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Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

22 days ago

Here comes the long awaited fight that will rival the cutscenes of the latest triple A titles: The DOUBLE A fight! This time around we have a longtime veteran Axxius duking it out against Anthraxus, the next rising star and strong reviewer. 

Which A gets the A for Approval and which A gets the A for Awknowledged waste of air?

And of course, they will also be granted their own shiny reflective sticks by the organizers of the Thunderdome. Can't have them be pulling at each other's hair, like what we had seen when the teenagers were there.

Prompt: star wars fanfic.


Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

22 days ago

Story A

"The Uranium-enriched reactor is located on the far side of Orto Plutonia. A small Imperial air base re-outfitted from our old base is stationed just a couple of miles away from the reactor and the valley housing it. Once our Cruiser exits hyperspace, we will fire our ion cannons disabling the runway and any ships stationed there but we cannot account for any TIE-Interceptor patrols already in the air. You’re two pairs of Blue Squadron X-Wings and Y-Wings will have two minutes to reach the target and destroy the reactor.”

Ackbar had briefed Agamemnon and his strike team about the details and the importance of the mission several times, but he always found the Mon Calamari’s voice to be a calm and stoic reminder of why failure is not an option. Agamemnon found it amusing that the same trench gambit which dealt the Empire its first crushing defeat would be the same risk that was used here. he didn’t know what the Galactic Empire wanted with the Uranium but could only assume it would be used with devastating effects on other key Alliance targets.

“You know your roles and you know what is at stake here today. Today we spring the trap on the Empire.”

With the wave of a hand, the Admiral dismisses Agamemnon and the strike team as they make their way to the flight deck. Once out of Ackbar’s sight, he turns to address the team. All of them return a fair attempt at a steady gaze with smirks or claps on the back.

“Come on Aggie,” Dierdre says as Agamemnon rubs his eyes in thought, “Lighten up. You’ve trained us better than any instructor could have. I’m honored to fly with you here today, Captain.”

“Hear, hear!” they all shout. Dierdre, Brick, Jin-Zerai, Callum, and Diomedes. They all made the cut because he had picked them. And now he was sending them on one of the most dangerous missions he’d ever flown. Not even Scariff was this bad.

Dierdre punches Brick in the shoulder as they head off to their Y-Wing. Jin-Zerai inhales and exhales a few times sharply before giving Callum a bantha fodder-eating grin as they board their Y-Wing leaving you and Diomedes alone for a moment.

“Ag, I, I was hoping maybe we could spend some time working on that old podracer you won with at Malastare.”

“We will when we get back Dio. Hey, one more thing! May the Force be with you.”

“You really believe in that old religion?” Dio looks kind of confused by your words.

“Your father did. I got to believe in something for his sake.” Agamemnon shakes Dio’s hand as he heads to his Fighter. Agamemnon salutes Dio and nods his head firing up his own X-Wing.


The howling noise of Agamemnon’s X-Wing is lost in the even louder winds of Orto Plutonia’s perpetual blizzards. He knows what shortly follows as your team enters the valley that leads to the reactor. “Alright everyone, This is it!”


The sound of ion cannons firing at the Empire’s air base starts the clock as the strike team begins their run. Tower guns lie but three hundred meters above your positions, but they can’t lock on to your signature this close to the valley floor.

“Ackbar to Agamemnon. The imperial air base has been disabled but a two-man TIE-Interceptor patrol has turned back to protect the reactor. They will be inbound in three minutes.”


The sharp turns required to navigate the valley floor take a toll on Agamemnon’s body, but he has memorized this route by heart. He has the timing down to a millisecond. On the nav computer, the situation is apparent that Dio and Jin-Zerai are falling behind.

“Come on Dio pick up the pace we’re fifteen seconds behind!” Jin-Zerai says.

“Don’t think Dio, feel, trust your instincts. Feel and know,” Agamemnon says to Dio.

Panting Dio’s Fighter stalls for a few moments before he re-engages making up lost ground.

“We’re coming up on the drop zone! Are you with me Dierdre?” Agamemnon says.

“Right behind you Ag,” Dierdre says her Y-Wing climbing the rocky wall.

The two of you roll as you reach the top of the incline to maximize speed and zoom downwards towards the crater where the Uranium reactor resides.

“I have lock Ag dropping now,” Dierdre says dropping her payload on the laser shield protecting the reactor.

