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Aaron's Game
Chapter 19: The Element of Surprise

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: 25 Mar 2017

Aaron’s Game – Chapter 19: The Element of Surprise

For a little variety, I let Max sleep in for a bit the next morning. His ass was still nice and red from last night’s paddlings (and to think that’s how I treated him when he won). I hadn’t tormented Will for a while, so I dragged him out bed into the dining area and bent him over a stool to take care of my morning wood. He grunted in pain as I fucked him.

Craig saw us, grinned, and then dragged Lance over, bent him over on the stool next to Will, and we both enjoyed a good 15 minutes of ass sex, standing side by side. We even managed to synchronize cumming. We high-fived afterwards and left the two beefy rival wrestlers there to shower off.

It was another game day for us gladiators, so our own asses were on the line today. But unlike previous matches, we had absolutely no idea who was being matched to fight. The gladiator council told us that they were keeping it a secret this time. Expect some surprises, they warned us. They also told us we needed to arrive a couple of hours earlier today for some reason. Again, they were keeping it secret.

Craig and I didn’t see any big deal, but Reuben groused about not having information. As I learned from my match with him, Reuben actually researched his opponents so he was well-prepared for the fight. He did not like not knowing who he would be up against. I figured it must be the green influence on his personality. The commandos clearly planned out those big assaults on the punks. Overwhelming domination requires some coordination. My ass certainly paid last time we were matched because Reuben knew exactly how I fought.

Brent emailed Craig and me to let us know that the Council had approved our grand plan for how the first season would play out, complete with the specialized trapped arenas designed by the hunters, the fan-voted fights for the losers for the chance to get lost points back, the individualized punishment machines, and the special fan-driven bounty system on the gladiators. They did want to set a maximum time limit for bounties, not out of a care for the asses of the gladiators, but because of how it could mess with match scheduling. They decided they would have some deliberate gaps in the match schedules so that a fight could be moved if a gladiator had been grabbed and was getting his ass paddled by his hunter at the time he was supposed to be competing.

They also decided that a bounty would last until a gladiator was snatched and punished, but it would be cleared if he was able to evade capture until his next match and he won. One of the things that would be happening this morning would be that the Grand Plan for the season would be explained to all the gladiators to consider and vote.

It was still very early morning when Craig, Reuben and I headed over to the stadium. It was hours before the matches, so the other guys in the penthouse weren’t with us. Rodney was still missing, too. He got dragged away by his own punk fans after his rugby team lost their second game yesterday. He was being punished and fucked raw, no doubt.

Inside the arena, we were surprised to find the game field full of athletic equipment and set up for what appeared to be a bunch of different physical tests. Members of other factions were all over the place. There were producers standing around with clipboards by all the testing areas, blue-collar boys moving things around, and executives overseeing everybody.

On one end of the arena was an apparent check-in area. And there was something else there that drew our attention. There was a big banner next to the check-in table with a large logo on it. The symbol was a jet black flat paddle, oval-shaped with a short handle, similar to the types of paddles we gladiators used. The black paddle image had what appeared to be holes drilled into it in the shape of an uppercase G. For Gladiator, obviously. The paddle’s outer borders were accented with golden flames, making it look like it was on fire. Underneath it was text in a severe-looking font that said Feel the Beatdowns.

We found Brent standing at the table when we approached.

What’s going on here? Reuben asked.

Hey guys! Brent said. It’s gonna be a busy morning. I’ll start with the simple part. He pointed over to the banner. We’ve proposed this as the official promo logo and motto for the gladiators here. We commissioned a punk to design it for us. By which I mean I paddled his ass until he agreed to do it. Note that the logo is made up of the two colors we all share—black and gold. Look what we can do with that. He showed us some glossy pages with the logo on different colored backgrounds—purple, green, and orange.

So you can make fan items customized for their faction or for the gladiator they support, Craig said. Brent nodded.

So fans of Reuben, here, would be able to get a cap with the logo on a green background, for example, Brent said.

Nice, Reuben said.

When you check in you’ll get a ballot to vote on whether to approve the symbol and logo for the season. It will be used on all promo materials, billboards, merchandise, websites, et cetera, Brent said.

Okay, and what are we checking in for, exactly? I asked.

Ah! That’s the more complicated part, Brent said. We are measuring all our skills, boys. We need to start setting up athletic profiles for all the gladiators so the fans can compare and you can see how you all stand in relation to each other. Who is the strongest, who is the fastest, all that.

