Here we are, after much delay at the end of Do You Even Duel Tournament 3: Couples Edition. The Final Combatants are Sue and Reed Richards (@SecraXP) vs. Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade (@MrNiceGuy18_58).
Read the story, written by TGShep to reveal the victor.
“Sue,” Reed Richards said, muffled from behind his hands. “Please tell me you didn’t start this?”
Sue Richards, the Invisible Woman, popped her head over the edge of the up turned blackjack table and scanned the room. The strange pair of antagonists—and for her to call them strange meant there were some really odd things happening—had taken shelter of their own behind a bank of slot machines. The last of the civilians had made their screaming exit from the casino floor so the air was filled with the mindless clinking and whirring and beeping of the various electronic money-suckers, but quiet otherwise. In fact, Sue thought she could hear the sound of conversation from the other couple, all sibilant hissing and angry declarations.
Glass from the shattered mirrors of the ceiling, the crystal chandeliers and the drinks on the demolished tables pattered down around them, along with streams of liquid and the occasional casino chip.
“If by start it you mean defended myself when someone tried to control my mind, then yes Reed, I started it,” Sue said in a sour voice. She dropped down but kept herself in an easy crouch, ready to move at a moment’s notice.
Reed looked up at her with a plaintive stare. “This was supposed to be a charity event, for the Future Foundation. Why can’t we have nice things?”
“I’m just glad the children aren’t here,” Sue responded. “How long before Johnny and Ben arrive?”
“Forever basically. We’re on our own.” He stretched, elongating his neck like a snake till he could peer over the edge of the table himself. “Do you recognize either of them?”
“No…but—don’t you think the man kinda of looks like an older version of Bucky Barnes?’
“Mara,” Luke Sykwalker said in a calm, even tone. “Did you start this?”
“Yes,” Mara Jade Skywalker responded shortly, peering through the gaps between the garishly lit gambling machines. “That woman’s got Force powers, strong ones. Since neither of us sense any other Jedi around she must be Sith.”
“That’s…not the only explanation,” Luke said, his mouth set in a thin line.
“Well, since we’re lost on this strange world I didn’t think it was time to risk diplomacy,” his wife snapped back at him.
“Risk dipl—I’m really glad Leia isn’t around to hear that, I’d never live it down,” Luke muttered.
Mara smiled suddenly, the fierce brightness of her eyes sending a jolt of love and desire through him. “You didn’t marry me because I’m a simpering politician.” She half-rose, still crouching enough not to be seen and activated her light saber, the purple beam slashing right through an overturned wooden stool, setting it aflame for a brief flash.
Mara gathered herself and leapt in one smooth motion over the machines, towards the other couple.
“Mara, don’t—” Luke didn’t get any further, she was gone. He pinched the bridge of his nose with his bionic hand. “Master Yoda, Master Kenobi, I apologize for every time I did something like this to either of you.”
In the back of his mind, two ghostly chuckles sounded in concert.
Luke Skywalker drew his own light saber and rose, ready to back up his wife.
“Here she comes!” Yelped Reed, shoving himself backwards across the carpet. “And she’s got some sort of energy weapon.”
Sue Richards stood and slammed her hands outwards, a force field wave sweeping the broken furniture and debris towards their attacker. The red haired woman cut a roulette table in half like it was nothing, her laser sword spinning in graceful sweeps. She moved like Iron Fist, like Black Widow, like Shang-Chi — she danced behind her weapon, all smooth control and perfect timing. It crackled audibly, like an open flame, the edge shimmering purple light.
Scooping up a handful of chips, Reed elongated his fingers, pulling them back like the rubber band of a sling shot and began pinging the projectiles at the woman.
The Richards heard her annoyed growl from across the room. She slashed the chips out of the air as they closed on her, never missing. Her dexterity was astonishing.
Behind her the sandy-brown haired man appeared, a laser sword of his own in his hand but held down at his side. He moved forward with calm deliberation. Reed targeted him with some of the chips.
He cocked his head and held up his free hand and the chips just…stopped in mid-air, then fell down. Sue made an annoyed noise and flipped her left hand at him, extending a whip-like forcefield to grab him around the torso. For a moment he was held. His companion snarled in rage and gestured with her own hand, as though throwing something at the Invisible Woman.
Sue made a noise deep in her gut, like she’d been punched, but clenched her fist. Her forcefield smashed the redhead backwards, into the slot machines to sprawl for a moment, shocked. The man’s head whipped around, following her flight, and his expression shifted to something like quiet anger.
He went very still and … even Reed felt it. The sudden rush of power, tingling the air like the molecules themselves were spinning in the wrong direction.
Directed at Sue.
Reed hurled himself across the room in one elongated stretch from his very toes, spinning himself around and around the man into a straight jacket of his own rubberized flesh.
He hate fighting but there was no way he let anyone hurt Sue.
The redhead rose up, groggily shaking her head and brandished her laser sword at Reed, charging him in a wild rush.
Sue smashed her backwards again, this time over at least two banks of the slot machines, right out of view.
Reed tightened himself around the man like an anaconda, and felt his struggling stop.
