Tyr awoke to the sound of a Swamp Dragon's hunting call. He groggily rolled over and looked at his watch. 0545. Fifteen minutes early. He heard the Dragon’s call again. It was closer this time. The Dragon is coming for me. The terror of that thought snapped Tyr’s mind into full gear. His body came fully alert and his heart started to beat quickly. I must get moving fast. I haven’t much time. He packed all his gear and slung the pack over his shoulders.
He looked back in the forest but couldn’t see the Dragon. He turned forward and ran for a nearby clearing at full speed. The Dragon sounded again, much closer and with a much higher pitch. It’s claiming the kill. Me. Tyr broke into the grassy field and the sunlight hit him full in the face. It was a hot morning and the dew was still clinging to the ground. Tyr ran full across the field and was almost to the other side when the Swamp Dragon broke out of the forest where Tyr had just spent the night. He looked over his shoulder and saw the green wings of the six-ton monster unfold. Tyr dropped his pack and unslung his slug-thrower rifle. He loaded a clip into it and took aim at the Dragon. The Dragon leaped into the air with a cry that sent chill’s down Tyr’s back.
Fighting waves of panic Tyr traced the Dragon through the sky as it hurtled at him. As it reached its zenith Tyr fired three shots in rapid succession. The Dragon looked at Tyr and opened its mouth showing the two rows of fangs. It barreled down on Tyr unaware of its impending doom. The first slug hit right below the Dragon’s head. The other two tore through the same area. The Dragon let out a scream and fell from the sky. Tyr clicked the safety back on his rifle and slung it over his shoulder. Grabbing his bootknife he walked over and cut the upper left front canine out of the Dragon’s mouth. He pocketed the proof of his survival and returned to his pack. He slung the pack over his shoulders and ran back into the forest.
Tyr broke through a pair of bushes in full run. His breathing was labored and rapid. His face was red with blood. I cannot stop. I must keep going. I cannot stop. I am a scout. His foot came down in a puddle and for a moment he lost his balance. He recovered but not in time to prevent himself from falling through a cluster of thorns. He howled in pain as several dozen thorns poked through his skin on his face. Getting back onto his feet Tyr slowly pulled each one of the inch long thorns out of his face. Each one came out leaving a smattering of cuts all across his face. He reached for his canteen and splashed some water over his face and took two swigs of it. Not caring about the pain he was in Tyr pulled out his compass and took a bearing. Comparing it with the mental map he and the other ninety-nine cadet scouts had memorized he drew his line through the forest and set off at a dead run.
Major Danzen of the Kuat Youth Training Force stood at the basecamp. He looked up at the evening sky and saw one of the many Shipyards in orbit around Kuat. Memories of his days in the Republic Army flooded back to him and he gave a sad smile. A cold breeze flew off of the Crystal Sea. He was about to head in when Tyr burst out from the forest. His face was bright read , both from massive amounts of physical exertion and from lots of dried blood. Tyr struggled over to him, came to attention, and saluted Major Danzen. “Tyr Annic......reporting in at........1849........sir.” Each breath came with a gasp and as soon as Tyr finished saying that he fell to the ground. Major Danzen felt for a pulse and got one. 260 beats per minute. Danzen picked Tyr up and ran him over to the medical tent. The camp medical staff immediately got to work on Tyr and after a few minutes the camp doctor came to talk to Danzen.
“He should be fine in a few weeks Major. He pushed himself far too hard. Every muscle in his body is suffering from severe strain. One of his ankles appears to have been sprained and then had him run on it. His face, as you may have seen, is covered with thorn cuts and he has a very bad case of heat exhaustion. Frankly, I’m amazed he made it to the camp.”
“So am I Doctor but can you blame the kid? He struggles everyday to get out from his father’s shadow. The kid works ten times as hard as anyone else in the camp. I mean, he just broke the camp record by thirteen hours! Do what you can Doctor.” The doctor nodded solemnly and returned to Tyr to monitor his condition.
“And let me be the first to congratulate this year’s graduating class of Kuat Scouts. You have all shown great skill and courage throughout the past year’s training. Those of you who are seated here are the top 1% of the 10,000 youths just like you who started this program. I congratulate you all. Now I would like to present this years Valedictorian. I present to you Scout Captain Tyr Annic. He has set seven new camp records and is the highest scoring scout in twenty years. I congratulate you Tyr Annic!” With those words the assembled scouts rose to their feet and applauded him. The applause was short lived those as his father and an entourage of Stormtroopers entered the assembly field. His father slowly walked up to him and gave him a bear hug.
“You have done well Tyr. I look forward to seeing you use these skills for productive purposes. Give up this foolish dream of yours. Focus on your life here, not out there,” Tyr’s father waved a hand up at the stars. “There is nothing for you out there. You are not meant to leave Kuat.”
“That’s where you are wrong father. I am going to find a new place for myself. One that I create. One that is free of your shadow. One where I control my destiny and that is not here.”
“That’s where you are wrong Tyr. You will not leave. I have already made arrangements. You are going to Kuat Imperial Engineering University and you will major in some form of engineering and you will stay here! That is final and the end of this discussion!” Tyr’s father and his entourage stormed away from Tyr.
He smiled and whispered beneath his breath. “No, father. You shall see just how wrong you are.” With that Tyr went to his dorm and began to pack one backpack. He intended to stow away on his father’s Star Destroyer the next day.
Members Only Main Page
What's New Page