Episode VII: Escape from Peril
An Original Screenplay
INT. TOWNOWI CAVE SYSTEM - CAVERN
Artoo's light illuminates the huge cavern. Only a thin bridge connects the two sides, with fierce updrafts on either side of them. Hanging from the ceiling are several large stalactites. The group enters, with Minch starting to move around as if sensing something.
[I don't like the smell of this place.]
What'd he say?
He says he doesn't the like room.
I don't sense anything.
They continue onto the bridge, but after a few steps, Minch stops.
[Forget it.] Danger.
What's in here?
Ignore him, he's faking.
Ben stops and concentrates.
No, I do feel something. It's faint but-
Fine, it's faint. Let's keep moving.
Minch turn and starts to walk back the way they came, tugging at the rope connecting him to Artoo.
No way. [You want to die, be my-]
Kane shoves his lightsaber in Minch's face.
Minch looks at him blankly and walks back past Artoo, swatting him.
Move fast droid.
The group begins to cross the bridge when Minch sees a large swatch of bioluminescent lichens on the side of the bridge. His eyes light up.
He smiles and starts to try and scrape them off the side.
What's he doing?
Kleamins are a delicacy. Worth quite a bit since they only grow in the deep caves.
Ben grunts and walks towards Minch.
Come on, we don't have time.
Ben tries to pull Minch along, but he recoils.
I saw something move.
Kane and Ben look to where she's pointing. One of the stalactites is missing. Minch continues to reach for the kleamins. Suddenly from the other direction, something swoops in between them, almost knocking the group off the ledge.
He motions for Thenna to stay put as he and Kane jump back, igniting sabers, holding them at the ready. A bluarg, a long and slender blind creature, with a head a mass of feelers, snout, and teeth, all on a short armor plated neck, swoops down on large leathery wings. It aims its wide clawed feet at Ben who dodges it, and slicing at the creature.
[I told you!] Stupid Jedi boys!
You’re the one who stopped, you greedy little-
A second bluarg takes a swipe at Kane.
There’s two of them!
Minch forgets the kleamins and starts to head for the other side of the cavern, Artoo quickly following him. They almost make it when the second bluarg comes at them. It hits Minch and knocks him off the edge. The tether saves him, but the impact pulls Artoo off balance. The droid falls but shoots a grappling hook out of his dome.
The boys doing their best to fight off the first Bluarg as the group moves towards the other side.
Artoo tries to pull himself up, but Minch is climbing up the tether, making it difficult. He grabs onto Artoo’s foot, and Artoo tries to shake him off.
Artoo makes it to the ledge, but Minch falls again, jerking Artoo and almost breaking the grappling hook. The second bluarg lands on the bridge. It extends its neck, face biting at Minch, who reveals retractable claws. He jabs at the bluarg, stabbing into the feelers on its face. The bluarg roars and bites at the tether, snapping it. Minch quickly grabs onto an armored plate on the bluarg’s neck and swings himself onto Artoo’s leg as the bluarg spreads it’s wings and glides under the bridge on an updraft.
Back above, the other bluarg has landed in front of Thenna and Ben, cutting them off from Kane. Ben tries to hit it with his lightsaber, but it dodges and knocks Thenna off the side.
Kane, positioned behind the Bluarg, begins to strike, but the bluarg whips it’s head around, neck stretching towards Kane’s face. He yells in shock and slices off the feelers on the right side of the bluarg’s face. It retreats, leaping into the air and flying off into the darkness.
Meanwhile, Artoo and Minch have climbed back onto the bridge. Kane begins to peer into the darkness, worried. Ben walks up to him, placing his hand on his brother’s shoulder.
She’s out there somewhere. I think.
Kane begins to speak when they hear Thenna screaming. Both bluargs return, Thenna holding onto the one that attacked Minch earlier. Its face is bleeding, and it isn’t flying very well. The other bluarg is in worse shape, unable to sense anything to it’s right. It drunkenly heads for Kane.
Thenna, meanwhile, is doing her best to stay on top of her bluarg. She climbs towards its face, using the bony plates on its neck to keep her grip. She ducks as it goes under the bridge, almost taking her head off, but manages to make it. The creature extends its neck to bite at Minch, when Thenna notices the soft flesh under the plates. She reaches under and grabs. The creature screams and changes direction.
The other bluarg attempts to attack Ben and Kane who swings his saber hard. He misses, almost falling off the bridge.
We have to help Thenna.
Go, I can handle this.
Are you sure?
Kane glares at his brother.
I’ll be fine – just go!
Ben runs to Minch and Artoo as Thenna’s bluarg swoops overhead. She tries to steer it, but it heads towards the wall of the cavern.
Thenna looks back at Ben.
Are you out of your mind?
Trust me – jump!
Thenna closes her eyes for a moment and them jumps off the bluarg. Ben concentrates and tries to guide her with the Force. Thenna begins to drift to the ledge. Her bluarg hits the side of the wall, distracting Ben. Thenna drops, smacking the rock ledge.
She glares at him.
I’m beginning to lose my faith in the Jedi.
I’m only an apprentice.
Behind them, Kane keeps trying to fight off the bluarg attacking them. It makes passes over his head, biting at him. Kane attempts to judge its movement. It makes a turn in the air and comes right at him, when Kane leaps over it. He spins and slices off the creature’s head. It thumps as he lands, cheering.
Kane looks at his brother, smiling, when the bluarg’s body crashes behind him, smashing through the bridge. The shock causes Kane to lose his balance. He falls backwards, grabbing onto the bridge with both hands. He pulls himself back up as his saber plunges into the darkness.
Ben runs and grabs him. The boys with Minch and Artoo, head towards Thenna as the bridge begins to crumble. The sounds of the rocks smashing down echoes throughout the cavern. Every stalactite begins to shake, revealing that they are all, in fact, bluargs, now awaking. The four companions reach Thenna and they run for the next cavern.
A male bluarg, larger, and with a horn, comes up behind them. The five run through the small tunnel leading to the next cavern. Minch pauses, seeing kleamins on the inside of the wall. He stops as the others pass him into the next cave. Kane pauses, grabs Minch and pulls him along as the male bluarg punches his head through the opening. It growls, yanks it’s head out, and flies away.
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