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GateCrashers Originals: Star Wars Edition

The GateCrashers are back with original stories set in the Star Wars universe!

The entire month of July, GateCrashers has been celebrating everything that is Star Wars. We couldn’t let GC Originals miss out on the action, so this second edition of original stories, poems, and art are all based within the Star Wars universe. Our creators have put together some incredible stuff for you this month. So buckle up, because we’re jumping into new adventures set in our favorite galaxy far, far away!


Art by Brandie Brimfield. Visit Brandie’s Etsy shop here.

“The Droid Cycle”
Submitted by José Cardenas
Medium: Short Story

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a droid named R2-X4, a squat astromech painted a dark, relaxing green with some stark white highlights. It was born in a batch of 40 identical siblings and sold to the Galactic Republic as repair tools for their battle cruisers. The factory would have sold them to a small traveling business, but the ever-present Clone Wars, as always, pay much, much higher. 

As with all other units like it, X4 was not at all a bright intelligence. The only personality required of it was quiet efficiency, and it accomplished that in every rotation, connecting fuselages and reattaching landing gear parts. 

Despite the size of X4’s assigned cruiser, the droid would never be one to explore. The cargo bay was its home and it lived a solitary existence among a battalion of worker droids, a small army of clone troopers and a cadre of military leaders. He’d be a metal ghost, until a random pilot would arrive in the bay, tapping its head and calling it “Conehead.” The droid held no feelings about the moniker. Its clicks and chirps were just as mechanical as its functions. 

It never understood the appeal in performing beyond parameters, unlike some strange droids there’d be rumors about. 

 Sometimes, when all other droids were unavailable, the commanding officer would draft it into a spacewalk crew, which was usually made up of a clone engineer and a droid quintet. 

That quiet efficiency was even quieter in the vast void of space, but the beauty of starry black vistas was lost on a droid, and the other worker droids. Even the clone engineer, a warrior capable of so much emotion and valor, considered the majesty of space as another wartime routine. 

What wasn’t routine was the Separatist ambush. An enemy frigate jumped out of hyperspace and immediately started firing against the Republic cruiser. Complacent and unprepared, the soldiers and leaders within desperately scrambled to initiate a counter attack. So desperate, that they forgot to bring in the repair crew still on their spacewalk.

The engineer was the first to die. A stray laser blast from a droid fighter caused an eruption in the area on which he stood and cracked his protective suit. His body froze into a twisted fetal position. His last words were uttered only to his fellow droids, who were never the emotional sort. 

What the five droids did understand though, was the importance of self-preservation. All of them screamed and glided across the ship, avoiding enemy fire and searched for any entrance back inside the ship. Their wildly swiveling heads threatened to screw up into the ether. 

Out of each of them, you could say X4 itself was the most desperate. It was not because it valued its digital life, but rather because X4 fretted over his work. Should it perish, X4 believed that its replacement would absolutely fail at the tasks it accomplished with such precise regularity. 

Each of the droids were born from a different mold and led different purposes, but none of them would ever “say” that they valued work. It was just their function, after all, and not the only thing they were capable of. 

X4 would never know its own capabilities beyond repair, as it was the first of the droids to get destroyed. A droid starfighter, its thrusters blown out by a clone pilot, was determined to take at least one more life in its final moments of consciousness. Its dedication to the Separatist cause, pure. Its satisfaction in the Republic’s destruction, absolute. 

It aimed for the droids, and crashed into a molten blaze. X4’s horribly cratered body, its legs blown off, rocketed upwards, much faster than the body of the poor engineer. 

But its story didn’t end there. The green-and-white droid’s head was still connected to its body so its operating system still ran. Through a kamikaze strike, X4 transformed into a conical missile, flying so far as to escape the battle arena. No one heard its screams. 

It watched as the Republic cruiser was ripped apart, a chain of explosions blew across the sides. A final flurry of torpedoes from the Separatist frigate eventually cracked the ship apart. The sight would put any normal humanoid into a deep state of despair, but with a droid like X4, it could only compute the impossible calculations it takes to repair.

With the battle lost and ended, it continued gliding through the ether. It took an entire planet’s length before its entire audio recordings were burned out.  

Only when it bumped against a trashy junk ship did X4 finally “feel” something. Next, it felt the pull of a tractor beam, and gazed upwards at the blighted light that awaited. 

