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 What's the point? (Tock)

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Copland
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PostSubject: What's the point? (Tock)   Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:21 pm

==Last year's Annual Rorgar Archery Competition - Crossbow Division==

The land of chivalry was the best world for a long range shooting contest. Copland had just finished doing a repair job for the Maharot Kingdom a few days ago and decided to stick around for the competition. He didn't expect to be a contestant, but a Medieval barker announced they still had a few spots available. The fixer validated his steampunk crossbow and joined the fray of archaic marksmen. His weapon did have to be modified temporarily so that the bolt enchantments did not destroy the target. The debuffs would lift either the moment the contest was over or the moment he left the planet. Not such a bad system considering he hadn't planned to leave the host city's limits before the contest was over.

Copland cheered and booed with the rest of the crowd as certain other archers took to the field. He mainly booed the real archers, which he fully expected to get the same treatment for using a cheater's bow. Serfs and wenches brought out tankards and turkey legs for those in the bleachers. Copland stayed away from both, as the turkey fat would alter his grip on the crossbow and the simulated alcohol would fuzz up his avatar's vision.

After a few rounds, the linen clothed barker yelled out his name Copland of Mainframe. A few booed him because he wasn't wearing Rorgarian style clothing. He still had on his air board gear. Surfers and Knights didn't quite go well together, but it was what he was comfortable shooting in. The wet suit didn't get in the way of the levers and pulleys and nor did it restrict his range of motion. Copland drew his crossbow and took aim.

The two scopes helped line up the shot. Copland turned the dial by the stock so that it was set to an electric bolt. It clicked as the settings changed. He couldn't burn down the target with the fire bolt because of the modification, and the shadow bolt might be too hard to see in the cloud that just passed over the digital sun. The electric blue would help all to see exactly where he hit.

Copland forced the simulated air out of his simulated lungs. The exhalation would stabilize his body and prevent any sudden jerking movements. His finger pulled back on the trigger.......

FTHUNK

Blue lanced out and struck the yellow ring surrounding the bulls-eye. He was just a little up and to the left of where he needed to be. All in all, not a bad first shot. The surfer stepped back for the next contest.

M'lords and ladies, may I present to you your next contestant......
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PostSubject: Re: What's the point? (Tock)   Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:56 pm

She'd always liked Rorgar. Maybe it was the inner fantasy geek of her player, but Tock was a fanatic for the old-world feel. She could smell the turkey legs, and they smelled wonderful, mouth watering even, but she eyed them critically with her wintry orbs. Not everything was all they seemed. No matter how tantalizing, someone could find a way of hindering her aiming abilities, or blur out her vision. Her magic was bubbling beneath the surface, and she ready to cast a reflection spell. The crowd's cheering pulled her away from her musing, and she began tinkering with her enchanted crossbow. It was silver, and ornate, with deep, intricate engravings along the edges of roses and vines. She could either draw upon mana, or use an actual bolt. She decided against the former, since this was a competition after all, and she'd rather play fair.

No use spending unnecessary mana.

The crowd were active, as they partook in their meals and drinks. They cheered and booed when need be, and she watched her competitors with polite interest. She wasn't arrogant to think she was a great shot, but she was fairly decent. Her interested piqued when a new name was called. "Copland of Mainframe" was called out to join the fray. Tock watched him move in a steady gait. She grinned when his ensembled provoked a more negative response from the crowd, but he didn't seem to care. She liked that. She lowered her crossbow, no longer tinkering. She paid attention to Copland, as the crowd seemed to go silent. With bated breath they watched. Tock blinked slowly, as time seemed to pass slowly...

His arrow was released, and he struck the yellow ring, right around the bullseye. Tock clapped with the others, and was soon presented. M'lords and ladies, may I present to you your next contestant.... Tock of Eden! The white-haired maiden brushed past Copland, throwing a wink his way before she ambled over to her designated spot. Her appearance was a little more accepted by the common mass. Form fitting, with a few ruffles. She was wearing a red bodsuit with white lace and ruffles spilling from her now neckline. A wide black belt wove around her waist. She almost resembled a pirate, but not exactly from Rorgar, oh no. She brushed her long white locks from her face, and lifted her crossbow. His shot was impressive. Perhaps she could do better.

