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Darkness Falls

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Summary: Leia has been corrupted by a Dark Jedi and a new rebellion struggles for freedom. Spin-off to Hatten's Knight Verse stories.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Star Wars > Multiple PairingsRazial + 2 othersFR151751,4552159,21720 Jun 1016 Jun 11No

Chapter 16 by JCHatten

Chapter 16

Dawn sighed, when would that slow bloke arrive? She so waited like forever for him to arrive.

Then a fuzzy shape appeared in the fog, it was moving like a drunk on roller blades. "Xander," she yelled and waved her hands. "Who taught you to ride a skateboard?"

"I did ride skateboards. Never said I was good at it. Beside this is so different," Xander said and relaxed a bit as he felt his feet reach solid ground.

Dawn rolled her eyes. "Look at that," she said, pointing behind her. "I thought I saw something and I did." It was a strange thing. It looked like a spacer chest had been dropped by someone.

In front of them was a sight Xander did not like to see. "Oh crap," he yelled, but then it was too late. The ground under them fell down and tentacles flew out of the ground, grabbed them and started to pull them down.

"Sarlacc," Xander screamed.

Then it got dark.

+++

He felt foggy and weird, like he was moving through quicksand. Opening his eyes he looked around in to a grey world.

A strange voice seemed to speak in his mind. "Watch this," it said.

Then Xander saw a child, a Sullustan child, walking by. "Mom, where are you mom?" it screamed.

Xander began moving, but was stopped by the voice. "It's just a memory, watch."

Xander frowned and was trying to shake the fog out of his head. Slowly it started to vanish. The memory was gone and he was in darkness again. "Who are you? Where am I?"

He was faced with darkness.

"Xander, where are you?" he heard in his head. Dawn, It was Dawn.

"Here, I am here," he said.

"Why can't I see anything?" Dawn asked in near panic.

Then another voice interrupted them. "You are like us trapped and being consumed alive."

Xander blinked as the memory returned. "The Sarlacc, it caught us," he said in shock.

"What? But why can't we see?" Dawn asked. "Did it blind us?" she started to worry now.

Xander let go and felt his body with the force. "No, not yet, it trapped us and we are asleep, Dawn. Our bodies are full of drugs and other substances keeping us asleep. "Who are you?" he asked the alien voice.

It seemed amused. "Me? I'm food. I was a Sullustan ranger once, until the Sarlacc trapped me. I have seen others come and go, but it kept me partly alive, partly dead. A ghost inside of it, you can call me Bufan."

Dawn swallowed. "What do you mean, Bufan?" she asked.

"The Sarlacc is a plant. A true omnivorous, a mix between silicon and carbon life form and it can eat anything or any one. When it eats sentient beings, strange things happen. It absorbs the beings intelligence or part of it. It can keep its food alive or partly alive for hundreds of years. Most of my body is consumed nowadays. Part of my head is the only thing alive on me. My memory, my experience, my personality and I'm not the only one trapped in here. Lots of animals and even other intelligent beings have been eaten by the Sarlacc," Bufan replied.

Dawn swallowed. "Xander...," she whispered.

But he did not answer. Instead he focused his skill and was trying to cleanse his body off the drugs that kept it asleep.

Bufan continued. "A Sarlacc is part plant part animal, depending on its age. It starts like a tiny seed drifting true space, until it finds a solar system with a planet suitable for life. After it has crashed down, the seed opens and a wormlike being crawls out. It's a Sarlacc larval, it spends a long time digging around and attacking other life forms. It sucks their blood and consumes their flesh until it has grown large enough, then it becomes immobile and it becomes more plant like and female or the larval finds a female Sarlacc and mates with it.

The mating always ends with the death of the male, as it's consumed by the female. A plant and a female is powerful it can fire its seeds out into orbit. The Sarlacc does that by firing it out just as a big old cannon. The explosion sometimes kills the Sarlacc itself. Once the seeds are out there they either crash down again, often burning up from the atmospheric entry or it grows thin solar sails. Those capture the rays of the sun and then they help it to move between the stars. There the seed will spend millenniums traveling between the stars, somehow able to discover planets it's able to survive on. Sometimes the seed makes mistakes. Asteroids with small sized Sarlacc's have been discovered.

