Ben and Streek: Clone Saga Ch. 09byAxelotl©
Chapter 9 - Dead or Alive
The large domed stadium of the Nexius Cley Holo-Arena was packed with spectators. It was a sea of mostly black jackets that encircled the centre stage, a large round platform where a twenty foot tall holographic blonde woman in only black stockings and high-heels was dancing around a pole.
There was a roar of noise around the place, as they drank and jeered and talked. The holographic woman leaned right back and jiggled her huge tits, then she suddenly flickered and disappeared. The crowd started booing.
The twenty foot tall holographic images of Streek and Mia in their dancer costumes appeared in the centre and started slowly rotating on the spot. The crowd started cheering, thinking it was another strip show.
A female voice came over the stadium speakers, "Attention people of Keyser. These two women, enemies of the Pirate Alliance, are currently at large in the Keyser City area. Skylar calls on all Pirate Factions to join the man-hunt and is offering a six million dollar bounty for those who bring them in alive."
An excited muttering came from the crowd, many of the men stood up. "They should be considered extremely dangerous, and are likely being aided by unknown associates. Hunt only in large groups. I repeat, a six million dollar bounty is offered for whoever brings them in alive."
There was a loud roar of talking among the crowd. The holographic Mia and Streek stayed there rotating in the centre. Half of the crowd had got up and were leaving the stadium, looking to get in on the hunt.
Mia, Streek and Zac watched from the dark Streets of downtown Keyser. They were watching a Holo-vid table in a dingy little outdoor bar. The little holographic Streek and Mia were rotating and text at the bottom read "Live from the Holo-Arena."
"Shit!" said Zac. "Skylar's serious about finding us. The streets are gunna be crawling with Pirate scum on the hunt. We should get moving."
"Just hold on a moment." said Mia. She and Streek were wearing large black jackets over their dancer outfits. They had looted them off some Pirates they killed. Streeks' had a couple of holes burnt through it, but it would do.
The announcers' male voice came over the speakers, "Just a reminder that there's no refunds for those that are leaving. Looks like we've lost half our audience, but we've been instructed to continue with tonights' schedule."
"...And what an exiting show we have planned for you tonight, I guarantee it will top anything that has been seen at this arena before, so those that are staying behind are the lucky ones. First though, a message from our beautiful Pirate Queen, Skylar."
A large head and shoulders hologram of Skylar appeared in the middle of the holo-Arena and over the holo-vid table that Streek was watching. The text now read "Live from Skylar Fortress." Skylar started talking in a clear confident voice.
"People of Verona, it is an exciting time to be a member of the Pirate Alliance. The Federation thought they had killed us, shattered us. But when you try to kill a Pirate, you had better make sure they're dead. We're back, and I'm here to tell you, we are stronger than ever. History has shown us that every empire must eventually fall. The Federations' time is almost up. Soon it will be the Pirate Alliances' time."
"...Whatever we're strong enough to take is ours by rights. That's the Pirate way. We are stronger now than we've ever been, and we're getting stronger. We will be strong enough to take the galaxy, and we will be strong enough to rip the Federations head off and piss on its corpse."
The fat, ugly man behind the bar cheered in agreement. "I'm asking you, the people of Verona, to believe in the strength of the Pirate Alliance, and to prepare for war. We have a long, tough and bloody fight ahead of us, but in the end we will be the last ones standing. The fact that our enemies have moved against us shows that they're scared. And for all those Federation spies listening to this, I have a message; You should be scared. Thank you, you will hear from me again." The Holo-video went back to the Holo-Arena and the crowd was cheering loudly.
"Are we gunna get moving, or are we just gunna stand here watching HV until someone shoots us?" said Zac.
The announcers' voice came over the speakers again. "Skylar Cley everyone, daughter of the late, great Nexius Cley, who this Holo-Arena is named after. It seems the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, that girl is destined for Greatness. She's right, it is an exciting time to be a part of the Pirate Alliance. It's also an exciting time to be in the Nexius Cley Holo-Arena."
"Did you hear that?" said Streek.
"Yeah, Skylar is Nexies' little girl." said Mia. "That explains a lot."
"What was that speech all about?"
"Rallying the troops. She's looking to start her war. We really need to kill her."
