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Sand & Blood: Tales from the Arena
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 12:35 pm
Moon-Song! Moon-Song! Moon-Song!
He could hear the chants of the large crowd well before he neared the white archway that was bright with the light of tatooine's twin suns. The people were chanting for thier local champion, Sara Moonsong. It was a situation that he'd walked into many times before. Moonsog was rumored to be one of the fabled force witches of drothmir, a member of the fabled Singing Mountain clan that even the Emperor feared. He highly doubted it but none the less he'd taken percautions and if she was a Force witch she wouldn't be the only Forcer in the fight. Though it was something that he didn't flaunt Kiern Hyclon could indeed touch the living force. Many would have label hima Jedi for such talents but he followed a different path than vaunted Jedi order. As he neared the top of the ramp and steped out onto the sands of teh arena the noise and heat assaulted his senses. There across the sands, her image swirling in the heat eddies stood Moonsong in her elaborate though skimpy costume. Popping the knuckles on his right hand head adjusted the golden ring that adornded it and then activated the ancient glove that covered his left,
"And now the challenger hailing from the far rim of the galaxy, the deadly and dangerous Kiern "The Claw" Hyclon!"
The symponay of boos and hisses that rained down at the announcers intro didn't surprise him, he understood that Moonsong had ruled over this coven of gladiators for some number of years now. He smirked at teh crowd and then launched his arms intot he air in defiance of the crowd which only intensified there jeers,
"You're a pretty one," Moonsong leared form behind her mask as the two warriors met near the center of the medium sized ring, "I'll enjoy having my way with you after I've beaten you soundly."
Kiern didn't awnser the woman's taunt but simply pulled his siang lance from it's holster on his leg as the energy field around his left hand flared to life glowing an intense crystal blue. The two fighters turned to face a large booth that stood above the arena to it's north end where a Large Hutt and another slender reptillian figure stood. Kiern raised his lance into the air in slaute as Moonsong did the same. The slender repitllian figure raised its hand and the crowd suddenly fell nearly silent,
"Commence!" a deep commanding voice resonaded through the arena.
In a flash of action Moonsong's virbo blade flashed through the air aimed directly for Kiern's neck though it never reached it's mark, instead it colided with the energy field from Kiern's shield gauntlet throwing off a shower of electrical charges and with a swiftness that was belied by his own bulk he retaliated with hard retort with his lance to the woman's mid-section illiciting a distinctive popping sound that he knew were several of the woman's ribs cracking or breaking outright,
"If you submit I won't kill you, evne if they want me to." he shouted under the roar of the crowd at thier first clash.
"I will never submit to a man!" she retorted with an ammount of of bile in her voice that told him that she might indeed be a member of the legendary Clan of witches.
Spinning away from thier first clash he set himself and prepared for her inevitable retaliation, even if her ribs were badly injured she would keep coming, pointing the business end of his lance he squized the hidden trigger sending an angry red bolt from it's tip though the woman easily dodged the attack,
At the fringes of his concious mind he could feel the woman begin to draw on the living force around them, and a melodic chant began to fill the air. He instinctively knew what the woman was doing and charged her. If he broke her concentration whatever it was that she was attempting to do would fail, though just as he closed her eyes snapped open and streamers of bright blue force lighting erupted from her fingertips, most of it slammed into Kiern's shield but several fingers connected with his left leg sending him spinning off into the sand,
"Feel the power of the Dark Side! FEEL MY WRATH!" she screamed as another round of electricity erupted from her fingertips.
This time Kiern was ready for it and managed to roll safely clear of the dangerous bolts of electricity though they left fingers of molten glass in the sand where they'd struck. Kiren took aim and again lunged this time the woman was too deep into her trance to avoid him as his blade cut rhough her thin armor and the dangerous tip of his lance spat it's deadly light leaving a sudden gapping hole smoking in her side. Around them the crowd gasped in shock the woman fell onto her back her own lighting turning on her scorching her flesh,
"Play with the dark side woman and you will pay the price eventually." he growled...
"And Our new Champion is The Claw!" the loud voice boomed over teh announce speakers throughout the arena. Kiern took one last look at the woman's now charred body before riasing his lance in victory to teh crowd...
Hyclon! Hyclon! Hylcon!
It was his name they wre chanting now.... but for how long...
