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CardShark Content - Josh Bader (8/24/2002)

It was a dark, depressing night. You know the kind, the one where you stand outside too long and you forgot that your outside or even that your awake. But I couldn’t indulge in idle fantasies or daydreams, I had work today. When I showed up at the joint, there was nothing but the usual customers. In one corner, Timmy the Power Gamer was having a quiet chat with Spike about how much his screwup was going to hurt… Poor kid, I saw what is in Spike’s hand… he won’t even know what hit him. But I wasn’t here for any of the “magic” gang… I was after those new renegades that called themselves the LOTR group… whatever that stands for. From all appearances they were running the place. There weren’t many of ‘em but they were all center stage and from the volume of the laughter and conversation, they definitely weren’t shy about having a good time. Looked like my kind of people, if only I hadn’t come to punch ‘em around a little bit.
I checked my shoulder holster to make sure my weapon was in one piece. It was a piece of work Lorien .357 Special with all the archery power you could ever want. Loaded up with some custom ordered Moria bullets I was pretty confident about my ability to deal with most of the obstacles I expected to face. I knew things could get a little rough if Lurtz and company showed up, but how could I have known that the whole gang had sworn ‘em off for the night. (I still don’t know if it was just luck or if word from one of the “bigmen” had come down for the Uruks to lay low for a little while and let things cool off.

Round One – Eric “Big Man” Powers – He swaggered up to the table with the kind of confidence that tells a man that either he’s shot someone before or he’s getting ready to. But I wasn’t the easy to rattle kind and so I coolly stepped up and bidded one. He won the bid with three and started us off at the Prancing Pony. His fellowship ended up being a couple of rangers and that drive by gunmen I had heard so much about (Lego I think his name is). He moved pretty quick and tossed out those fearsome men in black called the Nazgul. He got a good ways ahead of me, but my partner the cave troll was waiting for him at sites 4 and 6. My partner bruised a couple of his knuckles, but Eric just looked bloody. It was over soon after.

Round Two – Scott “The Kid” Manchese – He looked a little nervous walking up. I tried not to hold it against him, but you never really can trust one of those twitchy types. He did his best to launch an assault on me with those crazy oneeye Sauron maniacs. Big points for originality, but he lost those with his fellowship of rangers and their gangs of elven allies. He answered a few of my arrows with some of those Orc Bowmen, but in the end just couldn’t stop me from moving all the way through.

Round Three – David “Grease” Drazil – Cheap, greasy hair and a smell of some cheap soda on his breath threw me off a little, but I quickly realized he was a real pro. I never saw him before in my life, but his gun looked a lot like mine. Arrows and Orcs were flying everywhere that game, but my partner must’ve recovered from his workout in the first game and played his Arwen like she was an accordian. That ended that, but I think I need to keep the corner of my eye on this one in the future.

Round Four – Josh “The Out Of Towner” Rend – His wellpressed suit and hard to place accent had signaled him out from the beginning. The best I could figure he was a ringer sent to check out my secret project, but I wasn’t letting it out tonight. He played a good game of hobbits and men, but Frodo had a indepth conversation with the backside of about eight orcs fists at the bridge. Not a pretty sight.

Well that wrapped that up and I figured it would probably be smart to get out of Dodge before they wised up to me. I took the prizes, said a few quick good nights, and made sure to step over the now catatonic Timmy. (Hmm… Spike must’ve gone harder on him than usual even.)

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