main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Saga - PT The Gods Who Love the Sky

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by GregMcP, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    A sequel to an excessively rushed thing I wrote a while back. C1D.
    I might put C1D version 1.1 at the end of this. Clean that little story up.

    Characters: Dead Droids, a Librarian, Rats... so many rats, and a Brute.
    Timeframe: 10 years or so after the end of the Separatist War.
    Summary: Some long ago powered down B1 battle droids are discovered in a jungle. They mean different things to different people.
    Length: 14 Chapters. 14 Thread Replies. Wow. That much?

    As always, I have written to entertain myself. Posting it here gets it out of my system so that I can think of something new. If it's not Canon, ahh well, it's just words written by some guy.

    Okay, posting time. Here goes...
     
    Chyntuck likes this.
  2. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    The Gods Who Love the Sky
    One

    Phelleh and Pili bounded through the jungle. Their furry paws with slender claws scrambling through the undergrowth as they sniffed the ground and air in their search of their supper. A few crunchy Hwela bugs, maybe catch a Pita bird, or a Slivi tree snake. The children would love a piece of snake.

    Not too far, children. Your safety is with your parents.”, Pili whistled through her long snout, which would sound to human ears more like “Phweh phi weh fff ii pheh”. Whistles and breaths. Pili’s three little girls, Iti, Ipi and Iwi jumped along, snuffling through the rainforest undergrowth for bugs. “We love and obey you mother!” they called back, as was the tradition, and pounced back to their parents. Ipi hopped on her father’s head and wrapped her limbs around like the straps of a helmet, as was the common way for a child to be carried.

    They had come down from of the Mountains That Touch The Moon where they had been foraging until the snow had begun to fall. They had climbed those mountains from the Forest Of Uncounted Lakes when the rains had flooded those lands. Now they were here in a new valley, searching for a bountiful area to safely raise their children. The Land That Tempts Our Empty Bellies was the name they used for now. In good time the valley’s real name would reveal itself. This land had promise. It was green and warm and full of tasty life.

    "Mother! Children! It is time for lessons” Father Phelleh whistled, and they gathered under the leaves of a large fern beside an old rotten log covered in moss. Safe and hidden from teeth laden creatures falling from above. Iti, Ipi and Iwi gazed up into the high tree canopy, searching for predator eyes, as they had been taught.

    “Ipi, what is this?”, Mother Pilli pointed her snout at a tall grass. “Rub your cheek on it. Feel it is smooth when you stroke it downwards, and sharp when rubbed upwards. Taste it. It’s bitterness, it's tough stringiness. It’s Ewhendeh grass. What is it used for?"

    “Poison!” The children chanted enthusiastically.
    They bit into the grass, ripping off shreds and chewing, chewing.

    “Now children, squeeze deep down. The muscles in your lovely little bellies. Squeeze up the orange bile. The thick sharp taste”. Their little bodies tensed as they regurgitated up into their mouths.
    “Now mix a little water from your cheeks. And roll up a little ball. Done?”

    The children hummed a yes.

    "You are such bright little girls! So skillful! Now follow your parents and let us find some dinner.”

    “Low and silent as the night” whispered Father Phelleh.

    The five of them flattened their long furry bodies into the soil and leaves, crawling smoothly, their long noses twisting left and right, sniffing.

    It was not long before Father spotted a small mouse-like creature chewing on a bug. “Children, show me that you have learned your lessons” he whispered, pointing his nose. So, the children chattered their plans then crawled apart to surround their prey. When they were in position, a breath, careful aim, and, phhtt phhht phhtt, they shot little pellets of poison grassball from their long snouts at the mouse.

    It gave small squeak of surprise as it was splattered with green and orange goop blobs. It jumped, intending to dart away, but then with a shudder the mouse fell, paralysed.

    A tweet of joy from the children. “My lovely little ones! So skillful! So beautiful!” whistled Mother proudly. “Go! It's yours”, and Ipi, Iti, and Iwi pounced on the dying mouse and ripped it to shreds.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
    Kahara and Sith-I-5 like this.
  3. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Two

    And thus the life of this little family proceeded. Hunting and teaching and learning and playing. Occasionally they would encounter others of their kind. Careful, wary meetings. Abduction of wives by the desperate and lonely was not unknown. “Observe and keep your distance, dear children.” They were too young to pair up with mates anyway. A few more rain seasons yet.

    Then one bright afternoon, they came to a clearing. Obviously they were reluctant to enter it. To be exposed was to become prey and Father always said to keep out of view. Iti peeked out from her cover under a leaf at the rarely seen full sunshine. So bright and warm and tempting.

    “Oh No! Beasts!”

    In the middle of the clearing sat three large grey creatures. Sitting. Not moving. Just sitting. Their knees tucked up into their chests, with thin necks and long curved heads looking up at the sky. Hairless, skinny arms and strange holes through their bodies. No teeth, indeed no mouths.

    They made no sense.

    Behind them was a large block of stone with a hole in one side. A cave? Why would a cave be sitting out in the open with no mountain surrounding it?

    “Are they moving, Iwi?”
    “Not that I can see, Iti. Has Father ever talked about a creature such as this?”
    “Sisters, we should run. They will eat us.”, Whistled Ipi, but the three for them stayed, staring, fascinated.

    Mother called “Children! Run into the forest before they see you!”
    “Mother, I love you dearly, but I think they are dead”. Iti watched the strange beasts carefully, looking for the slightest sign on life. A breath, a muscle twitch, but they remained still. They were dead. They were bones. She snuffled about and found a grass with a thick white base and bit a mouthful, and then pushed up some yellow fluid up from the glands between her lungs. A few moments of chewing, a second to summon up her bravery, and she scuttled out into the open to get closer.

