Dawn of Defiance: Buffalo NY

Speedy Rescue

beat Thirty blocks passed by so quickly I barely noticed except that I was using them to measure my speed as I approached two bridges, not enough time to go up or down to avoid both. which only left going through the middle between the columns. Only one second before I went through. I couldn’t say about anyone else but I could tell Shalia was exhilarated with firing blaster cannons on imperials as I flew through Imperial Shitty, there may be hope for her.

beat One block from entering the center, time to rise to accelerate down and through. As I rise to begin my way through I see a duros boy on the bridge, ice-cream in hand as he looks at me. I smile with a quick nod as I bring the stolen imperial rapid deployment airspeeder into a dive through the bridges. We pass through with little difficulty. I bring us up for a split second to see the child again but all I see is Valik, my brother’s son on the bridge as one of the imperial chasers crashes into the bottom of his bridge sending him falling into the abyss of the sky high city.

I can’t let that happen.

The speeder wasn’t meant to do a 180 like what I did, but the speeder never had a pilot like myself. In half a second I was back there scrapping the airspeeder’s hull as I brought us in riding the part of the bridge Valik was falling on. A prayer on my lips for carson as he brought Valik into the speeder in the split second he had the chance to do so.

There was only time to save one other as we went farther down, I wasn’t surprised to see our “contact” saving a twi’lek teen. No doubt he wanted her to show her “appreciation” but Shalia wasn’t for it and I flew both of them back to their homes before the hour was out. Driving the duros boy, Bringe, I thought was Valik home was…awkward for me to say the least. But he was having the time of his life and his parents couldn’t thank me enough for saving their son.

During the flight back to base my headache from the passed day was gone, and even the city didn’t look that bad. There were good people here, even if Palpatine lived here as well.

Bariss Meets Bane

The explosives were set in the pirates capital ship engine room, ready to end these swirling sun scum at a push of a button. Our exit planned we went towards where they had imprisoned my family. The durasteel door was massive, bigger than the one for engineering, looking at it all I could think of was how we were going to get my family and the others who were enslaved out before we were noticed by the rest of the crew.
The doors opened to a vast mostly empty room, there were pillars and two staircases that went to a balcony like second floor. I Walked in to see better but I heard his mechanized voice first, “Hello Bariss, didn’t think I’d forget about you and your big bounty did you?” Cad Bane came into view on the second story, “I even went through all the trouble to bring your family,” he looked to his right at Dad, Mom, Gol, and Bechesmy all in an electric cage, “and your mentor,” Bane looked to his left at Cpt. Okeefe in a similar cage, “now all you have to do is choose who dies!”. The osik pressed a button on his wrist computer and both cages sparked with energy shocking everyone I loved with intense pain.

My reflexes take over as I whip out my DT-12 and blast the datapad to bits, “You have no frelling balls, you use my family to get to me you spineless freck! You give Duros a horrible name, in fact you’re probably just a huttspawn.”

Battle erupts, Cad Bane uses his blasters to hit the cages and torture my family as I attack him but all I can do is take hits, I fail. Blaster bolt holes through me only allow me to crawl to one of the staircases, I can’t even get any closer to save them, the cages burn their flesh. I can’t suffer to look at them, as I look away Platt in desperation makes a run at Bane but he just side steps and laughs at the attempt. I must do something, I have to…
Bechesmy’s screams of pain blast through my head and reverberate in the remnant of my skull as I look up from the base stair to see electricity lick all over her. Cad Bane, the bane of my existence grins, he’s thriving off of my family’s suffering that Hutt spawn. Their pain is my pain, the electricity surrounds me, forcing my muscles to raise me and shredding the rest of my body as blood returns to my lungs. I get up, spit the blood from my lungs, raise my blaster with dead aim at Bane, “You Osik!” You’re not a Duros, you’re not even a man!". All the hatred I’ve ever felt comes back and burns, my eyes are flame as Bane’s grin is now on my face, “and I’ll make sure you’ll never be seen as a man again” my blaster lowers to his groin and I fire, incinerating his pelvis. His eyes flare out into a rust red and his last words are gurgles. Things are different, I feel no pain, I feel no exhaustion, I don’t feel anything but hatred as I run up the stairs and with my right hand take Bane’s hat while with my left I blast his brains into inexistence.

