Facebook  Tweet  Youtube  Discord

  Rogue Squadron  Buccaneer Squadron  Corsair Squadron   Spectre Squadron   Sabre Squadron           Theatre  Library

By Wildcard

A long time ago in a galaxy where memories are lost to time...

Part One: Exposition

[10 Years Before The Battle Of Yavin; Imperial Centre, the Galactic Core]

Greelo Blem sat on the edge of the bunk, wondering what choices had led him to this moment. After a long day he had wanted little more than to go home to his apartment and ready himself for the challenges he would face in the next day. However, he had, being caring under his hard exterior, agreed to keep an old friend company; share a glass of Whyren's Reserve or two, perhaps.

Three hours later, he was in a dim room, illuminated slightly by a pale blue lamp in the corner, listening to Ele Charstan retching across the hall. Why the hell had he not just made an excuse and went home? He was tired. Tired of feeling stressed over situations he could have avoided. And yet, here he was. In the midst of yet another situation where he had the option to just go home and sidestep it entirely.

Nope, he thought, I don't have to stay for this.

The cold air of Imperial Centre (Greelo, being old enough to remember the Republic, preferred to call it by its former name: Coruscant) chilled the rain to the point where it was freezing cold. The torrential downpour soaked his coat and drenched every inch of exposed skin. He walked home in silence, somewhat enjoying the serenity of it all, despite the miserable weather. Speeders and ships sped by, far above, worlds away. His brain tails twitched nervously as he stepped into the view of a bright light casting long shadows across the dark street, but he soon realised it was nothing more than a sign for a nightclub, a common sight in the Uscru Entertainment District. Millions of tiny water droplets on the sign glowed vibrant orange in the night.

The many spires and towers of the city were grey and bleak, featuring little variety in colour or architectural style. Windows occasionally glinted as the headlights of a speeder caught their reflection and light bounced to and fro, a cacophony of colours and patterns, projected onto a dull metropolis.

Greelo sighed, leaning against a railing on his path and watching the ships dancing in the sky. Below the streets were packed to the brim with people of all species, weaving in and out of one another as they went this way and that.

He hated it here. He hated the people here. He hated how drab it was and how far he was from his friends. His real friends; The ones he had known for so long; the ones he had left behind. Moving planets was supposed to be better for him but he failed to see how it had impacted him positively in any way. Perhaps life would feel better soon. Perhaps one day he would feel as if he had a purpose in the galaxy. Or, perhaps not.

So far from home. An insignificant figure. One of trillions...

Like a tear in the rain.



"Thank you for seeing me on such short notice, Sinul," Greelo said to the man across the table from him. Sinul Freth was a human male of around thirty-five standard years, with neatly combed back hair that perfectly complimented a piercing stare set amongst a stony face. Him and Greelo sat in a booth at a tapcaf in the lower levels of Coruscant. In spite of its shady location, the establishment maintained an air of sophistication and class. Its patrons sat in padded leather seats, and were softly illuminated by wall lights placed in every booth.

Greelo noted how unusual it was for a place to simultaneously be both quiet and noisy. Although the room seemed initially to be relatively silent, if one stopped speaking, they would be able to vaguely discern a myriad of whispered conversations, the participants of which hoped dearly could not be heard clearly from the next booth over.

"It is in the best interests of our organisation to ensure that our employees are being attended to where necessary," Sinul replied, his kind tone carrying with it a sinister edge.

"That's what I had wanted to discuss with you, actually."


"I would like to end my partnership with the organisation. While we have both been of great benefit to one another, I feel now that I should move on and make an honest man of myself. I... I'm not young and headstrong anymore. I'm slower than I once was."

"Well," Sinul replied, looking rather concerned now. "What do you suppose you'd do with yourself after leaving?"

"I've been setting aside a portion of my credits for every job I've done. Right now it's enough for me to start a little business venture I've been planning."

"A business venture? Do tell, I like a man with a plan," the human said, a grin creeping its way onto his face.

Greelo lit a cigarra and took a deep draw.

"And I'd rather keep the finer points of my plans to myself. Nothing more to say here. I want out clean and I want out now. I'll go my way and forget anything I've seen. Simple as that."

The look in Sinul's eyes created an inescapable tension at the table. The calm, collected man's venomous stare cut through the cigarra smoke now creating a thin mist between the men.

