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Beyond - Legends Before - Legends Saga - Legends Whiskers' One-Shots - Updated 8/25 w/ Chasing Ghosts (Late 2016 OC Challenge Response)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by whiskers, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    New Update

    Chasing Ghosts

    I've written down a lot of potential ideas for fics that don't really need a full post, so I've taken the idea of several other authors here and created a notebook thread, if you will. Most of the stories posted here will be one-shots and below 2,000 words in length.

    ***

    Table of Contents
    Title: A New Hope Infinities: Dignity
    Characters: Mon Mothma, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine.
    Timeline: Months after A New Hope (AU)
    Summary: Being led to her execution, Mon Mothma has plenty of time to gather her thoughts as the rebellion will seemingly die with her.

    ***

    Title: Heroes of a Different Sort: A Clone Wars Tale
    Characters: Battle Droid OCs
    Timeline: Final year of the Clone Wars.
    Summary: Leading his hovertanks, a droid commander must keep his droids alive as they encounter a Republic trap.

    ***

    Title:Memories and Thoughts of the Future
    Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, R2-D2.
    Timeline: A New Hope "missing scene."
    Summary: While travelling to Alderaan to help the Rebellion, Obi-Wan meditates on his past and upon the future ahead.

    ***

    Title: Dark Forces: Anoat Sunset
    Characters: Kyle Katarn, Jan Ors, Moff Rebus.
    Timeline: 1 ABY
    Summary: On board with their new prisoner, the crew of the Moldy Crow deals with how they captured him, and where to put him.

    ***

    Title: X-Wing: The Three That Lived
    Characters: Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, Keyan Farlander, Lynia Delline.
    Timeline: Immediately following A New Hope.
    Summary: At the celebration following the destruction of the Death Star, the three pilots that managed to survive meet and talk about friends lost in the assault.

    ***

    Title: Another Typical Evening on Nar Shaddaa
    Characters: Ceth Mascor (OC), Nimax and Jermat Jabuck (OCs), Portian'icol (OC).
    Timeline: 3,996 BBY
    Summary: A Jedi shadow and his two smuggler hangers-on hire a mercenary to return to their ship after a theft from a Hutt has gone somewhat sour, but things aren't as they seem. First Sentence Challenge Entry.

    ***

    Title: The Ashes of Mother Jungle
    Characters: Orren Mernos (OC), Biran (OC)
    Timeline: 31 ABY
    Summary: An Ithorian Jedi takes his apprentice with him to the first Great Herd Meet after the destruction of Ithor during the Yuuzhan Vong War. There they discover that some wounds may be hard to heal.

    ***

    Title: The Rising Threat
    Characters: Lumiya.
    Timeline: Immediately following Return of the Jedi
    Summary: While training on Ziost, the nascent Sith Lady, Lumiya, realizes her new powers and responsibilities in a galaxy without the Emperor or Darth Vader.

    ***

    Title: Han Solo and the Ash Beast of C1360
    Characters: Han Solo, Chewbacca
    Timeline: 4 BBY
    Summary: Forced down by an Imperial patrol ship on an uncharted planet, Han Solo and Chewbacca must contend with an alien foe, and find a way off the planet!

    ***

    Title:Young Jedi Knights: Training Flight
    Characters: Jaina Solo, Wurth Skidder, Keyan Farlander, Corran Horn.
    Timeline: Circa 24 ABY
    Summary: A training flight at the Jedi Praxeum becomes an unexpected lesson for Jaina Solo.

    ***

    Title: Rebirth: An A New Hope Infinities Tale
    Characters: Admiral Ackbar
    Timeline: Minutes after Dignity
    Summary: After the execution of Mon Mothma, Admiral Ackbar has some very difficult decisions to make.

    ***

    Title: The Rain-Soaked Reign
    Characters: Lumiya, Flint, Anakin Skywalker
    Timeline: Days post The Rising Threat
    Summary: Upon learning of the death of her master, Darth Vader, Lumiya returns to his castle on Vjun and encounters Vader's other apprentice.

    ***

    Title: Rogue Squadron: Ground Support
    Characters: Luke Skywalker
    Timeline: 1 ABY, approximately 1 month following the N64/PC Rogue Squadron video game.
    Summary: While on duty on a desert planet, the Rogues are assigned to protect Rebel ground troops during an Imperial attack!

    Title: ANH Infinities: Routine Mission
    Characters: Kyle Katarn, Jan Ors
    Timeline: Roughly a year after Dignity.
    Summary: While on a simple mission for what's left of the rebellion, Kyle Katarn and Jan Ors realize that things aren't as they seem.

    Title: Young Jedi Knights: The Jungle Ruins
    Characters: Jacen Solo
    Timeline: Roughly 24 ABY
    Summary: A companion piece to YJK: Training Flight, Jacen Solo takes an early morning excursion into the jungles of Yavin IV to capture an image of another animal for his already extensive collection, and runs into a reminder of the jungle planet's violent past.

    Title: The Long Road to Recovery
    Characters: Alexis Wentlas, Galen Wentlas
    Timeline: Weeks after the events of Breakout
    Summary: After escaping from an Imperial prison camp, a young rebel realizes that her recovery won't be an easy one.

    Title: Conclusions: An ANH Infinities Tale
    Characters: Leia Organa, Darth Vader, Thrawn
    Timeline: One year post-Dignity.
    Summary: While training a captive Leia Organa, Darth Vader senses something familiar in his young ward.

    Title: The Saijo Aftermath
    Characters: Lumiya
    Timeline: Months after the Battle of Endor
    Summary: Laying in defeat after the Battle of Saijo, Dark Lady of the Sith Lumiya attempts to regain her strength and regroup

    Title:The Lost Hope, An ANH Infinities Tale
    Characters: Galen Wentlas, Hol Land, Anya Wentlas
    Timeline: Hours after Battle of Yavin
    Summary: An Alliance admiral reacts upon hearing the news of the rebellion's defeat on Yavin IV. Inspired by 21 Guns for the Chart Hits challenge.


    Title: Dignity
    Timeline:: Post A New Hope (Infinities timeline)
    Characters: Mon Mothma, Darth Vader, Leia Organa, Emperor Palpatine


    Dignity

    The auburn-haired woman sat silently in her small grey cell, eyes staring straight towards the magnetically sealed door. Her exhausted breaths came as evenly as she could bear to make them, hitching every now and then as a slight spasm of pain rushed over her.

    The torture hadn't always been physical. That had been reserved for each and every rebel that had been captured by the Empire while she had been forced to watch. Every question that was asked of her aides, captured pilots, even semi-civilians that had been manning bars and mess halls on their captured ships were directed towards her as well. It could end with a single answer, the dual interrogators had asked. Anyone that had any real knowledge had died before breaking, true to their training and their cause.

    She had led the Rebellion as part of an ever-shrinking triumvirate for two years. Differences of opinion between herself and Garm Bel Iblis had led to his departure and the very battle station that had captured her had claimed the life of Bail Organa.

    Somewhere it had all gone wrong, the last minute defensive strike against the Death Star had failed and their base on Yavin destroyed with the survivors of the first low-powered shot being captured shortly thereafter.

    The door hissed open, a harsh rush of air entered the prison cell and blew the folds of her stained white robes lightly. The dark and demonic figure that stood in front of her had once frightened her as it did almost every other sane being in the galaxy. Now his raspy artificial breath and tusked helmet sent no feeling over her save for relief. It would all be over soon.

    "Mon Mothma," Darth Vader said. His voice was a metallic bass that reverberated throughout the small room. "It's time."

    She stood from her cot and straightened her robes as best she could. Mon Mothma closed her eyes and took as deep a breath as she dared with her bruised ribs. "Lead the way, Lord Vader."

