Saga - PT "The Justice of the Jundland" (OCs, clone wars, short story) COMPLETE 4, August

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Kurisan, May 12, 2017.

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  1. Kurisan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2016
    star 2
    Summary: The Clone Wars rage across the galaxy. The Jedi find their numbers stretched to breaking point. The Force slips into Darkness... (Action/adventure short story with original characters and a few familiar faces)


    The Justice of the Jundland

    [IMG]




    Chapter 1

    “I HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS,” Padawan Maya Qwan murmured as the Nu-class shuttle’s engines fired up, ready to lift them away from Tatooine’s deserts. The slender teenager placed a hand on Flint’s shoulder and said, “Wait.”

    The clone commando sighed and aborted the take-off sequence. “What?”

    “We’re missing something important here. I feel there is some deeper plot, some greater menace. This rescue mission is not over yet.”

    Flint removed his helmet and said, “What do you mean?”

    “Jabba wouldn’t have just used the professor as a servant on his barge, and the Darksiders can’t have just kidnapped him for that. He’s too… valuable…”

    She glanced over her shoulder at the little blue-suited aliens. In the passenger section of the Nexu, Professor Maneeli languished on a medical couch. His fellow Polis Massan, Dr. Xam, fretted nearby. Upon hearing Maya’s words Professor Maneeli straightened.

    “I fear you may be correct,” he said, or rather thought – using the Polis Massan method of mental signal transfer akin to telepathy. To Maya it was as if he had said the words out loud. “On the way here that red-skinned fiend, Tekken, took pleasure in informing me I would be compelled to work on some ‘farm’. To what purpose, I can only speculate…”

    Maya nodded as her suspicions were confirmed, “Then what happened?”

    “I think there was some breakdown in negotiations with the Hutt – I was not privy to the entire conversation, but matters became complicated, I was claimed by Jabba’s thugs and then Tekken was hoven into the dungeon too!”

    Sitting nearby, Kitster raised a hand meekly.

    “I worked at Jabba’s palace… I heard things,” said the ex-guard.

    “Go on,” said Maya.

    “That Lord Krell and Tekken were here on behalf of some other organisation – they had a deal with Jabba, but kept the identity of their employers close.”

    “The Confederacy,” Maya scowled as pieces of the puzzle began to fit.

    “Maybe they rented this farm from Jabba for some operation? Something they wanted to hide?” suggested Kitster.

    “Do you know where it is?” said Maya.

    The tall man shook his dark-haired head. “I heard others talk about a ‘farm’ at some secret location. I’ve never been. I think it’s somewhere out beyond the Jundland Wastes. I don’t know what went on there, but I think Krell was not just into slavery; all kinds of dark business.”

    “We need to get there,” decided Maya. “I’ll bet that’s where Tekken will go.”

    “Alright, wait,” cut in Flint. “A secret Separatist base? This time we need back-up.”

    Maya looked at him. “We have very little time…”

    Flint consulted a data-screen and skimmed through order transmissions.

    “Let me see. We’re on Tatooine… Tatooine… Ah. This is interesting. Castellan.”

    Maya peered over the soldier’s shoulder. “The Castellan System?”

    Castellan’s not a system, it’s a ship – an Acclamator-class battleship. And it’s due in to Kamino for re-supply.”

    “So?” said Maya.

    "I know a couple of good friends of ours currently based on the Castellan, and look: Kamino is only 22 hours from here…”

    Marker and Blanco. The ARC 3-1 unit reunites. Maya smiled. “Alright. You go to Kamino. Will they be kitted up and ready to go?”

    “An ARC team is always ready to go, Commander. But we can just send a request…”

    “No. No transmissions. I don’t want whoever is out there to know we are onto them,” said Maya. “Take the Nexu, pick them up, then get back here.”

    Flint said, “Understood. And… what will you do?”

