Duragon's Backstory

Duragon

Segment 1

Nar Shadaa, age 5 –

Father was in a particularly bad mood today. The beatings were worse for the older kids than usual – Varrin had some cracked ribs and Duragon’s right eye was swollen closed. A couple of the girls had gone with Father and hadn’t been seen in a few hours even though he was back. Some of the older boys whispered about “corners”, but Duragon didn’t know what they meant – only the real little kids had to sit in corners when they were bad and his sisters always came home tired, not wanting to talk about where they had been or what had happened, sometimes sobbing uncontrollably.

Despite looking so much different, Duragon’s skin color didn’t seem to affect the number or severity of the beatings he got from Father, which was nice. He had started to worry that his brothers would resent him, but Father was at least consistent in hurting all of them, even if he couldn’t always get enough food for all of them.

Father was coming back from going out and meeting with his “friends”. He couldn’t walk straight without help. It was going to be another rough night…

Nar Shadaa, age 5, three days later –

“Saela didn’t come home last night. Do you think she’s alright?” asked Yuzah.

“I don’t think so. Father shouldn’t have had her working that corner so late and so soon after that fight with Thax’s stable. His goons are meaner and his girls can get higher prices” replied Gaezon.

“Yuzah, what’s a stable? And what does Saela need to get a better price on?” asked Duragon. The older boys hadn’t noticed that he had snuck out of bed to come see what they were up to.

“Dur, what are you doing out here? You should get back to bed before Father finds out you’re still up!” hissed Gaezon warningly. Gaezon was the oldest still around and took care of the younger kids as best he could. He always shared his food with the littlest of his step-brothers and sisters. Duragon and all the rest looked up to him and respected him, though they all knew he was getting close to the age that Father kicked out the boys – none of them knew where their oldest brothers went.

“Shh. Gaezon, listen. Someone’s outside.” Yuzah was right – the three boys heard angry voices outside their apartment in the corridor. They strained to make out Father’s voice and a handful of others. There was a couple of rough sounding guys and the low rumbles of a Wookie. It had to be Thax’s men as he was the only guy in this part of the sprawl that would hire an outcast Wookie.

“This isn’t good. Yuzah, wake the girls quietly and I’ll get the stunners.” Gaezon moved to the hidden stash that Father thought the kids didn’t know about.

“Yuzah, what’s going on?” asked Duragon, barely above a whisper.

“Nothing good Moonlight, nothing good,” answered Yuzah. One of their older sisters had always called Duragon “Moonlight” because of his silver skin. He was the only one with it, all the others being shades of tan and brown. Nobody had seen that sister in over a year.

As the three boys moved around the apartment, the noise in the corridor outside grew. They could hear the shouting more clearly now and there were new voices in the mix – some of Father’s “friends” had shown up. Things were going to get ugly quick and the only people that kept “order” in this part of the sprawl were the ones outside getting ready to throw down.

“Yuz, this is a little earlier than we planned. Be ready to act fa…” before Gaezon could finish his sentence there was a strange sound outside in the hall. As the yelling had reached a new volume, it stopped suddenly and was replaced by a sudden, low hum. It was in two tones, one slightly higher than the other.

“Gaez, this isn’t goo…” an explosion rocked the apartment. Someone in the hall had decided to use a grenade. The kids can no longer hear each other as the noise from the corridor drowns out everything. Yells, screams, blaster fire – it sounds like a war this section hasn’t had in decades. And then it all stops. Within seconds the hurricane of noise stops and the doors open.
Father stumbles in with some of his friends. They look dirtier than usual, covered in something slick and wet; the boys can’t see well in the darkness. Before the adults realize the kids are up, the hums are back. All the adults turn towards the door and begin firing at something in the corridor. Duragon can’t make out what they’re shouting to eachother, but they are all terrified. With all the noise Duragon’s youngest sister, Tula, starts sobbing and wailing. She’s not yet 2 and all the noise and smoke has finally overwhelmed her.

As if cued by her tears, all the adults were thrown sideways against the wall furthest away from the cluster of children. In all the commotion, Duragon had started yelling for everyone to “stop, just stop it” when he pushed at them and they moved. Through the doorway stepped a tall scaly green alien, with a long muzzle, four black eyes and a gaping maw rimmed with serrated teeth. The monster must have been near seven-feet tall, it filled the doorway and beyond with its bulk. As it strode into the main room of the apartment, Duragon noticed a glow coming up from the floor, lighting the underside of the monstrous reptile with a dark blue light.
“By the spirits, it’s a JEDI!” breathed Gaezon.
Pointing a midnight black talon at Duragon, a noise like gravel being thrown over hull plating rumbled at the kids from the Jedi/monster – “Moonlight, you will now come with me.”
Duragon simply stood in shock as this thing, this combination of savior and terror used Duragon’s secret name. Not even Father new it for fear he’d beat them all more than he already did.

“You can’t have him unless you pa-UGH” Father suddenly had a massive taloned hand around his neck, his feet dangling high off the ground.

“I am Jedi Master T’Skrang. I will take this child with me to be trained as a Jedi Knight. You no longer have the rights of a “parent” over him. He is no longer your responsibility.” That frightening rumble of sound again.

Master T’Skrang then dropped Father to the floor. “Next time I am on Nar Shadaa, I would expect that these children will be better cared for.”

“Come youngling. You belong to the Force now.”

