TheFAKE ROUND 2
The blank canvas-like scenery of TheFAKE was beginning to take its toll on Joseph and his creations as they wandered aimlessly. Despite the landscape being flat and unchanging, the four travelers were tired for wandering for what seemed like an eternity. On Joseph's iPod, the song "God Is In the Radio" by Queens of the Stone Age was playing to help pass the time and break the deafening silence.
Finally, saying something they all had on their minds, Esperanza asked to the others in front of her, "Where are we going?" Everyone turned around and looked at the Puerto Rican girl was a raised eyebrow, to which she said, "What? You all are thinking it too."
"Can't say I blame ya, Es." Joseph said stretching his arms out and pausing the music, "But it's hard to figure out when you are there if you don't know where there is."
"Does that mean we can stop?" Snow Leopard asked with a piercing glare at his creator. When he was given a nod, he sat down on the ground. Es and Madison followed suit, Es sitting down in a meditative position and Madison scanning her vital systems. Taking a sigh before sitting down with his comrades, Joseph resumed the music by playing "Radiation Vibe" by Fountains of Wayne before he laid down on the ground.
After what felt like half of day of laziness in the middle of nowhere, Snow Leopard's ears began to twitch. He quickly turned to Joseph, "Human, stop that music."
Joseph, who was napping before being awoken, stopped his iPod and glared at Snow Leopard, "You know, you can say 'please'. It's not like that word doesn't exist like in Klingon."
"bIjatlh 'e' yImev! Hab SoSlI' Quch!" Madison barked at Snow Leopard in Klingonese before she giggled a little since she was the only one who understood what she said him.
"You know Klingon, Madison?" Joseph asked, happily surprised.
"tlhIngan maH!" She proclaimed proudly.
Snow Leopard growled, "I said shut up! I hear something! Вы идиотские дурачки." He finished in Russian.
"That's really rude, Snow Leopard." Madison said getting up and pulling one of his ears, to which extent Snow Leopard attempted to slash at her but her arm blocked him. "You forgot that you can't scratch my armor, didn't you?" she gave a sly smile as he growled louder.
"Madison, Snow Leopard, break it up. Save it for our match. Odds are Snow already found them." Joseph came between the two fighting hybrids, pushing them apart to save them all from a fight. Joseph turned to Es, "You can help me at anytime, Es."
Esperanza opened her eyes to see the aftermath of the argument. She was in meditation the entire time and noticed nothing. "Oh, heh, sorry. Guess I got caught up in my meditation." She stood up and started to follow the other three to the other personages that Snow Leopard heard in the distance.
As the four journeyed to where Snow Leopard heard the noise. Just as he said, the four of them found a lone dark haired girl in wearing a brown shirt with a black vest and pants walking the desolate landscape of TheFAKE. Joseph called out to her, praying her wouldn't offend her with his word choice. "Excuse me, uh, miss?" he called out. He never was the kind of person to talk to someone first, whether he knew them or not.
"Yes?" she turned around with a straight face, "Who might you be?"
"My name is Joseph. I'm trying to find anyone to help me just figure this place out and where to go." He said honestly, letting a big sigh out as he finally got the awkward moment out of the way.
"I see," she fixed her glasses quickly before she continued, "It seems that we are fated to meet our opponents as we progress through this competition, do you believe so?"
The brown and black-haired boy nodded, "Yes, it was the same for my last fight against Johan. So in that case, we are to fight and soon enough, our judge will be here."
"Indeed. So are you going to introduce me to your band of peculiar renegades over there?" she asked, pointing over his shoulder.
As she spoke, Esperanza, Snow Leopard, and Madison all made their way to meet the strange girl. As she saw the three hybrids, she was a bit astonished as she looked at each one. She marveled at the strange and unusual armor on Madison. She examined over Snow Leopard's body, surprised that it was real fur covering his skin. However, she paused on Esperanza, as she saw nothing unique or interesting about her at all. "So what's your deal? It seems like there is nothing attention-grabbing about you," she said in an almost complaining tone.
