• Tirashi’s Legacy: The Plasma Gladiator

    Prolouge: The Final Battle

    Roxxie opened her eyes. The stale air in her sleeping pod made her cringe. On the other side of the thick glass, stood two guards holding long poles and dressed in heavy plated armor. The guard on the left tapped on the glass with his pole.
    “Good morning, Roxxie!” he shouted through the glass. Rox blinked and nodded at the guard. The one on the right pecked at the keypad next to the pod with a gloved finger. The clasps on the glass pulled away and it slid open, allowing a rush of fresh air in. She took a long refreshing breath.
    “Good morning to you too, Gordon.” she replied with a relaxed smile on her muzzle. She stepped out of the pod and roughly patted the other guard on the back, then put her arm on his shoulder. “aren’t you going to greet me, Jessie?”

    Jessie flinched when she patted his back, and gave a weak smile as she leaned on his shoulder. “Hello, Roxxie.” The tall Tirashi female let out a burst of laughter then doubled over in pain, holding her sides.
    “Don’t push yourself, your nanotech suit still hasn’t healed your wounds. Doyle did a real number on you.” said Gordon, helping her up by the arm and setting her down on a nearby bench. He patted her shoulder softly and turned around. “We need to report back to our posts, before the Captain suspects anything.” He tapped his distracted partner on the shoulder and they both walked down the narrow isle between the racks of sleeping pods.

    The pain in Roxxie’s abdomen subsided a few moments after the guards left the room. She stared up at the countless tiers of pods that cast a blue glow on the entire room. Lifting her left hand into view, she observed it. The nanotech suit was white, and it reminded her of the bundles of muscle fibers. She unsheathed her claws, they where a shiny pitch black. She reached up with her other hand and pushed a small blue button on the back of her palm. A bright blue glow enveloped each claw, and heat wafted from her hand. A high pitched whine filled her feline ears as the device vented plasma onto her claws. She stared at the light for a few moments before switching it off and retracting her claws. She stood up and wrapped her long light-pink braided hair around her neck, covering the collar clasped there.
    A shiver ran up her spine, ruffling the pitch black fur covering her body. Letting out a long sigh, she flicked her long black tail and walked up to the empty pod directly in front of her. She placed the palm of her paw on the cold glass.
    “I miss you Kit, I wish you could be here…” she whispered sadly, staring into the empty space behind the glass. She could see her mismatched colored eyes on the glass. The left purple, and the right blue. A sharp pin p***k from her collar broke her trance. She needed to move on. She trotted down the isle, following the same path the two guards took earlier.

    She could hear the excited roars of the crowd now, loud cheering echoed through the barracks. At the corridor, Gordon patted her on the back and smiled.
    “good luck Roxxie, I hear you’re going up against the champion of the males this time.” he said. She nodded her head and stepped into the barracks. A few other female gladiators where sleeping on bunk-beds instead of in their pods. She walked past the slumbering fighters and made her way into the training room, she needed to get her trainer before proceeding to the arena.
    “Sarah!” she shouted, cupping her paws around her muzzle to amplify the sound. “Where are you Master?”
    “I’m here…” Sighed Sarah from behind a few weight racks, Roxxie easily picked up her tired reply with her feline ears. She pushed past the racks to see her trainer sitting on a bench, hugging her legs and resting her forehead on her knees. She quickly sat ned to her and placed her paw on her trainer’s back.
    “Is everything ok, Master?” she asked, clearly worried. Sarah lifted her head from her knees and looked into her pet’s eyes, red and teary.
    “They shouldn’t be doing this to you…” She said in a wavering voice. “you never did anything to deserve this.” she reached out her hand and stroke Roxxie’s furry cheek. Her pet purred lightly and smiled.
    “I’ll be fine Master,” She reassured. “You taught me well.” Sarah whiped her teary eyes and smiled back at her.
    “That’s not what I’m worried about.” she mumbled, drawing her hand back. “it’s who you’re up against that bothers me.” She stood up and faced her pet. “I know you will do me proud.”

    The roars of the crowd filled Roxxie’s ears as she approached the arena entrance.

    “Do your best Roxxie!” cheered Sarah, kissing her pet on the forehead. “and don’t cry when it’s over.”
    “Don’t what?” She asked, lifting up an eyebrow. Before she could inquire further, Sarah pushed her into the arena.

    A deafening roar echoed through the stadiums surrounding the arena. It reminded Roxxie of the ancient Roman arena the humans always talked about. She walked slowly into the light cast onto the arena floor through a large transparent dome. It always faced the same star. it was a curious green color, but the light it radiated was still white. The tall walls of the arena had weapons bolted to them, in case they lost the weapon they come in with. Little hovering cameras skittered around the arena like flies, and once one of then spotted her, they all floated around her. The crowd started chanting her name as she appeared on a massive holographic display suspended above the arena floor.

