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Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 7:58:55 PM

mizal with the lowercase M seemed to have gathered a quite some terrifying presence, seeing that all of her challengers vanished one after the other each passing day. It all started with a certain yappy Corgi who had dared to say that dogs were better than cats. With his teeth bared, he tried to drag her into the arena. However, when the day of the scheduled fight drew near, he was found in a fancy French restaurant. Not as a guest, but more as the main dish. When reporters tried to interrogate mizal with the lowercase M, she simply donned a broad smile and said. 

"Scheduling conflicts."

Of course, she's to be trusted. So all allegations were dropped and everyone continued their merry way. Since the spot in the arena was still open and the other CYStians weren't really that bothered by things like 'writing' in a writing site, Tim stepped forward to fill in. Just a day before the duel was about to begin and the blood of the other duels had been scraped off the walls, he vanished. A few hours later, some CYStian saw him chilling in the Ripley's Believe it or Not! museum next to the defiled dress of Marilyn Monroe and Darius' left toe. From what we'd heard from the museum collector, the head was transferred to the Medical University of Vienna for research purposes. Something about an abnormally small brain size and other phrenologic miracles yada, yada. The body is still freeze dried and for all children to see.

When we asked mizal about the events leading up to Tim's unfortunate fate, she donned an even broader smile and said.

"He just had a bad flu."

Thusly, this concludes the behind-the-scenes of this exciting fight. After scavenging through the bones of the unfortunate victims of 'scheduling conflicts' and a 'bad cough', we had luckily found another duelist willing to be butchered by a crazed red haired elf to smack mizal around a little. 

It's Mizal vs ???????.

Who will win, who will die? You decide, live in the CYS arena!

 The prompt:

Man's best friend is found slaughtered in the kitchen. Who's to blame?

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

Story A Friends Like These The halls of Station Nine are unusually empty tonight, a fact you’re grateful for as you exit the call with the Stellar Council and slink out of your quarters. The disciplinary hearing went about as expected—you’ve been put on indefinite leave and stripped of your permissions to practice botany in the labs. Not only here, but on EVERY Council facility. You’re relieved, and not for the first time, that you have that xenobiology degree to fall back on. Your problem has always been one of misapplied genius. “The question is whether you SHOULD do these things, not whether you can. And it’s one you never stop and ask yourself,” had been just one of the many disapproving comments from the Council heads. Cursing then as your foot nearly slips in a puddle of oil, you wonder where the janitor is. The station seems even grimier than usual tonight. Why were YOU fired for a mere mistake, while HE doesn’t do his job at all. It’s so unfair. …okay, the prank had gone a little far. You admit it. Leaving that giant carrot lying across the primitive trade routes of Rabbiton III had been a hilarious idea initially, but you hadn’t accounted for the fact that the locals would so swiftly go to war over this new source of food and building materials, the dominant tribe condemning thousands to life in the carrot mines. Even then, it wouldn’t have been so bad, if they just hadn’t harvested the seeds and planted them; those carrots had never been meant to grow on an actual planet, and eventually the root pierced and ruptured the molten mantle and caused an extinction event. So, yeah. It was fun having all that explained to you right as you left cryosleep. Just, pow. No pulled punches. Instant end to your career. And the Rabbitonians too, you guess. There’s not going to be any appeal, the Council just thinks you’re a hopeless screw up. Nothing to do but drown your sorrows in cheap Centaurian ale and then try to pick up a job doing neurosurgery in the med bay tomorrow, once you work through the hangover. Evading a few more droplets of oil, you arrive at the mess hall where your old friend Joey serves drinks, and wow, this place really IS a mess. No joke intended, the whole place is trashed, when usually it’s just the clientele. “What the hell?” you wonder aloud, pausing in your tracks just inside. Chairs are overturned, tables are gouged and scorched, and when you make your way to the back and pull open the double doors to the kitchen, you’re hit with a bad shock. “Gaah!” “Eztu gibibi guzaku ka!” some kind of lumpy bipedal pisciform shrieks, shoving the tase weapon hard against your chest and triggering it again. You’re flung bodily backwards, hitting the doors and hitting the floor halfway through them, the wind knocked out of you. The fish man grabs one of your legs and tries to drag you back into the kitchen, but the doors have swung shut on your torso with a pincer effect, foiling his attempt. Gritting your teeth, you pivot and hook the booted foot of your free leg behind his ankle, shoving hard with the other leg and sending him sprawling backwards against a shelf. Dishes and pans clatter around him. Scrambling to your feet while he tries to scramble to his, you win the race when he manages to shock himself with his own dropped taser while flailing for it with clumsy webbed fingers. “Hahah! How do you like it, bitch?” you crow in triumph, kicking the weapon out of his reach and snatching up a heavy steel frying pan. You begin to batter him about his ridged skull, finally shifting the pan around in your grasp and jamming the handle into his bulging yellow eye. The alien writhes and shrieks and then falls limp and silent, an oily substance leaking from his head into a puddle on the floor. It’s then you’re able to take in the real damage in the kitchen. Joey had been an uplifted Golden Retriever, a damn good dog and the best bartender you ever had. Now he lies in a twisted heap on the floor next to the body of another one of the fish creatures, his teeth latched permanently into the throat of his killer. A trident is buried in the dog’s abdomen, and it looks like he’d been stabbed over and over with the weapon. “Joey! No, not you!” You fumble with the emergency communicator on your wrist and get no response, then stagger blindly towards the stationwide radio on the wall. It lies dead and silent as well. Slumping to your knees next to your friend’s body, it’s then you realize you may very well be in the midst of an even bigger problem. You saw no one on the way here, no alarm was given; for all you know you’re the only survivor left on Station Nine. But Joey’s death doesn’t have to be in vain; there IS something you can do to strike back at these Piscan savages. Feverishly, you go to work. ***** “Now that’s more like it,” you say to yourself in satisfaction an hour later, surveying your handiwork. The knee of the pisciform you’d kicked had been damaged, so you’d ended up sawing one off the alien that Joey killed and using it for a replacement. It was a little bigger than the other, and you might not have done it exactly right in your haste, but it was passable enough. As for Joey himself, greater success had been had in grafting his head to the freshly decapitated fish man. He wasn’t talking yet, but he was drooling, blinking, twitching his ears, and whining, all things he’d done in life. The only issue is that Joey, having been a dog, even a sapient one, still wants to walk on all fours. And also, you’d mixed up which side of the fish man was which, and grafted your friend’s head on facing backwards. But he manages after a few attempts to get the new body crabwalking in sort of the direction he wanted to go. By God, these uplifted dogs were smart. You are genuinely impressed as you exit the dining room, Joey following behind and only bumping into the wall of the hallway two or three times. Before long you hear laser fire and an inhuman squealing up ahead. Picking up your pace, you round a corner to witness Geoffrey Higgins, an old drinking pal of yours from the security department in a desperate last stand against a pair of giant crustaceans. His eyes meet yours and he unshoulders a spare rifle, tossing it to you. Then his eyes meet Joey’s and widen in alarm in confusion. “What the fu--?” are the last words you hear him utter, the nearest crustacean using that moment of distraction to jab a pincer in and sever his leg just below the knee. “Geoffrey! No, not you!” you scream, unloading on both the creatures with the rifle. When they lie dead and twitching, you rush in. But it’s too late. Your friend Geoffrey lies there limp and dead in a river of blood. It takes only about half an hour to get his head attached to one of the crab’s. He’s drooling, blinking…well, not twitching his ears, but as far as you know that was never a talent of Geoffrey’s to begin with. There’s another slight delay as he can’t quite seem to adjust to walking with the crab body. But then you remember Joey, who IS crabwalking, and splendidly too; one doesn’t even have to be a genius like you are to realize the solution there. Soon Joey’s furry head is on the crab body, and Geoffrey is staggering along glassy eyed as a fish man, with only a minor limp from one leg being a bit longer than the other. Armed with both of Geoffrey’s rifles now, you lead the way through the station, going room to room, mowing down any Piscan scum you find and making short work of their crustacean allies. When you find people you recognize from the station you save them, and soon have them all loaded into an escape ship. “We’ll be at Station Eight in just a few hours,” you announce, beginning to activate the warp engine. “This nightmare is over, folks.” You do admit you have just a bit of trepidation as you survey they twitching, moaning, drooling bunch crowded around you, heads all freshly grafted onto whatever mostly intact body was most convenient. But surely the Stellar Council will understand. You may even be commended for your heroism, reinstated. “And they called me a screw up,” you scoff.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