    “Iti!” her sisters squeaked.
    She spat a gob of acidic grassball, hitting one on the hip, and scooted back into hiding, expecting a roar and a chase. But the grey bone creatures remained still.
    “Mother. They are dead.”
    Grass and flowers had grown around their feet and hips. They had been sitting there for a long while.

    Iti gathered up her courage and crawled out into the open grass. She carefully crawled up to the three strange creatures. They were sitting in a circle facing each other as if in conversation with hands touching the ground, reaching out to each other. Their long curved heads and simple black dots of eyes looked upwards to the clear blue sky, silently bathing in the warmth of the sun. They were strange. They were beautiful. More than beautiful, they were beyond anything she had ever seen in the forest or the mountains.

    “They are a family.”

    In between the legs and knees and chest of one was a mess of branches, twigs, leaves. A nest. With 2 little fluffy purple and green Pita chicks cheeping away. Waiting for mother to return.

    The utter sacred wonder of this place, these creatures, filled Iti's heart. “Father. Mother. Iwi. Ipi. Come. It's safe. They are beautiful”. They scampered out, nervously at first and sat in the center of the circle. Father gnawed at the hip of one. It had a tang and hardness that reminded him of certain rocks in the mountains.

    “They are not bone. They are made of Stone”

    As the sun set behind a Stone Beast, the mother Pita Bird settled down on its head. The bird stretched out it’s glorious purple and green wings as the sun shone through them, and let out a powerful “Skareeeech!”. Mother Pilli and Father Phelleh huddled together protectively over the top of their children. Their stomachs convulsed, producing chemicals in their mouths as they chewed and chewed.

    But the bird did not strike, and Father Phelleh hesitated, waited.
    Mother bird calmed and hopped down to push pre-chewed bugs into the gaping open mouths of her chicks.

    Phelleh, Pili, Iti, Iwi and Ipi sat and watched the chicks feed as the sun went down.
     
    Kahara and Sith-I-5 like this.
  4. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Three

    The family settled for the night in The Cave Without A Mountain. It felt like nothing they had experienced before. Floors and boulders that were so smooth and hard. Father bit and scratched at some of the rocks, making no impact at all upon them. Like the Creatures Who Stare At The Sky, it was all beyond their comprehension. But the Cave kept the wind and rain out better than any place they had slept for a long time, and the little Pwheti mice that had also nested in the Cave were tasty and created much amusement as the children chased them about.

    Scattered about were what appeared to be the skulls of a creature with an exceedingly large head, though the rest of the bones were not about. This conjured up frightful images in Iti's imagination, but she fit quite well within them and they were strangely soft inside. They could make cosy nests.

    Outside the Three Stone Creatures stared at the stars.

    Iti snuck out to them in the darkness and sat in the middle of the circle. Mother Pita sat in her twigs, her head tucked under her wings, her chicks hidden under her body.
    “Goodnight beautiful Stone Creatures. Please watch over us and frighten away the Beasts With Teeth And Claws. Goodnight Mother Pita and your sweet little chicks. I hope we can live beside each other without need for poisons or acid.”

    The jungle hummed gently with the sounds of insects and the occasional grunt and hoot. Iti crawled back inside and snuggled up the within the ball of fur of her family. Warm and safe.

    ---

    The three children spat little orange berries at the feet of Stone Creature that embraced the nest.

    “A gift for you Mother Pita.” said Iti reverently. “And for your children.”

    The three children then each scrambled up onto a Stone ones head, climbing to the very tip of their long arched heads and rubbed their snouts. A sign of affection that coated the heads with a mix of berry juices and stomach acid. “Always watch over us, and we will always love you.”

    They scampered back into the Cave and sat watching as the bird hopped out of her nest and pecked at the berries, then flapped back up to her chicks, who peeped with enthusiasm as she dropped pieces of fruit into their gaping mouths. This became the morning ritual before the family headed off hunting. They knew of a few bushes not too far into the jungle, so they munched on a mouthful for themselves, and then collected a mouthful for Mother Pita.

    Without ever formally deciding so, the family had settled in the Cave Without A Mountain. It was comfortable. It kept out the rain and wind, and the Stone Ones kept away the Biting Creatures.

    ----

    One dark night, with the wind howling and whistling, and rain pouring with drops so hard that they hurt to be hit by them, and the Family huddled in the back of the cave where all the complicated ledges were, another Family of three scampered into the Cave.

    Father and Mother immediately pounced forward, Father yelling “This is our home and we will fight for it if need be! I suggest you leave immediately!”

    The new family looked water soaked and beaten down, their wet fur slicked on their thin bodies. Their young one clamped around his mother's head shivering. There was no fight in them.

    “Find yourself a place to sleep” Father's tone softened “There are smaller caves inside this cave where you can be warm.” and he crawled back to his children.

    They were the first of many to come.
     
    Kahara likes this.
  5. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Four

    “One. Two. Three. And. Jump!”
    But he just stood there.
    “It's easy. Come on. And… Jump! Go!”

    Aldus Calapetanimen peeked over the edge, down into the dark, seemingly bottomless elevator shaft. Around him were the blasted remains of the Dolmia Confederacy of Independent Planets Research Center. Long ago raided and bombed by the Republican Clone Army and now a dripping, mouldy mess of buildings that had been ripped open to the weather of a particularly moist and fertile planet. Vines and trees and moss grew between and upon wrecked tables and chairs and walls. Pieces of droids and the occasional bones of dead admin staff, long ago picked at by indigenous life, lay scattered about.

    “Just jump and squeeze the controller”. He tightened the straps that fastened the Mandalorian jetpack to his back. He bought it from a Karlarban junk trader who promised a full refund if it suddenly dropped him from a great height. He'd almost broken his legs on his first test flight, but he had gotten the hang of it eventually. By no means as skilled as those legendary warriors, but he could fly up a ways and land roughly where he wanted without too much impact now.

