Saga - OT Stranger (OCs, After ROTJ)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Flyboy240, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Sep 6, 2017

    “Do you mind me troubling you for some water?”

    Jed Lough looked up from the water tank he was filling on the back of his beat up old red repulsortruck. He saw a tall man a few years younger than himself with a scruffy beard and a wide brimmed dark hat, a long drab green jacket, rough brown pants, and heavy boots. The man had a pack with a cooking pot and a couple tools hanging off it, with a bedroll strapped to the bottom. Jed rarely saw travelers in these parts of Dantooine, and they were never on foot. He wasn’t sure whether to be suspicious or not.

    “Go right on ahead, just close the gate after you pass through. Don’t want any of the nerf getting out.” Jed turned off the tap and closed his water tank before moving the speeder a few meters forward. The man had several canteens to fill. After he filled the last one, Jed decided to ask him just what he was doing around here. He definitely wasn’t a local ranch hand or one of Rollag’s thugs. “What brings you out to the Frentor River area, stranger?”

    “Was headed to Tharthane when my speeder broke down, about ten klicks back.” He strapped the last canteen onto his pack.

    “The spaceport? That’s another five-hundred kilometers, closest settlement is Dowrown, about twenty kilos down the river. But there’s not much there than the cantina and mercantile.”

    “Thanks.” The stranger started to turn.

    “You lookin’ for work, or to get off this rock?” Jed asked.

    “Don’t know, you got anything for me to do?” The stranger had a rough, deep voice.

    “My last hand ran off with a floozy from the spaceport, I can’t do all this by myself and my boy ain’t old enough to work yet.”

    The stranger looked around. “I grew up on a nerf ranch, it’s been a while but I think I’d do you good.”

    “Alright, I’ll take you up to the house, Renda should have dinner about ready.”

    The stranger didn’t say anything, until Jed asked him for his name.

    “Ya got a name, stranger?”

    “Yeah. Call me Greene.”

    “Jed Lough.” He shook Greene’s hand.

    They arrived at the house, a simple single story prefabricated module with plain permacrete panel walls and a sloped red corrugated metal roof. Greene took of his hat when he entered the home, hanging it on an open peg on the wall. He had long dark brown hair and Jed finally got a good look at the man’s face. It was weathered and sun browned, and he had a thick scar over the bridge of his nose. The stranger kept his jacket on, and closed. Jed led Greene to the kitchen, which was also the dining area, and introduced him to his wife Renda and his young son Luke.

    “Darlin’, Luke, this is Greene, he’ll be taking over for Roko for the time being.” Jed introduced the stranger to his family.

    “Nice to meet you.” Renda smiled. She had auburn hair tied up in a bun and a gently lined face.

    “What kinda’ name is Greene? That’s not a name that’s a color.” The messy black haired kid looked up at the strange man his father had brought in.

    “Colors can be names too, now go wash up.” Renda shooed the kid out of the room.

    Jed thought he saw the stranger crack a smile for a moment. He sat at the head of the table and waited for the others to sit down before he dished out some stew for himself and poured a tall glass of brown ale from the jug at the center of the small table. Nerf and tupello, again. He didn’t mind though, his wife may not have known how to cook a variety of things but the few things she knew always turned out good.

    “Do you want anything to drink, Greene?” Renda asked. “Water, blue milk, ale?”

    “I’ll take a glass of blue milk, ma’am.” He grabbed the cold opaque glass as Renda handed it to him. “Thank you.”

    Whoever this man was, Jed was glad he was at least polite. He didn’t know what ranches on wherever the man was from were like, but the local roughnecks were something else.

    “So, where are you from, Greene?” Renda asked as she dished out Luke’s portion.

    “I grew up on Myrobac, but I’ve been wandering the last few years.” He took a bite of the stew. “This is pretty good, Mrs. Lough.”

    “She does make the best nerf stew this side of the Hydian.” Jed smiled at his wife. She smiled back.

    “Did you fight in the war?” Luke blurted out with a mouthful of stew.