    Maya appealed to Kitster. “Do you think you could find this farm? I know it’s a lot to ask after everything, but…”

    “I’m in!” Kitster did not hesitate. “I’ve lived here all my life. I’m sure I could find it. But… we’ll need transport. The Jundland Wastes are not to be traveled lightly, and there’s a lot of no-man’s-land between here and Anchorhead.”

    Maya fiddled with her credit chip of useless Republic currency. Kitster produced a pouch of coins.

    “Oh no, you can’t…” Maya started.

    “I’m leaving this dust-hole anyway. I have no need for Tatooine currency.”

    “Will it be enough to buy a speeder?”

    Kitster frowned, peering into the purse. “It’ll have to be.”

    Maya checked the equipment belt that cinched the short purple tunic about her narrow hips. Then she headed for the disembarkation ramp. “Then we have a plan. Flint, you get the team. I’ll go with Kitster and scout out this ‘farm’.”

    Kitster grabbed his polearm weapon and scampered after her as the ramp closed and the attack shuttle lifted off.


    .
    Last edited by Kurisan, Aug 4, 2017
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  2. Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2000
    star 4
    I like that we're in the middle of the action to start. And Maya is smart to use her head and make sure she has some sort of back up instead of just charging in to the fray.

    Good start!
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  3. Onderon1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Indeed; Maya's growth is evident, and having 3 ARCs as backup will be most useful ... because a remote "farm" on Tatooine involving dark-siders just screams "trap." [face_worried]

    And the Jundland Wastes, as Kitster notes, are their own kind of trouble ... [face_nail_biting]
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  4. Ewok Poet Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5
    Another adventure starts! Jabba's allegiance with the Confederation is not a surprise in this context at all. The clones would better return until Kitster and Maya get in trouble again!
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  5. Kurisan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2016
    star 2
    @Mistress_Renata so good to see you here! [face_party] Thanks for coming and seeing Maya's everyday work face haha. And thanks for reading and making such a positive comment.
    @Onderon1 Heh, you have an art for prediction. Are you a Jedi??? ;) j/k thanks for keeping with Maya.
    @Ewok Poet You really wrote 21,451 words just in April? That's impressive. ^:)^ And thank you so much for retaining an interest in Maya. I'm hoping to reveal some surprises!



    Chapter 2

    MAYA FROWNED. The blunt-nosed swoop bike looked like it had been through a dozen asteroid storms.

    “Sorry, it’s all we could afford,” Kitster shrugged.

    “It’s just one journey. It’ll do,” Maya sighed, scowling at the pair of chuckling Rodians that walked away with the last of their currency. Kitster climbed into the driver’s saddle. Maya took one more look around the marketplace, making sure Tekken’s dagger-shaped starship was nowhere to be found. Then she looked back at Kitster – at his kind, tanned face.

    “Are you sure you want to do this?”

    He nodded, bright eyes genuine. “Maya, for a slave life here is... You have to understand… working for Jabba was the only way to buy my freedom, I did some things…”

    Maya touched a finger to his lips. “You don’t need to explain anything to me.”

    “I do… I have to make it right… I have to help you, so I can find justice.”

    Maya nodded understanding. She slipped behind him on the bike and circled his waist with her arms.

    “Then take me to the Jundland Wastes.”

    After an hour they were buzzing through the rocky canyons of the Jundland. Maya blinked in the harsh sunshine, her throat dry. Kitster weaved between channels and over bluffs, but the bleak landscape all looked the same to her. Then their battered wreck of a vehicle sputtered and shuddered to a halt. At first Maya thought Kitster had spotted something, but he slid off the bike and kicked its blocky engine compartment.

    “Piece of junk!” he said. Maya slipped off the saddle too.

    “Something broken? Power cells empty?” she said as Kitster cranked open the compartment and peered inside.

    “They checked fine when we bought it. I think the converters just died now. Those blasted Rodians!”

    “So, you can’t fix it?”

