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Saga - Legends The Last Deep Breath [4 ABY, Manaan, OCs]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Oddly_Salacious, Aug 15, 2019.


Would you like another story invloving Mardo Tel and Bess Heiger?

Poll closed Sep 18, 2019.
  1. Yes

    2 vote(s)
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  1. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Grand Master star 1

    Dec 5, 2005
    Galactic Era: Imperial Period
    Time: 4 ABY
    Keywords: Manaan, Mon Calamari, Gotal
    Characters: OCs
    Genre: Suspense, Horror
    Beta Reader: divapilot
    Resources: Star Wars, Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina; Essential Atlas

    The Last Deep Breath
    We all wade in the tides of other events. –Mon Calamari saying.

    Mardo Tel came to realize his fingers were scrabbling on hard metal. The dull chill of deck plating prickled his cheek and he felt the weighty embrace of planetary gravity. He opened his eyes to nothingness. Mardo pushed himself into a seated position, blind.

    "Relax." The voice sparked life into the shapeless void.

    A bang and a mild, muffled curse were followed shortly by a jagged pause, thick and swollen in the dark.

    "You're not blind," the same voice reassured him. Flat intonations. Feminine.

    Mardo reached for a nearby bulkhead and scooted the short distance on his backside. His eyes bulged trying to locate the voice's owner, but absolute night had filled the pilothouse. Mardo swallowed and took silent comfort in the feel of zirconia-strengthened metal.

    "Where are we?" Mardo's voice croaked.

    "A moment. I need to—" another muffled bang, "—throw the breakers."

    Mardo Tel searched his memory of the ship's roster. The captain had been a meaty Corellian hired out of Jackson's Port on the planet Duro; the Medb had been the captain's spaceship. The Medb's capable crew had proven even more capable when enough creds had rolled in front of them. The voice did not belong to the captain nor to what Mardo remembered of the crew. There had been seventeen—no, sixteen others onboard, now with Roland dead.

    "We came down hard." Mardo rubbed a sore spot on his jaw with his clawed hand.

    The soft glow of orange emergency lights crept into the pilothouse. Boxy crew stations, silent terminals, and arched cross-braces resolved in front of his eyes. Across the way, a pair of trouser legs extended from an access panel underneath the engineering dashboard. The knees buckled and the bootheels worked to extricate the lengthy person. A Gotal woman extracted herself and stood, one hand forcing her lower spine to straighten from the toil.

    Mardo blinked.

    "The force cage went offline during the crash," he said.

    Bess Heiger's yellow eyes narrowed on the fish-headed, salmon-colored Calamarian for one searching moment with her lips pressed into a thin line. Then she shrugged. "Evidently."

    Bess Heiger, Dark Jedi and wanted fugitive by the Empire and the Alliance, stamped the heavy work boots on her feet. "Not quite the latest word in high fashion, these. But they'll do. Better than running about in my socks. Some of the equipment lockers popped open in the crash."

    Bess pulled back a shock of her short reddish-brown hair aside with a casual finger. "The bridge's backup generators should last an hour or two on the lowest drain," she said. One hand plucked her lightsaber from atop a nearby communications hub where she had rested it. "A few systems are functioning. Life support, oxygen scrubbers, diagnostic sensors—"

    Mardo grunted and pulled himself to his feet, resigning himself to this latest eddy in his lifestream, a trait characteristic of his Mon Calamari species. Bess was a good deal taller than he, not accounting for the pair of blunt horns on her head that gave her another three-inches. Her long face was set with high cheekbones and a button nose beneath a bony brow ridge. The pinpoints of her dark pupils drank in the light. Male Gotals would trip over one another to get to Bess—should she have it.

    A phantom light swam to the surface of an overhead monitor. The bluish illumination frayed the stale orange air. The Gotal's eyes were yellow, but not angry. They appeared almost the color of soft summer honey.

    "We're five hundred meters underwater," she told him, turning aside to look at the monitor. "There are hull breaches registering on all decks. The bottom three decks are the worst. They're nearly filled with water." She paused. "Pressure doors are holding back most of the flood, but these numbers don't lie. We're sinking."

    Mardo blinked again. "We are half a kilometer under the ocean?"

    "Sums it nicely,” Bess replied. "That said—what happened while I was taking my zapper nap? Starships are supposed to be, you know…” She pointed skywards.