The announcer continued, "Tonight we have some genuine Alien Tech clones, enemies of the Alliance, sentenced to death by gladiatorial combat, and even a lovely lady clone who will put on a very special show for you."
"Bernie!" cried out Streek. The Bartender looked over at her.
"Hey, don't draw any attention to yourself." said Mia quietly.
"But they have Bernie." Streek went over to the Bartender, "Where's the Holo Arena located?"
"Few miles away in the cities West. Big Dome, you can't miss it. Can I get you something to drink?" He looked at Streeks' face and narrowed his eyes.
Streek quickly turned around. "No thanks, I was just leaving."
"What are you doing Streek? Come on, let's go." said Mia. They walked off down the Street.
"We need to head West. We gotta go and save Bernie." said Streek.
"No, we need to get to the Van Halen."
"Van Halen first, and then we rescue Bernie."
"...Yeah, let's move!"
At the Holo-Arena, the three Ben clones were being walked out to the centre stage. Even with half the audience gone, the loud roar was intimidating. The Bens were all shit-scared.
"Ben Anders is among the Federations' most wanted criminals." said the announcer. "...Which puts him in good company. But his clones attacked and killed an important associate of the Pirate Alliance, and so they will be put to death. I present to you ...the Ben Anders Trio."
The three clones were forced out into the centre, onto the huge round platform. The Pirates all around them were booing and calling out insults. A huge, domed force field formed around the platform with sparkling light and then went invisible, there would be no escape.
"They say it's hard to kill a clone, tonight we will put that to the test." said the announcer. The white platform shimmered and then the terrain of dark dirt and rocks formed beneath their feet, in front of them were three medieval long-swords and tower-shields.
"Swords and Shields? Shit!, who will they have us fighting?" Said Ben-One. The three of them reluctantly went and picked up the weapons.
The Announcers voice boomed around the Arena again. "And now, their opponent. Presenting, for the first time in the Holo-Arena, Xenogon, the Black Terror."
A Huge black dragon materialised before them. It had to be twenty feet tall, standing on all four legs. It was a fearsome sight, with large spiky fins, hard, coal-black scales, a large mouth full of razor sharp teeth and fierce, piercing yellow eyes. The crowd roared.
"FUCK!! they can't be fuckin' serious!" said Ben-One.
"Dragons have weak points right?" said Ben-Four.
"This isn't a video-game! We're all fucked!" said Ben-Five. The Black Dragon walked around, staring intently at the three clones. It snorted and steam rose from its nostrils.
"I think we better split up!" said Ben-One. Two of them ran off in opposite directions, leaving Ben-One standing there, trembling. The Dragon moved over in front of him and raised its head roaring.
It lowered its' head and breathed a stream of bright flame at Ben-One. He raised his tower shield and blocked the fire, but the intense heat was all around him. The stream of fire soon stopped. Ben-Ones' shield had heated up and was burning him, he threw it down on the ground.
The Dragon was staring at him. Ben-One raised his sword and charged at it. Another stream of flame shot from the Dragons mouth and engulfed the clone. Ben-Ones' whole body was on fire, his high pitched screams of agony filled the stadium. He moved around franticly as his flesh was burning off. The crowd cheered wildly.
Ben-Five had come around the side of the dragon and charged it with his sword raised. Xenogon flicked his tail and knocked him away like a baseball. He slammed into the force-field and dropped onto the ground with a thud.
Ben-one dropped to the ground and let out some last cries, then stopped moving as his body continued to burn.
Ben-Four threw his sword and it whacked the Dragon on the side of the head, it looked at him and hissed angrily. It lunged forward and bit down on him so that half of his torso had disappeared into its mouth, then the Dragon flung him up and let go, launching him into the air.
Gravity slammed him back down onto the platform with a sickening thud. The audience continued to cheer loudly. Ben-Four cried out in pain and twitched uncontrollably, his body was smashed and broken and he was bleeding from several puncture wounds to his torso. The Dragon loomed over him. It spewed more flames directly onto him and Ben-Four was incinerated.
The battered and broken Ben-Five got up from the floor near the edge of the platform and started dragging himself forward, his face was twisted with pain. The Dragon turned and looked at him with its' intense yellow eyes.
Ben-Five stopped, raised his arm, then he raised his middle finger at the Dragon. The crowd cheered as the flames enveloped him. He screamed and thrashed about, and then dropped to the ground dead.