Inside, a quiet scavenger, a lonely Weequay male, inspected the broken body of X4. In a foreign tongue, the scavenger muttered to itself, and kicked the droid across the floor. The droid could not speak or protest against such mistreatment, but after rolling down the ship and seeing all the broken-down robotic parts and severed metal heads, it would’ve chosen screams of bloody murder instead. 

What was this horrible scavenger going to do, it thought to itself? Multiple scenarios ran through its decreasingly attached head, but the reality turned out to be quite simple. 

X4 reached the end of the ship and went inside a particularly hot room. A smelter. A great sense of doom washed over, more intense than the heat. The green-and-white paint already felt like it was melting. Worse, empty gun and torpedo molds hung on the walls. 

Not only a scavenger, this alien wanderer was also a weapons seller, and it was easy to guess what the weapons were made from. The Weequay male, staggered into the room and leaned towards the droid. With all its strength, the scavenger lifted X4’s body and placed it into the claw hanging over the forge. 

Stomping towards a control panel, it pulled a lever. The room rumbled, and the claw descended. 

Half-submerged into the forge pit, X4’s last “thoughts” would be the mourning of one thing. It would be so much better as a tool. R2-X4’s were made to repair spacecrafts, after all. 

Months later, a Republic cruiser, vitalized with desires for vengeance, ambushed a Separatist frigate. The battle occurred in a barren section of space, where no planet or life-filled moon could witness it. The first shot fired, a metal torpedo, conical and white, with small green streaks. 

Thus begins another battle in an ever-present age of war.


Art by Brandie Brimfield. Visit Brandie’s Etsy shop here.

“Protocol 5”
Submitted by Richard Durante
Medium: Short Story

The ravaged planet of Ibu held two secrets; the first being that at one point its waters were used to make the galaxy’s finest spirits. The other, that high above its atmosphere a Venator-class Star Destroyer orbited the planet with enough classified data to finally put an end to the Empire’s reign of Terror. Now, most of these ships were decommissioned when the Imperial class took over, but the modifications made to this one overcame any of its’ previous shortcomings. This particular vessel had a name amongst the Rebels, though few had ever seen her, as she had garnered enough intrigue to deserve a title: The Bully. Odd, but fitting, for this craft had a tough exterior, but a distinct vulnerability within that would allow the right person to make a stand against her. In this case, this person is actually people; Katmar Lannic and Tyroc Rolken, known to get their hands dirty for the Rebel Alliance as they now found themselves on this very ship.      

Tyroc’s belt shifted as he unhooked his blaster, the faded BlasTech DL-22 that had become less of a piece of metal and more an extension of his arm. His brow furrowed as he looked over at his trusted companion, Katmar Lannic, mimicking his move. “Haven’t run into as much trouble as I thought we would,” he whispered. “That’s a shame, you know I love trouble.” she replied with an added wink for good measure. A ship of this size would typically run with a crew of around 8000, but The Bully appeared to be nothing more than a ghost town. 

Tyroc moved closer to the entrance of door JL1138: “Looks like no one’s home, maybe they’re short-staffed after the Death Star was obliterated?” Katmar chuckled, she had missed out on the Yavin escapades, but every planet was abuzz with news of the explosion. She replied, “Maybe they are all learning how to shoot straight! I mean, aside from the handful of white helmets we blasted when we got here, it’s practically just you and me.” Tyroc’s eyebrows lifted. She was right, something that was hard for him to admit, but the admission had also made the air around them more electric. Something seemed off. He shook the feeling aside and entered the code they had luckily intercepted from a transmission between two Empire admirals. The door whooshed opened and they stepped inside.

         They walked over to the main terminal and plugged in their Network Mapper that instantly went to work. Ship schematics, base layouts, weapons suppliers; it was just what the alliance would need to add another blow to their weakened enemy. That’s when their eyes tracked onto another file, one that remained closed. “Why isn’t this one opening?” Katmar demanded. Tyroc had seen his fair share of data files to know that the hardest ones to crack were usually worth the most. “Let me work my magic,” he replied. Her eye roll went unnoticed as he put forth all his energy into this one task. “I’m in!” He shouted. Their mouths fell open as plans for something the Republic knew nothing about began to materialize, a second Death Star.

