AN: I only own my OC, not Watch Dogs, and certainly not the opponents of this fic.

Act Two: Round One: The Wizard.

When he was a kid, Hal loved science fiction, especially Star Wars. He loved the drama, the action, but most of all, he liked the technology. From Hover Crafts, to Orbiting Space Stations with the capacity to blow up an entire planet, there was something about the tech in those series that drew him in. When he was older, his affinity to technology grew into something more, focusing on IT applications and especially in software technologies. After he graduated, he tried putting his love for technology with his skills from school into application, using it to hack into bank accounts to listening in on conversations. During his time as a fixer, he earned Dead Sec's attention when he hacked a phone of one of their associates.

Now, Hal knew that Dead Sec was not "holier than thou" people. He knew that people like them would spout bullshit about the dangers of ctOS, but is also capable of destroying lives with it as well, if it suited their purposes. But it was a mutually beneficial relationship. He helped them destroy a Blume official's career via exposing his secrets, and in return, they gave him backdoor access into ctOS and the program which allows him to gain access into other security networks. It was top notch and it was a good deal for him. Needless to say, Hal loved technology, both as a promise for a better life, and a tool turn one's life and use it against the enemy.

But his love for technology could not prepare him for this: He was now on a derelict space station that was a combination of the Death Star with a sewage system, as the hallway looked old and rusty in color, with robot Mercurio who was disguised as a hobo guiding him to wherever he needed to go, and his guns, which he stored in a duffel bag.

Hal decided to break the silence by asking "How old is this place?"

The robot turned its head "Unknown. My master built me for exploration and scouting for new candidates for this tournament, as well as a protocol droid to guide you to where you need to go."

"You sound a lot more different now than before. " He emphasized the word different.

"I no longer have a reason to hide what I am now." Mercurio replied.

"Fair enough." The rest of the journey to wherever the droid was programmed to take him in silence.

10 minutes later, it stopped. "We are here."

The area they were in was a larger room, that looked more like a hangar than a hallway. "Here?" Hal asked.

"Your opponent approaches and I cannot continue unless you defeat him." Mercurio said.

Hal narrowed his eyes at the end of the hallway, where he can make out a figure approaching him from a distance. "What is this area of the station, Mercuiro?"

"This area is the outer ring of Station S-6-S. It is a very recent area, but it has started to age, so much so that some systems of the outer ring are vulnerable, but only 90% of the machines here can be utilized by your Profiler app." Hal turned to the robot with an eyebrow raised. "And you are telling me this why? You aren't worried I could hack you?" Hal asked.

"My systems are more complex than your entire ctOS put together, Mr. Durandal." Mercurio replied with an arrogant tone. "You have more luck hacking into a toy robot than you have hacking my sub-systems. I am telling you which systems are vulnerable because while the master does not do favoritism, he does not want his competitors who seem to have a disadvantage to be wiped out by someone whose powers can obliterate you out of existence."

Normally, Hal would question the existence of people with powers and magic like that. He would usually reply to people who believe in such nonsense to go find a dodo bird, but when he was transported here via a supposedly "harmless" digital trip app, he will have to "see it to believe it" first before he can make any sort of conclusion.

"So what does this guy do?" Hal asked, but the robot was nowhere to be found. "Mercurio?" He shouted out the name of his "guide" but was nowhere to be seen. "Great, he ditched me." Hal said to himself.

"My name ain't Mercurio, pal. But we haven't met yet have we?" A voice called out to Hal, and he turned to see that his "opponent" was already near him. Hal raised his eyebrow at the choice of wardrobe of his foe.

He was wearing a long black tunic, blue jeans belted to resemble Orion's Belt. The tunic bears a reversed Hero of Space symbol. He had some goggles and was wearing red boots. A pouch hangs from his shoulde, and a wand that looked to be up to a foot length, is strapped to his thigh. Had pale skin; brown, gold eyes; and has a long bang that hangs near his left eye and is dyed blue. His body was like a parkour expert, who would imply he can do parkour. He looked he got too close to an open flame, because his clothes looked scorched.

Overall, he may not look like much, but appearances can be deceiving at times. Hal simply stared at him while his opponent does the same. "So are you gonna stand there like a rock or something? By the way, my name is Orion Hecatson of Florida, apprentice of the Sorcerer Supreme, at your service" He said, with a slight mock bow. He had a grin on his face.

Sorcerer Supreme? Apprentice? Hal thought this guy was off his rocker. But he knew that being in this place with him must make him just as crazy, so he was not one to be skeptical himself.

"Hal Durandal, of Chicago, Fixer. Pleasure to meet you." Hal politely introduced himself. Orion thought he was some sort of tech guy, but with him carrying a large bag and he even saw the pistol on him, he doubted he a technician. Nevertheless, he gave a friendly impression by waving at him and smiling. Hal thought it was insincere, but acknowledged it with a nod.

They stood for awhile before Orion started this up. "So, what are you in this for?" He gestured to the area they were in, but Hal knew he must mean why he accepted the tournament.

"To be honest, I really don't know." The Fixer admitted. "I was simply here out of curiosity because at first, I thought it was a well thought out prank or trap." Surprised at his answer, Orion asked him "So you said yes, but you really don't know what you are getting out of it?"

Hal thought about it. "I have nothing to lose by saying yes, aside from my life, but I risked it so many times I just don't give a shit. Alternatively, this entire thing is all in my mind, and if it is, this is quite possibly the most realistic Digital Trip game I've ever played." Hal admitted, making the young man in front of him look at him like he had a second head.

