Reading Time: 5 minutes
Read Episode I first if you haven’t already.
“Wait, what just happened?” wheezed Mak. The swarm of Trandoshans around him had fallen limp.
“I think you guys won,” said Darth Beardicus, examining the tactical map and stroking his majestic beard.
“Don’t…think…so…” Diala emphasized each word with a strike of her shiny, new Vibro Axe. Sparks flew from the terminal where she was perched. Silicon shards rained into an already deep pile on the floor with each successive blow. Two Imperial Guards stood lifeless, watching the massacre.
“No,” said Beardicus, resigned. “You guys won.”
Mak leaned closer to the motionless Trandoshans, ready to disengage. “What do these guys eat? Crickets?”
Gideon rushed into the room, bellowing commands. “Jedi! Smash that terminal!”
“Mak? What in Alderaan’s name are you doing?”
Mak hurriedly slipped a knife into his pocket and released the Trandoshan’s hand. “Side quest. For Chewie.”
“Well, knock it off, there’s no telling when whatever stasis these guys are under will wear off.”
“Umm, excuse me, Commander Gideon,” said Beardicus with a raised hand. “You guys won.”
“That’s…what…I…said,” added Diala.
“Really, you did.”
“So you’re telling me we just ran to this terminal,” Gideon stalked into the terminal room, his eyes never leaving the Trandoshans. “Smashed it.” More parts skittered to the ground. “And won?”
“What do you take me for, Beardicus? A Gungan?”
“Not at all. Look, you guys finally stopped fighting and you won.”
Gideon squinted at Darth Beardicus. He then threw a glance at Diala and she looked back, thoughtful, the vibro axe making loose swipes at the ravaged terminal. Next he eyed Mak, who was in the midst of wiping his knife on his pants. Under Gideon’s piercing gaze, Mak slipped his hands into his pockets and stared at the ceiling.
“Go ahead, say it,” said Diala.
“It’s a trap!” cried Gideon.
“Disengage! Disengage!” screamed Mak. “I swear, the Trando’s finger fell right off.”
“Yaaa…aaa…aaaa!” screamed Diala as she furiously attacked the pile of shattered electronics, vibro axe blazing.
Beardicus sighed. “No, this isn’t a trap. You guys did a great job. You and that ridiculous dodging.” He threw a baleful glance at the white defense die. Mak and Diala paused their hysterics long enough to force-five.
“Quick, everyone block a doorway,” ordered Gideon. “They’re gonna close us in the room! Mak, get the heck away from that deployment point! Beardicus, you better tell me now what the new objective is or I swear, I’ll rip that beard right off your shiny face!”
“Calm down!” Beardicus cried, protectively snatching up his beard. “There is no new objective.”
“Oh no you don’t.” Gideon advanced. “Don’t try to fool me, greenhorn. I’ve been through this wringer enough to know there’s something up your sleeve. Nexu climbing out of the walls. Objectives exploding like bombs…”
Diala yelped and hopped down from the decimated terminal.
“There’s something else coming and you better tell me.”
Beardicus cradled his prized facial hair. “Nothing! I swear on Palpatine’s dental plan! Can we just stop all this fighting now?”
“Wait, where’s the Other Guy?” Gideon scanned the room.
Diala’s eyes went wide. “Kidnapped!, That’s it! That’s the trick!”
“He’s not kidnapped,” shouted Beardicus. He lowered his voice and sneered at the floor as he continued. “He never left the hangar. There were stormtroopers there. Regular, non-elite stormtroopers.”
The Rebels exchanged a glance.
“Regular Stormtroopers. In tightly formed groups because the room was so darn small,” muttered Beardicus in defeat.
Gideon pursed his lips and shrugged.
“Okay, then. Chalk one up for the good guys.”
“You mean two, right? We’ve botched like five missions and won two,” added Mak.
“Son, the Han Solo quarterback keeper doesn’t count. That guy’s got some serious skills.”
Mak gave a resigned nod.
“Come on, let’s get out of here before Beardicus here figures out there were some pages stuck together in the briefing or something.”
So our mostly competent band of Rebels escapes the top secret Imperial facility with their hope restored and en route to a bar on the far flung planet of Tatooine where well-earned rest and relaxation awaits. But before they can make the jump to hyperspace, word of their victory reaches the Rebel high command…
“Another mission, guys,” Gideon called out into a chorus of groans. “Should be a cake walk. More terminals.”
Only Diala danced with excitement. “Sure thing, boss,” said Diala. “You know all those abilities we never get to use because the Empire keeps us all chill and stress-free?”
“Strain,” corrected Gideon. He ground his teeth. “They keep adding it.”
“Yeah, whatever. Well I don’t need those abilities to smash terminals.” She brandished her axe. “I’ve renamed her. Terminus.”
Another chorus of groans echoed in the cockpit.
“In and out,” said Mak. “We’ll be at the bar in no time.”
Hours upon hours later, Gideon and his band of adventurers have fought their way deep into the heart of yet another Imperial complex with oddly modular spaces.
“Really, who designs these places, IKEA?” scoffed Diala.
Designed by extremely talented Imperial artisans who yes, happen to be fans of easy to assemble Scandinavian furniture. I mean, you try to furnish and employ an entire Empire with an automation-crazed Trade Federation breathing down your neck. Anyway, as I was saying, their only means of escape an elevator, where Mak waited, tapping his foot and throwing fearful glances at the light-up display as it counted up to their floor.
“Okay…last…terminal…is…toast,” shouted Diala.
“Guys!” Mak shouted down the hall toward the final terminal room. “You better hurry, someone’s coming up!”
“Probably more stormtroopers,” Gideon yelled. “Other Guy?”
Mak glanced into a darkened corner where Other Guy gave a thumbs up and leveled his rifle at the elevator door. “Yeah, he’s got ’em!” he called down the hall.
“And don’t get wounded, Mak, that’s an order!” Gideon turned to Diala. Both commander and jedi were already bruised and bloodied. While they’d destroyed the final terminal, to clear the mission they needed to make one last run up a hallway that seemed to be birthing new Imperial terrors every minute. “Let’s hurry this up, jedi.”
“Look who’s talking, slowpoke,” Diala taunted as she back-flipped down the hall.
Ahead of her, Mak plowed wide-eyed through a cluster of freshly spawned Stormtroopers.
“Disengage?” Diala asked with more than a hint of concern.
Mak wordlessly shook his head and spun. Elevator music swelled down the hall accompanied by a friendly “ding.” The Royal Guard Champion stepped into view, the Other Guy skewered on his force pike.
Diala stomped her foot. “No fair! We defeated that freak!”
“BEARDICUS! What is this bulls…” Gideon was cut off by maniacal laughter flooding the loudspeakers and Darth Beardicus’ sinister voice.
“All we want is peace but NOOOO, you won’t let that happen. So be it! You may have won once, Rebel scum, but it won’t ever happen again!”
Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion…what? We’ve already said that? Our sincere apologies but there appears to be a contractual stipulation. These things always come in trilogies. Everybody knows that.