That would be useful information for planning purposes, Reuben said, no doubt thinking about how he would get to know all his enemies’ strengths and weaknesses.

Keep in mind they’ll get that information about you, too, I said. He just shrugged.

It’s all in how you use it, he said.

After you take all these physical tests, in the locker room we’ve got a television showing the video of the presentation Craig and Aaron here gave us about what the first season will look like, Brent said specifically to Reuben. The council has approved their plan with some minor changes, so it will be up to the full group of gladiators to vote on it. Gesturing to Craig and me, he asked, Could the two of you hang out there and answer any questions that come up? We both nodded.

We all signed in at the desk. We were handed a ballot to vote on the logo and slogan. I loved them both and voted yes. The logo was nice and clean and would be clearly visible and recognizable on promos and souvenirs. I loved that it emphasized the punishment aspect of the gladiators and that it was an inherent part of our sport, not just what the loser faced. And the slogan, again, emphasized the harshness of the way we played our sport— feel the beatdowns.

Then came all the athletic tests. They logged our height and weight and then measured the size of our muscles in our arms, legs, chest ... they even measured the size of our hips to determine who had the biggest, roundest butt. They tested our strength, speed, jumping height and distance, reflexes and reaction times, pretty much any measurable physical skill that could possible affect the outcome of the match.

Our favorite part was when they handed over to us a beefy blue-collar boy with a nice, big butt. They had each of us put him over our knee and paddle his ass as hard and as fast as we good for 60 seconds. They used computers and scanning technology of some sort to calculate the strength of our paddling skills. It was a little funny, but it was an important skill to measure, given that winning a round depended on a gladiator pinning his opponent down and delivering 100 quick, hard smacks without the foe breaking free. The blue-collar, whose secondary colors were gold and black, was more than obedient and accepting of getting his ass beaten all morning. It was his job today, and he was going raise his ass perfectly and take his licks to help get good measurements. He didn’t struggle, which would interfere with the measurements, but he did cry. I thanked him after paddling his ass for handling it perfectly.

After that, gladiators headed under the bleachers to be separated into two separate meeting rooms down by the lockers. The rooms were typically meant to be used for team sports jocks to gather with the coaches and go over games and plays and stuff like that. Here we were all going to wait until we were called individually for our matches. We couldn’t hear what was going on out in the stadium from in here, and we were going to be brought out blindfolded onto the field right before the match. The reason for the two rooms was to separate us so that we wouldn’t know who our opponent would be based on two guys being called from one room.

Reuben was put in the same meeting room as me, but Craig was directed over to the other room. One of the producers explained that it’s because they would be showing the videos of our presentations in there, and they wanted to split us up to answer any questions from any gladiators.

Once the room filled up with gladiators, they turned on a large television in the front of the room and played back the video of the presentation by Craig and me (and Joss ... and the example made from Max). I watched the reactions from the gladiators carefully as they took in the presentation. I saw some occasional furrowed brows but also lots of nodding and guys whispering to each other. Some gladiators applauded when I unveiled Max in the paddling machine and a few whistled in appreciation when they saw it in action and Max’s struggles as he was punished raw. Several nodded in interest when I explained the fan-based follow-up fights for a selected group of losers to possibly recover their lost points—or get punished even more by their own fans.

And then when explained the specialized bounty system where each gladiator would have a hunter tailing his ass trying to take him down, I saw a couple of jaws drop. I grinned. I remembered from polling the gladiators that we were all in agreement that we wanted to live very harsh lifestyles where we had to be on our toes at all times and be forced to prove that we were the biggest, strongest, toughest jocks in the city. Any slip, any mistake should lead to getting our asses punished and fucked. I was just giving them what they asked for.

After the video ended, there was some awkward silence for a few seconds. Then the gladiators all started to applaud and cheer. Success! I gave the crowd a double thumbs-up as I came up front to answer any questions. They were all pretty predictable and were essentially me repeating anything they didn’t catch. Yes, each gladiator would get to make a spanking machine he could customize how he wanted to torment his opponent. It didn’t have to be just paddling. They could incorporate other forms of ass punishment, too. They had a lot of questions about their own individual hunter tracking and punishing them. I explained that they’d know who it is and meet their hunter before the season started if they approved this plan. I also warned them that hunters aren’t like gladiators and will probably team up in small groups of three or four to go after them. And I told them the amendments the gladiator council added to the system when they voted. Reuben (of course) wanted to make sure that neither I nor Craig would know the arena layout in advance and I repeated that once the system was put in place, Craig and I would not be part of it any more for the rest of the season. It would be run by Joss and his hunters.

