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My journey of getting to know SHINee as a baby Shawol (Pt. 1 and 2) - Replay, The SHINee World, AMIGO and ROMEO

Hey there!
As of late I have been delving into the SHINee world, so I would probably consider myself a baby Shawol now. I'm pretty late to the party, but rather late than never!
I shared my first experiences on kpopthoughts and many people over there told me that I should post over here as well, because they thought my fresh thoughts and experiences might be fun for you too and that you might have some more intell and suggestions for me :)
Just for your information- before I wrote all of this, I made a post about how Key used to have some kind of power over me, even when I didn't knew him at all then.

This is a cross-post of my two posts over there, so please don't mind that I just copied them (because I am sitting on my third review to celebrate Onews return from his military service). I would love to hear your thoughts as well (if someone is interested enough to read all of this)! On another note- I really don't know if my flair fits ^^"
So here we go:

Pt. 1
Hello, it's me, the girl who made a post gushing about Key.
Some of you said there will be no escape for me, so I'm not even trying to, but diving in head first.
After months of thinking about it, I finally decided that I should explore Shinee a bit more, since I only knew Replay, View, Odd Eye and Everybody well before.
The only reason that made me hesitant was Jonghyun and my fear of falling in love with him without a chance to ever appreciate him how he deserved it. But I thought to myself that I would rather get to know and love him -even if it might hurt- than never be able to experience this mans beauty and artistry.
I just watched a little guide on them and am now ready to delve into their music.
So this is my plan: I will listen to all their albums chronologically to get a sense of their roots and of their growth. I thought my fresh expercience and reaction to their songs might be interesting to some Shawols (or other people who still hesitate to get into Shinee) and that's why I'm posting this here. Just fyi, I don't know anything about music theory, so this will only be my personal opinion.
I'm planning to make my reactions to each of their albums a seperate post, so I guess I'll be here for the long run.
Each post will include the innitial reaction that I first had when listening to each song. I will then proceed with my thoughts of some live stages, probably the comeback stage as well as the b-side of each era and a newer performance of these songs (if I find them). Naturally I will include links of the stages I saw.
Lastly I will deduce who -in my opinion- did the best in each era (and I will try to not be biased towards King Key).
So anyone who reads this should be prepared for very long posts.
Before I start with my album "review" of The SHINee World, I would like to ask any Shawols how I can get to know the members better. I'm happy about anything- you can recommend me guides or your favorite live stages as well! Give me anything or rather everything. And should I also do the same for their solo albums when the time comes?
Now onto my reactions to the songs.

1. The SHINee World (Doo-Bop)
First listening:
First of all, before listening, the title of this song reminded me of that song of this American boy (/kids) group that consisted of brothers (I'm not American, so I don't know who they are, I just heard a snippet of them on some German TV show once).
So this song is nothing like I expected it to be! I thought it was going to be upbeat and happy-go-lucky, but no! I was greeted with some sick beats! And they are sooo the 2000s, I love it. This is something I would've listened to back then if I knew they existed (my 9 year old self liked Hip Hop movies back then). Jonghyuns vocals were a stand-out in the beginning. Later, I immediately noticed how they referenced a line of REPLAY, very interesting since both songs are such a contrast of each other. Onew and Jonghyun were so great, Jonghyuns bridge was chefs kiss. Also- now I know where that meme of Minho ("My name is Minho) comes from. God bless.
2. Love's Way
First listening:
So this is some kind of ballad, huh? Pretty singing from the get-go, but the beat is somehow throwing me off? Their voices and the melody of their voices are pure bliss though. Oh my god, the run that Onew did! Yes, that was my thought while hearing it.
This is a very chill song. The raps contribute to this vibe.
Oh, I love the part after the raps. And then they ruined it with the robotic voice processing and then they saved it again. This is a roller coaster ride. They brought the robots back... please stop.
3. Love Like Oxygen
First listening:
I already know that I will like this, the beat is exactly my style. I like how powerful their voices sound in this one after their softer voices before. It gives me the feeling that there is actually a reasoning behind the order of songs, like the album is really meant to be heard in one sitting.
I really like the instruments they use in the chorus and once again their voices build the melody, not the backtrack. I love how the bass is their base for this song. Until now, it's definately my favorite until now!
I didn't know this had a MV, so let's see!
The choreography with the chairs is pretty neat! It's not very common anymore (right?), but some other groups back then did it as well if I'm not wrong. The dance definitely made the song even better to me!
I can't say much about the MV itself, since it's mostly dancing and close-up shots. But this is really a song to groove to imo.
Newer performance:
Oh, the suits! End me! Wow, Taemins visuals are shocking me this time! How could I not notice in all this time? Btw- I would let Jonghyun fire me any day. I'm not kidding. And they finally let me see Onews hair, he looks so good!
They all exude this sexy energy now... How? AND WHY DID TAEMIN SMILE THE WAY HE DID AT THE END?! Don't test me!
4. Romantic
First listening:
Ugh, please... don't be cheesy, And again... The adlibs saved my impression of the first beats. Now I actually like it, the guitar is nice. Now it's not cheesy anymore, just a pretty song. I would love if a guy would play this for me. The guitar makes me feels this way. Onews voice is really shining again (if it's really him). Jonghyuns adlibs are my new life fuel as well.
I really like the contrast that Keys deeper and nasally voice has, it's very different from the genius main vocals.
Romantic might have replaced Love Like Oxygen as my favorite song for now. I think I'll return to this song in the evenings when I get ready to go to sleep. It's relaxed, but still fun.
I just enjoyed the rest of the song, so there is not much to say anymore...
5. One For Me
First listening:
A chill song again, I like it. This song really gives me nostalgia of the boygroups back then, even if I don't remember too much. Their soft "hah" is really nice, it adds to this relaxed atmosphere... she said while one of the main vocals spat powerful adlips.
On another hand, it's a guitar beat again... and I like it... again. The adlibs are on point again, or rather like always. Nice to listen to, but I still kinda like Romantic better. But this is only my first listening, things might change.
6. Graze
First listening:
Another chill song with a guitar beat. This is pure bliss, why are they doing this to me? They are starting of with beautiful singing once again. End me please. This time the raps don't feel as forced anymore as well. Jonghyuns and Keys harmony is great! I love me some harmonies!
The raps aren't as forced in this song anymore, but I like the singing better, sorry Minho, sorry King Key.
Their singing is god tier.
7. Last Gift
First listening:
And now a piano beat... How did they know?! I love these... While listening to this song, I remembered the intro. Funny how the rest of the album is mostly chill and vocals based until now.
I won't lie, I'm not a big sucker for ballad, so I don't think I will place this one in my regular playlist, maybe in the "I'm depressed" one.
I don't think I have to mention their vocals again. But Onews pretty vocal color still catches me off guard sometimes.
8. Best Place
First listening:
This is totally a vibe song to chill to... again. Oh, I like the melodies they create with their voices. I guess this is a SHINee thing, I already like this song a lot better than Last Gift (like I said, I don't really like ballads in the beginning, they have to grow on me). The playful piano is right up my ally as well. I actually like the little raps in the background as well!
This song also gives me those nostalgic vibes of the time back then... It's a nice and relaxing feeling.
Now in the end, it kind of feels like acapella because of the voices that over-layer each other.
9. Y Si Fuera Ella
First listening:
Okay, I take back my statement about ballads. This one has taken my soul already. Everything is pretty. I love pianos, I love the voice (is it only Jonghyun?).
For some reason it reminds me of the Ballads in Mamma Mia. This is totally my style. It's kind of dramatic as well. Y Si Fuera Ella really has that musical feeling. Wow, I'm blown away. I can totally imagine the lead role running up a hill in distress or something.
And now after being dramatic, it returns to this homely melody. Yes. I really get those Mamma Mia vibes. I guess I will be the only one though. Also- this reminds me of sitting in my grandparents' kitchen for some reason... sometimes the songs their radio played had a similar feel.
I think I am already attached to this song, because it reminds me of so much of my childhood. So great! Y Si Fuera Ella is now my favorite song of this album.
Live Performance:
I'm blown away. He just fills up the stage while just standing and singing there. Why am I even saying "just"? He just cast some kind of spell on me.
Wait- he dropped on his knees! Dramatic screaming? Wait, He was shot?! I told you! This song is for a musical, his acting is insane!
I can just say... this is what you call a legendary performance...
10. Four Seasons
First listening:
To be honest, I don't expect much after Y Si Fuera Ella. The vocals are really nice again and this song is like a break from the emotional roller coaster of the mentioned ballad.
I actually don't have much of an opinion of this song... It exists. For me it's the most forgetable until now. But I can't expect to love every of their songs. It's also their debut album, sooo...
11. In My Room
First listening:
It seems like this is another ballad. I at first thought it was a solo for Onew, but then Key appeared. I am kind of confused, but it's okay. Once again, I'm not a ballad person, but I can enjoy some good violins and voices. Probably another song for my sad playlist. The last line was soooo good.
Other than that, I don't have much to say again...
12. Replay
Actually not my first listening:
I have been waiting for this! I absolutely love Replay! A bop! It makes me so happy, because it's so fun. I was actually introduced to this song by TXTs performance of it and Replay immediately caught my attention. I checked out the original and loved it even more.
I don't know why I like it so much, but I can say: Those powerful voices, once again! Yes please!
The song structure is so much fun as well! It's not repetetive but catchy and that's hard. Definitely the best debut song I ever heard!
After listening to an album of mostly chill songs, it was so refreshing! Replay is song of the century (SOC), thank you.
I won't say much about the MV either, because I already saw many parts of it, but this is the first time seeing it as a whole.
First of all- cute. Second of all- Taemin dancing after the girl... funny. This is meme-worthy stuff. That's some Michael Jackson shit, my boy.
So I guess they are all after the same girl... adults and a literal 14yo. I could laugh, but I won't. Because it's 11pm over here.
Oh and now they are dancing with hearound her... wholesome.
That's my take on this lol
Live performance:
So this is their debut stage - I'm excited! Omg, the introduction has me wheezing! The voice, The English!
Oh, they all look so young and cute! I love the dance as well (at least what I saw until now). Taemins smile melts my heart, such a baby.
So they did live vocals back then, I dig it. The outfits are kinda cringy, but still okay. Except Onews fedora, burn it before he tips it.
This stage is very different from debut stages today... I kinda like it better. Now everything has to start of epic, so I really love this fresh feel of their Replay debut stage. They all look really happy to be there, it's so cute. Also- Taemins face while he did his "solo dance"... It screamed "I'm a prince and I know".
Newer performance:
Aw, the throwback to their debut stage is so wholesome!
Okay, how can I like this live version better than the original even in the first 10 seconds? Ears, please explain yourselves! Their singing must've gotten a lot better, I don't know any better explanaition for this!
I love the outfits! Taemins cap and hair, Jonghyun as a whole! Damn! But why do SMs stylists to put hats on Onew? I wanna see hair god dammit! Minho is a real snack, I can lie. I won't talk about Key, because of... reasons.
The remix of the song is nice as well!
All in all, this is such a nice stage! They seem to have a lot of fun and their vocals are on point as always! I bet this stage is really special to some of you guys! :)
Oh no, Jonghyun was crying in the end :(
The last lines... sooo beautiful when they sang along with their fans. I'm soft.
Now I will have to end my first journey into SHINee world, because I'm tired and overwhelmed.
In conclusion I was surprised of the album itself. I thought it would be very different. In my thoughts it would've been a lot more of Pop like Replay, but I got chill songs and a masterpiece of a ballad!
My personal top 3 songs until now are: Replay, Y si fuera ella and Love Like Oxygen (Replay and Y si fuera ella are just god tier, while Love Like Oxygen is.... king tier?)
Who caught my attention this era: Jonghyun. He is such a good vocalist, who sadly doesn't get mentioned as much as he should be when discussing top vocals. After that probably Taemin, he was just so cute.
My bias: Still Key, but who knows what might happen...
Thanks for bearing with me! Let me know any suggestions or criticism, your own reactions... anything!

Pt. 2
Hello guys, I'm back!
After all of your nice feedback and recommendations I'm even more motivated to delve into SHINees releases. For anyone who reads this and hasn't read my previous post yet, I'll include a link for it (there you can read how I'm planning to go through this journey and how I reacted to SHINees first full album).
As a little update:
After my second listening, all songs have grown on me a lot! I already included Graze, Y Si Fuera Ella, Love's Way and Love Like Oxygen in my regular playlist. I bet some other songs will find their way there as well! My innitial reaction of Y Si Fuera Ella has only grown stronger. I genuinely love this song and it really is like a musical song now that I read the lyrics. It's so dramatic, but in the best way possible. The SHINee World is stuck in my head now btw... It's some kind of love-hate relationship between us. I don't dislike the song... I would just rather have Y Si Fuera in my head (which is the other one stuck in there with Graze and Romantic).
I watched three live stages yesterday, including Keys performance of Born To Shine (thank you to the person who recommended this, it changed my life), Taemins performance of Replay and a live performance of Graze which all were recommended to me.
It was like some demon possessed Kibum... his smile during this stage might be my end (but I realized that I like natural make-up the best on the contrary). How did the girl survive this?! I really like the song as well, I'm just still shook :') More of this please.
Taemins stage was very sweet on the other hand :) I really love how he changed the instruments up in this one, I like trumpets a lot! Also- He looks so ethereal with blue contacts, I've not seen anyone pulling them of as well as he does! And he really dances similar to Michael Jackson sometimes, huh? Cool!
I really liked the choreography with the chairs in Graze, just like the user who recommended this specific stage to me! Once again, I can only praise SHINees live vocals! That's king behaviour lol. And can someone explain to me why Keys English is so good? I need to know! And, wow... Minho is so good-looking. His exposed forehead... more please... for research purposes.
I watched SHINee visiting Weekly Idol and The Knowing Bros as well. What I learned from those two episodes:
Taemin is actually the one in charge (evil maknae) and he is rutheless when it comes to meat. Also his reactions to Heechul teasing him are so funny! (On a side note, Heechul was so handsome in that episode!)
Minho is appearantly annoying (according to Doni and Coni) and he's so competetive! A true athlete, I was like this for a long time as well. His cringy video from the past really was... cringy. I genuinely hated it lol
Key can fluently speak pout (and I'm here for it) and seems really witty in Weekly Idol. I sadly don't remember much of him from these episodes :( Just that my eyes were drawn a lot to him (and to Jonghyun). To me he is just so cute (even when Born To Shine has proven me wrong).
Jonghyun is seriously handsome and TXTs Taehyun resembles him a lot imo. I also love how he just has no chill with Doni and Coni. I will never forget Jongmi, even if I want to. Her broad shoulders are to die for lol No wonder all the guys want her, she's so strong!
Onew is so handsome as well! I'm sorry that I didn't notice it before! He seems to be more calm than the others in these episodes, so I took away from them that he loves chicken and can sit without a chair. The way he couldn't comprehend that he got beat at his own game was really cute and funny though.
Now to some new songs. Since I missed songs from their first mini album Replay, I will react to those before I continue with AMIGO (or rather the songs on there that I don't already know from SHINee world) and ROMEO.

