Expendable

arena

Yokohama main arena courtesy of Yokohama.com

Decades of dispute between the two empires of Queen Rhoda and King Jon finally erupted into open warfare. Each ruler wanted to reign as supreme leader over the people of the Great Continent. They didn’t particularly care how they achieved their goal or how many had to suffer and die in the service of their ambition.

Each marshaled vast armies at their mutual border and targeted the other’s strongholds with weapons of mass destruction. The war, the great war of conquest would claim the lives of hundreds of millions. Both Queen Rhoda and King Jon were supremely confident in their abilities to send out their forces to battle and to win. Each were seated on their thrones in fortified bunkers awaiting the beginning of the first and last battle of the final war. After all, armies are expendable, sovereigns are not.

Rhoda grinned with evil intent imagining her troops and battalions smashing Jon’s fortifications and capturing him. She wanted the honor of slitting his throat with her own hand and then drinking his blood.

Jon had similar plans for the accursed Rhoda, though his personally violating the Virgin Queen’s body would proceed her slow torture and death.

Then at the hour and moment battle was to begin, each heard a strange hissing sound issuing from an unknown corner of their bunkers. Simultaneously, though thousands of miles apart, they began to get drowsy. They both suspected poison but could not call out to their guards. Come to think of it, where were their guards?

Blackness.

Queen Rhoda and King Jon awoke an undetermined amount of time later mere feet from each other. It took them several seconds to realize they were in an arena. They heard the murmur of the vast crowd before their vision cleared.

Each felt the uncomfortable pressure of being dressed in chain mail armor. They looked around and found ancient weapons such as flails and maces within reach of each other. Rhoda and Jon almost failed to notice the millions of spectators seated above as they saw each other and hatred filled their black hearts.

“What have you done, you evil monster?” It was as if Rhoda felt she could kill the rival King with mere words and dark intent.

“I? You filthy bitch, this is all your doing.” Jon’s right hand was near a short sword and he reached for it, fingering its hilt.

Rhoda started to rise and her foot struck a shield. She quickly grasped it, though she had no idea how to use it. She was counting on Jon being equally unfamiliar with the long forgotten ways of personal hand-to-hand combat.

A voice amplified many times echoed throughout the arena. It was this that caused both rulers to look up, realize the scope of their situation, and the breadth of their audience.

“We the citizens of the Great Continent are responsible for bringing you here. Attend Queen Rhoda and King Jon. In ancient times, rulers led their armies into battle. They did not hide in underground fortresses like cowards expecting their soldiers to risk dismemberment and death for the ambitions of their sovereigns.”

“How dare you speak to me that way, fool!” Rhoda was outraged. No one had ever dared to call her a coward, at least not anyone who expected to live.

“I am your supreme King. It is my courage that…” Jon was interrupted.

“Silence, both of you. The people of the Great Continent are tired of listening to your speeches and lies. For far too long, we have let the rich and powerful manipulate who ruled the people and how they were ruled. In ancient days, the people chose those who would administer the Empire as their representatives. We shall now return to those days.”

“This is treason,” Rhoda accused.

“And revolution…totally forbidden by my Constitution.” Jon uttered his vile displeasure.

“It is far too late for your protests. In ancient days, it was the rulers who were expendable in war. We return to that, too. The armies of Queen Rhoda and of King Jon are now one. The peoples of the two Empires of the Great Continent are one. We have raided the banks and the houses of the money changers and the corrupt bankers now hang from the gallows. The wealthy rulers behind the political rulers are no more. Now the people rule.

“But because you two seem to hate each other so much, we give you the opportunity to fight. One will live. One will die. Let the games begin.”

There was no doubt that Rhoda and Jon wouldn’t fight. Yes, they could have refused to battle and perhaps made a deal for exile, but hate and ambition had ruled each of them for far too long. They each picked up weapon and shield.

“I will gut you and feed on your entrails, Jon.”

“I will overwhelm you with my strength, violate your body with my manhood, then slit your throat and laugh while you bleed to death.”

In the end, both were poor warriors with any weapon but their mouths, and without their bodyguards and secret assassins to protect them, they only managed to kill each other minus feeding on entrails or violating virginal genitals.

Once again, the corrupt who would rule the people were expendable servants. The people of the Great Continent restored justice and peace to their lands after a thousand years of servitude. America was free again.

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