Star Wars
Campfire Tales
By Lucky_Ladybug


Notes: All the characters and locations (except for the mansion) belong to George Lucas (I'm just borrowing them for a bit)! The only thing belonging to me is the plot idea, which actually kinda came from an episode of the classic TV series "The Andy Griffith Show" ^_~ Thanx to JP for helping the plot move along, and hope y'all enjoy this! ^_^ BTW, if you're an Anti-Jarist, save us both some trouble and don't read and leave a rude review ;)


"Captain Tarpals! Captain Tarpals!!"

The old Gungan turned to see what was going on. He recognized the voice instantly as that of Jar Jar Binks, recently made a General in the Gungan Grand Army by Boss Nass before the Battle of Naboo. Unfortunately, he hadn't turned around quick enough, and Jar Jar suddenly clanked into him without warning, sending them both sprawling to the ground of the Naboo plains.

"Oh, mesa sorry, Captain Tarpals," Jar Jar exclaimed apologetically.

Tarpals opened his eyes slowly and couldn't decide whether he was looking at one Jar Jar or six. "What is it, Jar Jar?" he asked with a sigh.

"Mesa being chased by that chef and his friends," Jar Jar exclaimed, helping his friend stand up.

"The chef?" Tarpals looked at Jar Jar strangely. "Yousa don't mean the same chef whosa was in the Gungan Grand Army before being booted out for his bad temper?"

Jar Jar nodded frantically, his long ears flapping about wildly. "That'sa the one," he proclaimed. "Hesa said something about escaping from prison and wanting revenge."

Tarpals groaned. This was all he needed. Quite a while back, when he was being forced to banish Jar Jar from Otoh Gunga because of the "no-come-backie" law, that chef had ambushed them wanting revenge because Jar Jar had snuck into his kitchen and eaten some of his food and later addressed him as a "cooky," apparently a great insult to a chef, or at least to that one. Tarpals actually didn't remember the details of the ambush, but when he'd been revived by a frantic Jar Jar and told what had happened, he had rounded up the chef and his cronies—who Jar Jar had accidentally and quite unintentionally gotten the better of—and had arrested them. Now he was being told that this extremely violent chef (and his equally violent minions) had escaped from jail and were coming after them again?

"Jar Jar, does anyone know hesa escaped?"

"Mesa not know, Captain Tarpals," Jar Jar replied. "Mesa too scared to ask him. Mesa just run!"

"Come with me back to Otoh Gunga, Jar Jar," Captain Tarpals said, climbing onto his kaadu and motioning for the young Gungan to join him. "Wesa must gather a posse to go after them."

"Mesa no think there's time for that!" Jar Jar exclaimed, as he leaped on the kaadu in terror. "Theysa coming!!"

Tarpals turned to look and discovered—much to his dismay—that Jar Jar couldn't have been more right. The chef and his friends were charging towards them on stolen kaadus, and they were all wielding dangerous weapons.

"Captain Tarpals!! What's wesa gonna do??" Jar Jar shrieked. They ducked as a blue energy sphere flew overhead, very narrowly missing them.

It didn't take long to pick the best course of action. Tarpals clucked at his kaadu and snapped at the reins, and the beast took off running.

Jar Jar held on for dear life as they flew over the plains, ducking as energy spheres, butcher knifes, and Gungan-made javelins rained down around them. "Dissen very, very bombad!!" he pronounced, as they headed for an abandoned Naboo village.

"Theysa no giving up!" Tarpals exclaimed, watching the seemingly-endless torrent of weapons. "What did theysa do—break into the weapons facility??!"

That was a possibility Jar Jar did not want to consider. He could see that Captain Tarpals didn't look pleased with the thought either.

The kaadu rushed into the village, swerving in and out of old huts, terrified. When an energy sphere landed particularly close, she gave a cry of alarm, bucking up into the air and sending the two Gungans flying, which is how they landed quite unceremoniously in the living room of an ancient wealthyman's mansion, miraculously quite unhurt, for the most part.

"Captain Tarpals! Are theysa still coming?" Jar Jar looked around in panic.

"My doubt it," Tarpals replied with a groan. "Theysa probably think wesa dead after that tumble." He paused. "In fact, my not so sure we aren't."

