Drathis shifted, realizing that he had fallen asleep. Turning to look at his tabletop chrono, Drathis found that he had only been slumbering for just over an hour. Deciding that he might as well get some exercise, Drathis levered himself out of bed, exiting the room soon after. Back in the main living area, Drathis made his way to the droplift.

Droplift, the name itself was a bit misleading. Or, if you think of it another way, very fitting, Drathis thought with a small smile. The droplifts did travel both upwards as well as in the reverse direction, after all. Once Drathis was inside the droplift, he wasted no time at entering his destination into the device's rudimentary computer.

Hearing the reassuring soft hum of the droplift's motor, Drathis leaned against the opposite wall from the destination computer and let his mind wander. He was going to the private gym on the ground floor of the Nalet Shayan. The anti-inertia fields were working at optimum, and so Drathis didn't feel the droplift come to a sudden halt, but he wasn't so wrapped up in his idle musings that he didn't notice the doors opening.

Tapping a panel next to the entrance, Drathis activated the lights and tuned them to his preferred intensity. He had always liked to have the lights at a lower level than most of the others that used this gym, Drathis knew this by the simple fact that whenever he went into the gym the lights were set to a different, higher intensity.

Drathis preferred the lower setting, simply because it made the training that much more difficult. Walking over to the left wall, Drathis touched a small panel. A compartment in the wall swished open, dropping a pair of long swords into Drathis' hand.

Drathis had had them made specifically for himself, but he kept them stored down in the gym because he knew that his father would dispose of them if he were to leave them somewhere in their dwelling. Drathis often wished his father was not so rigidly set in his belief that his children were to be perfect reflections of him.

Stepping back from the wall, Drathis executed a simple one-hundred-eighty degree turn and walked calmly back into the main practice area. Transferring one of his swords to his left hand, Drathis realized that he hadn't yet taken off his outer cloak.

Navris wasn't a tropical planet like Naralia, Nandor, or Kalahas. In fact, the planet itself was nearly at the outer edge of the habitable zone created by the system's sun, and as a result it was rather cold. Putting his swords down and taking off his cloak, Drathis leaned over and quickly swept up his swords with his right hand.

Drathis preferred to practice alone, but he often had trouble finding a sparring partner for those few times that he desired one. Not many people would believe that someone as fragile-looking as Drathis Marave could be any kind of challenge.

Drathis knew how he looked to most outsiders: thin, spindly, wispy, the list of adjectives was never a very complimentary one. His brother Jounashi resembled him in this way. However, since Jounashi had proven himself, no one ever mentioned this fact.

As Drathis ran through the sword kata he had been practicing for quite some time, he thought that he heard the sound of the main doors opening. He was so immersed in his kata, however, that the first thing he noticed was a flash of silver. Deflecting it with the sword in his right hand, Drathis saw that it was a long, thin, silver dart.

Before he had any time to think about why someone would be attacking him in the middle of his solo training session, another dart flew at him. Knocking this one out of the way, Drathis turned to look at the person throwing them.

"It's you!"