Title: Shroud Of The Fallen Author(s): ReadyComicsRoll Timeframe: Beyond the ST Saga, 62 ABY Characters: Avin Sosin, Human Male, Ship Captain and Smuggler, Born 31 ABY Malia Vost, Devaronian Female, Weapons Master and Muscle, Born 27 ABY Nima Fenn, Twi’lek Female, Engineer and Ship Mechanic, Born 36 ABY Dimsol “Dim” Olwed, Duros Male, Pilot, Born 17 ABY Levi Talus, Male Clawdite, Slicer and Information Broker, Born 26 ABY Kayln Dar, Female Zabrak, Medic, Born 29 ABY Beyza Ruri, Human-Mirialan Hybrid Female, Jedi and Archeologist, Born 40 ABY Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Adventure Summary: The first in a "trilogy" that follows after the ST Saga. Rey and Finn have established a new Jedi Order, with the help of other Jedi that have come out of hiding. The New Republic has restored, but the lack of faith from past mistakes leads to the formation of the 2nd Galactic Empire. Both governments briefly clash, only to realize that the cost and collateral damage is too high. A peace treaty is formed, but something far more dangerous is about to awaken from deep within the Unknown Region. Enter the crew of the Noctiluca, who find themselves stuck in the middle of a conflict that will forever change the galaxy. Notes: Would like to turn this into a fan film someday. Was guarding this for a while, but decided to at least share early chapter with fellow fans. Star Wars: Shroud Of The Fallen After years of conflict the REPUBLIC and 2ND GALACTIC EMPIRE have put aside their differences and signed a treaty, ushering in a new era of peace. To ensure that it lasts, REY has formed a new Order with the help of the remaining Jedi throughout the galaxy, that have heard of her heroic exploits, and wish to help teach a new generation of students. Beyond known space an ancient evil stirs. One powerful enough that even the late EMPEROR PALPATINE avoided the deeper reaches of the Unknown Regions, out of fear of what he would find… Unknown Regions, 62 ABY The dimly lit cantina housed a wide variety of patrons, from smugglers to gamblers, and everything in between. Dancers and drinks alike provided solace to those that would frequent their company, hoping to bury whatever burdens they walked in with, if even only for a moment. Some, however, were there for business, waiting for their next job from anyone with the right amount of credits. Regardless of their reasons, everyone seemed to enjoy the rhythmic beat of the music that pulsed throughout the hub, almost hypnotic in nature. It was poetic even, given that many felt it was the heart of the space station. Brown eyes surveyed the area, taking in every little detail as a mug periodically met the ship captain’s warm fair lips. A BD unit was perched over his right shoulder, playfully attempting to break his concentration by tugging at his messy brown hair, like a tooka-cat vying for attention. He gently poked at the droid to acknowledge it, but never lost focus on the task at hand. Visibly exhausted, and a little worse for wear, he let out a heavy sigh. Right as he was about to leave his seat, the captain spotted the Ottegan within the crowd, closely followed by the captain’s Devaronian partner-in-crime. The well-armed maroon woman pushed the nervous merchant onward, blowing rogue strands of purple hair, free of her ponytail, from her face. She appeared just as tired and beaten, but even more annoyed than the captain. The Ottegan was practically shaking by the time he reached the captain, beads of sweat rolling down his elongated pale ochre face, well aware of the situation he had found himself in. The captain shook his head, the disappointment in his eyes only further filled the merchant with a sense of dread. “A-Avin, my friend! I’m so happy to see you...,” he nervously chuckled before turning his attention to the Devaronian, “...and you, Malia, m-may I say you look as radiant as ever? Even the twin suns of Tatooine pale in comparison to your glory...” He was hoping to find sympathy, only for her to return a piercing glare, her dark brown eyes making it obvious that she had none to spare. “Cut the bantha crap, Jendo. You’re not smooth talking your way out of this one,” Avin assured him, leaning further back in his chair. Returning his attention to Avin, who still looked less than pleased, Jendo tried his best not to stumble over his words, having an increasingly hard time keeping his composure as he went on. “I heard y-you ran into a bit of trouble on that last job,” he stated, a sad attempt at sounding concerned. “I understand that smuggling is a dangerous profession, and that it’s not uncommon to be the unfortunate victim of pirates out here in the Unknown Regions, but we had an agreement and you must understand that I have a business to r-run.” Avin narrowed his eyes, causing Jendo to flinch. Clearing his throat, the Ottegan declared, ”The goods were not delivered. I don’t blame you or y-your crew for what happened, but I can’t pay you for an incomplete job either. You can keep the credits I’ve already g-given you, as a sign of good faith, considering all of these years we’ve worked together. In return, I expect that my cargo will be returned to me as soon as possible.” “Yeah, not happening.” Avin responded, remaining stoic to ensure that Jendo understood that he was being dead serious. “I’m going to keep the credits you gave me AND I’m going to hold onto your cargo until I can find a buyer, but my crew and I are