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I Prophet

It is a strange, glorious thing how the tendrils of fate glide and flow through the universe, chaotically twisting and pulling all of us tiny little beings towards our destinies. It makes me laugh to think of it and brings a smile to this old man's face. It makes my heart feel lighter and eases the burdens of my soul. Some fate guides towards great things, their deeds for good or ill rippling out like a pebble tossed in water, touching so many others who send out ripples of their own. The Jedi call this The Force. They are a wise people the Jedi, if a bit...stuffy. I had thought fate planned very little for me and I was content to spend the majority of my quiet existence as a book keeper, a librarian if the term pleases you. I always preferred the former moniker. It sounds more rustic and quite literal.. I worked my entire life tucked away in the basement of the main branch of the Greater Library of Taris. That is where they kept books. I am not talking about holotapes or datadisks but real books. They were my flock and I their shepherd. We were mostly left alone save for the occasional bibliophile or collector. I was happy or so I thought. Fate it seems decided to leave me be, waiting until the younger man in the mirror was lost to me, hiding somewhere behind wrinkles and thinning white hair. Then Moltar came.

You could tell he did not belong because he strutted. People do not strut in libraries but he did. It was one of the rare times I was away from the “Paper Archives.” as staff liked to call them. The main desk had called me up to retrieve a delivery we had received, a journal penned in actual ink that once belonged to a Sith warrior. I was excited to bring such a rare artifact into my folds. I was sitting at the main desk, a circular kiosk of gleaming dark blue plexi-steel with many informational terminals punctuation its circumference. A protocol droid staffed this area to help guests. I was fumbling with a computer when Moltar strutted though the front door. He wore nondescript clothing save for a long deep maroon trench coat. His eyes darted everywhere as he made his way towards the desk. He had an impeccably trimmed beard and an impossibly thin mustache. I went back to cataloging my delivery and would not have had a second thought on him if my ears did not pick up the protocol droid's voice a few moments later.

“Hide sir? I am sorry but I do not quite follow.”

“There is a reason I do not talk to droids and you...you...look, it is not a difficult question. I need somewhere I can hide for, oh... let's just say one hour. Do you have somewhere nice an quiet like that?”

The protocol droid held its head high and proud if that was even possible for it. “Quiet is above all else not only required in this establishment but...” The man in the red trench coat cut him off by jamming a finger in the droid's face. “Quiet. You. Now. There are going to be men walking through that door very soon. They are going to have blasters and if I am still standing here when they start shooting I am going to use you as mobile cover.”

I was startled at the mention of blasters I decided to retreat to the safety of my archives. At the first sign of trouble the droid could send for security instantly and I did not want to be anywhere in the middle of whatever was about to happen. I got up quickly and quietly, tucked the book under my arm and made my way towards the gap in the back of the circle for employees to enter and exit the main desk area.

“You! Hey! You!” The man yelled as he leaped over the kiosk and ran at me. The protocol droid staggered backwards to get out of his way surely sending the signal for security as it did so. A hand was placed on my shoulder as I tried my best to ignore the man yelling at me and I was spun around and was face to face with my assailant. He opened his mouth no doubt to yell something further but his words were caught in his throat as a startled look of recognition spread across his face.

“Brother! It's leafy branches be praised! What are you doing here?” He gasped then squinted at me. He paused, cocked his head to the side, and looked at me out of one eye. “Wait... no. No, no...yes! Maybe?” He looked at me sternly. “Have you heard the call my friend?” I could do nothing but gape at him when the cultivated silence of the library was abruptly shattered like a a window with a brick thrown through it.

“Moltar! Stop where you are! Drop to your knees and put your hands on your head!” Guards were pouring through the front doors like ants from a riled nest. They had energy shields and blasters. All of them trained in our direction. The people of the public seemed to vanish into isles and suddenly the only people in the library seemed to be myself, Moltar and what appeared to be at least twenty weapons pointed at us. Even the droid had somehow escaped. Moltar whispered “We shall continue this conversation later but for now...” then he shouted “Run Brother!” and he pushed me through the gap with one hand while the other darted inside that deep blood red jacket and withdrew a gleaming metal tube.. Run I did, fear stricken I ran. I heard a distinct snap and hiss and and the wall in front of me gave off a faint light of green.

I heard one of the Tanarian Security Force shout “Oh sh!t! He's got a lightsaber!” and the sounds of blaster fire erupted behind me. Oddly enough not one bolt flew by me as I made my way through the door leading to the stairwell down. Not a single bolt hit the wall and none hit me. There were only the sounds of the shots, a whirring hum and high the high pitched sparking that sounded as those shots were deflected off the blade of light Moltar wielded.

The door to my archives was locked and amidst my books I felt safe. The quiet was unsettling. From blaster fire and lightsabers to thousands of still dry pages heavy with words. I stood there stunned not knowing what I should do and my eye was drawn to my desk. It was nothing so ordinary as plexi-steel or plastics but polished stain wood, ancient and strong. My hands shaking I moved slowly to it fumbling to open a drawer where I kept a few personal odds and ends. A few ink pens rolled about next to a worn leather bound journal. There was unsolved puzzle cube that I attempted to solve from time to time. It was devilish and I hated it. Many times it would lay in a corner somewhere from where I had thrown it in frustration hoping perhaps it might break. It proved quite sturdy. And there near the back of the drawer a tarnished gunmetal flask. I fumbled with the lid, my mouth dry making it impossible to swallow. A delightful smooth burning sent chills down my spine as I gulped the Corellian whiskey. I aimed to drain the flask when there was a loud knock.

