Sands of destiny.
A long drawn out moan of heavy metallic supports struggling under the weight of their super structure rang out once again.The hundreds of hallways and corridors dim their lights flickering or simply dead transforming the halls into a black abyss. the entire ship was devoid of life, the thousands of rooms were empty of all but corpses of those who could not escape the havoc save one, a single room, a cell held a lone occupant of the derelict Imperator class one star destroyer. Unconscious and hanging against the wall, his arms over his head clasped in cuffs,the creature seemed almost dead, completely nude with several cuts and bruises,his ribs were showing from starvation. though the bruises were barely seen under his fur the cuts were plain as starlight.
The Mighty Imperial star destroyer found its demise in an asteroid cluster between Tatooine and Bothawui.It had only been a few decades after the might of the Empire fell to ruin at the hands of the rebellion and peace for a time washed over the galaxy.Remnants of the empire fled to all corners of the outer Galaxy some were found and surrendered to the stronger forces in power,others duked it out in a last ditch effort to regain Imperial control.Either case the lone Star destroyer met its end not by the vengeful Blasters of the new order republic,or the vicious grasp of pirates,but rather by the foolish decision of its commander to drop out of warp to navigate the very asteroid field it now drifts, unknown to the Commander or the crew old remnants from battles taken out in this lone sector remained and the Doomed capital cruiser plunged nose first into a three kilometer wide seismic charge mine field.
The initial blasts killed hundreds aboard, while the survivors scrambled to escape charge after charge went off one after the other tearing the ship in half. The few survivors fled the ship via shuttle and other craft many flew right into the minefield, tie fighter and shuttle alike were denigrated by the concussive charges.Three of the four captives died from their wounds having been subjected to the torture of many Imperial interrogations while the lone survivor only endured a single session of the torture. his second session was being carried out when the ship met its doom. the Interrogator fled the cell before his first cut leaving the door wide open after the power failed on several decks.Now days later the ship drifts in several pieces,its forward half appearing as if it were mauled by a pack of wolves.the back half was thrown a few hundred kilometers away from the mine field by the concussive shock waves. A fail safe in the ship was able to activate bulkhead doors that slammed shut when halls were exposed to the vacuum of space.Bodies floated in the ships debris field shredded by the force of suction that ripped them from the Destroyers hull. The grim scene was thankfully not that far from a common space route known as the smugglers run,and the planet of tatooine was not far from the Asteroids.
The echoing blast of a ship dropping out of warp resounded in the lonely expanse of space,The old bulky vessels forward fog lights flashed to life, its chin light swiveled as eyes inside the ships beak shaped cockpit followed its glare.
"Be careful,these asteroids are filled with mines!." Grunted an angry Twi'lek who looked over the shoulder of a Trandosian pilot.Nervously the reptile grasped the controls of the twenty meter long ship the pilot slowly began to coast the vessel through the asteroid belt,passing massive rock after massive rock. A Rodian and human stared out of view ports following their fog lights as they searched for salvage,the Rodian was scrawny and the Human muscular.The rustling of a pair of greedy hands rubbing together filled the cockpit,"Oh come on baby,I know there has got to be a good asteroid out here rife with spice." spoke the Twi'lek to himself,the Trandosian grunted as he navigated the ramshackle ship up and over one asteroid then under another the dorsal fin scraping the surface of the massive stone eliciting a grunt from the reptile pilot. a growl from the Twi'lek and worried looks from The Rodian and man.
The vessel was once an imperial Lambda shuttle bought in a scrap yard then retrofitted with a long bulky body with a front loading ramp under the raised cockpit and neck. a trio of exterior engines two on each flank with wings thrusting out over them.and a dorsal fin standing atop the ship fused with the third engine. multiple blaster turrets decorated the bow and three arms for gathering scrap and spice. the vessel was the embodiment of Piracy and smuggling.The Rodian Sookcool was about to complain when his fellow pale skinned pirate spoke up to their leader,"Sir I found something, look!." the Human pointed out of his own side view port at a massive chunk of debris passing the vessel the Twi'lek stared at the hunk of grey scrap.scrunching his face he turned his gaze to his Trandosian pilot,"watch out for scrap from ships, maybe we find the hull and can get-" he was cut off when the trandosian patted his shoulder and pointing through the forward window after passing between a trio of asteroids stuck together in an odd formation with space between them just enough for the shuttle to squeeze through, he spotted and pointed at the massive ass end of a Imperial 1 class star destroyer adrift in open space.