At that point, a waiter in a red velvet waistcoat quietly placed two shallow glasses in front of each man. Sinul picked up his glass.

"Very well, then. To new beginnings," he said, raising his glass in front of Greelo, who reluctantly tapped his glass against it with a satisfying clink.


Greelo weaved through the sea of people going this way and that way, trying his best to appear inconspicuous. He ducked into a dark alleyway and found himself outside a small doorway lit by a neon green sign that indicated to frequenters of the hidden nightclub below that the establishment was open. The rain battered the grey sliding door, like a million spirits knocking, begging to be let in.

The shifty looking Twi'lek rapped the door hard, hurting his knuckles. The door slid upwards, revealing a Rodian who was aiming a small blaster pistol through the doorway. The Rodian said nothing.

"The tea on Alderaan is very hot," Greelo said.

"But Queen Breha is hotter!" The Rodian said, cackling to himself as he moved aside to let Greelo in.

The turbolift down was eerily quiet. No noise could be heard save for the low thrum of the servomotors powering the lift. After around 20 seconds, the lift stopped and the doors slid open, letting in a tidal wave of noise. A heavy dance beat pounded, making Greelo's eardrums ache. Strobe lights in various colours flashed to the beat of the music and momentarily lit up the faces of dancers of various species and gender. Shouldering his way through the cacophony of partygoers, he approached the bar.

"She here?" He shouted to the bartender, who was in the process of concocting a cocktail which emitted a light cloud of smoke from the brim of the glass.

"Yeah! She's working! Give her ten minutes and she'll be out!" The bartender shouted back, struggling to be heard over the sound of a hardstyle remix of a popular Jizz song.

Around ten minutes later, Greelo was sipping his whiskey, occasionally watching the liquid jump along with whatever dance music was playing. Two hands caressed his shoulders from behind.

"Hey baby, you looking for a dance?" A soft voice whispered in his ear.

"No, I'm looking for my friend," he swivelled around to meet her eyes, and found himself facing a blue skinned Twi'lek woman in a dancer's costume. They widened as she realised who he was. Her expression softened.

"Greelo... I told you we can't be seen here. It's not safe for us both."

"It's important. I only need a minute."

"You gotta make it quick, too long and the boss'll start hassling us. Pretend you just paid for a dance," she said, taking his hand and bringing him to his feet in order to lead him across the room. They slid behind a red curtain that hid a small room lit faintly by red glowlamps, furnished with nought but a velvet sofa. She drew the curtain, hiding them both from prying eyes.

"Lanie. I'm getting out," he told her, taking a seat on the couch.



"How?! You know they won't just let you walk away!"

"I'm gonna be long gone before they can get to me. I've made a deal with a connection I have. I pay a fixed rate, he steals a ship, hands it over to me straight away at an agreed location. I can get offworld, but I can't leave any clues. No luggage, just gotta cut and run. Disappear."

"That doesn't sound safe," she replied, sitting down on the couch next to him.

"It's not, but it's a damn sight better than sticking around here. I'd rather take my chances than rot here for the rest of my life," Greelo said.

"I'm... I'm happy for you, Gree, I really am. I guess I just don't understand why it's so important that you tell me."

"Don't. You know why I'm telling you. I can't leave and not tell you. You know that you're... different," he said, standing up and pacing around the small room to avoid continuing eye contact.

"You always say this, and guess what? I don't know what that means. How am I different? Why the hell do you look at me differently from how you look at Charstan?!" She asked, raising her voice in frustration now.

"Because... because I love you, Lanie! You're the only person who's ever gave a damn about me. The only real friend I've ever had. You're... my best friend, and I love you more than anybody else I've ever met." Greelo slumped back into the seat, lighter than he had ever been, now that he had lifted a tremendous weight from his chest.

"Greelo..." she choked up, and embraced him in a tight hug, before whispering, "I love you too. I'm going to miss you, so so much."

They separated, looking into each other's eyes once again.

"Y'know, it's not that small a ship," he said.

"Don't say it. I can't run away. If they find me-"

"HEY, TIME!" an angry voice called from behind the curtain, before barging his way through. The heavily built man hoisted Greelo's skinny figure through the curtain and dragged him towards the front door. Greelo threw himself into a crouch and used the man's own weight to launch him forward, sending him crashing through the bar.

"Don't. Touch. Me," he growled at the bouncer.