The Sarlacc's appearance depends on its food. It can easily mutate and adapt to whatever environment it lives in or on. A Sarlacc thrives on wet worlds and it's rare for them to survive in deserts or in space, but it happens if it has the correct food during it young days. Once it reaches the female stage, its stationary stage, it has several stomachs in which it can move the food between them. The main stomach is where it consumes the food. The others that are spread out are like hibernation chambers. They keep the food alive all the while it slowly dissolve and consume parts of them. The Sarlacc's intelligence depends on how smart the food has been. I did say stationary did I not? That's a bit untrue. Even during its plant stage the Sarlacc can move, just extremely slow. It can dig itself forward perhaps a meter per day to find new places to hunt, if the old one becomes out hunted."

Dawn swallowed "You are creeping me out," she stated. "How do you know this much about them?"

"I read up on them. I heard rumors about a Sarlacc and went out to find it. Sadly it found me. This one is smart. It uses traps to lure others in, a fake treasure or part of an animal to lure other beast down its stomach. I have not much to do down here, except talk to the Sarlacc or to the others that are inside of it. All of us depend on the Sarlacc ability to keep us alive. I am ashamed to say that I look forward to have some new people to talk to in the short time we have left. You see our Sarlacc is pregnant with seeds. It has been capturing more and more food, digging up minerals and mixed them up, as it creates its own explosive charge, which will send its seeds flying into orbit.

That explosion often kills a young Sarlacc, even a strong and healthy Sarlacc like this one will be so damaged after the explosion that it will need decades to recover and heal. A time in which it is totally consuming anything inside it, just to survive, if the explosion doesn't kill us, its fight to survive will. "

Dawn swallowed her tears. This was it, she would be food of a freak beast, which was both plant and animal, far more plant then animal sure but still.

Beside her Xander's body suddenly opened its eyes, which were glittering in green and yellow. "Bitch you are going down," he said, as he focused a massive force wave around him, which threw him away from the wall and ripped out the tentacles that kept him trapped.

With bleeding arms he landed on the ground using the force to sense the extent of damage on his body. He thanked the force that he had armor. The Sarlacc had only penetrated his hands and it was slowly trying to remove his armor. So he was mostly undamaged.

So was Dawn. He saw her hanging on the wall next to him still sleeping. The tentacles only touched the skin on her hands and in the face.

He moved forward quickly using the force to pull her down to him. He used the force to put her in a healing trance and then activated his lightsaber in the last moment as the tentacles on the wall suddenly attacked.

Spinning around like a whirlwind his two blades created a green and yellow circle of death and destruction.

Xander frowned as he heard a sound. Water, no acid, was being pumped inside. He looked up and saw flesh all around him they must be inside one of the minor stomachs Bufan talked about.

Alright prepare for stomach ache. With a slash, cut and stab he attacked the roof, cutting out deep slices from the Sarlacc and then suddenly muddy water came flushing down the hole he had made.

Spitting out the dirt he saw they were almost knee deep in acid and now water was coming down the hole.

He took a better hold on Dawn and tied her to his back, using his rope from his tool belt. "Don't fall of Dawn. Don't fall of," he said.

Dawn blinked. "I. I'm holding on," she said having just woken up because the cold shower shocked her free of the healing sleep. Now sensing how wounded she was, she activated her own Jedi healing skill, but kept herself awake.

"Good, don't let go. Don't let go, Dawn." He looked up and saw that the Sarlacc had almost healed the wound in its secondary stomach.

Now with Dawn firmly attached he activated his lightsaber and pulled the size control, extending it to its max length of two meters. Now he truly started to cut is way free.

A water fall came crashing down on him as he had penetrated the body of the stomach. It was filled with muddy slimy water. He felt the dirt slime around inside his gills, as he used the force to jump, climb and swim up the waterfall and the hole he had just cut.

Dawn was holding her breath. Time was running out unless they got out in the free fresh air again. Xander felt the same way. The mud made it impossible for his Gils to work.

Then suddenly the muddy water was no more, they were swimming in clear water again. Above them they could see the sky. Not that Xander felt any difference for his gills even as they cleared out most of the mud the water was filled with bubbly gasses of carbon monoxide and carbon oxide created from the molding rotting plants and animal parts under the surface. In this water even a fish would drown.

"AIR," Dawn screamed in joy as they broke the surface.

"Air," Xander said just as happy.

Xander nodded and blew air through his gills, cleaning them from water and mud. "Yeah, air." He had almost forgotten how bad the feeling of drowning was.

