Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Four: City of the Dead)

Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Four: City of the Dead)
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Pinary.


"So tell me, doctor," Scofflaw said. "How do I look naked?"

"Cold, shrivelled, and all-around nasty," replied a voice from behind him. It was a new voice, one he hadn't heard before, but he had a fairly good guess who it was.


Tor had barely made it two steps from the bottom of the ladder before a small moon crashed down and opened a chasm in the floor across the room and destabilized parts of the rest. While Dr. Noyka was being picked up by a spatula, other areas of the ground decided that some jobs would require a more direct approach, simply opening up below Tor and swallowing him whole.

It took the Telpori-Hal a moment to register what had happened- he'd gone from a room full of Chaotic madness to rushing water and windy blackness, and it wasn't until a dimly-glowing blue blur whizzed past that he realized quite what was going on.

It was a water-slide. A dortul-doshamri human water-slide. Telpori-Han, in general, weren't fans of water. Maybe it was something to do with their avian ancestry, the number of aquatic natural predators, or simply the natural opposition of fire and water, but whatever the cause, the Telpori-Han were never terribly happy when wet.

Tor was completely typical in that respect, but he was nonetheless relieved to have his extremely-wet journey come to an end in a body of yet more water.

Unfortunately for him, that body of water was suspended telekinetically around a cybernetically-enhanced Leviath.

Tengeri, focused on determining what that flash of light that had just happened was, only registered the approaching phoenid humanoid and its accompanying rush of water a split second before they crashed directly into her.

Fortunately for both of them, Tengeri had been perpendicular to the slide's exid, so they didn't collide head on. Instead, the Telpori-Hal simply slammed into her side and sent the pair of them tumbling into the opposite wall. It took a moment for them to realize what had happened and get themselves oriented again, but they were both back to normal soon enough. They were sore, certainly, and neither one was particularly high in the dignity department, but they were alive.

"Sorry," Tor said, doing his best to dry himself off as much as possible, "I didn't really have much of a choice in how that went. You alright?"

Tengeri just stared at him for a moment, frowning, before she formed the words "kajan? you've changed" before her.

Tor held back a sigh, running his hands through his short, bristly hair and giving the same short, clipped explanation he'd given a multitude of times before. "Yes, yes. As the Fool said, my species bursts into flame on a regular basis, resulting in a changed appearance. Same hal, different ganel. It happens roughly once every 45 minutes, and we've got our own ways of telling each other apart. Any questions?"

If she had any, Tengeri didn't get a chance to ask them before Scofflaw appeared in midair between her and Tor, fell to the floor, and stood up again, offering greetings and badmouthing Murdoch as he did.

"So tell me, doctor," he said. "How do I look naked?"

"Cold, shrivelled, and all-around nasty," Tor responded. The villain looked casually over his shoulder, confirming his suspicions about who it was.

Tor glared back at him, arms crossed. The Telpori-Hal looked much different, of course- his face was wider, flatter, with more chin and less nose, and while he was an inch or so shorter, he was also a good deal wider and much more densely-packed that he'd been last time. Water was beading and running down the metal-mesh fabrics of his clothes, and he didn't look very amused by the other man's sudden appearance.

"But of course, you meant a different sort of naked, and I don't think anyone here wants to see that." Unfolding his arms, Tor took a less-than-friendly step towards the Saint. He may have gotten shorter, but he was still tall enough to look down at the villain. "But let's cut to the point. You are, at best, a danger to the survival of the rest of us. If you were to die here, it would mean nothing but good things for everyone. Why, then, should we let you just wander around and endanger us all?" He hadn't planned to come out swinging threats around, but he wasn't in the best of moods and Scofflaw just got under his skin. He wasn't exaggerating, either- Scofflaw, he remembered, had been a terribly dangerous person in his prime. Granted, Tor still couldn't remember just when that had been, and it was starting to bug him even more, but he could remember quite clearly that several of Scofflaw's plans had come quite close to succeeding.

"Please," the Saint scoffed, "do you really expect me believe that, if it came down to it, anyone here could actually do the deed? Businessman, academic, sworn pacifist- of all of you, the one most likely to pull the trigger is that cube, and even he probably wants to gang up on the Fool and get out together! Do you honestly think you could kill me just because I'm an obstacle to your own freedom?"

As far as tools went, the monologue was one of the more useful ones. A novice might simply use it as a tool to intimidate or demonstrate power- "I'm so confident that I'll succeed that I can tell you my whole plan without worrying that you'll disrupt it." The expert, though, uses it both in that manner and in others- as a means of planting false information, as a stalling tactic, or as a way to conceal him going for the ceramic knife he hadn't handed over earlier. (After all, Tengeri hadn't been there at the time to check, so why not hang on to one or two things?)

"I mean really, not one member of this paltry assortment of interstellar do-gooders would even-" He lunged forward, taking advantage of the step forward Tor had taken and bringing the knife slicing across him before either of the others knew what was happening.

Tor leaned in rather than moving back and got a painful slash on the shoulder instead of a chest or neck wound, and when the slash jolted through him, he hurled himself forward even more, shoving himself into Scofflaw's chest and slamming him into the cave's wall.

He may have been out of luck with his right arm, but a punch didn't take much coordination or subtlety- a fist to the gut just required basic motor skills and some decent strength, both of which Tor could manage with his off hand just fine.

Scofflaw didn't give him a second chance, though, bringing the knife slashing around and across the other man's leg. A reflexive kick knocked it out of the villain's hand, and after that, the two simply started exchanges punches once more. Tor's current advantage of size was evenly balanced out by the two slashes across shoulder and thigh, and the two entered once more into a typical fistfight.

Tengeri, meanwhile, decided to take her leave. Unable to speak, she couldn't exactly talk the two down, and she had no wish to get between them at the moment. Her manipulators may have been good for dextrous work, but they were hardly suited for pulling apart two brawling humanoids. Besides, she was more concerned by the seismic readings and reaching GB-002 than watching Tor and Scofflaw scuffle- she was pretty sure Tor would be able to hold his own in a fair fight, and if Scofflaw tried to pull something, there wouldn't be much she could do. She could hardly warn Tor fast enough, and anything she did to try to interfere would be as likely to hit Tor as Scofflaw.

Really, she decided, she'd be better off elsewhere. If they were going to beat each other up like a pair of idiots, she'd just leave them to it.

Turning away, she headed off once more in the direction she'd been going before.

Tor and Scofflaw didn't keep up their fight for very much longer- Tor backed away a ways, the wounds on his leg and shoulder hurting quite a lot, and Scofflaw let him go.

It seemed after a few breaths like they'd move back in for a round three, but they both froze in place when another tremor shook the caves, rattling the walls around them. With a nasty glare, both decided that somewhere else would be a much better place to be than where they were. Slowly, they headed off, taking opposite directions in the hopes of finding a way up to the surface. (Or a less-unsteady cavern, at least.)

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Valter.

So many scattered threads Kerak needed to chase, and yet all were escaping him. He needed to stop and reprioritize, and Murdoch's chicanery had finally opened up an opportunity to do so. Where was everybody right now?

Tasty: slipped away in all the fighting. He's probably crawling around the caves right now.
Meat Cube/Pangolin: busted up the... unity... thing... and just up and left! That's no way to crash a party.
Cephalo... squidthing? What is that?

"What are you?"



'Meipi'/bipede/engineer/me/Murdoch: present and accounted for.
Tengeri: fell into a hole in the ground.
Scofflaw: Vaporized!

That last one was a shame. How would he get Scofflaw's story now? Well, he could probably figure one out on his own. He'd have to think about that later-

"Wait a second. If Scofflaw's dead, does that mean we're going somewhere else? I was beginning to like it here..."

"Don't you worry about that. I've just sent him somewhere else for the time being. I didn't kill him."

"Oh." Kerak blinked. "Why not?"

"I- I have problems with murdering other sentients, Kerak. Didn't we go over this already? And didn't you want to talk to him anyway?"

"Well excuse me for not remembering all of your delicate sensibilities! Of course I don't want you to kill him, but if you've got him at your mercy like that you might as well go all the wa- eh? Where is everybody?"

Murdoch had evidently tired of Kerak's company as well.

He stood now on the roof of the Unity plant, or what remained of it. The general location of the generator was marked by where the roof had caved in, and if he squinted he could just barely make out Murdoch's glowing face through the opening. The earlier skirmish and walking and chasing and talking had quite tired him, though, and he now actually had a moment free to appreciate that fact. The battle could wait for now; the others would surely still be there to talk to after a quick rest.

His thoughts turned to the Chaos gathering on the horizon as he sat on the roof. What was it really? Besides an ineffable force of antagonism the contestants had been set against, of course; what had it done, and what was it doing?

It was responsible for nothing but creation! Creation and change, all of it certainly tangible, as the pork still resting in Kerak's belly could attest to. And from the looks of it, Murdoch's efforts had not completely erased its influence. Chaos was creeping back even as he watched.

A dark gleam lit Kerak's eye. He had been so disappointed when the generator had broken. So much effort toward a decent story, wasted. But it looked like something could be salvaged from this strange world yet! You just had to shift the protagonist... It wasn't about Unity restoring order to a treacherous world, it was about Chaos reclaiming its rightful domain from the suppressors! And to reach that end... the engineer and the magician simply had to go.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.


Velobo backed away from the running Jetsam. Sure, he had seen the various transformations in his short time in the factory, but none of them had been like that. So violent, so painful, Velobo did not want to experience anything like that.

<font color="#00FF78">Dr. Tenegri did not want to stick around for when Jetsam came back. I need to get out of here, and I need to find water. She descended to Velobo’s height and nudged him a bit. She dared not attempt to manipulate what little water she had left.

Velobo noticed the serpentine creature come toward him, and recomposed himself. From the doctor’s incessant nudging, he could tell that staying there would be bad.
“Madame, I ask that you cease your nudging.”
The Plazmuth went in the direction that he was nudged, and silently trudged along to the floating serpent. As he walked, his rear-eye focused on where Jetsam had gone. He could not shake the feeling that leaving him to his own devices would be a mistake.

Saint Scofflaw recovered his knife and then followed the path of Tenegri. Upon hearing the voice of Velobo, he kept his distance. “Well, well, well, it looks like moving on from here will be easy.” Scofflaw snuck behind the group and quietly moved to stab Velobo, before being met by, “An eye?”

Velobo turned around and wacked the knife out from Scofflaw’s hand with a swift motion from his metal band. The knife went flying in to the cavern behind them. Velobo continued, as he jabbed his stunning staff on to Scofflaw’s arm. The bastard wasted no time in kicking Velobo into Tenegri, unknowingly brushing his metal band in to her body. Velobo dropped to the floor and was about to lunge for Scofflaw when a large rumbling overtook the caverm.</font>
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Anomaly.