Lanie, now pushing through the oblivious dancers, made her way over to Greelo.

Greelo was advancing towards the bouncer again. He threw a punch at the downed man, eliciting a scream of pain as his fist collided with the man's temple. He punched again, landing the blow in his stomach. His fist was raised once more, ready to strike the man for daring to challenge his prowess. As it fell, it stopped in midair. He turned, his enraged face melting into a frown as he saw Lanie holding his fist.

"Please, don't do this. Don't make more trouble for yourself when you're so close. Tell me where to be and I'll be there," she said, desperation in her voice.

"You remember the dock they brought us to when we were smuggled in? There. Noon, tomorrow," he answered, deciding it was best he take her advice and leave before he caused more havoc.


"I've done some listening, and it would seem that Blem is making his grand escape tomorrow, about midday. I'll have our men well equipped to confront him. He may not be a one man army but you and I both know what he's capable of," Sinul Freth said to the man whose desk he was sitting at.

Pertru Thorn leaned back in his padded leather chair, puffing his cigarra. He contemplated what was soon to come as he blew smoke almost directly into Sinul's face, showing little regard for manners or decorum.

It had come as a surprise that Greelo Blem, his top hitman, had suddenly decided to call it a day. Years of dedicated service and in the space of a single moment he had made the choice for himself to leave the organisation. That was, in particular, what he objected to. The fact that Blem had the audacity, the nerve to even think that it was up to him. Such disrespect could not be tolerated. An example would have to be made of him.

His office was lit sparsely by dim wall lamps, casting a slight yellow hue upon the whole room. The walls were otherwise adorned with datapads, most containing his favourite literature, save for certain discrete slots which housed extortion files on important individuals.

"Our men," he replied at last, speaking slowly, as if he were carefully considering the weight of his every word, "will not be the right choice for this matter. I suggest we take this through more... official channels."

"I'm reminded of the story of the pilot who voyaged too close to the stars, Thorn. We can't trust the Imperials as far as we can throw them, much less to help us confront, and more specifically, kill a wanted man," Sinul replied, his feline-like eyes staring defiantly at Thorn through the thin haze of cigarra smoke.

"You underestimate the extent of my little research operations. Each and every dirty little Imp on our payroll has a list long enough to land him twenty years in the spice mines. Now, they could try to bring us down with them, but even assuming success, they would still have implicated themselves, and we both know that none of them hold morality in such a high position that they would sacrifice themselves to see us held accountable."

"I suppose you do have a point. I feel I should ask your opinions on his activity, additionally," Sinul said.

"Activity, you say?"

"He was spotted at the Bottoms Up club earlier today, making quite the racket, too. I believe he was seeing her."

"Oh, is that so? This further complicates matters. He has been warned of the dangers of... spoiling the product," Pertru replied, drawing deeply on his cigarra, "It appears, old friend, that we have much to discuss with our esteemed ex-employee."


Later that night, Greelo returned to his home after abandoning Ele Charstan, who had elected to drink himself into a coma before his friend left.

His dark, dingy apartment creaked every time his foot touched the floor. The tiny area housed a cheap bed and a barely usable kitchenette, with a toilet next to the stove.

He collapsed into his bed, his mind somewhat fuzzy as a result of mixing alcohol with very little sleep. He set his chronometer for an hour before sunrise, meaning he'd at least get 5 hours of sleep.

Unconsciousness claimed him.

Part Two: Development

Greelo woke up suddenly, allowing himself to be released from the clutches of his dream. He had, as he often did, dreamt of his mother, and how she had been taken from him by the Empire. It was by this stage in his life a rather hazy memory, but he had retained the details that mattered. They had taken her as a slave to be used like some lifeless object.

He couldn't stand to see another woman who mattered to him be left to live a life in chains; a life of subjugation. It was imperative that Lanie came with him and freed herself. She deserved a better life; she deserved to choose.


Greelo stood in an apartment complex several minutes away from his own, awaiting an answer at the door he had knocked. Slung over his shoulder were two backpacks. The door slid open around two inches, and below him, Greelo could see a young Gran peaking through the gap.

"Hey, kiddo," he said with a nervous smile. The door opened all the way.

"Gree Gree!" The boy yelled, running towards Greelo, who scooped him up into a hug.

Once he had put the boy back on the ground, he finally had the courage to ask, "Can you do me a big favour, buddy?"