keeping every last bit of the profits. Call it ‘stoopa taxes’, if it makes you feel any better, because I know that you set us up!” “Avin, you know I wou-” before Jendo could get a word in, he was cut off. “I’m not going to sit here and let you continue to talk out of your exhaust port. The fact that we have so much history is the only reason why I haven’t spaced you already. Hell, you’re lucky I’m not letting Malia have her fun.” Avin took another swig of his drink, then added, “Beedee, if you would be so kind, please play back the holovid for our ‘friend’ here.” The droid sprung to life, happy to oblige. Its holoprojector lit up, beaming the image of Jendo before the group. “...I’ve provided the coordinates for the dropoff, along with a small payment upfront, on behalf of my employer. You’ll receive the rest when the job is done. Leave no survivors, as this can’t be linked back to me, but please leave the ship intact. I’ll need whatever cargo they are carrying, in addition to my own. Oh, and do try to keep the ship in one piece. I already have an interested party waiting, and you’ll all be rewarded quite handsomely for doing so.” The transmission came to an end, leaving Jendo speechless, and a bitter look on Avin’s face. “I've been backstabbed and shorted credits before, it comes with the territory. I’ve almost come to expect it at this point, but what kills me is that I never thought you’d be among the laserbrains to try it. Why did you do it? Who put you up to this?” Avin demanded. “You have to b-believe me, I didn’t have a choice!” he pleaded. “Some of the gangs were tired of their people losing jobs to you and your crew. They said you were always too self-righteous, refusing to get involved in slave trafficking or work for any of the bosses, as if you are better than everyone else! They wanted to exploit my connection to you and threatened to kill me if I didn’t find a way to take you out of the picture!” Scratching at the bristles on the side of his face, Avin huffed and responded, ”We all have a choice, Jendo. You can’t blame anyone else for making the wrong one. Maybe the next time you’re hired to kill someone, you’ll at least have the choobies to do it yourself...” Jendo felt the barrel of Malia’s DG-29 blaster pistol press against his back. “Since you failed to do YOUR job, I’m sure word will eventually get back to your ‘employers’, if it hasn’t already, so you’re as good as dead. If I were you, I’d get as far away from here as possible, and never look back. Maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to be gone before any of the gangs even realize it…” nearly speaking through clenched teeth, it was clear that Avin was livid at this point. “If we EVER meet again though, the gangs will be the least of your concern. Are we clear?” The merchant nodded his head in agreement, only to then hang low in shame. Jendo turned away from the captain and faced towards the exit. Malia holstered her pistol and took a seat next to Avin. After a few steps, Jendo stopped and looked over his shoulder, hoping to say one last thing, “I just want you to know that it was never personal. You’re right, I was a coward, and I’ll always remember your last bit of advice…” As the final word left his lips, he reached into his cloak, whipping around to point an EC-17 hold-out blaster directly at Avin. Malia’s eyes went wide as she quickly reached for her weapon, but was too late. The sound of blaster fire sent everything in the cantina to a grinding halt. Smoke rose from the hole in Avin’s cape, where the bolt ripped through. Startled gasps and stunned faces surrounded the scene, unsure of what just transpired. Jendo suddenly fell to his knees, his face crumpling up in both pain and confusion. Looking down, it was clear that he was struck by a blaster bolt, square in his chest. The blaster fell from his hand as he collapsed onto the floor, eyes glazing over, exhaling for the last time. Avin stood up, revealing the A-180 blaster pistol that he clenched tightly, previously concealed behind his cape. Tilting his head towards Malia, she met his blank stare. “I swear to you, I checked him thoroughly for weapons! I don’t even want to imagine where he might have pulled that thing out of!” the Devaronian exclaimed. A tense moment of silence was shared between the two, only to be broken up by hearty laughter, as the cantina returned to normal. It wasn’t the first time that such violence had broken out there, and it likely would not be the last. The two made their way to the exit, but not without slamming a fistful of credits onto the bar. “Sorry for the mess…” Avin winked at the bartender, finger-gun pointed, as he and Malia walked out of the cantina. It had been a long day of twists and turns, both were beyond ready to return back to the Noctiluca, for some well deserved rest in their respective quarters on the ship. “How did you know he was going to pull a stunt like that?” the Devaronian inquired. “To be honest, I didn’t, but it always helps to hope for the best, while preparing for the worst.” Avin’s face turned somber for a moment. The sting of betrayal was never a feeling he could get used to, but if followed him around, like an old friend. “I should have known that ‘choobies' line would set him off. I guess my ‘winning personality’ just has that effect on some people,” Avin answered with a low chuckle, doing his best to convince himself, as well as his friend, that he was okay.