VFX SEMI: Va'Ul VS Pendelberry Gray

Discussion in 'Roleplaying Forum' started by Wolfsbane, Nov 2, 2009.

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  1. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    The commercial break ends, and the VFX logo, accompanied by the most hardcore metal music this world has ever heard, flashes all over the screen in an explosion of extraordinary special effects and unimaginable violence. Then it gets cut in half by an enormous chainsaw, and the camera changes it's focus to the host, McMurphy, who greets his viewers with a big, hungry, smile.

    People of the world! Children of God! Viewers of the VFX! I say, ARE YOUU READYYY!?

    At this point the studio crowd goes absolutely bananas, cheering and screaming in a chorus of 'yes'es.

    Now, my fine friends, it's finally time for our second semi final! A fight that'll dazzle us, I believe, in ways that even the holy bible cannot! And the fighters! The fighters are two of the toughest I've ever seen, folks, and I've seen quite a lot in my days!

    So have I, Dropkick, Zeke suddenly says, and I've gotta say that not even the most fearsome Kung-Fu nutcases I've met out there can compete with these buggers. Heck, Norris himself would have himself trouble with these buggers!

    Hallelujah to that, brother! And now, for the introduction: Clap your hands and scream your lungs out for mr Viva la Beamsword, Pendelberryyy Graaay! And let me hear you cheer like you've never cheered before for The Thing, Vaaaaa'Uuuuul! Yes! Ah! I hear that Amen, brother! Oh, I hear that Hallelujah! Yeah! And where will they be fighting? Well, here it comes: They'll be fighting in

    AIRFORCE ONE
    [​IMG]

    Without his knowledge, we've managed to smuggle our contestants aboard the presidential jumbojet itself! It is a wonderous craft known for having escaped alien death-rays and murderous terrorists! It has everything the flying politician needs; refreshments, government agents, a myriad of small, secret escaperoutes and a fresh supply of parachutes! Also, we've thrown in a little surprise in the shape of a certain president by the name of Ford, who's stalking the aircraft as we speak, ready to let his almost endless experiance of action-oriented movies out on the fighters!

    So, It's time folks! Time for the second and final semi! Whaddaya say, let's start it up, shall we?! Arright! LET! THERE! BE! BLOOD! BEGIN!!!

    (You've got til Sunday. Break that place.)
     
  2. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    In the final rays of the setting sun, the huge aircraft moved into view, filling the air with the low hum of its engines. A jet fighter pierced its way into the screen, it's sharp engine noise decaying into a mix of a generic musical score fitting a movie from the 90's and nervous pilot chatter. A few slow takes later, showing off the presidential craft in all of its glory, flying in formation with its defenders, the chatter becomes dominated by the subject of an approaching meteor, likely to cross paths with the transport. The advice is to increase speed and maintain altitude. In less then a minute, the meteor is branded as a UFO, having confirmedly changed its bearing to intercept the accelerating formation. Little more time was necessary for the object to become a threat, a very serious and fast moving one at that.

    While a deadly ball of plasma from below, a shaky zoom in from above shows a striking similarity to the spaceship Va'Ul borrowed during his last battle. It is, of course, missing a few parts here and there, and currently scattering sheets of armor that give in to the atmospheric friction.

    Ah ! look at the shooting star ! We all should think of a wish !
    Well, it's not really a...
    ...good idea to attack Air Force One like that. These guys are no amateurs !

    The fighter jets scattered in an intercepting maneuver while the transport started turning to evade the impact. A flick to Va'Ul's craft shows a part of the hull being jettisoned, a rather large missile headed straight for the big plane. Almost simultaneously, two energy beams flashed from somewhere on the spaceship, slashing through two of the presidential defenders. The feeble planes exploded the instant the rays touched them. So did the part of Va'Ul's ship that emitted the beams, tearing off another big chunk of the hull, spraying out a cloud of smoke and white-hot debris, sparkling into the night.

    So pretty ! Fireworks !

    In the meantime the missile had already come close to its target, unaffected by any of the spectacular countermeasures that were employed. Except the final one. A fighter jet, having depleted its cannons and rockets, in an attempt to disable the threat, flew right between the plane and its wannabe-executor. The jet exploded into a cloud of burning debris, raining onto Air Force One below, as the projectile pierced its way through, straying off course, and missing its target. It then burst into a fireball that dwarfed everything this night has seen so far, pushing the insignificantly small aircraft around like they were paper planes in the wind. All except the incoming Va'Ul.

    The fireball burst into a number of secondary explosions, echoing like thunder throughout the air, while fighter jets recovered and went onto the offensive. The spaceship was now mostly a bent up ball of metal, having lost most of its lower hull and leaving behind a stream that looked like stardust in the night sky. With no further attacks coming from the intruder, it would appear that it's depleted all of the means of offense. The remaining planes did not, raining gunfire and missiles on the craft, vaporising and blowing off parts with every hit.

    With significant effort they managed to bring the wreck off course, missing the huge plane by two dozen meters. The flaming hulk was on its way to the ground, scattering amazing amounts of debris every inch of the way, when something more significant emerged from within. A ray of light, then another, piercing through the burning skeleton on a ship, blindingly brighter then the red plasma surrounding the craft. A huge ball of light, almost instantaneously engulfed the whole area, turning night into the brightest day ever on Earth. The last shot from the camera pod depicted an dark outline of a humanoid form, right above shape of Air Force One, falling in slow motion toward the craft, arms outstretched in search of something to hold on to. The outlines blurred out and the screen was filled with white. The signal was cut.

    What happenet ? Why is the TV broken ?
    And the first contender has entered the arena !
     
  3. Grakelin

    Grakelin New Member

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    In a flash of light, a huge, winged reptile suddenly appeared and screeched its volume through the sky, claws outstretched and vicious teeth shining. On its back, cape billowing and beamsword raised, was Pendleberry Gray, master of time! Strapped to the huge beast's back was a large Gulf War era machine gun (freshly lifted from the mid 90s just thirty minutes previously!). Pendleberry let the bullets fly.

    And I say, contestant number two has arrived on board the Faithtester itself!

    And he certainly feels like cutting to the chase, don't he, Dropkick? Already, he's levelling that fine piece of terrorist technology on Va'Ul and our great President themselves!

