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VIP Boardroom

Karl Jak let out a sigh. The only people that remained in the Dante Verse were the guards and the janitorial crews. It'd take a few days, but the place would eventually look perfect once again.

As he reclined into his chair and buzzed in the intern. She waddled in, her heels and pencil-dress a nice touch but nothing that really captured his interest. “What’s your name again?” He asked, unsure where the company kept finding these young women. Why couldn’t they provide him with some nice pieces of meat inside tight-fitting suits? What a waste of company resources.

“I’m Annette,” she muttered, he eyes glancing over to the naked man seated in the other chair.

“Annette, get my friend over there a nice suit from my quarters.” As pleasant as he is too look at, I don’t think he wants to be naked all afternoon.

“Yes, Sir,” she said, nodding her head. The man winked at Karl and followed her out, his ass swaying back and forth as he went.


The festivities had died down, and the eight remaining primes had filtered their way into the boardroom. At the head of the room, Karl Jak smirked as he dumped out a box onto the table, spilling a collection of artefacts. Around the room, the seven runner ups turned and looked.

“Here’s how it works,” Karl replied, a smile on his face that juxtaposed the fatigue or anger that most of the finalist wore on their faces. “Starting with our runner up, each of you gets to pick an artefact from this pile. Once you do that, you’ll be escorted to a personal teleporter to be sent into your new life of fame in the Omniverse.

“Sound good?” Karl glanced over at the marine. “You’re first,” he said with a smirk, his hand gesturing to the seven artefacts on the table.

Quote:All finalists must post once here confirming their selection IC and departing.
[Image: KarlSig.jpg]

To punch the smug son of a bitch in the face or not. That was the question. Between the four guards that stood behind the corporate fucker and the seven or so other contestants who may or may not stop me, my chances didn't look good that I would get away with a crack across the jaw. It was an awkward couple of minutes, where I stood side by side with the people whom moments ago I tried to, and in most cases succeed, kill. We mostly silently agreed to stand around in awkward silence and try not to look each other in the eye, and I was okay with taking my doo-dad and never coming back. I eventually settled on a single finger salute.

"Oh, none of that" The asshat responded "You knew what you were getting into when you signed the paper" That only made me want to shove his overpriced suit down his throat, but he was technically right.

I didn't waste a lot of time when I looked over the artifacts. Most of them were clothing, or some other strange accessory and the book I was 90% sure was made from human flesh. I didn't need that kind of bad voodoo I my head. I examined the last item of interest, the dagger. I was never a fan of knifes. The UAC didn't like the idea of an angry marine with something that could punch through a space station's component and I preferred the greater control of using my fists. But I was a pretty good looking weapon, all things considered, and I picked it up without much thought over the other artifacts.

"Right, fuck ya'll, I'm out of here" I spun a clean 180 and marched out of the room. One guard took to my side as he lead me to the teleporter, hopefully back to the beach of the Vastly Deep. I couldn't believe I'd miss it, but the idea of falling under an umbrella on the beach sounded like a nice get away. As I was about to jump through the pillar of energy back to the normal grind, I was stopped when I heard the familiar sound of high heels on tile. I turned around and saw the lady who had been there when I woke up. She nearly tripped a few times, but she managed to get a duffle bag into my hands before the guard got pushy.

"Your things...sir" she has out of breath and had trouble when she tried to lift the bag into my hands. I easy took it, and when I looked inside everything was there. Broken helmet and all"

"Heh. Finally something good. Thank you" I then left Dante's Abyss and all its trouble behind me.

Mickey thought it obscene, but the space marine’s gesture essentially summed up the room’s feelings toward their hosts, the ever elusive Karl Jak.

It struck Mickey that this was the first time he had met the man. On the island, they had had to hear his disembodied voice every six hours, declaring the names of dead contestants one right after another, like clockwork. Looking at him for the first time felt strangely like a reward for placing so highly in this competition. He was a much slimier looking man than Mickey expected, which said a lot.

The marine pondered over his choice relatively quickly, swiping up the mysterious looking dagger and marching out of the room, shouting obscenities as he went. Mickey’s lips curled into a frown as he huddled behind Samus’ leg, trying his best to stay away from the rest of his former opponents.

