Star Wars
General Trouble
By Lucky_Ladybug

Notes: Everything in here belongs to George Lucas, except the story idea and the two Lieutenant characters, which are mine, and the title, which was suggested by JP ^_~ I'm just borrowing his groovy galaxy for a lil bit! Oh, BTW, some of the info in here is from the comic book story "The Death of Captain Tarpals," a cute pre-Phantom Menace ditty. Hope y'all like, and for crying out loud, Anti-Jarists, don't bother me ^_~ Flaming reviews will be ignored and deleted.

Captain Tarpals walked among the dead and wounded Gungans laying out on the battle field. The Battle of Naboo had been a victory, but many had perished fighting for freedom.

The military officer neatly side-stepped a broken battle droid that had been struck down by a blue energy ball, perhaps one of the ones that Jar Jar had accidentally set loose.

He passed two Gungan Lieutenants who stopped talking and glared at him as he walked past. Tarpals resolutely ignored them. Those two had never liked him, but they had been especially unfriendly and almost hostile ever since right before the Battle. He could've been mistaken, but Tarpals was sure he'd heard them mention Jar Jar's name.

Tarpals sighed. Jar Jar . . . now that one was still a touchy subject for him to talk about.

Had Boss Nass been wrong in making Jar Jar a General? Maybe. The young Gungan certainly hadn't had any experience in fighting before, and of course he had bumbled through the job, but the ironic thing was that Jar Jar's clumsiness had actually benefitted the army.

Tarpals was actually friends with Jar Jar, or had been, at least until Boss Nass had made the "no-come-backie" law and Tarpals had been forced to banish Jar Jar from Otoh Gunga. Or had he been forced? Once again, Tarpals heard the statement in his mind, said by various Gungans, "Binks will be the death of you, Tarpals." He had been too afraid to keep helping Jar Jar after the new law had been passed . . . afraid of loosing his job, his career, and, if the statement was to be taken literally, his life. But had he been wrong in enforcing the "no-come-backie" law with Jar Jar? He couldn't forget how sad the clumsy young Gungan had looked when he had left him in the swamps of Naboo. Jar Jar had always been a loyal friend; it suddenly dawned on the old Gungan that he hadn't been near as loyal.

"Yousa just an old softie, Tarpals," he muttered to himself. Where were all these thoughts coming from now, anyway?

A shadow fell across his path and he looked up. "Tarpals." It was the two Lieutenants he had seen earlier.

"That's *Captain* Tarpals to yousa," Tarpals corrected the one who had spoken.

The toughest of the two grabbed the older Gungan and slammed him against the wall. "Alrighty then, *Captain* Tarpals," he growled mockingly. "Wesa want a word with yousa."

"Fine. But yousa be putting me down first," Tarpals said, trying to wrench away.

"Mesa no think so, old-timer," the second one chimed in, moving closer.

"Tarpals, yousa always been the friend of Binks," the first one declared.

"No," Tarpals replied, "not always. But maybe mesa should have been." As soon as he'd said it, he knew it was true.

"Enough of that," the second one growled. "Yousa have close connections in the Gungan Grand Army. Yousa was responsible for Binks being made a General." It wasn't a question.

"Yousa wrong," Tarpals said, and of course they were. "Boss Nass got the idea hesaself. Mesa had nothing to do with it."

"And wesa should believe you?" The first one tightened his grip.

"Whysa not us?" the second one said. "Wesa been in the Gungan Grand Army for years and wesa haven't been made Generals yet."

Tarpals sighed wearily. "Yousa not ready for that responsibility yet."

"And Binks is?" The first one grabbed for Tarpals' throat, but the older Gungan was too quick for him and restrained his hands.

"Boss Nass thought so." Tarpals was frustrated and more than a little wary at dealing with these two. "Mesa had nothing to do with it."

"Yousa lying." The second one made an ugly grimace.

"Believe what yousa want to, but mesa telling the truth." Tarpals tried to push the muscular Gungan away. "Now let mesa go, Lieutenant." He emphasized the word "Lieutenant."

"Mesa not think so." The first one punched Tarpals harshly. "Mesa thinks yousa going to stay here."

