Scars of Mustafar (COMPLETED 1/14/09)

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Scars of Mustafar (COMPLETED 1/14/09)

Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-02 04:01pm

The rewrite of The RoTS Alternate Ending Fic, complete with the title selected in a now ancient voter poll will commence.

-Continuity fixes with help from the Clone Wars comics and Prequel EU
-New information and possibly new insights from the same material
-Hopefully some better writing
-I think there will have to be more bloodshed on principle.

Please Enjoy.
Last edited by Darth Fanboy on 2009-01-14 06:44pm, edited 28 times in total.
"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
-George Carlin (1937-2008)

"Have some of you Americans actually seen Football? Of course there are 0-0 draws but that doesn't make them any less exciting."
-Dr Roberts, with quite possibly the dumbest thing ever said in 10 years of SDNet.

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Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-02 04:01pm

Chapter One: Divergence

Mustafar, a world so scorched it was as scenic as hell itself. Molten fury coursed across the planets surface and ash clouded the skies. It was here, that the final actions of the Clone Wars were taking place, but as that saga came to a close a new era was about to be ushered in, heralded by an epic battle being waged against two former friends, friends that had been closer than brothers.

"It's over Anakin, I have the high ground!" Obi Wan looked down from the embankment overlooking the flow of molten lava.

Anakin looked back up at his former colleague; the only Jedi he thought would be there with him at the end. "You underestimate my..."

In that moment something happened. As if the entire course of the universe strayed from its predestined path and took a new course. Only one being alive was able to touch that moment, and seize it. In that fraction of a second Anakin Skywalker was given the briefest of opportunities. He knew he had the power to crush Obi Wan, he knew that this battle had gone on long enough, what he could not figure out was how the old man had managed to survive for so long, Obi Wan, who had participated in his betrayal along with the Jedi Council, who now sought to end his life.

The realization flooded his synapses and the insight was of immeasurable value.
Kenobi was goading him, leading him into a trap, using the fire that burned with Anakin to his own advantage. It was a tactic Obi Wan had been fond of employing over the years against skilled opponents. And if it wasn't for that pause in time he might have fallen for it. Instead of leaping at his enemy to deliver the killing blow, Anakin held back, looking to create an opportunity on his own terms.

"...intelligence! Do you really think I would allow you to bait me in such a way? I am a Sith Lord, I am the embodiment of power and strength and I control my own destiny!
And you, old man, are no longer a part of it!"

Obi Wan gritted his teeth as the sweat rolled down his face, his gambit had failed.
Skilled in the force as he was Anakin was more so, and stronger as well. Anakin had managed to overcome his arrogance. Obi Wan's mind began to go into overdrive, desperately attempting to formulate a new strategy. "Anakin..." he called out.

"That name no longer has any meaning!” Anakin yelled, “I AM DARTH VADER!” The anger in his voice thundered over the volcanic landscape.

The sheer fury of the attack caught Obi Wan by surprise and Anakin gave him little time to react. Instead of diving headfirst towards his prey, Anakin decided to let the world of Mustafar charge for him. With a great push of the force the lava spewed forth from the current and overtook Obi Wan. His force-enhanced reflexes were not enough, and within seconds Obi Wan began to burn. Falling to the searing rocks below him the Jedi Master screamed in agony, his former pupil now standing over him. Anakin looked down to the fallen Jedi. The sensation he felt was not what he had expected. Despite besting his former master, despite discovering the true potential within himself, Anakin Skywalker's hate still burned within him, eclipsing even the malicious joy that might be had from the sight of Obi Wan's flesh falling from his body.

"The price of betrayal is steep Obi Wan. You had followed the Jedi path your entire life only to end up broken and burning on a forsaken planet. Now you know the meaning of justice, the kind of justice only a Sith is capable of bringing about."

Obi Wan's could hear the sound of Anakin's footsteps trailing away and he could feel the dark shadow looming even larger over him. had arrived as well. The pain he felt was unbearable, he could still feel the Force although it faded inside of him, and he mustered every last reserve of strength that he had to preserve his mind, so that in his last hours of life he would not be afraid.

"There is no death; there is only the Force."

At the landing bay near Amidala’s shuttle, Palpatine had arrived with a contingent of clone troopers. The sensation of danger was gone now, Palpatine summoned the
Force to him, sensing his surroundings and fixating on the tremendous well of hatred that could only be his apprentice. The anger had grown even stronger within him now, perhaps a result of being allowed to confront disembowel Nute Gunray, who had attempted to assassinate his wife on many occasions. Palpatine expanded his vision, attempting to gain more insight was to what had taken place, but as his consciousness expanded he felt another strong flicker in the Force coming from inside the Nubian ship, Amidala was here, but he could not sense her familiar presence. Anakin strode into view, and he walked right toward his master, with a confidence and resolve unshaken by his near defeat by Obi Wan. In fact there was something different about him. It was as if his brashness had been replaced by a new kind of confidence, rooted in faith of his own power and abilities.

"Lord Vader, I trust there were no complications?"

"Nothing I could not handle Master, the betrayal of the Jedi has been avenged and Obi
Wan Kenobi is dead."

Kenobi had been here just as he had suspected. Aside from Yoda and possibly Mace Windu, Kenobi was the only Jedi alive capable of confronting Anakin despite his youth and inexperience. The thought of Anakin actually winning such a battle “Excellent news Lord Vader, I take it he came along with Senator Amidala?"

Anakin fell silent, nodding his head to confirm the question. Palpatine could sense the hate transform into fear within his apprentice. Sensing the momentary weakness Palpatine pressed his advantage. He had known Amidala was pregnant, that much was obvious to anyone. In his guise as Palpatine however he had to refrain from discussing it as befitting Naboo’s customs. Anakin however, had no such social restrictions, and the more knowledge about Anakin’s involvement Palpatine had the more control he could wield.

“The child is yours isn’t it Anakin? Obi Wan was a fool to endanger her.” The newly crowned Emperor spoke in that loving paternal voice he had used on so many occasions. Palpatine's attention turned once again to the Nubian cruiser, sensing once again the life gestating within her. "She is injured." Again Anakin was silent, it was apparent that he had been the cause of her injury. "I have brought with me a medical capsule, she will be fine. I am sure that whatever the cause of her pain, it was due to Kenobi's meddling."

Anakin nodded in consent. "She is aboard the cruiser with the droids, resting."

Palpatine ordered the soldiers he had brought with him to take the medical capsule and begin treating Padme right away. He issued another subtle mental command to search the ship for any and all witnesses, including droids. Any potential record of this event on that craft would be destroyed for good.

Threepio stood beside Amidala, monitoring her state as best as he could despite the nature and limits of his programming. “Oh I say R2, hopefully Master Ani and Master Kenobi resolve their differences so we can get Miss Padme to a medical facility.”

Artoo beeped in a low tone, which was recognizable even without translation as mournful. Threepio raised his hands in disgust. “What do you mean there is no chance of that? They’ve been friends for years!”

A trio of clone troopers entered the ship. R2 began to shake and maneuver nervously. “Oh for the maker’s sake,” Threepio attempted to reassure his counterpart, “this is exactly the sort of help we need! Over here! Sir! Sir! Senator Amidala is in critical condition we must hurry!”

“You saw what happened to her?” The lead trooper asked.

Artoo beeped frantically, trying to get Threepio to be quiet. Both droids were now trapped in the small area with no way out of the ship. Threepio ignored Artoo and answered. “Of course we did, I am still not exactly sure what happened but my counterpart has a holo-recording of everything, I am sure we can use that to figure out what….”

Before either Threepio or Artoo could react the two troopers in front had applied restraining bolts, standard equipment these days. Threepio and Artoo were led out of the ship and tossed over a nearby walkway and deep into a molten pit, never to function again.

A short time later, after fleeing Coruscant aboard the Tantive IV along with Bail
Organa, Yoda had asked that they travel to Mustafar, a dull throbbing pain in
Yoda's head lingering from his battle with the Emperor had been erased violently by a sharp stab in his heart. Obi Wan had failed, but perhaps he could still be saved.

When Yoda arrived on the planet, he fought hard to push back the agony of being unable to sense his comrade and friend. During his many years on the council, the death of every Jedi during that time affected him. He had always managed to move on past his grief and celebrate their return to the force, but on this day, the first Day of the Empire, there was no longer anyone else to celebrate with. Never had he thought that he would be the last of the Jedi, not after training all of the children for hundreds of years.

The children...all killed by the Chosen One, by Skywalker.

Scouts from the ship's crew dutifully searched the area, at least hoping to find a body as Yoda guarded his feelings and attempted to regain his clarity in the same conference room where Anakin had seemingly butchered the leaders of the Confederacy, leaving a testament to the five thousand year legacy of betrayal by the Sith. He was shaken from his meditation by some of the Alderaanian scouts he had arrived with.

"We found him."

Indeed they had found Obi-Wan, or what was left of him. Technically he was still alive, though how he had managed to stay that way was a miracle in itself. Yoda rushed to the scene, Obi-Wan had tethered himself to the Force, only by surrendering to it completely had he managed to put himself into stasis. The only thing keeping him alive right now was the living force. He had surrendered himself to the will of the Force, and the will of the Force was not about to let him die just yet.

But the Force could not repair the damage to his body. In an attempt to cover his face and chest from the lava his arms were now little better than burnt stumps, and his legs in similar shape having been unprotected at all. Yoda looked at Obi Wan, and was unsure of what to do. Every fiber in his being cried out to sever the link somehow and allow Obi Wan to die in peace, but the will of the Force was nothing to stand against. Bail Organa slowly approached Yoda from behind.

"Master Yoda, is he…"

"Live for now, Obi Wan does. However, beyond repair, his body his."

Bail turned his head towards Yoda and then back to Obi Wan. "Then we must take him to Alderaan immediately."

Yoda turned to the Senator. "A plan you have?"

"Alderaan is home to the Galactic Polysapient Hospital, I am quite close to the most skilled physicians there. We may not be able to restore his body, but I assure you his chances for survival will be far greater than if we remain here."

And so they left, with Yoda using the Force to levitate Obi Wan into the ship, and maintain his connection to the living force.

"Many Jedi I could not save today. Be damned I will be, if I cannot save you."
Last edited by Darth Fanboy on 2006-10-02 05:49pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
-George Carlin (1937-2008)

"Have some of you Americans actually seen Football? Of course there are 0-0 draws but that doesn't make them any less exciting."
-Dr Roberts, with quite possibly the dumbest thing ever said in 10 years of SDNet.

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Postby Simplicius » 2006-10-02 05:15pm

If I may offer a minor suggestion...

Darth Fanboy wrote:The sheer fury of the attack had caught Obi Wan by surprise and Anakin gave him little time to react. Instead of diving headfirst towards his prey, Anakin had decided to let the world of Mustafar charge for him. With a great push of the force the lava spewed forth from the current and overtook Obi Wan. His force-enhanced reflexes were not enough, and within seconds Obi Wan began to burn. Falling to the searing rocks below him the Jedi Master screamed in agony, his former pupil now standing over him. Anakin looked down to the fallen Jedi. The sensation he felt was not what he had expected. Despite besting his former master, despite discovering the true potential within himself, Anakin Skywalker's hate still burned within him, eclipsing even the malicious joy that might be had from the sight of Obi Wan's flesh falling from his body.

Keep this section in the active voice: "the attack caught," "Anakin decided," etc. Using 'had' puts distance between the reader and the event, robbing it of urgency.

Otherwise, very nice.

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Postby Prozac the Robert » 2006-10-02 05:33pm

I liked this the first time, I'll be interested to follow this version.

I'm not entirely sure about the killing of the droids though. I don't supose you feel like explaining why you did?
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Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-02 05:49pm

Thanks Simplicus for the advice, its feedback like that that not wordcheck/grammar check can really catch. I went back through those couple lines and will re-re-read as soon as the rewrites are done for all of these.
"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
-George Carlin (1937-2008)

"Have some of you Americans actually seen Football? Of course there are 0-0 draws but that doesn't make them any less exciting."
-Dr Roberts, with quite possibly the dumbest thing ever said in 10 years of SDNet.

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Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-02 05:50pm

Chapter Two: Lies of the Shadow

Thousands gathered in the streets near what was to be the site of the Imperial Palace. During Palpatine's reign several influential senators favorable to the Chancellor had managed to piggyback legislation to accompany the security acts. That legislation authorized the rebuilding of the official Chancellor’s Residence, which last stood hundreds of years before the Sith Wars, and the construction had begun not too long before the Battle of Coruscant. The aerial battle between Republic and Separatist fighters had ravaged the building, making it unfit for work to continue. The building had to be demolished, and it was to be rebuilt as the Imperial Palace. In a sense, it represented the tearing town of the Old Republic, making way for the New Order that would lead the galaxy.

The Emperor would be present to commemorate this occasion, but the real reason for the vast turnout was the anticipated appearance of Anakin Skywalker, hero of the Clone Wars and arguably the most famous person in the entire galaxy. Even the isolated worlds in the outer rim knew of his exploits, thanks in part to the renamed COMPNOR organization. In the wake of the slaughter at the Jedi Temple, COMPNOR had worked feverishly to seize control of every piece of information, and manage every potential outlet for that information. What in reality had been the brutal massacre of Jedi led by one of their own had now become a heroic counterattack against the Jedi Rebellion, instigated by Mace Windu's assassination attempt on Palpatine. There were plenty across the galaxy, especially those who had known Jedi that would be hard pressed to accept that story as fact but there were many more who had accepted the Imperial presentation, some eagerly and some begrudgingly. The fact that Anakin Skywalker had led the attack gave it legitimacy; Jedi did not turn against each other without reason.

Upon returning to Coruscant, Anakin had made it his first order of business to ensure Padme’s health at the newly christened Emperor Palpatine Medical Center, so that both she and the children would be safe. That had come as a complete surprise to him, discovering that Padme was pregnant with twins was entirely unexpected, although not as unexpected as the pregnancy itself.

Thanks to Palpatine's medical capsule Padme had been stabilized. The pregnancy however was drawing rapidly towards its end; sooner or later even the stabilizing equipment would be unable to delay the birth of the twins. When that happened the doctors would have to remove Padme from her sleep and the next step was still in doubt. As soon as she awoke she would be close to death, and her weakened state put anesthesia out of the question. Anakin was a Sith now, but although he was able to embrace pain he could not bear to see it inflicted on Padme, and he expressed his concerns to each and every doctor attending her personally. The unspoken truth being that the doctors would share her fate.

In front of an enormous audience numbering in the thousands Palpatine took the pulpit, behind him stood the man the crowds had been so eager to see. In one of his few public appearances since defeating the Jedi Rebellion, Anakin Skywalker, known in secret to his master as Darth Vader, received a rousing ovation from the crowd. Not only did he have his fame, but an outpouring of support for the incapacitated Senator Amidala, nearly killed by a jealous Obi Wan Kenobi, had venerated him further among the masses. Where Palpatine was the voice of the Empire, Anakin Skywalker had become its face, and the citizens would have it no other way.

In the time since the end of the clone wars had passed, the public had become gradually aware of the connection between Anakin and Amidala as well. Reports had begun circulating that it was Padme herself that convinced Skywalker to abandon the Jedi Order and remain loyal to the government. Other reports suggested that Palpatine himself introduced them. Several widely discredited fringe reporters had written of their secret wedding on Naboo shortly after the battle of Geonosis, but this went ignored largely because most believed that such a thing could not be kept secret.

