Fight of the Phoenix

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A new age gladiator fights for means of survival.

Submitted: May 11, 2014

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Submitted: May 11, 2014

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Stepping into the arena, I am blinded by the blast of light that is the old stadium lights.  They get me every time, and I have no clue why.  This is my 7th fight; I should be used to it by now.  The crowd is whipped into frenzy by the noise played through the speakers of the old football stadium.  I hate them. 

They scream at me, ready for me to kill and fight.  They hate me for who I am, but love me for what I do.  They think me a murderer, a savage brute.  They see me as the executioner who puts criminals like me down.  But they are all so wrong.  I am the monster who created these games as a solution to what been a ridiculous crime spree.  I took extreme measures to ensure that all crime stay down.  I created the Arenas, based on the idea of the gladiator.  The post-apocalyptic world needed a way to create order and I provided the solution.

It proved to be far too popular, and with a quick frame job, I became the most hated man in all of Phoenix.  Phoenix, the country that would rise from the ashes, the new government saw it fitting.  I saw it as a simple name to call something, and went with it.  I was the old head of security, a job I earned at the age of 23.  I was proud, apparently proud enough to kill the senator who accused my idea of the arena as being a worthless waste of time, energy and human life.

I was quickly arrested, earned the tattoo of the Phoenix wings on my cheek, and was thrown into the mix I had created.  The once general was now a soldier on his own battlefield. 

The crowd screamed as I walked to the middle of the field and threw my trident down.  They anticipated a thrilling fight.  Two unbeaten Titans of the ring, ready to rip each other’s throats out. As a part of the games, we are allowed a profile on the man we are fighting.  I insisted on this as a way to make the games more interesting. 

The man I was about to fight was a looter/bandit from the northern plains.  He had won 5 battles and was young but showed promise.  I knew the exact way to beat him, which was why I had insisted on the trident as my weapon. 

I watched my enemy stroll up to midfield as I had done to great fanfare.  He was short, and built like a spark plug.  The pathetic excuse they gave us for armor was a plated shirt.  Not my idea.  This man filled it out in the arms and chest.  I noted a slight gimp as he walked up to the middle.  It could be a trick to fake me into going for an imaginary weakness, or a way for me to let my guard down.  It wasn’t the dirtiest trick I’ve seen.

He arrives and throws down his weapon.  The sword and shield, simple, classic, easy to learn, difficult to master; and a crowd favorite.  I had used the same combo for the first few fights until I found that there were some ways better to beat enemies than others.  A morning star proved to be quite effective on a rapist two fights ago, as he was slow but powerful. He wasn’t quick enough to react to the heavy metal ball.  My arm had been sore from that one for quite some time after.

“You’re not at all like I pictured you,” said the young man.

“I hope you weren’t expecting a big evil man,” I reply.

“I was, especially after how I heard you killed the Senator.”

I opted for silence.  I hate when they bring that up.

“Don’t take it to personally if I kill you, I don’t really have anything against you,” the kid said.

I can’t deal with arrogance.  I don’t like to kill my competition, but I wouldn’t be particularly disappointed if this one ended up dead. I look at his pale face and notice that the black wings on his cheeks are outlined by the red from the cold.  His long hair outlines his plain face.  He has blue eyes, and he is in no way spectacular.  We shake forearms when the single is given, and turn to walk twenty yards apart as agreed upon.

The wind blows, and a smell I have missed for a long time is carried on the stinging current.  Rain, it is coming.  I need to end this fight quickly.  It is hard to find footing in bare feet when the field turns to mud.  I look to the sky and see the red tinged moon along with a few stars.  The lights on the field are so bright; it is hard to make out anything. 

The audience is now a dull roar as I hear the blood pump in my ears.  I reach the forty yard line and turn to see my adversary has done the same. He is jumping up and down bashing his shield and sword together, preparing to crush me.  I wince as a raindrop hits my cheek.  It burns from radiation, in a way that sunburn would.  The audience is sheltered under a steel canopy.  They shout for the fight to begin, and the pale boy lowers to a sprinters stance, ready to take me on as he has every opponent since. 

There is a gunshot, and we both sprint at each other.

Twenty yards is a short distance, but in this moment, it seems to last forever.  I go over my plan in my head.  The boy is cocky, arrogant, and stupid.  He will jump and attempt to take me by shock and force, which is how he has won all his other battles against untrained thieves and simple burglars.  He knows I am better, but one does not end up in the games because they are smart.  I am banking on the fact that he hasn’t done his homework. 

I’m right, he jumps.

About five yards away, he springs into the air.  I slam the butt of my trident into the ground, and wait for the boy to come down from the height he has gained since he was thrown into the Arena.


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