"By the Hutts' Look at that!." exclaimed the Twi'lek staring in awe with his trio of crew at the massive hulk,"Has it been in some kind of battle?." asked the Rodian, quickly leaving the cockpit to peer through the bubble of the port side behind the neck.the Human shook his head,"No there were mines scattered in these asteroids, she must of hit one weeks or days ago, set the whole damned field off from the look of it." the Trandosian hissed a bit and looked back up at his Captain,"What do you think boss?,should we check it out?" The Tail head was rubbing his chin while peering over the massive ship only a few kilometers from them.he threw his arms up and laughed,"I say its abandoned,lets go raid the Damn thing before some other bastard comes along and dose it for us." The group all agreed and with extreme care the Trandosian coasted their vessel under the Stardestroyer's belly and gently settled against its hull extending the dorsal arm the Trandosian flipped a switch activating a magnetic lock then with another few buttons and a switch he extended a dorsal umbilical tube. the reptiles fingers were like that of a pianist's dancing across the console pressing several keys and flipping more switches,"the Destroyer has pressure,and air,though its structurally crippled and may go soon." announced the Trandosian, he shut down the engines and flipped off the exterior lights to mask their presence. he looked up when the captain patted his shoulder,"Stay here Riisan,watch the ship." the reptile nodded and watched as his three companions left the cockpit up the ladder into the tube, he sat down in the leather seat and busied himself with running scans of the surrounding area.
It did not take the trio long to get access to the massive hulk, using an old air lock hatch where they locked the umbilical and a few lock picking techniques the trio climbed inside the ship and the Captain was the first to set his rancor skin boots on the black floor panel of one of the many corridors he drew a blaster and stared about the flickering hall as his companions entered in his wake."Alright boys,split up find any thing of value and take it to our ship don't stop until your sure you got everything not nailed down!." the others nodded and both started in opposite directions,the captain grinned and started to make his way down one of the many halls following its long eerie length though he was not phased by it this was not the first abandoned ship he came across and for him he knew it wouldn't be the last.
"Creepy isn't it?." spoke the Rodian into his headset comm,"yea bet we find lots of weapons." responded the Human.Capro switched on his wrist mounted flash lights to see where he was going as his boots echoed down the hall he had chosen. it had been four hours since the group had made their discovery,and already they had found weapons, armor, clothes, bits of mechanics for weapons and computers. Capro even found a hand full of credits.For Capro the Pirate life was supposed to be full of adventure and gun fights,but as far as he knew that was all Bantha foder.His Days as a pirate under the leadership of Rach-Tac were filled with smuggling,and salvage operations like this one.all of which made dear Capro's pockets quite deep but he found the work tedious and boring. though he liked the money and what all the heavy lifting did to his body, He was well built,thick biceps and a lot of upper body strength.His boots brought him to an extremely unsettling area,the brig.The brown haired man had heard stories about the damn near evil way imperials treated their prisoners from old drunks and pilots. Taking a deep breath and shrugging Capro thought to himself,'Better chek them just in case.' The Man drew a large vibro blade and pried open a cell door to peer inside, aiming a blaster in the other hand with his wrist mounted lamps he frowned seeing nothing.
On the other side of the ship Capro's fellow pirate had made a significant discovery when he entered into what appeared to be an officers quarters,the room was lit just barely by the large windows allowing natural stellar illumination inside.the Rodian turned over a table and opened drawers but what he found in the bedroom was why he yelled into his comm link."I found a light saber!." Rack dropped a box he was holding and yelled into the comm,"what!?." the Rodian nodded pridefully looking the weapon over."its gold and silver with a black leather grip!." the Rodian aimed his light around the room looking for an occupant but never found one,"It was just sitting here!."Capro shook his head,"Sookcool,press the button on it see what color it is." the lanky Rodian did as his elder instructed,the piercing sound of a laser extending into a stable blade sang out with the red glow it emitted cast a hue on everything."its red!." Capro didn't like the sound of that.He had heard stories of Sith and their favorite color being red."Leave it boy!,it will only bring trouble",The lanky rodian frowned and was about to drop the weapon when Rack spoke up,"Are you daft Capro?, Sookcool you take it back to the ship right now!, that weapon will make us rich!." Capro muttered into his comm."or dead." With renewed energy the Rodian ransacked the rest of the room finding many finely sewn and seamed clothing of expensive fabric.even the bedding came with him dragging behind the smaller alien down the hall to their ship.
