Trial by Engine Failure

In the future, to pass college you no longer must pass written finals. Instead, you are simply dropped into a real life scenario related to your major, and left to fend for yourself with your new found knowledge.

Star Wars, by George R. R. Lucas

Write me the original Star Wars movie story, only you are George R.R. Martin.

Author’s note: I’m not very familiar with the expanded universe or with concepts like grey Jedi, so forgive me if I get some nuances wrong.

Star Wars

By George R. R. Lucas

“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

My mind fogged over. It was hard to think. Only one set of words came easily, struggled to escape, a concept that wanted to take root and grow. “These aren’t the droids we’re looking for.”

And it was true. They couldn’t be. I knew something was wrong, but this one concept, this central idea took root in my understanding of the world, fit itself to the core of who I was like a puzzle piece. To remove it would be to leave a hole in my soul.

“He can go about his business.”

This pressure was tied to the first concept, already firmly rooted, and grew. I fought it, and I struggled. My blaster rose, slowly, sweat dripping into the inside of my helmet. The old man in front of me frowned, and intensified his gaze. I could feel my mind being crushed by the growing roots of his influence. “They can . . . go about their business.”

“Move along.”

“Move . . . move . . . ” As I struggled, the blaster fell out of my hand, and I bent to pick it up. For a moment, I held it in my hands. It wasn’t the grip by which you held a weapon, I was just retrieving it from the ground, but I was aware of the direction it was pointing.

He’d already won, of course. He had dismissed be from his attention. I didn’t have to break free, not really. Just pull the trigger. But the grip on my mind forbade it, forbade it so thoroughly that I forgot I even wanted to do it. I didn’t need to pull the trigger on a gun. It was just a lever. I needed to operate a lever, didn’t matter why, just operate the machinery.

The blaster fired, leaping out of my hands with the recoil. The pressure strangling my mind was gone. The old man lay dead in his seat, and I cried out for help. “Stop them! The old man was Jedi!” The speeder’s repulsors started up, and I adjusted my grip on my blaster, firing through a repulsor on the side. They all shut down immediately to keep the vehicle from flipping over.  The boy tried to make a run for it, and I shouldered my rifle, shooting him through the calf.  He bled and cried, until a trooper knocked him out.

We searched them, of course, and found no weapons. So the official report said. At home that night, I turned the light saber around in my hand, listening to the blade hum. I wasn’t proud of what I did; I had killed a Jedi and his protege. He had probably wanted the same thing I did. But I had known going in that serving light would require an occasional foray into darkness. It was just a part of what it meant to be gray.

I clicked the light saber off and watched the blade collapse. At least the death had served a purpose. I was getting a promotion, a transfer. I would be that much closer to Vader and the Emperor. And now, when I made my move to kill them, I would have a proper weapon for a wielder of the Force.

The Day I Died

Write your superhero origin story.

Original

It was an ordinary day, other than the explosion. I ground through the paperwork, filling office supplies and costs into each line. I entered manufacturer information and item numbers.  I checked little boxes.  It was a commercial supplier.  It was under contract.  It was a green purchase.  I submitted the paperwork to our financial officer, I got it back.  I submitted it our authorizing official, I got it back. Finally, I logged into a website and bought six hundred boxes of paper clips.

Then the bomb went off.

Continue reading “The Day I Died”

Timid Reaper

You run a night school for assassins. The other professional assassins loathe you for turning customers into self-sufficient killers. You would get frustrated by their constant attempts on your life, if they didn’t make for such good lessons for your students…

Original

I strode across to the podium, before the diagram of the human skeleton and circulatory system. The class was small, ten people. I found it to be my optimum class size. Any more and my students began to look like a forest, not trees. Any less, and I might have trouble with my payments.

“Well? Anybody?”

One tentative hand rose up. She was a slip of a girl. Her demeanor was timid, her hand trembling in the air. None of her classmates took her seriously. They were new, yet. Not all of them quite realized that I wasn’t here to teach them how to fight, but how to kill. Ellen’s ‘fragile flower’ act would serve her well.

Continue reading “Timid Reaper”

Powder and Teeth

Naval battle of beasts. (Image prompt)

Original

Artist unknown

I stared into the darkness, forcing my eyes open despite the rain being lashed into them. Every light had been extinguished to keep us hidden, but our foe wouldn’t lose us so simply.  Behind me, men with axes chopped away the wreckage of a broken mast and its rigging.  The ship writhed beneath my feet as the dead weight broke loose and slid into the ocean.

“Watchmen, an extra half-share to the man who calls him before I do.”  I had to shout to be heard, but I kept my voice even.  They needed a strong voice right now.  I heard my promise called out down the length of the ship, for all the watchmen to hear.  “Patrol master, how long before our air patrol is due back?”

“They’re five minutes o’erdue, captain!”

Black scales shone in a flash of lightning. I saw the spindly wreckage of the one wing we’d destroyed in the first volley of cannon fire. Immediately I leaned to the pipe that would make me heard on the gun deck. “Portside cannon, two degrees fore, fire as you bear!” Continue reading “Powder and Teeth”