Title: Star Wars - Ebb and Flow Author(s): Michael S. Timeframe: After BOE Characters: Original Genre: Action / sci-fi Keywords: Lightsaber Summary: 14 pages Notes: 8340 words Star Wars – Ebb and flow Recently, in a galaxy much like our own but far far away… Corellia took center stage as they moved to absorb much of the remnant of the “Galactic Republic” and bring order to the worlds cast aside by the newly formed “Galactic Empire”. There was twenty years of fear and oppression pushed upon the galaxy by the empire but, after the destruction of Scariff many individuals, groups, factions, and entire star systems were rising to quell the empire’s lust for power. Corellia was happy to lend funds, hardware, and support to the many factions of “The Alliance” in order to ensure the toppling of the empire and equal distribution of wealth and power afterwards. After the destruction of Alderaan and the subsequent battle of Endor, which saw the dismantling of the second Deathstar, the Alliance saw no choice but to extinguish all of the flames and kindling of the empire. All former outposts, troops, operations, and hardwares were to be confiscated, destroyed and incinerated. Until then, not an utterance of those words would ever be heard again. The push for credits or nova crystals or even for jedi holocrons has long since died. Now ‘the Corellian Engineering Corporation” or CEC of the ‘Galactic State’ have learned of a new wealth and power to control in these times and areas. People and their wares, their commerce, their trading, their travel, it is a gold mine. The CEC have learned to tap into this stream of commerce with taxation, toll fees, trade agreements, and fines. Many “subsidiary” groups were established to distance the mother corporation from the “dirty work” that the groups were tasked with. No goods could travel through this section of the galaxy without the CEC knowing about it and earning some capital off of it. Smugglers and fee runners were a bane in the existence of the CEC, and they exercise extreme measures when dealing with such rule breakers… Scene 1 Corellian ships cruised by at low altitude, they passed over head with familiar Corellian engine sounds. One ship has the cockpit on the left with a fixed canon on the right, and the other has a centered cockpit seated above a quad-laser canon. They’re patrolling a wreck of some sort, huge in scale, par after par of debris scattered. There was a massive super structure at the heart of this debris field. A planet and its forest moon cast light through the damaged and tattered exterior revealing a burnt and smoldering frame, red iron in color. Broken pieces of the frame illuminate the sky in the same orangish-red hue. Suddenly a small ship dusted off in the opposite direction fast, very fast. Before long the Corellian ships are close behind. The pilot of the small craft has excellent flying skill as they dodged and dipped between burning structural debris and loose floating debris. The ship and its followers pulled into a clearing above the wreck. To the small ships surprise there is a Corellian cruiser off his bow. The two smaller ships broke off to the sides assuming the cruiser was going to finish the job but they didn’t. There was an uncomfortable pause while the four ships stared blankly at each other, a female’s voice came over an intercom “ssqquueellcchh- what are they waiting for?” She asked. Then, one of the smaller Corellian ships readjusted and started to come about to attack but, before they could, BOOM, the scavenger ship jumped into hyperspace and blasted right past the Corellian cruiser. Scene 2 On a dusty, dry, shore, was a massive cliff on top of which sat a small hovel, with a vista of the vast sea all around. “What is all this dusty ol’ junk Pol?” asked a young boy. We see a boy with his back turned to us fumbling with something at a work bench as the point of view gets closer, we see he is a greyish-blue boy with a snout, dark lips with sharp teeth protruding. He looks like a dog. The boy’s father called out. “Be careful and just grab those empty totes please. That box is some of the stuff I kept from old cleanup sites, I’ve got tons of it, I’ll show you when we get back home.” Said the dad. “Yahoo!” Proclaimed the boy as he carried empty totes to their grounded Corellian starship. “Pol, can you tell me more about this cleanup site and about some of the others, those relics are old, broken lightsabers aren’t they?” Asked the boy. “Did you really clean the sites of battles? The boy carried on. “I did” his dad or Pol said. “Those are old, broken sabers, from the time of the “Jedi purge, it was a great battle that set us up on the path that we’re on right now Sol, the path of our lives and the lives of every living thing in the galaxy were determined by that battle sol.” The Pol went on. One of the first “cleansings” I went on with my father was on Geonosis, after the first sparks of the “Clone Wars. But he worked on sites much older like those of Korriban and Dantooine, he was collecting valuables and keepsakes along the way as well. After Geonosis, we continued to clean many sites of “order 66” including on Coruscant. I didn’t find many adult blades but a lot of youngling sabers and broken crystals. More importantly I found Jedi teaching and training manuals and that is what your mother, her dad and I combined with some philosophies and texts of the Yuuzhan Vong to make the “teachings of Zog”. “Teachings of Zog?” the boy questioned. The Pol answered, “yes the teachings of Zog.” The teachings of Zog – Yuuzhan Vong- are a Warrior caste, the Vong were traveling warriors who either were banished or traveled to this galaxy from a distant other. There was high honor in combat for these warriors. They “sought to be close to an opponent so that they could engage in melee combat.” They also strived to live