Kem Chrosid

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Kem Chrosid
Career Information
Callsign Zilch
Full RS Name Kem Chrosid
Rank Commander
Join February 5th, 2004
Current Status Reserve
Personal Information (fictional)
Homeworld Farlaya
Species Human
Gender Male
Age 25
Personal Information (Real Life)
Location USA
Age 31

A reserve member of the Rebel Squadrons.



Character Bio: Kem “Zilch” Chrosid

The dual moons of Farlaya, on blue and one red, glared down through an alarmingly clear night into a transparisteel-smooth pond. The reflections reminded Kem of the two jewels in the ring he had given Niva, his wife to be, a few weeks earlier. That was just before she left for Coruscant for some business meeting, the details of which Kem didn’t quite grasp, but they seemed really important. At any rate, the last few days had been extremely good for both fishing and aerial hunting, and the credits he had earned from selling his quarry would more than pay for a ticket to the capital world to visit her. They could catch up on things then.

Kem tossed another lure into the black waters of the pond. Not many nibbles tonight, but the objective this evening was not to catch runefish. Kem had come here to get away from the town and its ant-like people, away from the mindless rodent-race that people called a civilized society. All people seemed to care about, in this town of Yuv, was buying, selling, and expanding their properties. Such a shame, too. The giant lulkad trees and their ecosystems were far richer than any sentient being Kem had ever met, and they were quite willing to share their riches, if you asked just right.

At the core of the trees’ bounty was the water cycle. The rain fell, and collected in arboreal ponds, like the one Kem was fishing in, which were giant bowls held in the hands of the trees’ branches. The water flowed through branches and into the trunk of a tree, using pipe-like channels. From there, it went to the giant leaves, where it nourished the plant and evaporated back into the air. All along the way, creatures had found a way to use the flowing water, like the runefish that Kem caught and sold on the market, or the mycoworms that lived in the water channels, and even the flying narcobeasts that Farlaya depended on for most of its food.

Kem made a living catching fish, as well as using his small, one man airspeeder to catch narcobeasts and sell them on the market. Aerial narcobeast hunting was a fast, exciting way to make a living, although the take-home pay was not extravagant. It involved using sensors to locate a flock of narcobeasts, chasing them down, and using a speeder’s harpoon net to capture the winged animals. It required a good eye to track the speed and direction of a fast, flying creature, and then to hit it with a harpoon net. Kem had always had a talent for it, so he used this ability to bring home a living.

It was great, but somehow there seemed to be more to life than catching food. There was a war going on, between the oppressive Empire and the Rebel Alliance. And, what most Farlayans did not realize, if the Empire was to regain its power and expand to this area of the Rim, the comfortable Farlayan way of life could be changed forever.

But, for now, the Empire, Rebellion, and their war could wait. Kem was leaving for Coruscant the next day, and the only thing that would matter for the next few days would be Niva.

Kem packed his bag that morning and headed off to Garnland Spaceport in his airspeeder. Garnland was built in the basin of a very large, but very dry, arboreal lake. It had lost its water supply when a Gallofree Yards transport had lost flight control in orbit, and what had not been melted away by the atmosphere had slammed through the bottom of the lake, creating the first hole in Garnland’s drainage system. The spaceport had grown quickly throughout the dried lake, and was now the planet’s biggest spaceport, although that wasn’t saying much. It only had a few docking bays, and still fewer of those bays were suitable for anything larger than a light freighter.

Civilian airspeeders buzzed about Garnland like working insects as Kem eased his speeder through the traffic and onto a landing pad. Popping the canopy, Kem hopped onto the floor and retrieved his single bag from the starboard storage compartment. Slinging it over his shoulder, he headed for Docking Bay 8, where his shuttle awaited.

“Greetings, Mr. Chrosid. I see your ticket is in order. Go on in and have a seat, we’ll be leaving for Coruscant shortly,” said the attendant in front of the shuttle. Kem nodded, and took a moment to take in the form of the shuttle. Never having seen a spacecraft this close before, other than on holos, that is, he marveled. Its elegant wings folded up towards it dorsal fin, it seemed like it had seen its share of duty. There were carbon scoring marks around the exhaust vents, and, were those laser cannon on the wing roots? Perhaps this had been a military transport earlier in life. Kem entered and took his seat. It would be a long flight from the Rim to the Core.

