The Warrior And The... Clown?
rating: +29+x

All of Site 25b was flooded with seawater, polluted by lifeless bodies, all of its personnel lost in a desperate attempt to keep SCP-076-2 from breaching containment.

Their sacrifice was for nought though, for Able now walked free.

First, he had to punch his way through three solid cubits of titanium. That irritated him a little since back when he worked for Pandora’s Box it seemed like the researchers were always complaining about how their assistants kept insisting on using titanium for everything. ‘We’re on a budget here, concrete will do fine!’ they’d say. When it came to him though, apparently they could afford to make three cubit thick walls out of the stuff. He guessed it made a little bit of sense, since they knew he could tear through steel and it would have to be corrosion resistant since they were immersing it in sea water all the time, but it still pissed him off.

Once he did punch his way out of his titanium prison, he swam down the killing corridor whilst being electrocuted with 20 000 volts of electricity. Had he been mortal his muscles would have spasmed uncontrollably, but he was able to power through it and swim the three-quarters of a furlong to the security station in barely a minute. It would have been even faster, but his cape was not the most hydrodynamic garment and caused a lot of drag.

As he swam he effortlessly dodged the fire of the close-in weapon’s system with the grace of a penguin (he would probably have prefered a comparison to a more fierce animal, but penguins are graceful underwater so it’s apt) and then punched his way through the plexiglass barrier.

That’s when he switched from punching to slicing.

He’d already killed everyone by the time they flooded the whole facility. Then he just swam up the shaft, bashed through each of the five blast doors (titanium, again), and fought his way through the surface outpost’s defences.

Now he was free. And angry. And wet.

He appeared to be in a coastal heathland of some sort, devoid of people for him to kill or places for him to hide. Knowing the Foundation would be upon him shortly, he picked a direction at random and ran off at nearly high-way speeds. After running for over an hour with no sign of his jailors, he finally came upon his first sign of human life.

A Circus, of all things, a couple miles to the southeast.

There was something disquieting about it, like it didn’t want him to see it and he had to fight to focus on it. Whatever sorcery it was, it failed to bewitch his ancient and alien mind. The Circus would hold hundreds of the little people, if not thousands. They’d be even easier to kill than his jailors, unfortunately, but perhaps he could devise a way to use their sheer numbers and terror for his amusement. He’d lay waste to the Circus, slaughter men and women, children and elders, none would be spared from his –

“Hey, Mister!”

Able’s train of thought was broken by a cheerful, female voice. He turned and saw a ridiculous looking young woman in a childish purple dress, unbraided pigtails, and red and white clown makeup. Presumably, she came from the Circus, but what she was doing out here by herself he had no idea.

“What’cha doin’?” she inquired.

Able responded by summoning a small dagger and tossing it straight at her heart. It was more out of reflex than anything. Such a pitiful opponent was hardly worth the bother. Turing his attention back towards the Circus, he again began contemplating how to best to make sport of it. Perhaps if he started off by killing them surreptitiously, allowing panic to spread among the crowd -

“Wow, this dagger is vanta-black. It’s so weird to look at. Where’d you get it?”

Slowly turning his head in disbelief, Able saw that the Clown was still alive and unscathed, holding the dagger in her hand.

“You caught that?” he asked.

“Oh yeah, I’ve been part of knife throwing acts for years now,” she replied. The blade suddenly dissolved into dust and vanish in a gust of wind. “Oh cool, just like the Morgul Blades from Lord of the Rings.”

Perhaps this ridiculous creature might be worth a fight after all.

“Do you have a name, girl?” he asked as he drew a sword from the void.

“Li’l Lollipop, but you can call me Lolly,” she replied, drawing her giant wooden mallet from the hammerspace of her pockets. “And I think I can guess who you are. A red cape with no shirt? You must be a big Zack Snyder fan.”

She slammed her hammer into the ground, sending a shockwave of soil careening straight for him. He dodged it with the grace of a dama gazelle (another animal he wouldn’t like to be compared too, but nonetheless an apt comparison) and then threw a chakram which immediately decapitated her mallet.

Her jaw dropped in shock as the hammerhead fell to the ground.

"What the heck are these things made off? I fought a robot with this hammer once!"

"That could just as easily have been your head, girl. Beg for mercy now and I'll consider making your death swift!"

