ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Valnarian on Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:04 am

Asimov was just mulling over what the bear had said, when he spotted the rapidly advancing conflagration. Clearly, things were getting dangerous. Hurrying back to the others, he was just in time to hear the insults delivered by the saurian and the winged girl, and to watch them get snatched inside.

"Is it really that simple?" he mused. "Alright, then."

Going up to the door, he shouted, "What a stupid door you are. You can't even read!"
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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Sylvanria on Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:40 pm

Serin blinked. She could have sworn someone had already tried directly insulting the door, but apparently not. She crossed her arms, putting on her best scowl. "Stupid door," she complained, "the whole point of doors is for people to go through, and you can't even do that!" She kicked the ground, trying not to acknowledge the rapidly spreading fire behind her, and look at least a little intimidating. "Useless!"
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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Sairei on Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:24 pm

As the door was screamed at by the remaining contestants, it once more threw itself open. Another gust of wind threw everyone—or at least tried to throw everyone—backwards. More arms reached out of its inky depths, their shapes more frightening now due to the approaching wall of fire that melted away the very fabric of reality inside the puzzle. One arm grabbed Orwin by his left forepaw. Another snatched up Asimov. A third grabbed Serin. These three arms jerked the selected contestants through the door and placed them delicately back on the stage.

Tank was left behind. The door slammed shut dissipated into black smoke.

“Aha, our first loser of the day!” said Zooz’s voice over the disintegrating forest. “It’s alright. It’s only your first strike.”
Then the ground underneath the large beaver-man burned away and he was dropped into an empty void.



“Welcome back ladies, gentlemen, and other lifeforms!” said Zooz, dancing above the stage as the projection switched off.

“What a show it’s been so far! We’ve had carnage and violence!” Red spotlights appeared over Orwin and Touo at Zooz’s command. “We’ve had what I daresay might be glimmers of intelligence!” Yellow spotlights switched on over Camryn and Asimov. “But best of all,” Zooz continued, pointing to the far side of the room, “we’ve had our first casualty!” A blue spotlight shone over the recovery tent. The flaps flipped open long enough to reveal Tank bathed in blue light before snapping back shut.

“That’ll be strike one for Team Six,” called Visum from the concession stand.

“I should also note that we’ve bestowed our first POWER UP!” Zooz sang. A white spotlight appeared over Camryn as the other lights switched off. “Congratulations!” Zooz hollered. “Now we’ll take a brief recess before beginning our next challenge. Free water is available at the counter—but everything else might cost your soul.”

Without any further explanation, Zooz vanished in a puff of smoke and left the contestants to their own devices.
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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Prussian on Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:20 pm

Slightly speechless, Touo gingerly stepped off of the stage and back onto her own seat, beside her teammates. Recet said nothing, only gently sipping what she suspected to be some sort of Celik tea. Solindas seemed to have been meditating, though on the other hand didn’t at all seem upset at Touo’s return.

“We watched over thee,” Solindas began, voice smooth and warm. “You did well.”

“Guess so,” Recet added with a shrug. “I have to say, I’m glad you didn’t end up in that tent.”

Touo sighed, staring at nothing in particular. “Thanks… I guess.”

One of Solindas’ eyes narrowed, creating a look of confusion on her face. “What beest disturbing thee?”

“I had no control over any of that at all!” Touo practically burst. “I could’ve easily ended up in that tent! I set a fire because I couldn’t think of anything! It’s pure dumb luck I survived out there.”

Recet seemed to be struck with a question—or several—though mercifully didn’t ask anything. “You seem to have gotten on Zooz’s good side,” he complimented. “That must count for something.”

“Dwell not on the ‘could’ves,’ Touo,” Solindas added softly. “Dwell only on the ‘should’ves.’ What should you have done?”

“Not in the mood for that, Soli, but thanks,” Touo sighed, and lay back in her seat. “Recet, do they got any food back there?”

“I think they do, but I don’t want to sell my soul,” Recet sighed. “I’m just drinking heated water here.” Noticing Touo’s questioning look, he added, “I had to have something.”

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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Valnarian on Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:01 am

Returning to his seat, Asimov noted a profound difference in his the countenances of his teammates. Erukai's face was expressionless, but Nodd looked like he had been weeping. The moment Asimov came up, the young Qwi'Ren leaped up and hurried over to him, laying a hand on his arm, his eyes full of concern.