Posted: Sat May 28, 2005 2:13 pm
It had been three days since his Victory over Moonsong in the arena and Kiern had been utterly enjoying the spoils of his victory. The gladitorial society here on Tellos was an old one, it had evoloved, or some might say devolved from the heady days of the planet's past during the golden age of the Old Republic. The sport now though was far different from the vollentary non-lethal arena of that age.
Under the watchful eye of the regional Imperial Moff and in cooperation with a Hutt by the Gorba the modern arena was a place for the wealthy to come and bet, sometimes even bid, on the gladiators that fought within it's confines. The rules were simple, the fighters were property, they fought to the death and the winner took that which the looser owned. Hence his now luxurious accompidations. Moonsong had reigned over the Tellos Arena for as long as any of Kiern's fellows could remember. The Force had given her an advantage over the rest, for no matter how vicious one might be, the Force was the ultimate equaliser.
The young man smiled as he plucked a hand full of grapes from a nearby tray, even by galactic standards these quarters were plush, but compared to the rest of the gladiator quarters they were down right lavish, behind him the door to his chamber opened with a rather loud creak drawing his attention, his mind took comfort in the fact that no one would be able to enter without his knowing,
"Master Hyclon." The voice came from the frame of a lilthe human female, drapped in a barely decent dancing outfit, "Moff Herod wishes an audience."
Kiern nodded and began to collect his things,
"You do not need to bring those." The young woman's steel grey eyes met his from behind the veil that covered her face. Kiern nodded and deposited his lance on the bed but left his gauntlet in it's place on his hand.
The young woman motioned to the door and then followed him through it, brushign against his well built frame in the hallway, he cracked a bit of a smirk at the action,
"Does the Moff often receive the Arena Champion?"
"I do know sir." she replied without turning to look back.
Intresting Kiern thought with an internal grin, perhaps there's more to this job than I imagined...
Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:03 am
He'd followed the scatily clad female through the hallways of the arena till they arrived at a private receiveing bay where a sleek black and grey air-speeder waited on them bobbing lightly in the planet's air currents. The woman stopped at the entry into the speeder and motioned for Kiern to enter. He stooped into the vehicle and settled into the plush rear seat. The slave girl followed closely behind and then settled on the against one of his legs,
"You don't have to do that." he spoke as he glanced from the woman to the space that allowed access to the vehicle's driver. Examingin the controls he quickly stabbed the one for the privacy barrier, as the solid black divider rose the woman watched it intently till it sealed,
"You will get us both in much trouble Master."
Kiern cracked a slight smile, "For starters I'm not your master, secondly I suspect I'm worth far more to the Moff alive."
The young woman stared up at him from her place on teh floor, he could see the fear in her eyes,
"If you wish to remain where you are I understand."
Some relief flashed across her features and she laid her head against his leg and allowed her eyes to close, it didn't take long for the speeder to begin to slow and a glance through the darkly tinted windows told him they were nearing the Moff's palace. His hand lightly brushed the slave girl's head to alert her to thier arrival. For a momment he could see through the mask she wore before it snapped back into place with an ease that disturbed him. Seconds later the door swung upwards and out and the Tellos daylight streamed into the cabin. The slave girl rose quickly to her feet and led him from the speeder,
"This way..." she spoke, her tone was the same but there was a softer edge to it. Kiern's eyes danced takign in the surroundings as he followed his guide deeper into the bowls of the building...
Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:51 am
It didn't surpise Kiern to find that all the rumors of imperial decedence he'd heard during his time on the streets of the glaaxy were were indeed true. The hallways of this Moff's palace were sparkling and covered in what he assumed were rare and valable pieces of art. Some he recognised as dating as far back as early republic. Fixing his eyes back on his guide he watched her delicate hips sway back and forth as they finally wound thier way through the labrithin corridors to a massive inlaid doorway. The two of them waited there for a momment before the faint sound of a massive locking mechanism could be heard and the two massive doors opened inward. As they broke Kiern could tell the fancy exterior hid two massive blast style protective doors,
"Your master is quite... nervous, isn't he." he spoke with a smile.
