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    Showdown (Pastoral's Test).

    Bad John
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    Showdown (Pastoral's Test).

    Post  Bad John on June 18th 2013, 12:54 am

    Three days until testing.

    Pastoral tapped his right toe against his left heel. He grinned at his opponent of the day.

    Chord stood across from him, beating his chest, working his arms in massive circles in their sockets. This was a hand to hand fight, and just one of Chord's massive mitts was almost as big as Pastoral's whole arm. He was the first industrial robot, and one of the few who had ever stood his ground against General.

    Something that Pastoral had little time to train for.

    "Show 'em who's boss, Pastoral!!!" Cresendo lifted one balled fist into the air, cheering on his comrade.

    "YOU WANNA GO NEXT, CRESENDO?!" Chord turned and barked, his square jaw hurling words like bolders.

    Cresendo lowered his head. "Nosir." 

    Pastoral cracked his knuckles. "I'll go first. Since I know you're tough, I'll give you all I got right away!"

    Chord patted his fist in his palm. "C'mon then!!!"

    Pastoral charged. His feet clacked against the metal floor of the open air, unfinished building. His arms moved in perfect sync with his legs. His running algorithm was focused on building speed for a barrage of attacks.

    Pastoral leaped, and met his opponent with a massive punch. Cresendo felt the weight of the blow. As a robot master built for strength, even he was impressed.

    The blow was blocked by Chord's melon sized wrist armor. Pastoral landed, and worried Chord's guard with a reign of blows. He dropped to his knee, sweeping Chord's leg. Chord didn't budge, flexing his knee and repelling the attack.

    Pastoral circled chord, throwing jab after jab. Chord swung his arm in a huge circle, but Pastoral ducked the blow, and leaped back, avoiding an impressive hit.

    His fists did no good. Pastoral paid the fact no mind. His strongest melee attacks were delivered by his legs. He leaped, and bent his knees, preparing to attack.

    Back shoot!

    Pastoral's boot slammed against Chord's forehead. He kicked off of Chord's dome, and swung both boots down with immense force, stamping Chord on the face.

    "GAH! What a kick..." Chord wavered, losing his balance, as Pastoral stood on his face, folding his arms. "I should be tough... but I'm gonna... fall..."

    Chord leaned back on his heels. For a moment, Pastoral smiled, thinking he'd knocked Chord out cold.


    Chord swung his palm, and smacked Pastoral harder than he'd ever been hit in his life. Chord's fist buried in Pastoral's chest armor. He felt his microfusion reactor reset. His central processor was forced to hard reboot.

    Everything went black for five seconds. He quickly realized he was soaring through the air, a dull pain in his chest.

    He noticed the stupid expression on his face, his teeth gritted, air escaping his lungs. He hurtled through the air, and attempted to right himself.


    Pastoral noticed how far the attack had sent him. Cresendo sounded far away.

    His boots swung up and over, and he landed on hard dirt. He ground to a hault slowly at first, his fingers and boots tearing at the ground beneath him. His lips pursed, as he breathed through his mouth, the pain registering with him.

    Chord leaped down from the building, and landed with an eruption of sheer weight. Cresendo followed, landing a bit more gracefully than Chord.

    "Pastoral? You alright man?" Cresendo patted Pastoral off, but he shrugged off Cresendo's helping hands, wiping his nose and composing himself.

    The strongest robot master, huh? I should thank you. General may be the most "powerful," but now I know how hard he can hit.

    But Pastoral did not thank Chord, who stood with arms folded, a proud, satisfied grin on his face. "Still want to spar with me, Pasta-Kid?! I've eaten Spaghetti tougher than you, PASTA-KID."

    And he's tauntint me now? Hooray. If he hadn't pissed me off now, I might have backed down.

    "That all you got? I figured you'd throw me father!" Pastoral grinned. "You must be TIRED. Need an oil change, old-timer?"

    Chord's face shifted to cold, prideful annoyance. "I'll make a CUBE outta ya, then I'll throw you to the MOON!!!"


    Pastoral sipped an E tank. It tasted genuinely horrible, but the taste grew on you. It made his core burn a bit hotter. Heightened his power output by nearly 40%.

    "It isn't fair." Chord looked down at Pastoral. "Don't get me wrong, if anyone else has a shot, it's you, but why's General give you a hard time?"

