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Jagunco
April 24th, 2013, 06:48 PM
This has been kicking about my head for a few weeks so I'm putting this draft on here. If the concept is a greeable I might expand on it a bit for my writing blog that I just started




To the death



Terry slapped his bare knuckles together. The usually distinctive slap of bone on bone was lost under the din of the arena.
A glance up revealed his opponent occupied with similar pre fight rituals, identically nude but for wrestling trunks and monstrous tattoos. Upon sight of the man his interface was activated by his corner, filling the corners of his vision with blood/oxygen ratio, lactic acid levels, BPM and a row of green lights. He was ready to fight.
‘You hear me Terry?’ a voice spoke from behind his ears.
‘Got you.’
‘Match starts in thirty, ready?’
‘No, need the bog.’
‘You're Hilarious. Right sending you his stats.’
‘The ones you made me memorize? Sure God knows I don’t have enough writing floating in front of me. I can barely fucking see.’
The voice ignored him judging by the lack of a comment. It belonged to his trainer Mike. Another voice rang out. This time outside his head and above.
‘-And 42 kills… Terry Franks!’
If possible the din of cheering grew louder. Terry ordered his interface to filter the sound out then continued to skip from one foot to another, feinting a lack of nerves. He didn’t now why he bothered he had already stopped bothering to listen to the announcer.
He knew by experience that The crowds interfaces would be receiving various camera angles, the fighters stats and a plethora of advertisement by now. It made him feel like a piece of meat. He felt his craw tighten in resentment.
‘Breath Terry, your BPM is starting to climb.’
‘Sorry.’
‘Something bothering you?’
‘The crowd.’
‘You picked the wrong job then didn’t you.’
And thus thirty seconds ended. The bell sounded (Terry found himself wondering why they called it a bell) and both fighters surged forward.
Terry was the bigger man. Older and reaching the end of his prime. The other man was younger, leaner and judging by his face, hungrier. Terry felt a flash of pity for him. He remembered when he treat his fights as something that wasn’t a meal credit.
Blows were experimentally traded, both hand and foot. Each man had studied the other, each man was confident in his ability to win. Terry winced as shin bones clacked together.
His interface immediately lit up with a red light and a little diagram telling with an infuriatingly unnecessary message that undue force had been put on the bone. He had no time to wonder what it was like to fight without a computer in the back of your head as his opponent pressed.
Terry was ready for him and swept him to the floor with a double leg. They rolled together for some indeterminate time with Terry’s size and experience giving him the advantage. It was like fighting a bean bag though, no discernible weight and no hold seemed fast. He also seemed to be having more trouble than normal ignoring the light show being projected onto his iris. Eventually when dominating in a half mount he screamed through his head.
‘Turn that God damn interface off!’
‘Christ Terry will you concentrate!’
Terry landed a rather ugly elbow onto an already bloody brow. ‘How am I meant to concentrate it looks like a fucking Christmas party in here.’
He suddenly found himself shifted and didn’t have time to think ‘oh shit’. Terry told himself off for getting distracted.
It was his turn to fend off a hail of blows but the youngster was not a grappler on the old mans level and with a looping motion Terry pulled himself up to the other mans head and dragged it down with him.
Instantly he smelt the controlled panic of his opponent fractionally before the useless interface read his vitals and figured it out to tell him. This time Terry managed to ignore it and shifted his hold into a Guillotine.
The crowd smelt blood and Terry felt no urge to titillate them. With a matter of fact twist and a noise like someone stepping on a box of crackers he killed the man and let his body drop.
The crowd was nearly loud enough to deafen the disgusted voice in his head, but he had told his interface to filter them out before the fight, he could still hear himself. Without pre amble he left the cage to shower and dress.


