Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today marks week 48 of the 52 week writing challenge!
The prompt for Sunday 3rd December is ‘Technology’:
This weeks attempt is based on a scene from one of my favourite games, Star Ocean 3. The main character loved virtual reality combat, where you could summon holographic monsters to fight. This short story is based on those holographic fight simulators!
‘Are you sure this is a good idea?’
‘They’re just holograms, Alena.’
The young man by her side, Scott Gunner, sent her a dazzling grin. ‘I know technology is new and scary…’
Alena clutched her cold metal arm. ‘It’s not scary. It’s dangerous… We abandoned progress on my planet for a reason.’
Scott grimaced and placed his palm on a scanner by the door. ‘You’ll get used to it.’
Alena blinked as Scott led her inside a large metal room. ‘It’s empty. You said there’d be enemies to fight.’
‘There will be,’ Scott replied. He strode to a console and pressed a few buttons. ‘Got your sword?’
Alena glared at him. ‘How many times… It’s a katana!’ She pulled a thin sword from the sheath on her back, and watched with wide eyes as the room shimmered around her. Holographic trees flickered into existence. ‘This is…’
‘Get ready!’ Scott interrupted. He drew his bow and shot a laser arrow across the room.
Alena watched it spin closer to its target, a large charging boar. She gripped her katana and felled an attacking elf, only to fall to her knees a second later to avoid a flaming projectile.
‘Get hit and you’re out,’ Scott yelled over the roar of a large jaguar. He gestured to the sensors on their uniforms.
Alena smirked. ‘Loser spends the night in the hold. Alone.’
Scott shuddered, and a well aimed fireball barely missed his shoulder, but Alena knew he wouldn’t back down. ‘You’re on, country girl!’
Alena’s blade glinted as she dispatched the jaguar with a single blow. She grimaced as holographic blood spilled. It was so real. She saw Scott gulp. He was nervous. Good.
They turned their full attention towards the simulation. Slash. Flick. Swish. Archer and swords woman dispatched foe after foe, only for more to rise in their place. The enemies were getting tougher, but neither had been hit yet.
‘Boss battle, incoming,’ a tinny voice announced over the speakers.
Scott moved to Alena’s side and braced himself. ‘Never got this far before. Nice work.’
Alena shrugged. ‘I don’t want to lose. The hold gives me the creeps.’
A large bulky creature appeared on the other side of the room. Ten smaller ones materialised at its side, each with large heads and razor sharp teeth. The largest one roared, a bellow which shook the walls.
Alena blinked and wiped her face. ‘Is that spit? Realistic…’
‘But not real,’ Scott reminded her. He raised his bow. She readied her sword. The army charged.
Alena cut down the nearest creature with ease, and Scott felled two with quick shots before another drew close enough to strike. Quick reflexes sent him sprawling backwards into a roll, and he pulled his bow straight. Two latches clicked into place, and he used his new staff to block a blow aimed at his head. His arms shook with effort, but the creature was stronger. It pushed his weapon down, and its fingers touched the sensor on his helmet.
Sirens blared, and Scott sighed. ‘I’m out!’
He tried to stand, but the holographic creature continued to bear down on him. ‘I’m out! Why isn’t it stopping?’
Alena dispatched the enemy in front of her and glanced over her shoulder. Scott’s knuckles were white as he tried to hold off the creature. It shimmered like the other holograms, but the bead of sweat on its forehead gave it away. She grabbed her katana and sped across the arena to cut down the monster. The blood that splattered her face was as real as the cut on her cheek.
She helped Scott to his feet. ‘I think we have a problem.’
They backed towards the door. Scott flinched as his eyes met the cut on her cheek. ‘I don’t understand. How can holograms hurt us?’
Alena shrugged. ‘I stopped trying to understand your technology the moment I boarded this cursed spaceship. Come on, we need to get out of here.’
She tugged on the door. It didn’t budge.
Scott shook his head. ‘It’s locked during simulations.’
‘So unlock it!’
Scott pressed the fail safe. Nothing happened. Alena kicked the door. The monsters charged. She pulled Scott to the side just as the largest creature barrelled into the door. The metal creaked and splintered. The monster went straight through it.
‘That’s our exit,’ Alena said as she watched the creature shake its head. ‘Come on!’
She grabbed Scott’s arm and dragged him into the hallway. The creatures roared and gave chase. Shots were fired from all sides. Soldiers were cut down. Wires crackled as the creatures trashed the ship. Fires broke out.
Scott tugged on Alena’s arm and gestured to his bloodied comrades. ‘We can’t leave them!’
Alena nodded at the rapidly spreading fire. ‘There’s no time. Where are those small flying things?’
Scott watched the fire for a second, then bit his lip and turned away. ‘Escape pods? This way.’
He took the lead, and they flew down corridors illuminated by fire and electricity. When they reached the pods they clambered inside the nearest one, a six seater.
Scott’s finger hovered over the launch button. ‘We should wait, see if there’s others.’
Alena reached over him and pressed the button. ‘You saw those things. They’ll tear us apart if they catch us.’
Scott sighed as their pod blasted away from the spaceship. ‘Is everyone on your planet this selfish?’
Alena shook her head and looked away. ‘Just me.’ She shivered as, in front of them, the ship exploded in a shower of sparks. ‘I told you technology was dangerous.’
Thanks for reading!
Alena is from an underdeveloped planet which abandoned technological advancement after a disaster. Scott is a space traveller. I think they could have more adventures together!
In December my focus will be short stories. If anyone has any prompt suggestions, let me know. I’m collecting them for next years Sunday Scribbles!
Next Sunday’s prompt:
The prompt for 10th December is ‘Fruit.’
If you try next weeks prompt yourself, let me know how it goes. Post your attempt on your blog on the 10th December and leave a link in the comments below so I can read it 🙂
If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