    “No, can you?” Kitster looked at her, then glanced around the valley they had stumbled into.

    Maya sensed his trepidation. There was menace here, and they still had found no sign of the farm. She pointed to the ridge that crested one side of the valley.

    “Come on. Maybe if we get to high ground we’ll see something useful.”

    Kitster grunted in reply and grabbed his quarterstaff from the bike before trotting after the nimble teenager.

    The climb was short but nevertheless soon had them puffing and sweating in the oppressive heat. It was only when they reached the knife-edge summit of the ridge that Maya was struck by the savage beauty of the desert planet’s landscape. The stony mesas and crevices rolled away in all directions, a myriad of reds and purples banding the various ages of the rocks. With the whining of the engines dead, Maya also felt the depth of silence. A profound quietness seemed to creep up on them, then surround, enshroud, almost suffocating.

    “See anything useful?” she asked Kitster, shading her eyes from the glare.

    He shook his head. “Anchorhead’s that way. Let’s keep going then loop back and try different valleys if nothing comes up.”

    Too random: This could take forever, Maya thought. The day’s shadows were already lengthening into evening. Maya trusted in her newfound friend’s scouting skills, but realised he needed some kind of hint.

    “First, give me some moments,” she said, closing her eyes.

    “What are you going to do?”

    “I’m going to try and see…”

    He fell silent, perhaps sensing the Padawan was entering some kind of Force trance. Maybe he had witnessed Skywalker do something similar. Maya concentrated, caressing the Force in her mind, looking for traces, ripples, anything. Farseeing was an art Master Chodo had often spoken of, and practiced on a level beyond her comprehension, but she had not yet progressed to the level where she could learn its secrets. All she could do now was focus on instincts. But nothing was coming to her. Her Force senses were as quiet as the lonely valleys surrounding them. A rare gust of wind moaned down one channel, breaking the silence. Maya’s eyes snapped open.

    “Sorry. I’m not really so good at this.”

    “Well, OK…” Kitster must have thought better of complaining, but could not hide his disappointment.

    “I bet Skywalker could find things when they were lost,” sighed Maya.

    “He did have a knack…” said Kitster. He gave her a shy look then. “Can you really help me meet him again, like you promised, Maya?”

    “I will make sure of it. I’ll take you back to Coruscant.”

    Kitster beamed with fresh confidence, but a pang of shame stabbed at Maya. Had she just made a promise that she could not keep? Something caught Kitster’s attention back down to where they had left their bike.

    “Oh no…”

    Maya followed his gaze through the rapidly falling dusk. Several stunted figures with brown robes and pointed hoods gathered round their speeder, fingering and prying at its various components.

    “Hey! That’s ours!” she shouted.

    The little thieves glanced up the slope with pinpoint eyes shining golden out of the shadows of their hoods. They shrieked to each other in high-pitched voices something that sounded like ootini, and then began ripping pieces off the bike.

    “Hey!” Maya shouted again, now sprinting and skidding down the sandy valley side. “Get away from there!”

    “Maya!” Kitster shouted from above in a way that seized her attention. She looked back up. Kitster was surrounded. Four tall figures wrapped in sand-coloured rags menaced him with bladed pole-arms. Even their heads were wrapped in the garments, eye-lenses and air-filters poking out to create inhuman, semi-robotic faces.

    What? Where did they come from? It seemed life had suddenly erupted out of the desert shadows all around Maya. She realised her Force-trance had blinded her to their approach and she cursed under her breath.

    She hesitated for a second, caught by indecision: Get the bike – their only hope of transport out of here, even if it was currently non-functional – or help Kitster? Could he take on those raiders? The moment passed and she decided: Kitster first. But before she could act, grunts and shrieks echoed all around her as more of the tall sand-warriors charged at her from hiding places in different directions. A lot more…


    [IMG]



    .
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  6. Onderon1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Ack. [face_worried] Well, Maya's not entirely alone, and she's good in a fight ... but Tuskens are dangerous in greater numbers, to paraphrase a certain Jedi Master ...

