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Beyond - Legends 2024 Kessel Run and Assorted Tales Thereof

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Theodore Hawkwood, Jan 9, 2024.

  1. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014

    Rain, Rain, Go Away
    Author(s): Theodore Hawkwood
    Timeframe: 3 ABY with flashbacks.
    Characters: Ben Cozine, Troka
    Genre: Espionage/Adventure
    Keywords: Crossover, Original Characters, OCs,
    Summary: Captain Ben Cozine is on a mission to assassinate an Imperial Security Bureau officer, but his biggest obstacle isn’t the Stormtroopers, chance discovery by locals, or even local wildlife but days of rain.
    Notes: This story stars characters from my fanfic, Tides of Darkness.


    Notes: First Kessel Run 2024 entry. I figured I could do quite a lot with the prompt given the first sentence…


    “The rain hadn’t let up in days, and all I wanted to do was scream.”
    - Captain Ben Cozine, Rebel Alliance

    85 Kilometers from Salline City
    3 ABY

    “Damned rain.” Ben Cozine hissed as steam rose from his breath. Through the A280 CFE’s telescopic sight sheets of rain obscured the villa 578 meters to his front.

    A chirp from his left shoulder from Troka, prone behind his own bowcaster.

    “You’re keeping track of the number of times I’ve been cursing about the rain?” Ben whispered back.

    The white furred Talz buzzed back as he scanned through his own scope, through the small embrasure in the hide site.

    “Yeah, I get it, there’s not much else we can do right this second. But I’d like to ensure Major Jarrad Dweiss dies of something other than old age,” Ben glowered back.

    Troka chirped and canted his head.

    “Well, pal, in case you need a refresh the Chandrilan resistance wants this particular ISB officer dead and I heartily agree with them.” Ben turned his head back to look through his own aperture in the hide site.

    Troka chirped a question in reply.

    “Well, arranging for the disappearance and death of Professor Jace Delstee is one reason the Chandrilans want this chakaare put down,” Ben hissed back.

    Through small embrasure dug into the hide site and driving rain Ben could just make out the two story farmhouse to his front. Its off-white exterior contrasted with wooden brown beams and large glass windows allowed for a lot of sunlight to filter in.

    Troka chirped again, scanning the area.

    “When he’s working from his ‘home’ he likes to use that home office that’s 578 meters in front of us,” Ben noted.

    Troka blatted back a reply.

    “Pal, I’ve measured that with the range finder who knows how many times…” Ben countered, taking in another detail. Two Stormtroopers walked uphill towards the house.

    Troka chirped another response as he scanned in the opposite direction of Ben’s line of sight.

    “Oh, you’re counting the number of times I’ve pointed the rangefinder at the place too?” Ben raised an eyebrow.

    Troka blatted another response.

    “I wish it hadn’t started raining when we finished the hide site. We could’ve slotted him while he was taking in his caf on the back patio four days ago.” Ben glowered as he looked over towards the farmhouse.

    Troka asked another question.

    “We’ll give it one more day, then we try Plan B,” Ben replied.

    Troka chirped and tugged on Ben’s arm.

    “Believe me I could rig up a device. I’d just have to figure out a way to get it somewhere onto his speeder, or into his office without getting caught by Stormtroopers.” Ben’s crosshairs continued to roam, aiming at that window.

    The lights turned on and the silhouette of a human walking into the upstairs home office. The rain picked up.

    Fierfek!” Ben growled under his breath.

    Troka chirped a question.

    “Hey, after what that huutune did to Ashliea and her family, I want to send him to Hell,” Ben angrily hissed as he peered down the scope. Again, the rain was coming down in sheets.

    Troka blatted a comment of his own.

    “Look, pal, I know I’m an ex-Imperial. I was an EOD operative, a combat engineer, and a soldier, not some internal security creep…I hated those ISB types even then,” Ben replied, centering the crosshair on the unidentified Imperial officer sitting at the desk in the home office.

    Blast, can’t identify him clearly with this damned driving rain. I don’t want to waste a shot from a good hide site…’ Ben thought to himself.

    “Rain, rain, go away…” Ben whispered.

    Troka chirped a response.

    “Oh, that’s an old human nursery rhyme.” Ben explained curtly, looking through the scope for another few minutes.

    “Alright, pal, I’m gonna catch some shuteye. Wake me up if anything changes out there,” Ben sighed as he rolled to his right, laying on one side and curling up.

    Troka chirped.

    Ben shut his eyes, feeling himself drift away…

    …only to be awakened by chirping and a clawed hand on his shoulder.

