Lights above flicker, struggling to maintain a constant source of power to illuminate the room. Their buzz seemingly infecting any mind hearing it with annoyance. A camera pans from right to left zooming out slowly revealing a very different scene than before.
Cardboard boxes litter the dirty room, though a few were stacked into a seemingly makeshift table, where two men were seated. Lou Suhr and and Vic Tauhrius looked similar to how they did last time, if you added a coat of dirt, a few bruises, and a steak to Lou's left eye. There was a flicker of the lights, and everything went dark for a moment. Someone cursed, then there was the sound of something striking metal and the lights flickered to life again.
“Goooood evening folks and welcome back! I'm Lou Suhr and this here is my co-pilot for this magic carpet ride Vic Tauhrius and we are here to bring you the live coverage of the first round of RPA's Annual Rumble.” His large teeth bearing grin could be seen even being covered by half of the frozen meat slab, he placed it down and looked at Vic.
“Well Vic we should probably explain the rather obvious change to our set wouldn't ya say?”
“I’ll say, Lou! Unless you’re blinder than Lou was two days ago when he got that rather attractive mark on his eye, you’ve noticed that our set has been…” Vic paused as if to search for the right words. “Significantly downgraded. I’d give you the whole spiel, but to save you an hour’s worth of politics, I’ll give you a rundown.
“Basically, our sponsors turned out to be a vast network of pirates that got quickly and rather violently shut down by the government. We, being a collectively innocent bystander of sorts, got the worst of it: shut down and tossed to the side with nothing but Lou’s steak to keep that welt from swelling and the clothes on our back, we were forced to try and find some other way to continue the Rumble Show.
“A few weeks later and after a much needed pep talk by Raptor Jesus, we finally found a used camcorder and a cameraman- Say Hi, Jimmy.”
“Hi!” came a voice from presumably behind the camera.
“- and we began searching for a place to start the show.”
“Right Vic after putting our heads together we came up with the perfect place to relocate.' Lou pauses and waves his hand around the room. 'The basement of the lovely Ma Suhr! Graciously she has rented us this basement under my childhood home for only a fraction of the cost. Mothers! Ya gotta love them!”
Again, almost if scripted a door opened from above and a craggy voice boomed from the top of the stairwell. “LOU! VIC! Suppa is ready! Ya want me to save ya some? It's Kraft Dinner and Hot Dogs, your favorite right?!” In resonse Lou leaned back towards the stairs and shouted up them. “MA! We are live right now! Maybe later! You can't interrupt like this! Alright?!” The door slammed allowing Lou to push his chair back and face the camera. Chuckling he looked at Vic and padded him on the back. “Mothers right?! What can ya do! We should tell them about how we are able to make this show live and have footage from the first round shouldn't we? Don't want to leave our fans in the dark!”
“Ten-Four, big guy! With the recent upset, you must be asking aloud: ‘Vic, how did you two manage to get the battles if you had no funding?’ Well I’ll tell ya! For the most part, we actually had time to witness the battles and begin our reviews before we got shut down, but for the interview and THIS, we had to get tricky… As for how we’re on the air… if we told you, someone might realize something and we’d get pulled off. Suffice to say this isn’t QUITE legal!”
“Now, in an effort to keep this shin-dig as short as possible so that our signal isn’t found by less-than-favorable parties, let’s get this show on the road! Lou, what’s up first?”
“Alrighty, first up we have our reviews of the first round and oh boy did we ever get into some of the nitty gritty of this round didn't we Vic? You were covering this one, Vic, so take it away!”
“Well now, Lou, I had the SPECIAL treat to witness this battle firsthand! It was quite the duel! The arena was rather spiffy, too, it was the inside of a watch! The tiny combatents had to maneuver around on moving cogs and wheels and… All that stuff! The two fighters were an alien by the name of Uai Trakand and a human doctor, Marcus Waye. And boy let me tell ya, this battle was off the RAILS! In the first few moments, it was quiet, the two getting a grip on their surroundings and such. They had to adapt to a field that had cogs spinning all the time, ya know? Then, the Doctor hit first by firing a gun at the woman, direct hit! Well, I guess I shouldn’t be giving you a play-by-play, eh?”