    “Luke, remember to chew and swallow before you talk.” Renda glared at her son.

    “That’s not a very polite question either.” Jed glared as well.

    “No it’s fine. Bound to come up sooner or later these days. Yeah I fought.” Greene took a long sip of the blue milk.

    “Were you a Storm-trooper or a Rebel?” The kid asked, again with a mouthful of food.

    “Luke Lough, one more time and I’ll send you to your room.” Renda glared again.

    “Listen to your mother. That’s enough questions about the war, too.” Jed turned to Greene, “Sorry, ever since he found out we named him after the Rebellion hero Luke Skywalker he got real interested in the war.”

    “When I was his age I wouldn’t stop asking my old man about the Clone Wars. It’s fine.”

    After they had finished dinner, Jed led Greene out to the room in one of the sheds where he’d be staying. The room was sparsely furnished, it just had a cooking unit, a cot, a small table, a storage chest, and an old holoprojector. Off to the side was a small refresher. The walls were blank gray plastoid.

    “It ain’t much but I don’t charge rent. We get going at 0700 hours, I’ll meet you at the main barn.” Jed left the small room.

    “I won’t be a minute late.” After Jed left, Greene pressed the button to slide the door closed, and pulled down the shade on the small window.

    He took off his hat and hung it on the post of the cot. He removed his jacket, underneath it he was wearing a rough tan tunic and a gun belt with a holstered heavy, long barreled, scoped Westar blaster on his left hip and a slightly lighter scope less DL-44 in a drop holster on his right thigh. He removed his gun belt and tucked it at the bottom of the chest.
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  2. Joinerversers

    Joinerversers Jedi Master

    Feb 11, 2007
    dark brown hair.

  3. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Sep 6, 2017
    Nah, though what is revealed about Greene's past might be surprising.
  4. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Hi Flyboy240 and welcome to fanfic again! I saw that you posted so I came around to have a look, and I love what I'm seeing :) You put a lot of care into giving this story a western-in-the-GFFA feel, with the stranger turning up in a nerf ranch in the middle of nowhere and all that – but I also enjoyed the smaller details, such as the description of his attire, the two blasters hidden under his coat and the hints of dialect in the dialogue. And of course, little Luke asking all the questions and the stranger answering as little as he can. Not a very talkative fellow, is he?

    I'm very curious to see where this will go. Greene's two blasters are the same as Han's and Jango Fett's, he's obviously got to be an interesting character. Just one question: how soon after RotJ does this take place? (Unless this is a reveal that you want to keep for later, in which case ignore me.)

    PS: Man, you're brave. I was hanging out here for several months and I'd been lurking for several years before I summoned the courage to post anything!
  5. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Sep 6, 2017

    Thanks :)

    The dialect is kinda hard but watching a few old western movies helped me get the flow of it.

    Glad you caught the detail with the blasters, I had to show that he doesn't just carry a small blaster just in case, those would be weapons carried by someone expecting a lot of trouble.

    It takes place around 8 years after ROTJ so the Empire doesn't really exist anymore and the First Order haven't revealed themselves yet so things are back to normal. For most beings anyways.

    Part 2 will be posted on Wednesday.
    Chyntuck likes this.
  6. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    Yes, this is like the start of every good John Ford film... the battle-scarred stranger with the mysterious pass rides into town and is taken in by the poor but kind farm family... AND... it will be interesting to see the GFFA spin you put on it. Good catch on the blasters, Chyntuck, that went right over my head. I have absolutely no clue who this fellow could be.

    Tune in on Wednesday, eh?
    Chyntuck likes this.
  7. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    I'll drive myself crazy trying to figure out who this man could be. [face_thinking] Very intriguing start. Tag me on Wednesday.
  8. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Knight star 2

    Mar 14, 2017
  9. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Sep 6, 2017

    Part 2/3​

    His first day of hard work went pretty well for Greene. Jed ran his farm much like the ranch Greene had grown up on, though with more machinery. As he was working on expanding the electrofence, Greene watched as Luke ran out of the house, carrying an old E-11 blaster, making pew-pew noises as he pretended to shoot at imaginary enemies. Jed was in one of the barns.

