IC: (Swordshifter, the Notch)
Noticing the curious (and in Iceblade's case, slightly annoyed) gazes of the other Blades, Swordshifter spoke.
"With much good reason, you might be curious as to why I am asking such questions. The answer is simple. No doubt you have heard of Virtazh vel'Zharek."
Of course they had heard of Virtazh vel'Zharek. A Skakdi that originated in some pothole in Zakaz, vel'Zharek had, with the demise of Circle authority in Le-Metru, gained much power and influence in the now Blade-dominated district by establishing himself as an entrepreneur - the main organizer of a tournament of chute racing competitions, using improvised and less than improvised vehicles. Traditionally, vel'Zharek's racing competitions were considered illegal according to Circle law, but in a district where Circle law did not apply for as long as the Blades got their cut, and they got a generous one, nobody really objected.
"You see, in this next race of his... the Blades need entrants. To show the glory of our gang, you understand. To show our power. And you two have a slight problem, Vilu and Kapa: you're going to drive there, if you value your lives and internal organs. And to waive your punishments entirely, at least one of you will have to win."
About Swordshifter there was always a peculiar thing that when looking a person straight in the eyes, he would almost always give off a perfect impression of what idea his gaze wanted to give off in the first place. And when he looked Iceblade, and then Callerin, over the two recruits' shoulders, in the eyes, they knew exactly what his eyes were saying: he wasn't telling the rookies everything. Oh, no.