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Beyond - Legends One Last Job - Winter 2020 OC Challenge

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Anedon, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Title: One Last Job
    Authors: Anedon, Adalia-Durron
    Timeframe: Beyond-Legends
    Characters: Ethan Malek -52yrs, Amber Tehanis - 22yrs
    Summary: Seeking to return home after the battle of Endor Amber and Ethan are caught up in one last job, that might turn out much more dangerous than they could have guessed.

    This story is yet another collaboration between myself and @Adalia-Durron, featuring character from the Black Sheep RPG.

    Chapter One

    It was a cold and quiet morning, the greatest contrast to the loud and heated night behind them. The woodland of Endor was filled with fog and silence, even the animals where mostly quiet during these early hours. When he looked outside the small hut, he had spent the night at he saw a cold, grey sky. Seems that even killing the Emperor doesn't turn everything into sunshine and rainbows. Ethan thought as he continued shaving himself. This was it, he had fulfilled his promise, had done his duty. Flashes of the battle returned before his eyes; he wasn't sure if it was the worst of his life but it was definitely up there. It had been an insane gamble but it had payed of, against all odds. Even after the destruction of the Imperial Flagg-ship and the Death Star the imperials had outnumbered them, but then their fleet had broken apart as more and more ships had left, leaving the field, and the victory to the Rebellion. It had been during the celebration afterwards that Ethan had officially left the Black Sheep Squadron, making good on his promise to return to his homeworld. Now he was Ambassador Malek, representing the New Republic to the people of Eriadu, which sounded at least ten times flashier than it actually was. But as hollow as this title ultimately was it did reassure Ethan and gave him comfort; he wasn't leaving the Rebellion he was just going to serve it in a different way. The night had been truly magical filled with hopes, dreams and celebrations, while Ethan had felt more cautious, even sad in a way. They had won, but so many had died, so much damage had been caused by this war, so much would still be caused before the galaxy could truly heal. But the old soldiers had kept that to himself, not wanting to destroy the happiness of his friends and comrades. For a brief moment he turned away from his small mirror and looked at Alec. The young Corellian was still sleeping quietly, a weak smile on his face still filled with youthful idealism. An idealism that might have taken a hit if his mechanic had been alive and able to listen to the news report R7 quietly broadcasted. We have reports about riots and uprisings in the whole galaxy, from Coruscant to Naboo, but the empire is cracking down on them will full brutality reports speak of hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests, numbers that will only rise over the next few days... He had heard nothing about Eriadu yet, every com channel he had tried had been filled with chatter, but he knew information would get better the closer he came to his homeworld. Endor wasn't too far from Eriadu. Only a few days, maybe a week and he would be home again. His bag was packed, his ship ready and he hadn´t drunken a single sip of alcohol during the night. He was ready he knew, ready to leave. Ethan had long since debated with himself on how to go about this moment, his friends knew of his promise, it was probably better if he left now and spared all of them a tearful goodbye, best if he just ventured out into the cold morning like he had done so many years ago when he had left the imperial forces.

    Amber stood on a precipice gazing at the vast forest below as she tried to catch her breath. She'd woken before dawn and was now completing a run, the distance she didn't know, she'd just run till she'd reached her current destination. The planet was alive, she could feel it, so much life around her and her abilities seemed to buzz with the almost electricity of it all. Looking up to the sky she noted the clear sky, and smiled. The feeling of freedom was washing over the galaxy and for the first time since she'd joined the Rebellion, she could feel it, it was intense and seemed to be spreading over the galaxy. Her run she realised had taken her around the entire encampment, probably in a very large circle but she could see the thin tendrils of smoke rising from dying fires so turning she began to make her way back, thankfully it wasn't too far.

    Entering the camp she saw many pilots, techs, leaders and fighters all lay about in makeshift huts, under branches and curled in sleeping swags. The night before had been a massive celebration as the news of the destruction of the second Death Star and subsequent death of the Emperor had spread out to the galaxy at large. It may be days, weeks, before everyone knew, but last night everyone here knew, and they celebrated. Amber never drank, well not galactic alcohol, she preferred the Namana juice from her own home world of Bakura, it had a mild affect and tasted so much better, there was none around so there was no real recovery for her this morning. Picking through the sleeping forms she was intent on finding her wingman, Ethan. They'd been paired when she joined the Black Sheep and since that day, she'd built a trust and friendship she'd not had since her childhood. Her painful teen years had driven her to the Rebellion and Ethan had guided her through to the end, the end where she just needed to go home now. Go home, take control of her family estate and face her destiny. One she was excited to meet.

    Yesterday’s battle was fierce, powerful and passionate as they'd risked everything for this one victory. The joy had subsided as despite the win, it was going to take time to bring about change. The galaxy was scared, wounded and would take years to recover, she knew that but her immediate plans were clear. She wanted to find her friends, the Black Sheep, most of all Ethan. They'd not talked much last night and she wanted to know what his plans were now.

