Dante's Abyss Spectator Thread

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Karl Jak

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This thread is to be used to write:

Spectators watching DA on other Worlds, where services are available to do so
Spectators watching DA from the Preshow Facility/convention sight
Eliminated contestants who want to hang around at the facility while their friends/allies/enemies continue to fight.

If you need anything clarified, please just ask me either through DMs or in the appropriate channel.
 

Roy Mustang

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Second Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye stood in the back of viewing room 37C with a troubled look. While Mustang wasn’t dead yet, his wounds were mounting and the outcome at this point wasn’t hard to guess. She glanced towards the door, wondering how difficult it would be to recover him after the event. Syntech had assured her they would inform her when it was time to transport him back from the comet, if she could trust a power-mad mega-corporation to keep its word without attaching any strings. Karl certainly didn't inspire confidence, but she also doubted Syntech would be so universally accepted by the established powers of the crossroads without some level of reliability in its dealings.

As the evening drew later and later, the viewing room began to empty. Those spectators who were not so devoted to witnessing the full proceedings of the event would retire for food and sleep. The event was only in its first day, and despite the chaos that it had brought, there would still be much more to see. A few spectators were convinced that the night would have more chaos in the near future, or simply took the opportunity to experience the view from a higher tier seat for a time before the morning crowds returned. For her part, Hawkeye was not planning to leave the viewing room. Mustang’s time in the game looked like it was running short, despite her best efforts to warn him.

A presence stepped next to Hawkeye, and she slowly glanced over, face and posture remaining unmoving. A large figure in a trench coat and glasses had taken up a position to her left. The fedora that completing the stereotype. For a moment he said nothing, but when Hawkeye refused to acknowledge him, the man cleared his throat.

“Elizabeth I presume?” he said eventually.

"I’m afraid you have the wrong person.” Hawkeye replied evenly, still watching the screen. the man chuckled, an unpleasant rasp, perhaps suggesting a problem with his respiration system.

“Well, either way. I’ve been requested to inform you not to further inform the good Major via his phone.” She gave him a curious look at this, “An interested party thinks the proceedings should be left as undisturbed as possible.”

“Undisturbed? I doubt Syntech is very concerned about a simple tweet upsetting the balance of the event. The Major is such a small part of the conflict that people aren’t even sure what rank he is.” She spoke with a hint of distaste.

“Oh, you noticed that? Quite proud of the job we did there. If enough people believe a thing is true, perhaps it will become reality sooner than expected, hm?” He turned to face her, “Though I should specify that my interested party is not in fact Syntech.”

“But of course, you won’t be so kind as to tell me who.” She stated, fully expecting the grin that the man gave her in response.

“Afraid not. Though I have little doubt we will come across each other in the future.”

Hawkeye said nothing in response to this, and the man chose to take this as a sign that their exchange was ended. He adjusted his hat slightly by way of farewell and strode out of the room, weaving between a few stragglers arguing about power rankings as they left for the night. Hawkeye’s gaze followed him, memorizing what details she could for later, but after she lost sight of him, she returned to watching the event.

One problem at a time.
 

Mickey Mouse

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The competition had been going on for almost two whole days now. Alliances ebbed and flowed. The malefactor grappled with Gilgamesh; the golden gun’s bullet locked in combat with Arthur Morgan’s life force.

Yet, nothing tugged harder than Yuuka Kazami did on Pepsiman’s heartstrings.

He remembered her, vaguely, from two years back. He’d been almost phased out of the Dante’s Abyss brand back then -- quite unrefreshingly, he might add.

“Listen, P-Man,” Karl Jak had said, “it looks like Bepis has found some new models.”

“New bottles of Pepsi?” the sentient cyborg had replied.

Karl sputtered, coffee dribbling from his lips. “No, you stupid idiot,” he slapped a palm to his forehead, “there’s some hot chicks that he’s currently got trapped in a conference room doing contract negotiations. You’ve been recalled.”

“...hot Pepsi is possible,” Pepsiman muttered, lifting a finger and pointing at Karl’s coffee cup. “Pepsi Cafe coming April 2020.”

Karl had then unceremoniously had him removed from the room. He did not kick, he did not scream, he did not weep; he simply offered the big, burly men dragging him down the back halls of the preshow facility a cold, refreshing Pepsi. It was an offer they succinctly declined through silence during repeated attempts, but one that nevertheless made him feel as if he had the high ground. He would not be done with PepsiCo, that much was certain. It was his function. It was his quest.

And then, days later, he’d been proven correct when the preshow facility started to buckle and break down. The evacuation plans were started, and having lived for several days in a quiet depression in a storage closet, he sat and awaited the true termination of his contract.

Yet -- in his time of need -- who had Karl Jak come to?

Someone refreshing, that’s who!

That was the brief story of how he’d ended up on Karl’s ship to a new dimension, and how he’d resumed his position as Official Refresher for Syntech Corporation. And how he’d stumbled upon the cardboard cut-out of PepsiYuuka in the storage compartments of the interdimensional vehicle.

For a while, he’d figured it was just a harmless infatuation… but then he’d seen her.

Emerald-green hair combing her way through the island alongside the big mercenary man who’d murdered him on the island all those years ago. He didn’t like the space marine, and he certainly didn’t like that he was hanging out with the girl he had a crush on. His first crush.

He’d thought about storming into Karl’s office and demanding to be the second Easter Egg, in order to pop out of a box, murderkill the space marine, and whisk his lady love off into the sunset.

