9138--9000 After The Battle of Yavin[138- After The One
Sith’s Galactic Empire]
Note: If you see a picture, then the credit goes to the author cmalidore from DeviantArt.
He worked as usually alone in the chilled darkness
and the overwhelming surroundings, rejecting any contact with those around him.
Most time spending it in the Gereod
tunnels, close to a small private smeltery, on a desolate half-frozen planet
within the Outer Rim Territories, known as Coryza.
There, a pale man with blue goggles was drilling after valuable gemstones like korpis and janax, especially janax, cause just a single piece of it worth in both Apatros and Coryza system more than five thousand of credits.
The korpis were blue sharp gems capable of absorbing electricity and release it when they were touched, a reason why all the shipbuilding industries paid a huge price for that design of nature. The shipbuilding industries at their turn after they received the gemstones used them for „korsfacing”, a process in which the gems were pressed to form a giant crystal sheet used as protective shield surfaces against everything based on electricity. On the other hand the janax were resistant circular gray rare gemstones, that had their use in the construction of a lightsaber’s hilt, and unlike the korpis, the janax were melted.
The temperature was almost unbearable inside the dark tunnels, the cold air was felt everywhere in the Gereod, all the men who worked there knew that if a man was not ready physically could go mad literally, yet for those who were in the tunnels that was something normal, they learned to adapt.
In the dark gallery, a deep but familiar voice drew his attention from the work, "If you can't take a damn thing Sirius, then you must let me to take it." , it was the Human ore-seeker Vossk with some friends who came to make fun of him as usually. But not just someone who derided him all the time as everyone knew, but also his closest foe, constantly mocking him for the death of his old brother...
"My drill is not working as it should. Anyway you are not gonna take anything from me." The problem being that the big and muscular man did not want to leave him alone, after all Vossk hated him with all of his heart, and with good reason as he always thought. But Sirius was more focused to his work rather than listening to his hateful coworker.
Then two of his friends, both Humans, the skinny derisive Boyer alongside the fat coward Copazcu had in mind to teach him a lesson in how to behave, "Are you deaf Sirius, didn't you hear what Vossk just said?" , he knew that Copazcu was a piker, but with fearsome friends, he always had the courage to say what he thought about anyone and anything.
Sirius stopped the drill, turning back to him in a second with his dusty bushy white uniform, "We all know you're nothing more but a coward without your friends. So what do you say to get out of here and let me work in peace!?", the vile Boyer added other words of enmity, "Watch out skinny lunkhead, don't you dare to address yourself like this to Copazcu, or Vossk!"
They did not have the nerve to start a fight with him, Sirius knew them too well, he knew that only Vossk had enough courage to do it. When Copazcu with Boyer stepped out from their minor conversation, the rough ore-seeker tired of his bold attitude, he suddenly gripped him by the neck, „Next time when I say something to you, make sure to do it!”, Vossk said, and then he punched him in the face with such strength that the young man collapsed on the gelide ground banging his nape.
After that incident Vossk with his friends went straight at the Dloc cantina to expend a bit their earning on gambling and beverage.
Some of the ore-seekers were lucky to be in the "warmer" part of the tunnels, while those like Sirius or Vossk were in the deepest sides of it, where darkness and cold were making constantly victims from those who could not tolerate such conditions.
With the lungs affected by the chilled air, dense atmosphere, barely breathing, Sirius stood there for a moment, his glance passed through the tunnel’s top, reaching out from the planet’s atmosphere, touching any planet that existed in his imagination and could possibly exist, far away from Coryza. He thought for a brief moment, how would be his life away from there, could he find a new meaning of his miserable life, was there a way to leave from that place? Even the memories of his past were remained in uncertainty, he had never known his parents, he had never met them, all he could remember was the cold planet, the tunnels, and the men who enjoyed to threaten him.
His past, but a blur, an empty hole that had to be completed.
But the things connected of the present drew him back to the real world, to his painful real life, like the coryzan tartaran octopus with its huge limbs sinking boats and vessels from the depths of the Ais sea.
He was aware that without work there are no money, and without money there’s no food, they did do not come by saying the magic word as he wanted to believe, he still had a lots of things to do.
When he put himself back on his feet, he noticed that the laser drill from his hands which fell down as a result of Vossk’s rage, was broken, after so many years of use, it was destroyed. Despite of Vossk’s outrageous act, in the drilled hole were enough gemstones to take at least two thousand of credits.
