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Authors: Blake Northcott

Arena Mode

BOOK: Arena Mode
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Arena Mode

 

Second Printing

February, 2014
Printed in the United States of America

 

Cover Art by Amir Salehi

Weapon designs by Axel Torvenius

Arena Mode Logo by Dennis Salvatier

 

Arena Mode is Copyright © and Trademark 2013
Blake Northcott, Digital Vanguard Inc. and Noösphere Publishing

ArenaMode.com

 

 

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher or author, except in the case of a reviewer, who may quote brief passages embodied in critical articles or in a review.

 

Extra special thanks to
Sultan Saeed Al Darmaki
Kenneth Livitski
Tricia “Arirose” Tahere
J. Paul “Logan” Glendinning
Mariana Garcia
Ray Anderson
Stuart Dinneen
Todd Dziobak
Jeremy J. Rivera

 

Very special thanks to
Morris Deutsch

 

Hugs and kisses for
Cassie & Cayden

 

 

 

Written By

Blake Northcott
with Sean Dyer

 

Editors and Beta Readers
Kiri Callaghan
Jim Deley
J.D. Hunter
Mike Stephenson
Amy Leigh Strickland
& Jeff Geddes

 

Character Design & Illustrations
Natasha Allegri
Jason Baroody
Comic Book Girl 19
Dave Johnson
Barry Kitson
Derek Laufman
Thor Mangila
Mark McKenna
Dan Panosian
John 'Roc' Upchurch

 

 

 

 

As more exciting sports emerge the older ones will die off. It’s inevitable. After you attend your first full-contact swordfight, it’s hard to get excited about watching someone hit a ball with a stick.

 

- Cameron Frost
(New York Chronicle Simulcast, June 2035)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suspended
two miles above The Arena I was waiting to be dropped from a hovercraft.
If the fall didn’t kill me, someone at the bottom certainly would. Anyone in the competition could melt me with a plasma bolt, incinerate me with their heat vision, or simply pummel me to death with their bare hands. But if I managed to survive all of
that
, and those chances were slim, the time bomb ticking away inside my head would eventually do me in. Either way I was toast ... it was just a matter of time.

Staring down at the sharp translucent spires that adorned the top of each megatower, all I could think about was the possibility of being impaled on one as I parachuted in. That would look pretty ridiculous, especially during the slow-motion replays. When people discussed the biggest tournament in history, it’s not exactly how I wanted to be remembered: as the guy who lasted fifteen seconds because he fell chest-first onto a pointy building, getting skewered like a human shish kebab.

As soon as the producer shouted, “Three minutes until show time!” and clapped her hands like an over-caffeinated cheerleader, I looked back at my life. Nothing epic or mind-blowing, just random stuff. Like stepping up to bat at my first little league game. My shopping trips to the retro comic book store. And things old people told me that I wished I’d paid more attention to.

My grandfather used to bore the shit out of me with stories about monumental events from his generation – events that happened fifty years before I was born. “I remember where I was when Kennedy was assassinated,” he would say, or, “I know what kind of sandwich I was eating when I saw the moon landing,” or, “I crapped my pants and passed out the first time I heard The Beatles.” Okay, I don’t
exactly
remember him saying the last one, but he certainly could have. I tended to space out when he was spinning his longer yarns.

I shouldn’t be so hard on the old guy. If by some miracle I survived all of this, that’s exactly what I wanted – to be able to bore the shit out of
my
grandkids one day with grandiose tales from my youth.

And I had a few good ones.

“I remember where I was,” I would say, sitting in an oversized leather chair in my book-lined study, surrounded by the awestruck faces of the children gathered at my feet. “I remember who I was with, and what I was doing when the President of the United States made the speech that changed everything. It was the day he announced that superhumans were real.”

 

 

At first I didn’t know how to react.
No one did. But we sure as hell didn’t expect any of the newly-discovered super-powered beings to put on a cape and try to save the world. Just the fact that they existed was an implied threat as far as the government was concerned, and most of them hid their abilities for fear of persecution. If one of them
was
crazy enough to try and fight for truth, justice and the long forgotten ideals of yesteryear, it would be too little, too late. For most of us there wasn’t much of a world left to save.

BOOK: Arena Mode
4.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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