by Season Irwin

    Blinking hard from the strong pour of sunlight through the doors, Luke
let himself be lead out again onto the edge of the arena. The heat was as
oppressive as it had been the previous time, but he did not acknowledge it.
Master Skywalker was deep in thought.  The Force answered his call by sending
him the sublime sensation of thousands upon thousands of living beings in the
crowd around him. Breathing into the flow of the Force, he
noted exactly where each of the guards was stationed throughout the arena
with their Force-nullifying Ysalamiri. Luke then examined his opponent.
    "In this corner, we have Blexx! Notable Sith Lord from Farquarre, and 46
time champion!!" boomed the announcer. The roar of the crowd was deafening.
The dark, shark-like eyes of Blexx glared at him from across
the space between them, and he spread his mouth in an open razor-toothed,
malicious snarl. Blexx was
from a large lizard race of beings, standing at least 7 feet tall and covered
with smooth scales everywhere
excepting his back and massive tail: they were covered in hard scales. He
wore a special black fitted suit, like Luke's, which left his long powerful
tail exposed and free. Appraising his opponent carefully, Luke noted that he
was very strong in the Dark Side; quite his equal in the Force. He relaxed
his mind, and awareness filled his entire
being. This Blexx had a fierce pride in his brute strength.
    "Over here we have Luke Skywalker, the famous Jedi Master, from the
Alliance to Restore the Republic !" Hesitant cheers and exclamations rang
around him as the people realized who they were about to see fighting in
the arena.
    "Kill him, Blexx!!" several voices from the guard's direction rang out.
Oppressive waves from the Dark Side crashed into Luke's sense of the Force
with brutality. He knew that this was not going to be easy. Moving over to
the table of weaponry, Blexx was allowed first choice. His large clawed hand
gripped and lifted a large coiled
whip, with cruel barbs in a cat o' nine tails at the end. Luke immediately
strode to the table and glanced rapidly
over the rest of the weapons. He had noticed that Blexx had chosen something
more fluid and fast than he
was capable of moving.
    Blue eyes running swiftly over the rest of the weapons, Luke's hand came
down on the longest spear of all. It was already stained with blood. Both of
them took their places in the center of the arena and eyed one another.
Reaching out with the Force to probe the lizard being's mind and perhaps
pre-judge his style, Luke found that he came swiftly up against a strong
Force shield around his mind. He smiled slightly. With attention drawn to
his powers that way, less would be used in other ways. It was a small bit of
    "I've always dreamed of going up against you," Blexx snarled in a raspy
voice. He showed his teeth again, enthusiastic for the battle to begin.
Before the signal sounded, Blexx drew up his whip and began to swing it
in a circular fashion. Luke could hear it crackle slightly, and realized with
a start that it carried an electrical charge. He began to back up slowly,
gauging the distance that the whip could reach held by Blexx's long arms. It
be difficult to get close enough to take any shots at him with his spear.
This continued for a few minutes. The
crowd began to bellow their displeasure, shouting out for action and blood.
Finally, Blexx lunged and arced his whip, expertly catching the front of
Luke's suit. Although he had torn it open, he had not broken Luke's skin; but
Luke was singed by the electrical charge just the same. Blexx let out a low,
growling laugh.
    Luke forced away the hiss of pain that sprang to his lips and
concentrated on his opponent. If he could get the whip away from him by
tangling it on his spear, he would have a chance. He was still as unwilling
to kill his opponent as Octavia had been.
    Without any hint of warning, Blexx arced the whip up and around, taking
three running steps towards Luke at
the same time. Luke ducked just in time, flipping over in a backwards
somersault in the sand and then sprang instantly to his feet again. Blexx
kept the whip moving, arcing it backward then forward, the barbed cat
o'nine tails whistling. He kept moving purposefully towards Luke, from an
angle. Just as the crowd began to roar again, Blexx moved closer to him and
snapped back the whip. Although Luke jumped into the air and flipped
away from him, the barbs caught his back and tore into his flesh right
through the suit. Blood began to seep down his back as he circled backwards
away from his opponent. The electrical charge had knocked some sense out of
him, and he had to summon the Force carefully to balance his thoughts. The
crowd roared wildly at the sight of
first blood. Blexx snarled gleefully and circled Luke again.
    Ducking down and taking a running leap for his opponent, Blexx used the
Dark Side to propel him farther than he could physically manage on his own.
Luke ran at him at the same time, and came close enough to nick Blexx with
his spear as he ran past. Mindful as he was of Blexx's powerful tail, he was
still not fast enough to get away. The tail whipped at him, cracking him in
the ribs as he was almost out of range. Luke knew they were not broken, but
he still had the wind knocked out of him for a moment. The crowd went wild.
Gulping air quickly, Luke concentrated with the Force. It took only a moment
to bring himself back under control. He faced his enemy with a deeper sense
of calm.
    The whip arced around once more, and this time Luke leaped forward to
meet it with the end of his spear. A serious tug of war began, neither
willing to give in to the other, but neither able to win out. Finally, Blexx
wrenched the spear out of Luke's grasp. He reeled in the whip and loosed the
spear, and bringing his huge
hand up, broke the spear in two using the Force alone and tossed it far
behind him. The crowd roared with
pleasure. Luke no-hands cartwheeled away from Blexx some distance, and then
came to rest in a ready stance. It was time to put his plan into action, now
that what he had set-up had taken place. Taking on a nervous outer composure,
Luke concentrated on filling his thought pattern with panic for Blexx to pick
up on. Deep down, he shielded his true composure of total calm and serenity.
