Fighter's Quarters, ClashDome node...
Marionette yawned as she woke up in the soft, fluffy bed her room at the Clashdome held.
It's nice that the staff here provides these places for the fighters, she thought, slowly getting to her feet, I just wish
I didn't have to fight someone to get to use them.
She looked over in one corner of the room and saw Shadow floating there.
He smirked, "I was wondering when you'd wake up. Sparky's waiting outside, and he's about ready to have a heart attack."
Marionette grimaced, "Ah, give him a break, Shadow. This is his first tournament, and I'm the only character he's entered
Shadow huffed, "Yeah, I know. But that's still no reason to act like Sgt.Slaughter on crack."
Marionette giggled, and got up, still holding the blanket over herself. "Mind giving me a little privacy while I get cleaned
Shadow blinked, then chuckled, leaving the room. Outside, he met up with Mysterio, his writer, who was pacing nervously.
He was basically humanoid, but his skin was blue and his hair was silver, and lightning crackled about him like for that Mortal
Kombat character, Rayden. It was very unnerving to watch. And the ridiculous canary-blue business suit he wore didn't help
Shadow sneered at him. He was annoying and mildly insane (but then, if what the other fighters had told him were true,
so were most of their writers, so he was nothing special), but he was grateful to have him. Even if he was nuts.
Before Darkfighter, both he and Marionette had no semblance of personality. No emotions, no memories, no free will, they
simply existed. Whenever Jedah, Pyron, or Demitri wanted them to do something, they did it without question. When the Darkfighter
managers came around and signed up the Darkstalkers, they signed up only because they were asked to.
Their first writer had backed down due to either a lack of interest or a lack of ideas, he could never tell which, and
they were forced to go back to being what Shadow could term only as 'non-persons.'
Then this screwloose came around. He gave them a story, gave them personality, gave them LIVES really. So they could put
up with him.
Mysterio turned to him and snapped, "Is she up? Is she getting ready?"
Shadow nodded, "Yes, Sparky, she is."
"Don't call me Sparky. And good, she's up. Because Alia managed to hack into Clashdome systems, and I know now what kind
of match this is going to be," Mysterio said, holding up several sheets of paper.
Shadow smirked at Mysterio's paranoia and went over to look at the papers.
Men in Capes, or MiC for short, waded through the sea of enslaved men and women, all asleep for now, in Morrigan's quarters,
musing at the harem-style decor. I seem to have a habit of choosing characters that are somewhat... deviant... in their personalities,
he thought. Smiling at his good taste and luck at gaining 'control' (so to speak) over such powerful persons, he stepped over
a shockingly young boy that couldn't have been more than seventeen, and came to a hot tub where Morrigan luxuriated, her shoulders
being massaged by a burly, pale-skinned woman.
The beautiful succubus smiled up at the cloaked, shadowy figure as he loomed over her. "Well well, if isn't the irreverant
MiC. What brings you to my humble temporary abode?" she cooed, smiling sweetly up at him.
MiC smirked down at her, "Don't bother, Morrigan. I've figured out how to block out your tricks. You hold no power over
Morrigan giggled, her eyes drifing below his beltline, to the bulge in his pants, "Oh really?"
MiC blushed visibly and wrapped his cloak around himself completely, save for one arm, which held a handful of documents.
"Bison's agents hacked into the ClashDome systems for me. I know what format your match with the puppet-girl will be."
Morrigan waved her masseuse off and stood up, willing herself dry and taking the papers from MiC. She smirked. "How'd you
get them to cooperate?"
MiC grinned evilly. "I threatened to write their next appearance like an episode of Barney The Dinosaur, complete with
She laughed. She then glanced over the papers and shrugged. "Capture the flag and a zombie killing contest? Sounds simple
MiC frowned, and said, "Maybe, but I still want you to be careful. I'm still not sure what powers Marionette has. Now get
ready, you have to be down at the arena in a few minutes. Writers aren't allowed down there, but Demitri will accompany you."
Morrigan nodded, and snapped her fingers. Her servants all glowed briefly before changing into black energy bats. Morrigan
held out her arms, and several of the bats flew towards her, transforming themselves into her overly revealing outfit.
Morrigan smirked, spreading the wings on her back. "Let's go, then."
A few minutes later...
Dai looked back at the door to the announce booth for what seemed like the hundredth time. The sounds of wrestlers grunting
in pain was growing closer. This was making her nervous.
Hiro, naturally, ignore the whole thing and concentrated on announcing in his usual style..
"Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome once again to the third annual Darkfighter Tournament!! Our next match is between a Darkfighter
veteran and a newcomer to the tournament! One is a beautiful, luxurious, incredible, all-around hotty of a succubus Empress
of Makai, and the other is... well... some puppet-girl... thing... But anyway..."
