Not my day, Larz said to himself, as he seemed to everyday sense landing on this world. In my defense, I crashed here. It didn't make him more optimistic about the empty trap he was holding.
It was one of a half dozen he had checked. And the last one to check for the day. Three days, he thought, semi astounded at his lack luster luck.
A planet overflowing with jungle, teaming with life. and I haven't caught a single thing to eat in three days. He wasn't totally out of options. He could find bigger game easier.
Most, conveniently, would try and kill him. That's how Larz had managed to survive for his first month? maybe. Time moved strangely when there was no way to keep track of it.
And no one to spend any of it with. Originally he had gotten ambushed by a predator, killed it, then cooked as much meat as he could carry as quickly as possible.
Staying in one place to cook was asking for Meodask attention. Something he was keen to avoid. His luck had seemed to turn once he found the Sith tomb or temple. No wildlife came near.
Even the planet's trees, usually choking every surface they could find with roots and branches kept their distance.
As if the planet itself feared the ancient Sith who were buried, and whose secrets remained within.
Larz could go to the nearby river as well.
It was nearly overflowing with fish and amphibian life, but that too, was a popular place to run into Meodask villagers, cleaning, bathing, and hating Jedi.
Once Larz had discovered the temple, and the Meodask phobia of it he had killed the first predator that lunged at him from the trees, a large reptile, and drug it by hand back to the temple.
He had found a room with a window, and smoked it into tough unappetizing jerky. Larz gathered most the equipment and knowledge he had acquired from the temple during that time.
His next attempt to, was met with the Meodask. They hunted big game for food and for sport. And as a special treat, despise Jedi. He thought glumly as he reset his snare.
This wasn't Larz's first time dealing with the race. It wasn't even the first time in their system and on this particular planet.
The Meoda system had only been discovered a little over fifty years prior.
The exploratory mission for new hyperspace routs came across a system with three hospitable planets, one of which had a mass of recourses. The Republic's leaders, naturally, decided to annex it.
Meoada VII was the most populated, with sprawling cities, surrounded by swaths of no man's land. Each city, was a sector, and each sector was controlled by a pride.
The Meodask, Two meter tall feline like bipedals with a culture built around conflict between prides, would wage war in the no man's land between their sectors,
until one side pushed into the other's city. They warred endlessly, using the neighboring planet as an industrial complex to pump out more war machines.
The winner would control and rebuild the newly conquered and war torn sector, it's former pride master and Shaman killed, its remaining warriors integrated.
The Meodask were also extremely force sensitive, by nature it would seem. They communicated through language, but inferred meaning through the force.
Their Shamans were all deeply entuned with Falar, the hunter's eyes, and could give any Jedi a run for their creds.
So of course, Larz thought as he headed back through the thick vines that choked the trees and forest floor. It led to war.
The culture of the system may have been barbaric, but the Meodask of the seventh and eighth planets were anything but primitive.
From the armor and weaponry they carried into their battle, to the hulls and shielding of their ships and skyscrapers; the Meodask war machine inspired awe.
The Meodask people never discovered hyperspace, and hadn't seemed interested in exploration before the Republic's intervention, but their weapons of war paralleled that of the Republic itself.
Some, even out classed it. The fact that war, and the expectation of more war, had shaped their very minds meant that in hindsight at least; it was obvious.
The weaker prides had left their ravaged home sectors, and taken Republic trading captain's offers of transport.
Typically, the Meodask left their system bordering the unknown regions, several dozen at a time, and went to outer rim worlds. Within a few years, it had all gone wrong.
Meodask matured fast, and everywhere they went, they brought their hunger for war with them.
Every city their clawed feet got a toe hold in, the Justiciars, military, or Jedi were sent within a decade. And wherever they went, the Republic enforcements died.
The Republic placed sanctions on the system, when that didn't work they restricted access to Republic military ore and material transports only.
