A FIGHT FOR HONOUR
Darkness. Pain. A stabbing pain. ‘What in the hell did they hit me with and why am I still alive?’ Kavar asked himself. And yes he knew he was alive, after all, death wouldn’t hurt this bad. ‘Could it?’ He tried to sit up but suddenly the pain in his head got worse and bright lights flashed behind his lids which sent him right back down in a prone position. “Damn the Harkonnens!” he shouted, not caring who heard him. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt they were to blame for his present situation. It was bad enough having to come to this god-forsaken planet to begin with, but he would have lived here -- or there; he mentally corrected himself realizing that he might no longer be on that barren desert world -- but he would have followed Leto Atreides to the end of the known universe and beyond if he had asked.
Kavar released a heavy sigh. Where was he and where were the Lady Jessica and young Paul? He hoped they had escaped. Where was everyone else at? How many had survived? How many Harkonnen filth had they managed to take out before they were defeated? Yes he knew they were defeated. There had been too many of the enemy -- ‘And that was another thing’ Kavar thought as he shot up, regretting it immediately, but he did not lay back down this time. Instead he swung his feet over the sides of the hard cot where someone had placed him. He sat there for a moment, cradling his head in the palm of his hands, until the spinning stopped and the stabbing pain had eased to a dull throb.
Finally the pain had eased enough to where he could think clearer. Kavar pictured the scene of the battle. There had been way too many soldiers. That fat toad Baron would never have been able to gather that many soldiers so who had helped him? Kavar smelled a rat. A dirty stinking Sardaukaren rat -- which could only mean… The creak of door froze the thought as Kavar tried to stare through the darkness to see what, or who, was coming.
= = =
How much time had passed since that first rude awakening? Months? Years? Kavar didn’t care anymore. It was all so fuzzy and it didn’t make sense, especially the whispered rumors about killing the na-Baron. What mind games where they trying to play on him now? This time Kavar had awoken in a dark cell but he knew he was not alone this time.
“Finally awake are we?” The disembodied voice spoke and Kavar kept silent. ‘Let the enemy reveal himself as much as you can.’ That is what his commander had taught him. “So the tiger got your tongue hey? No problem. You were not brought here for stimulating conversation now were you?” The voice laughed evilly. And what was I brought here for; Kavar wondered but still kept his silence. He would find out soon enough he knew.
“Don’t get any bright ideas you Atreides dirt-bag. I’ve taken out bigger men than you. But don’t worry; you’ll have your change to fight again … well sort of.” Another gleeful laugh in the darkness. “Come on, let’s get you ready.” Lights came on and Kavar finally saw his surroundings and captors. Well now he knew what the man meant by ‘sort of.’
What were these men playing at? Kavar might not be the brightest in the world, but he knew that he had been brought to this hellhole to fight as a gladiator-slave. But those fights were all rigged by giving the slave the elacca drug to hype them up and dull their senses. Yet no drug had been given to him and now the men in his cell were painting him with an orange dye. If they were going to administer the drug then there would be no need for the dye since one side effect of the drug was an orange colorization to the subject’s skin. Something was not right here and this made Kavar nervous. He didn’t like it when things didn’t add up.
At last they released him and led him through corridors that twisted back and forth. He didn’t even think about trying to escape. He wanted to see who it was they had chosen to kill him in a mock battle. He wanted his best chance at taking one more Harkonnen parasite out of this universe. Kavar could hear the muffled cheers through the door in front of him. Quietly, so as not to draw attention to himself, he scratched his forearm, drawing blood, and deftly drew the Hawk symbol onto the left hip of the green leotards which he wore. He wanted his enemy to know who it was that Kavar was willing to give his blood for.
Kavar didn’t like the feel of the half-shield, but it was better than nothing. He would make good use of what ever the beasts gave him. Then motors kicked in and the door slammed opened before him. One of his escorts shoved him in the back and Kavar charged forward; however, once inside of the arena, he advanced slowly, keeping the shield side toward his opponent and what he figured to be the pru-door, and holding his knife alertly -- he just wished it was a sword which he held instead of this small blade, then he would show them what he was made of.
