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Aaron's Game
Chapter 3: Golden Boys

by Redspkscott

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Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 28 Dec 2016

Aaron’s Game – Chapter Three: Golden Boys

Is competitive, fun, and mean really such an unusual combination?

I was in the light again. This time, though, I was within my own body. The question came from the Painfather.

I haven’t seen any others like me, I said.

There are quite a few with those three colors, but admittedly, not as many in that exact order, he said. You have had a very busy first day alive. Less than one percent of the men on the world both dominated and were also dominated on the very first day. Most had one or the other.

I certainly didn’t have much down time.

How do you feel about your experiences today?

I loved it!

Even though you ultimately ended the day severely dominated and punished?

It still fit under competitive, fun, and mean.

I see. I really enjoyed watching what you did today. And what was done to you. Is there anything that you would want to change about you or the world you’ve experienced so far?

You’re asking me? I thought you were God? Don’t you get to decide?

I do. And I’ve decided to ask you.

Are you asking everybody else, too?



Do you really want to know why? I just want to make sure your experiences with pain and dominance match what you think they should be and that you would be happy to remain in the world as you are.

I’m very happy, but I still kind of want to know why.

You seem to have figured out a lot of things on your own. I think you might actually be partly to a solution by yourself.

I don’t understand.

You have a question about pain and punishment. I can feel it in you. You were thinking about it when you were punished by Reuben and Max.

Yes. It feels like we have two opposite feelings about pain when we’re being punished. We want the punishment to stop but we like the way the pain feels at rest.

That is correct. That is intentional.


Do you have a problem with it?

No, it works out fine, I think. I just want to know why.

It’s complicated. Will understanding it make you happier with the way things are?


Very well. I made this world to experiment with my love of dominance, submission, and pain. I wanted to explore it in action in a free environment. To watch how different kinds of men behaved when they were heavily driven by these forces.

Okay, that explains us and the mix of personalities.

Before creating this world, I made many simulations first to try to predict how things worked out. In my first simulation, I assumed a world where everybody felt the same about pain as they did about pleasure. They welcomed it and sought it out.

That sounds sexy.

The simulation didn’t work out that way. Personalities became undifferentiated. Everybody wanted to be punished equally as much as possible. It eliminated the ideas of dominance and submission. Discipline was just like sex and it was all the men in the simulation desired. If I had used the simulation for your personalities, you all would still be where you were born in the world, punishing each other for arousal and doing nothing else.

That doesn’t sound too bad.

For eternity? The same thing forever? It would become boring to everybody involved, including me.

I see.

Also, in such an environment, inflicting pain inspired no special arousal because there was no resistance or conflict between the two men. It was not fulfilling to the person giving the spanking. In sex, both sides typically feel some pleasure. Spanking isn’t necessarily the same. Would punishing Reuben have been as fun if you hadn’t had to fight for it?

Good point.

So for another simulation, I assumed that nobody derived any pleasurable feelings from punishment at all.

I thought that one out for a moment.

That would probably be even worse.

Yes, it just reversed the situation. The dominant men would love such an environment. Part of their dominant arousal is inflicting pain and sex on the resistant or unwilling. But for the victims to derive no pleasure at all would lead to overwhelming unhappiness. They would ultimately go into hiding or take drastic measures to avoid contact with their tormentors. It was not the solution.

So you mix things up?

Yes, the pain of being punished must feel undesirable for dominant men to feel arousal. The person being punished must want it to stop so that the dominant man can feel power by refusing to comply. But then the results of the punishment must ultimately feel desirable and feel arousing by the victim so that he will embrace these experiences.

You did the same thing with sex.

Yes. Sex will always hurt at the beginning. Always. It increases the pleasure for the dominant man knowing he was inflicting some more pain. Then after some time the victim or submissive will start feeling pleasure as a reward for playing his role.

Well, it worked out perfectly for me. I loved seeing Reuben and Levi squirm when I paddled them. And then when it happened to me, I wanted it to stop so bad when I felt a swat. But when it was over, the pain that was left behind was just wonderful.

That is good to hear. Are you ready for what tomorrow will bring?

I’ll be meeting my main guy, right? My golden god?

Well put. You already have seen where to go. Congregate in the stadium by 9 a.m. tomorrow to meet your patron.

How long will I have these urges?