In a bit of insult, Es triggered her body to be set a flame as the girl looked at her closely, almost catching the short girl's hair on fire. "Impressed yet?" Es said with an evil grin. This surprise attack shocked Joseph and Madison and made Snow Leopard laugh.
"Esperanza Rivera! What the heck?!" Joseph shouted like he was her mother.
"What? Am I not allowed to get offended?" she asked innocently.
"Guh…Esperanza is it? Very nicely done, I was not expecting that," she put her hand out, "The name is Christina Ann Chavez. Call me Christina."
Es shook her hand, resisting the urge to set her hand on fire as another prank on her. "Right. So where is your crew?" she asked looking around.
Christina raised her left arm, showing three bracelets. "They are always with me."
"May we please become acquainted with them?" Madison asked eager to meet new people, or creatures for that matter since she did have to compete against a golem during her first round.
"Hmm…no. Not yet." Christina had a small smirk on her face as she twirled around and faced Joseph, "Very interesting characters you chose for this contest, Joseph. I look forward to our battle." With that, she started to walk away from the four.
Joseph was stunned at her remark, "Wait, we could of chosen which OCs came here?! I didn't know that! I would of chosen a team that actually gets along with each other and that would have been able to combat with each other smoothly."
"One thing that does puzzle me is why you have your characters out in the open like that. Why don't you just have them sealed and then summon them when you need them?" Christina commented as she continued to walk away directionless.
"I can do that?"
"Yes…you can. Do you know anything about where you are?" she turned to the boy a little annoyed.
Before Joseph could reply, a personage wandered up to the two of them. He was wearing a dark brown shirt, a red coat and blue pants with a green messenger bag. What caught Joseph's eye was the small humanoid animal over his shoulder. "Are you guys Christina and Joseph?" When he was confirmed with a nod, he quickly continued, "Good, let's hurry battle up. It's March Madness and I have money riding on Xavier State to win and I need to get back soon." He snapped his fingers and the creature on his shoulder with the big grin jumped down.
Es, Madison, and Snow Leopard finally caught up with everyone else and they all watched the little creature on the ground.
"I am your judge, Joey. Yes, it has a ring to it. And no, just call me Joey. This little guy is WOLF. He will be helping me here. Speaking of WOLF, if you don't mind?" the judge introduced himself and his partner.
WOLF nodded, "Yes'm!" At first, it sounded as if he was choking, but as it turned out, he was retrieving something from within his stomach.
As he was doing this, Christina, Joseph, and the others were a bit disgusted while they were watching WOLF doing this. Madison was the only one to look at him in awe, wondering how he was doing so. "What? We help each other out like this. It's a mutualism relationship." Joey said a bit annoyed at their reaction. WOLF first coughed up an old fashion glass bottle of Coke. "Aw, sweet! I was looking for this. Thanks, WOLF." He opened it and took a drink. "Still nice and cold." This grossed everyone out even more…except Madison.
Eventually, WOLF coughed up what looked like a jack-in-the-box. "Here it is. Thank you, WOLF." WOLF gave a little salute to Joey before climbing back up onto his shoulder. "Alright, this is the theme generator. I'll crank the knob until it stops. That's when I will open the box for our theme. Understood?"
When everyone nodded in unison, Joey began to crank the knob slowly. The box made a loud clatter that sounded like something inside was broken. After a minute of cranking, the knob was stuck. "Alright, ready?" he asked, opening the box before he could get any response. When the competitors looked inside to see and empty box with a piece of paper taped inside with the word "woods", they gave a puzzled look to Joey and WOLF.
"You're gonna wanna step back." WOLF warned with his big smile on his face.
As soon as WOLF finished his sentence, an explosion of scenery came out of the box. The blank, canvas of TheFAKE was turning into what one could easily mistake for the taiga of Siberia in winter. Numerous trees that reached up to the cloudy sky surrounded Joseph, Christina and the hybrids. A coat of snow about a foot deep blanketed the ground below them. Joey let out a yawn as the transformation finished.
