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Sunderland College [3.2 – No Small Amount of Chaos]

Things have taken a turn at the Model Competition.

“Alright, folks. Sorry to delay the next few fights, but we’ve heard that there’s been some tampering with the clothing going on that affected Clocksworth’s performance. We’re going to have to do some investigations behind the scenes, so everyone sit tight for half an hour.” Hector states over the intercom.

“We’ll be back soon as! In the meantime, you can purchase refreshments just outside the arena and visit the restrooms. Sorry for the inconvenience!” Lauren says.

Nonplussed, the audience, for the most part, do nothing.

 

*

 

Some members of the audience, however, take matters into their own hands.

“Boo, could you come with me?” Xilog says, standing up.

“Where are we going?” asks Boo. She follows Xilog out of the seating area and into the corridors and rooms around the entry area of the stadium.

“I want to speak to Clocksworth – ah, there they are. Clocksworth!”

The dejected Clocksworth looks up at Xilog and Boo, muttering “Hey.”

Xilog inspects the Vibe Bottoms. “I presume they didn’t work as expected. Do you know what happened out there, Clocksworth?”

“My patch was ripped off.” he mutters. “Not fully, but look at this.”

“What’s this about?” says another voice. A newcomer has arrived: Paris Duvoir. He looks over the Vibe Bottoms carefully and grimaces. “…I see. Clocksworth, wasn’t it? Somebody appears to have tampered with your clothing. Who’s your designer?”

“Mia Denney.”

“Our form tutor?” Paris asks. “I see… she wouldn’t have done this. Other clothes might have been affected. I suggest we look over the others.”

“I was about to say the same.” Xilog replies, gesturing towards the design room. The group make their way over as competition officials walk in and out of the model’s lounge. One such official meets them at the door.

“Nobody can come in or out, I’m afraid. We looked over the clothing; there’s two other pieces of Battle Clothing that had the patches ripped halfway off. Looks like someone wanted to tamper with the results. We have Romein on duty, though, so he’s fixing them up at the moment.” the official says. The group are satisfied by this.

“That’s good news.” Paris says as they walk to the stands to sit down and discuss the matter further. Clocksworth is eyeing Paris supiciously, but allows him to stay with the group.

“It is?” asks Xilog.

“Yeah, I guess so.” Clocksworth explains. “Someone ripped the patches halfway off, not fully. Since they’d done it to multiple clothes, it was intentionally halfway ripped. If mine was half-off because they’d been interrupted, they may have been intending to rip it off fully and cause Marking.”

“But if they were all halfway ripped, evidently someone just wanted the clothes to backfire a bit. Cause some chaos.” Xilog says. “Such a strange turn of events… is half less of a crime than fully removing a patch? Should we lose half of our lives? Half of ourselves? Or is it only when we are fully lost that we have no hope of recovering?”

“Someone ripped them off.” Boo murmurs. Clocksworth glances down at her Vibe Bottoms.

“You’re right! Look at that – no needles, no Patchworking equipment. This was done by someone’s bare hands! But who the hell is strong enough for that, besides Boo?”

Boo blushes bright red. “I wouldn’t-”

“Just kidding, gal.” Clocksworth winks. “But seriously, who else?”

“I can think of one.”

The group turn to see the imposing form of Eiden, in his modelling outfit, glaring at them. He points a tendril of the Spider Snood across the stands. Donovan is sat a ways off, musing to himself, and even further across the stands, sat entirely on his own, is Phillis, arms behind his head, basking in the morning’s balmy winds.

“Phillis.” growls Clocksworth. “I should’ve known that fuckin-”

“It’s OK. I’m gonna go report it to the competition authorities, and we’ll see whether we can get him to face the music for it.” Eiden replies. He turns to walk away.

“I’d better go, too.” Paris says, looking visibly uncomfortable. He also exits, though far less purposefully than Eiden.

“Man… Phillis is a real asshole.” Clocksworth says. “I fucked up my first competition in the first round thanks to him. He made a mockery of me!”

