A/N- Yay! A new update. This is a different style of story to my usual one. I hope you will enjoy.
The gates swung closed. Immediately the last wave of mania hit. Many were sobbing, and some even clawed helplessly still at the firmly shut door. They were killed quickly. The tentacles went in through one ear and out the other.
Isaac cursed as he barely dodged a furious blast of fire which singed his shoulder. They were barely to the first checkpoint and the monsters were already killing many of them. Without a weapon he stood no chance against them, so he ran as fast as he could towards the blood red arch ahead.
It was the year 2050. The population had grown faster than any of the experts had been able to predict, and further consumption of the earth's resources was, according to those scientists, about to destroy the world. So many died of hunger, abandoned, squished with strangers they did not know, unable to consume the necessary materials for life.
Many years ago hybrid creatures conceived to help the civilization had turned rogue, leaving the soldiers of the population groups whom had survived with the unenviable task of fending them off. The Labyrinth had been conceived a few years ago. Hundreds were sent into the pit of hell, and barely one survived each time. Normally everyone was killed.
The survivors were made to become Soldiers, men and women who ruled the world because they could stop the monsters. The current leader was the most infamous Soldier, Betty. A survivor of the Labyrinth herself, she had saved the population from attacks on many occasions, revered for her legendary skills as a warrior. But the teenagers sent in had no such aptitude. Isaac turned his head to see a girl speared brutally through the chest before she could even scream. He winced and turned his head as crunching ensued.
He was halfway there. He saw a small guy with a bandana acrobatically leaping over a rock and dodging a blast of electricity. The guy trailing him, hoping to hide in his shadow, was not so lucky. Behind them others approached, backing off desperately as the one in front of them was fried to crisp. But they had not seen the tendrils sneaking after them. At least there were more painful ways to die in the Labyrinth then brutal strangulation.
To his left, a chunky teen bravely wrestled off a small monster who had leapt on him. Isaac raised an eyebrow. People barely were courageous enough to not freeze and give the creatures the one second they needed to mangle their victims. Behind the fat guy, he saw a girl actually punching a flying one, crumpling its skull. He could have sworn he saw a cactus in her fist. It was probably the heat of the moment. At that second, a thorn flew towards his head, nearly piercing straight through his temple. All he could do was duck desperately. The thorn killed the girl behind him. He could no longer afford to look around any more. These were the weakest monsters, and he could barely cling onto life.
After what seemed like an age, he reached the blood red arch. The once golden sand under their feet had been sprayed with so much blood he could no longer tell the difference when he looked down and up. He breathed a sigh of relief. In this building you had five minutes preparation time, and you got to take your weapon, which would hopefully give you a slight chance- but not really, in all honesty. He looked around him. He saw the chubby guy wearing dungarees, the small guy with the spiky hair and bandana, and ...cactus girl. Further behind them he saw a snobby-looking guy with a blond ponytail, as well as another short black-haired kid who didn't really look like he should have been there and who had eye bags like he hadn't slept in five years.
The drill was clear. The guys furthest from them got the weapons first. He watched as Eye-Bags had a robot fly in front of him.
"Which weapon would you like?" It spoke in a monotonous drone to him, ironically mechanical against the mass hysteria around them. Isaac watched the latter quiver slightly, before answering timidly.
"D-Dagger please." As he finished saying those words, out of the sky dropped a dagger. The boy barely caught it. What a klutz. Isaac sighed as he watched him. He wondered how the boy had even got to the arch. He surely wouldn't survive further.
The robot continued to the snobby blonde one. "Which weapon would you like?" it repeated again. The blonde paused for a second before answering.
"Please may I have the Monster Classification Book?"
The people around all gasped as the book fell out of the sky. Was he mad? What kind of person decided to go for a book when there were all those seriously dangerous monsters? Did he want to stand any chance in defending himself? But Isaac kind of understood the decision; he noticed that Mr Ponytail seemed quite smug, or at least indifferent to the exclamations around him. It was perhaps a good choice- the monsters of the Labyrinth were so dangerous that even if you had a weapon like a sword or dagger or bow you probably only had it to distract monsters- most of them would be too dangerous to kill. It was perhaps better to understand the monsters so you could just run more easily.