    The jetpack was his only way down into blackness. To where the laboratories and the secrets lay.

    He could hear his wife’s voice in his head. “You’ve been carrying on about doing this for so long. And now you’re here. Go. Do it, you dear silly man.”
    “Yes hun.” he muttered, and he jumped and fell.

    “Oh! Ah!” He quickly gathered his wits and squeezed the controls in his left glove and stabilized himself, and began floating downwards.
    “There we go. Easy.” He looked terrified down into the black, his feet dangling while his body weight tried to drag him out of the harness that strapped him to a hot roaring rocket engine.
    Let's get down and out of this thing as fast as possible.

    The lights on his helmet shone on the shaft walls, dripping wet and green with vines and moss and slime. He needed to go all the way down. Deep underground where the experiments that no one was to ever find out about took place. Where his father worked during the War.

    So he dropped, with minimal thrust, and there far too quickly there was the floor of the shaft rushing up towards him. It was full of smashed building materials and water and, oh my, now it was too close! He squeezed the throttle, and felt his armpits and crotch squashed by the harness as he rocketed upwards again for a moment. Then carefully, slowly, with a few puffs of flame to decelerate, he landed himself on a fallen piece of wall. Deep breaths. “Easy. See? I told you.”

    He unbuckled the jetpack. It was far too heavy to be carrying about. He was an archivist, not some hulking mercenary. And he rested it carefully… don't burn your fingers... on the concrete, well above the water, and adjusted his trousers that had been crushed into his crotch.

    “Nobody steal this, okay?” he yelled down the corridor. An attempt to pump up his bravery. Don't worry, no one was here except him. But as the echoes faded, he swore he heard a splash of something falling, or jumping, in the water, and his stomach was just as knotted with fear as ever.

    He made sure his boots and trouser legs were watertight, slung a bag over his shoulder, and stepped into the mucky water. The water was about halfway up to his knees, and hiding small and large pieces of rubble that constantly threatened to twist his ankles as he stepped on them. And it smelled bad. Rotting, stagnant. He strapped on a face mask. The air was starting to choke him. And onwards down the corridor.

    “Let's go.” he whispered to himself as he walked around a neat curved receptionist desk coated in mud and black slime.

    A deep breath and he yelled “Here I come! You better run!“, and then listened, half expecting someone to call back.

    The first couple of rooms were admin offices. Largely intact, with a thick layer of water and slime and dirt, but no dead bodies, thank goodness. He forced opened drawers and ripped the sides off computers and collected tapes and disks and memory chips into his shoulder bag. Records of who was here, what equipment they purchased and so forth. All important.
    From room to room, feet sloshing through the muck, he rummaged for disks and made Holograph recordings. Abandoned desks of cups and toys and computer consoles. The rooms became more medical, with handheld body scanners and examination benches. Charts on walls showing the locations of the organs of various species. Needles and laser scalpels and the disintegrating remains of bandages.

    “Hi dad.”

    There it was, sitting neatly in the middle of the desk, facing where a patient would be seated. A simple little name plate saying “Dr. Markan Calapetanimen”. Aldus picked up the plate and wiped off some fungus.

    “You weren't lying then, huh?” He sat in his father's office chair. It was soaked and squishy, but that didn't matter. “You really were here. Okay.”

    On the desk was his computer, pens, a dead Holo projector, tongue depressors, and a little sealed glass tube full of liquid. He wiped the vial clean and held it between thumb and finger, tipping the little silver square one way and then the other in it’s water, then dropped the vial into his bag. “Is that a biochip?”

    Also in the room was a solid examination chair bolted to the floor. Aldus got up to examine it. The chair had strong arm and foot rests with straps for holding limbs in place, belts to tie down the patient's chest and neck, and a metal frame to hold the head and top of skull still. A small table next to it held a full range of medical equipment. Some items would have involved lasers, but there was also a collection simple sharp metal scalpels and saws.

    Aldus stared at it for a solid minute. “Oh hun, look what he’s done.” He took a deep breath of fetid air through his mask, trying to push down the emotions. He could imagine the things his own father had done here. The pain he had inflicted. Then here heard, somewhere out of the room, down the corridor, was a couple of squeaks then a distinct splash. It shook him awake, distracted from his father’s sins, and he fumbled for the blaster in his holster. He didn't even know if the thing worked.

    “So… now…” Go on searching, or run back to the jet pack as fast as he can? “It's just some rodent. I can deal with that. Yeah.” but his hand shook holding the blaster.

    He holotaped the chair, picked up his father's nameplate, rifled desk draws and dropped it all in his bag, and then sloshed out into the corridor, awkwardly trying to keep his bag on his shoulder and holding his holorecorder with one hand, while waving his heavy weapon with the other.

    “Don't mess with me ratty! I'll fry you!” he yelled unconvincingly. Pointing the blaster down corridor, “Yeah, I'll fry your little…” Brrzzz-zap! Smash! The blaster fired off unexpectedly, hitting a nearby wall and ripping a hole. He dropped it, shocked, “Holy…”. There was a chorus of squeaking and chittering and scuttling and splashing. Things made of grey wet fur swam away into the darkness.

    “Damn it!” He bent down and swished his bare hand through the dark waters to find the blaster, fearing he might touch something alive, and quickly retrieved it, wet and slimy.
    Onwards. A few deep breaths and he nodded his head in agreement with himself.
    “I know dear wife. Don't be a coward. Onwards”

    He looked in a few more examination rooms. All variations of his father’s office. The torture chairs, surgery tables, autopsy tables. He holotaped the things he saw, and collected whatever data he could. In the last room he found an armoured breastplate floating in the water. Part of a Republican Clone Trooper uniform. He lifted it out of the water, letting it drip for a moment. Perhaps he could strap it on and bring it back as evidence. He held it to his chest, looking so see how it could be attached.