Not for too much longer. Once you feel as though you have a good sense of your personality, the influences will stop.

How will I know when it happens?

You’ll just feel it. Farewell for now.

The light faded and I plunged back into sleep.

Everything was stickiness. I was still tied to my bed, covered with semen. I looked over at the clock. It was 7 a.m.

Anybody gonna let me out? I asked. Max and Reuben were apparently waking up just like me. After a few minutes, Reuben stomped in naked.

Morning wood, he said and grabbed my lube.

Oh, dammit, I muttered as he climbed on top of me and fucked me yet again. As the Painfather promised, it still hurt like hell at first. I winced and squirmed and Reuben sounded pleased at my struggle. This was a quickie and it didn’t take long for him to shoot his load.

The Painfather visit you? he asked as he climbed off.

Yeah. Stadium by nine?

Yup. He kept asking if I enjoyed my experiences.

Did you? I asked.

Hell yeah, he said, grinning. Then Max came in.

I have morning wood, too, he said, showing off a massive erect cock.

Oh, FUCK! I beat my head against the pillow. Max lubed up and climbed back on for another ride. I howled in pain again as my hole was stretched wide. Thankfully he didn’t milk out the pain like he did last night. He orgasmed another huge load of cum and climbed off. Then he finally released me from bondage.

God it feels good to be out of that filth, I muttered as I stood up. One of the sheets actually stuck to me and I had to peel it off. I headed to the shower, limping a bit as my ass was still sore from last night. After an extremely long shower next to Max and Reuben, I looked at it in the bathroom mirror. It was still heavily bruised.

How’s your ass? I asked Reuben.

Not as bad as yours, he said, grinning. I’m still a bit sore from your beating, but the marks have faded a lot.

Max over there is totally unmarked, I said. He smiled and turned to show us his large smooth bottom. That’s not going to last though. We’ll have our fight when we get back from the stadium.

Odd that nobody else showed up yet, Max said.

Maybe it’s because we picked one of the buildings in the middle or something, I said. I don’t know.

We all got dressed. Max had looked around and found a closet by the elevator with extra linens to replace my filthy bed sheets. There was also a chute to drop down dirty laundry.

What’s on the other end of that? I wondered. The other two shrugged and we headed to the elevator.

We did get an answer to one mystery as we headed down. Our elevator stopped on several floors along the way and other guys joined us for the ride down. They were all sports guys like us and had gold as their main color. They must have been drawn to the building like we were, but in absence of being told exactly where to go, they just looked for empty apartments. A couple of them recognized me and Reuben and looked a little nervous at first, but it was obvious a fight wasn’t going to break out inside the elevator. Although that might be a fun idea if it were just the two of us. I filed it away for later.

Once we reached the bottom floor, we joined several other guys like us heading out to the street.

Hmm, we need to have a rooftop party and invite everybody up, I said as we left the building. I didn’t know exactly where the stadium was, but I felt the urge pulling me back south and apparently so did the others.

Why? Reuben asked.

Check out the prospects, I said. Maybe we should invite guys we’re interested in to live in the penthouse rather than just waiting to see who shows. Not that I’m unhappy to have Max as a tenant, mind you.

Hmm, good idea, Reuben said. Let’s wait a couple of days though for everybody to get their asses situated. We still have a bare fuck of an idea of what’s even going on.

Indeed, as we approached the last of this group of condos we had chosen as a home, there seemed to be some sort of stir. A handful of the soldiers were sitting on benches and planters outside the building and had some of the punk guys locked down over their knees, their jeans down, and were paddling their asses good and hard. The punks were all hollering and crying and demanding to be left alone. Their asses were all red and raw.

Those guys have good technique, Reuben said.

We’re stronger than them one-on-one, Max said. But they seem to like to group up in these patrols.

We were here first, you fucks! one punk whimpered between swats. The soldier didn’t respond. He just continued paddling on with a grim expression. We stopped and watched for a moment. Then another squad of soldiers burst out of the front entrance.

Okay, men, time to move! One of them declared. His patch was green, gray and black. He pointed north in the opposite direction we were heading. The other soldiers dumped the crying punks off their laps.

You get your asses out of here for good, the soldier told the punks as they pulled up their jeans and sniffled. If we catch you around here when we get back we will paddle your asses all night long. He turned and saw us watching them. He nodded formally and heading north, up the street, along with his fellow soldiers.