    “Wh-what!?” Ben groaned as he awakened, rolling over to behind his A280 CFE in its sniper configuration. His eyes went wide and he gasped.

    Then he inhaled deeply, aiming down the scope. It still rained outside, but it was more of a softer drizzle versus the unending torrential downpour of the past four days.

    The Imperial officer 578 meters away stood up from the computer terminal. The black cap and white uniform framed a tall, slim figure and the man turned around to look out the window.

    Ben’s eyes fell on a hook nosed man with a shaven head. He set the crosshairs on the man’s chest, eyes finding the rank insignia of a major in the ISB.

    “On three…” Ben commanded.

    Troka chirped a response.

    “One…” The crosshairs aimed towards the chest, just to the right of the man’s blue and red rank insignia.

    “Two…” Ben disengaged the safety catch on the A280 CFE’s pistol grip, taking the slack out of the trigger.

    “Three…” Ben squeezed the trigger, watching through the scope as Troka’s bowcaster quarrel and his blaster bolt struck home. One shot for the window and the other for Major Jarrad Dweiss.

    The Imperial officer pitched backward, flipping over the top of his desk, his booted foot smacking against the computer terminal.

    With grim elation Ben rolled over to his backpack, pulling out a thermal detonator. After hitting some commands around the weapon’s control he buried it into the hide site’s dirt floor.

    “Let’s get outta here, pal.” Ben whispered removing the scope from his A280 CFE and stuffed it into his backpack.

    Troka chirped in affirmation.

    Ben clipped the shorter and less powerful reflex sight to the weapon. ‘I need a carbine, not a sniper rifle.’

    He slung his backpack over his shoulders, tightening the straps before he and Troka fled into the misty Chandrila afternoon…

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2024
  2. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    A perfect first response with Ben Cozine and Troka muttering about the rain but finally using their sniper skills to get that Imperial. Looking forward for more of their adventures
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Great use of the challenge prompt. Ben's frustration with the rain delay is understandable especially since he has professional and personal reasons for wanting to take down this particular ISB officer, due to what happened with Ashliea's family.

  4. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    [face_laugh] Can't say I blame him, though. :p

    This was a nice bit of action to kick off your Run and I look forward to more!
  5. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014
    @earlybird-obi-wan, thank you for your response. I'm looking forward to writing more of their adventures. I figured I could use the challenge to write some of the backstory of my OCs and such.

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, Ben found what the ISB did to Ashliea's family terrible and I'm glad I was able to convey that with this story.

    @amidalachick, it's a lot of fun to write Troka and Ben's dynamic. Sometimes their interactions just fly off the fingertips.
  6. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Force Ghost star 3

    Mar 18, 2002
    Excellent first story. Well written, self-contained piece. Even if I didn't know these characters from another story, I would have no trouble following the action, bits of humor, and relationship between your characters. The short sentences you use really keep the conversation and action moving along.

    It's fun to watch your characters interact, even in less than optimal conditions like these.
  7. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014
    Thank you for your kind words. I've decided to go with a very Hemingway inspired approach to writing these shorter pieces.
  8. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Very suspenseful missing scene! :cool: I'm far enough into Tides to have read some of Ashliea's grim experiences with the Empire. So I can definitely see why Ben is so invested in bringing this particular guy down, and not just for his duty to the Alliance.

    Troka! :D I like to think he is part of some Rebel support group that maintains the newsletter Human Companions: Care and Feeding of the Galaxy's Most Absurd Species.

    Ugh, sleeping in the rain sounds not so fun. :(

    They are definitely practiced at this; it's a bit chilling and at the same time it certainly comes in handy. Reminds me a bit of Cassian in Rogue One and his approach of eliminating targets from a distance.
  9. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014
    Beers and Secrets

    Beers and Secrets
    Author(s): Theodore Hawkwood
    Timeframe: 0 BBY.
    Characters: Crix Madine, Ben Cozine,
    Genre: Espionage/Adventure
    Keywords: Crossover, Original Characters, OCs,
    Summary: Captain Ben Cozine, Imperial Army and Commander Crix Madine, Stormtrooper Corps share beers and secrets at a tavern.
    Notes: This story stars characters from my fanfic, Tides of Darkness.
    This is also my second entry for this contest. I figured speaking around a secret was fair game.


    Lexi’s Tavern
    Kor Vella, Corellia
    0 BBY

    Captain Ben Cozine, Imperial Army, walked through the front of the historic Lexi’s Tavern. A quick glance behind him and around the interior before he paused. At a high top table near the far corner of the bar he saw Commander Crix Madine sitting there, a tall pint glass in front of him.

