The Nova Wolves

18 years after the Battle of Yavin...
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Coal
"Into the flames"
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The Nova Wolves

Post by Coal » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:44 pm

OOC: Notice, this thread may contain mature subjects and language. If you're a youngin, get your parents to read it for you, so they can edit out the naughty bits.


IC:
Eighteen Years Ago
Mining Prospector Ship Luminous Dream


“There it is! There aunt Irim!”

Irim smiled as she looked out the bridge viewport at the speck of light the child was excitedly pointing out. “Yes it is,” she replied, reaching over to pat her nephew on the shoulder. “Good eyes, Xitan.”

The ten year old smiled and stood a little straighter at the compliment. Truth be told, Irim had known exactly where the asteroid was and where it was going for the past ten minutes, thanks to the sensors that were keeping track of everything within a million kilometers or so of the ship. And Xitan, smart as he was and knowing as much about the ship’s systems as he did, knew it also. But, compliments on his skills from an adult were still rare and valuable things at his age.

“Now,” Irim went on as she began working the ship’s controls, “let’s snuggle up alongside and see if she’d allow us to stick our probe deep in ‘er.”

Xitan looked at his aunt, eyes a little wide, blushing at the ‘salty spacer’ tone she had used. From behind Irim’s seat, Bulszin laughed at his little brother’s reaction.

“Tanny doesn’t know anything about ‘probing’ asteroids,” he chortled. “Or anything else!”

Irim looked back at the twelve year old, semi-serious ‘concerned adult’ expression firmly in place. “I would hope you didn’t, either,” she told him before turning back to her controls. “So would your mother, I'm sure.” Through the viewport, the distant asteroid quickly grew as the ship approached. As they got within twenty kilometers, Irim couldn’t help but think the rock looked like two Hutts trying to mate. Looks aside, though, if it’s core was made of the right material, it would make Irim a fair sized chunk of income. “Alright, boys,” she announced as the asteroid began to fill their whole view, “Scatter. Me and uncle Loros have work to do.”

Reluctantly, the two boys exited the small bridge. Their uncle Loros- he and Irim weren’t married, but had been together so long no one could tell otherwise- replaced them, and began the only mildly complicated task of surveying the asteroid. As they got out of earshot of the adults, Xitan stepped in front of his older- and bigger- brother and boldly poked him in the chest.

“I do to know about probing,” he stated angrily, in the tone of all children offended by something their older siblings had said about them. “And not just asteroids!”

Bulszin laughed and swatted Xitan’s hand away. “Only what you’ve read in biology lessons,” he shot back, pushing past his brother and continuing to the small crew lounge. “Face it, Tanny,” he said over his shoulder, using the nickname his brother hated, “you’ll never know as much, or have more experience, then me. I’m the best, and always will be!”

Xitan glowered at Bulszin’s back, then reluctantly followed him. The brothers weren’t mortal enemies, as some might think, and actually got along quite well for siblings. They had to, given that they were both bracketed in the family hierarchy by their sisters, sixteen year old Nyari, the self-declared ‘princess and heir apparent’, and seven year old Julina who, like all skilled young daughters, had their father wrapped firmly around her proverbial finger. Yes, they loved their sisters, but their various schemes to have fun tended to conflict with Nyari and Juliana’s own schemes to have fun, and the boys knew there was no way they could win if the girls both wanted to stop them.

“Get me a beer,” Bulszin ordered as he sat down at the lounge’s table as though he were Emperor Palpatine himself. “A cold Corellian one.”

Xitan went to the refrigerator, shooting his brother a look and gesture as he passed that told his majesty exactly what he thought. He retrieved two bottles of fruit juice, making sure they were both a flavor he liked and his brother hated.

“One beer, my lord,” Xitan said with subtle sarcasm, only pulling the cap off of the bottle he would drink. Turning and stepping toward the table, he held out the unopened drink, pleased to see Bulszin notice his lapse in the proper etiquette for serving older brothers. “Would you like a nice seared ner-“

Nausea welled up suddenly in Xitan’s stomach. The compartment seemed to spin around him, like the ship was going through heavy maneuvers without it’s inertial dampeners on. A continuous, deafening whine was all he could hear. He doubled over from the shock, hands releasing the bottles to crash to the deck as he grabbed his head.

Bulszin, all teasing forgotten, jumped from his seat and grabbed his little brother, keeping him from falling. “Xitan!” he shouted. “Xitan! What’s wrong!”

Xitan, still holding his head and trying to stay on his feat, didn’t answer, except with unintelligible noises of pain and discomfort. Loros, drawn from the bridge by the noises and shouting, appeared in the lounge. “What’s going on?” he demanded as he saw Xitan. Bulszin babbled an answer, nearly hysterical from the shock of what had suddenly happened to his brother. Loros took Xitan and lowered him to the deck, trying to get a response from the boy. “Xitan? Xitan, what is it?”

Xitan stayed on the deck, continuing to hold his head and rock back and forth, moaning the whole time. After a minute or two, whatever gripped him seemed to release him, eventually leaving him lying quietly on the deck.

“Xitan?” Loros tried again, looking in the boy’s eyes to see if he was conscious and aware. “What happened? Xitan?”

“LOROS!”

The sudden shout from Irim immediately grabbed Loros’s full attention. He glanced back at Xitan, but quickly decided that the tone of Irim’s voice made whatever was happening on the bridge far more important.

“Watch him!” he order Bulszin, then sprinted out of the lounge for the bridge.

On the deck, Xitan began to groggily sit up. Bulszin helped him to his feet, demanding, “What happened?”

“Don’t know,” Xitan responded quietly, rubbing his head as he steadied himself. “Felt sick, then...”

Both boys looked up the corridor towards the bridge as they heard their aunt and uncle talking loudly and excitedly. Now feeling much more normal, and with a sickening feeling in his stomach he couldn’t explain, Xitan took off for the bridge, Bulszin following almost on his heels. As they reached the bridge, both adults looked at them, their faces ghostly pale, everything about them radiating horror the likes of which neither child had ever seen.

Xitan started to ask what was happening, but stopped as he heard voices coming over the comms system, so many that they were talking over one another. And every one of those voices was full of terror and fear.

“What in the hells’s happened, was it a comet or...Debris! Move this bucket before...Maker watch over them, help them as...Imperials I tell ya! I saw that monster....Begin search and rescue ops, we’ve got to!...Mayday! Mayday!”

The terrified transmissions kept coming. Xitan still couldn’t tell what had happened, until, finally, the overlapping voices paused long enough for someone to speak, and fill him with horror beyond any he had ever felt.

“It’s all gone,” the speaker said quietly, sobbing. “Aldearran’s gone.”

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