Eclipse Star: Genesis Chapter Ten

November 25, 2008 at 12:23 pm (Eclipse Star: Genesis) ()


Eclipse Star:  Chapter 10

“And The Challengers Are…”


Recap:  After an invitation was offered to all willing combatants for a tournament between Zanretha and Balobyn, our group made their way to the main gym to see if they could earn a spot to compete.  Derek was first up, easily making sport of his opponent and earning him a chance to make it into the final 4 open slots in the tournament.  Chris was next up and, after taking a severe beating, managed to end the fight with one solid knee to his challenger’s chin.  Next up, Lindsey…


Lindsey:  (Runs into the center of the ring, incredibly jazzed).  My turn!


Derek:  Pff, good luck in there little lady…


Austin:  (Walks Chris out of the ring).  Nice job there buddy, you had me worried for a second.


Chris:  (Grinning like an idiot, completely in his own world).  Heehee, she smiled at me.


Austin:  What took you so long to fight back?


Chris:  (Still paying Austin little mind).  She hugged me, too.  It was worth it.


Austin:  Man, I may be one of your best friends but I doubt I’ll ever fully understand how that sick mind of yours works.


Jack:  (Cheers Lindsey on).  C’mon Lindz!  This is nothing more than a small-time workout for you!


Lindsey:  (Smiles and gives a thumbs-up back).  Don’t worry Jack, I’m more than ready!


Referee:  Okay, can we get the next challenger in here please?  (Another one of the higher-ups watching from the sidelines walks into the ring).  You ready son?  (He nods back).  Good.  And…begin!


Lindsey:  Hurrah!  (Rushes at the guy, jumps into the air and kicks him in the side of the head.  The guy falls to the ground and slams his face, though he quickly gets back up).


Jack:  Great!  That was a good hit!  Do more of those!


Chris:  Yay…Lindsey!


Kyle:  Smooth.


Lindsey:  (Raises her hands in the air as if entertaining a crowd).  And now for the Ultra Special Lindsey Super Combo!


-Lindsey runs at the guy once again.  He’s covering his head now and very afraid.


-Lindsey rolls around the side of him and back around to his front again, although the guy can’t keep up with her rapid movements.  He turns his head around to see her right as she gives him a rapid succession of gut punches, her fists blurring together before she gives one last devastating impact.


-His eyes bulge and his jaw drops.  Most everyone watching has the same reaction.


-Lindsey’s challenger falls to his knees and waves her off, giving up.


Lindsey:  (Her hands in the air again.  She’s jumping up and down).  Hooray for me!


Derek:  (Rolls his eyes).  Oh I don’t believe this.


Jack:  That was extraordinary!


Scott:  (Once again with a cigarette hanging from his mouth).  Keep jumpin’ honey, it’s good entertainment.


Commander:  Damn female equality movement…  (Folds his arms and slumps farther down into his chair).


Chris:  Well Jack, who should we send in next?


Jack:  Might as well step up and do my part.  (Walks into the ring, hugs Lindsey on her way out, and stands with his hands in his pockets).  Hey Commander!  Any more decent challengers?  Everyone seems to have grown rather unfond of us in general.


Commander:  (Glaring Jack down).  Jack my boy, you want a challenge?


Jack:  You wanna give me one?  Maybe encourage me from time to time?


Commander:  Jack, I commend you on raising such fine talents such as these.  Do you think you’re still stronger than them?


-Jack looks around at the group he’s trained and naturally, can’t say a word.


Commander:  Well?


Jack:  (Shrugs).  I don’t know; I haven’t seriously sparred with them since the first month they were here.


Commander:  Oh, wouldn’t it be fun to see how well you could do against them?


Jack:  I’d much rather fight with someone who wants nothing to do with me.


Derek:  (Under his breath).  Look no further…


Commander:  As much as I’d love to walk in there and fight you personally, I think it’d be much more fun to call your bluff in front of a larger audience.  Jack, you and the first three will advance to the tournament.


Jack:  (Looking the commander up and down, cautiously).  What about the others?  Don’t you want to see how good they’ve gotten before you pass judgment on us?