    The walk from the Imperial Palace's to the nearby Monument Plaza was long and she feared that her legs would give out from under her, sending her frail form sprawling onto the ground. The Imperials that watched her from the lens of the holocam droid that hovered in front of them would have loved that sight, she thought, the leader of the fallen and scattered Rebellion utterly humiliated. One last thing before her death that would make their cause the laughingstock of the galaxy and add to the futility of it all. She would not give them that pleasure.

    Monument Plaza loomed large on the surface of Coruscant, the statues of the heroes of the Republic long ago replaced by effigies of Palpatine and other Imperial heroes. A holoimage of Grand Moff Tarkin was the latest addition to the crop, awaiting the sculpting of a physical testament to his recent victory. Mon Mothma watched as a flock of columbiform birds scattered away from the ground, one of them leaving a pile of droppings on the emitter.

    The crowd was staunchly Imperial, immaculate in their finest dress uniforms while the general public's view of the proceedings would be broadcast live throughout the galaxy via the HoloNet on every single channel.

    Palpatine stood proudly on a center dais, his grey and wrinkled skin peering out of his voluminous black robes. His sickly yellow eyes beamed down upon her and a cackle escaped his lips. Standing next to the Emperor, looking resolute in a grey jumpsuit, was Bail's daughter Leia. She looked down at Mon Mothma, a hint of pity in her eyes.

    "Citizens of the Empire," Palpatine began. "Due to the efforts of Grand Moff Tarkin and Lord Vader, the leader of the terrorists that have brought war to the Empire has now been captured!" The assembled crowd applauded loudly and the faintest of curses and jeers caught Mon Mothma's ears.

    Her blue eyes stared into the camera lens of the closest droid, staring into the virtual eyes of every one that was watching. The Rebels that had survived were watching, of that she had every confidence of. They would vanish as best they could, some fighting in small hit and run attacks as they had when the war had first started and some would wait until the time presented itself, if it ever did. Every single being that had raised the crimson phoenix banner of the Alliance Starbird knew that they did so at the risk of their own lives. Every one had been expendable. Even herself.

    Darth Vader stepped along side of her, gauntleted hands resting upon his belt as Palpatine's speech continued, close to the onyx metal hilt of his lightsaber. That same blade had killed an untold amount of Jedi and had ended the life of her Senate colleague Fang Zar so many years ago. Those names would be good company to be in, she thought.

    "Citizens of the Empire, see now what becomes of those that threaten peace!" Palpatine's closing remarks sent the audience into a wild applause. The loud ovation nearly masked the hissing as Darth Vader's lightsaber ignited. The hum of a hundred bees filled her ear as the audience died down.

    "Do you have anything to say?" Darth Vader asked. It was a last minute plea for mercy that he was expecting, she thought, or a blubbering plea for her life that would rob her of any of the sparse dignity that she had left.

    "Long live the Republic," she said. There was a flash of red light and then no more.

    NOTES
    * The idea for this story came along while reading the A New Hope Infinities comic series. In it, Luke's torpedoes do not cause the reaction necessary to destroy the Death Star and the Alliance present on Yavin are captured as they make their escape (the shot did manage to lower the power on the superlaser)
    * Fang Zar's death at the hands of Darth Vader is from Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by the great James Luceno.
     
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  2. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Ooh. I like the idea of this. It's really interesting!
    Very potent and poetic, Mon Mothma is perfection!

    I am curious about what Leia's purpose is - prisoner? Did Vader figure things out? Did something happen?

    Looking forward to more of these little snippets! :)
     
  3. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    I really tried my best to get Mon Mothma's character down, especially since this is the last we'll see of her in this continuity. I felt that she wouldn't be the one to plead for mercy or try and make a big scene if she were to be captured and executed, so that's what I showed here.

    Leia was captured along with a few other rebels on Yavin as their transports were surrounded by Darth Vader. The comic is a little vague as to how Vader sensed her Force-sensitivity then as opposed to when he had her captive just days earlier, but I guess he somehow did. She is a prisoner, but Vader appears to be grooming her for something more...

    I have a few more stories to tell in this Infinities storyline, mainly because the author of the comic didn't go beyond any of the characters save for the main characters and villains (with the exception of a Vilmar Ghrack cameo), and there are a lot of stories to tell in that comic's timeframe. With that said, I'll certainly revisit this AU (and others) from time to time when the muse hits me.

    Thank you for reading!
     
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh, Whiskers! That is so incredibly chillingly plausible!!!! =D= =D= Love AUs :cool: & will be following along.
     
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  5. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    I loved the original comic from the moment that I read it, and I just wanted to expand on it. I also felt that Palpatine was certainly the type of jerk that would stage a public execution for the captured Rebel leader.

    I certainly love the creative freedom that AUs offer. Perhaps that's also why I love writing OCs.

    Now, a word or two of warning: this is an anthology of generally unrelated fics. I almost certainly will visit this continuity again, however.
     
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  6. NightWatcher91

    NightWatcher91 Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 7, 2014
    This is great I think you did an awesome job and I look forward to more!
     
  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Ooh, there's just something about a good honorable-death story... :D (Sorry if that sounded morbid; it's just that I have two such stories in my own short stories thread, so I have a bit of a soft spot.)

    That said, there's always something ever so slightly eerie about the kind of martyr who takes his or her death so incredibly calmly. But much of that just has to do with the extreme nature of the situation such martyrs usually find themselves in (and the Empire of this era is nothing if not extreme) and the fact that the martyr is so often reflecting something greater than just himself or herself. Which M. M. is doing here, with incredible dignity and calm. Even just that sets her so far above everything her captors stand for.

    Wonderful details throughout of the crowd, the emperor, everyone's clothing, the plaza, etc. I like how you bring out the visual contrasts between Imperial gray and black and M. M.'s white dress (albeit a bit bloodstained) and auburn hair and the crimson Starbird—continuing the motifs of the classic Rebel/Imperial visual contrast that is set up so beautifully in the films. And the white dress also recalls some of those paintings and sculptures of early female martyrs here on Earth.

    The flock of columbiform birds was a striking image (even the one that pooped, which seemed to fit with the situation perfectly somehow). Besides the peace symbolism of doves, I was put in mind of the imagery of the calf and the swallow in that song "Dona dona":



    I'm intrigued by Leia's presence here, too, and especially by the way she almost seems to be looking sympathetically at Mon Mothma; I seem to remember that in Infinities she [hl=black]ends up as Vader's apprentice[/hl], though in this story it looks like she hasn't totally been won over yet. I wonder what thoughts were going through her head on seeing Mon Mothma being led past, and vice versa—and what Vader might think about such smidges of sympathy being present [hl=black]in his soon-to-be apprentice[/hl].

    It's so fantastic to see you starting a short-stories thread, too! Looking forward to more. :)
     
  8. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    Morbid? No, I don't think so. I've always had a bit of a soft spot as well for stories where the heroes die, but for a great cause.

    She knows that there's no hope for her, and that to do anything else would lessen the sacrifice of so many people: Padme, Bail, Fang Zar and everyone else that she had essentially sent to their deaths in the cause of restoring the Republic.

    I wanted that contrast to exist, not only in the colors of the Imperial uniforms compared to Mon Mothma's white robes and the color of everything else about the Rebellion, but also in the condition of their dress and demeanor. Mon Mothma is disheveled compared to the pristine dress uniforms of the witnesses, but very calm while Palpatine's practically cackling like the madman he is up on his podium.

    While not only adding a slight moment of comic relief when the bird craps on the statue, the ancient philosophy about the Mandate of Heaven was also in my mind. Yeah, Palpatine may have seemingly won, but the Force is always there and it will regroup.

