you somewhere along the line. I could just try to reassure you that I won't, but what's the point? You probably wouldn't believe me anyway. Especially after being on the run from a couple of corporations for... how long? Long enough to make you paranoid. In any case, I'm not that enthusiastic about killing, unlike some of the people here no doubt are. I'm sure someone will die soon enough without us being too deeply involved. We should just try to stay alive and whoa wait where are we going?"

Syvex stopped rambling and took another look around. They had wandered off along the path, and Syvex hadn't really been paying attention. In this level of light his field of vision was essentially a 75-foot sphere, and right at the edge of this range, clinging to the underside of the aqueduct, was a massive creature, completely invisible from the topside. The details were fuzzy, but the thing appeared to be some sort of... scorpion, maybe? It seemed to be hanging onto the inside with eight legs, each ending in some sort of barb or spike. It possessed two massive claws at the end of its "arms" as well. Additionally, the creature had two tails with stingers, which Syvex assumed probably contained extremely deadly venom. He didn't like the notion of that; one thing he wasn't immune to was poison. It had an unnaturally large maw filled with sharp teeth underneath a plethora of eyes, and the whole thing was covered in some sort of heavily-armored carapace.

"Let's... not go this way."

"What? Why?" Eureka asked, wondering what the snake was planning.

"Just trust me on this one."

Under normal circumstances, Syvex wouldn't hesitate to continue on and kill the colossal beast. However, holding the portals open that far apart for long enough to send both men through had taken their toll, and he would not be as effective in fighting. Coupled with the danger the creature posed with its stingers, it was understandable that he would not want to fight it.

Syvex turned around and retraced their path through the city, Finch following in puzzlement. What had caused him to turn around so quickly? Had he seen something she hadn't? Was it a trick of some sort? With the prevalence of those monsters, it didn't seem unlikely that there could have been another up ahead, so it was probably safer to keep following. Syvex didn't really know where he was going other than back towards the entrance, but perhaps something interesting would happen, or maybe he could get some others to assist with the horrible beast that lay in wait. At the very least he could wait for his energy to recharge so he could take the thing on himself.

When they got "in range" of the city's entrance, they both noticed Tamerlane approaching Miq with his sand scythe, preparing to end the battle prematurely. "Wait here, I'll be right back," Syvex announced before hurrying down the side of the aqueduct and out of Eureka's sight. Tamerlane's back was, fortunately, turned to the edge of the aqueduct, and he was unaware of Syvex's approach until his scythe unexpectedly burst into a shower of sand. "Trying to kill someone when the battle's just begun? Now that's not very sporting," Syvex said after discharging a small burst of dark energy at the former weapon. His smile widened even farther. "If you're going to make enemies, at least take them on in a fair fight."

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by Ixcalibur.

Thatix's attention was pulled away from the garbage bin that was Chancellor Miq to the sandblasted Chancellor Tamerlane. He stood, an expression of grim determination visible underneath the sweeping brim of his hat, his arm encased in a razor sharp scythe blade which for some reason appeared to occasionally drip small piles of sand across the aqueduct. Well isn't this just typical Thatix thought accusingly. Moments later she answered her own question with a resounding yes that this was just typical. This typical scenario was a scenario that she could expect to see play out time and time again as she attempted to pick off the Council one by one. They had a massive advantage, well a series of massive advantages actually. First up they knew the turf, well presumably. She kind of hoped that they wouldn't have teleported her to somewhere they had no prior knowlegde of because that would be dumb and it would make her feel sad that they had killed her. Secondly they also had the advantage of numbers, which would make it difficult if any number of them decided to stop arsing around and actually attack her. Also they had the advantage of surprise; her tricks and skills would be well known to them but their abilities were all but alien to her, after all Tamerlane... with sand powers? To the best of her recollection most of his magic had gone into aiding crops to grow large and succulent and to put it another way he wasn't exactly one of their heavy hitters. Yet here he was, sandscythe and all. Oh god whatever. Get on with it already Thatix, she urged herself.

Thatix stopped swirling, and reformed, shaping her swarm so that her hands stretched out ahead of her, as if to focus a spell. This was not strictly necessary, but was something her new body did on instinct, dictated by the idea that this was how people stood when they were casting a spell. It was a little disconcerting to see her standing like this, her feet braced against a ground that she wasn't actually standing on, but before she could cast any spells a large black serpent made of shadows, leapt up from over the edge of the aqueduct. A moment later she mentally corrected herself; Chancellor Syvex had leapt up from over the edge of the aqueduct. She filed away the mental picture she had momentarily had of Chancellor Syvex (a plump man with a bad back and a walking stick) as absurd, he had always been a crazy shadow snake. She was unsure how a Council could effectively operate without a crazy shadow snake. The more pressing issue was that Syvex and Tamerlane were fighting one another. Things were rapidly beginning to make less and less sense. Why were they attacking one another? Some kind of civil war? And if that was the case then what was she doing here, she wasn't a member of the council the last time that she checked and if she had been then going to war with them was probably a mistake. Even swirling around in a soothing manner wasn't really helping this time. She flew away from the entrance to town, leaving the battling chancellors to it. She would come back and help them kill one another as soon as she could wrap her head around just what was going on. And for that she needed the advice of her inside man, who had aided her in the war against the council. The question was, where in the hell was he?

[Image: XM5sGnt.png][Image: oD2Q6os.png][Image: 6SlFOCz.png][Image: fXUWhDZ.png][Image: C53uhZF.png][Image: BvZArpd.png][Image: lam0slf.png][Image: JmQq9We.png][Image: TGjrdJF.png][Image: zwqYyze.png][Image: OMnWsrl.png]
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by MrGuy.