    A squeak, from somewhere close. He scanned the ground with the torch on his helmet. “Augh!” Wet grey fur and beady black eyes of some rat-like critter swimming at him fast. He desperately waded backwards trying to get out of the room, and pull his blaster out while trying to shove his holorecorder back into his bag at the same time, which of course lead him to kick something underwater and fall on his back with a splash, swallowing a mouthful of muck. While he was coughing and spitting, a rat bit into his boot, its nasty little needle teeth gripping into the leather. He pulled himself up with the edge of a table, shaking his leg. No good. So he kicked his foot into the table leg. The rat let go with a squeal, and Aldus ran for the door, water splashing all around.

    Out in the corridor, dozens of the critters were swimming towards him. He ran for the door at the end of the corridor. Locked, sealed, nothing to grip onto. Looking through the glass. “Oh no.” Those poor Troopers. Perhaps twenty shrivelled corpses lying on the floor. But the rats were nearly upon him. A more immediate horror. He finally pulled out the blaster, holding it with both hands, and shot.

    The water exploded and hissed, and with screeches the rats scattered, and Aldus ran, lifting his feet high to step out and over the water, he awkwardly stomped down the corridor. He fired another random blast behind him, not even looking. Another blast in front. Just run. “Go. Go. Come on!”

    Stomping past the doorways, water spraying and their squeaks and chittering behind him. And there was the reception desk, and the shaft, and the jet pack, with a bunch of rats sitting on it in front of him with an army of them swimming behind.

    He stopped for a moment, and picked up a chunk of concrete from the rubble and threw it at the jet pack. The critters hissed and jumped directly at him. In a moment he had a dozen biting his boots, his jacket, his arms and more coming. Shrieking in terror, he spun about, punching and kicking, then in a moment of clarity, he jumped over pieces of rubble for the jet pack. One, two, three, four steps as they bit and clawed and climbed. He tripped and his face smacked into concrete. Face bleeding, he reached out and dragged the jetpack towards him, hooked an elbow around a strap as the rats tried to climb up his chest to his face, and hit the fire button.

    He roared upward with rats hanging on, some falling. The jetpack flew up at an angle, smashing into the wall, scraping upwards with sparks flying, and Aldus screaming, while thinking “Please don't explode!”, and the rats holding on for dear life. And in a few moments the jetpack, he, and the remaining rats scraped up over the edge into the sunlight. Let go! He managed to slide out, meters above the ground and fell with a hard thud at the edge of the shaft.

    A remaining rodents let go and skittered off into the jungle.

    He lay on the floor of the open blasted room, winded and in pain, and wanting to cry when he had the breath to cry.
     
    Kahara likes this.
  6. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Five

    Eventually, Aldus gathered his senses and staggered back to his shuttle. Somehow he had managed to keep his bag of disk and tapes around his shoulders, but the jet pack had blasted off into the jungle somewhere, and his blaster was down the pit. He slumped in the cockpit chair, and slept. He awoke hours later, shivering and sweating, with swollen red bite marks on his thighs and stomach and upper arms. His medical scanner suggested an injection to counter the infected bites, and with that, he slumped into his chair again and slept more hours.

    It was dark when he awoke. He stared out into the jungle, still dazed. Listening to the wind and the distant hooting and growls.

    He opened a lunch box his wife had prepared for him. Some fruit and sandwiches, flask of juice, and some little sweet cakes she had baked and decorated.

    She had let him go on this insane expedition. She trusted him, even encouraged him to have is little adventure. But she didn't know that there were dangers beyond rodent bites. He was hunting for things from the past that some powerful people wished would stay in the past. A year ago he had sent off a request to the Coruscant Archive for any information they had on this Research Center, and naïvely mentioned that he was looking for links between Count Dooku and the infamous Order 66. He had said far too much, imagining it was just of academic interest.

    And then that man was sitting at his work desk when he arrived one morning. Pleasant, in a false way. Muscular under his business clothes. Looking like an office was not his natural habitat. And a blaster on his belt. The conversation was brief, essentially “We know what you are looking for. Let it go, and everyone will be happier.”
    She didn't know about that.

    “Ahh I'm sorry hun.”

    But that threat had a reverse effect on him. The need to dig further became an obsession, and then became a plan. So here he was, rat-bitten with a bag of disks.

    He looked around his cockpit, “And I can't afford this!”. She had no idea how much a hyperspace capable shuttle, even a battered old one such as this, a costs. She didn't know the debt he was in. The jetpack, the blaster, even this medical scanner. They were all vastly beyond his humble archivist salary. So in debt, so such unpleasant people. He slumped in the cockpit chair, miserable, and overwhelmed by it all.

    His bag of treasures was lying on the floor beside him. He picked it up, and pulled out a wet metal disk drive. In brighter light it looked in terrible condition, as of course it would be after years in an underground swamp. He dropped it back in the bag, and pulled out one of the glass test tubes. He held it up to the light. The little sliver of metal floating in liquid had tiny barbs, finer than hair, for clamping onto the brain. How much care had his father taken when removing it from the poor soldiers head?

    This soggy bag of proof. Even if it did prove his father's claim that the War Hero of the Separatists, the revered and wise Count Dooku, had been colluding with the Republic, really, what would it do now? It would break the hearts of some old patriots of the Confederacy. Not only had they lost, it had all been a lie. A con job. Knowing that wouldn't fix anything.
    “Then why the threats?”

    He got up and packed the bag neatly in a wall compartment, wrapped up the remains of his wife's lunch, and got busy closing hatches, flipping switches and preparing for takeoff. “Hunny, I'm coming home.”

