((DISCLAIMER: THE SETTING OF THE STORY IS AN OC PLANET, I HAD BEEN WRITING THIS IVER ABOUT 2 MONTHS, SO THE STYLE OF WRITING MAY HAVE SOME INCONSISTENCIES, AND THIS STORY TAKES PLACE APPROXIMATELY ONE YEAR BEFORE OUR CURRENT TIME IN GAME. I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT!!))

In the plains of the far off Outer Rim world of Derquine, a fireball shot across the midnight sky, hurdling towards the forests to the north. A young boy named Bilgrath from the village at the edge of the forest watched the object in wonder as it passed directly over the small settlement and disappeared into the clouds of the approaching storm.

Excitement was hard to come by in the simple farming village, but Bilgrath knew something special must be happening when the King's men came rushing through the town on speeder bikes seemingly chasing after the object.

--

“Observation: We appear to have entered a storm. It may provide us with necessary cover to escape the Royal Guards.” A droid designated J4-X, typically referred to as JayFour, stated from the rear of the small shuttle craft that was barreling through the clouds.

The man in the pilot seat let out a grunt of frustration. “Duly noted!” He said as he attempted to gain some control over the craft.

“Jax, mate, you gotta put that thing down!” Came a voice from Jaxon’s helmet, the voice of Okeif Farstar, Jaxon’s close friend and technical boss. “It's going to blow any second!”

“Bloody hell! JayFour, find us a suitable landing spot!” Jaxon’s Imperial accent barked.

“Query: Define ‘suitable'?” The droid said.

“Somewhere that doesn't get us killed--” Just then the shuttle impacted a tall tree, splitting the left wing off of the craft and taking with it their last working engine.

--

Bilgrath watched as a unit of Royal Guards stopped in the center of town. A tall man in silver armor with a crimson flag hanging from his shoulder barked directions to the rest of the red-clad soldiers who in turn set up a perimeter around the small village. Two soldiers came up from behind the boy, one grabbing him by the collar, the other leaning down to look the boy over.

“Don't you know it's past your curfew, boy?” The leaning soldier said.

“Maybe we should take him to the Captain.” The second soldier laughed as he tugged at the boy's collar a moment before letting it go, causing Bilgrath to fall to the ground.

“Not necessary. He’s just a stupid little villager boy. We'll just send him home.” The first soldier said.

Bilgrath began to tear up as he laid face down in the dirt, causing the soldiers to erupt into laughter. The commotion gained the attention of their Captain. As soon as the two soldiers realized he was coming, it was too late.

“By the King, what in the blazes are you doing? Terrorizing a small child?”

“N-no! Captain Briggs, we were merely trying to help him find his way home, he was lost.” The first soldier stuttered.

The man, now known as Captain Briggs, was hearing none of it however as he knelt in front of the boy and held out a hand. “Get up, son, the King needs us all to be strong.” He said in a low yet friendly voice.

Bilgrath grabbed Briggs’ hand and was pulled to his feet. He then felt the man brush the dirt off the front of his shirt and trousers. “T-thank you.” He stammered as he looked to the ground, tears rolling down his face.

Captain Briggs looked at the two soldiers with a glare so sharp that it could have cut them in half. “Away with you, secure the perimeter.” He ordered, to which the two obeyed without question.

--

JayFour carried Jaxon out of the burning wreckage and into the heavy rain, the Imperial having fallen unconscious. His armor covered in black ash and scratches, including a massive tear in the left side of his undersuit.

“Commentary: Organics and their fragile ‘consciousness’, sad!” The droid exclaimed.

JayFour knew there wasn't much time for them to escape, and Jaxon was in no condition to fight if it came to that. So the droid began to trek further into the forest, Jaxon over shoulder.

The rain got heavier as the night rolled on. Beads of water rolled down the droid’s plating as it continued it’s mission to ensure the survival of it’s Master.

