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Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
I don't have any fancy intro for this one, the Thunderdome was actually closed down ages ago and condemned after the police got wind of all the violent deaths there and I have testified that I had no idea and nothing to do with it! However, rumor has it that vandals cut the locks off the gates, and sometimes after that strange lights and the distant sounds of shouting and metal clashing have been witnessed at night.

Nothing ever came of it though until this past week when a brick was thrown through my window with a story tied to it. And shortly after the window was repaired, another one. I don't know what to make of it all, but I hope you guys (the experts) can examine these stories and tell me what to make of it all.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Story A:


Smith’s knuckles whiten against the steering wheel as the red indicator flashes in his face again. “NO GAS” - it reads, bold letters accompanying a shrill alarm.

“Fuckin lie,” he mutters, “been running for 10 minutes on nothing, then.”

And, as if on cue, the car coughs and sputters to a halt like a runner collapsing on the track. Smith jams the gas pedal a few more times, but it makes no response, so he steps out with a grimace.

According to his estimations, only about 30 miles of road stood between him and freedom under a different name in New Andrea. And now, that seemed insurmountable. He laid his thin briefcase over the still car, and gazed up and down the desolate road, hoping that someone passing by would help him out with a ride or a bit of gas.

No car came, as it was a small side road, but he did spot a looming gray mass a few hundred feet downhill - a junkyard. The afternoon sun was dipping low, now, he had to find something.



Al’s Scraps, as the tattered sign at the entrance stated, seemed to be the only defining feature of this empty arid expanse. Long abandoned and fallen into disrepair, its ultimate fate is to rot along with the torn down houses lying beside it. While there wasn’t much left within the rusting mounds of metal and scrap, Smith was desperate for anything to help his car get running again.

As if anxious at the deathly silence within, he paces at the entrance for a few moments before venturing in. Arriving at the first pile, he sets the briefcase down before gingerly picking away at the sheets of metal and rust, trying not to let any of it touch his suit.

“Whaddaya lookin for?” Called a voice, and Smith jumped. Following his ear, he found himself looking at a grimy, frazzled old man sitting atop a high hill of parts, a single leg rocking back and forth.

“Well… who are you?” Smith asked, holding the briefcase close.

The old man snorted, “I asked, whaddaya lookin for?”

“...A tank of gas?” Smith responded, gesturing toward his car in the distance. “Anything, really. Anything to get my car over there running again.”

“Tank of gas…” the old man echoed, looking thoughtful for a second. “Gimme a moment.”

With that, he scuttled out of sight with astounding agility for one leg, and left Smith in silence again.

“What the…” Smith whispered, slowly lowering the briefcase from his chest. He shaked his head and sat, waiting as the sun dipped below the horizon.

Out of the looming elongated shadows, the one legged man suddenly clambered over, a gas tank hanging from his few yellow crooked teeth.

“Thake ith, and don’th come back,” he hissed through his open mouth, dropping the tank at Smith’s feet, who grinned heartily upon hearing the sloshing sounds.

“Uh, wow. Thanks,” he said, stooping over to pick the gas up, “what is this place, anyway? I’ll arrange for some men to send money over after I get to the city.”

Hearing those words, the lazy smile on the one legged man’s face disappeared. Inhumanly fast, he swiped the gas tank away from Smith, placed it in his mouth, and began running away on all threes.

Smith stood there for a moment, stunned, before picking up his briefcase to run after the man. Guided by the sloshing of the gas tank and glimpses of the man’s wild white hair in the distance, he stumbled through the mounds of scrap metal and cars in a desperate attempt to get ‘his’ tank of gas back.

He arrived at a clearing, empty and gas-less. By now, the sun had mostly set, leaving the entire junkyard enveloped in darkness. There was no old man to be found. Completely hopeless, Smith looked around blindly, trying to trace his steps back, but the path eluded him. The only thing he sees beside tall shadows of scrap metal all around is a faint light to his left.