She’s placed it in the optimal position giving him the closest to perfect shot there is. Agamemnon fires at payload detonating it in a roaring inferno and disabling the laser shield for team two. “Now comes the hard part,” Agamemnon says to himself. Jerking the controls as close he can to his chest, team one begins the tall climb out of the valley crater. The tower guns lock onto your signature as soon as his X-Wing breaks the three-hundred-meter safe zone.


It’s all both of you can do to keep the X-Wing and Y-Wing unscathed as the guns narrowly miss Dierdre’s right wing. Agamemnon hears the howling of Dio’s X-Wing as team two reaches the drop zone.


The loud spark and the explosion of smoke and ash confirm the reactor’s destruction. Team Two joins Team One in the fight for their lives as the tower guns hound all of you on the way out of the valley. Fortunately, the Imperial gunners are somehow even worse shots than stormtroopers. Just as Agamemnon thinks the strike team is in the clear he spots a blast from a nearby tower gun headed right for Dio’s cockpit.

“Dio watch out!” Zooming behind his X-Wing Agamemnon takes the blast for him. The shot rips the X-wing left side right off and he goes spiraling towards the ground.

“Ag Noooo!” is the last thing he hears before the comms fail. Desperately fumbling with the ejector pin He manages to pull it right before blacking out.

When he awakes, the surrounding area that is noticeable is a frozen forest of evergreens and the burning wreckage of the X-Wing. The next noticeable part of the area is a TIE-Fighter that has arrived at the crash site. Acting quickly, Ag runs for cover and the TIE-Fighter fires at the already ruined cockpit of the X-Wing, further obliterating it.: Well, if this is how they’re taking me out I’m not going to make it easy for them,” he thinks to himself. The TIE-Fighter concentrates fire on the fallen trees he is hiding behind, igniting them as well. Another explosion catches Ag’s attention, so he peeks out from behind the crackling tree and notices a familiar X-Wing has blown up the TIE-Fighter. “Dank Farrik, Dio, what are you doing?”


A tower gun damages the X-Wing’s propulsion system forcing Dio to crash-land deeper into the forest. Eventually, Ag makes his way to where Dio landed ready to scold him for foolishly turning back to save his life. Looking at his scuffed uniform and shattered helmet that lies discarded Agamemnon just can’t bring himself to reprimand the weathered pilot.

“I know, I know,” he shakes his head smiling at Ag. The two of them embrace one another for a moment glad that the other’s alive.

“Alright, you crazy son of a Gundark, let’s find a ship to get out of here. There might be something on the air base the Cruiser didn’t completely fry,” Agamemnon says to Diomedes. He follows Ag as he trudges through the thick snow toward their destination.

The Imperial air base is a smoking wreck. After Ackbar disabled the ships with the ion cannons, he must have bombed the hell out of the base.

“Look Dio, there’s our ticket out of here,” he points towards a ship in a nearby hangar.

“That thing? You’re kidding, right? TIE-Fighters are pieces of junk. We’ll never get far in that,” Dio says.

Signaling for him to follow, Diomedes begrudgingly sneaks behind Ag towards the TIE-Fighter hangar. The smoke obscures everyone’s uniforms so no one running around notices the presence of two Rebel pilots though the two of them still hasten their pace towards the ship.

“Hurry up and help me unplug this thing,” He orders Dio and climbs into the cockpit. While Diomedes gets the stabilizers unplugged, Ag realizes the engine’s energy core is still intact thankfully. Agamemnon fires up the engine as Dio hops into the backseat and closes the exterior hatch. The Proton Torpedoes are also armed though hopefully they won’t see any use.

“If we’re lucky we’ll fly right by any enemy fighters, and none will be the wiser. Activate your tracking beacon Dio. I want Ackbar to know we’re back in the air.” As the older model TIE-Fighter climbs into the snowy sky a two-man TIE-Interceptor patrol saddles up alongside the two of them. The pilots assume the TIE-Fighter is friendly and signal Ag to follow them back to base.

“If we go with them Ag, we’ll never make it back to the Cruiser,” Dio says.

“Well then Dio, I hope you’re ready for a dogfight. Hang on,” He sharply turns the TIE-Fighter blasting the rear thrusters of the closest TIE-Interceptor sundering it from the sky.

“Let me know when the other one fires his torpedo Dio!” He slams the controls forward taking off.

“Now! Now!” Dio shouts as the TIE-Interceptor fires its first torpedo. Deftly, Agamemnon maneuvers the TIE-Fighter just barely in time to get in front of the falling TIE-Interceptor causing the torpedo to strike it instead. Accelerating, Agamemnon hears the screech of the pursuing Interceptor.


