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#1
Milo Ren

Milo Ren

    A Howling Voice in the Desert

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The Forest Moon of Endor

 

Milo Ren stretched from the long shuttle ride, rearing back and cracking his spine. With a silent grunt of satisfaction, he took in the surroundings around him. Life was abundant upon this moon. Trees and brushes were as green as his eyes. Animals scurried back and forth, playing or frolicking in the tall grass. It was really a change of scenery from the Ren's latest adventures, which took him into Hutt Space. Alas, there was work to be done. An undisturbed piece of an old Imperial Star Destroyer was found here by one of his scout droids, a reminder of the great battle that occurred in the orbit of the moon almost millennia ago. Milo had deemed it important enough of an archeological find to investigate himself. After all, it wasn't every day that someone found the mostly intact bridge of a Star Destroyer.

 

Two Stormtroopers were besides Milo, standing guard next to the loading ramp. Although the Ren didn't expect any trouble from Endor, it was better to be safe than sorry. He was just about to step off in the direction of the find when he nearly forgot about his new companion.

 

This new female that he was bringing along with him was...intriguing, to say the least. Intriguing in that she attempted to seduce him every other sentence, or so it seemed. The Ren had pulled her from a roster of remarkable individuals across the galaxy. While not the most book-smart, Milo could tell she was eager to learn. She wasn't stupid. Plus, she was handy with a lightsaber and the Force. If only she would stop flirting with him. Milo had made an emotional wall around himself a long time ago, back when someone very dear to him died saving his life from the shackles of slavery. It would take a lot more than flirtatious gestures and batting her eyelashes for her, or anyone, to get past that wall. It was built to protect him from the pain of losing another person he cared about.

 

"Zesiro? Time to go. I would hope you're ready to experience your first archeological dig."

 

Zesiro


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#2
Zesiro

Zesiro

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Not at all shy around these guys, Zesiro flaunted all of her attributes. She sauntered down the ramp and caressed each of them with her gaze, it finally came to rest on Milo Ren. This man seemed immune to her advances and it both flustered and amused her. While he wasn't open to her advances, she enjoyed playing with him. However, they were actually here to conduct business so tramping down on her natural urges, she went to stand next to Milo.

 

She stood maybe a little closer to him than what most people would considered proper and looked out on the forest around them. Her blue eyes glittered in the faded light of the moon. It was cloudy out, but not a hint of raid to be seen. Small animals went about their lives in front of them, but kept clear of the shuttle and its passengers.

 

Turning back to the man, she smiled at him and gave him a wink. Gazing at him from his boots up to his green eyes, her look encompassing and telling him exactly what she wanted. It held no secrets from him.

 

"I'm ready for anything."

 

She raised one of her hands and gently caressed his face.



#3
Milo Ren

Milo Ren

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Milo subtlety brushed the woman's hand aside, gently yet firmly. Although he couldn't see the stormtrooper's facial expressions because of their helmets, he could sense that they were laughing inside their minds at the awkwardness of the situation. He could sense a tinge of bafflement as well. Why was he refusing the advancements of a beautiful woman, they wondered. They must've thought the seen was mad, or just different. Oh well. What they thought of their superior wasn't his concern, as long as they followed orders with unquestionable loyalty.

"Ahem. Well. Let's try to get a primary analysis of the area before the night. Follow me."

Running a hand through his hair that was as white as fresh snow, the Ren stepped off, trudging through the tall grass as various animals scattered at the alien intrusion. His black boots and the fringes of the dark robes he was wrapped tightly in rapidly became tinged with mud. The scene of the Imperial bridge wasn't too far. They would've landed closer, but this was the only clearing that was large enough for his shuttle to land. As they carved a path through the vegetation, Mílo began to give a brief history of Endor and the events that occurred upon the forest moon.

