I hope this will do as the first piece.
Loran landed amid a cloud of dust. For a moment, he just lay there, dazed by the sudden turn of events. As he recalled, he had been lounging in a comfy chair mere minutes ago. And now he wasâ€¦ where? Where was he?
Slowly, he got to his feet. There was no one else here, or he would have heard them. His usual lack of eyesight had honed his hearing until he was capable of hearing someone breath at the other side of the room. There was no breathing. He was alone.
The floor was made of stone, and so were the walls on both sides. The air smelled of dust and long abandoned buildings. That didn't tell him anything, so he followed the only logical course of action, and removed the bandages over his eyes.
It was relatively light, in that there was light. Loran could see no windows or other light sources, but it was not completely dark. He didn't mind. There was just enough light for him to see, yet not so much that he had to cover his eyes again. Now he could see that he was standing in a tunnel made of rock.
â€œThat doesn't help at all,â€ he grumbled, and he set off.
While walking, he mulled over the things he had heard. Apparently, there were others inside this construction, and they were supposed to kill each other. No, they were going to kill each other. That might've been a lie to make them all more compliant, but Loran preferred to take the certain route. If there was even the slightest chance of only one of them surviving, he was going to make sure it was him.
And after winning this battle, he would kill those who organized it. He was a Creeper, after all.
Voitrach landed on some hard ground, raising up a cloud of dust. Quickly, he stood up and checked himself. He only had a small amount of matter connected to his core - not good. His power over gravity would be weak until he found more of it, or unless he released the black hole from his containment, which would be even riskier than being weak, as he would probably end up destroying himself and everything near him.
He had an idea. He wasn't strong enough to tear up chunks of ground yet, but the air was full of dust. He slowly exerted the strongest pull he could muster from his position kneeling on the floor. At first the pull was weak and unnoticeable, but as more dust gathered it manifested into a slight tugging sensation directed towards Voitrach. Quickly remembering the man's words, he turned down his power a bit in case he had revealed his position to his enemies too much. Although, if he did find one, maybe he could arrange a little... alliance.
Putting his face close to the floor, Voitrach manages to pull up a large, sharp rock using his concentrated powers which will make an okay weapon, if needed later.
When your life is spent on won't-be-going-to-have-happeneds and will-have-been-going-to-bes, when your main goal is to ensure you got to where you are before you end up not having gotten there, when your whole purpose is to discover where you went before you get there, you are certain to learn the language of time. Its subtleties stand obvious before you, and phrases rife with apparent contradictions and absurd tenses seem clear and precise. Not only do you not bat an eye when someone tells you how their day would have been going to have gone, but you know just what they mean, and when they tell you how close their day was to have been going to have gone straight to hell, you know exactly how they feel.
And when someone tells you that you will kill each other because you will kill each other, you hear the subtle intonations, the use of the words as commands one second and tenses the next. When they speak of you in the past tense, then tell you what you will do in the future, you know exactly what they mean.
Will had seen how the being had read from that book. He had been checking them against what it said had happened, ensuring its accuracy. He had done that himself more than once while ensuring that his arrival went exactly as it had, reading the computer's records of the spatial coordinates at which he had arrived and checking them against his current position.
If that book was accurate, then it was the future, documenting and listing what was going to happen, and if it was also unknown, it was a prophecy, indelible, inevitable. If known, though, it was a manual, instructions for achieving a particular outcome. Only by knowing the future can you change it, and by the looks of it, these robed figures had no intention of doing so.
If the book was accurate and the robed beings were telling the truth, the contestants would kill each other. It was simple fact.
All of this sat in the back of Will's mind as he examined the hall he found himself in, present but ignored. A pivotal event in his life had just occurred, and his mind was, for the moment, concerned with the present.
A detector pinged as he stared at the stone walls. Glancing down, he saw that the gravity was Human standard, hovering around 9.8 m/s[spr:3gnpdd04]2[/spr:3gnpdd04]. There was a small note at the bottom, which read weak secondary g-field present; strength 2.1e-3 m/s[spr:3gnpdd04]2[/spr:3gnpdd04]. "Consistent with an inactive artificial grav-generator," he muttered to himself, storing the data on the card marked Environmental Data.