Segment 2

Jedi Temple, age 7 –

The training room was hot and humid with the sweat of the Knights and Padawan practicing with their lightsabers. Duragon liked to come by and watch after his morning meditation before the history classes. Those classes could be so boring, but he understood why they were important; it made sense to know the people they were supposed to protect but man, it was just so boring. Today he was supposed to recite the history of the Great Hyperspace War. Duragon hadn’t studied as much as he should for the test but his mastery of the Force was continuing on at a good pace. He had learned to focus his connection through his lightsaber and could even use the Force now to detect the living things around him – Would have made hiding from Father a lot easier back home, he thought to himself.

The Masters had done their best to heal the physical scars of his life before, but the mental and emotional ones would take longer, much longer, and Duragon knew that. He just wished the nightmares and fear would go away sooner. He knew he was safe here and none of the Masters yelled or beat them, but it was still hard. He used to think about his step-siblings and how they were doing but he didn’t as much anymore. Before Master T’Skrang found him, some of Duragon’s older brother’s had come up with a plan to get rid of Father. Maybe I’ll be able to find them and check on them when I’m a Padawan or a Knight mused Duragon…

Segment 3

Soadd, age 13 –

Despite having spent the past 3 years on Soadd, the weather still made Duragon pause at times. Having been born on Nar Shadaa, he spent the first few years of his young life playing and hiding among the street detritus of the crime hub. So much nature, so many strange noises and smells here; the thoughts drifting through his head as Duragon ran through the jungles surrounding the Jedi “compound” he and his cell/clan/club/teammates had rebuilt. Duragon still struggled with how to refer to their group of young Jedi and single Knight. Elendrin was a powerfully built young Barbel, the most consistent competition that Duragon had in the martial training exercises that the boys engaged in. Bruvah, the pink skinned human, was good but tried too hard to be the “scary badass” of the little group. Maybe he would be if spent more time doing and less time trying, Duragon thought to himself as he continued on his run around the camp. Sean, a bookish Mon Calamari, was by far the most talented with manipulating objects with the Force and also the most book-savvy of the enclave. Duragon, for all his physical and perceptive prowess, was the least mechanically apt of them all, a source of some embarrassment for him, though he did his best to keep the others from knowing. We all have our strengths and skills, mine just aren’t for machines. Yet.

On his second lap around the compound, Duragon felt more than heard the presence of Jedi Knight Jory Cassel behind the trees on the left. Reaching for his twin sabers, Duragon dropped into a roll as Cassel stepped around the trees and swung his lightsaber at where Duragon’s chest should have been. Coming up from the roll with both his silver saber and his blue youngling training saber ignited, he managed to block Cassel’s follow up and get some distance between them. As Duragon shifted his weight to his back foot, he heard the soft crackle of leaves behind and to the left, deeper in the woods. Cassel has back up out here. Good, so do I… at that moment Elendrin let out a growl as he engaged the other young Jedi that had been hidden in the trees. “You’re becoming more predictable Master Cassel. Might be time to step it…::thwack::” Duragon didn’t have time to finish talking as a rock smacked into his front leg, hurled by Sean’s telekinetic abilities from the right, closer to the compound.

“You were saying Duragon?” Cassel cracked a smile and stepped forward.

Crap. He never smiles. Duragon knew this wasn’t going to be easy…

Soadd, age 15, 1 week after helping to free the colony –

In the first few days after helping his clanmates to free the enslaved colonists, Duragon did all he could to comfort the young children. Having had a harsh childhood himself, Duragon was the best equipped to deal with the youngsters and took to the job with a zealousness that surprised even him. He taught the kids some songs he and his siblings used to sing when Father wasn’t around – Duragon’s favorite being “Bantha Riding”, a variation on an old folk song his older sister Tula had taught him.

“Way hey and away we go
Bantha riding, Bantha riding
Way hey and away we go
Ridin’ on a Bantha.

Way hey and away we go
Bantha riding, Bantha riding
Way hey and away we go
Ridin’ on a Bantha.

Was you ever on Kashyyyk?
With its natives, never meek
Wish the Wookies would learn to speak
Ridin’ on a Bantha!

Way hey and away we go
Bantha riding, Bantha riding
Way hey and away we go
Ridin’ on a Bantha.

Was you ever on Dantooine
Where the air is nice and clean
Where the Sith have ne’er been seen
Ridin’ on a Bantha.

Way hey and away we go
Bantha riding, Bantha riding
Way hey and away we go
Ridin’ on a Bantha.

Was you ever on Bothawui
Where ye tie up to a tree,
An’ the girls sit on yer knee?
Ridin’ on a Bantha.

Way hey and away we go
Bantha riding, Bantha riding
Way hey and away we go
Ridin’ on a Bantha.

Was you ever in Tafanda Bay
See the girls all shout, “Hooray!”?
“Here comes dad with ten weeks’ pay
Riding on a Bantha.”

Way hey and away we go
Bantha riding, Bantha riding
Way hey and away we go
Ridin’ on a Bantha.

Was you ever in Monit Town
See the Knights they do come down?
See the Knights those stoic clowns
Riding on a Bantha

Way hey and away we go
Bantha riding, Bantha riding
Way hey and away we go
Ridin’ on a Bantha.

Way hey and away we go
Bantha riding, Bantha riding
Way hey and away we go
Ridin’ on a Bantha."

Over the last few days the song had become a kind of work song for the kids as they tried to help the adults prep for the return of the main group of pirates.

I have a bad feeling about this, mused Duragon. Nothing ever goes according to plan…

Duragon's Backstory

The Dance of Light and Shadow elgrecochilean vailtaetum