Not enough water, can't communicate, can barely fight, up against Scofflaw... Have to escape. Tengeri faced down Scofflaw, ignoring the rumbling which was becoming all-too-common and still increasing in intensity. Her scanners could offer no specific source of the seismic activity other than "deeper underground", but regardless of what horrible thing was happening below, Tengeri was in what one might call a "sticky situation". Sure, Scofflaw had lost his precious knife, but he could potentially still pose a threat. First order of business: seperate him from the weapon.

Before the rumbling had fully subsided, Velobo had regained his bearings and immediately lunged for Scofflaw, whacking him with the stunning staff before being shaken off again. Scofflaw didn't seem to have any weapons on his person, but had made a point to take up a few dislodged rocks as makeshift weapons. While Velobo distracted Scofflaw with his tongue, Tengeri hurriedly rushed past both of them, twisting mid-flight to redirect a particularly sharp rock into the super-durable alloys of her implants rather than her vulnerable flesh.

Tengeri quickly reached the fallen instrument, extending a manipulator to take purchase of the weapon. However, before the appendage could go far, a blur shot out and snatched it before disappearing into the distance. Tengeri's scanners could scarcely pick up what had happened due to the sheer speed of the organism, but at the very least, the knife was no longer a problem. She turned around and balled the hand-like claw on one manipulator into a crude fist, then charged Scofflaw and hit him in the back of the head. He fell to the ground unconscious, though that unconsciousness would likely last less than a microcycle if she was lucky. The Leviath motioned to Velobo frantically, beckoning him to follow.

"Shouldn't we finish him off?" the Plazmuth replied. Tengeri paused her motion for a moment. Eliminating him would eliminate the only real danger in this competition, and even further, it would send them to a new location, likely a less chaotic one. Just one stroke, and their troubles would be gone. Just one stroke, and their chances of survival increased exponentially. But that would mean killing. No-strings-attached, straight-up murder. She couldn't be responsible for that. She couldn't bring herself to just stab him in the back while he was down, easy as it would have been. She wasn't a killer, she was a scientist! Her life's work was to improve life on Levia as a whole, not to bring harm and death!

"Warning: GB-007 will regain conscious in approx .25 microcycles."

- - - - - - - - - -

Velobo gazed at Tengeri, poised over Scofflaw with a blade-tipped manipulator extended. After several tense moments, the appendage snaked its way back into her body and she shot off in the opposite direction, not even acknowledging the Plazmuth or beckoning him to follow. She was very obviously distraught, even a little panicked. Velobo glanced back at Scofflaw for a moment, then swiftly took off after the distressing Leviath. He found it extraordinarily difficult to keep up - after all, she had a map and could swim quite quickly. After a few minutes, he had lost sight of her entirely, left entirely alone in a dark, twisting network of caverns.

However, from the right he could faintly hear the sound of running water. He couldn't be certain, but it seemed likely that a sea serpent would head for water when possible. Acting on a hunch, the Plazmuth fumbled his way through the nearly pitch-black tunnel, soon finding the source of the water - a room lit up by luminescent mushrooms similar to the one he had come from, but also full of water. Tengeri, however, was nowhere to be seen. Velobo began to grow disheartened and turned around to leave, but his back eye then caught sight of a faintly-glowing, serpentine figure emerging from the surface of the lake.

- - - - - - - - - -

Tengeri took a moment to calm herself in the depths of the lake, refilling her water supply as best she could with a faulty TEU and recovering from her sudden panic. After not nearly long enough, however, the Plazmuth emerged from the caves, no doubt looking for her. The doctor slowly swam to the surface, noticing Velobo turning to leave just as she emerged. She quickly made her way back to the edge of dry land, noting that, thankfully, he had noticed her rather than simply exiting. She immediately attempted communication after noticing that the TEU had repaired itself somewhat.

"sorry about that. i'd... really prefer not to kill. it's just not something i can do."

"I understand. Is there any reason you were seeking me out?"

"just the obvious one. seeking allies to take down 'the fool'. not going to play his game."

"Hmm... Well, I-"

Another tremor began, even more violent than the previous ones. However, this one managed to have more effects than simply a torrent of falling rocks. The lakebed itself began to crack and fracture before being smashed open by seismic force, essentially turning the lake into a massive whirlpool. Unable to rise from the water, Tengeri was quickly pulled under, as was Velobo, who was knocked in when the ground under him collapsed. In short order, both dropped through to a lower system of caves, one much larger and open than the above network. Gigantic crystals jutted out from all directions, giving a strange sense of beauty to the chaos-saturated cavern. Beauty accompanied by a horde of nonsensical creatures that could at best be described as "utterly ridiculous", that is.

The source of the tremors wasn't far away.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Lankie.


Above a burning village, the sound of power manifest clashes with an infinite nothingness.

The Magician is launched away from the impossible corona, watching as the malevolent silhouette of Fracture rises for a second volley of attacks. Murdoch dug his claws into the ground to slow himself to a halt. He cursed himself for underestimating his nemesis’ power, the ability to manipulate dimensions and space like a play thing is a powerful one indeed. But Miles wasn’t about to lay down and accept defeat so easily, the glowing man rose up and pulled his wand from the convenient hammerspace of his jacket. The magician saw no pint in holding back now, he unleashed every curse, spell, hex and blight he knew, anything to finally destroy this insidious Varalica.

But Fracture was older, smarter and more importantly, stronger. She knew the inner workings of the cosmos and how to manipulate them to her advantage. The raging torrent of magic impacted harmlessly into the air in front of her, spells being teleported far away, negated or simply alchemised into oxygen or an equally safe gas. When the smoke cleared, Murdoch could only stare in disbelief at the grand nothing he had caused.

“I almost feel sorry for you Murdoch.” The broken lady said, completely unfazed from Miles’ attack. “There is nothing you can do to stop me, and I have everything to stop you.” Fracture sunk down back to Murdoch’s eye level, her still white eyes contrasting with the quivering black eyes of the Magician’s. “Any last words?”

“You think this is over?!” Murdoch shouted at the silhouette, abandoning any semblance of order to his voice. “I’m just getting started you bi-ugh.”

Miles’ tirade was interrupted by a spatial rend the size of a log straight through his chest. The Magician slowly looked down to see the fragment of an alternate dimension ripped through his body, his glowing blood spiralling into the cosmos it was a gate to. “Such a pity. You could have been spectacular, Murdoch Miles.”

The impossible shard disappeared in an instant and Murdoch lifelessly collapsed to the floor. “But now you’re dead.”

And then Murdoch Miles died…


“What an enormous hypocrite you are.” Hueburt said to the present and very much so alive Murdoch Miles. “You blow every freaking weird thing in a 5 mile radius just to talk to us, and then go ahead and teleport anyone away you’d rather not talk to?” Huebert didn’t even try to hide his annoyance, he was tired and could hear the chaos creeping in faster and he just wanted this whole debacle over with, preferably with something getting shot, by him.

“Yes, I suppose that was pretty hypocritical of me wasn’t it.” Murdoch kicked one of Scofflaw’s gadgets back into the pile, which mercifully didn’t set of chain reaction of explosions and death. “Truth is, I would of rather had everyone here, but that would have been next to impossible. Scofflaw is a tad be too dangerous and a ‘bastard’ to maintain a conversation without killing one of us, while Kerak is…well a dinosaur.” The Magician rearranged his cuffs and swatted away a fly playing a mournful violin solo. “As for the rest: well you can’t blame me for the others gallivanting on their own adventures can you?”

Hueburt rolled his eyes so heavily they were in danger of creating a tornado while TinTen jumped into the conversation. “All well and good Mr. Niles.”


“Whatever, but what’s so important that you must initiate a talk in middle of a melee?”

Murdoch straightened his hat, “Good question my Meipi friend.” He gave a little flourish, magical sparkles and all “So. How would you two feel about rebelling against a God?”
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

As Velobo fell through the cavern, he noticed the various creatures perched all around, deeper within. One such creature, with bat wings and a scorpion tail, launched itself at the Plazmuth. He quickly launched his tongue forward, clinging to a crystal, and he immediately retracted, launching him over the beast. He perched himself for only a moment, looking for his lost weapon.
<font color="#00FF98">
At the same moment, Tengeri was in a less urgent predicament. As a result of controlling the water around her, she fell at a slower rate than her cubiod companion, and as a result, she had lost sight of him. She knocked away the beasts with the abundance of water that was in the previously collapsed lake. She nosedived down through the caverns, hoping to catch him before he reached the floor.

Velobo had so far dodged three creatures, jumped on four, and with his tongue clinged on to and around another five. All in hopes of reaching his beloved shocking stick.

“Almost there...” He thought to himself, eager to receive his weapon once more.

The rod had landed somewhat safely on one of the larger crystals that most assuredly led to somewhere else in this insane and nonsensical labyrinth that someone called a lab. He jumped up and launched his tongue at the crystal, prepared to taste the shiny and salty exterior, but a blur descended down at the last moment and Velobo tasted a group of watery scales.

“Engwi?” As he realized what had occurred, he made a small frown, thinking back on the mighty steed he had lost moments ago. He retracted his tongue and stayed relatively motionless inside the pocket of water that he had inadvertently entered, sad and a little peeved that the world had once more taken his prize right as it was within his reach.

Tengeri on the other hand was very content that she had been able to save her companion, even if he did look a little miffed. She would have asked him about it, had she not had to focus on the upcoming floor below. Tengeri slowed the two down with her bubble, which now consisted of a portion of the former lake. She gently set down Velobo who silently turned away from Tengeri.

As his multiple eyes looked around, he noticed that there were crystals, even down there. In addition, there were a few pools of water, slightly smaller than him, scattered around the crystal floor. He tilted his head up to where they had fallen from and saw only darkness. That is, until he saw a flock of monsters descend from the darkness. His eyes were only on one in specific though.

“My stick.” He stared at the creature, one with colorful wings and a prehensile tail that currently held his rod. Velobo only had one thought on his mind, and he began to formulate a plan to get it back.

Tengeri would launch Velobo up in a plume of water, at which point, he would lock his tongue onto the monster with his rod. He would then beat up the creature with his metal band, revolt against this Fool character, get out of here, and then save his entire race. It would be glorious, an epic, to go down in history, there would be whispers of Velobo Calidad, th-

As he was going off in his own world, one of the creatures dove, aiming directly for Velobo. Tengeri shot a burst from one of the pools knocking the beast away from the lost-in-thought Plazmuth. For good measure she sent a splash of water to Velobo’s face, returning him to the current situation.

"watch out"

Velobo sheepishly thanked Tengeri and then looked back at the storm of beasts above. “Alright then, here’s my idea...”</font>
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Schazer.

Down down down.

The air was damper than the rock, ignoring the latter's slick coat of moss and condensation, and Jetsam tasted it all clear as day as he loped along on slender legs. The only sound was that of water - delicious water, trickling ever downward round his feet, and - less overtly - permeating the air with an ambient prickle as it wormed its way into the rock.

