Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday Tales (A Day Late)

The second chapter in Nightmares in the Past, a Star Wars fanfiction.  And yes, I am aware that it's Wednesday, pardon me.

- - -

He towered seven feet tall, strapped in Togorian hides and shined Mandalorian armor.  True stone grey eyes, long braided black hair and an unruly, full beard falling down to his silver bone belt buckle.  His arms were like logs, chest like a boulder, muscle like iron, boasting decades of merciless training.  A fiery red saber was clutched in one meaty fist, and a rain blue blade in the other.
       But it wasn’t any of that which overrode the air with a distinct but foreign sense.  It was something else, something far more overwhelming.
      Cruel power, peaceful as the eye of a hurricane, but angry as a bubbling volcano.  An unwholesome presence, yet so welcoming, so drawing.  It was a writhing stench in the air, hideous and snapping, yet it lured.  It was something far more powerful and mysterious than anything Kian had felt before, and yet somehow, it seemed as if he had felt it before.
       It was the darkside.
       Kian and Kim were frozen as the Sith stalked one step closer - as the Jedi Order came one step closer to the death of two young children.  As much as he tried, nothing in Kian’s body responded.  Nothing.  Kim whimpered and struggled at his side.  They were at the will of the stone grey eyes.
       Kim’s training saber shot to life, and she willed herself to take a step forward.  Kian steadied his ragged breath, believing that if Kim could do it, he could.  His own small saber blazed out.  And they stood, blocking the hallway.
        Step by ringing step, the Sith quickly spanned the hallway in his long strides.  Two lightsaber lengths away, he stopped.  A grin spread over his pale lips.  “Welcome to Uncle Omar’s ride.  Have a nice trip.”
       And with the sweep of sabers, a red and blue streak rushed toward the unprotected younglings.  Their practice sabers wavered uselessly at their sides.  Blood was about to be spilt.
       Suddenly, the Sith shrieked and pulled away from the younglings, crashing a dozen yards away against the wall.  Kian’s mouth fell wide open.  He spun around to see what might have caused the Sith’s reaction.
       But it was no reaction at all.  Kian’s father, Keith, stood heaving for breath behind them, hand extended, eyes closed.
       “Daddy?”  Kian’s practice saber dropped to the floor.
       There was no time for a response.  The Sith rose swiftly and hurled himself at the younglings.
       “Watch out!”  Keith rasped, twirling out his saber from behind and making a leap for the two children.
       Kim screamed.
       Kian dropped to the ground, whimpering.
       Keith let loose a battle cry.
       The follower of the Light and the follower of the Dark met in midair, above the younglings.  With a lightning spark, three sabers met, and slid across.
       They had jumped clear over Kian and Kim, sliding blades as they did, before landing on the other side.  Places reversed, the Sith leapt again, and Keith did likewise.
       The sabers sparked off of each other again, raining a shower of red, blue, and green lights onto the younglings, sending burns through their clothing.  Kian yelped and squirmed to the side of the hall.
       “Get out of here!” Keith shrieked, meeting the Sith in the air a third time, this one followed with a hard kick into the stomach.  The Sith sprawled backwards, but quickly regained his footing.  Keith was between the Sith and Kian and Kim now, and the blaze of sabers began.
       “GET OUT OF HERE!!!”
       Kim broke her eyes from the sparring warriors and grabbed hold of Kian’s hand, pulling him down the hall.  She kept one hand on her saber though, pointing it at the Sith defiantly.  Kian resisted though, and picked up his own practice saber.  “We needa to help him!” he whispered urgently.
       “But we’re just younglings!” Kim opposed.
       Kian’s shoulders sagged.  He knew that was the truth.  Just younglings.  Nothing special.  Nothing even up to average.  Just younglings.  They couldn’t fight.  And if Kim even said that, then it must have been dreadfully clear.
       Kian suddenly turned off his saber and wrested his hand from Kim.  “But we can do one thing - run for help!”  His words hadn’t left his lips by the time he and Kim were flying down the halls.  Before turning the corner, he glanced back to the two Force-wielders.
        Maybe he wasn’t doing the right thing.  What if it was all wrong?  What if daddy was going to die?  No, that couldn’t happen.  It couldn’t.
       Kian snapped his eyes shut feeling the Force surge through his limbs.  It wasn’t that he knew the Temple that well, with its myriad halls and rooms and stairs.  No, the Force was guiding him, powering him, blurring him into the flashing walls.
