Skylar Conner's Journal

12 April 2942
Earth, North Americas
Sol System


“Aaaaand in the right corner, standing 175cm tall and weighing 64kg. The undisputed, undefeated champion in the underground sector… VICIOOOUSSS!”

The crowd burst into a cheering frenzy as Skylar walked into the ring. She wore her same blood and oiled stained torn tank top, and a pair of ripped black cargo pants. The crowd became muffled as she began wrapping her hands, taping them with habitual finesse. She never raised a fist… never looked the audience in the eye. All she heard was white noise, despite the jeering comments, or the encouragement, respectively given by those who bet against or for her. The hundreds of people were just there… never apart of the grand picture. They meant nothing. All that mattered was this fight, and this opponent.

Never heard of it.

“Come on little girl.” The rival said with a grin. “I won’t beat you too bad.”

She stared across the dirt ring at a man slightly taller but of bigger mass. One of his tan arms was cybernetic; she could tell by the evident seams in his skin around his shoulder. Implants in his head? Possibly. Most of the fighters in the underground sector never fought fair, nor wanted to. There were virtually no rules in the ring. His name? Skylar didn’t care. His record? Useless. The referee went over the formalities of the rules. She knew them by heart. They were short given the nature of the arena. All she heard was her steady slow heartbeat. All she saw were her rival’s dirtied narrowed eyes. All she could taste was the tension. She patted her hands, securing the tape around her wrists.

Finally the bell sounded. Skylar approached with her hands down, taunting this man. The first punch was thrown. Skylar ducked and weaved, feinting and teasing in personal contact. The fighter swung a wild hook following a feint. Skylar ducked below, trying to create an opening for a counter but she was knocked back by a low kick.

A new life? Starting over?

All was quiet except for the hard thud of a leg crashing into Skylar’s thigh. She hissed a breath, glaring at her opponent. Now was the time, she thought. She twisted her body and threw a right hook into the man’s stomach. He cringed before stepping away with his arms up. Skylar gave chase; she knew that last hit hurt him. She threw another hook to his side. Blocked. Skylar growled loudly as she swung her elbow into his head. His sweat scattered about as the bone hit his jaw. He was knocked back, but regained his stance. If he had implants it wasn’t on that side of his skull.

That’s… not possible.

It would take much more than that to take the brute down. He looked at Skylar just as before, his composure returned, if not a bit surprised he was being outdone by a woman. There was another flurry of feints and weaves, this time ending abruptly when Skylar broke a series of feint punches with a kick to the thigh. The man grunted, switching to southpaw before ducking and wrapping his arms around Skylar’s waist trying to lift her for a takedown. She smacked her elbow down to his exposed back. Skylar heard the soft whirring of his mechanical arm as she was lifted and slammed back-first into the ground. She had no time to dawdle. The man came for her while she was down. She rolled to the side and sprung to her feet, now feeling the pain from earlier. The man tried to go for another hold, but was met by Skylar’s uppercut, knocking him back.

39th Midnight Squadron. Hmph…

Skylar threw a kick into his stomach and grabbed his shoulders. She rolled backwards into a sacrificial throw, using momentum to come up on top again. Skylar began wailing punches to the left of his skull, searching for the implants position. However her opponent held a tight guard, bucking his hips to destabilize the mounting position. He finally grabbed one of Skylar’s fists, pulling it to the side and gained enough leverage to spin her over.

Amnesty. Clothes. Food. A bed. Not a bad deal…

Now Skylar was victim to her own plan. She was hammered by a storm of punches, though she kept her knees up a little to prevent a full mount. She flinched after a well-aimed punch struck her in the sides, another in the side of the head… another in the ribs.

I have to get out of here.

She took the relentless beating, waiting for the right moment. As soon as a fist struck her, she threw a jab to the man’s skull. She’d done it. He seemed to stagger in his motion allowing Skylar to make her move. Skylar grabbed the man’s arm after a missed punch and threw up her legs, catching him on the shoulder and pulling him down into an arm bar. Both of them struggled, writhed, trying to gain leverage over each other. Skylar twisted his real arm into a lock and put as much pressure as she could. For the first time, her opponent screamed as she progressively bent his arm. Crack! The arm snapped. Skylar rolled away and stood up and approached the pained fighter. She lifted him up enough to throw another punch to his face, knocking him back. She still approached, tossing another hook, causing him to spin and roll on the ground.

He backed away, using his now twitching cybernetic arm to signal defeat. Now he was at the wall, the hands of the audience trying to push him back. Skylar shouted as she threw a punch. The man was unable to block properly at the oncoming assault. Stomach. Ribs. Ribs. Face. Face. Chest. Face. The man was left bloodied, but standing surprisingly. A kick to his knees fixed that. Skylar kept punching him as he felt onto his bottom. Her tape progressively soaked with his blood until it could no longer. The man was motionless. He knew what he signed up for. Skylar stood up. She tightened her fist, wringing the blood from her fabric wrappings.

The referee rushed to the man, checking his pulse. The ref gave the signal. The bells sounded. The bruised and cut Skylar threw up two fists in victory, flinging the excess blood from them as it fell back onto her hair. After taking her moment to revel in triumph, she spat at the fallen foe, hopped the fence of the ring and proceeded to leave as she was cheered and booed by opposing gamblers in the audience. The announcer went on to announce her victory. All she cared about was her pay. Pay to finally fix the ship rusting away in her hangar.

Stanton IV. World’s End. Xander. Alright, I’ll bite. I just needed to get that out of my system.

Skylar Conner's Journal

Stories of The 39th Midnight Squadron Sharhun