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Amy Wellard

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Well, it worked. Amy wasn't sure whether to claim luck or a lot of maintenance experience for that. Maybe a little of both. However they did it, they still managed to drag the corpse away enough for Luke to get out of the hole. Good thing, or Amy would have to try and use the shovel to get it lifted more and that would've been bad for Luke's ribs, she was sure.

"Don't even tempt fate like that," Amy said, "I'd rather not give it the opening." With an aggrieved squawk, Edgar landed back on her shoulder. Judging by the way he was shifting on her shoulder, she could only assume his feet hadn't taken well to lifting like that.

"This would probably be a lot easier if you could turn big and furry whenever you wanted and attack someone other than me," she said sardonically, "but, nothing is ever easy, is it?"
 
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Luke Skywalker

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“Yeah,” Luke replied bitterly, frowning down at his strained tunic and shredded boots.

If only he could turn that on at will. He thought that, maybe, he might’ve stood a chance at controlling his lycanthropy through the Force if he’d been at the height of his abilities, but that would take half his life, unless he ever aged back up again…

Luke reached the cemetery gates, and would ya believe it, a huge rust speckled padlock was clinging around ‘em!

“Oh, that’s just typical,” he sighed heavily and rolled his eyes.

Good thing he still had his lightsaber with him. A stupid iron padlock like that wouldn’t last three seconds against a laser sword!

He detached it from his belt, ignited it and made to cut through the padlock chain, but his glowing green blade did no damage. It didn’t even leave behind a scorch mark!

Huh!? Luke stared at the padlock, his mouth agape.

The padlock must’ve been constructed from a lightsaber resistant material, like beskar or cortosis ore. It didn’t look like anything that impressive, though.

He tried to hack through the cemetery gates instead, but the humming blade passed harmlessly through their narrow ornamental bars, too.
 
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Amy Wellard

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"Of course," Amy sighed, shaking her head. What she wouldn't give to have an ally that was able to crush all of the monsters in their way. Although, judging from the way they'd met, Amy would probably be stuck having to fight him off herself, so it'd end up being a wash all around.

Finally, they got to what had to be the exit, and they were just one locked gate away from freedom.

Ha, as if anything could go their way.

Amy watched Luke try to cut the thing in half and it just wasn't happening. No matter how many swings, it was staying put.

"Alright, that's not working," she finally announced, "let's try something else." With that, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a spare bolt. "You have anything metal that's long and thin, like a knife? That'd make this way easier."

She wasn't an expert at lockpicking, but she knew her way around this kind of stuff to know she'd be able to figure it out.
 
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Luke Skywalker

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“I don’t know…” he trailed, then got to work checking the leather pouches on his utility belt.

Luke unearthed a thin, broken piece of metal, which he offered to Amy. He remembered now. It’d snapped off one of Artoo’s grasping arms a couple days back when he had been attempting to dislodge a huge boulder from the X-wing cockpit… Don’t ask. Luke had been meaning to fix the arm, but he’d got distracted by… Haunted houses, apparently.

Amy appeared to have a plan, so he set about doing something useful, too. He squinted up at the tall cemetery gates with his hands on either side of his belt. Maybe they could just climb ‘em?

He leapt three or four feet off the ground and caught hold of a bar in each hand, but they were too slippery smooth to hold for long. His feet scrabbled wildly, unable to find any ledges or features whatsoever to support ‘em.

No!” he groaned out in frustration.

Luke lost his grip on the cemetery gates and dropped like a stone back to the dirt with a heavy thud. He was left lying on his back, gazing up at the sour gray black sky.
 
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Amy Wellard

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Amy accepted the piece of metal with the closest she could get to a smile given the current circumstances. It didn't mean they were out, but maybe she could pick the lock before something else came to make their lives harder.

Focusing completely on the padlock, Amy wasn't even paying attention as Luke made his own attempts. Edgar was watching with his head tilted to the side as Luke jumped and tried his best before falling back down to the ground.

"There's no way out, we're going to die here," he intoned, bobbing his head up and down. All of the noise was getting Amy annoyed and she shoved the raven off of her shoulder with a grunt.

