• Published 3rd Mar 2015
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Sucker for a Cute Face - Eyeswirl the Weirded



Adagio finds Fluttershy alone one morning, and many to follow.

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Chapter 46: Intermission- Nerfing a Frowny Face (By Jetto)

Rainbow Dash inhaled, waited a few seconds, then exhaled, carefully opening her eyes, hoping, praying, for a different outcome. The blank page before her was still as white, featureless and not even close to reaching that 1000 words mark, as it was thirty minutes ago. It's not that she knew nothing about the subject. She knew all of it, she was just having trouble with expressing herself. I wonder if writers block will earn me at least a D minus. It didn't before, but maybe... She shook the idea out of her head. No, no excuses! I bet 5 bucks on this and Applejack will never let me forget it! Focus, Rainbow! This is like a soccer match, all you have to do is keep on trying and you'll be able to get the trophy good grade!

Few more breaths in and out, she grabbed the pencil, narrowed her eyes (with tongue cutely sticking out on the side, which she only did alone as it looked silly) on the page and then, after a few seconds... then she banged her head on the desk, still blanking not only on paper, but in her head as well.

"Who am I kidding, this is nothing like soccer! Stupid history..."

Few minutes later, she let her head up again, ready for a different approach, which she shamelessly stole from a movie she saw recently. With her eyes closed and breath stabilized, she kept chanting the wise words of sensei.

"Don't write the essay; be the essay!
No distractions,
there is no world,
there is onlyJOHN CENA!"

"MEEEP!" Rainbow Fluttershied, as the loud fanfares started coming from the direction of her bed.

"YES! DISTRACTION!" She exclaimed, diving into her bed towards her phone laying around.

Two thoughts appeared in her head. Why did I ever use that ring tone was the first one, while only one person still has that ring tone attached and she usually calls for a GOOD reason was the second. Her smile grew thrice fold when she found exactly what she expected.

from: RuleBook

CotO?

The message was immediately given a positive response, after which Rainbow dashed to boot up her PC, found her headset (thirty seconds later, another record), waited until her desktop finally showed up three minutes later (I need more RAM... or a better anti-virus), then finally double clicked on the "Shortcut to Spyke.exe", where user "RuleBook" was already waiting.

"Kay, I'm in. Sorry, this piece of junk was booting up forever, I seriously need an upgrade to my RAM. Know any good online store, by the way? You got yours fairly cheap, if I remember correctly?" She waited a few moments for a response, but got only silence. "Aria? You there?" A few seconds more passed, Rainbow scratched her head and was about to ask again, when a voice suddenly answered her.

"I think you're muted. Again." The voice of RuleBook Aria Blaze said in monotone. Rainbow rolled her eyes and pressed clicked on the speaker icon.

"Now can you hear me?"

"Loud and clear... hi."

"Hi."

"Were you saying something before?"

"...nah, nothing. Let's just get on with it."

"CotO?"

"CotO."

= = =

CotO stood for "Champions of the Oblivion", the newest game of the MOBA genre. Even though it was still in the beta, the lucky few (million) people could play it before launch, acting like beta-testers and never actually sending any reports. And by lucky few (million) they meant 'send an e-mail and eventually we will send you codes when we feel like it'. What was a MOBA, you ask? It stands for "Multiplayer Online Battle Arena" and if that name tells you nothing at all, it's because it's a poor name. The general gist is that teams of players (usually 5vs5), each taking a different "champion" with different abilities and fight on a giant, symmetrical arena which has a few lanes that connected both teams bases. Each lane is guarded by towers of ludicrous power, but you have minions to use as meat shields. The goal of the game is to get into the enemy base and destroy their core, beating up enemy champions on the way to get exp to become stronger and stop enemy from doing the same. The champions respawned after being killed, but getting killed made enemy stronger, so a general rule of thumb was- don't die.

If you still don't get it after that explanation, then it's fine, since only a few (million) people in the world can understand the appeal of the genre.

"Why so silent?" Asked Rainbow Dash, as the main menu STILL loaded. I only forgive it because it's a beta.

"Just finishing up the blog post about MOBA's."

"Ah, gotcha."

Writing a blog was another idea to get Aria into the world, although so far it was in its infancy and only the two of them knew about it. Whether it would grow into something bigger was a story for another day.

