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Author Topic: Relics In the Dark  (Read 811 times)
janx
Knight Lt. Commander
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Force Alignment: -20
Posts: 476


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« on: March 21, 2020, 02:47:21 PM »


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNE7UNsIEjM" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNE7UNsIEjM</a>


Chapter One - Dress Rehearsal

The cloak billowed behind as I strode down the ramp until it caught on a junction plank, yanking me backwards and choking me.

“Ack!”

Sergeant Virtica Thrin ran forward, her scuffed stormtrooper armor rattling as she moved.  “What happened?”

Tugging on the hem until it came loose, I said, “This bloody thing is too long.” My voice rumbled through the mask.

The other person on the hangar deck rolled his eyes.  Motus Pricairn and his judging freckles judged me. Retired commander and next door neighbor.  “He’ll never be ready. I’ve seen pijacks more frightening than him.”

Thrin looked back at him, “Well maybe if you’d have gotten the measurements right.  I thought you said you took up sewing when you retired?”

“Yes, to mend my clothes.  Do you know what I get on Imperial pension?  And now you think some civilian from supply chain management can pull this off?”

I glared at him, “Hey Prickles, I’m standing right here.”

Thrin finished getting my cloak unsnagged.

The old man looked at me, “This entire plan is crazy and you can’t even walk down the ramp without tripping over something.  Use the Force or something.”

Right, as if I spent my youth training to be a Jedi like my father before me.  Dad managed supply chain logistics for the Republic, and then the Empire.  I followed in his footsteps.  Good job.  Less likely to get blown up, and I could retire early. Which I did on Meadosia, an Imperial Retirement Planet. Where I met my neighbors Thrin and Pricairn.

“Don’t you have a death star to command or something.”

Pricairn ran a dark hand through his frizzy white hair.  “Those are round.  This is a Star Destroyer.  And not a very good one. How long have you kept this rust bucket  hidden?”

My eyes rolled up as I dug into my memory. “About fifteen years. The Revenant was old, took some damage in a fight but slated for decommissioning instead of repair.  I rerouted the order to a dead spot on the map.”

“Everything we have here is old.  You are the worst Sith I have ever seen. This plan will never work.”

Thrin finished getting my cloak unsnagged.  She wore her grey hair in a braid and wrapped around her neck.  “Guys, we’ve got an hour before the raiders enter the system.  Pricairn, just leave me with Brexton here and we’ll rehearse a few more times.”

“That’s not my name anymore.”

She squared off with me, “When you can stride down that ramp without tripping, I’ll use your Darth name, until then, you need to practice walking the walk.”

“Fine.”

Pricairn grumbled, then stalked off to the bridge, leaving us along in the cavernous hangar.  With him gone, there’s a quarter as much criticism aimed at me.

“Think this will work, Thrin?”

“What, posing as a new Sith Lord to stop raider attacks against our planet?”

“Yeah.”

“With the order to surrender all Star Destroyers to the new Republic last year, I’m sure those raiders will fill their pants when we pull them out of hyperspace.  Or laugh at us when we ask them to join up. Why don’t we just threaten them?”

I started pacing on the deck, rows of unmanned Tie fighters hanging above me.  “I know you’re used to working under a daily choking hazard, but I’ve learned that I can get more done with a plate of cookies than aggression.  Also, I can’t squeeze a throat that hard with the Force.”

Her eyes followed me as I burned off the nervous energy, “Well if we can’t impress these raiders with Stormtroopers, we’re gonna need more than ‘these are not the crates you’re looking for.’ Didn’t you watch the videos of Vader?”

“Of course I did.  But I didn’t go to school to learn force tricks and be intimidating.  My dad made me hide what I could do so it wouldn’t attract attention.  And then, I still met the Emperor once.”

Thrin adjusted one of the crates placed near the ramp. “Ooh, that’s risky.  I think all of us are alive be being stationed on boring planets. What happened?”

“I got stuck going with my dad to the office.  Turned out there was a surprise visit by the Emperor.  Office staff lined up, I hid behind my dad’s leg, but the creepy old man saw me and motioned for me to come over.”