“I guess so.” Boo says. “He… maybe he has a reason for the things he does.”

“Or maybe he’s just a dick.” Clocksworth replies, staring at the battlefield from the stands.

 

*

 

Soon enough, half an hour has passed. Some competition officials have taken Phillis aside for questioning, and the audiences are beginning to get back to their seats. As the models sit around, Eiden is feeling sick to his stomach: his fight is next.

“Alright, ladies and gentlemen.” Hector announces. “We have a slight change of events. Due to the belief that somebody had tampered with Clocksworth’s Vibe Bottoms prior to the beginning of the fight, Paris has requested that his victory be rescinded and the match be redone!”

“Wait, what?” Anastasia says.

“My, how noble.” Mia grins. “Usually students aren’t so quick to give up their victory. Either Paris is very confident of winning again or he’s genuinely wanting to win in the spirit of the rules.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake. Do I have to fight again?” Clocksworth sighs.

“Mind your language.” Mia chides, then nods. “But yeah. You’d best make your way down.”

“Good luck, Clocksworth.” Eiden says.

Clocksworth gives him a thumbs-up. Feeling far less confident than she looks, she exits the model’s lounge and makes her way to the arena.

 

*

 

“Well, we already know who’s fighting!” Lauren announces. “So let’s not waste any time.”

“Begin!” Alarna, the combat referee, shouts.

Paris lunges forward immediately, running towards Clocksworth whilst placing his scarf around his head once again; he’s just in time, as Clocksworth unleashes a mighty blast of sound that screeches around the arena. The scarf muffles the sound but cannot dispel it entirely, and Paris stumbles as his body is reverberated to its core.

Clocksworth goes to punch Paris, but he dodges like a snake and recovers from the initial blast of sound.

“Why’d you do this?” Clocksworth asks, throwing another punch and a kick, powered up by a blast of sound, that Paris narrowly manages to duck around.

“This has to go perfectly, or not at all.” Paris mutters, grabbing Clocksworth’s leg and hurling her to the ground. “My father’s a perfectionist. If I won after it was revealed that you had lesser clothing, he’d use that against me. I have to win fairly, else it barely matters to him.”

“Your dad sounds like a dick.” Clocksworth replies from the ground. She stands up and walks away from Paris. He begins to look around nervously, ill at ease.

Xilog nods as he observes the battle. Donovan turns to him. “You saw it too, Xilog?”

“Mm. With the scarf over his ears, his eyes are covered too. And he can only predict Clocksworth’s attacks, not their movements. So currently, he has no idea where Clocksworth is.”

“I see.” Boo says, looking at Clocksworth, who is grinning to herself.

Clocksworth leaps back and then shouts to Paris.

“I mean, I can understand that. Parents can be pushy. But if you really think you’re gonna win just as easily now that my clothing is at full capacity, you’re dead wrong. I’m not going to make this easy for you!”

“And I wouldn’t want you to.” Paris replies, grinning and turning in the direction of Clocksworth’s voice.

The instant he begins to turn, Clocksworth unleashes a massive blast of sound – with Paris half-turning, the soundwaves can hit his right ear with full force, and he gives a shout of pain and falls to the ground.

Clocksworth runs over and goes to kick Paris, who rolls out of the way, very dazed. He recollects himself and is back on his feet a few moments later. Clocksworth releases another blast of sound and Paris jumps back, covering his ears with his hands as well as the scarf.

“Incredible performance so far.” Hector says. “This is the true power of the Vibe Bottoms. They can pierce many defences, simply because sound is virtually impossible to avoid. Of course, it has the obvious weakness of doing damage, but not pushing or moving your opponent.”

“You’re right! Clocksworth is at the advantage, but they’re struggling to actually force Paris out of the ring.”

Clocksworth releases several more blasts, but people note that they’re quieter, and a bit stranger.