    “You be careful with that thing.” Greene yelled.

    Luke stopped in his tracks and walked over to the man. “It’s not loaded, see? And it’s got a busted ac-cel-erator” the kid held up the blaster and Greene took it, there was indeed an empty space where the main power cell was supposed to be. He looked through the optic. It had been a while since he’d held one of those.

    “Your old man teach you to shoot yet?” Greene handed the broken blaster back to the kid.

    “Not yet, but he says in two years when I turn ten he will.” Luke said. Greene was silently amused at just how incorrectly the kid was holding the blaster.

    “That’s as good a time as any. Just don’t point that thing at me or anything alive for that matter, alright?”

    “Okay!” Luke yelled as he ran off.

    The next standard week passed by pretty quickly for Greene. He quite liked the slow pace of the small farm. Some days there wasn’t much to do but ride the property on an old speeder bike, watching the nerf. One day, as he was checking the electrofence a speeder came swerving down the path, before hitting a rock and careening into one of the fence posts.

    “You alright?” Greene hopped off the speeder bike and walked over to the now dented and scratched twin engine sport speeder.

    “Yeah, yeah I’m fine.” A bald man with a black beard waved him off. He was clearly intoxicated. “Who the stang are you this is Jed’s plot innit’?”

    “Greene. I work for Jed.”

    “Ah, that Weequay Roko ran off. Told him to stop hiring aliens…” The man tried to get his speeder started again.

    “Who are you? Jed’s probably gonna want you to pay for the damage to this fence.”

    “Dax, I work for Rollag. I’m not paying for anything.”

    “Well if you’re on the clock your boss might and he’ll take it out of your pay, I’d reckon.”

    “I’m not paying for anything.” Dax opened his vest, brandishing a chromed blaster in a tooled black bantha leather shoulder holster.

    Greene’s jaw clenched. “Alright.”

    “You seem to be new to these parts so consider this your warning. Rollag and his crew own the Frentor River valley.” The man got the speeder started and sped off.

    Greene walked back to the speeder bike to get one of the spare poles to replace the broken one. He'd dealt with men like Dax many times. The Galaxy seemed to be full of them. Beings with a few blasters and hired thugs kept agricultural communities under their thumbs from Hutt space to the Core. Some were just more subtle about it than others.

    That evening Greene was eating dinner with the Lough family. Nerf stew, again, but this time it had pearly jorum grains and leafy greens of some sort instead of starchy tupellos. “One of Rollag’s crew, Dax, crashed into the north side fence today.”

    “Stang, again? Kriffing drunkards.” Anger flashed over Jed’s face. Luke clearly didn’t hear his father talk that way much so he watched with wide eyes.

    “I replaced the post, I think the old one is fried though.” Greene took a bite of his stew.

    “There goes another hundred credits.” Renda sighed.

    The next day Jed gave Greene the day off and his pay for the time he had worked so far. Greene wanted to go to town, so Renda asked him to pick up a few things while he was there. There wasn’t much to see in Dowrown. There were a few dozen prefab houses, and the general store and cantina, which shared a building as well as a large nerf processing plant. The hamlet was situated in a bend of the Frentor River, so it was surrounded by clear ten meter wide water on three sides. On a hill overlooking the town there was an elaborate mansion. The mansion should've looked out of place amongst the utilitarian buildings, but it didn't. Greene noticed there tended to be a being who had to literally put himself above others in almost every settlement.

    Greene parked the speeder bike in front of the general store and walked inside. It was surprisingly large, and it had everything the locals could ever need. Greene picked up a few ration packs and some socks, then started working on the list Renda had given him. He couldn’t find a particular item so he went up to the clerk.

    “Excuse me, do you have any Ruby Zizz? The boss’s wife asked me to pick one up for the kid.”

    “Oh! We’re out up front but Yilha might have a few stashed away under the bar, just go around and ask.” The Rodian clerk gestured to the open door that led to the bar area. Greene set the items on the counter then walked through the door, and then up to the bar.