The shuttle burst out of hyperspace near Coruscant, and the viewports were filled with lights. Starships of all kinds darted, lumbered, and swooped around the capital world. The world itself shimmered in the ultimate lighting display. Kem had seen nothing like it.

Yet, he felt as if there was something wrong, elusive. He couldn’t pinpoint it, but he felt like it concerned him somehow. This was not the way to start a visit to the woman he was to marry.

The shuttle skimmed over the endless synthetic chasms of Coruscant as Kem viewed the datapad Niva had sent him. In it were the directions to the tapcafe where they were to meet. Some kind of fancy place with a view, Kem noted from the attached brochure Niva had sent. “Be sure to dress nice,” she had said. “There might be some of my business colleagues there, and I’d like to impress them.” She had always been keen about appearances.

From the rooftop spaceport, Kem caught a speeder to the tapcafe. The timing had been perfect.

They sat near a giant, circular window. Outside, a storm raged on through dark violet skies, lightning piercing the gale-ridden skyline. The dark scene outside framed Niva’s outline, a small frame highlighted against a violent background.

The weather matched Kem’s mood perfectly.

“So, I think that’s what’s best for me, and for you too,” Niva said. “I’m sure you’ll see it eventually. We’re just too different. I’m a businesswoman, you’re a fisherman and hunter. Heck, you should be happy that it lasted as long as it did. Don’t think it wasn’t a pleasure. I had a great time. But, like I said, we’d just end up separated in the end. I’m sure you see that. Besides, I think I’d like to live on Coruscant now, and I know you wouldn’t be happy away from those trees of yours.”

Kem sat rigidly, silent. He thought she was different from the other Farlayans. Apprently, she had not been.

“So, that’s it?” Kem asked, as a flash of lightning illuminated Niva’s face for a ghostly split second. “Just like that? After all that time, you’d just end it? Why did you want me to come to Coruscant just so you could ditch me like this? Why the fancy tapcafe? I appreciate the sense of drama, but this is real life we’re talking about, not a holodrama. This is a lot of trouble to go through just to say, ‘Sorry, I’m dumping you.’”

“Well, I’ve been doing a lot of…thinking. I actually didn’t decide on this until just after I sent you that datapad. Oh, gee, do you have it with you? I might need it back,” she said casually. Kem pulled the datapad out and slid it across the table. It’s all about the money, he thought. After all the time and intimacy, it all came down to the almighty Credit.

“After I sent it, I just didn’t have the heart to tell you not to come. Besides, you need a vacation from those fish and beast things. You don’t leave for another week, do you? See? There’s plenty of time left to have fun. Coruscant is a big place; have a blast. I’m sure you’ll find a way to occupy yourself for a week. I almost forgot, here’s your ring back. Sell it and get something nice. Oh, I’ll get the bill,” Niva said. And after saying goodbye, Kem left.

Standing on the edge of a typical Coruscant rooftop, Kem stared over the edge. That, he thought darkly, is a very long drop.

He examined the ring. Silver metal, crowned with two jewels. The blue one represented Kem, his cool, quiet demeanor, and the skies and waters he spent so much time with. The red stone was Niva’s, it signified her family’s color, as well as her temperament. The two opposites seemed to work well together, until now at least.

The Niva that Kem had just spoken to, the one who had left him for a career and lots of money, was not the one he had known from Farlaya. Coruscant had changed her somehow, or at least something had.

Gripping the ring tightly one more time, Kem took another glance over the ledge. A long drop indeed. Kem wondered how long it would take a falling object to reach the bottom. Kem threw the ring over the edge, watching it fall for as long as he could before it was out of sight.

Below, on a catwalk, a Twi’lek flinched. He peered down at his feet to see what had struck him. Ooh, he thought. How nice! It would fetch a great price at a pawn shop. He would be able to buy that cloak he’d been wanting.

