Star Wars Episode III.V: Verge of Rebellion

Post One

You are rudely awakened by the blaring of a warning klaxon. You roll out of your bunk and see several Imperials running for the engine room. You catch a fleeting hint of conversation as they pass.

“…must be pirates. Hit us as soon as we dropped out of hyperspace…’
You head to the engine room and see smoke and sparks. As you enter, the ship is rocked by more laser blasts.

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Post Two

_As the ship rocked to almost a 45 degree angle, I jumped in the air, holding my body there for several seconds before finally landing gently on a railed platform as the ship returned to a horizontal position. It was an athletic feat that had always marveled my comrades on Kwenn. I never thought much of it. I always felt like being truly in touch with your mind and surroundings can help your body perform tremendous acts. I had never understood why the others didn’t realize it.

Suddenly, I was thrown against the wall. Ok, that part was unexpected. I heard an engineer’s voice._

“I think we’ve got a damaged hyperdrive over here! We’ve fallen out of hyperspace! Somebody alert the bridge. Let the captain kn…”

He was cut off by another violent blast that filled the room with hazy blue smoke. I choked up immediately. I had heard of the hyperdrive technology back home, but didn’t know very much about it. Let’s be honest – this was my first flight through space, ever. I was perfectly content back on Kwenn. Why did others always feel the need to roam the galaxy? What were they looking for? Now here I was, my fears coming to fruition. Light-years from my own home, what if our ship was damaged beyond repair? Captured for loot? Were these so-called “Imperials” really people that could be trusted? My father always told me that men shouldn’t follow others, but instead lead themselves to their true destiny. Why had I forsaken his advice so easily? I saw the aforementioned engineer emerge from the smoke, and said the only thing I knew to say.

“Friend… is there anything I can do to be of assistance?”

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Post Three

The engineer looks at you coughing, eyes red from the smoke. He points to a panel that’s currently sparking.

“I guess you couldn’t make it any worse. See what you can do about that. I’ve got to handle this fire.”

When you get to the panel you can see it’s mostly fried. It’s labelled “Fuel Regulation Controller”. From behind you, the engineer yells,

“Shut the fuel off! Shut it off! I’ve got a major supply line leak back here!”

At the same time you hear the captain over the comm,

“All hands to battle stations! We are being boarded! Officers, get the recruits armed and try to keep them from getting in the way.”

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Post Four

My hands started fumbling over the control panel, until an errant spark momentarily singed my finger. I shook it in pain, and tried to focus. I had to focus. When I did, I was almost always able to do whatever it was I needed – almost like something else was guiding me. I just needed to clear my head. I took a deep breath, then pulled a lever to my right. And… an alarm shrieked to life from seemingly overhead, and a bright red “DANGER” sign lit on the control panel.

“I have a bad feeling about this…”

But there was no more time to be worry about that. Suddenly, a husky guard spun me around, and almost knocked me to the ground as he shoved a blaster in my chest and arms.

“Here, plebe. You might want to carry this if you value your life. Now get back to your quarters. But remember, if you see anyone suspicious, shoot first and ask questions later!”

He took off running down a long corridor. I stuck the weapon in my belt loop, covered my ears with my hands to try to block out the incessant noise, and started back to my room.

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Post Five

You almost make it back to your quarters, but before you turn the last corner you see flashes of blaster fire and hear men screaming. You peek around and see the Imperials exchanging fire with a rag-tag group you assume must be the pirates. As you watch the pirates take out the last of the visible Imperial troops. The Twi’lek leader calls,

“Cease Fire!”

Then pulls a voice amplifier from a belt pouch.

" Attention, any remaining Imperial personnel! Lay down your weapons! I am Captain Novus A’tak , commander of the Eclipse Resistance. Know this: this sector is closed to Imperial traffic. We reject your ‘New Galactic Order’, your ‘Emperor’, and your presence here! We will be commandeering this transport. Any of you Imps who don’t resist will be dropped off at the nearest world outside this sector, in order that you may bring this message to your masters."

