Dawn of Defiance: Buffalo NY

A Tale Called Tull Part 17
Hard Truths

The Stormtroopers were everywhere. Dozens of them were pouring into the room and raining blaster fire upon the rebel forces. Men died left and right and Tull did all he could to stay alive. Dodging in and out of cover, swinging his huge brown robe into the air to conceal himself from the soldier’s firing lines, killing enemies left and right.

Before long Tull was surrounded and nursing more than a few blaster wounds. Tull felt like a trapped animal. He was scared of being put in a box again. As the troopers moved in to finish Tull off he caught sight a console with two large power cables attached to it. Tull turned to the only thing that could save him, anger. Tull pulled the power cables out of the counsel with a great roar. Electricity bathed over Tull and shot outwards from the severed cables. Tull focused the full blast of electricity at the troopers surrounding him, covering dozens of them in the searing energy. Flesh and armor melted into one and death spread in an arc around Tull.

As the Barabel dropped the spent cables to the floor he noticed that most of his brown robe had been burnt to ash. As he dropped the remnants off of himself, leaving him in his tan under robes, Tull looked at the carnage around him and felt shame.

Padawan Khalic and People Bot were on a chase around the ship after some Empire astromechs, but Tull had bigger concerns: the missing Jedi. Tull stood over the unconscious body of the Inquisitor he had held hostage not fifteen minutes ago. A large slap to the face brought the Sith back to consciousness.

“Tull needs to know where the two Jedi you were hunting went, and Tull is in no mood for games Sith Wizard,” The large Barabel growled.

“Why should I tell you anything fool? Why don’t you make me talk?” said the man with a devil’s grin.

Tull picked the Sith up by his collar and slammed him against the corridor wall. “WHERE ARE THEY!?” Roared Tull as he extended his light claws inches from the man’s face.

“Ha ha ha! You are a feisty one. I’ll give you that one for free. Denia and the Gungan creature have been captured and are on their way to a ship heading for the Emperor as we speak.”

“Where is the ship!? WHERE!?”

“Heh he he. That one is going to cost you. Show me your anger freak. Show me your rage. Bath yourself in fury,” the Sith purred.

Tull slammed the Sith to the ground and punched his fists deep into the wall near his head, “TELL TULL!”

“Good! GOOD! Give in to your anger. Give in to your hate! Just like that Caamasi friend of yours. Kill with rage in your soul, just like him.”

Tull’s heart fell into his stomach. “You lie. This is some Sith trick!” the Barabel said pulling back from the Sith.

“Oh no, it isn’t. Check my pocket, I have a holovid of his work on Bespin. I was so impressed with his work I just had to keep a personal copy for myself,” the Sith smirked.

Reaching into the Sith’s robes Tull pulled a black holodisc out. Tull pushed the small activation switch and tiny holographic people came to life in red light. Wizard walked out of a small building on a strange planet as people closed in on him. All around him the people caught flame and released screams into the air. He picked men up with the force and flung them thousands of feet to their deaths. Wizard was walking death and the visage on his face was anger and hate.

“That’s small time too,” the Sith said with a smile, “I heard about what he did to this Hutt gangster working with the Empire. I guess the body was so badly burnt you could barely tell he was a Hutt. Only Force Lightning can tear a body apart like that.” Tull’s mind flashed to himself bathing the storm troopers in electrical death powered by the ship’s core. “There was still a bit left of the Hutt when they found him in the wreckage of his yacht you know. He was insane, blathering gibberish. His mind was shattered, lost for eternity in a never ending nightmare of death and fear. Only the Emperor himself could match your friend’s cruelty.”

Memories of Wizard flashed through Tull’s mind, the kind patient man Tull called his brother. The holovid of Wizard slaughtering men still played in his hand. With the slight pressure of Tull’s hand the holo was gone.

“Come animal. Kill me like your master would. Give into the dark side like him, and let the transformation be complete!” the Sith cackled.

Tull wanted nothing more than to crush the man’s body into a thousand pieces. Tull only needed to move a few muscles to snap the man’s neck, but he had never felt more powerless in his life. He was a slave once more, being beaten and whipped for not moving quickly enough. He was a weakling getting beaten by egg fathers who despised him. He was a little boy who’s mother didn’t even love him enough to hold him in her arms before she deserted him. Tull felt rage flow through him. He wanted to tear this man’s heart out and feed it to him. Tull wanted to unleash the rage of a lifetime on this monster.

As Tull raised his hand he caught sight of the insignia he had had Exovar’s men sew onto his robes. It was a circle with a vertical line through it. It was the Barabel symbol for loyalty. Tull looked down at his robes. The robes of a Jedi. Guardians of peace, and truth, and justice. Masters of patience and mercy who above all else valued life, and instead of turning away from pain, met it full force so that no other need know fear. Tull lowered his hand.

Tull would have Wizard’s explanation for his crimes, but Tull would not fall as his master had. Tull was a true Jedi.