outside the force as to not align to what they considered “religion”. These combined philosophies helped the Vong settlers making residence in our “far-from-home” galaxy less taxing on them. Whether they were willing settlers or banished outcasts, the Vong were thriving in our galaxy. Borrowed Jedi Philosophies - Similar to the Yuuzhan the Jedi seek to not have any attachments or physical bonds or partnerships. They use the universal language of the force to speak to everything but more importantly to listen. Everything has a voice you need only listen, answers will come to you if you just stop and listen…. The basis of “the teachings of Zog” originated from an old Kudon religion. It takes the two philosophies and merges them into the rules of an ancient sect that aligns closely with nature and the use of force was to be used as a guiding tool. There is another mystical power set or beliefs that is native to all Caninal beings and that is “Canis”. Canis is much like the force in that it offers the users enhancements and altered physical attributes. Canis and Zog are closely related, intertwined, and interchangeable. Scene 3 On a lower shore, right next to the ocean, there was the sound of children. The sounds of laughter and fun-filled yells carried through the lite breeze in the air. A small village is visible, with many boats around it and vast green fields nearby. An old man looked over his fields and there was a slight smile in the corner of his mouth as he could see the children running including his youngest daughter Sarla. They pranced joyfully around in the village as the old man viewed from a distance. His eyes held a twinkle that camouflaged the long, jagged scar on his face. Inside the man’s hut sat another young girl but older than Sarla. She was clothed in many draping layers, hand wraps and a sheer veil over her head. All was mauve, maroon and some purple, the veil covered her striking green eyes and light-brown hair. Perhaps this was also the man’s daughter. She was tending to a farm hand who was sick or injured. The ill man laid on a cot in the hut as the girl tilted his head and gave him water. The man nodded and thanked her. “Thank you, lady Bryn,” he said. The girl responded, “thanks I am not owed, but assurances that you will be more careful is what I seek.” She stated. Much farther down the shore, what could only be described as pirate starships were taking everything, they were leaving off world with cargo crates. Some were filled with raw rocks and ores, others were filled with what looked like treasure, still others were filled with live animals, some even had people in them. The crates just got larger as they were laid out about the shore, some had massive sea-creatures in them along with the sustaining waters of their seas. A couple of farmhands children and little Sarla had journeyed too far during play and they found themselves on the other side of the hill from the farm. Their father saw the direction they went and after not noticing them in a while he went searching for them. The farmer found the children, but they brought to his attention the massive ships in the background. He needed to tell the elders immediately. Scene 4 Many years later and the boy had grown up. He was a teen now and was still messing with the scraps in his father’s workshop. He appeared to have been restoring an old Sith or Vong uniform he found. The view zooms in and he is working on a kyber crystal. Jedi manuals, Vong texts, and the recently printed “book of ZOG” laid open on the worktable. The crystal was wrapped in wire and was actually three parts joined together. The young man put the whole crystal in a protective glass case, and inserted that into a lightsaber hilt. He then added an upper sleeve and screwed on an emitter. Then, with a push of the activation button. BRRZZ…vvvvv. An indigo saber blade hummed with the power of the crystal within. “Wow, you actually got one to work Rain! Great job! I knew if you kept studying and persisting that you would figure it out. Your mother would be so proud of you boy.” Said The dad. Suddenly an alarm rang out. The dad went to the station to hear an alert from Corellian Acquisition Command. “ATTENTION! Rogue pirate groups are confiscating, and in some cases stealing our salvage, please go to said locations and hide or protect the goods from these pirates, you’ll have the full backing of the Corellian Engineering Corporation, and/or the Corellian Acquisition Command.” “We’d better hit the routes if we want to earn a living for the next few cycles.” Said the Pol. “Pack lite and let’s get going in the next few standards.” Scene 5 Rain, his Pol and their ship pulled into a clearing, the two other Corellian freighter-type ships from before were waiting there. “Reau Reeves, you’re right on time as usual.” Said a large but elegant looking female Yapi on board one of the other ships. The female was making a jab at Reau and Rain for not being to that meeting spot on time but, they were, she said it in a joking tone. “Careful Yegu, you may make him turn tail and run.” A Morling said from behind the controls of the other ship. “You only wish I would scare that easy and leave the salvage for you scavengers Kyot.” Said Reau in response. “Well, now that the ‘scrap-pack’ is back together, should we get down there and see what all the trouble is?” Asked Jac-al, a large Morling onboard the ship with Kyot. Sheper, the other Yapi onboard with Yegu chimed in “The ‘trusted Corellian Corps’ have a docking vessel waiting for us and other ‘salvi’ teams a couple clicks out, we better not keep them waiting.” The three ships broke from another, turned in the same direction and formed up while they hit the thrusters downward and toward a planet’s atmosphere. The planet had large seas spread over its landscape all connected by immense river systems. Where