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The Story of Mulser

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The Story of Mulser
 PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:47 pm Reply with quote  

Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 980
Location: Midwest, USA

The Story of Mulser
- by Aush

“[Vader] helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Episode IV

Chapter 1:

“Mulser, do you copy?” said a man’s voice over the comm.

“What is it, Kez?” said Mulser, a man in his late forties with gray creeping into his hair and short beard. He wore regular workman clothes that really just consisted of a grey jumpsuit with the wearer’s choice of adding anything else, which Mulser did by adding a light jacket with many pockets to hold small tools for Mulser to attend to his harvest vehicle should anything go wrong.

“Might as well come in; we got a storm heading our way and reports show nothing but heavy rain. We don’t want to have one of our harvest vehicles get stuck in the mud again,” said Kez.

Mulser smiled to himself. “If I remember correctly, you’re the one who got that particular machine stuck last year. It’s just a good thing I was still out there to help get you out of that mess.”

There was a pause on the other end for a moment. “Regardless, come in anyway. We’ll finish the harvest tomorrow.”

“Copy that. See you in a moment,” said Mulser, and he started to finish his current work before turning the harvest vehicle around and starting back to the hanger.

The planet was called Saniska, and was a great place for farming and wasn’t too far away from the core worlds. This particular year, Mulser, who was in control of growing whatever he liked on his land, was harvesting a special crop called Iliska, which was a bizarre vegetable that was native to Saniska and was becoming popular with the Core.

After marching the humanoid machine back to the hanger, Mulser got the harvest vehicle back before the first few raindrops started to fall. Once the vehicle had been neatly put back in line with all the others, Mulser shut it down and got out, being joined by Kez shortly after. Kez was only ten years younger than Mulser, but he showed many signs of working on this planet since he was old enough to walk.

“You made it right in time,” said Kez.

Mulser smiled. “Yes, but I could have gotten a lot more done out there if it’s going to sprinkle like this for another half an hour.”

Kez smiled and threw an arm around Mulser and guided him to the door and opened it, revealing a watery mess as the rain was coming down in sheets. Mulser didn’t seem surprised at all but he did grin at the site

“Another half an hour, and we’d be digging you out tomorrow,” said Kez. “You want to join my family for dinner tonight; my house is a lot closer than yours.”

Mulser nodded. “That would be fine, as long as those kids of yours don’t ask too many questions.”

Kez looked away with a smile for a second. “Oh, but you’re the most interesting thing around, Mulser.”

“I try not to be,” said Mulser with a slight grin and he looked up into the sky, as if seeing beyond the clouds and into the far reaches of space.

Chapter 2:

The rain lasted all through the night and stopped right before dawn. As the people of Challa awoke, the clouds started to part and move out of the area, allowing the sun’s light to help dry the land. Mulser sat up abruptly and looked around his room quickly with wide eyes. Something felt out of place with the morning, even if the sun was coming out…then he remembered he wasn’t at his house and all the answers became clear.

“Boo!” shouted someone very near Mulser with a bed sheet thrown over himself.

Without reacting and not looking at the sheet, Mulser started to pull on his jacket and smiled. “Good morning there, Sonny,” said Mulser.

The sheet fell away from the young boy and he looked at Mulser with so much disappointment. “I thought I had you until you jumped up.” Sonny then started out of the room, dragging the bed sheet behind him and having his twin sister shaking her head at him as he passed.

“I told you that wouldn’t work,” she said.

“One day though, Bisa, we’ll get him,” said Sonny, and both Bisa and Sonny left the room.

Once all fit for another day of work, Mulser walked out into the kitchen area where Sonny and Bisa were both eating their breakfast and their mother, Burla, was busy setting another place for Mulser.

“Sorry about your morning ordeal,” said Burla as she saw Mulser.

“Don’t worry about it,” said Mulser with a smile as he sat down. “I’ve woken under worst circumstances before.” Burla smiled and nodded before sitting down to eat her own breakfast.

