Xhedias sat in one of the local bars on Nar Shaddaa the smell seemed to get to him but he sat watching his prey drink it up and make a fool of himself. A Bounty Hunter, a stupid one at that, dressed in a heavy type armor with two holdout pistols at his side. The pistols could be concealed if he wanted them to be but he was to stupid to lure in a drunk into a easy bar fight. In his drunken daze he said he had the whereabouts of a Dark Side Adept they were planning to put a hit on. Just what I’m looking for… He shouted and screamed at the top of his longs with his friends. After a few hours the group still sat there while the Sith was still sitting in his booth sipping on the same beer that he had when he came in.
Hiding his lightsaber in his robes, he decided he would wear his outer robe to keep his identity. He looked up and noticed that the group of clumsy Bounty Hunters were moving into a private room in the back of the bar. Perfect. Getting up he walked past the bar, few heads turned, one of them being the bartender’s. Xhedias flipped a chip to the bartender and walked past him, obviously happy from the over paid alcohol he had managed to sell. The group closed the door behind him, not hearing the sound of a bolt would make it very easy for the Battlemaster to walk in.
Knocking on the door the Zabrak looked down at his combat boots waiting for someone to answer the door. Hearing shouting and rustling within they never knew what was coming to them, hearing footsteps he knew someone was coming to the door. With a creak the door opened. A Rodian poked his head into the crack in the door, a tiny bit of drool coming from the right corner of his mouth.
“I’m here to get a bounty.”
“We don’t give out bounties here, check the Bounty Hunters Guild.”
The Rodian caught a pale fist in the face, breaking his nose with a crunching sound. The drool that was on his lip was now flying backwards with the Rodian. Xhedias kicked the door open, causing quite a ruckus in the bar.
“I’m here to collect one fool.”
The other seven Hunters looked towards the fallen Rodian, caught completely off guard in their drunken state. Xhedias didn’t wait for them to begin firing, he reached into his robes and produced his concealed weapon. In his right and it snapped to life as the razor blade on the hilt pointed towards his enemies. His left hand in an “L” shape to keep balance he leapt off the ground using the force to help his jump, landing right in front of a Quarren.
In an outward lunge at the Quarren, he seemed to get lucky as the blade passed next to the right hand side of his face. Once realizing he wasn’t so lucky as the razor on the lightsaber hilt cut a deep gash into his jugular vein spraying blood everywhere. Xhedias struck like a well trained snake, making his moves swift and accurate, attacking the vitals. Three of the Hunters managed to reach for their blasters and aim them at him, quickly putting his saber up he deflected two of the shots else where as the third had his slugthrower jam. Spinning around he swung the blade low, taking the leg off of the jammed gun user at the knee. With a thud he fell to the ground as Xhedias was ready for his next attack, lopping off the hand of another.
The human held his cauterized wrist as he bent over, Xhedias deactivated his saber as he ran by the human. Holding the razor to his neck he pulled it down, ripping open the jugular of another Hunter. Running to the third gunman, he increased the power in his stride causing the gunman to misjudge his power blast and completely miss the Sith. Xhedias turned his body ninety degrees and kicked out the knee of the heavy armoured gunman. A crunching sound brought him to his hands and knees, his left one at a right angle to the side, his left foot touching his right knee. A swift kick to the face from the Battlemaster’s right foot caved in his face, killing him instantly.
Two of the wounded, the Rodian and the legless gunman laid on the ground screaming in a drunken agony at their pain. Good, they are going into shock. A Devoranian female charged him with a vibro axe intent on cutting him in half. Xhedias smiled as he let her charge, closer and closer she got. Raising the axe high above her head she screamed a war cry. The Sith quickly sidestepped and wrapped his left arm around her at the armpits, putting his right hand to the direct center of her back. Igniting the saber caused the connection to break in her spinal cord, severing the feeling between her legs and her brain.
Xhedias dropped the female off his blade and looked at the final Hunter, a tall dark skinned Trandoshan. Dropping his vibro axe he made a break for the door. Deactivating his saber he threw the hilt, sending it end over end. With a smacking noise, the razor protruding from the back of the Trandoshan’s skull, the force of the attack sent him to his stomach. Xhedias walked over casually to the Trandoshan and received his lightsaber, finishing off the four, Trandoshan, Rodian, Devaronian and the legless Human, that laid on the floor. He walked over to the Human and looked at his handy work, the broken knee was a little high but still brought the results he was looking for.
