Science Fiction Quick and the dead
Having been reading Psyga315 stories with his rankings etc got me thinking about a game I used to play as a kid and I thought it may work well as a similar interactive set of stories around the changes in rankings and the fights causing them.

Essentially it is a yearly knock out tournament of fighters with the winner of each match up advancing to the next round and so forth until a winner is crowned, bonus points are awarded for kills but there is no requirement to kill or cripple an opponent.
For those of you familiar with Western films I quite like the premise in The Quick and the dead (1995)although my game significantly predated this film it gets across roughly how my imagination was working at the time I first played this...

For this I shall be using a more Scfy setting but the premise remains the same. Enjoy

We shall begin with a provincial world tournament on the Agedincum cluster, Senones world. This is a ranking event and the winner will progress as we follow their attempts at glory this year...

"Hello and welcome to the 903rd inaugural qualifier here on the glorious slag heap that is Senones, we have 16 cracking fighters joining us for your viewing pleasure" Cheap laughter "Lets view the match ups shall we.."

" First up we have Rory-Alexander Nickler-Rauenhorst, rumoured to be dual handed and to favour swords if given free choice, highly skilled and charismatic a real crowd favourite, and his opponent"

"Salvanus Bolitho-Mcerlain, much younger at 41 to Rory's 75 but as we have seen before age brings skill and experience to the fight especially if they have undergone genetic regeneration to keep those reactions up to speed!", "Not much is known about Salvanus, he is a local rough houser rumored to favour throwing knives and to be right handed!"

"And the odds seem to point to a simple victory for Rory here in round one but we have been caught out before, now to the master of ceremonies.."

"Ladies and gentlmen please take your seats for the opening contest,Rory-Alexander Nickler-Rauenhorst against Salvanus Bolitho-Mcerlain, this shall be until one fighter is incapacitated and unable to continue in the contest. Weapons are melee only in this round but otherwise you have free choice".

"And here they come, Rory standing tall and waring an expensive looking light breastplate and flowing robes, both swords are sheathed at his sides, and his opponent with a belt of knives, and there goes the gong, Salvanus makes a run for the first pillars knives in his hand ready. Rory calmly walks in towards the centre, and its Salvanus to throw first but from some distance,

(Very Unlikely) Yes, but...

against all the odds his knife flys through but lands on the breastplate...

Negligible: Nick/Scratch/Bruise.

Rory breaks into a zigzag run both swords still sheathed... Another knife

(Very Unlikely) No.

and another, Rory really moving now

(Very Unlikely) No.

and with a blur his swords come out

(Likely) Yes.


and Salvanus head bounces on the sand... Round one to Rory-Alexander and a bonus point for the kill, the crowd erupt in celebration as the favourite wins even against a local such as Salvanus.

"And there we have it folks, some times these fights are over quick!, we look forward to bringing you the next fight later today"

*Brief but fun to write and I am quite looking forward to progressing with this story line...
"Don't you agree the clean up crews have the toughest job here,.. ooh don't drop the head, ha poor Salvanus"

"And here come the next competitors to the sands of Senones, the splendid and imaginative Kasper Rollison and the rather glum Koner Guydon, again we see an experienced hand in Kasper taking on the youth of local boy Koner, do you see a similar outcome here?"

"Yes I should think so, Kasper is well practised at these early rounds and I expect another quick bout."

Both move in fast to close the gap, "Two knife fighters here should make for an interesting contest"
Kasper unleashes a knife on the fly..

(Somewhat Unlikely) Yes, and...


"....well that was rather..."

"fast, dull, unimaginative? for someone with Kaspers reputation you would expect a little more playing to the crowd!"

"indeed, and some are not happy, we could have riot on our hands if they don't get on with the spectacle!"

"The third contest sees two pistol specialists take to the circle here, both experienced competitors of the contest the hard working Raffaello Michaud-Vanha takes on Kaiah Adan-Atene"

"As you know automatic weapons are banned in the official lists so both are sporting a brace of expensive flintlock single shot pistols which allow them to be used without completely prejudicing the melee specialists"

Both quickly move for cover, "Kaiah appears to have the shot first but his well documented indecisiveness seems to be holding him back.. "

(Very Unlikely) No.

"Raffaello has no such issue letting rip with his first shot.."

(Somewhat Unlikely) No.

"These modified guns are slightly easier to reload than their historic counterparts but a missed shot can spell disaster for the unprepared"

Does Kaiah manage to move and fire this time?