“Morning everyone,” said Kez as he walked in from outside. He too sat at the table and started to take a couple bites before looking up at Mulser. “It seems like we’ll have all day to work for there isn’t supposed to be anymore storms for some time.”

“With how much came through last night, I’d be surprised to see anything else,” said Mulser as he finished up.

Once Kez was done and had said good-bye to his family, Mulser and Kez started for the hanger and the harvest vehicles. That day, Mulser set out with an empty container and had to travel back twice more to get other containers before he had finished harvesting by sunset. Once all of the harvest was stored away and ready to be processed, Mulser retired for the day and decided to spend his evening celebrating the end of another year by making a stop at the local cantina.

As Mulser approached the cantina, a cool wind seemed to blow across the town. Mulser stopped and looked around, seeing that the sun had indeed set for the day, but this chill seemed something more. Mulser did a slow sweep of the town with his eyes, watching as others scurried home for the evening, most likely planning to finish their own harvests the next day. Eventually, Mulser continued on, pulling his jacket tighter around him as he walked.

The cantina was busy that night making Mulser thinking that many people had finished their harvests after all. But shortly after Mulser walked in, he saw everyone surrounding one table listening to someone. Mulser naturally migrated into that direction, picking up small phrases that showed that this person was from off-world. Once Mulser was close enough, he listened.

“They’re coming, sooner or later, and I’m telling you they’re coming sooner,” said the man who wore a very poor spacer outfit, most likely some kind of smuggler trying to make a living now that the Clone Wars had been over for five years. “I saw them gathering as I was on my way here, a small fleet of them, really just one Star Destroyer, but still enough to cause us all trouble here.”

“Why would they come here? Everything we make goes to the Empire’s worlds eventually,” said one person in the crowd.

“And we’ve always been very peacefully with the Empire, putting up no fights against the often harsh trading protocols,” said another voice.

“But that’s the thing,” said the spacer. “The Empire is very appreciative for what you give to them, but they want more. They want to be able to tell you what to send them, not let you choose year after year. They’re coming here, most likely to establish a garrison and a governor to do that dictating job.”

“We can’t allow that,” said a third voice from the crowd. “We’ve worked hard and need to change with the years because the markets change with the years.” A settle agreement murmured around the group.”

“Well, regardless of what you think, they’re coming and I just thought I’d give you the information now before they show up and surprise you all,” said the spacer before he took a sip from his drink.
"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."

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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:48 pm Reply with quote  

Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 980
Location: Midwest, USA

Chapter 3:

The night was rough for Mulser as he made his way back to his house after hearing all the news that the spacer had given the citizens of Challa. As he walked, Mulser remembered the chill that he had felt before walking in and the memories started to flood back to him from experiences before Mulser had arrived on Saniska, memories that Mulser had to keep buried if he had wanted to remain here and unknown.

As Mulser closed the door to his house, his eyes were drawn to a chest that sat between the living room and the kitchen, but Mulser only looked for a second before he headed to his room and started to retire for the night. When the sun rose the next morning, Mulser was glad for even in sleep the night had been rough.

Mulser spent the morning cleaning his house, which always grew dirty during the harvest season. Before noon, a knocked came from Mulser’s door, and Mulser wasn’t at all surprised to see Kez and Sulver, another man in town who was about the same age as Kez.

“Good morning, Mulser,” said Kez. “May we come in?”

Mulser stepped aside. “Of course,” he said. Once Kez and Sulver where inside Mulser closed the door and turned toward his guests. “You’re here concerning what that spacer was saying in the cantina last night, right?” Mulser said it more as fact than a question.

“Yes,” said Kez. “And that’s because we are thinking of ways to counter this before it happens.”

“How do you even know that the spacer is telling the truth?” asked Mulser as he offered his guests something to drink.

“Another two spacers arrived today with goods, both saying they had passed an Imperial Star Destroyer that was moving this way slowly but didn’t make any contact with them,” said Sulver, who spoke in a deeper voice than both Kez and Mulser.

