STAR WARS: Across the Galaxy: Chapter 1 and 2 (Edited Version)
Love is a gift. Love has always been used as the sole cure to hate, anger, and destruction. It's warmth could send fear through cold, send chills up the spine of evil. Love, much like a flower, would bloom only if given the chance, only if love was shown to it, only if given sunlight would it's pedals open to reveal its beauty....
We are haunted by the vastness of our souls. Its existence only known when in love, or in pain. Our souls bare many gifts, and much heartache. It's light and warmth can, if given the chance, light up our dark world. Like the star's across the heavens, it can light the path ahead. If misunderstood or worse, corrupted, our souls can be such as a dragon, devouring all it's eye sees, as it's crimson eye see's all.
A long time ago in a galaxy, far far away.....
Across the Stars
She stared across the stars, feeling her heart pulse. She stood on a high mountain, one of the many that covered the the landscape of Dantooine.
Zelka Hood stood at 5'9, her height seeming to crumble compared to the vast valley she saw before her. Her fair complexion seemed to shine in Dantooine's morning light. Her crimson hair glimmered in the morning light with highlights of blond, her emerald green eyes filled with tears as she recalled her past, remembering that horrible day. She looked down at the near by valley and remembered her son, her son who so long ago played in the Valley. The countless river's spread across the valley, like paint running uncontrolled across a canvas, they seemed to wield to the brown and dying soil results of the planet's devastation. It seemed as if only yesterday she and her son William would play in these rivers, catching fish and swimming, giggling and laughing, allowing them for a brief time to escape the wrath of the Empire.
The Empire, the former hero's of the galaxy, once the defenders of peace, had come and destroyed everything. They started with the few forests, burning them to the ground, using them as fuel for their war on freedom. They continued with the lakes and rivers scattered across the simple world, draining their water, and burying the countless dead in the sullied river beds. So many thought it would end, that all the death and suffering would soon vanish. Wishing the Empire would return to it's own place of darkness, allowing the light to return and cast aside the darkness. Possibly, a hero would rise and defeat evil, a hero to rise up and lead freedom's fight. They were all, deceived.
Zelka remembered holding her crying babe in her arms, running from the rain's of fire that were being shot down from the heavens. The Imperial's fleet were bombarding the planet into slag, her home, her family into nothing more then empty remains. She continued to run until she reached the transports, the few that the Rebel Alliance could get past the Imperial fleet. She made a deal with a rebel soldier, allowing her husband, Forson, and her son, William, to escape.
"Forson, you have to leave, there's no time!"
She shouted to her husband. Over the screech's of the wounded, over the deafening roar of the Imperial's turbo lasers, she heard her son cry. Only three months old, and already witness as countless others, to the wrath of the Emperor.
"I won't leave you!" Forson shouted.
Tears rolling down her cheeks, she watched as Rebellion soldiers attempted to push him into the transport, the ramp was closing quickly. She grabbed him and pointed to William,
"Think of our son, our baby boy, do it for him Forson."
He looked down at the baby as he shed more tears,
"I will always love you Zel."
Before Forson ran onto the transport she had grabbed his head with both hands and kissed him, fearing she would not see them again. Their passionate kiss seemed to echo across eternity, their undying love, splitting apart, being thrown across the galaxy. Turbo lasers hit all around them, massive explosions roared across Dantooine, burning their home, their lives, as they continued to kiss, for it would be the very last time, they would ever feel each others love, again. As they parted, as she watched the scorched transport fly into the night sky, she watched as it as her hope, her love, her life flew into the night sky, and vanish into the vastness of the galaxy.
War was a disease, a disease that the galaxy has no cure. War's plagued the galaxy, swallowing it whole, spreading its destruction to countless worlds, worlds like Dantooine.
William Quinn reached out and flicked the starter switches for the X-wing's engines.
"Blue One this is Blue Two, all systems are go and we are prepared to launch, on your orders sir."
"Roger that Blue Two." said William.
All around him in the cockpit the various switches and display monitors hummed to life with a roar from the engines. Red flares ignited, shooting out bursts of flame as the X-wing started to hover above the ground. Several tech officers ran off and started signaling him to head towards the glowing azure force field at the end of the the large dome hanger. Danzer Koore, his Wookie wingman roared into the voice comm., making William flinch from the startling noise.