    Pull back a lever, and the engines roared, and he was on his way up.
     
    Kahara likes this.
  7. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Six

    In orbit, Aldus decided he needed one last look to be sure he was alone.

    “Ship, scan the planet for signals.” A holographic globe about the size of a human head projected up from the cockpit controls. On an inhabited planet, this would have been a pointless request. The globe would glow white. But this was a technologically dark planet. Floating above the planet’s surface were tiny yellow dots. The remains of a blasted Separatist cruiser. The scattered ID beacons of fighters, tanks, droids. On the surface, the Research Laboratory glowed a little with beacons and Clone Trooper biochips.

    “No active craft.” The dots were dim and static. The remains of a long past battle. He was alone.

    Except, “What is that?” he muttered, squinting at a pale yellow dot, unsure if it was actually there. Another dot on the globe. “Enhance that please Ship”.

    A label popped up next to the dot.
    “DROID IDENTITY BEACON”
    Then after a few seconds it expanded to show,
    BAKTOID COMBAT AUTOMATA B1 SERIES STANDARD BATTLE DROID”
    “SERIAL # 0x002E 45A8 4C1D”
    “SERIAL # 0x002E 45A8 4C38”
    “SERIAL # 0x002E 45A8 4CE8”

    He almost ignored it. Perhaps he should have.

    “Beacons fallen from orbit” he muttered to himself.
    No. They would have burned up.

    More text printed on the hologram.
    “ROTHANA HEAVY ENGINEERING LAAT/I - SHIP ID # 3357”
    A Republic troop transport?

    He reached out and put a finger through the hologram globe. Maybe there was something there. Possibly some surviving data from the Republic attack on the Research Center. A crash landed transport, with enemy droids on board? If it was useless wreckage, he would be gone again in a moment, but some surviving evidence of the battle could be useful. Inside the ship’s computers, or in the memory banks of the droids. What if the droids had seen inside the Research Center?

    He should ignore this and go home. Hug his wife and forget all about this nonsense. But it would only take a few hours and he would never be able to come back here. It could tell parts of the story that couldn't be found anywhere else. “Just down and up, Hun. Promise.”
    “Very well. Let’s take a look.” and he climbed back into the pilot’s seat, hands on the controls, and pointed the ship back down into the atmosphere.
     
  8. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Seven.

    Iti spat on the Stone Gods nose. “You protect us.” Spit. “You bind The People together.” She rubbed her furry paws around the Gods head, cleaning and shining it. Many seasons ago, when The People were but a few families, the Gods were a dull grey, but the mix of yellow bile and orange berry juice had cleaned away their coating, making them shine, like water, like ice on the mountains. The Sun shone on the Gods, and the Gods in turn shone on their People.

    The People were now many, filling the Cave Without a Mountain with nests until no more could fit and so families built their nests around it and on top of it. The Cave was alive with the noise of babies and feeding and cleaning, and hunters coming home with their catches. Around the clearing were the favorite chewing grasses of the People and many Meti Trees with orange berries, which attracted the Pita birds who nested with their own chicks. The clearing encircled with beautiful orange and purple. The Gods had brought the People together and created a village of sorts, full of beauty and fertility. The first ever village on the planet.

    Every day Iti buffed and polished and praised the Gods. She had become sort of a high priestess of the village. The Protector of Our Protectors, was the title she had been given. Below her, children arranged pebbles in pretty patterns and colors and spat and buffed the God’s feet, and hummed their praises. Training in Respect for the Protectors was now part of a child's education.

    A young male trotted up to the First God, whom Iti was sitting upon, with a dead lizard in his mouth. He dropped the bloody carcass at its foot.

    “I give this offering with Respect to our Protectors, and with great affection for the Protector of our Protectors”, and did a little running spin of deference.

    “Our thanks, dear Weeta, it looks delicious”, said Iti from above. “Good Children. Time to eat.” Weeta looked a little disappointed as the children excitedly jumped in and tore into the meat.

    Iti looked down at the lovesick boy. His scent made his intentions clear. She was about to climb down the Gods back, intending to gently reject his advances, for now anyway, when a giant screeching bird appeared in the sky. A raging fire pouring from its hindquarters.
    Squeaks of terror filled the clearing. Pita birds set flight, and the People scampered into the Cave or into the jungle. All looked upwards at this huge, strange, impossible bird without wings. It floated down, roaring as it's claws unfolded from its belly, and settled in an empty corner of the clearing, crushing many Meti trees and the nests within them.

    The children tending the Gods scattered back to their parents. “Iti! We must run!”, whistled Weeta, but she was angry. Such destruction! Such disruption! “The Gods will not permit this!”, she cried, but she was now alone. Weeta had scampered off into the jungle.
     
  9. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Edit: Scrambling of the cut 'n paste fixed

    Eight.

    Looking out of the cockpit window, Aldus could see the crashed Republican troop transport on the ground below. There was a long gouge of soil ripped up by the transport as it had plowed its way across the ground, now regrown with orange and green shrubs and grasses. Beside it were shiny dots of reflecting sunlight. Maybe droids? From this height he couldn't be sure.

    He flipped a switch and landing gear servos whirred, and carefully touched down a short walking distance from the transport. “Very well. Let's see what we've got.”. He grabbed a bag and a screwdriver, and wished he still had his blaster, and pressed the button to open the ramp.

    “There they are. Wow. Strange.”

    The B1 battledroids were there ahead of him. Sitting on the grass with legs folded up in storage mode. Shining polished metal, stripped of identifying paintwork, but in surprisingly good condition.

    He stomped through the grass. The Troop Transport seemed to be covered in sticks, and, oh no, with dozens of furry creatures. Not exactly rats. Something larger, with big eyes and long paws and claws, and strange long snouts. And they were all looking at him.