Tull grabbed the Sith by the leg and drug him over to a nearby escape pod. Tull threw the man into the pod’s seat and stood in the small hatchway. “Tull will not fall for your tricks Sith Wizard. This is your last chance, tell Tull where he can find the Jedi or he will launch you into space. You may get saved by your friends, or you may float til you die, but either way your life will lay with luck, not with Tull.”

“I do not need luck, all I need is the Dark Side! I will show you it’s true power, and then you will revel in it as I do!” The Sith stretched out his hand and unleashed every bit of his power to close Tull’s throat off from life giving breath.

Tull felt nothing more than a tickle on his throat. “The light side protects Tull. Tull is not interested in your tricks and the weakness that is the Dark Side. Tell me where the Jedi are, or this is goodbye Sith Wizard.”

The man looked deeply into the Barabel’s eyes and in that moment he saw something that truly terrified him, faith. He had failed, and both of them knew it. “Your destiny lies two levels below. . .Jedi.” With a flick of his hand the Sith closed the hatch and jettisoned it out of the hanger into the fury of the space battle. Tull turned toward the turbo lift.

As Tull thought of his brother his heart broke.

Dazed and Confused Part Four

Doing Something Right

Internal Log: Entry 3?

I stopped caring about keeping my files up to date. I have been able to think a lot more, and saving every thought would make me require external memory or something.

A lot has happened since I last decided to make an entry. There was a war, Tommy Tommy pushed Darth Vader off of our ship. I mean, there is a lot going on. I really have not felt an interest in logging any of that though.

There was a moment though, where I was almost crushed by a ship. I lost a little bit of oil there, and I think from now on, I’m going to count how many times I’ve oiled myself.

Selfoiled: |||

I also learned that there is a droid body that looks exactly like a humans, and I want that so much. I would love to have hair to brush, and eyes, and a face. I admire the look of humans so much, and I aspire to be one. I know I could never truly become one, but that would be good enough for me. I would not be able to hide as a lamp anymore though.

I learned that there once was a droid, that was a crime lord. I was given his head, and I am still debating on downloading his memory so that I can use the data for future use.

I was granted permission to keep his cat, Darth Rosie, and I am so fond of it, that I keep it in my stomach. She is very cool, but I am scared of her being harmed in combat. I wonder what her fur feels like.

Well then. I am going to carry on now.

We were at a location that, at the moment, I am forgetting. I will probably remember it later on. But there were many storm troopers. There were holding friendlies hostage, and I was not okay with that. Tull and Tommy Tommy had come up with an awesome, idea, but I felt like something else should be added to it. So what do I do? I got straight to the computer! I turned out the light, which was phase one. That allowed Tommy Tommy and Tull the distraction that they needed. Next, I locked all the doors, making it so that no one would be able to leave that little hallway unless they ran to us, or to the rather unpleasant drop of doom.

Suddenly I hear Tommy Tommy yell, and the roar of Tull as the cuffs dropped to the ground. That was my chance! With all the commotion, I opened the door nearest to the captives, and hacked into the mainframe, which allowed me to yell at the to go! The second everyone was in, I closed the doors and relocked them, and luckily, only one of them died.

Next, an idea came to mind, and Khalik added in another suggest, which made the idea almost perfect. As I decode and program, I notice on the cameras that Tull has taken someone hostage. I find that very odd for a light user to do something like that, but I am assuming that the move is okay since it is a darkside user… right?

As I look at the map, I realize that there are ships that the freed rebels can escape on, and I tell them to get to those and escape. I am shocked that the people were so willing to listen to mem especially since I am a droid.

Finally, I am able to cause a magnetic pull from the drop of doom, everyone in the hallway slowly moves towards the planned area, but try to move away, and some succeed. Using my magnetic feet, I stand on the bridge that is above the pit of doom. All that is heard is my cat, purring in my stomach, and the activation of the thermal detonator that is in my catapult. I aim cautiously, I do not have any desire to harm Tull or Tommy, and then I FIRE! The sound of the beeping speeds up and then BANG! Everyone except for… three people I believe, are killed. It was a very victorious moment. Well, now I must continue fighting.

Grekorenthdora Beshyirtesk!

[ERROR_x3rh65: Connection Disconnected]

A Tale Called Tull Part 16
Might of the Jedi

As the battle outside raged on Wizard was locked in deep concentration, “I have to go after those droids,” he finally said, “these witches are not to be underestimated, but. . .” he looked at the group of friends around him and he locked his eyes on Tull and Padawan Khalic. “Master Denya and Moppo are in danger and need help. I can’t go to them, but I know your strength, my padawans. You must go and help them. There are so few Jedi left, the death of even one would be a tragedy.”

Tull and Padawan Khalic agreed with no question and prepared to head for the two Jedi and the bridge crew with Tommy and People Bot. As they were about to leave Wizard grabbed Tull by the arm and spoke quietly to him, “Protect Khalic Tull. The force flows through him and the inquisitors will hunt him like rapid dogs. So much relies on so few Tull. Keep him safe, keep them all safe. You have no connection to the force my friend, but I think that may be your greatest strength against the dark side. Go my padawan, I have nothing but faith in you.” Tull simply nodded in assent.

