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Moose
14 November 2002, 11:25 PM
“AIDAN!!!”

Rolling over Aidan tried block off the noise of his mother with his pillow. Moments later his room door swung open and his pillow was ripped from his tiny little hands. “Aidan you need to get up or you will be late for school.” Aidan grabbed his pillow back and gladly returned his head to it.

“I’m not going, I am sick.” He said in his best sick voice. He had a test in English today and could not bear to take it, not for the typical reasons though. Unlike most kids Aidan was afraid to take test because he always did well on them even if he did not study. For a third grader all good grades were not a badge of honor to be worn proudly, they were a stigma. Aidan’s mom looked down sternly at her son.

“Aidan, you can’t hide in bed forever. Now get up and get ready.” Lightly tussling Aidan’s thick brown hair Aidan’s mom stood and left the room. Aidan sighed heavily and threw his covers off. As he stood among the clutter of his room, which was mostly books Aidan laughed a little. There is no way I am going to play any sims tonight if I don’t get this cleaned up.

After a quick shower and throwing on some clothes, Aidan grabbed his bag. Making sure he had his proper books he headed down for breakfast. Aidan sat down and gulped down two large glasses of blue milk before grabbing his plate. His mom sat down across from him and carefully took a sip of her coffee. “Mom, when I was walking home from school yesterday I noticed that a new store opened up. Well not really a store, it’s a Martial Arts gym.”

“Aidan fighting is no way to solve problems you know that.” His mom said sternly. “I know I don’t want the lessons so I can fight people, the pamphlet I got said it teaches discipline, balance, self-confidence, and we know I need that.” Aidan said with a smile. His mom laughed a little. “I’ll think about it ok?” She said. She actually seems like she’s considering it. Aidan got up and hugged his mom. “Thanks mom.” She hugged him back tightly. Just then they heard the horn for the bus. As he ran out the door Aidan heard his mom wish him a good day.

As the doors to the repulsor bus slid open Aidan took a deep breath and stepped into the bus. A series of laughs and jokes began, but Aidan paid them no heed. As usual his friend Mat was saving a seat for him. “Hey Mat.” Mat moved his bag and let Aidan sit down. “So did you ask your mom?” Mat asked Aidan. “Yea I think she is going to let me sign up, how about you?” Mat smiled. “I can if you can.” Mats mom was very overprotective, but for some reason she loved Aidan and would let Mat do anything that he did. “Oh and my mom said you could sleep over this weekend if you want, my dad will be back from his trip so he will probably take us to the game.” Aidan smiled at this and the two friends talked all the way to school.

When they got to homeroom everyone went to their desks and waited silently. Ms. Hiegal was the meanest teacher in the school they said and so far it had been true. She did not tolerate any kind of talking, goofing around, or just about anything that would resemble fun.

She stormed in holding her map pointer in one hand and a piece of chalk in the other. Aidan laughed a little, ages of technological advancement and she request an old fashioned chalk board.

“Everyone in their seats and quiet down.” She squawked and as usual everyone was already seated quietly. “Jarn up front immediately.” The largest of the boys in the class quickly made his way to the front. “You scored the lowest on the last test so you will distribute this test.” It was that sort of public embarrassment that gave 3rd graders nightmares. Jarn began making his way down the rows handing the tests out face down as ordered. When he got to Aidan he smiled, “Better not Ace this one or you will regret it.” Aidan just kept looking at his desk and waited for the test to begin.

They were given an hour for the test, but Aidan was finished in less than half an hour. School had never really challenged him, it was fitting in that had been the problem. The rest of the day went by quickly. When he got home his mom was still at work. He headed into their small den and turned on his video game and began playing. When his character died he got an idea. Rushing upstairs he quickly began to clean his room. After about an hour it looked cleaner than it ever had. Just as he was finishing his mom came home. When she saw that he had cleaned his own room and after a little begging they walked down to the Martial Arts Dojo. They had called Mat and his mom said she would meet them there. As they approached Aidan looked gleefully at the wooden letters on the front of the door, Musashi’s Dojo.

A tall lean older man wearing a simple robe came over. “Hello how may I help you today?” He said in a soft voice. “I would like to sign my son up for lessons.” The man smiled and turned to Aidan. For a long moment the man just stared at Aidan, any other time it would have been unsettling, but for some reason Aidan knew not to move or question. “Well little one, what shall I call you?”

“I am Aidan Hughes.” Aidan said and offered the man his small and a bit pudgy hand. The man bowed half way. “I am Miyamoto Musashi, but you may call me Moto, and my first rule is you may never call me Master for you are your only Master. Aidan if you will excuse your mother and I for a moment we will settle the business at hand. Mrs. Hughes if you will.” He said indicating a small office. Mat and his mom arrived a moment later and Aidan told Mats mom where to go. “Hey I met our teacher, I am not sure how to describe him, but don’t try and shake his hand.” Mat and Aidan went onto the mats and began jumping around and wrestling. A little while later the two moms and Moto came out.

“Ok boys your all signed up, five days a week after school. Moto wants to have a lesson with you today. You boys can walk home alright so we will see you in a little while.” The two moms left and Moto came out on the mats with the boys.

“Mat, I am Miyamoto Musashi, but you may call me Moto. Now lets get you boys your uniforms.” A few minutes later both Mat and Aidan were wearing identical white uniforms with white belts. “Now we can begin.” For the next two hours they talked mostly, went through some basic stretches and drills.

When Aidan got home he was tired and a bit sore. He was not used to much physical exercise, but every ache made him smile. His mom was glad that he enjoyed his first day and made him his favorite dinner, pancakes with chocolate chips melted inside.

The next morning Aidan eagerly awoke and got ready for school. He brought an extra bag with his uniform in it and an extra snack. Mat and Aidan talked about Moto the whole way to school and forgot what probably was going to occur later on in class.

After everyone was seated Ms. Hiegal came in with her usual speech. She started off detailing the events for the day then announced the highest and lowest grades, once again it was Aidan and Jarn respectfully. Aidan did not need to look to know that Jarn was glaring at him, nor did he have any misconceptions of what one-day of martial arts training would do for him.

Mat and Aidan arrived at the Dojo and got changed. Moto came out smiling and bowed to each boy. They mimicked Moto and went onto the mats. Aidan knew that Moto could see the black eye and wondered what he would say about it. “Mat do you see Aidan’s black eye?” Mat turned and looked at Aidan. “yes, I saw it happen too.” Moto sat down and the boys followed suit. “Then why are both of your eyes fine?” Moto asked. Mat looked confused. “Aidan is your friend, nothing in life is more valuable then friends and family, besides your own honor. Should a friend be in need the only place for you is at his side.” Both the boys nodded. “Now this does not mean that you must fight for Aidan, that is always the last solution to any problem.” With that they began the instructions for the day.

As days turned into weeks, weeks to months, the boys began training more and more. They went to the Dojo almost every day now. Moto had become not only their martial arts teacher, but also a mentor. In a strange twist of fate Aidan, the kid that got picked for teams last and was always the most uncoordinated kids in school began to excel in his training. His clumsiness faded into distant memories, the awkwardness of running nothing more than a wisp of dust to wipe away, Aidan was Happier than ever.

Moto had become a pillar in the boys life, both Mats and Aidans parents noticed it. So the eccentric Moto became a regular at family functions and gatherings. Mrs. Hughes especially was thankful for Moto, he was the father figure that Aidan had always lacked and she respected Moto greatly.

At the end of the year a great blow came to Aidan, Mat was moving to Coruscant. When Mat left it devastated Aidan, his only friend had left him. The only outlet Aidan had was Moto. He began to spend almost all of his time with his teacher and friend. At first Aidan’s mom was worried, but she saw that the one person who could really help Aidan through his problems was the strange old man that had become so important to all of them.

Moose
17 November 2002, 03:25 PM
As the years went on Aidan grew more and more in many areas. Physically he was much larger now and had lost all of his boyhood pudginess. In school he excelled as usual academically, but still struggled socially. In his training with Moto was were he had grown the most. Soon after Mat had left Moto and Aidan had begun training with weapons as well. Aidan each day became more adept at unarmed combat and with various melee weapons. When Aidan first picked up a sword it looked as if the two had been old friends. The sword felt natural in his hands, with testing slashes Aidan felt an attunement to the weapon. Moto could see this and they trained heavily in the use of the sword.

“The sword is not a tool to be wielded lightly; it is a part of the warrior, an extension of himself. The Jedi Knights of the Old Republic taught this, but they were not the first nor the last too.” And so Moto would teach Aidan about the history of sword fighting, but more he seemed to focus on the Jedi. Aidan had loved these tales and it was not long before he himself began to love the Jedi. His training in many aspects was like that of the Jedi, except for the lack of training in the force. However, that little inconsistency did not keep Aidan from embracing the Jedi way. Most of his knowledge of them came from Moto, whom Aidan had never asked a question and gotten a blank response.

Over the next few years Aidan skipped several grades and before he knew it at the tender age of 16 he was graduating from High School. He had done extremely well and was going to take a year off before deciding what he would do. In the mean time he would work at the Dojo helping Moto teach younger students. Aidan had reached a mastery of martial arts that few his age had ever accomplished. While he still had much to learn his true passion was for swordplay. The first few weeks of summer he had gone well and he was enjoying teaching the young kids. They were the same age as Aidan when he had started training. He had a class of ten kids, mostly boys and a few girls. They were quick learners and full of energy. He got along great with the kids and they all loved him. Their lessons ended at five at night and usually the kids parents would come at the end to watch their kids.

As the summer faded away and the cool fresh winds of fall came Aidan thought more and more about his future. He had been accepted into the University of Aldera, one of the most prestige’s Universitys in the galaxy. Aidan decided that winter that he would enroll for next fall. His mother was delighted and Moto seemed pleased as well.

