Saga Rewriting Star Wars (AU, First Draft, 42 Chapters, Updated 8/13/13)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Corrin_Wyndryder, Apr 28, 2013.

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  1. Corrin_Wyndryder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2001
    star 4
    This started as an exercise in derived originality. Please read and enjoy.

    Prologue
    The blood on her hands washed off with surprising ease. Her limited working knowledge of medical aid allowed her to save the life of at least one of her comrades, but she did not have the skill to save everyone. As she looked at her palm, although she saw their cleanliness, the memory of red haunted her vision.

    Once her hands were clean, her captors returned the handcuffs to her wrists. The clicking of the cuff's locking mechanism echoed with a terrifying finality. With an armored soldier at each arm, she found herself escorted out from the makeshift sanitation tent, away from the scene of bloody carnage towards the encampment of her sworn enemy.

    Her mind replayed in agonizing detail the moments that would forever be etched into her mind. The hail of flaming arrows that seemed to launch from heaven itself. She had been awakened by the sounds of screaming. Her loyal entourage, trained soldiers sworn to defend her with their lives, met the end their duty by burning to death in a violent inferno.

    She did what she could to put out the fires but was rapidly whisked away by her most trusted ally. She had known him since she was but a child. He was the first to join her cause, and did not once falter in his devotion to her. He carried her over one of his shoulders, the other bore a flaming arrow penetrating his armor and searing his flesh. She pulled it out for him, and while this act drew a cry of pain from him, his rapid strides did not falter.

    He carried her through the forest to another encampment, where the advanced scouting party were entrenched.

    "Do you have it?" His grizzled voice was more panicked than she could remember having ever heard it. "Do you have it?"

    "Yes. Yes, it's here." She produced a small bauble wrapped in an handkerchief. "It's safe."

    "It's not safe. It will never be safe. They know you have it and they will not stop hunting you until they get it back."

    His warning was interrupted by the faint echo of ironclad soldiers marching in unison. The sound grew louder. They were closing in. Time was short. She had to....

    It was too late for that. The moments that followed passed agonizingly slowly. She stood as if paralyzed, unable to affect the horrific events that unfolded around here. These men who trusted her, who believed in her, would not draw another breath.

    Bladed metal stars, no bigger around than an apple and thin as a sword, spun wildly through the air, cutting down men and going again. These weapons acted upon the wills of their masters, spinning and changing direction, sometimes hovering, else they shot forward with unpredictable velocity towards their intended targets. These tools of devastation rendered her comrades into a bloody mess.

    Stunned, and in shock, she looked down into the lifeless eyes of her life long friend. She did not have the tears to cry then, but she would, in time. The only sound was the coughing and sputtering of a young boy, wounded and covered in the blood of his fallen friends. She ran to him, and administered what healing she knew, cleaning and bandaging his wounds.

    "What is your name, boy?" She asked as she tended his wounds.

    Between coughs she could make out. "Jim, ma'am."

    "I need your help, Jim." She said. "This is what they're after. If they get their hands on it, no one, anywhere, will be safe from them. You must guard it with your life, tell no one you have it, and find a way of getting it to Master Go. He's somewhere in the west province. Find him, tell him what happened here. He'll know what to do. I'm so sorry. Please forgive me."

    She didn't have time to warn him or get his permission. He screamed in agony as she slipped the tiny bauble, still wrapped in a handkerchief, into a gaping wound in his chest before completely bandaging him up. The agony rendered him unconscious, which she hoped would mean they left him for dead with the others. She silently prayed for his success.

    Her captors brought her to the great black tent which stood where the ashes of her own camp once was. The black tent bore red pennants which swayed in the ash filled breeze. She was brought inside the tent and forced to kneel to the armored woman who sat upon a throne carved from volcanic obsidian.

    "Hello, my daughter." The woman said, with thinly feigned affection. "I'm disappointed in you."

    --------

    Thank you. This was originally posted as a blog post at empowernetwork.com/leewhittaker
    Corrin_Wyndryder threw 6-faced die for: Total: 7
    Last edited by Corrin_Wyndryder, Aug 13, 2013
  2. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Different, I am interested in what you have planned.


    Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk

    "The Starman and Moon Goddess."
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  3. Asajj_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2004
    star 1
    This is different. Hiding something inside of a wounded body gave me the shivers. I look forward to seeing where this goes.
    Corrin_Wyndryder likes this.
  4. Corrin_Wyndryder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2001
    star 4
    Thank you, Lady_Misty and Asajj_Kenobi for your interest in my writing. I hope you continue to enjoy it.

    -----

    Chapter 1
    Drenched in sweat and blood, Jim awoke with a start. The ominous sounds of armored soldiers marching dwindled away. He drew a deep sigh of relief, and immediately wished he hadn't. The bauble buried deep into his chest stung furiously.

    Jim's mind was lost in a maelstrom of swirling emotions. He hated that woman for being the bringer of so much death to his friends, his family. Yet he loved her unconditionally for the sacrifices she made just trying to make life for people like him that much better. He despised the agony she left him in, yet adored her for trusting him so completely with such an important task. He knew not what was inside his chest. He was in so much pain, he wanted nothing more than to lie there and die. In his heart, however, he knew the implications of what failing his appointed quest would cost the whole world.

    His heart was a shining beacon for his mind to lead itself out of that maelstrom of emotion. Though it may cost him his life, Jim would complete the task laid out for him, and this bauble buried deep inside his chest would find its way to Master Go, as she requested.

    Lying in silence, Jim waited, gathering his strength, until the armies of the enemy retreated completely. When he could hear them no longer, Jim reached out for anything with which he could pull himself up and out of the pile of bodies surrounding him. He found no such leverage. Limited in his options, he had to rely upon only his own strength to draw himself out of the muck of human carnage.

    Seeming hours passed before he could stand upon his own two feet again. Exhausted, Jim barely noticed the trail of blood he was leaving behind him. Upon discovering his fatal error, he abruptly altered his course to the sound of a rushing river. There he washed himself of the incriminating evidence that covered his body. Surely the enemy would find their captor did not possess the bauble they vigorously desired, and would return to find his trail. He did not have the time or strength to cover his bloody tracks, the best he could do was try to leave his trail cold.

    Once clean, Jim regained his bearings and resumed his journey to the western province to find Master Go. He relied heavily on the land around him for his sustenance, for his journey was a long one.

    After three days of walking and sleeping under the cold blanket of stars in the sky, Jim found himself progressing even slower than when he started. He focused on moving forward, and chose to ignore the growing infection in his chest where the bauble was buried. Unfortunately, his determination robbed him of his perception, for he did not see the multitude of eyes watching him from the wilderness.

    -------------

    This was originally posted 2 days ago at http://mysocialempire.net/rewriting-star-wars-archive
    Last edited by Corrin_Wyndryder, May 2, 2013
  5. Corrin_Wyndryder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2001
    star 4
    Chapter 2
    The shade provided by the forest canopy did little to cool Jim from the heat of the day. It did, however hide him away from the Flying Fortress eclipsing the sun above him. It was indeed fortunate that they could not see him, for in his fevered daze, he was completely oblivious to their presence.

    Jim felt himself slipping into unconsciousness with each hypnotically rhythmic step he took. Counting them to stay awake was not only futile, but counterproductive. He staggered, he faltered, and then he fell.

    The numerous eyes that watched Jim from a distance unanimously took immediate advantage of him while he lay unconscious, prone and defenseless. They swarmed around him, and within moments any trace of his journey through their territory was done away with. It’s as if he simply did not exist.

    It was several hours later when Jim, dazed and confused, regained consciousness. His vision was blurry at first, but in time the vague shapes of men surrounding him began to take form. He was in a dark room, illuminated by flickering candelabras and torches lining the walls. Everything seemed to take on a golden hue in the firelight.

    His breathing was deep, and unlabored. He could no longer feel the bauble inside his chest that hindered his breath and infected his flesh.

    Jim’s eyes shot wide. They took it! he thought. In his attempt to lash out and find the missing bauble, he suddenly realized the severity of his predicament. He was strapped to a table with leather restraints all over his body. He was unable to move, but made enough of a racket to attract the attention of his captors.

    “Ah, he’s awake.” A tall, hooded figure stepped forward. As with all the figures around him, his hood concealed his face. All Jim could make out was the torchlight reflecting off their eyes. “Do not struggle. You were unwell. Rest and you will be well again. Struggle and you will make your injuries worse. We’ve invested much into restoring your health. Do not make us regret this investment.”