"Digital Trip game?" Orion asked.

"Video game of sorts that send you to a virtual world game state."

"Ohhhh, makes sense" Orion said, but did not understand what Hal said.

Hal decided to walk off when a large booming voice resounded the entire area. "GREETINGS, FELLOW COMPETITORS. I AM THE CARETAKER." A wheezing sound and a cough could be heard when he said this. Both Hal and Orion looked at each other.

"Odd," Orion said. "He sounded fine when I met him."

"You met him?" Hal asked.

"Well, not directly, but he was the one who invited me here."

"Curious, he sent a robot to fetch little old me." Hal said to him. Before Orion can say more, the Caretaker began again.


Hal and Orion looked at each other, suddenly, with them now on high alert to see who would make a move first. The tournament has officially begun.

Hal and Orion stood there facing each other after that announcement, but neither one made a move so far. Hal shrugged and moved to the side, causing Orion to go into a battle stance, thinking it was a trick until Hal just kept on going.

"Ummm, dude, the tournament's started? Shouldn't we like, fight or something?" Orion asked Hal.

"Give me two minutes, I'm going to put my bag down first. I can't carry this and fight you at the same time." Hal stated.

Orion looked suspicious. "How do I know you ain't pulling a fast one on me?"

"You don't. I just trust you to keep your end of your word not to attack til I get my stuff in order." In truth, Hal was playing on human empathy to give himself time to think what he can use in order to face down this Orion character. He did not know what he was capable of, but he does know that he isn't wearing any notable protection, only has a stick or something in his pocket and a small pouch. Normally, he would think this would be an easy target, but considering his surroundings, he may have to find a way to gauge his skills first.

Finding a good place to set his bag down, he went over to the area while he looked back at his opponent, who actually let him do so out of respect. Hal set it down and began to rifle inside the contents to get his weapons. Grabbing an SG-44 shotgun, MP9 submachine burst-fire gun, Chrome, and with extra non-lethal bullets, an ACR with detachable grenade launcher attachment and EOD scope, SVD sniper rifle with silencer, some electronic lures, and 5 remote IEDs and grenades, each. Zipping his bag up, he walked towards his competitor, who looked bewildered at the stuff Hal had on him.

"Jeez, man. Overkill much?" Orion asked jokingly, but had some caution, since he knows how dangerous those guns are in the right hands.

"Never hurts to be prepared." Hal replied. Orion nodded. "Fair enough, looks like I need to get serious too."

No sooner than the words escaped his mouth, Orion pulled out his want and strangely enough, a few emerald stones from his pouch. Hal raised an eyebrow, since he knew that aside from bribery, how is that gonna serve as a weapon? He got his answer as seven emerald stones created an intricate and nasty looking sword from apparently out of nowhere. It was beautifully handcrafted, with the exception of some oil on the blade, and he prepared his wand in the other hand.

"Ready, old man?" Orion jibed.

"You wish, little punk." Hal retorted, pulling up his neck warmer up to the bridge of his nose, put the front of his cap facing forwards and pulled the hoodie over his head. Orion looked perplexed.

"Dude, I saw your face already. No need to hide it." Orion pointed out.

"This is just my game face. So," Hal began, cocking his gun. "You ready or not?"

"Game on." This was all Orion said before he charged at Hal.

Raising his SG-44 Shotgun, Hal blasted at Orion but before the pellets hit, Orion got out 3 sapphires and emeralds each and threw it in front of him, and suddenly, he was gone.

"What the fuck?" Hal exclaimed, trying to find his opponent and at the same time, trying to rationalize what he just saw earlier. How did he just do that?

He heard something behind him and footsteps rapidly approaching him. On instinct he dived out of the horizontal slash as Orion stumbled a bit after missing him. Hal narrowed his eyes and trained his gun on the young man. "Not bad. But if you are bringing the firepower, time I brought the fire!" He said and at once, fire leapt from his wand and straight at Hal.

"Fuck me." Hal swore as he jumped out of the way, with his pants slightly singed. That did not stop there, as Orion used that opportunity to charge at Hal, jumping up and raising his sword to strike him down. Thinking fast, Hal used his shotgun as an impromptu shield from Orion's sword and used the momentum to throw Orion into a wall. The plan worked, but his gun was sheared in half.

"Terrific." Hal muttered as he threw away the spares and reached for his ACR.

Orion recovered quickly and threw out another fire spell, but this time he saturated the area in front of him to give himself a wall of fire and create space between him and his opponent. Hal ran to a nearby pillar to give him better cover against this guy. He slid down in exhaustion.

"What did I just get myself into now, Hal?" He asked himself. This was getting out of control. Then he felt the pillar shake as lightning, fire and even some damn metal parts from the room came flying at his current location. Seeing his position compromised, the Fixer moved from his position and began to run as fire and lightning narrowly hit the man. Even while running, he saw was able to analyze his current situation quite well. Orion used his fire powers to create a barrier against him so that Hal can't go up close and the flames are obscuring Hal's vision and using it as cover, and firing off his crazy ass powers at him so that Hal can't catch his breath.

Overall, it was a pretty good strategy. Hal was starting to think he underestimated him greatly. He needed to get to higher position or he was in big trouble. Unfortunately for him, one lightning shot nearly hit his shoulder, but it only grazed him which singed his clothes a bit and gave him a small burn, even through the layers of clothes over his skin. This gave him a jolt of pain that causes him to trip and fall to the ground.