After selling the nice suit he had bought for the tapcafe occasion, Kem boarded the first flight off of Coruscant. He decided to take a vacation, all right, but not here. He had heard from spacers at Farlayan cantinas that Cloud City in Bespin was a great place for nerves. Why not, Kem figured. After talking to Knuub, the Sullustan captain of the YT-2400, Crimson Slider, he headed toward the boarding ramp. He was almost to the ship when something caught his eye.

Someone, rather. Niva, and another figure. A man, about Kem’s age and build, but very well-dressed and polished looking. The garments he was wearing were probably worth more that Kem made in two months on Farlaya. Arm in arm, Niva and the man walked, as though they had known each other for some time. Revolted by the Coruscant man’s arrogant, snappy gait, Kem turned away, his jacket blown heavily by the wind. He boarded the ship, found convenient seat, and fell asleep, exhausted.

Klaxons buzzed as Kem was jarred from his seat. He raced up to the cockpit.

“What’s this?” Kem demanded.

The Sullustan replied in broken Basic. “It’s pirates,” he replied, “they want my cargo.”

Kem’s mind raced. “Cargo? I take it that I’m not the only cargo you’re hauling.”

The Sullustan’s jowls quivered. “No, Mr. Chrosid. I am forced to carry other…items. Times are rough lately.”

Kem glanced outside. The pirates were well armed. Three Z-95 Headhunters escorted a Corellian gunship. In the distance, a small planetoid orbited a nearby star.

“Drop your shields and prepare to be boarded, and nobody gets hurt! We only want your cargo,” a rough voice bleated through the speaker.

“…and my ship, and our belongings, and our lives,” the Sullustan said.

“Not a chance we could convince them to let us live, huh?” Kem asked.

“No, Mr. Chrosid. If we let them aboard, we’d be feeling hard vacuum in under a minute. Ever fired turbolasers before?” The Sullustan’s body shook as the YT-2400 took another hit.

“No, but I’m a quick study. See you on the other side of the fight,” Kem said, running towards the topside gunner’s station. The chair swiveled in its socket as Kem strapped down and put on the headset. “Try and keep them in front of me,” Kem suggested. This shouldn’t be much different than netting narcobeasts, he thought.

His thoughts were proved correct a moment later when he caught the glint of a Z-95’s s-foils in the upper quadrant of his viewscreen, lining up for a firing run on the port side of the ship. Tracking the old fighter in his sights, Kem pressed the fire button as beams of red death lanced out toward the attacker. After taking the first shot on the nose, the fighter pulled out to its left in an attempt to evade Kem’s defenses. After years of deflection shooting with harpoon nets, however, a simple maneuver such as a turn was easily transparent to Kem’s eyes. He tracked the bandit still, firing all the way. The red needles sheared their way through the Z-95’s relatively weak shields and chewed into its starboard side, melting away the engines at the s-foil’s base, severing it from the fighter. Lightning played along the surface of its fuselage, igniting the concussion missiles in the ship’s nose section. The body of the craft exploded, spraying debris harmlessly onto the frontal shields of its nearby wingman. The Sullustan’s voice crackled through Kem’s headset. “We have incoming missiles! Try to get them, but get ready for a big impact,” he cried.

Kem immediately put the gun’s targeting sight right in the path of the missiles. With them heading straight in, there was little deflection to account for. Red turbolaser fire sliced through the first warhead, then the second, with some stray shots splashing onto the aggressing fighter. The attacker veered of, heading for the safety of the gunship.

“Ok, we’re almost to the jump point,” the captain asserted. “Keep that last fighter away for 30 seconds or so, then we’re gone.”

“30 seconds? This one doesn’t have a chance,” Kem said confidently into the headset. He fired at the weaving Z-95, clipping it slightly as it raced closer. This one proved to be quite elusive as it closed the distance, darting and bobbing its way toward the oblong freighter. “He’s not firing,” Kem noted. “What’s he doing?”

“Oh, no,” the Sullustan sighed. “Hang on tightly.”

