ARENA PREP ROOM ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ Master Rimoya glared at the unconscious form that was Keel, as he pointed for the guards that carried the Saiyan to move him to the far corner of the prep room. They did as instructed, before lumping the gladiator onto the ground, then stepped back and resumed defensive positions with weapons in hand. The Ludus doctor entered, and began to assess, before giving a final nod and saying simply:
"He's passed out from overexertion, and his wounds are bad but not life threatening," The doctor looked down to Keel and frowned. "He should regain consciousness soon... for better or worse."
The Canistelean master trainer folded his arms, as he nodded to the doctor, and caught the end of Lord Lúcuma's address to the arena. The event for the week was over, the second Saiyan had been defeated, Keel had managed to avoid death and now they had to deal with the aftermath. It was hard to determine just how Keel would feel once he was awake, let alone how he might act, so Master Rimoya decided to err on the side of caution as he motioned to the doctor, to get attention.
"Sedate him," Master Rimoya said, as he reached up and activated his communicator. "I must speak with Lord Lúcuma. Make sure that Keel remains docile and cooperative, at least for the post-event function."
The doctor nodded and began to do as instructed, while Master Rimoya turned and looked out over the heavily damaged arena beyond the prep room. There was a moment of pause, before the noble answered, and the master trainer cleared his throat to address his superior with an update.
"Lord Lúcuma, I have an update for you," Master Rimoya remained fixated on the deep crater in the sand, as he spoke. "Keel has survived, his wounds aren't life threatening, and the doctor suspects he will regain consciousness soon. That said, I have advised for sedation, in order to keep the monkey under control for the gathering you have planned. I will also place him in reinforced shackles, with an electro-shock collar, to keep him under control for the gathering."
There were a few words said in reply, to which Master Rimoya nodded and turned to glance back at Keel.
"I believe, with continued sedation and precautions, the monkey can be kept in a state that allows for his use for your later plans, yes," The older Canistelean nodded to himself. "If need be, we can simply lock him in seclusion and medicate until needed. Then, once you have finished with him, we can put the pest down quickly and quietly... it should prove no issue, Lord Lúcuma."
Some more words.
"Yes, Lord Lúcuma. It shall be done, I will bring him shortly."
Once the call was over, Master Rimoya pressed his communicator button, then turned to the guards that were nearest the door to exit. He spoke in a clear, deep voice, so there was no misunderstanding:
"Lord Lúcuma will have Keel at the post-event gathering to take place shortly. I want reinforced shackles brought to the monkey, as well as a shock collar, and we will sedate him again if need be--" Master Rimoya pointed to the exit. The guards nodded. "--now go, the nobles are already on their way to the meeting room, and Lord Lúcuma will not be kept waiting!"
As everyone began to move, Master Rimoya could only glare at Keel, who had complicated matters so badly in only an evening...
ARENA CORRIDORS ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ The first thing Keel recalled after he woke was the cold steel around his form. He was chained and bound, with shackles on his chest, wrists and ankles, which were positioned to allow only the barest ability to walk. His hands were strapped against the chest constraints, and multiple chains were looped and latched, which limited Keel to merely stepping. He also felt the familiar band around his neck, a shock collar, and could assume the state of his existence after the arena fight from that alone...
Guess they don't trust me anymore, Keel thought, though his mind and attention felt slow and groggy. He could understand that, especially if his master had heard the discussion with Courge. Two guards led him down sub-level arena corridors. Mind's all foggy... hard to think, hard to stay awake...
Onward Keel shuffled, with his chained ankles, until he heard a guard mutter something about sedation and no danger. The Saiyan blinked his half-closed eyes as he was manhandled through a doorway, and caught sight of a shadowy individual ahead. The range was too far to see clearly, Keel's eyes blurred, then was jostled to a stop in front of a scrawny and short Canistelean noble - that much was obvious, from the expensive looking clothing the individual wore, though who it was Keel was unsure.
Words were said, the sounds were drowned out by Keel's want to sleep, before he felt a hand on his back. The guard supported Keel, somewhat, with the hand placed to keep the Saiyan upright... to which a sudden jolt of pain was felt against Keel's stomach, before the electrical current passed through his body, and caused him to spasm. The shock of being tasered threw some of the sedation off, as Keel's mind reacted to the threat, and adrenaline began to pump through him; although, in Keel's current restrained state, all he could do was growl and blink rapidly to clear his vision, as the noble's lean features came into focus. And whoever it was, he looked like some kind of rodent, with that opinion only increasing as he spoke.