    “Hey hon’, what’ll you be having?” The middle aged Twi’lek bartender asked.

    “The clerk told me you might have a couple Ruby Zizz stashed away, I just need to pick up one for the boss’s kid, ma’am.” Greene leaned over the bar. He could see Dax and a couple other rough looking men huddled at the other end of the bar.

    “Ah, you must be Jed’s new guy.” Yilha reached under the bar and handed a bottle of bubbly red liquid to Greene. “Anything else?”

    “No, I’ll just be going on my way.” Greene said as he put a credit chip on the counter then he felt a large hand clap on his shoulder.

    “Nah stay a while with me and the crew.” It was Dax.

    “I gotta get going, the boss is expecting me back before dinner.”

    “You’re even doing that old nerf-herder’s market runs too?” He looked at the drink. “Come on, get somethin’ strong.”

    “It’s for the kid.”

    “Uh-huh, I bet.”

    Greene tried to leave but Dax blocked the door with his broad body.

    “No, you're not leaving yet. Rollag wants me to tell you to do somethin’.” He pulled a bottle out of the inside of his vest. “Dump this in Jed’s water supply and Rollag will buy you a ticket to anywhere in the Galaxy.”

    “Why?” Greene’s jaw clenched.

    “Rollag bought up all the other small operations around. Jed’s the last independent rancher in the valley and he’s still refusing to sell.”

    “Not my decision to make.”

    “Fine. Get out of here Ruby before there’s trouble.”

    “Name’s Greene.”

    “Ruby, Greene, they’re both colors. Now get.”

    Greene paid for the goods and left. He’d dealt with men like Dax before, ant it was getting old. He told Jed about the incident, and about whatever it was he was supposed to take and dump into the water supply. Despite not knowing Jed and his family for very long, Greene liked them a lot. They reminded him of what he could've had.

    “Rollag ought to know that wouldn’t work. I’ve got triple distillers and quad filters on my wells, and a backup moisture vaporator ‘cause he tried that dirty trick once already.” Jed took a drink of his ale. “That’s all he’s done since he moved in, ruined us little folks’ operations then bought the land way under value when they can’t take it anymore. But not me, I was born on this land, and my father was, and his father, and so on.”

    “He’s as stubborn as an old dewback.” Renda sighed.

    “What’s a dewback?” Greene asked.

    “Oh I grew up on Tatooine, dewbacks are these big lizards they have there.”

    “I’ve never been on that side of the Rim.”

    “You haven’t missed much, unless you really like sand.” Renda laughed.

    That evening Greene was in his room in the machine shed, going through some of his things. He had to door open to let the cool evening air in. He was looking at an old holo, thinking about how odd he looked clean-shaven and wearing a fancy uniform, when he heard a noise outside. “Who’s there?” He stepped outside and caught a glimpse of Luke before he dove into a bush. “I know you’re there Luke.”

    “Alright, alright.” Luke stepped out of his hiding place and walked over, looking down and kicking rocks. “Who was that lady?”

    “Not important.” Greene said.

    “What’s this?” Luke went into the room and picked up a white plastoid tag. “TK-778…” He read.

    “Get out of here.” Greene took the tag back.

    “You were a Stormtrooper, weren’t you? I read they had tags with numbers that start with ‘TK’ like that.”

    Greene looked down at the kid. “You read a lot don’t you? I was a Stormtrooper.”

    “No way!” Luke gasped “Were you at Hoth? Endor? The Death Stars? Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer?”

    “I was at Hoth. It was cold. That’s all I’m gonna tell. You’d better not tell either, most beings still hold a grudge against the Empire. Now get.” Greene shut the door after Luke left, and slumped down onto the cot. He deactivated the holoprojector and shoved it back into the trunk.

    He hadn’t been able to bring himself to look at his wife’s face in years. Redli had paid dearly after her father and the other villagers found out where Greene had been all those years. The Empire had not been kind to the people of Myrobac. When the garrison abandoned the isolated Outer Rim world, the locals lashed out hard. Mobs surged through every city, destroying any technology that had been brought by the occupiers and doing terrible things to people who had been branded as traitors for cooperating with the Empire. Greene was lucky to make it out alive, though he could never return to his homeworld.

