He draws his eyes away from Finwa's fabulous form. He moves to the kiosk to be fully kitted out; having no wish to 'donate' to the Murder Monks ritual. Coming back to the piste, he readys himself mentally. Raising his blade to an 'En Garde' position, the tip of the sword being pointed slightly downwards. "Certainly."
Lunging towards the lady, he makes sure not to over-extend keeping to the balls of his feet to maintain his balance.
After wiping her face, Finwa walks about slowly to stretch out her legs and work her muscles so they don't tighten up. She watches as Bryn and Charlene start their sparring and gradually works her way towards Leoian to await doing his archery.
She'd noticed the others' talents but stops off by Eldon Gorski and looks at the cube he's working on and pats his arm, "I hate to bother you Mr. Gorski, or may I call you Eldon? Anyway, that there is quite a talent. It takes a keen mind to be able to do that. It may not be showy but it's admirable."
Her eyes move back to the forms of Charlene and Bryn and she sits beside Eldon to wait for Leoian and admire their bout.
|Charlene F. Oftenseen|
Charlene takes two quick, fluid retreating steps, parrying in quarte to deflect Bryn's lunge with the forte of her foil. Bouncing lightly, she observes him for a moment, hands and blade still but for the circling of the foil's tip, then takes a quick step and lunge to touch Bryn's sword arm, foible of her blade bending up sharply.
She disengages and takes a step back, weapon held relaxed, listening for a call but not dropping her defenses.
The managers lunge to quick, too fast for him to stop resulting in the point. 'Oh, she's good. No showmanship in this, I won't give her less than my all.'
"Touché!" Mittens calls the sound reverberating around the auditorium.
He moves back waiting for the call to resume; once it does he moves back in. Sliding slightly to the right, forcing his opponent to twist. He watches her, the way she holds her shoulders. There's a slight shift as she moves forward; Bryn decides to give ground retorting to her every probe of the defences. Until he launches a furiously fast series of strikes, closing the distance significantly, whilst Charlene knocks them away. The last catches his guard, just not for a point.
Suddenly the pair break away, moving back so as only their tips could touch.
|Charlene F. Oftenseen|
Charlene and Bryn advance and retreat a couple of paces, foils clashing through a series of probes and guards. Suddenly, Charlene makes a rapid advance, lunging at Bryn, who nimbly dodges, but finds himself on tiptoe, almost stepping off the piste and out of bounds.
As he teeters for balance, the floor of the out-of-bounds area slides away, revealing a pit full of spinning blades. Charlene instinctively grabs the tall musician, pulling him against her on the safety of the floor. She stares into the pit. Bryn can see her eyes wide beneath the mesh of her mask.
"That isn't regulation," she murmurs, then backs off and returns to en garde, waiting for Bryn to regain his stance.
Blinking, as the controlled lady forces him to the edge of the piste. The sudden appearance of the blades makes him realise that death is imminent, as it causes him to over balance further. The hand grabbing his shirt the only way he avoids being turned into dog-food.
A cold sweat forms at the base of his spine. 'Oh, no way am I as good as her.... but I won't compromise my morals.' He realises that this duel could cost him his life. He watches her return to her stance....
Raising an eyebrow, he lowers his shoulder and changes the grip upon his weapon. Flicking the tip in a series of delicate strikes, he forces the ladies riposte to become more aggressive and with increased rapidity. With shorter recovery upon each stroke, he gets closer and closer. Until he is within her guard, then trying to trap her blade in a prise de fer. So that he gains control of where she can strike, he pushes into a clinch. The grills of their masks almost touch. "The point is yours, and the match....but I don't think Mittens will let us out of here without something for the ratings."
"I only have three options; blood, flesh or something spectacular!" he whispers into her mask softly. Whilst seeming to strain against her foils flanking attack.