“It seems, then, that the Empire wants us to know they’re coming,” said Mulser as he took a seat with the others. “This doesn’t look good for us at all.”

“We’re thinking of trying to talk with the Imperials when they arrive, but it may come down to armed conflict if we can’t talk through this calmly,” said Kez, his face losing its color and Mulser knew why.

“We don’t have enough people to counter this,” said Mulser. “Any kind of resistance would be nothing more than a slaughter of out own.”

“Not even the Empire could get away with that,” said Sulver. “Word would spread and the Empire would be in trouble.”

“Not if they work carefully,” said Mulser. “They may try to provoke a conflict here to help justify their agenda of taking control, saying we’re too rebellious to be allowed to govern ourselves.”

Kez and Sulver both looked a little shocked. “They wouldn’t do that. It would be too extreme, even for the Imperials,” said Kez.

Mulser shrugged. “I wouldn’t put it pass them. Haven’t you heard the rumors from other spacers of the Empire doing things to other worlds? A few years ago, word of an attack on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk even reached my ears.”

“We don’t want it to come to armed conflict, but we’re not going to be caught off guard either,” said Kez. “Will you help us?”

As Mulser considered, his eyes were drawn once more to his chest. Mulser looked at it for a moment before closing his eyes and then looking back at Kez and Sulver. “I’ll help you all out, for this is my home. But we must try to do this peacefully and not let an armed conflict come about.”

Kez and Sulver both smiled at this, and thanked Mulser before they both headed out. Mulser watched them walk a short distance before he turned to face a rock outside of his house. “Hiding has never been one of your best skills, Travis,” said Mulser and he started back into his house.

A teenage boy came out from behind the rock, taking a quick glance at Kez and Sulver before following Mulser back into the house. “I was just curious as to what they were up to when I saw them walking up here,” said Travis, taking a seat when Mulser offered it to him.

“So you listened to everything,” said Mulser. “This might become trouble for us all, so I don’t want you deciding to do anything reckless.”

“This morning, Sulver stopped by our house, but mother sent me out to get some things, even watching as I left to make sure I wouldn’t ease drop. I, of course, hurried with the duty, but Sulver was all ready gone when I got back. Then I saw Kez and Sulver head up here. I take it my mother was asked the same thing as what Kez and Sulver had asked you.”

“Most likely, but this isn’t an affair that you need concern yourself with. If you do, I won’t give you any more tutoring sessions on galactic history.”

“Then I’d fail.”

“Then I trust you do as I say,” said Mulser. “By the way, aren’t you supposed to be at classes anyway?”

“I was on my way before I saw Kez and Sulver.”

“Well get going. All I need to hear is from your mother saying I’m keeping you out of school…again.”

Travis smiled and took off. Ever since Mulser arrived, Travis seemed to have much interest in Mulser’s pass, even coming to him for aid in galactic history ever since a summer community get-together where Mulser told tales from beyond Saniska. But now, it looked like those tales would become local affairs if things continued the way they were.

Chapter 4:

Mulser spent the remaining part of his day inside. He did a lot of thinking, remembering his life before he had arrived on Saniska. Mulser listened to the sounds of the city, listening for any news concerning the Imperial ship just sitting out in space aimed in their direction. By the evening hours, Mulser was ready to check out the cantina to hear more of what the people thought. Before he left, Mulser drifted toward his chest.

As Mulser walked in, he knew that he would find Kez and Burla inside, most likely meaning that Travis would be babysitting Sonny and Bisa, keeping him away from Mulser for the night. Just too many questions thought Mulser.

Many people turned to see Mulser, as if they knew who he was, but it was only because of how much he has helped the city since he arrived. He was the unofficial “wise man” of the city.

“Good evening, Mulser,” said Kez as Mulser reached the counter. “How was the rest of your day without having to harvest?”

“Good,” said Mulser after he had ordered his drink. “I just wish things weren’t nagging me.”

“Same here; I have a little more to do tomorrow because of my busy morning.”

“And?” asked Mulser sipping his drink.

