You read that right. This is a piece I wrote up for a Star Wars campaign I played in as part of the backstory for my character. Why did I write it? Because it was fun.
The chronology is a little wonky, as our campaign was actually designed as retconning the prequels (so we’d have players running Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, etc), and this originally took place between our Episode 1: Balance of the Force and Episode 2: Rise of the Empire, about 23-5 Before the Battle of Yavin (BBY).
Our Coruscant is a little bit different from the planet at the time, as the Supreme Chancellor has already outlawed the Jedi, who aren’t nearly as organized as they were in the movies (or the EU), and his antipathy toward aliens has already caused him to outlaw non-humans on Coruscant. Prominent races are appointed extremely corrupt human “ambassadors,” who are basically in the pocket of the Chancellor.
I purposefully did not date this story, and if you want to fit it into canon, it could occur anywhere from the end of Phantom Menace to shortly after Order 66 is issued in Revenge of the Sith.
And my character from the campaign is clearly the MAIN character of the story.
Without further ado:
“The Lesser Evil”
By Erik Scott de Bie
Bathed in the howling wind, the assassin perched atop the pinnacle of the blinking tower and surveyed the city a hundred stories below. Every inch of Coruscant was city, and all of it filled to the brim with humans: hot-blooded, sweaty, foul-smelling humans. The assassin wore sleek black armor, polished and new and far better than anything the masses could afford.
The assassin had business with one of the humans this night.
A light flashed blue on the assassin’s arm-mounted datapad, then winked out when touched. The signal was returned, and a transport—an unmarked black Lambda class shuttle, nearly invisible against the night sky—took flight, wings unfolding as it went. All its landing codes were legitimate, if illegally obtained, and generous bribes would keep anyone from asking questions. Such was the course of dealing with criminals.
Behind the black helmet, the targeting computer whirred, sculpting a green lattice of the surrounding buildings. The assassin’s mark kept apartments near the palace itself, in a highly-defended area swarming with clone troopers. But when he sneaked out to meet with one of his hired escorts, he took only a personal defense team. Sure enough, he was currently riding the turbolift along with a detail of four men and one smaller life-sign: a woman.
The assassin leaped off the building, arms spread wide in the whipping wind.
The computer tracked them heading to the floor where the meet was to take place. Near about the sixtieth floor, the assassin’s datapad flashed, and the tether responded. The descent slowed over the next 30 meters until finally the assassin swayed to a gentle halt just above a window on the fifty-second floor. The assassin crawled along between windows, searching for the right one. Once there, the assassin attached the tether line for added security, then peered through the window.
Comfortable couches and bed filled the room, along with a sidebar of exotic, bright-colored liquor opposite gleaming holocaster equipment. It was, without exception, illegally purchased with stolen credits. This was one of their high class love nests, but it still stank of crime: filthy money and indulgence.
No one was in the apartment yet, but that would change soon. Hanging upside down, the assassin drew out a device the size of a man’s hand from a zipped pack and attached it to the wall next to the window sensor. Once activated, the scrambler tapped into the scanner and followed it through into the security features of the room itself. The assassin did not mean to deactivate the security scanner—not yet, anyway—but rather to take control of the room with the device.
After a moment, the scrambler beeped, complete. The assassin detached the scrambler, which was now a remote control for the room, just as the inner door opened.
Three Republic soldiers fanned through the suite, clearing the main room as well as the small attachment rooms with military precision. They wore hoods, but the assassin recognized their faces: they were all the same clone trooper face. They had eschewed their tell-tale armor so as not to attract attention, but wore blast vests under their thick robes.
Once they had secured the suite, they spoke into their comm.-links. The assassin heard the transmissions through the scrambler. “Clear,” each said, in the same voice.
“Finally.” A human in noble robes stepped into the room: Doriel Lassar, the Senate-appointed Falleen ambassador. Aliens were not, of course, welcome on Coruscant under the Supreme Chancellor. He looked around, stroked his exquisite goatee, and nodded. “This will do. Lieutenant, tell Jerun to bring the girl.”
The lead clone trooper nodded. He dispatched one of his men back into the hall.
Lassar was the mark.
