Literary Challenge #42 : I Am the Legacy of Romulus
View Single Post
Join Date: Jul 2012
04-30-2013, 05:06 PM
Cur peered through the slit in the door at the combat ring. Gray blood from the last fight cooled in the garish colored lights shining from above the few hundred spectators seated and standing around the ring. The crowd thumped and roared as the adrenaline-soaked heartbeat of music pounder out into the arena.
"Welcome to my palace!" cooed a feminine voice over the music. "Show us what your toys can do!"
The crowd clapped as Lady Hedon entered and sat alone in a sky box back lit with pink and blood-red lights that contrasted her sparkling blue skin.
Cur punched his palm and cringed when the annoyingly full of himself announcer's voice came out of the speakers.
"Our first Entertainer is the man from the Darkest Space, Th'look!"
Another sky box lit up with dim greens and blues, revealing a masked figure with shadowy figures around him. The Entertainer Tips screen a little up bove the sky box lit up and started at zero, then counted up to 250.
"He is providing for us today Daurt, a Nausicaan who is an up and coming fighter who has won a few fierce battles so far!"
The number above Th'look went to 425 as Daurt stepped from a shadowy doorway into the combat ring, raising his spiked fists and growling.
"You are in for a treat today, for our other entertainer is none other than Edak!"
Another sky box lit up with strobing bright colors that morphed into a spotlight on a thin worm of a man with spiked hair and shining clothing. He waved with flourish and sat, his thick guards flanking him. The Entertainer Tips screen above Edak flashed on and instantly made its way to 5475.
"That isn't all, for today the arena will be graced by the scion of the shadows , the Reman with a broken world... Cur! "
The crowd shouted and the tips screen above Edak grew to 13,955. Cur spit out the bad taste in his mouth as the door in front of him opened and he stepped into the combat right. The Nausicaan glared at him, then Edak's tip screen, then back at Cur, and took up a defensive stance.
The music in the arena got louder and the announcer shouted something to get the match started. Cur took a few steps to the right. Daurt's most vital points and weak spots were covered with armor, but a lesser vulnerabilities were not covered by the slap-dash armor he was wearing. Cur jabbed a few times at the Nausicaan who somewhat sluggishly reacted, swiping away the weak attacks. Cur slipped a kick towards an exposed area of the leg and scored in a small hit. Daurt skipped back a pace. As Cur moved in, Daurt took a swing which was easily ducked. Cur landed a few more small blows, putting the Nausicaan further off balance.
Cur glanced up a Edak's tip screen. 14,235. Daurt swung again. Cur grabbed the arm and used Daurt's momentum to throw him spinning to the ground.
The crowd shouted. 17,235.
The Nausicaan jumped up quickly, growling curses. Cur dodged more blows, and landed many more light punches and kicks, moving carefully over the floor, the Nausicaan following him, throwing increasingly slower blows which Cur dodged with greater ease.
19,550 showed on the tip board.
Cur stepped in close and let loose a flurry of light blows to the few exposed weak points, bruising muscles and striking some nerves. The Nausicaan howled in pain, stumbling backwards. Cur moved away in a curve, eyes on his opponent, then he stood straight up and waited. The Nausicaan shook himself and spit, then glared at Cur. Cur yawned then started to turn away. The crowed chuckled. The Nausicaan screamed and rushed him. Cur stepped out of the way and shoved the Nausicaan, who slipped on the slick puddle of blood, and fell flat on his back. The crowd roared with laughter.
The Nausicaan struggled to get up. Lady Hedon stood. The music's tone changed to something darker. Cur stepped up to the Nausicaan and with one heavy blow, shattered the bones in Daurt's right leg. The arena resounded with cheers. The tip screen ticked up to 100,345. Th'look's tip jar flashed red and the red symbol of Lady Hedon's medical team flashed.
The announcer came back on the speaker. "Oh, sorry Th'look, your tips didn't even cover the medical team's flat fee to fix up your wounded fighter!"
Edak's screen flashed green and ticked to 101,345.
"And of course, Edak gets a bonus for not even needing those same services!"
Lady Hedon clapped from her sky box and Edak bowed. Lady Hedon winked, and blew him a kiss. The crowd gasped. Cur cringed and stared at Edak, the knuckles on his fists turning white.
