"Is that the best you got? Up the gravity to 30Gs." Horus threw a right hook at him, but Travis disappeared in a blaze of fire and appeared at the other end of the cave. Before Horus could react, Travis teleported behind him and caved in the hologram's head. Travis fell to ground and gasped for air. He still hadn't mastered blazing. It took a ton of just to teleport short distances and his success rate was hit or miss.
He huffed and tried to regain his breath. Six month and this was all he had to show for it? He was still no closer to knowing who he was or mastering his powers. He could feel it in there but for the life of him it refused to come at his call. Worse yet because Travis pushed himself so hard, he hard to leave the cave to forage for food and water. Blazing helped but it was too inconsistent and many times he'd almost been caught by the police or agents from the BMRC.
"My boy rest you've been up two Earth days."
"Fine, but only if you teach me how to program the gravity amplifier."
"Done now rest child and listen." Isis began The Tale of The Golden Child.
Long ago when the world was new and Torins still worshiped the old gods, a plague befell their tribes. The king consulted the mages and they said to offer the gods a sacrifice. They did but the plague continued and struck the king's son. The king beseeched whoever would listen to save his child and at once a golden figure appeared.
"I am the god of light and creation, and will save your people on two conditions. Worship me and pay tribute on this day every cycle. Your son will be saved but he will have a cursed life. As long as he draws breath he will never know rest from the works of my brother. Do you accept?"
"Yes my lord!" The king fell to his knees and kissed the God's flaming feet.
"Then so it is spoken so shall it be done." In a flash he was gone and the plague ended. The king's son took the name Hiko, Child of fire and light and forever was a champion of good.
As Travis dreamed Oblivion whispered into his ears and filled him with doubt and when he was done, he struck. Travis was back in Oblivion's realm and the fight was on. The Father of Demons pummeled him again and again but Travis refused to stay down. He was broken yet a voice in the back of his head told him to fight.
"You can't defeat me. I am evil given flesh. I existed before creation and will exist long after you universe draws its last breath. Yeild!"
Oblivion advanced upon him and his tendrils sunk into Travis. The familiar cold sensation washed over him and he wanted to give in, but the voice in the back of head wouldn't let him.
"No! I am the sum of all those who've come before me. All their sacrifice all the hopes led to me being born and I won't it be in vain." Golden light washed over him and there before them stood Power.
"Took you long enough boss, now let's kick his ass.'
They pushed Oblivion back but they weren't enough to banish him. Oblivion absorbed Power and started in on Travis.
"Boy you can't win, surrender."
"I will fight you with everything I am. All my hate, all my doubt; all my pain--everything you hear!"
Oblivion laughed but then he stopped when he felt it. Like a tsunami the power washed over Travis and there beside him were Power, Pride, Fear, Hope, Doubt and Rage. As one they raised their hands and blinding golden flames issued forth. Oblivion had no choice but leave or be destroyed. Travis looked at them at one and knew what he must do. One by one he absorbed them, except for Power.
"Not yet Boss but the time is close. Remember who you are I'll never fail you."
"Computer, 100Gs." Travis gritted his teeth and took one step. Then another. And another. He broke into a run then flipped in the air.
A wave of flames rose up under him and he called it forth and whipped it like a lasso as his feet hit the ground. He sprinted forward and shaped the flames into blades and cut the air. Sweat dripped from him but still he continued. He brought his hands up to his chest and when he pushed them out a wave of flames issued forth. He teleported in front of the flame ball and stretched out his right hand. A torrent of water blasted the flames as he pushed all his will into the stream.
His eyelids felt like a ton of led and his knee shook. Then he felt the heat radiate off the flames and singe his skin, but still he would not give up. His eyelids fell shut and he dug down deep and new strength pore from him, and at last the water over came the flames and he passed out. Isis shook her head and put him in the star camber. While healing he heard countless voices, soft at first then they drowned out his thoughts.
He retreated to the inner sanctum of his mind and fortified his defenses until the voices had calmed to a dull buzz at the back of his mind. Day by day he practiced rising the defenses until he could focus on single voices then he found he could sort through and prioritize them.