"My my oh my, the combatants are locked in a rather fiery battle! And look at that, a pit of whirling blades by the piste? Wowee wow wow! Things are heating up to hot, how will this match end? I am perched on the edge of my seat!" cries Mittens from on high, still being sure to give all the proper calls for the match proper.
|Charlene F. Oftenseen|
"I believe you may be correct, Mr. Silenoz," Charlene whispers back, then disengages, stepping back to address Mittens. "Just so you know, I shall be filing a complaint with the International Fencing Federation regarding the conditions under which this match was held. But, since it is the way it is..."
She stomps on her foil, breaking it off at the forte in a sharp point, then rushes full-tilt at Bryn, thrusting at his sword arm with the now-dangerous weapon.
Leoian frowned hearing the two men voting for him. He looks towards Duke Leto "My good sir Duke, if you mean to say that I deserve a vote for team loser because I am innocent I'll let you know that my talent is archery, which now that I'm sure the arrows are non-lethal I'm prepare to demonstrate." He turns to Finwa and holds out the apple "When you're ready my dear. Oh and Duke, pointing out things that aren't talents isn't a talent."
He turns his attention to Finwa "That was a fantastic display Finwa, you're incredible, how do you move like that?" He's cut short when Bryn nearly falling into some kind of death pit gets his attention."Oh My! Mr. Bryn, are you alright?? Good catch Ms. Oftenseen... that was close. Wait... you really intend to continue knowing that a step out of bounds means you'll be cut to ribbons?"
He sighs and shakes his head "Well Finwa if you're up to it, we should maybe get started before anything else happens." He gets his longbow ready. "Oh, and before I forget, you're definitely the most trustworthy person here, I think you should be leader, and I'll trust your intuition regarding Velval I might have to change my vote to survive though..."
Leoian votes Finwa for team Leader
Leoian votes Velval for team loser, unless he needs to change it to save himself.
The battle had been exciting, a refreshing difference to what had been going on which was taking the sad state of where they all were doing here. The two were fighting well but even Finwa could tell that Bryn was outmatched. Even so the riposte was exciting and fun to watch.
She smiles at Leo and looks back happily...
Until Bryn almost took a dive into blades.
She'd screamed and ran forward without even realizing what she was doing but there was no way to get there in time or even to where they were so she'd automatically stopped before even trying.
Her breath came out raggedly as Charlene saved Bryn and she changed from being impressed and respecting what was going on to being completely horrified. The little lady did not want Bryn to die. And she also did not want anything to happen to Charlene either.
Then Charlene attacked Bryn full out and she stood stock still in fear.
But there was nothing she could do. And that fact was the most painful of all.
As Charlene pushes him back; snapping the tip of her sword. Cold ice runs through his veins; 'I didn't want this...but I have an idea. If I can just get the distance.'
Bryn looks to the on-rushing woman, this would take all of his skill and timing.... The mask seems to disappear as he can see the determination in her eyes, he starts towards her. The Scandinavian is in motion, the run not too fast since everything has to be timed perfectly; twice!
As she meets him with a defiant thrust at his sword arm, he leaves it as a target but tries deflect the blade away as he dives over her head. Rather than her going for his vulnerable torso. 'This would be easier with Mattie, Finwa or Alina....ouch.' He thinks as his quarte parry fails dramatically.
The ragged end of Ms Oftenseen's blade draws a red line across his wrist, causing his weapon to go flying from the piste. The scream of the saws as they crunch and mangle the metal cause a gasp to go from the audience whilst Bryn tucks into a roll and ends at the opposite end of the raised piste. His mask going flying before it rolls to a stop.
Ignoring the pain he charges Charlene before she has chance to turn at her end of the piste. However two strides before he leaps just as the cautious lady has got into stance; his first leg lands lightly upon her cocked knee - whilst his second steps upon onto the back of her shoulder. Pushing her forward rather than off the edge, he uses the momentum and elevation to leap forlornly for the far edge of the pit.
His dark hair trails behind him, eyes wide open and a smile upon his face. It might be insane but this is freedom. Diving through the air, the adrenaline pounds through his system.