A producer handed out vote cards, but based on the responses, I was pretty confident that the gladiators were all on board. Reuben even walked up, gave me a quick swat on the ass before I could react, and told me he was looking forward to beating my ass in the arena.

And you better believe I’m going to be sending all my boys to Joss whenever possible to raise your bounty, Reuben said. Reuben knew a little bit about that part of the plan thanks to his introduction to Amir at the Hall of Fear. Amir would be the hunter assigned to take bounties for Reuben and hunt him down (with the help of Joss and Miguel) for punishment whenever Reuben was activated as a target. Of course Reuben would make his guys at the penthouse go get their asses paddled just to get to me. He would attempt to dominate me and see my ass blistered and raped at every opportunity.

I had decided I wasn’t going to do the same, though. Instead, I was hoping to build up a big fan base so that they would be the ones offering up their asses on their own to Amir in order to see Reuben get punished. So that meant I had to do a good job stoking our feud during the season. Actually, I thought Reuben forcing his own tenants in the penthouse to get paddled over and over again to increase my bounty might well motivate my fans to get revenge.

Eventually, after the vote cards were all collected, a producer came in with a clipboard, a blindfold, and a couple of blue-collar boys. He looked at the clipboard, then called out, Sam! You’re up first! Sam, one of the punk gladiators (he even had a mohawk) stepped over to the door. He was blindfolded and then led out by the blue-collar boys to go fight his match. The rest of us would have no idea what was going on out there and whether Sam had won until we got out there.

Reuben furrowed his brow as he watched Sam leave.

What do you think they’re doing? He asked me. They didn’t tell you, did they?

Are you actually nervous? I asked. He narrowed his eyes at me.

You know, I don’t have to wait for the season to start to send the boys to Joss to put a bounty on that ass, he growled.
I just laughed. It was interesting to see just a slight crack in Reuben’s confident demeanor. He did not like to be in the dark about the matches. The mysterious nature of the Hall of Fear didn’t seem to bother him, but I guess it must be different when it’s the competition he was so intent on dominating. It will be interesting to see what how he reacts to the changing arenas.

After about 90 minutes it was my turn to be called. Reuben would have to keep waiting. I found that I felt the exact opposite of Reuben. It was fun to not know what was coming and to have to deal with it. The love of unpredictability was definitely a purple trait. It was patron Luis’s job to make sure that a world full men punishing and fucking each other didn’t get stale. That’s why the producers were organizing all this stuff for us. That’s why Joss and the hunters who had purple as a secondary color were so intent on making the Hall of Fear so mysterious and difficult to defeat.

I was blindfolded and carefully led out to the arena. I couldn’t see, but I could definitely hear the cheers of the crowd in the stadium. Since most of the teams and golden boys just had games yesterday, I figured we probably had a full house.

Let’s give it up for Aaron! I heard an announcer’s voice boom. He’s one of only two of our gladiators to represent Patron Luis along with Derek and Brick. There were more cheers at the invocation of the names of the patrons. He and Craig, who we all saw fight a little earlier, are responsible for coming up with many of the rules for the upcoming fights and punishments once the real season revs up. And, as we all know, he and Reuben are responsible for our very first gladiator rivalry. And there’s no sign of it easing up.

I was still blindfolded, but I raised my arms up to encourage the cheers.

All right, folks! the announcer said after the cheering eventually died down. It’s time for Aaron to meet his opponent. Take off his blindfold.

The blue-collar assistant obliged and yanked it off. I blinked to get used to the brightness of the sun, then focused on my opponent. He was a startlingly handsome man with short, reddish-brown hair (much darker than Craig’s), a winning smile, blue eyes, and dimples in both of his cheeks and his chin.

I had never seen this man before. Though I had only fought a couple of gladiators, I knew who they all were. He was not one of our group of 120.

I looked down at his trunks. They were white like mine, and the three color bands were gold, black, and ... pink? His third color was pink. There could be pretty boy gladiators?

Surprise! he said, waving his hands. The crowd roared.

