Passionately Casual Writing Contest Entries

In August 2015 The Passionately Casual Podcast for Unholy Alliance and Wookiee Mistake Guilds for Star Wars: The Old Republic held a contest  asking people to write a few lines of story based on images from the Star Wars universe. Here are the entries. The authors’ names are held back for privacy.

Story Starter Picture #1
Story Starter Picture 1

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I had second hand information that the perp was holed up somewhere in this district on Nar Shaddaa. How am I going to find this scum. He’s already got a deathmark in 4 systems and if I don’t act quickly it’s going to be 5.

   The Twi’lek twins we’re up to no good in the middle of the road, as usual. Then I noticed something out of place, an astromech droid. The droid itself wasn’t odd but the fact that it was the only droid in sight was. So I decided to follow it as it went around the corner. As I turned the corner I heard an electric spark then everything went dark.

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 We were broken by poverty, sickened and shackled by spice, and distracted by our own neighbors “dancing” for money in the street. It was a hell I could scarcely stand as I turned and walked away from the sight of two Twi’lek women practically begging to be abused, all for the sweet taste of delirium and forgetfulness that came with spice. I felt as broken as everyone else, as broken as my horn, shattered by a pulse mine during the last war. Mostly though, I walked because I was as hungry as every other person here, and walking helps me forget. I suppose it would be easier, cheaper to lose myself in a haze of intoxication and forget how my belly called our for remembered food, or even the drips of nutri-gruel that we fight over like starved nexu. It wasn’t long ago that the Voidhound made sure we at least had food.

Her heroics weren’t just legend. I had seen them first hand. I know how she slid her ship through space infested by the White Maw pirates, how she shot her way past Imperial death squads, and how she paid off the Hutt enforcers. In her hold she could have brought spice and when she left she could have demanded fortunes to take the few wealthy people left to places offworld. Instead she brought us food and medicine, sometimes even holobooks and toys. She would land in secret, her hold filled to bursting not with lucrative spice but with common staples like blue milk and grains. She never charged so much as a credit, and when she left her hold was always filled with habitation pods containing the sick and the injured would wouldn’t survive if left here in this hell.

Two years she’s been gone. They say the galaxy is raging in war again. We’re sick, scared, starved. We don’t care about war. We care about surviving. We, I, need the Voidhound.

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I roamed the lower district looking for something to alleviate the pain of her loss. I’m not sure why I chose this specific area, but I was desperate to clear my head. Cheer wasn’t exactly something you found in the Nar Shadaa slums; the miasma and crushing sense of poverty only added to my distress. Still, I carried on. I stumbled around for what felt like hours before finding myself moping at a bar in Force knows where. The bartender eyed me up and down and poured me a drink as he shot me a sympathetic look.  My gloom must have been slapped right across my face.
“She was the world to me,” I mumbled into my drink.
The bartender continued to clean his glasses and replied with what seemed like a stock response. “I’m sure she’ll be back. Keep a bright look out, ya know?” He must hear these sob stories all the time, but sadly that just wasn’t an option.
“I don’t think she will be. Debts piled up too high. Bounty Hunters got to her before the loan sharks could…”
The bartender paused for a moment and the bar fell eerily silent. He looked at me and sighed. “First ones on me, buddy,” he said, pointing to my drink. There wasn’t much anyone could do to ease the loss, but this sure as hell helped.
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“Son-of-a-hutt!!! Great, just great. Looks like we’re going to be stuck here for a while. Shopping at Nar Shaddaa… why do I ever listen? Why do we even live on this rock!?! Next time when someone throws a hydrospanner at somebody inside the ship, you better hit them and NOT MISS AND DAMAGE OUR TURBINES! Well Mako, can it be fixed or what?”

“Sigh, I’ve tried everything I know. Even used my implant to chime into the holonet, but I don’t think we’ll fix this kind of damage without the necessary hardware…”

Hi folks… the name’s Rhaiqui… that’s RIGH-KEY. Not Righ-kwee, not Ray-key, and definitely not Ray-Kwee. If you gotta problem sayin’ my name… Rhai works. This rag tag bunch is my team. It’s always “all fun and games” until something stupid like this happens. Don’t ask me why I deal with it. By the way, I’m a bounty-hunter. I’m good at what I do. What I do comes at a price. Got the credits? I got the time. Have to admit that I actually like my job. Torian says that I live for the action. Live for? Heck, who am I kidding? I crave it….