Commander:  Jack, you wouldn’t be trying to back out of a chance to compete, would you?


Jack:  I don’t want to get to compete like this; I’d rather have earned my spot.


Commander:  Ahhh, how noble.  (Brushes him pants off as he stands up).  Well Jack, as far as I’m concerned, if you can train a group of rookies to fight like that within three month’s time, you’re more than qualified to fight.


Jack:  (Still unsure of the situation).  Thank…thank you.


Commander:  No thanks necessary, really.  Now go, you’ve got one week to prepare for this thing; I suggest teaching them some humility first, yourself included.  For those in your group who didn’t get a chance to fight, I will be holding matches all day in order to see just how much you have improved.  Does that sound fair to you Jack?


Jack:  I suppose so.


Commander:  Good, I’m happy that you’re content.  So go start training, you’ve got a week.


Jack:  Yes sir.


Commander:  Hey Derek.


Derek:  (Turns around, caught off guard).  Huh?  What?


Commander:  How’d you like a chance to show Jack that he’s completely outclassed?


Jack:  What’s he getting at…?


Derek:  Didn’t you just grant me that with my spot in the tournament?


Commander:  You’ve got the highest Pulse rating of your crowd.  There’s an obstacle course that we use to break in those with higher levels similar to yours, though that doesn’t typically happen for another few years.


Jack:  (Glaring at the Commander).  That course is ridiculous.  Half of the things in there could kill even you if you’re not careful.


Commander:  Yes, this is true.  You all seem so eager to advance; care to try the course Derek?


Derek:  It could kill me, huh?


Commander:  Depends on how risky you play it.


Derek:  What the hell, just for kicks.


Commander:  (Smiles).  Heh heh, good.  It’s a two-man course.  So why don’t we have-


Derek:  (Interrupts the Commander).  Chris.


Chris:  (Blank).  What?


Commander:  Uh…wouldn’t you rather see if Jack can-


Derek:  No.  I want Chris.


Lindsey:  Chris…you don’t have to do this you know…


Chris:  I know…(Looks back at Derek).  But then again he’s not going to let me live it down if I don’t.


Derek:  Good.  Where’s the course?


Commander:  (Walks down from the bleachers).  Follow me.

*          *          *          *          *

-The group has been lead to a building nearby the training ring.  Once the doors swing open a massive obstacle course is revealed that loops around the building, curving up and around several times.


Lindsey:  (In awe).  Whoa…


Chris:  (Sees flames shooting from one section, various spinning blades in another, and a stretch that looks like instant-death from all the nasty things whirling and gyrating around).  Uh…can I still change my mind…?


Austin:  I’ve got faith in you Chris.  It’s not…well it’s not that bad really.  I mean, other than the death-blades up there, the worst could happen is maybe a few burns or bruises.


Commander:  (Annoyed by the whole thing, he’s talking to his Subordinate).  Derek was supposed to take the bait and pull Jack in with him.  Why the weak kid…?


Subordinate:  They’ve got a rivalry going.  I’ve been keeping an eye on it for a while.  It’s been getting more and more heated since they started getting past basic endurance.


Commander:  Crap, how’d I not know this…?  (To everyone).  Alright, Derek, Chris, you two ready?


Derek:  What are the rules?


Commander:  Nothing’s off limits as long as you don’t mind getting injured as a result of bad judgment.


Derek:  Sounds good to me.


Commander:  It’s a test of quick thinking in the field as much as speed and endurance.


Clinton:  Out of curiosity, what’s the fatality rate for recruits who challenge this thing?


Subordinate:  Roughly 30%.  Not too bad considering most people choose to forgo this in lieu of two more years of training.


Clinton:  Ah.


Kyle:  Hey question.  We’re not all required to challenge the Agro Cragg, right?


Commander:  Not unless you want to.


Kyle:  I do not.  (Sits down).


Everyone else:  Agreed.  (They sit as well, leaving Chris and Derek standing).


Commander:  Once around the track.  You ready?


Derek:  Yeah.


Chris:  No…


Commander:  Ready set GO!


-Derek and Chris take off down the designated path, hitting a rope meant to climb to the second floor.  They both clear it with no difficulty.