Story B

A Long Day

Today was a long day. First, my ride breaks down on the way to the docks, so I'm takin' the subway for the rest of the day. Then the electronics are busted on the warehouse door, so I had to get in the physical method. And to top it all off, as I'm leaving with the data, a dockworker decides to come back for his hat and spots me. Poor bastard'll never see his family again.

 

As the elevator rides up to my floor, I take solace in what awaits me: Good Ol' Shmunguss. He's been my pal for almost 5 years now. Anytime life starts beatin' me down, I come home to see that funny little guy, and the world ain't so bleak. As the elevator doors open, and I start walkin' down the hall, I see the door to my Comp is wide open.

 

As I get closer, I unholster my trusty Armstech Four-Five once the smell of blood fills the air. Door isn't just open, either; The melted off handle suggests it was a Thermo. Here in the Jungle district, you don't really see too many of those. Once I step inside, gun at the ready, the first thing I see is a dead man in the kitchen, blood pooled around him. And that's probably the time I realized that I didn't live alone.

 

"SCHMUNGUSS!"

 

Immediately, I drop to the body's side and flip it over, only to confirm the obvious: It was Schmunguss Overdrive himself, blood leaking from his mouth, lifeless eyes now starting at the cracked ceiling. He was filled with bullets, the holes of which had leaked red through his ironic cat t-shirt and jean shorts. He died young, younger than me, and in a horrible way. The world will never again know his terrible dad jokes that made me smile every time, or kindness he showed to even the most deprived waster, or his dumb grin which would make one think that this world wasn't all that bad.

 

"Schmung... Come on, man... You can't be..."

 

He had a whole life ahead of him. A job he loved at the Co-Op. Friends who would miss him when he was gone. A woman he was planning to marry. Oh god, what am I going to tell Boo?

 

"... Schmung... Please..."

 

As I was thinking of how this could have happened to a man who had done nothing but good, I thought of the 'why'. And the disheveled state of the Comp, along with the distinctive shell casings on the ground, told me all I needed: whoever did this was after me. And they killed him instead. Therefore, I got him killed. I might not have pulled the trigger, but I was the one who led the ones that did here. My corruption, which I thought was pushed at bay by this kind man's goodness, was actually what tainted it and struck it down. Is this karma for what I do? The widows and orphans I make?