The rest of the year seemed to fly by and before Aidan knew it, he was a day away from leaving Corellia for the first time. His mom sat looking through a holo album as Aidan finished bringing his bags down. “Oh look at you here, you used to be so small and pudgy. Oh and now your all grown up and leaving your mother.” Aidan smiled at his mom and sat next to her. He looked fondly at the photo of himself and laughed. He really had changed a lot since his days as a little plump kid. Now he stood well over six feet, had short brown hair, bright green eyes, and was extremely fit. Aidan turned and gave his mom a big hug, right then a knock came at the door.

Aidan got up and was happy to see that it was Moto who had come. “Hey Moto I am glad you came.” He said and he let the older man in. “Hi Moto take a seat and I will get some tea for everyone.”

“Thank you Eladi that would be great.”

“Aidan I can’t stay long, but I wanted to give you something before you left.” Aidan had noticed the long object wrapped in brown paper, but had said nothing. Moto handed the package to Aidan, whom carefully peeled away the wrapping. Within was a Katana of amazing beauty, the scabbard was made from an exotic blood red wood and had an ivory dragon entwined around it. The handle of the sword was made of the same wood and carved into it was a depiction of an ancient dragon and tiger locked in battle. With a resounding ring the blade came from the scabbard in one swift motion. The blade itself was the most amazing of all things about the sword. Aidan knew that it had been folded many hundreds of time over and could cut silk as it fell from the air.

“I don’t know what to say Moto except thank you.”

“That sword has more history than you know, maybe one day you will be worthy of it. For now know that in your most desperate hour that there is a bond between that Katana and its brother sword. Should your blood ever touch its blade its brother will aid you.”

Before Aidan could ask what Moto meant, Mrs. Hughes came out with the tea. The three sat down and talked of the future. After one cup of tea Moto told Aidan and his mother that he had to leave. A moment later, the old man was gone and Aidan excused himself to his room.

The next day Aidan awoke early and dressed himself quickly. His mom as she had for his whole life had been up first and had breakfast ready, when he was finished eating Aidan and his mom said their goodbyes. Moments later a taxi came and after a series of more hugs and kisses, Aidan was off.

Aidan had gotten a ticket to Alderaan on a large transport, his cabin was small and cramped, but Aidan took the time to do some reading. The flight took three days and was fairly non-eventful.

When Aidan stepped off the transport he headed over to the baggage carts and handed the attendant his tickets. A moment later the man came back with Aidan’s bags. Aidan tipped the man and then headed to the line the taxi’s.

“Hi I need to go to the Student Townhouses on College Ave.”

The cabby smiled and began to drive through the city. “So are you a new student?”

“Yes, this is my first time on Alderaan.”

“Well it’s a great place make sure you don’t study all the time and forget your on one the most beautiful planets in the galaxy. I used to be a pilot for hire until I came here, I sold my ship the second day on planet and that was thirty years ago.”

Aidan smiled and listened to the cabby tell his tale and as far as Aidan could tell the man truly was happy. A short while later they arrived at the Townhouses. They were built in the typical airy and beautiful architecture that was standard in Aldera.

Aidan handed the cabby his fare and smiled. “Thanks for the ride and the advice.” The cabby waved him off and then sped off in search of another fare. Aidan walked around until he came to his apartment. Taking out his key he unlocked the door and walked in.

The apartment was fairly large, but Aidan had two more roommates whom appeared to have not arrived yet. The top floor was outfitted with a small kitchen, a small dining room, and a living area. Off the living area was a small balcony that looked over the beautiful city. Aidan headed downstairs and checked out all the rooms. Each of the three rooms downstairs were identical and they all shared a bathroom. Aidan began unpacking and organizing his room. Once everything was put away he made a list of things he needed to get and then stepped into the refresher for a quick shower.

As Kam dressed he heard the door opening from up stairs. Grabbing a shirt he headed up to meet his roommate. When he got upstairs a well dressed young man was placing several large and expensive looking suitcases down.

“Well hello there, I am Preston Fields and you are?”

“Aidan Hughes, its nice to meet you.” Aidan said and the two young men shook hands.

“So Aidan where do you come from?”

“I live on Corellia, right outside of Coronet, the capital.”

“I like Corellia, I was there when I was about ten. I live here in Aldera, unfortunately my parents home is about twenty minutes away so don’t be surprised if they pop in every once in a while.”

Aidan laughed and then grabbed on of Preston’s larger bags. “Here I’ll help you carry your stuff.” For the next hour Aidan and Preston talked, mostly about their past. Each was feeling the other out and forming opinions. Aidan was surprised that they seemed to get along well. Preston seemed like the type that was very confident and friends came easily too, normally those sorts of kids did not like Aidan.

“Well now that the unpacking is done what do you say we go grab some food my treat?”

“Cant argue with that now can I.” Kam said smiling. The two left and locked the apartment.

After eating their fill at a nearby deli Preston took Aidan on a tour of Aldera. Aidan was amazed by the beauty of the city and was happy he had signed up for a class that dealt with Alderaan’s history. When they returned their third roommate had arrived and was unpacking. His name was Pask Al’don, he was a Bothan from Bothawui. The three roommates stayed up most of the night telling stories and learning about each other.

The next day Aidan woke up early and began the day with some light warm ups followed by a five mile run through the city. When he returned he practiced several forms with his katana. After a quick shower, he got dressed and grabbed his bag. A five-minute walk brought him to his first class.

“The history of Alderaan” started the old professor with large bushy eyebrows. “is long and beautiful. I have lived here my whole life, but have traveled the galaxy far and wide, yet no place is as dear to me as this wondrous planet.” And so the professor went on as students took notes and for some struggled to stay awake.

“For your first assignment I have paired each student up and want you to do research on a topic approved by me. When I call out you and your partners name I would like both of you to stand and go sit together.” The professor began calling out names and the respective students began moving to their partners. “Devon Rutherford and Aidan Hughes.” Aidan began to stand up when from a few rows over Devon began to stand up. Aidan almost sat back down the girl standing up was the most beautiful women he had ever seen. Gathering his courage he got up and walked over to her. As he got closer he noticed every thing about her. She had blonde hair kept at shoulder length, tender blue eyes, and Aidan was trying not to be too obvious when regarding her figure.

When he neared her she smiled and offered him a seat next to her. “Its nice to met you.” Aidan managed to get out as he sat down.

“Likewise, so after class do you want to go get some food and figure out our project idea?” Aidan could not imagine anyone ever saying no.

“Sure that sounds good.” They sat and waited another ten minutes before the class was done. “So Aidan you know any good places to eat?” Devon asked as they left the classroom.

“Well not really, this is only my second day here. There’s a deli near my apartment that I should be able to get to.”

“Sounds good to me. So where are you from?”

“I grew up on Corellia just outside of Coronet, this is actually my first time off-planet. How about you?”

“Oh I live on Coruscant, my mother is from here so I have been here a couple of times. I love it here, its so beautiful and full of life. Part of me misses the excitement of the city, but there are ups and down to every place.” Aidan hung on her every word, her presence alone was so strong that he could not help but hang on her every word.

They arrived at the deli and ordered their food. “Hey so I was thinking we should do something fun and not dull, like maybe when they put all the weapons on Alderaan on ship and sent it into space.”

Aidan took a sip from his drink to wash down his last bite from his sandwich. “I didn’t even know they did that. That seems interesting, do you think any other kids will try that?”

“Yea they probably will, we need something more original.” She seemed to go into deep thought for a moment then her eyes light up and she smiled. “I know how about we do it on the Alderaan Blademasters.”

“What are they?” Aidan asked his interest piqued very much at the mention of swordsmen.

“Alderaan has long had a tradition of swordsmen, they are among some of the best in the galaxy apparently. There are still quite a few to this day, they have a long history and it would be really interesting. What do you say?”

“I think that would be great, how do you think we could find one of these blademasters?” Aidan asked his own eagerness now evident.

“Do you have any classes tomorrow?”

“Nope got the whole day free.”

“Great well we can devote the day to finding ourselves a blademaster.”

They continued talking and sat in the small deli for over three hours getting to know one another. To Aidan’s surprise she seemed to find him interesting and even laughed at all of his jokes. Finally, they parted ways and Aidan found himself happier than he had been in a while.

The next day Aidan awoke early to do his workouts and get a run in. When he returned he from his run he found Hana sitting on his doorstep. “Your up and running at seven in the morning? Your crazier than I thought.”

“Well old habits are hard to break, come in and make your self at home, I just need to shower real quick.” Aidan led her in and then quickly shower and got dressed. When he got upstairs Hana was on the couch watching the new holo tv that Prestons parents had bought the boys. “Ready to find ourselves a blademaster?” Aidan asked and Hana popped up and smiled.

“For sure, lets go to the library first and do a little research then we can find our man.”

For about five hours they poured over books, vids, documents, anything and everything they could find. Aidan more and more wanted to find a blademaster now, for he felt that he had much he could learn from them.

“Hey I got something.” Hana said as she pushed a few books to the side. “It says that Holden Grathe is one of many Garthe’s to continue the blademaster tradition in his family. I did a quick search and he lives about twenty minutes from here.” After putting away all their material they quickly got a cab down to the address listed.

They arrived at a large home on the water, it was elegantly decorated and had a beautiful garden. They rang the door bell and a moment later an old man in a butlers outfit opened the door. “May I help you?”

“Yes, we were wondering is Master Garthe was available to talk for just a few minutes? we are students at the university.” Hana said and her usual beautiful voice.

“I shall see, you may come in and wait in the library.” The butler led them into a large library. The butler went off without a sound. Aidan could not help but stare when he saw all the beautiful paintings and sculptures around the room. As he walked around the room he came to a case that help the most beautiful sword he had ever seen. It as a Longsword made from a metal that seemed to made of light for whatever light touched it danced upon its deadly edge.

“Its quite old you know.” Aidan turned quickly. A man in his late forties stood with the poise of a deadly cat, yet seemed as gentle as a nerf. “I am Holden Garthe, Edward tells me your students.”

“Yes were are, I am Hana Rutherford sir, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Aidan was still observing Garthe when the man turned to him. Aidan could tell that underneath the fine clothes was a man capable of swift action. He could see that his every cell was attune with his surroundings and was ready to act. This man truly was a master and Aidan had not even see him touch a sword.

