Golden dying grass fields covered by patches of icy snow; another bad season, thought Mykle Briggs. It is the second consecutive year where harvesting was at an all time low. Mykle bundled up to greet the freezing, miserable weather, opening the door and feeling the sharp stab of a thousand Icicles. "This won't do any good." Mykle's gloves, jacket and face mask couldn't do anything against the below freezing temperatures. Pulling the weeds from the ground, all that was there to pluck was the frozen seeds Mykle planted weeks ago. Sighing, Mykle made his way back into his modest, shabby hut to get seeds. "Ah, come on!" He complained, seeing he was all out. Not that it would have made a difference.
Mykle made his way to the market in Miser. Snowflakes began to fall, another blizzard, the last thing his farm needed. Maybe the weather will keep people from the market and there won't be another bidding war for farm supplies... nope. The farmers market is again cluttered with angry men and women bidding what was left of their money to stock up on seeds for the harvest. Mykle checked his pockets all pulled out thirty bronze dollars. Overhearing people bid fifty, as much as 100 bronze dollars didn't help his chances of getting what he needed.
Mykle pulled a clerk to the side. "Hey, Wes, how about you do me a solid?" Asks Mykle, showing his thirty bronze dollars. The clerk tipped his hat from over his eyes and looked mildly interested. "What's in it for me?" He asks. Mykle went into his back pockets that concealed 1,500 Republic credits. "You take these credits and you can use them during your trips to Coruscant." Wes waived his Mykle's palm and covered up the illegal currency. "You crazy!" He tried to conceal his fear of being caught. "And don't you think I already have a guy for this, that I can do this transaction away from this mad system, we don't even have an exchange center." Wes regathered his composure. "I am sorry, Mykle, but like I told you before, you couldn't afford another bad winter and I already did you a favor last year." Mykle took off his face mask, he couldn't breathe in it and the news he was receiving only took more air out of his lungs. "So you're sending me to my hungry death?" He asks. "Just until the winter is over." Wes tried to lighten up the mood, but Mykle wasn't interested in half-promises to help him in the future, he needed assistance now. "That's six months from now!" The lowly farmer hollered and exited the hostile market. While walking out, he seen a homeless man with a tin cup in hand sitting behind one of the other sellers. Seeing no use for his money, Mykle gave the man all he had left, wasn't any use to him anyway. "Here, take this." He dropped it in and heard the rattling that symboled his bankruptcy.
He seen the Miser Citizens Militia march it's way to the crowded market, only making Mykle more grateful he left the land. Watching the heavily armed men and women step proudly, wearing their colors, Mykle name was called out, freezing him in his footsteps. "Mykle Briggs!" A feminine voice called out. Mykle turned back to see a red headed mistress walking in too him. "Commander Kaper, how are you?" Mykle changed the expression on his face to a wide hokey smile. Janice is twelve years Mykle's senior, but it doesn't show by their physical appearances. The years have been kind to her, Janice's skin still looked and felt smooth despite being in the military for so long and her age. Meanwhile, the younger Mykle has let the farmers life suck the youth out of him. "Oh, just the usual, here to keep the order around here." Mykle looked back to the market and wondered if she should even be leaving her soldiers. "Shouldn't you..." He pointed to the market, Kaper took a glaze behind her. "Yeah, I gotta go, but my shift ends in six hours, how about we meet up?" Janice proposed. Intrigued Mykle accepted the offer and went their separate ways.
Upon returning to his farm, Mykle had an uninvited visitor. He wore a grey garb and carried a tech pad. "Good evening, Mr. Briggs." The man said, they both shook hands. "Who are you?" Asked Mykle. "I'm a representative from the bank, you took a loan out two years ago and your payment deadline is today." Groaning in frustration Mykle confessed he is not able to make his payment. "Oh, I can't pay." Mykle said, defeated and tried to buy time, but the man just handed a white slip of paper over. "As penalty you've been drafted by the Vexer Military Corps. Your farm will be repossessed, you have till tomorrow to clear the premises." Mykle tried to reason with the banker, but he just continued. "Call this number and you will start your service, failure to comply results in a severe prison sentence." Before Mykle could say anything, the man had already made a B-Line for his speeder.
Hungry, broke, and now not a free man, Mykle Briggs hit rock bottom faster than anyone else in the galaxy.
Mykle stared at his dilapidated farm. All the assets he's worked so hard to create are gone and he is right back in a place his didn't want to be in... the army. Falling to his knees, little streaks of tears running down his face, Mykle crumbled to the ground. The cold worsened, the snow came down harder, but what did he care?