    I put Leia in there as both a link to the comic and how her future apprenticeship will progress. I see Leia right here as right in between the spectrum: she's dressed in grey compared to the white we're used to seeing and the very dark uniform she wore in the comics.

    Well, I had so many story ideas and half-written ones that I decided to go ahead and do it!
     
  9. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    EPPUR SI MUOVE!

    This was...crazy. In a good way. This was...painful. In a way that makes one think. You have given a wonderful spin to a series that is often underlooked and a honourable, believable death to a character that just didn't get enough time to even have any development going on in the OT.

    And all of the other things I wanted to say, Finds said before me. *shrug*

    Glad you have a short story thread, by the way.
     
  10. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    She had very few lines in the movies and was really only fleshed out (like so many other characters) in the books, etc. Even then, she was mainly relegated to a side character.

    Always good to have you as a reader.
     
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  11. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    Write that this thread is mainly for stories under 1,500 words and the next one immediately goes to nearly 2,000...

    The following is a Clone Wars story from a side that doesn't get a whole lot of attention: the battle droids. Heavily inspired by WWII armored tactics and actually blocked out using my wargaming minis, I present "Heroes of a Different Sort."

    ***

    Title:Heroes of a Different Sort
    Characters:: OC battle droids.
    Timeframe: The final year of the Clone Wars.


    The statistical odds of surviving in a hovertank decreased drastically as one entered an urban environment. Every broken window and busted door was the potential hiding place for a clone trooper armed with a blaster cannon. OOM-0110 sat in the turret of his Baktoid-made armored assault tank, photoreceptors staring deeply into the holoperiscope in front of him. The tall buildings of Selvernos's capital city of Gevest made snipers a possibility, each of them waiting in their nests for a shot to present itself.

    All of these dangers made the command droid stick to the limited vision of the holoperiscope instead of standing up and enjoying the unobstructed view that being outside the canopy would give him. "Keep moving," he ordered. A crossroads was ahead, the junction of two of the main thoroughfares of the large city. Abandoned landspeeders lay where their owners had fled from them when the battle for the city had began days before.

    The AAT hummed towards the junction, bouncing lightly as the hovertank's repulsors lifted it up on the derelicts that littered the road. Past the large road, five meters away from the edge of the road, the laser-blasted ruins of an apartment complex loomed. It had been brightly colored once, 0110 saw, the telltale signs of paint residue invisible to a human's eye, but not to the multi-spectrum photoreceptors of a droid. "Halt!" he called out. Behind his slate-gray tank striped with sooty camouflage, the three other hovertanks behind him came to a stop.

    0110 studied the building, zooming in on the ruins of the hotel and switching frequencies to gain every possible advantage. There was nothing wrong with the building in any of the droid's visual spectrums, but his servobrain screamed that there was a 65% chance of an ambush coming from that specific building.

    "Infantry, move forward to the edge of that building." The hovercarriers following behind the large profiled hovertanks lumbered their way forward. They were large blocks of alusteel, a rectangle just over 6 meters in length that tapered down in height over the engine of the craft. 0110 watched intently as the open-topped armored transports moved to the opening of the building and the skeletal battle droids poured out with a loud "Roger, roger!" Inside of a ring-shaped armored core at the transport's front, nervous looking droids held their heavy repeating blasters close, aiming at the building's openings.

    "Focus laser cannons to wide beam," the command droid said. The gunners of the other tanks with him as well as his own answered in affirmative. The large laser cannons of their hovertanks had two settings for two widely different purposes: wide beamed blasts that were used primarily against enemy infantry, and narrow beams that were designed to punch through the armor of enemy hovertanks.

    The battle droids walked down the 16 meter wide street, now at the duracrete median that separated the two sides. 0110 watched the scene cautiously as the 40 battle droids took cover behind the large block, three fingered hand resting just above the shoulder joint of the gunner below him.

    A single blue blaster bolt broke the tension as it soared out of a window on the building's first story and impacted harmlessly on the droid's cover. "Open fire!" 0110 cried out over his comlink. The clone troopers inside of the building opened up first, joining their jittery companion. Single shots in quick succession from blaster rifles were joined by the rapid staccato of heavy repeater nests.

    The droids responded in kind by holding their smaller blaster carbines over their cover to take blind shots toward the building while the gunners in the transports opened fire, spraying red bolts toward the building. 0110 felt his hovertank rock slightly as the main laser cannon fired, sending a yellow burst of energy at the hotel that blossomed into a fiery explosion where it hit. A shower of debris rained down upon the streets as the shots from the other tanks in his squadron hit home.

    "Tanks cease fire." 0110 pushed open the canopy hatch and stood up, exposing himself above his tank. The command droid armed the repeater in front of him and joined with the tank's two blasters as they peppered the building. "Full cease," he ordered a second later. The stalemate up ahead continued, red and blue shots traded back and forth. "Nexu Three, head up to that juncture and provide close infantry support."

    "Roger, roger!" The hovertank mentioned rumbled over several of the abandoned civilian speeders, crushing one of them as the repulsors evened out. A bright flash from down the street, a kilometer away, caught the OOM droid's photoreceptor. A blue colored bolt raced towards Nexu Three as it came to a halt at the crossroads. 0110's tactical brain processed all of it as if in slow motion. The narrow beam slammed into the angled front of the hovertank and pierced through the angled hull just below the large driver's hatch in the middle. It annihilated the driver and continued through the tank before hitting the power generator. The first billowings of dark grey smoke poured out of the hovertank before erupting like a geyser of fume and fire out from the commander's hatch as it was blown open by the force of the explosions within.

    The repulsors on the hit hovertank died and the craft fell to the paved streets, the charred barrel of the laser cannon pointing downwards. 0110 was not programmed to have emotions, his creators at Baktoid had thought that it would lead to inefficiency in combat with organic beings. What he was programmed to be was cautious, and caution mixed with tactical reasoning to come to the realization that whatever it was that took out Nexu Three would need to be taken care of, despite the tactical risk that it would take.

    "Nexus, form up!" The AATs backed up, farther away from the square and the large laser cannon that was guarding it. The commander's hatches above the small turrets opened up and the other commander droids stood up. "Sector 43 is guarded by a laser cannon emplacement," 0110 said. "We're going to need to take it out before we can get the meatbags in the hotel for our infantry."

    "Can we call in an airstrike?" OOM-6021 asked. The commander of Nexu Two motioned along the road towards the air.

    "The Republic has the air," the final command droid said. "I've been surprised that we haven't gotten ARCs on us already."

    "We'll have to load our bunker busters and proceed down the road to take it out ourselves." 0110 turned around and studied the area. The road ahead curved slightly to the left, blocking a shot from the cannon from anywhere but the small square, where they would be able to fire at them as well. "Angle your vehicles while heading down that street until the last microsecond, maybe the Maker the will have them bounce their shots." He looked over to the firefight still going on in front of the hotel. "We need to the infantry to help us with that gun and they need us to help us with that hotel...

    "All right," 0110 continued. "Nexu Two and myself will travel down that road and engage the laser cannon. Nexu Four, you take advantage of us drawing its fire and get in front of that hotel. Two, if Four gets hit, take his place."

    "Roger, roger!" Again, the grating sound that 0110 wished had been programmed out of the battle droids. Even when issued an order by his own superior officer, the droid was powerless to avoid saying the word.