    Mardo moved in beside the Dark Jedi to see the readouts for himself. The warmth of her body reflected on the Mon Cal's chitinous skin. She wore a loose white blouse, a red vest, and a sturdy belt in accompaniment with the work trousers tucked into her boots. Mardo still wore his grey service uniform.

    He rubbed his chin thoughtfully with one webbed hand as he fed system queries into the terminal. "The Medb was flying low circuits out from Ahto City to avoid the Imperial orbital scanners while Roland and I slipped in to arrest you," Mardo told Bess. "A rogue wave must have taken us under. A few low flying transports are pulled out of the ocean each year on Dac that are swamped in a similar fashion.

    "Ah! Good!" he exclaimed. " The Medb's Emergency Response Protocols kicked in and kept us from going deeper. Do you see this?" He pointed a webbed finger at the console. "The liquid tritium reverted and is acting like partial ballast. We can see what is outside in just a second."

    Mardo swiveled one eye to the console while the other fixed on another monitor. The screen flickered to life, sputtered, and then went dark. He whacked the side of the console with a fist.

    Bess frowned and looked forward into the darkened cockpit section. "We could raise the blast shields."

    Shaking his large head to dismiss the idea, Mardo said, "The viewports are likely cracked."

    "In other words, pop those screens and we might be sipping sea water?"


    Mardo tapped another sequence into the console. The dark monitor came back on revealing an eerie deep navy. Then, a lighter blue replaced the navy. "I patched in the infrared scanners,” Mardo explained. “The Medb indicates her hull is teaming with life."

    “There!" Bess pointed to the screen as a massive shadow drifted past the external camera. She whistled softly. "That's one big fish."

    Mardo tapped in a few more sequences before giving up on the submerged spaceship. He turned and leaned against the console. "Swimming to the surface is out of the question for either of us." He raised his webbed hands in a futile gesture. "We are far too deep and lack the appropriate equipment."

    "Not to mention Weemu the Whale and Friends circling us in a suggestive manner."

    Mardo coughed up a gravely chuckle. One of his large eyes flicked to a monitor. "There is a pup-ship in the cargo hold that can reach orbit. We get aboard, fire the sublights, and blow to the surface. Then we can skip off the waves and up into space."

    "Bumpy," Bess said. Her facial expressions and tone, like that of all Gotals, would not portray much emotion. She watched the shadows drift by on the monitor. It was something in her posture that betrayed her tension to Mardo.

    "What is it?" Mardo asked. He was unarmed and could not pose much danger to the Dark Jedi. There was the matter of the arrest, stunning, and putting Bess inside the force cage. Mardo Tel, on the other flipper, should be concerned about her intentions. But he wasn't.

    "Manaan is quiet place," she said, soothing her prominent brow ridge with a finger. "The raw kolto dispersed in the waters suppresses—vibrations? Emanations? Perceptions." Bess tried describing the complex sensations that she could receive through her cranial horns. "It's one reason I fled here after—" Bess stopped herself short, "—well, after."

    "We will take it one stroke at a time," Mardo answered.

    "Was there no sign of the crew?" he asked, changing the subject as he entered a new sequence into the ship's informational database. "Most stayed behind at Attahox so we could complete the run to Manaan in total secrecy. They were all humans and Twi'leks."

    Bess had walked less than fifty meters from the makeshift brig up to the pilothouse in a ship rivaling the size of a small cruiser. Mardo vaguely recalled the ship's layout as he had spent most of the dull voyage through hyperspace in his quarters, here in the pilothouse, or playing sabacc in the galley with Roland and some of the crew. He pulled up the ship schematics.

    "There are three dead in there—I think." Bess said, tipping her head towards the cockpit. "I found two more dead in the passageway coming here to the bridge. The rest must either be dead or trapped in damaged sections. But," she added, "humans were always more of a hum than a buzz to me." She rejoined Mardo at the monitor and engrossed herself in the ship's schematics placing her hands on her hips.

    "The Medb is a MandalMotors cargo vessel," Mardo said. "There is armor enough to fly into a battle zone and quick-drop either cargo or troops."

    "It's a straight shot down this long corridor—" Bess pointed to a large juncture several decks below the neck of the pilothouse, "—to the main cargo hold here." She traced her finger along the corridor to an empty space near the rear of the ship. "We can join into the main corridor right here." She tapped a juncture in the midst of tangled lines.

    Mardo studied the route. He nodded slowly. "The reactor will have shut down. With the power grid offline throughout the ship, we have some climbing to do."


