• The Game

    The building smelled new, and was very clean and tidy. Ferocis and Jumper walked quietly through the carpeted halls, an eerie silence hung in the air, waiting for a single sound to break it. The office cubicles were empty, but filled with papers and other items you may find in an office. The entire building was almost as if its employees just disappeared. “Why do you think they made it like this? Its so complete and ordinary, but so strange.” Ferocis said quietly, but the silence amplified the whisper. “I don't rightly know, perhaps its a mental thing. This is creepy, and it unnerves us. In fact, I believe that's right.” Jumper replied quietly. They continued walking in silence, being on extra guard in the cold silence of the ghost building. “Heh, I'm almost expecting some alien of zombie to jump out and attack us or something like that.” Ferocis said with a mellow chuckle. Jumper chuckled very lightly, but it grew louder into a light laugh. “As do I.” Another silence lasted for some more seconds until they raised their guns simultaneously in case there were some trap regarding an alien or failed experiment. They were coming to a turn in the hallway when they heard footsteps coming up the hallway towards them. Loud, heavy footsteps. Ferocis and Samurai hid behind the corner, and the footsteps grew louder and closer. Ferocis began to whistle weakly an old childhood tune, checking to see if the other being was in fact a Carrier. He hoped it was, and at the very least, another gladiator. Each braced themselves as they waited for whatever lay around the corner, and Ferocis stopped his whistling. The song was picked up at the exact place Ferocis had stopped. Ferocis looked at Jumper who shrugged. The helmet of a red gladiator came around the corner. “Fer... er, Samurai?”

    Creus was surprised to run into his friend in the battleground. “Creus? That was you? What the heck was that?!” Ferocis said with relief and anger. Creus was a little taken back that he had used his name, and said, “Uh, yeah, I was bored and decided to do the stomping thing, sorry that scared you. It helped. But who's he? And why are you traveling with him?” Creus asked, pointing at Jumper.

    Ferocis scolded himself for using Sharpshooter's name, it wasn't smart to do that in a tournament. People might hold grudges. He just hoped Jumper skipped over it. “Of course. Jumper, Sharpshooter, Sharpshooter, Jumper. He is a Carrier, Sharpshooter, as am I.” Ferocis said, introducing them. Creus looked at him strangely. “Carriers? What, a group or team or something like that?” Ferocis nodded. “Friend of yours?” Jumper asked Samurai quietly.
    “Yeah. Lets drag him along.” Ferocis replied to him. “Sharpshooter, how about you join us? We travel together, makes it less likely for one of us to get killed.” Creus was unsure about this, he did not like the idea of traveling in pairs.
    “No, thank you. Right now I'm good. But maybe I'll accompany you to the top of the building? There may be something of use up there.” Jumper nodded and said, “Splendid, lets go.”

    It took the trio a while to reach the top, impeded by traps on every floor. By the time they reached the roof, they were panting for breath, lying on the ground after the exertion of moving so rapidly to dodge the traps. “Working in the office sucks.” Jumper said quietly. Ferocis and Creus were too exhausted to laugh at the joke, and it was several minutes before they got their breath back. They stood up and looked around. It was just a roof. Creus groaned, “You mean we have to go back down?” Jumper looked disappointed, and more than a little annoyed. He walked over to the edge and rested on it. He looked down, and he smiled inside his helmet. “Not necessarily.” He motioned Creus and Ferocis over and pointed down.

