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Bionifight - Remembrance

Bionifight Infinite Landfall Remembrance Epic

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#1 Offline Nato The Traveler

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Posted Feb 04 2017 - 08:16 AM

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Almost two years have passed since the final Bionifight Tournament began, almost two years since dozens of innocent beings were torn without warning from their homes, almost two years since they were thrust into a bloody, brutal fight to the death for the entertainment of a sick, desensitised audience.

 

Although some of the survivors have moved on completely from the horrors and memories they left behind, for many, today is still a day of remembrance.

 

But alas, in the minds of some, the tournament is not yet over.

 

Over the coming days and weeks, this epic shall explore the lives of those survivors, as they’re drawn into a new tournament, in a new arena, for one final, catastrophic confrontation with the dark legacy of the Cultists and Hosts who wrought so much death and destruction upon the multiverse.

 

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Edited by Nato The Traveler, Feb 04 2017 - 08:16 AM.

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#2 Offline Nato The Traveler

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Posted Feb 04 2017 - 09:17 AM

PROLOGUE – Fear Itself.

Rahkshi weren’t supposed to feel fear.

 

They were the spawn of the Makuta, designed for destruction. They existed to instil fear, not suffer at its hands. And yet, suspended from the ceiling by shackles and chains, that was exactly what this rahk was feeling. Her arms and legs had been bound tightly together, and it felt as if her faceplates and casing carapace had been welded shut, preventing her from ejecting her kraata and attempting an escape that way.

 

The room was dark. An unnatural, crushing blackness too thick for even the Rahkshi’s eyesight to penetrate. She could hear movement in that darkness – the soft footfalls of boots on a carpeted floor, the rustling of a heavy cloak, and the fluttering of paper.

 

“The events of Bionifight and Landfall are truly tragic. The crimes committed by the Host, the Queen and the Cult are unforgivable, unforgettable. The lives lost are irreplaceable,” the Rahkshi recognised the words. She was the one who’d written them, after all. But more importantly, she recognised the voice, a voice that dripped with disdain and disgust.

 

The recital continued. “But I’m alive. And while the horrors I witnessed, the things I was forced to do, and the things I failed to do, will likely haunt me until my dying day, I won’t let this one small part of my past define my entire future.”

 

The Rahkshi knew what came next. A single sentence. Seven short words that had been intended to represent an ending to the Bionifight nightmare, to give closure to the survivors, to give peace to the deceased.

 

“It’s time for me to move on.”

 

Then, silence. The footsteps ceased. The cloak stopped rustling. And the creeping sense of fear that had been clawing at the Rahkshi’s consciousness began to increase. The rational part of her mind knew that this had to be the capital F variety of fear, artificially inflicted on her by the being who shared the room with her, but that didn’t make the effects any less horrific.

 

Her mind tortured itself for what felt like forever, conjuring up all manner of terrors that might lurk just beyond the veil of blackness that engulfed her, reliving the sights of agony and suffering she’d witnessed during her times in the field, eventually leaving her with the very real sense of terror she’d experienced several times before, in the face of imminent death.

 

And then the Fear vanished, as abruptly as the darkness did. The room was suddenly flooded with light, light that lacked any obvious source or origin, but cast an even glow throughout her surroundings nontheless. The room was pentagonal in shape, each of the five walls being occupied by a gigantic framed viewscreen – one ringed by cooled lava, one by decayed coral, one by sooty ice, one by scorched red rock, and the fifth with some kind of industrial metal.

 

The rest of the room was filled with all manner of paraphernalia related to the Bionifight competition and the Landfall disaster that followed – tables strewn with news clipping and reports, display cabinets filled with artworks and trophies that had been noted as missing from the cultist facilities during the clean-up, the thrones of the various Heralds, and what looked like one of the control panels from the original Bionifight facility. Even the ceiling was covered in murals taken from the cultist residences.

 

“Why would you want to move on?” the figure seemed to unfold into view in the corner of the Rahkshi’s vision. It was impossible to be sure if they’d been carefully repositioning themselves just out of sight the whole time the rahk had been looking around, or had used some kind of illusion or teleportation to conceal themselves. “Why would any of us want to move on?”

 

The Rahkshi couldn’t respond, and wasn’t sure what she could’ve said anyway. The figure was wearing a cloak, a voluminous hood casting the speaker’s face into that same impossible darkness that had previously filled the room. But the rahk knew that voice, knew who it belonged to, and knew it was impossible to argue with this level of malice and madness.

