Good evening, Sports Fans, and a warm welcome to this, the penultimate battle of this year's tournament. This feed is coming to you live from my hastily barricaded office in ZFHQ - the power is out due to some kind of accident at a power station near the Jersey border, but I'm sure it's only temporary. As such, we've only got very intermittent live video feed - other than that, I'm going to have to relay tonight's action to you via slurred descriptions and crude biro scrawling based on what I can see from between the shutters of my office window.
For now, all I can tell you is that the streets are quiet, the moon is up, and Manhattan stinks of ectoplasm. Save for the sombre glow of a lighted blunt in the darkness out front of the old fire station, nothing is.... wait.... is that... the sound of an extraordinarily heavy car revving excessively?
Just got the above in from Ironichide - looks like he's out there somewhere with a polaroid and a portable fax machine...
That great lump of iron the pangolins are driving is headed towards the fire station doors with more urgency than the hip flask headed towards my face - if they carry on at this speed, they're going to slam right through into the building!
and is that.... pump-up music?
Joy Division v Ghostbusters soundtrack, by Ironichide
Even with the power off, some goddamn fool is up on top of a tenement block playing this stuff on a boombox in the dark. At this rate, we're gonna have people out on the streets and getting themselves in harm's way. Just when my legal bills were starting to look surmountable.
And that Armadillo - he's just leaning there, smoking his drugs cigarette like there's not a hurry in the world. This is insane. It's like watching a train play chicken with a boulder. I'm going to see if I can lean out the window and get a snap of this before they hit...
Holy crap I can barely see for tyresmoke - I can't believe that Armadillo just psyched out those bad brothers out there. They braked harder than a geordie driving past a pie shop, and that front bumper can't be ten feet from Dio.
I can still see the glow of that blunt through the clouds and...
Oh god, that's the sound of a mortar being loaded.
Crap crap crap, out of film and you have to see this. They're going at it hammer and tongs out there. I'm guessing the pink and green lights are ghosts and the big blue pulses are some shit the pangolins brought out to play with, but the night is on fire.
I can see the big old hands of the wrestler tracing all kinds of patterns against the light, and the sound Hammerz' gun is making is like eight men duelling with car aerials inside an industrial microwave.
I have to convey to you the majesty of this pitting of the other realm against American weapons science - let me just fetch my backup camera...
I am a fucking renaissance man.
Woah, I swear I just saw Drillz hurl a spear with a claymore mine taped to it. Those boys brought some artillery!
The rooftops between my office and the fire station are crowded with people now; black silhouettes on the edges of the riot of lights in the street below. There are Mexican families out here playing tape recordings of narcocorrido songs about their hero, and hooting fratboys with honk-stained Mangolin Pangolins shirts - all sharing beer on the fire escapes and leaning on their defunct satellite dishes.
Even though the lights are gone it's a regular party atmosphere, and things still seem to be heating up below -
Goddamn! that thing looked like a crocodile with bat wings! Whatever weapons the pangs have left, seems Dio's got a spiritual aresenal to match!
He's bracing himself with those big scaly legs... something's coming - let me get my sketchbook...
I have never seen an armadillo shoot that many ghosts out of his arms in all my days.
Looks like Drillz has managed to launch himself into a slow motion dive from the driver's window that has lasted an impressive eight seconds so far, pulling on the trigger of an uzi taped to his pneumatic drill with his ongue. Nevertheless, all of his bullets seem to be going wide of that elusive luchador and burying themselves in concrete.
Meanwhile, poor old Hammerz was fumbling with the lock of his door when Dio's ghost stream started flooding into the vehicle - now he's flapping around like nobody's business, with that homebrew ghostbusting cannon firing randomly into thin air. That there is a tougher pangolin than the one that started this tournament, but even he's got to be phased by being stuck in a car filling up with raging ghosts.
Guess Drillz (he is the leader) figured on getting some hits in when he embarked on that slow motion dive... now he's committed to it, and Armour Dio is thundering towards him with his Luchador's embrace spread wide.
That Pangolin's twisting in the air, but it's no good - Dio has snatched him up like a handful of churros and is twirling him over his head.
What a moment - that knobble-shelled bruiser has got one leg up on a fire hydrant, and is posing for his fans. The rooftops are going crazy, and there's a Mariachi band going mental on the roof of the tenement below me.
Lit by the sparking, whizzing lightshow of the ghost-crammed Swedish automobile behind him, those big arms are lifting Drillz, and preparing to hurl him down to the kerb...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJDLRCXR ... re=related
But what's this new, blinding light on the scene? Headlights?
The faces of the grappler and the graplee swing round in shock, as the Vulva 760 roars out of the street and straight towards them.
