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KINGSGUARD Chapter 61: Jack's World

Discussion in 'Writer's Corner' started by Marco Polo, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Marco Polo

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    #1 Marco Polo, Aug 12, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019 at 2:12 AM
    in this chapter, marco shamelessly and classlessly desecrates the memory of his favourite movie of all time. enjoy!

    *

    KINGSGUARD


    Chapter 61: Jack’s World

    April 6th, 2256. 8:32pm. Kingsguard Facility – Yumiel’s Bar. Shishio Yamamoto and Yuu Ookami are having a drink.

    “Have you heard from Ren lately?” Shishio asked Ookami.

    Ookami shook his head. “Not since the day of the elections. He said he was feeling unwell.”

    “It’s not like him to just disappear like this. I even went to his apartment, but he wasn’t in. The medical facility say he hasn’t visited them, either.” Shishio said, worried. “I just hope he isn’t…”

    “I’m sure he’s alive, Shishio.” Ookami said, trying to reassure his comrade. “He’ll be in touch sooner or later.”

    “I want to believe he’s fine, but… I can’t help but worry,” she answered, her hand tightening around her glass. “Aren’t you worried?”

    Ookami nodded. “Of course. But I can’t worry too much… it’s bad for my heart.”

    “Ah, that’s right. That condition of yours. How’s the treatment going?” Shishio asked.

    “It’s getting better. The doctors have said that it was high levels of stress that caused me to lose control. We haven’t had much fighting to do, so I’ve been okay, but if the war gets as crazy as it was three years ago, I might have to start taking meds so I stay in control during battle.” Ookami explained.

    “You’re strong, Yuu. I’m sure you’ll get better.” Shishio replied, smiling.

    “… Yeah. I hope so.”

    *​

    April 7th. 9:32am. Moss’ Office. Moss and Swann are beginning their morning paperwork.

    “Commander. Can I ask you something?” Swann said, looking up from his desk.

    “Of course.” Moss replied.

    “What’s happening with Commander Grinnington? Apparently, he showed up a few weeks ago after months of absence. And two days after his return, he leaves again with a small cohort of people. Surely, he would have to get clearance from you to do that.”

    Moss shook his head. “Even though he’s on sabbatical, Commander Grinnington is still one of the Elite. He can authorise the absence of other Kingsguard members if he needs to.”

    “Huh. I just think it’s funny that he’d do something like that without telling anyone first.” Swann replied, tapping his index finger against the desk anxiously.

    “He’s a strange man.” Moss replied nonchalantly. “I don’t think there’s anyone who could comprehend what goes through his head.”

    Swann sighed. “Ah well.”

    The Elites then continued to work in silence for half an hour before Swann initiated conversation again.

    “How are you finding the new job so far?” he asked.

    “Well, at the start I didn’t have much to do.” Moss answered. “We weren’t fighting, so I was just holding a title. These past few weeks have been difficult, though. Losing Kyros and Eddie hasn’t helped, either. They were both natural leaders… I just did as they did. I’m glad I’ve got you, though. If I had to do this by myself or with one of the younger soldiers, I don’t know if I’d be able to step up.”

    Swann smiled. “I’m glad to be of service. But, Commander… that self-doubt of yours is something you need to work on. A man in your position can’t ride with the training wheels on.”

    “What about you, Eustace?” Moss replied. “How does it feel being the Kingsguard’s newest Elite?”

    “it feels good.” Swann answered. “Before I had to leave, I had ambitions of taking this post. Unfortunately, life got in the way of those ambitions. But I’m pleased I got the chance to fulfil them.”

    “Your promotion was well-deserved.” Moss replied. “I was very impressed with your performance on election day. Even compared to your usual high level, it seemed like you were really in the zone out there.”

    “I had a point to prove.” Swann answered.

    “I’m going to go get coffee. Would you like one?” Moss asked.

    Swann nodded. “That’d be great. Black with one sugar, please.”

    “Okay. I’ll be back in ten minutes.” Moss said. He then stood up and exited the office, heading towards the coffee room. After shutting the door and walking halfway down the corridor, he took out his phone. Opening an encrypted chat, he began to type in instructions to an unknown recipient.

