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Rox Vs. Rotto

A Star Wars Short Story (Characters are my creation, save for the term 'Gungan') ((Excerpt))

By Kale RossPublished 3 months ago 8 min read

Rox Kasker circled his wounded prey with murderous intent. He spun his large, double-edged ax in his leathery hands while he studied his victim, deciphering the best, and most satisfying way to kill it. The rain had ceased its downpour and the jackals had fled the area after Rox’s men had killed six of them. The forest was dead quiet, so quiet that Rox could actually hear the heartbeat of his prey, pounding inside of his enormous chest. The Gungan had ordered Pyrus to venture deeper into the woods, to make sure the jackals were not preparing for a surprise attack, but that had been over an hour ago, and he had not yet returned. Rox could only assume that his comrade had perished, or found himself lost. IG-96 was slowly casing their perimeter, scanning for heat signatures.

Rotto’s injuries from the brutal beating that Rox and his men had given him earlier in the night, had caused the big man to suffer massive internal bleeding. The pain had increased to the point that he had collapsed into the cold mud, and passed out. The last image he remembered was of his friend Drex, being marched at gunpoint deeper into the forest, and Rox’s black eyes bright with pleasure. He was now slowly regaining his consciousness.

The left side of his face was pressed into a mound of mud, and his entire body felt numb. The temperature had dropped significantly once the sun had disappeared, and the rain storm had increased that temperature drop even more, leaving his body to grow ice cold from laying in the icy mud for an hour. He shivered with hypothermia as he forced his body to roll over onto its rear end. Blood dribbled from both nostrils and his skin was beginning to turn yellow from the bacteria infected lacerations, and the unset broken bones were bulging through his skin from infection.

Wiping away the crusted mud from his face, clearing the thick gunk from his eyes, Rotto caught a glimpse of the predator. The Gungan circled around his seated position like some deep sea shark, waiting for the opportune moment to strike, when its prey was at its weakest.

“Finally, the Jedi awakens,” Rox said, annoyingly, “I have been waiting for you to join me in a most sacred ceremony.”

Rotto used his tongue to lick away the dried blood from inside of his mouth and his lips, then forcefully spat it at the Gungan’s feet.

“Thanks to your euphoric beating,” Rotto said, as he worked out the kinks in his neck, “I was able to catch up on some much needed beauty rest.”

Using a large tree branch, which had fallen from its trunk many years ago, Rotto propped his giant frame up onto his feet and faced the Gungan with a bloodied smile and swollen eyes.

“What is this ceremony you speak of? Do you plan to ask for my hand in marriage? I could tell from the first moment we met, that you fancied me,” Drex said.

“Your humor will not save you from your fate,” Rox said, as his fingers caressed one of the edges of his ax, “We are here to celebrate your death, and how wonderful the celebration will be. We will have blood, broken bones, flayed skin, and so much more. Taking your life will be the highlight of my living years. Rox Kasker, killer of the great Jedi, Ronando Rotto. I will be immortalized by the Sith, and forever loved, and spoken of for thousands of years to come. They will teach my techniques to all future generations. They will study my tactics and my achievements. My name will bring hope to those who are worthy, and fear to those who are not.”

Rotto had heard enough of the Gungan’s bile, and could no longer hold back his laughter, which was also filled with bloody saliva and mucus.

“The only beings who are going to remember you, Rox Kasker, will be the jackals of this forest who are going to feast on your flesh, and use your bones to reinforce their dens. The Sith will never immortalize your murderous achievements, and the Jedi will make sure that your name will forever be categorized as a plague of evil who tried, and failed, to bring chaos and death to the universe.”

With every word spoken by the Jedi, Rox Kasker’s anger grew. Blinded by lies and misguided beliefs, he had heard enough and lunged, ax first, at a wobbling Rotto. His attack was quick, and precise, his years of killing had proved him to be a lethal tactician. But Rotto was far more clever, and patient.