"I just got into the part where few people can understand it."

Rainbow snorted. "Yeah, no kidding!" She rolled her eyes. Not a single one of her friends had any interest in pouring hundreds of hours into an unfinished product just to get half decent in a meaningless game that might never get released. Bunch of weaklings, go back to 'Donut Smash'!

= = =

Few minutes waiting for a match later (it's a beta, only a few (million) people play it!), the game finally put the teams together. Unlike most MOBA games, where you choose your character after teams are assembled and everyone picks at the same time, CotO has you pick a character before you even click the "Play" button and the game assembles teams by itself. And while the engine is designed to make teams as balanced as possible, it's still a beta.

"Oh, perfect," Rainbow could almost hear Aria's eyes rolling "we have one dps, two mages, two supports and NOT A SINGLE TANK?"

"So it's gonna be one of those games."

"Oh yeah. Look at the teams."

"How is matchmaking always on... wait a second!"

As the match loaded, all players could see the portraits of champions they were playing as. Doom_Prism and R00LB00K both had a blue flag next to their portraits, while their teammates had gray ones, which indicated that aside from the two of them, all other players were random loners.

"We're playing against a premade group of five!" Rainbow smacked her face and groaned, right after noticing five red flags over opponents characters.

"Weren't they supposed to patch it out?"

"Yeah, they were."

Aria hummed. "Why do we play this game again?"

"I don't remember. I'll let you know when I do."

Few minutes later the game finally loaded and each players in-game avatars teleported into the starting area. The chatroom was already active before all the characters appeared on the screen.

(All) CompleteSardin : OMG do you run this game on a toaster?

(All) push<3_2start : I made and ate a sandwich while loading lol

(All) UN-dressin : Buy more RAM!

(All) Cremedawg : go paly pong xd

(All) Supermove : I almost fell asleep

(All) Cremedawg : play*

Hearing the angry groaning and nervous mashing, Aria rolled her eyes and spoke to Dash. "Ignore them, don't feed the trolls."

"I wasn't saying anything."

"I can hear you typing."

"Fine, fine, sheesh, stupid, old keyboard!" she mumbled and Aria heard a distinct sound of Backspace key being tapped repeatedly. "We go bot?"

"Kay."

Champions of the Oblivion had several different maps that players would randomly played on, but almost all of them followed the same pattern. Both bases were connected by three lanes, named after their positions on the map. There was the top lane (top), middle lane (mid) and bottom lane (bot), with forts and towers guarding the way to each base. The general consensus among the player base was to have two people on both top and bot, with a single one being in the mid. It was deemed as the most 'optimal' strategy for the time being, if only because barely anyone knew how to play this game properly. Some people coming from other MOBA's assumed that 'jungling' (fighting neutral monsters between the lanes to get exp and gold, letting other players get more exp solo) was a thing, learned the hard way that monsters in early game were a bit too much for level 1 characters.

But while maps, characters and abilities could be learned and mastered, the actual players had one major flaw- they were human.

(Team) wiedzmin2002 : jak dojade do 10 levelu dajcie mi wszystkie buffy to ich sciagne moim ultem, ok?

"Oh sea spray..."

"How come we always have a russian in our team?"

"He's not russian, he doesn't use cyrilic."

"So who is he?"

"You lived in this world longer than I did, you tell me."

"Some european, I dunno. Whatever."

(Team) wiedzmin2002 : robcie czesto ganki na moja linie

(Team) R00LB00K : Speak English!

(Team) 5kyc0d3r : W3 d0n't m00nsp34k 101

(Team) Doom_Prism : wiedzmin, we can't understand you!

(Team) wiedzmin2002 : jak pingne to zrobcie ganka, jasne?

(Team) R00LB00K : All in favor of ignoring wiedzmin2002, write 'aye'

(Team) Doom_Prism : Aye

(Team) 5kyc0d3r : 4y3

(Team) Hana_Song : aye

(Team) wiedzmin2002 : super, zajebiscie! wreszcie jakas druzyna ktora slucha kiedy sie do nich mowi, a nie banda jelopow, bez urazy

(Team) Doom_Prism : We still don't get you, wiedzmin

(Team) 5kyc0d3r : 101 th15 g4m3 w1ll b3 4w350m3, gg

(Team) R00LB00K : ...what?

