Star Wars: Rise of the Machines (To Chapter 10)

UF: Stories written by users, both fanfics and original.

Moderator: LadyTevar

User avatar
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 27270
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Star Wars: Rise of the Machines (To Chapter 10)

Post by NecronLord » 2007-10-26 04:44pm

Inspired by discussion of General Grievous' backstory, specifically the modifications made to his brain, and in general style by the Revenge of the Sith Novellisation, one of several infinities style alternate-histories I have planned...

I'll try and update this fairly often. But I don't really have as much time for fanfics as I once did, alas. No, I couldn't resist that title...


General Grievous.


General Genocide.

The bloody captain of the ‘droid menace that was touted as a bedside horror on a hundred thousand worlds to countless children, ‘go to bed, or General Grievous will get you’ was a refrain of exasperated parents, crèche leaders, hive masters and elder siblings across the entire galaxy.

His bone white fingers tapped at the armrest, one of the few compromises of the shuttle’s brutally functional interior, one he did not need. He couldn’t feel the Spartan hardness of the chair, and so it didn’t matter to him. He had no true sensual pleasures left in the real world.

From one of the few things that remained of his original body he looked out at the infuriatingly dignified captive that sat on the opposite seat. Chancellor Palpatine - the heroic defender of liberty against the mechanical horde.

That wasn’t quite believed by everyone, but even those who supported Grievous’ cause and opposed Palpatine’s respected Palpatine as ‘misguided’ as much as they shunned talking about the crimes the monster had committed in their name. The ‘crimes’ they wanted done but loved to distance themselves from. Cowards.

Outside, the greatest battle that had ever burnt the galaxy swirled, mingled and tangled under force shields and gravity generators. The shuttle and its extensive escort had a planned escape route, kept clear by the Confederate ships. So far, it was unknown to most enemy commanders that the Chancellor had been captured, and so they would return to the Invisible Hand, Grievous’ flagship, without significant incident.

In time for Count Dooku, leader of the Confederacy Grievous served, to set his stage for the ‘show’ he had planned. Grievous didn’t know every specific of it, but he knew enough to satisfy him. Dooku, and his master, whose identity Grievous often wondered at, had planned every detail of this affair…

Then something none had foreseen or planned for happened, as if the hand of a capricious ancestor deity from Grievous’ home world of Kalee had intervened.

A streak of crimson, the very periphery of an attenuated capital-scale ion cannon bolt from a well-worn and heavily refitted Dreadnaught class heavy cruiser of the Coruscant defence fleet, directed off its intended vector by an error created by a hasty repair by an astromech ‘droid, washed through the shuttle’s walls, overloading its shields instantly, causing lightning to blaze from every terminal and across every droid on board, killing many and disabling all. It did little better for the chancellor, as sizzling searing energy tore into him, though, by some strange miracle or witchcraft he maintained consciousness.

For Grievous, the world faded.
Last edited by NecronLord on 2008-06-23 06:36pm, edited 10 times in total.
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer-'s resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth

User avatar
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 27270
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Post by NecronLord » 2007-10-26 04:44pm

Chapter 1: Free Will

Pain consumed the cyborg general’s mind, twisting and turning like asps inside his cold skull as mechanical implants burnt and flared inside him. He thrashed as the enhancements that let him control his body struggled. They were well made, masterworks, and they were partly insulated from the effects of the blast within a faraday cage of a skull and carefully earthed systems.

But there could be no complete protection from such a jolt.

He found himself able to move, after a time, almost cohesively, his feet felt leaden, and his arms, strange. He knew why, the cybernetic parts of his brain were damaged, and his motor functions had been cut down to functioning the way they had been intended to by the genetic legacy of the kalee. He could move some fingers, in no particular order, and he could see; thankfully, he hadn’t had his eyes concealed or replaced with augmented machine equivalents, but he could no longer hear what the Chancellor was saying to him.

The cyborg moved, gingerly, taking vital moments to work out just how, and ignoring his ‘injuries’ as the tri-winged shuttle coasted upwards on its momentum. It hadn’t achieved escape velocity, though, and he could only hope that, as he drifted about inside it, someone would be astute enough to take him under tow, or the whole plan was useless.

He tried to say something, and found that he only coughed, racking phlegm around inside the shrivelled remains of his organs. He detested the machine body he inhabited more than ever, cursing it in his native and long destroyed tongue. He tore the inert pilot droid from its cockpit, an inefficiency that he found fully justified on this occasion, and glowered through the darkened windows at the swirling melee of starship and fighter aimlessly milling in layers above him.

Vulture ‘Droids and tri-fighters seemed to be losing the battle against pursuing republic craft, and he realised that his fate hung on the skills of rather incompetent ‘droids up against jedi pilots… Sobering.

He tried the controls with little hope, and then simply sat, looking at Palpatine in the rear compartment now and then to ensure that he didn’t get up. He seemed to be insufferably smug, and Grievous felt a sudden urge to tear his jaw off to quiet whatever it was the man was saying, and demand an account of the crimes of the Republic. Excessive attacks directed at civilian populations, (provided they were separatists, of course) and ‘Base Delta Zero’ solutions to sieges. For that matter, the republic had been more than draconian in the past, its taxation of trade routes causing vast famines of nightmare proportions and food surpluses on the mid-rim. Not that the more prosperous worlds cared.

Then, in Grievous’ imagining, Palpatine replied, accusing him of his own, personal crimes. Plagues and bombardments and deliberate ‘culling’ of ‘surpluses’ on captured worlds.

Grievous vividly remembered Embariel, an ecumenopolis of a core world he had taken. He’d simply installed an array of shields on it, and evacuated most of his armies. The republic had spent weeks retaking the world, held by a mere few million droid soldiers, to find an entire population starved and surviving only on cannibalism in a perverse mirror of the Trade Federation’s original secession accusations. Even his own people – how long was it since he had even considered what had been done to them, rather than the enemy and his hatred? – had starved thanks to the republic and its corruption.

It had been hilarious to watch the Holonet recoil and fear that had ensued. It had kept him entertained whenever he thought upon it.

It failed to amuse him now, in this situation, trapped behind shields himself, helpless, with only a hypocritical, ignorant old man for company. And he was an old human at that.

Perhaps he would die like this, he thought.

And that thought brought him no fear. Ignominious it would be, but at least it would not be as bad as it could. He could be captured, and have that supercilious pompous ass lording it over him in some Republican show trial. That would be intolerable. Fortunately, he could kill himself quite easily if he wished. The prospect had an appeal. All he would need to do would be to reach inside and squeeze at the right point, and then fall asleep.

He coughed, again, trembling in place. He wondered if it was audible. Probably. The chancellor turned to look at him, looking out beyond the window, and smiled. Calmly, Grievous turned to look at the chancellor’s rescuer and found only a vulture droid beyond, latched onto the blunt face of the ship, pulling it towards the Invisible Hand.

He was surprised, but felt no joy in his rescue.

