Random Acts of Violence - 001

August 31, 2018:

Previously, on Random Acts of Violence…

"MARTHAAAAAA!"
"JONATHAAAAAN!"
"WIIIIILLLLLMAAAAAAA!"

Wait. This is the first episode. There is no Previously On, segment. Hold on, let me turn down Smallville…

Okay! So! Welcome to Random Acts of Violence, everyone! YOUR one stop shop for all the action, adventure and comedic timing that Zod's Perfect Idiot can muster up on two days notice! Anyway, as you'll be able to see from the Info button on your remote control, RAVIO.ly (see what I did there?) is going to be a CoMUX series of antics run by moi-face for fun and funner things that may or may not have a DEEPER MEANING. You'll just have to bleed between the lines to find out.

Anyway, come on down if you want to have a death. I mean, ball! If you want to have a ball! Heh… heheh. Right!

Pop Culture Reference Hint: "If they told you wolverines would make good house pets, would you believe them?"

Coney Island

Famous as a seaside resort and amusement area, most of the major attractions in Coney Island suffered major damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Luna Park only recently reopened and the damage to the aquarium and the other, less well known amusement parks has been slow to repair as well. The other notable feature, aside from a lot of very nice resort housing, is MCU Park, a minor league baseball park home to Brooklyn Cyclones.

Characters

NPCs: Arcade, Miss Locke, Miss Coriander

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Coney Island.
Now.

Sometimes, in life, there are things that are just out of everyone's control. And other times, there are things that are too tightly controlled that there is no room for error.

This? This is neither of those times.

The amusement park that once was is back in business, it seems like. Or, rather, it has been taken over for a whole new business venture. Well, to be honest, is it even really a business venture anymore? There's something very strange about the way the amusement park is lit up in the dead of night like this. It definitely would be closed. And there's nothing in the newspaper sections or online about this amusement park being open for business.

There'd probably be a much bigger crowd.

As it is, this exact location and this exact time has been spun through various channels along the world. Channels for mercenaries. Channels for heroes. Channels for just about anyone that wants to make 1 Million Dollars: No Questions Asked. All someone had to do to qualify was show up and bring weapons.

The gates leading into the amusement park are closed. However, there are two women in black dresses standing in front of the gates. They are each holding what looks to be some sort of Nerf gun or something. They look as professional as can be and merely wait patiently for the potential contestants to arrive. Which should be happening any moment now considering that the fine print on the advertisements said something about 'the deaths of thousands will be on your hands' if no one shows up. Nothing wrong with a little extra incentive, right?

Anyway, here's the last thing that should be noted about the huge amusement park sign above the gates. It simply says…

MURDERWORLD.

*

Local enough and a big price tag attached… The skully faced mercenary is there the advertisement and promised deaths of thousands didn't really motivate him. No, Taskmaster is fairly one directional, that is a lot of zeros. A nondescript sedan a distance away, a rental. Always most days when it is this near.

A casual walk towards the gates of the amusement park only to stop about three meters away from the women in black sporting what appear to be toy guns.

Old school digs, a white tattered and hooded cloak, armor that looks like scalemail that isn't really, a buckler with a T on it. A broadsword over his shoulders nestled up next to a quiver full of trick arrows all topped off with a compact and heavily loaded utility belt. The Taskmaster is present.

"Murderworld. Uh…" Bells somewhere ring but they're muffled to his broken memory pathways. It'll come to him.

One white gloved hand holds up his cell phone to double check the Unternet and the proper adverts. "Yup… "

*

"Well!" Domino exhales as her eyes roll over the sign. "This is obviously a trap of some kind."

So she gives the bulging duffle slung over a shoulder a little nudge and strolls towards gates while her briefly rented driver speeds off to a less creepy part of town.

Murderworld at least has the courtesy to be honest about itself, which is more than she can say for some blatant ambushes/traps.

*

Rocket Raccoon has been to amusement parks, but they've never really been very enjoyable. Always stuffed full of people and screaming, crying children that were always sticky in some manner. This here? The giant sign looks promising, the ads that had caught his eye even more so. Showing up anywhere with weapons is normal for him. The prospect of getting a million bucks with that as a minimum qualifier? Oh, hell yeah.

