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Before the Saga Season of the Slave - OC Challenge - Fight

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Kit', Apr 29, 2021.

  1. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Title: Season of the Slave
    Author: Kit'
    Timeframe: Before TPM
    Genre: Drama, Action, Angst, Dark fic
    Characters:

    Summary: Stripped of the Force and forced into slavery, former Jedi padawan Taeyn Delavosh has no name, no family and no hope.

    Notes: This is part of the OC Revolution Spring Challenge - Fight! Originally written for Reddit's Season Challenge but fit @ViariSkywalker's challenge perfectly too.

    Reading Noonflower is not needed, but may be helpful
     
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  2. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    And ’tis my faith that every flower
    Enjoys the air it breathes.

    ~ William Wordsworth

    Chapter 1: The Sale - Spring

    “Get a move on pup.” The Mukdar’s voice was harsh and gravelly.

    Taeyn had frozen on the gangplank of the ship as he took in his surroundings. The only word that his brain could contemplate was Green. Everywhere he looked it was green. Leaves sprouted from the branches of the trees, so heavy and dense that the trees bent under their weight. He wanted to lift his hand and run it through the foliage. The green was so bright that it was almost dizzying. Above him the sweet sound of birds filtered down between the leaves. Taeyn drew a shuddering breath as the Mukdar tugged on the lead that held his shock cuffs, pulling him out of his reverie. They chafed against his wrists, reminding him of his new status. No longer Jedi; now a no-named slave.

    “The pup is hypnotised,” the old Mukdar, the one called Manoune, said and laughed its terrible staccato laugh.

    “Move.” The other Mukdar, Muldeen, said, and pulled the rope again. Taeyn winced, his shoulders sore from the constant tugging of the lead. He had fought against it in the beginning, being pulled like an animal, but now he was tired and sore. The fight had gone out of him days ago. He stumbled down the metal ramp and out onto the green, soft grass. Hints of purple flowers swayed in the undergrowth and everywhere the intertwining melody of birds.

    “He won’t fetch as much as he should,” Manoune grumbled as he followed them down the winding, grassy trail.

    “Not my fault,” Muldeen hissed in reply, “too long since we fed. We were both thinking of our bellies-”

    “-and not of our credits,” Manoune finished. “Maybe we should have killed him. Sold him for meat.”

    “Not enough on him.” Muldeen replied and Taeyn shuddered. “Besides, even as a slave he’s worth more than meat.”

    Taeyn tried to focus on the greenery around him, the softness of the grass, the way the wind whispered through the trees. Anything other than the conversation between the two Mukdar.

    “I think you want to buy the pup,” Manoune said and then laughed. “Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha. Have a slave of your own.”

    Taeyn’s head swiveled away from the greenery and back to his captors. The younger one looked defensive.

    “Humans make better negotiators,” Muldeen argued. “Nobody trusts a Mukdar, but they will trust him. He’s useful.”

    Manoune nodded and there was silence as both creatures seemed to think about this proposition. Taeyn wished almost desperately that somewhere amongst the verdant greenery there was a monster ready and willing to devour him. He knew there wouldn’t be. The only monsters were the ones leading him to auction.

    He stumbled and Muldeen stopped to watch him, head on one-side. For a second Taeyn almost wanted to believe that there was some sort of sympathy for his plight, but then the Mukdar grinned showing rows of pointed teeth.

    “Breathe the air deeply while you can, little pup. For, depending who buys you, you may never smell fresh-air again.”

    With that he turned and continued down the path. Taeyn followed silently, staring at the ground as it blurred from the unshed tears in his eyes.

    The birds sang.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
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  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Intense =D= This was such a dark period for Taeyn. It is a true marvel he not only survived it but came out stronger on the inside although of course there were emotional residuals. [face_thinking]
     
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  4. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Intresting start, curious where this goes.
     
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  5. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Yeah, and by the end of this hopefully a tiny bit of the baggage that he carries as an adult will be explained. :)

    It's going to get a little dark to be honest...
     