“#14 Mickey Mouse,” Karl Jak hissed, and the mouse tentatively detached himself from his bounty hunter friend to approach the table.

He approached the table, swallowing his nerves. He didn’t really know why he was nervous now—the competition was over—but being in the same room as five people who had tried to kill him just a few hours ago had its potential drawbacks.

The table stood higher than his height.

Behind him, he heard giggling from some of the other competitors. His face wrinkled up, embarrassment washing over him. If he could blush, he would have. He contemplated trying to clamber up it, but was afraid he’d fall down. Amazingly, even after doing battle with most of these men and women, he still feared making a fool out of himself in front of them. Luckily, someone came to the rescue.

“SHUT UP OR I’LL CLOBBER YOU!” the voice of Monkey D. Luffy rang throughout the crowded boardroom. “It’s okay, panther-man,” his stretchy friend assured him, shooting a nasty glare at the couple of competitors that had decided to find amusement in the mouse’s stature. “Laugh at my Nakara and you have me to deal with,” he jeered at the people littering the room. The pirate-captain approached Mickey, and stretched out his arms, picking up the King and lifting him up until he sat firmly on the man’s rubbery shoulders.

“Take your pick, Mr. Mouse,” Karl Jak smirked, his voice oozing grossness. From this vantage point, Mickey could see all the grease in his hair. He was repulsed.

Not one of the items on the table looked the same as the next. A pair of boots, a glittering tiara, and a pair of yellow, spherical earrings made up just a few of the myriad of choices Karl Jak presented him with. He couldn’t possibly decide.

Behind him, the familiar scoff of Deadpool blanketed the room. “Your big-ass ears need some decoration, murderer,” he remarked snidely, and then muttered something resentful about being used as a plot device. Mickey’s gaze turned to the mercenary, his eyes shooting daggers into the masked man. Spite overflowing, he turned back to his selections.

“Yeah, the earrings,” he nodded, waving for Luffy to pick them up and give them to him. Mugiwara obliged, and then slowly helped Mickey slide off of his shoulders. The mouse exhaled, turning around and looking down the line at his former competitors.

That was it. It was over. He’d never have to do this again.

A smile growing on his face and a newfound spring in his step, he started to skip out of the room, throwing up a hand to wave good-bye as he left. “See ya Samus, Luffy! Good game everybody!”

And with a grin, Mickey Mouse left Dante’s Abyss for good.
[Image: 2agonyw.png]

Strazio looked tired. Hell he looked more than tired, he was tired. Even though he had been resorted to pristine condition, his body was stiff and tense. It was strange, he thought, that the people who were once so willing to slaughter each other for the amusement of the masses now stood together with little to no ill will. Karl Jak looked tired, or more accurately bored and why wouldn’t he? The contest was over, there was no more blood to be shed and no more competition. This award ceremony, if it could even be called that, felt more like an afterthought in Karl’s grand plan.

The Defender of Darkshire stepped forward, his scarred body covered by a fresh white cloak and the crest of Darkshire dangled lightly from his neck. He looked at Karl, who seemed incredibly uninterested in the proceedings. Strazio wanted to find some source of anger, but as Karl said he knew what he was signing up for. Against the absurdity of it all and against the brutality of the abyss Strazio did the only thing a sane man could do.

He laughed. There was no rhyme or reason to it. Perhaps it was four days of hell that finally came rushing forth, or perhaps it was the simple realization that this whole thing was nothing more than a game. Karl raised an eyebrow as he watched the prime’s laughing fit subside. Strazio smirked and looked at the promoter.

“Sorry. Just, just remembered a stupid joke is all” he lied.

The trinkets laid out across the table seemed mundane at best and outright useless at worst. These were the wondrous artifacts promised? Strazio scowled with the realization that he might’ve been duped, not that he could do anything about it at this point. The only item that really piqued his interest was a book that was seemingly bound by leather. Across the front was the design of a scowling face. It looked similiar to a warlock’s tome from his universe. Perhaps it was familiarity or just plain curiosity he reached out and picked the book up. Without looking through the pages he slid it into the inner folds of his cloak and nodded.

“I’ll take this one.”