“Brother?” I recognized the voice and the whiskey caught in my throat, going up into my nose making my eyes burn. I coughed and sputtered sending whiskey spraying everywhere, some of it landing on a stack of books. My eyes went wide panic and I rushed and tried to blot the spilled alcohol off them with the sleeve of my shirt.

“Brother!” he yelled again and for the first time I spoke to him. “Go away!” I yelled back.
“Sorry Brother, no can do...” and he started to cut through the door with his lightsaber. The door fell in making a disturbingly loud thud. “Books! I can dig it Brother.” He said smiling and nodding approvingly as he stepped inside, the glowing green blade receding back into the hilt of his weapon.
“Please.” I begged. “I want no part of Jedi business. I do not know why the security force is trying to kill you Mr... Motlar was it? And I do not know who you think I am but I am quite sure you have me mistaken for someone else.” He picked up a book and thumbed through it.
“Wrong on all accounts brother.” He sighed idly. “Firstly, I am no Jedi. Those were not the Taris Security Force. They are an intergalactic cult hell bent on discovering the truth for all the wrong reasons, and I am positive that it is you that has you mistaken for someone else.”
“Not a Jedi? But...but... the lightsaber? Upstairs? Blaster fire? You deflected the shots? Cult? What?” I worked on finishing the flask.
“Yeah... the lightsaber was given to me as a debt of gratitude by a Jedi I helped out awhile back. Supposedly that is quite an honor. He had a small problem with some lizards but that is a long story. It was not working when he gave it to me, was supposed to be symbolic but the Cow got it working again. Not sure how I deflected those shots... first time. We should get out of here soon though we can talk on the way. Is that the only door?”

I nodded and he started going around the perimeter of the room tapping on the walls. I watched him in silence not knowing what to say. He tapped on one section, started to move on, stopped, took a step back and tapped on the same spot again. “That'll do.” He said taking the lightsaber out once more. He plunged the blade into the wall and cut a large oval big enough for a person to step through. He put his weapon away and kicked the wall hard knocking the center piece free of the cut and a foul smell filled the room. I thought I might gag. Moltar shook his head in resignation. “This makes the third time this week I traipse through a sewer.” He said grabbing me by the shoulder and pushing me through the opening.

A short time later we emerged smelling none the better through a drainage grate. The trip through the sewers had convinced me that my companion was nothing short of a madman. I had asked him if I were his hostage and he had said no. I asked him if I could leave and he had also said no. He claimed it would all make sense soon but first we had to get to his cow. He also claimed that we were being chased and there was a fairly decent chance that we would be shot and killed. Yet I was not afraid and that alone bothered me more than anything else that had happened. We walked from the sewage grate which was in a dingy back alleyway into the hustle and bustle of Middle City. We moved towards the spaceport. The trip there was uneventful. Moltar said if we were lucky that his ship would not be surrounded.

“Dammit... it's surrounded.” He said looking around a corner down a long line of parked spacecraft. “Well I suppose I will go ask them politely to let us leave.”

“Didn't you say they would shoot and kill us?”

“Yes but that was before The Cow was on high. In the streets and sewers we would have been dead for sure. Now though we are perfectly safe... mostly” Moltar took out a small communicator. “Cow? You readty for this?" There was a long pause, some static from the communicator and then a deep voice came from it saying one word. “Yep.”

Moltar smiled. “Let's go Brother... this is going to be fun.” and he swaggered on down the line of ships towards a group of six men by my count who were milling about in front of what would have be a normal looking cargo shuttle except that it had been painted forest green. Moltar raised his hands in the air as we approached, the group spotting him brought forth a variety of weapons and aimed them at us.
“Friends! There is no need for that please. I simply wish to board my ship and leave in peace.”
The group did not move nor lower their weapons. One of the men, a short, squat pig of a man spoke into a very similar communicator. “He is here... we have him.” He looked Moltar over. “Give us the data disk you stole Moltar and we will only kill the old man.” They all aimed their weapons at me and my heart leapt into my throat and stuck there.

“Wait!” Moltar held up a finger. “Technically I did not steal that data as you first stole it from me so I just kind of re-stole it? Sure, let's go with that. And you do not really want to shoot this guy. He is a Holy Man. He is protected by a higher power and I am not sure you would like to bring down the wrath of his terrible God... The Darkcow!” He said this last with a mysterious tone of voice and wiggles his fingers in an arcane manner.

The piggish man smirked. “Rubbish.” and brought his snub nosed blast rifle to his shoulder and aimed it right at my chest and fired. I closed my eyes tight but nothing happened. After a moment I opened my eye to see the energy bolt hanging in mid air before my chest shimmering. Everyone was staring at it, floating there harmless, a red streak of light. Moltar grinned.

