Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Tournament


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Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Tournament
« on: July 14, 2016, 08:25:54 PM »

We are the Zardozians and we are superior.
We have evolved to the point of boredom.
There was a time when we were afflicted with war, violence, greed, and poverty, just like any race in the omniverse, but we overcame those obstacles and dedicated ourselves to intellectual pursuits.  We studied every science, every form of art, every philosophy or spiritual journey, learning all there is to know.  Once we fully explored our galaxy, we explored the universe, then the multiverse, and finally, the omniverse.

All has been made known to us.

We grew weary.  Nothing excited us to the point where we no longer even had the sexual drive to reproduce.  Fearing the extinction of our race, the elders began encouraging us to dig deep into our most primitive and base desires, emotions that have not been felt in our race for millions of years.  It was believed that, by giving in to these instincts, we would once again develop the biological need to reproduce, thus ensuring our race would survive.

We have recently developed a fondness for violence as a form of entertainment.  This is why we have plucked each and every one of you from various eras and multiverses.  You are to do battle with one another in a team tournament.  Rest assured, you will be healed of any wounds you receive and we even hold the power to resurrect if need be.  Once the tournament is over, you will be returned to your respective worlds with no recollection of what transpired here.  This is only for our entertainment and we hope you understand.  This is for the good of our people.  If our race is to live, we must quench our thirst for base desires.

Rules will follow shortly.  In the meantime, we recommend getting to know your fellow teammates and discuss strategies.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 04:26:31 AM by AP »


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Affair
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2016, 07:40:07 PM »


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Affair
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2016, 08:23:30 PM »
Meet and Greet

Starlight reflected off wide pupils.  John McClane stared out into the abyss, mouth agape.  It wasn’t an expression of fear so much as complete shock.  The window he gazed out of was as wide as the pod he was standing in.  Outside, he saw identical pods hovering over a circular, metallic disk several feet below.  The disk was roughly a mile in diameter and seemed to be floating freely, as did the pods.  He could scarcely make out the figures in some of the pods as they also had wide windows in the front of each one.  Aliens, robots, and creatures of various sizes were visible.  Even the human ones (or the ones who looked the most human) wore strange armors or costumes.  Each pod contained a team of five people.  The inside of the pods were sterile, white, and complete with circular chairs while blank view screens littered the walls.  John’s pod had the same decorations and also had other occupants inside it, but that hadn’t quite registered yet on account of his state of shock.

A man in a red and blue bodysuit crouched close to the ground in a readied stance while a large shadow was cast over him.  The man standing over him was roughly eight feet tall and wore rust-red armor, including a helmet.  Spider-Man prepared himself as he eyed the villain known as the Juggernaut.  “Okay, Juggy,” he began, doing his best to hide his nervousness, “Do you have a hand in this?  What’s going on here?”

The Juggernaut turned away from him and looked out the window, “Take it easy, bug-man.  Didn’t you hear those aliens?  We were all chosen to fight in this tournament together.  I’m in the same boat you are,” he turned back to Spider-Man and grinned, “But, out of curiosity, what if I did have a hand in this?  What could you possibly do about that?”  Spider-Man gulped, “Uh,... Give you a stern talking to?”.  They moved across the pod to John McClane who was still staring out the window.

“You recognize this guy?,” Juggernaut asked.

“Nope.  Must be from another universe.  Tank top, khakis, and a holstered sidearm.  Looks like a plainclothes cop,” Spider-Man waved his hand in front of his face, “And I’m not so sure he’s used to being in this kind of situation.  The guy’s in shock.”

“So my team consists of just you and this slack-jawed idiot?,” Juggernaut groaned, “Where’s the rest of them?  This can’t be it.”

McClane’s eyes slowly turned toward Spider-Man and then slowly back toward the Juggernaut.  A slight smirk emerged from the corner of his mouth.  He chuckled slightly, “It’s a dream,” he said to no one in particular, “This is all a dream, that’s gotta be it,” he began to pace around the pod franticly, “And pretty soon, my alarm’s gonna go off and I’m gonna go to work where the chief will give me shit and at some point, my ex-wife will call me up to nag me about something, and somehow, my kids will find a way to make my life even more miserable, but ya know what?  I’ll go ahead and take what I got because that life is at least something that computes with me and it has to be a whole helluva lot better than whatever the hell’s going on here.”

“Just breathe, pal,” Spider-Man told him, “Hey, is that a New York accent?  What borough are you from?  I’m from Queens.  I'm Spider-Man.  That big, ugly lug over there is Juggernaut.”

"McClane," his eyes darted around frantically, but he still managed to introduce himself, "John McClane.  NYPD... not that it matters out here.  Pretty sure, I'm out of my jurisdiction."