there were no rocky deserts, there was lush forest biomes. The empire had many tactical and hardware manufacturing plants set up on this planet. After the destruction of the “second deathstar” both Corellian and Mon Calamari warships destroyed the imperial tech with devastating bombardment from above. These factions of the “New Republic” carried out this same “purification” on hundreds of worlds throughout the eastern interior and outer-rim of the galaxy. The three ship team approached burnt and smoldering refinery remnants, the typical setting for the “scrap-pack”. The Corellian Acquisition Command had hired the scrap-pack as a search and rescue squad. They were also tasked with sniffing out and finding any biomatter live or dead left in these sites. And they were to catalog and note each finding and get the records to the CAC. The pack sat down, and disembarked their ships. The six large canine type humanoids gathered their field gear and set out to track and find anything worthwhile. The Yapi were more sleek and agile, they scouted ahead. The Morlings were meticulous trackers, they sniffed and took time covering every inch of established trails. The two Kudon, Rain and his father Reau used recording devices to send and receive data to and from the record keeping droid on board Yegu’s ship, they spaced themselves evenly between the Yapi and Morling teams. “I have something!” Ja-cal announced. “Biomatter, alive, human, there are immigrants or refugees here. They’re must have an encampment near, there are signs of children.” “Hhmm” grumbled Reau we should find them, establish goodwill and trade, and then question them.” Yegu returned “agreed, Ja-cal, Kyot keep on the human trail, Reau, Rain do not record anything about the humans yet, until we meet and ask them about this.” “Aye” the five said. Scene 6 As the team exited thick, dense forest they saw a small village near the shore of a wide river. “Sheper, do a hello call” Yegu said. “right” answered Sheper. “Bark, Bark, BBAARRKK!” snaped Sheper with an extremely loud call. He then repeated. The humans were no doubt alerted, the children were escorted into the modest huts and the adults took defensive positions around the camp. Yegu commanded the others to “sit” and they did, as Sheper paced from side to side out in front. The human villagers finally figured out that the dogs meant no harm and were seeking communication, so they sent a small team of four men to talk. Greetings I am Tefu, this is Born, Krys, and Clyde, that Is our fishing village can we offer you food, or rest, or directions. Yegu stood and walked toward the band of men, they were hesitant but meant no harm and Yegu could feel that not with the force but with canis (canis is a power much like the force, it is heightened sense of hearing, seeing and smelling. It increases the speed and strength of those who are capable of tapping into its power but the effects are temporary). “Hi we are…” Yegu went on to introduce the scrap-pack and then she chimed up with “and sure Tefu, we’ll take food, water and rest, but we’d like to ask you about other visitors or ships.” She said as she waved her hand for the others to follow. She placed her hand on the shoulder of Tefu letting him guide the team to the fishing village. In the center of the village was a very large hut, the hut’s size was bolstered even further out with an elaborate tent-like awning stretched around the whole parameter. They sat crossed-legged while listening to all of the tails of strangers the villagers had. It seemed that there were indeed other ships coming and going from here but very far in the distance, unreachable in any efficient manner. Clyde finally spoke up. “There are mountains beyond our farm, we can see the ships from there with telescopes.” Yegu, inquired “can you take us there Clyde?” He agreed and they all planned to set out at first light. Looking through the scopes from the mountain top, the next morning it was confirmed, there were indeed vessels arriving and taking off every couple of standards from an old refinery site. “What now?” questioned Clyde. “We’ll have to get close enough to do scans and see if they are friend or foe of course.” Said Yegu. “Of course, but what if they’re both.” said Clyde. The pack members just chuckled as they started to head down the mountain. Scene 7 “We’ll use the same ‘greetings, we mean you no harm’ tactic in the ships that Shep used on the ground, we just kinda show up and see what happens.” Yegu stated, from their base camp. “Once we’re a few clicks out Rain and I should be able to scan and intercept some of their communication traffic.” Said Reau. “Then that’s the plan, let’s make it so.” Commanded Yegu. Yegu was obviously the leader of the scrap-pack but Reau also silently commanded some leadership in the group aswell, it was almost as if they were equal leaders of the pack. As one of the mystery ships lifted off from the refinery, Yegu and Sheper approached slowly, almost hovering just outside. They stayed there not doing anything until another ship came down from the same trajectory of the first ship. The second ship was very sleek and polished, it almost looked like a Coruscant design. The ship looped around Yegu, flew slowly out, looped again and stopped hovering at the same altitude as Yegu. There was a very uncomfortable silence across all bands of communication. Then suddenly a scratchy, cackly voice came over the coms. “Well, you gonna do anything or just sit there?” asked the voice. Reau had traced an interstellar beam and the marks and signitures matched that of the Corellian Acquisition Command, he quickly relayed this information to Yegu. “Greetings strangers…” as yegu began her diplomatic speech, the other ship’s interior is shown. “Do they have weapons?” asked the leader sitting in the captain’s seat. “They do, but they’re