The crowd roared as the big Dragon strode around the platform, flicking its' long tail. Smoke still rose from the three burnt corpses.
"I hope you like your clones well-done!" said the announcer. "That's the end of the Ben Anders Trio. You can say that you were here for Xenogons' first kill. Lets hear it for the Black Terror!" The crowd continued cheering loudly. "Don't go anywhere. Up next we have a voluptuous lady Anders clone to put on a special show for you."
In a pavilion off to the side, Commander Kahn stood watching the events unfold in the Arena. "They seem to like your Dragon Vince."
The skinny guy with long hair and glasses was sitting in front of a console. "Yes, it's gratifying when the audience appreciates your art. It took me a long time to get the flames right."
"They liked it a lot better than your Manbearpig."
"Nobody understood my Manbearpig." said Vince, frowning.
"The clones died bravely, but they didn't give it much of a fight. I was hoping they'd be more impressive than that. How many orcs do you have for the girl?"
"Good, lower their difficulty a little. Hopefully she'll put up a bit of a fight before they start raping her."
Streek, Mia and Zac crept along the rooftops of the buildings around the Keyser space docks. Zac looked at his TAB, "The automatic defences on the Van Halen have been set off, someone's tried to get to our ship."
"Hold on" said Mia, lifting her TAB and scanning around the Docking bay where the Van Halen was.
"Ambush?" asked Zac,
"Yep, Ambush. I guess the money we paid the dock-master couldn't compete with a six million dollar bounty."
"Twenty at least, another half a dozen have already been killed by the Van Halen. It looks like... they've got a couple of mechs down there, look." Streek looked through Mias' TAB and saw the bulky shape of the armoured, ten foot tall robotic exoskeletons, they were holding huge guns.
"Bringing out the war machines on us now." said Zac.
"They're Logan Mechs. Like the ones that were used in the war. They've also got a couple of snipers, there..." Mia said pointing to a nearby building "...and there." she pointed over the other side of the Docking Bay. She turned to Streek, "We'll take them out first, You ready to hunt the hunters?"
"Like Arnold Schwartz."
"Ask Bernie. I'm ready, let's do this quickly, Bernie's in trouble."
"Okay, watch out for those Mechs, they're packing some serious fire-power, and they're heavily armoured. The trick is to get in close and take out their soft centre."
"I'll help you out with that." said Zac. "A little remote hacking will get them open for you. I'll take out the sniper nearby and get his position. Let's have a party!"
They had forced Bernie to wear a skimpy chainmail bikini with a metal helm. She was brought up to the centre Arena and saw the robots clearing away the charred remains of her crewmen. Anguish washed over her, but she tried to stay strong.
"And now we present a much better-looking Ben Anders clone. No prizes for guessing what Anders had in mind when he created her. Please welcome the lovely Bernadette." Bernie was forced out onto the huge round platform and the crowd cheered and whistled and hooted.
The white floor of the platform shimmered and become a terrain of dirt and grass, there were rocks and tree stumps scattered around, but no trees to obscure the audiences' view. In front of her, on the ground, laid as short-sword and round shield, she picked them up.
"...And her opponents, The Ravaging Orcs of Blackfire Mountain." Twelve large, green-skinned orcs appeared on the other side of the platform, they were lightly armoured and were carrying swords, clubs and axes. Each of them was around seven foot tall and muscular, they had ugly squashed up faces and large square jaws and war paint all over them. One of them raised his sword and roared.
"Hopefully Bernie will fare better than her fellow clones, but these guys don't have murder on their mind." said the announcer. Suddenly the orcs started charging toward Bernie, she just stood there and let them come to her.
The first orc got to her and swung his sword, Bernie easily blocked it with her shield and thrust her sword forward through his chest. She kicked him away and dodged a swinging axe.
Bernie got low and swung her sword up in a wide arc, cutting through the throat of another orc. She threw her shield, smashing another orc in the head and then she swiftly sliced through his legs making him drop to the ground.
She grabbed his sword and spun around with both blades. Blood sprayed through the air as more orcs were hacked apart. Bernie was dancing around slashing the blades and blood and body parts flew in all directions.
Before too long she stood there amongst a pool of blood, with bodies and body pieces all around her. Bernie was covered in holographic orc blood, it still felt wet and warm. It dripped down off the two swords she was holding.
