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Jun 04, 12 at 8:00am ^Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
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With people having finished or nearly finished their exams, I plan to bring us back to the more serious and awesome challenge themes with a timeless classic. You all know this one - a (or often the) big bad is holed up in their personal fortress, amassing their armies for world conquest, or about to complete the dark ritual, or otherwise on the verge of bringing their plans to fruition. Even though they'll be at their strongest, on home ground with all their forces around them, the heroes have no choice but storming their base to stop their plans.
Following are rules and guidelines on entries:
Entries will be accepted up until 2 weeks from today (Monday the 18th of June). After this is a 1 week voting period (until Monday the 25th of June), during which duelists may choose their top 3 entries. After the points have been totalled up, the 3 top duelists are given prizes.
Entries may be made any time from the time that this is posted to the 18th of June. Submissions will be added in the first post, although a duelist may edit or withdraw their entry before this deadline if they wish to. After the deadline has passed, changes can no longer be made.
During the voting stage each duelist in the NDL - whether or not they entered the challenge - may PM me a vote listing their first, second, and third picks for best entry by duelist name. Any PMs without all 3 picks will not be counted. Duelists who do not vote will, themselves, not be eligible to win, so if you do submit an entry, do your part to help out and vote as well. Each first place pick will grant a duelist 3 points in the contest, second place 2 points and third place just 1 point, and you cannot vote for yourself. The top 3 entries win prizes.
In keeping with tradition, the prizes in this challenge are hidden by code-names, with their true nature revealed once the contest is over.
The Climactic Confrontation
The Key Component
The Spanner In The Works
All duelists who send in a vote will earn one medal for their efforts.
Edit: Mar 14, 14 4:04pm
Jun 09, 12 at 8:45am ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
An icy wind rose on the Vanilla Plains, snapping and biting at the man standing at the base of Chocolate Mountain before traveling up the Rocky Road to the mountain's Red Velvet peaks where a Strawberry Stronghold had been carved into the mountain.
Also, in between all of that there was an army.
The man standing at the base of Chocolate Mountain glared upward toward Strawberry Stronghold, took a deep breath, and screamed, "Maxwell!"
The wind carried his shout up the mountain, bouncing it along delicious chocolatey ravines and walls as it reverberated to the peak.
After a moment, a shout returned back down the mountain.
"So, d00d, you've come at last!"
Lavir's eyes narrowed. "The Legendary Ice Cream flavor belongs to everyone, Maxwell! You can't have it!"
There was a long pause and then, "Suck it, d00d! The Legendary Ice Cream flavor is mine! All mine! Ahahahahahahaha!"
"So it has come to this, then..." Lavir muttered, "Pack man!" A thin man in a strait jacket came bumbling forward, slipping on the creamy ground of the Vanilla Plains.
"I'm not your goddamn pack man," C growled after swallowing a mouthful of vanilla ice cream, "I'm a traveling troubadour! A bard!"
"Shut up, Pac Man," Lavir said simply, "That's what the Bard does. Haven't you ever read any stories?" C stared at him flatly. "...Anyway, I want you stay back. Today marks a day that the world needs to remember. The deeds that are done this day will mark a new age. A dawn for mankind's darkness. A-" Lavir's voice contiuned to grow more grandiose with each word and C stopped listening until the end, "AND I AM GOING TO KILL THAT GODDAMN PRINNY ONCE AND FOR ALL...FOR REAL! Anyway, you should stay back and write down what happens."
"...Wouldn't it make more sense for me...a physical god...to just tear down the mountain and bury him alive?"
"Shut up, Pac Man. Lancer!"
C sighed and tromped back through the vanilla a safe distance away from the imminent battle, passing by Kalek who walked forward at hearing his title called. "Ready for battle," Lavir commanded.
"Man, I have been ready ever since we got here. I'm just waiting for you two to stop dialoguing so we can get this done," Kalek replied.
The Hero nodded, "Very well, then. Good work, Lancer. Maxwell!" Lavir shouted again, "I am going to count three! And if you aren't down from that mountain groveling at my feet by the time I'm done, I am coming up there!"
"You'll never take me alive, d00d!"
"That's because you're immortal, dumb ass!"
"See? Then you won't be taking me at all, then!"
Lavir opened his mouth to retort, then closed it and exchanged startled looks with Kalek.
"Did...Maxwell just say something clever?"
"This alternate universe is *bleep*ing weird," Kalek muttered.
Lavir agreed wordlessly and shook himself, "Alright, Maxwell! ONE-!"
"I've got a hostage, d00d! You wouldn't dare attack me while I hold her captive!" Lavir's eyes strained, catching sight of a young woman whose black hair billowed in the wind as she was shoved toward the edge of a chocolate outcropping.
"Why am I the damthel in dithreth?" Selena demanded, glaring at Maxwell. The prinny plushie's afro was woven around his neck in its Badass Scarf form. She and Maxwell had fisted the night before in preparation for the battle, because it was impossible for a villain with an afro to be take seriously. So Maxwell had had to wear it as an Evil Cape instead.
"Because you're the only girl character the Author has besides Rei and...well, that just wouldn't work." Maxwell replied.
"Well why can't one of the guyth be the damthel inthtead!?"
"Selena, Selena, d00d," Maxwell said consolingly, "This has nothing to do with you just happening to possess boobs. Let's not bring your feminist mumbo jumbo equal rights nonsense into this."
"You jutht thaid it wath becauthe I am the only woman the Author hath!"
Maxwell shrugged, "But d00d, I'm the Villain in this piece. I'm supposed to have disagreeable opinions. Look, do this for me, and I'll let you have some of the ice cream."
Selena sighed, "Fine. But you owe me, Makthwell!"
"Thanks, d00d. Now, I gotta go finish this confrontation."
"Help me, Lavir!" Selena's scream resounded down the mountain, trying to pierce Lavir's heart. Fortunately, he didn't give a damn.
"Kill her!" he shouted back to Maxwell, "Kill her if you have the balls, you gutless doll!"
"Whoa whoa whoa!" Kalek stepped in front of Lavir, "Let's not be hasty killing the only member of this drama who has boobs. I am totally expecting the special kind of reward that heroes get for rescuing the Damsel."
Lavir frowned at Kalek, "But you're not the Hero. I am."