    BTW, Kurisan, I want to commend you on your use of visuals. You have a very good ability to paint a picture with words; the reds and purples of the desert, the description of the Raiders ... =D=
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  7. Ewok Poet Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5
    This is starting to look like one of those stories with the multiple endings, particularly with the "get the bike or help Kitster" ending. Either way, both Maya and the former slave risked A LOT here. That speeder didn't exactly sound like the best vehicle on Tatooine and with converters broken, one just had to guess what would happen next. Tuskens were predictable, but still, exciting.

    Hope Maya manages to do both and hope she is aware of the weight of her promise to Kitster.
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  8. MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2017
    star 3
    Eh Ai Aw EE O
    Eh Eh Ah.
    various other sandpeople noises.

    Sorry, I had to. :p
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  9. Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2000
    star 4
    Jawas AND Sandpeople! Maya's really in the stew now! And I feel a bit for Kitster...wanting to see Anakin again, not realizing how angry he's become, even though he hasn''t fully turned yet.

    Seconding Ewok Poet on the "good descriptions" line.
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  10. AzureAngel2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Lurked earlier on during lunch breaks at work, but did not log into the JC. (Fanfic is a bad habit of mine like my chocolate addiction. I hope to get over both very soon.)

    I love you giving us Anni´s Kitster. And Tuskens.

    Anything might happen when Maya pulls out a light sabre on their lot. Especially after the local legends on Anakin´s slaughter so many years ago.
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  11. Kurisan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2016
    star 2
    @Onderon1 Thank you very much for that nice compliment. Sometimes I wonder if I'm too lite on description.
    @Ewok Poet As always you have that ability to sympathise with the emotional element of the story. In this case, yes, Maya's promise and what it means to Kitster.
    @MartyAvidianus Egh ugh argh! :p
    @Mistress_Renata It's like that bit in Wizard of Oz... "Jawas and Tuskens and bears oh no!" Thank you also for your kindness.
    @AzureAngel2 Great to see you. I don't know that fanfic or chocolate is a bad habit; that would be something bad for your health or a nuisance/danger to others. Your fanfic is well appreciated here, and chocolates make you feel better after a Dementor attack. ;) So please don't give up either of them! That's something I didn't think of - the Tuskens having seen a lightsaber before with Anakin. Hmmm. Maybe this is a different set. Or something... :confused:

    Anyway, the show must go on!


    Chapter 3


    THEY STORMED HER FROM EVERY DIRECTION. Maya froze with indecision. They seemed ferocious, almost feral, but could she communicate with them? Should she try? Her hand hovered above the lightsaber at her waist. What did they want? To kill without any attempt to find peace would not be justice to a Jedi. She glanced uphill again. Kitster was fighting for all his worth, trading vicious blows and stinging parries, his quarterstaff spinning and clashing with their halberds.

    I have to at least try, she decided. Don’t kill. She left her saber at her waist and flipped away just as the first blow swiped for her head. The weapon cut only thin air. She twisted again, spinning between three more of the grunting raiders as they slashed for her. Another four closed in from opposing directions. Pack hunters, working together, she realised. A swinging blow was aimed at her chest, but she swerved back in time.

    She paused then, hands raised. "Please, I do not want to fight you. Tell me wha..."

    Two more stabbed at her from behind. She could sense them coming, knew exactly how she had to move to avoid them. But then she spotted Kitster fall from the corner of her eye; a blow to the head from behind.

    “No!” she called. Next, a scream echoed from the direction of the repulsorlift bike. Her head snapped round. The raiders were attacking the little hooded robbers now! It all happened too fast. Yet another gang of sand people charged at her. Where do they all come from?