The assassin took a thermal detonator from the zipped pouch. The scrambler would open the window at the flick of a button, the detonator would go tumbling in, and everyone would die. Three seconds would be more than enough time to drop it through the window and be gone.
Then the assassin sensed something and froze in place. “No.”
A human in plain black robes appeared, this one not a clone but a light-haired man with a scar across his face. Ahead of him, he pushed a shivering young Falleen woman. She could not be much more than a child by the looks of her, addled with deathstick addiction, and her pheromones reeked of fear and desperation. There was defiance in her, however. The girl was a slave, freshly taken, but with no illusions about the treatment that awaited her.
Teeth gritted, the assassin deactivated the thermal detonator and stowed it back in the pack. Using that would kill the hostage too. This would have to be personal. But the window wouldn’t open fast enough to take them by surprise.
The assassin drew out a small black rod and pressed a button near one end. The device started buzzing.
“What’s that?” the nearest trooper said over his comm.-link.
The assassin raised the device out into the night and whispered an apology. “Forgive me, mother.”
A blade unfolded from the hilt in the assassin’s hand, glowing faintly purple, and began vibrating. The assassin brought it across twice with a shick sound to draw an X in the window. Then the assassin kicked off the wall, swung out, and crashed through into the room.
Chunks of glass shattered in every direction, startling the clone troopers, who had reached for their service weapons as the assassin rolled into a crouch. The vibroblade cut the first one down in a burst of blood, and he collapsed with a gurgling cry of pain. The assassin kept moving.
“Blast him!” the lieutenant shouted over the comm.-link.
Laser bolts exploded into the wall behind the dodging assassin and out the broken window into the night. One clipped the black armor, and an ablative layer disintegrated to absorb the shock.
The assassin charged the second clone trooper and feinted to the left so his shots went wide. It bought half a second, which was all that the assassin needed to leap behind him, snake the vibroblade around his throat, and pull him to face his commander. Red blasts burned into the man, who grunted and slumped in the assassin’s arms, stunned by friendly fire.
The lieutenant corrected his aim, but the assassin hurled a knife that sank into his unarmored neck, right over the collar of his blast jacket. The lieutenant gasped at the wound, spoiling his aim. The assassin seized the blaster rifle from the dead trooper, took aim, and blasted the lieutenant full in the chest. His torso burst into flame, and he crumpled against the far wall, stinking of burning flesh.
“Clumsy weapon.” Contemptuously, the assassin tossed the rifle to the floor.
Eyes on the stricken Lassar, the assassin finished the captive trooper with the vibroblade, then let the weapon shake itself free of blood. That done, the assassin rose and faced him. No words were necessary: by the fear rising from Lassar like smoke, he knew what would happen next. He shook so badly he could not even try to flee.
He staggered back and collapsed on the bed. “Je-Jerun!” he stammered.
The blond man stepped between them, his scarred but handsome face turned toward the assassin.
“This does not concern you.” The assassin raised the vibroblade.
The man smiled. Then a yellow glow filled the room as he ignited his lightsaber.
An illegal Jedi. Damn.
Jerun moved so fast it was all the assassin could do to dodge the first, high slash. Jerun came on, slipping inside and around the threshing blade of yellow light. The assassin deflected one strike with the vibroblade—a glancing blow that made the metal shriek and smoke. If Jerun struck it directly, he’d easily cut the vibroblade in half.
Jerun calmly extended a hand, and a massive force sent the assassin hurtling back against the wall. The holocaster equipment shattered and the assassin lay groaning on the floor. The assassin groped for the fallen vibroblade, but the Jedi was not finished. He moved his hand and hurled the assassin across the room to crash into the opposite wall so hard the metal dented under the impact. The assassin hung there suspended.
Jerun extinguished his yellow lightsaber and walked toward the assassin, looking very calm. His left hand was raised idly, as though using such power took no effort. The Jedi smiled silently, like a man looking forward to a pleasant meal laid out before him.
“Don’t—don’t you want to know who sent me?” the assassin asked in a distorted voice.
“Not particularly,” Lassar said. “Jerun?”