"I'm trying to concentrate, shut up," she hissed. It wasn't easy to pick a weird lock like this, especially without actual training in the matter. She was just hoping she'd be able to figure it out. There weren't many other good options.
 
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Luke Skywalker

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Luke scrambled back to his feet, brushing dust off his white tunic. He wasn’t sure why he bothered since it was already filthy.

A creaky, crumbling noise snapped his attention from his ruined clothes to the center of the cemetery grounds. Luke glimpsed something happening there that he had been expecting since they had stepped among the bleak graves. The sinking feeling in his chest was no less harsh.

Corpses with yellowed flesh stretched taut across old bones were pulling themselves up from the hard earth and shambling stiff leggedly towards them. Luke counted twenty, no, twenty-five, thirty, and still more joining their lurching ranks.

If Amy didn’t get those gates open soon, they would have to fight an army of living corpses. It wouldn’t take long before they were overwhelmed by them!

Amy!” Luke ground out between clenched teeth. “Hurry!
 
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Amy Wellard

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Amy was making decent progress with the lock. Her makeshift pick was moving steadily enough. If she didn't want everything to fall apart, though, she needed to be careful and methodical, which was something her mechanic training helped her with.

And then, Luke started noticing trouble.

She didn't waste time to look back, whatever was in this place was bad, no question. Other than a brief pause of surprise, Amy started picking faster. It was reckless, her bolt could only survive so much, but she couldn't dally.
 
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Luke Skywalker

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“Amy! C’mon!” he nagged urged her to work faster on the cemetery gates. “We need to get outta here now!”

The first wave of skeletal corpses were drawing closer to them, bringing along the rich stink of ancient soil and rancid flesh. Their dry, guttural groans reverberated through the icy air.

Oh no. Luke couldn’t let ‘em get any closer to Amy and the gates.

He rushed to meet the first corpses and swiped frenziedly with his lightsaber. A barrage of gaunt limbs and even a couple shrivelled heads went sailing to the ground.
 
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Amy Wellard

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"I don't hear you offering to take over," Amy snapped back. As if the situation wasn't stressful enough, now she had Luke trying to add to it. Had he never learned the importance of keeping your mouth shut sometimes? Honestly.

The sounds of Luke's light-thing only caused her more panic. This was definitely something serious, and she didn't have time to fuck around. But she also couldn't go so fast she'd break the bolt. It was a fine line, and she was doing her best to walk it.

For once, Edgar stopped being quite such a pest. Quietly, he muttered in his ear his observations, pointing out that some of the resistance seemed to be coming from the left so she should move the tumbler in that direction.

Finally, finally, she heard a soft 'click' underneath all of the screeching and wooshing. Jumping to her feet, she tried to get the thing open, grunting in surprise at the resistance it was giving. "Luke!" she called, "I can't move this thing on my own!"
 
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Luke Skywalker

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Amy’s voice cut through the frail, guttural groans of the animated corpses. She’d managed to unlock the cemetery gates, but she couldn’t budge ‘em open on her own.

Luke sliced through more of the nearest corpses, then sprinted back to Amy. He feared that the gates would refuse to move with his weight pressing on them, so went on the offensive.

“Watch out!” he warned Amy.

Luke drew on the Force, then took a running leap and slammed his left shoulder into one of the gates. He didn’t expect it to yield easily, but it wound up crashing to the earth with him on top. His bones seemed to quiver and vibrate inside his body from the multiple impacts, first with the impenetrable metal bars, then the frozen ground.

With the slimy groans closing in behind them, Luke didn’t have time to recover from the collisions, or to savor the fact that they could now escape the awful cemetery!

“Run!” Luke cried to Amy as he staggered back to his feet.
 
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Amy Wellard

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Amy had assumed he'd run over and give her a hand. It'd be slow going, but that was the only way to get the gate open, right? So, she kept her back to him, shifting it around as fast as she could, until he suddenly called for her to watch out.

The next thing she knew, he was coming to slam into the gate with more strength than she was ready for. Surprised, she jumped to the side. It was a close call, but she was out of the way by the time he'd cleared it.

