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    Game Theory

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    Antonius824

    Posts : 39
    Join date : 2012-05-04
    Location : Florida

    Game Theory

    Post by Antonius824 on Mon May 14, 2012 12:15 am

    It was that same dream again. Antonius took a moment and assessed his surroundings. He was standing in the middle of a vast, twilit chessboard. Enormous and ornate chess pieces littered the ground, while hourglasses of all sorts hovered ominously in the violet sky. Their sand flowed in impossible directions without a care for gravity.

    Antonius knew what to expect next. A shadowy figure emerged from one of the dark tiles on the ground and approached him. Its form was completely obscured; save for the wicked smile that was spread across what passed for its face. With a clap, the being summoned a fresh set of black chess pieces which arose from the tiles behind it. The shadow was challenging him to a match.

    That was just fine. He’d had this dream many times before. Shadows of all shapes and sizes had challenged him in the past, and all had been defeated without exception. With a snap of his fingers, a brilliantly white set of pieces took their positions on the board. A sly grin of his own began to paint his face as he sized up his latest opponent.

    “It’s your move.”

    --------------

    Antonius awoke to the sound of birds chirping and cogs grinding, a typical Velikan afternoon. His head throbbed, and the sunlight felt like concentrated beams of pure agony. Sitting up and rubbing his temples, he attempted to gather his thoughts to piece together the night before.

    He was accompanying his father to a small gathering of wealthy families. It wasn’t meant to be anything big, merely a chance for people to get together and discuss the current state of affairs and possible new ventures. It was there they met up with the elven head of House Mirrian and his two children, the older son and younger daughter. The Argentarii and the Mirrian had been rivals for many years, their ruthlessness and obstinance was quite respectable by family standards.

    The night had gone on plainly enough; guests talked shop over glasses of fine wine and gossiped about each other’s secrets. While the Mirrian heir found the chatter fascinating, Antonius was more interested in learning more about his sister instead. The young human and elf quietly snuck out to a livelier scene, much to the displeasure of many. From there on, his memory became a haze of images, but the one thing he could distinctly recall was learning that Mirrian women are much more flexible in bed than they are in their business practices.

    The side of his bed was now empty, implying that his conquest had snuck out while he still slept. This was understandable, given their families hostile relations. Letting out a yawn, he set out to the task of getting himself ready to face another day, as well as the possible political repercussions of last night if his luck went sour. Antonius went about the bedroom of the large penthouse he had apparently rented out last night, retrieving the mess of scattered clothes and empty bottles that lay strewn about the floor. Tossing the bottles away, he folded his clothes and headed into the bathroom.

    He bathed quickly, alternating the temperature of the water from hot to cold rapidly in order to awaken his dulled senses. Slicking back his wet hair and hopping out of the shower, Antonius began to rummage through the sink drawers, uncovering a straight razor and some shaving cream. Applying the lathered cream to his face, he cleaned and cropped his facial hair with the precision a surgeon might have with a scalpel. Cleaning himself up and putting on his trousers, he could feel that today was going to be a good day. Slinging a towel over his shoulder, he walked out of the bathroom with a dumb smile on his face.

    He then suddenly found himself facing the blades of 3 masked assassins.

    This had to be the work of the Mirrian heir, as it was a move far too bold to be made by the family head. It didn’t occur to Antonius just how offended the elf would be at the notion of him fornicating with his sister. I figured that I’d get chewed out by my old man, but an assassination attempt? How immature.

    “I don’t suppose some gold can sway you all from this course of action?” He asked with a calm demeanor.

    The mercenaries merely tightened their grips, their eyes hungering for blood. Antonius’s blood. A peaceful solution was out of the question. This realization caused a cool sensation to spread throughout his body, working down from his spine, across his arms, and down to his feet. His heart began to thud, and he could feel time begin to almost slow down ever so slightly. He needed to get out of this.

    In a split second he noticed that his sword, an elaborately decorated blade with a lethal edge, was propped against the bedroom wall, roughly 25 feet away. He only had one shot. His combat instincts kicked in, the end result of training in the art of the slayer for years with the same dedication that he used in business.

    He ducked, dodging a blade that would have decapitated him by a mere fraction of an inch. Quickly pitching forward and rolling, he maneuvered around his would be killers and bolted to his weapon. His opponents quickly chased after him, but were stalled for a few precious seconds when a wet towel was hurled at their faces. Antonius grabbed his blade, and kicked off the wall it was leaning against, using it to quickly reverse direction and go on the offensive. The wide arc of his sudden swing caught his assailants off guard, forcing two to step back while causing the third to spill his entrails over the floor. He now had momentum, and continued to use it to his advantage. The clang of steel on steel echoed throughout the room as the brawl continued on.

    Antonius was relentless. Once his foes were staggered, he rained blow after blow upon them, his oversized blade forcing both on the defensive. His opponents were fierce, however, and refused to be brought low through brute strength alone. Realizing this, he changed his strategy. He made a large, vertical strike, creating a purposeful opening. A mercenary took the bait, and was rewarded with a punch to the gut. Stunned by the blow, the masked man was dispatched with a thrust to the heart.

    Only one opponent more remained, the ambush having been reduced to a duel. The floor was slick with the blood of the fallen as red footprints painted a mural of death around the luxurious penthouse. The final remaining mercenary was clearly the leader of the bunch, his technique on another level from the two that followed him. Fatal attacks were dodged and parried at an incredible pace as the two agile fighters continued their dance. Slight nicks and cuts began to collect upon their bodies as they raged on.

    A startling kick saw Antonius tossed back into the bathroom. The small arena left little room for acrobatics, and put him at a disadvantage. Struggling to stay alive against a furious assault, he looked around for something – anything – to use to his advantage. That was when he saw it. The straight razor that he used to shave only minutes earlier. Throwing his weight into a desperate strike, he finally managed to surprise his veteran opponent. With a fluid motion, Antonius grabbed the straight razor and flipped it open. Knocking both their swords aside, he lashed out and slashed his final opponent’s throat with the razor. The mercenary leader’s eyes went wide with complete surprise as he slumped to the floor.

    His heart was pounding. His ears were ringing. He felt as if he weighed nothing at all. Antonius stumbled out of the bathroom bloody, but alive. After taking a moment to calm himself, he assessed the damage. The once beautiful room had been reduced to a slaughterhouse. Well…damn. This is a mess. I guess I should give the cleaning service a huge tip. They’re going to need it.

    --------------

    After sorting out the mess in the penthouse, and greasing a lot of palms in the process, Antonius was finally able to clean himself up and treat the few injuries he suffered. As he walked out of the building, he couldn’t help but notice someone’s eyes watching him from a building across the street. It was the Mirrian heir, his face contorted with an expression of utter shock and rage. Smiling, Antonius unsheathed his sword and pointed it at him.

    “It’s my move now.”

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