Space was cold. Starla Winter couldn’t get warm. The void in her soul made her ache to the bone. Aboard a small ship she borrowed from the Jedi Exploration Corps, she was coping the best she could. The Sith holocron that Starla brought with her was in the cargo hold, and its pull on her had estranged her from her lover, leaving her adrift in the outer rim.
Starla wrapped a blanket around herself, and thought of why she had to track down Count Dooku. She knew what it felt like to be betrayed by Dooku, feeling strength in her vindictiveness, darkness swirling near her in the Force. The darkness within the holocron was stronger than Beskar could contain, but only when beckoned by a living Force from within someone. Starla was unwittingly drawing the darkness to her, and it had the power to destroy her.
Starla felt the darkness attempt to surround her as her thoughts consumed her – just as it had when Dooku persuaded her to remove the data about Kamino from the Jedi Archives. She used her significant Force powers to keep the darkness from enveloping her like the blanket that she wrapped tightly around her, as if a cold wind was trying to embrace her. She knew that her strong, deep emotions were acting as a conduit of the Force, the light and the dark in combat within her and around her. As the darkness finally drew away and returned to the holocron in the cargo hold, she became so cold and pale, almost catatonic. She had to concentrate very hard on positive Force energy to revive herself. Exhausted, Starla fell into a deep sleep for a few hours.
Arrival on Null
Starla had done her research on the planet Null. As she disembarked ship, she recognized some landmarks and terrain details: lush alpine forest surrounded the clearing on which the ship had landed. The air was crisp and clear, refreshing to breathe; but Starla sensed a disturbance in the Force that indicated Count Dooku’s presence was indeed on the planet.
As she proceeded towards the woods, Starla’s boots crunched on the ground. She adjusted her comlink and her blaster, then looked up at the massive mountains in the distance. She knew that Dooku’s current lair was hidden there. Starla also had the Sith holocron in her possession, in her backpack.
Suddenly two Whisper Birds swooped past, singing to each other, their vibrant yellow plumage a stark contrast to the deep green forest. Starla gasped at the birds’ beauty, and took a moment to appreciate it before the inevitable conflicts that lay ahead.
Meanwhile, other ships crossed the sky, on their way to land at the planet’s main spaceport for the summit that Dooku was hosting to convince planetary leaders to join the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
- - -
Starla Winter had been hiking in the wilderness of the planet Null for over two standard hours. She could see the city lights in the distance. Her comlink beeped with a message from Master Yoda: Lorian Nod made an official statement to the Jedi Council that he would decline Count Dooku’s offer of joining the Confederacy of Independent Systems, to redeem himself of his criminal record. She breathed a sigh of relief.
Starla quickly sent a message to the Sargeant Lee of the Beskar Brigade Krayt Squad, “General Winter on planet Null. Stay alert for urgent help messages.” She wasn’t too proud to ask for help against a Sith Lord.
As a pair of Whisper Birds glided past Starla, her comlink beeped again. It was Master Yoda with another message: Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker were on the way to Null to secretly watch Dooku during the Summit. Starla reached for the tiny blue gem in her pocket, and she remembered when Anakin had given it to her, on the night he left her. She knew that she should not get distracted. It was crucial that she remain alert and in the moment. She instantly regretted her petty, visceral longing for the young man who left her for a Republic Senator.
She collected herself, and went into the city. A feeling of darkness and treachery swirled around her, and she fought to keep it from claiming her. She turned into a dark alley, purely by instinct in the Force, and proceeded through a doorway into a darkened room.
Starla just stood still but alert, feeling a presence in the Force, but not threatening to her - a kind of mad narcissism, perhaps, but not harmful. She had one hand on her lightsaber hilt. Then her stomach growled.
Lorian Nod laughed, “Starla Winter, nice to meet you, dear,” he said. A dim lamp suddenly lit the room. “Sit down, and have some food.” She sat down on a chair at rustic table. She felt fear, anger, and doom emanate from Nod. She was too hungry to care at the moment, and started eating some of the meager food on the table.
Starla Winter is my Star Wars Original Character. Complete stories list: jewel-firefly.deviantart.com/j…
More about Starla’s encounter with Dooku is here: Winter Song – Chapter 1 – Deal with the Devil fav.me/d53ijib
Whisper bird - Wookiepedia starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Whispe…
Lorian Nod - Wookiepedia starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Lorian…
Some general details on Count Dooku and Lorian Nod are from the book Star Wars: Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jedi_v…
Yeah, I posted this a year or more ago, then abandoned it. I’m posting a few of my abandoned stories in journals, for feedback and some ideas on how to finish them.
Suggestions welcome, like: How did she get the holocron? What happens on Null?