Rise from the Ashes Ch.1 - Ghosts of the Past

Jagan Roda

20-06-2006 06:40:06

Rise from the Ashes: Chapter I
Ghosts of the Past

Jagan Roda, Supreme Overlord of Nar Sharrdaa, Leader of the Re-formed Assail, Admiral of the Crimson-Fleet. The galaxy was his…yet there was still that deep scratching inside his head, the feeling of doubt, the feeling like something was wrong. He had been going through his mind all night long, searching his memories for the troubles within. He could not sleep, yet he did not understand why. He was content with life, he had all that he had longed for, what he had strived for, hell, he had the scars to prove that he deserved this. Still though, the feeling of unknowing was killing him, like a slow drip of water, eroding his skull. He couldn’t shake it, he wanted so badly to rid himself of this niggling curse. He enjoyed life, he was happy. Wasn’t he?

Suddenly, Jagan was awoken from his deep meditation by the voice of his fleet’s overseer General Possus.
“Lord Roda”, the intercom crackled with static, then cleared, “we have received signal from our defector scouts on Kashykk….I….there is something you may want to take a look at in person”.
Jagan, disrupted in his contemplation, rose from his meditative state and walked to the interface.
“Thankyou General Possas.” Jagan paused for a moment, staring at the interface. “I will be there shortly”. Jagan sighed, maybe what had been troubling him could wait.
Jagan swept through the ship’s corridors, his regal robes flowing behind him as he powerfully strode through each room. His short, dark hair trimmed neatly to perfection, his expensive crimson tunic draped majestically over his torso. Still somewhat sub-conscious of the scar and burns down his left side, Jagan managed to ignore any odd looks he was given, though he still found it hard to wear these scars with any sort of pride.
He approached the doors to the control room of the ship and they opened in front of him. He was greeted by General Possas, the leader of the Crimson-Fleet’s military exploits, General Yarin, the overseer of Jagan’s flagship, the Septine, and Lieutenant Crus, the chief of security.
“Ah Lord Roda. thank you for coming.” Possus took a small, chrome disc from his side-pocket and passed it to one of the control staff. “We would not have interrupted your meditation if it were not of the utmost importance. We have discovered the location of the Crimean Forces. They have taken up base on the wookie home planet of Kashykk, we do not know of the size of the army they are amassing, but we seem to have obtained footage of their leader while he was on patrol”. He signalled to the control member to play the recording, and a holocron began to play. Projected in front of Jagan was a man he did not think he would see again, a man once regarded highly by Jagan, he was the closest thing Jagan had to a friend in his whole life, or at least he was.
It was back in the days of the Assail, the original Assail. His name was Krishynk Helm if Jagan remembered correctly, though back then he went by the name Neputus. He always introduced himself as Neputus to anyone he met, really taking away the point of our aliases, but nevertheless he continued to be known only as Neputus. He hated his real name. His slave name. Given to him in childhood by those he worked for, he no longer remembered his birth name or his family. They all had their aliases, most crime syndicates did; Jagan was known as Neco, the angel of death, Heinjah, called Sabre due to his trademark dual cutlasses, and Grodd, known by the alias Barrels, solely for his fondness of all blasters. Neputus was named so for his unique battle trident he carried, forged by himself in the fires of Mustafar. Neputus though always introduced himself as Neputus to anyone he met, really taking away the point of our aliases, but nevertheless he continued to be known only as Neputus. He hated his real name. His slave name. Given to him in childhood by those he worked for, he no longer remembered his birth name or his family that once cared for him so deeply. Jagan related with Neputus, he too had no family, an orphan, all alone in the world. This tragedy seemed to bring these two together though, each were the closesest thing each other had to family.
Jagan had gone with Neputus to Korriban in search of artefacts, as they had done many a time before, setting off from Nar Sharrdaa, and arriving on Korriban at sun break. But the events of that day still troubled Jagan, scratching away at the back of his head…
“Jagan…Jagan!”. Jagan looked up from his workbench to see Neputus outside, signalling for him to come out. “Come on Jagan, we don’t want to get busted like last time, we gotta get a move on!”.
