Short and Sweet, or Quick and Nasty: When Only Once Won't Do: Qwi Xux's Untimely Death, Again
by UNKNOWN! (Again! Gasp!)

In summer 1996 a spontaneous challenge arose on the Club Jade mailing list: Write a story in which you kill an original character created by (or movie character perverted by) Kevin J. Anderson (author of The Jedi Academy trilogy and Darksaber and favorite victim of CJ snark.) Poor Qwi. Again. Giggle.

'This will be wonderful!' Qwi thought to herself as she spread the tablecloth on the ground, humming lightly. She had left a message with one of crewmates--or whatever those pilots called themselves--for Wedge, and expected him to be here shortly.

Sure, the planet was remote, and people said it was hostile--but that would only make it more exciting! There were the most beautiful native flowers here, and a brook bubbled happily along, not too far from the picnic spot. It was idyllic...almost ethereal.

She placed the food carefully on the cloth, and scrutinized it; all his favorite food, though it was too greasy for her tastes. 'Oh well, that'll just be one more thing to change,' she thought, contented. She was taking the tableware out of the basket when she felt something slide into her back, creating an indescribable pain. Qwi looked down to see an arrowhead protruding from her chest.

"Oh dear," she sighed, and fell face first into the po' tato salad.

Two strange, small creatures burst suddenly into the clearing, shrieking at the top of their lungs, obviously triumphant. Their cries died down, however, when they caught sight of their prize. If their conversation could have been understood by human ears, it would've sounded like this:

"Dangnabbit, Jed! You SAID this was the Queen!"

"Hey, it looked like her from behind those bushes! I coulda sworn it was the Great Bird." The smaller one shook his head.

"Well, now what?" The elder scratched behind his ear.

Jed pondered it awhile. "We c'n say SHE'S the Great Bird! Who'd know? No one ever seen the Bird."

"That be the truth." It didn't take long to convince them, and soon they were toting her carcass back to their people.

Days went by, and Wedge finally came, having just received the message from the janitor, who'd been on vacation. He found the picnic site, the food rotting and spoiled. Distantly, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him, and turned to see four small hairy creatures, all wearing blue feathers. One piped up in broken Basic, "You look for someone?"

"Yes," Wedge sighed gratefully. "She's a woman, about my height, answers to the name of Qwi Xux?" The aliens shook their heads. Wedge narrowed his eyes, and asked, "Where did those feathers come from?"

"Great Bird we hunt, has these...feathers." It shifted nervously, but the others nodded their heads in agreement. Wedge shrugged his shoulders, figuring it was just a coincidence. He trekked back to the waiting X-Wing, and the aliens headed back to their home, hoping to get some more of the Great Bird before it went bad.