For a moment it looks like he'll easily make it, however gravity - the cruel mistress takes hold and drags him towards the spinning blades. His finger-tips catch the edge of the pit as his body hits the walls driving all the air out of his lungs. The dark Norse-man hangs there above the whirling-blades...
|Charlene F. Oftenseen|
Charlene turns to see Bryn's predicament, considers for a moment, then hurls her shortened blade straight at the dangling Norsaman with all her might. It thunks into the wall of the pit near his right knee, vibrating.
"A step," she yells over the grinding of the metal trap, "Put your foot on the blade."
With surprising strength the petite Finwa pulls him over the edge; his feet scramble upon the sides of the pit finding the weapons flat edge. As he rolls to safety. "Thanks. That was a bit stupid of me!" he gasps with the last breath.
Getting to his feet with a bow to the camera's; "And your winner; Ms. Charlene Oftenseen."
Bryn then reaches 'into' the ears of Finwa to pull out a handkerchief, "I'm afraid I have got some blood on you." he rubs the blood off her hand from where she hauled upon his wrist. Then he ties it around his own wrist.
Finwa rolls away with Bryn, making sure that she's away from the pit as well then slowly stands, unsteady on her feet because of the exertion and the fear that had been coursing through her veins.
Now she stands there shaking from the experience. She feels better that he's on safer ground and chuckles in shocked reaction but leans against him partially for stability and partially just in case.
She looks across the pit and takes a deep breath, now worried for Charlene, "Get across fast Ms. Oftenseen!" She yells, unsure of whether the woman ever is called by her first name and surprised she can even speak yet alone yell yet.
With a heavy thud, Alexander drops the final arcane stone into position, before stepping back and dusting off his hands. By this point his entire body was covered in blood, the shrapnel and splinters having worked themselves loose during his manual labor. The crimson liquid poured freely, dripping to the ground like raindrops. Popping his neck with a cock of his head, he takes notice of the fencing match.
"Looks like they're having some fun," he comments, more impressed by the intensity of the situation than he was of their fighting style. The thought of using such skinny swords just seemed plain wimpy to him. A real man would use a big sword! Like a bastard sword! Oh, I'm a real bastard alright! Brushing some blood off the bridge of his nose, he looks to Murder Monk. "Well, I got everything into position like ya asked. What's next?"
Leoian hurries over to Bryn as Finwa's already pulling him to safety he went as quickly as his small legs would allow, but it seemed Finwa already had things well in hand. "Mr. Bryn! Are you alright? Are you hurt?" he sighs with relief when Bryn continues with his magic by pulling a handkerchief out of Finwa's ear, he must be alright if he's doing magic tricks again. "It's a good thing you have such great reflexes Finwa, thanks to you Mr. Bryn is safe. You're stronger than one would assume, I don't think I could have managed to pull him up. Umm not that you are heavy Mr. Bryn just that I am small and not terribly confident in my strength... Well nevermind that, I'm glad you're unhurt."
He looks past the pit to Charlene as Finwa calls to her "Ms. Oftenseen are you well? Can you avoid the pit? We're here to help if we can"
Recovering his composure quickly, though the reality of the situation might not have wholly sunk in yet. "Thank you for your concern Leoian. It's hopefully nothing...." he looks at the bloody handkerchief; "I'll have to survive this ordeal, then maybe I'll be able to play the guitar again."
"It's alright, I am a bit bulkier than you. And I look forward to your demonstration." His warm voice resonates with happiness at the others and their gratifying reactions.
"Match Over Mittens, I believe the floor should be restored. I hope that helped with your ratings." he says the last quietly.
Finwa sighs, calmed by Bryn's calm manner but still she worries. She rests her head against his side and fights off a bout of crying. What if Mittens considers other ideas?
Finally she catches her breath and watches Charlene, "I guess it is your turn with the arrows, Leo. Uhm, how about we do that when Ms. Oftenseen is safe on regular ground?"
|Charlene F. Oftenseen|
"I believe now that the show is over, the stage will be struck. My ten minutes of fame is over - for this hour. Mr. Mousekewitz, you should probably begin your part of the talent competition, before it is too late."