    Another quiet standard month passed, and Jed’s family became the family Greene never had. Luke even started calling him “Uncle Greene”. Jed treated him like the brother he had never had, which made sense to Greene after he found out that Jed was raised by his mother alongside three sisters. For the time being, it seemed that Rollag, whoever he was, had decided to leave Jed be and let the unpredictable weather wear him down. Flash floods seemed to be a constant threat, as the hard packed dry soil just could't absorb the rain. Contstantly checking and repairing the earthen levies was dull work.

    One night Greene woke up in the middle of the night to the bleating of the nerf. They were usually quiet at night. He threw on his trousers and boots before running out of the shed to see the pasture on fire. Greene had expected a predator of some sort to be lurking around, spooking the nerf and their new calves, he wasn't sure what to do in this situation. Jed was out not long after he was and he tossed Greene a large silver fire extinguisher canister. They got to work and kept the fire away from the house and the barns, but the pasture was burned.

    @JediMaster_Jen (Also what's the tagging etiquette here? I'm assuming it's frowned upon to tag people who didn't specifically ask to be tagged.)

    Part 3 will be out on Sunday
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  10. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    This was some very good prose.

    I am not sure if I would have spotted the Western overtones, if other commenters had not highlighted it. Not sure which film you have used as the source, but if I was really into that genre, the getting a soft drink for the boss's kid was getting a bit blatant.

    Good attention to detail. Pleasant tale in the making.
  11. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    Nice start with part one, Flyboy240! I like the Green character as well as Jed and his family. I am curious about where the conflict wilI come from. I will catch up on part 2 tomorrow.
  12. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Sep 6, 2017
    You just jogged my memory, I haven't seen that film in 15 years. I didn't intend to ape a particular movie, just the genre as a whole. Defeated war veteran showing up and helping a farmer seems to be a standard trope of the genre.

    But don't worry part 3 throws a big old monkey wrench into the formula.
  13. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    I'm sure I'll love the monkey wrench on Sunday, but I'm also loving the formula as it is :D

    This Greene character has really grown on me, and now I'm worried for him and his new friends for two reasons. First there's the obvious, immediate threat that is Rollag and his goons, and it seems that those baddies already struck a devastating blow to what could have been a new beginning for him. Second, there's the fact that little Luke may not hold his tongue and that someone – including Rollag's crowd – might find out that he had been a stormtrooper, and choose that as a new angle to harass him. I have a baaaad feeling about this, but I can also picture him turning into some sort of dispenser of justice, à la Magnificent Seven.

    Interesting side details with Renda being from Tatooine and Greene being at the battle of Hoth. For now I'm going to assume that he told Luke the truth and wasn't on the Devastator around the time of ANH, but there could be an interesting direction to take there.

    I'm also curious to know what happened to Greene's wife. Was she considered an Imperial collaborator too, for being married to him? I hope we'll find out.
    Yes, that's absolutely correct. I watched the thread anyway, so unless DRL hits me hard I'll be around when you update.
  14. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Knight star 2

    Mar 14, 2017
    It seems like there was a lot of vigilante justice/vengeance going on. It happened in France, when the German's pulled out. A lot of "collaborators" were beat up, tarred and feathered, and probably a few got hung. So, I can only imagine that something along those lines was done to her and his relatives.

    Flyboy, that was real good! Awesome! I was really surprised about him having been a stormtrooper. I did not expect that. That Luke sure is nosy! But then kids are curious like that, huh?

    I look forward to the next chapter.
    Flyboy240 likes this.
  15. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    We are following the storyline of so many classic westerns, and yet it is also pure Star Wars! I'm loving this. So Greene is a stormtrooper, trying to rebuild his life in a changed galaxy. Poor Redli, his wife, suffered the fate of so many young women who take up with occupying armies after those armies withdraw. The aftermath of war and occupation is not pretty.