While training one day a voice popped up on his radar so loud he couldn't ignore it. In the next instance Travis was transported to a new world. The creature before him was a humanoid lizard and she was being attack by humanoid cat creatures that looked like overgrown leopards. There were only five of them, but if he didn't act soon the lizard creature would be dead. He called forth flame blades and attacked. The first one lost its head and the second one got his heart cut out. The element of surprise gone the other others attacked as one and pummeled him.
He dug down deep and the power came but he'd taken took much damage when ten more cat creatures appeared. He tried to fend them off but they overcame him. They made him watch as they rapped then killed the lizard woman, and then beat him to a pulp. They laughed and then urinated on him.
Right before the leader was about to deliver the death blow Travis found enough power and blazed back to cave.
Isis gasped at his wounds and rushed him the Star Chamber. She sighed and shook her head. The read outs indicated he had a day at most before his body became molecular unstable and he dissolved into nothing. Assuming his core didn't explode and he go super nova first.
Travis opened his eyes and knew he wasn't healed yet, but the throbbing in his head wouldn't let up. Sirens sounded and the Star Chamber blasted open and out stumbled Travis. Isis tried to take him back into it but he wouldn't listen. He gave the computer the access code and the gravity increased to 300Gs. Sweat rolled off him as he trained, but then Travis noticed his skin fell off in places, but he plowed ahead. He had to be stronger whatever it took to defeat those creatures.
An explosive pain in his chest shot threw him and Travis fell to the ground and shook. Isis watched as the boy melted away. Travis heard Power. His voice low but he kept repeating, "Who are you. Say it now!" Travis tried to think but his thoughts were fuzzy. Where was he again and why did he hurt so bad? He remembered back to when Isis showed him what his named meant and in that moment he knew the answers to Power's question.
"My name is Phoenix!"
All across the world earth quakes and tidal waves inundated city after city. Storms raged and the heavens themselves broke as Travis was reborn. His wounds instantly healed and untold powered radiated from him as at last he'd done it. May God have mercy on anyone who stood in his path. Power greeted him one last and gave Travis a cape and axe then vanished. Both items hummed in welcome to him and he obliged them.
"Back for more punishment eh" came through his mental link as he faced the cat creatures. His hatred boiled over and he struck the first was torn to pieces the rest tried to flew but He wouldn't allow that. No, Travis let himself give into the want, the need for blood and at once he herd Oblivion whisper in his ears to let go. And he did.
The creature wore torn part as Travis ripped out their hearts and devoured them whole.
"More!" he said the hunger mounted by the seconds. He ripped one of them in half and laughed as the blood washed over him. Oh it felt so divine and tasted even better. But he hungered for something else. For what, he did not know.
As if waking from a dream Travis saw what was left of the cat creature and vomited. Images of what he'd done came crashing back and retched again. How could he do this, how?
It wasn't him he was Phoenix. Yes he was responsible. Damn him and his alien abilities. Travis never asked for this.
"Get out of my body now!" Travis felt unspeakable pain as his DNA was torn apart. He looked down there were four arms and legs where two had been. Another jolt of pain shot threw and there before stood the cause of his troubles. Prince Phoenix was finally free and no the battle would begin.
They stared at each then Travis charged forward and landed snap kick to the head and followed up with a gut buster. Phoenix teleport behind him blasted Travis with a wall of flames. He shook it off and they squared off. Blow for blow they were evenly matched until Travis gave in to his blood lest again. He sprouted fangs and talons then came the tendrils thick as tree trucks. Phoenix dogged but he was no matched for the crazed boy he took hold of the battle axe swung for all his might and when it connected an explosion hurtled him through the air.
Travis laughed and sent more tendrils until Phoenix was skewered in place. The boy tried for the axe but it was nowhere in sight. Travis formed a blade of flames and struck, but before he made contact he vanished in a plume of black flames. Phoenix fell to the grounds and said,"Fuck me" when he saw more cat creatures had arrived and were out for his blood. He closed his and tried to blaze but passed out instead.
"Come on kid wake," came through his mind. He was on a bed and next to him was a eight armed bipedal dog.
"Is the neural-com operational?"
"Yeah so what do you think he is?"
"Hard to tell. He looks almost Torin, but they went extinct ages ago."
"Well whatever he is, he's awake so prep him for his first fight."
