Tales of TFF

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by I. R. Shogun, May 22, 2007.

  1. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Brave New World, Chapter 10: First Bracket Announced

    “Jake, what are the odds that our friends won’t notice if one of the entrants into their tournament are replaced by someone other than the actual contender?” asked General Savage.

    “So long as that entrant isn’t one of the TFFers the odds seem to favor us,” replied Mad Jake sleepily.

    “Would you say Thrall is prepared for a mission of this caliber?” asked Savage.

    “There is nothing further that our tests can tell us about his skills, the only way to achieve any further performance data is going to be to put him into a level of combat and stress that we can only find at this tournament as far as TFF is concerned,” said Jake.

    “I see,” said Savage. “And what are the odds of him winning.”

    “Traditional odds and our data would put his odds at 99%,” said Jake.

    “Traditional odds?” asked Savage.

    “It’s a curious occurrence, but there has only been one time in the history of TFF where a tournament was able to be completed without any interruptions that forced it to be cancelled,” said Jake. “After the encounters that the TFFers had with the soldiers of the man called Kain there is little reason for us to believe that he won’t strike again in some way or another at something as important as this tournament, not to mention the numerous other forces in the underworld of TFF and Spamopolis in particular.”

    “What are the odds of us taking advantage of such an occurrence?” asked Savage.

    “Given Thrall’s performance capability and the current strength of the defense force, should such a scenario arise I would place Thrall’s ability to put us in an advantageous position at one hundred percent on the dot,” replied Jake.

    “Very good,” said Savage as he lifted the tiny communicator in his hand to his lips and spoke, this time not to Mad Jake. “Solomon, take out whichever target you’ve established. On my mark have Thrall take his place, out numbers show us to hold a very distinct amount of power under these conditions.”

    ********************************

    “Yes sir general, moving out,” said Colonel Solomon. He turned and signaled his men to move in, there was a brief sound of struggle as they subdued their target and brought him out of the room he’d ducked into moments earlier. A squad of six men, seven including him, and up until recently they’d been considered the top tier of soldiers Project Badass had ever produced. Now that Thrall was around they’d been relegated to other duties, but unlike the other branches of the force Solomon’s soldiers weren’t broken up by this loss of their elite status. This may have stemmed from the fact that they were still present on many of Thrall’s missions as a support and diversion crew, meaning pure action, but whatever it was they didn’t complain.

    “You’re up big man,” said Solomon, turning to Thrall who’d been standing behind him, still as a statue for several minutes now. The warrior said nothing as he proceeded now, down the hall and into the tournament waiting room, taking the identification card of the beaten fighter to help him carry out his mission.

    “I don’t care how long we work with that guy, it’s always going to be a relief when he goes off,” said one of the soldiers under Solomon’s command.

    “He gets the job done don’t he? And if things keep going the way that they have been since he started we may be on our way to an early arrival in paradise,” said Solomon.

    “I don’t know about paradise, I’m just hoping I never do anything to piss Savage off, whether he sends Thrall or does it himself I don’t think it’ll be much fun,” said the soldier.

    “Ain’t that the truth,” said Solomon. “Let’s get moving, Thrall may be able to fly under the radar, but our suits advertise just exactly who we are pretty loudly.”

    ***********************************

    “First round pairings are on the board!” shouted the tournament organizer as he set up the large plaque that had the names and opponents of all of the fighters who would be active at the day’s events. All in all there were sixteen names altogether, meaning that half of the competitors were members of the Defense Force, but those that weren’t didn’t seem afraid. The shining knight commander, Bucklingburger, the strange armored man who’d just entered, Salazar Slugger and the others all had a look of grit to them, but there was one figure, cloaked and standing in the back corner of the room that had Firiath wondering just what he had in store.

    “The first fight will be between Meteorain and Salazar Slugger,” said the organizer as he ran down the list. “The second will be between X and Sorillon, third will be Kakashi and Commander Masque, fourth will be Herald of Woe and Bucklingburger, then Chad08 and Overread, then Oddrun and Crackler, then Wolf and Syx, and finally Running Wolf against Vizn. Get ready everyone; the first fight will be in ten minutes.”

    Firiath looked around at all of the competitors, she’d gotten enough of an idea of who was who to have pieced together who all of the new faces were. X was the man in the corner, who now seemed to be eagerly eyeing Sor, who simply stared back. Commander Masque was the Shining Knight of coarse. Chad08 was probably the armored fighter who had entered that now stood in total silence, not moving even in the slightest as his fight was called, something about him filled Firiath with a sense of dread for everyone, not only OR who would be fighting him soon. Crackler didn’t look too impressive, he was a large sumo style fighter, and he wouldn’t be able to give much trouble to Odd. Vizn’s only really notable feature was that he had eight arms; he’d need all of them to fight RW.

    Finally there was Syx. There was something familiar about him, he had a face that seemed to scream a name that she couldn’t place. He didn’t wear any shoes, and he wore no shirt beneath his jacket, revealing a chiseled body that looked as if it could be used to cut diamond. His skin was lightly tanned and his hair was a dark shade of brown, he had a powerful aura to him, so much so that Firiath wasn’t sure if Wolf would be able to take him, either way it would be a very interesting fight between them.

    Firi was so involved in observing the competitors that she didn’t know that she hadn’t noticed Met approaching her until he spoke, causing her to jump slightly, “Keep a close eye on that Syx character, there’s something I don’t like about him.”

    “Care to elaborate?” asked Firi.

    “Not really,” said Met. “I’m just getting a weird vibe off of him. Chad08 too. They’re hiding their real auras, like they’re trying to hide their real powers from us.”

    “Couldn’t that be called simple strategy? After all they want to have some advantage in this tournament?” said Firiath.

    “Not with them. There’s something familiar to the feel from both of them. And it’s not like with X who just wants to make an entrance,” said Met.

    “Just wants to make an entrance?” asked Firi.

    “If you’re focused enough it’s pretty obvious who he really is, should make for a pretty fun second round when I finally get to take another crack at him,” said Met.

    “What about Sor?” asked Firi.

    “What about Sor? He’s good, but he’s not going to be able to beat X, there aren’t many people here that I’d pick as a favorite against that guy,” said Met.

    “Do I hear nervousness in your voice?” asked Firi.

    “Hardly,” said Met. “I just know X’s skills a little better than anyone else here, and I can tell you he’d give anyone here a run for their money, although I doubt he’ll be able to handle me.”

    “Weird,” said Firi.

    “What?” asked Met.

    “It never ceases to amaze me how quickly you go from impartial analyst to shameless self promotion when your name gets thrown into the mix,” replied Firi.
     
  2. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Brave New World, Chapter 11: First Round, Met vs. Salazar

    The crowd erupted in applause when Met’s name was announced. When he walked out onto the platform where the fight would be occurring the people were on their feet. In that moment, where the crowd’s adoration washed over him for the first time in months he finally remembered what it was like to be really alive. Sure there was still no Shogun to prove his skills against, to overcome, to become decisively better than, but there was just as much of a rush to be felt when the people showed their undying devotion to you, when they let you know that to them you could do no wrong, that to them you were the best thing going today.

    His opponent made his way out slowly, almost seeming overcome with the reception that Met had received. He was older than Met by a few years, but his body wasn’t any worse off for it. Those few that seemed to recognize this Salazar Slugger cheered as loudly as they could, but after the roar Met had received their voices amounted to something that was less than nothing. A moment passed before Salazar finally shook off the nervousness, realized that this was for real, and he had to get his head together if he wasn’t going to become just a footnote on the records of this tournament.

    He was Met’s height, a little heavier though. His arms were bare aside from the spiky ridges that jutted from his knuckles. His head was wrapped up in a turban and his torso was covered with a vest that seemed to just avoid contact with his strange yellowy skin. His pants seemed a tad tight, but they didn’t quite cling to his flesh. Met didn’t take any note of his shoes, odds were they were as mismatched as the rest of his outfit. It didn’t matter, Met didn’t plan on giving anyone time to remember what he looked like, he’d make sure the part of the turban over his face caught plenty of new color, straight from his mouth and nose.

    The buzzer went off, the match began, and Met wasted no time in closing the distance between the two of them. Salazar dropped low and managed to toss Met as he came forward, but the effort didn’t have much effect, met quickly turned and slammed his leg against the back of his opponent, spilling him hard across the ground. Met fired off a blast, but in a show of life Salazar managed to go airborne and got out of the way, even managing to fire a few blasts of his own.

    Met weaved through the blasts, his foot gradually gathering flames as he rushed forward. Salazar was oblivious to the attack that was coming his way, he rushed forward, connecting to Met’s jaw with a solid right, Met staggered, but his foot didn’t go out. Salazar let him fall back, he was trying to get a crowd reaction by showing that he could fight toe to toe with the great Meteorain; he was stupid. Met staggered further than he actually needed to, allowing Salazar to think that he’d been seriously hurt, those who knew why Met’s leg was ablaze knew better.

    Met began to spin wildly just as Salazar started to consider going in for some type of follow up. The look on his face was priceless as Met began to fly after him, chasing him around the platform several times, a mad cackle somehow being audible above the screams of the people in the stands. Salazar began to scream as he frantically tried to outlast the duration of the attack, but he quickly realized that this technique ended only when Met wanted to, and as the spinning torrent of that burning kick rapidly caught up with him Salazar realized that he’d gotten the worst draw of anyone in the tournament.

    “Metastic Kick!” yelled Met as his foot fell squarely into the abdomen of Salazar, sending him spinning through the air and finally hitting the ground roughly before landing just at the edge of the platform.

    Salazar groaned as he stood, his eye twitching as he got to his feet. Met wasn’t doing his usual showboating, his hands weren’t raised to make the crowd scream louder; he hadn’t taken his eyes off of Salazar. Salazar spat a bit of blood aside as he took his stance again, Met grinned as he clenched his fists and got ready for another exchange. Salazar didn’t know if Met had meant to drag this fight out or not, but whatever the reason it was still going on, and Salazar was going to try his damndest to make sure Met never forgot this fight.

    This time Salazar was the one who ran forward, Met seemed pleased and rushed forward to, but to his surprise Salazar not only connected first, but sent him high into the air with a hard right, followed up by a double handed smash that sent him crashing hard into the ground. Met got to his feet immediately and found himself on the defensive, much to his surprise and that of the crowd. Salazar didn’t know if he was managing to keep Met like this because he was surprised or if he was really that good, but either way he knew that he couldn’t give up an inch, he’d wither win big, or lose big, one or the other.

    Met dashed back after a few blocked punches and with a quick motion of his arm flung a deadly current of wind Salazar’s way. “Metsoawesome Punch!” Salazar heard him say, and although he managed to dodge he didn’t have long to revel in his accomplishment. Met was fast, faster than Salazar could keep up with while dodging projectiles, fast enough to slam Salazar hard into the ground just as he avoided that punch, and then send him skidding hard along the ground with a painful kick to the ribs.

    This time Salazar heard the crowd roar much louder, as his eyes slowly fell open he saw Met gloating like he’d already won. Maybe he had, but Salazar couldn’t let the fight end here, not while there were so many people counting on him, he only needed to win one round, if it killed him, he had to beat Meteorain. He felt his whole body shake as he stood up, the crowd went silent, Met turned and looked back with a surprised expression as Salazar’s entire body quaked. He heard the announcer say something about how impressive it was that he’d made it this far in the tournament, and how it was even more stunning that he was able to fight as well as he was against Met. No B/ fighter had ever given Met this much trouble, they really didn’t get it; they didn’t know why he couldn’t just let Met win.

    Met drove forward, his fist glowing as he gathered up a Met Meteor, Salazar only knew one type of fireball technique that was any good, the ones before had mostly just been things that he’d learned since he’d arrived in Spamopolis. He’d seen a man in the market use it when he was younger. That man had become his teacher, and before he’d died he’d been certain to teach Salazar this technique, in hopes that he would be able to defend the village. Salazar was hoping he’d be able to save this technique until later, that his determination would enable him to make it through the first round, and that the TFF Defense Force would be so impressed by him that they’d help him and the village, the money would only do so much good. But Salazar knew he needed to do this now, or else he’d lose in one more move.

    “Met, METEOR!” said Met as he flung his hand forward, the large energy blast making its way rapidly at Salazar.

    No time to dodge, and if it hit him it’d take him out for sure, that was it then, he had to use his strong fireball. He took a deep breath and pulled down the part of his turban that covered his face, then with a loud boom shot forward the massive flames from within, stopping the blast before it came close. The crowd erupted with cheers at the surprise display, Met even grinned at what he saw. The fight wouldn’t last much longer, Salazar knew that, but for a moment he felt like he’d won, even though he knew that that feeling was going to pass very, very shortly.

    In a geyser of flames Met disappeared, only a moment passed before another pillar of fire appeared just before Salazar, the force of the flames knocked him back, and then there was a thunderous crack. A second later Salazar felt a cold numbness shoot through his body starting at his jaw. Another second and he realized that he was in the air, falling backwards, his body rapidly changing positions before he finally ended up face down on the ground, the world turning black all around him as he lost consciousness.

    Met looked down at his opponent whose toes now curled and his eyes rolled back. He’d put up a damn good fight, Met could still feel the punches he’d landed, but in the end, as was expected he’d lost. Met raised his hand in triumph as the crowd exploded in cheers and applause. He was no Shogun, but Salazar had given the people a show, Met couldn’t remember the last time something as simple as an average strength fireball had gotten that kind of reaction, but damn if anyone was going to forget that perfect cancellation that he’d performed. Met had fought a lot of men before, but there was something about this guy that interested him, later on he’d have to get to know this, Salazar Slugger a little better.

    A few minutes passed as Met walked back to the waiting room and Salazar was taken to the medical area to make sure he was all right. The crowd was restless as they awaited the next match to be announced, although when it was they didn’t explode like they had for Met and Salazar. They’d never heard of X before, and there was something about Sor that confused and frightened most people. They respected him and were grateful for his defense, but he was by no means a fan favorite.

    The two squared off in the middle of the platform as the fighters backstage all watched with interest. “Who do you think will come out on top in this round?” asked Syx.

    “Give it to Sor,” said Wolf. “He’s top tier, this X guy doesn’t stand a chance. He hasn’t even taken his cloak off.”

    “Don’t speak too soon Wolf, he’s got a reason,” said Met.

    “And what could that be?” asked Syx.

    “He’s got a bit of a reputation around these parts,” said Met, who shot quick glances to Syx, Chad08, and Commander Masque. “And he wants it to have maximum impact when he finally reveals who he really is.”
     
  3. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Brave New World, Chapter 12: Explosive Return

    Sorillon’s flames kicked up as he looked over this warrior before him. He had a powerful aura, one that was rapidly increasing as the seconds passed; apparently he no longer saw the point in hiding his identity. Sor took a battle stance, and X did the same, though his was subtler, as if he wanted Sor to go ahead and make the first move. Sor recalled that Shogun had had a habit of doing the same thing, usually to pull his opponent into some sort of powerful counter technique.

    “Your stance reminds me of someone,” said Sor. “I wonder if you’re as good as him.”

    “If he’s the legend in a headband than you’ll find I’m just as good, maybe better,” answered X with a grin as his eyes suddenly ignited in a fiery burst. “You know I was hoping I’d get to fight you while both of us were fresh. Of all the new blood around these parts you seem to be the toughest, I wonder if I haven’t lost a step since I’ve been gone.”

    “Since you’ve been gone? Then you’re a TFFer?” asked Sor.

    “I used to be one of the best, although I wouldn’t call myself a TFFer, I’m a native of someplace else,” said X. “Anyway, enough small talk, let’s do this!”

    Sor blinked, or so it seemed, because almost immediately after finishing this sentence he found that X had not only gotten very close, but also lifted him into the air with a jarring boot to the chest. X followed this up by somehow producing multiple copies of himself, all of whom immediately swarmed Sor and began beating down on him. With a grunt and a powerful burst of his emerald flames Sor scattered the copies, but was soon being bombarded with a series of powerful energy blasts that forced him to break into the air.

    “Impressive, but I’m a tad sturdier than that,” said Sor as he dove downward and threw out a flurry of blows with his mighty claws. X narrowly avoided many strikes, but was ultimately unable to dodge them all. With an audible groan his chest was opened up, and his head was soon thereafter kicked, sending him staggering as Sor ripped through the cloak, finally revealing the man who was beneath it and causing a shocked hush to fall over the crowd.

    His hair was spiked in several massive towers that just barely reached over the edges of the flames that made up his eyes. He wore a coat of black and white, the tails of which seemed to constantly be caught in a small gust of wind, keeping them waving constantly. He wore a pair of gauntlets on his arms that seemed far too ornate to be there for anything other than an aesthetic reason. Most importantly, as he recovered from that flurry he began to float in a bubble of wind that began to rapidly and wildly spin about him, drawing debris of all sorts into it as he drove himself toward Sor.

    “Well I guess there’s no point in hiding it anymore, get ready for the real fight!” said Ender as Sor was battered by the Cyclone.

    Sor was immediately overwhelmed by the power of the winds, even having several of his bones ripped loose and then quickly used against him. Sor tried desperately to find a way to get out of the currents by sheer strength alone, but ultimately he realized that he wasn’t going to win this by physical power alone. Instead he began to spin and twist himself in the air, lashing his claws and feet, bruising and cutting Ender as he spun around and around, proving that the Cyclone didn’t protect its user nearly as much as one might hope.