Dawn blinked as she dried of some mud from her face. "That was creepy and fun," She said smiling. "I wonder how many have ever survived being inside a monster like that. You think there is a club we could join?"

Xander sighed. "We could start one, I guess." He started to swim ashore.

+++

(Coruscant)

Leia sat on her throne and wondered when Luke and the rebels would strike. Her troops continued to train and prepare, but she was concerned because she did not know when they would attack. She had ordered dozens of her spies to try and find any rebel bases and gain information on the coming attack.

Kaira watched her mistress, knowing she was concerned and hoped she would be able to help keep her mind off the coming trouble.

+++

(Rebellion hideout)

Lando sat down next to Ackbar, Wedge as well as Barc, Wilson and finally Jaxs as the meeting got underway. They all listened as the reports on how things were going were read out. Lando was happy to hear that the last of the critical injuries of the people hit on Cloud City had finally recovered. He glanced over at at Wedge and noticed the dark look he gained as he recalled the fall of the city, where he too had been injured,

The fleet they had was brought back into working order as the repairs to the older ships were finished, whilst the newer ones were added into the fleet once they were completed. Training was continuing all over the base for all kinds of work. However they did not have an attack date or any other piece of information yet on when or how the attack would go.

Lando leaned back and hoped Luke returned soon.

+++

Jaina blinked in surprise and so did Luke, Kyle, Buffy and Rona.

A tired dirty looking Xander walked, with a just as dirty and tired looking Dawn beside him into the camp. Both had bandages on their hands and face.

Danni quickly rushed over to help them.

"What happened?" Jaina asked.

"Dawn and I found a Sarlacc and it found it difficult to digest us," Xander replied tired.

"It was so cool. Xander just swished, slashed, dug and crawled his way out of the monster with me on his back," Dawn said in one breath and with a happy voice. "Then we almost drowned," she continued with a smile that seemed to light up the place more then the sun and moon ever could.

Buffy sighed. "Oh Dawn, can't I let you out anywhere without you finding trouble?"

Dawn looked honestly confused. "But it was no trouble. We were just in and out of the monster." She frowned. "Sure, for a moment it looked like it had us trapped, but it did not. It was just Xander's plan to find out information before we busted our way out." She finished of just as Danni, after reading the medical scan she did on Dawn, injected her with the correct healing medication R3 had given her.

Buffy looked at Xander slightly glaring.

Xander shock his head at her. Slowly Buffy started to understand.

Danni silently moved over to Xander. "What really happened?"

"Sith spit, I'm not sure. Suddenly I saw tentacles and then everything was dark. It totally surprised me. Inside the Sarlacc I did notice that it has only a tiny and easy to miss presence in the force. It blends in with the other plants around it and camouflages itself in the force and in nature itself, almost a perfect ambush." He was silent for a moment and then continued. "Almost like when we do Force stealth, we blend in and diffuse our presence in the force to make it harder to be detected."

Danni nodded and let her scanner wander over Xander. "Well you got a nasty bump on the back of your head. Dawn does not have it so there is a moment between your capture and when you woke up that only Dawn knows about."

"From what she is telling what ever happened during that moment, her memory has already changed," Xander said sadly.

Danni nodded. "Poor Dawn."

Kyle, Luke and Mara who were listening, could not help themselves and asked, "Why poor Dawn?"

Xander looked at them for a moment and then replied. "Because Dawn's happiness disorder causes memory changes if she suffers a memory to terrible to fit inside her perfect little world."

Jade eyes opened up in shock. "By the Force, the girl must have thought that you are dead or something, trapped inside that monster trying to remove her armor, so it could eat her up. That's terrible."

Danni nodded. "Yes, poor Dawn."

Buffy had walked up silently and sat down. "She was not always like that. In Sunny-D, our original home in a different reality, one without the Force, she was just a normal girl. No disorder, but the journey over to where Xander was? It almost killed us. Dawn, Willow and I almost died. It felt like something was ripped out of our soul when we came here. From me it was the Slayer essence. From Willow the witch magic and Dawn? She had a little training in magic from Giles, Willow and Tara. She also held the power of the Key, an ability to open a rift between dimensions. She still has part of the key, but there were a lot of things that were removed violently from her soul and the power of the Key it rebuilt us and made us survive when we should have died." She took a deep breath. "Just like it did with that vampire, it removed the demon inside it and made it something different, but just as evil, a dark side beast."