“Then what?”

“Dad brought me over, they exchanged pleasantries and then the Emperor reached down and lifted my chin, looking me straight in the eyes and said, You will follow in your father’s footsteps and keep the Empire running.”

A loud crash followed as Thrin overbalanced a crate. “Well, that’s not ominous at all.”

The comm on Thrin’s armor squelched and Pricairn’s voice sounded, “We’re detecting a raider ship approaching from hyperspace. Prepare for Interdiction and capture. Don’t screw this up, Brexton.” I could imagine the voice in Pricairn’s head narrating, “Despite the reminder,
Brexton would screw up.”

Thrin put the crate back into place, “All right Brex, get back up the ramp and around the corner, wait for me to introduce you.” She pushed a button on her wrist panel and spoke again, “troops, get suited and lined up in bay 12, this is not a drill.”

I hustled back up the ramp while trying to use the force to keep the hem of my cloak from snagging again. Exhausting work. Then I waited behind the corner of the corridor beyond the entrance ramp to the vast hangar bay.

Stormtroopers stomped past me to get into their positions with Thrin.  Most of their armor had seen better days. All of it came from the stockpile I rerouted to a dead-drop during my supply chain days. My rainy day fund now furnishing a squad of retirees.  The last one to pass me by barely fit into his chest plate.

Klaxons and whooshing noises signaled the arrival of the raider’s ship as tractor beams pulled it into bay. I imagined I heard their ramp lowering and crew stepping out to confront ours, including  menacing metallic footsteps. Then the voice spoke, “I AM IG-D9. THE EMPIRE IS DEAD. WHO ARE YOU TO DETAIN US.”

Thrin called out, “This is the Imperial Ship, Revenant.  You will surrender your vessel and serve our master, Darth Zahd.”

That’s my cue. I backed up down the hall, to build my stride. Hood up, eyes up, walk fast enough so the cloak billows behind me. Remember, if it goes wrong, dive off the ramp and hide behind a crate. Just like all the troopers, standing behind them, aiming at the raiders.  I skimmed looking at the other crew.  Scruffy and relaxed with hands on their blaster belts. And their leader, an IG-series droid with dented and singed metallic exterior. I fixed my gaze on it as I made it midway down the ramp, when the mask slipped off and clattered down the ramp.

“HA HA HA HA HA HA HA,” the droid laughed, soon joined by its crew.

Stupid mask. Stupid Vader. Stupid Pricairn for insisting it would be more intimidating. And now these stupid outlaws thought they could come to my planet and take my stuff and laugh at me.

I felt a thickening in the Force surge and IG-D9 lurched toward me.

“WHAT WAS THAT? DID THE BAY DECOMPRESS OR ARE YOU TRYING THE FORCE ON ME.”

My teeth clenched as I pulled the laughing tincan toward me, despite its weight. 

SCRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPE

It flailed its arms in confusion while its feet scraped the flight deck as I dragged it to me. “WHAT IS GOING ON? THIS DOES NOT COMPUTE.”

It stopped at the edge of the ramp, where I couldn’t lift it to get it over the lip. Knocking my fallen mask aside, I took two more steps to stop in front of it so I could look it in the optical sensors from my elevated position on the ramp.
 “THERE ARE NO SITH LORDS ANYM-”

A red spear erupted from the lightsaber held at my waist, piercing its torso and coming out the droid’s back. I raised the blade up, the glowing scar of metal blossoming as it rose.  The droid flailed its arms, hands grasping at the lengthening gap in its chest.  Metal fingers and hands clattered to the deck. The thrashing stopped as my crimson blade sliced clear of hit’s tubular head. The defunct droid fell to the ground with a clatter as I said the words, “Kneel before Zahd.

The hangar bay echoed with the sound of knees striking the hangar deck.