The Z-95 leveled out for a split second as a pair or red trails issued from the missile tubes at close range. Kem’s awareness shifted to slow motion as the missiles raced toward the YT-2400, and finally smashed into the aft shields, sending shockwaves throughout the craft and sending it spinning off course. The Z-95 continued on, out of Kem’s field of view.

The Sullustan’s voice was faint. “The aft shields are almost gone. Keep you head up back there! We need more time to get back on course now.”

Kem clenched his teeth. Regretting his earlier overconfidence, he now felt desperate to stop the attacker. To die in the void of space for some no-good pirates was not the end Kem had envisioned. In a strange moment, a surge of calm plunged over Kem’s awareness. He knew what he had to do.

Undoing the harness and headset, Kem climbed out of the topside gunner’s seat and crossed the ladder down to the ventral gun station with a speed Kem didn’t know he was capable of. Seating himself, but ignoring the headset and harness, he caught sight of the Z-95’s tail side on its egress. Surely, the pilot had no idea that the ventral gun was manned, or he would have been jinking violently now. Lining up the gun sight onto the Z-95’s port engines, Kem opened fire.

A torrent of red turbolaser fire pelted away at the fighter’s shields and penetrated the port engines, searing them as they sputtered melted bits of hull. The port s-foil, released from its moorings, spun off into the void. The pirate, no longer in control of his spacecraft, had no choice but to jettison the canopy and eject from his stricken fighter. As the pirate’s ejection seat rocketed him into the vacuum, Kem’s vision blurred. The wreckage of the fighter, the gunship, and the planetoid below were replaced by starlines, followed by the spiraling tunnel of hyperspace.

“Looks like we made it out alive, Mr. Chrosid. You sure you’ve never fired a turbolaser before?” the Sullustan jokingly accused.

“Not in my life,” Kem replied.

“Well, you sure have a knack for it. Seeing as you saved our lives from that scum, the ride will be on me this time.”

Captain Knuub had, after the pirate incident, been quite keen on hiring Kem as a crewman. Not being of the mind to leave his lifestyle and homeworld behind, he politely refused as he disembarked the Crimson Slider.

“A shame,” Knuub said. “I could use a deadeye like you in the gunner’s seat. If you choose to reconsider, you can reach me by leaving word at Glon’s Cantina near Diamond Spaceport on Corellia. My meager shipping enterprise seems to earn a lot of business from the Rebels at that point, so I frequent it often. Until we meet again, Chrosid, may the Force be with you.”

With Knuub’s last comment ringing in his mind, Kem did his best to enjoy the thranta sky rodeos, the floating urban relic of Tibannopolis, and what would have normally been breathtaking views from Cloud City. After spending a week floating through the sky, Kem figured it was about time to return home, to solid ground. In the arboreal towns of Fralaya, at least.

The trip home aboard a Maurian transport was uneventful.

The arrival at Farlaya, however, was not.

After breaking out of hyperspace in Farlayan orbit, Kem’s gut sunk down as far as it could go. Directly in front of the transport, dwarfing the Maurian, was and Imperial Star Destroyer. Flitting around it, darting between the Star Destroyer’s many escort warships, were scores of TIE fighters, bombers, and interceptors, chasing down civilian traffic and lancing them with green laser fire, obliterating the defenseless craft.

Kem raced up to the cockpit, gazing slack-jawed at the slaughter before him. The ships sensors picked up a wide band transmission form the Imperials. “…and, because of this treachery, the planet of Farlaya and all inhabitants are by order of the Empire sentenced to suffer Base Delta-Zero. The Star Destroyer Grandeur and its fleet will render this planet uninhabitable, starting with the source of the treachery, the town of Yuv, home of the treacherous Chrosid family. Know that it is their devious plotting that has wrought the vengeance of the Empire upon you. Resistance would be…rather amusing. Admiral Torv of the Imperial Navy out.”

Treachery? The Chrosid family? What had happened? The questions raced faster than Kem could keep up with.

Kem, it seemed, would never know the answers. The family who cared for him, town he grew up in, and the planet with its rich ecosystems, was about to be erased, and he could do nothing. Anger, sewn in a bed of impotent frustration, surged through Kem’s mind.