An additional layer of clothing became attached to his back. "Are you alright?" Janice asked, fresh off her leave. "I ran into the banker, he said his closing your farm?" She asks. Mykle cleared the water from his black cheeks and stood up to look more masculine. Janice wrapped her arms around his body and brought him in for a warm embrace, one he needed. "I've been drafted." Mykle showed her his draft papers. "I have to pay back my creditors and this is how." Janice looked at the print. "At least you're getting drafted by the local militia, you're with me." She laughed, punching Mykle in the arm. "We'll get through this, I promise." Janice tried to reassure him, but fell on def ears.
Mykle handed Janice back her red jacket and cleaned the dust off his ankles. "I need a drink." He said, exhaustingly.
Going to a local pub, Mykle went on about the system being against him from the start. It could have also been the four hard shots he just sent down his gullet. "The Vexer Credit and Loans sponsors all of the planets local militia's, because of all the regional alliances. They sucker people like me into taking money out, so that when its time to pay them back, they either have raised the debt or know you can't make it, so they draft you." Janice rolled his eyes. Course this planet had a conspiracy in how it drafted most of its citizens, but they also haven't been involved in a war in one-hundred-and-twenty-years.
Janice beckoned with her pinky ring -a wedding ring wrapped around it- for Mykle to come closer. "Look around, what do you see?" Despite the vague appearance, Mykle knew exactly what Janice was getting at. "I see thousands of angry people, wanting bronze in their pockets and food on the table."
"And do you think this government can supply that?" She asked. Judging by the look of doubt on her face, Mykle shook his head. "No." He said. "We can, Vexer has bills to pay too." Janice said, ordering another round. "The pools drying up and we have no allies." She pointed to a crowd outside burning the Republic flag. "You've been reading up on the Clone Wars?" Janice asked. "No." Mykle said. Janice grinned. "I've been on the front lines in Pandora, seen the 'Hero With No Fear." Mykle laughed at the nickname the galaxy gave the lone Jedi. "And how is it working with the savior of the galaxy?" He asked, sarcastically, downing another drink. "He's... complicated." Was all Janice could say, before they both succumbed to laughter.
"People really think this guy is the be all end all puzzle piece to the galaxy!" Mykle held in his hip, he was cackling with laughter so hard. Janice went from amused to a bit perturbed by what Mykle just said. "What ever do you mean?" She wondered. "I mean, this prophecy, written however many years ago, describes a Jedi will one day rise up, destroy the Sith and bring balance to the 'force,' which is this energy binding the universe together." Mykle may have not been a political man, but he knew his Jedi history, despite not being one. "So?" Janice asked, getting irked a bit. "So, it's a bunch of hog wash!" He said, laughing a bit, then stopping when he seen Janice's disgusted face. "Come on, you don't believe this stuff do you?" Mykle pestered. "I worked with the Jedi and the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. We saved their guys, they saved our guys, they are honorable men." She pushes back. "I'm sure they are." Mykle said, in desperate need to change the subject.
The bar erupted into cheers, men clinking their glasses together in a state of euphoria. "What happened?" Janice grabbed the waiter and brought him down to her level. The waiters sorrow expression worried the two. "The cloning facilities on Kamino have been destroyed and the Republic is now without an army." Wiping a tear from his eye, the waiter left. Janice paid the bar tab and left the bar with Mykle.
"I can't believe this." Janice said. The streets were littered with protesters shouting various support and opposition for the Separatist forces. "I can't believe this planet can't make up its mind who to root for." Mykle commented, covering his eyes from the man on the blow horn speaking to a rowdy crowd. "If these Star Systems want to leave the Republic then who are they to stop them!" He hollers. People chanting and marching all across the street. "I don't know how this war even effects us, we've been an independent planet for four-hundred-years." Mykle pointed out. "Oh, more than you think." Janice and Mykle hop into their speeder to escape the mad protesters.
The radio broadcast coverage of the fall of Kamino. "So this is the end of the Galactic Republic." Janice holds her head in her palms, Mykle struggles to even understand what is going on. The anchorman spoke with an urgent message straight from the Republic. "It has been confirmed that the Clone army has uncovered the Separatist droid foundries and have destroyed it." Janice's jaw dropped. The war is now at standstill. "For now, both Belligerents are without an army to fight with."
Janice gathered herself, wiping the sweat from her forehead. "You need a place to stay?" She asks Mykle. He looks at her for s short second then back to the terrain. "Oh, no, I'm okay." He brushed off her concern. "But you lost your farm and you're in the army anyway, we can carpool." She kidded.
The night was cold and the tensions in Miser were burning. They know the Clone Wars might be closer to them than they think.
Thats it! I converted this into one big chapter (by my standards), hope you all liked it and if anyone has anything to say please let me hear it. I'm hoping to get a good audience and if anybody knows how I can do that I'd appreciate your help. Until next time!