So it's pretty fishy, and so far as Rocket has learned for his time on Terra, no one goes around giving up a million bucks at the drop of a hat, not without reason. …that's not to say that if someone wants to give him that much money for free that he'll object.

The small Guardian arrives, his favorite rifle resting against his shoulder, his belt pouches and pockets on his bandolier promising lots of fun destructive things, if not the pair of mismatched handguns of a sort holstered at each hip.

"Trap or no, should be fun, eh?" he says, grinning toothily. He starts towards the gates, tipping a salute towards the women flanking the entrance. "Ladies."

*

"Hello, Death Fans!"

A huge screen lights up between the gates and the MURDERWORLD sign. The red haired bastard that has put this entire thing into motion is grinning like he's just won about seven different lotteries. Lotteries that he's rigged. He's peering right out of the screen and towards the handful of people that have gathered to join his game.

"Welcome to MURDERWORLD." That cues up some really annoying music that might as well be ripped off some dark and spooky d-list horror film. It's really bad. But that might be what makes it so good. "Tonight, you'll be facing a number of dangerous games and violent opponents. Tonight, you'll be fighting for your lives and one helluva big pay day! Tonight, you'll be doing everything you never thought you'd do because, well, that's what MURDERWORLD is all about!"

The snarky looking assassin anarchist reaches up to adjust his clownish bowtie. "I'll be your host for this evening's festivities. I am… ARCADE!"

At this revelation, the two women in black clap politely. There's also a loud applauding crowd sound effect that accompanies a terrifying scream. Blood curling might be a good way to explain it.

"Ah! Yes!" Arcade holds up a finger. "That scream means it's time to say hello to the individual that made all this possible…"

Arcade's face disappears from the screen but his voice continues.

"The defiant… the dastardly… the despicable… DEADPOOL!"

On the screen appears the Merc with a Mouth: Deadpool! He's bound and gagged with chains and even a bandana around his masked mouth. As the visual on the screen pulls back a little bit, it can be seen that he's… he's in a giant… blender?

Arcade explains, "This foolhardy harbinger of death made the mistake of taking out contracts on each and every one of you. Domino. Taskmaster. Rocket." That's right, Arcade KNOWS THEIR NAMES. He does his homework, okay? "But then I, Arcade, took those contracts from him, as well as a contract /on/ him and I've decided to put them all up for grabs!" Arcade walks back into the shot twirling his cane. "Unless, of course, one of you gets to me and stops me from putting this idiot on… Liquify? Puree? Oh, there's so many choices!"

Arcade holds up a finger. "As with any game, there are rules. But I dare say that here at MURDERWORLD, the only rule that matters is that all my players get chipped. After all, how else are we going to keep score, hmmm? Miss Locke. Miss Coriander. If you please…"

It is at this moment that both of those women approach the gathered Players of this Game with the intent of puncturing skin with the those 'Nerf' guns of Scorekeeping Doom.

"Any questions?"

The gates unlock by themselves and the scoreboard lights up in the center of the amusement park, waiting to light up with the names of those that feel the slight pinch of the Nerf Chip Process.

*

Taskmaster's cellphone comes down just as Domino strides past. His eyes ascending to look at her then the skull is caught in a double-take, not at her but the Space Raccoon. Unable to reset he takes a snapshot. "The shit you see when you go to Coney Island…. " The phone drops, vanishing back in to one of those various pouches attention drifting from his companions? competition? co-Murderworlders? to Arcade.

There is no clapping from the mercenary until Deadpool is shown in his state of unfun.

"Just uh avoid bunching it up with the other chips in there, dollface." Taskmaster instructs with his forearm out and sleeve drawn back just enough.

*

"One question."

Calling Domino fast would be an understatement. As a side-effect of her mutant ability, the woman enjoys reflexes, dexterity, and coordination well beyond human limits; she cannot break the sound barrier, but tell her there's a price on her head and demand she be chipped - tracked, like cattle, like property - and she can give trained marksmen's senses a good work out. The space between her statement and the soft CLICK of a .45's hammer is brief, dizzying, and leaves her poised behind the approaching Ms. Locke.

"Why shouldn't we burn this eyesore to the ground and move on? That mouthy asshole took out a contract on me. One of these guys is a raccoon! I'm supposed to compete with them, to save him?"

