|To Wield a Blade
Author: inkfngrz PM
Ryn , a boy who lives in the not-to-far-off future, struggles to survive as a thief but gets caught. What happens after he gets caught, though, is beyond normal. Welcome to the new world. Proceed with caution. And pray you know how To Wield a Blade.Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,205 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 04-29-13 - Published: 02-26-13 - id: 3104230
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
To Wield a Blade
It took me a moment to realize that this wasn't just a normal kidnapping. This was one of those kidnappings I had read about in the papers. One of the scary kidnappings.
I struggled against the bonds that held me tightly. I lashed out with a foot, the heel of my boot connecting with something solid. One of the guys holding me yelped and I felt a momentary rush of pleasure that I wasn't going to go down easily. It was soon quenched when I felt a needle being jabbed into my arm.
I screamed into the hand covering my mouth, desperate to escape before the drug they had injected me with kicked in and shut down my system. Pivoting on my heel, I kicked behind me in an upwards arc and the ropes that had been tightened every time I struggled suddenly went loose as my assailant suddenly lost control of his legs.
Wrenching my arms free of the ropes, my right fist shot out to catch a guy in the throat, the left following up with a devastating hook that knocked him onto the ground. Another guy came forward, cautiously. He held out his hands in a tai kwon do move I had seen used in movies and I had a sinking sensation that I was about to lose this one.
He ducked under my first blow, his right fist smashing into the small of my back, his left leg whipping around and smashing me in the back of my head. I fell to the ground, unable to breath momentarily.
Jackie Chan, as I mentally nicknamed him, didn't let me get up. His feet landed on my side and back in rapid-fire blows without mercy. I managed to block one or two of his kicks out of sheer luck before I felt my arms start to deaden though I wasn't sure if it was from the drug or him.
Then I heard someone shouting faintly before my head fell to the side and I lost all hold on reality.
Waking up after getting drugged and beaten to a pulp is not a pleasant experience. I managed to get one eye open but the other was swollen shut. I hung from a pole, my arms stretched out above me. My feet brushed the floor, but the rest of me remained suspended. I felt miserable, my head ached, my tongue was like a piece of toast that had been burned and left out to sit for a week, while my body protested being treated like a piece of meat awaiting the butcher's cleaver.
Lifting my head off of my chest hurt, my neck was cramped and weak. I managed to get a look around before my strength gave out. I was in some sort of holding cell, the type they used for special people. Which was just another way of saying a hospital for the mentally insane. The door opened with a creak and a girl slipped into the room.
I didn't know who she was, how she got in here, or what she was doing. But it was nice to see her.
"Stay silent." She whispered, putting some stuff she had in her arms on the floor at my feet.
I was dying, (literally), to know where I was but the urgency she held in her voice was more than enough to keep me silent. Her brown hair nearly hid her face but I got a glimpse of a fine clear face with enough scars on it to know those weren't mere accidents. A fighter, I realized with a rush of concern.
Only the toughest people were fighters. They were the condemned on the wrong side of the law, allowed to live a sort of life if they were strong enough to survive Combat. Combat matches were brutal and harsh, similar to the old Roman fights that were once held in the Colosseum. They were filmed on live television and watched by the public, a sort of death sentence that also allowed sport. (If one considered man killing man a sport. Or woman killing man, man killing woman, or even woman killing woman. Whatever.)
"I am Nyta, a prisoner like you. Tomorrow you compete in Combat. If you survive, I will see you again and we'll talk more. For now, get some rest and pray you don't survive." She said as she began to wipe the blood and garbage from my face.
"Why you doin' this?" I managed through split lips.
"They won't like you if you look like a gorilla." She muttered. "They prefer rugged men in the ring, though I'd say you're still young enough to be in school." She eyed me critically. Not hard to imagine her slipping a knife into my ribs, I was more than thankful her hands held a soft damp cloth.
I chuckled, roughly. "If I could. . . would be." Man, my lips stung. My tongue also stuck to the roof of my mouth.
She gave a soft laugh. "Me too. Why are you here?"
"Stealing." I whispered, my face burning. She nodded and didn't reply. "You?"
She bent down and rinsed the cloth in the water before standing up. "Murder."
I believed it.
The slit opening in the door screeched open. "OUT!" A voice barked.
Nyta turned and left, but not before pausing to look back once. Her mouth formed several words. Good luck. I had run out of that too long ago.
The next morning I found myself asleep on the floor. The guards must have let me loose the night before.