    “Eustace Swann. – M”

    *​

    10:04am. Underground City – Grinnington’s Lab.

    Grinnington felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. Taking it out, he saw that he had a message from “M”. Making sure nobody was around, he quickly opened it. The contents of the message made him smile. Hope, uncomfortable with her creator’s happiness, decided to address him.

    “It’s creepy when you smile like that, Grinnington,” the android quipped.

    “Sorry, Hope. It’s just… we might have our first lead.” Grinnington replied.

    “Oh. How thrilling.” Hope replied dryly.

    “I’m going to message Judge. He might be able to uncover something.”

    “Wonderful. I’m going to play some more God Hunters. If you want me to fight, let me know.” Hope returned to her corner and turned on her game console.

    On the other end of the lab, Eve and Zeta were busy tinkering with parts.

    “So, how do you know Mr. Pink?” Zeta asked.

    “I was an apprentice of his a long time ago.” Eve replied. “He called me up and said he could use an extra pair of hands, so I’m back working with him again.”

    “Did he pick you up off the street too?” Zeta asked.

    “Eh?” Eve replied, confused.

    “Well… he saw me while I was scavenging for parts one day, and then he just invited me to work here as an apprentice.” Zeta explained.

    “I’m surprised you weren’t scared off by him.” Eve joked.

    “I know he’s kind of funnily dressed, but… he’s been really kind to me.” Zeta replied, smiling. “A kid like me wouldn’t usually get chance to work in a place like this. He’s been supportive of me as well, always encouraging me to improve my skills even more.”

    Hearing this character assessment of Grinnington came as a shock to Eve, who was almost envious of Zeta for having this version of her mentor. Rather than kindness, she’d spent most of her time dealing with his bizarre habits and grandiose demeanour. As Eve and Zeta continued to work on their projects, Grinnington called Eve over.

    “Psst. Miss Jackson. Can I borrow you for a second?”

    “Sure.” Eve and Grinnington walked over to the other end of the lab, out of earshot from Zeta.

    “We’ve got our first suspect. The new Elite member, Eustace Swann. Do you know anything about him?” Grinnington asked.

    “Not really.” Eve answered. “Just that he’s apparently super popular with the other soldiers.”

    “Hmm.”

    “Wait. You’ve been in the Kingsguard longer than i have. Why don't you know him?” Eve asked.

    Grinnington shook his head. “Those bonehead soldiers sort of blend into one after enough time. I had more important things to do them memorise all their names. All I remember is that he took time out to look after his family who were ill, and that he used to hang around this one guy… I forget his name now.

    Eve sighed. “Some use you are. I wonder if anyone else has found any leads yet.”

    *​

    11:46pm. Underground City – Outside Win’s. Chirch and Rose have just finished their shift.

    “So… we’re going to that Jack guy’s fight club tonight, right?” Chirch asked.

    Rose nodded. “The one in the bar district starts at midnight. I don’t think it matters if we’re late, but we should hurry just in case.”

    The girls then followed the map on the back of the card Jack had given them. After ten minutes of walking, they found a golden basement door that had Jack’s logo on it. The girls opened the door and headed down the stairs. When they got down, they saw men and women of all creeds, shapes and sizes, even some with mechanical limbs, standing in a circle. For a club that was about fighting, the fighters seemed awfully calm and were in fact chatting amongst each other as they waited for the club to start. The girls stood awkwardly at the back of the circle, unsure how to handle themselves. A few fighters walked up to say hello in the leadup to midnight, but most kept their distance. As the clock struck twelve, Jack began to speak.

    “Good evening, and welcome to Jack’s World! I’m your host for the evening, the man himself… Jack! How’s everyone doing tonight?”

    A few members of the crowd responded with “Good!”. Others remained silent.

    “Now, we have two new members tonight. Black Betty, Ginger Spice. Won’t you step into the circle for us?”

    Chirch and Rose awkwardly shuffled through the crowd into the centre of the ring.

