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21st Century Gladiators by Mark Andrews

EXTRACT FOR
21st Century Gladiators 
(Mark Andrews)


21st Century Gladiators

Chapter 1

 

It all started because of our love for the sport of kick-boxing.  Peter’s and mine, that is.  Peter was my husband of some three months but we had known and loved each other for years, each of us fanatical about sport and particularly kick-boxing.

We belonged to a particular school near our home in Brisbane (which is in Queensland, Australia) and we attended every single week to hone up our skills and to compete in the club competitions.

It was there Jake found us.  We didn’t notice him at first.  Like many other people interested in our sport, he had just wandered into the school and sat around, watching as we did our warm-up exercises and then got into the training bouts while our teachers moved around us, suggesting a better ploy here or another form of attack there.

But then he came over to watch me particularly.  I was fighting with another girl and both of us were wearing the usual attire for the sport: brief shorts and a just as brief halter over our breasts.  We were otherwise naked.  The boys had on only the usual brief shorts and nothing else.

I think it may have been the fanatical gleam in Jake’s eyes that made me notice him.  He was leaning forward in his chair and eyeing me intently. I felt a distinct prickle all over me, a sure warning that someone was watching.  I noticed him talking to his neighbour who was pointing Peter out to him.  After a few minutes, he got up out of his chair and strolled over to watch Peter fighting.

I didn’t think any more of it but I should have.  It wasn’t long after that that the pair of us were kidnapped.

 

Peter and I had been sweethearts ever since we were in state school; that is, since we had been about five years old.  There had never been anyone else, on either side and we had been friends first, then girl and boyfriend, then soul mates and finally husband and wife.

Peter is a very handsome young man.  He is tall (five feet eleven) and is athletically muscular with curly brown hair and brown eyes and a skin any model would give her eye teeth for.  I am fair with blue eyes and although I don’t have Peter’s muscles, I am still more athletic in build than beautiful.  Peter says I am, though and I love him for it.

We are both physical education teachers at the same school, having graduated from Queensland University a couple of years ago.

We were kidnapped during the Easter school break, which, in the southern hemisphere is in autumn.  It was easy for them, of course.  The men Jake hired to do the job were skilled at their craft and had first established our habits.  One of them was to dine out each Friday night at our local Chinese restaurant and we always walked home afterwards.  The route home included a badly lit side street and it was there they walked towards us, separated to allow us to pass between them and then, as we passed, turned and jabbed our buttocks with their automatic syringes.

The drug, whatever it was, acted almost instantly and they caught us as we dropped.  The last thing I remember was being manhandled into a van which at that moment drew up beside us.  It all took a few seconds at most and then we were on our way to what was to become a living hell for the pair of us.

They kept us sedated but not unconscious for the journey to the island.  The first stage was in a regular aeroplane, albeit a small one, into which we were stowed away after being trussed up into small bundles by the simple expedient of drawing our knees up to our chests, passing a thin metal rod under our knees, drawing our hands forward under the rods where they exited and then cuffing our thumbs together in front of our shins.  We could easily then be stuffed into the cargo compartment at the back of the plane and thus obviate any curious looks by plane refuelers as we hopped across Australia on our journey northward.

They also gagged us with ball gags that were strapped tightly around our heads and prevented anything but a low grumble coming out of our mouths.  These they kept in place until our arrival at the island, only removing them to allow us to eat and drink. 

At some airfield outside of Darwin, in the dead of night, we were taken out of that plane and stowed into the boot of a four wheel drive vehicle and taken to a remote beach to be loaded onto a seaplane that was waiting for us about a kilometre out to sea.  Now at least they released us from the dreadful position we had been in the last day or so for this journey and were allowed to sit in real seats although our thumbs were now cuffed behind our backs and our ankles hobbled together.  The gags were kept in place, though.  Obviously they didn’t want to hear our protests or our questions as to why we had been so brutally kidnapped or where we were going.

We eventually arrived at the island, which I later discovered was somewhere in the South China Sea, an area notorious for pirates and other nefarious maritime crimes and were met at the plane by Jake’s principal lieutenant, a huge Thai man by the name of Obb, who reached up to me, now crouching on the deck of the seaplane at its doorway and, with one hand, hoisted me down and onto the deck of the speedboat.  Then he reached back up and hoisted Peter down in the same way and I marvelled at his superhuman strength for while I weighed about a hundred and twenty pounds, Peter was all of twelve stone plus of bone and muscle.  That’s a hundred and seventy pounds — and he lifted us down, with just one hand, and then with consummate ease.

I stared at him in awe, not only for his prodigious strength but also for his handsome good looks.  I was to find they didn’t bespeak kindness, though.  He was really fanatical about unarmed combat and for that matter any type of gladiatorial contest and while Jake was in it for the money he was making, Obb was a pure sadist and delighted in seeing handsome and muscular young men and women fighting for their very lives…

In the speedboat on the way in to the island, I stared at it curiously.  From where we were sitting it looked just like a barren rock.  It was elevated about a hundred feet up from the surrounding sea and l later estimated it would be about a hundred acres or so in total area.  The cliffs looked steep and rough and there was only one way up, there being rocks all around it except for one small beach.