When Sirius lay his hand in the hole to take them to the melter, to his surprise there was no sign of korpis or janax gemstones, but a droxin, a very rare noxious crystal which could be found only in certain isolated spots. The droxin, nicknamed by others "the son of bane", had a major degree of harmfulness and poison, someone who had protection while holding it in his hands, produced only a sensation of a migraine, but at direct contact with the skin it could even induce death by asfixiation and skin burning. As deadly as it was for any being who tried to touch it, it was as well a valuable crystal that was used in the fabrication of fuel, a raw material substitute for statues, even as a paralyzing crystal for a lightsaber. Without that necessary droxin the ore-seekers risked to lose their job and their lifes.
He slowly headed out from the Gereod tunnels on the frozen road with his wheelbarrow to the smeltery. Most of time, he coughed, his voice was already hoarse because of his long exposure to the dense masses of dust and smoke, yet it was no surprise, Sirius was aware that his years spent in that living inferno left their mark over him.
At the end of the road, Khios, one of the most muscular and tallest individuals that not even Vossk dared to mock, he poured in a big iron cauldron dozens of gemstones and minerals from the ore-seekers, yet Sirius had to wait his turn just like the others, he didn't like that part of the tunnels and wanted to get his earning soon as possible.
He stood for hours there, the sweat drops flowed from the brow to his nose and lip, even giddy as he was, he never wanted to let someone else to take his place, because the ore-seekers were extremely brutal, cunning, robbing any opportunity that come out for them to sell their minerals and gemstones.
In the centre of the smeltery, the people yelled one to each other to hurry up for none rejoiced to lose their time. As they were all fighting, as the loud racket amplified, Khios shouted aloud, "That's enough you worms, wait your turn!" , his deep barbarian voice made them to hush, however, the end of the arguing because of his utterance was just an insignificant reason. They were all familiar with him, they knew Khios, they saw him when he had come on the planet, when he set foot in the tunnels, and in the smeltery. They found out by rumors that he was a famous skilled corporal who had been banished to spend his life forever on the Outer Rim Territories when he turned the back of his fellows joining Drakan’s Sith Empire.
Khios still had in his mind some clear scenes before his sentence which he had sworn he will never forget. He remembered when he was sent into exile by the Light Galactic Alliance, founded three hundred years later after the Galactic Federation Triumvirate by a Human male known as Tarra Solo.
About three hours Sirius had to wait to get his credits on the gemstones, but when finally came his turn, Khios looked to him noticing the broken drill from his belt, "Youngman, that's the last time when I give it to you.", Khios snatched the drill from his hands brutally, "As a pay, I will offer you just five hundred of credits.", then Sirius replied back, "That's not fair Khios, I stood long enough in those damn tunnels, I brought you more than that, it is a droxin crystal for tartaran octopus’s sake!" , Khios annoyed by Sirius’s behaviour, said, "If you don't like it that way, perhaps I should keep the money only for myself.", Sirius was smart enough to understand that after so much time spent in those bleak tunnels, so much effort, so much struggle, he felt that he had no choice but to take those few credits.
With the earning, he passed to the cantina thinking to buy some cheap food and some bottled water, apparently the cantina sold illegaly products to financially suport. In the cantina the people were even more violently than in any part of the tunnels, Sirius knew that anyone could steal anything and none was giving a hand.
When he entered in, Sirius glanced at the only table which there was no person to take it. Softly he walked to the chair, he sat down carelessly as the time stood still for him, turning his gaze on the cantina’s window, like starring into the centre of a void. Alone as always in the left corner’s table he was, not having the smallest desire to speak with anyone who came to him, excepting the R2-50 „BOY” which took him the list with meals.
R2-50 had been once an astromech droid that was bought from a Neimodian merchant, now upgraded for the cantina’s needs.
Sirius looked at BOY with a smile, he lay his rough palm over the droid’s head, „How it was your day, little piece of metal?”, the droid at his turn beeped, „I see...”, he said. Apparently, he was the only one who could understand BOY’s hubbub, the others needed holograms to comprehend the droid’s sounds.
So much time passed, that the droid was already familiar with Sirius’s orders, he had already programmed in its own memory the "huttimyn", a cheap meal made from the intestines of the krayt dragons.
When BOY brought the meal at his table, Vossk, Boyer and Copazcu noticed him when they were drinking. Copazcu wanted to annoy Sirius, but deep inside, he knew he never had the nerve for it, he murmured to Vossk to do that.
He was tired of that grey soup, it was the most nauseous thing he had ever savored, his thought was, but he could not afford something more appealing to his taste, he was in great financial debts since his life on Coryza, always owed something to someone.
Holding the rusty metal spoon in his right hand, Sirius put it in the soup, he chewed a small intestine. The taste was horrible, he quaffed a bit and spat it on the table, after that scene everyone stared at him, only he knew real bad taste the meal had. Vossk assisting to that circumstance was amused, he laughed for a few seconds and couldn’t keep in mind what Copazcu said him before.
