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Impossible Duel, Part 1

Posted on Mon Mar 31st, 2014 @ 1:57pm by Lieutenant Commander Vanora Stele & Commander Mercia Kavi

Mission: Photons Everywhere Part 2
Location: Holodeck 4


Mercia was dressed in her work out outfit with knives on her belt. She stepped in to the holodeck and grinned at Vanora. "Hey!" she smiled. "I've been looking forward to this... what you got in mind?"

Vanora smiled as Mercia entered the holodeck. The Elasian was dressed down as well, in a pair of well-worn leather slacks and a bolero over a sports bra. "I've been looking forward to this, too. Seems like we all are in dire need of shoreleave already, and we haven't even gotten to our rendezvous point with our new Task Force yet. Sorry, no dragons in my programs. That I know of, anyway," Vanora said as she reconsidered her last claim. "I have a couple I've picked out that you might like, thought I'd return the favor and give you the option of choosing. The first is one I informally call the Impossible Duel. It's a learning combat simulator, in a gladitorial arena. The program learns your moves, so that you can't defeat a new opponent the same way as a previous one. A good work out for one's creativity.

"The second one is a historical reenactment of one of the great battles of Elas, which we know as the Stand at the Great Fork. We would take the role of the heroes of Clan Djen, the last clan to stand against the first Dohlman, Queen Menphes, who unified the Golden Country. We'll be vastly outnumbered and flanked on all sides, with only the terrain of the river delta to protect us." Vanora stretched as she finished. "Either of them tickle your fancy?"

Mercia considered, "Interesting..." she said. "How about the first one this time. I'd like to read up on the historical sort of battles first. Sometimes there are clues to winning that One might not know." Mercia chuckled.

"Depends on what sort of battle it is," Vanora smiled. "I've fought in some Klingon battle simulations where the only key to winning is to keep killing. Computer," she queued up the program, "program Samsoe Stele Alpha Three." The room shimmered momentarily as their surrounds transformed into a humid, lush jungle. They stood near the center of a large clearing, approximately fifty meters in diameter. Beyond that, they were surrounded by cheering and yelling of spectators, women mostly, but also men, girls, and boys, many having climbed up into the tree line to get a better view of the main event. Separating the clearing from the fans was a makeshift wooden fence, thick sharpened stakes placed close enough together that it would be difficult, though not impossible, to squeeze through. The fence was open at eight points, set equally apart around the round clearing.

Vanora nodded her chin toward a very tall, broad shouldered woman who stood at one gate. She was, like all the spectators, dressed colorfully, but also was covered in gold jewelry and ornate, gem-encrusted bracelets. In one hand she held a long spear, and the other a sword, the sharpened end resting on the moist dirt ground like a cane. The crowd dropped silent as she raised her spear. "Gladiators," she addressed Vanora and Mercia, "Prepare for victory, and then win the destiny you seek!" At that, the crowd began cheering again, and the woman retreated through the gates and into the shadows of the spectators.

"We have about sixty seconds," Vanora spoke quickly. "It's a combat simulator, so there will only ever be an equal number of opponents as the program estimates we can defeat at our best. Of course, it ignores the fact that we'll get tired. The first round is always only one each. And remember, you can't defeat any opponent the same way more than once. Any last second questions?"

"Yeah, is there a way to win?" Mercia asked as she got herself ready, tying her hair up.

Vanora laughed. "Nope. Like I said, Impossible Duel."

"Awesome." Mercia said. She stood ready, and when the horns blew a couple of the doors opened up. "Are those what I think they are?" she asked. Big furry creatures on two legs lumbered out with big clubs. They had horns atop their heads. "Menatours?" she grinned. "So together for both, or separate and on our own?" she asked.

"Well, these are supposed to be the easy ones, and the program will record... assists, I guess you could call it, as a part of your kill method. So better we take them separately, then we'll each have the other's approach available for another opponent." Vanora ran out of time to say much more as both of the bull-headed monsters charged at them. "See you in a few seconds," she grinned as she ran off toward the edge of the circle, pulling one of the two menatours with her.

Mercia faced off against her own Menatour, "Come on bull head." she taunted as she danced, pulling her blade from her holder across the back. She feigned one way then the other as it advanced on her, swinging a club at her. She ducked under it and sliced its stomach, before slicing up through the face. She jumped out of the way as it fell to the ground.

Vanora's own Menatour caught up with her quickly, although a quick juke step had it flying by. She took the opportunity to leap onto its back. Her single-piece dagger was already out, and she shoved it firmly down into the beast's brain stem, hopping off right before it collapsed onto the floor.

"How's that for a warm up?" Vanora grinned as she jogged back over to Mercia.

Mercia feigned a yawn. "Easy stuff, lets hope it has something to get the blood moving next hmm?" she asked. "Question, what happens if i TRY to use the same tactic?" she asked, "And is it only the kill move that cant be repeated, or the moments also leading up to it?" she asked as the game prepared the next level. It apparently gave a break between enemies, although she suspected the breaks would get shorter as time went on.

"Use the same move, and the opponent won't be wounded in any way. The program reads the disabling move as the successful strategy, not the killing blow itself." Vanora shrugged. "I'll admit, I may have given the AI some flexibility in determining how to score attacks. I didn't want to be able to game the system. By the way, my move was jumping on the creature's back and a knife into the brain stem. It's all yours now," she smiled.

"Stomach and Face" Mercia said flipping a knife in her hand.

No sooner had they finished speaking than did the next set of opponents stalk out from the shadowy gates. This time, there were two pairs of Nausicans, each approaching from an opposite gate, so that the four closed in on Mercia and Vanora from all sides. They each were armed with large machetes and a menacing grimace on their faces.

"Nice." Mercia said. She ran up between them, sweeping her leg under one, before she jammed her knife in to the others leg. She spun around as the first fell, surprised by her move. It swung its machete but she caught it with her blade and pressed backwards. When the Nausican was pressing hard she rolled away causing his blade to flick the other direction. She was on her feet before he could figure out what happened. She sliced his throat and rolled away again as the other Nausicans blade came at her head.

She let out a swear as she ducked his swing again and pulled out her longer blade, slicing his leg. He roared in pain and she sliced the other deep enough to know the creature would bleed out. She didn't want to waste a killing blow. She picked up one machete, "Thanks." she smirked and then walked away while he tried to crawl towards her.

Vanora pulled out her second dagger, and ran straight between the oncoming pair of Nausicans before they closed close enough to stop her. They didn't expect it, which gave her the advantage. She came around on one and slashed at its stomach and face, using Mercia's previous move. As the first fell, she ran at the other, dodged a machete swipe at her head, and then brought both daggers together up into the enemy's abdomen, instantaneously gutting it. Like Mercia, Vanora sheathed her daggers and grabbed a machete, and then went back for the second one before rejoining Mercia.

~To be continued~


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