    Dozens of rounds bounced off the bullet-proof hull of the Presidential Plane, causing serious dents in the plating, but failing to penetrate. They cascaded around Pendleberry's armoured foe, covering the mysterious construct with burning sparks.

    As Pendleberry flew under the plane, he briefly considered slicing open the engines with his beamsword and letting the vessel fall to the Earth, but he thought better of it. His foe was clearly quite tough, and it might turn out to be easier to score hits on him up here where he was more confined than on the ground where he might be able to hide.

    Instead, he set his timebelt to "Wide Field" and attached it to the plane's fuselage as his Pterodactyl zipped out from underneath. When the time was right, his remote would lead Va'Ul into quite an unpleasant surprise.
     
  4. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    The shower of bullets wasn't a very pleasant surprise. Even though the impacts were far from threatening, he most certainly felt that. Dozens of stings all over the armor, creating miniature cracks and chipping off splinters of dark metal. Once the attacker's passed underneath the plane, Va'Ul started his climb up to the top of the craft.

    Hanging down from a bent sheet of torn-off hull, he pulled up and climbed through a mess of wires and some structural supports, he escaped the pit his impact has created. The top of the plane was scarred by bullet impacts and scorch marks from the events earlier this evening. And quite slippery.

    Va'Ul was taking his time, reassured by the noises of the remaining three fighter jets swirling around and blazing away at his opponent. They'd had no chance of doing the job for him, but might occupy his adversary for a short while. And that was all the time he'd needed to recall one of his great conquests. Welcoming the thought of engaging in some glorious dogfights, he focused on the memories of a strange world, where dragon riders fought for the sky against airborne fortresses, constructed on floating rocks by their gremlin-like occupants.

    Va'Ul unsheathed his sword and thrust it downward in the plane's hull, penetrating the armor and driving it three feet beneath. A moment later, the craft sluggishly turned to avoid a ghostly object appearing from the nearby cloud. They'd almost made it, but for a short while, the plane grazed the floating rock, with no noticeable effect. The phantom passed through the craft like water vapor, recombining into shape once it was clear. A primal scream echoed from above and shadows of dragon-like creatures descended from above, diving past the plane, their roars like echoes from very far away.

    Oh! The dragons are so scary !
    Here we go again...

    Dimmed flashes of light announced the appearance of dragonfires, scorching large and small constructs of stone and steel, defiantly hovering through the sky. Tiny dots of light faded into showers of flaming arrows, chasing winged phantoms, gradually recreating the intensity of the long forgotten conflict. Battle cries and explosions echoed through the air. The plane was done with its maneuver, having regained stability. Va'Ul pulled out his sword from the plane's hull, creating a sharp hiss as the hole vented air pressure from inside. His opponent should have been done with the fighter jets by now. A dragon passed beneath the plane, the rider swiftly split in half by a flying axe. Va'Ul jumped down, anchored by the bloodied axe embedded harmlessly between dragon's scales.

    That had to hurt...
    Looks like we're in for a dogfight folks !
     
  5. Grakelin

    Grakelin New Member

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    Snip Snip.

    Two swings of the beam sword felled two fight jets. A third took a hail of machine gun rounds, turning the cockpit into a bloody mess. Already, fortresses and dragons were coming forth. The moment for the timebelt was coming sooner, rather than later. Dodging dragon fire, he pressed the button on his remote.

    A flash of light, and the contents of the sky - Air Force One, Fortresses, Dragons, and warriors alike - were teleported 10,000 years into the future to a moment where several space fleets were viciously converging on the point where Earth had once proudly stood. As the three epic war fleets came out of warp over the ruins of the Sol System, their fighters were surprised to be met with large dragons (who, by some stretch of luck, seemed to have no trouble with the lack of pressure in space). The factions began to battle, starships firing their beam cannons as Dragons bore down on them. Massive starships, part of equally massive fleets, exploded, showering the region with flame and debris. Blasts capable of annihilating entire planets consumed dragons and their riders alike. Several squadrons of fighters tried and failed to bring down the fortresses. They were torn to pieces by all manner of fantasy weaponry. One fighter drove itself into a dragon's gut and they both flew into the sun.

    I must admit to a level of confusion, ladies and gentleman. Besides our watching into the future, how in Eisenhower's good name are these people able to survive in space without atomizing?

    Well, Zeke, this is an extremely unlikely astronomical anomaly brought on by the constant time fluctuations Pendleberry has been causing here. The realities are gradually shifting together as a result, and creating a paradoxical ability for this now empty region of space to support life for limited periods of time.

    ...

    So, what you're saying is: It's so we can watch these two warriors kick some serious ass?

    Oooh, I hope they don't hurt the dragons too badly, they're kind of cute, even if they are scary.



    Pendleberry, meanwhile, was flying his Pterodactyl back towards Air Force One, preparing for another strafing run. Dodging beamfire and stray debris, he wrapped around the, showering Va'Ul with a second layer of lead. Along the way, he grabbed his time belt with one hand and strapped it back on. He completed a third strafe before leaping from his mount and landing on the plane. He drew his rapid fire musket and shot a rider off his dragon, causing the dragon to zip under the plane as its owner flew over. The Musketeer didn't remove his gaze from his primary foe for a moment.

    "En garde, cowardly villain!" he yelled, holding out his beamsword and giving a bow. "We fight to the death, you and I, for the glory of France and His Majesty King Louis!"

    Behind him, two battleships - the France and the Louis XIV - collided. Marines used their jetpacks to escape the wreckage that ensued. Dragons ate some of them. The marines captured some of the dragons. One marine jumped from his hijacked beast and landed behind Va'Ul, laser bayonet raised over his head. Pendleberry shot him between the eyes.

    "We fight with honour, glory, and - hopefully - no more interruptions! I will see you die my sword alone! VIVA LA FRANCE!"

    Pendleberry Gray leaped forward, beamsword twirling.
     
  6. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    Being warped 10 000 years into the future, while in mid flight in attempt to mount a dragon, was somewhat unexpected by Va'Ul. While clearly surprised by what immediately followed, which was a beam of energy that exploded said dragon, he showed uncompromising resolve by recovering in an instant, anchoring his axe to the plane and swinging back to the top just in time for the first volley of bullets to whip across his chest. The gunfire had thrown the giant off balance, tipping him over to the left wing of the aircraft. He fell on his back, instantly rolling backwards and recovering.