    She saw him in the distance, she smiled. He, like her, was up early and she'd noted he'd not drunk anything other than water the night before so it didn't surprise her, he was awake. Approaching the entrance to the hut where she'd seen him, she smiled as she looked down and saw his bag packed and his droid R7 broadcasting almost silent reports. She frowned. "Hey, you going somewhere?" she asked in a hushed voice so as not to wake the other asleep nearby.

    Amber frowned as she gazed at him. "Were you going..........to leave without saying goodbye?" She asked in a hiss, "I thought we were friends!" She was upset now.

    "We are," Ethan replied. "I just thought it might be better to spare all of us," his glance fell on the sleeping Alec for a moment, “a tearful goodbye."

    Amber snorted. "Selfish you mean." She folded her arms.

    Ethan lowered his gaze. "I know, but... maybe a part of me feared I wouldn't be able to go through with it if I said goodbye, that I would once again find a reason to stay just as I did a year ago."

    Amber gave her head a shake, her golden red pony tail bouncing as she did so. "I had no intention of stopping you Ethan, you know that. If anything, I was going to take you up on that offer to visit your home, but I guess that's off the table now."

    "Eriadu will become a warfront in a few days, weeks at most, might already be once we get there." Ethan explained. "I don't want to..."

    "get us in danger?" Alec said as he sat up in his sleeping bag, blinking the sleep from his eyes. "As if it was the first time we were put into a dangerous situation."

    Amber allowed half smile and shrugged. "What he said."

    Ethan raised his hands, "Okay, sorry for mistrusting your intentions then. You can come with me, if the commanders are okay with it." It would delay the goodbye, even if only for a few days."

    "Rebellion's over, I can go where ever I want when ever I want. I told Flagg I wasn’t hanging around after this." Amber said, "Try and stop me."

    "Not gonna try then," Ethan said. Then he gave Alec a glance but the young Corellian shook his head.

    "I'm not leaving just yet, I've come this far with the rebellion I want to see what happens next, when this war is over, I'll have more than enough time to visit you."

    Amber turned to Ethan, her arms still folded, and eyebrow raised. "So, when we leaving?"

    "Today, if that's okay with you," Ethan responded. "But first we should say goodbye to the others."
     
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  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I enjoyed this bit of insight from Ethan:
    Seems that even killing the Emperor doesn't turn everything into sunshine and rainbows... =D=

    I like the glimpse of Alec's idealism. You need a few idealists to help everyone else stay optimistic [face_laugh] and not become pessimists too quickly.

    Amber is an outspoken and loyal ally/friend. :)
     
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  3. Adalia-Durron

    Adalia-Durron WNU Mod - Rebel At Heart. star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Thank you @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha - Amber's not all that......... ;)

    Chapter Two. - working with @Anedon ;)

    "Three more jumps and we are there," Ethan said, slowly as he looked around. The Tau34 system was so unknown it didn't even have a name of its own, just a regional tag with a number. It was the next step on their travels, making several shorter jumps and avoiding main hyperlanes he and Amber hoped to reach Eriadu without attracting unwanted attention.

    "Noted." Amber acknowledged. Saying goodbye had been hard, Ethan had been right. They'd been working together so long and some were gone now but Amber knew this time in her life would mould out the rest of her years as the effects were that deep. "Anything I should know about your home? Like are there rules I have to try to follow?" She said try, as if anyone knew Amber, they knew she struggled with rules.

    Ethan thought about this for a moment. "Eriaduans respect those who can stand on their own two feet, so I would ask you not to accompany me to any of the meetings with officials, cause if you do they will assume you are either a bodyguard or there to check on what I say. Either way I would lose credibility as an Ambassador." He made a pause, "also they are prideful, so if they make any unflattering remarks about other worlds and their people, I would ask you to at least try and not escalate the situation. Other than that, the planet is currently under imperial rule, and at least on the surface the local military collaborates. While many of them are preparing to rise up once the proper moment is there, some soldiers are genuine imperial loyalists so we should be careful to whom we reveal our relation with the Rebellion."

    Amber gave a sage nod. Many of the things he'd spoken of sounded like the 'society' circles her parents used to move in. "So....essentially smile and shut my mouth?" she suggested.

    "Well to put it simple: Best stay out of sight and mind when I'm talking to people who earn more than us and just be yourself if they earn as much or less then us, but in both cases don't mention or allegiance to the rebellion. Maybe you could think of a cover story before we get there."

    Amber considered. "I could tell the truth?" She suggested carefully. "I mean of who I am." This was going to get tense, she knew that.

    "That you are a Bakuran exile?" Ethan asked. "Could work."