“Getting tired already, Clocksworth?” Paris asks, charging at Clocksworth and trying to bait her into attacking him. However, Clocksworth simply does not respond and leaps to the side, avoiding Paris entirely, whilst keeping up the noise.

“What’s he doing now?” asks Anastasia, watching from the model’s lounge. Mia and Aubree are also watching the battle intently.

“…You know, you guys are technically our rivals. I can’t reveal our plans.” Mia replies, shrugging.

“This is part of your game plan, then?” Aubree asks.

“Or maybe I’m bluffing.”

“Oh, you’re impossible.” sighs Anastasia, and she goes back to observing the fight.

Clocksworth keeps up the attack, but suddenly Paris jerks his head up in surprise and performs a graceful swinging kick that catches Clocksworth’s legs, sending her to the floor. Clocksworth slams a palm into the ground to keep her face from hitting it, and flips herself over, trying to get to her feet before Paris can follow up his assault.

Unfortunately, Clocksworth is too late. Shedding his scarf and flicking it out like a whip, it wraps around Clocksworth’s neck. With a single stylish movement, Paris performs a frontflip over Clocksworth’s body and pulls on the scarf.

It was perfectly timed. The movement of Clocksworth getting up is transferred into the pulling of the scarf, hurling him off to the left and crashing on the ground, just a few scant metres from the edge of the arena. Paris places his scarf back in the blindfold position and runs to finish the job.

“Fantastic move!” yells Lauren with excitement. “Paris used the Swift Scarf as a makeshift weapon right at the moment where Clocksworth was stunned and couldn’t use the Vibe Bottoms! A risky move, but it definitely paid off!”

“Must they narrate every facet of the battle as if we aren’t watching it?” grumbles Xilog. Boo giggles to herself.

Clocksworth can hear the distant rumble of the crowd. He sighs to himself and gets to his feet as he hears Paris’ running footsteps. His legs feel heavy, but he pulls himself up and stumbles out of the way of Paris’ first strike, barely avoiding it. As his head begins to clear, he continues to charge up the Vibe Bottoms and release short shockwaves of sounds.

Paris stops, for a moment, then continues running at Clocksworth, who throws a punch to force him to stay back. Paris grits his teeth and tries to attack Clocksworth once more, despite being unable to see, hoping to force Clocksworth closer to the edge of the arena. Clocksworth sees the ploy.

“Oh, it’s coming right to the edge. This might be the deciding section of the battle; here we go.” Hector says. “Which one of these students can prevail?”

Clocksworth readies another shockwave as Paris stands stock-still, balancing his options.

“I won’t go down without a fight.” Paris says loudly.

“Neither will I.” Clocksworth replies; an error. Paris immediately locks onto the sound of his voice and charges. So close to the edge, both students know that all it will take is a push to force Clocksworth out of bounds.

“Do it, Clocksworth!” shouts Mia, barely able to look at the fight. “Don’t lose, now that you’ve been given a second chance!”

Just as Paris is reaching Clocksworth, he unleashes a strange shockwave of sound that cuts right into Paris’ ears; even with the Swift Scarf covering his ears, Paris is close enough to get the full effect, and crumples to the ground, his head slamming into Clocksworth’s legs before coming to a stop at Clocksworth’s feet.

“End!” Alarna shouts. They wait for a few moments as she goes to check Paris. “He’s unconscious! And now, the results!”

“That’s why the sound waves got weaker!” Donovan realises, staring at the field. He turns to explain it to the confused Xilog and Boo. “He switched to releasing low-frequency soundwaves, which have the capacity to knock someone unconscious. They weren’t weaker, they were just affecting Paris without him realising!”

“We’ve got the results from the judges, folks.” Hector says. The crowd quietens. “Clocksworth receives the victory point. Paris receives the style point… efficiency, Paris… performance, Clocksworth… and the skill point goes to… Paris!”

“I’m sorry, what?” Lauren says in amazement. “Looks like Paris has still managed to clinch a victory, though it was certainly more hard-earned than his previous one!”