Another two hours ground by and the cargo bay of the pirate ship was filling up with goods.Sook was sitting on a box laughing with the Trandosian as he made a joke when the boot falls of their captain caused them both to look up and welcome him with a drink only to gape in awe when their leader set down a red and white box. unlatching it he pulled the lid open to reveal it was full of preciouse spice.the Small Rodian and Trandosian both stowed the box while the Twi'lek drank from the bottle he was offerd. He stared at his pair of subordinates laboring with organizing the pile of plunder only seeing A Trandosian and a lanky Rodian,"Where the hell is Capro?" the angry captain grumbled when both shrugged their shoulders, the Twi'lek spoke into his comm,"Capro where the hell are you?, were ready to get out of here." Capro stood before the last cell door, each other cell he had investigated were occupied by a few rotting corpses and a bowl of molded food.grumbling a bit he leaned his sword against the wall and spoke into his comm unit."I'm checking the last cell for anything useful or valuable." Rach shook his head,"Thorough as ever aint you, well hurry up this place gives me the heeby jeebies. Damn ship is a Tomb."
There was a chuckle from Capro as he was about to pry open the final cell door only to stop seeing it was already opend half way he frowned a bit and cautiously traded vibro sword for blaster pistol aiming gun and light into the cell only to blink when his cones of florescence revealed the naked furred body of a Ranat hanging on the wall of his cell, wrists clasped in cuffs over his head, pink furless toes hanging inches off the flooring.The human cautiously stepped into the cell noticing the lack of carrion stench. he checked each corner of the small room for other occupants. The Human's green eyes lay upon the cart of assorted primitive torture instruments and he felt his stomach turn at the idea of such brutality. Each utensil had a different kind of blade needle or hook to it.shaking his head the Corellian stepped closer to the hanging creature feeling pity for the small being and with a small thimble of hope the creature lived he held his hand in front of the Ranat's nose.
Capro felt a chill go up his spine when he felt the humid warm breath of the captive creature graze his fingers causing the hairs to stand up on each digit. Alarmingly the breath was very shallow, with a bit of a shiver Capro holstered his blaster and ran his hand over the creatures chest finding a few scars and slowly healing wounds from torture. his fingers traced over the rodents ribs, then up to the Ranant's throat. carefully the large male held his fingers under the Ranant's chin lifting that whiskered snout up to peer into the small creatures face. It was soft and fair Capro even found it to be cute. The Ranant had a head of short raven black locks only going down to his jawline.
Those ears struck a cord in the mans heart and he gave a low defeated sigh he gently let the Ranant's head lower, emerald orbs peering at closed lids of jet black."I'm going to regret this, but I cant just leave you like this." with a low groan knowing what he was likely bringing the Ranant into the human reached up to inspect the cuffs. cringing at the cuts in the rats wrists the cold cruel bands of metal had made.
Turning he took up one of the the knife like torture tools and began to pry apart the cuffs nearly breaking the knife in the process but each cuff came off easily enough. Capro held an arm beneath the Ranant's left shoulder, feeling the light weight of him drop onto his bulk when the left cuff was removed then the right was pried off. Capro dropped the knife and held the prisoner against his large chest, the Ranant's arms dangled limp at his sides, his lithe slender torso draped against the heavy man. drawing in a breath the human sighed, running his hands along the Ranants back, trailing his fingers through that luxurious fur for a moment before stopping. Capro winced trailing a fingernail along a rut in the back, then another and another."They whipped you?." shaking his head the man adjusted the Ranant in his arms, cradling him like a lover. That pale bearded face peered into the black snout, finger reaching to feel if the rat was breathing still. finding he was Capro quietly apologized to the Ranant,"I'm sorry." he turned to leave the cell only to growl inwardly when he heard the annoying voice of his captain."So d'ya find anything Capro were ready to get outa here and get paid and drunk!." Capro shook his head and with gentle ease shifted the only survivor of the ship over his shoulder and left the cell.
"hey you found a rat!." commented Riisan followed with a disturbing hiss, Capro nodded and gently lay his catch on the piled up bundle of clothing and bedding ,then lay the black cloak Sookcool had found over him.Rach rubbed his chin and hopped out of his seat to inspect the find,gripping the rats chin and moving his unconscious head about rouphly,"Eh he dosen't look like much."Capro shrugged gathering a glass bottle of water for the rodent"Meh,he looked like he would be worth something, besides I couldn't leave him hanging there." Roch looked over at his human compodrat "Capro you suddenly get a concise?" the pale skinned man laughed and shook his head doing his best to not let his emotions show for the rodent,"I meant, what use is he hanging there when we can sell him?" The Twi'lek nodded with renewed approval before he stared at the Ranat for a moment then sighed and plopped down next to him watching as the human came back over to the Ranant, sitting down beside the small black furred catch and propped up his head with that fur less hand.
