Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Holy crap, it's chapter 1.

Prologue

Chapter 1, the awakening


Blackness.  That is all that was and all that is, a deep infinite blackness.  But, behind the blackness, from everywhere and nowhere, came a noise.  The blackness ignored the noise, content to not exist.  But the noise grew louder.  The blackness forcefully ignored the noise, it didn't want to be.  The noise grew more distinct, words could be made out from the jumble.  Words of concern and worry.

"What did they do to you?" came a female voice.

With that, the blackness paid attention.  "I am" and the young man opened his eyes to blinding light.

As the white blindness cleared he saw a woman's face over him.  Her short blond hair caught the light, and her blue eyes were as deep as the ocean.  It was like a dream.

All too soon the rest of the young man's vision cleared and he found himself in a jail cell.

"Where the hell..." he said as he sat up right into the bunk above him. 

The young woman gently pushed him back down.  "Take it easy, you're still not recovered from the surgery."

"Surgery, what surgery?"

"Don't worry about it yet, just relax.  What's your name?"  She asked before he could push further.

Thinking for a few seconds, the young man realized he didn't know.  He didn't remember anything.  "I... I don't know."

"You don't know?  Do you remember anything?"

He thought for a little while longer.  "No, nothing before waking up here."

"What did they do to you?  It must have been bad to cause full amnesia.  I'm sure your memory will return in time.  My name's Sarah.  Nice to meet you."

"Uh, nice to meet you too.  Now, what the hell is going on here?"  He asked, noticeably frustrated.

"Well, you’re probably not going to believe this, but you've been..."  She was interrupted by a loud noise down the hall.

From down the hall came two figures, one in full body armor and helmet, the other was an older man in a blue jumpsuit like Sarah's.  The armored man had what appeared to be a weapon and was escorting the older man to the cell.

"Good game" came a mechanical voice from the helmet "You two, come with me."

"He's not ready yet" said Sarah, moving slightly to block the guard from the young man "He doesn't even remember who he is yet."

"Don't worry" came the sarcastic reply.  "You're just going to the training room.  The new kid's got to get his bearings quick, the doc has big plans for him."

The cell door opened and the older man walked in.  Sarah helped the young man up from the bed and held his arm while they walked out of the cell, the door slamming behind them.  Outside the cell was a long hallway with more cells.  As the guard escorted the two down the hall the young man saw many others in the cells, all with the same blue jumpsuits.  The only differences were the numbers on the back.  At the end of the hall they walked threw a large metal door into a small metal room with another large metal door.

The young man looked at Sarah.  "Why is everything metal?"  Just as he said that, he found out why.  The second door opened to a large round walkway entirely enclosed in glass.  Outside were stars, above and below.  He even saw a nebula a relatively short distance away.  On the other side of the walkway he could see a large glass dome and connected to that dome were more walkways connecting to a large grid of compartments and other domes large and small.  The young man stood in awe at the site as Sarah, completely ignoring the view, tugged on his arm.

"Keep moving before the guard gets upset" she whispered.

It was too late, the guard shoved the young man with his weapon and a sharp electrical pain shot threw his body knocking him to his knees.

The guard pointed to Sarah, "Get him up and get moving."

"I told you he was still weak, he just got here" She said pulling him easily to his feet.

"I know that, but you know the doctors.  He's perfectly fine physically, he's just mentally weak."

The young man realized the guard was right, his legs were strong beneath him, the weakness he felt earlier must have been physiological.  The pain from the weapon, however, was not.  The young man continued down the walkway trying to ignore the amazing sights outside.

They walked threw what the young man realized must have been an airlock into the dome.  Inside was large, filled with exercise equipment, practice dummies, sparing rings, and a track around the perimeter.  they could see a few others in blue jumpsuits and quite a few guards spread around.  All the inmates were working out.  Two were running on treadmills, another two were sparing in a ring, a few were punching the training dummies.

Another guard walked up to them, turned to the escorting guard, and asked in the same mechanical voice "Is this the new guy?"

"Yes" came the abrupt response before the first guard turned and walked back out of the dome.

The new guard looked the young man up and down, though he couldn't see the guards face, the young man felt the guard was underwhelmed.  He looked a Sarah, "Get him started number 963, his first match is in three hours."  And with that he turned and walked away.

"Three hours?" Sarah said to herself.  "I had two weeks before my first match.  Come on, TK.  Let's get you started, don't want you to get killed out there."

"TK?"

"Yeah, you needed a name, your number is 1000, K stands for 1000, so it just kinda flowed to TK.  Come on, we'll start easy.  Try to keep up with me on the track."  With that she started to jog down the long track.

"TK.  I like it." And with that the newly christened TK jogged after Sarah. 

As he got close, Sarah sped up to keep ahead of him.  "Try to catch me." she called over her shoulder.

TK broke into a run and Sarah sped up to keep ahead of him again.  No matter how fast he ran, she ran faster.  No mater how much ground he made up, she pulled away again.  Soon TK realized he was running faster then he ever had before and he wasn't even at top speed.

Sarah turned around and running backwards taunted "Come on, is that all you got?", and she turned back around and all but disappeared in a sudden flash of speed.

"This seems so normal to her" TK thought.  "This must just be how it is."

TK pushed harder and harder to catch up with Sarah, and when he pushed beyond what his mind told him was possible, even beyond the impossible, he found more.  A seemingly bottomless pool of energy that pushed him so fast he collided with Sarah and they both flew from the track into the wall.

Sarah pushed TK off and sat up laughing.  "Seems you figured that part out, let's try that again.  And this time, don't run me over."