    Amber smiled tensely to herself. "No......glad you're sitting down. Do you remember for my 20th Life day, you gave me a bottle of Namana juice?" She paused but didn't let him answer. "My real name is Amber Win'Destari, I'm the Heiress to Win'Destari Estates, the largest Namana producing Orchids on Bakura. You gave me a bottle from my actual home." She let that sink in, they'd been friends for a while and it was time he knew the truth. There was a good chance he'd be angry with her for hiding this, but she'd have to wear that too.

    "If that's to be a joke it’s not a particularly funny one," Ethan said and his voice was bitter. He wasn't angry, but he was hurt. He had told Amber that once he had been the protege of Wilhuf Tarkin the greatest mass murderer of their age, but she had found it necessary to hide from him that she owned a vineyard?

    Even from the distance, across the empty space she felt it. "I'm sorry, really I am. It's true. I wanted to tell you so many times, but the timing was never right and there was this feeling of fear if it ever got out. See, I've been financing the Black Sheep, sending credit anonymously and paying for repairs and whatever they needed, we needed. I'm the mysterious benefactor, and I couldn't let that out. I trust you, but I couldn't trust who might over hear or......." She stopped as she was rambling and talking too fast. She'd betrayed him and she felt it.

    Ethan wasn't sure how to proceed, what to say. "I... you, could have..." he stuttered, this utterly caught off guard by this whole revelation. He still didn't fully understand it. She had told him about her first husband, what he had done to her, Ethan believed there where truly no secrets between them. He was still struggling for words when he heard it, something was coming in, on a com channel, a rebellion emergency channel. A plea for aid.

    "This is planet Korean, to all alliance forces within reach. We are in danger, something is happening..." static filled the channel for a second, then. "I don't know what it is but...." Again, static but the speaker sounded utterly terrified. "Please help us... requires... aid..." The quality of the message became worse and worse before it broke completely.

    Amber's guilt was palatable, she could taste the bitterness on her tongue and knew she'd probably broken something that would take a long time to fix, if it ever could be. Tears were welling, she'd hoped he'd understand but even as that thought crossed her mind, she put herself in his boots and knew she'd been wrong. She was about to open her com and apologise again when a message came through, broken, static riddled and panic sounding. Did they respond? They'd left the Alliance and there was only two of them, what good would they be able to do. Inside her emotions were swirling, but the need to help was surging forward. "Are we going to help?" She asked in a subdued tone.

    "R7 says it was sent via short range communication, and as nobody else responded I feel we are probably the only ones who heard it," Ethan took a deep breath as he knew what this meant. For a brief moment he played with the thought to simply move on as if nothing had happened, to ignore this message. But the moment ended as quickly as it had come. "You are no longer part of the alliance, and if have a different assignment, yet I still feel somebody needs to have a look at this, if for nothing else then to confirm the threat and send a message to the alliance HQ. I think I can do this alone, but..." he didn't want it to end like that. "You could come along if you want, it’s not far from here."

    Amber had no intentions of abandoning him. "You don't have to ask; you know I will." She owed him now, she owed him huge amounts of apology and even more loyalty to make up for her mistake. This was going to take all she could muster to fix. "I really am sorry." Amber added in a quieter voice.

    "Forget it, for now," Ethan told her. "We will talk about it once we find some place to rest, where we are not connected by com but can talk face to face." The mission comes first, Ethan thought. Hopefully it would give him time to process all of this.
     
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  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Whew, a lot happened here, personally and otherwise. An urgent mission following right on the heels of Amber's admission =D=
     
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  5. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Yeah, how do they say, "when it comes, it comes all at once". Thanks for commenting. :)

    Chapter Three

    The first impression of Korean where the dark, thick and large clouds that blocked their sight towards the planets’ surface and obscured their visions as Ethan and Amber entered the planets’ atmosphere towards the coordinates of the planets’ sole settlement. During their travel here and while in orbit Ethan had tried to contact the settlement but only silence had been their answer. What was down there. "I checked our data on the world," the first real words he spoke to his former wingmate since they had made the decision to come here. "The world isn't included most maps, its only known to the Rebel Alliance. They people down there are civilians rescued by the Alliance, or people who need a safe place to hide, a few Imperials who made deals, shell shocked soldiers who can't fight anymore. So instead they support the Rebellion in a different way, growing and providing food as well as minerals mined on the world."

    Amber jumped slightly when the com opened, he'd not spoken to her in a good while and she'd expected that, so when he did it startled her. All business, she noted as she listened. "Have they responded to coms?" She asked. 'Let's keep this official till there is time for him to yell at me' she thought, as she was aware, she deserved it.

    "Nothing, had R7 scan the system but he couldn't detect any other ships or even traceable hyperspace signatures. If he isn't mistaken, a potential attacker either landed their vessel or we are the first visitors here in quite a while." Ethan explained. He made a pause, then he asked, "any ideas?"