Groaning his rotten luck, Hal tried to get up until he felt a very cold chill up his leg and to his surprise and shock, his leg was somehow frozen in ice. He tried to shoot it off, but then his other leg got stuck in the ice too, and soon, he was pinned to the ground. He tried to use the gun to bludgeon it off, but his left hand got stuck instead.

Cursing loudly, he had only a few options with just one hand. As he tried to find his grenade, Orion suddenly appeared in front of the Fixer and held him at sword point. "Looks like I win pal, sorry." Orion apologized, but Hal detected in his tone it was slightly amused. He thinks he won.

Time slowed to a crawl as his eyes darted around for anything he can use to get out of this situation. He then spotted his best hope: an IED which was in close proximity with Orion, far away not to do any lethal damage, but still strong enough to either throw him off or wound him. He would have to time this right and also not give away too much to the enemy otherwise they might find out that something is up.

"What if I say no?" Hal replied back with his own question, and using it to buy time, he found his phone, switching the Profiler app on, without even looking at it.

Posturing, Orion explained his situation in a smug manner. "I have you pinned down on the ground, with me holding the sword that may or may not end your life, I have you disarmed and before you can pull out a grenade or something, I will have you know that I can simply freeze that hand and watch as that grenade takes your hand off. Face it, whatever tricks you have, I got better." To emphasize his point, he conjured up a ball of fire on his hand with his wand maintaining the energy inside it.

"You talk too much." That was all Hal said before he activated the IED and ducked as low as he could in his current state. The explosion from the IED sent shockwaves that knocked Orion over, dropping his sword in the process. Also, the shrapnel nicked Orion in several places, causing small cuts to crop up on his body. His sword landed near Hal, specifically the arm that was not frozen. Taking advantage of the moment, he used the sword to cut the ice and then threw it like a javelin at Orion using his uninjured arm.

Orion ducked just in time as the blade narrowly hit his head. He then used his magic to raise the metal up from the floor to make cover against Hal's bullets as he retrieved his ACR and unleashed a barrage of bullets at the wizard. He stopped as he ran out of bullets and Orion took his chance to grab his sword and find better cover. Hal reloaded and soon began to chase after the wizard, despite the wizard throwing lightning and ice at him.

The Fixer now has the momentum as he chucked a grenade at the fleeing wizard. Using his powers, he sent a burst of air at the grenade back at Hal, who ducked under it and kept on firing, not letting up the pressure knowing that if he did, Orion will turn this around as quick as he did.

Cursing the situation he was in now, Orion tossed a sapphire sphere upwards, creating a powerful blast of light that was just as effective as a flash bang. It did its job and blinded Hal for a few precious moments as he headed over to a nearby platform and began to recover as Hal snapped into cover.

It was a stalemate, as both sides try to recover their breaths and trying to see who makes the next move, as Orion repurposed his sapphires into a shield and Hal bringing out his SVD.

{Unknown location, The Caretaker.}

The Caretaker looked on in the fights between his new set of competitors and he was very impressed and in delight to see such promising young warriors kill each other for his enjoyment. He knew that he will find his new food, 15 cattle to feed for ever sating hunger of power.

He looked over to the screen that had Hal and Orion fighting and saw they were trying to catch their breaths.

"I recall that I never give breaks during a fight. Perhaps I should enlighten them." He cackled as he pressed some commands on his keyboard.

"Time to make this fight a little more lively." The foul creature gleefully chuckled.

{Hal and Orion.}

It started out as a low hum. It was minor, and was hard to hear. But soon, they both heard it: Mechanical gears shifting, energy began to hum everywhere. Something was happening to their battleground, both of them knew it. The question was, what was it?

They got their answer as both men came under fire by laser turrets that suddenly popped up the ground, followed by multiple unmanned drones that were like the drones in Chicago, only they are using some kind of hover technology Hal could only see in a sci-fi movie, had red optics, and wielding a glowing gun underneath the metal plating. Hal was finally reaching the breaking point in trying to rationalize everything in this place.

"Ok, I fucking give up on trying comprehending on what the hell is going on anymore." Hal declared, as he took aim and shot at the nearest turret firing at him. It did nothing at first, but Hal noticed a large red area underneath the turret and aimed there instead. He got the results he wanted to see as it blew up. Orion did the same, but he was able to chain his lightning across multiple turrets, and using metal shards to impale nearby drones.

Hal was busy fending off a bunch of drones when an idea took hold in his mind. It was crazy and he did not know it could work, but he had to try. He opened up his Profiler app, as he was shooting a nearby drone, but doing no obvious damage to it, and tried to hack in.

Hal was then surprised at the firewall protection it had. It was similar to a ctOS security firewall and he took a few seconds to bypass the cyber defenses but when he did, he had a semi-loyal robot at his command now. Hal breathed in relief as the robot nearly shot him a few time during the brief moment of hacking in.

