"An army of guardians who know the Force is more than Light or Dark."
*Prologue Chapter: A subtle change, and an echo in the Force*
She had been running in the dead of night.
She moved quickly, taking cover shortly. Her back met the gnarled tree-trunk. Panting, breathing, smacking her lips together when she gulped a breath of air. She felt her heart thump in her chest and drum so loudly it reached up to her ears. Her body felt hot, dripping with beads of sweat trickling down her chin. Gulping another deep breath of air, Kalifa moved.
The air was humid even at night.
Taking a turn, a small jutting tree branch scraped against her cheek. Kalifa didn't stop. Even when she felt her stomach lurk when something bright and quick flew right over her head, Kalifa still ran.
They found her.
One of her captors had managed to find her through this thick jungle.
Quickly, Kalifa ducked under another gnarled tree root, which took the hit of another blaster bolt aimed at her.
It was a game these monsters played since the beginning, they were the hunters, while Kalifa was the prey to hunt.
Crawling through the ground, the cold wet muck smearing along her clothes and face, the narrow path Kalifa found herself in opened enough for her to get back on her feet and run. She ran as fast as her legs could take her.
It didn't matter where she was going, so long as she was able to escape.
Kalifa's thoughts were brief on her friends – the only ones who managed to survive alongside her were elsewhere, somewhere far, somewhere safe. She couldn't risk going back to find them, not with the prowler chasing after her.
'I have to hide; I have to hide!' telling herself in her panic, Kalifa pushed through another set of vines and into a clearing where the vines and trees coiled around her, for the moment she stopped to catch her breath.
In the night sky, a faint ray of ominous green light shone through the coiled opening. It wasn't moonlight. What was in the sky was a planet reflecting the light from the closest star and acting much like a full moon.
Kalifa's captors weren't usually out at this time. They never hunt in the dead of night unless they felt to push their luck. And it was an unfortunate part for Kalifa – their luck was enough to find her when she went out scavenging for food.
A douse of fear made its way into her heart. Kalifa could hear them, the hiss-like shrills behind her echoing, getting louder with each second. They were closing in on her.
'Which way?' asking herself in thought, Kalifa didn't know which way was the safest. She'd never been this far out in the jungle before. Needing to make a choice, Kalifa took a step, already set in going one direction until something stopped her.
Pain rack her shoulder, knocking her down. Kalifa didn't have time to register what had happened, the next thing she knew was feeling the air forcefully kicked out from her lungs when something struck her chest. The blow sent her skidding along the ground and bash into the thick tree root near her. A bitter and irony flavor caked the inside of her mouth.
Trying to take a breath was like setting her lungs on fire! By the Force, Kalifa believed her lungs were on fire!
"Rah! I got you!" one of Kalifa's captors found her. Letting out a shrill-like hiss in the air, Kalifa saw the faint light shine on the one that shot her.
Her heart plummeted when she saw sickly green scales and fiery orange eyes. In his arms he held onto a blaster rifle.
Her captor was a Trandoshan, a reptilian humanoid.
"Finally, a worthy trophy to mount on my wall!" a snarled hiss left his fanged maw.
Kalifa was left defenseless.
The Force could not help her. Her faith wavered under the stress. And in turn, the Force wavered to her aid.
'I'm not ready to die' thought Kalifa, swallowing the lump in her throat when she tried to move. That little girl inside her couldn't handle the stress anymore. The suffering she had to endure was too much now. Kalifa tried to reach out, not physically, but through the Force one more time. It was her last and desperate cry. Kalifa reached out as far as she could, calling to her friends, to anyone who could save her.
The Force barely gave any strength to her. Managing to bring herself upright, pressing her back against the tree root, she saw the Trandoshan pull out a simple blaster pistol and moved in a steady pace. "What fun. I finally get the chance to try out my new Blaster" cackling wickedly he brought the barrel right up to Kalifa and aimed between her eyes.
From between the barrel of the Trandoshan's blaster pistol to seeing those serpent shaped eyes, there was no sense of wrong or remorse within them. This thing was a monster out a living nightmare.
The Jedi? Kalifa thought about the Jedi Order, believing that they would be the ones to save her and her friends. The young girl prayed. She hoped. But after so long, and now coming to face death up front and personal, all of it was for nothing now.
The sound of a branch snapped loudly. Stopping the Trandoshan before he had the chance to pull the trigger. "Garnac? Is that you!?" the reptilian questioned, turning towards the dark brush.