"Okay, Christina, can you summon your characters so I get the rules done?" Joey asked which was followed with a nod from the dark haired girl.
Raising her left arm up, the green, yellow, and blue bracelets began to almost untie themselves from her arm and from a vortex came out her three characters. The first was from the yellow bracelet. She was a tall and lanky black haired girl with a red shirt with a red and white striped undershirt, black pants and what seemed to be a tail. She removed the goggles that covered her eyes and looked to the judge, leaning on her staff, not making a sound. From the blue bracelet came what looked like a lion and lamb in a human form. With ram horns and ears in his blonde hair, he wore a red coat that was perfect for the snow, black pants and a jet-black scarf that moved without the aid of the wind. His tail moved happily as he smiled to his soon to be enemies. Lastly, from the green bracelet came a white and green domestic cat standing on his hind legs. With a red scarf along with his red leg and arm warmers, he gave an evil looking grin to his opponents and looked toward the judge.
"Excellent. Let's get this underway." Joey said taking the piece of paper out of the box. He began to read the card, "The form of battle that you luck contestants will be in is…'snowball fight'? Is this a typo, WOLF?" he asked to his little companion who shook his head no. "Eh, whatever, this might be fun," he mused as he continued with the rules, "Your field will be the forest. If you are hit with a snowball, you are out. You may use what you find here in the forest or what is on your person to aid you. Only being hit by a snowball will cause you to be out. When you are out, you are done and are no longer able to participate. Last man, women, or creature standing, wins. I want a fair and clean fight. Now let's see some bloodshed. To your respective sides! You will begin when WOLF gives the signal."
Christina took her characters to her side while Joseph did the same with his. On Christina's side, a quick meeting took place. "Okay, guys. Let's wrap this up quickly so we'll be one step closer to winning."
"We are allowed our weapons?" the tall, black haired girl asked.
"Yes, Mastermind. That means use your staff to your full extent." Christina smiled to her, "That goes for you and Shade, Kuroi." The blonde boy smiled and nodded.
"What about me? What tricks can I pull on them?" the cat creature asked hoping to really hurt the hybrids.
"You can do whatever you want, but remember that you can only get them out by hitting them with a snowball, Toothbrush. Don't get carried away." Christina warned.
On the other front, it was silent as each hybrid prepared themselves in their own way. Madison was giving herself a last minute self-diagnostic make sure she was in top shape. Snow Leopard was stretching his limbs out as if he was going in for sparing with someone, practicing a few striking blows against a tree, causing the large tree to shake considerably. Esperanza was very quiet as she was focusing herself on to the upcoming battle. She focused herself so that the heat of her flames would be suppressed and not keep her from holding a snowball and having it melt.
Joseph walked up to Es and placed his hand on her shoulder, "Yo Es, you up for this? This is kind of out of your element."
The Puerto Rican girl opened her eyes and sighed, "No kidding. I'm worried that this type of battle will limit me. I really feel restricted in snow, even back home."
Without saying a word, Joseph knew that it was her fear of snow melting on her face and the water getting into her sensitive eyes, blinding her. It was at this point Joseph somewhat regretted creating her like that. He took off his aviator goggles that have been on his brow since they have arrived in TheFAKE and put them in Esperanza's hands. "Here ya go," he smiled.
"Wha? You're going to let me use these?" Esperanza asked surprised that she was given the antique spectacles.
"Yeah. It will help you fight at your full potential. Isn't that why you're here, to better yourself?" he smiled.
Esperanza smiled and put them over her head and let them rest around her neck.
Joseph smiled and then left her with a quote she knew very well from her training in Jeet Kune Do, "Having no limitation as limitation. Now go out there and do your best."
Shortly after, WOLF shout out into the open, "GET READY TO BEGIN! READY, GO!"