    OOM-0110 remained standing in the turret of his hovertank as the other two vehicles in his platoon buttoned up into the relative safety of their armored hulls. Snipers didn't worry the commander now, only the laser cannon emplacement at the end of the street. "3181, get those bunker buster shells ready, I want them ready to fire in a nanosecond." The AAT's gunner signified his obedience and turned his fire control over to the six limmie-ball sized holes near the base of the hovertank. Inside each of the launch tubes were a single high-explosive shell designed to penetrate deeply into a duracrete structure and then explode.

    "Nexus, move out!"

    The AATs moved at their full speed down the once busy street, 0110 looking as anxiously as a droid could through his electrobinoculors at the curve in the distance. The crossroads and the first line of sight for the laser cannon approached and 0110's driver kicked the engine's to the their full power. The command droid calmly tightened his grip upon the repeater in front of him, aiming the large blaster straight ahead. "I want blasters to open up on my signal," he ordered. The two droids manning the other two heavy blasters acknowledged their orders and aimed their weapons straight forward.

    The first shot from the clone's laser cannon went well wide of the AAT as 0110 cleared the opening of the intersection. He squeezed the trigger of his blaster, arcs of red fire erupting from his hovertank as it advanced. The walls around the dug in laser cannon erupted in small explosions as the blaster fire impacted harmlessly off them, leaving nothing more substantial than dark scorch marks where they hit.

    Another shot careened towards the lead tank, shattering the commander's hopes that the constant rapid blaster fire would have led the cannon's crew to either flee or take cover. The shot hit home at the very angled side of 0110's tank, just to the right of the driver's hatch and ricocheted into a building.

    The tank rocked heavily under the concussion of the shot, the electrobinoculars clutched in 0110's hands dropping from his usually sturdy grip and clattering off the hull and shattered on the paved streets below. Nexu Two took the lead tank's momentary slow down as a chance to steer ahead of the hovertank, the main laser cannon firing off inaccurate snap shots.

    Nexu Two steered straight towards the laser cannon and took its next shot low. 0110 could only watch in what a human commander would call "terror" as the massive explosion from the detonation of the missile shells tore the turret from its housing and shot it into the air. "Keep firing!" he called out, mechanical voice loud over the sound of blaster and cannon fire.

    The emplaced laser cannon fired once again, the thinly pointed shot bounced off of the 'crete surface of the road. The ricocheted shot soared into the air. The gunner of 0110's hovertank zoomed in on the flash from the shot, taking care as the AAT sped down the avenue. "Got him!" the droid said. 0110 watched from behind the muzzle flashes of his own repeater's shots as the fired shot soared down the street and impacted solidly with the enemy laser cannon.

    0110 pulled up his electrobinoculars and surveyed the scene of where the formidable enemy had been. The large laser cannon was a bent and cracked wreck from which smoke poured out in a constant billow. A few survivors of the shot shambled deeper into the building.

    "Good job, droids!" Over the comlink, the reports of victory coming from the apartments spread. The commander looked towards the two disabled AATs as his hovertank returned to the square to rendezvous with the infantry battle droids. Of the three tanks that he had set out from their base this morning, he was once again the only survivor. The experience merged with the hundred other battles that he had fought throughout the three years of the war inside of his processor, bringing him ever closer to the day where he would lose no one.

    "Mount up and secure your prisoners," he said. "We're headed back home."

    ***
    NOTES

    *I had to make a couple of changes to what is known to be canon about hovertanks to get the feel for this story that I wanted. The first thing that I changed was to have the AAT's laser cannons have two settings to mirror the different types of shells that tankers had in World War II: high explosive and armor piercing. The second is the addition of a main gunner for the tank, taking over what was presumably the commander's secondary job. While in several tanks, the commander really did share this job, I wanted to give it a more late war feeling.

    *The main character is named for German tank ace Otto Carius.

    *In keeping with the theme, I named his squadron the Nexus due to the penchant for German tanks being named for animals.

    *The armored transports are a new creation, as I felt that the transports shown in the movies and comics would be far too large to function properly in an urban setting. They are essentially an M3 Halftrack without wheels and tracks.
     
  12. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    Title:Memories and Thoughts of the Future
    Time Frame: SAGA, A New Hope
    Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, R2-D2.
    Summary: While travelling to Alderaan, Obi-Wan Kenobi meditates on the past and future.

    The main ring of the Millennium Falcon was quiet as Obi-Wan Kenobi stepped out of the crew quarters that he, Luke and the Wookiee shared. The dark durasteel grey deck of the freighter was cast in deep shadows as the night cycle entered its second half, small lights running along the curvature of the ship providing the only illumination.

    The aged Jedi Master pulled his robe close to him and suppressed a slight shiver. The cool recycled air in the craft was a far cry to the scorching desert heat of Tatooine that was barely mitigated by the frequently breaking down cooling system that he had in his hut. His booted feet sounded loud against the deck as he walked towards the main hold and its adjacent common area.

    The familiar golden droid sat in the semi-circular couch with his head hunched downwards, photoreceptors dead. A telltale power cord emerged from his back and snaked around the seat until it plugged into a power conduit next to the Dejarik board. Obi-Wan smiled slightly at the sight. Everyone on the ship except for him was asleep, even the droids.

    Obi-Wan had taken the droid for merely just another Cybot Galactica protocol droid when he had first seen him at Luke's side and it had taken hearing his full designation to realize that the droid was far more than standard. He was originally Anakin's droid, rebuilt from a thousand spare parts and a busted up frame that he had taken out of a junk heap. The realization had brought with it a twinge of fear, for the droid had always had a nasty habit of not knowing when to keep his vocabulator switched off. Yet the droid made no mention of remembering the name of "Kenobi" or even "Skywalker."

    Kenobi continued his walk through the ship, stepping through doors and passing through empty cargo holds before finding the perfect place. The life support systems hummed its song as it took the air from inside of the ship, filtered it and added a cooling element before sending it back out through the ducts. A few medium-sized cargo crates that had no doubt at one time carried any number of elicit cargoes stood stacked in the corner.

    The Jedi Master sat down on the grated floor and crossed his legs. He took a deep breath in and opened his mind to the Force. The upcoming days would bring events that he sorely needed to meditate upon. The smuggler had announced quite boldly that the journey to Alderaan would only take a little over a day and a half after they had escaped the Imperial Star Destroyer and made it into hyperspace. It had left little time to think.

    The door hissed open and Obi-Wan opened his blue-gray eyes as a series of tweets and whistles invaded the silence. Standing in front of the door was the shining white half-cylinder astromech droid. "Hello again," Obi-Wan said.

    The droid responded to his greeting in a series of whistles and beeps before ending with an inquisitive warble.

    "Of course I recognized you," Obi-Wan said. "It's hard not to remember you, Artoo."

    R2-D2 chirped happily, lights along his semi-spherical domed head blinking along.

    "I was wondering if you remembered me. Threepio didn't say anything and..."

    Artoo emitted a series of chirps that resembled laughter.

    "Bail had his memory wiped?" Obi-Wan ran his palm across his white beard to suppress a smile. "Considering how talkative he is, I can't say that I blame Bail. Who knows what he might have said and to who."

    The droid beeped along quickly.

    "You know that you can't tell him," Obi-Wan said. His mind flashed to a slight lie that he had practiced throughout the years. It had been a lie of necessity, the Jedi Master thought, for neither the boy or perhaps even Leia were ready for the whole truth. He'd have to keep his own counsel on when that day would be. He had just told Luke that his father was a Jedi Knight and a hero in the Clone Wars; a far cry from the undignified fate of a spice smuggler that his aunt and uncle had told him. Telling the boy that the man that his father had become had murdered his own compatriots, sparing no one, not even the younglings in his slaughter, would have done nothing but scare the boy straight into the wastes.

    Artoo rolled closer to Obi-Wan and let loose a mournful tone.