--

Captain Briggs continued to walk the town. He removed his helmet as drops of rain began to land on his glass visor, exposing his salt and pepper military cut and steel blue eyes. His complexion closer to that of the villagers than the brown eyes and tan skin of his soldiers, most of whom had lived in the Crown Capitol, Felia, their entire lives.

“Sir, we’re getting reports that one of our scouting teams have found the fugitives’ crash site. Twenty klicks north by north east.” A soldier reported.

“Give them word to hold position and await my arrival.” Briggs said before replacing his helmet. He returned to his speeder and took off further into the storm, crimson cape billowing in the breeze.

It didn't take long for the Captain to arrive, parking his speeder along side the other three that were set away from the smoldering wreckage. What was left was a bent and burning husk of metal.

“Nobody could have survived that mess, Captain.” A soldier said as he stepped away from the wreckage to greet Briggs.

“I'll be the judge of that.” The Captain said, stepping closer to the shuttle.

Briggs examined the wreck, walking around all angles before noticing a skid in the mud heading east.

“Explain this…” Captain Briggs said as he motioned for the three soldiers to rally around him.

--

The Imperial Academy was no place for the faint of heart, and for Jaxon it was pass or die. The faces of his classmates were distorted and the voices of his instructors were mumbled. Everything felt lucid, even counter interrogation.

At what seemed to be the blink of an eye, it was graduation day. Of the sixty candidates that entered, only ten stood on the parade deck of the top secret military installation on the far side of Dromund Kaas, and like every other day, it was pouring a torrential rain. As the graduates stood at attention in their dress greys, the commanding Admiral gave an unintelligible speech. Beads of water pelted Jaxon, but being of Kassian decent was unphased.

Seemingly seconds later he awoke to the feeling of rain, but when his vision cleared, it became apparent this was not Dromund Kaas.

--

Captain Briggs and his team moved through the trees like specters, needing no visible light due to the low light mode their helmets provided. The Crimson-clad scouts followed not far behind their Chrome-clad Captain.

“I've got nothing.” One of the scouts called out.

“Me neither. Storm must be buggering my optics.” A second scout said.

“Quiet, we may have something.” Captain Briggs said with a raise of his left hand.

--

Jaxon finally regained consciousness in the mud as the droid applied a field dressing to the large wound up his abdomen.

“Observation: Master, you are quite skilled at becoming injured.” The droid said, not stopping it's task.

“I'm just lucky I suppose.” Jaxon said through gritted teeth.

“Commentary: You’re lucky enough to have me at least!”

“Like I said… Lucky…”

Jax’s datapad sat in his backpack as he shifted, causing the device to turn on in it's mesh pocket.

--

Briggs and his team stalked through the mud and rain looking for any sign where their targets may have escaped to when suddenly a faint light became visible through the downpour.

The four crept closer until they were in position to pounce, storming the man and his droid. Their weapons were raised as they barked orders to stay down.

“Oh bloody hell…” The man on the ground said as the droid was thrown into electro-cuffs. “Get your bloody hands off of me!”

One of the soldiers kicked the man on the ground as Briggs stood over him, cuffs in hand. “For the assassination of King Julique Vazno, you are hereby under arrest. Furthermore, you are under arrest for multiple counts of murder, and several counts of assault of a Royal Guardian. On top of that, one charge of grand theft shuttle. What say you in your defense?”

--

Jaxon remained silent as he was rolled onto his stomach and cuffed.

“Very well, you are within your right to remain silent. You have the right to a trail per the Constitution of Derquine. Your machine however is not granted the same protections and will be scrapped regardless of your verdict.” The large man said.

The electo-cuffs had caused J4 to enter sleep-mode, resulting in two soldiers carrying the machine while one walked behind Jaxon with the barrel of his rifle pressed against the Imperial’s back. The man seemingly in charge of this team led the way through the the downpour that had only seemed to get harder as the night marched on.

Jaxon was thrown over the back of a speeder bike and tied down. “Not so tight.” The Imperial spat through the pain of his wounds.

The soldier tying him proceeded to pull the straps harder. “Better?” He sneered as he double tapped Jax’s cheek with a light slap.

