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Old November 7th, 2017, 12:39 PM
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Default A Scout's tale

Rewrite 1

The thunderous roar of thousands packed in an open air coliseum reverberated through Aston’s body as the two golden maned bare chested combatants clashed with one another in a flurry of striking and slashing with bloody results. It was like watching two adult male lions on the Serengeti or Sumo wrestlers in Soli space. The Aslan crowd ate it up, cheering and literally roaring in approval the more intense the mayhem became.

Aston wiped his forehead with one of several bandannas he kept in his scout service cargo pants. The official data described Leaiyhoh as a garden world. They failed to mention the extreme heat and humidity that usually came with warm jungle climates. Bare chested with his shirt tied around his waist, nested between two hulking Aslan males, Aston was sure he was the only human in the stands, and no one seemed to mind.

Again, another collision in the designated tournament circle, and another thunderous roar of approval from the mostly male audience. Or so Aston assumed. Sexes between Aslan were pretty distinct, but he didn’t want to assume that this kind of thing was a male only spectating sport, even though he had not seen any Aslan women enjoying the fare.

He wiped more sweat from his brow, then took a sip of the bitter-sweet liquid he had resting next to his knee. The world data said the beverage was non-poisonous, and as usual all the online reviews were mixed between those who loved the native foods and those who hated them. He’d tasted better in his time out in this section of space.

As usual the rest of the crew were away on official business, leaving Aston to sight see by himself. He had wandered the central city which looked like a mixture of stone buildings with electronic signs and ancient Roman architecture, replete with stone worked streets that catered mostly to foot traffic, which is how Aston had found himself in this section of town. A large stone architecture coliseum beckoned to be explored, and so Aston splurged on a ticket for himself to experience the native fare. Bloody and violent, but no deaths so far.

An ornately dressed male, adorned in gold inlaid purple fabric, flanked by an honor guard armed with razor sharp polearms, shouted a command in the native tongue. The two stopped, and slowly back peddled as the honor guard approached with weapons levelled. The well dressed male made some kind of announcement, pointed to one of the two fighters, then said something else. A foul? Aston wasn’t sure, but whatever it was sparked a hushed murmur punctuated with the occasional unintelligible commentary from those seated nearby. Aston hadn’t bothered to get a data burst of the local dialects (though he understood that the Aslan were united in language, unusual for most sophont species), but he could imagine what they were saying.

Aston checked the old fashioned paper pamphlet tour-guide that he’d purchased at one of the starport gift-shops. Apparently, these kinds of bouts were scheduled to settle matter of personal honor—slights, other insults, and whatever constituted a dent in one’s honor—were made a spectacle before the public. What these two were fighting about again Aston hadn’t a clue, but he was sure that by human standards it was probably something petty.

Some kind of loud chime clanged in the upper tiers near the skybox, and the two combatants approached the well dressed individual who pointed them where to stand. Yet another group of individuals came into the tournament circle carrying something covered by ornately gold inlaid cloth. And yet another set of seemingly younger individuals pulled the cloth aside to reveal to large cases, one for each fighter. The cases were opened to reveal long mirror polished scimitars.

Aston quietly shook his head. Didn’t these people believe in small claims’ courts or simply apologizing? He didn’t question it. This was the norm for this society and who was he to comment on something that worked for these people—however barbaric. He shoved the thought aside. Someone was probably going to die. The Aslan on the left, the shorter of the two and seemingly younger, seemed to bear more scars than the slightly taller one to Aston’s right, who was also not as winded.
Sir Ghost, Knight of Imperial occupied Terra, Sol.
Travels with Blue Ghost; musings of a knight of the Imperium.

Last edited by Blue Ghost; December 17th, 2017 at 09:34 PM.. Reason: 1st draft rewrite
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