Who are you? I asked.

I’m Colin, he said, offering a hand for me to shake. We’ll be fighting today, it seems. This is going to be fun!

Aaron will be facing Colin, one of our new gladiators recruited from the communities outside the city by the council, the announcer said. Colin raised his own arms and turned around in a circle to greet the crowd. That’s when I noticed that, just like with pretty boys, the seat of his gladiator shorts was missing, exposing a pair of perfectly muscled, perfectly round, perfectly smooth, currently completely unmarked butt cheeks. I felt my cock stirring just looking at that flawless ass.

Before we get started, let’s go over the competitors’ stats! the announcer said. On the giant-screen televisions around the arena, some of the results of the tests from this morning were brought up for us all to see for the first time.

Both our gladiators rank around the middle of the pack in most of the stats, especially when talking about strength and speed. Our new gladiator Colin, just like his pretty boy buddies, ranks high on the charts for the size and musculature of that round backside of his. Colin nodded and responded by slowly sticking his bottom out and turning around, giving the cheering crowd a good view. Then he directed his ass in my direction and tapped it lightly with his paddle, giving me a wink. That strong ass and legs gives Colin the edge in leaping height and distance.

The important stat to note for Aaron is how quickly he reacts, the announcer continued. He didn’t just rank high on the charts. He is top ranked for reaction time among all our gladiators. If anybody’s prepared to respond to an unexpected situation like this, it should be him.

With that bit of info about our skills, it was time to prep for the first round.

Ready to play rough? Colin asked as we circled each other.

Always, I said.

As soon as the whistle blew he lunged at me, trying to grapple immediately. I guess he didn’t listen to what the announcer just said about me. It was easy to predict his trajectory and I simply tripped him. He spun around and landed firmly on the perfect bottom of his with a thud.

Don’t bruise the merchandise, I taunted. I want it nice and fresh when I get my hands on it. He laughed and jumped to his feet. But he left himself vulnerable. I grabbed his outstretch arm and pulled him to me, and then I controlled the grapple. He struggled in my grip as I attempted to force him into a position where I could paddle that bottom. We squirmed around for several minutes. Whatever influences the pretty boy faction had on his personality, it didn’t seem to affect either his strength or competitive nature.

But, nevertheless, I was able to keep the command of the situation. I held him down with a scissors legs hold, aimed my paddle, and started whacking away at that big, beautiful ass. Interestingly, I could hear him actually gasp with pleasure between the swats, but the fact that he was turned on by getting spanked just like a pretty boy did not stop him from struggling and trying to escape as a gladiator. He didn’t have enough leverage and I took the first round. One hundred swats and Colin’s bubble butt was now a bright pink in color.

We reset for the next round. I was amused to see that he clearly got a boner from the swats. But then I got overconfident in another grappling session. He was able to get leverage with his strong legs and pull a reversal on me. He forced me to the ground and then he took the second round, beating the hell out of my ass. The fact that he shared the pretty boy’s colors did not diminish the sadistic influence that all gladiators had been given by patron Brick. He wailed on my ass fiercely, and I yelped and bucked in pain.

You’re the real deal, I said as we got back to our feet. He just nodded. I would definitely not get overconfident again. I waited for him to get too aggressive and then reacted. It served me well and I blistered his ass again to take the third round. I was ahead two to one.

In the final round, we ended up locked together standing, each trying to wrestle the other to the ground, but failing. We were both equally strong and had equal amounts of leverage. I was trying to think of how to break the impasse, and then realized there was one little detail that differentiated us. If only Rueben were here to see me do this. I suddenly pulled back, causing Colin to lose his footing just a little bit. It was enough for me to spin him around and lock my left arm around his neck. Then I took two fingers on my right hand reached down between his ass cheeks, and then shoved them hard up Colin’s ass. Colin gasped with surprise as I penetrated him. I pulled upward, forcing him to his tiptoes. The crowd started roaring. Then I released his neck, grabbed his arm, and pulled him down to the ground. I pulled the fingers out and as he began to struggle, I viciously tore up his ass with my paddle, getting me the third round and victory.

That incredible reaction speed paid off! The announcer declared as I raised my arms in victory and the crowd cheered. Newcomer Colin has lost his very first gladiator match, and that beautiful bottom of his is going to pay dearly.

