The Origins of Draco Maligo
PRT Draco Maligo(Krath)/TYR/Oriens Obscurum of Arcona
I am Draco Maligo. Like most beings across the galaxy, I had a family. But they are no more, and I no longer have anyone to stand in my way with their pathetic moral principles as their weapon and judgment.
I was born on the planet Almania, on the outer rim. It was an unaligned planet and technologically backward, with limited galactic trade. As for the social structure, there were only four castes you could belong to – aristocracy, industrialist, factory worker and farmer. The former two had all the political power and wealth, and were, of course, the two smallest castes. If you were a worker or a farmer all you could hope for was a life full of toil.
My father’s family owned an elmon fruit farm. The work was hard, and the only ones who made money on our toil were the distributors who took the fruit, packaged it and sold it. It left us with little money to spend on luxuries, or even education for my brothers, sister, and me. Unless of course we had an attack of the tufi flies. Then the crop would be ruined and we would face a season of near-starvation.
I was young when I discovered I had a gift. Something to separate me from the others. Something to make me feel special. Something I could use! I had an ability to distract others using the power of my mind. If I concentrated really hard I could plant suggestions in their heads.
My parents were horrified. They ordered me never to use my gift, never to talk about it. People would say I was a sorcerer. It would put a black mark on my whole family. We would be driven from the pathetic little town we lived in and forced to fend for ourselves in the dirty cities that housed the factory workers. Like we had so much to lose.
I felt like I had been robbed. I had something special and my parents banned me from using it. They didn’t appreciate it, or me. I lived in drudgery every day, dreaming of a time in my life when I could do what I want, live how I wanted, and make credits, real credits, without the dirty work of farm living.
Most beings would say it was a terrible tragedy that my family was murdered. I suppose it was, from a certain point of view. But for me it was a spectacular liberation. I remember vividly the morning the alarms went off. It was a sunny spring day. The trees were in full blossom, and the smell of the nectar drew the pollinating insects to do their work. The winter’s work of pruning and fertilizing was done, and most of my time was spent pursuing what studies I could.
As much as the elite cared nothing for our well-being, they still needed the poor to do their work, grow their food, and produce the wealth they enjoyed. So when the Mandalorians attacked we were herded to the nearest shelters. Almania had in place a planetary communications system, which could transmit alarms anywhere trouble threatened, and a system of shelters for the poor. The rich had well-appointed, guarded bunkers. The poor had to defend themselves with obsolete blasters.
Since we couldn’t afford a speeder we ran. We weren’t even close to making it. We encountered a pair of raiders looking for loot. They might’ve shot us all even if we had credits to give them, but since my family was destitute it only made them mad. I saw them shoot my father and mother, then my oldest brother. They stopped for a moment to argue about what to do to my sister, and that gave me the time I needed to decide what to do.
I was too small to fight them. I had no weapon to use on them. I had no credits to barter for my life. The only thing I had was my gift, the ability my parents forbade me ever to use. But then, I had not heeded their command. I had practiced. Often. To get what I wanted from other children. To get what I wanted from girls. To get what I wanted from teachers. I had gotten good at planting suggestions in other beings’ minds. I looked at the pair of Mandalorian raiders. Then I made them think there was an explosion behind them.
They turned, separated and crouched low to the ground. I raced in the opposite direction while trying to keep them concentrating away from me. I spotted an irrigation ditch and dove in. I lay there in the muddy water, only my face above the surface, keeping still and listening for the footfalls of the booted soldiers. I cleared my mind while trying to sense the presence of any hostiles, prepared to use my ability to save my life. I heard several blaster shots after my escape, that I suppose spelled doom for the rest of my siblings.
I lay there in the muck all day, thinking. Since my family were dead I would inherit the farm. It wasn’t worth much, but it would be enough to buy passage off-planet. But when I presented myself to the civic council the magistrate told me I was too young to own property, and the courts upheld that judgement. The land was auctioned off to one of the wealthy families on the planet who rented it out to tenant farmers, and the government kept the money.
That’s when I turned to stealing. It was much easier than either working the farm or slaving away in a hot, dirty, noisy factory. For the first time in my life I was clean. I wore nice clothes. I could walk down the street without the shame of poverty clinging to me like the mud from my family’s farm.
I got lazy. I no longer dreamed of flying away from Almania. I stole for several years, had a nice apartment in a part of the city reserved for middle managers, and my neighbors thought I was somebody. I had developed a network to sell the stolen goods through, so I no longer had to steal money for rent and food to eat. I could take any items of value and have my confederates sell them on the black market and use the credits from my share of the take to actually walk into a store and buy what I wanted. For the first time, my life was good.
Then I ran into that Jedi. He never told me his name. He had a Coruscanti accent, which immediately identified him as a member of the privileged elite. I was doing some recon work for a caper I was working on to steal verbo-brains. They were intended for one of the factories on the planet, and it would have been my biggest haul.
The padawan was so smug and arrogant. He was on the planet with his master to settle a dispute between the factory owners and some inter-galactic shipping concern. In other words, to decided if either the rich or the richer would get a bigger slice of the pie. No one cared that the majority of the beings on the planet were living in abject poverty, working for sub-standard wages.
The Jedi knew what I was up to. He could tell that I had potential with something he called the ‘Force.’ He told me to stop using it for selfish personal reasons. He said it would be better for me to have honest work and live in penury than to risk going to the dark side. I said, “Yeah, sure,” and left for the day. Two days later I was set to make my theft.