"Yeah, well...maybe this is one of those stories were the Hero's buddy gets the girl instead! Since you're obviously not interested in women at all..."
"What was that!?" Lavir demanded.
Lavir sighed, "Stop thinking with your penis. This is for the greater good."
"What!?" Lavir demanded, "I can't hear you!"
Silence stretched through the air. One minute. Two minutes. Three...
After five, Maxwell's reply finally came, "Sorry, d00d! My voice was getting hoarse from all of this shouting, so I had to go get a drink of water! I said, Fine d00d I'll kill her later! But I still have an army! You can't possibly win!"
"I am an army..." Lavir said softly. He began to walk up Chocolate Mountain.
"What?" Maxwell shouted.
"I said I am an army."
"I am an army."
"I am an army?"
"WHAT!? SERIOUSLY, D00D, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!"
With those last words, Ice Cream Mountain began to rumble. An earth-shattering roar descended down the mountain in the wake of a massive creamy avalanche of chocolate death with a rich strawberry filling. Lavir couldn't hear what Maxwell was saying anymore, but the prinny plushie was stamping on the ground of his stronghold and shaking his fist at Lavir as the avalanche completely obliterated the evil overlord's army.
The Hero glared at the oncoming wave and just as the ice cream avalanche was an arm's reach away from devouring him, Lavir held up a hand.
Wonder of wonders, the avalanche stopped its rampage and hung suspended before Lavir.
"Do you know who the *bleep* I am!?" Lavir demanded.
The avalanche trembled in such a way that could only be taken to mean yes.
"Go around," the Hero snarled.
Then, as though time had begun to flow again, the ice cream avalanche descended down the mountain, splitting around Lavir and his companions.
Lavir smirked over his shoulder at Kalek, "Not even Mother Nature wants to *bleep* with me. Let's go."
"Oh yeah, d00d? You still have to face my Dragon! Go, my Dragon!"
Kalek stumbled, "A dragon? AGAIN!? Why is it always-"
A pale, blue-haired beauty leaped off the rampart of Strawberry Stronghold and sped toward Lavir and Kalek like a bullet.
"Lancer, I choose you!" Lavir barked.
"That's not a drag-OH GOD NOT A DRAGON!" REI-LOS collided with Kalek and sent them both tumbling down the mountain.
"...She's all yours," Lavir called, fishing out a meteor from his Satchel of Holding and riding it up the mountain.
"Why didn't I just do this to begin with?"
The Hero rounded Chocolate Mountain's peak a few times before leaping off the meteor and landing in front of Maxwell in a splash of frozen icecream and chunks of strawberry. Awesome music began to play, signifying the beginning of the earth-shatteringly badass clash between Hero and Villain.
The prinny plushie stared at Lavir, face twisted with rage and Lavir met it with a steady glare. The two became blurs of badassery as both reached for a weapon of choice. Maxwell tugged on the Pouch of Infinity and pulled out a rubber sword with a squeaky toy attached to the pommel instead of a gem and the air blazed as Lavir unsheathed the Maxamune from within the Satchels of Holding. They charged. They bellowed battle cries.
Maxwell and Lavir stopped and relaxed. Stagehands swarmed around them, moving props and greenscreens as the stage was desconstructed for the fight scene which would somehow involve space and at least four different universes according to the script.
"That was delicious, boys!" the director said from his chair where he munched on a Large Ham during takes, "Lavir, baby, honey, darling, you were wonderful. Maxwell, sweetie, dear," the director clapped his hands together, "great emotion!"
As the man scampered off to praise the other performers, Lavir and Maxwell glanced at one another.
"I know we're all horribly broke, Maxwell, but-"
"Selena, darling! What can I say? You were beautiful!"
"-Do we really have to do this?"
"D00d, he's the only guy who would hire us."
"-Kalek, my star! With a performance like yours, we're sure to win several awards!"
"The things we do for money..."
ICE CREAM FLAVOR
Maxwell Psyduck Pring as Evil Overlord Maxwell and Lavir as Lavir the Hero
C as Pac man | Kalek Just Kalek as the Lancer | Selena as the Damthel in Dithreth | REI-LOS as the Dragon
Coming soon to a theater near you!
I'm not counting the title card above as part of my wordcount/entry, like normal. It's a little more specialized than what I normally put up, so I just want to make that clear.
Edit: Jun 18, 12 5:56pm
Jun 14, 12 at 12:22am ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
Knight and Bishop sat together on a rooftop, staring up at the massive office building before them. It was the biggest building still standing in the City, right at the heart of what used to be the business district. Now, it was the territory of those maniacs in the New Year gang.
"So," Knight finally said, her voice suspiciously calm. "Let me see if I understand this right. Inside that building there," she pointed at the office building, "is the headquarters of the New Year gang. The heart of their symbolic power. The location in which they're something like three times stronger then normal."
"That's the place." Bishop nonchalantly took a sip of his soda.
"And in this heavily fortified location are all twelve members of the New Year gang, as well as an army of armed norms. Right?"
"Eleven members," Bishop reminded her. "I doubt they replaced November yet. But yes, that's correct."
"Okay, eleven members," Knight conceded. “And in addition to these eleven members and army of guys with guns, they have a couple dozen boxes of Boost Juice, which, just to recap, is a drug that not only multiplies a ganger's powers by ten, but also turns them into a psychopathic killer."
"I don't know that they have dozens of boxes," said Bishop idly, tossing the now-empty soda can down to the street below.
"And despite all this," Knight continued, ignoring him. "You want to break in there, alone; kill December, alone; capture the Boost Juice, free Pawn, and find out who's supplying the Juice to New Year, alone. Is that about right?"
"HOW CAN YOU BE SO CALM!" Knight shouted suddenly. "You're going to die! Doesn't that bother you, just a teensy bit?"
"It might, if I actually thought it would happen." He glanced at her distressed face, and his expression softened a bit. "Sammy. Listen. You know why I have to go alone. Queen's still hurt from that fight with November. And Rook... I ain't gonna tear a guy away form his own brother's funeral. With Pawn captured all his constructs are so much dead weight, so that leaves me, you, and King."
"Then let me go in with you!" Knight pleaded. "I don't want to sit out here waiting for you to get yourself killed. Let me help you; I can fight!"