The Jedi held up his hand and squeezed his fingers together. The assassin choked for air.
“That’s better,” Lassar said. “If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when they talk.”
The assassin managed to palm a knife and hurl it at the Jedi. Jerun raised his other hand, and the blade stopped half a meter from his face. Then it reversed and shot back to plunge into the assassin’s left arm, propelled with such force it ripped through the black body armor. The assassin could only murmur at the pain.
“Why are you waiting, Jerun?” asked Lassar. “Kill him already and be done with it.”
The Jedi glanced at his employer, a flicker of irritation crossing his face. He gestured, and the force wrenched the assassin from the wall toward the window. The assassin caught at the sill, palms stabbed with shards of glass, but the force was too great. Jerun held the assassin aloft, choking, over a fifty-storey drop. The wiry body shook involuntarily, dying but unwilling to show fear.
Then a blaster fired, and Jerun staggered toward the window. He fell to one knee, revealing a burn mark on his back. Behind him, the Falleen girl stood, one of the clone trooper’s weapons in her hands. Her black eyes burned with hatred. She fired again, but the Jedi ignited his lightsaber and deflected the bolt into the floor.
The Force abruptly vanished, and the assassin reached out to grasp at the window ledge. Somehow, even though it was too far, the shaking black hands caught on the windowsill. The assassin slammed into the side of the building, then scrambled up, gasping.
Despite the shards of glass, the breathless wheezing, and a stabbed arm that screamed in pain, the assassin nonetheless managed to climb back into the apartment. The Jedi was stalking toward the Falleen girl, easily parrying her blaster shots. She fired desperately, but he casually swept the bolts aside. Lassar was watching, not paying attention to the would-be assassin.
Good hand shaking, the assassin reached down and unhooked a flash grenade, then rolled it toward Jerun.
The Jedi sensed the attack coming early enough to shield his eyes, but the assassin only needed a second to spring on him with a cry and grapple for the lightsaber. They wrestled, punching and heaving. He struck the assassin’s injured arm, and the assassin howled and gouged at his wrist. There was no skill to their fight—no grace or art—only the fierce fury of two animals desperate to survive.
Then yellow light flashed, blood sprayed, and the two staggered apart. The lightsaber fell to the floor between them.
The assassin looked up at Jerun. He smiled and made a little humph sound.
Then his body fell to the ground and split apart into two pieces.
The assassin collapsed, chest heaving for air. Finally, one shaking black hand reached out and took the inactive lightsaber. Such an elegant thing, and so deadly.
A blaster rifle clicked, and the assassin dimly saw Lassar pointing the rifle. “Die, you—”
A blaster bolt struck him in the chest and he tumbled backwards to sprawl across the bed, dead.
The Falleen girl dropped the rifle from shaking hands and stared at the corpse, her face devoid of emotion. Good. That was the proper way for a Falleen: to control herself and not reveal her true feelings.
The assassin sat for a time, watching the girl, then finally spoke. “What is your name?”
The girl was staring at the dead Lassar, but she blinked and looked up. “Xora.”
“And I am Zythe.” The assassin sat up and took off her helmet, freeing her long black hair.
“You . . . you are a Falleen.”
“Yes,” Zythe said. “It will be all right.”
Her words mattered less than the reassurance she sent toward the girl. Xora inhaled Zythe’s pheromones and her breathing eased. A human wouldn’t have seen anything pass between them, but for a Falleen, Zythe might as well be hugging the girl to her breast.
The girl nodded. They sat together for a moment, communicating with their pheromones: Xora speaking of panic and rage, and Zythe soothing her, tempering that anger into a sharper blade.
“When you remember this,” Zythe said. “Do not think of the horror or the fear. Think only of what must be done for our world. For Falleen.”
Again, Xora nodded. “I murdered him.”
“He was an evil man.” Zythe nodded.
“And I murdered him,” Xora said. “Is that not evil?”
“We do what we must for our people.” Zythe sent a communication to her shuttle, setting the rendezvous, and attached her tether to herself and the girl. She put her helmet on. “How can that be evil?”
Xora nodded and put her arms around her savior.
Cradling the girl, Zythe leaped out the window.