    “Where is it? Where is the thing you cut out of my chest? It is of dire importance that it be returned to me.” Jim frantically begged for the bauble to be returned to him.

    “It is unbecoming of property to be so uselessly noisy. If he utters another word, remove his tongue.” The figure delivered this command to the others with frightful apathy. Jim clamped his mouth shut. He did not like being called property, but when tied down to a table, arguing with your captors rarely produces desired results.

    Whatever arts these hooded kidnappers used to restore Jim’s health seemed to work miracles. Within days, the infection was gone and his injuries were just scar tissue now. He was no longer strapped to the table, but instead spent his days caged with other prisoners, all of whom his captors addressed as ‘property.’

    He dare not speak for threat of violence, but always kept an eye out for the tiny bauble they stole from his chest. During that time, he found himself in the company of a rather talkative companion who was also rather thin and frail. He once told Jim his name was Cecil.

    “‘Allo, Jim.” He’d say every time Jim was returned to his prison cell. ‘Top ‘o the mornin’ to ya. What brings you here this fine day, I mean apart from our charming hosts?”

    “Hold your tongue, property, before we cut it out.”

    “You wouldn’t dare. Your masters would make property out of you before they let you devalue my only quality. I am fluent in almost every form of communication in the whole world. Cut out my tongue and you’ll never sell me.” Cecil loved taunting his captors with the only weapon in his arsenal, his words.

    The guard walked away furious; he punched the wall as he exited the cell block.

    “Well Jim, did you find it?” Jim shook his head ‘no’. “Well, you had better hurry. Now that you’re healed, it’s only a couple more days until they put you into the next caravan to be sold. Physical labor is cheep to sell. They expect a much higher profit margin on me. I’ve been in a dozen caravans so far, but I get the feeling they finally found a buyer for me. It’s about time, too. I’d rather be a slave in someone’s possession doing what I do best than a prisoner doing nothing for no one.”

    Jim stewed over his situation. He wasn’t quite sure what it was that he once had inside his chest. It was a small object, wrapped in a handkerchief, he never actually saw it.

    The next two days passed slowly, and still no sign of the trinket he lost. Finally, in one last desperate act, he pleaded with his captors, as humbly as he could manage, to have the object returned to him. Tragically, not only did they keep the knowledge of what the trinket was and where it was located from him, they made good on their threat. They took his tongue.

    -----

    This was originally posted 2 days ago at http://mysocialempire.net/rewriting-star-wars-archive
  6. Asajj_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2004
    star 1
    Ohh...that's depressing. This guy is not having a good year. [face_worried]
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  7. Corrin_Wyndryder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2001
    star 4
    True that, Asajj_Kenobi. But I think you'll find things are beginning to turn around.

    -------------------

    Chapter 3
    Cecil was aware of their destination, but elected to withhold this knowledge from Jim. Instead, Cecil was hard at work teaching Jim a form of wordless communication without their captors discovering.

    "Stick with me Jim," Cecil wordlessly signed, "We'll get you through this, together."

    Jim's head banged the side of his cage when it unexpectedly hit a divot in their road. He tried to cry out in pain, but only a garbled mess came out. A flood of uncontrollable emotions seized him and he wept in frustration and anger. His mission, to tell Master Go of the capture of that woman, to give him that bauble, how could he have failed so completely? His words were gone. The bauble was gone. The world was doomed, and it was all because he had failed.

    The caravan continued on, dispassionately. They stopped once for a meal break, then resumed their course. They maintained a backbreaking pace. Both Cecil and Jim were glad they were not among the slaves who pulled the carts. It was late in the afternoon when they came to their destination.

    The caravan pulled up before a grand manner-house in the middle of a plantation. The announcement of their arrival must have preceded their own arrival by a few hours, for the Master of the house and a presenting of his servants were present.

    Among them, a girl of plain appearance, stood beside the Master of the House. She spoke softly. "Is this it? They don't exactly have a large selection, do they, Uncle?"

    "Go on, Lucy. Examine the selection. I trust your judgment." The grin on her face indicated the altitude of praise that statement was, coming from her uncle. She then walked over to the caravan, looking over them.