He then turned to address the other competitors, something that seemed slightly out of place in the atmosphere of the room. “Yo, you’re all great warriors. And while I don’t know any of you, nor your intentions I do have a favor to ask. My name is Strazio Rockwell and I intend to slay Dracula and free the Pale Moors from his influence. Please, if you have the courage, find me in the Moors and help me bring light to that damnable place.” With his speech out of the way he stepped past the competitors and allowed the guard to lead him towards the exit.

The guard led him down a hallway and to a larger atrium type room. It was here that he heard a familiar voice shout his name. The Defender of Darkshire’s heart dropped as he watched a mountain of flesh saunter towards him. It was the one and only people’s champion, The Rock.

“You did good out there kid” the wrestler mused, while patting Strazio on the back.

“I...holy shit! Rock! I’m so sorry I didn’t save you!” Strazio exclaimed, almost at a loss for words.

The Rock shook his head “you couldn’t have saved me there, that little jabroni had enough explosives to take down ten Rocks.”

The guard sighed “come on ladies, we haven’t got all day. Pick a teleporter already.”

“Where are you going now?” Strazio asked.

“Coruscant, I heard there were some candy asses that needed some smackdown. Want to tag along? The Rock N’ Rock Connection rides again?”

Strazio looked down at the ground and then back up at his massive companion “sorry, but I’ve got a promise to keep and I need to go to the Endless Dunes. Looks like the Rock N’ Rock Connection is dead big guy.” There was a moment of pregnant silence as the two squared off. The Rock reached into his pocket and pulled out a small rectangle.

“Here take this, I’ve got like a million. Call me if you ever need any help.”

Strazio thanked Rock for the gift and they both turned towards their respective teleporters. The Defender of Darkshire frowned as he stepped into the teleporter and waited for it to power up.

“Hey Rockwell!”


“The Rock N’ Rock Connection never dies.”

And with that the world disappeared and was replaced by an endless sea of sand. Strazio smiled softly, while clutching the communicator. He knew that he had gained much more than just an artifact in this competition.
[Image: StrazSig.png]

[Image: DarkshireBadge.png][Image: DarkshireDefenseBadge.png][Image: SecondarySaga.png][Image: HerosGraveyardBadge.png]

”You did it Deadpool,” the mercenary whispered, gazing into the bathroom mirror. He finished washing his hands and flapped them over the sink; droplets of water splattered inside the bowl. ”You got Advanced Regeneration—the closest damn thing in this dimension to your Healing Factor.”

“Shut the fuck up!” a voice bellowed out from one of the three stalls behind him. “I’m trying to pass a child-sized shit in here! First you’re talking about sexuality while pissing, now this?! SHUT THE FUCK UP!”

”Ever get your ass kicked while trying to shit?” Deadpool whipped his head around and snapped; he waited for a response, but none followed. ”That’s what I thought.”

* * * * *

Karl’s condescending eyes drifted from finalist to finalist. “Where is Deadpool?” he erupted, his smirk bowing into a frown. “I’ve already let one person jump ahead of him, and if he’s not here soon I’ll let another go.”

”I’m here,” the mercenary announced as he closed the room’s only door behind him. ”Me and one of your Syntex buddies were having a weird urinal discussion.” A lot more than urinal discussions, but it was better to keep the rest secret. ”It happened before the shit-stall guy, if you happened to read the stuff before the stars.”

“I don’t know how you slipped out without anyone noticing, or whatever the hell you’re blabbering about, but it’s your turn.” Karl reached over the Artefacts, revealing a Rolex under his Tom Ford blazer as he waved a palm over them; they lay across the table he leaned against, spread apart enough for each to be visibly displayed.

”Believe it or not, between my post and Strazio’s, about twenty-four hours actually passed.“ Deadpool sauntered down the isle, passing the other finalists as he neared the slick-haired host; his backstabbing friendemy, Mickey, had already left.

“What is your selection?” Karl inquired; as the mercenary walked up the short flight of steps, his thin lips curled back into a smile, and his visage lit up like a pervert witnessing a female undress as he gave the mercenary’s sculpted physique a lookover. “Still many rewards to select from—Stopwatch, Horcrux, Berserker Boots—“

Deadpool already knew what he wanted; a glimmering Artefact caught his eyes as he walked up the steps. It was the type of thing all prom girls dreamed of, and princesses too. The mercenary’s eyes lost themselves inside the Artefact’s ruby. He always wanted to be royalty, and hold a royal title; king, queen, prince—none of it mattered—, he would even accept the title of princess.