“We’re ready,” said Kez. “That’s why we all gathered tonight.”

“I’m glad you let me know about this,” said Mulser.

“We knew you’d come here tonight. You’ve always shown up as if on cue from something else,” said Kez looking away to see Sulver enter with a nod. “I guess we’re ready to start then.”

As Kez left, Mulser took another sip. What did Kez mean by showing up as if on cue? Was Mulser being that obvious? He didn’t know. He thought he had been doing very well, but it was possible he had slipped since he had spent a vast majority of his life in his previous one. Regardless, Kez and the others couldn’t have much proof.

“Welcome all,” said Kez as he took a position in the center of the cantina and silence followed. “Today, I meet with you all concerning what a spacer said in here last night. When he was ready to go, I talked a little more with him, learning that this threat is real. We -- I, Sulver, and Wallus that is -- talked about sending a person to talk with these Imperials about circumstances. We’ve gotten a ship set aside and everything. Does anyone wish to go on this mission? If not, I’m ready to go.”

The people looked around the room, a slight murmur rising. Mulser looked around, getting the sense that most people were afraid of the situation and most weren’t willing to do what Kez had just asked.

Then, Mulser sensed something else. It wasn’t coming from anywhere in the room, but from outside, beyond the walls of the cantina. Out across the streets and homes of the city, even pass Mulser’s house, the landing field, and the hanger of the city. Then, a ship landed outside the city limits, as stealthy as possible. Mulser could hear the doors opening with many rushing bodies coming out. These bodies were heavy, hinting they carried some heavy gear. Abruptly, the feeling and sense ceased.

“Mulser, are you okay?” asked a person next to Mulser.

Mulser looked at the woman, Una if he remembered correctly. He gave her a stare before his focus and concentration snapped back to reality. Mulser left his drink on the counter and moved toward the center of the room grabbing Kez by the arm.

“They’re here,” whispered Mulser. “They’ve just landed outside the city limits, using the dark to hide their movements.”

“Who?” said Kez, not hiding a thing, but concern and fear creeping into his face.

Suddenly, the doors to the cantina were thrown open and another man rushed in. “They’ve been spotted!” shouted the man. “An Imperial landing craft just landed outside of the city with armed troopers moving this way.”
"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."

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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:49 pm Reply with quote  

Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 980
Location: Midwest, USA

Chapter 5:

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.

Chapter 6:

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."

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address

 PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:49 pm Reply with quote  

Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 980
Location: Midwest, USA

Chapter 7:

The celebration continued for a couple of hours before it started getting late and people still had work for the next day. Mulser helped move the harvest vehicles back from blockading the city. The people acted as if this would be the only time a conflict like this would come to them but Mulser knew better. Kez and the other leaders had all ready decided to send a ship in the morning to the Star Destroyer, which now waited at the edge of the system. Mulser was sure it wouldn’t work, but he didn’t want to invade on the party for the night.

Eventually, everyone started to tend to the injured which inevitably lead everyone inside the city to the six stormtroopers that lay motionless on the ground. Mulser watched as the people gathered around with puzzled expressions. Mulser was glad no one seemed to recognize lightsaber wounds, which would hide Mulser’s identity for a little while longer.

“What do you make of this?” asked Sulver who stood over the body.

Kez came into the circle and reached out with a hand to inspect the wound. “I don’t recognize it directly. But if I had to guess, I’d say a lightsaber or equivalent. Does that sound about right, Mulser?”

Mulser was a little surprised by the question, but remained calm and moved to look over the bodies. He acted as if he was really puzzled before nodding. “I haven’t seen such a wound, but it does meet the things I hear about lightsaber wounds, back before the Empire.”

“Who could have done this? All the tools like this are back at the hanger and no one in town should have weapons like this,” said Wallus.