Xander nodded, grabbed a crystal and projected a picture of a vampire. "In Sunny-D, where we came from, there are vampires. They are essentially un-dead, animated by a demon-spirit and they need blood to live off. The demon could not survive in a force universe, so it was removed. Normally that should have killed the vampire, but the Key kept the vampire alive or undead and found an alternative."

Luke whispered, "The dark side of the force."

Xander nodded. "Indeed, a vampire is created when another vampire forces its blood inside a human and then drains it off blood so that the human dies. It then revives as a new vampire with a demon inside of them. The Force mutated vampire does the same, but with parasitic blood worms inside their blood." He showed them picture of vampire blood with worms inside it. Worms that quickly died from the sun light outside the body. "It revives as a monster, a total utter psychopath and that is its good side. The rest of its nature is more evil then a psychopath could ever hope to be."

"A wise old Jedi said there is balance in all life. Our dimension got Force Guardians to help the light side of the force. Therefore the dark side got force-vampires," Buffy explained.

Xander smiled. "When Buffy, Dawn and Willow arrived the key used the force to heal them and replace what was lost. We, that's my mom, dad and R3 all of them are healers and doctors, think it gave Dawn a happiness disorder to replace something she suffered from that does not exist in a force dimension."

"I think the key or the force just made a mistake. It saved Willow's life, the vampire' life, Dawn's life and mine as well, all at the same time. Maybe it was too much for it to handle," Buffy said.

"And that's my idea too," Danni said and glared at R3 for a moment. That rust bucket was so wrong in this. The droid seem to glare back. It was NOT wrong.

Luke snorted in amusement. "That sounds like an old argument."

Buffy, Xander and Danni all said at the same time. "You have NO idea." From the side R3 agreed they had so many arguments on that area.

Mara looked at Dawn, who was happily talking and telling the story to Rona. She looked just like any normal 16 or 17 year old girl would, but in the force there was a slight different sense to her, an aura of happiness or trust. "She doesn't understand the full danger of her disorder," she said.

Sadly Danni shook her head. "No, its part of the disorder's nature. She tends to forget things that trouble her. Scary and uncomfortable things are soon forgotten. Not replaced, but forgotten or edited in her mind. Learning from her own mistakes is possible, just difficult. That's why we always keep an eye out on her."

"That's the down side. The upside is that she is loyal to a fault and she could never be tempted by the dark side. It has nothing to temp her with. She has a way of making everybody around her happy and she is willing to fight like a rancor to save and protect her friends. I know that sounds strange, but think about it. She does know and does understand that there are things that can kill those she care about. So she is willing to fight to protect them and would never give up the fight until she is dead or the enemy is driven away."

Kyle sighed. "I noticed that never give up spirit. She whines and complains when you force us to run a 50 km long run before the breakfast, but once she started she did it with a smile and was even teasing us."

The run had been a lesson in combining the force power of increase speed with force healing and force recovery. Causing them to run that in record time and recover the strain on their body faster than most could believe possible for the human body. That did not mean they felt good doing it or that it was not painful and difficult. It was both painful and difficult doing all that at the same time as they were running in almost full speed.

Xander nodded with a fond smile. "Yeah, now we have trouble next door, trouble which is spelled like Sarlacc." He took a deep breath. This could be made into a lesson. "Right lets pretend this is a Jedi council and the Sarlacc is a criminal dark Jedi. I vote preemptive defense of the civilians in the area. The criminal has chosen to live in isolation deep in the swamp away from others, but has preyed on those living in the area around him. Using traps to ensnare them and lured them to their death if they come to close to his home."

Kyle blinked. ‘What the?' Then he started to think. "You said we should pretend this is a criminal dark Jedi right? The Jedi order does not believe in revenge, but this looks like a natural case of justice. We should bring in the criminal and have him stand trail."

Luke thought this felt ridicules. "I think we should try to make use of the fact that he seeks to live in isolation. That does not sound like a true darksider. Perhaps we could send a Jedi down there and make sure the natives do not disturb him. He could be struggling and trying to return to the light. Showing understanding we may save him and gain an ally."

