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Redtiger7

Forum Challenge - Welcome To The Big Leagues

He used to be one of them, one of the crowd sitting in the stands cheering for the team. He wasn’t a noble, nor a royal, nor a guild master.  Just a common labourer, his days filled with work, eat and sleep. Until game day. Then he would add his face to the excited masses and they would become one large being united in their exuberance. On those days he was part of something bigger. There he was amongst his kin, the fans.  The horn would blow and the team would enter under the roar of the crowd. Their champions had arrived.  Their team would bring them glory and take them away from their dreary lives if only temporarily.

After the game, when  exhilaration was still fresh, he would take his dilapidated ball into the alley behind his dilapidated housing complex and spend hours kicking it into a dilapidated wall. To him it was no longer a wall, but goal post of  the Butcher's , or the Brewers,  maybe even the Alchemists. He would aim for this spot, that spot, dodging imaginary defenders. Making the perfect kick, scoring the perfect goal. Getting the crowd to cheer for him.

Today, though, he is no longer one of “them”. Today, he is one of THEM. He has finally made it. Through countless hours of perfecting his kick in the alley, raising through the ranks of the minors, he has finally caught the attention of the Masons. He has done everything asked of him in the training program, fervently listening to everything told to him by his coaches. Today it has paid off. Today he gets to play for the team he has always cheered for. Today, he is a  Mason.

This isn't the same team he's grown up with though. This is their first game since winning the  Frontier Cup and gone is Honour. In her place sits a new captain, and an air of discontent in the locker room. Few players are talking to each other. A tension  hangs over the room. He gets changed for the game, no one giving him the least bit of attention. Scared to do something wrong, he just sits quietly on the bench, waiting for the signal to go on.

Finally, someone approaches him and speaks. It is the new captain, Hammer. "Yo , rook, " he says. "You  just get me the ball and it's all good." The rookie wants to say yes, to show enthusiasm to let the captain know he can counted on. But before he can open his mouth, Hammer has already walked away. He can feel the daggers being thrown at the captain from the eyes of some of the others. If Hammer can feel it too, he doesn't show it.

The horn sounds and the game starts. The Butchers kick off, sending the ball into Mason territory.  Tower runs out to retrieve it, passing it back to Hammer. But his aim is off and the ball goes wide. The rook sees the ball get nearer him. He can get it. He can get it and race through the opening he spots in the Butcher’s line. He can do this, race through that opening and drive straight to the goal. Kick it with that pinpoint precision he’s honed all this time and get the first goal. 

As he charges towards the ball the crowd roars, their energy feeding into him, giving him the momentum to surge forward.  His foot touches the ball. Hammer calls out to him, “Rook! Over here.” But he keeps going, either ignoring his captain, or deafened to the orders by his enthusiasm.  With his sight set on the goal post, he fails to see Boar come charging in from the center line. A massive uppercut sends him flying three feet into the air. His stomach  goes even higher. Before he can even begin to descend, the Butcher beast follows up with another punch that sends him flying 4 feet away , landing in a heap on the ground. He wants to throw up.  Something might be broken, but he’s not sure what. He thinks everything is, he hurts so much. He just wants to lay there on the ground, but he knows he can’t.  He sees Harmony coming in from the wing. She’ll help him, he knows she will. But she just keeps running past him, tracking the ball. For a split second she glances down at him. “Rook! Follow the @#^%%$! orders!” she lashes out as she races to retrieve the ball. Beyond her Mallet shakes his head. At the rookie’s mistake, or Harmony’s treatment of him? Or the way things are going so wrong so quickly?

He tells himself to get up. He’s in the big leagues now. He’s no longer just a fan. He’s a player now. He slowly struggles to his feet only to be hit by another wave of pain, a new source this time. He has no idea what’s happening, but he can see the Butcher’s  new captain standing nearby, blades  outstretched, and knows it must somehow be her doing. He can feel himself bleeding, even though he wasn’t when he hit the ground.

 

As he tries to comprehend what’s happening, he spies movement out of the corner of his eye. He turns to see the Erskirii beauty known as Meathook charging for him. A smile paints her ruby lips, a wanton, hungry smile. Her blue eyes sparkle, so hypnotizing  to the rookie. But too late does he realize that the sparkle comes from a sadistic madness.  She lashes out with her hook, ripping out his wounds. Blood flows out, followed by an internal organ or two. He falls back to the ground, staring up into the sky. Those sparkling eyes look over him, so pretty, so blue he thinks. Meathook raises her foot above his head and sends her boot crashing dow-

 

Welcome to the big leagues.

 

 

 

 

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The overall arc of the story captures the nihilistic bleakness of GB's fluff to a tee, but there's a few areas where the flow of the writing falls off. I think the dialogue moments are particularly immersion breaking, as well as the descriptions of Meathook. It works to the effect of having him be blindsided by her ruthlessness, and I think this is the basic idea behind the Charmed character trait, but this could be accomplished more effectively and realistically without as many words dedicated to her blue eyes.

I like it.

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Yeah, when I first got the iudea it was supposed to be Brisket who took him out, as he's charmed by her and lets his guard down. But using her didn't work pon several levels. So I switched to Meathook and guess still tried to cling to the  whole being charmed thing, which doesn't really need to happen. 

As for the dialog: yeah, Hammer shouldn't sound like he's outta the hood (lol, what was I thinking) But I want to show the team not letting the rookie fit in which influences him to try to get that goal and show off. The team is in turmoil as hinted at the  end of season 2, and I want to show how that impacts this rookie. I feel those bits of dialog convey that. 

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I think, with the style you've gone for (a sort of internal narration), it might flow better to have the dialogue as part of that instead - more focussed on his response to her cussing him out than her actual words. That would keep the story floating in his head.

But it's a good tale of brutal comeuppance, you have to wonder how many people end up that way after one match and are forgotten before anyone even learns their name!

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