The leather-clad mutant spares a glance from the screen to check in with Rocket and Taskmaster, just in case. Maybe she's the only one this arrangement doesn't quite add up to; the barrel doesn't budge from its perch inches from Locke's skull either way.

"You're Arcade! I heard you built a giant pachinko machine to assassinate some Vlatavan loyalists, once— you have a rep for crazy! We're supposed to believe anything you say except that, maybe, you'll kill a guy?"

A slight pause.

"That was, like, three questions, and I'm sorry," she amends.

*

Rocket lowers his hand and uncurls the rest of his fingers once Taskmaster's done taking a picture. He looks like he might say something more, but the screen above lights up, and as their host of the night dives into his spiel, his mood starts to drag down a few notches.

"Ugck, just like them flarkin' gameshows," the raccoonoid mutters as he watches the giant face of the exuberant Arcade. His bushy brows furrow, and whatever grin he'd worn a moment ago abruptly vanishes.

Oddly enough, it isn't the fact that the red and black masked figure is a familiar face, nor that there'd been a contract out for him (Rocket figured something'd catch up eventually). He's not even terribly surprised that somehow Deadpool's got himself caught in a blender by whoever his screwball in the bowtie is so much as curious as to just how well said blender actually works. Really, things get kinda wonky when you make things on a bigger scale.

Rocket looks over at the woman included with their apparent competitor number, making kissy lips when she casts a glance on over his way. "Not a raccoon! -but I'll let that slide just this once." Then he snorts, eyeing the women with the NERF chip-taggers before raising his head towards the screen.

"Yeah, actually I'm kinda with her on this one. We got no reason to try savin' some guy who was gonna be out for our heads. I coulda stayed home an' watched Netflix ya know."

*

"Ahahahahahaha! I love it! Amazing! This is going to be more fun than I realized."

"No no no! Saving this idiot just gets you more money! You see, if you save him, you get the money for the contract that I took from him /and/ your own winnings. You don't, well, he dies. Nobody cares. We all move on."

Arcade walks around from the safety of his location on the huge screen.

"No, the more pressing matter? Is that now that I'm going to kill all of you. And make an incredible amount of money doing it."

There's only a moment before Miss Locke and Miss Coriander's heads explode… in spare parts. Robots? Something?

The exploding heads are, of course, a distraction. Because the entire ground beneath their feet drops out suddenly, the 'concrete' tiles breaking apart to reveal blades of slaughtering that weave in and out as the gap opens nice and wide to allow the contestants the opportunity to, well, die.

"AHAHAHAHA! WELCOME TO SURVIVAL MODE!"

Almost immediately, Miss Locke and Miss Coriander's robot bodies are shredded to scrap metal by the spinning and rotating blades.

The chances of there being an exit down below are super slim. Those gates, though, are wide open.

*

"First time you been told you're gonna get stuck by a lady with a toy, Domino?" Taskmaster taunts. Though, his limb retracts as weapons begin to pop up and questions are fired with more heat.

"Wasn't planning on saving anyone personally, I think part of the directions was 'or kill' yeah?" He'll question himself later on his own complacency on being chipped up but, that villain quirk side of him that enjoys a good deathtrap or gauntlet understands these little rules and has his own failsafes. Worse could be lose an arm right? Which is pretty bad.

"Now ya'll done it, if you just played along they end up giving you more openings. We just went from stage one to fifteen without a warm."

Then lovely miss Locke explodes and his shield is coming up to brace himself between and from.

A fancy long distanced forward flip and several rolling twirling tumbles that look alot like Harley Quinn's moves over take his long body, clearing him of immediate danger but also pushing him onward, through the wide open gates.

*

"Would you even remember it if I said 'no'?" Domino shoot back. "What's your endgame h"

So Ms. Locke is a robot.

Domino twists and spins away from this explosive revelation and ends up teetering on the edge when the ground drops out.

And that raccoon with raccoon dysmorphia disorder just tried to hit on her?

Some revelations are more useful than others, but there's no controlling the order of these things while she's preoccupied with avoiding Locke and Coriander's fate. This, she does by pivoting into a sprint along the edge and letting the bulging load hanging from her shoulder do its new, secondary job as a counterweight. Weaving to and fro between safety and doom, she doesn't hesitate or stop until a final, leaping stride leaves her skidding to a stop before the gates.