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  6. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Catch the sun

    ~ American saying


    Chapter 2: Branded - Summer

    He stepped out into the dry, hot sand and winced at the glare of the harsh glare of the light. It had been days since the auction that had solidified his place as the property of the Mukdah. He’d fought until the last second when Muldeen had reminded him quietly that as a non-Force user he was worth less than nothing to them and that the only other option was for him to be sold for sport or dinner. He’d stopped fighting then and had been surprised when it had been Muldeen who had won him. Now he just needed to survive the long days ahead until he could regain his freedom.

    He rubbed his hand through his newly shorn hair as he followed the Mukdah into the trading port, feeling the sun beat down upon his skin. His padawan braid had been one of the first things to go. He’d thought about throwing it away. It’s not like it meant anything anymore. His Master was dead, his body frozen in the wasteland back on Mount Pompinux. There would be no ceremony where he gave it to his Master on the completion of his trials. He’d folded it up into his robes and tucked it in next to the noonflower he’d sought so desperately - the reason he’d become a slave.

    “You follow me, boy.” Muldeen grinned and wrapped the head-cloth he always wore more tightly around his head so that it obscured his visage. He nodded his head and followed, trying not to feel the sweat drip down between the gaps in the shock cuffs on his wrists.

    Muldeen needed him to be the voice on worlds that were more ‘particular’ about who they did trade with. He’d learnt that the Mukdah were secretive enough that they didn’t want people to know that they survived. Their power lay in rumour, stories and fear.

    He would be the Mukdah’s voice and in return the Mukdah had said that when he’d earnt enough he would release him. It didn’t matter though, even if he was released he had nothing to go back to. What was the use of a Jedi who could not touch the Force?

    *
    “Your Master don’t say much, does he?” The fat bellied toydarian smirked at him, ‘caught the sun has he?”

    They might have finally been out of the sun, but the dense, fetid air of the shop, acted like a furnace in another way. The boy shrugged.

    “He doesn’t need to. He’s got me to do the talking for him.”

    “Ah, feisty one. Not often you hear such a well-spoken Coruscant boy as a slave. Sure you’re not a Jedi?”

    The Mukdah’s hand landed on his shoulder and a shiver ran down him. He blinked and forced himself to swallow. The accent would have to go. If he was to survive he’d have to act the part. The last bits of his old life would have to perish.

    He pretended that he hadn’t heard the question.

    “Do you have the part we need or not?” His voice was more aggressive now.

    “Sure. Sure. Keep your hair on.”

    The toydarian turned away. Sweat trickled down the inside of his new tunic, a ‘gift’ to replace the robes. The Mukdah had explained it. He would pay off his debt, the cost of buying him, his clothes, food, and other sundry items. Once it had been repaid then Muldeen would free him. It was slavery with a nicer name.

    “I have to order it. You going to stick around? It’ll be three days.”

    Three days of heat on this Force-forsaken planet where the summer never ended. He glanced at the Mukdah who nodded his head.

    “Yeah, we’ll be around.”

    “Good. I’ll contact you but I need to know who to contact.”

    He felt like the air had been sucked from his lungs. He couldn’t give his old name. That part of him had died along with his Master. He couldn’t just say ‘boy’ which was what Muldeen called him and the Mukdah wouldn’t want his name given out so that was off the table too. The toydarian was staring at him. “Rathtar got your tongue?

    He cast around for a name, sweat beading his brow.

    “Del.”

    “No last name Del?” The toydarian’s eyebrow was raised sardonically as if he didn’t believe him. The newly-named Del cringed inwardly, even as he tried to show nothing on the outside.

    “No, just Del.”

    “Well then no, just Del, I’ll see you in three days.” The toydarian gave a disbelieving smirk and flew off. Del flinched as the Mukdah’s hand squeezed his shoulder.

    “You did well boy,” he hissed, “but now we go back to the ship. I have other things you can do for me.”
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
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  7. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Defenetly getting darker as you said. Though I guess there might at least be some hope for him to get free, if he can trust a slavers word...
     
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  8. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    I wouldn't trust Muldeen for many reasons least of all because Del is literally his slave.