    She slowly looked the caged slaves one by one, meticulously examining them as if trying to determine which ones would provide the most use for Uncle's plantation. Well tanned skin meant less chance of heat stroke working in the sun, and heavily muscled meant endurance for long hours without breaks, so she was very surprised to find the pale, skinny Cecil among the pickings.

    "You are not a laborer. What good are you?" She asked, intending to sound more curious than offensive.

    "What good am I? I am an interpreter. I am fluent in almost every form of communication in the whole world. Your Uncle is clearly a man of high standing in this region. A person of my skills could magnify his circle of influence to any corner of the world he so chooses." He said with a flourish, which seemed more than a little out of place for someone in a cage.

    "Fancy talker, eh? I'll let my Uncle know." Lucy smirked slyly at Cecil, which for the first time, was an expression Cecil couldn't read.

    Jim spent the entire time Lucy spent examining the selection curled up into a little ball sulking about his failure. "Excuse me," Lucy prodded him. "Might I see your face?" When Jim ignored the request, one of the hooded captors whipped him. He writhed and once again produced the same garbled yelp he did before when he hit his head.

    He turned around and faced Lucy with such ferocity, she stumbled backwards. In that instant, the furious visage dissolved into one of compassion and curiosity. This Lucy, the master's niece, was the spitting image of woman who buried the bauble into his chest. The woman who he swore allegiance to and failed. What was she doing here? How did she escape her captors?

    "Why are you looking at me like that?" Lucy began to feel a little uncomfortable around this one. "Do... Do you know me?"

    Jim attempted to ask her all the questions that flooded his mind, and when all that escaped his lips was the garbled swallowing sounds that his lack of a tongue produced he devolved into trembling sobs.

    "What's wrong with him?" She asked Cecil, who put his hands around Jim to comfort his weeping.

    "In an effort to defend my frail frame from our hosts, Jim here stood between me and their whips. He lost his tongue for his insolence." Cecil lied with such fluidity, it caught Jim off guard and his tears stopped short. He looked at the girl again. It wasn't her. She didn't have the same battle weariness which that woman bore. But if it wasn't her, she could easily pass for her twin. "I never go anywhere without him, so please, encourage your uncle to buy us both."

    "I will ask him, but..." Lucy didn't feel certain about this Jim character. She walked back over to her uncle and told him her opinions. The uncle motioned for the caravan leader to speak with him.

    "The one called Jim, he seems unstable, dangerous. Why should I buy him?"

    "He has demonstrated fierce loyalty to his masters. He was wiling to defend this little trinket with his life. With this you will have all the leverage you will need ensure a long and productive ownership of this one." The slave-trader showed Lucy's uncle a little object wrapped in a handkerchief. Jim's eyes were fixed upon this object. He watched as they unwrapped the handkerchief to reveal a shard of broken mirror. Now that he knew what it was, he had to get it back at all costs.

    ----------

    Meanwhile, in the darkness of the flying fortress, sitting upon her throne of obsidian, the Queen sat gazing at a shattered mirror, which suddenly burst open with light. The image of the Lucy's Uncle and the Slave-trader appeared as though broadcast from the shard they held.

    "I've found you." She sneered.

    --------------------------

    This was originally posted on 05/04/13 at http://mysocialempire.net/rewriting-star-wars-archive
  8. S1thari Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2008
    star 3
    This story is quite intriguing. The fact that it's nothing like the typical shipper/romance[Removed] is even more exciting. I eagerly await your next installment.

    Mav Edit: That wasn't really needed. Opinions are fine, but you don't need to insult people on here to give them.
    Last edited by mavjade, May 7, 2013
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  9. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Sorry for taking my sweet time on this.

    This is VERY different then what is posted here.

    I am intrigued about the mirror shard.
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  10. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Quite fascinating plot you have here. =D= It is unique. It feels SW-ish but also like something that could take place on a world like ours, in the U.S. about a century+ ago. Great job on making your characters sympathetic right off. Naming your main character Jim was certainly a quick pull LOL ;)

    @};-
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  11. S1thari Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2008
    star 3
    Ooops. Sorry, all. [face_blush]
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  12. Corrin_Wyndryder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2001
    star 4
    S1thari - Thank you for your complement, and your apology. Here's the next installment which you have eagerly awaited.

