I started waking up, and the first thing I remembered was that my head hurt.
Everything was black except for the dim lights that were overhead. I wouldn't call them lights, in the same sense as fluoresant lights. It was more a glow, like the glow that you would get from a glow stick that one would use in the wilderness at night.
They were very high up - 30 feet or more. And there was a slight vibration in the floor. I could tell that I was inside some sort of vehicle.
It was massive.
I tried to get up, but as I rose to my feet, my head swam, and immediately dropped to my knees. I was still very week. I wanted to walk around to get a feel for my surroundings.
The next best thing was to just sit down and take a look around me.
I looked to my immediate left and I noticed a girl who was lying down in a medical-like cot about 10 feet away from me. She seemed to be sleeping, but she was making a strange gurgling noise that didn't sound like snoring.
She was vomiting.
I immediately rushed over to her. She already seemed to be choking and was jerking and convulsing in its failing attempts to keep the liquid out of her lungs.
I immediately turned her over on her side. I sat on the cot and held her body on its side as I tried to get her vomit from hitting the floor without falling to the bed. As I wiped her mouth I was able to notice that she was breathing.
At least that was a good sign.
But she was still asleep, sedated, knocked out, or whatever that had happened to the both of us.
But before I had the chance to concentrate my thoughts and efforts into pondering what exactly had brought the two us there, I became immediately distracted by what I saw around us. We were not only the only people there. In the dim of the light, I could see other bodies, either completely still or barely moving.
there were thousands.
Suddenly, very large holograms seemed to spring up out of the floor. Each one was an image an image of a 3D cartoon face. They had bright smiles, and they were large - at least 10 feet tall. The holograms were evenly spaced about 20 feet apart and seemed to extend down what appeared to be an endless hallway.
A loud alarm started blaring. It sounded like something you would hear if you won something at a casino.
" Attention contestants! Attention contestants! "
The voice was very positive and playful.
"Congratulations on your selection. My name is BiBi, your friendly game moderator. We have a lot of information to cover and very little time. Please wake from your sleep and direct your attention to the coordinator when he speaks."
Who was the coordinator?
As all of this was happening, there was an increase of activity inside whatever moving structure we were in. What used to be a sea of almost motionless silhouettes was beginning to resemble a crowd of active human beings. People were rising to their feet and those too weak and disoriented to do so were sitting up in their cots.
Almost as soon as the game moderator was done speaking, a large flat screen began to rise out of the floor next to each hologram. The screens were twice as large as the game moderator. BiBi turned "her" attention to the screen as if long-awaited but very exciting information was about to be announced by someone very important.
The murmuring of the thousands present seemed to subside on its own.
The black screens flickered to life. There was a man in a black suit sitting on a large red leather chair. Judging be the shelves upon shelves of books that were behind him, he seemed to be inside of an elegant study or library. He was wearing a cat mask that came from a different time period and was oriental in nature.
After about a few seconds of silence, he began to speak.
"Greetings contestants. My name is Belisarius. I am the coordinator. I wish to welcome you to a very grand endeavor, to which all of us are now apart. You may not know it yet, but all of you participants in a historical moment."
Everyone's eyes were glued to the screen.
"War has been instrumental in moving mankind forward. It is what brought us out of caves, and into the leviathan cities that we live in under the waves. But before the majority of our planet was covered in water, there were different countries, borders, religions and creeds. We refer to these times as the 'barbaric ages', when man was constantly at war. He perfected this art to the point where our species was brought to the brink of extinction."
"We know live in the "achievement age". We live under the waves in our mega cites, the kind that mankind has never seen, and we have world peace. But this has led to an unexpected problem. Without war, or any form of conflict whatsoever, humanity has become stagnant and progress has all but disappeared. Upon seeing this I was forced to ask myself: 'What is worse? Stagnation or destruction?' I will tell you that they are one in the same. Stagnation is just assured destruction in slow motion."
"And now that I have confessed my thoughts to all of you regarding the predicament that both myself and all of you are in, I'm sure you're asking yourself: ' What does he plan on doing about it?' "
"That is was brings us to our present situation. Currently, all of you listening to my voice are on the General Brusilov air carrier, flying 20,000 feet above the earth's surface. For all of you, this is your first time leaving the sanctuaries below the ocean that have been the cradle of human civilization for the past 700 years. What likely none of you know, is that approximately 100 years ago, the ocean began to recede."
As he was talking, a map of the earth was shown on the screen, and it zoomed in on areas of land that I had never seen before nor new existed.
"About a decade ago, a country known in the pre-modern era as Vietnam, became habitable again. During the last phase of the barbaric ages, there was a conflict between the great nations of the world known as the Vietnam War. During that war there was a battle known as Khe Sanh. 80,000 soldiers, men and women fought for a small strip of land over a period of months. Their widely differentiating beliefs on how humanity should live on this earth caused them to do everything in their power to kill those on the opposite side of this miniscule piece of land."
"This is what all of you will do. This is why you all are here."
"You will be repeating this battle. Everyone in this air ship is on one side. There is another ship headed to the same location. You will use the same ancient tactics and technology of those days to fight for victory. In order to survive, you must come together as a united army. You will be given the role of an ancient country of North Vietnam and her allies in the field. The other 40,000 opponents, your enemies, will play the role of an ancient Empire known as the United States of America. "
"You will take part in a battle of dominance. A clash of civilizations and ideologies."
"And I am sure you are wondering why you should participate in this affair: This reenactment. This game if you will. Because after all, you do have a choice to participate or not."
"First of all I would like to bring your attention to the collars around your neck."
I put my hands to my neck and I noticed there was a collar. I tried to take it off, but it would not budge.
"You cannot take these collars off. They have a timer, and once it detonates, there is a small explosive that will kill you. But if you are victorious in this battle, the collars will be deactivated. If you win, you and all who have survived will have full and uninhibited dominion of all the land that you have fought on. "
"This is my solution to the crisis that humanity is currently in. Now that I have explained everything, I have just one question for you. Will you play? We join me for the sake of humanity."
What is your answer?
The screen went black, and there was nothing more.