Doing a three-sixty, Agamemnon is able to position himself behind the Interceptor and launches his first proton torpedo. The Interceptor slams on the brakes and completely avoids the incoming missile.

“We need to get low! Must confuse his targeting system,” Agamemnon shouts. The Interceptor fires another torpedo which bounces off a snowbank thanks to the tight turns around the valley floor detonating harmlessly. The Interceptor fires at the Fighter causing minor damage to one of the wings.

“We took a hit Ag come on shake him off!” Dio says.

“Let’s see if an old model can learn new tricks,” Agamemnon says slamming on brakes the same way the TIE-Interceptor did. The Interceptor flies right by them and Agamemnon fires damaging it slightly.

“You got it. You got it!” Dio shouts.

“Not quite, this guy's way faster than we are I’m only going to get one more try at this,” Agamemnon says.

Focusing, taking a deep breath, and trusting his instincts like he told Dio earlier in the mission, Agamemnon waits for the right moment and fires at the Interceptor.


A resounding crack comes from the Interceptor as its fragile wings are severed forcing the TIE pilot to eject. Both Agamemnon and Dio let out a deep breath.

“Let’s head back to the cruiser,” Agamemnon says.

On the way back, another battle seems to be unfolding just above Orto Plutonia. When the two pilots arrive, Diedre rushes to greet them.

“Jin-Zerai and Callum didn’t make it. Brick is in medical. I think the Star Destroyer anticipated our strike on the reactor. Ackbar has more intel for you in the debriefing room Ag,” Dierdre says putting a hand on his shoulder.

As he enters, Ackbar is staring out at the hyperspace tunnel deep in thought. “Uh, Admiral? Is this a good time?”

Ackbar turns to address him, “Sorry just planning our next move.”

“I heard we jumped as soon as our Fighter got back. I was wondering if you located our tracker” Agamemnon responds.

“I did. We had to run as soon as the Star Destroyer showed up. I imagine you saw it on your way up.” Ackbar turns to face him. “Look Ag, I know you lost good people back there, but they’re one with the Force now, all we can do to honor them is never stop fighting the good fight.”

Agamemnon nods solemnly clasping the Mon Calamari’s webbed hand. “Never out of the fight.”

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

22 days ago

Story B

In the small clearing the Alliance Captain squared off against the Mandalorian.  The Captain was dressed in loose flight uniform and dress cap, while the Mandalorian was resplendent in legendary Beskar armor.  With confidence won from hard-earned experience, the Mandalorian eyed the Captain and drew forth his mythosaur axe.  The sunlight, filtered green through the high tree top canopy, glinted on the broad sickle blade.  The Captain nodded and holstered his blaster.  He drew a long durasteel sword, holding it ready.  For just a moment the two opponents circled each other before the Captain charged forward, stabbing with his sword at the neck of the Mandalorians’ armor.  The Mandalorian swept his axe up just in time to block the blow and the next several minutes was a dance of death around the clearing in the great forest.


Finally the Captain saw an opening and lunged. The durasteel blade hissed as it slid across the Beskar steel of the Mandalorian’s shoulder.  Under his helmet he smiled as he felt his axe catch behind the knee of the Rebel captain. With a yell the Mandalorian swept the leg out from under his opponent, bringing the axe smoothly around, up and over to kill the man.


A sudden crashing through the trees above caused both young ewoks to look up, the broad ended branch that was the mythosaur axe hit the dirt wide of where Puchet lay.  Pookit adjusted his helmet, a thin duraplast replica their uncle had given him on the last Life Day.  A storm of leaves fluttered down on them and a massive thump was heard not far away.  A flock of lantern birds burst from the underbrush of the forest, squawking loudly, rushing away from the disaster.


Pookit held out a hand to Puchet to help him up.  “What was that?” Puchet asked as he picked up his Alliance captain’s cap and readjusted the loose white and orange tabard that he wore.


Shaking his head, Pookit said, “I don’t know, but we should check it out.”


“Are you crazy!” Puchet exclaimed, “We should go get Momma.”


Pookit shook his helmeted head again, whining, “Come on, Puch!  Enough playing.  This is a real adventure!” He shifted his armor, a couple of pieces of pitted and roughly shaped AT-AT plates held in place by a piece of thick rope.   