Jetsam kept up his steady hike, down down down, unnerved by the way the trickle of water would sometimes stop, or even flow toward rather than behind him. Then he must've gone just so far, or perhaps so deep - out of the reach of Unity's bastion, into the Chaos, the convoluted, the dark corner blackened with potential - and to Jetsam's surprise, the soundscape of damp was interrupted by his rasping laughter. Unity had been so oppressive, so unwelcoming, that Benjamin had only seen the worst this world had to offer. The darkness, which Unity's agents would try to tear apart in their blindness and fear, was relief.

His laughter subsided as he descended, but for the first time on Vio Jetsam finally felt at ease. Until the inevitable happened and he was torn away, he'd be fine here.

Chaos seemingly recognised him, and didn't ask for forgiveness when he'd been mistaken for Unified foe upon the battlefield. It didn't have to, and it didn't manifest now - merely hummed with possibilities. Jetsam's footfalls became intermittent, possibly followed by the existence of his feet. No matter. The stifling, choking layers of dimension felt like they were being gently peeled away from the wanderer, revealing something clean and raw and blessedly fluid.

Jetsam stopped. He didn't want to, but Chaos seemed to rest its gaze upon his alien core, considering. There was the faintest flicker, the briefest flash of a Varalica's glow. It was as close to thought as the Chaos was capable, but it was all Jetsam needed to know. He was far from enthusiastic - the darkness was safe; journeying back to the warzone to kill a Unifying invader risked dying. Dying meant departure before he died, and Jetsam didn't want that. Not one bit.

And yet, Chaos needed this. It saved exercises in pointlessness for the vexation of Unity. With Jetsam, it played it fluidly straight. With the utmost reluctance, he shrugged on that straitjacket sense of stability, and re-equipped a sense of direction so he could turn his back on Chaos. His only thought - his only necessary thought - was 'up', as Chaos flowed and dragged the soldier where he belonged.

The Varalica's glow set Jetsam on edge, and it wasn't the light. The generator room was oppressed with Unity, and it pained Chaos - and Benjamin. He retreated into the desert room, and pulled himself together. A form of purest Chaos, composed of his own volition.

Jetsam opened his eyes, looked down at a pair of familiar hands, and smiled. His winter coat was far too heavy for the desert, but it was lined with Chaos black, and Jetsam felt comfortable. From a pocket, he extracted a coil of cable that hadn't been there, then clicked the button on the cylindrical handle at one end of it.

A grappling-scythe blade slide out with a satisfying shiiiink. It retracted sharply, and was replaced with six curved blades upon another press of the button. A formidable weapon indeed. Jetsam couldn't wait to get rid of it.

The closed door didn't beckon, but Jetsam opened it anyway.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Pinary.

Tor went down as well, moving deeper and deeper into the Chaos-saturated caves just as Jetsam did. His journey differed, though- rather than merging with the Chaos and leaving the solid world behind, he became all the more aware of the real world around him as he did his best to cling to its shifting, warping surface. Chaos didn't want him, it didn't want his help or his presence. It twisted and writhed, but the glow of Unity emanating from the walls kept any actual apparitions at bay. But still, the tunnel writhed, and each step forward sent the Telpori-Hal nearly tumbling to the floor (whatever that happened to be at the time).

Slowly, though, he made progress. The knife-wounds Scofflaw had given him weren't exactly comfortable, but they too kept him grounded in reality. He was about at the minimum amount of toxin needed to being able to regenerate, now, but he didn't want to waste it on just a pair of gashes. He knew there would be worse to come, and he didn't want to be left two minutes away from regeneration with a gushing chest wound.

As he moved forward, he found himself approaching a split in the tunnel. One path curved sharply up and left, and what appeared to be sunlight flecked the far wall of the curve; the other curved down and to the right, its appearance dark and foreboding.

The twisting and lurching tunnels calmed down as he arrived, and for a moment, everything seemed almost normal. He was in a blue-glowing tunnel under an absurd facility fighting off even more absurdity, all taking part in a battle to the death at the whim of a being dressed as a jester, so normal was relative, but the solid rock of the tunnel walls and floor were remaining solid. Gravity wasn't trying to knock him down, the magnetic field wasn't conspiring to make him lose his lunch- for the moment, everything seemed calm.

Seemed, of course, being the operative term. Chaos may have relented in its spatial warping, but it hadn't given up; no, merely turned its attention elsewhere.

A number of footsteps echoed down from the left corridor first, sporadic and mismatched. Someone stumbled and fell into the wall, and soon after, they tumbled in a heap to the cavern floor at Tor's feet.

It was himself, but not. He knew the hal well- it was the one he saw every time he looked in a mirror. The body, though, was different- it was thin, long, and angular, all knees and elbows and long limbs in between.

Most importantly, it was smoking. There were numerous scrapes, cuts, and slashes all over this Tor's body, and smoke, black and rancid, was seeping from them all.

He was trying to regenerate, but he just didn't have the time. He could only have been around for five minutes or so at this point, not nearly long enough to build enough fuel. Even worse, in his vain attempts to ignite what little toxin he had, he was simply burning them out. He would die from his wounds, that much was plain.

While Tor was still processing this, another stream of footsteps approached, this one regular, fast, and hard. Tor barely had a chance to look up before they were upon him- true to expectations, it was him again. This him was the same him as the one on the floor- long-limbed and skinny, an untidy mop of metallic, rusty-brown hair atop his head.

Tengeri and Velobo were behind him, the latter astride the former, and they barely stopped to acknowledge the presence of another pair of Tors.

He wasn't even sure they could see him as they raced by, turning the corner sharply and heading up the left tunnel and up to the surface. As fast as they'd arrived, they'd gone, with not so much as a glance at the Telpori-Han they passed.

In some of his more intellectual-leaning incarnations, Tor might've stopped to ponder what he was experiencing. Was it a double time loop, showing him one future, then the other? Was it two possible options, showing him what would happen whichever way he went? An unstoppable prophecy, or one potential future?

He didn't sit and think about the implications. He didn't consider the potential ramifications of choosing one tunnel over the other. He didn't consider alternate options like just turning back and going the way he'd come. He just went, heading down the tunnel on the right at a fair clip.


It wasn't long before he reached the end of the curving tunnel, and it opened into a large underground cave. There was a swarm of creatures of all descriptions swirling around the center of the cavern, and a short ways away, a water-wreathed serpent and a greenish cuboid were just launching into action.

Velobo, aiming carefully, shot his tongue up into the creatures, latching into one creature in particular and pulling himself up to it in short order.

It was at that moment (precipitated by the Plazmuth's actions, no doubt) that the cloud of whirling, Chaotic monsters kicked into overdrive, whirling faster and faster and bringing their assorted pointy and harmful weaponry to bear on the two- now three- beings below them. A loud, grating keening echoed dangerously through the suddenly small-seeming cavern- the sound of a thousand Chaos-beasts calling for blood.
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Schazer.


Despite appearances to narrative date, Jorgensaard was a highly judicious man. He filleted the mackerel, made a pretty chain-lightning fireshow of the eggbeaters, then after Murdoch's stunt saw fit to take pause and watch the rather unusual contingent far below. Not to say the situation was failing to annoy him - the anteater had escaped after wrecking the generator, as had that Kajan fellow - but the foreman took a kind of viciously professional satisfaction in sitting on his fury until he found a responsible outlet.

That, of course, being whichever mongrel was responsible for this mess. He had a nasty feeling it was the glowing ponce whisking the others off every-which-way. Considering he seemed to be the "magician spewing Unity" Kajan had mentioned, the feeling really didn't sit well.

Jorgensaard checked his Unity Belt, ensuring it was still operational, keeping him in one, sans-eel piece. Eurgh. That had been a reminder to not go sticking the damnable thing through the washing machine. Again. He retreated along the catwalk without detection from the generator room, then found the nearest flight of stairs heading to the ground floor. The whole situation was... unsettling. This pack of nutters had appeared from nowhere, tried to fix the malfunctioning generator, then dropped a damn pangolin on it. They were squabbling amongst themselves, they were planning and convening; they came causing chaos, but showed no signs of Chaos.

The foreman muttered darkly to himself as the door to the stairwell revealed an elevator shaft instead. A quick toggling of some dial on his wrench set it to rappel the man down.

TinTen glanced at his companion, doing some tentacular equivalent of hand-wringing as he weighed his words. “Unwise,” was the word he finally decided on.

“Oh come on,” exclaimed Murdoch, with an exasperated theatrical toss of his hands, “surely you'll agree this is a fine situation for a bunch of gentlemen like ourselves to be stuck in! It's only good manners we make our displeasure clear to that Fool.”

The Meipi still wore a look between scepticism and wariness. “God generous term indeed for maverick like The Fool. Yet perhaps fitting. Powerful? Yes. Reachable? Present, no. Conquerable? Chances remote. Said, such conclusion from knowledge of myself, of own world. You may know otherwise, Mr. Murdoch Miles. In such instance my assistance? Ineffectual.”

Tinten crossed his arms; all Murdoch could discern of the cephalid was that he was uneasy. And wordy. Huebert clarified. “Your goal's an noble one, Mr Miles, for sure. But what Tin's trying to say is, well... we can't teleport across dimensions. Or freeze a man in place. Or shoot Unity. It's kinda beyond what we know. What makes sense. I mean,” the man hastened to add as he raised the monster barrel of his cannon, perhaps a mite defensively, “sit the Fool in front of this while it's blasting at full power and I'm sure it'll kill him, but-”

“Waitwaitwaitwait. Who said anything about killing!?”

Hubert and Tinten exchanged a look. “Not your intent?”

“I- no. I can't kill the Fool.”

“Previous arrogance suggest miswording,” snapped the Meipi. “Believe 'won't' less erroneous.” He seemed to have retracted whatever patience or respect he'd initially offered Murdoch, because he shuffled over to his companion and became more preoccupied with getting a leg up onto the plasma pack. “No interest in 'rebellion'-” Tinten, despite the rebreather, succeeded in spitting out the word “-when power to lead rebellion itself laze in conscripting others.”

Murdoch could only stare at the Meipi, who had busied himself in a book of all things. Huebert muttered something quietly to Tinten the Varalica couldn't catch, but the squidman's tinny reply sounded like “Yes. I know.”

Then there was a clank, and a noise like a party-hall-sized spark chamber malfunctioning. The unhinged jaws of a wrench nudged into Murdoch's back, a stream of sparks jumping from tip to tip in front of him boxing him in, arms pinned to his sides. The Varalica kept his cool, turning as best as he could to offer Jorgensaard's murderous features his usual amicable grin.

“Hello there! Mr. Murdoch Miles, at your service. Now, if you don't mind me asking – what the hell do you think you're doing?”
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Lord Paradise.

Saint Scofflaw, who was prone to the most obvious metaphors, knew a chessboard when he saw one.

He scolded himself, knowing he could do better than that. Clearing the throat of his mind, as it were, he recalled spending a period of some weeks in a pseudo-afterlife with fellow celebrity criminal the Czech Mate. About half of it they spent exploring strategies for a two-player Settlers of Catan variant of the Czech Mate’s own devising whereby only one of the players had to play by the rules, but these rules were stacked in that player’s favor. Scofflaw forgot what the variant was called, but he knew the same basic principle when he found himself caught up in it over the course of some hours.