    The impacts left visible marks across the armor, dents and scars in the otherwise spotless surface of his chestplate. He'd had worse, but sustained gunfire could chip away the thick plates quite quickly, if accurate enough. Bits of chipped metal crumbled from some of the deeper groves on his back as he caught the returning axe.

    Having spotted his opponent's invitation, Va'Ul leaped back on top of Air Force One and for the first time displayed his dueling style, the huge sword up behind his head with the axe in front, low on his legs his head was only slightly higher then his opponent's. His stance was drastically different from the one displayed by the musketeer, countering the graceful and noble guard with animal-like aggression, looking ready to pounce at any time. They stood there for a moment, half the plane's length between them, ready to kill each other at any moment. Energy beams flashed in the background, wings of fighters trying to outmaneuver a particularly large silver-scaled dragon, which incinerated the ships as if they were nothing but confetti in the wind.

    So eager to die, human ?

    The dragon flew right over Air Force One, tilting the plane a bit. The fighters stood firmly as it flashed in front of them. The wings spanned well over their heads.

    Then come !


    And they began, Va'Ul rushing forward and throwing the first attack with his axe, a faint developed into a powerful swing of the sword. Only in slow motion one could see how close the attack was to connecting, as it looked otherwise as if the musketeer had parried it with no effort at all. And then it started.

    Va'Ul's weapons, strangely resistant to the beam rapier, pounded brutally against his enemy's guard, only to be subdued into defense in an instant, an exchange exacting a heavy toll on the plane's surface. Since the very beginning of the fight, both were completely absorbed by the duel, almost in a trance, uninterrupted by the events unfolding around them. A young, wounded dragon was thrown into one of the plane's engines, crushing it in a fiery blaze and climbing back on its feet, tipping Air Force One to the right. Shortly after it had been vaporised along with a better part of the wing by a energy blast that barely missed one of the larger fortresses in the distance. Against the white of the blast contrasted the silhouettes of the two fencers, Va'Ul in mid-jump, swinging his sword on his enemy, Pendleberry about to slash the opponent who had exposed himself during the attack. It is unclear what happened immediately afterward, but as the image returned to normal they were fighting with even more intensity.

    The duel was amazingly balanced, despite the fact that nearly each attack was about to end the fight in a clean decapitation or tearing the opponent in two. Both fighters blocked the attacks at the very last moments, and only they knew whether they had done it deliberately or desperately. Va'Ul's strikes were powerful enough to carve deep groves in the hull, their strength augmented by his tireless acrobatics, turning his entire body into a weapon. Only the skill with which his foe parried and dodged these attacks could match his aggression, for the epic spectacle of spaceships bombarding floating fortresses dimmed in comparison to the duel.

    They were both creating art and they knew it, yet they had no time to even register that. A slightest sacrifice of concentration would mean an instant end of to the fight, and that fact contributed greatly to its quality, as none of the combatants were able to take advantage of either of their tricks. Reaching for the timebelt would be as lethal to Pendleberry as would be dreaming of the past conquests for Va'Ul.

    Ah, what a fight! Just look at these moves, I don't think I've ever seen anyone swing a sword like that !
    You don't see time-traveling musketeers fighting a war-incarnate everyday. But I'll have to agree, the balance between these two is so perfect it's unbelievable !
    Not only that, it looks like they're both in a deadlock. Pendleberry is too absorbed to use his time-belt while denying Va'Ul the window to make a power attack. The big guy just can't use his full strength because he'd be junkmetal before he could swing his sword.

    As they fought, battalions of space marines were making the choice between fighting their designated targets or fending off dragon riders and dodging ballista bolts (which apparently lost none of their effectiveness through 11 000 years). Aiding to the confusion, a third party appears to have made a planned arrival to the battlefield, as battleships started warping out of hyperspace, more massive and better armed then ones belonging to the previous two space armies. From mere kilometers away, to tiny flashes of light in the distance, legions of the bulky cruisers quickly overwhelmed the battlefield and appeared to be circling the scene of the battle. Their shields almost impenetrable to any weapons fired at them, not a single one of these ships was downed during the maneuver. That's not to say they weren't hit hard, as the flagship was almost instantly scorched by massed dragonfire, turning parts of the upper hull into a cross-section gallery.

    The two combatants showed no sign of fatigue, now jumping around on the only remaining wing of the aircraft. Their tactics had clearly adjusted to the opponent's style, but still no room for error could be seen. Va'Ul seemed to pace the duel with the lightning-fast exchanges that followed his every pounce, anyone who watched the whole fight could tell that the human wasn't even slightest bit subdued into defense. Yet for each move He made, Va'Ul made three. Pendleberry's form was impeccable, yet the sweat on his temples began to betray his exhaustion.

    The intruding ships were already executing their plan, which was quite simple really - destroy everyone and everything. Or at least this much had became obvious the moment they opened fire. Of course, they'd only calculated for the two fleets to have been there, so the presence of dragons, goblin-fortresses and The President of The United States of America had confused them greatly. So they made an adjustment to their original plan.

    The duel was now about to come to an end. Both fighters managed to bring the fight to the point at which they could leap back without the danger of being cut in half by the opponent's weapon. Before that could've been realized however, they were frozen in a beam of light, along with few cubic kilometers of space filled with dragons, goblins and space marines, and almost instantly sucked into a huge mothership.

    What the hell ?

    The space battle didn't take long to come to a conclusion after that, while the announcers expressed their confusion. It took a long commercial break until VFX interrupted in the middle of a tampon advertisement, the three familiar faces looking blankly into the camera. Dropkick was listening to his headset while the others blinked with disbelief, observing their screens.

    We just can't keep these two to ourselves, can we ? Looks like they've been made into exhibits in the living museum of the galactic emperor...
    That place sure as hell isn't going to be living once these two are through. Now let's see what's going on down there !