Charlene doffs her mask and tosses it into the grinder, then sits calmly in the middle of the piste, waiting.
"Actually, the blades were activated automatically since you were using a Deathmatch standard piste. It was supposed to be used in round 12, but oh well, this will look great in the promo! I have an engineer working on-" And then the blades stop spinning, and the pits close up again. Mittens peers down for a few moments still. "Congratulations, Ms. Oftenseen! Truly a performance befitting of our current Team Leader!"
|Charlene F. Oftenseen|
Charlene stands and salutes Mittens with an imaginary foil. "It was my pleasure, Ms. Von Meowselsworth. I shall be interested in seeing how Mr. Davila does next round, considering his current lead in the voting. I expect it will be rather... spectacular." She looks askance at the arcane and bloodied pile of rocks.
The little woman puts a hand on Leoian's shoulder as she walks towards the target range and gives it a slight squeeze. It wasn't that she didn't want to help Leo but she felt the warmth of Bryn leaving her and that's truly what she wanted was to stay near him to feel his warmth.
Dammit. I can't have a crush on him. At least one of us is likely to die.
Finwa nibbled on her lower lip as she picked up an apple and started to toss it in the air, walking towards the targets where she would become a backdrop for Leo's arrows. She trusted him but Bryn's apprehension before did concern her, even if she tried to ignore it.
Leoian looks towards Finwa as she puts her hand on his shoulder and offers a bit of a smile "Sorry Finwa I know this is probably the last thing you want to do right now, I really appreciate your support. I'm worried after seeing the fencing demonstration though. Mr. Bryn and Ms. Oftenseen's friendly match was forced into a much deadlier display than they expected, the same could happen if someone decides knocking an apple off your head from 100 yards isn't good enough for ratings. I certainly won't blame you if you have second thoughts." He moves to collect his bow from where he dropped his bow after hurrying over to Bryn. "I can shoot the static targets without you, not as flashy, but no surprise pits opening under anyone."
Finwa turns slightly, still tossing the apple and shrugs, "The only way to do this is to just do it. Thanks for worrying, Leo. It should be fine." Her thoughts went to if it wasn't fine then figured if it wasn't then at least she would not have to worry about others dying.
She went to a tree and stood in front of it for a moment. What to do? What to do? Then she noticed a barrel of apples and wondered how that got there, let alone the tree. Oh well.
The little lady put an apple on her head, then stood on one foot while putting an apple on the crook between her foot and leg then one in each hand.
"Start shooting my friend. I can't stand this way forever." She teased.
"No wonder you people are death row criminals, with your ultra violent dangerous talents. Let me show you my amazing talking cat routine," says Mittens, hopping back up to her announcer chair. "All weaponry for this event have been provided by Kill 'em Dead incorporated. These weapons are guaranteed to Kill 'em Dead or your money back*."
*Provided you can prove that you were employing the weapon in sufficiently deadly fashion.
Leoian feels his breath catch and his heart skip hearing Mittens' announcement, so much for a chance of finding blunted arrows. He took a deep breath to drive away the nerves "Don't worry, it won't take long, just don't move."
He draws and nocks two arrows drawing the bowstring back with each arrow between two fingers. He carefully positions the bow until satisfied with his aim, and releases. The two arrows pierce the apples Finwa held carrying them out of her hands as the arrows continued on embedding in the tree.
First shot and no complications, he draws another arrow pulls back the string and fires again immediately drawing another arrow before the first has even hit. The first arrow sticks cleanly into the apple on Finwa's head carrying it off her head, but not all the way to the tree, it falls down behind the small woman.
He aims lower firing his quickly prepared arrow spearing it through the apple held between Finwa's foot and her leg carrying it out of its precarious perch. The arrow carried forward catching the apple fallen from Finwa's head, and pinning both to the tree.
Leoian held his breath half expecting a pit or something to open up and swallow the woman, or possibly him. He let it out in a relieved sigh when it appeared that nothing would happen "Whew. See hardly took any time at all." He smiles towards Finwa "Thank you my dear... I hope that's enough." He sets the bow down and starts making his way towards Finwa "I would never had expected to find such a good friend in a competition like this, everything has a silver lining I guess."