Cur slipped back into the darkened corridors as Daurt was carried off on a stretcher.
In the dank living area, Cur sat, sipping tepid soup from a rough wooden bowl, bit of sour bread sticking to the side. A young Romulan woman, around his age he guessed, came up to him out of the mingling groups of other Romulans and a few Remans.
"Excuse me ..."
He looked up and Cur saw her face, illuminated by light from the small window above him. Her cheeks reddened.
"Can I help you?"
"I, I wanted to thank you. I have heard you talking, I know you hate fighting for Edak, but we appreciate the extra food your ... performances bring us."
Cur nodded. The girl just stood there. He looked at her expectantly. "Uh, I, uhm ..."
"What is your name?"
"Well Charva, if I knew my real name anymore, I'd tell you, but I don't. They took that from me. What did you want to ask?"
"How did you learn to fight?"
Cur sat down his bowl and sighed.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have ..."
"No, it's OK. I was trained from a young age to be a bodyguard by the Tal Shiar. I was assigned to a scientist who studied agriculture, how to make things grow, and how to make growing things die with biological weapons. But he decided he didn't want to work for the Tal Shiar anymore and ..."
Charva gasped. "He turned against the Romulan Empire?"
Cur shook his head. "No, not from his perspective. He wanted to help his people, not use his knowledge to destroy other people's lives. He escaped and went into seclusion. We had started a small colony on a moon and after some years, the Scientist, D'Luune was his name, learned of Spock's warning about the Hobus star and we boarded the few ships we had and fled into space with no home. We had been far enough away to escape, but everything we knew burned up behind us."
"I know what that feels like."
Cur nodded. "We all do."
"So, you were on one of the smaller ships that joined our fleet, before we were attacked and captured?"
Cur nodded. "Yes, I ..."
Something fell down from the window and landed near Cur. He picked it up. It was a small cube with a holoemmiter on one end, and a button on the other.
"Some kind of message?" He pressed the button.
A green hued display appeared showing a date and time, the words "Be ready", and was signed TK.
Cur turned off the device. "That is when Edak is going to put us on display and sell the ones he doesn't want anymore. Looks like this TK has other ideas.
Cur stood in the display booth, feet set apart so he wouldn't lean and touch the agony field that shimmered with a red hue. Even still he felt the slight touch of the energy field. Several shoppers looked over him, but as he was not for sale, they didn't linger. They did however linger over many of the others, mostly Romulans. but a few other species as well. Many of the shoppers had dark gleams in their eyes. Gleams that come from watching the sport of other people dying, gleams farm dark appetites. Cur analyzed each deciding the fastest way he knew how to kill them. If they were a species he used his vivid imagination.
A new group of hooded figures came in, perusing the wares. Cur noted the guards taking notice, tensing up. One figure came up to Cur and held out a hand. There was a cube in it. It activated and for a brief moment words flashed above it. "Hello, my name is Tovan Khev. When the red light blinks, close your eyes -TK". Then the hand retreated into the cloak, but the figure's boot tapped against the base of the display booth. Then this Tovan Khev turned off to examine elsewhere, taking interest in many of the display booths. Cur noted some of the figures acting in distracting ways, while others more subtly tapped their boots against many of the display booths. A small device that blended in was left behind. After a several minutes, Tovan spit. "Rubbish goods. Let's go!"
The remaining shoppers shrugged, whispered to each other, and eventually forgot about it.
The guards relaxed.
Edak came in and started personally describing the finer details of some of his merchandise.
He was noting the fine figure of Charva when on every display a boot had touched a red light blinked. Cur shut his eyes. Even through his closed eyes a bright light shone. He felt the absence of the agony field and he opened his eyes leaped off the booth. The nearby guard was scrambling for his weapon while blinking. Cur dropped him with a sharp chop to his cranium and then shoving his knee into his lower abdomen that housed the lungs. The cloaked figures were rushing in, cloaks removed. They were Romulans. Guards shouted and fell. Edak slipped out through the commotion. Cur followed.
Edak snaked away down corridors. Cur slipped out of sight into shadows when Edak turned to look for pursuit, then continued following. Edak turned a corner and Cur went faster to catch up. He stopped short at the corner when he heard voices.