-They come up to platforms teetering incrementally higher up.  As they leap onto the first one it instantly topples, forcing them to ascend higher and higher very rapidly without a chance to time their jumps.  Derek keeps making eager leaps, though Chris begins to stumble and fall behind.


-Once on stable ground again, Derek jets off to a series of ups and downs, a simple matter of running.  Chris makes it to this part a few steps behind Derek.  The two begins running up and down before starting to just leap from peak to peak.


Austin:  The first half doesn’t look too bad…it’s that latter part that’s a killer.


Jack:  In the very literal sense.  I’ve had friends fail the test.


Lindsey:  Oh God…


Jack:  Don’t worry, they’re alive, but they sort of have to take desk jobs now.


-The up-downs completed, Derek and Chris rush on in a flat area, Derek still a few feet ahead of Chris.  The next zone involves several poles going straight up.  The two have to jump from pole to pole, shimmying up the poles to gain altitude so that they can make it to the next section located at yet another higher altitude.  Derek has little trouble here, making more dangerous leaps every so often.  Chris begins to show problems.


Chris:  (Swaying from a pole, clutching tightly).  Heights…  Why heights…?


-They both mange to make it to the next part, the first half completed.  The path then splits into two routes, one that goes straight up with enough space to either crawl or wall-jump up to the highest level.  The other path has whirling blades jutting out from hi on a down slope, leading all the way to the ground-floor, though through any number of other deadly hazards.  Derek comes to the fork and screeches to a halt.


Derek:  That’s insane.  (Looks the paths over before facing upwards and starting his wall-jumps to the top).


Jack:  This is typically where everyone either gives up or goes the top-route.  I haven’t seen anyone seriously try the slope.


Danny:  Looks like a “Slope of Doom!”


Kyle:  Yes.  Yes it does.


Scott:  This is some wild shit.  (Pause).  Anyone wanna take bets on who’s gonna win?  (People chime in and begin chatting).


Lindsey:  (Gets annoyed by this and takes a step forward, distancing herself from the others.  She yells up to Chris).  You can do it Chris!  I know you can!


-Chris looks off at Lindsey a little worried.  He turns right before hitting the fork in the paths.  He stops and checks up, seeing Derek slowly leaping up, crawling in a few spots.  He then looks straight ahead at the sloped-path and the whirling blades.  He pauses a few seconds, counting as he goes.


Chris:  (Quickly pointing at blades as they pop in and out).  Onetwothreefourfive…  (Takes a deep breath and books it towards the slope as he nods).


-Chris makes his first leap, clearing a blade as it pops up and retreats.  A series of blades pop from nearly everywhere as Chris jukes around each, skidding every time he lands.


-Everyone is now silently watching this with their jaws about ready to hang open.


Derek:  (Gets to the top and looks down to see this).  What the heck?!  Is he crazy?!


-Chris’ eyes close as he continues.  The walls begin slamming closed, nearly crushing him every time.  Fireballs shoot from various locales, missing him by inches as he ducks and sways around in almost a dance.  More blades appear, this time as pendulums swinging back and forth.  Chris leaps though one at a time, never breaking step, at times turning around in the air and sliding backwards as he lands.


-Derek is running at top speed along the upper-level through a fairly simple course in comparison, the floor mainly just jutting at awkward angles with drops every few paces.


-The slope that Chris is on ends abruptly, free-falling for a few stories with nothing but rotating spheres making the path look impossible due to their razor-edges.


-Derek reaches the end of his section, another straight drop to the ground-floor with more poles dropping off at random times, forcing him to leap from one pole to another before he falls straight down.


-Chris begins twirling around in the air as he falls, slipping through the center of each ring at it spins around him.  Somehow he manages to avoid death each time, finally hitting the large pad at the bottom.


Derek:  (Angry).  I don’t believe this…


-Chris opens his eyes and gets up, sprinting to towards the end as Derek reaches the floor a few yards behind him.  The final stretch is just a flat run as the two go all-out.


Austin:  Who’s it gonna be…?


-The two are giving it everything they have, now neck-and-neck.  Finally, the two blow through the goal and screech to a stop, whipping around to look at the Commander.  The two are completely out of breath.