    A scene of violence and filth flashed across the screen, something that appeared to be a prison brawl, except the prisoners were all sorts tentacle monsters mixed with furry aliens and some even weirder creatures . The camera pushed its way through a poorly lit corridor, filled with aliens in filthy prison clothes, until it reached some sort of a balcony, overlooking a courtyard. There, in the middle of what resembled a Colosseum (except built inside of a spaceship or a prison-planet, and larger), lay the crash-landed plane, with secret-service agents gunning down the aliens curious enough to get too close. There also were a few dragons hovering about, including the silver one, and a piece of flying rock with a small castle built upon it. The fighters however, were not found in the commotion, although there were scores of dismembered aliens thrown across the huge arena, a likely sign of the two competitors fighting their way to the inside of the gladiator complex.
     
  7. Grakelin

    Grakelin New Member

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    Pendleberry ducked under one of Va'Ul's axe blows. It smashed open a wall, which the musketeer fell through as he parried his foe's sword. The two pushed their duel into the alien prison's cafeteria, spattering green blood everywhere as their stray blows cleaved the prisoners in half.

    The musketeer parried a sword blow and leaped up, grabbing the heft of Va'Ul's axe and cartwheeling off the living armour onto one of the long eating tables. He broke directly into a run as Va'Ul smashed the end of the table where he landed, catapulting Pendleberry into the air. He grabbed one of the light fixtures in the ceiling, the heat sizzling the leather glove of his hand. Va'Ul responded to this by leaping straight up, narrowly missing the agile time-traveller who used his feet to cartwheel away across the ceiling. The cursed beast smashed through the ceiling into a cell block. Pendleberry followed.

    The two continued their fray, sparks flying from the metal bars around them as they were torn open. They were in a rhythm now, parrying and striking and dodging and slashing. Pendleberry began to speak to his foe.

    "I already know how this battle ends, monster," he cried, sweat dripping from his brow. "And I will let you know right here and now that-"

    Sub-machine gun fire burst from behind the Va'Ul. Most of the shots bounced harmlessly off the beast's back, but one zipped under his arm and struck Pendleberry in the chest, flinging him several feet back.

    "GET OFF MY PLANE!" President James Marshall yelled, peppering Va'Ul with more lead. The construct was momentarily distracted, turning to face this new and strange opponent.

    "I will let you know right now," Pendleberry continued, bringing his hand to his time belt. "That you do indeed kill me today. However-"

    He disappeared in a flash. All was silent, except for President Marshall's gun clicking on empty. He quickly dropped the weapon and ran to the side. Va'Ul, dismayed at losing his opponent, followed, still thirsty for blood.

    They ran out into the courtyard again, where the VFX crew caught on to them once more. Marshall fell behind the secret service's line and was passed an assault rifle, which he bore down on Va'Ul as he approached.

    And there they are! Or at least one of them. It doesn't look like the musketeer is here. Could he have fled? Or is he dead? I guess that means that-


    Dozens, hundreds, thousands of flashes filled the courtyard. Out of each of them came Pendleberry. Thousands of Pendleberry's. And, as one well-practiced voice they said;

    "You may well be displeased to discover that you will have to kill me again and again before I truly fall!"

    The particular details of Pendleberry emerging on the scene as a sizable army involved him taking fifty years off to strike up a deal with a genetic corporation specializing in cloning. By the time Pendleberry's many adventures were finished, he had created many, many copies of himself. The majority of these were going to die within five years of their birth (or three years from now), but that suited him just fine. Only the real Pendleberry needed to survive anyways.

    There was also a good deal of space-time continuum smashing, of a level that only Pendleberry and a select few quantum researchers would ever understand.

    Ten thousand Pendleberrys filled the courtyard. Within minutes, they had spread through the prison, slaughtering every threat in sight. Their intense combat, combined with their rapid beamsword maneuvers, caused several major hull breaches, sucking nearly six hundred Pendleberry clones out into space.

    President James Marshall was the sole survivor of Air Force One, escaping the courtyard by spraying wildly with his assault rifle before breaking into a dead run as the weapon ran dry. He managed to escape into the ship's trash compactor with only seven musket wounds.

    Va'Ul, on the other hand, was kept very busy. The wave of musket balls, thousands of them, blew him off his feet, nearly destroying him. He proved to be sturdy, however, when he rose to his feet and cleaved two Pendleberrys in half all in one movement. The musketeer clones swooped in on him, fighting him a dozen at a time. They were not quite as skilled as their progenitor (had they been, Va'Ul would never have survived the onslaught), perhaps measuring half of his approximate skill. Still, even though he was able to beat them back, letting them fly through the air as he turned his attention to the rest. He killed a dozen of them within two minutes, but every time he created a hole in their defenses, a new Pendleberry arrived to fill it once more.

    The real Pendleberry had gone over these tactics carefully with his clones. His first instinct had been to simply dogpile his foe, but he had ascertained that his army would be crushed relatively easily without room to maneuver. He stood atop the fuselage of Air Force One and guided his armies into combat, commanding them with a firm voice.

    "My children! Continue your onslaught! We must slay this demon!"

    Va'Ul had counted thirty dead Pendleberrys when the first beamsword dug into his side. Bits of metal flaked off. As he turned, a second beamsword drove through his chest. He grabbed this assailant, dropping his axe to do so, and crushed his head with one hand. The Pendleberrys started to get cocky and closed in on him. He spun around, letting the sword flow with him, and sliced a dozen clones in half. The rest of the clones fell back, a huge, tight circle around Va'Ul. The armour saw his foe, standing atop the fuselage, and knew right away that it was him. The two stared eachother down. Va'Ul reached for his axe.

    SCHLIP. A Pendleberry ran past and cleanly removed Va'Ul's axe hand from his arm. Va'Ul blocked the clone's escape with his sword, taking off the upper half of his head.

    "You are wounded, dread demon," the real Pendleberry proclaimed. "Surrender now, and we will make your death swift!"
     
  8. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    From high above, the arena looked like a patchwork of yellow sand and blood red stains, occasionally spotted with blue and green, where aliens were slain in particularly vicious fashion. There were scorch marks where dragons had done their work and some smoldering ruins of guard robots that perished unnoticed by the audience. Two spots stood out - the plane wreck, surrounded by a rainbow colored circle of gunned down foes, and Va'Ul, standing tall in the middle of the greatest massacre on this battlefield. The field across which Pendleberry clones laid dead spanned many meters, as most of them were thrown a fair distance backwards by their killing blows - often losing parts while in the air. In the center stood a bloodied totem of war, covered with intestines and blood, some dried, some sizzling around groves etched by beam swords. The red suited him well.