Good, Keel thought, as he listened. It wasn't like he could do much else presently. Glad you were put out. Probably the first time in your life, you entitled little lordling.
When the mysterious rodent noble mentioned Keel having to kill another Saiyan, after learning he wasn't alone or part of a near-extinct race, the gladiator's dark eyes focused and stared at the noble's yellow ones. Every inch of the stranger's face was etched into Keel's memory in that moment, to be remembered for a lifetime, to recall at an opportunity to deliver a swift punch to that smug mouth...
"I'll tell you once the sedation wears off," Keel muttered, but his words were slurred. "Around the time I can clench a fist and use it... your lordship."
Keel suspected the individual was the son of someone important, as the gladiator had never seen him before, nor heard word of anyone that matched such a description. Chances were this was some kind of personal enjoyment, perhaps the rodent noble was a fan or had some personal stake in Courge's death, beyond betting zeni on the outcome. A rival of some sort, to Lúcuma perhaps? Either way, Keel's eyes narrowed as he tested the restraints with a rattle of chains, as the rodent noble spoke about the scars across the Saiyan's body. A few more barbs were added for good measure, before the rod the noble had held was pressed into the wound on Keel's shoulder--
--Keel growled, as his glare intensified. What the gladiator wouldn't give to be free of the bindings, to snap the scrawny lordling over his knee, and move on with whatever else Lúcuma had planned - because Keel knew it wasn't good, since the nobleman was a vindictive master, prone to making examples of those that went against his wishes. The rodent noble continued to taunt, to which Keel began to snicker and said in a low voice:
"At least I have something to be proud of, which isn't just what caste I was born into," Keel pushed forward suddenly, as he snapped his teeth with a bite. He wasn't close to the rodent noble, but the guard pulled back on the restraints nonetheless. "And you're forgetting how I got these scars - fighting against opponents stronger than you, your little lordship."
The guards were uncomfortable, as Keel began to breathe heavily, his arms and chest strained against the bindings. They knew what could happen when the Saiyan gave in to his rage, and they wanted to stop that happening, especially around a nobleman.
"Calm down, or get zapped," One guard said suddenly, as he reached up and presented the shock collar remote. That same guard looked to the mysterious noble. "Apologies, we don't have much longer before we need to deliver Keel to Lord Lúcuma."
Keel, with agitation slowly receding under threat of being hit with a strong shock, instead turned to look at the rodent noble again and simply waited to see what else the sniveling, scrawny lordling wanted to say...
The brute's response to the taser pole's tingle was quite satisfying - an instant plunge into aggressive demeanor and spewing of thinly veiled threats. This whole endeavor might be easier than Litchi had thought; he had not taken into consideration just how agitated the Saiyan was before even getting taunted.
"Now, now, you don't want the guards to think you're threatening a noble lord, do you?" Most slaves would get whipped and strung up publicly for a similar outburst, although Keel wasn't exactly at risk of such a punishment - not at this point anyway, when Lúcuma had a very specific purpose left for him.
"Ah yes, the pride in killing other slaves like yourself, for your master's entertainment. You would have your mind molded into that frame of subservience since early days, I imagine... Sad, really, especially for a Saiyan - they are considered to be such a fierce, independent race," he spoke, ignoring the guards who were asking for him to hurry. They got paid plenty for this little detour, after all. "Granted, they do enjoy fighting - a warrior race, not unlike Canisteleans... but they do it on their own terms. You, however, bring shame to them by performing like a trained circus animal, on command." The deep wound he had been tracing was becoming far too tempting.
