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SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


in

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SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


The Last Hunt
1498 words

The job hunt was not going well. Benjamin Savos sipped on his coffee and browsed his email inbox from the laptop on the kitchen counter. He only had one real offer, and Joanna wasn't going to like it.

"Hear back from anywhere?" Jo sleepily asked, as she wiped the sleep from her eyes.

"Not yet." He fumbled for the right words.

"You're always welcome at the bakery." She reiterated. Ben's gaze fell on to the mounted tiger above the fireplace, then on the .45 Marlin Guide Rifle in it's display case underneath. He let a moment pass.

"Another mauling outside of Crescent Valley." He remarked nonchalantly.

"That's terrible."

"Yeah. They're worried about a repeat of last season, especially after the search party didn't turn anything up. Mayor Tarant put up a private contract on the man eater." Jo furrowed her brow.

"You promised you were going to look for a real job."

"I am baby, but there's nothing for me." His empty inbox hung in the back of his mind. "I only have one skill to offer." He walked over to Jo and touched her arm. Their eyes met and he couldn't help smiling. His hand trailed down her arm and came to rest caressing her baby bump.

"The pay is good Jo, it's a hundred thousand dollar contract. I know what I said but this way we can pay off the house. Settle our business loans. Our baby girl can pick her college." Joanna looked away. Ben's heart sank.

"You lied to me Ben. People have died out there. What if something happens. We'll have no money and you'll be leaving us alone." She sighed.

"I'll bring back up. I'm sorry. I need to do this. For us. I love you."

"I love you too."

Ben smiled and kissed her. She put her arms around him. They rubbed their noses together and smiled.

Four days later, Ben found himself on a ridge overlooking the village of Crescent Valley. Fog spilled from the skeletal forest of Lodgepole Pine as if it had been eviscerated. His guide Leonard was inspecting a splash of blood in the clearing while his tracker Charlotte was skirting the edge of the forest looking for any trace of the bear.

"Tarant pointed us in the right direction." Said Leo, "I still have my doubts about a black grizzly." So did Ben. The attack was witnessed by the victim's friend. His description was outlandish. A monstrous black grizzly that stank like rot with knives for teeth.

"Poor kid got carried away. He just watched his friend die." Replied Ben. Leo stayed silent.

"Over here!" Called Charlotte. Ben started over to her when he saw what she did, a tree missing a huge swath of bark.

Ben nodded and glanced at the setting sun. "Okay, let's set up camp here for the night. Leo, find us some firewood." He signalled affirmative and headed into the woods. Charlotte grabbed Ben by the arm.

"I need you to be honest. Why did you call me? You could've picked up any tracker in Bumblefuck Valley other there. Why wait on me and my red eye flight? Is this about what happened in India?"

"No, I called you because of the bear hunt we did in Russia. I need the best. I need someone I trust." He could help but notice the way she laughed.

"Good, because India was a mistake. It makes sense now, you need someone you trust so they don't steal your trophy." She walked past him and smacked his rear end loudly. His train of thought derailed. It wasn't true but he didn't have the words. He sighed and pulled out his tent.

Their luck with the weather ran out two days later during the early night. The skies wept and the winds howled. The trees groaned and swayed around them. Charlotte took point and Leo was rear. They would usually have set up camp by now, but their game was close. They could hear growls in the distance. The beast was angry. Search parties would not dare get this close, the bear was not used to being chased so tenaciously. Its frustration was a poignant hook in an orchestra of raindrops splashing. They had to close the distance, but doubt was creeping into Ben's mind. Where they tracking a beast or following a trail of bread crumbs? Each time they reached the point of the last sign, the beast was always just a bit deeper into the veil.

Now it had been some time since the last crumb. Did they lose the trail, or had they already received their final warning?

