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I’m still a superhero. And superheroes don’t die, we only get rebooted!
— Charlie Anderson

Charles "Charlie" Anderson is a young American geek, comic book illustrator, and protagonist of the novels Escapist Dream and Otaku Girl. Charlie's story started after witnessing the suicide of his best friend during a live video chat. Feeling depressed and isolated after the incident, Charlie decided to move on by buying a machine that would send his mind into a virtual reality world. Said world was the Escapist Dream, a digital simulation that allowed anyone to role-play as real comic book, anime, video game, and movie characters.

Although his life initially improved, being able to meet other geeks he could relate with, this all changed when he found out that the Escapist Dream was currently infected with viruses. These bugs were in the hands of other geeks who used them to take control of the virtual reality world. Charlie would then join a small group of other geeks to find these people and destroy the bugs. Throughout their mission, Charlie would lose a lot of his new friends while also almost losing his life numerous times. They would eventually destroy the viruses but at the cost of the Escapist Dream.

Charlie would return to the Escapist Dream three years later after some geeks resurrected it and got trapped inside. He would try to uncover the reason as to why it had malfunctioned, all the while fighting new more powerful AIs who had taken over the virtual reality world. There he would meet with a female Japanese otaku named GI who would later be instrumental in taking back the Escapist Dream. Their relationship blossomed throughout the story, ending with them getting married and starting a family.

Battle vs. Dark Lord Bert (by LokoDito)

There was a stone castle sitting atop of a hill, made up of pure limestone, the toughest material there is. It had four towers pointed towards heaven, besieged by a moat with only a bridge connecting it to the rest of the world. Luxurious it may be, the castle was nonetheless abandoned. No light or life could be spotted, besides the faint illumination from moonlight. There were no one in this stone abode besides the wailing ghosts and other creatures of the dark.

Still, that was what Charlie Anderson was hoping for. He wore his mighty Superman t-shirt and legendary Jedi robes. He had his blonde hair hastily tucked and a bit messy. Nothing like a creepy castle for his next adventure. "Oh boy!" he proclaimed. "This is going to be fucking awesome!" The young men then trudged into the caste, excited yet probably dumb.

Inside however, was someone whom Charlie would not be expecting. There was dog -- well a hellhound with two heads -- running along holding a stick to its mouth. "Come now, Boberton! Give stick to Bert!"

The young dog responded to the voice with glee and saliva. It waddled towards a tiny chicken-size green goblin, carrying his stick. The goblin was none other than the dark lord himself, Bert, the all-powerful. He patted his dog on his head, but the dog suddenly looked behind and gave a loud bark.

"What is it, Boberton?" Bert asked anxiously. But the dog said nothing. It just stared at the hallways, growling and mad.

"So it must be an intruder," Bert said. "Bert deal with intruder."

Charlie navigated through the dark corridor, listening carefully to any sound of hints of dangers. He had played his fair share of roguelikes and dungeons of dragons, but never knew it to be this tedious and creepy. As he reached an empty oval floor, he was greeted by a colossal monster made up of rocks and trash.

“Oh crap,” Charlie remarked as the monster roared mightily at him. He managed to dodge a punch from the monster, followed by a stomp. Before he could attack, his back was then slashed by claws from the dark. The ones who attacked him where two purple vampires, with sharp tongues, yellow eyes, and wearing a Dracula get-up.

“What is this place?!” Charlie said. He then flipped back before using his telekinesis to life the vampires and sue them as projectiles at the monster. But the latter just swatted them away like flies, creating a bloody burst of entrails. As the monster rushed at him, Charlie unleashed his heat vision, cutting away the monsters legs. He then flew towards it at high speed, punching it into a million pieces.

More vampires, together with hairy white and black werewolves, came rushing at him. Having had enough, Charlie summoned mjolnir and smashed it to the ground, creating a shockwave that roasted the monsters.

But suddenly, Charlie’s hand was bitten by a large two-headed dog that came out of nowhere. He screamed in pain as he flew towards the air with the dog still holding onto his arm, yelping in fear. At a closer glance, Charlie could see a tiny little goblin on the dog’s back. The goblin was looking at him… strangely.

“Hmmm…” Charlie responded.

Bert knew he was compromised, and he had to do something lest his days as a dark lord would be over. He then tried to open the kid’s stat sheets to see if he could affect his powers. Charlie felt a hot surge running all over him as someone, probably the goblin, try to warp his being. With a scream, he threw the dog away and it crashed painfully on the ground. Bert miraculously survived the fall, landing on Boberton’s soft flesh. But his mutt was no so lucky.

“Boberton no…” Bert mourned his now dying dog. He then decided to avenge his companion’s death the only way he knew how. Bert had begun to chant his killing curse.

But Charlie saw what he was doing. With quick-thinking, Charlie unleashed his heat vision, incinerating Bert before he could finish his curse. The geeky boy then landed back to the ground, tired but victorious.

Expert’s Opinion

Expert’s believe that while Bert was formidable enough with his killing curse and stat control, his other attacks fall flat. Charlie’s own powers were all perfect counters to Bert, not to mention the speed and range advantage that he has. Bert was also a glass canon so Charlie only needed on attack to finish him off.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

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