What upset Scofflaw was that he didn’t seem to be a critical piece on the board. He was like the pirate in Catan: Seafarers, in that he got shuffled around only when the player rolling a 7 already controlled the thief and the merchant, at which point—

Scofflaw groaned and snapped himself into a meditative state of unthought, eiher fearing that his internal rambling would attract the attention of Chaos, or that it wouldn’t. He felt quite alone.

A bit more wandering did him good. When in the mood, Scofflaw was remarkably good at organizing his brain, compartmentalizing his issues, rationalizing his flaws, turning any minor memory of success into a near-suicidal overconfidence. This skill, as far as he chose to remember, had served him well in the past.

While devoting the forefront of his consciousness to replacing the German dance music stuck in his head to a more self-congratulatory fanfare, he found himself having found a workshop, of sorts. The room was unmarked and seemed to be one-part janitor’s closet, one part military bunker and one part garage.

Scofflaw didn't want to employ the phrase "candy shop" because he'd had some nasty experiences in the Crazy Confectionarium of Colonel Candyfloss some time back; perhaps it was more like a Best Buy on Black Friday, except all the other customers are dead on the ground.

Scofflaw brushed away the happy memories and got to work. He'd only been going for a quarter of an hour and had thirty-four patent-worthy ideas and three newsworthy ones before Jetsam entered the room.

There was a moment of awkward silence; not a malicious one, from Scofflaw's perspective at least, more of the silence one experiences coming out of a three-hour cuddling session with a good novel and realizing you had better watch some television as a cooldown exercise before you're ready to interact with other people. For a moment he looked at the man through the goggles of brilliance (also through some physical goggles he had found lying on a bench) and found himself vaugely equating the intruder with the pangolin he'd encountered before, picking up on some nigh-imperceptible patterns of behavior and expression (Scofflaw has these moments at times and relishes them as proof that he did not, as has often been suggested, suffer from any form of Asperger's Syndrome). At this point he snapped out of it and realized he was sort of in a situation and that the man had a couple of very sharp-looking things dangling from his hand like the week's groceries.

Scofflaw had already forgotten what he was working on three seconds ago, but he took the risk of hefting it and searching for a trigger; he managed to make a rather aesthetically satisfying ray of gigaviolet light shoot straight into Jetsam's head. Unfortunately, this seemed to have no effect whatsoever, though Scofflaw, remembering now, was certain that a couple more hours' exposure might have given him a serious risk of melanoma.

Discarding that little experiment, Scofflaw fumbled for something he'd jury-rigged five minutes ago for the express purpose of countering any smarmy magicians who got any smarmy magician ideas. Before he could go about the business of leveling it, however, there was a scythe-blade on either side of his neck and Jetsam's nose an inch away from his eye (the latter was somehow more disconcerting). He remembered later that Jetsam's breath was remarkably clean.

Scofflaw tried a little diplomacy; lacking any manner of charm, he was forced to resort to a radiant unlikeability that nonetheless created a strong impression that he was right about everything, otherwise how would he get off being so smug about it?

With this in mind, he gave Jetsam a paternal look and said, "Bored with round one already, are we? Well well, finish me off then."

Jetsam looked down at his hands, back up at Scofflaw, and let the grappling hook slacken a bit.
"I don't know and I don't care what you're talking about. I'm after the glowing man."

Scofflaw wasn't dumb enough to assume that Jetsam was lying about that first bit, but wasn't smart enough to find it terribly interesting. "Sorry, I can't tell you. Last time I ran into him, he sort of tossed me out the door. It was a four-dimensional door and I still haven't really gotten my sense of direction back."

Jetsam threw Scofflaw to the floor, not quite hard enough to display any focused animosity, just a general sense of frustration.
"This place has been... giving me a tour of itself," he said, as though trying to convince Scofflaw he wasn't addressing him directly, "It's annoying."

Scofflaw pulled himself off the floor and began pulling parts out of the various weapons on the table until he could fold them up and stash them in his pockets. "You're looking to knock off the magician, aren't you? That's... ambitious. I admire the spirit." He considered giving the man a pat on the shoulder, but figured it could wait. "Consider me an ally, until then."

"Don't slow me down," said Jetsam, hypocritically making no immediate attempt to leave. He was eyeing the workbench, as though afraid of eye contact.

"If you'd like, I could supply you with weaponry and simply send you off," offered the Saint, sensing an opportunity. "No payment necessary if it's for a noble cause. You'll just... owe me one."

Jetsam shot Scofflaw a glance with a degree of contempt that the villain found admirable. He hefted his grappling-scythe and walked off towards the door.
"Are you coming or not?" he asked.

Scofflaw followed. Immediately past the door, the lighting made some odd decisions, suggesting that their path had once more stepped out of the bounds of linearity; they found themselves in the middle of a hallway. It was precisely the part of a hallway where one wouldn't expect to find a door, and on an ordinary day it would be precisely the part of a hallway where you wouldn't be able to see a squid, two men and a Varalica engaging in some sort of confrontation up ahead, but Scofflaw was long past such whimsical delusions of normalcy. The cool breeze of Unity emanating from Jorgensaard's waist-region caused the doorway to lodge itself in a way that made sense, and also made Jetsam wobble a bit. Then, before Scofflaw could remember at whom he was supposed to be shooting, the magician took control.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" came that lightly melodic voice that one simply cannot harbor indifference towards. Miles faced the foreman, at the same time seeming to look past him to where Scofflaw and Jetsam were standing, and held up one hand.

Jorgensaard was perhaps quicker than Miles gave him credit for, and pulled the trigger on his crossbow-wrench. With a sort of beautiful simultaneity, Jorgensaard, Scofflaw and Jetsam tumbled backwards and downwards slower than conventional falling would dictate but still fast enough to hurt as they hit the floor, while Miles, taking the wrench's attack in his stomach, made a sound like somebody was tightening a bolt in his gut.

To say that a lot of things happened at once would be an insult to the observer's intelligence, but one can definitely say that the few things that were happening all at once were extraordinarily flashy. Scofflaw pulled something volatile-looking and only vaguely gun-shaped out of seemingly nowhere and made it do something that didn't seem like it was firing a projectile so much as sucking something in; it grazed Jorgensaard on his shoulder, knocking the aim of his crossbow-wrench off enough that the unity blast bypassed Miles and went straight into Huebert's kneecap. Huebert, not seeming to be badly injured or even necessarily in pain, nonetheless was compelled to stumble forwards. This predictably caused TinTen to lose his tentacle's grip on the trigger of his plasma projector, sending a bolt of plasma streaming right into Miles' face.

The magician, though powerful, wasn't prepared on an immediate basis to have roughly the heat of the sun in his eyes, and was forced to intervene in the least subtle, most immediate way possible, which consisted of creating a point of absolute zero which diffused the energy of the plasma long enough for him to get his bearings. Bearings thus gained, and still very near death from all the alternative energy sources floating around his brain, Murdoch engineered a short time loop that sent a slightly confused past version of his body stumbling into the present.

This flagrant defiance of the laws of nature and good sense put Unity into a bit of an epileptic fit, making Jorgensaard's belt tighten uncomfortably. It also put a bit of a spring into Jetsam's step, allowing the man to close the gap between him and the foreman and brush Jorgensaard against the wall with the blunt end of his grappling-scythe.

Before Jetsam could bring his scythe's blade down on Murdoch's face, TinTen recovered his aim and put a burst of plasma between the two, keeping both of them alive for long enough that the Varalica could regain his composure and teleport away, pausing on the way out to bind Jetsam in some thick-looking ropes of golden energy. Scofflaw's second shot was distorted a bit by the vacuum that Murdoch's head left behind and only managed to tear out a bit of piping from the wall. Chaos, which was perhaps feeling a bit giddy and didn't want the action to stop, managed to summon forth a small swarm of beetles; they came crawling and occasionally flying out of the pipe before quickly being incinerated by TinTen or banished by Jorgensaard's recovering Unity belt.

Scofflaw considered running away, but was frankly a bit tired and suffering a bruised ego from a losing streak of sinister schemes, so instead he nonchalantly approached Jorgensaard and shook the foreman's hand.

"I don't believe we've met. I'm Lars Scathford," he said, in a faint accent that wasn't quite identifiable with any portion of middle America but that smelled vaguely of home cooking. "Any chance you could tell me what just went on here?"

Jorgensaard gave this some thought.
"Well I caught some of your people mucking around where they weren't supposed to, I showed the electric kid the end of my five-eighths so I could ask some questions of an accusatory nature. He made to attack me and then there was a fight, as has been happening every five minutes or so ever since you all showed up, and this resulted in everyone just sort of leaving or giving up the conflict, as has been happening, the only difference being that this young man over here"--he indicated Jetsam, who was making no effort to struggle against the restraints, and in fact seemed comfortable in a frustrated sort of way--"has found himself in a position where the rest of you could easily kill him off. Now, I don't mean to prejudice you one way or another in this regard, Mr. Scathford, but by my limited understanding of events your taking advantage of this opportunity might get the whole bunch of you out of my hair and reduce my troubles to a known if not surmountable quantity." Jorgensaard gave Scofflaw a pat on the shoulder, effortlessly demonstrating a degree of folksy paternalism that Scofflaw had had to take some deeply embarrassing acting classes to master. "I'm Aldred Jorgensaard, by the way, and this is my facility," he concluded.

Scofflaw considered this proposition, trying not to make it too obvious that he was glancing nervously at TinTen and Huebert as they dutifully mopped up the last of the beetles. "Well, Aldred," he said, measuring his words to give the appearance that he was measuring his words, "It would perhaps do us all some short-term benefit to simply 'kill him off,' but I'm afraid that sort of behavior isn't in my nature. I honestly don't believe it's in the nature of the better part of the team either, else I'd have been 'out of the game' on multiple occasions already. Now, if I were to have to commit a murder in order to get myself out of this mess--and I feel that that's what it may come to, one way or another--I'd make sure to aim my weapon right in the eyes of the man that holds the greatest threat to the rest of us. Now you can call that altruism or you can call that long-term strategy, but either way that's what I feel I have to do."

He held Jorgensaard's gaze under the pretense of failing to avoid it.

"All I can tell you," said the foreman, "Is that there's a fellow with a skin condition who calls himself Kajan and he's agreed to be in my employ. A feisty fellow, probably dangerous if he were motivated to be dangerous, but I don't think he's an immediate threat to anybody who hasn't taken great pains to get on his bad side." Scofflaw nearly broke character at the news that Tor had gotten to the foreman first, and apparently made a good enough impression. Though the villain knew how much damage a nemesis relationship could do to both sides, the impudent little alien bothered him on a gut level. "My real worry is the lightbulb fellow. His very presence seems to be taking liberties with the U/C index and I can only assume it's getting worse."