Tripping and climbing through sharp pieces of metal left his expensive suit in tatters, but he couldn’t care less at this point. There was one piece of hope left, and he had to reach it.

The faint light grew stronger as he approached it, bloodied and bruised. Rounding one last turn, he finds himself face to face with an device almost alien in nature. A translucent, blue display that hovered above ground, a jarring contrast to the decaying metal all around.

Less afraid and more intrigued, Smith paced around the display, trying to decipher the numbers whizzing over its screen, but he couldn’t understand a single bit. Instead, he focused on one of the corners, in which various faces are listed, each with an ‘alive’ text next to it, except for one.

“No,” Smith whimpered, seeing his face paired with the ‘dead’ text. “Not like this, please, I have money, whoever this is, you can have all of mine, please…”

He opened his briefcase to reveal thick wads of cash, and raised it above his head for an invisible audience. No response.

“Must be wrong,” he whispered to himself, looking around anxiously. “I have to find a way out of here, I have to…”

Before he left, however, he curiously reached out to touch the screen…

…The display flashes red violently and immediately disappears. All of a sudden, sparks and wailing of tearing metal exploded from all sides, bedazzling the sky in a sharp white flashbang. Through the blinding lights, Smith barely made out the entrance to the scrapyard in the distance. He began a desperate scramble for the exit, letting the briefcase and its bundles of cash fall to the ground uselessly.

All around him, shrapnel and bits of metal flew through the air, threatening to strike him down. Out of nowhere, the old man leaped into the fray and suddenly tackled him down, but Smith, with a burst of strength, shook the man off and bolted out of the exit, into the dark desert outside the scrapyard. As if sensing Smith’s absence, the explosions within the yard died down to silence…



In the depths of the junkyard, the old man hopped over to the screen angrily.

“Dead?” he whirrs, head rotating to an unnatural degree. “Seems like he got out...”

The screen makes no sound in response, but instead displays a single percentage after a brief moment of calculation: “99.7%, +- 0.2%”.



Smith’s body convulsed silently on the sandy ground, a few dozen feet away from his car. His hands clutching at his chest, where a single, thin piece of shrapnel pierced his heart. His throat, similarly nailed shut with a piece of metal, gurgles quietly as his eyes slowly shut.

Heading in the direction of New Andrea, a car swerved by, driving off alone into the night.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Story B:

"Shh! If they hear us, we’re dead!” Kaethan’s urgent tone brought the whispered conversation between his companions to a halt.



“Sorry, Kae!” Baasha gushed. Kaethan rewarded her with a glare.



Okyo rolled his eyes. “Who put you in charge?”



Kaethan turned on the smaller boy, clamping his hand over Okyo’s mouth and using his other hand to pin him against a crumbling brick wall by his neck.



“I told you to shut up.” Though he spoke in a low tone, the stiff tone of Kaethan’s words made Okyo tense. “If a Scavenger finds you out here, you won’t escape. They’ll break your legs and rip out the bones. They’ll strangle you with your own sinew.” His face hung so close that Okyo could feel Kaethan’s breath. “Are we understood?”



Okyo’s hands shot up to his neck the moment it was free. He managed to squeak out a feeble “Yes sir."



Kaethan released him. “Good. Talk again and I’ll bind you up with rat tails and toss you in one of these old death traps,” he said, indicating an ancient, rusted car with his hand as he spoke.



Baasha followed after Kaethan the moment he started moving, in much the same way a devoted puppy trails even the most callous of owners.







Ahead of the trio lay a small clearing, free of the clutter and rubbish plaguing every other section of Scavengeland.



“Kaethan?” Okyo’s voice broke the silence once again, but this time in a considerably more hushed tone.



Kaethan acknowledged him with a short grunt.



“Why is Scavengleland here? What made it like this?”



They reached the clearing just as Okyo finished his question. Kaethan settled on his usual tattered armchair. Baasha kneeled at his feet, and Okyo sat criss-cross next to her.



