Chapter 19:

Ch.19: Endless Rising Climax

Neo Discadia: Rise of the Sewer Rats

It’s been a long and hard-fought battle. But unfortunately, it’s not over yet. They stand, battered and beaten before their toughest opponent yet. But they haven’t given up. Even as their muscles ache and their bones break, with blood dripping down onto the floor. They stand tall determined to beat their enemy. whatever it takes. The mountain that stood before them, and the challenge they face, they were determined to overcome both. But then, the mountain started doing something no one, not even the scientist that made him, expected. It started egging on the crowd. Raising its arms and screaming at the top of its synthetic lungs. The crowd went wild. after receiving blow after blow, the mountain was still standing tall, ready to fight like it was nothing.

But the fact that the sewer rats could hold their own, for this long, in spite of the gap in pure strength, made it all the more impressive that they were still standing there. Side by side, arm and arm, as indomitable as the hand-crafted iron machine they were tasked with destroying.

It was down to the wire, the sewer rats couldn't take much more of this. Their energy reserves were running on empty and their frames were badly damaged. They have never faced a foe this overwhelmingly strong. One that could take all their punishment and still have room for seconds.

But it was now or never, they faced such overwhelming odds, such certainty in defeat, that they had nothing left to lose. All they could do is fight; and maybe, just maybe, they could come out the other side. “When the odds are stacked against you, and you’re probably gonna lose, you don't gain anything by giving up, nothing changes. So you might as well give it your all, who knows? You might even win.”

The wind was strong, the arena had risen higher than ever before. You could even see over the outer walls of the city deep into the endless wasteland. It felt like they were on top of the world. it's a view most people could seldom enjoy firsthand in this new world. But the sewer rats couldn't let themselves get distracted so easily with the menace bolstering 300 pounds worth of muscle barreling towards them.

it was a game of cat and mouse, A dance with danger, one false step, and it was all over. that's what they couldn't let themselves forget if they were gonna make it out of this alive. If they were gonna have any chance of winning, they had to respect their opponent, and carefully consider the danger they posed with every move. Every kick and every punch, every faint and every strike, had to be perfectly measured and carried out with gratitude. They couldn't let themselves get greedy, for the mountain would punish them handsomely.

This meticulously engineered specimen had pushed the kids past their limits. They have taken more punishment than they ever thought possible. By now they were running on far less than fumes, But they were still raring to go. They weren’t gonna let their story end here. at the very least, they weren’t gonna take it lying down.

Then, in a burst of energy, the mountain charged forward. It swung its massive arms at the ground where they stood. The sewer rats, namely Johnny and Erika, having anticipated the attack, backstepped out of the way just before charging to take advantage of the opening. In sync with each other, Johnny sprinted to do a front flip downward axe kick, while Erika ran in to do a summersault backflip kick, both striking at the mountain's neck at the same time for some serious battle damage. Meanwhile, Neo charges into land a piercing jap to the abdomen, only to follow it up with a crouching uppercut directed at the mountain's chin for some catastrophic damage. When you get punched like that, you are out for the count. But to the mountain, all it did was knock him back. Without missing a beat, as he was falling backward, He front kicked Neo in the chest and sent him flying, Further damaging his ribs as well as pushing him back. then, the mountain chased after him. Neo ran, dodged, and rolled out of the way to avoid his attacks but he could see he was getting pushed closer and closer to the edge

“Throw me” Erika told Johnny

Johnny looked at her “got it”

He got in front of Erika and arched himself backward grabbing her by the waist with both hands. Then he let out a mighty yell as he launched her flying forward straight towards the mountain. she crouched her as she approached, only to spring them out at the moment of contact. Putting her acceleration to a complete stop she stabbed her legs into the mountains back. Using her legs like a lightning rod, she transferred all of her momentum into kinetic energy that would give her kick that much more of an impact. All of her speed transferred into the mountain through the sole of her feet. She felt something pop, but thankfully it came from without. Something inside his overgrown body gave way. For the first time in this whole competition, the mountain was reeling from the pain. Erika couldn't believe her eyes. Without realizing it, she let out a smirk. “oh you like that Dontcha?”