"Well, Hal, your very own state-of-the-art drone. Wished I had this during that bank job in Detroit." He commented on his robot before he used it to fend off additional drones and turrets. He hacked into another drone and soon, he had two drones that protected him from the other drones and turrets and allowed Hal could finally catch his breath and plan his next move. Apparently, when he looked at the location Orion was previously, he was making a mini-scrap yard as he blasted drones and turrets left and right. Hal realized he could use his sniper rifle to take him down while he was distracted. It was a good plan, but he did not manage to carry it out, as the drones he hacked into reverted back into their normal protocols and targeted Hal instead. Hal threw a proximity Improvised Explosive Device between the two drones, and detonates, severely damaging, but not destroying the metal drones. Using his sniper rifle, the high caliber shots pierced their shells easily and destroying their circuits, putting them out of commission.

After that one, Hal began to realize that his control over the drones was limited and he could not maintain the connection for a long period of time.

Apparently, someone set up a very good and encrypted data code to mess up his hacking, possibly by the Caretaker, to prevent him from abusing the system the Caretaker was using. Hal grimaced as his options for dealing with the drones and turrets are becoming severely limited. Making things worse, flamethrower variants of the turrets are now popping up and drones are now armed with some sort of gun that just vaporizes whatever object it came into contact with. The good news, though, is that there are only 4 of them. Bad news is that they divided them amongst the two competitors.

He tried hacking them, but their security encryption was stronger and took longer to hack as a result. As he was doing so, he realized they held some kind of code that was linking itself to the other drones. It wasn't complete, but he had a guess that some of the other drones of this make and type will have the same code. He was, however, able to make the malfunction for a moment and allowing Hal to throw an IED on the thing, turning it into scrap a few seconds later.

This was getting out of hand and his ability to remain calm under pressure was being pushed to their limits. He was running out of options to deal with the enemy, except for one. It was crazy, and he wasn't sure it would work, but he will need his "opponent's" help for this. Sighing loudly, he grabbed his Chrome and MP9 Machine Pistol and dual wielded them on his way towards Orion. Orion spotted him and was about to cast something at Hal when a drone shot at him and nearly killed Orion, but only knocked him to the ground. He would have been a goner had Hal not shot the exposed circuitry that was behind the drone. Hal ducked behind the cover that Orion was using as the drones and turrets began to concentrate your efforts.

Orion was immediately on guard, but Hal held his hands in a placating manner, dropping his guns.

The wizard narrowed his eyes in suspicion, despite the robots firing on them. "What are you doing?"

"We can't take them out by ourselves." Hal explained. "So I propose a truce until we get these drones put down. If you want, you could vaporize me, but what would that serve other than to make yourself the sole focus of all these nasty robots here?"

As much as Orion didn't like it, he knew that his only chance of getting out of this predicament was working with him. Lowering his wand, Orion asked him. "So, what is the plan then, genius?" He shot a stray bolt of lightning into a crowd of drones, taking them out and the resulting explosion rupturing a nearby flamethrower turret, causing a chain reaction and taking out even more drones.

"I hacked into one of those drones with a vaporizer gun-" Hal's left eyebrow twitched as he was cut off.

Orion interrupted. "Vaporizer gun? Seriously, that's what you're calling it?" He chuckled. Hal glared at him for awhile before he got back to his explanation. "Let me finish."

"Those drones I hacked had some sort of-" Again, his eyebrow twitched violently this time when the wizard interrupted.

"Wait, you can hack into machines?" Orion asked in curiosity, but then shut up when Hal gave the man a glare so intense Antarctica would have been melted at this point. "And I'll shut up now."

"You do that." Hal nodded than continued once more. "The drones have some sort of code that is linked to an encrypted code that somehow controls all these damn robots. If I can hack into a few more of these bastards, I can theoretically shut them down using the whole code."

"That does not sound too reassuring." Orion confessed. Not to mention that if he gains the code, will he shut them down or take him out before doing that? Praying to the deities that this man will keep his end of the word, he forced his doubts aside. Right now, he has bigger problems at the moment than a potential betrayal.

"We have no other alternative." Hal admitted. "Unless you know of a way you can someone how manage to disable all these bots at once?"

"What do you need me to do?" Orion asked.

"Create a distraction. Make those drones come to you and when I finally get my code, blast them away. Since I can only shoot them and piss them off, you are gonna be the guy who gets to be the bait. I can lead them off if it gets too hot, so we are going to keep on alternating."

"I hate being bait." Orion said, wincing the number of times he too was made the bait in previous situations before coming to Station S-6-S.

"No one in any known history has ever liked being bait, but they get the results. And don't worry about me trying to backstab you. I kill you, and all these drones shoot at me now." Hal explained.

"You have such shit logic, you know that?"

"Yeah, and I am amazed how far I got with such shit logic, now go and make them follow your ass like the Pied Piper."

"Why do I get the feeling that I'm the flute and you're the Piper?" Orion groaned. As he was able to make his move, Hal stopped him. "What gives?"

Hal gave him his phone. "We need to communicate if we get separated, but this is only temporary, considering our current predicament. That phone also gives me extra range so that if you find one and you are far away from me, I can still get in and make a connection from here. If you find one, simply press the exclamation icon on the phone and I will know if you found one, but you will have to get close to make the connection. Any more questions?"

Orion looked at it and grinned. "Does this thing have Plants Vs Zombies 2 in this phone?" He joked, trying to relieve the tension in the atmosphere, aside from the obvious robotic hordes blasting at them from their current cover.