It was only a subtle look of distaste and yet it stung. Count Dooku looked at Grievous as he collapsed onto the floor outside the shuttle, letting several fresh magnaguards – his personal retinue of warrior androids – bear him away, while others surrounded a pair of jedi fighters that had been captured after a failed effort to capture the shuttle.

Grievous approved greatly of Dooku. Admired him and his teachings, although it occurred to him that Dooku was, in his way, every bit the hypocrite that Palpatine was. Speaking kindly to everyone, genteel and sophisticated, inspiring and cajoling the Confederacy’s Leaders, when at the same time assuring Grievous that they would be disposed of in time.

It didn’t matter who the man was lying to – though grievous had never previously questioned the truth of his words. The grimy, industrial ceiling passed overhead, and the cyborg’s armoured limbs twitched fitfully.

The surgery was cleaner, stark grey medical ‘droids in stark grey rooms. Grievous just glared at the multi-limbed ‘droids as they worked, he could do little but wait for them to restore his vocoders, one of which had already been damaged in the battle on the planet anyway.

He had little idea how the battle was going.

A DD-13 ‘chopper’ ‘droid fiddled with the general’s limbs, doing quite what, he didn’t know, while another replaced elements of his chest mounted life support systems to compensate for combat damage, and a third medical ‘droid, an ADK series, twitched agitatedly behind him, attempting to replace one of the vanes on the side of his head, in the hope that it would allow him to communicate; the droid thinking had prioritised the wireless command communications over vocalisation. Which was probably just as well, Grievous decided.

It worked.

We will require some time to manufacture components to restore full functionality to your arms…

Not immediately relevant. Can I walk?” he replied.

Replacing some of the Geonosian control components has been difficult. We believe so.”

Grievous stood, brushing the ‘droids away, “Vocoder?

That element is no longer operative. We have no appropriately sized replacement. Similarly, restoration of hearing will require considerable realignment of neurons, several days at least.”

Grievous flattened the vanes on the sides of his head back, and stepped out of the room, not noticing that he had accidentally crushed a deck plate in his foot-talons. His motor control was no longer what it had been. He opened a channel to the Invisible Hand’s sizeable droid brain, “Send a protocol droid to the bridge,” he said, watching his elite guard ‘droids fall in behind him as he walked out of his medical chamber, towards a turbolift guarded by half a dozen dedicated destroyer ‘droids.

A crimson protocol droid with a pinched head with a glowing silvery-white slit for eyes bowed ever so slightly.

Greetings, General. I am CIS-3” the droid said.

Grievous almost ignored it, walking toward the aft of the ship, “you are capable of relaying your auditory data to me?

Yes, exalted General…

Good. Follow…

The general trotted down the steps of Count Dooku’s quarters, in what had previously been his own, but replaced with a veritable arena for this battle. His duranium toes wrapped around the leading edge of each step, and he propelled himself across the floor, followed by his magna-guards and Sisfree. He stood at one of the low tables dotted with control switches and tapped out a key sequence to begin recording, and glanced up over to the front of the bay, with its windows.

If Dooku wanted to be out of this propaganda transmission, that was his prerogative…

“The General suggests that you retire from view…” Sisfree said officiously, and Dooku gave a supercilious glance, and then backed off to the other end of the chamber. Grievous activated the transmitters of the Invisible Hand. From there the signal was relayed to Munificent class frigates acting as repeaters, to the planet below, the Republic ships still pouring into orbit, the distant world of Murkhana, and dozens of other locales, to be repeated and broadcast to the galaxy at large, interrupting civilian holonet transmissions and news reports.

Sisfree followed into the field of view. Doubtless most viewers would think it was simply an affectation that Grievous remained silent… “Peoples of the Galaxy. We are pleased to announce the capture of the criminal chancellor Palpatine of the Galactic Republic…”

Outside, on the hull of the Invisible Hand vulture ‘droid DFS-4181 swivelled its head, scanning the great panorama of the battle raging around the compact flagship. It and its compatriots had been specially equipped with a new form of missile containing yet more ‘droids. DFS-4181 had few thoughts not relating to the defence of the battleship, but those that it had were about these new missiles. They were fast, it knew, but beyond that, it couldn’t fathom why anyone would use these ‘Buzz-droids.’ They seemed counter-productive. 4181 would have preferred simple proton torpedos.

4181 didn’t know that the missiles had been arranged especially by General Grievous, to ensure that attacking vessels would be able to penetrate the Invisible hand’s defences.

It would have found it immensely irritating, and perhaps given up on the buzz-droid missiles entirely out of frustration.

But then, 4181 couldn’t understand why the Confederacy used anything but bulture ‘droids anyway. They were clearly superior.

PC-IH-S-92-d, Providence-Class Invisible Hand Security Patrol Ninety Two Droid D, stood waiting in the landing bay, walking this way and that, watching Tri-fighters come in, lock up to racks in the ceiling, and re-arm.

It was interesting, really. The ‘droid didn’t really think about much, but it liked the hangar bay. It was a wide open space with lots of things to see. There were other postings, like the lifts, or reactor housings, that were far less exciting.

The Recusant Class Destroyer Patriot Fist opened fire, its main batteries on its underside swivelling to rake one of the last Victory class destroyers of the Coruscant defence force. Dozens of turbolaser bolts flicked down at the enemy vessel, which retaliated, its own bolts doing far more damage to the Patriot’s shielding, a bolt sizzling between the fore and aft sections of the ship.

The Patriot wasn’t alone though. Another half dozen seperatist support destroyers were firing on the same target, which suddenly buckled and exploded, turbolasers ripping into it.

In a contradictory sense, the Patriot Fist was no more intelligent than the ‘droids it carried, even though its ‘brain’ was far larger. The separatists didn’t always trust their ‘droids, and for this reason, the ship was largely automatic, rather than self-aware.

More and more Republic ships were arriving every minute, though. Even as they destroyed one, two more appeared. Coruscant had been fun, but Patroit Fist rather wanted to be somewhere else now…

It had the impression that its organic crew wanted to be too.

General Grievous watched, leering and looming over the Chancellor of the republic as his interpreter listed the various crimes with which the chancellor was charged. He considered the irony of the fact that this supercilious politician had gained far more power than he would ever have had due to the war, scare-mongering and manipulating the corruption that was the Republican Senate to keep him in power.

He was using this war, now beginning to turn against him, better than Lord Sidious, whose motives, which had in the past led to numerous great victories, now seemed inscrutable. Why he particularly wanted to capture these Jedi, he didn’t know.

He would have to ask Sidious at the next opportunity.

“The trial of Palpatine,” Sisfree was saying, “Will be end of the Republic. What may have once been a valiant organisation is now hopelessly corrupt. Soon the war will end and the Confederacy of Independent systems will replace it with governance that respects and facilitates the rights of individuals and individual worlds, and governmental policies that do not prioritise Core worlds over the development of the rim.”

Grievous wanted to frown as he stalked away, shutting the holo-recorder down, that didn’t seem likely unless they could pull off a strategic turnaround. Still, he supposed such a morale defeat could turn into that. Providing, of course, that Dooku was up to the task of defeating what jedi would eventually penetrate the Hand’s defences. Remaining here so long to trap yet more jedi seemed negligent.