    There was a zip-line, stretching for an impressive distance. “A way down and a way to cover tons of ground.” He said quietly. He walked over to look in the corner behind a large immovable box. He reached his hand down and pulled out three rods with wheels attached. He threw one to Creus and one to Ferocis. Jumper went first, followed by Creus, and finally Ferocis. The thrill of the speed was exhilarating, as they sped down the miles of wire. It took a rather long time to reach the end of the zip-line, but the three didn't mind. It was rather fun the speed they were going, and they wanted it to last for a long time. However, it couldn't go on forever, and they made it to the hard ground, wobbly at first from being on the zip-line for so long. “That... was inc... incredible.” Creus panted. “Can we do it again?” Jumper was the first to actually notice where they landed. “Hey, wake up. Look.” He said, pointing to the field in front of them. It was a massive graveyard. A small mist lay upon the ground, covering across the entire field. “I've never seen, or heard of this place before. This must be a new addition to the coliseum, they were talking about it during the speech.” It was true, they had mentioned there being new areas to fight in, and some other new additions to obstacles and traps. A whistling eerie wind blew across the field, the crosses and tombstones of the graves shone darkly in the fading sun. “We should go around.” Creus suggested. “No, it would take too long. I don't know how wide this thing is, but its far wider that it is length. Better to run straight through. Don't bother about the traps. Just run.” Jumper said. He held up his fingers with a 3, 2 1, then motioned forward, and the trio took off running. Almost immediately after they passed the first tombstones, pained moans and eerie howls echoed throughout the graveyard, and things began to crawl out of the graves. Ferocis looked left and right, the monsters were pulling themselves out of their graves across the entire cemetery. The dead hands grabbed at the legs of the runners, missing as they hurdled over them. The had a gangling walk as they stumbled after them. Jumper was the first to pull out his gun. The sides popped out as he looped his thumb through a small hole on a small rod on the side and pulled it out. There were five glowing dots on each pod. He pulled the trigger, and ten bolts shot out wildly, striking and killing six zombies. He pulled his thumb back in, retracting the pods. A short powering up buzz emanated and he pulled out the pods again, repeating the process over and over again. Ferocis and Creus did the same, pulling out their guns and shooting at all that stood in their way, never having to reload. The thousands of zombies were too much, and the gap for the edge of the cemetery was closing as zombies huddled. The three focused their firepower on the path in front of them, firing off bolt after bolt, barely keeping the gap open. The zombies reached out to them, almost touching their armor. “Jump!” Jumper cried out as he leaped himself, flying far over the edge. Ferocis and Creus jumped too, diving barely out of the cemetery's bounds. The zombies went after them, but blinked out of existence as they passed the cemetery's bounds. Creus and Ferocis crawled backwards away from the monstrosities, and they heard a loud thud behind them. They jumped and turned in fright only to see Jumper. “We're safe.” He said quietly. “And we found the perfect place to hide out.” He pointed behind him to a large warehouse. “The suns getting low, I'm calling the others. Are you sure you don't want to join us, Sharpshooter?” Creus shook his head. “No thank you. I don't play well with others.” Jumper nodded and bid him farewell. Ferocis did the same, following Jumper to the warehouse. Jumper called the other Carriers, warning them not to go through the graveyard. Creus turned and ran off, hoping to find some shelter before the sun set.

    Ferocis and Jumper entered the massive warehouse. The lights were already on, showing off he blank room. Ferocis sighed and said to Jumper, “What a great place. So cheery and full of life.” Jumper turned his head to the side. “Maybe. Maybe not.” Jumper walked towards the center of the room, reaching out wit his arm. Ferocis was wondering if he was just a little crazy. The entire room was empty, plain and simple. Jumper continued walking, and it almost surprised him when his hand actually touched something. He followed the invisible wall until his hand came across a door. He opened it and disappeared to Ferocis' sight. A few seconds later a building came into view, almost like a mirage. A few seconds later, the head of Jumper appeared with out his helmet. “Come on, Ferocis, it looks like we hit the jackpot.” He said before ducking back inside. Ferocis was intrigued by the building, and went inside.

    It was a great deal more magnificent inside than it looked outside. Smooth carpet lined the halls, the walls were stacked with food and medicine and the such. Several rooms with comfortable beds, and Tertes found no traps in the entire building. “This is great! We can all get a good nights sleep for once, and you will get your own bed. I love this!” Tertes said as he rushed through the building. Ferocis was impressed, but not convinced. There was something missing, this was all too perfect. “The rest of the Carriers will be here soon. And by soon, I mean now.” Tertes said as he opened the door, showing the rest of the Carriers into the building. Kiro was the first to question about the suspiciousness of finding such a building so easily, but Tertes insisted it wasn't so easy. This was meant to be found only by the best was his excuse. Kiro ordered everyone to perform a thorough check, to see if there were any traps or such the computer lied to them about. They found nothing, and Kiro accepted the use of the building. The Carriers slept soundly that night, stomachs full and supplies prepared for the next day.

