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Getting in Shape

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Sammy got out of the boat and was again greeted by Legend.

"Welcome back, Ghost. I hope you enjoyed working with the people you meet here last time." Legend said as he led the way to the main building.

Sammy frowned. "Not really. They all flaked out on me in the middle of the job. Fortunately, that increased my share of the loot, so I'm not that bitter." Sammy looked at teh main door as they passed it by and his frown deepened. "Uh, isn't that the way in?"

Legend looked over his shoulder at Sammy and smiled. "Yes, normally it is but for today and your purposes, I'm taking you to a more useful location."

A short walk brought the two to another door that Sammy never noticed on his first visit to the Arena. "The main entrance is for those that wish to relax and perhaps find people of like mind to interact with," Legend explained as he opened the door. "Here, in this part of the Arena, those looking for a place to perfect their non martial skills can find all the tools they need."

The door opened to reveal a corridor with a number of doors spaced at various distances from each other. Sammy stopped and took a look outside of the building before again looking inside. As he had expected, his visiual sense of the derilict oil rig did not match what was within. "What is this place?" Sammy asked with a surprised look upon his face.

Legend smiled as he walked into the corridor. "It's exactly what it needs to be."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Legend led the way down the corridor pointing out the various rooms and their uses. "Behind each door," Legend began as he walked along with Sammy a few steps behind him, "you'll find everything you'll need to improve yourself. Most you'll find yourself alone to perfect yourself at your own pace. In others, you will find yourself face to face with various copies of people from the city."

Sammy stopped as he considered Legend's words. "So you mean there are copies of heroes in here? How did you manage that?"

The older man turned to regard Sammy for a moment in silence before speaking. "It was....managed. Though they are copies, you'll find them just as much a threat as if you faced them out in the streets. Don't expect to learn their weaknesses here. No, their presence is only to help you further your own training. The copies are not programmed with the same limits as the real versions."

Sammy nodded his head in understanding. The arena was a much more extensive place than he at first thought. For that matter, Legend was a lot more than Sammy thought upon first sight. Something about the soft spoken man was distrubing to Sammy but at the moment, the location was all he had to perfect teh skills he had let fall to the wayside.

"I'll try this room first," Sammy said pointing at a brown unmarked door. Legend smiled as he looked at the door. "A fine choice. Enjoy your time while you're here. I'm sure you'll find it an enlightening experience."

Legend turned around and began walking back teh way they had come. Sammy stood before the door and waited until he was alone in the corridor. "Now that guy creeps me out," he said aloud. Sammy flinched as his voice echoed in the empty corridor.

"Well, I had better get to this."

Slowly, Sammy opened the door and walked inside.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sammy bent over, letting the sweat dripping from his face pool at his feet. His breath came in ragged gasps and he felt like he had just played a full game of basketball. After a moment, Sammy looked up at the field before him. The floor was covered with various strings that crisscrossed the area. Attached to the various strings were small bells.

Sammy learned the hard way that tripping one of the strings and ringing the bell would send out a blast of heat his way. The first blast was only an annoyance, but the temprature in the room had steadily increased after each blast. The room was now a suana and he still had to transverse the room again. Each time he crossed, another obstruction was introduced to the test to make it even more difficult.

His break over, Sammy began to work his way back across the field.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Sammy looked up at the timer as the numbers slowly counted down. Sweat dripped from his hands making the lock picks harder to grip. A small pool of his blood had collected at his feet from the many small cuts he had received from failing to open the lock.

Sammy turned his attention back to the lock and turned the pick slightly to the left. Each time he had tried to open the lock, he had learned a little more about the working parts. Each small bit of information allowed him to better sharpen his skills but still it was not enough to complete the job.

A loud buzzer went off signaling that time had expired again. Sammy braced himself for the punishment that was about to come. He had endured the cuts for his past failures and he didn't expect this failure would be any different.

He waited to feel the sting but after a moment, realized that it wasn't coming. Sammy blinked his eyes a few times before slowly standing. Perhaps something was broken. He hadn't managed to open the lock which was the task of this particular room but somehow he had maanged to avoid the punishment for failure.

Slowly, Sammy walked to the door and back out into the corridor where he found Legend standing waiting for him with a glass of water in hand.

"I hope things went well for you, Sammy," the older man said as he handed the glass of water.

Sammy drank deeply from the glass. The cool water was refreshing with a slight minty aftertaste to it. The glass drained, he handed it back to Legend. "I think it did. I feel like I learned a lot but there may be more for me to learn in the future. I still didn't manage to complete a few of the tasks but I guess I can try again later."

"Yes, you can come again and try later. I suspect that one day you will manage to complete all the tasks that are offered here at the Arena."

Sammy smiled. "Thanks, Legend. I suspect Lady Fortune will watch out for me a lot more that I've put time in improving my own skills."

"I believe she will at that."

Sammy nodded his head and wiped down his pants. He was surprised to see the cuts that he had recieves slowly mending. "That was some water you gave me there, Legend. Some kind of healing elixir?"

"Yes, I can't let my visitors leave the Arena in an unsightly fashion. By the time you leave these corridors, you should be presentable."

"Well, thanks again, Legend. I'll be back here sometime later when I feel my skills need some fine tuning." Sammy smiled widely and walked back to the entrance and the world outside.

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