powered down at the moment.” answered one of the other pirates. “Really?” snapped the leader again, licking his lips. “This is Dren with “Coruscant collections”, we’re here on a salvage mission contracted with the Corellian Acquisition Command. How can we help you?” Scene 8 The pack was reluctantly invited to meet with the collectors. They had only been on the ground a short while and had only taken a few steps into the collector camp when they were appalled by what they saw. There were very many slaves and animals in cages. It had to be hundreds of cages that the collectors were “salvaging” from this world. Clyde could see the anger and disdain on the faces of Reau and Rain and he warned them not to act like they were bothered by it. Rain asked about the slaves. Dren explained “the slaves can be used for weeks or months before they are noticed, then they can be “misplaced” on the way back to their home worlds or “mixed” up with other slaves. Basically, they can be lost in processing all while the CAC benefits and us “salvi’s”. Clyde feared that villagers from a nearby village who were caged may recognize him. He pulled his hood up and hung back and held Bryn back also, as to not be noticed. He vowed to rescue the villagers…somehow. After getting a tour of the collector camp the scrap-pack was asked to join the collectors inside of one of their ships for drink and regalia. Clyde thought the collectors just a “little too nice” and accommodating, the efforts felt disingenuous and not trustworthy. By now Clyde had warned everyone to be nice, and “thankful” even but to remain cautious. Scene 9 The pack made it to their camp late into the night, rest was found easy after having been so tense at the other camp. As everyone was easy to rest, most of them thought about the horror and atrocities they witnessed in the collector camp. The collectors showed up unannounced and really early that next morning to the pack camp. The pack was accommodating but very bothered by Dren and his men informally inspecting their camp. One of Drens’ men opened a lid to the pack acquisitions stores, Rain and Shep get really upset. Nem spoke about priority items which were in the packs’ stores, and he hinted at “collecting more slaves from this sector, or the village nearby.” Dren gave forth more information about who these monsters were. “We usually gather more “live specimens” for the acquisition, and it ends up paying well, we stopped looking for list specific items when we were spending more than we were making, but you guys seem to have a nice system set up here.” After a large brunch with plenty of food and drink the collectors took their “to go” plates and scuttled back to their ship and dusted off toward their own camp. Scene 10 The pack abandoned their camp because they feared the collectors might come back and steal their take or the collectors were going to target their new friends. They flew to the village to try to warn and fortify the community. After a few nights the mood relaxed, people dropped their guards and then, BANG! shots rang out, it was the collectors and they were attacking. Dren and his band of thugs sent several villagers off world in a transport. Reau told Yegu to “take the cargo and get out!” “We’ll find you at one of the rendezvous points, now GO!” he shouted. Yegu ran to her ship and shot toward space from the surface, CAC fighters immediately gave chase. “AARR, shes gonna need help Kyot yelled as he ran for his ship, launched, and was on their trail in a matter of seconds. Rain grabbed a dagger and a small club and proceeded to destroy some of the collectors, he and the pack were backing them out of the camp. Just as they got to the perimeter. TRIF, TRIF blaster bolts rang down the corridor of crates. Ja-cal was standing behind a shipping crate when he was hit, he fell to the floor smoking, crackling, and whistling. “See that, those are armor piercing rounds from an E13 blaster rifle. One of the last designs to come out of the “imperial” armories. It uses the same cells but it can blast through steel as if it were melted carbon. It’s like a lightsaber that you can shoot…” Dren prattled on about their new toys while Rain looked down at his belt and grasped his real lightsaber. Kyot flew fast and hard to assist Yegu. He managed to destroy a few enemy fighters before he was shot down by many blaster bolts from the collectors high in the atmosphere. Yegu used the distraction of her fallen friend to jump out of there to unknown destinations. Just then from above and behind, Rain landed in the middle of a group of collectors, he was quick to dispatch them with his sword training, and his lightsaber. There were only a few collectors left when Rain regrouped with the remaining pack members. Blast after blast shot past them, some were deflected by Rain and his saber. Reau witnessed Sheper being hit over and over again while behind cover, the armor piercing rounds were pretty much unstoppable. Rain deflected blast after blast, one maybe two of the blasts were unintentionally sent at Reau, he was hit. Rain just continued his defense of the pack all while advancing and eliminating the collectors until just Dren and his main henchmen remained. Dren took a quick scan and ordered a retreat as Rain was slowly making his way to their position. The few remaining collectors passed around personal energyshields, ignited them and armed themselves with melee weapons. Rain and Dren locked swords as the other collectors jumped in and attacked Rain from the sides. He was stricken, pummeled, bloodied, he was pushed to the wall and then slid down it after a deafening blow to the head. He swore he saw Clyde massacring the remaining collectors with a green lightsaber, he also thought he saw Bryn arrive there moments later with a purple lightsaber, but he was too weak to remain conscience. Scene 