    Ferocis could not sleep. No matter how hard he tried, he could not fall into the restful arms of sleep. Something in his mind continued to bother him about the building, something out of place. He couldn't stand it, he knew he needed sleep for the next day. He stood up out of the bed, thinking that if he wandered quietly through the building he might find the tired feeling he needed. He wandered through the entire place, waiting for the sleep, but that nagging doubt kept him from his goal. He sighed and looked at a wonderful painting, incredibly crafted with skill and precision. He began to walk away, but came back to it. Something wasn't right with it. He knew he was probably being paranoid. He stared at the right side of the painting. A tiny indentation, barely above the painting. He pushed down on it, and the wall silently moved, revealing a long, winding staircase. He heard voices down from below, barely, unable to decipher what they were saying. But he knew he had to get everyone out when heard “capture”, “experiment”, and “kill” in the same sentence.

    Creus had managed to find a grove of trees keeping the elements away. He laid against the hard bark of the willows, their dangling leaves swishing in the light wind. The sound of the wind began to mix with the light sound of falling rain, not much more than a drizzle. He listened, and the wind almost sang him a song. The swish of the leaves, the patter of the rain, the whoosh of the wind mixed with each other to form a sonnet of its own. Creus found this was made it really easy to fall asleep, and he closed his eyes to the world, hoping he would open them again the next morning..

    Ferocis lightly pushed Verun awake. He growled and asked why someone disturbed his sleep. “Because if I don't, you will die. Come on, we have to wake the others and get out, quietly.” Verun held his scowl, but understood the importance of Ferocis' warning. He suited up and stepped out of the room, stalking down the hall silently. He went and awoke Dorun, while Ferocis woke Maren. “Rethink about sleeping, did you?” She asked, containing her flirtatious air about her even in the grogginess of sleep. “No, we have to leave. Get in you suit, grab supplies, and get out.” Ferocis left the room, awaking Tertes next, giving him the same story. The Carriers moved swiftly and silently, waking up all their fellow teammates. Ferocis was going to wake Kiro, but stopped himself from rounding the corner when he saw the team of black soldiers, taking him out unconscious. Ferocious knew he had to stop them, but he had no idea their numbers. He had no choice, he unsheathed his sword and charged, and used his armor's ability for the first time. He swung down, cutting the first soldier from his shoulder down to the center of the back. The other soldiers drew their melee weapons, mainly simple knives. Ferocis attacked, each swing almost duplicated by a mirage following it, making it hard to tell which swing was the real one.. The soldier's reflexes were slowed, and could not block the deadly and unceasing onslaught of slashes. Ferocis dealt with them effectively, but knew his armor's ability had run its time, and reinforcements were coming. He grabbed Kiro and ran for the door. Tertes ran into Kiro's room and grabbed his armor, knowing he would need it later They were followed by soldiers, firing at them with terrible aim. They leaped out and shut the door with the feeble attempt to slow their pursuers. The rest of the Carriers stood stoically outside, waiting for the battle to begin.

    The following battle was one worth of an epic. Each Carrier, so very unique in their own styles of battle and skill, folded together with each other so perfectly it was like one well oiled machine. It did not last long, the Carriers fought so effectively. Ferocis blinked four times, and the fight was over. A still silence held over the air. “We must leave.” Runner said weakly. “That may have only been the first wave, there may be more coming.” The rest understood the urgency of their flight, leaving in the same groups as the previous day's. Jumper and Ferocis ran out, hearing the sound of clanking boots. Ferocis ran for the building mist, hoping it would be thick enough to mask their escape. It must have worked, they could not hear the soldiers pursuing them. They almost sighed in relief, but realized they were lost. Jumper leaped high into the air, hoping to break the impenetrable mist to look at his surroundings, but to no avail. They discussed the matter, and finally decided to choose a random direction and follow it. They ran through the mist, barely able to see a few feet in front of themselves. They seemingly ran through the mist for hours until they made it out, tired and completely drenched from the fog. The sun was already blazing in the sky, it must have been at least ten in the morning. Jumper was the first to stand up from resting on his knees. “Phew... that was exciting, wasn't it?” He said with a light chuckle and a good-natured voice. Ferocis could not help but laugh at his unwavering attitude. He stood up with a groan and the duo took hold of the humid surroundings. Both large rocks and medium sized trees dotted the plain. It was a perfect battleground, and for an ambush. They took heed and followed the direction towards the dome.

