Chapter 3 Prose in Eversea | World Anvil
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Chapter 3

“And our challenger for Cyborg Underground Boxing’s Super Heavyweight Championship of the System, Evren “Satan’s Other Right Fist” Ballllllllllwinder!”
Evren began to move from their corner, but their trainer touched their shoulder.
“Give ‘em hell, kid,” said the old man with a voice like gravel.
Evren smiled. “Always do,” they said and walked to the center of the ring as the announcer was announcing their weight and fight record.
***
Son, how much are you making doing these rinky-dink underground fights?” asked the recruiter.
Evren was sitting in their changing room, a towel on their shoulders, dripping in sweat, and a very swollen black eye. You couldn’t tell where the eyeshadow started and where the bruises began. “Don’t call me ‘son,’ and just enough to put me through college. I still need to work to keep the lights on,” they said, putting ice to the eye.
“Well, err—Evren, how would you feel about doing some real fighting? No more chump change, no more shitty jobs, just boxing.”
Evren blinked out of their one currently good eye, surprised. “I thought they don’t allow cyborgs in the main circuit.”
“Things are changing. They’re updating the rules this season. Cyborgs will be allowed to fight with everyone else. Maybe have their augments curbed a little bit, but I’ve seen you, it won’t make a difference. You fight like a demon!”
Evren smiled weakly. Well, I did grow up in Hell, they thought. “Can I get a few days to think about it? I’m a little punchy right now.”
“Sure thing, s—Evren. Here’s my contact information. Call me anytime, day or night,” the recruiter made a swiping motion on his phone, and Evren’s phone now had all of his contact information. Evren saved it to their phone.
The recruiter left the changing room. Evren sat there alone with their thoughts. They ran their hands through their thick, curly blue hair, letting out a long breath. They used their phone as a mirror for a second to see how bad it was. “Jesus,” they swore, and put their phone down. They didn’t know if this was something they wanted to do their whole life. This was just a side gig. They loved their engineering classes and wanted to build great things like Skye one day. The thought of Skye made Evren’s heart sink and a pained expression cross their face. And on the other hand, they were tired of living in grimy studio apartments with communal bathrooms.
Evren’s mind began to wander, more foggily than usual because of the fight. They didn’t realize it, but they’d been staring at their phone’s wallpaper for a solid 10 minutes. It was a picture of Evren and Skye in front of their university. It was Skye before the accident, they had just graduated and was in their cap and gown. It was one of the few times Evren had seen Skye truly happy. Evren had an arm around their shoulders, smiling; besides pride and joy, they could see in their own eyes sadness. Skye had another arm around their waist, but its owner was cut off.
Evren found themself calling Skye. After a few rings, Skye’s face came on the screen.
They were trying to cover the fact that they were crying. Skye laughed a little and said, “I was just about to call you.”
“Skye, what’s wrong?”
Skye dropped any restraint they had had and started full-on bawling. “Um, Susan is leaving me.”
“Oh, honey!”
“Yeah, the isolation is really getting to her, and she doesn’t want to wait another 6 months for me to get out of here, which I mean, fair. I’ve been in here more than half our marriage at this point because of this stupid new body,” they said bitterly.
“Well, Skye, I’m here for you.”
Skye wiped their eyes and was trying to calm down. “Thanks, Evren. You’re a good friend. You and Di have been amazing, and I’m so grateful to have you two as my friends.” Skye had calmed down enough to finally see it. “Oh, honey! I’m sorry! Your fight was today, wasn’t it?”
“It’s okay, honey. You’re going through it right now.”
“I wish I could have been there.”
Evren smiled weakly. Me too, Skye. Me too.
“Did you win?”
“Eh. Yeah.”
“Oh my GOD! Evren, that’s amazing!” Skye exclaimed. “Oh my God, I’m so proud of you! Holy hell!”
Evren blushed and chuckled. “Yeah, well, unofficially. A recruiter came by today for like official boxing.”
Skye’s jaw dropped. “Really?! Oh my god, Evren! Look at you! Moving up in the world!”
Evren smiled. “Yeah, well, I haven’t given them an answer yet.”
Skye looked like they were going to say something excitedly, remembered something, got sad, opened their mouth to say something, and then stopped.
“What’s going on, Skye? Spit it out.”
“I’m uh..I’m leaving.”
“What do you mean, ‘leaving?’”
“Well, like, you know the thing I’ve been working on for a while now. Uhhh, they’re leaving for Alpha Centauri in like 9 months, and well, I’m out of this place in 6, and well, Di is already on board. She’s been having issues with her family, and she’s pretty much done, but like even before today, I just figured I’d be going. I don’t have a lot here, and it would be something new, but that’s part of why Susan is leaving me. She doesn’t want to come with us. And, I mean, fair. Anyway, I’m in charge of the engineering department, and although I wouldn’t be a part of the hiring team, my word has some sway—”
“I’m coming with you.”
“Wait, what? Are you sure? You’re about to have like this whole boxing career!”
“What good is all of that if you’re not in my life?” Evren blurted. “You and Di,” they added hastily.”
"A-alright, well as long as you’re sure.”
“Positive.”
“O-okay. Well, it wouldn’t be very high up, because you’re still in school, but you’re smarter than a lot of these people Central picked and you’d—”
***
Evren woke up to the sound of metal tearing. Skye had manually wrenched off their cryotube. Evren blinked groggily and sat up. They groaned. Their head was throbbing.
That’s when they noticed it. There was water everywhere, about ankle deep.
“Come on, we gotta go,” Skye said hastily, and grabbed their arm, trying to help them up.
“Skye, what happened?” they asked, stumbling out of their tube.
“I’ll explain later, basically, we gotta get everyone out of here, now. The hatches on the cryotubes aren’t opening like they should. If they’re a tight fit in their tube, you cannot use a Knife. You’ll burn right through them. You’ll have to tear open the hatch.”
“Jesus.”
“Evren, you get this room, I’m going to go find Dido.”
Evren nodded and got to work as Skye ran out. Evren’s first tube was a corpse. They stood there for a second in horror. They then heard metal groaning overhead. That doesn’t sound good. As they went to their second tube, they glanced out the window. They were completely underwater and sinking fast. Evren’s blood ran cold.

