The Demon

One poster set during Episode II

Mural'vey was huddled into the shadows of his clan-mother's heavy tent, fervently praying that the darkness of the night and his dust-colored robes would hide him from the sand demon that had appeared so suddenly among them. Though still a child, Mural'vey already was warrior enough to almost give in to the call of blood as his clan-mates rushed at the beast that had come from the cold depth of Tatooine's heart to devour them all with his fiery blue breath. He found himself cheering his clan-mates on with ferocious growls, just low enough not to draw attention, and his hands clenched and unclenched into hard fists.

"Mural'vey! Clan-brother!" a voice called out weakly, and the little one flinched at the sudden unexpected sound. He squinted into the gloom and saw one of the warriors lying on the ground a few paces from his own hiding place. Blood was spreading around him like a widening hole of darkness, drawing him into the icy heart of the planet. Cautiously, trying to avoid being detected by the raging demon, Mural'vey crawled closer, and the warrior pushed his gaffi-stick at him determinedly. "Take this, clan-brother," he urged the youngster. "You should die today as what you were destined to be, a warrior."

Swallowing slowly, Mural'vey gingerly took the weapon in both of his hands, and shot a furtive glance at the demon that was still dancing in a circle of bright blue light, the roar of his voice a steady hum that filled the night. It was a frightening sight, and Mural'vey sat there undecided, the gaffi-stick held firmly in his hands. He let the warrior's words fill his very being, knowing full well that his decision had been made. The bond to his clan was too stong to ignore their call. Jumping up he rushed toward the demon, a snarl on his face.

"Demon!" he called, pitching his young voice higher to be heard over the din of battle. Now that he was closer, though, he realized that this was no battle, that the demon was simply felling one clan-mate after the other. It whirled to face Mural'vey in a halo of blue light that blinded the little one, but he gripped his gaffi-stick harder, determined. The demon's blue eyes were blazing and his pale, hairless face was cold and hard. Mual'vey lost his courage. When the demon lunged at him he jumped back, squealing in terror. He managed to avoid the demon's slashing teeth only by dropping to the gorund hard.

When Mural'vey rolled around quickly to fend the demon off with his gaffi-staff he came eye to eye with the beast, and stared up at the demon, paralyzed with dread. Half-heartedly he raised his weapon toward the beast to defend himself, but the blue teeth of the demon tore the gaffi-stick from his hands instantly. Moving instinctively, Mural'vey went for the demon's throat, abandoning all caution. He would die, he knew, but he did not want to die a coward. With humiliating ease the demon slapped him to the ground again. Bending over Mural'vey he gazed at him for some time, and the shadows seemed to draw away from his face, revealing the demon's true identity. Mural'vey gasped in disbelief. It was a human face, not a demon's, but for a brief moment it also seemed something else, something terrible.

"You will pay for my mother's death," the human hissed. "You will all pay."

Mural'vey closed his eyes, but it was too late to pray.