    Creus stood up from where he rested. He had slept in too late, the sun was climbing steadily in the sky, and he stretched in the warm sun. He knew he had to get moving, he was in plain sight. He forced his still sleeping legs into an uncomfortable jog, running through a barren landscape. It was not like the desert he had started in, but there was seemingly no life. It was all just dirt, running for a long while into a grove of trees. His legs began to wake up and his jog grew better, until he was in a full out run through the cool desert towards the trees. He was a running duck out in the open, hoping to God that another gladiator didn't decide to use him as target practice. As if his very thought brought someone, bolts whizzed by him. Cursing, Creus began to roll and duck, slow down and speed up in hope to confuse his opponent. He was very close to the edge of the trees, literally arms length from him. Thats when he was shot in the leg by the shooter. He groaned and fell into the cover of the trees. Reacting to his injury quickly, he took out a med kit, making sure to cleanse his wound of residual energy before bandaging it. His pursuer had to be near him by now, so he dove deeper into the trees. He came out the other side of the grove into an icy plain. The ground was frozen over, the land with frozen rocks in it. He took a step, feeling his step slip against the ground. Another bolt went over his shoulder, and he began to move as fast as he could for cover behind a boulder. Barely making it, he looked over the rock to get a look at his attacker. There were two of them, one in gray and the other in light blue. The gray looked at his wrist and pointed over to where Creus hid. He saw the other fade out of existence, turning invisible. “Crap.” He whispered. He pulled out his gun and shot at the gray, giving him no choice but to dodge. Creus grabbed hold of his hook, hoping to whatever higher entity there was in the endless sky that the invisible one was in range, and let loose his hook, extending the chain to its fullest. The hook hit the enemy, cutting through the armor and drawing blood, making his slightly visible. It was still difficult to fight him, but at least he would have an idea as to where his enemy was now. Creus dove behind the boulder again, barely dodging the sudden volley of machine-gun like bolts whizzing past him, barely missing. Creus shot out more at the enemy and took off in a run for another boulder, slipping and sliding along the way, and slowed more so by his wounded leg. He glanced behind him and saw the floating blood, and fired in its general direction. It missed, but gave him enough time to get behind the boulder. He knew he was running out of time and ideas, soon he would be overpowered by the invisible one. He had to think fast, and time was running out.

    Creus grabbed his hook, taking a defensive position. The sound of the cracking ice gave the invisible one away. Creus swung out with his hook, striking him in the shoulder, or at least thats where he though he hit him. He heard the man groan, and a blade penetrate Creus' armor, cutting him deeply. Creus let out a cry and kicked his enemy away, and saw him even more visible. Creus pulled his gun out and fired three time, one hitting him, and the other two flew off into the ice, buried with in the cold. The other was failing, his breathing became larger and deeper. His blood dripped from his armor, and the invisibility turned off. He was severely wounded, as was Creus. His wound was deep, and bleeding majorly. Creus shot him again, making him stumble back. He still stood, and began a weak gait towards him. Creus fired one final time, silencing the pained groans of his foe. He fell to his knees, blood pooling out of his body, and fell face first into the hard, cold, unforgiving ice.

    Creus stood above his fallen foe, heaving from his wounds. He glanced up at his second foe. They stood looking at each other across the frozen landscape for a long arduous moment before the enemy retreat. Creus could not muster the energy to give chase, and did not want to. He groaned as he forced his legs to turn and limp off the ice, back into the cover of iced over trees on the opposite side. Once inside, Creus took out a med kit and treated his serious wounds. The bleeding slowly stopped, and Creus refilled what blood he had lost from some he had found in the med kit. Standing up weakly from where he sat, he knew that he had to get a move on, for fear of the other returning to finish him off. The dome was growing larger as he was drawing closer, and his wounded leg greatly impaired his speed. He could not know for certain if he could survive another encounter with an enemy. He traveled for hours until the sun began to sink below the horizon. Luckily, there was a hole to take shelter in. He crawled inside and covered the entrance with leaves and other foliage. The ground was hard and damp, but it was better than nothing. His eyes slowly closed to exhaustion, and he fell into the cold comforts of sleep.