Ripper Blackmask chuckled, kicking in a chest of drawers and scouring the splintered remains for anything good. "Clothes, clothes, clothes... wreck me, what's this?" The pirate pulled out a gleaming necklace, nodding slowly. "Oh, this'll do me fine. I'll keep this'n for later." Blackmask shoved the necklace into a pocket and, having thoroughly looted this room, ambled out, only to come face-to-face with what appeared to be a four-foot-high, heavily deformed squid. "Blimey, never heard of anything like that before. Alright, then, mate, let's see what y'got."

Blackmask drew the pistol and fired at the squid three times, creating a gaping wound in its head. The monster responded by emitting a high-pitched buzzing sound, and the wound slowly sealed itself. "Bloody hell, what just happened here?" The pirate holstered the gun and whipped out the sword in a flash. "I don't know what I'm dealing with here, but not even that's gonna save you from a blade!" The pirate rushed the squid, which lashed out with its tentacles. Ripper just grinned. "Y'think I can't take a wee floggin', mister? Well, if you think you can do a thing with those little rubbery legs of yours, you're right addled!" Blackmask responded by slashing the squid right down the middle; its top half slowly slid off of the bottom half, leaving the bloodless wound in place.

Blackmask chuckled again. "That's what you get for messin' with me, lubber. Hm?" The pirate's attention turned towards a firefly that had landed on a nearby wall. That's right odd... I haven't seen oh god. The pirate backed off, not knowing how precisely to kill a swarm of fireflies, particularly when coalesced into a single pyromantic entity. Several more fireflies landed on the wall one by one, eventually forming the outline of a woman. For a single instant, Blackmask quivered. "Belay that, lass! I didn't do anything to you, hear me?"

Thatix stared back with a multitude of miniscule eyes. "Councilman Blackmask, it's me, Thatix! Remember?" Curious, I absolutely know that he was my inside man... oh, maybe he's forgotten! He was always quite forgetful, wasn't he? The swarm paused for a moment. Yes, yes, of course he was. I'll jog his memory, I suppose. "You were my 'man on the inside'! Nice to see you've managed to keep the ruse going all these years!"

Blackmask stared back, not knowing what to make of this. On the one hand, this woman (if you could call her that) was clearly insane. On the other hand, she was also one of the more worrisome opponents, and lacking a clear alternative, an alliance was probably the best way to deal with this. "Um, yes, right! A fair treasure to see you again, me hearty!" A pause; the pirate's natural instinct was to lead, but any missteps could easily shatter the illusion in Thatix's mind, and Blackmask was quite fearful of such an event. At the moment, it was best to defer. "So, miss, I'm at your service. What say you, then?"
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by Wojjan.

"Do you mind if I made a call?" "Not in the least." Riko moved away towards the other side of the building they were just now dropped onto. Not too far, because the mere thought a doctor would listen in on his conversation hadn't crossed his mind.

The phone beeped.

The phone beeped again.

The phone beeped a third time.

"Darling, where are you? The army just called, and said you went missing. What happened? Are you safe?"
"Honeycomb, I'm fine. Just know that I'm safe, the others are picking me up as soon as they get here, and I'm just going to return safely, like I promised. Don't worry, because if you worry, I start worrying aswell. Just stay calm, and I'll return in a while, safe and sound?"
"I always do."
"What do I tell to Joni when she gets back from school?"
"Tell her daddy's on a mission, and he'll come back once he's beaten all the bad guys... "

Muriegro wasn't the least interested in the discussion, and the words he passively picked up didn't linger long. The apathic priest did what for a man in a complete, serene standstill would equal twiddling his thumbs. Laguja, however, was all too keen on following the conversation, if only to stock up on facts about that wonderfully manipulable idiot it chose to side with.
"...Now, I gotta go, 'cause I have this man here I totally ditched to talk to you. Bye Honeycomb, I love you!"
The amiable voice of the young priest spoke up after Riko once again was aware of his existence. "The wife, huh?" "Yeah." Before the question Muriegro wanted to more or less avoid was posed, Riko grasped at his wallet to reveal and unravel a bundle of pictures of a slightly bony woman with hair that only to one infatuated by the strongest of loves could be recognised as the colour of honey, hence the mane. "She's... perfect, really." Riko mused over the picture a while before being reminded once again of the conversation. "You say you have contact to the outside. Can you save us?" "I'll do my best. Hey, we were chucked upon a desert by a guy with a glass of brandy, how much more can I screw up?" They both shared a dim laugh.
Riko immediately started to think more of this witch doctor. Sure, he might be a quack, but he was such a lively, kind, respectable man for that not to bother him. He and his newfound colleague started to head towards the elevator, hoping for a way to get down.
The elevator was anything but ordinary. The buttons adorning the walls had no numbers or floors, but letters, all scrambled without any pattern whatsoever. The dim halogenic light reflected on the shiny white walls and brilliant doors alike. Not overthinking the issue, Riko pressed the bottommost button, labeled 'O'. The elevator shrieked into action, commencing its fierce drop from top to bottom through the entire building. It passed all of the floors on its way down, and although people no doubt were waiting, it didn't intend to stop in the least. The elevator fell faster, faster, beyond the shaft it belonged in and through the ominous portal gaping at the bottom.
he shock proved fatal enough for even the athletic priest to lose his balance. The doors opened as columns of bloodstained pillars indifferently greeted the pair, and scientist and priest crawled to their feet. After wandering about in what they presumed to be some sort of abandoned lobby they were caught by surprise by a creeping monstrosity.

quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur.
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by MalkyTop.

Eureka watched, a little bewildered, as her sort-of-teammate ran off and left her behind to go fight some other guy. If he was just going to go gallivanting around alone, fighting dudes randomly, then what was the point of making an alliance? I mean seriously, she had possibly risked a lot to even follow this crazy snake-lizard thing around and suddenly, he just says 'Wait here' and leaves her alone? That's not how you treat an ally in combat.

