2016 SUMMER STREET CIRCUIT CONTEST ROUND 10: The Finale
The penultimate round of the 2016 Summer Street Circuit Contest is over, and it's time for the final round. Last week, we traveled to Monterrey, Mexico, former home of an IndyCar race at Fundidora Park. 10 designers participated. Let's see how they did. For the first time this season, we've had a tie for the win. PM_ME_UR_ALLIGATOR took his second win ever, with his first being at the 2015 Winter Greater Noida round. MBKF1 took his first win ever. They both originally received 9 votes, but because of the bonus, they both receive 11 points. Second place went to lui5mb with 7 points. His streak of winning every second round has been ended. Third place was a tie on 6 points between tininsteelian-2, ARandomPerson17 and viinster88. Fourth place went to 3d_orz with 3 points. Fifth place was a tie on 2 points between Alo_14 and knoxvox. Sixth place went to AresWalker with 1 point. Everyone received at least one vote this week, so everyone scores a point this week! Let's see how this has affected the championship.
lui5mb, despite only finishing 2nd in Monterrey, actually EXTENDS his championship lead over the designer in second by one point. tininsteelian-2 is still in second, but he is now 32 points behind lui5mb. We can safely assume that it would be impossible for the championship gap to be closed, but it's not over till it's over. PM_ME_UR_ALLIGATOR is still in third in the championship, but due to his win in Monterrey he's only 1 point behind tininsteelian-2 in second. Despite a mediocre performance in Monterrey, 3d_orz actually jumps up a spot from 5th to 4th. ARandomPerson17 moves up from 6th to 5th this week due to pjlee98's absence. The biggest championship jump of the week comes from MBKF1, who jumps from 17th to 9th in the standings after winning in Monterrey. Hampster3 is still in last in the championship. Now, onto this week's round. Last week, we traveled to the Mexican metropolis of Monterrey. This week, we travel... somewhere else. The first half of this season was exclusively in IndyCar's main home of the United States. Starting with round 6, we left the United States and travelled to other international locations for 4 weeks. This week, for the grand finale, we finally return back to the United States. There's only one location spectacular enough in the United States to be worthy of a season finale, and that city has been home to the premier American open-wheel series at 5 different locations. Obviously, I am talking about the entertainment capital of the world, LAS VEGAS! As mentioned before, Las Vegas has held races for the premier American open-wheel series at 5 different locations. Las Vegas first came onto the American open-wheel racing scene in 1954. Las Vegas Park Speedway, another repurposed horse racing facility, held the final race of the 1954 AAA Champ Car season. Jimmy Bryan won the race, and with it, clinched the 1954 championship. After holding one NASCAR Grand National race and one USAC Stock Car race, the track was destroyed in 1959. The site is now home to a Westgate hotel and the Las Vegas Convention Center. After over a decade of waiting, American open-wheel racing finally returned to Las Vegas in 1968 at Stardust International Raceway. The track was originally built by the Stardust Hotel and Casino to attract rich gamblers to the hotel, and in 1965, it started hosting sports car races. In 1968, the track held the second race of the 1968 USAC Champ Car season. Bobby Unser won the race, and later went on to win the 1968 championship title. In 1969, the Stardust Hotel was sold and the new owners abandoned the track. The site is now home to a residential area in the Spring Valley neighborhood. American open-wheel racing left Las Vegas for yet another 10 years after that, but finally returned in 1983. The story of this race starts in F1. Throughout the second half of the 70s, there were usually two Formula One races in the United States: the United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach and the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. When Watkins Glen went off the F1 calendar after 1980, F1 looked for another American event. They too looked at Las Vegas as their spectacular season finale location. The Caesars Palace Grand Prix was the final race of the 1981 Formula One season, and it was held in the very spectacular parking lot of the Caesars Palace hotel and casino. The season finale was held there once again in 1982, but the race was extremely unpopular with fans and drivers alike, so it was dropped from the calendar after that. In 1983, the CART series picked up where F1 left off. A modified version of the F1 circuit held two races in 1983 and 1984. Mario Andretti won in 1983, and Tom Sneva won in 1984. After yet another decade of waiting, the IRL series finally brought American open-wheel racing back to Las Vegas again. A new superspeedway called Las Vegas Motor Speedway was built just in time to host the Indy Racing League in their 1996-97 season. The speedway held 5 IRL races between 1996 and 2000. Richie Hearn won the inaugural race in 1996, and Eliseo Salazar won the second race in 1997. Arie Luyendyk won his final IndyCar race there in 1998. Sam Schmidt took his first and last IndyCar race there in 1999. The final IRL race at LVMS in 2000 was won by Al Unser, Jr. After a few more years of Las Vegas being off the calendar again, the Champ Car series picked up where the IRL left off at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Sébastien Bourdais won both races held there in 2004 and 2005. The series didn't return to the speedway in 2006 due to the unpopularity of the event, so they found a new location to host the race in 2007. In 2007, Champ Car returned to Las Vegas for its season-opening race. The 2007 Vegas Grand Prix was held on a street circuit in downtown Las Vegas near the Fremont Street Experience. Will Power took his first Champ Car win there. However, due to the reunification of the IRL series and the CART series, Las Vegas was off the calendar once again. The final time IndyCar went to Las Vegas was for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championships, the final race of the 2011 season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race did not go on for the planned 300 miles due to a 15-car crash on lap 12 which sadly killed former IndyCar champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon. The drivers did a 5 lap parade in tribute to Dan Wheldon, and the race was cancelled. IndyCar announced that they would not be returning to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2012, or ever again. Since 2011, no major open-wheel series has set foot in Las Vegas again. Many rumors have circulated about F1 or IndyCar returning to Las Vegas, but none of these rumors really have any substance yet. That is way more than enough history for today. You will be designing your final tracks of the season in Las Vegas, Nevada. In case you haven't seen the last two seasons, here are the rules with some new additions.
Stay within the town or city limits of the town or city assigned.
Don't worry about realism. If you want to put a pitlane in the middle of a major motorway, do it.
The circuits have to be mostly on streets. Purpose built sections may be built in parks/farms/etc but the track must be mostly a street circuit. Tracks cannot be built over previously built buildings.
You must include at least a screenshot of your track. Links to RouteBuilder or GmapPedometer will not be counted.
Track designs must be submitted by Wednesday. The voting thread will go up then. Please include a direct Imgur or Dropbox link in your submission. RouteBuilder submissions will not be counted. You're designing a street circuit in Las Vegas, Nevada. Follow the rules. You have until Wednesday. Happy designing.
Las Vegas casino mystery; This week, 22 years ago, Bill Brennant, a Stardust Hotel and Casino employee walked out of the casino with half-a-million dollars. He hasn't been seen since
The story is as legendary on the Strip, as the legendary casino that was taken for $500,000. This very week in 1992, Bill Brennan left his job at the Stardust as he did for four years. Only this time, he stole from the Stardust in a big way and vanished without a trace. In most casino capers, the culprits are caught. They typically only get away in the movies. But in the early morning hours of Sept. 22, 1992, Stardust sports book cashier Bill Brennan didn't use a gun or threaten anyone. "It appears he left the casino without being filmed by the surveillance cameras," Metro Police Lt. Joe Greenwood said in an interview in 1992. Brennan just walked away from the Stardust with $507,361 in cash and chips. "They never found a trace of Bill Brennan anywhere. Never a trace," former sports book manager at the Stardust Richard Saber said. Saber is now a race and sports writer for “Gaming Today,” but he was the sports book manager at the Stardust, and knew Brennan. "He was basically a total complete loner. He lived alone with his cat. He loved his cat in his apartment," Saber said. Police rushed to Brennan's nearby apartment, and he and the cat were long gone. "Just a nice kid, that's all," apartment manager Judy Pope said during a 1992 interview. That ‘nice kid' eventually changed for the worse at work, hanging out with a big bettor. "This was a bettor that we didn't trust. He was a shady character. He disappeared from the face of the earth too just a few months after Bill had gone," Saber said. Scotty Schettler was a well-known face in the Stardust sports book. He hired Brennan during the boom years. Brennan went from showing promise to being a problem. "He got influenced by outside sources, and his attitude changed, and he wanted desperately to be a supervisor, but with his change in attitude, I couldn't put him in charge of all that money," Schettler said. But Schettler never imagined Brennan would be capable of such a crime. "I don't think anything good happened to him," Schettler said. "He had all these books, 'How to Change Your Identity.' I'm saying, 'man, that Bill really has gone off the edge.'" Saber said. Could Brennan have fled the country and started a new life of riches? "It's possible," Saber said. Or did he have a partner who killed him off? "I don't think Bill Brennan ever left this city," Saber said. "Would this be possible to do today? Probably not," Metro Police Sgt. John Sheahan said. Video/more story; http://www.8newsnow.com/story/26640502/22-years-later-a-casino-heist-remains-a-mystery
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #5: Round 1 Match 14 Raymond Vs Cy
The results are in for Match 12. “Well, now, that was a treat, wasn’t it? Alright, everyone, get ready for the main event! Bursting into the lane, ready for her adoring fans, give it up loud and clear for…TD/MD!” The crowd went wild, then, as the star emerged, wearing a brightly-shining silver top dotted in acciaccatura symbols, blue shorts and long silver and black socks on her right and left legs accentuating the graceful form of TD/MD. Her eyes, already discolored so drastically from one another, were accentuated with asymmetric eyeshadow, gray and blue, blue dots of makeup underneath the latter left eye, and as she emerged, her left hand, clad in a blue glove with a black line through its center, stretched towards the crowd, her right in a silvery glistening glove moving towards the black headphones around her neck, blue acciaccatura symbols on either outside as other musical symbols, smaller, less prominent, dotted the rest of the thing. There was an obvious extravagance in the outfit made more impressive by its components being relatively simple: a t-shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, and gloves, really. “Whoa, talk about a tough act to follow… And that’s coming from me!” Metra Doria laughed lightly, having emerged to an immensely lively, astonished, applauding audience, applauding the avant-garde show which had led up to her. “Sound’s Garden, am I right? The people this place attracts are some of the most interesting performers I have ever known, and what we all just witnessed, I think, is a perfect preamble, a summation of everything we should aspire to be, of the power to move hearts and souls that music can have! I seriously feel like I need to give the best damn concert of my life now just to be worthy of headlining here… And of course, I can’t play everything alone. Before we start, let’s hear it for my backing band!” “My bassist, Stella Starlight, my drummer, Scott Sundquist, annnnd…” Melodically, that ‘and’ trailed until one of the stagehands from before, clad now in a totally new outfit, emerged. “Luna, on the synth!” With the band introduced to cheers, TD/MD, then, sat before a piano which the rest of the stagehands had moved onstage while the crowd’s eyes were on the star, and a cloud of smoke in their path. “So, Los Fortuna, are! You! Ready?!” The first of many songs that night began. In the chaos of these two disparate teams, both quite surprised by the realization of who they would be sharing their stages with, their independent plans, nonetheless, blended together seamlessly to tell classical comedies of ancient kings and heroes, of fighting and rejecting a tragic end, a bizarre prog rock gymnastic live weapons show tale of the human spirit at its finest. It was often that, thanks to the mishaps of the manager Thutmose, the acts before TD/MD went down in memetic legend, the stuff people spoke about often both on social media and in shady, smoky backrooms. Usually, however, they were spoken of as disasters saved by her star performance, to the point where some wondered if it was on purpose to hype her up more at some poor bastard’s extent. That night, however, a certain performance pierced the hearts of the crowd and brought about complete adoration, even matching the attention of the headliner. As her own show, grand, perfect, putting a tear in the eye of the man who sat beside Tigran Sins in a special box, drew to a close, and the crowd called for an encore, TD/MD spoke into the microphone. “Alright, Los Fortuna, I think I definitely have time for one more song, but… I haven’t forgotten who you were all cheering for earlier. In the time it’s taken, we’ve already seen to it… I’m going to welcome some people back on the stage to join me for this!” Directing her hand stage left, she declared, “‘Nureyev,’ Admiral Pineapples ‘Orpheus,’ ‘Hades,’ and all the best stagehands in the world, get back up here, the whole of you! Let’s close the night off in the best way possible!” The winner is Everyone, with a score of 79!
