‘The elders have always claimed the we aren’t alone in the universe; that there was once a time when all mankind stood together and voyaged to distant planets, worlds beyond their wildest imagination, formed colonies and sustained life. Ever since we were toddlers we were told great stories of ‘the great exodus’, legends of how we all came from one home, the ‘planet of GOD’ they called it and how we spread apart to conquer the universe. But to what truth that holds, we may never know. Growing up, I too dreamt of the heavens, watching the night sky dancing under the purple flames that billowed the universe. The sands were colder at night, and the water still. I remember walking for miles across the red sands with my big sister, carrying a duffel bag filled with flasks to the brim to fetch ice from the mountain depths. We would take as much as we could carry and in the walk home under the scorching heat of the punishing sun, the contents of the bucket would slowly turn to drinkable water,’
The crowd of children sat silently while they imagined the story Kira was telling them. As she went on about hunting horses, plowing fields and constructing stable greenhouses for food, the children laughed, marveled and even mocked at how ridiculous it all seemed. ‘Why didn’t you have tap water at home?’ one inquisitive one asked,’ no plumbing?’
‘No, sweetheart,’ Kira responded, ‘we didn’t really have homes to begin with,’
The caves of A19 had long been deserted since the Tsunamis of the last age. A19 was once a flourishing district until it was hit by a barrage of asteroids and since its then it was demoted to an uninhabitable zone. The people had nicknamed it, ‘Golgotha,’ from ancient Internet text, and the mass exodus meant that those who stayed were only criminals, pirates and political runaways. So it became their own shanty town, with caverns connecting little districts, homes, and slums. Almost every household had a bunker, a hiding place, because things here were never quite predictable. Riddled with questionable marketplaces, illegal arms, brothels and casinos, Golgotha was where you went if you didn’t want decent folk to find you. It was also the best place to go if you were all out looking to start some shit.
Karin was a brothel person herself, she was itching a for the touch of ‘the Goddess’, the most highly valued prostitute in SoleRock Casino and Bar. It is rumored that the strokes of ‘the Goddess’s’ fingers can force multiple explosive orgasms to both men and women alike and Karin for one was living proof of that testimony. She had been traveling for months and not a companion in sight. The fact that she had a below knee metal prosthesis over her left side didn’t make it any easier to find partners along the road. So this was her day to finally treat herself.
‘Sorry, she no longer works,’ said the receptionist at the counter sipping a revolting concoction of cough syrup and tea. ‘Got pregnant, had her second, and when she came back the touch just wasn’t there anymore. We started loosing business, so…’
Karin was disappointed. ‘Her second?’
‘She’s about 1or 2 ages old i guess. Her oldest is 9; still a little too early to be grooming the kid. We told her to bring him back when he was at least 12.’
‘Basically she’s not coming back anytime soon,’
The receptionist sneezed looking away and snorted. ‘Basically,’ she replied rubbing her nose. ‘Try PureBloods, they just got a fresh batch, even Milk folk I hear’
Karin was intrigued as she peered out the window into the busy streets while she saw the sign that read ‘PureBloods’ with neon outlines; red for hair and glowing white the sillhoute a supposed feminine body.
The crowd cheered to their hearts content. ”Kim Thatcher aka ‘The Glock’ is at her last breath ladies and gentleman. Will he do it? Will he FINISH HER???!!!” the commentator riled the audience. They cheered and screamed even more. At the edge of the ring, she laid flat down, her eye still locked to her opponent but her head swinging in and out of consciousness. She had lost a lot of blood from the fight. It took her longer than expected but he was a formidable opponent nonetheless.
‘Fucking steroids,’ she mumbled as she slowly got up, and finally got to her feet. The crowd cheered as she found footing, ‘Glock! Glock! Glock! Glock!’ The opponent pretended to be unimpressed, he started to show rage at the crowd, he shook the ring ropes, and gave them a wild roar. At 6 feet, weighing 270 pounds, Joseph aka ‘King Dragon’ was preparing himself all month for this and today he was the closest ever to beating the reigning champion. He smashed his fists together and launched for another attack.
With one leap, she hovered above him. Just as he looked up, she pressed her feet over his face landing hard her shoe spikes on the bridge and surrounding of his nose. The spikes were homemade, from old rusty nails used to hold wood together. They tore through his skin, dug into his facial bones and ripped his flesh off as she made a second jump off of him to the other side of the ring.
Wailing by the side, his hands covered his face. He stared cold back at her, some of nails still stuck buried in flesh. She checked her shoes. ‘Shit,’ she cursed and discarded them. She threw her arms forward, her fingernails dressed with metal claws. ‘By the way Dragon, this is Day 1 of my period, what does that say about you?’ He viciously swung himself at her, and managed to press her down under his weight as he yelled in anguish, blood dripping from his wounds all over her face. She struggled to slip under him as he pressed his huge hands over her fists clenched, the metals digging into her own skin. She kneed this crotch, once, twice, thrice in rapid succession, until he lost his grip on her giving her enough window to headbutt and gain back an advantage.
The crowd went balistic. The screams of joy and anger all muddled into a state of confusion. Her face drenched in the blood of her opponents as well as her own. The winds blew strong and were getting colder. She ripped some gauze from her belt and bandaged her palms. Ready to launch for the kill, she ran as the crowd screamed.
The metal railing shook and the electricity died. The crowd was frantic as some of them had already left. ‘Hurricane! Hurricane!’ she heard individuals scream as they ran for the exit door, breaking everything in their path. The commentator alerted, ‘Ladies and gentleman, the fight is over. I repeat, the fight is over. There will be no refunds! I repeat, there will no be no…’ (radio static).
‘Shit!’ she cursed as she reached her opponent. She gave him his hand and got him up. ‘Let’s go,’ she said. ‘NO!’ he screamed. ‘Go first, the crowd shouldn’t see,’ he yelled back. ‘Fair enough,’ she said as she sprinted for the stairs. She kicked open the underground hatch, before descending down a ladder to a crowd of people. The winds blew strong as the flimsy ladder rattled all her way down.
Underground was a vast place filled with people, the manager sat and did the accounts. ‘Here, you still get paid, but the fight’s next week alright?’
She scoffed as she grabbed the notes from his fingers and stuffed it inside her pants. They could still hear the winds howling, shaking the earth, forcing little debris to fall from the ceiling. There were faint sounds of metal clanging and loud thuds. She maneuvered her way through the crowd and approached the bar.
Seated on the bar stool was Joseph with a tall pitcher of ale was right before him. He gulped the whole thing down and ordered another. ‘Joseph?’ a voice yelled from behind. Joseph turned reluctantly. Kim moved close to examine his face. ‘I really did a number on you this time didn’t I?’
‘Antibiotics would do the trick,’ he answered as her pushed her hands away.
‘Not steroids though, not after the amount you have been taking. I almost feel bad that I broke your face. Get a CT, another hemorrhage and you’re carrier is done!’ he looked back at her, stopped his frowning and sighed. ‘Alright, thanks!’ lifting up his pint for a ‘cheers’ before he collapsed from the bar stool and fell to the ground, pitcher and everything.
Kim sighed looking at him. She squatted before him, felt for his pulse then reached into his pockets and emptied it. ‘Wow you get 200 and I get 150? The fuck is that all about?’
She stepped back and disappeared into the crowd while the others went on about their lives. ‘Get Lawrence in here! Clean this up!’ the bartender yelled.