As the doors finished swinging open the two of them were met by a mob of black clade imperial security forces. They flooded out of the room and surrounded them. Kiern watched as the slave girl held out her arms to her side and then did the same himself. He carried no weapons but he suspected that this Moff would be taking no chances. Definatly a paranoid one,
"They're both clear." one of the masked security personell finally announced, a few momments later the ring of black broke and the slave girl again motioned forward. The room inside the doors was a massive one, with a high domed ceiling near it's center stood a decent sized throne like ediface and behind it he could make out what appeared to be a massive bed. The black clad security escourted them part of the way into the room but stopped about 5 meters from the massive doors leaving them to cross the giganitc room alone. The throne was empty and as the two of them moved around it's circumfrence a humman female draped in a very revealing piece of shimmer silk came into view,
"Master, this is Kiern "the claw" Hyclon..."
Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:02 pm
The sight that greeted him as this Imperial Moff turned to face him and then lithly slide off of her satin covered bed was not what he'd been expecting. To his knowledge he'd never heard of an Imperial Moff being female and he knew very well the biases that filled and flowed through the Empire. This woman was as far as one could get from teh image of an old crusty man that he'd been expecting. A slight shiver ran through his frame as she crossed the small gap between them and gently ran her hand across his chest. Her fingernails pulling at the material of his tunic,
"Moonsong was a very valuable asset of mine." she finally spoke from somewhere behind him, "Her services... were without peer."
The womans words hissed in Kiern's right ear and the hairs on the back of his neck stood upright from the feel of her breath ont he back of his neck,
"I hope yours are of equal quality."
Kiern's eyes glanced to either side in an effort to locate the woman and catch her gaze,
"I would think the fact that I defeated her would be proof enough of thier superiority." he spoke, "The only thing that gave her an advantage was her skill with the Force, when she finally faced someone who negated that advantage..."
He left the words hanging the air, the silence they floated in was almost oppresive till it was shattered by a shrill laugh,
"This one has spirit...." she cackled, "And guts. Most would be afraid to admit to wielding the Force to an Imperial agent."
"Logic dictates that you knew that Moonsong was an adept and you didn't turn her in." Kiern paused actually turning to find the woman who was now lounging rather seductively on a nearby chase, "That same logic dictates that my treatment will be similar."
"Confidence as well I see." she spoke with a smile that crawled into a wide grin. She suddenly clapped her hands together and the large entorage that had been disperssed around the room quickly disappeared into the wood work,
"I think you will do nicely." she grinned as her fingers gathered the material that made up her gowns hyme in hand, "call me Lady Cathrine. Please have a drink..."
The next morning...
Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 1:33 pm
It was the warmth from the first rays of sunlight streaming through the skylight above the massive bed that brought Kiern from his slumber, though it was the pain in his head that brought instant clairity. His body was tangled with those of both Lady Cathrine and the young slave girl who'd come to retrieve him from his qquarters at the arena. Try as he might he could remmeber nothing of the previous night, the only evidence of what had happened was the spliting headache as his current situation. Working his arms free of the tangle his manged to push himself upright. Carefully he moved aside bare arms and legs before extricating himself from the bed. The marble floors were cold against his bear feet but it wasn't something he'd not long since grown accustomed to. Reachign his well defined arms over his head he began a series of streches. His muscles were incrediably sore from the previous nights activites whatever they might have been. Staring ever so slightly at the two women who were still asleep ont he bed he let a smile crack his lips. Across the room the massive doors that had remained shut the entire night opened with low groan. Through them came a small parade of imperial attendants. The ones towards the front carried trays of food while the ones towards the rear bore various articles of clothing. They did not even seem to give him any mind as they went about setting up a virtual banquet at the nearby table, a massive oval shaped thing composed of ancient kayshik wood. As soon as the table was set and a stand supporting an elaborate gown,
"Do you like what you see?"
"Yeah." he replied turning to face the Lady who was studyign him from he rplace on the bed...
Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:17 am
"These are the pleasures of being an Imperial Moff." the woman spoke her voice almost a purr as she moved around on the bed some running her fingers along the exposed flesh of the slave girl before swinging her legs around and delicatly standing to her feet the covers that had been covering her dropping away as she moved with more grace than Kieran had ever seen a woman move before towards where the elaborate gown hung,
"These are the pleasures that could be yours." she spoke as she stopped next to the gown and then plucked a small piece of the fruit that had been brought in. With a practiced ease she then slipped into the gown,
"All I ask is your undieing allegience and loyalty."
"Doesn't sound too difficult." the gladiator smirked as he stood there wearing only the warm sunlight.