“Well, regardless of who did this, this is probably the thing that caused the stormtroopers to pull back,” said Kez. “They must have been wanting to come up from behind us and take us out but someone stopped them during the fight…”

As Kez trailed off, Mulser felt Kez’s eyes turn to him. Mulser remained looking down at the stormtroopers for a few more seconds before looking up at Kez with questionable eyes. Kez was giving Mulser a very quizzical look, but when he saw Mulser giving him similar eyes, Kez’s look faded back to confusion. Kez started to look around at everyone and then motioned at the bodies. “Let’s clean this up and thank the Force for whoever stopped these six troopers for us.” The people mumbled in agreement and got to work.

Once things had quieted down, people started to return to their homes, turning in for the night. Mulser watched as people disappeared and listened for whatever other conclusions that Kez and his friends came to about the attack. Before heading home, Mulser meet with Kez.

“We were lucky,” said Mulser in a whisper.

“We were,” agreed Kez who looked at Mulser with worry. “Wallus and I will head out in the morning to meet with the Star Destroyer’s captain. Hopefully we’ll be able to get this problem resolved without anyone else getting hurt on either side.”

“Noble goal,” said Mulser with a nod, and he turned to clasp hands with Kez “I hope it works out that way; may the Force be with you when you journey tomorrow.”

“Thank you,” said Kez. “I plan on being back tomorrow night but we’ll see what happens, won’t we?” Kez sounded a little frighten but Mulser knew his friend would be able to handle himself.

“I’ll see you again tomorrow night,” said Mulser. “Good night.”

Mulser watched as Kez walked to his house. Most people were now indoors with a few still up, afraid of another attack and becoming unasked watchers over the town. Mulser listened to the wind as a chill once again traveled through the town. It wasn’t at all calm through the Force like it usually got following the defeat of an enemy. Mulser scanned the town with his eyes and stretched out with the Force but didn’t see or feel any immediate threat. Mulser started home.

The walk seemed longer than usual as Mulser continued with his head down. Something was at the back of his mind, telling him that he should get out of here. However, Mulser pushed it aside, knowing that he was in this all out as soon as his lightsaber turned on. Now, Mulser would have to live with whatever came his way.

Something moved in the shadows near Mulser’s house and Mulser’s hand went up without even a thought. He could feel someone hiding there and pulled the being out of his hiding spot with the Force. A surprised cry came as Travis fell out of the shadows and into Mulser’s path. Mulser’s eyes grew wide as he realized what he had done: his cover may have just been blown.

“Travis!” said Mulser trying to sound as surprised as he could. Mulser helped pull Travis to his feet but Travis flinched and even jumped back a bit. “Are you okay?” asked Mulser as innocently as possible with concern in his features.

“I’m fine,” said Travis sternly before his gaze dropped and his voice lowered, “but those troopers aren’t.”

Immediately, Mulser felt his heart jump into his throat and knew that his cover was blown even before he had yanked Travis out of his hiding spot. However, Mulser was going to test the kid, for it could be innocent talk even though Mulser highly doubted that. What would he lose by trying?

“What do you mean?” asked Mulser. “You mean you saw what had happened? Why weren’t you up with the others in the hills?”

“Something was bothering me,” said Travis. “Something didn’t feel right to me.” Travis did sneak a peek at Mulser but turned away as soon as he had meet Mulser’s eyes.

Mulser looked down into the town where only street lights could be seen then headed for his door. “Well,” he said looking at Travis, “we could get out of the cold at least.” Travis walked into Mulser’s house with Mulser closing the door behind them.

“So you saw,” said Mulser as they both took seats opposite each other.

“Yes,” said Travis. “Something told me to be there.”

Mulser felt his fears rise as he knew what Travis meet. One reason that Mulser tried to avoid the boy was because he was slightly Force-sensitive. Mulser didn’t know how the Council had missed him, but Travis had avoided detection for a reason and was on this planet with Mulser for a reason.

“I know what you mean,” said Mulser with a low voice and getting Travis to look right at him. “Something told me as well that stormtroopers were coming from that direction and I had to be there. However, it was dangerous for you to go and I trust you won’t do something like that again.”

“Yes, sir,” said Travis with a slight nod.