Masters of Funky Action
There were a record number of tie votes this match, but in the end, just barely, MFA pulled ahead in popularity by a singular vote.
After the show, Metra asked the quartet to wait for her outside her green room so they might speak in private as she dressed back down into more casual getup, the four of them and manager Thutmose conversing outside all throughout. “That was legendary,” Rudolf said first, “feel like we really moved hearts out here tonight!” “Even if only for a little while…” Admiral Pineapples agreed, looking over the Highrollers. “It was very nice to work with you, even under such strange circumstances.” “Tens of thousands… It’s still surreal,” Alexis added, “they were cheering for us almost as hard as they were for TD/MD… And I heard they usually end up laughing off the act right before the big headliner?” Cybil simply allowed a smug smile. “I was advocating for you, Alexis, so of course I knew you would defeat such superstitions…” And then, she offered the manager a frown. “Mr. Thutmose. I hope now you’ve learned a lesson about fooling around with people. It is only because we were so amazing that you still have your job right now.” “How humble…” Thutmose answered, chuckling nervously and running his hands through his hair. “Yeah, yeah, I’ll go straight now… I didn’t realize how much this was upsetting Metra, either-” “Thutmose, my boy,” a self-important voice said, announcing his presence an instant before his garish demeanor could assault the eyes of the hangers-around. Tigran Sins, in his gold-yellow checkered suit, approached, that muscular brunette right hand of his, Fox, close by, a sort of warmth on his still quite intimidating face, “you really do know how to pick ‘em. Miss Antoine, Mr. Pavlova, Admiral, and Alexis, you were… I must say, almost sort of in the league of our star.” “Not even close, really,” Fox answered, stepping forward then, a massive bouquet in his hands, a vinyl tucked neatly under his arm, “anyway, Thutmose, let us through. We need to speak with her now… That show was her greatest yet, and she needs to hear it personally from-” “TD/MD isn’t seeing anyone else tonight,” Thutmose answered, the young man standing firmer now, though all four of his companions noticed that he seemed to be shaking. “She’s exhausted after her show, and already needs to make time for others…” He moved to yoink the flowers out of his hands. “I’ll give these to her on your behalf, though, and tell her who it’s from… But she won’t be seeing you.” Like that, the warm demeanor on the intimidating-looking man’s face grew tenser again, and even Tigran seemed to grow frustrated as well, answering next, “are you certain she can’t make time? Fox really needs to speak with her in person.” “Hey, hey, you heard the twink,” Rudolf interjected, stepping in now (“Twink..?” “Yep!”), raising a bathrobe-covered arm, “let’s keep things excellent here and not freak the poor lady out. I hear she’s got a perfect pitch, ya know, so she’s gonna hear it if we’re ruinin’ her night!” Fox folded his arms, Tigran himself looking contemplative, almost stressed, before his accompaniment turned away, seemingly aware of the numbers on the meek man’s side. “Next time, then.” The pair left, and like that, Thutmose nearly collapsed into the wall, exhaling. “I just defied Tigran to his face… Hhehhhh…” He shook his head. “She should be ready by now. I’m gonna go burn these flowers… Maybe start online shopping for walking sticks, ‘cuz I feel like my kneecaps are gonna notice this…” A voice called from the inside, seemingly concurring with the manager’s point. “Coast clear? Alright, come in!” The four entered, seeing Metra sitting there casually in a black hoodie, more fit for the cool evening, with blue sweatpants covered in silver spirals, relaxing into her chair and nursing a bottle of some sports drink with the label peeled away idly. “You four have all shown me pretty definitely what you stand for tonight… You’re cool. I think I can trust you. Have a seat, alright? Let’s hang out, chat a bit. I don’t think I need to tell you there’s a lot in Sound’s Garden that needs talking-about.” For interested parties, as of this going up, there is still a day left to vote in a match between masters of lawful bastard and chaotic bastard energies, both vying to get the other thrown out of a resort. Scenario: A former speakeasy in Hotel Delmano - North Island, Downtown Los Fortuna. Late morning The Baker Street Rat Pack had a good few ideas to advance forward juggling in their heads, now that the city’s issues were rapidly beginning to juggle themselves more and more. North Island PD was still more aggressive under the galvanizing rhetoric of Council Chairman March, none of which seemed to be stopping the serial killer who ran rampant in the region, the districts west of the Wormwood seemed a hotbed of wars between gangs, unions, and the bulk of ODIN’s security forces, and that wasn’t even getting into issues which the BSRP had no relation to, but were indeed aware of. The matter most currently relevant to Cy Syntheta, however, was listening to the concerns and fleeting research of Peter “Treagon” Bequasimodo. “I just don’t get it,” Peter said to them, looking fleetingly at his laptop. “I can’t use my Stand to get out of the city, and now I try to use it to look into this ‘Institute’ here, and can't get into there either. It’s like… They have some sort of Stand User Firewall, in simple, un-hacker terms.” Cy had been sitting and chatting with the self-styled treasonous vegan, having been of the mind of late to actually do something useful, and remembering the hacktivist had been hot on somebody, something or another’s trail. “So you have a clue as to what that ‘from the Institute, Oh No,’ thing meant?” “Better than a clue,” Peter answered, “turns out it literally wasn’t even a riddle. Just a straightforward signoff.” Like that, he stylishly spun his laptop around on a nearby surface, stopping it as the screen faced Cy. “Look for yourself.”
Pezzetti di Cavallo (55, M) - Professor and Representative of School of Law, Chief Prosecutor
CaraMel Dansen (26, F) - Notable Alumnus and Representative of School of Culinary Arts, Acclaimed Confectioner
Million Dollars (37, F) - Professor of Economics, Representative of School of Business, Multimedia Producer
Willard Drankwater (108, M) - Professor of Chemistry, Representative of School of Medicine, Nobel Laureate, Oldest Man in Los Fortuna
Theodore Lloyd (35, M) - Dean and Representative of Arts College, Former Adjunct Professor
Oh No (Age Unknown, M) - Head and Representative of the Midnight Sun Parapsychological Research Institute
Venus York (47, Other) - Professor of Sociology at College of Social Sciences
“This is…” Cy was catching on quickly. “The ‘University Board’ of Midnight Sun? Hell, I knew they were kind of a big deal, but looking over these names back and forth…” “Yep,” Peter answered, “and these are the basics I could dig up on most of them… This No guy, though, other than existing? Practically a ghost. Apparently sometimes doesn’t even show for meetings in person.” “And we have definite signs this guy knows about people’s Stand abilities, and hangs out with that ‘Golden Sins’ guy you punched out? ‘Parapsychological Research,’ too… Sounds like Stands without outright saying Stands.” “Think I might have to go physical again,” Peter answered, “if an agent of Neoliberal Academia is on us, we gotta know their intention. With those types you never know if they’re with you or gonna sell you out. Think I was gonna start by checking out some Institute libraries.” “Wait,” Cy answered in turn, “you say they know about you and you’ve been trying to break in already… Then it might be too much heat on you to storm the castle. Let me take care of it.” “Oh, man, really? That’s super cool of you, Cy. If you find anything, I owe you one.” “Don’t think of it like I’m being nice to you for its own sake,” the assassin answered, “this is something that affects me, too, especially if we screw it up, and a physical infiltration is the kind of thing I’m more suited for than you… Though I will remember what you just offered.” Midnight Sun University Town - A Street Decked out for Pride Raymond “Ray” Delwyn Shimizu, meanwhile, had discovered similar information to Cy under what can be called vastly different circumstances: rather than suspicious, experience and perspective had taught him to have a cautiously optimistic approach to the clear power over the Metropolitan area the University Board held. To the Speedwagon Foundation, this Parapsychological Research Facility has always been an enigma, since it’s always been a risk to send many operatives to Los Fortuna, but I have a ‘feeling…’ A ‘feeling’ that tells me they are not going to be so dissimilar to us. I can’t help but wonder, then, like how my team is dealing with Cairo now, if SKADE can’t have its ‘talents’ assisted by some University grants and allianceship as well… Our ‘contact’ within ODIN didn’t have a bad word to say about them, so it likely won’t cause trouble with them, either. But first, Raymond knew, he could not simply walk blindly into such an alliance, much like his team had needed first to figure this Cairo out a bit more before adding their resources to their mission. A place worth starting to do such homework, then, would be in the records of their little research institute. As he walked along, Raymond soon passed by a frankly adorable-looking building, a sign out front of the place reading in bubbly letters: ‘CaraMel’s Confection & Bakery’ To that end, then, he thought, oh, tempting… Maybe I’ll stop by on the way back from the library, bring donuts or weird candies or something back to the gang. I have to imagine they’re delicious… Peering through the window, he saw the place absolutely bustling, loaded with the kind of crowd that speaks to waiting nearly an hour in line, and more going in. Urgh, and maybe there’ll be less of a line by then. After thinking that to himself, then, Raymond continued onwards, still making sure to eye every little oddity and incongruity of the area he could. Peaceful as the college town largely seemed, strange phenomena that could only amount to Stand usage also felt especially concentrated, even compared to the rest of this city. I’ve heard rumors of all number of notorious members of the Stand underworld in the region, and I’m sure I’m not the only one out here seeking this library out… or the one with the worst of intentions for it. Midnight Sun Parapsychological Institute Research Library - 1F Lobby Much to Raymond’s surprise, the place seemed… A pretty ordinary research library, all things considered. He hadn’t gotten terribly far in yet, of course, but then again, he didn’t really know what he was expecting. A receptionist with braided dark-red hair, round, spiraling glasses, and a blue vest over a short-sleeved black button-up sat at the front desk, guarding his way from a pair of doors behind him. Off to one side, gated from entry, sat a stairwell, visibly enticing, yet with a sign before it very overtly communicating: NO PUBLIC ENTRANCE. Ah, well, he could at least get an idea by looking around what sort of face they were willing to show anyone who entered. “Erm… S-sir?” The young woman at the entrance asked, seeming intimidated by his tall form. “Did you need to find something in particular? I’m, uh, I mean we… We’re not, uh.” She blinked. “What did you want again?” The sight practically made Ray roll his eyes, but he was able to let through a straightforward, “I didn’t say, actually…” Crap, he hadn’t thought this far, either. Of course a place like this would want to know why people were looking into it. Still, though, Ray was nothing if not smooth and even-faced, and in the span of the time between that ‘actually’ and opening his mouth again, he had thought convincingly of what wasn’t a lie, but didn’t actually say much of anything either. “I want to look into some cases this Institute has worked for this city. This is a pretty big place, and I know it’s a storied institution, so I thought I should get acquainted with some of them.” “R-right! Of course! So nothing in particular? Okay, cool..! I’m, uh… P-please, don’t hesitate at all if you need me…” The young woman pressed a button by her desk, and the doors clicked, unlocking from this side. As Ray began towards it, though, he was interrupted. “Oh, and one more thing!” He could practically see the ‘menacings’ emanating off of her, those adorable glasses practically shining as she spoke more clearly now. “There are two types of research library… Ones which only allow ‘reference,’ and ones which allow ‘lending’ to guests. We’re not a lending library, so don’t let us catch you taking anything out of here… Do you understand me, sir?” “…crystal clear.” This girl is a Stand User… For a moment, I almost let it slip my mind where I am. “Great!” She said, back to her somewhat nervous, bubbly demeanor. “Oh, and, uh… Don’t make too much noise either, ‘kay? I won’t be able to tell, because these walls are soundproofed, but we can’t be held accountable for what happens if you get other library patrons angry..!” There, she sounded more honest, even a touch exasperated to Raymond, as if exactly that had happened too many times to count, and she was resigned to it happening again. “I understand.” Curious as he stepped in, Raymond tested the door… Seemed it did, at least, open from the inside, so no fire hazard or Stand trap there even if it was locked externally. The library interior was hardly bustling, per se, but there were, regardless, a few faces about, all of whom struck Raymond as people it might or might not be a worthwhile idea to fuck with, including but not limited to a tall, balding, androgynous figure with an eyepatch over their forehead, a very average-looking young woman in a purple beret, a red-clad teenager