Pelting rain came down on Dave, he opened his eyes to see soft storm clouds hovering over long thick tree limbs and branches above him. He tried to cover his eyes, but weakness spread throughout his body, a strange pain keeping him still. Every time he tried to move his body it felt like his muscles were tearing almost as if something was forcefully making his muscles contract and tear whenever he willed them to move. The only other sensation he could feel was water pelting his skin. Confusion and fear boiled in him, his body kept him still, almost trapped while his eyes darted in every direction for any sign of something familiar, but raindrops would occasionally land in his eyes.
Drowning out the sounds of rains and winds, a voice emerged.
[All contestants accounted for, beginning introduction and tutorial]
Dave's eyes widened as holographic projection came before his eyes. "WELCOME CONTESTANTS!" Dave winced as sound boomed. Unlike the rain and the wind, the voice sounded like it came from every direction.
Voice 1: "Now we won't be holding any punches and will get right to the gist of what's going on" a casual voice began speaking, sounding like it was enjoying itself. the holographic screen before suddenly started cycling through images of humanoids and varying planets, Dave recognized earth with an image of a pair of completely naked male and female humans alongside it. Strange beings with a variety of limbs, head shapes, eyes, and other appendages and skin tones quickly shocked Dave as the screen kept cycling through.
Voice 1: "We have taken our sweet precious time to carefully select 100 sentient races among the stars for a grand contest" the voice took a moment to pause almost as if waiting for a response. "We won't bother telling you why we're doing this, that's part of this game." The holographic changed to start displaying images of humanoids conjuring strange objects of light and rock. Dave could make out magma, sunlight, fire, rock, and other substances seemingly being controlled by the being conjuring it.
Voice 2: "You see in your not so distant past you all actually had quite the affinity for use of a special energy we like to call nether" a new voice joined in, using a tone that sounded like it was speaking to children or idiots.
Voice 2: "but for one reason or another you all lost this this special skill, so WE have taken it upon ourselves to push those worthy in the right direction by constructing this brutal challenge" Voice 1: "The rules are simple live, survive, and thrive. If you can do that; take out your competition and you can win".
Voice 2: "A tip for all you arrogant barbarians out there...PRACTICE makes PERFECT" he spat put the two words disdainfully.
Voice 1: "anyway, make sure you have fun out there you crazy kids, good luck and" "bye bye" they spoke in unison before the display disappeared entirely.
Panic. Dave's heart was pounding. He was confused beyond measure and rainwater kept getting in his eyes throughout the entire message. After the message ended, he felt a small jolt travel along his spine. The pain holding him down seemed to have alleviated and he was finally able to wiggle his fingers as a test. He had a headache bad enough to make him think he got blackout drunk and hungover 10 times in a single night, and simply leaning up left him feeling like he was about to throw up. After looking around he eventually got to his feet and came to a simple understanding. He was in a forest while it was raining, and he had a splitting headache. He tried to recall how this happened and he only remembered getting up for work that morning, but right as he opened his fridge to eat something the memory just completely cuts off, he was even wearing his work clothes from that morning a blue polo shirt with a company logo, jeans, and work boots. Adrenaline fueling his aching mind he decided he needed to find something, anything from food to shelter. After 10 minutes of walking he started to feel completely lost, there weren't any landmarks from what he could see, the trees around him were too densely packed. He was soaking wet and he didn't know when the rain would end or worse, when it would get dark. Making a decision, he spent the next few minutes climbing a tree. The trees in the area while densely packed were about 30 to 50 feet tall and had long thick limbs spreading in every direction. The limbs would intertwine with other trees almost as if artificially designed to be climbed and used. he sighed internally while breathing roughly after the climb, he would be ashamed to admit it but the climb exhausted him and he stopped at the top just to catch his breath for a few minutes. Getting a view, he saw what could only be described as an ocean of trees spreading as far as he could see, the land did seem to rise and fall in several areas. The only different landmark to be seen was a cliff wall maybe 50 meters tall in the middle of the forest of trees and even the very top of the cliff had trees on it. he sighed roughly, bringing his hand to his face and covering his eyes to think. he tried to calm his breathing down, wondering what his next action should be. He took one last look around making sure there really wasn't anything else he could see.
Dave : "fuck it…" he climbed down and began walking towards the wall