Mara was silently thinking about it. Both side had good reasons. Save him and gain an ally or bring him in for justices. "Before we do anything, we should check the laws of the planet. If the law says a person could kill anybody trespassing on their land, then the dark Jedi is not breaking any laws. Unless he lures them in to his land before he kills them." She took a deep breath. "The scenario is faulty, as we don't have enough information to make a good decision."

Xander nodded. "I agree with Jade. I gave you way too little information. On the other hand it was a spur of the moment idea. All of you have the correct decision, depending on the true nature of the situation, one that I have not clearly stated." He saw both of them were about to open their mouth. "I know a planet where a person of male gender is considering criminal if you can see his eyes unshielded by sun-glasses. The term darkside criminal is used without any precision. All in all it was a bad example." He sighed. "Biije, a Bith Jedi master and the co-master on my academy, is a master at making an example out of almost anything. He is also a grand master in form Zero. I'm trying to learn from him."

This made both Kyle and Luke shut up.

Xander smirked. "Anyway we have a dangerous life form at hand. A Sarlacc is not a native from this planet, from what the ghost inside of it told me and its eating local farmers. So I say lets destroy it after I rested a while. I feel bruised, poisoned and half drowned."

"I thought you had gills, how can you drown?" Luke asked curios.

"For you information, gills do not work in mud and the swamp water around here has little oxygen in it. It is mostly carbon gasses from dissolving plants that's bubbling around inside it, creating this wonderful smell you can always sense," Xander explained.

"Ouch. So in other words, in this water you can drown just as easily as we can," Luke stated.

Xander just nodded with a shiver

Kyle shook his head in disgust. He hated this dirty mud ball of a planet. On the other hand it was the perfect training place. It had everything a student would dislike, as a motivation to learn fast. He knew exactly what world he would use to teach any student he would have in the future. "Master Xander you are tired, wounded and need a healing rest. I take care of the fruit plant."

"I help you," Luke said.

Kyle grinned. "Was a long time since I last had fun with explosive stuff. This will be fun."

Xander frowned. It was supposed to be a free day for them, so why not? "Alright, remember a Sarlacc thrives on wet worlds. It is almost totally invisible out there and hidden in the swamp and worse they have little presence in the force. If you sense it using the force, you are standing to close." He had a feeling that there was something more he should warn them about, but no idea what. As the other food inside the Sarlacc started to go on and on, he tuned it out and ignored it.

They nodded.

Han just shook his head about that and as he considered the training he himself had gone through to get fit again, first alone and then with Mace, he decided that he would use the ‘off day' to relax as well. "I will go back to the Free Port and pick up news and a few other things. Mace will you join me?" he asked the older Jedi, who in turn just nodded.

Xander sighed. "Have fun and be careful. Tomorrow I'm going to show Luke and the others how to imbue armor with the force," he said before relaxing in a healing trance.

Kyle was smiling like a child on Feet Week. He had the chance to make things go boom.

Luke followed him with a bit more serious look on his face. He did remember the Sarlacc on Tatooine the pit of Carkoon.

+++

A short time later

It did not take the two warriors long to back track Xander and Dawn's movements to the place of the Sarlacc.

Naturally they found nothing there. There was nothing to see, just a swampy hill.

"Hey, it's trying to be invisible," Kyle said while trying to find it.

Luke nodded and pushed his hand down in the mud, as he focused his force sense, trying to sense the earth and the things living or growing under it. Soon Kyle felt a bumping sound coming from Luke's hand. He knew that Luke was using telekinetic push on the ground, but why?

Luke was silent as he switched between different ways of detecting reality. Finally using his sense of touch, grossly over powered, combined with a small telekinetic push until it worked almost like a ground base sonar and then he detected it.

Slowly he returned his senses to normal humans and opened his eyes. "Top of the hill is the mouth. It has clusters of tentacles all over the hill. The wound Xander crawled out of is around twenty meters away from us to the right half circle around the hill."

Kyle looked at his fellow trainee and asked, "How the Sith spit did you know that?"

Luke grinned. "Watch your mouth." He snickered. "I used force push and then force senses, until I could use my sense of touch like a sonar. The force itself helped me interpret the information."

Kyle blinked. "That's..."

Luke smiled. "You did hear Xander say you could use Force sense to see in darkness. Using heat vision if you like or just use the force to detect what is around you. This is not much different. The difficulty lies in how slow it is. The stranger the way you wish to perceive reality around you the slower this method works," he said smiling and looked Kyle in the eyes. "Why don't you try it? I guide you through it."