"It's just l33t speak."

"Leet speak?"

"It's when you place numbers instead of letters thing, like when we made your login."

"Ah. Now I can actually kinda sorta read it! Eventually. Maybe... not really."

= = =

There were three main factors that decided which team won a match in a MOBA: team composition, personal skill and team coordination. A team made out of a two damage dealers (DPS), tank, support and a mage was considered balanced (in this game, not in the genre in general), though some divergence was allowed, as long as you knew what you were doing. As this game was still in beta and nobody knew the characters that much, it made that part extremely hard to anyone with a life outside of video games. Thankfully, the champions themselves seemed fairly equal, being at least competent in their areas of expertise. Though some players would beg to differ...

(All) Supermove : omg Delilah is so OP!

(All) Supermove : #nerfdelilah

(All) R00LB00K : #nerfurmom

(All) Cremedawg : lol

(All) 5kyc0d3r : 8urI\I

"Really, Ria? You're making "ur mom" insults now?"

"...it slipped. Just be glad Nata's not around or you'd be hearing way worse."

"Sure, sure."

When it came to a personal skill, it was all over the place. The two of them knew the basics of their characters and had a general idea of what they should be doing and which enemy did what, with Aria specifically memorizing the numbers such as damage, cooldown between each abilities or time stunned, while Rainbow Dash relied on instinct and reflexes, both of those approaches yielding mostly positive results. The rest of the team was a different story, though. As expected the "not-Russian" was all talk (and only gibberish), but was absolutely awful at this game, dying all the time. The "l33t Master" was average at best, but the MVP of the match went to the "Silent One", the one teammate that said exactly three lines so far:

1. gl hf (Good luck, have fun)
2. Aye (when voting to ignore not-Russian)
3. brb (be right back)

And yet out of the five of them he (or she) seemed like the one who would carry the game if properly supported.

As for the enemy team, their skill levels were all over the place as well, with some being near professional level, others not knowing what they were doing. What they lacked in individual skill, they made up with teamwork, constantly saving each other and coordinating their abilities for maximum synergy. It was safe to assume they were communicating by Spyke, just like Dash and Aria were.

"Wait, Sonata's not home?"

"Yep." Said Aria, as she threw a spear at the rampaging fire yeti, impaling him into the wall and following with a few more stabs, and a few fire bullets from Dash's character, to get the kill.

Delilah (R00LB00K) KILLED Burnbo (Supermove)!

(All) Supermove : OMG this spear is so OP!

(All) Cremedawg : nerf delilah

(All) push<3_2start : nerf Delilah!

(All) Un-dressin : nerf Delilah!

(All) CompleteSardin : I'm not joining this.

"Great, now they're trying to start a meme," Aria groaned. "I hope this won't catch on."

"And where exactly is Sonata?"

"Three guesses."

"Rarity's?"

"Wanna guess what they're doing there?"

"Wh-whuh- -" All of a sudden, the demonic gunslinger rolled towards the enemy base, where it got into the range of an enemy turret. Two shots, along with a few ice bolts from the remaining enemy champion, was all it took to send it to his grave, as he burned to ashes. The animation was really impressive, even on lowest settings.

Icelion (Cremedawg) KILLED Hellios (Doom_Prism)!

(All) Cremedawg : ty for free kill :-)

Rainbow Dash banged her head over her desk, but still found time to reply.

(All) Doom_Prism : ur welcome -_-'

Aria hummed. "So... what was that supposed to be?"

"My hand slipped."

"Your hand slipped."

"Stupid keyboard..."

"Uh-huh."

"And thank you very much for a mental image of my friends... together... in the middle of a battle!"

"You're welcome."

"I swear, if we lose, I'll blame you. And not-russian!"

"You'll get used to it."

"I DON'T WANNA!"

"Just be glad you're not playing with Adagio. I'm at least holding my punches. And speaking of punches..." By pressing a single button, a trap exploded nearby Icelion, the Frost Wraith, dealing damage and rooting him in place just long enough for a spear to impale his body, shattering it into ice cubes.

Delilah (R00LB00K) KILLED Icelion (Cremedawg)!

"There, avenged you. Better?"

"Only a bit. And your character doesn't punch."

