SWTOR: Tears of the Force
*note* I do realize this is incredibly short, even for a prologue, however I do not to spoil what happens later, as most of the story is a flash back that will eventually catch up to what is happening in the prologue. Also, this is set just before the Republic/Imperials aided in the restoration of the crown to Panteer, obviously.
Star Wars: Tears of the Force
It is a trying time for the Galactic Republic. The Cold War has taken i's toll among the forces of both the Republic and the Empire. Small skirmishes have broken out between both sides on the fringes of the galaxy, but a greater war is looming on the edge of the horizon.
The planet of Alderaan has become all but an open battle ground between the two super powers. The tension rises as the planet is thrown even further into chaos by the death of Queen Panteer, allowing the power vaccum to be filled by House Ulgo, who usurped the throne.
Sensing that Alderaan is teetering on the edge of open war, the Jedi Council sends a young Jedi Knight to assist in reclaiming peace upon the planet. However the Republic Flagship, the Star of Hope, has been pulled out of it's hyperspace route by an Imperial ship and the Jedi's life is at stake...
The space battle was anything but silent. Blaster fire from the ships erupted all across the hull of the capital Republic ship. The Imperial strike force had caught the Republic troopers off guard as they headed to aid the civil war ravaged world of Alderaan. Not a word was spoken between the Imperial and Republic forces, the Empire had just opened fire, almost declaring the Peace Treaty as invalid.
“Sir, there are multiple hull breaches.” A voice called out across the meditation chamber aboard the Republic flagship. “Weapon systems are failing, defense mechanisms are falling fast. The shields have been all but annihilated. What are your orders?”
“Return fire, captain. Engineers need to stabilize the ship and the shields. Also call for reinforcements.” The young Jedi Knight murmured quietly, but decisively. “We won’t submit to the Imperials without a fight.”
The Jedi Chiss ran his silvery blue hand through his navy colored hair. His solid red eyes stared down at the ground just in front of his knees. So much had happened in his short life, being orphaned by Mandalorian mercenaries for having his parents defect from the Imperial Intelligence Agency to his Jedi training. He groaned softly as he considered that his parents’ efforts to save the galaxy were in vain. Skirmishes such as this had been heard of all across the galaxy, even with the defectors the Imperials and Republic alike were stuck at a stalemate. He shook his head slowly, realizing that his mind was drifting from the problem at hand.
“Vexus.” A soft, but masculine voice mumbled behind him. He felt a hand on his shoulder, but he didn’t turn to view the twenty year old human behind him. “Your ship is still in the hangar bay, we can get you to Alderaan.”
Vexus slowly shook his head. “No, Kale. I’m not leaving, not until either the Imperials give up or the ship is destroyed. I can’t allow our men to sacrifice themselves for me. I am a Jedi, I should be the once sacrificing myself to help the Republic and I’ll be damned if I abandon these men and women.”
Vexus pulled his shoulder from Kale’s grip and finally turned to look at him. The young man had skin almost as pale as the snow on Ilum, his irises were the same amethyst hue as the color crystal within Vexus’ lightsaber. He had relatively short sandy blond hair, but it was long enough to cover up his left eye. A thin metal stretched its way down from Kale’s ear, stopping just before his chin and a few strands of the cybernetic attached to his neck as well.
Kale kneeled down in front of Vexus and stared him straight in the eyes, his voice was calm. “Very well, if that is your desire, then so be it. I stand behind you one hundred percent.” He slowly leaned forward, knocking the other boy off balance. Vexus attempted to get up, but Kale’s arms intercepted him, blocking his escape route. “I vowed to follow you to the nine Corellian hells and back, my oath still remains strong.” He whispered as he closed the gap between them, pressing his lips softly, but firmly against Vexus’.
Vexus’ entire body went rigid. He wasn’t exactly sure how to respond to the other man’s kiss. Sure he’d flirted every once and a while with him, but he didn’t expect Kale to take him seriously. The Jedi were forbidden of attachments, he was positive that Kale knew this. When the other boy pulled away from Vexus, he looked somewhat embarrassed at the fact that Vexus hadn’t returned the kiss. The young Chiss stared out across the meditation chamber, before he enclosed his hand around Kale’s. “I’m sorry, but I need time to consider this. It goes against everything I was taught.” He whispered and then echoed the Jedi Code. “There is no emotion, there is peace…”
Kale’s lips turned up into a slim smile. “Well, I have more to say on the subject, but now is not the time. We have to devote our attention now to the Republic’s efforts to keep this heap of space junk a float.”