    Madine looked up and waved him over. Ben stuck his hands into his pockets and with a last glance over one shoulder, walked towards the hightop table set beside the red adobe brick wall of the tavern.

    As he pulled his seat out and slinked into it, Madine grinned. “Relax, as far as anyone is concerned we’re simply two good friends having a few beers.”

    Ben sighed and nodded. A human female with her greying brown hair in a single elaborate braid walked over to take Ben’s order.

    “I’ll have what he’s having.”

    “Oh, the Imperial Stout? Good choice. I’ll get that for you.”

    As their server walked off, Madine asked, “So, taking some leave after Toprawa?”

    He nodded. Presently their server returned with Ben’s pint.

    “It’s good to see you in one piece, my friend.” Madine took a pull from his pint.

    “The Rebels hit the place hard raiding the Archives.” Ben took a pull off his own pint. Madine gave him a knowing look.

    “Something’s bugging you,” Madine raised an eyebrow.

    Another tired sigh. “It was one thing to eliminate Red Hand Squadron to the last man. No qualms there…but what happened after…”

    Madine held up a hand. “Heavy handed.”

    Ben nodded.

    “Hate to say it, but things have been getting very kriffed up since Rampa II.” Madine took another pull off his drink.

    “That’s no osik either,” Ben glowered.

    “I see your passion for Mandalorian profanities is still there. I’m not as worried then,” Madine replied.

    “In other news today, Imperial authorities have identified the leader of the Rebel assault on Toprawa as Bria Tharen, the commander of the infamous Red Hand Squadron…” a newscast from a nearby video monitor.

    “Tharen’s lot were definitely brave. I could respect them as fellow soldiers,” Ben began.

    “But as soldiers of the Empire we do what we must. Stay alive and kill the enemy,” Madine replied.

    “I understand, sir. However…” Ben began, eyes scanning the bar. He closed his eyes and shuddered as the smell of acrid smoke and the sound of explosions entered his mind.

    Madine sighed himself as he glanced at the video monitor.

    “Following the incident on Toprawa Grand Moff Tarkin released the following statement.” The female newscaster began.

    Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin stood before the camera, his hands behind his back. Behind him was a large holographic Imperial seal. “Imperial response to the actions on Toprawa will be swift and decisive. Actions have been underway for several weeks to ensure those who supported the Rebels will understand there are consequences for doing so…”

    Chakaar.” Ben muttered under his breath. Madine shot him a look.

    “You have a tendency to wear your heart on your sleeves, Ben,” Madine cautioned.

    “You’ve said that about me since I was a cadet.” Ben took another sip of his drink.

    “And I suggest you take up sabaac to help with that.” Madine smirked.

    Ben nodded as he set his glass down. His eyes scanned the tavern again. The usual mix of scientists, technicians, spacers, and engineers crowded the bar.

    “I’m not sure what to do anymore.” Ben took another pull from his drink.

    “You know what to do. The only thing you don’t know is when,” Madine grinned.

    “What about you, sir?” Ben asked his mentor.

    “I know what to do, and I have a feeling that’s why you called me right after Toprawa.” Madine took another pull from his drink.

    “But what are you doing?” Ben asked.

    “Now now, Ben, remember sabaac,” Madine toothily grinned.

    Ben nodded, as he felt a familiar pressure inherent to a pint of beer.

    “I’ll be right back.” Ben winced.

    “You’re about to break the seal, huh?”

    Ben stood up from the high top. “The downside to a good beer or two.”

    “In any case I’ll guarantee you’ll know when by the time you get back from the refresher.” Madine killed the last of his drink.

    Ben walked towards the refresher at the far end of the bar, weaving past staff and patrons alike. With each step with three quarters of the Imperial stout pooling in his abdomen he felt a sense of conviction.

    Madine was right. I know what to do…and when is sooner rather than later.’ Ben realized.

    What was he going to do? Join the Rebel Alliance.

    But what was Madine going to do? Ben clenched his jaw. ‘It’s best neither of us know too much more…’
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2024
  10. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Ben and his thoughts about joining the Rebels. But Madine will do that too
    Ben sure has his secret
    Kahara and Theodore Hawkwood like this.
  11. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Oooooh, are we getting more stories of Ben Cozine and Troka? This promises to be such a treat!

    Rain, Rain, Go Away

    Now this was unexpected! I know from your long!fic that Ben is a commando type, but I don't believe we've seen him in commando mode yet, and it's good to see that even as he and Troka are sitting in a sniper configuration to kill off a nasty Imperial the banter between them never stops :p At the same time, this was a good piece of suspenseful military writing, especially when we get to understand why both Ben and Troka need to be there in order to take out the son of a schutta.

