Masks of Adas
Tough as nails Trandoshan with a chip on his shoulder.
Ja Kitran, one of four hatchlings born on the cold reaches of Dosha. Fiercely competitive even in this undeveloped state, he devoured two of his siblings in the nest. The other, his brother Krrsk, instinctively defended himself with equal ferocity. This first battle started a lifelong rivalry between the two, one their mother, Kosk, encouraged. On this world, Ja learned quickly that brute strength must not be one’s only ally; that cunning, deceit, and trickery were tools of survivors.
Kosk often favored men of questionable motives. They saw Ja as a threat. He was headstrong, arrogant. They beat him within a scale of his life, but he survived, and he remembered.
His early brushes with death made him more reckless, more willing to take chances. He punished himself with pain, starting fights he knew he couldn’t win. He lost an arm to a Wookie slave, a leg trying to run across a Bantha pen. His peers spurned Ja’s brash attempts as idiocy, but quietly admired him.
When the time came, when his ego and confidence in his strength had reached its height, he found his mother’s lovers, dragged them from their homes, their beds. There were five men on his list. They did not know why. They did not remember. Ja shattered their bones, sent their brains against their skulls, and never said a word. Four of five he crossed off his list, and one more to go.
He banged on the door, a child appeared. “Go get your father.” A tower of a man emerged from the doorway. Was he this big before? Unstaggered, Ja opened with a cross meant to end the fight before it began.
“Come to settle an old score? I remember you. Kosk’s kid.”
This was the first man to recall his face, and Ja didn’t want the recognition. They struggled in the street for what seemed to Ja an eternity. There was no clear winner, until the man’s son emerged with a blade. A flash, and the sound of Ja’s head hitting the ground. He awoke moments later…he was being kicked…..there was a large man with a vibroblade and a boy standing next to him..
“Who are these people?”
“Why is this happening?”
He began to rise, not knowing that death was imminent. He could hear Krrsk’s voice. What is he doing here?
“Before you go around town trying to settle old debts, brother. Perhaps you should have tied up a few loose ends? I let Grobb and his little twerp know you were coming, and what’s more, I bartered for your life, which you now owe, to me! All it cost us is Mother’s ancestral jagganath blade. I hope you are happy with yourself, consider our score reset to zero.”
Just as Ja managed to stand, he collapsed into a heap. He lay crumpled in the street until evening. On-lookers spit on him and covered him in refuse. He awoke with only a hazy memory of what had transpired, a glance at his wound brought it all back. His brother’s deceit had disgraced his family. What could motivate Krrsk to do such a thing? Ja knew he couldn’t remain on Dosha. His life was now forfeit, and word would spread soon to the slavers. He escaped under cover of darkness to the nearest port with what little savings he had, and managed to persuade a smuggler named Fero Greet to get him offworld.