The Beast of Durmych'va
By Larry Yoakum III
“By the Gods!”
Won looked at his consort with confusion. “What’s wrong, Denna?”
Denna’s ice-blue eyes continued to stare into the starry night’s sky. Her breath came out in little gasps. Won could have sworn she wasn’t breathing at all. He slapped her gently on the back. She just stared. He followed her gaze. He saw nothing out of the ordinary. The three moons were where they had always been since the ancient sailors used them as a guide before the days of space travel. He looked around the firmament of night. All of the constilations were there, just like always. Won shook Denna’s shoulders lightly. “Denna. Come on, snap out of it!” Won tried to start the speeder. He had to get her to a doctor. But the junkheap that Rodian sold him wouldn’t turn over. That was when a creepy realization came over him.
There was utter silence.
Nothing made any noise in the surrounding woods. Not an insect or any other forest dwelling creature. The hairs on the back of Won’s neck rose as a chill draped over him. It was a hot night a few minutes ago, but now it felt like the dead of the cold season. But, he realized, that it was him, not the weather, that was chilled. Frozen solid right down to the bottom of his soul. The feeling of being spied upon flooded into his mind. He felt as if hundreds of eyes were watching him intently, as if they were consumed with some dark intentions. Won got out of the speeder and popped the hood. He had to figure out what was wrong so he could bolt.
Everything was where it should be. Nothing was wrong with the old beater, for a change. The feeling of being watched was growing more intense by the second. Well, I don’t really want to, but if I lock the doors, I can leave her here safely while I get a doctor.... His thoughts were interrupted by a snap of a twig. Won turned, his body tensing, ready to fight if need be. He felt the blow before he saw what hit him. Unconsciousness set in and Won slept.
At first, the young Won didn’t know where he was. He was lying on a concrete slab in a dimly lit room. With only seven candles lighting up, it was a wonder he could see at all. It was bad enough that he didn’t know what happened to Denna. It was bad enough that he had no idea where he was. But the silence. It was so silent that it was deafening. He could hear each heart beat, each pulse of his wrist. It was so bad that if he had an itch, he could hear it itch. And his breathing. God, he sounded monstrous. Wait, he realized. That’s not my breathing. He knew he’d regret doing this. “Hello? I-i-is anyone th-th-there?”
The lights burst on. Won could only stare, much in the same way that Denna was staring earlier. His mind was working overtime. With his body paralyzed, it was all he could do to not go insane. The thing that was making the gross breathing was like something that you only read about in old mythology. It was as tall as two men, and grayer than a pre-storm sky. Two blood-red horns protruded from its brow. Long, leathery bat-like wings sprung from its back. The beast had the face of a horse. There was blood dripping from its mouth, razor-sharp teeth ripping the meat off of a bone. Won got enough control to let his gaze fall a little. He looked down the beast’s torso. At its feet was its newest meal. Oh my God!
It was his consort lying there, her stomach opened. The beast had eaten her arms and was starting on her legs now. The beast looked over at Won and smiled. “Welcome,” it said in a deep, grating voice. “Welcome to my humble abode.” It took another bit of its rack of leg. “Is this your mate? She is ever so delicious. Do you taste as well, young man?”
Won regained control of his body. He tried to run, but the way was blocked by the beast. It laughed at him. “Please let me go.”
“You creatures are so weak. But you’re so tasty. Why do you want to leave? You will only grow old.”
“Wh-wh-what a-a-a-are ya-ya-ya...”
The beast threw Denna’s leg bone at him. “Shut up. I hate it when you people stutter. I am the eater of the lost and the lonely.” He picked a piece of sinew from his teeth. “And I will suck the marrow from your spine, little boy!” Then the monster looked at Won thoughtfully. “But, I wonder, how did you manage to move again. All others are frozen with fright until I devour them.” Won only stared back. “Tell me!”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, no matter. What is your name?”