But he didn’t.

He remained at the desk of his convenience store.

He was not here to revenge.

He was simply here to refresh.
 

Yuuka Kazami

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In a dingy diner deep within the debris of the asteroid belt, he sat watching the television, almost as enraptured with the spectacle of the little murder-game as he was with stuffing his face with reasonably priced pancakes.

Frieza was a good catch, honestly. He knew full well the kind of views the diminutive little emperor raked in on GodTube, and put into a life and death situation like this? Peak comedy. Peak drama. The kind of thing that hooked viewers and kept them watching. Briefly, he wondered what sort of licensing fees he'd have to shell out to get Karl Jak to allow him to post a "Best of Frieza New DA20 Edition All Days" compilation to show around the proverbial dinner table. Universe 9 would be pissed.

But alas, he had to wait for the competition to end first.

He watched as the Death Beam cut a coin-sized hole through Aku's chest, still managing an "oooooh" through his full mouth. That was going in the compilation for sure.

At the same time he noted the status of the Easter Egg item, having made it into capable hands. Though he knew nothing of the pint-sized frog-being and self-proclaimed emperor of some dirty chunks of ice, he was impressed at the fusion itself. Fusion was an excellent way to turn the mechanics to your advantage, allowing much greater mobility while still retaining the theoretical power of two people. Of course, he had nothing but good things to say about things from his multiverse.

Whis took a moment to sip from his Dante's Abyss branded Sierra Mist, evaluating the standings. The short lives of mortals were so charmingly quaint.
 

Roy Mustang

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Hawkeye followed the Syntech employee away from the observation rooms and into the backstage medical facilities. Though noticeably less gaudy than the presentation side of the comet, the corridor was still well kept and professional. Syntech’s morality may be questionable, at best, but there was no denying the efficiency and resources at the megacorporation’s disposal.

Hawkeye’s ears were pounding, drowning out the occasional voice of the Syntech guide as they neared the recovery ward. She had seen the damage that had been inflicted with vivid clarity in syntech's night-cams. The Assassin had done his job with ruthless effectiveness and distasteful enjoyment. While Syntech claimed that entering Dante’s Abyss posed no permanent risk to the prepared, they had also sent an unarmed man to battle gods and demons with a cellphone.

“Admittedly,” the doctor was saying, as Hawkeye snapped back to the present moment, “he’s going to need a few more hours before we can say the reconstruction is stable enough for you to take him back to Cevanti. We wanted to get your opinion on something quickly. I expect you’ve seen worse as a soldier, but I’d prepare yourself all the same. It’s not an especially pleasant sight.”

A pair of doors swept open as the two of them stepped into the room. Mustang’s body was laying there, military uniform and bandages surgically cut away from the burns and puncture wounds that covered his chest. The Alchemist’s head and face were enclosed within a strange machine, the viewing window showing a mass of pale green gel vibrating and flowing. It ebbed and pulsed inside the machine surrounding what would otherwise be his head. Hawkeye flinched despite herself, and glanced towards the doctor, who had casually walking over to a panel of dials and was now conversing with the nurse who manned the machine. She began entering a series of commands, and the doctor waved her over.

“Our sensors have picked up a few nascent thoughts that have been arriving from the prototypical gray matter. It’s not exactly common to see such a steady obsession at this stage in the cycle, usually it’s just random noise thoughts. Words and emotions that flitter away without sticking. We wanted to get your opinion on them, as someone who is more familiar with his temperament. If they seem atypical for our patient, it could be a sign of a dangerous instability in our procedure." he turned back to look at her, "Don’t want any lingering personality quirks if you take my meaning.”

Hawkeye leaned over to look at the terminal, along with the variety of diagnostic data and readings, two words flashed through the corner of the screen periodically.

Find…
Please…

“Bloody hard to get the brains back put back right, all those neural pathways...” Said the Syntech doctor, adjusting his glasses, “If these kinds of injuries keep happening Karl is going to have to…”

“It’s him.” Hawkeye said abruptly. She straightened up and walked over to Mustang’s body. A soft, sad smile surfaced briefly on her face as she looked into the window.

“Understood, Sir. I’ll be back soon.”
 

Jak

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The ottsel sat in one of Syntech’s more “quiet” bars as he grasped a cup “COME ON, JAK, STOP PLAYING AROUND!”

The people around him gave him glares like he was disturbing the peace of the others trying to watch the television set like a more silent soldier type nearby.

The ottsel blinked at the screen on occasion. Orange Lightning shrugged and continued his screaming.

“That’s MY Dynamite man! Get’m, Jak!”

Who knows, the ottsel could have been more drunk than usual, or that was his normal attitude.

“Huh? These others are weird..”

“Like this Roy Mustang fellow… He reminds me of a certain man Jak knows.


“I thought his name was Commander Torn, or was it “Tattooed wonder..”

He was too busy narrating to the bar to himself that he didn’t notice the blue coated soldier near him giving him glares that could kill a normal person. She turned back to the data terminal, but his antics continually drew her attention.

The ottsel half looked between the television set and the woman soldier who seemed extremely tense.

Daxter blinked “Huh? Why so serious, stranger?”

The ottsel pulled himself behind the bar area while the bartender slipped out and poured himself a drink and maybe a round for the woman who seemed rather… quiet.

The ottsel could wait a few minutes to check the television for now.

