A re-upload of my first story. Few changes were made. I meant only to "tidy" it up a little.
The world has crumpled under it's self as world war 3 has ended. Raz is a 19 year old child taken at the age of 5 by a strange compound organization. This life is all he knows. It's right. Isn't it?
I have lived in darkness my whole life. Not the darkness that blocks out the suns ray's. Not the creature of night that scares children. It is not even darkness one faces when comming to understand their fears. No. This darkness is the one of lies and betrayle. The darkness that takes and manipulates countless minds to one center set thought. This is my darkness. This is my curse.
"Wake up!" Kennedy cried. "You're going to make us late again!"
I wake groggly from lack of sleep. The past night had kept my mind wandering as I searched through the data base of our units library. I had done it countless nights never sure what I was looking for, only that I would know what it was when I found it.
"If you dont hurry they're gonna come taze your ass awake again" Kennedy said in a voice that was both stern and sweet. "And this time I'm just gonna sit, watch, and say I told you so" she chuckled as if it was actually a humerous thought. I didnt think so.
"If you spent half the time working on your reverses as you do nagging me you might not lose every fight you get into" I say half joking. "Besides, if they come and taze me I get to skip the first 15 minutes of class"
"Yea whats worse being tazed till I piss or suffer through a lecture, hmmm" Kennedy said as she weighed the ideas with her hands.
"Maybe you should try it some time and see what the big fuss about it is?" I respond in a laughing matter. Laughing. Something that must be hidden. Something that must be supressed because it is a useless and functionless feeling. A sign of weakness. The only thing your mind should be focused on is the next task at hand. At least thats what we had been told ever since we arrived at this compound.
"Mmmmmm think I'll pass but hey, if you're not tazed this morning and make it on time I'll save you a spot" She said with a wink before hurrying of to class.
Kennedy. She had been with me from the start. She was there when we were blindfolded at 5 years old and brought, no kidnapped. Taken away from our familes in the dead of night only to awaken in a white lab hooked up to machines. The memory is still choppy but I try to always hold onto it. Always keep that image. The image of Kennedy extending her hand to myn, both of us in pain. My eyes blur and thats all I can remember. It isnt much but it's something.
After I finished dressing I made my way down the long steel coridor. The only hallway in this building that leads to my first class of the day. Battle training, my favorite. I was not a gifted fighter when they first put us against each other at the age of 10. I was fragile,timid, and afraid. How couldn't I be? Most of my opponents were bigger than me, faster to. They all seemed to have a sense of fighting that I couldnt grasp. Their movements much more fluid and subtle. Their jabs much quicker with piercing strikes, for 10 year olds. I spent most of the early years getting beaten and pummled. I went from walking one day with a black eye and broken nose, to the next day when I would have another black eye and split lip to add. It was a rough childhood but I learned to be strong from it. I learned the value of hard work as I trained constantly in the privacy of my bunk room after all had fallen asleep. Learning to be as fluid and soundless as possible so as to not wake my bunk mates. My first knock out happend when I turned 12. Our leaders, who are notorious for making our lifes hard, seemed to be in a bad mood that day and needed some enjoyment. His enjoyment was the sight of me possibly being pummled by the top tanked fighter in the class that time, Matt. I had been secretly training for nearly two years and actually began to climb the ranks from the bottom but never passed the halfway mark. It wasnt unheard of for this situation to happen, the top rank beats the lowest ranks for the enjoyment of leaders when they were bored and only had a real challenge on advancement days. The fight started and the young boy came running at me. With one swift move I swept his feet and drove my fist into his gut until he hit the ground. One hit knock out.
Upon finally reaching class I hear our instructor, Damion, giving the same old lecture as he did everyday. "You will not be cared for. If you fall get up. If you cannot get on your feet fight from your knees. If you cannot get to your knees then lay and await death because that is all that you have earned!" The same boring speech, the same meaning kill or be killed, never give up, and always stay as one. As I creep in steadidly, trying not to noticed, I scan the room for Kennedy. After fixing my eyes on her position I begin to work my way toward her until I finally find a seat between her and another student named Simon.
"You're gonna think I'm joking but I cant believe you're not late. Well not that late anyway."Kennedy whispered, eyes still fixed on Damion.
"Oops time must have slipped my mind" I replied. "Next time ill stroll longer"
"Today's challenge will be different then normal advancement day." Damion said and paused for dramatic effect "Instead of your leaders hand picking the fights you shall decide amongst your selves. Not only will you be in control of who you fight but potentially you may control how your rank responds to it."
Our rank. A system designed to rank us from lowest form of output to highest. Your ranking was based on three categories.
1) How you preform in battle (class 1)
2) Your reaction to various situations (class 2 and 3)
3) Stimulation of the brain (class 4)
Only after completing each class can one's rank finally be established. After 9 years of all of this you might think it would get old. That we would be masters of it and need no instruction. Well it didnt and we werent. Every day was a new challenge. Fighting a different person everyday, facing many "what if" scenarios and navigating through odd brain simulations every day that were never the same is what kept it entertaining. To me anyway.
Once Damion's instructions were complete the ranking score board flashed behind him displaying everyone's rank. Rank 48 a long way from the bottom, where I used to be, at rank 129. There was Kennedy still bobbling in and out ranks but always managed to stay around 59.