    “Welcome back, ladies and gentleman, to the final match of Starshield Arena!” shouted the announcer, which stood high above the arena on a platform supported by tethers clasped to the sides of the arena ceiling. “Today we have a special battle in store for you, sponsored by none other then our venerable leader, Highlord Brennan!” he gestured to a balcony cloaked in shadow. Roxxie stared up at the shrouded overhang, and the crowd fell silent.

    “Dear… Gladiators.” crackled a deep, husky voice over the sound system. “battle with strength and vigor, give me a spectacle that shall entertain myself and my subject and you shall be rewarded.” The crowd roared with excitement as he finished, and the cameras skittered towards the opposite end of the arena. The gate located there opened, and a muscular male in the very same nanotech bodysuit stepped into the light. The crowd went wild as soon as he was visible.

    Roxxie eyed her opponent vigorously, trying to gather as much data as possible. She was slightly disturbed at how similar he looked to her own self. His hair was the same color, only shorter. His eyes where the same color, only opposite to hers and his fur black as pitch.

    “Here we have the two champions of the arena!” shouted the announcer, “On the left we have everyone’s favorite female gladiator, Plasma Roxxie!!” Roxxie threw back her head and arched her back, letting fourth a ferocious roar and quickly unsheathing her claws. The crowd roared back, imitating her.
    “And on the right, we have the zealous and skilled male gladiator, Flame Christo!” He announced.
    “You cannot stop me Roxxie, I have someone to save!” shouted Christo, pointing a clawed finger at her.
    “For vengeance and virtue!” cheered the crowd.
    “Begin.” crackled the deep voice.

    Roxxie stared at Christo, eyes darting across every centimeter of his body. Christo moved his foot slightly to the left and dropped into a battle stance. She did the same, mirroring his every move. The crowd’s cheers fell silent as they watched in anticipation. Not a single murmur escaped their mouths of the eager spectators. The two gladiators circled each other, carefully copying each other’s moves, waiting for a chance to strike. Roxxie could feel the tension in the air, the suspense of the crowd was unsettling. One wrong move, and it would be all over. She needed to distract him. She flicked her tail to the side in an attempt to avert his attention.
    It worked. Christo’s eyes darted to the tip of her tail. This was her chance. In a split second she dashed at him and backhanded him in the face with her left paw, pressing the button and activating her claws. She followed up with a swipe from her right paw. Her opponent vanished into thin air before she could land the blow. His after images where all she could catch with her eyes. Her leg muscles rippled and she sprinted after him at the same speed.

    The crowd gasped as they witnessed the two vanish from view, and periodically materialize to clash, then vanish once again.
    “I don’t believe what I’m seeing!” exclaimed the announcer, mouth wide from astonishment, “They’re matching each other’s speed, and going at it toe to toe!”

    The hovering cameras spun wildly around and skittered across the arena in vain, trying to follow the furious clashes. A flash of blue light came from the middle of the arena, sending Christo back into view and smashing into the wall.
    “What a tactic, Roxxie used her plasma claws to shoot Christo clear across the arena!” explained the announcer “she has to slow him down in order to inure him enough to win.”

    Roxxie dashed to the opposite wall as her opponent crawled out of the rubble. She quickly jumped onto the side and pulled on a weapon bolted there until the clasps broke free.
    “Now she’s going to use the B-x720 Plasma Launcher, a powerful hip mounted weapon that shoots lethal globs of solid-state plasma!” narrated the announcer. The crowd roared with excitement as she mounted the weapon to her hip and quickly aimed the heavy weapon at her opponent. Christo widened his eyes in surprise and tried to dash away, only to find that his leg was damaged and slowed him considerably.
    She pulled the trigger on the massive cannon, and a blue ball of plasma exploded from the cannon. Christo gritted his teeth and punched the projectile back at her.
    “Amazing!” shouted the announcer gleefully “he formed a magnetic field around his fist, and hit it right back at Roxxie!”

    The plasma flew back at her. She dropped the cannon and sheathed her claws, clenching her hands into fists. Letting out a ferocious roar, she used both fists to punch the ball back at Christo.
    “It’s like a game of tennis!” exclaimed the announcer as the two gladiators forced the plasma back at each other “they are just hitting it back and fourth, it’s just a matter endurance now!”