“No, Pookit, no.  I’m getting Momma!” Puchet threw down the stick that moments before was a durasteel blade and ran off towards home.  Pookit could hear him yelling for Momma as he disappeared into the trees.  Maybe he was right.  Smoke was rising from over where the crashing noise ended.  It would be safer to go get the adults.  


Pookit took off his helmet and looked at it.  He saw his furry pudgy little face, brown fur pressed down oddly from having worn the helmet for so long.  His uncle, Mirget, was a trader among the tribes and the off-worlder outpost.  On his last several visits he had flooded the twins with his versions of the latest holovids being talked about by off-worlders.  Lately these have seemed to focus on a retelling of stories from decades ago about the rise of the Alliance.  One of the stories that had most caught Pookit’s imagination was a ridiculous and fanciful story of a Mandalorian bounty hunter saving an innocent force child and guiding the babe in The Way.  Soon every time he was playing pretend, Pookit was a Mandalorian warrior.  He looked up from his reflection to the rising plume of smoke and steeled himself.  He slipped his helmet back on and grabbed up his branch again. As he took off at a trot towards the smoke he said aloud the forest, “This is the Way.”




Pookit emerged through the undergrowth to find a new clearing plowed through the forest.  Piles of upturned earth marked a crevice cut into the forest floor.  A sizable vessel sat half buried in the ground, leaning at an odd angle.  A large cone sat on the high end of the container, faintly glowing with heat and emitting a stream of black smoke.  Several small pockets of underbrush were smoldering, but the forest was far too green, dense and moist for the fires to last long. 


Pookit carefully climbed up the piles of dirt and underbrush, nearly falling a couple of times due to the stiffness of his armor.  Finally he made it to the door.  A red circle with Basic writing was painted on it, but Pookit couldn’t read it and paid it no mind.  He had to use his stick to reach up high enough to hit the button.  The door snapped open, revealing the interior of the shuttle.  


It was dark inside and surprisingly empty, reeking of the smell of blood.  In one of the two chairs at the front of the shuttle a large figure in blue and silver armor slumped over the complex controls of the shuttle.  Pookit moved forward slowly and carefully, in awe that he could be looking at a true Mandalorian.  He poked at the armored figure with his stick, and saw that a large hole had been blasted in its back, somehow penetrating the beskar steel.  Oddly there were small sparks and faint movement of small mechanical things in the wound.  Pookit felt queasy and odd looking at the large wound.  He had seen things hurt before, and the carcasses of Geejaws and Borras when brought back by the hunting parties sometimes had terrible wounds on them.  But there was something strange and wrong about this large of a wound in a person, much less a Mandalorian, and filled with little metal bits.   


The young Ewok turned away from what was surely a corpse and happened to glance to the floor of the co-pilot chair.  A small green-yellow skinned creature lay there, groaning softly.  The top of its head and its long ears are covered in stringy orange hair and a black, beak-like mouth. The feet and hands were clawed and had three digits.  It was a bizarre looking thing, but it groaned again and turned.  One of its forearms was bent at a strange angle, and the only clothing it wore was a thin collar.  The metal tag on the collar was marked with an identical red circle and writing as what he had seen on the door.  


Pookit licked his lips behind his helmet.    “Could this be it?” He thought, “Could this be his favorite stories coming true?” 


He only hesitated a moment before setting down his stick and carefully picking up the little leathery creature.  He thought, “If this is a baby of this species, it is a very ugly baby.”  The creature groaned again as he carefully positioned the broken arm, its eyes fluttering for a moment. It was surprisingly heavy, and just long enough to be awkward to hold.  He tried to manage his stick and the creature, but his armor restricted his movement too much.  


With a sense of frustration he untied the rope holding his armor in place.  It dropped to the ground with a clatter and both the creature and corpse seemed to stir slightly.  Pookit swallowed hard and whispered to himself over and over, “This is the Way” as he picked up the creature and his stick. 


He carefully moved out of the ship and down to the forest floor with his heavy burden.  He was less than a dozen steps from the ship when he was shocked to hear someone yell something behind him.  The figure in the red armor stood slumped against the doorframe.  It yelled something unintelligible, and the ground near Pookit suddenly exploded. Pookit took this as a sign that he needed to get his new charge away as quickly as possible.  


His stubby legs churned as quickly as he could, carrying him deep into the underbrush of the great forest.  He ran for as long as he could, which wasn’t near as far as he wished he could.  His panting breath seemed to echo enormously loud in his helmet.  It was hot and stuffy and smelled too much of his sweat and fur.  Ducking behind a tree for a moment to catch his breath he couldn’t help but wonder how the Mandalorians were able to do so much without ever taking off these hot helmets.  


