Chapter 19:

Round 1, Match 7: Fuzzy Rabid Usagi vs Supersession. Fuzzy Rabid Usagi:

Community Sudden Fiction Tournament Arc

Round 1, Match 7: Fuzzy Rabid Usagi vs Supersession.

Prompt: Giant fucking robots

Participant: Fuzzy Rabid Usagi (

The pounding rain falling upon skyscraper rubble gave the remains of Tokyo a somber air.

But now wasn’t the time to feel solemn. Keiichi gripped the controls of his Driver as the rattle of rain against metal echoed around him with the deafening roar of gunfire. He was out there, somewhere, and Keiichi had to find him first.

Keiichi’s mouth was dry. Why were his hands still shaking? Why couldn’t he just push his Driver forward? His nerves were getting the better of him, this was just like last time!

“KEIICHI!” His name crackled over the intercom, and Keiichi jumped in his seat.

“Wh-Where?!” Keiichi fumbled around the throttle and his Driver stumbled forward as he scanned the dark ghetto for his foe. But he couldn’t find him, where was-

“FOUND YOU!” Another Driver leapt from the shadows, gun raised. Keiichi froze, his finger on the trigger. He knew he had to fire, he had to take out his enemy, but he just couldn’t-

A flash of light and burst of gunfire, and the world went black.


Keiichi slumped back in his seat and sighed, removing the headset and staring glumly at the machine in front of him. Sitting across from him was Akira, his opponent of what could have charitably been called a “match”, already puffing himself up to the cheering crowd gathered around them.

“Keiichi, why even bother playing?” Akira called. “You’re too weak to even put up a fight, anyway!”

Keiichi hung his head and got up, leaving the arcade with as much dignity as he could scrounge up.

“Hey, Keiichi! Wait up!”

Keiichi glanced behind him to see a familiar shock of short red hair bouncing behind him. “Akane, hey, sorry.”

“Dude, don’t just leave without saying anything,” Akane pouted, crossing her arms in front of her chest.

“Sorry, I just kind of…”

“Got bummed out again because you lost?”

Keiichi winced. Why did she have to be so blunt about it?

“Keiichi, it’s just a game. You don’t need to get so down.”

“EXO-Driver isn’t just a game!” Keiichi protested. “It’s… like, the best game! It’s the pinnacle of VR technology, you actually get to feel like you’re piloting a giant robot, fighting in the ruins of Japan, wrecked by nuclear war! There’s a reason that it’s the most popular game in the nation! Japan is invaded by foreign powers, and we, as the Drivers, are the only ones who can protect our people from enemy Drivers in a struggle to-“

“Is it a game, yes or no?” Akane interrupted him.

Keiichi felt his face getting hot. “…Yes,” he admitted.

“Keiichi, don’t you think you’re getting a little too invested in this game?” Akane asked. “I mean, Akira beats you every day. If you’re going to play, don’t you want to at least… get good?”

“I-I am good!” Keiichi protested.

“Could have fooled me.”

“That’s-!” Keiichi couldn’t argue.

“Why did you freeze up like that?” Akane asked. “You had him in your sights, but you didn’t even fight back. You just let him kill you.”

“I know!” Keiichi groaned. “I play practice games at home all the time, and I’m good, but… when I’m out there, when people are watching, seeing me play, I just… I just get worried about messing up, and so I…”

“So you mess up anyway?” Akane rolled her eyes.

“But everyone’s watching! I want to do my best, but… what if I do my best, and people don’t like me? When I start thinking about that, and think about you watching, then I…” Keiichi couldn’t finish his thought.

“You know,” Akane said, brushing a lock of hair behind her ear as she gave a coy smile, “Akira asked me out after you ran off.”

Keiichi felt a stab of worry in his heart. “O-Oh. He did? I see, that’s… um, wow.”

“He said something about how I’m always hanging around you because we’re childhood friends, but that I should start spending time with a real man who knows how to win. So… what do you think?”

“Well, I mean… Akira’s the best EXO-Driver player around, so…” Keiichi wanted to cry. Was Akane really serious about dating his rival? Keiichi had had a crush on her ever since they were kids, and imagining her with someone else…

Akane scowled. “You just don’t get it!” She said. “Keiichi, if you want something, then you need to go for it! Don’t freeze up, just say what you want clearly, okay?!”

She looked hopefully at him. “Please?”

That look was enough. Keiichi realized what he had to do.

“You’re right, Akane,” Keiichi said, clenching his fists. “I was worried, but now I know how I feel!”

Akane’s face lit up. “Really?!”

“Yes!” Keiichi said. “I’m going to go challenge Akira to a rematch, right now! Then, I’m going to pound him into the dirt and prove to you that can win, too!”

“Uh, Keiichi, that wasn’t what I-“

Keiichi wasn’t listening, he was already making his way back to the arcade. “Don’t worry, Akane! I’ll beat him this time! And when I do, then I have something I want to tell you, so-“

Oh, FUCK that. Akane stormed after him, grabbed him by the collar, and spun him around.

“No, tell me now!” She demanded.

“What? B-But-“

“Tell me. Now.”

Keiichi glanced at the arcade. “But I need to win in order to-“

“FORGET the fucking giant robots!” Akane shouted. “It’s a fucking game! Let’s just go to the zoo or something!”

Keiichi blinked. “Wait, really?”

“No freezing up!” Akane barked. “You! Me! Date! Zoo! Handholding! Yes or no?”

“Yes?” Keiichi couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He thought he would have to show off at EXO-Driver to get Akane to like him, but she actually wanted to date him even though he lost?

“Good! God, why did you have to make this so fucking difficult?!” Akane groaned, dragging him by the collar towards the zoo.    


Judge's Feedback

znf: Clean interpretation of the prompt with a straightly played/developed story. Dialogue is a bit shoddy and long winded, and it kind reads a bit rote, but the character establish/dynamics are nice.

OscarHM: Good interpretation of the prompt, I like the idea of Keiichi's character. You do a good job of conveying what that character is with the narrative device of the game and come to a satisfying enough conclusion by the end. You used Keiichi's name 33 times in your submission and a lot of those made things read very awkwardly. Often a 'he' would've sufficed or even no tag at all. I found the dialogue to be a bit droning, which is an odd one for me. Feels like little was said with a lot sometimes. Good submission overall though.

otkrlj: Really good interpretation of the prompt. really liked the characterization you inserted into the story, along with the happy ending that wrapped up the story well.

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