"Are you alright? Are you okay?
Nothing bad happened to while you were away?"


"Er, no, I am fully functional," said Asimov. No one had ever shown him this level of concern, and he found it just a little disconcerting. And confusing. "Why are you speaking in that fash. . . oh, right," he said, remembering the reason. "Er, how are you holding up?"

At this, Nodd began going on a tangent, saying in rhyme how horrid this all was, how horrible the actions of some of the others were, and wondering how this Zooz could justify her actions. Finally, he came to an end with a sniff and a sigh. Asimov, feeling just a little overwhelmed, nonetheless thought perhaps some comforting speech might be in order. Unfortunately, all he could come up with was, "I'm terribly sorry."

Nodd smiled a little. Apparently, just the offer of sympathy made him feel better. Asimov turned to Erukai. "And how are you holding up?"

"Me? I'm fine. I'm always fine," came the even-voiced reply.
"This isn't the first time my life's been on the line."

Nodd shook his head sadly. He had been unable to comprehend how this creature could watch the things they had seen with such detachment. With a sigh, he spoke.

"That creature, what's his name?
It was Tank, I think, was it not?
He might like some comfort just the same,
Even if his behavior was a bunch of rot."


With that, Nodd made his way over to see if the healing tent allowed visitors.
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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Canis_Dirus on Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:44 pm

Sigma had watched the puzzle with unwavering interest, taking note of everything, and cringing at Tank's fall into the Void. Evidently, it seemed, these puzzles had no room for error, and solution would likely be quite specific.

"It seems our teammate is unavailable for the time being" he commented to Petri, who bobbed in the air. Petri had also been watching the challenge with concern, disliking some of the more apparently senseless violence, and being glad that he wasn't assigned to this first puzzle.

While Sigma continued to consider the situation, Petri hovered into the air and zipped over to the recovery tent, deciding to investigate how their teammate was doing.

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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Volt on Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:01 am

Orwin strode off the stage back into the seat, his compatriots giving him an array of stares and looks. Warwisp grunted, "You had some choice methods, Orwin" it said plainly. Yyoi gulped, "Y-yeah, really gave it to that bear. And eating that squirrel with such finesse!" she piped. Orwin chortled in response, "Wasn't exactly my forte of a challenge. Would have fit you much more, stone man" he said as he nodded towards Warwisp.

Warwisp was going to correct Orwin that there wasn't much use for gender or any real identifiers, but chose to hold its tongue. Yyoi had a few nervous yelps here and there in regards to some of Orwin's actions, but wasn't overall scared. Totally. She didn't stutter at all. Nope. Her drumsticks tapped impatiently, the small pattern calming her down a bit. 

"Congratulations are in order either way, my friend." Warwisp beamed "Your recovery was priceless, saved your skin and kept us in the running. Those power-ups might be problematic." Orwin snorted in response, "We can handle it. The Bard here will inspire us with great songs of victory, can you not?" he said as he looked towards Yyoi.

"Or necromancy, if that's a form of victory." she replied meekly. "Let us bide our time until they drum us up again."
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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Valarina Tesla on Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:00 pm

Sandy giggled as she watched the rhyming group “They’re hilarious”

“It is true” Medusa glanced over “Their predicament is slightly amusing”

Camryn walked back over to her seat silently, she sat down and scanned the room. It appeared that others wanted to visit the large ‘beaver’ in the recovery tent. She would have to ask later what he was; beavers did not quite look like that.

“Here you are” Medusa handed the money back to Camryn.

“Thank you” Camryn put the money back in her pocket.

“I’ll do the next one, it looks fun” Sandy looked over at the concessions “I think I’ll go get some food” She headed over to find out the cost of the snacks.

Medusa turned to Camryn “What kind of fairy are you?”

Camryn looked at her slightly surprised “I am not a fairy….”

Medusa looked around the room and then looked back at Camryn quizzically “Then what are you?”

“I am Anasazi, my species originates from the planet Galacia” she sat for a second as Medusa tried to process this then pointed at her hair “I see you can braid, would you like to braid my hair?”