The crowds were teeming and growing anxious but order was being maintained thanks to the white armored troopers standing guard all over the plaza. The Grand Army of the Republic, now the Imperial Armed Forces, had replaced the Jedi as the guardians of order and stability in the galaxy. To embody this, Palpatine had chosen a new icon to represent the government. He redesigned the Jedi symbol, removing two of the spokes of the Jedi Emblem, removing the spokes representing the ancient Bendu ideals of serenity and pacifism. In the Empire, there would be no room for pacifism, for that is what led to the war with the CIS, and there would be no room for serenity. Passion was the key to Palpatine's rise to power. The fervor he could generate in the name of order, justice, and security was unmatched by any politician before him.

"Citizens of the Empire, let us take but a brief moment, to honor the sacrifices made by our armed forces. As we celebrate the end of war and as our forces return to the Core Worlds following the Outer Rim sieges. Let us remember that upon their sacrifices we are able to build a bridge to the future that will take the Empire further than the Republic has ever been!"

The crowed roared with its approval as Palpatine began reiterating a lot of the same rhetoric that had accompanied his career. Of the thousands of people in attendance, few of them were not straining their voices. One of them was Bail Organa, whose mind was occupied with events back home.

On Alderaan, a team of accomplished surgeons worked feverishly to rebuild a fallen Jedi master. At least one of them who had examined Obi Wan prior to surgery thought it was joke and asked why he had been summoned to operate on a cadaver. But there was a spark of life within him, and it would be all they would have to work with.

The limbs would be simple enough; cybernetic limbs had come a long way, ironically thanks in part due to advances in droid advancements made by the Techno Union and Trade Federation prior to the war. While Obi Wan would never again be as mobile as he was before he would have complete control of his new attachments. The damage to his internal organs and skin however was horrifying. His organs appeared charred as overcooked meat, their color consumed by the darkness of severe burns. His weak heart pumped slowly, and what blood that did flow was as oxygen starved as the void of space. His lungs were so fragile that they had largely turned to ash. But his brain still lived, and amazingly had suffered little damage; his face was recognizable through the collection of burns and gashes now accumulated.

The doctors had agreed that the only way to save Obi Wan's life would be a very radical and extensive operation that would place nearly every vital function of Obi Wan’s body under mechanical control, and exchange nearly two thirds of his body for cybernetics. Such operations were considered abhorrent by most people and unethical in the medical community. But Bail Organa had stressed that Obi Wan had to survive at any cost, and at any price. When Yoda had been informed the Jedi Master was visibly upset.
"The same science used, to create General Grievous, it was." He had said.

Bail had solemnly bowed his head. "I wish there were another way Master, but
Grievous was an abomination through his actions, not because he was a cyborg." Of course Bail knew there was nothing he could say that would convince Yoda that this was an entirely good idea. The reverence for life held by a 900 year old Jedi
Master did not coexist easily with the artificial life of high technology.

The operation had been in its final hours and there had been no serious complications, save for technicians struggling to program the central computer that would ultimately govern Obi Wan's vital functions. He would no longer eat, oxygen would be cycled through super medicating filters, his speech would have to come from a vocabulator, and his voice would never again have that gentle comforting tone that had endeared him to many.

There were a few improvements, optical imagery and audio-sensitive equipment suitable for the HUD of an elite clone trooper was integrated into his life support unit, essentially a suit of armor that protected him from the harsh reality of his condition. To soften the appearance, Organa's own tailors had begun crafting accessories made from bantha leather at the behest of the doctors, gloves that could be form fitted to resemble human hands, and armor-weave robes that would soften the appearance of the mechanical visage and provide some protection. Only the main life support panel would be entirely visible, as well as the expressionless mask. A skull conforming helmet with the wide eyes and breathing regulator composing the face would now be Obi Wan's image.

Yoda could not bear to watch the proceedings, electing instead to meditate in the
Force in a lounge nearby. Despite his reservations about the operation he could feel Obi Wan's connection to the Force strengthen, and as his new organs were installed and the remainder of his body stabilized Yoda felt the tether of the Force drift away from Obi-Wan as it was no longer needed. But the momentary relief for his friend allowed Yoda's mind to fill with memories, many of them pleasant, many of them bitter. Ever since his defeat something inside of him had been changed and he could not deny it. He could be of no help to his old friend, and he knew that he could not properly be able to cope with seeing Obi-Wan as a machine. It was part of the same prejudice that had led him to denounce Jedi Master Aquinos and his inorganic Iron Knights prior to the war.

As soon as this operation was over, Yoda would have to retreat and find sanctuary. As he pondered his exile a vision came before him in his mind, showing him a place of refuge. Yoda began picturing a solitary existence in this place, the swamp world of Dagobah. The isolation would allow him to clear his mind once again so that he would be able to thwart the Sith and bring light to the darkness. He had known this place for many years, and its location was known to few people.

Yoda’s vision began to change however as the vision reshaped itself, the dense swamps and the thick fog of the world was replaced with white sands and a pair of suns that illuminated the world while roasting its surface. On this world events had been set into motion years ago. And the voice continued to call out to Yoda, telling him that there was much to be learned. The voice belonged to Qui Gon Jinn. Now a part of the Force, yet maintaining his identity, Qui Gon insisted that the desert world would play a part in the events to come.

Yoda opened his eyes, and made his decision. As soon as Obi-Wan was out of surgery and Bail Organa returned from Coruscant he would depart, and go into hiding on Tatooine.

Within a small room, recently refurbished, stood two men. Both of them happened to be Dark Lords of the Sith, the only two in existence. Within the Emperor's chambers at 500 Imperia, Anakin and Palpatine were able to speak privately again as Vader and Sidious. For the first time since Anakin had made his decision and severed the hand of Mace Windu, he and his master could take time away from prying eyes, and discuss things as Sith.

"You have gained a tremendous following as of late my apprentice. The entire galaxy praises you; even your former enemies have no choice but to acknowledge your abilities."

"Such things do not concern me Master." Vader said, his gaze fixed on the Jedi Temple, which still smoldered over the city’s horizon.

"So it would seem." Sidious noted his apprentice’s fixation.

"With your permission my lord, I wish to enter the temple, and have access to the holocrons kept sealed away by the Jedi Council.”

Vader had been aching to have access to those holocrons the minute he had been nominated to the Jedi Council, brief as his tenure there was. He made no effort to hide his desires now though. While Sidious was more than a slight bit irritated at his apprentice's obvious expectation to have his request granted, he was pleased that he still sought deference to his master. No longer was he hiding his desires either, he was accepting the ways of the Sith quicker than expected.

"You have leave to do so Lord Vader, but I will have need for you again shortly."

Vader bowed in respect and exited the office where he had made his fateful decision, once again becoming Anakin Skywalker as he left. He finally had the chance to search the holocrons, and what little remained of the Jedi archives, in order to discover the way to save his dying wife. Sidious however was not quite ready to resume the persona of Palpatine quite yet though. There was business that needed to be attended to while there was time to spare. He walked as a shadow to a secret elevator not unlike the one leading to his former sanctuary in the works, although this one led much deeper and had required a far greater effort in order to properly conceal. Down the turbolift he went, until it stopped some ten minutes and several hundred meters later to a bottom floor in the deepest levels of Coruscant, in the place where he had murdered Darth Plagueis, in the place where he had been raised. The dwelling of his youth now served as a vault for his darkest secrets, one more critical to the grand design than even the secret of his dual identity.

He entered a sparse wide room of the small complex and gave his crooked smile.
Before him, chained to a table and bleeding, lay a man in tattered brown and tan robes. The man, tried to spit a curse at Palpatine, but his dry mouth was unable to muster the words.

"Greetings Master Dyas, still defiant to the end I see. If only your friends above could see you now.” Sidious paused as he circled the imprisoned Jedi with a deliberate slowness.

“Then again even I am surprised that you were able to outlive them all. Even your friend Dooku, although you and I both knew he wouldn't last much longer hmmm?"

Sifo Dyas struggled against his bonds, trying to summon the Force, but each desperate attempt to reach out with his feelings and give into the force failed.

"You can end all of this you know, if you reveal to me the knowledge I require."

Sifo Dyas wheezed a dry hacking cough as he looked to his captor. Speaking with his eyes, giving him the only answer he was capable of.

"A pity really," remarked Sidious, "I suppose then you should know that there is nobody left to save you now. As of but a few days ago the Jedi were wiped out, destroyed by the Clone Army that YOU ordered."

At first he did not, could not, believe what Sidious was saying was the truth. But in the years of his captivity he had learned that Sidious was a deceiver, but not a liar. Sidious used the truth as his weapon, and a powerful weapon truth was in the hands of the greatest manipulator in the galaxy. The grief in Sifo Dyas' heart was like a starship crashing into him.

Many years ago, shortly after the funeral of Qui Gon Jinn, Sifo Dyas had sensed the coming of a great conflict. He knew that nothing would stop the greed of entities like the Trade Federation, and that one day War would be the only answer for the Republic. However there was no way the Jedi Council would listen to his actions, and there was no way that one man alone, even a Jedi Master, could raise an army of the size necessary to defend the Republic when the time came. A few thousand Jedi would be no chance for a nearly limitless supply of battle droids.

He had traveled to Kamino, keeping his movements secret. He had placed the Order for the Clone Army in secret, using both the Force and his incredible guile to ensure secrecy. The Kaminoans had only requested a template for the clone and payment in advance. Beyond the order for an Army of Soldiers though, he had also placed a smaller order of his own accord, a clone of himself, which would be the demonstration as to the effectiveness of the process.

Sifo Dyas though had another idea in mind for this clone, an idea that if successful would allow him to further delve into the mystery of the Sith behind the invasion of Naboo, for Sifo Dyas had a special talent with the Force. He could transfer his consciousness into a new vessel, leaving a comatose shell behind. He had practiced on several non-sentient creatures at great risk and in secret, and eventually he had practiced on sentients as well. His training occurred down in the lower area of Coruscant, known as "The Works". Until one day he was prepared for the test. His clone prepared by the Kaminoans and all traces of the encounter forgotten via a trick of the Force, he made the transfer into his new body. The mindless clone, sequestered away across the galaxy, lay in wait. Sifo Dyas released his luminous being from himself, and traveled the vast distance along currents of the Force, finally arriving into his new host.

The experiment was a resounding success. Sifo Dyas was now free to investigate the Sith at his discretion, should his life become in danger he could now escape to his secondary body on Coruscant, and return to the sanctuary of the Jedi Temple.

But the Sith, had came for him sooner than expected, just as they came for Qui Gon on Naboo. When Sifo Dyas had first anticipated the assassin hunting him he had expected another being clad in the garb of a shadow, acting as silent killer. What he had encountered instead was his old friend, Count Dooku. They had battled and it was never even close. Dooku had him outclassed in every way. In the moment before his death, as Dooku gloated over him and raised his saber, Sifo Dyas had escaped through the Force, making his way safely to Coruscant.

But when he returned to his body, a surprise lay in wait. A menacing being of smaller stature but greater power than Dooku waited for him at the abandoned complex far below Galactic city's surface.

The being referred to himself as Sidious, utterly crushed Sifo Dyas. It was in a far different way though, instead of the lightsaber, Sidious had burned him badly with Force lightning, and then used the Force to break his bones. Sifo Dyas, giving in to his fear attempted to escape, but in his absence from Coruscant the shroud of the Dark side grew darker, and wider. No longer was he able to flee from his body.

That was the day that he had been imprisoned. The Dark Lord Sidious had discovered his great power. Using Dooku as a proxy, he forced Sifo Dyas' hand into what amounted to be a masterful trap. At first he was imprisoned with the help of a Sith torture mask that prevented him from concentrating enough to use the Force, however, after several days of unimaginable pain Sidious had finally removed the mask, revealing Sifo Dyas’ broken and battered face. Sidious then used an ancient technique once used by both the Jedi and Sith to disconnect powerful prisoners from the Force. That had not only ensured Sifo Dyas’ indefinite imprisonment, but added to his great despair.

Sifo Dyas had been promised that he would have the Force returned to him, if he would reveal the secret of consciousness transference he had mastered. And for almost ten years Dyas had gone without breaking, despite minimal sustenance and long periods of isolation in this underground dungeon. He knew in his heart that there was no worse torture than a Sith with the key to immortality. Sidious however, had refused to allow him to die, using knowledge stolen from his mentor Darth Plagueis, Sidious had prolonged Sifo Dyas life along with his suffering.

The plan to save the Republic had backfired. The Empire of the Sith was built upon the rubble of the Jedi's Republic. There was nothing left for him now, and he wanted desperately to touch the Force again. Even the strongest tree eventually broke under the strongest wind. Sidious cackled as the Jedi's spirit broke.

"Good, Good, I see you have finally come to your senses."

But Sifo Dyas was not without a last resort plan of his own, Palpatine's abilities were forcing his body to continue working, but in his many years of study into the Force. Sifo Dyas had learned that there was another, more permanent way to separate his essence from his body. Sidious watched on powerless to do anything as the physical form of Sifo Dyas disappeared, becoming one with the Force.

Angered, Sidious used the Force to crush the table that Sifo Dyas had laid upon. The power he desired continued to elude him, but not lost. In his position as Supreme Chancellor, and from information gained from Darth Tyrannus, Sidious knew that Sifo Dyas had worked closely with the Jedi Master Ashka Boda, who might still posess the secrets he needed.

But that hunt would have to wait. The Empire was still in its infancy, and there was still a great deal of consolidation to be done. However, the time when Sidious could exert with will with unlimited impunity was soon arriving, and the Sith Lord eagerly awaited that day.

Eager to return to his work above as Emperor of the Galaxy, Sidious decided it was time for his apprentice to have the knowledge he so desperately sought. Knowledge that wouldn’t come from the false holocrons in the Jedi Temple, but from the ways of the Sith.
Last edited by Darth Fanboy on 2008-12-28 03:20am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Sean Mulligan » 2006-10-02 06:42pm

[quote="Darth Fanboy"]Chapter One: Divergence

"The price of betrayal is steep Obi Wan. You had followed the Jedi path your entire life only to end up broken and burning on a forsaken planet. Now you know the meaning of justice, the kind of justice only a Sith is capable of bringing about."

I really hate Anakin. He must be really stupid to believe that stuff about betrayal. He is a true monster.

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Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-02 06:46pm

First things first, learn how to work quote tags. Secondly, I don't know if what you're saying is criticism or not, but it is certainly believable IMHO considering of how he was acting and the things he was saying to Obi Wan on Mustafar in RoTS.
"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
-George Carlin (1937-2008)

"Have some of you Americans actually seen Football? Of course there are 0-0 draws but that doesn't make them any less exciting."
-Dr Roberts, with quite possibly the dumbest thing ever said in 10 years of SDNet.

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Postby Crazedwraith » 2006-10-02 06:49pm

yay RotS AU! Boo! Re-write! which means we won't be getting new stuff anytime soon. Is the RotJesque I am DARTH VADER!!!! line, new? to be honest I found it quite jarring.

Still I do hope you continue.
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Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-02 07:11pm

There will be a fair amount of new stuff I think I can add into some of these chapters that will make them worth re reading I hope. The "DARTH VADER" line isn't a new line, I was trying to emphasize Anakin's words and I seem to have failed somewhat. Just wanted the reader to identify with the suddent burst of rage and how Anakin is doing a much better job of shedding his old identity. Its worth noting though.

It is kind of odd how I write Anakin. In Star Wars, The fact that Anakin becomes Darth Vader and is encased in the suit seems to make him two entirely different people, yet Vader can never purge Anakin from him, allowing him to turn back to the light in the end for Luke. What I am attempting to do is write for an Anakin that does not suffer the same injuries, he looks the same as Anakin yet he has an easier time adjusting because he isn't caught up in the questions of who he is. He firmly believes he is Darth Vader, Lord of the Sith, to his very core and that Anakin Skywalker is just a shell. We will see how well his family is able to hold him in check.

