The matches were held every month, with barely enough time to train and recover from the previous. But to be the best of the best you had to be at every match. Taking part was optimal but observing and appraising was sometimes the best some could do. That was how it was for the first 5 matches for Alex. Training every day but without taking part in any competitions until the time was really right. Observing, passing judgement, taking pointers and noting weaknesses. That was how to get to the top in Alex’s mind.
There were no regulations, no weight classes or separation by gender. One month Alex could fight a woman of a similar size and next month a behemoth of undisclosed gender and weight. And every time you won or you failed.
Sometimes people died. Frequently they were injured beyond repair but this wasn’t the well organised bouts of the past with safety regulations and ambulances on stand-by. This was war on a small-scale. The more people who died in the ring, the less fuel for the rebellion.
Alex was fierce and hardworking. Alex did not want to lose to anyone and would not go down until there were broken bones and blood on the floor.
The trainers believed Alex would be dead before the end of the year.
But when New Year’s Eve rolled around, Alex was still battling, battered and bruised but still going. New Year was the Big One. It didn’t even have a real name but everyone knew that the biggest of bigwigs was in the audience and winning this got you favour.
When Alex won, the underdog by all accounts, there was a significant amount of blood in the ring and the screams of fury and support were deafening but Alex was numb. Looking up at the head, the very king of the world; the monsters that had enslaved humanity, Alex didn’t feel strong at all. Humans could fight each other, beat each other endlessly but never would they beat those that paid to watch them fight.
Tales written from a prompt in just 10 minutes.
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