Phoenix finally opened his eyes and there next to him was a gelatinous creature that reminded him of Cookie Monster. The creature turned and opend his mouth but the sounds came out like a badly dubbed Kung Fu movie.
"Alright newbie listen up, the fur balls did a number on ya and the cost aint cheap so until further notice you'll be working off your debt to the boss as his newest prize fighter. Hey drink this."
He handed Phoenix a cup of green liquid the consistency of molasses. It burned going down but he felt wide awake.
"Yeah Mido packs a punch. Just be careful you don't become addicted to the stuff."
He nodded and followed after Jell-O Man. Along the way to the cage Jell-O Man explained how things worked. All fighters were charged for room and board and any expenses incurred fixing them up. If they won they got a cut of the prize money (kin).
"Now you can bet on yourself long as you don't get greedy. The fastest way out of here is to go pro or get your debt bought out by a sponsor."
"What was that?"
"Never mind kid, we're here. Good luck."
Phoenix looked out at the audience and his draw dropped. Creatures he never imagined existed, stared back at him. Some had hundreds of eyes others were covered in hair every color of the spectrum, but what stopped him in his tracks was the giant rodent he was slated to fight. The thing looked like a gerbil only green and stood thirty feet high.
Meh, no sweat, he thought, until it fired lasers from its massive eyes.
"Don't worry Kid. Stick and move and you'll be fine." Jell-O Man said and patted him on the back.
"Creatures and creat-ettes put your tentacles in the air, if you have them, and give a welcome to the newest fighter out of Zilgatto's stable. From parts unknown, making his first and maybe only appearance in the Slaughter House, give it up for the one, the only, Catatonic Kid."
The crowd roared and stood, or floated as the case was, from their seats and the match begun. The Giga Gerbil roared as the force field holding back turned off and he charged. Phoenix blazed behind the behemoth and sent a wall of flames, but the Giga Gerbil did even feel it. He roared and blasted him into the corner.
"Well aren't you a biggie. Come get some."
The beast charged forward and at the last second Phoenix dodged out the way and hopped on its back. The Giga Gerbil tried to buck him off, but he held on and worked his way to the head and set its fur on fire. The creature shook then rolled on its back and trapped Phoenix under its shoulders.
"Well folks looks like Betty's claimed another one," the announcer said and the crowd booed and tore their tickets up. Jell-O Man sighed then did a double take when the Kid burst forth the Giga Gerbil's chest and with one swing of the axe severed the beast's head clean off. Duty done the axe disappeared and Phoenix was left covered in blood as the crowd cheered.
"Good job Kid, they love ya. Keep this up and you'll be out of here in no time. Now go wash up you reek. And pro tip: you can't use that axe of yours unless the rules specifically say otherwise or you'll be disqualified."
"Neural-com must be on the fritz again. Never mind." Jell-O Man said and showed him to his cell. He waved his hand over shower stall and a stream of pink liquid come out and he lathered up. The liquid turned into a gel then hardened and fell out and left Phoenix clean. A few minutes later Jell-O Man appeared and showed him to the cafeteria. Food came in as many colors as they were stars in the sky. The only thing that looked edible were bluish drumsticks which Phoenix pilled his plate and dug in.
"Mmm, mini-Gigs. Nice choice." Jell-O Man sat beside him and snagged a drum stick off his plate. "So where you from Kid?"
"Don't suppose you've heard of Earth?"
"What crap name is that for a planet? Now Draccon, there's a name for a planet. Home world of the Hebin, by the way. Dirty fighters they are, smelly too, but I guess I would be too if `n I lived on a dust ball."
"Are you quite finished?"
"Sheesh Kid. I was just trying to school ya, but I can take a hint."
Phoenix sighed and finished off dinner. He didn't care if he was eating gerbil. He went for seconds, and thirds. Though part of him wondered if he'd should try to blaze back to Earth, he thought if better to wait until he had a bit more control. Speaking of control, he wondered how Travis was making a go of it, where ever the psycho was.
Hey thanks for reading and sorry about the long wait between updates. Expect a new chapter every month from here on out. If you've enjoyed the story so far let me know by dropping a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and remember to donate to nifty so that stories like this remain free.