    Pastoral shrugged. "He wants to make sure I've got what it takes to BE a combat unit."

    "Of COURSE you do. You've taken four Malevolants with power outputs higher than yours, and fought them to a STANDSTILL. Some people would say you technically won that fight."

    Pastoral looked up at Chord, "Would YOU say I won that fight?"

    "Heck no. I'd have turned them inside out." Chord grinned, and patted Pastoral on the back.

    "You've fought General before. How did you do it?"

    "Don't try to take him at a long range. His Imperial Cannon was enough to burn my armor." Chord looked up, remembering his fight with the General. "You rely too much on reflex and instinct. I want you to GET IN THERE. Worry him like a GORILLA."

    "I can't beat him, can I?"

    "I'll cheer you on if you land just ONE good punch." Chord raised his massive energy tank. Pastoral raised his. "A toast, to hopeless fights and unfair tests." 

    The two clanked their E tanks together, Pastorals almost comically smaller than Chord's, and drank.

    Training Log:

    I was fast enough to avoid most of his attacks, and getting slugged a few times taught me a few things about endurance. I'm surprised I wasn't put offline after two hits.

    I stayed on my feet even after getting slugged ten times. I've been hit by a TRUCK before. Chord's fist is like twenty trucks, each with the weight of a dying star.

    He gave me a few E-tanks afterwards. I should hang out with Chord more often.

    I still haven't told Octave about the...different criteria of my combat evaluation. It's best if he doesn't know until afterwards.

    I'll train with him tomorrow. Time is running out, and I need to grown another level in terms of skill if I can stand a chance.

    I'll lose, but I'll lose with pride.
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    Re: Showdown (Pastoral's Test).

    Post  Manny on June 19th 2013, 12:20 am

    Pastoral fought General?!
    Bad John
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    Re: Showdown (Pastoral's Test).

    Post  Bad John on June 19th 2013, 12:25 am


    Spoiler alert.

    He unwins.
    Bad John
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    Re: Showdown (Pastoral's Test).

    Post  Bad John on June 19th 2013, 3:21 am

    Two days until testing.

    Pastoral fired his buster. The first shot was a clean miss. He could see a blue blur, and puff of dust kicked up by Octave's feet.

    Calm down. Pastoral aimed again. He could hear Octave plain as day, but tracking him was nearly impossible. He would have to lead his shot.

    He turned, and spotted him. Despite moving faster than time itself, despite his target skimming inbetween seconds, he could see him now. He could track his movements, despite their zig-zagging, erratic attack pattern.

    Octave was daring him. Baiting him to shoot and miss. Then he darted forward. The attack would only take an instant. Pastoral had an instant to take his shot.

    Pastoral fired his repeater once. He felt Octave pass him. He felt the sting of Octave's saber brushing his shoulder, leaving a light injury.

    Pastoral straightened himself. His buster arm returned to its natural state, and he rubbed the wound on his shoulder.

    "How are you doing, Octave?" Pastoral's mouth guard slotted away. He turned back.

    Octave's piercing blue eyes glowed below his visor. His mouth guard slid off. He was grinning.

    "IMPRESSIVE, brother."

    There was a smoking burn on the left side of his helmet where Pastoral had shot him. It was a clean, direct hit, despite its low power. "You've been training like a BEAST, Pasty. You're really aiming to impress during the combat evaluations." Octave folded his arms.

    "Yup. Maybe I want to get my name out there. 'PULSEMAN, THE INVINCIBLE.'" Pastoral brushed off his damaged shoulder, the autorepair doing its work, knitting together the damage.

    "Why're you trying so hard this time? You took on Cavatino to a standstill last time, even though he knocked off your buster arm, you managed to beat an S rank obstacle course."

    "Singlehanded." Pastoral smiled proudly.

    "Right. I've got a weird order in my tests this time. First I've got an S rank course, then I'm up against EagleMan." Octave raised his eyebrow. "Same with Cavatino. He gets his course first. I guess they're mixing it up. What'd you get?"

    Pastoral sighed.

    Octave already knew something was wrong.

    "I don't have an obstacle course on my schedule. Just a combat evaluation."

    Octave shrugged his shoulders. "Who're you up against? Is ForeMan competing?"