"Good." the Lady Catherine smiled as she lifted an info packet that had been brought in with the food and then flicked it through the air. Kieran easily plucke dit from mid flight,
"Consider this your first test. The man detailed in that profile is a criminal, Imperial intelligence has been detailing his smuggling operations for several months now. I want you to elminate him. He has many supports among the peasents and a trial would simply be too... complicated."
Kieran opened the envelope and pulled the flimsies that detailed the mark from inside it,
"Consider it done." he replied looking back up to meet the others eyes.
"You will find a vehicle waiting for you at the servants entrence, I look forward to your sucessful return."
Across the room the doorway opened and a demure servent stepped through holding a large rucksack over one shoulder. Kieran nodded and then strode towards the servant. The man almost seemed surprised as the rather naked and well built gladiator took the bag from him and strode through the doorway. Kieran just smirked, this would be an easy gig...
Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:17 am
The looks on some of those Kieran had passed on his way through the palace to the servants entrence had matched or exceeded those of the door man to Lady Catherine's private quarters but Kieran didn't give them much heed. His attentions were focuses squarely on the information contained in the flimsy that he'd been given. The target was a Sulstian trader whom Imperial intelligence had been monitoring for almost a year, he'd been bringing in loads of blackmarket goods for all of that time. Who he was selling to and what he was selling was still unknown but the Lady had decided it was time to end his career. When he arrived at the airdock there was a unmarked darkly tinted airspeeder waiting for him. As he approached the doorman swung the door open allowing him easy entry,
"Master Hyclon." the man intoned seeming to give no notice to his state of undress. Kieran normally would have derided the man for teh use of the term Master but right now he was otherwise occupied.
As he settled into the conform seat his eyes looked up to study the contents of this speeders passenger cabin. Leaning forward he plucked the clothes from the top of the stack and pulled on the spacer pants...
The ride in the speeder had been a little more than 45 standard minutes, as he stepped out of the passenger compartment he adjusted the loose tunic he'd been given to wear and then readjusted the waistbelt and holster. Reachign back inside speeder he retireved a highly modifed DL-44 and vibrobalde which he then slipped into thier approriate holsters. Closing the door he pounded the top of the speeder and it's repulsorlifts spun up before it jetted away into the sky. Kieran shielded his eyes from the spray of dust and then started into the starport. Inside was the cantina where his target did most of his business...
Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:02 pm
The place was dank and smelled heavily of the various aliens that were crowded into it's too small interior. The cantina looked to Kiern like it should have been occupied by half the number that were now pressed into it and as a result the patrons were strung almost shoulder to alien shoulder. The looks some of them gave him told him that a good portion of the patrons also didn't favor humans, not somethign that surprised him, the Empire's rule had not been easy on the various alien populations that were spread throughout the galaxy. When he reached the bar he ordered a double corellian whiskey and waited for the barkeep to return, when the barkeep deposited the wide rimmed glass on the bar in front of him Kiern's hand shot out and grabbed the man's wrist,
"I'm looking for someone."
"Heh, who isn't, premium service will cost you another 20cr."
No sooner had theman uttered the word had Hyclon produced the currency in hard bills,
"My kinda guy." the barkeep chuckled, "whoya looking for."
"Sullustian, does a lot of business on the un-offical markets."
"That would be Nimm, he's usually over in the far corner booth."
Reaching into his tunic Kiern produced a sizable roll of bills and peeled off a number of them and deposited them on the bar,
"That should cover cleanup."
The man's face instantly drained of color, but that didn't stop him from quickly sweeping the bills off the bar and pocketing them. Kiern turned and began weaving his way through the bar's patrons. As he neared the booth that the barkeep had pointed him to the crowd thinned out a little and he could clearly see the Sullustan seated in the corner booth with two burley looking Rodians standing guard to either side, as he approached the twomoved to stop him but with a slight wave of his hand they stopped. The Sullustan's startled features greeted him when he slid into the booth across from him,
"Who... who are you?"
"Who I am doesn't matter, why it is that my master wants you dead. That matters."
The Sullustan's eyes went wide and Kiern held up a finger to his lips, "Don't make a scene my friend that will only get others killed."
Kiern's demeanor wa ssuch that the alien knew that his words held truth to them,
"I suppose you're reffering to Moff Truk," the alien muttered, "she always told me she'd send her dogs after me if I didn't honor our deal. Now I suppose she's decided that she wishes to have even my small percent of the cut."