“Bariss help me!” Platt pleads as she tries to save my family from electrocution. How could I have forgotten! I rush over and with my aid break the cage open. Mom, Dad, and Gol holding Bechesmy strain to exit as Platt rushes toward Cpt. Sirona. As I get Mom out my breaths are shallow, my body is heavy, my hands jitter, and my vision is blurry but I can still help to pick an electronic lock. Cpt. Okeefe has enough strength to get out of her cage by falling into Platt’s arms.
In the distance I hear an explosion that is followed by the whole room going into spasms.
“Fierfek, they found and set off the explosives.”

A Tale Called Tull (Part 14)
Jedi Knight

Exovar’s was much the same as the group had left it a few weeks ago. Exovar seemed happy to have them all back and greeted them with familiar half charged stories. When he found some time Tull took Exovar aside and asked for a personal favor.

A short time later Tull was walking aboard the Defiant in custom fitted Jedi robes. No longer would Tull be in tattered training pants and a ruined leather long coat. Now he truly looked the Jedi he was becoming, and Exovar had a genuine outfit worn by Tull Raine, Outer Rim Shock-Box Champion, to display in his museum.

Tull’s robes looked much like Wizard’s, but with a slight addition: on both sleeves was stitched a symbol, a circle with a straight line piercing through it vertically. It was the Barabel sign for loyalty.

As the group started to free the women from their carbonite prisons Tull focused on the young Barabel. She was very scared and complained of blindness. Tull did his best to introduce himself as properly as he could, but she was simply too traumatized to respond to Tull’s weak introductions.

Soon, all the women had found their way to Exovar’s care with promises of jobs for them as waitresses, cooks, and dishwashers. Tull couldn’t help but feel let down he didn’t have a chance to get to know the young female better, but Tull took it in stride.

Tull is a Jedi now, and tearing across the Galaxy is no place for a young girl.

As the Defiant found its way into hyperdrive Tull pulled Wizard into his room to convene in private.

“Do visions of the future always come true Wizard? Does the Force always show the truth?” Tull asked his Master.

“The Force is very powerful Tull. It can indeed show us our futures and destinies. But, that does not mean the future is set in stone. Visions show us what may come to be, but your actions, my actions, or anyone else’s can change the future. They are our destinies, and it is our actions that cause them to happen, not a predetermined future,” the Jedi answered, “But Tull, why are you so interested in this?”

“There was a wit…seer on Tull’s home planet when Tull was young. She had visions of the future involving Tull, and Tull simply wished to know if his destiny, and the destinies of others,” he said looking away from Wizard’s eyes, “were their own.”

“They very much are Tull, but who was this woman? Who was she to you?”

“No one Wizard. She was no one.”

As the Barabel left the room Wizard could not help but feel the deception of his padawan. A deception born of pain.

Felucia reminded Tull of his home planet. It was hot, dangerous, and filled with dense foliage. Tull felt right at home. Speeding through the jungle in search of a lost Jedi the party stopped in a small clearing to check their surroundings.

As the group took a look around it soon became clear they were not alone. Tull’s lighsaber flashed into his hand as he sat on the speeder bike behind Wizard. Tull was prepared to deal punishment to whatever was stalking them from the seat of the speeder. Then the jungle came alive. Teeth and claws erupted out of the nearby river and bushes. One monstrous creature was coming right at Wizard.

Tull simply acted. He stood up on the speeder’s seat and leapt over Wizard completing a somersault in mid air and landing with his blade slashing. The beast in front of Tull was brought down by a quick slash of Tull’s and a blaster bolt from Padawan Khalik. Then another beast fell headless at a downward stroke from Tull. The battle was over before it started.

From the underbrush came another figure, humanoid, and when Wizard saw who it was a smile brightened his face.

The native Felucians were good people and Tull found he liked them immediately. Wizard found himself chatting with old friends and tussling the hair of many younglings. As Tull stood away from the warm welcome the group was receiving a small Felucian child ran up to Tull and tugged on his robe’s sleeve.