 

As the tears rolled down my face, I let out a pained, mournful shout of anguish, clutching the body of my best friend in my arms. The neighbors definitely heard it, but they'll ignore it all the same. Just like they ignored the gunshots. The police aren't coming, because they don't come here. If I didn't show up, his body would've stayed here until someone else showed up looking for him. Or until rent was due.

 

When the rivers finally run dry, all that's left is a scorching expanse of hatred. I gently set the body down and close his eyes, so that he doesn't see what comes next. Time to get my affairs in order. I head to the bedroom and check the drawers for my stash. Naturally, whoever sacked the place took my usual loot, but with a soft click, the false bottom give to show the real tools unharmed. Body armor, rifles, shotguns, grenades, charge packs and stims. All of it either goes onto my person or into the duffle bag.

 

After I'm properly equipped, and everything is in order, I take the last item out of the drawers: bottle of commercial ZoomJuice. It burns fast and doesn't leave much behind. Not like anyone will ask anyway. The firefighters might come to stop the Jungle from becoming an inferno, but they don't get enough funding to investigate. Just another thing this city sucks dry. As I pour the last of it just up to the door, I take one last look at the place, and at the pool of blood in the kitchen where the body once laid. I moved him to his bed, half for the arrangement, half 'cause he didn't belong on the floor. It's cleaner this way. And easier to tell people. But definitely not what he would have wanted for his final arrangements.

 

"... I'm sorry, Schmung."

 

I light the molotov and toss it in, walking back down the hallway as the Comp bursts into a raging flame. And still, it's not half as hot as the one burning inside me. Between the Thermo, and the quality of the shells, along with who'd actually want me dead, there's only one person I know who could have done this.

 

Tonight's far from over.

 

-------------------------------------

I'm standin' outside the Sparking Circuit, steeling myself for what's to come. The music is loud enough that I can hear the pound of the bass from across the street. The front is too packed, the line to get in wraps around the block, and they ID at the door. Not an option. Instead, I start walking towards the side alley, just in time for an employee to be stepping out the side entrance for his government mandated smoke break. Hefting the duffle bag, I casually walk up to the guy as he starts to struggle with his lighter, popping open my finger to offer the flame. Like a moth, the guy leans in and accepts the light. No questions for who I am or what I'm doing in this dead-end alley with a duffle bag. People like him don't ask questions, they just do whatever's best for themselves. Just the neighbors who heard the gunshots and did nothing, but ran and called for help when the fire started pouring in.

 

Disgusting.

 

I close my finger, and the guy leans back and takes a big inhale of that sweet death. I take the chance to slam my palm into it, sending the burning cigarette into his mouth and covering it as his eyes widen in shock. The smoke shoots from his nose, and as he's disoriented, I slam his head against the concrete walls until the guy goes limp. I drop him, smoke billowing from his now open mouth, and use his keycard to open the door.

 

Inside the club, I was hit with a wave of pure hedonism. Loud music, stench of alcohol, haze of fog from the countless drugs. If you wanted to party hard, this was the place to be. But this wasn't the place I wanted to be: That'd be upstairs. Glimbo's office is on the second floor. I made my way through the sea of bodies, cutting through like a Jack through meat, until I reached the other side and a hallway to the next floor. There was a man who was waiting at the doorway just before the stairs, and he put up a hand when I got close.

"Hold it. Upper floor's VIPs only. You got a pass?"

 

"Sure, pal, here you go."

 

BANG

 

Dumbass probably thought I had my gun checked at the door. Last thing that went through his mind was made of lead. He slumped back against the wall and left a trail of red as he slid down. Didn't know if the patrons on the dance floor heard the gunshot or not over the shitty techno, didn't care, but the guys in VIP most certainly heard something at least. My suspicions were confirmed as another guard rounds the corner and takes a step down the stairway, before seeing me with a smoking gun.

 

"Shit!"

 

Just as he draws his own, I shoot him in the leg that's lower on the staircase, and it gives out under him. He tumbles as a result, shouting in pain, before stopping halfway down at the landing while I continue up. As I pass him, I give another quick trigger pull to his head, painting the steps with his brains. From the shocked gasps of alarm up above, I'm definitely expected. So I keep climbing to the top, readjusting the duffle bag as I do.

 

Once at the top, I take a quick peek into the next room, only to immediately duck back into cover as a barrage of gunfire shoots past me. But it was enough to know what I'm up against: Two behind the bar, one behind a flipped table, one not in cover at all, and half a dozen scared VIPs huddled in the corner praying I'm not there for them. Almost too easy. I take a sphere out of my jacket pocket and give it a click, making it light up in red, before bouncing it off the wall at full speed into the room. Several flashes of white and loud pops fill the room, and the while the gunfire does go off, it's not nearly as accurate, as shown when I step inside and immediately gun down the idiot who's not in cover, one in the chest and one in the head.

 

As the gunfire starts to get more accurate, I toss the bag to the guy behind the table, hitting him and causing a stumble to the floor, and rush the two behind the bar. One manages to point a shotgun at me before I hit him three times in the chest. Close, but not enough. Would've just needed one if I wasn't running. The other guy raises his pistol, but I slide over the bar and dropkick him, sending him crashing into the booze. Before he can get up, I send a clean round right through his skull. Finishing things off, I pivot to the last guard, his improvised cover ineffective at this angle, only to see him already pointing his pistol my direction.

