Here is my January entry...hope everyone likes it!
The red orange Tarisian sun broke over the great monolithic skyscrapers of the planet wide city beginning yet another day. Unfortunately for the denizens of Taris this was another day under the rule of the occupying Mandalorian forces. Armored and heavily armed Mandalorian soldiers patrolled the streets of the great Upper City, fighters littered the skies, and menacing Basilisk war droids protected key installations, buildings, and other strategic locations.
In the Lower City of Taris things were not much better. There were daily skirmishes between the Mandalorian patrols and the Taris Resistance, and residents lived not only in fear of the occupying force but the Exchange crime syndicate as well. Few knew the horrors of what the Exchange could do to people better than Juhani.
Juhani had known something was wrong when her mother did not come home at her usual time. She had fed herself dinner with some of the meager food that was left in the kitchen of their run down apartment. It wasn’t until there was a hard knock on their door that she would find out why her mother hadn’t come home. She opened the door, and two humans pushed her back inside, and pointed their blaster pistols at her.
“Where’s your payment cat girl?” one of them demanded
“Wh-what are you talking about?” Juhani responded in a frightened voice
“Your mother is dead,” the other man responded “Now you owe Davik his payments.”
Juhani couldn’t believe what the man was telling her. Her mother was dead? Is that why she hadn’t come home? What money were these men talking about?
“I-I don’t have any money.” Juhani told them. She knew they would be mad, but she thought that lying would make them angrier.
“Then Davik will get his money back out of you!” the first man replied.
They started to move toward her, and Juhani knew they were going to kill her. Well, she wasn’t going to die without a fight. As they advanced Juhani bared her claws and sprang at the man on her right. She barreled into him and knocked him off his feet trying to rake his eyes with her claws, but he was a large man with a great deal of strength. He blocked her strike with his arms and pushed her off of him sending her sailing into the far wall of the apartment.
Juhani slammed against the wall, and her head exploded. She crumpled to the floor and lay nearly motionless. She could see the men advancing on her again and she tried to get up, but one of the men kicked her hard in the chest and pain coursed through her body. The man she had tackled pulled what looked like a club from his belt, and brought it crashing down on the back of her neck, and everything went black.
Six months later….
Revan paced the floor of his quarters aboard the Republic Navy Cruiser Firestorm. He walked back and forth in the outer room as he contemplated the coming battle. He had been over the battle plan in his head at least a hundred times, and had gone over it with the fleet at least 5 times to make sure everyone understood their role. As he completed another circuit his door opened to reveal his second in command for this battle, Alia E’ron.
Revan had recruited Alia from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant in the beginning. She had been a promising student under Kavar who had agreed heartily when Revan approached her with the idea that the Jedi Council was responsible for thousands of deaths by not entering battle with the Mandalorians. She was a phenomenal young woman who had a mind for tactics that nearly rivaled his own, and she would be considered beautiful on any planet in the galaxy. Her auburn hair was pulled tight behind her head, and her ice blue eyes fixed on him as she entered.
“How close are we?”
“Twenty minutes out.”
“Is Malak ready?”
She shrugged “So he says.”
“And the other Jedi?”
“They’ve been ready Revan. Of all the battles we’ve fought, of everything we’ve been through, driving them off Taris has been a long time coming”
He nodded, she was right. Taking Taris back from the Mandalorians had been a long time coming, but Revan knew that waiting until the time was right was important. Now, Taris was one of their last few holdings in Republic space and today was the day it came back to the Republic.
“Get to the hangar then, I’m going to the bridge, and I’ll join you after we drive their fleet back.”
“You got it.”
Alia turned and walked out, the door closing behind her. Revan walked toward the door himself and reached out his hand calling his lightsaber to him with the Force. It lifted from it’s resting place on a table and floated gracefully to him. He clipped it to his belt and walked out.
When he arrived on the bridge of the Firestorm the ship’s captain, a staunch officer named Kearn, saluted him.
“We’re coming up on the outskirts of the Taris system General.”
“Well then Captain, let’s take it back. Take us out of hyperspace, order all ships to engage, fire at will.”
Kearn smiled “Yes Sir!”
The Republic battle fleet snapped out of hyperspace nearly on top of the occupying Mandalorian ships, and immediately unleashed a storm of fire at their hated enemy.
On the flagship of the Mandalorian occupation force chaos was reigning.
“Republic ships Sir, at least twenty of them! The tactical officer shouted at the ship’s commander.
“Well, don’t just tell me about it, fire at them!” came the reply.
The Mandalorian ships returned fire as they tried to bring themselves into a defensive formation to face the would-be Republic liberators of Taris. The battle raged between the two fleets with neither side clearly gaining the upper hand, and then suddenly, the Mandalorians picked up another group of enemy ships appearing on their scopes.
On the Firestorm, Revan smiled as the report that the second Republic battle fleet had arrived.
“Malak Sir?” Captain Kearn asked
“His timing is impeccable as always,” Revan replied.
Then Revan watched as together he and Malak’s fleets trapped the beleaguered Mandalorian ships between them. As was their hallmark, the Mandalorians fought almost to the last ship before they began to retreat. Revan turned to Kearn,
“You’re in command Captain, I’m going to the surface.”
Alia greeted Revan as he entered the hangar where the Republic drop ships were waiting.
Alia turned to the hangar captain
“Close them up.”
“Yes Sir.” He replied saluting
One by one the deck crew closed the doors of the drop ships and Revan and Alia climbed into the first ship in line, and strapped themselves in next to four other Jedi Knights and two squads of Republic infantry. They didn’t have to wait long before the drop ship’s engines engaged and slammed them back in their seats as it rocketed toward the surface of Taris. Revan closed his eyes and meditated, calling on the Force to prepare him for the coming battle. It wasn’t long before the drop ship slammed down on the surface, and the door opened. Revan and was up and out first with Alia behind him. The other ships were setting down, and Republic troops were pouring onto the streets of the city. Revan lit his twin bladed lightsaber and the blue blades hummed with life.
“For the Republic!”
Revan didn’t need to look to see if Alia or the troops were behind him. He knew they would follow him without question. He knew they would follow him into whatever hell he might lead them to, but right now all they needed to do was follow him into the streets of Taris.
The Republic troops waded into the Mandalorian occupiers led by their Jedi commanders. The battle raged over the entire surface of Taris as Republic ships established dominance in the skies. Slowly, but surely, the Republic pushed the Mandalorians back. For three days Revan, the Jedi, and the Republic soldiers slammed against the Mandalorian warriors, but Revan never questioned the resolve of the men he led. Finally, almost all the Mandalorians were either captured or killed, and Taris, one of the first planets taken by the invaders, was free at last.
Juhani heard the commotion before she saw anything. She had been chained up in this cage like an animal for months now. She was malnourished, and the men from the Exchange had beaten, and abused her. They called her cat girl, and seemed to take pleasure in her suffering. They even planned to sell her at auction like an animal, and the man who had killed her father, Xor, claimed he was going to enjoy owning her. In spite of all of it, Juhani still hoped that one day she would escape, and find the better life her parents never had.
The commotion outside was getting louder now. Juhani could hear blaster shots, and screams, and then she could hear people moving outside her cage. She couldn’t see much, but then a shadow fell over her, and the cage door swung open. Standing there was a man Juhani had never seen before, and he held out his hand toward her. Instinctively Juhani flinched and cowered expecting to be hit again, but instead he spoke to her.
“I’m not going to hurt you; no one is ever going to hurt you again. What is your name?”
“I-I am Juhani,” she replied meekly as he helped her to her feet.
“My name is Revan, and today, Juhani, you are free.”