Is this thing back on?
Well, the good news is... ah...
You know what, I think I'd better patch you through to the bridge.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to zoofights.
So, that good news I mentioned?
Well, we've nearly made it to Jupiter, and 83% of passengers survived cryosleep, which is a new personal best for the zoofights corporation.
We have, however, run into a little snag while negotiating the orbit of the volcanic moon, Io.
A 29 million ton snag to be precise - the mining vessel Oberon, which we abandoned 10 years ago after cavorite prices crashed. One of our tugs has smashed into the thing, and we've taken a bollocking from the debris.
You may be experiencing a loss of pressure in some parts of the station, but don't panic - rest assured there are spacesuits aplenty behind the bar, and almost enough helmets to go with them!
We've taken a beating, but nevertheless, the show must go on. Our engineers are already hard at work in our ordnance bays, outfitting two heavy drop pods for entry into Io's atmosphere.
In them will be the first two contestants in Round Two of zoofights - I'll introduce them as soon as I've put out this fire and found a drink...
On the fissured volcanic hellscape of Io, a contender who has made its name through speed and guile takes on a savage monster seething with pneumatic anger...
Sports fans, put your hands together for:
A cabal of ancient chinese scholars spent the week deep in consultation with our ruthless surgineers, outfitting their saurian champion for his battle with the monstrous Fijian contender. A course of tailored DNA retroviruses have amped up the noble beast's avian characteristics, to give a lighter structure and greater balance in flight, which is achieved by a battery of four VTOL turbines. Battleopteryx has been plated in ceramic armour, and retains its rockets, blades and flamethrowers. Meanwhile, its legs have been refitted as hydraulic harpoon cannons, launching hypervibrating metal claws up to fifty feet. Battleopteryx is offended by his opponent's looted chinese metal, and intends to punish the offence by death in the name of the Dynasty.
And in the second pod, weighing in at 17 tons, the benthic bastard, the seizure from polynesia, I give you:
The Fijian team, furious at the damage wrought by the Riot Yeti, dragged their monster down into the bilges of the station and got to work with wrenches, saltwater and acetylene torches. As a result of a lucrative sponsorship deal with Spiders™, they were able to obtain funding for an easter island head wreathed in mystical flame, which they have lashed to the trunk of the last tree on Rapa Nui to make a brutal club for their champion. Also with help from Spiders™, Tethys has been fitted with a web cannon capable of firing giant surges of webbing from a tank full of Spiders™, and a pair of venom-filled diamond-needled syringes to deal with any close quarters attacks.
Fun fact about Spiders: Did you know? The brown recluse prefers to stay away from humans and is actually important to the environment.
The impact of Battleopteryx's drop pod barely registers above the cacophony of falling debris and raging magma, in the fissure where the diesel-stinking shark waits with his club and his whirling saw.
The hatch cracks open, letting in Io's furious light, and the Chinese warbird zooms out on a pillar of jet exhaust. It tears down the ravine under the orange glare of Jupiter, loading rockets and priming its lethal claws...
As the ceramic-armoured avenger streaks closer, Tethys raises his huge, rusting arms and roars a challenge. Winging up his flaming obelisk for a champion's swing, the hateful hammerhead grinds forward to meet his speeding prey...
Straining his turbojets to white heat, Battleopteryx closes with the god-shark before it can bring its club to bear, and launches his claws at point blank range.
Tethys clubs at the thrashing dinosaur with his web cannon and gnashes at the scalding volcanic air in frustration, unable to lock his jaws onto his enemy.
Cloying gouts of Spider™web gush past Battleopteryx, while its bronze-bladed tail carves rents in the thick hide of the shark.
But Tethys is not as slow as he looks, and is soon rearing his vicious circular saw to carve into the avian while it is arrogant enough to stay in close combat...
With technologically-enhanced reflexes, the Imperial Champion thrusts upward and dodges the saw, yet keeps its claws firmly hooked in Tethys.
Powering up to full throttle once more, Battleopteryx surges out into the blistering air above the magma, jerking the shark towards the edge.
Jet engines whine and metal creaks, as all 15 tons of Tethys are dragged to the smoking precipice. Digger claws scramble at crumbling basalt, and it seems the Fijian fury is on the verge of overbalancing into hell...
But Battleopteryx is not having it that easy. With a roar of indignation, Tethys drops his club to grab the chain hooked into his shoulder, regains a momentary foothold, and heaves with all his strength.
The bird is slammed into the hot rock wall, ceramic shattering and hollow bones snapping. Leaking blood and hydraulic fluid, the micronesian monster lurches from the precipice and begins hulking towards his fallen foe.
Nothing shows in his black eyes but a deep, deep hunger as the bird steadies itself to fight back...
But Tethys will have none of this bullshit. Using the formidable power of Spiders™, he lands a clean shot from his web cannon while Battleopteryx is down, drenching the dinosaur in heavy webbing.
Battleopteryx slashes wildly with his wings, tearing the thick webbing to shreads, but it keeps him secured to the jagged rocks as his death thunders closer.
The shark stares with impersonal rage, his circular saw screams in the smoke-laden air, and a rain of glowing ash begins to fall. But as the giant digger claws scramble closer, Battleopteryx manages to free one rocket- augmented forearm...
Although Battleopteryx doesn't have the benefit of illegal missiles this time, steel and explosives are always good in a pinch.
With devastating accuracy, the noble beast unloads a rocket into each of Tethys' eyestalks, blinding the colossal hammerhead instantly.
The beast staggers onwards relentlessly, swinging its claws and belching smoke, but looks unsteady on its feet. Will it blunder sightlessly into the magma, or at least buy Battleopteryx some more time to escape...
Tethys knows how to play an opportunity when he sees one. Wasting no time on ceremony, the gargantuan sea monster lunges at his entangled foe and finally gets in the bite he has been yearning for.
Chomping the neck in two with a splinter of ceramic and a fountain of viscous gore, the shark smashes his claws against the ground and howls in triumph - he is in to the semi finals.
Fun fact about spiders: Spiders™ make great pets, and can be trained to go for walks, beg for treats, and complete your business accounts.