"Roger that Dan old' buddy, try not to get yourself killed today."
Danzer was a wookie who swore something called a Wookie life debt to William after he, along with a rebel task force, freed Danzer's tribe from Imperial slavers several years ago. Unable to convince Danzer of any other alternative, William accepted the creature's life debt and enlisted him into the Rebel Academy. Several years later they had become close friends. Because of their excellent flying skills they were appointed to Blue Squadron of the Corrovet "Harbor's sword." There were only four pilots in this squadron; a jade colored Rodian named Farfel Ope, Farfel has a distinguished flight record, containing mostly kills rather then efficiency, his nickname "Laser brains" came from his friends and fellow pilots at the academy. The fourth pilot in the squad was Kyle Mona, a Corellian human with dark skin and a shaved head. He was enlisted by the Empire forcefully at the time of the Death Dtar's destruction, he deserted and joined the rebellion in an attempt to help free his world from the corruption of the Empire.
"We have go, I repeat we have go." William said.
William pushed forward on the control stick of his fighter and with a loud roar from his engines the fighter bolted towards the azure force field, without a sound, the Fighter passed through the field and into the vacuum of space. One after another the rest of Blue Squad followed him out of the Corrovet's hanger bay, forming up with him in a triangular formation.
"Alright guys the mission is simple, cover the medical transports and make sure they enter the planet with out receiving damage." said William.
"Roger that Blue One."
"Not a problem."
The chorus from his squadron assured him, knowing he had a group of able pilots behind him, always assured him that the job would always get done. The squadron sped towards the large planet of Dantooine. Its brown mountains and fields covered most of the farming world with bits of green and blue scattered across the planet.
"What a dump, there's no water any where!" said Kyle.
William laughed, "Little home sick are we Kyle?" He replied.
Corellia was a world with many oceans, its vast sapphire oceans covered most of the planet as did the oceans on many of the worlds in that system.
"You bet I am, what loyal son of Corellia wouldn't be?"
Kyle sighed, "the golden beach's, The towering skyscrapers, the Corellian ale."
"You forgot all the Corellian woman." Said William.
Kyle laughed, "Eh, I prefer the sand and tides of the oceans then to a woman."
"What?" Farfel spoke up, his high pitched voice seemed to screech across the comm.,
"You never had a girl in mind when at home Kyle?" Kyle chuckled, "Why?" He then laughed, "Might as well just find a woman I’ll hate in five months and give her half my money."
Laughter filled the voice comm.,
"Alright settle down, we'll be reaching the rendezvous point in three minutes." said William.
They made their way to a large area of debris, destroyed ships, most of them seeming to be rebellion vessels.
"Wow, who made the graveyard?" Said Farfel.
"No doubt the Imperials, they make a living off destruction." Said Kyle darkly.
Kyle's hatred and bitterness filled his voice every time he referred to them, it was quite inspiring to any rebel freedom fighter.
"They just take and take, then destroy what's left." said Kyle.
A single beep came from each of their display monitors as several text's stretched across the screen.
"The supply convoy is coming in, get ready to move fast, Imperials could be anywhere." Said William.
"Watch your scanners." Said Farfel.
Three large Vessels popped out of hyperspace maybe one hundred meters away from Blue Squadron's location. One of the vessels was a Mon Calamari cruiser stripped clean of its guns to provide more hull space for supplies, the other two were smaller vessels which William did not recognize.
"What are those things?" He asked.
Farfel responded, "They're called MC30c frigates."
William blinked, "MC what's?"
Farfel chuckled, "The fish's like to name all their vessels through the galactic numerical system to distinguish their ships."
William understood that although his own home of Coruscant gave nearly all of their vessels and fighters names instead of numbers.
"They're rather large to be supply vessels don't you think?" Said Kyle sarcastically.
A loud roar bellowed into the comm. as Danzer spoke up.
"Any one catch that?" Farfel asked with a chuckle.
William replied, "He said that the rebellion doesn't have enough vessels in the fleet, they have to use any thing they can so all of the fleet's needs are met."
"Makes sense, half the time I wonder how we even get enough funding for the fuel for these fighters." Said Farfel bitterly.
The MC30's shot off towards the planet quickly, without sending a transmission to William.