Kaethan looked at the barrier of trash that separated them from the rest of the world, formulating his answer.



“A long time ago, on this very same ground you’re sitting on,” he began. Both younger children straightened up, their full attention focused on him.



“There was a girl named Saga. Her world was a lot different than ours. In her world, there were no Scavengers. The sky was blue, and grass grew everywhere. The sun shone without the obstruction of smoke and dust, bringing golden light and precious heat to the entire Earth. People could communicate with each other from opposite ends of the globe through the use of cellphones, a technology that is now all but extinct.”



“Was this a park then, Kaethan? With trees and a clear blue pond and a gravel bike trail and a rainbow and thousands of pretty flowers?” Baasha inquired with a tilt of her head.



“What? No. This has always been a trash heap. They called it a junkyard then, though. Now shut up and listen to the story.” Kaethan readjusted his position before continuing.



“Saga and her family lived in a town near here, a town brimming with all kinds of wonderful things.”



Baasha opened her mouth, but Kaethan spoke before she could. “Yes, like trees and ponds and flowers.”



Baasha smiled, a light flush making its way onto her pale cheeks.



“Anyway, one day Saga stepped out of her house and into the sunlight, headed for school.”



“School? People could go to school back then?”



“Yes, Okyo, there was school. We’ve had this discussion before. So, for the last time, shut up, or I swear to all things holy that I will use your spleen as a gag and force you to keep quiet. I’m trying to tell a story.”



“Fine.”



“That’s the spirit. Where was I?” Kaethan thought for a second. “Oh yeah, school. Ordinarily, she’d catch up with her friends on the way, and they’d chat about the day ahead. But almost as soon as Saga stepped out of her home, she heard a terrible crack, as though the world’s largest gun had gone off. She scampered back inside, then peered out of her window just in time to see a giant cloud unlike any she’d ever seen rising a few miles away. Terrified, she fled into her room and crawled under her bed.



No one knows exactly how long she stayed there. To her, it felt like years. Only then did she feel it was safe to peek out from her hiding place. Seeing no obvious damage, she risked a venture outside of her room. As she entered her family room, she noticed that the window she'd been looking through when she saw the terrible cloud had completely shattered.”







A distant sound interrupted Kaethan’s tale. The trio fell silent as their ears strained to hear any other sign of someone approaching.



“We should go,” Kaethan urged. “We’re not safe.”



They all rose slowly, trying to be as quiet as possible.



With guarded steps, they began the treacherous journey out of the Scavengeland.



“But Kae, what did that story have to do with the Scavengeland?”



“I didn’t get that far. We’ll have to come back tomorrow.”







The next day, the children gathered back in their clearing. Kaethan planted himself back in his chair, and the other two resumed their positions in front of him.



“So, Saga faced a world she did not recognize. Her mind told her it was the same world she’d always known, but all of her senses disagreed. The sky was dark. The trees were gone. Nothing was as it had been.”



“Oh no!” Baasha’s dark eyes brimmed with tears. “What happened?”



“Whatever it was, it was beyond Saga’s realm of knowledge. She was too young to understand.”



“How old was she?”



“What’s with all the questions? That’s not important. She was young.”



“As young as us?”



“Younger. Shut up, you’re ruining the story.” He glared at her, daring her to speak. She did not.



“She searched in vain for her friends and family. She cried nearly every night out of loneliness and fear. Breathing in the air outside was more difficult than she remembered, and the sun never came back.”



Baasha cast a wistful glance at the sky. “I wish it did.”



“Me too. Anyway, eventually she found someone. An old classmate of hers— not a friend, but a human being nonetheless. The melancholy spell that had been hanging over her broke, and the two of them found other survivors. They formed a gang- the Scavengers. They hunt for materials and ward off attackers.”



“So Saga’s a real person?”



“Obviously. Did you think I’ve been lying to you?”



“Well, not lying. Just, telling fiction.”