"You seem to be convinced you're stronger than me, that I only dare approach you because you're in chains and being escorted by guards," he grinned, watching the gladiator's face as he prodded the sewn-up gash with the tip of the thin metal rod. "Believe me, I'm not afraid of a pet monkey. If it was in my power to remove your chains right now, I would - and then you would see why exactly it is that Canistelean nobles stay in power and easily enslave other-world species, such as yourself." Litchi twisted the rod before he pulled it out, breaking one of the stitches. The trickle of crimson was a delightful sight. Hopefully, nobody would pay any attention to the sight of fresh blood, when the brute was supposed to be somewhat cleaned up for the noble gathering. Then again, if a certain someone paid too much attention or even went so far as to show signs of empathy... The identity of the rebel sympathizer was all but certain at this point, but obtaining an additional proof wouldn't hurt anyone. Except the tailless monkey, that is.
He aimed a blow at another painful-looking cut, this one on the brute's torso, dislodging several more stitches and causing more blood to start dripping out. "Next time, mind your tongue when talking to a member of nobility. Remember this advice - it will come in useful to you more than once this week." Rather reluctantly, he then withdrew, motioning for the guards to proceed.
"Be a good little monkey now, your master requires a well-behaved pet for today," he added, watching the brute being taken away.
It seemed like a long while before Lord Lúcuma entered the lounge. The nobles were getting comfortable and enjoying themselves, the conversations becoming more lively, the snacks and refreshments gradually disappearing from the table. Tiyesa's guts were roiling inside her like vicious snakes. She had had enough time to power up to her full strength, without anyone noticing, and resentfully resumed her role as a hostess. However, even having superficial conversations with her fellow lords and ladies was a challenge, her mind refusing to contribute to such nonsense when much more important events were about to unfold. She had a horrible feeling about those events, too.
She was relieved to see Father's tall form appear in the entrance. Lady Kiwana, who was trying to converse with Tiyesa about someone's upcoming espousal, fell silent now. Everyone did, the chatter jutting out around the room as expectant eyes were turned to the host.
"My friends! Apologies for taking so long - there were important matters I had to see to, in order to guarantee your safety for this evening, and for the one to come," he began, the enigmatic words provoking some hushed whispers. "For years you have watched my best warrior perform down in the arena. Doubtlessly, some of you were curious to see him from up close..." At that precise moment, Keel was brought in, flanked by a pair of guards. Curious eyes turned to him, most nobles already having caught on.
"It is with great pleasure that I announce a dinner function that will take place three days from now. My famed Saiyan gladiator will attend it as well - you will be able to observe the beast's behavior outside the fighting pit!" He gestured towards the chained-down Saiyan, to direct the attention of those few who had failed to notice him. There were audible gasps and no-longer-hushed whispers at this, the nobles evidently intrigued by the prospect of having someone so dangerous join them, and likely make a fool of himself... like an ape thrown into a room full of well-mannered people. "Invitations will be sent to you and your families, providing more details. And now - enjoy the rest of the evening!"
Amid the resuming chatter, Lúcuma walked up to his heavily restrained slave. Tiyesa drifted closer, ears pricked. The good-natured tone her father used when making the announcement was gone from his voice when he hissed quietly: "Behave now, and I might just forget the fact that instead of attacking your opponent, you suggested leaving the arena together." With that, he walked away to pick up a drink before joining a group of nobles. Tiyesa glanced at the bound-up Saiyan briefly, directed her gaze back to her father... and did a double-take back at Keel. Was he bleeding? A fair bit of time had passed since the last fight, enough for the bleeding to stop. Not to mention the fact that a doctor was supposed to take care of the warrior before he was brought to the gathering - so as not to offend the eyes of the nobility with sights of gore in their resplendent lounge.
Frowning slightly, she made a few steps closer to Keel, trying to get a better look at the two angry-looking wounds. They had been taken care of - cleaned and stitched up. Someone had reopened them afterwards, and very recently, too. Did he get beaten into submission..? But Lord Lúcuma's slaves were generally electrocuted; a painful treatment - yet easier to recover from. Tiyesa switched her gaze to one of the escorting guards, suddenly furious. She made towards him, intent on finding out exactly what had happened.
"So it was true, your father really intends to let the brute attend a noble function," Litchi spoke, appearing as if out of nowhere and placing himself on her path. His eyes were glinting impishly as he swirled a glass with some clear beverage in his palm. Tiyesa glanced over his shoulder, at Keel and the two guards. They were so close, yet she couldn't approach them now, not without shaking Litchi off first.
