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Author Topic: Kote'Wherda: Gladiator  (Read 1761 times)

Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy

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Kote'Wherda: Gladiator
« on: August 13, 2013, 10:18:05 PM EDT »

  The knife rose and fell in complete silence. The crowd erupted as a second blow struck, digging deep into the victim. Blood pooled over the victim, quietly counting down the remainder of life. The victor stood, bloodied, broken, and victorious. He raised the knife over his head in victory.
 
   Ghanik snapped awake, his heart pounding in his chest. The images of his latest dream stayed bright in his vision. He remembered that night, in the pits of Geonosis. The long days, filled with blood and death. The gambling, the cheating, the fixed fights. Ghanik swung off his bed and began to walk the deck. Space was peaceful, Ghanik thought: empty and free for thought. Ghanik reached the cockpit and gazed at the expanse of stars in front of the ship. It was just a touch lonely, waiting by oneself in deep space, but it didn't bother Ghanik. He had a Clan now, nothing could bother him now. He caught his reflection in the viewpanel, those two scars standing in bright contrast to the rest of his bare chest.

   His vision swam, exhausted from months in the pits, fighting day in and day out. His opponent turned, raising the knife. Ghanik swung his leg, catching the knee of his assailant. The knee buckled, and the warrior fell. The crowd silenced, waiting for another surprise. Ghanik waited patiently mentally keeping track of time until the chemicals released from his boot spike would kick in. A sharp scream filled the colosseum as the chemicals mixed in the veins of Ghanik's foe. Medics came out of their staging area to collect the fighters from the pit. Ghanik's vision blurred again, growing dark.

   Comm lights flashed from the command console. Ghanik shook himself from his reverie. He checked his comm log, seeing a message from Aay'han. He played the message, guessing most of its contents. This mission was essential, he knew, but sometimes the overflow of information was a bit ridiculous.  He got up and stretched out the stiffness from falling asleep in his chair. Ghanik went to his workbench and selected a pair of boots. So much tech packed into such an overlooked piece of equipment. His boots had saved his life in that area so long ago. Kolto injectors in the sole plate and a toxin in the toe pick had provided enough of an extra edge to win against a foe deemed unbeatable. Standing over two and a half meters in height, the gladiator known as Slash had fought over 150 death matches before Ghanik drew the short straw in the match-up lottery. Ghanik hadn't slept that night, opting instead to augment what equipment he would be allowed to have during the match. He had spent the night wondering if Spec Ops really was his back-up or if he had been given a one-way ticket to get out of sight.

   After the fight, while he was recovering in the inadequate medical facility, Ghanik did receive a visit from Spec Ops. Imperial Spec Ops. The strike team locked down the facility, and sat to wait for Ghanik's rescue team. Two weeks in Imperial company was better than two weeks in the pits, but Ghanik had seen the message the Imperials had missed. One of the medics, a foul-smelling, hunched-over specimen had slipped a note in the mix of pills Ghanik was given that day. Spec Ops pulled out last week. Give me another week and I'll get the Imps to do the same. 13

   Sure enough, a week later, a pit-master paid the Imperial Strike team a substantial sum to take off with a mangled specimen. Apparently this particular pit-master had made a tidy sum on Ghanik's stunt, and was interested in furthering his investment. Greed, a truly powerful ally in the capable hands of the Clan.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 02:04:31 AM EDT by Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy »
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Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy

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Re: Kote'Wherda: Gladiator
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2013, 05:17:57 PM EDT »

   Ghanik put down the boots he had been working on. He thought back on the past day's events. Ever since accepting this assignment, memories had been coming back of his previous Spec Ops missions. Apart from mission analysis, Ghanik rarely spent much time thinking on his war stories. But since they were coming back so strong and so clearly, maybe there was a purpose to these visions. Ghanik knew he had some force sensitivity, Mird'ala had told him so. What purpose could old stories of death and survival have at this time? Ghanik moved to one of his secure comm desks, and pulled up a writing program. If he wrote down the stories, perhaps Mird'ala could pull something out of it. Or perhaps that visionary of House Crystal... For a Jedi, Cymstar wasn't the storied warrior like many of his kind, but occasionally had some stellar premonitions.

   Ghanik decided to start at the beginning. He had gotten back from his Spec Ops training, ranked first among his class almost across the board. His first assignments were mostly in-and-out strikes, with the exception of that fiasco on Xagobah. His time on Coruscant was about as boring as a military post gets, then came the Sith. The long fight through the streets with Scathelocke was one for the storybooks, but it had been told to several authors of some note. Tracynka'rta and Agol had joined the team readily, although Aayhan and Nobrin were none to pleased about it.