Vic paused here and seemed to be listening to his ear mic. Sadly, they no longer had one of those. “Well folks, it seems you’re getting one anyway! After that shot, the alien had to play smarter, so she began moving faster, towards the Doctor and out of long range fire. However, Marcus used the darkness of the clock to his advantage and lured Uai close with his coat as a decoy, then shot her with a blow dart full of snake venom. She got a hit on him, too, though, and the dart itself was only a grazing wound, but the venom took effect nonetheless! Then the whole damn clock started falling apart, so they had to start fighting falling gears and such, too. Uai started using blood to attack the Doctor now, some evil power she has, and even managed to deflect a bullet with it! However, the Doctor proved to be too wily for her!”
Vic was getting more and more excited as he continued on hurriedly, his voice rising slightly. “With the venom taking its toll on her, not to mention blood loss from the bullet wound, Uai was slowing down, and finally the Doctor pulled out the stops, donning a mask designed to strike pure fear into his opponents. However, the voodoo magic of the mask was not enough for the alien woman. She broke free of the spell and caught the Doctor’s leg, wounding him and almost putting him down for good until Mr. Waye pulled out his final weapon: a watch that could turn back time. Only a few seconds, but it was all he needed to turn the tables back around. Uai was down. It seemed as if the Doctor had won, but even then, he was honorable enough to attempt to give the dying warrior the antivenin.” Vic seemed to choke a moment, as if on the verge of tears, then got control of himself
“In the end, though, the battle’s judge revived Uai and allowed her to escape the clock, choosing her as victor! Man, but it was an awesome battle.”
“Can you believe it Vic! The Doctor was my champ's choice to be the most challenging opponent! The first round sure seemed to be surprising didn't it!?”
“It sure did… Lordy, what a match… So then tell me, Lou, what was your first match like?”
Lou smiled his trademark grin before beginning his own rundown of his share of the round one battles. The camera was quickly placed down on something, giving a less shaky shot of the hosts’ chests, while something was moved onto the boxes. The camera was picked up again, and a rather out-of-date television flickered on. After a few seconds of static, the screen quickly changed to showing a palace scene, showing a freeze frame of two females standing facing each other before a throne.
“So this here folks is the first round match between Kaelahna Sunwing and Hae Jin Mok and oh my! What a doozie it was! This match typifies the classic hatred between some of the races that are brought together in the Rumble. Secondly, and this goes without saying but when two females are fighting each other they bring a special intensity.”
Winking at the audience while still smiling the screen begins playing through the fight, only to pause at Kaelahna’s opening attack.
“Alright now this right folks shows us just how seriously the Rumble is here on RPA, not only do we have a ferocious attack right off the get go but we see just how skilled the competitors are. See the almost animalistic aggression as Kaelahna leads with her mace and the mere fractions of a second it takes for Hae Jin to dodge and counter. Ain’t nothing betta than that! Now these two really don’t waste no time in getting close and trash talkin’ each other but let’s stop here!”
The fight had continued playing out behind Lou as he spoke and he stops it just as Hae Jin blocks another one of Kaelahna’s attacks with part of the blade slicing her cheek.
“Alright here we go first blood, nothing major just a flesh wound but typically in a battle like this just the feeling of being the first to bleed can be pretty demoralizing. That being said Hae Jin pulls out some ridiculously impressive moves to be able to deflect that blade at all with having her feet knocked out from under her. Now as you see the fight progress here it doesn’t take long before Kaelahna’s blood is spilled. I’m gonna just venture a guess here folks but in a Rumble battle you should never ever underestimate your opponent, when Kaelahna takes a seat to jab at Hae Jin’s pride or what have you she definitely sets herself up for an attack. Hae Jin sees it and bam arrow to the kne....arm, arrow to the arm.”
Lou’s eyes widen with excitement as the fight continues to progress, and almost inhumanly possible his grin gets bigger showing off sterling white teeth all the more. His expression twists and changes horribly so when the screen turns black. A few moments pass and the lights flicker before the screen comes back showing the battle. With a huge sigh of relief Lou continues.
“That was a close one, let us continue on shall we? Kaelahna wastes no time in her next attack to pull out the big guns. Literally, tossing her dual wielding beauties she unveils a magical rifle. Hae is clearly put in a tight defensive circumstance trying to dodge both flaming weapons and she almost does it. After this the battle seemingly becomes pretty one sided. Kaelahna manages to fire off a round that hits Hae Jin in the side and she turns tail to try to regroup. Hae Jin manages to formulate a pretty solid plan of attack using a distraction but it just wasn’t enough for the magical flaming weapons of the Blood Elf. The judge calls it and Kaelahna moves on still easily one of the best matches in the first round.”