The crowd cheers, and some competition officials carry Paris away, whilst Clocksworth stalks off in a dignified rage.

 

*

 

“Absolute bullshit.” Clocksworth says, joining her friends in the stands.

“Oh, I agree.” Donovan says. “Some wicked intent has been delivered through the judges, and now their evil has caused your early defeat!”

“I mean, you can’t beat the badassery of almost winning a fight whilst blindfolded.” says Eiden. “Still, good job, Clocksworth!”

“Well, that was a less shameful loss, at least. And hey,” Clocksworth says, smirking at Mia who is waving happily towards him. “I got to spend time with someone I like. So it’s not been that bad…”

 

*

 

Eiden is soon back at the model lounge, where Aubree begins fussing over him.

“Are you nervous because of your dad?”

“Yes!” Aubree says. “I’ve already mentioned that, I think… OK, this is fine… just need to make some finishing touches here… right.”

“Aubree, the outfit was perfect yesterday. Stop messing with it, you’re only going to make it worse from here on in.”

“Oh, I know…” sighs Aubree. “Your fight is next, and I really want you to win!”

“I will.” Eiden replies. “With your designs, we can win this whole thing.”

Soon enough, the call comes out, and Eiden makes his way to the ring.

“Alright, ladies and gentlemen, get ready for the next round! On this side, please welcome the ineffable, beautiful, Talia Fortescue!” Lauren shouts. “She’s been practising hard for this competition, and has been attending an open modelling club in Macew where she’s gained some prominence, even at her young age!”

Talia strides onto the arena, looking confident in a denim miniskirt and a tight white tank top. She gives a wave to the crowd, her bob-cut brunette hair blows lightly in the breeze. She’s a natural performer.

“And on the other side, we’ve got Eiden Darrow.” Hector says. “He’s… wow. That’s quite a striking outfit.”

“Oh, crazy!” Lauren replies with an excited laugh. “Eiden’s designer has gone all out for this outfit! And it looks… well, it’s striking, but also very impressive to look at!”

Eiden is standing in the arena, and he activates his Spider Snood. He stands at an impressive height, his body borne up by the pincers; he wears a hood and a long trench coat, both black, with red veins arranged like cobwebs running through the fabric. The hood has red spider eyes glaring out of it, and he wears an eyemask matching his normal mask, with eightfold spider eyes on them.

The trench coat has a split at the back, allowing for ease of movement, and he has tall black boots with red laces. The real draw, though, is the Snood itself. Four of the spidery limbs lift Eiden off the ground, keeping him aloft. Two limbs, with sharper points more like pincers, protect his upper body, whilst the two limbs at his back have subtly different types of bladed pincers for a range of combative ability. There are two mandibles protecting his face mask and the various red parts of the outfit glow with a faint red.

“It’s definitely a good one.” Xilog muses.

“Quite!” Donovan says. “So dark and deadly… if I didn’t known that it was the Snood, it would be virtually impossible to place which of these items is his actual Battle Clothing!”

“It’s rare that a non-professional designer puts this much effort into the outfit.” Boo murmurs. “Looks nice.”

“Will the newcomer win, or will the old hand get into the semis?” Lauren asks. “Talia has selected the Bazooka Top, always a fun one to see. Meanwhile, Eiden has gone with the Spider Snood! The particular design of this snood has been lengthened and reworked with a gossamer coating that grants this particularly spidery outfit you see before you!”

“Begin!” shouts Alarna. Eiden eyes the girl ahead of him and begins to formulate his battle plan.

“Oh, gosh…” Aubree frets. “I hope it goes OK. You can do it, Eiden!”

“I’m sure he will.” Anastasia says. “Though, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Bazooka Top before. What is it?”

As Eiden moves forward cautiously, Talia takes a step and prepares her stance, and then her tank top takes on a metallic sheen, and a gigantic bazooka extends from the top, fitting just over her right shoulder, with a small sight next to her eye.

“Apparently, pretty much what it says on the tin.” Aubree says, staring in shock.