11 Rain awoke in Clydes hut, he looked around shocked before he tried to get up. He winced and collapsed back into bed. “Clyde, my father!?” He questioned. Clyde placed his hand on Rains shoulder, “rest boy, easy, easy, gain your strength and rest.” Clyde used a “Jedi mind trick” (force persuasion) to soothe Rain back to sleep. The next day when Rain woke Clyde asked him to come see him outside. Behind Clyde’s hut was a freshly constructed long house. Inside the house were the bodies of the fallen pack members. All were life-long family friends and Rain knew them all well. In the back of the house was Reau, Rains father. “Clyde! What happened!? Where were you guys and why did it take so long for you all to get there?!” Rain shouted. “We were there Rain, we lost a lot of men too, we lost Krys.” Clyde answered. “But I saw you, saw you and Bryn, both with sabers both know the force and are powerful.” “We know a little about the force and neither one of us are very powerful, we use it for seeking wisdom and knowledge, not for battle.” Clyde added. “How was I healed so fast and fully?” questioned Rain. “With the waters of the bay. Clyde explained, “when lava worms break up newly formed lava in the ocean, the rock is pulverized the lava particles, the gases and the water all mix to concoct a medicine or healing potion that is very powerful and fast acting.” “Why was my father not brought to these waters or why wasn’t he given the water to drink after our battle?” Rain questioned. “We did bring him and the others, the fallen villagers too. The water can heal wound, stall and somewhat reverse aging but, it cannot reverse death.” Clyde murmured. “we sat them all in the bay for nearly a whole day, there was no change, no signs, so we decided to prepare them for funeral arrangements.” Later that night the communal funeral was held, all of the villagers, pack members and Reau were sent to sea on the now floating long house. The house was packed with gifts and food, personal treasures and love to assist the fallen on their journeys. Scene 12 Early the next morning Rain walked out of the hut after a relaxing, morning bath. He heard the sound of lightsaber battle so he went to see. It was Bryn and Clyde and they were training with live sabers, both entranced in a choreographed dance as they whirled, whizzed, and spun pre-learned moves in unison, they faced one another and mirrored each other’s moves and timing perfectly. Clyde noticed rain watching and asked him to join them. Clyde wanted to start with the basic lessons to teach Rain their form, it would be a good refresher for Bryn and himself as well. As he showed the basic saber form he spat out things like “Do not hold on to material possessions, do not let physical attachment stand in the way or voice of the force, do not dwell in hate or vengeance, strive to find peace…peace of mind, peace spirit, peace of being.” Although enjoying the physical moves he was being taught, Rain was starting to see and feel contradiction in the Jedi teachings. He had even interrupted Clyde a few times to question it. He finally had enough, “wait, wait, if Bryn is your daughter that means at one time you loved and had a family, that certainly wasn’t allowed by Jedi, seems to me like you evolved beyond their teachings.” Rain said. “I had to move on after the purge, life was different, the Jedi Order was destroyed, I had to move on and make for a better life.” Clyde said. “So why try and fill Bryn’s and my head with that drivel if you don’t even believe it? Rain questioned. “I believed then and I believe now, I simply made a life outside of the teachings because that is what being safe in an imperial controlled sector required, why would you question me? Clyde said. “The sith empire, the old republic, the galactic empire, the new republic the control and power over the entire galaxy ebb’s and flow’s through time, the only constant is conflict, I choose to use all tools available in conflict.” And with that Rain retreated his ship. Rain began packing his stuff abruptly when he heared a chime from the comms station. It was finally a call from CAC supervisor. he offered a hollow apology and said that without the scrap-pack and submission of their “itemized listed goods” they could not grant another contract at this time. The supervisor then forgets Reaus name as he offered shallow condolences. “But you have been great trackers and haulers and we would love to reinstate your contract at a later date. I am so sorry about Rex, don’t let his accident sway you from serving the greater Corelli…ECHH..” Rain was maddingly infuriated. “You dare forget his name you sniveling fool, he was Reau Reeves first lord of “Zog” and no one will ever forget it again!” Rain held his hand up and fixed his pointer finger and thumb in a pinching motion. He then held that hand toward the supervisor’s hologram, the super was being force choked, he fell to his knees clutching at his neck, his eyes blood shot, foam starting to drip from his mouth until he collapsed with a thud. Scene 13 Clyde and Bryn were sitting cross-legged at the back of their hut when they both felt something dreadful, they quickly ran over to Rains ship. “What did you do ?!” Clyde questioned. “He hurt someone,… remotely.” Bryn said with her eyes shut. “Fool, who was it, a solider? A diplomat? Aaarrr.” Clyde questioned as ran out of the ship and to his hut, he told Bryn to gather Tefu and the others. Clyde, Tefu and the others sat at Clyde make shift observatory, and they witnessed a second Corellian ship arriving in orbit. Clyde feared that the CAC may send more men as they as they may have accidentally killed a supervisor or diplomat. Tefu was a master battle tactician from the days of the rebellion, seems he, and Clyde and several others are reformed rebel fighters that have made refuge there in the