He took various readings over the course of a minute or so, storing the values on the card. When he tried to get a read on the age of the rocks, the values varied wildly; they were obviously unreliable, but he just flagged the data as such and stored it anyway. He had relied on the research and data of his previous selves for years, and he would not disappoint any who came after. If this data could be useful to them, they would have it.
After another minute or so, he slipped the data reader, which was reminiscent of a price-gun, back into its holster. He was done with it for now; he had gathered what he wanted, and now he was going to move on.
The hall he was in was about 5 meters square and extended off in both directions. To the direction he decided to arbitrarily call north, it went about twenty meters, then turned to the east. To the south, it went thirty, then split off both east and west.
Deciding to go where he would have the most options, he started to the south, pulling out his pistol and holding it at the ready.
Things I currently dislike: Life. Why's it got to take so much time away from my precious internetting?
Complete. Battery charge at 80%.
Initiating damage check...
No damage sustained. Artificial Intelligence online.
The pulse of battle flashed out of existence, lost to black. A crackle of energy, slight squeaking of joints and OTTO was upright again. His artificial mind was already brimming with questions-- Where was he? What had happened?-- None could be answered immediately. All OTTO could tell was that he was in a chamber of stone, all of varying age and emitting drastically different amounts of radiation. A slight wave of relief washed over the robot. Perhaps he was finally free of--
--O'rlyath? No, unfortunately for both. The Being was, as always, locked into the form of the accursed machine. He almost immediately returned to his old routine of mentally prodding the device. "I don't suppose your scans are picking up anything? Aside from the eleven-o-clock news?"
OTTO grunted. "Great, he's back. I almost thought I'd lost you. No, nothing unordi-" OTTO was cut off by a sudden radio contact, quite a ways off but still visible through the obscuring stone. "Hold that, I'm picking up something. Kind of a dark spot surrounded by some really intense radiation."
O'rlyath chuckled. "That didn't take long, hmm? I think I know what we might be facing already!" He chuckled again, then pushed OTTO to get a move on. "We can't just stand around rusting all day, now can we? Though you seem to have been doing a good job of that."
Dazed, she lifted her head from the ground and took a quick survey of her surroundings before falling back down, saying something slurred along the lines of "just great." She mustered up the strength to get to her knees, but something was making her causing her both pain and drowziness. She remembered the words that the men in robes had spoken to her, as well as the others, before sending them off. Had it been a dream? She could have managed to convince herself that some bandits had dragged her off in her sleep to a cave somewhere, of which to probably dismember her or something (but only to get a jolt of lightning and a stopped heart), but she knew that was she had just seen was real when she found herself holding her arms, shivering from the cold of the empty void; not to mention, she was terrified.
Murder, as a sport? It sounded rediculous, savage. Who would find enjoyment from that? When she thought of it, Apathy realized how many people and animals she had probably killed for food or safety. She had never thought much of it at the time she had done it, but it suddenly hit her like a brick the kind of person she had become just because of a strip of red running down her arms. But that hadn't been important now, and she needed to focus on the subject at hand. She steadily cursed whatever beings had brought her here.
She rose to her feet, albeit slowly. Taking a few steps to regain her bearings, she wandered over to one of the numerous walls of the cave, and placed her hand on it. Cold, smooth, it chipped away when Apathy scratched at it with her fingers, crumbling to dust, which this place seemed to have enough of. It seemed almost as if no one had been here for thousands of years. To Apathy, this struck a cord with her; considering the silence fitting the situation, it was a sound explanation. She chuckled to herself. Sound explanation to a silent cave.
Dear God, she thought to herself, she was already going loopy.