“That’s lying. Yes, Saga, the heroine of our Scavengeland Stories, has always been real. She’s the leader of the Scavengers. This is her land.”



“She’s alive? How old is she now?”



“Older than us.”



“By how much?”



“Well, she was alive before we were born, so a lot.”



Baasha put a finger to her lips. Kaethan’s face darkened, but before he could express his outrage, Baasha hopped up and clasped a hand over his mouth.



Kaethan tore her hand off his face, but remained quiet.



A concentrated effort revealed to him the sound of approaching footsteps.



“Is it them?” Okyo mouthed. Kaethan shrugged, but his eyes held worry. He motioned for the two of them to hide behind his chair. When they obeyed, he stood up on shaky legs. “Who- who’s there?”



No response.



Kaethan stepped forward. “Who’s there?” he repeated, with more confidence.



No response.



“Hello?” Baasha stuck her head out from behind the chair.



“Get back.”



She stood up and went to him. “No, I wanna see!”



A scattering sound rewarded her outburst— the sound of a trash pile being bumped, causing a small avalanche.



More of these sounds followed, creating the feeling of being surrounded. The feeling was akin to that of being hunted by a wolf pack, when they have their prey corned and are closing in.



“Don’t make a sound.” Kaethan put his arm in front of Baasha, stepping backwards. “They’re here.”



“Who?” Okyo piped up from where he still hid, behind the chair.



“The Scavengers.”


Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
B was more readable because it's actually 5 sentences. I still didnt read them but I was definitely more inclined to, and I even thought I might for a moment. I didnt even stop scrolling for A, so I don't even know if it's written in english.


B wins.


edit: after posting this I was brought down to my reply, which allowed me to glance at the last word of B which does count as reading it so my vote is more valid than before and should really count as two votes

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Story B. I'll try to write a review for each in the next few days or so.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/16/2023 1:12:17 AM

Story A drew me in quite convincingly. Smith is out of gas and on the lamb, with nothing but a suitcase to his name. The accompanying descriptions solidified a Tarantino-esque tone in my mind. My first issue came with the description of a one-legged man scuttling--you describe him as running on all threes in the next paragraph, so why not use that phrase first to give the reader an actual description. I assumed that he was scuttling by using his hands and leg to drag himself along the ground.

That's not a big deal though, unlike the rest of the story, which just doesn't make sense to me. The old man offers up gas, and gets spooked when Smith says he'll pay for it. Okay, that makes sense, I guess; although, I don't get why Smith wouldn't just take the gas and leave. If he's a smart businessman, he'll just take the opportunity! Smith finds a floating screen: that seems a little out of place. Then, he sees himself declared dead, and despite freaking the fuck out, he decides to TOUCH THE SCREEN?! He didn't seem very curious, so why would he fuck with something that is saying he's dead, especially when he's in a hurry to leave?

Then we get to the most rushed and confusing action sequence I've read in a while. Why does touching this screen result in a bunch of random explosions? After Smith "escapes", you describe the old man as whirring, with his head rotating to an unnatural degree. I assume he's a robot. That would explain the speed, but in that case, how is Smith able to escape, especially since the old man is established as faster than him? The ending is just as confusing. How does Smith end up with these injuries if he leaves the yard and the explosions die down?

Overall, this story set a good mood, but ruined it with an overly convoluted plot that leaves the reader with absolutely no answers, just questions.

 

Story B is a bit of a contrast. It has very little description, and a bunch of dialogue. I like the structure of this story a lot better: it's simple and self-contained, with a focus on the characters. During this short dialogue, we get a bunch of characterization, some of which is implied (good!), and just enough build up for the reveal of the story to have a dreadful impact.