"Of course I can! I'm the best at doing big favours!"

"That's what I like to hear. Now, I'm gonna trust you to keep this safe for me, Zhag."

Greelo removed one of the backpacks from his shoulder and placed it on the ground between them, unzipping it slowly. The boy looked inside, his little eyes going wide at the site of nearly every credit Greelo possessed.

"Money?!" He yelled, just a little too loud.

"Hey hey hey! Gotta keep your voice down. Now, I want you to keep this safe inside, and when your dad gets home, I want you to give him this, and tell him I said thanks for everything."

"Are you going away?" Zhag asked, his voice picking up a hint of sadness.

"Maybe, kid. If everything works out alright." He smiled warmly. "I... I gotta go now."

He made to walk away, but found it harder than he had expected. Greelo turned around.

"Hey kid," he said, just as the door was about to close, "one more thing, this isn't for your dad, this is yours to keep." Greelo continued.

He reached behind his neck and took off his chain. It was a small length of black string with the tooth of a Krayt dragon attached. He placed it over Zhag's neck.

"That there is the tooth of a great beast; brave and fierce. Any time you're in danger, just remember that it's there, and it'll inspire you to be those things too," he told him, finding it hard to part with his lucky charm.

"But don't you need it so you can be brave wherever you're going?" Zhag asked with concern so sincere and honest that only a child could possess it.

"If I'm lucky, I won't need to worry about too much danger anymore. You take care of yourself."


Greelo found himself at the door to the landing pad where he had agreed to meet his contact. Everything hinged upon this meeting going well. This may well have been his one and only chance to free himself.

"You ready?" Lanie asked, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"Ready as I can be," he replied, looking at her momentarily for reassurance.

Before opening the door, he lifted her arm suddenly, and placed a small blaster pistol in the palm of her hand. "Just in case," he whispered.

They made their way down a set of stairs and into a large open hangar bay. It was empty for the moment, giving Greelo and Lanie time to prepare for the ship's arrival. Greelo found himself pacing in nervous anticipation.

"You're sweating. Relax. Take a deep breath," Lanie told him.

"What if she doesn't show?" He asked.

"She will. You worry too much."

The sound of a ship's engines overhead drowned out Greelo's response. A large, disc shaped freighter with a rectangular alcove cut into the fore end lumbered its way to the ground. With a hiss, its landing struts extended and it touched down somewhat cumbersomely. The ramp lowered after a minute or two, and a heavily built, muscular Zabrak woman descended.

"You got my money?" She asked, skipping pleasantries.

"All here," Greelo replied, handing her a black bag. She took a moment to check its contents before being satisfied enough to leave.

"See you, space cowboy..." she said, strutting away.

The ship was clearly very old, with visible signs of wear and tear, but alas, it was hyperspace capable and that was all Greelo needed.

He turned to ascend the ramp, and leave his old life behind, with Lanie in tow. The sharp crack of a blaster bolt hitting metal stung his ears. He swung around, drawing his two blaster pistols from their holsters at his hip.

At the other end of the hangar, Greelo saw his employer: Pertru Thorn. He was flanked by two Imperial stormtroopers, who were, like Thorn, aiming their blaster rifles in his and Lanie's direction. She too had drawn her blaster.

"Easy, Thorn," he said in a low voice.

"You betrayed me, boy," Thorn growled.

"I never betrayed anyone. I wanted out. I got out."

"Nobody leaves my service unless I say so. Nobody."

"What do you stand to gain from killing me, Thorn? Whether you let me leave or you kill me, I'm not gonna be around. Why not do a favour for an old friend and let me leave on good terms?" Greelo implored, desperation in his voice.

"I stand to gain an example for other people. So that they know that we are not finished until I say we are finished."

"I should've known it'd end like this. You're a goddamn crook with no honour."

"Honour?!" Thorn cackled. "Don't you try talking to me about honour, boy, when you're stealing my property right under my nose."

"The ship ain't yours!"

"I was talking," he said, "about the girl."

"I don't belong to anyone except myself." Lanie interjected, her voice dripping with venom.

"Oh! The wench is speaking for herself! Ain't that a sight to behold!" Thorn said, seemingly amused.

"Don't speak to her like that, scumbag," Greelo shot back.

"I will say what I damn well please!"

"Okay everybody, take it easy!" A new voice interjected.