    From deeper cuts in the armor lurked unilluminable darkness, which appeared to be pouring outwards. First to be noticed at the stump of the severed hand, opaque black smoke clouded slowly outwards. It did not seem to have been pushed out by anything - rather no longer contained by the armor, it began to mix with the air outside. The effect was subtle, barely screening the damages, but terrifyingly noticeable. Looking at it, even through thousands of years and millions miles away, filled one with a strange sense of uneasiness.

    So you offer to grant me death ?

    The giant impaled a charging clone, hoisting him up in the air, then sliced in half while swinging the sword down on two others, one cut through from shoulder to knee in a disgusting crack of bones.

    Jeez...Almighty...
    This is getting out of control...

    Around hundred and thirty clones that managed to rush out of the many hallways leading to the arena just reconsidered their tactics. They were imperfect and they knew it, now better then ever, even in worst moments of doubt they might have had. And that was the worst thing a clone could ever come to acknowledge. Throughout their brief training, they had no chance to near the skill of their original. Va'Ul had worked out their patterns, even when overwhelmed by huge numbers, he now was able to predict their moves. At great losses they managed to harm him greatly, which reassured them to some point, but they failed to bring him down, and now they were useless. They'd failed at their very purpose in existence.

    I must refuse, yet I will repay you for your generosity. And, like all before you, you will accept death by my hand.

    Speaking of hands, the severed chain of his axe unwound a few rings of off his arm and slithered among the remains in search of the end attached to the weapon. It made a disturbing sound while sliding through piles of Pendleberry remains, some still trembling and gushing blood. It snapped on, wound around the severed hand and pulled the axe into it, the hand into place. The palm didn't reattach itself at the wrist.

    Va'Ul rushed towards his opponent, who was halfway across the arena. The giant evaded a hail of bullets by leaping forward. And then, something went wrong. In a subliminal flash, the time had seemed to slow. Va'Ul and the musketeer moved an a relatively normal pace, but the bullets and debris almost froze in place, like on a super-high speed camera. All the fights in the arena continued, at various degrees of slow motion,while the gruesome noises of death and dismemberment started to fade away into echoes. Va'Ul landed, the bloody mud he stirred turning into a cloud of particles locked in slow motion, just inches from his feet. His head jerked leftward, looking back, hand dropping the sword and reaching for something behind his shoulder. And then he snapped open, along the line of his spine, the powerful back burst into a flower of darkness, releasing a glob of opaque, unsettling smoke.

    I'm going to be sick, I can't look at this...
    That's about the weirdest strategy ever !

    the giant, now bent over forward, froze in slow motion half way to the ground, falling as lifeless as ever. From the glob of smoke emerged a mummified skeleton, locked into a fetal position, swirling slowly toward Pendleberry. The paperweight impression of the dried husk was augmented by the many holes that were cut into it, clearly shining through light when it flew in front of a cloud of dragonfire. Pendleberry was now frozen in terror and surprise, trying to force his hand onto the timebelt. ESCAPE! screamed his eyes, despite all the pride they carried. Yet his body was unwilling. The hovering husk started to unwind, cracking like it was about to snap and fall apart, now flying with its collapsed stomach upwards, layers of papery skin pealing back to reveal atrophied muscles and browned ribs. It was a mere meter away when Pendleberry's hand reached the belt and with all his willpower pressed a button. The device beeped in disagreement.

    Code:
     TIME CONTINUUM DISTORTION OUT OF BOUNDS
    Recalibrating...
    Read the display. That had never happened. It never should, for normally, no human could survive in conditions that could confuse such an advanced device. And then his eyes flashed back to the horror in front of him. It was now few centimeters away, the papery eyelids wide open, revealing perfectly blue eyes, shining full of life - staring straight into his. His pupils dilated, the terror and helplessness freezing the breath in his chest. With an unsettling crack, the undead jaw dropped slightly and a whisper, louder then any of the echoes of the frozen world around them, filled the arena.

    You must defeat the monster. You must not let him continue.

    The words sounded weak, yet they carried a very strong incentive about them.

    I wish to die.

    The apparition seemed to disappear, only to whisper into his left ear, the unmoving lips brushing against the raised hairs on his head.

    Do not let me down. Do not fail.

    It reappeared so close to his right ear that he could hear the papery skin stretching as the skeleton hovered.

    Set me free...

    Gliding millimeters away from the musketeer, the blue eyes met his for the last time

    ...and take my place !

    NO!

    A deafening echo pierced the silence, so powerful that the structure around them seemed to explode from the force. It did not. Then Pendleberry's eyes met a little sparkling highlight in the middle of the restless spirit's skull, just where a tiny hole was drilled. And it pulled it back. From the thousands of hollows in the thin body sparkled tiny metalic ropes, dark tendrils now visible, leading to the hollow in the armor's back. And they danced across the arena as they pulled in the resisting spirit.

    He has yet to prove his worth !

    Pendleberry had now noticed that he was well out of breath. And his chest refused to give one bit, all his muscles knotted in terror and surprise. And the obvious vulnerability of his foe, his only living element hanging out by threads added to the sense of urgency.

    There were more tendrils however, shooting out from Va'Ul's back, embedding themselves in the fallen bodies of his foes, as well as shooting up into the sky. In disregard of the frozen time, the dragons started falling from the sky, as well as the fortress. They hit the ground disappearing into the dark smoke, dispersing like drops of water, pulled in by their tendrils. For a moment the arena was covered in a mesh of super-thin wires each pulling puffs of darkness back inside the giant.

    They also impaled the clones, both dead and alive. The amount extracted was almost unnoticeable, compared to that of other living beings. As the original Pendleberry was about to collapse, the tendrils snapped back in and normal flow of time resumed. Va'Ul fell on hands and knees, while his foe tumbled down off the plane, gasping for air. Falling on a soft pile of bodies, only his cleanliness was really hurt. Unlike the remaining clones - they all fell down, as if switched off, blood slowly pouring out their eyes and noses. There was only a look of surprise on their faces.

    What the hell was that ?
    A massacre. Oh you mean the ghost ? Man, once you've served in the 'Nam you learn to believe in all kinds of things, so stuff like that won't surprise you any more. Flying, talking skeletons, I've...
    Musashi ? Oh, he's out. And what do you think Natacha ? You've been awful quiet lately.
    I want the shiny dragon back !

