In the “Penalty Box” Travis is rewarded with video feeds from the lives of the people he and his new friends have killed. Meanwhile downstairs, Gobi and Vitkor come face to face with a remote controlled sentry ’bot.
What will the troop do?
What drives them forward?
Can they triumph and obtain the blue key or will their skills fail them and send them kicking and screaming into that final goodnight?
Moments prior to tackling the first obstacle of the new “level”, a message beamed on the wall “A new challenger appears!” and two strangers were dropped next to the party. Quickly establishing that they meant each other no harm, Viktor reaffirmed his position of peace by explaining what he knew of the dungeon they had all fallen prey to. After he told the group of the safe rooms and the keys required to enter, they agreed to cooperate and tackle the trials of the dungeon together.
Taking the initiative, Robert took Viktor’s rope and leaped passed the crushing rods trap with grace and ease. On the other side, he noticed two men standing, waiting for the ambush although they made no attempt to move upon their prey. Unsettled by the ice, Rob launched a fireball which melted the slippery slope, giving him traction enough to pull the others through the crushing wall trap by the rope. Although some were damaged in the process, everyone made it across intact; all except for Travis who chose to place his faith in his own skills and abilities and go it alone.
After a brief discussion with the wannabe ambushers, it became apparent that they were too involved in the game to consider joining the group in the same manner Viktor and Rebecca had before. Negotiations already failed, Rob launched two magic nets at the duo, ensnaring one but missing the other. The trapped man stumbled on his ice, falling forward between the platforms and getting shot by a laser from above, instantly ending his life. Not yet finished, Rob leaped up to grab the evasive survivor, falling prey to another laser shot from above, and being ambushed by a third enemy hiding out of sight. The two enemies and Rob now entwined, they all tumbled to the ground below. As unprotected as the day they were born, the two men were easily dispatched by the group but the sounds of combat ahead were enough to finally give Travis the incentive he needed to brave the wall crushing rods trap.
His natural prowess failing him, Travis quickly found himself pinned against the wall, unable to move. Noticing their companion in trouble, both Rob and Viktor went back into the fray in an attempt to free him while Gobi waited with the rope at the ready, to pull them back out. As the duo tried to cut Travis free, they were being pelted by the crushing rods that were springing forth from the walls, taking damage and running the risk of being pinned alongside Travis. Hoping to keep the walls occupied by locking into another victim, Gobi tossed the remains of one of the three ambushers into the mix and it was smashed to bits, but did not trigger the rod-lock. After finally cutting through the beam and securing Travis’s freedom, it was Viktor that now found himself a victim, being pinned in Travis’s stead by yet another rod. Between the combined strength of Rob and Viktor, they were easily able to dislodge the pylon and continue their escape attempt. Gobi managed to pull Viktor to safety at the last minute but Rob was not so lucky, as with the clanging of steel he too found himself pinned against the wall. Re-entering the fray yet again, Viktor assisted Rob in his escape only to be pinned a second time moments before the end of the frustrating trap. Now within reach, Gobi tried to cut through the pylon with his forearm blade but his attack was mistimes and deflected by another pylon. Not wasting any time, Rob placed himself back in harm’s way and together muscled the rod off of Viktor much like they had before. Finally the entire party was free of the trap but far from free of danger — their arduous journey through the labyrinthine dungeon had only just begun…
After already being mistaken as a creation of their God, Gobi took point in the hopes of that mistake being made once again and earning the group the element of surprise. The slippery slopes did not co-operate with the plan. As ungracefully as one would expect of someone trained to use their mind over their body, Gobi slipped, sliding down two levels to a ladder below. One by one, the party followed suit.
The next area confronted them with another spike trap, this time working in tandem with an energy barrier. Using the wall as a springboard, Gobi leaped over the spike trap, sliding along the floor until making contact with the barrier. Pulsing with energy, the barrier repelled Gobi with force enough to land Gobi back in the spike trap. Thinking quickly, Rob hit Gobi with a dagger, slowing his momentum enough for Gobi to extend his trident and use it as an anchor mere inches from the bladed pitfall. Using Viktor’s rope, Rebecca swung across the pit, running along the wall and joining Gobi on the other side.
Not yet content with Gobi’s demonstration of the barrier’s capabilities, Travis shot at it to further test its limits. Both rounds fired were instantly repelled, one of which struck Travis himself and the other narrowly avoiding Gobi and hitting Rebecca, smashing apart the tattered remains of her armor in the process. Together Gobi and Rebecca crawled toward the barrier to get a better sense of what they were dealing with but Travis’s ranged tests were not yet done. Travis fired again, this time at the source of the barrier and this time with less disastrous results. The shots overwhelmed the barrier unit, temporarily shorting it and giving both Gobi and Rebecca time to dive through unimpeded. Pressured by time, Rebecca overshot her jump, impaling herself on the wall spikes beyond. Her body now torn to shreds by the the ultrasonic blades, her limbless and her seemingly lifeless torso fell to the ground below.