 

We trade. Both our shots hit in the chest. Glad I was wearing body armor, but it still hurt like a bitch. What's more, the other guy wasn't, but I could still see him crawling away towards his gun. Very sloppy of me. I was slowing down. Today had been long, but it wasn't over yet. After I took a breath, I hopped back over the bar and started walking towards him, picking up the discarded duffle bag along the way. Just as he got his claws on the pistol, I stomped his wrist and put a hole in his head. Seeing as how that was the last bullet in the mag, I took the time to reload and look over at the final group of VIPs.

 

"You all know how to keep your mouths shut?"

 

Desperately, there was nodding and sounds of agreement. Of course there were. I knew they wouldn't talk. Nobody ever does. But I chambered my Four-Five just to get the message across.

 

"Good. Grab something from the bar and scram."

 

That was all they needed to make for the stairs. One or two did grab some bottles, but the rest decided rightly so that alcohol was not worth getting possibly shot over. But I wasn't really paying attention to them as I made my way to the door that led further in. Wasn't really paying attention at all, or else I would have heard Bull charging just as I was about to open the door. The massive woman barreled through the two sets of doors, smashing them apart with her bionically enhanced strength, and sent me careening through the air and bouncing off a table. I was getting up, wind knocked out of me, and noticed the bag and my gun were both still by the door. When I looked for Bull, she was standing right next to me, and lifted me overhead.

 

"You made a big mistake, birdie!"

 

I guess the bounce wasn't enough, because she sent me straight through the tempered glass table next. If I wasn't a little bionic myself, that probably would have killed me, but it still really hurt. The air was out of my lungs, and Glimbo's bodyguard wasn't about to let any enter when she grabbed my throat next, picking me up again.

 

"Nobody fucks over Glimbo, bird. Let's see if you can fly!"

 

Winding up a throw with her artificial muscles, she catapults me across the room and directly into the mirror hanging behind the bar, shattering it into a thousand pieces. If my spine wasn't reinforced, it'd probably have ended up the same way. While she laughs maniacally, I see the shotgun beside the guard I'd killed earlier, and I reach for it. But Bull isn't having any of that, reaching over the bar easily and hoisting me up by the collar, slamming my back onto the countertop and holding me by the next with a forearm.

 

"As much as I wanna draw this out, Boss said to make it quick. Let's carve us a Raven!"

 

With her other arm, Bull clenches her fist and causes a wicked blade to extend from it. Looks like somebody's installed a Jack. She thrusts it towards me, and I'm barely able to hold her back with my own bionics. I risked letting the blade inch closer to grab around with a free hand, grabbing onto a bottle and smashing it over her head, to little effect except dousing her with alcohol and causing her to laugh at my desperation. As the Jack inches closer to my face, it's tip nearly meeting my eye, I take inspiration from this and manage to grab a mirror shard, plunging it into one of Bull's own eyes. She recoils back with a howl of pain and surprise, and I roll myself back inside the bar, landing with a thud.

 

"RAVEN, YOU LITTLE SHIT! I'M GONNA GRIND YOU INTO NUGGETS!"

 

Just as she returns to the bar and reaches over to grab at me again, I pull the shotgun into my hands and blast her. Bull is sent a few steps backwards from the force, struggling for a few moments to stay up, but does. As I stand up, she's just laughing as her skin graft lies in tatters, revealing a hardened black surface underneath. Figures she would have Subdermal. Bull stares her remaining wild eye towards me as the laughter dies.

 

"You really thought that could kill ME?!"

 

"... Worth a shot. So's this."

 

I rack the shotgun and blast her again in the same location, but this time causing a series of sparks on the armor. Sparks which ignite the fresh alcohol she's currently covered in, setting her ablaze. This, she was not expecting: her single remaining eye widens and she tries to frantically put out the flames, screaming in pain. Cyborgs and high temperatures don't mix well at all, and she is both very heavily Borged and very very warm. But she'll still probably survive even this, so with a quick intake of air, I leap over the bar, rush towards her, put the shotgun into her screaming mouth, and chamber another round.

 

BOOM

 

The entire top of Bull's scalp explodes out, painting the ceiling a new shade as her body collapses. I drop the shotgun to the side of her still flaming corpse and take a few moments to breathe. Fuck, that could have been a lot easier if I was paying attention. I walk over to the duffle bag and pistol I'd dropped, picking them up as I continued through the smashed doors. I can see Glimbo's office just up ahead, the end of the day so close in sight. Nearly trip and fall as I'm walking, have to lean against the wall a moment. Can't go limping into Glimbo's office, won't give the right idea. So I grab my last stim from the inside of my jacket, twist the cap, and plunge it in my neck. I'll pay for it later, that's for sure, but right now, somebody else needs to pay.

 

Renewed, I stride up and kick open Glimbo's doors. The shithead pretends not to be intimidated, but I saw him flinch. Glimbo Wifi, one of the biggest crime bosses in the city, sits with a smug grin as I point my Four-Five at him. He's not THE biggest, but his name is enough to mean something, so by all means to effort I've put into this whole thing by myself is next level.

 

"Ah, Raven. So you've finally arrived. I knew you'd come straight here, but you took a bit longer than I thought..."

 

"My car broke down this morning. I'm guessing this whole thing is about the BingBong NET files."

 

"Of course it's about the BingBong job, Raven. You knew that I am a major shareholder in BingBong, and yet you still stole from them. My shares tanked, and it cost me a FORTUNE! I couldn't simply just let that go unpunished. Shame about your friend, but it seems you were a bit late coming home..."

 

I level the pistol towards his head, setting the duffle bag down and pulling up a phone, but the fat fuck retains his smug little grin. He thinks he has everything all figured out.