"Anyway, he was— probably— just gonna do something like this regardless." she huffs out, then. "Eventually."

In hindsight, she probably could've afforded to let things play out a bit further, just to see where this absurdity takes her, but gambling on a quick out felt right.

And she's still alive, so how wrong could it have really been?

"So, we're just killing the fuck out of Arcade, here, right?" Again, she glances between Taskmaster and Rocket(maybe) as she murmurs this thought into the world. "We should probably be on the same page, here." The .45 returns to its holster, the duffle is unzipped, and Domino digs through it while strolling towards the gates once more.

"I'm killing the fuck out of Arcade, so…"

An M16 is slung over her other shoulder shortly after retrieval.

*

Make more money saving big idiot, or blow the whole place to kingdom come. Decisions, decisions..!

The door women's heads explode, and Rocket grumbles a bit. Guess there went asking them for a date, but he's not so much into robots. That thought's shortlived as the ground begins to crumble beneath their feet, and the spinny blade death trap revealed below. Still, Rocket somehow manages to find his grin again, even as he begins to scramble, leaping nimbly from tile to collapsing tile.

"Now this is more like it," he says, his free hand tugging a grenade from his belt, thumbed into activation before being lobbed down at the pit as he throws himself towards the gates, hopefully leaving a nice big firey plume of smoke as a dramatic backdrop while he straightens up and dusts himself off. "Personally I'm all for skippin' ahead. Anyway, you want a warm-up, just hop right back in that pit," Rocket smirks over at Taskmaster, thumbing back over his shoulder.

"Doll's got a point though. That guy just seems cracked. I mean, he's got Deadpool in a blender. What's stoppin' him from tryin' to shoot us up just walking through the front door?" As though taking this into consideration as he speaks it, his red-brown eyes shift warily towards the gates even as they make their approach. As Domino strolls along, he grins. "I like you. -but yeah, sounds like a good plan to me!"

*

"Aahahahahahahahaha! Kill you soon!"

Arcade blips off the screen and so does Blenderpool.

The gates are wide open and nothing happens once the Crew decides to head on through. Of course, there's not much else that can happen in a place called MURDERWORLD, is there? It's not like the entire amusement park has been rigged up to be a series of giant death traps or anything. There's no way that could actually be happening, right?

"Hi. You have now activated: WHACK 'EM ALL!"

The disembodied robotic voice sounds happily pleasant at the thought of what's about to happen. From both sides on the entry way into MURDERWORLD, various tommy gun wielding robots pop up from the ground and start firing like nobody's business. They are set to rotate back and forth in alternating rotations. Alternating as in no discernible pattern because otherwise it'd be easy as heck! And the Arcade can't have things being too easy for his contestants.

But that's not all! There's a pair of giant Whack-A-Mole hammers slamming the ground in random intervals. Unlike the soft hammers that are usually on these kinds of games, these are stone hammers the size of mini-vans. With spikes.

The gates immediately close behind them and fire immediately ignites to push the contestants towards the new game.

*

"Probably not." Taskmaster huffs as he rises to his feet. That composite bow being unfolding and an arrow with a flashing beacon near it's tip notched. "At some point yeah, but theres a process… a dramatic build up." The hood turns and the skull faces forward, "An art you got to just let unfold to appreciate…. We skipped the foreplay."

Again Rocket gets a stare from that Saint Death idol-mask, dark holes where eyes should be looking empty as he sort of dubiously looks at the fuzzy-space-warrior, it is as if he is still trying to figure out what he is seeing, "You're real right? I seen that movie of yours, Fred or… Ted or something. Manufactured in China?"

"Everyone likes Spot, shes full of great points, curves and shapes." Task jests again, "An' right now we're all speaking the same language."

"A couple of goofy fucks are getting killed t'night. That bowtie alone warrants it…"

The next stage, the robots and hammers spring up and that explosive arrow is loosed at one of the pop up bots.

Again Taskmaster is being forced to move and recall moves stolen, backflipping away from a massive hammer not once but twice. He should not have been up drinking all night, the fancy hitech fitbit warned him!

*

"Gotta do what you gotta do when there's a crazy prick with a murder-engineering fetish in the mix," Domino rattles off.