At that point, he noticed a shape out of the corner of his eye: a short, round figure with large eyes peaking out from behind a chair.  Once the figure realized it had been spotted, it quickly retreated back behind the chair to hide.  McClane yanked the glock from its holster and raced behind the couch, “What the hell is that thing?,” he shouted.  Spider-Man hopped over the chair to get a good look and saw a small creature that looked like a giant gumball with big eyes, a small mouth, flipper hands, and floppy red shoes.  The creature looked at McClane and then Spider-Man.  It gave a nervous look before smiling brightly and waving a single flipper at them.

“What is it?,” McClane shouted again.

“Let’s just put the gun away, huh?,” Spider-Man tried his best to calm him down, “I don’t think he means us any harm.  In fact, I think he’s on our team.”

“That is our fourth member?,” Juggernaut grunted, “Man, my team sucks!”

“Kirby,” the little creature said in a high-pitched voice and motioned toward himself.

“I guess his name’s Kirby,” Spider-Man explained.

“I might as well make myself known,” a female voice could be heard, which gained everyone’s attention.  A raven-haired woman with a tuxedo jacket and shirt and fishnet stockings appeared as if stepping from behind a curtain.  She placed a black top hat on her head and smiled brightly, “I’m Zantana.”  McClane turned, his eyes still bulging as he trained his gun on her, “Christ, someone explain what’s going on!”.  The woman raised a single, white glove, “Xaler.”  McClane blinked and shook his head slightly as if waking up.  He holstered his gun and smiled, “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m feeling a little better about this.”  He sat down calmly in a chair and the others finally breathed a sigh of relief as he calmed down.

“I’m feeling a little better about this myself,” Juggernaut smiled as he approached Zantanna, “I’m definitely glad to see our fifth member.”

“You keep looking at me like a horny twelve year old boy and I’ll make your eyeballs fall out of their sockets,” Zantanna’s threat made Juggernaut pause and give her a curious look, so she added, “Yes, I can do that.”

“Where did you come from?,” Spider-Man asked.

“I”ve been here the entire time, but I hid myself.  I needed to see what you guys were all about.”



“Magic.  Of course,” McClane laughed loudly.

"And what about you, tough guy?  What's your name."

“So,... Zantanna was it?  Any idea how we can get out of this mess?”

“The race who kidnapped us are pretty powerful.  If what they say is true and we will be returned with no harm done, I see no reason to fight them… for now.”

“Agreed.  If it helps them make future generations, I guess we can do our part, although now that I say that out loud, it’s kinda gross.”

“I don’t care what reasons we’ve been given,” Juggernaut flexed his muscles as he gazed out at the other teams across the disk, “As long as I get to bust some heads, I’ll have fun.”

“Glad to have ya on board, Marko,” Spider-Man grumbled.

“What about you, Kirby?,” Zantanna knelt down and pinched his cheek, making him giggle happily, “I guess he’s in.”

“So it’s decided,” Spider-Man explained, “We help the Zardozians for now, but I think I speak for all of us when I say we should keep our eyes peeled.  If they turn out to be something else entirely, we need to work together to put an end to this.”

“Yeah, this is gonna end well,” McClane shook his head.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 03:42:32 AM by AP »


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Affair
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2016, 02:06:24 PM »
looking good


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Affair
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2016, 03:19:11 AM »
The Rules

We hope you have found your accommodations pleasurable.  It may please you to know that each of your pods are equipped with replicators at the rear.  If you desire refreshments or entertainment, simply speak into it.  We recommend food with proper nutrients.  As for entertainment, we recommend Japanese pornography.  We understand lesser beings enjoy that sort of thing.
Now for the rules of this tournament...
Each battle will start with one member from each team being selected to enter the battlefield.  The two combatants will fight until one is either rendered unconscious, killed, restrained or otherwise incapacitated for more than ten seconds.  Once a combatant is eliminated, two members from his or her team will enter the battlefield.  The remaining combatants will enter the battlefield in the same manner until all ten combatants have entered.
If no combatants are eliminated over the span of one minute, however, one teammate from each team will enter.  Again, this process will continue until all ten combatants are on the battlefield.
The first team to have three members eliminated will lose and the surviving team shall move to the next round.
The teams are as follows...

Team A:
John McClane

Team B:
Jean Grey
Cassandra Caine

Team C:
Blue Marvel
Chocolate Thunder

Team D:
Wally West
The Multiple Man

Team E:
The Shade
Jack Hawksmoore
John Constantine

Team F:
Ken Kaneki
Izaya Orihara

Team G:
Great and Powerful Turtle
Buckaroo Banzai

Team H:
Wonder Woman
Jenny Sparks

Team I:
Captain Marvel
Kyle Rayner
Human Torch
The Shadow

Team J:
The Superman of China
Dr. Light
Collective Man

Team K:
Element Lad
North Star
Hikaru Sulu

Team L:
Granny Weatherwax
Frank Stein
The Painted Doll
Zack Overkill

Team M:
The Brit
Judge Dredd

Team N:
The Sentry
Superboy Prime
Baron Munchausen

Team O:
The Minotaur
The Shroud
Open-Window Man

Team P:

Look to your holographic screens and you shall see the brackets for the first round.