Jar Jar helped him stand up and they surveyed their new surroundings. "Dissen bombad!" Jar Jar exclaimed in awe at the expensive furniture and ancient artifacts the owner had used to decorate. "Wesa in the ritz!"

"Wesa in the Gungan senator Rebus Ceel's home," Tarpals announced, looking around warily.

He wasn't prepared for Jar Jar's reaction to that. The young Gungan shrieked and covered his eyes, shaking. "Not the same Rebus Ceel whosa died mysteriously fifty years ago?" he said in a near whisper.

"Yes, that Rebus Ceel. Hesa was one of the only Gungans to make his permanent home on land instead of underwater."

"Then, this place is-a haunted!" Jar Jar yelped.

"Haunted? What kind of nonsense is that?" Tarpals gave Jar Jar an odd look.

"Theysa tell about the pictures eyeballin' yousa when yousa walk down the hall," Jar Jar said, terrified. "And about thesa trapdoors that open up and swallow yousa, and the javelins that hesa was supposedly killed with floatin' through the air . . ."

"That's enough, Jar Jar," Tarpals interrupted. "It doesn't mean anything; theysa just campfire stories."

Jar Jar opened his eyes cautiously. "Yousa sure, Captain Tarpals?"

"Very sure," the old Gungan replied. "But haunted or no, wesa best be leaving." He turned to look back where the window was, and gasped. "If wesa can find the way out."

"The window is gone!!!!" Jar Jar screamed. "That's another sign of haunting—being trapped in!"

"Nonsense," Tarpals replied. "My must have just miscalculated. Come on, this way." He led Jar Jar down what seemed to be a never-ending hallway.

"Captain Tarpals," Jar Jar whispered, "thesa pictures are starin' at us!"

Tarpals turned to look and didn't see anything out of the ordinary. "Yousa imagination is runnin' away with you, Jar Jar," he said.

"No, no, theysa was looking!" Jar Jar insisted.

Tarpals sighed. "Theysa not lookin'. Now, come on." When he didn't get a response, he looked around, baffled. "Jar Jar? Jar Jar!! Now where did hesa go?" There was no sign of the other Gungan anywhere, and the military officer had no choice but to go back down the hall, calling for him.

Suddenly Jar Jar appeared out of seemingly nowhere, looking quite baffled himself.

"Jar Jar!! Where did yousa go?" Tarpals scolded.

"My don't know," Jar Jar replied. "But mesa would've never gotten out of the trapdoor thing if yousa hadn't pushed me."

"What?? My no push yousa out from anywhere!" Tarpals declared.

Jar Jar's eyes went wide. "Captain Tarpals, somebody did!!"

Tarpals gave the younger Gungan a suspicious glance. "My wonder if there's hooligans holed up in here. Maybe wesa should have a look around."

"No, Captain Tarpals, no looks around!" Jar Jar pleaded. "Wesa might never get out!"

"Don't be ridiculous," Tarpals scolded. "Wesa will get out."

"But there's spooks in here," Jar Jar moaned.

"There's no spooks," Tarpals replied, "but there might very well be hoodlums of some sort." He headed off toward the drawing room. "Come, Jar Jar." The young Gungan reluctantly followed, not wanting his friend to have to deal with the spooks, hoodlums, or whatever all by himself.
****
"Mesa no see anything in here," Jar Jar said after a thorough search of all the downstairs rooms. "Can wesa be going now, Captain Tarpals?"

"Not yet, Jar Jar," Tarpals said with a pre-occupied wave of his hand. "Check behind that door."

Gulping loudly, Jar Jar went to the door Tarpals indicated and inched it open. He looked back at Tarpals pleadingly.

"I'm right here," the older Gungan assured him.

Jar Jar stared into the blackness. "My think it leads to a basement," he announced. "Any hoodlums down there?" he called in a quavering voice. When he didn't get an answer, he shut the door quickly. "There's no one down there," he said. Tarpals only shook his head and sighed in reply.

"Come, Jar Jar, now wesa must check the next floor," Tarpals told him.

"Captain Tarpals, there's a javelin floating in the air," Jar Jar said in a near whisper.

Tarpals looked up casually and frowned, pulling the weapon down. "There's more going on here than meets the eye," he told Jar Jar.

"Captain Tarpals, there's ghosts livin' here," Jar Jar insisted.