Vexus smiled slightly. “Fine, we’ll discuss this on Alderaan, or wherever the Force wills us to go after this battle.”
I couldn't help but keep playing Katy Perry's "E.T." on YouTube while reading this story! (LOL) Your characters seem absolutely real to me, instead of "cardboard cutout" Jedi who have no real purpose in the story except to advance the plot. That might not make a lot of sense, but have you ever read a story in which one of the major characters died, and you really didn't care (or only slightly cared)? That's because the character was not well-developed, of the "cutout" variety.
Word usage: "The Cold War has taken its toll," without the apostrophe, would be more correct here. Also, using "kneeled" as the past tense of "kneel" is okay, but I use "knelt" far more often. For me, "knelt" adds a touch of medieval elegance to a space opera based on knights in armor (and lots of futuristic swordplay!)
Your greatest talent here is building up tension between Vexus and Kale. Meaningful dialogue seems to be your strength. More power to you, sir--because Star Wars stories (which are mainly based on action) need more of it, IMHO!
My score: 8/10
This story is just great.
Two years earlier
“Look, I don’t know we did the right thing Gineva. The Empire has already sent several assassins after us, considering.” A hard masculine voice echoed throughout the small apartment. “Besides, do you think it was smart to move to Corellia when the Empire has its occupation of Courscant?”
“Ethan, I’m tired of talking about this. I understand that it probably wasn’t a smart move, but there’s nothing we can do. In our current state, we don’t have the ability to move off planet.” A soft, but shrill feminine voice hissed back. “Besides, we have our son to think about. I don’t want him growing up in the Empire, you heard the truth when he was born, like it or not. He’s not going to become…”
Vexus shivered slightly at the memory of the blaster shot that cut his parents conversation short. He had only been six at the time, but it was enough to make him cringe every time he heard a blaster shot. He also remembered the blaster that was pointed at him that day. Just as the Mandalorian pulled the trigger, a lightsaber came up and deflected the bolt back at the woman who had fired the shot. Vexus shook his head slowly. It had been twelve years since the death of his parents, twelve years since the Jedi reluctantly accepted the young Chiss boy for training. He knew the majority of the Jedi Order distrusted him due to his heritage, but he knew the evils of the Empire and in his heart he made it clear he was not ever going to join them.
He gripped the hilt of his training blade as his eyes slowly ascended to where his Master, an elderly Twi’lek woman, stood. Her pink skin looked almost as fragile as an old porcelain doll, but her vibrant blue eyes spoke of a secret strength hidden deep within. She tilted her head to the side, clearly debating on how best to proceed with the news she had.
She took a deep breath before speaking. “You served the Jedi Order faithfully during the years prior to the Treaty of Courscant, you even helped rebuild the Temple here on Tython. Yet despite this, the Council isn’t ready to accept you as a Jedi Knight, however I believe differently.” She paused for a moment. “That’s why I have brought you to the remains of the temple that leads up to the Forge. I can’t assist you in this final trial padawan, however I have planted parts of your lightsaber within droids that I have sent haywire across these old ruins. Disable the droids and receive each portion of the lightsaber. Also, just before you reach the Forge there is a crystal cave in which you must attune your preferred crystal from one of the clusters. May the Force be with you, Padawan.”
Vexus audibly sighed hearing that the Council didn’t trust him enough to be a Jedi Knight, but when he’d heard that his master had defied the Council, his excitement reached the highest it ever had. He was eager to prove himself worthy to the Jedi and the Republic alike. “Thank you.” He mostly whispered, but the elderly woman nodded her head like she had heard him. The two then parted ways as Vexus headed deeper into the Ruins, searching for the lightsaber parts.
Hours passed and day quickly faded into night. Vexus had sweat running down the length of his hair from an almost constant battle between Flesh Raiders who ambushed him as well as the haywire droids that his master had released upon the ruins. The young man had finally retrieved the power cell for the lightsaber and so he ventured into the small crystal cave, which was coincidentally also the cave he had to pass through to actually get to the Forge. Upon entering the true ruin of the Forge, he quickly created his lightsaber, using the blue color crystal that he’d obtained.