    With a kick and a word Ender stopped the winds and sent Sor skidding along the ground as his bones rushed to reattach themselves. The crowd went wild at the display, as this was the first time that they’d seen Ender in action in many months, and his powers didn’t disappoint. Sor grinned as he took a low stance. “So you’re Ender Zero? I suppose that much may have been obvious had I known you in the past,” said Sor.

    “You missed a lot of good shows,” said Ender. “Now let’s see if you can live up to all the hype they’ve given you.”

    “Very well, have at you!” said Sor as he rushed forward.

    As Sor dashed around, striking at Ender in erratic patterns the returning warrior noticed the sounds of many voices echoing through his head. His mind was quickly being overcome with the strange chanting, he was getting sloppy, but somehow the burning skeleton he battled was rapidly becoming more and more precise in the way that his strikes landed. Ender tried in vain to keep up with the attacks of Sor as the chants grew louder, more crowded, and before his eyes the words seemed to materialize themselves in a physical form. The pain that he felt cutting through his body was getting worse and worse with each passing second, but he couldn’t allow Sor to win, he needed to think of something quickly, then the thought came to him.

    During his travels with Shogun in the old days he’d been to the Shogun temple several times. While there he’d seen several of the older Shogun fighters using a technique that involved drawing large amounts of energy into themselves and then shooting it off into all directions. It wasn’t the most powerful attack of the Shogun school, but being able to attack at all angles was hardly a downside, and it was becoming more and more apparent that he needed that ability if he was going to come out on top in all of this.

    “Here goes nothing,” said Ender as he focused through the pain and the voices, drawing forth energy from every source he was able to gather. He felt his body heat up as the power came forward, he could almost feel his form glowing as the seconds passed and the blood and bruises continued to come. Finally he realized he wasn’t getting anything else, he jumped up, and in a violent burst sent it all out, echoing through the air as it sent Sor bouncing along the ground, the voices stopped, as did the assault, but Ender knew he hadn’t won yet.

    “That technique, that’s Shogun’s technique,” said Sor in awe as he rose.

    “I figure with all the other techniques we’ve picked up from each other one more couldn’t hurt,” said Ender with a grin. “Now, enough kid stuff, let’s see how you handle this!”

    Ender raised his hand to the sky, dark clouds quickly gathered and began to swirl overhead as a single beacon of light shined down upon Ender. From the clouds a single bolt of lightning streaked through the air, striking Ender’s hand. Before the thunderclap boomed through the land Ender was gone. At once dozens of bolts poured down to Sor from all angles, each one causing the warrior to stagger, his flames to flicker. The crowd went wild, but Sor was not going to be overcome this easily.

    “Hisuthgad undal, mithnag bidt prelao!” said Sor whose body quickly erupted in a massive torrent of those eternal emerald flames. In the blink of an eye Ender was sent crashing to the ground, heavily smashing into the low guardrails that surrounded the ring. Ender was quickly back on his feet, but found himself being beaten slowly back by a constant and powerful barrage from Sor, the skeletal warrior somehow pressing on despite the enormous damage he’d received after absorbing Ender’s ‘Ride the Lightning’ assault.

    Ender couldn’t afford to lose this early in the tournament, Ride the Lightning had hurt him, but it had hurt Sor a lot more. If he won here he’d get his rematch with Met that had been so long in the making. He wasn’t about to lose that opportunity, he had to explode with enough force to bring this skeleton down, he had to win this fight, he would win this fight, for himself, for his duel, and to show the world that he was still a top contender in the land of TFF.

    With a powerful kick he sent Sor back, giving himself enough room to break away, then he quickly recreated several copies of himself, all of whom quickly disappeared along with Ender. Sor looked frantically for a moment but was soon bombarded by dozens of strikes and blasts that he simply couldn’t keep up with in his current state. He was sent around the ring among the Enders like a volleyball before finally landing on his feet in the center, wondering what it was that enabled him to keep standing.

    Now Ender appeared before him, and one by one the clones also reappeared and rejoined the main body. As the impressive display came to a close Ender dashed forward, his hand poised for a powerful punch. Sor smirked as best he could at this point. This Ender was good, surely if Sor had known that he was facing such a legend he would have been able to put up more of a battle, maybe even win, but he supposed that that simply wasn’t meant to be, this time. There was a loud crack as Ender struck his jaw, sending him flying through the air before he hit the ground with a heavy thud, unconscious.

    The crowd gave the returning warrior a standing ovation as he left the ring, and returned to a locker room full of people that were either happy to see him back, stunned at his returned, or in awe of the powers he possessed. After the crowd died down the next fight was announced, Kakashi versus Commander Masque. The two received a good welcome from the audience, but there was little doubt that they had a hell of an act to follow. Only two fights in and the tournament was already off to a wild start, with so many other warriors to go it seemed that they couldn’t have gotten a better roster for the first tournament in many years. But unfortunately not everyone was content to simply sit by and watch the events of the fights unfold as they were…
     
  4. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Brave New World, Chapter 13: Knight vs. Ninja!

    A few moments passed before the crowd had recovered from the shock and awe of witnessing Ender’s return to Spamopolis in grand fashion. Once they had returned to a somewhat calm and collected state the next battle was announced, one that many in attendance had been interested in seeing as soon as the information on both competitors became widely known. The battle would be one of two warriors who had connections to TFFers who were no longer around to be part of the force, the Shining Knight Commander Masque, of the same order as Rosgwak, and Kakashi, the former student of I. R. Shogun.

    The crowd did not rally behind one specific favorite as the combatants made their way onto to battle platform, instead factions arose in support of both fighters, and the favor of the crowd quickly became a very fickle thing. Kakashi grinned as he and the commander stepped into the center of the platform and squared off, he’d wanted this fight since learning the Commander intended to stay in town after Extremus and L0ri left to take part in the tournament.

    From what Firiath and the others had told him this guy had gone toe to toe with Dr. Antithesis and had done a damn good job of keeping him at bay before having his armor opened up. Anyone who was good enough to go one on one with Antithesis was someone that was worth measuring his skills against, and he was a practitioner of the same style as Ros had been, meaning Kakashi could see about how well his skills would stack up against that fabled TFFer as well.

    “Kakashi my friend, it shall be an honor to face you, I only hope that you feel the same,” said Masque as he drew his rapiers.

    “Of coarse,” said Kakashi as he pulled a pair of kunai knives from his pouch. “I just hope you can keep up.”

    “A fast paced battle, certainly that shall be a great test against a warrior such as yourself,” said Masque as both fighters took their stances.

    Now that both had said their peace there was no further need for discussion. They calmly waited for a long moment until the bell rang, signaling the beginning of the bout. When the sound went off the two began to square off, neither moving too quickly to engage. Each fighter attempted in vain to calculate the exact moment of the other’s strike, or at least, it seemed this way. Masque slowly drew closer and closer to Kakashi, when suddenly he felt the air shift. With a quick instinctive leap backwards he narrowly evaded the flight path of a blade thrown by the real Kakashi that cut directly through the copy version.

    “A decoy? An interesting ploy…” said Masque.

    “Not as interesting as this!” came Kakashi’s voice as he crashed hard into the side of the knight, his body covered in a white light as he engaged the Kakashi Crash. Masque was taken by surprise, allowing Kakashi to go to town, striking expertly with blow after blow that rocked the armored warrior, but he hadn’t won yet. With a sudden wild fury Masque swung his blades madly in all directions, forcing Kakashi to retreat or else risk taking multiple wounds. As Kakashi staggered back Masque let out a short laugh.

    “A brilliant show my friend, but you’re not the only one who has mastered the art of vanishing,” said Masque as, with a flick of his cape, he disappeared from sight.

    Kakashi dropped to one knee, carefully sending out his senses in all directions to attempt to feel out his opponent. After a moment he felt something, and quickly lashed in the direction it had come, striking nothing as he did. Kakashi frantically looked around, knowing that he’d left himself horribly exposed with that misfire, but to his surprise he saw the armored Commander standing in his fencing stance, almost as if he’d simply been waiting for Kakashi to turn around and face him properly.

    “Now that I’m sure you see the silliness of such tactics in a playing field such as this you will show me those much greater techniques I have heard you are a master of,” said Masque.

    “Well if you insist,” said Kakashi who quickly rushed forward, misguiding the first thrust of Masque’s rapier, narrowly twisting under the second strike, then feeling the weight of the knight bear down on his head as Masque stepped on his head, pushing him hard into the ground as Masque simply leapt over him. Kakashi was quickly up and flung dozens of knives at Masque, the latter easily parried them all aside, but failed to realize that this was the exact plan Kakashi had in mind.

    “Scatter Shot!” yelled Kakashi as he thrust his hand forward, firing hundreds of energy blasts in a wide arc before him. Masque’s eyes widened as the assault came forward, forcing him to quickly dodge weave block and counter the many shots as Kakashi opened up with dozens of Kakashi shots and kicks, drowning the Shining Knight in a sea of energy blasts. Despite the sheer volume of the attacks Masque refused to buckle under the pressure, he would fight on, he would triumph, or he would be carried off of the platform unconscious.

    Kakashi saw that despite the barrage he was sending forward Masque was not slowing down, in fact he was getting closer, meaning Kakashi needed to step it up a bit. Masque, being keen of eye saw his stance lowering, his backhand gathering energy while the other kept up the assault. Masque managed a smile as he realized the attack that Kakashi was preparing to use, and at the fact that he had an excellent counter attack in mind.

    “Three spheres!” shouted Kakashi as he began to thrust his hand forward, but he barely got the words out before Masque leapt up, tossing his swords even higher into the air.

    “Scatter Brother Soul Blades!” shouted Masque as the blades multiplied and shot wildly in all directions. Kakashi ducked and dodged wildly, forgetting about the electricity of his own attack until he was directly in its path, avoiding the last of the swords, but not the final jolt of his own special attack. Kakashi was staggered by the attack, but he found that even after Masque landed he didn’t take advantage of Kakashi’s prone status.

    “Your skills and power are indeed impressive, but you have yet to harness all of your potential my friend,” said the knight. “Your strategy was sound, but you were unprepared for a trap, an easy lesson to forget, but one of the most important of the Shogun school if I recall. But that is a skill that shall come as you enter more and more complex battles, for now we have more important things to worry about. You have impressed me with the potency of your abilities and techniques, but I have always believed that a contest of sheer martial skills is always more beautiful, and alas, more wondrous than any display of raw unbound displays of the chi force. I think that you will agree that a battle between the likes of us can only truly be expressed by the mastery we have of our weapons.”

    Kakashi laughed as he twirled two more kunai knives on his fingers, “You know I was having the exact same thought. What do you say, one last trade off? No breaking until one of us wins?”

    “Such a face off would be an honor my friend,” said Masque as they both took their stances.

    The two no longer wasted time with squaring off, each man charging directly within striking distance. There was a flash of blades as each warrior traded the advantage back and froth in a rapid fire exchange, armor flew free from the body, hair was cut loose, the crowd was immediately whipped into a frenzy as the fighters engaged in a wild and unpredictable dance of death. But no matter how long either of them would like that battle to have lasted a winner needed to be named, and by the very nature of the fight such an event would not be long in the making.

    Kakashi ducked low to avoid the thrusts from the knight who spun to avoid having Kakashi’s blade find its way to his chest. Kakashi turned, his aim being to throw the blade that won the fight, but somehow the knight had seen this coming, and twisted himself into a posture bizarre for one so heavily suited as he, allowing the knife to pass harmlessly over him. Kakashi would have followed up but something stopped him, the cool air of twin blades touching ever so lightly on the sides of his neck, Masque had won.

    The crowd cheered in amazement at the wild exchange as Masque sheathed his blades and extended his hand. Kakashi smirked and shook in a sign of respect. Despite the fact that he hated losing Kakashi could be graceful in defeat here. He’d given it his all and had one of the greatest battles of his life, there was nothing more that he could have hoped to have accomplished at this tournament. Surely he could have won, but this time he was not the better man, and he would simply have to accept that.

    “A well fought battle, worthy of a thousand history books,” said Masque.

    “And you weren’t half bad either,” said Kakashi with a laugh.

    The two warriors now headed back to the locker room as the next battle was announced, Bucklingburger versus Herald of Woe. This was another match that many had been interested in seeing, ever since learning that Buck was the primary reason that Herald had even entered into this fight. Since neither of their styles was well known around TFF it would be a spectacle that fascinated the entire audience as both fought to see who was the superior combatant.
     
  5. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Brave New World, Chapter 14: Herald vs. Bucklingburger

    Herald twirled his mighty glaive high above his head in a display of bravado as he stepped onto the platform. He could hear scattered whispers from the crowd filled with speculations for this battle, few knew of his combat skill, and even fewer knew what this Bucklingburger could do, meaning that this was something of a battle of unknowns, even more than had been Sor’s battle before his opponent had been revealed to be the legendary Ender Zero.

    Bucklingburger made his way slowly onto the platform. He was bald on top with short chopped hair surrounding, and he was large, though not muscular. He stood about six feet tall and must have weighed close to two hundred and ten pounds, with a large gut showing that he relied more on natural ability than finely honed discipline, or at least it seemed that way. He was dressed in a single piece body suit with a tight belt in place just below his stomach to make his unpleasant figure that much more obvious. His face was unshaven and somewhat dirty looking, and his eyes seemed constantly tired.

    “So you’re the kid that wanted to fight me cause of what that windbag Valor said huh? Jeez they get younger weirder year that I do these things,” he said, clearly in contempt of Herald’s war paint.

    “You don’t seem like the type that would be able to impress the man who fought I. R. Shogun to a standstill,” said Herald.

    “I. R. who? Must be a local, I never heard of him,” said Buck. “But I guess if he was good enough to go toe to toe with Valor…”

    “Beat Valor,” Herald corrected.

    “If he was good enough to beat Valor he must have had the skills to be world class, don’t see why he wouldn’t have taken it,” said Buck.

    “To him preservation of those he cared about was more important than fame and fortune,” said Herald.

    “What a load of shit,” said Buck. “Soon as the bright lights shine all that mom and pop and apple pie stuff tends to disappear like yesterdays trash. I really doubt your Shogun would be any different.”

    “You did not know him, he was a great and honorable warrior, so good that they say when he died the earth itself screamed in sorrow,” said Herald.

    “Sounds spiffy,” said Buck. “But folk heroes don’t tend to impress me. Enough jibber jabber, let’s get to it.”

    “Very well, I suppose we have dwelled for too long in idle conversation, let us begin, I shall grant you the honor of first move,” said Herald as he took his stance.

    “That’s awful nice of you,” said Buck as he went into a stance of his own.

    The two stood for a long moment, Buck constantly shifting his weight as if uncomfortable, then in an unexpected move stomped his foot, shooting forward a wave of energy that forced Herald to dive aside to avoid. As he rose Herald felt the full mass of Bucklingburger smash into his side, flinging the glaive from his hands as he hit the ground with a heavy thud. Herald quickly regained his footing and drove himself at Buck, punching him with a bone jarring amount of force, only to find that the other fighter’s misshapen physique absorbed the blow harmlessly, but as Buck latched onto his arm Herald didn’t figure this next move would be so bizarre.

    “A lot of people seem to think because I’m not a muscle man that I’ll be easy to break apart and outmaneuver, the truth of the matter is I’m in the A skill class, I’ve got the strength of a tiger, and this physique is a lot more beneficial than any sculpted figure could ever be in a fight,” said Buck as he wickedly twisted Herald’s arm, flinging him up, and allowing Buck to vanish, then reappear just above Herald, who he now came crashing down onto. Herald let out a loud yelp of pain, but managed to get to his feet as soon as Buck released him.

    Herald struck now at Buck’s face, hitting him time after time, creating dozens of imprints of his fists, knocking Buck from side to side as he swung, but as he came in with a blow that he swore would take Buck’s head off the other fighter vanished, then reappeared behind Herald. His arms locked tightly around Herald’s body, and then with a violent pull he slammed Herald over his shoulder onto the hard unforgiving platform, not once, not twice, but three times before releasing him and then throwing him several yards away.

    Herald struggled to his feet, but he could hear the sound that accompanied Buck’s warps, and he knew even before his opponent’s powerful hands hoisted him up that he was going for a ride. With a grunt Buck hurled Herald several feet, whereupon he warped again, catching Herald as he landed with a punishing kick to the body. Buck then sat on Herald’s back and put his hands below Herald’s chin, then pulled back with brutal force, stretching Herald’s body and forcing a muffled cry of pain to escape his throat.

    “You know it’s a shame you’re not much of a fist fighter, I’ll bet you have all sorts of nifty tricks with that pig sticker of yours, but without any hand to hand skills except some decently heavy hands you’ll never be able to beat someone like me, least not without it getting costly,” said Buck. Herald groaned and struggled a bit, Buck grinned and loosened the pressure. “Got something to say?” he asked.

    “Brothers of Woe,” Herald managed to force out. Suddenly a spirit leapt loose from Herald’s mouth and with a surprising amount of strength flung Buck across the platform, following quickly after him to run harassment.

    Herald struggled to his feet and staggered to his glaive as he recovered from the beating he’d taken thus far. He spun the weapon and readied himself just as the spirit that had been keeping Buck occupied vanished. Buck grinned and cracked his neck as the display ended and Herald slowly made his way toward him. “That was a handy little ace now wasn’t it? Hell you even got your weapon back, now let’s see how you use it,” he grinned.

