I decided to get an early start working on our first challenge: climbing Mt. Whatsitsname. Jon was mighty proud of it, but I’ve seen buildings on Corusant that were taller.
I showed up across the valley from the mountain to assess the terrain and decide on the best route. However, I saw that several of the other gladiators had taken to the mountainside already. Hotstuff was wading like a madman through the hot lava -- clearly in his element – and managed to use those flows to get to the top fairly quickly.
Kon El was just jumping over all the obstacles in his path. However, when he got to the lava flows, instead of leaping over them, he somehow managed to cool that entire side of the mountain. So much so that it turned to ice and snow – which shortly thereafter turned into an avalanche from some sort of ruckus he was involved in. This swept all the gladiators in its path back down the mountain: what a brilliant move. I wondered if it had been planned.
After making some calculations on the best route, I hopped on my speed bike and zipped over to the mountain. The bike was able to make it up part of the mountain, but it soon became too steep and I had to abandon it about a third of the way up the avalanche path.
Leaving my bike behind, I pulled out my light saber and ignited it. Using it, I was able to melt out a path through the snow and ice that was easily scalable, and it had the additional benefit of creating subsequent, smaller avalanches and land slides behind me for any unsuspecting gladiators.
Scaling the mountain side did prove difficult, as Jon said it would. But my light saber proved invaluable in cutting out ledges and walkways in the side of the mountain making it far easier for me. I got to a rather large ledge in the cliffs and found a group of men all tied together.
I smiled and put my hands on my hips. ”What have we here?” I asked them.
”Please,” one of them asked desperately, “You have to save us. With all the falling debris we’re sure to get killed.”
”And exactly why are you here?” I asked, furrowing my brow. “And why are you all tied up together?”
”Oh,” replied one rather sheepishly. “It was that red devil guy – he jumped us and did this to us.”
”Why would he do that?” I queried.
”Weeellll,” he started hesitantly, “we are actually supposed to keep the contest… interesting,” he answered then quickly added, “Per Jon’s orders.”
I nodded. “Well, if I let you go, can you cause some mayhem for those coming behind me?”
Their faces brightened considerably. “Oh, yes! We’d love to!”
Using my handy-dandy light saber, I cut them loose and quickly hurried up the remaining cliffs. Reaching the top, I found a large group of unconscious elf-like creatures, except they didn’t look like very friendly elf creatures.
I followed a path to the suspension bridge and made my way across. Looking back at this bridge and deciding it was not a big enough obstacle, I pulled out my light saber once again and cut all the ropes holding it up, making it plummet into the gorge below – that would definitely slow down any gladiators behind me.
I walked to the bobsled track to get my luge and was handed a box. Opening the box and dumping it out, I found that the luge did not come assembled. Great work, Jon, I thought. I felt the dark side of the force flow through me, and my face got flush as I imagined all the things I would do to him when I next saw him.
The guy that handed me the box cautiously approached me and commented, “You know, we had one guy surf down the lava flows with another guy cut down one of our beautiful and rare trees that grow around here and created his own bobsled,” he quietly suggested. “You might want to think about something like that.”
I gave him a glare that made him retreat back to his stack of boxes. But it wasn’t a bad idea, I concluded. I heaved a sigh and began removing my clothes, stopping when I reached my undergarments. I grabbed a helmet and put my light saber in it before strapping it on my head.
I stepped into the luge track and was welcomed by gawks from on lookers. I lied down on the ice and concentrated. While I was not able to fly or walk on lava, I could create a force shield around me.
Pushing off, I started down the track -- slowly at first, and then gaining speed. Soon I was careening down the track bouncing off the sides and rolling around. Thankfully my force shield protected me from most serious injuries, but it still stung a bit.
When I reached the bottom I stood up to hails of cheering. Of course, I’m not sure if they were cheering at what I’d just done, or if they approved of my uniform.
But my first challenge was done. I got a thumbs up from Jon in the judges booth. Excuse me, I need to go beat the crap out of him.