--

Bilgrath could see no more soldiers from the window of his room. He was tired and ready to finally fall asleep when speeder lights shined through the glass, illuminating the room. There were four of them that stopped in the clearing outside his family’s humble home. The boy ran to the next room to see where they were going when suddenly a loud knock filled the house.

Bilgrath didn't dare answer the door out of fear when he saw his father stumble into the room towards the front door. The man looked down at his son as he rubbed his eyes. “Billy, go to bed. It’s probably nothing.” He said as he made a lazy attempt to fix his long blonde hair.

When he answered the door, he was greeted by a Royal Guard Officer. “Sir, my name is Captain Briggs. Due to the storm, it is unsafe for my men to travel back to the Capitol at this time. We’d like to request lodging in your barn until the storm settles.” The officer stated.

“I would be honored, Captain. If you or your men need anything, my name is Sethir, and myself and my family would be humbled to do our part to serve the King's men.” He said.

Captain Briggs shifted his footing. “Thank you, citizen. Your commitment is commendable.” He said before turning towards the barn and making hand gestures to his men to follow. It appeared they were carrying something to the Barn.

--

Jax marched forward as the soldiers ordered, though he made no haste. He watched as they threw the deactivated J4 into a pile of bantha manure with a splat that was audible over the rain pelting the sheet metal roof.

There were leaks in various places, the biggest of which over an empty stall where they ordered Jaxon to enter. They closed the large door behind him.

“You three stay here. I'll return with relief from the town so you can get some shut eye.” The officer said before departing.

--

One of the soldier’s took off his helmet, exposing his brown eyes and bald head. He rubbed his eyes before looking back to his comrades who were whispering to themselves away from the stall they had locked their prisoner in, helmets in hand.

“Fralazin, come here.” One of the soldiers, who he knew as Drewon motioned at the now helmetless man, to which he obeyed.

“Fralazin, you do not understand how big this moment is.” The second soldier, a noble's son named Yezzin started. “This day will go down in both fame and infamy, and we have the chance to become great legends of the kingdom.”

“More importantly, we can make a lot of money.” Drewon interjected.

“You see, while settlers and colonists may not respond as well to it, nobility in the capitol absolutely adore leaked military torture videos. The value of which based on whom is being tortured. Pedophiles and mass murderers usually fetch a nice price, but political criminals are where the money lays.” Yezzin continued. “And what crime is higher than regicide?”

Fralazin shifted uneasily. “What if the Captain comes back?” He asked.

“The Captain went to town by foot. He’s probably still walking down.” Yezzin said with a mischievous smile.

“All we're asking is for you to record. After all, as the junior member of the squad, it’s only fair that you watch and learn.” Drewon added.

“Fine… But this feels wrong…” Fralazin relented.

“You won't regret this, my friend, I promise.” Drewon said with a pat of Fralazin’s shoulder. He handed the young soldier a holo-recorder and began walking towards the stall, Yezzin close in tail.

“Turn it on as soon as we open the stall, got it?” Yezzin whispered, to Fralazin who nodded.

--

Bilgrath entered the barn quietly and watched the soldiers approach stall four. When they opened it, they began shouting obscenities at whatever was inside and the sounds of impacts could be heard over the shouting from time to time.

“You thought you could get away with killing our beloved King!?” One of the soldiers shouted. “Well think again you foreign piece of shit!”

Bilgrath couldn't believe his ears. The King was dead? Is that why all the soldiers are here? So many new questions with seemingly no answers as the sound of a man screaming overpowered even the rain.

The child was in shock. He wanted to leave back to his home, but on the way out, he tripped over the husk of a droid, the shock causing him to scream briefly.

--

Yezzin put up a hand to stop Drewon from prying ay the man’s eyes any further. “Someone seems to be here… Check it out. I'll stay here.” He whispered.

Drewon stepped outside of the stall and began to look around. He went to look behind a bale of grain next to the wall, but before looking behind it fully, decided no full sized adult could fit back there.