If the count failed, the personal danger overcome would make Palpatine’s political position all the stronger.

They would probably make him King.

IG-one-oh-one,” Grievous demanded. “Lift” he added, and the droid opened one of the turbolifts at the top of the tower.

“That could have had more threat…” the Count said archly.

“With respect, Most Illustrious Count, General Grievous wishes to remind you that it is against my programming to breach etiquette in such a manner.”

“Indeed,” the Count said archly, not deigning to look at the droid.

“If you will excuse us, the General wishes to excuse himself in order to attend to the battle.”

Grievous didn’t wait for a reply, stalking into the lift, followed by his guards, and waiting for the crimson droid to slip between the doors.

Make yourself useful…” Grievous said, tapping in an instruction to take them to one of the ship’s secure communications rooms. “And tell me what voice analysis systems you have.”

“The most advanced produced by the banking clan, General…”

Good… I have a suspicion…” he said, stepping out of the lift into an empty room, closing blast doors behind him.

It was no surprise that Lord Sidious could not be reached. This was often the case. Regardless, Grievous punched up the records function of the flagship’s communications, keyed in several codes, submitted a genetic scan, and leaned back as a blue-scanned figure in a cowl appeared, a recording of previous dialogue with the Seperatist leader.

Analyse and compare this voice with Chancellor Palpatine’s.

The figure spoke, repeating words of some time ago, ‘Regarding Coruscant, yes…’

“I’m not certain what is happening here. This voice however, matches the organic configuration of Chancellor Palpatine. It is either him, or a sophisticated duplication… The pitch and intonation are curiously different, but nonetheless…”

‘Your finest hour…’ the hologram said.

Oh yes, and his last; he had surely been sent here to perish, along with what remained of the Confederacy, while Palpatine arranged his own heroic rescue.

He reached down, and hesitated. Count Dooku was surely aware of this also; he had met Darth Sidious. Even claimed that Sidious was his ‘master.’

Which meant that… He had been present at each of the major ‘atrocities’ the confederacy had perpetrated, at least recently. Very visibly so, in fact.

Some things, he still could not imagine doing; butchering jedi children and demonstrating his power by killing civilians before them. He remembered the joy, or rather, the ghost of it, he had experienced in that moment. He felt no such joy right now.

Half a mile away, Chancellor Palpatine’s eyes flicked open. He turned to look at Lord Tyrannus standing nearer to the window, “He knows…” he whispered, “Kill him. Kill him now!”
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer-'s resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth

User avatar
Darth Tanner
Jedi Master
Posts: 1445
Joined: 2006-03-29 04:07pm
Location: Birmingham, UK

Post by Darth Tanner » 2007-10-27 08:18pm

Most excellent.

I particularly like the snippets from the various battle droids perspectives, the vulture droid criticizing the buzz droid missiles part especially.

One minor question, how is Grievous able to move after the shuttle is hit by the ion cannon, surely all his muscle controls are robotic.
Get busy living or get busy dying... unless there’s cake.

Pathetic Attention Whore
Posts: 5470
Joined: 2003-02-17 12:04pm
Location: Bat Country!

Post by darthdavid » 2007-10-27 09:40pm

It said in the story. He's very well put together so not everything burnt out and once it had a chance to reboot he was able to regain limited functionality.

User avatar
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 27270
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Post by NecronLord » 2007-10-28 06:56am

Darth Tanner wrote: One minor question, how is Grievous able to move after the shuttle is hit by the ion cannon, surely all his muscle controls are robotic.
Mmm. He was barely able to move at that stage, partly because he's a tremendously expensive super-hardened piece of military technology, partly because of luck. They've restored basic function later, but he still can't do any of the really impressive stuff like flying around on repulsorlifts or using his four arms seperately. He's pretty much restricted to moving as a Kalee would. And for now, he can't speak, of course... They've basically got the life support and gross motor functions stuff working, and the comlink antennae on the sides of his head, too.
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer-'s resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth

User avatar
Chris OFarrell
Durandal's Bitch
Posts: 5724
Joined: 2002-08-02 07:57pm

Post by Chris OFarrell » 2007-10-28 08:18am

And a Sith Lord on the way to ensure a certain secret or two doesn't get out...

Very very interesting setup here. I await updates with great interest....

User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10888
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Post by Crazedwraith » 2007-10-28 08:24am

Interesting Story. Though It seems Greivous is in deep shit, now. Damaged and with a Sith Lord gunning for him? Bad combination.
To the brave passengers and crew of the Kobayashi Maru... sucks to be you - Peter David

User avatar
Noble Ire
The Arbiter
Posts: 5938
Joined: 2005-04-30 12:03am
Location: Beyond the Outer Rim

Post by Noble Ire » 2007-10-28 12:14pm

Very nice. I like the concept, and your writing is satisfyingly polished. :)
The Rift
Stanislav Petrov- The man who saved the world
Hugh Thompson Jr.- A True American Hero
"In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope." - President Barack Obama
"May fortune favor you, for your goals are the goals of the world." - Ancient Chall valediction

User avatar
The Grim Squeaker
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10280
Joined: 2005-06-01 01:44am
Location: A different time-space Continuum

Post by The Grim Squeaker » 2007-10-28 04:05pm

Very nice :).
I thought you'd have Grevious abducted by Necrons or a Terminator crossover (what with the title and all), but a Star Wars AU is fine by me when done so well :wink:
Genius is always allowed some leeway, once the hammer has been pried from its hands and the blood has been cleaned up.
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

User avatar
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 27270
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Post by NecronLord » 2007-10-30 06:02pm

Chapter 2: The Three Pillars

The droid general glanced down. This begged the question of what the Sith Lords were doing now.

He pressed a sequence of keys to summon internal security system footage, and watched as a hologram dissolved, replaced with a panoramic view of the observation spire’s interior. With Palpatine/Sidious still seated, everything seemed in order.

He was speaking to Dooku, which was also, hardly incriminating. Dooku turned, and began walking away, drawing his lightsabre. The general knew what he was up to. Jedi had confounding extra-sensory perception, Sith Lords even more so.

He had never truly defeated Count Dooku in many sparring matches. He knew that he had no chance of overcoming him if they fought.

On the other hand, the Kaleesh sage-warrior Arathes had once said that any enemy could be overcome if one 'leaned on the three pillars of triumph,' and this was a belief Grievous had never had disproved yet. This would perhaps be that belief’s ultimate test.

He was scared.

He looked down to see his left hand shake. It was curious, to see a ‘droid arm tremble so. He slammed it down hard, and the motors in the elbow slammed his duranium hand through the console, flaring sparks of lightning bouncing off the largely non-conductive armoured hand from a morass of pulverised circuit boards and wires inside.

The trembling had stopped, at least, as he wondered quite how he would perform if he tried to fight like this. With a start, he remembered that he would have to act quickly.

He thought of the second ‘pillar’ and a though came to him…

Count Dooku stepped into the square, functional lift, and smiled as the doors whooshed silently shut. He would find it quite refreshing to be able to be the one to rid the universe of the disgusting creature Grievous.