"Oh, now don't start that nonsense again," Tarpals groaned, heading out of the room. Jar Jar hurried to keep up, but somehow in the long, winding hallway, he managed to loose the other Gungan.

Jar Jar stood there uncertainly, watching the cobwebs swaying slightly and being certain that he was hearing strange noises that wouldn't be heard in an ordinary residence. "Captain Tarpals?" he called. He heard a weird ghostly sound to his right. "Captain Tarpals!!!" Jar Jar freaked out and ran for the nearest room, which turned out to be the sitting room. "Mesa all alone," he realized.

But not for long. Jar Jar jumped as he heard something crash upstairs, and gasped as, without warning, Captain Tarpals tumbled down the stairs, coming to a stop at the bottom and laying still.

"Oie!" Jar Jar exclaimed, horrified. "Captain Tarpals? Captain Tarpals!!" He desperately tried to arouse his friend, without success. "Dissen very, very bombad!"

Maniacal laughter was heard throughout the room. "Ahhh, Binks," it said, "Jar Jar Binks. I was hoping you would come visit me."

Jar Jar shuddered in fear, but suddenly a burst of courage came to him and he stood up defiantly, coming to the staircase. "Are yousa the one whosa hurt Captain Tarpals?"

"Ah, Tarpals. Now he was too easy. A swift knock on the head, a fall down the stairs, and it's bye bye, Captain Tarpals. You Gungans are too easy to surprise. This is just like it was with Old Man Ceel."

It was a rare thing to see the sweet and kind Jar Jar angry, but now he was positively furious. "Yousa kill Gungans?"

"Not always." The voice sounded dismissive, non-chalant. "Sometimes I like to have fun with them first."

"Yousa very, VERY bombad!" Jar Jar burst out, outraged.

The voice only laughed.

"And Captain Tarpals is a high-ranking officer in the Gungan Grand Army," Jar Jar went on. "If'n anyone surprises him, it only works once, and then hesa gets them!"

"Ah, but once is all it takes for it to be one time too many." The voice's meaning was clear.

"Yousa lying!" Jar Jar said indignantly. "Captain Tarpals isn't dead!"

"Oh, now I don't know about that." The voice was now soft and eerie. "He looks pretty dead to me."

"Yousa obviously hasn't seen anyone dead for a while," a gravelly voice remarked sarcastically.

"Captain Tarpals! Yousa okieday!" Jar Jar exclaimed, relieved.

Tarpals brought himself up, leaning on his electropole, which he then pointed up the stairs in the direction of the voice. "My think this. . . ." He paused, searching for the right word. "Thing," he said finally, since it had dawned on him that he didn't really know what it was, "doesn't know whosa he's dealing with."

"On the contrary," the voice replied, "you don't know who you're dealing with here." He didn't sound at all surprised that Tarpals was alive.

"Yousa knew that Captain Tarpals wasn't dead," Jar Jar realized. "Yousa was just tryin' to scare mesa!"

The voice didn't deny it. "I said that I liked to have fun with the Gungans before eliminating them."

"Yousa sicko," Tarpals accused. "And yousa under arrest for assaulting a military officer."

"Go right ahead, old-timer," the voice taunted. "Come on and get me!"

Captain Tarpals headed up the stairs, determined. Jar Jar's eyes went wide. "Captain Tarpals, yousa might get hurt again!"

"Don't worry, Jar Jar. Hesa can't surprise mesa again," Tarpals assured him.

Jar Jar trailed up the stairs after him, looking frantically left and right and back again. "Captain Tarpals, mesa no see anyone!"

"Hesa here somewhere," Tarpals said grimly. "Most likely hesa in hidin', waiting to jump us."

"That's what my is afraid of," Jar Jar replied, barely above a whisper.

"Wesa know you're here," Tarpals called. "Yousa might as well give yourself up now."

A spooky laugh was the only answer.

"Captain Tarpals, my is starting to think that this thing isn't alive," Jar Jar announced, grabbing the other Gungan's arm to hold him back.

"Don't be ridiculous, Jar Jar," Tarpals replied. "What, yousa think some dead guy is going around killing people, like a zombie?"

"My thinks it's a ghost," Jar Jar whispered.

"Of course," Tarpals sighed wearily. "My should've known."