As the ottsel finished the tap for the beer for both drinks, he pulled himself up on a stool.

“Here, at least have a drink from me anyway, Dante’s Abyss was either happy for some and depressing for others.

“No, thank you. I’m on duty at the moment.” she replied flatly, not even looking up from the screen.

The ottsel shrugged “More for me I guess.”

“That.. man on the screen.. Do you know him?” The ottsel looked up almost curiously.

The woman briefly glanced to the screen, where Roy’s profile was listed in the summary of the day’s casualties.

“I do.” she replied, “why do you ask?”

Daxter sighed “Well you wear the same colored coats, so I kinda saw the similarities.”

The ottsel frowned “Look, I’m.. sorry about Roy. I may have not known him, but Jak’s gone to several DA’s only to fail so I know what it’s like losing a friend several times.”

The woman glanced at him, a small smile on her face. “Let’s… let’s just hope he doesn’t make a habit of it.” She turned back to the screen, “Jak is the Eco warrior, correct?”

Daxter raised an eyebrow, with a light smile, almost with a grin “Let’s say we make a good friend bunch. The ottsel smiled “Yeah. He’s good with eco and tall, dirty and dangerous. I’m hoping Roy never ran into the guy on the battlefield.”

The ottsel grunted “He’s very protective of me… let’s say I’m his best friend.”

“A friend you can rely on is no small thing.” the woman remarked, still working on the document in front of her, “He is lucky to have you.”


Daxter looked up at Jak’s profile on the screen and his ranking on the power rankings “Huh, didn’t think my friend was ranked that low.”

He sighed, remembering DA’s prior. “Though I wished he brought me with him. We’d always do stuff together.”

The ottsel looked away from a second.

“I hope Jak carries his ass back here this time. I’d.. hate to be alone in this place.” The orange rat sighed, hiding his one tear in the beer glass, falling out of habit.

“If your friend is determined enough that he’s entered this tournament multiple times, I have no doubt he will come to find you. Whether or not he ends up winning.” she responded with confidence.


Daxter slightly smiled, the reassurance making him feel much better. “DAs are strange and almost difficult sometimes. The opponents change but the scenery is about the same.”


“It’s a very vivid scene too.” she replied, sending off the bulletin into the medium. The woman stood up from the bar and began to leave, but stopped by the Ottsel’s stool briefly as she left. “I wish your friend good luck for the remainder of the event.”

Daxter nodded and stood up to give Riza a respectful handshake. “I’ll be sure to put in a good word with Jak when he gets out of DA. You guys take care. I’m sure we’ll run across each other again.”
 

Bardock

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The Saiyan leaned against the wall. Lately all the Crossroads was talking about the infamous death game show known as “Dante’s Abyss/Dante’s Comet.”

Funny how things turn out here.

Bardock’s eyes seemed to be glued to the screen as he saw an extremely familiar name appear upon the competitors of this death game.

Enough to give the Saiyan enough PTSD flashbacks to last a whole day.


He closed his eyes to make sure he wasn’t seeing things. Apparently he wasn’t. That name was there.

Frieza…

How the hell did he get here of all places?”

The Saiyan eyed the television set as he bit his tongue to prevent from screaming “FRIEZAAAA!”

He almost left a dent in the wall in the process.

Just his luck that this would be broadcasted everywhere…
 

Bardock

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Bardock’s interest only peaked when he watched Frieza, the universal overlord look prime in his worst pulling himself up a mountain with a broken leg.

How stubborn could this infamous overlord be? Damn stubborn, of course he was.

The Saiyan didn’t excuse himself just yet, no he’d squeeze every itch of this enjoyment of the much needed revenge the Saiyans wanted right there in his hands. If only it was being recorded all over every universe..

Oh wait, it was on every universal broadcast called Godtube.

He could only hope Gine, Tora, his sons and King Vegeta and the Prince were all getting sweet laughs out of all this.

The Saiyan still had peak training to do. He was NOWHERE near the level he needed to be if anything told him the annoying overlord would be back.

He had to wonder who was recording Frieza’s suffering for everyone to watch.

Hopefuly Syntech would take on the the endless costs of a Saiyan's PTSD attacks on the nearest wall.

A unusually cheery employee of Syntech came striding up. "Whoa, what the hell happened here?"

The Saiyan turned and grunted "Back off, can't you see I'm trying to enjoy the Overlord Frieza suffering?
 

Jak

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The ottsel waited impatiently for the tv to display the finale on tv. Seems like there was plenty of sponsors and commercials to fill up the time on tv.

The ottsel seemed frustrated as he wanted to shake the dumb eletrical box and scream at it.

“Come on, you dumb piece of tech.”

After 5 straight commercials of Pepsico showing Yukka and other competing Pepsi sponsors, the finale finally came on and Karl told everyone to meet at the factorial area.

Daxter’s eyebrows raised as he mused to himself “Wait, wasn’t my boy there earlier?”

The sudden stomach rumble of Daxter told him otherwise. Something wasn’t right..

The ottsel could feel his nervousness kicking in. “Was Jak alright, would he be alright?”

The finale showed and the ottsel was scared to be right in this moment.

The eco warrior had shot at one guy as his gun was gone and then it’s when Jak’s mythical light form had shown itself.

Daxter screamed at the TV “Come on Jak, show them!”

But it was over as soon as it began..

Jak’s ethereal form got dragged into a series of tentacles that belonged to a darkened form of Gilgamesh.