Tull’s mind raced in a thousand directions yet his purpose was solidified. He was a Jedi, and he would act like one. Wizard trusted Tull, and Tull would not fail him.

As the small group exited out of a lift tube they came upon a column of storm troopers leading captured resurgence members. There were three of the Sith Inquisitors with them. Tull clenched his fists, “Leave the Sith Wizards to Tull.”

“Wait big fellah. I gots an idea to get us a bit closer,” came the sure voice of Tommy Tommy as he held out a pair of binder cuffs.

As the two strode down the hall the lights suddenly went out. Tull’s eyes adjusted to the darkness and he now saw in a thermal red. Looking over his shoulder Tull saw People Bot and Padawan Khalic tapping on a small computer column.

Good, darkness breeds fear.

As Tommy walked up to the troopers and declared he had captured a ‘fresh one’ Tull saw the Sith Wizards moving down the column. Tull heard whispers of: ‘Jedi’, ‘force sensitive’, and ‘near’. As the lead robed figure pushed through the line Tull nodded to Tommy. No one would harm Padawan Khalic with Tull there.

“Just Kidden!” Tommy yelled as he opened fire on all in the vicinity. Tull pulled the unlocked cuffs apart and all that could be seen in the darkness of the hallway was the four yellow blades of Tull’s custom Lightsaber Claws. His first use of them was to sink them deep into the shoulder of the Sith Wizard, knocking him to the ground.

Battle roared from there. Tull could see a side passage open down the hall as the monotone female voice of People Bot urged the resurgence pilots to escape. Most made it through before People Bot closed and sealed all of the doors on the level. The pilots were free and the troopers had no escape.

People Bot thinks of others first more and more these days. People Bot is just like Tull. Tull can not hate her for killing his egg father, how many fathers has Tull killed in the ring? What matters is not the past, but that People Bot is trying to do right now. Tull will teach her.

Before he knew it the entirety of the Storm Trooper squads were raising blasters at him. Tull did the only thing he could think of, he took a hostage. Slamming the Sith Wizard nearest him to the ground Tull threw his arm around the Sith’s throat, giving him enough to breath, but not to leave his grasp. “You will not shoot a friend!” Tull yelled putting the Sith in front of him, “You have not all fallen that far!”

“You will die you fool,” the Sith gasped in Tull’s grip.

“The dark side has failed you, only the light can save you,” Tull pleaded desperately.

“We will show you the true power of the dark side lizard fool!” came the call of the two free Sith.

Tull could feel the pull of the force on his body as he slowly rose in the air with his captive. Tull had felt it before on Almas in the Sith temples. It had been used on him much by the evil Sith Wizards. Tull knew the feeling well, and he also felt something else. It felt as if his scales were resisting the darkness. It was as if his natural armor which protected him from blasters and blades was now protecting him from the force itself.

Tull only made it six inches of the ground before with a great roar he slammed back onto the ground billowing the remains of the force around him. “No! The dark side has failed you. Now you will face the might of the Jedi!”

Tull picked the Sith he was holding up above his head and hurled him down the hall into the troopers. Just as Tull turned down the hall to take out the Sith leader a horrendous explosion rocked the area and Tull heard the deaths of many down the hall. Just as his blades were going to slay the final Sith the dark wizard was pulled away and thrown down an open support shaft. Padawan Khalic gave Tull a thumbs up. Tull nodded his thanks back.

Tull returned down the ruined hallway toward the final two storm troopers. Off to his left across a chasm Tull saw People Bot with a recently fired catapult. He nodded to her as well, causing her eye piece to turn a pinkish red color.

Can Droid Bots blush?

Tull stopped halfway down the hall and called down to the shaken men, “It doesn’t have to end in violence. Put down your weapons and give up. Tull swears you will be spared.”

The troopers simply readied their weapons to fire. Tull gave a great sigh.

The greatest lightsaber form is not having to use one at all. Someday Wizard, Tull will find a way to master that form. Someday, Tull will never have to draw a lightsaber in battle again.

Tull roared down the hall with claw sabers extended. The troopers died badly, but it was Tull who felt the pain.

Nirvana Context
Let's make some mistakes.

Hyperspace is a sublimely comfortable oblivion.

The physical “you” does not exist. One can interact with his cohabitants within this Nirvana Context, but there is no connection to the “real” world except through complex technical recreations and misty overlays. Time has been beaten nigh death here. It crumples into a ball, clothed in Space it wraps tight around itself, squeezing into an impossibly tiny singularity that spans Infinity.

Lines of light streak across the cockpit, chasing themselves into the sharp points of stars. It’s that moment when you wake up, when reality resolves itself through the haze of dream, and you’re not sure you prefer the solidity.