There was a crashing of something large moving through the underbrush off to his side, and he carefully moved away from it.  This game of cat and mouse lasted another several minutes until Pookit moved far enough away that he could barely even hear what he assumed was the red armor. The red armored figure fired a few more times into the underbrush, but the shots were only close enough to scare the Ewok. During the course of this chase, Pookit finally could take it no longer and discarded his helmet.  He was sad to have to leave it behind, but it was better to be able to breathe.  


It was shortly thereafter that he ran into his Dadda and some of the other warriors of the tribe, all out looking for him.  He quickly told them of the ship and the armored figure, and of his rescue of this poor wounded creature.  They did not believe that it was a Mandolarian. There were many off-worlders who wore armor.


Some of the adults congratulated him on his bravery, although his Dadda told him the creature was not some force child.  It was something called a Kowakian, a weird off-worlder thing.  Pookit looked down at it.  It was very ugly and looked particularly pitiful curled around its broken arm. 


Pookit disappointedly asked his Dadda, “Should we return it to the ship?”


Dadda nodded, as did many of the other adults. He said, “We should.  No reason to stir up trouble with off-worlders if we can help it.”


The adults wanted to send Pookit back home, but he argued that he was the only one that could lead them back to the ship quickly.  This swayed them and the small group set off back the way Pookit had just come.  Dadda and the other three hunters had their spears at the ready, but the group moved with a degree of quiet only true children of the forest could achieve.


They saw the red armored figure working on unloading some crates from the shuttle.  The hole in its armor was still there, but the flesh beneath it was nearly closed back up.  The revealed skin was pink and sore looking.  The more Pookit looked at the armor the less he liked the idea of being encased in it.  Being a Mandalorian had been fun, but actually trying to follow the Way was nothing but trouble, and this one was very mean.  Pookit set the injured creature down where Dadda indicated, close enough it should be found quickly.  It whimpered and groaned again.  The young ewok quietly hid the collar that it worked loose, intending to keep it as a momento


As the small group of Ewoks began to move away, the monkey-lizard shifted and groaned again.  The red armored figure looked over and immediately drew and fired the weapon at his side.  The Ewoks screamed and scattered and the ground near the Kowakian exploded.  Pookit clutched the tag and collar in his hand as he ran as quickly as he could back towards the village.  So single minded was his drive to get home that he did not see the small blinking light on the tag.


He also didn’t hear the tirade when the Mandalorian noticed that the pet he had stolen from Guavian Death Space was missing the tracking data chip from its collar. As he finished unpacking the crates and putting together the speeder bike contained inside he thought to himself, “I will finish the hunt, no matter the cost.  This is the Way”  The tracker screen on the speederbike blinked to guide him to wherever that data chip may be.

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

21 days ago
Commended by mizal on 5/16/2023 3:40:36 PM
Both of these are exactly 2,000 words!
Once again, keeping my feedback brief on these ones because of my limited Star Wars knowledge.

Story A is uh, confusing. It switches between the second and third person quite a bit, which makes the story extremely jarring and difficult to understand. Between that and the grammatical errors throughout, it was a mostly unpleasant reading experience. That being said, I can tell the writer has some passion for the prompt. Story A has good aspects- I personally enjoyed much of the dialogue. It is not an irredeemable story, but it definitely feels like the author ran out of time before the proofreading stage.

Story B saddens me, because of the misspelling of 'memento,' one of my favorite words. Other than that, it does have quite a few more errors, such as some missing punctuation (mostly commas). Just like the other participant in this duel, I think the writer of this one may have lacked a necessary round of proofreading. While Story A has quite a bit more dialogue and, in my opinion, stronger character dynamics, Story B boasts more depth and description.

I'm gonna give my vote to Story B.

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

21 days ago
Also just wanna point out that this duel went 24 hours without any votes, a first for the Thunderdome I do believe.

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

20 days ago
Commended by mizal on 5/16/2023 3:40:45 PM

So here it is:

Story A:

Not bad, but had some spelling and grammar issues. The story did not really draw me in, and I was distracted by the use of character names from Homer, and that for some reason the author here wanted to shorten them into nick names.  I liked the concept of an attack on an Imperial base and that the author actually put the phrase, "May the Force be with you," into the story (since this prompt was issued in honor of may the 4th). Perhaps I'm tired when reading this, but for me this story felt very action heavy which left the characters less developed.  Overall, not too bad for fan fic.\

Story B:

I liked the way that the story began with an imaginary battle being portrayed as real.  Using Ewoks was a nice touch.  Some spelling and grammar, as with the other story in this duel. I liked the main character and thought he was pretty well developed, and I enjoyed how he was portrayed playing dress up as a favorite character. His adventure was entertaining and I enjoyed reading it.