Daxter’s eyes bugged out for a second.

He swore he screamed right there and then.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

“Fuck, fuck, fuck…”

The others turned to the dramatic ottsel. “Don’t you wanna watch the rest of the finale.”

Daxter could barely take time to cough.

“No..”

“No, TURN IT OFF. TURN THE FUCKING TV OFF NOW!”
 

Sigmund Vrell

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Jim Jones sipped his beer as he watched the old television intently. The entirety of the little Opealon bar was silent, every soul focused on the finale of Dante’s Abyss. The silence was broken by a chorus of cheers and groans as Red Dead’s pistol barked and the broken King fell silent.

“Told ya that freak cowboy was gonna win.” The fisherman cackled as he collected his winnings from the man next to him.

“That you did.” The cloaked stranger sighed before finishing off his ale. “I should have known that that maniac wasn't going to go down easy. Sigmund did well for himself though.”

“Eh? I ‘spose.” Jim shrugged. “He came fourth, didn't get any kills though.”

“You're correct. He still has much to learn, he’s come far though.” The stranger mused, stroking his grey-streaked beard.

“You know him then?” The fisherman asked, raising an eyebrow to the stranger. Beneath his hood, the other man’s good eye unfocused for a moment before he shook himself out of it.

“Sort of.” The stranger replied. Now that Jim paid attention, the man had a similar accent to the priest in the competition. “Well, I best get going. Got work to do.”

“Don't go making any more bets now.” The fisherman chuckled. The stranger nodded as he rose to his feet. For a moment, Jim could have sworn he heard the faint clanking of chains, but he was too drunk to think much of it. “Hey barkeep, another round!”
 

Jak

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As the black-eared mouse named Mickey lifted his paw toward Jak’s, the creature disappeared from view.

It was strange, perhaps he did remember the mouse from all the variants of Dante’s Abyss he was around.

The mouse felt some sort of pained expression for Gilgamesh on that island being arch-rivals. If Mickey could learn to forgive his arch-rival, perhaps he could too.

The eco warrior placed his seal away in his pocket as he lifted a container to himself and opened the top. The strange floating ball of energy ebbed and flowed inside but flew out and hit the eco channeler’s body.

His body slowly and painfully stitched itself together again as he ended up in a Syntech sponsored hospital bed.

A nurse from the infirmary came toward the worried and pacing ottsel who had left the spectators area early to check to see if his friend was coming back.

Daxter had told Karl to pull any pieces of Jak back with him toward the infirmary.

“I’m sorry, it’s about impossible to put togeth-” The nurse mused as she tried to calm a yelling ottsel.

Daxter yelled back “I’m NOT GIVING UP HOPE! How DARE YOU SAY HE’S NOT COMING BACK!”

It’s when those bits and pieces caused an odd “miracle” to occur.

Those pieces slowly began to form into parts of a body and they began to attach each other to the torso and a head with long ears began to pop out.

Daxter shuddered, a little creeped out that his friend’s body grew back after what happened.

Soon, the eco warrior coughed and was all together on a hospital bed.

Orange Lightning hopped on Jak’s reformed body “What the hell, Jak? Why do you worry me all the time?! You leave me to wonder if you died again during DA.”

Jak stared at his reformed body and everything was back where it was.

“D.. Daxter?!” He held his friend’s body in tow giving him a light hug

“Whoa, buddy. I like hugs, but I’m not that way..”

Jak looked embarrassed and backed up.

Daxter smirked “So about that prediction, nurse?”

The nurse grunted “This happens all the time.”

Jak sat up and pulled Daxter to his shoulder “Come on, Daxter, we have more adventures to explore. More people to meet, heroes and villains to fight and ally with.”

Daxter shook his head “The less you know, Jak.. the better.”
 

Yuuka Kazami

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Oh, what a classic showing by good old Lord Frieza.


He couldn’t help but give the emperor a little golf clap for his betrayal in the Pepsi fight. Though... Whis idly wondered if he’d get in any trouble for the absurd rate of advertisements per minute on the screen if he uploaded that to GodTube. Things weren't quite so... egregious in their corporate sponsorships in Universe 7, his Universe 7 at least. They certainly existed, but at the same time, this felt almost like the fighting was a back seat to the advertisement.


Well, who would call him on it? Marcarita? That bitch couldn't tell her ass from her elbows when it came to good taste, so he wasn't exactly mortified.


Unfortunately, good times were not meant to last. While he was on the edge of his proverbial seat during the semi-finals bout (in reality he was quite far back in the booth and taking a singular long slurp of his Pepsi™️ branded Frozen Ice Beverage, Official Sponsor of Dante's Abyss, the whole time), it was sad to see the old boy go. And to a betrayal, no less. Frieza was usually so on top of those, though perhaps sometimes even to his own detriment. When you're the emperor of everything, you can trust nothing, Whis supposed.


Must have been a pretty lonely life.


But it was inevitable, he supposed- Frieza couldn't possibly win if he refused to see the other combatants as his equals as opposed to his victims. Not because he needed to respect them as people, but because he needed to learn their value as competitors. Hell, not even Whis truly cared about the value of the lives lost in the tournament. Even Frieza himself, prodigy of his Universe 7, wasn't exactly a great loss.


After all, he had some inkling in the back of his mind the bastard wouldn't stay dead very long.


(He never did.)


