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The Eclectic Pen - Beyond The Dreams

By: Stephanie P. (Alniah)   + 2 more  
Date Submitted: 1/27/2007
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy » Science Fiction
Words: 1,307

  Ionic energy shackles restrained her wrists; their gloomy radiation pierced the deep dark of the cell. The air was rapidly becoming bitter and heavy in this confined space where the silence ruled. The Faulxis would not exchange any contact with the outside as only the fight could absorb her mind. This moment of isolation was filled with necessary concentration. She was named Axia; she was a slave of the arena, a so called Owned.
She heard the release of the locks, the door opened on silent hinges; the screams of the crowd instantly reached her, breaking the silence of her mind. She did not know her opponent and as a matter of fact, she was glad. No name, no physiological nor genetic data, nothing had been revealed. The law was strict, all the more for the Masters than for their Owned who were forbidden to discuss their past opponents with any person other than their respective Master.
Axia crossed the threshold of the iron gate that had kept her secluded. She started walking down the hallway that would soon bring her to the arena. The yells of the crowd were more distinct as she progressed. She could not distinguish what they were saying but the regular rhythm of their jubilations accompanied the loud beats of her heart. She was not scared, “fear freezes the mind”; she was no novice and did not panic; these dull beats, which echoed in her chest, followed affluxes of blood, urges of adrenaline.
She emerged in the arena, receptive to the voices, the screams and the excitement filling the air. She felt wrapped up in this wave of sounds. All chanted the name of her rival in one unique voice, I’Saljya. They paid to see blood poured out of soulless beasts fighting to survive. They liked having power, being in control of one’s life when they had none of their own. They were one of the too many proofs of the System’ success. The crowd’s eyes turned to the instigator of the confrontation, the Precursor, who had just appeared. Axia did not flinch. In her mind, they were all the same, all mindless. Self-absorbed, as they all were, he waved at the crowd, knowingly admired. The fight would be bloody and thus enjoyed. The bets would be high, the people thankful.
The crowds were different, the Precursors varied, the rivals ever-changing but this arena was all too familiar. The metal structure was smooth, polished, reflecting every spec of the bright light given by the powerful floating Luminex. Each and every seat spreading around and above her was full. The most privileged shared the closest spectacle when the populace squeezed against one another at the top, looking like buzzing ants. The black tint of the sky trough the glass roof curved above the battlefield. The stars were absent. Two plasma screens dominated both end of the arena, sheltering the blazon of the Precursor, instigator of the fight. Soon, they would shelter violence.
No one paid attention to Axia. The rare glance from the audience sheltered sadistic curiosity as they were waiting for the beast’s entrance, the one they considered the favorite. For them, Axia was only the prey.
A black suit made of fixagil hugged her body like a second skin, molding her muscles and underlying her figure. Her shoulders and arms were bare; the fabric was thin. Her clothes were never too protecting and this was important. Axia knew her survival could depend on it. The Final Verdict was drawn from several variables; the Owned’s apparel being one of them. Axia showed proof of courage in front of the unknown by dressing this way. Besides, Axia needed the advantages provided by the fixagil as it allowed agility and lightness. She needed those qualities to carry out her fatalities: fatal hit of the fight adding honor to the victory. Unfortunately for her, she had never had the opportunity to attempt one. Her past opponents had fallen dead before the Verdict. That had brought a lot of dissatisfaction from the Precursor as well as the people. They demanded their ruling. However, she had won and could not be punished, but she had not been praised for her victories.
She made her way deeper in the arena, facing the empty opening where the other Owned would appear. She waited. Most of the crowd had now noticed her. She could feel their looks on her, all the more intense. She knew in their mind, they were trying to estimate how long she would last. Everyone was waiting for the entrance of the star.
A voice shouted out of nowhere, deep, taunting, filling the arena with words. The Precursor was introducing the fighters. Axia listened carefully to her rival’s introduction. She smiled to herself as she gained a little confidence. She would soon face a Maxist, from the original race Emualde, an opponent she was familiar with. As every race introduced in the circle of the arena, secondary changes had been performed on their original being, creating new fighters. At their birth, feline hormones were injected in their pituitary, allowing them to develop all along their growth, the intrinsic speed those hormones gifted them. Sharp wolf-like teeth replaced their normal jaw, flesh slaughterers. The most dangerous, however, were the razor blades protruding from the phalanges of their fingers. Each hit would bruise and slash.
The members of the Emualde ethnicity were originally pacifists, rejecting any type of aggression whatsoever. The transformation of this race into a new type of Owned, worthy of the arena had been doubtful. Nevertheless, and it had been surprising, sadism and fury was their only behavior. They seemed to take great pleasure in it, as if their past rejection now overturned was entertaining it all the more.
Yet, Axia knew that she had to remain focused. Each Owned was different in their own way, in their abilities and in the technique they followed. Knowing the race revealed physical characteristics and tendencies of this type of opponent but the training given by the Master made any real anticipation foolish.
She was now staring in front of her, still waiting. The shackles disappeared, freeing her. Her tension was rising. Her nerves, reacting to her thoughts of autodefense, vivified; a flood of chemical reactions spread within her body, sharpening her visual and neurological acuities. Her neurons electrified. She looked at her limbs. The sharp blades ran along her forearms, emerging from her flesh. She would have never known it resulted from a transplant. No delimitation marked her skin where the metal melted with her tissue. The perforating needles that formed her nails were also part of her body. A flat extremity shaped perfectly the tip of her fingers, stretching, decreasing, to form murdering pikes…those pieces of metal were her only ways of survival, projections of herself.
When she raised her head, her opponent, maybe the last, had appeared in front of her. The physiological data was quickly established. She was wide, muscular and manly. Her height was massive. It was obvious she had been bred using male hormones. She would be thus powerful in her hits. The Maxist was wearing a protecting corset and a pair of pants in leather. In the case of a defeat, she would certainly receive the Judgment of Death; but, she was convinced to win. This analysis was confirmed in Axia’s mind as she discovered an ironic grin deforming the rival’s mouth, uncovering rows of threatening teeth. The razors shined under the powerful lights, sharp as scalpels. Those yellow slanted eyes stared at her without blinking.
Axia could not help it but she could sense something strange emanating from the chemical aura of her rival…but could not define what it precisely was…the music started, opening and rating the fight. Popular, the music excited the crowd all the more. Electronic tonalities was all Axia needed to hear. The fight begun.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Stephanie P. (Alniah)

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Comments 1 to 4 of 4
Jennifer D. (i--luv--ChRiSt) - 1/27/2007 12:00 PM ET
Um .... kinnda sick if you ask me -- and where is the fight??? -- Good wording and style though.
Stephanie P. (Alniah) - 1/27/2007 9:52 PM ET
The fight comes later, this is just an introductory chap. Sorry you find it sick but it is the context of the story, a world filled by vice
Cynthia S. (noodle) - 2/6/2007 12:28 PM ET
I'm very interested in seeing you continue with this otherworldly story!
Wendy R. (WMRod) - 2/18/2007 2:10 PM ET
Too many passive verbs used, and you're out of her head too much with your narrative to keep my interest. (Too much "she thought, she knew, she felt, etc.) But I do see potential in your writing. You might try rewriting it with many more active verbs--get rid of every "was," "were," and "has been" that you can. And SHOW us instead of *telling* us what she's feeling and thinking. It'll keep your reader more in Axia's head. Good luck!
Comments 1 to 4 of 4