(All) Cremedawg : nerf delilah!

(All) Supermove : nerf delilha!

(All) push<3_2start : nerf Delilah!

Aria humphed. "It's a figure of speech."

(All) CompleteSardin : I'm in a team of idiots...

= = =

As the time went on, champions started leaving their spots to ambush enemies, fight over treasures in the jungle and occasionally piling up on opposing turrets and destroying them one after another. They have entered the phase known as 'mid-game' – where nobody really knew what to do, other than kill enemy, protect ally and wait for an opportunity. This was the time where teamwork was the most crucial and as expected, the blue team was at a serious disadvantage.

(Team) wiedzmin2002 : ej no, gdzie te ganki? Przez cala gre nie mialem ani jednego! Kurna ogarnijce sie troche

(Team) 5kyc0d3r : c4n w3 h4v3 0n3 g00d t34mf1ght m4yb3?

"Well," Aria sighed deeply, shortly after three opposing champions surprised and killed her in the jungle "this match is garbage. Dash, any progress on the 'why are we playing this game' thing from earlier?"

"Working on it!"

And then she took an exploding arrow in the head and died.

Desk-banging ensued. "I hate this game..."

"It's the worst thing you talked me into."

"What about 'I am Egg'?"

"...second worst."

Suddenly, the arena darkened, afternoon turning into a dark, gritty night, illuminated only by few lamps, which suddenly grew on the lanes and in key locations in the jungle. The most important was an altar between middle and bottom lane, where usually a few skeletons were waiting for players to kill them for easy exp. Now a giant, red hot, dragon egg awaited for the champions. Soon, that area would unlock and both teams would have an opportunity to capture it. Capturing process was easy: just stand nearby for ten seconds, uninterrupted. Doing that when your enemy keeps on attacking you- that was the difficult part and it usually ended up with a huge team-fight nearby, with winning side taking the prize. And it was worth it: the dragon that would hatch from the egg would wreck havoc at the other team's base, flying all over the map and shooting fire at enemy champions and structures. Recovering from a dragon attack was very, very hard.

"Well, what are we waiting for? This is our chance!" Rainbow said, after which a repeated key mashing ensued.

(Team) Doom_Prism : Okay team, now or never, let's get the dragon and win!

"Dash, they'll eat us alive. They're two levels above, semi-competent and premade. There's no way we can win."

"Not with that attitude. Come on, Ria, it's not like we have anything else to lose."

(Team) 5kyc0d3r : L3t5 k1ll th3s3 b1tch35!1!

(Team) Hana_Song : Ok

wiedzmin2002 : olewamy smoka, chodzcie rozwalic ich baze kiedy ich nie ma, mam portal gotowy!

"I have some sanity left, can I leave the game and keep it?"

"You live with Sonata and Adagio. You have no sanity left."

"They're not home, I kept some hidden away from them."

"Adagio's not home either?"

"Nah, she's with 'Squeeky'. Wanna guess what they're do--"

"No."

All champions were spread around the map, each fighting their own fights, but as soon as the night fell, all melees stopped, structures could sigh with relief for once (some structures were sentient- don't ask) and all focus went towards the altar.

"Oh shi--!" Aria suddenly yelled.

"What? What happe--"

Gallandros (CompleteSardin) KILLED Delilah (R00LBook)!

"Oh... that."

"WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT? WHERE DID HE COME FROM?"

"Gallandros goes into stealth when--

"I KNOW THAT! UGH!" All Rainbow Dash heard, was a lot of groaning, shuffling and finally a painful sound of what she assumed was a headset dropped on the floor. After that, nothing.

"Ria, you there? Aria?" Getting no response, Rainbow Dash scratched her head and started worrying if they just permanently lost a teammate. It's like 'I am egg' all over again... "Aria?" After quickly muting the game sounds, Rainbow Dash listened carefully for any background noise. All she head was a very faint, but unmistakable chain of slurs, cursing and overall 'Aria on a bad day' package. Oookay, she still has 80 seconds until respawn, so... "I'm going to assume you'll be back once you calm a bit... okay?" Silence. She sighed and turned the sounds on again as the battle begun...