Reuss system. They were going to need all of Tefu’s hardware and skill if they were to survive another wave of raiders. Tefu contacted his brother who was an ace pilot with a fast Soccorian ship called the “lizards leap”. “Tulin” did not fall far from the tree, his ship was well equipped and well stocked and he would be arriving soon to help evac people or even to fight if need be. Tulin had an old GONK droid with customized parts and because of these customizations the droid was designated “C-G14”. C-G stood for custom GONK. He had large optic/scanners installed in front and rear right and rear left quadrents giving him 360 degree vision. He was given advanced bi-pedal jointed legs and probably most inpressive was his “after market” arms which was rear on GONKs. C-G was indeed custom and unique. “I am Ool a CAC supervisor of the vessel Tumidor, to whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?” “I am Groven interim supervisor of the CAC vessel Merquat, how may we help you? “We have lost contact and updates from your supervisor Shall please reprise us the situation.” Ool said. “Our supervisor fell ill from contaminated water from his private stash of native delicacies, he is in the medical bay receiving treatment.” Groven relayed. “There was also rumors of native tribes interfering with acquisitions from this sector, are you in need of pacification or combat assistance?” “Negative supervisor Ool, we are sending our best reclaimants to the surface as we speak, they have plenty of numbers and firepower to quell any further intrusions.” Groven answered. “Very well we will observe your operations over the next rotation or so, make sure your communications and acquisition lines are normal and then be on our way.” Ool said. “Thank you for the offers of assistance but our squads are very well adapted for retrievals, please stand by.” Groven said, then he pulled Dren closer. “Eradicate those natives and wipe their villages from the maps. Process everything, they had so we can be done with this place.” “Yes sir!” Dren said excitedly as he licked his lips. Scene 14 Tefu had a small arsenal hidden in his hut, he made sure each family and resident of the village was well armed. They all decided to hunker down in the maze of tunnels in a nearby cave system. The villagers worked all day to transport their wares to the cave. Each family and resident did their part in assisting and then they all sought dry corners and soft floors to set up their huts and tents well within the walls of the cave. Dren and his men donned cortosis arm bracers, back pieces and helmets. Additionally, they had a few small arms made from it like knives, daggers, and short swords. They also had energy shields and other energy resistant substances quilted into their armor and clothing. Tulin had arrived, he was instructed to land his ship at the back door to the caves. He used low-altitude, and masked himself against the terrain to keep from being detected. Tulin knew that his brother and his band of refugees were going to try to mask and cover their relocation to the caves and he had no intent on calling attention to them. His hidden presence was a large morel boost for the refugees. Scene 15 The battle began intensely and unforgivingly at the mouth of the cave. Drens men with E13 blaster rifles were decimating villagers. The villagers too were well armed and were taking out many pirates with coordinated blaster fire of their own. Dren and Ler were cutting through the villagers at an alarming rate. Rain and Clyde were doing the same as they ran to stop the pirates. Once again Rain and Dren faced off. Dren caught Rains blade and tossed him to the side, he then engaged Clyde. Rain tried a foot sweep but Dren jumped it and return attacked, Ler was able to come in and cut Clyde across the leg, and across the chest. As he fell Ler wound back to deliver a final blow. In an instant Bryn stopped Ler’s attack by laying her saber across her back and jumping in and stopping Ler’s spear instantly. Dren and the remaining pirates escaped, regrouped and ran for the hangers. Yegu finally responded to Rains communiques and informed him that she was safe and the cargo was safe, they’re somewhere in Hutt, space. Rain told Yegu “we have access to “a treasure” a healing and age reversing mineral. We would be willing to bargain with it if you can rally more ‘organized independent contracting’ factions.” Scene 16 As the dust settled Clyde began gearing up for the rescue. Tulin discovered that Tefu was fatally wounded as he and C-G were finally able to make it to his location. Tulin took a knee, bowed his head and he vowed to assist Clyde and the others with his ship and piloting skill. The villagers had transformed the cave into a large indoor village complete with a courtyard out front and an open market just beyond that. They were survivors yet again and even more resilient now as the recent violence seemed to just roll off of their shoulders, they just carried on doing what they did. There was celebration and remembrance for Tefu and the other fallen villagers as dusk hit. Through the flames of the funeral fires Clyde, Bryn and Tulin name Born to be the next village chief. He hesitantly accepted and he and some of the remaining villagers wished them “good travels” as the party of rescuers; Clyde, Bryn, Rain, Tulin and C-G boarded the Lizard. The CAC ships orbited directly over the village, another attack was imminent as the hanger shields dropped and a dozen or so ECE fighters flew out to attack the surface once again. Scene 17 Abruptly and unannounced a huge Hutt battle cruiser entered space above Reuss. They were in a flanking position to the CAC cruisers and it’s very presence made them panic and adjust their bearings. The Hutt cruiser also lowered hanger shields and Hutt fighters poured out to engage the CAC fighters. The