Kavar could hear the distractors commenting to his rival. They knew that this was no ordinary rigged combat show. They saw that he was alert. Would the battle be stopped? No, not if this was a formal game. Would they go after him, to weaken him, before his challenger would? Ahh, what luck! Kavar finally recognized his foe… Feyd-Rautha himself. Kavar grinned inwardly while glaring at the baron’s nephew. Feyd had seen the hawk symbol and now knew he was not up against any run-of-the mill slave. Was that doubt that had flashed in the Harkonnen’s eyes? Then Kavar remembered the rumors. ‘You’ll get a true chance to kill the na-Baron.’ He did not believe the rumors then, nor did he now.
Kavar watched as the young man paced, studying Kavar where he stood. And he studied the Harkonnen. In a fair fight Kavar was sure he could take him, but he knew -- despite appearances -- this would not be a fair fight. So why wait any longer? “Hai, Harkonnen!” Kavar called out “Are you prepared to die?” Silence filled the air. He knew a slave had never given the challenge. Well he was glad to be able to be the first. “Hai, Hai” Kavar shouted the challenge taking two steps forward. Let’s get this over with. He knew his death would not be an easy one. Feyd-Rautha was well known for his fondness of rare and slow acting poisons. Kavar knew not what poison coated the blade in the white hand, but he knew it would deliver a painful death. The na-Baron nodded, lifting his barbed hooks in the air and Kavar attacked.
‘Arrggg,’ Kavar’s right arm stung where the barb had buried itself. He had to give it to the young man. He was fast. He had managed to escape Kavar’s blade, keeping his tendons intact. Backing away, holding the knife in his teeth, he took pennant and lashed the barbed shaft to his arm. “I do not feel your needle!” He shouted the taught at the na-Baron. Angry cries arose from the family boxes above. Kavar grinned inside but showed little emotion outwardly. He advanced carefully, keeping an eye on his opponent. When he stumbled, Kavar pounced. Damn! He missed again while the young sadist planted another barb in his arm. Cheers erupted from the audience. Kavar paused long enough to bind this barb then set off after the pig. Let the spectators have their fun. Youth might be on the na-Baron’s side, but Kavar had the thirst for vengeance on his. “I do not fear you, Harkonnen swine. Your tortures cannot hurt a dead man.” And Kavar knew he would be dead, one way or another. “I can be dead on my own blade before a handler lays finger to my flesh. And I’ll have you dead beside me!” Let him think on that.
“Try this one,” Feyd-Rautha called back, offering the long blade. Kavar was not going to fall for it. He shifted knife hands and turned to avoid both the feint and the parry while he grabbed the white gloved hand of his attacker. “You will die, Harkonnen.” The air filled with ozone and a blue glow where the two shields met. Neither combatant paid heed to the connection. “Die on your own poison!” Kavar rasped as he began forcing the poison blade inward, turning the tip toward his adversary. Slowly he gained ground. He ignored the clang of his foe’s long blade as it contacted the barb shaft. ‘I bet he didn’t realize he had given me extra protection when he scored those two hits.’ Kavar thought with glee. There! There in the man’s eyes. A split second of fear. Maybe he will be able to kill the na-Baron after all.
What was going on?! Kavar’s muscles re-acted to the insult of their own accord. He could not hold on as tightly and the young man was able to open a space between them. Agony burned in his chest as the tip tore into his skin. Kavar stared in surprise. “You!” Kavar groaned. Of course leave it to a Harkonnen not to even show honour in the arena. The kulon had not only used a code word as an uroshnor but had also switched the hand that held the poison tipped blade. Black had held death instead of white.
Kavar tried to draw nearer to his foe but each step he took seemed like an eternity. “One day.., one of… us… will… get… you.” He managed to stammer out. The finality of it all weighed heavily on Kavar. He had not managed to kill this young monster. He fell to the arena floor. They might have won this one, but he knew -- somehow -- that his final words would come true. With that knowledge he made the ultimate decision of his life. Feyd-Rautha may have caused his death, but he would not have his fun watching him die in agony. Let the Baron filth fight without honour. Kavar would die with his intact. And with that notion plus thoughts of Caladan and his family, he turned away from the Harkonnen and drove his own blade deep into his chest, closing his eyes upon the arena floor on Giedi Prime.