Start of the semester
It was only a few months ago I was locked in deadly combat with 102nd incarnation of the creature known only as SPA. It was a wiry beast with a small body, a pointed head, and an oversized mouth with a lashing tongue and teeth that could devour a man. It continued to taunt me, speaking bizarre words of some alien language. We slowly circled each other, eyes locked, then lunged at each other. We were relentless, each striking at the other, trying to find the other's weak point. I used to be equipped to fight this monster...but that was ages ago. Now I was a rusty neophyte barely equipped with shoddy armor and a stunted sword, but that didn't sway me from my fight. Was I scared? Oh yeah. But true courage comes from overcoming your fear. That was what I had been taught.
"El piso está sucio," the beast spat at me. It was then that it knocked me over, pounced down and pinned my shoulders to the ground with its claws. It bared its teeth, drool dripping down, and growled, "¿Puedes pasa la aspiradora?"
I'd learned from watching it fight. The pain through my pierced shoulders was overwhelming, but adrenaline made me overcome it. I'd learned through my fight the techniques of SPA, and I saw an opening. "Yo tengo...un cerdo..." I managed, "en los pantalones!!" In the moment of the creature's surprise, my sword thrust up, piercing into its soft underbelly. I leaned up, glaring into its eyes. "Hay serpientes en el avión." And the creature fell over...and died.
It was a terrible creature that I didn't want to see again, but I knew it wasn't over. I was glad I avoided its younger ancestor, but there would be at least two more of these before my fight with it was finally over. Then the other week...it appeared.
I'd been away from battle, and after a few easy skirmishes over the summer, I was feeling good. A nice vacation to far away lands and a festival had eased my tension, which is why I was unprepared for the suddenness of the next SPA creature. Two pinpoints of red light appeared within the darkness and I heard something of a high-pitched growl. Padded feet brought it slowly forward. Visions of its ancestor danced through my head. Long sharp claws, gnashing fangs, a relentless beast. Closer and closer it came to the light...when finally it emerged.
It yapped at me, the little creature barely reaching my knee. It wagged its tail, then crouched down, its rear in the air, then growled and gave a couple more playful yaps. I blinked in surprise. It was quite a sight -- me decked in heavy armor, sword poised in front of me, ready to take on the fiercest of the beasts...and, well, this thing that wanted to have fun more than attack me. This one wouldn't be so bad after all.
It wasn't until some time later that I faced the one known as COM. This one...now this one was definitely not what I was expecting. I never even remembered hearing about it before, though I had faced previous incarnations of it. It was a narrow creature, more human-looking than beast. Tall and thin, wiry limbs, with large glassy eyes that saw all and a voice that spoke in vocoder. Technology had been infused throughout it and two dishes orbited around it. "How about a nice game of chess?" it asked. I didn't know what its game was, but I readied myself for its advance.
Finally, the day began to draw to a close. My previous battles had fared fairly well, and I'd not broken much of a sweat. I knew that would change over the span of the next few months. I casually walked across the grasslands, sword dangling from my side and shield upon my back. Then the cry rang out from behind me. "Mike!!" came the deep voice. "I challenge you!!"
I knew he would come.... ECON of 210. I shrugged off my shield, strapped it to the ready on my arm, and unsheathed my sword. I slowly turned around, grinning a little bit cocky, then blinked, wondering where my opponent was. I thought he might be hiding behind that large tree over there. That was when his other foot came down. What I thought was a tall, thick tree was only one leg of this five-story foe. This foe was garbed in a dirty green armor that gleamed in the sunlight. Spikes protruded from his shoulders and knees. A gnarled and jagged sword that was over three times my size hung at ECON's side, and I could see it had been dyed a bloody red from the scores upon scores of innocents it had slain before me. My jaw went slack, and I announced to my aggressor a mighty "...eep?"
ECON stretched out its hand palm up and closed it in a fist. "You dare to think you can match me?!" it enquired with a voice that made children frightened and cry. Passing deer darted off, rabbits fled into their holes, squirrels dove for their burrows, and birds scattered and dotted the whole sky in their retreat. "I...I have utterly destroyed countless pathetic worms who have come before me. I, who know the secrets of the workings of the world, have shown mercy to none! And look at you...a warrior of Broadcasting? What skill, what right do you have thinking to bring a challenge against me?!"
"...um, well, I--"
"Silence!!" it bellowed. Somewhere, a man just died. I couldn't see ECON's face, but I was pretty sure its eyes never blinked. "Draw your weapon! Do it!!"
Slowly I complied. I was warned about this one, but I didn't believe it. The tales I had been told did not do him justice. I knew I would be left stronger if I could defeat him, but I could not help but doubt. I was told to train three times a day in order to fight him, and even that might be iffy. I had heard of such warriors, but never experienced one myself. And standing there in that vast field of green, looking up at ECON, just about all I could think was, "...oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!" I don't think an understanding man alive would blame me for letting out a good long girly scream during this fight.