Nonetheless, she still decided that no matter how crazy she was she needed to continue exploring. As she walked through corridors and walkways, each seeming identical to one another, she began to wonder about the other contestants in this little "game", and she had the idea she was going to be hesitant to meet any of them right away. Through her broken reasoning, since the objective was to kill each other, at least one of the other contestants would probably be a rampaging beast of sorts, possessed by demons or something else rediculous. With her newfound conscience, she found herself thinking that she wouldn't be able to strike anyone down, even with the power flowing through her.
She promptly smacked herself for thinking like that, and continued exploring, but all she found was disappointment. In the labyrinth of identical rock walkways, she had seemed to have gotten lost. Apathy had a growing urge to give up and just go back to sleep, and then considered smacking herself again. She really was going crazy. She needed to stay focused and get out, and thusly she started exploring each wall intimately before moving on to the next. Before long, she found what she was looking for; a small switch imbedded in the rock, easily missable by someone who wasn't looking deliberately for it, or perhaps someone that held a spirtual connection to it. Tapping the small symbol, she heard a grating sound as the wall opposite her lifted up.
She wandered inside of the construct, amazed at the arcitecture. Around Apathy stood a massive circular cathedral, with a roof extending high up enough she wasn't sure she'd be able to get a good measurement on it with just an estimate. Pillars littered the outskirts of the cathedral, and in the center stood a single fountain, which was probably the only actual source of water she'd seen in the entire complex. Taking the time to take a couple sips of the liquid, she let a stream of electricity flow through the tip of her finger into the pool. If anything, it actually felt relaxing to Apathy; it was probably the easiest thing for her electromagic to spread through. Glad to see her powers were still in working order, she continued down to the other side of the massive build before realizing there was no exit on this side of the room. She heard the grating sound as before, staring in terror as the only way out closed solid.
From there, she heard the skittering of rocks, almost as if something were walking towards her. In the rock wall, a hole formed, before a small group of rock creatures climbed out from it. Their bodies were formed of the same material as the rest of the complex, and on top of the mechanisms sat a black wisp, nearly transparent in nature. They posessed glowing white eyes, all of which were narrowed down to an angry stare as they slowly closed in on her.
She had wandered into an arena.
So, er, can I go again now, or should I wait for the others? There's more introduction to do on Loran, but I didn't want to make my first post too long.
Seems 'length was never a problem
Yeah, you can go again. Just make sure to read everyone elses' posts before you go wandering over by them.
Length a problem? Oh, not at all. If you make it to the later rounds, you'll find that posts of that length are pretty routine. I always try to go above and beyond, though, so I'm not entirely sure how many chracters I'll be using at that point in time. (EDIT: If I make it that far, at least. It took me like 2 days to realize how arrogant that sounded.)
EDIT: Draykon, why do you think they call me Hijack? I kid, I kid.
Having too many words in a Grand Battle is like having too much money. Sure, there are a few issues that can crop up here and there, but all in all, more is better.So, er, can I go again now, or should I wait for the others? There's more introduction to do on Loran, but I didn't want to make my first post too long.
Seems 'length was never a problem
Of course, if it's repetitive, then that can be a bit less beneficial. When you're ninja'd twice, say.
Things I currently dislike: Life. Why's it got to take so much time away from my precious internetting?
Was this real?
It bothered Loran that he couldn't figure that out for certain. It all felt real enough, but his hallucinations always did. More importantly, it was more complex than the usual apparitions. For now, it was safe to assume this was all real, even though it was somewhat unlikely for reality. Nevertheless, he'd be on his guard. He would spot any inconsistency the moment it appeared. For now, all was as it should be: Solid rock.
The building, no, the maze was bigger than Loran had expected. There were turns and crossroads everywhere, and he had passed several doors, some of which had been very cleverly hidden. Most of the time, Loran paid them no heed. In a maze, the trick was to always go the same direction. Straying would get him lost. One might argue that he was lost anyway, but that wouldn't be entirely true. He didn't know where he was, or any of the others, but he knew the position of some landmarks relative to one another.
