Shadows In The Black
Nikodemus Devlin has known hardship his whole life. Born at the height of The Clone Wars to unassuming merchant parents, he was orphaned at a young age when his family was caught in the crossfire between The Separatists and the Grand Army of the Republic. Not knowing which side fired the shots, Nik grew up resenting Droids and the Galactic Army with equal measure. Left to fend for himself, he learned very quickly that only the strong survived.
He became a street rat and a bully. Picking on anyone and anything smaller than himself. While he was already taller and stronger than the other urchins, he did not often socialize with them unless it was to knock someone’s teeth out over a crust of bread.
On the Galactic stage, the Grand Army of the Republic morphed into the faceless Imperial Army and Stormtroopers became a daily sight. Imperial occupation had begun.
Teenaged Nik, still harbouring his resentment, would take every opportunity to be a perpetual thorn in the local garrison’s side. He stole their speeder bikes, set off homemade flashbangs and created elaborate traps and pitfalls to cover their gleaming white armour in Bantha poodoo. He always managed to get away… until the day that he didn’t.
Tiring of the low level guerrilla war, the troopers set a trap and young Nik naively overconfident in his own abilities stumbled straight into it. A full squadron of Stormtroopers captured him and were preparing to execute him when a small, robed man wandering into the enclosed courtyard whistling all the while. He ignored the troopers’ demands to leave and in the blink of an eye he started killing them. The stranger flowed through them like water and cut them down without mercy.
In an instant the squad lay dead around them and Nik stared in awe. This stranger was small and scrawny, perhaps half Nik’s size and yet he’d laid low a whole squadron of Imperial Stormtroopers without even a scratch on his person. Nik had to know how he did it. He never got a chance to find out. The stranger clocked him senseless with the butt of one of the trooper’s rifles.
Nik awoke to a buzzing noise in his ears. He was on the floor of a small room without windows – No idea how long he’d been out. The floor was a luxurious dark hardwood covered by a plush rug. Everything smelled of money. As he regained his senses, he realized the buzzing noise was actually a man talking to him. He focused on the man and his words.
There was a pause, and the man looked over. Nik shivered as the ice blue eyes bore right through him. Nik knew that this man, whoever he was, was not to be crossed. In short order he was told that his activities were interfering in the man’s business, and that was unacceptable. However, he said that all tools have a use.
Nik, learned very quickly not to cross the man, whose name was Dragos Dusan. He grew up in Dusan’s fighting arena, under the tutelage of the whistling stranger, whom he refered to as Whistler. He spent many years doing bad things for Dusan and while he still enjoyed being the biggest and strongest, he resented not having his freedom.
Slowly, so as not to arouse suspicions, Nik quietly made arrangements during his brief freedoms to smuggle himself away from Dusan. Away from the Reach. Away from his past. Anywhere but here. He made contact with a Rodian named Grib who harboured similar feelings about Dusan and together they made their escape.