The crowd went wild again, excited by the bloody spectacle they had just seen. "Drakk!" said Commander Kahn. "I told you to lower their difficulty a bit Vince, not make them fuckin' useless!"
"But, I thought I..."
"Respawn them and raise their difficult to max. She's supposed to be getting the shit fucked out of her."
The bodies and body parts and blood disappeared, and suddenly there were twelve orcs charging at Bernie again.
Bernie blocked the first blow again and thrust out at him, this time he dodged her blow, but she quickly kicked him and lunged forward as he stumbled back and she stabbed him through his neck.
They were fighting more skilfully now, Bernie had to be on her guard as she dodged and blocked and parried, but she was taking them down one by one.
Soon Bernie panted as she crossed her blades and then sent the head of the last orc flying through the air. Once again she was covered in blood, standing amongst a dozen dead orcs. The crowd roared, they started chanting her name "Bernie!!, Bernie!!, Bernie!!...", half of them were also chanting, "Fuck her!, Fuck her!, Fuck her!..."
"Were they at max difficulty?" asked Commander Kahn.
"Yeah, they were. You got what you wanted Commander, she's putting up a fight. Now that's art! She's beautiful."
"Just keep respawning them when they fall, they gotta wear her down soon!"
Once again the dead orcs and blood disappeared and once again Bernie had a dozen orcish holobots charging at her. She got into her bloody dance again, slashing her blades about and hacking them apart.
Her blade spun through the air and sliced an orcs head off, his body dropped to the ground and then disappeared. Then he had respawned with his head attached and was running at her again.
Whenever she killed an orc, it just came right back, leaving a never-ending supply of orcs coming at her. Bernie was starting to get tired, but she also started to feel the bloodlust, her blood was pumping and her brain was releasing endorphins. Killing started to feel good.
Now more of the crowd were chanting "Fuck her!, Fuck her!, Fuck her!" as the continuous display of orc slaying went on in front of them.
After several minutes Commander Kahn started to get impatient. "She's not wearing down, the fuckin' Bitch appears to be getting better at killing your pathetic orcs."
"We can put her up against Xenogon if you want." said Vince.
"No, the crowd is crying out for her to get fucked, not killed. Is there any way your orcs can beat her?"
"I could give them all stun guns."
"No, that wouldn't make for a very good show. ...Her weapons are holographic, aren't they?"
"Then take them off her!"
"Right!" Vince prodded away at the console.
Bernie rushed up on an orc and swung her sword at his head. Suddenly the sword vanished from her hand and her empty fist swung through the air. Bernie was left wondering what happened. The orc didn't hesitate to swing his club, he whacked her gut and sent her flying back.
Bernie managed to stay on her feet, but ducked down as an axe swung at her head. She jumped up and kicked the orc hard in the jaw, sending him to the ground. She crouched down and picked up his axe. As she raised it, it vanished, then she barely dodged the swinging club.
The orc swung his club again and Bernie grabbed his arm then jumped up, slamming her knee into it and breaking it with a loud crack. The orc cried out in pain like it was programmed to do, and Bernie kicked him hard in the chest, knocking him back.
Bernie spun around, dodging another blade, then she slipped in close to another orc and slammed her foot into his shin, breaking the bone. He cried out in pain and dropped to the ground.
Bernie tumbled back to dodge another swinging axe. The orc swung low at her and she sprung up at him kicking him hard in the head. He stumbled back as she delivered a series of hard punches and kicks to his body. She slipped up to him and threw him hard onto his front on the ground. She slammed her knee into his back, breaking his spine, then she jumped up and continued fighting.
There was a loud Crack, Crack, Crack coming from the centre of the Arena as Bernie continued breaking orc bones.
Fairly soon all the orcs were on the ground, crying out in pain. Each of them had fractures and were incapacitated. Without dying, they weren't respawning. The crowd was booing loudly.
"I thought we were supposed to see the Bitch getting fucked!!" yelled out someone.
"Those orcs are fuckin' piss weak!!" yelled another.
Commander Kahn looked on and grimaced. "This is not going very well."
"There is one thing I can do that might please everyone." said Vince
"It's another creation I've been working on. I haven't really given it a trial run yet."
"Will it kill her?"
"It might fuck her to death."
The Commander had a big grin on his face, "Do it!"