“You need to protect the children of this city who can’t do so themselves. I fear that something will happen again soon, and I want to know that I can trust you to protect those people here that need it.” Travis quietly nodded. “It’s late. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Travis got up and headed out the door, and Mulser followed him with the Force all the way to his house. Once he was there, Mulser stretched out beyond the planet and felt a dark response heading his way. Mulser immediately let go of the Force and decided it was time to get some rest; he may not have many chances to do so again.

Chapter 8:

The sun rose on Challa the next morning to the sound of a starship heading up into orbit. Mulser watched it go, sensing the presences of both Kez and Wallus, feeling the nervousness from them.

Life went on as usual that morning, but the nervousness and constant sky watching persisted throughout. Mulser eventually ventured down into the town seeing individuals finish up with their harvest, children going to classes, even getting a look from Travis, and stores open for business. But the tension was there in the Force, and Mulser was able to feel it radiating off people as light did off the sun.

By late afternoon, people in the fields had finished, even cleaning up the few crops that had been damaged by the stormtroopers’ landing craft the night before. Most families remained indoors, with parents constantly peeking out and looking for signs of danger. Mulser could feel darkness gathering out in space, but he didn’t know how much to think about it besides trouble was coming. The time for Kez and Wallus’s return came and went, causing the tension and nervous to turn into worry and fear.

As the sun set and it grew late, Mulser sat in his house resting. His lightsaber rested in his lap as he sat cross-legged, stretching out with the Force to the sky above. It seemed calm, much calmer than it had all day, but an old phrase came to mind as the calm continued to last: the calm before the storm. With that thought, a chill ran up Mulser’s spine and the calm disappeared from existence.

A tap came from the door causing Mulser’s eyes to snap open and the lightsaber into his hand. When he stretched out with the Force and felt Travis beyond, he calmed down but something still didn’t feel right. Something had shifted in the Force.

Mulser headed for the door. “What is it, Travis?” asked Mulser as he opened the door.

“They haven’t returned,” said Travis.

“No, but I’m sure they’re fine.”

“Are you?” asked Travis. “I just think they’re in trouble and won’t be back anytime soon.”

“Don’t worry about it,” said Mulser placing his hands on Travis’s shoulders. “You shouldn’t worry yourself with such thoughts. They aren’t your problems; enjoy your life as it is now before you let these thoughts plague you for the rest of your life. Okay?”

Travis nodded and then smiled. “Would you like to join my family for dinner? I made the suggestion with my parents and they sent me up here to ask.”

“Thank you,” said Mulser. He reached out to the Force to see what he should do and felt no response of danger for heading into the city. “I think I’ll take that offer.” Mulser gathered his things and then started into town with Travis.

As Travis listed off everything that would be on the table for the meal and they walked towards the house, Mulser started to hear a low hum coming from above. Immediately, Mulser opened to the Force and could sense many landing shuttles entering the atmosphere and heading here with many lifes on board. The thrill of combat radiated from some of the people on the shuttles and Mulser panicked.

“Travis, they’re here!” said Mulser as he looked up to see the trails of shuttles starting to form in the sky. Travis started to follow Mulser’s gaze but Mulser quickly grabbed him and pushed him towards his house. “Warn your family and continue on throughout. I’ll get the fighters gathered and you help get the children out of here.” Travis nodded without argument, making Mulser pleased, then they both started off in their missions.

One of the first people Mulser ran into was Sulver, who looked immediately into the sky and saw the shuttles. The look on Mulser’s face must have been enough for the whole galaxy to see the fear. “They’re here,” said Mulser as he neared Sulver. “They’ll try to surround the village but only enter from one side. We need to get people out of here before that happens.”

“They must have Kev and Wallus,” said Sulver as he started towards his house, Mulser following closely.

“I have the fear that the Empire was never up for talks to begin with,” said Mulser and reached out with the Force, feeling the panic start to spread throughout the town as people started to realize what was happening. “Let’s gather the fighters in the center of town.”