    Maya cried out in pain. She collapsed to her knees, clutching the back of her thigh where the blow had fallen. She had time for one thought: A Jedi caught unawares. Master Chodo will be furious with me. Then the ragged assailers were all on her, pinning her down, bundling onto legs and arms. Fist-blows pounded her stomach and chest, and Maya’s world went dark…


    .
    Last edited by Kurisan, May 21, 2017
  12. AzureAngel2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    I hope that Maya´s courage and fierce fighting style will impress the Tusken so much, that they will attempt to assimilate her into their tribe. They do that occasionally, when they are few in numbers and need blood. The rituals (for example described in the Obi-Wan novel "Kenobi") are not easy. Only a few survive. Shmi did not.

    You also should consider the way the Sith are worshipped among the Tusken:

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  13. Ewok Poet Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5
    Maya, Maya, Maya, noooooooooooooooooooo!

    I hope there's a way out of this.
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  14. MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2017
    star 3
    Yay! Update!\
    It's chapter 3 in part, yes? More chapter 3?
    What a cliffhanger. In just a paragraph worth of prose there as full action.
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  15. Onderon1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Ack - well, she's tough, and survived Jabba's court ... maybe the Jawas will help her?
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  16. Kurisan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2016
    star 2
    @AzureAngel2 That's some interesting theories there. I wonder how much will make it to canon?
    @Ewok Poet - somehow I read that in Qui Gon Jinn's voice at first. :confused:
    @MartyAvidianus Sorry, yes that was a short chapter. Sometimes the cut off point suggests itself ealier than expected.
    @Onderon1 Stop doing that Force-mind trick thing!!! ;)


    Chapter 4

    MAYA WOKE UP, AND GROANED. Sensations flooded back, all too quickly: Pain in her legs, pain in her stomach and chest, something wrong with her arms. She opened one eye then another. It was dark – where were the blazing twin suns? Before she could address that question, another was answered. Her eyes becoming used to the shadows she saw that her ankles and wrists were bound to a frame built from scrap metal, stretching her limbs and holding her upright. This is ominously familiar, she thought.

    She rolled her aching head around her sore shoulders and more details of her surroundings became clear. She was inside a cave, the rough walls marking it as natural rather than artificial. A glowing fungus in a pot at her feet provided faint illumination. Then she saw Kitster. He was lashed to another frame, right across from her. A livid bruise discoloured half his face.

    “Are you alright?” she croaked, her throat parched in the dry heat.

    He shrugged, then winced. She noticed a cage to one side of his frame. It looked designed for keeping animals, but she saw golden pinpoint eyes peeping out. The brown-cloaked thieves had been taken captive too.

    “How about you?” said Kitster.

    “How do I look?”

    “Like I feel.”

    Maya scanned the cave for more information, but finding little turned back to Kitster. “Who are they?”

    “You don’t know the Tusken Raiders? We’re in trouble.”

    “Can’t we talk to them? Is there anything we can offer them to let us go?”

    “You really don’t know the sand people. They’re fanatics that hate everyone, regardless of species – they blame offworlders for bringing technology and destroying their environment. Those Tuskens walk like men, but they are vicious, mindless monsters.”

    Local prejudice against a different culture or a truthful assessment? Maya wondered. “What do they want with us?”

    Kitster took a deep breath. “I think they’ll sell the Jawas as slaves, if they’re lucky…”

    “And us?”

    “We’re trophies, taken in battle. We get to look forward to torture and a slow death – as slow as they can make it. That is their justice of the Jundland.”

    Maya searched for her lightsaber, saw that it wasn’t on her hip.

    “They took it, along with everything else,” Kitster said. “Trophies.”

    “There’s something else I can try…” Maya concentrated on the Force, tried to manipulate the bonds on her wrists, but even with her telekinesis she could not unravel the fibres.

    “Blast, they make intricate knots.”

    “Can you do it?”

    Maya had to be honest. “No. I’m not good enough at this yet.”

    Again I’ve disappointed him. He must think me useless compared to Skywalker.