(Unlikely) No, but...

He finds a good position with plenty of cover, Raffaello finishes reloading and takes a snap shot at Kaiah..

(Somewhat Unlikely) Yes, but...

splinters fly from the pillar

Minor Injury: Largely superficial; painful and distracting, but not life threatening.

cursing Kaiah staggers back with his face looking like its been cut to shreds, as he staggers into the open Raffaello lets fire with his second gun..

(Somewhat Likely) No.

and misses!

"That is a turn up for the books a miss at with a sitting target!" regaining his composure Kaiah gracefully pirouettes around a pillar fires both guns at once..

(50/50) No, but...

(50/50) Yes.

the first is close but misses however Raffaello steps right into the second shot!

Minor Injury: Largely superficial; painful and distracting, but not life threatening.

"a flesh wound on his off hand arm, that could be a distraction that turns the tide to Kaiah"

Both fighters take cover and reload their pistols..

Do they step out together?

(50/50) Yes, but...

"look Kaiah's indecisiveness stikes again he looks like he changed his mind have way and is now exposed and out of position.."

(50/50) Yes, but...

Minor Injury: Largely superficial; painful and distracting, but not life threatening.

Another shower of splinters pepper Kaiah sending him stumbling?

(50/50) No, and...

executing another graceful turn he unloads both shots at the flat footed Raffaello..

(50/50) No, and...

(50/50) Yes, but...

Negligible: Nick/Scratch/Bruise.

"wasted shots and now see his disadvantage no loaded guns to Raffaello's one remaining charge"

Kaiah desperately reloads one gun whilst Raffaello charges him down, as Kaiah turns to left his loaded piece Raffaello fires..

(Very Likely) Yes, and...

Severe Injury: Incapacitating and may become Critical if untreated.

Kaiah takes it through the side of his neck, fountaining blood he collapses to the ground, the judges gong sounds signalling the end of the contest, victory to Raffaello!

"What a contest"

"Yes much more like it, see the fans give their appreciation"

"A well fought victory for Raffaello and hard luck to Kaiah he really needs to resolve that indecisive streak before it gets him killed!"

"Still no pause for the ever eager sands and as the victor leave to a well earned rest so we have the fourth of our eight round one matches"

"yes and this should be another interesting one, Kein Frydendall a local destitute entry from the debtors prison entered in lieu of sentence against a veteran performer Maryum Engley and her vicious throwing axes"

"and its Kein to move first rushing into cover as he tries to close the gap whilst blocking any space for a throw"

"But Maryum sees something.."

(Unlikely) No.

an axe quivers sticking from the wooded wall it is embedded in next to Kein's head sending him sprawling into cover, Maryum advances axe in her right hand.

"He is certainly game for it.. look there he goes"

Kein bounds from cover rushing towards his adversary

Does she throw?

(Unlikely) Yes.

Despite being her last Axe she throws...

(50/50) Yes, and...

Negligible: Nick/Scratch/Bruise.

its a good throw but it hits handle first doing little more than giving Kein a bruise..

Kein thrusts his knife at her..

(Somewhat Unlikely) No.

missing they circle, Maryum trying to turn to reach her axes whilst Kein looks for a chance..

(50/50) Yes, but...

and he goes for it again but..

Negligible: Nick/Scratch/Bruise.

Does he lose hold of the knife?

(50/50) No.

his wild thrust does little more than scratch, as they close Maryum unleashes a ferocious head-butt..

Moderate Injury: Hampers action significantly; will require first aid/medical attention.

"Damn down goes Kein...broken nose would you say?"

"Agreed, it will be interesting to see if he stays down or continues.."

"Rules state if he makes no attempt to regain his feet or weapon for a ten count it is over, however he is fighting for his freedom so don't be surprised if he gets back up"

Maryum regains one axe but waits to see if Kein is still going before moving further away, still holding his knife does kein get up?

(Likely) Yes.

Regaining his slightly wobbly feet Kein advances on Maryum.

Does she throw again?

(Unlikely) Yes.

Critical Injury: Requires immediate attention; clearly life-threatening if not immediately deadly.

the axe embeds in his shoulder sending kein down and out, medics rush on to the sands as the gong sounds..