Vote is for STORY B

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

19 days ago
Commended by mizal on 5/16/2023 3:41:08 PM
Story A did well trying to add dialog to the story, but its focus on just combat limited its appeal a bit. It also had words a bit too long, too often. "bantha fodder-eating", "three-sixty", etc. could be omitted or shortened for a smooth flow, which is really important to action scenes. I'd like to see what it'd look like with a smoother flow.

Story B had good framing of the scenes and a nice twist at the end. It managed a show-not-tell approach pretty well with the narration not getting in the way. The ending was good and overall I enjoyed this one.

Going with story B.

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

19 days ago
Commended by mizal on 5/16/2023 3:41:19 PM

Disclaimer: This was written on my phone, late at night as I waited for the bus to arrive. Coherency is not guaranteed but spoilers are.

Story A

First impressions

  • I'll admit I don't know much about Star Wars, so if the first part contains any references/ allusions, it eluded me.
  • Wait a minute, maybe I remember a little - aren't the Imperial the bad guys?
  • There are lots of sci-fi terminology which I don't fully understand, but I appreciate that there are enough context clues for me to get the gist of what's happening.
  • *Your
  • It starts with a well-structured plan, so if you're using the writing tip I've read about before, this means now the reader knows what’s about to happen, this plan will go wrong. But I like that right off the bat, there's a clear goal the characters wish to accomplish.

Characters & Plot & everything else in one category because it's past midnight now and I have an early day tomorrow (sorry!)

  • Personally, I don't think it's best to introduce three characters (Ackbar, Agamemnon, and the Mon Calamari - is the last one named after a type of seafood?) in the same sentence without giving readers much information about each of them and why they matter. 
  • Maybe it's a Star Wars reference I didn't catch but anyway, I'll give you a pass since you probably needed to keep it brief as it's a short story.
  • Oh, it's all coming back to me now. The Empire is bad and the Alliance are the good guys! 
  • Alright, the stakes are set - not destroying the uranium reactor would likely prove damaging to the Alliance
  • You’re missing a capitalisation at the start of a sentence. 
  • "Ackbar had briefed Agamemnon and his strike team about the details and the importance of the mission several times, but he always found the Mon Calamari’s voice to be a calm and stoic reminder of why failure is not an option." - At first, the 'he' seemed to refer to Ackbar because he's the subject of the sentence, although it's later revealed that Agamemnon is the main character and the one whom it refers to. But then again, the nominative word comes after the second name, so it makes sense that way and it's probably just my tiredness. 
  • Another thing: I just realized 'Mon Calamari' was a title to refer to the former character, and to think I was wondering why this random Mon Calamari guy never resurfaced again lol.
  • Is there a sudden tense change from past to present? Even if the first part referenced events in the past (Ackbar briefing the team), some parts like Ag’s assumptions still apply to the present so they should be in present tense (e.g. he [can] only assume)
  • There's a random 'you' out of nowhere. Who is this person? Where did they come from? Not to steal Ogre's catchphrase but I'm confused.
  • Oh, it seems like 'you' is Aggie. Now that I'm no longer confused I can keep reading.
  • I like that Dio does not believe in the common "May the Force be with you" line. Good way to subvert the trope and add dimension to him. It also shows the protagonist's reason for believing along with his loyalty to Dio's father.
