Geldar & Tarrsk - A Life for a Life

As Geldar and his master were about to enter the slave colony, Orruwarr presented Geldar with his own lightsaber, warning him to use it with caution as he had not yet completed his training with it, but knowing that it would be needed. They soon discovered that Kylarra was a prisoner of the Trandoshans held within the main building complex apart from the wookiees. Once within the building, Master Orruwarr began to sense something disturbing that he would not explain. As they penetrated further within the depths of the complex and had all but reached Kylarra's prison, the Jedi Master took his leave of Geldar, instructing his pupil to continue on in search of his mother. Orruwarr instructed Geldar where to meet up with him later and vanished down an adjoining hall. Geldar continued on, confused by his master's actions, but too concerned for his mother to dwell upon it.

Finally he came to a dead end hall with a blast door beyond which he could sense Kylarra. Moving to the door, he began to cut through it with his new lightsaber as quickly as he could, knowing that time was short and that silent alarms would bring guards to stop him in a matter of seconds. When he reached her at last, Kylarra was weakened from severe torture of a nature Geldar could not ascertain. She was able to walk with Geldar's assistance and they were soon on their way. More than once, Geldar was forced to leave her side in order to fight off guards that pursued them, but with his mother's knowledge of the fortress, they managed to escape most confrontations. However, by this time the camp was crawling with guards and it seemed they would be trapped within.

It was at this time that a large Trandoshan soldier approached them armed with a slavers force pike and blaster pistol. Geldar was nearly spent and his mother held on to consciousness only with supreme effort. It appeared this would be the end for he was quite certain that he was no match for this large reptilian assailant. But even as he reached for his lightsaber, the soldier's voice halted him with a surprisingly soft greeting.

This Trandoshan was Tarrsk who proceeded to help the two exhausted jedi to safety. He lifted Kylarra like an infant and led Geldar to one of the slave barracks where they could hide among the wookiees and rest. Once there, Tarrsk proceeded to explain why he was aiding them.

He explained that Kylarra had walked into the camp alone and apparently unarmed 2 days ago. She had simply persuaded the guards to release several prisoners in exchange for her life and they did it. She was taken to the Slavemaster but escaped almost immediately. Tarrsk, who was not well acquainted with the force, was astounded at her abilities, but soon found himself the leader of the hunting party that would bring her and the released slaves back. The Trandoshans could not afford to have even one prisoner escape with a report of their activies and so it was vital to recapture every one of the missing slaves. What he did not expect was that the wookiees, under Kylarra's leadership, would prove to be a formidable prey who would turn the tide on their hunters. He soon found himself the prisoner.

The wookiees made their intentions clear. Against Kylarra's protests, they tied him up and left him to whichever predator found him first. As night fell, his hopes of being found by his own men grew dimmer. Before darkness had completely engulfed him, he had already been discovered by a predator. A large weasel serpent slithered his way, fangs dripping with it's slow working poison. Tarrsk knew that if he were bitten it would be the end, but a very slow and painful end it would be and he knew fear at that moment. Very little could cure this poison. Yet when the creature was within striking distance, a light appeared and Tarrsk saw Kylarra approaching him.

Kylarra was there in an instant. She slashed out at the creature with a deadly swing, but it was too quick. It spun around and arched away from her then snapped at her. Back and forth the serpent and the jedi lunged and dodged each other as the serpent attempted to bite down on its victim. Then, at last, Kylarra, sensing that Tarrsk’s hunting party was approaching, found herself distracted and left herself open for a strike from the creature. As it came at her, she slashed out with her lightsaber and sliced its head off just as it sunk its fangs into her shoulder.

With the serpent dead, she rushed over to Tarrsk before the poison could take effect and untied him. As he felt himself slipping off, he felt her hand on his wound and then a warmth as though the poison in his veins were being halted and dissolved inside him. Along with it went the excruciating pain, and then, all of a sudden, he felt her hand fall away from him and all went black in his mind...

Tarrsk awoke minutes later to find Kylarra unconscious beside him. He could not remember the details of what had happened (as serpent-weasel venom has the adverse effect of memory loss on Trandoshans) only that this woman had somehow saved his life. Gathering her up, he carried her back to the hunting party where his superiors praised him for capturing the trouble-maker. They immediately treated her bite so that she could be interrogated later. Then they took her from him and Tarrsk realized he had made a mistake. The human woman would have been better off left to die in the jungles than brought to the not-so-tender care of her enemies. And he could not remember fully why he was in such a vile place. He knew that this business was dishonorable though he somehow felt that wookiees deserved this kind of treatment, but the hatred he knew before could not be remembered. All he knew was that this woman had saved his life and he had betrayed her. So he brooded and waited for an opportunity to fix his mistake.

Now as he finished his story with some help from Kylarra, he left them to rest, assuring them they would not be found as they hid with this group of slaves. Kylarra soon fell asleep and was ministered to by an elderly wookiee. Geldar stood watch, much on his mind, not the least of which was the question of where Master Orruwarr had gone.