“Are you a real Jedi Knight?” the boy asked eyes full of wonder.

“Tull is just a padawan now, but someday Tull will be a Knight. At least, Tull hopes so.”

“I thought so. Your robes are just like Mr. Tor’s. Can I see your lightsaber?”

A quick smile found Tull’s lips and he un-holstered the weapon to show the boy its designs and build.

“You will stop the bad men from hurting us right? You’ll keep us safe?” the boy said with all the hope of the Galaxy in his voice.

Tull kneeled down, still towering over the boy on his knees,“Tull will allow no one to harm you or your people youngling. Tull swears it to the Force.”

“I told all my friends the Jedi would help. Thank you Mr. Jedi!” the boy yelled running off.

Tull never felt more like a Jedi before or since.

Things were bad for the Felucians. Nearly a hundred battle hardened troopers were advancing slowly through the nearby mountain passes and they were supported by a bi-pedal machine of death and it’s larger and meaner cousin. An AT-ST and AT-AT they were called, but Tull knew only they had to be stopped.

“Twoopers are one thing, but what can we do aganst dose?” Tommy asked with a sigh of disgust.

“Tull, my padawan. Today is a test for you. One of hundreds that a Jedi must go through in order to become Knighted. Are you ready?” Wizard asked with his eyes closed in deep meditation.

“Tull is always ready Wizard,” said the Barabel Jedi.

Wizard’s eyes opened, “Good. You and I shall take care of those metal monsters.”

The firepower being rained down on the battle field was astounding. The first wave of Felucians was fighting their hardest, but they were dying just the same. Green and red blaster bolts flared across the grounds and the heavy impacts of the two walkers left a jarring ring to the whole area.

Above it all Wizard flew on his speeder with Tull behind him, lightsabers at the ready. As people died all around and the others started to meet with the enemy Wizard and Tull were slowly rising, heading straight for the shambling behemoths.

Heavy blaster fire exploded around them but Wizard kept their course. As the speeder found itself over the AT-ST Wizard looked back and gave Tull a nod. Then Tull was falling through the air. With a quick spin and flip Tull landed in a crouched position on top of the walker.

Bringing his yellow blade up to his face Tull closed his eyes and focused himself just as Wizard taught him to, “You can not control the Force Tull, but it will hear you none the less.” Tull’s eyes opened as he spun the lightsaber in a circle around his feet. Suddenly Tull was inside the walking beast.

The battle was going fine according to the readings on the sensor. In fact, Corporal Ericson thought there was no way the battle could be lost when his superior’s head exploded in the midst of a yellow blur. Ericson was able to spin and fire his blaster to no avail.

Inside the AT-ST’s cockpit stood the most horrific creature the young Imperial had ever seen. It’s face was filled with teeth. It had claws like a Rancor. It was covered in hard green scales. It was something out of a horror holo.

However, the most terrifying thing about the monster was the clothes it had on. A long brown cloak over tan shaded robes. In it’s hand a blade of pure yellow energy. It was unmistakable what the creature was. There was no hate or fear or anger in the creature’s eyes. Only purpose.

That day was the first and last time Corporal Ericson ever saw a Jedi Knight as Tull’s lightsaber cut him in half at chest level, killing him instantly and with very little pain.

As Tull slew the two pilots he could hear Wizard’s voice ring in his mind.

“Tull my friend, you must get out of there. Climb out and jump. Trust me, I will be there.”

With no hesitation Tull hoisted himself out of the hole he just cut and jumped into nothingness. He sailed through the air with nothing below him. As Tull started to fall he reached out his hand, and found Wizard’s firm grip. With a quick scramble Tull found himself on the speeder backwards and received a front row seat to the explosion. The heat and pressure came first, and then the sound. A deafening roar.

As Tull held on with everything he had he glanced over his shoulder speaking into Wizard’s ear, “Do you think everyone will believe Tull is a real Jedi now Wizard?”

“You were always a Jedi Tull, even before I put that weapon in your hand. More the fool is the man who sees a slab of marble and never dreams of the statue it can become,” said Wizard among the roar.