  • So it appears that you're switching between 'you' and Agamemnon, which is akin to changing povs and not something I recommend (for instance, first person stories won't switch to the mc's name except in dialogue/ when it's used by someone else, although not in narration). It breaks immersion a few times due to confusing my brain. 
  • Add commas before and after Dio, and before “we’re” in the sentence: "Come on Dio pick up the pace we’re fifteen seconds behind!” Jin-Zerai says.
  • Same with this sentence: "I have lock Ag dropping now,” Dierdre says dropping her payload on the laser shield protecting the reactor.
  • "Panting Dio’s Fighter stalls for a few moments before he re-engages making up lost ground." - This sentence makes it seem like Dio's fighter is panting rather than Dio himself, which I doubt is the case since the Fighter's a machine. Unless we’ve suddenly got sentient machines or something similar.
  • There are a few instances of random capitalization that I'm sure a quick proofread can fix.
  • The action scenes are fast-paced and quick to read, with lots of good blocking for the characters. It reads like one of those cool fights we see in the movies. Now, a little nitpick: although it's pretty solid, it could stand to be a bit more suspenseful. The characters are in life-or-death situations, but somehow, it seems more blow-by-blow as opposed to moments where they're fearing for their life. The focus is on the actions as opposed to why they matter. Maybe try experimenting with moments where you purposely draw out a scene to focus on a character's internal fear/ subtly build the growing sense of dread when something goes wrong. 
  • Another quick note: Agamemnon takes the bullet for Dio. This is well foreshadowed due to the conversation between them at the start, but although the characterisation of their dynamics is good, it could stand to be developed a bit more. This could take the form of Dio sharing a fear with Ag, or maybe Ag could reveal a memory about Dio's father which built upon their earlier convo; this would make the self-sacrifice scene a lot more realistic and meaningful.
  • I suggest drawing out the part where he's in peril a bit more. As it stands, though the stakes are defined and the rapid pace works well during spaceship combat, it also has the effect of brushing over the characters' injuries or threats to their lives with the next action sequence occurring almost instantaneously, thus never really giving the reader much time to worry about what they stand to lose.
  • Even though I mentioned that we didn't have much characterisation between Ag and Dio, I rather enjoy what's written about their friendship and their whole 'sacrificing themselves to save one another' dynamic.
  • So now they're stealing a plane, cool. Maybe I'm biased because I like the trope of characters bantering amidst battle but that is quite good too. This story mostly shines during the fast-paced action-packed scenes, which works in the author's favor as that's what most of the story is about.
  • Although I have seen this type of storyline before, it's written with enough novelty to keep it interesting
  • Wait a minute, here's what this story is about: a team of experts take on a mission, one person is about to get shot when another takes the bullet, the person who was almost shot returns to save the other one, they both steal an enemy plane and escape. Isn't that pretty much the climax of Top Gun: Maverick (2022)? I remember a friend forcing me to watch it with her a few months back. In that story, the senior pilot also was friends with the younger pilot's dad and the plane they stole was an old prototype too. Hmm, maybe it's plagiarism, or maybe it's a retelling/ a coincidence... let's give you the benefit of the doubt and go with the latter.
  • Ok, I didn't expect those other pilots to die. But I guess it's a good way to allude to the strength of their enemies and how powerful they are. The only nitpick is the protagonist could have been more affected by their deaths, as this scene has the potential to deliver a greater emotional impact.
  • The ending holds a hint of hope and further portrays the protagonist's unrelenting determination.