       He had to reach help in time.  He had to.  His daddy’s life depended on it.
       Suddenly, he crashed into something hard and flipped high into the air, over the object and falling on the other side of it.  Moaning and peaking open his eyes, he saw Padawan Ina, dazed and stumbling.  She glanced about the room for the cause, her eyes finally locking onto Kian.
       Her expression of caution and shock fell away and she began to laugh.  “Kian?  What are you do-?”
       Kian jumped to his feet.  “My daddy is in trouble, you needa help him!”
       Kim came racing up behind, panting hard.  Kian wasn’t in the least out of breath, even from falling hard on his stomach - something which should have taken the wind out of him.  Master Tharalia, Ina’s Master, kneeled beside Kian, placing a hand on his shoulder.  “Where is your father, Kian?”
       The youngling pointed hurriedly down the hall.  “Down there, down there!” he nearly jumped off the floor as he shouted.  What if something were to happen to his daddy?  It would all be his fault.  He had almost forced his daddy to fight the evil Sith, and if he died, it would be all his fault.  No . . . it couldn’t happen . . . it just couldn’t.
       Ina and Tharalia dashed off down the hall.  Kian and Kim raced after, several yards behind.  They twisted through the halls, dodged pillars, up staircases, through rooms and at last turned the final corner.
       The halls, once mixed in light greens and rich browns, was blackened and saber scarred.  Pieces of the wall were torn open, another room was exposed.  And still, the two battled on fiercely.
       Master Tharalia slid to a stop as she rounded the corner.  “Darth Omar,” she murmured.  Blazing her saber to life, she held up a hand behind her.  “Ina, stay back.  Master Keith and I will handle this.”  She jumped into the battle, confronting the Sith from behind.  Ina nevertheless drew her saber and ignited it’s angry orange blade.
       Darth Omar quickly retaliated to Master Tharalia’s sudden appearance.  Blocking her strike with his blue saber, he laid a kick hard into Keith’s chest, effectively knocking him down the hall and taking out his breath.
       Kian, Kim, and Ina looked on, eyes wide, gripping their sabers.  “We have to help them!”  Kim urgently whispered.
       Ina blocked them from the fight.  “No, stay back you two.  If you tried to fight, you would only be a burden for them to protect.  Master Keith and Tharalia are experienced.”  She stared on, gripping her saber.  Her body was jittery, she was shaking.  “This Sith will not succeed.”  She winced as Keith sprawled away from the fight.  Her very tone was betraying that she was doubting it.
       Omar’s sabers fell upon Tharalia’s.  She jumped back, parrying blows and slipping into a defensive Jedi form.  She slowly began to back up down the hall towards her padawan and the younglings.  Suddenly, Omar pulled a tile from the wall and sent it crashing into Tharalia as Omar sensed Keith racing towards him from behind.
       Ina raced towards her Master, caught under the metallic tile.  She Force-pushed it off of the Jedi and kneeled beside her.  “Master Tharalia?”
       Kian jumped over to the wounded Master Tharalia, but kept his eyes on the battle.  Spinning around, Omar met Keith as the Jedi opened into an intense flurry of Juyo form blows.  He pressed down on the Sith like a raging torrent.  The Sith growled as a burn swiped through his fur hides, biting into his shoulder.
       Keith sent a Force-push down into Omar, crushing him to the floor, but the Sith didn’t hesitate and quickly rolled to the side.  He lurched away from the fight towards Kian, Kim, and Ina.
        Kian shrieked and tried to run, but stumbled and fell to the ground.  He glanced back.  Omar was in the air, speeding down at him.  Kian whimpered and curled up, his eyes shut tight.  What if he was going to die?  What then?  Had his life been all in vain?  No, if this would be the end, it wouldn’t just be in vain.  It would be pointless.
       Suddenly, there was a female shout, a crash that shook the room, and a male’s growl.
       Kian’s eyes snapped open.  Omar lay crushed half through the wall into another room.  Ina lay limp on top of him.  Kian gasped and struggled to his feet.
       “Ina!”  Keith shouted, struggling towards her.
       Omar’s stunned body suddenly lit to life.  He thrust Ina off of him, then grasped his sabers.  A malicious grin grew over his face.  He struggled to his feet, using the wall as support.  “Two down, three to go.”  He locked into a vicious struggle against Keith as the sabers met into a deadlock.
       Kian’s body shook.  Sweat poured off his forehead.  He glanced to Ina’s thin, limp body.  She had saved his life, but now . . .
