Many Thanks To
Jade Ayn, funkyqueengirl, Lau-ra Anu, and my father for beta-reading and moral support.
Even before Urr'ror'rosh had given the order, the rest of his scouting party was ready. No one entered the territory of the Tusken Raiders and lived if discovered by them, and the territory of the Sand People was basically the entire planet of Tatooine.
Urr'ror'rosh had spotted the intruder as soon as he landed his craft in the desert. The intruder obviously did not know Tatooine well, or otherwise he would have thought twice about landing in the midst of the desert. In the cities of the other invaders that now blighted the land of the Tusken Raiders at least he would have had others to help defend him against the Sand People. Out in the open deserts however he was on his own, and that could be fatal, and it would, as far as Urr'ror'rosh and his scouts were concerned.
It would be done in the same way as the four always handled lone enemies. Urr'ror'rosh and his two fellow warriors would sneak closer to the enemy's back and cut him down with their gadderfii sticks, while Ru'rrol'urr would keep them covered with his rifle.
It was so easy to sneak through the desert for Tusken Raiders. How could it not be, since they lived their entire lives in the barren, sand-filled canyons? The suns were high and baking, and to the Tusken Raiders' advantage, since their positions would not allow the intruder to spot their shadows when they got close to him.
The three Sand People silently moved past the intruder's spaceship. After the being was dead they would loot the craft, looking primarily for weapons and water. It was a large ship, so Urr'ror'rosh had high hopes for their reward this day.
Taking his mind off dreams of the spoils of the victors and putting it back on the task at hand, Urr'ror'rosh gestured at his companions. They spread out, so that if the intruder spotted them he would have to defend himself from three directions at once, as the other two warriors would circle him. Urr'ror'rosh cast a quick glance at the nearby ridge where Ru'rrol'urr was lying in wait with his rifle. The sniper made a veiled gesture, assuring Urr'ror'rosh that he was ready for action.
The Sand People moved closer, their gadderfii sticks held firmly in their hands. A single, quick swing should be more than enough. Few beings had survived a blow from the strong Tusken Raider, and the short, robed invader did not look like he would be more of a challenge than a child.
The weight of the heavy weapon felt reassuring, though Urr'ror'rosh had no need for reassurances. He was a warrior, a killer, so why would he feel doubts? There were three possible outcomes: the being dying without even seeing Urr'ror'rosh, the being dying a split second after spotting Urr'ror'rosh, or the being spotting Urr'ror'rosh in time, trying to run or fight (it did not matter which) and then dying.
That he potentially could be killed himself did not cross Urr'ror'rosh's mind. He was a warrior, and thus death would find him sooner or later. Worrying about it was futile. Yet some said that Tusken Raiders were easily startled. That was only one side of the case. To Urr'ror'rosh's people death was not something to be feared, yet there was no need in suicidal bravery. Faced with a superior enemy, like the mighty krayt dragon for instance, most Sand People would choose flight over combat. Not because they feared death, but because certain death would prevent them from fighting another day.
With but eight feet to go before he was close enough to crack open the intruder's skull, Urr'ror'rosh assessed the foe. The small being would hardly prove even the slightest challenge. It was about five feet and a half tall, and wore a heavy, black robe, obscuring its form. It might have hidden weapons under the cloth, yet they would do it no good. It was hard to use a weapon when one's skull was broken to fragments.
The creature was either stupid or careless. It had from the moment that the Tusken Raiders had begun sneaking in on it been completely motionless, staring at the far away cities that other invaders called home, not even bothering to look over its shoulder once. Maybe it was meditating. Maybe it was just bored. Or maybe it was so arrogant and cocky that it did not expect anything to happen to it. The reason did not really matter to Urr'ror'rosh, who had had an easy time closing in on the intruder.
Three feet left. Urr'ror'rosh moved like a serpent, not making any sound at all. His two fellow warriors had stopped a few paces back, letting Urr'ror'rosh have the honor of making the fatal strike, as it was his privilege as the senior warrior among the band.
He moved an inch at a time, blocking everything else out. There was just him and the victim. The fingers of his left hand locked around the handle of his gadderfii stick, as he grabbed it with both hands for additional leverage. He slowly raised the weapon, then moved it to his right and back, to get a perfect swing at the unwitting foe's head.
For a brief second he just stood there, as unmoving as the intruder, letting the feeling of exhilaration before a kill flow through his body, intoxicating his mind. His fingers unclenched for a second, then locked around the handle. His muscles tensed, his teeth gritted, and he drew in air.
Urr'ror'rosh swung the weapon with a roar of battle, cleaving the air in half. To his surprise he did not hit the victim, who was now directly above him, completing his flawless somersault. Urr'ror'rosh was still staring in stunned perplexity when two crimson blades of energy came to life in the prey's hands.
The alien invader landed gracefully in the sand, his staff of bright red energy striking so fast that Urr'ror'rosh barely realized the movement had taken place. Then Urr'ror'rosh fell backwards, collapsing into the sand. He was dead before his head touched the ground, a second before his body, and his empty eyes did not see the intruder cut down his two companions as if they were children, nor did he see how the alien calmly parried Ru'rrol'urr's precise shot with one of his blades, sending the blaster bolt straight back into the face of the surprised Tusken Raider.
Darth Maul coolly switched off the blades of his lightsaber, not even bothering to look at the four dead Tusken Raiders. He had important work to do without being inconvenienced like this.
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