The cantina grew eerily quiet as people had thoughts race through their minds, trying to think of what to do next. Soon, all eyes moved from the man in the door and from loved ones to Kez, who looked just as shocked about the news as everyone else.
“Kez?” said one person from the crowd.
Kez looked at the voice then turned to look at Sulver and Wallus, but Sulver looked just as taken aback as Kez and Wallus looked determined.
“We need to do something,” said Wallus. “It is likely that these Imperials don’t want to talk, but to detain and move on.”
Some murmurs of agreement went around the room and Kez nodded his agreement, but didn’t say anything until his eyes meet with Mulser’s. “What do you think, Mulser?”
Mulser remained sitting and locked eyes with Kez. Mulser knew that everyone in the room hadn’t expected the Imperials to be so brutal, even with all the rumors that made it to Challa about the behaviors of Imperials on other worlds in the galaxy. Mulser also considered his cover, how he was trying to hide his past life from everyone, but it seemed that his life didn’t want to hide from him. This was the time to take his stand.
Mulser stood up with all eyes on him instantly. “It’s clear that the Empire doesn’t want to seek peace through negotiations with those that disagree with them, but through force. It would be best to return their aggressions with our own counter, but they are better equipped than us.”
“Do you have something in mind?” asked Kez. “We were going to work on this, but it is as if the Empire knew what we would think and wanted to stop us as quickly as possible.”
“That’s exactly right, but we aren’t unarmed,” said Mulser. “Most of us do have some kind of weapon and we also have the harvest vehicles that could be used as shields and bulldozers if anything else. But we must protect as much of our property as we can, especially our children. The troops have landed outside of the city far enough that we still have time to prepare.”
Kez nodded, gaining strength with each word Mulser revealed of his plan. “Yes, we must act. Everyone who has a weapon, meet outside of the cantina in a few minutes. If you can’t fight, gather up the children and as few valuables as needed and hide. Where can they hide?”
Mulser thought for a second, considering where the Imperial troops had landed. “The hills,” he said. “Everyone should be safe there if our stand is strong enough, not to overpower them, but just make this confrontation too costly to them.”
“All right,” said Kez. “Move, and get back here as quickly as possible.
The cantina erupted into sound as chairs and people shifted, all knowing what they had to do. Kez, Sulver, and Wallus gathered in the center and Mulser made his way over there. The cantina was nearly empty when Mulser got there, surprising Mulser a little at how quickly the people had known. Mulser thought he would know by now all there was to know about these people.
“So, how will the harvest units help?” asked Wallus.
“Not much, but they’ll be another obstacle the Imperials have to go through to get to us,” said Mulser. “Remember, we’re just going to try and make this all the more difficult for the Imperials, not a direct victory.”
The three others nodded and all headed out of the cantina where most people had all ready met back up. Mulser looked over the crowd to see that several mothers were leading the children up into the hills. Mulser made sure Travis was there so Mulser didn’t have to worry about the boy wanting to stay behind and fight, and Travis was also helping the children with Kez’s children, Sonny and Bisa, tailing Travis.
“All right,” said Kez, “those with weapons, head to the west side of town and prepare for the Imperials. Try to keep the lights on so the Imperials don’t know we’re preparing, and avoided walking in the paths of light. Those of you without weapons but with a harvest vehicle, follow me.”
Mulser and several others followed Kez to the hanger where they all mounted into their vehicles and started walking out into the city one after the other. Mulser was one of the first, knowing how to best set up the vehicles. Most of the people with blasters had assembled on one street, mostly by instinct to stay close to each other. Both Kez and Mulser went with this and had the harvest vehicles parked so closely to each other in the other streets that no one could get through them. Kez also appointed a watcher for each street to let Kez and the main front know if and when the Imperials break through the barriers.
“Well,” said Kez once things were ready all within an astounding fifteen to twenty minutes, “here they come.”
Mulser looked over the citizens with their blasters pointing into the distance where reflections of the city lights could be seen reflecting off the armor of the white clad stormtroopers.
“Here they come,” murmured Mulser, a hand slipping to his belt to rest on a metal cylinder hidden inside his jacket.
