We are preparing ourselves for what could be the greatest assault ever.

And right now, with the sun of high noon gleaming straight down on my pinkened head, I, Eryk Solbourne, King of Santa Barbara, Lord of the Surf Clan, Protector of Extreme Sports, stand alongside Abby Faulkner, the teenage girl and Surf Ronin who just twelve hours ago had a firm grip on my destiny.

Now I control my own destiny. And with that destiny... I wield my Destiny Points.

We stand at the beach. The blue ocean waves tickle my soft feet.

In the distance, abandoned oil rigs stand gracefully like relics of humanity’s destructive past. Sculptures to the true nature of Earth’s mightiest species. After we’re done with our attack, though, Earth will know a whole new meaning of brutality.

Brett must pay. Francis must be saved.

We are two beings against an army (a pirate army, even), and yet all I feel is the serene caresses of confidence. How can I feel

Many times in the past, such an event as a mighty attack on an overwhelming force would have set a sense of fear and anticipation. I would tense up, partially with a slight worry about the danger, and partially with an excitement shimmering below the surface. But here and now, I feel none of that.

Instead, I simply feel destiny before me.

Like the preparations of climactic battles, I feel the urge to find ceremonial war paint created from the haven root, bright pink and glittering with the masculine energy of a true warrior. However, there is no time for the frivolous ceremony that comes with war preparations.

No. We simply have a minute to rest our eyes with the nice ocean view of Santa Barbara, a mental second before the true trials are to begin.

(Though, I will admit that I changed into my War Skirt, as I have termed it; I wanted the freedom of movement that comes with such clothing in case our battle turns particularly deadly. Like all my male North Spiran ancestors, I will fight with the most noble of clothing there is.)

As one might do in such a scene, I make sure that my destiny runs strong, by bringing up my stats to make sure everything is going well.

My Life Points...

[19,488/20,000 LP.]

My Destiny Points...

[98 DP.]

My Destiny Cards...

Empathetic Link: Rank 7. Create a Mental Link with a target sentient being. Cost: 5500 LP.

Drop: Rank 1. Make someone fall over. Cost: 80 LP.

Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Satchel (Size: Extra Large).

Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Boomerang Scythe.

Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Bow and arrow.





I’m going to need more cards, aren’t I?

I have 98 Destiny Points, and I have four open slots in my Destiny Card hand. So I will fill all four of those empty cards using the Bulk Draw option. I have never had a need for it, but for twenty Destiny Points, one can fill their entire Destiny Card hand at once. I imagine it is increasingly useful in the higher ranks.

Since it would not be a net gain in Destiny Point savings were I to only draw four cards, I decide to discard [Drop.] Unfortunately, I never got a chance to honorably use the card, so scrapping it was the only logical choice.

[Drop] dissolves into metaphysical dust.


[+1 DP.]

[99 DP.]

Now with five open slots, I can fill out my entire hand at once. Here it goes...

[-20 DP.]

[79 DP remaining.]

The swirling vortex of my path rages before me, and out from that portal come five brand-new Destiny Cards:

Irregular Force: Rank 2. Interial mass is cut by 40 KG/s for 20 seconds. Cost: 500 LP.

Parch: Rank 2. Drain someone/thing of fluid and absorb it to become less thirsty. (It would take a few minutes of sustained parching to suck all fluid from a human and kill them, in case you were wondering.) Cost: 350 LP.

Perfect Clone: Rank 5. Make a clone for 5 days, Cost: 7600 LP.

Achievement Hammer: Rank 6. Unlock any Achivement Board reward instantly. Cost: 2600 LP.

Enliven: Rank 3. Invest a small nonliving thing with sentience. Such a low price for LIFE... Cost: 120 LP.


These are all some extremely good cards. I know that Bulk Purchasing cards tends to result in more diverse sets than individual draws, due to the mysterious algorithms of Destiny Itself, but this is superb. Not a single [Minor Heal] in sight!

The [Perfect Clone] card in particular is especially enticing, though it has a very high Life Point cost and should not be used lightly. But the ways it could be used are somewhat superb, I think.

I don’t know which of these cards could be of particular use in my battle to come, but the more options, the better.

Speaking of options, I should most likely alter my inventory, as well.

That boomerang scythe may be interesting, of course, but... I’m not so sure I’ll need it.

I turn to my comrade, Abby Faulkner. “Are you in need of a powerful new weapon?” I ask.

She eyes me with some level of disgust, just barely disguised by her formal reverence to the throne.

And without a firm response, I make my move anyway—I poof the boomerang scythe from my inventory and present it to her. It’s a massive weapon, almost taller than her, bladed on both ends, curved in just the correct angles that it would be able to fly back if thrown correctly. The skull design on the middle makes it clear that this is not a tool for agriculture, except for those agriculturists who are daring enough to use a throwing weapon to increase their efficiency.

We exchange a look.

She takes the weapon and tests it out, throwing it out to sea as far as she can.

It disappears beyond the horizon and past our line of sight.



In a bag behind me, sitting atop my surfboard, is the item that will truly make my day.

It’s... a bow and arrow set.

Yes, I already have one in my inventory.

This... is a second one.

For all my skills with the bow, I have not gained as much experience with the art of dual-wielding. But this Santa Barbara Pirate Mission will give me exactly the opportunity I need.

I take both bows and aim them around, getting a feel for my weapons.

Yes... Good.

I poof both into my inventory and take another look at Abby Faulkner.

We’re both ready for—


The boomerang scythe comes back, spinning at such a fast rotation that it almost looks like a solid object. Abby catches it without even moving her eyes.

Okay, now we’re both ready for the attack.

We take our surfboards and set off for the San Miguel Island where the rebel pirates are most likely to be. Let us pray to The Goddess that everything goes well.


A note from B. A. Baker (Thedude3445)

I always love a good battle preparations scene.

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About the author

B. A. Baker (Thedude3445)

Bio: I like to watch movies.

Avatar art by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

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