BIG BROTHER AND THE ARENA OF DEATH

I am not from your world. I am not of your species. It is largely irrelevant as to how I look & communicate since I will trust that this account has been translated adequately.
Since the Arena of Death plucks its contestants from different time zones & dimensions it is also irrelevant as to the date in which this happened.
Suffice it to say that on this occasion the combatants were comprised of two teams of three from the planet whose inhabitants at the match were prone to call Earth.

I hadn't read much about their back-grounds & to this day don't even remember the name of one of them. I do, however, feel compelled to relay this story to you because it threw up a situation rarely seen in the Arena. More of that later....

The teams had been drawn from Earthlings who had been enclosed in a set of rooms as part of a spectacle not unlike the Arena of Death itself. The spectacle had been called "Big Brother".
As far as my sources have told me Big Brother was a reality TV show that pit members of the public against each other on a largely non-violent level. The losers were humiliated by being allowed to live after the show. This, of course, never happens in the Arena.

Evidently the six I am about to discuss were known by members of their species for their status as celebrities. There is no literal translation of the word "celebrity" since there are no known comparisons with this concept anywhere in the multiverse other than on Earth in twenty three of its dimensions.
It has been postulated that "celebrity" is a disease that most of the Earth's dimensions have successfully inoculated themselves against.
The crowd at the Arena were particularly excited at the prospect of "sick" people competing.

All the humans involved had been allowed to choose whatever weapons were in the Arena's arsenal. Obviously many of the weapons were far more advanced than the species using them. This always provided a comedic element to the proceedings.

Team A {jokingly entitled "The Good Guys"} included an individual called Maggot who was a "Rapper". Team A also had another musician whose name escaped me because I was crunching an Arcturan sewer roach when it was announced. I failed to get a program after the show so have no knowledge on hindsight either. The third member of The Good Guys was a game-show host called Michael Barrymore. He was their King. He elicited much applause because we all regarded him as a professional who had presented shows not unlike the Arena of Death back on his home world.

Team B {"The Bad Guys"} included a basket ball player called Dennis. Basket Ball was a popular sport on Earth & Dennis was one of its biggest "celebrities". He came from a part of a city notorious for its crime levels.... an area humans called The Bronx. Team B also included a transvestite singer who had had his face altered with cosmetic surgery. His name was Pete Burns. The King of The Bad Guys was George Galloway. He was what humans called an atheist, Trotskyist revolutionary who was an enemy of the most powerful government on Earth at the time.

The two teams walked into the Arena. The Bad Guys were booed vigorously. The Good Guys were cheered. Our Emperor had made sure of this by placing agents among the crowd & demonising members of Team B in the national press.
The Good Guys wore blue & white striped body suits & The Bad Guys wore red & black striped body suits.

The audience knew that with only a little bit of training the contestants would cause great hilarity when they tried using their super-weapons.
All conversation between the contestants was made audible to the crowd & where possible translation was achieved using temporary nano byte implants.

The teams all faced Emperor Xygharxigw {pronounced Zigarcksigoo for those of you with only one tongue}.
The Good Guys all bowed. The Bad Guys displayed impertinent body language that I found so offensive that I am not prepared to discuss it for fear it will set a bad example for any anthropoid life-forms who may be reading this.

King Galloway spoke to The Good Guys. "Why are you all so willing to capitulate with a Dictator who has got us here by coercion & kidnapping?"
"That's fine coming from you," replied King Barrymore.
Galloway then entered into a discussion about Earth matters, "I never capitulated with Saddam Hussein. I was merely trying to get the UN in there to help lift western sanctions that were causing child death. I was also trying to prevent the excuse America & Britain needed in order to invade. I was trying to save thousands of innocent civilians from being bombed."
"Bollocks" said Maggot.
"Don't you talk disrespectful like that!" interjected Dennis.
"Yeah.... they don't call him "Gorgeous George" for nothing!" added Pete Burns who grabbed George's arm & kissed him tenderly on the cheek.