    Young Luke was named after a Rebel hero, which makes me wonder if Jed fought for the Rebellion or just supported it? Will former enemies team up to fight off the slimy landgrabbers (there are always slimy landgrabbers in good Westerns!)?

    I suspect that Rollag and Dax are going to be very, very sorry for what they are about to unleash.
  16. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    I suspect so as well, particularly since Greene is coming across pretty John Wayne a la Hondo right about now.
  17. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Sep 6, 2017
    Part 3/3

    “Stang, now I’m gonna have to buy feed until that grows back. Gonna have to take out another loan.” Jed grumbled.

    “You think it was Rollag?” Greene’s face was covered in soot and embers had burned a few holes in his clothing.

    It had to be Rollag’s thugs. Grass didn’t just spontaneously combust, and there hadn’t been a hint of lightning for a week.

    “No doubt. Renda and Luke can feed and water the nerf tomorrow, you and I are going to go to town and give Rollag a talking to. Might even have to get the authorities involved.” Jed was positively furious.

    “No. You don’t have to bloody yourself.” Greene said.

    “What do you mean?” Jed looked at him quizzically.

    “You’re not a killer, you’re a good man, and I don’t want you getting hurt.” Greene put his hat back on.

    “And you are a killer?”

    “They made me one.”

    “Who’s ‘they’?”

    Greene hesitated a moment, not sure whether he should tell Jed about who he had fought for during the war. He decided Jed deserved to know the truth.

    “I was with the 501st legion, the personal troops of Lord Vader.”

    Calling him “Lord Vader” instead of “Darth” seemed to be an easy way to identify former Imperials. Greene knew the man had been dead for eight years, but the way he had carved through a whole battalion of men on Hoth like they were nothing still haunted Greene’s memories and dreams.

    Jed looked back at Greene one last time before he started making his way back to the house. Obviously the revelation had startled Jed, having named his son after a Rebel hero he would be one of those beings that still hated any reminder of the Empire. Greene half expected Jed to contact the authorities so they could drag him off and put him on trial for war crimes.

    Greene knew what he was “supposed” to do. He’d seen the holos and heard the stories. He was “supposed” to confront Rollag and his men, then have a heroic duel at sundown, and that would be the end. But such things were for Jedi and melodramatic fools. The age of heroes was long over.

    Greene dug through the chest, and strapped on his gun belt. He also pulled a spherical, metallic object from a pouch that had been hidden deep within his pack. He slipped it in one of the pockets of his jacket. He took the speeder bike, and headed towards the town. The mansion was dark, except the basement windows.

    “What are you doing here?” It was Dax, walking up the path that lead to the small town.

    “You burned the pasture, didn’t you?” Greene clenched his jaw.

    “Yeah, figured Jed could use some more persuasion, since you declined our offer. By the way, I heard an interesting rumor about you.”

    “What’s that?” Greene reached through a false pocket on the left side of his jacket and flicked the switch on his blaster.

    “You were a Stormtrooper.”

    “I was, 501st.” Greene gripped the sleek Westar blaster. He knew what he was about to do would definitely be considered fighting dirty, but he didn’t care.

    “Well I-“ Whatever Dax was going to say, it was cut short by a bolt from the blaster Greene drew through the false pocket.

    Shouts could be heard from the windows in basic and Huttese. That was where Rollag’s crew must have been quartered. Greene still didn’t know who Rollag was, but the dwelling wasn’t nearly ostentatious enough to be the home of a Hutt. He drew one of his blasters, the heavy DL-44, and took the thermal detonator in his other hand. A single bolt from the blaster shattered the old fashioned glass window, where one from the Westar would’ve just punched a clean hole, and Greene lobbed the grenade in. The noises coming from inside got a lot louder. He had ten seconds to leave. Greene jumped on the speeder bike, and went full throttle, before swerving to take cover behind a large rock.