Suddenly the furniture started flying at them from all directions. Tarpals used his electropole to shock the chairs, lamps, and couches into submission while Jar Jar shrieked in horror, "It's a poltergeist!!!"

"Nonsense," Tarpals said, but he sounded slightly doubtful. "Jar Jar, watch out for the flying coffee table!!" Jar Jar yelped and dove for the floor, dragging Tarpals with him.

"What do you think now?" The voice suddenly came out from nowhere, chuckling wickedly.

"My think that yousa's gonna be in prison for a long time," Tarpals said.

"Oh, but I've already been in prison," the voice replied eerily. "They can't keep me in."

"What, yousa some kind of escape artist or something?" Tarpals was definitely not amused.

"Or something," the voice agreed. Jar Jar shuddered fearfully. "Had enough yet?"

"That's another charge against yousa—resisting arrest," Tarpals returned dryly.

"You're gonna be sorry you didn't give up when you had the chance," the voice said airily. "Then again, I'm going to enjoy this." With that, the furniture started flying again, only more forcefully.

"Captain Tarpals, wesa dyin' in here!" Jar Jar exclaimed.

"Not if my can help it," Tarpals replied. "Come on!" He dove under a falling couch and Jar Jar leaped over it, and they headed for the nearest door, which led into a bedroom with a large window.

Jar Jar stared out through the glass. It was a long drop to the bottom. "Wesa can't go out this way!" he protested.

"This might be the only way out, Jar Jar," Tarpals replied grimly.

"Leaving already?" Suddenly a horrible thing appeared in front of them. It didn't look like anything either of them had ever seen before. The voice matched that of whatever had been taunting them for the past hours.

Jar Jar screamed and fainted. Captain Tarpals stared at the thing stonily. "What are you?" he demanded.

"You don't need to know that right now," it responded.

"Was Jar Jar right about yousa?" Tarpals asked, not backing down.

"Perhaps. I am doomed to haunt this house forever more because of what I did when I was alive."

Upon hearing that statement, Tarpals realized that if they could just get out of the mansion, they'd be safe. Well, he had a few tricks to try. Quickly he opened the window, then calculated the distance from it to the nearby lake. The thing made no move to stop him.

"Ahh, clever, aren't you?" it commented. "You're going to use your electricity stick to propel yourself and your friend into the lake, are you not?" Tarpals only stared at it stonily. "Well, not that I want to hasten your departure, but fall comes early this year!"

With that it threw a large wardrobe. Tarpals ducked just as it flew out the open window. "Jar Jar! We have to leave now!" The younger Gungan moaned, muttering something about monsters. With a sigh, Tarpals grabbed Jar Jar and the electropole and then they were gone, flying out the window just as a barrage of items was sent in for the attack.

"Be sure to come back again!" the thing cackled. "We were just getting to know each other! You are a much more worthy opponent than Old Man Ceel!"
****
The Gungans landed in the water with a loud splash. Jar Jar's eyes snapped open. "Heydie ho, Captain Tarpals, did wesa escape the monster?"

Tarpals sighed. "My suppose wesa did. It said it was under house arrest—in a sense—so it shouldn't be followin' us out here." He decided there was no point in scaring Jar Jar by telling him the full truth.

They climbed out of the water. "Where wesa goin' now, Captain Tarpals?" Jar Jar asked.

"Back to Otoh Gunga to organize the posse to track down the chef," Tarpals replied.

"Oh, mesa forgot all about the chef," Jar Jar said. "What with all the trouble wesa was havin' in there."

As they started back to the city, Jar Jar gasped. "Captain Tarpals! The mansion . . . vanished!!"

"What? Jar Jar, what nonsense . . ." Before Tarpals could finish his sentence, he saw indeed that the old place wasn't where it should've been. It had disappeared. "The campfire stories are true then," he remarked in hushed tones.

"What campfire stories, Captain Tarpals?" Jar Jar looked at his friend, wide-eyed.

Tarpals sighed. "Theysa say that this place disappears for long stretches of time and then reappears when the ghost that's haunting it wants to have some more fun."

"Oie!" Jar Jar exclaimed. "That's bombad!"

"My just wish . . ." Tarpals stopped.

"Yousa just wish what, Captain Tarpals?" Jar Jar asked curiously.

"That wesa had stumbled on it during its disappearing act," Tarpals replied ruefully.