Tales from the Nexus: Lion King Lanista

I don’t think anyone will tell you that being a Lanista and leading Helots in Barge Fights is easy — but because of a little surprise I got right when I first arrived at the Nexus — being a Lanista is extra hard for me Sweety. You see, when I first arrived I was excited — like most people are — and went out for a night on the town. Drinking, dancing, laughing, living life like there was no tomorrow. — I met so many great people that first night –in fact, I woke up with two of them in the bed next to me — I wish I could remember their names — but sa la vie! Well, wouldn’t ya know — a few months later — after some nice success in the Barge Fights, I found out I was pregnant. The Nexus certainly is no place for a baby — or anyone that is pregnant for that matter — but I was just having so much success as a Lanista, there was no way I was going home now. Here it is, over eight months later and I am about to start my biggest Barge Fight to date — I am certainly the underdog here and the timing couldn’t be worse — but this is my chance to make a break through in my career!

So, here I am again — perched above the arena in my Lanista chariot — waiting for the announcers to finish with their dribble so my Helot can get to fighting –“Snappie” I call it — I know you are not supposed to name your Helots, but I just couldn’t help myself after I saw Snappie for the first time — little cutie-pie it is. The announcers finally seem to be wrapping up their opening introductions and I see two small sections of the arena floor open. Down below is my Snappie and its opponent — some weird little Helot with what looks like 100 little bags of — well, everything all over it. Seems like it hasn’t thrown away anything its ever come across. I know this Helot’s Lanista — almost everyone does — they have acquired a nice winning streak with this little Helot and probably has a lot of tricks up their sleeve — I know Snappie has its work cut out for it today. I hear the sound of metal gears and I see the platform on the bottom of the barge start to raise as Snappie and Back-pack-boy — that’s what I’m calling my opponent’s Helot — arrive at the arena’s surface. The crowd is cheering and chanting my opponent’s name. I can feel my baby jump in my belly at the sudden sounds and a cramp of pain runs through my stomach and lower back. I calm myself — and after doing a few deep breaths, I connect with Snappie telepathically — my Helot looks up at me with a focused glare and nods. My cutie-pie is all ready to go! Let’s get this started!

Back-pack-boy jumps out fast — and in an almost sliding motion runs to his left behind a tall-slender pillar. Snappie runs to the right giving him a diagonal shot on Back-pack-boy — he lifts his arm and flings a dagger wildly — it clangs off Back-pack-boys shoulder. I see a flash of movement and a small sphere lands on the ground about five feet from Snappie — a bright light and a loud boom! — Snappie is thrown backwards and is now lying on the ground dazed. I feel another sharp pain in my stomach that radiates towards my back — I grimace from the pain. Suddenly Snappie’s head turns towards me and his eyes get wide. He jumps up off the ground and his eyes are clearly fixed on Back-pack-boy. Snappie dives towards him and his claws slash the small Helot’s back — tearing off several layers of bags — devices, weapons, and all types of debris fall to the arena floor. Back-pack-boy seems to be digging around for something — seemingly not able to find it — then, with a flash of light that seems to blind my Helot temporarily — the tiny Helot leaps on top of Snappie and starts unleashing a flurry of slashes against his chest, arms, waist, and legs. Clearly hurt, Snappie is on his back in a defensive posture. Back-pack-boy is continuing to slash at Snappie as blood is pooling up around his body — he’s able to block some blows but a lot are landing. — Oh the pain is coming again — I feel as I am going to pass out from the waves of sharp sensations radiating from my stomach through to my back. What is wrong with me? Am I sick? — Then it hits me — Oh hell — I am going into labor!

Every contraction seems to get more painful and closer together. I’m thinking this is going to be the end of my time — and poor Snappie — in the Nexus. Then I notice something interesting. Every contraction seems to invigorate Snappie somehow. The stronger the contraction, the more fierce Snappie seems to become. Another hard contraction hits and I scream in agony — Snappie forcefully pushes his opponent off of him and he falls backwards. Oh my god — this baby is coming now! I’m sitting in the Lanista chariot now with my legs up starting to push — the pain is unbearable. I can see down below — Snappie seems to be feeding off my pain — he is now completely focused on the tiny Helot in front of him. The baby’s head is crowning — ripping my flesh. Now dripping in his own blood, Snappie — in one swift motion, jumps with both hands high in the air — landing with both claws outstretched — they both hit their mark digging deep into the chest of Back-pack-boy. Now, screaming, the baby’s shoulders are coming out as I am slowly pulling the baby with my bloody hands. Snappie’s claws are inside the chest of the Helot and are pulling as well. The baby finally comes all the way out and I look down just in time to see Snappie ripping the heart out of the chest of Back-pack-boy. Holding my baby up, cord still attached — blood and afterbirth still dripping — I show it to the crowd. At the same time I see Snappie lift the still-beating heart up in the same, proud way. Here were are — connected by the satisfaction of everything the pain has brought us. The crowd erupts in cheers — and now they are chanting MY name — the announcers come over the air stuttering and stammering  — not sure how to narrate what has just taken place. I look down at my blood-soaked Helot proudly and — still connected telepathically — say “Well done Snappie. We did it Cutie-pie.”

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