The Photonovel Alliance


Everyday was a fight. The heat was unbearable, the humidity like an invisible shell over his sweaty form. So much so, that some survivors have died due to the extreme temperatures.

The dead don’t help either.

There is no break from survival. Everyone moment, every survivor is worried that it might be their last breath they breath. Muscles pulled, cramped, and bruised, bones cracked, legs throbbing and arms numbing are all the symptoms of the apocalypse.

But the strong minded are those who stay alive.

There are very few weak-minded Jedi.

But this has been going on for three years. Non stop, constantly worrying and striving to stay alive.

The Iktochi Jedi has forgotten the day, the month, and the year that he is present in. He can’t remember that last time he slept.

The Jedi lives in the fog. Surrounded by anticipation, not seeing what is ahead only what is right there in front of his face.

And the strength of the Force is useless against the dead. The Jedi cannot sense their presence as they come behind them. Only the trained skills of the Jedi have kept them alive.

The Iktochi Jedi was gone for an hour on a supply run, and already his secured spot was tainted with the dead…

…already he is being watched by predators.

The Hunter’s breather piece hissed as the swordsman gave a small exhale,

“He shows promise.” he heard himself grumble,

Thankfully, the Jedi’s survival pack is untouched.

The Jedi found no food on his supply run, yet for reasons he couldn’t understand, he peered into the bag, hoping something was inside.


Then something.

“Who are you?” the Jedi questioned, his hand reaching for his light saber hilt,

“I am your reckoning.” the Hunter simply replied.

The Hunter brandished his cortosis blade, the metal gear boxes in his mechanical fist whirring as the grip tightened.

“I don’t know who you are, man. But I’m gonna let you walk away. If you don’t, your gonna get hurt.” the Jedi warned.

“How greatly mistaken you are.” the hunter countered.

“Am I?” rhetorically asked the Jedi as he ignited his emerald cross-guard light saber!

Without another word, the Hunter rushes forward aggressively…

Their weapons clash. The Hunter is suddenly surprised to find that the Jedi’s weapon is of a forged crystal, one that is immune to the traits of cortosis!

Nevertheless, the Hunter manages to force the Jedi into the ground, crushing the Jedi’s hand under his foot.

Without any regard of the pain, the Jedi kicked the Hunter off his feat!

“There are 27 bones in an Iktochi hand,” the Jedi growled backing up in a defensive pose, “breaking a couple won’t hurt nothin’.”

“Then you leave me no choice but to break you completely.” the Hunter responds angrily.

With one arm, the Hunter rams the Jedi into the durasteal tubing. The Jedi can hear his spine pop and crack.

“You have no response to pain. You are strong.” the Hunter observes,

“Look, bro, I don’t know who you are or what you want. But there’s no reason we should be fighting like this.” the Jedi winced,

“Actually,” the Hunter smiled, “There are many reasons.”

The sharp pain of the Jedi’s shoulder dislocating alone was enough indication to the Iktochi that he was going to lose.

“You now understand that you will lose, Jedi.” the Hunter smirked behind the mask.

Slamming the Jedi’s face into the ground, the Hunter grips his hand around the Iktochi’s throat…

…and throws his opponent a second time into the air!

The Jedi then loses his light saber as he spins uncontrollably through the air!

Crashing onto the ground, the Jedi is amazed by the strength and speed of this being.

Not only does he show physical strength, but also mental strength, as he was able to almost read the Jedi’s mind, and knowing that the Ikotchi had already decided the fight was lost.

Then to add that, the Hunter was strong in maturity and played fairly. The Jedi dropped his weapon, forcing him to use his hands. The Hunter put down his weapon, and joined the Jedi in hand to hand combat.

The Jedi jabbed for a punch. The Hunter saw it coming moments before it did, and simply stepped to the side, watching the injured hand of the Iktochi blurring past him.

“You are slow.” the Hunter responded as he released an explosive punch into the Jedi’s jaw.

“But you show promise.”

Responding just at the end of the fight, a duo of battle droids arrives to clean up the mess.

Lifting up the light saber, the Hunter smiled under the mask. His master will be pleased.

Not far from the Hunter’s location…

Three familiar faces grip the wall as they inch up closer towards the corner.

“You sure about this, Zen?” Waxer whispered,

“We need a place to relax for the night. It’s a luxury we haven’t had in a while.” the young Jedi Zen Utaru replied.

Nodding in reply, Waxer turns to K1-R4, “K-One, check your heat signatures. How many do you count on the other side of the wall?”

The droid paused for a few seconds, then responded with a series of beeps and whistles.

“Not very many.” Tim Rolando nudged, “Come on, we can take ‘em.”

“Alright,” Zen nodded, “Let’s do it.”

“Right.” Waxer agreed, his grip around the blaster tightening.

The survivors rush around the corner. They worked as a unit; they survived together; united. But better than that…

…They survived because they were a family.

The dead worked as a unit as well.

All of them working for a common purpose,

All of them with a common desire:

To destroy the living.

The Cato Nemoidian Jedi was young, but he was strong in the Force, and he was greatly experienced under a greatly experienced Jedi Master.

His ferocity was met with gracefulness. His speed was met with accuracy and control.

Zen didn’t use the Force often, but when he did…

He used it with explosive power.

Waxer; a clone, yet a unique person altogether. Having lost his hand in the very begining of the epidemic, Waxer didn’t succumb to any danger. He adapted, and he survived. He would make his father proud.

He was used to the gore. He had seen a lot of it. It started at the beginning of the Clone War.

However, this was different on many levels. But the way a soldier reacts to opposition is a choice, and Waxer chose survival.

The people before they became the dead chose to be careless. Now, they forever live without a care but to feed.

