Reaver “The Corpse Ghost”
"Those who cannot be seen, cannot be killed..."
This collection of video clips was taken from the security systems of multiple different holds.
The camera picks up on a wounded human female entering the chamber. Appearing ill and frail, she collapses after only taking a few steps. To her aid, two of her fellow combatants, Jax and Ivan, step in to help her to a bench.
“Jesus, Carla? They didn’t even fix you up before sending you back?”
She raised her head while letting out a deep exhale, slowly opening her eyes as she responded with a painful raspy voice,
“Makes you kinda wish to have lost; least then you’d get a fresh body.”
To her left stood Ivan, who then chimed in with a surprised tone.
Even with her every breath on fire, she couldn’t help but chuckle at the comment.
“Like I said: wouldn’t be like this if I didn’t. Apparently my victory didn’t just earn me some broken ribs, but I also caught the eye of a few sponsors.”
With a bit of her strength, she raised her fist to the sky as if to mockingly celebrate while proclaiming,
“Value up by sixteen percent.”
Carla then quickly lowered her arm, falling into a small coughing fit that lasted a few seconds. Ivan brought her a glass of water to help clear whatever little bit of irritation it could.
“Did you see him while you were out there?”
This question was unexpected, not only due to its vague nature but because it came from a man who had otherwise been mute for the past few weeks. This soft-spoken individual couldn't be seen well on camera as he stayed lying in his bed, with his head turned facing the wall.
Carla took another sip of the cup with her eyes gently drifting down to the ground.
“Only for a moment. But you were right about him: you take your eyes off the fresh kill, then it’s for the ghost to claim.”
A man gets thrown back into his designated cell. As if he were a spring, he quickly rose back up and ran to the shield wall that closed off his prison.
“Hey! I know he exists! We all know he exists! He nearly got me killed in this game! Are your bosses okay with someone just screwing around with the rules?! I don’t think your investors would like-”
His neck collar began to sound off a loud pair of beeps.
“What was that?”
Carla of hold F56 could be heard answering the man from off-screen.
“That means to quiet down unless you want to lose your vocal cords.”
This only seemed to frustrate the already irate combatant as he began punching the transparent shield wall of his enclosure.
“Yeah!? And ruin my value even more! Is that what your overseers want?”
His collar then gave its second warning with an even louder triplet of beeps.
Carla continued to argue her point.
“They’ll just spin your story to make it fit, like a warrior who took the vow of silence or something. It wouldn’t be the worst decision they made, and it certainly wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done it.”
This line of reasoning seemed to be enough to subdue his anger.
“Speaking of cheats, any of you guys ever get jipped by that Corpse Ghost fella people keep talking about?”
A much older man to his right by the name of Gregory shook the makeshift dice in his palm, letting the game pieces rattle as he answered,
“Ghost, ha. From all the things I’ve heard, he’s just a clever player who’s beating the system.”
He released the dice onto the cold metal floor. It is unclear what they landed on, but the old man seemed displeased by the result.
“Beating the system, huh? Well, that would be better than just some ghost of the arena.”
A woman who sat as the third player took ahold of the dice before she asked,
“What else did you hear about him? Because I’ve been told that he was like the things that run this place.”
Amused by the notion, the old man gave a sharp exhale through his nose with a smirk to accompany it.
“No, he is certainly human like the rest of us. Stories tell that he was able to slip through his capture, even doing so before his DNA could be taken for the R.E.V.I.V.E system. But already too far from home, the only place he could flee to was the arena.”
Donavon would speak his doubt,
“And what? The overseers just let him do his thing for the next year or so?”
“It probably seemed like a money drain at the time. My guess is, this ‘Corpse Ghost’ was considered fodder like the rest of us easy pickings. So they probably just called it a lost investment and expected him to die in the next tournament.”
Velma rolled her dice, fist bumping the air in front of her with an ecstatic “Oorah.” Donavon would then take his turn while delivering his final say,
“And this guy has survived, what, like a hundred tourneys by now? With just one life? Kinda gives a small guy like me a little hope. Guess the overseers aren’t the omniscient gods they make themselves out to be.”
The next day, Donavon's value was reexamined and proved to show no worthwhile opportunity for future investments. He would soon be transferred out of his hold, and his DNA archives retired.
Temporarily, the matches would be closed for a grand sweep of the map to find this supposed “Corpse Ghost.”
In time, the individual would be discovered and identified as an escaped contestant known as “Reaver.” After a tense thirty-six hours and losing hundreds of drones and security breeds, the renowned Ghost would be captured.
With this contestant already having built himself a rich legacy, the overseers are looking to take advantage of his established presence when he is to make his debut in the official tournament. Ensuring a high value to his name right out the gate.