An Intellectual Pursuit…

Posted May 28th, 2003 under AC1.

It starts off innocently enough:

“You’re not so smart! I could beat you at anything!”
“Oh really? How about a nice game of chess?”
“You’re on!…wait…is chess the one with the round things? Red and black?”

See, A’ and I were having a little “professional disagreement.” I felt that as his vassal, it was my job to ensure that the rest of his vassals were up to snuff.

He took offense at my suggestion that they all break from him and pledge to me.

Hey look man, I’m here to save lives. You got that? I’m not a politician! I shoot from the hip! I’m an outsider to Washington! I, uh…

Death says, “Woah, are you quoting Gee Dubyah? I’m really going to have to kill you now…”

No no no, you see, what I’m trying to say here is that you know, sometimes a leaders’ decisions get called into question. And sometimes he needs a, what’s the word, counselor? Advisor? Aide?

Death says, “Scapegoat?”

Yes! Er, no! My offer was just to help A’ get his rowdy bunch of hooligans under control. The 50% tax on all phat lewt was really more of a guideline, not necessarily a rule, mind you. But oh, no – everyone had to get offended. Everyone’s all in an uproar because I suggested changing their official titles to “Dill Hole” or “Tater Butt” or even the noble “Unbelievable Jackass Bastich.” Those are like, Roman titles or something. I’m pretty sure I saw them on the Discovery Channel.

But now here we were. The gauntlet has been thrown down, and it’s not like me to not accept!

Death says, “No, it’s more like you to be three miles away in terror before the gauntlet even leaves the other guys’ hand…”

Exactly. Unfortunately, A’ had some of his thugs blocking my egress (dirty look at Kaigon). So I was left with no choice but to engage in the ancient contest of wills, of military strategy, of forethought and planning, of deviousness and… erm… moving… and… uh… pieces…

Death says, “You have no idea how to play this game, do you?”

Of course I do! It’s basically a fancy version of checkers! And I’m TOTALLY awesome at checkers – even Chinese checkers! Although I’m not playing that right now – SARS and all that, you know. But look, they play the game on the same boards – and if anything, chess has MORE pieces to it than checkers, so that’s even MORE chances for me to get kinged!

Death giggles.

Quiet, slut! Now then: as any great strategist will tell you, the key to victory in any conflict is properly motivating your troops. Unfortunately, there was a bit of confusion at first, as nobody warned me what the pieces were going to look like. So my ‘army’ spawns, and I’m screaming bloody murder about a drudge invasion and trying to knock an arrow to my bow whilst running about. I manage to impale half of my army and myself before someone bothers to explain what’s going on. Hrmph. Cheaters.

So we manage to get the fires on my army put out (I swear I didn’t start all of them – I really think A’ set off a few fireballs while no one was looking). Now if there’s ever been a man born to lead soldiers, it’s none other than R. Lee Emery. So I prepare to address my troops…

Death says, “Uh, Kwip…”

Drudge Queen smites you so hard the lifestone flinches!
Death says, “I was going to mention that Gunny Sgt. Emery gets killed, too, but I see you figured it out. Hrmm…does this count as a loss?”

It bloody well does NOT! I just have to make my way back to the chess…
Skeleton Bone Knight smites you so hard your ancestors feel it!
(You know, that always makes me wonder – when that happens, is the Kwip in AC2 flinching? ‘Cause, you know, he’s my ancestor and all…)

Okay, I make it back – but if I lose, it’s TOTALLY because of vitae!

A’ says, “lol, sure, sure…”

I think he’s mocking me… But finally, the game is afoot! Our soldiers line up on opposing sides, facing off in grim determination as each side makes ready to defend its’ views and beliefs unto death! And suddenly it strikes me:

I have no idea how the hell to play chess…

I mean, I know that if I click a piece and click somewhere on the board, he’ll go there if it’s a legal move. So that’s pretty much what my strategy boils down to. Well, that and threatening my pieces if they don’t win this match for me. That and a few potshots at A’s pieces, and I figure the game’s as good as mine.

Of course then a bunch of people show up to watch. And it strikes me that if I humiliate A’ by defeating him as soundly as I obviously can, he’ll probably resent that and stop doing things like giving me phat lewt, buffing me, powerleveling me – oh, and posing for my comics.

We can’t have that. So yes, A’, you win THIS round! But I have a secret plan: and as soon as I figure out how to patch Deep Fritz through Decal, it’s all over, A’!

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