= = =

<Overdramatization>

Hellios was about to finish the enemy tower with the help of few tiny grunts, all of whom adored their champions, even one such as him- not entirely human, not a demon either, a half of each world. Dressed almost entirely in dark shades of brown, with stylish long coat and cowboy's hat, he could almost pass for a human being, if not for what little of his exposed skin being made of a burning hot lava, illuminating a small area next to him. Hearing the call for battle, he tipped his hat farewell to the grunts, then dashed towards the rendezvous point, hoping his comrades will reach it safely as well. It took him only ten seconds to reach the place, just nearby where the egg would soon appeared, but was the first one, with none of his teammates in view. Without Delilah it was four on five. Bad odds, but giving up was not his style.

He waited only a few seconds, theorizing that if his team won't join him withing next minute, he'd go alone. Not to destroy the enemy- that was impossible on so many levels, but rather to slow them down, maybe take one down with him, buy his team some time. He readied his two lava-loaded revolvers, then... he shot at the nearest bush! The bullet went right through without obstruction. Hellios smiled weakly, knowing that in those bushes was no enemy, but rather an ally!

"Dud3, y w45t3 m4n4?"

Hellios sighed with relief, pulling his guns away. Well, there goes the immersion...

Melodio was a human bard through and through, dressed in a jester attire without the hat, revealing the gaudiest blonde bowl haircut ever invented. Melodio wasn't a warrior and most people would question why he was on the arena at all, but that's before they witness him shooting notes at enemies from just strumming the strings. That alone was impressive, but his true might lied in his songs, which literally filled his allies with strength, speed and life, at the same time doing the opposite to the enemy team.

Hellios nodded to his comrade. "Where's the others?"

"M0rt3nc14 15 h3ck kn0w wh3r3."

Hellios sneered at hearing that name. "That wench doesn't do us any good."

Melodio shrugged. "4t l345t sh3'5 4 g00d m34t sh13ld?"

"The most positive I can say about that gibbering bi--"

The bushes rustled again and instinctively another pair of bullets went towards it, once again passing through without a problem. Both gunslinger and bard sighed with relief when their third teammate appeared before them.

"Oh, it's just you, Hophop."

A few weeks ago the sight of Hophop, a two feet tall pink anthropomorphic bunny (roll with it), with a carrot backpack (roll with it) and a red ribbon tied to one of its ears, would be a strange sight Scratch that, it's still weird, but the world of Oblivion not only got used to the tiny creature, but learned to respect and fear his/her/its (the gender was unclear) magical prowess. In any other world a carrot grenade that turned into five smaller carrots (roll with it) which packed quite a punch would've been weird.

Most worlds makes sense.

"Guess it's only three of us, then," Hellios sighed heavily "well, not the first time we all died horribly."

"Ch1ll m8, 1t'll b3 f1n3." Melodio cheered him up, but then was quickly shushed by their tiny friend.

Hophop frowned and reached on paw into its backpack as its eyes narrowed. Hellios grunted, turning himself towards the other bushes Hophop was looking at and instantly fired two shots at it. Instead of passing through safely, both bullets stopped on something solid, revealing a huge, hulking figure inside, which then leaped high into the air, landing straight in the spot where Hellios was only a fraction of a second ago, rolling away just in time to avoid getting crushed by his old arch-enemy- the molten yeti named 'Burnbo' (roll with it).

"Missed me?" The yeti spoke, grinning his teeth at the cowboy.

"Nah," Hellios retorted, pointing his guns at the monster "I never miss!" And then he started shooting.

Even though the bullets were made out of pure, magical magma, Burnbo was a tough one and what normally killed a typical champions in few seconds, barely scratched the surface of the yeti. That was only temporary -Burnbo's protective fur (roll with it) almost doubled his health, but once it was gone, he lost a lot of his powers. And despite his enormous size, his punches didn't hurt nearly as much as they should. Hellios' teammates didn't budge, keeping awareness of the surrounding area. Burnbo was a brute, but not an idiot- he knew he would lose against three and would never come alone.

Hophop carefully observed the area until it noticed something odd and threw one of his carrots at the spot. The initial explosion struck and revealed the clay golem ninja, Gallandros. His stealth was a pain in the butt, but taking any damage nullified it and left him vulnerable. The other exploding carrots went in five directions, one of them reaching the other bushes, where another person jumped out of. Kotaro, the japanese style, kimono-wearing archer (and the least visually impressive champion in the beta) dashed out of the radius, revealing himself to his enemies.