For a second, she was too busy being shocked to really react. Then he reminded her of the things approaching, and she yelped, jumping up to follow him out. "Well, that's one way to do it," she said as they continued moving.
 
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Luke Skywalker

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Luke took quick, wide-eyed glances around the area to figure out their location. Behind them, the house where they had been terrorized loomed like a giant, shadowy skull, along with the open cemetery. A dense black horde of corpses staggered stiff legged after them, though would never catch up as long as they did not stop.

Ahead, a row of square green hedges filled his vision. Was that some kinda maze? They would get lost worse in there than the house! But what were their other options? They couldn’t turn around ‘cos it would lead to the corpses, the house. Forward was their only escape.

“I guess we gotta find our way through that maze,” Luke said to Amy, his voice grim and weary. “At least we’ll lose ‘em in there.”
 
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Amy Wellard

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They were through the gates, clearly they were free, right?

No, of course not. Once Amy realized that there was yet more to fight through, she hung her head and let out a slow, agonized groan. "There's still more," she said, "still more!" Because this place just thought they were the best punching bags, weren't they?

"Right," she said after a second to bemoan their fate, "I've heard the best way to get through these things was to pick a wall and follow it. Just keep following the left wall and we'll be out. I think." Granted, it was Denby who said that, so maybe she couldn't put too much stock in it.
 
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Luke Skywalker

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“I really hope that’s true,” Luke said, taking Amy’s advice and sticking close to the left wall.

The trail zigzagged back and forth, straight and narrow. He was grateful the tall, thick hedges cut off the grotesque sight of the shambling corpses, as well as their guttural groans and even the cloying odor of their rotten flesh.

They had maybe taken two or three sharp turns in the maze when the hedge they were following shook violently in several places. A bunch of separate childlike giggles rang out from the trembling leaves. Luke thought it had a more mischievous quality than malicious, so perhaps these new guys weren’t all that bad?

He glanced at Amy, raised his eyebrows, then stepped closer to the shuddering hedge. “Hello?”

A tiny pair of clawed hands shot out from the leaves and seized hold of him by the collar of his ruined tunic. With surprising strength, the small, hidden, giggling creature hauled his head and upper body into the hedge. His lower half would soon follow, unless Amy rushed to his rescue...
 
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Amy Wellard

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"If it doesn't, maybe Edgar can fly up to get a better angle," she suggested. A literal bird's eye view would probably be a good enough shortcut, right?

"B-b-but I can't... I can't leave you," Edgar whined.

"Look, it'll be uncomfortable, but as long as you don't kill us, I think we'll be fine." Stretching their bond would hurt, but if it kept her alive, Amy was fine with pretty much anything. Some pain would be manageable.

By the time the next problem showed up, Amy was getting at least a little relaxed. The hedges were the least creepy thing she'd seen that night, so it was better than the alternative. That was when someone started laughing, and Amy's hackles had to get raised again.

The laughter was so innocent that it immediately made Amy more concerned. It was so out of place that she felt threatened. Luke, apparently, had very different standards, and Amy barely had time to to hiss, "don't trust it," before he was getting grabbed.

"Get off!" she yelled, hitting it in the head with the butt of her crossbow. It put her closer to the danger, but she was acting on too much instinct to think through that kind of stuff. She just wanted this thing gone.
 
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Luke Skywalker

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Amy’s bowcaster hit the semi-concealed creature with a thick crunch, which caused it to let out a shrill shriek that was part pain, part surprise. The pressure on Luke’s collar relaxed in one go, and he threw himself backwards from the shaking and rustling hedge so hard that he hit the springy earth on his butt.

Boy, that was close!

By so selflessly helping him, Amy had put herself near the hedge, and this time, three sets of clawed hands reached out to try to seize hold of her limbs. The same mischievous childlike laughter rang out from several different places among the trembling leaves and twigs.

Oh no! He’d been so stupid and reckless venturing so close to the hedge! Amy was in terrible danger because of him!

Luke hurled himself to his feet, then proceeded to wrap his arms around her waist and haul her backwards from the giggling, clinging creatures. One of them had been strong enough to nearly haul him in the hedge, but if all three had managed to grab hold of her body, then the two of ‘em were in big, big trouble.