    He saw the flash before he felt he shockwave and heard the blast. His ears rang, and he felt as if he had been hit in the chest with a hammer. He hadn’t felt anything like that since he had been wounded on Hoth. But he was alive, and the mansion had collapsed, just as he had planned. Perhaps it wasn’t necessary, perhaps Jed could’ve made a deal, or left to try his luck on Tatooine. But Rollag could’ve just kept expanding until he choked out the entire region.

    Greene made it back to the farmhouse just before dawn, and knocked on the door. Jed appeared, wielding an ancient wood stocked blaster rifle. Greene had seen Rebels armed with anything they could get their hands on, but he got the feeling that even the most desperate of them would’ve turned up their noses at such a weapon.

    “Oh, it’s you.” Jed lowered the weapon. He had dark circles under his eyes.

    “Rollag won’t bother you anymore.” Greene hooked his thumbs into his belt.

    “What did you do?”

    “You’ll find out soon enough. Tell the authorities who did it, I’ll be long gone.”

    “I don’t think so, Lieutenant Rargren Rokowuff.” An unfamiliar voice came from the darkness behind them. “Drop the blasters.”

    He hadn’t heard his own name in years. Greene turned around in shock to see a figure clad in mismatched armor, with a raised blaster. Greene would be dead if he made any sort of sudden move, so he unbuckled the gun belt and let it fall to the ground. A bounty hunter. But why was he here? Jed had turned him in, obviously. That realization hurt, he thought Jed was his friend.

    “I was a Lieutenant for a day before I deserted. How much did they pay, Jed? How much?” Greene was positively furious.

    “Enough to keep my head above water. I’m sorry. I lost a lot of friends that joined the Rebellion.” Jed looked down.

    “Who do you work for?” Greene turned to the bounty hunter.

    “A wealthy Alderaanian with a grudge he can’t let go of.”

    “Fair enough. But I’ve already been punished enough for my time with the Empire.”

    “How? Spend a year in a prison camp?” The bounty hunter said.

    “Non-humans on Myrobac were forced into slavery for the most minor offenses. Lots of the humans didn’t like that, but the Imperials had blasters and they didn’t. I deserted, en route to Endor after I got commissioned. They hid a lot from the troopers, but becoming an officer showed me how rotten the Empire was.”

    “You still killed in the Emperor’s name.” The bounty hunter’s voice had a grating electronic modulation provided by the angular helmet.

    “There was a woman, Redli. She waited for me, for four years. We got married the day after I got back, things were fine for a month, but then the garrison left. It was chaos, there were riots, looting, and reprisals of all sorts against Imperial collaborators. Someone let it slip they saw me arriving in my blackcap uniform.” Greene clenched his jaw, which was a nervous tic he’d had for years. “Her father, her own father, decided that by marrying me she had brought dishonor to her family name.” Greene’s voice shook.

    “So? Wrap it up I haven’t got all night Rargren.” The bounty hunter seemed agitated.

    “In isolated societies like Myrobac, honor is everything. They made me watch when they did it, when they killed her. Then they beat me halfway to death and left me tied to a tree, to starve or die of thirst. An old woman who felt sorry for me cut me free, and I stole a ship to get away from that forsaken rock. So tell me Jed, do I still deserve more? Do I?” Burning tears were flowing down his face now.

    “I- I didn’t know, I’m sorry.” Jed seemed to be trying hard to keep himself from looking Greene in the eye. “But I can’t lose the farm.”

    Greene shouted a curse in Myrobacci, which loosely translated into basic as “May you die young with no one to mourn for you” and spit in Jed’s face. The last thing he heard was the familiar sound of a stun blaster. There was no happy ending, no flying off into the sunset. Greene had two regrets in his life now, joining the Empire and standing up for Jed.
    Chyntuck likes this.
  18. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Knight star 2

    Mar 14, 2017
    I don't know how I should feel..... I.... I didn't see that ending coming at all. It's like I got sucker punched in the gut.... It's ironic that Greene would shout that curse at Jed... The one who's young and with no one mourning him, is Greene himself. I'm really not liking Jed.