Another note, I want to redo most of, if not the entire, battle between the final Separatist fleet and the Imperial Fleet's new ISDs when it comes up. Which shouldn't be too long from now as i'm having a pretty easy time rewriting these chapters.

Note #2: If only the Legacy series of comics and books weren't out yet. I could have made "Skywalker's Empire" something wonderful :(
"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
-George Carlin (1937-2008)

"Have some of you Americans actually seen Football? Of course there are 0-0 draws but that doesn't make them any less exciting."
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Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-02 07:43pm

Chapter Three: Machinations

Obi-Wan regained consciousness about 8 hours after the surgery. At Yoda's request the doctors, medical technicians, and other staff were to wait outside and let the two speak in private. For hours Yoda sat in quiet before finally seeing his former apprentice begin to stir towards being awake.

The pale fluorescent lights were the first thing Obi-Wan noticed followed shortly by an odd sensation across his body. He felt no pain where pain should exist, and he found that he could not control his breathing, yet he inhaled and exhaled like clockwork. He shot upwards in bed, half expecting to be surrounded by the burning fires of Mustafar, all he saw though was Yoda, meditating peacefully in the corner of the room, he reached out faintly with the Force and realized he was not dreaming.

As he came further back into consciousness he felt a certain numb feeling in his extremities, they appeared to be there but Obi-Wan did not get the same feeling from his limbs he was accustomed to, as if they were no longer an extension of his self. When he finally spoke, he nearly went mute when he discovered that his voice was no longer his own.

"Master Yoda I..."

The once gentle tone of his voice had been replaced with the expressionless monotone sound more befitting a droid, accompanied by the sound of mechanical breathing, the realization slowly began to dawn on Obi-Wan. And in silent shock he noticed that his vision was different, as if he were looking through the lens of a holorecorder. He tore the gown from his body. There were no words he could come up with to describe his thoughts; the expressionless mask could not convey his reaction.

"The only way to save you, this was." came Yoda's voice as he hobbled over, wincing in pain from his own injuries sustained during the battle with Palpatine. "Reluctant I was to allow it, but to important you are to let die."

Obi-Wan looked up at Yoda, and the two remaining Jedi each began to sense what they had feared most. A Jedi allowed himself to be a conduit of the Force, through him the Force flowed and allowed the Jedi to serve the greater good of the universe. But the mighty river that once permeated Obi Wan had been reduced to a trickle. Obi-Wan could feel and control his limbs with the use of advanced bio-neuro technology, but the Force was empty within them. Within his chest his heart still beat, although several major arteries had been replaced with plastic tubules, the synthflesh which covered most of it even had artificial capillaries to give it a realistic feel and to help cover the mechanics within.

"How is it I survived?" Obi Wan asked.

"For dead you were left. When contact you we couldn't, came looking for you we did, followed your beacon. So close to death you were that the Sith abandoned you."

Obi-Wan's head lowered, a gesture of exhaustion combined with exasperation.

"Failed to defeat Palpatine I did, but saved you Senator Organa did."

Bail Organa, who had departed on a diplomatic mission to Corellia, once again proved why he was the only politician other than Amidala that he had ever fully trusted. Obi Wan closed his eyes beneath his helmet, and slowly began recalling the details of the battle to Yoda. How he had snuck aboard Amidala's transport, how he had learned of Anakin's child within her and how he and Anakin had crossed blades, fighting amongst the corpses of the Separatist leaders. The battle pushed both men to their limits, and when it was clear that Anakin's limits were much further than his own Obi-Wan had decided to try and end the engagement as quickly as possible by attempting to take advantage of Anakin's pride. The bait didn't take, and Anakin used the Force to end the fight decisively.

Yoda could feel his composure waning, hadn't he warned against the boy being trained all of those years ago? The resounding defeat of the two remaining Jedi by the Sith, now made worse by the inevitable result of Padme's pregnancy, had affected Yoda's once unbreakable resolve. Perhaps if Obi-Wan had managed to defeat Anakin, or if they had managed to save Padme themselves and spare her children from the Sith, things would be different. There could have been a light in the darkness that would have allowed hope to survive.

"Master Yoda, what troubles you?" Obi Wan asked weakly, cutting through the silence between the two warriors.

Even in his reduced state Obi-Wan was apparently still adept at determining feelings in those who hid them. Yoda fought to lie, he wanted to lie, and Obi Wan had been through enough already without needing to hear that his former mentor had given into despair. "Troubled I am not, as much as undecided I am, on what to do next. But into exile, I must go soon, for the good of the Jedi, to prepare, and to allow the Force to guide me."

”Then I will accompany you.” Obi-Wan said. Even if he were capable, Yoda already knew what his response would be.

"Remain on Alderaan until complete your recovery is. Decide your own path from there, guided by the Force. Too dangerous it is to travel together. Prepared for one thousand years were the Jedi, prepared to fight the war with the Brotherhood of Darkness and not against the Dark Lord of the Sith. Hidden, the Sith became, until their revenge could be complete. As the Sith went into hiding so till will the Jedi, until the time is right.

Yoda turned around; the sound of his walking stick the only sound left in the room, as he paused in the doorway for a second Yoda stopped, and said "May the Force be with you Obi Wan."

"May the Force be with you master" came the weak reply, Obi Wan raised a mechanical hand and clenched it into a fist, squeezing it tightly and wondering if Anakin had felt the same way upon receiving his. It was a maddening thing, to have a hand that could touch but could not feel, a sentiment that echoed Obi-Wan's feel of the Force as well.

"General Skywalker...please! There is nothing.... we can do at this point! If we keep her in stasis.....then the children will die!"

Anakin's outstretched hand rose in the air and his fist slowly clenched, preparing to kill the attending physician should his wife and children begin to suffer. Then Anakin would find someone that could save Padme. He was bent on squeezing the life out of his target, when the deep shadowy presence of his master drew closer, normally Anakin would have sensed him sooner, but the power of his emotions had blinded him.

"You can put the good doctor down General Skywalker.” He spoke, using Anakin’s formal title. “I have the knowledge you require to save your wife. Remember our conversation at the Opera House."

Anakin released his grip, letting the doctor drop to the floor in a heap. Two others pulled him away as both the Emperor and his servant gave them a glance that clearly indicated this incident was not to be spoken of.

"Lord Vader," The Emperor was confident they were in private, and he could address his apprentice using his true title. "The time has come it would seem."

Anakin lowered his head, gritting his teeth. "All signs indicate that the children are due, but there is still no change in her condition. I will not let her die, not even for the unborn children."

Palpatine's gaze narrowed, Anger was not the only thing that gave power to a Sith, there was also passion, and if anyone tried to do anything that would injure Padme, Anakin would kill them. Even Palpatine himself couldn't do anything about it. Although Sidious was still confident he could best his apprentice in an even match there was no way he could overcome the rage and the passion of an enraged Anakin Skywalker unscathed. Even then if he could manage to win the fight his long-term plans would be ruined, he needed Anakin, and he needed Anakin's children.

"It would please you to know then, that I have the knowledge of Plagueis. We can save her."

Anakin's eyes widened, and for but a split second the stone cold composure he had maintained since Mustafar wavered. "But how, you said that the power was lost!"

"What once was lost can be found my apprentice. Even knowledge can be reclaimed."

Palpatine turned towards the medical capsule and moved his hands toward the control for the stasis; Anakin resisted the urge to grab his lightsaber.

"I assure you, she will be fine. You will have to trust me, I have foreseen that your children will play a great role in the Empire Lord Vader, but they will need their mother and their father equally, in order to realize their full potentials." Vader removed his hand from the lightsaber, watching intently as his master deactivated the medical capsule, and as Sidious placed his hands on her, one over her heart and one onto her forehead.

"The greatest secret to obtain power is through strength. What is the importance of strength to the Sith?" Plagueis had asked many years ago, in the chamber deep within Coruscant.

"Through strength I gain victory." The young man had said.

"Recited like a true student, but to find the secrets of power itself you must look beyond our Code, and into the act of power itself. Tell me Lord Sidious, when using the Force in battle, what is your goal?"

"To defeat my opponent.” The young man had said. That had been an incorrect answer, and he had been punished appropriately with a burst of Force lightning.

"There are times when I begin to wonder why I took you on as my apprentice. Think for a moment before bothering me with your nonsense! You answer as a Jedi would. You see, when a Sith uses the force, for whatever purpose, he uses it to dominate and control his surroundings. Likewise, when using the force in conflict, you do not use the force to simply obtain victory. True victory lies within crushing your opponent, making him unable to fight back, or fight again for that mater. When you have broken your opponents you humble them before your power. Now finish reciting the code from where you left off."

The young Darth Sidious rose to his feet he stood as proudly as he did so, unwilling to show weakness.

“Through victory my chains are broken; the Force shall set me free." He had said; allowing the lesson to be forever burned into his memory.

That had been many years ago, and it was the day when the man who would one day be
Emperor learned what it meant to have power. Power was not simply strength, it was also control. Through the Force, a Sith Lord dominated those lesser than him.
This applied as much to the internal functions of the body as well as anywhere else. Plagueis had demonstrated to Sidious how one could manipulate the life energies of a person, how one could impose the will to live on someone where none existed. Plagueis had pursued that knowledge his entire life as a Sith master thinking that it would be the key to immortality that had eluded the Sith since the earliest days of their order.

Where Plagueis had failed though, Sidious had vowed to succeed. Plagueis had made one key mistake, while his ability could be used to manipulate life and increase the life expectancy of a Sith beyond his normal years, it did nothing to protect himself. One night, as Plagueis slept, his apprentice had decided that the time had come to ascend to his true place in the galaxy; Plagueis’ life preserving abilities required enough strength that using them left him feeling incredibly drained.. So deep into a trance was he that he didn't even react when Sidious' lightsaber carved neatly through his skull and into his chest.

It wouldn't be long after that the new Dark Lord of the Sith traveled to Naboo, murdering a minor nobleman with no family ties and taking his position and social status to become a member of the Republican senate. When he was not occupied with Senatorial functions he began putting his grand plans into motion, carefully constructed based off of his lessons, the most ambitious undertaking of the Sith in over a thousand years. Carefully, he spirited away a Zabrak child from the Jedi Nursery, one of two Zabrak Children with the surname Koth, though they came from different worlds. But there would be enough time to reflect later.

Channeling the Force into Amidala's body, Palpatine could sense the internal decay. There was nothing physically wrong with her, but her will to live had been broken. It was rather disappointing actually, for all the strength she had held as Queen of Naboo she let her will be broken over something so trivial as a broken heart? It was rather disappointing, and if it weren't for his apprentice, and the twins inside of her, he would have let her die. As the Force saturated her Sidious began to impose his will onto her, the will of a Sith to live was strong, that will could be imposed on lesser beings.

Within a few minutes Padme's life signs began to strengthen, and Sidious released his hold over her. There was no telling what sort of side effects would occur as a result, but she would live. Soon the doctors would be summoned again and the children would be delivered. Anakin would have his family, and Palpatine's Empire would be stronger for it one day.

"Absolutely not!" Bel Iblis yelled as he slammed his fist onto the table.
"What you propose is sedition and if it wasn't for the fact that I have the greatest respect for Senator Organa I would inform the ISB about you at once!"

"Are you aware of what is taking place here Garm? That tyrant has wiped out the freedoms we have enjoyed for thousands of years on a whim! Before long he will have absolute power and not even the senate will be able to intervene!"

"What I am aware of Mon Mothma, is that you have asked me to join this ridiculous Alliance of yours. An Alliance that you personally could contribute nothing to, you would have me bring a large number of Corellian troops, Corellian ships, and Corellian industry over to your cause, which you would of course, direct in security while people such as me fought the battles for you. But what does Chandrila do in all of this, the last I heard your world was as loyal to the Empire as any other."

"We're too close to the core to be anything else! The Imperial reprisal would be..."

"Quiet you haughty contemptuous bitch. Whatever reservations Corellia might have about the Empire, they are outweighed by our respect for it. General Skywalker is quite beloved in our system; no rebellion would even get off the ground. Plus, he's the last of the loyal Jedi, and his wife is one of the most peace-loving members of the Senate. So you see, your goal failed the moment you walked into my office, before that even."

Mon Mothma was about to raise her voice in protest, but Bail Organa stopped her.

"I think it is best that we leave, good day Senator Bel Iblis, please let me know if there is anything I can do to make up for your lost time."

Senators Organa and Mothma exited, escorted by the Alderaanian Guards that now accompanied him since the declaration of the Empire. Mon Mothma was irritated to the point that she had a constant scowl on her face.

"That rotten sand panther is a fool if he thinks things are going to get any better. Does he really believe that even General Skywalker and Amidala by themselves can keep Palpatine in check?" She spoke, rubbing her palms together nervously behind her back.

Bail placed a firm hand on her shoulder and squeezed. "You need to relax and get a grip on yourself. Senator Bel Iblis would have brought a lot of military might to our cause but insulting and aggravating him will bring him down on our heads as well. We will just have to remain patient and hope that our talks with the Bothans continue to go well."

Mon Mothma's scowl mellowed out and she regained a plain face but added a hint of malice in her voice. "There is another alternative to the Corellians."

Bail stopped and made a hand signal to his guards, signaling to them that they needed a moment of privacy. After a couple of moments a safe spot nearby was found. The guards escorted the two senators into a side conference room of the Senate building known to the staunch Republicans as a sort of haven from the prying ears of their supposed colleagues.

"Just what exactly are you talking about?" Bail asked.

"As Palpatine said, prior to the surrender of the Confederacy, Nute Gunray was forced by General Skywalker to deactivate all of the battle droids before the ambush attempt on Skywalker's life by the Separatists leaders and the supposed Jedi Rebellion.”

Bail nodded, although he knew that the official Imperial accounts of what happened on Mustafar were far from the truth. He couldn’t reveal that to Mon Mothma though, instead allowing her to continue.

“I have a source on a senatorial committee that is keeping a track of all the battle droids being picked up and collected, and locations of military equipment that haven't been taken care of yet. There are literally quintillions of droids out there, the Empire can’t possibly reign them all in."

Bail bit his tongue, careful not to lash out inappropriately, but he realized where the conversation was going and he did not like it one bit.

"With the Bothans on board we can invent new control programs, recalibrate every one of those droids, we might even be able to get a few ships and tuck them away." Mon Mothma exclaimed.

"You make it sound as if we were going to war."

"Don't you see? We've been at war ever since Geonosis and this is only a temporary peace. Eventually Palpatine will make his final grab for power and we must all be united. Isn't that why you wanted to help found an underground Alliance?"

"I want to oppose the Emperor that much is true, but what you are talking about is resurrecting the droid army, the same droid army that butchered billions upon billions of innocent people. There is no way we could use them in the name of freedom now."

Mon Mothma folded her arms and her expression was terse. "If you haven't got the stomach for sedition Bail then I suggest you follow Senator Bel Iblis' lead and play the role of lapdog. I for one am not about to let the Republic die so easily and I will do what it takes. There are a lot of former Separatists out there, some of them good people caught on the wrong side because of what planet they were from and nothing else. An army already exists out there ready to oppose Palpatine and I plan to point it right back at the Empire. It would be a fitting twist of irony if the designed to overthrow the Republic was what saved it from tyranny in the end.

"Would it be as ironic as it was that the army created to save the Republic now rules it with an iron fist? Or would it be even more fitting that in trying to lead a revolution, one becomes the exact kind of dictator they opposed to begin with?” Bail directed those words right at Mon Mothma.