A vs O
M vs F
C vs H
L vs P
B vs J
E vs N
K vs I
D vs G

Will shall begin with Team A.  Your opponent will be Team B.  The first match will commence shortly.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2016, 08:01:57 AM by AP »


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Tournament
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2016, 07:16:12 PM »
Good read so far. Lot of personalities to keep straight.(For you.) Couple of OP teams. Can't wait for more.


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Tournament
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2016, 08:19:03 PM »
I be damned......he did use Sulu


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Tournament
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2016, 11:23:49 PM »
So is the first match team A vs B, or vs O?


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Tournament
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2016, 07:06:39 AM »
A vs O.  The match-ups are random.


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Tournament
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2016, 12:06:52 AM »
It Begins

“Wait, did he say we were Team A?,” McClane asked, “As in, the first team?  As in, the people in line to get our asses kicked?”

“Seems like it,” Spider-Man answered.

“What’s the matter, Johnny?,” Juggernaut snarled, “Scared?”

“Matter of fact, I am, ya giant fire hydrant!,” McClane sneered, “Look, I’m not like you people.  I don’t go around in silly tights, fighting aliens in space, and popping god damn rabbits out of my hat.  I’m just a guy.  A normal, everyday schlub from New York,” he shakes his head and turns away, “I just got the rotten luck of constantly being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“Don’t worry, McClane,” Zantanna told him, “If those aliens are telling the truth, whatever happens out there, you’ll be fine, ultimately.  You’re not even supposed to remember it.”

“Yeah, and what if they’re lying their asses off?”

“I can protect you.  Honest.”

“Yeah, McClane,” Spider-Man told him, “We’re in this together.  Besides, I know some of these guys we’ll be up against.  They’re probably trying to solve this just like us.”

Kirby nuzzled up to McClane and his eyes seemingly widened as he cooed.  McClane shrank back, “Okay, whatever.  Enough of the pep talk, just get that little cream-puff away from me.  Damn thing’s creeping me out.”  Kirby frowned and sauntered away.

   “When you people are done with the feel-goods, come check this out,” Juggernaut directed their attention to the window.  They looked out over the large disk floating under them.  The disk began to shift, like a rippling pond.  Shapes began to emerge; first, they were simply long shapeless blobs, but soon, they formed into cube shapes.  Spires began to form on some of them.  Some reached several stories while others were far shorter.  The liquid metal began to shift into what appeared to be granite, brick, steel, and glass as ledges and windows formed.  The shapes soon turned into buildings as the faux-city expanded, forming streets and sidewalks.  Soon, even cars began to emerge on the side of the streets.  It wasn’t long before the entire area looked not unlike an Earth city (although void of any civilians).  The final touch was an atmosphere surrounding the city, making it seem as if the entire area had a blue sky and sunshine.

The first match begins now.  Prepare yourselves!

   As the voice announced, John Mcclane disappeared from their pods.  “Whoa, that was sudden,” Spider-Man exclaimed.  The holographic screens on the pod walls lit up, displaying multiple views of John McClane standing in the middle of an empty street, thoroughly confused.  Zantanna looked at an opposite screen and saw another figure roaming the streets, “Oh, crap.”  Spider-Man turned to her, “What’s up?”.  Zantanna looked at Spider-Man with despair, “I know the guy he’s up against.”

McClane strolled through an intersection, one hand on his holstered gun.  Slowly, he removed the weapon and took the safety off as he crept through the street with his gun held ready.  Slowly, he turned the corner and there in the middle of the street, was a shadowy figure in a black cape, and bat mask.  John trained his gun on his new opponent, “Don’t move”.

“You’re law enforcement, aren’t you?,” Batman asked in a hushed but somehow threatening tone.

“What gave you that idea?”

“Your stance.  The way you drew your sidearm.  You’ve been trained, but if you were a soldier or an assassin, you would have pulled the trigger already.  Instead, you gave me a warning.”

“What can I say?  I guess I’m just a real softie.  Now get down on your knees and put your hands behind your head.”

“Very well, officer,” Batman calmly brought his gloved hands up, “I will comply with your instructions,” slowly, Batman rested on his knees and brought both hands to the back of his cowl.  McClane held his gun on Batman and didn’t move.

“What’s he up to?,” Zantanna shook her head as she studied the scene.

“Is he surrendering?,” Spider-Man asked her.

“There’s more to it than that.”

“Think so?”

“There’s always more to it.”

“Well, one thing’s for sure, surrendering doesn’t count as an automatic elimination.”

McClane slowly approached Batman, “Slide any weapons over here,”.  Batman nodded and made sure to show his palms as he brought them to his utility belt very carefully.  Just then, a chime sounded.  “The hell is that?,” McClane asked as he instinctively looked to the sky.  “One minute is up,” Batman informed him.