Bishop reached up and gently touched her cheek. "You're a scout and a spy, not a fighter. I'd feel safer with you out here, out of the line of fire." Knight still refused to look at him. "Hey, it'll be okay," he said soothingly, putting his arms around her. "They ain't got a thing in there that can touch me."
Knight huddled against him. "If you get into trouble, promise you'll tell King so I can 'port you out?"
"Promise," Bishop lied.
Bishop stood at the gates of hell, or at least the door of New Year's headquarters; it was near enough to make no difference. He breathed in deeply as he tied on his mask. He banished the memory of Knight's worried face; it would distract him, and he needed to focus. He discarded the image of Queen lying on her bed, her left leg blacked and withered like it had been dipped in acid. He ignored King's voice whispering she'd likely never walk again (Bishop had joked that at least she could still fly, but she hadn't even tried to hit him, which worried him greatly). He ignored the screams of Rook's brother Matthew that still echoed in his ears, while November cackled like a madman. He blocked out the sound of Rook's sobbing at his brother's grave.
He set aside his fear, his doubt, his anger. He pushed away the aching in his heart these few days of war had caused, pushed away Simon, and let himself become Bishop again.
He grinned like a madman, and kicked in the front door.
"Knock knock!" He called out, strolling in nonchalantly. "Anybody hoooooome~?
The lobby was occupied. Twenty men were spread out in a wide semi-circle along the walls at the other end of the room, pointing guns of various descriptions at him. Another twenty stood near the elevators set into the far wall, all wielding swords. In the very center of that gathering of weaponry stood a stunningly beautiful woman, tall and statuesque, with skin pale as snow and lips red as blood. She was dressed in a sharp business suit, complete with impossibly high stiletto heels. She was unarmed, but Bishop knew better then to think that meant she wasn't dangerous. "Hello, Bishop," She said calmly, a small smile on her lips. "Nice to see you again.
"January!" Bishop greeted enthusiastically, sounding for all the world like he was greeting an old friend at the bar. "So good to see you! Nice to see December has a bit of a sense of humor, sending out January first." He laughed suddenly. "Oh, that's good! January First, of the New Year gang! I didn't even mean to do that!"
January's lips twitched ever so slightly. "It's nice to see you're as... humorous as ever, Bishop." She was still smiling, but Bishop was something of a connoisseur of smiles, and he recognized a forced one when he saw it. "I don't suppose you've given any more thought to my offer?"
Bishop just shrugged. "Well as nice as it sounded, I'm afraid I'm already in a committed relationship. And you're just not my type."
January's smile slipped. "That's not what I meant! I-I was under April's pheromone effect, you-" She stopped herself, and took a deep breath, regaining her composure. "I was referring to my offer to leave Chessboard and join New Year," she said with forced calm. "We could use a replacement for November."
"That's what I was talking about." Bishop's grin had widened even further, if that was possible. "Though I'm flattered you still think about that little episode."
January's pale face colored as her calm melted like snow. "Y-you little... KILL HIM!" She screeched. The men around her all raised their guns and opened fire.
Bishop laughed like a madman as he moved. Sliding against the ground as though he was on roller skates, he weaved around the bullets, his movements a blur. There was a rasp of steel on steel, barely heard over the sound of gunfire. A single blade extended from Bishop's left arm as he reached the first gunman. A red line appeared along the man's stomach, and by the time he hit the floor Bishop was already sending the next gunman to join him. It took Bishop less then ten seconds all told to kill all the gunners in the room. He turned towards the elevators, where an enraged January and twenty nervous-looking swordsmen all waited. "Well?"
The twenty swordsmen looked at each other, then as one man, they charged. Perhaps they thought they could overwhelm him with numbers.
They were wrong.
Bishop was among them like a wolf among sheep. His arm blade whipped out, stabbing a man in the chest. He didn't even spare the dead man a second glance as he slid past. Twenty... He ducked low under a sword, and spun about, his feet sliding against the ground in a wide circle as his own blade took out the legs of two men just below the knees. Eighteen... He fired a spray of spikes from his right hand behind him without looking as he stood, killing three men while his sword knocked away the weapon of a forth, taking him through the eye. Fourteen... His right arm came about, locking around the wrist of one of the swordsmen; Bishop spun around him, forcing the man's arm up and making him stab himself. Thirteen... The men surrounded him, trying to overwhelm his defenses, but Bishop danced among them, a whirling ballet of steel and death. Their sword couldn't touch him as he Slid about, slippery as soap; his single blade struck out again and again, like a snake, like lightning. Twelve... Eleven... Ten... Seven... Three... Two... Bishop lashed out, killing the last swordsman man through the back. One. Only January remained.
Bishop's back was towards the beautiful ganger as he yanked his blade from the last swordsman. "Just you and me now, January." Bishop's voice was quiet, devoid of its usual humor. "Now I'm going to make you an offer." He breathed in deep. "Run. Run away, as far and as fast as you can. Find somewhere else to live. Keep your head down. Be a civilian. And I won't kill you."
January blinked at Bishop's declaration. "A solemn ultimatum? This isn't like you, Bishop."
"Yo've never met me before," he responded quietly. His second arm-blade extended with a metallic hiss. "What's your answer?"
January remained quiet for a minute. "I'm sorry," she said, and she actually sounded sincere. "But I can't. I owe December too much to abandon him." Her hands glowed brightly with crackling blue energy.
"I see." Bishop didn't turn around. He barely moved. But suddenly January gasped, the blue energy around her hands flickering out of existence. She fell over, a spike buried between her eyes. "I'm very sorry to hear that."
Bishop walked towards the elevators, calmly. When he reached January's corpse, however, he hesitated, and stopped. He knelt down, and closed the woman's eyes.
"I'm sorry, January," he whispered. "I didn't want it to come to this. You were a pretty nice girl, I think. Before all this."
Then he stood up and entered the elevator. December had a lot to answer for.
Jun 16, 12 at 5:01pm ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
Luther & Remiel
Broken Wings and Broken Bones
The rain hammered down hard enough that all Luther could hear was a constant, steady drumming of the impact on the outer shell of his mech. Remiel wasn’t even looking at him, huddled under a rocky outcrop and trying to shield himself from the rain with his wings as best he could. The view that overlaid Luther’s own was one of thunderous sound.