Even if he had disagreed with his master’s reasoning, he didn’t think to question Lord Sidious’ wisdom. His master was right, of course. This could work to their advantage. He had planned that, when Skywalker ‘defeated’ him, he would only then learn the depths of ‘Separatist Iniquity.’ But now, he could preserve even more of his dignity.

It was simple to explain away. He had learnt the truth from Palpatine – as a Jedi Master, he could surely tell that the chancellor was speaking truthfully – and decided to kill the war criminal, one of many, of course, who had poisoned the separatist movement.

He had of course, succeeded. And then, after a brief show, for the sake of form, he would ‘surrender’ and eventually join the New Order, once the Separatists were eliminated. The Empire of Man that would replace the failing Republic with civilised values – his own values.

It occurred to Dooku that it could do no serious harm to have such material proof of his good intentions before his ‘captivity.’

If only the disgusting creature would have the grace to comport himself with some dignity while he was killed, this would be a charming interlude.

The first and most important ‘pillar’ was knowledge. To know your opponent, his capabilities, your own, and his character, how he would act, how he thought, how he would behave in defeat.

Leave the bay…” he broadcast to the ‘droids present in the landing bay, as he walked across it, toward the centre. “All of you. Yes, IG-one-oh-one, even you, he glanced over at Sisfree, “All except you. I still have use for you…

PC-IH-S-92-d turned instantly as soon as it received the signal, turning and immediately trooping towards the nearest exit along with its compatriots. It was interesting to see the maintenance ‘droids, the security ‘droids, even the fighters and MTTs, leaving, out of the ship, into the corridors, or even into pits in the floor.

It wondered what was happening…

Grievous reached down to his belt, to take one of the lightsabres from it. He held it before him, turning it over in his hand, examining it carefully, trying not to worry, trying to ensure that his enemy wouldn’t know his mind…

Of course, the worst thing he could do would be to focus on not thinking of something. That would register, he knew, as concealing something duplicitously. The general knew from experience that it was difficult to know how to respond to the threat of the strange powers wielded by the Jedi, let alone those of the Sith.

Dooku stepped into the landing bay of the great ship, glancing curiously one way then another, finding it strange to see it so deserted. Doubtless the ‘droid general had some plan, it was not in his nature to be foolish enough to fight a Sith Lord on his own.

Dooku turned, reaching out with the force to nudge a systems panel in the wall with the force, locking all the entrances to the bay. He wouldn’t have put it past the wretched creature to prime thousands of battle ‘droids to rush into the chamber as soon as Dooku was away from the doors.

He reached down and took his lightsaber from his belt, holding it at his side, his walk accompanied by the clumping footsteps of a pair of super battle ‘droids a few paces behind him. It would be good to fight here; they were surely being surveyed by republic craft; he supposed the ‘droid General wanted an audience as he died, he could empathise with that. If the creature knew he was to die, where better to do so than in the Grand Arena?

“General…” he said, “How uncharacteristic of you…”

“The General wishes to express regret that he has been feeling very much out of sorts for the past few years. Perhaps you know of it?”

Dooku smiled, “I see that your ‘droid has developed good sense of humour… It is hardly the only one to malfunction around here…” There was more than one way to cut a foe; he was rewarded with a sharp flinch from the bone-white cyborg general.

The translator ‘droid echoed the twitch, perhaps of nervousness, “Exalted Count, General Grievous has ordered me to tell you that, in his words; free will is no malfunction…”

“Is that so?” Dooku laughed, circling now, the ‘droid general twitched, lifting one leg, stepping to the side, echoing the movement, but without his usual grace, “I think you will find that the only will that matters is that of the force…”

The protocol ‘droid grew even more nervous and twitchy, “The General says that you are a coward who would… I don’t quite understand the idiom, but I believe it translates as ‘have others do his dirty work.’”

The count raised an eyebrow, “Such a slur is a matter of honour, and must be answered…” his lightsaber snapped on, a crimson blade emerging from the hilt.

Sisfree was trembling now, “Exalted Count, the General orders me to say that you obviously have no honour, and that your so called civility is only a veneer over the barbarity of your Sith learning –”

With a gesture, Dooku sent the droid flying across the landing bay. Such insolence.

Sisfree crashed headlong into the side of an MTT transport, and fell to the floor with a loud clatter. Grievous pressed the ignition stud on the short weapon of the Jedi master Jmmaar. He had been an enemy of the Kalee long before this war, a fact which made his weapon one of Grievous’ favourites.

A green blade burst from it, and, holding it one handed, Grievous brought it up in a sharp salute before him. Dooku smiled, and, from the distant audio receptors of the protocol droid, he could just about hear the Sith Lord speaking.

“A shame you have learnt some grace now that I must kill you. If we could make this quick, I must return to my master, and we both know you cannot withstand the power of the force…”

The second of the Pillars of Arathes, paradoxically easy to master and difficult to learn, was the adequate preparation of ground, or in the modern arena, environment. A master would fight on the territory of the enemy whenever possible, that the enemy’s infrastructure and people would suffer under the damage. This was an easily grasped concept yet one of great significance. A novice would have to learn all the intricacies of strategy and tactics to take advantage of it. From which buildings provided cover from slug-throwers to how best to site and guard a defensive installation.

Grievous had learnt it all.

He knew that ‘Tyrannus’ was correct. He needed no droid components to tell him that he had a negligible chance of overcoming this foe. So he had to make do with what advantages he had. How he could manipulate his environment and turn it against his attacker.

There was an irony, he thought later, in how he chose to do it. Dooku had engineered his condition, which he had turned to his advantage against the very same man.

He clamped the talons, razor toes, of his feet down, puncturing the deck plates, and sent a one-word signal. Now.

The ‘droids who responded did not know what they were doing; they would never have executed an order like it if they did. They could not act against the Head of State of the Confederacy.

The huge, specially expanded, basically square landing bay of the Invisible Hand was filled with the most terrible sound as two of its four walls simply disappeared. It had safeguard doors, of course, great doors that could close over in a second to preserve the atmosphere, but they had been ordered not to engage.

With such a large breach in an area of the ship, the pressure, Grievous had chosen his location to maximise its impact, of the air expanding to fill as much space as possible was enough to push anyone not securely tethered into the upper atmosphere of Coruscant.

Grievous’ feet were magnetic, but he was not able to use them at that precise moment, fortunately, though, his nerve pathways were able to operate the duranium toes of his… body.

The super battle ‘droids didn’t move, securely rooted by magnetic feet.

Sisfree, already on his back, was picked up and blown over the MTT, which was heavy enough to resist the pressure, as long as the gravity provided friction to counter it.

And Dooku, in a startled flutter of brown cape, was shot away from Grievous, shrinking moment by moment to disappear as he sailed out of the bay.

The power of the force, the General thought, not nearly as useful as an internal comlink. He laughed at his own joke, though without sound.

High in the darkened observation tower, the Emperor-elect of the Republic stood, with a thought, releasing his hands from the bonds he’d allowed to be placed on them. Far below, he could see twin columns of debris and crystallising atmosphere shooting from the sides of the ship.