Vic took over now. “The next match I got to see was only on video, sadly, but the match was quite interesting nonetheless. The fighters were a half-giant named Tal’set and a mage by the name of Asavar Kul. The battlefield was rather odd, as most of the ‘ground’ was actually separate bamboo shoots which dropped away into black water, as well as another post about ten feet across that served as the only solid ‘ground’ on the field. Needless to say, that post was the vantage point. The mage apparently could not use the magic at the beginning of the match, as he stuck with using the large spear instead, a rather interesting choice if I would say so. Against the half-giant equipped with a huge shield and guan dao, I didn’t think he stood much a chance, but apparently he could hold his own. The fighters traded blows for a few minutes, nothing too interesting to point out, when the judge intervened and abducted the mage, saying his files were not legitimate or something weird like that. Tal’set proceeded to the next round on default, which kinda bummed me out. I would’ve liked to see that battle really play out.”
The screen fades and transitions as Lou changes the papers in front of him, quickly looking up and back to the camera the screen shows another match. The area is of a platform chained to twelve others the clouds swirl and mix as a violent wind seems to be passing through. The judge and competitors appear revealing a large Nemean Lion and an average looking one armed male.
“What a groaner this match was, I’m always rooting for the beasts that take part in the Rumble. Ruan numbah one, woo! To see this match not finish on a stipulation was heartbreaking. Mittens would’ve chewed this guy up! I can understand the judges though, wanting to preserve extinct species and races and what not but man what a letdown. Alright so here we have Mittens, a Nemean Lion, pound for pound man eating muscle tearing feline madness, and his opponent a Sigil-Sword name Abel who just happens to be missing a limb. Let’s roll the fight...”
The beginning of the battle plays out until Abel is sent crashing into the platform from Mitten’s winged strike. Chuckling Lou rewinds and plays the scene back and forth before talking again.
“Here folks, we see a classic mismatch. Mitten’s is a beast, literally, and poor Abel just isn’t physically adequate to deal with the lion’s strength. It is kind of funny to see though, not to count out the Sigil-Sword though as he here reveals his manifestation magic. It would have been interesting to see how this would have played out had the battle gone on longer, not to mention we only see a tiny bit of his abilities as a Sigil caster. However, alas, it was not to be, as the judge stepped in and announced that Mittens was the last remaining member of its species and therefore the Gods would not condone its death. Once the stipulation came to light, the battle was quickly ended and Mitten’s was sent on his merry way to procreate. Damn shame that is how this Rumble battle ended.”
Vic nodded sadly at his co-host. "That it is Lou, that it is. Well, that was our rundown, folks! And, as we promised, we have a special guest for you guys today!"
“Of course we do! Give it up for Hae Jin Mok!” The door to the basement opened and the camera swerved over to focus on Hae Jin, who is wearing a white cut off top, short red skirt and brown tones strap sandals, absent her sword, bow and arrow and battle armor, though she does have a dagger strapped to her left thigh. Her jet black hair was in a pony tail extending down her back, waist level. Vic paused for the ‘applause’ (a very poorly recorded track) to die down, then for the Jimmy to re-center on him. “It’s wonderful to have you here Hae Jin, thank you for being on the show with us, even!”
A soft and warm smile graces her lips softly replying in an Asian accent “Why thank you, I am happy you wished to speak to me.”
“We apologize for this crappy studio, but it’s the best we could do, ya know?” Lou piped in, his voice squeaky high in essence of his obvious excitement. “So Hae Jin, what did it feel like, fighting in the Rumble? From what Ruan told us last time, it must be exciting!”
Her smile remains soft as she focuses her chocolate brown eyes toward the camera, her tone tender as ever “It was a great honor for me to represent my masters training and my people in this event. It was really exciting and intense, I am proud to have been able to offer my skills in this epic competition.” She moves her hand up and runs her fingers through her hair more for the camera and audience.
“This might sting a little,” Lou continued on, “but you ARE one of the first ones to be knocked out… How do you feel?”
Her facial features tighten as she moves her hand down grasping her dagger rapidly sliding it from the sheath before moving the glistening blade up toward Lou’s throat. Her eyes lock into his for a moment offering a stiffer response “How would it feel if you did not see the sun rise tomorrow?”