That was hot, Reuben said. We started continuing south. One of the punished punks noticed and came running up.

Did you see those guys? He asked. They kicked us out of this place! We found it first!

You didn’t do a very good job keeping it, I pointed out.

Those military guys think they can take whatever they want. They’re going to come for your place next.

Unlike you, we know how to fight, Reuben said.

The punk threw his hands up in frustration and wandered off.

Levi didn’t like those guys either, I said as we continued on. There’s something between the green and the orange. Or I think there’s going to be.

I wonder if we’re going to have rivalries like that, Max said. Then he looked at us. I mean besides rivalries with ourselves.

The stadium was only few more blocks south, also near the ocean. That was great news for us. We lived nice and close to it.

Wow, look at that crowd, Max said. There were thousands of guys just like us filing into the stadium. It was a good thing we left early. It took us a good thirty minutes just to get inside. The stadium was huge on the inside and it looked like every seat would be taken.

I winced as I sat down in the middle of my row. The seats were nice and hard. But after that sharp pain came the fizzy, lingering desirable pain that would keep me coming back for more. Max sat next to me and Reuben next to him.

There’s lots of football players here, I pointed out to Max. Looks like there will be plenty of teams for you to join.

Do you see any other guys like us? Reuben asked. I peered around. There were so many men here. I finally saw one making his way to his seat several rows down. His shorts were blue and his colors were gold, gray and black. I pointed him out to Reuben.

He even shares black like us, I said.

That’s got to mean something, Reuben said. I mean, we still don’t quite know what sport we are other than beating the crap out of each other.

There’s something to be said for making a sport out of that, I said.

I sure hope so, Reuben responded.

In the center of the stadium was a large grassy field. They’ll definitely be playing football here, I thought. There was a big round platform in the center of the field. There were flags around the platform. The flags were all either gold-colored or white with a golden image of a trophy in the center. A huge golden trophy about 20 feet tall also decorated one side of the platform.

Everybody settled in as the hour approached and held murmured conversations with each other while they waited. Right at 9 a.m. the loudspeakers blared out an impressive brass fanfare. A large golden light started emanating from the center of the platform and began growing in size. The crowd gasped, and we all shielded our eyes as it grew brighter. It was him, finally. Our patron!

There was a bright golden flash that filled the whole arena and we were all temporarily blinded. As my vision cleared I saw him standing there in the middle of the platform. I could barely see him, but then I noted that there were big monitors all around the stadium. Peering up to them, I could make out (eventually) a tall, heavily built blond man, perfectly smooth, wearing golden trunks of the same style Reuben and I were wearing. He didn’t have any side stripes, though. He wore a golden medal around his neck. He raised his hands up to the crowd, saying nothing. Slowly a cheer began. I felt it inside my head first. Champion. He was our champion. Everybody began cheering the word over and over again, me included.

Champion! Champion! Champion!

The patron soaked up the cheer and smiled. Slowly his arms came down and the cheer began to fade. We all fell silent again.

I am your patron, bearer of the gold, Derek, the Champion. His voice boomed across the stadium. We all cheered again. It took several minutes to die down.

You are here today because, like me, you see competition as the key to dominance. Prove to a man you are stronger, tougher, faster, better than him and then you can claim him and punish him for his weaknesses. The crowd cheered again.

Your life here on this world will be filled with struggle, but you wouldn’t have it any other way, would you? More cheers. Every success will be rewarded. Every failure will be punished. And punished hard. He emphasized those three words. Each of the patrons has a short motto as reminder to our followers what we stand for. Mine is very simple: Win or suffer. The crowd cheered loudly and then we all started chanting Win or suffer! After the chant died down again, he raised his hands out to us.

And you guys, he said. You are my Golden Boys. Everybody cheered and whistled. Then we all started chanting Golden Boys! Golden Boys! I felt a sense of identity starting to crystallize with me. I was a Golden Boy. The driven competitor.

Now you guys aren’t my only Golden Boys, Derek explained after the crowd died down. There are actually 250 million of you across the world. As time goes by you may well meet many of them and compete against them. More cheers greeted him.