Afterwards, she stops joins Taskmaster in looking Rocket over— takes a long beat to run her eyes over all three feet of him, clearly bemused but doing her best not to let the big questions raised by his very existence distract her from the crazy prick at hand. She exhales and begins packing backwards with her eyes on his.

"Domino." She points to herself. "Taskmaster." She points to the skull-faced savant. "Rocket." She extends a hand. "Let's— "

FWOOOOSH!

"— try not to die!"

The rifle remains slung over Domino's back while she backflips towards a hammer and finds a sparse space between spikes to spring off of. Tumbling and rolling from there, she does her best to negotiate dancing through bullets - some of which ricochet off of hammers, into robots; others of which just glide into the architecture while she flips past them - with loosing one of the grenades clipped from her belt. Squinting upwards, she tries lobbing it into whatever's guiding those monolithic hammers, hoping to get her fragmentary surprise lodged in where it can do some damage.

Trying to find a way forward, past these killing machines is somewhere in the back of her mind, but there are too many crushing, machine gunning things competing for her attention—

— digging hot and ugly trenches out of her side instead of blowing through the back of her skull—

— to focus much on anything else.

At least there's fire to keep her moving towards something.

*

Rocket glares at the skull-faced man. "Real as this chick's curves," he says, scowling a bit. "I got no idea what movie yer talkin' about, but I know I've seen your cartoon. Groot loves watching you fight with the over-juiced barbarian in the loin cloth. Where's your purple cat?"

At least they have a bit of a breather before the next 'game' triggers, although the lack of anything happening just makes the raccoonoid more on edge. But this is fine. Sure. What kinda goofy traps could that nutjob in the bowtie possibly cook up?

Domino has his attention as she makes with quick introductions, not that they needed clarification but it's nice to be included this way. Not that they get much of a chance to chat any longer.

His ears perk up at the automated voice, preamble to their next test, and as soon as he registers the firearms being wielded by the bots that appear on either side, he throws himself into a roll, quick to hop back on his toes and keep moving. Tugging at his rifle, it extends about a foot longer, the telltale whine of something powering up most likely lost in the ratter-tat of tommy guns. Bullets dot the ground in front of him and has the Guardian backpeddling before he twists about as he hears the crossfire, his finger depressing the trigger as he drags the muzzle of his rifle around and at the bots that have popped up, yelling over the deafening stream of rapidfire.

The ground shudders and he breaks off, somewhat reluctant, but upon registering what's causing the sound and trembling decides better of it. With the other two of his current companions moving to get past the hammers, he begins to follow suit, collapsing his rifle again and slinging it over his shoulder so he can make use of all fours as he starts to time the rise and fall of each hammer. Which turns out to be a bust, but hey, they can't slam back down once they've just come down, right?

Being small, Rocket uses this to his advantage as quickly darts back towards one that's hit the ground, swinging himself up between the spikes as he uses them to climb, bracing against them as it begins to lift again. He scrambles towards the top of it as fast as he can manage, slapping a magnetic explosive charge onto its side before preparing himself to make a leap once the thing begins to swing down again. …granted he has no idea where the momentum will carry him, but for the moment he'll be happy so long as it's forward and not back.

*

One robot mobster gets explodinated by the Task Arrow from Boomsville. As it explodes, there's a hail of bullets that rip through the false wall on the other side of all these bullets and giant hammers. Explosions do that, y'know? They make things happen.

Then again, it could always just be the luck of the draw. Or the Domino.

As luck would have it, bullets hail into directions that make other robots no longer capable of firing bullets. It's really a simple matter of things slowly falling apart as Domino crosses the field of play. Something clunks around up above but nothing happens. The grenade definitely doesn't drop back down to the ground, that's for sure. Weird.

BOOM!

There's a combined explosive effort as one explosive device and one grenade make some incredible music up above. The results of Rocket's rifle become very apparent as the light from the dual explosion shows why there's no more bullets headed in their direction. Then again, it could have everything to do with the fire that's burning up everything behind them. There's a lot of fire and light going down right now.

The hammer drops down to the ground and the violent contraption that was holding those hammers splits in two. As they fall to either sides, the false wall comes tumbling down as well. Showing nothing but darkness. Black. There's nothing ahead.