    The Jawas started chittering. Kitster said, “Maya…”

    She caught his eye. He was staring at one end of the cave. Two Tusken Raiders were coming to inspect their captives.

    “I’m going to talk to them,” said Maya.

    “Don’t! You’ll make it worse.”

    The savages stopped between the two frames, gesturing at their prisoners, discussing in their harsh language.

    “Hey, listen; do you understand me?” Maya tried. They snapped to face her. One advanced and produced a sturdy whip of serrated leather. The Tusken let it unwind then lashed it across her thighs. She cried out in pain. The other struck her with a jab from the blunt end of his gaffi stick into her ribs. The first whipped another blow across her chest, drawing a dribble of blood.

    Maya gasped for breath, raw pain ripping through her senses. The two sand people grunted what sounded like coarse laughter. One tormentor grabbed Maya’s waist and pulled open her tunic while the other thumped his weapon into her bare stomach.

    “Stop, no, don’t…” Maya gasped with each blow. She reached out with the Force, seeking loose objects around the cave. A bucket-sized rock lifted, trembled in the air at shoulder-height, then rocketed towards her torturer.

    Using the Force, Maya smashed the floating missile into the back of the Tusken’s head. He collapsed into a pile. The other grunted in alarm and whirled, raising his halberd at the unseen attacker. Then Maya spotted her lightsaber hooked at the back of his belt.

    Again, she called upon the mystical energies of the Force. Her weapon flew to one of her bound hands. She caught it, ignited the blue-white blade, and twisted her wrist. Her other hand was free. The attacker halted, stunned.

    Maya tried to touch minds with the Tusken. Even after their brutality, the training her Jedi mentors had constantly drilled into her overrode her basic instinct to defend herself, to kill. But her empathy only revealed what Kitster had already told her. A bleak vista of hatred and an unreasoning need to torture filled her mind’s eye. There is no choice, Maya realised.

    She slashed with the lightsaber and the second Tusken crumpled to the sand, dead. Then she worked on her other bonds and was free. She paused, lightsaber humming in her hands, listening for signs of other attackers. Nothing. The alarm had not been raised yet. She rushed to Kitster and carefully cut his hands and feet free.

    He rubbed his wrists and thanked her with a nod as she shut down the saber.

    “I’m sorry,” said Maya. “I should have listened to you.”

    Kitster looked at the fallen primitives. “Well, they got their justice all right. I guess it is natural for you to try and reason with them. When I worked for Jabba we’d just kill them on sight, but I swear I never wanted to do it myself.”

    “I believe you. Please, put behind you what happened at Jabba’s palace. You were forced to work there.”

    She looked down. Like I was just forced to kill to survive.

    “What now?” said Kitster, peering down the cave.

    “Now we get out of here. How long was I out? Where are we?”

    “Some hours. But they didn’t take us far. I think we broke down right next to one of their lairs; lucky us.”

    “Right,” said Maya, mentally preparing for more combat, creeping toward the cave entrance. Kitster took her arm to halt her, then nodded at the cage.

    “What about them?”

    The Jawas peered out silently.

    “It’s their fault we got stuck in here!” Maya scowled. Her bruises ached.

    “Even so, we can’t condemn anyone to suffer under the Tuskens."

    Maya knew he was right, and felt shame that it had taken a gangster’s thug to remind her of her moral duty. She realised the treatment of the sand people had brought out her anger and frustration. She took a deep breath and found inner calm, banishing the terrible images and emotions she had gleaned from their minds.

    “Free them.”

    Kitster nodded and crouched by the Jawas’ cage. They chattered with excitement as he jammed the lock mechanism and let them out. He said something and they nodded. Maya glanced at Kitster for explanation.

    “They speak Huttese,” he said. “I think they’ll stick very close from now.”