Scofflaw became aware of TinTen and Huebert consorting amongst themselves and making their slow way over towards where the two men were standing, and did the best he can to wrap up his point. "Yes, I'm afraid that boy has been consorting with forces not meant for man. What's worse, some of the other contestants"--he threw his entire face over in the direction of the man and the Meipi in an exaggerated gesture--"seem to be quite taken with him. I hope you don't mind, I'm a bit of a scientist and I've been in your workshop cooking up some--"

Huebert's gun was leveled at Scofflaw's head.
"Sir," he told Jorgensaard, "I'm going to ask you to rethink any opinions you may have formed of this man."

Scofflaw was deeply impressed by the earnestness of Huebert's voice. He glanced over at Jetsam for support, and found the wanderer relaxing meditatively in his restraints, not paying overmuch attention to the diplomatic struggle at hand. This was going to be a problem...
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Lankie.


scrap that, real life has flying kicked me in the face.
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by SleepingOrange.

TinTen was... Well, there wasn't really a good word for how TinTen was feeling at the moment. Doubtless some exotic alien culture or, more likely, the Germans had come up with an obscure term that effectively evoked the cocktail of emotions that was currently sloshing around the Meipi's squishy head, but an easily-understandable and accurate word simply didn't present itself to describe his current state of mind. 'Extremely frustrated' certainly encompassed much of the more salient elements, and indeed his body language certainly indicated that such was his predominant mood to those who could read it, but that phrase lacked the elements of fear, suspicion, and confusion that featured rather prominently, as well as the soupçon of of perverse humor that was stirring quietly at the bottom of the mix. Suffice to say that the usually-level-headed scientist was something of a ball of confused anxieties, and it was all because of this damnable place.

Omens could easily be mistaken for other omens, or missed entirely. It was of course possible to mistake something for an omen that wasn't, although that sort of thing was embarrassing for someone who had studied the scriptures all their life. Even the most venerated and wise of prophets and sign-readers were wrong from time to time. There were simply too many variables for perfect precision. Still, never in his long life had TinTen found the signs so frustrating and mutable; all around him, omens formed, their messages clear, only for them to change and muddy in moments. Obvious portents became confusing half-truths, then meaningless coincidences. The world was taunting him; this universe was a perverse mockery of the well-ordered one he came from, and in the scientist's vexed mind, the avatar of everything that was twisted about this place was standing in front of him, calmly twisting honest, serviceable words into misdirection and deceit, building another false world around himself. It was detestable.

"Liar. Deceiver. Scoundrel. Utter... Utter–" Here, TinTen made a largely-untranscribable sound that most present would probably have assumed was some sort of oddly-specific expletive in his native language, but was actually just a squid at a loss for words gurgling angrily. Not eloquent at the best of times, the Meipi's diffuse anger at the situation, the setting, and his competitors' disinterest in doing things the right way had coalesced into focused rage, erroneously targeted itself at the man calling himself Scathford, and robbed him of any kind of verbal restraint or skill.

Jorgensgaard's earnestly cocked eyebrow mirrored Scofflaw's carefully-earnestly-cocked eyebrow as the squid gurgled into silence. With a practiced ease and carefully-cultivated affront, Scofflaw began,
"I'm sorry, but I–"

He was quickly cut off by the irate cephalopod, who yelled "Quiet, Scofflaw! Wertham. Scathford." and waved an accusatory tentacle. "Affectations of morality more sickening than blatant villainy. Floundering for angles, latching onto changing world like greedy parasite. Ephemeral, meaningless, worthless. Utterly sickening."

Huebert, who was rather taken aback by his friend's sudden, virulent outburst, chimed in with a halfhearted. "He's uh, not very reliable or nice. Is, I guess, our point."

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Lord Paradise.

Scofflaw had the feeling that his options were limited. He hated that feeling.

”Let’s be mature about this,” he drawled, breathing either particularly quickly or particularly slowly, depending on who was listening. “We’re all educated men here. One way or another, we’ve a problem with Chaos, don’t we?”

Jetsam suddenly jumped against his restraints, making a deeply dissatisfied grunting noise.

Scofflaw started. “Well, those amongst us who are willing to negotiate, anyway.” He shot TinTen a glance.”

Huebert idly wondered whether he ought to attempt to diffuse this situation. TinTen could get rather… determined sometimes, and while it was something he admired, it wasn’t necessarily wise in a situation where everybody was a potential enemy.

On the other hand, Scofflaw looked like he might finally be cornered. Maybe it would be best to see this play out.

Jetsam listened in on the conversation and tried to make sense of it. There was a certain method to all of this, and people seemed to be under the impression he was in on the joke somehow. He felt his restraints beginning to fray in four dimensions. Jetsam slackened against the rope, hoping to catch the others by surprise when his chance came.

Scofflaw recognized the look on TinTen’s face. It was the same look he himself got when little shits like TinTen tried to tell him what to do. He dimly felt a second pang of nemesissitude welling up next to the one he’d reserved for Tor.

He was too used to do-gooders. These guys were just assholes.

Jorgensaard considered it common practice not to give the impression of being confused, especially when given a position of authority. However, here he was struggling. Here were two charming fellows, both of whom he would be inclined to trust immediately were it not for A) the passively detestable cephalopod creature accompanying the one, B) the weapons of mind-bending destructive power that the other seemed to have hacked together in five minutes, and C) the wild accusations leveled by the one against the other.

He tried for diplomacy, as though obviously that were the only solution to such a quandary. “Now boys,” he said, hesitating over the word “boys” while eyeing the squid up and down for any recognizable sex characteristics. “Gentlefolk,” he corrected, cautiously. “Isn’t there some way we can work this out peacefully?”

”There is not,” snapped TinTen, who was beginning to become angry at Jorgensaard on a collateral level. “Plasma bath not a peaceful way to die. Temperatures so hot your pain receptors don’t quite realize they’ve been incinerated. Continue to transmit agony for a few seconds.”

Jorgensaard held a hand in front of the barrel of the squid’s weapon. “Now, now, boys. If we’re going to threaten violence, there’s no need to get torturous about this. How would y’all respond to the notion of a duel?”

Scofflaw and TinTen exchanged a glance that was not quite accord. Then Scofflaw broke the gaze, perhaps because TinTen’s radiant hatred was frightening him off, more likely because Jetsam was kicking him in the jaw.

As Scofflaw fell, Jetsam’s scythe curved around TinTen’s gun and yanked it away, then swung it into Huebert’s gun hand, disarming them both.

Jetsam held his foot to Scofflaw’s neck. “Someone here tell me exactly what is going on,” he growled. “Omit nothing.”

TinTen and Scofflaw exchanged another glance, this one even farther from accord.

Scofflaw cleared his throat, tickling Jetsam’s foot slightly. ”Do you want to tell him, or should I?”
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Schazer.

Jetsam's gaze flicked from Huebert to Tinten, letting a little additional pressure on Scofflaw's windpipe make up for the fact he was keeping his head up. There was a mechanically slow realisation as Jetsam uncoiled the chain on his scythe, followed by the faintest shick of metal on concrete as one slim blade found a space between Scofflaw's neck and the ground.

"He's not going to care if I kill you, is he?" Jetsam's voice was soft, conspiratorial; like he'd been in on the joke all along. Something about his smirk gave him an air of mad desperation. "Yeah. Right. I don't know what he paid you in or convinced you with, but you're all idiots for trusting him.

Except you," Jetsam snapped around to the foreman. "You're Unity, sure. But you're Vio. Definitely Vio. Yeah. You can leave now if you want. No quarrel with you, though if you could get rid of that glowing son of a bitch we'd really appreciate it."

"Jetsam-" It was around this point Huebert decided to engage in some diplomacy, which entailed unholstering the nozzle of his plasma-thrower. Jetsam himself didn't really appreciate either action - he performed a rather curious pirouette-and-snap-to-attention as he first turned to snarl a reply, then noticed the gun. Rather like Huebert himself, it was hard to not notice.

There was another dynamically unstable standoff for a moment, and again Jetsam was the last to make sense of it. The scythe was removed from under Scofflaw's neck, the bladeless handle then wafted at the right angle - above the villain's face - to materialise an especially large scythe clean down the middle of it.

"You're not going to care if I kill him, are you?"

TinTen seemed to be struggling for an answer less morally reprehensible than a flat-out "no". He could tell without turning that Huebert was armed, but had the unpleasant feeling things would get messy quickly if he moved to give his companion a clear shot.

The group's attention turned at another oddly well-heard little noise, which was Jorgensaard raising his spanner toward Jetsam. The chattering of a green bolt, too small and energy-based for the wrench to tighten, made the scythe-wielder flinch in a manner more instinctive then he might've wanted.

"Let's all just calm down," growled the foreman. "Now, if you could just give us a name-"

"That's not important-"

"Benjamin Jetsam."

Jetsam dealt a surprisingly vindictive (and painful) kick to the side of Scofflaw's head. He managed another - and several bludgeons with the scytheless hilt before he thought to knife it up - before Jorgensaard released the bolt into Jetsam's shoulder. Thrumming with the power of Chaos trapped in a piercing Unified shell, it proved obscenely forceful enough to slam the agent of Chaos into the far wall, and pin him there despite his thrashing and rather inhuman shrieking.

Even Scofflaw found it enough of a spectacle to refrain from escaping while attention was elsewhere - from the faintly smoking exit wound lanced more tendrils of green, which rather indiscriminately pierced and pinned down the struggling man in a swift-spreading neon net vaguely reminincent of a globe-trotting acupuncturist. As soon as Jetsam was immobilised, the foreman dialed something up on his wrench (eliciting another howl from the shapeshifter) before roughly hauling up Scofflaw and exasperatedly jamming the weapon in his back.

"Right. You two-" said Jorgensaard to TinTen and Huebert- "better keep it damn civil, and we might all finally get some answers."

"Are you sure this wrench in my back is completely-"

"Yes. Now please, explain what the hell is going on in my factory."

Jetsam snarled something, slumped against the wall, found being pinned up too painful, and snarled again. TinTen stood a little taller realising that was his cue, then began rattling off the facts.

"Entity called Fool kidnapped we nine from own universes; decreed we battle to death. Cuboid, Huebert and myself, the glowing magician, creature like Mahkahraik, Scofflaw, the snake Doctor, the fiery one-"


"-yes, and damnable long as it took myself to recognise, him." The Meipi jabbed a tentacle in Jetsam's direction; the man managed to turn his head a bit and growl a vague threat. "Benjamin Jetsam, according to Fool."

"You've got some fucking nerve, squidboy, tossing my name around like-!"

Jorgensaard cut the man's angry protests off with one flick of a switch on his spanner, still resting in the small of Scofflaw's back. Once the muddled smell of frost and pine smoke subsided, everyone's attention returned to TinTen.

"Fool explained Jetsam's abilities - explained all of our abilities. Jetsam not unused to travelling involuntary from universe to universe - did much before Fool kidnapped him. Changes form to suit world he is thrown into. Could not take form in Fool's presence; does not know he is now in battle with us other eight."