Everybody's attention was drawn to the stairwell on the East side of the hangar. A man and a woman, both wearing the uniform of the Coruscant Security Force, both entered the large space.

Both Greelo and Thorn aimed a single blaster pistol at the officers.

"Sithspit," Greelo muttered.

"And just who the hell are you two?" Thorn asked.

"Officers Kiro and Bindo, respectively," the man said. "All we're here for is Blem. Let us take him and we'll be on our way, nobody saw anything."

"I'm afraid you can't have him. He's mine."

"That's what you think. He's spent three months informing us on all your little operations. We knew something was off when he never showed up today to do some squealing," Bindo said, a smirk creeping onto her face.

Thorn looked at Greelo with an expression of pure sadness, "My boy... how could you do this to me? You were my number one guy! I hope you know how much it pains me to do this."

"Lay a finger on him and we'll fry you where you stand," Kiro said, his words cutting the air like a knife.

"You won't do a damn thing," Thorn replied calmly, before pulling the trigger and blasting Officer Kiro in the chest. Greelo and Lanie fired upon Thorn and his men. While the others ducked for cover, the pair ran up the landing ramp. A stray blaster bolt struck Greelo in the calf, sending pain jolting through his leg. He fell, his knees striking the floor hard. Lanie, without a second's hesitation, grabbed Greelo and hoisted him to the end of the ramp, before slamming the controls, closing and locking the ramp.

Greelo struggled to his feet, still in complete agony. Lanie helped him to the cockpit of the freighter, where she more or less dropped him into the copilot's chair.

"Do you know how to fly?" He asked through gritted teeth.

"Sure. Take off, start flying. Easy, right?"

"We are going to die."

The sound of blasterfire striking the hull could be heard distantly, reminding them that they were far from being out of danger. Greelo heaved himself into an upright position and started working on saving their skins. He engaged the shields and activated the auto-turret on the underside of the ship. It began blasting targets at random, missing almost every shot. It was enough to drive back their assailants, at the very least.

Lanie switched on the repulsorlifts and they felt themselves leaving the ground as the ship started to lumber upwards. She pushed the thrusters and they accelerated rapidly, streaking towards the sky. After several near misses with speeder traffic, they soon found themselves leaving the atmosphere.

The comm grille crackled.

"Dynamic-class freighter Dignity, this is Imperial City Air Control, we don't have you on our departure manifest. Prepare to transmit authorisation codes on this channel."

"Do we have authorisation codes?!" Lanie yelled, already aware of what the answer would be.

"It's a stolen ship, we don't have codes!"

"It's stolen?! Way to turn a new leaf!"

It was becoming increasingly clear to Greelo that they weren't going to get offworld without a few bruises first. It would only be a matter of time before starfighters were scrambled to intercept them, at which point they would have few ways of defending themselves.

"Listen, if we don't jump out of here soon they'll blow us to hell and back." Greelo told her.

"Dank farrick!" Lanie yelled.

"What now?!"

"The main hyperdrive is offline, I can't seem to get it working. We're gonna have to use the backup drive."

"I don't care," he said, "as long as it gets us out of here."

Greelo leaned over, causing great discomfort, and pressed the key to the comm system, hoping he hadn't waited too long to reply.

"Uh... Imperial City Air Control, we're having a little trouble understanding you right now, could you repeat that?"

"Dignity, I don't see you on our manifest. Transmit clearance codes on this channel."

"Copy, Air Control. Transmitting codes now."

"Dignity, I don't see them. Fighters are being sent to your position to escort you to the ground for questioning. Do not resist, otherwise lethal force will be authorised."

The screaming sound of a twin-ion engine roared from behind the ship, and the hull shuddered as it was battered by warning shots. Once it had become clear that they had no intention of turning around, a full salvo of laser fire was unleashed upon the ship.

"In position!" Lanie yelled, slowly pushing the lever. The stars stretched and the ship was slingshotted into hyperspace. At the very same instant, one of the TIE Fighter's shots pierced the aft shields and struck the fuel pods. The freighter violently shuddered as it careened through hyperspace unevenly.

Greelo, for the first time, breathed a sigh of relief. Their ship was on the brink of implosion. He was injured, on the run, and had nothing. In spite of this, he was free. A citizen of the galaxy, a slave no longer. So far from home. An insignificant figure. One of trillions...

Like a tear in the rain.

The End