"good show from Kein, very good, see the parole officer looking on and the crowd show their appreciation by throwing coins on the the sands to help clear his debts"

"Should set him up nicely should he recover"

"Ladies and Gentlemen that takes us to the half way point of round one, we will continue after a short break"
"Welcome back fight fans and don't we have an exciting line up to complete this round of the qualifiers"

"That's right and next up is the mysterious Vernia Hassebrock and her expansive collection of throwing knives and facing off is Piedad Karandikar, and are they gold plated pistols I see there?"

"That's right you don't get much more materialistic that Piedad, a well known gambler his lucky streaks have seen him barred from many casinos and some worlds want his head, but not here at least not for gambling anyway!"

"Is it true he has a personal interstellar yacht docked here?"

"That's right apparently he won it at cards on Goy V the casino world, it used to be owned by a planetary governor so I suspect he would like it back should Piedad not survive here today."

"And its Vernia to throw first, look how small the blade is and its clearly caught Piedad off guard!"

(50/50) Yes, but...

"and would you look at that his luck strikes again, a perfectly thrown knife deflected wide by that gaudy belt buckle Piedad has on."

Piedad shoots back with his first gun..

(50/50) Yes.

Critical Injury: Requires immediate attention; clearly life-threatening if not immediately deadly.

"Another fast match up here and it's Piedad taking his place in the next round, how do you rate Vernia's chances?"

"Well it doesn't look too good that shot seems to have nicked an artery in her leg and it could be touch and go, we will keep you updated on her progress"

"The sixth contest today brings together another mixture of weapons and personalities, the confident Sanna Lopane and her Knife against Danielle Scheuren-Like and her pistols."

"Its worth noting that Danielle should not even be competing here it was only her poor negotiating skills and trusting nature that allegedly saw her signing up for this instead of the university course she wanted so it will be interesting to see how this goes"

"At 31 she is the second youngest competitor today and as we have already seen the demise of the 29 year old Koner I guess that makes her it, lets see if she has more luck.."

Both enter the sands and size the surroundings up, Danielle looks for higher ground whilst Sanna tries to close the gap using the cover of the pillars and debris covering the circle sands here.

Danielle fires..

(Unlikely) No.

missing she reloads as Sanna closes the gap, she fires again..

(50/50) No, but...

she causes Sanna to spin left into cover allowing Danielle to reload again and move on, One last chance as Sanna rushes her...

(50/50) No.

(50/50) Yes.

unloading both guns she misses with the first but connects with the second shot..

Severe Injury: Incapacitating and may become Critical if untreated.

"Would you look at that i would have put money on her going out this round, i'm sure she had her eyes closed there as she fired, the luck of the luckless that was, it looks like Sanna took that in the side, be interesting to see if she recovers from this"

"...would have..I did put bloody money on her" rips up tickets and storms out swearing and gesturing wildly...
"only two fights left today fight fans and the next one should be a good one!, ah you're back I thought you had left us?"

"Of course not, I just needed to.." whispers "place a new bet and settle up a previous mistake.." "anyway Corradino Bovenkamp is a devil with his bow even if he is slightly mad...I would expect him to triumph over the often deceitful Reda Birdyshaw and her sword"

"Agreed you think it should be a walk over but as we so often see anything can happen here on the sands"

"There is Reda skulking in the shadows, no sign of Corradino wait was that him over there..?"

A be-caped figure flitters through the half light,

"would you say Reda looks nervous here today? not like her at all"

"yes and wouldn't you be with that freak Corradino out there somewhere waiting with an arrow for you,they say he can see the unseen and that helps guide his arrows regardless of how well you hide"

"And there goes Reda running towards where he appears to be"

"Wait is that just his cape left over a stone.. yes it is see Reda checks her run and is looking for cover"

An arrow out of the dark...

(50/50) Yes, and...


it takes Reda through the eye...

"that was rather impressive... and the crowd is hushed but here come the cheers as Corradino steps out to take his applause. Your thoughts..?" looks around at an empty chair

"...err I guess he had a ticket to cash in after that"

"Finally the end of the opening round is in sight and we close out the day with Sondra Monsivais and her dual pistols"

"Yes she really likes to play to the crowd in previous contests but is not always well received.."

"A bit needy I agree, lets hope her opponent the graceful and deadly Rubertinus Junes with his sword is up to the challenge.."

"Out both come and with daylight slipping away the circle becomes that much sinister"

"Agreed, and here goes Sondra jumping into the open trying to get the crowd going, she lets fire both pistols.."

(Very Unlikely) No.

(Very Unlikely) No, and...

one of the shots ricochets back at her..