"Indeed, Lord Litchi. I'm glad you stuck around to find out for yourself," she said, trying not to give him any conversation hooks. Not that he ever required any.
"Now that you don't need to preserve the secrecy of the upcoming dinner party, you can answer my question. Aren't you worried about letting a barbaric monkey into your home, with so many highborn patrons in attendance?" He clearly didn't care that the barbaric monkey in question was standing within earshot.
"He wouldn't be the most uncouth guest to ever set foot in out home, nor does his presence cause me concern," she retorted, her self-control slipping momentarily. Tiyesa took a deep breath before adding, "I trust Father's judgement."
Her insolent words were met with the usual oblivious smile. "It is good to know that there is such a deep bond of trust between you and your lord father." It seemed that Litchi was planning on pestering her during this whole evening, as was his habit in most such gatherings.
ARENA CORRIDORS ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ When the scrawny noble began to berate Keel for his candor, the gladiator began to show a wry smirk in response. The words were threatening, yes, but they held no weight. No matter how the mysterious noble wanted to spin things in his favor, the fact remained that - at the present - they had met under suspicious circumstances; clearly, whoever the little lordling was, he had bribed the guards supposedly loyal to Lúcuma, which meant that even if Keel headbutted the lordling, there was little they could do.
How do they explain a secret meeting, in the lower corridors of the arena, outside of Lúcuma's awareness? Keel thought, as he mentally considered several ways he could deliver a solid forehead to the little noble's face. Any report would incriminate them, too. This little rodent is all bark, no bite...
But the bite didn't seem to be the purpose, as the words spoken by the noble were aimed at cutting in other ways. Keel's wry expression began to lessen, mainly as he began to lose his patience with the encounter, and because the scrawny individual opposite him seemed intent on saying whatever was needed to get a rise. And it was close to working. Keel had learned to take a lot in his life, he was used to being treated lesser, but that had always been delivered in less obvious and blatant ways - glances, snide remarks, outright being ignored... so when the rodent noble began to turn the barbs on with his words, Keel's method of indifference began to slip.
"Bold words," Keel muttered, as he stared with dark unblinking eyes at the mysterious individual. Keel remained vaguely aware of the rod that prodded across his chest and shoulder. "Especially for someone that isn't chained..."
The back and forth seemed to wound pride on both sides, however, as the little lordling began to react to Keel's - clear - implications that the Canistelean was weaker. That was when the rodent noble spoke about not being afraid of a pet monkey, a term Keel had heard in passing before, and proceeded to jab the rod he held into one of the gladiator's wounds. This time, however, Keel remained motionless, he didn't wince or respond, and simply maintained his stare. The first jab at a wound had been a bit of a surprise, but this time Keel had expected it, and he remained completely passive out of spite, even when the lordling twisted the object and snapped one of the stitches.
For all the calm Keel showed externally, his internal was boiling rage; but he controlled it, for now.
"I was taken as a baby in a growth pod," Keel said in a low voice, as he began to slowly smile. The gladiator even chuckled, before he outright laughed. "Is that how you stay in power? Conquering unborn babies?"
The Saiyan began to laugh loudly, even as the guards moved to quiet him, but the lordling took care of that with the rod - and a quick hit to Keel's stomach, where a deep slice had been treated and stitched like several others, sent a jolt of pain through the Saiyan. He grimaced, the laugh stopped in his throat, even as the rodent noble added a threat about minding one's tongue around nobility. Had Keel been able to move, what with the guards having more hands on him from the loud laughter moments before, he might have thrust his head forward to break the noble's nose... but unfortunately it seemed enough time had passed, and the meeting was brought to an end. As he was escorted away, Keel glanced back and added:
"See you soon."
Keel decided that should the rodent noble's little neck be wrung by some political rival, as one could hope would happen, there would be no sleep lost over his demise. In fact, if the Saiyan had the opportunity to do the wringing on command from a political rival of the rodent, all the better. And as Keel was escorted away further into the corridors, the shackles clanging and clinking as he moved with the pair of guards, there was a growing want to find that particular noble in the future... even if the idea and possibility of doing anything was abysmal. It was still an amusing thought exercise, while Keel walked, anyway.
