A Personal Choice

“CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON.” The Fightmaster’s voice resounded throughout the arena. “AND WE SHALL WATCH AS THE FIRST EARTH-PERSON DIES IN OUR ARENA!” The crowd of thousands cheered for a full minute before the massive Fightmaster raised its four arms for silence. “WHAT CHOOSE YOU?”

Sandra stepped forward. “I—” Her own voice startled her, booming through the arena by some unseen technology. “I choose… words.” A hush swept the arena. The Fightmaster stood frozen.

Several pounding heartbeats later (for Sandra—she had no idea if the locals even had hearts), the crowd burst into uproar until the Fightmaster again raised its arms for silence. “YOUR CHOICE IS… UNORTHODOX. ARE YOU SURE?” At her nod, it went on. “VERY WELL,” it said. “WITNESS YOUR OPPONENT.” It gestured at doors on the opposite end of the arena. Sandra saw a flickering blue light as they inched open.

“INTRODUCING FIGHTER ASHEG, OF THE KYTFIHT RANK, WEILDING HIS CHOSEN ZERO-POINT SWORDS AND INERTIALESS SHIELDS” The crowd, predominantly of the same four-armed race, cheered long and loud. When they quieted, the Fightmaster looked at Sandra. “YOUR BRAVERY COMPLIMENTS EARTH.”

“Wait,” Sandra said, but her voice no longer carried. “Is it too late to choose a machine gun?”

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