As he’s talking you feel a faint…tug in your mind and notice an Imperial officer, blaster drawn, creeping down a perpendicular corridor just out of Novus’ line of sight.

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Post Six

As I watched the officer draw nearer, I thought to what the larger one had said just moments ago. “If they’re suspicious, shoot!”. Well, this guy was suspicious. Was I really supposed to trust the Imperials blindly, though? Who was I to say that this Novus character was not any more honorable than my current comrades? Still, my finger lightly grazed the trigger, but the rest of my body was frozen in place. I watched the officer out of the corner of my eye. “I really wish he’d just drop that blaster”, I thought to myself. He raised his blaster, aimed the weapon, and…

He dropped the blaster. “Huh”, I barely whispered.

Novus turned towards where the blaster dropped, but the officer had already ran away. He chuckled to himself. Meanwhile, apparently I had made just enough noise to next draw his attention. He spotted me, turned, and bellowed,

“Well what do we have here? You don’t appear to be one of THEM. Who are you, boy? What is your name?”.

I guess he had noticed my lack of any Imperial regalia.

" Orion Farlander. But you can call me Ri."

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Post Seven

“Well Ri…judging by the fact that your haven’t used that blaster in your hand, I get the impression you might not be that enthused about joining up with the Imps. I also imagine the Imps might not take so kindly to you NOT shooting me when you had the chance. So leaving you with them won’t do you any favors. I think you better come with us. What say you?”

About that time one of Novus’ crew comes running from the direction of the engine room.

“Captain! The engines on this bucket are going critical! We need to cut and run! Now”

Novus grabs his amplifier and begins shouting orders as his men make their way back to the airlock.

“All Eclipse crew head home now! Imps…hope you have escape pods on this bucket.

“Ri, looks like you decision just got made for you!”

He grabs your shirt and drags you behind him. You are the last through the airlock before the door slams to. You hear a muffled bang as the docking clamps explosively release, and feel the thrum of the engines as the resistance ship tries to put some space between itself and the doomed transport.

Novus hustles to the bridge and you follow in his wake. You get there just as the ship makes it to a safe distance and turns to see the expanding fireball that used to be an Imperial ship. You see a few escape pods drifting away. Novus curses under his breath.

“So much for that new ship. We need to clear out of this space. The Imps will be all over this like a starving Wookie at breakfast. Flynn, set a course for Ord Mantell. We need to find somewhere to disappear for a while.

“Ri, you come with me. We have some things to talk over.”

As you pass down the corridors you see the ship is old, but well maintained. You follow Novus to what must be his quarters/office, and he slumps down at a battered table. One of his head-tails twitches idly.

“So, what did you think of my little speech I gave the Imps? ‘This space is closed….blah, blah, blah.’ Heh. Bunch of bantha slobber truth be told. But the Imps don’t know that. Hopefully, they’ll spend a cycle combing this space for us. We’ll be long gone.

“Now then, what are we going to do with you? How do you really feel about the ‘New Galactic Order’? What do you know about how they really operate?”

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Post Eight

I looked around the room, and decided to take a seat at the side of his table. It looked big enough to have eight or ten men surround it, probably to be used for making grandiose plans of raiding unsuspecting ships. Then again, who was I to judge. I carefully looked over Novus once more. He didn’t look all that intimidating, for a Wormhead. Wait. “No”, I thought to myself. In my short time with the Imperials, I had heard insinuations of their feelings on humans being superior to all other races in the galaxy. I didn’t want myself to fall into believing such harmful dogma.

Back to Novus’ question.

“You have to understand, my time with the Imperials was fairly short. My family on Kwenn, we didn’t engage ourselves in political matters. We always kept to ourselves, except for my uncle’s family. They emigrated to Agamar because they heard the Empire was offering cheap land and better job opportunities. Seemed foolish to me, leaving your home system like that. I’ve never been one for space travel, you see.”