Kiern's even features studied the man for a momment longer, "So you and the Moff were in... business together?"
"Blast man, are you that dimm whitted, no wonder she's go tyou doing her dirty work. Just get it over with already."
As the words left the alien's mouth a muffled blast reverberated from under teh table and a small whisp of smoke rolled up from infront of the Sullustan accompanied by the smell of burnt flesh before the alien keeled over onto the table. The two Rodian bodyguards turned at the sound thier weapons drawn but met only a pair of well placed bolts to thier large heads dropping them instantly. The whole cantina fell silent for a momment the beings nearest stopping to gap and then everything resumed as if nothing had happened. Kiern stood from his seat and then moved aroudn the table to the Sullustan's body and examined it quickly confiscating a few data rods and flimsies before heding for the exit, this time a small path opened ahead of him, it would have disturbed him if he'd let it, he was now offically the moff's hand...
Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:58 pm
There was no speeder waiting for him where he'd been dropped off, which didn't suprise him, the whole point of using him instead of the bucket heads was deniability and that wouldn't fly if he'd been picked up and dropped off by state speeders. So he started up the street, he was sure the Moff's agents were no doubt watching him from somewhere and that when the time was right they would either pick him up or contact him as to where he should go. Towards the end of the street he could see one of the local gresey spoons and since it had been a while since he'd eaten anything to his tastes he decided that it would be an excellent place to wait and go through the items he'd looted from the dead sullustan's body. If he was going to be doing the Moff's dirty work he would know why he was doing it.
As he slipped through the doorway several heads swung his way and then returned to thier own business, good this was a place where beings minded thier own business,
"By yourself?" The hostess bot questioned, he only nodded, the small flying droid bobbed down the isle of booths and conviently enough placed him in one that allowed him to sit with his back to the rest of the diner,
"Your waitress will be with you shortly." the droid droned again and then bobbed back down the isle, it wasn't long before a slightly over weight human female sontered up to his table, her uniform stained with greese and her hair pulled back in a rather severe bun,
"What can I get ya hun?"
"We'll start with a Caf and then you can give me the daily specials."
"We only got one special, Nerf with a side of mashed mango friut and Soyho sauce."
"Well then bring me that as well."
The waitress nodded and moved off marking things down on her datapad. Kiern reached into his tunic and retireved the flimsies he'd retireved from his mark and began reviewing them, they were mostly shipping manifests for the alien's importing company but there was one cryptic not about some kinda meeting at the end of the week. Something in the back of Kiern's concious mind toldhim to hang on to this note and so he folded it up and slipped it into his boot. Pulling the small terminal that the booth was equiped with over he slipped one of the datarods in and began scrolling through it's contents. Most of the data was junk, he'd apparently picked the Sullustan's personal rod first. Pulling the stick out he insterted the next one, this one was filled to the brim with accounting records, hundreds of transactions conducted by the alien's trading company. The numbers easily went into the millions of credits,
"No wonder she wanted this for herself." he mused with a grin. Pulling the rod from the terminal he slipped it into a different pocket from the personal one just as the waitress returned with his Caf and his food,
"Enjoy hun." she chuckled as she depoisited the food on the table and walked away. Kiern glanced at his chronograph and then started in on the nerf...
Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:01 am
He had been sitting in the diner for almost two hours before the Moff's people finally arrvied, two men both in well tailored suits, each with a noticable buldge under thier right arms and dark spectecals entered the diner, the first man took up a place at the bar near teh door. The second man carefully made his way down the isle and slid into the booth across from Kiern,
"The Moff is pleased with your work, you both elminated the threat and retireved the valable data that the Sullustan was attempting to use for blackmail."
Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:11 am
"Is that the story you wish me to believe?" Kiern questioned with more than a little ire in his voice.
"It's not a matter of what you wish to believe, it's a matter of what is reality."
"Fair enough. So are you boys here to bring me back?"
"The car is waiting outside, you've got to be rested for your fight tonight, wouldn't want the new arena champion being knocked off in his first defense."
Kiern just smiled and stood from the booth and headed for teh door, the waitress eyed him and he motioned that the other man would pickup the bill. She nodded slightly and then moved off. Just as he stepped through the door, the other man in tow, he heard the first one uttering some curse he'd never heard before. He filed it away in teh back of his mind so he could check on it later...