Overall, this was a solid entry and its main strength is in its action scenes. The plot is not the most original, but it's executed well and adapted nicely to the Star Wars setting. While it doesn't feel the most complete - in that the characters don't really go through a major development, nor does the main goal get accomplished - it is a fun read with a logical sequence of events.

Story B

First impressions 

  • Hey, I know about the Mandalorian! I remember watching a few episodes of that series with my dad. (The little Grogu child is adorable btw)
  • This story has quite a simplistic start, but it's written very clearly and easy to read. It tells us the location, who the opposing parties are, and a bit of description about them, which adds to the characterisation. No wasted words here.
  • *Mandalorian's (since the current possessive term alludes to the plural form of the word)
  • The descriptions are nicely done, such as the way sunlight filters through the trees and glints on the blade, and the dance of death between the two enemies below. It enables me to visualize this well. 

All other feedback in one section because textwalls are tiring

  • Like the previous entry, I appreciated the balance between using Star Wars references for those who know them while also keeping enough context clues for people like me to understand what's happening. (E.g. I don't know what a last Life Day is, but I can guess).
  • Nice twist that the first part was not an actual fight, but two young ewoks playing pretend. It makes sense given these characters/ personas were only referred to by titles and not their names.
  • In addition, the simplistic writing style works really well with the third-person limited point-of-view the story is written from.
  • This pretend fight also makes Pookit's decision at the inciting incident to go on a real adventure more believable. Not sure if I'm overthinking this, but I wonder if Pookit representing the Mandalorian in the fight (the more adventurous of the two enemies) is a symbol for his bravery where his brother chooses cowardice. Also, he won the fight, which furthers this extended metaphor.
  • Huh, seems like it was intentional as I guessed! Pookit aspires to be like the Mandalorian, which likely hints at his character and the adventures that are to come.
  • I like how the narration takes into account Pookit's age through mentioning certain details, e.g. how he felt queasy looking at the wound and his rather child-like thoughts.
  • This could just be a formatting nitpick instead of an actual rule, but I’ve generally seen thoughts in italics while dialogue tags are reserved for dialogue alone. Though I could be wrong since it took me a while to realize that using ‘’ and “” are both for dialogue (US vs UK) when I used to think the former was for second-hand quotes. 
  • There was a brief moment where the tense shifted to present: "The top of its head and its long ears are covered in stringy orange hair and a black, beak-like mouth".
  • Lol, he insulted the baby and then kidnapped it. That’s pretty funny out of context. 
  • The scene with the figure in the red armor was rather abrupt; maybe it could be drawn out a bit more, to build a sense of apprehension and suspense while characterizing the depth of the danger this enemy poses? Then again, I'll give you a pass since you're writing a short story and are probably short of words. The ground exploding is a clear sign someone is dangerous anyhow. 
  • The capitalisation of ewok(s) is inconsistent. 
  • There's a missing full stop.
  • The ending is slightly ominous, as it foreshadows the undefeated enemy's next move. It might just be me, but it left a lot of questions unanswered and a few plot points unresolved. 
  • For instance, it can be assumed that the figure in red killed the Mandalorian and wanted the child for a reason, but there wasn’t an explanation for this, nor did it fulfill the plot point of what significance the tracker held. It feels like a prequel to a larger story, albeit one which will make me read the next part.
  • Also, I felt like the initial part about the siblings made for some great character dynamics while also making them character foils. It seemed a bit strange to have Puchet completely disappear from the story after that start, though I suppose it worked if the goal was to characterize Pookit through the contrast with Puchet.
  • However, the story does include some good character development for Pookit, across a few different moments, when he comes to realize how the life of a Mandalorian isn’t as great as it first seemed. Instead, it’s better to be himself rather than trying to live according to the standards of this likely exaggerated persona he looks up to. This is shown as he removes his armor, then his helmet, and finally relinquishes control of the child as per his father’s request. Ironically, it is only after he’s willing to give up the promise of an adventure that the real adventure is about to begin.

In conclusion, this is a well-written story and it completely juxtaposes the previous story in regards to the tone and main character's personality. Despite some proofreading errors, it had a good balance between fast-paced action scenes and slower-paced moments to create an emotional impact or develop the characters. There’s evidence of prior planning through a strong, consistent theme, along with the use of extended metaphors and a structured plot. Another strong entry to the Thunderdome.

Decision: While I enjoyed both stories, I’ll have to give my vote to Story B.

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

19 days ago
Voting for Story B. Having an Ewok protagonist was a nice touch. It also had spaces between the paragraphs, making it an easier read for me.

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

19 days ago
Voting for story B for better SPAG and a more creative plot. The pacing in both seemed pretty good to me.

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

18 days ago
Mystic typed too much for me to scroll up and reply to the correct post. She also pretty much said everything that is to be said.

Anyway I vote for story A. While it took a while to ramp up, I enjoyed its action more.

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

18 days ago
I vote for Story B

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

18 days ago

A. It is the A fight, after all. And also it had a Dio.

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

17 days ago

Cel gets it. Story A.

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

16 days ago

Hmmmm, hmmmm story B has won, another close call though not as close. Story B has won! And the winner? Well, it's not our age old friend axxius. Probably through a slew of degeneration and decay, the integrity of his mind and back has faded turning him into a giant old blob. Still a verteran and very venerated by 50 percent of the Dutch, but a spineless blob nonetheless. Someone has taken the title, the throne and the honor of being respected by 50 percent of the Dutch population, the smelly bad part, but still 50 percent!

Well, Anthraxus has won!

It seems that not only your review skills were mesmerizing, but you also cut no slack on your writing. Well done, well done. May the force be with you and your custom light saber too.

@anthraxus @axxius

Collect your special commendation and do some teary heartfelt emotional speech and say thank for everyone who willed themselves to write productive reviews.

Thunderdome 4: axxius vs anthraxus

16 days ago
Commended by mizal on 5/16/2023 3:40:24 PM

Thank you for hosting Darius, and thank you to Axxius for being such a ready competitor.  I look forward to the next wave of the Thunderdome.

On this peice. thank you everyone for your review.  I can't believe I missed that last red armored reference, I either needed to change that, or change the description of the crashed Mandalorian's armor to indicate it was red.  The problem was that he was originally a Guavadian Death Guard.