The woman huffed a little, looking somewhat like a girl who had gone along with her chores and didn't get the expected allowance. Sitex or whatever had just acted like he didn't need her. Which meant that yes, the alliance was a trick of some sort, either because the stupid lizard thing wanted to keep her close for an easy kill or because he pitied her. Oh my, cloth? What a wimpy power, poor thing. How can she even live with herself without having stupid black laser things and incredible animalistic strength. Boo hoo.

Eureka watched Syvex fight the sand guy. She watched firefly girl go off somewhere else. She decided that this was stupid and that she felt uncomfortable just standing around in the open, practically screaming for someone else to come along and snipe her or something.

The clothesmage often thought herself to be at least trustworthy. Everybody else, of course, were idiots, but she kept promises. Of course, in a world dominated by liars, the liars would become paranoid about other liars lying about lying so nobody trusted her to keep government secrets or to not turn them over to the police. And because everybody else was so paranoid, she always ended up getting attacked or something even though she hadn't even done anything but that isn't the point. The point is, Eureka kept promises. Even if they were to stupid giant black faceless lizard things.

Buuuuut, if he didn't need her, then she didn't need to stick around. Obviously, he was doing fine without her. Didn't need his back scratched. And if that was the case, she could just leave. They could meet up again later. In fact, she was sure they would. And if he happened to get into trouble while she was away, then it wasn't her fault. Sorry I wasn't there for you, things happen, bet you wished you had me then, didn't you?

And she would be fine by herself because she was smart and cunning and had her own awesome powers to get her out of fights unlike some lizards.

Her mind made up, Eureka just turned around and left. She wasn't just going to stick around and feel sorry for herself. That was stupid.

She hung close around to the alleys, crept past some house that had voices coming out of it, and kicked open the door of the building next to that. The building had been helpfully labeled 'BAR.' Usually, bars were stupid and noisy and loud but considering that most everybody was dead it should be empty and it would be a good place to hide out and wait for this silly thing to end and also have something to drink.

There was one more person than expected inside. It was another thing Eureka had never seen before. Such things seemed to have been cropping up lately.

This particular thing at first glance looked like another monster. But as she got ready to defend herself, she couldn't help but notice that it was standing behind the counter.

And wearing clothes.

And cleaning one of the glasses.

Eureka's scarf lowered again and she approached the...bartender warily. Who would hire a...goat...mummy...thing as a bartender? Someone insane, possibly.

"Hello," the goat-bartender said politely, still cleaning that same glass. Somehow she was sure he was doing that just to look busy.

"Hi," she replied, still standing. She wasn't about to get caught unawares sitting down. Not that she was going to be caught unawares standing up, just that it was easier to fight standing up than sitting down, or at least that's what she believed.

The bartender continued boring a hole through the glass. "Want a drink?"

"You do realize that people are dying all over the place right outside and there are monsters and there's this stupid battle to the death going on, don't you?"

"Mm," the bartender replied, apparently not really caring what happened outside the bar. For some reason, that bothered her. "Sounds like you need a drink."

Eureka sighed, coming across as rather cross. "Alright. But nothing alcoholic, got it? And if you do something funny with the drink, I'll cut off your head."

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by Ixcalibur.

Thatix swirled around her contact, who if she had cared to check she would have seen him impotently trying to swat her away from him. Thatix was however focused elsewhere, on her past with Chancellor Blackmask. It wasn’t like they were good friends, she had only really put up with him because he was well-placed inside the Council of Elders. Other than that she’d found him pretty intolerable, constantly arranging meetings just to bitch about the missteps he felt the Council was making in their rules and regulations. He had explained his abilities to her at one point but she hadn’t really paid attention because she was pretty sure she wouldn’t have to fight him so why the hell should she care if he could blast lightning or whatever. Ugh, seriously, some people. Anyway why the hell was she reminiscing about this, she suddenly demanded of herself. Maybe because it was making slightly more sense than the crazy situation she found herself in at the moment, and speaking of which she should really ask Chancellor Blackmask about that… oh and hey look at who should just happen to be nearby…
“Hey Blacky.” She said, reforming into vaguely human form outlined against the window of the room. “What’s going on? Is the Council like going into some kind of civil war or something?”

Ripper was getting frustrated. If it wasn’t for the fact that he had a very tenuous understanding of precisely why the fireflies were allying with him, he would have been making more of a fuss about the treatment he was receiving from them. As it was he just had to feel it out until he had a better idea what was going on in Thatix’s broken mind.
“Aye?” he said hesitantly.

“That’s what I thought!” Thatix snapped cheerfully. “I thought that, just before when I was trying to figure out what was going on, but then I was like what am I doing here then, and actually what am I doing here?”

Ripper was silent for a couple of seconds, faltering to come up with an explanation for a problem that he didn’t even understand. Though her expression was not visible he was getting a sense that Thatix was probably frowning at him. He decided to go out on a limb.
“I brought you here.” He said, hesitantly. “I thought you’d want to get in on the action.”

“Oh hey that’s cool as well I guess.” Thatix said, approvingly. “But like that guy before; The Prestidigiwhatever... like what was his deal? Oh man I don’t even want to know. Let’s take this one thing at a time if you don’t mind. I’m guessing you probably have some kind of cool plan to take out the rest of the rest of the council or something?” Ripper hesitated, he was being asked a lot of questions here, and he wasn’t sure he could guess an approximate answer for this one. “Oh whatever… It can’t be that hard can it? They’re already fighting one another; we just go down there and pick them off one by one while they’re busy with one another. Then off we go back to Itharia and I rule over the place with an iron fist, or iron fireflies if that is an appropriate metaphor, which it probably isn’t but whatever. Metaphors are hard.” She paused and shot a glance at Chancellor Blackmask. “That’s right, right?”

Ripper sighed inwardly, it seemed that the fireflies had cleared up most of her questions with minimal input from him, and was still on his side. This was clearly a good outcome.
“Aye.” He said, with a grin of relief, but found himself talking to empty air. After a moment, she reappeared at the window.
“Are you coming?” she asked. “Chancellor Finch is looking a bit exposed at the moment. With good timing we can totally ambush her and then it’s like one council member down which is totally a step in the right direction.”