    Beers and Secrets

    And this was even more unexpected! I never thought I'd get to see that Ben decided to leave the Empire over a beer with Crix Madine, and I love what you did with the "secret" prompt in this story by handling it through everything that's left unsaid, even though the two characters are talking about it, or rather dancing around it, throughout their conversation. Now I'm very curious to see their first conversation when they meet up again on the other side of the political divide!
  12. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014
    @Kahara - Thank you for your kind words and comments on this short fic.

    I plan to go deeper into things Ashliea experienced at the hands of the ISB after the disappearance of her husband, Professor Jace Delstee. And yes, the name Bror Jace inspired that first name.

    Troka is a lot of fun to write, both with and without his TALC box translation device. I could actually see Human Companions: Care and Feeding of the Galaxy's Most Absurd Species as a podcast with Troka and Chewbacca as hosts and Threepio translating...could be a neat concept depending on prompts that come up sooner rather than later.

    Cassian's weapon from Rogue One and just my own research on military tactics were key inspirations here.

    @earlybird-obi-wan thank you for your response as well.

    Between Darksaber and at least two other Star Wars video games I head canon that Crix Madine first covertly assisted the Rebels by providing them intelligence before he defected entirely after the ISB became aware of his activities.

    @Chyntuck thank you for your words, I always appreciate your comments on my works.

    Not just those two, but I plan to cover Ashliea Delstee and her journey as well in this.

    Yeah I figured it was high time I show some of the things Ben got up to in both his Imperial and Rebel Alliance/New Republic years before the events of Tides of Darkness.

    Troka and Ben's banter just flies off the fingers at hyper speed whenever I put them together.

    Re-reading Tides of Darkness' first scene I figured what better spot than a bar and a few beers to show how Crix Madine and Ben Cozine have such a close friendship transcending their ranks.

    My enjoyment of a couple craft beers inspired the location being a tavern on Corellia.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2024
  13. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Really liked this title! :D

    I really liked this line, too. Ben knows what he's going to do, he just has to admit it to himself. Great response to the prompt!
  14. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014
    Thank you. I actually had been drinking a beer when I first thought of this idea.
    earlybird-obi-wan and Kahara like this.
  15. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014
    Title: The Book of Five Drabbles
    Author(s): Theodore Hawkwood
    Timeframe: 3 ABY, 4 ABY, 12 ABY
    Characters: Ben Cozine, Ashliea Delstee
    Genre: Various
    Keywords: Original Characters, OCs,
    Summary: Five drabbles covering Ben Cozine on a covert mission, Ashliea Delstee post Endor, Ben and Ashliea bond post Endor, and meet again on Mon Cala.
    Notes: This story stars characters from my fanfic, Tides of War. Jace Delstee is Ashliea’s late husband, he was disappeared by the ISB.
    Prompt: Write a set of 5 drabbles with the following prompts: midnight, endeavor, inheritance, disaster, horizon.

    Midnight - Ben Cozine - 3.5 ABY

    Midnight. A man is going to die because of me. Here. Cornet City.

    Lieutenant Colonel Dunnlap, Imperial Security Bureau. The Corellian Resistance wants him dead. And the Alliance sent me.

    He always visits his mistress twice a week and leaves promptly at midnight. I know because I’ve been tracking his movements for the last nine days.

    All they’ve told me is Dunnlap needs to die. How I do it is on me. Failure equals no help from the Corellians. So, in this alley’s dark shadows I wait.

    There! Springing forward from a crouch. Hand over his mouth. Knife into ribs.

    Endeavor - Ashliea Delstee - 4 ABY

    As a doctor preserving life is my endeavor.

    Triage. The worst.

    Deciding who gets treatment and to what extent.

    The worst moment?

    When the Redemption got attacked. My ship, Mercy, recovered the surviving crew. Bedlam.

    A female crewman from the Redemption half carried and half dragged a wounded man. A pleading look in her eyes. He died under treatment.

    After the battle I’m amazed I even found her. All I remember is she was young and had a braided red ponytail.


    I could barely shake my head. She broke down in my arms.

    My tears for her, and Jace.

    Disaster - Ben Cozine and Ashliea Delstee - 4 ABY

    “You okay?” What a kriffing stupid question, Cozine.

    Ashliea’s sniffling and her eyes are red.

    “I’m here for you.” I might be a d’ikut sometimes, but I mean it.

    Stepping close to me. I put my arms around her. Fresh tears in my shirt. Just holding her close to me. That’s about all I can do right now.

    A little less sobbing.

    “Do you want to talk?”

