The pain is real.
The sweat running down your face, your back, is real.
Clemens is pretty spry, for his advanced age. Then again, when you're in a cage fight for your life, I guess you fight like junkyard dogs.
You're not a great fighter. You really tried to avoid it in your life. You've been in maybe three fights, all told. Something is different here, though. You feel faster, stronger. You feel somehow enhanced. You dodge, bouncing back and forth between Clemens' haymakers.
You step in with your right shoulder, and turn into him with a wicked left hook. It catches him on his nose. You feel something give way underneath your ungloved hand. His bushy white moustache runs red.
He relents. You don't. There is something inside you now, something that is not yourself. You are simply watching, as you beat one of your literary icons to a bloody pulp.
You watch, and you smile.
You didn't think it was going to be like this, when you signed the waiver. You thought it was just a bit of playacting fun, some kind of weird improv troupe. You figured you needed the padding on your portfolio. You wanted to appear to be a well-rounded thespian. In theory, it all seemed good. In theory.
Now, though, you find it to be a living nightmare. When you showed up at the warehouse, you thought it was going to be set up like a stage. Instead, it just had some weird camera, and a big metal phone-box looking thing.
No, not the Doctor Who one. It just looks like a phone box. It's really more like a tall metal box. Bunch of wires sticking out, and some manner of Tesla coil on the top. They told you to get in the box. You were a little weirded out, but you went for it.
You got inside, and they powered it up.
Then you weren't inside the box anymore.
You found yourself in a weird, open space. Your first thought is the Danger Room from X-Men. You're not far off, really. Same principles at work. Though you can see yourself reflected on screens high above you.
A boxing ring stands in the middle of this space, if there truly can be a middle.
A formless voice asks you, politely, to step into the ring. You don't, not immediately. You ask the voice, the people in charge, you guess, why is this here, what is happening. there is alarm in your tone. There is fear.
There is no response, and suddenly you are in the ring. apparently, your decisions are no longer your own to make.
There is a sound, a kind of digital rasping, and across the ring from you is -somehow- Samuel Clemens. Shock white hair, all-white suit.
The sight is so disarming, you start laughing. Clemens looks bewildered. Again, the voice. This time, it only explains that you two must fight for your lives. You figure that this can't be true. You're not even in a real space. Right?
But Clemens can't possibly understand that.