The Durmivol growled. “Don’t lie to me! I checked your ID chip, Mr. Won Kupplas!” The monster threw Denna’s corpse into the wall so hard that it splattered into a gooey mess. “Now, it is your turn, fresh meat.”
Won felt fear unlike any other he had felt in his young life. He had wondered why the Empire hadn't taken this beast for study already. Knowing those Imperials, they left it here to finish off the locals. The beast was upon him.
It's head suddenly rolled back and fell off it's torso, which fell seconds after. Won scooted back and looked up. A man was standing in the room now. He had on old, dirty armor, and was carrying an old fashioned BlasTech EE-3 rifle. He had read about those in galactic history. They were used by the Mandalorian's before the evil Jedi wiped them from the galaxy.
Won knew enough about that armor to know who this was. The infamous Bounty Hunter Boba Fett.
"Are you who I think you are?" Won asked.
"Who do you think I am, boy?"
"Bo-bo-boba f-f-f-f-," Won tried to speak, but the armored man stoped him with a wave of his hand.
"Yes, I am Boba Fett." Won asked why the bounty hunter was here on a backwater world like Durmych'va. This was even more out of the way than Tatooine. "The planetary governer hired me to investigat the so-called Beast of Durmych'va. Many of you young ones have been vanishing in these woods. GOverner Dol finally decided to do something about it. Palpatine has this world in mind for a new imperial addition and Dol will most likely become a higher placed Moff if he can present the Emperor with a suitible gift. Such as the head of a beast."
"Uh, well, I thank you, Mr. Fett, for saving me."
"The significance of whether you breath or not is of no concern to me." The armor clad hunter picked up the head of the monster and turned to leave. At the enterence to the cave he stopped and said to the young man. "But from one hunter to another, you're welcome." And then he left.
Won wondered what Fett had meant by that. He had noticed that skull on Fett's shoulder. He had heard rumers of a cult called the Sith, and had seen that skull be assciotated with the Sith. What did it all mean? Won gathered his strength and left the cave.
Huband Hills was the village where Won was born and had live all his sixteen standard years. Everyone knew him, and he knew everybody. Would they believe him when he returned without Denna, and that he was rescued by Fett? Yes they would. Since the governor was involved. He looked at his time piece and he saw that it wasn’t even midnight yet. The town was deserted when he got back into its borders. Well, that’s to be expected from a town with barely fifty people. Usually Peace Officer Venangan drove around at night looking for children stealing livestock. He was nowhere in sight.
Won walked down the main street and heard growling laughter all around him. The light from the tree moons showed his new visitors. Dozens of the beasts he had been rescued from. They must have devored all in town.
“So, little boy. All of your friends and family are dead. How do you feel?”
Won had the urge to run, yell, , something, but he was once again frozen in place. The beasts charged at him, and light suddenly filled the sky, accompiened by the roar of a loud engine. Won looked up and saw the infamous Slave 1 hovering over head, raining deadly havoc upon the beasts. Within a matter of seconds the beasts were lying in smoking heaps on the ground. Fett landed and offered Won a ride. Since his entire village was gone, he went along with the mysterious bounty hunter.
Won flew his Nubian Shuttle towards Bindo the Hutt's place on Nar Shadda. It had been 17 years since his escape from the Beasts of Durmych'va and his home was destroyed. But Boba Fett had taken him to Nar Shadda and left him with a secret underground group of men who trained Won to be a hunter of beings.
He had occassionaly ran into Fett over the years. After Fett's escape from the Sarlaac, he and Dengar had come to visit Won in his Nar Shadda bunker.
Now as he flew his latest bounty to Bindo the Hutt, he remembered what Fett had said to him a long time ago..."from one hunter to another, you're welcome..." And he remembered how he had thought the skull on Fett's arm was Sith related somehow. Perhaps Fett was trained as a Sith, and he forsaw Won's future as a hunter, trained by men who may have fought along side Boba Fett himself. Were they Sith, or Mandalorians, or what? Won would never know. But that was fine.
He was a bounty hunter, one of the best, although he knew in his heart that he would never be as good as Boba Fett.