Immediately after climbing over the pit with the rope in a similar manner as Rebecca, Travis shot at the barrier generator once again. Too impatient to wait until he had secured his footing, the blast went hopelessly awry, hitting the beam and reflecting back shattering the remnants of Travis’s armor. Undeterred by the eerie reflection of what had befallen Rebecca, Travis fired again, overloading the barrier and securing the entry of the remains of the troop. Luckily, although his fate seemed unnervingly similar to Rebecca’s, their paths now diverged as Travis was able to secure a foothold on the ladder safely. The barrier’s re-opening gave Gobi the opportunity to bypass it once again, now safely on the other side and the level below. There he encountered another player in this deadly game: the enigmatic Larz. Larz which had been trapped behind the barrier for longer than a day by his former crew, saw only the path of revenge and began blasting on the boxes ahead behind which his former associates had made their camp.
The barrier opened once again, this time releasing Travis and Viktor to re-join Gobi and the new acquaintance: Larz. Rob stayed behind the barrier in a futile attempt to save Rebecca as the last of her life drained from her comatose body.
Driven by anger and sleep deprecation, Larz used his anti-grav disc to cross the nearby spike trap and continued firing blindly with his plasma ejector until being interrupted by an obnoxious “Cheater Warning”. As a means of punishment for perceived cheating, Larz’s gun was teleported away right from his hands by an unseen force. Undeterred by the theft, Larz then began throwing grenades, enveloping the air in the smell of sulfur and charred flesh.
Acknowledging Larz as both someone that didn’t immediately seek confrontation with the group and someone obviously well-equipped, Gobi leaped over the crevasse to assist Larz in his battle and earn his trust and assistance. Although Larz had single-handedly secured the victory with his barrage of grenades, Gobi efforts were not entirely in vain as he dismembered the final survivor, freeing Larz’s arm from a hold.
Gobi used the remaining crates to build a temporary bridge for the others to cross the spike trap, reuniting the party once again (including Rob who had finally given up on Rebecca’s remains and used his knife to breach the barrier). Moving along, the group came upon another spike trap, followed by a series of five automated laser turrets and a pair of men standing on a ledge, yelling for the party to not come any closer. Feigning an inability to hear, Gobi tried to convince them to come closer so the lasers would take care of the strangers on their behalf. With the duo not falling for the ploy and not being one for tact, Travis simply pulled his guns and tried to shoot the two. Although one was instantly killed, the other dodged his attack and climbed to the ledge above seeking cover. In a feat of both incredible skill and incredible luck, Travis blindly shot once more, ricocheting his round off the reflective ice covering the ground and hit his concealed target behind the ledge, killing him as swiftly as his friend before. Again, the obnoxious “Cheater” alarm sounded, to which Travis responded by firing at the sign its self in a show of frustration and blatant insubordination. As “punishment” for disputing his “cheating” or perhaps for firing again so soon after his punishment, Travis was dropped into a hole called “The Penalty Box”, and subjected to a timeout.
Meanwhile, back on the ledge by the corpse of Travis’s keen sharpshooting, Aya and her female friend Chasy began to panic at the loss of their protectors. Fearful for her own life and desperate to see “Todd” again, Chasy began trying to tear off Aya’s armor and fumble for her Vibro-Knife, keen to get her hands on any means of survival. Her own survival more important than anything resembling compassion a struggle broke out, knocking down the barrel they had been using for warmth and sending the coals, mist, and voluminous smoke across spilling up around them. However, the struggle was short lived for although Chasy was able to inadvertently kick the helmet from Aya’s head, she was quickly overpowered and with the opportunity finally presenting itself, Aya brought the Vibro-Knife down on Chasy without a moments hesitation severing both her forearms and hands from her arms, squirting blood all over the scene. Unwilling to spare any more of her precious E-Clip on her friend, Aya switched to a mundane combat knife to finish her off with, sliding the knife up under her jaw and through her neck, killing her instantly.
The sounds of the scuffle passing, Gobi commented to the others telling them simply “One has killed the other” before continuing to take potshots at the laser turrets with Rob. Impatiently Larz charged forward, leaping the spike pit and following it up with a leap attack shattering the first, damaged turret with his new buzz-saw blade that he had recovered from his former “friend” Julius. The strange albino D-Bee then slid helplessly down the ice until making contact with a ladder and managing to grab hold to prevent himself from falling further.
After Rob finished pelting the second turret with the final usable refuge, Gobi reluctantly finished it off with his Trident, not wishing to damage his Trident further in the explosions but not willing to let Rob’s efforts be in vain.
After accepting Gobi’s offer for aid across the crevasse, both Viktor and Gobi successfully leaped to the other side only to again lose their balance in the usual sense, sliding down passed Larz and to the floor below. There they found a room occupied by not only the usual spike traps, but mines as well as a robotic drone.
In an unprecedented act of athleticism, Rob leaped over the trap and managed to retain his balance. Opting to make use of his divine luck, Rob did not follow the path of the sliders and instead climbed to the ledge above where Aya futility hid while the Sea Titan used his supernatural strength to break the necks of the fallen to be “sure” they were dead. Finally, cornered between the vibro-spikes and Rob, Aya confirmed that they were new comers to “The Game” and begged she be allowed to join Rob and his friends, going on to explain that it is safer to be in groups.
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