1. Real
Oh, I already like this one! The mix of the violins and the electric beat is so interesting! And finally something fast paced that I can bop to. Yeah, Real is a fun song. I actually like the Raps as well! But that one line after the raps is probably my favorite of the song! Or I guess not, Jonghyuns adlibs again! Damn this man!
Real is the kind of song I would've expected on the same album as Replay. I dig it.
2. Love Should Go On
So this one starts off with Key rapping, not too bad. It seems like this is a song to shine for Key and Minho, until the main vocals open their mouths again lol
I really like the vibe when the chorus starts up, it's just.... pure vibe. Onews "love forever" line really is gold!
Yeah, Love Should Go On is more of a rap heavy song, that explains the vibe. I like this one, the mix of rap and vocals is good! I also really like funky beats!

First listening:
Wow, this one is really different compared to all their other songs until now! I guess it's supposed to be sexy when they mention the word so many times lol
To be honest, it's not really my usual taste, but the chorus with AMIGO really digs itself in your brain and I think this song has SHINees best rap parts yet!
You know, I already know that the lyrics of this song are cringy without even knowing Korean lol
Huh, so the MV starts off in black and white... Don't tell me that everything will turn colorful after Minhos and the girls eyes meet. Okay, It didn't what a relief. But I think she might've stolen his heart? If that's what the golden light is supposed to be...
Oh, is he chasing her to get it back?... On another note... I need more Key as the center of the choreo... thanks. Good stuff.
Their outfits with those "mirrors" on them are ridiculous in the best way ever lol. The MV somehow made Minhos and Keys raps cooler? I guess it's the gestures, but they were pretty awesome.
To be honest, I don't understand the MV lmao... Sooo... She stole Minhos heart (?) just to give it back to him when he catches up to her? Weird. But I like the song a little better now, so that's a plus.
2. Forever Or Never
This is so different as well! It's so fierce! Even though I don't like the processed vocals, their vocals in the line in between the choruses are so interesting! It's kind of like rapping and singing at the same time with this specific rhythm of singing!
I will have to listen to this one more to form an actual opinion though....

1. Talk To You
Talk to you starts with rapping again and I can't make a lot of the beat yet. But it's expanding and getting better, kind of like evolving. I'm just missing a nice melody to be honest. It's again their singing that creates it, but I'm the kind of person that really likes instrumental melodies.
That's why I actually really liked the bridge of this song! It's different from the rest od the song. And now I like the rest of the song better? That's so weird!
2. Juliette
First listening:
Oh, an electronic beat! The way the first lines are song remind me of Micheal Jackson again... And I really like the pre-chorus. Let's see where this goes... Oh! It's nice! Juliette is a little funky! The beat is just so 2009 lol.
I just really like the pre-chorus and chorus, so I don't mind how outdated the rest sounds! I feel like this is a song that I will really like after listening to it a few more times! Ooooh... The ending is sooo goood! I'm excited for the MV now... because it's basically a second listening lol
The set really fits the sound of the song, I'm not gonna lie. And why do Onew and Jonghyun have to pull these facial expressions? I'm still (kinda, but actually not) innocent! On the other hand... Jonghyuns hair... I won't say more.
Tbh, I kinda dig Taemins long hair though! And what's with me not understanding their MVs?! So now Jonghyun is meeting some girl and it's at a theme party with masks?
Oh, the choreography of the chorus is so pretty! Makes it even better!
WHAT IS THAT ON KEYS HEAD?! He looks like that dude... Saurons tounge in the extended edition of Lord of The Rings... WHAT?! Oh wait.... It's supposed to be themed after Indians, right? And those are glasses and not a mask... I'm confused.
OMG Taemins mask lmao. The kid is a transformer! Cuuute!
For a second I thought Minho wasn't invited because I didn't see him in his mask (or I just didn't notice), but he seems to get the girl again.
Until now it seems like in each MV all the guys want that one girl... Let's see if this will change.
3. Hit Me
The adlibs in the beginning are so good! Will Hit Me be a more vocal heavy song again? I like it's simplicity until now. Is the underlying beat a heart monitor? It only seems to appear in the chorus though...
This is a chill song for my evenings once again! I think I'll be able to relax with this one well. I like it! And the song fades away with the heart monitor, a nice touch. Let's see what I'll think of Hit Me in my next post, when I listened to it some more times.
4. Senorita
Senorita seems to be more hip-hop heavy, but the guitar somehow says otherwise. Again, a guitar is giving me life. And wow, the vocals in the pre-chorus are so nice! The chorus is my taste as well! I can nod my head to this. That's a good sign.
And the pre-chorus makes me excited again. I think is my favorite of this album yet... but I didn't like the flow of either rap :( wait. It's not that bad. I reversed the song and the second time the raps are okay lol
Ooooh, the last chorus is so cool! Senorita is a fun song! It will probably be in my playlist soon.
5. Please, Don't Go
The first ballad! Now I'm actually excited for SHINees ballads! Especially when they are simplistic with a piano. Wow, the vocals are heavenly... This is a really sad song, I can hear their emotions!
The chorus is so pretty! Wow! I really like this ballad! It could be such a nice OST for a dramatic scene of romance drama. Is this song only for Onew and Jonghyun? The chorus again... It's so good. Their voices work so well together!
I love the way they are so different and complement each other so well! Wow... An actual ballad that I liked at my first listening... Only Someday by Pentagon did this to me yet... Now that I think of it, these two songs are pretty similar (featuring the main vocals and heavy on piano and violins). Anyone who likes Please, Don't Go should check out Someday. Sorry, I'm done with my Penatgon propaganda.
6. Romeo+Juliette
A fun beat to start of with... paired with weird vocal processing. Good, that it's over, because now the song is really nice... and then they made Key a robot. Now it's good again lol.
WOw, I really like Onews voice! And I kinda like the raps! That's so nice!
I like it. Romeo+Juliette, a good song. I can't say much more. I'm enjoying it while ignoring the processed vocals. Because the actual ones are godly! I love the string instruments as well! Just... stop the robots SM, thanks.
I really wanna see a live performance of this one, so I can hear it without auto-tune! Can someone recommend me a nice one?
I'm tired again, so I won't do 2009, The Year Of Us in this post like I first planned to. So this will be the end of my second part of entering SHINee world.
In conclusion, all of these songs were completely new for me, so I didn't know or expect anything going into the songs I missed as well as the ROMEO album. The songs were very different then my first songs. A lot of ballads got exchanged with funkier or more technological beat- which is not bad at all, because funnily enough... I really liked the one ballad they did this time!
My personal top three of this post are: Please Don't Go, Senorita and Romeo+Juliet (this might be a subject for change in the future though)
My personal top ten out of all the songs I reviewed yet: (1 and 2 and 4 and 5 are interchangable, the rankings might change here later on as well)
  1. Y Si Fuera Ella (yeah... it's THAT song for me)
  2. Replay
  3. Please, Don't Go
  4. Senorita
  5. Love Like Oxygen
  6. Romeo+Juliette
  7. Graze
  8. Best Place
  9. Juliette
  10. Real
Honorable mentions: SHINEEE WOOOORLD
Who caught my attention this era (ROMEO): Definitely Onew! I really appreciate his vocals in all these songs. And Minhos eyes. Just the eyes lmao (Don't kill me, I'm kidding).
My bias: I don't even know anymore... Key? Yeah. Still him... The other guys though... But Key is still on top! He might never leave my brain after Born To Shine...
Thanks for reading my second part! Please give me some more recommendations for live performances and maybe solo variety appearances for each member, so I can get to know them better! Give me anything you want!
I'm excited for your guys opinions again, so until then-

That's what I already got. I will post my third review here as well if you want to! Bye!
submitted by smol-and-hungry to SHINee [link] [comments]

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #5: Round 1 Match 12 Alexis and Cybil Vs Admiral Pineapples and Rudolph