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Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by MalkyTop.

Ripper managed to stop himself from saying 'Who?' The last thing he needed was the firefly lady getting all suspicious on him. Finch...Finch...Eureka Finch. That cloth girl. "How'd ye know--"

"She passed by us while we were talking," Thatix said rather impatiently, somehow conveying a toe-tap without any toes. "Now come on! Let's go before we lose her or something! She went just right next door - that's the bar, so she could be like, dead drunk right now, just waiting to be killed!"

The pirate was still a little bewildered, what with everything happening much too quickly for his tastes. He was the type who'd rather be in control of things, meaning that he would rather like being on top of everything. Right now, he definitely wasn't feeling on the top at all. More like in the middle. He needed more time to actually catch up with everything (pretending to be a Chancellor, pretending to be a spy for some fireflies who were, thankfully, not very smart, pretending to know whatever it was the lass was babbling about...) but unfortunately, Thatix had just flown off in a hurry to kill a possibly drunk Chancellor-Finch. With a 'Shouldn' we plan out a course o' action?' that he was sure she didn't hear, Ripper followed her.

It was hard for a firefly, even a group of them, to open a door. Thatix solved that problem easily by just blasting it down with a large fireball. This caused Eureka to choke on her drink and jump up on her feet again.

"I knew it, I knew someone'd try to attack me. 'Ooooh, cloth powers, so scary,' I'll show you scary..." One paranoid muttering was completely drowned out by another's delusional cries. Thatix tried to make a threatening pose in the opening that used to house a door but instead just looked like an oddly well-choreographed group of fireflies. "Chancellor Finch! You'll regret the day you came up against me!"

"Oh dear, someone better be paying for that door," the bartender tsked.

If Eureka had enough time and wasn't jittery from all the adrenaline flowing, she would have wondered what the hell Thatix was talking about. She would have wondered why someone was calling her by her last name when she wasn't that old. She would have wondered what kind of idiot thought that she even cared enough about them to 'go up against them' or whatever. Actually she did think all of those things right as she took out another strip of bandage and flung it towards the cloud of fireflies like a whip. In an instant, it was stretching, almost as wide as a blanket, and started enveloping Thatix until she was encased in a little ball of bandages. At that moment, Ripper appeared as well.

"Hey, where'd--" His question was answered before it was finished when the hollow ball of bandages started flaming. Eureka cursed and withdrew her strip. While she was stomping out the fire at the end, Thatix continued crowing and taunting.

"You think your stupid bandage powers can stop me?" She announced for everybody to hear.

"If you are going to fight, I prefer you go outside," the bartender interrupted tersely as he continued cleaning that same glass. Nobody paid him any attention.

"Poor, foolish Chancellor Finch. You will be so easy to kill. It's a wonder you managed to get into the Council in the first place!"

Despite panicking, knowing full well that she was at a severe disadvantage up against someone with fire magic, Eureka managed to shoot back, "What the hell are you talking about!"

Thatix did not listen to her (because it was obviously a trick! A stupid one at that! Everybody could tell she was Chancellor Finch, even if she was trying to disguise herself as a hobo!) and simply shot another fireball. Eureka dodged this easily, and as the bar around them started getting rather scorched, the bartender calmly started announcing the cost of materials to replace it. "You were always the weakest one," Thatix laughed as the bartender intoned, "Five hundred eighty."

Eureka did not respond as she was too busy dodging. "You only got in through trickery! Bet you wish you didn't cheat your way into power now, huh? Bet you wish you hadn't made an enemy out of me! Thatix! Thatix the Conquerer! Thatix the Destroyer! Thatix the About To Kick Your Ass Right Now For Not Allowing Me To Rule The World!"

Eureka looked around nervously before shouting back, "Who are you narrating to?!"

Ripper just stood in the doorway, barely even hearing the bartender count, "Three thousand five hundred seventy-four." He was feeling a little superfluous. Right now he was wondering if he should stop this fight and think of a way to convince Thatix to keep the woman alive or not.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by MrGuy.

Blackmask sighed and went behind the bar, responding to the bartender's rather annoyed protests with a flash of the sword. After a bit of rifling around, the pirate was able to obtain some rum, and quickly poured a glass of it. Blackmask then walked to a safe corner of the bar, sidestepping a wayward chunk of flaming table, and quickly removed the mask to down the shot. Upon returning it to its standard position, the pirate pulled out the pistol again and leveled it at the cloth mage.

Unfortunately, the ensuing volleys were caught by a rather thick wad of scarf that blocked the shot at just the wrong time. Ripper briefly cursed and paused to reload, having spent four of six shots by now, and dodged another wayward fireball. The thought of using the sword or jetpack briefly skimmed across the pirate's mind, but it was quickly discarded; cutting the fabric would likely prove pointless when Eureka reattached it, and as far as Ripper knew it was fireproof as well, making it a potential waste of fuel. A bandage briefly swept across a boot, causing the pirate to jump back; any contact with the mage was potentially deadly. For the moment, it was probably best to just stay back and watch Thatix do her stuff.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by granolaman.

He had to admit, the shadow snake caught him off guard. A brief lapse in his attention, coupled with a sudden bolt of dark energy, had been enough to rupture Tamerlane’s sand blade and revert it to powder. He turned towards the monster, who was mocking him with its wide reptilian grin. Foolish creature, you’ve made yourself a target. The dust shaper refocused his will, recollecting his sand with his mind and shaping it into a formless cloud hovering off the ground. He raised his arm and the cloud reacted, following his movements. Tamerlane abruptly snapped his arm towards Syvex sending the cloud directly at the foe. Syvex discovered too late the danger the cloud now possessed. He dodged to the side as the sand tore at his flank, scoring the flesh. The serpent skittered away; he would have to rely on range in this battle.