 

"You going to shoot me for killing your friend, Raven? You already know that would be a bad idea. Even if I die, in my publicized will I've listed various inheritors of my incredibly legal empire to carry on my-"

 

"Check your bank account."

 

"... What?"

 

"Bank account. Now."

 

I raise the gun a little, and Glimbo complies, navigating to his banking interface on the computer. By his shocked look a few moments later, I'd guessed that he saw the big goose egg on his screen.

 

"What?!"

 

"I steal information for a living, Glimbo. You think your banking info was safe? It was the easiest thing I've done today. You and all of your offshore shell accounts have made some considerable donations."

 

From that moment onward, he seemed a lot more aware that there was a person pointing a gun at him. The next part was what I was really expecting, and had come fully prepared for. The panic in Glimbo's voice was notable.

 

"Wait, even then, you also know that killing me won't stop anyone else from taking my place and then just hunting you down. My lieutenants-"

 

THUD

 

The duffle bag lands directly in the center of Glimbo's desk, and he stares at it with a stunned expression, unsure of what to make of it. I raise the gun.

 

"Open it."

 

"What?"

 

I cock the hammer back to make myself a little more clear.

 

"Open. It."

 

Glimbo looked between the gun and the bag, and slowly reached over, unzipping the duffle slowly. Once it was unzipped, a rank stench filled the room, and once Glimbo saw the contents, he shot up out of his seat, backing away instantly.

 

"JESUS, MARY, AND JOSEPH!"

 

"Come on, Glimbo, take a closer look! You recognize them?!"

 

I use a bionic kick to knock over the wooden desk, spilling the duffle bag out onto the ground in front of Glimbo. Several familiar heads roll towards the crime boss, each one belonging to one of his underbosses. Glimbo begins to well and truly panic at this point. I take the moment to relive each one.

 

"... But... You just..."

 

The first was easy. He posted on social media that he'd be going to his daughter's school play. I caught him halfway on his route, in the elevator leaving his mistress' Comp. One shotgun blast. He would've missed the show anyway.

 

"... I... I-I don't..."

 

The second was a bit harder. She was constantly in public with bodyguards, and it took a good 15 minutes of trailing before she decided to ditch the guards and go for a walk in the park. Once I had her alone, took her off the path and executed her in the brush. Hid the body in a leaf pile.

 

"... How... Did..."

 

The third was truly satisfying. Like Glimbo, after killing all his guards, he also thought he was safe from me in his little panic room. A little Thermo to the door hinge  and a charge pack boosted bionic pull ripped the steel door right out. It was like opening a present that said you couldn't open it. I cut it off right then and there.

 

"... The hit team reported in five hours ago! You killed..."

 

"I killed them, Glimbo. All of them in less than five hours. And then I came here and killed all of your honor guard. Now there's nothing stopping me from killing you."

 

"Wait, WAIT! You're the one that betrayed ME here! I was in my rights to strike back, and I DID! You've taken everything from me, and you're going to kill me too?! How is that fair?!"

 

"You could've killed me, Glimbo. You could've hired a real professional to do it and nobody else would've had to have been involved. But you didn't just have your group of fuckups do it to show your power. You didn't just kill any random bystander in your sorry excuse of a hit."

 

I point the Four-Five at him, knowing that this clip is all the ammo I have left, and by god, I'm going to use it.

 

"You killed Schmunguss. And that's unforgivable."

 

"NO-"

 

BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG

 

Glimbo is riddled with bullets, and I'm pretty sure he was dead after the first 3 or 4, but the gun's still not empty yet. I walk right up to his bleeding pig body and put the last two rounds in his head. Finally. The bastard is dead. But there's a few issues to address.

 

"... I know you're watching, Code. I bet this is exactly what you wanted. Me or Glimbo to kill each other. Lot sooner than you expected? Just in case it wasn't clear, let me spell it out for you."

 

I step right over to the fallen computer, holding up it's seemingly disabled monitor camera. I know that Code can still probably hear and see out of the thing. It's how they knew every little detail of my life, including the illegal thefts. So I give the camera a death stare.

 

"I dismantled Glimbo Wifi's entire operation in five hours. You want to see what I can get done in an evening? A whole day?! A WEEK?! If you EVER contact me again, with another 'offer you can't refuse' blackmail trick like you did with BingBong, I'm coming after YOU! YOU HEAR ME?!"

 

I smash the monitor to the ground. They probably got the message. I was so, so tired. I was done with everything six hours ago. All the shit I've been through today was starting to catch up. I was in the final stretch, but I wasn't done just yet.

 

One last thing to take care of.

-------------------------------------
 

I ring the Comp's doorbell again, and double check that this is indeed the right one. As it said the last time I checked it 30 seconds ago, the name still reads "Boolean St.George". Right. Just... Don't want to slip up on this one. The day has gone on for so long already, and it feels longer than it really is.

 

Just as I'm thinking of ringing again, or maybe even knocking this time, the door opens, and the subject of today's visit appears, smaller than average with pigtails and a bohemian clothing style. A perfect match to his own.

 

"Rave? What are you doing here? Nevermind, have you-"

 

"Can I come in?"

 

"Huh? Oh, sure. Come in."

 

I step inside, and Boo locks the door behind me immediately. Good instinct, never give any openings. Just hope she'll be fine, one day. As we make it to the living room, she pushes past me and turns to get my full attention.

 

"Anyway, have you heard from Schmung? He hasn't been answering my calls or DIMs."

 

"Take a seat, Boo."

 

"I don't want to take a seat, did something happen? Do you know anything? Why are you here?"