“届けて, 切なさには名前をつけようか ‘Snow halation!’”
The harpoon lodged itself into the Ocean Soul’s chest following a powerful toss from Pork Soda, the beast desperately trying to hit the tether to destroy it and release the harpoon, to no avail. The Ocean Soul had underestimated its opponents, who were currently singing some sort of song, perhaps a sort of war cry, meant to display their superior strength.
“想いが重なるまで待てずに, 悔しいけど好きって純情”
It had to do something! It released the Calamus Root in store within its mouth, ready to spit it out, before Sayonara Kodoku picked the Ocean Soul up, shut its mouth tight, and tossed it over to Pork Soda. With a thrust of its fingers, the porcine stand pierced the Ocean Soul’s eyes, blinding it.
Then, the two stands rushed at it, sending forwards a barrage of blows, breaking bones, claws, and disorientating it, before getting ready for a finisher. Pork Soda picked the Ocean Soul up by its tail and began spinning around, the rapid movement disorientating the fish and sending it closer and closer to its doom.
No, no! It couldn’t let this be! The Ocean Soul was a hunter, and even if its prey had gotten a leg up on it this time, it wasn’t going to give up! It could barely remain conscious under the pressure as the porcine stand spun it around, its already severe wounds getting exacerbated, but it had to do something!
Just one shot! Just one precise shot and it could use the opportunity to escape, to recover! The porcine stand was spinning it around by its tail, so the Ocean Soul could calculate the stand’s position! It just needed to regain its bearings, focus on getting a shot aimed, and it could use its spit to-
With a brutal impact, the Ocean Soul was slammed into a nearby rock. It felt itself sinking in the water as the two stands approached it, its imminent doom coming closer and closer with every movement they made.
It needed to escape, but it couldn’t bring itself to move. The two stands made their way towards it, floating above the ground as they loomed over the barely conscious beast.
Was this going to be it for the Ocean Soul?
“微熱の中 ためらってもダメだね, 飛び込む勇気に賛成 まもなく start!”
Like hell it was.
Gathering the little remaining energy it had, the Ocean Soul spat out the Calamus Root stored within its mouth, mixed with its saliva. Hitting the ground underneath the two stands, two long spikes quickly sprouted out of it and towards their bodies.
Though Sayonara Kodoku’s tough skin didn’t get pierced, the force of the growing spike sent it flying into the air, incapacitating it, if only for a moment. Meanwhile, Pork Soda wasn’t as lucky as it, the spike piercing through the left side of its body, tearing through its left leg and shoulder. The Ocean Soul couldn’t hear anything from underwater, but it was sure that its user was reeling in pain right about now.
Using the remainder of its energy, the Ocean Soul bolted away, desperately trying to remain conscious as it swam away from what it once considered its prey. It didn’t even look backwards, fearing that doing so would give its opponents the time they needed to finish it off for good. It didn’t even keep track of how far it swam, or for how long its opponents had chased it, or if they had done so at all. Its body was searing in pain, broken bones and wounds all over it.
Eventually, it couldn’t bring itself to swim any further, losing consciousness and sinking down into the ocean, not even the searing pain keeping it awake as it began to rest.
The Ocean Soul had lost, but this wasn’t the end of the beast. Though barely, it had managed to escape this encounter with its life.
The results are in for Match 10. The winner is…
‘Agnes’ Bayley and Prince Cosmo, with a score of 80 to the Ocean Soul’s 60!
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Players 25-5 The word of the voterbase was clear: the vast majority felt that the Ocean Soul was handily defeated by the players.
Quality Players 23-22 Reasoning
JoJolity Ocean Soul 22-23 Reasoning
Conduct Tie 10-10
“AAAAGH! GODDAMIT, STUPID FUCKING FISH!!” Agnes screamed in pain while clutching his leg, body strewn onto the nearest island, carried by Sayonara Kodoku. “IT STABBED THROUGH MY GODDAMN LEG!! FROM THE FOOT, TO MY WAIST, TO MY FUCKING SHOULDER! AAARGH, DAMMIT, WHERE’S JENNY WHEN YOU NEED HER!!”
“You should be happy we got away with our lives. The Ocean Soul isn’t going to come finish us off any time soon after what we did to it.”
“OH, REAL RICH COMING FROM THE ONE WHO DIDN’T GET STABBED IN THE FUCKING LEG BY THAT MONSTER. DO YOU WANT ME TO STAB YOU AS WELL SO YOU CAN SEE HOW IT FEELS?!” Agnes started rummaging around his surroundings with his right hand, searching for a sharp object to use for his “demonstration”.
“Frankly, you deserve it. Don’t forget that you are the cause for this all. Were it not for your foolishness, Webb would still be alive, and this would not have happened to you.” Cosmo chided.
“PFFF- WHATEVER!” In between his heavy breathing and pained cries, Agnes let out an audible sigh. “Fffffuck this, I’m gonna check my phone to see if there’s any connection here so that we can get the hell out of this place ASAP!” Agnes picked up his phone and pulled it up, taking a look at it.
“That will not be necessary. There is no connection here anyways, and I am certain that a helicopter has been sent out to retrieve us, or at the very least ascertain what might have happened to-” “Shut up, I’m getting a message from Cairo. ‘Don’t worry, Agnes, we have sent your location over to Vitus, and help should arrive in about fifteen minutes.’” Agnes looked at his phone in confusion. “Vitus? Who’s that asshole?”
“Vitus is the man who sent the helicopters out. The one which you indirectly crashed. Nonetheless, let me see that - I have a hard time believing that your phone is capable of picking up a signal when we’re so far away from any cellular towers.”
“And why should I care about what you believe, huh? Here, take a look for yourself!” Agnes shoved the phone in front of Cosmo's face, the dog looking intently at it and seeing… nothing beyond a simple homescreen. “What is this supposed to be. This is your phone’s home screen, and though that horrendous chimera at its center is an affront to anything and everything I believe in, there is no notification here. Could it be that you are perhaps hallucinating from the pain?”
“Wh- you can’t see it?! Don’t fuck with me!” Looking at the dog’s deadpan expression, Agnes could tell that that wasn’t the case. He looked over at the phone, spotting it right there, as clear as day - a notification for an sms from Cairo themselves, containing what he read out loud! “Fuck you, I’m not hallucinating! If anything, you are!”
Cosmo was about to retort, when he spotted something over the distance - a sailboat. It was old and decrepit, seemingly having gone through significant damage and yet still remaining intact, somehow. It clearly didn’t belong to Vitus, and likely wasn’t Cairo’s either. On the boat, he saw a silhouette of a haggard man, but the distance meant that he couldn’t exactly tell exactly what he looked like.
“Someone is coming.”
It wouldn’t be much longer before Agnes and Cosmo were able to get back onland, learn what terrible things they’d missed, even if they still had a wait and a talk ahead of them. Left to nurse grievous wounds, this seaborne menace has seen this chapter of aggression momentarily closed, but further inland, the waters of a laundromat are being braved by a time traveler and a woman in chains.
Sound’s Garden Eastern Strip - A Golden Limousine
The evening was beginning to set in, the lights of the islands of the area beginning to flash on and dot the sky as two women rode through the city, looking out through the windows as they relaxed in luxury. Cybil Antoine was one to travel in style, and now, with a companion in tow, was no exception.
“A strip that absolutely comes alive at night… Makes me feel almost nostalgic for Vegas,” her redheaded travel companion mused as she looked out, “speakin’ of which… you ever play anything like that, Cyby? Cards, slots, so on. We could try Heartache Casino, maybe, if we have time sometime… I bet you’d just have to throw your name around to get up on its higher floors.”
“It’s Cybil,” the wealthy woman emphasized, with an exhaustion begotten by this having been far from the first time, “or Miss Antoine… Either way, I am not a ‘Cyby.’ Get it right next time, alright?”
“Right, yeah, I know you’ve told me… I’m just a nicknamer by heart. Cross my heart, though! It won’t happen again!” Alexis Williams seemed… As serious as she could get about something like that, as curiously carefree, even devil-may-care, as the performer could get.
“Commit it to memory, then. Despite how much a fool you can act, I’m sure you know how much I had to pull to get you onto this stage.”
“Believe me, I do appreciate it!” Alexis answered, focus now turned away from the topic of gambling and onto that. “Putting on a show at one of the biggest stages in Los Fortuna, bigger than anything I’ve done before… I know our group has had some bad luck lately, with Bucket causing that trouble down at the fish market, and how down on herself Leo has been since that dumb show she said she got roped into, but we’re still the freakin’ Judecca Highrollers, right? I want to show the world that, and from their box, I want to show the rest of our team that we’ve got no better option than to face it all with a grin.”
“How very like you,” Cybil answered, neutral in her tone, careful not to betray the affection in such a statement as she pondered their current status, where they would be playing.
Alexis wouldn’t be headlining, unfortunately, though admittedly, her act wasn’t the sort of thing that did that anyway. Rather, a certain piece of immensely beloved local talent, a rocking performer who went by TD/MD, would be having her play immediately before her at the Alexander Dickinson Amphitheater, just a drive over a rapidly approaching bridge away. Cybil had been a little annoyed that one of her statues had been overshadowed by a plane crashing near it, not to mention had a desire to spread further the local influence of their team, and so she had arranged with the heads of the entertainment industry of Los Fortuna to see to it that her personal favorite performer among the allies and associates she’d made was onstage at the best possible place for a person wanting to be noticed.
She curled her lips at a cell phone which found its way to its hand, then, narrowing her eyes at its screen. “No word back from your backing band… Where are they? How inconsiderate not to send word on this, especially at how that Mr. Sins recommended them so glowingly.”
“I’m sure they’ll show,” Alexis answered, “and if not… We can make do, can’t we?”
“Of course,” Cybil answered, only to have her eye finally drawn back out the window by the sight of a vehicle which had pulled into the lane directly next to theirs as their limousine crossed the bridge.
Another golden limousine was directly next to them now, this one almost pointedly bigger, longer, more decked out in jewelry, and it seemed to be headed exactly the same way. Cybil, rather than confused or alarmed at the coincidence, simply thought aloud, “that would probably be Mr. Sins… Speak of the devil.”
“Amazing how quickly his casino recovered from nearly burning down…” Alexis mused aloud. “I heard that one of the people who trashed it sent him to the hospital, too.”
“An overreaction I’m certain, from what I know about the man. Absolutely terrified of a little pain, a little elbow grease… I’m not one to gossip, but I can’t help but wonder how a man like him even managed to become so prominent, so consistently successful.”
“Right,” Alexis answered, smirking and putting her finger up to her lips, “I won’t spread that around, then. I know how to schmooze with that type if the need arises.”
Los Fortuna Canals - The SS Sledge Sister
Admiral Pineapples was more comfortable on his own boat, but as far as the fleet of the Masters of Funky Action went, there was no real reason to send out more than one boat for this right now.
“Man, I can’t believe nobody else is ridin’ with me,” his companion, Rudolf Pavlova, said after downing an entire bottle of water in a single gulp, on the tail end of an hourlong keytar solo. “The rest of the Masters better at least make it to the Alexander! It’d really bum me out harder than when Wrenn shot me down if none a’them made it!”
Sorry, but I’m really more the headlining type! Playing second-fiddle to a man in a speedo opening for some local star sounds fun and all, but, I’d totally just overshadow them, I bet! So I should really probably stay out of it! That sentence, clear in its passive-aggressive scathingness, had put Wrenn Aflight’s declining of this gig pretty succinctly. As the man more or less everybody on the team could tolerate, listen to, and generally have a good time with, Admiral had been tasked with asking the other star performer of the team to join Rudolf on the gig he’d accepted opening up for locally beloved rock star and all-around idol TD/MD.
Not wanting to break Rudolf’s heart, he more or less told him the short version, ‘he couldn’t make it,’ and then volunteered his own services for the younger man. “You won’t be out there with none of your allies, though, Nureyev! For I, Admiral Pineapples, will aid you in coordinating every moment of your work! This will be one of the worthiest usages of my tactical mind in a long time, I’m sure!”
“I hope you’ve gotten those hour-long solos out of your system now, Nureyev,” Pineapples warned with an amused, lax tone, “you’re only going to have thirty minutes onstage before the headliner has to get ready, and there’ll be trouble if you bleed into that.”
“I know, I know,” Rudolf answered, casually, as he slipped into an open-chested bathrobe mainly meant to function as the legal requirement of public decency until it was time to perform, “I’m not one to step on anyone’s toes, let alone the star of the show. Live and let live, yeah?”
“I’m curious, though, and you never told me…” The Admiral asked, cracking open a beverage of his own and taking a sip, “how did you manage to get such a part as this in the first place?”
“Oh, that’s simple!” Rudolf said, the thought to answer having simply not occurred to him.
A few weeks ago - A beach in the Waterfront District.
“Alright! Thank you, Los Fortuna! I’m here all day, and all night, and all tomorrow too, baby! Party never stops!” Rudolf had just finished the latest of his performances to a small crowd of beachgoers, shredding through the end of his one-man keytar rendition of 2112 and transitioning into a truly epic medley of the extended Family Guy, American Dad, and Cleveland Show OPs.
As the crowd dispersed, a corporate suit-looking type of guy, bronze-skinned with neatly-groomed hair, remained, eyeing his keytar curiously and smiling artificially. “That was an excellent show, Mr… Pavlova, I think it was? You have such an undeniable energy about you that I can see when I lay eyes upon you… You’ve star material.”
“Am I being poached?” Rudolf asked, tilting his head, “‘cuz I assure you, I am a free agent! Not about to be scooped up by some label and forced to chill out the party churnin’ out music I don’t feel in my soul.”
“Nothing so abrupt, no… I’m a Manager, representing TD/MD. You can call me Thutmose. Anyway, she has a concert approaching rapidly, and we’re struggling and scrambling to find local, new talent and performers to open for her. We’ve managed to secure a lot of artists already, but the most important spot… Playing right before her… That, still, we have a particular need for, and I think you would serve it perfectly.”
“So I accepted!” In the present day, Rudolf finished, “why not, yeah? I can spread the party to tens of thousands at one of the biggest venues in town!”
“Scouted on the street, hm… That’s awfully lucky.” Something about this struck Admiral as odd, but he supposed it was all the more reason it was good he was backing his friend and ally up. He had a strong hunch there was more to it than appeared.
Rudolf’s party yacht would disembark soon, ported on the central-most island of the places which made up Sound’s Garden, and the party would make their way forward from there.
Sound’s Garden West Side - Outside the Alexander Dickinson Amphitheater
At the same time, a self-important first step was taken out of a pair of golden limousines, one a heel clacking first out of it and a short, stocky woman in pinstripe emerging, the other dress shoes leading up to a tall, lean man in a gold and yellow tux, grinning and running a hand through his slicked-back hair.
Cybil Antoine hadn’t had the “pleasure” of a personal conversation with Tigran Sins before, but had happened to overhear some of him during her meeting with that Thutmose man, and then and there, she had known everything about him, and knew that she had already had the displeasure of knowing dozens of men like him.
Still, though, one needed to be cordial in times like this, so as Alexis came out behind her, and a very strongly built-looking, mean-looking man with brown hair and a nice vest, attached to the lapel of which was a Heartache Casino brooch (a bouncer? A bodyguard?) stood by Tigran waiting to see what he wanted or what he did, she approached the man who dared to try and be more golden than her Stand. “Mr. Sins, I believe… I believe we’ve crossed paths, briefly, but we didn’t really have a chance to speak.”
The man tensed a bit, only to relax slightly again when he saw that Cybil intended only to speak. “Cybil Antoine, right? I’ve heard you’ve been making a hell of a lot of waves around town lately, so I must say I’m excited to meet you too.” He looked back past her, towards Alexis standing and stretching outside of her team’s limo. “Would that be your star you’ve got going on? Certainly she’s got charm.”