“I've got nothing.” Drewon called out.

Yezzin was punching at the man whom they had forced into a sitting position for the camera. When Drewon re-entered the stall, he kicked the black-clad assassin down to his back.

--

Jax knew that at some point, his opportunity would come. He had already managed to grab a key off of one of the grandstanding soldiers.

He was lifted to his feet by his shoulders from behind. His weight was hardly supported by his feet when the other man got in his face. “How does it feel to be beaten, Assassin?”

Jax chuckled a bit. “You tell me.” He said before spitting blood into the soldier’s eye. He brought his legs up and forced his shackled wrists under his feet, using the upward momentum to deliver a double fisted uppercut to the staggered assailant. Following through the same motion, he brought his hands up and over his head, grabbing the soldier holding him around the skull and digging his thumbs into the man’s eyes.

The first soldier stumbled forward, allowing Jaxon to use him as a springboard to flip behind the second, wrapping his cuffs around the soldier's neck and throwing him over his good side hip.

--

Everything was happening so fast, Fralazin could do nothing but watch as Drewon wiped the man’s blood from his face and attempted to get him off of Yezzin, only for the Assassin to shift his weight into Drewon, stumbling him, before delivering a swift kick to Drewon’s groin. As the soldier fell, the Assassin caught him in a choke with his legs.

Fralazin stared in horror as the man in black choked both of his comrades with different ends of his body until he moved his legs and a loud pop filled the air. Drewon’s struggling ended then and there as the Assassin kicked his now lifeless body to the wayside and rolled on top of Yezzin.

--

Jax gained leverage on the soldier and began bashing the soldier's head into the mud. He rolled to the far side of the room, away from the third soldier who stood with a camera, causing the key he had swiped to fall from being tucked in the back of his belt. Jax quickly grabbed the key as the soldier finally dropped the holo-recorder and attempted to take action. It was too little too late when Jax unlocked one side, using the side still bound to him to whip the soldier across the face.

Jaxon dropped the last cuff and came at the soldier with a flurry of strikes. Each punch strategically placed to inflict maximum damage with minimal force. Finally, Jaxon tripped the man and drew a knife from his belt.

--

Fralazin fall to the ground and felt the cold steel of a blade as it entered the flesh of his throat. His vision went black as the life drained from his eyes.

“Mother, I'm coming home…” Was his last thought.

--

Bilgrath heard the fighting despite holding his ears closed behind the grain. He wanted to run, he wanted to scream. But his body didn't move and his lips could make no sound.

Then there was silence. The only audible sound after the fighting ended was that of the rain which seemed to to no longer be a torrential downpour. Footprints got closer and Bilgrath could hear the sound of whoever one messing with the droid on the other side of the bale of grain.

“Notification: Unit JayFour-Ex, operational. I'm back baby!”

Bilgrath peaked out, catching a glimpse of the man and his droid. He ducked back behind the grain, trying not to cry.

--

“Statement: It appears we have company still, Master.” JayFour said as it turned towards the bale of grain and drew its blaster.

JayFour ripped the large bale of to the side, leveling his blaster at the head of the human behind it. There was a shrill squeal as the droid aimed at a small child, causing Jax to intervene.

“JayFour, cease!” Jaxon barked.

“Affirmation: As you wish, Master.” The droid said as it holstered its weapon.

The child was bawling by this point. Jaxon attempted to approach but was met with fierce resistance.

“Stay back murderer!” The child shouted as he punched and kicked at the Imperial.

“Declaration: Surrender, tiny organic!” The droid said as it picked up the child by his shirt.

“JayFour! Release him!” Jaxon barked.

“Commentary: You are lucky the Master is here.”

JayFour set the child down and the boy proceeded to run towards the house. Jaxon gathered his supplies that the soldiers had taken.

“We don't have much time if any…” The Imperial said with a sense of urgency as he dug through his kit for a stim.

“Agreement: Master, you are most wise in that observation. We have motion approaching.”

