Memories and Mercenaries
The sun began to rise on the jungles of Kashyyyk, streaking across the deep blue lake and skimming along the surface towards the golden, crisp beaches. The illumination of the bay was only overpowered by the beautiful tones radiating across the acre upon acre of deep, thick jungle canopy. The gentle chirps and cries of the fauna of the Wookie home planet could be heard, echoing on and on into the distance. The creatures of the land were slowly waking from their slumber as the new day was rising up and the dark, stillness of night passed. Across the surface of Kashyyyk, down into the jungle, deep through the canopy and into a small clearing where the new day’s sun had just touched the damp, moss ridden ground stood a small beast. The creature was alone, lightly nuzzling at the green food that surrounded it, calmly taking its time chewing every piece of leaf and savouring the taste with all of the time in the world. This was its life, he would wake, he would eat, and he would sleep. The most serene life that any animal could live. Peace in its entirety. The slow hum of the insects in the trees grew, as they too started the days work, but rather than continue in their hard-working song their melody was stopped short, the noise just ended. The noise, or lack of noise, however small, was different. There was a subtle change in the jungles atmosphere, the force of the nature had altered, and the small beast stopped its chewing to look up and look around. Nothing. The jungle was as it was before, same trees, same ground, same sky, same jungle. The animal went back to its breakfast. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, a black shadow, seemingly animal in its movement, swooped down from the canopy of the jungle, smashing down onto the back of the beast as it reared up in pain. The jungle turned into a dark state of violence as the battle commenced between the calm beast and its attacker. The vicious shadow unsheathed its weapons from its thighs and struck down into the beast with fury, rendering the beast motionless in seconds, its screams ceasing in an instant.
Eventually the figure rose from the beast, standing above the carcass of its newest kill. The attacker seemed to be male, human, or at least nearly-human in its form, but he had a somewhat savage animal stance about his person. His head hung lower than most and his arms left to hang around his waist, meeting to his bent legs, crouching as if still ready to pounce. His face was covered in scars and dirt, his deep blue eyes seemingly lost within himself. His hair was unclean and ragged, left to grow on its own for what must have been years, and his facial hair was not much better, ratty and tangles up in a thick, rough bush. His clothes were covered in rips and tears, black as the night with a scarlet tint of blood staining them through to his skin beneath. The savage stood at a medium height, and was unnaturally thin, not so much slim, but more undernourished, and his muscles or what was left of them were clearly visible through the tight wrappings of cloth around his person. What was most peculiar about this man though were the markings across his hands, they were very much unique, much like the old religion of the Jedi used to wear, their memory still very much in the minds of the citizens that they protected, but their bravery was no longer seen on the battlefields. They had disappeared many years ago, with only a handful of sightings reported since. This man though, this strange creature as he was, bore such great resemblance to these Jedi of old, his stance, his look, his presence, even the air around him seemed to bend to his will, as if he had some sort of hold over the life around him.
He proceeded to pick up the body of the beast over his shoulder, lifting it with ease and taking it with him as he walked off through the thick brambles, slashing at the thorns and vines in his way as he went. He travelled for what seemed like hours, but it could have easily been much less. The scenery of the jungle, no matter how beautiful, was so hard to distinguish from one point or another. It would be very easy to get lost in here for those not attuned to the subtle changes and tracks of the environment. Fortunately this savage knew the way like the back of his hand it seemed, tracing through the undergrowth as easily as if it was water. But then the stranger stopped, and the body he was carrying fell to the ground as he clutched to his head. The man was in great pain, his head feeling as though it would explode. He had felt these feelings before, even more frequently recently. He did not know why they came on, but he felt like they were there for a reason, as if maybe to remind him of something. The pain turned into a throbbing, as if it were some type of warning beacon or radar, picking up on something in the area. The man lay there, focusing on his pain, pushing it out of his mind just enough that he suddenly became away of his surroundings again. The jungle had changed, there was definitely something about it that made it feel somewhat new to him. The jungle was quiet, yet the jungle was never quiet. Not unless there was some type of disturbance or intrud---CRASH. The tree behind the man was ripped down as a charge of fully armoured mercenaries charged at him. Ten maybe twenty of them running at him, their blasters and swords raised to attack. The group circled him, and drew their weapons as one of them moved forward. It seemed that this one was the leader; he wore much more noble clothes than the other’s battle suits and body armour. His clothes were much finer and he had an air about him that felt like authority. He lowered his weapon and began to speak.
“You are quite an elusive character you know, it has taken us near on a year to find you. Yes, at first we had believed that you were dead, you were cunning yes, but what you failed to realise is that the Assail do not get fooled. You should know that more than anyone Jagan”
The flow of memories that came back to him upon hearing his name nearly threw Jagan off balance. It had been years since he had been called that, heck it had been years since he had met another person. He still could not place these men though. Who were they? Why were they here for him? Who were this Assail? Questions kept appearing in his mind with no answers to fill them, Jagan desperately tried to piece together any memories that he had left, images of the past gradually and slowly flickering back into his mind. But as Jagan was so nearly making a connection he was attacked from behind and smashed in the head, knocking him down to the ground. The other men approached him and began to beat him as he slowly lost consciousness, clinging to whatever bits of life he had left. Just as Jagan had nearly given up the fight the attacks stopped, he was still alive. But the men did not leave him. They tied his arms and legs and then on mass dragged him back through the jungle from where they had come. Jagan did not know what was happening to him, he still had not totally come out of his trance. That was when the pain stared again. The deep, throbbing pain embedded into Jagan. It echoed through his head like a beacon, calling out to him, it getting stronger and stronger as they moved through the jungle. He began to hear it too, no distinct sound, nor a distinct tone, yet there was something about the sound in his head that called Jagan to it. His eyes flickered for a moment, something had caught his eye. It was metallic, rounded, and cylinder-like. As Jagan focused more on the object the pain increased and slowly began to take over his whole body as he began to shake. His deep-blue eyes glazed over into pure white orbs. All he could see now was the mysterious object surrounded by a glow of purest white; everything else in the jungle was lost to him. Memories again flooded Jagan’s being, blinks of violence, blinks of light. He could hear the sounds so distinct to him at one time, yet so unclear to him now. Jagan was uncontrollable, his body shaking terribly now, the guards dropped him and backed away. Suddenly the object flew towards Jagan’s outstretched hand and ignited into a bright silver shaft. The memories had returned. The years of training, the years of battle, they had all come back to him. Jagan felt the force flow through his body once more, filling him with more power than he had felt in a long time. He was rejuvenated. The guards drew their pistols again but it was already too late. Jagan swept with his sabre, killing 3 guards in one move. He leapt into the air and struck down again, slicing the weapon of another before slicing him down. Jagan flew down to the ground and sent a shockwave back, knocking out 5, maybe 6, mercenaries. He continued to dispatch with each of the men, one-by-one, deflecting their blaster shots with ease as his body flowed with the force. Jagan was left with one adversary. The leader. He struck with ferocity, severing his arm clean off and cutting into his chest as he grabbed the man by the throat.
“Give me a name! That is all I ask of you! Who sent you?!” Jagan glared into the dying mercenary’s eyes with such ferocity that the man could not help but give in to him.
“Neputus….Neputus sent me”. With those last words the man collapsed to ground, his body limp.
Jagan was left alone once more. All he had was his saber and a name. Neputus.