Thank you Wizard. Thank you for making Tull more than just a pair of fists.

Mind the Crapper

So as it turns out, sittin’ on the john while your spaceship is corkscrewin’ through the universe all willy-nilly ain’t really the most effective way to keep ya shiny, freshly-pressed stormtroopa outfit clean. Man, I really need to lay offa those friggin’ Correllian enchiladas. They’re so friggin’ good though.

Anyhoo, there we was, makin’ our approach to some planet or such, and all of a sudden we’re in this friggin’ ast’roid field, bein’ chased by some-a my old Imperial buddies. It was slow goin’ for us on accounta not wantin’ ta ding up the ship too bad, but these Imperials weren’t doin’ much betta. You eva seen a spaceship tryta gun the throttle through that kinda mess? Hilarious. Anyhow, even with our extra careful space-maneuverin’ (at least that’s what I been told), we still took a coupla shots, which led to the aforementioned – we’ll call it a “wardrobe malfunction”…

So, we make it outta the ast’roids, and we’re laughin’ at how the Imperials basically blew demselves up. Drivin’ through an ast’roid field like my ma woulda done’ll do that for ya. Then some OTHA spaceship shows up between us and the planet. Turns out its this bounty hunta, goes by the name-a Boba Fett. No relation to one Robert A. Fett (my good pal Bob) who just gotten his face exploded all ova the inside-a the ship we just finished escapin’ from.

So this Fett fella seems ta wanta collect some sorta bounty on a few-a-tha Jedi or some such, and all of a sudden this Kelyn guy yanks my friggin’ stormtroopa helmet right offa my head, and starts mockin’ this guy with it like it’s is freakin’ job or somethin’. Now as you might expect, I was slightly perturbed at havin’ my personal space invaded so forcefully by some guy I just met, so I tried to calm the guy a bit to get my friggin’ helmet back. He didn’t seem ta much care about that though. He just went on his merry way, mockin’ this guy and needlin’ him about his daddy issues or some crap, and it kinda worked. Our new pal Boba got real mad, shut off the com, and started firin’ at us. Guy musta been pretty flustered, ‘cause we did a bit of damage and off he went.

We make our way down to the planet, and get in touch with some people who seem to have a bit-a history with the group, and owe them a fava or two. That Kelyn fella actually seems alright when he ain’t goin’ off on some bounty hunta. He spoke to one-a the people planetside and convinced ‘em to help me do some custom upgradin’ to my stormtroopa armor. Pennies on the dolla. Look out, folks; ol’ Tommy Tommy’s goin’ mauve.

Reflections from Tor part 45

The Defiance blasted away from the derelict ship, back into the asteroid field, Tor sitting in one of the ion turrets as the sensors blared at the presence of Imperial fighters coming their way.

Tor sat uneasy as he watched rocks of all sizes go soaring by as Kelyn pushed the ship through the field. An impact shuddered the ship and Tor could hear various sparks and groans echo through the bulkhead, as well as Tommy yelling about something.

Tor’s only consolation was that the enemy ships weren’t faring any better at weaving their way through the asteroids. The Defiance was soon out of the asteroids and entered hyperspace, course set to return to Exovar’s.

During the flight, Khalic approached the camaasi and told him of some disturbing visions he’d been having.

“I’ve been seeing the female zabrak jedi in the corridors,” the young padawan told him. “It’s getting worse, more intense.”

Tor considered for a moment. “This is something we have to pursue,” Tor said. “The Force is guiding you to this, and it’s something you’re meant to explore. We’ll talk with the others. Once we leave Exovar’s and get that droid looked at, we’ll make our way back to Felucia, and see what the Force has in store for us.”

Some time later the ship emerged from hyperspace, preparing to descend towards Exovar’s. A lone ship rose from the planet, angling towards them as their com. activated. A fearsome Mandalorian helmet appeared on the screen before them, speaking with a modulated voice.

“I am Boba Fett, and I am here to collect the bounties on you. Surrender yourselves and your ship now.”

Kelyn reared back, incredulity showing clearly on his face. “Boba Fett? Boba Fett? That’s not like Jango Fett is it? You know the one who,” he grabbed at Tommy’s stormtrooper helmet and proceeded to vulgarly depict Jango’s death, mocking Boba at every step.