He had replaced his bandage over his eyes when he realized his hearing would be of more use in this maze than his sight, and indeed, he thought he'd heard things moving in the distance. He had attempted to determine a more specific location of the sounds by pressing his ear against the wall. It was a trick that worked most of the time, but now he didn't catch any vibrations. The wall felt odd; Not exactly moving, but somehow vibrant. That discovery had been disconcerting. Loran didn't like magic, and he certainly didn't like magic all around him.
All of a sudden, the corridor ended in a large hall. Loran pulled up his bandages and looked around. A huge circular roof stretched overhead, with almost at the top a small window. A thin stream of sunlight fell through. The wall running around the dome was littered with doorways, all looking the same. If he went through one of these, he'd have a hard time figuring out which one he'd entered through originally. Perhaps that wasn't the wisest thing to do. This place appeared to be central junction. Waiting here might be more beneficial than aimlessly wandering around. In the meantime, he could attempt to reach that window.
Annaliese Nibbs is not an impressive woman. Too tall for most to consider her attractive and without the elegant legginess that height can bring, she was cursed to gangle through life, looking for all the world like the reincarnation of a very nervous stork. The plain black dress and might-have-been-black-once hat she wore did very little to ameliorate any of this, as did the thick, round-lensed glasses perched on her narrow, beaky nose. She often wished she could look like a proper forest hag with clawed hands and scraggly hair, and even harder that she could look like one of those beautiful earth sister type witches that she heard danced naked in the moonlight; no amount of cosmetics or magic seemed to be able to push her towards one side or the other, though, and she had long since resigned herself to living with this mass of curly, vaguely-red hair that didn't seem appropriate for anyone, much less a witch. Really, with the exceptions of her height the unusual hair, Anna seemed to be composed of averages; she was the plainest, most mundane-looking woman in most any world you cared to pick.
She was, therefore, the last person you would expect to be sitting, looking dazed, in the rough center of what appeared to be a platform of rock hovering in a mostly-featureless void, near an enormous glowing sphere with smaller stone plates on its surface. This was the sort of place you expected to find gods and pretty blond men with impressively phallic swords, not confused women with a handful of eggshell.
After a few moments of shock and who wouldn't take a few moments to collect their thoughts after being yanked from their home and dropped through several dimensions before landing on some sort of flying rock near a tiny sun there's no shame in it, Anna stood shakily up. She had no idea where she was this place doesn't even look real and now she was supposed to be killing people she didn't know and couldn't even see what sort of ridiculous contest was this Anna wasn't a killer she had trouble squishing spiders and... She took a few deep breaths, trying to calm down and stop her thoughts racing. Panicking would get her nowhere and right now Anna wanted to get as far away as possible.
The problem of course was that there didn't seem to be anywhere to go save for diving off into the unknown depths of whatever it was surrounded this little rock platform. There wasn't even much on the platform with her; there was that big glowing thing nearby, but the only object she could see on the actual rock was a jagged block of stone. Things... Didn't look good.
Several turns later, Will spied a door at the end of what was an otherwise dead-end passage. It was large, brown, and square, which didn't surprise him. It ground ponderously open as he approached it, which did.
Cautiously, he peered through. He could see a few rows of what appeared to be seats, carved directly out of the stone, then open space. On the other side of the room, he could vaguely make out a similar area to where he was now. The seats were tiered steeply, as though whatever their occupants would be watching was down below.
Moving forward, he saw that the room was generally circular, with columns spaced evenly around the sides. The seating area, which formed a ring around the top, was recessed, enough that those in the arena wouldn't be able to see those watching. For that matter, they might not even be able to see that the seating ring was there at all- the roof was very close overhead, and its undecorated surface would make it hard to see the edge.
Will took a few steps to peer over the edge and found himself overlooking a combat arena. There was a fountain in the centre, and assorted debris scattered around, presumably for cover. There was also someone drinking from the fountain- Will recognized her from the introductions as Apathy.
He was considering shouting something down to her when the Bolters came in from the other side, heading towards her.
Knowing he would never hit them accurately enough with a focused shot, Will adjusted the focus on his pistol and fired. The beam spread out, washing over the general area and enveloping the group. It didn't do much damage, but at this range and focus, it would only give a human minor burns, so he didn't expect much.