As expected, this drew a nasty smile from Blexx. For a
time, he used is opponent's energy on ducking away from the whip again and
again. Several times he allowed the barbs to catch his body, drawing more
blood and more confidence from Blexx. Finally he had maneuvered
around to a position in which he was not too far away from the broken
forepart of his spear. Reaching out to it,
Luke called it into his hand with the Force and spun to face his Dark
    Suddenly propelling himself toward Blexx, Luke was immediately caught in
the curl of the whip again before
he could ultimately reach him with the spear tip. Blexx side-stepped the
spear easily, bringing the whip taut in a flash. The mob leaped to their feet
and howled deafeningly.
    Whirling out of the whip's grasp, Luke managed to catch his breath in a
moment and recover from the bursts
of electricity. Stepping away only a few paces, the large lizard turned to
give Luke full brunt of the lash of his tail, but the Jedi managed to leap
over it in time. He turned immediately again, this time pounding into Luke's
with great power, knocking him to his knees. Luke knew that this time around
he had several cracked ribs.
Whip already coiled, Blexx lashed out at him with it and caught him tightly
around the neck. The thing sent
steady bolts of electricity that would have caused a non-Force user to black
out, allowing the wielder to move in
for the kill. But Blexx knew he was fighting the strongest living Jedi. But
Luke was having some difficulty with
it. And the cat o'nine tails end had caught in his skin around his throat and
was again drawing blood, digging into him painfully. Luke was able to ignore
this much. They were dangerously close to a guard at the arena's edge, a
guard which of course held a Ysalamiri across his shoulders. Blexx was just
within the edge of it's effecting
range, Luke knew, but he was safe. Grimacing fiercely and clawing at the whip
coiled about his neck, the Jedi appeared to be struggling for breath. He used
the Force to knock down his opponent, as though he were trying to maneuver a
way out of the whip, but Blexx was on his huge feet instantly. He would not
be easily knocked down
a second time. Luke drew the Force to him like a cloak, seeming to Blexx to
be panicked, but in actuality very
calm. Blexx, in his glee over the turn of events, did not notice that Luke's
thumb was firmly underneath the area where the whip covered his wind pipe. He
used this as well as the Force to keep the whip just barely loose enough to
keep from crushing his throat.
    Noting that he was too close to the guard, Blexx walked away, keeping
the whip taut. He did not want to miss
the sensations through the Force of the death of the great Master Luke
Skywalker! He knew he was strong enough in the Dark side as well as his brute
strength alone, to defeat him now. As the whip pulled tighter and tighter,
Luke gradually allowed it to begin to cut off his air supply. He focused in
with utter serenity on the Force hidden deep within his mind and felt his
lips begin to turn blue. The rest of his mind concentrated on keeping a
steady flow of realistic but false panicked and desperate thoughts towards
his opponent. He knew that Blexx was devouring the
fear and despair with great relish, and he was counting on that for what was
about to happen.
    The crowd was still on its feet, one huge mass of hysteria. Some were
crying out for Luke while still more
were roaring out the name of Blexx. Painfully slow, they saw Luke try to
crawl towards Blexx on his knees, but
the Dark Sider easily kept the whip taut, walking away from him. Luke turned
dusky and then blue, all the while
desperately clawing at the whip and making many maneuvers to loosen its grip,
but to no avail. At last, the Jedi drooped slightly, and his hands fell away
from his throat, one and then the other. He slowly fell over and lay still.
At first the Dark Sider did not believe what had happened. He did not trust
that the greatest Jedi of this generation had been so easily slain. Keeping
the whip tight for many minutes while the deafening noise continued around
him, Blexx finally approached his fallen opponent and used the Force to
determine whether or not he was indeed
truly dead. Luke did not move again, awkwardly fallen onto his side. Blexx
also checked the Jedi's throat for a pulse and found nothing. He knew all
about the ability to feign death, so he was careful. The crowd was beginning
to dull its roar until finally it was only a low buzz. They could not believe
it either.
    After many long minutes, Blexx turned to the crowd and raised both fists
over his head and roared out his victory. The mob was a mixture of cries of
triumph and cries of disbelief. Guards brought him to the center of the arena
and the announcer boomed out,  "Blexx, Sith Lord from Farquarre is our new
champion, defeater of 47!!" Those in the arena audience who approved roared
out their glee. Which was relatively everyone. There would be wild parties
    Luke was carried unceremoniously out of the arena and into a large dark
room. A few bodies were stacked up
in a sloppy pile to the left, inward from the door, near a large incinerator.
They placed him roughly on the floor beside the pile.
    "As soon as the next battle is over, we have to start tossing these few
into the incinerator," one guard reminded the other, "We're behind schedule,
and I don't want to get caught with those bodies left in here for the boss to
    "Yeah, yeah, big deal, we'll get to 'em after the next fight. What's the
rush? They're dead, ain't they?" the second one chuckled gruffly.
    The door slid shut behind them loudly, and Luke's limp body was left
alone with all of the others who were unlucky enough to have failed in their
attempts in recent arena battles.


Return to Cantina Archives