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Knight of the Force - Chapter 1


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The Mid Rim,


Moon of Nar-Shadaar


The ships zipping back and forth were a blur, with people going to or from some destination that in their minds was of the utmost importance. Consumed as they were in their lives, attempting to make a living day to day in a bleak existence on a planets moon where there were no sunny beaches or lush forests. Encased in their metal coffins, zooming in and out of the neon posted city lights, smugglers, gangster, regular, honest shopkeepers.


They were all here, together, avoiding each other by meters as they fly past, they may have well as been alone on the planet, as they will no doubt never meet each other.

Such was a typical day in Nar Shadaar.


Nar Shadaar is a moon that is orbiting Nal Hutta, the home world of the Hutts. It is a bleak, dark, rainy and dangerous moon, home to criminals of all varieties, including smugglers, assassins and thieves. Nar Shadaar is often referred to as the “Vertical City”. It’s also sometimes called “Little Coruscant”, as it has some similarities to its big brother planet. The whole moon is basically one big city.


The main difference being though, is while Coruscant has some affluent areas, Nar Shaddar is a cess pool of filth and crime. One of its lesser favoured names, especially to the good citizens, is “Smugglers Moon”.


That being said however, there are good people that live here too, the ones that are honest and help run the businesses and keep the Nar Shadaar economy flowing through legitimate means. The Police force on this moon too is generally honest, although in a place where corruption is rampant, the Police are not immune to that either. The Republic has a military presence here too, but it is small and much discretion is used to attempt to keep the peace as much as possible.


Lendrick’s family had an apartment in C-Sector, three blocks away from one of the moons busiest star ports and their particular apartment was on the sixteenth floor. They had moved into this particular building complex when Lendrick was three.


As Lendrick’s parents were in the military, there were occasions that both would have to be called away and they needed to leave Lendrick in the care of the building child care facility. This is where Lendrick met a toddler whom he liked and played with straight away. The toddlers name was Lilania.


As the years went by and the two grew up together, they became fast friends, especially since there were not a lot of children in the building. Due to the floor they both lived on and the part of the city they lived in, It was quicker and easier (and safer) for Lendrick and Lilania to go four floors up to the roof and play in the roof-top arboretum than it was to go down to street.


Lendrick was growing into a lean young man, with short brown hair and kind, unassuming blue eyes. Lilania was equally beautiful, with dark brown hair and green eyes like emeralds freshly cut and polished. Lendrick was an only child to his parents, but that did not mean he was lonely. Lendrick had Lilania. Lilania’s parents were stockbrokers in the Galactic Market and as such could afford a unit in this section of town. Lendrick’s parents, being in the Military such as they were had the Republic pay for their apartment.


Pretty much every waking moment Lendrick would spend with Lilania, she was the closest thing to a sister Lendrick had. They had everything in common, and would constantly play make-believe of being great Republic Heroes. Lendrick would play at being a Jedi Knight of legend, destroying the evil Darth Malak and saving the beautiful Princess Lilania from the evil sith.


Of course, Lendrick was all of eight years old and Lilania was seven, and the closest thing Lendrick came to wielding a lightsabre was a cast off piece of piping left over from when the building expanded its living quarters.


Still, they had fun. Life was simple for Lendrick at that age, they were consumed by their building, it was their world, their planet. Years passed in a blur for them, and Lendrick had just turned nineteen. Lendrick had celebrated his birthday well, and was still heady from the Synth-Ale when Lilania dropped a bombshell. Lendrick’s world came crashing down when Lilania informed him she had to move away to continue her nursing studies, Lendrick was heartbroken.


“Will we ever see each other again?’ Lendrick asked Lilania as she was packing, holding back tears unsuccessfully and his throat constricted painfully from the emotion. Looking at her while she was folding her clothes, it was like seeing her again for the first time. She had grown into a self-assured, young adult. Flowing brown hair, tight muscled body and piercing green eyes! Those eyes! They could melt men’s hearts and leaving them mewling like babes in a foetal position.


“Of course we will Len!” Lilania gave Lendrick a sympathetic look before coming over giving him a hug to comfort him. Lendrick returned the hug fiercely, not wanting to let go.


“I have left you my new address, and I expect you keep in touch via vid-phone, Len” Lilania, also on the verge of tears pulled her head back to get a closer look at Lendrick. Their faces merely inches apart, tears flowed down both faces, mirror images of each other. The feelings had grown. Not just friends. Not anymore.