“Its an honor to meet you sir, I am Aidan Hughes.” Aidan said firmly as he shook the other mans hand. Aidan could tell that Garthe was reading him as well, but there was a look in his eye that Aidan could not place.

“Its very nice to meet both of you, now tell me how may I be of help?”

“We are doing a project on the blademasters of Alderaan and we found reference that your family has had a long history of them.”

“Yes we have, I am the sixth generation of Garthe men to earn the right to carry the Heron blade. Which I guess I will have to explain to you. Lets go out on the terrace and enjoy the nice day while we chat.” Holden led them to the back that overlooked the water and began telling them all about his family and blademasters. Many times he would look at Aidan strangely and smile. After about four hours Edward brought out dinner to them. As soon as they finished Holden went right back to his talking.

“Where does one begin his training as a blademaster?” Aidan asked finally when he felt it appropriate. Holden smiled as if he knew the question was coming.

“You would first have to demonstrate to a holder of the Heron that you are worthy. Edward bring me two of the training swords.” Holden stood up and made his way across the lawn to a large circle dais made of marble. Aidan got up and follow as did Hana who seemed a bit confused. Moments later Edward returned with two longswords that seemed slightly dulled.

Aidan took his tested the weight, but did nothing more to reveal his ability or lack there off. Holden took his as well and took a few steps forward and raised his sword. Aidan mimicked him and the two stood eye to eye.

“Wait your not actually going to fight?” When neither man said anything Hana took a few steps closer. “Aidan we came here to interview him not fight him.” She said and to Aidans delight he thought she sounded worried for him.

Quicker than a viper Holden dropped his sword down and brought it around for a gut slash. Aidan inverted his own blocking the slash and spun using the momentum he brought his sword up and brought it down trying to strike on the shoulder. Holden’s sword was up in an instant to parry the blow and he countered just as quick. The dance of blades quickened and Aidan began to struggle to keep up with the more experienced man. Holden had feints within feints, Aidan did a back flip to bring him to the edge of the dais and away from the Holden. Gather his composure he came in with several quick thrust follow by a series of elaborate strikes, none of which were able to penetrate Holden’s defenses. In an instant he went on the defensive, but was being pressed back. Before he knew what happened his sword was on the ground. Holden did not stop pressing. Seeing that the fight was not over Aidan deftly dodge strikes and dropped the ground throwing his leg at Holden’s ankles. The older man went down and rolled away leaving his sword where it lay. He came in quick, but Aidan smiled and easily blocked every blow that came to him. When he was confident he had him beat he went on his offensive and pushed back the blademaster with a series of lightning quick blows. It was then that Aidan realized his mistake, Holden had baited him. Holden acting much more quickly and skilled was able to grab Aidan and throw him from the dais.

“Well done, you fought extremely well for your experience. I will train you to be better, be here tomorrow at noon.” With that he began to walk away. Aidan got up slowly as Hana came over to him.

“Are you ok?”

“Yea I have taken worse beatings before, I should have known that he was baiting me there though.”

“Your mad that you did not last longer, you just held your own with one the most deadly swordsmen in the galaxy Aidan. I guess there is a lot more to learn about you than I thought.”

Aidan smiled and was happy that she was not mad with him. That night as he lay in bed he had trouble sleeping, so many good things were coming to him all at once that he was unsure how to handle it.

As he was told he showed up at Holdens at noon the next day and they trained for several hours. When he was done he met Hana for dinner. Not long after that first day at Garthes Hana and Aidan began dating. He was doing well in school, he had found a new mentor, and he had the greatest girlfriend he could ever have.

Plys Tay
25 November 2002, 03:38 PM
Do you have a third installment? Don't mean to rush or anything,.

Moose
27 November 2002, 03:24 PM
Indeed there will...most likely next week sometime.

forgot to ask...how did you like the first parts? comments are always welcome, especially the negative...writers or attempted writers love criticism:)

Jedi_Staailis
27 November 2002, 07:45 PM
comments are always welcome, especially the negative...writers or attempted writers love criticism
You asked for it... ;)

The story is engaging; I'm hooked and waiting for part three quite eagerly. However, there were some things that could have made it a better read. First, the character names seem to change at random. Aidan appears to also be Kam, which he goes by for a few paragraphs before switching back. The girlfriend goes by Devon early and Hana later, without explanation. I was very confused and spent several minutes trying to determine what was going on, to no avial. Second, the grammar isn't completely error free, which can leave a reader stumbling through an awkwardly worded sentence. A little proofreading should correct both of these issues.

The last piece of advice is more stylistic. I feel that the pace needs to be slowed a little. We're getting a lot of exposition, and we need some time to get a feel for the characters. A little more dialogue and description of scenes would accomplish both goals.

The piece has a strong story behind it: I especially like the foreshadowing in the references to the Jedi and the comments about Aidan's happiness. The fine story, however, is dragged down by poor execution, some of it which is easily avoided. So keep up the good work: a little time in the editing phase has the potential to make this something impressive.

Iain Kysler, Jedi Apprentice
29 November 2002, 05:44 PM
Hey, Moose! This is good stuff! Keep it coming please! Looking forward to the third installment!

Moose
4 December 2002, 05:45 PM
Ok the third part will be posted tomorrow afternoon sometime, after that I have two or more parts for this part of Aidan Hughes story, and then I am going to take some time to go over it thoroughly and fix it up. Thanks for the responses and suggestions they were a great help.

Moose
4 December 2002, 08:27 PM
Three Years Later

Holden stepped swiftly to the left as Aidan’s blade danced in close to him. Aidan ducked as an elbow swept through the air. Together the two men danced back and forth blades whirling in every direction. Aidan quieted his mind and let himself go, it was in these times that he was able to keep up with his deadly mentor. Aidan rolled under a thrust and came up with his sword to Holden’s throat. Sometimes in those moments he was able to surpass his master.

“Well done young Aidan, you have progressed much since we first met. I could see that you were at peace, you must remember that peace is the best state of mind. Anger, fear, hate, these are emotions you must learn to live without and to control, if you desire to wear the blade of a true Blademaster.”

Aidan nodded and the two returned inside. “Aidan, do you have any plans for tomorrow evening?” Holden asked as they were placing their swords on the rack.

“No sir, not of yet.”

“Good you will meet me here then at five.” With that Holden left and Aidan returned to his apartment. After a few hours of homework Aidan wearily turned his lights off, not expecting the day before him tomorrow.

“AIDAN!!!”

Aidan awoke with a start, Oh frell, I was supposed to meet Devon to take her shopping, shes going to kill me.

“Sorry, I know I am dead, just let me shower and then you can be mad!” Aidan yelled upstairs as he hurried into the bathroom. A few minutes later he dressed quickly and ran upstairs to see Devon leaning angrily on the kitchen counter.

Giving her a quick kiss on the cheek and a smile Aidan dug in for the verbal beating.

“Sorry Dev, I know this is the second time I forgot, but I promise it wont happen again. Oh and I will take you to Gulians for lunch.”

“Alright mister, your lucky I am in a good mood today, next time you forgot a date your in big trouble.”

Without anymore drama the young couple made it out and had a fun day of shopping, Devon for some secret reason insisted on buying a brand new dress and accessories and then suddenly ran off to the hair dressers. Before Aidan could question where she went he realized he was to meet Holden in a few minutes.

Rushing to his house Aidan knew he would be a bit late, but Holden was much more lenient than Devon. As he rushed in the door he found Holden in the reading room.

“Your late, but think nothing of it and follow me, we have things to tend too.”

Aidan followed Holden upstairs to one of his many large rooms, this one seemed a fitting room of sorts. On the large ornate mirror hung a magnificent suit and cape, it looked like a uniform of some ancient guard.

Holden took the suit down and then handed it to Aidan. “It is yours, you will dress now. Hurry you don’t want to be late for your own party.” Holden then made his way for the door.

Aidan stood dumbfounded, “What party?” Holden simply continued walking and shut the door behind him. Aidan confused as ever dressed nonetheless.

“What a strange day this has been.” He said as he looked himself over in the mirror. The outfit made him feel like royalty, but it felt odd wearing it. Shrugging he left the room and discovered Holden in the reading room again and to Aidans surprise he was similarly dressed.

“Ah dressed are we, grand. Come along.” Holden hurried Aidan outside to the waiting speeder and sped of to destinations unknown. Aidan tried several times finding out what was going on, but Holden said nothing for the long ride.

At least an hour later they arrived at their destination. Aidan was surprised to see an outdoor stage and platform erected in a beautiful valley. There were glowing lights placed through the outdoor hall. At least over one hundred people were there, many of which Aidan did not know. Many tables sat in one corner with covered plates of food that’s aroma would entice any creature. When Holden stepped around to Aidan’s side he bent down to the young mans ear.

“Smile, they are all here to see you tonight. Now follow me and stay three paces behind and to the right of me.”

Holden then proceeded to head towards the small stage. The crowd folded as if on cue and Holden led Aidan down a red carpet. They went onto the stage and Aidan did as told and stayed three feet behind and to the right.

“Well we are quite lucky to be here tonight ladies and gentlemen. We have before us a beautiful Alderaan night and a celebration of an old tradition. It has been twenty years since this celebration has been held. Twenty years ago I stood where Aidan Hughes stands now and my father here. On that night he told me something that has remained with me to this day and will be my very last thought when I pass on. He said “In life the greatest crime man can commit is apathy. One must not bow his head when faced with adversity; he must bare his chin and go forth with dignity.” It is rare to see this type of dignity in an individual of no more than twenty years, but when I first met Aidan Hughes I knew that he had the poise to attack life with dignity. Over the next three years I trained and befriended the man you see here. It was in those three years that I realized that my father left something out of his speech. What he forgot to say was that with dignity one must also have humility. One must posses the courage to accept defeat, to make sacrifice for the greater good, and it was because of Aidan Hughes that I learned that. The thing we celebrate here tonight is not just being able to wield a sword, it is about knowing when not too. It brings me great pride and joy to present Aidan Hughes with this blade.”

