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Snippet #1602

located in Capallice - The Pit, a part of Arena: The Chimera Tournament, one of the many universes on RPG.

Capallice - The Pit

A crowded, rowdy place below the actual arena. It is here that Operators prepare their Drudges for battle, wait for matches to begin, and stabilize those who survive.

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In the last stirring fragments of his dreams he could hear their cackling laughter. Images reflected a drunken and jolly light in which eyes began to well with soupy tears of amusement. Their warped faces and goofy grins seemed to encompass him in a jostling mass. The loopy and tacky sounds of the entertainer’s organ and flutes bounced around his ears. The fun house mirrors of his unconscious world then began to shatter, crackling like fireworks until through the open slits of his eyes came the real and unsmiling sun.

Scott pulled himself up with an exhausted grunt. He looked out of the entrance made of withering sheet metal and into the dusty and desolate world of the out casted kind. Dark circles had spring up under his eyes. He had strayed out late the night before, out of the sight of his operator. He didn’t want any of his relations to know he had been part of a freak show circus act, which might be seen as something so low only a hopeless fool would partake in. It was worth the few empty laughs and humiliation, for a good meal and a good size in emergency savings. He only secretly visited the circus when he wasn’t bringing in very much from the arena, but he knew he’d earn plenty when the chimera tournament started. He was common favorite among his kind.

Scott stood and shuffled out, eyes squinting into the glaring sun. Wait, the sun was high in the horizon. He turned to quickly make his way to the pit, knowing his operator would be angry if he didn’t come on time. He jogged on through the slum, the midday heat slamming against his shirtless back, jeans scuffling along. He felt his gut squirm as he saw the dark and stormy blue eyes of his operator Zarrof, his mouth twisted into a grizzly and bearded frown. He must have really slept in if his trainer had bothered to come back and get him.
“You decide the day before the tournament to slack off?! Get over here!” shouted the middle-aged man, spitting with anger. He reached out and with a gruff arm and tugged Scott over to his side by the roots of his hair.
“Sorry sir, was tryin’ to get some beauty sleep,” mumbled Scott as he trekked beside Zarrof. As they hurried to the arena they both paused at a family’s old TV set that was exposed through a wide gouge in the hut’s fabric. It was apparent that it was about this Chimera event and Scott tried to catch what was being said from the well dressed and made over news broadcaster. Something about the tournament’s rules had changed was as far as he knew. He glanced at Zaroff who seemed to passively watch, as if he had already gotten the memo.

Soon they began to descend into the damp and dim corridors and arrived in the hellish nest of the most brutal mutants that existed. As he searched the bustling crowds of 39 other teams he spotted his friend Mabel as Zarrof left his side and went to greet Adnan and Wren. Scott approached Mabel, a soft expression on his face to see his dear friend he had made when he had first signed up with The Pit. She was his first friend, the one that showed him the mechanics of the entire business itself. The girl turned around, her light honey colored eyes brightening. The male reached into his pocket and pulled out a bracelet he had made out of oddly colored stones and pieces of iron he had found all loosely wound through a piece of twine. “Aw it’s lovely,” she murmured quietly, admiring the small beauty which was pulled from scraps. Her eyes flashed and the bracelet floated to her palm and slowly the pieces drifted away from each other the rocks floating in an orbit around the string suspended in the air. Then with the next visual thought the stones arranged themselves around the material and tied itself off before it dropped into her fingers. “Thank you,” she said tucking a lock of dark hair behind her ear.
“Don’t mention it,” responded Scott and strode off to find the team. He ended up beside Wren leaning an elbow on her sturdy shoulder. “Mornin’ Wren. Great to start the day with a little blood, sweat an’ tears eh?” he said shifting his forest colored eyes at the two operators. “So we doin’ anythin’ yah know, different today? Since tomorrah is the tournament?”
“I’m surprised you actually remembered,” scoffed Zarrof almost embarrassed that his drudge turned up tardy on such an important date.
“You sound like one of those petty school teachers in Capallice. Of course I remembered, this is my chance to get out of this shit-hole, and kick some mutant ass,” he said hopping in front of Wren putting his fists up as if starting a boxing match. “Righto Wren? C’mmon put em’ up!” he said popping a few fake strikes at hawk-girl. Zarrof grumbled something to Adnan.
“Today’s he’s got to learn…how to finish the job, without him knowing about the change in plans…You saw the news broad cast this morning, yes? I’m not sure how well he’ll take it. I’m afraid he might protest, but there’s a lot of money on that boy for the both of us. I don’t want him to know just yet. I’m going to see how he reacts tomorrow during the first match, and I'm hoping he’ll cope. He’s seen a lot of gruesome things already. Wren on the other hand could teach Scott a few things about no mercy,” he told his fellow operator off to the side.

((The “change” in plans is referring to the new rules of the tournament where killing your opponent is the only way to win a match and move on to the next level, whereas in recent years the rules only called for knock-outs or surrendering. ))