But I do have an interesting detail that makes this city different, he said. You all remember that the Painfather invited you all to choose where you would like to live in this world, yes? The crowd murmured. I’ll have you know a greater concentration of Golden Boys chose this city to start their lives than anywhere else in the world! The crowd roared. You need to realize this isn’t even the only gathering in this city. There is another stadium on the other side of town where I will be greeting some more of your brothers in due time. You will not be lacking for opportunities to test your power! The crowd cheered some more.

Suddenly I heard Derek’s voice in my head, clear as a bell even amid all the shouting. Are you ready for your real debut, Aaron? I shook my head in confusion. What was that? I looked over at Reuben and Max. Reuben also looked confused.

Did you hear that? I yelled over to him.

I heard him in my head! Reuben yelled back.

Did you hear anything? I asked Max. He shook his head no.

This city needs a name! Derek declared. I say a city with this many of my followers should be known as Golden City! The crowd roared approval. When you are not engaged in training and competition, I urge all of you to figure out a way to make this happen. The patrons are forbidden to intercede in this. You must figure it out how to make it happen yourselves. People in the crowd started murmuring to each other.

Nearly all of you came into this stadium knowing which sport drives you, Derek said. In time, how these athletic events will manifest will begin to come clear. In your first day here, you may have seen others who had gold on their clothes, but not in the prime position like yours. Those with gold in the second position will help organize your activities. They will be running this stadium. They will be televising your competitions. They will be your coaches. Those who have gold in their third position, well, those will be your fans, your audience. They will be the ones sitting in those seats while you are out here. They will be cheering for you when you win and calling for your asses to be punished when you lose.

Suddenly Derek’s voice again in my head: You will be coming to my side soon. Be prepared. I looked again at Reuben. He nodded again.

You all have realized that you, too, are influenced by two other colors. You will learn more about what that means over the next two days. Those additional patrons represent parts of your personality that influenced what sports you play and what roles you play on your team. For example, everybody with blue on their uniform is in a team sport. You will find out why when you meet my brother patron Henry. A lot of guys cheered at hearing the name of one of their other patrons, including Max. Sounded like there were a lot of athletes also influenced by him.

Note that I said ’nearly all’ of you came in here knowing which sport drives you, Derek said. The Painfather drew these sports into this world from his vast wealth of knowledge. You all were born with the knowledge of how to play these games. But there is a very small group of you who are currently in the dark. You are heavily influenced by the spirit of competition. Almost overwhelmingly so. But you don’t feel connection with a known sport yet. This is by design. The crowd murmured in confusion.

Those of you who bear black as one of your other patron colors raise your hand, Derek ordered. You are the smallest group in this stadium. I raised my hand, as did Reuben. Then we looked across a sea of athletes to see just a single hand here and there within the crowd.

There are only 120 of you in this crowd of thousands, Derek said. There are only 5,000 of your in this entire world of 3 billion. We could fit all of you in this one stadium.

The Painfather has called for a special sport that exists only in this world. It will be designed for this world. It will be a tough, brutal sport that we have no doubt will become one of the biggest spectacles on this world. Those of you who perform well will become the most famous of my Golden Boys. I grinned at the thought. I looked over at Reuben, who grinned, too, and gave me a thumbs up. Those who perform poorly will suffer more than any of my Golden Boys. Both of our smiles quickly faded. Max laughed, though.

Several of you have already made spectacles of yourselves in your short time here, driven by your competitive and rather forceful natures, to assert your dominance. Look at these monitors and note these eight men.

We looked up at the monitors and watched footage of several big, tough guys like me and Reuben smacking down other guys and punishing asses in the city. One burly bald man, introduced as Li, took down three of those soldiers at once, tied them up with jump rope, apparently, and beat all their asses. The crowd cheered. And then I gasped.

Here is a friendly gentleman named Aaron, Derek said as I saw myself on the monitor back at the sports store. He was so quick to prove himself that he ended up taking on one of his own mates, Reuben! The crowd cheered as they watched me beat up Reuben, punish him, and then rape him.

Later that day, though, Reuben got his revenge, Derek said. I feigned disinterest as the monitors played Reuben handcuffing me to my bed, punishing me right back, and then raping me. All in all, eight of us were shown on the monitors.