“Hey Rhai, looks like Blizz is back with some supplies…. Are you kidding me? Blizz, you were supposed to come back with some parts for the ship’s turbines, not Tibanna Splits for everyone. Wait a min… Tibanna Splits gives me an idea! ‘Member that guy we met on Coruscant with his mechanic girlfriend?”

“How can we forget!?! You couldn’t stop being jealous of her body for weeks!”
“Shut up Gault. It was her smarts, not her body… and supposedly she was a princess!”
“Cut it out guys, we need to get something goin’ here or we’ll be here for who knows how many damned parsecs!!! Mako, try to get in contact… sigh, I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
So this Kha’de guy. Quick-witted, smart mouthed, a crack shot with a blaster, and fast on the draw. ‘Way I see it, he’s just lucky. Okay… maybe he has some skill. Nowadays, word has it that he seems to be trying settle down a bit. Says he’s trying to be a part of the bigger picture. Almost sounds like Jedi verbage… Maturity? Ha! He’s not fooling anyone… it’s gotta be a phase. Believe it or not, at one point he was once a bounty of mine…Yeah, I’ll admit it, he’s easy on the eyes, he’s charming, sweet, and um… yeah, I had a fling with the guy… yeah, I said fling… you can stop laughing, shut your mouth and blink now. ONE DATE, that was it. Call it professional courtesy… RESPECT. No more details.

“Kha’de, give our thanks to Risha for the works. Let’s just call it even…. Now why’d you really come out here to help? Who are you in trouble with now?”
“Rhai, you’re always as sweet as ryshcate. What can I say? I’m just popular with all the wrong people.”
Nuh-uh, I’m not fallin’ for that grin… So he says “Wrong people”… it’s a good thing that the galaxy seems to have an abundance of scum. Nothin’ that a couple of blasters or carbonite can fix… Got the creds? I got the time…
(Engine sounds and fails again)Looks like I’m gonna have plenty of time… ugh…
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I roamed the lower district looking for something to alleviate the pain of her loss. I’m not sure why I chose this specific area, but I was desperate to clear my head. Cheer wasn’t exactly something you found in the Nar Shadaa slums; the miasma and crushing sense of poverty only added to my distress. Still, I carried on. I stumbled around for what felt like hours before finding myself moping at a bar in Force knows where. The bartender eyed me up and down and poured me a drink as he shot me a sympathetic look. My gloom must have been slapped right across my face.

“She was the world to me,” I mumbled into my drink.

The bartender continued to clean his glasses and replied with what seemed like a stock response. “I’m sure she’ll be back. Keep a bright look out, ya know?” He must hear these sob stories all the time, but sadly that just wasn’t an option.

“I don’t think she will be. Debts piled up too high. Bounty Hunters got to her before the loan sharks could…”

The bartender paused for a moment and the bar fell eerily silent. He looked at me and sighed. “First ones on me, buddy,” he said, pointing to my drink. Ther wasn’t much anyone could do to ease the loss, but this sure as hell helped.

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She wondered if she had made a mistake coming here so late. She walked with her shoulders back and an air of superiority, the best defense against the opportunistic vermin that slithered like yeomets through Nar Shaddaa’s back alleys. Despite her posture, the confidence that had buoyed Veshielle earlier sank as she filled her lungs with the moist, motionless air. The lack of natural light on this soulless moon was easy enough to adapt to but what she could not get used to was the utter stillness of its air. There was no breeze to animate the rubbish that littered the broken pavement in front of the cantina or carry a bird on its wake above the heads of the dreary assortment of aliens that cluttered the doorways along the alley. Veshie paused across the road from the Liar’s Moon and studied a cluster of men engaged openly in the sort unsavory trading that she had observed throughout the city’s lower levels. They transacted their business just beyond the small area surrounding the cantina door that the bouncers kept free of riffraff, a service they performed in order to allow patrons a clear path inside to spend their credits. She was certain that the man she had come to see would not be among the spice dealers, nor would she find him with the dreary denizens who crouched gambling under the crackling neon signs that glowed cheerlessly above every disreputable business in the sector. No, her quarry would not linger in this filth any longer than necessary. The man she sought was, after all, a Jedi Master.
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Kixianna gyrated her hips back and forth, trying to avoid the Devaronian’s blood red eyes. Even with her back turned to the neon lights, and the rowdy dice game below them, she could feel his eyes on her. The Twi’lek knew the game would be over soon. She assumed he would approach her tonight. This was his third night gambling, and the Devaronian looked even less interested tonight than the other two nights combined. His eyes were on her. His focus was all her. Kixianna almost smiled as she thought about how it would go down.