Holden brought out a sword that was identical to his own and presented it to Aidan. Clapping began immediately and Aidan took the sword then shook hands with Holden. He was then led down to his table where Devon and his closest friends sat.

The dinner was exquisite and afterwards there was dancing, which was made all the more magical by the starlight sky. Aidan could not have been happier as he danced with Devon, his new sword hanging proudly at his side.

“You know I could get used to seeing you in uniform young man, its quite dashing on you.” Devon said as they continued to move gracefully around the dance floor.

“Why thank you and I can not complain about that dress you are wearing.”

Just then Holden appeared and smiled.

“I hate to interrupt, but I have a matter to attend to that can not wait, but I need to talk with Aidan for a moment.”

Devon nodded and headed off. Holden indicated for Aidan to follow him. Holden led Aidan well away from the party and then stopped as they over looked a lush verdant forest from a small cliff.

“Aidan, normally it is a longer process for one to earn that blade, but you have learned all you need to know about fighting with that weapon. In time there is a different weapon that you must wield, there are very few that can still wield the weapon I speak of and to even posses one could mean death.”

Aidan looked confused and did not know what to say or do.

“Aidan the weapon I speak of is that of the Jedi, the lightsaber.”

“But why would a use a lightsaber Holden? I am no Jedi.”

“That is right you are not a Jedi, not yet. Aidan when Lord Vader and the Emperor killed off the Jedi, there were some that hid, we had to in order to preserve the galaxy. My father was a Jedi killed in the great purge, I was trained in secret by him so I was not. When I met you for the first time Aidan I could sense you in the force, you were like a beacon of light in a place of darkness. When you return we will begin your training in the Jedi arts.”

“Return from where?”

“Oh I forgot to tell you, I bought you and Devon a trip to Pantolomin, three days aboard the Coral Vanda and four more to do as you wish on planet. Have a good time and relax, for training begins when you return.” Holden handed Aidan an envelope with the tickets and other information, also was a cred chip that Holden did not mention.

Aidan still in shock about all that he had just heard stood dumbfounded and then hugged Holden. “Thank you Holden and when I return I promise I will not let you down.”

Suddenly Holden began to walk away and soon he vanished into the darkness. Aidan took a moment to compose himself then he returned to Devon. When she found out about the trip she was ecstatic.

The next morning a taxi came for Aidan and Devon and took them to the starport. It was several days before they arrived at the Coral Vanda, but they just smiled and rushed aboard.

“Welcome aboard the Coral Vanda, if I may see your ticket I can direct you to your room.” Aidan handed the man their tickets and waited.

“Ah very good Mr. Hughes, you are staying in one of our luxury suites. I also have instructions to tell you that a Mr. Garthe has set up a tab for you on the ship and wishes you a happy vacation. He also wishes me to remind you to get your rest you for he says you will need when you return.”

Aidan laughed lightly and followed the man to their suite.

“Aidan what did Holden mean by the rest bit?”

“Ah its just a little joke he told me, something about training.”

Devon smiled and let it go for there was far more interesting things to occupy ones mind at the time. The ship was beautiful, the walls made of scarlet greel wood, view ports everywhere allowing one to view the splendor of Pantolomin’s oceans. When they arrived to their room both were astonished. The room was large to say the least, the entire back wall was Transparisteel and looked out on the ocean. The carpet was plush and felt as if it was made of the softest material in the galaxy, which it well could have been. Aidan tipped the man who had led them here and then he smiled as Devon rushed to hug him.

There time aboard the Coral Vanda was amazing, they ate fine meals at every sitting, saw coral reefs that were made of every color imaginable, they danced and gambled at night. More than a few hours were just spent laying in bed together watching the ocean and all its life go about its business. When they left the ship they were checked into an equally nice resort on one of Pantolomin’s many beaches.

Aidan returned to the water side where Devon lay tanning herself, much to Aidan’s delight.

“Hey you know I could buy you a tanning bed for use back at school.”

“Watch it jerk or your sleeping alone tonight.” Devon said jokingly.

Aidan sipped at his tropical drink and winced a little as he got a pocket of pure Tequila. Devon sat up and took her drink trying not to spill any.

“God this place is amazing, it would be a good place for a honeymoon.”

Aidan sipped at his drink after a thorough stirring. Devon had saying more and more things like that recently. While it did not bother him having in his opinion and probably a lot of mens the most beautiful girl he knew hint at marriage, it still was strange for him nonetheless.

“Yea, if I ever met the right I might take her here.” Aidan said trying to keep a straight face.

“Oh now your winning points for sure.” Devon said with a sly smile right before she jumped over grabbed Aidan by the arm and dragged him to the water. As they horsed around in the water a troubled looking man ran headlong into the water to a women swimming near Aidan and Devon.

“Tara get out we need to go something terrible has happened!” The man screamed as he awarkwadly tried to run through the water and surf. “The Empire has destroyed Alderaan!”

Devon fell from Aidans shoulders into the water. “What did you just say sir?” He asked curtly.

“The Empire they used some super weapon not more than a day ago and completely destroyed Alderaan. The reports are scattered, but it appears that the Rebels mounted some kind of attack other than that I don’t know anything else.”

Aidan and Devon rushed to their hotel where in horror they watched the news reports. They returned to their room and Devon could not stop crying.

“Aidan what are we going to do, they are all dead, everyone.” Aidan held her close.

“I know Devon, We will get you a ticket back to Coruscant and we will figure things out.”

“I can’t go back there with those monsters, my father is an Admiral in the Imperial Navy, he would have known about this and he sent me no warning, how can I return to that?”

Aidan had no response and struggled to control his own emotions. He had many friends on Alderaan, but most of all the loss of Holden Garthe hurt the most.

“We will go to Corellia, to my home and figure things out.” Devon kept crying and eventually fell asleep in despair. Aidan made the arrangements to go to Corellia and later that day they gathered their things.

The trip was not a pleasant one for Aidan or Devon, both struggled to come to grips with the horrible atrocity that happened. When they arrived in Coronet they went directly to Aidan’s home, but found it was locked. Aidan figured his mom must be out so they headed to Moto’s.

Despite his grief Aidan smiled when he saw his old friend and master with a group of small children. He walked in the door and Moto turned his way, then a look a grief and joy came across the older mans face. “Jason you lead the class for a moment, I have a guest.” Moto came over to Aidan and hugged him tightly.

“I thought I lost you boy, but I am afraid this tragedy is far worse than you know. Your mother arrived on Alderaan the day after you left, she was going to surprise you for your blademaster ceremony, but was late. Your friend Holden Garthe had arranged everything and she decided to stay and wait for you. I am terribly sorry Aidan.”

Aidan just stood there, he could not find his voice nor the power to stand. Blackness enveloped him and Aidan hit the floor with a thud. When he awoke he was in Moto’s small bed above the Dojo, Devon was there beside him as well as Moto. They both tried to console him, but no words reached him. Images of his mother and all the others that had died raced through his mind, then images of the Stormtroopers marching through the streets of Corellia, he saw Moto be cut down in a hail of blaster fire. It was too much to bear, but then another vision came to him. He saw himself leading troops into battle on distant planets, they were fighting stormtroopers and Aidan felt some of his despair ease. His vision moved forward rapidly, he was holding a baby then a beautiful women came to give the baby some milk and it was Devon.

Aidan sat up and looked into Devon’s eyes and when he did he felt the pain ease, the despair ebb and he smiled.

“I love you and that is enough reason to go on.” He kissed her gently.

She smiled and hugged him tightly. Moto nodded his head and smiled.

“You have matured much young Aidan, you now know your potential and what you must do.” Aidan nodded in return and soon after he and Devon returned to his home.

Two weeks later Aidan and Devon wed, it was a small ceremony with only Moto to witness it. The rest of the time Aidan spent in trying to locate any cells of the Rebel Alliance.

Iain Kysler, Jedi Apprentice
12 December 2002, 04:29 PM
Wow...I didn't see that one coming...Alderaan yes...Garthe and Mrs. Hughes...no way.

Really enjoying this, Moose. Can't wait for the next part. Can you give us an estimate on time until it's done?

Moose
12 December 2002, 04:39 PM
Thanks Iain its always nice to have fans;) You can expect the next part probably by sunday, possibly earlier.

Fole™
13 December 2002, 12:24 PM
good stuff moose. good stuff.


just... quit changing the names around, you did it much less in the third installment, but just stay with devon, aidan, and moto.

Moose
13 December 2002, 08:57 PM
Aidan sipped at his drink as he waited in the smoky cantina. He had made contact with an Alliance member and had been instructed to meet at this location. The door swung open and a women wearing tech coveralls entered the bar. Aidan did not know anything about his contact, but for some reason he had a feeling this was it. The women went to the bar and ordered a drink. She seemed to make light conversation with the bartended and the Duros next to her. After several minutes the women left the bar and made her way to Aidan’s booth. She slipped in and took a sip of her drink.

“So fella you mind if I buy you a drink?”

Aidan smiled, that was the line that the contact was supposed to say. “Not right now, but maybe later.” The women seemed to relax a bit and as told to Aidan continued talking about mundane everyday things for a while. The two then left and made their way to the women’s speeder. She drove off and they headed out of the city.

“Aidan its good to meet you, I am Helena. We picked up on your interest a week ago and have spent some time looking into your background. We do this to try and find out if potential recruitments are actually Imperials, but from what we gather your not. I knew that you went to school on Alderaan and that you must have lost many friends, I am very sorry. Let me forewarn you Aidan, joining the Rebellion is a serious commitment, we are opposing an enemy with great power and vastness.”

“I understand Helena and I still want in. I could not live with my self if I let an abomination such as the Empire go unhindered, I must do something to aid those who are the victims of its atrocities.”

“Good. What we need to figure out then is where to put you in the Alliance. We saw no indication of you being a pilot, but we saw that you trained heavily in Martial Arts, is that so?”

“Yes, I have studied Martial Arts my whole life and I was a student under a blademaster on Alderaan.”

“Well I think you would do best as an infantryman. We have a training course on a distant planet named Flitter. The course there is six weeks and will teach you about soldiering. How does that sound?”