    Amber closed her eyes, knowing her droid Squirt was watching, she tried to reach to the settlement. Her Force abilities had grown and she'd learned to use some of them better since she'd joined the Rebellion. Emotions washed over her faintly, instinctively she opened her com to Ethan. "I'm feeling....Pain....fear......loss, they....were attacked....surprise." She said in a relaxed voice.

    Ethan was surprised how relaxed Amber was with this revelation, "any idea who or what attacked? And if It’s still there?"

    She still had her eyes closed as she tried to 'sense' the emotions and feelings of those below. "Fear.........they're scared........still scared." Her eyes snapped open. "I think it’s still there, whatever it is. I feel like they are all hiding or running, something is.........getting them. Does that make sense?" She almost pleaded, hoping he'd understand what she was saying.

    "It does, I think at least," Ethan still staring into the thick clouds on their way down. "Just let’s be ready for everything, been better people than us who died on their final day of work."

    "Noted." Amber said in a subdued tone.

    ======================

    Having touched down Amber's first reaction was the the very small space port was quiet, there were ships about, but no real activity. Jumping down she turned back to her droid. "Squirt, scan the area and keep the ship locked up, no one is allowed to fly it...." She paused and looked to the other ship, "Except Ethan, ok?" The little droid warbled a quiet response as it closed the cockpit. "Good." She muttered as she made her way over to her counterpart. "This is strange.....it feels strange."

    Amber had said she had felt panic, a desire to flee, to hide in the settlement, but as he climbed out of his ship Ethan didn´t notice any of it, quite the contrary the spaceport seemed to be utterly peaceful, almost too peaceful. "Something is wrong here, isn´t this supposed to be a secret location? Wouldn´t anyone come to greet us? Or if there was an attack wouldn´t there be visible damage?"

    "You'd think so." Amber said as she turned slowly to take in their surroundings, her hand resting on her blaster. She'd not used it much, but if she had too, she would. "Where is everyone? You'd think strangers arriving would cause a stir here?"

    "A giant one for sure, this world doesn’t even show up on most star maps. Do you remember how upset everyone was when they found that spy droid on Hoth?" Ethan, deciding to better be safe than sorry as he pulled out his blaster.

    “I do, didn’t last long.” She stopped, “someone’s coming, I think.” She turned to face a building approximately 40 metres away.

    The person coming closer moved slowly, far too slowly for any rebel who had just noticed unknown entities within their base. Ethan guessed her age around 30 years, the woman was tall, her hair braided and her clothes being the simple dark garb colonists around the galaxy often wore. The fact she didn’t pay any attention to the blaster in Ethan’s hand only confirmed his suspicions that something was utterly wrong here. "You shouldn’t be here," the woman said in a monotone voice, sounding more like a droid than a person.

    “Someone here called for help.” Amber said evenly, keeping Ethan’s blaster in her sight, she didn’t feel it necessary to draw hers, in fact she suspected it could be seen as intimidating.

    The woman turned towards Amber, staring at her so strongly as if she had never seen another human before in her life. "I see..." she said after more than a minute of silence. "Follow me then," slowly turning around she made her way towards the settlement.

    "Maybe we should leave," Ethan said, something was wrong here and going towards the settlement could mean walking right into a trap.

    The silence was thick, Amber felt her lightsaber could cut it. Then she woman finally asked them to follow her, Ethan wasn't so sure. "I don't sense a trap in her, in fact I'm getting very little in the way of emotions." She whispered. "It's like........she's dead inside."
     
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  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Mysteriouser and mysteriouser. What with what Amber senses and what they actually find. =D=
     
  7. Adalia-Durron

    Adalia-Durron WNU Mod - Rebel At Heart. star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
    It is isn't it? :p Who knows? Thank you @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha [face_love]



    "Are they the same?" Ethan muttered to Amber as they slowly followed the mechanically moving woman into the settlement and towards the hill that rose above it. More and more people had gathered around them, some slowly following them, others simply staring. They looked like colonists but seemed to be just as catatonic as their guide. The children where the worst, the lack of life in their eyes sent shivers down Ethan's spine.

    "Same as what?" She whispered back, "And what is going on here?" She tried not to stare but the expression on the faces of those they passed was concerning to say the least. "They.......feel.........trapped?" She could sense them but under their calm docile and somewhat zombie like state were souls trying to get out. Amber could feel the fear inside, the terror and the frustration almost like their souls were screaming to escape.

    "Is the Force influencing them?" Ethan asked. He knew Force users where able to manipulate a persons mind but so many at the same time?

    Amber shook her head, "No, this is......" She stopped, she didn't know the answer, "No."

    "But they are alive?" Ethan said, quietly. "Maybe drugs? Though I haven't heard of someone being controlled by drugs directly. And no one here seems to be holding the strings."