The Twi’lek let her hips sway to the music which was clearly audible from the cantina only a few meters away from the dice game. She met his gaze as the song changed, and just then, the dice game ended. The horned head lowered as the Devaronian collected his winnings. The other four players mumbled in frustration as they wandered into the cantina with what little they had left.

Credits in hand, the Devaronian started to move toward her. Kixianna smiled and kept dancing, knowing in the next few hours her employer would be very, very pleased.

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write2
Story Starter Picture 2

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Once again, Lyricá found herself scouting the movements of separatist walkers. She had been fairly certain the tactical suggestion by Quinn for her to wait in the swamps of Taris was payback for the not so subtle removal of his hand from her thigh the night before the mission briefing. But it turns out that was where the action was going to be hottest. Still, she smiled to herself at the thought of the brace he was wearing on his forearm, but it would be the least of his worries before the day was out. She read his dossier, in fact all the files of Lumpe’s crew when he requested her help. How Lumpe could stand to have that man… no, that good for nothing son-of-a-hutt as his second in command was beyond her. Lyricá knew what had to be done even if Lumpe didn’t….

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Not two minutes ago the pair of friends had been playing. He had sensed something that made him uneasy just before it happened. Then a large sea quake struck. Raesth and Jarin immediately ran for safety as their families had taught them. By the time Raesth noticed Jarin wasn’t with him, it was too late. As water flooded over, more debris fell between the friends preventing even the idea of aiding him. He watched from the safety of the launching submersible, staring at where his friend had just been laying unconscious.

Raesth tried to bury the memory as quickly as it had attacked him. This was not the place he wanted to be wandering unfocused. He had been on Taris over a month now, and had learned quickly the dangers of an unclear mind in such an environment. Nexu and Rakghouls lurked everywhere, searching for vulnerable prey. Bringing his attention back to the task at hand, Raesth was wondering what exactly he would be finding. The council had sent him on a search and recovery mission for imperial data. They had gotten word of two abandoned walkers in the swamps in Tuluran Marsh. Beyond that they hadn’t really given any details. Having just completed his trials before being stationed on Taris, he wasn’t really in a position to question his masters. The only other detail he did know was that he was specifically requested for this mission because of his affinity for water. Being a Selkath had its advantages. This time it turned out to be not such a good thing.

The murky, muddy, polluted grime on this planet made Raesth miss home dearly. There wasn’t anything quite like the refreshing and clear waters of Manaan where kolto is grown. Maybe that’s why he kept thinking back on memories of home, albeit not the happiest. “Not the most glorious task I’ve been given, but that’s not why I’m here” Raesth chided to himself. After a few hours of searching he spotted the walkers. He had been trudging through the mud, but now he could see he would have to swim to get to them. A fact he did not relish. Swimming further out into the grime he couldn’t help but think of home again. His thoughts betrayed him as he dwelled on Jarin. Something kept bringing him back to those memories. As he made his final approach he felt something. He couldn’t tell what is was, it just felt….wrong. At the same time it almost felt familiar.

