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2013 Pod and Pilot-To the Victor...

Author
A Band Apart.
#1 - 2013-10-29 11:15:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Laudenum Hayes
Submission for the "Day in the Life" catagory. It should be said that Nutella™, it's packaging, logo and likeness are the trademark of the Hyasyoda Corporation, all rights reserved.

*Sorry, quick edit to say that this is previously unpublished*



To The Victor...


Laudenum Hayes groaned into consciousness to the sound of, what seemed like, emergency klaxons. Whatever the Kaltana’s had given her to drink last night had hit her like a pile driver and tasted like it was strained through sweat socks. She remembered only bits and pieces of the previous night’s festivities but she had fun in the bits she could remember. She groaned again as she tried to make herself vertical. When her eyes were capable of opening, she discovered that she had passed out on the couch in one of the Kaltana’s captain’s quarters. She was vaguely aware that her wrist communicator was chiming. Her head was pounding like neglected machinery and her stomach was in full riot. Gritting her teeth to the pain in her head, she silenced the chime and looked at the message.

You are to report to the Bar for your wrestling match at 1100 hours.

She glanced up at the wall chronograph and saw that it was a little after 1000 hours. “Oh yea, “she thought, “This is going to be a good day.” Nausea boiled up inside her and she scrambled to the Kaltana’s toilet.

******

Her personal assistant walked into the locker room with bits of cloth and an oversized shirt on a hanger. He was a mousy type with a nasally voice. If he had worn glasses, they would have been held together with tape in the middle.

“Ms. Hayes,” he began, his voice inflaming the hangover that she suffered “this is to be your wrestling apparel.”

Through half open bloodshot eyes, she turned slowly to face her assistant. At least he had the decency to look frightened when her eyes met his. She wrenched the hangar of clothing from him, never turning off her glare. The assistant stepped back slowly as the full charge of ‘the look’ took hold. “Um, if you have any questions,” he stammered and pointed to the door, “I’ll be right outside.” He evidently felt uncomfortable with the distance between them because he quickly turned his back to the red headed wrestler and scurried away out the door.

Laudenum forced herself to undress and she looked at the clothing. Tight hugging black shorts and a tight black sport top to be covered by an oversized white shirt. She turned the shirt over and winced. ‘Seriously?’ she thought. ‘They seriously expect me to wear this?’ Her head throbbed and she sipped at a bottle of water before resigning herself to change clothing.

When dressed, she sat on the bench vaguely aware of the building crowd noise in the great room outside. She wrapped her hands and wrists with tape while in silent contemplation. What did she know about her opponent? She was a petite red head, not overly muscled but fine and graceful. She would employ speed and skill. She would be a scalpel to Laudenum's broadsword, to Laudenum’s hammer. A bright thought appeared. Speed and agility would mean little wrestling in the goop that they would need to fight in. She dared to smile when the dark doubting voice of her subconscious countered with “you will have no firm ground. You cannot employ strength without stability.” Laudenum began to despair but before allowing herself to wallow down that path, she smiled. “I will meet this challenge like I meet all of them.” She said aloud.

“Chin first.”

The door opened, disturbing her reverie, and the mousy little assistant cast an inspecting eye at her. Satisfied that her wrestling ‘costume’ was being properly worn, he said “It is time, Ms. Hayes.” Laudenum stood, still conscious of the hangover effects, as the wave of sound from the great room burst upon her. It sounded like a full house. She had better make sure she put on a good show.

“Ladies, Gentlemen and fellow capsuleers.” Ishtanchuk Fazmarai’s lilting Khanid voice carried over the crowd. Her regal bearing from atop the platform and the power of her voice reigned in the crowd to a hush. “In the ring tonight are two fiery red heads that will provide you with an excellent show.” She turned and indicated with her hand, “First, may I present, relative newcomer to the Bar, Ms. Laudenum Hayes”

Laudenum stepped out of the locker room and into the brilliant spotlights. The crowd cheered and shouted further driving the “hangover nail” into her head. She paused for a moment, hands on hips giving Ishtanchuk a truly irksome look. The oversized shirt was decorated with a large horned smiley face. Laudenum moved her way to the ring and waved around to the gathered capsuleers. With a brief look of distaste, she leapt over the ropes into the ring and nearly lost her balance.

The Nutella was much deeper than she was expecting. It was nearly one third of a meter deep.

