Part 2 of this story: jewel-firefly.deviantart.com/j…Winter Song: The Lost Year - Conclusion
The planet Baralou was difficult for starships to land upon, due to its constant, violent storms. The starship containing Starla Winter and her Master Mace Windu had to wait out a particularly turbulent storm. Starla’s stomach had done so many somersaults during the wait to land that she was exhausted by the time the ship landed on a rocky island. A native Multopos met them at the landing platform. The muscular creature stood on two legs, was about two meters tall, with a pale gray skintone, long snouted face, and webbed hands and feet. His bulbous eyes made Starla feel a little nauseous again, but she quickly calmed herself in the Force.
Master Windu was unfazed, “Greetings. I am Jedi Master Mace Windu, and this is Jedi Starla Winter.”
The Multopos bowed slightly. “Greetings. I am the tribal chieftan of this sector of Baralou.”
He motioned for them to follow him to a hovercraft. As they got onboard, the chieftan continued, “The various tribes of Multopos have gathered to plan our final attacks on the Krikthasi, our longtime enemy. We appreciate the Jedi’s offer of assistance in defeating these barbarian hordes.”
Starla could feel her master getting angry and his efforts to keep from saying something undiplomatic. He slowly replied, “The Jedi are are here to help you negotiate peace with the Krikthasi, not defeat them.”
The Multopos chieftan’s skin mottled and wrinkled with agitation. He started the vehicle and they traveled over island after island in an endless ocean. Starla was amazed by the large schools of brightly-colored fish in the water. She looked up at the Multopos, and noticed the mottled colors of his skin were changing back to gray, as if he were calming himself down as well.
He finally spoke, “Diplomacy is not a concern of ours, Jedi. But I will save the conversation for the tribal elders meeting that we are expected at shortly.” The vehicle suddenly swerved sharply to the left, avoiding a Krikthasi’s long tentacle threatening them. He skillfully steered the hovercraft back on course. “I apologize for the rude behavior of our nemeses. They are ever-hungry and aggressive.” The craft finally landed on another rocky island, near a fortress-like city, where a contingent of Multopos chieftans stood waiting.
Once Starla was on land again, her legs wobbled a bit, then she gathered up the strength to read the situation: anger, impatience, and violence resonated in the Force. Windu met Starla’s eyes and gave her a reassuring grin. The Jedi Master had been through these types of situations many times, and he emanated absolute confidence that he could persuade the natives to agree to a peace treaty with each other. Everyone proceeded into a castle-like building, made of soil and sand, but which appeared to be incredibly sturdy. Starla had studied the planet on the trip, and recognized the native architecture. Each planet’s unique characteristics fascinated her. She sat down at a long table next to her Master, then about 20 chieftains, all identical in appearance, sat down. Enormous baskets overflowing with sasho gems served as centerpieces the middle of the table, sparkling, and enticing Starla like candy. She had read how the Moltopos were ignorant of the true value of the vast supplies of gems on Baralou, and this was a dazzling example of it. The sounds of an intense storm began outside the building, torrents of rain pounding the structure.
The chieftan spoke to the group, “These two Jedi have come to bring peace to our planet.” Something like grin appeared on his long-snouted face. The entire room broke into a kind of high-pitched laughter. Starla looked at her Master, wondering what he would say. Windu slowly stood up from his chair. Just as he began to speak, the doors to the chamber slammed open and a horde of Krikthasi rushed in - they had used the storm and resulting flood to jettison them from the ocean.
The Krikthasi were violent, carnivorous, and undeniably ugly creatures. Mullosk-like, with ribbon-like flexible bodies, several tentacles acted as arms and legs. Most of the creatures in the horde held two coral or bone spears, while the larger Krikthasi held blasters. Their wet, lustrous skin was blue-green in color, demonstrating their aggression. They filled the wide doorway and path between the building and the ocean. Both Starla and Windu grabbed their lightsabers, ready to defend themselves and their hosts.
Before Starla could even look at her Master, a long tentacle grabbed her, lifted her high in the air, and moved her outside. She wriggled, trying to use her fighting and Force skills against the creature. When it moved into the water, she tried slicing the tentacle that was gripping her with her lightsaber. She couldn’t quite reach, but Windu could — he had nimbly moved outside, following the creature, using his Force skills to make a path. He sliced the offending tentacle, and all three others of the creature, making it howl with an awful moan as it fell into the ocean. Starla tumbled to the shore, and got up quickly, wielding her lightsaber. Just as she and Windu were heading back toward the building to help the Moltopos, another tentacle on another Krikthasi grabbed her, dragging her into the water. She held her breath, writhing in a vain attempt to free herself. She could not believe that she could drown. She summoned her Force skills to hold her breath and fight as much as she could to free herself. Fortunately, Master Windu used his formidable Force skills to release her from the sea creature and levitate her back to land.