The issue in this story is the lack of any real description. I figured out that they were in a junkyard pretty fast, but that doesn't paint any sort of picture in my mind. There are functional chairs, apparently, and trash. While we get some context about the setting, none of it actually discusses the location the characters are in. Why are the Scavengers coming here? What are these kids doing here? I feel like any random, shitty junkyard wouldn't be interesting for the most intimidating gang around, so what makes this one their target? It's a shame, really, because the dialogue is thoughtful and intriguing, but I can't visualize a story that has less description than the typical 1/8 noob shitgame.

 

In the end, Story B gets my vote for being more cohesive, but it was pretty close.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/16/2023 1:12:31 AM

Story A wins my vote, but it was close.

Both of these stories have the same main problem: It's completely unclear what's going on and what the point is. In story A, Smith visits a weird junkyard, finds a weird guy, and a weird death-predicting screen, and then is killed before any explanation is given. In Story B, a decent amount of expository worldbuilding is given, but then it just... ends. For all I know this could be the start to a good story, but there's not much currently here. With both stories I was left wondering "okay, that happened. Why should I care?"

Story A wins for me because the writing was better. The style was reasonably engaging with a good amount of description. It did have many areas for improvement, but the writing for story B was just so barebones I couldn't keep any of the characters or location straight.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/16/2023 1:12:41 AM

Story A established a mood well using description. It had an actual plot, with a sequence of multiple story events. It's a complete story, with a hook and ending. Good phrasing. There were many small mistakes, ranging from word choice to punctuation, too numerous to list here. The broad strokes of the plot mostly made sense, though some small details and dialogue elements didn't.

Story B had better dialogue. One major issue was that it was hard to tell who was telling the tale at the beginning of the story and who said what for long stretches of time. It didn't seem like this ambiguity added anything to the story, so it comes off as an oversight. I also felt like I just finished reading an introduction to a story rather than an actual story, as the story ends just as something interesting was about to happen for the first time.

My vote is for Story A for being a more complete story.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
B

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Hey guys. Well this is embarrassing, but I accidentally cut off a big part of Story B when pasting from my phone. There haven't been s ton of voters yet though and now the complete thing is there, and oddly Story B is holding its own even without it. (Ford liked it so much he voted for it twice!) This has also led me to discovering a fun new quirk of the site in regards to copy and pasting from messages.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
@Ford
@Lux_Inferni
@WizzyCat
@Gryphon
@urnam0
@Ford

Recalling all voters in case they want to take a second look out of fairness.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
my third and final vote will go to...

B

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago

Hmm. This is really close. I guess Story B by a squeak, since it's a little more coherent now. But it's really close.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
B is still better imo.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago

I'm still going with B: the additional text made it a little better, although not much.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago

Before the reattachment of the severed section of Story B, I had Story A winning by a large margin. After the reattachment, it's now a tossup- my vote could go either way. The appended section adds a lot more action, plot, and characterization to the solid dialogue of Story B, though it also introduced word choice mistakes, typos, and unanswered questions about why the kids are still talking or even in the junkyard at all if it is so dangerous. After deliberation, I've decided to keep my vote for Story A for 2 slight reasons:

1. I enjoyed both stories equally, so my tiebreaker goes to the shorter story, since it gave me an equal amount of enjoyment, but used up less of my time.

2. The first story had more horror elements, while the second story had more children's literature elements. I enjoy horror more than children's stories (I think).

It's very close now, and I wouldn't mind it if Story B won, but my vote is still for Story A.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago

I liked Story A better.  I thought the prose was more varied and interesting, and the story was reasonably coherent.  This was probably one of the closest battles I've ever seen here though.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago

What was the theme?

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
The prompt was "the story must center around an abandoned junkyard".

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Would any adults like to write about that subject later once we're done with this I wonder?

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/16/2023 1:12:54 AM

Story A has my vote

 

In short, I found both endings and wrap ups a bit confusing and hard to follow. It feels as if it ended in the middle of the climax and with the last part cut out. With story A, I barely get why these people want to kill this guy (turns out they didnt want to kill him?) and it even took a bit of rereading to discover how the main character was killed in the first place.

