“Don’t think of it as death, think of it as an opportunity to live on as a legend, forever.” Gaius said, as he walked around the cage that held ten prisoner of war who were half starved and already bloodied and bruised despite not even having set a single foot out into the area where they would all mostly likely meet their end. “For out there are fifty-thousand screaming people who want nothing more then to see you die a horrible and painful death, which you will give them. But if you fight honorably they will talk about your deaths for days, maybe even years to come. They may even show your face on recordings of this very battle from one end of the galaxy to the other.

“The people out there in those stands cannot even dream about that level of fame and recognition. However, if you fight dishonorably, you will most certainly fade from history never becoming a true immortal.”

Outside in the blazing heat of the arena a Centurion walked up to the steel barred gate and tapped once on the corroded bars signaling that the door would be opening at any moment. Then, just as suddenly as the Centurion appeared, he disappeared.

“Now fight, fight for the pride of your homelands and fight for yourselves.”

With those few parting words the gate opened. At first nobody moved, parallelized in fear at what layout in the bright Sun of the arena. Even though none of the gladiators  could see anything other then a large obelisk that stood at the center of the arena, they knew it was anything but safe.

One by one the gladiators made their way out into the open, their stomaches churned with a fear that they never knew possible. It was nothing more then a deep weight in their bellies, a weight that grew as the crowed cheered and screamed as the group of ten gladiators made their way into the open air.

“Nothing.” One gladiator said to himself more then to any other prisoner. “There is nothing here. No Centurions, no wild beasts, nothing.”

“Keep your eyes open. I have seen things on worlds that were no bigger than your fingernail, bugs, insects, what have you, that could take a man down and suck the life out from him faster then it would take him to breath in a single breath.” Another gladiator said, who was slowly taking small circular steps, scanning all parts of the arena for danger.

Finally coming out of his fear-filled daze, the other gladiator did the same, extending his hands out before him, waiting for the first strike.

Advertisements