"Ugh, you're just two hundred and fifty pounds of toxic masculinity, aren't you?" she asked as she pulled out a roll of bright red tape to reattach the hammerhead to the mallet. "Do you know that song Indestructible by Disturbed? I'm somehow hearing that in my head just looking at you."

Able smirked at the girl's audacity in the face of death, and decided to give her a swift death anyways. He threw his sword at her, expecting that the blade would be too long for her to catch without being impaled. But catch it she did, her arm stretching like it was made of rubber to grab the sword by its hilt, the tip of the blade barely half an inch from her face. She blew on it casually, causing it to disintegrate like a dandelion.

“Huh, just what I thought,” she murmured.

Able had to admit he was impressed that the girl had managed to catch not only one but two of his legendary black blades. But could she catch them as fast as he could throw them? He unleashed a flurry of daggers, several each second for five or six seconds, forty blades for her two hands to catch.

And she caught none of them.

Instead, each blade disintegrated before it ever reached her.

“What?” he snarled.

“Went off prematurely, it looks like. Don’t feel bad, it happens to every guy.”

“How did you do that?” he demanded, drawing out a massive sword from his cloak.

“As a Reality Bender, I know a thing or two about Hume fields, and those blades of yours have incredibly low Hume fields. It’s why they stop existing so soon after you throw them. All I have to do it ratchet up the local Hume-idity a tiny bit and they vanish before they can touch me.

“That means no more projectiles, lazy-bones. If you want to fight me, you’ll have to come over and do it yourself.”

A murderous smile spread over Able’s face.

“With pleasure.”

He bolted towards her, seemingly unencumbered by his massive sword, swinging it so rapidly it was barely more than a blur. To his astonishment, she was able to keep up with it, dodging each swing with impossible speed. Growling in frustration, Able simply thrust the blade forward, impaling nothing but the ground. His eyes darted back and forth searching for the Clown, only for her to strike him in the head with her mallet from behind.

The blow was so powerful he saw cartoon stars circling his head, though that was actually a magical property of the hammer and not a sign of a severe concussion.

"Oh goody, it still works."

During his brief moment of disorientation, Lolly pulled the sword from the ground and cartwheeled a safe distance away with it.

“Hey Mister, look what else I can do.” She kissed the blade, causing a visible flare of aspect radiation to flash off of it. She made a few demonstrative swings with it, illustrating not only her skill with a sword but the fact that the blade was no longer as ephemeral as normal. “Fixed it! Now we can have a proper sword fight. Having a sword and hammer fight is pretty silly, after all, especially since you already broke it once you jerk!”

“You sangdu nutuku, do you have any idea what that sword is?” he demanded. “Those blades are formed in the Darkness Below, brought into this plane by half-real Daevite sorceresses, apostles to the Scarlet King himself, you cannot tamper with such sacrosanct spellcraft!”

“I don't know the meaning of the word sacrosanct. Literally,” she said, sticking out her tongue at him.

“Insolent Wretch!” Able roared, veins bulging in his neck, summoning two more swords. “I have been but trifling with you now because it amused me, but if you do not surrender that blade to me this instant you will face me in the full fury of my rage state!”

“A rage state? What’s a rage state? How is that different from just being angry? Oh, is it like being triggered? I get triggered sometimes, so trigger warnings are important, especially when -”

“The sword! Now!”

“No. I told you, we’re going to have a sword fight.”

Able growled, shaking his head in disdain.

“So be it, Clown!”

Screaming like a wild, rabid, animal in musth and possibly on PCPs, he came charging at her with each sword spinning at thousands of rpm, swinging his arms at her as if he had massive circular saws for hands. He was certain that even she would not be able to evade such swift blades, and she made no attempt to. Instead, she thrust her own sword straight up into each obsidian vortex. As they struck her blade, each of Able’s swords came to an instant halt, generating such devastating force that they broke his wrists so violently it left white shards of bones piercing out from his own skin.

As the swords fell from his now useless hands, he kicked Lolly's legs out from under her. Stomping on her chest so hard she couldn't breathe, he leaned down and bared his sharpened teeth at her.

"You should have taken my offer for a quick death while it lasted," he spat at her. "Now I'm going to eat you alive, starting with that ridiculous face of yours."