Medusa shook her head “Gladly” and proceeded to pull out a comb and work on Camryns messy hair. “I don’t know if we should let Sandy go this next round, she is quite young”

“We are not her caretakers though” Camryn took out her bag of meats and ate one “Besides, I was killing by her age, she should be fine since there is no chance of permanent death”
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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Sairei on Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:52 am

Zooz’s voice rang out again, despite her being unseen. “This might take longer than I thought. You might want to think about who you’re going to send to represent your team next while I’m gone! We’ll get started as soon as I’m back!”


As Nodd made his way to the recovery tent, he and Erukai were freed from their curse by unknown means. It might’ve felt like being doused with a bucket of cold water, but there was no water to be found, and in moments it was over.

The recovery tent did in fact allow visitors. As Nodd and Petri approached, the flaps opened, revealing Tank standing in an empty room. There were however large fluffy pillows and blankets scattered about on the floor. They looked soft and warm, the perfect kind to cuddle up in and forget one’s problems. Above Tank’s head floated a large red cross that flashed red, similar to how a low-health icon might appear in a video game. Slowly, but surely, the cross was filling slowly with ‘health points.’ Tank would not be recovered fully until the end of the next puzzle, regardless of how he might feel physically.


At the concession stand, the wolfish, antlered creature named Visum watched Sandy approach. He leaned on the counter lazily, his dull red eyes scanning the area with complete and utter boredom. Above his head were colorful advertisements of various snacks, yet none had posted prices.

“Hey,” Visum called. His subtle smirk was slightly unnerving. “What can I get you?”
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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Valnarian on Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Nodd froze for a moment as the strange feeling hit him. "What?" he said, and then realized that he was no longer speaking in poetry. Giving a sigh of relief, he continued to make his way to the tent. Then he noticed the rock. He paused, frowned, and then gasped. "Petri?"

Meanwhile...

Erukai drew his breath in sharply, but didn't move. Asimov looked at him in confusion. "Something wrong?" he asked.

"Just a strange feeling," said Erukai. Then, he too sighed with relief. "Thank goodness," he muttered.

"You don't seem to be speaking in poetry anymore," observed Asimov. "I assume that whatever curse was placed on you has been lifted."

"I would assume the same," said Erukai.

Asimov did a quick diagnostic of himself, and frowned. His nutrient levels were starting to decrease. "Perhaps some sustenance would benefit us both," he suggested, taking note of Sandy heading towards the concession stand.

"I'm not hungry," said Erukai, remaining seated.

"Very well," said Asimov, "but I think I might require a nutrient infusion." With that, he made his way to the concession stand.
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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Canis_Dirus on Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:49 pm

Tank stood in the recovery tent, feeling surprisingly fine after having reality literally dissolved around him. It took a lot to hurt him, but when it happened, he seemed to really get hit. Looking up, he noticed the health symbol above his head, thinking it rather odd, as of course his species had totally different symbology for things than Earth did.

Petri meanwhile, was just about to hover through the flaps of the recovery tent, when he recognized Nodd, who had called out to him. He stopped mid-motion, and did a happy twirl about his vertical axis, before zipping over to Nodd and doing circles around the upper half of his body in the familiar lack of verbal communication way that Petri did.

Tank watched this display with interest from inside the recovery tent, and raised an eyebrow. "You know each other then?"

--

While this was going on, Sigma sat in his team's section, observing the goings on in the lobby. There was little doubt to him that he would be the next volunteer from his team to go, as Tank was out of action until after the next challenge, and Petri didn't seem to be able to talk, which seemed problematic based on the first challenge. With that in mind, he decided it would be beneficial to eat something and fuel up for whatever lay ahead, especially in case combat was required. He stood, and nonchalantly went to one of the empty chairs in his section that hadn't been claimed, picking it up and ripping one of the legs off, chewing and then swallowing it with ease.

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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Volt on Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:53 pm

Warwisp watched the others disperse and mingle, hunger rumbling in its stomach. That snack stand sounded nice enough. Perhaps some old delicacies that the galaxy had long last forgotten...? It shook its head, just because this place was otherworldly didn't mean it was aware of everyone's homeworlds. Hunger was hunger though, and Warwisp took the opportunity to stride towards the snack bar.

Yyoi shuffled near Orwin a bit, taking the opportunity to stretch and allow herself to not be so nervous. Orwin eyed her, "You should participate in the next competition. Show the others your abilities. Don't let yourself be underestimated" he said sternly. She was confused by the sudden mentorship, but mentally shrugged it off and responded, "I was gonna talk to Warwisp about that. I've been itching to start the old patterns again."