“Holy shit…” Anastasia breathes.

Eiden eyes the cannon carefully. It’s definitely going to be a problem.

Talia lets the top revert to normal form and then dashes forward, ready to begin the battle. Eiden, however, was ready for this, and the snood’s limbs move him very quickly, allowing him to skitter across the battlefield much like a giant spider. His speed is overwhelming, and as Talia comes to a stop and prepares to fire the bazooka, Eiden is already jumping over her. He lands behind her and his limbs shoot out. Talia manages to evade one, and the other one clips her shoulder; she had just depowered the clothing again and the limb slices through the shoulder strap of her tank top, causing it to fall.

“What a pervert!” yells Talia, gripping her top, thankful that her bra strap was not cut.

“Oh, goodness me! Eiden has damaged Talia’s clothing, and not in a wholesome fashion at all!” Lauren yelps.

“Avert your eyes, kids.”

“Hector! Avert your eyes too!”

“I have to watch the battle, Lauren, that’s my job…”

Talia kicks out at Eiden, but he’s too fast and moves away from her, his limbs swinging him to safety with ease. However, the moment he moves, she reactivates her Bazooka Top and fires the bazooka at one of Eiden’s front limbs. It’s a direct hit on the elbow of the limb, which comes apart, letting the limb fall to the ground.

Eiden grunts in irritation and continues to focus on the fight. As Talia depowers her top, Eiden comes back in for the attack.

“Why is she consistently powering and depowering her top?” asks Boo. Xilog shrugs.

“I’m afraid I’m not familiar enough with the top.”

“I think I can guess!” Donovan says. “Look at that absolute weapon! The unholy power it must take just to hold that thing aloft and fire it… she probably can’t move all that speedily with it out! Better to only get it out when needed, send your enemies to the infinite darkness, then flee with the speed of a flitting bat!”

“That would explain it.” Xilog says, nodding in agreement. “The second or so it takes to power or depower her clothing is probably worth the freedom of movement, especially against an opponent as quick and fierce as Eiden.”

Eiden thunders towards Talia, and his huge size with the three remaining limbs carrying him allows him to easily outspeed her. Before she can move again, he shoots out his four bladed limbs and entwines her in his embrace.

His limbs begin to move in a strange manner around her, and she struggles against it. Shifting her shoulder backwards, she activates her clothing and points the barrel of the bazooka right at another of Eiden’s limbs. He grimaces and moves the limb forward to intentionally take the shot. The explosion rips through the second limb, sending Eiden flying backwards; his limbs catch him, however. He’s lost one leg limb and one arm limb thus far.

“Oh, no…” moans Aubree. “It’s getting damaged! It’s gonna take a long time to fix…”

“Yeah, that could be rough.” Anastasia comments.

“Eiden will win.” Jackson says. The girls leap in surprise, and Mia turns to the corner of the room where Jackson is stood watching the fight.

“Jackson! Didn’t see you come in; what makes you so sure?” Mia asks.

Jackson gestures towards the battlefield. The girls look, and see it.

Talia depowers her tank top once more and turns to face Eiden, who is already recovered from the bazooka shot and moving towards her.

“Folks, I think Talia might be out of her depth here! Look at what he did!” Lauren comments.

“It’s subtle, but Eiden didn’t take that hit accidentally. He grabbed her and covered her up – just long enough to pull some thread from his coat and use his limbs to repair her damaged top.” Hector says. “He may be preserving her dignity, but there’s a clear message there: like a true spider, he’s just toying with his prey. The more she moves, the more she entangles herself in his web.”

True to Hector’s word, a loop of red thread is tied around the ripped part of the tank top, repairing it. This time, no longer needing to keep her dignity safe, Eiden comes in aggressively. Talia fires off her bazooka, but Eiden is ready for it and manages to weave his limbs around the shot. Talia runs forward, depowering her clothing for speed, and tries to evade the limbs, but Eiden grabs her and trusses her up in his spidery tendrils.

