Newt was pushed into my arms by one of the guards. I wanted to snarl at him or something, but I was just so drained. 

Physically and emotionally. 

In the chamber, they made me watch as they tortured Newt to the point of death. Then they'd wake me up, tell me the truth, and start all over again. As they injected me with the sedatives I would repeat "It's not real. It's not real." over and over again, but it didn't help. When they started to hurt Newt it was as real as anything.

I was ashamed.

They showed me more dreams. Only this time, Newt was behind me and we were being attacked. Newt would tell me that I had to electrocute them, that telekinesis wouldn't work. And I listened. And when they finally let me wake up, I realized that the monsters had been my friends. They made me torture my own friends. That knowledge in itself was the worst form of torture they could have inflicted on me. I like to think that I was a loyal friend. I trusted and expected trust in return. Hurting them shattered that.

I was confused.

Lorrie. Newt. Newt. Lorrie. I guess I sorta liked them both, but for very different reasons. Even though she didn't always acknowledge my help, Newt made me feel needed. I guess that's a guy thing. Newt was kind and she cared about things that she actually noticed.

Lorrie was strong. She didn't need my help as a protector, but as a... as a partner. Someone to lean on when life sucked. At least... that's how I saw it. Back in the torture chamber I was rarely conscious and in control of my thoughts, and there were few moments that I could remember without pain. One of them was telling Lorrie something that I hadn't even considered telling Newt.

"My parents died in a car accident... it all happened so long ago."

Why did you tell her that? You think she cares? You turned her down, you're both in a torture chamber, and now you're unloading your grief? What kind of sick fre-

"Visp, tell me your story."

The voice was gone... but so was my moment of clarity... the pain was coming back... the pa...

"She's in no state to fight." Said Lorrie,

Were any of us in any kind of state to fight?

"Hey, don't worry. I won't let anything happen to you ok?" I whispered to her, trying to ignore the glare from Lorrie.

"Ladies and Gentlemen! For your entertainment we have are bringing you something you have never seen before! Are 16, The number three ranked team on the leaderboards is being pitted against Area 50, the group of recently defeated escapees and troublemakers.You, the fans, have spoke and we have answered! It's time for Area 50 to get its reckoning today!"

A second announcer came in after the crowd had finished cheering, "I gotta tell you Dan, Area 50 does not look like it is in good shape."

"No it doesn't Kor, lets see what the fans think about that! How do you like Area 50's new look, courtesy of Arena Master Kobish?"

The stand erupted in cheers and whistles and yelling.

"But wait Dan, there's more! How do you think the fans would like to stack the odds even more?"

The fans were even louder than before.

"I'd say they like that idea Kor, so we're going to add something to the mix. Area 50 will fight not one, but two teams at the same time! Please welcome the number 5 ranked team, Area 11!"

As the announcers prattled on I felt a nudge at my elbow.

"Visp." Apex muttered. 


"I'm warning you, stay out of my way. I'm... I may not be fully in control out there... I can't say for sure that I'll not hurt you if you get in front of me. But we will win and we will pay Kobish back. Got it?"


"Ten! Nine!"

I tried to get everyone together, "Guys, listen."

"Eight! Seven!"

"We have an advantage the other two teams don't have."


"They're rivals, you can see it in the way they look at each other. They don't want to be on the same side."


"We have to take advantage of that. We're a team ok?"


I looked at Lorrie, "I'm sor-"


Sheer and utter pandemonium. 

I don't remember any of the first few minutes. It was all I could to keep saying,

"Protect Newt, Avoid Apex, protect Newt, avoid Apex."

I remember looking over my shoulder and seeing Lorrie staring hard at a boy who was made of magma. He was clutching his head and screaming and then suddenly he was dead. As Lorrie took a moment to collect herself, a girl with wolverine claws protruding from her knuckles leapt at her back and stabbed. I threw out a hand and was able to shield Lorrie with my telekinesis. Lorrie spun and kicked at the girl's face. There a sickening pop and the girl was down. 