Orwin was going to ask about her various incantations and abilities, but something told him that it was best left to be shown. He was going to insult the camouflaged rat, but chose to hold his tongue for the time being. Perhaps the door wasn't the only stupid one. He guffawed at his own joke, warranting a look from Yyoi. He coughed, "Yes, I'd advise stepping forward when Zooz returns."
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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Prussian on Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:52 pm

“...So, are you going to get your tea, or not?” Touo prompted exhasperatedly. Recet was nothing if not cautious - and by the gods was he cautious. “Zooz was probably joking.”

“You saw what Zooz did, and you still doubt that she could steal your soul if she wanted to,” Recet deadpanned. “I can manage fine without tea for a while.” A twitch of his hand caused a droplet of scalding water to escape from its cup land on his thigh. Recet made no indication that he had been burned, even as Touo winced.

“What’s in that tea that you can’t go a few days without it?” Touo asked.

At the question, Recet seemed to lighten a little. “It’s actually rather fascinating. My homeworld of Norcius is situated in a nebula, and only several decades ago did travelers reach the thickest parts of the nebula.” He grinned. “While we discovered many new and exciting spices on alien worlds, our nebula dust makes exquisite tea.”

“That maketh sense naught,” Solindas interjected. “Nebulae consist of various gaseous elements and dust particles, and none of them are edible by meatlings.” She then blinked. “Oh, my apologies. Organics.”
“No, you see-”

Touo sighed, “Go up and order your damn tea, Recet. At least see if your fears are verified."

Recet frowned and quieted, before lifting himself from his seat, taking his cup of hot water with him. “Maybe I will,” he sighed, and stalked off to the concessions stand, which by now had several other aliens gathered around it as they ordered their own snacks.



A robot. I can probably take it down in a fight if I have to, Recet made a mental observation, as he assuredly patted his belt pouch - which turned out to be empty of any ever-so-helpful EMP devices. At least the robot seemed nice enough. Maybe he could grow more acquainted with the mechanics of the thing through talking?

It wasn’t long before Recet reached the bar, and found himself behind the robot, who itself was in line behind another organic.

“Asimov, right?” Recet asked up to the taller robot, as he recalled his name from the earlier puzzle. “If I may ask, who manufactured you?” He leaned over slightly to peek at the concessions behind Asimov, “That is to say, who manufactured you to need food?”



“Would it not be prudent for thee to visit the injured one?” Solindas asked quietly, as to not attract any awkward attention from the injured’s - Tank’s - teammates. Touo found Solindas’ caution to be unnecessary, as they were all across the room from her.

“Prudent how?” Touo asked, with far less venom in her voice than she would have offered to Recet. “We barely even spoke out there. And we won’t speak again.”

“Thou did’st light the fire, if thou wilt recall,” Solindas responded. “It be impossible to tell at the moment if act be what ‘did him in,’ as thou would’st say.”

“Thanks,” Touo brushed her off sarcastically.

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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Valnarian on Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:20 pm

"We've met, yes," said Nodd, "in circumstances surprisingly similar." He then turned to Tank. "How are you doing?"

Meanwhile...

Asimov paused as Recet asked his question. "I am not purely machine, Sir. (I is Sir, I presume?) I was in fact once human, but I volunteered for the Asimov program where I came from, and my brain now resides inside this robotic body. However, to remain healthy, it still needs periodic nutrient infusions."

Suddenly, Asimov froze, and his face took on a look of anguish. In his mind, he was walking down the street. It was night. Passing a dark alley. A sack over his head. Another "volunteer" for the Asimov program! chuckled a voice. No! the young man screamed. No No No NO!

Suddenly, he was back where he had been, not far from the concession stand, his hands on his head, and everyone within hearing distance staring at him. Had he just been screaming those words?

"What. . . What . . . is happening?" he said slowly.
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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Prussian on Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:59 pm

Recet took a surprised step back at Asimov’s rather sudden outburst, watching in heavy apprehension as a pained look overtook him, and he began to scream ‘no,’ clutching his head and almost falling over - as if some phantom force had shoved him towards some unseen destination. And then it was over. Asimov now looked dazed, though with seemingly no recollection of whatever had made him so upset.