"Your bad temper will be the death of yousa someday," Tarpals said, staring at him stonily. "Mesa not going to fight with yousa."

"Yousa not have much of a choice, mesa think." They shoved him roughly to the ground and began beating him furiously, not giving him any chance to defend himself. "Wesa never liked you, Tarpals, and now wesa going to show you how much!"

Tarpals struggled to get up but was knocked down again by the two Lieutenants viciously. "Mesa will slap the no-come-backie law on yousa so fast . . ."

"On the contrary, Tarpals," the first one said smugly. "Yousa the one who's no coming back!" He grabbed an abandoned electropole—dropped by a Gungan warrior during the battle—and sent a shock of electricity through the older Gungan.

Tarpals screamed in pain. He had never used such a high voltage of electricity in his electropole. Several blasts of such a high frequency could be lethal.

The first one violently kicked Tarpals against the nearby wall, causing him to hit his head hard on the stones and very nearly sending the old Gungan into oblivion.

"A few more hits ought to do it," the second one observed, striking him with a heavy club. By now Tarpals was much too weak to put up any kind of a fight.

Suddenly the ground started to shake.

"It's a fambaa stampede!" the second one yelled.

"We can use it to our advantage," replied the first one wickedly. "Let them finish the job for us." He shoved Tarpals hard against the wall again.

With that devious plan in mind, the two Lieutenants vanished into the shadows. Tarpals' death would look like an accident and no one would be the wiser.

What they weren't counting on was the ingenuity of the old Gungan. With his last ounce of strength, Tarpals managed to stumble around the corner of the ancient wall, out of the way of the charging fambaas, which, unbeknownst to Tarpals or his attackers, had been accidentally set loose by Jar Jar.

Before long, the bumbling Gungan General came along, chasing the fambaas and trying to recapture them. He stopped abruptly at the sight of the blood on the wall and ground and peered around the corner. "Captain Tarpals?" he asked hesitantly and worriedly, seeing his old friend laying hurt on the ground. Quickly he knelt down next to the other Gungan and gently pulled him into his arms, concerned.

Tarpals opened his eyes and Jar Jar could see the glazed look in them. "Jar Jar . . . watch out," he managed to say. "Theysa probably want yousa dead too."

"Whosa?" Jar Jar asked.

"Those two Lieutenants," Tarpals replied, drawing a ragged breath. "Yousa know—the ones that never liked me." He paused. "Theysa tried to kill me."

"But theysa not succeed," Jar Jar said, his eyes wide.

Tarpals smiled sadly. "Not quite yet, but mesa afraid theysa did succeed."

Jar Jar shook his head, his long ears flapping wildly. "No, Captain Tarpals, yousa can't die! Wesa friends. Yousa gotta stay."

"Mesa hasn't been a very good friend to yousa," Tarpals said haltingly.

"My thinks that yousa was," Jar Jar replied. "Captain Tarpals, yousa got me out of all kinds of jams." He paused. "And if yousa hadn't followed through with the no-come-backie law, maybe mesa would've never met the Jedi, and maybe wesa not win the battle."

"Ah, Jar Jar, yousa has always been forgiving and an optimist." Tarpals sighed. "If more of us were like yousa, maybe this would be a better galaxy to live in." With that, his injuries got the better of him and he fell limp in Jar Jar's arms, his eyes closing.

Jar Jar's own eyes filled with tears as he called his friend's name over and over, with no response. Captain Tarpals was dead, murdered by two of his own men.
The victory parade of Naboo was held several days later. Children, both human and Gungan, threw confetti and balloons into the air. The Jedi were there, and so was the Gungan Grand Army, riding their kaadus proudly down the street, led by Jar Jar Binks, Boss Nass, and oh yes, Captain Tarpals. It had been touch-and-go for a while, but the old Gungan hadn't died after all, much to the consternation of the Lieutenants, who were tracked down and imprisoned for attempted murder.

Jar Jar grinned broadly and called hello to the crowds, then turned to his friend. "Mesa very glad yousa back, Captain Tarpals," he said.

"Mesa glad too, Jar Jar," Tarpals replied. "Mesa glad too."