The robot flew onto the Cactus girl. For some reason, it seemed to Isaac that she had been ogling Shawn; she had a dreamy expression on her face even as the robot asked her the same, question. Finally, she yelped as she was hit with a low power zap by the robot, which was clearly 'impatient'.
"Which weapon would you like?"
"Oh, sorry… um… the Knuckle Dusters please. Could they be green by any chance?"
Isaac nearly shivered as a pair of green knuckle dusters fell from the sky. They looked horrid; in the hands of the only person he had seen literally punching a monster to death, he thought that he might be indeed looking at the strongest fighter in the whole group of participants.
But only one survived. If it was Cactus girl, then he would surely be dead along the way. That was how it worked in this cruel world.
The robot moved on to the midget with a bandana. After being asked the question, Bandana Boy answered easily.
"Taser please." Isaac raised his eyebrow. That was an unorthodox choice- it would require one to be extremely close to the monsters, and it would be difficult to kill them with it. He had assumed that everybody would just go with the sword, but it appeared he was wrong.
Next was the fat guy.
"What weapon would you like?"
"Uhhh… large shield please."
Isaac could not believe his eyes. This had to be the weirdest selection of weapons he had ever seen. Indeed, all around him, most people beside this crew had regular swords or spears or bows. In this group there were people choosing books, knuckle dusters, and even shields?! What the hell was going on?
Finally the robot came to him. When it asked him what weapon he wanted, he too had already known, just like blondie.
The survivors (of which there were very few) reconvened on the next plain, ready for the Death Clock to count to zero and for the monsters to reappear.
The timer rang shrill and sharp across the bleak atmosphere. The participants braced themselves.
Suddenly, the floor underneath their feet lurched, and cracks like jigsaw puzzles began to occur. Before long, Isaac saw the big section of ground which he was standing on heave, and groan.
And then collapse.
People around him screamed as they fell into the pit of infinite darkness. Out of nowhere, hideous worm-like monsters stuck out their teethy heads and chomped around. Isaac watched as countless people died, and shot desperately around him to save himself. He could now see the base of the pit approaching. Approaching far too quickly.
As he neared the bottom, he knew it would be the end. His whole life would end in a splat as just another casualty. He tried to somehow maneuver himself and save everything, but he couldn't find a way to avoid hitting the rock bottom.
Is this the end? He closed his eyes a second before he hit the ground. At least he had not been mangled by monsters.
But the hard, cold contact never came. Instead, he felt himself fall into a warm and squishy ball of blubber.
Isaac jumped off as a bird came flying down, shooting at it and killing it. Off the top of its back jumped blond ponytail. However, Isaac turned back to look at Fat Guy. Was he dead? Isaac went to where he was lying and tried to turn him over, as he was lying face-down.
After much arduous heaving, during which he was happy that most of the victims weren't down where he was- so nor were the monsters, he managed to start turning him over. He shuddered as he imagined what the guy's face would look like. The blonde seemed to be watching over in veiled interest. Finally, there was a great thump, and he could see the fat guy's face.
It was drooling and dreamily smiling?!
"...Hotdogs…" Fat Guy moaned in his sleep.
Isaac sweatdropped. Who the hell fell asleep during the survival round; more importantly, how did he survive the fall?!
That second, however, he heard the blond cry, 'Watch out!' as a bat-like creature came out of nowhere. It grabbed him up by the shoulders and flew straight up towards a whole in the side of the cave which he assumed was the nest. That second, however, off a jutting piece of rock jumped bandana midget, who tasered it in the back of its head. It fell suddenly, and this time, when he hit the ground, he was happy that he had been at quite a low height before he started falling.
He turned to face the midget guy.
"Thanks for that." he bowed his head.
"Hehehe- don't worry. I didn't even know you were there. I just wanted to get down where you weren't stranded on the rocks for those disgusting things to attack you."
He turned around again to walk away. Participants never really interacted. It made them exponentially more targeted by the monsters if they stuck together. However, Isaac stopped him.