“I’m so dumb sometimes,” he moaned more to himself than Amy.
 
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Amy Wellard

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The shrieking of the monster was a bit of a comfort. It told Amy that she'd done the right thing and hurt one of these things. Also, it meant that Luke could get away, which was equally important.

Then the hands started grabbing at her, which she really should've anticipated. That didn't stop her from letting out a yelp of her own when the things started pulling on her. Two of the hands had grabbed her arms, and the third was reaching for her leg.

Edgar was making a horrible racket as Amy struggled against the thing, dropping her crossbow in the chaos. It meant the only weapon she had at that point was herself, and she started kicking out at the hand near her leg to keep it off.

When Luke joined in, she leaned back against him. It let her rear back both legs and lash out at the monster in the hedge. It was chaotic, but she was doing her best to get at the thing with both legs to hopefully stun it.

"You said it, not me," she quipped, having reached a level of calm that was probably odd given the situation. She'd just become so panicked that it reset back to relaxation.
 
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Luke Skywalker

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Luke managed a weak grin at Amy’s comment, although she likely would not see it due to the fact that he was standing behind her with his arms still wrapped around her waist. He was having to lean back heavily on account of the incredible force that was laboring to drag her into the hedge.

And Luke, too. It was only a matter of the time until the creatures overpowered ‘em both and he was dragged along with Amy. He had absolutely no intention of releasing her first and saving himself.

Before they could get yanked to their deaths, she leaned into him and kicked out with both legs. The pressure cut off, and this time, Luke was sent flying backwards against the dirt, his arms remaining around Amy’s middle. Unless she reacted fast, she would wind up landing on top of him.

Luke couldn’t see it from his position, but one of the creatures, dazed by Amy’s foot, had been dragged out of the hedge. It clung to her arm, and was no bigger than a Capuchin monkey. Excluding the fact that it was covered in scaly, reptilian flesh, its appearance was also similar to a monkey’s on account of the skinny, oversized arms and prehensile tail.
 
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Amy Wellard

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Amy might've felt self-conscious about the situation she was in, but who had time for that? Right now, she was too busy being the piece of rope in a really awful game of tug-of-war. At least this rope could fight back a bit.

Her move worked, and suddenly they were flying backwards. Given the way she'd been leaning on him to get her feet into the air, she didn't have much of a chance to move while in midair. The two ended up sprawled out on the ground.

On instinct, Amy turned over to get her hands on the ground, which meant she ended up staring down at Luke as he was laying on the ground. Again, might've been awkward if not for the monster that was still grabbing Amy's arm.

With a yelp, she jumped up, trying to grab it by the scruff of the neck to pull it off of her.
 
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Luke Skywalker

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Amy turned on top of him, which led to them both staring into each other’s eyes. Luke felt so awkward that he could only gape up at her, his tongue a limp, paralyzed weight in his mouth.

He couldn’t even remember the last time he’d been this close to a girl before. Up close, it dawned on him for the first time that Amy was very pretty, although he figured she wouldn’t want anything to do with him after tonight, as a friend or otherwise.

Mercifully, the awkward moment didn’t last long due to the strange reptilian primate that was still clutching at Amy’s arm. With a yelp, she jumped up and grabbed it by the scaly scruff of its neck. It squealed back and tried to sink its dainty, miniscule fangs into her wrist, while its long claws raked at any flesh or clothes within reach.

Concerned Amy was gonna get seriously hurt, Luke sprang to his feet and made to seize hold of the hissing and screeching creature by its bare little arms, but its tail thrashed and cracked him in the face.

He stumbled back, clutching at his stinging nose. Tears pricked his eyes. Hot blood started to stream out of his nostrils.
 
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Kazuma Kiryu wrote on Goro Majima's profile.
Happy birthday, Majima-no-niisan.
Taiga Saejima wrote on Goro Majima's profile.
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My condolences to the state of the Alliance for I will never disparage a dead man. May Mr. Jordan never be forgotten, for better or for worse.
Putting this out to announce we'll be having a Moon Destruction Album release coming out the day of the big boom, come pick up a physical album at your local record store or download it off starknet...or just steal I ain't a cop.
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