With a final, almost non-commital movement, he moves his limbs to the edge of the arena and deposits Talia on the outside of it.

“End!” shouts Alarna. Eiden breathes in and out deeply, satisfied. Talia gets to her feet, fuming. She glances up at the judge’s panel and Lauren and Hector’s commentating booth with hope in her eyes.

“Absolutely incredible performance from Eiden today! He moved that Spider Snood like a natural, and even managed to overwhelm Talia Fortescue, who’s received podium placements more than once for her modelling talents!” Lauren yells.

“Yep, it was good. Now, onto the results. Obviously Eiden receives the victory point.” Hector states. “Eiden receives the skill point and the efficiency point. …Ah, he also receives the style point and… the performance point. Eiden wins 5-0, everyone.”

“Nice work from Eiden Darrow! Alright, folks, onto the next match, and final match before lunch, in just a few moments!”

“Don’t get cocky!” Talia says; she’s smiling and waving to the crowd, but her words are full of venom. “I’ve just fallen ill as of late, and I’ll definitely beat you next time!”

“Heh.” Eiden mutters to himself as Talia saunters off. “I guess it’s true what they say. Bitches love cannons.”

 

*

 

“Gerroff!”

Anastasia stands back, running her hands through her hair. “Sorry… I’m a little nervous. You have enough snacks to keep you going, right?”

“I have the bag of nuts.” Zaphod replies, patting his pocket.

“OK, good. I brought lots of other stuff that you can eat between matches to keep your energy up. Uh… I think that’s everything.”

“It’s almost time for me to begin.” Zaphod says, glancing at the arena. The pair are stood at the entrance.

“Mm.”

“You’d best get back up to the model’s lounge. I want you to see me at my best!”

“OK!” Anastasia says, turning to leave. “Um… good luck, Zaphod.”

“I’m going to do well. For you.” Zaphod says, smiling in his usual vacant way. “You put so much work into my outfit and the like, it’d be a shame if I can’t show it off to the world!”

Anastasia feels a blush coming on. “Y-yeah! Get out there!”

With that, she dashes off, and Zaphod hears his name being called. He turns to the arena and begins to walk out into the stands.

“Alright, folks, here we’ve got Zaphod Smith! He’s tall, he’s good-looking, and he’s got a hell of an outfit on today!”

Zaphod is wearing a flamboyant suit, similar to his normal blazer but with tassels and other adornments. It’s quite a sophisticated type of flamboyance, and the fin-like protrusions on his trousers and blazer make him more streamlined and even faster when using his Rocket Heels. His hair is styled and his moustache is exquisite.

“On the other side, we’ve got Alice Harvey. A student with a flair for the macabre, evidently.” Hector says.

Alice is wearing skeletal make-up with a trench coat, black and purple tutu, and pop socks with black shoes. It’s a curious look, but her dark make-up and foreboding outfit makes her stand out.

“Zaphod has gone with the Rocket Heels. I’m sure we’re all aware that they’re most popularly used by the Top Bombardier, Estelle Weatherby. It’s not often you see them in modelling, though, so we look forward to seeing how they perform.”

“Meanwhile,” Lauren cuts in. “Alice has selected the Shadow Cloak! A Support Patch is the least popular patch to put on a trench coat, according to a recent survey, but perhaps this is the day that Alice proves why we should pay more attention to the power of the Shadow Cloak!”

“Begin!” shouts Alarna. Zaphod grins to himself, and begins to run.

The trench coat that Alice is wearing transforms into a long and ragged cloak, and suddenly, she vanishes into thin air.

“The Shadow Cloak. I never tried that one.” Eiden says, observing the fight. Aubree, who is half-watching the fight, and half-preparing the Spider Snood for the repairs it needs during the lunch break, nods.

“It turns you invisible, right? But only for a short period of time. Kinda creepy!”

“Yeah.” Eiden says. “Do you think it’ll work?”