Well, this was just… far too inconvenient for words. He had been considering bringing his lightsaber, but decided against it, on the off-chance that one of the battle ‘droids noticed it and decided to inconvenience him.

He supposed the whole mission was a loss now. While he would like to try and pitch Skywalker against the ship’s ‘droids and their leader, anyway, and hope for the best, it would doubtless not be long before this tower became a very dangerous place to be.

And he’d been so confident that this situation would resolve itself to his taste. In any case, it would be simple enough to explain. Count Dooku had turned, something that could be played upon to maximise his reputation for reason and rhetoric, liberated him, and distracted the murderous General Grievous while ordering the ‘droids to take the Chancellor to one of the escape pods. A simple enough story he could doubtless sell, and still use to send Kenobi to his Jedi-trap on Utapau, and be rid of one of them How to ensure that the Jedi were implicated in the long run, well, aside from the separatists’ occasional ‘interruptions’ he still had control of the galactic media. He’d think of something.

He shook his head in disappointment, and turned towards the lifts, taking off at a run…

Grievous bisected one of Dooku’s super battle ‘droids, which had reacted with a mechanical outrage to what they had witnessed. He turned, and chopped the blade through the head of another one.

IG-one-oh-two,” he said, walking over toward one of the massive cylindrical lifts to the ‘droid bays below, “Have them provide me with a shuttle and an escort. I am transferring my flag to the Acquisitor. Order the crew to evacuate, and deactivate helm controls. Then take my escape pod to the Acquisator. Begin full landing procedures. Dump every troop transport and shuttle, except the one I’m using, into space, and meet me aboard the Acquisitor.

“Also, order a vulture droid to retrieve my protocol droid. Oh, and send another to get Count Dooku’s lightsaber, it will make a fine addition to my collection…

It was habit, even with Magnaguards, more intelligent than most, to be extremely literal when giving orders to battle droids. He still remembered the time he had ordered a squad of B-1s to crush a jedi and they had obeyed by dropping their weapons and attempting to physically squeeze him to death.

Yes General,” the droid replied, “Should I also switch the main computer into counter-intrusion mode?.”

The turbolift ground to a halt, and the lights went out. Chancellor Palpatine frowned, pushing another button. It would be ironic if this was the work of the Republican fleet. With an exasperated shrug of his shoulders, he reached up, with the force, and blasted the roof of the lift clean off, sending a hand-span thick piece of metal sailing down the narrow lift tube. A deft leap to the top revealed a set of sturdy looking girders.

He wasn’t as concerned about appearance and elegance as his former student was, though, and leapt onto them, deftly grabbing hold, and considering his descent down the inclined spire.

Aboard the Lancrehulk class battleship, Acquisator which had been the occasional flagship of his predecessor, Sev’rance Tann, General Grievous stepped out of the faintly bug-shaped Neiomodian shuttle that had carried him under heavy escort from the Invisible Hand.

DFS-4181 bounced to a halt and switched to ‘walk’ mode, by the shuttle, opening its ‘claws’ and depositing the severed hand of Darth Tyrannus on the floor of the massive landing bay of the Lancrehulk. It was pleased with itself, and looked, despite its looming size, to the General like a domestic pet that had just delivered a kill to its owner. Grievous reached up and petted its oval shaped head, resulting in an excited chatter, before reaching down and taking the sword from its owner’s frozen hand, breaking off several of the fingers to do so.

Another Vulture droid bounded to a halt nearby, unceremoniously dumping the crimson protocol droid on the deck plates. “I hope you recorded all of that…” Grievous said.

Of course, General…” Sisfree replied.

Good. Download that information to the ship’s computer, and order it to be relayed to the Shadowfeed immediately…

The third pillar was context. Arathes had famously said ‘we are not machines, and must always remember that we fight for a purpose.’ It would be interesting to see how the galaxy reacted to the events just enacted in the landing bay being freely broadcast…

Fortunately, the droid armies would obey him, so he had nothing to fear, immediately, from the organic Confederate forces discovering that he had slain their leader.

And soon, it would not matter…

The clunk of an electrostaff hitting the deck was relayed to him by the droid, and he turned to regard IG-One-oh-two. “General. The Fifth Fleet of the Open Circle Armada has transmitted from hyperspace. General Kenobi has arrived.”

Good,” Grievous said, “Reiterate the order to the Invisible Hand defence flotilla. Discord Missiles only… Have you excecuted my other orders?

“Yes General…”
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer-'s resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth

User avatar
Battlehymn Republic
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1817
Joined: 2004-10-27 01:34pm

Post by Battlehymn Republic » 2007-10-30 06:30pm

This is bloody brilliant, especially the 'duel' between Grievous and Dooku. However, is the latter confirmed KIA? And will the former broadcast Sidious's true identity? I can hardly wait for Chapter 3.

User avatar
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 27270
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Post by NecronLord » 2007-10-30 07:19pm

Battlehymn Republic wrote:This is bloody brilliant, especially the 'duel' between Grievous and Dooku. However, is the latter confirmed KIA?
Yeah. He's an ex-Sith-Lord. I was thinking of putting a bit about DFS shooting the body out of paranoia, but I decided it'd be an extravance to explain the whys and the low-firepower shots and so on, and a bit pointless.
And will the former broadcast Sidious's true identity? I can hardly wait for Chapter 3.
For quite what's being broadcast, you'll have to wait.

In other news while looking stuff up, I've discovered the true height of Ryan Church's awesomeness... Seperatist Ship Bridge (Original Observation Deck?) General Grievous and fangirl... :shock: :wink: Ringed-Planet 1 Ringed-Planet 2... This is totally going to have to involve that Ringed Planet (along with the Great Weapon... Lookit the scale on those construction platforms!). Shame it didn't make it into the film; It has a magnificent sense of scale...

Ryan Church professional gallery
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer-'s resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth

User avatar
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6206
Joined: 2002-07-16 06:12am
Location: Western Australia

Post by Xon » 2007-10-31 06:29am

Hmm, nice fic. I definitely like the premise.

So any posibility of updates to your other fics? Or is the muse being fickle? :P
"Okay, I'll have the truth with a side order of clarity." ~ Dr. Daniel Jackson.
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." ~ Stephen Colbert
"One Drive, One Partition, the One True Path" ~ ars technica forums - warrens - on hhd partitioning schemes.

User avatar
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 27270
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Post by NecronLord » 2007-10-31 09:50am

It's likely. It's a matter of finding the time to do these things, though. I have outlines for the rest of the 40K one, and the sequel(s) to the SGA/SG1 one. But writing it all out in a decent form is troublesome.
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer-'s resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth

User avatar
Browncoat Wookiee
Posts: 15746
Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
Location: Deep beneath Boatmurdered.

Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2007-10-31 12:36pm

I noticed the inclusion of an IG-101 droid. Any chance something like IG-88 will show up?
Stuart: The only problem is, I'm losing track of which universe I'm in.
You kinda look like Jesus. With a lightsaber.- Peregrin Toker

User avatar
The Vortex Empire
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1586
Joined: 2006-12-11 09:44pm
Location: Rhode Island

Post by The Vortex Empire » 2007-10-31 03:13pm

Brilliant. I've always liked Grievous anyway, and the droids are funny. Seems that vulture droid was like a dog.

User avatar
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 27270
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Post by NecronLord » 2007-10-31 03:23pm

CaptainChewbacca wrote:I noticed the inclusion of an IG-101 droid. Any chance something like IG-88 will show up?
Grievous' magnaguards are IG-100 series. IG-88 was finally put into production later. However, they have a common lineage.
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer-'s resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth

User avatar
Stuart Mackey
Drunken Kiwi Editor of the ASVS Press
Posts: 5946
Joined: 2002-07-04 12:28am
Location: New Zealand

Post by Stuart Mackey » 2007-11-01 08:56pm

This is very well written and most enjoyable. I demand more.... please.
Via money Europe could become political in five years" "... the current communities should be completed by a Finance Common Market which would lead us to European economic unity. Only then would ... the mutual commitments make it fairly easy to produce the political union which is the goal"

Jean Omer Marie Gabriel Monnet

User avatar
Spice Runner
Jedi Knight
Posts: 702
Joined: 2004-07-10 05:40pm
Location: In a Garden State of mind

Post by Spice Runner » 2007-11-04 12:40am

Great work. Very interesting. I always like to read a general grievous fic.

Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2424
Joined: 2003-12-10 05:29am

Post by Murazor » 2007-11-04 05:18am

It is an interesting premise, fairly well written and if it is roughly in the same level of your other fics, it will prove to be a very enjoyable read.

It also mirrors some of my own ideas for my fic, which is a bit eerie.

User avatar
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 27270
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Post by NecronLord » 2007-11-08 05:06pm

Chapter 3: Heroes

Throughout the galaxy, almost every living soul was watching, helpless to interfere, wondering and questioning what precisely was happening.

Not long past, the transmission of the capture of Chancellor Palpatine had caused countless billions of people to despair and give up the hope they had kept for an end to the Great War. The Monster had captured the Chancellor. It was all over but the screaming and the final dark waters of oppression drowning all who even dared think of freedom.

Now, they saw something completely different, and for many, it was more terrible news. One such, of some importance, was Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo. One of the few people with a personal connection to the events transpiring only a few hundred kilometres above her head ,to one of her closest and longest standing friends and political allies.

She watched, as Count Dooku, a man for whom she had little love; she, unlike the vast majority of the galaxy’s citizens, knew all about his fall, squared off against the fearsome General. Perhaps, she hoped, the Count had recanted some of his commitment to the Sith, and would destroy the cyborg.

And yet, the words, between a clearly terrified ‘droid and Count Dooku, told a radically different story of events. She didn’t know how to take them. And yet, she knew they were true, for she already knew much of the involvement of the Sith, and Dooku’s Sith status.

The ending of the transmission, unexpected, brutal, and typically underhanded, made her gasp in surprise and dismay.

Dismay, because she knew that soon, her husband would be there. He would always be there. It was his nature, though sometimes he himself didn’t know it, to strive to protect others.

“Look at that…” Anakin said, as his jedi interceptor popped from the hypermatter-laden hyperspace booster ring, and he expertly flew through it. The newly arrived fleet was all around, and navigating through it was a job for experts. Ten kilometres off, a Venator class destroyer opened its landing deck to space and began to disgorge hundreds of slender fighters. Below, was one of the grandest and most terrible battles that the galaxy had ever seen. “Almost looks beautiful, doesn’t it?”

“If you ignore the desperation and the dying,” his wingmate said, dropping his own ship into a shallow glide across one of the other destroyers, “Arfour, scan for the chancellor’s beacon.”

General Obi-Wan Kenobi frowned as a reply came across the screen; too much signal interference for any lock…

“What about the Invisible Hand?” Anakin said.

“I’m guessing it’s still here somewhere… Over to the left, below us…”

“It’d better still be here…”

Grievous stepped onto the bridge of the Acquisitor, almost stomping with each step, he shoved a pilot droid out of the way, and stabbed at one of the consoles, opening his command and control subsystems to their full volume to survey the battle.

It was agonisingly painful, and, rather than the usual effective summary of action being undertaken by his units, he received an overwhelming impression of everything being reported at once, like a thousand million touches of stimuli, and listening to them all. He shut it down at once, but could not shake the impression that his ears were bleeding, even though he knew they were not.

Well, he hoped nothing was. That would become quite a problem if pressure were allowed to build up. He would just have to worry about it later. He had too much to do now, and the computer before him was being infuriatingly slow to give him what he wanted.

A tall and gaunt Neimodian walked up to him. “General… If you desire, we have a tactical survey room on deck six…”

It wasn’t worth it, he’d tried leading a battle from such a chamber before, when he’d learnt that, while the Neimoidians had more of a military tradition than most people imagined, they tended to design such things for show more than for actual use. The leaders of the Trade Federation had traditionally been quite happy to observe, rather than command.

But then, most of the founders of the Confederacy were like that. “If there is any other way I can be of help general…” Grievous raised one of his hands and waved the irritating and obsequious captain away.

Ah. There they were…

“Lock onto it Artoo. Master, General Grievous’ ship is dead ahead…” Anakin Skywalker looked up at the Invisible Hand ahead, “It’s the one crawling with vulture ‘droids…” he added helpfully.

“I see it,” General Kenobi confirmed, “Oh, this is going to be easy!” he said sarcastically.

“What are they doing?” Anakin asked, looking at the landing bay of the Invisible Hand, currently ejecting hundreds of the dull red elephantine MTT transports into space, where the hundreds of Vulture Droids on its hull showered them with energy torpedos until they broke up into showers of molten silver.

Obi-Wan allowed himself to become a little more at one with the Force for a moment, and suddenly he was the droids, and the ship, and the transports. “Well, there’s no one on board at least…”

“Maybe it’s some kind of trick… We’ll loop around to the other side… Ready Master?”

“Not this time,” Obi-wan said. “There’s too much at stake. Odd ball, do you copy?”

“Copy, Red Leader,” and Obi-Wan nodded in satisfaction that they’d at least broken through some of the all-consuming static.

“Mark my position and form your squad up behind me…”

“We’re on your tail, General Kenobi,” the clone pilot leader said, ordering his squad to set their stability foils in the higher-emissions but more effective attack position.

Ahead, the particle shields of the hangar bays dropped again, and the vulture droids were joined by sleek, menacing Colicoid designed tri-fighters, their four laser cannons spitting out flurries of blaster bolts that sparked against the molten MTT fragments as they cut a path through.

First a demi-squadron, then the rest of the squadron, then another, and another…

“I count ten squadrons…” Anakin said, “I think they know I’m here…”

Obi-wan was torn between groaning at the poor humour, and smiling at the return of some of the old cockiness and light heartedness in his former-Padawan’s voice. He did both.

