Future Gladiator

Seventeen year old Burnet is brutally taken from her home to become the face of the Government Gladitorial Division. Her story will unravel both her past and her future and force her to make decisions with both consequences and rewards. Friends will become enemies and enemies may be the exact opposite of what they appear.

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19. Molly

I walk out into the sun slowly without bothering to cover my eyes. I wait for my eyes to adjust before I walk out any further. I’d like to think I’m not dumb enough to walk out there blind, knowing my luck I’d get a spear thrown at me by Aguedo or something. That’s if he doesn’t just wait to kick me in the ribs again.

Sirs beckons me over with a wave of my hand and I jog over slowly.

“Weird clothes, right?” He asks.

I look down at his blue and grey ensemble and I have to nod. Unlike my own, his is a lot more padded and structured. His trousers are as tight as my own, yet they have padding covering the thigh and calves. I prod them gently and they don’t give.

“It’s not just padding then? Yours actually offers you some protection.” I conclude.

I pluck at my own leggings pathetically as they snap back to cling to my legs. I shake my head. What kind of armour is this?

“Kind of...” He mutters, “You’ve got more protection on your arms. You actually have sleeves. I don’t, look.”

My eyebrows pull together as I look at his bare arms. They’ve left his muscles exposed to any sort of damage they might try to do to him.

“It’s weird.” I point out.

“Yeah, you’re right. What’s the point in spending all that effort on armour if it’s just going to fall to nothing as soon as it’s damaged?”

I’m stopped from answering by the arrival of Troja. His own armour is gold and identical to Sirs’. I force a smile onto my face as he waves shortly and jogs over to us.

“What is up with this armour, am I right? It’s just so weird.” Troja exclaims.

“That’s exactly what Burnet and I were just saying.” Sirs laughs.

While they talk about the armour and mutter about how bizarre it is I use the time to take a look at Troja’s armour. On first appearance it appears identical to Sirs’ but as I look at the almost vest style top of his amour I notice that the padding around his waist is less pronounced than on Sirs’, almost as if they don’t need to bulk him up as much. The overall effect of the gold armour and more sleek and streamlined design makes him seem more feline, the gold flecks in his eyes jumping out because of the colour of his armour. A movement from the armoury doors draws my attention and I jog away from the group towards it.

The girl has just walked out of the doors and doesn’t notice me as I approach. Her eyes are blank and I gently touch her shoulder so as to not startle her.

“Hey.” I whisper as she turns to face me.

“Hey.” She whispers back.

Her armour is brown and thinner than my own. Her pale arms and legs are exposed, her amour little more than lightly padded shorts and vest. I nod towards where Sirs and Troja are standing and she nods slightly, her plaits swinging on either side of her head as the movement sways them.

“Come on then.” I grin.

I’m just standing back up when I’m hit in the side hard enough to floor me entirely.

“Oh gosh, I’m so sorry! I didn’t see you there!” The figure squeaks.

I look up and our eyes lock.

“Oh, it’s you.” Shell mutters, all apologies falling at the wayside as venom breaks into her voice.

I ignore that though as I take in the red rings around her eyes and the waxen colour of her skin. My eyes travel to her shoulder and I raise my eyes to her in question of the long cut travelling from her shoulder to the top of her neck.

“Shell, are you okay?” I ask, concerned.

She looks down and without replying pulls her sleeve back up to cover half the cut. She turns away and begins to walk towards where Troja is waving at her from besides Sirs.

“Shell?” I call out once more.

“I’m fine!” She snaps, not even bothering to look back to answer me.

I’m hauled to my feet by two small hands and without a word the girl grabs hold of my hand and I walk with her, her own hand cold and clammy in my own despite the temperature.

“Hey, Mol. You okay?” Sirs asks her as we approach him.

“Mol?” I interject, “What’s that short for?”

“Mollie.” He smiles.

“Do you two know each other then?” I ask.

His face closes off temporarily as he shakes his head.

“No, we only met properly this morning.” He explains.

“Ah, okay.” I reply.

I whistle quietly to myself as I turn around to survey the arena. The sun is almost directly overhead now and I can feel the back of my neck beginning to burn. I’m just about to ask whether any of them know what’s supposed to be happening next but before I can open my mouth, the creaking of large wooden doors reaches my ears. In unison everyone in the arena turns to face the two large doors opening in a shadowed recess of the arena wall. Slowly the air begins to fill with terrified murmurs and chatter as with a final and terrible clank the wooden doors opened to reveal two rather large dogs baying and biting in our direction, saliva dripping from their mouths and their muzzles wrinkling in a snarl. Bollrocks holds them back with two metal chains. Then he lets the chains go.

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