When that didn't work, they restricted, and eventually forbid, intersystem migration of the Meodask.
Then, Larz reflected glumly, it was inevitable. The Meodask Shaman and Pride Masters set their differences aside. united, for the first time, by the prospect of a greater war.
Soon the Republic transports were hijacked. The crew taken as hostages. The ship's bellies, destined to be filled with raw materials, were filled with bombs.
Their autopilots engaged, the ships unknowingly brought death to every depot they had been scheduled to arrive in. The response was invasion. To take back the hostages, in the vids anyway.
But everyone knew, it was to teach the natives their place in the galaxy.
Larz's stomach rumbled painfully. "I cant wait," he sighed out. Rubbing the armor above his deflated midsection. "I have to find something."
The river wasn't far, and the thought of the fish nearly made his legs move without his commanding them to. But, he wouldn't get a chance to fish.
The Meodask were extremely territorial on this somehow more savage world. And, he reminded himself, they already know I'm here.
He was all too aware of them, and they were keen on killing the intruder in their midst. The Meodask hunters of Meoda VI had no technological recourses to speak of.
The planet had no rich ores under its forested crust of massive trees, fighting to reach through the top layer of branches to the light of the primary beaming into the wet and sticky earth.
No rare and exotic salves could be made from the plants and vines that choked the trees and one another to death. Poisons, probably, but those were less marketable.
Even the neighboring planets, as warlike as they were, left the savage and primitive prides be. Unworthy of war the Meoda VI prides were called.
Killed off with simple airstrikes, and with nothing of value to be had after their deaths. So, they were allowed the planet to do with what they pleased.
On top of which, Larz thought making; forcing away his appetite and the poor decisions it made him consider. Who in their right mind would want to live here? Everything wants to kill you.
The plants, the animals, the neighbors. Stupid planet, even the gravity is stupid. The ache in his joints was a constant reminder of the large worlds heavy pull.
Thirty percent more than Coruscant, is too damn much. Larz was making his way back to his temple. He'd come check the traps in the evening. If he was lucky, there would be dinner. Or I'll die.
Hungry and alone, on a planet I thought I'd never be back to. Fighting another war, with the same enemy. It was a different war, less formality. And it was a war of one.
One lone Jedi, against an entire planet.
Larz returned to his daily routine. Collecting rain water, cooking if he had food, deciphering the language of another few pages of Sith text, training. The training, saddened the Jedi the most.
As he spun through the attacks of Djem So, both his silver blades flashing in powerful arcs and humming beautifully, he effortlessly blended them into the dueling styles of Makashi,
using one to parry unseen blows while the other flicked and whipped around to inflict damage to an opponent that didn't exist anywhere but Larz's mind. An enemy that may never exist, he thought.
I may never duel with another saber again. Never face Masters Junto or Sie in an arena. Or train with Lelaf. Instruct a youngling, even deflect a blaster bolt.
If I live or die here, I might not ever use these tools, these weapons that I have built, and built myself around, ever again. The thoughts pressed in against him.
The loneliness was more real than the imagined opponent his precise Makashi and Powerful Djem So would've eliminated a half hour ago.
Larz, of course, knew how to dispose of the lingering melancholy. To meditate was to find one's center. To find his balance by looking within himself, and making peace with it.
Which is why, Larz knew, he had been avoiding it.
Looking inside himself to see fully the lonesome and sad Jedi that would die lone and stranded on a hostile world wasn't a thing he looked forward to.
Larz deactivated his silver blades, and replaced them in the forearm holsters of the armor. There is no emotion, there is peace. He thought, then spoke aloud, softly.
"There is no death, there is the force." The words he had spoken so often throughout his life, rang more and more hollow in his ears everyday.
The deep emptiness in his stomach, couldn't compare to the one he felt. It could, however, distract him from it.
Shaking his head to dispel the thoughts, Larz made his way out of the temple once more. On the bright side, if there's food, I certainly won't feel any worse.