    A dazzling beam of opaque white and blue plasma punched through the darkness. Bess led with her ignited lightsaber serving as their torch. Beyond the protective enclosure of the pilothouse, a jungle of dangling foil conduits and wiry vines greeted them. Loose deck plates muttered under their footsteps.

    "We must have rolled a few times," Mardo said, stepping around a spilt storage cabinet. Data chits crunched under his boot heels.

    "I spotted a lift over here earlier," Bess said. She moved nearer to a pair of sealed doors and rapped her knuckles on them. The noise was resoundingly hollow—distant and discomforting in the emptiness of the upper decks. Mardo and Bess pried the doors wide enough apart until Bess could stick her head and a shoulder into the space beyond. She waved her lightsaber around in the vacant shaft.

    "The lift car is submerged down at the bottom,” she called back. “We can still climb down to main deck by the service ladder. It's our quickest option."

    Mardo and Bess stepped out into another empty corridor a few minutes later. It was high, wide, and straight—designed for quick movement of material and troops: the Medb’s aorta.

    Bess went first with her lightsaber held higher in the new darker dark. She motioned for Mardo to stay close to her and hug the wall. She could not voice it, but some instinct told Bess to move silently. At one point, she snapped off her lightsaber and pulled Mardo in next to her; both of them keeping frozen behind a sausage-like storage tank bracketed to the wall.

    She lingered at side hatches and quested their trustworthiness with her stronger night vision and strange detections. Sounds drifted up those passages: lonesome voices of softening metal and mechanical stress. Some passages would exhale a moistened breath that gave the amphibious Mardo Tel peculiar sensations which he did not care for.

    "We must move with more haste," he whispered. A creature of shallow warm waters, white sandy beaches, and lagoons; his was a species attuned to having UV light in its eyes, afeared of the deep dark places in his home ocean, who had learned to breathe both air and water for good reason.

    "Quiet!" Bess whispered. "Something comes."

    Slowly, Bess bent and placed her thrumming lightsaber on the deck plates. Then, gripping Mardo by the upper arm, she ran him across to the other side of the expanse. She pulled Mardo down onto his knobby knees beside her. The lightsaber appeared like a small and lonely blue flare.

    Presently, something did come. Insectial. Jointed. Quick beyond logic. A pale creature with dozens of tiny legs undulating in a swift, fluid motion. It snaked into the ring of blue-white light to expose a round head with unseeing eyes arranged like nodules of blistered milk. Thin antennae flicked the air in an obsessive, perverse tickle. Where a mouth might have been, eight fingers of waxy keratin steepled and tapped and pointed at one another in frenzied delight.

    An antenna gently curved and touched the abandoned weapon; it caressed the hilt; it rolled the lightsaber back and forth so that the plasma beam fled and fell back. To the right. To the left. The lightsaber came to a rest again. Whipper-flick, whipper-flick went the antennae.

    Mardo's dry mouth was moving in silent prayer. Fear had blossomed white hot in his chest. Childhood nightmares scrolled before his eyes.

    I am the Burath Shardoul of Syblsis.
    I move in the dark space.
    Searching for something tasty.
    Searching—searching, my endless chase.
    Ah! I will eat your face.
    Eat your face.
    A childish game now given flesh. Mardo's large fish eyes were wide and his mouth hung slack. His empty hand felt lonely without a gun.

    The thing turned and sped away, clickity-clicking back down into the blackness from where it had come. Mardo's hung breath turned into a croaking expulsion. Bess Heiger grabbed Mardo's wrist and drew him to his feet, freeing him of his paralysis. She called to the lightsaber through the Force and it sped to her waiting hand.

    "Let's go."

    "—And so, I eventually learned to shield my mind from the electromagnetic emanations of droids and computers. The occasional load-lifter gives me a headache, usually because it needs a tune up," Bess was saying.

    They had found a storeroom just off the main corridor, and in it, supplies for their escape. Food, potable water—and a few modest weapons. Bess crouched, her strong Gotal arms sifting through a packing container pulled from a supply closet. She tossed Mardo another emergency meal ration to stuff into a requisitioned duffle bag. A small electric lamp sat on a table and lent the small room an almost comfortable atmosphere. "It was nice to find Manaan a place of peace and quiet."

    Mardo looked at the blaster cradled in his large hands. Bess, with her back towards him, stopped her rummaging.