“Hi, right in front of you,” Alexis answered, teasingly passive-aggressively waving, “yeah, I’m going up before TD/MD.”
“She’s a very important star around here, you know… So you’d better put on a show that leaves them wanting for more of the best.” Tigran’s attendant spoke, then, sounding dead serious as he looked them over. “A lot of people have come here just for this, just for her sake… It is completely imperative you keep that in mind.”
Tigran simply nodded, concurring, “couldn’t have said it better myself, Fox.”
Shortly after that, the pairs went their separate ways, shifting through VIP areas of the area of the main structure of the amphitheater, series of comfortably shielded stadium halls that it was.
“Still no sign of the band… Still no word from them either. I’m cross now.”
Alexis, then, stopped in her trail, looking at a schedule which had been printed out and emblazoned upon a green room wall. “Uh, Cybil, you’re gonna wanna take a look at this.”
“Hm?” Cybil raised an eyebrow, turning to face what her partner was pointing at, and then glared again. “Who the hell is Nureyev, and why are they listed at the same time as you?”
“There’s gotta be some kinda mixup or somethin’, man… I know about this ‘Alexis Williams’ it talks about, and hear she’s a Vegas Performer, damn fine one at that who can really strut her stuff. But we ain’t in Vegas at all, so what gives?” Rudolf himself was gesturing at a printout version of much the same piece of programming, he and Admiral Pineapples having wandered much the same series of halls.
“Hrm…” Admiral, now, took a look at the sheet himself, combing over the names before Rudolf on the list and speaking names aloud. “‘Arancini,’ ‘Tenacious-er E,’ ‘Guy and the Fieris’ Heavy Metal Barbershop Quarter,’ all as scheduled… What the hell? Yeah. We’re the only acts double-booked like this, and you say you don’t know this woman personally?”
“Not in the slightest,” Rudolf said, “never laid personal eyes upon her! So maybe there’s a typo, yeah… I know! We could track down Thutmose! But, uh… Where the hell’s Thutmose right now?”
A distorted voice shout-whispered, “I heard that he was visiting TD/MD’s green room.”
“Huh? Oh, thanks!” Rudolf accepted that advice uncritically, beginning to make his way, but Pineapples looked, at least, in the direction it came from, seeing then flashes of a short-looking person in a maroon turban, face bandaged but mouth section bulging with something hidden underneath, and a pair of aviator goggles, as well as a tunic, trousers, and many bulky scarves adorned in the forms of climbing stick figures.
Looking at the man, Pineapples couldn’t help but feel suspicious, but hell, there was a lot shady going on here. “Yes, thank you, Mister… Who am I thanking?”
“No,” the figure answered dismissively, “think little of it… I’m just another interested party watching the show. If there’s confusion, then, I want to see it resolved fast! If you’ll excuse me, though, I need to make my way to my box…”
“Strange man…” Pineapples shook his head, not wanting to leave Rudolf alone to deal with this strange situation. He knew from hearsay and rumor that there were some truly dangerous things lurking in the bowels of Sound’s Garden, and Rudolf, more heart than head, was bound to be barreling into it.
Sound’s Garden - The largest and nicest green room in the halls of the Alexander Dickinson Amphitheater.
Metra Doria sat before a makeup chair as assistants fussed and fussed with her hair, her face, her clothes, occasionally being met with polite thanks, compliments, or idle chit-chat, representing a sort of familiarity the team had had with the pale, short-dark-haired girl with a single blue streak through her front left locks. She stared at her own dressed-up eyes in the mirror, one silver, one blue and at once black-striped through the iris. As she sat here, initially clad pretty casually and low-key, she was Metra, but as the outfit she had selected was put together, she would become TD/MD.
She was being cordial before now, but all of the small talk had ended as soon as her manager came into the scene, knocking, being invited to come in, and then doing so.
“How’s the show going, Thutmose? I wish I could see Guy and the Fieris do their thing, but… Makeup, I swear.”
“There’s… People insisting upon speaking, Metra. They’re performers, the ones before you, and they seem annoyed. I tried to shoo them away and tell them to work it out, but that only incensed the old-timers with them, and now they want to speak to you. I tried telling them it was a waste of your time, but-”
“This close to going on?” Metra narrowed her eyes at the reflected form of her manager. Always, it was one thing after another with this guy. Though most of the time, one might assume there was something not worth it going on here, she knew Thutmose well enough to know there might be problems. She sighed, shutting her eyes now. “It had better be important… Let ‘em in.”
And like that, a quartet of two twenty-somethings, a middle-aged woman, and an old man barreled in through the door at once, all talking over one another and expressing confusion with the other’s very existence and presence. It was making the half-prepared girl more uncomfortable than sitting in a chair for awhile just to get ready for a show often did, so she raised her voice, calmly but authoritatively, literally seeming to drown out their babbling in the process. “Quiet down, alright?! One at a time.”
There was a little more whispering among the four, then, and it was the pinstripe-suited woman who stepped forward among them to speak the crowd’s mind. “TD/MD, I presume… This ‘Thutmose’ man, he has made a grave mistake in the scheduling. My associate Alexis here, and this half-nude man carrying a keytar around, they have not met before today, and they certainly did not intend to collaborate before you. Your manager has refused to listen to reason about this, so we are taking the matter straight past him to you… Resolve it at once, and we can be on our way.”
“What?” Metra, facing them all, blinked, shaking her head and glaring at Thutmose. “Again? How does this keep happening? You overbook acts right before me, and it’s such a disaster I’ve started to need to allot extra time to cleanup guys after those sets… It was bad enough before, but it’s seriously getting out of hand, man. I can’t keep dealing with you if you treat everyone else you deal with like this. You’re done working with me. We’re through.”
“B-but… But Metra..!” Thutmose was flabbergasted, looking almost terrified at the prospect. “Please, be reasonable..! I need this job, understand? I’ve got gambling debts, and-”
“Whoa whoa whoa,” the keytarist (Rudolf, or Nureyev, according to the program) interjected then, “let’s not ruin a man’s life over me and Lexy here, yeah? I looked into the history of this place, the Alexander Dickinson… Named after a big dead deal Philanthropist, so basically a dude from the 90's who gave his all to culture in this city, funded all kinds’a stuff! Would a man like that want a man to be fired in his own memorial stadium?”
The logic seemed to confuse nearly everyone there, not least of all Metra, whose response, after a moment, was, “Huh? You… Are you saying it doesn’t bother you?”
“He’s saying that!” Thutmose pleaded. “I am certain he’s saying that!”
“I don’t mind, either…” The redheaded Alexis said next, nodding and looking around at nothing in particular. “Yeah, I think we can work with that… The band he set us up with bailed on us anyway, right? So… Music might help, and it’s not like the things we do step on each other’s toes, yeah? So whatever, I’m sure we’ll still leave a bigger impression.”
Cybil, then, pursed her lips. “If it doesn’t make a difference to you, then, and we’re all on the same page… But still, this is so very inconvenient.”
“Agreed…” Pineapples looked to Thutmose. “Be more responsible in the future, aye? I think even if you keep your job right now, you’re gonna be on thin ice for now. And give up on gambling, if it’s sunken you this far.”
Metra nodded. “Agreed. I can’t guarantee I won’t start looking for a new manager, but… You’ve been good to me, at least. Clean up your act.” Then, she looked over the quartet. “I’m seriously sorry about this… You say you had backup, but they’re not showing up now? I, uh… I don’t know what happened to whoever those were, or why they fell through, but I have something I can do to help both of your shows exist at once: six of the best stagehands I've got.”
At that, the star snapped her fingers, and from the shadowy corners of the room emerged two trios, three men in a pose one well-versed on incidents in the early 20th century Roman Colosseum might compare to Awakening One’s Masters appearing before the Masters of Funky Action, three women in turn also sliding in before the Judecca Highrollers in perfect sync, stepping in with the coordination one might associate with, as a weird example, teenage mobsters jazzed about a dude being sent to the ninth circle of hell.
All six were muscular, clad in black sleeveless shirts, leather gloves, pants, boots, and bandannas over their heads, and all around, they gave off auras of immense reliability.
“Harry, Mark, and John, and Thorn, Dusk, and Luna… I kid you not, these guys can basically do anything and everything you ask of them. If they didn’t much prefer supporting other people to being in the limelight themselves, they would be as big as I am. Treat them well, they’ll learn fast, and they’ll be invaluable to making your bits work. But, uh… I’d hurry it up. Guy and the Fieris probably only have a couple more encores in them, and then you’ll have fifteen to set up. I wish you all luck..!”
Metra Doria had been a bit of a miracle for the grateful performers and put-off older supporters, who had in turn both begun to explain their intended strategies and how those might change to their crew members, who understood alarmingly fast.
“Man…” Rudolf whistled in relief, chuckling. “What a scare that was… But you, Lexy? You’re alright, actually.”
“Thanks,” Alexis answered in turn, still trying to figure this guy out, “you don’t seem bad yourself… I almost kinda feel bad that we’re gonna totally eclipse you out there.”
“Y’think so, huh?” Rudolf answered with a grin, pointing forward with a friendly competitiveness. “Well, the party don’t get drowned out by a damn thing! I’m gonna get all these good people pumped as hell, and they’ll be cheerin’ for me even when that Metra chick goes on!”
“Ooh, I’m starting to feel a bit competitive…” Alexis answered, good-naturedly chuckling and folding her arms. “Wanna see who gets the crowd more pumped? Loser, uh… Buys the winner overpriced concert t-shirts. These things need stakes, right? Heh…”
At the somewhat tongue-in-cheek suggestion, Rudolf nodded. “Sure, yeah! That, and the pride of bein’ one of the best in the city! May the best team win!”
Location: The Alexander Dickinson Amphitheater, one of the biggest outdoor venues in the entirety of the Metropolitan area, in the buildup to TD/MD’s headlining act, wherein both of your teams have had a performer set to open for her. The place is packed at a capacity of tens of thousands of people.
The stage is a competently designed semicircle which is roughly 30 meters across for length and maximum width, with plenty of room all over and the various necessary fixtures upheld off the ground. It is raised up about 2 meters off the ground. Its back half is partially covered by the overhanging roof of the backstage area a dozen meters above.
The backstage area spreads out about 10 meters from both sides and the back of the stage, being somewhat indoorsy and absolutely full of things one could expect an excellent stage production to have, including, of course, sturdy rafters which lead up to the ceiling area overtop the stage. Both sides have had time to arrange for some extra things to be brought in.
Goal: With a leadup of fifteen minutes before acts, and a half an hour where both of your performers are onstage at once, you have a show to put on, and that is not getting ruined by this overbooking. So, with Rudolf and Alexis up on stage, and Pineapples and Cybil each operating their abilities and managing a three-person stage crew, outperform your opponents!
Given the vastly different skill-sets of the competitors, the goal is to execute on your vision better than your opponent executes on theirs. You will be judged and voted on the following criteria, in decreasing priority:
  • Feasibility - Whether your performance is actually within the bounds of what your Stand and Stats would imply.
  • Skill Use - A close second in relevance; how well you integrate your User Skills and Stats into your performance. While your Skills will help in completing this objective, they do not provide an automatic advantage by merely existing and must be woven into your strats, as per usual. Even the best of artists can have abysmal live performances.
  • Stand Use - Similar to the above, and similarly important. How cool, creative, and well-integrated is your Stand use. Put another way, wow the judges, voters, and viewers at home! This is more or less just the same as before.
  • Environment Use - How well you use and integrate the auditorium - its features, its backstage, its stage, and the hearts and passions of its occupants - into your performance.
  • Efficiency - How much quality footage you obtain and how well you use your time. This does not mean that setup for more complex performances is automatically penalized, but do try to minimize ‘deadtime’ and maximize the amount you perform.
Additional Information: There is a huge simp for TD/MD in the audience of the match, and he is connected enough that he will have both of you successfully and canonically killed if you ruin the show before the headliner can go on; therefore, murdering your opponents or audience members (“the ol’ Abraham Lincoln Tech” as they say in the biz) on an audience member is a loss condition. Not at all a moral thing for the record.
Stage Crew members for the respective teams (Harry, Mark, and John on the MFAs, Thorn, Dusk, and Luna on the Highrollers, if you care about their names) have 4s in strength, agility, endurance, Stagehand, and Backup; pretty much, anything their associated team asks them to do, they’ll be able to do, at minimum, competently. Though they won’t, like, murder for you. Generally you can use them for moving props on/off stage, extra bodies or on-stage back up performers, speaker and soundboard control, and/or on-stage camera crew as well as managing any other stage controls. Pretty much everything save for pyronetics and lighting is in their purview.
There are also dedicated lighting guys, totally neutral in your squabbles, who are going to do an entirely too good job adjusting their focus and making things work exactly as is needed so attention is on the stars of the show. They will also be coordinated with a third party camera crew that will be streaming the live feed onto screens for the audience. These feeds can be replaced or split screened with your own crew’s footage, but otherwise they will generally be in control of what is shown on-screen.
Players can be assumed to already have well-rehearsed their plans of action, the in-universe basis for the modified plans of the match, and have knowledge about every aspect of the stage, even if parts of their initial plan obviously need to be modified to account for new challengers also occupying stage space. If something performance related isn’t insanely, “years of training to do competently required” level hard, but would still require some practice ahead of time, they have had it to, at absolute max, somewhere between a 2 and a 3. Players, don’t overly-game this, though; the ‘stars’ of your performances should be the sheeted unique abilities of you, your skills, and your Stands.
All stands can be seen on camera and on the live feed for the audience's viewing pleasure.
Team Combatant JoJolity
Judecca Highrollers Alexis Williams “This one is for the guy who keeps yelling from the Balcony, and it’s called ‘We Hate You, Please Die.’” Gymnastics is a sport of rhythm and pace, this performance should be no different for keeping your momentum. Make as seamless transitions as you can between the acts of your performance!
Judecca Highrollers Cybil Antoine “Prepare to have your minds obliterated by… The boys! And Crash!” You have a whole crew of people working for you here, no need to do any heavy lifting by yourself. This is their job after all, better put them to work since that’s what they are here for. Make the most use out of your stage hands in your performance!
Masters of Funky Action Rudolf "Nureyev" Pavlova “What is with this band? They’ve… changed. Have you noticed they don’t have instruments? Where’s all this amazing noise coming from?” Keeping the audience’s attention for a full 30 minutes should be a piece of cake for the world’s greatest dancer, you can keep the party rocking even between your different acts. Make as seamless transitions as you can between the acts of your performance!
Masters of Funky Action Admiral Pineapples “You and your fireballs and your demon hipster chicks / you’re talking the talk and it’s pretty slick / You think you’re so great, but you’re missing the point / You gotta have friendship and courage and whatever!” You’re all in this show together, you and your crew of stage hand. Everybody should be contributing here, no man left behind. Make the most use out of your stage hands in your performance!
Link to the Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to Match Schedule
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US Open Quarterfinals