"I'm not sure how familiar you are with the forest moon of Endor. It's arboreal, as you can clearly see by looking at all the trees around you. However, the significance of the region is what is truly interesting. Over millennia ago, this area was the site of the second Death Star's construction. A great battle ensued here between the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the Galactic Empire, ending in the demise of Emperor Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious and the destruction of the battle station. The battle also marked the decline and eventual demise of the Empire and the emergence of the First Order. It's fascinating, really. I wish I could've been here as the station was destroyed. It would've been a sight to appreciate, for sure."

Milo was zealous in the pursuit of knowledge about the Galactic Empire and was well versed in the entity's history, as brief as it was in the scope of things. He was always one to be willing to pass on such knowledge to those under him, from simple Stormtroopers to those who were working directly under him, such as Zesiro. He would've certainly made a great teacher, perhaps a history professor, but the calling to actually explore and see the sites of what he would've been lecturing about behind a desk. Perhaps someday, he would resign himself to a lofty job with a tenure, but he was young and curious about the galaxy that was before him.

Zesiro

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#4
Zesiro

Zesiro

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Sensing the amusment of the guards, Zesiro turns and gives each of them a wink before falling into step with Milo Ren. After he rebuffed her once again, she would only try again another time. It may work at some point.

 

He stayed a step or two in front of her, but consistently turned his head to look back at her as they hiked through the forest. The life here was peaceful and in way made Zesiro comfortable. In her quest for knowledge, she had heard of the old Empire and knew some of its history.

 

"Where will be setting up camp?"

 

While she heard and remembered everything, the thought of going back to the shuttle every night didn't attract her much. 

 

"You realize that if you were here when it happened, then you wouldn't be here now."

 

Raising an eyebrow at her point, but not sounding stupid in saying it.

 

"I don't mean just because you would be dead of old age, but how many of the Empire lived through the fighting here?"



#5
Milo Ren

Milo Ren

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The Ren glanced behind him, answering the inquiries of the woman who was following him.

"We'll be staking out not too far from the site. I'll have one of the soldiers bring the necessary gear after we scout the wreckage. As for your other question, it's hard to give a definite answer. A vast number of the Empire's forces were here, but it's important to remember that the entity was a galactic power. Thus, many Imperial forces remained scattered across the galaxy. While they lost most of their leadership here, new leaders quickly emerged, enough to reform into what is now known as the First Order. Good question. I'm glad to see you are inquisitive. It's an important trait in all historians, and I'm pleased that you are seeking to educate yourself."

A few more steps and the bridge of the Star Destroyer was now in sight. Milo nearly gasped. It was well preserved, despite the rust and vegetation that was clearly trying to eat away at it. A smile broke across the man's face as he appeared quite pleased at the discovery of the site. Milo stood there, hands on his hips, taking in the scene.

"Well, would you look at that..."

Zesiro

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#6
Zesiro

Zesiro

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"So you didn't mean you really wanted to be HERE. Just a part of the whole."

 

Nodding at what she hoped was what he meant, they reach the area near the downed star destroyer. It was a beautiful ship in its prime, even she could see that in its ruined state.

 

Forgetting for a moment her attraction to the man, Zesiro did let a sigh escape her mouth.

 

She caught up with him and stood next to him, almost but not quite touching. After a few moments, she came back and resumed her normal activities.

 

"That is a beautiful work of art. Just like you.

What do you hope to gain from this expedition?"

 

Milo Ren



#7
Milo Ren

Milo Ren

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Milo turned to Zesiro, a smile nearly splitting his face in awe of the fell vessel of a bygone era.

 

"Oh, please. I don't compare at all to this...this marvel. Come. I want to see if anything remains. Artifacts, weapons, memorabilia. Follow me."

 

No sooner had he said this, the Ren jumped, leaping the considerable distance to the Star Destroyer in a series of calculated jumps. He stopped right in front of the exposed hull, removing his glove and touching the cold durasteel.

 

"This is even better than I imagined it to be. My probe droid told me of a bridge. But a nearly complete Star Destroyer...by the Force. We're going to need a bigger team for this. Let's try to find an entranceway from the side. Look for any opening. A hull breach, an empty escape pod chamber."

 

Milo now excitedly scoured the side of the vessel, searching for any openings that would lead him into the cavernous Star Destroyer...

