In a world where servitude and poverty reigns, the Rodent have nothing to look up to, nothing to dream about except becomming a Deity. Untouchable, served by the Crown and everyone else. Glorious. Everything they weren't. Number Nine-One-Seven didn't intend to join the Tournament in order to become one, for he knew someone with no experience in fighting such as him had no chance. However, things changed when his sister was shipped to another continent.

Number 62134o-971 opened his eyes at the alarm clock warning him to get up and get ready. He did so with haste, sliding his closet open and putting on one of his two jumpsuits. Sometimes he would take a risk and smell them to decide which one stunk less. The radio playing from the pad by his door as a background noise, he finished zipping up his clothes. He then hurried to press his number digit on the white pad, and a clear monotonous voice answered.

«Five seconds earlier than last time, Nine-Seven-One. Your speed has been noted » the voice began, causing the young man to nod, glad to have something good in his file. Files that lacked those small positive details or worse, files with bad details… those got cleaned up.

That was the way things were, where Nine-Seven-One lived. Zealous was the only acceptable adjective to describe The Rodent. His door opened.

«Please proceed ahead » the voice continued. With a quick and determined step, Nine-Seven-One continued down the grey stone corridor and mingled with the rest of his family. Today… today was special. No one spoke, no one tried to do anything considered inappropriate, but Nine-Seven-One could feel it. A tension around him, a buzz in the air.

Today was the day every Rodent aged from at least eighteen could subscribe to becoming a Deity. No restrictions, no discrimination, no struggle. Forget the meaning of fear… every Rodent’s ultimate dream.

Nine-Seven-One placed himself in line and leisurely gazed at the floating screens moving slowly around the bland grey room. Today’s Deity was Athena, probably the only female who has managed to make it out of the Tournament. Her teeth we white and perfect, her smile was superficially beautiful as it could be, her skin olive and smooth. She had changed her hair since her last publicity. Her makeup was an extravagant mix of green and golden colors that matched her pixie cut. Her eyes were, as usual, mismatched. Her brown eye was the same, as usual. As for her other eye, it had been switched to bright gold this time.

The End

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