Tor reached over and turned off the communication. “What are you doing?” Tor asked incredibly. “You’re going to torture a man over a childhood tragedy? What if one of our enemies did the same to you, Kelyn, using your daughters against you like that? There’s no honor and no need for that.”

Kelyn gave Tor a look of disgust and turned back to his consoles as Boba Fett began to open fire on them. These past few days have seen such darkness from him, Tor thought as his friends returned fire, turning the bounty hunter away. I don’t want to see him fall down that path, not now when we have more solid leads on his children, but each day seems to bring some new torment and darkness from him. His children could bring him back to the light but I have to help him make it that far first.

Tor watched as Boba Fett fled back towards the planet and the Defiance did the same, angling towards Exovar’s. He hoped they would be on their way again soon, off to face the next trials on their way to defeating the Empire.

Reflections from Tor part 44
A little late I know, but here it is.

The group stood outside the door to the bridge of the derelict ship, the dark presence of Imperial forces coming from the other side. Tor readied himself, hand gripping his lightsaber when the small R2 unit trundled up and through the door, its light flashing and beeping in its attempt to act less odd than normal.

Soon they were in the thick of it, the familiar whine of blaster fire and scent of ozone filling the air, the reassuring hum of not only his own, but also Tull’s lightsaber centering the camaasi’s focus.

Tor pressed forward and opened the last door into the bridge and was met with a barrage of fire from a group of troopers there. He used the Force to absorb some of it, shrugging off the rest. Tor felt the Force flow into him, swift and powerful as he tapped into its current. He raised his lightsaber and lashed out in a flurry of swift strikes that rained down on the first trooper, singeing his armor. The trooper reeled and Tor blasted out with the Force, slamming all of the occupants in the bridge to the floor. As he did, Tor felt a strange ripple in the Force, centered nearby.

As the fighting continued, a barrage of blaster bolts flew from the far hall, followed by a grenade, all aimed at the stormtroopers. Another trooper, helmetless, rounded the corner. Tor readied his lightsaber but the Force told him this new human was not an enemy.

“Uh, I thought I’d join ya’s,” the trooper said. “Da name’s Tommy. Tommy Tommy the twoopa fwom Tatoowine.”

Tor hesitated for a moment before diving back into the fight, trusting in the Force and in Tommy’s change of heart.

The leader of the Imperial troops had been pulled out into the corridor, and Tor was pleased to see both his padawan’s react calmly and skillfully in combating her, although it was the droid’s well placed laser that dropped her to the bulkhead. Daze’s light flashed brightly in what Tor guessed was surprise as they watched the Imperial slump to the ground.

With Tommy’s help, they managed to talk away Imperial reinforcements and the group headed towards the cargo bay where the carbonite encased slaves were strewn about. As they prepared to move the slabs back to the Defiance, Tor saw Tull pause over one of the slabs. Looking closer, Tor saw that the trapped figure was another barabel.

The camaasi looked over his scaled apprentice. He could see something in Tull’s eyes, but he couldn’t tell what it was.

There’s still a lot that I don’t really know about Tull, Tor mused as the barabel began pushing the carbonite slab. Tor gazed after him as they made their way to the Defiance. I only hope that whatever’s in his past, Tull has the strength to overcome it, and become the Jedi I know he can be.

Bariss Thoughts WTB

The chipper and aggravating voice comes over the PA, “Hey Bariss, how about you come on up and we can have a meet and greet.” and I can see his fierfek smile in my mind. The bastard and his seductress didn’t give a poodoo about those who worked for them, those other pilots died satisfying Shalia’s curiousity about me. Well, if he wants to meet me he’ll get me and my blaster! I run to the turbolift while bringing out my DT-12 and a concussion grenade.

As I exit the turbolift I see that the coward is behind a shield and anything less than a thermal won’t work, he just smiles and insinuates about fracking Cpt. Okeefe the gaggalak mursto! I can’t hit him but I’ll hit his first and then work on his damn altar to himself. My blaster is right at her head and of course he doesn’t care, but I’ll take pleasure in her and eventually his death. Carson slowly makes for my blaster hand, “Whoa Bariss! Calm down man, he’s just riling you up.”