In the corner of her eye, Kalifa swore she saw something move in the dark brush. She shivered.
The Trandoshan hunter hissed violently and aimed his blaster. Kalifa turned her head, meeting that same darkness that the reptile humanoid did. That's where she saw it. Piercing the dark brush were narrow slits of bright blue. The faint light from above could only give so much, and what it showed was a silhouette-like figure standing there – watching them.
The humid air took a radical change, suddenly going cold for Kalifa to see her own breath.
There was no movement. No sound. Everything in the jungle went quiet before it happened.
That's when it came to life. That loud, snap-like hiss thrummed loudly for the two of them to hear.
Jutting through the darkness was a bright, golden beam of light, bathing and illuminating the figure just enough for her and the Trandoshan to see.
There was a brief shake of the reptilian humanoid, snarling, the Trandoshan used his blaster pistol and fired.
Responding just as fast as the blaster bolts were fire, long streaks of gold waved left and right and batted away each of the red bolts. Small flashes pulsed and sparks flew from each of the swings the figure made.
Kalifa could feel the Force coming off of this mysterious being.
The Force moved, being pulled in and around the figure.
It was violent, twisting and churning so wildly that it was almost uncanny to believe the Force could even be felt in such a way. The figure made its move, extending and reaching out its spare limb. The Trandoshan stopped firing, stumbling and letting out hoarse hacks of breath. Kalifa turned to look at the Trandoshan hunter, she saw that horrid beast of a creature lifted off the ground grasping at his throat. It was the figure that was doing this. Using the Force and using it to strangle the life out of the humanoid shaped reptile.
Deep down, Kalifa, all the fear and anger in her heart, a part of her felt herself wanting to use it to, to make that vile beast suffer for all the torment he and his ilk made her and her friends go through.
The figure's pace stopped, meeting a few feet apart from where Kalifa was placed. The lightsaber in this person's hand and its beautiful glow was what gave Kalifa enough to make out just who this figure was.
This person was an imposing character garbed in armor; armor she had never seen before. It was a man. It had to have been. With his hand raised clenched in a hold that exemplified the Force's hold on the Trandoshan's throat – those piercing glowing blue eyes had turned to meet Kaifa's. Fear wrapped itself in her when she looked up to meet this character.
It was brief. The next thing Kalifa saw was the person pulling the Trandoshan with the Force and plunging his lightsaber right into the reptile's heart – killing him.
With a wave of the armored man's arm, he threw the slumped corpse into the brush.
The nightmare was finally over. So much anxiety was lighted off her shoulders knowing that hope of making it off this rock would finally come.
This armored man held a lightsaber, but Kalifa knew this man was no Jedi. The feeling she felt through the Force didn't match the tranquil feeling the Jedi Knights or Masters radiated off of them. His presence was different. So very, very different.
This Force-like whirlwind that spiraled around the armored man couldn't even be compared to the tranquil-like state of the Jedi Masters.
His lightsaber was still active, merely lowered at his side nowhere dangerously close to her.
Kalifa mustered her courage, biting back the pain and spoke. "Who are you?" Kalifa questioned, confused and so very much afraid.
The armored man drew closer, the metallic hilt of his lightsaber suddenly extended – turning into a makeshift Lightsaber Pike. Jabbing the end into the ground and letting it stand upright on its own, his hands slowly came up to his helmet and silently took it off.
A shock of ghostly white colored hair sprung out from underneath the helmet, dark grey skin and ominous red eyes. His lips curved upward, Kalifa shivered when she saw two of his teeth long and sharp, almost enough to sprout out from his lip.
Surprising her, he crouched down to meet her at eye-level. And he brought out his hand.
"Come with me " he said.
The Force came to life, shimmering around him and comforting her. It was the first time it brought a comforting sense of relief that soothed her worries and fears. Even the pain had grown distant.
Looking at his offered hand, something in Kalifa knew that whoever this person was – he was the one to give her hope once more.
Kalifa took it.
There was a disturbance in the Force.
"This story has been rewritten with few and minor details and alterations. The third chapter has already been installed to go along with it and I made sure to add in the "Gelel" elements that weren't featured in the previous installation when I started out the first chapter. I made sure to look over some of my misspells and grammar and correct them – not all if I missed some by accident. Anyway, please review and tell me what you think about the story, NO FLAMES!