"Damn rabbit!" Kotaro cursed, pulling out and arrow and taking aim at Hophop.

"You'll pay for this!" Gallandros yelled, pulling out his short sword and rushing at the tiny mage.

The battle started anew- Hellios shot round after round, clip after clip worth of bullets at the rampaging Burnbo, who kept running in his direction, though couldn't quite keep up. What few times the yeti managed to catch up to him and land a hit, two tops, the gunslinger quickly rolled away and continued his assault, with Melodio in the distance providing moral and musical support. And while all of this was happening, Hophop was masterfully engaging two enemies at once, throwing smaller explosive carrots at them when either got into the range, once in a while setting up a bigger one, when the two got too close together. Kotaro and Gallandros were at a disadvantage here- Gallandros was a stealth character, his entire kit relied on surprise and careful planning, without those he was just a sub par melee fighter. Kotaro was doing better, shooting plethora of arrows of different kinds, but Hophop masterfully dodged anytime a heavier hit would reach it.

If Fluttershy played this game, she would probably main Hophop... ah, there goes the immersion again!

All seemed well, but deep inside, blue team realized this was a lost battle in the long run. Hellios was able to out maneuver his rival, but he was slowly running out of mana and the only reason he was standing, was Melodio in the background providing him with additional health regeneration, but at the cost of ignoring Hophop, who was outside his range. The rabbit was a force to be reckoned with and could possibly win his own battle, but one thing kept all three of them on their toes/paws.

Where are the other two?

The battle went on for quite a long time and only after such a long time, Hellios realized something grim. Burnbo was two levels higher than him, but Hellios should've been able to counter him very easily and kill him outright in few seconds, yet despite being supported by Melodio, he was still standing. What in the... oh... oh, darn! Rainbow Dash blamed her low screen resolution Hellios was so absorbed in his hit-and-run tactics that he didn't notice a very important detail- Burnbo wasn't supposed to have tattoos. And yet, there he was, covered in odd, tribal symbols, which answered one question he had. So that's where Acid went...

Acid was a particularly odd champion, but for different reasons than Hophop. His normal form was a tiny blob; fragile and helpless. But during the match it could bond with another champion to make it a lot tougher, stronger and faster, on top of adding a ton of new options to the host.

I should've figured he was way too fast!

While a typical support would walk around and help his team, Acid only ever helped the one hosted, but was in no danger himself as long as the host was alive. And when they bond for too long...

"Get ready for my true form!" Burnbo shouted and started cackling maniacally, as he grew at least 20% bigger than he was even before and it was about the additional power he received. It didn't sound like much, but it lasted for a very long time and it stacked with what Acid usually gave him. Hellios knew he wouldn't walk away from this fight alive. Then, there was the question of their fifth champion, who was nowhere to be seen. If Icelion was going to join the battle, he would've done so long ago.

CRAP! THE EGG! Hellios realized, turning his gaze towards the altar that this entire fight was all about. The dragon egg was almost two stories tall and the tip was visible from where they stood and he could already tell that someone was over there, about to harness its power. Thinking fast, Hellios did the only thing he could and focused all his energy into a single bullet, which he then shot, narrowly avoiding the yeti.

Burnbo laughed. "You missed!"

He smiled smugly. "What did I tell you?"

Hellios (Doom_Prism) KILLED Icelion (Cremedawg)!

"I never miss!"

'The Longshot' was Hellios greatest ability, his 'ultimate ability', to be precise. He could only use it once every two minutes, but it was very strong. It shot once supercharged bullet which flew for a very long range, bypassing all obstacles until it reached any hostile target. And the further it went, the more powerful it became. Icelion was a glass canon, nowhere near tough enough to survive it.

The eye twitching of the yeti was the best reward. "Clever... but not enough!"

Hellios smiled and loaded more bullets into his guns. "Come at me!"

</Overdramatization>

= = =

Burnbo (Supermove) KILLED Hellios (Doom_Prism)!

"Ugh..." Rainbow Dash groaned, leaning back on her chair "I tried..."

She heard some shuffling coming from the headphones, after which Aria's voice came in. "Okay, I'm back."