The two friends, on the verge of ending their relationship, stared at each other in silence. No more than a couple of minutes later they left, taking their separate ways.
Last edited by Darth Fanboy on 2006-10-09 04:41pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
-George Carlin (1937-2008)

"Have some of you Americans actually seen Football? Of course there are 0-0 draws but that doesn't make them any less exciting."
-Dr Roberts, with quite possibly the dumbest thing ever said in 10 years of SDNet.

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Postby Sean Mulligan » 2006-10-02 08:35pm

Sorry about the quotes. I accidentally erased the quote marks. I was not making a criticism, merely commenting on the lack of logic in Anakin's actions both in your AU and in Canon. He is a real head case. I hope that Padme dumps him like a sack of potatoes for what he has done.

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Postby Pax Britannia » 2006-10-03 07:59am

This is an excellent fanfic. I look forward to the update.

I wonder if the new Padme thats charged with dark side energy will go along with Anakins plans to rule the empire.

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Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-03 06:06pm

Chapter 4: New Paths Unfold

"Leia is an excellent name, but what makes you so sure our child is a girl?"

Padme rolled onto her side and looked over at her husband, pulling the comforter over her chest and smiling. "Call it woman's intuition."

"Is that anything like the Force?" Anakin had said, grinning back at her and running his hand through her hair.

"Mmm hmmm, and you don't need to have Jedi powers either, you just have to be a female."

"I can't say I qualify there, but maybe if I used the Force I could..."

"No,” Padme held up a finger to Anakin’s lips, “don't, I don't want to know until the day arrives."

Anakin nodded, he shared her sentiments. "If it's a boy, I think we should call him

Padme's face contorted slightly in a puzzled expression. "Luke? It sounds nice but where does it come from?"

"In ancient Jedi history, there are tales of a powerful Knight called Lucas. It was said that Lucas was so powerful with the Force he could create great beauty with the Force. The legend has it that late in his life his creations began to lose their luster, and people had begun wondering if whether or not his powers were beginning to fail him. But before he passed on he managed one final act, something that reshaped the galaxy into something better and brighter. If I have a son, I would hope that naming him after the legend would help guide him down an honorable path." Anakin hung his head, slightly embarrassed.

Padme had just smiled, kissed him tenderly and whispered into his ear. "I think it's a wonderful name."

The memory was clear, one of few happy moments he allowed himself to cling to. Gone were the days of his boyhood in Mos Espa and the Jedi Temple, gone were the days of learning and training in the Jedi Temple, gone even were the times he and Obi-Wan spent together on those long hyperspace journeys between assignments. Sure he recalled names, information, and outcomes of events but the feelings attached to those were gone forever. The boy had become a man, and the man had become a Sith.

Padme was resting again, she had finally fallen asleep on her own after seventeen hours of excruciating childbirth. It wasn’t a galactic record by any means but considering the ordeal of the past couple of days it was simply one final stretch of torment. Anakin had been there, staying by her side with his hand clasped over hers. He could feel her pain through the force, and he wanted to do anything he could.

But his master had ordered him to follow the physician’s advice and do nothing, for it may endanger the lives of his children. Anakin had noticed that Palpatine had started to take greater interest in his children. It seemed like the same sort of concern a grandfather would have on the outside, but Anakin knew that his Master always had motives that were not always altruistic. He vowed to discover whatever intentions Palpatine had for the twins.

Luke and Leia were resting comfortably as well. Luke named after a probably fictional character Anakin had first heard of when he was a youngling, and Leia from the Great-Grandmother of Padme Amidala who had been one of Naboo's most cherished ambassadors of years past and the inspiration for Padme to enter politics. The two children were taken to the newly christened Amidala Maternity Center, under red robed Imperial Guard. Padme would soon follow when the doctors certified her clear to be admitted as a new mother under reduced care at the Maternity Center.

Anakin, however, would not get to stay. His master already had a task for him to accomplish that would require his natural leadership and knowledge of war. The Separatist forces, reeling from utter defeat with no place to go and minimal droids still functioning, had founded a holdout on Enarc.

Enarc was an important target for the Empire. After the end of the war it had become the primary center for remaining CIS forces to regroup and rearm. Creating their sanctuary had sealed the fate of those in charge, but none of those who gathered at Enarc had much to lose. They would be killed by the Empire whether they fought or not.

Palpatine offered no support to any of the halfhearted negotiation attempts made by peace advocates in the Imperial Senate. Publicly, the Emperor called on General Skywalker, hero the Republic, to eradicate these rogue planets and granted Anakin the position of Supreme Military Commander of all Imperial forces, making him answerable to none save for the Emperor.

In secret, Darth Sidious had called upon Anakin to show no mercy, and to crush the resistance utterly so that the CIS would not rise again. Sidious wanted his apprentice to shock and awe the galaxy with strength so terrible that it would scare worlds into submission.

Unlike many of his battles fighting for the Republic, he would not go into battle with comparable or undermanned forces. In the age of the Empire, Palpatine had thought it best to respond to any situation with overwhelming and brute force. No longer stretched on hundreds of fronts all over the galaxy, the Empire could concentrate more forces on fewer hotspots.

Anakin's new flagship would be the HMIS Imperator , the first of two hundred new starships built, with hundreds more in production. The Imperator-Class Star Destroyer was one of many new weapons coming off of the assembly line after the war’s end that the Empire had at its disposal. Far more powerful than other ships, Anakin was certain that it would become a common sight amongst the Imperial Navy.

Anakin allowed himself one final visit to the twins before his departure. He sat between their beds, switching his attention back and forth between them and smiling. As he cradled the infants he could feel their strong connection to the Force, closed his eyes and reached out with his mind. He could sense the children’s awareness, uninhibited by the trappings of age and universal understanding. Their sense of wonder at their own surroundings fed into the Force. It reminded Anakin of his own childhood.

It also made him think of what would have happened had he not destroyed the Jedi. Would he have been excommunicated? It was a possibility. Would his children have been taken away from him? Would he have been tossed out of the Jedi order only to have his children raised by the very same Masters who had first rejected him?

The conflicting emotions welled up inside of Anakin, and the Dark Side swirled towards him. Both Luke and Leia immediately began to cry, causing Anakin’s focus on them to return, he allowed the anger to lift from his heart and the children were soothed almost immediately. A pair of nanny droids that had heard the commotion had stepped in to assist and Anakin allowed them to resume their duties. He could still feel the lingering effects of the encounter in his heart even as he boarded the shuttle that would take him to his latest command.

For the first time in his life, Yoda felt relieved to be alone. During his time at the Jedi Temple, the thought of exile would have driven him slightly mad. He had lived among several generations of Jedi for nearly eight hundred years and had imagined that by the time he became one with the Force that they would no longer require his service.

“Change in the last few hundred years, things have.” He thought to himself.

Yoda had been born, apprenticed, and elevated into Jedi Knighthood before the time the Jedi and the Republic instituted the mandatory and controversial Infant Force Sensitivity Test as a way to bolster the ranks of the Jedi Order. Midiclorian counts were the most efficient way to do so, as the small organisms' presence was an indication of Force potency. Many Jedi scientists believed that Midiclorians were a side effect of a being's force sensitivity, with the tiny organisms feeding on the natural Force produced by the being, colonizing the bloodstream, and helping to develop the connection.

In Yoda's time the Jedi simply wandered the galaxy at the whim of the Force seeking potential Jedi Knights. Yoda had been such a child, raised in the crowded warrens of his planet, rising from the obscurity of his family's den to become one of the greatest Jedi the galaxy had ever known.

In Yoda's time at the temple he had been surrounded by people close to him as well, his fellow Jedi were his new family and he had a bond with all of them that he could always rely on. Now they were all gone, and Yoda felt that in his heart he could bear loss no longer. Of course he could never be alone, not if the voice of
Qui Gon kept ringing in his ears.

"Tatooine, Master Yoda, the answers are on Tatooine."

It was the planet where it had all begun, where many years ago a slave boy with a
knack for racing started down a new path.

Yoda's arrival on Tatooine had gone unheralded. Swathed in robes to disguise him, he had spent only a short time in Anchorhead before happening upon a pair of Jawas, who immediately were quite friendly to the stranger as he was of their size. With a little careful wording and some unseen motivation, the two Jawas decided they would allow Yoda to stay with them for a while, until it was appropriate enough for Yoda to leave of course. Tatooine was outside of the Imperial sphere of influence for the moment and in several ways far safer than Dagobah, which was in an area of space currently within the boundaries of the former Republic. Yoda had imagined life in solitude before, and he admitted to himself that the lifestyle of a hermit was an appealing change of pace when compared to the lifestyle of a Jedi General.

Yoda boarded the Sandcrawler, using the Force to translate the Jawas intricate language for him. The two Jawas had introduced their new friend to the rest of the tribe, and Yoda had earned their affection by handing over what few technical items he had brought with him. A data pad, a light pen, and a small holo recording of a short play by Palleus Chuff. For a day Yoda began learning about the Jawas operation of scavenging material and reselling it to local merchants and to the moisture farmers, who were less picky when it came to obtaining parts. The ride had lasted barely a day when the crawler came upon a ruined settlement.

One of the Jawas Yoda had befriended explained that it was an abandoned Tusken Raider settlement, its inhabitants were all slaughtered about 'Three Anchorhead Annuals ago' which was how the Jawas referred to the galactic standard years adopted by the various offworlders that had gradually settled the planet. The Jawas occasionally stopped here because the Tuskens' well still functioned and they could gather a bit of water for their long stretch across the dunes towards Mos Espa.

When asked how the Tuskens' were murdered, the Jawa had explained that a great shadow had formed over the village, a punishment for the Sand People who murdered dozens of offworlders and Jawas alike. Another Jawa overhearing the conversation recalls how a human with oddly braided hair had been asking for the location of this particular settlement, and that if anyone had witnessed what had happened surely he was the one.

A spark went off in Yoda's brain, only three years ago they had fought in the
Battle of Geonosis and prior to that he had felt a great pain from Anakin Skywalker through the Force. He never fully understood what had happened, thinking it to be related to the troubles on Geonosis, but Obi Wan had mentioned that Anakin had been on Tatooine with Amidala prior to his rescue attempt. He was sure that if he investigated the site, he would be able to glean some insight as to what may have sent The Chosen One down the path of darkness.

As Yoda hobbled down the ramp leading back out of the sandcrawler and past the carcass of a long dead Bantha, one thing was for certain.

Qui Gon, even in death, was a know-it-all.

Obi Wan, now an unofficial resident in the Royal Palace of Alderaan, stood outside and extended his presence into the Force as far as he could. He was beginning to relearn a few things about himself, and how that with enough calm and serenity he could overcome his condition, and regain a lot of his function. It was doubtful he would ever regain his old mobility and combat prowess. But there was still plenty of work he was more than capable of as his mind was still intact.

"Master Kenobi, it is good to see you alive."

The voice had been Bail Organa's, and he was obviously frustrated and weary. Obi
Wan turned and gave a knowing nod. "It's good to be among the living Senator. Is there something that troubles you? I'd like to at least feel useful at some point during my stay here."

"It is nothing, I assure you."

"You know I'm still a Jedi. I can read minds you know."

"I thought that was just a bad rumor spread by cowards who wanted to sully the Order's reputation."

"Maybe it is, maybe it isn't" Obi Wan said jokingly. Bail looked on him and smiled, but through his mind was a great awe and respect. Obi Wan, despite his condition, was cracking jokes with the gentle humor he had been known for amongst Jedi and politicians alike. He could have been the most resilient man Bail had ever met, which meant that he was perhaps the most qualified person to help him out.

"What I'm about to say, well I must admit it would be asking a lot of you, and if you don't even want to hear of it I can assure you I will never mention it in front of..."

"Bail, just say it." Obi-Wan had interrupted, hoping the Senator would speak his mind and get to the point, which would make both men more comfortable.

Bail smiled and scratched the back of his neck, almost laughing. "Maybe you do read minds. The situation however calls for someone with your expertise."

Bail explained how he and Mon Mothma had each been quietly gathering up factions, drawing support from the fringe groups and worlds most likely to suffer under Imperial rule and those who already had nothing to lose by defying the Empire. The chance to recruit Garm Bel Iblis had failed utterly and miserably, setting back the formation of a planned Rebel Alliance back by possibly years due to a lack of capital ships. Bail further noted his concerns that Mon Mothma would turn to former Separatists as a way of acquiring weapons for her war if people like Bel Iblis wouldn't help. Bail, knew that if she acted too quickly the hammer would be brought down on all systems, and if that time came he needed to be prepared to fight as well.

"We were planning on disarming entirely, hoping to stash our weapons away where they might be used in the future by the Rebel Alliance, but Alderaan is now an inevitable target. We cannot oppose Palpatine outright without being crushed but we cannot cooperate without betraying ourselves." Bail said, the frustration apparent in his voice.

Obi Wan turned to Bail, looking through his new eyes with the blank expression his is breathing mask. "Where exactly do I fit in all of this?"

Bail met Obi Wan’s look and smiled slightly, "It's simple for now really. I can give you a temporary commission as a General in the Alderaanian Defense Force, under an assumed name. Eventually you'll become chief of the Alderaanian military. If you want that is."

Obi Wan turned to look back out at the sky. Fighting in the clone wars had destroyed the Jedi, paying for their participation with their lives. Now there way no way out of the fight until it was over, and either the Sith or the Jedi stood alone in the universe. Obi Wan could think of no better way to join his fallen comrades, than by fighting one last great struggle to free the galaxy he had sworn to protect, so that the sacrifices made would not be in vain, but his spirit had been wounded along with his body and he was unsure of his ability to fully commit to the task.

The decision would not come lightly.
Last edited by Darth Fanboy on 2007-11-19 07:44pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-04 12:50am

Chapter 5: The Battle of Enarc

In the Dune Sea, Yoda walked away from the Sandcrawler he had called home for several days, and moved into an abandoned hovel. Armed now with knowledge about local water sources he chose this spot through the Force as the best place for him to decide what to do next, and to commune with Qui Gon. It had taken hours and he had finally managed to reach his fallen comrade from beyond, but instead of new insights into the force or even a simple greeting, Qui Gon had only managed a warning.

"He is coming."

Enarc was the greatest remaining stronghold, and last great Bastion of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. After the apparent surrender of the CIS, acting Trade Federation Vizier Sentepeth Findos had declared that the the once powerful galactic cartel would surrender its corporate and military assets. However, Enarc refused to surrender. Led by Customs Vizier Marath Vooro. Enarc broadcast a bold message of defiance and began fortifying the system with everything it could muster.

During the war it had been relatively unthinkable to attack the planet, its value as a major shipyard was diminished by its location and it was relatively insignificant until Vooro's declaration of independence. With that statement Enarc had become the de facto capital of the Confederate Remnant, and the primary target for the newly christened Imperial Navy.

Vooro and his advisors immediately began consolidating every remaining CIS asset and assets of supporting organizations such as Baktoid Corporation and the Free Dac Volunteers. Their stated goal was to resist the Galactic Empire in the name of Free Planets. Unofficially, their goal was to provide a militarized haven for those who could be tried as war criminals by the former Republic.

His days once spent full of leisure and overseeing trade between sectors, Vooro now spent almost every waking hour coordinating a military effort that was full of bravado, but held little chance of prevailing.

A Muunilisti Admiral was reviewing the fleet strength "Three Hundred of our remaining Lucrehulk class battleships In addition to approximately twelve hundred supporting capital ships, including Providence class cruisers. I have elected to move the flag to Lucid Voice following the destruction of Colicoid Swarm during the failed reprisal against Utapau."