Commander:  Uh…did you see who won?


Subordinate:  (Checking the readings of a machine nearby).  Just a second here…  (A picture prints out.  It shows Derek a few inches ahead of Chris).  There.


Commander:  Derek, looks like you won.


Derek:  (Gets a huge smile on his face and starts laughing).  Hahahaha!  After all that fancy crap you still lost!


Lindsey:  Chris, how the heck did you do that?!


Chris:  (Totally out of breath).  Do…heh, heh…do what?


Lindsey:  How did you…not die?


Chris:  Uh…  (Thinks to himself).  I thought I choose the easy path…


Derek:  (Stops laughing).  What?!  Easy?!  How the hell is that easy?!


Chris:  Well it was just simple patterns.  Once I looked it over a bit it was just a matter of repeating the correct part of the pattern at the right time.


Leena:  Un-freaking-believable.  Patterns.  You’re making things up.


Chris:  No, it’s there, I swear it is.


Commander:  (Aggravated).  Enough.  The course is now off-limits to you all.  Everyone else who wants to see if they’ve progressed, go back to the sparing gym.  Otherwise be ready for the tournament in one week.  (Walks away).  Patterns…what will they think of next…?

*          *          *          *          *

(At the end of the day, every single member of Jack’s group had successfully challenged, fought, and defeated a member of the higher-class soldiers, although it was tough to force some of them to fight with the abnormal newbies.  One week of training later, the lucky four are escorted to the Trillium City Grand Arena to compete.  The rest of the group comes along to root for their team members, although their seats are miserably far from the ground floor).


Kyle:  This is ridiculous; my head’s scrapping the rafters in these seats.


Austin:  At least we were able to come.


Leena:  My best friend is out there in the middle of all the action and I’m stuck up here in the nosebleed section to watch.  This sucks.


Scott:  The bitch is right, we got gypped.


Austin:  Ah c’mon guys, when was the last time you were even able to score tickets to anything is the Arena?


Clinton:  Well…I was able to come see a basketball game here once a few years ago.


Austin:  See, that’s pretty cool.


Clinton:  It was women’s basketball though so I guess that doesn’t really count.


Kevin:  I’m just hoping that everyone’ll be alright.


Austin:  Not to worry, the rules say no killing allowed, plus there’s hospital staff everywhere so if anything does go wrong there’ll be someone to fix it.


Kyle:  (Shaking with frustration in his seat).  Bah!  It’s not fair!  I wanna be down there!


Leena:  Oh God, I’m gonna have to put up with that for the next few hours?  Can someone trade seats with me or something?


Austin:  Hey, where’s Danny and Willy?


Scott:  Last I heard they were on their way back from the snack bar.  (Lights up a cigarette).


Leena:  You know, those things’ll significantly reduce your health and take years off your life.


Scott:  (Looks at her patronizingly).  Ahhhh, aren’t you a precious little thing?


Kyle:  They’ll also make you impotent later on.


Scott:  (Puts his cigarette out).  That’s a fair argument.  See hon, that’s the kind of argument that’ll get a guy’s attention.  (Pats Leena on the cheek.)  Useful information in case you ever want to learn how to properly talk to men.


Leena:  Don’t touch me you jerk!


Scott:  (Throws his hands up).  I can’t smoke; I can’t touch you, what the hell can I do?


Danny:  (Comes running up with Willy, both of them have their arms stuffed with food).  Anyone want a hotdog?


Kyle:  And where did you guys get all that food?


Danny:  Um, the food stand…duh.


Kevin:  I think he means, how’d you pay for all of it?


Danny:  This thing’s comped…right?


Kyle:  Nooooo…


Danny:  Oh.  (Danny and Willy look at each other for a second).   …Anyone want a possibly stolen hotdog?


Kyle:  Sure.


Scott:  Right here.


Leena:  Why not?


Austin:  Sound good.


Kevin:  (Muttering from under his breath).  Thou shalt not steal…  (Clears his throat).  When do you think they’ll get things started?


Willy:  We’ll know when they start lowering down the mega screen TV from the ceiling in the middle.