Jorgensaard said nothing, though he was reluctantly ready to accept the explanation. It matched up with what Tor had said, anyway. He nudged Scofflaw a little with his wrench; the man turned and shrugged in a way that acknowledged TinTen had told the truth, while trying to avoid acknowledging TinTen was right about anything.

Satisfied enough, the foreman finally turned to Jetsam, still nailed to the wall.

"So Mr. Kajan was right? You were that pangolin?"

"Let me go."

Jorgensaard seemed to be hitting his faintly paternal stride again, or maybe it was that exasperated fondness he had for Chaos in general. He glanced pointedly, but not particularly accusingly, at the grappling-scythe. Jetsam dropped it without hesitation.

"Let me go," he repeated.

"You'll answer our questions if I do?"

The assorted Grand Battlers exchanged dubious glances. Jetsam nodded a little, and Jorgensaard dialed something back on his wrench, the neon web fading.

Jetsam found his feet as he slid off the wall, coils of black smoke escaping from the neat holes peppering his coat. He sighed, rolled his shoulder a little, then exploded in a harlequin burst of golden glowing pangolin scales. The diamonds streaked off every which way with firecracker shrieks, absorbed with a discordant polyphonic ringtone by whatever surface they hit.

Jetsam's consciousness regrouped on the roof of the Unity Plant, to Kerak's unwelcome surprise. The dinosaur just watched as the man steadied himself against a curmudgeonly chimney, but flinched as Jetsam stared him down before chuckling raggedly.

"Shit, don't tell me. You're another one."

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Anomaly.

There were too many of them. No matter how many the trio brought down, the gaps were continually filled by more chaos beings. An endless parade of confusing and physically impossible creatures bent solely on destruction. Tengeri's computer core had long since given up on even trying to identify the attackers, settling on simply classifying them as "unknown entities", with no helpful elaboration. All that truly mattered about them, though, was that they were both hostile and dangerous.

Tengeri whipped a manipulator to the side, stabbing through some sort of combination of a platypus and a trombone. The creature let out a somber "waah-waaah-waaah-waaaaaah" before falling dead with a clang of brass. An equally illogical gold-plated, flying armadillo fell victim to a slice from a plasma cutter, but to no effect on the relentless ferocity of the nightmarish horde. There was, quite frankly, little hope of the three of them succeeding against the hundreds or thousands or whatever number of creatures there were. Just trying to focus on the swarm made Tengeri's remaining eyes hurt from the blatant disregard for physics or reason.

Tor and Velobo didn't seem to be faring any better. The Telpori-Hal's only method of offense amounted to hand-to-hand brawling, although it was at least somewhat impressive to see him punch out a robotic alpaca nun with his bare hands. The Plazmuth, on the other hand, was engaged in various acrobatics with his unusually long, sticky tongue, beating down chaos creatures from above. It was almost fascinating, in an odd way. Hundreds of creatures intent only on killing being beaten back by just the two of them.

Tengeri was brought out of her brief fascination very suddenly as some sort of demonic cowboy elf dropped from above, landing squarely on Tengeri's back with a "YEEEE-HAAAAW". For its troubles, the cowboy got lassoed by a manipulator and smashed into a centaur-duck, killing both of them. Fortunately, the cowboy hadn't managed to damage any manipulators or other critical systems before its untimely demise.

Without warning, another tremor came. This tremor, much stronger than all of the previous ones, violently shook the caverns. Crystalline stalactites crashed down from above, shattering and throwing showers of sharp fragments all around. Even with her protective field of water, Tengeri suffered several painful lacerations across her body, the worst of the lot slashing open her skin dangerously close to her still-intact heart. Her blood seeped into the water field around her, gradually tinting it a sickly blue-green color. A small vent opened in another of her implants, and set to work ridding the water from the doctor's blood.

Velobo managed to mostly avoid the shrapnel by strategically swinging around the ceiling with his tongue, though even then he couldn't fully escape injury. Tor, however, wasn't so lucky. Having nowhere to hide, he was heavily buffetted by the shrapnel, sustaining an unfortunately high number of cuts and slashes before the tremors stopped. He wasted little time in bursting into flames, likely his only chance to heal his wounds for the rest of the fight. His new body was much lankier - tall and thin, with long arms and legs. As the tremors stopped, Velobo carefully descended to the floor by way of the cavern walls.

The hellish deluge of crystal had a much greater effect on the swarm, however. Hundreds of chaos monsters, completely decimated by the shrapnel, fell dead within seconds. The unstoppable, endless force was reduced to a mere trickle of stragglers, all of which quickly fled from the scene of the bloodbath. In less than a minute, the cavern was reduced from a chaotic battlefield to a hushed sort of tranquility. Tengeri took the opportunity to dive back into the pool of water that the draining of the lake had created, reveling in it just for a moment before resurfacing and approaching the others.

"good job, both of you. all creatures retreated. escape route is nearby, should return to surface before anything happens."

Tor was the first to reply. "I agree. We could easily be attacked again, and I'd really rather not wait around to find out what's causing those tremors. I can't exactly regenerate again if the ceiling crashes down on us anytime soon."

Velobo then realized he had forgotten something important (to him, at least). "I didn't get my stick back. Just a moment." Velobo turned around to scale the wall to the outcropping his stunstick had landed on, but was stopped with a harsh burst of water from behind. He turned around to find a message waiting for him.

"no time for that. need to flee, now. seismic activity increasing again. quickly!" Before Tengeri could even extricate herself from the pond, another tremor started. Thinking quickly, she wrapped hypermanipulators around both and dragged them into the pond, rapidly descending to avoid another rain of shrapnel. After another minute, the tremor ceased, and she quickly ascended and dropped Velobo and Tor back offshore.

"now then, esca-" Tengeri's words stopped forming themselves as the passage leading to the surface exploded. Slowly, a massive, chaotic abomination rose up from the newly-formed hole, tentacles and claws shooting outward with little semblance of logic. The creature that emerged had next to no definite form, and even attempting to scan it made Tengeri's scanner spit out error messages. All that they could be sure about was that it was intent on killing, and that it was blocking the exit. The fight wasn't over yet.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

Velobo coughed. He had never held his breath for so long, moving as fast as they did didn’t help. As he stood up his frontal eyes saw Tor in a similar state, just standing up after the ride they had. But his hind eyes saw something indescribable.

<font color="#00FF98">The serpentine doctor could not believe the beast in front of her was actually real. The more that she looked at it, the worse she felt. The behemoth simply remained in its position, not moving or acknowledging the three. Then a small line began to form, and then another, and another, and hundreds more appeared, each of them opening to reveal eyes, claws, tentacles, mouths, all kinds of disgusting appendages and body parts opening from its body. It launched a tentacle at Tengeri, who swiftly dodged it. The behemoth continued to lunge for her, but she was able to outmaneuver the sickening beast.

As this happened, Velobo could only stare at the thing. He shook himself and turned around, surveying the room for something, anything that could aid them in removing the foul beast.

"Velobo. Look, under those rocks."
The Telpori-Hal pointed at a small hole in the roof where sand was falling from. Near it was a large group of stalactites, some broken and others partially dislodged from the tremors.

The Plazmuth stared at the stalactite, looked down to the swift Tengeri dodging the behemoth, and he formulated a plan.
“Tor, I require momentum. None of us are probably capable of even scratching that beast. However, if the tremors weakened the stalactites enough, then we might be able to damage it enough to distract it while we escape.”

Tor shot Velobo a quizzical look at the small cubiod’s notion.
”You want me to pick you up and throw you? I don’t think I can throw you far enough to break that rock, especially like this.” He motions his arms downward on his lanky and long body.

“There is no time to explain how, throw me now, I have a plan.”
The small creature looked back, completely determined to fulfill his plot, his front two eyes focusing on the Telpori-Hal. However, the eye that was most focused was the one following his serpentine companion, who at the moment was avoiding the grasps of the behemoths miscellaneous appendages. Velobo saw that she was slowing down, and he knew that coupled with the damage from before, she wouldn’t be able to keep this up.

Tor lifted up Velobo and threw him upward. Just as the cuboid was tossed, one of the many eyes of the behemoth settled itself on them. Sending out its pale, colorless limbs out, Tor rolled out of the way, and was hit by a second tentacle sent out by the beast. He grabbed the tentacle as it tried to retract, preparing to tug it, only to have it dissolve into a small grey goop.

Velobo saw none of this. He was focused on only one thing, getting to the roof of the cave. He also missed the creature sending its largest appendage, a large tentacle with a mouth at the end, up from the highest part of the beast. The tentacle mouth rose at a frightening speed and intercepted Velobo, swallowing him whole.
Velobo Calidad had been eaten alive.

There was only silence, all other appendages had stopped as soon as the colossal tentacle extended itself. Tengeri stared at the tentacle as it slowly retracted from where it plucked the cube out from the air. Then it stopped. All of the slits close to the large tentacle opened up widely. It twisted downward, and then immediately smashed into a wall. Once more the room shook as debris fell from the roof.
The small amount of sand began to flow a little bit more.
The creature was not content. It continued this smashing to the left and the right of the cave, causing a multitude of tremors to shake the entire cavern. Finally, its foul mouth opened once more, emitting a indescribable sound, a combination of the cries of a thousand creatures, and also revealing Velobo Calidad, clinging on to the inner part of the behemoth’s teeth. At the sight of the cubiod alive, Tengeri sighed in relief.

Velobo released his tongue from the creature’s mouth, and turned around, jumping up and using his tongue to sling himself up to the source of the sediment. Clinging to a stalactite, he looked down at the creature, while quickly hitting the roof with his arm band. The tentacle let out another yelp and lunged for Velobo. This time the sound was shattering enough to cause him to flinch. A second, more potent dose of the unnatural sound caused Velobo to loosen his grip, before falling down from the stalactite, just out of the tentacles wrath.
The creature broke through the weakened cave top, releasing the tons of sand housed in the room above. As the tentacle ingested the sand, its many slits began to spew out dark grey sand. Slowly, the behemoth descended from the roof, spreading the sand fall in the room and filling the entire cave. As the beast fell, the body of water below was replaced by a mixture of the falling brown sand, and the odd grey sand emitted from the beast.

Velobo was falling, losing awareness, holding on to his consciousness as hard as he could. As he fell down below, he closed his eyes, but still held on to his thoughts, not allowing himself to stop for even a moment. With a small thud he landed in the sand below.</font>
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Valter.

"Shit, don't tell me. You're another one."

Kerak looked at his latest visitor in consternation. "Another what? Do I know you...?"

The fact that Kerak was talking at all made it clearly impossible for him to be a product of chaos, but right now Jetsam was in the mood for belligerency. "Another contestant. Another half-wit looking to boss me around."

"Of course not! I mean, yes. Yes to the first part, at least. Not the second, though. Although, ever since I got here I've felt like I don't know anything! Scarcely got a quarter of my wits about me! But I wouldn't boss you around. Never.