    “These two beautiful young women are waitresses in a bar I visit every now and then. But don’t let their appearances deceive… they have a no-nonsense policy when it comes to rowdy customers! If you pick a fight with them, they’ll certainly give it back. Group, say hello to our two new members!”

    The girls were met with a cheery chorus of “Hi Betty, Hi Ginger!”

    Jack then turned to the girls. “Now, I’m sure you’re itching to get in the ring, but before you do I’d like you to observe a couple of fights, just to see what kind of level we’re at here. Does that sound okay?”

    Both Chirch and Rose nodded.

    “Now… who’s going to do us proud in front of our new members?” Jack said, looking out for volunteers. A few hands went up.

    “Let’s see… how about Otis and Red?” Jack suggested. Otis and Red nodded, stepping into the ring. Chirch, Rose and Jack made way for the two fighters. Now at the side of the ring, Jack reminded the fighters of the rules.

    “Now I’m sure you remember the rules, but I’ll just refresh everyone just in case. No eye-gouging or low blows, and no weapons allowed. You fight either until your ten minutes is up or your opponents yield. Any blows struck after the final bell will result in a one-week ban. Now… fight!”

    Otis and Red bowed to each other and then began to fight. Whilst their technique was somewhat raw and unpolished, the two were certainly more than competent fighters and were clearly fully invested in what they were doing. The crowd cheered the two fighters on, greatly enjoying the spectacle. The ten minutes passed, and neither opponent yielded despite both taking some heavy blows. Jack rang the bell and went to raise the arms of the two fighters.

    “What a fight, ladies and gentlemen! Two truly brave warriors! You’ve done us proud. Let’s get another cheer for Otis and Red!”

    The crowd cheered wildly. Otis and Red made their way back into the audience. As they caught their breath, they received congratulatory pats on the back from many of their fellow club members.

    “Now… who’s next?”

    A few more hands raised this time.

    “How about… Franklin and Stevie?”

    Franklin and Stevie stepped into the ring. Jack once again stated the rules and allowed the fight to begin. As the fighters began to exchange blows, he walked over to Chirch and Rose to get their opinions.

    “So… what do you think so far?” Jack asked.

    Chirch and Rose looked at each other. Whilst the fighters they’d watched were a little unorthodox, they’d been impressed by the level. Their shared opinion was that these fighters would comfortably pass the regular military draft for Kingsguard entry but wouldn’t rise particularly far up the ranks.

    “They’re not bad.” Rose replied. “Very raw, but they have skill for sure.”

    Jack chuckled and shook his head. “You know, Ginger… there’s no need to be so polite. It’s okay to say these guys are pretty weak.”

    “We don’t think they’re weak.” Chirch replied.

    “I mean sure, they’d beat up your average guy, but compared to the two of you they’re barely a match, right?” Jack asked. The girls shuffled uncomfortably, not wanting to be rude to Jack on their first visit to his club.

    “Listen, girls. This event here is kinda like the beginners’ event. Most of these guys aren’t trained fighters, and just come to let off steam after work. If you want to meet the real tough guys, you’ll have to work your way up to the higher classes.”

    “There’s ranks?” Rose said, surprised.

    Jack nodded. “There’s four groups within our little fighting ring. The first one is mine, Jack’s World. Because this one is at such a low level, any serious fighters that join are usually fast-tracked up to the next level: Queen’s Palace. The level rises quite a lot there, as all the members are serious fighters, but it’s still not particularly high level. The guys you beat up a few days ago are members of that group. The next highest group is where I think you two will start to find challenges: King’s Hall. A few mercenaries fight there, and you even get a few ex-pro fighters there every now and then. The rules are a little looser in there, so expect a little foul play every now and then. And if you manage to progress through that, you’ll reach the highest level: Ace’s Diamond. Only the top sixteen fighters in the entire circuit can fight there, and King, Queen, Ace and I will make a cameo there every now and then. There’s a promotion and relegation system to this level, meaning you can move back down even if you’ve reached the top. I’ll warn you, though: there’s some real tricky customers up there. Some of Persephone’s strongest soldiers fight in that circuit. The competition is intense, too – Ace’s Diamond runs a monthly ranking system, where the fighter with the best overall fight record over that period becomes the Champion of the Underworld! Pretty fun, huh?”