Several passageways later, one of the guards seemed to have had enough time to ponder over something pressing, and looked to Keel from within the helmet he wore. "I've never had an issue with you, Keel, as a guard," The tall Canistelean said in a low voice, as though the walls were listening. "You've done well by Lord Lúcuma, I think, and what I've been hearing already isn't good for you--"
"Enough," Said the other guard in a gruff voice. "We're getting near the Lord's location."
"Just... just be aware: you're on thin ice," The first Guard said in conclusion, as a sigh was heard from the other. "Step carefully."
Keel glanced to the guard who had offered the warning, gave the individual a nod, and felt some level of appreciation. At least someone under Lúcuma's employ seemed to care about more than just the nobleman's whims and desires, even if it was only a vague warning to be careful. At least it was something, enough to allow Keel to be alert and able to placate if he needed to, though the gladiator had always had problems on that front - he tended to show his respect by being more stoic and silent, as little could be blamed on one for being still and not speaking.
What is the saying? Silence is golden?
It was only a handful of minutes later, when the pair of guards brought Keel up to the more lavish section of the arena, and he was presented to more guards who stood outside a decorated door. Some words passed, Keel remained silent and felt a sting in his right shoulder as a mild sedative was administered, and then the doors opened and the gladiator was assaulted with the noise of conversation, laughter and fragrant smells of food and drink. The guards at the doorway took over, as both took up positions beside Keel. One spoke:
"Don't do anything stupid, or we'll dose you again," She said, as Keel was jostled into the room, right as his presence was cued. "You're in the presence of your betters now..."
NOBLE LOUNGE ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ Lúcuma's speech was heard, but the words were momentarily hard to comprehend, as the sedative dose from moments before was in full effect. It flooded through Keel's system, the pain from the re-opened wounds from previously gone, and a feeling of calm washed over the Saiyan. He knew from experience it was a temporary effect, one that only lasted around ten minutes as the injector process provided a stronger immediate effect that tapered off, so before long Keel expected to be less heady.
Keel glanced toward a looming face, as Lúcuma peered at Keel with disdain and mentioned the discussion with the other Saiyan, Courge. Seemed the nobleman had heard it all, which made the gladiator realize the words of warning from the earlier guards in the corridors. Keel was about to respond, but Lúcuma turned and walked away, to which the Saiyan scoffed under his breath and shook his head a little - mainly to try and clear it - but otherwise remained where he had been positioned. The nobles all moved about, some whispered and pointed at him, others glanced over and smiled or giggled...
Suddenly, a mass of auburn hair was brought into focus for Keel, as he blinked and caught the familiar sight of Lady Tiyesa across the room. She was Lúcuma's daughter, someone who was generally considered nice by the Saiyan, but there was little of note between the pair. She was a noble, he was a gladiator, and aside from passing one another in the halls and seeing each other when Keel had been serving the household, there wasn't much connection or interaction. Still, there she was, peering at the bleeding wounds from the scrawny noble from earlier--
Wait, is that him?
--Keel's stare settled on the same mysterious individual from the passageways below. It turned out the little lordling had planned to attend the gathering set by Lúcuma, which caused the gladiator to smile dopily to himself, even as he began to think of ways to headbutt him. Keel couldn't hear what the pair spoke about, not really, but every so often a few words managed to reach him over the backdrop of the gathering and other voices. Mainly, though, Keel tried to listen for the little lordling's name, and even thought he might have heard it, but couldn't be sure...
"Lord Chi?" Keel muttered to himself, dark eyes narrowed. The sedative was still affecting him, it was hard to focus specifically on the two. "Maybe?"
Also, from his vantage in the room opposite the arena, Keel could see well beyond the guests and into the space beyond. It just so happened that, with little else to occupy him as a living object on display, the gladiator had been staring out of the balcony entry across the way... and noticed that the shimmer of the arena force field, the one in place for audience protection, suddenly shut off. There was a quick flicker of energy from the balcony, likely unnoticed if not looking at it or for it, and then it was gone.
What's happening? Keel thought slowly, as he glanced to Lúcuma, but the additional sedative had made him tired. Wait... is that combat?
Keel turned his head, as he caught the distant sound of fighting outside the door to his side. The clang and ring of weapons was unmistakable, he had grown accustomed to the sound throughout his life, and whoever was fighting was getting closer. Keel's reaction was dulled, as he looked around the room filled with nobility, and blinked slowly as he thought the room might tip to one side.