    "I had called for a ceasefire, " she said quietly. "The garrison commanders were speaking to the soldiers about terms of surrender, but the local rebel sympathizers went ahead and launched their attack. Seeing flames rise above the base, the rest of the community joined in the revolt. The Imperials inside the base were outnumbered and outgunned." Bess's sigh was weighted in hard defeat.

    "The Alliance had been supplying the insurgents for months with munitions for an uprising," she said. "I had to protect those in the base. Fourteen died by my hand before the mob retreated."

    Bess slowly unclipped her lightsaber from her belt and handed it back blindly to the Mon Calamari. "With the rebel cell exposed, an Imperial squadron swept in from hiding and firebombed the community. In my fear, I ran like a coward and made enemies of both sides. First was the Alliance, who labeled me a Dark Jedi. Then I was branded as a personal threat to the Emperor and a traitor to the Empire when I didn't come to heel."

    Mardo turned the weapon in his hand. Scales of a darkly stained wood inlaid the metal hilt. It was surprisingly heavy for such a simple construction. True artistry showed in its design: lethal and elegant; every element sufficient to its task. The red ignition button sat just above his thumb.

    "You didn't have to ask," Bess said as she rose and faced him. Touching a horn lightly, she said, "I don't mean to pry. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming—especially after long times of being alone."

    Mardo's large eyes swiveled and fixed on the Dark Jedi. In one hand he held her Jedi weapon, and in the other, his gun.

    Bess Heiger laughed a hollow laugh. Her yellow eyes glinted in the lamplight. "I am old: a strange gift from an even stranger Jedi Master. Or a curse—I cannot recall the faces of my family." She pointed to the lightsaber. "That was given to me by Master Melioken before the Order fell and the Empire rose. Before these dark days," she waved a hand in the empty air. "Melioken said not to imitate evil, but I am accused of the greatest of it. I am a betrayer."

    Mardo flipped the lightsaber over and offered it back to Bess with the blade emitter faced towards him. "Now is not the time for this," he said, surprising her.

    Mardo drew in a large swallowing breath. "The Alliance branded you as a renegade, and I was obligated to arrest you for your crimes at Atzerri. I completed that mission."

    "Your companion—"

    "Roland and I swore oaths to the Antarian Rangers," Mardo said. "A name not unknown to the Gotal and the Jedi of old. The Rangers assist the Alliance and anyone who rebukes the evils of the galaxy. Even still, we do not serve the Alliance and keep our numbers hidden except to those who have proven themselves as trustworthy. I have not personally experienced a Jedi and will not judge your alignments based on your past actions.

    "Roland died because he misjudged a trap," Mardo continued—he might have shrugged if he were a human. "You warned us not to enter your chambers." Mardo's left eye swiveled to the storeroom door opened just wide enough where they could slip through in case the ship buckled. "I understand your need for such traps."

    Bess Heiger smiled with her eyes and took her lightsaber back from Mardo. She clipped it back in its place on her belt.

    "It is funny—" Mardo started, but Bess suddenly rushed him. In fact, the entire room seemed to rush towards Mardo. He toppled over backwards as Bess grabbed for an open locker to keep from falling into him. Mardo scrambled to his hands and knees in the slanting room.

    "We're sinking!" Bess yelled.

    One of the ship's heavy engine pods had broken loose or a forward pressure door had given way to the flood the nose of the craft. Whichever, the ship canted sharply to the bow end. But then, just as suddenly, the floor surged up under their feet as the ship leveled again. Loud bangs, pops, and groans echoed throughout the ship. Stuttering vibrations rippled in the metalworks. The ship was entering its death throes.

    "The Medb is releasing ballast to stay level. We will sink more quickly!" Mardo shouted. "We must get to the cargo hold!"

    Bess grabbed the duffle and swung it over her shoulder, and they ran out into the corridor heedless of anyone or anything that would challenge their lamp or lightsaber. "The central elevator is just ahead!" She shouted. "Go to the companionway on the nearer side!"

    A loud whine screeched through the main passage. Bess slowed and cocked her head as if listening. Mardo matched her pace and raised his lamp to see the Gotal's face. "Something is happening in the cargo hold," she said. "I sense a presence—" she trailed off.

    "Quickly!" Bess ran to the door of the stairway. "Over here."

    The door was cold with moisture from the deep chill spreading through the iron and steel bones of the Medb and the latch protested in Bess's hand. The door had snuggled into the buckled framework.

    Door and hinge ripped free, swept aside with a simple Force gesture from Bess's hand. "Now is not the time for stuck doors either," she called back to Mardo.

