September 18, 2004
A special Scoop D'Icecream report.
Ragin war broke out in Medievia this week as two towns came to blows. The source of their conflict? A simple flag, it must be said, but never before has a flag had so much blood shed in its name.
Determined to find the cause of this strife, the Mudslinger dispatched Scoop D'Icecream to act as an embedded reporter to investigate this bloodshed. His report, as recovered from his battered Dicta-Imp, is below, and there is a reward for information leading to Scoop's safe return.
"This is Scoop D'Icecream, Mudslinger reporter extraordinaire, reporting from the front lines in a town under siege. Battle has ravaged this once-fair home to thousands, and now plumes of smoke and piles of rubble are all that are left of this street. Disposessed townsfolk huddle in the ruins, seeking sanctuary from the magical attacks that brought this proud city to its knees, if a city can be said to have knees.
"I'm crouching as I scramble through the rubble, my Dicta-Imp scurrying alongside. We're trying to find someone who- Aiee! What was that?"
"Just some magic missiles. Suppressing fire, you know? They're trying to make us show where we are, which you're doing for them quite admirably. Get down, you fool."
"Ouch. Hey, are you one of the warriors in this combat?"
"Was it the swords and armour that gave it away? Of course I'm one of the warriors. I'm leading this attack. Who the Hades are you?"
"Scoop D'Icecream, embedded reporter for the Mudslinger."
"Embedded? What does that mean?"
"I have no idea. Have you got any spare armour?"
"Only in my locker. What are you doing here?"
"I've been sent to - ouch, that was close - to find out the cause of this conflict that has claimed so many lives."
"Oh, that. Just flags, you know? We want theirs, they want ours, and we both can't own both flags at once, eh?"
"What do these flags stand for, sir? Honour? Dignity? A crime of passion?"
"Get the flags, we win, eh? Nothing quite like winning. Stay down a moment, I've just got to send a fireball back."
"A what? Hey - that hit those citizens."
"Serve them right for moving when I'm around. Still, they won't be crying about no houses now, eh? There's no them to have houses any more."
"That's CTF. Great - look at that. One of them snuck up on me. Guess it's hand-to-hand time. Give me a minute, will you?"
"What? Wow - this is Scoop D'Icecream watching mortal combat between two goliaths of war. These giants of men, each armoured in fantastical creations, are fighting to the death. Their weapons glint as they reflect the ruddy light of the burning building behind me. Sweat pours from their limbs and brows as they parry and riposte with speed and finesse. If I'm not mistaken, the new warrior is the leader of the defending forces. I'm going to try and sneak closer to see if the Dicta-Imp can hear what these two perfect warriors are saying."
"Not a bad day for it."
"Seen worse. Rain arriving in ten minutes, though."
"Is it? I keep forgetting to check forecast. Always something to spoil the fight, eh? Actually, I've got a blue map in my backpack. Hey - nice swing. Almost parted my hair. Anyway, fancy kicking a blue dragon around after?"
"Blue? Last blue burst all over me. Got any greens? Hey - nice disarm!"
"I thought so. I'm going to have to run you through, though. Nothing personal."
"I think not, for now I wield the Reporter of Cringing, max tweak."
"The what? Urk!"
"Nice weapon. Er, is it supposed to bend like that?"
"This is Scoop D'Icecream, embedded reporter, reaching for a green potion, somewhere in a ruined town.
"This is Scoop D'Icecream, embedded reporter, skulking around a besieged clantown. I've managed to secure an interview with the leader of the defenders, whose forces are even now attempting to defend against the constant raids by the forces of their mortal enemy. Sir, may I first say 'thank you' for agreeing to answer a few questions."
"May I ask, just why do you want these flags?"
"Because they want them. Stay down, you fool. You're giving them a target to range in on."
"Sorry, sorry! But are these flags worth the countless lives and homes of the innocent so cruelly rent asunder?"
"Is it worth it? All this death and destruction - is it really worth it for a few pieces of cloth attached to poles?"
"Shut up - they're around here, and they'll be able to hear you babbling."
"But all I need to ask is-"
"That does it. Come here."
"What? Aaiieeee! Oooh!"
"Now stay quiet. Oh damn - they're here. Looks like you have the drop on me, boys."
"Looks like. So that's what an embedded reporter is."
"Yup - see you in Medlink?"
"Be there in three."
"This is Scoop D'Icecream, embedded reporter, stuck halfway through a ruined wall. I can't reach my swirling, menthol, or green potions, and my consciousness is fading fast. Dicta-Imp? Can you fetch help, please?"
"Just scurry around until you find someone who looks helpful, like an avatar or someone. Please? I'm losing gallons of blood here... I feel cold..."
The Mudslinger editorial staff would like to take this opportunity to appeal to the public of Medievia. If you find Scoop D'Icecream, or even a suspicious bulge in a newly plastered wall in a recently rebuilt town, there is a reward for information leading to his safe return. There is a larger reward for information leading to his conviction for fraudulent expense claims.
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