    Bolts were being fired past the position from where Jumper and Ferocis took hold. And enemy managed to pin them down with a Splitter brand gun. Eventually he would get close enough to be able to attack Ferocis or Jumper with melee, so they had to make sure he didn't get close enough to do that. “Any suggestions?” Ferocis asked Jumper.
    “Actually, I might. How far does your armor's ability extend?” Jumper asked.
    “Fifty meters.”
    “Good, use it now.” Ferocis did so, and the bolts began to slow noticeably. “Go, Ferocis, go.” Jumper said with a slowed voice. The ability didn't last long, and Ferocis didn't waste time. He leaped out from his position, darting left and right, the bolts missing by much. The enemy was out in the open, and he was running towards their position before Ferocis used his armor's ability. Leaping into the air as he closed on his target, he pulled his blade out and struck his enemy in the arm just as the reflex slower expired. The blade cut the arm deep into the arm, not quite separating it from the shoulder. The tan enemy screeched and pulled out a claymore with his right arm. Ferocis had little time to be impressed by his opponents strength to be able to wield such a heavy weapon with one arm before focusing on parrying his opponents mighty swings. They were slow, but quite powerful and difficult to block and dodge. Ferocis did his best, but inevitably was cut in his side by the sword, it cutting through two ribs. Ferocis groaned loudly and stumbled, barely moving out of the way of the following swing. His wound causing him unable to roll away, he was cut in his right leg by another swing, making him kneel to the ground. He could hear the wind rushing from the sword, and figured his time was up. A loud bang ensued, and his enemy groaned before falling to the ground. Jumper stood over him, a very large metal ball in hand. “If you haven't seen my melee weapon yet, here it is. Just a metal ball that I attach to my hand.” Jumper said as he showed him the bowling ball sized weapon. Blood spatter sprawled over the metal ball, tinting the shiny skin. In fact, Ferocis had seen it several times, but never thought it to be his weapon. Ferocis sucked in air through his teeth, his wounds beginning to pain him as his adrenaline wore off. Jumper kneeled down and looked on the blood seeping wounds. “You got injured, you're lucky its not critical, although the ribs are gonna be sucky. Here, we'll bandage you up.” He said as he took out a med kit. He bandaged Ferocis' aching wounds, stopping the bleeding and giving him something for the pain. Ferocis stood up, cautiously at first, thinking that it would cause him a large amount of pain. Jumper motioned for them to move out, and they took off across the generic plains.

    Jumper and Ferocis stopped each other. A structure was looming in the distance, one built for lodging. It wasn't too bad, a couple holes were visible from the long distance in the building, but other than that, it seemed stand able. That was until it blew up in a ball of combustion. Ferocis and Jumper admired the massive column of fire clawing into the sky. They lost track of time, watching the explosion settle. “There goes our shelter for the night.” Ferocis sighed. Jumper and Ferocis' signal's beeped, alerting them to another settlement found. They followed the GPS coordinates to the location, which was mercifully close to where they already were, only two miles. They arrived quickly to the cave.

    Walking inside the dank cave, a light flickered on. The rest of the Carriers were already there, sitting on rocks and taking off their armor for the night. Ferocis glanced around the room, and stopped. He counted the number of Carriers. One was missing. He looked to see Dorun sitting alone in a darker portion of the cave. “We lost Hirgon.” Kiro said quietly in both Tertes' and Ferocis' ears. Jumper let out exhaled quietly, a sad sigh of pain and loss. Ferocis hung his head in quiet respect. He knew where he had gone, to a hell hole where they all go after losing. He didn't say anything, for death was worse than that, and allowing for them to believe him to be dead. Ferocis took off his armor silently and quietly. He laid down on the hard ground, a still quiet lingering in the air over the loss of a comrade. “We still need to decide who wins.” Kiro's voice called out. The Carriers stood up and stood in a line, waiting to be examined. “Theres no need for that, I've made up my mind.” Kiro said. He turned to Dorun and said, “I select Dorun, due to both the loss of his powerful friend and his years of contributing to The Carriers. Its time to hang up the armor.” Kiro said. Dorun, kept his head low, but nodded gratefully at Kiro. No cries of disapproval were heard, it was universally understood he was the best choice. The group disbanded to their own sections to sleep. The din of quiet breathing filled the cave, creating a peace in the tense air, and allowing everyone a gentle nights sleep.

