Technician Manco and grandmaster Worgf wait with me in the GOMA locker rooms; the Jawa paces up and down while grandmaster remains silent by my side. An announcement comes through calling all fighters to the main arena. I find myself standing in a circle with all the other combatants, as the organisers perform a ritual commemorating the start of the tournament. I do not recognise any of the fighters, but I do spot Madame Khorash in the crowd – and she gives me a glance.
We are sent back to the locker rooms to wait for the pairing of fighters. The crowd is really getting into it, the whole place vibrates from the stomps and shouts. After half an hour of waiting an injured fighter is carried in through the area – the first match had finished. I hear my name being called on the speakers, it is time. I bow to grandmaster and head out to the pit.
Out here the crowd is more deafening than I expected, I let it drown out into background white noise as my opponent steps out onto the arena. A Bith boxer hops around swinging short jabs into the air in front of him. It looks like an act more than anything else, but I should not underestimate him. The bell rings and we both pace towards each other. I take a few swings at him but he seems to dodge them with ease. Thankfully I am able to keep him in a defensive state, stopping him from swinging back. After some clever footwork I successfully elbow his right arm – I hear a crack and he goes down. The white noise of the crowd amplifiers around the arena – the first fight is mine. I bow to everyone, and just before heading out of the arena, I spot Black Claw in the crowd. I point to him, what a pathetic excuse for a Wookie, then take my leave.
Technician Manco provides some kebabs for us back at the locker room to celebrate – who am I to refuse! But the celebration is short lived, I am soon called out for my second fight. On the other side of the arena stands a female Metahuman martial artist, not as bulky as the last opponent, I am betting she is pretty agile. My assumption was correct, as her swift moves put me in a defensive stance at the very start of the fight. She manages to get me in a stun which I use to my advantage, I stagger up and in one swift motion step around her and elbow her in the back. She is down for the fight, but I am still shaking off that stun she pulled on me. I bow to the crowd and return to the locker room.
I use my time in the locker room to refocus, during that last match I put myself at a disadvantage from the start – the opponents from here on in are only going to get tougher. Focus Arri. I am called for my third fight. One thing this tournament has is variety, on the other side of the arena is a greased up Gamorean wrestler. He appears to be doing some primal alpha ritual dance in an attempt to intimidate me, much like with the first boxer, I try to ignore the pre-battle act he is putting on – but for some reason I cannot. Perhaps from the adrenaline built up over the last two fights, I retaliate by parodying his dance back to him, at which the crowd goes crazy – and so does the Gamorean as he rushes at me with rage in his eyes. Blind rage it would appear, as he does not adjust for my side step which positions my elbow in the path of his upper torso – a big thud. His oily body keeps momentum and crashes into the arena wall behind me. The crowd’s noise level confirms my victory. Well played Arri, I was not looking forward to wrestling with that pile of grease.