Princess Deadpool ”I know what I want,” he interrupted, and pointed his index finger towards the tiara.

You better capitalize the first letter to my Artefact, or I’ll smite you with my new Princess Powers!

Karl quirked a brow. “Hm?”

”Nothing,” Deadpool replied, ”just gimme the Moon Tiara. “

The ruby in the center of the tiara sparkled under the fluorescent the room’s lighting as Karl picked it up from the table. “Congratulations, Deadpool,” he said, and then handed it over

”Princess Deadpool,” the mercenary corrected, but received the Artefact. ”Do we have to take a picture together, or anything?”

“No, you did not win, so you do not get that luxury,” Karl replied bluntly. “I will have one of my guards escort you back to the portals.”

”Well, that’s a suck-ass ending to my post,” Deadpool murmured. He took his new Artefact and hooked it into his pants pocket as one of the guards approached him. ”I don’t even know where I want to do yet.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Karl replied, “but you have to leave here.”

Dante's Abyss Placings
2015 - 4th
2016 - 2nd
2017 - 4th

PVP Combat Record
3W - 0L - 0D
4W - 1L - 0D
[Image: Deadpool_Funny.png]

"You got this . . . "

Such were the wistful words of finality Luffy managed to languidly spill from his frigid lips as he slipped into the beckoning maw of death's release. Release from this heinous game of pain-for-pleasure. Release from crushing guilt and paralyzingly anxiety. Release from that prick Karl Jak's sociopathic manipulation.

He entrusted the rest to Mickers. The captain's faith held true for his nakama. Even whilst consumed by cognizant tribulations, his body beaten, battered and broken to mirror a shambled mind, the eccentric pirate protracted a dauntless smile and respired one last terminating breath.

It was calming, comforting even. Peeling open both windows to the soul, Straw Hat basked in serene radiance. Luster of the ever-embracing afterworld, or so the rubber youth assumed. Would there be room for him there? After such a blood-drenched menagerie, surely the Eden of life beyond would be lacking in vacancy.


"Well, well, well. I never expected to see you here, amidst the gruesome and the grand," a peppy yet familiar voice filched his attention from the aft, reassuring mugiwara that he was in fact still among the living. Unless of course, she was deceased as well.

"T-Tits Mcgee??" Mugiwara acknowledged, still aching from the phantom injuries he sustained. Though his body appeared speckles like a fresh load of laundry, it hadn't availed proper time to ascertain the abuse had subsided.

"Ahem, TRISTY! Idiot!" The buxom blonde countered, sullenly clearing her throat. She flushed red in both cheeks before bashfully zipping up her scandalous vest. "A-anyhow, I'm here to both congratulate you and escort you to the boardroom. Mr. Jak would love to meet you."

The mere utterance of his name pierced Luffy like an arrowhead, sharpening his countenance. "Let's go then," the prime commanded, striding forward without his busty chauffeur's permittance as he clapped a fist against his open palm. Concerned the youth may try something brash, Tristy followed close behind.


Before the prime knew it, the douche-canoe of a host was standing no more than a couple leaps in front of him, sneering back at the column of 'victors.' Lowering his visage to the left, Straw Hat erected a thumbs-up at the mousy tyke he had defended in the preceding room moments prior.

"Yahoo! Great job Mickers, we made it together! Kishishi" The rubber youth reassured with a warming chuckle, soliciting the wee monarch to gesture his gloved palm for a handshake. Hoh boy! It was a doozy, wasn't it?!" Mickey nodded in agreement as the duo consummated their solidified friendship.

Dumping out a gaudy duffle-bag of novelty ornaments, Karl was quite pleased with himself, going on about the spread of material 'rewards' for each of their misdeeds. One by one, those who placed ahead of him plucked their choice from the table and stomped off, cursing the metrosexual turd in their own fashion.

"Contestant number thirty-seven, Monkey D. Luffy, step forward and choose," The proverbial emcee of Dante's Abyss summoned, evoking Mugiwara to mull over his options. Though this was his first physical encounter with Mr. Fancy Pants, he was far more enthralled by the awesome gadgets splayed out before him.