In the next instant, before either knew what was happening, they were kissing, their mouths becoming one as Lendrick cupped her cheeks and kissed on passionately, fervently. The kiss seemed to last an eternity, yet an eternity was too short for Lendrick, knowing that when the kiss ended, so would the strong and solid relationship they had built over the years.


Drinking in all that she was, her whole being, Lendrick knew that he loved her. Lendrick had always known. There was a connection, a bond. Something strong between them that could never be broken. Here it was though, she was leaving, across town, although it may have well have been a light-year away. Lendrick did not want the kiss to end, breathing through his nose, he could go on forever.


Lilania, tears meshing with Lendrick’s, she reluctantly pulled away. A look of amazement and warmth on her beautiful olive skin, her green eyes piercing into Lendrick’s soul and he smile, the special one just for him brought feelings of elation and joy to Lendrick’s heart.


“Whew! Wow! Um, I sure am going to miss you, my dear friend” Lilania clearly flustered stammered.


“Won’t you consider staying? I will be looking for a place of my own soon, perhaps we could share?”


A look of disappointment washed over Lilania face, “I can’t Len, I have to get to my dorm for my nursing studies, the core needs as many Medics as possible and there are rumours of a war brewing”.


Lendrick looked on Lilania with love, selfless to the last she was, yet here he was, having selfish wants and needs and all she could do was think about helping others. Lendrick felt a wash of shame flow through him.


“I understand, I am just going to miss you so much! “ Lendrick implored.


“I know, I will miss you too – and you better come and visit me!” Lilania said with mock anger, punching him lightly in the left shoulder before resuming her packing.


Lendrick would have loved to help her pack, but that selfish feeling came over him again, as he figured that if he were to help her, then she would be gone all the sooner. A feeling of anger and frustration then swamped him and he staggered back a step. It was all too hard! Lendrick needed some fresh air, which is relative to Nar Shadaar, the air outside being a tad fresher than the recycled air found in these apartment complexes.


“I need to go, I’m sorry” And with that Lendrick turned and left abruptly, fearful he would break down at the perceived loss of his friend. Lendrick quickly headed for the rooftop arboretum, which is where he would always go if he needed to think things through. “Why am I being so selfish? Your being stupid Lendrick, she is only going across town! It’s not like she’s dying or leaving the planet!” Lendrick told himself these things, in an attempt to quieten his troubled soul.


That evening, Lilania was gone, and Lendrick felt hollow and empty. Alone. He missed her already and it hadn’t even been twenty four hours yet. Trying to distract himself, Lendrick threw himself into his studies of ancient Republic myth’s and put himself through his rigorous gymnastic routines at the Apartment buildings gymnasium.


During his schooling, Lendrick had shown to be a natural gymnast, and balanced this with his keen interest in all things Ancient. He had won numerous awards and medals for his prowess, but all that was insignificant to how he felt about Lilania moving away. Frustration and anger threatened to overcome him in spurts and Lendrick had to use some meditative techniques his Uncle taught him to calm his mind and put out the fire in his soul.


Lendrick rarely left the confines of his apartment building; however, he would attend bi-yearly championships in Sung-DO, a freeform spinning and acrobatic martial art. Lendrick had won the championship three years running since his sixteenth birthday and it has got to a point that he thought to himself that there was nobody on Nar Shadaar that could best him.


It was weird though, through his rigorous training regime in the apartment building’s gymnasium, he would get flashes of insight, almost as If he could perceive the next move before it happened and which no doubt helped him become champion and the other practitioners fearful of Lendrick lightning quick reflexes.


Unbeknownst to Lendrick, a small furry animal watched him from the apartment’s windowsill. It was small with brown fur and a large fluffy tail. Large brown eyes watched Lendrick intently. Lendrick was engrossed in his studies and did not notice the squirrel. The squirrel’s eye and tail twitched and it put one small paw up to the glass-steel window. The tail twitched again and it was gone.


Lendrick snapped his head up at the sudden movement at the window to find nothing there. Shrugging he returned to his studies.


One thing Lendrick vowed to himself was that no matter what, he would remain friends with Lilania and would make sure she is looked after and watched out for. Lendrick felt an inherent need to protect her, and it was an overwhelming sensation.


Lendrick let himself drift off to sleep in the knowledge that no matter what, he would be there for her.


To be continued....

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