    “So how do we get promoted?” Rose asked.

    “From this group, once you’ve had a minimum of ten fights and the leader deems you ready, you get promoted if you can pass a test. Queen will consider you for promotion if you can win a certain number of fights in a row, and King has a monthly promotion event where four fighters are promoted to Ace’s group.” Jack explained.

    “All this talk of promotion is making me want to get in there and fight.” Chirch commented, her hands twitching with excitement. “I want to see what these top groups are made of.”

    “That’s the spirit, girl!” Jack laughed. “I knew you two would be up for the challenge. Betty, I’ll get you in the ring next.”

    As Jack spoke, Franklin yielded. Ringing the bell, Jack went to announce Stevie as the winner. As the fighters exited the ring, Jack announced the next fight.

    “Now, our new member Betty has been inspired watching you guys fight and is itching to get in the ring! Who wants to challenge her?”

    Many hands went in the air, the fighters seemingly eager to test out their new member. Jack was a little more selective this time, searching for a member that would be able to compete with Chirch. Eventually, he settled on a young man with cybernetic legs.

    “I’ll go with… Miles.”

    Miles stepped forward, meeting Chirch in the ring. As Jack explained the rules, Miles bowed his head nervously. Chirch remained still, waiting for the bell to ring. The moment the bell ring, she encouraged her opponent to attack.

    “Come.”

    Miles charged at Chirch, throwing a wild flurry of punches that breezed by his opponent. As Miles’s attacks became increasingly desperate and wild, the crowd began to cheer both fighters on. After two minutes of swinging and missing, Miles threw one last, exhausted swing that made feeble contact with Chirch’s face. Concerned for her opponent, Chirch decided to check on him.

    “Are you okay?”

    As Chirch spoke, she was almost caught with a powerful kick to the stomach. Catching the blow directly, she saw a look of fear in Miles’s eyes as she swept his other leg from underneath him. The crowd gasped.

    “Miles’s feint kick didn’t work?”

    “No way! He’s won loads of fights with that kick…”

    “Betty sure is strong…”

    As Miles picked himself up from the floor, he took a deep breath and began his assault again, this time leading with his legs.

    “You’re better with your legs.” Chirch commented. Miles, however, was too focused on trying to land a clean hit on his opponent. After giving him enough time to show his stuff, Chirch weaved around a powerful Miles left kick, countering by jabbing two fingers in to his diaphragm, putting in just enough strength to knock the wind out of him. As Miles hit the ground, gasping for air, the crowd encouraged him to get up. Miles eventually obliged. As he tried to fight again, he was increasingly tentative, desperate to avoid taking another hit. Chirch sensed this and elected to end the fight. Meeting Miles’s kick with one of her own, she engaged in a kick-off with him, gradually pushing the tempo. As Miles began to struggle to keep up, Chirch launched a kick powerful enough to knock him off balance. As he stumbled back, she closed in, launching a kick fast enough that Miles couldn’t react. Not wanting to cause damage to her opponent, Chirch stopped her motion just centimetres away from Miles’s right ear. The crowd gasped, and Miles could do nothing but stand there, eyes wide and jaw dropped. Sensing he was a long way out of his depth, he decided to yield.

    “I give up.” Miles replied.

    Jack rang the bell and walked into the ring.

    “And the winner is… the new girl, Black Betty!”

    The crowd cheered for Chirch, who waved back in acknowledgement.

    “And let’s hear it for our other fighter… Miles!”

    The crowd cheered equally loudly for Miles. Chirch joined in, clapping her hands. Miles looked over at her, surprised that someone so much stronger than him would even acknowledge him. Chirch smiled gently back at him. As the shaken Miles headed back to the crowd, Chirch stopped him to shake his hand.

    “It was a good fight. Your kicks are really something,” she said.

    “Thank you…” Miles replied nervously.

    “We’ll fight again one day. Make sure you can beat me by then.” Chirch replied.

    “Y-yeah… sure thing.” Miles replied. As he headed into the crowd, a smile formed on his face. It felt good to be acknowledged by someone so strong.