    "No one we see, where are we being led? And why are we going so willingly when this 'feels' really wrong?" She asked raising an eyebrow, he was the Senior officer here and she was following his lead.

    "Do you have a better idea?" He turned around briefly and saw how more and more people followed them. "If we act now we probably could make it back to the ships."

    Amber didn't respond, he was right, they were in too deep now.

    They walked silently for a few more minutes, before they arrived at the other edge of the village. Here in the shadow of the hill Ethan saw the opening of the mine shaft and the large elevator leading down. "Whatever they want us to do, seems its beneath the earth."

    "Underground?" Amber hissed in disbelief. "There's no way out other than the way in!" Reaching down she touched the hidden panel behind her blaster where her lightsaber now rested.

    "Could you get us out with your blade? None of them seem to be armed," at least he couldn't see any of the villagers bearing arms

    Amber looked to him. "No...Yes? I don't know, I'm not good with it!" She knew it was more for show than anything and could even make things worse. She wasn't even sure how he knew she was carrying it, but it was irrelevant right now.

    "Then I think we have little choice but to have a look at what's down there, don't you think?" Ethan asked.

    Once again Amber simply nodded. She was feeling very wrong and it had come to her not trusting her words anymore.
    "How far is it?" Ethan asked their still utterly silent guide as they made their way through the tunnels. With Amber having fallen silent now as well he just felt he had to say something, get at least some kind of information on what was going on around them. In a way it comforted him that most of the villagers had remained on the surface but at least a dozen had silently followed them into the elevator and more awaited them down here.

    Amber was cold, felt cold inside and out. This was wrong as all the hairs on the back her neck were up and she felt very anxious. It was too late to go back, but she knew they were in trouble now and only hoped the Force would be with her for this.
     
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= and [face_nail_biting] Both Ethan and Amber feel something is amiss but not sure what and as if they are walking into a bad situation/trap. I hope they can "free" the villagers without becoming stuck in whatever is holding the villagers. [face_thinking]
     
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  9. Adalia-Durron

    Adalia-Durron WNU Mod - Rebel At Heart. star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
    It gets worse before it gets better...... ;)

    Chapter Four.

    The walls around them disappeared as the tunnel ended into a large underground cavern. Ethan noticed mining equipment lying all about around the tunnel exit, as if the people digging it had instantly stopped and left their equipment behind the moment they entered the chamber. Their guide suddenly stopped a few meters into the cavern. And in the sudden silence they heard it, something was there, in the darkness.

    Following, Amber was cautious as her skin tingled. The tunnel had opened up to a cavern, it was dark, damp and the only real sounds she could hear were the shuffling of feet and the odd dripping of water. The people around them stopped and stood silently so the shuffling stopped and Ambers senses were heightened, that's when she heard it. Something moving, something 'clacking' against rock and dirt, something approaching and with each step her danger sense raised. Silently she moved her hand from the butt of her blaster down and around to the back of the holster, curling her fingers around the flap she unclipped a pouch and slipped her fingers in to curl around the hilt of her lightsaber.

    The creature was large, around the size of a battletank Ethan guessed from what he could see through the darkness. Moving on several legs like a spider its body seemed covered in chitin plates, it was slow but steady as it came closer and closer. Ethan exchanged a quick glance with Amber which confirmed to him that she probably had never seen such a creature before as well. Their guide stepped forward before kneeling down in front of the creature, almost as if she was revering it.

    Amber's eyes widened, but held her fear in check. This was something she'd never seen before, even in her studies and her glanced exchanged with Ethan told her he was in the same boat. The woman knelt before it as she tightened her fingers around the weapon's hilt. She moved close to whisper. "What is that?" Hoping he had at least an inkling.

    "Never seen anything like it before," Ethan admitted. "I’ts a bit like in Aclay in build but I doubt they are even related. I don´t see a mouth, or even a face." He could only help but stare at the creature, his curiosity almost drowning out the rising fear inside of him. There was something about this creature that was utterly fascinating, something that kept his attention fixated upon it.

    He saw how the creature extended a long proboscis down to the woman kneeling before it, and how it fixated at the back of her neck. The woman rose from her feet and turned back towards the others; her eyes closed. "There is no need to fear, you are all save."

    Amber couldn't help but gasp, the creature was speaking through this helpless woman! "Ok, it just got really weird." she hissed. "How.....why?....Do you think they want this...this....whatever it is it's doing?" Inside she was screaming 'get out', her sense told her no one was fighting outwardly, but she could hear a single woman's mind screaming. She couldn't make out the words at all, but the gist of it was 'help'. "Cause I don't!"

    Ethan felt how a sense of safety overcame him and almost instantly started to struggle against it. Whatever this was he wasn´t save, but why was his body reacting as if he was? His heart rate was to go up, not go down, his eyes should be opening not threatening to close. "What is this?" he asked as he tried to animate his own body into listening to himself again.