    We’ll stay away from that ship for now, yes Hun? Maybe I should have bought two blasters.” Feeling very unprotected, he looked around and picked up a stick. Better than nothing. Not much better.

    Closer to the droids, he saw that the ground around them had been decorated with circles of stones and orange berries. Quite beautifully done. By who? He saw no signs of any native tribes as he was landing. Were they hiding in the jungles, with spears ready to attack? He squinted his eyes and looked into the darkness of the trees. A couple of those nose-rats were peering back at him.

    He picked up a stone from the decorations. “Hey! Get outa here!” he yelled, and threw it into the trees. The nose-rats disappeared.

    The three shining droids were an impressive sight. Arranged in a circle, hands outstretched as if praying, and at the center of it all stood a single nose-rat on its hind legs. Looking at him with big black eyes, sniffing.

    It started squeaking and whistling at him. Agitated, possibly upset? He didn't know.
    “Go! Hey! Get out!”. But it stood it's ground.

    “Fine. Just don't bother me.”

    He bent down to inspect a droid. It looked in good condition, but obviously powered down after all these years. It was very strange that there was so little dirt in the joints and access ports. The charging port on its back swung open easily. It should be corroded and frozen shut by now.

    He looked to the trees for those spears again. Only the nose-rats were watching.

    As he examine the droid, “Maybe I can unscrew the head?”, his little companion nose-rat scampered around his legs, squeaking and chattering, but it seemingly harmless.
    “Solar Power.” he decided confidently.

    In the ship was a portable solar shield. Stick it on a pole, plug it into the back of a droid, and there you go. The droid powers up, he can ask questions and download data.
    “Easy hunny. Easy”

    He trudged back to his ship, pondering the equipment he needed.
     
  10. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Nine.

    The People whistled their approval after Iti taunted and berated the giant beast until it ran off.
    “So brave!”
    “So wise!”
    “You are the Greatest amongst us!”

    “What was it?” Weeta asked. “I have never seen a creature like it. Small teeth, weak limbs, and it seems like it had lost its claws. And it smelled like it lived in a swamp”

    “Terrible smell” everyone agreed.

    “And that bird! Is the bird… a cave?”. It looked not unlike the Cave Without a Mountain. Was their Cave really a bird?
    A Fiery Cave Bird? It made no sense.

    They chattered about these nonsensical sights until someone said “It's coming back! Run!” and everyone scampered, except fearless Iti, of course. The Protector of Our Protectors.
    The creature stomped up to the Gods with a tall thin branch. It placed one end on the ground so that it stood upright like a tree. Then it squeezed the tree, and roots shot out to fix it to the ground, while up on top a shining gold flower unfurled, and glittered in the sunlight.
    Was the creature paying his own respects to the Gods? Planting magical trees to honour them?

    “What are you doing, clawless creature? Why are you planting a tree here? Do you intend good or evil? Why do you live in a bird-cave?”. She ran around the creature asking these important questions, but it ignored her. Once it looked at her and barked some mindless noise but then went back to its strange task.

    It took a vine off it's shoulder and tied it to the tree, and then opened a hole in the back of the First God and pushed in the other end of the vine.
    “No! Stop this now! This is wrong! You are hurting our God! Stop it! Stop it!”, Iti got more and more agitated, running around the creature's legs. The creature looked down and barked again and then swung a leg and kicked Iti.

    The People in the Cave started squeaking and jumping about angrily. The jungle rumbled it's fury.
     
  11. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Ten.

    The nose-rat became more and more annoying as Aldus tried to attach the power cable between the solar array and the battledroid. It scampered between his legs, making standing there difficult. “Get away! Go!” and swung a leg at it. The kick hit it solidly in the chest and it landed a few feet away, curled up in pain. Aldus immediately felt regretful. “Sorry, I, you, just…”

    He stopped. He could hear the nose-rats around the Transport squeaking and jumping about. It was pretty obvious they were angry. They were biting at the grass, chomping and chewing in some passive aggressive act. Eating their anger. Other nose-rats were crawling out of the jungle, also chewing away on pieces of grass, and slowing crawling towards him.

    “Ahh damn. Not again. Come on guys. I'm sorry. Honestly.”

    A nose-rat spat at him. It was quite an impressive distance to spit for such a small animal. A small glob of sticky grot and grass splatted on his cheek.

    “Oh that's disgusting guys.” It took a second for the acid to be felt.
    It was like a glowing hot piece of iron stuck into his face.

    “Ahhh! What?? Ahhh!” and he instinctively wiped it off his face with his hand, smearing it down his cheek, and getting it on his fingers.

    Pain on his face and his fingers, and he was screaming and running again. More globs of acid hit his clothing, and the back of his neck and exposed arms. Run. Just run. Nose-rats bounded through the grasses after him, stopping to bite more grass and take another shot.
    Soon he was back inside his ship, hitting the button to lift the ramp, but a single brave nose-rat jumped inside, opening his long snout to show an impressive set of razor teeth. Aldus grabbed a helmet and threw it at the rat, sending it scuttling out just as the ramp closed.

    Out of the window he could see dozens and dozens of rodents around the ship, spitting and scratching. And then he remembered his face and arms were burning horribly.

    It took an hour and all of his water supply to clean the horrible stuff off. Getting the acid out of the scrapes from his previous rodent adventure. He took lots and lots of painkillers.
     
  12. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Eleven.

    He should just accept defeat and go, he thought as he dabbed the red welts on his face with cream. It was late afternoon. The shadows getting longer. The nose-rats outside one by one lost interest and wandered away.

    “If I moved the ship closer, and wore a helmet and gloves then maybe I could…”. Just drag a droid on board and run. Tip it onto a flatbed trolley and float it up into the ship and run. Seconds. It sounded like a plan.