Novus raised his eyebrows, no doubt surprised to hear my objections to exploring the galaxy. I’m sure it was a foreign concept to a pirate like himself. I continued.

“The Imperials came into my town one day. Said they needed new recruits for some war they’re fighting. I didn’t even realize there was a war. I vaguely remembered an incident at the Space Station when I was young, but that was years ago. Anyway, for some reason I felt compelled to join the infantry when they came calling. I never even had the desire to leave Kwenn; I just felt, at that moment, that it was the direction my life needed to go. I don’t overthink a situation, you know?”

Novus scratched his chin, and nodded. He seemed interested in my story.

“So they loaded me and five other guys on their transport ship, and said we were traveling to a training center on Carida. They mentioned they had some clones that had been doing this work, I guess? But apparently, a lot of them are starting to be mustered out. Why they aren’t cloning more of them, I don’t know. They just said they were looking for a few good men to take their place. That was probably the most information they shared with me during this entire process. I was basically confined to a small room until your group came aboard the ship and caused quite the commotion. I guess that brings us to the here and now. I don’t necessarily trust you, but it turns out I didn’t really trust the Imperials either.”

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Post Nine

Novus laughed, and his brain-tails twitched in amusement.

“Why would you trust me? You’ve known me all of what, 30 minutes? I certainly don’t trust you. That is something you earn. But, I have learned to listen my gut over the years. And mine is telling me that you might be worth my time.

“Regardless, you are going to be with us for a little while. We aren’t stopping until we get to Ord Mantell. Once we get there, you’ll be free to do what you want. We aren’t in the business of conscripting, unlike the Imps.

“I know you said you didn’t have any love for space travel, but I think it would do you some good to see more of the galaxy. See the way things really are out there. Especially for those of us without your good fortune to be born human.”

At this, his head-tails made movements that would have to be sarcasm.

“It might help give you a… new direction.

He flicks a switch and barks,

“Peek! Get your rusty self in here!

“Ri, while you are on the Eclipse you are not a prisoner, but I can’t give you free run of my boat either. So I’m going to give you a chaperone.”

The door opens and you turn to see a battered Battle Droid walk into the quarters.

“Ri, allow me to introduce PK-380, or as we all call him, Peek. He’s going to be your best friend until we get to Ord Mantell. We picked Peek up at a scrap sale on Naboo a while back. What passed for his Battle Droid brain was shot, but we re-tasked him. Now he’s what passes for our quartermaster.

“Peek, you make sure Ri here stays out of trouble until we make port.”

“Roger, roger.”, the droid replies.

“Curse you, that’s not funny.”

“Sorry Captain.”

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Post Ten

I suspiciously eyed the glorified robot. Back on Kwenn, droids were only used by the few elites. They were nothing more than slaves, really. Now I was supposed to take orders from this machine? It wasn’t exactly something I was used to. But not wanting to anger Novus, I decided to be amicable.

“Nice to meet you, Peek. A battle droid, eh? I recall hearing about your kind’s involvement in the Clone Wars. Of course, that was really just from a few days we spent on that in school. Nothing of any consequence ever happened out on our rock. You have any exciting stories? Were you involved in any fighting?”

“Erm… uh… does not compute…”

I looked at Novus, who chuckled.

“As I said Ri, this unit was pretty beat up when we found him. His memory had to be wiped clean. It’s probably for the best. There’s really no telling what he was programmed to do. One wrong move around him, and it might have been a blaster to the back! As it stands now, he probably doesn’t even know how to use a gun.”

No movement or response from the droid. Suspicious creatures, indeed.

“Now, you two better move along. Peek, why don’t you take Ri to his quarters? After all the action of the past couple of hours, he is probably longing for some sleep. These humans always seem to need recharging, even more often than you.”

The droid croaked its metallic response.

“That’s funny, Captain. Come on, Ri. Let me show you to your room.”

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