His thoughts went back to licensing costs as he slurped the last bits of frozen cola beverage from his cup loudly and obnoxiously, keeping his eyes trained on the screen. Competitors dropping like flies. How... heart-pounding. The smile on his lipsticked mouth didn't falter for a moment.


"Oh, waiter. I'd like another beverage for the finals! I seem to have finished the first fifteen already."
 

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Charlie, the woman in the corner of the Syntec facility room snapped her pencil with rage. The two men next to her, one went by the name Hackz were giggling with banter.

“Bro, I thought that’d happen sooner.”

“Yo, you think the old man’ll pay us now?”

“Probs dude. Can’t believe the host guy had no idea and that we got away with it!”

“Guy even got high during a deathmatch, maybe if he hadn’t he woulda survived longer.”

“One in like thirty chance to win. Everyone else dies. I like the Karl guy, though I will say the guy we took like, seemed to know him, ya know?”

“That’s just the drugs man, he was out of his mind.”

“Bro that last part though. MUST’VE hurt. You know?”

“Bruuhhhhh,” Hackz stood up and fake grabbed his partner’s jaw.

“UHhhhhhh.” Mecha play-winced.

Charlie stood up and fired two bullets from her gun. The two men didn’t know what hit them. They were on the ground before they knew it. A cavernous wound in each of their skulls.

“Sorry,” Charlie turned to the guards and tossed her brown hair over her shoulder. “They were getting on my nerves.”

They ran at her with strands of taser lightning. She pressed her finger on her watch and vanished from the room.
 

Mickey Mouse

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“What should we do with… the mouse?”

“I don’t fucking know, burn him? He’s disgusting.”

Kevin was just, like, so done with all of these batshit competitors. From having to man the front desk and check in these monstrosities to being responsible for wrangling the wrangler, he just couldn’t even anymore. So when faced with the decision of what to do with the mangled, half-melted corpse of Mickey fucking Mouse, the easy road took precedence: get rid of him.

And so, off the peons went to accomplish this task. Kevin would admit: though the extra responsibilities he’d accrued throughout the three long-ass days of this year’s competition were hella tiring, he wouldn’t trade this promotion for the world. Just a little while ago, he’d been a simple desk boy, and now he was handling all sorts of under-the-desk business for Karl Jak himself. The boss had always seemed to take a shine with him, but this kind of quick turnaround was practically unheard of in Syntech’s channels. He wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that Joey had practically shit himself when he’d heard he’d been passed over for the ginger wonder.

Well, now that bitch could go melt the rest of Mickey Mouse, for all Kevin cared.

“Hey, Joey!” Kevin called out. “Save the ears. They’ll go nice in Karl’s trophy room.” From afar, the top-knot twerp could hear Joey’s pained groans. Heh. That would show him who to leave on read.

Nobody leaves Kevin on read, goddammit.

As he approached the doors to the morgue, they started to slide open prematurely. The redhead stopped and watched as Pepsiman burst past him, sprinting faster than he’d ever seen the blockheaded robot toward the observation window. Kevin scowled; he’d forgotten the refresher had been an old pal of the mouse’s. He should’ve known that he would come rushing in soon after the little hero’s untimely de --

Yuukaaaaaaaaa!” Pepsiman screeched, plastering his hands and face to the glass and searching desperately for the rotted, fucked-up corpse of Yuuka Kazami.

“She’s already been moved, bot-brains,” Kevin shrugged, tucking his clipboard under one arm and reaching out for the cacophonous cyborg with the other. “Time to get back to the Recreation Dome and do your job, P-Man.”

Pepsiman spun around, and though his face was covered by a thick layer of spandex, the strange mold of his features visible through the mask looked pretty angry, in a way that Kevin had yet to experience the cyborg. Instinctively, he stepped back towards the doors. He may have gotten a promotion, he may have been a badass, but Kevin was a lover, not a fighter, and even someone as pathetic as Pepsiman had a good shot of absolutely taking him down.

“You,” Pepsiman droned as angrily as he could muster (not much), “PepsiYuuka’s death is not refreshing news!!

“Yeah, but like, I didn’t kill her, you crazy robot --”

Pepsiman lunged, but seemed to be thrown off course by a huge wave of bright, flashing white lights. At first, it seemed like someone had just pointed a particularly bright fluorescent the wrong way, but when the glass of the observation window shattered, Kevin almost pulled a Joey and shit himself.

And when, at last, the light had dimmed, he watched as a two feet, three inch tall fucking cartoon mouse hopped up onto the windowsill and looked down at him.

“Golly,” Mickey Mouse chirped, “that was no fun at all, huh, pal?”

***

Man, bein’ alive again was a trip.

Of course, if Mickey coulda picked, he probably wouldn’t have brought himself back to life amidst the corpses of his fellow competitors. Seeing people like Gildarts and little Toga lying on the weirdly cold morgue beds was never gonna be super fun, but it definitely ended up being a little more stomach-turning than he expected, so the sight of alive people like Pepsiman and Kevin certainly brightened up his mood.

Still, Kevin’s hurry to get him out of the morgue and into a more concealed holding area certainly set off some warning bells in the little mouse’s brain. Was Karl’s intern worried that if a bunch of dead competitors started zombie-ing back to life in a similar way, they’d stage some sort of coup against Karl?

...actually, was that a plausible idea?

Mickey didn’t have too much time to think about it before the man bun-sporting redhead burst back into the small lounge, carrying with him a swanky lookin’ tablet that he was just a-swipin’ at with his spindly, pale little fingers.