She tuned out the rest of the world as she eyed the bullseye. She inhaled, as she cocked back the springs, the bolt in place. Her finger hovered over the trigger. She exhaled slowly, before taking in the last breath. Back arched slightly, stretching taut her appearance before she released the arrow. Whoosh! The arrow made it just beneath the yellow, dangerously close to the bullseye. She frowned slightly, before giving a shrug. Close enough, she thought before she turned to the crowd with a charming smile. She waved to them before making way for the next shooter. Her wintry hues found Copland, and she walked right over to him. "Nice shot." She said, "and a nicer crossbow. Where'd you get that?"
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PostSubject: Re: What's the point? (Tock)   Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:57 am

...Tock of Eden!

There were a lot of cheers for this Tock. Perhaps this player was a regular to the realm. An hourglass pirate brushed up against him on her way to the field. He caught the wink and smirked back. There was no reason he couldn't be cordial in response. The Edener knocked her hair to the side before nocking a bolt in the weapon.

Her arrow pierced just under the dividing line for the bulls-eye, which made Copland take in a deep breath. His inner child didn't want to be beat out by a girl. Although, he would bow out gracefully if she did. They still had two more shots to go though. He golf clapped with the rest of them as she made her exit. His brown eyes made contact with her winter ones.

"Nice shot." She said, "and a nicer crossbow. Where'd you get that?"

"You too," Copland bowed his head. "Looted it off the Cogwheel's Camerlengo on Victoria. That guy takes forever to wind down." The Cogwheel was the steampunk planet's equivalent to a mafia boss, with the Camerlengo protecting the coffers. One of the questlines you could do was to take out the criminal organization. "Yours seems to have elven touches, but I've never seen an elf use a crossbow. What's your's story?"

As they chit chatted, the gamekeeper updated the score board. Each of the contestant's names had been engraved on a panel that had already been hooked onto the massive board. Even though Tock's shot had been closer to the center, she and Copland were both tied at nine points. The keeper was seen sliding large 9s next to their names. Other numbers started filling up the board, but none equaled or beat them.

"So Eden," Copland said to pass the time as the second round started up. He pulled back the crannequin, the handle responsible for resetting the bow, and listened for the turning of gears as the crossbow's chamber revolved. A new bot filled up the empty tube. "You a Caribbean girl, or one of those Amazonians?" He had been to the paradise planet a few times, but he didn't 'own' any property there.

Copland's name was called again. There wasn't as much booing this time as people realized the laid back guy actually had some skill. He winked back at her and took his spot. Remembering he went high and wide last time, the surfer adjusted his aim and released.

There was a collective gasp as it looked like he hit the eye......but he was right on the line. An official approached the target and evaluated the shot. Copland chewed on the corner of his left lip. The gamekeeper tacked on another 9 as the official explained that while the bolt was on the dividing ring, it was mostly on the outer portion. That meant it was a nine instead of the bulls-eye ten. A frustrated growl left Copland, but he was able to confirm it with his sights.

He trudged back to his corner. "Break a leg," he said to Tock.
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PostSubject: Re: What's the point? (Tock)   Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:39 am

Oh, Eden. What a lovely planety. Sandy, white shores and crystal clear water. She had a house right over the beach, by the docks that spread out into the ocean, so that she could easily climb down and have a swim if she wanted to. Her majestic appearance however contradicted the fact that she was on such a sunny world. The carribbeans was what Eden took after, and it was indeed a luxurious and hot vacation spot. She might've spotted her parents, but they were close calls. She'd rather leave them to their own, as she wandered about, strolling and relaxing, despite the fact that she was just experiencing this all in her mind. She loved the fact that she could simply travel through this piece of technology, but she had a longing to really travel outside of her apartment and hectic work schedule.

The arrow was a close call, and they ended up tied anyway. The dark-haired man and fair-haired woman. Complete opposites in appearance, but she was curious about his crossbow. Where did it come from? The contraption was uniquely made. She canted her head as he explained its origin. "Oh!" That totally made sense, a steampunk planet would have these funny, but interesting looking devices. Her elegant brow raised when she learned from where exactly he had procured the object. "That's pretty cool. I should check out Victoria myself. I can use a little steampunk edge to my wardrobe." She giggled at that.