“It’s been an entire minute,” Spider-Man explained, “But which one of us is going to be chosen to go out next?”

“Hey, where’s the cream-puff?,” Juggernaut asked.

Kirby materialized next to Batman and McClane.  He looked around, silently taking in his surroundings.  McClane watched him, still fascinated, and turned to Batman who remained on the ground with his hands up.  “That thing isn’t freaking you out?,” McClaner asked.  Batman did not answer, but it was obvious he was not surprised.  Kirby peaked around the corner, trying to see any signs of their latest opponent.  “So, uh… Kirby,” McClane began, “See the other guy they sent out, yet?”.  Kirby shook his head.

“I hope those Zardozians are having fun,” Juggernaut growled, “Because so far, this is the lamest fight I’ve ever seen.”

McClane did not take his eyes off Batman, who remained silent on the ground.  Suddenly, darkness surrounded him.  He couldn’t even see his own hand in front of him.  Likewise, the holographic screens in the pod went dark.  McClane quickly backed away and raised his gun.  He never saw the fist emerging from the darkness and when it connected, McClane disappeared from the battlefield.  The rest of the team turned just as McClane’s unconscious body landed on a chair in their pod.

“We’re already one guy down,” Zantanna rushed to check up on McClane.  When she checked back to the others, she noticed Juggernaut and Spider-Man had already vanished.  Down below, they appeared in the city, not that they could see anything, or each other.  “There’s something familiar about this,” Spider-Man said into the darkness, hoping that his spider-sense would alert him of approaching danger.

“Who cares,” Juggernaut swung his arms through the darkness in frustration, “We’re screwed.  We can’t see and the only other guy we got on the field is that little cream-puff, but what’s he gonna do?  Snuggle people to death?  Kill them with his cuteness?  That thing’s not doing squat.”

“Hold that thought, Juggalo.  Feel that?”

From above, Zantanna could see the black fog swirling and slowly receding from the area.  In the street, the wind kicked up wildly as if a tornado touched down somewhere in the city.  For all intents and purposes, it did.  The black fog was sucked up into a dark funnel cloud and light began to creep in.  Spider-Man was sucked up into the air, but he managed to twist around and land on the side of a wall to anchor himself.  Juggernaut, meanwhile, stood still as the force winds did not move him.  Soon, a figure in a blue hood and cloaked emerged from the darkness, flailing his arms and legs as he passed by.  “It’s the Shroud,” Spider-Man shouted to Juggernaut, “Or at least it was.” The Shroud tried his best to fly against the vortex, but it was no use.  Not far away, Batman remained anchored to the ground with a rope tied to a street light.  He staring off into the distance as his cape flapped in the wind.  The Shroud gritted his teeth and shouted down to him as he spun overhead, “A little help here?”.  Juggernaut was the first to see what had happened clearly: Kirby had grown a few feet larger as he opened his mouth wide and continued to inhale, sucking up the entire fog while growing larger by the minute.  “Looks like Kirby’s useful after all,” Juggernaut laughed, “Look at `im go!”  Kirby was now larger than the Shroud who was soon sucked into the inky void of his massive jaws. 

Kirby closed his mouth, his cheeks puffed out at the sides.  He closed his eyes as if swallowing and soon, shrank back down to normal size as the Shroud shot out behind him, rolling along the ground before stopping.  “I am not going to question what part of his body I just came out of,” he muttered to himself.  Kirby crouched down as sparks of light flashed around him; he rose, his color slowly turning black as swirls of darkness wrapped themselves around him.  “Dark Kirby,” he squeaked before launching into the air after The Shroud, peels of black fog following him as he flew through the air.  The Shroud tried to pick himself up off the ground, but it was too late.  The blow to his chest sent him into the nearest wall and rendered him unconscious.  His body disappeared before it hit the ground.


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Tournament
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2016, 02:43:28 AM »
The Tide Turns and Turns Again

Batman sat back down on the ground, waiting silently once again.  Kirby, meanwhile created puffs of darkness around his flippers in an attempt to learn about his new powers.  Juggernaut came onto the scene as Spider-Man crawled along the walls above.

“The Shroud’s out of the game,” Spider-Man said as he hopped down next to Juggernaut, “But that means…”

Two more players entered the battlefield.  One was a man in a mask with what appeared to be a window pane and shutters around his neck, a set of curtains draped behind his back like a cape.  The other was a handsome man in an expensive white suit.

“Beware of the little one,” Open-Window Man warned, “He is not what he seems.”

“Neither am I,” Minotaur answered as he straightened his tie.

“I don’t mind telling you, I’m concerned about Batman.  He does not seem to be a team player.”

Minotaur raised a single eyebrow, “If you’re finished, I’d like to find our opponents and get this over with.”