No, a distant voice calmly said. This is not going to help your family now. Keep calm, do what you can.

Kem let go of his frustration, although it took each fiber of his conscience to do it. What could he do to possibly stop the attack?

He ran to the gunner’s position and found it unoccupied. Adrenaline rushing, he took the topside cannon and brought it online. He swiveled the gun sight until the Star Destroyer’s port shield generator was in line, and opened fire.

The Maurian’s green lasers reached out to the spheroid on the ISD’s bridge superstructure, stitching it with fire.

Through the gun station’s speaker, the transport’s captain raged as the Maurian dove. “What are you doing? Who are you? Do you want to get us chased down by TIE’s? We could have slipped away unnoticed until just now! We’re dead!”

A flight of four TIE fighters broke formation and streaked in for the Maurian. The ISD was centered in the Kem’s view, just as it opened fire on the planet. Unworldly beams of verdant death jabbed at what used to be his hometown of Yuv like spectral fingers. He could almost see the buildings melting, the people screaming as their lives fell down, the supporting branches that held the town aloft giving way as the whole thing fell to the planet’s surface…

Kem channeled his discordant thoughts into one task: removing the pursuing TIE fighters from the transport’s tail. An otherworldly calm touched Kem’s mind, allowing him to focus on the task at hand, despite the knowledge that his family, town, and way of life as he knew it were all gone. He snapped a shot at the closest TIE, hitting it and sending it back towards the ISD.

The remaining three all opened fire, just as they were joined by a flight of six TIE bombers. Kem’s warning light lit up, showing that they were going for torpedo lock. If any of those warheads hit…

Another light came on. “New craft alert,” the ship’s computer read. “One Mon Calamari Cruiser…Twelve X-wings…Twelve A-wings…Six B-wings…Three Corellian Corvettes….Two Nebulon-B Frigates.”

Kem swiveled the gun turret just in time to see the Rebel fleet exit hyperspace. The X-wings and A-wings immediately raced out towards the Imperial fighters. In the dogfights that ensued, the Rebel pilots demonstrated an amazing ability to take down large numbers of the more frail Imperial fighters while protecting their own ranks. Years of being out numbered, Kem thought, must have a way of teaching.

The B-wings sent a salvo of torpedoes into the starboard shield generator of the ISD. The torpedoes that weren’t shot down cascaded upon the exposed dome, erupting in violent explosions that ripped the generator apart.

TIE interceptors quickly latched on to the marauding B-wings, and scattered them as a flight of X-wings stabbed toward TIEs. The furball that formed cost both sides dearly, with four B-wings being lost and five of the TIEs evaporating into shrapnel.

Meanwhile, Kem did what he could to defend against his own TIE attackers. He managed to take down two more of the nimble fighters and one of the sluggish but hardy bombers. Not enough, Kem thought, as yellow lights went red, and scores of blue trails emerged from the bombers’ torpedo tubes.

Focusing, Kem picked out the torpedoes, on by one, and plucked them from space. However, with five TIE bombers unloading their lethal payload, a slippery TIE fighter making things difficult, and still more TIEs becoming aware of the chase, Kem was overwhelmed. Despite Kem’s ability to take down multiple Imperial fighters, the laser shots and rain of warheads began their impact.

“I don’t know who you are,” the captain of the transport called over the comm, “but you’ve lost us our ship. If I even get my hands on you, you’ll wish you had vaporized aboard this crate. Everyone else, find escape pods. We’re abandoning ship.”

From the escape pod, Kem watched the battle. The Rebels were finally able to take out the port shield generator that Kem had attacked earlier, though not by a large margin. It seemed to hang together by just a few sutures, then, a stray concussion missile from an A-wing incidentally hit it, sending its components into the void. Without shields, the Imperial Admiral must have decided that confronting a Rebel fleet and starfighters would be unhealthy. The ISD and its escorts recovered the few remaining TIEs and entered hyperspace, shortly thereafter pursued by the Rebels.

Kem’s escape pod was recovered by a tug that had survived the early massacre of civilian traffic, and brought to a surviving commercial vessel.