    “Dragon Slash!” replied Herald as he swung the weapon, creating a current of wind that drove its way toward Buck, who only narrowly avoided contact through warping. Herald had anticipated this and rolled away just seconds before Buck reappeared behind him in an attempt to crack him open with a wild swing. As Herald rolled he spun his weapon wildly overhead, creating an almost tornado like effect as he did.

    “The hell?” said Buck as he felt himself being pulled in.

    “Dragon Wind!” said Herald as the force increased enough to pull Buck headlong into the torrent that hung above him. Moments passed as the wind flung Buck around like a rag doll, and then suddenly Herald stopped and thrust his weapon straight up. “Dragon Flair!” said Herald as a cone of energy shot free from his glaive, echoing like a cannon shot as it did and hitting Buck with enough force to send him spinning wildly through the air, eventually hitting the ground with a loud crack.

    “Ugh, nice moves,” said Buck as he struggled to get up.

    “Not over yet,” said Herald who’d already bridged the gap. Buck turned his head to see Herald’s foot plant itself hard against his face, snapping his head back and giving that much more force to a back thrust of the end of his glaive that crashed into the back of the head of the larger but downed fighter. Buck was out before his head hit the ground.

    The crowd cheered, but Herald noticed that it was significantly tamer than it had been in the fights before. So he hadn’t put up a display that was worthy of a crowd explosion, very well. He didn’t fight to impress the viewers; he fought for the sake of battle. Even if he’d received no cheers he had won this fight, although he could feel in his heart that Buck had held back a significant amount of his abilities, be it in under estimation of Herald or simply because he had other plans Herald didn’t know, nor did he care, this fight was over, he could see what Buck was truly made of later, for now others had battles to make.

    ***********************************

    “General, it’s time, Thrall’s battle is about to begin,” said Samson.

    “Excellent,” said Savage. “Who will be his opponent?”

    “The wolf called Overread,” said Samson.

    “Hm, I can’t recall, what are that one’s powers?” asked Savage.

    “He exists on two planes of existence, his powers are almost like a mix of Wolf and Sorillon, although not as powerful in either area as those two are in their primary,” said Samson.

    “I see, this shall prove interesting, Jake, what are the numbers on Thrall’s success?” asked Savage.

    “It’s difficult to calculate, but from what I can gather, Thrall has a 98.99% likelihood of emerging victorious here,” answered Mad Jake sleepily.
     
  6. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Brave New World, Chapter 15: Thrall, A Force To Be Reckoned With

    Overread stalked onto the platform, the crowd roaring as he did. He knew that the crowd’s cheers came more from him being part of the pack than they did for his personal following, something that the more secretive of the wolves had yet to garner, but it was a pleasant thing nonetheless. But then again OR wasn’t quite akin to Shogun’s style. The two had agreed on many things, but Shogun had always been in the public eye, OR had been more content to defend from the shadows, not caring if those he saved knew of his presence or not.

    His opponent proceeded slower than he did, keeping his gait akin to a very proper military like march. His black armor gleamed in the sun; the red highlights seemed to move with a mind of their own. OR sniffed deeply as this Chad08 character took his place across the platform. His air smelled oddly familiar, as if they’d met before, although at the same time there was something different about it that he couldn’t quite place. From within that sleek helmet OR could hear a voice he didn’t recognize speaking to the other fighter, there was something strange about this one.

    “Thrall, make it a good show, but remember you weren’t programmed to lose. This battle is meant to send a message to the defense force. Beat the wolf, but don’t kill him,” came Savage’s voice through the helmet of the super soldier. “At the sound of the bell, begin.”

    As soon as the bell sounded Thrall exploded toward OR, the wolf, taken by surprise from this sudden show of aggression from the previously docile fighter was unable to escape before being kicked high into the air, only to have the other fighter fly past him to send him crashing back to the earth with another kick. OR struck the ground with a deafening boom, but before he could retaliate he was grabbed by the scruff of the neck, picked up and flung down by the armored warrior.

    OR skittered to his feet after a moment of violent flailing and managed to deflect a follow up attack from his opponent with a brutal kick to the face, followed by a wrist throw executed by grace of his jaws. Thrall rolled through the attack to his feet and came at OR again, but this time the wolf was ready. As Thrall struck OR slipped between the dimensions, allowing the fist to pass harmlessly through him until he reformed and blasted Thrall with a violent energy blast executed by way of a quick growl. Thrall bounced twice before returning to his feet and dashing at OR again.

    OR had to think quickly, this guy wasn’t like anything he’d ever faced before, he just kept attacking, never giving it any thoughts, just going at his foe with everything he had. He also hit harder than anyone OR had ever fought against, something that the wolf attributed to his odd chi flow, similar to that of Vic Valor. Thrall set out strike after strike against the wolf, OR only narrowly avoiding each impact as he tried desperately to think of something that would prove effective against such an enemy. When he was finally caught and spilled across the platform he decided he’d need to take a different approach to this.

    “If you’re not the type to fight normally by this dimension’s standards, I wonder how well you’ll handle this one,” said OR as his eyes flashed, suddenly plunging the two into a world of brilliant white.

    Thrall spent no time trying to guess at the change, he was instantly back on the attack, but every time that he struck OR vanished, appearing somewhere else. For several minutes this cycle continued until Thrall’s programming kicked in, bringing him to a stop. He spent a moment holding perfectly still, considering his options, and where OR must have gone before finally his sensors concluded that OR had left this area and was back in the normal dimension where Thrall soon found himself appearing as well.

    “Back already? Strange, no one’s ever broken that illusion before…” said OR as Thrall slowly sank back into a battle stance.

    OR dropped into one of his own, just in time to avoid having his head taken off by a thunderous kick from his foe. Unfortunately Thrall still managed to get close and hefted OR up, then slammed him down hard onto the ground. Before the wolf could hope to retaliate the two took to the air, Thrall’s steely grip still entrapping him as they moved high above the platform, where the super soldier finally dropped the wolf, allowing him to hit the ground with a bone shattering impact, the wolf only being saved by his ability to slow his descent by phasing in and out of the immaterial plane.

    As soon as OR got back to his feet he was flung from them yet again as Thrall caught up to him and began violently beating him once again. The wolf struggled, but in vain as Thralls punches, kicks, slams and locks rapidly took their toll on his already beaten form. OR collapsed heavily in the center on the platform, at which point the assault ended, Thrall returned to his docile state and walked back to the waiting room to a silent crowd who watched in awe and horror as OR’s body was carried off on a stretcher.

    “What the hell is he?” asked Met.

    “He fights like a monster,” said Syx.

    “More like a bear,” growled Wolf as Thrall, or Chad08 as they knew him walked back and stood a few feet removed from the others.

    “No one’s ever beaten OR that badly,” said Running.

    “If they could usually they were fighting all of us at once,” said Firiath.

    “Whoever the next one of us is that fights him has to be damn careful,” said Met. “That goes for those of you who aren’t on the force too.”

    “You don’t need to tell me twice,” said Syx. “How about you two?” Both Vizn and Crackler shook their heads, a terror at what had just happened present in their eyes.

    After a moment the tournament resumed. In a pair of short bouts Oddrun defeated Crackler and RW took down the man called Vizn, leaving only one bout in the preliminary rounds. A fight that had been eagerly anticipated by everyone who’d seen the performance the lesser known of the two competitors had put up in the qualifying rounds. The battle between Wolf, the second in command of the TFF defense force and one of the top tier fighters in the city, and the mysterious warrior known as Syx.

    “Well this should be fun,” said Syx. “But I hope you won’t take it personally when I beat you.”

    “I think I could ask the same favor from you,” said Wolf.

    “Well, we’ll see who needs to keep that part of the bargain here soon won’t we?” said Syx with a grin as the two proceeded onto the platform.

    “Who do you think will make it?” asked Firiath.

    “Wolf has something to prove after what Chad did to OR, she’ll be willing to do damn near anything to get a shot at him,” said Ender.

    “Well she’s got quite a mountain to climb,” said Met.

    “You mean you felt it too?” asked Ender.

    “Felt what?” asked Cyllieth.

    “Syx has a very unique energy signature,” said Met.

    “Fighters with an aura like his tend to focus on a special type of attack, one that we’re not very familiar with,” said Ender.

    “Care to elaborate?” asked Firiath.

    “If his signature is what it seems to be, then Syx is going to have powers very similar to someone with a great deal of infamy around these parts,” said Ender.

    “Who?” asked Firiath, Cyllieth, and Oddrun all at once.

    “Ka’al,” answered Met.

    ******************************************

    Bucklingburger groaned as he rose in the infirmary bed. He didn’t wait around for a nurse to check on him, he quickly got up and left. He shouldn’t have lost, the bastard took him by surprise, something he wouldn’t let happen again. He carefully moved through the arena, making sure to keep his head low to avoid being recognized by anyone who would want to discuss fighting, something that he found all too common in cities as big as this one. He needed to get to a phone.

    “Hey cHaz, put me through to the boss,” said Buck when he finally reached one. “Tell him I’m out of the tourney, and he needs to send his alternate immediately…”
     
  7. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Brave New World, Chapter 16: Wolf and Syx, Two Mighty Warriors

    Both Wolf and Syx received an ovation from the crowd that was refreshing from the one sidedness they’d observed in the previous rounds. There was something about this Syx character that Wolf knew she recognized, but what it was she couldn’t be certain. That seemed to be true of a lot of the competitors who were present at this tournament, but there was something to this one that seemed more off than the other ones, she had no way of describing it, but she knew that it was there.

    He took an odd stance, his hands open and out stretched as he kept his feet wide, Wolf couldn’t see any possible application for something like that, but by the way his aura seemed to be rising he had to have some sort of reason behind it. Than and the fact that he’d made it to this point in the tournament showed that he had skills, although Wolf didn’t know just how much. “I wonder,” said Wolf, “What style is it that you studied under to get your skills?”

    “My style is something of an unorthodox one,” answered Syx. “There is no official name for it, but I refer to it as my Blank Slate form.”

    “Any reason for that?” asked Wolf.

    “Because there is always room for change, nothing is set in stone, and there’s nothing to stop my constant growth,” said Syx.

    “Sounds like a million other styles I’ve encountered,” said Wolf. “What makes yours different?”

    “Perhaps nothing,” said Syx. “Save my own skill and powers.”

    “I see,” said Wolf. “Well then, let’s get the show started.”

    “I thought you’d never ask,” said Syx, who suddenly vanished from sight.

    Wolf dropped low; there was something wrong with this attack. It wasn’t like Kakashi or Masque’s technique where they simply became invisible; he’d dropped off from all of her senses. Wolf spread herself, bracing for any sort of impact that would be about to come, unfortunately there was no way to defend against the attack that came. Like a whale leaping from the sea Syx burst up from the ground, or at least what appeared to be the ground, delivering a monstrous blow to her exposed stomach and flinging Wolf into the air.

    As she fell through the air Wolf found herself suddenly set upon with punch after punch from the other warrior who’d followed her up and had no intention of stopping his assault. Wolf struggled to change her position, a difficult task while she remained airborne, but she managed to accomplish it and slashed the human with her claws, distracting him long enough for Wolf to latch onto his arm and in a feat of skill and strength throw him toward the ground where he landed with a thunderous and violent impact.

    By the time Wolf landed Syx was already up, and somehow, with a mere motion of his hand, pulled her in close, allowing him to land a devastating strike that rattled through Wolf’s entire body. Syx followed up with a steely kick to the chest that caused Wolf to twist and spin through the air until she landed hard on her neck, only narrowly managing to recover in time to avoid a stomp that cracked the platform. As Syx moved to continue his assault the earth shook and he was blasted back by the force of Wolf’s Howl, which left everything in its path a ruined mess.

    “Pretty good,” said Syx as he quickly got back to his feet. “But let’s see how you handle it when I play for real.”

    Wolf didn’t get a chance to try to decipher his meaning, in a moment he vanished again, but this time he wasted no time in reappearing with a heavy blast from above. Wolf crumbled to the ground in pain, only to be lifted by her opponent who held her above his head for a moment before ramming his knee hard into her chest, and then letting loose of that strange almost magnet like grip of his, allowing her to plummet to the ground once again.

    Syx landed shortly after only to be blasted back by dozens of Snarls that came from Wolf as she picked herself up, even taking it a step further by activating her Evolution technique. Syx only seemed to chuckle as she did this, but his laughing stopped when Wolf gripped his head and swung him heavily, then slammed him hard against the ground on one side of her, then the other and back again, repeating the process dozens of times before tossing him up and delivering a hard kick that sent him under ground. As Soon as he re-surfaced Wolf moved to press her assault, but Syx sent her staggering back as his foot began to glow brightly with energy as he flipped backwards and delivered a stunning kick to her jaw.

    Wolf staggered back several feet before Syx, with a mere motion of his hand, lifted her up into the air, and then threw her down with enough force to kick up a small dust cloud. Wolf managed to get up and bull rushed her opponent, netting him and unloading with machine gun punches before he could retaliate with anything more than punches and kicks of his own. The two battered each other until finally Wolf was forced to jump backward in an attempt to recover that never received any fruition.

    Syx flew forward, delivering a kick like the one he’d used earlier, then lifting her with that magnet like power of his, and following up with another knee to the sternum. Wolf struggled but it appeared to be in vain, Syx was clearly hurt, but somehow he simply wasn’t slowing down. Finally he released her, flinging her several feet yet again before beckoning her to stand and fight again. Wolf stood heavily, the effects of her Evolution attack coming to an end, allowing all in the audience to see the full extent of her wounds, she was standing on spaghetti legs, and was swollen all over, making the many gashes and bruises on Syx seem far less damaging than they had been moments earlier.

    “You’re good,” said Syx.

    “Apparently not good enough,” said Wolf.

    “Come now, just because I don’t show it doesn’t mean I’m unharmed,” said Syx. “And you’re holding back.”

    “Am I now?” asked Wolf.

    “Don’t tell me you haven’t been keeping at least one attack waiting in the wings just in case you got an opponent like me,” said Syx.

    “Well,” said Wolf. “To tell you the truth I was hoping to save it for Met.”

    “Well then who better to test it one?” asked Syx. “If it works on me I’m sure it’ll put some hurting on him too. And besides, I’m going to go all out with my next attack, you may as well return the favor.”

    “Going all out you say? Over little old me?” asked Wolf.

    “Who’re you trying to fool?” asked Syx with a grin. “You’re the second in command of the TFF defense force. Up until recently you’ve been holding out in more than just alternate attacks. And I want to see just how well my new technique will fair against some of the stiffer competition here, something only one as strong as you can tell me.”

    “What makes you think I’ve been pulling my punches?” asked Wolf.

    “I could tell from the moment I entered the back room that you don’t want to be here, that the main reason you took part was to appease everyone who wanted the strongest of the strong to compete. You saw how much they pestered Cyllieth and Firiath and you figured it’d just be easier to throw the fight, so come on, let’s see what you can really do,” said Syx.

    “Well I guess you’ve got me all figured out,” said Wolf. “If you insist, I guess I can stand to give everything I’ve got just this once.”

    “Excellent,” said Syx.

    Both Wolf and Syx took their stances, wide but strong as they prepared for the final exchange of this battle. The air around them both quickly seemed to grow wavy as it did above paved ground on a hot dry summer’s day. Those sensitive to the chi force could feel the flow around these two jump dramatically as they stood, drawing everything that they could forward, confirming beyond a doubt that this would be the blow that ended this fight and the preliminary rounds, one way or another. The anticipation in the air skyrocketed as the atmosphere seemed to thicken with the raw power being emitted from these two mightier warriors.

    “Call of the Wild,” said Wolf as the air around her rapidly burst into flame, taking the shape of a giant wolf.

    “Exquisite,” said Syx as the air around him took on the appearance of green smoke. “Breath of Starlight.”
     
  8. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Brave New World, Chapter 17: Syx’s Fury, the Approaching Storm

    The two fighters charged with their attacks at the ready. Wolf’s Call of the Wild burned a huge wake as she rushed toward Syx, the mere sight of the flaming monster wolf being enough to cause many members of the audience to flee in terror, but not Syx. The stranger charged forward, the green mist continuing to surround him. The two warriors collided in an anticlimax that seemed to end as Syx was engulfed by the flaming creature. But while the audience was shocked Wolf merely growled as she realized the nature of this technique.

    In a moment Syx emerged from the wolf creature, causing the flames to rapidly die within seconds. Wolf turned in an attempt to face him, but Syx turned first and unleashed the green mist that had gathered on his back. The opening launched dozens of burning missiles at Wolf who was helpless to dodge them, instead being forced to absorb the full force of each and every blast that concussed against her, flinging her back several yards and causing her to collapse in a singed heap. The match was over, the crowd was silent, but in the locker room at least two sets of eyes were now burning a hole in the warrior who still stood.

    “That attack,” said Ender.

    “It’s, a reversal,” said Met.

    “Anything that can redirect an attack on that scale could probably be used against any of our bigger attacks,” said Ender.

    “He’s more like Ka’al than we thought,” said Met.

    “How’s that?” asked a concerned Firiath.

    “Ka’al’s techniques were dependent on the amount of power his opponent put forward,” said Met. “They operated on a judo principal, using the power of the opponent against them. Usually this meant he went on the defensive when attacked and used a perfect defense or used a perfect attack on a defending enemy. But if this guy has attacks capable of redirecting attacks the way that that one did he might not need to have his attacks and defenses at a level that’s even above B class provided his normal defenses are tough enough.”

    “What are you saying?” asked Firi.