Vooru had already been briefed by lesser officials on his staff but the Admiral was Muunilisti, a banker by trade, and as such he felt it necessary to go over every excruciating detail. Vorru didn't care though,the Admiral would say nothing new and Vooru would dismiss him with a meaningless display of gratitude. Although his Admiral would paint a gloomy picture, Vooru was confident that this fortress system would hold out. The Remnant maintained a vigilant watch of the system and they had enough sources of raw materials to last for many years. Those former Separatists who still held out in the wake of their defeat believed that eventually the novelty of the Empire would fade and the Republic would finally rid itself of Palpatine.

Then the forces of Enarc would strike, making the consumer fodder of the galaxy pay for undermining those who had bartered hard for their right to rule.

Accessing some of his personal files, he recalled the last time he had spoken with Nute Gunray. In his heavily augmented voice, Gunray spoke of traveling to Mustafar and that if anything should happen to him that millions of isolated-signal battle droids and equipment were being stockpiled across the galaxy in secluded CIS holdings. A contingency based on the Viceroy's extreme paranoia in dealing with the Sith and one that would serve as a last ditch measure of defeating the Republic.

The Muunilisti Admiral was still rambling on about repositioning droid fighters to different locations, altering the locations of in-system chokepoints along hyperspace lanes and changing supply routes to fool Imperial ships from targeting essential convoys. When he quit speaking, Vooro considered it a relief and started to walk off before he was interrupted by the Admiral. He was oblivious to the transmission that the Admiral was recieving on his personal comlink.

"Cherished Executive, we have a situation that requires your immediate attention. Please accompany me to central command."

Now annoyed to the point of anger, Palladar sniped at his underling. "What is it now?"

"A Rep…” The Admiral corrected himself, “An Imperial fleet inbound, we currently tracking nearly one thousand ships inbound, confirmation of Acclamator and Venator class ships plus smaller support craft."

Vooro immediately switched from frustration to anxiety. The presence of the Republic's vaunted troopships and carrier ships meant that the Empire had finally decided to rid the galaxy of Enarc for good.

From the bridge of the ISD Imperator, Supreme Commander Anakin Skywalker gave the order over the holonet to all of the ships under his command. "Begin the attack."

The bloodiest battles of the Clone Wars were marked by the brutal fighting on the planet's surface as the Republic and Confederacy fought to control vital resources. Battles were fought on Geonosis, Kashyyk, Jabiim and thousands of other worlds for no better reason than to prevent the enemy from having them.

But the Imperial fleet currently under Anakin's command was not interested in the planet at all. The Emperor had now dubbed every Separatist a "Rebel", and decreed that all of their remaining refuges be destroyed. First on the list was the most productive

The bloodiest part of this battle would take place in the void surrounding Enarc. The Imperial fleet would have to overcome the challenges unique to three-dimensional combat. Defenses had been synchronized with the planets orbit so there were no gaps in coverage during any time of any day and the fleet was arrayed in a 360 degree pattern forming a defensive cocoon around Enarcl, the shipyards, and the surface mining facilities which provided the badly needed capital to keep the fortification up and running.

The Emperor had assigned Anakin to personally supervise the operation. Anakin’s popularity was soaring as word spread that his wife had given birth to twins despite the assassination attempt by Obi Wan Kenobi. The public face of the Empire smashing the fortress world of Enarc would send the populace and the Imperial Senate into a jubilant frenzy that would blind them to the truths behind the scenes.

Anakin was also chosen because Palpatine could entrust nobody else to decimate the rebels as thoroughly, and the new Imperator-class Star Destroyers and their heavier guns were more befitting to Anakin's style than the older ships of the line. But there was a touch of deception in the plan, something that could be attributed to Anakin's growing knowledge of Sith teachings and also to the newly appointed Governor Tarkin. Tarkin was especially well schooled in the ways of applying violence, and he and his methods had found favor with the Supreme Chancellor turned-Emperor.

“Is the fleet in position for the attack?” Anakin turned to the Grey uniformed Captain, who was down in the crew pit closely examining some of the latest sensor readings. He looked up at Anakin, who was made even more imposing by the added height he gained standing above the console. “All groups are in position; The Imperator task force is holding back as per your orders.”

Anakin turned his head to look out through the windows in front of him into the vastness of space. Although he couldn’t see his enemy, he knew he was within spitting distance of them. “Then send the order to all ships in the fleet. Commence the attack.”

The crew acknowledged his orders and within seconds the order had been transmitted to every ship in the vast Imperial fleet, from the mightiest Star Destroyers to the diminutive Carrack Cruisers and Corellian Corvettes making up their respective subgroups. The Empire was prepared to drop the heavy end of the hammer down upon the Separatist Rebels, and there would be no peaceful solution.

Vooro watched the display screen as the invaders began streaking towards the planet. The Imperials had chosen to attack the night side of the planet, probably hoping to catch the defenders in that portion of the defensive grid unawares. But it mattered little for the droids assigned to those areas had no need for sleep, and the sentient crews assigned to those areas were on constant alert. The planet's automated defense systems powered to full readiness and ships began deploying to meet the attack. Immense Lucrehulk class battleships led the formations and began coordinating swarms of droid fighters, while the smaller capital ships began training their guns on the Imperial Capital Ships, hoping to cause damage from long range before the Empire could unleash their fury from close range.

This was where Vooro and the other holdout leaders felt that they could prevail. The Empire's most outstanding ships were the Venator and [i] Acclamator class ships while the new Victory Class Star Destroyers were tied up in engagementsall across the outer rim. There was no way the Empire could muster the firepower needed to fight this battle at this time.

"The arrogance of the Empire is that of the Republic! They send troopships and fighter carriers to overcome our fleet? Finally they will have a taste of their own blood streaming down their faces." Vooro screamed from within the control room, watching as the holographic displays of Providence class ships finally completed their formations and began firing long-range barrages at the incoming Imperials.

Soon both sides were at the fringes of the others maximum attack range, Star Destroyers were deploying swarms upon swarms of V-Wing and ARC-170 starfighters as fast as they could before the accuracy of CIS turbolasers could become a threat to the exposed hangars. Droid fighters, anticipating this, sped towards their targets hoping to catch them off guard. Their controllers though, underestimated the clone pilots. The durability of the Imperial fighters, along with the close support of the light capital ships, proved lethal as the droid squadrons began to suffer heavy losses.

Though both ships carried weapons that could rain death upon an unshielded planetary surface, the primary role of the Venator and Acclamator class was not to kill enemy capital ships. Anakin knew this full well when he sent in the bulk of his fleet ahead with only modest escorts. The Separatists had arrayed their forces in anticipation that the invaders would begin invading the planet at once, attempting to land their ships and deploy their fighters in an attempt to overrun the planet and gain control of the lucrative mines and facilities.

Instead, Anakin had deliberately held back the newest Star Destroyers, hoping to draw the largest guns of the enemy fleet towards the front, so that he could crush them utterly when he sprang his trap, leaving nothing left of the Separatist Fleet but scattered debris and painful memories. The first wave of Venators had begun deploying fighters and engaging the Trade Federation Battleships.

"Commence the second wave, target those droid control ships and battleships with our heaviest guns. Leave none left alive!" The order was given, and the thousands of clone pilots and soldiers roared with applause upon hearing the order from their hero.

From hyperspace the new Star Destroyers came, emerging right above the Venators thanks to sensor data being fed to their location. Within seconds they heaviest turbolasers had positive target locks on their adversaries and began firing. The heavy turbolasers of the ISD were unlike anything that had been mounted on a capital ship before and before long they were tearing the Droid Control Ships to shreds. Although heavily shielded, the constant volleys of fire from multiple Star Destroyers began overwhelming them and it was not long before Palladar heard the screaming coming from his commanders.

"Sir! Unknown ships overwhelming us in position three! Permission to..."

"Imperial ships have broken through the grid at... "

"Ion cannons have fried all of our droids! I can't control..."

Vooro shut off the loudspeaker. After that last transmission one of his battleships had plowed into a Banking Clan communication frigate that had been coordinating the message traffic. He turned to the Muunilisti Admiral, hesitating to shoot him dead with his sidearm and screamed "Divert forces from the day side of the planet! Kill those star destroyers at all costs!"

"But sir…that would leave us..."

"I don't care! Just do it!" Vooro screamed, spittle flying from his mouth.

The Admiral acknowledged, and began transmitting the orders via secure landlines on the planet. Before long, reinforcements from the dayside of the planet began shifting into new positions to engage the enemy invaders. The grid could be reestablished later once the Empire had been pushed out for good.

From his command console Anakin watched as dozens of ships began breaking their formation and heading towards his fleet. Despite the fact that these new reinforcements could very well bloody him he gave a toothy and sinister smile. He motioned towards his bridge officer.

"Send the signal to Tarkin over the Holonet, tight beam transmission, commence phase 3. Warn all ships in the fleet to prepare to engage enemy reinforcements."

The officer gave a swift salute and began sending the encoded signals through the holonet. Thanks to the galaxy-wide network of stations that provided the galactic access to the holonet, the signal reached Tarkin's fleet not far from the Maw cluster within seconds. Upon receiving the signal, Tarkin ordered his hastily assembled group of 15 Victory class Star Destroyers to enter hyperspace and prepare to engage targets. Skywalker had managed to open a gap in the fleet and the battle data attached to the transmission showed Tarkin a nice wide opening through which to take his Star Destroyers through. The Separatist Rebels, foolishly believing that all of the Empire's VSDs were tied up in the remaining sieges in the Outer Rim, had mismanaged their fleet out of desperation and cowardice. The only challenge would be to try and spin this battle in such a way so that Tarkin got the credit for the Victory for himself, without that brat Skywalker usurping him.

The VSDs charged through space and emerged to little resistance from several Golan-
I battle stations and a scant handful of Commerce Guild support craft that had been late in responding to Palladar's command to reinforce against Skywalker. The big guns obliterated their targets before acquiring locks on the essential facilities. Tarkin's ships began bombarding shipyards and annihilating them.

"Begin targeting the planetary shield at once." Tarkin quipped to his gunnery officer as he began analyzing the battle. Skywalker was more than holding his own against the Separatists who were already reeling from the losses of their orbital facilities. The gunnery officer began coordination with other ships in Tarkin's task force, aiming for those portions of the shield weakened by the falling debris from the shipyards. "Moff Tarkin Sir," spoke a slightly nervous and green bridge officer who was unsure of whether he should refer to Tarkin by his political or former military title. "There is an incoming message from General Skywalker." Tarkin repressed his emotions, maintaining his composure amongst lesser individuals was as much a part of being superior as anything else, but to those who knew him he was definitely annoyed. "Patch it through then." Tarkin had about as much admiration for Skywalker as he had for any other Jedi Traitor. Whatever it was about Skywalker that had made the Emperor spare him still did not allow the Moff to think him a worthwhile comrade.

"Governor Tarkin, you've destroyed the orbital shipyards, divert your ships to engage the enemy fleet at once We agreed on this before the battle began.”

Tarkin nearly scoffed aloud, feeling no need to explain himself to the brat before him. "General, in case you haven't noticed I have a clear shot at the planetary shield, Enarc will be ours within the hour if you would just quit..." Tarkin began to feel a tight grip around his throat but he did nothing, controlling his breathing instead by slowing his breathing and restricting his movements, but before he could speak Skywalker cut him off.

"Planetary shields do not concern me Governor, the Separatist fleet does. Your ships will begin engaging the rear echelon of the Enemy fleet now or I will see to it that the Emperor learns of your little mutiny."

The borderline blasphemy nearly burned Tarkin's ears. He had not expected the young man to be so forceful. The Emperor had ordered that the two cooperated but Skywalker had literally taken the entire situation into his control and appeared ready to kill him when his command was threatened. "I understand General; my ships will begin targeting the enemy momentarily.” Tarkin ended the transmission curtly and then gave the order to proceed along Skywalker's orders, attempting to save as much face as he could. Tarkin was now incredibly angry, A General, even the Supreme Commander of Imperial Military Forces should not be able to dictate orders to a high-ranking official such as himself. Skywalker's lack of political respect was maddening at times. For the time being there was no opposing Palpatine, at least, not until there was an opportunity great enough to equal the ambition.

It took the better part of five hours, but Skywalker's forces had laid waste to the bulk of the last CIS fleet. What few ships that had been able to retreat were scattered to the four winds loaded with fleeing Separatists in fear of the infamous Imperial War Crimes Tribunal. With the fleet gone Palladar was left with little to fight back with in space, and the Imperial bombardment was slowly wasting away at the energy shield that protected him. The Separatist holdout of Enarc had fallen. With one last exasperated sigh, Vooro raised his sidearm to his head, and fired it for the first time.

General Skywalker had begun touring the conquered planet the next day. Star Destroyer-based bombers had decimated what was left of the droid garrison, which was caught on the ground unable to resist against the massive Imperial Armada. Anakin had taken it upon himself to tour the command center of the Separatist base, where a helpful Muunilisti Admiral offered vital information in exchange for his life. The Admiral produced documents revealing that Enarc's supply convoys had been provided almost exclusively by the Hutts. Records also showed that the Hutts were involved in dealing CIS droids and weaponry on the black market, sometimes selling them back to their former owners on holdout worlds.

After a short investigation, he returned to his flagship, and upon returning he immediately contacted his master via a secure transmission. Before long, the image of Emperor Palpatine as Lord Sidious emerged, a blue ghost floating in the air before him.

"My Master, we have finally completed our objectives, Enarc is ours." Vader said as he knelt.

"So I have heard Lord Vader, I trust that this marks the end of the Separatist threat then?" Sidious said; a content look upon his face.

"What remains is nothing more than a scattered group of cowards who fear our justice my master."

"And you have discovered the source of Enarc's war material which allowed it to thrive despite the death of the separatist leaders on Mustafar?"

"I have my master. The Hutts supplied weapons and transported raw materials on behalf of the Customs Vizier Marath Vooro."

"Yet another treacherous Niemoidian who suffered a well deserved end. " The Emperor said. Sidious considered this new information and began letting his thoughts merge into the Force, within seconds the framework of a plan lay before him. "This works to our advantage, the Hutts have yet to yield control of their systems to Imperial authority."

"A simple display of strength my master, would subjugate them rather swiftly." Vader said as he involuntarily flexed his cybernetic fingers.

"You are correct my apprentice, and with the pre-existing agreement between us and the Hutts from your efforts to free Jabba's kidnapped son, we have a valid pretext to deal with the Hutts as we see fit. I am placing you personally in charge of bringing the Hutts in line, use whatever methods you deem necessary to bring them under our control."

The apprentice Sith lowered his head out of respect along with his reply. “Thank you my master, Jabba's betrayal will not go unpunished, and Hutt Space will no longer be of concern to you.”

"Know this, my apprentice, that my tolerance for any military action is quite thin. At this critical time in our Empire's development, I would prefer resources not be squandered.

Vader's flexing cybernetic fingers consolidated into a mechanical fist. "I had something much more personal in mind for Jabba. The power of our Star Destroyers is nothing compared to the power of the Force. Even scum like Jabba the Hutt should be made to understand that."

Vader's response was exactly what his Master wanted to hear, it pleased him to see that Vader was willing to develop more precise machinations rather than simply wielding brute force as he had done for much of his adult life.

Sidious acknowledged and was about to end the transmission when Anakin spoke up again. “Master, if I could ask but one more thing.”

“What is it Lord Vader?”

“Could you send a message to Padme, that I will be home soon?”

Sidious disguised his contempt, but kept his face straight and his expression emotionless. “Consider it done Lord Vader, now go and bring victory to our Empire.” Sidious made sure to emphasize Anakin’s Sith title. He then disconnected the transmission.