As WOLF's voice echoed, Snow Leopard, Toothbrush, Madison, and Mastermind all rushed toward the center of the battlefield to take their own positions. Snow Leopard climbed up and took to the trees, seeing Mastermind was already up on the tree branches as well. Madison kept low, keeping her red lens over her eye to not be caught off guard by Toothbrush and his white fur. Toothbrush was running over what seemed to be a frozen riverbed. On his four paws, he ran across the ice to get to a low area so he could see anyone moving down to get him.
Kuroi was slow to move. He took his time with his hands in his pockets, making his way over to the center area where his other teammates rushed to when it began. He hummed a song to himself, "Yellow" by Coldplay. He looked around, seeing no one, yet he scooped up some snow from the ground and patted it into a neat snowball.
Esperanza was still in her same spot from before the start. She took a deep breath to calm herself before placing the goggles over her eyes. "I can't let it bother me," she said quietly to herself, "It takes my pain away." She quoted one of her favorite songs, "Pain" by Jimmy Eat World, as she directed her hands to the ground and ignited them to lift her off the ground and to begin to soar into the fight.
Meanwhile, Christina and Joseph where standing next to each other near Judge Joey and WOLF. The two began to talk a bit about their characters and how they think each would fair.
"Any you think might get them disqualified?" Christina asked with a bit of a smirk as she watched the characters rushing in.
Joseph sighed, "Each of them have a good reason to be. They have some big flaws that can be exploited easily. Hope none of them like Snow Leopard did last time. What about you? Think any of them might go down?"
"Nope." Christina was a bit full of herself, but Joseph could understand why. She chose who was fighting for her. Joseph had a band of misfits who were there for personal reasons. In fact, some of them were enemies and they had to work together which didn't help their case.
As the two writers talked, Snow Leopard and Mastermind were facing off in the canopy of the trees. The two were staring at each other with an almost damning atmosphere about them. In each of their mind, a song was playing to intensify themselves for the fight. In Mastermind's head, Muse's "Hysteria" was playing. In Snow Leopard's head, the Children of Bodom cover of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" was blaring at full volume. The hybrid made the first move, as he pounced forward with his hand raised and in a fist. Mastermind brought her metal staff up to stop his body from moving forward, causing his punch to miss. With him wrapped around her staff, Mastermind raised a knee up into Snow's lower diaphragm. Snow Leopard growled in anger as his yellow eyes fixed on to Mastermind. He pushed himself off the rod and backed himself up before attempting a few blows to her, all blocked by the metal rod. Moving fast, he gained the upper hand by striking a few low blows to her legs before he tripped her off the branch by wrapping his tail around her left leg. Mastermind was surprised but did not fall off the branch, hanging on by her own tail.
On the frozen ice, Toothbrush was singing happily Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" as he was stockpiling a number of snowballs in his little hideout that was surrounded by rocks, giving those who wanted to get him, having to face him head on. Madison heard the cat and got a visual of him, trying to sneak closer without making too much noise. She failed as her armor and the weight of herself caused her to sink into the snow making it hard to move quietly. Toothbrush heard, but wanted to keep quiet about it, seeing as Madison had a ways to go to even get within throwing distance.
Es moved above the snow quickly as she hovered, seeing Kuroi not too far off. Her flames were making plenty of noise, which made the boy look up at her. After she swore at herself, she moved through the trees, taking evasive actions to throw him off track.
Kuroi did not lose sight as he threw the snowball in his hand dead center at Es. The girl raised her hands up to block the hit, despite knowing it was to hit. The frozen ball of slush, however, melted before it could make contact. Esperanza and Kuroi were confused about this, as Kuroi did not notice her power until now.
"Wh-What just happened?" Es asked for anyone to answer, puzzled that she was not out.
"My snowball…melted? That's lame." Kuroi sulked a bit, letting his guard down.
Seeing the boy in his disappointment, Esperanza saw her chance to attack. She threw flames at him, which his what she would normally do in an offensive attack, forgetting that she is supposed to use snowballs.