Before he could even react, purple lightning lashed at the water right beside him. He turned to avoid it but it had already missed and hit the swamp next to him. He followed the trail of the arc to its source atop the walker. A hooded figure stood looming over him. His whole left side of his body tingled and throbbed. The figure may have missed, but even that ‘mud’ was a good conduit for the powerful force lightning that had just struck near him. “So, this is a Sith…” he thought to himself. He watched, only his head and face visible above the grime filled marsh. Sith and Jedi stared, eyes locked for what seemed an eternity. Raesth had never dealt with a Sith before. His heart raced. Not from fear, but from pure curiosity and excitement. Raesth chose the path of the guardian for a reason. He respected power. But even more so, he respected what someone did with that power. Having heard stories of the Sith, he was anxious to see what they were capable of.

As if goading the young Jedi, the Sith held their hand straight out to the side. Their light saber, unhooking itself, flew through the air straight into their hand, igniting two beautifully sinister purple blades of energy.

Raesth grinned, his mouth still below the water line. The Force was with him. His master, Tal’drienne, also favored the staff saber. Throughout his training he had sought out master Kaedan to learn how best to counter such a weapon. He had learned well from the Blademaster and was ready to put his knowledge to the test. With a combination of Selkath swimming ability and little help from the Force, Raesth propelled himself down into the water and then back up and out. Landing atop the walker he ignited his own saber, a bright cyan blade hissing as water trailed down his arm and evaporated on the blade. At this point, his smirk turned into a full grin. “This should be fun…”

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The metallic sound filled the walker, as it made step after step through the swamp. This sound was almost an afterthought for the squad since the three week deployment. The one thing that could not be overlooked was the musky, damp smell of the swamp. It seeped into everything, even with filter systems in the armor, the days of breathing, worse yet, tasting the air had proven as big a challenge as the Imperials.

Bindo, “the boot,” had only been on maneuvers with the squad for two weeks and was already settling into a routine. It was a long way away from training on Ord Mantel or even Coruscant and even farther from home. Home, it seemed like forever since thinking about home, let alone being there.

It had been years since Bindo and his brother Kael were running around pretending to be heroes of the Republic. As kids they had played battle all the time, each one of them claiming to be a hero from the past. “He never did let me be the Jedi Master.” Bindo thought to himself as a smile came over his face. The dreams of being a Jedi had long ago been put to rest by Bindo. Although not a Jedi, this idea of selfless sacrifice to an ideal did run in their family. The willingness to defend the defenseless and serve the greater good were not just catchy slogans, these were the codes he learned as a young boy.

“Yo, Bindo, time to move out. We can’t keep the Rakghouls or the Imps waiting”

Hearing his squad mate had brought Bindo back to the present. Taking a deep breath, immediately he remembered…the swamp. He exited the rear of the walker to join the rest of his squad. Not brothers by blood, but brothers in every other sense of the word.

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It was an alien sound to Private Balar. Sure, he’d ridden in the hull of an AT-AT before, but the murky waters seemed to muffle the usually heavy stomps of his transport.
“Sarge, are you sure we should be using walkers on an infiltration mission?” he asked reluctantly.
The trooper next to him, standing out only due to 3 red stripes on his breastplate, turned to the boy. “Son, if you feel like swimming, I wont stop you. But don’t come crawl’n back to me when something big and hungry finds ya.”
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write3
Story Starter Picture 3

The walls of a great city emerged suddenly and out of place before them, torn through the thick overgrown jungle they had traversed since the starport like a scar. Dull carved grey rock and fabricated steel punctuated with grandiose imperial flags of bold red and white, adorned it’s massive walls. So much grey and blue tinted steel, a stark contrast to the green vegetation of twisted vines and thick oppressing plant life that encroached and constantly threatened to reclaim that which was taken. A sudden crack of thunder, a myriad dance of lightning streaked and forked across the sky illuminating an imposing statue of the emperor, the watcher of the gates, who’s stone-faced gaze greeted all who would enter Kaas city.

“Kaas city, this is a mistake agent,” exclaimed the slender female Rattataki to her travelling companion, “Nonsense Kaliyo, we are right where we should be.” Nikto’Barada lifted her metallic visor to reveal her livacious blue skin and glowing red eyes to the harsh cold weather of Dromund Kaas. Her breath misting from her mouth and nose, dissipated by the constant downpour that blanketed most of this inhospitable planet, it’s never-ending rain.