Thunder shook the ground they were standing on, but there had been no lightning. A foul odour filled the air. Ben turned to look at Leo, but there was something behind Leo. A shade from which no light escaped reared up and roared. The man-eater. Leo's face went ashen. He reached down, holstered his pistol and slowly turned around. The bear was too close. As soon as Leo looked it in the eye it lashed out with one of it's power paws and unhinged Leo's jaw clean from his face. Charlotte screamed and Leo fell back grasping at his gaping maw. Ben saw the man-eater advance on Charlotte, so he frantically shouldered his guide rifle, flicked off the safety and fired. Too hastily, the shot went wide, but it caught the bear's attention. It turned to face him and broke into a loping charge. Ben's heart rev'd in his chest as he ejected the spent cartridge and chambered the next. He tried to bring it to a firing pose but the man-eater slammed into him at speed. The shot escaped into the canopy and the rifle tumbled into the darkness as Ben felt a sickening crunch in his chest. His breathe burned through his chest like fire. He gasped weakly and all he could feel was the warm moist breath of the bear on his face. Suddenly several shots rang out. It was Charlotte.

"Come on you fucker, try a real challenge." The bear yelped, it had been struck. Charlotte took off away from the bear, but up the mountain. The man-eater was close behind. Ben regained his breathe and followed gingerly.

As he reached the edge of the clearing he saw the bear catch Charlotte. She cried out as it ploughed into her from behind. Before she could regain her composure, the bear sunk his teeth into her calf. She screamed out. Ben ran out into the clearing.

"Let her go! Charlotte!" The fire raged in his chest, his breathe robbed him of all his strength. His rubber legs were catching him as he fell forward, nothing more. The bear was dragging her now. There was a black pit at the other edge of a clearing. She saw him running toward her. He was desperate for her to say something, to tell him what to do. His heart stopped when she spoke out.

"Run!" The bear had began pulling her into it's den. "Go!" And she disappeared. Ben ran faster. He could make it, he could still make it.

He reached the edge of the den and hesitated to catch his breathe. He choke back air that reeked of rotten eggs. He steadied himself on the wall of the entrance and his hand came back black. An old coal mine. The kid was telling the truth. He stared into the abyss, straining his ears for any signs of life. He yelled for her.

"Charlotte!" Nothing. The silence hung out in the air, and was punctuated by a gunshot.

"Charlotte!" The ground trembled underneath him. This was different. Then he realized, that smell wasn't rot. It was a methane build up. His hand... Coal dust. He looked back up into the abyss as the gates of hell unfolded behind him. At first it was the size of a lit match in the distance. Within seconds is was a crashing sea of fire.

"poo poo!" The geyser flung him into the air. Time seemed to stand still. Ben could only watch the stars pass through his fingers as the pillar of fire challenged their supremacy of the sky. He would never remember returning to Earth.

***

It was the ugliest pelt anyone had seen, but repentant, spilling all it's former secrets. It's fur was as black as night, dyed that way by coal dust. It's teeth were jagged blades, many were broken, some down to the bone. The man-eater was a survivor. It had sustained it's jaw injury from another hunter's rifle. Derived of the means to catch it's prey, it turned to humans. The cub pelt beside it attested to it's success. They would be his last, but his attention always fell back to the mounted tiger above his fireplace. He lingered for a moment until a baby's cry shattered the silence. He smiled sadly and went into his daughter's room.

"Little Charlotte, did you miss me?"

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


poo poo, cut it too close. Missed a couple obvious spell check errors and some word overuse. Oh well, see how it goes.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


I would love a crit.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


Lazy Beggar posted:

I offered to crit a couple of submissions this week. Already have Masonity signed up but anyone else want one?

If there are no takers, I'll just choose another one randomly.

I'm interested in one as well.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


In. I'll take "Foreign Country and Western"

also, all of those youtube vids have been removed, (for me at least). Here's their bandcamp: https://books.bandcamp.com/

SlipUp fucked around with this message at Jun 22, 2015 around 23:23

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


Entenzahn posted:

I'm in with Foreign Country and Western.

e: oh god you bitch

"found frozen corndog" is still availble

I knew I was gonna have to jump on that poo poo

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


In If any of you even dreams of beating me, ya better wake up and apologize.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


crabrock posted:

YOINKS, because let's be honest, I'm going to do it way better than you could ever hope to.