 

Here we go. It's time for the sweetest lie I'm ever going to tell.

 

"... There was a fire."

 

As soon as the words leave my mouth, Boo has stopped. Usually so animated, and these four words just turned that off. Threw me off guard. But I kept spinning the tale.

 

"... It started in the kitchen while Schmung was asleep in his room."

 

"... No, no, no, no..."

 

My tongue was gettin' heavier by the second. And now the biggest part. The most untrue. But the one that might bring her the most peace, in time. Sorry, Schmung. Just cleaner this way.

 

"He didn't suffer. The smoke got him before the fire did. It was painless."

 

"NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!"

 

Boo started to beat her fists against my jacket, as if me speaking it was making it true. And for her, for all extents and purposes, it was. Schmung was dead, either way. She'll just think he died without harm. As she began to cry and the beatings slowed, I followed the biggest lie with the closest truth she'll ever hear about the situation. But it was definitely the hardest thing I've ever admitted to.

 

"... My car broke down this morning, so I was late... By the time I got back, it was already..."

 

The dried rivers had began to rehydrate again, replacing the scorching land with a flood of sorrow. And the way Boo was looking at me, her eyes completely hinging on everything I said, did not make it easier. Would she hate me? It's what I deserve for what I've done to Schmung. And how I'm lying to his girlfriend.

 

"... If I had been there on time, maybe I could have..."

 

I didn't even have the chance to continue before she hugged me tight, crying into my jacket. And I couldn't find the strength to go on myself. So I just hugged her back, and tried not to cry as much. Didn't really work. After we were both done, I helped her make arrangement plans for his funeral. Called all the necessary people to confirm his death. She let me sleep on the couch and offered it for as long as I wanted it. I could hear her crying through the wall when she went to sleep for the night. The stims had finally caught up with me, and I could feel the ghosts of wounds ache throughout my body, but I was simply too exhausted to care. Finally, I let my eyes close fully.

 

Today was a long day.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
Ant has also not been seen since shortly after our last duel. I'm a little concerned, hope she didn't flop down a flight of stairs.

Also, I guess post your votes in response to this post.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
A

In the interest of fairness I stopped reading story B after 2k words and I must say, it ended rather abruptly and didn't really finish well.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 7:59:31 PM

Story A

An honorable mention to ‘hook the booted foot’ for nearly killing me for some reason.

I kind of loved this one. It’s not at all the setting or plot I would have expected from this prompt, but it’s not unwelcome either.

I appreciate the lunacy of the protagonist, introduced to us through the brushing off of an actual extinction event via giant carrot. It only got funnier the more I read, I had the stupidest grin on my face as soon as I realized that his solution to every death had become Frankensteining the bodies in the goofiest (or most disturbing) way possible. How you interpret these scenes might actually depend on your mood and/or personality, because while they are pretty humorous, the descriptions are also enough to make one’s skin crawl a bit.

The protagonist is really the only character to speak of here. There’s Geoffrey and Joey, but they really mostly exist to further the point of the protagonist’s demented nature. That being said, I can’t help but be somewhat interested in a golden retriever bartender. I’d definitely want to be friends with him too.

The writing itself accomplishes a pretty good amount of storytelling for the word limit, actually establishing a fairly intriguing world setting including fish freaks, vegetable science, and unquestioned heroism. You can’t really ask for much more from a story of this length. I will say there are a few errors, nothing that really detracted from things, but they’re there. Example:
“You do admit you have just a bit of trepidation as you survey they twitching”

Overall, I enjoyed it!

 

Story B

The title of this one should be renamed to 'A Long Story.'

The writing here has a ton of personality that gets the reader pretty quickly invested in things, and I’m actually kind of offended that whoever wrote this dared to make me care about a character named Schmunguss dying. He was referred to as Shmunguss at first though! I liked the contrast between the stories here, the death of Schmunguss in Story B is a highly emotional happening, while the death of Joey in Story A leads to the immediate fishdog Frankensteining.

The strongest thing about the story is how likeable the narration is. Like I said before, just brimming with personality, good descriptions, and just the right blend between silliness and storytelling.

The action was pretty fun too, solid throughout with the blend of good descriptive work and gruesomeness. It's pretty perfect, the writing (and the brutality of it at times) really reinforces the idea that the protagonist is in take-no-prisoners, retribution-seeking mode.

Like Story A, there were a handful of small errors in the writing, but nothing that really took away from the reading experience in any meaningful way. Unfortunately, I am going to have to disqualify this story because my computer had a critical error whenever I read the 2001st word or any beyond it.

Both of these stories are very cool and good, but my vote goes to Story A. Death to fish freaks and Schmunguss slayers!

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 8:02:07 PM

Story A

A little confusing as to what was going on. A second read made me understand the story better. But maybe it's just cause I'm loaded up on ibuprofen and my eyes are a little fuzzy. 

A charming story, about a dog for a bartender and the guy who decides to reanimate him and other victims of the fish men. I think it would've been better if the whole story was just about the protagonist killing the fish men and reanimating the dog. The Geoffrey part felt unneeded, like it was just an attempt at making the story longer. Though it did make it funnier. 

'You’re flung bodily backwards'   -  I had to look up 'bodily'. I genuinely did not think it was was a word. Either way somehow I thought this was the funniest part of the whole story and it made me chuckle. 

Story B

You had me at 'Schmunguss'. The stupid names had me rolling over, laughing. Personal favorites were Boolean St. George and Glimbo Wifi.