    “He could be even more dangerous than Ka’al,” said Ender, causing a chill to run up the spines of the TFFers present who remembered the way that their battles against that warrior had gone, as well as his final fight.

    “I wouldn’t go so far as to jump to that type of conclusion,” said Commander Masque.

    “What do you mean? You saw what he just did!” said Ender.

    “But you must analyze the effects of the attack before you simply assume it’s invincible,” said Masque.

    “Explain,” said Met.

    “In order to make that attack successful he had to be directly in the center of Wolf’s arc,” said Masque, gesturing toward the singed parts of Syx’s jacket that had experienced the heat of the flames since he’d been off center. “I’m guessing that since he works on that type of principle then the more off center he is the weaker the attack will be, in addition to him taking more damage. But that’s not all that there is to it.”

    “Do tell,” said Met, who seemed curious.

    “Take a look,” said Masque who pointed toward Syx, who was walking slowly now, and he appeared to be wheezing. “In addition to the toll of the attack of his enemy, the energy he needs to use that technique takes a toll on his body, assumedly one that’s directly proportional to the strength of the attack he’s countering.”

    “So it has a limit,” muttered Met.

    “One that if surpassed could kill him depending on the attacker,” said Masque.

    “I see,” said Met as he clenched his fist. “Well then I don’t think he’ll be anything to worry about.”

    **********************************

    Bucklingburger sat nervously outside the arena, awaiting the arrival of the man that would be sent by the boss. There were a lot of options for this task, but Buck had a feeling after the busts that the defense force had made recently that there was only one man for the job. The simple thought of that man made him sick to his stomach. He was untested as far as heavy combat went, but the raw power he possessed was well and above damn near anyone that he’d encountered, if that was the man the boss would send then Buck didn’t want to be anywhere near this place when the fighting happened.

    “You seem nervous,” came a voice that chilled Buck to the bone. “What’s a matter Buck?”

    “Antithesis, where are you?” asked Buck.

    “Turn around,” came Antithesis’s annoyed reply. Buck turned to see the villain fully clad in his warrior garb.

    “The boss sent you to take care of this?” asked Buck.

    “No,” answered Antithesis. “He sent me to assure that you’re moved where he wants you moved. He sent Former to rectify your mistakes.”

    “Former,” shuddered Buck.

    “He needed a test run sometime. I’m not entirely fond of this being his first time out either, but with Gorger and Putty both out and me tending to you there was really no other choice,” said Antithesis. “Now, time to go.”

    “Wait,” said Buck.

    “What?” demanded Antithesis.

    “I, I want to see him take someone out,” said Buck.

    “Unfortunately you don’t get to make such a decision,” said Antithesis. “Rest assured Former will do the job that the boss wants, although it may not meet up to your standards. But then again that hardly matters now doesn’t it?”

    “I, I guess not…” muttered Buck sounding defeated, but unwilling to attempt to test Antithesis’s patience any further.

    “Very good,” said Antithesis. “Now, there are more things approaching the stadium than Former, and I personally don’t wish to face them for the time being. Former will cover our retreat, but as it stands I need to begin work on an escape plan for him.”

    “You don’t think he can take the Defense Force?” asked Buck as they began to walk.

    “On his first mission? Hardly,” answered Antithesis. “Powerful though he may be he’s not in control enough to take on a threat of their level with any hope of victory. Especially considering the abilities of all of the others not affiliated with the Defense Force that are present here today.”

    “The boss knows that too?” asked Buck.

    “Indeed,” said Antithesis.

    “That doesn’t seem like him,” said Buck.

    “You hardly know him well enough to make that call,” said Antithesis. “Anyway, even if he did have the power to achieve such a feat, the added factors of the two that are on their way here would turn things back into the favor of the defenders.”

    “Who would they be?’ asked Buck.

    “Let’s call them a morning party,” answered Antithesis with something resembling a chuckle.
     
  9. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Brave New World, Chapter 18: The Earth Is My Weapon

    Salazar Slugger groaned as his vision returned and slowly focus returned to the world. He didn’t remember the details of his fight, but judging by his location at this point he’d lost. He counted the number of beds that appeared to have been used recently, he’d missed a lot of fights, in fact if he remembered the brackets right he must have missed the entire first set of rounds. He stood slowly, fighting off the grogginess that attempted to take him down again, he’d missed the first set of fights, he’d be damned if he’d miss any more.

    He slowly crept out of the infirmary, careful not to wake any of the other fighters that were being treated there, but unfortunately he had a feeling that the figure that he met in the hallway, who had apparently beaten his way through several of the stadium staff and security force, was not going to be so considerate. He wore a long brown coat and had rough, calloused hands. His head was malformed, almost appearing to have a rocky quality to it. The air seemed to steam from his nose as he breathed heavily outward and dropped the body of the unconscious guard that he’d had tightly gripped.

    “Are you a member of the TFF Defense Force?” he asked in a deep voice that seemed to rumble like a pair of mountains brushing past each other.

    “No,” answered Salazar. “What do you want with them?”

    “If you’re not a member then you don’t need to know,” answered the strange stone man.

    “But I do,” answered Salazar. “For I admire their work, and if you would put them into danger then I must stand against you.”

    “Ha!” laughed the rocky fighter. “Do you truly believe that you are capable of facing me in open combat? I’ll destroy you with a single blow!”

    “You may be strong, but I have the will of a warrior, and I will not let you attack the defense force,” said Salazar as he went into a medium stance.

    “Very well, if you wish to die then I shall oblige you, but before I do I must know what I am to call the first fool I killed here,” said the stone man.

    “I am Salazar Slugger, and so help me I will defeat you,” said Salazar.

    “A fine name, I’ll enjoy carving your headstone,” said the stone man as he charged forward. Salazar easily dodged his first slow punch, but as the fighter brought his other hand forward the ground itself jumped forward and struck Salazar with enough force to throw Salazar into the air and hit the ceiling with a thunderous boom, then crash into the ground heavily.

    Salazar heard the thunderous chorus of that strange beast like man’s footfalls, but he was unable to regain his footing before a hand that seemed as if it was much too large for the brute was wrapped around him. Salazar let out a loud groan of pain as the hand began to squeeze him too tight to draw breath. His fireball was out of the question, as were all of his fireballs, he had to find a different way to fight this foe. He reached his hands forward and drove his thumbs into the eyes of the villain who growled as he released Salazar. The cry echoed through the halls of the building, Salazar only hoped that the right ears heard it.

    Salazar threw every punch he could, but found them ineffective against the rough hide of the villain. His enemy growled as he delivered a kick that knocked the air out of Salazar’s chest, then followed up with a punch that rocketed Salazar through the air. His skin screeched as it rubbed against the ground, but he dreaded that sound far less than the rumbling that accompanied the charge of the other fighter. Salazar stood and fired off blasts in a vain attempt to slow the beast, but he kept coming. Salazar breathed deeply, knowing that this would be his last chance

    He pulled down his turban and with a loud boom fired off his fireball. The blast struck the rocky beast, even appearing to slow his progress slightly, but not nearly enough. The brute was too close now for another blast, and his momentum was still too great for Salazar to hope to simply avoid the blow. As much as he hated for it to end this way it seemed that this was the end. Salazar braced himself and closed his eyes, but to his surprise the loud bang that followed wasn’t the sound of him being smashed through a wall.

    As he opened his eyes he was greeted by the sight of his cavalry, the remaining fighters in the tournament at this point. It seemed that the ox of a warrior that had nearly ended him had been knocked off coarse by a combination of Met and the warrior called X, the others soon followed behind them. “What the hell is this gwaah!” said X when he was interrupted by a pillar of earth rising below him and smashing him into the ceiling.

    Met took his eyes off of the enemy for only a moment, but it was enough for the enemy to ram his head hard into Met’s ribs, flinging him through the air and the crowd of other warriors, his flight being broken when he collided with Commander Masque and the warrior called Syx. Before the enemy could make another move Kakashi and Herald of Woe were upon him. Herald sent a lashing energy wave at the brute with a swing of his glaive, but the fighter simply knocked the attempt aside with his arm and stomped the ground, sending a concentrated shockwave at HoW that couldn’t be dodged in time, knocking him back as well.

    Kakashi waved his hand and suddenly there were three of him, being supported now by blasts from Salazar and Oddrun. The enemy flailed at the Kakashis for a moment before finally getting a hold of them and crushing them against his chest. The copied versions vanished but the other remained, fading fast. Oddrun moved in, only to catch Kakashi hard against her body, which in turn was flung into Running Wolf. Met dodged the flying trio as he surged forward again and landed blow after thunderous blow with the behemoth who swung back with equal abandon.

    Syx soon joined in the melee too, and the pairing of he and Meteorain were able to easily evade the counter blows of the much slower fighter, but each blow that they landed did little to him, while demanding a great toll of the heroes own bodies. When the other warrior finally managed to grab them he slammed the duo together and flung them through the nearby walls. Met and Syx were thrown aside, but this opened the warrior for a blow that finally seemed to take a toll on him, knocking him back several inches as Cyllieth appeared, having used her Cylli-ton Bolt. Firiath complimented this by leaping over her tag team partner and showering the villain with her Firi-flurry, apparently causing some damage and dazing the villain.

    Soon enough the enemy warrior recovered and clapped his hands, as he did two earthen towers rose up and slammed into the tag team champions, spilling their bodies along the ground. He seemed about to follow up this attack when Ender appeared, firing off a massive energy blast into the face of the enemy warrior who staggered, but momentarily recovered and locked arms with Ender, soon gaining the advantage on the hero and punishing him with an unreal strength. Before the damage could be fully done a blinding flash came and forced him to release Ender, Masque had rejoined the fray.

    The mountain of a fighter abandoned his idea of crushing Ender and instead focused on Masque who dodged between his strikes with an elegance of a dancer. Masque whirled his blades, sending dozens of cutting arcs of energy at the warrior who seemed unaffected by the showed of strikes. The brute eventually grew tired of being out maneuvered and ripped a large section of stone from the wall and flung it hard at the knight who was unable to act in time to avoid it, instead being flung through the air and damaged again as his back struck a wall, rattling him within his suit.

    Met returned again before the goliath was able to continue his assault on the others, even managing to lift the beast into the air with a direct Metastic Kick to the jaw. Met followed this up by activating the Graviton Bomb. The creature roared with anger as his mass quickly became even more cumbersome, it seemed that this strategy would work, but that changed when the creature raised his arms and slammed them down, given the extra force of the gravity this created a shockwave that took Met completely off his feet, and made him an easy target for a kick that took him into the air and a slam by his ankle.

    The creature raised its fist as if to pulverize the downed Met, but before it could choose how best to beat him there was a black blur that struck the brute with enough force to take it into the air for a few feet. Everyone watched in awe as Chad08 broke away from the creature, then unleashed a furious chain of blows against the creature. He managed to evade dozens of swipes, and then when he finally received one he was flung past the others, only to quickly right himself in air, land, and then attack once again. After a moment the creature managed to knock Chad away with a solid enough strike to force him to back off for a moment, allowing Met to ask the question he’d been wondering for a while as he got back up.

    “Who the hell are you, and where the hell did you come from?” demanded Met.

    “I am the one that will crush all of you puny TFFers once and for all, I am the walking mountain range, the earth itself is my weapon, sent by Kain himself I am the Terra Former, and I will pound you all into the dirt!” growled the creature in reply as he charged in for a second round with the heroes who were all back up by now.
     
  10. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Brave New World, Chapter 19: Valkyries

    “Jake what are the readouts looking like?” asked Savage.

    “Thrall has taken two blows so far, my calculations show them as being more damaging than any of the TFFers could throw, meaning that this new comer is a legitimate enemy, but thus far the damage is minimal, there is no threat to his performance,” said Mad Jake.

    “So how long should this battle take?” asked Savage.

    “It’s hard to say,” said Jake. “We have no information on this creature, but his durability is higher than anything the defense force has encountered in months, as is his strength, add in that he’s terrakinetic and he knows how to use his powers quite well and he may actually turn out to be something of a legitimate threat.”

    “Odds?” asked Savage.

    “I calculate him having a roughly 50% chance of victory,” answered Jake.

    ***********************************

    Once more the brute rushed forward, twin trails of stone sliding up toward his foes. Met drove himself like a javelin into the rocky chest of the villain, causing him to stop briefly while Chad rushed forward and landed a heavy kick to the nose of the Former. The creature growled in pain at this, and at the numerous knives that Kakashi drove into its back, said blades soon after exploded, causing the beast to stagger forward, opening him up for a Metastic kick that managed to take him off of his feet.

    As the creature struggled to stand the heroes piled on and unloaded with punches and blasts, but were ultimately thrown loose when the earth rose around the Former and were driven away in all directions, scattering the warriors of TFF. The Former looked around the remnants of the building that had gradually been destroyed around them by all manner of attacks. A grin spread on his face as his eyes fell upon the downed form of Oddrun. The Viking woman was slowly standing, but a sudden shift of the earth knocked her off her feet again as the Former rushed forward, a laugh that echoed like an avalanche escaping from his mouth. Odd cringed as she waited to be crushed, but no such fate met her.

    Odd stared in awe as something crossed between her and the Former, and in an impossible display of technique and strength, Chad08 twisted his body in an unnatural manner, lifting the Former off the ground, and slammed him onto the ground, causing a shockwave that nearly took the warrior off of his feet. As Chad moved to follow up a pillar of earth was flung up, bashing him in the chest and throwing him back once again. The Former stood and was now battered by Syx, who quickly dashed back and fired several strange, slow moving beams that exploded violently on impact. The Former roared with anger and delivered a brutal kick to the stomach of the fighter who doubled over in pain. The former then flung Syx away with a vicious back handed strike that made him vanish through the air.

    “Is this the best you TFFers can do?! You’re all pathetic!” cackled the Former.

    “Don’t speak before we stop pulling our punches,” said Met from behind the Former, who turned just as his body began to glow.

    “Hah, tough talk, but I’ll break you like an old toy,” said the Former.

    “FIST OF THE METEOR!” was the only response Met gave as he flew forward striking the Former and literally taking the brute off of his feet into the air with enough concussive force to shatter a car like a stone through glass. Met carried the creature several meters up before dropping him, causing the beast to form a tremendous crater on impact. Met attempted to follow this up with a Meteoric rise, but to his dismay he found himself unable to lift the Former, who clapped his hands against Met’s body, crumpling the hero who he then tossed aside.

    Firiath and Cyllieth now moved in to attempt another tandem attack, but as Cyllieth spun for the Cylli-nado she was knocked unconscious by a boulder tossed by the Former. While she attended to her tag-partner Firi was easily knocked out herself by a brutal kick to her back that sent her face first into a pile of debris. The Former moved to finish the job but found himself on the receiving end of Kakashi’s three spheres. While this did little to harm the brute it drew his attention away from Kakashi’s downed friends. By now Kakashi’s injuries were mounting up, but given the circumstances this wasn’t all bad, it allowed him to use the Killkashi bloodline technique to his advantage.

    The two traded blows for several moments, Kakashi’s strikes seeming to make a real impression on the face of the colossus, but in the end not even Kakashi’s amplified strikes were enough to defeat the brute who got a hold of the ninja and squeezed the air out of him. Kakashi would have met his end there had Commander Masque not fired off several beams from his whirling blades at the beast that dropped the unconscious Kakashi to engage the more lively threat. Herald of Woe joined masque, but their attacks proved ineffective against the creature that simply barreled through them and crashed into the warriors with enough force to jar them out cold as well.

    “Napalm Sky!” shouted Ender as the Former’s eyes fell upon him. Giant balls of flame poured from the sky onto the brute that vanished beneath a wall of fire. Several moments of the punishment passed before Ender was unable to continue to assault. Ender stood unengaged for several minutes, the battle seemed to be over just like that, but when the smoke cleared the Former was revealed to not only still be alive, but still standing.

    “This… pain… what is this pain?!” moaned the brute as he attempted a charge, but was stalled by the exponential damage his body had just taken. With a wail of rage the creature managed to pull up a chunk of earth and fling it at Ender, who by now was so drained that he could do nothing but absorb the full impact of the blow. The creature slowly lumbered forward, but long before he could choose which downed hero to attack Oddrun and Running Wolf blocked his path.

    “Get out of my way, I’ll crush you like I’ve crushed the rest!” rumbled the Former. In a blink Running had gathered the bodies of their allies and took them behind Odd; the Former scoffed. “Putting them all in one place? You’re making this too easy!”

    “Black Dirge,” said Odd as several gigantic speakers burst from the ground. Odd struck her sound gauntlet and let out a blast of sound that flung the former several yards through the air, he stopped moving. Odd and Running slowly moved forward, but long before they could check the body two walls of earth sprung up and smashed against them multiple times until they were beaten into submission.

    “Bastard TFFers, I am the Terra Former! You can’t beat me! Give up now and I’ll make it quick!” he roared as he stood up yet again, however slowly.

    Met grumbled as he forced his way free from a pile of rubble, seeing Syx and Chad08 doing the same. It seemed that this bastard had taken out damn near all of the others, but it was still three against one, and them being three of the toughest meant they still must have held the advantage. The fighters stepped out into the open and circled the brute that simply laughed, “Are you afraid TFFers? Are you afraid because you now see how horribly out classed you are?”

    “No, more annoyed that you don’t know when to shut the hell up,” growled Met.

    “Fool TFFer, the winner doesn’t need to be silent! Soon the world shall know my name, the Terra Former, the warrior that killed the TFF Defense Force!” roared the Former as he ran forward.