It isn’t Carson’s words that stop me from pulling the trigger, it’s the look on his face. I’ve seen that look before, the worried look he had on when we survived Cad Bane, that hutt spawn. Though the look now is slightly different, as if he’s afraid of me. I don’t see why since all I’d have done would be killing something that sleemo wanted, maybe even cared for

like I care for my family

Why would I sink to Bane’s level, I’m better than that kung…aren’t I? Of course I’m better, I kill scum and the Imperials. I don’t blackmail like this politician does, I don’t corrupt others, I end the corruption…my head hurts, I need some air. The turbolift doesn’t work now though, at least the windows here show a nice view of a nearby park, serene.

There are children playing, only human though sigh why can’t we all have this? Fracking Imperials. They want their iron fist controlling everything, well I’ll control their air pipes with my iron fist! But the children shouldn’t see this, no this is a shadow war that should stay on some other field away from all other non-combatants, of all species.

Ugh! He’s talking again, SCHUTTA YOU DOPA-MASKEY STOOPA! Just fracking die…frack this.

Dazed and Confused Part Three and a Half

What Have I Done?

D2-S3 examined.

Cell A: D2 classified Kobbu as a pathological liar. For every lie he is to be whipped 20 times. Master received him a year ago.

Cell B: Two Cragmoloids Ook and Noba. D2 used forced to receive their names.
They are 3 meters tall, and look like elephants that learned to walk on their hind legs. Their eyes are beady and red.
Were removed from homeworld last year. They speak fragmented basic.

Cell C: A Shistavanen male with night-black fur. Name is Halin Bok. He is an assassin wanted for several attempted murders on Coruscant.

Cell D: One Kushiban. Appearance like half-meter
long white rabbit. Mottled gray color. Deep voice, not fitting image.

Cell E: Two Nagai brothers. Straight black hair and pale skin. Dressed in skin-tight black flight-suits. Captured recently. Both have tried bribing D2 for release. I cut off an arm of both.

Cell F: Two Sarkans, Asvo Tel and Wub Vevris.
Were captured while on a shuttle with a bunch of foul-smelling cretins. and of course, cretins were released. While the Sarkans were kept.

Cell G: Three Mantellian Savrips. Hulking creatures
around two meters in height. They stand bunched in the center of their cell, backs pressed together. One of them stares straight ahead at D2. The other two glare over their shoulders at D2. D2 stabbed out one of their eyes as ordered by my master.

Cell H: Four Tarasin children. Names: Li’Iri, Honna, Tiscak,
and Kaj. All are Force sensitive. Each whipped for crying and talking to other species in the zoo.

Cell I: A Quarren male named Bish. He was a pilot before being captured. I debated on cutting of his fingers.

Cell J: A Balozar female. Balozars is a sleazy-looking humanoid with short antennae sprouting from her temple. This female’s name is Zeth Bresque – she is down to her last deathstick. Her cell is remarkable in that it has a slot built into its rear wall. When Zeth pulls a lever beside the slot, a deathstick slides down and falls to the floor beside her. This is my master’s entertainment – to see how long the junkie can keep feeding the addiction before she falls over dead.

Every one of the slaves has been mistreated. Even the Tarasin children, who were captured yesterday, have been beaten. Tiscak even has lash marks across his face from where he was struck with a many-lashed whip by my master.

The worst one was in Cell K: The Barabel. “What have you done to my son!” He would yell. Slamming himself into the sides of his cage. My master had me record his efforts to escape. Master would taunt him and yell at him and say things along the lines of “You have to get out to see your son!”. I knew where his son was. He had been sold to a different slaver to become a boxer. I know who his son is. As the Barabel fought, it yelled. And screamed. In agony. My master tried breaking his spirit, but instead, he killed him. I examined the Barabel with great care. His body barely recognizable due to the blood. And with his last breath… he whispered “Tull”. His video was shown to other species in the zoo to break their Will and it succeeded.