Jagan put down his tools and placed his scythe down below, withdrawing a blaster and a map, then placing them in his pack. Jagan walked down the ramp to the outside air and into the heat of Korriban. He smelled the sweet aroma of death floating in the humid breeze and felt sat ease.
“Look Jagan, over here”, Neputus was by a small gap in the cliff wall, the gap barely big enough for a mouse to enter, yet cracked around the edge, crumbling with each whisp of air, “I think there’s something behind this wall, I can’t seem to see in but the echo travels back for what seems like miles”. Jagan walked over to Neputus with a doubtful sway, he usually had these hunches, but they rarely paid off, normally they were just animal habitats or maybe just where the cliff had eroded.
“This better be good Nep, I really don’t think there is much left on this god-forsaken planet, scavengers have been coming here for years, I doubt there isn’t an inch of this planet they haven’t scoured”
“Oh, ye of little faith my friend. You just don’t have the scavengers sense within you, the way the blood rushes to your brain when you are close to finding something magnificent, the sheer ecstasy of going further than anyone else has gone before, I mean come on, if anything, this is good money, even you know that Neco.”
“Course I do, but this planet is bare, it’s dead. Come on, let’s just get out of here and get back to the grimes. To be honest I’m beginning to miss that direful nectar they serve in the cantina.”
Neputus began to pick at the crumbling gap in the wall, the hole began to get bigger and bigger, until he could fit his whole arm in, then he proceeded to tear chunks from the wall, larger then larger, until soon the hole was big enough for a man to squeeze through. As Jagan looked on, Neputus slowly disappered through the gap, into the cliff wall.
“Nep! What’s in there?”. Jagan waited cautiously outside the hole for a reply. “Fine, I’m coming in, get out the way”.
Jagan took of his belt and slowly edged his way through the gap in the wall, scraping his arm on the side. Jagan, pulled himself through and managed to stand up, inspecting his arm.
“Where the hell are you Nep?!”. Jagan proceeded to walk through the tunnel in front of him, twisting himself out of the way of the tangled roots embedded in the walls. After struggling his way out of the last snag Jagan emerged into a small dome like room. Neptutus though, was nowhere to be seen.
“Hey Jagan I….I think you better come see this”. Neputus’ voice seemed to come from around the corner, through a small archway. Jagan doubted himself for a spilt second, but quickly snapped himself back to reality, still, Jagan was slightly cautious, creeping around the corner, not sure of what Neputus had found. But as he turned the corner, he could never have imagined what appeared in front of him.
Stretching for what seemed like miles, was a giant corridor-like structure, lined all along the walls with the cleanest of metals, smoothed to perfection and welded majestically to each huge support, running the height of the wall for at least 200m high and travelling far below the straight, narrow walkway, into the chasm below. The sounds of Jagan’s footsteps could be heard echoing down the passage, repeating for an age. Jagan spotted Neputus, he also amazed by the structure they had stumbled upon,.
“What is this Nep?”. Neputus turned round with a sort of surprise, in his awestruck state he had not noticed Jagan.
“I didn’t hear you follow me Jagan, I assumed you had gone off back to the ship, to play with your tools again”. Neputus stifled a smirk at his comment, while Jagan simply looked on with slight despair for him. Neputus stopped his smirking after looking at Jagan, quickly trying to change the subject. “Er…no, I don’t know what it is. I just had a look down the walkway a bit, but I still couldn’t see the end. It must go on for miles!”
Jagan doubted this very much. The sheer height of the corridor would cause it to be a challenge in itself, that added to the amazing workmanship and care put into the structure would mean it would have taken years to make. If it truly did go on for miles, the build time could have lasted generations. But why build such an architecturally beautiful structure inside a cliff face, surely there must be another entrance to this network of tunnels and corridors. Whatever secrets this wondrous place held, Jagan now needed to find out.
“You alright there Jagan?”. Jagan spun back round to face Neputus, for a moment distancing himself from reality.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Jagan took a look into the darkness far down the walkway, then back to Neptutus, taking a second to think. “Come on, Lets go”.
Jagan started the trek along the narrow walkway, slowly moving further down the corridor. Neputus quickly grabbed his pack and went with quickened pace to catch up with Jagan, then both walking along the strip of silver into the darkness.


