The Ripper has collected in the votes, and the refrigerated crates containing our gladiators have been winched down to the arena floor on rusty cranes. It’s time to set them loose.
Tonight’s arena will be a recreation of the bleak Siberian Pacific coast, the most apt place of battle for our contestants. Snow and ice brought by train from Wales, and cold grey shingle will surely make these arctic giants feel at home. Let’s meet them.
Round one, fight one: Siberian Struggle
Weighing in at four tons and with six metres between its outstretched clawtips, The Crustacean Sensation from Yokohama Japan... STEEEEAMCRAAAAB
To celebrate their rapid industrialisation and adoption of civilised culture, the Japanese government has sent this genteel ambassador for the tournament. A colossal spider crab trawled up from abyssal depths off Kamchatka and reinforced with steel and hydraulic joints, steamcrab moves slowly but inevitably on land. Striding elegantly in his rocklike armour, billowing exhaust from the reactor built into his carapace, steamcrab is a wonder to behold. He is also an impeccable gentleman, being possessed of a fancy hat, a bow tie and a dashing brass combat monocle. Even though he also has an iron shearing claw and a grille spewing scalding steam at ground level, he will murder his opponents with honour and civility.
Top Trumps Scores:
Size: 18ft across, with a 6ft diameter body core. 4 tons in weight, mostly in armour.
Attack: 9/10 – a powered iron shearing claw and scalding steam exhaust.
Defence: 9/10 – steel-reinforced calcite armour, and plenty of boiler plating.
Resilience: 5/10 – this fellow barely registers pain, although is susceptible to leg loss
Evil: 1/10 – while awesome, this gent has little malice to him, and is thus easily fooled.
Rage: 1/10 – a major flaw of steamcrab is his inability to work up a good battle fury.
Likes: Buckets of rotting seaweed, Western Sophistication, fish heads, coal and chess
Dislikes: Enemies of the Japanese Empire, dishonour, rust.
Weighing in at ten tons and fifteen feet high at the shoulder, The Mummified Monster of the Mad Monk... REEEEEEANIMAMMUT
Believed to be a pet project of the notorious Russian cleric Rasputin, this unloveable hulk died twenty thousand years ago and was frozen in a snowdrift. Now with the aid of unspeakable black sorcery and a few hundred gallons of formaldehyde, the sinister sorcerer has brought it back to all three and a bit of its remaining feet. Shambling along in a comet trail of flies, gnats and corpse beetles, this beast barely knows how to walk – but it hasn’t forgotten how to kill. It has no infectious zombie powers, but it makes up for that in sheer presence and mass.
Top Trumps Scores:
Size: 15ft high, weighing ten tons.
Attack: 8/10 – Devastating amounts of brute force and inertia behind smashing legs and tusks.
Defence: 4/10 – Saturated hair and worm-chewed dead flesh, with a few metal plates.
Resilience: 10/10 – Reanimut will fight until it is no longer joined together.
Evil: 8/10 – Given life but no soul by Rasputin’s black magic, this beast has a black heart.
Rage: 4/10 – Foul tempered but hopelessly addled, this blundering behemoth has not the presence of mind for real anger.
Likes: Trying to remember the ice age, trampling, vodka.
Dislikes: having its brain chewed by birds.
Steam from the Crustacean's herbal tea rolls and blends with his engine exhaust in the icy stillness of the arena, as a thousand gentlemen watch on with their breath held. Everyone has their eyes on the immense figure lumbering out from beneath a raised portcullis at the arena wall - everyone but steamcrab. As the wheezing behemoth creeps towards him like a motile hill through billowing steam, he concentrates on the fine porcelain cup held between his pincers and calms himself. His enemy's attack is inevitable, and must be met in a dignified fashion.
The mammoth picks up speed, shedding clumps of rotten fur and mouldy bone splinters with each lopsided lurch forwards. Soon, the floor is shaking...
The charge builds, and with just thirty painful yards left to close, steamcrab puts down his cup and turns to embrace his foe with pneumatic claws spread as wide as three men standing. The wall of stinking, soggy fur and prehistoric gristle hits the stalwart cyborg, and everything is obscured in a titanic burst of vapour as he vents superheated gas to cope with the impact. Ice sublimes into hot steam and even the audience is doused in swirling mist, making it impossible to tell who has survived the collision...
At last the fog rises, and presents a grim scene. Reanimammut stands at the head of a bloody furrow carved in the snow the trailing of his smashed leg, gently steaming. Age-brittled limbs are definitely buckled by the impact, but there is no fighting left to be done. All that remains of steamcrab is a salmon-coloured stain in the snow and a few shattered leg pieces. Reanimammut glugs a few gallons of vodka from the tank attached to his liver and sinks down to hibernate on the spot of his victory...
But hold on, what's this?
Something isn't right...
- Jesus Christ
STEAMCRAB WINS! FOUR LEGS DOWN BUT SIX LEFT! ROUND TWO COCKSUCKERS!!!!!!!
Another letter from everyone's favourite prostitute disecting madman has arrived. What has he been up to?