For this post I used something very fancy known in the literary world as the Tab key. You’re gonna love it. I also wrote up the WTA matchups because after skipping a round, I deserve the punishment that is trying to predict the quarterfinals of a women’s event. To be fair (to be faaaaaaaaaaaair) at this point in the men’s and women’s everyone left is playing at such a high level that any result is understandable, but I’ll do my best to try to get into the factors that will play a role in the outcome. I wanted to say thank you to those who've shown an interest in my writing. I actually didn't expect how good that would make me feel. You guys and gals are extra bueno like when they make the guac right at the table.
Wawrinka Medvedev :
This match has more question marks on it than my 7th grade book reports. Both these guys were possibly supposed to lose to Novak but a shoulder injury took care of that. The limitation of Novak’s shoulder is the big question after his match with Wawrinka. Stan controlled the play from the first point and hit the ball big and most notably, served amazingly. He was able to hit T serves at will for most of the match and it became clear early on that Novak would be facing more frequent pressure in his service games. Novak’s backhand may have been somewhat limited but you have to really consult the crystal ball to know to what extent as he doesn’t usually hit the ball that hard anyway off that wing.
For those booing him for the forfeit, if you’re injured and the match is gone, there is some argument that the rest of the swings and time spent on court is just adding to the possibility that the injury will worsen and require surgery. I didn’t see a problem with him walking off. Stan hasn’t played at that level in basically the entire year, and also did not display it in any of his prior matches. The benefit of the walkoff is he’s played two warmup sets of brilliant tennis against the perfect training partner, and his opponent is tired, maybe.
Medvedev has had the best North American swing of anyone. Nadal is undefeated but skipped an entire event. The only reason Medvedev isn’t favored in this matchup is the possibility that he is physically suffering. Shoulder complaints after the match with Koepfer coupled with a slow start, cramps, and a 2nd full month of high level tennis have got to hang him up at some point. If this was an early round you’d have to favor Medvedev but majors are as much about physical durability as they are about skill and Wawrinka is a proven horse in these two week events, along with having played through more difficult competition than Daniil in somehow less physically taxing matches. Still if Novak’s backhand was injured and gave Wawrinka a target Medvedev’s backhand will be the opposite and his serve is twice as good as Novak’s if he isn’t injured. If Medvedev is healthy he wins this in 4-5. If he isn’t then Stan should win in 3-4. Either way the crowd is going to be going batshit and Medvedev should end this with a standing ovation for the show he’s brought to the US Open.
Federer Dimitrov : Nagal and Dzumhur spent the weekend at Ezoo celebrating; Nagal enjoying some Joris Voorn and Dzumhur yelling at the DJ because he thought it was his coaching box. It appears though that they were the last line of defense against Federer. After early blips in his level, he has been lights out. What he did against Goffin was downright frightening, and for me to think Evans had a chance to give him trouble was a joke. There was a great deal of hype around boyscout mascot Alex De Minaur but his playstyle of trying to pressure his opponent actually did the opposite of what plagues Dimitrov. When you take Dimitrov’s time away, his athleticism and fluidity shines through, and he countered the pressure beautifully en route to a straight set win that his career kinda needed. Simply put, he overthinks his decisions and can’t do so if you take that time away. Somehow though, the way Federer takes your time away doesn’t really help anyone’s game. He should be fresh after the Goffin beatdown with a full day of rest, and the 7-0 record against Dimitrov is very likely to become 8-0. I expect Dimitrov’s serve to break down under Federer’s return pressure and this one to include a lot of high level tennis. Federer in 4, and if he wins in straight sets then Fedal is almost 100% assured.
Monfils Berretini : Monfils got the job done against Andujar like every other player he played should have, and this US Open is starting to look very retro with Dimitrov, Monfils, Cilic, and Wawinka showing up in these later rounds. Monfils’ friendship/relationship with Svitolina has been good for both of their games, and travelling with a close companion and supporter can be just the thing for two “why don’t they win a major” top prospects to get over that hump. Not Monfils though. Not for tennis reasons, but because I wanted to write a story about Pablo Andujar doing ayahuasca with two jaguars and a mountain. Still, Monfils is playing good ball and seems motivated, and that’s good for tennis. Up next is Mattero Berretini, who dispatched Beaker from the Muppets in 3 dirty sets. His forehand is as good as anyone’s on tour for producing winners, and his serve is the only one that rivaled Wawrinka’s last round. This match looks like it’s going to be a highlight reel as both of these players are lightning fast and can/will go for winners from anywhere. Their backhand are both very traditional and you won’t see too many highlights from them, so where are the edges here? I think Berretini’s forehand is the biggest weapon on court, and given the trouble Monfils had closing out Shapovalov, I think he’ll be at a slight disadvantage here in what will still be a tight contest. Berretini is still in his breakout season, and there’s very little scar tissue to prevent him from coming up big in the pressure moments, which is actually what has won him a LOT of his upset victories. Big tiebreaker experience and a big serve/forehand combo give him an edge at the end of sets, and Monfils’ poor habits often come out at the worst times despite his obvious talent. Berretini in 5.
Schwartzman Nadal : I’m seeing double. Diego’s game looks like Nadal’s in the same way that you can kinda tell what someone’s homemade halloween costume is if they explain it. The lil dude can ball, and hugs the baseline with a fervor that really breaks down opponents willpower in a strange way. Zverev and Diego played some real bad tennis today in what was largely a mental battle. Whoever had the momentum lost, as their opponent would break down and simply start putting the ball in play and looking for errors. Both are such solid baseliners and play so conservatively when zoned in that the player looking to dictate would throw in errors, get broken, and the roles would switch again. Eventually Zverev “tired” out, but really this match was a matter of humility. Diego was willing to grind out the win at any expense, and Zverev had an idea in mind of how he should play.
Zverev’s double fault woes were half of all the announcers could talk about, but Diego could barely get a first serve in and spun his second serve into the middle of the box for most of the match. The other topic which started early in the 1st set was so much discussion of how Zverev must be tired, and how he looks tired, and how all his misses looked tired. It sounded like parents trying to desperately convince a small child to go to sleep. Zverev is 22 and plays professional tennis for a living for at least 5 years now at a high level. His fitness is excellent, and his conditioning is excellent. He is carrying little to no extra weight, and hits a heavy enough ball to be considered a threat against any player on tour at any time. It is time to take the same finger they point at his poor record in majors and start pointing it other places. Maybe his coach for not really having a clear gameplan or tactics. Maybe his coach for not cultivating his mental strength to deal with the constant grind and stress a top athlete faces. After every double fault or error he is yelling at his box. Either they are not good people for him to have sitting in the stands as they apply extra pressure to him (at times the desire to win for friends/family/mentors can manifest as guilt and anger that you may not be able to do so), or his coaches are simply not doing their job by allowing him to gripe at them in such a manner. Having excuses/scapegoats/factors outside your perceived control is something that helps no aspect of your performance. Zverev smashes his 1st serve as hard as he can. He has been unable to find the box with this tactic for maybe a whole year now? Zverev spins his second serve in at such a marked difference to the pace of his first he has trouble transitioning between the two swings without errors. Zverev gets outwilled and outdueled by athletes with fewer gifts and lesser ability. I’m tired of placing all the onus on Zverev to figure this out. There is a whole box worth of tennis minds sitting there for every match allowing this to go on. There is talk on the tour of coaches not wanting to rock the boat and lose their positions. Doesn’t sound to me like they are actually coaches of any value then. But enough about Zverev. Diego is a bad lil dude with a backwards af hat. Nadal is a legend with 18 majors. This match is another 7-0 record becoming 8-0, and while Diego has played some tight sets with Nadal in the past he didn’t perform very well today and Nadal hit another level after dropping the second set to Cilic. The only point today where Nadal’s victory seemed in question was when the ref issued a time violation warning at 15-40 which of course aggravated him into giving the ref the finger and getting broken. Nadal in 3.
Bencic Vekic : Bencic! A lot of very odd articles and announcing surrounded Belinda’s win over Osaka. Osaka has great speed, and two shots. Her backhand is good but there is something about it that seems a bit too close to her body at times. Her forehand is excellent when it’s hitting the court, and her serve can be a major factor. When you’re playing a complete player, these things must be overwhelming to give you an edge. Bencic has underperformed in the past but has been solid all year. Her variety and skill mean that Osaka has to do more than just thump the ball to win points and in the end she made errors. The announcers discussed a lack of the level that Osaka brought against Gauff. Gauff is a future #1. I would bet my nicest umbrella on that, but she is currently a tossup against any girl in the top 100. A former #1 ranked player playing in a tournament they’ve won before against a 15 year old who likely idolizes them a bit is a very easy situation to play well in. If Bencic plays Gauff she loses the same 3,0, and people who are expecting her to win tournaments right away are going to have the same long wait that people who thought Zverev would take over the tour immediately did. Bencic has another winnable matchup ahead against Vekic, who played a marathon of brilliant offense against Julia Georges. Vekic has a big serve for the women’s game and strings together full tournaments of great play at times, followed by weeks of losses. She’s having a pretty good 2019 and although Belinda leads the H2H 2-1, those 2 wins came a long time ago, with Vekic having won on clay this year at the French. I don’t expect this one to be anything but a 3rd set nailbiter, as both are in good form and are unfamiliar with this territory deep in a major. Bencic is likely the slightly better player and the slightly fresher one as well given her walkover against Kontaveit. Bencic in 3.
Mertens Andreescu : Mertens has been quietly rolling through this draw, getting 0 attention from the announcers. She hasn’t really played any big names yet so this is understandable, and while the straight set victories over Kr Pliskova, Petkovic, and Ahn are good confidence builders, those are matches she should be winning. The big test comes next in the form of Andreescu. Full disclosure, I backed Andreescu and Kenin to win before the event so I am somewhat biased, but I’ll start by saying that while Andreescu has the game to beat anyone, there was a slight blip tonight against Townsend, despite the lopsided looking scores. After a 6-1 beating in the first, Andreescu seemed so fired up by her dominance that she kinda went for a winner on too many shots, and ended up going down a break and being unable to shut the errors down late in the set when it was time to reel it back in. Townsend has a good offense when she has the time to produce it, but her mobility/defense is such that Andreescu could have played two extra shots per volley and won 6-1, 6-1. Lapses like this coupled with her serving troubles could spell disaster against a crafty and consistent player like Mertens, but where Mertens skill and even keel help her, her lack of power hurt her in this matchup. Andreescu is one of the biggest hitters on the women’s tour and the only player left who I would say can beat an in-form Serena. Her goal in this matchup will be to keep the unforced errors/double faults down. If she can, she wins in 2. If she can’t, she may go the way of the dinosaurs.
Svitolina Konta : This is a great matchup and both players earned their way here with tough 4th rounds. Svitolina ended Keys run because her mobility and defense allowed her to benefit from the errors Keys makes, but also because her offense allowed her to move Keys and force these errors. When she is dialed in she is a very tough out and really her biggest problem is becoming a bit too dialed in. She has a tendency to hit almost every ball over the middle of the net and while this reduces errors, it also allows your opponent to limit their movement/fatigue/errors as they’re kinda reflexively shifting into the right position. Konta is one of the WTA’s best kept secrets as far as holding serve, and she’ll need to do so here as Svitolina leads the H2H 4-0 and is likely to operate very well if she’s able to get up a break. Konta’s match with Pliskova was played at a higher level than Svitolina Keys but it also was a bit more physically taxing. Svitolina’s mind is in a good place, her game is in a good place, and she should win this one and edge closer to shrugging off the pressure of not having had good results in majors. Svitolina in 3.
Williams Wang : There’s a lot of buzz that this is the best Williams has played since her return and I’m inclined to agree. Serena’s self-belief borders on religious, and while that rubs sensible humans the wrong way it’s excellent for competition. That is, as long as things are going well. Her losses, while rare, come with a reaction of “this cannot possibly be happening” that people are unfortunately rabid to see. Not me, definitely not me. But maybe Wang? Qiang Wang leads this H2H 1-0 by virtue of a forfeit, and she will likely need another one to make that 2-0. Wang’s been steadily improving and a 2,4 defeat of Barty say that she’s ready to compete but Barty lacks the power that Serena has. Wang will have a difficult time defending her own serve but if she’s able to get into rallies she does have a puncher’s chance as she was able to patiently hit through Barty’s defense and Barty is a bit quicker than the GOAT Serena Williams(now I've said something negative and positive about her). Serena in 2 barring an implosion.
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Wayback Wednesday - Howie's Heartbreak