He looked from the Human to the giant table in the center, seeing a datapad on top. The Sith smiled and picked it up activating it, knowing only the good Bounty Hunters didn’t put their jobs on their datapad, and this was a pitiful excuse of a Bounty Hunter. Searching through various memos and such he found a Bounty on a Dark Side Adept. The information read as follows :
Species : Falleen
Rank : Dark Side Adept
Saber : Single
Danger Level : High
High? They couldn’t even handle the Equite, let alone an elder.
Xhedias looked back to the bottom of the screen and noticed it wasn’t from the Bounty Hunters guild, but a private contractor. How convenient, it even gave me an address…Ryloth…
The Nightlands, this will work nicely. Concealment.
Xhedias had already left his TIE Advanced about a kilometer back, wrapped up in his robes, he put the hood over his head and continued on to the waypoint. In a small city of caverns, it wouldn’t be hard to find the contractor… the sound of a lightsaber could be heard as well as a blue glow could be seen behind him. The Sith couldn’t feel him but now knew he was here. Turning around he looked the Jedi up and down, brown outer robes and beige inner robes, definitely a Jedi.
The stars provided a little bit of light but most of the light would be provided from the lightsaber’s glow. A breeze ruffled the plants in the Nightlands as Xhedias contributed his own lightsaber to the chaos to come. Igniting it, the Sith’s face was bathed in the crimson glow.
“Look at the cute Jedi, dark hair, no braid hmm? Looks like you will be interesting to fight.”
“Another Dark Jedi, but you aren’t Falleen, not the one I’m looking for, but I will purge you regardless.”
“Ah, so you’re the one that ordered the bounty, ding, round one!”
The Battlemaster studied about the Jedi, never attacking first unless they were threatened, by a Dark Jedi. Smiling he waved his saber around, letting the humming noise drive deep into the ears of the Jedi Knight. Striking down various bushes and planets, he turned around and cut down a fairly good sized tree. The Knight closed his eyes in response to all the voices of the Force screaming in his head. Smiling again he charged his opponent, batting the saber down to the ground in a swift stroke, deactivating the blade with a click and bringing his knee up into his gut.
The Jedi doubled over for air, Xhedias put his left pale hand on the back of his head gripping his shoulder length hair. Forcing his head down and his knee up at the same time caused considerable damage to the Jedi’s face. Breaking his nose with a crunching sound it began to gush a fountain of blood as the Jedi laid on his back.
The Sith laughed out loud as the Jedi stood up, wiping the back of his hand across his nose, smearing his face with his own blood. Bending over for his lightsaber he ignited the blade again as he charged the Sith. Xhedias dropped one arm out of the exterior robe and launched the black cloak at his opponent. Dropping to his knees he extended a leg out to catch the Jedi and cause him to trip. Managing to turn the blade off before he fell on the hilt he stood up once again in the dust cloud he managed to create. Also dropping his own brown cloak, he ignited his blade for the third time, being embarrassed by the Sith he called on his anger to give him strength.
“Gooood. Use your anger, it’s a part of you, use it.” Xhedias laughed as he said this because it wasn’t often you saw a Jedi Knight get angry. The words said by the Battlemaster only seemed to raise the fire within the Knight.
Unless you know how to use your anger, it acts as a shadow, clouding all actions and reactions.
Nodding, he brought he flicked his wrist and brought the blade low next to his leg, bringing it up in a full spin behind his back as he turned himself as the Knight got closer he brought it around once more. Xhedias made the full motion with his arms, making a diagonal cutting path from right shoulder to left shin he cut down the Knight. The essence of the Force seeped into the Nightlands from the death of the Jedi who was briefly on the path to darkness. Xhedias stood over the cut up Jedi and picked up his lightsaber, placing it on his belt he ventured back to his ship to get a few supplies. Deeming his cloak to damaged from the enemy lightsaber he would get a new one on Tarthos.
The cackling of the fire mesmerized the Zabrak into a trance, the ashes floating up into the chimney as if dancing their way out to the Nightlands. Seems he bumped into some friends, for some…odd…reason, Manji said they captured some of the native beer and boarded it onto the Fallen Spear. Muz and Manji were forced to kill a few Twi’lek gaurds and threatened the brewers to hand some of the beer over. It’s weird they had been ordered to the same planet without knowing it at first.
The brown walls of the cave fit the Zabrak just nicely as he crossed his arms in his camp chair with his legs crossed at the ankles. The Hunter known as Sanjuro laid cuddled in a maze of sheets a few meters away. Muz and Manji whispered to each other as they watched the fire across from the Sith. Xhedias wasn’t concerned about what they were whispering about, probably some sort of Clan business that he would hear about when he got back.