"I... I don't know if I could," Kyle said worried and then blinked as Luke held his right hand. "Trust me," Luke said.

Nodding Kyle pushed his hand down in the mud.

Luke started to speak in an almost hypnotic voice. "Now you have to make slow force pushes into the ground like the thumping sound of your heart beat. Then increase you sense of touch, mimic the way you ears and eyes work. Let the force guide you until it works. It's not hard, it's just slow and most give up before it works. So don't give up, just keep trying to switch methods until it works."

Kyle nodded. A thumping sound was once again heard and he sensed things, wrong things, slowly. Far to slow he started to sense things underground and then he could see it in a 3D black and white picture, the Sarlacc. "Gigantic," he said stumbling back blind as a bat, until his normal human vision returned. It took almost two minutes.

Luke held him so he would not stumble. "I know. Hyper right?"

Kyle nodded. "Why did it take so long for my normal senses to return?"

Luke replied, "I did tell you. The stranger the way you wish to detect reality around you, the longer it takes. That also include the return of you normal physical way to sense reality. Of course if you train in this the faster it will work. It will become easy to do, as you brain will adapted and learn."

Kyle nodded. "I think this will be at trick I will train myself in." As an infiltrator being able to see under the earth itself was a gift to big not to use.

+++

‘Around the galaxy Kyle's enemies felt fear hit them in the back of their head.'

+++

They were silent for a moment, as both of them were thinking about what they had seen.

"There were seven, no nine smaller chambers and one main chamber in the center plant and then lots of roots, stretching out almost two hundred meters," Kyle said.

"It's nine," Luke said. "This is a big one."

Kyle nodded carefully. "I don't sense anybody alive in there do you?"

Luke took a deep breath as he extended his force sense, seeing without eyes things far away or just sensing the presences in the force. "Yes and no. I sense lots of animals and partial consumed sentience beings. They... It is difficult to describe those sentient trapped inside. They are still alive, but more dead than alive. It feels like they have merged and become part of the Sarlacc. It's keeping part of them alive, even if it has eaten most if not all of their bodies."

Kyle shook his head. "Don't know about you, but I like to get a closer look. Join me?"

Luke blinked. "You are crazy." He grinned. "Sure. We fight our way down and out, right?"

Kyle's grin was pure evil. "You bet. Once down we plant the bomb and get out of there."

The two warriors moved as one. The team fighting Xander had given them had paid off. As the tentacles rose up to catch them, a duo of blades activated with a hiss and were cut in half.

Cutting and slicing the two moved quickly side by side. They were almost running, as they came up to the big mouth of the Sarlacc and not even caring, they jumped feet first, slicing the tentacles trying to trap them.

They did not fall long as Kyle grabbed a hold on an unwilling tentacle and slided down on its back to the wall of the Sarlacc.

Luke was hanging on the wall like a big fly on a bleeding wound. Below them was a bubbling pit of acid. "Right lets not fall all the way then," Luke said. "Look over there one of the lesser chambers."

The walls all around them were filled with tentacles reaching for them and trying to catch them. It took a lot of cutting to create a free safe zone inside the stomach of the beast.

Kyle grinned. "Yeah, let's move quickly the walls fill with grabby tentacles."

The two started to fight, jump and climb their way to the lesser chamber.

Inside it was clear that it was a smaller stomach. All around them birds, animals and lizards of all kinds were merged with the wall and they were slowly dissolving.

As they moved inside cutting off tentacles a body part twitched and sometimes moved as they walked by it.

Luke swallowed. "Jabba ‘The Hutt' said we would slowly dissolve over thousand years inside the Sarlacc."

Kyle nodded. "Yeah, over there," he said.

The two moved carefully over to the object Kyle had seen. It was a sight from a horror movie, parts of a human body. Tentacles were connected to the head and the lower part was pumping in a liquid inside the body to keep it alive.

"Am I crazy or is that alive?" Kyle asked and looked using the light of his blade. Most of the spine was dissolved. It had one working lung, no more. Peaking inside he could see no heart was left, it was dissolved. Yet liquid was pumping inside of it, liquid the Sarlacc gave it.

Luke nodded, putting his hand on the head. "Wake up," he said.

The head blinked and screamed. "Nooooo... Please kill me, kill me, we are trapped in its dream world. It's keeping us alive, you have to kill me." It looked with terror at them and then it fell asleep again.