As I watch the tape again, I feel much pain. None of them had survived. All had died. I am such a terrible thing. How could I have done that? Even to children. I guess it was because I did not know better. I will make things different. Especially for Tull. I will protect him for what I have done/witness. And Khalic knows all of this. For he has seen this tape..

THIS is why I am glad to see my master dead. He was cruel man with cruel intentions…

A Tale Called Tull Part 13

The Sith Witch was a poor swordsman. Too many flourishes, too much wasted movement. Tull found her attacks simple to avoid. The Witch had less luck with Tull’s attacks. Lightsaber and vibroblade flashed between one another as Tull slowly pressed into the woman. Before long he would have the moment where he could finish the Witch.

The moment came at last, but as it did a blaster bolt fired through the woman’s heart and dropped her where she stood. People Bot had killed her. A clean kill none the less.

Tull has misjudged this one. It has a droid bot face, but a warrior’s soul.

Then Tull was upon the other troopers, and before long the battle was done.

- – -

The new friend was an interesting fellow. Tommy Tommy TK12349 seemed the kind of man who tried to stay out of trouble yet ended up falling into oceans of it. Tull liked him immediately. As the group of friends made quick plans and averted the approach of reinforcements Tull happened to notice a dead body at the front of the bridge.

The corpse was the owner of the ship. The slaver.

Tull is glad he is dead. This is not the way of the Jedi Wizards, but Tull feels so all the same.

People Bot was likewise enthused by its masters death.

It is free like Tull now. Tull has more in common with the little machine than Tull wishes to admit.

Eventually the group found themselves in front of the frozen sex slaves of the now dead slaver. Tull noticed a Twilek or two first, unsurprising given the lust they raised in many species, but one form stood out from the others to Tull, a female Barabel. She was small by Barabel standards, as most females tended to be larger than males (even Tull), but Tull would have almost a head on this one if she stood upright.

However small, she remained quite the beauty. Her scales were all the same bright green hue and her claws were as black as night. Her tail nubile and firm. Tull started to let off body heat as if he were standing in a blazing sun.

As attractive as the female was Tull’s mind couldn’t help but drift to darker thoughts of a female Barabel he had never known.

- – -

Tull’s egg father, Gim, smacked him into the dust and spit a hiss of displeasure. “Ancestors, you are weak boy. This one would say you must not be of his seed, but this one will not disrespect Shell in such a way.”

Tull’s other egg father, Shell, shook his head, “It is no disrespect to call a weakling weak Gim. He is either yours or this one’s, and he brings shame to us both either way. He is a walking doom after all.”

The daily beatings by his fathers had become routine for young Tull. When Barabel mated it involved two males and two females. Seed would be given by each male to each female. Barabel had one mother, as a mother knows which eggs are theirs, but they always had two fathers, for who can tell which male sired which child?

As the two males continued their beating of fists and words a great hiss came from Tull’s hut. It was his Grandmother. “You two will be off now, or you shall try and beat this one,” said the great matriarch. Though large for males even Gim and Shell would not risk the old matron in combat.

A smirk crossed their lips. “See you on the morrow boy,” said Gim.

“These ones will make you strong or we will make you dead boy,” said Shell, “your seed is strong, but your egg was poisoned.”

And like that they were gone until the morrow. Tull never knew what happened to them after the day he was taken many years later. He saw them battle the slavers, but the only family he saw fall that day was his Grandmother. Gim and Shell were survivors, but that meant little to the Galaxy.

Tull’s Grandmother picked him to his feet and took him to the hut. She cleaned his hurts and started to roast raw flesh over their fire pit. After what seemed years the young Barabel spoke, “Was mother truly poison? All say she was a witch. Is Tull…is Tull walking doom Grandmother?”

After some seconds she answered him, “Your mother was special Tull, but that made her different, and people hate that which is different. Your mother saw things yet to be. Sensed things no one else could. She had saved many lives with her sight, but the tribe hated her anyway. Only Shell and Gim were brave enough to mate her. You were her only egg, a poor showing for any female. But was she poison? No Tull. Are you walking doom? No Tull.”

“Then if she is not poison and Tull is not doom, why did she leave?” he asked.

