Vrennj whisked Knowles in a small, dark room.
“What were you thinking?” she scolded
“You said I could trash talk.”
Vrennj rolled her eyes, in the way Knowles had seen too many times in the past few minutes.
“Not his mother! Not like that!” she yelled at him.
“You didn’t show me a rule book. That’s how we do it in New Jersey,” Knowles tried to defend himself.
“It’s a wonder you don’t keep trying to kill each other.”
Knowles knew he had no reply that Vrennj would be interested in hearing.
She inched up to him and stared upward in his eyes.
“Now listen carefully, Ted, very carefully. In just a few seconds I will be called away to an emergency meeting. You will stay right here and not move without me.”
“Where will you be?” Vrennj asked.
“Right here,” Knowles answered sheepishly.
“Here meaning this room, correct?”
“Here meaning this room, Vrennj.”
Vrennj opened her mouth when her wrist buzzed. A red screen floated above her hand. Knowles saw that she looked scared.
She grabbed his arm and looked into his eyes. “If you have any God that you should pray to, you need to do it now,” she whispered and walked out the door.
Knowles looked around the room and spotted a small chair. He took a seat. If anyone would explain to me what they want when they wanted it, it would make it all much, much easier, he sighed.
He heard a small commotion outside in the hall and almost stood to investigate, but thought better of it.
So he sat.
He thought that perhaps this was the end. He thought about his little antique shop in the outskirts of Hoboken. He thought about how scoping out the competition got him in this mess. It wasn’t like Nevets sold the same kind of things like he did. He sighed.
He knew he should be hungry, but he was too sick to think of food.
So he sat.
The wall irised open, and Vrennj walked in. Her long red hair was half the length and terribly singed. He white robe was covered in soot and ash. Her skin was red in the exposed are and also covered in soot and ash.
Knowles jumped up. “My God, Vrennj! What happened?”
He helped her to the chair and he sat on the floor next to her. “Are you all right?”
Vrennj nodded. She paused several moments, Knowles could see she was gathering her thoughts.
“It was a little rough in there, Ted, I don’t mind saying. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go.” She held open her arms so Knowles could see all the damage. “It was a little rough indeed.”
Knowles opened his mouth to ask a question but Vrennj held up arm hand, stopping him. “I’ll let you ask questions in a while, Ted. I’ve got to figure out what is actually going to take place. So, I’ll start by telling you what happened and then we’ll go from there.
“Obviously, Drago was livid. He could not control his flame. I could have probably ducked, but frying a member of the supervisory board is a serious offence, on that I thought could help. Drago’s guide was going to ask for a Duel to the Death match, as it is well within his client’s rights after a mother insult. Frying me negated that, however. I was going to invoke rule 771-b subsection A-17, but Drago had been fined a few years ago for the same thing. He would have been banned 17 of your Earth years for a second offence. He knew that and his manager knew that.
“So, I was in the driver’s seat, so to speak. So, I told them what we are going to do, just like I’m telling you now what will transpire.
“All betting has been stopped on you match due to the insult you delivered. It will not resume until after the featured bout today and only after the commission announces their ruling.”
She held out her arm. Knowles noticed her wrist device looked black.
“By the Mistress!” she swore. “I forgot he destroyed my implant, too. They are replacing it, with the higher model, by the way. I just need to see what time it is.”
“Um,” Knowles started to say.
“Shh,” Vrennj told him. She stood and walked out through the irising door.
Knowles stood and started to follow. He stopped and stared at the door. He could hear Vrennj yelling at someone, he took a step and stopped. He realized he needed to stay here until Vrennj came back.
The door irised open and Vrennj came back into the room. She held a small handheld device.
“It’s almost time,” she whispered.
“Time for what?”
She pushed a button on the side of the device.
“Due to the extravagant nature of the insults issued by the challenger from the planet Earth,” a voice blared from the device, “the commission has granted the defender full rights to a Duel to the Death match. The match will resume at its scheduled time tomorrow. Betting for this match is allowed to resume.”
Smiling, Vrennj switched off the device.
“But,” Knowles started, and stopped when he saw Vrennj’s raised hand.
“I know what I said, and that is true, there will be no death match. However, the council has decided to bill it as such in order to garnish as much wagering as possible. It is a private agreement between Drago and his agent. I will train you for what you need to do tomorrow and you will follow my directions exactly. Do you understand, Ted?”
“Good, let’s call it a day.”