    First the brute was rocked by a brutal Metastic Kick, then struck by a violent and bizarre series of lights that came from the eyes and palms of Syx, followed by a brutal series of strikes from Chad, but he managed to swat them all away. The creature grumbled and swung his arms wildly, causing massive earthen structures to strike out at all angles, but the TFFers managed to evade. Between the day’s tournament rounds and the battle with this beast the heroes were physically drained, their chi flow greatly stunted, and even Thrall was having difficulty continuing to sustain solid attacks. If the full roster had been around they would have the win squared away, but the injuries they’d taken during the tournament had put several of the warriors on the shelf for quite a while, as did the surprise of the enemy’s appearance. With one final assault they’d finish him off, but there was no guarantee that they’d come out of it a whole lot better than he did.

    But then from the sky came a pair of tremendous blasts that struck the Former, engulfing him in a blinding light. After a moment the smoke cleared, revealing the crumpled form of the finally unconscious form of the Terra Former. Now a pair of strangely clad warriors, female by the look of them, one bearing a strange spear and the other holding a pair of claws, each touched down. Immediately Met noticed the markings that dotted their attire, the symbol of the Shogun Temple.

    “Looks like it’s a good thing we showed up, this schmuck did a number on their force,” said the claw fighter.

    “He’s a bruiser, I doubt he’ll be able to do quite this well in the future,” said the other as she turned to Met. “You must be Meteorain, my name is U. B. Shogun and this is H. R. Sylvus, we’re here on behalf of the Shogun Temple and the IFDC to help out your force.”
     
  11. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Brave New World, Chapter 20: Hidden Agendas

    The wreckage from the battle had taken eight days to clean up. The tournament had been called off indefinitely after the fight that had sidelined damn near every active member of the TFF Defense Force. Chad08 hadn’t stuck around to be deputized like Syx and Salazar Slugger, and Bucklingburger hadn’t been seen since Herald had taken him out in their match, seemingly confirming what Vic Valor had told them about his criminal connections. It had been about a month since that brawl and thus far no leads to the Former’s employers had turned up. On the bright side the city crime rate had remained remarkably low.

    Normally when the entire Defense Force roster was side lined it meant that criminals would become foolishly bold, even the fact that Met was more or less at full strength wouldn’t stop them. The new factor in the equation seemed to be the pair of warrior women who’d arrived at the close of the battle, U. B. Shogun, the sister of the fallen legend of TFF, and H. R. Sylvus, a member of one of the branch families of the Shogun Clan.

    While these two shared a number of the same attacks as I. R. had, they had thus far showed little use of them, and much smaller skill libraries. One the other hand they seemed far fiercer than the fallen TFFer had been, and their aggression made up for their smaller repertoire of moves. They’d sworn that their extreme measures were mostly due to the lack of able bodies to fight disturbances at the time, but having spent time with Shogun’s family in the past somehow Met doubted that this was the only reason.

    Within Liv’s Library Kakashi, Commander Masque, and Oddrun had been discussing the current situation within the city for several minutes. “So what possibilities are there within your rogues gallery here that he could claim affiliation with?” asked Masque.

    “Haven’t we turned that stone enough times?” asked Kakashi. “Most of our organized enemies would probably have broken one of theirs out by now.”

    “It might seem that way, but someone like that fighter doesn’t tend to act on his own. Not for a job like that anyway,” said Masque.

    “What do you mean?” asked Kakashi.

    “If he were just a villain out for a fight he would have entered the tournament legally. That way he could have side lined a lot of us and gained a lot less painful recognition for it,” said Masque.

    “Well the only organized enemies that we still have around here are Mad Jake and Kain,” said Kakashi. “And those two don’t seem likely either.”

    “What makes you count them out?” asked Masque.

    “Mad Jake hasn’t been seen for months, and he never wastes any time in taking credit for his schemes,” said Oddrun. “Kain on the other hand seems to be more or less just an urban legend.”

    “Although Dr. Antithesis seems pretty real to me,” said Kakashi.

    “I’ve been wondering about that one actually,” said Masque. “Tell me about him.”

    “The first time we fought him was about three months ago,” began Kakashi. “Met, me, and OR’d been tailing a group under Kain’s employ for several blocks when they led us up to a rooftop where they turned around and started fighting. Of coarse we were able to make mince meat out of them, but we didn’t realize that they’d led us there for a reason. There was the flash of a smoke bomb and OR went out like a light. As soon as I moved to help him I felt a pricking pain in my arm and I lost control of my body, then hit the ground. That’s when Antithesis appeared.”

    “He walked out of the shadows as casually as a man stepping out of his house to go for a walk, he and Met exchanged some words and in short order the fists started flying. Met started out strong until Antithesis started using all of the gadgets he had on him and started to beat Met like a government mule. After a while Met got so desperate that he just went red with anger and ended up impaling Antithesis on a giant spike with his Rise technique.”

    “How did he survive that?” asked Masque.

    “He didn’t,” answered Odd.

    “The news had a field day with how Met had killed off a super villain, and then even more when the body disappeared,” explained Kakashi. “They conveniently didn’t cover when he resurfaced a week later and beat the hell out of the wolf pack and nearly killed a church full of bystanders with a gas bomb filled with his own special brand of nerve gas. Met had to let him escape with over $1,000,000 that he’d stolen from a bank in the first place to get the wolves to make an attack on him.”


    “He seems to be eerily crafty,” said Masque.

    “We’ve never faced anyone like him,” said Kakashi.

    “Which would explain why even if Kain isn’t real, Antithesis is a very serious danger,” said Odd.

    ************************************

    “Antithesis, I’m curious, who was the fighter who wore black at the tournament, the first one who moved Former?” asked Kain.

    “He was entered under the name of Chad08, but we have confirmed that this was not his real identity,” said Antithesis.

    “Then who is he?” asked Kain.

    “We don’t know my lord,” said Antithesis.

    “Why not?” asked Kain.

    “Because there isn’t anyone alive save for yourself who has the capability of fielding such a potent warrior,” said Antithesis.

    “What makes you say that?” asked Kain.

    “His armor showed a technology class that far surpasses anything being used by any legitimate groups the world over, and it’s also far different than anything we could hope to produce,” said Antithesis. “In fact, there’s only one group that has existed that would conceivably be able to put such an item forward.”

    “Which is?” asked Kain.

    “Really Really Big Tech Secret Chapter Project Badass, led by Five Star Mercenary General Amadeus Savage,” said Antithesis. “The project was scrapped several months ago with the death of Savage after an extensive battle with the TFF Defense Force.”

    “Find everything you can on Savage, perhaps whoever fielded that agent is attempting to carry on his legacy,” said Kain.

    ***************************************

    “What have we learned about this Terra Former character?” asked Savage.

    “Not much,” answered Sergeant Samson. “Colonel Solomon’s unit has done a thorough comb over of the underworld of Spamopolis, apparently the Former was an import fighter.”

    “Then who imported him?” asked Savage.

    “We haven’t been able to confirm anything yet, but the most common name is someone called Kain,” said Samson.

    “Anything on him?” asked Savage.

    “Nothing yet sir, he’s very skilled at covering his tracks,” said Samson.

    “Well find him soon,” said Savage. “This import fighter did a number on Thrall, if he’s able to get his hands on fighters like that then Kain could prove to be very dangerous to our operations here. Once you’ve found him report to me immediately, I’ll want a chance to deal with him myself…”

    End of Brave New World
     
  12. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Kings of Spamolopolis, Chapter 1: Midnight Run

    In the weeks that followed the winding down of the tournament the wounds of the TFF Defense Force had healed. Unfortunately no leads had turned up in figuring out who it was that had sent the Former to attack the tournament, but all opinions seemed to focus on the figure that some considered a mere urban myth, the man called Kain. The TFFers had scoured every slum and hidden zone in the entire state of Fun Forums, but thus far Kain’s trail was still comfortably cold, leaving the heroes to wonder just when he’d choose to strike next. However it seemed that they wouldn’t need to wait long. For tonight, at Polls City Jail, not one, but two teams of warriors from Spamoplois’ underbelly are turning out…

    “I don’t like the way this feels,” said Bucklingburger as they entered into the light of the streets.

    “How many times have we been through this Buck, it doesn’t matter how you feel about anything,” said Antithesis. “You’re lucky Lord Kain chose to give you another chance.”

    “Yeah, but that doesn’t mean I gotta like the way it works,” said Buck. “I feel like there’s someone else here.”

    “The Defense Force doesn’t have any members sent to this area, and I’m certain that between you and I we can handle any of the standard police force that will get in our way,” said Antithesis. “There’s nothing to concern yourself over. This entire operation won’t take more than twenty minutes.”

    “My gut tells me otherwise,” said Buck as they reached the fence and Antithesis quickly opened them a suitable way through.

    As they proceeded to the wall of the prison Antithesis handed Buck a ring of keys, “Gorger’s cell should be on just the other side of this wall. Get him loose and open up a path for me to enter, we’ll proceed from there.”

    “Right, I’ll be right out,” said Buck as he vanished.

    Antithesis waited alone outside of the prison walls for a long moment. The night was still save for a distant whooping sound that was fast approaching. Antithesis sighed softly as he activated his communicator, “My lord, we have company fast approaching the raid party.”

    Defense Force? asked the voice at the other end.

    “No,” said Antithesis. “This one sounds to be of a much more intriguing nature.”

    Ah, so the new player shows his hand, said the voice of Kain. Well then, see to it that Savage knows who’s the real boss around here now.

    “Yes my lord, I’ll be certain to have all of ours loose before he arrives,” said Antithesis as he ended the transmition. Almost as if on cue the wall crumbled, and before him stood Buck and Gorger. Antithesis quickly stepped into the cell and went about opening the door. “We need to hurry, there’s company coming and we’ll need to assure that we have Putty and the Former loose before they arrive.”

    “Aw boss it can’t be the defense force so what do we got to worry about?” asked Gorger.

    “Someone we weren’t expecting,” answered Antithesis as the cell door swung wide. “And who the master and I are most curious about.”

    The trio proceeded wordlessly through the hallways of the prison, the alarms now going loudly, although no one seemed to be in their way. Antithesis thought this to be a tad too much of a coincidence, but decided it must have been Savage’s doing. RRBT had rather deep pockets, and he supposed a man like that would be quite aware of their actions if he was indeed alive still. They quickly found the cell that contained Putty, who sat lifelessly in the center.

    “Open the door,” said Antithesis.

    “Yes sir,” said Gorger as he wound up, and with a wide, loud swing forced the door to fly from its hinges. In a moment Putty came back to life as if animated for the first time.

    “What got into him?” asked Buck.

    “Exposure to oxygen is vital to Putty’s abilities,” said Antithesis. “Anytime he’s imprisoned they lock him in an air tight room and pump all of that out to make sure he remains harmless.”

    “That seems cruel and unusual,” scoffed Buck.

    “That stipulation only pertains to the living,” said Antithesis. “Things that aren’t technically alive are exempt from such protections.”

    The group proceeded now as they had before, this time their searching took quite a bit longer, as it seemed that the Former had been placed in a much higher security branch of the prison than they expected. Antithesis had assumed that his wounds would still be far from fully recovered after all of what he had absorbed, however it seemed that the prison officials had elected to pass up an action that would require them to move him later. Nevertheless they located him, and quickly began the intricate process of freeing him from captivity. When they reached his cell they were surprised to find him already awake.

    “How are you feeling Former?” asked Antithesis.

    “I’ll rip them all apart, every last one of them,” said Former. “They got lucky last time, this time I’m going to tear all of them in two and eat them.”

    “There’ll be plenty of time to formulate a plan on how to accomplish that,” said Antithesis. “For now we have someone who wants to meet us, and they’re fast approaching.”

    “Enemies?” asked Former.

    “Most likely,” said Antithesis.

    “Then I’ll smash them too!” said Former as he stood and stomped past the others.

    “Hoohoo he’s fired up,” said Gorger. “This should be fun.”

    “You like to watch that monster?” asked Buck.

    “You’re damn right,” said Gorger. “The Former don’t mess around.”

    “Don’t expect him to have as much success as his last fight ever again though,” said Antithesis. “He’s not too bright. Anyway come, we have guests.”

    The villains quickly proceeded back up to the ground level, quickly encountering a squad of men dressed in the black armor of Operation Badass. At the forefront were two men, larger than the rest, and their armor more distinct. One the left was a man with two red slits over his eyes, assumedly to allow him vision. His armor was lean, clinging to him almost like a body suit of remarkably thin material. The other’s armor was much bulkier, but by the look of him he was also of a much more massive frame. A pair of pointed, almost insect like arms extended from his back, seeming even more intimidating than the pair of long weapons that hung at his hips. His head was exposed, showing his long gray hair and the patch that he wore over his right eye.

    “General Savage, certainly not the introduction I’d expect,” said Antithesis.

    “And not the type of style I’d expect from one as capable as you Dr. Antithesis,” replied Savage.

    “Sometimes the simplest ways are the best,” said Antithesis.

    “Agreed,” said Savage. “But enough formalities. I think we’re both perfectly aware of what the other is interested in. Let’s see what you’ve got.”

    “Enough talk! I am the Terra Former, the man who beat the TFF Defense Force, and that warrior standing next to you old man! Get out of my way or I will crush you like an insect! That armor will not save you from me!” roared the Former as he stepped forward.

    The soldiers behind Savage all seemed about to charge, but with a wave of his hand he stopped them, laughing all the while. “Well you’re certainly a big boy aren’t you? If it’s a fight you’re looking for I guess I do need a good return bout, been a while since I stretched the old legs. And I do suppose you’re the perfect one to test out some of the new tools I’ve been working on…”
     
  13. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Kings of Spamopolis, Chapter 2: A Modest Proposal

    “You are a fool old man! I am the Terra Former! The earth itself is my weapon! And I will break you like I will break the TFF Defense Force!” rumbled the stony voice of the Former.

    “Well are you going to get started or do you just want to annoy me to death?” asked Savage.

    “Insolent fool, you do not know who you speak to!” growled the former as he slid his foot heavily like a bull about the charge.

    “The Terra Former wasn’t it? Whatever, hurry up, I’m in the mood for a smoke,” said Savage impatiently.

    “You will regret this day old fool!” roared the Former now as he rushed forward with all the haste his body could produce.

    Savage made no immediate movements as the beast rushed him, but as he came within arms reach the seasoned general stepped lightly to the side, allowing the creature to pass harmlessly by and into the now exposed wall behind where Savage’s soldiers had stood seconds before. The Former roared as he turned and rushed Savage again, this time with two mighty spires of earth bursting from the ground behind him. This time as Savage stepped aside a cable flew from his gauntlet and wrapped around the legs of the former, causing him to abruptly fall and the earthen weapons he’d created to harmlessly crumble. Savage pulled on the cord once, releasing it from his armor and instantly it began to glow an odd shade of yellow, the effects of this became obvious as the Former screamed aloud and violently thrashed to attempt to free himself.

    “Coward! Fight me like a man!” roared the Former as he stood.

    “Men only fight worthy adversaries, until you prove to be such I think we’ll continue as such,” grinned Savage.

    “I’ll show you!” roared the Former, whose hands were flung up, but to his surprise there was no motion of the earth. “What did you do?!”

    “It’s called a Mago-nullifier,” replied Savage. “Certain types of magic are very easily influenced by certain radio frequencies. Yours in particular is especially unrefined and cumbersome. This makes it especially easy to block out and scramble. More refined types of mage craft, such as the brand used by Dragn9 of the Defense Force for instance, while not completely invulnerable to the effects of a nullifier, are for the most part able to still be utilized with a great deal of effectiveness, given the proper user. The same can be said of the Chi Force. Certain styles of chi based attacks are completely disabled, whereas some are merely hindered.”

    “Neat trick, but I don’t need my magic to break you!” roared the Former as he lunged forward.

    Savage slid back, using the power sliding ability of his armor, and then fired a dart from his gauntlet that struck the brute as he struggled up. The Former shrugged off the maneuver and continued to charge, making wild vicious strikes against his foe, but Savage was far too quick to feel anything but the wind from the Former’s attacks. As time passed the Former’s attacks grew more wild, but Savage was still easily able to evade every strike until finally, to everyone’s surprise the brute stopped completely, held frozen in mid swipe.

    “What… what did you do to me?!?!?!?” growled the Former.

    Savage slowly walked over to the brute, withdrew a cigar from a case he carried and then struck a match on the big beast’s arm. After taking a moment to light the cigar and puff on it a few times Savage smiled and spoke up. “Another neat little toy we’ve developed recently, a smart tranquilizer,” he said as he blew a smoke ring.

    “Old fool! No tranquilizer can stop me! Once I am free you will die!” growled the Former.

    “That seems unlikely,” said Savage. “This tranquilizer functions based on several things, one whose muscle mass is so much greater than muscle finesse or ability is at a particular loss. You see, with someone as big as you it will very rapidly get you to this stage, one of complete paralysis. Were your body more athletically sound, rather than being built to the point where muscles really only proved a hindrance, this would have come much more slowly and you may even have bypassed it completely, simply becoming more sluggish. Unfortunately for you your body is in such a case where you’re too much of a giant to be able to perform anything save obnoxious feats of strength, meaning that the tranquilizer will work especially well in…” Savage stopped and pushed the former to the ground with a single hand, “putting you to sleep, for a very long time.”