Ishtanchuk continued. “Her opponent, longtime patron of the Greater Fool Bar; may I present to you, Ms. Alice Saki.” She swept her arm back to the other locker room and the door slammed open with a loud bang. Alice stepped out and quickly turned to move to the ring. She was dressed similarly in tight form fitting black shorts, a tight sport top and an oversized shirt that sported the saying “I’ve had your boyfriend.” Laudenum marveled at how gracefully she moved. Alice had reached the ring and slipped between the ropes. She frowned slightly as her feet sunk into the Nutella but looked up quickly as she tested her footing.
A Band Apart.
#2 - 2013-10-29 11:18:51 UTC
“Patrons of the Greater Fool Bar, this is the second of the semi final matches. Our previous winner, Ms Gaellia Bonaventure,” a beautiful Amarrian woman stood from her seat and waved gracefully to the crowd, “will be competing against the winner of this match.” The Amarrian, Gaellia, returned to her seat and Ishtanchuk turned to face the wrestlers in the ring. “Remember the rules. The first one that makes their opponent swallow the Nutella wins. No injuries that require medical attention are permitted.” Both the wrestlers nodded agreement. “Then…begin.”

Both women crouched, lowering their respective centers of balance. Alice flexed her hands, drawing Laudenum’s attention to her finger tips and the darkly painted fingernails she had. Laudenum flexed her fingers as well but years of industrial toil had left her with nails that were short and unimpressive, the hands of a laborer. She winked at Alice, showing that she was not intimidated.

They began to circle, moving with short feints and lunges to gauge the reactions. Laudenum rushed forward despite the poor footing. She had hoped for a quick take down using her edge in size and strength, but Alice side stepped and spun. She hooked an arm around Laudenum and, using the taller woman’s own momentum, somersaulted Laudenum over her hip and onto her back, deep into the Nutella. Alice, turning to capitalize on prone woman, leapt to pin her but also lost her balance and slipped into the Nutella. Recovering from the graceless act had giving Laudenum enough time to gain her footing.

The two began a series of exchanges, less like wrestlers and more like full contact fighters. Alice put Laudenum into a head lock but took several strikes to the kidney and abdomen as Laud was able to squirm her way around in Alice’s hold. Laudenum moved to strike Alice with a slow and unbalanced kick to the face and Alice would drop and kick at Laudenum’s ankles, sending her pin wheeling into the glop.

Laudenum went into some basic combat techniques and was surprised when Alice nimbly countered them all, and managed to throw some back to boot. Laudenum began changing up her strikes and improvising new attacks but Alice countered most. What she wasn’t able to counter; the slick fighting surface either stole the footing from beneath them or removed the power from the strikes. Alice also began settling into fighting routines and while Laud was unfamiliar with the style, she countered well but was beginning to feel the fatigue settle in. The two seemed fairly even matched. After several minutes of fighting, both were thoroughly coated with the sticky chocolate spread and both were wearing out. Breathing heavily, it seemed that their only source of strength came from the cheering crowds, whose actions showed no clear preference.

Laudenum had a thought and tried to bait Alice into attacking. As the two stood panting for breath, she shifted her foot backwards and tried to give the appearance that she had slipped. Alice took the bait and charged forward looking to topple Laudenum. Trying hard to hold her balance, Laud shifted her weight and snapped her leg forward hoping to catch Alice in the midsection. The kick was partially successful. Alice had spun in reaction to Laud’s kick but still caught part of the blow, her reactions slowed by churning through the Nutella. The wind rushed out of her and as she spun, her arms flashed out as she sought her balance and scored Laud across the cheek with her painted nails. Without thinking, Laud brought her right leg in low and swept Alice’s leg out from underneath her. Alice tumbled into the Nutella.

As Laudenum brought her hand to her now bleeding face, momentarily stunned by the realization of the slashes, Alice spun and swept Laudenum’s legs out from beneath her, landing her face first in the goop. Alice took the opportunity to pounce and scrambled onto Laudenum’s back, holding her under and snarling. With her spare hand, she scooped a generous portion of the Nutella in her hand and waited as the crowd went wild.

Laudenum was shocked. Her face stung where Alice’s nails had scratched her and she held her breath. She was going to lose. A fire started in her and her blood began to sing. A moment of silent clarity came upon her and she suspected that this was how her ancestors must have felt before going into battle. Her lungs were burning, a violent fire shot through her and she barely registered the sound of horns and the lessening of the pressure on her neck. With a heave, she shoved her head clear of the Nutella and planted her feet beneath her, trying to shake her face free from the clinging goo.

Ishtanchuk was announcing that due to the injury, Alice was disqualified from the competition but halted in mid phrase when Laudenum screamed “NO!” Everyone’s attention turned to her and she stood, wiping her mouth and eyes clear of the chocolaty spread. “NO!” she yelled again as the crowd began to hush. “We will finish this!” Ishtanchuk turned to Alice who staggered and nodded her consent. “Very well,” said Ishtanchuk as she returned to her seat with a frown, “continue.”

Alice turned to face Laudenum and received a thrown handful of the Nutella in the face, blinding her and causing her to step back awkwardly. Laudenum charged the blinded Alice and with a graceless tackle, dropped her heavily on her back in the muck. Alice began flailing at Laudenum’s face but Laud moved to pin her arms with her legs. With her right hand, she blocked Alice’s nose and with her left, drew up a scoop of the Nutella. When Alice gasped for breath, Laud forced the handful into her mouth.