I grabbed Colin off the ground and lifted him up over my shoulder to take him off to the side where the paddling machines were. That’s when I noticed that there were several additional machines added. It looks like we had a bunch of new gladiators. I’ll have time to look into the details once I got Colin nice and secured. I smacked his nicely red bottom as we walked over.

Make me take it, man, he said as I put him down on the machine and began strapping him in. I’ve been fucking waiting for somebody to force me to take it.

Oh, yeah? I said as I strapped him into position. I didn’t even have to pull his shorts down since his ass was already exposed. I reached between his legs to pull his cock back through for humiliation purposes and found it was hard as a rock. I rested the cock on the back of his thighs and he moaned a bit. I stood behind him, kneading his red butt cheeks with my strong hands and looked down the line of machines and gladiators. I saw many unfamiliar faces among them. How many new gladiators were there and where did they come from? And did any of them have purple as a secondary color, like me and Craig?

Then I remembered from the announcer’s introduction to us that Craig had already fought. I looked down the row of winners molesting their defeated foes and did not see Craig’s face. He must have lost. I bent over to look at the men stuck in the machines, and sure enough I made out his bright red hair further down the line. It looked like he lost to one of the new gladiators, a nicely sculpted black man who, like Colin, had pink as his third color.

You wanted to lose, didn’t you? I asked Colin. I decided to sit down next to his head as he was trapped now on the spanking horse so we could chat before I gagged him for punishment. Did you throw the match?

That’s not how it works for us, Colin said. Yeah, we’re turned on by getting punished and fucked, just like the pretty boys or anybody else with pink color. But the gold and the black mix in. What we want is to be conquered. What gets us going is when no matter what we do, we can’t stop it. It’s not the same if we just throw a fight. The punishment has to be earned. We’re just like the other gladiators that way. Difference is we really, really, really like how it feels to have earned it.

I guess we’ll see how you still feel about it after a few hours of relentless paddling.

No, man. I am stoked for this, Colin said. Ever since I saw my first spanking tube I have been hoping to find somebody who could force me into a machine and just leave me to suffer.

And you couldn’t just do it yourself. You needed somebody to force you to take it? He nodded.

There weren’t any other gladiators around where I ended up. I was miles away from here and there was nobody strong enough to make me take anything. There was nobody for me to fight. There weren’t any other gladiators.

I had wondered if that would happen. The Painfather gave us the freedom to decide where we would live when he first created us. But we didn’t know who else would be there in advance. There must have been a number of gladiators who ended up in places where there weren’t enough of them to create a decent league. The gladiator council must have tracked these guys down while Craig and I were working on the formats for the matches.

Well, welcome to the group, I said. I’m looking forward to fucking your ass in a bit. Since you like to play rough, maybe I’ll skip the lube.

Fuck yeah, Colin said. Go rough. No mercy. I can take it. No, it doesn’t matter if I can take it. MAKE me take it.

Hmm ... let’s give you a little sample of what you’re in for, I said. We gladiators had permission to keep little goodie bags of things we wanted to use on our vanquished opponents before leaving them to the mercies of the spanking machines. They sat off to the sidelines on a simple little table. I grabbed my bag and pulled out a single little bottle and grinned as I walked back over to Colin.

So you watched my presentation video about our plan for the season, I said. You saw my personalized spanking machine. But I bet since you’re new to town you have no idea what itching powder even is.

No, Colin said, attempting to look back over his own shoulder at me while in his restraints. I could see he was actually smiling. He was unable to stop me from tormenting his ass because of his situation and he absolutely loved it. I opened the bottle and pulled out a small brush coated with the evil powder. Then I leaned over and carefully spread it all down his ass crack, with special attention to his tight, tender little hole.

This is going to be a little bit different I said, smirking. I took a step back and stared back at his butt, watching and waiting for it to kick in. After a couple of minutes I hit jackpot.

Ohhh, that feels so ... what is that? Colin said. His bottom started quivering in the restraints. It doesn’t hurt but ... oh, man I need to scratch it. I can’t. Fuck. I can’t make it stop! His beautiful bottom bounced in place in response to the itching. Of course, what Colin didn’t know was that even if he could scratch the itch, it wouldn’t help. But he said what his kind of gladiator wanted is to be forced to take it. Indeed, his cock was still hard as a rock even as he tried to squirm in the restraints. When I decided it was finally time to gag him, I could hear him whispering Yeah. Fuck yeah, over his discomfort.