    We still have two seasons (and an epilogue to go). Down into the dark!
     
  9. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Chapter 3: Empty Promise - Autumn

    Red, Orange, Yellow Brown


    Blood wasn’t really red. People described it as red, but it wasn’t. Blood was berry jam as it well up and out of the skin. A thick garnet that smelt of iron and tasted salty on his tongue. The scarlet drops would eventually dry to a russet brown, splashing his tunic with rich colour. He focused on the colours, contrasted the deepness of the crimson against the soft yellow of the leaves that blanketed the ground on which he swayed. His knuckles hurt, an ache that spoke of far deeper injuries than the smart of the jagged cut that graced his knuckles. The colours would stop him focusing on the pain that coursed through his body. They would stop him from thinking about what he’d done.

    Somewhere he knew that people were shouting and cheering, a roar of sound but it all sounded muted and dull like the wind rustling through the dead and drying leaves. He glanced at the Pantoran who lay sprawled on the ground. A few leaves had landed on him, tiny burnt umber stars against the blue-grey of his skin. He had been a slave like Del, but no more. The young man looked like he was sleeping except for the seashell-pink liquid that dribbled from his mouth and the way his indigo hued skin was slowly fading to grey. A hand clasped his shoulder. Del shuddered.

    The touch broke the spell. The roar of noise sprung to life around him. He was aware of the leering faces, their eyes bright with lust for blood and death. Del felt cold drench him, icy spears that did nothing to quench the angry despair that always gripped him after a bout.

    “You did well boy. The other could not stand against you. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.”

    Muldeen was so close that his face wrap tickled Del’s ear. He stared straight ahead, wishing that he could drown himself in the colours of the forest. The fire grew.

    “Will the winnings of this fight be enough to pay off my debt?” His own voice sounded like it was coming from a long way away. His vision had narrowed again, until all he could see was the stars trapped against the fallen body, floating on blood.

    “Why would I part with you when you win for me? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.” The staccato laugh of the Mukdah ran like fingernails down the chalkboard of his spine. Without thinking he turned, fist raised but the Mukdah caught his hand with its powerful fingers. The creature stared at him and Del got the sense that he was being mocked as the eyes glimmered with cruel humour. “The pup wants to get away from his master,” the Mukdah hissed. “Soon, pup soon. Another fight first. Then maybe we will renegotiate the terms of your debt.”

    The Mukdah opened his fist and Del’s hand dropped back to his side. The anger had died down, replaced by a tired weariness and the feeling of hopeless defeat. The Mukdah promised freedom, but Del knew that he would never deliver.

    It was all empty gestures, as pretty as the floating leaves and just as dead.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
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  10. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    I sure hope he will regain his freedom
     
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  11. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Really getting darker and darker, now that he is forced to fight fellow slaves to the death. A cruel and bloody affair, especially depressing as it becomes clear even his victories won´t get him closer to freedom.
     
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  12. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    \

    Uh...eventually? Freedom sort of in this next chapter. True freedom though is years away.

    Yep. Del has definitely gone down a darker path then he'd ever envisioned his life taking. At the moment all he wants to do is survive!
     
  13. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Note: This is, finally the fight scene for the challenge. Needed the other three very short chapters to make this one make sense.

    *

    Chapter 4: Know your place - Winter

    The painting as inspiration for this peace is "The Sea of Ice" by Caspar Friedrich


    The flakes floated down soft and gentle, a whirlwind of feathers that kissed his skin and melted into freezing rivets. Del squinted into the world of glaring white ice and snow. He could feel the water worming its way down inside his clothes. Part of him wanted to rub his hands together, to get warm somehow but he stopped himself. The Mukdah would see it as a weakness and something for him to exploit and Del didn’t want to give them anything else of himself.

    Besides, it wasn't like the snow really made a difference to how cold he felt. It had been six years since they’d caught him. Six years since he’d been stripped of the comforting eddies of warmth that made up the Force. Six years since he’d left his Master in that cave - dead. Six years of nothing but feeling cold, dead, and worthless.

