He liked the bleak and dreary atmosphere that still hung on the place. It, more than any other locale on Mars, reminded him of home and of better times long ago.
It also made the ‘ristos nervous.
After another bit of waiting, Breminsky's wiry blond stick of a Second stepped forward and said, "Reevel thyself, o'forfeit.” The quaver in his voice was slight but it was there.
All right. All right. Enough preamble.
He stepped out from behind one of the larger tombs, his jacket and waistcoat a bright scarlet counter to his enemies' metallics and black. He bowed and stepped forward. A little breeze kicked up as he advanced, lifting his cloak like a sail behind him.
The females were impressed. They always were. It was one of the perks of his condition, one of the many. Indeed it was the attentions of one of Breminsky's females that had brought the challenge in the first place.
This Breminsky fancied himself a cavalier and so kept a small harem. For some offworld bravo, one with no proper introduction to his caste, to even touch one of his females, was the height of presumption. That this one had done so and, further, had scrupled to draw one of them out, across a dance hall, right in front of Breminsky and his crew was quite beyond the pale.
The interloper had danced with her, turned her head with wine and talk and flicked her back to Breminsky like some too small salmon from an ancient Earthly stream. The affront was obvious and could not be ignored. Breminsky had challenged him right there in the hall.
It was a mistake.
As challenger, Breminsky relinquished choice of field and of weapon. Breminsky had gained local fame for his skill with the klef; a sort of long handled, triangular cleaver with a notch at the business end.
The challenged suggested rapiers.