"Are we suppose to follow directly or keep a distance?" Asked Kyle.
"I have no idea."
William pressed a large green key on his control panel and spoke clearly.
"This is Blue One of Blue Squadron, what are our current orders."
No reply came from the vessels as they continued to speed with all haste towards the planet.
"I repeat, this is Blue One of..."
He was cut off as a rough voice came through the comm.,
"This is Captain Keen of the Cruiser "Gohardar."
"Captain." William responded politely.
"Your orders are to stay with us directly, keep close, we have received information that the Imperials are heading this way, we have to get these supply's planet side at once!"
William quickly responded, "Understood sir, Blue Squadron on route."
He switched off the intercom connected to Gohardar and switched it back to squadron.
"We have our orders, we're to escort the convoy to Dantooine, the Imperials may be on their way so let's not waste any time!"
Without another word Blue Squadron raced off to catch up with the convoy.
"Sir!" Kyle yelled out over the comm.,
"An Imperial Frigate has just entered the system, TIE's are heading our way!"
William turned his head around to see a dozen TIE fighters and several Interceptors heading their way.
"All wings to S-Foils and attack position, lets dust these Imperials!" said William.
They scattered as the TIE's flew past them, thousands of lime colored lasers ripped past them, the familiar screech of the fighters pained William's ears. William pulled back hard on his control stick and did a cart wheel to avoid several streams of lasers, as he reached 180 degrees he pushed back down hard, speeding towards two Imperial fighters, Let's play chicken boys. The two TIE's continued to speed towards him. Well they certainly aren’t cowards. He continued to speed up then abruptly pulled up, shooting off two heat seeking proton torpedoes, the Imperials could not pull out in time and the missiles hit each one directly in the spherical cockpits. The Hexagonal solar panels snapped off and spun sideways while the engines exploded into expanding balls of fire.
"Nice shot Blue one!" roared Kyle.
William smiled as he sped off to engage another fighter pair.
"This is Blue Three!" yelled Farfel. "I can't, shake these damn fighters off of me!"
William looked to his left to see Farfel's X-wing spinning and turning in attempts to shake twoTIE interceptors close on his tail.
"I'm coming Three!"
William turned with great focus toward the two fighters that were persuing Farfel, he kicked his engines into full throttle and sped towards the interceptors.
"Help, I can't take much more damage!" Farfel screamed.
"Hold on Three I’m coming!" William said soothingly.
William angled his fighter directly behind the two interceptors, at 2 clicks the head's up display appeared with a yellow box around the two fighters. After several seconds of maneuvering the box went green the fighter's image locked into the targeting cross, he fired three streams of lasers at each fighter, hitting directly in the spherical cockpits.
"Yeah!" William yelled in triumph.
A shaky voice came over the comm., "Thanks William, I thought I was gone for sure." said Farfel.
William grinned, "You should know me better by now Three, I never let my squadron go like that!"
They formed up side by side and swept through several other fighters to regroup with the others.
"I think we've gotten just about all of the Imperials boss." said Kyle happily.
William smiled to himself, not afraid to show that he was very happy, they had just beaten terrible odds! William heard distant screeching and looked towards the sound, with a strike of pure horror he saw nearly a dozen TIE bombers speeding towards the convoy.
"All Blue's, to me!"
He pushed down hard on his control stick and blasted towards the bombers who drew ever closer to the convoy, Danzer caught up with him and stayed several clicks to his right, he gave a loud roar of encouragement.
"You two go, we'll clean up here!" Kyle shouted as he blasted two more TIE fighters.
"Roger that Four, good luck." said William.
"Save the luck for yourself boss, you'll need it more then we do!"
William and Danzer continued to speed towards the bombers until two interceptors caught up with them.
Danzer roared telling William to keep moving. He pulled back to attack the Imperial fighters. They were running out of time.
William shouted to his astromech, "Willie, try to see if you can boost power to the engines, if you can take the power from the shields!"
The atromech whistled and beeped in astonishment arguing the matter.
" I don't care Willie, just do it!"
The Atromech cursed at him several times in his beeping and whistling and completed his orders, the attempt worked and William's speed was far greater then the Imperials.
"Your going in too fast boss!" shouted Kyle.