“Shite…”

--

Captain Briggs walked with his men towards the farm. Four fresh soldiers walked behind the officer through the storm. Though the rain seemed to be getting lighter, the wind was gusting harder than before. The men approached the barn doors.

“Corporal Drewon! We're coming in!” Briggs shouted as they pushed the back door open.

On the ground laid three dead men, Briggs’ scout team. The prisoner was nowhere to be found, and neither was the droid.

“Blast it all to hell!” Briggs shouted as he threw his helmet at a nearby wall. “Search the property, and find them!”

The main door opened up and a dark-clad man with blaster pistol entered the barn. The soldiers took aim and immediately laid waste to the figure, blasting the man into pieces. A second later, a voice shouted “Daddy!”

Briggs ran over to the body that laid half in the barn and half in the rain. It was the humble farmer in his pajamas, his little boy crying over the corpse. “Daddy! Wake up! Please!” The child shouted as he shook what remained of his father.

--

Jax and JayFour stayed crouched behind a set of barrels on the second deck of the barn. The ladder they used had been pulled up and laid behind them as not to draw any attention.

“Why did you do this!” The child from earlier shouted.

“Son, this was a misunderstanding…” The Officer could be heard saying before being interrupted.

“Bring back my daddy!” The boy sobbed.

“Secure the perimeter. And check your targets.” The Officer ordered.

Jaxon and JayFour remained hidden as the guards dispersed. One guard stayed inside and crouched beside one of the bodies.

“I swear I will avenge you, brothers…” The man said before standing up.

As the last soldier made his way out the door, Jax signaled for JayFour to lower the ladder. The man and droid lowered themselves quickly to ground level. Jaxon crept up to the half open door. What he saw was a one trooper making a patrol around the barn and the officer approaching the farmhouse. In the clearing were four speeder bikes. “JayFour, you drive, I'll shoot, we’re taking one of those bikes.” The Imperial stated in a whisper. “But first, a distraction…”

Jax stepped away from the door over to a dead soldier, grabbing a grenade off his belt and walking to the door on the other side of the barn. Jaxon primed the device and gave it a hefty toss. The explosion that followed five seconds later was enough to get the soldiers running. Jaxon and his droid walked back towards the side with the speeder.

One soldier tried to cut through the barn as Jaxon made it to the door. The melee didn't last long as Jax pushed the Royal Guardian’s blaster to his left as he broke right, then pulling the soldier’s arm towards him with his left hand and striking him in the throat with his right. In the struggle, the trooper’s rifle went off harmlessly at the wall, but it was quite loud.

“Now! Now!” Jaxon shouted as he took the rifle and sprinted for the back of the speeder, JayFour taking the helm. The diversion worked long enough to give them a head start, but the shot gave them away as the others ran for two of the remaining three speeders and gave chase, leaving Brigg’s speeder.

--

“Go go go!” A soldier could be heard shouting outside. Briggs turned and saw the prisoner and his droid climb aboard a speeder, Guardsmen in pursuit.

Briggs was on the front porch of the house when he turned and ran, rife in hand, firing wildly at the prisoner.

Briggs hopped on his speeder and quickly joined the formation chasing the black-clad assassin.

--

“Bloody hell, we have three now!” Jax called out as he attempted to fire, but the weapon he commandeered was far from a marksman’s rifle.

“Acknowledgement: We will lose them in the trees.” JayFour said.

“That sounds like a terrible idea!”

The speeder dove into the treeline, weaving between the hulking towers of lumber. One speeder followed the pair in and immediately planted himself into the side of a tree. The second followed down a moment later with a bit more success navigating the forest, but he was no droid, and eventually met the same fate as his comrade.

Finally, the officer dove in. He glided through the trees like he’d grown up doing it. Eventually he got close enough to Jax that he could fire at the Imperial. JayFour dodged and spun, but it couldn't lose the determined trooper.

“Analysis: This one seems to know what he’s doing.”

“So I've noticed!”