    Pastoral looked away.

    "...I want you to know, I'm not afraid, brother." Pastoral looked out from the fields. He sat on the grass, planting the edge of his shield in the dirt.

    "PASTY. Who are you up against?"


    General turned his head. He could hear hard, stomping footsteps. He turned, expecting a robot master to salute him.

    Octave had to restrain himself to keep from throwing a punch.

    "EXPLAIN. Why is by brother facing YOU?! You NEVER compete in combat evaluations!!" Octave barked in General's face fearlessly.

    General regarded him with casual interest. "Never were a respectful one, were you? I can appreciate that."

    "Why are you always on his back?! What the fuck is your problem?!" Octave looked General in the eye. "Well?! Say something!"

    General looked down at Octave, almost bored. "Are you finished?"

    "You're nothing but a goddamn bully, General. You KNOW he can't beat you!"

    "Mind your tongue." General's hand flexed slightly. He turned his back. "Tell me. The burn on your helmet. It came from a Fusion Powered Pulse Repeater Buster Mark V. Pastoral's arm mounted weapon. Didn't it?"

    Octave stood there, saying nothing.

    "Pastoral was fast enough to hit someone who was moving THROUGH TIME." General rubbed his chin, his back turned to Octave. "All the more interesting."

    Octave said nothing.

    "Your...'brother,' is a fine warrior. He's his own person. I know, in many ways, you protect each-other, but you must support him if he's to grow as a fighter."

    "...Support? You arrogant mother-"

    "STOP." General glared at Octave, his eyes flashing bright green. The signal hit Octave's central processor before he could finish his word.

    Octave seemed to freeze in place. General's override kept his mouth still for a moment, forcing him to listen.

    "PulseMan is one of the few Masters who wasn't a fighting unit to begin with. He aims to grow. To learn. I support his decision, but I MUST grade him by different criteria than the rest of you."

    Octave stepped back, the override ending.

    "SaintMan fears and looks up to me as a God. You hate me, and would fight me at the drop of a dime. Few other Masters would rise to the challenge the way Pastoral has. He recognized a challenge, and wants to grow strong enough to face it. He isn't backing down, and he isn't charging in like a fool. Even now, he's training. Steeling himself. He wanted to fight me from the start. So, I will oblige him."

    General had a proud expression on his face.

    "Next time, maybe it will be you. But I'm interested to see how strong he's grown, to shoot a Master who's faster than time, and to take a punch from a Master who can move mountains of steel."

    General patted Octave on his shoulder. "As you were."


    "...I've done all I can for you." Monday shut the internals of Pastoral's buster. "Don't be afraid to fight dirty, boy. Throw dust in his face, shoot below the belt, do what it takes to survive."

    Pastoral rapped his knuckle against the side of his helmet. "We're robots. Anything below the belt is just for show, Monday."

    Monday chuckled, but it was a dry, pained laugh. Pastoral took off his helmet, a deep concern on his face. "...Doc, don't come to watch. You don't have to do that to yourself."

    "OF COURSE I DO, YOU FOOL!!!" Monday snapped, his eyes bulging, his brow raising with frustrated rage.

    Pastoral nodded, lowering his head. Monday put his hands on Pastoral's smooth black hair. He sobbed, tears landing on Pastoral's shoulder.

    "...Nobody else can fix you, my boy..." Monday gritted his teeth.

    Dammit, be strong. You're a grown man. Monday took a moment, and composed himself.

    "...I BUILT your body. Every expression, weapon, and limitation. But I had limits of my own. I can never build a robot with the sheer power of General. His design is simply too perfect." Monday rubbed Pastoral's head. "But you, my boy...I know you can draw enough power from yourself to match him. Even if you can't win, you'll be strong. You'll challenge him with courage, not just BRAWN."

    Pastoral looked up to Monday.

    "Because even if your body was just a digital watch, you'd still have your spirit."

    Pastoral hugged Monday.

    "...Thank you, Doctor."

    For a moment, despite the vast divide in both power and species, they were just father and son. 

    "Just don't have a heart attack in the audience, old timer."

    "Don't make me throttle you before General can, you Titanium Twit."

    Training Log:

    Sparred with Octave. Managed to shoot him while he was using his Time Skimmer.