   Spec Ops had contacted Ghanik again after Coruscant, telling him they needed his specific skills. SIS was doing an investigation of Imperial influence in the war, and had traced activity to the Geonosis pits shortly before the rise of a new Mandalore. Ghanik's mission was to go to the pits and compete, with Spec Ops support should he get in trouble. Ghanik thought about the mission, and talked it over with Nobrin for two days before accepting.

    Ghanik packed his ship with as much kit as would fit, and set out for Geonosis. He met with his support team in orbit around Tatooine. The plan Ghanik presented was simple: Spec Ops would perform a stealth infiltration outside the arena area, and hike in with their kit, while Ghanik would be dropped off by a "pirate gang" comprised of Sheteshoy Clan. This would allow Nobrin to land Ghanik's gear and ship where they could be reached, and provide cover for Ghanik's entry into the pit system.

   The entry went as planned, as far as the Sheteshoys were concerned, and Nobrin managed to bag a healthy sum for Ghanik. Leave it to Nobrin to swing a deal in any situation. "I'll leave you half," Nobrin whispered to Ghanik. "It'll be in the ship, with your kit. Oya, Vod. For Glory and Honor. You've got a chance to make our name feared, don't let it slide."

   And with that, Nobrin turned back to his ship and boarded without looking back. Ghanik's handler was a fierce looking specimen, with the look of having seen all the tricks. "You can't keep that armor, scum. If you want it back, you'd best be as good as your former master billed you, or you're not going to earn enough to buy it back from me. Your first fight is in twenty minutes, in the practice ring. Tradition says you get to fight whoever the current crew picks. Let's get a move on."

   The handler brought Ghanik to a sparse cell, and collected his armor. As soon as the handler left with his proudly-stolen set of imitation Beskar-gam, Ghanik began examining his surroundings. He found a short knife underneath the cot, left by a former tenant, but nothing else useful. His handler returned, wearing the pieces of Ghanik's armor that fit his smaller stature. Ghanik was tied and brought to the common area. A small crowd was gathered. Everything from Zabraks and Wookies to Gamorreans and humans were present. Ghanik was untied and pushed into the dirt circle at the center of the common area. A small human stepped out of the crowd. Not much taller than a meter and a half, he carried himself with the air of a veteran of many fights. Ghanik took a step back. He had half a meter in height advantage over his adversary, but there must have been a reason this human was chosen for his initiation fight. The human pulled a wicked-looking blade from a sleeve. Well, there goes my advantage in reach thought Ghanik. The human spat in the dirt and stepped into the ring. Ghanik started a charge, then pulled up short as hos opponent swung a heavy blow into the space Ghanik was entering. As soon as the blade passed in front of him, Ghanik took a long step closer to his enemy. With practiced quickness, the human reversed his blade and stepped away from Ghanik. Without armor or weapon of his own, Ghanik took a moment to plan a strategy. Ghanik closed as close as he could and still be outside the range of the blade. He scuffed a rut into the dirt and took a step to the side, making another scuff. His opponent followed Ghanik, keeping Ghanik within striking distance. Ghanik continued to move and make his scuffs in the dirt, working his way in a circle. His opponent began checking the ground occasionally, clearly confused by Ghanik's antics. Once Ghanik reached a place where he had already made a scuff mark, he swung his foot through the loose dirt, kicking up a small cloud at his opponent. Nonplussed,  his opponent took a long step in Ghanik's direction, closing the distance between them and bringing Ghanik into range of the blade. Ghanik ducked a swing, grabbing a fistful of loose dirt. On the next swing, Ghanik spun away, giving added momentum as he released the dirt at the face of his enemy. He followed immediately behind his makeshift missile, and made a grab for the blade. His opponent was not that naive, and brought his blade across the space in front of himself, making Ghanik miss the blade. Ghanik made a second grab with his other hand, this time connecting with his opponent as the blade was moved again.

    Bones cracked as Ghanik's fist impacted the shoulder of his opponent. The blade stopped. Ghanik didn't. A second blow came around and landed on the other shoulder. No bones broke, but the joint moved. The blade dropped as Ghanik's opponent backed away, showing sign of surrender. Ghanik didn't give the least pause. He closed the distance and slashed down at his opponent. The crunch of vertebrae was louder than the protests of the handler. Ghanik stepped back and picked up the blade. "Guess this is mine now, unless someone wants to try and take it.." Ghanik trailed off as he stared at the handler. "Yes, you get to keep anything you can take from your opponent. Sleep with your eyes open, since it's free game once you're initiated." The handler turned on his heel and walked away.