    The giant stood up, the armor slowly closing on his back. It was visually obvious that it could not reassemble cleanly, as many shards were shot all over the arena when it cracked. It was white hot on the edges and where it bent. Yet the giant proceeded boldly toward his gasping enemy.

    Pacification robots started hovering in, large, ball like pods with two three-barreled stun cannons. The term stun was a rather grievous understatement, as they threw every creature they hit a couple meters away. Id did work however, and usually wasn't lethal, as long as it didn't pop the skull or break the spine. Which it generally didn't, while the 'bots herded the aliens off of the arena, into corridors in which security guards could restore order. Usually by braking the prisoners' legs.

    The giant was now few meters away from his foe, sword drawn, the axe held by a spool of chain in the other hand. The decisive duel was about to commence, and time was short since the security forces were almost done with the first wave of rioting aliens.

    So he pounced at the enemy, the sword swinging down on Pendleberry's skull.
     
  9. Grakelin

    Grakelin New Member

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    Pendleberry blocked the blow with his beamsword. The axe-chain wrapped around his leg. Va'Ul lifted him up and twisted him around, tearing the leg off under the knee, sending him flying across the colisseum. He jerked the time belt to no avail, clicking it again and again. It was no use: the damned thing was overheated! He drew his musket, smattering the demon with a flurry of shots. Va'Ul continued onward, axe spiraling, sword sliding across the ground. Va'Ul stood above the now invalid musketeer and prepared for his finishing blow.

    FLASH

    Pendleberry's trusty timebelt came through for him just in time (literally!). He now stood behind his foe, legs intact, yet clothes still in the same condition. Indeed, the leg Pendleberry had been missing previously was bare now. Both of his feet were without shoes.

    "Your true identity as a satanic being has become clear to me, demon," Pendleberry said, maintaining a distance between he and the creature as they circled around eachother. Pendleberry's feet became wet with blood. "I was a fool to try to use my own time tricks to defeat you. Someone of your stature can only be defeated by one thing. Faith."

    As he said this, there was another flash. The man who fell out of this was not used to his time belt, and he stumbled a bit. His face was disguised by the mane of long, brown hair on top of his head as he looked down to right himself. He was wearing a white robe and a red sash. He looked up, and all at once Va'Ul, Pendleberry, and all the viewers of VFX saw the face of Jesus.

    Good lord, it's the Good lord! Pendleberry surely has brought in the final trump card this time, my brothers! Nothing can stand against the might of the one true lord!

    Another flash, this time a dark-skinned man with a staff. Moses was ready to cast this demon out of this plane. A third flash, and a portly, jovial looking Asian stood at the ready. There would be no peace and love for Buddha on this day.

    More flashes. Muhammad, Krishna, Mighty Thor, Ares and Athena, Horus, Quetzalcoatl, Beli Mawr, Dazbog, Qailertetang and Sedna, Ron Hubbard, Lou de Palingboer, David Koresh, and Gerald Gardner emerged into the fray. They set to work.

    Va'Ul cleaved every one of them in half with a single blow. Clearly, God had proven to be weak. In a burst of light, Jesus reassembled himself and healed the religious figures around him. Thor threw down his hammer. There was an explosion. The ship began to be torn apart, sucking the religious figures into space. They activated their time belts and returned to their times. The floor beneath Va'Ul fell away, and he fell with it. His axe zipped out and dug into the ship's floor between Pendleberry's feet. Pendleberry activated his time belt one last time.

    Reality was thin here. There was nothing in this part of time, the very beginning, except for the dark, marble room they stood in. Even this was conceived by their own combined perceptions of reality. There were pillars here, and steps leading up to what should have been a throne, but in fact was a ball of glowing light, the only light source in the room. Looking upon it gave a feeling of pure religious terror.

    "This is where we make our final stand, demon," Pendleberry said, removing his time belt and tossing it to the side. It fell into shadow. "Here, in this room, the throne of God, one or both of us shall meet our end."

    He leaped forward, beam sword ready, parrying every blow that Va'Ul returned. The two were locked in place for several minutes, striking and parrying over and over. Va'Ul twirled his axe-chain around and brought it down at Pendleberry's head. Pendleberry leaped out of the way just in time. The axe-chain scarred the floor, kicking up bits of debris which slowly floated through the air as though in slow motion. The axe-chain came around again, this time in a horizontal full circle. Pendleberry jumped over it. The pillar behind him exploded into dust which cascaded through the air and then fell into place, seemingly randomly, suspended above the ground. The two combatants continued their fray in this fashion, never moving too close to the throne, sending pieces of the throne room into the air to hang eternally.

    After ten minutes of this, Pendleberry made the mistake of parrying Va'Ul's chain with his beamsword. The chain wrapped around his weapon and tore it from his grasp. The musketeer twisted around, reaching for his rapid-fire musket, but was quickly impaled by the demon's sword. Only the advanced medical technology within his body prevented him from dying instantly. All the same, he guessed he did not have more than a half hour left, at most. When Va'Ul lifted the sword out of him, Pendleberry shot forward on his hands and knees in a retreat, even as several litres of his own blood were slowly lifted up.

    Pendleberry made it to the steps of the throne and turned, musket in hand, sitting and bleeding against the marble. The objects that had been thrown up - the debris and his blood - were moving now. Slowly, but surely, they were forming a spiral and approaching the light, as though into a black hole. Pendleberry felt the tug in every fibre of his being. The blood dripping from his mouth slid across his cheek, through his hair, and toward the light. The faux reality of the room was slipping in and out of existence. Finally, the room broke into hundreds of small stones. Va'Ul stood on complete darkness. All that remained were the steps leading up to this glowing throne. The time belt floated past the demon's head. Pendleberry destroyed it with a shot from his musket pistol.

    "Come and finish me, you monster! It will do you no good! We will both spend eternity in this plane."

    Pendleberry knew this was false, however. He knew that soon, the creation would commence and both he and Va'Ul would be atomized, their pieces combining to form the universe. At least, that was how he had always guessed this worked. Truth be told, he had never looked this far into the battle. Surely, this would be the end. But at least he would bring this beast with him. He rose to his feet.