Except the slightest glint in the dead center of the darkness. It's likely the only way through. It doesn't look like a path but there has to be one. Since, y'know, behind them is nothing but fire. HOT FIRE that's burning even hotter the more it consumes on its path towards the contestants.

CHOOSE.

*

"Real as… yanno, I can take that. Props, you got a gift of the gab I can appreciate." Taskmaster relents, maybe out of breath as he slides low, shield on torso and a few thrown blades of his own being hurled at the machine gunners.
"Wait, you just swi… ahaha, fuckin' wise guy." The mercenary is laughing though at least until explosive sounds drown his vocals out. Then there is darkness and…

Taskmaster is running in to the darkness. No hesitation. Like Skeletor he too has a Swiftness +5 when it comes to acts of sudden cowardice. Towards the light!

*

The raccoon was definitely probably hitting on her. Which isn't anymore useful now, but it's weird what bubbles up when one is focused on bullet dolls and spiked hammers, and one's inner monologue is allowed to wander. At the very least, objectifying, which is— it isn't any better from a snout than from behind a skull-mask, but the woodland/urban-dwelling source at least makes that particular occupational hazard a little more novel.

Skipping between the bare patches of a rising hammer, Domino springs free just as explosions and collapsing walls conspire to free the group of this first circle of MurderHell. She tumbles along the ground and is already rummaging through her duffle as she comes up to a knee.

"It's nice that you guys found something to bond over," she flatly says while rising and withdrawing an explosive charge of her own. Half a beat later: "Nice," she allows after a glance at Rocket's rifle. Into the darkness! Favoring her wounded right side, just a little.

"Okay, so we can't trust the walls, the floors— anything, right? Everything's designed to kill us, so I'm thinking…" Veering towards the right, she unslings the rifle and sticks the barrel out in search of more walls. "… we break whatever looks tempting, and maybe we'll get lucky. How are you two looking on bombs? If I can find something to stick this to…" Her own charge gets a little wave. "I mean, who knows what this crazy asshole put where, right?"

*

Everything burning in their wake? That sounds about right.

Rocket shakes his head, picking himself up from his less than graceful landing, but he'll take graceless and in one piece than smashed or riddled full of holes. "Crap, did I overdo it?" he mutters, squinting at the darkness spanning before them as he wonders if he's gone blind. Then he looks back and sees the flames billowing up behind them. Okay, good. Not blind. Carnage well accomplished. But that fire looks to be moving, and standing here is probably a bad option.

A flash of white passes him, and Rocket jerks his head around as Taskmaster goes running ahead. "Where the h— Oh." He swings his rifle back into his embrace, seeming pleased at Domino's comment as he gives his weapon a pat. "Yeah, sure. Everyone into the dark," he says, shrugging as Domino starts to move along after the skull-faced wonder. It doesn't look like they have much choice, but Rocket doesn't much like it. At least his eyes are better for dark areas.

"I left my moon-demolishing explosive back at the ship." Darkness aside, it's hard to tell if he's kidding or not. "But I think I've packed enough to work with. And hey, at least with everything on fire back there, that's less of a chance for him to recycle tricks."

He creeps along, weapon readied, stepping lightly although he figures that if there's any more booby-traps in the floors, Tasky'd be the one to set them off.

*

NOW ENTERING: THE MIRROR MAZE

Following that glint and into the darkness puts everyone into separate(?) locations within the Maze of Mirrors. That's right, looking around in all directions will show off mirrors of varying style and shape. Some of them distort the reflection of the contestants.

There are so many mirrors that its actually hard to see what may or may not be an exit. That part's going to take some time. Or some explosive personalities to get beyond.

The overlapping mirrors that are located in all directions will occasionally extend with jagged sharpness and piston-like speed in the direction of the contestant in front of it. It's almost as if they were connected behind the scenes to each others. As random as it may seem, the key to one of them getting out may actually be the death of the other two.

Sprinkle the occasional Peek-A-Bot with a flamethrower peeking out from behind any mirror at any time to fry the contestants… and Stage Two just might cause the game over that Arcade is looking for.

*

Taskmaster enters Mirror Maze Hell and stops, admiring himself in one before it pops open to reveal a flame bot. The sword over his shoulder with a rather face cutting motion splits it down the middle.