I sat up and found that my left side was not quite so bad. Also the room I was in had a door that was partially open. That was good news.
Then the door opened all the way and several large men stepped inside. "You a gifted?" One of them asked.
I grinned, but it probably resembled a grimace more than anything. "If I was do you think I'd still be here?"
Big Guy, as I'd named the first brute, grunted. "You a gifted?" He repeated, his eyebrows furrowing menacingly. His bald head, covered in scars that had healed badly, didn't shine and his brown eyes were flat.
"No." I replied, looking away.
"You know how to use a knife?" One Eye, Big Guy's companion, snarled.
Were they taking turns being evil and menacing or something?
"Yeah. I also know how to use a fork, if you have one handy." I said with a straight face. I had to maintain my humor, despite the circumstances. One Eye's left fist snapped out towards my face and I flinched, but Big Guy's right hand shot out and deflected the blow so that I was only spun off my feet. "Not the face." Big Guy growled.
I stayed on the ground until Big Guy motioned for me to get up again. My right shoulder ached painfully but there was no sympathy in this place.
"Come." Big Guy pulled me to a door. "You get your weapon of preference and head to the sound of chanting once the one in the purple cape tells you to. Keep low, keep silent, you'll survive. Get rowdy, loud, foul-mouthed, you die." He said, his meaty fist guiding me in the near-dark of the tunnels we were traveling through.
The smell of blood and gore reached my nose. I felt my heart race as my body reacted to what my mind had yet to realize.
"Not many kids make it through this." Big Guy said, rather softly for a brute of his size. "Hate putting in you little people, it's easier for me to send in the convicts for crimes better than murder." He couldn't look at me.
I knew, with a sinking feeling, what he was talking about now. This was the Ring, the ultimate game-center for the condemned. Any criminal or convict to take part in the Ring but hardly anyone survived. I was a teenager of maybe seventeen summers, probably eighteen. But I wasn't sure.
Either way, my summers were about to come to a close.
"Good luck." Big Guy pushed me forward gently. "Stand tall, they'll pity you if you fall. Be brave."
And then he was gone.
Despite being my jailor, he was the one person who could have helped me and now he wasn't here. I was so dead.
I walked down the tunnel slowly, every nerve in my body taut. This was the armory.
More guards stood in the room, watching with drawn weapons. They weren't taking chances of inmates turning on them and escaping. That would be bad for business. "Take one." A guard ordered, calmly. He held a gun in his fist. No such luck for us inmates. They had technological supremacy, to avoid such uprisings.
I looked at the lineup of daggers and short swords, settling for one that resembled a scimitar and then looked up at the guard.
"Move." He ordered, jerking a thumb towards the door.
I gulped and moved forward. The guard stopped me, before I went through the doorway. "Wait till they get out all the bodies before you enter the ring."
I nodded, serious and silent. I had to listen carefully to survive.
The sound of chanting reached my ears, as I stood in the doorway awaiting my turn. My stomach heaved despite myself as several guards pulled what was left of one of the other inmates.
I looked at the guard, who looked away.
That was my fate, soon.
"Go ahead." The guard said. "At least you get out faster than the rest of us."
I looked at him, stunned. I thought the guards had it easier than the inmates but it seemed I was wrong.
I stepped forward, nearly into the sunlight but a scream halted the cheering.
This wouldn't have come as a surprise from another inmate but it was from the audience- blood thirsty citizens that couldn't get enough of a thrill from video games or were bored with their every-day normal bloodless days- that the scream came from. And that was unusual.
(One didn't hear about the Ring without picking up some stuff. Be it bad or good.)
"LOCKDOWN!" Someone shouted and the next thing I knew was hands grabbing me from behind and shoving me to the ground as the audience erupted into chaos.
"Stay back!" One of the guards shouted. I kept down on the ground, hands on my head to protect myself from both other inmates and the guards.
Something had gone wrong. I didn't know what, I didn't know how, but my life was spared another day more.
All I knew was that I had one more day to live and I would take it.
"In your cell!" The guard that had addressed me grabbed my shoulder and pulled me towards the exit.
I followed out of blind trust. But I wasn't taken back to my cell.
I was taken out into the open air.
"I told you to trust me." It was Nyta.
I turned to look at her but she ducked her head. "Wait till we're safe. Just wait. We're almost free."
This was turning out to be one of my good days. Maybe luck hadn't left me completely. Not yet, at least.