 Before they could celebrate the find, the overhead PA announced: 

“ALERT. DATA BREACH. PROTOCOL 5 IS IN EFFECT, 10 MINUTES TO SELF DESTRUCT!”

 Katmar grabbed Tyroc: “What the fuck is Protocol 5!?!” As Tyroc sheepishly replied, “Does it matter? It’s probably a Stormie reminder like – lift your helmet when you piss or else you drench the seat. The IMPORTANT part of the message was 10 minutes to self-destruct. The mapper has about 4 minutes left, and we NEED these plans. We can get back to the ship in less than 3 and out of here with a little over 2 to spare.” Katmar reached for her belt and pulled out her remote cam that she had linked to the ship’s security feed. She noticed something more alarming than the blaring message above. “Why are they abandoning the ship?”

         Tyroc was already back to trying to speed along their data theft, while Katmar’s words bounced around his head. Why were they abandoning ship? Usually, they would try and root out the problem and eliminate it, but it appears they prefer to escape instead. Katmar grabbed Tyroc’s shoulder gently, before saying: “We need to go. We know there is a second one, that’s enough. We just need to go.” Tyroc heard the uneasiness in her voice, but also heard another voice louder, his own, calling him a future General of the Rebel Alliance after securing these files. “No Katmar. We get everything and then we go.” They were interrupted by another announcement: 

“PROTOCOL 5 IS IN EFFECT. 6 MINUTES TO SELF DESTRUCT. 6 MINUTES!” 

Tyroc looked back down at the screen and saw the ‘Completed’ dialog box come up. He unplugged the mapper and looked at Katmar, giving her the unspoken nod that meant time to fly. 

They bolted out the door with their blasters drawn but encountered no resistance. Breaking in a full out sprint to return to their ship, loot in hand, a thought ran through each of their minds. For Tyroc, it was a ceremony where he was greeted by that wild-eyed Princess, and the possibility of securing some time alone with her. For Katmar, it was an unshakable feeling that they had made a grave mistake and that they should have left sooner. As far as thinking goes between the two, Katmar had the right one, but unfortunately, it was their last one.

         Half a galaxy away, a notification had appeared in front of First-Officer Rydel’s COMMs Screen informing him that the aptly named Bully had self-destructed due to a data breach. He leapt from his chair and sprinted to Admiral Piett, who had been looking over some possible hiding places for the rebels. Rydel’s voice squeaked, “Admiral, the VCSD-77 enacted Protocol 5 and is no more.” The Admiral looked up and inquired, “Our troops make it off?” Rydel replied, “All accounted for, except for some that may have been eliminated by the intruders, but either way, the Rebel scum went down with the ship.” The Admiral smiled, something that hadn’t happened since before they lost the Death Star. “Lord Vader will be pleased. Rydel, do you know how we came up with Protocol 5?” the Admiral asked. Rydel was about to guess, but thought better of it. “No, sir.” The admiral leaned back in his chair. “The emperor came up with it. We had it timed that most evacuations can be done in 4-5 minutes with the minimal number of acceptable casualties. Now the enemy thinks they have 10 minutes, which some interpret as an eternity, but we know what Protocol 5 really means, 5 minutes less than the quoted evac time. Once enacted, our boys in white don’t waste time. They make their way out. Some rebel spy will sit there thinking they’ve won, then boom, they’re floating particles in space. It’s rather brilliant, and the emperor himself went so far as to say that the thing that kills the most Rebels, is the same thing that inspires them, the thing that makes them think they’ll make it out in time, even have a chance against us. One word. And do you know what that word is, Rydel?” The Admiral’s face looked sinister. Rydel again declined to guess, “No sir, what is it?” The admiral uttered the word in a mixture of laughter and contempt: “HOPE.”


Art by Brandie Brimfield. Visit Brandie’s Etsy shop here.

“I Am a Jedi, Like My Father Before Me”
Submitted by RJ Durante
Medium: Poem, written in the Tanka form

{For Jimmy, Trent, and anyone who shares “A New Hope” with the next generation}

More than a movie
A generational bond
As text starts to scroll
The parent glances over
Seeing their Padawan smile


Art by Bree O’Possum. Visit Bree’s Etsy Shop here.