"Cool. You're feeling better?"

"Yeah, I'm over it. What did I miss?"

"Oh, nothing really. Just the three of us fighting like complete badassess in an unfair battle. Acid can go to hell."

"I see... huh, you managed to get two?"

"I got only one, Hophop got the other. "

wiedzmin2002 : ja nie moge, co to za debilizm? jeden skill mnie zdjal, co za idiota balansowal tego bohatera?

"And what's his deal?" Aria asked.

"I dunno. He was pretty useful."

= = =

HopHop was in a pinch. Soon after Hellios was taken down, it was only it and Melodio support that was around. The rabbit wanted to kill at least one, probably Gallandros, who was the weakest of the bunch, but he was suspicious about Kotaro being away. The egg wasn't being captured, so he was nearby, most likely charging his 'ultimate'. 'Rain of Exploding Arrows' (skill name was bound to change in next patch) was exactly what it sounded- a rain of arrows. That exploded. It was able to wipe the entire enemy team when used correctly, but using it correctly meant 'sitting like a sitting duck for five seconds and charging', which wasn't all that easy, unless almost entire enemy team is dead, which was the case here. Hophop rolled its eyes, realizing that this skill was an overkill and they would lose anyway, why make it longer?

But just as the rabbit mage expected a shot to be fired...

"hej chlopaki, walczymy o smoka czy co?"

Mortensia was a black haired teenage vampire, wearing what amounted to a mix between a thong armor and leather BDSM costume. That wasn't quite true- what they saw on her body was actually a construct made by blood of fallen soldiers, which Mortensia apparently killed back during her childhood.

Yes, there was a naked, jailbait emo vampire with blood powers walking around the battlefield. Because it was tasteful and all that. You would not believe the amount of NSFW fan art she was getting.

"hej, co tu sie dzie--!"

BOOM!

One giant explosion later, Mortensia was no more. The battlefield stopped for a moment, staring wide-eyed at the crater left by the explosion, in the center of which used to be a little emo girl. Their gazes then went toward Kotaro, now revealed after firing a shot. The archer himself scratched his head, then looked at the others and shrugged.

"Uh... oops?"

A few seconds passed in silence.

"R1ght3u5."

= = =

"He bravely took the shot for the team," Rainbow said, shedding a fake tear "and we all doubted him."

wiedzmin2002 has left the game

"You were saying?"

"Oh, he is so getting reported!"

Even with the 'brave sacrifice', the battle was lost anyway. They managed to take out Gallandros, but both Melodio and Hophop went down one after the other, though they bought some time for their team. Even if there was only one person alive.

"Man, and they were all so close to death!" Rainbow complained.

"Hey, I'm finally alive!" Aria exclaimed. "Now what?"

"You're one on three, they have an 'Acidated yeti' and a bowguy, it's super far away, they're taking the dragon as we speak and you're a support with nobody to support. I say we officially lost now."

"I still have my ultimate."

"It would've been very useful two minutes ago, but..."

"The other ultimate."

Delilah was a female paladin, dressed in a heavy, silver armor, carrying a lance in her hands, with several smaller throwing spears on her back. The game labeled her as a support character because most of her skills rely on helping the team. Just being around her regenerated your health and most of her skills either protected or made her allies stronger, though she could deal quite a lot of damage with thrown spears, which pushed back and if they push enemy into a wall, the damage is significantly increased. And then there were her ultimate abilities. Each character was able to choose one such ability when they reach level 10 and the game aims to make them all balanced and useful, but a consensus on which one is better for any given character varies. The general consensus is that Delilah has one of the most overpowered ultimate in the game: "Boon of the Sun". It sends a wide ray of sunshine at Delilah, healing and reducing damage of every ally in range. It's healing output was so huge, it was currently considered the most powerful ability in the game.

Aria took the second one: "Bane of the Sun". This one was a lot more straightforward- it sent a laser from the sun in target area, dealing damage to every enemy in range. It had a global range, meaning it could be cast anywhere on the map. Sounds amazing? It is. The only problem was that the first one exists, thus nobody was taking the second one.

"They don't have the dragon yet," Aria stated, clicking on the desired place on the map "so if I hit it juuuust right..."

"You'll buy us some time, at best."