 

“The best things in life are the unexpected ones,” the figure crouched before the Rahkshi, their hooded head level with the Rahkshi’s own, “I didn’t plan to be part of the Bionifight tournament, and you didn’t plan to be taken prisoner by the cult, but look at us both now. Look at us all now.”

 

The five screens blazed into life, flickering between different feeds depicting a number of the other surviving contestants. Live feeds, no less, if the different time zones and activities were anything to go by. “We didn’t want this, but we all made the best of it. You’re a celebrity, they’re heroes, and me? I’m a god.”

 

The figure straightened, the screens behind them continuing to broadcast the live feeds of the Bionifight survivors, “Now, I know what you’re thinking. The Queen and Host acted like gods, too, and the cult even had actual gods leading them, yet all of them are still dead. But me? I outlasted them all. I was no one, nothing, but I gathered what they all left behind, and took it for myself. I’m more than them, better than them, and to prove it…”

 

Another object unfolded from the ether, appearing beside the control panel. The captive rahk recognised it instantly, and the growing realisation of what this maniac was planning began to fill her with a very real terror.

 

No, please no…

 

It was an interdimensional teleporter, the same kind the Hosts had used to kidnap contestants for the tournament, the same kind that had been used to send the survivors back home after the defeat of the cult, the same kind the Rahkshi herself had once helped build, to open up her humble school of journalism to an interdimensional audience.

 

“…I’m going to finish what my predecessors started.”

 

Don’t do this…

 

“I don’t want anyone to forget Bionifight,” The demented, darkened Ta-Toa known as Dayeth threw back her hood, a cruel smile adorning her masked face, “I don’t want anyone to move on. Bionifight was a beautiful thing, and now that I’m in charge, it’s never going to end.”

 

She pressed a button on the control panel, and one by one, the feeds on the screens began to cut out in flares of brilliant white. 


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#3 Offline Nato The Traveler

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Posted Feb 09 2017 - 08:02 PM

CHAPTER 1 – Survivor’s Guilt.

 

Xara.

 

“Go on, say it,” I narrowed my eyes at the Makuta sitting on the couch across from mine, “Get it out of your system.” The form she’d chosen for this meeting somewhat resembled a Rahkshi, but was infinitely more intricate and complex, with a latticework of blood-hued, vein-like patterning engraved into the surface of her crimson armour. Her eyes, like mine, were a striking violet.  

 

“Please, I’m just doing my job,” she urged, “There’s no need for aggression.”

 

“Being aggressive is my job.” Or, at least, the closest thing I had to one, since moping around the house all day and occasionally stopping to play with my cat probably didn’t count.

 

“Believe it or not, Xara, I do care about your wellbeing. The last counsellor the committee gave you… before she quit… made extensive notes about your uncooperativeness and hostility-”

 

“That’s normal for me!” I protested.

 

“-which is exactly why I’m concerned. The committee decided to send someone to talk to you, before tomorrow, and I volunteered.”

 

“What are they afraid of? That I’ll suddenly flip out and go on a killing spree?”  

 

“Well, you are a Rahkshi…”

 

“I’m going to pretend very hard that you didn’t just say that.”

 

“You’re not stupid, Xara,” my mother sighed, “You know how you must look to the rest of us. An unhinged, traumatised Rahkshi living in isolation just a few kio away from a heavily populated settlement. Vanishing off for days or weeks at a time with no explanation. Competing in every fighting tournament you can find. There are some who worry that you’re a ticking time bomb, and after what happened to Alisa, and the others, all we want is to ensure the physical and mental wellbeing of the other survivors, as well as those around them.”

 

“What do you want from me?” I scowled, slumping further back in my chair. “A solemn pinkie promise? A signed treatise? How about I surrender my weapons to you until after tomorrow’s over?”

 

That last option would admittedly be a bit of a tall order, given that every wall of the spacious treehouse that I’d made my home was lined with all manner of pointy, stabby things I’d collected over the past few months.

 

“I just want to be sure you’re okay, that’s all.”

 

“Seriously, I’m fi-” everything went white. The chair was gone from beneath me. My mother was lost from my sight. I was freefalling in a glaring column of light, plummeting downwards in an endless blinding spiral.

 

And then, abruptly, I wasn’t.

 

I was standing on a small, circular platform, surrounded by darkness. The platform was partially lit by a small blinking red light in its centre, but the blackness beyond it was solid, spongy, pushing back against me when I tried to push through it. I was trapped.

 

What the karz is going on?

 

* * *

 

Miril.

 

“Fifteen men on dead man’s chest,” I sang as I/we/me worked, heaving the last of the bodies into the freshly dug hole.