With that, Mulser and Sulver gathered everyone and prepared for battle.
"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."

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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:50 pm Reply with quote  

Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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Location: Midwest, USA

Chapter 9:

It wasn’t long before everyone with weapons had gathered. The few who didn’t have weapons said they would use the harvest vehicles to do as much damage as they could. When Sulver and Mulser were organizing the fighters, the ones who weren’t going to fight, mostly the children of the village also started toward them.

“Listen, everyone,” shouted Mulser over the crowd, bring silence to bare immediately. Mulser must have let his fear flow into the Force and amplify his voice with the immediate response he got, but this wasn’t a time to really argue light and dark. The shuttles approaching from above, the only thing still heard in the city. When all eyes were locked on him, Mulser continued.

“I fear that Kev and Wallus have failed or never been heard to begin with. The Empire doesn’t care about its citizens anymore, just what we can give it. Although we are small, we are independent, something the Empire wishes no one in the galaxy to have. We must make a stand and let the galaxy know the horrors the Empire really represents and hope we survive and our message is heard. Those of you who can fight, we’ll give them trouble by not forgetting those we are fighting for.

“The Imperials will circle around the city but not risk their people. They’ll come in from one side and spread throughout. That entry point will be about the same as before where they can drop off more troopers and vehicles. Those who can’t fight, I take that to be mostly the children, will proceed up into the hills where they should be safe enough from the fight. Understood?” The crowd silently nodded. “Let’s go.”

“Mulser,” said a woman who came up front. Mulser recognized her as Burla, Kez’s wife, who had fire in her eyes for her husband. “We wish for you to stay with the children and make sure they’re safe. Will you do this for us?”

Mulser was about to protest when he looked at those around Burla and the entire crowd. They all showed that they respected everything that Mulser had done so far, but didn’t want him to do their fighting. Once again, Mulser considered if he had let them know too much about him, did they know his past. Mulser knew that they would need his help.

“What about the battle?” he finally protested, mostly just to make the attempt knowing that it would be best to go with the children.

“We’ll handle this,” said Wallus. “You have quickly laid out the plan which will give us a chance. We will do the rest while you protect our children, our next generation.”

“Please do it for us…” “…We’ll handle these Imps…” “…they’ll regret coming here…” “…the children can’t protect themselves.” Everyone had something to say in agreement with Wallus and Burla. When the voices died and the shuttles got closer and closer, Mulser nodded.

“May the Force be with us all,” he said, and he headed toward the children, lead by Travis.

As the citizens of Challa started to organize on the fronts, Mulser took the children to the hills. Most had dried tear lines down their cheeks, others were confused, and some were confident, like Travis, who had received an approving nodded as they headed out.

Mulser lead the children through the town, as fast as they could all go to stay together. They eventually reached the outer limits, and Mulser reached out to make sure no one was hiding behind rocks and bushes all ready. When it felt clear, Mulser led the children up to the hills passing Mulser’s house.

Then he felt it. Mulser could feel the dark response that he had felt the night before. It was now coming from his house. It was patient but ready for what was about to happen. Mulser brought the children to a stop and waited, reaching out in the Force and receiving a response. Mulser should have known this would happen, but he hadn’t thought it would happen so quickly. Mulser had to get these children to safety first.

“Travis,” said Mulser as he continued to keep his eyes on his own house, “take the path to our left and circle around to the hills. I must deal with something here before continuing with you all.”

Travis looked at the house then at Mulser. “But we need you,” he protested for the first time.

Mulser gave a reassuring smile and turned to look at Travis, knowing that the dark response was willing to be very patient for the time being. “And I will come. You must now take care of the children and protect them. Will you do this for me?” Reluctantly, Travis nodded. “Thank you, Travis. Now go.”

Mulser watched as Trvais lead the children along the left path that would take them around Mulser’s house and away from this darkness before turning back towards the hills on the other side of Mulser’s house.

With a deep breath and allowing the Force to flow through him, Mulser started for his house.