    He didn’t know why Manoune and Muldeen were meeting on this Force-forsaken planet. Like most Mukdah, the two rarely met. It was as if the secrecy and isolation that surrounded their species extended even inside it.

    Del watched them carefully. The older Mukdah, Manoune, seemed to be angry. Del wondered if it had to do with his last fight. He knew that Manoune bet on every occasion. In that last fight Del had only just been victorious. His opponents were getting tougher and stronger as his reputation grew. It had only been his Jedi training from so long ago that had kept him from losing.

    There had been so much blood.

    He could still see the blank eyes of the zabrak as it lay at his feet. He could still smell the blood, feel the vibroblade in his hand as he brought it down on the other boy’s unresisting body. He could still taste the fear that had-

    He shuddered and closed his eyes, pushing down the thoughts and memories, feeding them to the dormant coil of icy anger that always lay at the bottom of his stomach.

    “I will take over the boy,” Manoune hissed, loud enough for Del to hear.

    “Please don’t,” Del whispered. The two Mukdah stopped talking suddenly and stared at him. He froze, dropping his head to stare at the swirls of snow that eddied around his worn boots. He watched them from under his lashes. He didn’t want to go with Manoune. The older Mukdah was savage in his treatment of slaves. Most didn’t last more than a month in his ‘care’.

    “No,” Muldeen replied sternly, his eyes flicking towards Del.

    In that moment he felt nothing but pathetically grateful to his Master for saving him, then the icy cold snake of anger rose in his stomach. He hated being so grateful. Hated the Mukdah. Hated the very life he had been forced to live. Mostly he just hated himself.

    His hands clenched in anger, but the Mukdah didn’t see.

    Despite the cold, the two Mukdahs had unravelled their normal face coverings, and Del could see how Manoune’s thick lizard lips twitched with anger.

    “You forget that you owe the life debt,” Manoune hissed. Muldeen straightened, and Del saw how Manoune mirrored the action. A life debt. Del had heard of these, when one Mukdah saved another it was called a life debt. It had to be honoured when called in, or the Mukdah that denied it could be killed.

    “I do not forget,” Muldeen replied, “but I will not give up the boy.”

    “Then you have grown weak. One does not grow fond of the merchandise. If you do not honour the debt, then you are as weak as the human you care so much about.”

    Manoune’s words were icy weapons and Del heard Muldeen’s sharp intake of breath.

    For a few seconds there was nothing but the falling flakes of snow and then Muldeen struck.

    The Mukdah jumped, his feet striking towards Manoune. They hit empty nothing but empty air as the older Mukdah leapt back, somersaulting across the tundra.

    He gained an advantage of only a few seconds before Muldeen was on top of him, the sharp talons that graced the end of each hand extended in rage. Manoune blocked the attack, almost too fast for Del to see. The two Mukdah tumbled over in the snow, their hands scrambling for purchase on the other’s armour. They rolled past him, seemingly forgotten, claws ripping apart leather and metal to get to the skin underneath. Muldeen pulled a vibroblade from its scabbard but the other Mukdah struck his arm, sending the blade skittering across the snow and ice to land at Del’s feet.

    Del stared at it. The black leather handle with its intricate steel bands, the glittering sharpness of the long, jagged one-side blade contrasted against the white of the snow. He reached down and picked it up, feeling the weight of it and the way it snuggled into his hand.

    He looked up to see that the two Mukdah had landed into the snow near the foot of the ship, Manoune on top. The older Mukdah’s hands were wrapped around the throat of the badly bleeding Muldeen. As if sensing Del’s stare, Manoune turned and grinned at him, his face bloody and his eyes alight with cruel joy.

    “Watch the traitor die boy, and know your place,” Manoune hissed, his eyes filled with triumph.

    Know your place. The words whispered through his head over and over again, growing louder until they became a wave of noise.

    Know your place.

    That was the thing though wasn’t it
    , a quieter part of Del’s mind whispered, clear through the din. Your place had been at the Temple until the monsters had stripped you from the Force. Your place had been with your friends. Then they had been ripped away. Your place had been with your Master until Manoune had killed him. Your place had been with her until…

    He flinched. He could not go there.