"Actually, could you open this door for me? These talons are giving me a bit of trouble..." His difficulties were evidenced by the door's perfectly round knob and the shallow scratch marks that covered it.

Jetsam eyed the Deinonychus discerningly. The feckless dinosaur looked more likely to off himself than anyone else, in this universe at least. As long as the tech level remains high enough over his head, it's unlikely that he'll be too dangerous. Can I trust the setting to be this advanced in every location we visit, though? Probably not.

Jetsam shrugged and opened the scratched door. Sure, there was a distant possibility that a later destination of the Battle would give Kerak an edge, but much more credible threats were out and about right now.

Kerak clicked his talons together in what Jetsam assumed to be some gesture of gratitude. "Thanks! I'm Kerak, by the way. Say, would you tell me your story? I love a good story."

"No. I'm busy."

"Well, I guess that's alright..." Kerak responded despondently, but he perked up almost immediately. "Oh! That's right, I'm busy too! There's some kind of 'Production Foreman' I need to kill, whatever that is. Good bye!" He took a running start at the open door, and promptly started tripping down the stairwell within.

He had only just landed at the bottom of the third flight when Jetsam reconstituted in front of him once again. "That is certainly an interesting method of travel," Kerak said from the floor he was sprawled out on. "Are you science?"

"Sc- what?"

Kerak hopped up to his feet and started preening himself nonchalantly. "Science! That's what the floaty feather serpent called it, at least."

floaty fe- "Shut up. What were you saying about the foreman?" He was fully at the whim of Chaos by this point, and the last two teleportations It had subjected him to had made it abundantly clear he was being ordered to cooperate with this brainless feathery moron.

If the end result was killing the prick in charge of this facility, though? Maybe he could get behind it after all.

"His name is Jorgensaard, I think. This place is thick with his foul stench. It is my duty to brutally eviscerate him as an example to those who would stand against the forces of balance and peace!

"My plan has, ah, run into a spot of trouble, though," Kerak said, squinting at the shiny metallic floor. "I prefer to stalk my prey silently, and then strike at its moment of greatest weakness! But I simply can't find any way to walk here without making the most infuriatingly loud noises."

"Hmm. Do you think you could get to him if you had a sufficient distraction?"

What do you have in mind?"

For the first time since meeting Kerak, Jetsam smiled. "I was conversing with him only moments ago, actually. How about this, Kerak? I'll resume the discussion he and I were having earlier and keep him busy, and you'll take the opportunity to... clean up."


Jorgensaard bent down to examine one of the golden scales left by Jetsam's abrupt exit. "This isn't really what I had in mind when I asked for answers."

"Hoodwinked. Bamboozled!" Tinten shouted, waving his recently retrieved plasma thrower emphatically.

"Stay your hand, Tinten," Huebert said mildly. "Jetsam may be gone now, but one of our marks remains."

St. Scofflaw grimaced. "That's just childish. We should be working together to deal with Jetsam right now!" Smoke bombs, smoke bombs... Where in this damned suit did I put the smoke bombs? "And could you remove this wrench from my back, Jorgensaard? I do believe it's irreparably hurting my dignity."

"Oh, all right. I need it back anyway." Jorgensaard grasped the wrench and ripped it straight out with a gasp of pain from Scofflaw. "And you can put that away right now," he added, gesturing at Tinten's weapon. "Scofflaw's right. We can't afford to point fingers at each other right now. There's an outraged shapeshifter loose that might just want us dead, and we have no idea where or how he'll show up next."

Five seconds later he did have a pretty good idea, though, as that was when Jetsam showed up in a flash of light. He stood exactly on the same spot he had disappeared from, even. "I guess you can keep your weapon out after all," Jorgensaard said through gritted teeth. "Back so soon? To what do we owe this pleasure, Jetsam?"

"It's- It's not what it looks like." At least I didn't get vaporized instantly. Hopefully Kerak'll make enough noise in his entrance to give me a chance to escape. At the very least, he can take the fall for me! "What exactly do you expect to happen when you pump me full of Unity like that? You should be happy I only exploded!"

"You really think that'll fly with me? I've been working with Chaos for decades now. I know exactly what happens when I hit things with my wrench, and I'm afraid 'explosions' aren't on the list."

"Should be."

"Shut up. What were you really doing, Jetsam?"

Jetsam let out an exasperated sigh. "I can't exactly control where I end up right now, okay? I'm teleporting completely at random! I don't even know how long I'll be here!"

"I suppose I'll just have to make your restraints a bit tighter this time, then!" Jorgensaard swung his wrench with a little bit more gusto than Jetsam considered strictly necessary, and-


"That's odd..." Jorgensaard started. "My spanner shouldn't make that sou-"

His confusion was cut short by the full weight of an enraged Deinonychus. The the fight that followed began, and immediately ended with, a savage rip to the jugular vein. Kerak killed the foreman before he even had any particular chance to process his opponent's entrance.

"Justice..." the dinosaur said through blood-stained teeth, "is served."

Scofflaw was the first to react to Kerak's... dramatic entrance. He threw a grenade that immediately filled the room with impermeable smoke, and tackled Kerak bodily across the room. "What exactly possessed you to kill the production foreman, Kerak?" He whispered, after they had landed in a corner of the room.

"Hello again, Scofflaw!" Kerak replied cheerily. "Jorgensaard was an enemy of balance! His death was a necessary part of ensuring equilibrium between chaos and unity."

Much though he would have liked to ask what exactly inspired Kerak's present line of thinking, Scofflaw was somewhat more distracted by the situation at hand. "Your devotion to the natural order is admirable, but I would really like to recommend that you practice your timing better in the future."


"You see, there's a pair of contestants across the room from us that aren't particularly fond of me, or you, or Jetsam, and I really think this 'gruesome murder' thing is just exacerbating matters."

From across the room: "Blackheart! Devil!"


"Right. Now, they probably would have already shot you by now if not for my quick thinking, but we're not exactly out of the fire yet. We're still here, and they're still here, and if that's still true in twenty seconds this smoke'll clear out and we'll be up against two homicidal vigilantes with plasma throwers."

Kerak couldn't resist himself. "Plasma throwers?"

"Bad Things. Okay? Now let's skedaddle. And from here on out, how about I call the shots."
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Schazer.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Schazer.

So the dinosaur's working against me as well. Should've figured.

Chaos was taking its time to leach into the smoky surrounds - concentrated underground as it was, trying to fatally harass the trio trapped down there – but Jetsam could feel the flow shifting.

The stupid little dinosaur didn't know what it was talking about. There was no balance – just sweet, mercurial Chaos crashing tirelessly against Unity's ramshackle defences. The Unity plant was primed for destruction, and Jetsam could only relish the prospect. Every present fibre of him screamed every minute the place persisted, burning a hole into the fabric of the true and right reality. Such high, baseless emotions would have normally clashed disconnected with Jetseam's deeper motives – the ones the likes of Tor would've attributed to his hal – but for once, it was all blissfully concordant.

Chaos would eviscerate these lackeys. The bastard, who'd sent them, might even get a laugh out of it – not that Jetsam minded. This counted as screwing over that arsehole's plans. Win-win for everyone.

Jetsam sighed deeply; the smoke tasted like anarchy. The crossbow-wrench and grappling-scythe still smouldered upon his Chaotic retinas, piercing the haze with a light that momentarily flashed white-hot. The man flinched. Right. The magician. The one Chaos couldn't kill without his help.

He slunk through the dispersing smoke, a satisfied smirk quirking his face as a party horn's squeal heralded a blizzard of confetti showering the room. The scythe was ignored; Jetsam knew things falling into place when he saw it. A well-timed purple mountain lion fell from the ceiling by TinTen, giving Jetsam the time he needed to skulk up to Jorgensaard and snatch up the spanner. Everyone in the room spun around as Jetsam's corpse-looted weapon glowed green, materialised a holographic industrial-looking longbow above it, then condensed all that energy and shot it into the floor with a roar and a ripple of outwardly-extending chaos that made everyone's hair stand on end.

Unisteel – a curious, malleable material with the ability to channel latent Unity or Chaos – was a dangerous substance in even the most capable hands of Unity. Jetsam's arm was currently dead from the shoulder down. What agents of Unity lack in raw power, Unisteel weaponry can amplify to take down the forces of Chaos.

It was probably never intended to find itself in the hands of Chaos itself. Jetsam grinned, only to have the smirk scorched off his face by Huebert. Scofflaw dragged a none-too-reluctant Kerak out of the room before Jetsam hit the ground.

The shapeshifter still managed weak, gurgling gasps despite missing the upper right portion of his torso. The semisolid black that was writhing out of the exposed regions in lieu of blood or innards kept the whole arrangement pretty tidy, though it was mostly Chaotically cosmetic. It was probably interchangeable with knitted viscera. Or frogs. Or something. Jetsam's good (as in, existing) eye meandered for a little bit before settling on Huebert with hatred – hatred at being killed, tempered somewhat by relief for the same. He felt a little sorry for Chaos having to deal with Murdoch, but that was probably this disintegrating body of his talking.

The magician. Chaos contorted itself, in pain and anger, around the fallen man, demanding their deal be upheld. Jetsam would've begged Chaos just leave him be, but didn't have the strength to protest. Or turn around and see the monstrous alligator that had loomed from the floor. TinTen's laser pistol did little to dissuade the Chaos monster, as it devoured Jetsam in one huge bite before turning its malicious gaze toward them.

“Likely not dead,” growled the Meipi, scrambling behind his companion to grab his grenade launcher. Huebert looked troubled at the prospect of something that could live to talk about being caught in the blast of his plasma-projector, but dutifully lined the alligator in his sights anyway.
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Lankie.

And then Murdoch was alive again.

It was a pretty unique feeling, dying for 13 seconds then being thrust back amongst the living, the massive gaping hole in his body fixed instantly. Even his clothes were repaired. Miles patted his body in disbelief as Fracture simply watched in equal disbelief,
“What trickery is this?” Fracture materialised in front of the flabbergasted Magician and effortlessly lifted him from his collar. “I killed you. You’re supposed to be dead! Explain yourself now, Magic man!”

Murdoch maintained his wide eyed gaze at the uncharacteristically enraged Varalica. He knew whatever he would do or say she would just kill him outright again, so he took a chance and simply told her the truth.

“I saw ‘Her’.”

Fracture loosened her grip as a flash of pure fear swept through her; she knew exactly what Miles was talking about, and the prospect terrified her beyond compare.

Murdoch smiled a perhaps too sinister grin.


Back in the present day, many things want Magic Murdoch Miles dead, be that contestants, celestial super beings or realities themselves. Some things never change, yet still he wished that said things had maybe gone slightly better for him. He was hoping to charm the entire congregation into a rag tag rebellion, overthrowing their tyrannical captor and escaping to freedom all in about roughly 4 hours, give or take. Instead he managed to piss off and highly unpredictable force of nature and probably half of the combatants in to the process. The Varalica admitted to himself that things could of gone better for him, but god damn it he’s Murdoch Miles, he’s wasn’t about to let a little thing like an omnipresent super-force stop him.