Prey”
Submitted by Dan McMahon
Medium: Short Story

Balance is something they preach about heavily when you’re being indoctrinated in the Jedi Academy on Coruscant. Day in and day out, you learn the ways of the Jedi order. You’re taught more than just combat. I yearned for the days I would study the arts and music tucked away in one of the galaxy’s greatest libraries. Towards the end of my time as a Padawan though, all we knew was war.

The Council had become merely a pawn of Emperor Palpatine; used to weaken the Separatist movement. What the Separatists wanted was to be free of Republic rule. What they got instead was the fingers of the Empire gripped around their throat. The Jedi became warriors for the Clone Wars. They knew nothing of balance as they were dropped onto countless battlefields to annihilate waves of droids and organic life. 

All it did was leave the Force out of balance for the side of the light. Now the light is gone and we hid like womp rats as Darth Vader and the Inquisitors hunt us down. 

I thought I would be safe here. Dathomir was always whispered about in the Temple. Children always shared stories of it being haunted. To be fair, the only thing haunting the planet now is me. The wildlife is merciless, but I have a small homestead tucked deep inside the swamps. Its vegetation is thick enough to block natural light from coming through and the sudden changes in heat creates a thick fog that hides my new life on the run.

But it found me. I let my guard down as I collected some of the food I had been growing. That’s when I saw it in the distance. The black outline looked like a poison running through the veins of the fog. Every hair on my body stood alert as it started coming towards me. The earth under its feet made a curdling thump as the wet mud tried to hold its boots in place as if it were acting as my protector. This was all the head start I needed to leave. I ran as fast as I could, the mud taking one of my shoes as I sped back towards my home.

The blast doors slammed down with a metallic clang over the entrances as I turned on the defenses I installed. There was no way out of this. No ship waiting outside for me to leap into to make a daring escape. The Inquisitor was outside. Only thick metal walls separating it from me now.

Dread sunk deep into my heart, waiting for the door to burst open from an explosive but it was quiet. Everything was still until it started. A loud screeching from the door as the Inquisitor ran its talons over the door. Sharp jagged fingers slowly ran down the blast shield before the sound quickly came from across my home as the power flickered before the darkness overtook my home. It kept repeating, the sound coming from different locations over and over. Louder and louder each time it moved. The monster was playing with me… torturing me in my own home knowing that no one would save me now.

As thick as the walls were, I could hear it laughing. A warped and twisted crowing of a former Jedi corrupted to the rotten core by the dark side. As easily as it could get in, it didn’t. This was fun for it. This was a game. Something it lived for. The hunt. I was it’s prey.

I couldn’t just sit there, I needed to go for my lightsaber in my trunk by the bed. As I ran through the hall, the metal warped in towards me in the shape of the Inquisitor’s hand as he used the force to push it in just to scare me. It wouldn’t be long now before it was inside.

I made it to my bed, the screeching was so intense now that I could almost feel it on my body. I bent down to grab my lightsaber but when I stood, I felt it. The cold steel pushed through my flesh and into my skull as I was lifted into the darkness of the swamp above.


Art by Brandie Brimfield. Visit Brandie’s Etsy shop here.

“Nerra”
Submitted by Rodrigo Arellano
Medium: Short Story

As long as Numa could remember Ryloth has always been ravaged by war. First it was the Separatist occupation, a conflict Numa almost didn’t survive, and then soon after there was the imperial occupation. Inspired by the troops that saved her home in the Clone Wars, Numa decided to join Cham Syndulla’s effort against the Empire. 

Numa had been part of countless missions under General Syndulla, but that day Numa came to Cham with a mission of her own. She believed there was some valuable information stored in an old Republic base known for being one of the biggest archives in the Republic. The base had been abandoned since the empire took over, so this was supposed to be a simple mission. 

Cham wasn’t convinced and his doubts grew when Numa revealed the location of the archive.

“Are you crazy?!? We can’t go near the Coruscant system, not even one of the moons. If the base is in Centax-2 I cannot approve the mission, and that’s final.”

“But General, the contact that tipped me about the base has an Imperial shuttle and access codes for the Coruscant system. We can just fly in without being noticed. Besides, that part of the moon is almost deserted and there haven’t been any imperial sightings since they rose to power.”

“Tell me what was this “valuable” information again.”

