Floating Lost

He awoke to a vision of glass cracking like a spider’s web and the sound of screaming in his ears. The screaming he had heard before: it was his mother’s, when he had killed her.

Brant dragged himself up from where he’d fallen asleep lolled across his desk. For a second, he wasn’t even sure which desk it was. Navy, the Covenant? The one he hardly used at Velmor? They all started to look the same after a while. He pressed his face against the cool glass of the window, cognition slowly trickling back in. He was on a ship, without helmet or mask. That ruled out two desks, and as for the other… the sigil on the wall was wrong. So not Navy, but the ISS-Relentless. Close enough.

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Kellaro and his brother Brant were getting along better now. It had been touch and go for many months, with the two fighting as often as they spoke, but bit by bit, the aggression had died down. Brant tolerated Kellaro’s advances of friendship, and Kellaro swallowed his concerns to try to simply be there for the Sith when he was needed.

Yet there were times, when Brant’s eyes gleamed sulphur-yellow, and it seemed like someone, or something else entirely, was looking out of them. …nor could Kellaro forget what had happened to their parents.

Brant’s eyes had been unreadable then too, the day he had confessed what had happened. Not yellow, but flat and dead, as if the soul had retreated back beyond them instead of witness what had been done, what was being said. And in his brother’s soul, Kellaro sensed a kind of wildness, like the anoobas that had howled at night around his mother’s old Tatooine moisture farm. The sounds were hunting calls, or heralds of a death having taken place, where the hyena-like creatures would gather in large numbers to fight and to feast.

But every so often, just one anooba would howl long into the night with no answer, a lonely, desperate call for its missing family, and Kellaro could see that in Brant’s eyes sometimes too. And when Kellaro spoke to Brant, that was the anooba he tried to reach.

“I think he forgave before you even ignited your saber,” Kellaro told Brant, when not for the last time, the topic of their parents’ murder came up. “Father knew what the Sith were about, the lengths they’d go to break you. It was never your fault, Brant.”

And the eyes would become a little less wild.

They never talked about their mother, however. Kellaro didn’t know her part in the story in those dark catacombs, only assuming she, like their father, had sacrificed herself so that Brant could live. Yet Brant had grown up around her. It wouldn’t have been the quick stroke against a near-stranger as their father’s death had been. Her face, her cry: these would have been familial to Brant, a betrayal of the worst kind, beyond even dar’manda. Realizing that in full, Kellaro thought, would break him.

So no, they never talked about Mother.

“…But I Got It Back!”

The other bookend to “You Lost Our Ship?!”

Author’s Note

“Nine thousand ninety-eight…nine thousand ninety-nine… ninety-one hundred!” Kellaro exclaimed, slapping the credits into the Sullustan mechanic’s hands.

The wait was agonizing as the alien counted the money and then took one last look at the Dynamic-class Freighter Kellaro was trading in. Kellaro started bouncing impatiently on his heels, but finally, finally, the alien passed him the deed to his family’s old Mantis spaceship.

“Take a look at that, Brant!” he said a few minutes later, as they walked into the hangar and turned on the lights. The lamps took a few minutes to warm up, going from a dim orange to a brighter and brighter yellow. The effect it had on the ship was something like a smoky dawn, the empty cockpit casting a forlorn expression of long-suffering through the gloom, at least until the Mandalorian sigils for Clans Lok and Lok’kar as well as a series of handprints were illuminated across the ship’s bow, transforming the ship’s frown into a rictus grin.

Kellaro glanced over at Brant to see if he was as excited as Kellaro was, but Brant’s expression was almost as pained as the ship’s. He broke from Kellaro, crossing over to it and brushing his hand against the underside of the nose, around the housing for one of the ion cannons. His hand came to rest over one of the handprints in their row under the cockpit: a small one, no larger than a child’s. It was his own, made more than a decade ago.

