"If you love anyone—anyone at all, you'd fight like hell for them."
— Queen Hyacinth Devi Janick
The Onderon Crusade
Concept: SWRP (Star Wars Role Play) is a role-playing community on Second Life, a 3D virtual world. Our story takes place after the original trilogy.
Location: Del Velmor, Velmor
- The infant was fast asleep in the servant girl’s arms. The babe had a tuft of orange hair and a face as round as a dinner plate. Her tiny mouth was parted just so. The servant girl was around fifteen or so and very sylphlike. Her fine, midnight black hair was woven with silver cords.
- Inside the spacious, sunlit room was a white marble fountain and rows of portraits. The individuals in these paintings were splendid. Their faces were lustrous and oval like the moon. And they dressed in the most extravagant gowns. The walls and pillars were sand-brown. There were no glass windows, just open archways. But the air that flowed into the room smelled of fire.
- “Phaedra, take my daughter to Corellia. Pankaja will meet you there. Go! Go now!” whispered a panicked woman, her auburn tresses wildly tousled. Her narrow face was slick with sweat.
- Light sabers hummed like an ominous choir behind the main door.
- “Come with me, my lady! I beg of you, please! There’s still time!” cried the faithful girl-servant. She still had the plump cheeks of a child.
- The older woman reached out with her small, alabaster hands and touched the girl’s face. Then, she pressed her thin lips to the girl’s smooth forehead and said, “You have been the most faithful servant to the Velmorian royals. I’ve accepted my fate. It’s time you accepted yours.”
- Sparks flew as a red laser blade sheared through the entrance, scraps of hot mangled metal skittered across the floor. A Sith with a Glasgow grin was chopping his way in.
- The redheaded woman slipped a necklace into the servant’s pocket and shoved her towards the back door. Phaedra stumbled and snapped her head around.
- “Give this trinket to my daughter. It’s a family heirloom.” She explained hurriedly.
- Phaedra held the baby closer to her chest.
- “Get out of here!” The older woman rasped as she yanked the blaster from her belt. She was trembling all over. She aimed for the door, her finger wrapped around the trigger.
- Phaedra stared at her Queen for the last time. The Queen stood turned and faced the wolfish pack of Sith. The child stirred. Then, without a second glance, the girl ran as fast as she could in a pair of fancy cloth slippers. Her silvery dress shimmered as she sprinted from corridor to corridor.
- The Velmorian palace quickly turned into a hellish place. Phaedra could hear the royals begging for their lives. It was a sound that haunted her for the rest of her life.
- Somehow, Phaedra escaped. She quieted the child and slipped into an abandoned ship.
- Hours later, Phaedra arrived on Corellia.
- Pankaja, the gigantic wookiee, stood before Phaedra at the transport station. His fur was mussed and his face was swollen. He had big, boulder-like shoulders and a pair of mighty legs. Imposing as he was, he had the gentlest green eyes. He gingerly took the infant from Phaedra and cradled her in his massive arms.
- “What of the child’s mother, little one?” screeched Pankaja’s translator box.
- Phaedra’s mouth was a stoic line, her eyes seemed empty. She shuffled forward and gave Pankaja the necklace.
- Pankaja bowed his huge lump of a head and unleashed a deep, throaty cry.
- The tot with the orange tuft of hair grew into a child, a rather rambunctious child. She could rattle off countless Huttese phrases, shoot and hit small objects with her toy blaster, and dissemble a faulty droid in less than thirty seconds. Blame the Han Solo shrine in her bedroom.
- The petite rascal expertly weaved through the aggressive crowd at the Corellian marketplace. She wore her unruly mass of Clementine colored hair in a sloppy ponytail. Her grimy tee-shirt was about three sizes too big and she had just one functional suspender.
- “Excuse me… pardon me…” She muttered as she bumped into the market goers, moseying on through.
- She was up to no good.
- After she squeezed through the last of the throng, she banked a sharp left and darted into a nearby alley. She was emptying out her pockets, which were full of stolen credit chits.
- “Hyacinth? What did I tell you about stealing?”
- She gasped and whipped her head right around. She was sitting in the middle of a neatly arranged ring of credit chits. Her knees were scratched and dirty.
- The figure made a colossal silhouette against the powerful sun. Its shadow stretched over the girl like a security blanket.
- “Hyacinth…” It had a deep rumble of a voice. But there was an electronic undertone to it.
- Hyacinth squinted up at the enormously tall figure. “Pankaja, is that you?” The girl threw her hands up in the air and complained, “Oh come on, Pan! I’m starving! Can’t I have half?”
- The wookiee huffed and stepped forward. “No, little one,” He crossed his muscular arms and asked, “Why didn’t you tell me you were hungry?”
- Hyacinth rose up from the ground and let out an indignant sigh, “Because you’re a terrible cook!”
- Pankaja roared with laughter and plopped his big hand upon Hyacinth’s head. She staggered under the weight of his paw. “Perhaps, perhaps. Or maybe your teeny, tiny girl belly is too weak for my best cuisines!” He winked.
- “Well excuse me for not having the galaxy’s biggest gut!” The girl prodded his very round middle.
- “Hm, I think I liked you better before you could talk,” The wookiee teased.
- The wookiee’s comment had initiated a seemingly endless stare-off. Hyacinth was unyielding, as usual. Pankaja, of course, was the first to crack a smile.
- Just as she was about to tackle-hug the oversized fur ball, a straggly-haired thief came bounding down the alley. He made a grab for the necklace at Hyacinth’s neck.
