By the Sword



      She looked like a predator as she walked up and down the rows of cages lining the Pit's arena. The occupants of the cages clamored for her attention. Had they not already been facing certain death they would have tried to minimized getting her attention.

In her soft leather 'uniform' the women's short red hair made a bloody halo as she paused in front of a cage and looked over its occupants. She quickly dismissed the bony female quivering in the corner, but her eyes lingered on the male staring stonily at her. He wasn't the strongest looking male she'd seen in the Pit but the lack of fear and desperation intrigued her. Inclining her head slightly the Pit's guards hurried forward to prepare the Terran for the Pit's main purpose.

Turning on her heel the leather clad women made her way over to the entrance of the Pit's arena, hand resting on her foot and a half long, 2 finger width blade's hilt in its scabbard on her side. As she entered the entrance she automatically tuned out the sudden chanting of her name and thought amusingly, "Agent Sabre was brilliant to set up the Pit for...training. Twas a nice touch giving its occupants the added incentive of freedom if they kill one...training"

Standing loosely in the slightly damp sand as she awaited the guards to toss out the now armed prisoner. The women felt a slight tingle of anticipated adrenaline release with the thought that she could possibly be killed within this arena that stank of blood and sweat, the tang of fear and death overriding all other senses.

As the male was thrown out into the Pit, the prisoners crowded within their cages booed as the women slid smoothly into defensive crouch leather like a second skin as she eyed her opponent. Her blade remained in it's sheathed while his was gripped uncomfortably in his right hand as he stared right back. He snaked forward slowly, blade sticking out but not far enough so she could knock it out of his hands

He jabbed at her torso, she spun smoothly away, neither of them looked away from each other for more than a heart beat. Neither's pulse rate was up yet, both were simply observing for weaknesses. She was disappointed; the Terran had appeared to have such potential but he was obviously nothing more than a gun wielding bully.

Within a heartbeat of making that conclusion the male made another clumsy jab, but as the women danced away this time he charged at her with the ferocity and skill renowned of the Family of the Blade. She barely had time to pull her own blade to fend off the deadly blow before being crashed to the ground under his weight.

His weight pushing down on his blade, hers valiantly keeping it just away from her throat. As his shirt moved she felt her face go pale as she got a glimpse of a unique blade tattoo on his chest. A tattoo that only could be put there by the Family of the Blade: the elite group of assassins.

The woman felt her adrenaline kick in, her pulse start to race as the Terran whispered to her over the catcalls of the other prisoners.

"Arika Sierra, the Family is testing you."

Those words flashed a brief window of knowledge into her situation. The Family of the Blade was considering her worthy enough to join... she just had to survive the tests. Giving the Terran a bloodless smile she whispered back. "Aye, but now I test the Family"

With that she rocked upward and flipped the male onto the ground, coming up on top. Her blade now vied for his throat. Twisting to the side, the blades hit the sand and he followed through with a left hook to her chin. Ignoring the pain she quickly rolled out of the way as he came down with his blade. Both sprigged to they're feet. Arika quickly reassessing the male. He was obviously an assassin himself, to have been admitted into the Family.

Crossing swords, Arika spun inward and jabbed at his solar plexus. Spinning under his sword arm she managed to get his blade, and hers along with it, to fly away but not before suffering a deep slash to her upper arm. The prisoners roared at the flow of blood.

Seriously pissed, Arika and the male began to exchange blows, both taking they're fair share. By chance the Terran hit a batch of dry sand, throwing him off balance for a beat. It was enough. Coming in quickly she thrust her hand into his nose and upward, following up with a swift kick to his ribs, hearing a satisfactory snap. As he slipped to his knees she quickly came around behind him. Grabbing his head between her hands she quickly snapped his neck to the approving roar of the crowds.

Breathing heavily, blood flowing freely out of the wound and down her leather covered arm, Arika retrieved her blade and sheathed it. As she stalked out of the Pit and into the corridors leading to the surface where her small ship, the Blade, lay she was met by one of Sabre's messenger boys. The Agent had a job for her.

Yanking the padd out of his hands Arika called out calmly over her shoulder as if she hadn't nearly been taken out. "Tell the dear Agent that this better not be urgent. I have some... Family business to take care of."
 


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