The “Resurgence” hangs in space far ahead of us, surrounded by Star Destroyers. It is a Nebulon-class frigate. Massive compared to even my own colossal ship. I rest in the command chair, watching as the drama unfolds. It’s never easy. It’s never a simple “Hello, great job!”

Swarms of TIE fighters are belched from the destroyers, most around the Resurgence, and the others toward us. “Us” being the space we occupy now, ourselves belched from hyperspace into what is reality. The wall before me snaps to a view of our contact. I don’t even remember his name. I don’t care about this anymore — this “rebellion” against the dark by a light just as dogmatic. Hours earlier, Bariss had told me my girls were alive.

That’s all I care about.

Part and parcel — staying alive. The nameless commander of our “terrorist cell” shatters into static as klaxons wail and blasters whine. The screen shows the star field before us. Fighters swiveling through the three dimensions toward and around us. A heavy cruiser sensors identify as the “Raging Nebula” is closest. The Resurgence is far beyond. The Nebula launches a payload that skitters rather than blasts across our hull.

Buzz droids.

“E’chutta. Tor? Daze?”

Tor and Tommy had assumed point defense positions in the blaster cannon wells of the Spelljammer. Tor was already headed for the starboard observation dome, and before I could finish my sentence, he’d blown off two droids with his prayers to whatever gods the “Force” reveres. D243 (“Daze”) rolled back to the top-ship hatch and was mag-crawling across the hull toward the insectoid nuisances.

Me? I hoped they continued to be a mere nuisance. I twist a quick roll around the Nebula, and the combination of the dual lasers and Tommy’s blasters break through its shields with a warped pucker and a satisfying short-lived bloom of flame as we strike at its hull. The “Defiant”, Khalik at the helm, slips into our space, immediately firing upon the Nebula then hurling itself around it as we flank the cruiser.

Ahead, Y-wings flood from the belly of a Corellian frigate and engage the incoming fog of TIE and “advanced” TIE fighters. I haven’t had the time to keep up on the latest models, but the design was definitely new and the spectrum of their blasters indicated something different than the usually deployed starfighters. It didn’t really matter. TIE are quick and agile, and any upgrades to their speed and firepower wouldn’t significantly modify our tactics in this battle.

I’m the captain. I’m trying to coordinate our efforts. I’m listening to my crew, my comrades. It is a gauntlet between us and the Resurgence, and the Spelljammer is a lug of a bruiser, swaying through seemingly endless waves of attackers, narrowly avoiding his own blood being let while walloping them into rattling bags of metal bones that scream briefly then break open into ghostly clouds of debris.

We see Bariss ahead, looping through puffs of distintegrated Imperial metal, riding rails of fire pouring from his guns and missile bays. He’ll be fine.

The Defiant isn’t doing as well. Some lucky shots had nearly brought down its shields, and it was sound due solely to the genius of Khalik. It staggered beside us.

A Kuat Firespray-31 swoops by and hand instinctively goes to the sword. Then, I hear the barely-familiar voice of Doc Carson over our private patch. “Miss me?” I grin as he unleashes a one-two on another squad of TIE.

One last hard punch and the Nebula lurches, its lights blinking out until it’s naught but a silhouette of less-dark within a fading glow of warp fields.

A warrior dying in the cold, shrouded by the warm billows of his last breaths.

I catch a status on the main screen. “Network connection re-established.” I hadn’t even noticed. Tor is yelling at me through my personal commlink. He and Daze had taken care of the buzz droids, but he was more concerned with one of his “feelings” about what might occur on the Resurgence, still far ahead.

I nod to myself, then open a line to the Corvette half-ahead asking it to move aside. Bariss had gathered a squadron of loyal fighters, picking off the TIE nuisances that had been keeping it in check. It crawls forward. I bring up the console and punch in some commands. The engines roar and we jerk forward. Nobody can fire, we can’t maneuver, but in a fraction of a moment we’re between a Star Destroyer and the Resurgence.

Bariss is already there with what looks like dozens of Y-Wings. They descend on the command spire of the destroyer like tiny, angry angels. Bariss swoops under its shields (I gotta have him teach me that trick) and we see a recreation of what happened to the Raging Nebula moments before — on a far grander scale. Its command portals go dark, its signals blink out. Like a magician’s stage trick, the roaring dragon maws of its engine cones become cold, blackened, empty pots. The destroyer swings like an ill-hung toy on an infant’s crib-mobile, eventually settling into what by poetic chance is a downward triangle, stabbing in slow-motion through the space below us.

In the meantime, Khalik had arrived and glided the Defiant into the primary hangar bay off the characteristic “rudder” of the Nebulon-class frigate that was our destination. From aboard the Resurgence, he links into our manuevering systems and hints the Spelljammer on its entry vector.

A deafening grind/screech screams through the belly of our beast as we nick the bay door before settling down inside.

It’s when we make the mistakes that can kill us that we’re most alive.