"He's dehydrated, no telling how long he was in that cell." Rock rolled his eyes laying back in the clothing and bedding loosing an annoyed sigh.The man pressed the spout of the bottle to the vermin's lips and pushed it gently passed those teeth and tipped the head back letting the water wash over the rodents tongue and into his throat. letting the dead weight of the unconscious creature lean into his shoulder the man rubbed the Ranant's thin throat to prompt swallowing as he gave him more water. the Rodian and Trandosian retracted the umbilical and began to navigate through what was left of the asteroid field and through the carnage of the destroyers bow. the rest of the trip through the asteroids was smooth and almost boring for the advanced piloting skills of the reptile.the entire mine field had gone up disintegrating the majority of the asteroids. Roch rubbed his head and stood to walk up the ramp into the cock pit leaving the human to tend to the Ranant.the Twi'lek leaned against a console and stared at Riisan,"set course for Tatooine." The Trandosian looked up and smiled,"i already did Capin." the twi'lek grinned wickedly,"Good,then jump im eager to see what kind of profit we rake in this time." with those final words the ship launched into hyper space leaving behind the ransacked hulk of a relic behind.
The Captain sat in a seat for a good ten minutes staring into a cup of water, Sook was fast asleep while Capro was sitting with the Ranat and Riisan was transfixed on his display"We will be at Tatooine in five minutes captain."with a nod and a stretch the Twi'lek rose from his seat and left the cock pit entering the main hull,he stopped when he spotted the only other organism in the whole ship sitting up and looking around,hugging the black cloak close to his chest while Capro sat next to him trying to give the little creature a ration stick comprised of nuts and grain. the vermin seemed frightened of the human but gingerly accepted the stick of grain giving it an experimental nibble before biting the thing in half with what could only be the hunger of someone who had been starved.
With a careful hand on his blaster the Twi'lek cleared his throat.The rodents pointed narrow nose jerked towards the tail head,those beady red eyes staring at him Capro seemed annoyed the Tail-head interrupted his bonding with the alien rodent. And doubly so when the Twi'lek tisked him away from the prisoner."Get back to your station were almost at Tatooine."What neither the Twi'lek or Human were expecting next was for the rodent to speak."W-where am I?" always the casual suave pirate Roch walked along the loot riddled deck to the living plunder momentarily ignoring the human figuring the man would listen to orders.kneeling the Twi'lek offered his cup of water to the cloak bundled rat."your on my ship, The Rancor. and were about to be over your new home, that's all you need to know, now drink." the rodent stared at the grey skinned Twi'lek for a moment and accepted the offered drink,sipping gingerly then a little faster.
Rock chuckled when the rat swigged the liquid in fast greedy gulps emptying the cup's contents down his throat. Roch took the vessel back and patted the rat on the head,"Might wanna hold onto that cloak,may end up being the only thing you posses, Might sell it with you as a bundle!." rising and with a cackle the twi'lek wanderd back to the cock pit to over see the arrival. leaving the rat to sit there, the rodent's waking mind's gears turning. it was the Twi'leks turn to be annoyed as Capro stood up and shouted."Sir!, We all plundered the Stardestroyer, and chose the pick of the litter for ourselves. Riisan got a new chest piece, Sookcool got a fur blanket!." the Twi'lek raised a brow, his hand resting on the wooden handle of his blaster turning on the man."And?, you saying you haven't chosen your pick of the loot?" the man shook his head then thrust a hand to the rat who looked up with a gasp, eyes wide, ears flat."I choose the Ranat."