“Erika, look out!” Neo said.

having staggered the mountain, she ran in hoping to capitalize on his pain, only for the mountain to turn around arm clenched, boasting a smile, ready to strike. it wasn't actually in pain, what pain could a robot feel? It turned around ready to punish his cocky overzealous victim. She got greedy, and it knew it, it was predicting what she would do, it was learning as he fought. But just when his fist was about to make contact with Erika’s face, she slipped underneath it, closing the gap, grabbing him by the head, and thrusting her knee into his face. the fact is, he wasn't the only one that was learning the patterns. Then she used the mountain as footing to hop away to gain some distance.

“how did you do that?” Neo said

“do what?” she said

“you anticipated the mountains anticipation” he said

“c’mon Neo, you gotta keep up” Erika said charging back it slipping between its legs sweeping them off from beneath him as Johnny moved in to grab its arms.

“c’mon Neo! let’s win this!” Johnny said

Neo was about to hesitate, but he said to himself “no time to think” he clenched his fists and charged in reeling his arm back. His friends holding down his target gave him a golden opportunity to land a decisive blow. They were running out of time he had to make it count. All of his remaining power harnessed into a single punch aimed square on the spot of his ribs where his liver should be. The thing about the human body, it doesn't matter how big or strong you are, one good blow to the liver is all it takes to bring you down. it connected… and the mountain froze for a second. The crowd went speechless. Had they won? Was it finally over? had the mountain finally succumbed to the stink of the sewer rats? Not quite... you see, while the mountain may look human, and may have been programmed to act and fight like a human, and in many ways simulate a human fighter, it had no room for petty human weak spots. It tore through Johnny's hold and used him like a battering ram to knock Neo back. then it directed its rage towards Erika who was standing there shocked.

Neo, pushing Johnny aside from on top of him yelled “Erika! Move!”

But it was too late, it grabbed Erika by the hair and slammed its head on hers. It was bad, he looked at her and he saw the blank expression in her eyes. Then the mountain threw his fallen pray at Neo's feet. Neo saw her lifeless body and quivered. It was the beginning of the end in his eyes. but then… a soft grunt.

“mmmmm” Erika sat up hands clutching her forehead “ayyyyyy ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay” she said as she rubbed it furiously with both hands hoping to make the pain go away

“oh thank god! I thought you were dead” Neo said


“guys… I don't think I can take much more of this, every time it seems like we’ve got it in the bag, it keeps getting snatched up from under us. I don't know how much more of this I can take” Johnny said

“you and me both” Erika said “I hate to admit it but this guy is way too strong, and I’m way past tired”

“me too, but I’m at my wit's end. We’ve used up all our tricks but he just keeps coming, I have no idea how we're gonna take him down.” Neo said

“didn't the announcer guy say something about pushing him off? Can’t we just settle for a ring out?” Johnny said

“he’s a walking wrecking ball, we can barely touch him! what makes you think we can knock him off this huge ass ring? Arrrge I can’t even look at him. I’m so tired of looking at that stupid face…huh” that's when Erika saw something she couldn't believe “hey guys, call me crazy, but does he look… winded?” she said. The other two couldn't believe it until they saw it with both eyes. the mountain, grasping its chest and panting for air.

“This is it! hahahaha” Johnny said pointing and laughing “it's a sign that whatever we're doing it's working! We have to finish him off!”

“where’d all this energy come from?” Neo said

“Erika and me will drive him closer and closer to the edge, Neo, you finish him off with one of your super psychic punches or whatever” Johnny said

“wait, Johnny, i-” Neo said

“no time to wait! It’s now or never! break!” Johnny and Erika both charged forward to keep fighting the mountain.

“I can’t… I’m all out of juice….” Neo said to himself looking at his hands. they had placed all their hopes on him, but it was in vain, in the state he was in, he couldn't possibly bring it home... that's when he saw the kunai and chain he tossed on the ground... and it gave him an idea...