This one suffered from the same fate as Story A. It took me a long time to figure out that the protagonist was Raven and the Four-Five was a friggin gun. The last part with Boolean was unneeded, as it already succeeded the word count and the story could have been resolved with simple killing the mob boss. I get that the part with Schmung dying was supposed to be serious, and some parts after, but I could not take any of this story serious after seeing the name 'Schmunguss'. 

 

I 'lol'ed at both of the stories, but I liked B better because of it's characterization and ridiculous dialogue. Shame on them for the word count, tho.

 

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 8:02:14 PM

Story A:

I liked this one a lot.  It was well written, and I enjoyed the underlying humor throughout the story - in fact, there was a place or two that I actuall did laugh out loud. The main character thinking that he was behaving completely logically by attaching folks heads to different bodies to get them off the station was just really fun.

Story B:

LONG.  Longer than some whole storygames with multiple paths.  BUT, really well written.  The main character was really well established.  The action sequences were choreographed really well, and were descriptive without bogging down the story.  Many times it seems that authors get too descriptive when trying to incorporate fight scenes to the point were it gets tedious to read and breaks the flow of the story - but not here.  Well done on that.

Well, Story B just kept going, and going, and going and therefore broke the rules of the CYS Thunderdome.  Yes, I get that it is weird to penalize someone for writing too much in a writing competition, but I had to read more so there it is.

VOTE is for STORY A

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
I'll have to come back to this, but for now my vote is for story A due to story B being 2509 words over the limit.

That's more than the word limit itself.

Unacceptable behavior.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 8:02:20 PM

Both stories had a certain charm and penache that made them enjoyable reads.  SPAG issues seemed to be fairly minimal in both.  As mentioned by others, Story B greatly exceeded the length cap.  

Story A: 

I really liked the Frankenstein kind of concept here.  The introduction is memorable as you don't have many planet destroying carrots in fiction. I was expecting the joke of the head swap to follow the rule of threes and that overlaid with an expectation for a "No, they killed Fritz" reference.  That may have been an unreasonable expectation.  

The overall flow of the story was well handled.  The concept was just goofy enough and was a fun take on the prompt.

Story B:

This is an action-packed romp.  A fun read that piqued my interest enough to keep going even past the word limit cut off (+1 word to finish the sentence).  There were places where things probably could have been compressed during the fights without sacrificing the pacing too badly.  The goofy names were fun, although the fact that the protag did not have a goofy name felt odd.

While I am glad to be able to read the full story the part of it that happens in the word limit is an interesting fight, but not much of a story.

My vote would go to Story A.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
Story B seems like a good story, but I didn't read all of it. So, my vote goes to Story A.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

Voting for story A because the other one cheated

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
If B is Sent's then definitely A. If not, then A. ;~)

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

I really liked Tim's story, I just wanted to say that.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
Once most of the votes are in, I'm curious as to everyone's best guesses as to who the secret duelist is too.

I have my own guess, but it's based on data that would ruin the "anonymity" (lol) if pointed out.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

With names like Schmungus and Glimbo and the fact that it's way too long for what was asked, I would've guessed me. But I don't remember doing any of this!

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

This actually threw me for a loop. The instant I read Shmungus, I thought Sent, but that would be too convenient. Surely Sent, a master of memery, would craft a story that would deceive CYStians into thinking that it wasn't him. Or, better yet, someone tried to imitate Sent. By the end, I was torn, so I investigated. After removing a number of passages, words, and letters from the story, I ended up with nothing but the words "By Sent". Irrefutable!

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

Does the fact that you dont remember actually mean that you didnt write this though?

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

I would have remembered suffering through a prompt like this

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

Seeing as there's a story that's three thousand years long, I'm guessing it's Mystic

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

That was many peoples guess, but she has denied responsibility.

 

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

Then perhaps it's that SummerSparrow chic? She seems apt to write more than necessary (or allowed) and may not know the rules... but that's a wild guess

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
Sparrow doesn't seem like the kind of writer to use "shmungus" or "glimbo", though. No other site member that I know both writes too much and uses those names...

Edit: Somehow I'm thought of ant. There's approx. 0 chance, but it was funny that I even considered it.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

night of the living ant lmao

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

Ant hasn't been online, can't be her

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
Not saying that she is the secret dueler, but Ant's been on today and I do recall seeing her on a few days back.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

Seems I am mistaken. It could very well be her... lol

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

I'm thinking Darius. He's already proven to be capable of emulating other styles, and knowing it would be wrong of him to win a duel he himself hosted could be what prompted him to go over the word limit.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

I highly doubt his sense of right and wrong would overcome his desire to be better than everyone else, but otherwise it's a sound theory

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

I'm dying lmao

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

A is my vote

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 8:02:24 PM

Interesting how both of these were sci fi stories this time around! I think there's some kind of interesting rorscach testing you can do by analyzing what kind of genre somebody's mind gravitates to when you give them a writing prompt with only story beats and only the barest minimum information about the details. (I won't lie, there is technically probably a subconscious bias toward more technologically advanced settings because of the inclusion of the word "kitchen", which is a room that was probably invented for nobility back in the day when being rich enough to have more than one room was still a novel concept, and was still probably more rare than not all the way up to the 15-1600s in most places. Hell, it was still relatively normal (albeit pretty rural) to be in a one or two-room house with a pitcher and washbasin for a sink up until like post-wwii, but I'm getting off track here. It's really a reach to say thia prompt has any setting info at all.)