Upon Vexus’ return to the Jedi Temple, his master greeted him with a huge grin, knowing that with a lightsaber in hand the Council no longer could refuse him as a Jedi Knight. She allowed Vexus to rest for the night and spoke with the Jedi Grand Master the following day. Satele agreed to hold a Council meeting to decide the fate of the would-be Jedi Knight.
Vexus nervously ascended the stairs to the second floor, pausing in front of the doors which led to the High Council’s chambers. The doors slid open and Vexus had barely stepped one foot into the small hall leading to the large room, but already he could feel the incredible tension. The Jedi were taught to be tolerant of all species, but he could sense that even the Jedi High Council didn’t really want to accept a Chiss into their ranks when the majority of his people, that were active in the Cold War, served the Empire.
The silence in the Council Chambers was filled with an even higher amount of friction than it had been just a few moments before. The restraining absence of noise was finally broken when Grand Master Satele Shan finally spoke. “You carry a lightsaber. Might we know how it is that you came to obtain the weapon of a Jedi Knight?”
Vexus gulped softly as he looked at each of the present members of the Council. He shakily explained how he’d obtained the parts from the haywire droids and how he’d constructed it. The Council listened intently, considering everything that Vexus had explained. Due to the extremely unorthodox final trial the Council decided to take a vote on whether or not the young Chiss would be accepted as a full member of the Order.
One by one the Council cast their votes. Vexus swallowed hard when he realized that the Council was at a stalemate, save for one last Jedi Master, Satele herself. Everyone held their breath, awaiting the final decision. Finally the Grand Master inhaled softly and nodded slowly. “I believe he has earned the right to be a Jedi Knight.”
Vexus exhaled in relief. “Thank you Masters.” He crisply replied to the decision. “I promise I won’t the Order down.”
“Well, you’ll have your chance to prove yourself immediately.” Satele replied, kindly. “Normally we would send you to Courscant to aid the Republic forces on the capital world; however we have received a distress signal from a starship that belongs to one of our most experienced Knights. There is a planet in the Outer Rim called Veloth, it was just recently discovered by the Republic. We will transmit the coordinates to the Republic Vessel Star of Hope, which has agreed to help us respond to the distress signal.” She was silent for a few moments longer. “And remember, you are now a full member of the Order, everything you do is in the name of the Order and could possibly shape the way the galaxy sees us.”
I can't wait to see how the rest of this saga develops! My score here: 8.9/10
*note* I believe this merits it's own post as it has nothing to do with my previous post and pertains to the next chapter of the story as the location...
Planet Name: Veloth
Function: Natural Resources (a major crystal cave which holds a special amethyst gem which Vex uses in his reconstructed lightsaber)
Planet Type: Terrestrial
Terrain: Multiple Different types (like Earth)
Atmosphere: Type I (Breathable)
Length of Day: 32 Standard Hours
Length of Year: 456 local days
Population: 2 million (native humanoids)
Velothians are a race of elven-like people. They are a strictly male race and can interbreed easily with other species (only the males) though they prefer to have pure Velothian blood in their sons. They worship the Duinuogwuin as their deity. Most of them are dead to the Force, save for their shamans who live for millennia before vanishing to their next plane of existence. They appear as though primitive, preferring to have nomadic clans rather than cities, but in truth they are a quite advanced race taking an immediate shine to technology introduced by other species. They wear loincloths from native non sentient beings of their planet; however the shamans are known to wear full body robes crafted from the fur of the animals. Velothians have skin that is a varying shade of purple, mostly Wisteria or Orchid coloration, webbed ears, emerald green eyes and a uniform silver colored hair. They are very aesthetically pleasing and as such often intoxicate the all sentient species, particularly the males.
A single Duinuogwuin
Z’leskr is a race of nonsentient animals indigenous to Veloth. They appear similar to a velociraptor, save for the fur which grows over the majority of their bodies. They have leathery, hairless feet which exposes their overgrown claw.
Tauntaun (though they are differently colored than the Tauntauns of Hoth and are called Sorthtul by Velothians) (indigenous)
Primal Wookies (lost sentience due to Sith Alchemy)(immigrated)
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