Erika and Johnny led the assault on an already deflated mountain. It was no easy feat, but it wasn't nearly as impossible as it was before. But they still couldn't let their guard down, as they were, even a half-power kick from the mountain would still be devastating. They had to keep moving, keep dodging, they couldn't let up for a second as they continued to inch the mountain closer and closer to the edge. It was all on the verge of breaking, one way or the other someone was losing. At this point, it could go either way. the mountain swung at Johnny, but the instant before it connected he slithered his body around the mountain's arm and locked it firmly in place. He planted his feet firmly on the ground and arched his body forward. Even with his massive strength, not even the mountain could set himself free. It was a technique that utilized the user's center of gravity to offset their weight making them virtually impossible to lift.

Although the mountain tried, he could not lift him with just one arm. And before he could grab him with both arms, Erika locked down his other arm as well. and in one fell swoop, the mixed martial arts match became something more akin to a sumo match. With both sides fighting beyond their limits trying to hold their ground and toss the other side. but Erika and Johnny's stances were perfect, at full power the mountain may have been able to lift them, but as they stood, the strength would have taken to lift them, would have been five hundred pounds each. It was now a battle of momentum. Who was gonna move first? who was gonna give? The audience couldn't believe what they were seeing. They've never seen anything like it. they were cheering at the top of their lungs. No longer were they worried about the money they may or may not lose, they had let themselves get swooped up in the excitement and were enjoying the show for the shows sake.

Although the mountain towered over them and weighed well over their combined weight, the way they held its arms put him at a disadvantage, this had never been done before in the history of the arena death games, so it had no idea how to get out of it. it was just a matter of Erika and Johnny finding the strength from within to push the mountain that much closer to the edge. It looked like nothing was gonna give, it was a stalemate, a standstill. Until suddenly, Johnny moved his foot back inching the mountain ever so slightly backward. Then Erika pushed forward as well pushing the mountain again ever so slightly backward. The cracks were starting to show, no matter how hard a damn might be, it’s only a matter of pressure before all the water starts breaking through. The thing about sumo, it’s all a matter of momentum. Once the cracks start showing, it’s all over. that's why the mountain couldn't hold them back. they started advancing, shoving and pushing faster and faster, the mountain was losing ground and fast. closer and closer they came to the edge it looked like it was all over. When out of nowhere the mountain stops firmly in place. Erika and Johnny both look up to see the veins in its muscles bulging, the expression on his face twisted, and its body turning red hot, if you looked closely you could almost see a cloud of steam emanating from its skin. It was putting all of its power into this, unleashing all its reserves. It was determined not to move another inch. And although Johnny and Erika tried to push and shove it was like trying to knock over a brick wall. the ground gave way beneath them as they dug their feet into the dirt deeper and deeper. It was in that moment when Johnny thought they might not be able to do it. they had lost, they were putting so much effort into pushing the mountain all the mountain needed to do was to swing around and throw them off the stage. Neo would be no match for it alone, it was just a matter of time. His knees started to quiver. His hands started shaking. ‘what a way to die, from your biggest phobia, falling.’ He said. before he could let any of that happen he screamed at the top of his lungs “NEO, DO IT NOWWWWWW!!!!!!!”

But just as he said it, there was Neo, flying overhead, with the kunai in hand. Johnny and Erika both saw it as if it was in slow motion. He vaulted over the three of them with the chain loose behind him carefully making sure to form a loop that would wrap around the mountain's neck as he flew overhead. then, in a surprising twist, he threw himself over the edge of the ring pulling the mountain down with him. the mountain flew back slamming its back on the arena floor with only its head sticking over the edge, but with the chain locked firmly around its jaw, and Neo's weight and momentum, in one violent jerking motion, the mountains neck snapped in half putting Neo's decend to a complete stop. in a matter of moments, it was all over. the mountain was dead, and the sewer rats had won. and the crowd was electric!

