Karn Klan Warrior Ketcha stood in the centre of the ring. The day had come when he would become a Klan Warrior, and return honour to his kin, or die and so find rest from his shame. The dishonour of his father had led to their family being struck from the lists of the Warrior caste. No-one from outside the caste could assume the mantle of a Klan Warrior and to the Karn- If you are not a Warrior,you are nothing. Only by undergoing the trial of Hassim-Ra could Ketcha restore himself to the Warrior caste and so regain his family's honour. Ketcha cast his eyes around the warriors who lined the ring. They were seasoned veterans, the same council that had ruled against his father. Ketcha could feel their hard stare and the enmity they held for him. But he would not cower before them and drew upon his courage to hold their stare and mask the doubts that ran through his mind. The dirt circle seemed to shrink as his opponent stepped into the ring. The Warrior was powerfully built, his body and arms well muscled. The thick pink scars of many such contests stood out from his tanned body and Ketcha wondered how many had gone before him and faced this warrior. The Warrior stood before him. Each man assessed the other,searching for the smallest sign of weakness. "I am the Guardian of the list. Defeat me and your name shall be etched onto the roll of Warriors. Fail and your life is forfeit. Do you accept?" Ketcha nodded, not wanting to risk a reply less his voice fail him. Both Warriors stepped back and drew their Klectas, the curved fighting dagger used by the Karn. They levelled their blades towards their opponent as a mark of honour and acknowledgement before a single dull drumbeat signified that combat commence. The Warrior did not hesitate, as soon as the drum sounded, he launched into a furious attack. The blades glistened as both men wove intricate arcs, punctuated by the shrill ring of steel on steel. The Warrior was highly skilled and twice Ketcha felt his opponent's blade glance across his right arm. The warm blood running down his arm made the grip on his own weapon sticky and unsure. Ketcha felt the strength draining from him. He summoned his courage and hurled himself forward in a bid to unsettle his opponent. The Warrior was forced onto the defensive and took step after step backwards before the fury of Ketcha's assault. But the older Warrior judged his opponent's desperation and as he reached the edge of the ring stepped swiftly sideways. Catching Ketcha's forearm with his left hand he punched the blade of the Klecta into the young man's side. Ketcha fell to his knees, trying once to rise before falling to the ground. Looking upwards he saw the Warrior standing over him.He knelt beside Ketcha and whispered "Go in peace, You have died as a Warrior" Ketcha felt no pain as the blade of the Warrior's Klecta pierced under his left armpit and lanced his heart. He faintly heard the assembled Warriors give the death shout in honour of the fallen as all faded to darkness..... FILE TERMINATED.