While the other matches continued I decided to wander down the sideline and check out what had happened in the other matches, see if I could find out what happened to Craig, and maybe see if Brent was around to explain what was going on.

Not every of the current crop of gladiators got to fight a newcomer, so that suggested to me that there were less than 120 new guys. For the most part, though, when an old guard gladiator fought a newbie, the old guard won. If the newcomers had experiences similar to what Colin described, they probably didn’t have a lot of opportunity to spar or work on their fighting skills before coming here. They were behind and would have to learn fast if they didn’t want to spend the season in spanking machines. Though, in Colin’s case, maybe he was a little excited about the possibility that he couldn’t catch up. Not all the newcomers had pink as their third color. I saw a few more orange and green ones, but no additional purple gladiators, as yet.

I made my way down to Craig, who was gagged and waiting in the spanking machine. His bottom was a decent shade of red, but he had been heavily hazed yesterday after Lance lost his wrestling match, so some of it was a byproduct of that. It might have affected his fighting skill today. I met the gladiator he lost to, Damon. Like Colin his colors were gold, black and pink. And like Colin he had a stunning, flawless face. He had high cheekbones, and very short hair like Reuben’s. But unlike Reuben, he had a friendly smile. His shorts were purple, and as with Colin, the rear end had been cut out. It was the same for all the pink gladiators.

We chatted for a little bit. He recognized me and Craig from the planning video and he was excited to fight somebody he knew. It turned out Craig outsmarted himself in the fight. He attempted to pull his trick where he would wrestle his foe down and beat his ass but stop before reaching 100 swats. The count would reset, and he would repeat this over and over again. The goal was to blister his opponent’s ass so much in the fight that they had a harder time focusing and would lose. Except, since we had never fought any gladiators with pink as a secondary color (and didn’t even know they existed), Craig failed to account for the idea that Damon, like Colin, loved getting held down and paddled, and it didn’t affect his skills at all. Craig’s strategy backfired magnificently, and now it was his turn in the machines.

Down at the very start I found Brent. He had given himself the very first match with another of the new pink gladiators. He won and stood grinning behind his victim. He had decided not to let the machines have all the fun and was casually paddling the gladiator. He wasn’t going terribly fast, but the swats were good and hard. The gladiator’s big round bottom bounced with each swat, and I could hear him moan in his gag.

We’re supposed to punish them for losing, not reward them, I said as I walked over.

There’s not much difference with these boys, Brent said. Should make an interesting dynamic in the season. I wonder if somebody could actually make a punishment machine these guys don’t want to be locked into?

So what’s going on here? How many new guys? Do I need to make any adjustments to the plan? And are any of them purple like me and Craig?

After the council got organized, Brent explained between swats, Derek came to us to let us know that there were several hundred gladiators out there who were positioned in places where there weren’t enough opponents to make for a decent league. In order for a good gladiator crew to take hold, there needed to be at least 20 guys in the same pool of fighters. These guys didn’t have that.

So you started getting in touch with them and recruiting them? I asked. Why didn’t you say anything?

We decided it would be something the council should take responsibility for and we figured it would make for a fun surprise, Brent said. Remember we can’t keep things too predictable, you know. The fans are going to love that there’s all these new guys to mix things up.

How many? I asked.

We recruited 50 That puts our league at 170. Definitely the largest, still. The next largest leagues are around 100 guys.

Any of them purple like me and Craig? Brent grimaced a little bit before responding.

Um, so we deliberately decided not to recruit any more purple gladiators, he said.

What? Why? I was a little upset.

Don’t get mad! Brent said. It was just that you and Craig were doing such a good job together developing all this with just the two of you. Patron Derek said we were by far ahead of the other leagues in getting our shit together to start the season. We didn’t want to do anything that could possibly disrupt what we were working on, and we had heard that when you get to many purple guys together, they start arguing over ideas. Victor told us that happens a lot with the producers, and executives have to sort things out ... with paddles.

I suppose that’s not a terrible reason, I acknowledged. Craig and I did work really well together and it could be a disaster if more gladiators with lots of ideas got tossed into the mix.

And, well, once we found about the existence of pink gladiators, several of us on the council wanted to get our hands on them, Brent said, with a gleam in his eye.