    I've improved, but my situation sure hasn't. He found out, and so did Monday.

    Octave pitched a fit. Monday nearly tore out a tuft of his own hair.

    ...I should have told them sooner. Monday did everything he could to put me at one-hundred and twenty percent.

    They're scared. I've never seen them scared.

    I'm sure I'll be scared when it matters, but right now, I just feel ready.

    General might scrap me. He might tear me apart. I might be a support unit again.

    But I just don't care. I'm almost excited. The undefeated Robot Master, the Leader, wants to fight me?

    I know I can't win, but I feel like I'm gonna mop the floor with him.

    Monday may be right. If I DOUBT myself, I've already lost.

    Tomorrow, I'm seeing Lady Opera. She's the one who trained me in the first place. It's only right that I receive her blessing before taking him on.
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    Re: Showdown (Pastoral's Test).

    Post  Manny on June 19th 2013, 6:52 pm

    I'm assuming Octave's just REALLY fast and doesn't actually move through time?
    Bad John
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    Re: Showdown (Pastoral's Test).

    Post  Bad John on June 19th 2013, 7:23 pm

    No. He moves through time.

    His special ability is the Time Skimmer.

    He can't freeze time, he moves in-between seconds. It's incredibly fast, imperceptible to a human or an untrained master.
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    Re: Showdown (Pastoral's Test).

    Post  Manny on June 19th 2013, 7:32 pm

    So how do Malevolents end up hitting him?

    Or Time Skimmer sorta like an armour ability, as in it can't be spammed 24/7?
    Bad John
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    Re: Showdown (Pastoral's Test).

    Post  Bad John on June 19th 2013, 7:34 pm

    It takes a lot of energy to use, so if he uses it constantly, he'll damage himself.
    Bad John
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    Re: Showdown (Pastoral's Test).

    Post  Bad John on June 24th 2013, 1:25 pm

    You should back down, but you won't.

    Pastoral silently reflected on Lady Opera's scant meeting with him, as he stepped into the combat chamber.

    There were slices and craters and burns from Octave's test. Pastoral smiled.

    His brother had won his fight. Proved himself worthy. He'd been training too. Octave had grown a level in strength.

    You will lose, and experience pain. General may even completely destroy your body. But even if, by the rule of physical contest, you are beaten, you will not surrender, or be afraid.

    Pastoral pulled his shield down off of his back, spying his opponent across the battlefield. The ground shifted, massive cubes of the floor rising. The ceiling raised. There were many places to stumble, fall, leap, or take cover.

    Pastoral searched himself for a strategy, and set his mind to a course of action.

    You will endure. You may not win, but pain will only fuel you to fight harder. You share this trait from your Brother, and you'll use it to make him proud. Compete, Pastoral. Shock us all. Show us what you can do.

    Yes, Lady Opera. I'll beat him so bad, they'll make ME General. I'll show them that worrying about Pastoral is a useless exercise.

    We both know that won't happen.

    Pastoral remembered Lady Opera's teasing smile as she said that. She had been baiting him to challenge the claim, even in the face of someone he loved.

    ...Then I guess I'll show you too. 

    Pastoral looked around the room. The four walls were at least half a mile each away. On the wall to his left, there was a two way mirror.

    The proctor of the exam, and those who cared to watch, were behind it.

    Pastoral looked at the mirror and saluted.

    "Gentlemen, this is Doctor Monday. I will be proctoring this examination." Monday seemed relaxed, albeit a bit distant. "Your goal is to defeat your opponent, using all available means to combat them, and defend yourself from harm. Do you understand the rules?"

    There was a short silence, as General lifted his head to answer. "Yes, Doctor, I understand the rules."

    "Understood, Doctor." Pastoral nodded, his mouth guard sliding into place.

    "Please use your best judgement at all times. If an opponent is disabled, rendering them offline is not necessary  There is no reason to DESTROY your opponent." Pastoral felt a tinge of annoyance. This was directed to General.

    Please don't kill my boy.

    "Don't worry, Doctor." Pastoral turned to the two way glass. "I'll go easy on him."

    Pastoral heard a snort of laughter. Chord was watching, right next to the microphone. Even that big lug came. Right on. Pastoral turned, looking to General.

    He saluted, then pointed to him. "GENERAL, I HOPE YOU'RE READY."