She got back up and started a slow jog away.  TK hopped back up and chased after her.  This time he was more able to control his speed.  He was able to keep up with Sarah without bowling her over.  Once again as he caught up with here she pulled ahead.  Soon they were traveling just as fast as last time.  Faster and faster they travelled, but it wasn't long before TK realized Sarah was at her limit.  He could see that she was concentrating vary hard on the run and she was even sweating.  TK, however, wasn't having any problems.  He knew he could go even faster.  As he thought that, he felt a twitch in his legs and knew he had to slow down before he lost control. 

Sarah slowed and turned around, "Ha, I'm still the fastest here.  No one has ever been able to keep up with me."

TK said nothing in response.

"All right, let's try the practice dummy."  She pointed at one of the dummies setup near the center of the room, brushing away a bead of sweat while TK wasn't looking.

He walked over to the dummies and poked one.  It was hard, like metal.  Being a training dummy, he punched it.  All that happened was a dull thud.

"No, punch it." She wound up and threw a right hook into the dummy’s midsection.  She left a dent about three inches deep.

"OK" he thought and leaned into a right hook of his own.  The dummy lifted from its mounts and flew several feet.

"See, now you got it.  Do it again."

He was about to go to the second one in line when the first floated up and reattached to the floor.

Seeing his confused look, Sarah answered before he could ask.  "Most of the stuff here repairs itself.  Don't relax too much, a haul breach still sucks.  No pun intended."

TK just looked at her.  He then turned back to the newly repaired dummy.

"This time, take it easy.  Just damage it, don't destroy it.  You would be surprised how often a light touch works better then an all out attack."  Sarah warned.

TK put his hand on the dummy again to feel how strong it was. He then gave it a quick jab and managed to put a small dent in it.  He pulled back his fist and punched again.  This time the dent was a little larger.  Again and again he hit the dummy.  First a right jab, then a left.  Over and over again, getting stronger and stronger until he was pounding the dummy out of it's anchoring.

Sarah put her hand on his shoulder, stopping him.  "OK, I think you got the hang of that.  Remember how that felt.  You will have to be able to control your power.  We don't have much time left, I want to give you at least an hour to rest before your first fight.  Let's spare for a little while.  That should give you the best idea of what you can do now."

They walked over to one of the unused rings and climbed inside.  Sarah stood on one side and TK took his place on the other.

"Remember what I told you about controlling your power?" She paused for TK to nod.  "Use that here, I don't want to be injured in a sparing match.  I promise I'll do the same for you.  You have first attack, come at me."

TK paused.  "Is this right?" he thought.  "She seems so use to this kind of thing, but it feels wrong somehow.  I wish I could remember something about my life, maybe that would give me some moral guidance."

"Come on, I could have kicked your ass five times by now."  Sarah taunted.

"Fine" TK quickly responded. 

He ran strait at her and gave her a quick left jab.  She took the hit in her jaw and recoiled.

"Crap, I thought you would duck..."

Right at that moment Sarah used her momentum to spin around and give TK a roundhouse kick, knocking TK to the mat.

"Don't feel sorry for your opponent, matches get lost that way." She said helping him back to his feet.  "Again, this time I won't let you hit me."

TK swung again, this time Sarah ducked under the punch and came back with an uppercut.  TK somehow knew this was going to happen and stepped to the side.  Sarah flashed a quick smile, but didn't slow down.  She did a quick jab, but TK was too far away.  Most of the power was lost and only managed to push him back a step.  This was all she needed.  With the added range she back flipped kicking TK in the jaw and knocking him back to the mat.  TK flipped his legs over his head and landed on his feet with extra distance.  Sarah didn't let him keep the buffer and ran at him.  Seeing this, TK managed to use her momentum, flip her over his shoulder, and throw her from the ring.

"How the hell did I do that? "  He asked watching Sarah pick herself up.

"You'll find you can do a lot of things you thought were imposible."  She climbed back into the ring.  "Come on, this time I'm not going to take it easy on you."

TK took up a defensive posture just as she attacked.  The match continued on and on for two hours.  Sarah could see TK was getting better as the match went on, but she knew it wouldn't be enough.  Eventually she stopped.

"It's time we get back to the cell.  We have about half an hour before your first fight, you need to rest."

"Uh, OK."  TK responded as he and Sarah jumped out of the ring.

The guard escorted them back to the cell.  Inside TK had a chance to talk to the older man he saw earlyer.

"What's your name?"

He didn't respond.

"Oh, ignore Doug.  He's always like that."  Sarah said.  "Now just relax.  The guard will be here any minute to take you to the central dome."

TK lied back and let the time pass in silence.  Soon there was a loud metallic sound down the hallway and the guard walked up to the cell.

The guard pointed at TK and Doug in turn.  "You and you, come with me."

Doug walked over to the cell door and the guard unlocked it.  TK stood up and walked out the cell.

"Looks like you got lucky."  Sarah called from her bed.  "Doug may be a hard ass, but he won't let you get killed out there."

"Killed?"  TK stopped.

"Keep it moving kid." Doug shoved TK along.

The three walked out of the cell block and down another corridor.  TK could tell they were going to the large dome he saw earlier.  As they got closer it looked even bigger then before.  They went threw another airlock and entered the arena.

Inside was huge and full of spectators.  The place was so big TK couldn't even clearly see anyone.  He did see, on the other side of the ring, two large, red robots.  As the neared the center of the arena he could see that the robots were piloted by two people in red suits.

"What's going on here?"  TK whispered to Doug.

"We're here to fight the reds.  What did you think we were doing here?  It's a battle to the death."

TK froze, his eyes wide.

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