Then there was a flash of golden light and suddenly the eight of us were standing on the field. We all looked around momentarily confused. At least I got a better view of The Champion, who it turned out was about eight feet tall, so he wouldn’t exactly blend in among his followers. Derek strutted off the platform, which slid backward slowly into the side of the stadium into some storage compartment.

We have to christen our stadium, Derek said. And what better way than with these men here? They are our gladiators!

Gladiators! the crowd began to chant. Gladiators! I knew instinctively that the word meant a type of arena fighter, but there was more to this. After the platform disappeared, there was a loud whirring sound and eight large holes opened up on the field. They were big enough for a man to fall into. Or be tossed into, I quickly realized. That was because each hole had a large label embedded next to it with one of our names. They were arranged in a large circle in the center of the field. I could see mine.

I should explain some more so our gladiators know what to expect and so do you, Derek said, looking up to the crowd. The very basic rule of our gladiator fights will be fairly simple. Don’t get thrown out of the arena into the hole of your name. If that happens you lose. I looked over to my fellow gladiators. We all looked ready for a good fight. We all started to spread out around the field.

Now, everything else will be subject to change, so that every fight is a new, different spectacle. The number of gladiators competing may vary. There may be multiple rounds. The field may look different. The placement of the holes. But the basic rule is, don’t get your ass tossed in your hole. The crowd began cheering. I backed away from my hole and noticed Reuben staring at me. He was ready to make our rivalry official, it looked like.

This will be a pretty basic initial match. There will be four winners and four losers. It’s a free-for-all. We don’t care how it happens, but once four of you get tossed into your holes it’s over. Oh, one more thing. There was another golden flash of light and suddenly my paddle, which I left at the penthouse, was back in my hand. So was Reuben’s. All of us had our paddles. I was amused to note that we all picked out thick but smaller paddles with wrist straps so we could keep hold of them while fighting.

Show us what you’ve got, gladiators, Derek ordered. Show your Golden Boy brothers what makes you special! He stepped off the field and then a horn blared from the loudspeakers. The fight was on!

Reuben immediately rushed me, which I expected. I had a plan that I hoped would work. As he closed distance I made note of what else was going on. Two other guys started wrestling because they were close to each other. Three others, seeing Li as the primary threat thanks to his impressive intro video, were all tackling him together.

By that point Reuben reached me and leapt. We went rolling around the grass, wrestling and trying to beat the other’s ass whenever the opportunity permitted. The crowd cheered us all on and I had practically had to shout for him to hear me.

Let’s team up instead! I yelled. Keeping fighting me, but listen, too!

What? I had him pinned down briefly and gave him a few good hard smacks to the crowd’s approval.

Let’s team up and take some of these guys by surprise! Remember, four of us can win. We can both get out of this with our asses.

Okay, but you better not be fucking with me!

Let’s roll over to those two guys fighting! We pretended to be wrestling each other as we made our way over to the other two going head-to-head. They were fighting at the edge of the hole for one of the guys, named Bruce. But he was able to hold off the other guy, Jordan. Jordan was trying like hell to weaken Bruce by getting his hands on his ass, but Bruce was a skilled wrestler and was staying low. We made our way over fighting all along the way.

Now! I commanded. We both suddenly turned from our fight, grabbed Bruce, and before he could even realize what had happened, we tossed him into his hole. He screamed and disappeared from view. The crowd roared in approval. There was a loud horn indicating Bruce’s loss. Jordan looked at us in surprise.

Wow! Thanks for the help, guys! Let’s team up and ... .

Grab him! We both jumped at Jordan and caught him by surprise. He tried to fight us both off but he was not as strong as Li, and we were able to slowly drag him over to his hole and toss him in. Another buzzer sounded.

On the other side, Li was slowly being dragged to his hole by three gladiators, but he was not going without a fight. We slowly made our way over there, taking a look at the positions.

Maybe help Li? Reuben asked. We need to take out two more guys. If Li goes down, it’s three against us two.

Quickly, around this way then, I said. Let’s grab them from behind.

We circled around the holes and approached. Li was clinging to the grass just next to his hole, trying to hang on. The three guys were trying their hardest to push him in.

We have to move now! Reuben said.

You’re right! I turned and jumped at Reuben and pushed him back. He was so caught up in the strategy he wasn’t paying enough attention to which hole he was standing next to. It was his. He gave me a look of shock as he tumbled backward into the darkness.