Everyone unbraces and heads for the tongue of the cargo ramp. As I rise to follow, I notice a particularly perverse vid on one of the monitors, with the OSD indicating it’s being transmitted to the Destroyer we left far behind. Daze beeps as “she” rolls by me, dome turning, and I’d swear the reticule winked at me.

I laugh aloud and follow the rest toward the exit.

“Let’s make some mistakes.”

Carson's Log Slums of Coruscant

As the LAAT lifted off from the hangar, Carson couldn’t help but feel that he was walking on eggshells. Though, to be more accurate, the eggshells were the broken trust of his comrades. Baldr was upset over losing a supposedly multi-million credit building. Not unexpectedly, 50,000 credits seemed to satiate him. Baldr didn’t seem to trust him, but then again Carson didn’t trust Baldr, so that seemed a fair deal. The credits meant nothing to Carson. They may as well have all been blood-soaked anyway. The ship slipped through the midday Coruscant air with ease. Carson looked over at Bariss, completely immersed in his piloting. He’d been alongside his Duros comrade for more battles than he could count and the skilled pilot had kept him alive at detriment to himself on numerous occasions. Carson looked out at the Corsucant skyline as they rocketed through it, heading towards the slums of Coruscant. Each of those building and ships in the distance was full of enemies. Enemies who at best, would report him to the Imperial Patrols in a heartbeat. What they didn’t need, was enemies among them. Carson turned back to his datapad, checking the latest scanner reports in case the Imperial military had caught wind of their movements. Carson was quite relieved to find Bariss against torturing prisoners as much as he was. It seemed he did have an ally still in that regard. Carson knew it might get difficult to ensure the prisoner’s were well treated by himself, but with Bariss around the task seemed a bit easier. He could only hope that he wasn’t reading the situation wrong. Bariss spoke over the intercom “Welcome to the beautiful slums of Coruscant, where all your illicit needs are met.” The ship landed amidst a dirt covered street, the thrusters kicking up massive clouds of dust that heralded their arrival. There was no time to debate but trust if they were going to save the ex- Incom engineer.

(Eh, I don’t think this was one of my best posts, but I got the point across. I may edit/rewrite it. I don’t know.)

Reflections from Tor part 47

The swoop bucked under Tor as blaster fire rained through the air around him. The drop pods poured troopers out and Tor and Tull were dealing with them while the others tore through the squads behind them. As Tor spun the swoop, he saw his zabrak padawan take down a TIE figter with a well placed grenade.

He’s letting the Force guide him, Tor thought with pride.

After the battle, the chief’s son led them through the jungle to a spot that was strong in the Force, teeming with life and history. A massive pit was sunk into the ground ahead, massive tentacles slowly unfurling from it. Tor could sense its mass, its deep history.

Khalic turned towards it, the Force clearly pulling him towards the immense maw of the beast. Tor steered them towards some ruins nearby. “Not yet, padawan,” he said to Khalic as they landed. “The time will come soon.”

The group dismounted and approached the largest of the ruins. Tor sensed it right before it hit them, a ripple in the Force. It crashed into the group and all but Tor was knocked to the ground. He raced forward as the others picked themselves up.

Tor turned the corner into the ruins and came face to face with the last thing he expected to find.

“Master Shaak Ti.”

“Leave this place, or I’ll strike you down!” the Togruta snarled at im.

Tor raised his hands as Tull and Khalic rounded the corner. “We aren’t here to harm you. The Force brought me and my padawans here.”

She growled and attacked Tull verbally and physically, raising her lightsaber toward him as she accused him of besmirching the Jedi with his study of their ways. Tull turned her blade aside before discarding his own, reciting the Jedi stance on peace to retaliate.

The exiled Jedi slowly relented and agreed to keep the massive sarlacc at bay while Tor and Khalic descended into its depths. At the bottom, Khalic waded through the remains of innumerable meals as the Force guided him to his mothers bones, still wrapped in a tattered cloak. He paused for a moment before gathering them up. Tor put a hand on his apprentice’s shoulder as they grasped the rope N3M0 had lowered for them.

As they rose, they began to hear some commotion from the others and when they reached the top, Tor saw why. “Rancors!” Khalic exclaimed.

The group fell back towards the ruins, Tor using the Force to keep the monsters back, Tull a short distance away, swinging a lightwhip and shouting in his native tongue, pushing some others back.

After several moments of fierce fighting, the surviving rancors retreated back into the jungle as the group caught their breath.

We’ll be out of the jungle soon enough, Tor thought as is eyes moved skyward. And the sooner the better, we have enough troubles to worry about without having to throw giant rancors into the mix.