    “Impressive,” said Antithesis. “But what’s the point of showing me such a potent weapon, had you used it against me you may have been able to make quite an advantage.”

    “Simple, I have a proposal in mind,” said Savage. “One that I believe the little man in your ear will find especially interesting.”

    Antithesis’ eyes narrowed before he spoke, “Go on.”

    “I wonder, who among the two of us, that being myself and this Kain character in case your colleagues were wondering, which of us will prove to be the better of the big bosses of this city,” said Savage.

    “A crime contest?” asked Antithesis.

    “Not exactly,” said Savage. “What I’m talking about is more of a game that will test both of our give and take skills.”

    “Explain,” said Antithesis.

    “Well, as I and I’m sure he knows, the city of Spamopolis and to a lesser extent TFF as a whole is defended by a group that’s been a bit of a thorn in both of our sides, the Defense Force. One thing that the Defense Force has never had to deal with is a two fronted threat, not really anyways,” said Savage. “So I wondered if he’d be interested in seeing who can come out on top if the city is cast into the nastiest war it’s ever seen, him, versus me, versus the TFF Defense Force and any of the disciplinarians that happen to decide they want to drop in on the action.”

    “Rules?” asked Antithesis.

    “None really, double props for knocking off a TFFer, major crimes are bonuses, fight hard, fight fast, and try to find and prove your superiority to the head of the enemy forces,” said Savage.

    “What do you think of his offer my lord?” asked Antithesis into his earpiece.

    Interesting replied Kain’s voice. But he’s up to something, accept the challenge, but we’re going to need to be careful. He’s crafty, he wouldn’t propose something like this without having some kind of ace. We’ll just need to make sure that we get one of our own shortly hereafter.

    “Yes my lord,” said Antithesis.

    “Well?” asked Savage.

    “He accepts your offer. When do the games begin?” asked Antithesis.

    “It’s very late,” said Savage. “And your man will be out for at least another day. Let your men all rest up, and call in every body you can find, the streets will be red after this. Things will get started three days from now.”

    “Fair enough,” said Antithesis.

    “See you then gentlemen,” said Savage with a grin, then with a turn and a motion of his finger his troops filed out and all of them left without a word. Going off silently into the night but for the sound of the whooping helicopter.

    “This should be fun,” said Gorger.

    “Don’t let your guard down,” said Antithesis. “If Savage or the one who was standing next to him should choose to make an appearance things will get costly very fast.”

    “Fair enough,” said Gorger.

    “Anyway, get him ready,” said Antithesis, pointing to the Former. “We’re going home.”
     
  14. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Kings of Spamopolis, Chapter 3: A Return of Dark and Light

    Three days had passed since the break in at the Polls City Jail. Meteorain hadn’t bothered to send any of the teams up to investigate, the list of criminals who’d escaped told him immediately who was behind it. It seemed that this was true of all of the TFFers, all of them save Salazar. Salazar was still a tad overwhelmed with his new position, but for the sake of the village he needed to make absolutely certain he could gain a solid and permanent spot on the team. The payment he would receive for his time as a member would go back to his home to help buy what was needed, hopefully he’d be able to become strong enough that he wouldn’t need to ask any of the others to accompany him when the raid season came around.

    The patrol group for this hour consisted of himself, Meteorain, and the mysterious warrior called Syx. Salazar was certain that this wasn’t his real name; it didn’t fit him at least. Then again he supposed that if all this man was hiding from them was his name then they were still very lucky. Salazar had heard of this fighter’s battle against Wolf, he’d seen the highlights, this man was a force of nature, or at least it seemed that way to Salazar. The shining knight, Commander Masque was his name, he’d made many notes on the inherent flaws in the style employed by this man, and Syx had further elaborated on them, but still Salazar was in awe of the abilities this warrior had at his disposal. In this company Salazar felt invincible, even if his skills weren’t so phenomenal as most who claimed allegiance to this force.

    “Salazar, we’ve got movement,” came the voice of Meteorain, knocking Salazar from his daydreaming.

    “Where should I go?” asked Salazar.

    “Cover the back, make sure we don’t get surrounded, don’t get overzealous though, these guys look pretty solid,” said Met.

    “Alright,” said Salazar as the three of them rushed forward.

    The activity Met was referring to was a group of men dressed in elaborate robes and masks that covered their entire bodies. They were all armed with swords that appeared to have more tricks to them than met the eye. In addition to their blades the force all seemed to be armed with interesting incendiary devices that they wore strapped to their belts. There was something strange in the way that they moved as they emerged from the bank that they’d just robbed, like they were hoping that members of the defense force would be there.

    As the first blasts flew from Met and Syx’s hands the men quickly evaded and moved into some strange, almost military like formation, then they quickly tossed their grenades toward the TFFers. The bombs exploded and sent a wall of flames into all directions, blinding, burning, and bewildering the three defenders. The Tears of the Meteor quickly quelled the flames, but they’d accomplished their goal. As the blazes died the men reappeared, but their attire was now a far cry from what it had been.

    Their armor was as black as night, save where it reflected the light of the sun. The domes that covered their faces gave them an almost alien, inhuman quality. They still held the swords from before, but they also controlled a great deal of energy that was channeled through their free hands. All at once the lot of them rushed the trio of defenders, Met shouted orders, but any semblance of a plan fell apart once the punches began flying and the blades began to sing.

    In a moment Met had managed to force the lot of them back with a wild blast, but he knew it wouldn’t last. “Salazar,” he shouted, “Go find some of the others, get them here now! Tell them we’ve got Project soldiers!”

    Salazar nodded as he dashed away, apparently not being labeled as much of a threat since all of the soldiers remained behind to battle Met and Syx. Salazar personally didn’t mind if Meteorain had sent him away it was because he wouldn’t be able to fight well against those men. Met seemed as if he knew them by their armor, Salazar wondered where this would have been from, he’d never seen anything like them before, they were like knights in their own right. Not brave and honorable like the Shining Knights, but dark and sinister, like the worst parts of the night.

    He charged through the streets wildly, barely avoiding numerous disasters and blunders among the throngs of people until finally he couldn’t avoid it any longer. He tripped in the act of leaping over a stroller wheeled by a rather large woman. He cringed as he seemed about to land directly on top of the child within, but there was a strange flash and he felt himself bounce harmlessly away and land in a heap on the ground. The large woman shouted a string of obscenities, but the madness was quickly stopped as a dashing man in purple robes with a rather large hat stepped between them.

    “I beg your pardon for my friend here madam, he’s a tad clumsy I’m afraid and sometimes he gets a tad ahead of himself,” he said with words that seemed to set a strange hum through the air.

    “Well tell him to be more careful, if my baby was harmed I would have ripped him in two myself,” said the woman in a voice that sounded like concrete scarping against marble.

    “But of coarse, now if you’ll excuse us, we’ll be getting out of your way,” said the man as he helped Salazar up and pulled him away. “That wasn’t very wise of you, you really aught to be more careful.”

    “I know, I apologize, but I must be going, Meteorain is in trouble, and he sent me to fetch members of the Defense Force,” said Salazar hurriedly.

    “Met you say? Where is he?” asked the man with a voice that was suddenly deathly serious.

    “By a bank two blocks away, he’s fighting a horde of armor clad warriors,” said Salazar.

    “I see,” said the man. “Wolf and her pack are at the library on the steps, do you know where it is?”

    “No sir…” said Salazar only to be cut off.

    “No time to direct you, take a deep breath,” said the man.

    Salazar took a deep breath and was consumed by a blinding flash. A moment passed and he found himself in the street again, this time standing before the steps of a large building with three wolves staring down at him. “Salazar? Where did you come from?” asked Wolf.

    “No time to explain, Met’s in trouble, he said to tell you there are project soldiers on the loose,” said Salazar.

    “Where is he?” asked Wolf.

    “I think I can lead the way from here, follow me!” said Salazar as he intuitively dashed back to where the fighting was occurring.

    Back where Salazar had been sent from the purple robed mage stood, his hand extended as the feathers fell from the spot where his mana had flared. “Come on, we’re needed at the bank,” he said to the black clad woman with pig tailed hair.

    “So you can just poof people to anywhere you want? That’s so cool Dragn!” she said with what he assumed was a smile behind her black mask.

    Dragn smiled himself, “To some degree yes, anyway we need to get moving, no telling what Met’s gotten into now.”

    “Right right, where did that guy say he was?” she asked.

    “A bank two blocks away, I assume where that chi pulse is coming…” Dragn stopped himself mid sentence, seeing that the woman had already started on her way there.

    “Come on Dragn we’re going to miss all the action if we just sit around talking!” she yelled back as she pressed onward at speeds Dragn couldn’t hope to match on foot.

    Dragn sighed and shook his head, “That’s one way to do it I suppose…”

    Dragn swiftly spoke a word of magic, as an abundance of feathers appeared, vanishing onto the ground as they landed. Dragn had returned to the city after a long absence, having heard news of Shogun’s death and being unable to attend the funeral, although he’d also heard stories of great evils that were brewing in the famous town, evils that may mean the city would need all of her protectors more than ever. Along the way he’d encountered the wild ninja girl that had accompanied him here, her spirit striking him as a positive addition to his lonely questing, and her skills seeming as though they’d be quite beneficial to fighting whatever darkness was going to be clouding the land. Sevi was what she called herself, and she had spirit, although this was one of many times she seemed more than ready to charge wildly ahead with reckless abandon. Dragn wondered how that would work for the force.
     
  15. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Kings of TFF, Chapter 4: Street Fight

    Salazar and the wolves forced their way through the streets, pushing through anything and everything that crossed their paths. Most of the citizens got the hint and hastily got out of their way, which is until a trio that they knew all too well crossed their path. For the most part the group consisted of men dressed in white with blue X’s over their left chest, each armed with pipes and bats. However one of them was a mountain of a man who only recently had crossed paths with the pack, and he appeared to be in the mood for revenge when he spat a wall of flames along the ground as the four TFFers approached, forcing them to scatter wildly.

    “Damn it, when the hell did you get out Gorger?” growled Wolf although she knew the answer.

    “Didn’t you hear hound dog? I got out on good behavior!” said Gorger as he swung the massive chains he’d affixed to his gauntlets before coming here, recalling the way that his last battle with the pack had gone.

    Salazar was dazed by the attack, dazed enough that he rapidly found himself on the receiving end of a vicious beating by the thugs that had accompanied Gorger. In a moment he regained his composure and managed to fight them off, but their numbers quickly allowed them to regain the advantage. He saw that the same was true of the wolf Overread, who soon joined him, allowing the pair to fight on more even ground with the mob. Wolf and RW were doing their best to battle the Gorger, but with the mastery he had over those chains he was able to throw them around like they were nothing. If they were to survive this fight they needed to all band together.

    Salazar breathed deeply and fired off his fireball, scaring many of the ruffians, enough to give him and OR a chance to attack the Gorger and force him to back off of Wolf and RW. The four of them all stood back to back now, blasting at the gang with various blasts, but as the seconds passed more and more of them appeared. This whole thing was looking grim, but at the last moment a series of blasts came down from the sky, bringing at least momentary relief to the fighting TFFers. U. B. and H. R. touched down quickly, Kakashi arriving soon afterward, but the joy of seeing their allies was short lived when another force entered the fray, all clad in black armor and led by a warrior with red eyes on his mask.

    Back at the first hot spot that had kicked up Met and Syx were managing to hold their own after having disarmed a few of the enemy soldiers, but the numbers of their foes was quickly becoming a problem. Met and his ally forced them back, but dodging bursts of energy as well as biting steel was rapidly proving to be the duo’s undoing. Met clashed and locked up with one of the soldiers, he knew the danger, but he couldn’t stop it, the blade of another sword approached his neck, Met growled but he knew there was nothing he could do, he accepted the death.

    There was a sound of steel on steel just before the blade should have met his flesh; to his surprise Met had been saved, by a woman no less. “Hi there, I’m Sevi, I heard you could use some help, looks like I got here just in time,” she said as she finally followed up her attack by planting a low kick into the leg of the soldier, and then with a wild and elaborate movement tossed him away.

    “Thanks I guess, but duck,” said Met as he finally knocked the soldier away. With a look of confusion Sevi ducked just as Met fired off three Met Meteors with a single motion of his arm. This took care of the remaining soldiers out in the open, but Met soon realized the danger they now faced as dozens of soldiers popped from behind their cover and fired upon the trio. Too many shots, too many angles, no chance to block or evade, this was it…

    “Wall of Force,” came a familiar voice as the blasts all slammed wildly against an invisible barrier. Bursts came wildly from Dragn’s staff and flew off into all directions as he and the other three all took cover of their own, unfortunately right in the middle of the circle of enemies.

    “What kept you?” asked Met with a slight chuckle. “Was there a mirror between here and the last place you were at?”

    “Several actually,” grinned Dragn as he fired off a chain lightning spell into a trio of soldiers who got a little too overzealous for their own good. “When did the shell patrol resurface?”

    “Today,” answered Met bluntly. “Now if you’ll excuse me…” Met disappeared behind their cover wall, his body quickly becoming engulfed in a white light as he flew up into the air, and then spun rapidly, sending out hundreds of deadly accurate blasts that found their marks in the chests of the numerous soldiers in the vicinity, leaving the area completely empty of conscious fighters save the TFF group. “We’ve got problems.”

    “You don’t say?” said Dragn. “That underling you sent out should have arrived by now.”

    Salazar, the wolves, and the Shogun-fu fighters hadn’t moved far since they’d all met up, not of their own accord at least. The gang under Kain’s control had only grown in numbers, and had even gained another significant warrior in the form of Putty, meanwhile Thrall had made his presence on the battlefield felt by anything and everything not wearing the armor of a soldier of Project Badass. U. B. directly engaged the super warrior, who easily bypassed her spear and planted his knee hard into the stomach of the female fury. H. R. dove at Thrall, ducking low under his line of sight as she attempted to drive her claws into his chest, but through some bizarre form of intuition he misguided her strikes and made her stand with a stiff kick to her chest, followed by a throw that sent her crashing through a nearby shop window.

    Wolf rushed Thrall, accompanied by OR who still remembered his bitter defeat at the hands of the man they both knew as Chad08, but he stopped their rush by flinging U. B. at them. With the wolves halted and the crowds busy engaging each other and attempting to pick apart the badly out-numbered TFFers. Thrall now moved to Kain’s fighters. Gorger cringed at the mere sight of the black suited terror that rushed him now, but Putty knew nothing of fear, and he rapidly engaged the fighter. The two melee menaces battered one another, Thrall quickly becoming entangled in Putty’s body while Gorger moved forward and began to plant fist after meaty fist against the body of the warrior.

    For a moment it seemed as if Thrall would be in danger from the pummeling, but suddenly he grabbed onto Gorger’s fist and a violent and powerful electric current surged through the three of them. Kakashi’s three Spheres died out in a few moments, but at that range they managed to floor the big man and stun the blob. Thrall took advantage, freeing himself from Putty while slamming the Gorger down onto his ally. Thrall now drove himself mercilessly through the crowd of Kain’s soldiers who attempted in vain to flee before turning his attention back to the TFFers.

    U. B. had recovered from his attack on her and managed to drive her feet into his prone back, smashing Thrall hard into the ground. As he rose H. R. took out his legs and came up in a wicked arc, putting several gashes into Thrall’s formidable armor. Thrall attempted to mount a counter attack, but soon found himself bound by dozens of seals that detonated just as the two Shogun women fled. Thrall was stunned for just a moment, but it was long enough for Wolf, in her Evolution mode to throw him through the walls of several threads in retribution for what he’d done earlier to H. R.

    Gorger and Putty had now returned to the fray, and while the big man traded heavy-handed punches with the Shoguns, Putty was showing a great deal of potency as an opponent of the wolves, Kakashi, and Salazar. As the two sides duked it out another, slightly smaller group of Project Badass soldiers arrived, all wearing bulkier armor, and led by a man with long flowing hair, who allowed his face to be exposed as he slid into the fray and planted a cheap shot hard into the ribs of the humans fighting Putty. Sergeant Samson easily overpowered the TFFers facing the malleable menace and then sent Putty writhing away with another shock before he went to work on the TFFers.

    “Too easy,” said Samson with a grin as Thrall returned and again engaged the Shogun women and Gorger.

    “How strange that such a heavily defended warrior would be so lowly as to take pleasure in the pain of women,” came a voice from behind him as the wind carried numerous rose petals into the path of Samson’s sight.

    As Samson turned he felt the violent slashing of an unknown alloy against his armor as a flair of motion came from the hands of a warrior who seemed too well dressed for the battlefield. The mask he wore obscured a good half of his face, but as Samson slid back to recover from the assault he saw that the swordsman was no disfigured fiend. He was a shining knight, and a high ranking one from what Samson could tell.

    “Since when do Shining Knights attack from behind?” asked Samson as a chain whip was deployed from his gauntlet.

    “That was not an attack, that was merely a way of getting your attention,” said Rosgwak as he took his stance. “Were I to attack you with your back turned, I would have killed you.”

    “Big words knight, let’s see how a pretty boy in light armor handles the modern super soldier!” said Samson as he charged. Rosgwak laughed as he prepared for the clash.
     