"You wont be able to shoot them down before you ram into them!"
William chuckled, "Watch and learn Three."
William continued to speed towards the bombers, just as he was about to ram them he shouted,
"Willie cut all the power from the engines!"
"What!?" Shouted Kyle in astonishment.
Willie did so which caused immediate failure through out the fighter. Williams only chance was for his weapons to stay intact. He prayed as he pressed down on his control, it failed to fire.
"Come on!" Shouted William out loud.
He pressed down on the control's harder, pushing repeatedly.
"The bombers are getting away!" Shouted Kyle.
"They're going to catch up to the convoy!"
William glared at the bombers with a newly found sense of determination.
"Like hell they are." said William.
He pressed down one last time, it fired! Stream after stream of red lasers shot out from his four guns, William cheered loudly,
"Yeah!" One after another the bombers exploded into balls of fire, William shot the last bomber down and shot through the explosion.
"You did it!" Kyle cheered.
"Way to go one!" yelled Farfel.
Danzer roared in triumph as the sounds of fists hitting his chest came through the comm.
"Alright guys?" William asked as he sat in his cockpit, sweat flowing down his face, unable to move or do anything with no power to 95% of his ship.
"All good here boss, happy to say all fighters have been destroyed and the Imperial frigate seems to be prepping for a jump to hyperspace."
"Good, is the convoy alright?" He asked. "Did they make it?"
Farfel answered happily, "They sure did One, their supply's will save many lives down there, thanks to us."
"Alright, head back to the sword."
"Yes sir." said Kyle.
"Oh and one other thing." Said William.
"Yeah boss?" William chuckled, "Tell them to send a rescue team for me."
Zelka awoke from a deep sleep. She would rarely do that, just abruptly wake from a deep sleep. She would get little sleep, few of the freedom fighters would. Battles and chaos would inevitably wake them. She slowly rose from her battered bed, threw off the torn graying sheets, stood, and rushed over to a small crack in her room's half destroyed wall. She peered out, to look for some form of warfare, an explosion, a firefight, anything. She saw nothing but the mist blanketed night. She sighed, rubbing her forehead trying to remove the headache as if it was unwanted dirt. She would nearly every night, have nightmares about the day she last saw her family, she would dream about more then just that fateful day. She still had memories of long ago, memories of playing with her boy William, feeling the touch of her husband, Forson, and even memories of just sitting, being with her family. She would give anything to see them once more, to feel their heart's beating close to hers, to feel their love, which has been gone from her dark life, for so long. She was drawn away from her grief as she heard a loud knock rapt against her door. She walked over to open the crumbling door. The door opened before she could respond. She saw through dim light, a tall red headed woman standing before her, breathing heavily.
"Ma'am." She said.
Zelka smiled at the figure and said, "Hello."
"I'm sorry for bothering you ma'am but,"
"Don't be silly, i am not bothered in the slightest."
The redheaded girl returned the smile warmly.
"Oh good, the general is always saying I am too, intrusive."
Zelka, standing in nothing but her undergarments chuckled.
"Oh, what ever would make him think that I wonder?"
The girl blushed and turned to leave.
"I'll wait for you outside, then, shall I?"
"That's for the best I think."
The door quickly shut, leaving the room once again in darkness, with only shards of light poking through the cracks of the walls for light. Zelka strode over to her battered dresser, opened it's dark brown doors, and saw three sets of outfits. The first; was a battered shirt, and shorts, the second; her military uniform, the third; was was a robe. She grabbed the
dark blue military uniform and quickly put it on. She searched for several moments for her boots, finding them under the bed. Like the rest of her uniform the boots were badly damaged from all the action they've seen throughout the years. The Corellian made boots were torn in several spots. The hidden blades on the nose of each boot, were somewhat showing as well. She opened the door to see the girl standing outside, she saluted and said,
Zelka smiled, "No need for that girl, I'm no officer, just another grunt, like you.
The girl smiled and eased her body language.
"Oh, well forgive me for my lack of respect but, it gets really tiring sucking up to the ranks!"
Zelka laughed, "Tell me about it kid, you've only been in the military for what, two years?"
The girl glared.
"I'm seventeen, and I've been in the fight for nearly four years!"
Zelka faked a look of astonishment.