    Roxxie was starting to get tired, the nanotech bodysuit on her arms where beginning to stretch and snap like elastic from the stress. She could see that Christo was experiencing the same thing. “it’s time to finish this.” she whispered to herself.
    “What’s this?” questioned the announcer as he strained to see through the glow of the plasma. “it looks like she’s unraveling her hair from her neck, we may be in for a real treat!” he turned around and gestured to a guard. The guard nodded back and slammed his hand onto a red button. Invisible force fields flashed over the roaring crowd, and a metal shield shut under the glass dome. “we may need some protection, she’s going to use her signature move, the Plasma Foil!” the crowd cheered with excitement. The only light that illuminated the arena was from the plasma, the spectators oohd and aahd at the bouncing light.

    Roxxie unwrapped the last coil of hair from her neck. The long braid that dangled nearly brushed the floor. She wrapped her right arm around the braid and grabbled it firmly in her hand. She used her left hand to force the plasma back and she prepared. When the ball came at her once again, she held her left hand in front of her. She grabbed the plasma as it slammed into her palm, gritting her teeth as more of the nanotech suit flayed from her arm. He clenched her hand, digging her long black claws into the sphere. The plasma leaked from it and flowed across her body, welling up in her long light-pink braid and causing it to fluoresce brightly. The arena’s back-up lights switched on, dimly illuminating the entire place.

    “Two shots, see if you can survive!” she yelled at Christo, a sly smirk spreading across her muzzle.
    “You can’t get me that easily!” He replied in a condescending tone. Roxxie took hold of her braid.
    “Here I come!” she warned. She cracked her braid like a whip at Christo, and a massive wave of plasma launched from it’s end. He barely dodged it, jumping out of the way in record time. The plasma splashed against the wall, and part of the force field. The heat melted the weapons, and made the group behind the strike jump back. Part of the splash hit the announcer, and disintegrated him in an instant.

    Christo had an idea. Another wave of bright blue plasma shot from Roxxie’s braid. Instead of dodging it, he pulled a little shpere from his belt and smashed it against the floor. A protective barrier formed around his body, shielding him from the deadly plasma.

    “That definitely hit him.” thought Roxxie. The plasma persisted as a cloud, and obstructed her view. She tilted her head as she heard three short blasts from within the cloud. She had no time to react. One round hit her left thigh, staggering her. The second round tore into her right shoulder, making her pitch backwards. The final round pierced through the palm of her left paw, destroying the plasma vent that charged her claws. As she hit the ground, she heard Christo laughing.

    “Hah, I didn’t think that would actually work!” He exclaimed, throwing a sniper rife to the floor. Heat from the plasma had melted his wrist-blades right off. Roxxie slowly crawled to her feet, blood flowed from her wounds and dripped on the floor. Cheers of the crowd, faint from the force fields, grew louder as the battle was seeming reaching an apex.

    Christo ran full speed at his opponent. She just stood in place, struggling to keep her balance and looking at him through heavy eyelids. His balled fist met with her abdomen, knocking the breath from her and slamming her into the arena wall. The taste of iron filled her mouth and a small trickle of red blood ran from the corner of her mouth.
    “is this it?” She thought to herself. Pain racked her body. She looked up at Christo through her purple eye, the other shut from pain. He towered over her, looking down at her through his mismatched eyes and clutching a shiny blade.

    The arena had returned to it’s normal state, and the remains of the announcer where swept from the platform. The crowd started chanting a grisly phrase. “kill her! Kill her!” echoed in her furry ears. Just as she was about to give up, a familiar voice whispered in her head.
    “I’ll protect you, Se’ Rei, no matter what.” it said.
    “Brother… I’ll save you.” she whispered back.

    Roxxie’s eyes shot wide open, there was no more pain. She felt stronger. Christo swung the sword at her, but with her newfound strength she caught the blade with her bare paw. She still didn’t feel any pain, even though the blade dug into her flesh. Blood ran down it’s edge, and Christo looked at her in pure shock.
    “Game over.” she said. She kicked him hard in the chest and hug her claws into his flesh as she pushed him to the ground. She then plunged the blade into his paw, driving it deeply into the arena floor. Howls of pain filled her ears ad he clawed at the blade in a desperate attempt to remove it.

    The crowd chanted again, the same words, only opposite. “kill him, kill him!” she knew she must, otherwise they would kill her. No remorse, no feeling. She unsheathed her claws one at a time, looking at each one as they pushed out of her fingertips. She leaned over and placed her hand softly on his furry matted cheek.
    “Forgive me…” She whispered in his ear. In one swift movement, she raked her claws across his throat, cutting through his flesh and collar. Blood splattered against her face as he bled out. His heavy breaths were replaced by low gurgling sounds as his life’s blood drained into his lungs. The crowd roared his pleasure at the gruesome spectacle.

    All that noise was but an echo in her feline ears. Christo lay under her, staring off into space with dull, lifeless eyes. She wiped the blood from her claws and sheathed them. She stood up, staggering slightly from her thigh wound. The crowd fell silent as she approached the balcony shrouded in darkness. The sound system crackled once again.