“Neo!” Johnny and Erika shouted peering over the edge to see Neo dangling by the end of the chain. “hey guys, how's it hanging?” Neo said

“Are you okay?!” Erika said

“oh yeah, you know just… hanging out” he said

“alright never mind he's fine” she said

“can you guys pull me up?” Neo said

“what’s wrong? can’t you climb up?” Johnny asked

“my body is way past that Johnny I can barely move after that stunt. It's taking everything I have just to hold on” Neo said

“we’re not faring much better ourselves buddy, but we'll try” Johnny said as he and Erika tried hopelessly to pull Neo up. Their muscles bulged but the chains weren’t moving, they were just way too fatigued. That's when Erika noticed something.

“hey wait” Erika said letting go of the chain causing Johnny to fall forward. “look at this” she said pointing at the mountains neck. The motion was so kinetically violent that the chains managed to dig into the cyber skin and lodge themselves into the servos in its neck. “so he was a robot after all” she said as she tried yanking the chain out “yeah, these don't look like they’re going anywhere… Maybe we could use this” she said

“this? What do you mea- ohhhhhh” Johnny said

they each grabbed one of the mountain's feet and started pulling. When it comes to lifting heavy objects, you have to distribute the weight as much as possible to make it easy on yourself. using some very basic principles of physics, even a famished, disheveled old man, could lift a five hundred pound weight with nothing but a rope and a couple of pulleys.

Even if they needed to drag a 500-pound man across the arena floor, it would still require a considerably less amount of effort than it would take to lift Neo directly. As they pulled on the body, the body pulled on the chain, and they pulled on the chain, it caused pressure on the edge of the arena where Neo was hanging from, all these things contributed to making this task as easy as possible in these circumstances. And before they knew it, There was Neo's hand poking up from the edge of the arena. Erika and Johnny let go, the mountain's body his massive weight saving their progress, to go help him up.

“man Neo, that was crazy! What were you thinking?” Johnny said

“I was thinking you should’ve listened to me before running off” Neo said

“ah but it worked out in the end so its fiiiine!” he said

“luckily, but we just barely made it” Erika said “how did you know that would work?” she asked

“I didn't, it was the only thing I could think of. if that didn't take it down, it was over”

and just like that, the mountain's robotic arm raised up to the sky as if to say it wasn't done yet.

the sewer rats saw in dismay completely drained and powerless to fight back. Only for the arm to form a fist, and go limp flopping back to the ground. The rats let out a deep exhale.

“not gonna lie, I think I almost shit my pants.” Johnny said

“me too…” Neo said

“me three… sigh I thought we were done for” Erika said

“one thing for certain… it’s one hell of a view…” Neo said having finally allowed themselves to let their guard down and take in the one-in-a-lifetime scene.

“wow.” Johnny said.

Erika was speechless.

The sun was setting behind the rolling hills of the dying wasteland. The collapsed reception towers, the rotting solar walls, and craters decorating the scenery off in the distance, even though nature had undeniably been tainted by the hands of unchecked human ambition, it still managed to cause a reaction on these three hardened souls. No matter how sullied the ground had become, it couldn't drown out its unkempt beauty. And oddly enough, the contrast made it more beautiful. As the sun set, its light bounced off the scattered remains of rusting metal, flickering and shining sporadically. It was like you didn't have to wait until midnight to watch the stars. They couldn't help but be mesmerized, after all the pain they've suffered, all the horror they've seen, seeing something as pure as this, was like a breath of fresh air they never knew they needed; never knew they could've had. Suddenly, ‘roughing it in the wasteland’ didn't seem like such a bad idea.

But this storybook ending was never meant to last, for they were never meant to gaze at the sunset after a hard day's work. The end of their respite was signaled by the sound of revving motors of the arena as it gave power to the hydraulics to lower the stage back down. as the view was slowly pulled out of reach, the sewer rats sat up and stood on their toes stretched their necks to try to make the moment last a little longer. But all they could manage to muster was a scarce few fleeting fading glances as their view was overtaken by the arena walls. They had reached the sky and seen the world, now it was time to go back down, back down they go, back to the depths of the sewers where they belonged.