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Rain was nothing new to Kaas. Growing up in the city, you quickly learn to deal with it, along with many other things. Wild beasts, slave revolts… political interventions. That’s my job. Oh, did I not tell you? The name is Eve Baladash, officially Cipher 3, of Imperial Intelligence. And today, some noble who got a little too power hungry gets to say hello to my blaster. It’s a thankless job, but hey… someone has to strike fear into the populous.
“So, who’s the poor sap we’re offing today, Mal?”
My partner Mal, a stuck up by the books type, turned to face me. I could feel his glare through the visor as an annoyed voice rang over my comms. “Could you at least pretend to have a little professionalism?”
“Could you pretend to not be boring?” I quipped. I’ll admit, not really a solid one liner, but hey… if every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn’t have hot dogs.
“We’re about to murder someone. The least you could do it try to lighten the mood, man.” Call me a softy, but assassination jobs always left me feeling a little dirty, and that’s saying something for someone who deceives for a living. Still, it beat working as a desk jockey or being a bullet sponge.
Mal gripped the “temples” of his helmet and sighed. “If you must know, their name is Emeral Pardu, and they’ve got some information on a certain sith lord that they would rather not make public.”
I quickly stifled a giggle. “Wow, dirt on a Darth? Stupid move if you ask me.” I might be unprofessional, but even I know there are certain people you don’t play around with. A Sith Lord is at the top of that list.

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The newly anointed Sith Apprentice Tyoniss, stands before the Capital on Drammund Kaas. Deep in thought, of all the power he is destined to attain, He hears a voice calling to him. He was quickly brought back to the present. It was Vette, the slave that helped him retrieve the ancient lightsaber. Vette, still feeling the sting on her body from the last shock she received, was weary to ask what he was waiting for to enter the capital. Her stomach turned and twisted into knots she knows she is in the presence of something dark. More dark than Darth Baras.
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Brilliant flashes of lightning cascaded across the dark horizon on Dromund Kaas. Rain fell over the land as if the spirits themselves were saddened by the darkness of this planet.
As the 2 bounty hunters approached the entrance to the Imperial city, fear and trepidation ran through their minds. The journey from Tatooine was long and both men were exhausted.
The elder male of the two hunters stopped briefly, to observe the magnificent statue of the Sith Emperor. The dark cloak and cowl almost seemed to flow in the winds of the dark storm. Fear and despair seemed to permeate his soul as he gazed into the dark, sculpted face of the Emperor.
He wiped the heavy rain drops from his face and continued to stare at the enormous statue. As the lightning flashed above, the elder hunter could’ve sworn the Emperor was smiling at him. The younger bounty hunter turned and yelled through the dark storm, “Hey man! It’s freezing! Lets find the nearest Cantina and warm up!”
The elder hunter stood motionless in the storm, his eyes fixated on the statue. As the thunder roared, he heard a distant voice, “Why share the bounty with your companion? He’s holding you back, great hunter.” The elder hunter didn’t move, but continued to stare in awe at the statue. The sinister voice returned, “He will betray you, I have seen it.“The elder hunter now paranoid, closed his eyes and clenched his fists, thinking to himself that it’s all in his head. He tried to look away from the evil statue, but it refused to allow him to. As if in a trance, the elder hunter took one final look up at the statue. The menacing voice spoke once again, “Your companion is not even Mandalore, he’s a half breed. He mocks your honor.“With those final ghastly words, the storm calmed. The younger hunter, clearly impatient, turned and continued to the entrance. The elder hunter soon followed, vibro-knife in hand……..******************************************************************************************

Peace is a lie !!!
Darkness falls on the horizon, and all the screams of my victims can be heard.
I am Viciate lord and Emperor of the Sith, master and executioner !!!
I shall reap the souls of countless worlds for only I can live forever.
Jedi, Sith it makes no difference for all shall fall in my wake.
All that remains shall be your lifeless body resting upon the effigy of my greatness.
I have but one command, “Be Ready for your demise” for I am the beginning and ending of all things !!!
I am that cataclysm at the epoch of perfection,  I AM THE WAY !!!!