Tamerlane brought the sand back to his arm to once again form a blade. Syvex took this opportunity to fire off another blast of shadow. This time, the blade deflected it easily, absorbing the attack’s power with the sand. This one recovers quickly, he observed as Syvex’s wound began to heal. Already he regenerates his damage. I’ll have to strike in quick succession if I hope to win. Tamerlane glanced back towards the city. The trash bin had taken this time to escape into the streets, and the fireflies seemed to have left too.

“You would give your life so that these other, weaker beings might live? How disgustingly noble.”

“Believe me, friend, I have no intention of dying today, nobly or otherwise”

“Pity that you would pick a fight with me then.” Tamerlane rushed towards Syvex and lunged with his sand blade. The shadow jumped well out of range, but was surprised when he felt sand graze past him, the weapon just barely missing him. He fired off more energy, but the blade came up and blocked it with its cushion of sand. In the same instance that blocked the attack, Tamerlane tapped another pile of sand’s power and brought another cloud towards Syvex with his left.

The snake opened a portal and sent the sand harmlessly out into the desert, but the portal seemed to have taken its toll on him. He can’t keep this up for long. Tamerlane stabbed at Syvex again and again he dodged, but it was slower this time. The snake began to look worried, the battle was slowly taking them away from the city and away from any rescue the others might provide.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by SleepingOrange.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by Anomaly.

Syvex backed off a little further, Tamerlane constantly advancing on him. He had already been slashed several times, though he felt little pain and the wounds quickly healed. They were slowly inching away from the city and back into the desert, a place in which his opponent would have a clear advantage. "Well, Sandman, this is just pointless. I can't shake you off, and you can't do any real damage to me. All we're accomplishing is getting further away from the city, locked in an endless stalemate, a war of attrition. And I'm fairly sure I can outlast you if you want to go down that route. Or, you could just retreat." Syvex was grazed by the blade as he dodged once more.

"Retreat? What a pathetic notion. You're going to die, snake," Tamerlane remarked as he took yet another swing.

Syvex managed to lose a finger or two out of carelessness, but quickly retreated once more as they began to regenerate. "You actually hit me that time. I find it funny. You think you can kill me and end the battle. But you just know it won't end there. Why would the Prestidigiwhatever pull us from across dimensions just to kill one of us off? Think about it. We'll just be thrown somewhere else for another battle, and another. I don't know if he'll stop before we get down to one, but I wouldn't doubt it."

"I'll kill you all if I have to." Tamerlane rushed forward and took off most of another hand.

"You think you're actually doing something. Here's a hint, Sandman. You're not. But really, I've had enough of you. This was fun and all, but I have more important things to do." With this, Syvex slithered over the edge of the aqueduct and underneath, hopefully protected from Tamerlane. He couldn't attack what he couldn't see, right? Just to be safe, Syvex slunk along the inside wall back toward the city, his regeneration being quickened by the darkness underneath. His shadow energy returned to full rather quickly as well. I think it'd be safe to take on Scorpio over there now. As he neared the bar, he saw Finch, the firefly sorceress, and the pirate locked in combat as a citizen of the city watched disdainfully. Right, the alliance. Maybe I should give her a little help. But... looks like the "sorceress" is setting everything on fire. It's pretty bright in there as well, except under the bar. Maybe I can help without getting directly involved... Syvex opened a portal next to himself, then created another one under the bar, the only place in the building dark enough for him to sustain one from this distance.

Syvex came through the portal, just barely able to hide behind the bar without being easily seen by the combatants. The bartender looked rather nonplussed at his presence, though slightly agitated at what further damage the serpent might bring. Syvex watched from beneath the bar, the other battlers completely oblivious to him. Finch seemed to be having a rather hard time dealing with Thatix, who was constantly monologuing some nonsense about chancellors or something. Syvex waited until the fireflies had just launched a fireball, presuming that it took some time between shots. He quickly rose from behind the bar, suffering an immediate and severe downfall in vision capabilities. He could barely even see the other side of the room, and couldn't see through the walls at all. "Hello again, Finch. I can't really get involved right now, so I figured I'd help you in another way."

"Ah, so chancellor Syvex has come as well! I can take you both out at once now. You'll regret ever starting that war with me! You just couldn't accept me into your ranks."

Syvex quickly dodged an errant fireball, which exploded behind him and practically blinded him for a few moments. The bartender quietly counted, "Six thousand, five hundred and thirty-eight." Syvex regained his senses and said, "You're crazy. I don't have time to deal with you, so I'll just let Finch do it for me." Syvex grinned wider, then fired off several bursts of dark energy around the made, forming a makeshift shield and also charging the bandages with the same. Unfortunately, this maneuver used up virtually all of his stored energy, and he barely had enough to hold a portal open without taking serious risks. Without another word, he jumped back through and recollected himself under the aqueduct.

Alright. I got rid of Sandman and saved the trash can, I gave Finch a little help in the battle against the fireflies and that pirate... Now I should probably kill the scorpion and call it a day. At least until something else inevitably comes up. Syvex waited around for a few minutes as he regained the dark energy that had been drained in the battle, then climbed on top of the aqueduct and continued to where he last saw the scorpion. Unfortunately for him, it wasn't still lying in wait underneath. Rather, it was lying in wait on top, and almost immediately noticed him.

...That isn't good. Syvex jumped away as the scorpion charged him and thrust its stingers against where he had been standing moments before. "That all you got, Scorpio?" Syvex quickly threw a portal under the aqueduct, then opened another in front of him as the scorpion tried to sting him again. He moved the portal into a proper position to block, so that the stinger went through the portal instead. Syvex then closed the portal before it could retract, cleanly slicing it off as the thing screeched in pain. "You like that? I'm just getting started." He repeated the process to slice off the other stinger, as well as both of the claws. Though massively draining on energy, he figured that he wouldn't need more immediately after the fight or anything.

