Sunday, August 28, 2022

Story Post: Tournament Bout 5: B.A.D vs CarolAIna Reaper [Trapdoorspyder vs Habanero]

Reports are coming in of 2 hour queues at the New Cortex Jetdrome - something like five times the usual footfall, all people trying to get to the finals in time, many of whom don’t have tickets - they just want to be here, to soak in the atmosphere and breath the same air as the winners of this, the great sport in our culture.

And now, we have today’s final bout. Trapdoorspyder has perhaps been the main character of this season; he’s played in the most Bouts, spent time as its undisputed villain, but also came within a hair’s whisker of having been top seed having swapped the world number 1 position with Brendan on an almost daily basis on the way here. Currently the number 3, he’s up against a brash, impetuous newcomer - although there has been no shortage of speculation that Habanero is a veteran in disguise, given the ease with which he has navigated this contest, racking up multiple wins on the way to a 4th seed in this contest. Any outcome other than a win for Trapdoorspyder and B.A.D would be an upset, but with its new howitzer-focused loadout and with Habanero’s adaptability, anything could happen.

The blue light is lit - they’re off!

B.A.D is off first, moving into position 8, but Trapdoorspyder seems to be distracted - he looks like he’s reading a pamphlet of some kind? The Reaper advances pell-mell, a huge, reckless ram that smashes into B.A.D - not moving the other bot an inch but shoving was perhaps not the point, so much as shredding the ablative plate of B.A.D with those spikes. But B.A.D is not retaliating - Trap seems to have fully put the controller down, and is immersed in that document - what is it? What does the title page say? I-N-S-T-R-U-C-T-I-O-N - M -A- N - U - A - L….”

Habanero is not going to be courteous and is out with the axe but Trap is not looking up - what’s under that? “HOW TO USE YOUR NEW HOWITZER”? Is this - am I seeing this? Again that axe, and, yes, it looks like Trap is only just now reading up on how to use the new Howitzer system that his bot design is build around! This is bizarre - B.A.D is dead stick while its operator absorbs himself in the minutiae of the only weapon system there is on his bot!

Whack, whack, whack with the axe, and before you know it - the plating is in shreds and so’s the chassis! What a weird bout, but Habanero is through to the round three playoff - CarolAIna Reaper wins by TKO!

Well, what do we say about this? Always a larger-than-life character, Trapdoorspyder has delighted and infuriated in equal measure. No-one would deny his massive talent, but sometimes this has been obscured by his off-pitch antics; either way, though, his presence has enriched this contest massively, and the crowds will be willing him on to return in future years. Trapdoorspyder, our fourth-place finalist.


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