These people weren’t military grade, but they weren’t push overs either, which Mulser quickly realized once the fire fight started. Mulser saw the stormtroopers come right at the street where the populace had set up their front. The shots exchanged by both sides were fairly accurate, with two of the populace all ready injured and rushed into a house in town for treatment. So far, the stormtroopers didn’t seem to be in too big of a hurry, but they had sent a few squads to try and break through the harvest vehicles, but even explosives would take a bit to knock one of those droids over or through it.
After the first few minutes, the stormtroopers had taken cover by blowing holes in the earth to make trenches. This puzzled Mulser a bit, as if the Imperials didn’t really plan on taking the city from direct confrontation. Mulser quickly scanned the area and noticed a few shadows moving to the right. After watching the group start around the blockades in shadows, Mulser knew he needed to intercept them; he knew he would be the only one to easily take them out.
“Wait here,” said Mulser as he prepared to leave. “If you have to pull back do so, but I suspect these Imperials are just going to fight this out for awhile.” Mulser then started away.
“Where are you going?” asked Kez.
“To check something out.”
Mulser quickly ran through the city, gaining some extra speed once he had gotten out of sight of everyone. He made it to the south side of town, knowing that the sneaking Imperials would be coming this way soon. When Mulser saw a group of them start out of the shadows and into the city, Mulser did likewise, having seven guns raised at him.
“What is the meaning of this,” said Mulser in a booming voice.
“Surrender, citizen,” said the lead trooper, “this planet obviously is too rebellious for its own good. Imperial guard is needed to supervise. Since your people fail to cooperate, it is necessary for force to be used.”
Before Mulser could argue back, the troopers opened fire. Mulser tried to dodge the initial blasts by rolling behind the wall nearby, but the troopers were too accurate. Without wanting to do it, but knowing it was necessary, Mulser reached into his jacket and pulled out the metal cylinder.
With the push of a button, Mulser’s lightsaber activated, sending a blue light to light the surroundings. With the sudden flash, the stormtroopers were surprised and hesitated for a second; that’s all the time Mulser needed to act.
Mulser drew on the Force to give him a burst of speed, closing the gap between him and the first trooper. The stormtrooper started to take aim, but Mulser brought his lightsaber down, cutting the barrel off the gun, then Mulser spun around, taking the trooper’s head off and running toward the next stormtrooper. This stormtrooper did get a shot off, but Mulser deflected it toward the other stormtroopers, buying him an extra half second to get this stormtrooper. Mulser brought his lightsaber down again, cutting through the barrel down the middle, then bringing the blade around to cut the trooper in half.
With a sudden chill in the Force, Mulser spun around bringing his lightsaber up reflecting a shot right back into the chest of the stromtrooper who had fired.
The four remaining stormtroopers started to circle around, making it harder for Mulser to defend himself. However, with a wave of his hand, three troopers were knocked off their feet with the Force, and Mulser took aim at the other. Mulser quickly cut the stormtrooper in half and then turned around to see the other three recovering, but one of them was taking off back the way they had come.
Mulser knew this was bad. If a stormtrooper got away, then the Empire would know a Jedi was hiding on the planet. The stormtroopers must have known this too for the last two stormtroopers gathered together to try and stop Mulser from pursuing their other member. Mulser started for the two, sending the shots fired at him into the ground nearby, and, with two quick slashes, cut both stormtroopers from shoulder to hip and they fell quietly.
Mulser looked for the one stormtrooper taking off, but he had all ready disappeared and Mulser wouldn’t be able to intercept the stormtrooper before he got back to the others. After deactivating his lightsaber and returning it inside his jacket, Mulser started back to where the lines were drawn and heard cheering as he neared. Kez and everyone had broad smiles on their faces, very proud that the stormtroopers had pulled out.
“What happened?” asked Mulser as he neared Kez.
“We did it,” said Kez. “The Imperial troops pulled back. We saw one come from behind and order a retreat. Now maybe the Empire would listen to what we have to say about this.”
Mulser nodded and let everyone continue to celebrate, even the families returning from the hills. But, Mulser knew that the Empire would be back, and with greater numbers.
"Changes are nice--but so is continuity!"
"Then you saved my life. How disgusting. How unfortunate."
"No, don't gush on so. It was nothing, really."