The path up from the beach was by way of a narrow cave from the back of which a small passage led up to the surface, but some fifty feet in from the beach there was a securely locked iron gate, another one half way along and a further one near the surface.  Jake wasn’t going to allow any surprise night-time attacks.

After being trussed for so long in the little plane and then forced to sit in the seaplane, manacled to the seat and with our thumbs cuffed behind our backs, it was a relief to actually be able to stretch our legs but the pair of us were still gagged and I could see my own fear reflected in Peter’s face.  At that time of course, we had no idea why we had been abducted or who had been responsible.  It was only when we finally reached the surface and walked up to the camp Jake had set up in the middle of the island that we found out.

The camp was comprised of a few rough wooden buildings and a cage.  There was no need of a fence around it: the island was so small it wouldn’t take long to find us, even in the scrub that covered it all over.  But an even more compelling reason was the little gadget Dr Sing implanted in us — more about that delightful little toy later.

Jake was waiting for us, standing in the middle of the little compound around which stood his buildings — and the cage.  It being late afternoon, the cage was occupied and now Peter and I stared in horror at what it contained.

They were human beings!  But they were caged like animals and even worse, they were naked.  Stark naked!  Not a one of them had a stitch on his or her body.

“I see you have observed my little pets,” said Jake and we dragged our eyes away from the young men and women standing at the bars of the various compartments in the cage, staring out at us, to look at the man who, we now realised, was responsible for us being there.

“Later, after you have been treated, you two will be joining them; tomorrow you will begin your training.”

At Jake’s nod, Obb gestured to two of his men to remove our gags and the pair of us immediately, volubly and in anger, began to demand an explanation for our kidnapping.

Jake just stood there and listened for a few seconds but then he nodded to Obb again and in a second, I felt the most horrible shocks attacking my body.  They came from my bottom cheeks and I jumped away, turning around to see one of the guards grinning sadistically as he poked the two tines of a cattle prodder into me.

Actually, it wasn’t a cattle prodder at all, although it was based on such a device.  These things were designed to keep people in line and the two brass nubs usually found on the animal version of such a product had been replaced by two tines that looked like those found on a carving fork.  They were very sharp and easily went in through any clothing and believe me, when the tines had dug deep into our flesh, they packed a fair wallop!

As a result, Peter and I calmed down and just stood there, staring at the man who said he was going to train us.  “As I was saying,” he went on as if there had been no interruption, you will tomorrow begin your training.”

“Training for what?” said Peter, although somewhat warily.

“Ah, that is the beauty of it all.  You are going to join your fellow slaves over there as gladiators.  Modern-day gladiators who will fight each other for the pleasure your naked combat will give to my clients, all of whom pay me very well to watch you fight, perhaps even to the death…”

I grasped Peter’s hand fiercely as I felt the blood drain from my face and I felt distinctly light-headed.  Had I heard right?  Gladiators?  Fights to the death?  No! I must have misheard.  But I knew I hadn’t and I stared at him in horror, now glancing back to the naked caged gladiators over yonder.

We were about ten yards away from them and it was late afternoon but I did now notice three more things about those boys and girls: the first was that every one of them was handsome or pretty, depending on their gender; the second was that each was rather athletic — not overly muscled, but honed and toned to what looked like perfection; but the strangest thing was that each was totally hairless on their bodies.  I hadn’t noticed it at first as my eyes had swept over all of them — over their nakedness and their caged state, but now, as I looked more closely at individuals I could see none of them had any pubic hair and none of the males had any hair on their chests or bellies, either.

“But enough of this small talk.  Let’s see their flesh,” said our new owner and I turned back to look at him again, shocked by his words, even thought I should have been expecting them, given the nude state of the girls and boys already in the cages, but even more appalled by the lascivious leer on his (and most of his men’s) faces.

Two of the guards moved rapidly up to us and began to tear the clothes from our bodies.  We fought them of course, using all our skills as unarmed combat devotees but we now found, to our chagrin and the amusement of all those around us, that not only were these guards, mostly Koreans, bigger and stronger than us, they were also skilled fighters, easily outdoing us and they just laughed at our attempts to thwart their efforts to strip us.

They weren’t gentle either and nor did they show too much consideration for our clothing.  Not that it mattered, as it turned out for we wouldn’t be having any use for even a single one of them in the foreseeable future.

It didn’t take the pair of them long to strip us right down so that we were both totally naked, even our jewellery and watches being removed.  Our clothes were quickly snaffled up by other guards who took them away, leaving us as naked as the boys and girls over in the cage — well, not quite as naked as them for we still had our body hair…

Not for long, though.  Now naked and very ashamed of our nudity in front of all these clothed men, we were ushered over to one of the buildings and met a man who was even more sadistic than Obb.  This was Jake’s surgeon, the man who implanted the little toys in our bodies but also looked after our health generally but more particularly patched us up after a particularly vicious fight.

The doctor was a Korean, like many of the guards and I wondered then at the stories I had heard that these people, of all the Asian races, have a reputation for gratuitous cruelty.  Certainly he did and so did our guards but then they may well not be representative of their race, either.

We were taken straight to his little clinic and there manhandled up onto two narrow gurney-like tables and then strapped down with our ankles and wrists buckled into straps at the corners.

Then, as Jake and the doctor watched, guards armed with tweezers began to pluck out our hairs.