 

Zesiro


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#8
Zesiro

Zesiro

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Zesiro was about to open her mouth and speak again, but before she could Milo Ren had gone leaping to the side of the destroyer.

 

Instead of using the Force to enhance her movement, she walked at her normal pace with her sensual grace. She would keep trying though. A time would come he wouldn't be able to refuse her advances.

 

Since this was an archeology expedition, she didn't think it wise to suggest just using a lightsaber and cut a way in, so kept the thought to herself. Striking off in the opposite direction as he did and headed to what would have been the front and not the rear where the bridge was. Her hand pressed against the bulk, she found an area oddly free of moss or lichen.

 

"MILO! I found something very interesting but not an opening!"

 

Her voice carried and silencing the forest around the crash for a few minutes.



#9
Milo Ren

Milo Ren

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No luck with any openings on this side. Zesiro's voice broke through the forest, beckoning him to come to her. The Ren jogged to her location, excited at the possibility of finding a way to get in to the Star Destroyer.

 

"Yes? What is it?"

 

He was eager to get inside and secure what he could from the vessel. That much so was evident on his face, sweating in the humid air of the forest but still happy to have made such a find.

 

Zesiro


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#10
Zesiro

Zesiro

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Zesiro waited at the bare location on the ship's hull until Milo Ren joined her. Knocking her knuckles against it, it let out a hollow sounding noise.

 

"I don't think there's anything behind it."

 

In the thrill of her own discovery, she forgot her own moral compass and actually gave him a kiss on the cheek in a friendly way, not seductive.

 

"Now, if we were to carefully use our sabers, we should be able to cut our way in and go from there."

 

Her bangs were just above her eyes and her tail swung back and forth as she looked between the hull and her companion.



#11
Milo Ren

Milo Ren

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Milo blushed rather visibly, and it wasn't from the heat of the moon or the discovery of the Star Destroyer.

 

"Ahem...yes, that could work. Let's do it!"

 

Without further ado, he brandished his lightsaber. A red beam of energy came to life with a hiss, and he plunged the blade into the hollow section of the Star Destroyer. While it pained him to damage a piece of history, it wasn't as if there was a way to make the vessel space-worthy again. It was a means to an end.

 

"Come on. Let's go."

 

The Ren waited for his companion to join in. Together they would carve a hull in the weak point of the looming symbol of Imperial might and discover what laid inside...

 

Zesiro


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#12
Zesiro

Zesiro

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Zesiro was oblivious to his blush still in her excited feeling of discovery. They both took out their sabers and methodically cut a way into the downed destroyer.

 

The passing of time became apparent to her when the were done and she pointed out they had to set up camp.

 

"I know you want to dig into this thing and so do I, but we need a place to sleep and keep our discoveries until more people can arrive and help us."

 

While there had been clouds in the sky earlier without a trace of rain, now they were growing darker as the day passed and getting full with water.

 

"I think it's going to be a soggy night."

 

Milo Ren



#13
Milo Ren

Milo Ren

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Milo was about to explode with impatience. They were so close to getting into the Star Destroyer! Alas, Zesiro was right. The night was rapidly approaching, and with it would come rain. Damn. They were so close, he could almost feel the artifacts in his grasp. But it was better not to rush these things. No telling what kind of state the Destroyer was in, and darkness and rain would only make the excavation worse. The Ren pulled out a comlink from one of the pouches in his belt and radioed in to one of the stormtroopers by his shuttle.

 

"This is Milo Ren. Bring a sleeping system to my location, ASAP. Once you're done with that, notify higher that a Class I site has been discovered and that myself and Ms. Zesiro will proceed with the primary excavation."