At that point Shawn Stasiak, looking like he had been run over with a 747, flew into the announce booth, crashing into
Hiro. Before the startled announcer could react, a rainbow-colored Stand flew into the room, stabbing him in the head with
a broadsword. There was no blood, but at the exit and entry points of the blade, rainbow-colored electricity sparkled. Dai
finally got a look at the stand. It was a female, in rainbow-colored knight's armor. The stand withdrew her sword from Hiro's
head and he fell to the ground, smiling at Dai.
"He'll be fine. He's just taking a nap for this round."
Dai blinked, and looked out the door at the battered bodies of the Hurricane, Maven, and Tommy Dreamer, before looking
at the woman who beat the living daylights out of all of them. She wore a red bodysuit and had dark-black hair. She smiled
at the stand and snapped her fingers, walking into the booth. The stand vanished back into the woman's body after dumping
Hiro on top of Maven.
"Hmph. Teach them to stop me from going where I want to go. Hi. The name's Alia Falcos. I'm Marionette's guardian. I figured
you'd like someone who ISN'T a spaz as a broadcast partner for once."
Dai grinned, and shook Alia's hand. Alia sat down next to her and put on Hiro's headset.
"Ladies and gentlemen, due to the unfortunately circumstances of Hiro's brain being switched off temporarily by a Stand
user, he will not be able to commentate for this round," Dai said.
The cheer was defeaning.
"But let's get on with it! We have a match to show! I'm Alia Falcos for Dai, and this is the Darkfighter Tournament!" Alia
The crowd cheered as Jim Brickman's "Simple Things" started playing over the speakers, signalling the arrival of the first
"Our first competitor is a newcomer to the tournament! Being accompanied to the ring by Shadow, please welcome my girl,
Marionette!" Alia shouted.
Marionette nervously peeked out of the curtains and smiled at the politely cheering audience. After a moment, she slowly
made her way down to the center ring, looking scared. Shadow drifted alongside her, occasionally leaning in to whisper encouragement
to her whenever she looked like she wanted to go back up the ramp. She got into the ring, her confidence slowly building,
and waved to the audience, smiling warmly.
Dai smirked, and turned off her mike. "She's a cute one," he said.
Alia smiled, switching off hers briefly. "Yeah. She's nervous, but you really can't blame her. She's never seen this many
Dai smiled and turned her mike back on as the music switched to the Kid Rock version of ZZ Top's "Legs" as Morrigan simply
strutted out to the ring, Demitri following close behind. She ignored the catcalls and whistles, simply accepting them as
her due as the most beautiful fighter here. She got into the ring and smiled viciously at Marionette, who yipped and hid behind
Shadow. Demitri and Shadow glared at each other for a moment, but turned back to the announce booth.
"State the format for this match and be quick about it," Demitri said, wanting to get Morrigan alone again as soon as possible.
Dai yipped as Demitri glared at her. She quickly pressed a few buttons and all four of the fighters were transported to
the front of a giant, old-looking mansion. Lighting flashed dramatically above their heads, crashing loudly.
Marionette would have been frightened by the lighting if it weren't for the fact that she was confused by the fact that
her outfit had changed into a red flak jacket, combat boots and gloves, and black shorts that barely went down to her knees.
was having similar problems.
"Why in the HELL did you give me this outfit?!" she snarled, "I look like Cammy from that crap Street Fighter movie!!"
Morrigan's clothes had been replaced by a blue t-shirt, greyish-blue shoulderpads and sweatpants of the same color, combat
boots and gloves like Marionette's, and a bluish beret.
Dai looked through her notes, then said, "We're doing something different for this round. Welcome to Resident Symphony
of the Flag." Dai blinked at the name for moment. Alia struggled not to laugh. Dai shook her head and continued, "This contest
will be an hour race through the castle from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to the catacombs to find and defeat the swamp
monster that holds the flag. The first one to get the flag and get back to their partner, wins. However, getting the flag
first may be negated, as this is also a contest to see who can kill the most zombies, which have been graciously donated by
the Umbrella Corporation. The BOSSES of the castle are there as well, and killing them equals five zombies per boss."
Alia finally managed to recover herself. "Now, to make this more interesting, neither Morrigan or Marionette can use any
of their powers other than flying. However, we will provide both of them with hand-mounted rotary gatling guns, modified by
Dr. Hawkins of the MDK2 node to have unlimited ammunition."
The weapons appeared on the right hands of the two startled women. Morrigan and Marionette looked at each other with identical
expressions of confusion. Marionette raised her hand.
"It appears that Marionette has a question. Yes?" Dai said.
"Um... Well... Bad things happen to me when I kill people..."