    "They've known one truth their whole lives and they must be eased into it. They can't know that Anakin and Vader are the same, not yet."

    The droid hesitated for a moment before warbling in understanding before rocking forward on his two legs and emitting a series of questioning chirps.

    "I know that Leia's been captured by the Empire," Obi-Wan said. He closed his eyes once again and peered into the Force, images of Luke racing along dark corridors with the princess in tow flashing in his mind. "There'll be a rescue and the boy will be there. As soon as we get to Alderaan and get that information that you're carrying to Bail, it'll be done." Obi-Wan knew that Bail would ask him to lead the battle when they arrived and he could not refuse the offer. His reflexes had slowed slightly with age, but the Force could compensate for that. What couldn't be made up for would be the years without any meaningful practice save for the occasional tussle with Tusken Raiders, even if one had been led by an old friend.

    He stood up from his meditation, muscles and bones giving an unpleasant sounding creak. Obi-Wan frowned at the thought but consoled himself that at least he still had his mind that had led to numerous victories during the Clone Wars. Leia's words from the message that Artoo had played for him ran through that mind: "information vital to the survival of the Rebellion," she had hurriedly stated.

    "What did the princess upload to your memory banks?"

    Artoo thought for brief seconds, shaking his domed head before chirping out a negative.

    The Jedi Master allowed himself a smile at the astromech's response. OnlyAlliancepersonnel with a specific security clearance would be able to view the files on his memory banks, the droid had said.


    Obi-Wan walked away from the droid and patted it on the top of his head. "I suppose I'll see it soon enough." He turned towards the door and walked back into the main cargo hold. They would reach Alderaan in a day, he thought. Enough time to give Luke a crash course in the Force for the battles to come, though there would be a lot more time for more in-depth training later. The door closed behind him, leaving Artoo alone in the hold.
     
  13. Snocone

    Snocone Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2015
    Wow. "Dignity" kiiiinda made me choke up a little at the end there. I had never even thought of something like that. Really great.
     
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  14. Snocone

    Snocone Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2015
    You're very good at atmospheric descriptions, and at thinking of the things that happened off-screen. Really cool.
     
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  15. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Oh, I loved this, it makes sense for Obi-Wan and Artoo to have this kind of conversation, and of course Artoo takes his mission too seriously to tell him about the Death Star. The hope that Obi-Wan has here and the belief he will have plenty of time to train Luke and explain everything is quite sad, really.
     
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  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb! A terrific fits in snugly missing scene! =D= Very much in character. ;)
     
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  17. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    as I said before, I was reading the ANH Infinities comic when I thought: "What happened to all of the other characters?" I didn't exactly see it going well for a lot of them.


    Thank you. I really wanted to set the mood for the piece as one for thinking about the past and what was to come, so setting it at night not only allowed me an easy way for Ben to talk with Artoo without anyone else hearing, but also kind of alluding to the dark times ahead. Obi-Wan still believes--at least in my interpretation--that he'll have many years left to train Luke and hopefully Leia. In his mind, Alderaan will always be there.

    It is truly one of the limitations of film that it has to be paced just so. Here in the written word, we really don't have that limitation, or at least not to the same degree.
    I'm also really glad that at least one person so far thinks that I got Obi-Wan's character correctly. Thanks for reading.

    Hmm... The tone of these last three stories has been kinda down. I'm going to have to fix that a bit...
     
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  18. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    Title:Dark Forces: Anoat Sunset
    Characters: Kyle Katarn, Jan Ors, Moff Rebus
    Time Frame: 1 ABY
    Summary: On board with their new prisoner, the crew of the Moldy Crow deals with how they captured him, and where to put him.

    ***

    The Moldy Crow sat upon the rocky surface of the planet Anoat, the bulky avian-shaped freighter's brown hull blending in with the dirt and stone around it. Inside of the small craft, the door to the decontamination shower opened, the smell of raw sewage seeping out into the cabin.

    "I don't know how, but it got worse..." Jan Ors crinkled her nose in disgust as Kyle Katarn stepped out. He was clad in civilian gear, dark pants and a tan shirt. In his hands were the clothing that he had been wearing just minutes before. "If you want me to keep flying this ship, you're going to need to replace that thing."

    "Not my fault that someone built their base in the middle of a sewer." His partner was standing next to her cot, a large blaster pistol held tightly in her hand and pointing at the occupant of his own. Of course she'd have him sit there instead of her own bunk, he thought.

    Imperial Moff Rebus sat back against the bulkhead of the ship, his cocky smile showing teeth the same color of his sweat-stained white undershirt. "My work requires a lot of security."

    Kyle gritted his teeth at their prisoner's words. Security in Rebus' case meant a labyrinthine sewer complex filled with cataracts of waste that he had to wade through, guarded by enough dianogas that left him shooting at every bubble in the fetid liquid. It had taken him nearly a hellish hour, but he had finally made it. He could still taste the foul liquid and smell its lingering odor despite the extensive decontamination shower that he had just taken. "It wasn't secure enough."

    "No matter." Rebus looked smug despite his position. "I won't be telling you anything."

    "We'll leave that to Cracken," Jan said. "Last I heard that some of his crew wasn't happy with your weapons being used to destroy an entire Rebel base."

    "I do good work." The Moff's boast sent a wave of anger through Kyle's partner that he could almost feel despite her still calm exterior. They had both seen the ruins of Talay base just days before, carbon scored durasteel buildings still smoldering against the purple night sky, their former occupants laying where the powerful blaster fire had felled them.

    "Not anymore," he said. "So, where are we keeping this guy?"

    "We can't do the cargo bay, especially with your collection back there."

    "The last thing we need is him getting hold of a blaster," Kyle agreed. "Trip back to the Hope will take over a day, so that takes the refresher out."

    "That just leaves..." Jan trailed off and both of their eyes went towards the only remaining room in the ship and then back to their prisoner. Rebus' mouth dropped open in shock as devious grins appeared on their faces.

    "N-no, you can't mean..."

    "Get up!" Jan lifted the stunned Moff up by the crook of the arm and gave him a slight shove towards Kyle.

    "Payback's a murglak, isn't it?" The agent led his prisoner over to the door of the decontamination shower and opened it with the press of a switch. The still remaining odor of Anoat's sewer system drifted into the cabin again.

    A quick shove sent the Moff was at the other end of the small room. He stood up quickly as hit the metal floor and raced for the open door. It closed quickly with a hiss. With the press of a few buttons, the quarantine mode was activated, locking the room from the outside. The muffled sounds of his fists hitting the metal door was all that the two could hear.

    The pair walked through the door and into the large cockpit of the craft. Two consoles sat in front of each other, offset to the side. "So tell me, Kyle," Jan said as she took the rear seat. "How bad was it in there?"

    "What's the worst mission you've been on?"

    "On Oulanne..." she began.

    "Ten times worse."

    She laughed, a pleasant sound over the hum of the repulsors and the barely audible thuds coming from the midsection of the ship. "You haven't ended up with an infected leg, an almost 40 degree fever and stuffed into a locker while the rest of my crew went to find help."

    Kyle looked back at her. "Really?"

    "I wish I was kidding," she said as she pulled her piloting goggles over her eyes.

    "You win with that one. So far. How'd that happen, anyway?"

    "It's a long story," she said. The frantic pounding behind both of them increased into a crescendo. "One it looks like I'll have the time to be telling. Our water's running a bit low." There was a pause as she checked the navcomputer. "We'll have to make a stop at Chijust to restock. It'll add about a day to our trip."


    The freighter lifted off from the desolate planet and streamed its way out of Anoat's atmosphere. As the stars elongated and shifted into the blue field of hyperspace, Kyle could have sworn that he had refilled the water tanks before their last mission.