Carson's Log The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The shuttle landed back in Baldr’s secret base. Sherlock lay bound and gagged on the floor as Carson made sure Platt was still alive. The poison had done it’s job, but she was doing fine. Baldr and Shalia were busy discussing what to do with their latest capture. “We can torture him for all the information he has.” Baldr said with a grin. Carson’s ears perked up at this. “Torture?” he said, with suprise, “Torture is a weapon of fools and brutes and I will not stoop to their level.” Baldr laughed. “We need information. How else do you expect us to get it?” “There are other ways. I know of other ways to loosen tongues that won’t cause them to be maimed or psychologically brutalized.” “Well, maybe we’ll consult you for advice later, doctor.” Baldr responded, quickly busying himself with some other problem that required his attention. Carson checked on Sherlock as he lay bound on the floor of a nearby prison cell. Carson made sure his bonds were tight enough, yet did not want them to cause any nerve damage as some of the earlier binder cuffs. He ran a quick set of vitals on the man and had everything check out. Carson caught the eyes of the detective and noted a look of fear. Carson did understand the need to extract information but was beginning to think the “enemy of my enemy” was still his enemy. Even some of his allies were becoming so close to the brutes that he’d hoped to stop. He returned to his bunk to try and catch some much needed sleep. Thinking on this too much was bound to drive him insane. He quickly dozed off and found himself back on one of the very first missions that the Resurgence had given him. Nemo’s chainsaw blade tore into his back, laying through his spine. His legs went numb as the industrial blade chewed through flesh, bone and sinew. The pain bit into him so intensely that Carson fell unconscious moments after it began. He came back to the world of pure agony minutes later only to see his own face staring back into his “We need the information, Imperial scum.”

Carson awoke in a cold sweat, panting. He’d just relived Naizon through the eyes of an Imperial guard that he had helped torture.
He began sobbing at this realization. “Even monsters have a chance at redemption.” Carson thought, in a brief moment of clarity. Carsons mind turned to the image of the investigators fearful eyes staring back at him.

(I might have some names of places wrong on here. Ah well."

Carson's Journal

Carson stared at Shallia from across the hallway. Shalia’s henchmen were working Resh over for information in an interrogation room. “Let me through. I won’t have you butchering the man.” Shalia held fast. “Just relax doctor, he won’t be harmed.” Carson didn’t trust any of this. In fact, he wasn’t sure if he trusted any of his allies at this point. So many had joined the group, Carson wasn’t sure how many malevolent personal agendas lurked in the shadowed pasts of the other members of this ragtag group. Fenn had remained mysterious, slipping off and communicating with the infamous Spynet. He had no idea what Baldr or Shalia’s stake in all of this was. Webs of shadows extended everywhere. Carson wondered how Tor and Tull were doing with their mission. It seemed that while Carson’s mission had been successful, the blood still flowed. Whether it was innocent blood was a matter for the realm of philosophy. Perhaps the greatest enemy the rebellion faced was within. Action needed to be taken before they became the very monsters they fought against, nothing more than common beasts. Carson was deep in thought when Shalia stepped aside and opened the door. “Doctor, I’d like you to oversee the questioning of our captive.” Carson sighed and stepped through the door. There was work to do and no time for his emotions.

(This may be edited later but for now it’ll stand)

A Tale Called Tull (Part 15)
Sim Mah

Tull was a whirlwind of death. Every spin, every turn brought another opponent down. Blaster fire screeched around him, but nothing touched Tull except the air racing past his face. A blur of yellow, green, and brown was the most any of the troopers saw before Tull tore into them. Before long none remained but a lone trooper. As the trooper raised his blaster Tull flung his lightsaber end over end through the air, impaling the trooper through his helmet. Tull’s powers were growing every day.

The tentacle beast was something to look at. As the group arrived at the ancient ruins Tull couldn’t help but wonder at how such a creature could come to be.

The Galaxy is a truly terrible place.

On that thought Tull found himself on the ground with the air out of his lungs. Scrambling to his feet Tull could barely make out the silhouette of Wizard around a nearby corner, as well as raised voices. As Tull rounded the corner himself he saw a red alien (not unlike a Twilek in some ways) holding a lightsaber.

Before Tull could say anything he was being accused of mocking the Jedi Order by wearing Jedi robes and not being force sensitive. Tull could only pour out his heart in a stammer as this woman stood there saying Tull was no Jedi.

Then the woman was swinging her lightsaber at Tull’s head. Instinctively his weapon came to his hand to fend off her furious blows. Tull had never fought someone quite so skilled with a blade before, and he knew if the woman ever wished Tull dead he would be dead.

As the woman yelled about how she fought like a true Jedi, Tull remembered a lesson Wizard had once taught him.

“No, this is how you fight like a Jedi,” Tull said as he deactivated his lightsaber and threw it behind him into the dirt with his palms out at his sides.

The woman’s eyes opened in slight shock, but went quickly back to narrow slits of anger and distrust. The woman would hear nothing Tull would say.

All she sees is Tull the fool. Tull the boxer. Tull the monster. Tull is so much more, but she can not see what lies behind Tull’s face. What lies in Tull’s heart. She refuses to see. This woman is a powerful force user, but no Jedi Master could be so ignorant. So quick to judge. So quick to dismiss someone simply because they lack something others have. Tull is ten times the Jedi this woman is and Wizard a thousand. If the order failed it was because they lost their ability to see the truth. Tull would never allow a new Jedi Order to become so blind.