“So, Mr. Mouse --”

“How many times do I have to say it?” Mickey interrupted, pulling his legs up onto the sofa and crossing his arms, “Mr. Mouse was my Dad. Call me Mickey, or Mick.”

Kevin squinted. “Right,” he scowled, “anyway, uh… Mickey, just to update you on the conditions of the competition, you’ve come in seventh place in this year’s festivities.” He flashed the screen of the tablet at Mickey, showing him the line up of how the competition had shaken out. He’d admit he felt a little bit of morbid satisfaction when he noticed Frieza’s name behind his own, and remembered watching (or, er, hearing) the weird cowboy version of Deadpool stickin’ that dude in the neck with some sort of poison. Which, come to think of it, brought him to…

Deadpool killed my pal?!” he nearly screamed, jumping to his feet.

“Please no feet on the sofa, it’s velvet --”

“How the heck did that happen?!” Mickey ranted, hopping up and down angrily on the couch. “Gilly was so… so… I mean, he used that nasty thing, right?!” He remembered briefly the strange dead conversation he’d had with Jakky the Elf Kid, where it’d been implied Gil had put on the Malefactor again. How could that scary-as-heck monster lose to Deadpool?

“Mickey,” Kevin spat as calmly as he could, “before you’re enveloped in righteous fury, there’s the matter of your prize to discuss. Now that you’re alive again, you’re free to claim it.”

Mickey glanced down at Kevin. He’d forgotten about the prizes.

“As our 7th place finisher,” the redhead continued, “you are entitled to winnings equal to about 7,000 coin, as well as one from the line of contestant plushies manufactured in your likeness.”

“Did I consent to that?” Mickey quirked his brow.

“It was on the forms you filled out while dressed as Rambo,” Kevin quipped.

“Ah,” Mickey nodded. Always read the fine print.

“Anyhow, Karl has taken the liberty of funneling your cash into something in your honor, since you were, uh, dead,” Kevin explained. “He figured it would make a nice vacation yacht, but I just spoke with him, and he’s willing to bequeath it to you in light of your recent, uh… untimely revival.”

The former intern turned the tablet’s screen back to Mickey, and the mouse’s eyes grew wide. There she was: the Steamboat Willie. “I don’t remember Kraw having much water, though, pal,” the little king looked up at Kevin, “so I’m not sure how much use I’ll get outta that.”

Kevin chuckled. “Oh, no, Mickey,” he shook his head, “this is for the biggest ocean there is: space.”

Mickey’s eyes widened. A spaceboat?!

HECK. YES.

“Oh, and there’s one more thing,” Kevin smiled, reaching into his purse and pulling out a small box. “He’d like you to have this, as well. From his personal treasure store. He thinks you may be in the best position to get some use out of it.”

Mickey swiped the little box from Kevin’s hand, but shoved it in his pocket instead of opening it. He didn’t feel like it was polite to unwrap a gift in the presence of someone who hadn’t gotten one, and besides… what if it was some crazy evil thing? He never really liked or trusted Karl Jak, and though he got the impression the mogul didn’t exactly have a negative opinion of him, he knew that he’d meddled in the purple-suited man’s heckin’ capitalist fantasy islands one too many times. He wouldn’t put it past the guy to try some shady stuff.

And on that note, he took a deep breath. Something about this moment, right here, made him feel like maybe -- just maybe -- his way-too-extended affair with Dante’s Abyss was finally over.

Actually dying could do that to a person, he supposed.

He reached up to his neck and felt around with his freshly-grown back, gloved hand. There was no collar to be found, and he let out another sigh of relief as he held his hand out to one side. Kevin’s brow furrowed a little bit in confusion as he wondered what, exactly, the mouse was up to --

And then the Keyblade appeared.

“Oh shit,” Kevin exhaled, frantically getting up from the chair he’d been sitting in, but Mickey Mouse was too fast, launching into a double backflip and landing exactly between the redhead and the door out of this little lounge.

“Language, pal,” he scolded. “Okay, so listen up. I’m not gonna, like, hurt ya or anything, but I do have a bit of a bone to pick before I sail off into the sunset, capiche?” He propped his Keyblade up on his shoulder as he took a few steps toward Kevin, who slowly lowered himself back into his seat. “Near the end of the tourney there I came in possession of a… familiar-lookin’ gun, and buddy, let me tell you, it would just be so goshdarn nice of you to let me know where the rest of that fella you got it from is, alright?”

Kevin shuddered a bit, but he wasn’t built for interrogation. “Nos’talgia.”

Mickey grinned. He hadn’t expected it to be quite that easy. But also -- what the heck was Nos’talgia?

“Come again, pal?”

“It’s a planet,” Kevin shrugged. “Talk to the teleporters and they can get you there quickly. I’ll have your, uh, spaceboat dropped off there for you.”

Mickey’s smile expanded across his whole face. Wow. A new boat, some weird little trinket, coming back to life… and he was about to finally, maybe, find his best friend? Well, jeez Louise, maybe this wasn’t turning out to be such a bad universe after all. And with that, Mickey Mouse giggled a little bit, burst through the door, and was off. As he disappeared toward the teleporters, his last cry to Kevin rang out through the hallways of the preshow facility.

“Pleasure doing business with ya, pal!”
 