Finwa holds her breath as the arrows come zooming at her and even though she has made herself believe in Leo she was still nervous. How couldn't she be? These were arrows coming towards her.
Once the last arrow caught the apple at her foot she let out a relieved huff of air and chuckled, "It's hard to find good friends anywhere." She agreed and walked towards him as well, "It looks like we are lucky people. Well ... sorta."
She gave her friend a half grin and looked about to see what the others were doing.
|Charlene F. Oftenseen|
Finwa laughs but not in amusement. It is more of a nervous chitter, "Just getting out some nerves, Ms. Oftenseen. Plus robots are not likely to be friendly enough to be one's friends. So we have some guesses on who they are not but that probably doesn't go too far. How are we going to be able to find out who the robots are past that?"
The resounding sound of the first thud, immediately followed by the second. Bryn barely blinks as the tightness in his stomach threatens to overwhelm his senses. Then he realises those were just the ones upon her hands, relatively safe positions. The next were not....
An exclamation to cease dies on his lips as the next arrow is loosened; he cannot breathe as unlike the last it takes not the apple against the tree - merely removing it from her head. But Bryn exhults as the last shot takes both apples in an amazingly skillful flight!
"Well done." his voice squeaks, then coughs. "Very well done." he says in a more manly tone, slightly embarassed "That was a series of very good shots. And as I said impressive enough for a leader." Bryn's eyes quickly check the lady for injuries; shocked that someone could fire so well.
Bryn's voice is warm; "As for finding out the robots accusations and implications are best - watch!"
"Alexander you like blood! You seem to kill and hunt, you stalk your pray don't you! You are the stalking robot; aren't you!" Bryn accuses flatly.
Vote for Team Leader: Leoian Mousekewitz
|Duke Leto Atredies|
Finwa walks over to Bryn's side and leans against him, her head against his side as she sags a bit with relief, "I hope you don't mind, Bryn, but I just need some stability and you're nicer to lean against than a tree." Sshe whispers only for him to hear. She feels embarrassed and doesn't want the guards to think she is showing much anxiety. She cannot alow them to see her breaking.
She smiles as Aaron changes his vote then a brow lifts at Duke, "Can you do the alphabet that way too?" She jokes not expecting a reply as she tries to calm heer shivering. Now that she, Bryn, Leo and Charlene do not seem to be in danger she is starting to react.
|Charlene F. Oftenseen|
Charlene taps her iPad some more and clears her throat for attention. "Now, folks, as you will note on the kiosk display, there are some who are clearly not pulling their weight in the entertainment department, allowing the rest of us to risk life and limb for ratings while they skate by on our coattails. Pardon the mixed metaphor. Anyway, I suggest you review the results and vote one of the contestants who did not demonstrate a talent off this show! And surely we are all willing to concede Mr. Monk's demonstration of talent without seeing its ultimate outcome, correct? I certainly do!"
- Aaron Lockley: Rifle drill
- Alexander Maxerson: Boulder Stacking
- Alina Malain: ? No demonstration
- Brynjard 'Ihsahn' Silenoz: Jestering?
- Cardon Mars the Four: ? No demonstration
- Charlene F. Oftenseen: Fencing. Sparring partner: Bryn.
- Duke Leto Atredies: Bagpipes, bedding (no demonstration)
- Eldon Gorski: Rubiks Kube solving
- Finwa: Gymnastics
- Hamish Cunningham: No demonstration
- Leoian Mousekewitz: Archery
- Mattie: 'Science' - No demonstration
- Murder Monk: Something 'special'?
- Prof. Tinkerton: ? No demonstration
- The Hollow: Cake creation sans thumbs
- Velval/Stephano: ? No demonstration
Talent: Being Dead
Charlene votes Eldon Gorski Team Leader.
Charlene votes Hamish Cunningham Team Loser.
Charlene watches Finwa.