What do I care about some rat scurring about looking for morsels? There is little to worry about from someone too chicken to write to their own flash.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


Pride
Lion-hearted foppishness

Ken & Jake
1199 words

"You don't get to be in here," said Ken as he pushed Jake headfirst into some lockers. Jake saw stars. Ken lifted him by his short blonde hair.

"I'm not gay," said Jake.

"I saw those pictures of you playing dress up. I don't ever wanna see you in here trying to sneak a peek at my dick," said Ken as he dropped Jake on to his rear end. Some of the other members of the football team who were in the gym locker room laughed. Jake couldn't fight Ken. He was only even there to play badminton. Ken was captain of the football team. Jake tried his best to hide his tears. Ryan, the running back, took notice.

"What a little pussy, he's crying" said Ryan.

"But I like girls..." Jake began, only to be silenced by a swift kick that robbed him of breath.

"Maybe you wanna be a girl with that makeup and skirt I saw you in. You wish you had a chance with me." Ken laughed.

"Seems like you remember how I looked in that skirt pretty well." Replied Jake. Ken was no longer laughing. The locker room was silent. Except for Ryan.

"Don't take that poo poo man!"

Ken looked at the team and then back at Jake. He grabbed Jake by the neck and began raining blows. Jake's world faded to black.

The next thing Jake remembered was waking up in a hospital bed. His mom was beside him, eyes red and holding a well used tissue. His vision was blurred. The air smelled sterile. He tried to move but his body screamed in pain. His mom noticed he was awake.

"Jake! I was so worried about you! You were unconscious for so long..."

"What happened?" Jake said, noticing his speech sounded slurred.

"The gym teacher found you on the floor in the locker room. The nurse called the ambulance. The doctor says you have a fractured orbital bone and a broken jaw. Try not to talk too much honey." Said his mom.

"Mom... Mirror... Please." Said Jake in obvious pain. His mom put her hand on his arm. Tears began welling up in her already red eyes.

"Jake honey, no."

"Mom, please." Her tears began to flow. She reached into her purse and pulled out a small makeup mirror. She held the mirror up. A black and blue monster stared back. His neck was badly bruised, his right eye almost totally swollen shut. She snapped the mirror shut, not wanting to see her son in even more pain.

"I'm taking you home. We can do homeschooling. I don't want you going back there."

"Mom... I can't look like this. Please."

"Jake, I don't want you to get hurt again. I don't think this is a good idea. People don't understand."

"Mom... I know I'm not the son dad wanted. I might not even be the son you wanted. But I know who I am now, and I want to be the best me I can be. Maybe you might not understand, but you've always been there for me. I love you mom, please help me be me. I need this."

"Okay son. Okay. I love you too," She said as she reached into her purse again and pulled out some powdered foundation.

"Thanks mom." Jake smiled as his mom dabbed his tears away with her crumpled tissue and she started powdering over his bruises.

Three months later, Ken and his friends were at the Central Memorial High School spring social dance. Most of the guys were hanging out by the punch table while many of the girls were hanging out by the bleachers. The DJ had put on "Jump Around" and some of the students were on dance floor enjoying it.

"What a bunch of losers," said Ken, "I can't stand this kid stuff. Where's the real women?"

Just then, a woman walked into the gymnasium who drew the attention of most of the boys. With her raven black hair, blue eyes, and red sequined cocktail dress she immediately stood out from everybody else there. She stood by the doors, leaning against one of the walls with her hands behind her back, watching the dancers.

"Whoa," said Ryan. "Haven't seen her before."

"Ya well, I saw her first," replied Ken. He cracked a crooked grin. "She must be new. I guess it's up to me to show her around. Boys, don't wait up."

As Ken began walking over to her, the song changed to something slow. The lights dimmed. The couples got together and began to slow dance under the watchful eyes of the volunteer chaperones. A drama student turn on a spotlight and turned it's attention from one couple to the next.

"Hey, I haven't seen you here before. Are you new?" Asked Ken.

"Sort of. I used to go here, then I left for awhile, now I'm back."

"My name's Ken."

"Jane"

"Wanna dance?"