in an aviator hat with a feather plume, round glasses, and long facial features, a tall twentysomething in too many coats with hair like a palm tree, a balding, dark-haired, bespectacled, bearded figure in a stupid black cap and loosely-worn red tie with simultaneously an utterly unhinged and utterly vacant look in his eye, and a blond, stubbly-haired twenty-something six-foot-something in sunglasses and a vest with shoulder sections that wriggled down his arms. Raymond thought little of the colorful characters around as he went to start picking out some reference material to sit at a desk with, but as he did, he happened to glance across the aisle, seeing there someone who he definitely knew was probably trouble: a short-haired, taller-than-him, androgynous blond with chin-length, face-covering bangs, which had an almost plastic sheen to them. They wore a form-fitting crop-top, shoulder-length cloak, jorts, leggings, and an armful of plastic bands. No way… I’ve heard of this person before! The foundation says that Cy Syntheta is a ruthless sellsword who’ll work any job. What could a person like that want in a place like this? Who are you doing research for? I smell trouble here… I’m going to need to apprehend them, dead or alive, before someone gets seriously hurt. I must say, as a swordsman myself, though, I’m almost excited… Almost. Cy Syntheta, minutes ago, had received a similar spiel for a similar non-explanation of their intentions, though theirs even vaguer, given the fact that the assassin was entering fully prepared to find information which led them to view the Institute as some sort of enemy. Their hunt for information about the hotel they occupied had led to a fascinatingly thorough history of its paranormal and criminal oddities, but nothing which referenced any of them. Nothing written about Heartache Casino where you’d expect, except a very brief mention of an assault from an ancient king when they tried to display some kind of ancient slab in the early 2010s… Nothing about us, either, when we know they definitely have something on us. Ugh. Is that on the more confidential floors..? Maybe I do need to start figuring out how to break in… And then, a moment later, their head perked up with a realization. There’s eyes on me… Someone is watching me right now, and close. Their head, then, darted across the aisles, and directly across from them stood a tall, broad-looking figure glancing their way with a clear, sneering suspicion. Everything about this guy screamed ‘fed,’ or at least something adjacent. Looks like my reputation has caught up to me again… Well, that’s just great. I’m gonna need to take this guy out then… How annoying. Hopefully, all these other guys stay out of it so I can get back to what I was doing. OPEN THE- Shhh! Open the game… Location: A public floor of the Midnight Sun Parapsychological Research Institute Library. The area here is 32 by 32 meters with each tile being 2 by 2 meters. Players are represented by their tokens with Raymond on the center left and Cy on the center right. The purple rectangles are bookshelves that are each around 2 meters tall. The brown rectangles are desks complete with chairs and lighting. The green circle is the help and resources desk. The plus signs are computer desks and the cone shapes on the bottom sides of the map are printers. Goal: RETIRE your opponent! Additional Information: They’re minding their own business, but the Institute Library is sparsely populated with a number of Stand Users among the general civilians. If you make too much noise or actively try to involve them in your fight, they’ll kick your ass, and you will be RETIRED. If you try to trick them into thinking your opponent is antagonizing them by using your own abilities to somehow try to make them look bad, they’ll kick your ass, and you will be RETIRED. On the other hand, though, as long as you’re not actively aiming for them, even the non-stand users in this area are pretty savvy people to be actively researching here in the middle of a fight; chumps, cowards, and charlatans will have already fled before they’re in any danger, leaving only people who know the score. They can generally reliably avoid being hurt, and as long as you aren’t too loud, will not under any circumstances besides aforementioned loss conditions use their various Stands to kick your ass.
“My name is ‘Kira Yoshikage.’ I can’t remember when or how I died… but one thing I can say is I feel certain I will not go to Heaven.” This parapsychological research library has some truly morbid, fascinating stories from which to draw inspiration. Take creative inspiration from paranormal knowledge in the basis and techniques of your strategy!
“I saw a book, seemingly unpopular, titled ‘The Elephant Who Lost His Nose.’ I thought to myself… Now why in the world would he lose his nose?” You’ve found your way to an absolutely fascinating source of unusual parapsychological knowledge, and as an agent of SKADE and of the Foundation alike, you aren’t going to take this opportunity for granted. Take creative inspiration from paranormal knowledge in the basis and techniques of your strategy!
As things settled, it was hard to tell if it was a fight that had occurred or purposeful demolition. In the middle of it all, sitting atop of one of the only remaining operational washers near the back, Byte had helped himself to a bag of SunChips from the destroyed snack machine as he waited for the load of linens to finish it’s final spin. Thanks to a last-second LOAD, he looked just about no worse for wear, standing out like a sore thumb amongst the carnage. He took the few minutes of relative silence to reflect, his gaze passing over his unconscious opponent laying face-down on the damp floor. “Boy, that escalated quickly.” His token stream-of-consciousness mumbling coming through even with a mouth full of chips, “I guess it really does kill some people to be patient. I wonder how much it’ll be to fix this place? Fira better be damn happy for all this, maybe I should ask for a raise. Are there any sodas layin’ around-” Just as the Mandible hopped down to his feet to look for a beverage, the front door of the laundromat swung open, causing Byte to duck down out of reaction. He was expecting company, but had hoped to be long gone before they showed. An amazingly tall suit-vested man stands in the door frame with a look of shock and wonder on his face, tattoos of ‘shading’ adorning his shaved head to make it seem oddly angular. He lets out a long whistle as he strolls in, surveying the damage. “Sweet mother of FUCK, what happened in here?!” Byte knew how bad this all looked, knowing he’d need some kind of cover if he had hopes of fooling the Syndicate capo, so without hesitation deftly smashes his own hand with his hammer. The pain was tremendous, but he manages to keep the screams internal as he bolts up from his spot. “Kilroy! Thank god you’re here!” Byte lied, holding his now broken hand weakly as he puts on an air of hopeless panic. “You shoulda seen this lady! She was flying all over the place, smashing into walls like some kinda monster! Completely tore up the place!” Kilroy hurried his pace at the sign of a survivor, moving to get in close. “...you’re from that restaurant, right? The one that stiffed the elders? The hell are you doing here?” The tall man nearly trips on the unconscious body of Marlin, only further adding to his confusion. “Our machine is shot at the restaurant, I came here to clean some stuff.” Byte motions to the active machine with his broken hand, inciting a wince that he exaggerates for effect. “Then that... Monster came in and just started destroying the place! I dunno how she was putting these holes in the walls, it was insane!” Kilroy stooped over the chain-bound woman’s unconscious form, nudging her head lightly with a finger before shaking his head. He crouches down for a closer look, mumbling under his breath, “Wonder what these chains do…” Byte’s eyes shoot wide, managing to keep his thoughts internal for a change. When Kilroy dropped into Elephant Bones the other week, he made no hint toward being a stand user himself, even saying that the Syndicate is actively hunting them down. Byte had even successfully SAVEd a copy of the capo to see what he had on him; did he deliberately let Byte do so? Just what the hell is the Syndicate about? “So you took her down by yourself?” The question snapped Byte out of the parade of questions in his head, meeting Kilroys glance with his own. Suddenly Byte had a very strong feeling that he shouldn’t stick around any longer, and moved to go retrieve his wash which had thankfully just ended. “Uhh, yeah! I got lucky with a swing of the hammer, caught her as she was spinning around…” Byte’s mind raced for an exit as he pulled the damp linens free, every minute he hung around here was endangering everyone back at the base. ”Listen, did you need me for anything, or can I head back? Fira needs these ASAP and I’m already running behind, she can be a real nightmare when she’s pissed.” Kilroy laughed, his disposition seeming oddly bright. “I know exactly what you mean, I kinda wanna clear out before the boss gets here myself.” Byte gulped. “Shouldn’t you at least dry those things? Maybe get that hand looked at?” They both glanced over at the destroyed rows of dryers, to Byte’s relief, not a single one seemed to be in working order. “Nah, we got first aid back at the gym. And I think our dryer still works.” Bundling up the linens back into their garbage bag, Byte heads for the door. “Good luck with all this, and uhh, hope we can see you back at-” “One more question, if you don’t mind.” Byte froze as he reached the door at Kilroy’s suddenly raised voice, the guy was pretty unstable when he paid them a visit, too. “Did you happen to see the Archbishop during the fight? Big guy in blue robes, probably handing out change.” Oh god, a witness. Byte shook his head. “He left before she came in. Went that way.” He pointed down the street, still inching out of the building. Kilroy seemed relieved, waving at the Mandible as he returned to surveying the scene. Byte immediately broke into a speed-walk, heading down the street and away from danger, cursing his luck at rock paper scissors the entire way. People continue to fight for petty reasons, in this match and the recently-concluded one, but when this goes up, there is still yet a day yet to vote in a match of performers and their supporters spreading a message of love. Scenario: Outside The Devil Blue, Waterfront District, 11:46 AM The past few weeks had been odd for the staff over at the Elephant Bones and Duke’s Gym. Ever since Shelldrake’s encounter against that ice-flinging man over at the Los Fortuna Airport, they’d found themselves in more and more conflicts against other stand users, and had heard about many more taking place in various parts of the city. The knowledge of these encounters, and the realization that the rest of the staff could very well end up in more of these very soon made a certain sense of unease hang over the restaurant. The utter chaos that surrounded it every day didn’t change, but it peered through in those rare moments of quiet, as much as some of them liked to ignore and forget it. It was for that reason that Tiger “Glitch” Ricky made her way over to The Devil Blue, despite the high end resort’s “vibes” being as far away from the Elephant Bones’ as possible. The moment London overheard something about a supposed underground doctor working from the confines of the resort and notified the rest of the team, Glitch bolted outside the restaurant and made her way over to it as quickly as possible. As entertaining as it was, the whole “taking Shelldrake to the vet to heal his broken wing” debacle made the team realize the necessity of alternative treatments for stand related injuries. Glitch knew that the treatment would likely be incredibly expensive and far out of her or her teammates’ paychecks, but keeping it in mind for any emergencies could certainly help in the future, right? And worst case scenario, if she found nothing, at least she’d be able to help herself to some delicious grub! Then again, she had no idea where to find this supposed clinic. Glitch leaned down on her cane, summoning Vida Loca and looking at the area around her. She was in the middle of a large plaza, The Devil Blue’s entrance in front of her. Behind her was the ferry station which she’d just arrived from, and to her sides were many stores and restaurants selling a variety of goods. Glitch kept these spots in mind for the near future, thinking about the delicious food they contained and making sure to figure out how to get her hands on some of it. Truthfully, Glitch didn’t have much of an idea of what the hell she was planning on doing, but that didn’t matter, because she never did. She hopped around the plaza and the surrounding alleyways, keeping an ear out for the rustling of food packages amidst the sea of noises while exploring them, “helping herself to” (stealing) a few packets of chips for herself along the way. After enough skittering around, she made her way through an alleyway, Vida Loca alongside her, the gargantuan cat squeezing tight to fit, and blocking the path through. They were near an odd building - though it was an “information center” for the nearby nature reserves in the archipelago, it seemed unreasonably large to be solely for such a thing. “Umm… Excuse me, miss!” An upbeat man’s voice could be heard coming from in front of Vida Loca, the stand separating between him and Glitch. “I’m trying to pass here, and your stand is in the way! It’s important, you know - I’ve gotta meet with Hull! Oh, wait, you probably don’t know who he is, right? He’s… uh... The own- wait no, I should stop before I accidentally reveal something too confidential, haha-” Before the man could finish his rambling, Glitch