    "You are save," the creature said again through the woman. "No one is going to hurt you anymore; I will take care of you."

    Amber double took and through her Force sense she knew Ethan was fighting something so when the woman spoke in her monotone voice telling him he'd be safe; she knew they were in real trouble. She stepped in front of Ethan, thinking it was eyes or something that was hypnotizing him. "NO!!" She yelled. "Stop it, stop this now!! Don’t make me hurt you!"

    He had experienced something like this before, Ethan remembered. As alien as the situation was there was something about it that the clear part of his mind remembered.

    "Daughter of Ashla," the creature hissed in Ambers direction, the voice now filled with emotions, filled with hatred. The silent children surrounded her, grabbing her hands and arms as to drag her to the ground and keep her from using her weapons.

    Amber pulled her arms up out of reach of the sudden onslaught of children, "Daughter of who!?!? My mother's name was Kalida!!!" She realised as soon as the words left her lips that they mattered little to this creature. "What do you want, let him go now!" she ordered moving from the grasping children. She needed to scare them off, get the away from her but they pulled at her clothes and dragged her to her knees, holding her arms and leaning their weight on her. "LET ME GO!!" She cried out.

    "Pitiful child," the creature muttered. "My kind has been fighting your kind in the past, to purge the galaxy of your rot."

    The Zeltron! Ethan remembered, where he had felt this before. Long ago, during the Clone Wars in a forgotten cantina... The purple skinned woman trying to seduce him. He had believed the only reason he had been able to withstand her was having a girl back home. Later tough his commander had told him that it was their homeworld who had protected him. Due to living on a poisoned world Eriaduans had a higher tolerance for poisons, as well as mind altering pheromones like the ones used by Zeltrons, or this creature... Slowly Ethan moved his hand towards the blaster at his hip.

    Amber couldn't move and she was speaking through her teeth now. "My rot!?? What the frack are you talking about? What the Kriff is 'Your kind?” She had to keep it talking while she tried to figure a way out of this mess.

    "They are gone," the possessed woman said more and more erratic. "Killed by your kind, I am the last of them, Jed'aii." The woman spat into Ambers direction.

    The proboscis, Ethan realized. It was the most likely source of the pheromones and their only hope. But he needed a better field of view. Stumbling forward he raised his blaster, pointing it at his best friends’ head he prayed he would be able to keep control over his body for long enough.

    She tried to turn her head to look. "ETHAN!?!!? WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?! IT'S AMBER, I'M AMBER!! WE'RE FRIENDS!" She screamed, sweat pouring off her body as she fought against her restrainers. "I'M NOT A JEDI!!" She spat, "I NEVER KILLED YOUR KIND! I'VE NEVER SEEN YOUR KIND BEFORE!!!" She was desperate, and whatever this creature was had convinced Ethan to kill her.

    "Kill her child," the voice had become warmly, almost motherly again. "It’s a small justice for what they did to me, but it’s a start."

    Ethan knew he had to be quick, lest the creature would realize his true intention. Turning away from Amber, he took aim at the proboscis and fired. The scream that followed wasn't human anymore, as it didn't come from the woman's mouth but from the creature itself. The woman herself collapsed to her knees and Ethan saw the other possessed stumbling around, confused, their control not yet fully broken but weakening more and more with every second as no more pheromones where released. He began to fire further shots at the creature, as even with its main weapon taken out it was still a threat.

    Amber was about to beg when Ethan turned his weapon on the creature and began to fire. The grip of the children around her loosened and she was able to break free, and in a single movement pull out the lightsaber she'd already freed from it holster and ignited it. She watched as the surprised children jumped away from her in their confused state, she was a threat now. "That's right, back off!!!"

    Ethan continued to shoot at the creature but was unsure how much damage his blaster bolt actually did against its chitin armour. With now distinguishable head or other weak spot outside of the remnants of the proboscis there was little he could do. "I think this is a job for your lightsaber." He called.

    Amber spun to face the beast, it was rearing in distress as Ethan emptied blaster bolts into it but they seemed to be running over the surface of the scaled body, causing pain but not death. She stood and wondered if she had the right to take this life, the last life of its kind as far as she now knew. It was sentient and knew what it was doing, but still was it her right to end it's existence? Behind her the people who had gathered were confused but some were heading toward her and Ethan, they were going to try to stop them. Guilt began to creep in as she moved forward, she glanced at Ethan with concern on her face, she didn't want to kill this creature, but it was clear she wasn't going to be given a choice. She had to move if she was to stop this. Turning the handle in her hands to angle the rich purple blade downward she approached and waited for her moment. It came as the creature lowered its head area as it writhed in pain, lifting high she plunged the blade into the area of the head, pushing it through to the floor.
     