Miles wandered round the corridors of the mostly ruined facility aimlessly, as he had been ever since he narrowly escaped a second beheading from Scofflaw, this time of the explosive variety. Admittedly it wasn’t the Saint’s doing that caused him to violate every law of reality just to escape, but he figured it was probably his fault, somehow. He also kicked himself for not formally introducing himself to the other being that tried to kill him, he was not about to forgo manners over such a trivial thing as attempted murder. Miles was getting slightly aggravated by the lack of anyone to converse to, then again, to an outside perspective; the Magician was a dome of chaos creatures in a cycle of attack and death.

Murdoch had placed a perpetual dome of industrial strength Unity round him, using his own personal supply of magic to sustain it. It was actually pretty easy, one of the pros of being an omnipotent space-wizard. Naturally, Chaos hated this, it wasn’t so much as Murdoch was now the main producer of Unity in the entire the facility (and as such an entire affront to Chaos’ existence), more so that he was doing it so easily. Chaos boiled and screamed at how smugly invincible the Magician was, a grand ‘fuck you’ to the natural flow of the planet.

But deep in the impossible belly of an impossible caricature of a creature, Chaos was building its ultimate weapon, it’s ‘coup de grace’ so to speak. A battered and destroyed Jetsam floated in the ‘tardis’ of a belly that was this beast. Small, incomprehensible agents of Chaos worked round the clock (quite literally, they were using a giant cartoon clock as a surgical table) to build Benjamin into something better, something a little more combat ready for that insolent glowing man, the Unisteel upgrades were certainly going to help. Jetsam was going to fulfil his end of the deal, whether he wanted to or not.

Meanwhile, the heavily armed duo were having a much harder time than usual destroying Chaos latest being, Jetsam’s ‘cage’. The large alligator shined an epileptic cycle of colours as Tinten and Huebert’s barrage of plasma fire quite literally bounced of the huge crocodilian. The huge beast swung its head towards the pair, showing off its sword like teeth. “Tactical retreat may be in order.” Huebert acknowledged the massive amount of nothing his weapons were causing and backed off into a non-descript hallway, Tinten covering them both with a salvo of grenades.

“Oh! Wait!” Scofflaw was not particularly happy that Kerak had interrupted his retreat down a non-descript hallway, again. While running wasn’t exactly something Scofflaw took any pleasure from, there were heavily armed things and giant alligators and plasma and hoooly shit a lot of things that would get him very dead very quick. “I thought we agreed that I would do all the talking from now on?” Kerak sheepishly gave a little wave with his talons as means of a quick apology. “The glowing guy! We have kill that guy as well, you know, in the name of balance!” The dinosaur’s voice rising for added effect. While admittedly not in his current schedule of things to do, Scofflaw certainly didn’t mind having the insidious twat out of the picture. “Well, I guess because we’re such good allies I can fit that into my busy agenda.” Kerak gave a little cheer at another successful job well done, this was going to be a story for the ages and he’ll get to taste glowing flesh! This day couldn’t get any better.

Murdoch continued his wandering, blissfully unaware of the many beings plotting his demise. He sighed loudly. “Why is always the ‘Good Guy’ who gets all the trouble…”
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Lord Paradise.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Lord Paradise.

Scofflaw had employed dinosaurs in the past, but none of them had ever been so… goofy. He’d always had the feeling that he was living in a cartoon, but associating with Kerak gave him the feeling that he was living in a cartoon from a different age, one with less Eastern influence and bereft of the post-Columbine fretting about child psychology.

The Deinonychus’ slapstick fixation with food would probably have been a negative when establishing a partnership with a man who, to be honest, could probably drop a few pounds and still retain his commanding presence. However, the good news was that Kerak didn’t hunger like a beast so much as he craved, like a pregnant woman, and right now he was craving Murdoch. Scofflaw was happy to play the role of chef and waiter.

The dinosaur, his brain like Jetsam’s apparently affected by the presence of chaos, seemed to be able to sniff out the trail of Unity exuded by the magician. That or he was just trotting through the halls pretending to know where he was going. Either way, Scofflaw was pleased to follow, so long as they didn’t wind up back where the other contestants were busy Grand Battling. A quick execution for Miles would certainly play to his advantage, but either way, the round would be coming to an end soon with all the plasma swirling about.

When it became apparent that they were catching up to the magician Scofflaw could perceive it too—a faint humming, in a register almost too high for him to hear, almost self-aggrandizing in its harmony. It was the sound of Unity. Scofflaw found it a bit bothersome.

The sound stopped, as though Chaos had just had a better idea, and a wall burst forth and released a ton of vaguely foul-smelling sand on top of Kerak and Scofflaw. The villain gave a bit of a girly yelp and flailed around as the sand got under his clothes and threatened to hang around itchily in his joints for days to come. By the time the two had gotten their bearings, the corridor was gone.

In its place was a massive, cavernous chamber, dominated by some manner of nightmare-creature that hung from the ceiling and seemed to be contributing to the slowly rising level of sand. Locked in fruitless battle with it were the other Grand Battle contestants, the ones Scofflaw had forgotten about.

Scofflaw hung back and weighed his options. If he stood and did nothing, the monster would probably kill one of the other constestants and progress the battle to the next round. That would be a short-term benefit, but of course probably prove detrimental in the much more important battle against Miles.

Four possibilities. Scratch that: five possibilities, counting the chance, however slim, that this gibbering echinoderm could actually kill Scofflaw. He dismissed that notion quickly.

The monster could kill Kerak. That wasn’t good; Kerak, as well as being a spectacularly low threat, might prove to be an excellent minion in time.

It could kill Tengeri. Was Tengeri a threat? Scofflaw squinted and watched the serpent grappling valiantly against the Thing. He supposed she was very frightening, what with her teeth and her absurdly advanced technology. He tried to imagine her getting the better of him. It was… hard. He decided that she was basically the bargain bin TinTen and it didn’t benefit him to have her dead.

The thing could kill Tor. Oh, Tor. Was Tor a threat? Heh. Ha ha. Ahahahahahaha. Haaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaa! Ahem. No, Kerak, just thought of something my mother once said. Go along and fight the monster, now.

No, it wouldn’t benefit Scofflaw for anyone else but he personally to get rid of Tor, and he figured he’d save that for a late round, take his time with it.

The monster might kill Velobo. This option intrigued Scofflaw, who knew a hero when he saw one. The cube had… pluck. Pluck always made Scofflaw uncomfortable, especially in underdogs. Yes, it might be best to let Mr. Calidad face his dragon and lose.

As he always did in quandaries like this, Scofflaw did the thing that made him seem most impressive. He took out a book of matches and stepped forward into the whirlwind of sand and tentacles. “Lovecraftian horrors,” he announced, lighting a match, “hate fire.” He tossed the match at the beast and it lit up with a noise that could only be articulated using more than six of the letter “h.”

By the time the sand had all figured out which way was down and the smell of seafood had dispersed through the chamber, Scofflaw was already making his way towards the door that Chaos had supplied for the Battlers as though rewarding them for their victory. The villain beckoned, not looking back. “Come along, children,” he said, giddily. “We’re off to see the wizard.”

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

quick reserve to be filled by the time tomorrow rolls around
also lookit this. MrBear made it. he is a cool guy in pesterlite
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.


<font color="#86608E">Miles Zember Embyweather or just "Emby" as his friends called him was completely flabbergasted. Sitting still without the slightest attention away from the many monitors displaying the events all throughout the plant, Emby rubbed his eyes in disbelief. It obviously wasn’t the odd people and creatures that appeared, nor the transforming pangolin that had left him in awe. Not even the abomination that had been recently killed over in the caves had phased him.
This was something absolutely unthinkable. Jorgensaard was dead. Mauled by a dinosaur no less.
Miles himself continued to sit still. When he was ordered to “stay put” and “stay quiet”, he certainly didn’t expect anything quite like this. His superior was gone, and there was not a soul nearby who could give him an order or tell him what to do. Emby always was sure to follow the rules, he had every book on them, and so he consulted the Big Book of Regulations in Unity Plants (Not to be Confused with the Big Book of Regulations on Unity Plants). Moving his finger through the rather large book all the way back to the index.
“Index.... superior killed by..... darling... demi-god... duck... wait a tick... dinosaur! ..... paaaaage... 473.”

<font color="black">
” Big Book of Regulations in Unity Plants (Not to be Confused With the Big Book of Regulations on Unity Plants)” Wrote:
If Your Supervisor Was Killed By a Dinosaur.
If your supervisor was killed by a prehistoric reptilian creature, commonly referred to as a Dinosaur, do not be alarmed. If you were able to navigate to this page of the book, then unless you are extremely lucky, either the dinosaur has been incapacitated and you are reading this for replacement procedure (See page 105, “Replacing a Supervisor Killed by a Dinosaur”) or it means that you have witnessed your Supervisors death from a place that the dinosaur cannot currently reach you. If the case is the latter, you are authorized to continue reading this paragraph, otherwise stop or the gelatinous goo that serves as binding to the book will crush your hands.

Good! Now, if your supervisor was killed by a dinosaur and you have no means of protection, then quickly contact your local Grime, Avian, and Reptilian Pre-Historic Up-Keeper as soon as possible using this books patented “Savior Call Button”.

<div style="text-align: center;">____PRESS HERE TO CALL YOUR LOCAL____
Grime , Avian, and Reptilian Pre-Historic Up-Keeper
As Miles pressed the button, on one of the many screens a small cubiod creature had just landed in a pool of sand... </font>

For the first time since he had been "born" Velobo Calidad was voluntarily resting his body and mind.
Instead of thinking for the future, he reminisced of his short past, remembering...
He remembered when he was just 2106062, another of a thousand small colored cubes who only lived to die.
He remembered those first few hours, his simplicity, his inability to act or think, and the conveyer belt in which his siblings lost all of their abilities.
He remembered when the belt suddenly stopped, and when he first fully opened his eyes.
And he remembered the black cloaked man who had first spoke to him, and touched him, "w</font>aking him up".

Tor inched closer to where Velobo had fallen and shook him awake, asking him "Velobo, are you okay"?

While Tor retrieved Velobo, Tengeri focused on the behemoth. Crushed by the crystals and suffocated by the sand, the beast was dead.
This thing still isn't being fully comprehended by my scanners. Perhaps I can use that to my advantage if I ever get the chance to study it.
As she hovered closer to the creature, she spotted various burn marks near the crystal stalactites that had fallen on the creature when the cave roof fell.
The crystals also seem to exhibit odd properties. It would be best to take both.
Creating two small bubbles to take a sample of each, Tengeri quickly put them into a container which she then placed within a cybernetic holding cell. With the samples contained, she turned back to her two companions.

Velobo had woken up, sitting upon the shoulder of Tor, still a bit drowsy, and not fully aware of his surroundings.
But he was alive.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Valter.