YOU WILL PAY, MOTHERFUCKER! he shouted, and then he was gone. A third horn blared. And seconds later the other three gladiators successfully pushed Li into his hole. It was over. The four of us left raised our arms in victory to the cheers of the crowd.

Derek walked back on to the field. He was carrying a large gold briefcase and gestured for us to approach. His body was powerful and so tall. Like all of us, he had a muscular round bottom that was barely contained by his spandex shorts. I wondered if it was blasphemous to fantasize about paddling my patron god, but I didn’t care.

Victorious gladiators, congratulations! Derek boomed as the cheers died down. He opened the briefcase and showed it to us. Inside were four beautiful wooden paddles with a groove down the length of one side filled with what appeared to be real gold. The image of a trophy was stamped in the handle.

Each of you take a paddle, gladiators. He spoke to the crowd as we each grabbed one. It felt nice and heavy, but I suspected it wasn’t meant to be used. These are your victory paddles, he said. Each of you will earn one with your first win in your sport. After each subsequent win, you will groove a hashmark into the paddle and fill it with gold as a symbol of your victory. Treat these with pride, gentlemen! We all held our victory paddles up and the crowd cheered again.

And what about our poor, poor losers today? Derek asked. Win or suffer! Win or suffer! the crowd chanted.

Yes, suffer they will, Derek said. We heard a loud mechanical whirring sound and turned back to look at the field. Large metal tubes pushed up from the holes where the four gladiators fell. It seemed that our fallen rivals were stuck inside them. We knew this because in the middle of each tube was a large perfectly-sized hole where the exposed bottom – and only the bottom — of the gladiator had been pushed through. It appeared as though they were fully restrained inside the tube, because their asses did not appear to be going anywhere. They no doubt would pull them in if they could. At the top of the each tube, there was another label indicating who was trapped inside and a countdown timer. They were all set to 24:00:00.

Now I should explain that these gladiators are intended to be our toughest, most elite athletes, Derek said. As such, when they lose, they will face the harshest punishments of all the Golden Boys. The four of us all looked at each other. I shrugged. How bad could it be?

We watched as two mechanical arms extruded from the sides of each tube. Each arm ended with a large metal paddle with holes in them.

Those are going to sting, said one of the other gladiators.

Twenty-four minutes isn’t so bad though, I said. Then a horn blew through the loudspeakers. The paddles started swatting the bottoms of the losers good and hard and the timer started counting down. I immediately started getting aroused watching the paddles swat Reuben’s big bottom. His cheeks bounced around so beautifully. It was like what Max said — our asses were part basketball.

Oh, shit, said one of the gladiators. Look at the clocks again.

I had thought it was counting minutes, seconds and then hundredths of a second, like a race clock. I was wrong. It was counting hours, minutes, and seconds. The losers were going to be paddled non-stop for twenty-four hours. I rubbed my bottom in sympathy and winced.

Reuben is going to murder me dead when he gets out of there, I said.

Dude, the two of you are going to be what everyone talks about, said one of the gladiators. Your rivalry and about how tough Li is.

The crowd was cheering on the paddling. The swats were timed at about a half-second between them. Very, very little time to recover from each swat. This was going to be torment for these guys. I found myself grinning again. Someday that’s going to be me in there, but not today!

And with that, I bring today’s ceremony to a close, Derek said. I want to ask all my gladiators to join me on the field to discuss matters further. The rest of you should get to know others of your sport out there and prepare to meet your other patrons tomorrow!

After a loud round of sustained cheers, the Golden Boys started to empty out of the stadium. I wandered around watching the four losing gladiators get paddled. It was making me horny, but I was a little disappointed at how clinical and removed it was from us and the crowd. There was that missing punishment feedback loop that made a spanking so hot. I couldn’t actually tell Reuben was suffering. I just had to trust that he was. I stood there and watched Reuben’s ass get beaten for a bit while all the other gladiators slowly filed down to the field to join us.

It took a good twenty minutes for everybody to gather. We were a small group, but we were all tall and muscular, built like machines. Punishment machines, in fact. They all had gold and black colors on their trunks, as Derek explained. I looked for any other guys with purple, but I didn’t see any. There were lots of guys with green, like Reuben. Some had grey. A few had orange, which was interesting. I didn’t see any with pink or blue.