Open-Window Man pouted, “I guess I’m the only one who cares about teamwork around here.”
A nearby, ground-floor window turned into a white void and the man jumped through it, teleporting to another part of the city.  Minotaur, meanwhile, strode forward in pursuit of his foes.  A few blocks away, Juggernaut, Spider-Man, and Kirby stood over Batman who was still resting in one spot.  “What’s he doing?,” Juggernaut asked.  Spider-Man noticed a nearby wall that had writing on it: a bat-symbol with the words Der Nus.  “I’m not sure, but my spider-sense isn’t going off,” he examined the writing closely, “That means he isn’t trying to attack us, but -”.  Juggernaut smiled and raised his hand, “I guess that makes this easy.”  Spider-Man rushed back to Juggernaut, “Marko!  Wait!”.  Kirby quickly grabbed his ankle to try to stop him, but it was too late.  Juggernaut swung, back-handing Batman into the air where he fell in an unconscious heap several feet away before disappearing.  “You idiot,” Spider-Man yelled, “That means we have to deal with three opponents instead of two now.”  Juggernaut shrugged, “The more the merrier then.  Bring `im on.”

High above, a man in a black mask and cape appeared, hovering over the city.  As Zantanna spied on him through the holographic projections in the pod, she could tell he was Kryptonian, perhaps from a time before the many crisis that occur in her universe.  “He looks like Batman if he were Superman,” she thought to herself, “Or Superman if he were Batman, really.”  At one time, he called himself Nightwing, but as a man named Dick Grayson more recently laid claim to that name, perhaps his real name, Van-Zee, would suffice.

Spider-Man was the first to arrive close to his opponents, using his spider-sense to lead the way.  He swung through the empty skyscrapers, not noticing the window above shining brightly before Open-Window Man jumped through it and tackled him mid-swing.  The spun through the air and Spider-Man kicked him off onto a nearby rooftop before shooting a webline and landing safely on the ground.  Open-Window Man leapt off the roof onto a lower one, then quickly turned the skylight into a portal and dropped through it.  He stepped out of a door window and faced Spider-Man a second later.  Kirby dropped from the sky as he was still in possession of the Shroud’s abilities.

“That’s a neat trick, but I’m afraid I can’t take you seriously,” Spider-Man told him, “It looks like someone caught you being a peeping tom and took the matter into their own hands.”

“This is the inspiration I took to be a champion of justice,” he raised his fist triumphantly into the air, “Also… DEFENESTRATION PUNCH!”

Spider-Man back-flipped away from him but the blinding flash of light and the force of the blast still sent him flailing through the air.  Kirby was hit directly and as he rolled along the ground, his color was restored and stars trailed behind him.  He had lost the Shroud powers, but that didn’t stop him.  He puffed his cheeks to the point where he could fill himself with hot air and lifted off the ground, sailing directly toward his foe.  He blew the air out, creating a puff of wind strong enough to throw the superhero across the street.  As he sailed toward a window, it lit up and he quickly disappeared inside.  As Spider-Man picked himself off the ground, he noticed Minotaur standing over him.

“Dario Agger?,” Spider-Man said aloud, “The Roxxon CEO?”

“Well, I suppose there’s no point in keeping a secret identity any longer, is there?”

His eyes turned blood red and two knobs began to emerge from his forehead.  His white suit was ripped apart as his chest expanded and grew tufts of brown fur.  His face was drawn out, gradually turning more animalistic as he developed a snout and his nose was turned upward into two large nostrils while his eyes parted to the sides of his increasingly hairier face.  Meanwhile, the knobs on his head turned into twin horns that pushed their way out on either side.  His pants tore open as his feet turned to hooves and his legs became bovine in nature.  Soon, he stood a foot taller than Spider-Man and resembled his mythological namesake.  “So that happened,” spider-Man said under his breath.  He raised a single fist and Spider-Man had just enough time to roll out of the way before he punched a hole through the ground.

Down the street, Juggernaut raced to the area on foot, each step creating another footprint in the gravel and causing small tremors, not noticing the figure streaking across the sky above him.  Van-Zee came in with a kick to Juggernaut’s side, which sent him down an alley, into the base of a building, which soon began to collapse in on itself, a tower of smoke rising as the structure sank to the ground.  Smoke blew the streets and the ground quaked.  Spider-Man, Kirby, Open-Window Man, and the Minotaur covered their faces as the massive wave of dust blew past them.  “Ah, a real challenge!,” Minotaur roared and raced to the  scene.  Kirby, meanwhile, began to inhale, sucking Open-Window Man up, but as he flew past a wall, he grabbed a windowsill and scrambled inside to teleport away.  “Might as well go where the party’s at,” spider-Man said to Kirby and he swung after Minotaur with Kirby floating behind him.

Open-Window Man appeared inside an office building.  He looked out at the destroyed building below him and could see Minotaur coming on to the scene with Spider-Man and Kirby quickly approaching behind him.  His teammates were powerful enough to handle the situation on their own, he surmised, and was afraid he might get in their way, leading to their third elimination.  Van-Zee hovered over the rubble and turned to face Minotaur.