A book? Nah, Luffy wasn't much for reading; that was Nico Robin's forte. A stopwatch? Uh uh, totally Nami's field. A foreign antique exuding ominous energy? Nope, Brooke was better suited for something like that.

"OOOH! Coooool booooots! I'll take those!" Straw Hat yammered, his pupils replaced by sparkling stars, shining like a beacon of lunacy. The youth nabbed the awesome hightops and pressed them firmly against his chest, equally as spellbound as Deadpool's, erm, Princess Deadpool was by his maiden circlet.

"Wait . . . I signed up here to get info, not shiny new kicks. You, Sir Jakass, gimme' everything you know about this wacky world. Is it possible my crew was brought here too?!" Luffy demanded, bum-rushing the host with a rather bold interrogation.

"Hmm, your crew huh? Any of them handsome? Would they be willing to sign up next year? I hope so if they're as courageous as you, hmhmhm," Karl Jak snickered in conceit, provoking the pirate to grab him by his tailored collar and tug with force. A battalion of well-paid Syntex guardsmen strifed from their posts, readied to pounce. Their approach was stilled as the spiffy proprietor held up a quelling palm.

"You'll hafta' kill me for real if you expect me to leave here without answers, assbutt!" Straw Hat steeled his resolve, cringing as he met the Syntex president's unwavering gaze with a glare of ferocity. Without retort, Karl reached into his jacket's inner pocket and relinquished a business card.

"I respect your bravura, young man. Take this, and in two day's time, call the number at the back via communication apparatus," The fearless host obliged, handing over the laminate paper.

"Okay tha-"


In a flash, he swiftly severed Luffy's clutch with a swipe of his forearm before gingerly plunging a fist into the pirate's gut, inviting him to double over. "But never, ever touch me with those grimy, commoner hands again."

"Guh . . Got it, two days," the prime consented, rescinding his threats and frolicking off with a brand new set of footwear. He acquired what he wanted and then some, there wasn't need to press the issue further.

The unpredictable rapidity of the captain's mood shifts were a trait to be marveled. The remaining contestants surmised him an imbecile, but also felt a hankering to applaud for nearly getting his hands around the cobra's slimy neck.

Can't wait to see the others soon, I know what Buggy's gonna' say. 'What's with the flashy boots rubber brain?!' Kahahaha!

As Tristy escorted him to a rippling gate, Luffy turned to spout one final declaration, curling a shit-eating grin across his face and aiming an index digit.

"You were all super cool out there! If we cross paths on the other side, I'll ask you this then too. MICKERS, DOOMY, BOTGIRL, STRAZY, GREENBEAN, DEATHPOO, JOIN MY CREW!!"

". . ."


[Image: giphy.gif]

The dark warrior tood agasint the wall, his arms folded and head down, silently watching as everyone selected their picks and made their speeches before they left. Some were very vocal, others were less. The namek wondered how some of them really felt, but felt that now was not the time to ask them. He noted that the Grand Champion was no where to be found.

Finally it was his turn.

The Emerald Warrior looked up at the two remaining items. One was a watch or time counter of some sort.. The other was a golden locket with a green "S" attached to a silver chain. The namekian wondered if these things did anything aat all or perhaps it was an elabarate joke just to toy with those that hadn't won the event but had come so close. The warrior picked the locket up and glanced down at the ctime peice on the table, then back at the gold and emerald locket.

"They call it a Horcrux", Karl spoke up with a devious smile on his face. "I think it a nice choice for you, don't you think? HOR-CRUX?"

The namekian thought about it for a moment and clasped his hands tightly around the artefact. Horror and crux. Was he really that evil? Or did he actually come off that way? Perhaps it was the best. He always had to make some of the most difficult decision. The God of Death chose who lived or died right?

The namek looked back at the artefact on the table, picked it up for a moment, rubbed it in his fingers and with a nod, flipped it to the bounty hunter, who caught it in her hand, confirming his choice on the Horcrux.

Retane looked back to the Host of the Abyss and stared Karl Jak in the eyes, the mercenary's visage turning into a scowl.

