Background: This is a short story acting as a memoir for one of the characters I had in the now-dead MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies. I was a highly active roleplayer, and when I changed my character's class in the game and shifted her into combat, people in the roleplay community asked questions if I could write something about it. Through a mixture of jokes and suggestions and brainstorming, I came up with this short story. This is a huge departure from my normal style of writing, but I took a chance and decided to go with a bit of a darker theme for the memoir. I wanted it to be almost chilling in the way it delivered its message. I have made several edits over the years since it was posted, and now I figured I would post it here for safekeeping and for critique. If you are unfamiliar, SWG takes place sometime between Episodes 4 and 5 of the Star Wars Saga. Any comments or criticism are always welcome! --- I Am My name is Watermarke Calanel. I am a female twi'lek, about five-foot-six, with powder blue skin. I am – was, rather – a dancer and a musician. There was a time when music and dance were my life. The moment I began to move, and the lights and shadows flickered across the powder blue skin on my slender figure, people would lose themselves in the subtle grace of my performance, happily drowning in the depths of my cerulean eyes. I'd even heard some of my admirers say that time itself seemed to come to a halt when I performed. Performing is something my adoptive sisters taught me when I was very young, and I love them forever for it. The expressions, emotions, and subtle nuances of the arts are what initially drew me in, and eventually, entertaining became my sole passion. I didn't just practice it, I lived it. I was a local celebrity; people knew me, and I knew them. I was never world-famous, but that wasn't my goal. I preferred catering to a smaller audience. As I learned from my sisters, sometimes center-stage isn't where you want to be. The attention never leaves you and the moment you make a mistake, people know. Some say that any publicity is good publicity, but I always preferred to have as clean a record as possible. That's why I had to do this. About four months ago, a girl named Kithandra showed up at the Breath of Heaven, the local tavern where I usually perform. The tavern gets its name because the bartender at the tavern mixes what is infamously known as the most divine breath of heaven in the galaxy. Kithandra was nice enough on the outside, but I could tell after speaking with her a little that there was something behind those dark reddish-brown eyes that I didn't trust. Kithandra is a human with tan skin, long brown hair and a figure to die for - it looked like she had been sculpted into reality. All of the usual patrons flocked to her at first, and it was obvious she loved the attention. Her skin practically glowed under the spotlights, vibrant with youthful vigor. I don't mean to be pretentious, just honest: Kithandra had the looks, but not the talent. Once the sparks died down and the dust settled, a large majority of the regular Breath of Heaven customers gradually settled back into watching and listening to me. Kithandra must have considered me a threat to her fame, or the direct reason for her loss of attention, because she was very quick to develop a rivalry with me that was never really returned. I felt no reason to compete with her, but never managed to get her cooperation. Part of me wanted to take her under my wing, try to show her how she could win her crowd back, but it was so clear she didn't want that. A few weeks later, I got a request for a private showing from one of my usual customers, Tayden. I always enjoyed dancing for him because he was friendly and comfortable, not like some other customers who asked for private shows. Usually, Tayden would ask me to come perform at a party or other social event, although he did occasionally call me to his home for private sessions. These were never awkward, and are certainly not what some people might expect from hearing a dancer discuss a "private session." He treated me like a friend, preparing dinner and drinks, and we would chat idly as I performed. I trusted him. I guess Kithandra knew that, or found out. My show with Tayden started out normally. After dinner, he asked me to perform a few dances I wasn't necessarily comfortable performing for him alone. I told him I was a little uncomfortable, but that I would do them anyway. He assured me I'd become more comfortable. I didn't. It all went downhill from there. The lights turned off and Tayden, a man I had spent so many hours with as a friend and peer, made an advance on me. I refused, and he promptly shoved me off balance, forcing me against the wall. I made an attempt to struggle, but it was ineffectual. He simply overpowered me. I think I may have suffered a mild head concussion when he slammed me against the wall. The next few moments are very blurry for me. But he kissed me, touched me. I sobbed for him to stop. All he would tell me was how beautiful I was. Gorgeous, he called me. Beautiful, breathtaking, stunning; but it was I who couldn't breathe, I who was stunned. My eyes remained closed for the duration of the encounter. Unable to retaliate, I kept my eyes shut, desperately waiting for the night to end. I lost track of time in that darkness; maybe I blacked out. When I came to, the encounter had ended. It was almost too dark to see anything at all. But within that hall of black, after I had given my eyes sufficient time to adjust, I managed to make out several large pin-up posters of Kithandra on Tayden's walls. My body ached, but I knew I had to get out. My hands grasped at my surroundings, dragging me along the carpet and pulling me to the wall. I propped myself against it, enduring a struggle with my body as though it despised me for allowing this to happen. Forcing myself to my feet, I limped along the wall and found my way to the door, stumbling outside into the piercing cold of night. My unclothed body shivered in the cold, but I mounted my speederbike and rode home regardless. I tried to carry on with my life as normally as possible after that. I told no one. I constantly felt drained and exhausted, and wept my way through the nights. My work began to suffer as a result. My normally loyal patrons began watching Kithandra instead, and it seemed that suddenly I had become the one who wasn't good enough. Rumors began to circulate around Breath of Heaven about the incident. When they finally reached me, I learned that Kithandra had instigated the rumors, and that Tayden had become somewhat a personal muscle man for her. My blood boiled. That was my last performance at Breath of Heaven. When I went home, I borrowed armor, knucklers and rifles from my eldest sister, Aleyna. I began to train with them under Aleyna's mentorship, and quickly grew very proficient with them. Whenever she raised a question about my sudden interest in combat, I simply told her I wanted to learn to protect myself. That wasn't entirely false, after all. Then the night came. I drove back to Tayden's residence and hid myself some distance away, keeping in sight of the only entrance to his house. Watching, waiting. I laid still for hours, with practically no movement, staring down the scope of my sister's rifle. Eventually I heard the unmistakable sound of engines approaching. I reveled in this moment. Tayden parked his vehicle outside his house, and the moment he stepped into full sight, I crippled him. Two dead-on shots struck his legs as he collapsed to the ground. I could feel his fear, and it only fueled me further. My heart pounded against my chest, dumping adrenaline into my veins. My surroundings blurred, except this time it wasn't from head trauma. I slowly approached him, every slow step more glorious than the last. Finally I stood over him, towering over his now handicapped body, watching him stare at me in fear. I leveled the barrel of the rifle at his head, and removed my helmet. "You..." he uttered. "Yeah. Me." In that cold, fateful night, I executed him. Kithandra must have found out, as she never showed up again at the Breath of Heaven. Eventually the building fell into disrepair and its patrons filtered out due to a lack of performers. I continue to hunt, honing my skills until I may find the target my rifle rightfully seeks. Until that day, I shall not return to music. I shall not return to dance. My name is Watermarke Calanel. I am a bounty hunter.