 

With story B you suddenly get that there are scavengers in the area. The reveal felt very sudden and not really in a good way. (That one mention of a distant sound didn't feel enough) It would have been a lot better if there was more focus on the monster and the build up of tension instead of the characters talking about earth before the apocalypse. 

 

Tbf, like Gower says, both stories could be improved upon by making their narrative a bit clearer. 2000 words is very short, so you have to get to the main point very quickly, preferably in the first few paragraphs.

 

But why is story A still better?

 

I think this story A made me feel as if the characters were not talking into a white empty space. All we know in story B is that these characters are sitting or standing in some wasteland. In story A we get so much more information how this place looks like; the author uses much more of the five senses. The story shows the eerily silence of this place, the sloshing of the gas inside the container, the dilapidated feel. It establishes the scene very well and build up tension at the same time.

 

The word choice in story B could also be much more evocative. The main example that came up immediately was them hearing "a distant sound" or "a scattering sound" or "the sound of footsteps" These phrases are perfectly fine, but I think that they could be much more immersive if you change them into verbs of action. 

A scattering sound -> empty cans fell from the pile, scattered and clattered together.

A distant sound interrupted Kaethan’s tale. -> A faint thud echoed through the wasteland, bringing Kaethan's tale to a screeching halt.

 

It also helps that the characters are much more distinguished and easy to tell apart in story A. We only have two people to worry about in story A, plus the old man has noticeably different speech patterns from the mc. 

As for story B, I only figured out in the second more thorough read through that there were more than 2 characters. Especially the younger characters were very difficult to tell apart. I think it would have been a smarter decision to merge them into one single character.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago

I also bet that Story B belongs to Fresh and that Story A belongs to Peng. I have to say that  you two have improved a lot since your previous stories.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
>2000 words is very short

Neither entry got near the limit, they both had about 700 more words they could've used.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago

Then shame on them

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago

Oh? Would you want to try another one of these? We do have an unresolved feud

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago

Huh I almost forgot about Petros and you, yeah should do that someday.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/16/2023 1:13:10 AM
This was an adventure to read for sure. I knew that I needed to go into this with realistic expectations, so I expected to be disappointed. I was not disappointed in my expectations.

Story A was and is a wild ride. I think the writer of this story doesn't really know how to operate a car. Luckily, one is a young female and the other is Asian, so that fact doesn't break anonymity. It is also pretty odd that a need for gas was what drove him to the junkyard. It generally isn't a place you look for gas in my experience. There is a point in the story where Smith enters the junkyard and reality immediately breaks down. Apparently part of the junkyard is indoors? Maybe the office is just also filled with junk. We also have a three legged old man who is crawling like a dog. I laughed at this, destroying all tension. Anyway, we get no insight into his motivation for whatever the heck he'd doing (that much wasn't made clear either), so it's very difficult for me to care about whatever he is doing. Also the whole part from when Smith offers to pay for the gas, it was incomprehensible. In addition, there were a few tense shifts. The things I liked were the attention detail and pacing.

I kinda hate the author of Story B. It looked like it was going to be a nice, well-written story, but then you decided to give me a history lesson. That probably would have been fine and dandy, but the history was all based on the current era. Even then, you make no attempt to explain the current state of the world. Instead, you follow the story of some character who didn't matter. The other main problem I saw with the story is that you never established clear stakes. We only hear that the Scavengers may kill people, but we hear it from a character prone to exaggerated threats. The story was also honestly a bit dull.

My reluctant vote goes to Story B

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Story B. The spacing was ugly, but I'll blame not the author for that.