    ***

    * After the dark themes of the last few stories, I decided to lighten the mood up a little. Playful banter and giving an Imperial Moff a little taste of his own medicine seemed perfect to me.

    * Anoat is a planet in the sector of the same name and is relatively close to Hoth and Bespin. It was made desolate by greedy miners wishing to quickly strip the world of its resources and abandoned, making it the perfect place for a weapon-producing Moff to create his weapons.

    * One of my largest problem in writing this is exactly the opposite of large: the Crow is tiny, more than likely smaller than the official length of 29 meters. After racking my brain on how to describe it, I decided on it being very cramped inside, but still large enough to hold what it needs to hold for plot reasons.

    * Jan's mentioning of Cracken is referring to General Airen Cracken, head of Alliance Intelligence and technically her superior officer.

    * The aftermath of Jan Ors' mission to Oulanne was mentioned in the revised version of the Empire Strikes Back Galaxy Guide by West End Games. It was, as far as I can tell, the first bit of the games being referenced in outside material.

    * Chijust in an original planet, and named after Dark Forces and Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight programmer and writer Justin Chin.
     
  19. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Interesting little story, and a fitting comeuppance for this odd bird of a moff. From peeking at his Wook bio, he gives the distinct impression of having had all those sewage fumes go to his head—I mean, how can the experience of being all alone down in those sewers for so long creating superweapons not affect one's sanity? I bet it makes for a very interesting gameplay experience, though.

    I'm curious about how the decontamination shower works. Is it present in the game? On one hand, it's ostensibly supposed to decontaminate and sanitize whoever's in it—on the other hand, you have the sewage smell seeping out of it. I guess that's just the residual sewage smell from whoever was just in it? Also, what's Kyle's "collection" in the cargo bay? :D

    Thanks for sharing this neat little tale! :cool:
     
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  20. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    Thank you. Writing about the Moff's imprisonment was quite fun for me.

    I agree that this guy is absolutely nuts, One look at his living accommodations is enough to figure that out. It does make for a very interesting and fun level despite the frustration and wasting all of your ammo on the dianogas.

    I'm curious about how the decontamination shower works. Is it present in the game?[/quote]

    It's only mentioned in the text briefing by Jan Ors at the start of the level. To tell the truth, not much has been mentioned of the interior of the Moldy Crow at all save for vague mentions of a decontamination shower in the game and a boarding ramp in the novellas.

    On one hand, it's ostensibly supposed to decontaminate and sanitize whoever's in it—on the other hand, you have the sewage smell seeping out of it. I guess that's just the residual sewage smell from whoever was just in it?[/quote]

    It's residual from Kyle just being in it. Probably had so much sewage on him (he had been practically swimming in it) that it was a little too much for it to bear. Not to mention that I just wanted to have a little fun with this story.

    Neo?

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for reading!
     
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  21. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    Title: X-Wing: The Three That Lived
    Timeframe: Days post A New Hope
    Characters: Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, Keyan Farlander, Lynia Delline

    ***

    Luke Skywalker was done with handshakes and pats on the back. In the past day he had more of them than he could have ever accumulated in three lives on Tatooine. Only days ago he was living on the insignificant desert planet with his aunt and uncle and wishing for adventure to take him off that rock. Now he was the Hero of the Rebellion with the medal to prove it, along with everyone's new best friend.

    The young man walked through the large room in the ochre-colored Rebel base, avoiding the dwindling revelers as best he could. The large golden medallion that had been presented to him by the princess bounced against the yellow jacket and black shirt that theAlliancehad given him , an honor and an annoyance.

    Han had initially refused the honor, along with Chewbacca, citing with an unusual amount of vehemence that the people who really should have gotten the award were the ones that didn't make it back. Luke couldn't disagree with the smuggler. Out of the thirty ships that had launched from the jungle base, only three had made it back. Twenty-seven pilots had paid the final price for their cause and Luke Skywalker could barely name more than three of them.

    Of those three it was Biggs Darklighter that he had truly known.

    "Hey, Sky... Luke!" The voice with a tight Corellian accent floated over the diminishing crowd. "Over here!" The voice belonged to a pilot only a few years older than Luke but already a seasoned veteran. WedgeAntilleswas sitting at a plasteel table, mulling over a bottle of some sort of liquor with the other surviving pilot and a blond woman seated next to the latter man. Both of the pilots were still in the flight suits that they had worn during the battle and during the large medal ceremony just hours before.

    Luke pulled the wooden seat away from the table and sat down next to Wedge. "Wedge, Keyan. How have you two been?" Luke hadn't seen the other two pilots since their own medal ceremony the night before.

    "I've been better," Keyan said. His voice was thick with a rural Agamarian accent and he scratched at his light brown hair. "But I've been worse."

    "Alive," Wedge chimed in as he rose his glass and took a sip.

    "Alive," Keyan agreed and took a drink of his own glass, followed by his companion.

    Luke felt his stomach sink deeper down his body. He was alive when so many were dead, not just Biggs. His uncle and aunt and been the first, their bodies charred and indistinguishable from each other as they lay where the stormtroopers had shot them. Obi-Wan was next, his mentor of only a day had filled his mind with lessons of the Force before being cut down by the same vile man that had murdered his father and shot down Biggs. He took the offered glass from Wedge and took a drink of the watered down liquor. "Alive."

    "You look like you're sick of all the attention you're getting," Keyan's companion, who had introduced herself as Lynia, one of Mon Mothma's aides, said.
    Luke gave a half laugh. "You can say that again." He shook his head and a strand of his dark blonde hair fell into his eyes. "Everyone's calling me a hero just because I was the one who made the shot. It could have been Gold Leader, or Commander Dreis."

    "Don't be so hard on yourself," Wedge said. "You did your job."

    "Who were they? The ones that I didn't get to know?"

    "Good beings," Wedge said. "Some of the best that the Alliance had to offer."

    "That's for sure," Keyan added.

    "Jek Porkins, the burly one," Wedge began. He took a quick drink from his glass and refilled it. "One of the best dogfighters in the Rebellion. A good man, too, you just wouldn't want to be across the table from him in a Sabacc game." Wedge laughed at some distant memory.

    "I barely even got to say 'hello' to him," Luke said.

    "That's war, Luke," the Agamarian pilot said. He looked down at his own glass with a somewhat far away stare. "You don't get know people half as well as you'd want to and when you do, they can still die."

    "To Porkins." Wedge raised his glass and toasted to the memory of his friend.

    Luke took a sip of his drink before clearing his throat. "Biggs Darklighter was my one of my best friends growing up. He was always better at the rest of us when we were flying our speeders back home, and he let you know it, too. He wasn't bragging, though, not really. I always thought it was just his way of trying to get you to improve."

    Wedge and Keyan both gave a slight laugh at that and nodded their heads. Biggs had always been one to make an impression on people quickly and his recent comrades were no exception.

    "To Biggs," Luke toasted.

    "I've lost more friends than I'd ever thought I had, but yesterday two of them died. Puck Naeco and Hamo Blastwell." Keyan reached up and massaged his forehead as Lynia gently placed an arm around him. "No one even saw what happened to Hamo, so I guess I'll drink to him."

    The third pilot took a second to compose his thoughts. "Hamo wasn't just an instructor, he was a friend to everyone who knew him. You could go to him with your problems and he'd be there if he thought you had a problem." Keyan raised his glass slightly. "To Hamo," he toasted.

    Luke took another drink to another man that he didn't know. Lynia had wrapped an arm around Keyan's shoulder to comfort him as he mourned the loss of a close friend. A strange sight caught his eyes for a fraction of a second as she toasted: the briefest hint of hesitation at the gesture before going through with the salute.