- Before the Hyacinth could even respond, Pankaja had the vagabond by the throat. The rogue frantically swung his legs and choked on his pleas. The merciless wookiee just snarled and tightened his grip.
- “You have three seconds before I make your eyeballs pop out of your head.”
Rebel *with* a cause
- “Never thought you would see me in a dress, huh?”
- “I’m just happy you bathed, little one.”
- Hyacinth turned around and glared at Pankaja. Her red-orange hair was pinned back (for once). She sported a long white dress with a flared collar. Of course, that dirty look of hers soon faded.
- Pankaja’s eyes twinkled. “Look at you. You look beautiful, little one,” His voice was tender. He was a proud Papa.
- Grinning toothily, he continued, “Nineteen years old. You’ve accomplished so much already. You discovered your royal lineage, reclaimed the Velmorian throne, served on the Galactic Senate, and now you’re off to fix the monarchial crisis on Onderon.”
- He paused before adding, “You really are an ambitious politician.”
- She faced the window and watched the hover cars race by. “Hard to believe we were once Corellian street rats, eh?” She reminisced.
- The wookiee grunted.
- “…I’m not looking forward to the road ahead, you know,” She reached for the familiar necklace at her slender neck and started fiddling with the stones.
- Pankaja patted her back, "I will be with you every step of the way, little one."
Republic Liberation Front ( RLF)
Location: Iziz, Onderon
"To simplify our ideals and basic purpose, the Republic Liberation Front is an underground military force independent of Empress Talmerith Jael's Empire. Independent as we are, the political relationship between the Empire and the RLF is blatantly turbulent. This alliance, this resurrection of a republic, is about unity. It’s for the middle men that society disposed of. We are not the Empire and we will never be the Empire!”
- Hyacinth’s voice boomed throughout the entire city. She was delivering her first public address to the people of Onderon. Her face was a white mask. She had flawless composure. Her fingers, however, curled tighter around the podium’s edges.
- “As your new Queen, I will do my best to recognize the middle men. Thank you,” The young Queen stepped away from the podium and headed for the inner chambers of the palace.
- “Haw-haw, now look who has the galaxy’s biggest gut…” Pankaja canted his head to one side. He was standing in the lobby. Hyacinth slowed and turned to him. She gave him a cheeky grin.
- “Is that gray fur I see?” Hyacinth half-sung as she approached the wizened wook. She was pregnant. And he was going gray.
- “Gray fur? Bah, it was probably your doing!” Pan chuckled and pulled her into a hug.
- He then pointed to every silver streak he could find in his fur. “This one is from when you decided to steal from a Hutt, this one is from when you thought pulling a Cannok's tail was a good idea. This one is from when you had me convinced the Onderon military was going to arrest you and you needed to be hidden.”
- Hyacinth grinned and took his arm. Her face had thinned with age and she was developing laugh lines.
- They walked together.
- “How’s that husband of yours?”
- “He refuses to get out of his armor and take a bath.”
- “Huh, sounds like someone I know.”
The Final Stand
Location: Iziz, Onderon
- Hyacinth leaned over the floating bassinet and brushed her finger against her daughter’s satin cheek. The baby had a single sprout of carrot red hair that stuck straight up like a stick. They occupied the Queen’s private quarters.
- After a few minutes, the bassinet glided away. Her daughter Calliope would be transported to another planet tonight.
- Hyacinth faced the stain-glass window in silence. Worried thoughts circled around in her head. Her husband Selkisto walked up from behind her and wrapped her up in his arms. She leaned back against him and released a stream of breath.
- When the sun bled out of the sky, the battle between the Empire and the Republic began. Light sabers buzzed to life in the lower levels of the Onderon palace. The Queen's husband was at the head of the vicious battle.
- Within the Queen’s quarters, Hyacinth faced the Imperial Empress.
- Her skull bashed against the bedroom floor, her breathing was strained. A woman in white and gold armor had the Queen at blaster point. The redhead could see black spots in her vision. She was near blacking out.
- The woman advanced closer. Her face was dark and her hair untamed. She was so close to ending the Republic right there and then. But, she hesitated.
- “Talmerith, please! We're family!” Hyacinth stood up, her legs shook.
- “You’re out of touch with reality, Hyacinth!” The Empress’ voice was tired, her throat was raw.
- Hyacinth backed up until she was touching the stain-glass window. The storm troopers were closing in on her, surrounding her like she was prey. The Queen glared. She was weaponless.
- The Empress fired her blaster at the window behind Hyacinth. It shattered into a million fragments. Hyacinth lifted her arms over her face as the glass shards rained down on her, slicing her fair skin.
- The Queen looked up at the Empress. Then, Hyacinth did the unexpected. She dragged herself to the border of the broken window. The glass crunched under her feet. Gusts of wind blew her red mane around.
- “You can take my body. But you can’t take my spirit. I will fly free in these winds…” she lolled her head back. Tears were rolling down the sides of her angular face.
- She let herself fall backwards. As she plummeted, she envisioned her husband’s face. She wanted to feel his dry hair between her fingers.
- The air whistled in her ears.
- She imagined her child as a full-grown woman. Her daughter had one of those beaming smiles. It was contagious.
- Pankaja crossed her mind, too. She remembered when he used to fling her up over his head as a child. He would always catch her. It was a game she adored.
- She would always come back down into his arms, wouldn’t she?