Kuroi was hit by a few of the flames, "Ah! What the-? Ah! Help! I'm on fire! MY JACKET IS ON FIRE!" He was panicking greatly, running around in circles and throwing snow on him in hopes to kill the fire.
"Gah! I'm so sorry!" the hybrids said as she landed and helped kill the flame by scooping and throwing snow onto Kuroi to douse the fire. When the fire was out, the two let out a sigh of relief.
"Kuroi Kumo is out!" Judge Joey proclaimed loudly.
"Huh?" Kuroi and Esperanza looked profoundly confused at the judge.
"What? How is he out?" Christina was pissed at the ruling.
"Esperanza Rivera threw snow onto Kuroi Kumo. The rules state if a snowball thrown by an opponent hits you, you are out. And the Mexican chick threw snow onto the lion…thing." Judge Joey explained.
"I'm Puerto Rican…" Esperanza interjected, yet she was ignored.
"But she was helping him by dousing the fire!" Christina protested.
"…by throwing snow on him. So he is out." Judge Joey added.
Christina gave an angered yell before she quickly calmed herself down.
"Feel better?" Joseph joked.
As for Esperanza and Kuroi, the two began to talk briefly.
"Eh, sorry about…you know…the setting you on fire thing. It's a bad habit of mine." Esperanza felt horrible for what she did, even if it was an accident and in the middle of a battle.
"It's okay. I'm just glad the scarf didn't catch fire. Shade would have been very upset to say the least." Kuroi let out a small laugh.
"Shade? Is he the one who gave that to you?" Esperanza asked with a little interest.
"Well, you can kinda say that…" Kuroi said, hoping to not go into more detail.
"Hey, Es! You are still in the battle, remember?" Joseph shouted out to her.
Es hit her head, "Oh, duh. Sorry we can't talk more Kuroi. Bye-bye." Es smiled as she flew off from Kuroi who waved to her before he fell down onto the snow and began to make a snow angel, hoping that his horns won't make it look like demon again.
Elsewhere, Mastermind and Snow Leopard had left the canopy of the trees and were fighting on the snow-covered ground. The two kept their distance, moving in a circle right now, waiting for the other to strike. Mastermind was first this time, as she used her staff to dig up a little snow and fling it at Snow Leopard. The hybrid dodged the snow by cart-wheeling to the left. Mastermind used this moment to rush him and strike his neck and jaw with her rod and tackle him to the ground. Snow Leopard countered by foot-launching the girl off of him into a tree. He quickly got back up and looked at Mastermind, wiping the blood that was discharged from his mouth with a smirk.
"I was hoping to use my claws on you. Now I don't have to hold back." Snow Leopard gave grin, showing his teeth and the blood that coated them.
Mastermind shivered as she saw the blood pouring from his mouth and that he was pleased about it. She stood up, her legs shaking a little after being launched into a tree.
Using the rod to assist her in getting up, she wobbled a bit. It was then she saw Snow Leopard's paws raised with his claws drawn out. She tried not to show her fear, rushing forward to attack.
Snow Leopard landed a few open palmed strikes on Mastermind, having the claws sinking into the skin. Mastermind fell forward after the blows. Snow Leopard, however, grabbed a shoulder and forced her to stand back up.
"Not so fast, I'm not done," he said as he readied to slash at her face and torso.
However, Mastermind jumped forward, tackling Snow Leopard down and pinning him down, despite that it meant her forcing the claws in her shoulder out.
She looked closely at the animal hybrid and spoke, "Do you remember what we the goal was for this battle?" Her words were calm and collected. When he didn't answer, she scooped up some snow and poured it on his face. "That."
"Snow Leopard is out!" Judge Joey called out. Joseph was stunned to at exactly how his character was eliminated, while Christina was laughing aloud.
Mastermind got off of Snow Leopard and laughed a bit herself, "Gotcha," she said playfully.