Wizard, Padawan Khalic, and Droid Bot Nemo had all descended into the tentacle beast’s maw when they heard the first roar. Then there were many more, clattering through the air like rumbling thunder to an approaching storm. Rancors. Many many Rancors.

Tull’s first thought was of Shaak-Ti. She was calming the great beast so that the others could descend into its bowls. If the Rancors hurt her, Wizard and Padawan Khalic would die. Tull would not allow that.

Un-slinging the light whip he found among the slaver’s things Tull headed for the Blind Jedi thinking that some good would finally come from the cruel weapon in his hands.

Chaos erupted all around as Shaak-Ti stretched out her hands knocking a whole herd of the Rancors over and blaster fire erupted from his friends. As Tull reached the crypt area he squarely put himself between Shaak-Ti and the group of Rancors tearing through the group’s speeders.

Flinging the whip around in a circle above his head Tull would crack the whip out at each of the beast’s faces driving them back. The beast herders on Barab would have been proud. “Gosk! Gosk git!” Tull cried in his native tongue. “Back! Back beast!”

Though valiant, Tull’s efforts were no where near enough to hold back four bull Rancors. Then Wizard was there, always showing up in times of trouble to save Tull. Casting his hands out to stun the great beasts.

Tull will save you someday Wizard. Tull will protect everyone he can. Like a real Jedi should.

With a small lull in the battle around him Tull looked around. All the Jedi were exerting their hardest to hold the beast back while the others fired madly. Droid Bot Nemo had found himself a battle with the great Sarlac. All the while the beasts were getting closer.

They need more time.

Tull dropped his light whip and pulled his lightsaber from its holster, igniting the golden yellow blade. Then Tull did what Tull does best, he charged into the claws of death swinging.

Every movement was a hair’s breath from death. Every slash and spin a calculated move to avoid massive claws and teeth. Like so often when Tull went into battle he was always seconds away from his grave.

Tull can not control the force, but this can not all be Tull. No man can face monsters and demons so often with so little and live. The force fights with Tull. It guides him. It shows him the way even if Tull is too the fool to see it. Even more than Wizard, the force is Tull’s greatest ally, and it will keep Tull safe. The force has plans for us all, and it is not done with Tull Raine.

Suddenly three of the beasts were lifted into the air and battered around the battlefield. The group was winning. Only one beast remained for Tull. An old one, slow from age but massive in size. Tull stood in perfect Niman style.

Way of the Rancor. The style that made Tull a Jedi. The beast that first tested Tull’s skill. Til Tull’s death he will respect the Rancor. Tull has a special place in his heart for monsters it would seem.

The old one stretched out its hand and Tull was moving up its arm to its head. Slashing furiously Tull created massive gouges in the beast’s face. The final stroke caught it across the eyes and dropped it to the ground. It was not dead, but it would be with no sight and that meant certain death in the wild.

“Sim Mah,” Tull whispered. “Die well.”

As Tull walked away from the beast’s labored breathing Tull holstered his lightsaber and looked upon the Blind Jedi Shaak-Ti.

“You do know those things are covered in claws and teeth. You must be a mighty fool to fight something like that in close combat,” she said.

“Tull believes it is the job of the Jedi to put themselves among the teeth and claws. Jedi must always be seconds from death. If a Jedi does not do these things then it is the innocent and good who find themselves among the teeth and claws, and that is something Tull Raine, Jedi Padawan, will not allow as long as he draws breath,” with that Tull walked past the Blind Jedi and did not look back.

Let her hear wisdom. Let her remember who she should be. Let her remember what is means to be a Jedi.

Reflections from Tor part 46

Tor moved around the Defiance, helping to secure things for their departure from Exovar’s. He heard thumping sounds and turned to meet Tull as he boarded the ship. A smile spread over Tor’s face as he took in one of his padawans, massive Jedi robes swathing the barabel. Tor said nothing, but clapped a hand on the lizard’s shoulder as they helped secure the remaining supplies.

Once the ship was safely in hyperspace, Tull asked Tor to his quarters, a puzzled look on his face. “Wizard, do visions always come true?”

Tor paused, curious about what prompted this line of questioning. “The Force can bring powerful insights, Tull,” the camaasi began slowly. “It can show people or events worlds away. It can show the past, the present, or the future.” Tull’s face at the mention of the future, and Tor knew that’s where his concerns lied. “But our actions, or anyone’s for that matter, can change those visions Tull. It’s our decisions, how we choose to react to the events in our lives, that shapes things to come.”

Tull’s face was full of concentration. “Why are you interested in this, Tull?”

“There was a wi…seer on Tull’s world. She had visions involving Tull and Tull just wanted to know…if his destiny, and the destinies of others, are their own.”

Tor thought for some time before responding. “They are, Tull. But who was this woman to you?”

“No one, Wizard. She was no one.”