Out of control, the ghost filled car careers wildly forward, surrounded with a corona of angry spirits. Having moved out of the way to let Casper drive, Hammerz leans recklessly out of his window and blasts through the mist of spirits, trying to blow his own tyres before he hits his brother.
It is no use - with a mighty crash of splintering brickwork, the massive car smashes the whole fight through the wall of the fire station and disappears in the rubble cloud of a collapsing floor. The street is consumed by a frenzy of frustrated bellowing, as fans of the Dillo and the Pangolins alike lose site of their heroes.
Luckily, I just got paged by Ironichide - he's been lurking by the fire station, and is heading into the building to report on the action... faxes coming through imminently...
Pager message from Ironichide:
ENERGY STREAMING OUT THAT THING. DIO IS HUGE. SO MANY GHOSTS IN LIGHT BEHIND HIM. DRILLZ SEEMS TRANSFIXED, DEER IN HEADLIGHTS - I CAN SEE THEM PILING UP IN THE LIGHT. LIKE A TIDAL WAVE OF ROTTING BRIGHTNESS. HE'S POINTING. CAN'T PAGE, MUST REPAIR POLAROID
How apt, that the one time his brother should become overwhelmed with fear, Hammerz should be there to rescue him. I should have sent a poet.
I'm getting the feeling, however, that that level of high-energy discharge around all that leaking, ghost-containing machinery might not be the best long term strategy here.
Also, did anyone just feel that shaking in the ground. It's happening, like, every ten seconds now. the last thing we need now is an earthquake!
Woah, crikey, got to get to the window - what the hell is that light?
Guess what now this is happening.
Ironichide is paging me some nonsense about a containment overload and total pantshitting catastrophe, but I'm more captivated by this image faxed to me by citizen journalist wheat, who has also somehow managed to get down into the ruined basement and photograph the carnage with a working camera.
Apparently, the pangs are back in the car again, which Dio is making a spirited attempt to suplex into a wall. Lucky he's distracted by trying to maintain control of the ghosts leaking from the containment unit, which Hammerz is having to concentrate his fire on.
It's a true Mexican standoff, with Dio unable to ruin the car because of the burden of the ghosts, and Hammerz unable to fire at the colossus holding his car because of the roiling maelstrom of dead tapirs advancing on him.
It looks like Drillz is opening the door to-
Ok friends, it's gonna have to be just you and me now - the sky is full of cackling spectres, I'm hidden under my desk with a bottle of bourbon, and I can't even get a pager signal.
(apart from anything else, I seem to have some crippling problem with image upload IRL too, so it seems the gods approve of this course of action.)
The number of ghosts pouring out of that old firehouse means it is now way too hot with paranormal energy to get any kind of signal out of there, so I'm going to have to play my last trump card - a ghost of my own.
Turns out forums user Jumpropeman is a straight up ghost, and has volunteered to get down there and astrally project an image to me. Meanwhile, I am going to cower and hope that the STRETCH LIZARD-bodied jaguar floating past outside doesn't notice me.
Those thumps are getting louder. They are shaking the whiskey in my glass.
Ghostspeed, jumpropeman, and tell us whether those crazy bastards are still going in that chaos down there...
Jumpropeman may not be Van Gogh, but he's got balls of steel. Before his brainological link to me was severed by a load of static and screaming about uranium mines and koalas, he managed to project this very clear image straight into the middle of the huge migraine I am developing.
Ladies and gentlemen, speaking of balls of steel... it seems the pangolins have been reunited with their brother at last. Although the explosion of the Ghost Containment Cylinder appears to have burnt out Armour Dio's control of the unliving swarm, he has used the last of his spiritual strength to summon one last shade to battle.
Ballz - always the most sombre and taciturn of the four Mangin' Pangolins, and now their judge from beyond the grave. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the conversation that must be happening right now...
Wait, what's this? A seagull appears to have flown in through my window and barfed a rolled up scrap of bar napkin into my lap. Ironichide, you beautiful bastard - you always find a way to get the news through...
FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS LOSE THE SPIRIT OF WHOLESOME 1980s ADVENTURE AND BECOME GRIZZLED BADASSES
A VICTORY FOR FRIENDSHIP
You felt it coming, Sports Fans. You knew it had to end this way. The Pangolins are back with their brother, and bound as per their pre-match wager to serve the engineer of their salvation until his quest is over.
They fought hard, and they fought smart, but this was a foe unlike the hippos or the rabbit - here was an older, wiser warrior who knew exactly which weapon to pick to bring about his victory: their own failings.
But there is no time to analyse now - what I have seen was only a fragment of a wordless agreement that no-one but Armour Dio and his three new brothers will ever truly understand.
And in any case, there are buildings collapsing on the southern tip of Manhattan...