"I've got about half a dozen high explosive and three concussive. Also some magnesium flares… " He rattles off, turning to kick another bot that pops out, his heel ramming through it's chest before hes poking at a mirror near Rocket and busting up. "You look Bullwinkle!"

The moment over as quick as its there as more deathtoys spring out, "Fuck it. Time to just hail mary… " A satchel is drawn and tossed in all directions. His shield coming up in front of him and that white cloak wrapping behind it as he backs up towards Domino and Rocket.

"We're stabbing this shithead in the gut. Slow death… "

*

Did Arcade spring for bulletproof glass? After hurling her charge at the first mirror that pistons her way, then dropping back and twisting around a corner—

— into a Peek-A-Bot's cubby—

— and managing to wrench her arms around its weaponized limb and grapple her way free, Domino means to find out.

"Too bad! I bet we could've jury-rigged it down to park-flattening," follows one mercenary's accounting.

"Jesus Christ! Nice," follows the other's.

"Watch your heads— and eyes, exposed parts of your bodies— really, anything that isn't properly armored— "

Running down the closest thing she can get to a 'corridor' through the Maze of Mirrors, Domino scourges the walls with bullets to see what happens, stopping when a robot pops out and forces her to scramble backwards a few paces with the threat of burning death— and even then, it's just for as long as it takes to fill its body with lead and reload.

Hopefully, 'what happens' doesn't involve a fun new eyepatch or cybernetic limb.

"I went more long guns, so I'm gonna throw a bunch of shit at the walls and see what sticks!"

*

There's a groan from somewhere about knee-level of the other two as Rocket realizes what they've stepped into once his eyes adjust to the brightness. "I hate these things," he mutters, his fingers curling tighter around the grip of his rifle. He might've gotten himself and Groot banned from a few funhouses for reasons he'd be all too eager to repeat.

He doesn't waste any time in opening fire on his own glowering reflection, spinning at the flare of movement, his finger pausing millimeters from shooting as he realizes it's just Taskmaster, or some reflection from wherever the man is. The effect breaks when something else does, flames billowing outward, proving another reflection as Rocket in his attempt to dodge and roll aside ends up crashing into another mirror. "Flargin'— I REALLY HATE THESE THINGS!!" he says once again as he rubs his head, just in case people missed the first time he'd said it. Throwing a glare in Taskmaster's direction, he growls at the laughter, not even having much of a chance to look at just how ridiculous these mirrors might be making him as he ducks at the cloaked one's words, underlined by Domino's warning, wherever she is.

Looking down at the floor makes him realize that it's easier to see where the edges of the mirrors are, and where a pathway is. He starts to scramble along, yelping as a mirror suddenly seems to stretch, feeling its razor edge whisper past his arm as he jerks back, nearly bouncing off another mirror but keeping on the move. Fire near singes more than the tip of his tail as he darts around another corner, grunting as he slings his rifle over his back, trading them out for his pistols, huge looking things that only resemble said weapons in the vaguest of forms- definitely custom jobs.

"Blow the whole damn place!" he shouts encouragingly, no objections to either Taskmaster or Domino as he starts firing at everything around him.

*

Glass Shatters!

Okay, that's not even doing it justice. In fact, the collective obliteration of glass from guns and explosives makes it seem like it's a thunderstorm of glass and cutlery. Things continue to do be like that for a little while… just long enough for the tremors of the ground to become even more apparent.

There's a reason why Arcade chose Coney Island.

As a call back to the ground from earlier, the ground here starts to break apart the more it shakes. The island-quake (or maybe just the amusement park) seems to be creating a massive amount of damage all around. The efforts of the three contestants have taken their toll on the park itself and its coming apart at the seams. Pieces and games falling down the false bottom below.

Sticking close to the one with a little luck might be the best bet to survive the various falling objects of all sizes and shapes.

As the ground continues to shake towards death and water below, probably, there's one chance at escape. It practically seems like its across the park itself. It's a door. Isn't it? Probably.

There's a small exit sign lit up above it.

"RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

There's that creepy voice again. Not to mention the music has shifted to something much more fitting for a race across a deadly amusement park being taken apart by an earthquake.