“Are we close?” he asked. There was a pause, then Remiel’s vision scanned the landscape.
There, the corian replied, focussing on a hillock in the distance. [The barrow]. That is where [they] were. Luther gritted his teeth and flicked the strongest of the mech’s weapons into active mode.
“Well then,” he muttered. “Let’s go and say hi.”
Remiel crawled out from the outcrop and paced across the ground, unable to take off due to the heavy rain. It was simple enough for Luther to compensate with all the practice they’d had, and the two of them approached the unsuspecting hillock.
On top of a nearby tree sat a bird. Unassuming, small and brown, it tilted its head and blinked at Luther’s mech, before taking off and fluttering through the storm towards the barrow. Luther aimed the rifle at it, but it was too small and too quick in the downpour for him to get a decent eye on it.
[It] is probably nothing, Remiel tried to assure him. Luther was glad there wasn’t any tone to the images, so none of the worry seeped through.
He paused, settled the mech into the steadiest position he could in the rain. He aimed at the top of the barrow and, when the first of the barrow’s pale-skinned occupants walked to the top and looked around, he sighted on them and pulled the trigger. The spatter of blood was lost in the rain and with the distance, but the person fell on impact. If not dead, they were certainly inconvenienced.
“Strike one,” Luther muttered, staying still as Remiel clambered through the bushes, moving closer once he could see himself in Remiel’s vision again. Another of the birds took off from close to Remiel, who flinched at the sound.
A squad of more pale vitrichian soldiers with rifles in hand rounded the barrow, then baulked at the site of the mech. The one in the front shouted, the noise rippling through Remiel’s vision, and Luther met the oncoming fire with a sweep of his own, eating through the magazine and putting them all down as their bullets rattled uselessly against the mech’s protective outer shell. He walked around, rather than through, the bodies his assault left behind, and was met at the entrance to the barrow by another squad of soldiers who clearly hadn’t expected anything like an official Inermian mech.
“Where are the clyrians?” he wondered aloud, getting the pictorial equivalent of a shrug from Remiel in response. The corian hopped up onto the top of the barrow as Luther dealt with them with ease, the plinking of bullets on the armour not concerning him in the slightest. It was possible that even the official vitrichian military didn’t even know about the Inermian machines, let alone the guerrilla warband that had dug themselves in here.
Another of the birds flew right past Remiel’s vision, and he moved backwards in response.
“They’re just birds, Rem,” Luther muttered, kicking out with one of the Mech’s powerful legs to collapse the side of the hill, creating an entrance he could actually use. Remiel jumped down onto the top of the mech, the noise of even Remiel’s light frame hitting the metalwork drowning out the rain for a few seconds.
This was too easy.
Luther bit his lip, unwilling to reply, and moved inside the barrow. Behind him, four of the brown birds landed, watching Remiel with black, beady eyes.
They met another squad of vitrichian gunmen, this one three times stronger than the first. Luther switched to the machine gun and strafed across them as they tried to shoot Remiel down from the top of the mech, the corian doing impromptu acrobatics to both avoid the bullets and kick at least one soldier in the head who tried to clamber up on top of the mech. More than one bullet cracked into one of the head pipes, and some of the displays were giving off warning readings by the time the last soldier went down, gurgling on the blood pooling in his throat. Luther slowly peeled his hand from the weapon controls, taking a few seconds just to breathe.
“I... Don’t like this,” he managed, watching as his hand trembled in front of him. Remiel nodded his head sympathetically.
[It] is hard, he agreed, although he didn’t seem shaken like Luther was, at least not until sound echoed out behind him and he flinched.
“What is it?” Luther asked, turning the mech and raising the rifle, fully expecting reinforcements. Instead, what he and Remiel saw were birds. A whole flock of them, sitting in alcoves in the walls of the barrow. With an irritable sigh, Luther turned away.
No, there is something odd about [them], Remiel cautioned. Luther made a weary noise.
“They’re birds,” he muttered, and took a step forwards.
Before Luther had even managed to lower his rifle, the birds mobbed them. Remiel cried out in pain that resonated across their connection, falling from the top of the mech to hit the stone floor, wings covering his face in an attempt to protect it. Luther swore as his vision was cut out, ripping the rifle from the side of the mech and tearing himself free of the restraints as Remiel tried unsuccessfully to kick and scratch the birds away. The white haze of pain overlaid itself on Luther’s vision as he kicked in the emergency exit of the mech, the sounds of the attacking birds flooding into his ears along with Remiel’s screaming.
He hit the floor, knees bent, and immediately moved forwards. Some of the birds broke off to attack him, and got the full force of the butt of his rifle in their heads for their pains. He gave the same treatment to the ones on Remiel, smashing the rifle into them again and again until all that was left were twitching, dying birds on the floor.
Not that Remiel looked much better.
“Rem,” Luther murmured, grimacing at the site of the wounds his friend had taken. Holes in his wing membranes and hundreds of scratches, far too deep for regular claws, covered his skin. “C’mon, you’re ok,” he muttered, trying to pick him up but immediately letting go when pain flashed across his eyes with renewed vigour.
[Luther], [I]... Remiel started, trying and failing to say the words aloud. He twitched just like the scores of birds around him. Luther cursed through his teeth.
“I’ll deal with this then patch you up,” he muttered, getting to his feet. Part of him was glad that Remiel was twitching, that he could still see the faint white haze of pain. It was better than him being still.
With gritted teeth, Luther loaded his rifle, flicked off the safety, and walked forwards.
The head of the warband was not some grizzled soldier, as Luther had initially expected, but a man in tattered robes, one of no race Luther recognised. One of the birds that had harassed Remiel to unconsciousness came to settle on his shoulder, letting out a caw, and the young vitrichian woman at his side got to her feet. Luther raised the rifle, but his hand shook as he aimed it. They were too close, it was too personal, he couldn’t...
He thought of Remiel, unconscious and bleeding from beaks and claws.
He pulled the trigger on the man, but the bullets seemed to bounce off the thin air in front of him. The woman crossed the gap between them far too quickly, and he dropped the rifle and pulled out the knife just in time to knock the barrel of her pistol off-centre. The bullet grazed the side of his head, and a trickle of blood ran down his skin. He lunged at her, and the leader smiled.
