Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blood and Scrap

As I had recently promised a dear friend, and myself, that I'd try start writing again I decided to pen a little short piece set in my Requiem universe. It's nothing grand, especially since I am horribly out of practice. The piece is perhaps influenced from my recent viewing of the Spartacus Gods of the Arena series. So I thought I might do a short gladiator missive of my own for Requiem. I hope you like it, and please, feel free to let me know your thoughts and opinions on it.

Without further adieu;

Glorien, beacon of hope and sanctuary. I'd almost made it. A Type II
isn't always welcome in a lot of places, and I honestly thought I
could make it away from such persecution. I was wrong.

And now here I stand, hearing the roar of a crowd, all thirsting for
blood, or a close facsimile. Everything is becoming clear, even to
me. The Purgists have decided to make a grand display of death. My
sentence to their presumed crimes is one of execution in an arena of
sorts. Not the best odds for me, I'm no fighter, I've always been
more comfortable running the Nodes, a skill sadly to prove me little
aid now.

A dull thud, barely audible over the crowd heralds the opening of my
cell door. Must be time. With reservations I resign myself to my fate
and begin my walk out to meet my fate.

The sudden change in light required my optics to adjust suddenly. I
am now standing upon rough and bloodied dirt, surrounded by a raised
wall of spectators. Across from me stands a grey-skinned brute, at
least 7 feet tall, and my best analytics suggest approximately 245
pounds. A massive adversary to be sure, bristling with implants.
Implants. It would seem variables are beginning to favor me.

Before each of us is a short blade. It would seem both the Uraor
brute and myself had the misfortune to be on the Purgist Party's list
of entertainment today. Hefting the blade in my hand, I found it a
bit awkward, I mean it's nothing like anything I'm used to, but
unfortunately not so for the Uraor. He easily flourishes the blade in
a dazzling display, and almost pierced my outer frame had I not
rolled aside.

The Uraor moved with a fevered purpose. Slashing and thrusting all
the while roaring and dripping saliva from his tusks. My frame was
sturdy but construction alone wasn't going to save me. I tried to
parry a blow only to find my arm reverberating the shock of impact
like a tuning fork. His implants, his surge of attack had caused me
to forget. Those implants would network through rudimentary Nodes to
allow the brute to maintain his systems and if I was variables hadn't
equalized, or changed I might be able to access them.

A risky choice, splitting my attention but I have no skill with a
blade, I'd be scrap if I didn't do something. With desperation
gripping my core I quickly activated my internal cyberdeck and
attempted to isolate the particular Node acting as his central hub
for his implants. It took only a Milli-second, well actually .46 ms to
be exact but it proved enough distraction for the Uraor's blade to
tear open a section of my torso almost exposing a servo. Have to run
the nodes faster I thought, and initiated a brute force attack to
override all nodes within my vicinity.

The attack proved effective, for a split second his blade was poised
to impale my head, and then every single implanted piece of hardware
in that ranging hulk overloaded with a power surge and went dead.
Unfortunately for him he'd been devoted to the Uraor belief of
replacing everything with cybernetic components. Sadly he was more
artificial than even me. I turned to face the crowd, fearing my less
than thrilling, and possibly illegal victory would cost me my own
life. Or perhaps that neither of us would have been granted freedom.
Only to stand awestruck. I almost overloaded my processor trying to
comprehend what had occurred. My desperate tactic had proven a stroke
of, dare I vocalize it, luck.

No one must of ever considered a NodeRunner being among the prisoners
or if they had that one might have an on board deck. Either that or
the arena's location among the Rim had required the facility to use
low cost and quality equipment because apparently I had devastated all
the Nodes withing my signal's range. The force screens were down,
automated sentry cams, drones and even defenses were offline. Members
of the audience were either terrified and trying to flee or clutching
themselves as vital and ornamental implants failed them. The
surviving prisoners like myself were rushing their captors.

I was at a loss, I didn't know what to do. In the rush and confusion
however only one thing became clear; Glorien, beacon of hope and
sanctuary. I'd almost made it and instead found myself fighting for
my life. Now I was determined to get there, no matter what.