Years of Lies [IC] [Best Veteran Q2 '12]
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October 10th, 2012 (12:57 AM).
See You Space Cowboy
It was the second time in the past month that someone else had roused him from his sleep without expecting the usual retaliation from Ryuu. Both were on significant occasions. The first time was when his butler woke him up on the day Ryuu was to be sent off to the Population Games. This second time was the knocking on the door Ryuu heard at 8 in the morning. The day had come. The Population Games were about to begin. In truth, Ryuu had not gotten much sleep last night. He was too enthralled with the revelries that would take place the following morning, so much so that he couldn’t wait for sleep to come for them to begin. So it was in an immediate moment that Ryuu opened the door after hearing the knock. On the other side was Somal. Ryuu paid little mind to what the man had to say, more focused on the clothing he held in his hand, which Ryuu took without question. He had long passed the point where he would argue the trivial ceremonies of the pre-Games. The end result would be worth all the nonsense before, he constantly told himself.
Ryuu quickly put on the clothes given to him, not making the slightest remark to Somal. Whether he asked a question to the demon or not, Ryuu wasn’t sure, and quite frankly at this point didn’t care. He wanted to go through the rest of the mundane activities and begin the games. Ryuu put on the last metal clasp of his coat. The style of clothing provided wasn’t too different than his own, save for a few changes here and there. Obviously he would prefer to wear his own clothes, but at this point, again, it was all inconsequential. Every small action he did now, every step he took, every inhale of his breath, was one small step closer to the ultimate prize. Every burden he relinquished to that end was worth it.
Ryuu was led to what Somal called his ‘vehicle’, where inside waited one final meal for him. Ryuu smirked. He recalled in the human districts existed a custom where human prisoners were given one final meal of their choosing before they would be executed. He found the parallel symbolism amusing. A final meal would be given to the others, many of which knew they were going into a situation where they would inevitably die. Others perhaps gave it a passing thought but firmly denied it on the surface, perhaps to maintain their own sanity. Then there were those who truly believed that they would live and win. There were a few that Ryuu recalled that could fit into that category. Those were the ones that Ryuu wanted to kill the most. To look into the eyes of the most confident right before their death would definitely be worthwhile, knowing that he broke down one so prideful. He wanted to make sure that they looked him in the eyes right before they died, so that not only would they know who it was that sent them from this world, but also so that he could see who they really were before they were sent. Ryuu always believed ones true persona emerged on the eve of one’s death. In many ways, he knew many he had killed so well better than their families ever did. Such a rewarding experience.
The food was everything Ryuu had wanted and expected, and then some, causing him to continue to be reminded of the human custom he had heard of. A last meal. A true last meal. As Ryuu sat through the ride contemplating this while stuff his face, he wondered how truly he should react if this were to really be his last meal. Obviously, he did not believe it to be the case, but Ryuu tried to imagine the scenario that he was not going to win this event, and that the bites of food he was taking really were his last. What then would he do different? Would he chew differently, perhaps slower, savoring every bite of the meal that comes into his mouth? Or would he eat as much as he could possibly fit into his stomach, trying to get the most quantity in his last meal? Ryuu didn’t know which path he would take, but the more he contemplated it, the more it was beginning to feel like an actual last meal, instead of simply a hypothetical one. Every bite he seemed to take after this thought seemed to matter just a bit more. Every small chew in his mouth seemed to have the weight of hundreds prior, and every miniscule memory of every small action he did, every step he took, every inhale of his breath, every burden he relinquished, and every mundane activity he participated in seemed to be considerably more important. He no longer saw it as something that he had to do but something that he needed to do, as if every small step was a preparation for the main one. Ryuu began to understand that it was in these smaller, trivial moments that he learned the most about himself and his character. The train ride over, the dining, the clashes with the others, and the small talk in between. All were part of the puzzle, a puzzle that needed to be complete. Now, as Ryuu’s vehicle began to come to a halt, the puzzle was being completed. But Ryuu didn’t exit just yet. If he were truly playing the role of participant in his own last meal, then he had to complete it the way he wanted to. That said, Ryuu placed down and remaining food back onto the table, grabbed hold of the entire table that all of the leftover food was on, and with a mighty heave, tossed it right through the window of the vehicle and onto the street next to the hovercraft. There. Now it was a suitable conclusion to a last meal.
Grinning brightly, Ryuu exited the vehicle and entered the hovercraft, which took Ryuu to a location he knew where not. It appeared to be somewhere underground, somewhere out of sight. In this room he was taken in was two things: Somal and a glass tube. Somal explained that this was the entrance, but Ryuu had already felt that this was the case without the man having to utter a single world. He knew it was the time. Excitement tingled inside of Ryuu. He could feel his blood begin to rush to all parts of his body, and his head seemed to feel a bit dizzy. All of the excitement seemed to be getting to him. His rage was coming in.
Ryuu took a step towards the glass tube, and then another. Every step he took made his heart pound harder, and his arms tingle. It was excitement beyond any he had faced before. In the Population Games, Ryuu would face his ultimate test as a warrior, fighting all manner of opponents, some worthy, and some not. Those that were and weren’t would be entirely up to them. Ryuu took one more look at Somal, who nodded to him. Ryuu nodded back, an understanding formed with the two. They needed not say any other words, for all that needed to be said had already been said, and anything else would have been so inconsequential, it would only have ruined the moment. Ryuu stepped up to the glass tube.
Ryuu took one last inhale of breath, and with it his last inhale of anxiety, disappointment, trepidation, concern and resentment, and exhaled it out of his body, no longer needing such things. Now, it was time to have some fun.
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