       Kian jumped over to Kim then grabbed her by the arm and pulled her to her feet.  “What do we do?!” Kian wailed.
       His father’s voice echoed out from the battle.  “Kian!  I told you to flee, this is no place for a youngling!”
       Kian glanced to Kim.  He couldn’t.  He couldn’t leave.  What if the Sith won?  What if Keith was . . .  A shiver went up Kian’s spine.
        “No . . . no . . . no, that can’t happen!” he murmured.  But he began to pull away nonetheless.  He grabbed Kim by the arm, but she wouldn’t budge.
        “KIAN!!! KIM!!!” Keith screamed, jumping back as Omar’s over-powering strength finally won in the deadlock.  Blocking one strike, Keith switched his saber to his left hand and sent a blast of the Force at Kian and Kim, sending them down the hall.  Kim gave in, and the two younglings began to run for safety.
       Kian glanced back, his eyes wide, glistening with fear.
       While Keith was distracted by forcing the younglings along their way, Omar had took advantage with a flurry of blows.
       Kian stopped again.  Omar sent a kick into Keith’s abdomen.  The Jedi hit the floor with a growl, but his eyes sealed shut and his body went lifeless.
       “DADDY!!!”  Kian screamed and lifted a hand as if to touch his father from a distance.
        And then the cold stone eyes lifted from Keith once more to Kian.  “Kian . . . Kian . . . isn’t it Kian?”  Omar’s sabers blazed off.  With one hand he lifted Keith into the air and with the other he lifted a steel bar, placed Keith under it, then dropped the bar, securing both Tharalia and Keith under it.  He quickly collected the two Jedi’s sabers.
       “Kian.  That is your name, tell me it is.” Omar’s grating voice echoed through the silent hall.  Kim had stopped by Kian’s side, and they exchanged worried glances.
       Nonetheless, Kian instinctively nodded.  “H-how d-d’you know m-my name?”
       “Oh, don’t be so afraid, my little one.”  A grin grew across the Sith’s face.  “I won’t kill you.  Now that I know your name.”  He began to talk careful, deliberate steps across the battle-torn hall.  He lifted Kian and Kim off the ground with the Force.  They didn’t struggle, they just submitted to their fate, heads rolling back and their unsupported limbs falling like wilted lettuce.
       Omar brought them within feet of his eyes, and there they stopped in midair.  He glanced to the right, to the Jedi Knights trapped under debris.  Tharalia and Keith’s eyes began to flutter open, weakly, despairingly.
       No power remained in Keith.  He was battered and bruised, but as he saw Kian hanging in the air, he began to shake and fill with an energy fulled by a temper.  “NO!!!” he shrieked, struggling under the steel.  But he simply flailed without strength.
       A cold smile lit Omar’s face.
       “And now, I’ve won.”
       No sooner had the words been uttered than an orange glow emanated up through his chest from behind.  His eyes snapped wide.  His mouth fell open, and a wheezy noise hissed out of his throat.
       Kian and Kim dropped to the ground, but Omar stood in the same position he had been in - faced towards the Jedi Knights, hands raised.
       All eyes lingered on the shocked Sith.  And then he crumpled to the side and fell with a clatter.  In his place kneeled padawan Ina, she was frozen there for a moment, still holding her brilliant saber pointed to the sky, her matted light red hair stained with blood.  Then she collapsed to the floor in exhaustion.


  1. Wow. That was amazing.

    One comment: at one point, it seemed like Omar had killed Keith, but then he seems to be still alive. Maybe make that clearer?

    1. Thanks.

      I see where you mean. I'll clear that up.

  2. That was really, really good. :O I was sure you were going to kill Keith. Love it, can't wait for the next chapter.

    1. Thanks, Lylyss!
      I decided to play with you. This story is actually starting to revolve around Keith more than I had planned, so I couldn't kill him so soon.

  3. Good job! I like the action in this chapter; it's very compelling. I just felt that your presentation of it was a little rockier than the last chapter. It could use some smoothing out.

    "Cruel power, peaceful as the eye of a hurricane, but angry as a bubbling volcano." - That is an AMAZING sentence. It gives such terrifying meaning and depth to the Dark Side. Good job!

    Also, I was kind of confused about how Ina saved the Younglings. Could you clarify that? Other than some grammar issues and the roughness, this is really good. Keep it up! :)

    1. Thanks for that tip. The roughness makes sense - I didn't go through this as thoroughly as the first chapter.

      Haha, thanks!

      I'll go through and fix that up. Thanks for bringing my attention to it.

    2. You're welcome! I think you really do have a neat story here!


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