The following is a piece of fiction that I wrote as part of my JK promo requirements.
Torin strode through the grounds of the newly christened Fort Pernicar exploring the grounds of his new home when a soldier, one of the many militia soldiers who served under the Jedi of Clan Odan-Urr, came running over sliding to a stop a few paces from the young Melewati man.
“Sir,” said the breathless young man “Master Salbecca wishes to see you at once”.
“Where is he trooper?” asked Torin.
Pointing to the east the soldier replied “He’s on the cliffs overlooking the ocean sir”.
“Thank you trooper” said Torin as he slapped the young soldier on the back and made his way to the east of the compound.
As he made his way to the cliffs he could see the silhouette of his master, his arms crossed behind his back while his shaggy hair blew freely in the wind. Hovering off his left shoulder was the ever present form of S.P.O.T. his hand made translator droid. As Torin reached the Wookiee he simply stood there beside him knowing his master would speak when he was ready. They had been standing there for several minutes before the Wookiee Jedi finally broke the silence between them.
“Thank you for coming padawan” came the translation from S.P.O.T. after the Wookiee had growled out the phrase in his native Shyriiwook.
Bowing slightly Torin said “Of course master, what do you need of me?”
“News has reached us of a pirate enclave a few systems away, they must be dealt with” answered the Wookiee.
“A pirate enclave?” questioned Torin. “Why are we being asked to deal with it? Isn’t that a job for the K.U.D.F?”.
“Patience padawan, if you had given me a chance to explain your question would already be answered” said the Wookiee scoldingly.
“Sorry master” replied Torin.
“The reason we are being tasked with this enclave’s elimination is the rumour that their leader weilds a lightsaber” Salbecca said.
“A Dark Jedi from one of the Brotherhood’s clans?” queried Torin.
With a shrug Salbecca said “Unknown. It could merely be some fool who stumbled across a lightsaber lost during the war with the Vong. Regardless they need to be taken care of and the job falls to us or more specifically you”
“Me?” said Torin shocked.
“You my young friend” said the Wookiee as he placed his massive hairy hands on the young Melewati’s shoulders. “You have come far in the short time we have been together my friend, I have faith that you will succeed in this mission and return to us safely”.
Taking a deep breath Torin looked up into Salbecca’s bright blue eyes and said “I’ll try my best master”.
“As an old comrade of mine was so fond of saying, there is no try” replied Salbecca as he chuckled quietly to himself.
VSD Endor’s Triumph
Hyperspace En Route to the Vesel System
“Wait, you want me to do what?” Torin asked the shock evident in his voice.
With a cheeky smile the Endor’s Pride’s chief weapons officer Elayne Dolomar replied “I don’t remember you being such a scaredy cat Tori. I thought you Jedi were all big brave warriors”.
Torin had known Elayne most of his life, the pair having been born in the same village. And while Elayne was a few years older than Torin he had been good friends with her younger brother Evan before he passed away in the war against the New Dawn.
“It’s not that I’m scared Layney. You’re asking me to get into what looks like a coffin so you can shoot me out into space, pass through the atmosphere of a planet and crash into the ocean. Even Jedi have their limits” Torin said with an incredulous look on his face.
Clapping him on the shoulder Elayne replied “Relax Tori, when have you ever known me to miss what I was aiming for. Besides, it’s a big ocean”.
“That still doesn’t make me feel any better about Elayne and for the last time would you stop calling me Tori, it wasn’t funny when I was five and it’s not funny now” Torin answered back.
Before Elayne could respond the ships executive officer Leilani Aasa interjected saying “We’ll be waiting on the edge of the system. When your mission is complete activate your beacon and we’ll send a shuttle in to extract you”.
“Understood” said Torin as he climbed into the pod he’d be riding down to the planet.
As the pod door swung closed Elayne shouted “Good luck Tori” with a laugh.
As the Victory Class Imperial Star Destroyer Endor’s Pride rocketed out of hyperspace and reoriented itself in space a small black shape drifted silently out of the fighter bay and began to fall through space toward the planet Craisis. Barely ten seconds after the pod had cleared the ship it jumped back into hyperspace leaving Torin alone in space. The silence amazed the young Melewati Jedi, the only sounds filling his ears were the beating of his heart and the air entering and leaving his lungs.