“Perfect. Also my wife, she also would like to join the Rebellion.”

“Devon, yes we checked her out too. If she wants she will accompany me and I think she will best serve in Intelligence. I have a transport here that can take you tonight, if you wish to continue with this commitment be at your house in five hours and I will pick you up there.”

Aidan nodded and realized that they were at his home. He said goodbye to Helena and went inside. Devon was sitting at the kitchen table and looking nervous.

“How did it go?”

“It went well, I leave in five hours though. The women, Helena said she would take you as well, for Intelligence work. They want me to be a soldier.”

Devon got up and hugged Aidan tightly. “I am scared Aidan, maybe this is not the best thing, I could not stand to loose you.”

“Nor I you, but we are good people Devon and we would not be able live our lives in peace if we did nothing to stop the Imperials.”

Devon regretfully let go of her husband and helped him pack his things. He did not take much. Their last few hours together were not joyous, both were wrought with worry and doubt. When Aidan saw Helena’s speeder arrive he silently brought his things out and packed them away. Devon waited in the doorway doing her best to keep back the flood of tears that threatened to gush out at any moment. They had agreed to say their goodbyes earlier and to just let Aidan leave.

Devon bounded down the steps and grabbed Aidan. She kissed him long and hard as tears streamed down her face.

“Just make sure we see each other again or you’ll regret it mister.” She said trying to smile.

“I will, I promise.” With that he stepped into the car.

“Devon, I am Helena. I will be back for you tomorrow morning, be ready to leave.”

Moments later Aidan and the speeder were out of sight. Devon slowly returned to the house and began packing her own things.

Three weeks later

Aidan brought his macrobinoculars to his face and zoomed in. Through the morning mist he could see the target building ahead. There were several roving patrols and what looked to be several camera’s on the building itself. He turned and gave a series of hand signals, out of no where eleven men all in fatigues and with their faces painted emerged from hiding places in the woods behind Aidan.

“Ok I want us to break down to units of three, Charlie you take your unit around that hill and attack those camera’s and any patrols you come across. Dex the same but on the southern side. Hale and I will lead our units right up the middle and about ten meters apart. Go on my signal.” An instant later the respective units melted back into the woods and they all made their way to forest line.

Over his comlink Aidan received a series of clicks telling him all units were in place. He grabbed one of his frag grenades and threw at a small group of sentries. As soon as it hit he was up in moving. He let go a series of shots as he neared the building and took down several more troops. On either side of him more ghost like soldiers emerged from the woods weapons blazing. He leaped over the paint covered troops his grenade had “killed” and smiled a bit. From here on out each small team knew their objectives, Aidan led his up an access ladder to the roof.

When they reached the top, Filve, the units demo expert placed a charge on the door and blew it wide open. Aidan led his small unit in the building and in moments had taken control of it. His personal unit had taken light injuries and one of the other units he was in charge with took one fatality.

Three hours later

Aidan and his squad sat around a round table as Commander Pelt went over their mission.

“This was very well done men, you showed careful planning, and executed that planning perfectly. The last squad to run this had three more deaths than you and many more wounded.”

He went on to discuss the events for the next day and told them to go get some rest.

“Oh Squad Leader Hughes I need a moment with you.” Aidan’s men filed out a few giving him a couple of grins.

“Hughes, good job with your squad, its obvious that they have had a good leader. I know what your going to say and its not just that they are good men, you are a good tactician and a good combat leader. When you finish your training here I am sending you to train in a special unit. This unit trains small groups of soldiers to work in small units and to perform special task, its Special Ops Aidan. I am not going to lie though, these units see a lot of action and they face some of the most formidable opponents. They need good soldiers and leaders. Now go get some food and I am giving you and you troops a sleep in tomorrow so rest up.”

Aidan smiled, the sleep in would be more than welcome, but what made him happy was learning about the Special Ops unit. Aidan felt that he would be able to make more of a difference in such a unit. He snapped to attention, “Thank you sir, I won’t let you down.”

Six months later

Aidan pulled his hat on and made his way out to the trench, snow blew in his face and the wind sucked any warmth his body still had. Hoth, I could live a thousand lifetimes and be happy never setting foot here again. A smallish trooper came up to Aidan and smiled.

“Hey there Sarg, how goes it?”

Aidan regarded the man, he was no more than twenty years old, but was one good soldier. He was one of the men in Aidan’s unit.

“Pretty good Danin, you got a smoke?”

The younger man produced a pack of cigarettes and gave one to Aidan. The two hunkered down in there position and lit there cigs.

“Hey Sarg, how do you think the search is going?”

Aidan shook his head despondently, Commander Skywalker had gone missing the day previous and search parties had been dispatched just an hour earlier. Skywalker was a good man and a heck of pilot, loosing him would be a grave loss to the Rebellion.

“Not sure Danin, Skywalker is a trooper though, I think theres a good chance that we’ll find him doing alright.”

“I sure hope so. Do you really think that he is a Jedi? I mean they are all dead, how could he be?”

Aidan winced, this sort of talk always brought back memories of Alderaan and of Holden. Also if the rumors were true and Skywalker was a Jedi then that meant he might be able to help Aidan with the use of the force. That’s what really troubled Aidan, he was afraid more than anything. He loved the stories of the Jedi, but he was not sure he was worthy of such a mantle.

“I think it could be true and for all we know there is probably a few Jedi out there in hiding.”

“Yea I suppose your right.”

A crackle came over their radio and both men smiled as reports of finding Skywalker and Solo came through.

“You know something Sarg, I think your too smart to be a soldier, you should be in there with the rest of the brainiacs looking and maps and stuff.”

“That would be nice Danin, but were not just soldiers, were Special Ops. HO AH!” Aidan said imitating their training commander, who was the definition of gung ho. Danin laughed until his stomach hurt and then some.

The Attack

“Concentrate fire on those walkers!” Bellowed Commander Hinj. “Aidan take you squad and try to move up the left trench and set up some fire.”

“Heron Squad on me!” Eleven men filed in behind Aidan and they began moving down the battle line. Aidan saw the logic in this maneuver, if they could get to the left trench, which was not yet complete they could add another field of fire and possibly flank some of the enemy.

A series of large blast ripped through the weapon emplacement sending it flying into the trench right in front of Aidan. The weapon crackled as it went through its death throes, but it still had a lot of energy left to dissipate.

“OUT OF THE TRENCH!” Aidan yelled above the deafening roar of battle. His squad move quickly and as he rolled away a blast blew him back a few more feet. Where his unit was a large hole in the trench and scattered pieces of the weapons emplacement.

They made it to the trench with a few more close calls, but intact nonetheless. “Spread out along here and wait for that AT-PT to get in close, then I want concentrated fire and I will try and knock it out with a thermal detonator.”

His unit all nodded and spread themselves out along the trench. Aidan stayed low the small walker resembling an odd avian creature came into firing distance. Aidan waited a few extra seconds then signaled his men. His men began pouring fire into the small walker, doing little real damage, but the walker as Aidan figured it would came to a near stop and began to turn to engage its new targets. Before he could bring his weapons to Aidan’s thermal detonator landed just underneath it. The ensuing blast rocked the small walker and ripped it apart. Aidan smiled briefly they ordered his men to follow him, they were in a good position to get behind some of the enemy ground troops.

Aidan and his small squad had successfully outmaneuvered several Imperial units and had done well in eliminating them. Do to being so far up on the line Aidan and his squad were the last troops off the battlefield, Aidan despite the loss of a remote base location was glad to be going. His squad had taken one casualty, Edwin Halos, but the larger unit they served in had many more, including on the other squad Commanders, which was one of Aidan’s friends.

Commander Hinj sat stroking his new beard, he laughed inwardly as he did so. I guess as all men grow beards this become a habit. He looked over his company, eight men would never again serve with him and another fourteen would need time to heal before they once again could fight for him. Most of the men sat around cracking jokes acting as if they had not just been apart of a battle. Ever since he had been a soldier that was how most men dealt with the horror of war, they tried to not think about it. As he looked over his men he saw Hughes sitting off towards the back of the shuttle. He looked somber and it was obvious he was trying to keep his distance from the men. Hinj knew that he had lost a man and a good friend, but what Hinj saw was a smart Commander. Whether he knows it or not that man is right to give his squad some time to unwind from the battle. Hinj got up and headed over to Aidan.

“You did good today son. I’m sorry about Halos and Crale, but they both died for what they believed in. I want you to know that your doing an excellent job leading your squad, I am going to make you my second in command. You have the makings of a good combat leader and that’s something Special Ops needs desperately. We take a lot of casualties, more so then the regular unit and it takes it toll on the commanders, but remember we do this job because it has to be done. You will still lead your squad, but in operations such as the last you may have to lead several squads at once. Don’t worry usually our squads don’t work together, most of our missions are not a large scale op. In fact I got a message from command today before we left, I am supposed to pick a squad for a special mission. I will have the details, but I have decided it will be your squad that will go. I should be able to get you a replacement, if not you can borrow a soldier from another squad. I will have all the details for you in a few days.”

Aidan saluted his commander and sighed as he walked away. Special Missions often mean high casualties. Aidan looked over his assembled men and wondered how he would handle seeing even more of them maimed or potentially killed. As the Commander said a few days later they arrived at a small Rebel Outpost. Aidan and his team grabbed their gear in preparation for the landing. The rest of the troops and the Commander would leave right after for destinations unknown. As the ramp door slid open Aidan’s unit swaggered off and into the outpost hanger.

“Aidan, an intelligence officer here will brief you on the mission. I want you to take extra care on this one, ok? Oh and I am giving you Phelan Il’thid form squad three” Command Hinj said.

“Sure thing Commander, I won’t let you down.” Aidan said and prayed that he would keep his word. Aidan grabbed his gear and followed his troops.

“Where is your squad leader soldier.” Barked a mad looking intelligence officer.

“He’s coming Ma’am, I am his second in command anyway I can help?” Asked Danin, obviously taken aback by the women’s beauty.