    Lady_Misty - I'm happy to have captured your interest, and don't worry about taking your sweet time. Updates every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday as planned.

    Jade_eyes - Thank you! I'm glad my writing was able to pull you into the story so effectively. But unique? In my mind, I'm borrowing so heavily from the original source material, I don't necessarily see the uniqueness myself.

    Without further ado, the next installment:

    ----------------------

    Chapter 4
    Cecil bathed unabashedly in a luxurious suite. A servant of his caliber had to look his best for his master, so he took every advantage to look his best. Perhaps sculpting bubbles was unbecoming, but he didn't care. After the many filthy months he spent in that slave-trader's prison cell, he felt entitled to a little silliness.

    Lucy averted her gaze for propriety's sake, despite the baths' soapy water censoring his nakedness perfectly. The responsibility of integrating these new acquisitions into the plantation's service fell to her. While Cecil bathed, she tended to Jim's many injuries. She needed to take a full accounting of the scars he bore before his service began. The slavers did a magnificent job of seeing his injuries healed properly, but these scars were not from the whipping of slaves. Where were they from? she wondered.

    "Shall I address you as my Mistress?" Cecil asked, in a moment of sobriety betwixt his merrymaking. "It occurs to me that to avoid any social faux pas, I must become acquainted with the formal hierarchy of our new masters. Failure to do so would be ever so rude."

    "Hmm?" Lucy asked, half because she was not paying attention at first, and half because his fancy jargon was occasionally beyond her level of education. "What was that?"

    With a mix of feigned respect and a touch of infuriation, Cecil repeated himself, slowly, word by word. "What shall I call you?"

    "Oh. Lucy is fine."

    "I see, Mistress Lucy."

    "No, just Lucy. None of this 'mistress' stuff, please. I'd rather not become accustomed to it."

    "But you are the heir to this plantation, are you not?"

    "I don't want to think about that. Honestly, I hate this place."

    "Oh dear." Cecil said, only partially interested. "Whatever for?"

    "Well..." Lucy's concentration was completely destroyed when her examining hand grazed the largest scar on Jim's chest. In that moment, her mind was flooded with images and sounds that overwhelmed her at first. She drew her hand back so rapidly, she gave the impression that her hand had been stung by his scar. "What was that?" The images floated around in her head, but she could not focus on what they were.

    Jim knew exactly which scar she touched, but since this Lucy girl was an unknown factor in his quest, he elected to conceal the truth of his scar's origins. Having recently been rendered mute, this was simply done. He regarded Lucy suspiciously, but a thought lurked in the back of his mind, suggesting she may yet have a grander part to play.

    "What happened, Lucy?" The situation gripped Cecil's complete attention.

    "I... I don't know. I touched this scar and suddenly my mind was... I could see things; hear things..." She regarded Jim's scar as something dangerous.

    "Touch it again," Cecil commanded, something he was not actually permitted to do. "I- I think you may have a... gift."

    "A gift?"

    "In my learnings, I have heard of people with unique talents, and societies who train them. Perhaps you have something lying dormant within you?"

    "Like what?"

    "I don't know. I'm not exactly a mystic, am I? Knowledge of something's existence is not remotely comparable to the power of first hand experience, as I'm sure you well know. Try it again."

    Lucy reluctantly proceeded, stretching forth her hand toward the scar. The second contact lasted a brief while longer, if only by mere moments. But in that time, the face of the woman in Jim's past came instantly clear. She could see her lips move, as if talking to him, but the sounds of battle surrounding them drowned out the sound of her voice. Lucy felt a deep connection to the woman she saw, as if looking into a mirror for the first time.

    She broke contact and fainted from exhaustion. Jim caught her before she hit the ground and could injure herself. He held her close, uncertain why, and gently patted her cheeks to rouse her to consciousness. With nearly depleted willpower, Lucy's eyelids narrowly parted, and with a quivering breath she inquired of Jim, "Who is she?"