His shot had served its purpose, though- the tiny golems turned to look at him, ceasing their advance on Apathy.
Things I currently dislike: Life. Why's it got to take so much time away from my precious internetting?
Voitrach had no idea where to go. He needed to find the others around here. He could just drag them all to him, but then he would lose any advantages he had over them. Instead, he needed to creep up on them, by stealth.
The door ahead of him looked like a good place to start.
He approached it.
As he got near, it started to grind upwards noisily. 'Stop!' thought Voitrach, exerting a force to keep it in place. Good. Crisis averted. He quickly slid under the door and took to hide himself among the first thing he found on the other side of the stone slab door - rows of stone seats. Good. Below, there was some sort of battle going on - he could see three evil-looking rock creatures below, with more tumbling out of a hole in the wall. Not good. Quickly, he changed his mind about the stealth. From this distance, one of the creatures was just within his effective range. So he attacked. First, the creature's personal gravity changed. It flew up from the floor, before floating to the centre of the room. From there, Voitrach dragged it towards him. It hit one of the stone seats, where he quickly grabbed it and ground it into a fine dust by throwing it into his core.
Wait, he thought, I can still hide myself. Some of the dust I have covered myself in is the same colour as the stone in here. Maybe...
Voitrach tries to disguise himself as a stone seat, but he still looks pretty humanoid.
A poof, a bamf, a transportation. Felix wasn't where he once was.
"Stone walls... No, to call it stone would be incorrect. Dirt would be a fitting word. "
It didn't take Felix long to assess the situation; he was used to such strange happenstances. A man-made tunnel system... How intriguing. These kinds of things are generally more difficult for it's own good, unless...
This line of thought was interrupted; not by any outside force mind you, but rather another line of thought. "Eight contestants, destined to fight to the death. How enthralling.
"Well, it would be more enthralling if I weren't in it."
Felix began exploring the caves; he had split himself into multiple light-gray clones to traverse as much ground as possible. Minutes later, they all met where they began, all with the same answer.
"It's a maze." Thank you captain obvious. Anything else you would like to point out? "Yes, actually. We found some of the other contestants." He already knew all of this, seeing as he was the clone, and vice-versa; he had merely earned the habit of talking to himself.
It would be best to form an alliance with some of the contestants. "But some of them seemed rather violent." Well then I will be more violent. "But that might anger the more sensible people."
"Oh shut up all of me. Can't I see that I'm trying to think?" The clones, if you want to call them that, formed back into one dark gray silhouette, which morphed back into the form known as Felix.
"Now, let's just see what we have here. Whoever has arranged this altercation wants to see a fight, and probably won't stop until they have it. But the purely statistical chance for me to leave alive in this fashion is 1/8. Factoring in the powers of the contestants would probably lower these chances further. Now, what do I know of the contestants...
"One is a witch, another is an electro-mage, with yet another being... A creeper? Whatever that was. Then there was that one... They said his name was Will. The rest of them aren't important. Some golems and shit."
Peeling himself from his open thought, Felix continued exploring the caverns.
OTTO was practically gliding through the maze, rocketing down hallway after hallway, turning, turning, never seeming to get any closer to his goal- Whatever that may be.Of course, O'rlyath eventually intervened.
"Alright, you can't seem to find your way on your own, so I guess I'll have to show you the way. Left. Left. Right. Left. Right. Right. Keep on going.
Eventually OTTO came to a heavy stone door that ground open as he approached. Slowing to a stop, he realized he was picking up multiple contacts in the room beyond. When he finally entered, he appeared to be in the bleachers of an ancient arena. Disregarding the rather obvious contact in the seats, he leaped down into the main arena and trotted up to the others, ignoring the minuscule stone beasties that were barely beginning to pour in.
"Language Auto-translator active. Beginning dialogue...
Well well well! What do we have here? Probably the weirdest group I've ever encountered yet."