"Lorrie there's somethi-"

Her eyes grew wide and she dove at me, phasing through me as she did so. There was a thud and I spun to see her knocking a boy off balance. 

He had been about to gore me with two huge tusks that sprouted from his face.

The boy was still standing and he tried to charge at me again, but it was Newt who stepped in this time and in a moment of confusion, the boy looked her in the eyes. Newt made a gesture at him and he charged the opposite way, killing one of his own teammates in the process. He knocked over a kid from Area 16 who had been tangling with a glowing Apex. The kid shouted at Elephant face and began to attack him instead.

Apex took advantage of the tussle and flashed away to one of three people attacking Shard. His arm seemed to blink and then it appeared...

It was sticking through the body of a girl from 11. He yelled, and the girl exploded.

One of our opponents, a boy with bat-like wings could fly and I looked up as he began to swoop towards Newt.

Yeah screw that.

I shot a bolt of lightning that nearly blinded me, and it struck the bat-kid, blowing a hole in one wing, an completely tearing off the other. He screamed as he plummeted towards the ground. I didn't need to hear the crunch to know that he wasn't getting back up.

It was now nine to six. 

"Lorrie!" I called as she ran by. 


"We need to talk."

"Now? I'm a little busy Visp."

One boy from 16 was a shape-shifter and he had chosen that moment to attack us in the form of a giant dinosaur. 

"I'll make it quick" I said, ducking a swipe from the dinosaur's tail.

"What?" she yelled, "I couldn't hear you over the dinosa-"





The dinosaur hadn't roared that time, so everyone in the arena heard what I said. The fighting froze and everyone, Areas 11 and 16 looked at me.

Lorrie's mouth was open, Apex was looking at me with confusion, Newt was curled up in a ball and didn't look too well, and Shard seemed like all he wanted to do was to get back to killing people.

"Visp... now? Really?"

"Well... yeah. I mean... why not... it seemed... important."

The kids from the other areas were snickering and I was starting to think that maybe I should just drop it, but the damage had been done.

"Fine. Just.. Fine."

"You don't understand. It's-"

"I understand perfectly. You like that little freak better than me! Why? Why is it always her? I-"

"Now listen don't you-"

"What? You're defending her again! Look at her! She's weak! She's not even that pretty! What do you see in her?"

I was losing conviction... this wasn't quite turning out as planned, "I.. well she's... you're both pretty but it's... hard to explain."

"Well if its hard to explain you don't like her that much do you? She doesn't even like you! She tried to kiss Apex, and she ignores all the things you do for her. Why do you put up with it?"

Newt still hadn't moved too much. I wasn't even sure if she knew what was happening. And Lorrie did make sense... I had asked myself those same questions...

Lorrie had started crying, which me feel horrible. I... I didn't want this to happen. I was hoping I could say it during the fight and she'd be too distracted to get really mad.

Guess not.

"You know what? FINE." And she spun around and punched a girl in the face. 

We were then returned to our regularly scheduled programming.

Area 50 was slowing down. Shard was still tearing pe0ple apart, but even he seemed to be moving in slow motion.

Apex was surrounded by three of the six remaining opponents. I had a spark of an idea and yelled to him,

"Apex! Fireball!"

He stuck up a hand and let off an explosion. I captured it in a ball of telekinesis and whipped it at the three attackers. Apex flashed away at the last second and then I released the telekinetic shield and watched the explosion engulf the two girls and one boy.

The remaining three challengers were dispatched with little difficulty. Shard took one, Apex and Lorrie took another, and I stopped the heart of one of them with a shock to the chest.

And then it was over.

We received no cheers, no boos, only shocked silence as one by one we collapsed to the ground due to pain, fatigue, and mental exhaustion. Medics ran out to bring us to our rooms, but they didn't do much more than that.

For the next few hours, no one moved.

The End

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