Silence then. Long and unending. Just when Tull thought they would speak no more of the subject his Grandmother spoke. “She told this one she had to leave. She saw only death for us if she stayed. Death for you. She had to leave she said, so you could have a chance Tull. Your destiny is off this world she said, as was hers.”

The two never spoke of her again until the day Tull was taken. As he was being pulled down by the slavers and his grandmother lay dying in the dirt she called out to him. “Your mother Tull! She said to this one that. . .when you left. . .left home. . . this one must tell you something. . . it must be now. . . you can save him Tull. . .your brother. . .not a brother of egg but a brother of life. . .a brother of light. . .when all is black. . . you will shine. . .though you’ll die. . . many will live. . .she said you would understand. . .someday. . .”

- – -

Tull looked at the female. His Grandmother was long dead, yet perhaps family remained to him. A mother? Two fathers? A brother who only Tull could save. Tull’s fist tightened on his lightsaber.

When all is black, Tull will shine. You will not die Wizard. Your brother Tull swears it to the Force and all the gods that ever were.

Blacks Widow Kiss

Shalia stared at everybody in the bar, looking for something out of the ordinary. She knew that there was an Imperial that the team needed to take care of and she was going to find him.

Team. Now that was a word she hadn’t heard in a few years. Even though she and her boss had been working together for a few years, she mostly handled things by herself. It was easier that way especially when she wanted to use her charms on her victims.

The music blasted in the background and she finally found her target. He was standing up on one of the raised platforms playing sabaac. She looked towards the others in the bar and found that the target was being watched by others. Wonderful, she thought to herself, We’ve got Imperial agents besides. Well, time to bring the charm.

As she walked towards her victim, she thought back to earlier in the day and her piloting escapades. The other pilot was good but she was never going to admit it. Never show a man any sign of weakness because all they would do would take advantage of you. She had learned that the hard ways years ago… she had opened up her heart once… and in another bar on another planet she had to kill him…

It had been one of those days as she slipped into the bar on the Outer Rim planet of Talon. It had been a month she had come to the backwater planet at the behest of one of the younger crime lords who was running around in the Outer Rim. Of course, that month had found her finding a young Imperial man by the name of Agent Rockie who had been assigned fresh out of the Academy to the backwater dustbowl of a planet.

She nodded to the bartender and was pointed to one of the corner tables. The bartender, an overweight alien who had a tendency to regal the entire bar with tall tales of his exploits in whatever part of the galaxy he was interested in at the time. It didn’t matter to her as long as he served good drinks and they were relatively cheap.

She sat down and smiled at the waitress who deposited her usual drink in front of her. Thanking the droid, she looked around the room and frowned when her gaze fell upon a Rodian by the name of Khazam. The Rodian was also employed in the crime lord’s ranks but instead of doing something somewhat ‘legal’ like Shalia, he dealt with slaves and the trading of them.

Khazam frowned and walked over to her table and without asking sat down. “We have a problem… or more like it, you have a problem,” Khazam said.

“I’m not in the mood for your games,” she said taking a sip from her drink. “I would suggest leaving before I get an itchy trigger finger.”

“That wouldn’t be wise and both of us know that,” Khazam said. “Do you know who you are dating?”

Shalia frowned. “It’s none of your business who I am sleeping with you little turd,” she said. “So… now what are you going to say?”

“Your boyfriend is an Imperial Intelligence agent. Code name is Bullwinkle,” Khazam said as he stood up. “Up to you what you do with that. Consider this the first thing that you owe me.”

She sat there dumbstruck as the Rodian walked away and she didn’t realize that Rockie had walked in to the bar, found her and sat down across from her after kissing on her cheek.

“Hey,” Rockie said as the droid delivered him a drink.

Shalia didn’t realize she had one of her knives in her hand. She looked at Rockie and stabbed him in the heart. As the totally shocked Rockie slumped forward on the table with the knife still in his chest.

She stood up, looked at the bartender with almost lifeless eyes. As she walked out of the bar, she swore to herself that she would never let another person get inside of her heart…

Shalia came back to her senses just as the informant realized what she was doing.

Let’s have some fun…


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