 

“Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum,” my other self chimed, snatching up a shovel and tossing it over to me.

 

“I could use a drink right now,” I muttered, scowling at the mess of bloody splotches and vitrified sand around us. It seemed like the better things got for me – we, really; we spent so much time apart these days it sometimes felt like we really were leading completely separate lives – the worse our former friends and allies seemed to react towards us.

 

For example, today’s disaster had been intended to be nothing more than simple trade deal, we’d even gone to the extra effort of both attending, to help things run more smoothly, but everything had still gone to karz very quickly. Some over-ambitious fool had gotten it into his head that killing us both would allow them to take over our business, and by the time the ensuing fight was over, I was the only one left standing.

 

“Drink and the devil had done for the rest,” my reflection resumed the shanty as she began filling in the hole we’d made. I dug in silence. As I was recently coming to discover, managing the biggest pirate empire in the Matoran Universe wasn’t nearly as glamorous as I’d thought it would be. The adventure and excitement was gone, replaced by tedious negotiations and inane discussions, punctuated by the occasional gruelling battle.

 

“You remember when this used to be fun?” I said at length.

 

“Before Bionifight,” my mirror image agreed, “those karzing gems were more trouble than they’re worth.”

 

“Put that shovel down,” I stabbed mine into the dirt, extending a hand to my other self, “it’s been a while since we caught up.” My reflection took the offered hand, and we activated our masks together, our mirrored forms merging back together into a single, whole me…

 

…who was promptly swallowed up by a sudden flare of blazing brightness. Everything around me was white, rushing up as we plummeted down. It was hard to focus on what was in front of me, preoccupied as I was with the months of fresh memories flooding my mind.

 

And then, just as quickly, I wasn’t falling.

 

Instead, I was standing on a metallic platform of some kind, with only a wall of darkness and a small red light for company. This all felt painfully, horrifyingly familiar, and given today’s date, it couldn’t be a coincidence…

 

* * *

 

Falcon.

 

Mid-morning sunlight filtered in through a crack in the curtains, partially illuminating the interior of the Glatorian’s treetop bungalow. Falcon still snored softly in his bed, exhaustion and despair having taken their toll on him.

 

The day before, Vyne had died. Vyne, who had been his closest friend, his constant companion, for decades now. She’d lived well beyond the average for her species, and been sick for a few weeks now, so her peaceful death in her sleep hadn’t come as much of a surprise.

 

But that didn’t make the pain of her loss hurt any less. 

 

Falcon had retired a year ago, content to live out the rest of his days in the tranquillity of Bota Magna’s forests, but as he tossed and turned in the bed, his mind was filled with turbulent, turmoiled thoughts. He’d thought retirement had been what he wanted, but without Vyne to keep him company in his isolation, he wasn’t sure what he wanted.

 

When the light swallowed him up and deposited him roughly on the hard floor of the platform, he first thought he was caught up in some kind of dream. But this was too vivid, too strange. This was real. He wanted to lash out, to fight his way free of the darkness that entrapped him, but his knife and bow were back in the bungalow, and Vyne was dead and buried.

 

He had nothing.

 

* * *

 

 

Dreisen.

 

The selfishness of others was a source of unceasing disappointment.

 

Today, despite his intentions to the contrary, Dreisen had found himself called in to the Bionifight Commemorative Museum, which was an even bigger joke than it sounded. The committee operating it insisted that it was a respectful establishment intended for educational awareness purposes, but unlike the unwashed masses the museum was pandering to, Dreisen wasn’t a moron.

 

The museum was just a giant money making ploy, exactly like the Bionifight Tournament itself had been. Entry prices were high, half of the exhibits required special tickets or passes to get into, and the merchandise was horrendously expensive. It made him sick, watching the lives and stories of both the survivors, and the fallen, being used for profit.

 

Today, however, his disdain for the establishment fell to the wayside, replaced by a growing sense of concern as he followed a nervous Kestora curator into the basement below the museum.

 

“We’re here,” the diminutive being came to a stop before a set of sturdy, reinforced metal doors. There was a keypad on the wall, and it took the Kestora’s shaking hands several attempts before he was able to correctly enter the dozen-digit passcode. The doors slid open, to reveal a colossal stockpile of poorly-organised artefacts. Most of it was, honestly, just junk and scrap parts leftover from the wreckage. There were plenty of control panels, computer screens, and medical units as well, since there was no point sticking twenty identical objects out on display upstairs.

 

However, in the middle of the mess was a noticeable empty space. The gaps in the dust made it clear that something had been there quite recently, but there were no footprints or drag marks to indicate it having been removed.