"Can you give this guy a light shock?" he gestured to that fatso, who was still drooling and moaning about hotdogs. Isaac might not be happy with it, but the fat guy had saved his life. He saw the midget sweatdrop slightly before going over, changing the settings on his taser, and giving him a shock.
The fat guy woke up, rubbing the spot on his shoulder. "Hey man, what was that for?"
But before they could do anything, a thick strand of silk wrapped around both of them and pulled them up in a bundle. Isaac widened his eyes, as he saw a huge spider waiting above. Without thinking, he shot at the silk strand. It was very fine and difficult to hit. After a few shots however, he managed to sever the strand. But another was on its way. Finally, he heard the blond shout behind him.
"The spot between its two middle eyes! The Cavernous Giant Spider is susceptible there!" Isaac nodded and shot at where he had been instructed to. It hit. The spider lurched and then fell backwards, disappearing into the hole from which it had come.
The midget and fat guy came up to him to thank him. But Isaac motioned for them to go towards the blonde. Although it was absolutely crazy, they followed him. The blonde gulped.
"Why are you crowding here?! They'll come for us more- didn't you see that spider?!"
But Isaac shook his head. He knew what he was going to say.
"Let's form a team."
All three heads snapped towards his direction and stared.
"-Hear me out. We can work together quite well. We have a sneaky close-combat type in the taser here, a protective shield- I assume that is how the shield guy survived the fall, and a huge store of knowledge, as well as my long range weapon!"
"No. Absolutely not. Monsters will attack us too much." said the blonde, crossing his arms. Isaac narrowed his eyes.
"Out of everybody, you will benefit the most, blondie, as you have no weapons to defend yourself with. You feed us info, and we'll be the weapons for you." Isaac said, turning to look at the other two. They looked confused.
"But we don't even have a melee type. What kind of team would that be-" started the blond.
"HIYAAAA! DON'T FLY IN MY VIEW OF THIS CUTIE, STUPID UGLIES!" They looked up and winced as monster skulls were shattered by fists.
Suddenly, she fell down to where they were standing, immediately latching onto the blonde.
"HEYYY! I'M CAT! WHAT'S YOUR NAME, MR HANDSOME?!"
Everyone sweatdropped. Isaac cleared his throat.
"-Well… at least we have a melee now."
Blondie rubbed his forehead with a hand attached to a Cat-attached arm.
"Well, I guess we do have … fairly compatible… weapons. Do you guys want to do this?"
The fat guy seemed to consider it for a moment, before nodding his head in determination. The midget just shrugged and grinned.
"Sure, I'll do it."
Isaac turned to Cat. "And you?"
"Can I stay with Mr Handsome here?"
"Okay, let's introduce ourselves. My name is Isaac, weapon: blaster. Fighter type: Sharpshooter"
Isaac walked to the center of their circle. When he had gone into the Labyrinth, this was not what he had been imagining. To think that they were breaking the age-old rules of how to survive, creating a team out of nowhere. But it was fitting. They had chosen strange weapons. Isaac had done his based on his character, and he could tell that it was no different for the rest of his new comrades- from the yandere Cat to the lazy mountain of a man who had saved him for the first time.
Yes, this wasn't how it was supposed to be. Yet Isaac knew that all of them understood what it could mean. Most people chose weapons like swords because they were common and the participants were able to practise with them before the Labyrinth. They were the ones who were different.
Only time would tell whether this difference would mean that they would die quicker or slower.
The fat guy puffed his chest. "My name is Timmy. Weapon: large shield. Fighter type: Wrestler."
"Karl, weapon: taser. Fighter type: Assassin ."
"Cat, weapon: knuckle-dusters. Fighter type: Assault boxer."
"Shawn. Weapon: Classification Book. Fighter type: Tactician."
Shawn then cleared his throat. "I am glad to welcome you as new comrades… I think. However, we all know what this means. They'll be coming for us. If we don't master fighting as a team on the spot, we'll be dead in an instant. But- now that we are on the team, we fight for each other too. This is an outrageous set-up, so if we want to survive we'll leave nobody behind. GOT IT?"
Isaac looked up. He could barely see the hole down which they had fallen- so high over their heads it was.
It would be a long haul to the top.