    Light began to float into Creus' shelter. His eyes opened sleepily before getting off the hard ground. His body was sore from sleeping on such uncomfortable bedding, but he was grateful at least a little for the protection it gave him. He moved the foliage from the entrance, and the rising sun nearly blinding him. He covered his eyes and looked away. The dome loomed over the landscape, he was only a mile away. He kicked himself for not seeing that the previous night, he could have won already. He cracked his neck and took off through the low brush. He could hear gunfire in the distance, obviously other gladiators had encountered each other. No matter, it was not him, he needn't worry about it. He focused on his hard jog toward the dome.

    Creus could see the door into the sanctum. It was a large, decorated sliding door with little lights blinking in seemingly random places. In fact, the entire dome looked like that, the only reason Creus could pick out the door was because of the design on it of a door. “How very thoughtful.” Creus said quietly. He ran up to the large door, it opening quickly as soon as it sensed him. He could hear several other doors opening as well, more gladiators arriving on the scene. Creus had no time to waste, and ran into the long awaited dome.

    The Carriers got up quietly. It was decided since they were so close to the dome that they had no need to split up into pairs, they would just run in as a group. The only plan was to get Dorun to the Cup awaiting in the center of the room with as little to no injury as possible. “Piece of cake.” Maren said, perky as if they had not lost a mate. No one acted like it, their time of mourning was over, they had lost men before. They checked their equipment and suited up quickly, not wasting any time. The sun was just peeking over the stadium, it was an early morning. Kiro motioned them out and they ran for the doors of the dome.

    The Carrier group didn't get far before bolts began flying past their heads. Obviously someone else was nearing the door too. The small crowd hid behind a boulder. “Alright, pick it up.” Kiro said as he grabbed hold of the large rock. Ferocis looked confused, but soon joined in with the rest to lift up the enormous stone. They got it off the ground, without the help of Shatter, who was backing away. “Shatter, now!” Kiro said to her. Shatter took a run at the boulder and kicked it hard. A loud crack like twenty whips ensued and a small group of boulders left towards the source of the gunfire, and Cry touched his wrist. A sudden incapacitating screech emanated from the gauntlet, dropping anyone in range to the ground A yell was heard before being cut off by the rocks smashing against the ground and enemy. Ferocis was stunned by what Shatter did, and gave her a short strange gaze. “I can split anything,” Shatter said to him, “Shattering something into smaller pieces just by touching it. Its cool.” Ferocis shrugged and continued on toward the door.

    The door was impressive, but didn't leave an imprint on Ferocis. Kiro stopped the group outside of the doors just before heading in. He turned to address them, “Carriers, some final words before we head in. I have been honored yet again for working with you. Some of us might not make it, maybe all of us will. I look forward to fighting with you next year.” He said as he finished with a salute. He turned back around and said, “Move.” With the single word, the Carriers moved into the dome, and the final run.

    Creus stepped into the chamber. It was huge, and entirely white. There were several bodies lying on the floor, previous gladiators annihilating themselves. But what caught his attention was what hung in mid-air in the center of the room. The Cup, a large, shining, electric blue goblet suspended in the air. His mouth slightly dropped, and he closed it quickly. His head swiveled around as he heard a nearby door open. A large group of gladiators ran through, armed and ready for a fight. “This is going to be tight.” Creus whispered as he steeled himself. He saw Ferocis among them. “Wait, those must be the Carriers. They won't attack me.” He said as he calmed down. He ran over as fast as he could to Ferocis.