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  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
  11. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Seems the chapter worked really well. :)



    The creature was not dead, Amber realised that very fast. The legs were thrashing about, and she still had no idea how many legs that was! Struggling to hold her hilt she fought as the beast lifted what she thought was its head and two of the front legs began swinging at her, she tried to duck but was too slow as one of the legs connected to her ribs and knocked her flying off her feet. The impact so hard that she released the lightsaber and the breath was knocked from her body, hitting the ground hard.

    Ethan continued to fire at the creature, but it soon became more and more apparent how useless his blaster was. When Amber landed on the ground he rushed to her side, instinctively catching her lightsaber. For a second, he looked at her, to ensure she was okay. Then he stepped forward and raised the energy blade, wondering if all the fencing lessons of his life would finally pay off. The first thing that came to his mind was If in doubt go for the creature legs, to limit its movement. Wilhuff Tarkin's hunting advice coming back to Ethan made him shiver for a second but he knew his former mentor was right. With two quick swings of the blade he severed the two front legs that had thrown Amber off balance.

    Pushing herself up, Amber was sure she had broken ribs as breathing was hurting now. She glanced around at the people gathered, their expressions had changed. It wasn't one of calm control, but fear and revulsion, it was clear the connection the beast had was now broken. She could feel they wanted it dead, like they'd been in hell, tortured for some time. Struggling to her feet she could see what Ethan had done, but it wasn't stopping the assault, more legs were supporting the creature as it advanced on her friend. She looked lower; the creature seemed to have a soft underbelly but she knew Ethan couldn't get at it. Stretching out her hands she closed her eyes and using her abilities she tried as hard as she could to life the animal. Slowly she opened her eyes to see the creature lifting off the ground. "IT'S BELLY!! GET.....IT'S BELLY!" She yelled at Ethan struggling to concentrate and keep it lifted

    Ethan gave Amber a single nod as he ducked and moved below the creature. Knowing what would happen he turned his face downwards as he swung the saber through the underbelly of the creature. The heat of the blade stopped the bleeding but he still found himself covered in guts as the creature died above him. Jumping backwards out of its reach the weapon still raised, ready to continue the fight if he had to.

    Her body was trembling, pain wracked and bathed in sweat but as soon as Ethan was clear she swept her arms to the right, affectively throwing the dying beast against the cave wall. It dropped to the ground on its back and twitched a few times before the multitude of legs flopped and ceased to move. She turned to Ethan, he was covered in innards, standing there holding her lightsaber. "We did it." She whimpered as she fell to her knees.

    "Seems so," Ethan said, as he deactivated the lightsaber and began to get at least the worst of him. He threw a glance at the fallen creature, hoping that it was now truly dead. He turned to the villagers, "best we burn it, it seems dead now but its better be save rather than sorry."

    "Seems so," Ethan said, as he deactivated the lightsaber and began to get at least the worst off him. He threw a glance at the fallen creature, hoping that it was now truly dead. He turned to the villagers, "best we burn it, it seems dead now but its better be safe rather than sorry."

    "The Nightmare is finally over," one of the villagers said, his voice still sounding catatonic. Others where embracing each other, especially parents with their children, Ethan saw the woman the creature had used as a mouthpiece hug two young girls who strongly resembled her. For the moment none of them where paying much attention to him or Amber but that would change soon, he felt.

    Stepping closer to his friend he asked, "are you okay?" He tried to sound optimistic.

    Amber had slumped down, her buttocks resting on her ankles, her shoulders and head dropped. "Not really." She said in a soft voice, the exertion of effort along with the injuries were too much. It got dark suddenly, at least for her as she fell sideway and passed out.

    "Amber!" Ethan yelled as he caught her. His first instinct was to check her pulse but thankfully it was still there. He turned to the villagers, "I could use some help, I hope one of you has medical knowledge."
     
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  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Whew, relieved that they took care of the creature but Amber is critically injured. @};-
     
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  13. Adalia-Durron

    Adalia-Durron WNU Mod - Rebel At Heart. star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Of course the beautiful Heroine Survives!! :p

    Chapter 6

    Ethan was reading on a holoboard next to the bed in which they had placed Amber. The medical station of the colony was very small but it was enough, as the doctors had assured him his friend would soon be at alright again. After Ethan had yelled at them to help the colonists had quickly rushed to his side, and since then had been showering him and Amber with praise. It had soon made him uncomfortable and so he had decided to wait here in the medical station until Amber awoke so they could at least deal with the gratefulness together.

    Sounds, she could hear sounds, beeps and tones that were somehow familiar. Was she in a medbay....again? She didn't open her eyes, the chose to take in the sounds, the touch, the feel, the smell. "Ethan, you stink." She muttered quietly, she could smell him. "Need a sanistream." She added noting her voice was a little croaky.