Suwako Moriya

The Curse god of Moriya Shrine
Level 2
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29
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€4,749
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Opealon
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The Opealon bar known as “the Rough n’ tumble” was surprisingly an unfriendly bar for what a cute name it had. Here, pirates of various races congregated, even different creeds and ideals, in what was a safe zone of sorts for them. Here, Mermen sat across tables from humans, Eldritch horrors played beer pong with militaristic terrorists. The Rough N’ tumble was almost exclusively filled with criminals - or people who could comfortably hang out with criminals - and the peace treaty that filled the place stopped the various creeds and clans for fighting eachother. Here, there was only a mutual desire to drink in peace - after all, there were other bars for brawling in.

And if there was one thing the sailors had recently all come together and agree on, it was that Dante’s abyss was absolutely splendid slaughterin’ of the solar system’s sinners. Everyone from every gang came to watch - and more importantly - to make bets on who would win. The sailors had started off enthusiastic and determined to make a tradition of watching this Karl Jak guy’s game, for as long as it lasted.

Right now, the screen had shifted from a more boring bit of some Cyborg sleeping in an old factory to the picture of a familiar blonde creature in the shape of a little girl, who had gotten quite some acclaim in the bar - and some infamy from those who enjoyed the thought of a probably outlaw cowpoke winning a round of DA - after her recent brutal takedown of Arthur Morgan.

“-man so broken he may commit evil is the most dangerous thing in the world, and I personally do not want to see how long the fancy robot can draw out an agonizing death!" Suwako spat grumpily.

A much more chipper voice jumped out through the Bar. “Suwakooo-chaaaaaan~” A girl with green hair and Sparkling eyes said. “Of course she’d be sitting in a death-game!”

A bunch of loud ‘shhh’ing’ went out through the bar as they looked at the green-haired weirdo. Some dumb teen with a frog accessory and a stone snake in her hair. Combined with the exotic garb, most were willing to bet she’d never been in here before, but none of them were quite so drunk as to pick a fight with a girl that innocent-looking - or that cute. Maybe if she seemed a little older.

“Oh, sorry, sorry!” The girl added with a nervous chuckle that ended in a snort. “I just get excited at these things!”

“Whatever girlie. You old enough to be in here?”

The Greenette was quick to flash her ID. 18 she was, it turned out, though a very youthful eighteen given the tongue sticking out in the image. “Sure am. Gimme the nicest, biggest bottle of sake you got!”

The Bartender, an old, bearded man by the name of Willis, quirked an eyebrow, but gave her what he thought she was actually worth. 16 ounces.

He’d sorely underestimated her, for it took her eleven minutes to finish that with no signs of stopping as she kept going, laughing, and saying she’d pay for the drinks by the end of the evening. The bartender wasn’t completely convinced, but curiosity had overcome both the bartender and the patrons about where the girl was putting it all.

Still, the bar was mostly quiet until the earrings came out.

“Hoooooohhhh! Those are the potara earrings?!?” Sanae breathed, as the little blonde god played with her ill-gotten jewelery.

“...You know these, girlie?”

“Oh, well, of course! I watched lots of dragon ball Z when I was a kid. They actually let 2 people fuse together.” Sanae exclaimed, before standing up on her stool, swaying a little. “Suwakoooooo-chaaaan! You need to fuse with theeeeeem! Can you hear meeeee?!”

The Bartender was quick to give her a slap to the shin as the other patrons looked on in anger - save for a few close enough when the skirt swayed - and irritation.

“Shut up!”

“We’re trying to watch the death-game!”

“Why are you even here!”

“Sorry, sorry!” the excitable teenage called, looking embarrassed. “I just got a little excited, that’s all! I’ll be good from here!”

The next few minutes passed mostly without incident, as things were moved through for the calm moments, Sanae looking rather nervous as Kopaka appeared on-screen, intentions made clear.

She only made it as far as the fusion, though, as Sutor did a quick and yet thorough examination of her body’s new features.

“Suwako, noooo! You caaaaan’t do thaaaatthhh…” The girl slurred, as it seemed once the sake dosage had reached 3-digits, her tolerance was finally passed. “You’re shuppossed to be Moe! You’re ruining your Aesthetic niiiiiche!” the young woman yelled at the screen… while Putting her elbows directly on another patron’s head.

“Alright, that’s it, we’ve had enough of your crap princess!” The Man in question yelled, getting up. Wearing a red bandanna, this was captain Alric, one of the most well-known scallywags on the great sea. “Yer about to pay your tab and leave, or we’re going to make ya leave her in pieces!”

Quickly, the rest of the bar got up, holding up a variety of objects from boarding clubs and Crossbows to ray-guns and in at least one case a very fancy laser sword.

The Drunk woman hiccoughed, as she shrank back. “Y-you guys are g-gonna try to beat me up? Th-this is a fight?” She asked with another hiccough.

One of the man, a large half-shark by the name of Dwayne, held up a bottle appreciatively. “Oh, people are gonna hear about this incident the next time some idiot invades our bar!”

And with that, the Strangely-dressed girl’s eyes sparkled. “...an incident? So this is a fight!” She added, straightening up as she stood tall in the midst of the guns.

“Eeeeeeeee~! It’s been months since I had a good brawl over drinking! I’ve been missing home so much lately, maybe this is just what I needed!” The girl squeaked, her fists shaking for joy in the middle of her chest as she pulled out a thin stick with a single white ribbon coming from it.

“Dust this crazy bitch!”

A swarm of projectiles hailed from a few dozen waiting hands directly for the maiden as the bartender took cover.

