[OT] Sunday Free Write [Link to post.]
Dread wandered through the bazaar searching for an animal vendor. She asked at several stalls, but each question was met with a shrug and an offer to sell her something else. After wandering and browsing the market for hours, Dread felt her stomach growl. She changed her questioning to ask about food and a friendly vendor pointed her to a run down hole in the wall named "Immovable".
Dread enjoyed a private smile when she found the establishment. Immovable reminded her of every other disreputable, gang-run, pit of trouble she found in almost every universe. She heard a cheering roar from the people inside and dashed in to investigate the commotion. A giant crowd of patrons surrounded a long, rectangular white surface in the floor of the diner. It reminded Dread of the derby track but only consisted of a single white glossy 15' x 5' strip. On the left side of the strip Dread saw a giant, pale, red-headed woman. She faced a tall, but shorter than the red-head, lean man. The giant woman smiled at the man, then took a single step forward.
"Challenger ready?" She shouted at the man. He tugged at the fingers of his brown leather glove to remove it, then held his hand up in the air. A golden tattoo of the number 34 glowed on the back of his raised hand.
"I'm ready," he said. A large golden bear, almost the size of the red-head. rose out of the white track next to the male challenger. A golden glow illuminated the bear's outline, and his light brown fur shimmered gold as the beast walked next to its master towards the woman. She stopped walking at two large black footprints in the white field. A notification beeped, then the woman's image appeared on a behemoth screen overlooking the white rectangle to give everyone a view.
"Hey, what's going on?" Dread asked the friendliest looking thug she could find and was pleased to receive an answer. She did not want to get caught up in a fight and miss the action.
"That's the owner," the bearded man responded without taking his eyes off the two competitors. Luckily for Dread he did point out the gargantuan woman to clarify. "She's immovable. Anyone that moves her gets a reward," he said. Dread's eyes lit up.
"What kind of reward?" She asked. Neither the man with the bear nor the diner's owner made a move. Dread wondered how the man was going to move her. She guessed he was a Beastermaster like her. She hoped to ask him where he got his bear after the challenge.
"No one's moved her. Never been a reward," he responded, then chuckled. "He's going to try ramming? That idiot's going to knock himself out for a week." The lean man began to run at the red-headed owner, with his bear charging next to him. Within steps of reaching the woman the bear dissipated into gold dust and gave the lean man the aura of a golden bear.
"Hyper." A deep male voice from the scoreboard announced a power-up used by the lean man.
"Bear soul!" The man yelled. His body changed with every step. He grew taller, rich brown fur sprouted out of every inch of bare skin. He resembled a man/bear hybrid by the time he reached the owner. He rushed into her with all his strength head first, then fell flat on the ground an instant later. Face down and unconscious. The bearded man howled with laughter, but Dread requested his attention again with a shoulder tap.
"Beastmasters can do that?" she asked. The man nodded.
"Depends on the spec. One of the paths focuses on augmenting yourself by bonding with your beast. He also happened to have a Bear Oversoul. Poor guy really thought he had a chance."
"How'd he get the power-up?" Dread asked him.
"Ah, new to the SchoolYard. I see." He turned his body towards her to grant his full attention, and he looked her up and down. "Here any game can be played any way, as long as everyone agrees to the rules. Immovable's challenge lets you use any power-ups you want to move her." Dread's purple eyes sparkled.
"I can move her," she said. The stranger let loose another wheezing peal of laughter.
"You're just a kid. Aside from that, if you're not a Unique you don't stand a chance."
"#42. La Calavera." She looked him straight in the eyes.
"Oh. Yeah, you might stand a chance." He looked from Dread to the owner, then turned back to Dread with a smile. "Tell you what. I'll cover the bet, and we split the reward if you can pull it off. Sound good?" he extended a hand. Dread shook hands and they both walked towards the owner. The giant woman noticed them coming and walked to greet them.
"Oh fun, I haven't been double-teamed in a while," the owner said. She winked at the bearded man, and he chuckled but put his hands in front of himself.
"Just her. I'm covering her bet." He pulled a gold coin out of the air and flipped it towards the owner. She caught it but sent it right back.
"The kid can take a free shot," she said. She turned back and walked to the two black footprints.
"Tell me how to get the power-ups I want, and I'll still split the reward with you," Dread reassured the man. He nodded.
"Thanks. It's easy, you just have to know which ones you want when you step in the white zone. They'll be there." Dread nodded, then turned to walk to the other side of the white strip. The crowd noticed movement and began to gather around the arena again.
"Ladies and gentlemen, a special freebie. The kid thinks she can move me. What do you wall think?" Laughter roared through the crowd. Dread stepped onto the track with her plan clear in her mind. Her black and gold helmet formed around her head and an icon in her peripheral vision notified her she had a "Hyper" power-up available.
"Awesome," she said to herself. She closed the distance between her and the giant owner, stopping about five feet in front of her. Dread was tall for a boy her age, but the red-head towered above her. The tips of Dread's spiky white hair lined up with the woman's stomach.
"Challenger ready?" The owner asked. Dread nodded her helmet. "Go."
"Hyper." The scoreboard announced Dread used her power-up.
"Tiger's Roar!" Dread yelled, and channeled her own sonic scream into it.
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