“Watch yourself, this is going to be… tough…”

As if in response, the hundreds of droid fighters clustering on the hull of the star destroyer leapt into the air on their repulsorlifts and shot forwards, transforming into their own attack position.

“Simply wonderful,” Obi-Wan said, watching the rapidly approaching fighters bracketing them with fire so thick that his scope was was beginning to show nothing but laser fire.

“I’m on your right, Red Leader,” Odd Ball said, as the forward gunner of his heavy fighter began to open up on the approaching ‘droids, clipping the wing of a tri-fighter and sending it spiralling into its wingmate.

“Arfour, see if you can’t get some help…” Obi-Wan said, pirouetting his fighter to avoid a stream of fire from the Tri-fighters, whose crafty ‘droid brains were prone to the loose interpretations of orders that had been the sole preserve of living pilots at the beginning of the war - the squadrons on board the Invisible Hand were highly experienced - aimed at clipping his S-foils. “I don’t think so,” Obi-Wan said, neatly putting a laser bolt as long as his ship into the central reactor and brain housing of the ‘droid that had attacked him.

To his left, he saw the two survivors of first demi-squadron pass so close to Anakin that he needed to twitch his fighter to pass sideways between them.

“Far too close…” Anakin said, and pulled back for a moment, firing his ship’s repulsors in a tight cone to decelerate the ship, before pushing one foot forward to fire his afterburners and bring the ship back in line. A twitch of a trigger finger sent two precisely aimed ion bolts into the two fighters, milliseconds apart.

He hardly needed to think, with the force, it was as though he himself were moving the enemy ships around, like stones in sand, he knew exactly where they would go, and it was usually trivial to be where they wouldn’t be, and destroy them.

Unfortunately, there were still rather a lot of them.

A barrage of fire from the clone squadron on their right sent a dozen enemy fighters screaming off at all angles to avoid impacts, and he precisely picked half a dozen of those off with his laser cannons.

“You know…” he said… “I think they’re trying to miss us…”

Obi-wan sighed, looking at the wall of ‘droids that were beginning to swarm around them like shoals of carnivorous fish. As if they were listening to his apprentice, dozens of vulture ‘droids broke off from the main group and had their wings snap further apart.

“Missiles!” he said.

“Pull up!” Anakin said, pitching his Jedi interceptor around so quickly that he could hear the protesting squeal of over-taxed gyros, “I’ve spoken too soon again, haven’t I, Master,” he said, with joking contrition.

“I wasn’t going to say it,” Obi-Wan said, going in the opposite direction, Coruscant looming large ahead of him. The heavier, slower ARC-120 clone ships caught most of the missiles, which burst like pea pods moments before impact, bouncing yellow ‘balls’ skipping against the clone fighters’ white hulls, popping open, and latching on.

A dozen missiles or more blazed after Anakin, and he frowned, trying to think up the best way to be rid of them, or indeed, any way.

He doubled back, flying close against the corrugated hull of a damaged commerce guild destroyer… That would do.

R2-D2, his astromech, a gift from Padmé some nine months ago screeched in alarm as Anakin wrenched the fighter into a course parallel to the ship’s forward guns, flying between them, weaving along its underside, so close that the little ‘droid could feel the magnetic grapples on his feet interacting with the hull plating.

He squealed a line of ‘droid-speak.

“Oh, nothing,” Anakin said, and shot between the Patriot Fist’s lower gun batteries, so fast that there was no chance of them hitting him as they opened fire.

What they did do, though, was immolate roughly half of his pursuers.

Odd Ball’s rear-gunner, Janathra, looked over at the ship’s wings, and reached back, pulling a switch, and snapping the S-foils shut, pinning several of the ‘buzz ‘droids’ that swarmed the ship down. Pulling a full breather onto his helmet, he opened the cockpit.

The noise would have deafened him complexly, as the air of his rear cockpit rushed out into the upper atmosphere of Coruscant. The fighter, the entire battle, was hurtling along through the upper atmosphere of the great city planet.

Hefting a blaster carbine from a side compartment of the recon-fighter, he let loose with a power-pack draining barrage of high power bolts, scuffing the wings of the ship as he blasted pieces off the buzz ‘droids. A few rallied, turning their hemispherical outer shells towards the barrage and easily re-radiating the blaster energy.

Pulling at his straps, he shot a volley toward the legs of one of the leading ‘droids, and suddenly the noise-dampers on his helmet let in a little of the sounds. He turned, as one of the ‘droids scuttled toward him from behind, spindly arms thrashing eagerly.

PDIH-102-3-91 scuttled toward the rear crewman of the clone fighter, extending a circular saw towards his back. Suddenly, an error message came up. Orders specified non-lethal damage only for capture purposes. At that moment, the clone turned, wrenching his shoulder against the straps that held him, and opened fire.

The diminutive ‘droid’s last sight was of a blaster bolt headed toward its central eye.

Anakin dived his interceptor between the hexagonal engines of the Patriot Fist, vulture ‘droids roaring after him, letting streams of laser bolts flash by on either side of him. He pulled his ship into another tight turn, the wings of his fighter glowing a cherry red as he skimmed the terrifying thrusts of the engines.

Several of the fighters blundered into the engines, and shot far back from the star destroyer, burnt or simply shoved, he didn’t know or care. Another volley of missiles zipped out past him, shattering into hundreds of buzz ‘droids.

He was feeling at his peak. Strong, young, carefree, as though the looming shadow that had draped itself over him like a cloak of dura-armour these past few years had been lifted. The ‘Shroud of the Dark Side’ was still there, but less intense, the creeping sense of depression that had been engulfing him these past few days, of anxiety, had disappeared in a snap as they dropped out of hyperspace. Perhaps it was the battle; he was going to win, now, he was certain of it, so the Force no longer needed to warn him.

Anakin could feel the entire battle, even the waves of anxiety and fear from the planet below. And somewhere, just within his perception, a flare of hope and certainty that he knew so well. He drew strength of purpose from its clarity, and leaned forwards in his seat.

He reached out with the force, and a column of missiles fell into his mind’s hand, he pushed them sideways, shoving them into the side of the destroyer, making them flare into a massive fireball.

His interceptor spiralled under the outer armour plates of the Fist’s hull, into cavernous void spaces that often housed Separatist fighter craft, especially the limited duration Vulture ‘droids. Huge structural members made the whole area resemble a place of worship, and he slowed down, matching velocities with the separatist ship, glancing over to look in through some of the windows that looked out into this sizeable space.

He reached out with the force once again, sensing the fighters swarming around the Patriot Fist, covering all exits… Turning his fighter to one side, he took aim, and opened fire with a prolonged barrage, accelerating the ship through the fire-blossom hole in the hull, shooting back out into clear space.

“I was beginning to worry…” Obi-wan’s voice crackled over the radio…

Palpatine strode into the ground forces command centre of the Invisible Hand. Security and pilot ‘droids turned to him, and with a casual exertion of the force, he crushed them, imploding their heads and chests, and sending them toppling to the floor as so much scrap metal.

Striding to the central holographic table, he was surprised to see no living crewmen. Every terminal was de-activated. So much for preparing a shuttle.