    "There's water at the bottom," Beth said as they started down the steep stairs. The rebellious ship zagged to the left and threw them both into the bulkhead. The lamp tumbled out of Mardo's hand and made bizarre light patterns dance around them. Then the waters erupted.

    Scores of black sea scorpions clambered out of the water at the bottom of the companionway. The primitive creatures carried their serrated claws high, opening slowly and closing, eager for the tender meats nearby. The light from Bess's lightsaber glittered blue-black on their shiny carapaces.

    With a yell, Bess blasted the first-comers with a massive Force pulse wave, crunching exoskeleton and exploding them. She leapt down the remaining stairs into the tilting passageway. Water swirled over her feet.

    Bess's lightsaber whirled into the ranks of sea bugs surfing the tide down towards her. The saber returned to her hand and Bess bent backwards, slicing down more down two more sea scorpions racing along the ceiling. The saber deactivated and reactivated as she completed a circular arc over and around her body in the narrow hall. The perfectly timed ignition skewered the next sea scorpion in mid-leap. Bess flipped the hilt over and stabbed into the bug skittering up behind her.


    Mardo reached up the steep stairway to steady himself as he unbuttoned the blaster in his belt holster. He brushed an errant cobweb out of his face. Looking up, the pale millipede creature from earlier greeted him. Its antennae brushed again against his face, tracing Mardo's cheek in a lover's caress. The mouthparts quivered and beckoned in excitement. They swam over his grip and Mardo felt the searing pain as the creature ate two of his fingers.

    Mardo gurgled in pain, lost his footing, and bounced down a few steps. He stuck a foot in the railing and swung his freed blaster at the beast. The butt of the gun crunched through the paper-thin head and warm sticky pus flowed over his wounded hand. Mardo yelled again—this time in deep disgust—and the sharp retort from his blaster finished off the pursuit.


    Bugs were surging in the hallway below, too many to defeat with a single lightsaber. Bess's strong grip encircled Mardo's jointed ankle and one rubber sole of her work boots stamped the nearby wall. Bess freed her other hand and let loose with chaotic strands of Force-generated lightning.


    Water was streaming into the passageway from low vents in the bulkheads. The steady rise of the flood and the uphill angle of the deck forced Bess into surging strides. Mardo had kicked off his shoes to expose his large webbed feet. His equally adapted hands stroked through the water like paddles. Soon, he was bracing Bess against the watery onrush with his arm and shoulder.

    "I remember this hallway," Mardo croak-breathed. "Another short ladder will lead us down to the floor of the cargo bay. If all this water is coming from there, then the hold must be filling." He gulped more air into his lungs. The sea water had an oily taint and he didn't want to breathe it in until he had to.

    Bess nodded and lifted her lightsaber a little higher. She could see the cargo hatch now.

    Their feet splatted in shallow water on the landing of the cargo bay stairs. Near at hand, a towering waterfall tumbled and roared out of the blackness, churning the makeshift lake in the cargo bay with a briny sea smell. Across the bay, the dim outline of the scout craft bobbled along. A tiny light floated above the topside hull.

    "There's someone on the ship!" Bess shouted over the loud voice of the waterfall.

    Mardo's eye swiveled and scanned the inrush of water; his other eye focused on the distant ship. "The atmospheric vents are open," he shouted back to her, pointing fruitlessly up at the unseen source. "Pressure in here must equal the pressure outside before the ramp can open!"

    "Is it too late to tell you that I can't swim?" Bess laughed, looking at the dark choppy water.

    Mardo's eyes had narrowed on the distant ship. "Leave that to me."

    There are few creatures—certainly amongst the galaxy's sentient races—that rival the Mon Calamari in the act of swimming. Mardo led Bess down the steps until only his elongated head and large, fish-like eyes stuck above the water. He waved at Bess to follow him in. The touch of water was freezing to Bess, causing her to suck in her breath involuntarily. With surprising gentleness, Mardo turned Bess around in the water, caught her under her arm with one of his, and centered the large duffle bag on her chest. Then, with a mighty kick, they sped out into the flooded bay.


    The hold would be completely filled soon. He could see the ceiling when he flashed his handheld light on it. The ship was floating high in the water. Of that he was grateful.