Tim Rolando is a fighter. He always has been. Originally a Republic Peace Officer, then a general for the Grand Army of the Republic, and now a survivor fighting alongside other survivors, Tim is used to the anxiety, the blood, sweat and tears. But he was never used to, and still hasn’t gotten used to the dead coming back to haunt him.

“I got the last one.” Zen called out as he swiftly lashed at the one remaining pest…

And rammed his light saber into it’s skull.

Taking in the aura of death around him, Zen shuts off his light saber and hangs his arms low.

“The pests seem to grow more vibrant in numbers,” Tim observes, “especially those without the glowing eyes.”

“It’s almost as if they are evolving.” Zen mused, “Come, let’s get the bodies piled over at the entrance. We don’t want any more pests getting in.”

That night…

The night is foggy with thoughts.

The twinkling fire; warm; beautiful.

Waxer missed this.

“Tim. Waxer. I need to tell you something.” Zen grumbled,

“What is it?” Waxer frowned,

“I think it’s time we separated.” Zen said simply.

“…You can’t be serious.” Waxer gasped.

“Acc…Rojo…Bronze. Great people who died under my authority. I’m not fit to lead you. Not yet.”

“Zen,” Tim replied slowly, “they were fighters; brothers. Their deaths were not your fault. It’s the casualties of war. We have to move on from that. We have to, or else it’ll eat us up more than the pests!”

“You may think we’ll be better off without you but we aren’t. We need you.” Tim continued.

“I want to believe that. I do,” Zen responded, “but I can’t. And if I have this much doubt in my skills as a leader, then I am not fit. You are better without.”

Musing over the conversation, Waxer is filled an abundance of fear. He has been with Zen since the begining of this epidemic. They all have been through hard times, and now these failures, and these hard times have come to catch up.

“What about the transmission we heard? The community! They need you, Zen, especially in times like these. Maybe being around other leaders will give you more confidence.”

“You don’t…understand…”

“It has been three years since I have felt the sensation of the Force running through my veins. The Dark Side is vibrant here. I feel…evil; tainted. I do not know if I am still part of the Light.”

“I need to meditate. I need to clear my head. You might not be better off without me…”

“…but I am better off without you.”

“You understand? If I am to heal, I have to be alone. I need to be alone.” Zen sighed, he didn’t want the words coming from him to be spoken. But part of him was uncontrolled. His emotions was overwhelming, his mind racing between the gates of bewilderment.

“We understand.” Waxer replied. His eyes staring blankly at the fire.

“Perhaps one day we will see each other again.” Zen wondered,

“We’re gonna miss you, Zen.” Tim stuttered. He forced himself to swallow hard, so as to fight the rising tears.

“As will I, brother…”

“Let this be our last night together as a unit.”

The following morning, Zen awakes from his slumber.

He is alone.

Does he feel regret? Did he make the right decision?

It doesn’t matter. Zen has made his decision.

It doesn’t matter. Zen needs this.

Just then, an explosion sends Zen flying into the air!

His back hits the tubing with incredible force before his face strikes first into the burocrete.

Not fully registering what just happened, Zen spends a moment recollecting what where he is and what he just felt.

The Force prevented him from snapping his spine in two. It helped him from breaking his skull open. Now it must help him remain focused.

He was ready.

“You Jedi are so sure of yourselves…” the Hunter observed,

“Do you have any idea what you re up against?”

“Of course not.” Zen smirked as he brandished his own emerald-bladed light saber, “But you don’t either!”

The two clashed swords in a blinding duel of fates.

The Cato Nemoidian, aggressive and controlled attempts to twist the Hunter’s weapon out of his hand. The opposing enemy holds true, leaving Zen with the option to lung his blade forward…

But to no avail. The Hunter spins out of the path of the light saber, and is given the opening he needs to defeat the Jedi!

But the Jedi’s mastery of Shii-Cho bests the Hunter’s Soresu. He twirls around at incredible speeds, slashing his blade at the Hunter!

However, the single handed strike, was deemed Zen’s fall as the strength of the Hunter overpowered the Jedi Knight…

Followed by an incredible knock across the face at the mechanical hand of the warrior!

Falling onto his back, Zen considers his options, and once again calls upon the Force to guide him.

Suddenly part of him didn’t care whether the Force he used was of the dark or light. It didn’t seem to bother him as long as it helped him survive.

This lack of caring bothered Zen.

“You show great promise.” the Hunter winced as he rose up to his feat.

“And I’ve got a lot more promises to show!” grunted the Jedi Knight as he pulled the durasteal signal tower…

Sending it tilting over the Hunter.

However the Hunter managed to leap out of the wreckage, surviving the attempt on his life!

Laying on the ground longer than he wanted to, the Hunter gave an irritated exhale. This Jedi was giving him more trouble than most in the past.

“Now,” Zen panted, “I don’t know who you are, or why you are attacking me. But you wield the weapon of a Sith, so you’re gonna tell me everything I want to-”

Suddenly, a duo of battle droids come around the corner unleashing a flurry of blaster fire!

Now caught in-between two threats, Zen knows he must escape…

But by the time he came to the realization, he was too late. The Hunter smiled victoriously as he struck Zen across the head with a steal rode, rendering the Jedi Knight unconscious.

The Hunter stood over the weak form of the Jedi. He was amazed by the potential of the Cato Nemoidian. Could this be the one?

Could this Jedi Knight be the one they have been looking for? The irony of it all made the Hunter chuckle.

His master will be quite pleased when she finds out about the Hunter’s collection…

She will be quite pleased when the Hunter brings her the one!

<<  Chapter 2-05
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Brought to you by Zen Utaru
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