Leena:  And how would you know?


Willy:  I heard some people talking about it while we were waiting in line for food.  It should be starting any time now.


-The lights begin to dim as a large television starts lowering down from the middle of the ceiling.


Kyle:  Good timing.


Announcer:  Ladies and gentlemen!  Welcome to this amazing event!  Tonight, the Trillium City Grand Arena is proud to present to you a tournament between our great nation of Zanretha and the equally great nation of Balobyn!  (Applause).  It is my humble honor to introduce the one responsible for this tournament, the head of the nation of Balobyn, Octavious!


Octavious:  (After more applause Octavious makes his way into the center of the arena).  Good evening!  It gives me great pleasure to see that so many people turned out for our little tournament!


Scott:  Wait, now who is this guy?


Leena:  Hah!  You’re kidding, right?


Kevin:  Octavious is the president of Balobyn and has been for the past decade.


Scott:  Well I gathered that much from his introduction.  Why’s he here though?  Doesn’t he have a country to run?


Clinton:  (Scratches his chin).  That’s actually a good point; what is he doing here?


Octavious:  In an effort to better relations between our two nations, I decided that a friendly tournament would be the best bet.  So please, sit back and enjoy yourselves tonight while we watch eight people beat each other senseless.  (Extreme applause and cheering).


Announcer:  Thank you Octavious!  And now, let’s bring out the four combatants from Zanretha!  Straight from the Legion, here they are!  Our first challenger, he’s been in the Legion for almost two years now and he’s already at the top of his class, JACK VOSS!  (Jack runs out into the spotlights and waves to everyone).  Next in line, a newcomer to the Legion, we have, DEREK TOLKEIN!  (Derek walks out casually and hardly seems to care that he’s getting so much attention).  Another new addition to the Legion, a very lovely lady, LINDSEY SONNEN!  (Lindsey runs out pumping her fists in the air.  She’s beyond excited).  And finally, bringing up the rear, yet another new recruit, CHRIS  COLLINS!  (Chris runs out looking terrified at the thought of having to perform in front of a crowd this large).


Jack:  Come on guys; let’s show them just how great this nation is, alright?!


Derek:  Oh I’ll give ‘em a show alright.


Lindsey:  This is going to be SO COOL!


Chris:  I’ll just be glad when this day is over.


Lindsey:  (Grabs Chris and frustratedly shakes him).  Oh come on!  This’ll be great, just have some confidence in yourself for a change, you’ll do fine!


Announcer:  And now, our quests from overseas, the four combatants from Balobyn!


Derek:  Wonder what kind of warriors they’ll be using?


Announcer:  They choose not to give out their last names for this event, but here they are anyways!


Jack:  Dang it, why didn’t we get that option?


Announcer:  A strong fighter known for his strength and determination in the Balobynian army, ATLAS!  (Large guy runs out dressed in black robes.  He doesn’t look all too bright in the head though).  Next, we have a man known throughout Balobyn as a dealer of death, THANATOS!  (A smaller man hurries out into the arena.  He’s dressed in the same black robes as the first man).


Derek:  Hah, they must all be wearing uniforms.  How cliché.


Jack:  First guy looks kinda tough but not so bright, second guy could be dangerous…


Derek:  What are you doing?


Jack:  Summing up the competition.


Announcer:  Third on Balobyn’s list, a man who’s got some pep to him, FERGUS!  (A very small guy runs out with robes at least a size too large).


Derek:  Ahahaha, what a loser.  This guy’ll be easy to eliminate.


Chris:  So we’ve got a good mix so far of duds and dangerous folk.  Who’s the last place contestant?


Announcer:  And finally, leading the pack for Balobyn, a man who’s a national hero to all of Balobyn, the one, the only, SYRUS!  (The crowd goes absolutely crazy with excitement).


Chris:  Holy shit.


Derek:  Holy shit…


Group in the Stands:  HOLY SHIT!


To Be Continued…


1 Comment

  1. The King of Zing said,

    1. I like the Holy Shit moment at the end 2. You totally were into American Gladiators when you wrote this draft and 3. I want to play Scott in the Pod Cast.

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