 

That was exactly why Dreisen had been called here. After all, when one of the Bionifight facility’s old teleporter units just vanished, who else could you contact except for the Bionifight facility’s former chief engineer?

 

“When was the last time anyone had eyes on this unit?” He demanded, rounding on the snivelling curator.

 

“Last night. We always check the inventory when we leave at night, and arrive in the morning.”

 

“So it was here when you left last night, but gone when you got here this morning?” He reiterated, “And who else has the access codes for this vault? Night staff? Security guards?”

 

“Well yes, but the system logs every entry, and no one’s been in here.”

 

“Clearly someone has been,” Dreisen growled, “Equipment like that doesn’t just disappear on its own. It-” a hazy nimbus of light flared into life around him, and with a sudden pang of panic, he recognised it for what it was.

 

Whoever had taken the teleporter was using it to take him, too.

 

* * *

 

The Puppetmaster.

 

The lab was in shambles. Without his contingent of reprogrammed Baterra to defend the place, there was no way to keep out the more unsavoury elements of the Bara Magnan populace. It looked like another band of Vorox or scavengers had torn through the place in the night, utterly ruining any potential of progress the lone Great Being’s experiments might’ve had.

For once, however, he didn’t care.

 

Today was the day, finally, after months of waiting. Calmly, meticulously, he opened up the secret compartment in the floor and began to withdraw the objects he’d stashed there in preparation for this day – the components for his old hardlight rifle, the wrist-blade he’d acquired during Landfall, and a few of the more recent donations he’d received from his patron.

 

Once he was ready, he sat himself down in his favourite chair, and waited.

 

When the time came for the white light of the teleportation vortex to swallow him, he was ready for it.

 

* * *

 

Hive.

 

The Containment Centre was silent.

 

The last of the unfortunate captives the cult had accumulated over the course of its terrifying tenure had died out months ago, be it from malnourishment, disease, or upon Hive’s own operating table. He’d considered seeking out more, but the Herald of Fear – the last of the Heralds, and therefore the only being in existence who had any kind of authority over him – had assured him that a far greater purpose awaited him, in time.

 

So he’d allowed himself to enter a dormancy state, powering down his exo-suit and Nanoswarm, and focusing his processing power on combing through the plethora of data he’d gathered over the decades.

 

And thus, for over a year, there’d been no sound at all from within the stark interior of the Containment Centre, save for the soft, near-inaudible whirring of the cooling fans in the databank that Hive had plugged himself into to boost his processors. But now, those too, had fallen silent.

The databank powered down, and Hive’s exo-suit powered up. It straightened to its full height, unplugging itself from the external computers as it did. It strode out of the archive room and stomped quickly down the corridor. Once, these corridors would have been filled with the groans and screams of the dead, dying, and undead. The sounds of science, of progress. Now, the only sound to accompany him was his own heavy footfalls, along with the occasional creak of squeaky joints, and the hiss of hydraulic systems.

 

He entered his private chambers, and stepped into the repair bay. First, a fine spray of mist enveloped him, washing away most of the dust that had accumulated over his body in the time since his last repair cycle. Once that was done, a host of mechanical limbs lurched into life, analysing and probing at Hive’s external components, while a diagnostic AI ran a check on his software.

 

After that, the repair bay set about removing and replacing any problematic components from the exo-suit. Most of the damage was minor – rust, dents, and scratches – but today was a special day, and he’d decided it would be best to perform a full overhaul, for appearance’s sake, if nothing else.

 

When at last the restoration was complete, Hive stepped off the repair platform and set off across the room, where his weapon’s system awaited him in an airtight, sterilised case. First, he reattached his grenade launcher, before cycling through the ammunition canisters to ensure that they were intact, and that the viruses housed within were all still viable.

 

Satisfied that he was indeed ready, Hive adopted a ready stance, and waited for the white light to envelop him.

 

He didn’t have to wait very long.   

 

* * *

 

Psycho Green.

 

She’d thought she would never get bored of this place.

 

How wrong she’d been.

 

The Trophy Hall of Tuoni’s home had become a private purgatory for Psycho Green. While the others of her sect had gone out to fight the Bionifighters and escaped prisoners, she’d decided to stay behind, try out the Herald’s throne, play around with the artefacts, and in general do a whole bunch of dumb things she’d never be allowed to do when the others were around.

 

And then they’d all gotten themselves killed. Ironic, considering they were supposed to be the ones who brought death, but it had happened nonetheless. They were gone, and she was still here, trapped in Tuoni’s accursed Palace of Death, surrounded by imagery devoted to a god of death who had – again, rather ironically – gotten themselves killed.