    "I guess I'm the only one who hasn't said anything yet," Lynia said. "There was only one pilot up there that I really know, and he made it back." She took a drink from her nearly empty glass to steady her nerves. "My brother was a fighter pilot for the rebels before any of you joined up. Before there was even anAlliance, just the various cells across the galaxy. Mon Mothma had a small fleet that she kept hidden while she was still in the Senate. They were attacking an Imperial supply convoy when my brother got a TIE on his tail. He didn't make it back."

    She wiped tears from her eyes and raised her glass as high as she could manage. "To Jabez." Luke could only stare as she quickly finished the rest of her drink before quickly heading away from the table.

    "Um, I'd better go and make sure that she's okay," Keyan said. He looked back towards the direction that she had fled with a look of concern on his long face. "She really doesn't like talking about her brother. That's the first time I've heard all of it..."

    Keyan walked quickly away from the table and towards where his companion had disappeared to, leaving Luke and Wedge alone at the table. "If you live for more than this battle, and from what I've seen you're a real Likely to Survive if I've ever seen one, remember that." Wedge pointed in the general direction of the two that had just left. "Years pass and it never gets easy."

    Luke looked at the older pilot with a sober look on his face. "I will."

    "At the same time, there'll be some that won't take kindly to you: a newcomer destroying that thing and living while so many people that they knew for years didn't make it back. It's just something that happens to new pilots, and I was no exception. Don't let it bother you, they'll come around."

    When Luke left the table a few minutes later, he rolled the information and advice that Wedge had given him in his mind. The lift towards the top of the ancient temple moved slowly as his mind raced.

    The lift exited to the open air of Yavin 4, the burst of humidity of the jungle world hitting Luke in the face as he stepped out. The large gas giant that gave the moon its name loomed large in the night sky, casting a deep red-orange hue along the surface of the satellite while several of the planet's other moons showed as smaller dots in the sky. Tatooine's binary suns had been a common sight to him, having spend all of his life under the heat and brightness of those two stars, but the sight of Yavin and so many of its moons in space nearly took his breath away.


    The burning piece of Death Star wreckage as it streaked through the moon's atmosphere caught his eye and he watched the impromptu meteorite before the friction dissolved it completely. They had struck a huge blow against the Empire yesterday, but they would be back. Maybe not soon, but the Rebel's hidden base had been discovered. For now, though, they were heroes, every one of them, even the dead. Biggs, Jek, Hamo, Jabez and the others killed yesterday joined with Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru and Obi-Wan in his mind as the true heroes, the ones that had died to get them where they were today. He stared out into space, towards the faint white cluster of stars that was the Galactic Core and knew that the war had just truly begun.

    ***

    * According to Legend's sources, there were a few other pilots that survived the Battle of Yavin offscreen, and I actually started to write this while adding Rookie 1, Ru Murleen and Jake Farrell from Rebel Assault, but I jettisoned them early on because they'd take up far too much space.

    * Keyan Farlander and Lynia Delline are from the X-Wing computer game and the prose sections of the strategy guides. His identity as the pilot in the lone surviving Y-wing is established there.

    * According to the Luke Skywalker journal, he was the 37th person to suggest a memorial for the fallen pilots. The Darklighter comic had a small, temporary one just outside the main hall.

    * Hamo Blastwell is another character from the X-wing guide. Lynia's hesitation at toasting is memory is very justified: she knows that he's still alive and headed to infiltrate the Empire. (As stated in the TIE fighter guide.)

    * Lynia's brother was never named, nor was his fate actually known save that something must have happened while he was a fighter pilot for the rebels. I used a Greek name meaning "grief" for his name.

    * The end of the story ties in directly with the Archie Goodwin comic "The Day After the Death Star."
     
  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Whiskers - that was a wonderful bit of realism. Giving support and mutual commiseration to one another. I like seeing the warm mentoring tone Wedge is taking with Luke & I do believe that the acclaim would wear on Luke's gentle nature as much if not moreso because there were so few who survived. [face_thinking] It's as much a matter of literal skill as - you hate to call it something as spurious as luck. :p
     
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  23. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    They've all been through so much in the 24 hours, and a little longer for Luke. They've lost a bunch of friends and I think it'd be simply natural for them to talk with each other about it.

    Wedge as a mentor has stuck with me from the X-Wing novels of Stackpole and Allston. Of the three surviving pilots, he was the oldest and has the experience edge over the others by at least a year (dating the Farlander Papers/X-Wing Strat. Guide is a pain of itself). As for the acclaim wearing on Luke, I agree on that. He feels like a hero, but at the same time he doesn't.

    Thanks for reading, Nyota!
     
  24. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    Title: Another Typical Evening on Nar Shaddaa
    :Timeline: Before the Saga, ~3,995 BBY

    ***

    "May I, monsieur, offer my services without running the risk of intruding?" The Twi'lek woman stood in front of their table, blue skin showing in tantalizing fashion from the openings in her stylized body armor. In a smooth hand she held a datapad between delicate fingers.

    "I don't know..." Nimax Jabuck said. He looked the woman over, leering at her with his blue eyes. "You don't look like the type that the boss wants. Kinda suited for dancing instead of fighting..."

    The smuggler's brother sat beside him and gazed over the woman as well. "No, you won't do at all."

    Ceth Mascor rolled his eyes and set his own datapad down on the table. He was a young man, younger than either of his smuggler hangers-on and dark-skinned. He wore a simple pair of tan trousers and a smuggler's vest over a black shirt. "Nimax, Jermat, knock it off."

    "But, boss!" Jermat said. The younger of the two brothers had the same oval shaped face as his older brother and wore his black hair down beyond his shoulders and collarbone.

    "No 'buts', and I'm not your boss." The pair of smugglers had been tagging along with him ever since he had taken down a Sith-led pirate gang on Selvernos months ago. He had found them in a cantina aboard a space station over Brentaal and quickly befriended them. His cover story about being a "free trader" for the Krath regime that had been put out of a job after the Jedi had cleansed the Empress Teta system of the Ketos had been easily bought by the two. After he had incapacitated and arrested their Sith boss, the two had followed him and just wouldn't leave.

    Ceth rubbed at his aching temples. "I'm sorry for them," he said. The Twi'lek mercenary said nothing but handed him her own datapad, the advertisement that he had posted just an hour ago prominently displayed on the screen. Another quick glance at the two brothers found them completely engrossed in the swoop races being shown on a vidscreen above the bar. "I am very, very sorry."

    "No offense taken; after the last few years, I'm used to it." She offered Ceth her hand. He took it and felt the deceptively powerful grasp upon his own hand. "Portian'icol, but I go by Portia."

    "Did you read the entire ad, Portia?"

    "You're looking for a good gun to help you break into a Hutt's palace so you can steal an artifact of his?"

    Ceth smiled. "That's not entirely it."

    Portia looked at him in confusion. "Then what?"

    He reached under the booth and pulled out a large khaki-colored bag. It slammed loudly onto the table. "We need to get back to their ship." He gave a quick nod to the two smuggler brothers.

    Portia's eyes went wide and her voice low. "You're sitting here, in the middle of Nar Shaddaa, with a Hutt lord's prized possession?"

    "Hey lady," Nimax interjected. "We didn't plan on it."

    "Yeah, we get off our shuttle from Nal Hutta and there's 50 of Blobbo the Hutt's top men waiting at our ship for us!"

    "It's Lobeu the Hutt and he only had 30 beings there." Ceth shook his head at his followers.

    "Still too many!"

