not dragon used to RPG ... a loooooooooooooooonnnnngggg time ago. Last time I played 01 was good, 00 was no longer the critical hit that it once was. Times and rules change. Since I don't have the skills for video games, I had to fall back on what I know. Since MKC didn't get picked back up, I spent some time figuring out how to rescue our errant godling ... cheers.

Idle Time

Rayden felt the sour taste of defeat as Shao Kahn smiled under his mask. Rayden, Lord of Thunder, mentor to the Champions of EarthRealm, was now his captive. Shao Kahn rose to the occasion by taking out all of his anger and previous frustration on his rival, opponent and brother. Soon the scion of the Elder Gods would know the most bitter levels of defeat.

Beaten, dirty, and disheveled, Rayden was dragged to the foot of the stairway leading to Shao Kahn's skull throne. One by one, Shao Kahn pulled forth his trophies: Vorpax' cloak, Taja's overshirt, Kung Lao's shirt, Siro's dagger, the list was long and each piece felt like a hot iron piercing the flesh of the defeated godling. EarthRealm lay open and defenseless because of Rayden's foolish arrogance; because of a distraction he should have seen through. Kung Lao was dead as were his companions and those who might have stood in his place. EarthRealm would be swallowed by the darkness of Shao Kahn's mad ambition.

"So, now you're stranded in Shao Kahn's throne room. Your champions are dead. Most of the rest of those who might have helped you are dead and EarthRealm is at stake. What are you gonna do?" the DM asked with a smirk, victory lighting his dark eyes much as it lit Shao Kahn's black orbs.

The player made a face, studied the board and his player sheets. Lord Rayden, Protector of EarthRealm, mentor of the champions and potential champions of Mortal Kombat, all around pretty cool godling, had just blown the roll of his career. Just when you need that 01 to come around, you roll 00. The whole shooting match seemed to have fallen into the bad guy's lap. He looked up at the ref with an odd smile on his face.

"Pray for rain?" he inquired with a laugh.

"What?" The DM scowled. What the hell was the player up to?

Oh my. That seemed to have hit a nerve. "Pray for rain," the Player reiterated.

"Rayden is stranded in OutWorld without his powers. What good is that gonna do? You've lost." The DM glowered at his opponent.

"Rayden's alive. That's something. Obviously Shao Kahn has something in mind for his brother's continued discomfiture. The longer Rayden stays alive, the better off things are," the Player analyzed the situation.

"You're not a druid," the ref pointed out.

"So I only get 5% to get an answer. And a 2% penalty because I'm in OutWorld where the Elder Gods have problems. So, do I get to roll or are you gonna be arbitrary?" This decision just felt right, so the Player pushed for it.

The ref looked disgusted. "Roll."

The Player took his percentile dice carefully in hand, rolled them around in his palm a few times, prayed that whatever gods of chance were out there were paying attention and *not* having fits of laughter at his expense. He rolled. Time seemed to stretch to infinity as the plastic polyhedrons rolled across the surface of the table and finally came to rest. 01. He practically upset the table as he bounced in his chair with glee.

The ref gave him a darkling look. "So, what's the big deal?"

The player pointed out the reference in the handbook. Rayden might be bereft of his powers in OutWorld, but that did not preclude his ability to *use* any errant lightning that struck him. And he had been granted rain, *inside* Shao Kahn's palace, not just his realm. It was the ref's turn to find out just what kind of rain.

The DM's face was a study in dark thoughts. He chose his dice seemingly at random, but both he and the player facing him knew better. He rolled. These dice were killers. They had ended several promising characters' careers with a turn of the side to the bad. 00.

"Shit!" The ref threw down his screen and his books and stomped off into the kitchen. "You have the luck of the damned, you know that!" he yelled as he pulled a couple of beers out of the fridge.

"Hey. You're the one who wanted to turn the video game into an rpg," the Player reminded him, grinning as he accepted the beer. So, thunderstorm in a palace ...

A dirty, unkempt, bewildered Rayden looked up into the recesses of the ceiling of Shao Kahn's throne room. Small drops of cool water fell in his face. The drops became heavier until the storm within became a torrent washing his face clean and plastering his hair to his head. He stood, face up turned, arms outstretched, receiving the beneficence of the storm, soaking up the power of the electricity playing above him.

Shao Kahn bellowed in rage. He was wet. He pulled his sword, knowing that somehow, bereft of powers as he was, Rayden had engineered this storm. He bounded down the stairs leading to his throne. Lightning slammed into the step before him, shattering stone, throwing the tyrant to the ground. He picked himself up in time to see lightning strike Rayden, turning the powerless god into an incandescent blaze of light. When the light died away, Rayden was gone.

Shao Kahn howled his displeasure into the mists above his throne.

**** end