"Sure." She said with a smile. Ken lead her by the hand to the dance floor. He pulled her a little too close, earning the disapproving glare of a nearby chaperone. Jane put her arms around his shoulders. They moved their feet and their hips but their minds were elsewhere.

"So where did you run away to?" Asked Ken.

"I wasn't running," said Jane. "Wasn't really my choice."

"Parents, right? They'll drag you back and forth whenever it suits them."

"Well, they did take me away, but I'm not really back. This is more of a social thing."

"Oh yeah? Have some friends here?"

"No, but I know somebody."

"Who?"

"You."

Ken laughed.

"Of course, I'm the captain of the football team," he said "How come I don't remember you?"

Jane put on a pouty face. "I'm hurt. How could you not remember me?"

Ken looked back at the rest of the football team. Ryan caught his eye and gave him a wink. Ken smiled and looked back into her eyes.

"It's not you babe, it's me. When I saw you time froze, I'm just trying to get it started again."

She laughed at his clumsy deflection. She leaned forward and whispered in his ear "Maybe a kiss will make you remember."

Ken didn't think any more had to be said. He reached his hand up to the side of her face and drew her into a long deep kiss. The football team whooped and a chaperone yelled at them to break it up. The spotlight found them, leaving a silhouette of them on the floor. Jane's hand slowly reached behind her and twisted a strand of her hair around her finger. Her wig slowly slid back, revealing a brilliant blonde. Ken opened his eyes as he drew back. His look of bliss was replaced by one of bewilderment when he noticed Jane's hair. He looked into her eyes again and realized he did remember her. The silence in the room was deafening. The look of horror frozen on the football team's face as if time really had stopped.

"Jake!?"

"See ya round, loverboy." Jake turned and walked out of the gym like it was a runway.

Jake was never seen again. Ken was never the same.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


No where to go but up I guess. In. Spin me right round baby.

SlipUp fucked around with this message at Aug 25, 2015 around 16:01

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


newtestleper posted:

Judgebrawl

SlipUp - this brawl's for you to judge as penance for your sins against good taste.

I'm into it. Waiting on the other submissions.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


1399 words

Singularity
The singularity exhibits radical gravity fluctuations. I calculate a moderate chance of overshooting into the singularity itself.

“Can’t risk docking and getting pulled into the Prometheus’s decaying orbit. I’ll have one orbit before my chance to slingshot back and escape the singularity’s gravity field. Got an ETA on that?”

If the Prometheus maintains orbital velocity, approximately one hour, one minute, and thirty two seconds.

“Engage the airlock Virgil.”

A klaxon blared into the tiny room, followed by a metallic clunk. There was a loud hiss as the doors flung open. The depressurization threw Jason into the abyss. He spun violently. His ship drifting out of sight into the stars. The Prometheus interceded in and out of sight against the backdrop of the event horizon like a buoy on moonless waves. The Prometheus grew large. Jason braced for impact.

He slammed into the hull and tumbled down the length of it, his extreme spin battering him with each rotation. His visor cracked.

“Virgil! Magnetic coupling!” His boots jerked and locked to the hull. Jason’s momentum carried him backwards, he smashed into the unyielding steel. He felt a crunch. His suit lurched upright, locking his knees with force. His cry lost in the depths. It was getting cold.

Oxygen supply damaged. Contents bleeding. Total supply loss in sixty three seconds.

Snatching the thermite charges from his utility belt, he fashioned them into a cross and placed it on the hull.

Forty five seconds.

“Detonate.”

The cross erupted in a brilliant light that refracted and danced across the cracked visor. The corners peeled outward as the compartment decompressed.The pressurized atmosphere crashed over him like a tsunami. He just needed to stay conscious.

Pressure equalized. Thirty seconds.

No time to crawl in. He readied a small metallic disk with a glowing red light..

“Vent remaining oxygen supply. Decouple.”

He went weightless for a moment, breathed his last breath, and vented his oxygen. It sent him blasting forward. He turned to face the breach and found the lightless void of the event horizon seeping in. He pressed the light in the disk and threw it. It blinked once as it sailed into the breach. It sprayed a cloud of fine mist and flash frozen it, sealing the hull.