The creature continued to screech and thrash around in pain, a thick ooze pouring from the wounds Syvex had inflicted. As Syvex prepared to inflict the coup de grace, the thing unexpectedly rushed forward and gave a swift bite with its humongous jaws, taking out huge chunks of his body. "Ow, I actually felt that one! The guy over there could learn a thing or two from you. Too bad there won't be much left of you when I'm done." Hey, it's gotta be dark inside of the thing... Heh heh. Syvex launched a weak blast of dark energy into the scorpion's eyes, temporarily blinding it as it screeched out again. He then took the opportunity to open a small portal in front of each of his arms, with a corresponding within the creature's gut. Without hesitation, he reached inside and grabbed what looked like its heart. "Eat your heart out, Scorpio." Syvex unflinchingly tore the organ from the creature, then threw it back at the thing's face. It was dead almost instantly, and it crashed down hard on the aqueduct. His work done, Syvex clambered back under the aqueduct for some rest. There were no "pressing matters" left for him to attend to.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by SleepingOrange.

The scientist was probably fairly startled by the appearance of the menacing four-armed monster, but it wasn't a patch on the utter shock Laguja was feeling. It hadn't felt the approach of a mind, and even as the cackling metallic thing filled Muriegro's vision, there was no trace of thought that the pincushion's magic could find. It was an incredibly disturbing experience: even animals and monsters had primitive-but-obvious minds, and there were even ways of detecting and communicating with plants, but it was as though this Sadie thing wasn't even there. Jaguja briefly considered that perhaps it was an illusion, but an exploratory read of the local magic dismissed the possibility. In the several nonplussed seconds the divine weapon and its puppet lost by wondering at this ineffable mystery, Sadie had advanced quite a bit. "SADIE WONDERS WHAT THE LITTLE MEAT CREATURES ARE DOING IN HER BUILDING. SADIE SEES THAT THE ARE NOT FROM THE LOCK BUT SHE THINKS SHE HATES THEM ANYWAY. WOULD YOU MIND DYING, MEATY LITTLE TRESSPASSERS?"

Riko stared at the bizarre chortling robot that was even now approaching. It was a strange combination of extremely-advanced parts and inelegant designs, coupled of course with its clearly-erratic programming. It seemed to be artificially intelligent (or at least artificially insane), which coupled with its primitive construction gave the impression of something created by an amateur designer with access to materials above his skill level or perhaps an experimental or in-development version of something. Either way, it was obviously dangerous and unstable and probably merited further study. "... WOULD YOU MIND DYING, MEATY LITTLE TRESSPASSERS?"

Laguja wasn't sure what to do. The mindless thing before it was clearly intent on violence, and the way its (her?) metallic, pointed claws glinted in the reddish light hinted at a great talent for it. Given that there was no way the pincushion could exert its most effective magic on something with no apparent brain, it would be forced to use its flashier, less powerful spells; this, in turn, would be hard to keep hidden from its accomplice and force it to exert more energy and concentration constantly altering the man's memories. It wasn't even really an option. Nor, Laguja suspected, was having Muriegro attack whatever that Sadie thing was; it seemed doubtful that the knife could penetrate her metallic plating, and even if it did the real damage was in the poison. There was little reason to believe the poison would affect the steely apparition. The priest took a few cautious steps backward, but had nowhere to retreat but to the elevator.

Riko, on the other hand, took more initiative: he pulled out a thin flask of some clear fluid; Muriegro didn't recognize the characters, and Laguja had know idea what HCl (12M) was supposed to mean, but they assumed it was somehow dangerous when the scientist hurled the flask directly at the oncoming monster's chest.
"SILLY MONKEYS THINK THEY CAN BEAT SADIE HA HA HA HA SADIE WILL SHOW WORTHLESS SILLY MONKEYS WHAT THEIR INSIDES LOOK LIKE HAHAHAHA HA HA SADIE WILL SHOW THEM THEY CANNOT HOPE TO TOUCH HER WITH THEIR STUPID ACID AND THEIR DULL KNIVES." As the flask approached the maniacal machine's chassis, one of her spindly arms moved at lightning speed to intercept it; slender digits grasped the neck, delicately and precisely latching on without shattering the thin glass. Her arm arced back in a circle, maintaining the projectile's momentum and releasing it at the peak of her swing to send it flying back towards Riko.

The chemist cursed himself for assuming such a poorly-programmed machine would lack the sensors or the ability to react to such an obvious attack. The sheer fact that it was moving so quickly and coordinating that many limbs should have indicated that even if its higher logic programs were faulty, its basic motor ones weren't. He took a flying leap that was really more like a panicked dive to the right, hiding behind one of the sanguine pillars; he was slightly relieved to see his backwards companion had the sense to do likewise with another pillar on the other side of the room. The flask of hydrochloric hit the floor exactly where they'd been standing a moment ago and began hissing as it reacted with whatever material this place was made of. They had been lucky Sadie was still as far away as she was, or they wouldn't have had time to dodge at all; as it was, it was a near miss.

Riko ran over his options in his head. Retreat didn't seem like a viable option, as the robot would doubtlessly pull open the doors to the elevator and maul them before they could get away; fighting her at close quarters was likewise foolish, judging by her size and accuracy. That left either using up one of his precious potions to augment himself or the priest to a point where they could actually overcome the psychotic machine or testing one of the probably-unfinished weapons he happened to have on his person. Neither option was very attractive, but as Sadie pounded closer, screaming and laughing, he reasoned that being eviscerated wasn't particularly appealing either.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by granolaman.

Tamerlane watched Syvex crawled under the pathway as the serpent began his getaway. He almost smiled; the thing probably thought it was making a clean escape. The funny thing about sand though, as anyone from the desert could tell you, is that it gets everywhere. It pools in clothes, and gets in hair, or more specifically in this case, gets under scales and sticks to fresh wounds, which is very useful to someone who feels the presence of sand in order to manipulate it. It’s also useful to someone with a reputation for being the best tracker in the kingdom. I didn’t get to be the king’s ranger because of my outgoing personality. He closed his eyes and focused, and sure enough, he felt small amounts of sand were making their way along the underside of the aqueduct towards the city, contrary to any breeze.