A softer expression returns to her facial features as she offers Lou a wink before and returning the dagger to her thigh sheath. Her soft gentle smile returns and her tone soft and tender “It stings, I am not a girl who likes to fail.”
“Well,” Vic coughed. “Anyway. Looking back on the battle, is there any one point where you felt that you lost, or did you believe you were going to win the whole time?”
Her features remain soft and tender, tone the same “While in battle, one does not look at failure as an option, I had not given that any thought, I focus more on my opponent and how I can use their moves, size and mannerisms against them. I had never considered rather I would win or lose, only how I was going to stay alive and defeat my opponent.”
“What do you think was your fatal mistake?” Lou asked tentatively, still feeling at his throat.
A soft genuine smile graces her lips as she giggles “I brought swords to a gun fight.”
Vic moved in this time. “Any advice to the up and coming fighters who might participate next year?”
Her expression remains soft and tender, tone equally soft, “I would offer that those who enter next year expect the unexpected, train hard and fight harder. Oh yes, and if you draw me as an opponent, let me win.” The last part was more in a playful tone.
“Anyone you rooting for still in the Rumble?” Lou asked, more confident this time.
Keeping her calm demeanor, offers in her now typical soft tone “My opponent fought well, my defeat does not make me her enemy, and we faced each other as combatants. Now that I have left the competition, I do desire Kaelahna the best in her continued battles and would like to see her come out the overall victor.” A wider smile forms “To have been defeated by the Battle Champion would after all be easier for me to accept…” winking to Lou “… and might keep me from holding daggers to cute reporter’s throats.”
“Well thanks for being such a sport and coming out tonight! We wish you well and, hey, we even managed to snatch a little present for you before our sponsors flatlined.”
The two present her a sword, very fine make, etched with her name in Japanese. They stand together and, sword laid flat across their four hands, hand it to her with a duel bow. As the sword is presented to her, she takes the scabbard removing the blade looking it over before sliding the blade back in the scabbard. She softly bites at her bottom lip keeping her composure “This is a magnificent blade; I am honored to be presented with such a prize.” Nodding her head respectfully, she exits the house with a bow, leaving the two hosts alone with Jimmy again.
Once the lovely lady had made her way upstairs Lou pointed to himself and the camera zoomed slowly on his face. His black eye accented by the low lights and his still very white smile. “Do we ever have something special for all you faithful viewers. You see our new predicament has giving us some unique information which we are going to share with you all. I know it seems all so mystical and that is because it is! Vic and I have learned of a very special and secretive...magical thing. So imagine yourself in a world rife with battles, factions constantly vying to rule the whole land. Now if that tickles those special fibres in your being you'll want to quickly head to the address on your screens and hop through the portal to the Realms of War! Don't miss your chance!”
“Okay Lou, stop scaring the audience,” came Vic’s voice as Lou was shoved out of the picture, prodding Jimmy to return to full view.
“Well, folks, that’s all we have for you today. Be sure to remember that we will STILL be hosting a voting round for the people’s favorite fighter AND fight during the Rumble! So stick around and make sure you tune in next time! Until then, I’m Vic Taurius-“
“'and I'm....' The door at the top of the stairs flies open 'LOU SUHR! Are the three of you still down there! Suppa is helluva cold now, you're going to have to heat it in the microwave! REMEMBER that you need to add an extra minute to the time because there is no heat on the first minute. ALRIGHT?!? I'm gunna get a shower my rolls are helluva sweaty!!” Lou winced as the image penetrated into his mind, and the collective reaction of Lou, Vic, AND Jimmy was a gag as the three quickly bolted upstairs. The camera fell on its side and, after a few minutes, cut off from battery loss.
Vic Tauhrius - Jacogos
Lou Suhr - The Imposter
Moral Support, Direction, Persuasion, and most of all, a kick to our asses whenever we SHOULD have been working on this - Kris, IIzak, and the rest of the Staff on Rpa
Nazgul - Especially noted for unlocking the thread so I could post this monster
Special Guest - Storm as Hae Jin Mok
In case you were wondering, YES, YES, AND MORE YES, we are still accepting sponsors for our Rumble Show, now more than ever! Contact Vic
if you're interested in sponsoring us!
Thanks for watching and stay tuned for more coverage, more interviews, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, more action!