    Ashliea nods and I steer us over to a quiet corner of Mercy.

    “Some poor girl lost her boyfriend on the Redemption disaster,” Ashliea begins.

    Jace. Her late husband. And thus the tears…

    Inheritance - Ben Cozine and Ashliea Delstee - 4 ABY

    Ewok music. Dancing. The Death Star burning above Endor.

    Somehow I don’t feel like celebrating. I’m not really sure why.


    Turning around, I see Ashliea walking over. Despite what’s going on in my head I manage a smile.

    “Good to see you.” I glance back over the celebration below us, the fires and several of our fellow Rebels dancing with Ewoks.

    “What’s wrong?” Ashliea settles in beside me.

    “We won, but I can’t help but think what’s next.”

    Ashliea’s hand on my forearm. “An inheritance of freedom for the galaxy.”

    “Sounds very Mon Mothma.” I manage a smile tonight.

    Horizon - Ben Cozine and Ashliea Delstee - 12 ABY

    The single moon of Mon Cala rising on the horizon. “It’s beautiful isn’t it?”

    I look up at the moon. My hand shakes again. What’s wrong with me? I’m spending time with a woman I care deeply for and the kriffing shakes again.

    “It is,” I manage. Ashliea’s eyes flicker to my hand. That knowing look.

    “It’s good to be with you.” If that’s not the understatement of the universe I don’t know what is.

    A small smile and that look.

    A sigh from me. “A decade-plus in the shadows. Where my horizon could well be death or capture.”

  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    I loved the first person POVs and the glimpses into Ben's and Ashliea's experiences separately and together. Very poignant that during the celebration, there's still a touch of uncertainty about the future. In horizon, there is a sense that their relationship is on the brink but still troublesome things linger for Ben.

  17. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014
    If you remember that from Ben's service with the Rebel Alliance/New Republic Intelligence services he's spent a decade plus in the shadows and he's been eyeball to eyeball with unsavory characters in many a blaster shootout.
  18. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    I like all five of them. Ben and his work for the rebels, Ashliea caring for the wounded and thinking about her late husband and Ben and Ashliea together after Endor
  19. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014
    Thank you @earlybird-obi-wan.

    The prompts gave me some ideas for how to tell Ben and Ashliea's stories from inside the character's heads.
    Kahara and earlybird-obi-wan like this.
  20. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    These were so well-done! I liked getting more of a glimpse into Ben's life, and getting to meet Ashliea.

    I think this was my favorite drabble of the set. This bit in particular was really poignant, and I imagine a lot of Rebels would have felt the same. It is a joyful moment, but after what they've gone through, and lost, to get there - it would be hard to just let go of all that and switch to 'fun mode'.

    Great work. =D=
  21. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014

    I pretty much plan to use the Kessel Run to tell stories about my OCs and the AU I created post Darksaber so that's been fun thus far. I've got plans to write still more backstory between them. These prompts have been rather handy.

    For Ben in particular since he's been with Rebel intelligence first as a deniable agent then as an actual operative since he defected.

    For Ashliea her losses were her husband (her catalyst to trouble with the Empire when she made inquiries as to his disappearance) and her children (taken from her after her arrest by the ISB).
  22. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Force Ghost star 3

    Mar 18, 2002
    This story reminds me of the old saying that the journey of a thousand miles (or lightyears?) begins with a single step. Sometimes that’s the hardest step to take, but it’s absolutely necessary. Good on both Ben and Madine for taking it.

    Despite the word limits, you’ve told five essentially complete stories here. There is enough detail for the reader to see what’s happening and understand the background. Some even have room for character development. Drabbles are often the most difficult pieces to write, but all of these are done well.
  23. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014
    @Seldes_Katne, Thank you for your reply I greatly appreciate it.

    I recall in Legends that there are multiple stories of Crix Madine's defection, I figured that from 0 ABY thru 3 ABY Madine remained in Imperial service but was feeding intel to the Rebels before he finally did have to flee.

    Thank you. Did anything in particular stand out to you for the 'character development' piece?
    earlybird-obi-wan and Kahara like this.
  24. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Force Ghost star 3

    Mar 18, 2002
    Both "Disaster" and "Inheritance" really focused on the characters' emotional states, and gave some idea why they felt that way.
  25. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014
    Thanks. I'm finding this challenge fun as a way to show backstory elements of my OCs for Tides of Darkness. In my deep dive into Legends stories over the last year or so I had wanted to weave certain aspects in.

    I figured both Imperial and Rebel soldier deserved a humanized treatment in this storyline, no matter of sociopathic many senior Imperial officers happened to be.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2024