    He put on his leather jacket, and found some old gloves left by the previous owner. A space helmet, and there we go, he was covered. But he could not activate the trolley. It lay as a flat inert lump in the cargo bay. Was it broken? Did it need charging?

    The ship blared an alert. “Shuttle Craft Detected” flashed up on the pilot screen. The hologram globe showed a red dot circling the planet, slowing down. Slowing overhead.
    “Agh!“ Terror gripped him. “Time to go. Time to go.”

    He jumped into the pilot seat and strapped in and mashed the ignition button. The engines roared into life. “Let's go let's go”. He pulled the throttle, and started upwards. “Goodbye rats! Damn Rat Planet full of rats.” and then a laser bolt struck rear of his ship. A great gash opened up and all power was immediately lost. The ship dropped like a brick back down into the grass. It hit hard, knocking the sense out of him for a few moments.

    He shook himself awake and unstrapped himself. The ship was totally dead. No power, no lights. He needed to get out. He needed protection. He needed a weapon. He grabbed the cracked space helmet from the floor and dropped it on his head.

    A quick look outside, and a sleek single passenger Streamliner had landed nearby between him and the droids. The cockpit canopy slid back and immediately thumping heavy reptilian thrash music poured out. An ugly green beast of a creature pushed himself up and out of the cockpit, his head bobbing to the music. The reptile brute jumped down to the ground with a big toothy smile, and a long barrelled laserifle over his shoulder. A Trandoshan bounty hunter.

    “Doof doof bap doof oh yeah babe.” his head bobbed along, “Heeeyyyy book-boy!” he called. “You in there? You alive?”

    Behind him nose-rats followed, perhaps less afraid and more curious than they were before.
    “We gotta talk, man. Yeah. Talk. That's one way to put it. Come on out.”

    Aldus slid down out of sight, in wide eyed terror. He looked around the cabin. Of course there was nothing remotely resembling a weapon.

    “Seriously boy, what we gonna do? You gonna run? Baby baby baaaybeee yeah. A chase could be fun.” he strolled towards Aldus’ ship, bouncing to the beat.

    Aldus sat on the cargo bay floor. What could he do? Was there a way out of this ship without being seen? He had landed the ship in the middle of an open field.
    Aldus shivered, frozen by indecision and helplessness.

    Behind the bounty hunter, the nose-rats were climbing up on his ship, scampering about, curious and whistling to each other. Some climbed into the cockpit and began biting things. Abruptly the music clicked off. The bounty hunter looked back. “Gaarrrh, what? Get out!” his good mood ruined. He lifted his rifle off his shoulder, aimed and blasted a few shots at rodents on the ground. The rats all jumped in surprise and scattered, leaving a few burned carcasses behind.

    He watched them scamper, and turned back to Aldus and his ship.

    “What was that all about book-boy? Filthy rats. Okay. Funtime’s over.” His voice was serious now. He thumped the butt of his rifle twice on the ground, and then armed it with ka-chunk pull on the barrel.

    “Let's get this done.”

    The nose-rats quickly returned, sitting under the bounty hunters Streamliner, watching, chewing on grass. One of them gained some courage and crawled forward. It spat an acid blob in a high arc that landed on the back of the lizard's neck. The bounty hunter span towards them “Grrraaawwwrrr!”, baring his ample teeth. And then the barrage hit him. Dozens of acid spitballs hit his face, blinding him, and as Aldus had done before, he tried to wipe them away, spreading the pain.

    He roared in agony, blasting off random shots that harmlessly flew into the trees as he tried to stagger blindly back to his spacecraft. The nose-rats encircled him and grotted a second volley of nerve agent spitballs. His leg muscles convulsed, tripping him, and dropping him into the grass. And then the rodents jumped upon the toothy predator and showed him their own quite impressive teeth.

    Aldus had been watching through the cockpit window in amazement. It took a few moments to register that he might survive all of this.

    “Gotta go. Get moving Aldus! Hun, I'm coming!” He pushed open the airlock hatch and jumped to the ground and ran. The cracked space helmet rattled loosely on his head as he ran past the screaming bounty hunter covered in rabid rodents. A few looked up at him as he jogged by, but they already had a tasty meal captured. He clambered up onto the wing of the Streamliner. In the cockpit sat a nose-rat that spat a gob of goop directly at his face, splattering on the helmet.

    Carefully he reached a gloved hand in and grabbed it by the scruff of the neck. It snapped and spat, but he managed to lift it out and throw it to the ground. Quickly he jumped in and closed the canopy. “Easy. Easy.”

    Ignition. The engines roared. Pull back on the throttle and the craft flashed upwards.

    Back on the ground, The People feasted.
     
  13. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Twelve.

    Aldus landed the Streamliner on a quiet Outer Rim planet, far away from watching eyes. It was out of the question for him to try and land at any Imperial Spaceport. He sold the ship and gradually smuggled himself on unlicenced freighters back to his homeworld. A journey of half a year and considerable danger to get back to the cool dark skies of Umbara.

    The front door of his home was open, the lock smashed, the house ransacked, and his wife… His wife was nowhere to be seen.
     
  14. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Thirteen.

    “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa AAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”
    “Aaaaahhh. What? Whawhat? Wha? Whaaaaaaaaaa….”

    The morning after the Great Battle, the First God began singing.

    The sun had been up for a while, shining on the huge yellow flower that the Clawless One had planted. Iti was on the back of the God, trying to gnaw off the vine. It was tough and so far she had made no progress.

    The God's head rattled. Was it the wind? Then it's arms began vibrating. It was coming to life? He is coming alive! She squeaked with shock and joy.

