|“||Left an orphan by tragedy, young Aron Brightland grew up fast on the rusting starships of the Exile Fleet. It was a tough life for a young boy without a family. Survival meant learning to defend himself from fleet thugs and petty criminals, and Brightland became well-acquainted with a pair of pistols at an early age.
In time, Brightland struck out on his own as a bounty hunter, quickly earning a reputation as a relentless pursuer who always got his man - but the Fringe has a way of testing a man's mettle. Confident of his skills, the young Brightland took a bounty on an infamous Marauder: Captain Thokov. After tracking the captain to a seedy spaceport bar, Brightland walked in, drew his pistols and fixed the captain with a steely gaze.
"I'm bringin' you in Thokov. And they're payin' extra if you're still breathin'."
"Y'don't say, lad? And what will ye be gettin' for bringin' a bloodthirsty spacedog like me to heel?"
"An extra ten percent. Plus I get to keep your hat."
With lightning-quick speed, Thokov lashed out and disarmed Brightland, sending his pistol across the room - and moments later, a wicked Marauder blade appeared in the captain's hand. Drawing his own knife from a well-worn boot, Brightland squared off against Thokov, and soon a screaming crowd gathered around them, smelling blood in the air.
The two combatants circled around one another like feral beasts, dodging and weaving as their knives flashed in the smoky air. Relying on his snake-like reflexes and raw, animal instinct, Brightland's blade soon drew blood, causing Thokov to cry out in rage and frustration - and after a few minutes it was obvious that Thokov had finally met his match.
Fearing that his captain would be defeated, Thokov's first mate Lieutenant Pragg intervened, breaking a bottle over Brightland's head. As Brightland staggered backwards from the treacherous sneak attack, Thokov's blade struck him viciously in the face - resulting in a bone deep gash that left his right eye a bloody ruin. In the ensuing chaos, the Marauder captain and his thuggish lieutenant disappeared into the screaming mob, vowing to take their revenge on Brightland when their paths crossed once again.
Standing in the middle of the frenzied throng with blood running from the ruins of his eye, Brightland felt an icy rage. His pride had undone him. It wouldn't happen again. He decide then and there he'd keep the eye as it was, a painful reminder not be so damned stupid. And he swore the next time he saw Thokov, he'd settle the score in blood.
|~ Tales from Beyond the Fringe: A Duel for Deadeye|
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