Feeling a drop of sweat come down his brow, he began to feel a heat wave coming on. Odd for the nightlands to have this kind of heat, the Zabrak tore off his undershirt and tossed it next to him. The Zabrak thought it was just a gust of wind that was blown into the cave from the nearby brightlands. His pale body stood out against his chair and the brown walls of the cave that they managed to find. His toned body was also noticeable, his arms, shoulders, pecks and abs were in very fine condition for a warrior. Around his neck could be seen a brownish rope, with a few beads tied to. Manji and Muz noticed it and took a glance, never knowing him to have worn anything of the kind, they took it with interest.
Closing his eyes as the popping and dancing fire seemed to lull him to sleep. With an outstretched arm, it came back and itched the back of his neck, sliding the pendant down the rope necklace. Putting his arm back into position as it was earlier, crossed and covering his darkened nipples. The two brothers looked at each other with their mouths dropped, eyes in a rage of furry they charged the Zabrak. Muz grappled the Battlemaster around the throat and pushed him backwards, knocking him over in his chair. Manji quickly walked behind him and pinned his arms to the ground. The bones in Muz’s hand began to stand out as he choked the life out of Forkall.
The eyes of the Zabrak flashed open, not believing what was happening. They are killing me, I threaten them… Xhedias thought that to be his last thought he would get to hear himself say. Suddenly Muz’s hand released the Zabrak, Manji drew his sword with a metal ringing noise and put it to the pale throat. Gasping he strained to move himself under the weight of the two brothers. He didn’t know what was going on but couldn’t find the air to ask what they were doing.
“Where did you get that necklace?” Muz asked in a loud, demanding tone.
Xhedias choked more as Manji looked back to his elder brother.
“TELL ME WHERE, OR I KILL YOU!”
Sanjuro began to stir under his mountain of blankets, the Sith caught most of his breath and looked up into the eyes of the Epis.
“Sup-sup-supposedly it was left for me by my mother.” Barely managing to rasp at the two.
“YOU LIE! YOU HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH OUR THINGS! THIS IS THE SIGN OF THE KEIBATSU CLAN!”
“No, no, I-if you get off me I’ll tell you the story.”
Manji looked to Muz for the word, barely nodding, Manji took the sword from his throat and rose from pinning his arms. Muz stood up and sat back into his chair, with Manji following closely behind. Looking up at the cave wall for a few seconds, he continued to catch his breath and knew he had to get up. Knocking himself to his side he struggled to his knees and stood up, dropping back to his knees in a pose that left him sitting on his ankles. Putting his hands on his hips he looked down on the ground, trying to figure out where to start.
“As both of you know, I grew up on Iridonia, a harsh planet to begin with. I never knew my mother or father, I grew up an orphan of our tribe, the Judains. I was taken under the wing of the chief early in my life, I began to train in the unarmed arts of Teras Kasi. I learned to wield a sword in the fight against our enemy tribe, the Zoko’wi. I studied day after day, using the weapons that would fit my small size and doing as much physical exercise that I could. As I grew older I seemed to have an aura about me, the father I knew, the Chief, believed me to be force sensitive. I learned to be extremely fast on my homeworld as you may see me know.”
Muz cut in quickly, “You said you waged war on another tribe, yet you have no scars. You risk lying again?”
“No, I was believed to young to fight our enemy, even though my temper said otherwise. The Chief gave me this white pad, to put on my wounds, a few years ago I found it out to be a healing property, that was used on me instead of my dieing kinsman. Just before I left the tribe to search what was out there, beside war, he handed me a small wooden box. Upon opening it I found this necklace, he restated something like, “To family, this will lead you.” I couldn’t understand it as my family was already dead and I was leaving the people that I used to replace my family not knowing how it would lead me back to them.”
Two of the nearby villagers crept into the home of the Keibatsu’s. The mother, Lady Tsukiakari no Ro-zu, went to her friends residence for the weekend while Kyudai and Shinmen were on the other side of the planet training officers. The house was lonely and quiet for young Meishu to study on his writing. Little did his family know he had a secret love for the girl next door, a young dark haired zabrak Melena. Their relationship had to be kept a secret because it wasn’t right to pursue love outside of your race. Within coming generations this rule would be cast aside…Meishu would be the first one to disobey, but without anyone else’s knowledge.
“Lets move it Tafumi, the sooner we get out of here the sooner we can get to the bar.”
”Shut it Shinmen, why don’t you handle the crowbar if you want to move out of here so fast?” Tafumi began to take the crowbar to the door as a light flickered inside, Tafumi and Shinmen ducked under the windowsill as the peaked inside the house and noticed the younger brother was still there.
“Damn!” Tafumi exclaimed.