Minor Injury: Largely superficial; painful and distracting, but not life threatening.

and hits her in the leg sending her stumbling off the rock she had jumped on to,

"Well that certainly has the crowd going now!"

"Yes although I doubt laughter is what she has intended.."

Rubertinus makes the most of this closing the gap and engaging her before she can reload..

(Likely) Yes.

Moderate Injury: Hampers action significantly; will require first aid/medical attention.

his first cut slices through her hamstring sending her tumbling to the dirt...

Does she get up?

(Very Unlikely) No.

"And there we have the final gong of today, I hope you have been entertained and more importantly got a good look at the round two competitors as they look like being well matched"

"Agreed a very interesting four match ups in round two as the quarter finals of the qualifiers commence"

*Happy New year all - having a young baby who retired to bed along with my wife well before the bells at least gave me the opportunity to do this tonight, lets say I'm sure it was as much fun as going out getting drunk like most previous years... ;-)
"Welcome back to the 903rd inaugural qualifier here on the sands of Senones for the Quarter finals. We have a great opening match up for you with two of the favourites and most experienced competitors meeting head to head"

The crowd roars its appreciation as Rory-Alexander Nickler-Rauenhorst takes to the sands, standing tall and wearing an expensive looking light breastplate and flowing robes, both swords are sheathed at his sides.

"We all saw just how fast he can draw those blades in the first round and the late Salvanus is testament to that!"

"That's right, but don't write off Kasper Rollison and his visiously accurate knives, we all saw Koner meet his swift end so this should be a close match up"

"The circle has been redesigned for this round and the new layout ensures there is plenty of cover whilst letting the fans see every twist and turn"

Both fighters move quickly into cover as they close the gap.

Kasper looks for an angle..

(50/50) Yes.

taking a chance he unleashes his first knife at Rory...

(Very Unlikely) No, but...

it causes Rory to duck back into cover allowing Kasper to close further whilst keeping a slight level up to maintain his range advantage..

(50/50) No, but...

both fighters circle each other with the intervening terrain providing cover, Rory makes a dash..

(50/50) No.

Kasper throws himself over a wall to regain a height advantage, Rory continues to keep to cover whilst looking to close the gap.

(50/50) Yes, and...

As Kasper peaks over the wall one of Rory's two swords flies towards him..

Critical Injury: Requires immediate attention; clearly life-threatening if not immediately deadly.

stabbed in the shoulder Kasper collapses.. "Would you look at that just when you think you have seen it all, a sword used as a throwing weapon..." "An unexpected ending with all of the speed and skill we have come to recognise Rory for, potential winner this year?" "Certainly worth a bet now that he is in the Semi finals"

"Our second match up this round sees Raffaello and his brilliant shooting against Maryum and her twin throwing axes, do you expect another head-butt finish for Maryum this time?" "I wouldn't expect it with Raffaello but you can never predict what we are going to see, that's the beauty of these contests"

Both fighters take their time manoeuvring for the best opening shot/throw, does Raffaello shoot first?

(50/50) No, but...

Maryum throws an axe first but slips sending it clattering from a stone pillar and into the centre of the circle. Does she close the gap and throw her last axe?

(50/50) No.

Closing the gap Maryum holds on to her second axe, Raffaello sees an opening..

(50/50) Yes, and... +Twist: Physical event / Hinders the hero

Moderate Injury: Hampers action significantly; will require first aid/medical attention.

His first shot takes her through the arm but in doing so appears to have damaged his gun, holstering it he draws a belt knife and rushes to close the gap..

(50/50) No.

Maryum deftly flicks her axe to her good hand and makes her throw...

(Likely) Yes.

Minor Injury: Largely superficial; painful and distracting, but not life threatening.

Only a scrape as it passes, his reactions allowing him to avoid the worst of the potential injury, closing on Maryum he lashes out...

(Likely) No, but...

She blocks the knife but his off hand catches her on the chin..

Negligible: Nick/Scratch/Bruise.

does she strike back?

(Likely) No.

As she recovers from the blow to the chin he goes for her again..

(Likely) Yes, and...

Critical Injury: Requires immediate attention; clearly life-threatening if not immediately deadly.

leaving his knife embedded in her shoulder she crumples to the floor as Raffaello takes his plaudits from the crowd!

"A good contest, hopefully Maryum pulls through be a shame to lose such a crowd pleaser" "Yes and Raffaello better get himself patched up for the next round else he two will be in trouble"

"Half way through the Quarter finals and time for some messages from our sponsors.."

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