"Only one way to find out!"

"They probably healed by now, and most went back to the base, I don't think it'll do any--"

Delilah (R00LB00K) KILLED Burnbo (Supermove)!

]Delilah (R00LB00K) KILLED Acid (push<3_2start)!

DOUBLE KILL!

Delilah (R00LB00K) KILLED Kotaro (UN-dressin)!

TRIPLE KILL!

ENEMY TEAM DESTROYED!!!

"..." Rainbow Dash blinked.

"..." Aria most likely blinked too.

"...pfft..."

"...pffft..."

They held their breaths for a few seconds longer, before launching into a hysterical fit of laughter. Rainbow Dash herself had to muster a lot of her willpower to take off the headset, before allowing herself to literally fall on the floor and laugh for a longer time. She had a feeling Aria was experiencing a very similar feeling.

(All) Supermove : WTF WAS THAT?!

(All) Cremedawg : wow, that just happened xd

(All) 5kyc0d3r : 0MG l0l0l0l0l

(All) Hana_Song : gj

(All) CompleteSardin : how... why?

(All) push<3_2start : rofl

(All) UN-dressin : so balanced o_o omg

(All) Supermove : (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

(All) Cremedawg : nerf delilah

(All) push<3_2start : nerf delilah

(All) UN-dressin : nerf delilah!

(All) Supermove : nerf Delilah!

(All) CompleteSardin : I hate you all...

"I-I ca-can't... bwahaha... breathe..." wheezed Rainbow Dash

After calming down, Aria focused on the game once again (though not without a snicker here and there) and Delilah made her way toward the dragon altar, easily summoning the beast to their aid. With nobody to fight it, the dragon was breaking building one after another, and by the time the enemy team could subdue it, the damage was so severe it ended in a win for blue team.

Rainbow Dash snickered looking at the giant "VICTORY" screen. "W-wow, we just won a 4 on 5 match."

"With premades."

"Using the sub-optimal strategy."

"If this gets out, Delilah will be nerfed for sure."

"Yup."

A small, but pleasant silence went on, as the two smiled widely at the longest stream of l33t speak and balance complaints they have ever seen.

"Aria?"

"Yeah?"

"I remember why we play this game."

The siren snickered. "Yeah. Me too."

Another few seconds passed in a blissful silence, only game's main theme running in the background.

"So, one more?"

"Don't you have an essay to write?"

"It can wait. You in?"

"Sure. I'll give Hophop a try, he seems fun."

"And I'll get Delilah this time. Before she's nerfed for real."

And then they lost horribly and decided to never play this horrible game again.

They played again the next day.

Author's Note:

Jetto's Notes: With all the apologies to all Russian MOBA players- not all of you are bad people (only the ones I play with). No apologies to Polish MOBA players- wszyscy jesteście okropnymi ludźmi. I nie, wcale nie jestem od was lepszy :P

While most MOBA (and Overwatch, which is not one) references are pretty obvious, I won't bother naming any of them and let you have fun finding them all. I do want to give a shoutout to the inspiration to the red team, which is none other than the cast of "Co optional Podcast", the best podcast about video games:

CompleteSardin is TotalBiscuit (aka TotalHalibut or CynicalBrit)

Supermove is Jesse Cox (aka omfgcata, though often his in-game moniker is epicmanouver... get it?)

push<3_2start is Dodger (her channel is called 'presshearttocontinue')

Cremedawg is crendor (while he's not a main podcaster, he's been on so often he might as well be one)

Un-dressin is Strippin (also not a main guy, but he appears quite a lot. Also, he's Dodger's fiancee and they're super cute together)

No, I did not contact them to ask for permission, nor do I think any of them will care, but they'll appreciate more views and subscribers, wheverer the come from.

Or you could pretend that red team is all made of Shadowbolts. You're welcome.

Eyeswirl's Notes: When I first conceived of Aria and Rainbow getting their own little side-story (well, alongside Rarity and Sonata's), I was thinking their interactions would be something like this. :pinkiehappy:

Also, the title of the chapter is because Rainbow, as is fairly consistent behavior for her by now, is discreetly (for her) trying to make Aria just a bit more sociable, which she may or may not be hoping will transmit to the other sirens through her, and that they'll be making friends just a little easier.

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