Gladiators, please have a seat here in the grass so we can talk for a few minutes, Derek said. I have a few more things to explain to you. I hope I can trust you guys to fill in today’s losers about our conversation so they don’t feel left out due to their tragic predicament. Several of us chuckled as we sat down in the grass. The whacks of the paddles served as background noise through this talk.

So as I told everybody, this sport you will represent is particular to our world, Derek said. As you have no doubt figured out, the fact that you can only feel pain in one particular spot makes many combat-oriented sports impossible on this world. There’s no boxing or martial arts. This gladiator arena and your aggressive, domineering personalities are our version. You want to use punishment to force men into submission. Paddles instead of boxing gloves. In all our other sports, punishment will be a consequence of losing or poor performance. In the arena here, punishment is part of your strategy to weaken your foe. And of course, also a consequence of losing.

The Painfather has asked me to get these gladiator arenas started and set the ground rules, which you’ve all learned. Then he asked me to do something special. He wants me to turn the sport over to you for complete control. We all looked at each other in surprise.

We want to see what sort of wonderful, sadistic spectacles your imaginations might bring out, Derek said. Remember, we are all eternal. For a sport like this, we cannot let the matches stagnate. People won’t keep coming out just to see a guy get thrown in a hole. We all nodded.

We will be in an exhibition period for the next three months, he said. During that time, matches will be variations of this basic model. We may have differing numbers of combatants or multiple rounds for some variety. The punishment for losing, by the way, will also remained fixed during those three months. And you will be competing every four to six days. You will not want to go on a losing streak. We all nodded again.

So before I say anything more, Derek said, Does anybody here thinks today’s punishment was too severe? We all looked at each other for a moment. Did anybody think it was? Nobody raised their hand. A couple even laughed at the idea. I was not really happy about the way the punishment was playing out, but not because it was too severe. And I was still thinking through my own objections to comment.

Yeah, I thought not, Derek said. You guys are all vicious bastards, but thanks to your competitive natures, you don’t exclude yourself from sadism. After the three-month trial period, I am also going to turn over the punishments to you as well. We all started spontaneously cheering and laughing at the idea.

A couple of things to keep in mind, he said. Again, remember that we’re immortal. Consider how long you will be doing this. Don’t blow your wad on the most intense punishment you can think of and then realize you’ll never be able to top it. You can fight like this forever, but we don’t want folks to get bored of it in all of five years.

Second, remember that your asses can endure an infinite amount of punishment, Derek said. That’s the real reason I made this paddling last so long. I want you thinking about punishments not just for losing matches, but for having losing seasons, being on losing streaks. I want the stakes for your asses to be high. That’s what the fans love. The loudest cheers came when everybody in the audience realized that our losers were going to be paddled for 24 hours. Every punishment doesn’t have to be mindblowing, but they do need to be frequent and harsh. We all nodded.

Also, unlike the other sports, you guys will not have coaches, at least not officially, Derek said. You can always seek advice or train with whomever you choose. But you are all free to organize yourselves and fight as you see fit. Who here has grey as their other color? A bunch of hands shot up.

You’ll hear more about this tomorrow from Patron Mose, but you guys naturally find yourselves drawn to organizing things. It will fall upon you to work with the other gladiators with putting together options with the rules, punishments, scheduling, and other matters. The guys nodded.
Who are my purple guys? Derek asked. I think there are all of two.

I raised my hand. A beefy red-headed guy with a face full of freckles raised his hand as well.

Aaron, of course, Derek said. I see you’re going to make that rivalry a story. These two guys are going to be important when it comes to keeping the arena fresh. Purple is the color for guys with a strong sense of creativity and fun. I bet Aaron and Craig over there can come up with a dozen ideas right now when it comes to punishments and rule variations that will make the crowd excited. They’re both destined to be gladiator personalities. Aaron’s well on his way already. They’re also tricky motherfuckers, as Reuben has discovered twice now, so watch yourselves around them. The gladiators all laughed.

So that’s in for now. In two days time, everybody here in this city should have a better sense of who they are and what they’re doing. Soon you’re going to see a lot of organizing going on. I expect the first day of gladiator arena matches in five days. So start getting prepared.

With that, Derek started to glow. We all shielded our eyes as he disappeared in another flash of golden light. The gladiators slowly started making their way out. Be