“Did you leave anything for me?,” Minotaur growled.

“Perhaps,” Van-Zee answered, “Not that I want to feed into your bloodlust.”

Juggernaut flew out of the rubble, granite slabs tossed aside in his wake as he tackled Van-Zee from behind and carried him completely over a building, into the street below where they dug a trench into the blacktop that stretched for almost an entire block before it stopped with a large pile of granite chunks at the end.  Juggernaut grabbed the Kryptonian by the back of his head, lifted him back, and slammed him face-first into the gravel.  He raised him back again, but Van-Zee grabbed his wrist and performed a back-flip, which spun Cain Marko end-over-end before being judo-tossed into the side of a building, which partially crumbled down on top of him.  Juggeranut stood up, swatting a metal I-beam out of his way as he did.  Minotaur ran toward him with his horns ready to gore him.  “This is gonna be fun,” Juggernaut smiled widely and snatched Minotaur by the horns, stepping to the side before forcing him face-first into the slabs of concrete behind him.  Minotaur raised up, brushing Juggernaut with a backhand before planting a hoof against his chest which sent him through the wall next to them.  “Fun indeed,” Minotaur answered back.  Van-Zee landed beside him and they both waited for Juggernaut to emerge.

“Never thought I’d say it, but the Juggernaut needs our help,” Spider-Man flipped overhead and shot two lines from his web-shooters, sticking Van-Zee’s feet to the ground, but it did not last long as twin beams of heat vision from the alien’s eye burnt the webbing away.  Meanwhile, Kirby sucked up some debris from the rubble and spat it out at Minotaur, who barely noticed as it shattered against his back.  The distraction was enough as Juggernaut ran back to his foes, ramming Minotaur in the chest, which sent him into the street.  Van-Zee raced over to him at high-speed and gave him a right hook across the helmet.  Juggernaut spun around from the blow, only for Minotaur to bring both fists down, smashing his face into the pavement.  He then brought his foot up, kicking Juggernaut into the distance.

Spider-Man fired two weblines between the buildings in an alley, leaned back and used to webs to slingshot himself into action.  He sailed over the Minotaur’s head, grabbing the tip of one horn with both hands and allowed the momentum to carry him the beast off his feet.  Minotaur landed on the sidewalk hard enough to crack it with Spider-Man still clinging to him, “I should have thought this through better,” he told himself as Minotaur stood up and began bucking.  He turned his head sharply, forcing Spider-Man to let go.  He flew through the air with enough force that he was smashed straight through a wall.  A moment later, his unconscious body appeared in the team’s pod.  Zantanna disappeared almost immediately. 

“Show time.”

She appeared close to where Batman had been defeated.  She started to head toward her teammates when something caught her eye, stopping her in her tracks.  Several blocks away, both Minotaur and Van-Zee approached Kirby who stood in the middle of the street.  “One more and our team wins,” Van-Zee explained.  Kirby looked up and noticed the Juggernaut bonding into the distance and it was quite clear he was heading their way.  He turned and quickly dashed in the opposite direction.  His gave curious looks to each other before noticing the giant shadow quickly growing underneath them and that was when they heard the air whistling above them.  They turned around just in time to see a twisted grin.  Juggernaut landed on both of them, smashing them through the ground and into the sewer below.  Massive sections of the ground were raised like a closing draw-bridge.  Kirby had just enough time to leap from one giant slab and land on solid ground just before the block collapsed behind him.  Windows shattered from the impact just before entire buildings sank into the crater.  Open-Window Man ran through the office building as floors and ceilings pancaked into each other behind him.  He threw himself into a window just as the entire building fell.  Somewhere else, he leaped from one building, across the street into another to teleport away from the falling debris and swathes of smoke.  Zantanna lost her footing as the ground shook and she could see smoke rising in the distance where a cluster of buildings once stood.  All three behemoths were buried under tons of rubble and as they climbed in the dark against the falling buildings, more debris rained down on top of them.  A wide blast of heat vision and a quick burst of speed later, Van-Zee shot out of the rubble and into the air, leaving a deep hole in the mountain of steel and granite below.  Seeing the opening, both Juggernaut and Minotaur began to crawl through.  Meanwhile, Kirby stood at the edge of the crater, looking in at the mountain of destroyed buildings at the center.  Open-Window Man stood on a rooftop and watched from a distance.

Zantanna got back up and brushed herself off.  She was not as concerned about the impact as she had spotted the message Batman had scrawled on a wall: Der Nus.  She noticed the bat-symbol below it and could easily read the backwards message.  She knew it was for her.  Batman had done what Batman did best; he planned ahead.  He had given her a way to win and she assumed it was for one purpose: so his team could lose and he could find a way to defeat the Zardozians without worrying about the tournament.  She looked up at the artificial sun above and she muttered the words, “Der Nus.”