“Containment confirmed. Repressurization in progress.” Blared the PA. His lungs blazed in pain while darkness creeped into his vision. The artificial gravity came back online, dumping Jason to the floor. He sank into unconsciousness.

An unblinking black eye watched him.It was cold, like a shark’s eye. It was a shifting sea of shifting shapes. He free fell towards it. The shapes revealed a form. writhing tentacles drifting on the cosmic winds.

Devour. Become one by consuming and being consumed. The candle is snuffed by the darkness. The divide is removed. All shadows become equal in the absence of light.

Jason awoke on the floor gasping. He popped his helmet and pulled himself to his feet. He leaned against a wall and shook his head.

“Virgil, can you scan the ship’s life support systems and tell me where the crew is.”

Life support scan indicates seventeen living crew members, all located on the bridge.

“Huh. Ship didn’t respond when hailed.”

Bridge is located on level four. Lift is located across the kitchen compartment.

***

The mess hall was the first ominous sign. Blood spatter contrasted against the whitewashed walls. Words stained the walls.

The flesh is a prison. The thought echoed.

“Virgil, is there something else here?”

The gravity fluctuations may be causing distortions.

“Distortions? What kind of distortions?”

Theoretical.

“Great.”

They were interrupted by a wet hacking sound emanating from the kitchen, Jason drew his combat knife and crouch low next to the door. He peered through the doorway. A dismembered torso lay on the butcher’s table. Limbs suspended from meat hooks dripped dark coagulated globs like crimson stalactites. A pot boiled.

“Fresh…” Mumbled the figure as it emerged from the darkness. The chef had gnawed away his lips. His eyes were two festering gaping holes, exposed to the bone, as if clawed out. Pus oozed and crusted around his hollow sockets. It stood still for a moment sniffing the air.

“The eye kissed my mind. I am one with the realm of shadows. You too will see!” The monster shouted as it charged with it’s butcher cleaver held high. Jason deflected the blow with his combat knife, but the force knocked the blade from his hand. The monster was over extended. A swift headbutt sent it reeling. He pinned the beast against the fridge with a side kick. It snapped it’s lipless jaws at him and grasped his leg with both hands.

“Magnetic coupling!” There was a slight hum. The monster screamed in pain. Jason’s boot passed through its chest and attached to the fridge door. The creature spat blood, wheezed, convulsed, and became still.

“Deactivate.” The corpse slumped to the ground, blood cascading from the gaping chest wound. He leaned against the stove to steady himself. He absentmindedly turned off the burner under the boiling pot. He looked inside. A human head leered back, eyes burst and flesh falling from the bone.

The elevator was close. The bridge was within reach. He summoned the lift.

***

The lift arrived to the fourth level. The doors slide apart to reveal the bridge. It was massive. The controls and navigation laid out in front of a massive viewport that encompassed an entire wall, as was in turn encompassed by the event horizon in the distance. The captain’s chair was attached to an upper deck, giving it a view of the entire bridge. The crew was there. Their empty sockets slowly converged on the figure who disturbed them.

“You have intruded on our ritual. You will be next.”

“What ritual?”

“A sacrifice to the great devourer for his blessing.”The captain’s chair whirred as it turned to face him, revealing blue eyes and full lips.. “Life is a disease. The devourer promises equality and order in darkness.”

“The great devourer? You mean the singularity? Are you the captain?”
“No, I am the herald. In my previous life I was the comms officer. I listened and listened and the devourer spoke to me. First I thought I was picking up an alien signal. I unearthed a god. This is his will. You will see. Seize him! Give him true sight, let him see the shadows as they are.”

The former crew began to advance on Jason. He replaced his helmet.

He drew a thermite charge. It was a longshot

“Magnetic coupling!” Shouted Jason as he threw the charge. It arc and impacted the viewing window, detonating simultaneously as his boots hummed. The light seemed to blind the sightless ones. The captain’s roar of rage was lost in the explosive decompression. The glass was tempered, the breach less than a foot in diameter. The sightless ones desperately tried to cling to nearby consoles but it was no use. The breach didn’t relent. One after another the creatures were pulled into the narrow gap and were forced through like toothpaste from a tube.

