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Theater V Betting: Episode II

ep2

Cleista, Fury, and Haku approach a smoldering field of burning grass.  Ashen piles litter the horizon worse than a certain California Gender Reveal Party.

Theater I blasted off… Maybe Theater II might have people more up-to-date on the game?
Why is the Cleista Detector still beeping? I already broke it in half earlier.
Oh, that sets it to Karmotrine mode.
How does that even make s- wait, if the Karmotrine concentration is this high, that can only mean--
Cleista, Haku, great to see you here! Welcome to... The Fields of Suffering. Everything here is suffering.
Matt, how convenient! As someone Cleista outsourced the panel to before, are you going to lead Theater Panel 5?
Nah. I'll be on it but pass the leadership to someone else. If it's manpower you're looking for, how about a tour of the fields? I've been here a while so maybe we can find someone interested.
So we're outsourcing Theater again?
We've already outsourced Theater three times.
This'll be our third time.
Thanks, Matt.
*mad*
The first thing to note is that we are constantly under attack here. Look.

In the distance, Minotaurs can be seen filtering players.

Fortunately, we have a skilled review team to go over the previous theaters and strategize for victory.

Matt opens the flap of a large military tent.  A few familiar faces are huddled inside.

Hey Matt, you made these jokes from chat unfunny. Isn't this going to lead to problems later on?
You know what's unfunny? These unfunny jokes. Get out.
"
Duck, know anything useful for our theater panel?
I only know what I know.
Which is…?
What I know.
Brainlets step aside, it's time for some real stats.
Did you account for people being contrarian?
No…? Why would they do that?
You're assuming everyone is rational. Speaking of which, everyone check it out! People are streaming their Core 8 runs on Twitch! Let's place crazy bets on who'll win!

Everyone rushes to BLT's monitor, but meme about the lack of kiting skill rather than discuss the theater waves. On Etrikia's stream, however, a VN screen appears.

In the corner, Etrikia's body is crushed under the weight of unorganized VN scripts and an indefinite release date.

Wait, you uploaded your mind to a computer? How? I need to know.

Blount starts piling VN scripts on himself in an attempt to ascend to infinite digital permanence.

As you can see, we have the finest minds on the case. Gentlemen, we're going to go on an expedition for more people. Coin, come with me.

--Outside the tent--

So if everyone is suffering here, what are they suffering from?
They're still playing the game.

After a while, the group find a Springfield on fire, with the numbers "2.07" chaining Springfield down.

Oh, hi Haku.
Holy shit Dest, you're on fire!
Yeah, I'd make a hot Springfield joke, but I'm just kind of, done with it. I need to take a break. Fairy Crafting's hell. I know it sounds weak, but when you're just so invested, that shit really wears you down. I really love GFL, I really do, but after 2.07, I just can't take it anymore. Thanks for the Panel, though. I really enjoyed the camaraderie of guessing the least scouted zones. I'll be going now…

Destination disintegrates into a pile of atomic ashes, much like the others covering the plains.  Only his UID remains.

Holy shit, Dest disappeared from the Panel! When will MICA learn?
Another victim of burnout. It's been all too common these days.
Hey Matt, I noticed you've been taking us around in circles.
Sharp as usual, shrimpy. I'm sure by now you've noticed it, as I have long ago. This landscape is the result of ambition gone wrong, like a failed drink order.
So what's the point of working ourselves to the bone to entertain people if this is what awaits us? What happened to our dream of daily updates? CBT? Having fun? Is this really the end?
Nothing in this world is free. If you try to do everything yourself, you'll inevitably burn out. The fate of all content creators. Of course, there is one way to avoid burnout.
Welcome to the Circle of Outsourcing.

(In the distance, distressed Duck sounds can be heard as he struggles to ghostwrite an episode.)

No. Not like this. You bastard, this isn't funny!

CRUNCH.  CRUNCH.  CRUNCH.  

A large karenic behemoth sways towards the group.

Oh shit, it's the UNFUNNY! Maybe warned us about this!

SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.  

The UNFUNNY focuses its gaze on the group through the tufts of toxic yellow fur and dirty polarized lens.

It's charging it's Anti-Fun Cannon, run!

Coin trips on his lucky coin.  Energy concentrates at the UNFUNNY's mouth as it fires the cannon…  Coin shuts his eyes as hard as he can.  

BLAM!

The Passenger - Iggy Pop

The following silence is soon broken as it lumbers back to whence it came.

Coin? Matt?!?

The group finds Matt lying on the ground, motionless, devoid of humor in front of Coin's lucky coin.  Coin is nowhere to be found.  Haku picks up the mortal reminder and tosses Matt's corpse into a body bag.

Shit, shit, shit. Now who's supposed to be on the Panel?
Let's head back to the tent and see if everyone is ok.

The tent is completely ransacked and on fire.  No one is to be found.

--10 minutes earlier--

Hehe, BLT's out researching comps against Ranking enemies, so I can send as many M14 Feet Pics and Nyatles to the Russian Mafia as I want.
Hey guys, can you hear me? Good news, apparently you can do Theater as a Barebones Level 60 Shikikan!
Oh, hey Duke, when did you get here?
I've been in the tent since the start, but no one noticed me.
I get you.
Wait, Hass, which part of the Russian mafia did you send that to exactly?
The Tarkies Squad. Why?

The Tarkies Squad surrounds the large military tent, which looks quite small in comparison to the squad.

I don't think they like M14 or Nyatles.

--In the Present--

I guess it's onto the Theater III people, then. Let's go, Cleista.

After Cleista and Haku leave, a lone figure rises from the wreckage.

Hey, I survived! I guess being ignored was useful after all!

**Patrolling Core 8 Enemies notice Duke standing amongst the wreckage.**

Omake

Always Believe in C.

Closing Remarks

On the Next Episode: With that we say goodbye to the cast of Theater II, however spread out they are, they'll always be remembered like Theater I.  But now, it's time for the cast of Theater III!  Look forward to a miraculous survival, as well as some godly? shenanigans!

As usual, put down your predictions, memes, and comments on the episodes! To participate, you can reply to this article, reply to the tweet on GamePress Twitter, comment on the reddit or ping/send messages to me via discord at Hakurai#1379! We'll see you soon!

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