started climbing onto Vida Loca’s back, peering at the man from above. From what she could make out, the man was blond and of average height. Vida Loca’s face, meanwhile, was squeezed into the nearby wall and facing the direction opposite him, so tapping into its senses wasn’t much of an option. “Hmmmmrgh...” Glitch let out an odd noise, legs wiggling and moving about as she climbed up more and more, until she found herself sitting on the stand. She then tried to climb on top of it in an attempt at looming over the man, before nearly slipping off, frantically struggling before using some vibrations to stop her in place and sitting down. She looked over at the man’s blurred face, making out a wide grin, which she responded to in kind. “Hehe,” maybe this man had information that would be useful for her. “See, I’m looking for an underground clinic for stand users or something like that. Should be around here, but I can’t find it! I’ve been looking for so long that I managed to snatch three packets of crisps already!” as if to accentuate the number, she put her arm forwards and raised three fingers “And crisps are great! But I want to find this clinic as well!” Glitch raised her arms into the air in exasperation. “Now, if you tell me where the clinic is, or help me find it in some other way, I’ll get Vida Loca to let you pass! Does that sound good?” There was a slight pause as the man tilted his head, before breaking out into laughter. “Hahaha! Wow, that’s one hell of a deal! About the clinic, I’m afraid to say that you’re gonna have to wait a bit more! See, it’s actually right here,” he says, pointing at a nearby, unassuming door “and I help run it, but we’re closed for the next hour! Me and Peres have some work to do and meetings to attend, so you’ve gotta wait! Don’t worry though, I’ll make it up to you - I’ll let your crisp stealing slide for now, haha!” Another fit of laughter. Glitch’s expression shifted into a pout. So she was stuck here for another hour? Bleh! Seeing her expression, the man chuckled again “What’s the problem? I’m sure you’ll find something fun to do here for an hour, you know. Well, it probably won’t all be very legal, and the guards here might try to kick you out, but that’s not something I gotta deal with so I don’t really care, haha!” With that final sentence, the man crouched forwards and deftly ducked under Vida Loca’s body and between its tall legs, passing through. “See ya!” Turning around, he waved to Glitch with a smile and walked back into the crowds of the plaza. “Plrrrgh…..” Glitch grumbled to herself, thinking about what she could do for the hour. She did overhear some of the resortgoers over in the plaza talking about going to the pool, so that could be fun. Sure, she was almost 100% sure that she wasn’t allowed in there, but what was the harm in sneaking in, eh? She hopped off of Vida Loca, and with a pep in her step, began making her way over to one of the resort’s pools. The ferry to the Devil Blue, Waterfront District, roughly 11:30 AM. Laverne Cassiel wasn’t one to show it well, but they were definitely feeling slightly on edge here, and internally, criticising such an attitude. You can’t be on edge when you’re going to a luxury resort… You’re supposed to be at your best of moods when you go to do something nice, something extravagant… People will know that something is off, something is the matter. Though troubled, it was not on their face nearly as much as they’d thought, however; it wasn’t so much that people were avoiding them based on a bad mood, so much as one did not talk to strangers on a ferry so much as they spoke to strangers on a bus, but also multiplying that by the disconnect of opulence towards those ‘not worth’ associating with. “You hear about the prices on Niters? I’ve been absolutely dying to give these a try, demand is higher than ever, and the supply just… Tanks? What’s with that?” A random guy, hipster-looking, foodie, maybe, was complaining to a similarly bougie-looking friend, shaking his head. The other man nodded, groaning. “I hear you, I hear you so hard… I wasn’t going to eat the stuff, seafood is against my diet, but I was going to prepare such wonderful pictures of a Niter Blowfish Tartare for my food blog… I’d already put down my deposit, contacted a local photographer and everything! I’ll have to get into their kitchens and find some, no matter the price, or my clout is ruined.” Laverne had seen pictures of the stuff, and frankly, that guy was a moron if he thought it possible to make those things even remotely photogenic, even if he was probably making the right call not wanting to put it in his mouth; if Laverne ever had the opportunity, they would sure as hell wait for the other guy to take a bite. Had they heard it right, though? They were harder to find now or something? Of course it made sense for the Devil Blue to get them in lighter capacity, if anyone in the area was, but what could be causing the shortage, so soon after they seemed to be becoming more common than ever? There was apparently an incident of sorts here not a few days ago, though people were keeping shush on just what the hell was going on because of that. Honestly, Laverne didn’t actually care all that much. Their assessment was that it related to whatever in the area would sometimes cause people to ‘disappear’, and whatever that was was probably injured or forced to retreat now (not dead… If it was dead, the supply would stop entirely, which was not the case) and ODIN was trying to keep the news quiet. Least the news made it a lot more comfortable for them to travel by ferry for what they really cared about that day: this Devil Blue resort apparently had a clinic which serviced the Stand-using underground. Doubtless, in times of growing strife like these, a place like that would be an informational hotbed, tactically vital to get in good with. Though even the decision to investigate that today had been an improvised one, determined on the spot to be a sound tactical decision for one tipping point of a reason: they were being followed, and needed to get the hell away from that. Roughly an hour ago - Sound’s Garden, near Heartache Casino For the past several days, the members of Red Carpet Renaissance had all a strange feeling about them. While always it seemed there were eyes upon them in Los Fortuna, for some reason, it had been different in recent days. There was a particular sense to everyone that there was someone, specifically following them, and nobody knew who it could be, or why. Laverne, though they had yet to report this, had a feeling about where it came from, correlating when it started: it began the day after Kimijo Kaneko went to investigate that damn baseball game. Sure, some people on that chat program were doing their moral grandstanding about what happened there, pretending they’re better than that, that her opponent being a good man makes any of what she did different from every damn fight every damn day in this city, but all of them, it seemed, were at least for the moment wise enough not to put their money where their mouth is and actually follow up on it, and if they had, they’d probably be in some nightmare backroom right now. This feeling, it was different, as if someone had started to take the entire team more seriously… Which, itself, meant a lot to unpack. They had actually been trying to follow a sheepish event manager’s association with the owner of the casino that day, see if they couldn’t find something worth blackmailing him over and making him feel ‘indebted’ to them, but that case hadn’t been going smoothly as it could, and as they combed over the area, that is when they saw ‘them.’ A thin figure clad head-to-toe in black, jacket zipped up with a fuzzy-looking trim, biker gear, with orange underneath, and a distinct-looking helmet that looked like something out of a science-fiction film, mouthpiece something like a helmet of armor, visor black, lines and circles along the surface. The morning light reflected off of the visor hard enough to make Laverne squint. This person sat upon a sleek-looking sports bike, revving it at them. When Laverne looked their way, the figure seemed to drive away, but kept showing up throughout the area, and more and more, Laverne got the distinct feeling this person was exactly the bad news they were waiting for… They had to lose them. So naturally, Laverne did just that, utilizing their Stand in a diversionary effort that seemed to successfully draw the figure away, and figuring that an offshore hotel was just the place to lose a biker for a little while. Besides that, within a few minutes of their reflection, the ferry wasn’t a minute away from reaching port at the Devil Blue. They could focus on this now, and not that bastard. “H-hey, check this out! Someone’s driving on the water!” The hipsters were speaking to one another, one handing the other a set of binoculars to look out on the waters due North of them, towards the mainland. The other, then, remarked in alarm. “Oh, my god! Is that the Black Angel, here? Oh, ooh, what a sight, what a sight!!” “It definitely is, look at that!” “Lemme see,” Laverne said, speaking up now before going ahead and seizing, with little resistance, the binoculars still around the first guy’s neck, going wide-eyed at what appeared on the other end. The damn motorcycle was uneasily yet consistently making its way along the water, tires spinning as it raced forward against the momentum of the waves. The rider was the same, and what Laverne had read as a trim of fuzz around the upper torso of their jacket, now, flying just behind them as they advanced like a pair of short wings. Shit, seriously? Fucking hell, of course it’s a Stand or a Stand User or something. Would Laverne have to fight on the way to this place..? Wait, no, never mind. As they looked around, they saw the ferryman overhear just that, muttering into a radio too far, too quietly, to hear them, but close enough to see that the words ‘angel’ were being mouthed on their lips. Ah, the island was close at hand, certainly closer to arrive at than this ‘Black Angel’ was fast, and some strong-looking people were coalescing around the ferry docks. Keeping it cool, as the boat found its way to a stop, Laverne walked away, the sounds in the fading distance of a woman saying, “did you forget already? You’re not welcome on this island. Set so much as a wheel on the pavement before this resort you approach, and you know what comes next.” Though the future was uncertain on whether or not they would cross paths again, for the rest of their time on the island, that was the last Laverne Cassiel saw of the Black Angel. Preliminary research made security seem lax here (they don’t deal with VALKYRIE at all, which is… Rare, for a high-profile private business like this), but it seemed they were just holding out for the important things… They couldn’t help but crack a private grin at how this poor bastard had followed them all this way, only to get turned away near instantly. Haha! Victory: Laverne. Serves you right for wasting my morning! Now, onto making use of this new place..! They soon, like Glitch, learned that this ‘Peres’ was out, that they couldn’t get into the clinic without either breaking and entering (not that they were morally above it, but it wasn’t necessary) or waiting for that point… Well, they’d come to a resort island, and knew for the time being that they were completely safe, so why not try to live a little to kill time? A pool within The Devil Blue, Waterfront district 12:02 PM Upon sneaking her way over a fence and into the resort’s pool, Glitch found herself with a severe case of choice paralysis. She stood out like a sore thumb, sprawled out on a lounger, ear perched out, picking up on and discerning between the wide variety of going-ons at the pool with a mischievous grin on her face the whole time. She could start off by taking a plunge, or perhaps use Vida Loca to get someone else to take one, or maybe go on a trip to the bar for a snack, or do one of the million other ideas that popped into her head! “Heheh- oh!” before she could get too comfortable, she heard something very interesting - the sound of someone jumping over the fence, just like she had previously done. “Hmmm….” summoning Vida Loca for a better look, she saw Laverne, catching the investigator right in the middle of a decidedly illegal act. Not that Glitch cared, or even knew much about this odd person, but her interest had certainly been piqued. Just as Glitch had taken notice of Laverne, so did they take notice of her, or more precisely, of Vida Loca’s massive form, staring right at them. With a quick shuffle they attempted to get out of the stand’s sight, preferring to avoid any unnecessary encounters with other stand users in what was supposed to be their way of killing time. However, Glitch wasn’t going to let them get away, and Laverne quickly found her right on their trail, wanting something to do with them. Instead of running away and possibly drawing more attention to themselves, Laverne opted to wait for Glitch to arrive. And arrive she did, hopping towards Laverne and stopping in front of them, leaning in to get a close look at them and letting out an curious “Hmmrgh...” , which Laverne responded to by leaning back and putting a distance between them and this nuisance. “Do you want something, miss...?” they asked, faking confusion. With any luck, this person will leave them alone and they’ll be able to go on with their day. “Glitch! I couldn’t help but overhear you jumping over the fence to get in, so I decided to go over and greet you! I did the same thing, you see, hehe...” She said, giggling to herself. Laverne looked back at them, a straight face hiding their annoyance at Glitch’s harassment. “And I’m Laverne. I do believe that it’s best to keep a low profile in these situations, so it’s best for