She beamed at his observation. "It certainly does have an elven touch, but they don't use any of those. I got it during a quest in Rorgar, one that required going through elven lands. This used to belong to some ranger who got lost, and an elf made some special modifications." She gave a cute shrug, "it was a gift, and the spider was particularly nasty." The quest had to do with a threat that attacking small elven children. The threat turned out to be a giant, carnivorious spider with a melodic, woman's voice to lure away children with a lullaby. She shuddered at the thought. "Never again. I hate spiders outside the Conduit, and I hate spiders even more so here." She muttered.

"Just call me Tock." She said when he referred to her as "Eden," though it did seem to go along with Tock's appearance. "Neither." She quipped while watching him reset his bow, intently. She should do the same with hers, and she reloaded it casually as she watched the next shooter. "I'm a Caster, who just owns property in Eden... so... Copland, right?" She said, "what part of the Mainframe do you work?" She wondered.

His name was then called, and she smirked when the crowd seemed more receptive of her newly made acquaintance. She "ooo'ed" and tutted softly when he made the next shot. He was so close! How frustrating it must be, now Tock had more expectations to meet. The white-haired pirate nudged him with her hip, "I usually break others." She teased, before walking up to her post. She sucked in a deep breath to ignore the crowd. She breathed in through her nose, and out of her mouth in a calming exercise, so that she could focus.

Was she going to get it this time? She nocked the arrow, and adjusted it accordingly, before lifting the weapon a little higher. She was petite after all, and she had to compensate. "Bazinga." She whispered, hoping to get it. As soon as she pulled the trigger, the arrow was off, whirling toward the bullseye. Her wintry orbs widened as she stared, before tugging in her bottom lip between her teeth. Blast! So, so close. It seemed that she and Copland had a thing going on with those shots. She was going to have to make up for the third one. She was shy an inch to the right of the bullseye. She spun away, ignoring the numbers and crossed her arms, doing her best not to pout when she stood beside Copland.

"Maybe I should have a tankard." She mumbled, briefly eyeing the drinks getting passed around. Then she shook her head, "oh no, must resist!"
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PostSubject: Re: What's the point? (Tock)   Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:22 pm

"That's pretty cool. I should check out Victoria myself. I can use a little steampunk edge to my wardrobe." Tock giggled.

"I wouldn't mind going back," Copland admitted. "There's a few quest items that are worth a second run for." Victoria was good for players like him that weren't mana heavy, and you couldn't compare any mana boosting items outside the planet.

She beamed at his observation. "It certainly does have an elven touch, but they don't use any of those. I got it during a quest in Rorgar, one that required going through elven lands. This used to belong to some ranger who got lost, and an elf made some special modifications." She gave a cute shrug, "it was a gift, and the spider was particularly nasty. Never again. I hate spiders outside the Conduit, and I hate spiders even more so here." She muttered.

"What about clockwork ones?" Copland asked. "Cogwheel throws the occasional one at you in the initial missions."

"Just call me Tock. Neither." She quipped while watching him reset his bow, intently. "I'm a Caster, who just owns property in Eden... so... Copland, right?" She said, "what part of the Mainframe do you work?"

"IT. The official term is Guardian, but we typically go by fixers." Copland shrugged. "More specialized system repair. We do what we can from the inside before going to look at the hardware."

*

"I usually break others."

"I never specified whose. Just not mine," he said as the pirate took her spot. Copland could just see the zeroes and ones behind her avatar's face trying not to arrange themselves into a pout. It was actually pretty funny.

"Maybe I should have a tankard." She mumbled, briefly eyeing the drinks getting passed around. Then she shook her head, "oh no, must resist!"

"Lol, that's how I played beer pong," he chuckled. "In college. I don't play in Conduit."

The rest of the round finished. Only Sheldor was even close to them at a score of 15. That meant he and Tock only had a three point lead. Copland reloaded and went back up to the line.

The pre-shot was unremarkable aside from a mosquito that was flitting around. Copland did his best to ignore it and set up his shot. His finger applied the slightest amount of pressure on the trigger when it decided to land on the web between his thumb and trigger finger. A digital auger mouth drilled into his digital skin.

It still stung like bee and itched at the same time. Now put them together, and you get a bolt striking the outer red ring because his hand brought the crossbow down before pulling back all the way. Seven points.

"Gah!" Copland yelped as he sucked on the bug bite. He hadn't done the follow through yet and sunk when he finally looked at the board. Bugs did not fit under the formal challenge list. "Bah!"

As long as Sheldor didn't get a nine, Copland could still walk off with second place. Who knew? Maybe Tock would choke too.

But he wasn't going to count on that.

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