The Hat Trick
Fri May 29, 2009 3:35am (XFF:

Synthetic blood splattered wetly as the reploid gladiator known as Kremlin bodyslammed his opponent onto the arena floor. Applause erupted from the titillated crowds as he then drove a knife into the chest cavity of the prone enemy and twisted until all internal activity ceased to function. A closeup of this killing stroke was displayed on the overhead vidscreens so large that the knife itself was two stories tall.

In casinos and backrooms all over the world gamblers moaned and threw away their tickets. Kremlin hadn't been the favorite to win, and in the year 21XX the Iron Hand Tournament was the Superbowl, the Kentucky Derby and Wrestlemania all rolled into one.

"GOOAAAAL!" Carlito Gomez screamed into his microphone, high up in the colosseum's press box.

Beside him Tom Dunson leaned into his mic, saying with in a magnificent speaking voice "Right you are, Chuck. I haven't seen a take down that effective since the historic Bugenhagen Upset ten years ago when a cyborg castrated his opponent with a grapefruit spoon. This is shaping up to be quite a tournament, ladies and gentlemen."

Suddenly a siren erupted in the colosseum and strange symbols began to appear on the huge vidscreens overhead.

"Santa Maria!" Gomez exclaimed.

Dunson laughed "You said it, Charlie! That's the signal that the next fight will be a four-way bout. A menage-a-quatre, as the French would say. The first of today's special matches with randomly selected twists. Yes, this is shaping up to be quite a tournament indeed."

Down below, Cross stepped out onto the arena floor and struck his most impressive pose. The announcer's voice boomed "In the red corner, the world's greatest mother, CROSS!"

"Lover!" Cross yelled from the floor. "I told them to say world's greatest LOVER! Can't they get anything right?!?"

His protests were cut short by blaring rock music being piped over the speakers. A large, heavy muscled human entered the arena as the announcer continued "And in the blue corner, a man with a death sentence on three continents, MAD DOG HOEK!"

Cross again yelled "Why didn't I get theme music?"

The next to enter was a ninja-class reploid in tight, flexible combat armor. Two beamsabers dangled from his belt. The announcer introduced the warrior simply as "T.R.", which led Cross to ponder "Total Retard? Tasty Rimjob? What could it mean?"

And finally a tall, aristocratic looking human entered from the yellow entrance. The announcer explained that he was the "world champion beamsaber duelist, Baron Otto Von Stroheim" and then shouted "LETS GET READY TO RUMMMMBLLLLLLE!!!"

The entire colusseum erupted in applause. The human called Mad Dog was the first to act, exploaded into a charge directly at Cross. He drooled slightly as he ran, and before Cross could say "What do you think you're doing, human?" the gladiator was upon him and planted a set of brass knuckles across Cross' face so hard it almost knocked him back through the doors he'd just came through.

Cross hadn't expected a human, even a no-neck musclebound one, to pose any kind of a physical threat to a reploid in hand to hand combat. But with a single punch that opinion had changed. Rising, he activated his armor recall and with a sore jaw growled "Let's try that again."

That's when Mad Dog pulled out a desert eagle and unloaded an entire clip into Cross, knocking the reploid down again. The bullets weren't enough to do serious damage through his armor, but they still smarted something awful. Now genuinely angry, Cross climbed to his feet and bull rushed the human. Before Mad Dog could put in a fresh clip, Cross performed a flying roundhouse scorpion kick that knocked three of the man's teeth out of his head.

Somewhere in the bowels of the colusseum, Axel spit his drink out and cursed in Russian. "I don't believe he can actually do that!"

Cross then grabbed the human's pistol from him, inserted the fresh clip and put a round into Mad Dog's knee cap.

"See? Bullets hurt, fag!"

What caught Cross by surprise was how the audience reacted to this act of violence. The bloodlusting mob seemed to cheer in proportion to however much pain he inflicted. This thought amused him and to test his theory Cross kicked Mad Dog in the ribs. The crowd roared. He put another bullet in the man and they went wild. And so Cross commenced bodyslamming and otherwise pummeling the poor human with greater and greater theatricality until he was even inventing new wrestling moves on the spot.

On the other side of the arena, T.R. and Baron Von Stroheim were locked in combat. The first two seemed like clowns in comparison, for these were men who took battle seriously. They'd circled each other a while, cautious and respectful, before activating their beamsabers and starting their graceful dance of death.

It was instantly apparent that the old human was wired, and not some glitchy backalley nerve job either. His was a world class cybernetic installation that must have cost a fortune and he knew how to use it. Von Stroheim had taken the time to get comfortable with the enhancements.

The exchange of slashes and thrusts between the two swordsmen were like blurs to the naked eye. T.R. was a state of the art reploid and master beamsaber duelist, but the human was a grandmaster with talent and intuition that cannot be programmed. With an elegant movement the human knocked one of T.R.'s weapons from his hand.

As quick in mind as in body, the reploid instantly activated his empty magnetic glove and the lost weapon flew back towards its home... only to be intercepted by Baron Von Stroheim. The audience which squeeled with glee at the sight of the cyborg now armed with two weapons. But after merely admiring the craftsmanship of the beamsaber for a moment, the old gentleman tossed it back to its owner.

T.R., an honorable combatant himself, bowed his head slightly in salute but did not reactive the returned blade. This was one fight that he now wished to win on equal footing. So when the fight resumed it was single blade versus single blade.

The dance was fiercer now, more concentrated. And it ended finally when T.R.'s weapon cut through the thigh of his opponent, causing Von Stroheim to drop to one knee. Perhaps the reploid did in fact have greater skill than the other, or perhaps the old man had just gotten tired. Whichever, the courtly baron deactivated his plasma saber and said with a little smile "Sir, you have bested me. I yeild from the tournament."

"I accept your capitulation." T.R. replied. "You're a gentleman, sir, and the finest swordsman I've ever known." He then lifted his blade in another salute. It was, he felt, his greatest achievement as a warrior.

That's when a white hot ball of plasma burned through T.R.'s back, tearing up his insides. It has been fired from one of Cross' two gauntlet mounted megabusters and was instantly followed by another and another before the ninja could finally spin around and get a look at his assailant.

Though injured greatly, T.R. managed to activate his foot booster and get just enough of a burst to close the gap between him and Cross. With a single upward swipe the assassin severed Cross' left arm at the elbow. The stump vomited sparks that rained beautifully upon the ground where the missing limb now lay.

"You cut off my arm!" Cross shouted. "I need that for stuff!"

The mercenary then used his other plasma cannon to put one final shot through the ninja's breastplate. Though a formidable warrior, this last blast was more than T.R. could take. He slumped backwards and crumbled to the ground.

Thus Cross was left last man standing in the arena of the Iron Hand Tournament. It would have been a very proud moment for him indeed if the crowd had chanted the correct name. Instead they simply chanted the name that was written all over his armor.


  • Goldielocks and the Big Bad BearVier, Fri May 22 7:03pm
    Zeo Grey made his way back to the ready room lounge for his block, already given a clean bill of health by the busy medical workers of the Iron Hand tournament. One of the other block's matches was... more
    • The Hat Trick — Kail, Fri May 29 3:35am
    • FirestormLiska, Fri May 29 3:07am
      Liska sat in the lounge on the sofa with the other FR mercs and contestants, nervously watching the other FR consents go at the other mercenaries that signed up. She actually wasn't too bent over... more
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