The captain was last to go. He held on to his seat as long as he could but the breach pulled him and folded him in unnatural ways. The paste streaked toward the singularity.

Return trajectory to ship approaching.

“Quick, Virgil, rotate the ship to face the Argo!”

The sea of black gave way to the ocean of stars. His ship was going to pass by.

“Activate the prometheus's self destruct!” Jason commanded as he drew his final charge.

The ship’s PA came to life again.

“Self destruct in five minutes.”

Jason detonated the other charge, shattering the viewport entirely.

“Activate the Prometheus’s reverse thrust! Disengage coupling!”

Jason flew from the bridge. He maintained velocity and trajectory and was coming into the argo hot. The Prometheus lost orbital velocity and sank closer to the abyss. He could swear he saw tendrils reaching out, as if for him.

The Prometheus imploded to an infinitely small point before exploding out in a vicious energy ring. The blast propelled Jason faster into the cosmos.

His air supply was still damaged. He held his breath and braced for the g force. The Argo was close. He could make it.

He slammed into the open airlock. He watched the energy shock wave spread across his view like a ripple in an ocean of the infinite.

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


250 Word Judgebrawl Results

3rd- Newtestleper

Overly vague, hard to follow.

2nd- sebmojo

Good for a cheap laugh.

1st- sittinghere

Evocative.

e-didn't realize there was a deadline on judgement. oh well!

SlipUp fucked around with this message at Aug 31, 2015 around 11:15

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


in

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


in


Bronze gladiator's helmet

SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


1250 words

Slave Dreams

"Lucius, I need something from you."

Lucius grumbled and stretched, rattling his chains.

"I need hemlock." Said Druses. Lucius laughed.

"I doubt you'll be able to poison your way out."

"It's not for them, it's for me."

Lucius sighed and looked his old friend in the eye.

"We escaped from one hell only to find ourselves in another. I know you can't bear to be gone from your family. If you die a slave, they'll be responsible to cover your expenses. They'll lose everything. Be brave Druses, our time will come."

***

The sun blinded Druses and his companions as he step out from the iron toothed gate on to the hot sand of the arena. They stood shielding their eyes for a moment, naked and blind as newborns as the crowd jeered deafeningly. The clay brick walls were lined with wooden stakes. The other gate was directly across from them and underneath an elaborate balcony where Cato lounged, feasting on swine and wine served by his numerous slave girls. The reaction of the crowd pulled his attention to the pit. He sighed and pushed his wine wench aside. He rose, stumbling over his white robe, spilling wine over it. Cato steadied himself against the railing along the edge of the balcony. His subjects laughed heartily at his expense. Cato merely smiled, and signaled for more wine.

"Citizens of Rome and the great *hic* city of Pompeii!" Proclaimed Cato as he flourished wildly at the crowd. "These men stand before you as cowards and deserters. They have dishonoured this republic."

Cato paused. A pale, sickened look creeped across his face. His body heaved against his will and he vomited over the balcony on to the stained sand of the arena below. He wiped his mouth with his already stained robe.

"These cowards must prove their worth. If they can display the courage that they were found lacking, they will regain their freedom. If they are to perish, they will perish as slaves."

Druses and Lucius exchanged looks and a small, fragile feeling of hope.

"Their test is the favoured of Mars, Decimus!"

The gate underneath Cato's balcony slowly opened, revealing a dark abyss. There was a sound. Quiet at first, but growing. A long shrill cry, the sound of metal scraping against stone. A mighty figure emerged, a great bronze helmet obscured its face and its humanity. Decimus stepped out into the pit like an automaton. He turned to face the balcony, his red velvet cape shining brilliantly in the mediterranean sun. He raised both his gladius’ and crossed them over his head. The crowd went mad.

"We have nothing! How are we to even challenge him?" Asked Spurious.

"He is but one." Said Lucius. "We are legion."

