| Generations: The Prologue
Greetings, gladiator. Do not be alarmed. Welcome to the Arena Eternal. My name is iD. In case you were not already aware, you just died for the first time. I can assure you, it will not be the last.
I've seen many a gladiator enter here with much the same look of confusion you show now. The last they remember is the flash of a gun, or the incoming scream of a bomb shell, or the rippling shockwave of an explosion. Then, a shimmering blue light that lasts both an instant and an eternity. Then blackness, and as they regain consciousness (and wonder exactly when they lost it), they find themselves here, on a desolate rock in the middle of nothingness, wondering where they are and what is going to happen. But they all learn in time, and then the battle of their lives truly begins.
I am one of the Glaven, a race dedicated to the observation and protection of the Earth Realm. For ages, we have watched over your homeworld and others, tracking your civilization's every move, and preventing the influence of beings such as ourselves. We observe your universe with great curiousity, particularly your many wars. It seemed perplexing that beings with such a fragile grip on their mortal coil would fight and die so valiantly, even when they had everything to lose.
I personally brought forth a theory: that humans fight because they must. The desire to fight, to challenge, to compete, to affect the events and things surrounding them, is an innate part of all mankind. Humans, unlike the creatures that live under them, understand their own mortality. While some run from their impending death or attempt to live in denial of it, there have always been those who embrace death, and by doing so, often elude its grasp. Some of your greatest historical figures lived their lives by standing boldly in the shadow of their reaper. To paraphrase one of your prophets, those that embraced their lives lost them.
Over time, my theory gained acceptance, and our fascination with the Earth Realm grew. We began to notice select individuals within the Realm who not only survived, but constantly dominated in certain-death situations. These were often the unknown soldiers, the unsung heroes of their time. When they did die, their deaths served to further the cause they fought for during their lives. We began documenting these individuals to try to observe patterns. Unfortunately, as our interest grew, so did the interests of others.
Since time began, the Glaven has lived alongside another race, the Vadrigar. While the Glaven see the Earth Realm as something to be observed and protected, the Vadrigar see it as something to be conquered and exploited. After I had made my theories known, the Vadrigar approached me with a proposal: Help them identify and collect these warriors, and I would reap the benefits as the Vadrigar used them to bring the Earth Realm under their control.
I immediately informed the Glaven, and a brutal onslaught ensued. I'll spare you the details, as wars between immortals are beyond the comprehension of Earth Realm beings. As happens often in battles between ourselves and the Vadrigar, a truce was eventually forged.
Since our curiousity towards these warriors was as great as their own, we allowed the Vadrigar to collect them. However, our requirements were very strict. The Vadrigar could only collect the warriors at the moment of their deaths. This collection was the only influence they were to have within the Earth Realm; most notably, they were not to influence events in order to bring about the deaths of gladiators.
In return, the Vadrigar were allowed to construct a world for these newfound "gladiators" to inhabit. Entrance to this world was to be one-way only for Earth Realm beings. This would prevent the Vadrigar from forming an army of gladiators and returning them to Earth. These gladiators would be allowed to fight one another under the observation of the Vadrigar. Upon their impending deaths in combat, they would instantly return unscathed to fight again, allowing them to be studied for as long as necessary.
Thus, the Arena Eternal was constructed. For centuries, the greatest warriors the Earth Realm has to offer have been brought here after their valiant deaths on their homeworlds. Here, they begin a life-and-death struggle to survive against one another, while the Vadrigar watch from beyond. For the gladiators, pain is irrelevant. Death is but a temporary setback. The only rule in the Arena is simple: Frag Others Before They Frag You.
For the most part, these soldiers have followed a lineage of five generations, covering four of Earth's greatest wartime periods, as well as the current age. What the Glaven did not realize until recently was that the Vadrigar were a driving force behind all five of these eras. It is because of their efforts that virtually every gladiator here fought in the Earth Realm. It is also because of their efforts, as well as the efforts of the gladiators, that I find myself trapped here, along with some members of the Vadrigar themselves.
I advise you to find somewhere to rest. My tale is long, and there is no need for you to enter combat so soon. There will be a time for fighting soon enough. For now, it is better to know what you will be up against in the very near future.
Much of the Arena Eternal's past begins in the Earth Realm's twentieth century...
Watch for MORE of the Generations novel at the Generations Arena website!
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