Ch1 i guess
The chanting of the crowd kept Zora’s adrenaline high. The unfamiliar weight of the disc on her back nagged at her, but after her performance in the hyperball arena she was feeling on top of the world. The orange bristah also had something to do with it. Rob had told her before not to take it before stepping into the arena, but as usual she had ignored his advice.
“DISK WARS! THUMP! THUMP! “DISK WARS!”
“Let’s go,” Zora whispered as her platform melted into the shiny cage. Her opponent was visible at the other end of the box. He was dressed in the same rookie battle gear as her, with a slate-grey colour scheme. He saluted her by pressing the side of his forefinger between his eyes and then bringing his arm down in an arc, stopping to point his first two fingers at her. Zora returned the gesture respectfully, and reached behind her back for her weapon.
The disc fizzed into life as soon as it left her back, vibrating in her gloved hands. The helmet and face shield materialized from out of the neck of her suit, and she crouched down, holding the disc threateningly towards her opponent. Over the shining blue edges she could see him doing the same, apart from holding the disc behind his back. The bell sounded, the crowd roared, and Zora’s first disc war began.
She took the first step, like she always did in her practice games growing up. She had been holding the weapon out in front of her with her left hand: now she jumped into the air, brought it back to her right hand, and flicked it forward just before she landed. Her opponent hadn’t been expecting such a quick move, and the disc wizzed dangerously close as he collapsed to his left. He swiveled on the floor and threw his disc with force at Zora, but it was a horizontal throw, easy to leap over. Zora caught her disc and was about to deliver an early killing blow, but she was conscious of the enemy’s rebounding disc behind her. She leapt into the air, spreading her legs at the same time, as the disc whizzed through them and was caught by its owner, who had to quickly use it to block Zora’s swift throw.
Zora caught her disc as it bounced back from the other’s, aiming for the spring in the middle of the cage. She slid to her knees under a wayward throw, hopped to her feet, and thrust herself forward onto the hexagon hanging between their two platforms. She timed her jump fairly well, and she sprang quickly into the air, arms raised, disc above her head for a devastating kill. Unfortunately the man had guessed her move, and instead of waiting for his disc to return he in turn leapt at her. The two made contact in the air; Zora, with more force, knocked the other slightly backwards, but he held onto her tightly, bringing her down with him.
They landed close to the platform edge. Zora knocked the wind out of her opponent by landing on top of him, but he had jumped inside her swing in the middle of their fall, and so her hands were what hit the floor first. She lost control of her disc, and the man, while winded, had the sense to lie on top of her disc so that she couldn’t pick it up. Her left wrist was also trapped underneath his back. Zora could feel his breath on her mouth, she could see the menacing eyes that reflected the resolve she was sure was in hers too.
His disc came racing back, and she was only just able to avoid him hoisting her into its trajectory. It grazed her back, leaving a small trail of sparks that died just as quickly as they appeared. The crowd roared in wonder, and the sound cleared all but one thought in Zora’s head.
She had to win.
This was different than the hyperball matches. There she could lose any number of games, or at least until she lost so many that no sponsor would support her. Here, in the disc wars, each match was a do or die event. Derezz or be derezzed. And she would do her best to survive.
Both the combatants’ discs were lying out of reach. Zora’s wrist was being squashed by her opponent, who began trying to shove her off the edge. He knocked the wind out of her, kicking her in the gut, and she fell over sideways, conscious of her left shoulder striking nothing. He scrambled to his feet and crouched, about to leap at her to push her off. Zora gripped the hard floor tight, praying she wouldn’t fall, and swept her legs around in an attempt to take his legs out. She succeeded with his right foot, and he fell on one knee as she tumbled off the platform.
The crowd gasped loudly, and Zora herself let out a scream as she dangled from the platform by only eight fingers. Her legs were swinging in the air, kicking for something to find purchase on: but there was nothing. Zora looked up at her combatant, who had regained his feet and was just picking up his disc. The crowd was chanting his name: “BILLING! BILLING!”, and, at that moment, Zora thought she was gone. Billing was waving his arms to hype up the crowd, which began cheering louder than ever. He called to her, cruelly telling her that he was going to slice off her fingers one by one until she dropped.
And there, Zora saw her only chance. He turned his back to her, holding up his disc for the crowd, and her window opened. It was terribly risky, but there was nothing else she could do.
Zora’s legs were still kicking, and she was still swinging from side to side. Holding her legs together she increased the swinging, gaining momentum on each pass. Billing turned round and knelt before her, just as she glided off the platform. She could hear the crowd hush as she twisted in the air, and slapped her hands onto the spring.
She had the sense to bring her knees to her chest and to elongate her feet, so she just missed the bottom of the spring by a few centimetres. She whizzed backwards through the air, exalting that she hadn’t killed herself, and saw Billing’s upside-down, startled face for a scant second as she continued onto her second backflip. Zora prayed again that her opponent wouldn’t move fast enough to strike her in the air, and her prayers were answered: he did thrust his weapon forward, but it only scraped her back open a little. Completing her second backflip and still moving fast, she grasped his faceshield to pull him off his feet. It worked like a charm, and his weight slowed her momentum as well. They both hit the ground at the same time: Zora fell hard, but she made sure Billing’s head hit the ground forcibly.
She grasped her disc, which she had fallen in arms reach of, and crawled gingerly to Billing’s side. He was not entirely conscious, woozily waving his limbs and staring sightlessly out of slate-grey eyes. Zora held her disc up, and the crowd roared their approval as it descended.
Zora stood up slowly, indulging in the chanting of her name the crowd had started. The automated loudspeaker blared to life overhead.
“Combatant Seven: Victory. Round Two: Combatant Three versus Combatant Seven.”
The light pixels crunched under her boots as Zora turned to face her new opponent.