The snake’s hand was still lying at his feet, emitting its dark aura and oozing its dark blood. Tamerlane bent down and picked it up. He seems to be resistant to my physical attacks. Perhaps using his own dark energy against him will prove to be more effective. He pocketed the glowing appendage as well as some spare sand. He would think of a way to weaponize it later, for now he’d best focus on following his target before it moved out of range of his detection. Tamerlane shifted his sand blade up his arm for easier mobility and began his trek back towards the city.

As he walked, he reflected on his exchange with Syvex. He was concentrating too much on the battle to really think about what he’d said, but he had a point, why would the Prestidigitator summon all of them here if only one of them was going to die? He hadn’t lied; he would kill them all if he had to, but these people were powerful, and killing them all would prove difficult and time consuming, which could pose serious consequences when he returned home. There had to be a faster way out of here, but how?

Tamerlane’s train of thought was interrupted when Syvex’s sand abruptly disappeared. It took him a moment to realize that the snake had teleported out of his range. He hurried along the top of the aqueduct to the last place the sand had been, when a sudden flash of light caught his attention. The windows of the nearby tavern named “BAR” lit up in a blaze. Tamerlane moved closer to get a better view. Through the windows, he could make out the firefly woman who seemed to be battling another contestant, but he was unable to make out who from this angle. He did however, pick up the presence of the missing sand within. The lizard’s been keeping himself busy, that’s for sure, he thought as he lowered himself down the aqueduct. The sand around his arm spread out along the wall allowing him a rapid descent without too heavy of a landing. As soon as the sand had withdrew back up his sleeve, he began to stealthily make his way to the tavern.

Another flame lit up the window, and Tamerlane reached out with his mind. Yes, the monster’s sand is still in – wait a minute, now where’d it go? He looked around; soon movement along the aqueduct above caught the corner of his eye. Syvex was back on the arches and making his way further into the city with his unknown agenda. Bothersome reptile, I always hated tracking Leapers. He turned to make his way back up the aqueduct when a gunshot tore through air. Tamerlane glanced up at the hole in his hat’s brim where his head had been just before. He spun around and saw a pirate standing in the tavern’s entryway.

“What have we here, some scurvy bilge rat plotting an ambush?! Figures a lubber as yerself’d be tryin such an underhanded tactic. Yarr, I’ll show ye what happens when ye cross swords with the infamous Captain Ripper. Have at!”

The pirate drew his blade and charged. “I wish one of you would hurry up and die,” Tamerlane sighed as he rematerialized his sand sword, “It’s getting hard figuring out which one of you I’m supposed to be trying to kill.”

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by MrGuy.

Blackmask quickly lashed out with the platinum sword, only for Tamerlane to instantly and expertly reform his sword into a shield, parrying with the greatest of ease. The pirate dodged backwards into the tavern as he almost instantly returned the shield to its previous state and thrust forward, and was seized by an idea upon noticing the shelves of alcohol. Grabbing a bottle of Goldschlager and emptying it into the Endorphic Core, Blackmask then ejected a stream of schnapps from the device and into Tamerlane's weapon, which began to drip onto the floor. The pirate laughed again, and prepared to launch another sword strike--

Only to be knocked to the ground by a stray scrap of bandage, sending the sword flying directly at Tamerlane's side. The man promptly sidestepped the flying blade and grinned, as Ripper desperately grabbed at the pistol, rolling as far away from Eureka as possible. The pirate proceeded to fire several shots at Tamerlane; due to the difficulty of controlling the wet sand, two managed to catch him in the arm before the shield had been reconstituted.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by MalkyTop.

Oh thank you, weird, dark snake-thing. Maybe you don't know the meaning of 'alliance,' but it meant more than popping in to say hello every once in a while.

Despite Eureka's sarcasm, she did have to admit that this dark whachas Sydork bestowed upon her as shielding was very helpful. Even though it broke after a few well-launched fireballs. Her bandages were still fireproof and she used this to gleeful advantage (at least as gleeful as she ever got), punching aside fireballs flung at her (making more expensive collateral damage, much to the barkeepers indifferent dismay) and keeping up a strong defense until she spotted a chance, ducked another attack and grabbed a handful of fireflies with a flick of a bandage.

"Hey!" Thatix yelled indignantly, feeling strangely violated in a way, but Eureka had already crushed them.

It so happened that a handful of fireflies wasn't actually many fireflies at all and she had only killed a small part of what had made up Thatix, but watching the swarm, it seemed that it had a much greater effect than she thought it would. She stood defensively as the fireflies in front of her were worryingly still. She could hear another battle go on elsewhere nearby. She wondered why the hell the bartender was counting off random numbers.

It was hard to read the expression of a swarm of fireflies, but there was no misunderstanding what she said; "You die, Finch. Now." And she attacked with renewed vigor, with ferociousness that plain forced Eureka into the defensive.

"Stop using my last name!" She called back. "Uh, um, Satin!"

"Thatix," the mass of fireflies snarled back, now practically incinerating the place around them. "You'd best remember that name before you die! It'll be the name of the ruler of the world!" And then she dissolved into random cackling.

"I can't remember that name!" Eureka yelled back, hoping dearly that the dark-magic-energy-thing wouldn't fade from her bandages as well. But knowing her luck, it probably would. "And that's a stupid name!"

At that point, the bartender approached. She wasn't sure how, with all the fire in the way, but he did. He still seemed quite nonchalant about the destruction going on around him. "I can teleport these pests away if you pay for the damage."

Eureka, a little distracted, didn't exactly hear him at first, but once the meaning came across, she stared at him incredulously. "You have teleportation powers and you never thought to use them until now?"

Then the bartender told her the cost.