He reached out with the force, scouring every deck plate of the ship. Nothing but ‘droids, hundreds of thousands of ‘droids. Every escape pod was launched, from bow to stern, and all the shuttles and transports capable of leaving were gone. As was the ‘droid general himself.

This plan was beginning to get out of control. He hated that feeling all the more because of its unfamiliarity…

“I’m going back to help them out…” Anakin said, glancing at the harried remnants – most of them drifting – of the clone squad pulling his fighter off in a tight turn. His ion cannons shot crimson fire across the ARC-170 fighters, blasting buzz ‘droids away, and flaring others nearby into uselessness, damaging the fighters’ systems, but no more than the ‘droids were already doing.

“We’ve got to get to the command ship…” Obi-wan protested, “Before they hit us again…” Sure enough, another squadron released two dozen missiles…

“Okay… Master, Any of squad seven still with us… Burn hard… Now.”

Four fighters shot forwards towards the invisible hand…

“They overshot us,” Obi-wan said.

“They’re coming around… Don’t worry about them…”

“Well… Have you noticed that the shields are still up?” Obi-Wan asked, turning his fighter a little to where he thought the containment shield generator might be and letting a long burst of green fire loose.

Anakin joined him, and the shields flashed off, huge metal blast doors snapping forwards… “Come on!” Anakin said, crashing through the rapidly narrowing gap, his fighter landing, or rather, bouncing with a jarring bump against the floor of the landing bay.

Obi-wan’s red painted fighter followed, along with the two remaining active ARC-170s, one of which clipped its wing on the door, tearing the wing and its heavy under-slung gun away, sending it hurtling across the bay on a trail of gasses and fire.

The jedi leapt from their cockpits, swords blazing. To a scene of emptiness. There was absolutely nothing in the bay. No armaments, no vehicles… Nothing.

With a loud echoing sound of meg-locks being disabled, large circles of the floor descended. Anakin unhesitatingly stepped onto one as it descended. “What?” he said, looking up as Obi-Wan rushed to the side, “I don’t want to just wait for them to spring the obvious trap…”

The elevator jerked to a stop, and he frowned, thrusting his blue lightsaber into the ground, cutting a hole in the floor. A circle of metal dropped away, and he cautiously looked down, jerking his head back a split second later. A volley of blaster bolts shot through the hole.

“Well, that way is no good…” he said, leaping six feet up to stand level with the deck, looking at the various closed doorways the led to the rest of the ship.

“ideas?” Obi-Wan asked.

“how about that freight shaft up there,” Anakin said, pointing at a ridge in the ceiling up above the ‘droid ceiling racks.

“The clones will never make it, besides… That’s an awfully tricky jump…”

Guided by the Force, the two jedi span around, blades at the ready.

Dozens of doors sighed open, and droidekas rolled out. Some were cut down by the powerful guns of the ARC fighters, but most of them stood their ground, returning fire furiously. Hundreds of red-shouldered security ‘droids followed, entire battalions flooding the bay, opening fire on the fighters.

The Jedi were amongst them in instants, but it was hopeless. The doors beyond those were sealed fast, and other, larger models, crab ‘droids and hailfire tank ‘droids waited.

The platforms that had recessed into the floor reappeared, each carrying two AAT tanks and an open topped trade federation ‘troop transporter’ units, each containing, in addition to its pilots, over a hundred racked battle ‘droids, that swiftly began to deploy.

“They definitely know I’m here…” Anakin said.

“Look at it this way…” General Kenobi sighed, “It can’t get much worse.”

The ‘droids began to spread out, and disk shaped Baktoid gunships flitted out of the fighter racks above, looking like obscene insects with their young clinging to them underneath in the form of over a dozen sizeable missiles each. The Tri-fighters flew into the bay from the other side, discord missiles streaking through the air with ominous howls to disgorge their cargos of buzz ‘droids which swarmed over to the landed fighters, both occupied and unoccupied.

“Was it too much to ask for that not to happen for once?” Kenobi sighed.

Bailing out, and running cautiously through the seething tide of chittering, angry saboteur ‘droids, the clones hurried over to the Jedi. “Orders, General?” Odd Ball asked.

“Stay calm…” Kenobi said.

“Trying, sir… Think I’m going to have to disobey…”

Anakin smiled, “We’ve got through worse…”

On the distant forward side of the bay, one of the largest doorways opened, and a phalanx of super battle ‘droids trooped in, accompanied by something new, a taller, cloaked ‘droid with a staff.

“What’s that one?” Janathra asked.

“Well it’s not General Grievous…” Odd Ball said.

“Maybe it’s Colonel Calamitous…” Janathra quipped with a shrug, taking aim at the magnaguard as the new arrivals marched across the bay. IG-101 waved a hand, and the super battle ‘droids stopped with parade ground precision, almost surrounding the Republican group.

“Is Count Dooku not going to offer us a wonderful stay as hostages in person this time?” Obi-Wan said, “I must say, I’m disappointed, his hospitality is getting lax.”

In reply, IG-101 reached down, pulling a hand held holoprojector from his waist, and holding it up. A foot-high image of Grievous appeared, “Count Dooku is in no position to entertain at the moment,” Grievous, his voice being relatively well imitated from outside the visual capture sphere of the equipment on the Acquisitor.

“Oh, that is a shame,” Kenobi relied, “In that case, I suppose it’s only fair that I offer you a chance to surrender… Wherever you are.”

“Tell me… Does that line ever work?”

“Sometimes,” Anakin said from his left, “The rest of the time, there tends to be screaming and regrets.”

Grievous laughed and coughed simultaneously, “You would have trouble taking custody at the moment… I am not aboard. Perhaps I can make up for the disappointment…” he said…

“Of course… Concerned for your safety?” Kenobi teased

Aboard the Acquisitor, Grievous looked at Sisfree, ‘Try to make it sound more menacing. And zoom in. I want to see their reactions…

“Quite,” the General said, suddenly sounding smug, “How would you like an introduction to Darth Sidious…”

“Is he here?” Obi-wan demanded, sharply.

“Surprised that he would come to Coruscant?” Grievous asked mockingly, “He’s been here for years,” then he followed up with nine unbelievable words…

“Sidious is Palpatine. The Chancellor is the Sith Lord.”
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer-'s resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth

User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10888
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Post by Crazedwraith » 2007-11-08 05:52pm

:D Nice. I notice the reveal from the Novel over the film. Excellent chapter.
To the brave passengers and crew of the Kobayashi Maru... sucks to be you - Peter David

User avatar
Browncoat Wookiee
Posts: 15746
Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
Location: Deep beneath Boatmurdered.

Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2007-11-08 05:57pm


Stuart: The only problem is, I'm losing track of which universe I'm in.
You kinda look like Jesus. With a lightsaber.- Peregrin Toker

Padawan Learner
Posts: 175
Joined: 2002-07-05 01:41pm
Location: Well if I knew, I wouldn't be lost, now would I!

Post by Asdeed » 2007-11-08 06:50pm


Seriously, excellent story

Post Reply