“Some schematics for some unfinished weapons the Republic was planning on building, if we get that information, we might be able to build one of these weapons, or destroy them if the empire decides to use it against us.”

“Ok, I will approve this mission, but first I need you to answer me this question, and be honest.”

“Of course, General.”

“Is this about him?”

Numa knew this question was coming, but still, it caught her off guard. Either way she did what she planned from the beginning, she lied. 

“No, General.”

“Ok then go prepare your mission, and Numa…” 

“Yes General?”

“I trust you.”

“Thank you, Cham.” 

Considering the nature of the mission Numa formed a small team consisting of her trusted friend Gobi, an astromech named R3-D6, and herself. The first steps of the mission happen exactly as planned; the access code that Numa’s contact provided worked and the imperial shuttle was granted access to Coruscant space. When they arrived at the surface the fact that the moon was deserted was confirmed, and the team located the base without problem. 

When they arrived at the entrance, D6 got the doors open as the Twi’leks secured the perimeter and didn’t find anything. D6 gave Numa an information spike and stayed at the door to stand guard. When Numa and Gobi entered the base they were amazed at the size of the computer servers that field all of the information.

“This will take hours Numa.”

“Nonsense. Go to the console at the right and power up the servers. Then start looking for the files, and I will do the same with the console on the left”

Gobi powered up the archive and the Twi’leks started looking for the field. Half an hour later, D6 started beeping through the comms.

“What do you mean there is another Imperial shuttle approaching? Numa, I thought you said there was no imperial activity on the moon?”

“Calm down, Gobi. It’s probably just a small stormtrooper patrol that saw our shuttle enter the moon and they just want to investigate. D6, seal the door and go hide. Gobi, continue to search the schematics.”

They continued to search the information, even though they heard knocking at the door. A few minutes later, the stormtrooper squad started using a blowtorch to get in.

“Gobi, we need to hurry.”

“Wait. I think I found them! I found them!” 

“Great. Here is the spike, start downloading the information. I still need to find something.”

“What?”

“Just download the information and when you finish that, start guarding the door. They are almost in.”

With some doubt, Gobi did what he was told. At the end of the day this was Numa’s mission. Numa continued to search when the stormtroopers finally got in. As soon as the squad saw the Twi’leks they started shooting and Gobi did the best to cover Numa.

“By the glory of Ryloth. I found it; I found his field.” 

“Numa, less celebration, more shooting.”

Numa took the spike, downloaded the field, and quickly started shooting the squad. After a bit of a skirmish, the Twi’leks defeated the stormtroopers and ran to the shuttle. Once inside they found R3-D6 starting the motors. When everything was ready the ship left the moon and entered hyperspace. When the team arrived home, Numa inserted the spike into the computer and after reading the file she dropped to her knees and started crying.

“Numa, what’s wrong?”

“He is dead, Gobi! He died in Umbara; shot by one of his own brothers.”

“What are you talking about? Who died?”

“Waxer! One of the clones who saved me during the Separatist occupation. I thought maybe, if he was alive, I could save him from the Empire. But he is dead and I will never see him again…”

“I’m… I’m sorry, Numa.”

The shuttle arrived at Ryloth and D6 landed it on the camp of the Ryloth freedom movement. When the team got off the ship Numa went directly into her tent and Gobi went to brief Syndulla. After some time, Cham entered Numa’s tent.

“I heard about the clone.” 

“His name was Waxer.”

“Sorry, Waxer. Look, I know how it feels to lose those important to you… My son died when he was really young, and Hera left just after her mother died… the point is that we can not let our losses bring us down. We need to gather the best of them and keep going.”

“He saved me, Cham. He is one of the reasons I fight with you now… You know he had a drawing of me in his helmet when he died? We just met once, but he was like a brother.”

“I know, Numa. But he is only dead if you think of him as dead. His spirit lives in you. It gives you the strength to fight, to go on, to be strong.” 

“Thanks, Cham. Really.”

“I just have one question. Didn’t he have a partner?” 

“Yes, Boil. I couldn’t find his file. We didn’t have the time.”

“Well then, we will go back. If he is alive, we will rescue him… if he is dead, we will honor him. We will honor both of them.”

Numa smiled and gave Cham a hug.

“Well then General, let’s get ready.”

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