Mitchell, Ontario isn't where a lot of interesting stories start. It's the kind of place where they roll the sidewalks up at dusk, a small, rural town.
The most interesting story from the town starts more than a century ago in the cold of January.
There are about 4,500 people who call Mitchell home. On this cold winter day, there aren't a lot of them out - the church on Main Street is empty and the raccoons and foxes who normally dart around are tucked away.
It's quiet, except for an occasional whoop from at the bottom of the hill. Some of the farmer kids are skating around on the river. It's called the Thames River - not the River Thames, the locals will have your hide if you call it that - but it's more of a creek. It's still wide enough for the youngsters to skate on.
There are three of them down there. One is about eight, a pipsqueak - the others are a few years older, much stronger. The trio are brothers, racing down the river on a day off from school. They play hockey from time to time, but there aren't any sticks or pucks on the Thames today. The boys are racing.
You'd figure the older brothers, Wilfred and Ezra, would be quicker, but the smaller one, the runt of the litter, has taken a lead. As they push around the bends of the Thames, the little brother slowly sneaks out of sight. He has an odd stride - he squats down and takes long sleek pushes - and it works well for him.
Around one bend, Wilfred and Ezra lose sight of their brother. They keep pushing. He's nowhere to be found.
Unsure of whether or not the little one is still going, the boys keep skating downstream, hoping nothing bad has happened.
When they wind around the next bend in the river, they see their youngest brother, sitting on a snowbank, patiently waiting for them. He'd gotten so far ahead that he got bored, plopped down and took a seat.
He does this all the time. Nobody can keep up with him. It's getting a little old, honestly - and if there are two people who are most tired of it, it's Wilfred and Ezra Morenz.
Little Howie is already the fastest skater in town.
He's destined for great things.
Howie was born in Mitchell back in 1902, the youngest of six kids. He grew up on the Thames, on occasion picking up a stick and puck when beating his brothers in races got old.
For some reason, when he first played hockey, a coach put him in goal. Bad idea - he gave up 21 goals. The next game that coach decided to put him out as a rover. That decision paid off. As a teenager, Morenz led the Mitchell team to a regional title.
The Morenzs left town in his teens when his dad got a job at the Canadian National Railways (CNR) factory in Stratford, about 15 kilometres down the road. World War I had just broken out and Howie tried enlisting, but when recruiters found out he was just 15, that dream died fast.
Howie dropped out of school to work with his dad in the CNR factory. He started a machinist's apprenticeship there and filled his spare time with little hobbies, betting on horses and playing the ukulele. During the winter, however, the betting slips went away and the uke went in the corner - it was hockey time.
Howie used that odd stride and an all-consuming passion to become Stratford's best player. He played with the local junior team, leading them to a provincial title and nearly winning a Memorial Cup. Then, the next season, Howie played for both the junior and senior teams at the same time. He led both leagues in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes.
In 1922, Howie jumped on the train to Montreal for a CNR tournament. In the first game, fresh off the rails, he strapped on those skates and blew the roof off - he scored nine times.
Someone watching the game called a friend - Leo Dandurand, the owner of the Montreal Canadiens. The little farmer kid has some skill, he says - come by and see for yourself.
Dandurand sneaks into the next game and is impressed. He wants Howie on the Habs.
It wouldn't be easy, though. Morenz wanted to head back to Stratford and finish his apprenticeship. That would take two more years. The Toronto St. Pats, the Habs' chief rival, had also gotten wind of Howie and wanted to see him in their green and white sweaters.
For the first time, Leo Dandurand began to bully Howie Morenz. He mailed him a contract offer - $3,500 a year and a $1,000 signing bonus.
Dandurand made a public show of trying to woo Howie, claiming that Morenz was French Canadian and therefore belonged on the Habs, not the St. Pats.
Is Howie French? No. That was a lie. The Morenzs were German, but Dandurand would do anything to have this kid on his team.
At that point, 21-year-old Howie was torn. He and his father signed the contract, but before sending it to Dandurand, Howie got cold feet. Some local businessmen ponied up $1,000 to convince him to stay and play for Stratford. He also wanted to finish his apprenticeship.
Instead of sending the contract back, Morenz sent his signing bonus cheque to Dandurand, along with a letter saying he couldn't play with Montreal.
Enraged, Dandurand summoned Howie to Montreal to explain to him personally why he wouldn't sign. Howie hopped on the train. When he met with Dandurand, he explained his logic, bursting into tears halfway through.
Seeing some vulnerability, Dandurand leaned into the "bad cop" role, telling Howie if he couldn't play for the Habs, he'd make sure he couldn't play - period.
Morenz had to fold. He signed.
You see, there was a good reason why Morenz was torn. A farmer boy in the big city, an English speaker on a majority French team, Morenz would stick out.
Perhaps the biggest reason is one that most history books leave out.
When Howie played hockey, he was happy. Off the ice, the troubles of life hit him like one of the trains he worked on. Whenever his teams lost, Morenz would stay up all night, blaming himself and telegraphing plays that went wrong in his head again and again. This wasn't competitiveness - this bordered on mental illness. That ran in his family.
In his teen years, Howie came home from a hockey game to find out a shocking accident had happened. That night, his mother had gone downstairs and fallen in the family's cistern.
She had drowned. Nobody talked about it much, but scuttlebutt around the town was that it wasn't an accident.
His mom's death affected Howie greatly and made him to two things - to play hockey as a distraction and look after his family.
When Howie had any free time to just think, he'd get lost in his head. Sometimes, he had a hard time getting out.
Howie Morenz first suited up for the Canadiens in 1923. The team was coached by Dandurand, who put Morenz on a line with another young star, Aurele Joliat. The two gelled on the ice. It helped that Joliat, who grew up in Ottawa, was one of the few players on the team who spoke fluent English and French.
Riding the skill of Joliat and Morenz, the Habs finished in second in the four-team NHL, earning a spot in the league final against Ottawa. There, Morenz took control, scoring three of the Habs' five goals in the two-game series, which ended with a Montreal win.
From there, the Habs headed to the Stanley Cup playoff - at this point, the NHL champ faced off against champions from other leagues to determine who won the Cup. In order to win, the Canadiens would have to win two series - one against Calgary, one against Vancouver.
The Habs topped Vancouver, setting up a two-game winner-take-all series with the Calgary Tigers. Morenz scored a hat-trick against Calgary in game one, then added another goal in game two before a big hit broke his collarbone.
It was enough. Morenz had scored four goals by himself - Calgary only scored one. Paced by Howie's goals, the Habs won their first-ever Stanley Cup as an NHL team.
Morenz's play started to earn himself a reputation. When writer Hugh MacLennan saw him play, he noticed the little grin that peeped out when Howie played.
"The little smile on his lips showed that he was having a wonderful time."
Howie was playing with courage, and it couldn't come at a better time.
The next year, Morenz scored 28 goals and led the Habs to another NHL title. The team finished just short of the Stanley Cup, but that reputation started to build. Some people took to calling him by nicknames. A few looked at his birthplace to call him the "Mitchell Meteor", while the more popular name came from the Montreal papers themselves, who used his adopted hometown - the "Stratford Streak".
Morenz became hockey's first legitimate superstar. One rival player called him "that near-perfect human hockey machine". Eddie Shore, famous crotchety hardass defenseman from the archrival Bruins, called Morenz the "Babe Ruth of Hockey."
That term drew some objection from a new friend of Howie's - Babe Ruth himself. He thought Morenz was bigger than that. Babe Ruth once said Morenz had the biggest heart of anyone he'd ever known.
Morenz tallied 25 goals in 1926-27, and then became the first NHLer ever to score 50 points in a season the next year. He was doing things people didn't think were possible - all while flashing that grin.
It seemed like hits couldn't affect him. From time to time, when he saw two players converging on him, he used his foot speed to dodge both and make them crash into each other.
In 1929-30, Morenz scored 40 goals and became the NHL's first-ever three-time Hart Trophy winner.
Businessmen saw him play - and the crowds that showed up when the Habs were in town - and wanted to get in the game. One of them, Boston grocery store magnate Charles Adams, was so inspired after watching Morenz that he filed to start an expansion team in Boston. That team became the Bruins.
In 1930, those Bruins would make it to their third Stanley Cup final. Unfortunately, they did it against the Habs, who beat them soundly - with Morenz scoring what turned out to be the Cup-winning goal.
The Habs with Morenz were such a draw that they played the new team in New York, the Americans, in their first game, and drew a capacity crowd. The new team's owners personally requested that they play the Habs. Later in 1930, Morenz scored five goals against them.
Another businessman, Tex Rickard, saw that and had a vision for hockey in Madison Square Garden. Not long after that, the Rangers materialized.
Finally, in 1933, Morenz hit the pinnacle. He scored his 249th goal in the NHL - breaking the all-time record.
All was good for the kid from Stratford.
Then came 1934.
Two days after New Years', Morenz was playing against the Rangers in New York and fell awkwardly. He twisted his ankle, tore a ligament in his leg and bruised a bone. He couldn't play for a month, and when he did, he wasn't nearly as fast.
If there's one thing that's been proven time and time again over the years, it's that Montreal Canadiens fans may be the most bipolar bunch in sports. If you succeed and all is well, you're a demigod. If your play drops, you're scum and should be moved for a bag of pucks.
Fans booed Morenz during games. Newspaper columnists called for him to be traded.
Suddenly, big superstar Howie Morenz was back to being Howie from Stratford. He retreated back into his own world. He began overanalyzing his play and overthinking things. He lost sleep. He made it to the NHL's first-ever All-Star Game - a benefit game for Maple Leaf Ace Bailey, who had sustained a career-ending injury - but that didn't help.
His play got worse. Much worse.
Morenz broke his thumb, right after his ankle and leg had healed. At one point, a burglar broke into the home of Morenz and his family. The invader found Morenz and pistol-whipped him before taking valuables and fleeing into the night.
That definitely didn't help. His play dropped even more.
The fans kept booing and the headlines kept coming. When Morenz finished up with some games, he would head to his spot in the dressing room and break into uncontrollable sobbing.
Then, the character assassination started coming from the Habs front office itself. His new coach, Habs great Newsy Lalonde, told reporters he didn't like Morenz. When Howie was asked, he said he would never leave to play for another team. When he asked Dandurand or Habs co-owner Joe Cattarinich what was happening, neither would talk with him.
Finally, the unimaginable happened. Morenz was traded.
Howie would be going to Chicago, along with goalie Lorne Chabot and a defenseman, Marty Burke. The Habs didn't get a bag of pucks back, but that might have been more valuable than what they actually ended up with. Altogether, the three players the Habs got back played less than a hundred games with the Canadiens.
Heartbreak had come for Howie.
In Chicago, the same self-analysis that had hindered Morenz in Montreal hit him hard. After a good start, Howie ended up on the bench. He was then traded again, to the Rangers - a team he had helped inspire the creation of. He stunk, getting six points in 19 games.
It looked like the good times were over. However, that offseason, hope jumped up again.
The Habs had re-hired Cecil Hart, the coach who had led the Habs during Howie's glory days. Hart agreed to the job, on one condition - the team had to reacquire Howie.
They bought his contract from New York. After an awful season spent in the US, Morenz was back in le bleu, blanc et rouge.
He wouldn't be the big guy anymore, but Howie got the chance to play for his old team once more. He jumped at it, getting to play with his old buddies, especially Aurele Joliat.
After returning to Montreal, the same fans that had run him out on a rail welcomed him back with hugs. With the love easy to find, Morenz got back in his groove. Working mostly as a playmaker and working to get his speed back, Morenz racked up 16 assists and 20 points in 30 games that season, much better than his numbers in Chicago or with the Rangers.
There was so much hope. The slate had been cleaned - carte blanche.
Then the lights went out.
January 28, 1937. The Habs are at home, playing Morenz's former team, the Black Hawks. It's the first period and Morenz is feeling good.
The puck is loose in the Hawks' zone. A pass is misfired and it ends up in the corner. Morenz, behind the net, gets in a footrace with Chicago defender Earl Siebert, who's coming in behind him. Morenz has a good chance of getting this puck.
Howie is back at full speed, just like back on the Thames River as a kid, when his left skate catches a rut in the ice.
His foot kicks up and the blade of his skate catches a piece of the boards, stopping quickly and wrenching Howie sideways. He falls down hard.
Meanwhile, Siebert doesn't have time to stop. He keeps barreling down on the puck. He can't dodge Howie - Howie can't dodge him.
They say you could have heard it in the very back of the Forum. Even if you couldn't, the screaming was clear.
Howie Morenz's left leg was shattered.
His teammates skate over and unhitch his skate from the boards. After a short conversation, they carry him to the bench.
Howie is strapped to a stretcher and taken to a nearby hospital. He has four separate breaks in his leg.
Nobody wants to say it, but it seems likely Howie Morenz has had his last hurrah.
Once he was in the hospital, the tone of the public shifted once more, from happiness and occasional anger to concern. The boos stopped altogether. People showered Howie with gifts and visited him at the hospital at all hours. His family were near him throughout the days, along with his teammates. Even opponents came to see him when they faced the Habs.
People brought him drinks to numb the pain. The joke at the time was, "The whisky was on the dresser and the beer was under the bed."
Howie's leg was kept in traction while the hubbub continued. After visiting hours, Morenz was left by himself.
The last thing that should have happened, happened - Howie Morenz, unable to do the thing he loved, with no one else around to distract him and unable to provide for his family and friends, crawled back inside his own head.
Sleep was rare for Howie. He'd spent most of the night reading the papers, religiously following how the Habs were doing. The team was dropping in the standings in his absence. Morenz blamed himself.
More and more, he felt like he would never play again. Hope disappeared. The future was bleak. Howie was in his own head, and he'd tunneled in there deep.
This time, it looked like he might not get out.
After Howie had been in the hospital for a month, something happened. We're not entirely sure what it was, more than eight decades later, but we do know that Morenz was despondent. Some whispered remembrances said he had trashed his hotel room.
The team doctor for the Habs came to visit and made a fast diagnosis. Howie Morenz had suffered a nervous breakdown.
Morenz was, at one point, put in a straitjacket. It was becoming more and more clear to him, each day, that he would never play hockey again.
The doctor banned almost all visitors from seeing Morenz and had security guards stationed outside during visiting hours. Only Howie's family and Canadiens personnel were allowed to see him. Howie's beloved father, who thought his son would be okay at first, got on the first train to Montreal.
Howie's wife and son came almost every day. When Howie's dad made it to Montreal, he almost never left. The new company may have helped Howie's mental state, but his medical condition was beginning to fail.
On March 8, Morenz said he was having chest pains. Doctors had told him he had a mild heart attack. It turned out not to be the full story - Morenz, stuck in bed for almost six weeks now, had developed blood clots in his damaged leg.
A doctor scheduled a heart surgery for later that day, but for some reason, it was delayed.
That night, Morenz took a turn for the worst. Howie's wife, dad and Coach Hart were all called to come and see him.
That night, the story goes, Morenz had tried to climb out of bed to go to the bathroom. In his struggle to get free, one of the clots lodged inside a blood vessel, blocking it.
Morenz fell on the floor.
Minutes later, his loved ones arrived.
There was nothing they could do. It was too late.
At the age of 34, the Stratford Streak had gone out.
Montreal was plunged into mourning after Howie died. Three days after his passing, a funeral mass was held at the Montreal Forum. The old barn could seat around 18,000 people - about three times that showed up. Radio stations broadcast the service live. Four of Howie's teammates and friends formed an honour guard near his casket.
One of them was Aurele Joliat, Morenz's close friend. Heartbroken, Joliat laid down a flower wreath shaped like Morenz's jersey number 7. Joliat won the Hart Trophy that year, but never had a season like that again. Later, this photo of him sitting in the dressing room next to Morenz’s equipment was taken.
When Howie was laid to rest, his son, Howie Jr., was near. He looked down into his father’s grave, shaken.
A few days after Howie's death, the Canadiens were due to play the Montreal Maroons, their cross-town rivals. The game was going to be cancelled until Morenz's wife Mary said they should continue. It's what Howie would want, she said.
Both teams wore black armbands and held two minutes of silence pre-game. In New York, the Rangers and Americans - two teams that may have never started in the first place without Morenz - did the same.
The NHL held a second All-Star game to raise money for the Morenz family, with a Habs/Maroons all-star team taking on the rest of the league. The Habs built a statue of Morenz and pledged to retire his number 7, saying only one player could ever use it again - Howie's son, Howie Morenz Jr.
Then, the dark side of Canadiens fandom came out. With his son now seen as a sort of successor to Howie's mantle, fans began to harass the Morenzs. At one point, people called the family home and threatened to kidnap Howie and his two siblings.
On top of that, without Howie Sr. around to provide for the family, money quickly ran short. The funds from the NHL charity game, instead of being directly to the family, were placed in a trust that couldn’t be accessed until Howie Jr. turned 25 - not very helpful when he was only eight. Mary couldn’t find work, and none of the kids were nearly old enough to have jobs.
The stress became too much to bear for Mary. She sent all three of her children to an orphanage for safekeeping. They stayed there until she remarried years later. One of the boys got sick and died while in the orphanage.
Once he was reunited with his mother, Howie Jr. took to the ice to attempt to live up to his family's name. He played in the minor leagues and had a tryout with the Habs in 1949 at age 22 - the same age his father was when he made his Montreal debut - but an eye condition stopped his NHL career before it started. He owned a string of businesses and passed away in 2015, age 88, having had only slight involvement with the team since.
Today, the Morenz family name lives on with Howie Morenz III. Instead of trying to live up to the pressure, Howie III actively avoided the hockey world.
Both Howie Jr. and Howie III have spent large amounts of their lives dissuading myths about their ancestor’s death. In a New York Times story written about his grandfather, Howie III told a reporter that his family doesn't believe the media story that circulated after Howie's death - that he had died, essentially, of a broken heart.
"The broken heart, we felt, was really a romantic way of implying he may have taken his own life," he said.
"We don't believe that at all."
That makes a lot of sense. After all, the blood clots were definitely enough to take down a man like Howie. But maybe, if there was more hope, if he hadn't been depressed, if there was a chance he could play again, would he have fought harder?
We'll never know.
Howie Morenz was a lot of things. He was an idol, a star.
But deep down, somewhere, Howie Morenz was always that kid on the Thames River, hanging on to that feeling, the thing that produced what Hugh MacLennan called "the little smile on his lips."
Everything seemed so easy on the ice.
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submitted by react_and_respond to hockey [link] [comments]