O'rlyath joined in. "Apologies for appearing so suddenly. I don't suppose the lot of you are about to go killing each other yet? If not, then allow me to introduce ourselves. I am O'rlyath, Being and possessor, unfortunately, of the talking hunk of metal you see before you. He is OTTO, my unwilling compatriot."
Apathy cringed to herself when she heard the first door grinding open, and briefly took the time to look behind her while backing away from the creatures advancing. Exactly what she needed, more monsters to cause her problems! No one had come in through the door behind her, though, which was relatively confusing to her. She looked around the rest of the room before realizing the pillars on the outskirts of the arena were holding up a second floor, of which a man in a camoflauged jumpsuit was staring over. He was nonchalantly holding a pistol to the group of creatures advancing on her, and fired. It didn't seem to do much at all, but a large chunk of them turned to face Will.
Suddenly, one of the little beings flew up to the center of the room, suspended. A few of the other ones also stopped to stare at it in amazement, before it flew over to one side of the second floor. Apathy heard a sickening crash as it hit stone. She tried to see what was happening, but whoever had done that must have been too far back for Apathy to see.
And from the midst, a glossy metallic dragon dropped from the second floor, which Apathy had retreated under. Spotting her with it's glowing blue eyes, it swept over to where she was standing. She recognized it as OTTO from the beginning of the battle; it spoke.
"Well well well! What do we have here? Probably the weirdest group I've ever encountered yet." Apathy thought the same of the dragon, but decided not to speak it out loud. Suddenly, a voice from inside the machine made it's introductions as well.
"Apologies for appearing so suddenly. I don't suppose the lot of you are about to go killing each other yet? If not, then allow me to introduce ourselves. I am O'rlyath, Being and possessor, unfortunately, of the talking hunk of metal you see before you. He is OTTO, my unwilling compatriot." This made a much higher amount of sense to Apathy, who was awfully confused at everything unfolding before her eyes. Feeling confident that she knew what was going on, she charged forward at the group of tiny creatures.
Snapping her fingers together, the red stripes that stretched across Apathy's arm lit up until it was almost flourescent, and began to emit a glowing aura. From the palm of her hand, a spark ignited and a blue wisp of lighting arced from her hands onto the stone of the monster, which fell. Grasping the wisp of electricity in her hand as if it were solid, Apathy pulled herself around, with the current flowing with her like a piece of rope. Across the way, it made a solid connection with the mechanisms within the rock, causing a series of small explosions to light up the corridor. There were only two of the little beings left, one of which OTTO raced over to. He picked it up, almost as if it were harmless.
"Identifying...! This creature is a Bolter, which when left alone is a simple and harmless resident of the caves. However, having being possessed by the demonic Bad Spark, the Bolter becomes aware of evil intentions. Very hostile, and will explode on contact." OTTO placed the Bolter back on the ground before stomping on it multiple times. Its corpse began to glow white, and dispersed. "Oddly enough, it seems that my mechanical adversary has shown himself useful for once."
Voitrach saw an opportunity. Using his powers, he lifted the Bolter up into the sky as before, and sent it crashing into the ground, shattering into hundreds and hundreds of pieces. He briefly considered collecting them and absorbing them into himself, but there were too many people and he didn't want to blow his cover. Though in a humanoid shape, the chair disguise had seemed to fool everyone else up to this point, as they had seemed to be occupied with what was happening below.
Will leapt up over the railing and onto the floor below, which was now littered with various pieces of rocks from deceased enemies. He calmly extended his hand to Apathy, who had walked back into the center of the arena. "Will Haven, at your service."
Having decided that the trio (or, rather, quartet, if O'rlyath and OTTO were to be considered different people) didn't seem to show any hostility to each other yet, she decided it was safe to at least introduce herself to the man. She brought up her hand, and went to give Will a handshake but instead sent a bolt of electricity running up his arm. He hardly seemed phased by it, simply drawing his hand back. She smirked, and had a feeling she'd try to knock him out of the loop eventually. She casually waved her hand at Will, as well as OTTO in the background. "Name's Apathy. Nice to meet you, I'd hope." She looked down at the futuristic pistol that Will was carrying. "Nobody's trying to kill anyone else yet, right?"