“You see Danin this is why we are in the wrong branch.” Whispered Renik as he also took in the women with a boyish grin on his face.

The intelligence officer although beautiful had a stern and cold look on her face. These boys, barely men would not be joking and gawking if they knew the estimated survival rates for this mission. She hated having to think in those ways, but it was easier than being nice to them only then send them off to their deaths.

Danin turned and saw Aidan walking over. “Hey Sarge, over here, we found our Intelligence Officer.” He said with a big grin. Aidan’s squad parted to let him through. The Intelligence officer dropped her attaché case and ran towards Aidan. She engulfed him with kisses as tears ran down her face.

Danin and the squad looked on in amusement. “Weird, that’s all I can say, except that Sarge has got to be the luckiest guy around.” Danin said.

“Devon, my god its good to see you.” Aidan said, not believe his luck. Devon composed herself and took several steps back. The joy that was once evident on her face was replaced with grimness.

“Sergeant have your men stow their equipment in those barracks over there. You come with me.” Aidan nodded to his men and they all saluted with big grins on their faces. Aidan followed Devon into a small office.

Aidan could tell that something was bothering her. “Devon what’s the matter?” Devon sat down and took several deep breathes.

“Aidan, this mission is extremely dangerous I did not know you were in Special Ops. When we plan these missions we often make figures to predict the chances of success and the amount of casualties. This mission if accomplished would be a great assets to the Rebellion, that’s why it was approved despite its estimated casualty figures.”

“What are the figures?” Aidan asked reluctantly.

Devon struggled to get the words out, but when she did Aidan wished she had not told him. “Intelligence believes that at best three of you will return. The reason they are only sending one team is because they feel that with more men it would be too hard to get on planet unnoticed. Also this way, if the worst happens we only lose one team.”

“We had better get going on the briefing then, no need to mull over the figures.” It was hard maintaining their roles as soldiers, but they both were able to compose themselves. Aidan got his men and brought them into the briefing room. They all took seats and Devon stood at the head of the table.

“Intelligence has received information that an Imperial Admiral will be returning to his estate on his home world of Kuat. Your mission is to capture this Admiral.” Many of the men shifted in their seats at mention of this. They knew that a mission of this caliber would not be easy.

“The Admiral will only be on planet for three days, he will be staying at his large estate most of the time. We don’t expect him to leave the estate compound.” Devon continued detailing the mission outline. She explained that the compound would be heavily defended by the Admiral’s family own guards in addition to the Admiral’s own personal escort. His personal escort consisted of two platoons of his Elite Stormtroopers.

“Do you have any questions?” She finally asked.

“Oh yea, what other teams are going in and how will we make contact with them?” Asked Renik.

“There will be no other teams, yours is the only one going in.”

“Oh.” Was all the usually cocky and glib man could manage. Aidan had never seen his men this daunted by a task, but he himself was even doubting the estimated three men returning.

Devon dismissed the men and Aidan went with them. “Sarge is this for real?”

“Yes Danin, I know it looks like a suicide mission, but we will figure something out. Get some rest guys. Tomorrow night we leave for Kuat and for the Admiral.” His men nodded their heads and went about getting their gear ready.

Aidan headed back to Devon’s office, he found her crying. That night they spent together laying in bed wondering if it was their last night together. They knew that they both had their duties and that there was nothing to be done except carry out the mission. The next day Aidan and his unit loaded the two freighters that would take them to Kuat with their gear and wrote letters to loved ones. Aidan and Devon had agreed to not make a scene with their goodbyes and said them in private.

One week later

Aidan slowly crawled forward to where Renik was stationed. “Hey Renik anything yet?” Aidan asked.

The young man slowly turned so he could face Aidan. “Not yet sir, according to the Intel his ships should be arriving anytime.” Just then a loud rumbling could be heard and from behind them a large shuttle flew overhead to landed over a hundred yards away from Aidan’s position. Aidan raised his macrobinoculars and grimaced as he saw seventy-eight Stormtroopers file out and in the middle was the man they sought, Admiral Hayson. Even with his face painted Aidan could see the worry in Renik’s face.

“We go tonight then.” Aidan said and began to slither back towards the rest of his unit. He told his men that the op was a go for tonight and all he got was a solemn nod in return. He had changed the plan and a few of them were less than happy about it. He did not intend to lead all of his men into this deathtrap. The original plan had all twelve of his men assaulting the house, but Aidan knew that would likely get more men killed. Aidan had two in the woods serving as snipers and two on one of the ships to pick the assault team up, if the worst happened at least four would return home.

A few hours later heavy clouds came in and a heavy down pour began. Aidan kneeled on the edge of the forest line his assault team on either side. Renik and Davin, the snipers lay prone at the edge as well. Aidan like all of his men wore all black fatigues, on his black painted face were a set of night vision goggles. He cradled his Carbine with one hand he gave the single to go. Like wraiths his men emerged from the forest and plodded through the muddy lawn to the house. There were roving patrols of Stormtrooper that at some point they would have to engage, but Aidan knew they further they got to the house the better there chances of getting Hayson were.

They were no more than forty yards away when Simms opened fire on a patrol. As they were ordered to do Aidan’s assault team broke into a dead run for the house, they all opened fire on anything that moved. Deadly lances of energy came from behind them dropping enemies one after one. In seconds they took the patrol out and were at the access door to the house. Aidan ripped his goggles off as Danin placed a charge on the door. Seconds later they were running into the house.

“1, this 11, I am getting a lot of communication on the frequencies, they know your coming.”

“Copy that 11.” Aidan said as he broke through the kitchen doors into a large dinning room. Blaster fire ripped through the space he had just occupied as he dove to his right. He began pouring fire into the house guards and stormtroopers. He got up quick and with his men raced through the dinning room blasting any resistance in the way.

“This way team!” He yelled and they headed to the large double doors. He stopped them at the doors and took out a frag grenade and a flash bang. His troops followed suit. They lined up on either side of the doors and when they blew open from another charge they threw their grenades and then flashbangs in. A cacophony of explosions echoed in their ears and Aidan was the first on into the room, men writhed on the floor screaming in agony. Aidan saw a women in a serving outfit, her leg blown off trying to find her missing appendage. His team rushed in and was met still with heavy resistance. Aidan began taking the stairs three at a time when an explosion threw him forward.

He saw Danin go down and then he saw a blaster bolt rip through Davis’s skull. “4 grab 2!” Aidan continued up the stairs. The assault team continued up the large stair case leaving behind the body of Davis. They reached the top of the stairs, Aidan peeked around the corner blaster fire came from every doorway down the hall, at the end was a large door that led to the master bedroom. Twelve objects sailed through the air and this time as they exploded Aidan and his men rushed down the hall. Within seconds Aidan felt a searing pain rip through his side. He lost a stride, but regained his footing and continued pouring laser fire down the hall. Stormtroopers and guards lay in pieces and more were torn to shreds by the assault teams relentless charge.

“5 Is down!” They made it ten more feet down the hall.

Something exploded just inches away from Aidan, he felt a white-hot pain on his face, but did not stop.

“8 and 6 are down.” They reached the master bedroom. Aidan looked at the two men huddled with him then down the hall, he saw Danin’s crumpled body and that of Jason Teng, the man who had carried the wounded Danin. Both were dead.

Aidan kicked the door open, he and his remaining men charged in. Time slowed for Aidan as he saw stormtrooper’s drop one after the other, in the corner huddled was Hayson. Aidan ran to the man and grabbed him he kicked open the balcony door just then a small freighter came swooping down. Aidan tossed the Admiral over the rail onto the extended ramp. “7, 3. were out of here!” He yelled, 7 came running through the doors. He stopped before Aidan and shook his head. That was all the explanation he need, 3 was dead. Aidan jumped into the ship and soon they were soaring into space.

Aidan was soaked with mud and blood, he bound and gagged the Admiral. “Where are you hit Phelan?” Phelan just starred in horror at Aidan.

Fradin, one of the pilots came out, when he saw Aidan a shocked look came across his face. He quickly got a medkit and rushed to Aidan. It was then that Aidan realized that something was wrong his legs buckled and he found himself looking into a worried face.

Fradin pulled out a knife and began cutting away Aidan’s fatigues, blood began pool on the floor. “I think he is going into shock, Phelan I need your help. PHELAN!” The other soldier snapped out of his daze and rushed to Aidan’s side. He grimaced as he knelt, he had been hit in the thigh, but as he looked at his leader he thought nothing of it. Aidan had been hit twice in the chest, but what shocked him was that a piece of shrapnel was lodged in Aidan’s face. It was just below his left eye and blood was leaking out. There were signs of shrapnel all over the front of Aidan, neither man looked positive. More blood began oozing from other small shrapnel wounds. Phelan and Fradin worked as fast as they could trying to stop the bleeding and to give Aidan some time. Their rendezvous point was two days away, they feared that Aidan would be dead by then.

Aidan no longer saw Phelan and Fradin instead he saw his mother, she looked beautiful in a white dress as she stood smiling at him. The dress began to grow brighter and Aidan felt warmth spread through his body, the dress turned into a bright center that was his entire universe. It shone all over his body and he felt like he was swimming in an ocean so vast that it was limitless, with each stroke he took it was like a refreshing breathe of air. Time ceased to matter in this place and he simply let go of everything.

Three weeks later

Slowly Aidan blinked his eyes, he could not see anything clearly. He tried to sit up, but did not have the strength, he lapsed back into sleep.

Renik came into the medbay and sighed when he saw Aidan still asleep. “Doctor, how is he doing?”

“Quite well for the extent of his injuries, he should have died on that ship.”

Renik shook his head, he had never liked doctors. He headed over to Aidan’s bed and sat down next to his leader and friend. A large scar ran down Aidan’s left side of his face and there were many others on his body. The blaster wounds had been not so bad, but Aidan had caught most of a frag grenade’s shrapnel, which would have killed most men. Aidan began to stir and opened his eyes.

“Sarge are you awake?”

“Huh, Renik, is that you?” Aidan’s vision was blurry and he could not make out things clearly yet.