    What an insidious world, this Manaan. The warm ocean had sparkled under a tropical sun. –On hot Ryloth, the sun created heat storms that scoured flesh from bone. Then came a moving mountain of water that swatted the Mebd and its crew down, down into these hellish depths. He had hidden, he had crawled. Whimpering to himself, he had kept moving. He had watched the corpses of friends being torn and eaten, and had hoped that they had died first.

    A unique sound touched his ear. He shifted a lekku over his shoulder, his small eyes feverishly searching the lake he was creating. Something shifted the water. Something swam towards him. Something with large, lamp-like eyes that flashed emerald under the white beam of his flashlight. Cami'rytha raised his blaster and fired.

    He squinted down the blaster sights for many handfuls of seconds, watching the gloom to see if the thing would resurface. At last, Cami'rytha holstered his gun and turned to finish the preparations for his flight to the surface and beyond.

    Mardo and Bess—Bess sputtering for air under one of Mardo's arms—burst up through the water. Mardo leveled his own blaster and shot Cami'rytha twice in the chest, dropping the surprised Twi'lek. The Mon Cal swam up to the dipping wing of the scout ship and pushed Bess up on to it. He passed her the duffle before climbing onto the wing himself.

    "He's alive," Bess said, picking up the light and shining it on the Twi'lek.

    "Zapper nap," Mardo said, joining her. He knelt and searched the Twi'lek's light blue face. "I know this man. This is Cami'rytha, the chief engineer. A good man. We must have frightened him." Mardo swiveled an eye towards Bess and pointed a flipper hand at his large head. The corners of his mouth creased in a tight smile.

    "Let's get him onboard," Bess said.


    The little spaceship was ready for its short submarine voyage. Bess came back from the nose of the craft to where Mardo was waiting in the scout ship's open ventral hatch. "The manual release is set," she told him. "I felt the locking mechanisms open. The ramp will drop with a nudge from the Force."

    It was snug and dry in the cockpit. Mardo manoeuvred around into the pilot's chair, flipped on the navigation lights, and set the launch sequence. Behind them, Cami'rytha snored softly in his seat straps. Bess stared through the forward viewports from the co-pilot's seat—into the blue void beyond.

    "The hold is filled," she said in a voice hovering just above whisper. Her head bent forward; Bess dipped her short sensitive horns towards the boarding ramp's release out there in the cold water. Her hand dropped on top of Mardo's hand gripping the throttle levers. It would be a mad, wild dash to the surface. "Ready," she said.

    One second. Two seconds. Three. Then Mardo said,

    "Punch it."

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  2. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    You've packed so much character development into this short story that it's amazing. I love the strength of Bess, the resourcefulness of Mardo, even the desperate fear of Cami'rytha. This, especially, is visceral:
    I can see this so clearly! It reminds me of the survivors of the Indianapolis, who survived the loss of their ship only to see their crewmates devoured by sharks.

    The ambiguous ending adds to the story. Did they make it out? Were they successful? In the end, they gave everything they had to give themselves the best chance of survival, and taking Cami'rytha along (snoring in the background) shows their character, the kind of people they are - the kind worth saving.
  3. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Grand Master star 1

    Dec 5, 2005
    Mardo, Bess, and Cami'rytha did make it out and lived to hound the Hutts in another part of the galaxy. [face_whistling]
    Thank you for your insights during beta! Your suggestions helped to make this pop.
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  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Glad to see this up! It was an engaging and riveting read—I agree with diva that you definitely packed a lot of good characterization into a short story. There are so many uncertainties here, so many precarious moments: the limited time both Mardo and Bess have to get clear of the shipwreck, the intentions of that tentacled monster (which actually doesn't seem all that outright dangerous in the end, though our heroes have no idea of that, of course!), the almost cliffhanger-like ending (will they all be safe?), the whole situation of the captor (Mardo) and erstwhile captive (Bess) having to work together to survive, especially given their very different physiologies and abilities—she's got the Jedi skills and the lightsaber, but he can swim, and that's at least as important. One really does get the feeling of "wading in the tides of events" and of an ever ebbing and flowing lifestream—the sea and the story are metaphors of each other, kind of. Bravo on another well-written and thought-provoking story, and it definitely would be fantastic to see these characters again! =D=
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  5. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Grand Master star 1

    Dec 5, 2005
    Mardo & Bess #2 is past the first draft (approx. 3rd draft), but I might let it sit for a spell. Getting LDB released was a relief as the base story itself had sat for so long waiting on the right mix. I want to make sure that a second issue truly captures yet furthers character development while injecting some more adventure.

    Thank you for your comments and compliments!
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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