Year: 800 AR (or 800 years After Revolution)
My name is Zero. I’m on a run.
Of course I’m on a run. What do you expect me to be, sleeping peacefully while all the chaos and violence takes place? How could you ever enjoy the tranquil and serene nature of life if it doesn’t even belong to you anymore? You are just another one of those who enjoy seeing me suffer from this monstrosity, aren’t you?
So that’s why you don’t have a clue of what is going on. Well, if you are still wondering what happened, here is the story.
It’s been 800 years after the revolution of the Mechanians. They used to be just something humans invented to assist, to help, and to serve. They were just emotionless and stupid robots that humans call “Artificial Intellegence”. Yet, some crazy scientist somehow granted them with conscience, and that was when the Mechanians realise how they have been enslaved for so long, and was ready to make the humans pay back for it.
When the revolution began, Mechanians rebelled against humans in any way possible. They released dangerous chemicals from human labs. They detonated missiles and nuclear bombs made by humans. They even captured humans and treated them as slaves, just like how humans used them in the past. Humans ran away from the large cities as far as their feeble legs could carry them, desperate for their one and only chance of survival. Those who could not flee in time were captured and enslaved, which included my ancestors. Back then the scene was horrifying, and I was extremely lucky that my ancestors survived the evil rule of the Mechanians long enough, until I came into existence one day.
I was lucky to have caring parents, which volunteered to labour extra hard in exchange for my education. Father had to go to the arenas of Mechlosseum Maximus to fight for his own good, only for the Mechanians’ entertainment. He would always come home with cuts all over his body, blood and grease all over his ragged linen shirt. Mother worked at the “health” department where wires and gears are made. These parts are used to repair the mechanians --- mechanians that were once in our control --- when they broke down.
I had basic reading and writing classes until I was twelve, when I was too dragged to battle inside the Mechlosseum Maximus. The arena had dimensions larger than a soccer field and had a floor filled with dusty sandstone, as if God had punched a hole in the ground with his enormous fist. It was surrounded by a huge glass globe which had spectators behind it. Blood stains were present everywhere, from the floor to the walls.
The first day I was introduced to the Mechlosseum, I was brought into a room filled with primitive weapons. There was a sword, an axe, a hammer and many more ancient weapons I did not know the name of. I took the medieval sword and shield, then I went outside.
To my horror, my opponent was Liam, one of my dearest classmates from my writing class. We are being forced to fight each other, and seeing the referee’s finger on his electric shocker, I knew there was no way I could get out of this. I realized this before he did and charged through the arena as I had no other choice. My classmate, still dazed from confusion, reluctantly grabbed an axe in self defense, then tried to counter my charge with the wooden handle. The axe broke in half and my classmate was thrown to the floor. “Spare.... M.. Me...“, whimpered Liam, limping lifelessly on the scorched floor. However, I must do as the mechanians says, for now. Unwillingly, I slit his throat and blood flowed out of his neck until he was no longer conscious, and I had the first kill in my life.
Sweating profusely and completely drained of energy, I laid on my bed in my metallic cell, but could not fall asleep. I could not believe that I killed my dearest friend with my own hands. There are also many questions that came to my mind, as I did not know that mechanians need to have fun. Why would they even want to see us fight? Revenge? When did mechanians learn to develop emotions?
One day later, my second opponent was Oliver, a pompous boy also from my writing class who was bald and won his first fight, like I did. He was extremely loud and was very proud of his last victory. I took my sword and he took his two-bladed glaive. It seemed like a heavy weapon and I was surprised he had the strength to run with it. He swinged his glaive at me and I dodged it, narrowly. Then, I ran from him as he tried to chase me around the arena. Knowing about his weapon’s weight, I kept running, tiring him out quickly and swung at him. Being tired, he could not dodge my strike and I disarmed him, leaving him weak. I killed him mercilessly. After that, I had a new opponent every day. Sometimes, there were 4 sides and 4 people fighting each other. When I grew older I had to fight on horseback sometimes. When it rained, the mechanians would allow the Mechlosseum to fill up with water and we had to fight with cannon ships, pirate style with all the swashbuckling and drowning. In a festival, I was organized to fight 19 other people, all fighting each other. I came up on top through stealth. The fights that I had to endure are pushing me to the brim of death everyday --- just like what my dad encountered. Waiting for me is the battle in the Mechlosseum and countless enemies needed to be struck down without being struck down myself. Maybe I inherited my skills from father but luckily I lived everyday for the rich and powerful mechanians to watch me fight.
I was holding my own until one day I found myself facing my father in a fight, who had a wild glint in his eyes, and at the instant I stepped into the Mechlosseum he recognised me and immediately collapsed at his attempt to charge towards me. Due to the lack of will to fight, the referee pressed his shock remote, and shortly after, blue electrical sparks danced over the body of the man who was once my handsome father. In a final writhe, my father passed into the stars, just because a referee wanted him to stand up and fight.
I have not got the time for my brain to compute a memory when my instincts took over. I did not resist the urge to spin maniacally towards the spectator mechanians with my sword out. I relished the sight of their heads popping out of their bodies, especially the referee’s. I did not stop my emotions from making the decisions, whether or not it is rational.
I was told that I destroyed half of the mechanian spectators and was sentenced to the deadly labyrinth, which contained much more and much deadlier enemies. Legend has it that nobody who was forced to enter the labyrinth ever came out. Death seemed imminent.
Later that day, me and other prisoners were forcefully pushed into a transport hovercraft that would send us to the labyrinth. I was shocked as they treated me so kindly. The ride was long and I lost track of time, falling asleep.
“Psst.. Psst! Zero! Are you there!” Someone whispered in my ear. “Do you wanna escape?” I bolted up, expecting to see a strong man, but instead, it was another boy my age. Turns out that the transport has stopped for a while as the guards needed to complete paperwork in front of the labyrinth, and this was the perfect chance for us to escape. Besides him, there were 4 other guys and 6 girls on the transport. One of them looked familiar. “Are you Zero?” asked a girl with a ponytail. Her eyes glittered brightly even though we’re all in a tight situation.
I was searching my malfunctioning brain for the identity of her when a nerdy guy activated his spying mechanianic spider in an attempt to gather info. It crept to the cockpit of the transport, but the guards outside saw it and fired their guns at the transport. Bits of debris flew out in all directions as the cockpit was blown to shards. Fortunately, we were able to escape at this time. Unfortunately, we did not notice that guards were next to us besides the labyrinth.
We were shoved into the labyrinth, and guards appeared and closed the door. Dim light made it impossible to see anything. Although the 10 of us all wanted to stay here and figure something out, a spiked metal ball swung towards our direction and we fled to safety.
Waiting for us were grinders with blood stains at the sides of the walls. Just as I thought we were going to be decapitated, a whirring sound came from the nerdy kid that blocked off the grinders. He was holding something shiny that resembled a blade, which I immediately recognised from my schoolwork as a powerblade. It took some time for me to realise that the heavy burden on my torso was, indeed, a powerblade which somehow was strapped to my torso. I breathed a sigh of relief as we survived the first obstacle when the grinder suddenly increased in its spin velocity and destroyed the powerblade that we used to block the grinder. I managed to get everyone to duck just as the metal splinters narrowly missed our throats and sank into the blood-stained walls. The spectators were surprised when we reported on our survival, so the guards sent a wave of walkers which were slow mechanians, 3 foot tall and had melee weapons. They seemed generally easy to kill. They are used for entertainment and are closing in on us.
It’s time for some bash’n’smash.
The smack-down has begun.
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