    “Sharpshooter? You're here already?” Ferocis said as he neared. They exchanged a quick handshake. “Good, its great to see you.”
    “Same here, friend.” Creus said. There were some quiet murmurs among the Carriers, and suddenly Seeker said aloud, “That's him, he killed Stealth! You'll pay for that!” He said as his voice rose into a yell. He charged Creus with a battle cry, and began to grapple with him. He was not fast enough. Creus pulled his gun out and fired a shot. A shudder ran through Seeker's body, but even though the bolt passed through him, he raised his fist to attack. Another shot sounded, and a more vicious shudder came from Seeker. He would not let go, but his raised fist wavered. A final shot was fired, and Seeker fell to the ground. A chuckle was heard, and like a flash, Jumper donned his ball and smashed Mist's face in, and with his other hand, pulled out his gun and shot Cry. Shatter let out a yell and pulled her a small rod from her belt, which extended into a pole. She threw it at Jumper, it shattering as it left her hand. Jumper leaped high above the javelins, dodging them. Shatter lost sight of him, but he came down on top of her hard, crushing her skull into the ground with his ball, creating a large crack in the ground. He turned and pointed his gun at Runner. “Why?” Runner asked him. “Why did you do this?”
    “Because I want out. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, biding my time, watching other gladiators go before me. I want out, I'm through with The Carriers.” Jumper said, his voice made of anger. “But answer me one thing: Can you outrun a bolt?” Kiro looked at him, his eyes, if visible, a blazing inferno of rage and vengeance. “Yes.” Was all he said. He turned and ran, his body turning into a blur. Jumper fired just as he took the first step, and one bolt went completely wild, and struck him in the leg, making Runner fall and skid across the floor. Ferocis ran at Jumper, now his foe. Jumper swung at him with his ball, barely hitting him across the head. Ferocis stumbled away, a dent in his helmet. He faced Jumper, a sorrowful wind blowing through the opening doors.

    “Even you, Samurai? Surely you can understand my predicament, you're level-headed.” Jumper said, not pulling out his gun as Ferocis had expected. “I don't support the murder of my friends and comrades.” Jumper shrugged. “Necessary casualties. Now fight me, Samurai.” Ferocis pulled his blade out, and focused. He knew exactly how to beat him. He charged, and as he suspected, Jumper swung from above. “The one problem with your weapon is that although its great in offense, it severely lacks in defense.” Ferocis thought to himself as he swung up. His blade carved through Jumper's wrist, slicing his hand off. Ferocis followed through with a swing down and low, cutting open his left leg making him fall to the ground. He raised his sword above his head for his final move. “I'm sorry, friend, but it's time for you to go to hell.” Ferocis' final words were to Jumper. He beheaded him on the spot. The fight was over.

    Ferocis ran over to Runner, who was stumbling up. “I'm fine, I can walk.” He said, being tough despite his pain. Ferocis grabbed his arm and looped it around his head, supporting him. “Creus, can you cover us?” Ferocis asked Creus. Creus stuttered, deciding what to do. But really, he had another year. This man needed the win. “Fine.” He said as he readied his gun. Ferocis and Runner began to limp towards the Cup, Creus firing off shots to severely wound the other gladiators and stop them. Runner and Ferocis were so close, only a couple more steps. The adrenaline was rushing, only pounding was heard. Runner reached out and touched the Cup. A hug wave leaped from it, ending the game. The wave spread throughout the arena, transporting everyone out. The Game ended.

    The gladiators, only about 48 left from the original 100, sat in the lobby of the stadium, talking with family, friends, and other gladiators, the wounded being healed on the spot. Ferocis and Creus walked over to Kiro, this year's champion, sitting in a wheelchair, holding the gleaming cup. “I can't tell you how thankful I am. I just wish I could say the same for the rest of the Carriers. I will mourn their memory.” Kiro said softly. “It was nothing, I am glad to help.” Ferocis said with a smile. Everyone looked so different without their armor suits on, so human. “I would like to let you know that you are free to visit at any time, I will always accept you. Not only that, but I would like you to take over and renew the Carriers. I will count on you.” Kiro said. Ferocis nodded and shook his hand. Kiro wheeled away, out the door towards his awaiting car to take him to the hill. Ferocis turned to Creus, “What about you, do you want to be in the Carriers?” Creus thought for a moment. “Eh, why the heck not, you'll need everyone you get.” He said with a big smile and chuckle. They exited the lobby and out into the world. “Maybe next year we'll make it into the ranks of the champions, eh?” Creus said, looking to the sky. Ferocis felt a sudden wave of responsibility, and of hope for something better to come. “Maybe, friend, maybe.”And so the duo continued home, awaiting the next year's Game.

    The End.