Monsters in the DarkMature

It was dark in the training facility. The tall metallic walls and ceilings burning with the heat of the factory below. If any of the the recruits waited too long, they risked passing out from the intense heat. Alec could hear the breaths of others in the area from where he hid. The large room was like a labyrinth of corridors, stairs and odd shapes. The guild had attempted to recreate urban areas, forests and the deserted lands beyond the wall. It was a good basis for most training. Nearly everyone in this room had this place memorised like the back of their hand, including Alec. But this wasn't any normal training session. It wasn't even the exam. This was entirely separate from their initial graduation.

This was the trial that determined whether you were in the elite. Some volunteered to be part of this, wanting to prove their worth. Alec had already heard others take most of them out. The rest, including him, were approached by the guild. He knew there were benefits to being elite. Being away from the dorms might finally give him freedom of his past, something he wanted more than anything. He heard someone move closer and lowered himself to the ground, making sure to stay silent as he did. The person moved closer, and he could tell by the footfalls it was someone male, probably tall as well. But it wasn't just people they had to be weary off. Alec heard the hiss and moved aside instantly. The guy who'd been near him wasn't so lucky.

In the dark the basilisk couldn't turn them to stone at least. It still had a good sense of smell though, and venom in its fangs. He stayed behind a wall and listened calmly as the creature wrapped itself around the stranger and killed him. It'd seek out Alec next, he knew he was the closest. But he wouldn't be for long. The noise was too much and others would appear. Knocking out another opponents would be good. Taking out the basilisk? That would be elite. He waited until it was close to the wall. The whisper sound of its tongue leaving its lips telling him when it was near. He waited, listening as its tongue moved beside him, still tasting the air ahead, rather than along the wall beside it. He moved swiftly, smashing the sharp end of his axe through its nose. He dropped one hand holding the axe and cut its tongue with a small knife, releasing it to avoid losing his hand to the beast.

It cried out in pain and easily lifted itself away from him. Alec had been expecting it and rolled away, smirking silently. He'd managed to take away it's strongest sense, but there was no more element of surprise. It arrow-headed in his direction and he dodged, moving behind a low wall. He listened as it stopped, trying to relocate him. He could hear nearby footfalls too, softer ones, but not soft enough. He pulled another throwing knife, after this he had one one more left. He listened carefully to her movement before releasing it. He heard her grunt as it hit her. He hadn't been aiming anywhere vital of course. It was technically against the rules to kill the other opponents. But in the dark, mistakes happened. The basilisk followed the movement, nearing closer. He stayed below the wall, waiting for it to get closer.

There were walls surrounding most of this area and trees nearby. Alec knew the monster's nearest route of entry was over this low wall. The moment it appeared above him he thrust his axe up and yanked forward. This was a adolescent basilisk, so in terms of length it could be a lot bigger. Even so it took effort for Alec to drag all 35ft of it's large body over him. Momentum carried its body along the axes blade, cutting a line through its belly and tumbling it into the trees. It hissed in pain and moved to make one last strike. Alec ducked, but he wasn't fast enough. He gripped his last throwing knife and held it in front of him. It clashed with the basilisk's fang.

The steel whined at the force and Alec felt a shiver of real fear. Even in the dark, he could feel the monster glaring at him. It's putrid breath rolled over him, making him gag. Any concealment he had retained before was gone. He lifted the axe in his other hand and aimed one side into the basilisk’s mouth. The knife whined once more and he pressed the release button. His eyes blurred at the sudden intrusion of light as fire spurting forth, but more importantly the basilisk screamed and moved away. Alec ran away quickly. He could hear the dying moans of the creature, but now he had to worry about the others. His position had been given away and they could be coming from any direction. He headed towards the largest wooden area and climbed the trees, careful not to make noise.

He could hear others close by. He used his damaged and last throwing knife on the furthest person in range, not caring if he did or didn't hit something vital. He heard the satisfying sound of a body hitting the floor. He'd feel guilty about it later. Others responded to the sound, moving towards it. He let out a silent breath of relief and climbed down a tree. He'd thought himself safe too soon. A arm closed around his throat from behind and he heard a familiar snigger. He elbowed Warren in the chest and ducked the expected blow. He knew Warren wanted to curse like he did in so many training sessions. Usually it was satisfying hearing him groan in defeat, since he was one of the worsts when it came to Alec lifestyle. Right now Alec just didn't want the idiot to give them away. Alec's breath cut off as Warren landed a blow on his sternum. The next blow was to swipe Alec's legs out from under him. Warren didn't waste time, pinning him down and holding a knife over his throat.

“About time,” he whispered. Idiot. He heard the whisper of the arrow. He couldn't see Warren wide eyes in the dark, but he knew there were there as he made a gurgled sound of shock. Alec threw his body off him and moved away. He could hear other bolts flying and avoided them, partly with luck if he was being honest. Eventually they stopped being used. The person was smart, not wanting to waste ammo. He heard them move as they shot, but it was in one direction. Alec mirrored their steps and kept going, closing the distance between them quickly. He made out a feminine outline and gripped his axe closer. He lowered himself and crept closer.

The girl didn't have any sense of him until he attacked. She cried out as he swept the axe across one knee. He heard bones crack at the force and she went down on one leg instantly. She hissed in pain and the shine of eyes met his. He couldn't do more than incapacitate her though. Anyone who took out Warren was good in his eyes. He lifted the blunt side of his axe and knocked her out. He cocked his head to the side, hearing shuffles to his far left and pinned himself against a wall. He traced the movements with his ears as the two fought. He heard a deafening crack and knew someone had won. At this point so much had happened, Alec had completely lost count of how many people were left. But these were only sounds made. Alec and this person were probably the last ones left.

He stepped out of cover to engage when overhead lights blinked on, making him blink rapidly. The dark-haired guy before him was doing the same, looking confused. They both looked up at the darkened windows. The observation deck was up there, with all the guild higher-ups watching them. Two sets of double doors on either side of the large space opened and medics rushed in to take the other opponents. Alec could spy the remains of the basilisk he had faced. He'd been wrong, there was a third person still around, she had been sneaking up on him. He saw a wound in her side, and held in her left hand was his second throwing knife. He couldn't help being a little impressed. He was difficult to sneak up on. She had blood red curls and startling blue eyes that flashed with recognition at seeing him. Everyone knew about Alec, most didn't care much about it. Some did though, like Warren. He glanced at the medics by him and was annoyed to see he was still breathing.

Guess we're the next generation of elite,” the girl said, laughing softly. Alec couldn't help a small smile at the words. The medics sent them back to the changing rooms to get cleaned up and dressed. The girl sent him a startled glance as he followed and he felt his cheeks burn. The guild had allowed him only so much freedom in his choices. He showered and dressed quickly, not wanting to prolong the experience any longer. He was the first one to be outside the thick steel doors of the main building. Beyond it lay the most powerful members of the guild. Alec didn't feel too nervous though. The guild knew exactly what he was going to ask when he went inside. An assistant pushed the doors open and called his birth name. It was going to be the last time he heard it.

The End

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