It was like that for a few minutes until the pod began to shake, the roar as the pod began to heat up from the friction becoming deafening. Closing his eyes tight Torin wedged his hands against sides of the pod and rode through the buffeting as best he could. Eventually the rocking stopped and Torin could hear the wind whistling past the pods hull. He’d been falling through the sky for about three or four minutes by now when the pod shuddered as the air brakes deployed and a warning began to flash on the screen. He knew what was coming now and he wasn’t looking forward to it.
Bracing himself as best he could he waited, staring at the small screen as it counted down the time to impact. When the timer reached ten seconds Torin clenched every muscle in his body and closed his eyes tight as the pod slammed into the surface of the ocean, the impact feeling like a speeder crash to Torin. As the pod slowly sank into the depths Torin grabbed the re-breather around his neck and placed it in his mouth waiting for the pod door to pop open. But as the pod slid deeper into the murky depths of Craisis eastern ocean the door didn’t move.
Doing his best to keep his calm Torin began to slam his shoulder into the pod door but in such a confined space he couldn’t generate enough momentum to force the door open. Taking a breath he began to focus, calling on the Force, before releasing it into a blast straight at the door which flew off its hinges into the water. As the cold water of the ocean flooded the pod Torin grabbed his kit bag and headed for the beach. It was a long swim as the pod had landed a more than a mile out to sea but eventually Torin dragged himself up onto the beach and took a deep breath of fresh air.
After a few moments rest he dragged himself to his feet and made for the forest at the edge of the beach. When he was under the cover of the forest canopy he ripped open the waterproof bag containing his gear and stripped off the wetsuit he was wearing replacing it with his combat gear. Throwing his backpack over his shoulder he slid his DL-18 blaster into its holster, slung his A280 over his shoulder and jogged off into the jungle. The pirate base, an old Imperial outpost, was about two days travel to the west in a small valley flanked by mountain ranges to the north and south.
He’d been travelling through the forest for the bulk of the day when, as the sun began to set in the sky, Torin found a small clearing and decided to make camp for the night. After starting a small fire he began to roast a small animal he’d managed to kill earlier in the day, the scent of cooking meat wafting through the air filling his nostrils with a savoury smell. As the meat sizzled above the fire Torin could hear a rustling in the underbrush some way off in the distance but after a lifetime spent wandering the forests of New Tython he knew the trees could do funny things to the way sound travelled.
The noise got steadily louder until a number of large lizard like creatures emerged from the darkness surrounding Torin’s small camp. They were between six and seven feet long from snout to tail and covered in mottled brown and green scales. They moved around on six stocky legs ending in three toed feet, each with a set of sharp claws. As their tongues flicked in and out of their mouths scenting the air he could see the rows of razor sharp teeth filling their mouths, saliva gleaming in the firelight. Taking a quick glance around the clearing he could see five of the beasts slowly stalking around him waiting for the opportunity to strike.
Reaching around to the back of his belt he unclipped his lightsaber from his belt and slowly pulled his DL-18 from the holster on his hip. As quick as a flash and before the beasts could blink he’d gunned two of them down, his blaster bolts leaving a smoking crater in the skull of the two predators in front of him. Dropping his blaster to the ground he spun and ignited his lightsaber, the pale blue light in stark contrast to the flickering red flame of his campfire. Spinning on his heel he had just enough time to leap out of the way as one of the beasts used its powerful legs to spring through the air its jaws spread wide and aimed directly at his face. Rolling to his left he had just enough time to strike wildly to his right the tip of his blade leaving a deep furrow in the flank of the closest lizard.
With a hiss it leapt back retreating from the pain. Suddenly Torin felt something in the Force, something warning him of imminent danger. As he dropped to the ground he managed to catch sight of the tail end of one of the creatures leaping through the air where he stood only moments before. More cautiously now the three remaining lizards encircled him feinting forward on occasion testing his readiness. Holding his blade steady he waited for the next feint and struck, thrusting forward with his lightsaber the tip disappearing into the skull of the closest beast killing it instantly.