A Band Apart.
#3 - 2013-10-29 11:22:29 UTC
Ring attendants jumped in to help Alice to her feet and to hold back the berserk Laudenum Hayes. She thrashed wildly in their grasp but began to settle when Ishtanchuk announced over the loudspeakers, “The winner of our second semi final round. Ms. Laudenum Hayes.” Laud’s eyes glazed over in fatigue as if the announcement pulled the plug on her energy and she was helped from the ring back to her locker room.

*******

Laudenum sat on the bench, frowning into the mirror. She had showered in the hottest water she could tolerate and received a few stitches on the nail marks on her face. For years, she had worn her hair in tight braided rows. It kept it manageable and in control whenever she was working around machinery but now she couldn’t tolerate it. She had chased everyone out of her locker room and enjoyed the peace and quiet as she began unbinding the braided rows of fiery red hair. She heard the door open behind her and momentarily stiffened at the intrusion.

“Hey, do you mind if I come in?” asked Alice Saki. She paused halfway in the door.

Laudenum looked at the reflection of Alice in the mirror for a long moment and said, “Yea, please come in.” She gingerly moved to disassemble another braid.

Alice walked in and sat down on the bench an arm’s length away. She sat down two steaming cups of coffee between them and looked at Laud. Alice was bruised and battered as well. Laud saw that areas of her jaw were discolored and suspected that there was more bruising in the areas that her clothing covered. Laudenum knew that by this time tomorrow, she would be a mass of bruises as well.

“I just wanted to let you know,” began Alice, “that you did win the round. It appears that Ishtanchuk takes the rules very seriously.” She looked down, somewhat abashed. “Look, I’m sorry about the fingernails thing. It was a reaction; I didn’t mean to draw blood, much less needed stitches.”

“It’s alright.” Laud said with a smile. “I’ve had worse.” She turned and looked at Alice who appeared uncomfortable. “I don’t even consider it a REAL fight until limbs are broken or teeth are lost.” Laud said with a twinkle in her eye. She laughed a little and Alice picked it up as well.

“So, no hard feelings?” Asked Alice with a grin.

“None.” Laughed Laudenum. “However, you may want to put something on that eye. You’re going to have one hell of a shiner.”

Alice laughed. “In a bit. Coffee?” she asked, holding one of the steaming mugs up.

“I thought you’d never ask.” Sighed Laudenum. She reached for the cup.

“It’s chocolate hazelnut.” Alice said with a straight face, taking a sip from her own cup.

Laudenum turned to look at Alice with such incredulity that Alice spit out her coffee and burst into uncontrollable gales of laughter; tears streaming down her face. Laud took a critical sip of her coffee and smiled. It was a joke, and a damned funny one at that. Laughter bubbled up inside her and Laud set her cup down. Both sat on the bench gasping and laughing until their bruised sides ached even worse.

As the laughter began to subside, Laudenum looked at Alice and said, “Thank you. Sincerely, thank you.”

“Thank me later.” She said. “For now, we should talk about how you’re going to beat Gaellia.”

Alice slid closer to her on the bench and began helping Laud unbind her tight braids; flicking small bits of dried Nutella that the showers had not been able to remove. “You know, you’ve probably done me a favor.” She said wistfully. “What the hell would I do with a prize of a ton of illegally smuggled Nutella anyway?”

Laudenum thought a moment and said, “Same thing I’d do. Invest heavily in something to smear it on.” That brought a brief laugh from the two women. Laudenum looked down and sighed deeply. “I think I hate Nutella.”
Spatial Instability
#4 - 2013-10-29 15:18:14 UTC
Smile I can think of a few things to spread Nutella on... *ehem* I digress, anyway... Nice work!

Quoted from Doc Fury: "Concerned citizens: Doc seldom plays EVE on the weekends during spring and summer, so you will always be on your own for a couple days a week. Doc spends that time collecting kittens for the on-going sacrifices, engaging in reckless outdoor activities, and speaking in the 3rd person."

A Band Apart.
#5 - 2013-10-29 15:41:03 UTC
Ooops, forgot to clarify. This story is part of an ongoing RP thread called the Greater Fool Bar located in OoPE.

However, the story is still previously unpublished. Smile

Thanks Seraph!
Cynosural Field Theory.
#6 - 2013-10-29 16:01:07 UTC
Haha nice work ^_^

Hey HEY EVERYONE! I'm in a Story CoolLol

FREEZE! Drop the LIKES AND WALK AWAY! - Currenly rebuilding gaming machine, I will Return.

A Band Apart.
#7 - 2013-10-29 17:01:18 UTC
Glad you liked it Alice. Thanks for allowing me to use you for the contest. Big smile
Caldari State
#8 - 2013-12-14 11:06:08 UTC
Amazing story, we want more!

"Here's to the crazy ones. The Misfits, The rebels. The Troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. 

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