 

For months, it had felt like she was trapped in some kind of sick, twisted joke. She and the others had devoted their lives to Tuoni, to Kuolema, to death itself, and this was her reward? Trapped in a tomb of incongruity, with only memories and madness for company.

 

There was food, at least, most of it canned goods and non-perishables, out of necessity. And then she had shown up, promising that the time would soon come for Green to surpass the failings of her predecessors, to bring death to those who had slain her fellow cultists.

So, with no better prospects, she’d waited, biding her time, honing her skills, and praying to any one or thing that might still be listening. And at last, the promised day had finally arrived.

 

The entry portal wound up being a little off-target, likely due to the mist of death still obscuring the palace, opening a few feet away from Green instead of around her.

 

But it was there, freedom, hope, within her reach, and she didn’t hesitate in flinging herself through it.  

 

* * *

 

Dayeth.

 

As the various survivors tried in vain to find a way off the platforms they were trapped on, they would see a square of light flicker into existence before them, shining like a beacon in the otherwise impenetrable darkness.

 

Any stirrings of hope they might have felt were quickly quashed, however, as the chillingly familiar face of a darkened Ta-Toa came into view. A face that bore a Mask of Emulation Nuva. A face that belonged to one of the few contestants in the Bionifight tournament who had been undeniably, irredeemably, pure evil.

 

The Toa’s name was Dayeth, and she’d been looking forward to this moment for a very long time.  


Edited by Nato The Traveler, Feb 17 2017 - 03:32 AM.

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#4 Offline Nato The Traveler

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Posted Feb 17 2017 - 03:46 AM

CHAPTER 2 – Grand Delusions.

The Day the Cult Fell.

 

A lone figure stalked across the mossy cobblestones of the City of Fear, cloak flapping wildly in an unnatural breeze. When she’d first come to this place, it had been eerie, to say the least. Unseen figures had watched her from the shadows, the rubble had shifted of its own accord, and the voice of a god had chosen her to be its champion.

 

Now, the city lay dead and empty. The entire Fear sect was extinct, their city abandoned, their castle crumbling, and that somehow made the whole place all the more unnerving.

 

She stopped at the gates of the castle – her castle now, although that meant little given that there was no one left for her to rule over – and sighed. If she had been capable of feeling sorrow, perhaps she would’ve began crying now. She’d been given so much power and authority, been promised even more, and now she was back to having nothing. But if no one was going to give her what she was entitled to, then she would simply have to take it. 

 

Once inside the castle, she wasted no time in weaving her way along into the secret passageways that Maeus had shown her, and beyond it, into his lab. The place was just as she’d left it – four doors, torture devices and equipment strewn about the place, sixteen stasis tubes containing dead Maeus’ in various states of… disassembly… and the smear of blood on the floor from where she’d executed the prime Maeus Fo Kuru, (former) Herald of Fear, before his resurrection as Pelko, and the subsequent destruction of the Fear Sect.

 

She remembered what he’d said to her, before his death, about how this was where he’d spent his time making all manner of plans – plans that had brought down the Bionifight facility, plans to eliminate the other Heralds, and plans for who knew what else – and she decided that that this would be the place to start. Through the north-most door, protected by a seventeen-digit keypad, was an elevator, just as Maeus had said there would be.

 

And, just as he’d promised, the doors hissed open when she entered the sequence ‘2’, ‘3’, ‘16’, and ‘12’, followed by the password ‘Sairaus’. As she began her ascent, she made a mental note to update those passwords to something with a little more significance to her.

 

She owned this place now, after all.

 

* * *

 

Present Day.

 

And now, Dayeth owned a much bigger place.

 

Her new facility drifted in the ashen void of a long-extinguished solar system, on the outer edge of the debris field that had, thousands of years ago, once been called Spherus Magna. It was a dead, empty dimension, one whose story had ended with the Core War. It was forsaken, forgotten, faded from perception. 

 

In other words, the perfect place for her to hide.

 

 

From the outside, the facility vaguely resembled a small, metallic moon. It was perfectly spherical, save for a smattering of craters and dents left by impacts against its thick exterior hull. Inside, however, it was a labyrinthine nexus of corridors, vents, and catwalks, most of them completely pointless. There were a few rooms scattered through the web, as well as five large chambers, completely inaccessible except by teleport – the control room and the arenas.

 

Although they wouldn’t be able to discern their surroundings yet, the contestants she’d abducted had been placed in three of those arenas. She was saving the fourth for a special event later. Three of the screens on the walls were currently active, depicting live feeds of the contestants she’d trapped in the arena that each screen corresponded to.