With only two creatures remaining Torin decided to press the attack. Sprinting forward he took his lightsaber in two hands and swung as hard and as fast as he could, the blue blade slicing through two of the three legs on the beasts left side all but removing it from the fight. However in his rush to finish the fight he had lost sight on the second lizard when he felt a burning pain along his ribs as three deadly claws raked across his side. Crying out in pain he spun around looking for his assailant but could see nothing in the dim light of his blade or the now sputtering fire at his feet. Suddenly from out of the darkness the final beast leapt, its claws extended, reaching for his throat. Operating on pure instinct Torin unleashed a blast of the force catching the leaping lizard square in the face knocking it flying backwards directly into the large trunk of a tree, the crack of its back breaking audible in the now still night.
From behind he could hear the tortured sounds of the dying lizard whose legs he’d managed to remove and quickly put the creature out of its misery. It was then, once the adrenalin had worn off, that he began to feel the pain over his ribs. Reaching with his right hand he could feel the three deep gashes along his ribs. Grabbing a still red hot piece of wood from his dying fire he gritted his teeth and jammed the glowing stick against his wounds one at a time, tiny flashes of light dancing before his eyes as the pain threatened to make him pass out. When the deed was done he kicked out the fire, grabbed his gear and began to climb the nearest tree hoping the height would keep him safe from anymore predators stalking the forest.
The next morning he awoke stiff and sore but alive. When he hit the ground he removed his shirt and gingerly placed a bacta patch over his wounds. Gathering his gear he once again headed off into the forest in the direction of the pirate base hoping to be there before nightfall. As he travelled he began to take in the forest, realising just how much it reminded him of home and how much he missed it already. This mission was the first time he’d ever left New Tython and he thought how much it would suck if he died on this planet without ever seeing his home or his friends or his loved ones ever again.
As the sun began to get low in the sky Torin found himself standing on the top of a long ridge, a wide valley spread out below him. And at the centre of that valley, the pirate base he’d come to investigate. Finding a good spot with an unobstructed view of the facility Torin made himself comfortable and broke out his QuietSnipe sniper rifle, snapping the pieces of the rifle together with the practiced hands of a man who’d done it a thousand times before. The building appeared to be a standard Imperial garrison, four high walls with a watchtower at each corner however two of the four towers were little more than rubble and the wall seemed to have collapsed in one or two places possibly providing entry points when he infiltrated the facility. For the next three days he lay there observing the comings and goings of the base, getting a good idea of the inhabitant’s routines. He’d spotted nine pirates in his three days and they all seemed to be answering to one man, a bald white skinned humanoid of the Rattataki species, the lightsaber hanging from his belt clearly visible in Torin’s scope. He’d only ever encountered a Rattataki once before at the spaceport in Menat Ombo a few weeks after the war against Cy Thuron.
On the fourth day Torin decided it was time to finish this. Once the sun had set and the tower guards had been replaced Torin made his move. Aiming down the scope of his rifle he steadied his breathing as the crosshairs settled on the chest of the furthest tower guard, a Rodian. Squeezing the trigger he felt the slight kick of the rifle as the slug was magnetically accelerated almost silently down the barrel where it flew unerringly through the air striking the Rodian in the chest an inch above his heart killing him instantly. His next target was a human, old and grey haired, his features reminding Torin ever so slightly of his long dead father Korbin. He hesitated for only a moment before he sent another slug down range, the round hitting the man in the chest before he slumped out of sight.
Breaking down his sniper rifle he stowed the weapon back into his pack and took off at a sprint for the facility. As he got to the wall he quickly surveyed the best place to make his entry and found one of the collapsed sections. With the aid of the Force he leapt up and grabbed on to the ledge of the wall hoisting himself up and over, landing as silently as he could manage in the dark courtyard of the base. Sticking to the shadows Torin began to edge toward the door when a shadow filled the doorframe moments before an Arconan, high on salt, stumbled out to relieve himself on the wall. As quietly as he could manage Torin pulled a large hunting knife from his belt and snuck up behind the shaky pirate before clamping his hand over the Arconan pirate’s mouth and plunging the blade into his chest three times in rapid succession. After the Arconan had died in his arms Torin dragged his now lifeless body into the shadows and quietly placed it on the ground. Unslinging his A280 he readied the weapon and entered the compound on the hunt for the Rattataki Jedi.