Tarrsk too, had much to think about as he left the two fugitives. Hearing Kylarra's recount of some of the things he had forgotten, troubled him. If it were true that he had been sent to capture her, than he hadn't betrayed her. He had done his duty. Therefore, he shouldn't help her to escape even if she had saved his life. That was her weakness, to be exploited by her enemy. So why did he feel so honorbound to protect her? She obviously had a type of bewitching power over others. He had seen it the day she walked into camp and persuaded his fellow slavers to release so many prisoners. Yet if she were bewitching him, why would she have told him the truth. She could have told him anything to make herself look better and turn him against his own people, yet she chose to tell him even the details that might turn him against her side. Was this a subtle form of trickery, meant to confuse him? Somehow, Tarrsk did not think so. She had used her power to dissolve the poison in his stricken body and Tarrsk remembered the serpent bite she had received. Why? What was there to gain by such foolish vulnerability? Other Trandoshan's who had heard of the account, considered this action weakness, but Tarrsk wondered if that were true, or if that had actually been an act of strength.

Kylarra was there in an instant. She slashed out at the creature with a deadly swing, but it was too quick. It spun around and arched away from her then snapped at her. Back and forth the serpent and the jedi lunged and dodged each other as the serpent attempted to bite down on its victim. Then, at last, Kylarra, sensing that Tarrsk’s hunting party was approaching, found herself distracted and left herself open for a strike from the creature. As it came at her, she slashed out with her lightsaber and sliced its head off just as it sunk its fangs into her shoulder.

With the serpent dead, she rushed over to Tarrsk before the poison could take effect and untied him. As he felt himself slipping off, he felt her hand on his wound and then a warmth as though the poison in his veins were being halted and dissolved inside him. Along with it went the excruciating pain, and then, all of a sudden, he felt her hand fall away from him and all went black in his mind...

Tarrsk awoke minutes later to find Kylarra unconscious beside him. He could not remember the details of what had happened (as serpent-weasel venom has the adverse effect of memory loss on Trandoshans) only that this woman had somehow saved his life. Gathering her up, he carried her back to the hunting party where his superiors praised him for capturing the trouble-maker. They immediately treated her bite so that she could be interrogated later. Then they took her from him and Tarrsk realized he had made a mistake. The human woman would have been better off left to die in the jungles than brought to the not-so-tender care of her enemies. And he could not remember fully why he was in such a vile place. He knew that this business was dishonorable though he somehow felt that wookiees deserved this kind of treatment, but the hatred he knew before could not be remembered. All he knew was that this woman had saved his life and he had betrayed her. So he brooded and waited for an opportunity to fix his mistake.

Now as he finished his story with some help from Kylarra, he left them to rest, assuring them they would not be found as they hid with this group of slaves. Kylarra soon fell asleep and was ministered to by an elderly wookiee. Geldar stood watch, much on his mind, not the least of which was the question of where Master Orruwarr had gone.

Tarrsk too, had much to think about as he left the two fugitives. Hearing Kylarra's recount of some of the things he had forgotten, troubled him. If it were true that he had been sent to capture her, than he hadn't betrayed her. He had done his duty. Therefore, he shouldn't help her to escape even if she had saved his life. That was her weakness, to be exploited by her enemy. So why did he feel so honorbound to protect her? She obviously had a type of bewitching power over others. He had seen it the day she walked into camp and persuaded his fellow slavers to release so many prisoners. Yet if she were bewitching him, why would she have told him the truth. She could have told him anything to make herself look better and turn him against his own people, yet she chose to tell him even the details that might turn him against her side. Was this a subtle form of trickery, meant to confuse him? Somehow, Tarrsk did not think so. She had used her power to dissolve the poison in his stricken body and Tarrsk remembered the serpent bite she had received. Why? What was there to gain by such foolish vulnerability? Other Trandoshan's who had heard of the account, considered this action weakness, but Tarrsk wondered if that were true, or if that had actually been an act of strength.

Another Trandoshan approached him, interrupting his thoughts as he summoned him to the main building. Led to the inner-most audience chamber, Tarrsk was confronted by Oktoth, the Trandoshan Administrator of the camp. Behind the leader stood a shadowy figure in a cloak, silent and unmoving. Oktoth proceeded to interrogate Tarrsk, seeming to guess that he was less than loyal to their cause. Tarrsk did everything he could to disguise the truth, but he felt as if his thoughts were being scanned and his brain was exposed to some presence that could not be seen; or could it? After several evasions, Oktoth seemed to grow agitated and turned to the shadowed being. Then to Tarrsk's horror, it moved toward him and two Trandoshan soldiers held him in place so that he could not escape. Not that he could have at that moment anyway. The shadow held him spellbound as it stretched out a clawed hand and touched his head. Fear and pain welled up within him as the searching presence he had felt before now intensified with proximity.

But before it fully manifested in his mind, something else happened. The two guards who held him crumpled to the floor and he heard a voice in his head commanding him to run. Spurred by the voice, he pushed away and stumbled backward toward the door. To his surprise it opened before he arrived and as he passed through he saw another shadow detach from the wall without and pass within to guard his escape. He looked back just in time to catch a glimpse of the shadow. It looked like a Wookiee holding a lightsaber!

 

The End

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