Disclaimer: I do not own Quake 3: Arena, nor any of the characters in it. I wish I did though, as it is one of my favorite games even after all these years.
Summary: A certain fighter's thoughts about a place called the Arena Eternal and what it means to her, as well as the people around her.
An arena…… that's all it was.
Still, it meant so much more to the ones involved. If you asked anyone gathered here at the Arena Eternal what exactly it meant to them, most would answer that it is a method to attain power, fame, or glory. No one can truly admit, and not many actually realize.
We are here to fight as enemies. Yet strangely, friendships somehow manage to occur. You'll never see Mynx without her beloved Orbb. Visor and Anarki bicker all of the time (I guess that is how members of the male gender show friendship). Even Xaero, as independent and anti-social as he seems to be, is usually found in the commons, mingling with everyone else.
What makes these…… alliances…….. even more abnormal is how everyone is of a different race. Different dimensions in most cases, in fact. Sarge is human. TankJR is strogg. Yet they manage pretty well, often covering each others' backs during team deathmatches. Which is ironic because the first thing Sarge ever said to TankJR was, "I don't want to have anything to do with you, squib [1". Funny how fast opinions can change. Not that they'll ever admit it, but still...
I look up. Through the open ceiling, the acid-yellow sky is clearly visible. Black clouds speed across the heavens, as if driven by impossibly fast winds. Yet if there is a wind, no one can hear, or even feel it, despite the large, open, arched windows around us. I look back down at the ground. I've never been one for flying. Even the jumping pads in the Arena send me on edge. Once in the air, there is nowhere to go, nowhere to dodge. Easy target for Grunt or Keel with their favorite Railguns. I've personally always favored the shotgun. Fast, large spread, and powerful. Unless of course there is a BFG on the map. Those things pack a punch, but it is hard not to blow yourself up from the sheer power as well, especially while under the effects of the dreaded Quad Damage.
My heart is beating fast; my fight is up next. Even at Tier 4, the fights are a nightmare. I charge my skates. One thing I definately do not want is for my skates to run out of power in the middle of a battle. Last time that happened, I spent the next few hours running (I am so out of practice in running, I can't even keep my balance most of the time). I don't see why everyone simply runs on foot; skating is much easier, and so much faster. Although one can forget to charge them after a heated battle, which can lead to an embarrasing defeat next time….
I look up onto the screen to see what room we'll be fighting in today. I sure hope it's not Deva Station. Nasty place, with a bad pun for a name to boot. There's acid in the main room and hidden grenade launchers where the Quad Damage tiara [2 spawns. I watch carefully as a picture flicks on, barely visible through all of the static. I sigh.
"Dredwerkz", another pun. Oh well, at least it isn't spelled in l33t. I could never read that stuff, let alone understand it. Supposedly invented by humans. From what I've heard of them from others, as well as some of the ones I have seen, I simply can't imagine Sarge being a human.
Others get up. I look over to see who I'm fighting against. Patriot nearly runs over to the starting gate, he is so excited. Wrack, on the other hand, lazily trods toward the gate. Hunter wants to spec this round. She says it's to better alter her strategy so she can win easier against us or some BS like that. I thinks she's just going because she wants to stalk Gorre for the next hour. She never specs when he's not fighting.
I lay down the charger and turn on my skates. They briefly sizzle with a small plasma discharge, yet quickly stabilize. The others know to stay away while I'm working on my skates. They've been known to shoot plasma lightning at people, if they were lucky. Could be used as a backup weapon, I muse.
Skating over the stairs leading to the teleportals is not a problem for me anymore. The world I am from is an endless plain, and stairs were a bit new to me at first. What an embarrasing entrance I made… I got back at the people who dared to laugh by punching each in the face. No one laughs at me. Well, almost no one. I could never catch Anarki; he is, regrettably, faster than even me. Then again, he does ride a hoverboard. He even tried to teach me once, yet all I managed was fall onto the floor and somehow shoot the skateboard at Bones. It took the skelly a week to pull himself together. Anarki himself nearly died laughing, yet this time I managed to catch up to him (with his skateboard out of his reach for once). Ah well, I'm probably just mad I've never been able to beat him in a race.
We stand on our portals, anxious to begin. I swipe any free strands of my hair away, so they will not hamper my eyesight. I wonder how Mynx manages, as her burgundy hair is always a large puffy mess...
The fluttering in my chest becomes even stronger. It expresses many emotions in one. Anxiety, excitement, panic, and suspence are just a few of the ones I can identify.
The light blue radiance fills my eyesight. If it weren't for the dark visor I wear, I bet it would be painfull. The tingling sensation that accompanies any teleportation fills my senses. It should be incredibly painful, as each atom in the body is pulled apart and transported separately, but the body doesn't know how to express such pain, so it throws up a pathetic shiver. I feel the texture of the ground beneath me change. I have arrived.
As the light fades away, I hear the other combatants arrive. One far to my left, another in the corridor ahead. A weapon is picked up somewhere above, there are footsteps below. I grab the shotgun and the three packs of ammo for it from nearby; it is as if it had been intentionally placed near me for my convenience. The robotic voice finished calling out the names of the combatants. We wait for the signal.
[1 "Squib" is a derogatory human word for Strogg.
[2 Hey, the Quad Dmg power-up does look like a tiara! Although I have to laugh when I imagine some of the chars in the Arena wearing ablue, bright, shining tiara on their heads... :)