Snow Leopard sat up, brushing the snow out of his fur and spitting out blood that had collected in his mouth. "Проститутка, you dare be so cheap?"
Mastermind laughed at his remark, "Well, that was the goal for the battle, nothing more. I did enjoy our battle, however."
Snow Leopard gave a smirk, the first time he had for a long time, "I agree. I have yet to have a good fight like that in a long time. Would you care for a rematch before all of this is over?"
Mastermind stood up and offered a hand up to the hybrid, who accepted it, "Sure, but you best not hold back at the beginning. Or I will have to kill you."
Snow Leopard chuckled, "You earned the full force my fighting power for our next fight.
As Mastermind and Snow Leopard started to get aquatinted, Madison and Toothbrush were still in their neck of the woods, fighting it out. Toothbrush finally started to throw some snowballs at where Madison was hiding. The android girl hand scanned the area, noticing the cat had the perfect area to fight. Taking a deep breath, she moved from tree to tree for shelter from the hail of snowballs. Toothbrush was not going to give up without a fight.
Madison then came up with an idea. She opened up one of her blasters and placed snow at the firing end the shooter. She then turned to face Toothbrush and fired to test her innovation. It worked, but it hit a rock very fast and hard. Madison wasn't thrilled about the idea, but she saw she had no choice, seeing that the cat was not fully healthy in mental terms. She armed her self with snow on her blaster and scooped up some extra to reload.
Madison came out from behind the tree, firing the snowballs from her blaster. They came close to hitting Toothbrush, who was throwing a few at her as she blitzed him. Seeing that her accuracy was suffering as she moved, she retreated behind the trees again, seeing the blaster was not to her benefit.
Toothbrush called out, "Hey robot! What's wrong? Why won't you play with me? I just want to cuddle."
Seeing as she had to pin him down to throw a snowball at him, Madison when to grab a large boulder nearby.
"Sorry, kitty, but I'm a dog person. Because for you, heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam." Madison poked herself out from behind a tree and threw the boulder at Toothbrush and over him.
"Nice shooting, deadeye!" the cat mocked.
"Wasn't aiming for you, just anywhere near you."
As Madison finished speaking, the boulder landed on the ice, breaking through and causing the entire frozen riverbed to break apart. The ice below Toothbrush split, causing him to fall into the icy water. He thrashed around trying to stay afloat, but the subzero water was causing his fur to move slowly through the water, making him sink. Madison saw this and rushed over to help him. Yet by the time she got to the water, he was under. She dove in to rescue him the irritating cat.
After she got him and herself out of the frozen water, she saw that he wasn't breathing. "Oh come on, don't do this. Don't make me give CPR to a cat," she said to herself, listening for a heartbeat. She sighed happily as she heard the heart moving and that air was moving through his mouth. Toothbrush then opened his eyes and looked at Madison, who then patted a small handful of snow on his belly. "Got ya, kitty," she smiled.
"Toothbrush is out!" Judge Joey shouted, "The winner is Joseph Noblit, and his characters: Snow Leopard, Esperanza Rivera, and Madison Elk."
"Yay, victory!" WOLF shouted happily.
"Here you go, ya little punk…" Judge Joey said handing WOLF a twenty-dollar bill, "Last time I bet on a cat." WOLF smiled as he opened his mouth and placed the money in his stomach.
Joseph turned to Christina and put his hand out, "Good match, eh?" he smiled.
Christina, at first, refused to shake his hand, but then smiled as Toothbrush walked up to her, shivering and wet. She laughed and then shook Joseph's hand, "Yeah, good work. You got yourself some good characters there. Good luck to you in the next round."
As the shook hands, Toothbrush looked up to Snow Leopard and saw how beat up he was from the battle with Mastermind," So the psycho chick did a number on you, huh?"
Snow Leopard growled quietly and spat him blood on him.
"GAH! GET IT OFF! GET HIS BLOOD OFF! HE PROBABLY HAS AIDS OR WORSE, RABIES!"