"One finale note" Damion yelled, this time demanding our attention "You will be rewarded based on the difficulty of your challenge. Should you be rank 70 and defeat a top 10 fighter, your ranking will increase dramatically. But should the reverse happen..... Well Im sure you know" He finished his sentance with a evil grin. "You have 10 minutes"
10 minutes to find an opponent size him up and see if I can take him. That was my plan. Unfortunatley for me, my plans never went as.... well planned. I scanned from person to person and trying to match their face to the scoreboard. At the 2 minute mark they blew a horn signalling we needed to hurry. As I continued to search I couldn't match anyone and I was running out of time. "tik tok tik tok" Damion said through his microphone. "30 seconds" Only 30 seconds left. I began to panic fearing that if I didnt choose someone that I might get put up against someone way to strong, or the offset way to weak. The clock drained down 10....9....8....7....6....5. With only desperation left I decided the very next person I see I'll pick them. Worst decision ever. My choice, my chosen destiny that I had just mistakenly picked was Rob Deeden. NO.3 on the list. "Shit" I mumbled under my breath. More of a reflex than a thought out response. Rob looked at me, sizing me up. With a deep raggid voice that should belong to a smoker he said "Pshhh another jank trying to test his metal. Ok then so be it." I tensed up
" Okay then time to begin!" Damion exploded over the speakers. "please make your way to the arena, we will have the order of fighters when you get there."
As we made our way down and much more narrow hall way filled with torches, all I could think about was how approach Rob. Should I sweep his legs first? No, he's way to fast for that. Maybe If I tackled him at the start, nah that wouldnt work either. I was so deep in thought I failed to realize Rob was walking on my heels behind me. Breathing hard and close that I could feed it on my neck. Disgusting.
When we exited the long hallway we found ourselfs in the arena. Molded and made to represent the ancient roman gladiatior duels with only few noticible changes. For instance cameras every 20 feet of the room. Iron gates replaced by particle force fields. The ruined stands were coated in a blue soft padding so that all my be comfortable while watching, although no one ever came to watch us.
"Our first battle is" Damion said as the jumbo screen behind picked fights at random.
"Rank 48 and Rank 3! Looks like someones feeling brave or has a death wish" Damion cackled as he glanced at me.
"Alright clear the arena and give these two some space." Everyone proceeded to the walls and hoisted themselves into stands and took their seat. Everyone except me and Robb. We took our stances, evenly 10 feet apart. I cant believe im doing this I think to myself. Rob is twice as fast as me and bigger in everyway. There's a reason he's ranked 3 and Im not.
Damon gave us both glances to silently ask if we were ready. I looked at Rob intently to match his steel gaze on me. "Begin!"
I sprang into action heading straight for rob. A stupid idea I told myself but only idea I had. When we finally come into distance of each other the fight began. I threw two punches toward his head both whiffing. After dodging both Robb planted his back foot and used a full rotation as he thrust a blow at me. I catch his fist and bite back the pain from impact. With is hand in my grasp I begin to try and take advantage. I rotate his arm until I have it bent into sumbission. Just when I think I am about to lock it up Robb rotates his body at a lighting speed flipping over my back and releasing his arm all in fluid motion. "Damn." I mutter. Robb grins at me "ready for round 2?" and then he barrles toward me. I stand my ground waiting for his next blow, trying to read his movement. Robb bobs left and right during his movement at me, trying calculate what move I will do. With attempt of desperation I throw my shoulder into him before he has time to react. We tumble and I come up with the advantage of being on top. I deliver one quick punch to his face but he dosnt seem fazed. I throw another, this time a haymaker, and he catches my arm. "My turn" he grins as he reverses the position to where im on bottom. I shield my face from his oncoming blows but it dosnt make them feel that much better. As he pummles my arm guard I realize he's off balance. Knowing that, I use it to my advantage and thrust my hips upward with all my might and throwbody his over my head onto his stomach. I scramble to my feet on to see he's comming back for me. Without hesitation or thought I take position. As I dig into the ground with my feet I count 1....2......3..... He gets closer cocking back his right fist ready to demolish whatever he hits.
When he's finally in range that's when he makes his mistake. He hurls his fist at me not noticing the position of my feet. They werent in the standard guard position, but rather i shifted them into a odd position. An odd position to anyone but myself. As his fist comes I begin my counter. I move my head to the right to avoid being smashed while I simutanously knocked his arm with my right forearm and spun, using the rotation as a force to increase my impact. Once he was offset and I was mid turn I knew I had him. Smash. My left elbow burst into flames from the pain as I nail him right in the back of his head. I come out of my attack and turn to face him ready for the next movement. He swaying back and forth until he turns and faces me and I see it. His eyes. They're white like he really isnt awake, like he's just there. After seeing this I knew. I had won. As I dropped my guard Robb dropped to the floor and the arena went silent. Even the leaders who usually say congratulate the winners are speechless. Everyone is. And then through the cold silent air I hear Damion announce. "Robb Deeden has been knocked uncosious and is unable to continue. The Winner by default is Raz Velius!" I won. I won. Im in to much shock to believe it. I won. Without hesitation I look through the crowd and see Kennedy standing amongst the sitting fighters. Her blonde hair let down to her shoulders, her beautiful green eyes that reminded me of the spring grass we had read about, and with tears building in her eyes I can tell they're tears of joy.
End of draft 1