---

   By the end of the day, Pricairn and Thrin sorted out who could be enlisted to join versus untrustworthy. Which was about half the crew. They were raiders after all.  I hid in my quarters during all that. Despite feeling cocky about the outcome, what scared me is the power I felt. I’ve never moved that much mass before. If that wasn’t scary,that could have been me carted off the deck if I’d gotten the saber hilt flipped upside down. Or not--mine is top heavy with support struts leading to the emitter and ornate engravings on the grip. How I found it and it’s owner is a different problem, but It’s hard to confuse the business end, even in the dark. So I’m just making stuff up to worry about. I know what that was. The dark side. If we’re careful, we won’t need it again.



The preceding is a bit of fun I had with picking a Jedi (or Sith name) and running with a back story which led to a real story idea.  Which led to googling how to make a star wars crawl.  And here we are. It's been edited and even critique grouped.  But it still feels a bit rough. I suspect some pieces are easier to follow for Star Wars fans, rather than the test audience I had.  I don't write fan fiction in practice, so I found this to be a humble lesson for myself, rather than the usual "I'm too good to write fan fiction." There's a lot more for me to learn on this project.

Comments are welcome. No writing is perfect, and one thing I am looking to know specifically is if the setting worked as I revealed details so you could figure it out and follow along.  I may have relied too much on the reader to know SW enough to fill in those blanks.

And, I hope you at least were entertained by the unusual viewpoint and plot.


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JNovaarii
Knight Sergeant
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Force Alignment: 2
Posts: 87



« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2020, 05:38:08 PM »

Nice bit of writing!!  Kinda had a bit of comedy to it.  I liked the Superman reference.  I look forward to seeing where this goes.

Sent from my LG-LS777 using Tapatalk

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current saber : Initiate v4 with fire orange blade, soon to have Obsidian v3 sound and av switch installed

wishlist dream saber:  Dark Initiate v5 with gold claws, with most of the black anodizing removed to create a custom look

"I am neither a servant of the light or the dark, but a servant of the balanced will of the Force. and serve the greater good of the galaxy"- Jeskaaro Nova'arii, Suva'arii Knight and Elite Guardian of the Fi'arii Empire

Light or dark points appreciated as warranted, My alignment will remain more or less neutral

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 306
Posts: 1659



« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2020, 06:21:02 PM »

Really great job Janx, works well as a cool little short story picking up some ideas that one doesn't really think of, what happened to all the retired imperials relying on pensions after the Empire collapses? how do they manage, how do they use their skills to do so. I think you did a good job for fan fic, ultimately you just write what and how you like to read and you won't go wrong, and its fine to let the reader fill in details, if you set it in SW universe clearly then you don't need to explain the Force and history etc. beyond setting the broad scene which you did fine.  Would definitely be interested in reading anything else on these characters or others you might have.
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

TheDutchman
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Force Alignment: 1026
Posts: 3842


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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2020, 04:04:44 AM »

VERY enjoyable, Janx!  I'm reminded of another sci-fi comedy series, Red Dwarf; your story had a similar ambiance to it  Smiley

But LSG DOES bring up a good point: just because the Rebels won at Endor does NOT mean that Imperial logistics wouldn't still be necessary...and I really like where you went with that, a blatent subversion of the "Origins" story (but WITH all the attendant verbiage e.g. "like my father before me").  Brilliant!

I'd love to rad more, especially if you decide to keep the underlying comedic tone, with tongue firmly planted in cheek  Wink
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My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

janx
Knight Lt. Commander
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Force Alignment: -20
Posts: 476


Vote for Neutrality!


« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2020, 08:01:35 AM »

Glad to hear this worked.  I suspect you all know SW better than I do, but for some reason, nobody in my critique group (mixed audience) really knew even the original movies. Definitely made me second guess myself, though they did help me see some weaker spots (that I fixed).

I'll see about making time for the next installment amidst working on my novel.  Might be a month or two as this piece took between first draft, cooling off, to editing and such (and I still missed an end quote). We'll see how the comedic line carries, this is a story about people who worked for bad guys, and maybe they'll realize that. A lot of my work seems funny until one of us realizes it's about something Smiley

Anyway, thanks for the vote of confidence, Thrin, Brexton and Pricairn will return in Chapter Two, wherein something goes wrong and Pricairn points out that he knew it would.
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