She came out of the gate swinging. The pole smacked into someone’s head. She didn’t pause to wonder which of her unlucky comrades had taken the blow. She ran on, still swinging. The next thing the pole struck felt like a limb. Again, she hardly paused to process the information before rushing onward.
She reached the other side of the arena and turned. Dozens of people lay on the ground groaning. She tried not to remember who they were, the stories they’d told of their lives before the arena.
A door swung open before her. A woman stood on the other side. “You’re free,” she said. “Go.”