The Emperor had decided that only male humans were to be picked for this bout. Both the Emperor & the Arena's talent scouts had come to the conclusion, after much research, that female humans were too smart for the games & could pose a security threat.

King Barrymore spoke again.
"Fuck you Galloway! I'm trying to strike a deal with these people. That's something above your tiny head."
"Michael.... they've put you in an Arena of Death. As far as they're concerned if we don't start killing one another soon we're all to be killed. The only other choice we've got is to unite against them." King Galloway was looking very serious when he said this.
"I wouldn't side with you if you were the last man on Earth!" spat King Barrymore.
The crowd cheered. It looked like we were going to get our fix of violence after all.
King Galloway spoke again.
"Look Michael I don't want to try & kill you.... any of you." As he said this his eyes moved from one Good Guy to another. He lit a large cigar as if to finalise his decision.
"Wanker." said the fella' whose name I never heard.
"We don't need to kill each other. Can't you see that? Don't give the Emperor the satisfaction." Galloway sucked his cigar & then blew a long plume of smoke into the air.
The youngster with no name pulled out a Zarathustrian "Disturber" & aimed it at Galloway's head.
Galloway repeated his plea....
"I don't want to have to kill anyone."

"I haven't got a problem with that," cut in Pete Burns. He then twisted his Magrathean Morph Ring three turns to the left & one to the right. A beam shot from it & hit the youth in the fore-head. He was immediately turned into a rat {apparently they have rats on Earth too}.
Still holding his prey with the beam Pete wafted over to where the rat sat transfixed. He picked it up by the tail & whispered in its ear.
"You'd have backed Adolf Hitler to protect your own hide you little bastard." He then bashed the rodent on the arena's sandy floor, hung it in the air & then dropped it.... dead.
The horror expressed on the faces of all the competitors was then exacerbated by what Pete Burns did next.
He turned the rat into what humans call an ape. The ring was then used to strip the ape of its skin & fur & then fashion a coat which Pete slipped on & buttoned up. He spun around as if he was on the end of a cat-walk, grinned at everyone & said, "Well at least I didn't kill the member of an endangered species."
Only Dennis was grinning.
"You can't leave that there!" protested Maggot pointing at horror at the corpse of the skinned ape.
"Why not? It'll serve as a reminder that any confrontation here will almost certainly result in death. It might make us all think before we do or say anything stupid." Burns grinned as the crowd booed him.
Maggot produced a sharp Andoran laser blade with attached rocket launcher. It was what some humans would have called a "man's weapon".
Alas Maggot was far too slow.
Burns turned his ring once to the left & twice to the right & Maggot turned into a maggot.

Pete then summoned up a bottle of mescal {an intoxicating drink}. He picked up the maggot & popped it into the bottle. It floated to the bottom, started wriggling in an excited manner & then lay still.
"It's what he would have wanted." said Burns as he took a long swig.
He offered the bottle to King Galloway but before the king could take it Michael Barrymore ran at Pete Burns.
King Barrymore grabbed the bottle & started drinking it vigorously. Galloway grabbed it off of him & then punched Barrymore in the mouth & knocked him out.
"That's a bit primitive." said Pete Burns.
"I was saving him from you you little sicko." retorted Galloway.
Dennis erupted into animated conversation....
You guys. You two guys. You guys. I mean I don't give a motherfuck what you do but you two, you two, you two, you know man you just know you know. I don't give a fuck & you know!"
"Your point?" asked Pete Burns looking irritated.
Dennis dropped his ancient Martian war hammer. "I won't be needing this now."

"PICK UP YOUR WEAPON!"