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Ground Pounding

The base was oddly silent, despite the space battle taking place only a few kilometers overhead. The soft clinks of Kellaro’s armor filled the air instead, and Kellaro winced each time he took a step. He wasn’t making that much noise, but it felt like it, and he kept expecting to meet guards around every corner.

Eventually his expectations were fulfilled, as he came around another bend and met a flurry of blasterfire. He dodged back around, now wincing in pain instead of the anticipation of it. His assailants did not pursue, and Kellaro took the moment to flip open his wrist bracer and start a quick scan.

Three droids, two small turrets. That would explain the lack of pursuit. They had to be guarding something, and Kellaro bet his best blaster pistol that that something was his goal.

Kellaro flicked open his comms unit. “Hey, Imadulc, could you send in a strike to the base?”

“Kzzzzsghksssgzzzzsh.” Kellaro couldn’t clearly hear her voice over all the static, but it sounded irate. And then…

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Sun Eater

It had been the first real reprieve he’d had since the droid crisis began. Brant returned to his Dromund Kaas apartment late in the evening, still limping slightly on one leg. The medics told him to take it easy, but Brant paced the full length of the apartment anyway, the stabbing pain reminding him of how far he’d come — and how far yet he still had to go.

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Tale Out of Time (I.E. Version)

This is an updated version of “Tale Out of Time“, to bring it into Imperial Equinox canon.

Author’s note

“Mother! Mother! Look who it is! It’s Dad!”

“Oh, Kellaro. Not again…”

“I mean it this time! I really saw him! He was on the holo!”

The young teenager excitedly shoved the holocom into her hands, his fingers still pressing buttons as he passed the disc to her. It was an Eternal Empire broadcast; the Zakuul Knights were hunting for the pictured man, nicknamed the Assassin: a bounty hunter wanted for aiding the Alliance with hit-and-run tactics along the Outer Rim.

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“You Lost Our Ship?!”

Kellaro was floored, almost literally, as he opened the bill. He started gesticulatingat it wordlessly, as the Sullustan mechanic pulled off his oily gloves and then just looked at him with a raised brow.

“I can’t afford this,” Kellaro finally stuttered out.

“It’s an old and rare ship,” the mechanic answered. “You think those parts come cheap?”

“Well no, but…” Continue reading ““You Lost Our Ship?!””

Kellaro Lok’kar

Name: Kellaro Lok’kar
Race: Human
Sex: Male
Age: 19
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 170 lb.
Physical Features: Brown-skinned, black-haired, dark blue eyes.
Personality Traits: Cheerful and friendly, though keeps his true feelings close to his chest. Stubborn and a tad reckless.
Place of Birth: aboard his father’s Mantis ship
Residence: aboard his Mantis ship

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The Dream

“What does that button do?”

“That’s the throttle.”

“And that one?”

“The landing gear.”

“And THAT one?”

The old Mandalorian sighed and rolled his eyes. “That’s the ejector switch, for the seat you’re sitting in right now.”

The little boy’s blue eyes went wide. “Whoa…”

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Last Night

This one takes a darker turn after the events in “The Mettle of a Mandalorian”. It might be a tough read, but it seemed important to me, both to show the developing bond between these two, as well as the nature of trauma. It carries references to “The Crucible of Korriban” and “The Mirages of Tatooine”.

Author’s Note

Kellaro’s face was gray, but his leg was grayer. Brant banged into his ward in the infirmary, expecting mayhem or murder after his brother’s frightened holocall in the middle of the night, but it was just Kellaro lying there, propped up in his pillows, and rubbing, rubbing, rubbing at his leg like it was one of the djinn lanterns from the stories.

Brant groaned, rubbed his eyes as he relaxed back against the door. “Whatever’s going on, it’s way too early for this,” he muttered. He squinted at Kellaro between his fingers. “So what’s the matter, exactly? Bad dream? Too much spice?”

“My leg,” said Kellaro tensely. Continue reading “Last Night”