    --------------------------

    This was originally posted on 5/07/13 at http://www.mysocialempire.net/rewriting-star-wars-archive
    Last edited by Corrin_Wyndryder, May 9, 2013
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  13. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Oooh, interesting developments with Lucy and Jim, relating to her reaction to what she saw and heard and she too resonates with the woman, like looking in a mirror [face_thinking]
    Corrin_Wyndryder likes this.
  14. Asajj_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2004
    star 1
    Very interesting twist on the SW universe. I like it. :D
    Corrin_Wyndryder likes this.
  15. Venator88 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2013
    star 1
    Hmm....I smell hints of ANH in here. I guess that Jim would be R2-D2, Cecil is C3PO, and Lucy as Luke.
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  16. Jabari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2007
    star 1
    This is really interesting! Very creative.
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  17. Corrin_Wyndryder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2001
    star 4
    Jade_eyes - Thank you for consistently returning with your comments. They are much appreciated.

    Asajj_Kenobi - Thank you. I'm glad you're enjoying it so much.

    Venator88 - You hit the nail right on the head. I thought I was being pretty obvious though, did anyone not get the connection?

    Jabari - Thank you. I hope you continue to read.

    -------------------------------

    Chapter 5
    The darkness of night concealed Jim's movements as he made his way to the Master's bedchambers. There was no time to lose. Now that he was healed and armed with the knowledge of the bauble's location, he could once again resume his quest to find Master Go.

    The admonition Cecil gave him still echoed in his mind. "I'm on your side, Jim. But if I don't know what you want, then I can't help you, can I? Picking the lock to the barracks, huh? You're leaving. We could have a good life here, but you know that already. What is it that drives you. This drive cost you your health, your freedom, and even your tongue. What more are you willing to lose?" Everything. While there was still breath in Jim's body, he would stop at nothing to do what he knew was right.

    He carefully passed by Lucy's open door, momentarily peering to examine her sleeping form. Her experience with attempting to psychically read his scar left her exhausted and drained for the rest of the evening. Even now she slept so soundly, he doubted she would wake before noon tomorrow. He whispered a little prayer for her in his mind before returning to his commitment.

    Inch by inch, the door to the master's bedchambers opened. The hinges creaked terribly, a flaw the master refused to have mended. So it was only by his patience and determination that he was able to open the door wide enough to enter without making a sound.

    Once inside, Jim looked about for the shard of mirror wrapped in cloth. They must have discarded the original handkerchief it was wrapped in when that woman hid it inside his chest. Therefore, its wrappings would be clean and new. Also, it would be of value, so somewhere secluded. Perhaps a chest of jewelry upon the armoire. Or in the draw of his bed-side table? Jim did his best to keep his cool as he searched throughout the various nooks and crannies for his bauble.

    At that moment, a terrifying thought struck his brain, latched itself upon his thoughts, and refused to
    release him from its clutches. Four words that echoed in his mind and would not be silenced. Four words that filled him with paralyzing fear. Four words, that if not obeyed, would never leave his mind.

    Check.

    Under.

    His.

    Pillow.

    Through sheer force of will, Jim moved himself from where he stood when the thought struck him and with each agonizing step, forced his feet to close the distance between himself and his sleeping master. He reached out with a trembling hand, and drew it back again. This feat would require the skill of a surgeon, quivering appendages would not do. Jim centered himself, abandoned his fear, and tried again.

    ---------

    The sun crested the horizon to east and sent a beam of light through a window, across the hall, and in through the doorway where it landed upon Lucy's face. Jim's original assessment of Lucy's sleeping in through noon may have come true if he hadn't left the door to her bedroom open.

    She yawned and awoke from more restful sleep than she could remember ever having before. She arose, dressed herself, and ran into Cecil on her way to the kitchens.

    "Mistress Lucy! Mistress Lucy!" Cecil whispered with some urgency. "There's an emergency!"

    "Why are you whispering?" Lucy asked.

    "I'm afraid our dear Jim has gone and done something rather foolish. He's gone. Sometime in the middle of the night he ran away."

    "Oh no! We better find him!" Her concern for him wasn't the worry over lost property, but a deeper worry over the potential loss of life Jim faced by going out beyond the borders of the plantation at night.

    "If he's in some kind of trouble..."

    "I don't care about that. It's the Marauders out there that I'm worried about. If they find Jim..."