    “Firmware boot. Voltage. Vvoltaggggg… Firmware. Boot. Vvvvvv… Boot.”

    Iti jumped off, shocked. People from back in the Cave started to hear the commotion and scampered around the God, staring in awe. It’s head and arms rattled about randomly, like a newborn feeling it's own limbs move for the first time.

    “Hardware Error Zero Eight Zero Zero Zero Zero Zero Zer zer zzzzzzz. Reboot.”

    “It has to the Flower”, Iti whistled.
    “The Clawless One was trying to awaken the Gods. And I chased him away.”

    “Ready. Roger.” The God seemed to have shaken itself awake.

    “Squad C. Attention! Configure Line Formation!”
    “Squad. Attent. At. Ten. What? What? What? Whaaaaaaaaaah. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa….”

    And this was the state the First God stayed in until the sun was high in the sky. Singing this one note.

    Soon the audience surrounding the God joined in with the song. Small furry creatures all Whaaaa-ing along, joining in with the occasional “Woh? Woh? Wojja.”

    After a while even the Pita birds in the trees began to sing their own “Craaaaaaa”, stretching out their wings in praise.

    Iti stood in the center of the God Circle, joyfully watching her Protector, watching her beautiful people. Hopping, spinning with happiness. “I love you all. Our Great Family of Families. Thank you Gods for your gifts!”

    There was no hunting that day. It was all singing, and chattering about Clawless, and Big Teeth, and the Flower, and the New Cave from the Sky. Too much to absorb. What would the First God ask of us now he was awake?

    As the sun set behind the trees, First God grew quieter, then abruptly said “Warning.” and went still and silent.
     
  15. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Fourteen.

    C1D awoke to a flurry of voltage spikes and dropouts. His processing and memory would vanish, leaving corrupted and incomplete thoughts and images, and a difficulty in establishing the true nature of his own existence.

    “I am _blank_ of Squad. What Squad? Who?” Blackness. Reboot.

    Over and over again, trying to get a fix on who he was.
    “My Orders are... are... Roger. What?”

    His corroded circuits just couldn't stabilise his cognitive functions, often locking on a single snip of thought for minutes, which gradually degraded it to mere noise.

    And little furry creatures were staring at him, chanting back to him the thoughts in his head. Were they in his head? Was he saying them out loud? What? Is this real? What? Wha…. Reboot. Blankness. Firmware initialization.

    Every day he would boot up with the first rays of sunlight and gradually assemble some sort of mental stability, to see his squad of furry battledroids assembled before him. He would issue Orders, and they would repeat them back. And that seemed enough. His eye sensors were smeared with berry juice and his thought processes were a mess. It was all C1D could absorb.
    He had his Squad.

    The Sun would go down, and the First God would sleep. Iti would snuggle in his chest cavity, where the Pita birds once nested.

    “Thank you, Our Protector, Our God Who Sings, who binds the People and gives us strength together. One day the Clawless One will return and awaken the Other Gods so that you can sing together and he will bring The People more Caves to keep us warm.”

    And the High Priestess slept in the lap of her God.
     
    Oddly_Salacious likes this.
  16. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Wow. I love the different points of view. Especially the rats. I'm just glad the battle droids didn't see them as a threat and start blasting them right away! Interesting, too, the acid from the berries eating away at him over the years... what will the mythology of the rats be in a hundred generations?

    Very thought provoking!
     
  17. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Fantastic premise and execution. Kudos.
     
  18. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Imaginative and entertaining! Excellent job!
     
    GregMcP likes this.
  19. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Glad somebody found this again and thus reminded me to comment! Though some of the plot details are hazy, I know that I read this a year or two back and thought it incredibly cool. I really enjoyed the wordbuilding around the alien characters, those are always a favorite. :)
     
    GregMcP likes this.
  20. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Thanks @Oddly_Salacious and @Kahara.

    I read it again, and yeah, a good number of things could be described more fully.

    Learning the lesson that just because you see it in your head, it doesn't mean others will see it. You've got detach from your story somehow and read it as others will.

    And if I wrote it now, it would be far for aligned with Canon. Plenty of things where I now think "no, that's not right".

    Anyway, I loved my Battledroids and their Rodents.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
    Oddly_Salacious and Kahara like this.
  21. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    @GregMcP -- Whoops, actually I meant that my memory of the story is a bit fuzzy because it's been a while since I read it! Though I'm sure that anything starts to seem to the writer like it needs a brush-up when it's something you wrote a while ago. One reason I don't reread my own fanfic all that often. :p
     
    Findswoman and GregMcP like this.
  22. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  23. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2005
    This was a story that left me with chin cradled in palm and gesturing to the air --envious, if nothing else. You captured spices of Dean Koontz, Watership Down, the Secret of NIMH, and Stephen King's Night Shift. I think it's worthy of study for other writers here. For example, not only is this detail important for reader-relationship and humor:
    but how you described it and where you placed it in the story are important.
    -O
     
    Kahara likes this.
  24. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    For some reason, this story reminds me of what I remember of Robert Silverberg's Kingdoms of the Wall, in which an alien undertakes a quest to climb to the top of the "world" to meet the gods, and what he finds there.

    I really liked the alternative point of view offered by Iti and her extended family of the "gods" they find, contrasted with the impression Aldus has of them (as abandoned battle droids) later. One of my favorite parts of Star Wars are the alien races and their cultures, and this one was both well thought out and imaginative. Did you base the rodents' ability to mix saliva with the local plant life on anything terrestrial?

    Quite a contrast as well with the outcomes for the two groups -- Aldus returns to destruction, while Iti and her People are overjoyed to find their "god" can now speak to them. I'd be interested in returning to this world in five or ten thousand years to see how the rodents and their culture have evolved because of this....
     
    Findswoman, Kahara and GregMcP like this.