--

Briggs was hot on the assassin's tail. ‘Just a little closer’ he thought. As he drew within range, dodging through the trees with finesse, he readied his blaster.

Briggs and the man on the back of the speeder exchanged blaster fire, bobbing and weaving through the trees. Briggs let out another burst just as a large tree was set to drive them in separate directions.

--

“Bloody hell!” Jaxon shouted as the blaster rifle was shot from his hand.

The man and his droid broke left while the officer was forced to break right. There was a long row of trees and rocks dividing the two paths.

“Suggestion: We should break off here while we have the opportunity.” The Droid suggested.

“Make it so. And get us back to the Phantom when we know we’re clear.” Jaxon said as he scanned what little he could see through the rain pouring from the tree tops.

--

Lost. Captain Briggs was frustrated. He had them in his sights, and now they were gone. Countless men dead at the hands of one man and a machine, all in vain. Upon relenting, the Captain pulled up and made route for the Capitol.

The storm became less intense as the sun rose, lighting his way as he crossed over the mountains that separated the forests and grassy fields of the north from the more arid dry lands of the south. His mind on how he could explain his failure to the widowed queen.

In a small valley just outside the capitol, Captain Briggs was hit with a beam of light reflecting from the valley floor. It looked like a ship almost. Curious, he dove down towards the object. A ship! And not one at all like those of the people of Derquine. ‘This must be the assassin's ship’ he thought to himself as he inspected the outside of the ship.

“Redemption…” He muttered as he moved to take an elevated position.

--

Jaxon and JayFour had burned all of the night away in their escape and evasion. Now, under the light of day, they made a desperate play to get back to the ship and leave this planet.

They arrived a short time later to the small clearing in the valley where Jaxon’s ship was landed. The mountains around them were much more arid and the sky mostly clear.

“JayFour, prepare the ship for takeoff.” The Imperial said as the speeder touched down.

“Acknowledgment: At once, Master!.” JayFour said.

The ramp of the ship opened and JayFour was half-way up when a blaster round cracked through the open air, hitting the droid. Jaxon dropped a spherical shield generator at his feet, using the cover to scan the ridgeline. Another shot, this time hitting the shield.

“There you are…” Jaxon said, still wielding the Guardsmen Rifle.

--

A shield? That complicated matters for Briggs. The droid was down, so he was one on one with the assassin. Briggs was changing positions when a burst of blaster fire impacted the rocks around him.

“Damnit!” The Captain shouted, diving behind a large rock formation.

--

Jaxon had the sniper pinned, but his options were limited given the openness of the environment. He had one idea, and it was stupid to say the least.

Jax kept up the fire in short bursts, trying his best to control the shoddy rifle, as he moved forward. He rarely elected for frontal assaults, but he saw no viable alternatives given the circumstances.

--

Everytime Briggs even considered peeking his head out, he was met with exploding rubble in his face. The blaster fire was too close for comfort and only seemed to be getting closer.

Finally, the Captain peaked his rifle out and fired a brief volley. The sound of something hitting the ground could be heard, but it was too light in tone to have been the man.

--

Jax’s rifle was shot out of his hand. He was less than three meters from the rock his attacker was covered behind and couldn't afford to turn back now. His attacker peaked up, rifle in hand, bringing it to bear as Jaxon drove his shoulder into the man,s center of mass, sending the rifle flying to his left.

--

Briggs lost grip of his rifle as the assassin barreled into him. The ensuing ground melee was anything but pretty as the two exchanged blows, gouging at each other's eyes and throats, and eventually rolling down the hill strangling each other before the momentum separated them.

Briggs stood up first and ran at the black clad man who killed his king. The Captain delivered a knee to the man’s head, causing the assassin to lose his cap. Briggs grabbed him by his armor, lifting him up only to throw the assassin back down into his armored boot.

--

Jax flew forward after his gut made violent impact with the man’s foot. He attempted to gather himself only to be lifted again, this time by the throat. His cap was gone, but his black face cover remained.