 

And now, as Dayeth’s face appeared on smaller screens before the abductees, a recording began to play. To some of them, it would be familiar. For those who had joined the tournament later, or been prisoners in Landfall, the nostalgia of the words would be lost to them.

 

“Hello there! Welcome to Bionifight!

 

Ah, Bionifight. Some of you will know what that word means - whether through word of mouth or via your own experiences. Some of you must wonder what exactly I am jibbering on about in this little letter. Or perhaps you are wondering why you were snatched out of your universe and reappeared inside a containment cube.

 

Or was it a tube? I can never remember.

 

So! Bionifight - it is a legendary tournament that has been hosted many times over the past several thousand years. My team and I gather those we deem to be some of the greatest fighters from a variety of universes, plunk you all down in an arena together, and have you battle each other for weeks. At the end, the winner usually earns both eternal bragging rights and whatever mysterious treasure we discover at the location.”

 

As the recording played, Dayeth carefully watched the expressions of her victims. She saw confusion and fear, but also defiance and anger. Perfect.

 

“In the past, we have summoned a wide variety of species - everything from Matoran to Muaka to Skakdi… I do believe we even had a mutated Takea Shark once. The whole idea behind Bionifight was that a Matoran could theoretically take on a Makuta and beat them. Do take care to be SMART about who you decide to duel, however.

 

So! While we think over our plans and figure out how we shall balance things properly in the future… we have decided to stick to our usual limits… which is to say that there are none. But please, do take care not to commit suicide through stupidity.

 

Once more, I say welcome! I dare say that I shall speak to most of you eventually. Take care to spe-”

 

The message cut off in a hiss of static, and Dayeth’s own voice echoed across the arenas. “Welcome back to the Boinifight Tournament, ladies, gentlemen, and everything in between. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dayeth. I am both your Host, and your Queen, and this,” she stepped aside slightly, to reveal the gleaming form of Hive standing silently behind her, “is my Enforcer.”  

 

She clapped her hands, and the darkness that filled the arenas receded slightly, just enough that the contestants would be able to discern each other on their illuminated platforms.

 

“Now, I’m a generous deity, so before we get to the fun part of today’s proceedings, I thought I’d offer you all an opportunity to ask questions, try to bargain with me, beg for your lives, etc.”

 

A clamour of voices, in several different languages, assaulted her ears. Scowling, she turned down the volume control, listening to the flood of questions and picking out the recurring ones.

 

“Why are we here?”

 

“I would have thought that would be obvious. This is the Bionifight Tournament, and you’re all here to compete. Now, my tournament will be a little different to those of yesteryear. The stakes are real here. There’s no convenient healing facilities, no merciful resurrection. If you’re hurt, you’re hurt. If you die, you die. The people want meaningful fights, with real consequences, and that’s exactly what I’m going to give them.”

 

“And if we don’t want to fight?” The Rahkshi. Xara. Of course she would be the problematic one.

 

“Use your imagination,” Dayeth crooned, “There are only two ways out of this arena. As winners, or as corpses. It’s up to you which one you’ll be.”

 

“Why are you doing this?”

 

“Because I can. Because I want to.” Dayeth replied simply, “The Hosts are dead. The Heralds are dead. The Pantheon are dead. I’m all that’s left of them. I’ve taken what they left behind, and built a legacy they would all be proud of.”

 

“You’re insane.”

 

“Probably.” She smiled sheepishly, “Definitely.” 

 

“I won’t fight.”

 

Dayeth’s expression fell flat, and she searched the screens for who had spoken. It was the Glatorian, Falcon.

 

“I suggest you think very carefully about what you’re saying before you speak again.” She hissed.

 

“I. Will. Not. Fight. I have nothing left to live for. Save us all some time and just get it over with.”

 

“Very well,” Dayeth’s face on the contestant’s screens vanished, replaced by a direct feed of Falcon himself. “Goodbye, Glatorian.”

 

The red light on the floor of the platform began to blink rapidly, before the entire floor exploded upwards in a blur of silver-grey shards. The cloud of confetti-like metal – and the nasty-looking cloud of green mist that accompanied it – enveloped the defiant Glatorian, and he began to flail, screaming. With the floor gone, Falcon quickly plummeted out of sight, crunching swiftly into the unseen ground below. His screams and struggles continued for a few moments longer, before fading off into silence.

 

“Now that you’ve seen what happens to those who don’t cooperate, I offer you a choice. Refuse to fight, and meet his fate. Compete, and kill, and you stand a chance of leaving this facility alive.”