"Lady Hedon! What a pleasure to see ..." "What is going on Edak. I heard yours slaves are escaping, and you are running away?" "Oh, no, I was going to get help!" "I will help. Lead the way." "Yes ... as you say ... this way."
Cur leaped out, grabbing Edak around the neck.
"Please, no, what are you ..."
Cur tightened his grip, choking off the words. He pulled Edak, putting him between himself and Lady Hedon.
The woman shook her head. "You've lost control of your little toys, Edak."
Cur felt the man wriggling, trying to get free. "Please, it has never happened before!" Cur kept him close and secure, but let him speak. The pleading was music, and might even turn into groveling, which would be melodious. "Lady Hedon, please, I've worked so hard for your favor, so hard to ..."
"Quiet! You mean nothing to me anymore. You aren't even half the ... man ... I thought you were. You will be stripped of all status for this."
A Romulan walked up beside Cur, rifle pointed forward. "This is her, huh? Not well protected for figure of such high status." Lady Hedon smirked. "If I die, this whole rock goes with me. You with it." Tovan raised the rifle. "That so?" Edak struggled again. "It's true! Don't!" Then he slumped. "Just kill me, please."
Tovan looked over to Cur. "Well, you've been here more than me, is she for real?"
Cur shoved Edak into an alcove. Lady Hedon laughed. "You can't even get him to kill you when you asked politely." Cur grabbed her around the neck. "We'll be back for you." Then he pushed her away. "Let's go."
Tovan nodded. "Not much time to get out before reinforcements come, both here and in space. They turned and started away. Edak shouted. "You're a monster!"
Tovan lead the way to their exit. "Better than being a cur."
---------------Alternate, my preferred, ending---------------------
Cur lifted Edak higher, tightening his grip. "You enslaved my people, and used their hunger against me as they starved, forcing me to fi ..."
Lady Hedon sighed "Spare me, please. It's embarrassing. Put him down."
Cur shook with anger. "I will have me vengeance!"
Lady Hedon shook her head. "No, you will not." With a flick of her wrist, a long thin blade was at Tovan's neck. "Leave him to me, and you can go so long as you do as little damage to my house as possible. Otherwise I will have you both killed and everyone with you will sit below in cells until they die."
Cur dropped Edak. He landed sideways on one leg, which crunched. Edak screamed "You monster!" A dark stain began to form on Edak's pant leg.
Lady Hedon flicked her wrist and a slice of pain cut across the side of Cur's face. She scowled. "I said not to break my things!" Sne knelt and caressed Edak. "That is my job." She looked up at Cur. "Now leave."
Tovan searched a few pouches on his belt, then shrugged. "Thought I had a dermal regenerator. Anyways, I guess we had better go."
Cur stood for a long moment, staring into the eyes of Lady Edak, then he turned and walked away, images of both her's a Edak's death playing in his mind.
Aboard the Ship Tovan and the other Romulan's came in on, the sensor officer looked up, worried. "There are a whole bunch of warships that weren't here a moment ago."
The Romulan at communications spoke up. "They said he needed to leave. Now."
The Captain looked up to Tovan and Cur. "I guess she meant it, and we can leave. Let's go."
Tovan clapped Cur on the shoulder. "Let's go get something to eat."
They walked off the bridge and Charva was waiting. "Oh, Cur, hello."
Cur nodded. Tovan smiled. "Hello! New here?"
She nodded. "Yes, I was down there with Cur. I wanted to make sure he was OK,"
Cur nodded. "I'm fine."
Tovan pointed down the hallway. "Food is down that way, how about we all get something to eat? I'm Tovan, by the way."
They started down the hall.
"Speaking of names, Cur? What sort of name is that. I saw you fighting before we broke you out. That Edak guy, just doesn't know how to name people. First it was Cur, then he called you Monster ..."
"Monster." He smiled. The cut on his face stung with pain. "I like that name. I'm free now. I'm a free monster."
"Monster?" Tovan scratched his head. "I don't get it. How does that fit?"
"Because if anyone tries to abuse any of us every again, that is what they will discover me to be."
Chewson Pwan - VA
S.S. Doff Lundgren
Last edited by chivalrybean; 05-21-2013 at
. Reason: New ending