--

Briggs held the man up by his throat as he looked the assassin in the eyes. His expression turned to rage as he punched the otherwise faceless man in the jaw.

“I want to see your face. You hide behind a mask, but I will show your bloodied face to the entire galaxy.” Briggs said as he ripped the mask off.

The man’s face was indeed bloodied, as well as scarred, the biggest of which running over his right eye.

--

Jax felt the mask come off but felt powerless as right hand reached for a button on his belt. When he finally found it in his patting, the result was a prick in his chest. Stims were Jaxon’s dirty secret that he hated to admit he needed to maintain his performance.

The officer continued to rant, but Jaxon couldn't hear a word of it. Finally, he felt the drug kick in, and he spit blood into the older man’s eye before bringing his arms up and around to the man’s shoulder and pulling himself in to deliver a brutal headbutt.

--

Briggs was blinded and disoriented as he stumbled back. He heard the steps approaching so he swung, only to feel his right arm taken and twisted around behind him. Then, pop, a shooting pain from his shoulder brought the veteran officer to his knees, unable to resist the urge to scream in pain. He used his free hand to wildly attempt to wipe his face, managing to regain his vision, though his eyes hurt profusely as well.

-

Jax continued to pull at the man’s arm. The officer managed to throw a leg at Jaxon’s foot, stumbling him. Next thing he knew, the older man was charging him with a decent sized rock in his good hand. Jaxon dodged the first swing, deflecting the second, and finally taking the third straight to the gut.

The Imperial desperately attempted to gather his breath, but before he knew it, the sandy rock was smashed into his head, shattering into rubble throughout his brown hair. Jaxon saw the man’s foot approaching and managed to move his head, taking the kick to the shoulder. The blow pushed him over into an almost fetal position, holding his shoulder.

The man tried to kick him again, this time aiming for Jaxon’s gut, but Jax rolled out of the way this time, forcing himself to his feet and taking up a combat stance.

--

Briggs stepped back after his missed kick and forced his right shoulder back into socket. It hurt, but he could move it. He took up a brawler’s stance and circled slowly clockwise, to which the assassin did as well.

Almost in unison, the two men dashed for each other, meeting in the middle of their imaginary ring and exchanging blows. The two men were hell bent, each one wanting desperately to come out on top. Briggs threw a left hook, to which the assassin ducked under, attempting to punch the officer in the gut. Briggs deflected it with his right hand.

--

The melee seemed eternal, the two men not exactly graceful, but neither able to quite get the advantage. Finally, Jax took a kick to the gut, forcing him back. He managed to maintain his balance, reaching down to grab a grey stone off the ground, throwing it at the man.

The officer instinctively broke his guard to try to deflect the incoming object, to which Jaxon capitalized on. The officer turned slightly to Jax’s left, Jaxon broke to his right, slipping behind the man. The Imperial kicked the man in the back of the knee, while seemingly in the same motion, he grabbed the man around the neck into a rear naked choke. He then used the man’s struggling against him, throwing the thrashing officer to the ground while maintaining the choke.

--

Briggs saw his vision start to go black as he hit the dirt. He knew there wasn't much else he could do. His thoughts slipped to his wife and kids, and to the men he believed he had failed on this mission as his body continued to hopelessly struggle against the will of his adversary.

Finally, he felt his body stop, his vision mostly black with only spots of blurred light remaining. Then, pop, pure blackness. His body gone, unable to breathe, unable to feel anything… This really was it for the old man.

--

Jaxon stood up after finishing the man off and limped to the ship. He collapsed to the dirt just inches from the ramp and began to crawl. He forced himself up the ramp, inch by inch, meter by meter, crawling over the damaged droid that laid in his path.

When he finally made it aboard and into the hallway of the craft, he laid on his back in the corridor, gasping for air.

“Ship… Take us home…” He said.

The engines started and the ramp closed, the droid now stored in the ramp compartment, safe, but inaccessible. Jaxon felt the ship lift off and break for the atmosphere before the force of hyperspace could be felt throughout his body. He survived, but barely…

END