    "Didn´t want to leave you alone," he admitted to her, only now remembering the status of his clothes still covered in dirt. "How about me getting a shower while you get truly awake?"

    When Ethan returned from the shower he wore new clothing. His flight suit was so ruined he wasn't sure if he could ever get it to not reek again. Instead he had chosen the clothing he had kept with him for suitcase. The dark blue formal suit he had worn during important celebrations and formal events while he had still lived on Eriadu.

    Amber was sitting up now, in a hideous Medical gown she'd been given a brush and was running it through her long red locks. She looked up as Ethan walked in sensing him, "ok, that's the other extreme." She smiled as she began to braid her hair. "You looking for an award ceremony?" She frowned, "Are they .....happy with what we did?"

    "They are, they where still there, trapped in their own heads so they pretty much saw and felt everything we did," Ethan explained. "Told them it was no big deal..." he lowered his gaze. "Not sure if will improvise a medal for us or not. Just thought, now that I'm almost home I can wear the old colours again."

    She sighed and dropped the long braid having tied it off. "Speaking of home........" She trailed off.

    Ethan let out a sigh. This mission had been a welcome distraction but now the topic was right on their minds it seemed. He took a deep breath. "Amber, I'm not angry. I... I just don't understand it. You told me about Saxon, about your grandmother... I don't get why you didn't want me knowing that you where rich."

    She looked down to her hands. "Who do you think was funding .....us?" She looked up, "That could never get out, no-one could know that." She explained quietly, "Now we're done, it's not important and no one will care, but can you imagine if they found out? Can you see their faces? Most of them already saw me as 'the Diva', if they knew the truth......" She gave her head a shake. "I made choices, some I regret, but without parents, I had to make them myself. Now it's time to enjoy the freedom we worked for, I worked for. I need to run my estate."

    "You think I would have told them," Ethan said raising an eyebrow. "Like I did not tell them about all them other person things you've told me?" That was honestly more confusing than anything to him but maybe it was better to leave the topic behind them. But it seemed the damage was done. "So this is where we path ways then? Go live our lives?"

    "Like I said, I made choices and some I regret, but I had to make them alone." She'd hurt him, she knew that and he was cutting ties. She shrugged. "If that's what you want, I did want to see your home........but if you'd rather I didn't, I can accept that."

    "Oh you can still come, but I mean you just said you wanted to go to that estate of yours." Ethan said with a smile.

    She gave a small smile. "I figured if I come to your place, you'd be forced to visit me at some point."

    "Think so," Ethan nodded slowly. "So then remains the question, do we leave now without much trouble or do we stay here for whatever celebration the villagers come up with?"

    Amber considered for a moment. "I need clothes, but let's bug out before they make a big deal out of this. Just another job?"

    "Just another job, Vixen." Ethan responded.


    The End........for now
     
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  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Love the candor and the warmth of their continued friendship as we can see through the teasing =D=
     
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  15. Adalia-Durron

    Adalia-Durron WNU Mod - Rebel At Heart. star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
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  16. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Great job! I can understand Amber's reluctance to kill the creature if it was indeed the last of its kind, but by the same token it's hard to negotiate with something that immediately tries to control your mind. It's a good thing that Ethan had some resistance to the creature's effects or things would have gotten a lot worse for both of them very quickly.

    Just as Ethan and Amber helped to release the Empire's control over the galaxy at Endor, they also helped to release the creature's control over the villagers. It looks like they have a lot to look forward to in their new lives now too. :)

    Great work! =D=
     
  17. Adalia-Durron

    Adalia-Durron WNU Mod - Rebel At Heart. star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Thank you @Thumper09 for reading! These two do go their separate ways after this, stay in contact an live very different lives. He goes on to lead, she goes on to be a mother and wife. They both have families, and that legacy is turning up in The Last Stand And Black Squadron RPG's ;)
     
  18. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Awesome work. I loved the build up, and also the history to the encounter as well as it made the story richer. I'm glad they managed to release the hold over the villagers too.
     
  19. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Nothing quite as creepy as an empty town that shouldn't be. (I mean, a mind-controlling insect creature comes pretty close, to be fair... :p ) This was a great short adventure for them, and just what it seems was needed for Amber and Ethan to not start their new lives on a bitter note. Though they're still a bit troubled by the matter of Amber keeping secrets, now they are a bit more able to cope with it and not part on bad terms. I'm happy to know that they remained friends after! Always nice to see a friendship-based story too. I love OTP's as much as the next fanfic reader but there are lots of other important connections in characters' lives that are worthy of the spotlight! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  20. Adalia-Durron

    Adalia-Durron WNU Mod - Rebel At Heart. star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Thank you @Kit' and @Kahara !! So happy you guys took the time to read our exercise in fun! ;) These two stay life long friends you will be happy to know ;)
     
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