Oh, now things made a little more sense. Brent and many of the gladiators on the council had gray as their third color. That was the color that went along with the executives and guys with leadership-type personalities. Pretty boys, like the blue-collar boys, usually worked for and were submissive to executives. So there was a relationship between pink and gray.

So are we going to see a bunch of new rivalries? I asked. Craig and I had developed our rivalries with Reuben. And the other green gladiators had been fostering lively rivalries of their own with the orange gladiators, fueled in part by the feud in the rest of the city between the commandos and the punks. But that left the gray gladiators with little public personality. Being organizers doesn’t exactly build a fan base.

I’d say it’s going to be more of a predator and prey kind of thing, Brent said, grinning. He turned and gave his victim a good, hard swat. There’s 20 pink gladiators in this group. Some of us have been talking about accompanying the hunts for these bad boys when their bounties come up. That would definitely get them some attention, assuming the hunters were okay with it.

I patted Brent on the back and left him to punish the newbie and headed back to Colin. By the time I got back to him, the effects of the itching powder had reached full intensity. His ass was quivering and bouncing uncontrollably in place. He was struggling hard against his restraints and his fists were clenching and unclenching. He wanted so badly to scratch his itching ass-crack, but he could not. He was moaning so hard in his gag that I could hear him over the cheers of the crowd. His cock remained fully erect. I grabbed my paddle and started smacking his ass a bit while I watched the rest of the matches. I could tell he was very much looking forward to the experience of the paddling machine and I didn’t want to spoil him by beating his ass too much first, but it was hard to resist the invitation. The cheeks bounced just so perfectly with every swat.

Eventually, it was Reuben’s turn to face his surprise. I watched from the sidelines (still swatting Colin occasionally) as he was brought out in his blindfold. He was thoroughly confused as I was when the blindfold came off and he was confronted with a gladiator he had never seen before. The announcer explained that this new gladiator was named Dexter. His colors were gold, black, and orange. Reuben loved beating the asses of anybody with influence form the punks (though not as much as he loved beating my ass or Craig’s). Dexter had a bunch of piercings on his left earlobe and tattoos down his right arm. His hair was spiky and brown, but a shock in the front had been bleached white.

I watched with amusement as Reuben circled the guy warily, wondering what was going on. The announcer filled in some info about their stats.

When a green gladiator fights an orange gladiator, the important thing to notice is that you’re going to be seeing our strongest fighters facing our fastest. And statistically, Reuben is a muscular powerhouse. He ranks second in arm strength and size, just behind his buddy, Li. He’s in the top six in chest strength. But here’s what Dexter really needs to worry about. We tested all these guys on how well they whoop ass. Among all of the gladiators here, Reuben was the most vicious punisher. He gave the hardest and fastest paddling out of anybody here!

Reuben responded to this information with a big, mean grin and he flexed his right arm, while holding his paddle, for he crowd.

Given that the gladiators are the strongest men in the city, or anywhere, that means a beatdown by Reuben is going to be more intense than anything you can get outside of a punishment machine, the announcer continued. He probably hurts even more than a hunter, technically, at least in the short term. Hunters have been blessed by Brick with incredible endurance, so in the long run, they catch up in bringing the pain. But if you were told you would have to get your ass beat for less than an hour, you’d be better off handing yourself over to the nearest man in leather for it than to suffer Reuben’s swats. Dexter is in for some serious pain if Reuben gets his hands on him.

Having gotten my ass beaten by both Reuben and a whole bunch of hunters, that did seem about right. Reuben was absolutely vicious and unrelenting with his swats, but he didn’t go on and on and on like the hunters did with their bounties. Joss upped his intensity against me by focusing on one spot right where I sat down and blistering that, but Reuben could get the same intensity focusing on the whole ass.
So, I was locked in a rivalry with the most powerful paddler in the city. I bet Colin and some of these pink gladiators were going to be envious.

In the fight, Reuben stayed very much in the defensive, given that he had no idea who Dexter was or how he fought. It ended up being a very long fight. Reuben was reluctant to get too aggressive because he didn’t want it turned against him, but he was strong enough, generally to push back any of Dexter’s attempts to lock him down. It was a long war of attrition. Each of them would get the other in paddling position and start swatting away, only for the other to break free. Reuben actually lost the first round, and he clearly was not happy about it. But he then won the next two rounds. Dexter tied it up in the fourth round, which really got the crowd going. Was Reuben going to lose after all the praise of his strength?

It was c