   Ghanik turned to the crowd of fellow prisoners. "Anyone want some exercise? That last fight was hardly worth the time it took to complete."

    A large man with an impressive array of scars spoke up. "The name's Ratch. You're not going to last long here if you kill for the sake of killing. We're not here because we want to be, for the most part. We fight because we're not interested in dying here. The more fights you win, the better chance you have of getting someone to notice you and get you someplace else. If you win 100 fights, you get moved to the real gladiator pits, where people pay to watch you fight. If you last long enough there, you can buy your way off-world. Or you can declare yourself Mand'alor, and have the Imps come running to curry your favor. But if you kill here, people don't like you, and can make your life exceedingly difficult. Just a tip."

    The crowd began to disperse, and Ghanik was free to go back to his cell. Food, such as it was, was brought to his cell, but no one else came by. The days began to pass. The handlers would come through in the morning and collect the gladiators who were to fight that day, and bring them to the lesser courts. Most fights were just fistfights, designed to test and train the warriors, while allowing victories and losses to establish rank. Ghanik rose rapidly, his superior size and training giving him a vast advantage over his opponents. He spotted Nobrin once or twice the first week, in full armor, acting his part of slaver and trafficker of flesh.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 01:25:29 AM EDT by Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy »
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Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy

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Re: Kote'Wherda: Gladiator
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 06:11:07 PM EST »

Ghanik paced the command bridge of the A'denn Verde. Removed as he was from the main events of the galaxy, his only news came through the few agents he had left in their places for his eventual return. Crystal House was the newest faction on Alderaan, it seemed. Interesting, no doubt to the politicians of the galaxy, but of little concern to the Sheteshoys, save for the faintest whispers of Ankouns spotted with Crystal House agents. Ghanik couldn't image the difficulty in starting over again. He had fought long and hard for what he had, and would fight harder to keep it. His was not a large Clan by any means, barely numbering a thousand, and that number included many of less-than-frequent support. Hearing of the newest fighting on Alderaan brought Ghanik's mind back to his days in the pits, and his gradual rise to prestige....
     There were four in the pit today, and twenty thousand in the grandstand. The pit masters had been running a tournament of sorts in Ghanik's section, and today was the championship. After five weeks of fighting and killing, nearly three thousand fighters were dead, and countless others were no longer fit to fight, nor would ever fight again. Ghanik had begun quite the collection of bits and pieces. He had a chestpiece now, forged from scraps of metal and leather carefully crafted together in what little time he had. Ghanik had some other plates, held on by simple straps, barely covering his vitals and joints. Although Ghanik had argued long and hard that he was earning the keeper enough to get even his imitation beskar back, The keeper was much too proud of his trophy. Ghanik looked around at the others in the ring. A Wookie stood in one corner, close to three meters in height, and plenty close enough to that from side to side. No one knew his name, but they didn't need to. a match against "The Wook" was a death sentence, usually from excessive dismemberment. "the Wook" had been around for a while, long enough to secure favor from the keepers, and he sported more armor than Ghanik had ever seen a Wookie wear, even to war. In another corner was a Mandalorian mercenary. While not as imposing as the Wookie, the Mandalorian had all of his armor, full of Force-only-knows what kind of gadgets and gizmos. Ghanik did notice something though, the Mandalorian's helmet was orange, similar in design and color to Ghanik's own. The last finalist was something of an oddity compared to the others in the arena: small of stature, and not particularly muscular either. Ghanik had heard rumors of this man, who could kill without touching his opponents, but rarely did. Most of his fights ended with his opponent flat on the floor, completely unconscious, and this man refused to kill when he had the opportunity. The ones who told stories said he had been a Jedi, some said he was a Sith, others simply left him as a wizard of dark magics. His name was only ever whispered: Lucient Azureign.