us to stay away from each other. If we make a scene and are caught, we’ll be kicked out of here, and I’m sure you’d rather-” “Boooooooooooooring!” Glitch interrupted Laverne with a loud shout, attracting the attention of some of the resortgoers, who’d begun murmuring between themselves. Laverne knew they needed to get away from this person if they wanted to stay in the resort. “Hmm. Feel free to do whatever you want, Glitch, but I’m just here to relax, so I’ll be keeping a low profile. Here, take this and go find something fun to do.” Laverne said, taking a ten dollar bill out of their wallet and tossing it in the air, leaving Glitch to chase after it while they slunk away. Glitch, on her end, was quite pleased by the bribe, and immediately found herself spending it all on snacks which she quickly gobbled up. With the bribe money and snacks gone, she once again found herself thinking of what to do, keeping an ear out for interesting occurrences. A little boy slipping into the pool, an arguing couple, Laverne talking with a staff member about something… She decided to focus on the latter, and managed to pick up on their conversation. Laverne was mentioning some sort of nuisance that had snuck into the pool, a short woman who was currently in the- wait. They were talking about HER, weren’t they?! They were trying to get her kicked out! Gasping out loud at the sheer audacity, Glitch was utterly shocked! This person, whom she had seen as a kind benefactor who had given her spending money, a comrade who had snuck into the resort just like she had, was trying to get her kicked out! “Hrrrggh…” She growled in annoyance. Laverne had just made this personal! They were trying to get her kicked out? Nonsense! She’d get them kicked out instead! Laverne, meanwhile, hadn’t been successful in getting the staff to escort Glitch out of the premises. Something about them not having “sufficient evidence”, apparently. They turned over to look at her, only to realize that she had caught onto their attempts, as evidenced by her angry expression and the fact that her stand was out, staring at them as well. She pointed over to Laverne menacingly, her body language practically screaming ‘I’ll get you kicked out instead, just you wait!’. “Tch,” This wasn’t perfect, but no matter. Laverne looked around the pool area, taking everything in. The positions of the employees, the items in the area, and the resortgoers… All predictable. The one anomaly was her, Glitch. She seemed so odd, with her utterly simple desires and her desire to one-up them. Laverne was an expert of deduction, but their expertise was completely unnecessary when it came to trying to tell what this woman was thinking. She wanted to challenge Laverne? So be it. They were sure they weren’t going to lose. OPEN THE GAME! (credit to magistelles for the image!) Location:A fenced-off area with two pools, one regular (20x48) pool and one diving pool (20x20, very deep), one of many such areas within The Devil Blue. The whole area is 80 meters long and 44 meters wide, each tile being 4x4 meters. The light grey areas on the map are the walkways, and the light green ones are grassy areas on the side of the pool. The dark grey paths going over the pool are bridges, tall enough that they can be passed under. The purple rectangles indicate the positions of the diving boards, one being 1 meter tall, one being 5 meters tall, the final being 10 meters tall. The brown tiles represent the bar area. All across the pool’s perimeter on the walkways, there are many lounging chairs for relaxation and umbrellas for shade, with resortgoers occupying many of them. A few are situated on the grass as well. Some of the resortgoers have left their bags on the loungers, containing a variety of different items that one might take to the pool, alongside cash and their room keycards. There’s also the bar area, serving basic food and drinks to whomever may need it, provided they have the cash for it. Goal: Get the employees in The Devil Blue to kick your opponent out! If you act overly suspicious, the resort employees will ask you for your room keycard and attempt to investigate you. While the employees won’t bother you unless you bother them first, they’ve got a few rules they expect you to keep:
You must have a keycard to be within the pool
Don’t bother or attack the other resortgoers and ruin their stay
Don’t carry any dangerous objects within the pool area
Don’t destroy any resort property
If the employees spot you breaking any of the rules, or are given evidence of you doing so, they will begin questioning you and ask for your room keycard. If one is shown to them, they will let you off with a warning, and if one isn’t, they will kick you out. After you’re let off with a warning, you will be kicked out if you’re reported and approached an additional time. Additional Information: Resortgoers can be found all around the area, with 222 physicals and a 3 in “dear god just let me calm down in peace”. Unless you’re really annoying them, they’ll try to ignore you and go on with their lives, and if you do annoy them enough, they’ll complain about you to the employees. The employees are situated mostly around the bar area and around the gates, but are also dotted around the perimeter of the pool, overlooking the goings-on of it, though they’re situated sparsely enough that there’s substantial “deadzones” that their sight doesn’t ordinarily cover. They have 222 stats, and a 4 in collective memory - they communicate with each other efficiently, remember your faces and which keycard you supposedly have, and will call you out if they spot you breaking any of the rules multiple times. Any stand users that are currently within the area, if there even are any, don’t seem to really care about you letting your stands out and won’t pay it any mind. However, if any resortgoer is injured in a severe capacity due to your stands for a reason that can’t be explained away as anything else, the pool will be closed and you will lose the match.
“My tail is second only to my face! I want to rub it on my teeth and then lick it back all pretty!” Though Laverne has interrupted your plans somewhat, the reason you came to the pool in the first place was to have fun, and you’re not gonna let that change! Make sure to have as much fun as possible while trying to get Laverne kicked out!
“Look! My right hand! It turned back into wood again! It’s not gonna turn back into a hand anymore! This is bad, Toshizaku!” As opposed to Glitch, you’re not the type to be so blatant about your actions and attempts at kicking Glitch out. Remain subtle throughout your strategy, make sure that your clay statues aren’t exposed for what they truly are in front of the bystanders!
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #5 - Round 1, Match 2: Peter VS Markus
Well, the last match was a deathmatch, but this second one is what is known as an objective match. This, for the uninitiated, means that the match’s main point isn’t, necessarily, who would win in a fight, but to complete a certain specific mission better than the opponent. At the time of this match going up, though, after the strats for this one are posted, though, you can still vote in match 1 for over a full day. Check out (and influence) the brawl between a man and a bird in an airport hangar! Scenario: Waterfront District - One of Many Fish Markets Morning “What do you mean you don’t have anything?” *Markus was having his patience tested, certainly, by this particular supplier. It was hard to find someone in this region who could provide high-quality fresh fish at a reasonable price (especially considering that some of the fish the people of Los Fortuna considered "high quality" seemed to be overpriced, constantly out of stock, and of incredibly dubious quality from the rare few glimpses he had gotten of them), but this wasn’t the first time now that the boat he had chosen to be BADD GUYS’ regular ‘guys’ had turned up with absolutely nothing one morning. “I dunno what to tell you, Mark,” a young man in a bandana and sleeveless striped shirt said, hanging by an empty stall he was never told not to man, “sometimes, when the captain heads off to celebrate a great haul, she just disappears for days on end, and then without her, we just don’t always have what it takes to actually catch enough to turn a day’s profit.” “That damned Captain Moonshatter…” Markus didn’t get it. The crew of the Marquise was supposedly able to accomplish such things, yet still the captain wasted her time gambling instead of leading them to their potential? Leading them towards all these amazing fish? “Where is she, man? I’ll give her a piece of my mind.” “A casino, probably, but… Ya know how many casinos are out here? And she never tells us where she frequents! If she did, the boys and I woulda dragged her out a long time ago!” “I know where you can find her.” A man in a dark rain poncho, pretty typical attire for this district, spoke, eyes obscured but some of his dark hair cascading out from underneath the thing. The hapless sailor and Markus turned to him, looking quizzical but expecting, before Markus broke the silence. “There is nothing that isn’t shady about you, sir, but.” Markus smirked. “I think shady is what I need right now. What have you got?” Fwup! Before Markus knew it, the stranger had flicked his hands, and a stylish business card was in between Markus’ fingers. He looked at it, then, and read the name embroidered upon it. “Heartache Casino… Interesting.” “She likes to go around in disguise on her gambling trips, sometimes as elaborate as a fat suit and a fake beard so nobody recognizes her. Only surefire way you’ll have to get her out of there is to get everyone out of there. If she’s there, she’ll get pissed off and blow her cover, for sure.” Markus wasn’t an idiot, even if what he caught onto being suggested didn’t bother him. “…someone wants me to mess with this casino, huh? Well, none of my business, as long as she’s actually there. If not, I’m kicking your ass, got it?” “You have my word.” The man nodded his head, and then disappeared into the bustling fish market. That afternoon… Sound’s Garden Eastern Strip - Heartache Casino Arriving at the casino, Markus took a look around, taking in the bright lights, expressive designs, and loud sounds. There were so many people strewn around the casino, and just about any one of them could be the captain… Clearing them out was going to take time. He needed a drink. One irish coffee later, Markus was ready. He sat at a table in the lounge area, viewing the various (mostly drunk) casinogoers, trying to suss out which ones could end up being the captain. He was mostly unsuccessful. It seemed as if he would have to get his hands dirty and start actively kicking people out if he wanted to get anywhere. More importantly, over the course of his stay, Markus had noticed something - one of the waiters at the bar had begun eyeing him, always keeping watch of him for some reason. He was planning something, souring Markus’ mood. With a dissatisfied grunt, Markus got up and started making his way towards the slot machines to get a start on kicking people out, and the waiter seemed to follow in his steps. No matter the pace at which he went or where he went, the waiter seemed to be right there, a couple of steps behind him. Markus’ brow furrowed in anger. He’ll see just how far that waiter was willing to go to follow him. Even near the ATMs, far away from the bar area, the waiter seemed to be constantly following him. He even tried going to the restroom for a few minutes, and the waiter was still there when he- For all of his thinking about the waiter following him, something, or someone had crashed into him, and found himself knocked down onto the floor from the impact, covered in… water? Beer? Something. He looked up and saw another waiter, a worried expression on their face as they profusely apologized. A glance to the right, back at the original waiter, revealed that he was… smirking? Markus couldn’t quite make the waiter’s expression out, but one thing was for certain - he was taking joy in watching Markus stumble into the other waiter, and he had likely planned this. That asshole. Markus quickly got up, ignoring the apologetic waiter and began quickly making his way towards the other waiter, ready to give him a piece of his mind. He didn’t know why he did what he did or what he was planning, but he sure as hell was going to grill him until he told him that. Upon getting close enough to the waiter and coming up from behind him, Markus firmly grabbed his arm to keep him from running away again. “Hey, you. What do you want from me? Why were you following me, and what exactly do you stand to gain from doing this, huh?!” The waiter turned around, only to seem… entirely confused? “Sir, what are you talking about? I didn’t do anything - I don’t even know who you are, or why you’re here! I- I don’t want to make a scene, if you have any complaints you can bring them to my supervisors, just- I need to go back to the bar and bring food to the customers, you know? I-” “Bullshit. I noticed you! You were constantly keeping watch of me, following me- hell, I went to the fucking restroom and you were still there when I came out! Don’t give me these crocodile tears, I know you want something from me!” Just as the argument between Markus and the waiter began, someone else found their way into the casino - Peter Bequasimodo. Earlier that afternoon… Downtown Los Fortuna - Hotel Delmano Peter had stopped a fair few crimes in his day, not to mention done some less than legal things in others where the rule of law was the real crime. It was certainly strange, though, that someone had thought to send him a handwritten letter at some point… It seemed someone had realized before he could stop a crime, he had to find his way there. He read and reread the text again.