 

When I heard that Mizal was getting just a random kid opponent, I expected this to be a one-sided thrashing, but, weirdly enough, it's actually pretty close. Both stories were good in their own right. A was concise, atmospheric, and had such an amusingly deranged protagonist, it was well-constructed and polished with a moschievous arc of its own, and it also had little fishoid gremlins which brought me joy on an ontological level. But on the other hand, story B had all the right ingredients for a story that appeals to me- In fact, so many that it's almost suspicious. A hard-nosed detective type narrator, nonstop hardcore action sequences, brutal belligerent revenge, funny sideways schmoingus names, and even large action women! (Though, infuriatingly, Bull and much of the action part are barely even in the first 2000 words that I'm legally allowed to judge! Luckily I've never much been one for FOLLOWING LAWS) Overall, I did not take the technical wordcount disqualification into account, which made this a hard decision. Story A held up remarkably well even against a story more than twice its proverbial weight class, but Story B was a silly revemge story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It may be perhaps because of the length, however, that the second story's cracks were able to show more clearly. 

 

The narrator, Raven, clearly had a character of their own, and it felt like there was an attempt at something that felt noir-esque, but it never really went anywhere. Only towards the beginning and the end did we get that much of a window into the character's mind, and the revelations weren't particularly poetic or funny which I feel are the two great potential strengths of noir-type narration. But it doesn't have to adhere strictly to the medium it may draw from to be valuable either, imo, so that part is at least fine. Some of the villain's ironic punishments felt a little bit too, I dunno, well-fitting? The way they were set up offscreen, so the reveal that the criminal empire was destroyed, wasn't quite as satisfying as I felt like it was supposed to be. You can "cheat" by giving the protagonist help under the table and aiding their plans behind the scenes, this is one of Sherlock Holmes's superpowers, but you need something quite compelling to stand on like a bunch of questions that need answers, or a game of wits full of plot twists, or entertaining character dynamics, so that the method of conflict resolution isn't the engine of the story, and the elements that the hero pulls out from under our noses feel like genuine plot twists rather than skipped or missing chapters. By making the hero already know who to kill in response to schmungus's death, and then making the confrontation in the club all about violence, not only are we clearly making the story about the mechanics of how the conflict is going to be resolved (in this case violence) rather than the other pieces of the engine that propel the plot forward, but we're also robbing the story of, I dunno, like, chances to reveal the villain, build up their villainy, build up the tragedy of Shmungus outside of just being a dearly departed victim at the start of the tale. I dunno, the ambition here covered a lot of ground and obviously got a little out of hand trying to fit the scenes and setpieces into the given limit, which has robbed it of a certain degree of VERISIMILITUDE, which I think is where Story A takes the cake in this duel. It didn't feel like there were bits missing. There were fewer moving parts, but in turn, they tied together a little more completely. That's my hot take.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

After much speculation from all different parties. Wild accusations flew around the arena who this mystery dueler could be. Most fingers were pointed at Sent for coming up with Schmungus while others were leaning towards names like Mystic, Tcat or even me. Pffff, you do know that my writing could never be this good as the stories we have seen here.

However while people were arguing amongst themselves, they had forgotten to look at the mass grave commissioned by Mizzle. Next to Ant's smelly maggot riddles body, there another pile of bones was missing. The CYStians shrieked as the mystery dueler took off his helmet. 

It was none other than Tim!

He had been reanimated by the sheer force of his will and clawed himself out of his own shallow grave. The night of the living dead had commenced upon his rise. He fought bravely and valiantly. Great story, great pacing. However, he had outstretched himself and had forgotten to take into account the word count and also ahum his lack of any muscles as a living skeleton. 

So mizal smited him and sent him straight back to hell.

Story A, Mizal's story is the winner. Congrats Mizal. You retained your honor as the undefeated champion.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

@Tim36D collect your commendation. @mizal give yourself one.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago
Commended by Sherbet on 5/4/2023 12:32:00 AM

I wrote it Sunday morning from the hours of 1AM to 6 AM because I couldn't sleep.

I also did not read the rules and only read the prompt so that was a little embarrassing.

But I had a funny idea so I wrote an entry anyway, just in case nobody else showed up y'know.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

Nice job Tim. You might not have won, but you've certainly earned a lot of respect.

Congrats to mizal for taking it with the crustacean classic!

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

10 months ago

Congrats on the win Mizal!  And good job on the entry Tim.  I've not read your stuff before and I really like your entry.  I'll be sure to check out your games soon.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

9 months ago

Congratulations mizal! Twas' a truly good story. Nice job to the runner-up, Tim, as well! 

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

9 months ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 8:10:58 PM
Forgot I never did comment on this in the thread, but it threw me for a loop that it was Tim. He'd gone to Universal Studios that weekend and gotten sick and I figured that was that. Him writing for this had previously only been mentioned once, and then as a maybe. If not for spilling so enthusiastically over the limit it might have won--heck, it might have won anyway, but CYStians turned out to be a more lawful bunch than expected. (Lawful, lazy, take your pick...) I have to say though, another unexpected benefit of the THUNDERDOME is that if a person is feeling extra inspired and doesn't mind probably losing the actual duel, this really may the best chance possible to get multiple people reading and commenting on a longer story.

Thunderdome 3: The night of the living mizal

9 months ago

It did indeed cause me to recoil physically when I found out about the word limit, and then every vote afterwards that pointed out I went over the word limit as the reason for their vote did the same.

But I still think the story turned out pretty good regardless, and considering it would have defaulted to you anyway since nobody else showed up, this is overall a net positive.

I also liked your crab dog.