    Jed's behavior, and Green's fate at the end, isn't quite the same, but it reminds me of the ending of a movie I consider a timeless masterpiece. It was called Seven Samurai. In the end, after saving the village, the remaining few samurai watched as the villagers had a good time planting their fields, already having forgot the sacrifice the samurai had endured for them.

    In the same way that Greene risked his life to save Jed, his family and Jed's farm, Jed repays him with not forgetting what Greene risked, but with betrayal. It seems there are lots of examples of soldiers who come back from wars who are mistreated in everyway, spanning the spectrum from neglect, all the way to revilement.

    Vietnam War veterans were booed, spat on and called baby killers, among other revilements. Korean War veterans are kind of forgotten. World War 2 veterans were treated as great heroes. We keep track of how many living WW2 veterans remain alive, but we afford no other war veterans the same honor. Gulf War veterans, are forgotten and neglected. And the veterans of the current, and ongoing war are also forgotten, their sacrifice only remembered when another U.S. service man or woman is killed or wounded, making the news.

    I guess all this is just me, trying to work out my feelings for how Greene was treated. He knew a man, personally, gave him good hard work for his room, board and pay. He stuck up for Jed on several occasions, and finally, risked himself, when he didn't need to, to protect Jed, his family, and his farm. Yet, that was the thanks he got.

    What an example he turned out to be for his son. "Hey, son. Make friends be neighborly, but the first chance you get to make some cash, stab them in the back."

    *sigh* I really am NOT liking Jed.
  19. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Sep 6, 2017
    Writing that ending was hard, part of me wanted to wrap it up nicely and have Greene "ride off into the sunset" but betrayal is a thing that happens. There are people out there that seem like good people but they'd sell their own mother for a sandwich.
  20. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    As if Greene hasn't already had enough crap dumped on him. The A-Team would sympathize.
  21. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    That was sad. That was very, very sad.

    Like PlanetSmasher said, on the one hand it's, to put it mildly, very unkind and outright sneaky of Jed to sell out the man who worked hard for him, refused to betray him, stood up for him and in the end was honest with him too. On the other hand, there are still open wounds from the reign of the Empire, and Jed was probably freaked out not only by the fact that Greene was a stormtrooper, he was 501st. You show us Greene's private thoughts about why he still says "Lord Vader", but I can imagine that Jed heard something entirely different from what Greene intended. And for good measure, Jed probably doesn't realise that people like Greene already paid a heavy price for their association with the Empire – like in RL, I guess, where the small-time collaborators were the ones who paid the heaviest price.

    I knew from the way you mentioned her earlier that something bad had happened to Greene's wife, but this was the worst I could imagine.

    Are we going to read more of Greene's adventures? He comes across as a survivor, but also as someone who would even further withdraw into himself after this.
  22. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Sep 6, 2017
    Normally I don't do dark endings, but I felt I needed to here. Jed is a complicated character, he's normally a pretty upstanding guy, but when he finds out the man he's been working with is a representative of what he saw as the most evil thing to have ever existed, he got emotional and made an impulsive decision. He's heard of all the atrocities but was never able to do anything about it until now. He didn't know all about Greene's past so he just thought he was bringing long overdue justice.

    Greene will definitely show up again in my writing, I tend to break my characters down and then see if they sink or swim.
    Chyntuck likes this.
  23. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    Well, he was hit by a stun bolt (I was glad, he's an interesting character; much to good to kill off in his first outing). Ultimately, I think he'll swim. Yes, he's had a lot of losses, but face it; he's probably responsible for a lot of losses, even if he felt his actions were justified at the time.

    I'm curious about the angry Alderaanian client; is he going after every single survivor of the 501st? Must have a lot of money indeed! Wonder if Greene will get to meet him and see for himself what others suffered.
  24. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 27, 2013
    The descriptions are really detailed and give vivid visuals as though imagining it unfold as a film. Greene for me comes out as a very interesting character I’d like to know more about—he’s definitely the hook that catches the reader’s interest. His story as an ex-stormtrooper reminds me of stories of real-life perspectives of soldiers and there is certainly a lack of these tales in SW.

    Looking forward for more writings about him!