  16. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Kings of Spamopolis, Chapter 5: Tactical Retreat

    Samson dashed toward Rosgwak, sparks flying from the ground as his heavy armor scraped against the concrete streets. Rosgwak stood with a quiet stoicism that seemed almost statuesque in the heat of this battle. Samson thought he must have been a fool, but at the last moment, as it seemed his chain would lash hard against the lightly armored swordsman he found no mark, instead feeling only a harsh stinging pain as Ros’ blade bit deeply into his face, the blood soon flowing after. Samson screamed in pain and blasted wildly in all directions, but not a shot fell upon Rosgwak, the swordsman nimbly dancing between the strikes as he prepared for another attack.

    Wolf had since recovered from Samson’s attack, but seeing Ros handling the warrior she decided that the remainder of her Evolution attack would be better used against the Gorger. She motioned for Kakashi and Salazar to help Ros while she herself tackled the big brute to take him off of the battle between the Shoguns and Thrall. She noticed Putty was busying himself with the many Project Badass soldiers who’d arrived with Samson, meaning that RW and OR were both free to help her against the big man. She gladly accepted the support of the rest of her pack and the trio quickly went about battling the giant while U.B. and H.R. struggled against Thrall.

    Thrall was overwhelming the pair, not through insurmountable force, but with the sheer brutality of his attacks, and the speeds at which he executed them. He’d long since disarmed the pair, and he was proving quite proficient at stopping their energy attacks before they could execute them. Luckily, it wasn’t just the two of them much longer. Thrall suddenly snapped his neck back and was sent skidding back after a sudden blink of an eye appearance of Ender. The fire eyed warrior added a new dimension to the fight, keeping Thrall off balance, forcing him to engage the three of them at once meant that he was unable to retake the offensive, for now the TFFers had him struggling.

    Elsewhere Met and his small group had been joined by Sorillon and Herald of Woe, although their arrival had done little thus far since the battlefield was still empty of anyone save the TFFers that was in fighting condition. Still, Met was glad to know that the others were still active, and he needed to gather all the information he could about the status of the others. “Anyone know where squad two is?” he asked.

    “We saw Firiath and Cyllieth’s group on our way here, they were battling small numbers of Kain’s forces, they told us to keep going, there were only about twelve of that group. They said that they would join us once they’d taken care of that and finished evacuating that section of the city,” explained Sor.

    “We all need to get over there now, if Project Badass is still around, and pulling shit like this then there’s a good chance that they’re going to move for wherever we’re most vulnerable. Sor, you and Dragn get everyone who isn’t a fighter out of the city asap, this entire city is going to be a war zone before nightfall and we need to minimize casualties while we still have the chance. After that find the other squads and tell them that we all need to meet up at the Elven Pub,” said Met.

    “Why the pub?” asked HoW.

    “We need a recognizable major building that’s hidden enough in town that we’ll have a few minutes to regroup, we know Kain’s troops are pulling something more bold than usual and since apparently Project Badass is still alive, and even worse they’re laying siege to the city, I think it’s safe to assume that there’s something up, and we’re going to need to be at our best in order to deal with it,” said Met.

    “Before we head off do you need a lift?” asked Dragn.

    “Shoot,” said Met, and with a word and a flash they were gone.

    When they arrived Firiath, Cyllieth, and Oddrun had already taken care of the small squad of enemies that had troubled them before, and they were now focusing on evacuating the area, a task made more difficult by the sheer volume of people pouring into this section of town from other areas where fighting had already broken out heavily. “What the hell is going on?” asked Firiath, “And who is she?” this last part applying to Sevi.

    “A new recruit brought in by Dragn,” said Met. “Anyway, we already had a run in with Badass soldiers.”

    “How?” asked Cyllieth, who, like the others had been under the assumption that the project had been terminated with the death of Savage.

    “Apparently they’ve just been waiting,” said Met. “Anyway, that’s not important, Dragn and Sor are working on getting everyone out of the city, I’ve got a feeling things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get any better.”

    Back at the continuing scene of conflict the wolves had long since taken care of Gorger, forcing him to flee the battlefield and were now taking to overwhelming Samson. The Sergeant had done well up to this point, but between his surprise at the hands of Rosgwak to the sheer number of opponents he had to face off against in the forms of both the TFFers, and the minions of Kain he was quickly falling apart. Unfortunately he was forbidden to leave the battlefield until Thrall left as well, and until there was a significant enough force against him that he had slim to no chance of winning Thrall wouldn’t do any such thing. He had to hope Savage had counted on this.

    “General the first strike is a failure, requesting permission to retreat,” he growled into his com-link as he threw out several fire grenades to disorient the TFFers.

    “Don’t be so broad in your definition of failure, did you really think you were going to win this battle?” asked Savage.

    “Wasn’t that the plan?” asked Samson.

    “Hardly my boy,” said Savage as Samson was forced to continue in his struggle. “We’ve forced a good number of them to reveal themselves already, and we know Antithesis and Kain are too smart to jump into a big fight already. We’ve also found out a good deal of the Defense’s organization protocols. Leave your squad to cover your retreat and feel free to leave the battlefield immediately.”

    “What about Thrall?” asked Samson as he forced the TFFers to back up with a wild spray of his flamethrower.

    “You couldn’t get him out of here if you tried and you know it,” said Savage. “He’ll be returning to base shortly, but I want to make sure you get back earlier, you’re being redeployed much sooner. Savage Out.”

    Samson growled with frustration at Savage’s command, but he dared not disobey. He clicked several buttons on his command gauntlet; calling his troops back to him and having them battle the TFFers. The warriors of Spamopolis battled the massive troopers, aided by Putty who still viewed them as the most immediate problem facing him. The TFFers were able to deal with his troops more effectively than any force he’d imagined, but they were still holding up well enough for Samson to quickly leave the area, wishing that he’d gotten a better shot at that Rosgwak.

    By now the three TFFers had successfully gained a significant upper hand against Thrall, to the point where he was fully on the defensive and seemingly without hope of gaining an advantage again. Still for some reason the TFFers were unable to press their advantage to any significant degree either, they were at a stalemate. It looked as if the fight would never end, and now that the other TFFers were free it seemed as if Thrall would soon be completely out of hope, but he wasn’t out of tricks yet. With a snap of the wrist he fired off a blinding flair, providing himself with adequate cover to flee the battlefield for the time being, but the heroes were confident that this retreat was only momentary.

    The skirmish continued, but with only one notable enemy remaining, and the two groups of enemies working on each other as well it was much easier for the TFFers to keep their heads above water so to speak. In due time Sorillon and Dragn arrived, both placing a barrier over the others as Dragn spoke to Wolf.

    “When did you come back into town?” she asked with a grin.

    “Well I was in the neighborhood,” replied Dragn. “Anyway, Met sent word that there’s something big going on, as you could have guessed.”

    “Is that so?” said Wolf sarcastically.

    “Indeed. He said he needs all of us to meet up back at the pub,” said Dragn.

    “Probably to regroup,” muttered Wolf. “Fine, take us there.” Like that they were gone again, allowing the two armies to battle each other, their fighting spilling out across the city, consuming it from within, but this was only the beginning of it all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2008
  17. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Kings of Spamopolis, Chapter 6: Revelations and Returns

    “How the hell long has it been since we’ve had to face off with project soldiers?” growled Wolf.

    “Long enough that a good portion of the team has never dealt with them before,” said Met.

    “How are we going to take care of this whole mess?” asked Kakashi.

    “The same way we always do,” answered Met.

    “I hope that means with extreme prejudice,” said H. R. whose helmet sat in front of her on the table.

    The entire team, along with the returning and new coming warriors, had gathered within the walls of Liv’s Library. Vil tended to the fighter’s various wounds while they attempted to figure out exactly what it was that was going on. Thus far they’d been operating for a while without any representatives from the coalition to assist them. At first they’d considered the Shoguns to be in this category, but when they’d announced that they weren’t leaving this changed to them being full fledged members of the team, a useful thing since the Defense Force had lost a good number of powerhouses, and with the resurgence of brutal foes such as the Former and the apparently villainous Chad08 they needed all the strength they could get.

    “Given the fact that Kain’s cult has the same numbers as a good sized city, and if Badass has still been active all this time they’ll have some plentiful numbers too, that’s exactly what it means,” said Met.

    “I don’t know if I like the sound of that,” said HoW.

    “I don’t think many of us do, but we really don’t get much choice,” said Wolf. “Kain’s as ruthless as they come, and so are his followers.”

    “And if whoever’s running Badass is as bad as Savage then those troops will be just as cut throat,” added Kakashi.

    There was a collective shudder among those who had faced Savage, save for Met, who didn’t shudder. Ever. Still not even Met could ignore the amount of prowess that that man had shown in his final battle. He’d done more damage to those that fought him than anyone the Defense Force had faced aside from Super Shrew himself. If that’s what it took to be the top dog in Project Badass then they could imagine that whoever had taken his place was every bit as dangerous, and add to that the fact that they apparently commanded Chad08 and it seemed that they would be more dangerous than ever.

    “Well Met, how are we going to go about fighting all of them?” asked Ender.

    “Well we’re going to have to break off into the two teams, as long as both of them are full in number they should be able to hold their own and support each other pretty well in any combat situation that they go into,” answered Met.

    “If that’s the case would you still be willing to accept a late entrant?” came a voice from the far shelves.

    “Well I’ll be damned,” said Met as the Force turned to face one of the most legendary warriors that they’d ever met. A man who’d beaten Ender, and nearly beaten I. R., the man known as Vic Valor.

    “So is that a yes Met?” asked Vic with a smile that stretched his green biker moustache wide across his chiseled face. His long green hair flowed wildly down his back, clashing horribly with the yellow tank top and pants that he wore stretched tightly over his massive body.

    “Since when did you need to ask permission from him?” asked Wolf.

    “I’d heard that he’d been named de facto leader, I was just showing him the respect that a regional leader in the coalition deserves,” said Vic.

    “Pfft, Met doesn’t deserve respect, that would make him think even more highly of himself,” said OR.

    “Can it hound dog,” growled Met.

    “Gonna do something about it ape?” sneered OR.

    “Sure, I could use a nice fur scarf,” grinned Met.

    “Enough you two,” said Dragn. “Vic, what brings you here?”

    “Several things, mostly my station in the Coalition, but these riots haven’t done anything to keep me away,” said Vic.

    “Well it would seem that most of the players have arrived,” came yet another voice, this time from the front of the library. All eyes fell upon Doctor Antithesis. “Greetings TFFers, I suppose you’re all wondering what exactly is going on in your fair city?”

    “You’ve got quite a pair to be showing up here,” said Wolf, “Even as a hologram.”

    “Quite the welcome, but I’m here on business, and these are hardly the times to shoot the messenger,” said the light show Antithesis.

    “You’ve been an awful big pain in the ass for just a messenger,” said Kakashi.

    “Perhaps, but there’s quite a bit that you and yours still haven’t been able to figure out, and for reasons that are his own my master has decided that he wants you to be a tad more enlightened,” said Antithesis.

    The eyes of the defense force fell to Meteorain. “Shoot,” he said without returning a glance.

    “There are three identities you haven’t been able to deduce thus far,” said Antithesis’ projection. “The identity of the leader of the corporate army, the true name and face of their super soldier, and one face from amongst your own. One is a foe you’ve clashed with before, many times, one will be of particular interest to the clanswomen of your fallen leader, and the other seems to have an objective that not even I can deduce.”

    “What’s he rambling about?” asked Sevi.

    “Who’s leading Badass?” asked Firiath without a second’s hesitation.

    “That’s the easy one, think a little less about it and it’ll be truly obvious,” said Antithesis.

    “Whatever,” said U. B., “What were you saying about that bastard in the armor?”

    “Ah yes, Thrall,” said Antithesis amusedly. “An example of the fact that sometimes the dead are never allowed to rest in peace. He’s certainly a fascinating creature, always the pawn, but you may be surprised to find out that he’s closer to you than you might think. And he’s got quite the interesting connection with someone else here, doesn’t he… Ka’al?” As Antithesis said this his eyes locked onto Syx, who with a violent flash of light was ripped from his disguise, exposing once more his dark skin, his sky blue hair, and those long battered pants he’d worn the day that a champion had died.

    “The hell?!” roared Met and the others as they stood.

    “Well this has been fun, but alas I think I’ve given you quite enough to think about, and what’s more the final face has arrived,” said Antithesis as he faded. “I shall see you all soon Defenders, I truly hope that you can make the coming festivities interesting.”

    The TFFers didn’t notice him go, they were too fixated at the man who lay prone before them, the one who’d killed their leader. “How? WHY!?!” roared U. B. as she seized Ka’al and lifted him into the air by the throat.

    Ka’al could offer no response as he struggled for breath in vain against her steely vengeful grip. It seemed that just like that Ka’al would return to his grave beside Shogun, but in a burst of light U. B. was forced to release him and knocked back. “What?” she seethed.

    “I know it looks bad, but there’s got to be a reason that he’s back alive, and if he’s dedicated himself to helping as much as he has I think he deserves a bit more fair treatment than that,” came a familiar voice from a woman who walked out from behind a row of books, Vil soon joining her side. Olivia the Lamb was back… again.
     
  18. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Kings of Spamopolis, Chapter 7: Dispatch

    “Liv?” came a collective sound of disbelief from many of the TFFers.

    “Well you didn’t think I’d leave you all here alone with Met did you?” asked the Librarian.

    “We can all catch up later, right now we’ve got a gang war going on in the city and we need to focus on ending it now,” said Ender.

    “He’s right,” said Met. “Liv, what do you have on the locations of all the main activity?”

    “What do I look like a psychic? I just got here!” replied Liv.

    “Well you and computer you aught to have a pretty good idea of everything that’s going on! It is your library after all!” said Met.

    “Enough!” boomed the voice of Vic Valor. “Now, Olivia, would you be so kind as to find the coordinates of the more important areas of interest in the city?”

    “Uh, yeah sure, Vil?” said Liv, who like the others was stunned nearly senseless by the shockwaves created by Valor’s voice.

    “Sensors are indicating two primary areas of activity, the Spamopolis City Council building and the town treasury,” answered the artificial Liv replicate.

    “That settles it then, my squad and squad four will hit the council building, Vic will come with us,” said Wolf. “Met, I’m sure you won’t mind taking the treasury since it’ll take more force there, and you should bring squad six along with yours.”

    “Fine,” said Met.

    “What about us?” asked Dragn, pointing to himself, Sevi and Rosgwak.

    “You’re squad six of coarse,” said Wolf as if that had been incredibly obvious. “Squads five and two will stay here with Liv, we may need some reserves, and unlikely as it is someone may try to attack the library.”

    “Got it,” said Firiath and Cyllieth as one.

    “Fine I guess,” said a disappointed Ender.

    “Everyone understands their missions? Alright, move out,” said Wolf as she led the pack, Valor, the Shoguns, and Kakashi out.

    “Wow Met, letting someone take the lead? Awful big of you,” said Dragn.

    “Shut up you,” said Met as he headed for the door with Salazar at his side, and the unwelcome Ka’al also following.

    “Just like old times eh?” said Dragn with a grin to Ros as they left with Sevi as well.

    “I’m afraid a bit too much,” said Ros with a touch of gloom in his voice. “We never have had the ability to maintain a villain who just wanted to get rich.”

    When they were gone the warriors who had been assigned to remain spread through out the library, although no one went too far from the rest of the group. Ender kicked up his legs and leaned back in his chair, he wasn’t going to be joining in on this fight. Ender wasn’t typically as battle hungry as Met, but he did enjoy a proper fight, and losing the opportunity for a battle of this type of magnitude was rather upsetting to him, especially since he felt he hadn’t made nearly enough of a mark during the skirmish earlier.

    He looked to the others as they busied themselves, probably trying to ignore the fact that all of them wanted to jump into the fray. Sorillon stood still as stone in the center of the room; of everyone he seemed the most content. Ender had never quite been able to figure that one out. Sor wasn’t necessarily a threatening character; in fact he seemed rather docile in most scenarios. Granted he was a potent warrior, but he tended to be completely inanimate in any situation where total action wasn’t necessary.

    The other member of Ender’s squad was Herald of Woe. He’d apparently come to Spamopolis shortly before Ender’s own return, and he was one of the less liked fighters by Met. It was unquestionable that he was hiding something, a great and terrible degree of power that made him a certain threat to all around him. Still for the most part he seemed like a respectable man. He had a great control of himself, a real stoic type. He seemed never to display any sort of emotion, having attained a complete mastery of himself, this could be good for a soldier, but bad when you were trying to make an impression.

    Liv seemed to be an interesting character, although he hardly knew her. He knew that she’d married Met some time ago, and that the two were among the most dysfunctional couples that he’d ever encountered. Liv was a strong willed person, but she was prone to extreme emotional troubles, life for her wasn’t glamorous, but she managed to work through it and keep a mostly positive attitude. Part of the reminded him of himself, although he’d taken a different route to deal with it. He’d just started over; he’d left everything behind in order to take up the life of a warrior. That was really the reason he’d ended up where he was today. He liked Liv for what he knew of her, but to be honest that wasn’t much, although he did recall Shogun speaking highly of her before he’d fallen.

    This was another aspect of this whole thing that had bothered him. That man, Ka’al, the one who’d killed Shogun, and maimed several of the others, he was not only on the team now, but he’d been deployed. After all of the grief he’d caused, they’d only been able to forgive him because they’d both fallen at the same instant, but now it turned out he hadn’t died nearly enough. Shogun must have been rolling over in his grave. Hell, U. B. and H. R. hadn’t even had a chance to go up and see his grave, and now they found out that his killer was alive and in their ranks, Ender could only imagine what they’d do to him when they got the chance.