    Maya led them round a corner in the cave and the saw light at the end: Bright morning sunlight. We’ve lost an entire night. She heard growling voices and knew the rest of the sand people were not far away…


    .
  17. MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2017
    star 3
    A bleak vista of hatred and an unreasoning need to torture

    shudders.

    oh my.
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  18. Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2000
    star 4
    Snaps to Maya; she's trying hard to maintain the standards of the Jedi and not instantly regress to "aggressive diplomacy" as the go-to. Kitster, sadly, has no such illusions. Now, having won the gratitude (?) of the Jawas, will the little guys show their gratitude and help out or run for the hills as soon as they're away from the Tusken camp?
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  19. Onderon1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    That went better than I'd hoped (and kudos, both for Maya attempting to stick to her morals, and overcoming the anger she felt from the Tuskens). I'm getting a KOTOR I vibe from the scenery in the Tusken camp ...
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  20. Ewok Poet Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5

    That's precisely what I've been wondering.
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  21. AzureAngel2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    With Disney in charge, the strangest things might happen in the SW universe. As I already have foreseen around 2010:

    [IMG]

    But as long as we all have fun writing and painting, it is okay, I´d say.
  22. Findswoman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 5
    OK, I'm caught up now, and I'm really sorry it's taken me so long—it in no way means I'm not super glad to see a new Maya adventure starting! It's great to see Kitster here again, playing such an important role in helping Maya find that secret base and hopefully Tekken too—though it's also wrenching to see the ways he's been hardened by his time at Jabba's. "Local prejudice against a different culture or a truthful assessment?"—that question is standing out for me here, probably because I wrote a Tusken-centered story of my own not too long ago. So far these particular Tuskens really have been brutal and vicious, but I have a feeling that even after their escape and their rescue of the Jawas Maya and Kitster haven't seen the last of them, and that they might end up doing some talking to them after all—and possibly learning some things. (Already Maya's remorse about having had to kill some of the Tuskens to survive suggests that she realizes there could be more to them than meets the eye.) And yes, I too am hoping that the Jawas will be able to do her and Kitster a good turn, too!

    It's interesting here to see how self-conscious Maya is about her abilities, which seems to stem from the fact that she knows Kitster knew Anakin. I tend to think she's being just a little hard on herself here—Kitster may have known Anakin, but that doesn't mean that he (Kitster) was an expert in the kind of Force abilities Anakin exhibited. And maybe Kitster, in turn, will learn from his acquaintance with Maya that there are many ways of using the Force, and that different Force users have different strengths.

    Thanks, as always, for sharing, and I'm looking forward to more! :)
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  23. Kurisan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2016
    star 2
    @MartyAvidianus oh my! :)
    @Mistress_Renata Maybe the Jawas could give them a deal on a droid? Hehe. Thanks for reading and commenting!
    @Onderon1 I've never played, nor even seen KOTOR, but every time you mention it I get more interested. Is it set way long ago before clone wars, or just before Ep1?
    @Ewok Poet You may wonder no longer!
    @AzureAngel2 That is very... strange, but nicely painted as always. What is it???
    @Findswoman Thank you, I'm honoured. Absolutely no apologies needed - RL is winding up to a crescendo of activity for me too. Plans laid back in December are finally reaching critical point...


    Chapter 5
    MAYA PEERED OUT OF THE CAVE. Around a dozen of the savages were nearby, loading packs onto huge shaggy quadrupeds with curling horns. It looked like a raiding party, setting off or coming home: Either way, only a dozen. We might not get a better chance, Maya decided.

    “Stay close to the Jawas,” she said to Kitster, then strode out of the cave into the blinding sunshine. The svelte Padawan ignited and brandished her lightsaber, one last hope that it would scare the fiends away.

    She had no such luck. Hearing the snap-hiss of her weapon, the desert raiders all spun to face her. Alarmed grunts followed and the savages grabbed their gaffi sticks and charged without pause.

    Maya set her stance and prepared her mind. She allowed the Force to fill and guide her limbs. Then as the first raiders closed, she erupted into a blur of acrobatic speed. Her blade flashed and circled, clashing off enemy weapons and spearing rag-swathed bodies. This time there was no holding back.