The sun changed from yellow to blood-red in an instant, the sky turning to a dusky orange color in the process.  Van-Zee looked to the sky just in time to see the red sun and quickly descended as he felt his powers drain.  Soon, they gave out completely and he dropped down on top of what was left of a wall.  His Kryptonian powers only worked under a yellow sun, but would be stripped away under his native red sun.  Something had gone terrible wrong for his team and he knew it.  He turned back and spotted Juggernaut and Minotaur finally emerging from the hole he created.  Minotaur was the first to attack as he tackled Juggernaut and they rolled along the rubble before Juggernaut finally threw him off.  Minotaur sailed through the air and Van-Zee’s eyes widened as the giant monster flew directly into him and everything turned black.


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Tournament
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2016, 07:39:51 PM »


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Tournament
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2016, 12:16:27 AM »

Van-Zee has been eliminated.  That makes this the third elimination for Team O.
Team A has won and will move on to the next round.
All opponents have been returned to their respective pods.  Injuries were minor, but they have all been healed.

Please stand by while we reset the battle field for the next match.


It has come to our attention that the one known as Batman was intentionally attempting to sabotage his own team.  If you look to your holographic screens, you will see that this issue has been dealt with.  Batman, as well as the rest of Team O, is now in cryogenic sleep.  All eliminated teams will be placed in these cryogenic chambers in order to dissuade any attempt to interfere with this tournament.  Aggression is both futile and illogical.  You have nothing to fear from us.

As we promised, you will all return safely to your native time and universe with no recollection and no permanent harm.  Please enjoy your stay.

Thank you.


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Tournament
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2016, 03:14:27 AM »
Juggernaut sat in a chair with his helmet tucked under his arm on the cushion beside him and one foot propped up on a knee; in his hand was a pint of beer.  He smiled and happily downed half the pint in one gulp.  “Did you people see me out there?,” he gloated, “I totally saved your asses.  No thanks needed.”

   “I’m pretty sure I had something to do with that,” Zantanna rolled her eyes, “You know, turning the sun red and all.”

   “So we won?,” McClane groaned, “I can’t go home yet, great.”

   “I’m with McClane,” Spider-Man agreed, “I just wanna get back home and I’m sure you all feel the same way.”

   “I don’t,” Juggernaut chimed in.

“Correction, I’m sure those of us who aren’t avatars of a God of Destruction feel the same way.”

“Batman tried an escape plan,” Zantanna began, “He was put to sleep along with the rest of his team.  If we make any more sudden moves like that, we’ll find ourselves in the same spot.”

“Look, those things will let everyone go once this is over, right?,” Juggernaut finished the rest of his beer, “So we just crack a few skulls and go home.  If we lose, then we get a little shut-eye before we go back.”

“That’s assuming these things are what they say they are,” McClane said, which elicited an approving nod from Kirby, “Look, even that guy agrees.”


“Yeah, sorry.  Kirby agrees.”

“For the moment, we need to play along to avoid suspicion,” Spider-Man told them.

“That seems like the best bet,” Zantanna added, “Looks like the next few matches are starting.  We might as well study our opponents.  See what we’re up against.”

Team M vs Team F

   A large black dragon flew over the rooftops, taking out chunks of buildings as it passed with an older man in British military fatigues riding his back.  Gravel held on to the base of Acnologia’s wing.  They had not been on the battlefield long, but the battle was intense almost immediately.  Mystic light surrounded both of them as they fought.

   The man called Logan was older, with short white hair and a face that had seen over a century of hardship.  He was once called Wolverine (in fact, his younger self was also in this tournament), but those days were long gone.  He was no longer a hero.  He was a survivor.  He clenched his fists and six claws erupted through the back of his knuckles  just before he threw himself at the vampire hybrid known simply as D, who wore a black cloak and armor with a wide-brimmed hat.  D deflected his claws by bringing his sword in an upswing.  The kick that followed sent Logan through a wall.  D was impressed.  Despite his age and the fact that he was greatly outpowered, Logan had remained in the fight for five minutes now with no sign of slowing down.  Logan rose to his feet and healed from his wounds, as expected.

“Are you sure he isn’t a vampire?,” D asked his Left Hand.

A wrinkled face emerged on his palm, “Nah, he’s something else.  Watch out for those claws, by the way.”

Logan tackled D, sinking all six of his foot long adamantium blades through his ribs.  D threw Logan off with a telekinetic blast and propped himself up on his sword to heal.  “Do you need my assistance,... dhampier?,” a telepathic voice asked and the normally stoic D showed a brief flash of bitterness when he answered, “I need nothing from you. Alucard.”