The Twi'lek laughed and shook his head,but Capro stood his ground."I found him, I carried him back to the ship, he belongs to me." Rock's smile dissapeared for a moment,"Alright Capro, you can have him. but if, and only if no one on Tatooine buys him first." the Twi'lek stared at the rat,"Which will be no doubt a forgone conclusion, look at him." the Ranat's eyes were locked on the two men, the vermin scooting back in between two crates of ill gotten goods."he is smaller than Sookcool! looks about as terrified of his own shadow as a whipped dog of its Master!. and he is a Ranat! and Rat!, who would wanna buy a Rat." the human stepped between the Twi'lek and the rodent."Fine, if thats the way it shall be if no one buys him on the planet he is to be my slave." the Twi'lek nodded with a cross of his arms."Sure.now prep the ship for entry." The human feeling deflated looked back to the Ranat hiding in the cloak and its deep hood those red eyes peering at him for a moment before darting away when the man looked at him. The humans boots clumped as he moved over to kneel before the rodent, hand reaching out to try and get him to look into the humans eyes. Capro frowned when the rodent wheeled back eyes wide peering at the man full of terror."H-hey, hey, shh, shhh, its okay, I'm not going to hurt you I just wa-"
"Capro! to your station!. leave the slave alone!." with a grunt the human glowered at the Twi'lek and went to his station, staring daggers at Sookcool who just peered at him as if the two were in high school and Capro had gotten the attention of the entire class.
Riisan again used his prowess as a pilot to avoid the local traffic upon arrival of the planets outer atmosphere. the ship lurched and shook as it forced its way through the friction of entry, after a short moment the turbulence had ceased and the ship smoothly sailed downward to a large sprawling city. the ship slowed its descent and with its engines shaking as they held the vessel aloft the Trandoshian pilot set her down in an open hangar. after a chorus of switches and keys the trio exited the cock pit."Sookcool go pay the dock worker we will be here for a few weeks, Capro, Riisan you guys help me unload." Roch looked over at the Ranat who sat in a corner between the same crates as before, covered in the cloak with the hood up over his head as his eyes peered out at the quartet, Roch smirked in his wicked way. "Riisan bind his hands and put a leash on him, don't want him getting any bright ideas.you never know with slaves."
Riisan nodded and with a hissing growl did as he was told taking some rope and a pair of cuffs looted from the star destroyer bound the rat,tying the rope around his neck and dragged him stumbling outside and down the loading ramp,stopping only to tye the slack of the rope to the railing on the ramp,the heavy black and red embroiderd cloak hung loosely over the rat as he tried to cover his front with it.The rodent stared a glower up at the sky as the Human,twilek and Trandoshian unloaded their cargo onto the hanger floor,The twi'lek paused and shouted at the scrawny Rodian,''Hey Sookcool go rent us a booth spot on Curved street."the glistening of the suns rays beamed off the surface of credits thrown from the hand of the Twi'lek to the hand of the blue skinned Rodian. the alien was gone for almost an hour before returning with a booth permit to the still unloading crew. with an aproving nod from the Twi'lek Sookcool scampered back to the booth to hold their spot.
The Ranat had not noticed he was panting from the merciless heat of the sun glaring down on him as the minutes passed him by and evolved into hours. the rat whimpered and shrugged off the leather cloak letting it drop to the ground, he knew he was exposed but was relieved to be rid of the heavy garment. He jumped at the sudden clamor of a bundle of rifles being thrown out of the shuttles gaping maw, his red eyes watched them scatter into the sand narrowly missing him as he stood at the foot of the ramp. The Ranant figuring it to be a good idea to get out of the path of flying loot, stepped off of the ramp to its side, his toes shifting a bit in the hot sand as he watched a metal box join the rifles then another box, a lot of clothing, bedding, then bundles of armor. the dock owner came over pushing a large repulsor lift cart and looked at the Ranat and spoke in a bored tone,"hey boy,you want me to put these on a cart?" The Rodent shook and stared wide eyed at the human in silence,"Cant ya speak boy?" no response.
"He's a slave." cried the Twi'lek as he held one end of a heavy looking box while the human Capro held the opposite end,the Trandosian right behind them with the final bundle of loot."At least he will be,I have not got a price on him yet,and yes we would appreciate the cart if you don't mind." The man ahhed and waved a dismissive hand and walked off grumbling,the rope was untied and the Trandosian pushed the Rat towards the cart,"Go stand there!." picking up his cloak the ranat did as instructed and went to stand by the front of the cart and watched as the trio gathered and piled the loot up on the cart in a large unstable heap. Roch shouldered his way around The Ranat and took hold of the controls on the cart piloting it from the open hanger bay and out onto the Street. the Human sat on the edge of the cart while the Trandoshian shoved the Rodent along. The Ranat coughed a bit as some dust was kicked up by a passing Dewback and its cart,the bustling near metropolis of Mos-eisly surrounded the young rat as he did his best to cover himself with the cloak while being pushed along following the large repulsor cart of loot,the sand burned his bare feet,his long tail dragging in the sand as his ears slumped and he staggered along, realizing now his fate.