The next room Skye went to the tubes had not been bolted down properly and were all smashed against a wall. Skye ran down the hall to the next room, trying not to think about the horrible thing they just saw or about the lives that were lost. You can start feeling guilty when you get out. They got to the next room. This one was more fortunate. Guilt is a privilege right now. Skye started tearing off hatches indiscriminately. They noticed just about every third one was a dead body. As they tore off more hatches, they started to get more and more desperate. None of them was Dido. They felt panic begin to rise in them, but Skye tried to bury that feeling deep. This, however, failed, and when they tore off the last hatch, they accidentally threw it across the room, and almost hit someone.
“8 max to an escape pod! Let’s move it, people!” yelled Skye, and they ran to the next room. The next room’s tubes seemed to be fine. Skye was bordering panic now. They had to calm down and regain control of their strength or else they’d hurt someone. Skye took a few steadying breaths. “’ Although I am small, I am strong,’” they whispered. That was helping. Skye made their hand like a knife and breathed again. Their hands were shaking. “’ Although I am augmented, I am still human.’” They calculated how much strength to use, struck the hatch at its opening, and tore it off as they had done before. The second one in that room was Dido. Oh, thank God. They tore off that hatch. “Dido, honey, we have to go.”
Skye heard more groaning overhead. The ship wasn’t meant to take this kind of pressure. It was built to handle 0 to 1 atmospheres of pressure, maybe 2 or 2.5 tops. Nothing like this. The water was to their knees now.
“Huh? Skye, what happened?” asked Dido sleepily.
“There’s no time, honey. You can either help me or get to an escape pod.”
Dido woke up and realized what was happening. “Oh shit!”
Skye moved onto the next tube. “I know.” They tore open that hatch.
“I’ll help you.”
Skye tossed Dido their Knife. “If they’re too big, let me know, and I’ll get them out. It’ll slice them like butter otherwise.”
Evren ran in. “Di! Oh thank God, you found her!”
Skye ignored them and shouted, “I need help in here!”
Evren understood and ran to the nearest hatch. This one had Dr. Tiffany Nguyen. They tore off that hatch. Evren brought her up to speed in as few words as possible, and the 4 of them made quick work of that room.
Most of the people they had saved were in the pods, but there were still a handful of rooms left. The water was now up to their thighs. The 4 of them headed to the hall. Tiffany and Dido were struggling to walk, and Skye saw Evren’s knee buckle and they almost fell, but Skye caught them by the arm.
“I’m fine,” Evren said.
Skye didn’t believe them. “You guys need to go to the escape pods. I can get it from here.”
Dido and Tiffany were more than happy to oblige, but Evren said “Not without you.”
Skye’s lips tightened. “Alright, I’ll come with you,” and the 4 made way to the escape pods. On the way, Skye said, “Evren, I’m sorry I dragged you into this. You had a whole career ahead of you, and now you are stuck in this mess.”
“Skye, I wanted to come,” Evren insisted, and grabbed their hand, trying to reassure them.
Skye didn’t say anything. Tiffany and Dido went in first. Evren started to go in, but noticed Skye wasn’t moving. They tried to pull them in. Skye wouldn’t budge.
“Skye, come on!”
“’ Although my scars are many, I have survived,’” Skye whispered.
Evren recognized that for what it was. The Ioan Creed. “Skye, what are you—?”
Skye kicked them in the chest. It was less of an attack and more of a push. Evren never saw it coming, and they fell backwards into the pod. Skye slammed the exterior controls to shut the three in the escape pod.
“Skye, no!”
Skye ignored them and said only, “’ Although my life may be short, mine will be fuller than most.’” They slammed the launch button.
NO!!”
***
Skye tried not to think about Evren’s face as they went on to the next room. The water was now up to their waist. Skye’s hands were shaking again. They didn’t know how much longer they could stay in control. They heard the groaning again, and then something broke. Skye ran to the nearest tube, sliced the wires connecting it to the cryo system, and tore the tube from its bolts and off the floor. Skye ran with the man-sized tube on their shoulder and awkwardly ran with the tube, almost dropping it several times due to their already imbalanced gait. They got to the hallway with the escape pods. Skye saw a huge wave of water coming. With all their might, Skye threw the tube in the escape pod and slammed the door mechanism closed. Before they had time to hit the launch button, the wave hit them.
The wave knocked Skye off their feet and carried them down the back of the ship. They blacked out when they hit the wall; then the wall collapsed, and Skye was shot out the back of the ship. The ship had landed on an underwater cliff, and Skye was now careening towards an abyss.

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