She tackled him to the floor, and he hit the ground hard, gasping as the wind was knocked out of him, his knife skittering across the floor and coming to rest far out of his reach. His eyes met those of the vitrichian, the cat-like slits of her pupils not looking away as she pressed the barrel of the rifle against Luther’s forehead. In his vision, he saw the whiteness fade, replaced by blurry stone. Remiel was stabilising, but there was no way he would be able to run.
“Please,” he managed, “don’t kill him.” The woman scowled, and he closed his eyes, fingers closing around empty space, a good metre from his knife.
The sound of the shot echoed through the corridors of the barrow.
Word Count: 1,485 words
Jun 17, 12 at 9:00pm ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
Crysis And Zone
We join our heroes aboard the Century Eagle, which has just been captured and pulled in by the tracer beams of the Doom Star.
"It's bad we've been captured, but this must be the secret facility they took the princess to. We can rescue her!" Luke Crywalker said.
"I can sense her presence here" Leobi-Wan-Kenobi replied. "However, we will not be able to escape with her if those tracer beams catch us again. We will have to split up, I will take care of the generators, while you three rescue the princess" the cat said sagely.
"Whatever old man, I'm gonna get paid for this, right?" Han Zono interjected. Leobi-Wan sagely gave him a patient look. "What?" Zono asked.
Forming a plan, Zono sent his co-pilot, Execubacca, out to create a distraction. The giant charged into the hanger bay screaming violently in his incomprehensible language and laying waste to the Stormsoldiers who ran to stop him. During the chaos Crywalker and Zono slipped out and went one way, Leobi-Wan another.
"Emperor, I regret to inform you a recently-captured vessel has released a wild demon cyborg kind of creature that is causing havoc in the hanger bay" a nameless minion reported shakily.
"Is that so?" The Emperor said, sitting on his throne concealed in shadows. "It seems we may have found our quarry after all. You know what to do" he turned to address this last comment to a dark figure knelt obediently before him.
"Of course, my lord" they replied, and stood up to sweep out of the room.
"She must be in this detention block" Crywalker said to Zono, the two rodents crawling through the station's air vents to the cell where a map had conveniently indicated the princess was being kept. They blasted the grate out and dropped into the room.
"What the Hell?!" a feminine voice screamed. The heroes turned around to see their rescuee in her underwear for some reason. "Who are you?" she demanded.
Crywalker blushed and averted his eyes. Zono didn't. "We're with Leobi-Wan-Kenobi, we've come here to rescue you, Princess Lia" the squirrel said. The princess' quills went down slightly as she heard Leobi-Wan's name.
"You're not gonna bone her are you?" Zono asked, turning to Luke.
"I uh, I think she's my sister somehow" Crywalker replied awkwardly.
"Sweet! So, can I bone her later?" Zono said, suddenly taking a much greater personal interest in the mission. Crywalker shook his head and pulled him to wait in the corner while Lia got dressed.
Elsewhere in the Doom Star, Leobi-Wan-Kenobi had shut down the tracer beam generators, and was making his way back to the Century Eagle. He had almost reached it, when a dark figure stepped into his path.
"I've been waiting for you, Leobi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the master" they said, drawing their sword.
"Only a master of furries, Darth Amadeth" Leobi-Wan replied sagely.
"Yeah, so that means I'm your master" Darth Amadeth smirked.
"I'm not a furry!" Leobi-Wan yelled sagely, their blades striking as they engaged in fateful battle.
Zono, Crywalker and Lia, the last of which was too big to climb through the vents but had turned out to be very handy with a ray gun, had managed to fight their way out of the prison block and were also heading back to the Century Eagle. They turned a corner, only to see the legendary bounty hunter Bobba Herefit in their path. "So, you finally caught up to me" Zone said. "Get the princess to safety!" he told Luke, rushing forwards to somehow tackle Herefit down a side hall.
"Han!" Crywalker and Lia shouted, but the Stormsoldiers were catching up behind them, and they had no choice but to rush down the other corridor. Finally the Century Eagle came into view. They ran across the hanger, and had almost made it when Crywalker saw something and slowed down.
Across the hanger, Leobi-Wan was battling furiously, blade guns moving in a blur as they clashed time and again with the blade of Kaavel. "Your powers are weak, old man!" Amadeth taunted him.
Leobi-Wan was sagely unmoved. "You can't win, Amadeth. If you strike me down, I-" he began to say, and then was cut off by a ringing. The feline looked down and frowned, taking out his cell phone. "Sorry, let me see who this is... Glados?! What? I'm busy right now!" he said.
Darth Amadeth, being a villain and all, promptly swung Kaavel round and removed her opponent's head. Leobi-Wan's body sagely crumpled to the ground.
"NOOO!" Crywalker yelled as he saw this. Forgetting about the princess, he drew his lightsabre and ran across the hanger to avenge his mentor.
"Luke, wait!" Lia shouted, starting to go after him, but she herself was distracted as she noticed Han Zono being carried away by some Stormsoldiers led by Herefit. Clutching her fist, she knew which of them needed her help more, and went to get Execubacca to help her rescue Han Zono.
Amadeth's Kaavel and Crywalker's inconveniently red lightsabre clashed, sparks flying from the impact. Their size difference was significant, but fortunately Leobi-Wan had passed down the techniques of his own mentor before perishing, and the squirrel was going all Yoda on a bitch.
"Leobi-Wan never told you what happened to your father" Amadeth locked blades with the hero, gazing at him over the struggle.
"He told me enough! He told me you killed him!" Crywalker yelled defiantly as he fought to hold his ground. Darth Amadeth smiled wickedly.
"No. I am your father" she said, knocking Crywalker's lightsabre out of his paws and flinging him back onto a support hanging over a convenient pit. He clung on desperately to avoid falling.
"No, that's impossible! It doesn't make any biological sense at all!" the rodent cried.
"Search this FindMyPast chart, you know it to be true!" Amadeth retorted, holding up a printed sheet of paper. Crywalker wailed, his spirit broken.
Elsewhere, Princess Lia, with the aid of Execubacca, was giving chase to the Stormsoldiers and Herefit, trying to rescue Han Zono. They laid down a storm of firepower, but Herefit, carrying the captured Zono in a jar, dived through all of it and reached his ship. "I love you!" Lia called out.