    In moments she had felled three of them. Her lightsaber hummed, and the others approached more carefully, wary of it like a prey-beast’s kicking hooves. Maya paused too, keeping her focus, knowing the pack hunters were at their most dangerous now. She sensed that they were aware of the danger of a lightsaber – and feared it. She chanced a glance towards Kitster.

    He was protecting the Jawas, just as she had asked, beating back two Tuskens that had come for them. He had spent enough time as a warrior in Jabba’s court. Maya did not have to worry about him this time.

    A final lunging attack came; a daring youngster, she reckoned from his physique. She danced in response, pirouetting between slashes and gifting a strike of her own in reply. The savage fell. Finally, the rest began to doubt their advantage, despite their numerical superiority. They are not completely suicidal then, Maya thought. Time to press the advantage.

    She charged then, leaping high then landing behind one of the raiders. Another flash of her glowing blade and a head toppled. Kitster smashed one in the abdomen, too. Finally, their resolve cracked. The sand people scrambled towards their banthas and urged them to flee. Maya watched them go, breathing hard. At last she could let some live.

    Kitster came to her side, gasping for breath. “You did it! I wish you had used that lightsaber in the first place. One thing they respect is violence.”

    Not quite vicious mindless monsters, then, Maya noted. But she considered Kitster’s comment, and somewhere in her mind it connected to a philosophy she had once heard second-hand attributed to Master Windu: When violence is inevitable we must not shrink from our duty, or worse evils will prevail. Could she have saved lives and time by standing up to the attackers more quickly? The conflicting thoughts evaporated in the harsh sunlight as Kitster spoke again.

    “They will come back, and in greater numbers.”

    She nodded, knowing to listen to the man’s wisdom now.

    “Then let’s get out of here.” She glanced around the valley. “But which way?”

    There was no sign of their speeder and the bleak realisation dawned on Maya that they were now truly marooned in the desert. Kitster had an idea. He approached the trembling Jawas.

    The Tatooine native jabbered to them in Huttese. At first they shook their heads, but Kitster kept on talking, pointing at Maya. Finally they began nodding and chatting excitedly, pointing in another direction. Kitster smiled then waved them away. As the little creatures scrambled and disappeared back into the desert, the former guardman crossed to Maya.

    “We have a breakthrough,” he announced. “I described what we were looking for, and I think they know where it is: About half a day’s trek that way.”

    “At last! That’s perfect, Kitster,” said Maya. Then she frowned, “I hope you didn’t threaten them.”

    “No! I just reminded them who had recently freed them.”

    Maya sighed with relief. The novice Jedi had been lost, but the Force – and Kitster – had shown her the way. She silently thanked the man again for reminding her of her duty of justice towards the Jawas.

    “You did well, Kitster. I think Skywalker will be proud of you.”

    Kitster frowned then. “What am I really going to do all the way on Coruscant, Maya? How will I make a life there?”

    Maya hesitated. “I… don’t have an answer to that, Kitster. I’m sorry.”

    He exhaled, but stoicism set in his features. “Well, first we have a farm to find.”

    “Then, let’s go.”


    .
    Chyntuck and Findswoman like this.
  24. MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2017
    star 3
    [WE'LL be back, and in greater numbers]

    [agree]
    Kurisan likes this.
  25. Findswoman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 5
    So there's our answer! :D Kudos to those Jawas—they've done a bigger service than they realize, not only to Maya and Kitster but probably also to their homeworld too. Kitster continues to be an invaluable help in so many ways—good on Maya for remembering that "who is wise? The one who learns from all." She learned even from the Sand People, too, by starting to realize that they're not just mindless and that there is sentience behind what they do. Now let's see what they find "down on the farm"—there's still more justice to be served out in this Jundland! :)
    Kurisan likes this.
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