Entering through the door the Arconan had used Torin found himself in a makeshift hangar, eight ragged looking star fighters and an old Correlian light freighter jammed into the cramped space. Pulling his pack off he dug around and pulled out a small case filled with detonators which he placed on the fighters and freighter aiming to destroy the ships on his way out. Once the detonators were attached and armed he headed deeper into the base.
He’d managed to clear four rooms and was about to enter the fifth when the door opened. Standing before him was a huge Zabrak who shouted “Hey, who are you?”
Acting on pure instinct Torin fired walking the blaster up the Zabrak’s body, the blaster bolts tearing half a dozen holes into his muscular chest. Suddenly the base erupted into chaos as the surviving pirates grabbed weapons and came to investigate to commotion. Taking cover in an open doorway Torin began to fire down the long corridor picking off two pirates before the last three began to retreat, firing wildly down the hallway to keep Torin from following too closely.
When the blaster fire had stopped Torin poked his head around the corner to see the pirates had disappeared. With rifle raised he slowly made his way down the hallway checking each room as he went but the pirates had seemingly disappeared. From up ahead he could hear the sound of anxious voices followed by muffled cries of pain followed by silence. Even more cautiously Torin moved forward until he stepped into what appeared to be a mess hall the three pirates dead on the floor, their bodies hacked apart by a lightsaber, their killer standing over them a sadistic smile on his gaunt white face.
Aiming his rifle at the Rattataki’s face Torin shouted “Drop the weapon and raise your hands above your head”.
“Or what” replied the Rattataki with a sneer on his face.
“Do it now or I open fire” shouted Torin as his finger moved onto the trigger of his A280.
With a quiet laugh the Rattataki flicked his hand using the Force to rip the weapon from Torin’s grasp, sending it sliding across the floor before it came to rest against the far wall with a crash.
Pacing back and forth the Rattataki said “I wondered how long it would take those fools in the Brotherhood to send someone to kill me. When I stole this saber and ran from the academy I thought I’d be dead in a week at most. But it’s taken them eight months to send someone”.
“I don’t represent the Dark Brotherhood, I am a Jedi of Odan-Urr” replied Torin.
“Ha” said the Rattataki. “They sent one of you light side fools to stop me. I’m actually a little mad that they would think one of you goody two shoes could defeat me”.
Reaching for the lightsaber on his belt Torin unclipped it and ignited the weapon before he said “Last chance, surrender or die”.
“That’s more like it” shouted the Rattataki before he sprung forward slashing his blade from right to left aiming to cut Torin in half. But his technique was sloppy clearly showing his lack of training and practice and Torin managed to block the blow fairly easily. Again and again the pirate leader struck out at Torin, his blows becoming more aggressive the longer Torin managed to keep him at bay, before Torin began to strike back. Thrusting and slashing at his opponent he came close to killing the Dark Jedi on a few occasions but was unable to land the killing blow. Suddenly the pirate struck out with a powerful Force assisted strike that knocked Torin’s guard to the side before the Rattataki unleashed a blast of the Force directly into Torin’s exposed chest sending him tumbling back into the wall as the air in his lungs exploded from his mouth.
As Torin sat on the floor struggling to regain his breath the pirate saw his opportunity and ran for the hangar knowing he would be unable to best his opponent in a saber battle. As Torin struggled to once again fill his lungs he rose slowly to his feet scooped up his rifle and ran for the hangar just in time to see an ancient ARC-170 from the Clone Wars exiting the hangar and jetting off toward space. Pulling a small device from his belt Torin ran out into the courtyard and jammed his thumb onto the button at its centre.
The device sent a signal faster than the speed of light to the detonator still attached to the bottom of the ARC-170’s hull, the old fighter detonating into an ever expanding ball of gas and debris moments before the ground shook as the remaining detonators exploded destroying the hangar and the ships inside. With a relieved exhalation of the breath he didn’t realise he was holding Torin pulled the small beacon from his backpack and activated the device signalling the Endor’s Pride that his mission had been accomplished.