*

Taskmaster can't help but find some professional comradaerie here, even some respect in the quick and easy to work with reactions from Rocket and Domino, mayhem? Excellent. This he can do and no one is getting all moral and weepy on him, but then, these are not living targets. At least not until they run in to Arcade and Deadpool…

"No more popsicle stand." He yells, yells from? Running again. That fleet of foot carrying him towards the gates, probably best not to run too close to him as he may slip out a foot. If necessary, hes just that kinda good sport.

*

There are two things that might complicate the, perhaps, obvious tactic of sticking to the woman who danced through bullet hell and shot up a hall of mirrors with only a manageable side-wound to show for it:

1.) She's leaping between undulating swaths of earth as the park heaves beneath their feat. This wouldn't be so bad on its own, given that Rocket and Taskmaster are trained, agile operators in their own right, except…

2.) All those things that aren't hitting Domino have to go somewhere.

A giant, neon-lit cup full of acid spills out just behind her when she jumps from one patch of crumbling ground to the next; it keeps a wildly swinging length of steel girder from slicing through her, but the cup and the girder together become a makeshift hammer that happens to knock wood, scrapped metal, and glass aside as its arc careens just shy of her.

There are safer people to get close to.

"Was Deadpool actually here? Is he dead, if he was actually here? No, right?!"

The roiling earth just about launches her towards the gates, forcing her to thread through a row of collapsing deathtraps/mezzanine games that are, at this point, just abstract amalgamations of garish signage and blades.

"Fuck— !" she hisses as she bounces and tumbles through the landing. Half because she's lucky to be alive, and soft landings are optional; half because something important has occurred to her.

"This is gonna happen to us again, isn't it," she flatly murmurs.

*

Amidst the explosions and tinkling glass, Rocket is cackling, each shot resulting in another satisfying eruption of mirror shards. In retrospect maybe it would have been handy to have protective eyewear. Except there's something else happening, that tingling sense that something else is up drawing his manic laughter short. Animal instinct? He might not call it that, but he definitely has the sense that something's wrong, and with things falling apart around them he decides it's time to book it.

At least with less walls it's easier to see where to go. He holsters his guns and begins to dart for what he hopes is the exit. He can see Taskmaster's cloak like a banner, and he presses on, ignoring the sting from cuts he hadn't realized he'd gotten. His hand goes through the floor, in reality setting down just as the piece gives way, and with a bark of a curse he pulls a remote from one of his pouches, hitting the button forcefully to activate the disc on his back. It unfolds, a harness/vest materializing across his chest, the Aero-Rig boosting the raccoonoid upwards upon full activation. With the floor being just about as trustworthy as the rest of the place, Rocket's not about to set down until he's clear of this place.

He doesn't seem so upset that it's every man (and woman) for themselves. It's much easier this way. Less to worry about, and from what he'd seen, Taskmaster and Domino are capable. Case in point as he sees the woman leaping and dodging the perilous pitfalls and— ohcrapgirderglassmetalEVASIVEMANEUVERS!!!

Spinning wildly, the collapse of the park is a nauseating blur for all of several seconds as Rocket tries to right himself, making a beeline after the other two. He lobs one last explosive over his shoulder, perhaps feeling he needed to at least contribute one last time, idealy just hoping to take out Arcade's speakers if not (wishful thinking) the crazy gamemaster himself.

"Does this mean we ain't gettin' paid???"

*

Standing just outside the park that's falling to death and disarray, are the real Miss Locke and Miss Coriander. The two of them look like they are ready for battle and also dressed in skin tight red outfits and it's all very 90s to really look at them.

They are standing on either side of a huge trunk.

"Congratulations." Miss Locke does the talking. "You survived."

"Arcade sends his regards." Miss Coriander nods once as she finishes the talking.

Both women reach down to pull up their side of the trunk's opening and then disappear via a set of jet packs that seem to just appear on their backs. They circle and swirl their way into the skies above, soaring off towards some flying contraption that's far, far above.

Back down below, should anyone have the audacity to look inside the trunk, they'll find exactly what was promised.

Deadpool. Still bound and still gagged. With three 'contract cards' stapled to his mask. Each one of them saying the name of one of tonight's contestants.

Also, beneath Deadpool, is exactly 4 Million Dollars.

In ArcadeBucks.

Looking at the bottom of the lid of the trunk will show a single, final message from Arcade himself. A picture of a 'comic' version of Arcade smiling and a huge speech bubble that says:

"Let the games begin!"

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