The holy movie’s entire script (Spider-Man 2)

She looks at me every day. Mary Jane Watson. Oh, boy. If she only knew how I felt about her. But she can never know. I made a choice once to live a life of responsibility. A life she can never be a part of. Who am I? I'm Spider-Man, given a job to do. And I'm Peter Parker, and I, too, have a job. Parker. Parker! No, no, no, stop! Stop! Parker, you're late, man. Always late. I'm sorry, Mr. Aziz. There was a disturbance. Another disturbance. Always a disturbance with you. Come on, 21 minutes ago, in comes order. Harmattan, Burton & Smith. Eight extra-large deep- dish pizzas. I told you, I don't understand that language. - Speak English. - You can't make pizza. I can't? I've been making pizza five years. In eight minutes, I am defaulting on Joe's 29-minute guarantee. Then, not only am I receiving no money for these pizzas... ...but I will lose the customer forever to Pizza Yurt. - Why didn't you send Saleem? - Saleem was deported yesterday. - Look... Smiley. - What about my cheese pizza? Look, you are my only hope, all right? You have to make it in time. Peter, you're a nice guy. But you're just not dependable. This is your last chance. You have to go 42 blocks in 7,5 minutes or your ass is fired. Go! Hey, what, are you stupid? Whoa! He stole that guy's pizzas! I'm gonna get it! Hey, you guys. No playing in the streets. Yes, Mr. Spider- Man. See you. Way to go, Spidey! Pizza time. You're late. I'm not paying for those. Elevator. Joe's 29-minute guarantee is a promise, man. I know to you, Parker, a promise means nothing. But to me, it's serious. It's serious to me too, Mr. Aziz. - You're fired. Go. - Please, I need this job. - You're fired. - Look, give me another chance. You're fired. - Parker, hello. You're fired. - Why? Dogs catching Frisbees? Pigeons in the park? A couple geezers playing chess? - Boss. - Not now. The Bugle could show another side of New York for a change. We got six minutes to deadline, Jonah. We need page one. I don't pay you to be a sensitive artiste. I pay you... Still not now! I pay you because that psycho Spider- Man will pose for you. He won't let me take any more pictures. You turned the whole city against him. A fact I'm very proud of. Get your pretty little portfolio off my desk before I go into a diabetic coma. - It's your wife, she lost her chequebook. - Thanks for the good news. Please, isn't there any of these shots you can use? I need the money. Miss Brant. Get me a violin. Five minutes to deadline, Jonah. Run a picture of a rancid chicken. Here's the headline: "Food Poisoning Scare Sweeps City." - Some food got poisoned? - I'm a little nauseous. All right, Mr. Jameson. It stinks. Robbie, there's your page one. "Masked Menace Terrorizes Town." I told you, he's not a menace. - I told you... - I'll take care of it. - I'll give you 150. - Three hundred. That's outrageous. Done. Give this to the girl. Thank you. Bye- bye. Hi. Hey, Pete. I don't think this covers the advance I gave you a couple weeks ago. - Right. - Sorry. Hey. Chin up, okay? Watch it, jerk! Dr. Connors. Sorry. Where were you headed, Parker? To your class. My class is over. See me standing here? I'm sorry. I'm trying. I wanna be here. Then be here. Look at you, Peter. Your grades have been steadily declining. You're late for class. You always appear exhausted. Your paper on fusion is still overdue. I know. I'm planning to write it on Dr. Otto Octavius. Planning is not a major at this university. Octavius is a friend of mine. Better do your research, Parker. Get it done, or I'm failing you. Surprise! Well, say something. What's the occasion? Really, Peter. It's your birthday! Whether you want to remember it or not. He lives in another reality. Don't you, Pete? - Hi, M.J. - Hi. - Hey, buddy. - Hey. Long time, no see. So how's the play? I read a great review. It's going fine. It's going good. She's brilliant in it. Harry sent me roses. So where you been, pal? You don't return my calls. I've been busy. Taking pictures of Spider- Man? How's the bug these days? The less you see of that man, the better. Now, let's all go into the other room and have something to eat. I'll get the hors d'oeuvres. So how are things going at Oscorp? They're great. I'm head of Special Projects. We're about to make a breakthrough on fusion. How lovely, Harry. Your father would be so proud, rest his soul. Thank you. We're actually funding one of your idols, Pete. Otto Octavius. - I'm writing a paper on him. - You want to meet him? You'd introduce me? You bet. Octavius is gonna put Oscorp on the map... a way my father never even dreamed of. M.J., could you give me a hand? She's waiting for you, pal. What do you mean? The way she looks at you or doesn't look at you. However you want to look at it. I don't have time for girls right now. Why, are you dead? I've been kind of busy. Taking pictures of your friend? Could we get off that subject? I want us to be friends, Harry. I want us to trust each other. Then be honest with me. If you knew who he was, would you tell me? Peter, don't you understand how I feel? I want this guy dead. The same way you want the guy who killed your Uncle Ben dead. I'm sorry. I don't mean to rag on you on your birthday. You're my buddy, you know that. You're family, Pete. My father loved you. You were like a son to him. Thank you, Harry. May. Oh, what, Ben? Wait. - Aunt May. - Oh, my. Oh, Peter. Oh, for a second there, I thought I was years ago. Everybody's gone, aren't they? Did they have a good time? I'm sure they did. - You okay? - Of course. But you go home. And be careful. I don't like that scooter thing you drive around. I'm worried about you. You're so alone. And I saw the letter from the bank. Oh, my. You did? Oh, well. So? I'm a little behind. Everybody is. Anyway, I don't want to talk about it anymore. I'm tired, and you better start back home. Here, kiddo. Happy birthday. You need it more than I do. - No, I can't take that from you. - Yes, you can! You can take this money from me. For God's sake, it's not much. Now, take it! And don't you dare leave it here. Oh, I'm sorry. It's just that I miss your uncle Ben so much. Can you believe that it's two years next month since he was taken? I think to myself at times... ...were I to face the one responsible for what happened, I'd... Oh, I don't know what I'd do. Now... better take the rest of your cake home. Hey. Hey. You're still here. I saw your billboard on Bleecker. Isn't it funny? I'm really kind of embarrassed. Don't be. It's nice. I get to see you every day now. The photographer liked my face. I was only supposed to be in the catalogue. Then I got the part in the play. Everything at once. Your dream came true. How about yours? I'm fine. I wish you'd come see the play. You're the one who always encouraged me. I plan to. I liked seeing you tonight, Peter. Oh, boy, yeah. "Oh, boy, yeah" what? Nothing. Do you want to say something? I... ...was... ...wondering if you're still in the Village. You're such a mystery. Peter. What? Happy birthday. I'm seeing somebody now. - Therapy. - No. A person, a man. You mean, like a boyfriend? Well, like I like him. What? Nothing. That's good, you know? Companionship... May be more than that. More? I don't know. I'm coming to see your play tomorrow night. - You're coming? - I'll be there. Don't disappoint me. I won't. Rent. - Hi. - Hi. What's " hi"? Can I spend it? I have a paycheque due this week and... - You're a month late again. Again. - I promise as soon as... If promises were crackers, my daughter would be fat. I'm really sorry, Mr. Ditkovitch. All I got is this 20 for the rest of the week. "Sorry" doesn't pay the rent. And don't try to sneak past me. I have ears like a cat and eyes like a rodent. - Thanks, Mr. Ditkovitch. - Hi, Pete. Hello? Rent? Doctor? Mr. Osborn's here. Nobel Prize, Otto. Nobel Prize. And we'll all be rich. It's not about the prizes, Harry. But you need money. You need Oscorp. Who do we have here? This is my good friend I called you about. He got me through high-school science. Peter Parker, sir. I'm writing a paper on you for... I know what you're doing here... ...but I don't have time to talk to students now. But Oscorp pays the bills, so... That's why I have to take off. Board meeting. But my job is done here. Got you two geniuses together. Good luck tomorrow, Otto. Nobel Prize. We'll see you in Sweden! Interesting fellow, your friend. I won't take much of your time. Now I remember you. You're Connors' student. He tells me you're brilliant. He also tells me you're lazy. I'm trying to do better. Being brilliant's not enough, young man. You have to work hard. Intelligence is not a privilege, it's a gift. And you use it for the good of mankind. Otto, your lunch is ready. - This is my wife, Rosie. - Hello. This is Peter Parker. Connors' student. The one who falls asleep in class. I always fell asleep in physics class. - Nice to meet you, Peter. - Good to meet you. Excuse me. Is that it? Yes. My design to initiate and sustain fusion. I understand you use harmonics of atomic frequencies. Sympathetic frequencies. Harmonic reinforcement? Go on. An exponential increase in energy output. A huge amount of energy. Like a perpetual sun providing renewable power for the whole world. It's all so amazing. If it works, it could change the way we live. It is amazing, and it will work. Are you sure you could stabilise the fusion reaction? Peter, what have we been talking about for the last hour and a half? This is my life's work. I certainly know the consequences of the slightest miscalculation. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to question you. Rosie, our new friend thinks I'm gonna blow up the city. You can sleep soundly tonight. Otto's done his homework. Come to the demonstration tomorrow, and you'll see for yourself. And you need to sleep soundly tonight, Otto. Did Edison sleep before he turned on the light? Did Marconi sleep before he turned on the radio? Did Beethoven sleep before he wrote the 5th? Did Bernoulli sleep before he found the curves of quickest descent? Rosie, I love this boy. Peter, tell us about yourself. Do you have a girlfriend? Well... I don't really know. Well, shouldn't you know? I mean, who would know? Leave him alone. Maybe it's a secret love. Love should never be a secret. If you keep something as complicated as love stored up inside... ...gonna make you sick. I finally got lucky in love. We both did. But it's hardly perfect. You have to work at it. I met him on the college steps, and I knew it wasn't going to be easy. He was studying science, and I was studying English literature. That's right. I was trying to explain the theory of relativity. And Rosie was trying to explain T.S. Eliot. Time present and time past - Are both perhaps present - Perhaps present - In time future - In time future I still don't understand what he was talking about. - Yes, you do. - I'm serious. T.S. Eliot is more complicated than advanced science. But if you want to get a woman to fall in love with you, feed her poetry. Poetry. Never fails. A tall and slender maiden All alone upon a prairie Brightest green were all her garments And her hair was lik e the sunshine Day by day he gazed upon her Rent! Where is my money?! You seem jittery tonight. You never know who's coming. Ladies, five minutes. Five minutes. How'd you do that? Work out, plenty of rest. You know, eat your green vegetables. That's what my mom is always saying. I just never actually believed her. Come on. Go. Keep it steady. It's a web. Go, Spidey, go! We got trouble! Get me down! I am more than content with what Mr. Moncrieff said. His voice alone inspires one with absolute credulity. Then you think we should forgive them? Yes. I mean, no. Hey. Hey. Hey, chief. You park there, I'm towing it. Whatever. Shoelace. You might want to... - Can I help you? - Yeah, I've come to see the show. Oh, I'm sorry, sir. No one will be seated after the doors are closed. It helps maintain the illusion. I understand. Miss Watson, she's a friend of mine. She asked me to come. But not to come late. I have to see this show. Just let me in, I'll stand in the... Listen, can't you...? A Spider-Man A Spider-Man A-does whatever a spider can A-spins a web, any size Catches thieves a-just lik e flies Look out Here comes the Spider-Man You sure you don't wanna come tonight? Yeah, I'm sure. - Okay. Call me. - I will. - You were great tonight. - Thanks. May I have an autograph, please, miss? What are you doing here? You hungry? Starved. What was that? Okay. How you doing? Good. I just wanna say, I really like what you do. - Think it's great. - Thanks. I'm with Weisenhower, Anderson, Nichols & Knudsen... ...PR firm in the building... ...and I just wanna say I think the image you have is fantastic. It's really put together. The costume. The... this thing. I mean, it's really put together. It's great. I think you could do more than print though. I think you might wanna try some TV, you know? Can I riff for you? Come up with a couple ideas? Just what my company would do? Let's see, what do I got? How about a children's book? You could... Like Charlotte's Web, but without the pig. That kind of thing. How about a line of hammocks? Because it's kind of a web thing. You could do a men's cologne called Thwip. Let me give you a card. I don't have any pockets. Yeah. Well, we're right in the building. That doesn't help. I do that all the time. - Slow elevator. - Yeah. Thus, the second-order term... the expansion of the exact order... identical to the second order... ...calculated from first-order perturbation energy. Since we are free to choose an arbitrary origin for our energy... Hi. It's me. Sing your song at the beep. Hi, M.J.. This is Peter. I was on my way to your show and... Well, I was on my bike... Are you there? I really was planning on it all day. And... ...I know you predicted I'd disappoint you. Bingo. It's amazing, isn't it? How complicated a simple thing... being someplace at 8:00 can become. Actually, there was this obnoxious usher. Somebody has to talk to that usher, M.J. Your time has expired. Please deposit 50 cents for the next five minutes. I wanna tell you the truth. Here it is. I'm Spider- Man. Weird, huh? Now you know why I can't be with you. If my enemies found out about you... ...if you got hurt, I could never forgive myself. I wish I could tell you how I feel about you. Ladies and gentlemen... wife Rosie and I would like to welcome you this afternoon. But first, before we start... ...has anybody lost a large roll of 20-dollar bills in a rubber band? Because we found the rubber band. It's a terrible joke. But thank you for coming. Today... will witness the birth of a new fusion-based energy source. Safe, renewable energy and cheap electricity for everyone. And now let me introduce my assistants. These four actuators were developed and programmed... ...for the sole purpose of creating successful fusion. They are impervious to heat and magnetism. These smart arms are controlled by my brain through a neural link. Nanowires feed directly into my cerebellum... ...allowing me to use these arms to control fusion reaction... an environment no human hand could enter. Doctor, if the artificial intelligence in the arms... as advanced as you suggest... ...couldn't that make you vulnerable to them? How right you are. Which is why I developed this inhibitor chip... protect my higher brain function. It means I maintain control of these arms, instead of them controlling me. And now on to the main event. Give me the blue light, Rosie. Precious tritium is the fuel that makes this project go. There's only 25 pounds of it on the whole planet. I'd like to thank Harry Osborn and Oscorp Industries for providing it. Happy to pay the bills, Otto. Ladies and gentlemen... ...fasten your seat belts. Doctor, we have a successful fusion reaction. This is a breakthrough beyond your father's dreams. Thank you. We're producing a thousand-megawatt surplus. The power of the sun... the palm of my hand. Keep calm! It's only a spike! It'll soon stabilise! Ladies and gentlemen, please clear the room. We have a containment breach! Otto, please get back! Shut it off, Otto! Shut it off! It will stabilise! It's under control! I'm in charge here! It's my money! I'm in con... This doesn't change anything. - What are you doing? - Pulling the plug. No! Rosie! Watch it. That was too close. If he had more than a drop of tritium, he could have destroyed the city. I'm ruined. I have nothing left, except Spider- Man. He saved your life, sir. He humiliated me by touching me. The press will be here soon. I suggest we move on. What was he doing here anyway? Molten metal penetrated the spinal cavity... ...and fused the vertebrae at multiple points... ...including the lamina and the roof of the spinal column. We won't know the extent of the damage until we get in there. I suggest we cut off these mechanical arms, slice up the harness... ...and, if need be, consider a laminectomy... ...with posterior spinal fusion from C7-T1 to T12. We're ready, doctor. Anybody here take shop class? No! No! No! Help me! Help me! No! It's all over town, Robbie. Gossip. Rumours. Panic in the streets, if we're lucky. Crazy scientist turns himself into some kind of a monster. Four mechanical arms welded right onto his body. Guy named Otto Octavius winds up with eight limbs. What are the odds? Hoffman! What are we gonna call this guy? - "Dr. Octopus". - That's crap. - "Science Squid"? - Crap! - "Dr. Strange". - That's pretty good. But it's taken. Wait, wait! I got it. "Dr. Octopus". - I like it. - Of course you do. Dr. Octopus. New villain in town. " Doc Ock". - Genius. - What, are you looking for a raise? Get out. Chief, I found Parker. Where you been? Why don't you pay your phone bill. Mad scientist goes berserk, we don't have pictures! I heard Spider- Man was there. Where were you? Photographing squirrels? You're fired. Chief, the planetarium party. You're un-fired. I need you, come here. What do you know about high society? - Oh. Well, I... - Don't answer that. My society photographer got hit in the head by a polo ball. You're all I got. Big party for an American hero. My son, the astronaut. Could you pay me in advance? You serious? Pay you for what? Standing there? The planetarium, tomorrow night, 8:00. There's the door. My Rosie's dead. My dream is dead. And these... ...monstrous things should be at the bottom of the river... ...along with me. Something... my head. Something talking. The inhibitor chip! Gone. Rebuild. No. Peter was right. I miscalculated. I couldn't have miscalculated. It was working, wasn't it? Yes. We could rebuild. Enlarge the containment field. Make it bigger and stronger than ever. But we need money. Steal it? No, no, no, I'm not a criminal. That's right. The real crime would be not to finish what we started. We'll do it here. The power of the sun in the palm of my hand. Nothing will stand in our way. Nothing! - That's the social security. - Yes, I see. My uncle Ben's life insurance. Yes, but I'm afraid...'s just not sufficient to refinance your home. Oh, but I'm giving piano lessons again. You are? We appreciate that you've just opened up... ...a new supersaver account with us today. But the fact is... do not have the assets to justify this loan. I'm sorry. Well... At least we get the toaster. Actually, that's only with a deposit of 300 or more. Oh, yes, I see. Okay. Don't worry, we'll figure it out. Peter? Don't leave me. Oh, that boy of yours is a real hero. Hold it! Put your arms up! All of them! Here's your change! Oh, no. Come on! - You're getting on my nerves. - I have a knack for that. Not anymore. - Freeze! Don't move! - Freeze! - Hold your fire! - Don't follow me. Wait a second. - Hand her over. - Of course. Easy, now. Butterfingers. Look out! Help me! - Help me! - I'm coming! Hang on! Help! Thank you. Aunt May. You've stuck your webs in my business for the last time. Now you'll have this woman's death on your conscience. Come on. Shame on you. There you go. Thank you. Oh, have I been wrong about you. We sure showed him. What do you mean, "we"? - Take me with you, Spider- Man. - Take me. - May I? - Sure. Go ahead. Penny! Over here! Leave it. Hey. Might wanna take it easy, buddy. Why? It's a party. Wouldn't you be drinking if you lost a bundle on some crackpot... ...who you thought was gonna take you with him to fame and fortune? Not to mention your friend the bug. Not tonight, Harry. Every night! Until I find him, it's 24-7. Parker! Parker! Parker! What, are you deaf? I called you twice. Think I'm paying you to sip champagne? Get a shot of my wife with the minister. Beautiful tie. Get a shot of us with the DA. Beautiful dress. Here, get a shot of the mayor and his girlfriend. Wife. Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. The committee for the Science Library of New York... pleased to present our guest of honour. He's the first man to play football on the moon. The handsome, the heroic, the delicious... ...Captain John Jameson. Hi. - You. - Listen, I'm sorry. But there was a disturbance. I don't know you. And I can't keep thinking about you. It's too painful. I've been reading poetry lately. Whatever that means. Day by day he gazed upon her Day by day he sighed with passion Day by day... Don't start. Can I get you a drink? I'm with John. He'll get me my drink. John. By the way, John has seen my show five times. Harry has seen it twice. Aunt May has seen it. My sick mother got out of bed to see it. Even my father. He came backstage to borrow cash. But my best friend, who cares so much about me... ...can't make an 8:00 curtain. After all these years... ...he's nothing to me but an empty seat. It pisses me off, your loyalty to Spider- Man and not to your best friend. I find him with my father's body, and you defend him. - Take it easy. - Don't push me. Don't act like you're my friend. You stole M.J. from me. You stole my father's love. Then you let him die because you didn't turn in the freak. Isn't that right? Huh? Isn't that right? Huh, brother? Ladies and gentlemen, I just want you all to know... ...that the beautiful Miss Mary Jane Watson has just agreed to marry me. What a surprise. Parker, wake up! Wake up! Shoot the picture! Oh, no. No! Why is this happening to me? You told him yes? Just that fast? It felt right. Well, you might congratulate me. Congratulations. Good luck in the world. John loves me. My father always said, "You'll never be worth anything. No man will ever want you." So, what, you're gonna spend the rest of your life... ...trying to prove something to your father? Do you really love this guy? - Very much. - "Very much"? That just doesn't fly. I mean, if you really love the guy, then the answer is: "Do I love him? I adore him. He's my comfortable afghan. He's all I can think about. Everything he is, everything he says, everything he does... me, for me, with me, is sweet kisses. He makes up for all the grief and pain I've ever had... ...and in the dark of the night, he is there." That's the answer I need. Not just "I love him very much". You read too many love stories. What about that perfect kiss you said you had once? - The guy you believed in? - That was a fantasy. That's all he is. But what's wrong with believing in love stories? You seem very okay to me. My diagnosis? It's up here. You say you can't sleep. Heartbreak? Bad dreams? There is one dream where... my dream... ...I'm Spider- Man. But I'm losing my powers. I'm climbing a wall, but I keep falling. So you're Spider- Man. In my dream. Actually, it's not even my dream. It's a friend of mine's dream. So it's somebody else's dream. - What's your major? Theatre Arts? - Science. Connors? He flunking you? He says he might. There you go. What about this friend? Why does he climb these walls? What does he think of himself? That's the problem. He doesn't know what to think. Gotta make you mad not to know who you are. Your soul disappears. Nothing as bad as uncertainty. I've been there. Who was I? Identity. Big one. Me, I go to my shrink. What does he tell you? She tells me I need some strong focus on what I want. And I have to find out who won't let me have it, why... ...and then I have to tackle that guy, let him hear me... And one more thing. I have to make sure I'm right about what I want. Listen... ...maybe you're not supposed to be Spider- Man climbing those walls. That's why you keep falling. You always have a choice, Peter. I have a choice. All the things you've been thinking about, Peter... ...make me sad. Can't you understand? I'm in love with Mary Jane. You know I understand. But I thought you'd learned the meaning of responsibility. Oh, you don't know how it feels. Peter, all the times we've talked of honesty... ...fairness, justice... Out of those times, I counted on you to have the courage... take those dreams out into the world. I can't live your dreams anymore. I want a life of my own. You've been given a gift, Peter. With great power comes great responsibility. Take my hand, son. No, Uncle Ben. I'm just Peter Parker. I'm Spider-Man... more. No more. No more. - You punk! - Sorry. - Thanks. - You're welcome. Hurry up! And when the borderline is tau equals zero, the eigenvalues are? Someone, please? .23 electron volts. Excellent work today, Parker. Keep it up. I'm not really wicked at all. You mustn't think that I'm wicked. If you are not, then you have certainly been deceiving us all... a very inexcusable manner. I hope you have not been leading a double life... ...pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy. Of course, I have been rather reckless. " I am glad." " I am glad." " I am glad." Are you glad to hear it? I am glad... hear it. In fact, now you mention the subject... ...I have been very bad in my own small way. You were so wonderful. That was such a great play. You could've told me you were coming. I was afraid you'd say, " Don't come." You look different. I shined my shoes, pressed my pants, did my homework. I do my homework now. You wanna get some chow mein? Peter... ...l'm getting married. I always imagined you getting married on a hilltop. And who's the groom? You hadn't decided yet. You think just because you saw my play... can talk me out of getting married? You once told me you loved me. I let things get in the way before. There was something I thought I had to do. I don't have to. You're too late. Will you think about it? Think about what? Picking up where we left off. Where was that? We never got on. You can't get off if you don't get on. I don't think it's that simple. Of course you don't, because you complicate things. You don't understand. I'm not an empty seat anymore. I'm different. Punch me, I bleed. I have to go. I'm getting married in a church. You are different. Dear, we agreed to put on a wedding, not go into bankruptcy. Caviar? What, are we inviting the czar? Get some cheese and crackers, some of those little cocktail weenies. I got a garbage man here says he's got something you might want to see. If you have an extraterrestrial's head in there, you're the third guy this week. Where the hell did you get that? In the garbage. In the garbage? He must've given up. Thrown in the towel. Abandoned his sad little masquerade. I finally got to him. The power of the press triumphs. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now, look, I think I deserve a little something for this. - Give you 50 bucks. - I could get more than that on eBay. All right, 100. Give this man his money and throw in a bar of soap. Your wife is still on that line. Flowers? How much? You spend any more on this thing, you can pick the daisies off my grave. Get plastic. Gotta go, big story. Spider-Man Spider-Man Where have you gone to Spider-Man? Where have you gone to Spider-Man? Come on, man. Get the money. Come on, come on. Help! Come on! It wasn't fair to have gone like that. He was a peaceful man. And it was all my doing. Aunt May. You don't have to punish yourself. Oh, I know I shouldn't. It's just that you wanted to take the subway... ...and he wanted to drive you. If only I had stopped him. We'd all three of us be having tea together. I'm responsible. For what? For what happened to Uncle Ben. But you were at the library. You were doing your homework. He drove me to the library, but I never went in. What do you mean? I went someplace else. Someplace where I thought I could win some money... buy a car, because I wanted... impress Mary Jane. It happened so fast. I won the money, and the guy wouldn't pay me. Then he got robbed. The thief... ...was running towards me. I could've stopped him, but I wanted... ...revenge. I let him go. I let him get away. He wanted a car. He tried to take Uncle Ben's. Uncle Ben said no... ...and then he shot him. Uncle Ben was killed that night... ...for being the only one who did the right thing. And I... I held his hand... ...when he died. I've tried to tell you so many times. Just one more little chore. Where are you? - I'm leaving for the night, sir. - Fine. Your father only obsessed over his work. Good night, Bernard. Hello, Harry. Otto. What do you want? That precious tritium. But I need more of it this time. More tritium, are you crazy? You'll destroy the city! You're a hack! Hey! Hey! Stop! Stop! All right! All right, all right, all right. Put me down. We'll make a deal. Kill Spider- Man, I'll give you all the tritium you need. On second thought, bring him to me alive. How do I find him? - Peter Parker. - Parker? He takes pictures of Spider- Man for the Bugle. Make him tell you where he is. Have it ready. Don't hurt Peter! Somebody, help! Fire! Alisa, the Chens can't find their daughter. Have you seen her? Somebody call the fire department! Help! - Help! - Is anybody in that building? We think there's a kid stuck on the second floor. Hey, where you going?! I'm coming! It's okay. It's okay. Come here. I'm gonna get you out of here. Come on. Come on. Mama. You got some guts, kid. Some poor soul got trapped on the fourth floor. Never made it out. Oh, man. All right, Billy, let's knock it down and roll them up. Get on out of here. Let's pick it up! Let's get all this equipment, let's go! Let's move it! Am I not supposed to have what I want? What I need? What am I supposed to do? I shouldn't have without... ...knocking. Come in. - Hi. - Hi. Would you like a piece of chocolate cake? Okay. And a glass of milk? That would be nice. Okay. Thank you. You got a message. It's your aunt. Thanks. What's going on? Oh, they gave me another few weeks, but I decided the hell with it. I'm moving on. I found a small apartment. Why didn't you tell me? I'm quite able to take care of things myself. And Henry Jackson across the street is giving me a hand... ...and I'm giving him $5. That's Henry Jackson? Yes. It's funny what happens in two years. Nine years old, has great ambitions. Listen, about my last visit... Pish-posh, we needn't talk about it. It's water over the dam or under the bridge or wherever you like it. But you made a brave move in telling me the truth. And I'm proud of you. And I thank you, and I... I love you, Peter. So very, very much. Hey. Where are all my comic books? Those dreadful things? I gave those away. - I put the pans in the box, Mrs. Parker. - Thank you, Henry. - Hi, Peter. - Hey, Henry. You're getting tall. Henry, why don't you put those cookbooks in with the mixer. Okay. You take Spider- Man's pictures, right? I used to. Where is he? Henry and I agree. We don't see his picture in the paper anymore. He... ...quit. - Why? Wanted to try other things. He'll be back, right? I don't know. You'll never guess who he wants to be. Spider- Man. - Why? - He knows a hero when he sees one. Too few characters out there, flying around like that... ...saving old girls like me. And Lord knows, kids like Henry need a hero. Courageous, self-sacrificing people... ...setting examples for all of us. Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them. Cheer them. Scream their names. And years later, they'll tell how they stood in the rain for hours... ...just to get a glimpse of the one... ...who taught them to hold on a second longer. I believe there's a hero in all of us... ...that keeps us honest... us strength... ...makes us noble... ...and finally allows us to die with pride. Even though sometimes we have to be steady... ...and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams. Spider- Man did that for Henry... ...and he wonders where he's gone. He needs him. Do you think you could lift that desk and put it into the garage for me? But don't strain yourself. Okay. Strong focus on what I want. I'm back! I'm back! My back. My back. Honey, you sure you don't want to invite your friend, the photographer? Peter Parker? Positive. Thought he was your pal. - Peter Parker? - Yeah. He's just a great big jerk. The world's full of great big jerks. You're adorable. It's just the uniform. Lean your head back for me. - Put my head back? - Yeah, just do it. Just put my head back? Okay. Wow. I'm back on the moon. You up there with me? - Hiya. - Surprised? Very. Thanks for coming. Everything okay? You might say so. This is funny. I'm not sure how to begin. You know how our minds play tricks on us. - Tell me about it. - Well, mine did a real number on me. Some part of me heard what you had to say after the show that night... ...that you were different. But I didn't want to listen. I was afraid to trust you. But I've been thinking about it... Listen, there's more for me to say. I maybe rushed into things. I thought... Wait a minute. What are you saying? I'm saying... I thought I could be there for you, Mary Jane... ...but I can't. My mind was playing tricks too. Do you love me, or not? I... ...don't. You don't. Kiss me. Kiss you? I need to know something. Just one kiss. What's happening? Peter Parker... ...and the girlfriend. What do you want? I want you to find your friend Spider- Man. Tell him to meet me at the Westside Tower at 3:00. I don't know where he is. Find him. Or I'll peel the flesh off her bones. If you lay one finger on her... You'll do what? Still no word on the whereabouts of your son's fiance. Sorry, Jonah. It's all my fault. I drove Spider- Man away. He was the only one who could've stopped Octavius. Yes. Spider- Man was a hero. I just couldn't see it. He was a... A thief! A criminal! He stole my suit! He's a menace to the entire city! I want that wall-crawling arachnid prosecuted! I want him strung up by his web! I want Spider- Man! Where is she? Oh, she'll be just fine. Let's talk. What the hell? You have a train to catch. Help! Help! Help! I can't stop it! The brakes are gone! - It's Spider- Man. - Oh, my God, this is it! Tell everyone to hang on! Brace yourselves! Any more bright ideas? I got a few, yeah! Whoa, watch out! We're slowing down. Nice and easy, we'll go down. Slower. Gently. Is he alive? He's... ...just a kid. No older than my son. It's all right. We found something. We won't tell nobody. It's good to have you back, Spider- Man. He's mine! You want to get to him, you got to go through me. And me. Me too. Very well. Where do you want him? And the tritium? Yes. If only I could cause you the pain that you've caused me. First we'll see who's behind the mask. I can look into your eyes as you die. Pete. No. It can't be. Harry. Where is she? Where is he keeping her? - He's got M.J. - No. All he wanted was the tritium. Tritium? He's making the machine again. When that happens, she'll die, along with half of New York. - Now, where is he? - Peter... killed my father. There are bigger things happening here than me and you. Harry, please, I've got to stop him. Hey! Hey! I'm talking to you! You got what you needed for your little science project, now let me go. I can't let you go, you'd bring the police. Not that anybody could stop me now that Spider- Man's dead. He's not dead. - I don't believe you. - Believe it. Surprise. As soon as you get free... I should have known Osborn wouldn't have the spine to finish you! Shut it down, Ock. You're going to hurt a lot more people this time. Well, that's a risk we're willing to take. Well, I'm not. Hang on, Mary Jane! Run! Let's see you scurry out of this. Now what? Dr. Octavius. We have to shut it down. Please tell me how. Peter Parker? " Brilliant but lazy." Look at what's happening. We must destroy it. I can't destroy it. I won't. You once spoke to me about intelligence. That it was a gift to be used for the good of mankind. A privilege. These things have turned you into something you're not. Don't listen to them. It was my dream. Sometimes, to do what's right, we have to be steady... ...and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams. You're right. He's right. Listen. Listen to me now. Listen to me now. Now, tell me how to stop it. It can't be stopped. It's self-sustaining now. - Think! - Unless... The river. Drown it. I'll do it. No! Hi. Hi. This is really heavy. M.J. In case we die... You do love me. I do. Even though you said you didn't. I will not die a monster. I think I always knew... ...all this time... ...who you really were. Then you know why we can't be together. Spider- Man will always have enemies. I can't let you take that risk. I will... ...always be Spider- Man. You and I can never be. Mary Jane! Hello? Who's that? Son. I'm here. Dad? - I thought you were... - No. I'm alive in you, Harry. Now it's your turn. You swore to make Spider- Man pay. Now make him pay. But Pete's my best friend. And I'm your father. You're weak. You were always weak. You'll always be weak until you take control. Now you know the truth about Peter. Be strong, Harry. Avenge me. - Avenge me! - No! Call Deborah. The caterer? Tell her not to open the caviar. Had to do what I had to do. Mary Jane. Peter. I can't survive without you. You shouldn't be here. I know you think we can't be together. But can't you respect me enough to let me make my own decision? I know there'll be risks. But I want to face them with you. It's wrong that we should only be half-alive... ...half of ourselves. I love you. So here I am, standing in your doorway. I've always been standing in your doorway. Isn't it about time somebody saved your life? Well, say something. Thank you, Mary Jane Watson. Go get them, tiger.
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Find the best american-idol--2020--season-18--winner Odds - Compare dropping and betting odds changes for american-idol--2020--season-18--winner, live tv-games matches updates from over 80 worldwide bookmakers & bookies offers, matches will be held in United States. Sports betting on the Internet can be a thrilling experience for anyone. If you want your sports betting experience to go off without a hitch, however, you need to find the right website. Thankfully, the Internet is home to quite a few appropriate sites that can provide users with top-notch experiences. Caleb Johnson is the winner of American Idol season 13 after overcoming odds as high as 9 to 1 earlier in the year. Though never favored throughout this competition even with his respectable 5 to 4 odds (+125) going into the finale, Caleb walks away with the recording contract though we'd be willing to bet that Jena Irene isn't going to just fade away into the background... Odds to Win American Idol - American Idol betting comes in a few different forms, with odds presented throughout the Idol season. You can bet on which male is most likely to win, which female is most likely to win, as well as an overall winner even before the show really gets off the ground. The 18th season of American Idol began earlier in February, betting odds for American Idol close on Sunday.; Odds of the final song of the American Idol season have even odds of being written by a male or woman. A total of seven women and 10 men have won American Idol so far in the past 17 seasons.

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