This order came from Emperor Xygharxigw.
"Fuck that!" shouted Dennis & he started laughing.
The emperor spoke again.
"Once you have terminated the Barrymore you must fight each other until there is only one left. That one will be returned to their planet."
"You never told us that in training you backstabbing bastard!" Galloway was furious.
The Emperor sat silent & implacable.
"I aint picking it up you green piece of shit!" shouted Dennis.
"Don't use the word "green". That's not the issue here," cut in Galloway.
"Sorry George."
Pete Burns locked arms with Galloway.... "I will not let anyone hurt the man I love!" he said.
All three Bad Guys took a long swig from the bottle of mescal. Not a small matter considering the strength of the stuff. They stared defiantly at the Emperor. The crowd's booing reached epic proportions. The Emperor did not look happy. He spoke....
"How dare you break the rules of the Arena. Do you not realise?

THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

Detecting a faint smell of mescal King Barrymore's nose started twitching. His eyes opened with a start. He jumped up, pulled out a Hynerian pistol & ran at the bottle. This time Dennis was holding it. Barrymore held the pistol at the basket-ball player's head.
"Give me the bottle!" screamed Barrymore.
"What?" asked Dennis displaying a purposeful expression of ignorance.
"Give me the bottle!"
"What?"
"I'm not afraid to kill!" screamed Barrymore.
"So we've heard," said Pete Burns.
"Give me the bottle!" Barrymore was shaking.
"OK," said Dennis who then whacked Barrymore around the head with it & knocked him out. King Galloway passed Dennis the cigar & he took a long drag on it.

What I saw next is the reason I have written this. So far the bout had been relatively unexceptional. The usual instants of confusion, discussion, surreal weapon use & outrage had all run in a fairly predictable manner. What happened now went beyond the boundaries of acceptability.

The Arena's staff had all been sure that the Earthlings had little or no knowledge of the true power available to them whilst in possession of any of the weapons they had chosen. This is excepting King Galloway who had refused to pick up any of the weapons he was offered.

"Kill each other!" shouted Xygharxigw.

"In your dreams." replied Burns who then turned his ring once to the left & ten times to the right. With a flash Dennis, George & Pete all disappeared.

To this day nobody knows where they went but they obviously survived. How do we know this? Well, when the wearer of a Magrathean Morph Ring dies the ring immediately matter transports back to its ring box. To this day the box for Pete's ring {stored in the vaults under the Arena} has remained empty.

A few seconds after they disappeared King Barrymore came 'round.
He stood up.
"I'm not happy Mr Barrymore." said the emperor.
"I can help," said Michael, "anything you want? I can get it."
The human game-show host then gave us a true indication of the severity of the condition known as "celebrity". Without any self-respect or moral evaluation he made a series of unrealistic promises....
"You want a master of ceremonies? I'm your man. You want another member on your selection committee? I'm your man. You want someone to polish your tentacles? I'm your man. Shovelling up bodies, audience encouragement, business organisation, personal assistant, promoter? I'm your man. Of course when I said shovelling up bodies I obviously meant I'd arrange it. You see we don't do any actual physical work on Earth. We're bloody good at managing though. We also need a certain amount of wealth & power or we get depressed. I'm sure you can sort me out. We could be real friends you & I."
Regardless of the speed & urgency with which Barrymore said all this it was nevertheless halted abruptly when the emperor threw a Rigellan spear which passed through Michael Barrymore's skull with an awesome speed.
He fell dead.

I passed out.... drunk.

I'd excessed on Andromedan gin. So strong was it that even my extreme interest in this now unorthodox bout didn't keep me conscious. I also missed all the bouts that followed the human one.

I came 'round & the whole Arena was empty. I slithered across the sand the combatants had fought on in order to take a short cut to a far exit. My heads were pounding. I passed the bottle of mescal which had obviously been dropped earlier. It had been drained. Even the small amount that normally resides in a prematurely dropped bottle was gone.
In my haste to get out I passed it rather quickly. So quickly, in fact, that I can't be certain of what I caught in the corner of my fifth eye on the right hand side of my right beak.
It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that I'm pretty sure I noticed a tiny maggot inching its way in the opposite direction to the one I was taking.

Thank the gods that maggots are indigenous to this planet.

Yours faithfully,

Zanquat Zinoviel the Third.


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