    If Muldeen died then your place would be with Manoune. If the whispers about him are true, then that place would be no better than the hells themselves.

    Something inside him snapped.

    The vibroknife felt warm and safe in his hands. He dove across the snow, to where Manoune was kneeling over Muldeen’s body, his strong fingers still wrapped around the other Mukdah’s neck. The vibroknife was heavy and comforting as he struck, the blade slipping easily between ribs and into warm flesh beneath. The Mukdah turned, hissing in pain and anger. His claws caught Del across the shoulder, ripping his leather tunic with sharp nails.

    Del didn’t care.

    The blade struck again and again, hot blood pouring out over his hands, melting the snow beneath into rivers of crimson. He watched the light fade from the Mukdah’s eyes, just as it had from the Zabrak’s. Just as it had from the Kouran’s and the Mirilan’s and the Pantoran’s. Just as it had from all of those the Mukdah had forced him to face. He kept stabbing, long after the body had gone limp.

    Eventually he stopped, panting. Lying limply against the ship Muldeen was staring at him. Del realised the Mukdah must have dragged himself there while Del was- His thoughts froze as if he was trying to grasp what he had done. He looked down again at the blood covered snow and the torn, lifeless body. For a second the knife quivered as if he was going to drop it, then his hand gripped it harder, feeling the small bands of metal that ringed the hilt dig into his palm. He hurt, but it was done.

    “Ha.Ha.Ha.” The staccato laugh pulled him from his daze. “I did not expect you to kill him, boy.” Muldeen smiled at him, baring bloody teeth. Del staggered to his feet, leaving footprints in the frozen, red snow. Muldeen was still grinning at him.

    “Come help me,” the Mukdah said.

    “No,” Del shook his head. Muldeen frowned and pushed himself upright.

    “I suppose you think that now I die too.” Muldeen said and then laughed again, mirthlessly. “Manoune scratched you and now it burns.”

    Del said nothing, but his eyes narrowed. His shoulder was burning now. Tiny rivulets of molten metal where the claws had driven through his tunic and into the flesh beneath. Muldeen grinned at him, then spat blood onto the ground,

    “Mukdah scratches are poisonous to humans. I can help you but only if you let me live.”

    Del paused, feeling his heartbeat in his chest. He wanted to kill Muldeen just as he had Maloune. His mind was filled with images he thought he’d left behind in the snow long ago- his master’s pale, terrified face, the bursts of pain through the Force, his Master’s voice begging him to end his suffering. His Master imploring him to do the one thing he was too cowardly to do. He could end Muldeen here and now. Just walk away and leave him for the ice and snow to claim.

    “No, I don’t mind dying if you do,” he said and watched Muldeen’s brow furrow, “I won’t be a slave anymore.”

    He squatted down, idly doodling with the blood stained tip of the knife. His shoulder burned but he ignored it. He felt more powerful now than he had in six years. This was when he took his revenge.

    Revenge means you will never see her again.

    The traitorous thought whispered through his mind. His eyes narrowed. He would never see any of them again anyway.

    There might be a way. The small mental voice amended. But it won’t happen if you are dead.

    It was right. He closed his eyes for a few seconds thinking furiously. When he opened them again, he gave Muldeen a humourless smile.

    “I will let you live,” he said after a moment. He watched the Mukdah smile with pleasure, “but only because I want to collect the life-debt that you owe me.”

    “What life debt?” Muldeen scowled, his uninjured hand scrambling in the frozen waste as if he was trying to find something to heave himself further upright, but there were only snowflakes that melted into nothing at his touch.

    “I saved you from Manoune,” Del said letting the last dregs of the icy-cold anger fill his voice, “if I had not killed him he would have killed you.”

    “But then you would have become his slave,” Muldeen said, eyes glittering as if he’d found a loophole. Del’s mouth twitched into another smile as he tried to ignore the pain that was rippling through his shoulder.