The Heartache Casino will see a tragic failure today… Nobody can do a thing to prevent it, so kiss everyone who sets foot in it goodbye! Think you can get everyone to leave by X:XX o’clock?!
Great, Peter thought to himself. Someone wants to play some stupid game with me… Just perfect. Just what I need when things are starting to heat up more. Despite his immediate thought of annoyance, though, he couldn’t help but have a bad feeling about this… Who sent letters in 202X? Who would send them to him? Peter was usually pretty careful to cover his tracks, and his usual mode of transportation made it so that not even the snoopiest detectives could track him down. Usually, he was able to use his more than capable skills to hack into the odd police database or private server, or simply use his stand to cut through so much crap, but with a letter, he couldn’t do any of that easy stuff. It would take some footwork to track down the source of this, let alone the location of this ‘Heartache Casino…’ Or, as an ally pointed out, he could just search up the letter’s return address online. “…urgh, what am I thinking? Of course they wouldn’t actually give where they were sending this from if they wanted to stay this mysterious! This damn place they wrote down is just…” He blinked, looking at his screen. “The Heartache Casino. That settles it, alright. I’m being baited.” Even if the threat was fake, just designed to get him to the casino, he would have to look into whoever had this much information on him… Seriously, who could have this level of knowledge when he’d barely done a thing in this city? Beyond that, in the off chance it wasn’t an empty threat, there was a serious danger to other people there. He needed to minimize the chances of that if he could. That time was less than an hour away. He walked over to his bed and grabbed his gauntlet and pack. In a flash [Running in the 90s] appeared on Peter’s face and he disappeared into the information superhighway. It was time for Treagon to take care of business. “You know,” Peter said, the mood he’d tried to psyche himself up for blending into the chill attitudes of the casino evaporating quickly, “it might not be much my business, buddy, but when I see people being shitty to service staff… That kinda thing really isn’t cool, yeah? Let the man do his job.” “Stay out of this,” Markus answered tersely, shoving the waiter away as the man backed off, returning to ordinary business, “you think I don’t know that sort of thing? I’m here as a favor to people like that.” There was a certain impatient entitlement to this guy that really bothered Peter, especially as he spoke like that. All the more, he was finding himself with reasons to kinda want to leave this guy crying and begging for mercy. “You’re really annoying, you know that?” He said, bluntly and with a sort of lax tone, grinning with malice as he stuck his hand in his pocket and leaned back. “I got business of my own to take care of, but don’t lemme catch you acting up like that again, yeah? It’s hard enough just scaring people off so I can look this place over… Shit! Barely half an hour left!” “Wait, you mean to say you’re also trying to-” The waiter happened to slink by, and after that moment, Peter was gone. Markus gave a confused look, but then, felt his own phone vibrating. Curious, he moved to open it up. “SCREEEEEEEEEEEECH!” “Ffuck-!” He couldn’t help but fumble his device in alarm at the strange face on the screen, which vanished soon after, and as he looked up, Peter was standing around again, and so Markus grit his teeth. “You..!” Peter, on his end, found the antagonism hilarious, and it was easy enough to accomplish that he felt good about the efforts therein. Now, anyway, it was time for him to get to work on finding a way to force everyone out of here… He’d been spending these few minutes searching, but couldn’t find any sign of any sort of electronic tampering, or security footage of someone stealthily dropping any bombs anywhere, or whatever else might make him able to solve this problem in any better a way than this… It was now exactly thirty minutes to the mystery time. He’d just have to get as many people to leave this place as possible, even as more constantly poured in. Markus had also heard Peter mention a half an hour, and though he didn’t know of any sort of vague threat, he had a feeling that that created a sort of ‘deadline’ for this. Well, he didn’t know what to look for, so may as well go for quantity over quality, right? He’d force these people out of here. Though both had the same end goal, the immediate shared contempt they held for one another, both immediately understood, had made this a contest. Never mind that they were far from the only two people who would see it as such, their prides were at stake here, and they resolved to completely show the other up as priority number one. Open the game! Location: The First Floor of The Heartache Casino, one of the many which dot the Eastern Strip of the Entertainment District. The area is 50 meters long and 105 meters wide with each tile being 5 by 5 meters and the ceiling being 5 meters high as well. The green square represents the exit and the gray square is the way to the second floor, currently it is being sectioned off by bouncers who are only letting VIPs enter and exit. The players are represented by the circles of their respective team colors with Markus near the top center and Peter near the bottom center. The grey circles around the center are ATM machines, and the white circle is a reception and transactions desk where you can buy or redeem chips. The two sets of blue tiles are restrooms, men’s restroom on the left and women’s restroom on the right. The left side is the lounge area with a bar, denoted by the brown shape, tables represented by green circles, pool tables represented by the purple rectangles, poker tables represented by the red circles and roulette tables represented by the light blue circles. In the top left is a netted off area represented by the hollow blue rectangle where people can play darts and to its right are two rows of vending machines with water in the blue squares and sodas in the purple. The blue rectangles, red triangles, and yellow hexagons are all rows and sets of slot machines. The blue ones are traditional slot machines, and the yellow and red ones are virtual slot machines. The blue slot machines pay out in chips and the yellow and red ones pay out in receipts that are redeemable at the reception desk, but all of them only take in money. There are chairs around the slot machines, tables, and bar where appropriate and the place at the moment is mostly full with gamblers, loungers, and a number of roaming security guards and employees. In general if you are looking for a free spot at a table or machine you can probably find one with a bit of looking. Someone has already disabled the floor’s sprinkler systems, and literally nothing will make them function. Curious. Goal: Over the course of thirty minutes, cause more people to leave the casino than your opponent! It can be taken for granted, for balance’s sake, that there will always be people present to disrupt so long as a location isn’t completely rendered unable to function. Make sure to have some subtlety with it, though, as the guards are as watchful as one would expect casino guards to be. Being too blatant or repetitive would run the risk of getting you in trouble. Additional Information: Patrons have 2 in strength and agility, 5 in endurance, 2 in gambling (in general they know how the games here work, but that doesn’t make them any more likely to succeed at them), and 2 in tenacity; in short, a mere mild inconvenience won’t be enough to completely send a person away, but they probably won’t tolerate repeated annoyances too long before at least moving somewhere else in the casino or outright leaving once they get fed up. They carry cell phones, wallets, and assorted amounts of casino chips. Ones on the West side of the floor can be assumed to be carrying food or beverages with them, according to the kinds of things one could expect to find at a casino. If your actions cause significant risk of harm or death to patrons, rather than simply getting them to leave through various means, police will be contacted to provide further support to the guards, quickly becoming wise to your tactics and arresting you; the owner is rich, so the cops will arrive extremely quickly. If you are arrested for assault, manslaughter, murder, public indecency, and/or accidental homicide, you will no longer be able to gain points. As wanton slaughter on casino grounds isn’t what your contact had in mind, murdered or otherwise slain patrons do not count towards total score, even if, yes, their souls have exeunt; paramedics will be under specific orders not to remove the bodies until after the time limit has passed, specifically to spite the attempt. And also you’re still arrested.
“I’ve heard that in Kansai, if the Yakuza who run Cee-lo Games catch you cheating, they shove two of the dice in your eyes and dump you in the river.” You really don’t like this guy much at all. If this man intends to undermine your protections, then you’ll teach him a lesson. Identify and find ways to interfere with your opponent’s strategies in favor of your own!
“Nobody makes a fool out of Kishibe Rohan! I know you’re laughing at me in your head right now and I can’t stand it!” You really don’t like this guy much at all. If he thinks he can be so self-important all the damn time, he has another thing coming! Identify and find ways to interfere with your opponent’s strategies in favor of your own!