    Va'Ul stood before him now. Pendleberry, armed only with his musket, glared at him with every focus he had left. Behind him, his blood coasted across the surface of the throne before sinking inside. There was a burst of energy, and both Pendleberry and Va'Ul were pushed away. They floated through the darkness, the light still below them. Pendleberry grabbed his beamsword. They continued their fray, weightless. Pendleberry was forced to use the demon to support his agility. One hand was always attached to its vile husk, the other continually parried attacks. All the while Pendleberry could feel his life slipping. He had to end this, and soon.
     
  10. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    This has gone too far. Va'Ul, even though a titan of war, was, in his own understanding, a caretaker of the universe. The very purpose he was given was to rid the world of war-like civilizations - by forcing them to wage self destructive conflicts, until they'd learned or went extinct. While questionable, such purpose was at length meant to bring order in the overall scheme of things... Or so he wanted to believe.

    Yet there he was now, in time before the world had been created, messing things up even worse. He knew that his every move, every action he could take would undobtedly introduce chaos into the world, many magnitudes greater then the one he was concieved to control. It was already too late to prevent terrible consequences from ensuing, billions of years later.... Unless... There was one way, which was to prevent this from happening. However there was one nuisence to be taken care of first.

    Pendleberry slashed at the giant, time after time to no effect. His moves were slowed, perception dulled, and life at its end. Va'Ul thrust himself, along with the clinging foe, onto the stairs. Bones cracked when his weight had exerted its force on the feeble body of flesh and bone. The sword hand performed its final slash. A white hot line appeared across the giant's chest, then started bleeding darkness. In his final moments the musketeer looked at the crack and, very faintly, returned a smile, as if he'd seen someone looking from within. Blood poured down the steps.

    Do we have a winner ?
    It sure looks like it, and what a damned fine fight that was.
    I'll have to disagree with you on that one. Considering that the time traveler had altered all of the known universe, there's almost a certianty that neither of the fighters would ever come to exist. Due to the fact the changes were introduced the very moment the fighters warped back before the time of creation, Pendleberry destroyed the universe before Va'Ul killed him.
    ...
    What ?
    Duh... oh look, I can see through my hand !
    Good lord, it's true. It appears everything is starting to disappear !


    Va'Ul tried to stand, but too much damage had been done. His right shoulder started to bend away, tiny cracks traveling down from the most recent wound. He spun the chain around his chest. It wrapped firmly around his broken torso, immobilizing his left arm. Dark smoke puffed from between the links as he stood up, struggling to maintain balance. And there still was so much that he had to do, and so very little time.

    He gazed once more at the broken body upon the stairs and wondered if the nanobots within could heal the injuries. It wouldn't matter, as they should keep him alive long enough. with no haste, Va'Ul climbed the stairs and collected the limp corpse, throwing it over the chain-wrapped shoulder. The strain caused few more cracks in the armor, shards of which bounced off the steps, next to heavy drops of blood.

    He'd only twice fought battles involving time travel, and this was the second one. However intense, it had been too recent to recall the clones, in hope of using their time belts. There was another however, one he was actually afraid to think about. In the nothingness of space, rainbow-colored bubbles started blinking. A ship warped in, a very sleek looking vessel, and blinked out, leaving spots of light upon ith entry and departure points. This happened a dozen times before the intensity picked up. Now wormholes opened only to release beams of energy or space mines, aimed at targets expected to warp in at some point of their path. And some hit, while others disappeared into oblivion, beyond Va'Ul's area of control.

    He'd waited for an approximate moment, one he'd remembered very well. He'd never done something as extreme before. In another flash of light, a large portal opened, which spit out a badly battered vessel. From the many damages the ship carried, sprays of precious air and supplies leaked into the nothingness of space, as escape pods shot in every direction from the cruiser. The giant thrust himself toward the craft, having kilometers of space to cover in one jump. Having calculated the angle properly, he landed near one of the emergency airlocks - and in time, since the protective bubble the time belt had created had almost worn out.

    Upon entering the craft he was met with flashing red lights and dead bodies thrown around the corridors. He knew the way. He also knew the controls of the space-time drive mounted on the vessel. While too battered to engage in space combat, it should be able to make one more jump, and hopefully, a planetfall.

    ...

    Green, grassy plains filled the screen, panning along a perfectly peaceful landscape. There was a small gathering of people at the river bank, next to what used to be a barn. There seemed to be officials of some sort, a bunch of onlookers and few guards, one of them looking strangely familiar. From the building slowly rolled out a contraption almost as tall as the huge door permitted. A short man with bushy, gray hair asked one of the guards to help him push the instrument. When the sheet came off, it revealed a magnificent device of bronze and glass, displaying gears and springs of precision which was unheard of at the time. The crowd seemed rather skeptical, oblivious even to the magnificence of the construction itself, not even to mention its purpose.

    The guard put aside his musket and helped the engineer with some preparations before the demonstration could commence. They'd lit some candles, wound springs and the technician adjusted some instruments, to the boredom of the gathering, then went inside and inserted a carefully crafted key into some kind of a lock. The framework sprung into life, flames burst high into the air and the device disappeared, leaving only a depression on the grass. And then it rolled down the hill and crushed into the barn wall, bringing the whole structure down. Everyone was very amused, with the exception of the engineer and the helpful guard, who stayed to help put out the fires.

    The crowd dispersed before they were done and that would be it, if not for the kind words the young produced. They visibly picked up the tinkerer, in his eyes shining the determination to try once more. Then a terrible thunder tore the sky. A great fireball appeared out of nowhere and flew across the horizon. Va'Ul had done this too often, he figured while desperately steering the spaceship, burning up in the atmosphere. He'd picked up the limp corpse and abandoned the bridge.

    A part cracked off the ship. It had, at first, also appeared to be a great fireball, but as it neared the two onlookers, they could clearly see the balloons breaking its fall and a metallic shine along the hull. Parachutes flashed as the craft was near the earth and, an instant later, the lander viciously scarred the pristine fields.

    Three pods opened, on them strapped to chairs only two survivors. One was a nightmare, wrapped in chains, the other... had been mostly covered up by the medical equipment that had hooked itself up, automatically, during the landing. A detail Va'Ul seemed to have overlooked. The two locals ran to intercept the intruders, stopping only once the giant had come into sight. He'd already recognized him. Many years younger and many an unpleasant memory lighter, it was the young Pendleberry at the most significant turning point in his life.