Morrigan smacked her forehead and answered for Dai and Alia. "Kid, don't worry. Everything that happens in a tournament
match is out of continuity with whatever plotline you have right now. Aside from that, zombies are dead to begin with."
Marionette stared at Morrigan for a moment. Then she smiled and nodded.
Morrigan grinned viciously. "Good. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a contest to win." She fired her gatling gun at Marionette's
feet, causing her to jump back, and ran into the castle.
"Hey! That's not nice!" Marionette yelled, and ran in after her.
Morrigan laughed at Marionette as she ran through the main hall. She threw open the doors to the castle ballroom and stopped.
Marionette caught up with her and started to snap at her for shooting at her when she saw what Morrigan was looking at.
Her eyes widened.
Literally dozens of zombies were shambling towards them. Marionette screamed "AAAH!! ZOMBIES!!" and ran off down a dark
hallway, firing her gun wildly. Morrigan just sighed at her and flew up to the top of the room and took aim.
After a few minutes of holding down the trigger, all the zombies in the hallway had been reduced to bleeding piles of mush.
Morrigan smiled, then noticed a tingling on her arm as a device appeared on her wrist. It was the size of a watch, but had
Morrigan and Marionette's names on it with a number for each of them underneath.
"Hrm. A kill counter. Let's see how the puppet-thing is doing." Morrigan looked at the numbers and blinked. Marionette's
kill count was already higher than hers and rising steadily. "What the hell?! Damn, I'm gonna have to hurry. Even if I do
get the flag that little brat will still win!" She flew off down a stairway going down, hoping that it would lead to the catacombs.
Deep within the castle...
"OhgodohgodohgodohgodohgodAAAAHHH!" Marionette wailed as she ran through the castle, shooting at anything that moved. She
wasn't looking where she was going, and collided with a door, her head banging off of it with a wooden thump. Pain flashed
through her head before she collapsed. Groaning and rubbing her head, she got up and opened the door.
It was a library. She knew that from what Alia told her. But it was HUGE! It made the building in New York look like a
hovel. Books were stacked on shelves higher that she could imagine. Marionette giggled and wandered around for a while, gliding
up to look at the titles.
"HEY! You! Girly! This is MY library! GET OUT!" a gruff voice snarled.
Marionette looked up to see a rather large, angry-looking green demon yelling at her. Marionette whimpered.
"Get out NOW! Or I'll rip you to pieces! RRRRRAAHHHHHHH!!!!!"
"AAAH!!! MONSTER!!!" Marionette screamed and flew off, firing her gatling gun. The demon laughed and dodged it, picking
up speed and tackling her, slamming into a bookcase. Pain shot up and down Marionette's back as she got her arms up underneath
his and managed to push him away. She fired her gun at his chest. Its insides flew out of its back and it landed on the floor
with a wet thump.
Marionette lowered herself to the floor, catching her breath. "I've gotta find the catacombs before Morrigan does. But
how can I now? I think I've been going up the past few minutes!"
"Actually, you have been moving upwards."
Marionette yipped and turned at the sound of a voice, aiming her gatling gun into the darkness. She relaxed visibly when
an old man carrying a map appeared.
"I'm the librarian. Thank you for disposing of him. He was an awful nuisance. Perhaps I can be of assistance to you?"
Marionette blinked for a moment, then nodded. "Yeah... um... Could you help me get to the catacombs? I seem to be a little
The librarian smiled and gave her the map he was holding. "Everything is clearly labeled. Just follow the path from here."
Marionette smiled and thanked the man before flying out the library, praying that she hadn't fallen too far behind Morrigan
Several minutes later, inside the catacombs...
The truth was, she was actually still ahead of her. And this was frustrating Morrigan to the point where she had dropped
all of her usual flirtiness and started shooting anything that looked like it had a pulse. She literally tore through the
creatures in the catacombs before coming to a wide, colosseum-shaped room filled with skeletons to the point where the floor
was covered with them.
Morrigan smiled. "Homey."
A slobbery voice sounded from a few feet off to the left. "Ironic you should say that. SINCE THIS WILL BECOME YOUR HOME
A disgusting, vaguely bipedal blob of vegetation and what looked like green mucus lumbered out. Morrigan would have ignored
the creature entire if it weren't for the fact that on his head was the flag.
Morrigan smiled. Forgetting about the rules, she shaped her wings around her upper body into the form of a drill and flew
straight at the creature. It tried to grab her, but Morrigan's drillbit wings tore through its hands.
Then they tore through its chest.
Morrigan landed behind the creature, trying to shake the slime off of her wings. "Yuck. Yuck yuck yuck. I'm going to be
washing these for days."
She never noticed the creature fall back on top of her. "UNGH!!"