    "And that's why you needed me?" A tattooed eyebrow quirked upwards. "The pay better be worth it, if I sign up."

    "10,000 credits, a way off planet and ways to conceal your identity if you need to," Ceth offered.

    "Ten krill isn't nearly enough to get me to get on a Hutt's bad side. Thirty."

    "Twenty, 15 now and the remaining five once we reach Coruscant."

    "Coruscant? Someone there must have a large amount of money to risk riling up a Hutt. May I ask who it is? I like to know who I'm working for."

    At the mercenary's scoffing, he reached down below the table and removed the metal cylinder that he had hidden away and placed it down onto the table. "This answer your question?"

    "Kriffing hells, a Jedi?"

    "It's very important that I get what's in this bag back to the Jedi," Ceth said. "This thing has already caused a lot of suffering up there on Nal Hutta." His mind flashed to two days ago, when he and the two brothers had infiltrated Lobeu's palace. He could still hear the crackle of lightsabers as he fought Lobeu's newest enforcer: one of the late Exar Kun's wayward students.

    Ceth could sense her curiosity at the contents of the bag and recognized the lust for power that most sentients felt when confronted with the very real temptation for it, even though the cube inside the bag would be useful for her only for her meals and lodging for the next millennia.

    "What's your plan?" she asked.

    ***

    Nar Shaddaa was set in almost perpetual night. The Vertical City shielded from the Hutt sun by the "Glorious Jewel" that was Nal Hutta, glowing only to barely range as twilight as the light reflected from the planet's terminator for a few hours before being shielded once again.

    "Hey, boss, you think this bounty hunter is going to do her job?" Jermat scratched at his black hair.

    Ceth looked up to the window where his newly hired mercenary was perched. Fifteen stories up from the walkway level that he and his two ersatz companions currently stood. The search to find a suitable sniper's nest for their hire had taken nearly a standard day and ran through half a dozen buildings until she was satisfied.

    He closed his eyes and concentrated, the city ofNar Shaddaashifting into a decayed and desolate wasteland. She waited in the middle of a large plateau, a small tree with a rotten core that lay on her stomach, a large blaster rifle pointed directly south. "I'm in position," she said. "Let me know when you're ready."

    "She'll do her job," Ceth said.

    "Boss, we like you and everything," Nimax said. "But the last guy that we met in a bar and found trustworthy was just using us to get our old boss."

    "She's going to shoot us and take your Holo-whatsit!"

    "I did think about that." Ceth turned his attention to the gates of the large, open air spaceport. "That's not going to happen, though."

    "How can you know that?" Jermat looked at him in confusion.

    Ceth gave a cocky smile. "A feeling."

    "Kriffing Jedi and their feelings... Hey, our old boss didn't have a feeling about you!"

    Ceth removed his lightsaber from his belt and took a deep breath in. "I made sure he didn't." He gestured towards the open gate. "Let's go."

    Nimax and Jermat unholstered their blasters and followed him towards their ship.

    At Ceth's next command, a blaster shot fired from half a kilometer away, taking out the Gran thug sitting next to the large rectangular ship. His compatriots stood quickly, shaking the boredom off and racing to find some modicum of cover. A large-toothed being with a tapiroid head followed as he leaned away from the landing strut to check on his dying companion.

    The Jedi sprang forward with a burst of speed towards the remaining 10 henchman of the vengeful Hutt. The two brothers opened fire at the hiding places of their foes, bathing the dim view of the area with constant flashes of red light.

    Ceth kept his head low, sidestepping a blaster shot that came his way and slashing his green-bladed lightsaber through the arm of a fair-skinned human woman. She cried out in pain and stumbled out from her cover, where a well placed blaster shot impacted her head.

    "Damn it..." he cursed as he leaped over a three meter tall stack of crates. Two of Blobbo's--Lobeu's--henchman stared at him with wide-mouthed surprise before a simple gesture of Ceth's hand hurled them backwards into the metal. They slumped down as their friends opened fire, the lightsaber in the Jedi's hand deflecting the shots into the duracrete ground as he retreated back to cover.

    "How are we doing?" he said into his comlink.

    "Got another one," the Twi'lek responded. "Your boys are doing a great job of flushing the mynocks out."

    "A lot less than we thought there'd be!" Nimax shouted out.

    "They must have got bored!" said his brother.

    Ceth hugged the wall of his crate, the Holocron in his backpack digging uncomfortably into his spine. "You're outmatched! Put your guns down and walk away."

    The response came in an alien tongue in words that must have been impolite. The blaster fire continued, a continuous din over the otherwise silent night. Ceth peaked out, lightsaber leading the way, and saw three of the Hutt's mercenaries huddled behind their cover, safe from the Jabuck brother's errant shots and the sniper's calculating blasts.

    He was halfway towards them before they noticed the Jedi racing towards them, lightsaber ready to strike. Ceth watched as the first raised his rifle and squeezed off a shot that sizzled past him. He slid past them, bringing his blade around in a quick incapacitating arc aimed at their knees.

    He came to a stop still behind the empty cargo crates, face to face with the remaining thugs. He raised his blade to block a shot, but felt the burning lance of a blaster shot pierce his stomach and then another.

    "Stop shooting him, you dolts," the head merc said. "Lobeu only wants his Holo toy back." Ceth's eyes rolled back into his head as darkness consumed him.

    ***

    "Boss, you're awake!" Nimax's voice was the first thing that Ceth heard as the blackness faded into light. Curse the Force, he had to spend an entire eternity with those two... The light pain in his guts and in his head quickly brought him back to reality and the realization that he was somehow not dead.

    "What's going on?" Ceth's voice was groggy and the words emerged from his mouth half-slurred.

    "Good news or bad news first, boss?"

    The Jedi's wounded stomach turned. "I don't care."

    "Well, Jermat and me managed to kill the other guys when they were rummaging through your backpack."

    "The Holocron! Where is it?"

    "Um, that's the bad news, boss. That merc shot Jermat and took it and the ship."

    Ceth leaned over in his cot and emptied the contents of his stomach into a nearby tray. "Why didn't you stop her?"

    "She said that I could either stop her or get help for you and Jermat. I chose you two."

    Ceth looked around the room. It was an antiseptic white with numerous medical instruments hanging neatly from locked cabinets on the walls. "Where is Jermat? He isn't?"

    Nimax grinned a toothy smile. "He didn't take quite as bad a shot as you did," he said. "He's in the next room, complaining that the med droid won't let him out."

    Ceth shifted in his medbed, a sharp stabbing pain erupting in his stomach at the movement. "We need to get moving as soon as possible to get that Holocron back."
     
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  25. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    And the First Sentence Challenge gets off the ground! In very intriguing fashion, I might add, with a riveting tale of underworld action and suspense. I'm curious about so many things here: about what exactly is in that holocron, what the nature of Ceth's mission actually is, what's behind Portia's apparent betrayal of the trio, and—of course—whether the story will continue, because it seems far from over. The Jabuck brothers are like a dark, underworld version of Jasper and Horace in 101 Dalmatians and a perfect foil to the younger-but-more-levelheaded Ceth. (Come to think of it, that same dynamic of a hotheaded adult paired with a levelheaded youngster is reminiscent of the Adventures of Tintin books, too.)

    And a Blobbo cameo! [face_love] Well, yes, I know it's technically an in-universe malapropism, but I just couldn't help but smile at that nod to the fabulous, meticulous Hutt created by Ewok Poet.

    There was one sentence that I didn't quite understand, and I wonder if there's a word missing (or one too many):
    And I've been meaning to say too that I quite enjoyed "The Three Who Lived"—a very nice example of a "filling in what's missing in the saga" fic. More on that soon, so watch this space. :D
     
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