‘Quick fight.’ Same voice but not from the back of his head this time. Mike was standing before him as he showered.
‘Does it bother you,’ Terry inquired in a snippy tone, ‘That your job regularly involves you walking in on mean showering?’
‘The money helps me live with it. Manage to take that piss?’
Terry recalled his sarcastic quip before the fight and grunted, ‘Who said it was a piss I needed. Pass that towel.’
‘Get it yourself. What’s wrong man, you’re in an even worse mood than normal.’
Terry retrieved his towel, ‘You remember when people used to go to the electric chair for killing forty eight people?’
Mike nodded, ‘Yeah, it wasn’t that long ago was it.’
‘You think anyone ever turns up to admire a fight anymore. Study the fighters see who's been training, right. Or you think they just come to watch some poor fucker get his neck broken?’ Dried, Tony flung the towel the length of the changing room and started to pull on his trousers.
There was tap on the door. Mike shot an inquiring look at Terry, who shrugged.
He was lacing up his shoes when he heard the muffled conversation. Without paying attention he caught, ’Yeah sure come in he just changed.’
Terry looked up to see his former opponent framed in the doorway.
‘Sure son come in. How’s the neck?’
He rubbed it ruefully, ‘Not broken anymore thanks man.’
He had a North American accent the overly British Terry couldn’t place. He was suddenly aware that in the vault of crap he knew of the man he had no idea where he was from. It nearly made him laugh.
'You'll want to make sure they mended it straight.'
'Already have. Thanks.'
To the death fights had evolved by accident upon the invention of Nano Injury Control (NIC). When the body was injected with nanites capable of fixing fatal injuries before brain death occurred. Developed for the Armed forces and Health care and incorporated to combat the infrequent debilitating injuries that occurred in most physical activities.
Of course this led to changes in the rules, the more dangerous holds and locks were suddenly legal again, then of course someone used one and killed a man until his NIC kicked in and the crowd loved it.
Suddenly there was a Win by TKO, KO, Submission and Death. Not long after people stopped bothering with the first three.
MMA UFC and such were then officially TTD: To The Death.
Of course it was fine because even with killing someone twice a week there was still less serious injuries than before NIC was introduced.
Terry had vomited all over the Changing rooms on his first TTD fight. It still turned his stomach.
‘You ok?’
Terry woke up slightly, ‘Sorry mate I was miles away. That the first time you were killed?’
He knew the answer having studied the others fight record, ‘Yeah. It get any easier?’
‘Its easier than killing someone mate.’
‘Dude! No one dies. Look were sitting here.’
Terry wiped his eyelids and moved to the fridge, ‘Beer?’
‘Sure.’
‘Listen mate, I’m not going to tell you how to live your life or what’s right and wrong but you got a question on your face and I’ll answer it. You know how old I am I’m assuming.’
‘Sure. Seventy four.’
‘Yeah. Thank you NIC. I been fighting since I was fourteen. That’s sixty years. I was just young enough for the NIC treatment to keep me in the game. Lucky me.’
‘Dude!’
Terry winced inwardly. He hated being called that.
‘Anyway mate I’ve killed over forty men, and fair enough they’ve gotten up from it but if I had the money to retire I’d stop tomorrow. Tonight in fact. And I wouldn't bother being polite in my retirement announcement.’
‘Why? No one's hurt.’
‘Its not that. You notice what happened when… at the end of the fight.’ Terry wasn’t going to rub his nose in it and didn’t bother waiting for the reply, ‘They cheered mate. The whole fucking lot of them. They didn’t turn up to see a competition of skill. They turned up to watch a bloke die. They came in looking for blood and I gave it to them. I killed a man to entertain a mob. And to me that makes a man lower than an ants nuts’
He gulped his beer down and looked at his guest. ‘Another one?’

jayelle_cochran
April 25th, 2013, 10:02 PM
You might want to put an empty line between the paragraphs. Because indents don't work on the forums, this will make it easier to read your work. Just FYI.

I like the story. I love the contrast between the older fighter and the youngster. It shows how the change in technology has affected the way people think about life and death. You can see in reality how technology affects the older and younger generations differently so it fits well with the setting. I also love the conflict that your main character, Terry, was feeling. That can be very powerful for the piece.

There are some areas that need improving, though the story itself is great. Mostly what I saw can easily be fixed with a good editing session. I'll give you an example with two paragraphs.


A glance up revealed his opponent occupied with similar pre fight rituals, identically nude but for wrestling trunks and monstrous tattoos. Upon sight of the man his interface was activated by his corner, filling the corners of his vision with blood/oxygen ratio, lactic acid levels, BPM and a row of green lights. He was ready to fight.

A glance up revealed his opponent was occupied with similar pre-fight rituals. They were both identically nude, except for wrestling trunks and monstrous tattoos covering their bodies. His interface activated while he studied his opponent. The corners of his vision were flooded with his blood/oxygen ratio, lactic acid levels, and BPM. A row of green lights let him know that he was ready to fight.

The voice ignored him judging by the lack of a comment. It belonged to his trainer Mike. Another voice rang out. This time outside his head and above.

Judging by the lack of a comment, his trainer Mike had ignored him. The announcer's voice rang out from above his head.


It's easy when you're writing your first draft to combine sentences that shouldn't be put together or to over write a concept. With the first paragraph, most of what I saw had to do with cleaning up the sentence structure which allowed the paragraph to flow more freely. The second paragraph I showed had more to it than was needed. I've learned that sometimes you don't need to tell the reader everything. For instance, if you tell them that the voice came from above his head then obviously you don't need to tell them that it wasn't from inside his head. It's a common mistake that someone had to point out to me once. Repetition doesn't only mean the individual words but concepts and information as well.

Another thing to look out for are the parenthesis. I only saw you use them once. While they're great for when you're writing a blog or a post in a forum, they don't work so well in literature. Usually you can use a hyphen, semi-colon, or a completely different sentence to get the same information to the reader. Experiment a bit and you'll find what works for this story and for your own writing style.

I really liked the dialogue. It gave you a good sense for the personalities of the characters and I would love to see how they develop through that. I chuckled when I read:

‘Breath Terry, your BPM is starting to climb.’
‘Sorry.’
‘Something bothering you?’
‘The crowd.’
‘You picked the wrong job then didn’t you.’

I loved this. It's realistic and helps show some of the relationship between the fighter and his trainer. Though, the first word should read "Breathe" instead of "Breath".

Overall it's a really great beginning to a story. I personally would love to read more!

Keep writing!

*hugs*
Jayelle

Jagunco
April 25th, 2013, 10:10 PM
Thanks for the comments. I feel I should apologise for the roughness of the draft. I banged it out over a couple of hours. on Sunday morning. And then Been so busy through the week I made a rough editing job. Glad you like it though.

jayelle_cochran
April 26th, 2013, 05:26 PM
No problem hon. :) I still say that I wish you would finish it some day. :)