Hal smirked, slightly humoring himself. And instead of replying, he opened fire on the drones in the front, gaining their attention to him and allowing Orion to move away from the Fixer and threw a sapphire right in front of him, creating a blinding smokescreen that made the drones go crazy as they scrambled to locate their targets. Orion smirked as he found one of those things, and soon slid under it and pressed the icon Hal highlighted, and Hal got the signal and activated his Profiler app from his hiding spot and hacked it. He was not able to control it, but he did get the code and found another piece he can use to hack into the main server, wherever it was. After that, Hal tells him to destroy it, and does so with the help of a well placed lightning bolt into the circuits, causing it to go out of control and veering it towards a turret, taking both it and the turret in a spectacular explosion.

Calling his temporary partner, Hal talked to Orion as he was dodging another bolt of laser bolts that he needs about 2 more of the same code before he can triangulate a good position of the server. Whining about his predicament, but nonetheless compliant knowing that while taking orders from his opponent wasn't exactly the best thing to do, they needed to work together to get out of this situation alive.

Hal now used his SVD to give covering fire from any nearby drones that got too close to Orion and he spammed lightning after lightning as it was the only thing that was effective against the machines. As Orion reached another one, this one was different as it had an escort and was running out of energy to keep on spamming his lightning.

"That drone is being protected by the other drones, and I'm running out of tricks man. What do we do?" Orion asked frantically as a vaporizer shot blasted the nearby pillar near him. Hal brainstormed a bit before his eyes fell on his electronic lures. Since most of the drones were focused on the dude who could do magic, this could work. "I'm gonna distract them, and you try and get close to the thing as much as you can." Throwing his lure to a nearby destroyed wreck of a drone and praying to a God he curses most of the time, he activates the lures.

The plan partially worked, partially because only a few of the drones went to the lures. Realizing he needed more, he slowly got out of his hiding spot and tried to plant more lures in order to lure them away. However, not two steps out of his hiding spot and suddenly, half the drones that were guarding the vaporizer drone now see him as he accidentally kicked parts of a drone's optic into the remains of a turret that made a loud clanging sound. That got their attention alright.

"Damnit." Bringing his ACR to bear, Hal opened fire on the incoming drones. Though half of them still remained, Orion saw an opening to get close and was able to do the same thing again, but jumping on the Drone as he pressed the icon.

Hal received his update from Orion and ran from the horde of metal bearing down on him, and hacked the thing as he was running. He saw the code was almost done and was now able to hack the drones now as the code he had was sufficient enough to take control of about 25% drones, but the rest were still under The Caretaker's control.

"One more left. I got just enough of the code to hack some of the drones for a while, so use them as cover while you and I find that last Vaporizer drone. Once we get it done, we can use the code to find the last code that might help us get out of this mess."

Moving in tandem, both men are now reunited and are moving away from the drones while trying to locate the last drone.

For former foes, they complimented each other really well. Without conveying a single word, both men knew their roles. Orion was the heavy hitter, with his lightning and ice powers freezing and shattering drones and blowing them up, running interference; as Hal took out the closer ones out, using his hacking skills to divert enemy attention by turning a drone against the others, and finding their only way out of the mess they were both in.

After a few more minutes, they spotted their target, as it is preparing to fire its main gun. Separating to confuse the drone, they split into separate directions, with both men firing at it with both fire and bullets. Despite the damage, the drone aimed at Hal and fired, who saw it just in time and jumped to the side, and the laser hit a nearby drone and wiped it out of existence. However, it was out of the pan and into the fire, literally, when the Fixer had the unfortunate luck to land in front of a still working flamethrower turret.

"Oh fuck me." Hal simply said and then ducked again, but his hat got caught on fire, which had him get it off and stomping on it before he realizes that it is ruined. Bringing his neck warmer down, Hal glared at the offending turret and threw his last grenade at the thing, detonating spectacularly and lighting up the room.

"That was my favorite hat, you asshole." Hal muttered. Then he saw Orion making his way to the machine but is unable to do so as the minion drones kept on suppressing his position with heavy laser fire, barely enough cover for him to blast a few drones before retreating into cover.

Seeing only a few drones on him, likely because without his guns, he was delegated as a low priority threat, Hal charged behind the last drone he needed before he hacked into it, finally finding the code after hacking into it. Afterwards, he not only got the full code, but now he has full control over all the drones in the area, as they all stopped firing at them.

Orion ran to his side, caution building up inside him. While he knew they had a common goal, with all the drones now in Hal's command, he knew that all he needed to do is to direct a target and Orion is a crispy fried wizard, at a touch of a button no less. Despite that, Orion made himself known. "So what happens now?" He expected this guy to do a usual bad guy laugh then use the drones to shoot him down.

But to his surprise, Hal simply looked at him and pressed another button, and then all the drones suddenly attacked each other, shocking the Wizard who was expecting a betrayal of sorts. Hal looked at him with a little hint of indignation "Are you seriously thinking I would backstab you after all that? What kind of sick bastard do you take me?" Hal asked.

Orion shrugged. "I dunno, the 'evil bad guy' routine, where he backstabs the hero after a tense side-by-side battle so he can claim his ultimate victory trope?"

Hal looks at him like the wizard he fought alongside moments ago was an idiot with three heads. "You read too much comic books." Two drones rammed each other and exploded in a large fireball close to their position, but neither man where phased by the near close call. After more spectacular sights of self-destruction, all was still. The area was thick with smoke, still burning remains of drones and large burn marks in well, everywhere. The fact that Orion only had cuts and Hal was scorched with burns on his clothes and skin, and lost a cap was a testament to how skilled that was.

