EDGED WEAPONS ONLY (fiction)

EDGED WEAPONS ONLY

ANCHOR:  “We have a near perfect day for this the 50th War of the Edged Weapon Competitions. Our 5000 automated hovering cameras are set to beam in the action straight to our control room, and thence to You the sharers of the experience in all known media.  I’m Coward Boastwell in the Head Set for Known Worlds Media, now over to Rink Shrimpclaw with the latest on equipment.”

SWORD REPORTER:  “Yes I have here in my hand one of the swords from the first Edged Weapons Only contest in modern times, in the early 21st century.  You can see that it’s pretty much the same as the Medieval weapon it was copying.  Heavy, clumsy, dull.  Frankly…. Medieval. Now here’s what fifty years of market evolution can do for a sword!  Half the weight! Just 22 oz for a 36inch blade. They say they could make them lighter still, but the fighters prefer
the sword to have _some_ heft. I’m here with Anton Seagul of the Swordmaster’s Guild. Now Anton, the name Swordmaster’s Guild conjures images of Medieval Blacksmithies, but that wouldn’t be right, would it?”

SWORD INDUSTRY HACK:   “No it wouldn’t, Rink,   Actually the Swordmasters Guild is the somewhat fanciful name of the global Trade Group for companies deriving all or a large part of their business in weapons or accoutrements for the Edged Weapons Only competitions, and I guess I won’t mention the various copycat competitors”

SWORD REPORTER:   “No, I wouldn’t mention them.”

SWORD INDUSTRY HACK    “The point being that there’s a huge market for top-level and mid-level weapons.”

LESBIAN COLOR COMMENTATOR:    “Well, I don’t really understand.  If the whole point is to show how brave one is by being primitive in the way one wages what we’ll call mock war with nonetheless real deaths, then how does it fit to spend $4000 on some super-snazzy sword?  I mean, wouldn’t it be even better to just go around smashing each other with totally primitive wooden clubs?”

3 TIME WORLD CHAMPION  VLAD ‘DER IMPALER’ VON HICHTENSTEIN:  “Vell, Carla, clearly you just don’t understand the special relationship a man has with his sword.  No, obviously, a crude club would not do.  It is not the same thing at all.  To be 3 time world champion of clubbing people to death, well, it would not be without its charm, but I much prefer being 3 time world champion of the One True War, the Official Edged Weapons Competitions. Scaal.

SWORD INDUSTRY HACK:   “It’s really quite simple.  When faced with the possibility of actually dying, people, both men and women, become very picky about their equipment, and as weapons makers have always known, no expense is spared.  If some guy thinks $4000 is just too much for a sword, and we have some at ten times that much, but let’s say this guy is just dead set that no sword is worth $4000,  if that guy handles a $4000 sword and thinks it’s better than the one he’s got, and if he’s got $4000, why, he may just buy one.  As long as he keeps winning, you
can’t argue…. and if he ever stops winning, HE can’t argue!  That was a joke.

ANCHOR:   But that’s one thing we have to thank the Edged Weapon phenomenon for, and that’s the gallows humor in the sportscast.  I’ve never gotten used to that…

LESBIAN COLOR COMMENTATOR:   That and the Peace.

ANCHOR: Oh, are you one of those?

LESBIAN COLOR COMMENTATOR: Well you have to admit, it’s been awfully peaceful, ever since these things started up.  It’s like, whatever need people had for war has been met by these events, and so there’s no need for war anymore.  Nobody has anything to prove…

ANCHOR:   Well frankly I think that idea is disrespectful to the Real Men who gave their lives in the Real Wars of their countries.  They died believing those wars were about something, and not just because they all had something to prove.

3 TIME WORLD CHAMPION  VLAD ‘DER IMPALER’ VON HICHTENSTEIN: Und I resent it sounds you say the blood shed in the One True War ™ the Edged Weapon Competition, is somehow less sacred than that shed in mere fights over commodities.

ANCHOR: Well that brings up our next guest.  This is Dr. Abu Chang, chief historian of the Electric Period at the University of Amsterdam.  Dr Chang, is there any proven connection between these sporting events and major trends in world history?

ACADEMIC HACK: The short answer is, no.  You see, fights over mere commodities, as Vlad called them, have always gone on and always will.  The method of such fighting, weapons used, and precisely how many individuals take part, varies with the age.  It is based on weapons technology, communications technology, and what will work and get the commodities in question to market.  Currently, those fights are carried on largely in secret by highly trained, often
surgically enhanced, professionals.  Strike Forces.   Having or not having large numbers of young men eager to be part of something violent has only seldom been a factor in when or how one people made war on another, and even then, it was over the standard commodities. So, no.  The killing here is not having any real effect.  The Peace  of the past 50 years is entirely due to the skill of the current generation of politicians.  I’m sure.

Control Room: ok cue the break sequence a-a-a-nd Cut to commercial.  Whew.  Hey.  I think the theory is getting a little thick.  Love the lesbian, and of course the Very Very Vlad.  Makeup, straighten Coward’s hair piece…. Yes I’m aware it cannot move, and yet behold, it does. Makeup, fix it. …  Don’t start with me about your contract Coward.  Your contract says you do what I say, capishe?

Commercial: Former Champion Field Marshall of Unlimited Religious Groups Percival ‘The Paladin’ Argento for American Express.  ‘In Battle, or in Training, I wear my trademark shining Armor.  In the boardroom of my Paladin Armor Company, everybody knows me.  At restaurants around town, the scars speak for themselves, that I am an important man, due respect.  But when I go online, nobody knows me from a guttersnipe.  That’s why I wear American Express Gold
virtual Armor when I travel in cyberspace.  The gold armor serves as a firewall, near-military class protective software, stealth when you want it, and iron clad identity proof when you want it, and of course, it’s a credit card.  Members show up in Virtual space as if covered in gold armor, or can appear to fly around in gold Rolls Royces, or try the added retro sex appeal of a gold battle tank from years gone by!  A real hit with sex object persons of whatever stripe!   So for me, it’s Paladin Armor in all life’s real battles, but for the Virtual World, it’s American Express.

Nike presents the finest mid-price sword in the world.  Again.  Slice and Dice Web Mag have voted the Nike Titanium Ghetto Chop as best in its class for seven years running.  That’s seven years of our competitors running to catch up, but ever since this famous scene in the Nth Contest, in which Vlad the Impaler’s Nike Titanium Pro cut through Crom the Viking’s Norweigian-made Uber Kutten Choppen Sharpenstabber in a critical moment, costing Crom the contest and his life, the affordably priced Vlad Signiture Ghetto Chop has become the standard, world wide.