    Then there were the three others that sat among the many rows of books now. These three were the members of squad two, one of the most valuable teams on the Defense Force, Oddrun, Cyllieth, and Firiath. Ender didn’t know them that well either, but he’d seen the precision that they showed in battle, they were one of the best teams he’d ever seen, and they were deadly precise. If he recalled Firi and Cylli were actually the pair that he and Shogun had given up their tag team titles to, knowing that they’d be the better champions.

    Firiath was one of the smallest warriors on the team, but she had one of the keenest grips of the chi force. Her powers were incredible, as were some of her hidden powers. She was a nice girl, but he’d noticed something since he’d arrived back in the city. Met had described whatever it was as having been there since Herald had arrived. It was a dark power, almost comparable to Shogun’s family killing urge, the Bear Bloodline in its scope. He only hoped that the general sense of justice and loyalty to her friends could keep it at bay.

    Cyllieth was comparable to being another part of Firiath, or more appropriate they were comparable to two haves of the same person. He couldn’t remember a time that he’d seen the two of them apart, which made the fact that so many of their attacks were simply devastating to anything they hit that much more impactful. Sandra was charming, but quiet, very rarely speaking in long dialogs with anyone but Firiath. They said that Firiath had been about the same, but she’d gradually gained the ability to engage in small talk, most accredited this to her longer exposure to Shogun.

    Oddrun was interesting among this squad in that she almost never stopped talking, although quite often this was to herself, rocking out to some maddeningly powerful music. She was actually accredited with being the original in the line of spam talkers, people who would often simply react to people even when what they said came out of no where, and expecting the same response when she said things that no one was clear on the meaning of.

    A troupe of able warriors, sitting in a library waiting to get a call that might never come, that’s what they all were. It seemed like they were going to be sitting in a bored silence all night until there came a strange rumbling. The earth seemed to tremble as a bizarre set of footsteps approached at an agonizingly slow pace. Ender and the others all stood in preparation for the battle that they knew was coming, but as the earth quivered and the front doors of the library exploded from their hinges they realized that merely standing wouldn’t end up doing them much good against the foe that had just entered.

    “I am the Terra Former! And I will grind you all into dust!” roared the Former as he appeared, and prepared for a charge.
     
  19. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Kings of Spamopolis, Chapter 8: Trouble at the Treasury

    Dragn and the others hurried along the mostly barren streets, making sure to quickly neutralize anyone who was on the streets, away from the skirmishes to raid. There was no communication between the group members; Met had quickly flown ahead, not wasting any time in heading toward the treasury building. Met had never liked taking orders from anyone, but he’d liked giving them even less. Met loved to brawl, but he hated having to talk about it, he’d rather just get in and get it on. That’s why it had seemed to Dragn that Met was somewhat relieved when Wolf had assigned all of the squads, Met hated having to act as a leader.

    Dragn didn’t know Salazar very well, but currently he was at the lead of the group, he seemed like he had something to prove. Dragn didn’t quite trust the newcomer who, according to himself, wanted a place on the Defense Force in order to gain help for his village, one of many on the outskirts of the city. He had a few interesting abilities, and he seemed to be a nice character, but something about him seemed strange, and Dragn wasn’t going to go against his gut yet.

    Rosgwak had been a surprising figure to encounter. It had been quite a long time since the masked swordsman had made an appearance within the lands of TFF. From what Dragn understood there had been another member of Ros’ order in town recently as a part of the Coalition warriors that had rotated in for a brief period. Despite the fact that the coalition knight had been of a higher rank Dragn doubted he could have properly filled in the role that Ros played on the Defense Force team, or met the same standard of quality in his dress style.

    Next there was Sevi. Dragn had been traveling with her for some time, but thus far he still knew next to nothing about her. He knew that her ninja clan had been disbanded this generation as a result of an ancient clan war coming to an end, and that meant that she was cut loose from any sort of family inheritance aside from the weapons that her parents had given her to carry with her as she went on adventures through out the land. She’d apparently had quite a few of those and decided to join Dragn out of the desire for a new and interesting place filled with interesting people to fight.

    That left Ka’al, the man who’d killed Shogun. Dragn hadn’t been present to witness that battle, but from what people had said the earth shook with the force of the blows. They said that Ka’al had dropped first; that he’d been dead before Shogun had even hit the ground, how then was he alive now? It seemed that this was one of the many questions floating around now that they were simply going to need to wait to find the answer for, although Dragn knew that no matter the answers, the remaining grudge would never really die. In the eyes of Spamopolis this man could never be redeemed.

    Soon they reached the treasury, which was already a total war zone. Soldiers dressed in black armor battled fiercely against cult dressed followers of a man even the most hardened criminals were afraid to name. The team had little trouble in slipping and smashing their way through the crowd, and soon found the leaders of the two clashing sides. One, the man they knew as Chad08, was already engaged in a violent and particularly violent struggle against Met, who seemed to be holding his own far better than anyone else who’d faced Chad thus far.

    Met came in, attempting the Meteoric Rise, but found a pair of steely fingers quickly make their way into his eyes, blinding him momentarily as Chad planted a hard knee into his gut. Before he could follow this up Met connected with a powerful Metastic Kick to the ribs that even went so far as to stagger the armored warrior, allowing Met to follow up with a wicked series of Met Meteors. Chad staggered, but eventually managed to react, diving at Met ands driving the both of them well out of the sight of the others who engaged the many lesser villains that were present.

    No sooner than Rosgwak had drawn his blades he felt something wrap around his arm, and with a sudden jerk he found himself flung through the air. As soon as he had risen he turned to see the one that had pulled him, the Project soldier he’d wounded in the previous battle, and he seemed unhappy to see the Shining Knight. “You got lucky last time, I want to see how well you do when you don’t surprise me,” said the soldier.

    “If it is a duel that you desire I shall be more than happy to oblige that request,” said Rosgwak as he elaborately shifted into a stance. “However I must warn you, I will not go easy on you this time.”

    “Sure easy,” said the soldier with no humor in his voice as he readied his whip again, and then charged.

    Ros dodged the initial swipe, but a snap of the wrist of his opponent led the weapon to strike brutally into the off hand of the knight who suppressed a cry of pain as he dropped his weapon. Before he could recover the soldier slid in close and struck Ros in the chest with a punishing blow that flung his body through the air. Before Ros could win the whip was suddenly wrapped around his feet and he was violently pulled back to the ground, bouncing heavily up only to be struck down again. Ros managed to quickly get back to his feet but he walked on spaghetti legs as he avoided another set of blows.

    “Not bad,” said Rosgwak.

    “You ain’t seen nothing yet,” said Samson, grinning now as he had before Ros had cut his face.

    Dragn and the others were fortunate enough not to have to face off with any of the top elite soldiers of Project Badass, but they were not without troubles of their own. The Gorger, Putty, and Bucklingburger were all present, and all of them were out for blood. Dragn, Sevi, Salazar, and Ka’al had a tall order in these three thugs sent by Kain, but that didn’t seem to bother the disgraced warrior at all as he quickly engaged Buck. With a kick to the chest of the bloated man he separated him from the team, allowing them to focus on the constant duo.

    Ka’al showed an impressive amount of strength in the first exchange with Buck, easily lifting the larger man and slamming him directly onto his neck. Buck struggled and managed to free himself before a second slam was possible, soon reversing the situation with a brutal throw of his own. Unfortunately for the villain Ka’al quickly rose, turned, and planted his heel hard against the side of the head of the balding warrior. Buck staggered and was soon treated to a series of quick punchy blasts from Ka’al who pressed the action, knowing the value of his advantage.

    Buck staggered away, knowing the reputation that this warrior carried even without being familiar with his style. This was the man that had killed that Shogun guy that his opponent at the tournament had mentioned, and anyone who could end a legend like that guy was dangerous. Buck soon found himself in Ka’al’s clutches again, but this time he was far more prepared, he locked his arms around Ka’al and spun, faster and faster he went until he was holding Ka’al by the wrists, and then with a sudden upward swing flung him several yards, making him land hard against a wall, despite the force with which he hit Ka’al soon rose, confirming Buck’s fear that this battle was far from over.

    Dragn, Sevi, and Salazar now had an interesting task, Dragn in particular who would need to act as the leader in this situation. Gorger and Putty were by no means criminal masterminds, but they were most assuredly dangerous on their own, and especially when together. That aside Dragn knew next to nothing about Salazar’s fighting ability, and just a tad more than that about Sevi’s. Still, the three of them had the numbers advantage, and Dragn wasn’t going to dare back down from a challenge like this.

    Almost as soon as Putty began to surge forward Dragn fired off a series of fireballs to keep it at bay. Meanwhile Sevi and Salazar both rushed Gorger and unloaded with wild blows. Gorger covered himself quickly, but soon grabbed onto both of the TFFers and flung them with minimal effort before focusing in on Dragn. TFF’s sorcerer supreme sent lightning bolts from his fingertips, but they did little to slow down the lumbering brute who treated Dragn to a powerful body shot that sent the mage tumbling through the air.

    Before Dragn could come down Sevi shot several lines of a strange material at the beastly villain and then with seemingly no effort lifted him and bashed him into a wall. Before she could capitalize Sevi found herself wrapped up in the body of Putty, but only for a moment as the creature’s senses were overcome with a sensation of agony at the fireball that ripped into its side a la Salazar, who followed up with a wild series of blows to the creature that suddenly surged out and flung him away.

    The Gorger quickly returned to the fray, but unfortunately for the villains so did Dragn. With a flick of the wrist and an utterance of the spell word he placed Putty into the Forth Wall, effectively taking the simple-minded creature out of the fight. Gorger was, unfortunately, too powerful to succumb to such a simple spell, and spat a wall of flames at the magus who answered in kind, causing the two attacks to cancel each other out in mid flight.

    Gorger charged at Dragn now, causing the wizard to reach for his gun, but before he needed to draw Salazar delivered a perfect uppercut that stopped the brute, followed by a strange orb that flew from Sevi’s hand that knocked him heavily back. Time to celebrate was limited unfortunately, as the Gorger quickly returned to his feet, wiping a bit of blood away from his mouth. With a grin he began another charge. The TFFers scattered in an attempt to try and divide his attention, but it seemed that the Gorger was somehow even more of a single minded brute than they’d figured as he simply kept coming, focusing his attention on Salazar for now.
     
  20. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    Kings of Spamopolis, Chapter 9: Surprise Reunion.

    Kakashi had paused momentarily during the group’s run to the council building to let the others catch up, he hadn’t realized that he’d put that much distance between himself and them since they’d left the library. The team Wolf commanded consisted of her and her pack, Valor, and Squad four, which consisted of himself and the two Shoguns. It was a potent lot, Kakashi wasn’t sure why Wolf had gathered so many of the Defense Force’s power hitters into one group rather than sending a few more along with Met, but he figured she had to have a good reason, animals had solid intuition, and Wolf’s was especially good.

    For someone that hadn’t gathered much notice in the past Wolf had stepped up and been the most effective leader the team had after Shogun. She had a very direct way of thinking, and she rarely ever compromised if it meant that anything less than the perfect solution could be reached. If Met hadn’t been more or less Shogun’s right hand man and equal in terms of power then Kakashi figured Wolf would have been named the team’s official leader, she’d certainly proven she was more than qualified. Her pack was a big one, but as far as fighters that had joined the defense force there were only two, Overread and Running Wolf.

    RW was like Wolf herself, but with more of a warrior’s mentality. She loved to fight, and had even gotten in a good battle with Shogun before he’d died. What was interesting about her was her apparent lack of any superb abilities, but she still managed to handle anything that came her way on equal ground. Kakashi didn’t know why, but she also seemed to be on the scene for nearly every first appearance that a good number of the villains in the city had made since her arrival, the only exception that Kakashi could think of being Dr. Antithesis.

    OR was a bit more peculiar. His method of fighting relied heavily on a type of spirit power that was apparently related but quite different from chi. He apparently existed between planes of reality, which made him an extremely potent fighter in spite of the fact that few of his distinctly offensive attacks were of any real note. Kakashi remembered that OR had fought to a draw with some of the toughest fighters in all of TFF using some illusions and other such techniques.

    Then there was Vic Valor, the legendary man who’d had one of the most celebrated matches ever against Shogun. Vic had a strange quality to his special attacks. He didn’t really project energy into a strike, but rather he focused it into one zone of his body and channeled it to draw other fighters toward or away from him. He made for a fantastic grappler partly because of this, and what’s more he was able to lessen the effect of the straightforward damage makers the likes of which the TFF Defense Force used. Chad08’s fighting style had reminded Kakashi of Vic, although Chad was much more savage in his execution.

    H. R. and U. B. was an interesting pair. By the way that their methods tended to work one could clearly tell their relationship to TFF’s fallen son, but there were very clear distinctions as well. U. B. was related to I. R. by blood, his sister, someone that few members of the TFF populace were aware had existed. U. B. wasn’t as powerful as I. R. had been despite her knowing more techniques of the clan and having been studying their style for longer. She accredited this to I. R. being a Sum Shogun, a special and rare type of Shogun that was far more powerful than the norm; Met, Firi, and Cylli who had learned of this when they visited the Shogun temple so long ago also mentioned this. U. B. had the same sense of justice and loyalty as I. R. had, but she was far more willing to go to extremes to reach it, and it took far less to make her choose to go all out.

    H. R. Sylvus was not a member of the core Shogun family, but hers was another group within the clan. According to U. B. the Sylvus family was far more sadistic and fierce than any other branch of the family, hence the reason that she’d chosen H. R. to accompany her to TFF. H. R. had a clear love of battle that she’d demonstrated in nearly every situation Kakashi had seen her in. Whether she was hitting or being hit she reveled in every moment of the fight, and while the blood of the Devil Bear in her veins wasn’t as pure as that in the main line, she seemed to be affected by it for far more of the time, even without making it manifest itself into the forbidden technique of the clan. Kakashi wondered if that was the reason she’d chosen to use claws as her weapon, given her natural mean streak she almost didn’t need to summon the full Bear Hands when she had those.

    Kakashi supposed that among this lot he was the weak link, but of all of them he was also likely the most versatile. He’d learned a good deal of his skills from I. R., and because of that H. R. and U. B. had more or less demanded to be in a squad with him when the full structure of the team was set up according to the model that was typical within the IFDC. Kakashi didn’t particularly mind, but there was something about the ferocity that these two fought with that he couldn’t help but feel a tad nervous about. He liked to believe he was the best representation of I. R.’s ways of doing things, but anymore he figured no one could quite do justice to the style of that particular Shogun.

    Not long after all of the others caught up they reached the city council building, and it was in worse shape that they thought. More than any other area of the city it seemed to be completely overrun by hundreds of nameless faceless members of both of the factions that were vying for supremacy. Badass fighters would stand alone in rings of Kain’s minions, hacking them apart until they were finally overtaken and beaten into tiny pieces, Kain’s men would detonate firebombs in crowds of Badass fighters, cooking them alive inside of the lighter armor that they’d worn here. Yet through it all the TFFers saw no signs of any of the enemy commanders, until they reached the inside.

    The interior of the building seemed like it had been bombed out, and while still overrun it was much easier for them to move around inside. The pathway seemed strangely clear, almost pre-assigned for them, it was far too convenient. They knew that they were being led somewhere, but the heroes continued on anyway, they were confident that they could handle anything that would attempt to jump out at them, but they never could have expected what they found.

    When they finally reached the primary chamber of the council building one man stood alone in the center. He had short cut blonde hair visible from his lack of a helmet, and his jaw looked like it could be used to carve diamonds. He had a small pair of glasses that framed his eyes, and the gauntlets of his Badass armor broke into what appeared to be a mixture of claws and blaster cannons. The heroes encircled him, but as they did a voice echoed through the air that brought a chill to them from beyond the abyss.

    “Ah, so at last the rats have gathered,” the voice of General Savage cut through the air like a hot knife even as the doors of the chamber slammed shut behind him.

    “How is?” started Kakashi.

    “But you’re…” said Wolf.

    “Dead?” asked Savage mockingly as he proceeded toward them with his arms folded behind his back. “Perhaps briefly, but alas, death is fleeting, and there is still much in this world that I need to accomplish.”

    “What are you planning with all of this Savage?” demanded Wolf.

    “I want to finish what I started so long ago,” answered Savage as he suddenly slid around the TFFers to stand at the side of Commander Solomon.

    Before any of the Defenders could attempt to ask him what he meant there was a loud crash outside. “Shall I engage him general?” asked Solomon.

    “Yes, and remember, don’t over commit yourself. He’s enough of a problem as it is; I can’t afford to lose one of my commanders at this stage. Just hold him off until it becomes too much of a chore. I shouldn’t need that long,” said Savage.

    “Yes sir, understood,” said Solomon as he vanished.

    “What’s going on?” demanded Valor.

    “That is none of your concern,” replied Savage. “And really you have far greater things to worry about.”

    “What would that be old man?” growled OR. “You?”

    Savage simply smiled, but Wolf spoke before he could.

    “OR don’t get cocky, this guy is the real deal,” she said.

    “He’s still only human, we can take him,” said RW.

    “Well well, you certainly are an eager bunch,” said Savage as he drew the baton like weapons from his hips and the extra arms of his suit moved into a more imposing position. “I love it when they put up a nice fight, makes for a more interesting game before they get put down.”

    Seeing that they had no other choice Wolf motioned for them all to surround him. “Hit him hard and hit him fast,” she said, “We’re only going to get one shot at him.”