    General held his arms out, his combat mask sliding into place.

    "Impress me."

    "Combatants ready?!"

    Pastoral bounced lightly on his feet. He would need to move, IMMEDIATELY, and he didn't have his brother's speed. He needed to prepare himself in the few seconds he had left.

    There was a moment of silence. General stood with his arms outstretched, ready for whatever Pastoral had to offer.

    Pastoral readied his buster, staring General in the eye.

    Bad John
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    Re: Showdown (Pastoral's Test).

    Post  Bad John on July 3rd 2013, 10:57 pm

    General chuckled. Pastoral was nearly taken offguard by the short laugh.

    "Something funny, sir?" Pastoral put his right foot forward, steeling himself.

    "Pastoral, the moment you accepted my challenge, the winner was already decided." General's facial mask hid an interested, casual expression. "Tell me when you're ready to begin."

    Pastoral wiped his brow with his thumb.

    "Let's go."

    Cresendo, Solo, Chord, and Octave watched in silence. Lady Opera loomed silently in the corner. Cavatino leaned against the wall, saying nothing.

    "Why aren't they moving? They're CHATTING."

    Cavatino waved his hand. "The real fight hasn't started yet. Ringing a bell or shouting 'begin' doesn't change anything."

    Octave nodded. "General wants to see if Pastoral will break before the fight begins."

    "He won't." Chord snorted. "If he wasn't afraid of ME, then nothing can scare the kid!"

    Solo's gaze narrowed. "It's starting."

    General lifted his cannon in one simple, impossibly fast motion.


    Pastoral, confused, didn't register the attack at first. It was a warning shot.

    "No way." Pastoral turned. The shot had gone over his shoulder.


    Pastoral stumbled forward. The impact of the shot nearly knocked him off his feet, having exploded against the wall behind him. The blast changed the light in the room to a dull orange.

    "If it hits you, you're finished." General turned his cannon towards Pastoral, who focused on the barrel of the cannon. "Are you sure you're ready?"

    Pastoral planted his feet, and centered himself.

    My brother is faster than TIME. I can see these things coming even at point blank.


    Indeed, Pastoral could see each condensed burst of energy. They hurtled towards him, small as bullets but with payloads that could shatter inches of steel.

    Pastoral leaned his shoulder.

    The first shot missed.

    He dropped to his side, bracing himself on his left arm, and returned fire.

    He'd dodged the undodgeable. General's shots, ones that should have been direct hits, had missed him.

    And he was returning fire on a robot who was presumed to be unassailable.

    General avoided Pastoral shots all the same, sliding to the left. His footwork kept him far out of harm's way, his legs moving independently of his upper body, as General aimed to return Pastoral's offensive.

    The difference between their power output was obvious. Each of Pastoral's shots pinged off walls, taking small chunks out of them. General's shots were like tiny cannonballs.

    General's motions were composed, and markedly fast. His feet moved him with nearly minimal effort, his cloak rustling with the wind of his shots. Pastoral sprang away from each of General's shots with much more force. He was making himself keep up, but his movements were fast and smooth, avoiding each shot, bracing himself and returning fire before darting away.

    "YEAH! TAKE HIS HEAD OFF, PASTORAL!!!" Cresendo pumped his fist.

    Cavatino looked up. He assumed the fight would be over, or at least winding down, by now. "He's keeping pace?"

    Solo nodded. "General isn't just toying with him. He's REALLY trying to hit Pasty, but he's keeping one step ahead." Solo analyzed the fight with critical eyes. "But he's gotta start PRESSURING him. Pasty can't land a hit. General is just as good at dodging as him."

    Octave's fingers interlocked as he watched the fight. "C'mon, Pasty, FOCUS."

    General leaped up onto a ledge. "I'm IMPRESSED!!!" He bellowed down at Pastoral. "You can avoid my attacks!"

    "Did you think I'd just take my lumps like a good boy?" Pastoral smiled. "You haven't put a SCRATCH on me!"

    General threw his head back, openly laughing. "The came can be said for you! Is this the extent of your ability?"

    Pastoral aimed his buster.

    "Let's find out, General."

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    Re: Showdown (Pastoral's Test).

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      Current date/time is July 19th 2018, 7:13 pm