Alright, so for this last contest me and @batkevin74 hosted a joint contest. We both posted a picture of a character we found and challenged writers to create their own unique vision of those characters, then have them fight each other.
We had three stories.
Attempting to pick himself up off his backside, the Steerman's voice coming through his helmet speaker sounded pained. "Damn, you kick like a mule. What's your name, filly?"
Without smiling, and with her pistol trained at his head, she answered, "Benefit of being half horse. Just call me Night Mare."
Electricity starting to crackle around his armor, he sounded more confident. "You're dreamin'. Time to get back in the herd. We have to get through City Center before morning."
Ships headed to the auction passed by overhead as they faced each other down. She warned, "I didn't say you could get up, Steerman. I'm not part of your herd, and Centaurs aren't cattle to be rounded up."
The Centaur herd watched intently, murmuring as they backed away, hooves pelting the smooth metal.
"Law on Texas-S says different," he said defiantly, energy still building in his gauntlets.
Firing a laser past the side of his head, she said, "I don't give a damn what Texass has to say about it. I'm a Proxima Centaurian! I'm nobody's property. Now power down before my next shot cuts through that soft spot under the chin of your helmet."
The crackling diminished, but the Steerman's attitude didn't. "'Nobody's property,' huh? So no one's put their brand on your hind end yet?" He tsked, which through the helmet sounded like a static squelch. "Shame."
"You'd fetch quite the price," the Steerman taunted.
The Centaur snorted, taking two angry steps forward, hooves banging on the hard metal. "Yeah?" she said angrily.
"Yeah," he barked. "As dogfood!" and suddenly his left gauntlet powered fully, firing at her feet. She reared up, shooting wide as she did so, giving him time to roll to one side and jump from the ground. As he did, the grav units in his boots fired, and he took to the air. Firing two more pulses at her, he growled, "Maybe I'll just brand ya myself!"
Bringing her gun up quickly, she fired and clipped one of his boots, shorting the grav unit. As he spiraled towards the ground, she called out, "Now who's dreamin'?"
The herd cheered.
As he crashed and clattered across the walkway for the second time that night, he rolled to a sitting position, quickly pointing a gauntlet in her direction. She was already on top of him though, and her right front hoof to his chest pushed him firmly flat on the ground. Grabbing the wrist of the powered gauntlet with her right hand and twisting it away from her, her left hoof stood on his other wrist, and her left hand brought the pistol up under his chin.
The armor protected him from being crushed under her weight, but the immobility was clearly not to his liking as angry breaths came like static over the helmet's speaker. "Well?" he shouted. "What are you waiting for?"
Leaning down further so her face was inches from his, through gritted teeth she demanded, "What's myname?"
They stared each other down for long seconds before he finally spat the words, "Night Mare!"
"Damn right," she said angrily. "Your worst," and she fired.
The Steerman's body went limp. The herd gasped collectively, and they all fell silent.
Night Mare turned towards them, and raised her pistol in the air. "Centaurs! It's time to take back your lives! It's time to fight back!"
The herd murmured. Some agreed, and some sounded panicked.
"Proxima Centauri once belonged to us! It's time to show these Texasshats that it still does!"
The murmured agreement began to grow. The agreement mingled with cheers of support.
"I'll be a nightmare to these people until they agree to live in peace! I live free! I'll die free!"
Throughout the herd, Centaurs reared up and crashed down on the metal walkways, cheering defiantly at the night. The sounds were explosive.
"We need to shut down the auction that sells our people like animals, separating families, and shipping them to other planets!"
Wild screams went up from the herd, as if hearing their plight aloud released years of repressed torment.
"Will you stop being part of their herds? Will you fight with me?"
A long, collective roar went up from the Centaurs, and as one, they turned and galloped full tilt after Night Mare, heading for the auction. The sound of their hooves on the metal combined with their war cries thundered through the city, and cowered all who heard it. War was coming to Proixma Centauri, and those who called it Texas-S weren't ready.