Quickly, a thick coating of dust was kicked up, which… the bar patrons found strange, since this was a wooden tavern. On a planet covered in water.

Eventually the cloud cleared to show a thick covering of soil that had eaten the blows, and the same cheerful girl from before with a bright smile, right as rain.

“Oooh! I’ll give that spellcard a five out of ten! That means it’s my tuuuuurn~” The Greenette squeaked out in excitement.

Above her, two distinct images formed with identical, sadistic grins - one tall, imposing, and clothed in red, and the other far shorter, bearing a frog motif and a hat the bar found familiar.

A few of them put the pieces together about the identity of this mystery girl, and her connection to the goddess she’d been so vocal about, just a moment before the Shrine Maiden of the Moriya Goddesses fired a hail of adorable lasers that increased the local hospital’s profits by several hundred thousand dollars the next day.
 

Karl Jak

Producer, Playboy Billionaire, Arbiter, Sommelier
Level 1
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Karl Jak let out a sigh as the last of his 'guests' was escorted to the platform at the 'entrance' of the Preshow Facility. In a swirl of light, the individual was off to resume their normal lives on whatever piece of the Crossroads they inhabited. The producer glimpsed at the coordinates on the screen and cringed.

"Not everyone gets to live in luxury," he snickered as closed the application before powering down the device. Behind him, the majority of the preshow facility's skeletal crew had assembled. Their missing peers were off getting a head-start on the work ahead of them, which would entail scrubbing, disinfecting, and cleaning the multi-story, multi-functional facility. Once everything was sanitized to pre-convention standards, they would package the building back up and ensure it was in working order for final review and possible reallocation.

Karl, who had spent years literally using magical rainbow powers to exert his will on his own personal realm, still found it hard to break from all of his traditions, even if he didn't need them any longer. After having replaced the magical rainbow powers with literal cosmic space magic, he could easily do all this work in his sleep, but if that was the case, why would he have bothered to create (and in some cases, recreate) his old staff? Sure, some of the originals had survived 'the departure,' but most of them had been dead long before he had run across the people in charge of the Crossroads. Karl himself had been close to death when he found 'the place.' After years of not needing to eat, drink, or sleep outside of 'doing it for fun,' it had been a shocker for all of them when their stomachs began to growl and their throats started to grow dry and hoarse.

"Everything okay, Bossman? You're doing that thing where you stare off into space."

Karl turned and glanced at Kevin, who had elected to remain and oversee the closing protocols for the facility. The original Kevin had been one of the survivors when they had entered the Crossroads. Karl still had nightmares about what had happened to the ginger out there in the cold dark of space...

"Yes, sorry," Karl muttered as he lifted a finger and snapped off the facility's main power. After a split-second of darkness, the web of auxiliary lights activated. "Reminiscing, that's all. You can finish this work before the end of the month?"

Kevin nodded his head. "Yea, of course." He glanced down at his PDA and scowled before looking up at Karl. "Is it true that you really want to review the dossier on PS-19?"

"Yes, I want a full review of all the text, audio, and visual logs we have from the incident there," Karl replied. "In my gut, I still feel like we missed something. I want to see the full report they were talking about cooking up."

"You're the Boss," Kevin replied as he pocketed the PDA and adjusted his glasses. "Once we're done here, I'll coordinate with the necessary parties and keep you posted."

"You're the best, Kevin," Karl answered as a smile spread across the younger man's face. "I'm going to retire to one of my vacation spots, but I'll be leaving the outreach work with a few of the others. They have briefs on what needs to be done."

Kevin nodded as he watched his boss make his way through a part in the crowd and head off to personal business. The ginger knew that Karl Jak had a support staff of ... Karl Jaks. Unlike many other employees, he also knew that most of Syntech's staff, at least the ones hired before the last year or so, had literally been created by their boss. While he never let on to Karl about it, Kevin knew that most of his peers who worked closest to Karl were recreations of other people who had worked for the company. Kevin knew that the green guy with the antenna in R&D had died over a decade or so ago in some universe where his people would have served as stewards for magical balls that granted wishes. Karl himself was from the same place... some weird world with demigods and an afterlife run by ogres. Apparently Karl Jak just liked to surround himself with people he liked and trusted. Hey, if you got the power, why not use it?

Even so, Kevin wished he had never read his own dossier. He figured he wasn't the first or the only Kevin to work for Syntech, he still had vivid nightmares about what had happened to the previous 'Kevin from Operations', Truth be told, sometimes it's better to not know everything.

A ping drew Kevin back to his PDA. He pulled out the device and saw he had a new friend request on Syntech's social media network. Swiping the app open, he tilted his head.

"Barry Sanderson?" Kevin turned to one of his colleagues on the skeleton crew. "Anyone know a Barry Sanderson from Entertainment and Event Planning?"

Most of the people shook their heads, but Sally was the one to chuckle. Sally always knew everyone. It was easy to know everyone when you let everyone spend the night.

"New hire," she replied. "A transfer, apparently."

Kevin nodded. He was one of the few people who knew that 'transfer' was just a lingo that meant 'created by Karl'. Whoever Barry the Bartender could be, he was likely someone that Karl fondly recalled. Kevin hit the accept button and pocketed the device. If Barry was a fellow transfer (and the only one in a good long while), he was worth knowing. In a warped, Syntech kind of way... he was family.

...

...

...

Kevin and Karl Jak will Return in Dante's Abyss 2019
 
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