 

With those final, foreboding words spoken, Dayeth leaned across to her control panel and pressed a button.

 

It was time to begin. 


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#5 Offline Nato The Traveler

Nato The Traveler
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Posted Feb 23 2017 - 07:59 AM

CHAPTER 3 – Round One.

Xara.

 

“Oh, to karz with this.”

 

Although there were no light fixtures in sight, no false sun in the sky, the arena had become illuminated, lit up like it was the middle of the day. And in the light, I could see the landscape that Dayeth had chosen for us to compete in.

 

At first, I thought it was the same Mount Ihu simulation I’d fought on during the very first round of the tournament. But as the hovering platforms atop which myself and the other contestants stood began to descend, the differences became clearer.

 

The snow below was mixed with ash, and though it looked solid, it gave way to a sodden mush the moment I put any weight on it. The rock below was scorched black, and uncomfortably warm to the touch. As I tried to get a better look at the other contestants, the ground rumbled ominously underfoot, cementing my growing fears.

 

This wasn’t the Mount Ihu I knew. This was something much worse.

 

* * *

 

Dayeth.

 

Folding her cloak up beside her, Dayeth sat down in one of the numerous thrones she’d collected, and peered up at the screens before her. Each of the screens corresponded to a specific section of the facility, the stylised frame depicting which arena it represented. The screen she now faced, bordered by a ring of soot-stained ice, was connected to the Mount Ihu Arena. This was the first arena she’d designed, in fact, and still one of her favourites.

 

It was modelled on the Mount Ihu arena from the original tournament, with one very big difference. While the layout and design were near identical, this mountain was an active volcano, primed to erupt naturally within about twenty minutes, although if Dayeth got bored before that, she could trigger it manually at the press of a button.

 

“You know,” she turned her attention to the imprisoned Rahkshi dangling beside her, “I should really be thanking you. Without all of the stories and articles you’ve written to tell me exactly where to find the other survivors, this tournament would’ve had a far less impressive turnout.”

 

Of course, there were still plenty of survivors she hadn’t been able to acquire. Some were dead, others having retired or forsaken their power, while many had just proven impossible to find. Still, she had enough to suit her purposes.

 

She raised a microphone to her lips, her words echoing across the arena, “This is the part where you start killing each other. Do I really need to remind you what will happen if you don’t perform?”  

 

* * *

 

Xara.

 

“I haven’t forgotten!” I shouted back, “But there don’t seem to be any other contestants in here!” I was sure I’d seen other beings lowered down onto the snow with me, but the platforms now all stood empty.

 

“Well, since you love being the centre of attention, I figured you wouldn’t object to performing a solo act for our first round,” Dayeth’s voice echoed back, “As your fellow contestants will soon come to discover, I couldn’t find enough of you surviving Bionifighters to fill my roster, so…”

 

A bank of sodden snow before me suddenly erupted upwards as a whirring, screeching amalgamation of blades and spiked flung itself at me. I ducked into a low roll, blasting the thing with lightning as it passed by overhead. The searing stream of electricity sliced cleanly through the machine, and its two smoking, bisected halves smashed into the snow behind me with a sizzling hiss.

 

“…I added in a few reprogrammed baterra to make up the numbers. Or in your case, Xara, quite a lot of reprogrammed baterra.”

 

“How is that fair?”

 

“It’s not.”

 

If I recalled correctly, there’d been ten platforms lowered into the arena. Which meant I was trapped in here with nine of the deadliest killing machines in existence. Well, eight now.

 

“I swear I’m going to ki-” my threat was cut off as a second blur of blades barrelled towards me. I sent a torrent of lightning streaking towards it, but with the kind of dazzling dexterity only a shapeshifter possessed, it folded itself out of the way, then kept on coming.

 

Cursing, I drew my own blades and rushed to meet it, almost losing my footing in the slush. It swung overhead with a barbed sword-limb, which I caught between my own swords, before launching a kick at the bulbous central stalk that I guessed to be its head.

 

The creature recoiled with a hiss, reforming both of its arms into buzzsaws and striking out at me again. I sidestepped its first swipe, ducked under the second, and plunged both of my blades into its centre of mass. The baterra let out a hideous whine, stumbling backwards before collapsing into a twitching, sparking mess. Two down, seven to go…

 

I broke into a light jog, aiming towards a higher section of the mountain. As I did, I couldn’t help the growing sense of panic growing inside of me. I’d grown used to simple fights, with simple rules, and being flung so suddenly back into a life or death situation like this had left me reeling. This wasn’t even a fight, really. It was a hunt. At any moment, an outcropping of rock or patch of snow might rise up and try to murder me.