“In all my years as a judicial hive intelligence, I have never seen such compounded stupidity!” The voice echoed around the courtroom making both defendants shake in their skins. “Seven point six billion dollars worth of damage across eight sectors! Four citizens killed! Nineteen injured! Even as a combined hive mind artificial intelligence who uses both logic and emotion, I am having a hard time fathoming this!”
Before the supercomputer were two people and a Hawkins-Byrd sentry drone to keep them in line. The gallery was packed with camera bots filming the proceedings. The woman on the left was Tess Raikoart, a blonde Gen-5 female; the right Geoffrey Djahal, a cybernetic Gen-5 male.
“From witness statements, security footage, bio analysis and your own testimonies, you both were involved in a ranging battle on fourth. Both of you indicate that the other started this brawl.” The computer paused. “Can either of you tell me why?”
Tess and Geoffrey simultaneously shrugged as only siblings can. A scanner washed over them both as the hive intelligence absorbed more readings from them.
“Then in this matter I have choice but to issue the...”
“She did!” Geoffrey yelled. “She took the last Sheindlin bar! I told her not too!”
“They were MY bars!” Tess yelled back.
“Order!” The computer barked and the Hawkins-Byrd drone extended two charge tentacles that pulsed with electricity. “I will surge BOTH of you.”
“It’s her fault!” Geoffrey complained.
“You did this, metal face!”
The drones tentacles shot out onto the necks of the defendants, attached and pumped a small charge into them. They yelped and were silent.
“You caused all this destruction and chaos over a confectionary made from processed pig bladder and vacuum pressed corn syrup?” The hive was confused.
“They were mine, not his!” Tess snapped. “I waited nine cycles to get these.”
“Paid for from credits I lent you!” Geoffrey retorted.
“Daryl Hannah!” Geoffrey sneered at her.
Tess gasped at the slur before returning fire. “Budget Downey!”
“Order!” The hive intelligence barked again. “These outbursts in my presence will cease. I...” The computer did a quad-trillion of calculations in microseconds and returned its verdict. “I have made a judgement. I find you BOTH equally guilty under Section 116-KC of the Code of...”
“This is all YOUR fault!” Tess cried.
“It was my bar!” Geoffrey yelled back.
“I hate you!”
“I wish you’d never been grown in a lab!”
Tess screamed, yanked the tentacle from her neck and launched at her brother. The pair tumbled to the ground. The Hawkins-Byrd drone went to administer more security protocols when Geoffrey used it like a mace to smash his sister in the head. The pair went at it no holds barred.
The judicial hive watched the siblings tear up the room as it retracted it’s power core and brain jars into the floor for safety. Even though they had upgrades, cybernetic parts and enhanced DNA; humans were still very human. It would wait until they’d finished their tantrums before passing final judgement, which didn’t seem would be any time soon.
Tess vs The Storm
The rain clouds burst open, spilling acidic spouts of water across the infamous street known as Calle 8. Tess stood in the alleyway, her gun drawn on the mysterious, armored assassin whose hands crackled with lightning. The water drenched her blonde hair and her arms trembled as her foe slowly rose up into the air.
“Stop where you are.” she yelled out. “You are under arrest for the murder of Senator March.”
A metallic voice sounded out from the armor.
“I am Teshub, the god of storms and bringer of death, which comes for us all, girl.” he declared. “You are quite beautiful. I assume this quality has served you well over the years. Perhaps it will now save you, for the time, from your own impending death.”
As he said this, more lightning crackled from his hands. Tess felt a tingling sensation through her body. She fired her gun point blank at Teshub’s helmeted face.
The assassin reeled backwards in the air, falling to the ground. Lightning burst from his hands throughout the alleyway, knocking Tess out.
Tess awoke a few moments later.
Teshub remained on the ground. She walked over to his body and looked it over.
A hole the size of a quarter penetrated his helmet. Blood spewed out.
She looked at her gun, the word Chrysaor was written on it’s side.
“Sorry handsome. You might be the weather god but these bullets can penetrate anything. Even a
god’s thick skull.”
Alright, those are the stories. Vote for your favorite.
Voting ends in 2 weeks on the 28th at 11:59 pm Pacific