“It’s not getting hit this weekend…and we really need beer money…”
“There’s a homeless guy that lives a few block away…let’s just jump him and take what he has.” Tafumi said quietly.
“Good idea…we can rob this place another time.”
The two robbers left the Meishu to his writing as a knocking came at the door. The Keibatsu wasn’t expecting anyone this late at night but very possible it could have been more letters for his father or brother. Meishu walked to the door and cracked it enough to see the flickering candle light dancing on Melena’s face. Her face lit up with a smile that caused Meishu to smile himself, he felt a lot for this girl and he felt ashamed that he couldn’t make it public and give her everything she deserved. It was the story of his life, not getting what he deserved, he didn’t get respect from his father or brother because he wouldn’t hold a sword and he didn’t find any interest in any girl that he could have…what he wants seems to be unachievable. He knew he could never have the life he dreamed of with her, but she didn’t, at least he thought she didn’t.
“Meishu, are you alone?”
“Uhh, yes, come in.”
“Would you like anything to drink?”
“Um, yes...warm tea please.”
Meishu walked into the kitchen and filled the tea pot full of water and put it on the stove to boil. After he turned around he begins to take two cups out of a cupboard and put tea bags in both of them. He continues to get things ready for the tea as Melena walked in silently behind him and turned him around. She began kissing him, forgetting all about the tea they were previously preparing.
He told his family he would be a way for a month, going to another planet to briefly learn another form of poetry but instead followed Melena back Iridonia. In his room he found a pendant of the family’s crest, burrowing it deep into his pocket he left the Keibatsu home. Only finding war among two of the native tribes when he arrived, Meishu couldn’t handle more war and left Melena and their unborn son. Melena only began to be aware she was pregnant until a month after Meishu left.
Melena would return to Kyataru to give Meishu the news of their son. She returned to the house and was told that Meishu was killed by his brother. She fought hard to keep the tears back, she nodding and walked away, tears streaming from her face. Melena would return to their home on Iridonia and find the pendant that Meishu took from the house, placing it in a small wooden box. She lived out her life and gave birth to a baby boy, naming it Graakk Forkall. Raising the boy without a father she let the Chief, who was in his late twenties train him in the art of war when he became of age. Melena would pass down the pendant to her son, the Keibatsu name would be lost in history, as the Zabrak name of Forkall would now be passed down.
“That’s all I know, honest.” Xhedias managed to bark.
Manji looked intrigued by the item around his neck. Leaning over to whisper to his brother he tried to hide his emotion “What if he is related to us? I’m sure this chief would know what happened to you and those before you.”
Muz nodded at the statement and turned his head to his brother’s ear. “We should do a blood test when we get back, compare his to ours, I’ve never known him to lie.”
Xhedias looked back and forth to the brothers. “So?”
“You’re safe, until we get back to Tarthos.” Manji said.
“In fact, I’ve got a better idea, you’re taking a paid vacation back to Iridonia, to have a chat with your “Father.”” Muz said while scratching the hair on his chin.
Manji liked where Muz was going with this. “You’re gonna get a holo recording of the interview.”
“If I must…” Xhedias said reluctantly.
“You must.” Came a muffled voice from underneath the sheets. Muz, Manji and Xhedias turned their heads towards Sanjuro in surprise.
They didn’t ask, but only sat, watching the flames of the fire die over the hours before falling asleep in the pitch black cave of the Nightlands.
Xhedias woke up, hesitantly looking around he found that the Keibatsu’s had fled back to their ship and back to Tarthos. He could see tracks that Sanjuro did not walk out by himself, Xhedias wondered if it was out of force or Muz’s strange parenting ability. The Sith didn’t think Muz much of a parent, he didn’t know why he just couldn’t see him as a father. It was odd to the Zabrak, but he let his thoughts drift. Putting back on his top and folded up his chair. Putting it across his shoulders he made the cold hike back to his loaned TIE Advanced.
The Zabrak slammed his fist on a panel, causing the fuel cell indicator to go back to half way instead of zero. Much better. The stars seemed to slow down as he dropped out of hyperspace, nearly 10 kilometers from his home planet. It looked beautiful to him, the swirling gases rocky texture of the world below. The Zabrak longed to step within the grounds of his tribe.
Throwing the thrusters forward he zoomed off toward the planet. As he bounced in his chair he imagined he would find out what happened, to his family. Landing the craft in a patch of dark rock a kilometer or so outside of his old village. He jumped out of the ship and grabbed his lightsaber, putting on his normal combat attire he made his was towards the tribe, holding a holo recorder the whole way he managed to document some of the his hopes. About an hour later he found the tribe, much to his dismay.