 

As I ascended, I found myself drifting towards a familiar section of cliffside. A sweeping, angular slope where I’d gotten my first taste of Bionifight combat, duelling a Fe-Toa whose tactics hadn’t been all that different to that of these baterra. Speaking of which…

 

Two too-smooth boulders were rolling down the slope towards me, boulders that morphed into galloping, mechanical insectoids as they approached. I leapt into flight mode, rising above their writhing, bladed forelimbs, and sent a streak of lightning lancing into the unstable snowbank they’d left in their wake. The ensuing mini-avalanche swept the two overzealous assassins from the face of the mountain.

 

As I landed at the top of the next rise, another baterra was waiting for me. This one, I suspected, had been watching my exploits thus far, for it took a more coordinated approach. This one’s form was more humanoid, its arms ending in simple sword blades, and it waited for me in a classic ready stance.

 

It wanted to duel, and I was more than happy to oblige.

 

The baterra was, admittedly, quite skilled a swordsman. Better than me, but that wasn’t hard, given that I was largely self-taught, and barely had two years’ worth of combat experience. Still, as we battled back and forth, exchanging slashes and parries, I quickly found myself struggling. Between the baterra’s erratic movements and the general instability of the ground itself, I was barely able to keep my opponent at bay.

 

This couldn’t last.

 

So, as my opponent struck out once more, I let the baterra’s blade bite into the armour of my shoulder, providing an opening for me to drive my other blade directly into the thing’s face. It dropped without a sound, its driving consciousness killed instantly. Only three left...

 

“Perhaps using baterra for an arena battle wasn’t the best course of action,” Dayeth’s irritatingly upbeat voice mused, as I pressed on towards the summit, “Oh well, I couldn’t expect everything to go perfectly first try.”

 

The last three baterra were making no effort to hide. They stood together at the top of the mountain, silent in their anticipation for my arrival.

 

“Let’s try to make this final bout a little more interesting, shall we?”

 

And then everything went to karz.

 

The mountain felt like it was exploding, which I guess wasn’t that far from the truth. The ground cracked and rattled, knocking all three of us off our feet. Plumes of molten rock exploded from crevices beneath the ice, bathing the mountaintop in a searing red glow. Clouds of acrid ash accelerated rapidly skywards, obscuring the light. And above it all, Dayeth’s delighted cackling mocked me from afar.

 

Skin stinging from the heat, I rose unsteadily to my feet… to find the three baterra already converging on me. I backed off, trying to distance myself from the lava, flinging lightning bolts towards the incoming assailants as I did. One of them took a glancing hit, and pitched sideways into the growing puddle of molten rock. It shrieked as it sank, its thin limbs melting and bending under the intense heat.

 

The other two closed in, buzzsaw-tipped limbs scything towards me. I bobbed to the side, wincing as one of them managed to score a ragged slash to my lower chest, and responded with a savage kick towards one of its legs.

 

The limb snapped sideways, but the baterra simply shapeshifted away the injury and threw itself at me again, this time slicing horizontally towards my head. I ducked, wincing as I felt the blade nick my spines instead, and drove my sword into the baterra’s chest, channelling a wave of electricity through the blade as I did. With a semi-electrified hole bored directly through its torso, it made no effort to get back up once I’d yanked my weapon free.

 

And then there was one…

 

The final baterra had remained at a distance while I’d been busy dispatching its companion, and now it advanced towards me, ash and embers swirling around it. I wondered if it recognised the fact that it was about to die. I wondered if it cared. Most of all, though, I wondered just how much I was going to enjoy disembowelling Dayeth once I got out of here.

 

The baterra broke into a run, growing a few extra legs to help keep its balance on the unsteady, slippery ground. It sprouted some additional arms as well, all equipped with creative assortments of stabby things.

 

I ran to meet it, leaping high and switching to flight mode as I closed in. The baterra tried to adjust its course, raising several of its limbs to strike out at me, but my blade had swept its head from its neck before any of the blows had a chance to connect.

 

I landed hard, panting, and turned to watch the baterra as it teetered, stumbled, and finally collapsed, dead.

 

* * *

 

Dayeth.

 

“There, I won!” the Rahkshi snapped, sheathing their blades and pressing a hand to the bleeding gash on across their ribs, “You happy now?”

 

Dayeth cracked a half smile. “Not yet.” 


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Games I PlayCorpus Rahkshi, BZP's Game Of Thrones.

Games I (help) Run: HF RPG2.5, Skyrise.

    

- BZPGOT KILLS -

   

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