OTTO gave out a small robotic chuckle. "No, not yet. But we'll have to kill someone to get out of here, I know that much." He looked over the scattered stone fragments left over from the Bolter massacre seconds ago. "Well, it's helpful to know I will be up against rivals at least as strong as you, Apathy. If you don't mind, I have a large radio contact to investigate." He looked back to the balcony, and clambered up by jamming his talons into the pillars. Once up, he relocated Voitrach and approached. "I know where you are. There is no use hiding."
O'rlyath, who had remained quiet for a while, piped up. "We'll not be fighting you. Yet. Merely investigating," he said, his voice issuing from the depths of OTTO's machinery, and then shouted back down to Apathy and Will. "I don't suppose the two of you will be coming up here with us?"
There was not much of interest to see outside of the maze. In part, this was because all Loran's would-be victims were inside. Mostly though, it was the bandages over his eyes. In the short glimpse he had gotten before his eyes started watering, he'd seen that he was standing on a mountain, surrounded by a huge forest. Somewhere on the mountain slope lay a small village. It didn't matter. Beneath his toes, he felt familiar vibrations. Whatever was impeding his senses down in the maze, it didn't work up here. He knelt and put his hands on the stone, concentratingâ€¦ Focusingâ€¦
There were several small signals, scattered through the maze. Those were his enemies, making their way through the maze, all alone. A stronger signal came from slightly to his left, and quite a way down. There were more of them together there. At least three, possibly more, probably all battling each other. He got up and stretched, considering. Under normal circumstances, he would sneak up on the single ones, picking them off one by one. But this weren't normal circumstances. A death would end the round, and the ones who were alone would surely be on their guard. It might be more beneficial to head towards the bigger group. If one of them had not been killed by the time he got there, they would at least be so engrossed in their own fighting that he might be able to sneak up on them. It would also give him a chance to figure out their different fighting styles.
He planted the location of every signal firmly in his head, and only then realized there were too many. Eight contestants, those kidnappers had told them, yet there were more than a dozen signals, all strong enough to emanate from a contestant. Either the men had lied, or there was a third party. Both options were equally troublesome.
â€œWhy are you dawdling?â€ a female voice asked.
Loran slashed at the voice with a dagger, finding nothing but air. He carefully lifted his bandages, and took a quick glance around him. Nobodyâ€¦ Damned hallucinations again.
â€œTypicalâ€¦ â€œ he told himself. â€œFocus now.â€
Yet he didn't go back in the maze immediately. The wind felt cool against his skin and the air smelled fresh, of trees and clouds. That maze was oppressing. He preferred to hunt in the open air.
Yes, he was a hunter again. He had let himself be forced into the role of prey by his kidnappers, but not any longer. He was a hunter, and he was going to hunt. With ease he climbed back through the window and down the steep wall, something no human could ever have done. He set off towards the group of contestants, and in his mind he could already smell their blood.
Voitrach, still in chair form, felt the gaze of the robotic OTTO quite intimidating. However, whilst contorted like this he could only manage a slow shuffle. So he did manage it, slowly shuffling away. After a few seconds, he turned around to see OTTO still the same distance behind him. Gah! He'd forgotten these beings could move. Looking as embarrassed as a chair made mostly of stone can,
he slowly used his powers to gather up the brown dust in the air into a series of letters hanging in front of him.
"HELLO. IT LOOKS LIKE YOU HAVE ME THERE. YOU APPEAR TO BE SOME SORT OF METALLIC BEING. I AM VOITRACH. YOU CAN SEE WHAT I DO. EXCUSE THE CAPITAL LETTERS. THE SMALLER LETTERS ARE FIDDLY AND TAKE MORE TIME."
"You do know that by absorbing that-"
"YES. MAKES THINGS MORE DIFFICULT. BUT I SAVED A WORLD THAT LOOKED NICE. IT HAD TREES AND STUFF."