 

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Time passed on. The last of the sun's rays were touching down when Milo finished setting up the tent. It wasn't terribly large, but it would permit the two to have a reasonable amount of space for comfort. Within the tent were two sleeping bags and space for the two to set aside their gear. The Ren was not in the tent, however. He was sitting just outside the opening, where he gazed upon the Star Destroyer, looking at it from a new perspective as the brilliant sunset made the durasteel dance with light. They had set up camp a little over a hundred yards away from the wreckage, where there was ample space for the sleeping system. Meanwhile, the two stormtroopers were asleep aboard Milo's shuttle. They knew that the Ren and his companion could handle themselves if something were to occur. Thunder rumbled ominously further in the distance, a herald to the oncoming storm. Hopefully it would pass by before the night was over. But for now, Milo was simply enjoying the scenery upon the Forest Moon of Endor. It was truly a sight to behold.

 

Zesiro


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#14
Zesiro

Zesiro

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After opening the bulk of the star destroyer, Milo Ren took her advice and called in for the camping gear. During the time it took for the items arrived, Zesiro reverted back to herself and sauntered around the area near him. She asked a few serious questions for more elaboration about the old Empire and how it came to be in the first place. Some of the information she knew already, but quite a lot had never been passed onto her.

 

Pausing now and then in her steps as they chatted to look at him, the ship and the area around them, she realized just how lovely this moon was.

 

Soon enough the gear was delivered and she helped along side Milo to get the tent set up and arrange their supplies. Each of them had a bag to sleep in and a small area for personal belongings. They of course disagreed with the placement of the bags, but Zesiro won in the end. She gave him a triumphant grin and just watched as he stalked out of the tent silently.

 

Giving him some time to himself, Zesiro made them dinner from the food supplies they had and brought it out to him. Handing him a plate, she sat down next to him on the ground also admiring the calm beauty of the place.

 

"If you could live anywhere, where would it be?"



#15
Milo Ren

Milo Ren

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Milo accepted the plate, then turned his attention back to Zesiro. He was still a little sore that he lost the argument of how close the sleeping bags would be, but worse things have happened.

 

"That's a hard question. Hmmm. Probably along one of Naboo's beaches, close enough so that I could hear the sea and the sound of gulls. I'd want to be able to open the door and walk out into the shore. I always did like the beach, you know. I have this favorite spot not too far from Naboo's capital, Theed. Maybe if you stop arguing with me about the placement of our sleeping bags, I could let you tag along with me on my next trip."

 

The Ren gave the woman next to him a toothy smile, then set down the empty plate of food. The last of the sun's rays vanished under the horizon and now it was dark. Milo sighed and stood up, entering the tent. He was pretty sure he knew what Zesiro was going to try. The man almost wanted it to happen, but, deep down, he knew it wouldn't be good for either of them. He was honestly afraid. Afraid that he would develop feelings towards her and then lose her. He wasn't sure if he could take another loss. The first one, Massus, who was almost like a father to him, nearly destroyed him. What would happen the second time? Would the reaction be better or worse? The Ren was in no hurry to find out.

 

After putting his long white hair into a bun that sat on the back of his head, the Knight once again grabbed his sleeping bag and moved it back to his corner. Previously, the two bags had nearly been on top of each other. After he dropped the bag, the Ren gave Zesiro a warning glance, but with a small smirk.

 

Zesiro


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#16
Zesiro

Zesiro

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Zesiro ate her own dinner as she listened to Milo Ren answer her question. She had been to Naboo in her travels, but only once.

 

"Naboo is very beautiful. So many colors, such life and the people so exotic.

I wouldn't think you want to open your door to the beach of an ocean though, I mean high tide and the sometimes further rising of the waters would flood you more often than you would want."

 

She blinked her blue eyes at him after speaking, not batting her lashes, but a genuine blink. Turning her attention back to her food.

 

"I think a desert world would suit me better. One with much history."

 

Tatooine came to mind, but that dust ball was far away from anything really meaningful that it meant almost nothing in terms of the galaxy politics.

 

He soon enough finished his food and when she finished hers, she cleaned the plates and silverware. Putting them back with the supplies, she grabbed them each a drink and sat down on her own sleeping bag. For the moment, she wasn't trying to flirt or seduce him, but she watched him put his hair up and move his bag away from hers. When he was done, she tossed him the bottle and opened hers.

 

"To mutual discovery."

