The heat of battle

Kom was an old veteran of the arena. He know that winning in the arena took skill. Winning took took cunning. Winning took planning. Above all these winning took luck.

Kom looked over the clearing and saw three bodies. One of the bodies was that of Hugan. Hugan was a giant of a man and had been one of the first friends Kom made when he joined the academy. It was blind luck that had placed them on opposite sides in this battle. Hugan's body was smoking from the last blast that had struck the man. The other two bodies were those of Kom's team mates. Grek and Wol were the two men that were part of Kom's team. Looking at there bodies lying motionless made Kom shudder. They had already lost the rookie Kyrn to the trip mine. Kom didn't like the math, he was alone against three opponents somewhere in the arena.

Kom new that with a three to one advantage his opponents could bait him into an action of their choosing. He would have to make them make a mistake if he wanted to have a chance at defeating them.

Kom started to formulate a plan, he knew it was a long shot but it was the only show he had. He looked for a defensible position. He moved to the position and looked for a spot that he could set his trap. He quickly placed a few demolition charges on the ground next to a small rock. He carefully covered the charges with sand and leaves. Now if he could just draw them out. He was backing away from his trap wen he caught the first flicker of movement.

Jak was the youngest of his opponents and obviously was looking to make the kill. Kom made a quick move into the bush and drew his pistol. He waited. He didn't wait long. Suz stuck her head out of cover just a few feet from the demolition packs. Kom slowed his breathing, and every so gently drew the action back on the pistol. He just needed Jak to get a few steps closer. He could hear the rasping breath of Jak as he stepped into the brush just a few paces to the east of Kom.

That was a close as Kom could hope for, he let out a long breath and squeezed the trigger. The blast from his pistol set off the demolition packs. Kom didn't think he would have caught Peet on the blast but he just saw Suz as the blast caught her and threw her into the air. As the blast quickly shot towards him he quickly shifted his weight and fired twice more. The first shot hit Jak in the leg, the second in the throat. Jak dropped immediately after the second shot.

Kom was excited he had managed to even the odds. All he had to do was... Suddenly his world exploded in fire. Looking down Kom saw a large black scorch across his chest. He looked to his wrist monitor just in time to see the lights dim. So this was it. He finally caught sight of Peet. Standing from a crouching position and bringing his weapon up and firing into Kom's chest again. Kom sucked in a painful breath and slowly everything went black.

With a slow whir the power on the battle suits came back on. Kom stretched and probed his chest. He didn't think any of the blast had gotten through. Peet was helping Suz to her feet. Behind her Hugan was laughing with Grek and Wol. Jak was stomping through the brush swearing loudly. Kyrn would be around soon. Kom looked a Peet. Peet had won he had the right to call for terms. That was the was of the arena, that was how Hugan had become part of Peet's team. Kom was already starting to think about the recruits he had seen when he had picked up Kyrn. Maybe he would be able to pick up a veteran rather than a rookie but with a losing record it became harder to get the talented players to commit.

Peet and Kom started walking towards the locker room.

"You know I was a little shocked at the demo packs, but it almost worked. I was less than a meter out of the blast radius. " Peet growled. "I am going to call for a forfeit."

Kom was sick. He had just lost Hugan, he didn't want to lose Wol or Grek.

"Rematch?" Kom offered.

"You lost to me twice in a row. No. I am going to trust in your recruiting. I will claim Kyrn."

"Peet, are you serious? You picking up a rookie? why would you do that? Claim a veteran and trade for a younger player, why pick up a rookie?" Kom barked. " Don't think I will play you easier next time we enter the arena."

"I have no doubt. But you should know I have made a deal. I am releasing Hugan." He must have seen the glint in Kom eyes. "Don't get any ideas. Hugan I will release but only because I think he needs to start recruiting his own team. I will give him one year to recruit his own team."

"He deserves it, I wish it was me who had given him the chance. " Kom looked at Peet.

As they entered the locker room Kom was already thinking about some of the recruits he needed to interview. Some to grab for his team, some to keep from joining Hugan. Kom had three days until he had to bring a team back into the arena. He wanted to be ready.

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