Alucard smiled to himself and brushed the long black hair from his face.  He respected D’s power and pride, even if D had little regard for him.  Their entire team seemed to consist of monster-hunters (and their opponents all seemed curiously old despite their power), so he felt a certain kinship with his teammates even if he didn’t show it.  He stood vertically on a wall and waited for his prey.  Despite wearing a red suit and hat, he was skilled in hiding himself from others when he did not want to be seen.  Down below, the hero known as The Brit searched the area for him.  The Brit was an older man who, despite appearances, had indestructible skin as Alucard was soon to find out.  He dropped down from a wall and pinned him with his great strength, opened his mouth, and bit down, only for his fangs to shatter.  Brit kicked away from him and stood up, “So much for getting a pint, eh?”.  He threw a punch, which Alucard easily caught in the palm of his hand, his smile turning from black to silver as he healed.  A moment later, Brit was hurled through the air.

Ken Kaneki was a thin, young man with white hair and a black bodysuit.  He stood ready for the oncoming attack/  Down the street, an older cyborg named Cable and a man in a futuristic police uniform named Judge Dredd stood next to one another.  They both held a futuristic gun in their hands.

“Be careful.  That Izaya kid disappeared and is likely planning to strike when we least expect it,” Cable told Dredd telepathically, “On top of all that, those two vampires seem to be able to pull a new power out of their ass every other second.  With Gravel fighting that damn dragon, I’ll need you to take out these punks so I can help the others.”

“Understood,” Dredd’s voice was a low growl.

The two men unloaded a barrage of bullets.  Ken darted up the side of a wall and flipped through the air.  He would normally be capable of avoiding gunfire, but Dredd’s gun had heat-seeking bullets and Cable’s bullets were directed by telekinesis.  Several holes punched through Ken, spilling large amounts of blood on the pavement.  He dropped to the ground a second later and Dredd approached to put the final bullet in him with his Lawgiver.  Cable lifted himself into the air with telekinesis, “You seem to have things in hand.  I’ll make Logan and the Brit are secure.”  Ken began to heal as he slowly picked himself up off the ground.  A boot came down, smashing his face into the pavement.

“You are charged with resisting arrest, assaulting a judge and his deputies, conspiracy, and attempted cannibalism” Dredd began as he squeezed the trigger, “How do you plead?”

   “Guilty,” Ken whispered softly.

   He raised up, backhanding Dredd into the air.  The judge hit a wall, but he sprang back, firing more rounds that ripped more holes through Ken who once again fell to the ground.  From a nearby doorway, Izaya Orihara snuck up on the judge, his knife ready, “Normally, I wouldn’t want to kill you while your back was turned.”  Dredd pulled his baton from his belt and took a swing, but Izaya snuck around him, “But we’ve been going at this for like, an hour, and I’m getting bored.”

   “Assault with a deadly weapon,” Dredd sneered and took a swing, which Izaya backflipped away from.

Above, Cable found Alucard and D facing off against a rapidly healing Logan and Brit.  Cable landed in the center of the ground and fired several rounds.  Both D and Alucard raced in different directions.  Alucard pulled his guns and fired back as he ran, but Cable’s forcefield blocked the shots.  “I suggest something a bit stronger, Nate,” Logan said through gritted teeth.  “Noted,” Cable fired a wide psi-blast that caught both D and Alucard by surprise.

“You’re honestly more fun than the cops I’ve met,” Izaya ducked under another swing and delivered a kick to Dredd’s chest.

Dredd rolled back onto his feet and came back at him, “Assaulting a Judge.”

“You seem more competent than the authorities who usually come after me.”

“Admission to conflict with authorities in another universe!”


“Questioning a judge.”

Dredd raised his gun, but felt something tugging at his boot.  He gave Ken a kick to the teeth, spilling a few of them out.  Izaya flew at him , but Dredd spun around, bringing the end of his baton across the back of his skull.  He toppled over Ken and they hit the sidewalk.  Dredd took a step back and switched to a high-explosive round.  “The sentence… death!,” as Ken and Izaya stood up, they caught sight of a single explosive heading their way.  Moments later, a massive explosion tore through the street.

On the ground, Cable formed a telekinetic bubble around himself, the ground breaking up around him as chunks of debris floated around.  D and Alucard fought against the force with their own telekinesis, which was slowly overpowering Cable.  At a safe distance, Brit and Logan watched. 

“Throw me,” Wolverine told him. 

“What’s that?,” Brit asked. 

“Right at the one in black.  Do it!”

Brit shrugged, lifted Logan above his head and hurled him at the back of D.  D caught sight of this, but there was little he could do as Logan ripped right through him, chopping him in half.  Alucard angrily turned his attention to Logan, firing several rounds that flayed much of the flesh from his bones, which was enough to finally put him down.  Cable gritted his teeth and continued the assault, further, blasting D into several pieces.

Team M has won the battle!  They will move on to the second round.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 03:17:02 AM by AP »


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Re: Team Builder Writing Exercise: The Zardozian Tournament
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2016, 06:54:19 PM »