And he was there again. He said he wouldn’t allow me to steal from the rich, even though it was the best way I had of making a living. It reminded me of my parents telling me not to use my gift, of their wanting me to be stuck as an uneducated peasant farmer for the rest of my life. I was tired of people trying to make me deny who I was, of taking things away from me.
I had never known rage like I felt that day, that minute. The Jedi was so self-righteous. I hated him. I am still not sure exactly what I did. I felt the rage build in me. Time slowed. I reached out for his mind and poured all my rage, all my resentment, all my bitterness into him.
He was surprised. He didn’t expect me to resist him, or assault him. I felt him calling upon the Force to resist me. It worked, at first, but I was in too much of a temper to give up. Then he weakened. I could see the pain on his face. His eyes closed. His hands went up to his temples, holding tight his head as if he thought it would explode. Then he let out this most blood-curdling scream and collapsed into a heap on the ground.
It was surreal. I stared at him for a time, I don’t know how long. He didn’t move. Then I panicked. I thought I was in trouble for sure. I couldn’t stand up to a Jedi, not a real one. When my mind cleared I took the padawan’s lightsaber and the bag of credits hanging from his belt. I thought about going back to my apartment to fetch my belongings, but thought I should blast off from Almania as soon as I could, before the fool’s master came after me.
It wasn’t like I couldn’t earn more. I sat on the transport, the first one to leave after I reached the space port, heading for Ord Mantell. I thought about where I should go. Then I wondered what would happen if the Jedi tracked me down. I needed to understand my abilities, to hone them, to be able to defend myself.
There is a famous research university on Garos IV, well known to all of us in the outer rim. The first transport leaving Almania was headed in that general direction, which I took as a sign for me to go there. I figured I’d look up some information on the Force and train myself to use it. I wasn’t sure if I’d use it for protection or to make myself a better thief, but it felt right for me to pursue the knowledge.
I was sitting on that light transport heading toward a planet in the mid-rim, a place I’d never been. Despair gripped me as I pondered my future. My life careened from one disaster to another, and there I sat, a few credits in my pocket and nothing else but the shirt on my back to call my own. I was alone and afraid, no family, no friends, and an exile from my home planet. Perhaps a common enough situation across the galaxy, but not for this seventeen year old boy.
So I sat there wondering if real Jedi would come looking for me. I left everything I owned, but feared going back for it. The padawan had told me a little about the Force and the Jedi, and said I had natural ability. But he also said I was walking down the dark side, whatever that meant. He wouldn’t help me to find my potential.
It was pretty naïve of me to think that any useful knowledge would be in the data files for all to see. After several frustrating days of searching for a few grains of truth I was ready to give up. To entertain myself I tested the limits of my abilities to plant various thoughts into the minds of others. I had some success and a few laughs, but I grew bored and ready to leave.
Then I felt it. An unsettling icy darkness. I couldn’t pinpoint it, and couldn’t define it but it seemed to be coming for me. I froze in terror. I’d never experience feelings like that in my life. Not even staring down the barrels of Mandalorian rippers chilled me like that.
My mind was telling me to get up and run, but my muscles wouldn’t obey. I stared at the door waiting for the doom I felt to approach. Then he walked in. He looked like a corpse, tall, lank, and pale. I’d never seen a Nagai before, and it made me think of the un-dead in cheap holonet stories. He wore all black. He stopped in the doorway and his piercing eyes stared right at me.
I swallowed hard. I had no idea what to do. He began to walk toward me. I concentrated, closed my eyes, and tried to make myself invisible. I reached out to his mind and tried planting the idea that my seat was empty, that no one was here. Focusing as hard as I could I put forth the illusion of emptiness. But I heard his footsteps as he stopped a meter from me. I looked up to see a flicker of a smile on his face.
“Not bad for an untrained being. I am Drodik Va’lence al’Tor,” he said in a low-pitched voice. He spoke Galactic basic with an accent I’d never heard before. “I know what you are seeking, and I can give it to you.”
I stared at him in shock. How could he know? I thought back on the last several days, wondering if I hit my head somewhere. “How do you know me?” I stammered out in a squeaky voice.
He laughed, a low rumbling chuckle. “I had a vision in the Force.”
“The Force?” My heart pounded in my chest. Maybe this is why I came to Garos IV.
“I work with a group of beings who use the Force. We can train you, in exchange for your loyalty and obedience. The Force guided both of us here, I am sure of it. If you want to reach your full potential, follow me.” He turned and strode to the exit. I hesitated only a second before I pushed myself up from my seat and hurried after him. From the Garos system we traveled to Antei, and thus began my life with the Dark Jedi Brotherhood.
I like your story. It seemed you put a lot of work into it and tried to draw people into your story as you went.
Overall, I'd say a 9/10
Andan Taldrya Marshall
This is very well written, I really enjoyed reading it. I liked how you used first person to tell the story. It gave it a more personal tone that set it apart from the other stories that are on here. There was plenty of detail, but not so much that it was wordy and boring. There weren't many spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes that I noticed (I was reading more for content though, if you'd like me to go through and fix grammar email or PM me and I'll be glad to do it for you).
Overall it's a great story, I hope to see more of your work on the Writers Corner.