Luke let the surge of rage and fear for Mara pass through him, into the void. It was probably for the best he hadn’t let that Force attack go — he might have killed the blond woman, recklessly.
Instead he found himself wrapped and muffled by — by the body of the man she was with. An older man, with grey in his hair, but still vigorous and highly protective of the woman. His very form had stretched and changed, like plasma in a tube or a cloth blowing in the wind. Whatever his strange powers were, they were formidable.
The blond woman certainly appeared to be a Force user but he felt nothing from her, even at the brunt of her attack. And he’d never seen powers like the man’s before. Things were not what they seemed.
Luke felt the air being pushed from his lungs so he took one last breath and invoked the Force to fix the oxygen into his very cells. He stopped breathing and went limp, giving the impression he was losing consciousness.
Well, whatever he was, the stretching man was no hardened warrior. He relaxed his grip as soon as he felt Luke sag.
“You want to let me go,” Luke whispered. The woman had apparently sensed Mara attempting to use Jedi mind tricks on her; would the man?
A confused expression passed over the older man’s face and his grip loosened, his grotesquely elongated torso and distorted limbs contracting to a more normal shape as he pulled away from Luke.
A howl of rage erupted from behind the gambling machines and swathe of them were sliced in half by a glowing purple light saber blade. Sparks showered down, causing wisps of smoke to start up from the carpet. Luke felt a surge of the Force.
The machines shattered into a million pieces, flying towards the blond woman at vicious speeds. Mara strode forward behind the weaponized wreckage, her saber flashing, her eyes furious.
The other woman raised her hands, her face set in deadly concentration and pushed outwards. The debris stopped dead as though hitting a wall, then was flung back into the air, this time headed towards Mara.
Light saber flashing, Mara Jade-Skywalker stalked forward, batting the junk out of the air like flies under her hand, murder in her eyes.
The blond winked out of existence.
Mara raised her chin like a blood hound scenting the air and suddenly slashed to one side, her light saber slamming to an abrupt halt against another of those invisible barriers the other woman could produce. She swung her blade hard, once, twice, cutting sparks from the very air.
The blond was back in view, her hands up, staggering backwards against the combined might of Mara’s saber and the Force.
Reed was barely aware he’d loosened his grip on the man, watching his wife duel with this energy sword wielding maniac. She seemed to have telekinetic powers too, uncanny ones. Was she a magician? Should he call Doctor Strange?
“Are you Jedi?” Asked the man he’d been holding. There was something so genuinely hopeful in his voice Reed never considered not answering.
“What’s a Jedi?” Reed asked in turn, his body stretching out and up, getting ready to strike at the red head.
“Oh, for the love of—” the man said. “Please just stay here.”
Reed felt something ghosting at the back of his mind, a deep desire to do what this very reasonable person was saying—
Abruptly he contracted himself around the man again, snaking his head in a loop to stare him in the face.
From his shocked and slightly disgusted expression the way Reed’s body stretched and distended was very unnerving.
“Don’t,” Reed snapped. “Just don’t; that’s how this all started. The red-head tried to control Sue’s mind and that’s just not something that goes down well with us.”
They studied each other and slowly the man Reed contained nodded. “I apologize. It won’t happen again. But right now—Mara won’t stop unless I stop her.”
“Neither will Sue.”
“Are you willing to give me a moment’s benefit of the doubt? I swear, we don’t really…I don’t really want to fight you. We just want to get home.”
Reed stared at him, his head wavering back and forth like a snake. There was no attempt to control his mind again and the man wasn’t fighting him, not even with that laser sword—
The laser sword. The hilt was actually pressed against Reed’s body. If the man had activated it, it might have sliced Reed in half.
But he hadn’t.
Reed contracted back down to his normal size, releasing the other man.
“Don’t interfere!” He said, urgently. “It will just motivate her!”
The man turned and launched himself at the brawling women. Reed coiled himself down, ready to intervene in a breath if he’d been wrong, watching breathlessly as the redhead advanced on Sue, cutting the air like Wolverine.
That conversation had delayed Luke long enough that Mara made it all the way to the other woman. For a long moment they contested back and forth, Mara taking a step forward, the other woman driving her back.
Then Mara raised her light saber and speared it into the invisible barrier between them. The blade sparked and shuddered, making a screaming wail. The blond woman blanched and staggered backwards again, pressing her shaking hands out. Mara advanced another step, leading with her saber, her face a dead mask.
The barrier popped like a soap bubble and Mara lunged forward like a fencer-
-And met Luke’s saber an inch from the other woman’s face.
For a moment the two Skywalker’s contended for dominance, then Mara came back to herself, her eyes shocked.
The blond woman was staring at the saber blades in horror, eyes wide, aware she’d almost been killed.
“Before we do anything irrevocable, my love,” Luke said gently, “perhaps we could try a little….diplomacy?”
Winners: Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade!
You may view the full results here.
AKA Sceritz, AKA Ophan Black Panther. A cosmic obliterator of the IVth Wall and breaker of chains of the hordes of fandoms scattered throughout the multiverse. Architect of DoYouEvenComicBook.com and Creator of IVWall.net.