There was a long slow pause before the namekian finally spoke, "A lot of people shed blood in the Abyss... But that Lobby sure looked beautifaul didn't it?"

There was a moment of silence as the words mulled over in their minds until Retane started with a low wicked chuckle and erupted into a full blown dark tone of laughter.

Just as quickly as he started, he stopped and returned to looking at the raven haird metrosexual. "Chaos. You wanted it. You got it. And it was beautiful right?"

Karl eyed the namekian suspiciously. Retane continuned, "People got what they wanted. They watched people struggle. They watched them die. People became famous nearly over night. People acheived power. Some got to kill like they had always held an innerdesire right? All of it? Everything? It was beautiful right?"

Mr. Jak went to say something but still the Emerald Fiend wasn't done, "What about the innocense stolen? Those that can never go back? Those that can never forgive themselves? Those that will forever wake up sweating, screaming hoping that they aren't dead and bloddied. Hoping they aren't involved in the Abyss? What about those that feel the guilt from ever having been involved or witnessed what had happened?"

Karl Jak flashed a smirk, "Collateral Damage."

"Collateral Damage? Heh. I get it, i suppose. I just had to see what you'd say..."With that, the namekian turned around with a long breath and glanced at the final runner up who stood firm. The Emerald Fiend moved towards the exit, pausing for a second as he passed the bounty hunter. He was sure he would meet her again one day, opposing her. But now was not that day.
[Image: hchh.png]

I refuse to lose this battle,
Let whatever come my way.
I am stronger then my rival,
No, I will not fall today...

Samus stepped towards the desk of Karl Jak. “That’s quite the new suit,” he observed with a discerning eye.

Samus said nothing.

“Take your pick,” said the host sardonically, gesturing to the final remaining artefact with a grin.

Samus took the stopwatch. Then she stood there, staring. All the other Primes had gone. It was time.

“Got anything to say?” asked Karl, fingers steepled and eyebrow raised.

“Yeah,” grunted Samus. Her suit glowed blue. “You’re under arrest.”

Blue flame burst from her body. She activated the isolation verse.
[Image: 0bwAI3j.jpg]

"Excuse me," Karl Jak muttered as the glowing woman stood before him. "Under arrest for what? For holding an event in which people were more than aware that they would have to kill the other contestants? I mean, you willingly signed up for Dante's Abyss, Samus. I didn't force your hand."

"You dragged me to that island. You gassed me and forced me there."

"You attacked another competitor as a means to settle some sort of personal vendetta. You had to be neutralized before you hurt any other innocent bystanders. If anything, I should have turned you over to the Empire at that moment in time and let them sort you out. I protected you. Hell, I was going to clear your name once you were out of here. I did it for Mr. Dresden, but you can be damned sure I'm not doing anything like that for you."

"And in what sort of world am I a criminal? How many innocent soldiers did you kill blasting your way through Coruscant, and you have the balls to storm across my boardroom in my verse at the end of my contest and threaten to arrest me? And that's right after you accept a prize that I was giving you for performing well? You don't have the moral high ground here, Bounty Hunter. I'm not a criminal. I'm an entertainer. That's the only reason why I would have been brought to this place. You registered, so you went to the island to compete. Nothing was going to stop you from popping that collar and going back to whatever hermit shack you dragged yourself from. Why stay unless part of you found some sick amusement in all of it?

"You want to do the Omniverse a favor? Arrest yourself. This place doesn't need any more blood-stained 'heroes' trying to murder their way to redemption."
[Image: KarlSig.jpg]

Samus balked momentarily, the isolation sphere still glimmering her in her hand. Of course she had to have known Karl had countermeasures. The banishment sphere hadn’t worked after all, so why would this? But logic wasn’t with her right at this moment.

Her voice shook. “Why did I stay? Good question. I asked myself that quite a few times. I stayed so I could get here. If people like you, people like Cindy are willing to go to the lengths they do, there have to be people like me who are willing to as well.

“The difference between people like me and people like you are that you’re doing it because you can, and I’m doing it because I have to. Don’t pretend you’re anything more than slime, Jak.”

“You’re done here,” said Jak, pressing a button beneath his desk. “Get out of my verse.”

The world swirled and suddenly Samus was back at the Fountain of Infinity.
[Image: 0bwAI3j.jpg]

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