"I know" Zono mouthed just before the hatch closed. Their shots had no effect on the ship's armour as it began to power up.
Darth Amadeth marched Crywalker down a corridor into the Emperor's throne room. "Welcome, young Crywalker" the master of the Doom Star turned his throne around and stood up. "Basistine has been expecting you" the blind dark lord smiled sinisterly.
"You're gravely mistaken if you think you'll convert me like my father" Crywalker said defiantly.
"Oh no, young warrior..." the Emperor replied, walking forwards. "You will find, that it is you-ow!" the blind tyrant's speech was cut short as he banged his shin. Embarrassed, he decided to skip ahead. "You will pay the price for Basistine's lack of vision!" he snarled, and whipped out a water pistol. Crywalker's tiny body was thrown to the floor by the opening blast, many more following.
Darth Amadeth watched the defenceless and adorable rodent splutter as he was soaked. A spark of her lost heroism flared in her heart, and she grabbed Emperor Basistine, her suit shorting out and shocking her as he fired wildly, and hurled him into a convenient pit. Basistine screamed as he fell, his water pistol hitting the generator for the entire Doom Star and causing it to overload.
Bobba Herefit's ship had fully powered up and was flying out of the hanger, when an explosion went off and slammed the vessel into the wall. The bounty hunter stumbled from the wreckage, Zono still his hostage, and prepared for a final showdown with the heroes, only for Execubacca to smack him aside and leave him crumpled up in a heap. The jar fell and shattered, freeing Han Zono, and he and Lia ran to one another and made out passionately before hurrying to escape.
Using all of his strength, Crywalker had somehow managed to drag Amadeth's wounded body to the escape pods. "Luke... Help me take... This mask off" she asked weakly. Luke nodded, and carefully unlatched her mask. For the first and final time in their lives, Malali Crywalker and her son looked upon one another's faces. "Now go. Leave me!" Malali told him. Luke shook his head.
"No, I've got to save you!" he said. Malali smiled weakly.
"You already have son" she said. Luke hugged her limp hand, and then climbed into the escape pod. The craft jettisoned from the Doom Star, and seconds later the station exploded. Crywalker watched out the window as the fires faded into space, the Century Eagle flying in to pick him up.
The last Tyen
total posts: 5815
since: May 2010
Jun 18, 12 at 7:42am ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
Starring Tarnac Robiliun
There once was a man named Tarnac
He had a peculiar knack
He went to bars
Had fancy cars
And liked looking at good racks
One day he was at a door
before he was kicked to the floor
He got up and said
“I will kill you dead
Before I get into that store”
He went back to his home to think
That thought was just on the brink
He got up that day
And yelled out “Hooray
I'm going to make him the stink”
The next day he got straight to work
On building a machine named Turk
It was done in an hour
It used some hot flour
Then watched some Star Trek and Kirk
Back down to the place he went
When he got there he was totally spent
He hid by the stair
Sat onto a chair
And waited till his victim bent
The moment had finally come
The trigger, actioned by a thumb
He put Turk into mode
The man's ass did explode
So then the man had no bum.
It was now time to enter the door
His feet had reached the floor
He walked down the hall
Turned left and did fall
Looked up and wanted some more
His eyes were filled up with booze
There was also some very nice boobs
He sat in his chair
And boy did he stare
Now Tarnac had raided the brothel.
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Jun 18, 12 at 8:51am ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
Word Count: 1,500
The sound of hammers on steel echoed through the night sky, mixed with the mutilated yells and laughter of Barshka's military units. Agonising shrieks tore from the infirmary as the injured prayed never to look like the reputable Colonel. Underfoot, mud, horse shit and other forms of muck splattered with each fall of Barshka's boots. The natural fertiliser could be smelt all around the camp along with the aromas of smoke, soot and Ethanol. Alcohol was a brilliant beverage that allowed Nicholas to ease his ever burned body of the tremendous pain, allowed his troops to ease their minds before rushing through a breach and allowed the Red Wyvern Army to set fire to giant chunks of rock once it was distilled.
The heavy ammunition on the catapults roared to life with a crack as the flames spread across the boulders ready for launch. Barshka grinned his toothless smile as he signalled his men to let fly the artillery towards the western outer wall. The balls of light were flung across the starry sky, arcing down to start the assault on mortar and stone. Each stone hit the wall precisely as planned, exploding like fireworks, sending debris ricocheting everywhere. Those archers who were on the parapet howled out at the moon, crushed by the burning projectiles. A second round was given the signal to let fly behind their predecessors. These were aimed at one side of the wall at the north-west tower. The tower shook with each hit but seemed to stay erect as the wall beside it crumbled in upon itself. Barshka pulled out his stop watch and waited expectantly. Finally a loud groan resounded across the fields as the entirety of the tower slipped towards the moat. With a resounding crash it crumbled into the water and sent water spewing out across the meadows.
Seventy percent of a siege was planning and preparation. After two weeks of staring at charts and viewing diagrams, the moment for the Red Wyvern Army to storm the castle was upon them. With the water receding back into the moat a new makeshift bridge could be seen in line with where the tower once stood. The path was a mess of rocks protruding above the water's surface. The former tower stones would most likely be too wet to run across by themselves. The next signal marked the time for the first foot soldiers to begin their trek towards the breach; the first units moved out in heavy armour carrying long lengths of planking above them. Fifteen men carried each board above their heads, each board would serve as easier crossing over the tower filled moat. The wood would also help protect them from the archers above, the heavy armour they wore also served the same purpose of defence.
Barshka watched through a narrow eye glass as arrows rained down on the bridge bearers. Ten percent of a successful siege was based entirely on luck. A few men here and there caught by an arrow between their armour and fell injured but the majority of the force continued to jog forward to their goal. One man who fell also had a comrade step haphazardly on his helmet causing a domino effect on the particular group. All fifteen members of that team fell to the grass in a sprawled mess of limbs. It would take them a while to regain their feet with a high chance that many of them would die from the defender's arrows; however, nineteen other teams had already reached the bridging point and they were of far more importance to the Colonel. The nineteen teams successfully installed the bridges into place and secured them. Barshka gave the signal for the next force to move forward.