Nearly an hour had passed since they set off down the walkway, and still the end was not yet visible. Jagan began to wonder if this path would ever end, maybe Neputus was right, maybe it did go on for miles, they must have already walked many miles, and the light that was emitted from the entrance had long died out, them now only able to see through the dim light of Neputus’ gas-lantern.
They continued to walk down the path, treading slowly now in case of collapse. The light of the lantern beginning to flicker and decrease. As they trudged on wearily down the walkway, their feet becoming tired, a sudden gust of wind, rushed down the giant corridor, extinguishing the lanterns flame and leaving the two in complete darkness. Yet still, they travelled on, they had to, unable now to turn back, partly due to the distance and partly for the pure intrigue of what may await them at the other end.
Another hour passed, and still no sign of the other side, Jagan and Neputus were becoming increasingly tired and anxious, what if this path went on for hundreds of miles, sure, that would seem impossible, but who would have guessed that there was a giant corridor built into a cliff on Korriban. This doubt in their minds, fear was slowly beginning to creep in, what if they never reach the end? What if they died here?
But, just then, in their lowest moment of despair, a glimmer of hope appeared, the faintness sign of promise, a faint glow of light in front of them. It was coming from a small archway at the end of their view, it was still a way off, but it was here, what they had been trekking to get to. Both explorers looked at each other, then back to the light, then, as if through some sort of unspoken bond they both began to sprint to the exit. The light grew stronger and the exit came closer and closer, both of them exhausted yet still running, being fuelled by adrenaline, they approached the archway, huge in size. As they wearily passed under the arch, both still panting, they saw the most magnificent sight that either of them had ever seen before. A magnificent glimmering pedestal, sticking from out of the ground as if formed by the god’s themselves. Behind the pedestal shone a dazzling white light, cascading across the room like a gentle wave, flooding across the beach, casting long, dark shadows in front of the pedastal and towards the two men. Perched on top of the pedestal though was an amazing necklace, of the most beautiful standards, to beautiful even for the likes of royalty. Forged from the purest forms of gold and adegan crystals, the two rare items twisted around each other, shimmering as the light shone through the transparent colours of the crystal. The necklace emitted an amazing aura, filling those around it with the most awe-inspiring of emotions.
Jagan was dumb-struck. He could never have imagined such things hidden in the depths of Korriban’s caves, well nothing of any value, as most truly valuable artefacts had been scavenged years ago. But now probably one of the most expensive relics in the known galaxy was within his grasp, he could reach out and take it, it would be his, all his. But then he stopped, he had forgotten about Neputus entirely. For it was he who had really discovered this treasure, but surely he would share the wealth with him and the rest of the Assail, wouldn’t he?
Jagan looked over to Neputus, studying his gleeful stare at the necklace. It was obvious that Neputus wanted it, but would he just take it? Jagan saw the slight twitch in Neputus’ shoe, just about to make a move for the treasure…
“Wait”. Jagan put his hand out in front of him, blocking Neputus from the necklace. Jagan quickly had to think for a second, he didn’t want Neputus to know that he was doubting his intentions. “What if there are traps set. You know, in case someone were to enter and steal it, I mean you wouldn’t want to lose such a valuable item would you?”. Jagan was amazed at his quick thinking, but was apprehensive to what Neputus’ reaction may be. Neputus stood there, thinking for a moment then looking at Jagan.
“What’re you talking about Nec? Since when have you ever been cautious?”. Neputus looked at Jagan with suspicion, then looked back at the necklace with a desperate longing. “I don’t care if there’s a bloody trap, nothing can touch me!”. Neputus knocked Jagan’s hand back and made a lunge for the necklace, snatching it from his place on the pedestal, then holding it proudly above his head. “See, look. What the hell were you talkin’ about”. Neputus held the necklace up to the light, examining the beautiful crystals.
Jagan looked away from Neputus, somewhat humbled in his misjudge of the situation. Suddenly his gaze slipped back down the giant corridor from whence they came. Something looked different, but he could not put his finger on it. He looked to the ceiling, and a tiny object fell from its position, striking the cool, metallic walkway. Jagan stepped forward and picked it up, examing it. The object resembled a bolt of some kind. Then Jagan realised what was happening. He looked up again to the ceiling. The giant metallic structure of the supports started to rattle, chiming with astounding echo, the walkway began to shake and the walls of the tunnel began to wear and crumble, falling down into the deep chasm below as the whole corridor began to rumble violently.
“We have to get out of here!” Jagan shouted to Neputus who was still admiring his necklace, unaware of what was happening around him. “Now!”. Jagan ran out of the corridor and back into the room, pulling Neputus away with him and jumping through the air as a piece of the ceiling fell down, just missing them and smashing the archway, sending shards of rock flying past them and colliding with the back of the pedestal. Still shocked, Jagan opened his eyes to see light emerging from the pedestal, the shards of rock had apparently unearth an old escape route. Slowly, Jagan pulled a dazed Neputus from the wreckage, down the tunnel and into a narrow passage way with light cascading from the end.
“Nep! Nep! Come on we’ve got to leave. This whole place is coming down!”. Neputus woke from his dazed state, unsure of what was happening around him. He looked up to see Jagan shouting at him, unable to understand what he was saying as he was pulled further down the passage.
“Come on, its gonna fall!”. Jagan shouted to Neputus as he dragged him nearer to the outside air. Then, suddenly, as they neared the end, the whole passage collapsed down behind them, crashing in a cloud of dust, extinguishing the air with murky brown soot. Jagan managed to just pull himself half out of the tunnel, trying desparetly to pull Neputus from out of the rubble as parts of the tunnel fell off around them.
“Nep! You’ve got to push off - I can’t pull you on my own.” Jagan pulled harder, the muscles in his arms close to ripping from his shoulders, bucking under the strain.
“Jagan, I cant leave - the necklace - it’s stuck.” Neputus kept tugging at the rock above him, attempting to lift the rock off his necklace.
“Just leave it! It’s not worth it! If you don’t let go your gonna get crushed!”. Jagan pleaded with Neputus to let go, but the value of the necklace was too important to him.
The tunnel was now rumbling furiously and pieces of rock were being chuked everywhere, brusing and cutting Jagan’s torso.
“Pull me out Jagan!” Neputus was getting desperate
“I can’t!”
“Please, Jagan, you just have to try harder!”
“I can’t! You have to let go ----”. Suddenly, the roof of the tunnel collapsed on top of Neputus. Crushing the rock and necklace on top of him as Jagan just managed to struggle himself out of the way.
The dust from the collapse soon began to clear as Jagan looked on in astonishment. The murky brown fog of rock passed and nothing of Neputus or the necklace could be seen, both piled under a whole mountain of rock. Jagan collapsed on the ground, devasted, scared….