     Ghanik began planning in his head as the start clock ticked closer to zero. Avoid the Wook, kill the Mandalorian. Leave Lucient alone, the Force is an unequal rival. Ghanik shifted on his feet as he counted out the last few seconds. The energy gates dropped, and the crowd went berserk. The arena, at max capacity with many fewer occupants, was deafening.  Ghanik slid one of his knives into a throwing grip, and made for cover. The Wook charged after the Mandalorian, shrugging off blaster bolts from a concealed wrist blaster. Ghanik checked for Lucient, then made a mad dash towards the two engaged fighters. The Mando was calm inside his shell, fighting the Wookie on equal footing of strength. Ghanik slid behind a rock about ten meters from the Mandalorian. Without turning from the Wookie, the Mandalorian sent a grenade in Ghanik's direction. The grenade spiraled through the air, arcing above Ghanik, then suddenly stopped and detonated high above the arena floor. Ghanik spun and let fly his knife in the direction of Lucient, who was standing in the open, daring an opponent to charge. A small rock levitated from the floor and struck the knife mid-flight, and both dropped away. Ghanik pulled a second knife and moved away from Lucient. The Mandalorian had produced from his armor a small baton, and was attempting to subdue the Wookie with decidedly underpowered shocks.  Ghanik threw his knife into the fray, but missed the Mandalorian, instead slicing a small laceration on the Wookie's arm. The Mandalorian turned then, and fired two shots from his wrist blaster. Ghanik dodged one, and felt the other heat his chest plate.  The Wookie made a grab , and got two hands of Mandalorian.  Fury is one sight in an arena match, War Rage is another story.  Ghanik watched in silent amazement as the Wookie crushed the life out of one arm, then the other. Ghanik had seen crushgaunts capable of mangling beskar, but never anything else. The Wook roared a tremendous bellow, then cleanly ripped the arms from the torso. Self-sealing armor did many wonders, but no feat of engineering can fix out of luck. The Wookie lifted his victim above his head and threw him down. Ghanik had seen then ugly side of being bounced around in armor, and made his move. He threw his third knife, remembering that he had only one more, and this time managed to hit his original target: the seam in the armor between the groin and the leg. The blade buried itself into an artery, and the lifeblood quickly drained into the sand.

     The Wookie raged at Ghanik for stealing the kill. The mountain of fur and fury turned in Ghanik's direction and charged. Ghanik stood his ground, drawing his last blade, this one coated in a toxin Ghanik had learned to distill from Aayhan. Bracing for concussive impact, Ghanik almost missed what happened next. Lucient appeared out of nowhere, a long blue blade springing to life and into the Wookie. A lightsaber. So the rumors must have been true, a Jedi fighting in with the gladiators. Ghanik threw his last blade, hoping to hit while the Jedi was distracted. As the blade neared, it looked as though Ghanik's last might have also been his truest. Then Lucient disappeared. So did the knife. The Wookie fell to his knees, still alive, if only barely. Ghanik ran to the Wookie and buried a grenade from the Mandalorian's equipment into the hole in the Wookie's chest. The Wookie raised one last roar of defiance, and exploded. Ghanik raced back to the Mandalorian, and grabbed the pieces he could. As he put on the helmet, realizing it offered only limited value without suit sensors, Ghanik noticed a manufacturer's mark inside the neck ring. Clan Sheteshoy Armorworks.

     The crowd, jubilant in the bloodbath, began to quiet as Ghanik searched for his final opponent.  Lucient was nowhere in sight. Ghanik worked an override code into the helmet to gain access to his personal presets.  He flipped through what sensors he had, and all gave the same message: he was the only one in the arena. Ghanik went to the center of the arena and sat down. he waited almost 15 minutes before the official word  came down: Ghanik had won the tournament by default.  An official entered the arena floor, surrounded by guards. He walked over to Ghanik and held out a medallion.

     "You have prevailed in this contest. Let it be known far and wide, that you have vanquished your foes by many means, most notably by making them disappear." The official's voice boomed through the arena augmented by some hidden microphone Ghanik couldn't see. "And what is your name?" the official asked Ghanik. "For by will all know of your fame."

     "Sheteshoy." Came Ghanik's answer. The simple word reverberated throughout the arena, picked up and carried by the same set of microphones.

     "And so, let the people know that you are now Sheteshoy, Gladiator of Geonosis, and Champion of section 47-32Alpha!" The official raised the medallion high above his head, and placed it around Ghanik's neck.

     When Ghanik returned to his cell, he found a two notes. one, from the organization, informed him of his new privileges based on his status as a Gladiator. He could now move to an actual living space, away from the inmates, and would also be able to put in for fights in the large arenas.  The other note was hand written, on the inside of Ghanik's spare chest piece. Well fought today. I sense something different in you, keep fighting, there is always hope. Your blade was most deceptive, I almost failed to neutralize the toxin it contained. For better days, Lucient

     Ghanik looked around suspiciously, then bent over and picked up the knife next to the armor. It was his last knife, clean and free of toxin, with one spot on it. Ghanik lifted the knife to his nose and carefully smelled the knife. Blood. Ghanik's last throw had hit Lucient, and yet the man had survived. Clearly there was much more to this Jedi-look-alike. Ghanik collected his things and moved out to his new quarters. Remembering his first day, he left a knife and a vial of toxin. Not all men choose to fight, but who ever came to this cell next would be better equipped than most.
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