His mouth dropped and his eyes began to water, whether from the whipping sand or seeing his home in shambles could not be told. Much of the huts and houses were burned to the ground, he walked through the uninhabited streets and looked through the wreckage. Finding his way to the central most hut, or house, he walked inside and put his hand over a broken clay pot.
“Can I help you?” The voice seemed to ask him.
Xhedias jumped and wheeled his body around to see the old man with a bluish glow around him, sitting in the tattered chair.
“Chief….” The pale Zabrak dropped to one knee and put his head down, still holding the recorder on the man.
“Rise son, what is it that you came for?”
“I want to learn about my family.”
“I thought as much, sit down, this could be a while.”
Graakk grew up learning to wield weapons, becoming a great warrior within the tribe, ironic to his father that never once picked up a sword, beside the duel that nearly costed him his life. Graak wore the necklace to each battle as a good luck charm, till one day the chain on it broke and he was forced to use a rope to hold it together. His bravery on the field was unmatched and had the females flocking to him, picking a beautiful bride by the name of Sya Vekei, she took on the surname of Forkall. Over time Graakk grew in not only skill but in heroics on the battle field. Reaching the age of thirty years old, he was ready to take on the name as Chief, also fathering a son. Going through many trials and tests, it took Graakk nearly 9 months to gain the title of Chief.
An unexpected raid on Graakk’s celebration party by the enemy tribe would leave Graakk and Melena dead and Sya mortally wounded. Graakk did not die willingly, he took two dozen of the enemies force to the grave with him. The ex Chief acted quickly and gave birth to their baby boy. The ex Chief learned of Graakk’s death and claimed himself Chief again at the ripe age of nearly 60. Taking the necklace from the corpse of Graakk, he went into their house and found the same wooden box Melena gave to him. Putting it back into the box he stored it away, until the boy was ready to have it. The pale, hairless Zabrak would be named Xhedias Forkall by clan vote and be taken under the wing of the Chief.
Xhedias held his head with both hands at the news of his family. All slaughtered, I am the last of the Forkall…Xhedias put his head into his knees and tried not to show the kind of discomfort that he felt, until his left fist balled up and smashed a whole into the carbon scored table.
“Who was my grandmother?”
“…Melena Forkall.” The Chief said reluctantly.
“And my grandfather?” Xhedias spat out.
“Meishu…Ke-su. I’m not sure I remember.”
Xhedias put his head back into his knees and quickly stood up, whipping the camera around unintentionally. Winding up he kicked the leg off the table to add with the whole. Looking back up at the Chief he found him gone.
“What the hell….”
Xhedias brought the recorder back to his face so you could see the red iris. The camera shook as if the Zabrak was a little bit nervous, shaken up or just angry. “I hope this answers your question, because it only makes me want to ask more.”
Public Review submitted. These are general comments over the story as a whole. Specific comments for small sections have been sent to the submitter.
Overall, this is an interesting story, and a good exploration of your character’s past. I liked the story overall. However, there is room to improve the story.
As with your other story, you have trouble with identifying just who you are talking about. You use pronouns far too much, and not enough names. This leads to confusion for the reader, as they are wondering who did what to whom. Because it is 3rd person, you can use the names of people. You also need to work on your punctuation.
You need to work on your run-on sentences and your sentence fragments. There are times when using them can work to your benefit as a writer. For example, if someone is speaking and using run-on sentences (that is, no break between two separate thoughts), it can help give the impression that the person is scared or panicking. Sentence fragments can help create mood when used properly. They often state facts, in very short and blunt fashion, which help to indicate the person’s mood. See the text I highlighted in blue above. Learning how to use these well will help convey a lot more information to the reader; in some cases, it can convey more to the reader than a paragraph of detailed information.
The first part of your story, killing all the bounty hunters, ultimately came across as a rather poor reasoning to get you to Ryloth (at least to me) so that you would run into Manji and Muz. It works, but I think other ways would have been a better way to do things. Also, you should have at least briefly explained what the mission the others were on; otherwise it really just seems like a vacation for the three of them.
Even though stories, or any prose (including essays) for that matter, make sense to us as we write it, we have to remember that the person reading this is not in your head. This is the reason for proof readers and editors: to point out what doesn’t make sense to the third party. One of my history professors once told me (and the rest of the class) the following about writing (he was passing along what he had learned): assume you are writing for educated idiots.
While he was referring to citations for our papers, it also applies here. Assume that you’re writing this story for someone who doesn’t know that much deep detail about the Brotherhood, but has a working knowledge of it. Provide those extra details that help inform the reader, but don’t make the story so full of details that it makes it hard to read.