Wearily, Kem asked a crew member where he was.

The crewman replied, “We just finished loading a shipment of runefish bound for Corellia. We were about to recover our tugs and jump when the Imperial fleet popped in right between us an our hyperpoint.”

“Corellia?” Kem asked. “I think I was just about to go there. Can I buy passage on this ship?”

The crewman shrugged. “I don’t see why not, but you’d have to ask the captain for final word.”

Kem thanked the man, made arrangements for passage, and waited.

Glon’s Cantina was the worst thing Kem had ever seen, though he hadn’t seen much in the way of cantinas.

The place seethed with alien species, all of which fascinated Kem. Farlaya wasn’t exactly the cultural treasure trove of the Galaxy.

Through the Ithorians chatting in stereo, past the Bith musicians, beyond the bickering Devaronian and Jawas, at a mist filled table, sat Knuub. He was alone, apparently waiting for someone.

Kem approached. “Hello, Captain. I hear the lum is good here.”

Knuub was taken aback, but apparently pleased. “Mr. Chrosid! I’m so pleased to see you here. I take it you’ve reconsidered my offer.”

“Not exactly,” said Kem. “I need a favor, actually.”

“I’m not surprised, considering what happened to your planet,” Knuub said gravely.

“News must travel fast,” Kem said. “But I need to join the Rebels. I heard you say you did business with them. All I need is an introduction, and maybe a good word about my aim.”

“Of course, Kem. I suppose it’s the least I could do. Besides, you came right on time. I’m meeting someone here in a few minutes you might be interested in. She is a member of the fleet that defended your planet, as a matter of fact. I think she wants me to deliver some warheads to them or something.”

Then, a figure entered the area. “I trust I’m not interrupting,” the female voice said. “Hello, Captain. Who’s you friend?”

Knuub waved, “Ah, hello, Commander Darnn. This is a talented marksman and friend of mine, Kem Chrosid.”

“Pleased to meet you,” Kem said, as he offered his seat.

Darnn paused. “Chrosid, you say? I thought…”

“Thought what?” Kem pried. Why the concern over his name? Then it hit him.

“You must have somehow survived the Imperial attack on Farlaya,” Darnn stated. “Kem, yes…your family, I’m sorry. They were working for us, trying to build a Rebel cell on Farlaya. They were betrayed to the Imperials, and…”

“…and the Imps decided to take it out on the entire planet.” Kem interjected. It all made sense now, in a sick, violent way. So his family had been Rebels all along. Why hadn’t they told him? No matter now. Had he known, he’d probably be dead along with them.

“I only wish I could have done more damage to them when I had the chance,” Kem said bluntly.

Darnn looked confused. “What chance are you talking about?”

Kem spoke flatly. “I was on my way home aboard a Maurian transport when the Imps attacked. I made my way to the turret and managed to hit the port shield generator and take down some TIEs, but in the end there were just too many of them. They torpedoed the Maurian into dust just after I found an escape pod and made my way here.”

Darnn looked stunned. “That was you in that Maurian? I saw the whole thing from the Corvette I was in. That was some nice shooting. Did you say you hit the port generator?”

Kem sighed, “Yeah, not well enough though. It held together.”

“Until that missile hit it. If you hadn’t made those shots when you did, that shield might have stayed up and more damage would have been done to you world.”

Kem sunk. He tried not to think about his planet too much.

Darnn continued. “By the way, since the Imp attack, the planetary government has decided to throw in its lot on our side, openly. For all those sacrifices, the Empire now has another enemy to deal with.”

“Two more,” Kem said. “I want, no, I need to join you. The Empire can’t go on like it does without me doing something to stop it.”

Knuub finally piped up. “I can vouch for him as well. He’s been flying all his life, and his accuracy with ship’s guns is amazing.”

Kem shrugged a little. “I do what I can. What do you think the odds are of me joining you?” Kem asked Darnn.

Darnn smiled. “From the sounds of things, Kem, pretty good. I hear the Intrepid Battle Group needs starfighter pilots. I think you’d fit in there quite nicely.”

Note: Biography copypasted, no alterations made.

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