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    Invnarcel
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the Mini-Crusher-Tournie - 3. Second Match

When Marine was escorted out of the enormous cube-room, hobbling on her dislocated knee, her friend Jane slumped forward and rested her chin in her hand. The audience of teens were bubbling with excitement after the fight. Even the ones who didn't look the type to chatter, ever, were teeming with curiosity. Leaf let out a sigh from beside her and Jane cast him a glance.

"Worried?"

"I wouldn't say worried. Maybe nervous." His voice was low as he glanced toward the others, not wanting the competition to see any weakness.

"I kind of want my turn over with." Jane confessed.

"Careful what you wish for. There are a lot of monsters here. You know what some of these clan powers are capable of."

The three elementals were discussing the match quietly from the centre of the field. Jane heard someone appear behind the two of them, hands bending the back of their plastic seats.

"Hey, best of luck with your upcoming match." He smiled, friendly. It was the blonde boy, the Godrid lightning user. Jane didn't respond and Leaf snapped out of his shock.

"Why are you 'wishing us luck'? You're the enemy!" His tone was anything but friendly.

"I don't see why Godrid and Zorgon crushers have to be enemies. This tournament will end after all, and when it does we all might be friends. For all we know…"

"Hm." Leaf turned away sharply, gaze forward.

"I'm Lyle Zappos, nice to meet you." He offered his hand to her.

"Jane Flame." She smiled and shook his hand despite herself. Leaf looked at her, appalled.

"The Zorgon fire user, right?"

Before she could confirm, the elementals were returning and the huge screen was already flicking through the next candidates.

"Let's get through these initial battles post-haste!" Chris was saying. "And now, the next contender up is…!" The screen stopped on number six, the profile of the white-skinned, red-eyed Shiro Honeshi. Nobody said anything as the menacing figure rose up and then stalked toward the centre of the field.

"Jeez…" Leaf was whispering to Jane, and she thought his voice was trembling "Those Bone Monster clan guys are all seriously strong. Whoever goes up against them is gonna get slaughtered…"

The second half of the screen was flicking through faces before alighting on number seven, Lyle Zappos. Jane and Leaf's faces went blank and they turned to look at the boy still leaning on the back of their chairs, his wide eyes forward.

"Lyle Zappos, will you please enter the field!" Chris called. Blake was already heading back to the seats.

"Two Godrids fighting each other…" he remarked "This ought to be pathetic."

"Oh shut up!" Chris snapped, then followed Zac off the grassy field.

"He's gonna die." Leaf said plainly as they watched him slowly take his mark. Shiro's red eyes were fixed on him with an emotionless menace. "Guess it serves him right for acting cool just a minute ago."

"Leaf," Jane scolded under her breath. She didn't really know if she could trust the guy, but she felt sorry for him all the same.

"Begin at the siren!" Chris reminded them. It sounded off and both took their stances.

Yellow electricity started crackling across Lyle's body, making his unruly hair even spikier. Shiro's body convulsed and cracked, his jaw dislocating and teeth growing needle-sharp as he released a pained howl. A sleeve ripped off, exposing a plate of bone that was spreading across his body. Shards of bone curling up his head from behind, a bony spine growing down his back and extending into a tail. All the while that inhuman screeching getting louder and more frightening.

When charged up, Lyle extended his arm, pointing with two fingers. A bolt of yellow lightning hit Shiro's exposed shoulder, he jolted and the bones slowed before continuing their spread. His bloody eyes were back on his prey. Lyle fired another lightning bolt, and another. Each impact made Shiro growl but he didn't so much as take a step backward.

"Yellow lightning is the weakest." Chris murmured as he observed them. "It stuns and can paralyse, but it doesn't burn. Blue lightning can do serious harm, but most never learn how to awaken it…"

Shiro went down on all fours and his body was almost entirely covered in bulky bone at that point. Lyle watched on in shock. A single red eye was trained on him, Shiro hissed and then sprang forward, racing on all fours. He jumped and his bone-taloned hand made a swipe at Lyle who ducked and rolled away. Shiro skidded with a hiss and changed course. Lyle sprang away again, barely escaping as he rolled his whole body away. Several of the audience gasped at the close call.

Part of Shiro's bone mask retracted to expose his mouth "Is running all you can do?"

"I hope not."

"I'm going to strangle you with your own intestines!"

"Lovely."

Lyle scrambled to his feet as Shiro lunged with a roar. Long-distance attacks were safer, but if he was to do any damage Lyle knew he needed to get up close. The problem with that being, Shiro was quite fast for someone carrying all that bone weight. Despite his fear he kept his eyes on his opponent, evading those mad swipes. The disadvantage to being led by his instincts was that Shiro's wild frenzy made his moves more predictable. Lyle rolled forward and spun, his hand burning with yellow lightning as he thrusted it into Shiro's back.

Bright flashes of electricity illuminated them both, but when the light went down Lyle's face slackened with fear. The bone density is unreal. Even up close like this, he's immune. Shiro turned that single eye to him and Lyle saw his tail whip out. He barely dodged its spearing point, but what he hadn't noticed was the small shredding points along its edge. He screamed as his arm flesh was mauled, deep into the muscle. Blood splattering into the grass and the audience cringing in their seats.

He staggered back with another pained scream, blood covering his hand as he gripped at the wound. Shiro turned and although Lyle was shaking and it was unbearable, he knew he needed to get away or he was going to die. He staggered away further, toward one of the trees in the perimeter. The branches were too high up for him to climb even if he had the use of both arms. Lyle felt dizzy from blood loss as he watched the white fiend crouch down, licking his blood off the ground. Looking up and giving him a malefic smile.

The blood was drained from his face, but Lyle's eyes flickered across the field desperately, trying to think of something that could save him. Shiro launched after him, rabid, still gunning toward his wounded prey. Lyle kept backing up and then stopped. He waited for Shiro to get close enough, that single eye transfixed by its target. Then Lyle raced to the left, Shiro followed and collided with the tree.

The trunk shook with a loud thud and several leaves dropped. Lyle moved in, appearing around the other side of the tree while Shiro was momentarily dazed. Lyle slipped his hand through the mask, palm splayed on Shiro's face, and fired as much volts as he could muster directly into the guy's brain.

Shiro's scream was loud, and still Lyle held on, gritting his teeth and fighting from passing out from blood loss. He held on and kept up the bright blaze of yellow lightning until his strength faded. Shiro fell backwards and a puff of smoke wafted from his vacant face. Lyle tumbled back and fell also, panting upward, letting go of his wound and bleeding freely into the ground.

Chris waved over a waiting medical droid and told it to take Lyle away. Then the black-robed man crouched, checked for Shiro's pulse. As expected he was still alive. Chris straightened and waved over another medical droid. He turned to address the captivated audience.

"Lyle Zappos is the winner."

Copyright © 2020 Invnarcel; All Rights Reserved.
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