"This is degrading..." Morrigan snarled and struggled to free herself. She managed to lift the creature's head up and get
to her knees.
At that point, a veiwscreen showing Dai and Alia, both women grinning like fools, appeared. Dai laughed at her and said,
"You know, there IS a reason we said no powers other than the gatling guns and flying."
Morrigan snarled and tried to lunge at them. Unfortunetly, this caused her to let go of the creature, which crashed back
down on top of her head.
The screen vanished at the same time as Marionette walked in, having dropped her gun along the way so she could carry the
map better. She saw the flag sticking out of the dead creature's head, and yanked it out gently.
She giggled, said, "I'm winning," and started back the way she came. A low growling caught her attention. She turned around
slowly and froze when she saw what was looking at her.
A giant ball seemingly composed of corpses.
The announcer's booth...
"What the hell..." Alia said. Hiro started to get up, but Alia's stand stabbed him again, knocking him out for the duration.
Dai grinned. "I forgot to mention. Anyone who gets the flag will have to run from the Granfaloon, which cannot be killed
in this match."
Alia turned on her, fuming. "You lousy bitch. This wasn't in the notes."
Dai smirked. "I know. I got paid extra to leave little details like this out of the main notes in the computer to discourage
hackers looking for an edge."
Marionette stared at the Granfaloon creature for several moments, her eyes growing wide. When the creature released several
zombies, which then lumbered towards her, Marionette shrieked, "AAAAH!! ZOMBIE MONSTER!!!" and ran off. Granfaloon growled
and floated after her.
Morrigan eventually worked her way free and chased after Marionette, snarling to herself and cursing her poor luck. She
had a small idea of where Marionette was running, and took a shortcut out of the catacombs. She flew through the halls, twisting
and turning, not looking where she was going but listening for the sound of Marionette's voice.
Sadly, her bad luck held out. She had accidentally flew up into the castle keep. She crashed into a blue crystal ball,
and was enveloped in a beam of light, sending her up high into the sky.
When she woke up, she found herself in the exact same place, only different.
"Everything is... upside down?" she asked herself, "How did this happen?"
Suddenly, a deep voice from behind her said, "You are in a place where you don't want to be, little one..."
Morrigan turned, suddenly paralyzed by fear, and looked directly into the eyes of Dracula...
Outside the castle...
Shadow and Demitri paced. It had been almost an hour and neither of them had heard from the two women. Suddenly, they heard
the sound of someone screaming.
Moments later, Marionette threw open the doors of the castle and collapsed in front of them.
Shadow grinned as Marionette caught her breath and got to her feet. Demitri looked into the castle doors for a few minutes,
and turned on Marionette, grabbing her by the throat. Shadow snarled in anger, swelling to his largest size and preparing
to possess Demitri.
"I'm going to ask this once. Where. Is. Morrigan?"
Marionette gagged as Demitri tightened his grip. Black flowers blossomed in her vision. But before either Shadow OR Demitri
could do anything, a blinding explosion came from above them, and Morrigan, battered, bruised, and burned in several places,
landed HARD right next to them.
Demitri ran over to her side. "Morrigan! Are you alright?"
Morrigan just glared up at him. "Lord of the Vampires, huh?"
Demitri just blinked, confused.
Morrigan sighed. "No talking. Just get me out of here. This has been one of the most degrading days of my entire life."
Marionette and Shadow just watched the two of them and laughed.
The Announcer's Booth...
Alia smiled, satisfied. Dai grinned and pressed the button to teleport them all back.
"A thrilling race, folks! Marionette not only gets the flag, but has a higher kill count than Morrigan, meaning she advances
to the next round!"
The crowed cheered loudly. Dai turned off her mike and turned to Alia. "Miss Falcos, it's been a pleasure working with
Alia grinned as she took off her annoucer's gear and stood up. "No problem. I had fun. See you later," she said, walking
Dai smirked down at Hiro, who was slowly regaining conciousness.
"What happened? Who won?" he asked, still visibly groggy.
"The puppet girl thing. PAY UP," Dai said, holding out her hand to him.
Hiro groaned, then mumbled something incoherent, before reaching into his pocket and put sixteen twenty dollar bills in
Dai's hand. Dai grinned and counted her money.
Hiro got up and put his equipment back on. Before turning it on, he said, "This is the last time I make bets with you."
"Yeah, I bet twenty bucks that I'll NEVER make a bet with... you... again... D'OH!"
Dai laughed and turned on her mike as Morrigan, still very annoyed-looking, dragged Demitri through the curtains to the
back, and Marionette waved to the crowd, which was still cheering her.
"A race to the finish ends with Marionette coming out the winner. She advances to round two as Morrigan just advances to
the back. But don't go away folks, there's still more action to come on the third semi-annual Darkfighter Tournament!"