As he lunged forward to tear her face off, a small door opened in her forehead and a Swiss cuckoo bird popped out, impaling him in the eye and causing him to lighten his foothold on her enough for her to escape.

"Pakhta! Sajila hkmara qoitht yuimmoh!" he howled in Assyrian. He attempted to pulverize Lolly into the ground with his dangling fists, but he hit nothing but dirt.

Instead, she ducked between his legs and grabbed hold of his crimson cloak.

“No capes!” she shouted in a European accent as she tossed it over his head and twisted him up in it. With his hands dangling by sinews from his shattered wrists, he wasn’t exactly able to free himself from it. He tried flexing and biting his way through it, which eventually just deteriorated into him screaming and slamming himself against the ground.

When he looked back up at her, he saw that she was recording him with her smartphone.

"Sorry, but just having proof you were here is going to be great for business. Oh, can you say 'The Circus of the Disquieting fully accommodates the differently Abled?' And really put the emphasis on Abled."

Able didn’t respond, instead just charging at her with a burst of lightning speed and headbutted her so hard she went flying backwards a good fifty cubits.

Landing with cat-like grace, she checked to make sure her phone was alright.

"Hey careful! This is a Samsung, it could have exploded!" she shouted. "Still beats Apple with their stupid face ID. Do they not test those things for Clowns?"

Once again Able came charging for her, but this time she was prepared. She skirted to the side at the last instant, smoothly switching the phone with the sword and sliced Able’s right leg clean off, sending him tumbling to the ground. Despite now only have one leg, with his hands almost falling off and his arms tangled up in his cape, he managed to rectify himself and resume his attack, hobbling towards her on his left leg.

“Oh look at that, you’re hopping mad now!” Lolly taunted. “Oh, I should make A Monty Python and The Holy Grail reference! Ah…hold on. Give me a minute, it will come to me.”

Though his screams were horrifying, in his current physical state it was comically easy for Lolly to evade him, ruminating aloud over potential Monty Python quips as she did so. The humiliation finally started to become stronger than his anger, and he reluctantly stopped hopping and hung his head in defeat.

“I yield,” he growled through his teeth.

“You what now?” Lolly asked smugly, cupping her hand to her ear as if she hadn’t heard him.

“I yield!” he spat at her. “You said you wanted a sword fight. We’ve had it, it’s over, you’ve won. Return the sword to me.”

“No. If I won, then this is my prize. I’m going to give it to my friend Iris. She mentioned she wanted something like this.”

And then, perhaps suggesting he was actually a Zack Snyder fan, Able went all Batman Vs Superman at the mention of the name Iris.

“Why would you say that?” he demanded.

“Huh?”

“That name! Why would you say her name!”

“I – she’s just someone I know. She’s awesome. She’s a paratech expert, a cyborg sorceress, kind of a badass, but also kind of snooty.”

There was an awkward moment of silence.

“I don’t think we’re talking about the same person dude. There’s more than one girl in the worlds named Iris.”

Nonetheless, it seemed the mention of the name was enough to throw Able into his rage state once again.

“I will not endure this indignity any longer!” he bellowed, finally mustering the strength to break free of his cape. He could not a wield a sword, nor could he run, but using his remaining leg he leapt into the air straight for her, ready to crush her like a poodle (he once crushed a poodle by falling on it, but that’s another story).

Instead, Lolly raised her sword and he landed upon it, the blade impaling him through the chest and coming out the other side of his back. She lowered him to the ground so that he was supported by his remaining knee, as he was very heavy.

“I know you respawn like a video game character every time you die, so let me give you a tip for your next playthrough,” she said. “If you ever come across a circus that feels like it’s not quite real, head in the other direction.”

He tried to raise his arms to defend himself, but she twisted the blade and the agony was unbearable. He looked up and saw that she had bent down so that they were face to face, eyes like a shark and a terrifyingly serene smile staring back at him.

“Because this is what I do to people who try to fuck with my Circus!”

The cuckoo bird popped out of her head again, plucking out Able's remaining eye.

Lolly ripped her sword out, leaving Able's entrails to spill all over the ground and his body to putrify.

Wiping the blade clean with a giant clown hankie, she placed it in her hammerspace pocket.

"Happy April Fools Mister!" she shouted as she happily skipped back to the Circus, merrily singing nonsense to herself.

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