Is a rival noble attacking?
The only thing Keel could do, was remain between the pair of guards that secured him, chained and held in place...
Last Edit: May 30, 2022 21:34:08 GMT -5 by Deleted
Tiyesa was about to offer Litchi a hollow response when the sounds of combat erupted in the corridors around the lounge chamber. Startled like everyone else in the room, she turned around to look at the arena, while other nobles were staring at the side doors anxiously. The force field was gone - too early, much too early. They were only supposed to initiate the attack when the gathering ended and most guests had left, taking their own guards with them. This was bad. She had trusted the rebels to carry out the plan as intended and not take additional risks; it was a mistake. Most of the planning sessions were done with Canistelean middle-caste leaders, she never got to meet the foot soldiers tasked with executing the mission. Of course they wouldn't be as professional and level-headed, they were slaves only trained to fight, counting on raw strength rather than careful strategies. That would be their undoing - and hers, for the oversight of relying on them.
"Do not worry, my lady, whatever it is - there's enough guards and nobility soldiers to protect important people such as yourself and your father," Litchi spoke, his eyes glinting in a peculiar manner. Compared to the other lords and ladies, he was incredibly composed, even taking a sip from his drink as if he was a spectator enjoying another performance in the arena.
Tiyesa ignored him, focusing on Father instead. He was talking to someone through his earpiece urgently, covering his free ear to shut the sounds out. She couldn't hear what he was saying, but the conversation likely had to do with summoning backup for the guards and finding out what was happening.
There was a tremble in the spectator box outside, as a group of arena workers jumped in. Usually, members of the worker crew were slave fighters who took the job to earn extra food or other benefits; today, it was mostly rebel gladiators who signed up, as had been the plan. Someone would have broken into the control room and taken the force field down, too - also part of the plan, although done a good half hour too early.
"What a fancy place you have here," one of the invaders spoke, as his men began charging energy attacks. "I hope you don't mind us barging in? We didn't want to miss all the fun."
"Guards, take them," Lúcuma commanded, sounding furious. The Canistelean soldiers who had been guarding the room from the inside were already moving towards the intruders, some of them using Azure Aether to form shields that would deflect the incoming strikes. They weren't the only ones preparing to fight, either. Seeing the nobles lounging around in their gaudy garbs, always flanked by armed soldiers, the rebels might have forgotten - if they ever knew it to begin with - that most highborns received advanced combat training. A large portion of the guests were powering up now, engulfed in a bright blue aura, the room vibrating from the sudden increase in energy.
"It won't be as easy as you think, Lúcuma! You and your friends are about to meet your maker," the gladiator called out, though he looked less certain than he did a moment ago. Tiyesa watched the exchange, regretting having taken part in this endeavor. These invading slaves were dead already, they just didn't know it yet. What's more, their deviation from the plan would only harm the rebellion - especially if at least one of them got captured alive, since he would most certainly be tortured for information.
The rebels launched their attacks, aimed at various high-status nobles; the bright blasts fizzled out upon contact with Canistelean energy shields, causing barely any damage - only one of them wasn't intercepted, hitting the reinforced ceiling and raining some rubble down on the gathering. One of the side doors burst open then, more rebel fighters pouring in - already bloodied by the scuffle with the guards, although having managed to break through due to their surprise incursion.
Utter chaos followed.
Energy beams and blasts flew everywhere, hitting furniture, walls, people. It seemed that the insurgent gladiators were out for blood, aiming to kill as many nobles as they could, hoping that would plunge Victus City into pandemonium that could be used to take down both fighting pits and liberate the slaves. Only none of the Canistelean highborns were dying now - most of them had their shields up, protecting themselves and their non-militaristic allies from harm. From the corner of her eye, Tiyesa saw her father pull Mother behind him with his free hand, the other one maintaining a shimmering Aegis that no energy beam could penetrate. There was no way the rebels could get to them, or to anyone else of any importance.
