I honestly had no idea why, but I knew the figure that had visited me was one of those Tyrants that had razed Earth of most of its population. It was something that seemed to just be another fact learned, though my mind still raced from the confrontation. Of course, I had heard of the Games, but not in detail. They were death matches that the Tyrants hosted. Traveling merchants often told stories about some figure showing up and declaring someone 'chosen.' 

And that person disappeared the following week, never to be seen again. 

I should have felt fear. Maybe curious as well, being a seeker of knowledge. Yet, all I felt was determined. He called me a Spiral Warrior, something that sounded like it might address my power. Maybe I could learn how it functioned and create a resistance for Earth, getting my home back into it's old glory. 

Or maybe I would die with nothing accomplished.... 

Guame squeezed my shoulder, pulling me from my thoughts and the flashes that announced the nightmares invading my conscious thought. "Don't worry, Guame," I told the armadillo. "If this is a fight, I'll win it for sure."

To be honest, I was sure I had a chance. I had learned to use my power like a weapon, strengthening my body and more. But, chances were that the other contestants had something to counter my power. After all, the Tyrant had called me 'Spiral Warrior Lazen Teppelin,' which implied there were other Spiral Warriors. Maybe they had other strengths, but my gut told me they used the same power as me... 

I had a week. Maybe if I focused... 

"Guame, I'll need to prepare if we're going to survive this and become the protectors of this place." The armadillo seemed to agree in his own way - by clenching to my shoulder tightly once then easing up - and crawled down my arm and onto a nearby bookshelf. "But how...?"

Guame tilted his had and a faint glow started to seep from his body, entombing him even as he rolled up. 

"Defensive?" I asked my companion. "That would be smart, I suppose... But I only have a day. Supplies might be more important..." I hesitated. Was this normal? An intergalactic terrorist had just told me I would be participating in a death match and I was trying to prepare? Shouldn't I be afraid or at least worried? I had thought it was odd, but now it was dwelling on me why I was not freaking out...

I was excited.

It was ludicrous. I was sixteen years old, barely enough to be considered a man, and survived by stealing food and getting lucky in a barren wasteland all the while trying to find knowledge in old books and here I was excited for something that could very well mean my death. But...

It was no secret that Earth was a shadow of it's former self, and that former self had not even been as advanced as the Tyrants. This was an opportunity to learn more. To find out things I could not here. I looked at the book in my hands; Theoretical Physics 103. This was probably mostly educated guesses on the seemingly unexplainable, yet I might be able to find out if any of the theories held truth... 

I sighed and looked at Guame, who had rolled onto the floor and was playing with an old bobblehead he had found. "Maybe we were meant for this. Should we be looking forward tomorrow?"

Guame's eyes flashed green, though it was probably just my imagination. Either way, I was glad to have a friend on my side, even if he couldn't fight. Moral support wasn't scientific like I preferred, but it was effective. 


The rest of the day was passed quickly. I scoured Chicago looking for anything of use and sticking it in a backpack I had found, as well as changed my t-shirt and shorts in for sturdy work pants and a large brown cloak that I made from a sturdy curtain. I wanted to have protection from any elements of nature I may come across. 

My chest I left bare so I could wrap it in bandages I found in some first aid cabinets. They were far better for cold than any shirt I could find and I wouldn't have to worry about a large jacket weighing me down. Lastly, I found a few munitions stores and shoved any weapons I could fit into my backpack. It wasn't much - just a few knives and a baton - but anything that could give me an edge would help. 

To be honest, I was getting even more excited. This wasn't my first fight. For anyone living in the Wastelands, fighting to survive was normal. I just happened to be smart and only fight when I needed to. I didn't like it, but whenever I beat someone and drove them off or killed them I felt.... Empowered. Like I had just gained something from the encounter. It wasn't much, but... It was always there, that feeling of accomplishment. 

I wondered how good it would feel to win whatever these 'Hunger Games' were. And why were they called that, anyway? Maybe it was something to do with translations? They always did sound weird with certain terms. But, what did it truly mean? Without learning the original language, I probably wouldn't find out. 

With all the essentials gathered, I found a building among the ruined city to hide in - mainly as part of my small hope to avoid the whole matter, though I knew it didn't matter where I went. He would find me anywhere I went... 

Guame curled into a ball beside me, ignoring the room that resembled an office and sleeping. Usually he would explore around, but he had changed over the years, growing more and more attached to me. He rarely left my side, though I didn't mind. In fact, sleep was starting to sound good. I cracked open my Theoretical Physics book and read for a while until I got drowsy.

Then I slept without a single nightmare. Something that had never happened before.

The End

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