PT Kyoto Round 2 Report: Destiny Unveiled

Posted on Friday, February 27th, 2009 by paz
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Posted in best of, mtg

Osamu Fujita (Red-White Kithkin) vs. David Irvine (Esper Vark)

Florida native David Irvine grasped his plastic-covered deck carefully and deliberately. He closed his eyes and parted the deck into two relatively equal halves, one in each hand. He then pushed the two halves together at their sides in what is sometimes known as the “side shuffle,” a pragmatic and yet elegent way to quickly redistribute the contents of the deck.

But one was not enough. Irvine’s opponent, Osamu Fujita, watched intently and nervously as Irvine again separated his deck into two parts and pressed them deliberately together, further redistributing the cardboard subcomponents.

But they were not merely cardboard. A song had been stuck in Irvine’s head: the English folk song Greensleeves, for such was the protection he had afforded to his cards. As Irvine side shuffled for an unheard-of third time, spectators attempting to interpret his activity in hushed murmurs, he mentally noted that the version of Greensleeves his mind was humming through had ‘vi’ for its progression-concluding chord rather than the more-common ‘III’. His green, billed cap was upturned at an angle, as if firing a beam of contemplation into the cosmos. The busy sounds of the room surrounding him faded away, and he heard only the imaginary, distant lute, serenading his Sisyphean attempt at true randomization.

Minutes, days, months, years passed. Or so it seemed. But when Irvine opened his eyes again the sounds of reality flooded back into the chamber of sensory acknowledgment. The fantasy lutist had performed his royally-commissioned task and had returned to his fictional forest home. Time rewound itself and Irvine discovered that mere seconds had passed since he first began to shuffle.

Irvine presented his deck to Fujita, and Fujita his deck to Irvine. To each player, the others’ deck felt foreign, unnatural, distasteful. Even evil. They each winced and grunted in discomfort as they shuffled. Each tick of the clock caused an earthquake rated infinity on the Richter scale. The two players sighed a sigh of relief they relieved themselves of their opponents’ decks. Irvine could sense Fujita’s shadowy essence on his sacred possession. Fujita could almost feel Irvine’s fingerprints on his cards. They were each disgusted. Fujita noted that in chess, one never touched his opponent’s game pieces unless they were being captured. This was the way of the samurai. No such honor would be found in this American-made triviality.

Fujita, absurdly adorned in a scarf, glanced over to his dice satchel, then back at Irvine. Irvine did the same. If Fujita acted quickly enough, perhaps he could procure some six-siders before Irvine could react. Sweat began to drip down Irvine’s forehead from the cusp of his cosmic ray brim.

With that, Fujita made his move. In one swift motion he grabbed the lip of the dice satchel with his left thumb and forefinger while reaching inside with his right hand. In an eternal instant he successfully produced three cubic dice from the satchel, each with symbols representing the numbers one through six on their faces. Irvine moved not. Fujita wondered if Irvine had ever even planned to interrupt his dice-procurement maneuver. He would never find out, and the question haunted him for the rest of his Earth-life.

“High roll?” Fujita asked Irvine. Or did he ask the audience? Or the universe? The universe responded through Irvine in the form of a nod. Fujita stood up, the dice in his right hand and, with all of his adrenaline and energy and effort and will and fear and being, launched a salvo of dice onto the table.

Each die ricocheted off of the table in different directions at first. The wind itself seemed to gasp, however, as the dice began to unify their positions mid-air to conform to Irvine’s upturned hat brim. They collided with each other in impossible ways, challenging the observers’ notions of space, time, and self, before tumbling haphazardly to the table below.

The result was dictated by the constitution of the initial singularity which spawned the cosmos combined with rules of conduct hand-scrawled by God in the metaphysical scroll of material existence: A couple of sixes and a two.

Irvine was devastated, but in his devastation something awoke within him. A nihilistic, fatalistic, child-like amusement, like at the beginning of a roller-coaster’s descent from heaven to hell. His inner self chuckled, and soon his outer self joined him, until his guffawing filled the room with the echoes of insanity. He slowly regained his composure and managed to conclude his temporary madness with a cryptic, ominous phrase. “Hoo, that’s a high one!” said he.

It was now Irvine’s turn to roll, but as he touched the dice he sensed the same corruption in these dice as he sensed on Fujita’s cards. He knew with axiomatic certainty that his roll would be lower than 14. What does one do when his prognostication foretells certain doom? He buries himself in the currents of society and world, weeping as his true, inner flesh is ripped asunder by the razor-sharp torrent. He finds himself rolling the dice despite the knowledge of certain failure, allegorically telling the story of every man’s life from protobiont to Julius Caesar to cyborg and beyond.

It was worse than he ever imagined. His own roll wasn’t even a third of Fujita’s, and his slow-as-mollases Esper Vark deck would be starting eternally behind Fujita’s Red-White Kithkin deck, which was so blazingly fast that the cards tapped themselves.

Irvine won the match 2-1.

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