    “And you would be dead, so it would not matter to you. I saved you. You owe me. You can pay the debt by letting me go free. For fixing my shoulder I won’t kill you.”

    It was a strange sensation of finding his voice again after so many years of silence. The sense of calm command rippled out, even though Del had a feeling that it would be fleeting. The Mukdah still held a strange power over him, but he could not show that weakness now. He could not give away that he couldn’t kill him simply because his arm would not obey his brain’s desire to end the life of the miserable monster.

    “What’s in it for me?” Muldeen had pushed himself backwards until he came to rest against the strut of the ship. He heaved himself into a sitting position.

    Del changed his grip on the knife and watched the lizard man’s eyes flare wide for a second.

    “I let you live. We become partners. You let me keep my share of the winnings. Eighty, twenty.”

    There were a few seconds of silence as the Mukdah thought.

    “Forty, sixty,” Muldeen countered. Del laughed, a peal of sound across the broken ice.

    “Seventy, thirty. You forget who is carrying the knife.”

    Muldeen’s eyes narrowed, but Del ignored him. Instead he watched the snow fall gently around them and tried not to hiss in pain as the flakes kissed where Manoune had clawed him.

    “Done.” Muldeen said eventually although it sounded like it pained him.

    “Swear it.” Del could feel the sweat creeping across his brow. He changed his grip again, out of necessity rather than intimidation. Muldeen’s nose wrinkled. “Swear that you will free me in your language. Lie and I will kill you and leave your body in the snow.”

    The Mukdah laughed. “Ha.Ha.Ha.Ha. I taught you well, pup.”

    “Swear it. An oath in your own language.”

    The Mukdah rattled off a series of guttural syllables and Del frowned as he followed along. He could not speak their language, but he had learnt enough over the years to understand it. He smiled at the end of it. The Mukdah had, for once, been true to his word.

    “And what will you do boy?” Muldeen asked, still smiling, “now that you are free.”

    “Exactly what I said,” Del replied, taking two steps towards the prone humanoid and proffering a hand to help him to his feet. “I won’t kill you.”

    And in his mind he added.

    Yet.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
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  14. DaenaBenjen42

    DaenaBenjen42 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 15, 2005
    Something inside him snapped.

    The vibroknife felt warm and safe in his hands. He dove across the snow, to where Manoune was kneeling over Muldeen’s body, his strong fingers still wrapped around the other Mukdah’s neck. The vibroknife was heavy and comforting as he struck, the blade slipping easily between ribs and into warm flesh beneath. The Mukdah turned, hissing in pain and anger. His claws caught Del across the shoulder, ripping his leather tunic with sharp nails.

    Del didn’t care.


    ...honestly didn't gel with this character until right here. Interesting, and I love how he isn't going to kill them... yet. (Not sure what is going on here, and Before isn't my part of the fandom, but I liked this. Well done. :) )
     
  15. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Great fight and now up to a normal life for Del?
     
  16. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    That's fair enough. I thought about this a bit, and I think it's because there really isn't much of Del to gel with. He's so disconnected from reality until right then. It's also all OC stuff, so it's quite a bit harder to get into - particularly coming in blind. I appreciate the feedback though as it really made me evaluate how I portray characters - just because I know them in my head doesn't mean that it always makes it to paper. I do really appreciate you reading and commenting - thank you :)

    Uh...no. At least not for a long time. There is no light at the end of Del's tunnel. Not yet.
     
  17. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Epilogue - The More Things Change

    The rain ruffled out of the sky, falling unhurriedly to the ground, sliding down the cold, grey metallic sides of the ships, gathering in the small creases and joins before spilling down the sides to mix with the oil and create rainbows on the dirty, smudged duracrete.

    She sat in the middle of the tarmac, as if waiting for him. She was beautiful. Clear, angular lines of metal and freedom.

    “She’s a nice ship boy,” Muldeen’s voice sounded behind him, “but you cannot afford it. I could help you out – for a price.”