"Oh wow, four years, I had no idea i was talking to a veteran."
"Oh very funny." said the girl.
They made their way through the battered halls of the hidden freedom fighter base.
"So, what's your name girl?" said Zelka.
The girl stopped and shook Zelka's hand.
Zelka blinked then chuckled, "Soul?"
Soul glared at her, "Yeah, got a problem with that?"
Zelka smiled, "Hey, what ever you fancy is fine by me, just thought you would have a sir name that's all.
" Soul nodded, "I never knew either one of my parents, the fighters found me when I was just a kid, when the Empire first came here."
She smiled, "They took me in, gave me a home."
Zelka nodded at her, "heart warming, well what are Rebel's for if not to help it's own cause."
Zelka rarely discussed her personal beliefs with anyone, but it was no secret that she argued with the military counsel regularly.
"Yeah, I hear you don't like what has been happening lately."
Soul seemed to pry around Zelka's mental barriers, trying to find out what she was thinking, feeling past her unreadable exterior.
"Just disagreements that's all." said Zelka.
Soul Scoffed, "You almost brawled with Captain Anlu!"
"Ah, a sticky subject. Well, you don't know the whole picture now do you?" said Zelka.
Soul laughed, "How much more picture do I need other then a tough redheaded woman kicking the snot out of a little Rodian?!"
Zelka chuckled, "Point taken, but he deserved no less for his idiot plan."
Captain Anlu nearly three weeks ago attempted to force his plan on the military council. His plan was to send nearly 57% of the freedom soldiers to the front lines, sending them to sure death. The base of his plan was to assault an Imperial forward base, in which, taking it would insure that the Imperials would have no staging ground for further assaults in that region. This giving the rebels more time to prepare hit-and-run plans. Zelka argued and ultimately defeated the plan. Zelka explained that the Imperials would be expecting such a futile attempt such as, striking their base of operations. The Imperials would surely have a trap waiting for a bulk force. Only 10% of their force would survive, if that.
"Yeah, I'm sure you saved a lot of lives Zel, I'm sure of it." said Soul.
Zelka flinched at the nickname Zel, for it was her husband that last spoke it.
Soul noticed her expression and said, "I'm sorry, I know we just met, I shouldn't be giving you a nickname."
Zelka smiled at her, shaking off her heartache.
"No, no of course not, it's not that, it's just," She sighed, "Bad memories."
Soul nodded at her. Zelka had not heard her nickname Zel spoken aloud in over two decades, not since she last saw her husband. The very thought of that night still haunts her to this day. Zelka thinks of her emotions as a creature, a dragon no less, stalking her, crawling into her mind and feeding on her fears. She pictures herself as a castle, a castle preparing for the dragon's inevitable assault, but no matter how much she prepares, no matter how much defense's she puts around her heart and mind, the dragon always slips through. She can almost hear the dragon, calling out to her in the middle of the night, begging her to relive her worst memories, pleading for her to give in to her pain, trying with all its power to submit to its evil.
She pulled out her flask from her jacket pocket and drunk heavily, swallowing the Dantooine ale as fast as she could manage. There were only three things that made the pain go away; one was to kill Imperials, make them suffer as much as she has over the setting of twenty years, two was to imagine being with her family again, three was to drink so much, as if an attempt to wash down the pain.
"Criff, think you drunk enough of that garbage yet?" Soul asked astonished as she looked at Zelka.
Zelka put away her flask and winked and Soul,
"When you can drink like a warrior, you won't be amazed at how much we can drink."
Soul scoffed, "Drinking more like a bantha if you ask me, a bantha that just got shot ."
Zelka smiled, knowing her joke was to the medical community, for which used Dantooine Ale for many battlefield wounds. The ale was the strongest in multiple regions, one of the strongest in the known galaxy, going down faster then any species' metabolism could burn the ale.
"You don't drink Soul?"
Soul gave Zelka a grim look, "I wouldn't touch the stuff, alcohol is evil, it can change even the best person into a animal."
Zelka shrugged, "Better a happy animal then one with nothing to drink."
Part Two of Chapter two coming soon.
I hope every one enjoys the edited version of Chapter's 1 and 2. The second part of Chapter 2 will be arriving shortly.
May the Force be with you :)
read and enjoyed. Thank you for listening
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