by Courtney Kraft

Psylocke woke very slowly.  She felt heavy and sluggish, like she had
overslept.  She turned over and reached out for her nightstand to her
turn her clock around.  Her arm caught air and fell against the side
of the bed.

"Hmm?" she mumbled.  She opened one eye and noticed that her
nightstand was gone.  Then she noticed that the room was not hers,
and neither was the bed.  She pushed herself up, patting her hair
down to her head.  To her left and right she saw fifteen bunk beds
lined up next to each other.  There were people sleeping and sitting
up to talk all around her.  The morning light was glowing orange as
it touched the windows.

She looked down, and noticed a man sleeping in the bed below hers.
She frowned.  Am I dreaming? She wondered.  She looked down at
herself and noticed that she was in a black, loose fitting bodysuit.
Then, she caught sight of two metal bracelets on her wrists.

"What the hell is going on?!" she shouted.

The sleeping bodies in the room started to stir.  A woman on the bunk
next to hers shushed her.  Psylocke scowled at her.

"We're on Tattooine.  I can tell from the two suns."

"Tattooine?  How did I get here?"  Then she remembered the pet store,
and the sonics, and the cold woman's voice that taunted her on a
ship.  "Am I dreaming?" she murmured.

"This is no dream," she woman said nonchalantly.  We've all been brought
here, but no one knows why."

At that moment, a Twi'lek dressed in red and golden metal entered the
barrack.  He was high above them, walking on a balcony near the ceiling.

"Welcome, gladiators" he bellowed.  "Some of you are here by choice,
and some of you are not.  There is only one way to leave.  The first
is by winning ten rounds.  The second, is in a body bag.  There is no
way to escape."

Gasps and murmurs erupted throughout the room.  Psylocke kept
silent.  "We will call each player out when it is his or her time.
We will then read you the rules and take you out into the field.
With that he turned and left, leaving thirty stunned faces staring
after him.

"Rounds?  Gladiators?  What is he talking about?"

"He talking about us," a man on her right answered.  He was older
than she, and a bit disheveled.  "This must be the annual gladiator
tournament and we're the players."

"Huh interesting."

She pinched herself and frowned.

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