Speaking of burns…

"Shit." Hal grimaced and leaned on a wall for support. The burns now began to take its toll as the adrenalin was wearing off. He now felt the burns from the near close laser shots. The only reason that Orion did not do the same was because of his excellent use of ice and healing magic, using ice to ease the burns as he was healing himself.

"You ok pal?" Orion asked in slight concern. Opponent or no, Hal got both of them out of the situation and decided to repay his "debt" to Hal by healing him. Hal shuddered and relaxed as the strange energies that flow in Orion's veins seeped into the wounds of his opponent and healed him.

"That is good stuff." Hal commented, fatigue in his voice. Orion huffed his thank you as he too was just as tired.

"Thanks." After the healing, both men looked at the carnage in silence, trying to catch their collective breaths. They both sat down on the remains of the last Vaporizer drone

"So," Hal started. "Guess that means we start fighting each other again, huh?"

"Afraid so." Orion answered. He got up and summoned his sword and shield. "The good news for you is that I am spent. So, whaddya say? Mano-e-Mano?" Orion asked, leaving out the fact that his ability to teleport is starting to come back to him, and still had his barrier and Atomization, which he could have used earlier had Hal not suggested his plan, but he was saving those for later.

Hal checked his pistol, and he still had 3 full reloads and he has not used his special ammo for his gun, had almost no ammo for his submachine pistol and one last full magazine for his ACR. But using his profiler, he could see a few power sources he can hack into to turn this around, but he doesn't need to know that.

"Not fair when I have a blunt stick." Hal pointed out, not mentioning his baton's taser function.

In response, Orion made another sword and tossed it to Hal, who caught it mid-air, holding the grip. "Why don't you put down the gun and face me without the guns, though you can keep you hand guns if you like." Orion's tone was slightly friendly, but his face was stony.

Deciding to play along, Hal put his ACR and MP9 down and dual wielded Orion's borrowed sword and his baton, in case he needed it.

He walked towards Orion, silent and determined with his opponent just the same. No more words needed to be said, both men knew only one of them would walk away, with the loser's fate in the victor's hands. This ends now.

Both men charged at each other, as Orion moved to thrust his blade forward as Hal sidesteps and used his baton to try and knock his sword out of his arm to no success, while bringing his sword down on Orion, who parries with his shield. Pushing Hal back, Orion attempts to rush Hal, but his baton kept his sword from dealing a major blow against Hal, aside from cutting up his coat.

Both men were going back and forth, trying to get the upper hand. While Hal is not used to fighting with a sword, his baton skills kept him from being skewered as Orion tried to find an opening. Orion, in turn, was constantly being tripped up by his baton, as it gave a bruise to his left cheek and almost knocked his goggles out of the way.

Recovering, Orion bashed his shield in an attempt to knock Hal over, and only makes him stumble. Taking the opportunity, the wizard turned his sword in a backhanded motion in a horizontal slash to knock Hal down, or wound or kill him. Hal decided to let momentum take him down or he would get a sword to the stomach as he fell flat on his back. Orion capitalized by trying to thrust at him, but narrowly misses, allowing Hal to trip him up and he dropped his sword so he can hold Orion's shield and used his baton to hit his pelvis, which earns a howl of pain when the force of his baton nearly shatters the pelvis and the femur bone connected to it.

Returning the favor, his foe bashed his shield, breaking Hal's nose and pushing him back. Bleeding now from his nose, the Fixer did a much more debilitating hit on Orion, who was walking erratically and can't stand up straight, thanks to the beating. With his shield weighing him down, he got rid of it and decided he needed to use his trump cards in order to get the win. Hal stood once more; alert for anything Orion can pull out of his sleeve.

Orion pulled his sapphires and emeralds, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Unfortunately, he was close to a nearby drone that still had a function power source, something Hal noticed easily. Taking advantage, he hacked into it and overloaded the weapon, blowing it up and wounding Orion's left flank, knocking his gems out of his hand.

Taking advantage, Hal took out his gun and fired repeatedly on Orion, who took cover behind a nearby destroyed turret. Cursing slightly, he began to chant a fire spell when he suddenly saw Hal using the turret as a jumping platform for Hal to drop kick Orion, recovering quickly and aiming his gun at Orion to end this.

Orion thought fast and threw a sapphire in the air and Hal recognized what will happen next and shielded his eyes, which was brief but long enough for Orion to get out of that predicament easily. "Nice moves." Hal commented.

"Thanks" Grunted Orion, who recovered enough to hurl fire at Orion, who ducked behind the drone. Then, in a feat of cunning, Orion used water to drench the area Hal was in and used lightning on the floor. The results were immediate as Hal was shocked out and was currently feeling enough voltage as a Taser shot would normally feel. This threw him to the ground as he was still twitching. While this worked, it also tired out Orion, who focus his remaining energy into that attack and also left him worn out.

Nevertheless, he began to move to where Hal was, and was shocked to see that he was gone. "Where did he go?"

Meanwhile, the Fixer crawled away from the area as he hid behind a downed turret, still getting twitches after wards. Despite the attack, Orion's strategy would have ended the match right there, had he been facing down someone who did not know how being shot a taser gun feels like nor be able to recover from it just as quickly. It was hard, but Hal managed to recover. Orion was still searching for him, though, so he will need to have a plan of attack.

Getting out an electronic lure, Hal threw it near a few dead drones and activated it, drawing Orion's attention.