Decimus turned to face the combatants. His helmet revealed nothing, but their faces could not hide from his preying eyes. He raised his weapons in a fighting stance and methodically began moving towards them, firm footed and sure.

"Wait for him to get closer and then fan out behind him," instructed Druses "when he makes his move, try to disable him. Kick his legs, pull his cape. We need an opening to disarm him."

Lucius nodded in agreement. "Legionnaires, as one!"

"As one!" They cried in unison and turned to face their foe. Spurious began to circle around one side of the gladiator as Lucius and Marcus circled around the other. Druses stood fast. Decimus hesitated. The dark visor of his helmet allowed nothing to escape, not light or even thoughts. Decimus turned toward Spurious and broke into a charge. Spurious trembled.

"Lucius!" He cried as the bronze giant covered the distance hastily. Lucius and Marcus ran to help, approaching Decimus from behind. Druses was careful to approach the monster from its flank. The gladiator fell upon Spurious, swinging his swords in a scissoring horizontal arc. Spurious was fast enough to dive out of the way, but he was left defenceless on the sand and at the mercy of the towering figure. Marcus was there a moment after. He grabbed Decimus by the cape.

"Got him!" Said Marcus triumphantly, but Decimus did not react to him. The gladiator was not deterred or even concerned. He took three bounding steps and his cape tore effortlessly along the seam near his neck. Spurious eyes grew wide.

"A trick-" Were his last words before Decimus' left gladius pierced his abdomen. Spurious cried out in pain. It was brief. Decimus' right sword liberated him from his neck. The mob cheered.

"Deci-mus! Deci-mus!"

Decimus turned to face Marcus, who momentarily was lost as if trapped in a terrible dream. He snapped back to reality threw the cape. It caught Decimus' helmet and blinded him for a moment. Marcus seized his opportunity. He stepped into Decimus' guard as the monster pulled the fabric from his vision and was greeted with a swift punch to the throat. Lucius had finally covered the distance and delivered a swift kick to the back of Decimus' leg, knocking the gladiator to his knees.

The beast recovered. He swung his blades to either side of himself in a wide arc. It forced Lucius and Marcus back from each other, separating the two. With a powerful roar, Decimus heaved his body upward and sprung to his feet from his knees in one swift motion. The gladiator raised his right gladius over his head, as if intending to bring it down on Marcus's head. Druses noticed Marcus smile. The swing would fall short, opening up Decimus to another round of harassment.

It was not a swing. Decimus threw his gladius as hard as he could, catching Marcus unprepared. The blade embedded itself in Marcus's head, killing him before he could hit the ground.

Lucius did not waste this opportunity. He drove an elbow into Decimus' back, knocking him unbalanced. Druses saw this and made for Marcus. The blade was embedded deep, but with both hands freed the blade. He turned to face Decimus, in time to witness the man impale Lucius with his remaining sword.

Now it was Druses who was the focus of the gladiator. They stood tall and approval rained from the spectators. The two warriors ran toward each other, each sensing an end was near. Decimus was much larger and had a longer reach. He swing his blade downward, aiming to split the naked man in two. The lighter and more agile Druses sidestepped the blow. He kicked with all his might, striking the gladiator squarely in his cock. The beast doubled over and Druses returned the stolen blade, lodging it in Decimus' spine. It almost seemed as if the beast was going to stand back up, but then he slumped into the ground.

The crowd fell silent, except for one. Cato laughed maniacally and applauded.

"Congratulations! You've proven yourself worthy. You will now be re enlisted to my service."

"I'm not going back."

"Of course not! You just killed my most popular gladiator, you must replace him."

"Am I not a free citizen of the republic again? Free to move where I please and do with my property as I will?"

"Of course you are entitled to all the privileges a citizen would have rather than a prisoner or slave, but you have pledged yourself to my service."

"I will slaughter no more." Replied Druses. Cato scowled at this show of antagony.

"You will do as I say, and as the people command!"

"No." Whispered Druses, before plunging the sword into himself.

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SlipUp
Sep 30, 2006

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019


in

I'm hungry for a win, what's on the menu?

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