JoJo's Bizarre OC Tournament #5 - Round 1 Wrap Up Part 1
The results are in for Match 29. It was the final few hours of the Taste of Fortuna, an event which had transformed so much since its inception, yet still remained the most popular of public showcases for culinary creations of all levels of acclaim, persons passionate about food, though increasingly joined by those simply wishing to peacock. As much as their camera crew tried to watch the action of the player characters, of course, the two most famous local celebrities who had received some considerable camera time had at once been commenting live over the events in their own ways. There wasn’t much time left on the show’s production schedule; this episode, though the final one shot for the first season, would be the first Being So Normal to air… Capitalizing off the recent success and gossip that was sure to come of such a unique Taste of Fortuna, Producer Million Dollars had shrewdly suggested. These hours of footage and Cairo spending so much of it AWOL would lead to a crunch time hell for post-production, on their own side in particular, but damn if it wouldn’t be worth it. CaraMel Dansen, wide-eyed and mouthed, looked over the sheer positivity which had spread like whatever was the opposite of a plague among every single booth there, recommending one another and especially Bad Apples, and to the cameras she couldn’t help but say, free of any vitriol, “they’re not at each other’s throats, trying to one-up one another, or anything like that… Everyone here is pointing guests towards that big cake, but they also all seem so. So appreciative of each other’s foods, one another’s skills, and people are hitting up stall after stall until their wallets are empty! Has it been this cooperative in over a century? Has the event found touch with its-” “Yeah, that’s nice and all, but it’s hardly Stand action,” Well, in one case, their spirit was. Cairo’s Peach Pit, in particular (still drawn by Boy George!), serving hosting duties on their user’s behalf, took attention away from CaraMel’s musings and towards the sole booth which, rather than riding this wave that gradually lifted everyone else up, had sought to do its own thing heavily, resulting in a stand that had bursts of massive popularity in between the lower numbers of the round in ‘off’ time, “check out what’s going on there, though… Hell of a costume, right? It reminds me of that scene in ‘The Last Unicorn’ where they stuck a fake horn on the real thing so average people could see it..! A taste of a live Stand battle for everyone!” “Stay back!” Zebra, as the man with the even stranger real name of ‘Ice Station’ was nicknamed, warned, “the sun’s down. It’s too dangerous!” His own Stand, cloaked and dubbed ‘Horror-kun,’ beckoned a finger towards London Lovett, whose eyes lit up. His voice, quivering and austere, asked, “it’s time?” and Horror-kun simply nodded. In and above the crowd, an epic battle, astoundingly improvised in such short notice, ensued, teleporting about, scythes swiping, fists flying, both persons involved in the battle proud to see it, only for London to fall to his knees. “I’m not enough…” He whispered, gazing out to the crowd who had, finally, become pretty sure that this was a bit, and safe to approach. As his grinning partner stomped his feet, he grew louder. “I need your belief in me. I need to feel your pulse resounding through my chest! Come on, let me hear you stomp to the beating of your hearts! Lend me your power - your spirits - and I can do this!” Not long after, he leapt forward, dealing the finishing blow and causing ‘Horror-kun’ to disappear, the crowd cheering as he stood there. Of course, the baggage boy who volunteered himself knew his part here. Sure, he wasn’t really usually the type to cheer with childlike glee, but his blood was pumping and he needed to steer this show into a way for these people to buy food. “YEAH!” He made himself yeah, “YEAH! You were like, the coolest! The way you were all, bam! And he was all, pow! You guys are the. COOLEST.” Then he looked to a piece of paper in his hand. “Oh, uh… Yeah! Hey everyone! Thanks for helping London save the world from the forces of Horror-kun! And to show how grateful we are, everything’s 30% off for the rest of the night! Come and get it!” “Now that is a damn good show,” the sentient Stand said, cool-toned and impressed, leaning towards CaraMel slightly. “Like, even you’ve gotta admit, something like that is top-tier.” Through the excitement of London Lovett’s battle with Horror-kun, the sentient Stand’s eagerness to see it, and the massive crowd going and buying things up in the aftermath, something seemed to snap in the young chef, whose lip trembled as she stormed off. Th-that was so… It’s everything I don’t want this place to be..! Her feelings were petty, on some level mad that people were having a good time in a way that she didn’t like or approve of, that people might learn from this example, and so she ran off, booking it through the stalls and trying to force a massive smile. “Like an eagle-eyed foodie, I spy trouble…” Purple remarked, having himself thoroughly enjoyed his time with BADD here, in spite of Pandora Anada saddling him with the nickname ‘Afton’ early on in spite of his lack of slaughter perpetration. Pandora Anada, then, concurred with a frown, “one of our cohosts, the one who ran this, she’s ran off… This doesn’t make the game over, does it?” Ryuga, having been focusing on food, looked the scene over, tugging at his shirt collar. “Yeah, I’ve seen that kind of look before… You two take over one last time. I’m going to talk to her.” Which was how, sulking at a bench, Ryuga encountered CaraMel, simply standing there quietly, unsure quite how to broach the conversation until she looked over at him, holding out a piece of the ‘Concept of Love’ cake he’d made and sliced up. “It’s, uh… On the house. Hey, I don’t know you well, but are you okay?” “Thank you…” CaraMel whispered, calming herself with a forkful of the stuff, shuddering and smiling wistfully as the experienced baker felt it along her tongue and vanish into her gullet. “It’s amazing…” And then, she found herself able to speak more, looking at the rush of customers to Elephant Bones. “That… Street performance stuff. None of it is about the food here, and that’s… That’s what this whole thing should be all about! Passionate chefs, and goodwill between them, and-” When he realized she wasn’t going to finish, Ryuga answered, shaking his head. “Chef Dansen… They’re doing the same thing that we are, in their own way. Sure, that sort of thing isn’t to my tastes, either, but I can still see the effort behind it, how cool it is, their skill with running a menu of their choice, and I’ve stopped by there myself at least once during this festival; what they’re serving is really good, too. You shouldn’t… Make yourself miserable because people are having a good time.” “But it’s getting more attention than anyone’s food, and if it takes them to the top people might-” “If they win, that’s fine by me,” Ryuga answered then, “I mean, sure, I would like to, but I didn’t want to be on Cairo’s show in the first place, any more than you wanted them here… Even if we did, it wouldn’t be okay to hold whatever happens against them. Pandora and I, we just did what we’d meant to here anyway, with the added pressure of cameras. I don’t think I regret a moment of this… It’s been a great day. That’s what matters to me most right now.” He looked around then. “I’d love to talk more, but… I should probably get back to our stand now. Are you going to be alright?” He waited to see her nod, looking genuinely slightly better, and then started off. “Talk to you later, then.” As he left, CaraMel could have sworn that she’d seen a strange form, one different yet similar to the dragons which had only briefly emerged to help cut the cake, perched on Ryuga’s back, flickering in and out of existence quickly. I don’t even know what his Stand can do, but it can change..? He doesn’t even seem to have noticed it… With a massive sale on the Elephant Bones coming into play in the final minutes, Bad Apple continued to sell food as they were. When 9 PM hit, all that was left was for the final last-minute orders on either side to be made. Pandora was humming happily and floating the orders to people with a, “remember always to live, laugh, love… Have a good lovely evening also.” Purple chuckled. “You, Pandora Anada, are yet the only person I have met to say that and sound so non-artificial… As if the words are truly profound to you.” Zebra, too, was finishing up serving orders, then, the airport baggage boy and London disappearing behind the grill to handle those final discount orders. Despite the booming attention they were getting, he couldn’t help but wonder about the pending results. “Did we play it up enough..? We were fighting uphill this entire time, and I can’t shake the feeling…” “Dude, relax,” the stoner helping London said, his overplayed enthusiasm for the sake of helping him win chilling to his usual mellow wit, “we’ve been pulling in numbers… I mean, so has everyone else, but we’ve been pullin’ in more, and a rising tide raises all ships, yeah?” “You make good points…” London agreed in his post-’battle’ calm, “you should come work at Elephant Bones full-time. We could always use more, and that bird you admire so much is there…” “Huh?” He seemed confused. “You, uh… Do realize I live literally the entire ‘Earth’ away… Uh. A-D to you outsiders. Biit of a commute for a guy with a suspended driver’s license… Honored, though, really, just to be asked.” Cairo’s voice came through then, for one of the first times in hours, where they were walking around on a date, that anyone had glimpsed the supposed host. “Alright, everyone, I can see you’ve completed every transaction. No way to pad it out now… Fall in, it’s time for us to announce results!” The six were exhausted, then, and shared some of their thoughts with the cameras when prompted hard to, but otherwise, waited patiently, sweatily, for the well-groomed host and the also very sweaty and tired-looking event organizer, Cairo and CaraMel, standing side-by-side, to announce the results. “So?” CaraMel asked, at least in a better, if resigned, mood from before, “who won this show of yours? Your people have been filming for nearly twelve hours after all…” “…Being So Normal is a show dedicated to the celebration and uplifting of the Stand User, to show the world what we’re capable of so we don’t have to live like some secretive underground.” They turned towards London in particular, earning a mildly disappointed but overall even face from BADD, but slight satisfaction from them. “Stand Users can be heroes, superstars, top-tier community figures, and we can encourage the best of the world while being the best in the world. I thoroughly believe that, and I know who for damn sure lived up to the spirit of this show more… And the people who lived up to that are definitely London, Zebra, and… This guy!” “I did what I could,” Purple tried to quietly console. The bagboy elbowed him. “Their next line is a ‘but,’ I can feel it…” “But,” Cairo continued, “the numbers don’t lie… On top of boosting the sales of every single person around here, and making them want to stick around, Ryuga, Pandora, ‘Afton,’ you wound up serving exactly as many customers in the end, to the one, even if you were just… Running a restaurant stall. You barely even gave us any prime Stand footage..!” Despite his words earlier, Ryuga looked like his heart skipped a beat, genuinely proud of his accomplishment. The smile typical to Pandora’s face grew wider, and Purple Kid, then, spoke with renewed vigor, “I did not at once doubt us! I’m an invaluable ally, aren’t I?!” The winner is the Taste of Fortuna, Cairo’s episode having no winner and both teams scoring 70!
BADD GUYS managed to catch up in votes in the nick of time, but in the end, easily the most consistent and frequent votes were for those calling to make the match a tie.