    A ping from the pod informed Va'Ul that basic life functions had been restored, a screen displaying a graph of the the passenger's returning pulse. He didn't think much of it and thrust his sword straight through the unconscious Pendleberry, the blade coming out the other side of his seat. Seeing that it woke up his opponent, he pushed it further in, nailing the human in place, sword's guard pressing against his stomach. The instruments went apeshit and the musketeer had been injected with even more chemicals.

    Va'Ul set off in pursuit of the now-fleeing Pendleberry of the past, with clear intention of tearing his heart out to end this folly.
     
  11. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    The chase had lasted a few minutes now, young Pendleberry making a frantic escape from his nightmarish pursuer. The kind young man had no idea what was going on, but a rather clear image of the possible outcomes aided strength to his legs.

    Va'Ul couldn't easily catch his target in the state he was in. His chest was broken in many places, his back torn open. His right arm was barely attached to the torso, held only by the loose chain and a thin strand of metal. As he ran, a smudge of darkness marked his path, smoke dancing and clouding in the air, oblivious to the wind.

    Normally he would have covered the distance in one leap and finished this long ago, but all Va'Ul could do now was limp quickly. He could, however, keep this up for days, while the human, despite his perfect health and military training, struggled to catch his breath at this point. Anything less then his sprint was barely faster then the giant's grotesque march.

    It's unbelievable how much can this big guy take !
    He seems to have nothing inside that could get hurt, so he's even tougher then he looks. I'm not sure if someone would blow him to bits, would that stop him from reassembling himself.
    And I just got news that the old Pendleberry is still moving ! Is he virtually immortal as well ?

    In the meantime, the second fighter struggled to regain consciousness, and maintain hold of it. Despite the sedation, the pain emanating from his face was immense. He tried to move but the sword kept him in place. He threw up blood and the life support system withdrew the overflowing oxygen mask. Painful coughing tortured Pendleberry as his broken lungs failed to adjust. Each move that rocked his broken body invited the ever sharp blade to cut further wounds.

    Yet the chemical mix he'd received had restored some of his strength. As he tried to pull out the blade, , bloodied hands slipping of the cold metal, it would not budge, up to the point blood sprayed again from the open wound. He'd tried to push it out - and just beyond the point he considered it hopeless, metal cried and the guard moved a bit. Blood and sweat mixed while he worked to free himself from the blade, robotic arms sticking insane numbers of needles into his gut and neck. He'd learned to welcome the stings, as they were the only thing keeping him alive and he knew it. He was way past the point of his death.

    Withstanding great suffering, Pendleberry had exhausted his arms' length. He could no longer push the guard and the attempt to grab the sword by its blade had nearly cost him a finger. The robots didn't bother to apply a band-aid. He continued to push the sword out with his legs. Finally the tip of the blade was nearing the back of the chair. As it went in, blood sprayed from the back of the chair while the other end of the sword fell on the ground - the tip still embedded in Pendleberry 's gut - causing further injury. Yet he didn't even grunt any more, only the squishing sound betrayed the amount of damage done.

    And he was loose - and doped up good.

    Not only can he still stand, he managed to pick up that huge sword ! That thing must weight almost as much as he does !


    Va'Ul finally caught up with his pray. They'd nearly made it to the site where the presentation took place, in the ruins of an abandoned watermill, a short stroll up the river. Pendleberry knew the place well, he used to play there with his friends as a kid, and girlfriends, once he was no longer a kid. And once again, the wrecked building proved useful. Shortly after they went in, the monster's hand tearing at his collar, the withered floor gave in under the heavy metal boots. With a terrible ruckus, followed by a heavy thud, Va'Ul disappeared beneath the floor, audibly crashing through some wooden machinery. Young Pendleberry was pulled down to the floor but then the shirt gave up.

    He paid no mind to the destruction going on below - there was no way of getting out of the basement, no ladder within would withstand the weight of a monster like that. He lay on the ruined floor for a moment, trying to catch his breath. Sweat spilled around him as the noises below were coming to a halt. The floor under him cried. Just as he'd run to the wall, the boards caved in and collapsed. The dust choked him and the very next moment the giant was upon him again. How did he get out ? He didn't really care. A wide pit separated the door from the rest of the room, so the only path of escape was the attic. The human didn't get far before Va'Ul caught him and hurled him through the wall, down into the river. Even though the wood was weathered, the impact shattered bones and knocked the breath out of the human. Luckily for him, the old watermill had granted him one last favor and collapsed on Va'Ul.

    The ringing of the chains never stopped during the collapse, and survived well past the sound of the crash. Systematically logs and debris withdrew as Va'Ul tried to dig his way out.

    Shouldn't he just summon a hurricane or something ?
    It looks like he's out of tricks for now, maybe it has something to do with all these holes in his armor.

    Finally, Va'Ul climbed through the wreckage and went to look for his pray. Instead, he found his sword.

    Pendleberry slashed at the giant in berserker rage. It was hard to tell whether he was spitting more blood then the holes in his chest released. The attack connected perfectly, huge blade slicing through chains like they not there. He tried to lift the blade for another attack but the stump of Va'Ul's left hand reached him faster.

    Tearing through his body like paper, it embedded itself in his stomach. The giant lifted the shaking body by the wound. Blood freely flowed down the black hand, staining the rubble. With no breath left, all strength used up, only the fear in Pendleberry 's eyes betrayed that he was still alive. He was defenseless. Va'Ul withdrew the arm, a streak of blood following it, and let the body fall to the ground.

    He crushed his head underfoot.

    Owwww....!
    What a humiliating death. I thought he respected his enemy more then that.

    With the chain no longer there to support his body, the left hand fell off, right part of his torso was now bent sideways, revealing the dark void within. The chain clinked and curled around his feet, links reassembling, as Va'Ul searched for the other target. He was floating on the river, unconscious, attached to a piece of debris. He could not get to him now. Not in his state.

    The next morning, villagers found three terribly massacred bodies, impaled in front of the collapsed barn. Only one wasn't missing its head. The tinkerer. The strange device that had been built there had also been missing.

    Va'Ul delivered the heads of Pendleberry Gray one day before the fight was scheduled.
     
  12. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    *The crowd is confused, but goes wild nevertheless*
     
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