As the blade of the ax came crashing down onto Rotto’s skull, the Jedi used the slick mud to his advantage. He allowed his body to collapse, using the wetness from the mud as a lubricant. His large body fell beneath the falling blade, and he used the tree branch to shove himself to the side. As the ax continued its trajectory downward, the blade caught itself into another piece of tree bark, which Rotto had been sitting on once he rolled himself over from laying face down in the mud.

Rotto swung his giant arms faster than Kasker could blink his eyes, slamming the heavy branch down onto the perplexed Gungan’s face, splitting his forehead wide open. The impact was so powerful, it sent both of them crashing to the ground. Dark blood seeped and spewed from the crater Rotto had opened above the eyes of Rox. The Gungan rolled in the mud, wailing his arms in pain and anger. His face became a blackened mess of blood and wet dirt, as he screamed and cursed the Jedi. His hands stretched out in both directions, probing the ground for the leather-bound handle of his ax, all his fingers found were waves of mud and loose sticks.

Struggling to keep himself from fading into unconsciousness, Rox reached a hand to his thigh, and unsheathed a glass stint from its leather holster. He used a thumb to pop off the protective housing, revealing a sharp syringe. Plummeting the needle deep into his chest, a rush of adrenaline revitalized his body, making him forget about the hole in his forehead. He wiped blood and mud from his eyes and scanned the area for his ax, except that when he finally spotted it, it was exactly where he had hoped it would never be.

Standing over the writhing Gungan, Rotto cocked the large ax high above his head. He waited for recognition to sink into his prey’s eyes, then used gravity to bring the blade down with force. The ax sliced through Rox’s right arm with ease, severing his hand from his wrist. Drex then brought the ax back up, once again cocking it high above his head, and brought it down a second time, severing Rox’s left hand from its wrist. The Gungan let out a terrifying primal scream of anger and pain, which quickly fell into silence as his blood poured from his wounds.

Drex dropped the ax, knowing the Gungan had been rendered useless, and knelt down beside him, close enough so his whispers could be heard.

“You were right, Rox. It truly was a magnificent ceremony. Your death will help pave the way for the Jedi to eradicate the one true plague of the galaxy. The plague of the Sith. Here, you will die, alone and cold. Forgotten and lost. No one will ever speak of your adventures, no one will ever study your accomplishments. But your name will live on, in infamy as a disciple of evil.”

Rox listened to the whispers of the Jedi, and cursed him. He also knew he was dying, so he cursed himself for allowing such failure to be permitted. He tried to speak again, but Rotto’s meaty finger pressed against his lips, and the big Jedi shushed him, wanting him to hear the sound of the forest.

Howling and panting of hungry and vengeful jackals could be heard approaching their position, clearly attracted by the scent of Rox’s blood. The Gungan’s eyes went wide one last time, hoping for Rotto to kill him before he would be eaten alive. But Rotto had no space left in his heart for mercy. This man had killed Ty Zola in front of him for no reason. Rotto could not allow the Gungan to die peacefully.

While Rox continued to bleed out, the mechanical clanking of steel joints caught his attention. He had almost forgotten that Rox’s assassin droid, IG-96 was still here. The droid approached Rotto, blaster aimed at his chest and relayed a computerized command.

“Rise to your feet, lift your hands, and turn around. You are now my prisoner. If you do not comply, I will not hesitate to kill you.”

The big man slowly rose, still nursing his injuries, found the large tree branch which he had used as a crutch, then with all of his remaining strength, he heaved the branch at IG-96. The branch struck the droid like a rocket, smashing the droid to pieces.

Silence finally fell upon Rotto, and he began his quiet retreat into the forest. As he slipped between the shadows of the forest, his ears perked up to the sound of paws and salivating jowls. He turned around for a final time and watched as the pack of jackals circled the Gungan, teeth bared and bellies hungry.

A slight smile formed on his lips, and he disappeared into the woods, all while enjoying the bliss, musical rendition of sharp teeth shredding flesh and snapping bone.

thrillerShort StorySci FiFantasyFan FictionExcerptAdventure

About the Creator

Kale Ross

Published Author | Poet | Dog Dad

Find my published books here!

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