“Yea Sarge its me, how you doin?”

Aidan pushed himself up a bit and blinked some more, things were becoming clearer now and is memories began to rush back to him.

“Where’s Phelan did he make it?” He asked quickly.

“Yea Sarge he made it, he was in here with you for a while, but they released him over two weeks ago.”

“Two weeks? How long have I been in here?”

“Three weeks. You took a lot shrapnel and a few blaster wounds, it’s a miracle your alive. The doctors say you will make a full recovery.”

“The Admiral?”

“We handed him over to Intelligence, no sign of that broad from the outpost. I hope that Admiral was worth it. Actually rumor is that the outpost was hit soon after we left, but who knows.”

“What, the outpost was hit?”

“That’s what I heard, but I’m not sure Sarge. By the way who was that broad anyways?”

Aidan struggled to get the word’s out. “My wife.” A shocked look came over Renik’s face. “Sarge, I am sorry, I didn’t.” Aidan slowly swung himself out of the bed and with extreme pain stood up. “Sarge?” Renik said weakly.

Aidan slowly and not too steadily began walking toward the medbay exit. A doctor ran up to him with an angry look on her face. “Seargent, you are not cleared to leave this medbay, return to your bed now.” Aidan paid her no heed and struggled to the door. Renik hurried and helped him make it to his room. Aidan changed into his uniform and made his way to the bridge to find the senior officer. He had to know about Devon.

Plys Tay
16 December 2002, 06:09 PM
Keep up the good work MooseB)

Iain Kysler, Jedi Apprentice
16 December 2002, 06:09 PM
Wow. Good stuff, Moose. I'm sitting here, thinking I'll get a little relief when the good guys win in your stories...SPOILER AHEAD....










(I'm still recovering from Anakin Solo's demise in Star by Star)...









...and now you leave me hanging. Oh brother...*Grin* can't wait for the next installment! Looking forward to it!

Moose
27 December 2002, 07:50 PM
Aidan found himself on the bridge a short while later. “Captain Bela. May I have a word with you?”

“Yes Sergeant?”

“I need to ask a favor. I need to know if an Outpost was hit recently.” Aidan gave the Captain the details on the outpost’s location and told the man why he needed to know.

A grim look came over the Captain’s face. “I am sorry to say Sergeant that base was indeed hit and as far as we know there were no survivors. I’m sorry.”

Aidan’s jaw clenched as he fought back the wave of emotion that was threatening to over come him. “Thank you Captain.” Aidan managed to get out and then he headed to his room. Aidan tried to take deep breathes and calm himself as he made his way through the ship, but his breathes came raggedly and he barely made it to his room.

Once in the privacy of his own room he collapsed to the cold durasteel floor. Images of everyone he loved and cared for flashed through his mind. Aidan’s will ebbed and he wanted nothing more to be with those he loved, his hand drifted to his boot and came up holding his combat knife. As he brought the knife to his wrist it felt as if some unseen person had stopped my hand. At first Aidan thought it was his subconscious, but he tried even harder, but his hand would not budge. An instant later an image came into his mind, he saw Devon laying on a cold steel floor crying softly. The knife fell from Aidan’s hand and he was not sure what had just happened, but he knew that Devon was not dead. His sorrow changed into determination. He did not know how he would find his wife, but he would die before he gave up looking for her.

One Year Later

Aidan sat quietly in the briefing room on one of the massive Mon Calamari Cruisers. While most of the Alliance was celebrating the victory at Endor, Aidan and his team were being briefed on their next mission.

The once eager and somewhat innocent looking Aidan now wore a dark expression as he took notes on the mission. Aidan in the last year had recovered physically amazingly fast and had begun leading missions again, but his emotional recovery was lagging at best. Aidan hopped that after the Kuat mission that he would be given more missions with a higher survival rate, but it was quite the opposite. More and more Aidan’s missions seemed impossible and often times only a few men returned. Renik was the only friend that Aidan had left, Phelan had died on a mission several months ago.

“Any questions Commander Hughes?”

“No sir. Will I be getting any replacements?”

“No you wont be, you’ll have to go with eight men.”

Renik and Aidan exchanged glances, neither man looked like their former selves, they had seen too many boys die for them to wear the faces that they used to. They were dismissed and the two veteran warriors returned to Aidan’s quarters. Aidan brought out a bottle of Corellian whisky and poured both of them a glass.

“Well Aidan at least this time only eight will die.” Renik said despondently.

“I wont let that happen Renik, we’ll pull this off somehow.”

“Aidan we have pulled off some amazing things, but I have a bad feeling about this op, I mean we have no idea if the General is alive, we know there will heavy resistance, were short four men, um oh yea and it’s a desolate Imperial Prison planet, sounds good to me.”

Aidan knew all of this, he did not like the mission anymore than Renik did, but it was an important mission and had to be tried, beside it was only eight men. A while back the thought of loosing eight men would have appalled Aidan, now he gave it little thought.

Two Weeks Later

Aidan pulled the black mask over his face and checked his carbines charge. His men checked over their equipment one last time before they touched down. They were using a stolen Lambda shuttle to get to the prison, but after that their guise would be blown. The planet was a barren desert world, A great place to die thought Aidan sarcastically.

An instant later the shuttle came to a stop, Aidan nodded to his men, the ramp went down and they quickly moved out. As they ran to the access door they quickly took out the guards, warning klaxons began to sound immediately. Renik placed a charge on the door and the team pressed against the wall on either side of the door. When the door blew in they quickly filed in, they moved swiftly down the hall meeting light resistance. Before they knew it they were accessing the prison mainframe. Aidan scrolled though the list of prisoners and found the Genreal's cell number. He was about to get moving, but he kept scrolling down and his knee’s almost buckled beneath him. “He’s in cell 435A, 3 you get the General, 2 on me.” Aidan ran down the line of cell’s past the General's. “Blow it 2.” Renik did not argue and placed a small charge on the door and blew the locking mechanism. Aidan kicked the door open and the horrors of the last year washed away. Aidan ripped his mask off and rushed to Devon. “AIDAN!” She rushed up to him and hugged him.

“Later, we need to get out of here first.”

He guided Devon out the door and got Renik out as well, “1 this 4, I think we have a problem.” Just then the back door to the prison block slid open and blaster fire erupted ripping through 4.

Aidan began laying down fire as he moved back to the door they came in, “Out the way we came in team!” He yelled, but just then stormtroopers began pouring in that door. No way out. Aidan saw Devon trying to get some cover and looked at his men as they fired on the masses of troops coming at them. He saw Carl go down and then Renik get hit in the shoulder. His friend dropped his weapon and pulled out his blaster pistol with his good arm. “1 what are we going to do?” Renik yelled. Aidan could see no way out for them, an image of the building structure flashed through his mind. Aidan ran over to Renik and grabbed the rest of the explosives and hurled them at the far wall, which exploded when he hit the firing trigger blowing them an exit. Aidan got hit in the arm and as he dropped he felt a cold sensation come over him. He struggled to his knee and began dropping stormtroopers, but where one fell three more appeared. He saw two more of his men drop. He knew there was no way to get everyone out.

“Renik get them out of here!” Renik nodded and knew what Aidan meant. Devon struggled, but Renik grabbed her and rushed through the exit. Aidan continued firing and saw 3 get the General out and then 5 went down. Aidan was hit again and then all the chaos around him ceased and he heard a voice that with a single word could shatter the will of men. Darkness enveloped Aidan and he lost of sense of himself and his surroundings.

Aidan awoke and could see nothing, his senses were bombarded with the smell of decay and dankness, and he heard the steady drip of water. He lay on a cold stone floor that had a disgusting growth much like algae all over it, his entire body felt like a massive welt, he knew he had been shot and his hand drifted to his shoulder. He felt a rough scar as if some poor doctor had tended to the wound, it certainly was not healed with bacta. He tried to stretch out from his fetal position, but found his cell was not large enough, he could not even stand up he discovered. There was a thick metal door at one end of his cell and the other was a stone wall, his hand felt along the wall and he came across several small grooves that ran vertically. At first he could not figure out what they were, then a cold shiver ran down his spine as he realized what the grooves were from. As if fearing that sort of desperation would over come him at the moment Aidan lay back down tucking his hands in his armpits firmly. Aidan had no sense of time in this place, it could have been days or weeks, but each second that went painfully by felt like an eternity. Food was a rare occurrence, when it came it was slid through a small grate in the door, but no light came in. As far as Aidan could tell he was fed on no particular schedule, sometimes it seemed like weeks before his next bowl of gruel would come. Often times Aidan would find his fingers tracing the groves on the wall and he would chide himself and think of the one thing that gave him joy, Devon. He knew she was alive and likely being taken care of, without that he would never had lasted.

Aidan lay in his cell, his hair was now shoulder length and he had a ragged beard, it had felt like years, but he had no way of truly gauging his how long he had been in the dark cell. The door flew open and light poured in, Aidan shielded his eyes as he was blinded and saw the outline of large being. There was snap in the air and a biting hiss as the whip landed on his arm. He made a dive for the door, but a foot or something connected with his shoulder, breaking the collar bone and shoving him back into the cell. The whip lashed out countless times striking him with unyielding vengeance. Aidan had not the strength to even sob, he just lay as he was stuck all over. Images of those he loved flashed before him giving him hope and resolve, he was not sure if was conscious or not, but it did not matter. The door slammed shut and Aidan lay on the cold floor, blood pouring from his wounds, his collar bone penetrating his skin, Devon smiled at him as she ran through verdant fields on Alderaan.

What seemed like months more passed by and again he was whipped mercilessly, this time he did not even move for fear of having another bone broken. It was harder now to remember the name of the women he so often thought off, her face was elusive and desperation began to seep in. The ragged and broken man had difficulty remember his own name and would often times try to speak to himself, but his voice was to horse and incapable of uttering even a simple word. Fear began to creep into his mind and soon he no longer thought of himself or the women, his good arm rose weakly and found the groves. He clawed hopelessly until his fingers broken and bloody could move no longer.