The Defiance and the Spelljammer came out of hyperspace to the sight of a minefield and massive orbital shield generator over their destination of Felucia.

Things have changed, Tor thought as the ships approached the barricade.

Khalic slid into his seat and his expert fingers flew over the keyboard as the ship’s communications crackled to life. Tor stood behind his young padawan as the Imperials demanded passcodes for passage to the planet. Tor watched as Khalic pulled up a detailed readout of the space ahead of them. Mines, a treacherous and unlikely path smaller than their ships, or the orbital station ahead of them. Tor nodded at Khalic and spoke into the com.

“We’re here representing the Moff of sector 2814, inspecting the area for hunting purposes. He’s been told there is plenty of game down there. Deactivate the shield.”

The Imperials requested documentation but Tor’s younger apprentice was already on it, fingers tapping expertly across the keys as he pulled information from the holonet and beginning to put together a forgery. He stopped after a moment. “It won’t be good enough,” the zabrak said, looking up at Tor.

Tor stretched out to the Force and pulled it closer around them. He put his hand on Khalic’s shoulder. “Focus,” he said gently. “Let your feelings guide you.” Khalic nodded and turned back to the screen, his eyes closing as he made alterations and added to the documents. He tapped the send key and they waited.

“Everything checks out. Deactivating shield.”

Tor smiled at his padawan as Khalic guided the ship to the surface, the Spelljammer close behind.

The ships landed and were ensnared by the local plant life just as they had before. Tor had to smile. The Force was strong on this planet, every plant and animal teeming with it. It was a good place to learn. He looked at Khalic. A good place to grow.

The group took the swoops through the jungle, stopping when they were attacked by a pack of nexu. The fight was short lived, and once it was over, a rustling in the jungle had all on edge except for Tor who smiled and moved towards the sound, their old ally Mandrake emerging from the greenery.

As Mandrake led them back to the Felucian camp, he filled them in on what was happening. The blockade, while looking ominous, had proved beneficial to the Felucians, who wanted nothing more than to be left alone. However, their own raids on the Imperials had prompted further action, and they had been driven into hiding.

By then they had reached the cave where the Felucians were. Tor recognized several of the faces, tousling the heads of children as they passed, nodding and smiling at some of the adults. At the end of the cave, the chief stood and Tor grasped his arm as they approached. The Felucian spoke to Tor, their minds connecting through the Force.

Tor asked about Khalic’s mother, and the chief told him that he would help, if Tor would help the tribe. The camaasi nodded and the chief showed him images of Imperials coming towards them.

The group quickly prepared themselves for a fight and left to where the Imperials were coming, many of the tribes warriors, including the chief’s son once more, going with them.

In the distance Tor could see near a hundred troopers coming over the uneven terrain, approaching a dried riverbed. Behind them an AT-AT burst from the treeline, a smaller AT-ST next to it. Tor studied the situation and turned to the group. “We’ll go for the walkers.”

He looked to Tull. “Let’s take care of those metal monsters.” They jumped onto one of the swoops and took off, Jedi robes flapping wildly in the wind, the others mounting swoops or running on foot towards the troopers.

Blaster fire erupted around them, filling the air with fire and smoke as Tor pulled the swoop higher, swerving and angling toward the AT-ST. As they approached, Tor looked back and gave Tull a quick nod. The barabel rolled off the side of the swoop and landed on the AT-STs roof, the decrease in weight bouncing the swoop and Tor out of the AT-ATs fire. Tor pulled the Force to him, felt its strength all around him and reached a hand toward the behemoth. The walker groaned, metal straining as it rose into the air. Tor turned his hand and the machine crashed to the ground with an impact that shook the trees. Spinning the swoop, Tor kept his concentration and rose the AT-AT again, crashing it once more, its legs crumpled as it lay on its side.

Tor landed the swoop and moved closer to the downed machine, entering near the neck where a large tear had split the durasteel. He picked his way through snapping wires and sparking consoles as he peered inside the cockpit. A scarred man in a captains uniform glared at him from the consoles. He slammed a red button that started an alarm. “Self-Destruct activated.”

Tor’s eyes widened as he backed away quickly, using the Force to speed his movements as he leaped back onto the swoop and kicked it into the air. As he raced towards the AT-ST, Tor yelled, both aloud and through the Force.


Tull’s head appeared from the two legged walker as he clambered out of the cockpit. He paused for barely a second before launching himself into the air. Tull hung suspended for a tense moment before Tor’s outstretched hand caught him and the barabel flipped onto the back of the swoop. They raced away just as the AT-AT erupted into a massive explosion, the heat and the shockwave washing over them.

“Do you think people will believe that Tull is a Jedi now, Wizard?” Tull called over the wind and fire.

“You’ve always been a Jedi, Tull. Even before you got your lightsaber. It’s a fool who sees only what something is, and not what it might become.”

They flew down towards the others, facing off against the troopers. Tor could feel a strong sense of purpose and satisfaction from Tull, his padawan finally realizing his larger role in the galaxy.


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