    The night’s fighting continued for several hours, with Chirch and Rose both winning several bouts. At the end of the night, they had a ten-minute duel that ended in a draw and stunned all the fighters present.

    *​

    3:08am. Outside Jack’s World.

    “Will you come again tomorrow, Ginger?” one of the fighters asked Rose.

    Rose nodded. “Of course. We both had a lot of fun fighting you guys. Right, Betty?”

    Chirch nodded. “You’re all very skilled.”

    “Says you guys!” replied another fighter. “It was like being at one of the Ace matches, watching you two at the end.”

    “Thank you.” Rose said, smiling.

    The group then gathered together and had a quick chat while Chirch and Rose watched on. After a minute’s debate, Miles stepped forward.

    “Betty, Ginger… on behalf of the group, I’d like to ask you two for a favour.”

    “Sure.” Chirch replied.

    “Will you two… train us, please?”

    The girls looked at each other, shocked.

    “What?!”

    END

    To be continued in KINGSGUARD Chapter 62: Fighting Spirit

    Characters Debuted:

    Otis, Red, Franklin, Stevie & Miles -
    Five of the members of Jack's little club
     
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  2. Deathbloke

    voi-bloody-la
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    Awesomu chaputeru!!
    So the suspicion starts with Swann, I wonder if he's actually a spy or not.
    Nice Easter egg on @Behnam 's unfinished story, I enjoyed it.
    I like the cards theme on Fight Club stages, it's going well with Kaido's pirate crew.

    Anyway, the friends gather up for Chirch and Rose, let's see what happens in the next chapter^^
     
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  3. Kia

    Kia
    All about amare, anima, and anime.
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    Oh yeah! I feel like I need to reread it to get more out of it but I’ll just comment for now. I totally called Swann as being a suspicious bugger. The question is, is he really or is he a red herring? Is anyone surprised that Grinnington couldn’t remember Yamamoto’s name?

    Just how in love are you with God Hunters? You reference it a lot.

    Oh boy, not only do they get to keep their skills sharp but they can gain access to Persephone’s top people? The respect amongst the fighters is lovely and now the women have got their own fan club/potential students? Nicely done thanks so much. ^_^
     
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  4. Marco Polo

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    @Behnam GODDO HUNTA WHEN

    Will they make top tier fighters out of this ragtag bunch of idiots?

    He's got a very selective memory, in that if he cares about something he remembers every last detail, but if he doesn't it's just flushed out straight away

    I'm not sure if it'll be so respectful as they move up, and it'll be nowhere near this easy for them once they start meeting the big boys, but this training curve is going to be immensely important for the two of them. I might have to do a little post with the estimated powerscaling for each of the "levels" of Fight Club at some point...
     
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  5. miss_SMP

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    I'm liking this card game theme for the fight club and I am reevaluating my prior notion of the underworld, there seems to be more decent people here than I thought. I assumed that most of them will be hoodlums and/or criminals. XD

    Is it really the girls time to shine as teachers with this ragtag team of fighters? That seems cool, an army of their own in the underworld, I kinda liked Miles (probably coz Miles Morales popped on my head, Spiderverse) but I dunno, its either gonna be super cool and helpful or complicates stuff For their mission, either way, its gonna be fun for them. :)

    And again, I am reevaluating my judgement on the folks of the underworld, seems like atleast half are decent, albeit, probably deals with illegal stuff. But are they? Most of them seems young and nice??? Hahaha. (or is just me? Lol)
     
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  6. Marco Polo

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    Even in the most dangerous of places, there’s still good people

    Miles has a ton of different names (the one I called Stevie was originally called Miles but I liked the name for the current “Miles” character because, as you say, he feels very Miles Morales). Interestingly, he’s named after Miles Davis, the famous jazz trumpeter.

    All the names for Jack’s gang are musical references (Otis & Red are a two in one). I might keep the same theme going up, but shifting genres.
     
  7. Dreamer

    I'm more like a stone than a snowflake
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    At least Moss knows what Grinnington is doing.

    Those guys from fighting club were quite nice. I wonder how Chirch and Rose will succees as teachers?
     
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