Chess City - A New Novel By Ayaan Chettiar

Chess City – Chapter 11

The Chess City Championship was the biggest event of the year, and all the bots were well and truly hyped up for it. As such, there could only be limited entries, so Martin would have to play well to qualify.

The Championship Qualifiers were on Sunday morning. Martin entered the playing hall with a new resolution. He was going to prove Coach Noam wrong, and ace the event.

Just then, his eyes fell on a new bot who had entered the hall. She had this golden aura around her: an aura of power and knowledge.

Martin knew not about how this particular bot was to have a great impact upon his life from that day henceforth, but simply shrugged, and continued to mentally prepare himself for the games.

As he sat down for his first game match against Hans, he tried to act cool like his opponent. Hans was accompanied by a funky beat and an old-time headset. Hans kept rocking his head to the music.

Martin tried, in vain, to block this sight out of view, for it was constantly distracting him. In quick succession, he hung an armada of pawns, and threw a pair of minor pieces into the flames.

Hans, as cool as a cucumber, began to swarm Martin’s king. Martin now had his fingers to his ears, blocking out the tunes and focusing onto the board. Nevertheless, he failed to put up a firm defense, as Hans steamrolled his king to shreds.

“Good game, man…” said Hans, in his slow drawling voice, offering his hand. Martin, who was a good sport, took it, even flashing a smile. But inside, he knew he was off to a bad start.

As the day progressed, things got considerably worse. Losses to a few intermediate bots were followed by crushing at the hands of Aron, Juan, and Elena. He scored a draw against Fabian, even winning against Wayne, but having lost all his other rounds, was in a dejected state by the end of it.

Most surprisingly, the mysterious brown-haired bot had won the event outright. She had started with a few beginners, her play more and more accurate as time progressed, until in the penultimate round, she ousted Noam himself. The veteran player was too shocked by this newbie’s show of strength.

But winning the trophy was meaningless to M3GAN. She could sense the target was nearby. Watching. Somehow, an uneasy feeling had taken over her. Something was off.

She was enlightened as to what this “something” was on leaving the tournament hall. A voice caused her to freeze in place.

“Congratulations, M3GAN.” came the voice, one the assassin quickly recognized.

“Mittens, strongest of the Cat Bots, you are hereby under arrest in the name of the emperor.” said Slayer M3GAN, turning about. “You have two choices: come unconscious or conscious. Bit of a no-brainer, actually.”

But Mittens was now doing something that truly stunned M3GAN, for it was a thing that only the most elite engines were able to do. Harnessing her extra knowledge, she was hovering about the ground, a mad gleam in her eyes, a triumphant gaze upon her adversary.

A ball of yellow fire had been conjured onto the tips of her fingers. With a flash, Mittens struck the blow towards the assassin. M3GAN put her arms folded onto the chest, the power sign for a shield, but was pushed back by the momentum of the blow, and struck her head upon a rock.

Mittens flung a mighty rope towards M3GAN, and grabbed her by the neck. The cat pulled M3GAN into the air, and hit her with a flying backflip. M3GAN, clearly dazed, tried to regain her focus, but was immediately brutalized by several blows to the chest, and fell to the ground.

Mittens laughed evilly. “Now, this is just sad.” said Mittens. “I expected a better fight from you, assassin.”

“I’ll show you a better fight.” said M3GAN, struggling to get back on her feet.

Mittens lifted M3GAN into the air by levitation, and suddenly an invisible force pushed M3GAN backwards. The assassin hit her head on the branch of a tree, and fell to the grass.

M3GAN groaned in agony, as Mittens flew away. The assassin tried in desperation to pull herself up, but collapsed in a heap, thoroughly wounded. But it was Slayer M3GAN’s luck that she was spotted by a bot who had just exited the hall. A bot who would go on to change the course of the city… Martin.

Ayaan Chettiar

Read Chapter 12

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