CaraMel, for whatever her reasons, asked to step away with London and Zebra, wanting to tell them something somewhere more quiet and ensuring them it was important. Cairo, of course, was professionally obligated to not act bitter about how one half of the side didn’t really have much Stand shenaniganry whatsoever, so they spoke with a smile. “That was… Quite the showing, seriously! I don’t know that Peach and I would’ve gone about it the same, but… Not bad, yeah. Good work rivaling each other completely and leaving no conclusive winner!” “I’m proud of what me and the youngsters did, yes,” Pandora agreed, nobody able to tell if she had missed the tension here or simply was billowing past it with positivity, the slightly intimidating woman a never-ending wellspring of good vibes, after all. “Good food we can stand by, happenstance resolving in our way, I’m sure there is some love in the air… All of it is very nice-as-icing.” “We really were just trying to make the best Taste of Fortuna possible… This was our way, and Elephant Bones had theirs,” Ryuga said, slightly uncomfortable at the host’s word choice and implicit disappointment in their lack of a ‘loss,’ but refusing to let it ruin the good feeling he’d had about the day. “And you got us to be in your show, in spite of us adamantly refusing.” They could tell that even the most skillful editing possible probably couldn’t make BADD GUYS look like the episode’s antagonistic side here, especially with all the positive talk about them, so c’est la vie. He was right, after all; there was still a really good episode buried in these hours of footage! “Everyone is the victor here, Cairo,” Purple reassured them, “me most of all, I like to think, but fret not, for soon, days from now, Being so Normal will drop! And oh, the fantastic episodes you’ve filmed right here in Agora Row for its first season.” “Yeah, you’re right… We’ve had some bumps along the road,” they said, “but stuff like that building match in the warehouse, and even that fight in sOOp at the mall ended as good as they could. It was just a matter of course that with CaraMel and Peach watching it, the Taste of Fortuna would go well too.” “Bumps along the road?” Ryuga asked in a somewhat tired, dry tone. “Never mind… I’d like to start cleaning up now, if you don’t mind.” “Next to godliness and have a good home,” Pandora remarked with a nod, “ahhh… Stop by again some time, won’t you? But we’d rather you not trick us into being on your show more…” A tall, broad, bald man in sunglasses, utterly eclipsed by an even bigger man beside him, were also among the last of the crowds to disperse. Chief Churchyard held a piece of cake and plate in one hand, a plastic fork in the other, both utterly eclipsed in size by his palms as he took demure bites. Mr. Jones was coolly sipping warm bone broth. “Mm, I gotta say, Church, I came here to get some tips outta watchin’ a young legend like Cairo film their show live, but this cuisine is top-of-the-line! Lucky you gettin’ the last slice of cake, though.” “Feels like a million bucks,” Churchyard answered between bites. “Somethin’ like this is just what we needed after the last few months… What with the fatal duel at that baseball game,” he paused then, as if stopping himself from saying ‘which Cairo filmed,’ “and the serial killer turning out to be that girlfriend of yours, so many people moving away and selling their houses… You hear the buyer’s gonna tear those down and build new apartments or something? Black Angel hasn’t been around as much lately either… Think I scared ‘em off?” “Heh, you sound concerned ‘bout the feelings of someone who beat my boys blue. They a personal friend, officer?” Jones answered, chuckling, sipping more broth as Churchyard visibly tensed. “Relax, just messin’ with ya. You’re too good-hearted sometimes… Hurts more people than it helps for a lawman to be like that.” Churchyard blinked, visible through his glasses. “You… seriously think that?” Nearby, a trio of young women glanced towards the very tall men, all various degrees of cross. Jillian Heart shuddered a bit, backing from them. “After all he did, all that’s been said about him, he’s just out in the open socializing like it’s nothing… He should be rotting in some cell, not laughing it up with an officer.” “That guy… He’s a pain in the ass, and Mr. Jones is gonna make a monster out of him.” ‘Lou’ Reed was wearing a ‘#FreeStone’ t-shirt under her open leather jacket, hair down and kept out of her eyes by a black headband, clenching her fists. “We have a chance to set things right here and now, before he can corrupt anything else.” Violet, clutching her still scarred torso, frowned. “Lou, not here… We’re in a crowded public place, and people are trying to have a nice time. Don’t throw yourself into this…” “Ruining one night to stop so many others from being ruined too sounds worth it to me,” she answered, stepping forward again. “Jill, text Gioia, she should still be around here. Together the two of us can easily-” She gasped a bit, wincing and feeling a sharp if mild stinging in the back of her neck. “Nngh, how big are mosquitoes around here..?” She rubbed at her neck, blinking and looking at her friends. “Uh, totally spaced out there… What were we talking about?” Violet hurried in front of her now, giggling a bit, “oh, just small-talk shit, ya know how it is. About how glad we are to just be having a nice time, Stand Users all over and not being in mortal danger… Ya know? Stuff ‘round all the Campuses have been, like, totally hectic lately.” “Heh…” Jill mused, playing along with the shift in the scene. “That’s Midnight Sun for you… Arts, Culinary, Law, Social Work, whatever school, you’re gonna have a time and a half.” “I’m used to worse, so honestly attending there might be kinda chill if anything,” Lou answered, shrugging with a casual grin, “I’m just happy you’re all alive and stuff… And have you tried all of the food around here? I’m gonna be so sick tomorrow but it’ll be sooo worth it for how I feasted today.” “That’s the spirit…” Violet said with some amusement. “I mean, even with stuff like that fight in Professor Kirk’s sculpting room and the Institute Library, you can still do shit like campus games, yeah? …and I still have no idea how the Assassin game I ran to mess with those guys went in the end.” “You made people play that game to jerk ‘em around and then ditched before it ended?” Lou raised an eyebrow. “That is rich.” A perfect set of ears overheard all of that and so much more, to the point where it was a little bit overstimulating to try and discern literally everything, honestly… But Metra Doria, who Los Fortuna and the world knew as TD/MD, wasn’t one to shy away from an event like this, where exactly the sort of people she might be seeking could be. She was accompanied, of course, by her ever reliable agent and friend, Thutmose, who in recent times had seen a 100% decrease in his role of cowing to outside pressure to turn Stand Users on one another, concerns of retaliation for which had prompted him to spend more time around Metra again. “That’s definitely the voice of ‘Worm,’ from those streams… But I can’t really make sense of it,” she thought aloud, using her ally as a soundboard. “I mean, these are guys who turn their own casinos into arenas and stuff, and he doesn’t seem like the sort… You got any hunches?” “Unfortunately, I do not…” Thutmose shook his head. “When that performance at the Alexander Dickinson went so amazingly, it saved our friendship and our professional relationship, and I am completely grateful for that, but Mr. Sins isn’t quite as willing to chat my ears off anymore now that he doesn’t stand to gain much from me besides a punching bag…” “So we’re at a bit of a roadblock on all sides,” Metra said with a pout, before remembering an incident shortly after that fight in traffic they showed to the dark web. She’d said in private a bit ago, “I was supposed to meet with one of those guys after that, but all I got when I went down to the meeting spot was a note with this weirdly perfect, almost machine-like handwriting from him, saying something about how they were followed by the winner of that fight, he got spotted, and now there was too much heat to hang around and chat… Talk about unlucky, huh? Blocked because people were trying to do the same thing… “Well,” she said in the present, “we’ll just have to try harder to get to the bottom of it all, won’t we? Worst-case scenario, though, even if I never get another lead again, at least I just had a nice day without any trace of that Fox guy hanging over my shoulder.” Peres Straviat’s Clinic, near The Devil Blue, Waterfront District, 9:56 PMPeres Straviat sat back in front of a computer, mouse in her hand while her stand took care of the keyboard. Together, they navigated through a mess of spreadsheets, contracts, and other such bits of classified information. The screen was currently open to a sheet documenting The Devil Blue’s Niter sales and the expenses spent on gathering them, and the situation was… complicated. The past few months had been turbulent, with a boom in their supply followed almost immediately by a drastic drop (the latter of which likely occurred due to The Ocean Soul having been defeated by an incredibly annoying “villain” and a somewhat less annoying dog.) The Ocean Soul hadn’t been killed, but it had been weakened and had become incredibly cautious, leading to the drop. With the drop in the luxury good’s supply came an increase in demand, and the only people capable of keeping up with it were The Devil Blue, in no small part due to Peres’s own assistance. Following her research into the effects of The Ocean Soul’s ability, Peres had figured out how to create imitations of Niters with her stand. They weren’t as good as the real thing, but when people wanted them that bad, they certainly accepted a small drop in quality if it let them get their hands on Niters. Then again, the Niters didn’t matter much - they weren’t the true focus of her research, and at the end of the day, this was nothing more than a “milestone” along the way. What truly mattered was not the Niters, but managing to capture The Ocean Soul. Before the train of thought could continue, Peres was interrupted by three loud knocks at the door. “Hello~! Peres, are you in here?” from behind the door came the familiar voice of Modern Holiday, her business partner. “Whatever, I’m coming in either way!” and with that, he opened the door, and light flooded into the room as the bright-eyed man stood in the doorway. In his hands were multiple plastic bags with a “Taste of Fortuna” label, filled to the brim with all sorts of food. “I see you brought something along with you. How was the festival?” Peres asked. “Oh, it was great! There’s so much good food there, I’m stuffed!” Holiday jubilantly said. “And you still couldn’t help but bring more with you.” Peres jokingly remarked. “Of course I couldn’t! This is a once-in-a-year opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it! Not to mention that you haven’t gotten to- OH! I forgot to mention that I saw a stall for the Elephant Bones there!” “The Elephant Bones? Were they the restaurant that that ‘Glitch’ woman you met a while back worked for?” “Yeah! They did a whole big routine there as well, giving one of their stands a costume and everything! And there was this other group of stand users that made a massive cake and showed it off to everyone, and their food was so good! Here, see for yourself - I got you a piece!” Holiday said, beaming, as he took a small box out of the bag and placed it on Peres’ table, before opening it to reveal a slice of cake and handing her some plastic cutlery. “Well, it sounds like you enjoyed yourself.” Peres said, taking a chunk out of the cake and tasting it. “Hm. Good cake.” “Yeah! I knew you would like it!” Holiday said, placing the plastic bags by the entrance of the room, before grabbing a chair and moving it over so that he could sit down in front of Peres. Holiday stretched back in his chair and yawned before speaking. “So, putting that aside - Cairo’s gonna launch Being So Normal soon, yeah? You think we’re good to go before Vitus starts harassing us even more than usually?” “Hmm… Hard to tell. We’ve made significant progress in our preparations for capturing the Ocean Soul, but once the footage from the fight against the Ocean Soul is publicly released, I’m certain that Vitus will make his move as well. We might have managed to prepare quite a bit ourselves, but he’s got significant influence, both within ODIN and outside of it, and I’m certain he’ll try to use sabotage in the future.” “Yeah… Well, at least we’re better off than we would have been had we not cooperated with Cairo in order to get the footage from the fight, yeah? Who knew that the cameras would end up capturing that weird hermit talk about the secret to summoning the Ocean Soul? Without us finding out about that before Vitus, we’d have been so screwed!” In response, Peres shrugged, but it was clear that she was still somewhat antsy about the whole situation. “Possibly. Not that it matters anymore - we got the footage, and we’re taking steps to make sure that our plans will be successful. No use thinking about what might have happened.” Holiday sighed. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Still… I can’t help but get nervous about this all, you know? We can’t underestimate Vitus, or any of the other stand users in this city for that matter, and if we screw this up, then… Well, I’d really rather not think about that, and I’m sure you don’t either, yeah?” “You’re right in that regard, but you know I’m not backing down on this - it’s a risk we have to take. I… I can’t afford not to.” Back in Agora Row, a public park near Sweet FA Mall - Roughly 10:45 PM The Elephant Bones trio had a bad feeling about getting dragged out into the empty park by the host who had been less receptive to their show, especially when she proceeded to say she needed to do some stuff back at the Fest and would be back in a moment, proceeding to run late as hell in the process. Still, though, in time, CaraMel Dansen came back, enthusiastically greeting them with a, “hey, hey, sorry for the wai~t! You just get so busy when you’re organizing the largest culinary event in the city and your coworker on the University Board drops an entire reality TV event on you about it, you kno~w?” The bagboy nodded, sagely. “I know the feeling… Happens to me every hour on the hour.” “I’m not in a joking mood, little man.” She snapped on the man not too many years younger than her, and quite taller, before turning to London and Zebra. “Anyway, uh… Sorry if I read as hostile there. Nerves, tensions, life’s work, you know how it is.” London, having no small supply of exciting stories, some in the not-fun way, nodded. “I can feel it… We got really on edge too, just knowing Bad Apples were here, and then it all wound up good. Ryuga even came by and just… Talked to us, during the proceedings.” “All that walking around and we tied them…” Zebra was still a bit in disbelief. “But you didn’t need to drag us all out here just to apologize, right? What’s the real reason for the secrecy?” “Well, I so completely just came out here to apologize off the cameras that that’s part two of my apology, actually!” She popped her foot. “See, things are about to get really hectic in the Slums, for… The first time in awhile. Because people are moving in to try and arrest a very very important person, by the time it’d take you to commute back there, it’ll probably be on the verge of a chaotic full scale war in the streets!” She brought her hands to her cheeks Home Alone style and shook in place somewhat. “So poor, poor Elephant Bones is probably one of the least safe places to be right now… I’d suggest you check into some nice hotel or something and just wait it out, maybe warn any of your friends to hang low!” “Danger out there, huh..?” London asked, “honestly, you’ve just made me more curious about whatever’s going on out there… Though I imagine you’re only telling us this because we can’t do anything to get in its way.” “Yep! I may have been against the move, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna undermine my colleagues! You can’t get in the way, so I wanted to suggest you get out of the way as a show of good faith! At least for a few days…” “I don’t suppose that’s making you reconsider our job offer at all, is it..?” Zebra asked the bagboy. “Yeah nah, not really vibing with that… But hey, if your place gets wrecked in whatever riots or police attacks or whatever else goes on out there, I’ll do ya a solid and foot the bill to have one of the best builders where I live come take care of it. Just, uh… Don’t get too chummy with him if that happens, yeah? Old man like, actually kinda gets uncomfortable at that kinda stuff.” London, Zebra, and the Elephant Bones gang don’t have any way to change what’s happening in the Slums right now, but a LEGO sculptor and the most mushroom-based of the city’s motorcycling vigilantes are fighting the Slum Queen, who stands accused of the murder of Andrew Tiffany. 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