“That was not a good idea. You just attempted to murder the Grand Prophet of Darkcow the FleshEater. I expect you have but a moment to live” The bolt in the air twitched. “crap.” Moltar watched the laser bolt start to twitch more, and then it began to grow, violently thrashing about in the air until it resembled a a fist sized ball of quivering fire. “Too late.” Moltar finished and the ball flew blindingly fast and struck the pig man and he simply disintegrated.
The five others stood stunned as their spokesperson suddenly was no longer there. They dropped their weapons almost in unison and ran. Moltar cackled “Yes! Flee! Flee before The Darkcow's evil wrath!”

The ramp to the ship opened just as the running men turned a corner out of sight and a very tall man came down the ramp. He was was built well for such a tall person. I had seen wookies shorter than him. His eyes were kind and suggested an uncanny intelligence. He wore a huge hat with a wide curving brim. It would have looked foolish on anyone else but somehow looked perfectly at place perched on his head.
Moltar laughed at him and ran to embrace him. “Hekki Brother Darkcow! That was brilliant!”
Darkcow gave a low bow. “You are too kind sir. You gave a wonderful performance yourself.” and Moltar gave a sweeping stage bow in return.

“What the hell was that?” I yelled at the both of them. Darkcow looked at me. “Hekki Brother!” He said with a smile and jerked a thumb at a series of green looking bulbs that framed the cargo ramp of the door. “Energy manipulator... it surrounds the ship. I made it myself. We need to get you to Tatooine. Come aboard.”

And I did.

The journey to Tatooine seemed to go by in an instant no doubt due to my two strange companions. Darkcow gladly showed me the energy manipulator which seemed to be a highly modified deflector shield which could not only capture incoming energy, but could diminish, amplify and re-route it as well. It was not without limitations but a single bolt from a blaster was child’s play. He had made other interesting modifications to the ship as well including a zero gravity Blastball court in one of the cargo holds, an escape pod with a small bar built into the panels (Darkcow claimed that any time to retreat is also a time to drink), and an out of place barbeque and Jacuzzi.

They cooked me the best bantha steak I have ever had, Darkcow’s technical mastery extends to the culinary realm. They gave me a stout beer Moltar said was brewed by witches from a planet called Dathomir who apparently rode rancors along with brewing one hell of a beer. And they told me stories of their adventures and promised that I would experience first hand such wild exploits. They were careful to steer the conversation away from what was going to happen on Tatooine. They said I must discover that for myself.

The ramp to the ship opened and hot sand blew into my face. Tatooine seemed a desolate place. Darkcow had landed his ship next to what seemed a small village of mostly tents. There were a few small structures and more being built. We left the ship and strolled through the village at a brisk pace. I caught a whisper Moltar said to Darkcow, “I know I am right.” He said excitedly… “I can feel it.” And Darkcow nodded agreement. People moved about lazily chatting with each other. All of them smiled and waved and some even cheered seeing Darkcow and Moltar. Two people fell in stride with us and were introduced as Dank and Lostar to me and the five of us walked towards a large dune. They stopped at the base and pointed to the top motioning that I must go alone.

I climbed to the top and there found nothing. The twin suns were setting casting the sky in a startling clear twilight. I looked back down the dune and saw 4 tiny specs of people staring up at me. I did not know what I was supposed to do. I looked around and kicked some sand. I looked back down and the four of them were gone and quite to my surprise the entire village was missing as well. I figured I must have lost my bearings and I went around the top of the dune trying to find it but the village and everyone in it were gone. I scanned the horizon and saw a light, a small spec in the distance and it was growing either rushing towards me or increasing in mass. I could not tell which. It was the most peaceful and calming thing I had ever seen and within moments I was engulfed and blinded. I fell to my knees.

I saw the whole of the universe and knew it was a time before such was even measured. I saw swirling galaxies being born in extraordinary throws of heat and light. I saw Tatooine and my view soon focused on that tiny little spec of a planet. It looked much the same, the newly born twin suns burning the surface into a desert jewel of planet. I saw the dune I had climbed and in its center I saw one tiny sprig of green fighting for life. I watched for centuries as this small plant slowly gained a foothold, almost dying countless times only to come back greener and stronger. Then one day it evolved. To assure its survival the small plant developed the ability to channel The Force and it drew this energy into itself… and it grew. It grew in size. It grew in power. It grew in beauty and lushness. Many years passed and I watched it ever drawing The Force until once it again it evolved this time becoming something more. The energy it once fed on so hungrily to assure its very existence began to emanate outward. It somehow was able to draw in The Force while at the same time sending it back out in rippling waves. It was fully grown now and the twin suns and heat and dryness of the planet could no longer hurt it. It lifted its roots and began to float.

I opened my eyes. I was crying tears of joy. I looked up and could see it clearly where before there had been nothing. A Shrub, green and wonderful, radiating joy and peace floated above me. How could I have not seen it before? How could I ever leave it? I walked back down the dune to where my four new friends waited. Moltar stepped forward a nervous look on his face. “Well?” he asked.

I smiled at him. “Hello… Brother.”