Thursday, August 25, 2022

Story Post: Bout #36: The Killing Joke vs CarolAIna Reaper [Darknight vs Habanero]

I’m back! Yes, your regular announcer is back in the saddle after a relaxing long weekend on the beaches on the Hormi peninsula. My name is Alie, by the way, I’m not sure that it’s been established but it is an important character detail. I have a beautiful spouse and several children. On with the Bots!

On paper this practice Bout is going to be a massacre: the Reaper is the only undefeated Bot in the league, having shredded Raven1207 and Maldor and even having dispensed with League veteran SingularByte with some style, while Killing Joke has yet to bank a win despite having had its first roll-out way back in Bout number 11. But! The Reaper’s signature rotating collar of spikes has been banned by the league, and Killing Joke has been extensively renovated since its last appearance against Dark Lord, so there’s a lot on the line here.

In position 4 we have Killing Joke, the rictus Joker grin freshly repainted onto that heavy Camelot chassis. Glowering at it malevolently from position 10 is the Pyramid - a opaque black slab of a Bot, standing at four feet in height and towering over every other Bot in the league, ally menace and mystery - where did it come from, and where will it go? And then in 16 it’s the Reaper, which seems to have added some Spikes back onto its frame at the last minute thanks to its Modular Breakpoint. And we’re off!

Very cagey, this, as the Killing Joke holds position - micro-movements, almost trying to bait a response, but nothing that shifts it from position 4. the Pyramid turns to face the Reaper, its inscrutable angles reflecting the empty bleachers - and the Reaper also holds position, each Bot looking for a break…

Killing Joke continues to hold, but the Pyramid comes off of its line, moving to position 13 - in threatening range of the Reaper! The Reaper must surely respond - but no - Habanero seems to have decided that the House Bot is not with its time, and Pyramid will punish that, as Killing Joke looks on gnosticly, but out of a smooth panel on pyramid’s hull comes a nozzle with spurts liquid flame all over the Reaper! The Reaper is loaded with Ablative Plating but a lick of the flamethrower is a serious business, especially given the number of Systems on the Reaper, but the Reaper continues to not respond, so Pyramid retracts its flamethrower and instead goes for the pincers - which clamp into the Reaper’s hull unresisted, giving it a good shake!

Pyramid seems frustrated with its quarry just sitting there, so angry barges forward, but its weak motor does no damage to the Reaper and it takes a scratch on the Reaper’s spike collar. But with that little flurry of activity the Bout settles into a holding pattern - Killing Joke holding its position, the Reaper stubbornly staying still, and the Pyramid patrolling between 12 and 15. With no audience there’s no-one to react to this, but I can’t help but wonder what this is doing for the competitors - what kind of strategies are they seeing play out here?

Oh, there’s the klaxon - it’s sudden death!

It’s been a while since we saw a sudden death Bout, and the systems have had a bit of an upgrade - each ring of the arena has a variable chance of exploding each round, with the centre being safer than the edges. On the first round of explosions nothing triggers - Killing Joke still holding position. On the second, Pyramid comes to position 15 on its patrol - and! Positions 1, 16 and 19 explode, but position 16 is occupied by the Reaper! Usually this would be instant death, but the Reaper has ablative plating - but with Loose the damage being absorbed is significant, and that plating isn’t completely broken but it is cracked! Round 3 of sudden death and Habanero charges forward to position 10, the safest square on the board, and explosions go off at 2, 3, 5, 15, 16 and 17 - Habanero dodged a bullet there but Pyramid caught an explosion and is gone from the Bout! Round 4, Killing Joke holds its position - still! With all this! And there’s booms at 2 - nothing at 4! - 6, 7, 9 and OH MY GOD - 10 goes - that’s the Reaper’s plating shattered and it’s vulnerable! Now it’s just a question of which goes up first, 4 or 10, and the odds favour Reaper still - even after having tanked two hits of the Sudden Death - but on Round 5, BOTH POSITIONS explode and it’s going to the judges!

In the event that both competitors take a TKO knockout at the same time, the tiebreaker is average condition. Killing Joke came into the Bout with some superficial damage and, of course, took 100% chassis damage right at the end there - leaving it with an average Condition of 86%. The Reaper, though, went into the Bout in top condition but lost its chassis and its plating - leaving it with an average condition of just 67%. Which means it’s a shocking upset! Many will feel that this was a lucky win, but the scoreboard ultimately doesn’t lie:

Killing Joke wins by TKO!


No comments posted yet