Kyle quickly cut the head in half. "I can't think of even one enemy I would wish for this to happen to."

Luke nodded. "If Dawn saw anything like this on her way down the gullet, then..."

Kyle nodded. "She would suppress it. Hell I am going to try to forget this." He shivered. With all the things he had seen and done, this was on the top 5 of things he regret to ever have seen.

"I agree," Luke said. "Let's drop the bomb and get the hell out of here. It's already looking like a bad jump," he said using a spacer slang.

Kyle nodded, dropping a ready thermal detonator straight down into the acid pool of the main stomach. "It's acid protected. Let's hurry away from here. It's radius is around twenty meters. So we should be a minimum of two hundred meters away." He started to move real fast.

Luke blinked then followed.

The two warriors started to jump out, moving as fast as they could in the swamp.

Once they reached the two hundred meters Kyle pushed a button. "Now the timer has started."

Luke rolled his eyes. "I thought you activated it."

Kyle grinned. "I had. I put it on twenty four hours, unless I push the activator, then the time changed to five minutes."

Luke grinned. "You scared me."

Unknowing to the two warriors the Sarlacc had its own surprise. It was ready to launch it seeds to space. Nineteen seeds all in all. To do that, it created a huge amount of explosive material, which it had stored inside a chamber under the main stomach. During the launch the main chamber is the cannon that fires out the seeds to space and that's why most Sarlaccs die after giving birth. If the explosion does not kill them, they starve to death. Unless they have stored so much food inside their secondary stomachs that they survive until they can heal the destroyed main stomach.

All that raw primate explosive material, closely related to nitroglycerin, react in a dangerous way confronted with so much heat. It exploded.

Sitting in a safe position two hundred and fifty meters away were Luke and Kyle. What Kyle believed was a safe position proved to be false, as a mighty mushroom cloud rose above the Sarlacc when the explosive material of several tons suddenly exploded combined with the thermal detonator.

Kyle cursed, "Hell that's not good."

Luke just nodded in agreement.

Then they were knocked away from the hill they stood on, as the shock wave lifted them away and threw them into the swamp.

+++

Inside the camp all looked into the direction of the explosion and Mara muttered, "Boys and their toys. Damn I wish I had gone with them."

+++

Later

A tired, drained, wounded and burned Luke carried a wounded and burned Kyle back to camp. It was only his own skill in Jedi healing that allowed Luke to walk. Kyle was not as good in the skill and was deep inside a Jedi healing trance Luke had put him in.

The amused voice of Xander seemed to mock him. "Normally one little thermal detonator is all that's needed. But do tell me. How many did you guys use?"

Luke snorted. "One, only one. It must have a malfunction or Kyle got one of those military ones with a hundred meter radius."

Jaina shook her head. "Uncle Luke, Kyle does not make that kind of mistake, just like you would not mistake a TIE fighter for an X-Wing. Whatever caused the explosion to be that big must have been something other then that."

Dawn blinked. "O I know. The plant guy said the Sarlacc creates its own explosive material and uses it to launch its seeds into orbit," she said with a smile. "I wonder how much explosives are needed to fire off something to space."

R3 beeped as he shivered, a lot of explosive would be needed and if that was how the Sarlacc spread their seed there was no way the plant could survive that.

"At least this planet is free of that thing," Jaina said.

+++

At the same time in space

Out of nineteen balls around the size of a human child only eleven had reached this far up. The rest was caught by the gravity and started to fall back down again. Without having a chance to harden and grow is protective armor they would burn up, but the eleven that reached space were blooming now. Huge, invisible to normal eyes, threads spread out from them, creating a thousand meter long sail around each little seed.

Slowly they captured the solar wind and started to move out into space.

The children of the Sarlacc were leaving and seeking a new home.

+++

Meanwhile Han and Mace reached the small Freeport and after they parked the speeder they entered a small shop, where they bought everything they thought they could use in the camp and after they stored that all in the speeder Mace looked up and asked, "And what now?"

Han thought for a moment and then answered, "I think we should visit the Slippery Gelgelar Eel. In bar's you can always get the best rumors and information if you know what to listen for."

Mace just nodded and both stated to walk to the bar.

A few moments before they reached it Mace looked up and turned into the direction of Fenn's Landing bay. He concentrated for a moment and then said, "I feel a disturbance in the force."
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