As he approached, Mulser could sense the darkness from within gathering in one place: the living room right on the other side of the door. Mulser approached at a constant, slow pace allowing memories to flow back into focus. When he was at the door and had the confidence with the Force, Mulser opened it.

The room was cast into darkness with everything still in its appropriate spot. However, there was one thing out of place: the source of the darkness. It was embodied within a dark suit of armor, standing a head taller than Mulser with its hands resting on its belt and a heavy, constant breathing emanating from the mask. Finally, it spoke.

“Good evening, Master Mulser,” said the voice, full of evil but also calm. “I should have found you much sooner.”

Chapter 10:

“Darth Vader,” said Mulser as the door closed behind him.

A moment later Mulser’s blade sprang to life and he jumped towards the Sith, not caring what parts of his furniture were overturned from the Force assisted maneuver. A red blade sprang to life to meet Mulser’s, and Mulser jumped back, picking up the nearest couch behind Vader with the Force and throwing it at Vader. Vader easily spun around and cut the couch in half, and Mulser could feel Vader summon the Force to throw the two pieces in opposite directions.

When Mulser saw Vader slow in his turn, Mulser jumped to his left and kicked off with his left foot to fly right at Vader again. Suddenly, Vader sped up his rotation, caught Mulser’s blade with his own, and deflected Mulser off to his left. Mulser tried to jump away, but Vader used a burst of the Force to throw Mulser away from him. Mulser soared into the air and went through a window to land hard outside.

Mulser slowly got to his feet, but when he was on one knee the wall to the house exploded outward sending debris everywhere. Through the smoke and dust, Vader’s red blade came cutting through followed shortly by Vader’s black armor. Besides the heavy breathing from Vader, Mulser could hear blaster sound coming from the city.

Once Vader was ten meters away and Mulser was on his feet, Mulser used the Force to throw up a dust cloud between himself and Vader. Mulser was growing tired, mainly for just flying through a window, and needed to finish this quickly before the people in the city fell. With the cloud distraction, Mulser drew on the Force once more to give extra strength and speed to his muscles. He could hear Vader’s helmet choke a bit on the smoke, but Vader was following Mulser’s movements in the Force.

With the Force flowing through him more strongly than any other time in his life, Mulser moved towards Vader. Vader moved his own blade to intercept Mulser’s, and they exchanged many blows with each other, one going on offense then defense. Mulser worked hard to keep his speed high, but he could feel Vader drawing on the Force very little, just enough to foresee Mulser’s attacks. This wasn’t going to work; Mulser had to do something that not even Vader would be able to see coming.

Mulser’s mind raced as he continued to exchange blows with Vader, Mulser growing more tired with each blow. Vader, although more machine than man, was still much younger than Mulser and was much more powerful in the Force. Mulser thought of tactics to get Vader with, but nothing seemed like it would work once Mulser tired to execute it.

Then it came to Mulser. Mulser remembered a tight crevice in the nearby rock face that the two of them could squeeze into and then bring the rocks down, killing both of them. It would be risky and require a lot more energy, but Mulser was growing tired and had to do something to end this quickly, even if he did have to lose his life. If Vader went with him, then the Empire would lose a great asset and give others, like the people of this planet, the chance to stand up and fight the Emperor and his soldiers.

As Mulser finished thinking through his plan and made a slight adjustment towards the crevice, a sudden chill ran through the Force and down Mulser’s spine. He could see it coming but there was no way to dodge it or block it. To Mulser, it seemed that the Force had betrayed him and would allow the darkness to win this round. But before the red blade cut through Mulser’s hands holding his lightsaber and spin around to take his head, Mulser knew that this was the will of the Force. The Force was a powerful thing and always had it’s own agenda, which Mulser had come to understand in the few years that he had lived on Saniska.

Once the battle was over, Vader stood over Mulser’s fallen body and stared for a few moments, his lightsaber casting a red glow over the fallen Jedi. Then Vader looked up, turned around, and started for the city to help the Imperial troops finish the attack.

"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."

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