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The fog started to clear as the crew stepped onto solid ground from what seemed an amaranthine tour through the galaxy. The air was cold, fresh, even sweet to the taste. The open docking bay’s spotlights brightly shined through a midnight blue, rainy, and yet clear sky. Dromund Kaas. They were finally back. Finally back to familiarity and a hope for some time off. Time off from a countless narrative struggle against impossible odds that can bring sentience to dubious accounts. “We’re back! We…we…we’re finally back home…” cried the weary Twi’lek. “Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, Vette. You can expect that our leader, the Emperor’s Hand, will have motives to find our crew occupied in some form of hazardous endeavor.”

You talk out of place, Quinn. You will demonstrate proper respect, even in your prattle regarding the one who spared you, traitor. Or should I say cur?” Thunder rumbled through the sky only to be overwhelmed by a shriek laughter. Upon just glancing at her; her smile was paralyzing, though somewhat infatuating. Her panther-like eyes were seductive but conjointly piercing. She was a petite woman, yet from a clear look, very able-bodied with a strong and dignified presence. The crew, silenced and a bit daunted, didn’t know what to expect now that Jay’cii seemingly appeared from nowhere, providing an eerie ambiance amidst the company. An unannounced greeting from another Sith Lord. Why was she there? Something was happening. Something immense was in the works. “My Lady.”

For the brief moments of formalities made, the young Sith Inquisitor focused her eyes on the statue of the emperor. Her thoughts wondered; This will become a monument for him. He will be the one to lead a new empire; shape a new age, this statue will be of him. He is seated among us in the council. He conquered Baras. He conquered the Dread Masters. Lord Marr has reported that he was victorious against the legendary Revan. Such passion, such strength…he’s so viciously powerful and deliciously handsome. Such freedom… How can one have such mastery over the Force!?! He’s unstoppable… he will be mine. Slowly her gaze turned to the lurking figure of a commanding silhouette stalking down the ramp of the starship. She gathered herself, wrapping her robes taut around her mid-section to further embellish her figure. Taking one deep breath prior, “Mmmmm. My cherished Lord Z’echs… Beloved, you’ve returned…”

Story Starter Picture 4
Story Starter Picture 4
“Target is 734 meters out, bearing is… hold on a minute”, the spotter whispered.
“Blast, pull out. They’ve got eyes -” His words were immediately cut short as a blaster shot ripped through his helmet.
I thought of a few opening lines that could lead places, but number 3 was the only one I really got into… in case you couldn’t tell. Anyway, there you go. I tried to make each one different, but writing was never my strong suit.
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“What Sith Lord did I piss off to get surveillance duty on Hoth, my rifle feels frozen to my hand.”
“Quiet Nil, I have a possible sighting.”
Jalith glassed the horizon and thought of his own awful luck in getting stuck with a trigger happy conscript from the slums of Dromund Kaas who seemed, despite his low station, to have an overly inflated sense of self.
They had been planetside doing reconnaissance for the Empire for only two standard months and had, up until now, enjoyed a quiet tour of duty. Aside from the cold, Hoth was a reasonably cushy assignment. As the war between the Empire and Republic forces raged on a myriad of worlds and countless millions of lives on both sides, Hoth remained a backwater with no resources or strategic value to speak of.
“Contact,” said Jalith, “bearing 262, range 3000 meters.”
“Could be pirates, the White Maw has been increasing their patrols for some reason,” replied Nil, simultaneously annoyed at the interruption of his tirade and relieved for something, anything, to break up the monotony of the dull posting foisted upon him by his imaginary Sith Lord.
“Negative, this looks like a hammerhead corvette, unless the White Maw has gotten so bold they would lift a ship from a Republic hanger this could be trouble.”
What Jalith could not know is that the Defender class starship he saw carried the doom of most of the Imperial contingent on Hoth. Aboard what had been named by the owner, Entropy, was one of the most ruthless Jedi to ever don the robes. In another time, Ëris would have been drummed out of the order long ago in disgrace, but times were desperate and the order looked over the few indiscretions they were aware of and chose not to look into the rumors of others more dire.
As the ship grew larger in the soldier’s viewfinder, he could have no idea it was the harbinger of his imminent death. He commed in the sighting and told Nil to get ready to move out. Today would be Jalith’s last on this mortal coil.

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