    ------------------------------

    Originally posted on 5/09/13 at https://www.empowernetwork.com/leewhittaker/?p=93
    For a sneak peak at Chapter 6, go to https://www.empowernetwork.com/leewhittaker/?p=97
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  18. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Nice update; =D= Jim's sense of purpose, Cecil's sense of urgency, and Lucy's concern come through clearly.
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  19. Asajj_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2004
    star 1
    Nice update. Cecil is just annoying as C3PO. Lol!
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  20. Venator88 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2013
    star 1
    That's because they're related.
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  21. Corrin_Wyndryder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2001
    star 4
    SHADOW_MASTER_W & Jabari - Thank you for the 'Like's :)

    Jade_eyes - Thank you for your comment. I aim to please.

    Asajj_Kenobi - Thank you for your comment. I'm glad to hear I'm getting my characterizations to come through clearly.

    Venator88 - Thank you for your comment. I'm happy to see I'm retaining fans.

    -----------------

    Chapter 6

    Lucy and Cecil galloped across the countryside at break-neck speeds. The arabians they rode upon were bred for speed and carried them swiftly away from the plantation and into the wilderness.

    Cecil explained to Lucy that while Jim still had his tongue, he confided in him that it was Master Go in the West Provence that he was sent to go see. Lucy could hardly believe her luck. Despite her uncle's admonitions, Lucy had built a relationship with the old hermit. More than once her life was saved from the marauders by that kindly old man.

    Jim had quite the head start, but on foot he was extremely limited in the distance he could travel. Or so Lucy thought. Jim was a trained scout and messenger. Long distance endurance running was the sport of choice for messengers. Men were more reliable than horses when it came to seeing their cargo delivered.

    In the distance, Cecil and Lucy could finally see Jim, running hard and fast. They pressed their arabians steeds to narrow the gap between them. They were still about a mile off when Jim was suddenly surrounded by the marauders who dominated this part of the wilderness.

    ------------------

    Jim's rapid progression towards the West Provence was suddenly halted by the boar-mounted wild-men who surrounded him. He quickly counted more than a dozen of them.

    One of these creatures, baring a standard painted on human leather, circled around him, then spoke. "Where are you off to in such a hurry?" The others laughed and mocked Jim, like cats verbally batting around a small bug.

    Jim assessed his situation. Horribly out-numbered, surrounded on all sides, and there would be no way he could outrun their mounts for long. He could try using the terrain to his advantage, but they had the advantage when it came to knowing the region. So Jim's focus turned to the riders. His best bet was to single out their weakest link, steal their steed, and give chase.

    As they mocked and threw their jibes at him, Jim noticed one among them who was habitually glancing towards his comrades, as if seeking their approval. He's the youngest. Probably his first hunt. He's the weak link.

    Before they could even blink, Jim threw the stolen kitchen knife he concealed under his clothes at the leader. It embedded itself deeply into the pole of the standard he bore. While the marauder's attention was distracted by the suddenness of the attack, they missed seeing Jim knock the boy off his boar and start riding off with it.

    The boar was the size of a buffalo, and when it started galloping, no, stampeding, steering it was an absolute nightmare. Jim spent more time hanging on for dear life than worrying about his pursuers.

    ---------------------

    Now, but a half mile off, Lucy and Cecil could see Jim break free from the circle of boar-mounted marauders and give chase. He broke due south and seemed to be making a mad dash across the wilderness. His pursuers seemed to be keeping a healthy distance behind him, biding their time and letting him exhaust his boar before closing their trap.

    The pair on horseback adjusted their course to intercept Jim. Their steeds found a burst of strength that propelled them faster, and quickly closed their distance to Jim. This enraged the marauders, who circled about the trio, attempting to block them in.

    Jim jumped from his dire-boar to Cecil's arabian and took the reigns. Cecil was relieved to have a superior rider take charge of his steed, but his relief was soon lost in a dizzying flash of pain as an arrow ripped through his side. Everything in Cecil's vision seemed to pass in slow motion as he lost control of his body and fell to the ground. The shock of his injury combined with his concussion rendered him unconscious.

    Option-less, Lucy and Jim doubled back to protect their fallen friend. They attempted to use their arabians to form a wall around him, but they were completely surrounded. They dismounted together, and Jim watched Lucy's back while she tended to Cecil. "He'll live, if we can get him out of here."