The jarring changes of tense in Story A made it too difficult for me to focus on the story.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
My vote goes for “A”. I don’t have strong feelings about either one but to me “B” reads a bit like a cringe kids mystery, and I’m not a fan of such works personally.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
@MrAce321 I need you to vote in here as well so I can call this later. And also, you and Dark will be up next. Have fun you crazy kids.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Okay, let's be real. Neither of these were good, or even average. But one of them had to arbitrarily get more votes and that turned out to be Story B. @fresh_out_the_oven wins, but I want both authors to know I hate them both equally right now. This was a tough vote though, and if I recall, the first that hasn't been a landslide for one story or another? Thank you to everyone who read and participated, I would've had a tough time in your shoes. fwiw, I thought the writing in Story A was better, it just wasn't much of a story and had a lot of errors from obviously being crapped directly onto a keyboard at the last minute. Story B meanwhile was just a lot of talking heads style dialogue and exposition and not too riveting a read. With room for about 700 words for both of you, you both could've done better and spared Gower and Petros and the other their pain. Next up will be Ace vs Dark, and thankfully that means probably nothing will be turned in and no one will have to read anything.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Sorry didn't see the tag until now. My duel with Wizzy wasn't a landslide, so that's one that's at least one other duel. And obv I'm turning something in. I would never let an oppertunity like this fall by the wayside.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
oppertunity of a lifetime

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
dam

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/12/2023 10:30:37 PM
Congrats to Fresh for the win, that was close.

I feel a bit obligated to clarify some confusing aspects of my writing, since my biggest blunder was probably overestimating the information I gave the reader (along with procrastination and sloth). Somewhere along the line, details from the scenes in my head got lost in the translation into words on a page.

My junkyard was, well, a junkyard. I intended on it being set out in the open along with the other "torn down houses" beside it.

Admittedly, the intended plot gets a little wonky and in hindsight undiscernable from the writing:

The junkyard is inhabited by an AI, just starting to grow in presence. It constructs the "old man" in the image of Al, previous junkyard owner. Naturally, while its beginning to establish influence it would like to avoid human contact. Along comes Smith, arriving with stolen money and desperation. Robo-old-man gives him a tank of gas to send him off, but upon hearing that Smith will send men back for gifts he decides to take the tank so Smith is trapped here.

Smith gives chase, sees the AI, yadda yadda. At this point he was considered dead by its calculations, so its explosions (more for dramatic effect) were intending to kill. As Smith runs toward the entrance, unaware of his injuries, the old man bot tackles him but gets shaken off before Smith runs outside of the junkyard.

A tiny bit of irony at the end: as Smith bleeds out by the road he sees a car driving by, something he gave up looking for at the start of the story.

If anyone even reads this, I hope it answers a few questions. By no means was it a good story, but my sleep deprived brain at 1 thought it was at least passable.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
B

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/12/2023 10:56:55 PM

Man, I was struggling with descriptions. I've never, um, SEEN a junkyard, so I was guessing it was just heaps of trash, but had no reference for what kinds of trash or whatever and the internet was surprisingly unhelpful.

As for Darius, fuck you, I take pride in making my characters' personalities evident from their first appearance. Kaethan is a rough and authoritative individual, Okyo is a snotty little shit, and Baasha is a submissive, wistful soul. If you couldn't tell there were three characters from the start you must not have, idk, READ IT, because it mentions all three names right off.

As for the rest of you, those are valid complaints and I will store them in the "do better next time" bin. 

ALSO, I did a heckuva lot of research on Nuclear Winters and am realizing I used just about none of it, but the cracking sound and the cloud Saga saw were supposed to denote a nuclear bomb. Sorry about that.

ALSO also, I was going to write about their whole encounter with Saga right where the story cut off, but couldn't think of how I wanted it to go so took the easy way out and left it up in the air. Apologies again- I knew I'd be busy and thought something was better than nothing, which evidently it was.

(Take the L, Peng. Beat by a Warden. But good job nonetheless)

Um... ALSO also... also... as for the spacing, it looked better in both the Google Doc and my message to mizal. I think.

Thunderdome 7: Peng vs Fresh

4 months ago

Didn't get the vote in in time, but I would have voted for A.  I liked the details of the setting around the junkyard more in this one, and was more intrigued with what came next that with B.