Oh. Of course. Merchant with ulterior monetary motives.

"No, no, the other guys have the money," she said hastily, trying not to get killed while in the middle of the conversation. She couldn't help but bitterly note that every shot of fire that went anywhere near the bartender was warped away. "Teleport me away and uh, Sytax and that pirate guy'll pay or something, please do it fast anddon'tteleportmeanywherestupid."

The bartender, not particularly caring who paid as long as someone was paying (or maybe he actually didn't care at all, it was actually hard to tell), complied and in a blue flash, Eureka was gone.

Teleportation was not a very friendly experience for the uninitiated. Eureka hoped she didn't need to do it again any time soon. She managed not to collapse on the ground like a helpless sack of helplessness and started off towards a random direction, unable to tell where the hell she was and feeling a little cynical about the chance that she wouldn't run into anybody else. At least that bar situation was behind her now.

Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by Wojjan.

Riko was terrified. In the few hours - no, minutes of this contest, he found himself from in the GRIMACE base to facing off with a spiderlike freak in a desert basement. The young priest accompanying him was, surprising no one, useless in battle, and the basic tricks against robots such as acid didn't fly either. He would need something advanced, but other than his betas he didn't really carry anything worth shooting at the beast. Once he felt the wall behind him, he knew he had to pick one, and hurry. Not wanting to overthink the decision - he'd only dawdle - and grabbed a bottle at random. The label read REFLEX-31, and Riko figured it was good enough to down.
The potion's effect was far from expected. Riko's perspective on time seemed to vanish into thin air as the very rhythm of everything around him began to fluctuate wildly. Shaking off the dizziness of the effect, he barely noticed the Muriegro talking, distorted by his perception of time changing.
"Hey,....... areyou okay?" Riko didn't bother responding, but waited patiently, counting the seconds between spikes. Sadie saw an opportunity in Muriegro talking, and lunged forward.
Riko grinned as he charged forward, grabbing Sadie by as many arms as possible. Sadie responded as Riko slowed down again, and kicked the scientist away.
"HAHAHAHA, NICE TRY MONKEY, BUT YOU CAN'T OUTSMART SADIE!" He used the momentum from the fling to charge back at her, circling around her, waiting for the next time to strike. He ran back at her, this time dodging her multitude of blows, and struck her on the chest, toppling her over. Riko held her to the ground and yelled at Muriegro. "Hey you, do something!"
Muriegro tried to fight from the back, but Laguja remained as irresponsive as from first seeing her. The pincushion just couldn't place Sadie anywhere, and desperately tried to figure out how she worked. The priest took matters into his own hands, and drew a knife. He tried his best to cut her in any weak spot, but her hard alloy proved to hard to scar. "It's not working!"
Riko motioned for the priest to cover him, and Muriegro took over to give Riko a free hand. Riko then reached back into his countless pockets and bags in search for a certain weapon. Pulling out a plasmatic dagger shaped like an odd circle, he stabbed her in the chest. "NNNNGHHHH... SADIE WANTS TO KILL YOU SO BADLY RIGHT NOW..."
Sadie no longer functioned. The priest immedately turned to check on Laguja, while Riko looted the corpse for scrap parts and weapons. "That... was close huh?" The priest let out a meek laugh.

quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur.
Re: The Phenomenal Fracas! (GBS2G6): [Round One: Afterparty]
Originally posted on MSPA by granolaman.

Tamerlane winced as searing pain raced through his arm. The bandage wrapping proved useless as blood trickled down his sleeve. Such advanced weaponry, it’s a wonder anyone from his world survives with this kind of power so easily available. Ripper finished reloading and fired another volley of deadly bullets. Between the terrible wound in his arm and the difficulty of shaping wet sand, it took all of Tamerlane’s concentration to maintain his shield.

Ripper laughed as he began loading another round into his gun, “Har, mate! It be all over for ye’! Best run up the white flag now, and spare me the trouble!”

Fool, if you think this fight is over then you’ve fatally underestimated me. He let the shield of sand melt into a formless blob. Wet sand may be heavy and resistant to shaping, but he could still move it. He pulled his arm back and threw the blob directly at the pirate.

The blob hit Ripper with a solid thump. The pirate was sent sprawling backwards as the ball broke apart from the impact. Perfect hit, thought Tamerlane as Ripper pulled himself out from under the damp debris.

“A solid blow, but it’ll take more than that to harm ol’ Blackmask!” he brushed clumps of sand off of his coat, “and ye made a serious blunder: ye went and threw away yer only defense! Yer finished, mate.” He raised his gun and pulled the trigger.


Nothing happened.

Click! Click!

The color drained from his face as he glanced at the gun. Wet sand clogged nearly every part of the weapon. “Uh-oh.”

Tamerlane had closed half the distance between them before the pirate even had a chance to react. A slender sword quickly formed in his hands as he reshaped the sand from around his arm. If he felt pain from the sand speeding across his fresh wounds, he didn't show it. He raised the new sand sword over his head and brought it down on the pirate. Ripper, in a state of near panic, ignited his jetpack and just blasted out of range by the skin of his teeth.

He quickly gained altitude, hoping to put considerable distance between himself and the sand shaper, the more the better. That’s when he noticed something shiny glinting through a nearby window. At last! The edge he’d been looking for. Ripper flew through the window and out of sight.

He’s gone for now, it looks like I’ve won this skirmish. I better make myself scarce, though, until I’ve had a chance to recuperate and gather fresh sand. Suddenly Ripper reappeared through the window with a wild look in his eyes, and what seemed to be a jewelry box in his hands.

“Now yer in for it! Ready yerself for a display of my Endorphic Core’s real power!” He opened the jewelry box and emptied the contents into the core. Even from the ground, Tamerlane could see Ripper’s physique bulge and grow with new strength.

He moved the sand to his fist, ready to react to whatever the pirate threw at him next. Well these people are proving to be mildly interesting at least.

Then the bar exploded.