    “Plasma Roxxie. Victor of the Starshield Arena.” bellowed a different voice over the speakers. “You have done well to entertain the Highlord.”
    “And what of my reward?” she asked, looking up at the darkened balcony through furrowed eyebrows.
    “Your…reward…” crackled the strange voice “Take a last look at your…opponent you…cut down for our pleasure.” She obliged and turned to take a look at Christo.
    “Se’ Rei Norca… is your name.” stated the strange voice “Your reward… is to know.. The one you slaughtered…in cold blood.”
    “No, don’t tell her!” Se' Rei pricked her ears at the familiar voice.

    “M-Master?” she stammered, turning back around with a confused and surprised look.
    “You promised me you wouldn’t tell her!” exclaimed Sarah.
    “I’ll do as I please!” snapped the strange voice “take this animal lover away!” the crowd started to murmur among themselves.
    “Master, what’s going on!?” asked Se’ Rei desperately.

    “Get your filthy hands offa’ me!” yelled Sarah. Se’ Rei could hear her fighting off the guards. “Se’ Rei… hiya!… Don’t cry.”
    “Enough!!” Bellowed the Highlord. The guards captured Sarah and shacked her. “Take that wench away.” He ordered. They dragged the seasoned trainer off the balcony. “Now that our guest has left, Proceed advis-”
    “What are you going to do with my master!?” interrupted Se’ Rei.
    “Silence foul beast!” He bellowed “Know your place and hold that filthy tongue of yours or I’ll have it cut out of your damn muzzle!” The crowd roared with laughter. Se’ Rei flattened her ears.
    “S-Sorry…” she said weakly, looking down at her feet submissively.

    “Now, if I may Lord?” asked the advisor.
    “Go ahead.” He replied.

    “The one whom you, Se’ Rei Norca, killed in hold blood to entertain the masses, was De’ Len Norca, your own brother!” Exclaimed the advisor, bursting into laugher along with the whole crowd.

    Se’ Rei’s heart felt as if it had stopped beating. She stared wide eyed at the floor, too shocked to believe it. The similarities, his hair, eyes and fur. All the same. A wave of sadness washed over her. she couldn’t bring herself to look behind her, at the lifeless corpse of her brother. He was the only reason she fought. The laughter of the crowd was blocked out. Nothing but silence. She slowly turned her head, images of her brother flashed in her mind. She looked at his lifeless body and fell to her knees. Tears welled in her eyes, and streaked down her cheek, soaking her fur. Drops fell onto the ground, she wanted to howl, but all that came from her mouth where sobs.

    “That’s enough, shackle her and put her back to sleep.” ordered the Highlord. Gordon and Jessie ran out into the arena. Gordon clicked a button on his wrist guard and a force pulled Se’ Rei’s hands and feet together. Shackles of light formed around her ankles and wrists. Her grief slowly turned into anger as the two guards dragged her across the floor.

    “I’m so sorry Roxxie, I didn’t know..” whispered Gordon. Se’ Rei gritted her teeth and unsheathed her claws.
    “I’ll kill you… all you vile humans.” She growled through her teeth. Jessie lifted an eyebrow and Gordon swallowed hard.

    Se’ Rei’s hatred grew each passing moment. The guards who dragged her, Sarah, everyone. She wanted to kill them all. She dug the claws on her feet into the arena floor, fixing her in place. Gordon and Jessie tugged at her.
    “C’mon, don’t be stubborn. The Highlord is watching.” hissed Jessie. Se’ Rei lifted her head up and looked him directly in the eyes. His face was centimeters from hers. She could see fear in his eyes.
    “I….don’t…care.” she said. Without hesitation, she bit Jessie on the soulder. Taking firm hold on him, she swung her head back and released, slamming him onto the wall and impaling him on a gun barrel.
    “What the hell are you doing Roxxie!?” exclaimed Gordon in a terrified tone. Se’ Rei slammed him to the ground with her shoulder and lunged at his throat. She froze in place as she heard a high pitched whine. Her body would not move, she looked over her shoulder, and she saw her trainer, holding a Pacifier.

    “Go to sleep.” Sarah said in a commanding voice. Se’ Rei’s vision blurred and her eyelids felt heavy. She moved against her will off of Gordon and rolled onto the floor. Sarah crouched beside her and stroked her blood matted hair. Her eyes shut and the world became dark.

    Before she lost consciousness, she heard Bellar’s voice in her mind. “One day, you will escape from this shithole. I dunno about me, but I know you will. Your strong, stronger than me or anyone else. You’ll free the Tirashi and find a new home for us. That I know, so don’t give up. Don’t leave us behind. Save us, Se’ Rei… Save us.”