The door swung open, the man broken and ragged was dragged out by his ankle, he was taken into the harsh light and dropped before a great throne. The lights dimmed, but he still could only make out shadows, he could see a great figure loom over him. “Pain, Fear, Anger, and hate, that is all that you are, that is your only chance to live, give into them you will be mended, feed on them and you will be given power to destroy those that have done this too you. Seize your destiny, give fuel to your furnace, embrace your anger.”

A weak smile came across the batter man’s face, his anger pulsed and his fear grew, he felt himself get picked up once again. He was taken to a medical ward, where he was cared for, his eyes still had not adjusted, but the Dark Man came to him often telling him of how to retain his old power. The broken man smiled his eyes burned with an intensity known to few, he no longer fed upon his anger, he was anger and hate incarnate. As days turned into weeks the broken mans wounds mended, his vision returned, his hate fueled him. His body was covered in cruel scars from beatings he had received from the traitorous Rebels, they had wiped his memory, killed his family, tortured him close to death, his hate and anger made him powerful once more.

“You have recovered well my young apprentice, we will begin your true training soon.” Said the Dark Man.

“Yes my Master.” Replied the scarred man, he no longer bore a name nor knew his own, the Rebels had denied him such things. His master told him he would once again wear a proud name, when he had earned the right. As his master had told him his training did begin, his anger made him strong, his hate fueled his drive, and after many months of intense training the scarred man had an epiphany, The galaxy is mine to do with as I please.

Eight Months Later

“You called for me Master?” Asked the scarred man, he knelt at the foot of a great dais, he was clothed in black and a lightsaber hung from his side.

“Rise scarred one. Today you earn the right to bear a name, today you are Lord Malagant.”

A wicked smile crossed Malagant’s face as he rose before his master, he knew his vengeance against the Rebels was at hand.

Malkarris
28 December 2002, 01:49 AM
Very nice. Your writing is fair, and you seem to be getting more into the narrative, with more dialogue. One thing you might want to think about is detail. You don't have to write an essay, in fact, don't write an essay about what the characters look like, but give them some feature that belongs to them, like messy brown hair, or sharp blue eyes, and let it show their emotions from time to time. Also, go through your story after you've written it, or better yet, ask someone else go through it as well. Not really for grammar or spelling as much as for seeing if it makes sense. It makes sense to you, since the story is in your head, but will it make sense to the reader.

The plot on the other hand is great. It was fairly obvious that Aidan was Force sensitive, but having him go darkside like that was out of the blue. Looks like the rebels are in serious trouble.

Iain Kysler, Jedi Apprentice
31 December 2002, 07:30 PM
Ouch...one thing about the SW universe that is definately a constant...things ALWAYS get worse before they get better...

Poor Aidan.

allstar6767
24 March 2003, 08:22 PM
Its 12:19, I am absolutely hooked on this story, and its next installment isn't here, boy I hope the author posts another installment... iIm gonna go crazy if he doesn't. Great story by the way.

Moose
19 April 2003, 12:05 PM
Thanks for the praise Allstar, there indeed will be another installment, but not for a few more days, so if you can just hold on a bit longer.

Moose
28 April 2003, 02:23 PM
Ok I have been real busy so this next part is not that long, but there will be much more to come in the next few weeks. Enjoy.



“I have a mission for you, an iron fist is needed, but you must not squeeze too hard or your efforts will be for naught.” His master turned on a holo projection of a small planet, verdant forest covered most of the planet, but this projection began to focus on a large mountain, at the base was a teeming town on the verge of resembling a city. Malagant grew eager as his master outlined what his mission was to be.


The planet, Telos as the natives called it, was not on any charts and had no connection with the galaxy at large. The mountain Malagant had seen a month ago on the holo projector loomed even higher than he could have possibility imagined. His crimson cloak flapped in the wind as he strode toward the large palace at the base of the mountain, it was the local rulers home and had been for generations. As he strode up to the large iron cast gate two men with guns approached him with stern looks on their faces.

“Can I help you sir?” Asked the lead guard.

“You can, I need to see your Lord, will that be a problem?” Malagant said.

The guards looked at each other, both shrugged for some unforeseen reason they moved to the side to let Malagant walk in. A grin crossed Malagant’s face as he walked up the smooth granite steps, this would be a most enjoyable mission indeed he thought to himself. The massive wooden doors to the palace swung open with the gesture from his gloved hand and Malagant strode in. A retainer walked briskly towards Malagant as he walked into the palace. The little man began to ask what business he had here, but Malagant stopped him cold.

“Bring me to your Lord.” Malagant said and the little man hurried to comply. Moments later Malagant was out on a balcony overlooking a well tended garden. A middle age man, well on his way to corpulence and clad in finery sat drinking wine while looking at his servants tending to the garden. The obese Lord turned suddenly at the arrival of Malagant and his own retainer, which had instructions that he was not to be disturbed.

“Who are you what is the meaning of this?” The Lord asked hastily.

“I am Lord Malagant, leave us.” Malagant said without turning to face the retainer. “we have quite a bit to discuss about our future together Telemon. First we will discuss your retirement and my appointment to your office, I will allow you to live out the rest of your life in peace and opulence, but that is only if you comply with everything I say, do we understand each other?”

The trembling man took a long drought from his cup and then set it down with a trembling hand. “I believe we do.” The man managed to say, the fear evident in his every mannerism, but he did not know why he was so afraid of this man. Malagant smiled and took a seat across from Telemon.

“Good, then lets get down to business. Deep within your mountain here there is something I need, I want you to take me to the best miners you have so that we can get to work right away.”

(two years later)

Malagant sat in the large leather chair before the blazing hearth; his demeanor was sour, as it had been for some time now. The mining was taking longer than he suspected and his master had not communicated with him once. The winter had cost him many valuable workers and his supply of able bodied men was dwindling with each passing day. He could feel Deter approaching, as usual the mans thoughts were filled with fear and cowered in the recesses of his own feeble mind, but surprisingly their was hope mixed in today.

“Lllord Malagant, I have good news from the mountain, they have reached the cavern, there sending in teams now to search out what you seek.” Deter said in his scratchy voice. A smile crossed Malagant’s scarred face as he rose from the sitting chair.

“For once Deter you have made me a happy man, visit the slave quarters tonight and take your pick, but first summon me transport.” Malagant said. The pathetic Deter smiled deeply and lavished thanks upon Malagant before departing. Moments later Malagant was speeding towards the eastern side of the mountain, like Malagant it was scarred and had wounds that ran deep, men clustered around a large work site, tents were scattered all around making up the community of the workers.

Malagant stepped out of the helicopter and made his towards the gaping hole that led deep into the belly of the mountain. A burly man covered in dirt and sweat hurried over to Malagant.

“My Lord we have found the Cavern, we have sent in two teams to explore, but both teams were lost, I believe that there is something down there my Lord, something evil. I mean the men are just afraid to go near it.”

“Fear no longer, get your men away from the cavern, I will continue on alone from here…” Suddenly Malagant dropped to his knees as he felt his master die, a faint echo of his final words reached Malagant’s mind, but he could not decipher them. A great void of emptiness filled him as he realized that he was on his own. What am I to do now master? Answer me, please. The only silence he got was silence and the hollow feeling inside him grew larger.

“Vader! Answer me! You can’t be dead!” He cried, the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach spread like a cancer through his whole body, [I]if someone could defeat Vader, what chance would I have[\i]. The workers starred in horror as the Lord they had feared over two years dropped to the ground and began screaming, anyone who approached him were flung back with little more than a gesture from Malagant. The very ground he knelt on began to tremble under Malagant, dirt began to swirl around him in a cyclone and the workers fled out of terror as the vortex grew stronger. Rising to his feet Malagant strode towards the bore that led to the cavern, as he approached the edge of the seemingly endless drop into the mountain he stepped into the darkness and floated in his vortex till he came to rest at the bottom of the cavern.

As the vortex died and the debris that had been consumed by it fell to the ground a slender metallic object flew to Malagant’s outstretched hand. Using the force he mentally activated his lightsaber, the dark cavern took shape as the humming red blade came to live. The bodies of workers lay mangled on the floor, it appeared as if they were partially eaten as well. Suddenly from the shadows figures began to immerge, they were horribly deformed figures, perhaps once human, but their humanity was long sense forgotten. They were larger than average men and their eyes glowed an eerie red, they began to roar like wild animals as they formed a circle around Malagant. A simple gesture sent several of the creatures flying into a nearby wall, the sound of bones breaking echoed through the warren. Malagant rushed forward and brought his lightsaber down to cleave two of the creatures in half. He spun just in time to hew off the clawed hand of one of the creatures, the maimed creature made to attack again, but suddenly was thrown into a wall. Malagant dispatched the rest of the creatures with his lightsaber, the short battle left him yearning for more battle, but he had a task to tend to. Using his lightsaber to light the way he left the circular room and headed down a narrow hallway, all around him he could feel the dark side pulsing with energy, the hate in this place was like a wellspring to drink from.

The hallway widened to a large room and at the center a pedestal made out of a strange black rock that seemed to come from the ground stood with a solitary item on its smooth surface. The power of the darkside permeated everything in the deep warren, as he stepped up to the pedestal he reached out.

Upon touching the impossibly smooth black egg shaped rock Malagant felt the darkside surge with power, it seemed to feed upon itself, growing in power with every passing moment. Malagant staggered under the onslaught of pure darkside energy and fell to his knee’s, his every thought was focused on dropping the stone. A deafening cry escaped from Malagant, the cry was so unnatural it resembled that of a thousand men crying out in pain. Blood sprayed from his mouth as he struggled to breathe and finally Malagant collapsed to the floor, his hand falling from the stone.

Iain Kysler, Jedi Apprentice
13 October 2003, 11:13 AM
Awww...come on! Don't leave us hanging!

Sorry for the absence. Things have been incredibly busy. I only just got caught up on reading...and now I'm being left hanging!

Any ideas about a next installment?

Korwin Blade
15 October 2003, 11:57 AM
Hey Moose,

This is great!!! Please don't leave us hanging.

Korwin Blade