Orion was startled, but made his way towards the lure, trying to see if he can get a bead on his opponent. When he made it there, he saw it was just a small cellphone-like device that was making weird sounds. Orion spotted the IED in time before Hal detonated and creates a barrier with his gems, protecting him from the majority of the blast, but not unscathed as shrapnel hit his arms and the shockwave knocked the air out of his lungs, as though he was hit with the force of a sledgehammer, and knocked him down.

Hal got out of his hiding place and ran to his opponent's location. Orion was still conscious, but only barely, as he saw his opponent coming right at him. With his arms wounded and at the complete mercy of his opponent now, he has no other choice but to use his last trump card if he wants to get out of this alive. Using all his gems in the wand and using it to aim, Orion began to focus as his last hope would be his Atomization move, as it literally atomizes the target, but renders user unconscious due to such energies needed to make such power needed for his attack.

Hal saw Orion raise his wand, seeing a weird red energy gather at it. He did not know what it was, but he could tell from the look on Orion's face that he was going all out now, especially in his condition. With time slowing down, Hal took out his Chrome handgun and fired two shot at Orion, with one round hitting his left shoulder and the other hitting the arm that was holding the wand, causing his aim to go off and the energy wave that left his wand literally turned whatever was in the way into atoms, stunning Hal for a moment before the wave passed to an already unstable pillar, which begins to buckle as the part that held the ceiling was blasted off and caused it to fall, coincidentally, on Hal.

He narrowly ducks out of the way, but gets pinned by the debris, on his left leg. Hal tries to wedge it out but cant. As he tried to find a way to get out, he saw that his opponent was unconscious and wont wake up anytime soon, the pain that came from his wounds plus the strain of his magic too much to handle.

Hal raised his gun and was about to fire when he hesitated. He knew that killing this man would win the round, but it was optional. On one hand, the man tried to kill him and got a good few hits in, so that alone warrants a bullet to the head, but on the other, he helped him and healed him during the time when the drones attacked them, and so he was conflicted.

In the end though, he lowered his gun, opting instead to free himself, which he did after a while. Limping at his opponent's unconscious form, Hal could kill him now, but refused to, because as much as a brutal, stone-cold killer as he was, he doesn't end anyone without good reason, whether it'd be about money or something else, he kills only when its either him or his enemy. However, this "enemy" could have given him the backstab anytime he wanted when they were working together, but did not, and Hal never holds a grudge on anyone like that, since in this so-called tournament, they seem to be good guys for now. Hal doubted everyone who joined here has good intentions, but he got out of the Fixer business because he did not want to kill more people in senseless violence anymore, so this tournament was a breath of fresh air to him: To have the option to kill or give mercy, something his former lifestyle did not have the luxury of giving him.

So instead, Hal went over to where he placed his duffel bag, which was surprisingly untouched by the chaos, and pulled out some cuffs he would use to bind his targets and went over and handcuffed Orion.

"I win." Hal said simply. The Caretaker now made himself known.


Hal was contemplating on what he would do next when Mercurio, his robot "guide" came up to him, surprisingly without any sound, giving Hal a heart attack when he placed his metal appendage on his shoulder(that and he got his baton out and nearly beat the robot).

Despite being at the mercy of Hal, Mercurio "cheerfully" greeted him. "Congratulations! I trust everything is well now, is it?"

Scowling, Hal let go but he still had his hand on the baton, with the thumb on the taser activation switch. "Nice of you to just conveniently appear right now, huh?" Hal was currently dripping with sarcasm in his fake nice voice. Mercurio took it in stride, though.

"My apologies, but my Master made sure that when a round starts, I am to be indisposed until the round is over." Hal would have spoken up, but an audible groan brought his attention, as Orion came to.

"Whu-, where?" He was obviously disorientated as the pain hit him hard. He grunted and helped him up, mindful of the wounds. "It's over. I won." Hal went straight to the point, but Orion had trouble wrapping that idea around his head.

"What?! But you-"He trailed off, knowing full well what should have happened.

"Save it. There is a good difference between Fixer and Crazed gun man. And I am a Fixer." He left out the fact that he was a Fixer, but still, he needed to make sure that this guy gets the point.

"So you are a softie?" Orion jibed, which was kind of stupid considering that Hal could still put a bullet in his head with that smart aleck.

"I'm a professional." Hal corrected. "It means that I have a lot of ways to solve a problem and killing is just one part of how a job can be finished. I have standards myself: Be polite, be efficient, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet." Orion was about to say something that could have dramatically lower his chance of staying alive when Hal stopped him.

"As for sparing you, I don't murder people indiscriminately and you did help me out, so consider this my debt for you repaid." Hal explained. Orion seemed to be unconvinced but kept it to himself since he is lucky that his foe did not execute him.

"So what happens now?" Hal asked Mercurio, but his answer came not from the robot, but from a bright blue light that seemed to be centered on Orion.

"Guess I'm outta here, huh?" Orion mused, but stood up shakily, and grinned at Hal. "Maybe someday, you and I get a rematch." Hal nodded in return "Just take the kid gloves off and I might oblige you." Both men chuckled as the light intensified and Hal turned away. As the light died, Orion was no longer around.

"So he went back home, just like that?" Hal asked his guide, who nodded. "Yes, and as you can see, Master Durandal, that if your opponent spares you, you can be able to return home without any fuss."

