Monday, September 3, 2018

The Battle

The cheers and applause were deafening. Monol had been fighting. All day. His bronzed skin was slick with sweat and other people’s blood. He was the victor...forever the victor. As a finale for this gore enthused crowd he had agreed to one more. One more battle that might go down as the day a god fell. He was to fight himself, at his best, in simulated form. Monol had spent what felt like eons perfecting himself in virtual form for this monger society. It was time to test the program.

A droplet of moisture made its way through his thick eyebrows and hit his lashes. Monol closed his eyes and lowered his head, clearing his thoughts. To claim exhaustion would be an understatement. The crowd started chanting his name. Hundreds of thousands, screaming. He took deep and paced breaths while he waited. He had to be his best. Flex his muscle like they had never seen. 

A hush swept through as the doors across the arena burst open. He could see himself walk in, head held high. The armor, which Monol himself had forged, was laced with grooves designed to catch a thrusting blade and alter its course. The neck piece wound up beautifully as a silver feathered collar. It curled down and in on itself, rising higher at the base of its head. It was reminiscent of the garb the royal arcanists wore, but it was spun silver and steel. It was beaten. Tested. This was the armor for his warrior. 

“Fuck,” Monol muttered. 

He had decimated hundreds of warriors this day. It was this society’s favorite class. Everyone wanted to rush to battle and beat things until they were broken and bloody. However, the warrior before him thought as he did. He was trained on how to stop rogues. Trained to teach their elite. Be adaptive. This warrior was Monol, as though this was what he had done his whole life. For a brief moment he wondered if they gave this  simulation memories. What was this version of himself fighting for? Would his life somehow been better if he had picked a different...

His thoughts were displaced by the sound of weapons being drawn. The crowd got to their feet and started crying for battle. Monol looked himself over, once more swearing under his breath. Dual wielding two handed weapons. The weapons themselves seemed real (wait, is this real?) and high quality. They were not his forging however. He couldn’t attest to their strength. This simulation...this man before him. He could feel the raw power and wondered if perhaps this was a bad decision.