A blast of energy was sent her way by one of the attackers. Even though she had been distracted trying to survey the situation and make quick decisions, she reacted in time - mostly instinctively - and crossed her arms in front of her face. She only sustained some minor damage, the skin on her forearms getting lightly singed - nothing a few minutes of advanced medical treatment wouldn't sort out. Tiyesa located the creature who had hit her - a three-eyed reptilian-like humanoid who was currently preparing to send another luminous orb her way. She had been reluctant to take action, but there was no other choice now. Aiming a finger at her opponent's head - she wasn't sure where its vital organs were, but going for the brain would probably be a safe choice - she fired a thin beam of energy. The reptile collapsed to the floor, a gaping hole burned through its skull.
For a few moments, Tiyesa was overwhelmed by a sudden wave of heat, followed by intense nausea. Her surroundings seemed to blur, until the only thing in existence was the corpse of the being that had been alive mere seconds ago. It took immense effort to pull herself out of the daze and suppress the sick feeling. Hopefully, her momentary weakness had not been noted; killing alien creatures was supposed to be natural and even enjoyable for a proper Canistelean.
She looked at the remaining gladiators, cornered against the wall with guards and nobles blocking their retreat. Bruised and exhausted, the rebels were only defending themselves at this point. It appeared that most of them wanted to surrender, and from the decrease in attacks against them, it seemed that they could be captured alive if they only vocalized their willingness to submit.
"Kill them!" Tiyesa heard herself exclaim, her voice sounding much more firm than she actually felt. It was the right call, however; these doomed men could not be allowed to survive today - if they did, they would still perish, only strapped to an interrogator's table, deprived of all dignity, having betrayed their allies and condemned many more to a similar fate. "These ungrateful beasts don't deserve to live, not after betraying my father like that!" In absence of a contradicting command, the guards obeyed her, firing at the trapped gladiators with lethal energy beams. The apparent leader of these fighters, the one who had entered through the spectator box and spoke in that arrogant manner, maintained a fairly powerful force field around himself, incredibly similar to the Canistelean Aegis. Weaker attacks dissipated against it with no effect. Resigned but determined, Tiyesa pointed her index finger at him.
"No, Lady Tiyesa," Litchi was suddenly there, grabbing her hands with unexpected strength. "The insolent slave should be captured and interrogated, so your lord father could find out who organized this attack." There was a sly smile playing on his lips as he restrained Tiyesa, not paying any mind to her efforts to free herself from his grasp. "Clearly it was premeditated - and even though it failed miserably, the initial execution of the attempt seems to have been planned at a level exceeding a slave's mental capacity." The room was now very quiet. Nobody else was talking, nobody was fighting anymore.
"Lord Litchi is right. We need to get the answers out of that traitor first," Father spoke after a brief consideration. "Guards, apprehend him and bring him to the holding cells."
Still grinning, the obnoxious lordling finally let go of Tiyesa. She glared at him resentfully for a few moments before composing herself. Father was talking again, giving commands to remove the bodies and bring in a doctor to see to the minor injuries some of the nobles had sustained. Tiyesa barely heard him, her mind too focused on trying to formulate a strategy of dealing with this fiasco. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. She needed to inform the other leaders, find a way to get to the captured prisoner, eliminate him before he got probed for answers... all of that was impossible at the moment, she couldn't take any action without attracting unnecessary attention. All she could do was stand there, watch the only remaining rebel surrender, and hide her horror as realization of what might soon follow settled in.
NOBLE LOUNGE ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ Keel wasn't sure what he expected for the evening. Maybe some clear consciousness, to start, then maybe some trivial discussion with a noble or two, maybe some curious noblewomen who dared poke at him, that sort of thing. But the absolute last thing that would have come to mind was an attack on the gathering. Especially when all the invited nobles were present, with guard compliments in full attendance, and the festivities newly started; few were drunks, as nobles tended, nor had many left for the evening to retire to lavish manors and comfortable beds.
No, instead the attacking group has picked the worst time to launch an assault.
Try as he might, Keel couldn't get rid of the grogginess he felt. The Saiyan shook his head, he tried to blink his mind clear, he even attempt a stretch - but the movement had the nearby guard react, as a stun pole was jabbed into Keel's side. He grunted, stumbled to one knee, and remained there for most of the chaos that unfolded around them all. Energy flared from multiple sources, Ki was launched across the room from attackers and defenders, with some nobles throwing into the battle and getting involved. Most seemed content to remain on the defensive, with the use of shields and barriers, as the guards systematically moved through the unexpected visitors and brought them down one by one.