Hal nodded and suddenly another bright light shined over him, blinding him once more and afterwards, his bag that he was carrying was no more. "Where the hell is my bag?"

Mercurio explained. "My master has seen fit to give you a pocket dimension of sorts to help carry all your items without being weighed down, and you can access them through here." He gave Hal a small white cube device (AN: The cube thing in Resident Evil 6 used by Ada Wong). Hal got it and soon, he was greeted with an interface that showed him his guns and gadgets (AN: Watch Dogs' Interface menu). "Could've used this earlier." Hal muttered.

"My master thinks you might need it later on." Hal was confused why the Caretaker would give this to him as the robot explained. "As you may have noticed, you were able to easily bypass the security firewalls in the drones and turn them against each other. While my master praises your skills, he has given me a message for you: The next rounds that you will enter into will not have the same laxity as these drones here. It would be wise to change your approach as the next rounds will have a higher firewall security than the previous round, assuming you get that far. By the way, my master has also refilled your ammo stocks with that, so you are now ok. If you wish any food or beverages, let me know so I may tend to your needs."

Hal narrowed his eyes at that but he nodded. Of course the main head honcho would get pissed at some point when control from his little game is taken away from him, but given the fact that he has no other means of getting out alive aside from his guns and gadgets, he may have to find a way into the system. "Oh! And before I forget…" Mercurio exclaimed, and he held out his hand and touched Hal's shoulder, and suddenly, Hal was cloaked in blinding light. After that, Hal inspected himself and was shocked. His clothes were fixed, his wounds heal and even the hat he lost was back in its place. "Very handy trick there, pal." Hal complimented, as Mercurio gave a slight bow.

"Very well, then. We shall be off. I will lead the way for you. " Mercurio said and marched off ahead.

Hal looked at the room he was in. It was still littered with the wrecks of drones and Hal realized that not a lot of things were disclosed to him. In fact, what guarantee does he have that his host will not betray him right there?

Too many unknowns for his taste, Hal began to take his phone when he realized his spare was with Orion. "Shit, looks like I will have to be more careful with these things. These Dead Sec phones are not easy to come by." After a while, he started to walk towards Mercurio, who did not seem to wait for guest to catch up, but Hal did not mind that. He wondered if he can access his phone from here, and activated his phone, and found the camera function on the phone.

{Location Unknown}

Hal's view of the world as dark, very dark as it was dimly lit and the only light he could make out of was a computer monitor of some kind. He could hear haggard breathing and Orion was simply struggling to get out of something. Also, his view was slanted as his phone was slightly titled from the pocket due to his position, which meant that Orion was being strung up on something, and that did little to ease Hal's tension about what happens to a loser in the tournament.

And then he saw it. It was cloaked in shadow, with the light from the monitor only giving a silhouette of the thing on his camera but it was clear that it was inhuman.

And it came closer and closer. He then heard Orion speak out.

"Who are you?"

The creature laughed, as though he heard a good joke.

"What I am is not important child, what matters is what will you be when I am done with you." It cackled and seemingly angered Orion.

"LET ME GO, YOU BASTARD, OR I WILL TURN YOU INTO ASH!" Orion hollered, but it served only to amuse it even further.

"Such fire, such spirit, and such power." It said and apparently came into full view of Orion because Orion gasped audibly, giving Hal the chills.

"I shall enjoy using those attributes and feeding them to the corruption indeed, but this is just the start! Just think: 15 driven competitors will fall, just like you did. And they have no idea that death is a mercy compared to what I will do to you now." Laughing maniacally, Orion started screaming.

{Back with Hal}

Mercurio went on for a while until he noticed that his guest was not behind him. "Hmmm, where did he- Ahhh there you are!" He approached Hal Durandal slowly and stopped, so he could catch up. While he was just a protocol drone whose sole purpose was to guide his designated target, he did notice a few things.

Hal was pale, almost white as snow, and he was sweating profusely. Something troubled his guest greatly.

"Are you in need of assistance, Master Durandal? You seem, ill." Mercurio offered and Hal looked at him with slight apprehension, but he coughed and soon his demeanor was back to its usual calm self. "Nothing, go on ahead."

"Very well then." The drone sauntered off ahead as Hal began to pound the wall with his left fist.

He did not know what happened to Orion, nor did he want to know what that thing did to him. But what he did know was this: It was a trap from the get-go, with at least 8 other fools who may or may not know what is about to transpire. But he knew, and Hal realized that if he lost and his opponent showed mercy, he may end up facing whatever horror Orion faced. Taking a moment to compose himself, he planned as he moved to join his "friend" (using the term lightly).

He should have known. In his job, he had a few times where the client would backstab him on more than a few occasions. He was more cautious as a result and he should have known better than to trust his host. For some reason the creature did not notice Hal's phone in Orion's pocket but it would be a matter of time before he was caught, so he would have to find a way to access the server of this station from that phone, since wherever it was, seems to be connected to it in some way. If Orion was still alive, he might have a chance, since he would be inside the place where the that computer was but now he had to keep a façade of ignorance when facing down Mercurio from now on.

He began to plan his next move. This was now more than just winning. He was now in it to survive.

And Hal Durandal was not going to be on the receiving end of this Caretaker's net.

AN: FINALLY! Second chapter is done and I hope your rate and review it. Now, depending on how the judges see it, Hal could be there with the Caretaker instead of Orion, so if that is the case, the next chapter would be the next round, or me trying to outsmart and ancient and evil creature.