Thursday, 16 June 2016

#whimword - Risk

The game.

That is all there is. Nothing exists outside the game.

No rules. No winners. No losers.

Inside the game there is only victory, or death.

The greatest heroes in the galaxy all played the game. You don't get to a position of power and influence without taking a few risks, and playing the game is the biggest risk there is. Those that win go on to become great warriors, warlords, kings.

The greatest of the great.

Our betters.

Because they know how to play the game. They know how to balance risk against possible reward, when to advance and when to retreat and when to bet everything.

I wanted to play the game when I was younger. Every kid in the galaxy does. We grow up re-enacting our favourite bouts, trading figurines of our favourite players and hoping that one day we might be allowed to watch it live.

Only the very privileged are allowed to see the games live. The audience has a role to play in deciding the outcome so the common folk generally aren't allowed in. Past winners often go back to watch new players compete.

That wasn't enough for me though. I wanted to play.

I trained hard from the day I was old enough to be allowed to. Honed my body and mind into the ultimate killing machine. The ultimate player of the game. I was going to become a champion and make my fortune. One day they were going to say my name with awe.

And then my brother died. Was killed. And I learned a sad truth about the games.

Mother was short on wages that month, so my brother went out to try to earn some extra coin. The guards said they caught him stealing, but I'll never know the truth. He was sentenced to compete in the games.

At first I was excited. My brother was going to compete in the games, a chance for greatness, the very thing I had wanted to do since I was a kid. I couldn't understand why he was frightened at the prospect.

He understood better than I did. There is no risk in the games, not for those who are meant to win.

You see, the winners are chosen beforehand, from those who already part of the elite. They train their whole lives for their moment in the arena. Their competitors were like my brother; poor commoners convicted of petty crimes. He stood no chance.

I watched on the vidscreen as my brother died, slaughtered by a young girl who was the daughter of a count. I had never been so angry in my life.

I still wanted to compete though.

I knew that one day I would play the game and I would win. The elite would welcome me with open arms and I would destroy them from the inside.

I have trained for this my whole life.

One way or another, I will avenge my brother. No matter the risk.

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