“...Right, I see. Volunteer.” Recet grimaced, crossing his arms. He had an inkling of an idea of whatever tragedy that had befallen Asimov. “I think you've some issues, friend,” he offered as amicably as he could. “My name is Recet. Would you like to talk about it over a spot of tea?”

How come everyone I talk to ends up having some horrible past trauma?

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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Valarina Tesla on Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:43 am

Sandy looked at the menu and asked for some nachos and a bag of popcorn. She waited as the line behind her grew with different creatures. She decided that she wanted to go find the rock next; a new friend might be nice.

Medusa managed to brush and braid all of Camryns hair into two braids, one on each side. “There you are” she finished up “I hope you like it, I don’t have a mirror to show you how you look”

“It should be fine, thank you” Camryn patted her hair “I’m going to go visit the injured one”. She headed off to the recovery tent to ask a few questions of her large opponent, hoping possibly to have a friendly interaction.

Medusa sat and looked around considering what she might want to do and whom she might want to avoid or befriend. She obviously knew less about the situation than she had previously thought. As she scanned the room she noticed the bear creature, certainly one to watch out for. She decided to stay put for now, if she truly needed to meet anyone she would leave it up to Gods will of who would approach her.

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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Valnarian on Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:57 pm

"Tea?" said Asimov slowly. "No, no thank you. My system cannot take tea, I'm afraid. I just need a nutrient infusion." He shook his head slowly. "I seem to be. . . having some strange . . . episodes, lately. Like lost memories. But they don't make sense to me."
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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Sairei on Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:25 pm

From behind the counter, Visum produced a bag of popcorn and some nachos for Sandy. He did not offer them to her quite yet. Instead his red eyes gleamed with greed… or was it hunger? “What’ve you got to pay for ‘em?” he said. Then he leaned over, peering behind her at the forming line. “Hey!” he called out, trying to garner attention. “All of you in line—better have your payment out by the time you get to the counter! And there are no refunds!” He turned back to Sandy. “Usually I deal in trades, but whatever you deem valuable will suffice. And if you have nothing, that’s where things get interesting.” He gave her an unsettling smile.
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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Prussian on Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:39 pm

Recet crossed his arms and seemed to be about to reply to Asimov's admission, though his antennae twitched as he overheard Visum's clarification about pay. Immediately, he leaned to the side of Asimov to look at Sandy and Visum before returning to his upright position. "Aaaand I knew it." Idly, he wondered what he would give away for a hot cup of tea.

...He wondered what his cybernetic companion would give to have his lost memories back.

"Asimov," Recet began slowly, tone lightening as he seemed to come up with an idea. "I'm not sure if there's any... limit, to what that concessions stand is offering. Just consider this."

He then grinned, which looked rather odd given his alien beak, and lack of any eyes, though his satisfaction at his idea was intelligible enough. "Suppose if we ask for a drink - or a nutrient infusion; whatever you prefer will work - something that will help you interpret these memories. This universe doesn't seem to have any rules as it is. I'm sure they have something that will help... no?"

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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Canis_Dirus on Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:41 pm

"I see. Interesting that you both ended up here together again" Tank replied "I feel fine, the fire didn't burn me or anything. So I guess I'm just stuck here as a formality, really."

Meanwhile, Petri finished doing circles around Nodd and moved over to settle on one of Tank's broad shoulders. He began to warm himself a little, changing his temperature to what he thought was a comfortable heat of around 75 degrees.

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Re: ENTER THE GAUNTLET (IC)

Post by Valnarian on Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:49 pm

Asimov paused for a moment, conflicted. On one hand, he would like to understand what was going on with these strange, disturbing flashbacks. But, with the horrible implications these memories seemed to be suggesting, did he really want to know. Then, of course, there was the problem of payment. What did he have to pay with? What would that creature demand of him?

"No, no, just the nutrients, I think," he said. Slowly he approached the counter. "Er, I could really use a nutrient inffusion," he said, "but I don't know what I could offer you in payment."
______________________________________________

"Life is like that sometimes, isn't it?" agreed Nodd, glancing over at the approach of Camryn. Then he took a deep breath as he asked Tank the question that rather burned at him, hoping the big beaver wouldn't be offended.

"Why did you attack that one creature in the forest, the one Asimov was talking too? That seemed so, well, unnecessarily violent to me."
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