 

The words could be interpreted any number of ways and she left it open for him to make of it what he would.

 

"You know it would be better to have the bags closer together. You know supporting each other better than across the room."

 

While speaking, she hardly looked at the man, almost acting shy. He had a strong wall around his heart, like he had been hurt in the past. The wall and his will were an obstacle she wanted to overcome. She didn't want to break him though, it wasn't her nature to be cruel like that.



#17
Milo Ren

Milo Ren

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"Cheers."

 

With that, Milo downed the bottle of water, taking it all in a series of gulps. He then made the bottle float away from him to the supply bag. He then spoke, giving a little of his opinion about desert worlds.

 

"I don't think I'll ever visit a desert world again. I was a slave for a little over a year in Tatooine under a Hutt. Not pleasant."

 

Upon saying that, the Ren took off his tunic, revealing a thin but athletic body, and turned around. Zesiro would see the scars running all through Milo's back, starting from the bottom of his neck and ending just above the waistline of his pants.

 

"I got these for not spending enough time with my master. She was very possessive, and her appetite for attractive human males was voracious. The next day, I escaped."

 

Milo thought about putting his shirt back on, but then decided against it. It was more comfortable this way.

 

"Supporting each other. Hah. Look...I've made it clear I'm not interested several times already. Why do you persist?"

 

Zesiro


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#18
Zesiro

Zesiro

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Zesiro applied her full attention to Milo Ren both as he spoke and when he took his shirt off exposing his scarred back. Though he had made perfectly clear he had no interest in her beyond that of being exploring companions, she had the sneaky suspicion her advances were slowly taking his wall apart brick by brick.

 

She doubted he was looking for sympathy, so offered none, but it showed in her eyes. She knew what torture was, but hers was all mental. Not a scar on her body. Of course, he wouldn't know this, but should she tell him? It wasn't something she talked about.

 

Closing up on herself and him, her eyes grew distant in memory. She stopped flaunting herself to him in this state. Taking a deep breath she came out of her memories and looked at him again with almost a new her.

 

"Yes, supporting each other. Back to back."

 

She slowly took off her boots, not trying to do it in a sensual way, but that was just her and there was nothing that could change that.

 

"I persist because I know it goads you partially, but you also have a wall around yourself. It doesn't need to be there and I want to help take it down."



#19
Milo Ren

Milo Ren

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Milo gave Zesiro a somewhat flat stare. He had to give her credit, she was persistent. But there was a reason he had a wall.

 

"I've lost people. A lot of people. Allies, friends, mentors. Every death just gets worse than the last. I...I can't live losing people I care about. The last time it happened, I lost control of myself, nearly butchered an entire city...and the pain of it. I'm...I'm sorry. I don't want to speak of this anymore."

 

The Ren looked down at the tent's floor, sadness washing over his face. But his eyes burned with rage, an anger that promised revenge for every friend and companion lost. A few blinks, and the Ren's eyes lost the yellow tint that was was drowning out the green. Milo once again looked at his companion, and smiled thinly.

 

"I...I admire you. You have noble intentions. Perhaps with time...well, who knows?"

 

The man raised a hand, beckoning Zesiro to come next to him.

 

Zesiro


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#20
Zesiro

Zesiro

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Zesiro listened and watched her companion. His words telling why he had the barrier and why he didn't want it broken. She had to give him credit to have come through losing so much and still be sane. She watched as his anger grew at his past situations, his eyes glowing a pale yellow. When he said he was sorry, she didn't know if that directed at her or the lives he took in the village. She wondered in the end if it really mattered.

 

He said he admired her when he calmed down, she gave him the time he needed. A time would come when he needed somebody as much as she needed one. They each had their own barriers of walls up of their own. While being physical with somebody was what she liked and desired, it wasn't what she needed. Her heart was empty, the action filled it for a time, but that was all.

 

After he spoke, he beckoned her to be next to him. Her own shell weakened she did move to his side, but with far less sensuality than normal. All that remained right now of it, was the real her, not a façade she wore most of the time.

 

Milo Ren