The image of Sidious dissipated and Lord Vader arose, extending the fingers on his mechanical hand and squeezing them into a fist repeatedly, a nervous twitch he developed shortly after Geonosis. He had already looked into the Hutt connection and he knew where he had to go, for his entire boyhood he had lived in slavery thanks to the Hutts, as well as thousands of others throughout the galaxy. As a boy he had dreams of wielding a lightsaber and freeing his mother and every other slave in the galaxy. OF course back then he thought he would be a Jedi. But reality can be much different, and far stranger than a dream. Instead he wielded the blade of a Sith, and his fight would be under the pretense of justice, but fueled by vengeance.

Anakin turned to a nearby Clone Commander, Appo. “Contact the Imperator and tell them to prepare a course for Tatooine. Release the fleet elements to their former duties save for our own escorts.”

Appo saluted, “It will be done General.”

It would be only the second time that Anakin had returned to Tatooine since the onset of the Clone War, he had not returned since he and his now departed Padawan had set out on a diplomatic mission for the Republic to curry the favor of Jabba the Hutt and rescue his son, a plot masterminded by the Confederacy, and with hindsight, Anakin surmised that it had all been just another scheme by his Master, manipulating both sides with his twin identities, to put the Hutt Clan into the Republic's pocket simply to bring them under the Empire's heel later on.

It was a brilliant plan, and Vader also guessed that it was not the only time that he had participated in a battle directly orchestrated by his Master without his knowledge.
Last edited by Darth Fanboy on 2008-11-13 07:19am, edited 3 times in total.
"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
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"Have some of you Americans actually seen Football? Of course there are 0-0 draws but that doesn't make them any less exciting."
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Postby Pax Britannia » 2006-10-04 05:57am

I always wondered why the Empire never dealt with Jabba. I look forward to the next part.

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Postby Crazedwraith » 2006-10-04 06:10am

I'm enjoying reading this again. Seeing Tarkin is always good.
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Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-04 07:12pm

Chapter 6: Return to Tatooine

"So this is it then Bail? You're just going to back out of the Alliance just as we are on the verge of establishing it?"

Mon Mothma's image projected onto Bail's desk at his residence on Alderaan. Seated herself, she was flanked by two beings. One of them was Senator Fang Zar of Sern Prime, and the other was a Neimoidian that Bail recognized as Lott Dod, The former senator who represented the Trade Federation in the Galactic Senate. Dod had been placed under house arrest in his residence on Coruscant shortly after Geonosis and was reinstated as the Senator of the “Loyalist” Neimoidians not affiliated with the Trade Federation, although his position was shaky at best. Prosecutors in the Imperial War Crimes Tribunal were calling for Dod's execution on charges of treason. Bail hadn't shed a tear when a subpoena was issued for Dod to appear in front of the Tribunal, his incessant use of loopholes and red tape to bog down the Senate had been a point of contention for years.

But without the support of Garm Bel Iblis or any other significant factions with military might, Mon Mothma had been forced to seek elsewhere for firepower that would arm her rebellion. There was only one organization in the galaxy remotely as well armed as the Imperial military, and these days there were plenty of former Separatists itching for a chance at revenge.

"I have told you repeatedly, the armed conflict you are suggesting directly contradicts what the people of Alderaan believe in." Bail said, his convictions unwavering.

"So you have said many times Bail, but just because Alderaan isn't a target yet doesn't mean you won't one day. How does the saying go? First they came for the Droids, then the Pacifists, then the Jedi, and then they finally come for you and there isn't a being left to speak up for you because you let them all be taken away."

"How did the saying go when the war broke out Mon?” Bail pointed out. “Palpatine said ‘I will lay down my powers as soon as this crisis has been averted.' You remember that line don't you? If you succeed and your rebellion overcomes the Empire how long will it take you to lay down your powers? The Empire is still a legitimately established government, if we are to stand by our principles we will have to win the fight on the Senate floor! Yours is the same line of thought that installed Palpatine into office and led us into one of the most destructive wars in galactic history!”

The accusations stung Mon Mothma hard, but not in the way Bail had intended. She was furious. "Well I am not going to just sit and let the Empire claim absolute control over our civil liberties. Senator Dod here feels the same way and he's willing to make up for his past transgressions to do something about it."

"Then consider this my heartfelt wish that you succeed Senator. I believe in the Senate and I believe in diplomacy, and I thought you did too. I cannot support a revolution though before all other options have been exhausted.”

There was a silence, interrupted only when Mon Mothma hung her head with an exasperated sigh. “I hope for your sake then Bail that time doesn’t run out before you’ve exhausted those options. Let this be the last we speak of this.”

Bail quickly switched off the holoprojector and stormed out of the office, Mon Mothma's impatience would set back any sort of resistance for years. The resounding Imperial victory at Enarc had caused her to act quickly, thinking that she needed to begin forming a network before pro-Imperial sentiment could grow any further. Anakin's Skywalker's glorified exploits were giving the COMPNOR propaganda machine heaps of new material. The birth of the Skywalker twins was widely heralded across the Empire as well but it had hit particularly hard at home on Alderaan, where Bail’s wife Breha was only months removed from her latest miscarriage.

That Mon Mothma actually followed through on her promises to align with former Separatists had been the final straw. She was genuine in her determination to win back the lost freedoms of the galaxy, of this Bail was certain. In critical situations, however, she would act without thinking and Bail felt incapable of being the moderating influence against her that might have lured support. He walked away from the administrative center of the Alderaanian government and into the adjunct building that served as the headquarters for the Alderaanian Defense Forces. On his way in, he passed one of the newest officers in the military who gave a gloved salute to the Senator that seemed just as friendly as it was professional.

"Greetings Senator Organa." the monotone voice spoke, mechanical but softened enough so that it wasn't as cold as a typical modulator spoke. General Ben Cody, formerly the Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi, had recently been named the top military official of Alderaan. With the help of some expert Bothan slicers and a few eyes blinded by credits Ben Cody's record showed him as a faithful soldier who commanded the Alderaanian flagship Liberty Belle as part of a Naval group that served in the lackluster campaign in the Drongar system. The Liberty Belle was destroyed and all hands lost, but thanks to the subterfuge however Ben Cody's record now indicated a miraculous escape that resulted in spectacular injuries, necessitating the use of an extensive cybernetic life support suit. With Ben Cody having no living relatives, the role was perfect for Obi Wan to assume.

In the previous days the adjustment to the suit had allowed for tailors to shape the suit to have a professional military appearance, much of the components were concealed beneath a gray suit stitched to allow as much mobility as possible. In private Obi Wan had managed to incorporate a small case for a lightsaber into his right arm, allowing him to carry it discreetly.

"Greetings General Cody, I apologize for my rudeness but there is a pressing matter I must discuss with you."

"Fair enough, but remember senator, your thoughts betray you far easier if you wear them on your sleeve."

Bail paused and reminded himself that despite his condition, Obi Wan was still a skilled Jedi Master, and keeping things to his self would take more than the standard "busy politician" dismissal he had been used to giving.

"Things are not going well my friend." The Senator finally admitted.

"Something is wrong within the former Loyalist Committee?” Obi Wan said, not needing his abilities to guess the source of Bail’s distress.

"Mon Mothma's convinced that if we don't do something about Palpatine soon that we're done for, she's already in position to start another war. The last thing the galaxy needs is another war right now, especially another large-scale civil war. The tighter we clench our fist in anger at the Empire, the more support we let slip through our fingers. War is not the answer, not yet."

"That is something you've been saying since Geonosis, I agreed with you then and I agree with you now. But you can't let your own reservations about her decisions change the fact that something will have to be done. Right now we have nothing going for us," Obi Wan looked around to ensure no one was eavesdropping ",and it was my own fault for failing on Mustafar."

Bail’s heart sunk, as terrible as he felt he knew his own difficulties couldn’t compare with the more personal failures Obi Wan was feeling. It was then that Bail remembered the reason for his seeking out Obi Wan. "I apologize for what I’m about to say General, but speaking of Mustafar there is some news about your former...colleague...that you might find worth your time."

The Imperator emerged from hyperspace unannounced in the Hutt-controlled system of Tatooine, the Republic government had never sent a ship representing the Federal level, although occasional unofficial visits had been made in the past. For thousands of years the Republic had generally left the Hutt Systems alone, abiding by an unwritten set of rules that allowed the two entities to coexist. Hutt Space was not officially part of the Republic, but free trade agreements made hundreds of years in the past allowed the two sides to conduct free trade.

Anakin looked down at the world of his birth, staring at the globe of sand. Many years ago, he had looked upwards from that desert towards the space he inhabited now, dreaming of a day when he would be able to travel amongst the stars. With modern technology, it was feasible to actually travel to a distant end of space and using powerful telescopes watch one’s self from many years ago as the light travels across the void.

The desert held many memories for Anakin, and although he could recall the happier times he could not feel them like he could feel the pain and the suffering he left behind. He wanted to reduce theworld to the same rubble that Enarc had become. After the battle, Anakin had ordered the surivors and battle droids of the enemy to be annhilated from space, along with the entire surface of the planet to serve as a notice of what would happen to other Separatist holdouts.

But Sidious had given him a task and Anakin had to accomplish that before proceeding with anything further. The Hutts had to be brought into line with the Empire, Jabba would be the key, and then he could attend to a few personal matters before finally being able to abandon this world for all time. At least on this return trip he wouldn't be stuck with an annoying Padawan with a foul smelling Huttling on his back while traversing the desert on foot.

Back on Coruscant, now officially renamed Imperial Center, Palpatine was finished with the day’s work of maintaining his Empire. Traitorous clone troopers on Murkhana had been dealt with by loyal soldiers in a public fashion. Rumors had it that Jedi had managed to escape from that world but it was unimportant, there was no point in sending the famed General Skywalker when other minions were capable of the task. Besides, Skywalker’s considerable reputation was needed elsewhere.

Sidious was able to continue his private machinations he had set aside elsewhere across the galaxy including the chain of events that would ensure Skywalker's loyalty to him, loyalty that would keep Anakin from turning on his master, giving Sidious the time to increase his power enough so that he would no longer have to rely on his apprentice to do his bidding.

In his own mind Anakin was a true friend, and a beloved apprentice, but it was also his duty as a Sith to one day rise up and overthrow his master just as it was Sidious' duty to train the most powerful apprentice he possibly could, replacing him as he saw fit and striking down any coup attempts so that the most powerful Sith Lord in existence is the master, as it had been since the time of Darth Bane, and the first true apprentice under the Rule of Two, Darth Zannah.

Vader was becoming more immersed in the dark side with each act of malice; Sidious knew that his apprentice may have avoided Tatooine entirely for the rest of his life unless ordered to do so or lured there otherwise. At first it had been simply a possibility, one that Sidious had been reluctant to pursue. But the eyes and ears of the Empire were everywhere, especially in the Outer Rim where sedition was beginning to rear its head once again, and when it had been confirmed it had been immediately brought to the Emperor.

Of course Yoda had not died during their battle, but there was no way he would ever live openly again either. Sidious had been content to let Yoda die a lonesome miserable death in exile on some uncharted world, but when the passenger roster for a transport heading to Tatooine listed a diminutive passenger of a rare species who gave no name, paid for fare in hard currency, and carried few possessions with him, red flags went up. Sidious had sought confirmation in the Force and received it. There would be no need to tell Vader, he would come to that conclusion on his own eventually.

The battle with the final great Jedi Master would cement Anakin's darkness, and erase that last string of the light he held on to. With that complete, there would be no one for him to turn to once the next stage of the grand design went into play. Ruling an Empire was but a minor accomplishment when compared to true immortality.

The natives of Mos Eisley rarely left their city, largely because moving to another planet was cost prohibitive and occasionally because the statute of limitations had not yet expired on past misdeeds. But Mos Eisley was full of travelers from across the galaxy as well, and many of them found quick fortunes in the Clone Wars. These were the beings that were familiar with the white armored Imperial troopers that were marching in a column in one of the city's largest plazas.

Commandos had already landed in order to secure a spaceport berth and clear the area of possible antagonists to clear the way for the symbolic gesture. On Anakin’s orders, a brigade of troopers would march through the middle of town and signify the coming of Imperial rule. Anakin as a young child had never been to Mos Eisley, but one Hutt City looked just like the next. Supposedly Anchorhead was a lot different, but it really didn't matter.

As soon as the demonstration was completed, Anakin himself landed along with a team of Clone Commandos. Amongst the clone forces of the Imperial military, it was the Commandos who displayed the greatest loyalty to the General that had led them in engagements all over the galaxy. Imperial ships then began deploying the prefab buildings in designated locations that would eventually become the new Imperial Garrison.

With that taken care of, Anakin and the commandos were transported to Jabba’s palace via LAAT gunship. Anakin felt no need to be subtle, nor a need to be cautious as he approached the great door of the palace. According to the background information he had been given, the palace was an old monastery created by the B'omarr monks ages ago, their unique practice of preserving their brains within small mechanized bodies allowed Jabba to simply assume the structure as his own. As he got closer Anakin sensed a slight disturbance in the Force and held his ground when he was interrogated by a long mechanized arm with a visual recorder, almost definitely part of a larger security system relaying information to some of Jabba's trusted lieutenants.

"Chuba ki aspa isti?" the arm asked. Anakin was already frustrated enough as it was without some bottom-rate thug or junk droid inquiring about his business. As soon as it was possible he would drop the false pretenses he was working under and allow himself a release of the anger brewing within him.

"I bring a message for Jabba the Hutt, on behalf of his majesty Emperor Palpatine, and on the behalf of the Imperial Senate." Using discrete hand signals Anakin ordered the commandos to begin doing a sweep of the area. High yield explosives were not out of a Hutt's price range, even one with a reputation for credit pinching such as Jabba. Nothing turned up though, and Anakin decided to proceed.

"Chuba ki naga ke ji isti?" The arm asked almost sarcastically. "Tolpa da banki danko."

"You can tell your master, that if he decides to ignore my request, then the Star Destroyer in orbit will reduce this palace and all of his assets on this planet into the deepest craters he has ever seen, that is, if he lives to survive it. Tell him that General Anakin Skywalker delivers this message personally. You have five standard minutes to open these doors or I will enter of my own volition."

On that final note two of the commandos hefted a pair of rocket launchers and the mechanical appendage wasted little time darting back into wherever it came from, it took less than a minute for the large doors to open. The rockets may not have been enough, but whomever it was observing must have noticed the LAAT off in the distance, LAATs had gained instant renown for their handling of departing starships at the battle of Geonosis. Between those rockets, and the beam turrets, the door would have proven as effective as a flimsi shroud.

Anakin called on the Force to guide him through the darkened chambers, as if he needed the extrasensory perception to tell that Gammorean guards were stationed along the route. He could smell their foul odor in the air and his hearing picked up barely muffled grunting sounds. Nothing in their demeanor suggested an attack; it seemed more like an attempt to make Anakin uneasy. Methods like these were more suited to someone like Count Dooku. Anakin summoned the Force and caused two pairs of guards to crash into each other, their thick skulls impacting with a sickening sound, a small gesture intended to give mild concussions, but enough of a gesture to turn the tables and make whoever was observing him think twice.

The clones followed in, using their HUDs to gain a tactical assessment of the situation and communicate with their comrades. Anakin paid them little attention, walking as he would down any other hallway while they acted as they would behind enemy lines, fanning out in groups of two, and logging every possible threat, including the various booby traps and ambush locations. The lead trooper, who had been given the name Shep, had initially planned on planting explosives over the entire compound, but Anakin had said that would not be required and that if it would become necessary to destroy the palace, a fighter strike would suffice.

