Stage 6 news - The Duel

Sunday 28th November

The following report comes in from the winner this term - Matt Laycock (Tiny Tim):

I was armed with 50 throwing knives, over 200 rubber bands, 2 rubber band guns, 2 water pistols, 20 or so water bombs, spare water, a "Hailstorm" dart gun, a "Supermaxx-1000" dart gun, CPS-1000, mini-lightsaber, a smaller water firing device and a sharp suit.

Meeting in St. Mike's Court the glorious Umpire (may he be forever praised) (Hmm - not sure about that one - Umpire) explained the rules and starting positions and we proceeded to the Market Square for the throwing down of gauntlets. Much slapping of gloves in faces and bold challenges ensued. I and my fellow duelists picked starting positions from a hat and I was led away first to the basement of F staircase by my corner judge. (Necroneko!)

At the signal to begin I rushed to the outside door of C staircase as I knew that one of my competitors would have to walk past there. Hampered by my stupidly large array of weapons I was a little slow and only just caught a glimpse of Alex Churchill striding past. Fumbling for my CPS-1000 I burst out of the doorway intending to shoot him in the time honoured manner. (In the back) Unfortunately for me he was skilled in avoidance and only lost his left arm - dodging into D staircase. A brief exchange of fire occured until we both retreated. I then elected to take up position on the 1st floor of C where I was safe from rear attacks.

After a few minutes I heard noise in the basement, there was a shout of "Truce!" and the noise of someone ascending the stairs below. Silently I readied a rubber band gun and peeked over the bannister to be greeted with the sight of Tim Pike - drinking mulled wine?! Momentarily I stood confused, was the duel paused? Did the truce apply to me? Tim's vertical view was obscured by his large hat and his attention was entirely on his wine, so not wanting to miss this golden opportunity I blew his head off with four rapid shots. His body stood for a few moments, flask in hand, before crumpling to the ground. What a waste! What a calamity! The mulled wine had been spilled!

Alex Churchill came round the stairs soon after, had they been working together in some sort of unholy alliance? I let off my remaining rounds, but once again he darted out of the way. The Umpire then called a truce so we could be separated. We both reloaded guns and Alex got his arm back by some mystical healing power.

Upon restarting we both ran for the high platform near the doors of G and H staircases and once again I was too slow due to the weight of water I carried and my slight frame. I vanished into C staircase as Alex prepared to guard his position. Popping out of E via the basement we tested the range of our guns. With his height advantage he could shoot further, but I had plenty of time to dodge out of the way. A deadlock threatened. I left my weapons in a staircase and filled my pockets with grenades. These had the desired range but were far too slow in the air, enabling them to be dodged with ease. Nevertheless a couple of spectators were too slow and paid the ultimate price (Including the ghost of Tigger). I had a couple of close calls with faulty bombs which exploded soon after leaving my hand but by some miracle the shrapnel missed me and after a quick check for wounds by the Umpire I was pronounced healthy and continued.

Paper pellets were my next method of attack, these having the desired range but sadly not the accuracy. I tried taunting Alex into wasting his ammunition by dancing around just at the limit of his range but his supplies were too large. Attempts by me to ascend the platform by the other staircase were repelled with extreme prejudice and I only narrowly escaped with my life.

After about 45 minutes of this a deadlock was declared and an alternate form of duelling decided: Rubber band guns in the market square.

The spectators formed a ring and we began at the drop of a pocket handkerchief. Having fired all of our ammunition a clear shot had not occured due to high winds and fading light, so we moved on to the next form of duelling - lightsabers at dusk in the Market Square.

Using a red lightsaber kindly lent by Necroneko I went a few practice rounds with some watching Jedi Knights before testing my skills against the Master of the Force - The Light Side of the Masked Man. Round 1 - I cut off his leg Round 2 - He cut off my arm Round 3 - We simultaneously stabbed each other in the chest The Umpire healed these wounds and we went back to St. Mikes for the final form of combat - CPS-1000s on the high platform.

The duel started in the manner of the Old West, 10 paces, turn and fire. Once again Alex demonstrated his formidable dodging skills, with his back to the wall he leapt to the left, to the right and at one point even ran under my stream. Several more spectators lost their lives in this epic battle. Then a volley of shots tore into my right leg - severing it below the knee. From this point on my dodging was done with the power of the hop.
Sensing my weakness Alex came at me in a final charge, yelling war cries and firing wildly. But luck was with me that day, for as he got within range his gun gave a pathetic sputter as his ammunition ran out and he was bisected from waist to head by my return volley. Farewell to a valiant opponent after two hours of struggle encompassing many forms of combat.

The ghosts of Tigger and the Masked Man then decided that my suit looked far too dry and unleashed their remaining water over me.