Boyer placing his hand on Vossk’s shoulder asked him, "Come on Vossk, go and piss him off, you know that would make me, so happy." , with the half glass of beer in his right hand, he raised his tone, "Let me finish my damn drink, do it alone!”, replying then silent, „ And don't worry, if he is ready to punch you, I'll kick his ass as I did in the cave."
Boyer passed slowly from left to right glancing at Sirius, when the opportunity came, he shoved Sirius's face into the disgusting horrible grey soup. The skinny man relished what happened, "What's up, can't you eat it?", he laughed heartily as he came back to his friends. The smell of the huttimyn was very unbearable, when it touched Sirius’s white long tied hair it was even more untolerable, the bartender threw him a napkin, „Get outta here, freak!”
Sirius stood up from the table and left the cantina in a hurry, he walked to home getting some sleep after a hard long day, in the Frozz Apartaments, a gigantic building that was residence to many ore-seekers from the Gereod tunnels.
He lay on the bed, sleeping in horizontal position with the hands on his brisket.
In the middle of the midnight he had a convulsion, a nightmare made its way in his subconsciousness, mocking voices cried out loud. In a dismal labyrinth, Sirius saw a silhouette, he saw Vossk, or what appeared to be a hallucination of him laughing with evil enjoyment. Sirius pointed to him with his finger, „Stop laughing at me!”, the shade jeered on, „I said..., enough!”, then a sudden burst of hatred and anger triggered deep within his soul. Next, from nowhere, a pair of blackened cold tendrils emerged, slendering and nabbing the apparition, „Now, you die!”, he shouted with spurn. The tendrils crushed the ballyrag spook, screaming in hollow, melting into nothingness, and then, his spasm stopped.
The following day, he found himself right in the morning, but his detestable foe was not there to bully him as used to do it.
Outside, the ore-seekers who knew very well Vossk were shocked to stand next to his corpse lying at the downstairs. The loud tumult persuaded Sirius to come down to see what happened.
Down the stairs, he noticed Vossk's corpse, it was completely frozen, „Look, that’s how I found him.”, said the blue janitor Twi’lek who touched his face, „ When I saw him first time he scared me. Look at his fingers from the hands, see how his eyes are rolled.”, the janitor did not stop there, „His flesh it is white, his all body is sucked out of life and frozen in the same time. This person didn’t have at all a kind death.”
One old man ore-seeker who stood next to the Twi’lek said his theory too, „Hey perhaps it was the weather, we know what a bitch is that here for us, on Coryza. Just forget to keep your windows closed all the time, to dress well, and that’s it, you’re done.” The janitor responded with another astonishing fact, „Sorry to argue with you, but I was once one of the best doctors from the galaxy, I worked for the Light Galactic Alliance, I had studied, treated and witnessed so many species of unknown diseases casued by natural causes or by intelligent beings, and I can assure you that this man died in no more than a few seconds judging by his stance, I could give you even a number, and that’s five.”
At the janitor’s remarks in Sirius’s mind a sensation of fear and curiosity took place, but he knew that a bad weather couldn’t just bring Vossk's death as the old one claimed, no weather couldn’t have done that to a person, to turn them into a frozen husk sucked dry as all from there saw. For him this was an unsolved mystery, a mystery of supernatural. To their surprise Sirius was not at all affected by the neighbor's horrifical passing and returned back to work.
Over the years that skinny youngman who was mocked, derided, and bullied by rest of the coworkers turned his body in a mountain of muscles, unfortunately the other ones were getting older day by day, now he was even more fearsome than the tall Khios.
In the tunnels, none was bold enough to start a fight with him, at last he was able to focus on his work without being interrupted.
From the caboodle only Copazcu left, Boyer, his closest friend died long ago crushed by a small rockfall in the western side of the tunnels, "Now, we celebrate Vossk's sad death, would you like to add for him some words?", Sirius laughed a bit and answered, "That man deserved his grave.", Copazcu was surprised by his reaction, "How can you say one like that, it was your own fault because you have been treated like that all this time.” , Copazcu asked.
"He bullied me with no reason, I don't need a motive to feel sorry for him. In fact, you should know I am glad how he died, finally he had seen how it’s like to be at your turn a victim of this tough world."
While he was cleaning his glasses Copazcu dared to revile,
„You bastard... I am sure you were responsible for the death of his older brother. When we found him, he looked exactly just as Vossk.”, Copazcu felt he needed to add more,
„Me, Boyer and Vossk, we always knew your were not one of us, you were not a normal person like us at all. You are a freak, you were born out of pure darkness. Keep in mind that as long as you live, Sirius.”