“The weakness of the Shadow Cloak is that a blast of light will reveal where you’re hiding. She can stay hidden for about a minute, but if Zaphod blasts off near her, he’ll reveal her.” Mia explains.

“Oh, that could end the fight quickly.” Anastasia mutters. She hasn’t been talking since she got back to the model’s lounge, and is watching the fight breathlessly.

Zaphod keeps his eyes peeled. He can’t hear anything; Alice’s shoes have evidently been designed to muffle noise. Listening carefully, he hears the very small noise of her exhaling as she runs towards him. With the sheer terror of realising that she’s almost right on top of him, he blasts off diagonally to the right, creating a blast of light as the Rocket Heels flare up.

“Oh, would you look at that!” Donovan announces. “The blast from his shoes has revealed where our saucy witch-girl was hiding!”

“Saucy?” Xilog asks.

“I dunno, I’m too distracted to think of the right words.” Donovan replies, breaking character for a moment.

Alice, her form revealed by the blast of light, turns in anger and runs to Zaphod, who lands and turns to see her. She charges, but he dodges away from her first hit, then grabs her and prepares to blast off once more.

“This could be a quick end to the fight!” shouts Lauren. “When a Shadow Cloak’s form is revealed, it takes a bit of time to regain the power to turn invisible, and Zaphod is not giving Alice the time she needs!”

“N-no!” yelps Alice, struggling in Zaphod’s grip. The Rocket Heels hit fever pitch and then blast off, straight towards the edge of the arena.

“Oh, my god, no…” Anastasia mutters. Eiden turns to her, a look of horror on his face.

“He’s blasted off wildly, but if he hits the ground outside the arena before she does, he’ll be the one to lose!”

“Come on, Zaphod, don’t be so rash!” Aubree says in a sing-song voice as she examines the damaged parts of the snood.

Zaphod blasts towards the edge of the arena and then sails over the line; the first person to touch the ground now loses, and Alice reaches up and grabs his neck, hoping to pull him to the ground. However, Zaphod loosens his arm and lets her drop; moments before he himself touches the ground, he blasts off once again, in the opposite direction. Alice slams into the ground in defeat whilst Zaphod lands safely within the bounds of the arena.

“End!” Alarna yells.

Anastasia breathes an audible sigh of relief. “Haaah… he did it. Oh wow.”

“Nice! Congratulations!” Aubree says, dropping the snood and running over to hug Anastasia, who accepts it gratefully.

“Yeah, well done. He looked so focussed out there… this is a different Zaphod than we’re used to, I think.” Eiden muses. “Don’t celebrate too soon, though; points are still to come.”

“Alright, gang, the results are in!” comes Lauren’s voice from outside. “Zaphod won the victory point! Alice wins the style point, Zaphod wins the efficiency point… and he wins on performance and skill, too! Zaphod wins, 5-0!”

With a sigh of relief, Zaphod practically skips back to model’s lounge, excited to eat and restore his energy, and to celebrate winning his first match with Anastasia.

“Folks, listen up. We’re gonna be taking an hour for lunch, and we’ll have some food, refreshments and entertainment on outside. The brackets for the semi-finals are as follows: Eiden Darrow will be battling Zaphod Smith, and Jackson Slacall will be battling Paris Duvoir. Wish everyone luck as they prepare for their matches.”

The sun is just reaching its zenith; midday. The lunch break is quite welcome, and with the first round done, everyone is busy discussing the possible implications of the next two fights in the bracket. Who will make it to the finals?

 

New Clothing Discovered:

 

[No. 033] Bazooka Top

Formation: Tank Top + Augment Patch

Effect: Grants a shoulder-mounted bazooka that fires explosive rounds

Drawback: The bazooka is heavy, user can barely move whilst it is out

 

[No. 002] Shadow Cloak

Formation: Trench Coat + Support Patch

Effect: Turns user invisible for a brief period of time

Drawback: Flashes of light will remove user’s invisibility

Sunderland College [3.1 - A Hectic Morning]
Sunderland College [3.3 - Eiden vs. Zaphod]

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