A further ten percent of a successful siege depended on the number of troops that were at one's disposal; Barshka thankfully had a great deal of men prepared to kill for their own selfish desires. The second charge began with lightly dressed foot soldiers sprinting eagerly towards the bridges. Spears, pole-arms and swords were raised into the sky as the massive crowd eagerly rushed to be the first into the breach. The promise of loot inspired their greed to act, inspired them to charge and inspired them to kill for anything they could strip bare within the castle walls. The intelligent runners brought their shields up when a cloud of arrows was sprayed into the air. The unintelligent collapsed to the ground dead as the arrows hit. Those who died were the minority and of little concern, the stupid had no place in podiums of victory.
Several members of the second wave begun to run across the planks while the first teams kept the boards steady. The bridge bearers who had collapsed were now mostly crushed underfoot of the second wave. Three lucky members had escaped the stampede and were now accompanying the second wave across the bridges. Moments later the clash of steel rung from behind the walls and the arrows disappeared from the night sky. Colonel Barshka cracked his shoulders and worked his knees, readying himself to attack, before giving off another signal.
Now it was time for the third and final wave. The last wave was a collection of lightweight armour and mostly heavy weapons ranging from battle axes to mauls. Veterans, those who had the experience over intelligence to know hanging back till the last moments resulted in the greatest percentage chance of survival, were the majority of the third force. Barshka would run with these men, these men who were his best.
Pushing forward he felt the surge of pain spider-web through his veins. He raised his rapier towards the sky and his troops roared a massive battle cry. In perfect harmony they trudged forwards in unison over the corpse littered field. By the time Barshka reached the bridges his chest was heaving; he was not used to running in armour, but he knew it would be foolish to enter a breach without it.
“Sir, we have killed all in the court and have already captured the ground floor. The upper living areas and throne room should be captured in no time, sir.”
It was his newest of generals who had accompanied the second wave who spoke. He was an eager young man fighting for honour and glory. Barshka was honestly surprised to see him still alive. Either way the news was good; although, as the Colonel expected Sir Duncan would have his main force protecting him nearby the throne room.
“Good, let us slaughter those who remain.”
Barshka crossed one of the rocking planks and made his way up to the breach. To much of Nicholas Barshka's distaste he was forced to climb up rubble just to reach the courtyard; when he got there though he saw a sight that warmed his heart. The entire courtyard was a mosaic of gardens with plants ranging from paper bark trees to perfectly pruned hedges. Rose bushes, tulips and an array of other flowers gave the walled in area a flair of colour. A beautiful marble path circled a stunningly crafted fountain with a breathtakingly sculpted female, standing above, pouring water into it. The entire scene was bathed in stunning reds and oranges with shadows moving about like crashing waves. The fire from the catapulted stones brought so much life to the countless dead corpses, the char-grilled gardens and the fountain filled to the brim with maroon blood. The light glinted of blood stained swords as Barshka almost skipped down the red streaked path. A few members of his army who were injured were beginning the process of uprooting the marble stones from the ground, they weren't much use for fighting so the Colonel left them to their work of pilfering anything of mild value. The courtyard was such a gorgeous landscape it was almost difficult for Barshka to imagine anything bringing the warm serenity to an end.
“Sir we have a problem!” The yell came from the energetic young general that had run in front to return once more to the front lines.
Barshka's brow furrowed as he heard the word problem. “What is it!?”
“Duncan's not here, the throne room is empty!”
The crippled Colonel cracked his remaining fingers into a fist
“No sir we have checked everywhere. There is an underground passage connected to the cellar. He's escaped sir.”
Nicholas tongued at the holes the were dug ruthlessly into his gums.
“Ah yes sir, he's gone.”
Barshka's neck cracked as he worked it side to side. The young general gulped.
Ten percent of a siege relied on Intel.
“Who was in charge of our intelligence?”
A bead of sweat appeared on the man's forehead.
“That would be me sir.”
The Reaper of the Red Wyvern twisted his lips into a gruelling smile.
“Now what are the chances of that?”
Jun 18, 12 at 1:03pm ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
The devil marveled at his creation. Few of the truly powerful would admit it, but there was a burning sense of jealousy held in their hearts at the Creators. For despite their strength, they might as well have been dust compared to what a creator could accomplish. A soul, such a simple thing, the universes most powerful resource, and yet true comprehension of its nature was near impossible. Others had long since given up the pursuit, but not him. He had dabbled in every dark magic imaginable, had tortured the souls of fallen mages until they divulged their secrets, and he joined their unique magic with his own. The failures were spectacular at times, creating things of such malevolent aura, that if his goal had instead to be a builder of demons he would have been declared a genius in the field. For time uncountable he focused on only this, amassing quite a large and varied army, but never getting what he truly wanted. Until he created the child.
How he had accomplished the feat he didn’t know, which was more than infuriating, but as long as he held the child that didn’t matter, he would figure it out. The child had been birthed from the ambient magic in the air, some random combination had achieved what he could not, but there was time. He would tear this child apart piece by piece until he had his answers if need be.
As the cries of the child assaulted his ears he thought he might act sooner rather than later. One of his monstrosities lumbered over to the child and wrapped a tendril around it, lifting the baby into the air. It gazed upon the horror that was this slimy multi eyed monster and let out a delighted giggle. It was love at first sight.
The devil chuckled at this absurdity but soon was distracted by the sudden intrusion of one of his demons. It looked at him through panicked filled eyes, and as it opened its mouth to speak blood poured freely to the ground. Garbling through the fluid it uttered one word, “Intruder.” Then its body was torn into shreds as something from its insides tore its way free. Standing in the bits of gore that remained from the demon the fallen angel Ged Tenshi wore a dark grin on his face.
He was soon surrounded by hundreds of demons and failed experiments, each somehow more threatening than the next. The devil cocked his head to the side, “Did you come here to die pretty little angel? I did not think any of my brothers would be so brave as to attack me in my own realm.”
“I only stopped by for a visit I promise.” Ged kicked off some piece of demon sticking to his shoe. “I must apologize about the mess, it was important that I sneak in unnoticed.”
He was bent in half as a creature that vaguely resembled an alligator bit into him, holding him trapped inside the creature’s mouth. His head still capable of movement, he wore a fierce grimace. The devil laughed scornfully, “You call this unnoticed?”
Ged laughed despite his pain, “Fair point. You must admit though that my entrance was spectacular. In the future I’ll consider alternative routes.” The creature began to grind its teeth, tearing away at Ged’s insides.