Shep, however, wished he had still done so anyway, as he and his troopers watched Anakin stride confidently into Jabba's throne room. He turned his headset to the squad frequency.

"All right, while the General is doing his thing we're going to do ours. Any information we can gather we will take, any vehicles we find we will disable, and any hostile we encounter we will kill. Break off into pairs and maintain comm silence."

Within his hovel, Yoda felt the cold presence of Darth Vader, the man who had once been Anakin Skywalker. Although it was almost impossible that Anakin would be upon him so quickly, there was nothing Yoda could sense that a battle was impending, as if Anakin were on Tatooine for different reasons. His new residence was far from the larger cities. Through his connections with the Jawas he had befriended he knew that clone troopers, soldiers he once led into battle, were marching in the streets. Yoda found it almost humorous; the Empire was attempting to bring order to the most lawless region in space. If history stayed true to form, any attempt to impose law on fringe regions such as Tatooine would eventually end in failure as corruption and apathy set in amongst the occupiers. But history was a funny thing as of late, the thousand year history of the Republic and the thousands more years of the Jedi Order had been wiped out in one deft stroke.

"Of course the same thing had happened to the Sith at one point as well." Qui Gon had been quick to remind him.

"Enough of a mess we are in, because of prophecies." Yoda spoke to himself as he hobbled over to a small chest where he kept his lightsaber. Gripping the hilt of a weapon he had wanted to forsake so badly many years ago. Even before Geonosis, he had contemplated leaving the Council and focusing more on teaching. After Naboo however, he felt that he best served the Force as a member of the Council.

"They are all with the Force now Master, in time they will learn to join with the Force as completely as I have."

Yoda clipped the blade to his belt, knowing where Anakin would go next as soon as he finished whatever business he was attending to.

"Anakin remains the Chosen One, he will still yet bring balance to the Force."

Yoda pulled his robes over his head to shield himself from the inevitable gusts of and, and lowered his head.

"There is still good in him."

Obi Wan had also said that there was still good left in him. If there was then Yoda could not see it, whenever he closed his eyes he could only see the dead fallen all over the Temple. Luminous beings all of them had become, but Yoda still grieved for them, seeing Obi Wan covered in machines shattered his resolve utterly. There was still one-way however, that things could be made right. He closed the door behind him, following the directions given to him to the Lars homestead.
Last edited by Darth Fanboy on 2008-11-13 07:23am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-06 05:48pm

Chapter 7: Power of the Dark Side

Padme, please understand.

I turned my back on the Jedi, and Obi Wan, so that you and I could have our future together, like I promised, so that we could grow old and happy along with Luke and Leia. I didn't want our children to know the horrors of war.

The joy I felt when the twins were born was beyond that of anything I had ever experienced as a Jedi. I would have never been able to celebrate such an occasion as a Jedi. I would not change any of this.

In saving you, I have stained my hands with so much blood I fear they will never come clean. It was the only way to save you, and I will never regret it. Perhaps one day, when the Empire has brought order and peace the whole of the galaxy, it will all be clearer. When that day comes I look forward to having my family there with me.

No matter what happens I will always love you and our children with all of my heart, our family will always shine brightly within me.


Teardrops fell from Padme's eyes, soaking the flimsi letter she had received handwritten from her husband, scribed shortly before his departure to Enarc. Even though her children and family members who had traveled far from Naboo surrounded her, Padme cried. Her children were safe, the war was over, and she was alive when she should have been dead. But it had been at the expense of her husband's soul. The love they shared had caused him to fall from grace, and she had wondered whether or not any love was worth the personal hell that both she and Anakin were going through right now.

And yet, as her children were handed to her and even as the tight sensation of remorse filled her chest, she summoned her courage. She knew there was still a light inside of him, a flame that could break through the darkness if fanned properly. Luke and Leia cooed silently in their mother's arms, and the serenity on their faces calmed her heart.

”I’m not the only one that can help Anakin. You two will have to help me.” She spoke to them silently.

Anakin remembered the moment he had written the letter to Padme, his duty had called for him before he had time to give her a proper farewell. The note had been written in advance during the delivery itself. He had never been good with words, and he remembered how awkward his courtship had been. But he knew he could express himself to her without fear.

However it was no longer the time for comforting thoughts. Now, as he entered the chamber of Jabba the Hutt, Anakin summoned some of his anger and the light inside of him faded as he pushed thoughts of her down into the depths of his psyche. This task required the raw power of Darth Vader and in order for Darth Vader to fully emerge another part of Anakin Skywalker had to die. The anger came forth easily, Darth Vader drew power from hate, and there was nothing in the galaxy that Darth Vader hated more than Anakin Skywalker. Palpatine would have been proud.

If Jabba had more time in advance to prepare for this meeting he surely would not have chosen his throne room. The Hutt himself was situated in his usual position at the center of the chamber, surrounded by Gammorean and Weequay guards as well as what seemed to be dozens of the worst scum in the galaxy. Vibroblades, blasters of various sizes, even grenades were trained on him. Yet, despite the seemingly overwhelming advantage in firepower, there was no other expression on Anakin's face other than disinterest.

"Ho Ho Ho Skywalker..." The unmistakable belly laugh of Jabba echoed throughout the chamber as he and his repulsors led emerged from the shadows. ”It has been a long time since you ventured into my court,” Jabba said in the grumbling Huttese language, “you truly are as bold as they come.”

Anakin refused to speak; instead he called the Dark Side to him. While the Light Side of the Force allowed a Jedi to expand his consciousness to extend around him, The Dark Side made a Sith the center of the universe to allow the Sith to dictate the course of action. It was a different experience, but Anakin had been walking this fine line for many years during the Clone Wars with Obi Wan. As thoughts of his former master crossed his mind again his hate grew stronger and the Force drew to him quicker.

"I take your silence as a sign of disrespect, but, it doesn't matter. While I remain grateful to you and to the former Republic for the return of our son, all of the treaties existing between the Hutt Clan and Galactic Republic expired the day the war ended and the day that your government changed. As soon as that happened, the Hutts became free to do business with whomever we decide to deal with."

Jabba had raised his voice significantly in an attempt to intimidate Anakin, it had the opposite effect as Anakin's anger only grew and the Sith Lord found it quite difficult to restrain himself from tearing trhough the entire palace in a blind rage. But he knew that would not do, a message needed to be sent.

The Hutt kept on talking, the thought that his words carried little meaning to his opponent never crossing his mind. "We will allow the Imperial Starfleet to continue to travel the Outer Rim unharried as a courtesy, but do not expect that we will tolerate any direct manipulation in our affairs."

Defiantly, Anakin drew his lightsaber, but did not ignite it. "I did not come here to negotiate with you Jabba, I came to deliver a message. The Hutts are to fall in line with the rest of this galaxy under Imperial rule, or they are to be dealt with as I will deal with you.

The denizens of Jabba's court roared with a mixture of laughter, some of it jovial, some of it nervous. Members of more timid species began searching for the back exits, while those bolder species attempted to gain a better of view of the inevitable fight. Jabba turned to his attendant, a cowardly looking Twi'lek by the name of Bib Fortuna. "Bring in the guards to deal with this Jedi brat."

"You scum obviously have no idea of what power really means." Anakin said in a cold and grim voice. "Lay down your weapons and surrender immediately or I swear I will destroy each and every one of you, and the Empire will have what it desires anyway."

Jabba laughed immediately after hearing that, although he did swat a nearby protocol droid out of frustration, drawing a loud laugh from the Kowakian Lizard Monkey at his side.

"Ho Ho Ho...The young Jedi is a fool to think that he can sway a Hutt with such parlor tricks. I think for that the Empire will have to pay us even more."

Those mercenaries that stood closest to Jabba, in the second before the fight broke out, all would have sworn that their bones began to shiver as unseen energy began to build. Not long afterwards, a blast of lightning burst from Anakin's fingertips and incinerated the Monkey Lizard. The crowd, Jabba included, looked on in absolute shock as the charred skin of Jabba's pet burned, creating a meaty smell in the room. His bones turned black, and his screams were muffled by the intense sound of the energy crackling around him. After a few seconds, Anakin lowered his hand and the body fell to the floor. What was left of him lay on the floor in a smoldering heap. Jabba's head turned from the remains, and then towards the cadre of guards that had surrounded Skywalker.


A blast rang out, but it did not go towards Anakin, but into the skull of a mercenary, then another, and another. One by one the mercenaries started to shoot each other at point blank ranges, stabbing each other with concealed vibroknives; Gammorean guards began bludgeoning each other with their axes. Weaker minded individuals and those sensitive to the currents of the Force fell in agony as their brains sent a neutralizing fear response through their body, crippling them. In the center of this storm, Jabba looked on in terror as Anakin flashed a vicious smile, the blade extended to its full length with a crimson hue.

It was the first time Anakin ignited his lightsaber since he had replaced the crystal in his lightsaber with a new one that Palpatine had given him, a synthetic crystal from the lightsaber of Darth Plagueis. It was part of a Sith tradition where masters would pass down the crystals of their masters to their students. The student would then claim the master’s crystal upon killing him and becoming the next Sith Master.

Jabba was desperate now, his minions were either slaughtering each other or crippled in fear. There was only one thing left he could do, he desperately fumbled with the switch to the trap door that Anakin stood over, for a second it looked as if the doors would open and that Anakin would be swallowed up and sent to his fate below. But the lever jammed, or at least that's what he had though at first. But Anakin was no idiot; he had walked into many traps before and knew exactly what he was doing.

"Do you really think I was going to fall for something as simple as a trap door Jabba?" Darth Vader said as he walked closer, the fat Hutt tried to slither away but there was no way out in between the walls behind him and the door, he would have to go through Skywalker to get anywhere. He looked to Bib Fortuna, who had sprinted away at the first blaster shots through the crowd and was probably prepping a skiff to evacuate by now.

"Listen, we can talk this over, just name your price Skywalker. The treaty is still valid! Do you want money? Slaves? More power? I have information! Anything you want!"

Anakin raised his blade. "I'm getting tired of slime like you offering me anything I want, when no one could EVER possibly give me what I want."


For a brief second Anakin's concentration slipped, Jabba's frantic pulling of the trap door lever succeeded, separating the doors for several centimeters before Anakin regained his composure. He deftly stepped to the side and regained his hold with the Force. Sorely tempted, he looked down into the maw of Jabba's dungeon, a massive subterranean den big enough to hold some of the largest animals in the planet. Judging by the blood curdling roars coming from below, it already did.

Anakin had never actually seen a Krayt Dragon before, but from all the descriptions he had been given this was definitely one of them. The legendary dragons were so few in number they were considered mythical to anyone except natives. Jabba had obtained one, for entertainment and to do away with the messes that carcasses tended to leave. Vader could feel the savage hunger of the monster, kept at the edge of ferocity with hunger and harsh treatment.

"Perhaps Jabba, it is time for you to feed your pet."

Vader adjusted his Force grip and locked the lever to open, walking off of the door as it slowly slid apart and unleashing the now deafening cries of the Krayt Dragon below him. The doors were locked open, and the fighting between mercenaries spilled over, with several of them falling to their demise. Some died upon falling to the ground, others instantly devoured. Using the Force, Vader sought out Jabba's stomach; even through the Force he could tell it was a vile and disgusting thing. Using the Force Anakin caused it to swell and bloat, popping it from the inside and puncturing the Hutt’s stomach lining. Jabba’s extremely volatile stomach acids which allowed him to digest almost any food in the galaxy were now eating away at his internal organs. Jabba cried out in great pain as Darth Vader levitated him off of his platform, dropping him into the pit below. The de facto ruler of Tatooine was only slightly cushioned by his girth. As his eyes opened he could not move and the fire in his belly had overcome his whole body. He could not breathe and blood was trickling out of his mouth. The irony was lost on him, as the Krayt Dragon loomed over him and opened its jaws…

For a brief moment, Vader wondered about the location of Jabba's son. Not that it mattered, Rotta was still quite young, and soon the word of Jabba's Death would spread to the other Hutt Lords and their capitulation to the Empire's demands would be inevitable.

Anakin called the Force back to him as he left the palace, sending the signal to the clone troopers to return with him.

"Sir," Shep replied. "We captured a Twi'lek leaving the palace on a Skiff. Shall we take him in for questioning?"

"Let him go, he will be the one to spread the word of Jabba's fate to the rest of the Hutt Clan," Anakin said without hesitation, "and before departing send a signal to the Star Destroyer to turn this entire area into a large crater. No one gets out of this building alive. We will return to base camp for a short while, but keep a gunship on standby; I have some personal business to attend to elsewhere on this rock."

"Yes Sir, General."

Across the sands in Mos Espa, Yoda had finally reached the Lars homestead, he dismounted the wild Eopie he had come across and sent it on its way. As he made his way towards the small complex of buildings he could feel the darkness in the air from Anakin's battle. Yoda leaned on his gimer stick as a strong wind combined with the gut wrenching feeling of the Dark Side to nearly knock him to the ground.

"Soon my time will be." He thought to himself as he sought out the homestead with the Force. As he reached the perimeter he was confronted by a pair of farm hands with weapons drawn expecting to find Tusken Raiders.

"To the head of the household I must speak." Yoda asked.

"To the head of the household he must speak." One of the farm hands said to the other, who seemed to agree with him.

"I'll go get Owen; he'll want to talk to this guy. Why don't you two go wait in the yard down where it's safe from the wind?"

Yoda sighed softly as the first farm hand led Yoda towards the protected area of the farm, a sort of pit dug into the surface which afforded protection from the heat and the wind. He was more than a little bothered by the fact that he now had to use the Force to manipulate people so he could meet someone face to face without worrying he would be discovered or killed.

"Your highness, as you can see construction of the prototype is underway. The additional labor being provided by the captured Wookies and Separatists will allow us to conduct our first test shots within a few months."

"Excellent work Tarkin. What will the status of the weapon be after that?”

"According to Bevel Lemelisk your majesty, as soon as we finish with the prototype and perfect the design of the superlaser itself we should be able to build a working model of the station within four to eight months, and he claims that once we finish perfecting the design for that we could have the much larger version that you requested available within six to twelve months. Scaling up the design should not be a problem at all with the resources you have given us."

Emperor Palpatine smiled and folded his hands, Tarkin was still growing accustomed to Palpatine's new appearance and the Emperor was not above using his new visage to torment his underlings slightly.

"Then I will leave you to your work for now. Remember, word of this project must not reach the Senate just yet."

"I assure you my lord, we are being as careful as we can. Already our forces have ‘removed’ the Separatists assigned to the initial development project, and the least skilled and least valuable workers are culled every few weeks."

“Good. Your work on this project shall be remembered Moff Tarkin.”

Palpatine shut down the power to the receiver on the holodisplay and laughed, the most powerful technology in the galaxy was within his grasp, and when it was finished there would be nothing in the galaxy that could defeat him. Not even his apprentice.

Uniting the Separatists had the benefit of also uniting some of the top corporate military research and development scientists as well as their budgets. The combination of Umak Leth, Bevel Lemelisk, and Palpatine’s own close friend Raith Seinar along with brilliant alien scientists under the employ of entities such as the Trade Federation was proving incredibly productive. The betrayal of the CIS by Darth Sidious had the added effect of bringing their combined project under Imperial control without much resistance, and those engineers and scientists disturbed by the change of benefactors were dismissed from their projects by blaster bolt.

