Grandmaster Worgf pays us a visit early in the morning, together with pilot Tyr and technician Manco, we sit around and discuss the GOMA. My crew agree to help with my training today, and we all follow the grandmaster out the door. We take turbo lifts deep down into the station, deeper than I have even gone before. We stop at some checkpoint, where grandmaster hands some papers over to a guard – and we are allowed through.
We travel onward and deeper, down some stairs, where the air is beginning to feel thick and humid… and a terrible stench comes through – why has grandmaster brought us down to the sewer works? We hit a sealed door, technician Manco helps us open it. As if the stench could not get any worse, everyone covers their noses and mouths as soon as the door opens. We follow some platforms down as we now walked along a stream of sewerage waste, and hit a slightly larger opening with a larger pool in the middle. Grandmaster Worgf tells everyone to stop, and looks at me.
I stare back at him, he does not appear to be jesting. Given the amount of effort it took for us to get all the way down here, I do not think this is a joke – I comply and jump in. The putrid waste reaches my knees. I am not even thinking about the others at this point, simply trying to overcome the smell. After a few minutes it is less intrusive on my senses, and thankfully so – there is a sound and movement from within the murky liquid.
A small head with one eye pops out of the waste – a Dianoga! Technician Manco sees it too, and is quick to fire off a blaster shot. The eye submerges and in-place multiple tentacles splash out of the waste. Two of them grab onto me and pull me down beneath the liquid. I use all my strength to break free, thankfully I am able to fend the tentacles off. I re-emerge from the waste and gasp for air, laser fire echoing behind me. More tentacles appear.
They grab me into the water once again and begin to pull me away. It takes a little longer this time but I free myself from their grasp once again. Behind me I catch a glimpse of my crew mates battling it out with some sort of lizard creature, before noticing the Dianoga trying to swim away. I reach down to grab one of the tentacles beneath the liquid, it jerks and the head pops up again. A blaster shot flies past my shoulder and bounces off the creature. The waste is too slippery, and I lose grip of the tentacle. It swims away. Suddenly, there is silence.
Grandmaster Worgf calls out that it is over, and that it is time to leave. As I climb out of the pool of waste I can see technician Manco and pilot Tyr keeping their distance. I do not blame them. We stop by the decontamination unit before heading back to our quarters. I briefly speak to grandmaster about Black Claw, a name he has heard, but tells me to focus on the training. He is right, I should not allow myself to get distracted. I have one more test tomorrow morning, he tells me to reflect on today’s events and rest.
The next day we head down to the heart of the Eye, home of the station’s security. We speak to a Captain Ellup, who greets me rather respectfully for someone I have never met. Where as yesterday’s training was a test on my sense of smell, today’s training takes away my sense of sight. I am blindfolded and play a game of tag against a couple of Eye security guards. They are eager to hit me with their batons, but they lack any sense of stealth prowess. Not only are they clumsy but they also perspire under pressure – picking them out is easy enough. After the rather short encounter, we all thank each other and leave.
Grandmaster is pleased with my training, but before I step into the arena tomorrow, he says there is one more task to complete. I fight under my name, but I need an emblem – a symbol to fight under. Once this symbol is created, I will be ready to compete. It takes the rest of the day to complete, and is quite therapeutic after the week’s physical training, but I come up with something I am happy with. With my emblem complete, I retire to my bed, for my final rest before the tournament.