    The standard barer took one look at Lucy and recognized her immediately. "You," he growled from behind his mask, "You have trespassed on my land before." He dismounted and slowly crossed toward where she stood. "This will be your last time." He removed the standard from his staff and tossed it to one of his lieutenants.

    Jim bravely stood between Lucy and the Marauder Captain, but his mighty backhand dislocated Jim's jaw and knocked the lad sideways where his underlings held him fast. Then the Captain raised his staff to strike Lucy down.

    Lucy was quick on her feet and dodged the first to strikes, but was knocked unconscious by the third. Jim struggled futilely against his captors. Despite the pain in his jaw, he tried to cry out, but only a garbled, wordless mess was uttered.

    While Lucy's unconscious body lay prone and defenseless on the ground, the Marauder Captain drew a knife and knelt down beside her. It was the same kitchen knife Jim hurled at him earlier. He held the blade downward and raised his arm high up into the air.

    -----------------

    Originally posted on 5/11/2013 at https://www.empowernetwork.com/leewhittaker/?p=97
    For a sneak peek at Chapter 7, go to https://www.empowernetwork.com/leewhittaker/?p=106
    Jabari, SHADOW_MASTER_W and Jade_eyes like this.
  22. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Gripping action and quite a bad spot the characters are in. [face_worried]
    Corrin_Wyndryder likes this.
  23. Asajj_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2004
    star 1
    Poor Jim he can't catch a break.
    Corrin_Wyndryder likes this.
  24. Corrin_Wyndryder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2001
    star 4
    SHADOW_MASTER_W - Thank you for liking and going back and liking other posts.

    Jade_eyes - Thank you for liking my post, and yes, you're absolutely right about our characters. :)

    Asajj_Kenobi - Indeed, he can't can he?

    --------------

    Chapter 7
    Jim clenched his eyelids tightly and turned away from the scene of the Marauder Captain murdering Lucy with the same knife Jim stole from her kitchens earlier that evening. Consequently, Jim almost completely missed what happened next.

    A soul-piercing shriek echoed through wilderness, followed by eruptions of fire exploding from the ground as though a line of buried cannons were discharging their ammunition one by one, and they were getting closer.

    The Marauder Captain was struck with terror and dropped the knife harmlessly to the ground. The marauders could not retreat fast enough. Even the loyal arabians abandoned their masters to find safety away from these volleys of fire and earth.

    Jim dropped to his knees when his captors released him and fled. The explosions continued to draw closer and closer until one erupted right underneath Jim. He braced himself for death. And yet, there was no heat, no fire, no eruption that any of his senses could detect. He opened his eyes and looked around him. There was no devastation, no debris, nothing. Despite everything he thought had transpired around him, the evidence of it was nowhere to be seen.

    In fact, the only thing that was different around him was the appearance of a gray-haired, bearded fellow wearing a cloak that seemed to made of the same terrain of the wilderness upon which he knelt. It was impossible for Jim to discern where the cloak ended and the ground began.

    Jim tried talking, but only garbled mumbles came out. "Hello there." the old man said. "Come here, lad. She needs your help."

    The old man tended to Lucy's wounds, restoring her to consciousness. "Go? Master Go? You... how...? I thought we were dead" <em>Master Go? He found us!</em> Jim was ecstatic that his mission was almost at an end.

    "These marauders are easily frightened, but they will return in greater numbers. It seems your friend is still in need of assistance."

    Jim and Go helped Lucy to her feet. She looked over at Cecil. That arrow still gruesomely protruded through his body.

    Jim flashed a look of almost exaggerated concern on his face. Lucy nodded and turned to Go. "Will he live?"

    "He's lucky. The arrow missed any vitals. Quickly, help him up onto one of your horses."

    "But the horses ran away." Lucy began protesting when she saw her arabians returning with the same speed with which they fled. "Did you...?" She shot a suspicious glance at Master Go, but elected to drop the issue. Cecil's health was far more important.

    ------------------------

    Originally posted on 5/14/13 at https://www.empowernetwork.com/leewhittaker/?p=106
    For a sneak peek at Chapter 8, go to https://www.empowernetwork.com/leewhittaker/?p=109
    Jabari likes this.
  25. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Hmm. =D= Master Go came along just in time. Something tells me he had more than a little to do with improving their situation. [face_thinking] :)
    Corrin_Wyndryder likes this.
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