“Oh and what future do you imagine you have? It’s all well and good to make light of your situation, but let’s get down to business shall we. I want to know why you are here. You’re going to tell me, and then you are going to die.”
The amused expression on what was essentially just a head and some feet became serious. “We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that point. As for who I am? Have you perhaps heard of the infamous Ged Tenshi?”
The devil let out a scornful laugh, “The little rat that scuttles out of his pathetic hole to steal our scraps?”
Ged’s look was one of fierce pride. “The very same. I thought that I might find a choice scrap or two around here.”
The devil’s posture grew more relaxed, “And here I thought I might have a problem. What led a clever little rat such as you to make such a foolish choice as to risk my ire?”
“I never planned on getting caught.”
“You know quite a few of my brothers would be insanely jealous to hear that I caught the pest that slipped through their fingers. Now what form of torture should I submit you to first?”
“I think you misunderstand the situation. I never plan on getting caught.” Ged’s head fell from the monster’s mouth and rolled lifelessly to the ground.
“Suicide? How disgusting.” Still something seemed wrong.
The crocodile demon’s mouth burst open in a fountain of blood that rushed free of the circle of creatures that had surrounded Ged.
The devil laughed at the foolish ruse. “As if it matters where you run to, I won’t give you enough time to open up a way out of my realm.” Yet as he turned to follow the path of the blood he screamed out in fury. A black gateway lay open with two men standing near it. One of them held the baby. He could hear laughter as the blood poured into the gateway, followed by the two men. And then the gateway was gone.
The Devil’s roar tore open its own portal and he began his pursuit. As he entered the realm the necromancer had retreated to he was blinded by a pure white light. That bastard, surely he can’t be that stupid.
But it was clear that Ged truly was that stupid. They had entered some Old God’s heaven, a powerful one at that. The Holy Light that made up this forgotten paradise began to strip away at the fallen angel’s life force, the gelatinous blob of blood dwindling away until it was as small as a baseball. The blood moved toward the baby and a small drop entered the child’s mouth. Then Ged was gone.
The master of the realm had become aware of the intruders. The two men and the baby were mere ants compared to the threat that the Devil presented. Its power surged forward and the Devil was forced to defend himself. To chase after the child further would at best result in war and at worst result in annihilation. Still he hesitated, in one last desperate attempt he fired a blast of dark energy. One of the men fell back slightly and began to motion with his hands. As the black magic came to consume him it was repelled by some invisible wall. The man then turned and regrouped with his comrade, leaving the devil to stare helplessly as they escaped. The Old God’s power crashed against his own, a not so subtle reminder that he was not welcome.
Left with no choice, he retreated.
Ged Tenshi will die screaming.
False hope leads to true despair, watch how quickly white turns to black.
Jun 19, 12 at 1:00am ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
It is the climactic moment, everyone has gone all in. Who shall prevail?
Voting is open for one week up until Monday the 25th of June. To vote, send a PM to me, Fyrestorm, listing your first, second and third place choices. Use the voting template below, and fill out all 3 spaces.
Jun 26, 12 at 5:37am ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
How are you duelists. All your writing contests are belong to us. You are on the way to prizes. You have no chance to submit make your vote.
I did hope we'd get one or two more entries, but oh well. I meant for this to be a pretty major special WC, with a high word count and all, and I'll be damned if some of you didn't deliver. I think I'll have a re-read of the entries again just for fun after I post the results. I have to do that first though, can't keep ya waiting! So the top 3 are:
Spoiler:The Spanner In The Works
koolerkid: 10 Points
Spoiler:The Key Component
Corruption: 11 Points
Spoiler:The Climactic Confrontation
Fyrestorm: 13 Points
The Prizes Revealed
(Names will not be used for this post so as not to spoil the surprise if you scroll down too far by mistake. See spoilers for the results.)
Castles were stormed. Climaxes were had. Mind outta the gutter please.
Among those fighting such difficult fights, one became The Spanner In The Works. By sabotaging their opposition temporarily, they acquire a minor advantage over them, earning a single point in the NDL rankings.
Another achieves more substantial success, managing to attain The Key Component, without which their enemy's plans cannot move forwards. To represent the value of this item, they shall be given a full 2 medals.
Finally, one manages to reach The Climactic Confrontation, a showdown so spectacular that they may choose a single duel of theirs to sticky at the top of the League, giving it the exposure such a battle merits.
To all those that bore witness to these struggles, a medal is awarded.
This post marks the completion of 2 years of writing challenges. As a tribute to 24 months and 24 contests, can I hear some noise ?
The last Tyen
total posts: 5815
since: May 2010
Jun 26, 12 at 7:55am ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
We've done this for 2 years now!? Holy crap!
On another note, I knew mine would not vote, still 4 votes is more than I thought id get, probably means I was 3rd 4 times. And its my first use of tarnac aswell. Haha
Well done to the victors! They placed in the order that I voted lol
Featured Video - What not to do in Domination
Featured Playlist - FF7:Road to Remake
Jun 26, 12 at 8:12am ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
Hell yes! I made it in the top three! That is way better then I expected to do; thank you everyone who voted for me! Even better, the third place prize is totally the best one in my opinion, so that's pretty sweet. Do I need to mark down the point anywhere, or will you handle that?
Also, would it be kosher to copy-paste my entry into the Critique Corner, so I can get some feedback on it?
Jun 26, 12 at 8:22am ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
koolerkid I'll go ahead and put that up for you. For future reference you just link to the post and say you want it looked over. And yeah Fyre will take care of your point reward. Good job on the WC.
False hope leads to true despair, watch how quickly white turns to black.
Jun 26, 12 at 9:40am ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
Joint last is depressing, but not unexpected. I was quite proud of my entry but clearly silliness was the order of the day in this challenge!
At some point I'll write a follow-up. Nobody will read it, but it requires writing anyway. As does a prelude to make more sense of things.
Congrats to the winners. Mostly to koolerkid because it's his first WC (I think?) and he wrote something serious and still placed!
Jun 26, 12 at 9:52am ^re: Writing Challenge: Storming The Castle
Tseng_Eclipse - it was indeed my first WC, and I'm rather over the moon at my relative victory. Thanks!
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