    Del shuddered. He had gained his freedom three years ago now. He’d scrimped and saved until he thought he’d had enough. There had been expenses of course and it had taken longer than he’d thought possible. This ship, the one he’d seen a month ago, the last time they’d been on this scrap heap of a planet, had finally seemed like his way out. She was supposed to be his escape, so an arrangement with Muldeen was the last thing he wanted.

    To Del it seemed like no matter how hard he tried, he could not snip the last cord that bound them together. He hated Mundeen with every part of his soul, but, now, without the Temple or Master Indoa, the Mukdah seemed like his only family.

    He didn’t know if Muldeen felt the same way. He occasionally had the feeling that he was regarded as some sort of trinket to play with. It was only Del’s use that had kept him alive, despite the life-debt. Now with the offer to help buy the ship, it almost felt like he was more than that. Del blinked, trying to understand. How could he make sense of someone who had ripped his whole life away from him but now wanted to help? The rain continued to drizzle from the sky, seeping into his jacket and his dark, spiky hair.

    “I’ll work something out.” He said gruffy, trying not to betray his warring emotions. It was a lie, he didn’t have enough for her.

    “Look kid, I could show you something else more in your price range,” the dealer offered. Del glanced at him. All sharp angled face and body. As lean and stripped back as most of the ships in his yard. Del felt his stomach lurch. This was his ship. This would be his sanctuary.

    He glanced across at the Mukdah who was making a show of counting credits. The rain didn’t seem to bother him. Nothing seemed to bother him. He was just always there. The only constant in Del’s life. Behind him the rows of forgotten ships lay like giant carcasses upon a stone-filled shore. Del shook his head. He didn’t want to make a deal.

    “Could you hold her?” he asked quickly, “maybe just another month or so?”

    The dealer squinted at him, and then shook his head.

    “I’ve got another buyer lined up. Said he’d be back later this week.”

    Del bit the inside of his lip. He knew the dealer was lying, but his chest still tightened at the thought of coming back in a month and Her being gone. He didn’t know why he wanted this ship so badly, he just couldn’t think of flying anything else.

    Muldeen was staring at him, eyes narrowed in amusement.

    Del swallowed. Maybe it would be okay. Muldeen had protected him from Maloune. He had kept him safe from some of the bigger evils they’d come across in the galaxy. He’d always made sure that Del was safe and fed and watered. Maybe this would be the same.

    He took a shuddering breath, not entirely comprehending why.

    “Alright Muldeen, you’ve got a deal.”

    He knew the Mukdah was grinning behind his face covering.

    “But,” he continued quickly, “no more fights. Some other line of work.”

    Muldeen regarded him silently.

    “Plus we split the profits of any job. Forty-sixty.”

    “Eighty-twenty,” Muldeen countered. Del winced, reminded of the deal he’d made so long ago. “And you do not question my jobs. When I call in the debt you need to answer. Otherwise I own the ship and everything on it.” The Mukdah paused. “Including you.”

    Del took a breath, feeling the way his chest hurt with the effort. He would pay the debt off long before then.

    “Deal,” he said before he could change his mind.

    The Mukdah made a noise of pleasure and Del felt the dark coil of fear rear its head. He squashed it. It would be alright. Eventually it would be alright. Muldeen tossed a pouch of credits to the dealer who caught it deftly.

    “Do some paperwork and she’s yours,” the dealer muttered.

    Del ran his hands across the dull, grey metal of the hull, wiping the soft riverlets of rain from her face. This would be his Lady. She would set him free.
     
  18. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    poor Del, still bound to Muldeen. Will he be free?
     
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  19. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Wow, your were defenetly right with this being a dark story. Though in the end there finally seems to be hope on the horizon. Del himself defenetly grew quite a bit as a person through this.
     
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  20. Adalia-Durron

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

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
    This was a rollercoaster and I LOVED IT!! Amazing descriptions and a bitter sweet ending....brilliant [face_love]
     
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  21. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Great job! I really liked how you incorporated the seasons into each chapter and phase of Del's life as a slave. The descriptions were excellent.

    Del's definitely had a hard road and a lot to overcome. The mixture of emotions as he tries to sort it all out was very well done.

    Great work! =D=
     
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