With a cry of excitement, Rekstahl watches Alexander place the final stone in place. "And now... he mutters with a creepy smile.
"Little Finwa! If you're offer of blood is still available, may I trouble you for 2-3 drops?"
Murder Monk reaffirms his vote for Alexander Maxerson as Team Leader.
Murder Monk votes for Velvel for Team Loser.
Finwa is curious as to Murder Monk's creation but presses against Bryn' side a bit more with fear.
Surely he can't do anything to me with a couple drops.
She looks to a guard qho grins back at her wickedly then she turns back to Murder Monk, shaking a bit more but trying to control it, "Ok but can you come get it?"Her voice is as shaky as she is.
The little woman looks up at Bryn pleadingly,"Can you do the cut for it? I trust you." She noticeably does not want to do it but something is making her agree, her ears pressed as tight against her head as possible showing that fact and her shortened tail wrapped part way around Bryn for a sense of security.
"It's alright, at least I won't scratch you with my bark." he says quietly feeling her soft warmth at his side. The slight shivering of the lady as she leans against his flank, causes Bryn to move his hand uncertainly towards her. A faint whir of the camera nearby, the Norseman turns his head to the lens with a scowl as it focusses upon his arm.
The building tension is broken by the Monks words... "Here, you can have mine. She hasn't been injured." Brynn unravels the impromptu bandage upon his injured wrist and casts it towards the stone creation. "I couldn't injure you, just for him....it." he whispers to Finwa. His finger reflexively go to rub her ears in reassurance but he takes them back not wishing to be presumptuous.
The little lady watches as he tosses his bloody rag to the monk then gazes up at him thankfully. She can see the guard from the sides of her eyes scowling but when Bryn touches her one ear it lifts towards the touch and she smiles warmly at him even though she is still afraid. The slight touch did push a bit away and it showed ine her emerald eyes.
Mattie glances over at the Duke, "That's disgusting!" she declares.
"Particle physics! Well, that's what I specialize in, but I dabble in a lot of stuff," Mattie nods when asked 'what kind of science' she does. Pssh, all of them, of course! Currently, though, she seems to be dragging in a rather large and peculiar looking piece of equipment, much like an old coal furnace, except more modern looking.
"I'm going to show you all a miniaturized version of my greatest invention! My famed anti-matter reactor!" she pauses, "With just one small reactor, using the destructive capabilities of anti-matter, we can power a whole city... OR, this conveniently placed death ray!"
Without further adieu, she begins adjusting a series of dials and switches on the device, and then begins hooking it up to aforementioned death ray. The whole business makes an ominous humming noise, and begins to give off waves of heat.
She aims the ray at nothing in particular - just a nearby wall, and presses fire. The death ray seems to charge up, as if it's about to fire, but then everything seems to backfire, "Woops, I guess I... Ohno-" Mattie gulps as electricity arches around the reactor and then the entire thing blows up in a brilliant white flash, throwing the pint sized inventor back twenty or thirty feet and leaving a nice little crater with scorch marks in the ground.
"I guess I forgot to carry the one again..."
Mattie votes for Leoian for leader.
Mattie votes Duke Leo Atreides for loser.
|Duke Leto Atredies|
Rekstahl looks at the bloody rag in disdain. Picking it up, he casually flings it over an edge of the arena into what is apparently a Strijacien Claw Beast den. The snarling and fighting that erupts as the Ji'real System natives fight over the rag is quite concerning.
Rekstahl favors Mittens with an unsavory look. "You really have all the fun deaths waiting for us, don't you cat," he spits out, a little bit of anger showing.
Turning back to Brynjard, Rekstahl looks unamused. "Fresh blood or don't waste my time. When physicians and nurses poke you with a needle to draw your blood, I assure you they take more than I am asking. For players in a game peopled with criminals, both of you are awfully squeamish to provide just a little of that humor." The evil cleric's eyes narrow.
"It was surprising that no robots managed to kill that first round. Is it possible you two are robots and have discovered a similar programming? Perhaps that is why the young lady has been so 'taken' with you of a sudden, Metalhead."