lizard lifted off and the cockpit rotated above the large engine platform, Tulin sought to use the confusion brought on by the space battle to infiltrate and rescue the villagers. The Tumidor the second Corellian ship turned about and hyper-space jumped to an unknown location. Tulin was able to destroy part of the hanger as he made an approach. The Lizard touched down within the CAC cruiser and they all planned to let Clyde and Rain seach for the villagers while C-G used the turret to fend off enemies from the main doors. Tulin and Bryn protected the flanks, Tulin was every bit as good of a shot as Tefu, he cut down troop after troop with his custom side-blaster. Suddenly Ler rose out from the floor with a group of Corellian troopers. Scene 18 Rain and Clyde were deep in the bowls of the cargo section of the massive ship. They split up but stayed close to each other as they twisted to and from through the maze that was the cargo containers. Rain found a container with people inside, he called for Clyde but Clyde didn’t hear him. Clyde found the section that was holding all of the animals, whines, cries, and the most terrible sounds filled the room. Clyde asked C-G to search the files on how to patch pilot from the cargo control, C-G responded “on it”. Clyde sheathed his saber and began to run up and down the huge hanger looking for something, anything that could help. Scene 19 C-G came through, and he sent the pages that directed “patch piloting” to Clyde in cargo, all while holding off waves of Corellian troops with the Lizards’ mounted gun. Bryn and Ler were in an intense battle as they were both masterfully trained. Ler had a spear with a wide and long blade at the end. The spear was made of cortosis and he was a formidable foe with it. Bryns saber sparked and crackled as it struck the spear but it remained unscathed. But Bryn didn’t need to rely on her saber alone. She used force speed, force push, force protect to aid her. In a final series of lucky, placed hits she blocked the spear and locked it on her left, she then force pulled Ler toward her at an amazing speed. She did a double legged flip kick that landed on Ler’s jaw just as he zoomed toward her. The spear clanked and clanged as it hit the ground and Ler landed somewhere in the distance. He would not be getting up from that. Yegu was flying incredibly fast in her Corellian scout. Flying to and from, looping, barrel rolling, and even flying upside down, all to destroy CAC security fighters. Scene 20 Clyde had taken control of the ship, Rain entered the animal area “what are you doing?!” he exclaimed as the ship listed toward the planet. Once we’re over the water I can let these animals free, if I’m still in control after that I’ll try and touch down and release the rest.” Clyde stated. “Oh,? And what of the contingent of troopers headed this way? Nevermind, I’ll try and buy you some time. “Wait, NO Rain NNNOOO!.” But as Rain turned, Dren entered wielding a simitar of cortosis and his energy-resistant quilted armor. Dren went for the killing blow right off the bat. He swung for Rains throat and tried to cut down Clyde in the process. Clyde let go the controls while defending himself from blaster fire, the ship drifted toward the planet surface. He then began a systematic attack on the troopers in the room who had entered with Dren. Leaping, rolling and dashing to devastate their numbers, Clyde drifted like a ghost through the seemingly still CAC troopers. Rain and Dren battled intensely, they used advanced kicks, they were grappling each other’s blades, doing rolls, and throws to one another. Drens remaining two men watched the battle from the perimeter until they saw that Rain was gaining the upper hand, they then join in the fight. Rain was now contending with three pirates, he was being battered and cut everywhere. The ship fell back under the control of the CAC, they corrected its position and sought to jump to friendlier space. Scene 21 One of the larger worms in the tank began to thrash and make a ruckus as Clyde tried in vein to break the cage. The worm came close to the glass and he and Clyde stared at each other. Clyde suddenly remembered a “weak point” of the cages and struck there, the worm and all of its water came tumbling out. The worm bit down on the durasteel frame of the hangerbay and the structure snaped and broke the ship listed once again. The lava worm traversed the length of the hanger in an instant and broke many cages along the way, the water and the other worms and many fish spilled toward the opening, They were free! The worm zigged and zagged breaking free many more cages, even setting the humans free. Clyde directed the freed captives to grab weapons and go to the command bridge and set the ship down. The hundreds of CAC operatives and staff were evacuating, some on smaller carrier ships others in starfighters, and even more in escape pods. Seemed after the hanger was blown open an order to evacuate was given but the ship was still flyable, the forcefields contained the pressure leak and it was space worthy, but it was a risk. The men got to the bridge and took control. Clyde raced to the aid of Rain and just in time too, he was backed to a corner by the three pirates, but Clyde jumped in and cut Nem in half instantly, causing Kosk to follow. Rain held his saber up and walked Dren out away from the wall. The force boost and morel lift that Rain got from Clyde’s arrival filled him with energy and strength. he faced Dren down with just one hand. Like a fencing master Rain thrusted and perried and tripped up Dren and finally knocking his simitar away, he advanced on him again with his saber blade to his neck, with a slight thrust he plunged the blade into the throat of the once terrifying Dren. Clyde was visible fighting with Kosk in the background, the sounds of sabers and sight of sparks poured out of the corridor that they were in until Kosk fell, and Clyde’s saber was withdrawn. Scene 22 Clyde and Rain approached the freemen. All thanked them and congratulated them, everyone was happy as the ship turned toward planet side. The freemen walked in a group of captured CAC soldiers, officers, and staff, they were unarmed and made to kneel in front of Clyde. “This is not necessary” Clyde explained. “I do not own these people, they are not going to be our slaves or our possessions, they will be PROPERLY processed and sent home.” Clyde explained to the freemen. Just then, screaming and cries were heard from the captives as Rain was slaughtering them. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?” Clyde shouted to Rain. Rain continued the brutality until Clyde stepped in and stopped his saber from cutting down another captive with his own saber. “You dare try and stop me and with a saber too, are you mad?” Asked Rain. “I will not let you destroy innocent people that have surrendered Rain, walk away.” Clyde said as he held his saber extended out. “You would dare side with these people, these traitors over me?” Rain questioned. “These people were just following orders, they probably enlisted just to make creds, it’s a job to them, they did not make the decisions.” Clyde stated.” “It doesn’t matter, they are still representatives of a greedy corporation.” Muttered Rain, a corporation that greedily hired rival salvagers to collect, a corporation that turns its head while friends and families are ripped apart, these same people just ‘following orders’ are the same people that have wiped out entire family bloodlines as part of their ‘jobs’, and for what? Profits?, reputation?, it all sounds like greed to me!” He yelled as he struck at Clyde saber to saber. The blades hissed and crackled as they collided. By now the broken animal cages and other loose cargo had been flung up against the wall. Rain tossed his saber with a move called “saber throw” it flew long and straight and found the main power cables to the hangers, BBZZRRTT sounded out as the saber cut the powerlines, all went dark and still. Their battle raged on, “I cannot believe you would do this old man, try to save these “people”, they are lower than dung-slugs, the worst of the worst.” I am not trying to save them Rain, I am trying to save you.” Said Clyde. “I know you are hurt, we all are, Tefu was a lifelong friend, he was practically like a godparent to Bryn, even worse I had to explain to his wife and child what happened. Why not try to heal with us instead of against us?” he questioned. “The path you are walking on now will only lead to more suffering Rain.” Clyde pleaded as they locked and blocked and parried blades.” “If you are speaking about not partaking in love, family, or rewards, jedi are supposed to rise above such trivial passions. And as far as those ridiculous jedi values don’t even bother with. Good side - bad side, light side – dark side, red side - blue side, jedi – sith, there is no need for such quaint lines in the sand, it’s all meaningless now. The Skywalkers are old and dead!, the Palpatines are old and dead! All that matters now is who has the POWER. The power to wield people and commerce, there is nothing in between, everything else is just dust on a surface.” Their next volley ended with both spinning and holding their blades out to the side, both of them back to back a sabers distance away from one another. “Our life spans are too short Rain, if you dwell in hate there is no room for love, loyalty, or kinship, I see a young man alone and afraid of an uncertain future, I also have a memory of a young man and his father enjoying time, starlight, and laughter together, do not forget those good things and feelings.” Clyde said. “You know nothing!” Rain screamed as he turned and cut through Clyde’s Jedi robe. Clyde just stood there with his arms out, as if he knew this was meant to happen. “NNNOOO! Bryn screamed as her father slumped over and down. She rushed to his aid just mere feet from Rain, but her world was crashing down and Rain didn’t matter to her in that moment. Rain stood there confused for a second or two, his breath and tears flowing intensely. “Let’s go.” Yegu commed to him and he ran for a small porthole off to the side of the giant hanger. He punchout in an escape pod that was quickly picked up by Yegu, her ship then hyper-space jumped to unknown coordinates. Bryn laid there holding her father’s head in her arms for a while longer while she wept and sobbed. “Acquisitions vessel Tumidor, this is Corellian Command we are seeking information on another salvage operation launching from the Merquat another acquisitions vessel. Have you any word on the ship, the captain and crew or the acquisitions? “This is Ool with the Tumidor, we found small traces of the Merquat, garbled, distant messages, planet surface and acquisition site scaring, but no definitive leads or evidence have been discovered command.” Oh very well continue your regular sweeps, operations, and loges, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to check into things, be well.” Bryn and Sarla were carrying supplies to the Lizard. Sarla and C-G were playing and having a great time. Vim, Tefu’s wife asked Bryn if she was sure, “are you sure you and the little one will be safe out there?” Bryn responded “Yes, we will be fine. She has much to learn and I can not leave her alone to do it and be assured it will be done to my liking.” Bryn stated. “Ah, very well then, you girls be careful and may the galaxy light your way!” Said vim. Tulin gave a wave and entered, and Sarla did the same and entered followed closely by C-G14. Bryn hugged the lady elders one last time, kissed their hands and waved as she boarded. The Lizard lifted off at extreme speeds and shot toward the red, darkened sky.