The rodent noble was across the room, sadly, otherwise Keel might have tried to send a stray blast his way. But the thought was simply that, as the Saiyan remained under the effects of the sedative he had received a handful of minutes prior. It dulled his mind, his senses, made him slow and Keel found it hard to follow the events that took place - so fast was the suddenness and response, from both sides. Whatever the attackers had hoped to achieve, it was evident - even to a groggy Keel - that it was unlikely to go the way intended. The supposed leader of the group shouted out about the want to kill Lúcuma and the other nobles, which spurred the defensive force even more, and proved further than the attackers had little idea of what they had jumped into.
It was a shame, really, as Keel might have otherwise tried to make a bid for his own freedom during he chaos. He was a pragmatic individual, for the most part, and regretted that follow up dose. The likelihood that the household would go on some kind of security alert for a period of time was high, perhaps even the Ludus would be locked down, at least until the potential threat of subsequent attacks had passed - so, for at least several days, Keel had no real chance of escaping, as he knew that was his only option now, even without the sudden events of the attack.
In fact, throughout the whole fight, Keel had one single thought, as he looked on a certain individual:
It could be so easy, The Saiyan looked toward his 'master' with dark eyes. He's got his flank to me, even...
Across the way, Lúcuma was in the midst of defending his wive, Lady Ava. The man's azure shield was powerful, the nobleman was strong from years of training and surviving the hostile society of Canistel, but Keel felt he could take him... but there remained several factors that held his hand. The first was the fact Keel was bound, the second that there were too many guards, and the third that they were in the middle of an attack from an unknown source. Keel wanted freedom, yes, but he wasn't stupid and refused to take action that would otherwise have said (brief) freedom lost anyway.
It was far better to wait and see.
Maybe I'll get lucky, and Lúcuma will die?
Still, that didn't solve every problem. Lady Ava and Lady Tiyesa remained, after all, and would likely claim any ownership of the hypothetically deceased Lord's effects. That would place Keel right back under ownership, as his life would transfer to whomever stepped in to fill those shoes. That thought soured Keel's mood a little, even as he watched the assault repelled and the attackers slowly brought to their knees in defeat. It had all been a fairly clumsy attempt, with the planning being at the wrong times, though Keel couldn't say he knew what the aim or goals were with the attack... but, when it was all said and done, there remained a single individual across near the balcony exit, who was swarmed by guards with Lúcuma's command.
Keel didn't envy that individual what would happen.
Although, even through the sedated haze, Keel had noticed one thing: Lady Tiyesa. She had revealed her power, while also proving she was as bloodthirsty as - and loyal to - her father, in the way she had rallied for continued attack of the invading group. It had been a surprise, honestly, as Keel had thought the auburn haired noblewoman to be more like Lady Ava. Not weaker, but perhaps kinder. Or as kind as Canisteleans could be, anyway. Nonetheless, the attack was over in short order, as the attackers were overwhelmed by the additional house guards and nobles themselves. Through the haze of his vision, every so often Keel thought he focused enough to see someone he knew, a face here and there, and wondered if it had been some kind of servant revolt attempt?
"Get up," Came an order from behind Keel. He looked back at one of the door guards, who reached down and wrenched the Saiyan to his feet. "Lord Lúcuma has ordered you back to the Ludus, to be detained until this mess is sorted out. Move, we're not in the mood for anything except following orders."
"Yeah," Keel muttered as he gave one last look over the chaos of the gathering.
Maybe Lúcuma's tyrannical hold over his household servants had started to falter? Keel smirked despite himself, as he was escorted out of the lavish room, and marched down the corridors beyond, where he saw more dead and unconscious individuals. Whoever was responsible was going to pay, as much as Keel hated to give Lúcuma credit, but the nobleman wasn't known for mercy or letting affronts against him remain unanswered... it was also part of the reason that Keel knew he had to plan his own escape, especially since he doubted Lúcuma planned to forgive and forget when it came to the arena and the Saiyan, Courge. But that was a problem for tomorrow, and beyond, as Keel simply focused on remaining upright and following the guards who led him to a waiting transport...