The crowd was cheering; I was facing off against my old nemesis Baron Roughhausen. It had been a long match and we were both worn down from physical punishment delivered. Sometimes I wonder when I can retire.
“Give it up, Earthman!” Roughhausen growled. “I’d hate to have to really hurt you.”
“But you’ve been doing so well at it all along,” I retorted. “You should keep up the good work of really hurting me.”
Roughhausen howled and threw himself at me; with little grace, I tossed him over my shoulder. He landed on his hands and knees and slowly started picking himself up while huffing and puffing.
I moved in to end the match when he threw dirt in my face. The oldest trick in the book!
“Argh, my eyes!” I clasped the palm of my hands into my face and stumbled back.
“Ha ha, your end is near!” my opponent gleefully charged me again.
I flipped him over my shoulder. As he landed on the ground, I cradled his arms and head in a submission hold.
“Faking being hurt by dirt in the face is the second oldest trick in the book,” I said to him as he passed out.
I stood up and pumped my fists into the air as the announcer called me the winner. With the crowd cheering, I made my way out of the arena.
“Game over for the Baron, huh Jon?” Hudson smiled as he greeted me in the corridor.
“Yeah,” I answered. “That was… fun…”
“Well, I got something pretty cool to tell you.” Hudson looked like he was about to burst with joy. “Something cool.”
“Yeah,” he stopped and leaned against the wall near a set of doors. “You won’t believe it when you hear it.”
“Well, are you going to tell me?” I asked. Why’s he dragging this out like this?
“Of course,” he answered. “I –”
Suddenly, the doors burst open and a legion of creatures poured through chattering and howling. Hudson yelled as they scooped him up and carried him off. I quickly weighed my options and ran to get my weapons.
I threw open my locker and pulled out my gun belt. I snapped it to my waist and ran back out the door. As I was running, I pulled Betsy and Winona out of their holsters and checked their charges. My two blaster pistols whistled to life as I thumbed their activators.
Throwing myself through the demolished doors to outside, I saw the last of the howling creatures off in the distance. I quickly sprinted after them. Fortunate for me, it was easy to follow their trail.
I quickly closed the distance between myself and my quarry when I saw that the monsters were all moving en masse into a cavern.
That’s interesting, I thought. I don’t remember seeing that cave before.
I fired at the retreating troglodytes, but my shots hit rock surrounding the cave. I made it to the entrance just after the last of the creatures disappeared into the depths, their noise dissipating into the echoes.
With my weapons drawn, I peered into the darkness.
“Well, I guess I gotta do what I gotta do,” I muttered out loud. Of course I didn’t know what those things were or why they took Hudson. Maybe I should let them keep him… they’ll soon beg me to take him back. Nah, I’m the hero, I have to go do the hero thing.
“I shall lead you into the depths,” said a calm voice. “That is, if you want to go.”
I whirled around and looked at the owner of the voice.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“I am Virgil.”