Sirius scratched his head,
„As you say about that „loving children”, but I have a lot of work to do, and I can't talk."
If only Sirius changed physically, but Copazcu had done the same, he was no longer fat as he used to be in the past, he became a muscular man as well, and the only one who was capable to start a fight with the hateful Sirius.
In the smeltery he didn't need to wait his turn anymore, the other ore-seekers let him to be the first. And Khios, the tallest of them, had to move quicker with his shaky hands, because Sirius didn't appreciate to waste his time, "Hurry up old man, give me the credits.", he glanced with despire and hatred, "Right away!", Khios answered intimidated.
With the new pay, the fresh rough ore-seeker paid a visit to the Dloc cantina. When he entered, they turned their head, feigning that they speak between them, but still kept peeking to his back. Sirius as normally sat at the left corner table, with the new earning, he ordered the most expensive meal, the "prakk", a meal made from coryza whaladons, originally brought from the Dac ocean. Now he enjoyed the whaladon soup, tasting every bite, the bartender made his every whim, nobody dared to mock him as they used to.
Finished the soup, he went back in the tunnels to work as usually, secluded and scornful, a loner.
On the way he met a breeder of whaladons who needed someone to do a dirty job, "Hey, I want you to do something for me, ore-seeker.", with his hands on pockets, he answered, "What is it old man?"
The breeder told him about his Neimodian contestant, Vornok, that many costumers bought whaladon flesh from his rival, and he had in mind to ruin the Neimodian’s business by setting free the whaladons from the loft.
After thirty minutes of negociations, the Neimodian thought he convinced him, but Sirius disagreed with that, it did not fit his character, he saw himself with a bit of dignity, not like the others who worked in the tunnels with him.
"Find someone else to do the job of a coward.", Sirius differed with abhor, whilst the breeder got mad, cursing him in his native tongue when he was meters away from him.
Located outside of the tunnels, in the Ore-seekers’s Lockers, Sirius’s compartiment was bigger, neater, and he didn't require any longer tools from others to start his activity. Now he had his very own laser drill, bought from the Frazzk Market, a hundred times better than the other with the capacity to drill more easily after gemstones.
When he was working, the drill emitted extremely violent sounds, one needed special noise-cancelling headphones to use such instruments. The rattle tolled through all the parts of the tunnel, but no man had the guts to s fight with him because he was not merciful with anybody. The other one that stood next to him felt that he is about to go crazy if Sirius didn’t stop, so the old bully went to swear him, "You pilock, your drill sounds like bloody hell, stop it. We had enough of it!", swearing him, still solved nothing. Sirius answered back calm and with abhorrence, "Leave me alone old man and let me work!"
With his big muscles, a bit of bravery, he gripped Sirius by the shoulders and turned his face towards him, „When I say stop it, you stop it!”, said Copazcu when gave him a strong punch in the right cheek. Sirius didn’t do respond and even challenged that old ore-seeker, Copazcu hadn’t in plan to stop at all and punched him in the face twice. Seeing that he still doesn’t fight back in that way, Copazcu turned his fist to Sirius’s nose, at that instant the rough man gripped Copazcu's blow with his right hand. Then memories of past played in his mind like a film, he remembered how the fat ore-seeker liked to intrude him. Next, a sudden burst of enmity emerged, Sirius twisted Copazcu’s arm, slowly, but painful, breaking it without remorse.
Copazcu howled in pain, unable to utter a single word, he could even hear the sounds of his twisted arm. The other ore-seekers saw that incident, among those who were Copazcu’s friends approached Sirius trying to beat him. He fought with all his strength, „You want a piece of me, come. I am not afraid!”, he said loudly. The fight was vociferous, despite of their large number, Sirius used any object in his reach. His emotions were so strong that he did things other could not do.
The ore-seekers who fought him, were dead, they had their skulls smashed, the jawbone, the neck, broken. With that offense, even when he knew it was not his fault, he had no choice but to flee Coryza.
Sirius abandoned the tunnels and headed to Vornok's loft. To his fortune, the guards had a day trip, the security was down, at least this moment.
First, he sneaked in the Meats Room to take a coryzaber, a white, smooth, tractable blade that was used in splitting of the whales. Second, he went in the hangar bay and stole a small trade vessel. Inside the spaceship he found the flight manual which he looked for. He read the manual sitting on the chair for one minute, memorizing all the things he had to do to control the vessel, it was indeed a strange ability, which he never had the chance to exploit properly.
After he perusaled the manual, he activated the engines of the vessel, in response, the gateway of the hangar unfastened, and Sirius flew in the midnight’s mist, while the nozzle’s flames burned into the frost of night, bringing light upon the view.