“Thank you again, Master,” Starla stuttered as she rose to her feet. Her lightsaber was levitating near her head, courtesy of Windu. She grabbed it and activated it. The Jedi pair moved to the building, slicing Krikthasi limbs and deflecting a constant stream of blaster bolts from every direction. The Multopos leaders were huddled in a corner of the meeting rooms, shivering with fear. Windu was not pleased that he and his padawan would have to defeat the slimy, armed horde.
Meanwhile, Andis Meyer stealthily maneuvered through the jungles and waterways of Baralou like a ghost. He had set up this mission, sending the clues to the Jedi Masters as an anonymous mercenary, and ensuring that Starla would get involved because of the massive amounts of gems that Baralou contained. He wanted her to have what she loved - and she loved gems. He arrived on Baralou shortly after Starla, cloaking his presence skillfully as he followed her on her journey. He was testing her, all the while wanting her, needing her. He was also testing himself. He set a year limit on his return to Starla. His desire for Starla only grew, although she also frustrated the restless Mandalorian. Andis’ deepest attraction to Starla was her intense fighting style, fueled by passions that Jedi should not possess. Not to mention that her beauty matched her intelligence. He caught himself daydreaming as he drove his stolen hovercraft to the Moltopos fortress, and forced himself to focus on the present moment.
Andis arrived without notice on the perimeter of the horde, using his Force skills to make himself invisible amongst the Krikthasi. He then sliced his way through the horde with his lightsaber and beskad saber, in a frenzy of motion. Starla sensed another Force presence as Andis got closer and closer to her and her master. Windu sensed the additional Force presence, but his Force senses were much more sophisticated than Starla’s, and he accepted the new presence as an ally without hesitation.
As soon as most of the Krikthasi horde had been decimated by Andis, he disappeared into the nearby rainforest. He knew that Windu and Starla would finish off the remaining attackers, and he wanted to see Starla exercise her passionate fighting style. He grinned as he watched her striking, slicing, spinning and leaping with her Form IV Ataru skills, her padawan braid whipping around. She was poetry in motion as she quickly killed her attackers. Even Windu grinned with approval at Starla’s adept fighting skills.
Meanwhile, as Starla and her Master were battling the Krikthasi horde outside the building, the Multopos huddled in the corner of the meeting room had been murdered and eaten by another band of Krikthasi. The largest of the Krikthasi licked its wide mouth, and moved toward the two Jedi. All of the Krikthasi outside had been slaughtered. Windu put his lightsaber in front of him and turned it off. Starla was momentarily astounded, but then did the same. The large Krikthasi slowly turned red in color, showing his willingness for discussion.
“Jedi, you were talking with the wrong species,” the Krikthasi said in Basic, his speech slow and slurred by his massive mouth. “My kind were born to rule this planet. We are legion, and we will take care of the remaining Moltopo now. Do you understand that your diplomacy is not needed here?”
Windu completely understood. He looked at the Krikthasi leader, trying to focus on its four eyes. “I apologize for the confusion. We believed we had been invited to help with a peace treaty. We were given various gems as evidence of the potential of this planet in the Galactic Republic. Before we leave you to your business, can we at least gain your alliance to the Republic?” Windu used his Force persuasion skills to bend the mind of the Krikthasi leader. It worked like a charm.
The Krikthasi leader replied, “Jedi, we will consider joining the Republic on one condition: you may utilize the land-based natural resources and our mineral resources, but the ocean, our home, is ours alone. Understood?”
Windu smiled his trademark diplomatic Jedi smile, nodded, and said, “It is understood. Thank you. We will be leaving now.”
Starla and her master climbed aboard the nearby hovercraft and traveled back to their starship without incident - the Krikthasi left the vehicle alone this time. When the two Jedi arrived at the ship, a large bundle sat on the landing platform, loosely fastened. Starla knew what it contained. She excitedly opened the bundle, and thousands of rubies, sasho gems, jasse hearts and diamonds gleamed back at her. Her hands instantly dove in, and she felt the gems with her fingertips, making her almost giddy with delight.
Windu stood next to her, hands on his hips. “Padawan Winter, those gems appear to be a parting gift from the natives. We shall give them to the Chancellor upon our return to Coruscant.” He then proceeded into the ship. She waited a moment, then opened a pocket of her heavy Jedi coat, and a stream of gems floated into it, as if by their own power. She smiled to herself. Andis had gathered up the gems stealthfully, knowing that Starla would take some of them for herself. He grinned as he witnessed her clandestine action, and as she walked into the ship. His work here was done.
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Complete list of Starla Winter stories: jewel-firefly.deviantart.com/j…
Starla Winter is my Star Wars Original Character.
Andis Meyer is the OC of
Other characters and locations belong to Lucasfilm/Disney.
See Wookiepedia for more about Baralou starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Baralo…
and about the Multopos starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Multop…
and the Krikthasi starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Krikth…