“Lord Roda. Lord Roda?”. Jagan suddenly was aware again of reality, shaking the thoughts of that day to the back of his mind again. “What is it sir? Have you seen this man before ?”
Jagan paused. He thought that Neputus was dead. He searched the rumble for weeks, with no sign of Neputus, or the sacred necklace. He had long since recovered from the loss of his once dear friend, but the image in front of him brought back floods of memories, feelings of kinship that he had not felt for what seemed like an age.
“What should we do sir?”. Jagan looked up at General Possus, still unsure of what to do next. Jagan walked forward to the bridge view deck and looked out at the stars.
“General.” The crews gaze stayed fixed to Jagan as they listened intently to his instructions. “Set a course for Kashykk.”


22-06-2006 23:59:03

Overall, this looks like a decent start to something. I think you should continue the story, as I admit you’ve got me curious as to what will happen next. This is a good thing. There are some things you need to work on, most of it actually rather easy.

One thing you need to do is run spell check. Taking out the Star Wars stuff, you still have several misspelled words. Spell check should be able to take care of all of them without a problem. Double check on a couple of the Star Wars spellings as well.

You have a lot of run-on sentences as well (that is, either there is no punctuation or wrong punctuation which causes the separate sentences to run together). While this can be a useful writing technique, as I indicated in my private comments, there are times when it should not be done. Go back through and ask yourself: Why is this sentence a run-on sentence? Am I trying to convey rapid thought and emotion, or did I mean to put a period there instead of a comma?

Work on your paragraphs. They need to be distinct so the reader doesn’t see just one giant block of text. You can separate them by a whole line as I have done with these notes, or you can indent the start of each paragraph (hit “tab” once for a proper indent). This helps the story flow better and it makes it easier for the reader to read.

One thing that really stuck out to me is the lack of transitions (going from one idea to another), specifically at the beginning of the story. In essence, you have two distinct ideas in the story: the present, where you are on your ship, and the past, where you and Neptus are off adventuring. The Neptus story, I assume, is key to understanding the rest of the story (if this is indeed chapter 1). But, you ran the two right up against each other, with no transition between the two. I had to go back and read the section a few times to figure out that we had shifted in time. A couple points:
1. Starting a new paragraph is a form of transition.
2. When dealing with flashbacks, you should not only start a new paragraph, but include statements that indicate you have jumped back in time.
a. For example, when you saw the holocron image of your friend, you could have said “the image of the man, whom Jagan thought to be dead, brought back the memory of their last time together.” Then, start a new paragraph, perhaps with a mark (like the asterisk towards the end of the story), to show complete transition.
b. Statements such as Several Years Ago between the paragraphs (or at the start of the flashback) will help the reader realize that you have intentionally jumped into the past.
Your transition at the end of the story is better than the one at the opening, but it could be better.

If you fix these problems, you should be good to go. Keep an eye on them for future writings.