There were other matters for Lord Sidious to attend to. Reactivating his communicator, he summoned Sate Pestage, his executive aide since his career began on Naboo. Pestage was a loyal minion, although he could not touch the Force he was a true believer, and he served his master faithfully. The task Palpatine was about to entrust him with was as much of a task as it was a reward for Pestage. His place and status within the Imperial Government was about to become much more secure.

Author's Notes

The revised chapters are almost complete and I am having a great time reworking some of the old dialogue. Soon i'll be able to start the brand new chapters, and perhaps even finish "Scars of Mustafar" in time for the holidays, so I can begin writing "The Dark Times" which is the ANH alternate fic that takes place after this one.

I'm trying really hard to fix continuity errors and fix wordiness. If anyone has any more pointers i'd sure like to hear them. I also have been using the old commentary from a year ago and it has helped me a lot in fixing this up.
Last edited by Darth Fanboy on 2008-11-13 08:02am, edited 2 times in total.
"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
-George Carlin (1937-2008)

"Have some of you Americans actually seen Football? Of course there are 0-0 draws but that doesn't make them any less exciting."
-Dr Roberts, with quite possibly the dumbest thing ever said in 10 years of SDNet.

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Postby Pax Britannia » 2006-10-06 06:42pm

I think it's great, however I doubt Vader would say "see you in hell" because star wars characters dont mention contemporary religion.

I'm looking forward to the Yoda/Vader showdown.

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Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-06 08:05pm

Pax Britannia wrote:I think it's great, however I doubt Vader would say "see you in hell" because star wars characters dont mention contemporary religion.

I'm looking forward to the Yoda/Vader showdown.

Ah but Han Solo himself in ESB says "Then i'll see you in hell!" when he was told his tauntaun would freeze to death before he reached the first marker.
"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
-George Carlin (1937-2008)

"Have some of you Americans actually seen Football? Of course there are 0-0 draws but that doesn't make them any less exciting."
-Dr Roberts, with quite possibly the dumbest thing ever said in 10 years of SDNet.

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Postby LordShaithis » 2006-10-06 10:42pm

This fic is awesome. Keep it coming.
If Religion and Politics were characters on a soap opera, Religion would be the one that goes insane with jealousy over Politics' intimate relationship with Reality, and secretly murder Politics in the night, skin the corpse, and run around its apartment wearing the skin like a cape shouting "My votes now! All votes for me! Wheeee!" -- Lagmonster

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Postby Pax Britannia » 2006-10-07 10:17am

Darth Fanboy wrote:
Pax Britannia wrote:I think it's great, however I doubt Vader would say "see you in hell" because star wars characters dont mention contemporary religion.

I'm looking forward to the Yoda/Vader showdown.

Ah but Han Solo himself in ESB says "Then i'll see you in hell!" when he was told his tauntaun would freeze to death before he reached the first marker.

Touche old boy

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Postby Darth Fanboy » 2006-10-07 02:20pm

Chapter 8: Confrontation

Anakin's gunship had arrived at the Lars homestead not long after a quick stop at the base camp. With preparations in place to eradicate Jabba's palace and to establish a garrison he could divert his attention to more personal matters. Again he traveled alone, but this time he ordered his troopers to remain behind, giving the order in such a tone that not even the most battle hardened one of them would dare question it. Such was the added weight of the Dark Side of the Force.

Son, my place is here. My future is here. It is time for you to let let go of me. I cannot go with you.

The sight of the homestead, the heat of the twin suns, and the pain that would forever occupy his heart surged inside of him. He had never called this place home, but the emotions of this place and their echo in the Force could still be felt. As a powerful Force user, Anakin was able to manifest his feeling in such a way they could embed traces of the Force into the area surrounding where he had stood. Anakin’s imprint was evident to those who knew what to look for, and it was tainted with the Dark Side of the Force.

As he stood upon the ground where he buried his mother, tears he no longer thought possible welled up in his eyes. The Force had saved Padme, but it could never save his mother. Even the most arcane Sith teachings he could learn could never return her life, unjustly taken as it was.

"Now, be brave, and don't look back."

How brave could he have possibly been? One of the first things the Jedi Council had told him was that he was full of fear. Even on the brink of war as a Padawan all Anakin could do was dream of his mother, longing for the days when his fears could be laid to rest with a soft smile and a warm touch.

"Annie...? Is it you...?"

He had played the scenario in his mind many times, no matter how many times he had tried to envision it he always asked himself the same question. "Would she even remember me?" It had been many years and he had become a man, traveling across the galaxy as he had dreamt. But even on the brink of death and after so many years Shmi Skywalker had still recognized her boy in an instant.

"Annie? Annie? You look so handsome, my son... my grown-up son. I'm so proud of you, Annie... so proud... I missed you so much..."

How many years had it been that he longed to see his mother again, the only family he had ever known aside from the Jedi. Of them all only Obi-Wan had ever felt like family, and even he had asked Anakin to suppress his feelings and go against the Jedi teachings before attempting to assassinate him on Mustafar, using his pregnant wife to get to him.

"I love you."

The final words his mother had spoken as she had gasped in her final breath, forcing the words out with her last reserves of strength. He forced himself to wonder if she would still say those same things now that he had forsaken the Jedi she had entrusted her son with. He had won many victories, defeated powerful enemies, but even the powers his new master had promised him weren't enough. Keeping someone from dying was not enough to erase the terrible pain in his heart. Anakin had hoped that his anguish would make him even stronger as it fueled the Dark Side, but it had only brought more questions.

"Fall upon you, the shadow of greed has."

The voice of his mother was replaced by Yoda's ancient tone, only this time the vivid recollection was replaced by actual sound. A stunned Anakin turned to see his former comrade and teacher standing in the desert no more than ten meters from him, a gust of sand blowing over his cloak.

"Anticipate this when you were a boy I did, felt it I did before Geonosis, see it I did on Coruscant when sought my counsel you did."

"The typical arrogant observations of a Jedi, your omniscience didn’t help the rest of you Jedi traitors." Anakin snapped through clenched teeth. If his fury were a turbolaser he would have atomized Yoda by now, but his fury could something far more destructive than that. He wanted to ignite his lightsaber and attempt to strike him down right there, doing what his master had failed to do. But instead he applied the lessons of his success on Mustafar. The Jedi knew of his quick temper and would try to exploit it. “How did you find me here?” Anakin demanded to know.

"Typical of a Sith, the quick and easy path you do seek, for power and for knowledge. With your feelings reach out, and the answer on your own, you can find."

Anakin’s fingers twitched for his lightsaber again, wanting nothing more than to join Yoda with the Force as he had always preached and present the corpse before his master. Then Yoda could have the same peace that every other dead being supposedly enjoyed, including his mother.

"Enough, if a battle is what you wish however I would be more than willing to accommodate you. But I won’t be goaded into making stupid mistakes. Obi Wan tried that on Mustafar and he’s nothing but a charred corpse."

Yoda smiled, he was pleased that Obi Wan’s secrecy was intact. The facial expression though irritated Anakin who could no longer resist. The Sith blade flashed, the crimson bloodshine replacing the old the sky blue of his former blade, and if Yoda had felt there was any chance Anakin could be redeemed it was incinerated with the ignition of his new blade.

"STOP!" The two opponents stopped upon hearing the disgruntled voice from the homestead.

The voice was that of Owen Lars, who had come running out to the gravesite with a blaster rifle in hand. An older model better suited for scaring away the occasional Jawa or Tusken Raider than for taking on a highly skilled Sith Lord, but to his credit he refused to flinch.

Yoda had met with Owen, informing them of Anakin's impending arrival. Owen and most of his hands hated the Empire and readily evacuated, but something had kept Owen behind, and Yoda was worried that the farmer did not know what he was getting into. But it was his property and Owen had a stronger will than one might have expected. There was nothing he could do however, if he broke his concentration on Anakin for but a moment he could readily leap into action and strike him down, and it was not Yoda's place just yet to die.

"I'm sorry Master Yoda, but my brother and I need to have a few words."

Owen barely restrained himself when he spoke of how much he hated the Republic, especially since it had become the Galactic Empire. Cliegg had specifically ordered him to stay on the farm, so that his boy could not join the Separatists. But Owen had dreamed of overthrowing the government and establishing a real democracy and order on Tatooine and worlds like it, planets that had been ignored for centuries and allowed to languish under the control of scum such as the Hutts. But at least the Hutts gave residents autonomy so long as they didn't meddle with their affairs; the Empire however had begun nationalizing everything it could get its hands on. When Cliegg had died Owen had inherited the farm though, and his dreams of joining the Separatist Army died that day. Anakin did not even make a motion towards Lars, his concentration was fully on Yoda, and he didn't care about some pathetic farmer whom he was associated with by tragic circumstances.

"What gives you the right to set your dirty Imperial boots on my farm Skywalker!"

Anakin admonished himself for letting this irrelevant moisture farmer get under his skin. He wasn't worth the attention.

"Damn it! You scum, answer me!" Owen fired his blaster in the air in a display to show how serious he was. Anakin was now bothered enough to address his stepbrother's presence.

"This doesn't involve you Lars. This is between me and the Jedi."

“Well now it’s my turn. Yoda told me all about you, about the Sith. About how you manipulated both sides of the war, letting billions upon billions be killed just so you could wield the same power you accuse the Jedi of coveting. The hypocrisy in your voice is about a subtle as a sandstorm!"

Meanwhile, Yoda was radiating in the Force like a lighthouse cutting through the fog. Anakin began to focus, he could feel Yoda's intentions through the Force, and attacking was not something his adversary was planning to do. Anakin smiled inwardly with great viciousness as he turned his head toward Owen. Yoda's gaze broke, as he realized what Anakin was about to do, but he had already committed to his plan and set it into motion. There was enough time for one last attempt though, to save Owen Lars.

"Leave you must Owen Lars! Deal with Anakin I will!"

"And let you handle the Sith the same way you handled the Clone Wars? Like Bantha fodder I will.” He then raised the rifle and aimed it right at Anakin’s midsection. “Sith Lord or not I’m giving you the count of three to start walking off my property before I blast you into pieces!"

Yoda wanted to leap out, to use the Force to carry Owen away, to deflect Anakin's impending attack. But he could not risk it, he was needed alive, he had a job yet to do. Even if he could defeat Anakin and save Owen Lars he would prevent himself from accomplishing the task the Force had given him, and he would arouse the suspicions of the troopers on the planet. Through the Force he saw Tatooine being blockaded, so that he couldn’t leave, and the planet eventually being bombarded into a smoldering ruin. He hung his head and averted his eyes, keeping enough concentration to guard against Anakin.


Anakin turned away from Yoda, standing motionless. There was a brief pause before Owen shouted again.


Now Anakin was beginning to lift one of his hands, creating a gesture that would have looked silly to the untrained observer.


Anakin clenched his fist before Owen could fire his blaster as the Force crushed his spine. He could feel the vertebrae individually crack and shatter under the pressure and suddenly all was black. His body lifted into the air as he screamed. Anakin released his hold and the body fell to the sand with a disgusting smack. He turned back to Yoda, invigorated by the Dark Side energies that were flooding his synapses and replacing the doubt and sorrow he had felt earlier.

"Now, Master Yoda, you are the one who is afraid. You couldn't even raise a hand to save that insignificant worm. Could it be you value your own life more than those you are sworn to protect?"
Yoda sighed in what sounded like the entire weight of his years falling down heavily upon his shoulders.

"It is not fear that drives me young Skywalker. The Force is my ally, and a powerful ally it is, but also a comforting one. You would use it as an instrument of oppression and murder, rather than embrace it for what it truly is."

Anakin was unconvinced; to him Yoda was no better than senile. There was nothing to his words but cryptic references to vague teachings that had been antiquated over a thousand years ago.

"Well spoken for a fallen Master, only someone as foolish as a Jedi would treat that as the truth. The Force serves me now and I control it at my whim. I no longer need fear myself as the Jedi Council had tried to make me. The Force has freed me from the chains imposed on me, because I shape it to my will."

"Much to teach you Obi Wan still had." Yoda said with a vast regret. "Nevertheless, you are the victor. Wish to die I do not, surrender I do, so that the Jedi will live on."

Anakin's jaw nearly dropped. Yoda was surrendering without putting up any kind of a fight. "I never would have guessed that the great Yoda would allow the Jedi to survive in chains, rather than die with their freedom. The Emperor was right about you, all of you."

Yoda huffed, Anakin had no idea what it meant to be a Jedi. Of all the failures of the Jedi, it was teaching this boy in the first place that was the greatest. "My concern, that is not. All I ask, is that the bloodshed stops, that I do."

Anakin was sure that Yoda was covering up some sort of deception, but Yoda was a blank as a powered down display screen. "Very well then, my master prefers to possess rather than destroy. Your long lifespan will be to your detriment in his care." Anakin powered down his lightsaber, and raised his communicator. "Troopers, bring the Gunship to my location and take me to my Star Destroyer. As soon as we arrive in orbit have the Star Destroyer set course for Coruscant immediately. I have a very important prisoner for the Emperor."

Yoda nodded his head as the two stood in silence for the longest several minutes of his life. Eventually the troopers arrived, their shock at Yoda’s capture unseen by eyes through their helmets, but seen by Yoda and Anakin through the Force. Anakin placed his captive into binders and he was loaded into a LAAT for probably the several hundredth time or so since leading the Battle of Geonosis. Yoda knew Anakin would watch him like a hawkbat for the entire journey to Coruscant to prevent his escape. But escape was not in Yoda's plan. The only thing Yoda could do was meditate. To stay the course of his plan, and prepare himself for the inevitable penance he would have to suffer for his failures.

"General Skywalker, we’re all set to take you and the Prisoner back to the Star Destroyer." The Clone Pilot saluted.

Anakin returned the salute in acknowledgement. "Excellent work, continue to follow all standing orders. However I have a few additional instructions. Have medical teams round up every slave on the planet and remove any and all slave collars and transmitters. Furthermore anyone on this planet claiming ownership of a slave will be placed under arrest.” Those orders he gave out of Yoda’s earshot, but the last one though he spoke audibly and clearly.

Also, notify Commander Shep and have him demolish the Lars homestead, kill any survivors and witnesses."

Yoda nearly turned on his captors when he heard Anakin give that last order. "A deal we had! Safe the people would remain!"

"I no longer extend the courtesy of keeping my promises, to the Jedi Order that wouldn’t keep theirs."

Yoda was mad, but he didn’t give in to his anger as Anakin had hoped he might. He was no longer in a position to back out on his plan and do what came naturally to him, saving the lives of others. Perhaps this was Qui Gon’s concept of the living Force. Circumstances now restrained him when he could no longer do so himself.

The Star Destroyer departed for Coruscant. Anakin's fears had been replaced by the pride he felt within himself. Yoda was the last of the great Jedi, and his victory was complete. Soon his ties to this planet would be nothing more than a distant memory and he could move on with his plans for the galaxy.

But no matter how hard he tried the words of his mother flood his ears and his heart, adding sorrow to his anger and dampening the feeling of empowerment that the Dark Side had given him. Yoda was right about one thing, there was definitely a shadow over him. Not one of greed, but of regret that he hadn’t turned his back on the Jedi sooner.

You can't stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting. Listen to your feelings; Annie, you know what's right.

Anakin knew what was right, and soon the rest of the Galaxy, even Lord Sidious would as well.

"Things just keep getting worse all the time." Obi Wan had thought while going through the latest news reports. The Empire had been instituted by Senate with an incredibly lopsided vote, but Obi Wan suspected that even some of the die-hard supporters would have sided against Palpatine if they had foreseen some of the consequences. Not more than a few hours after the Imperial Garrison on Tatooine was established the Empire had begun assisting local authorities in extermination campaigns against the Sand People. While many people selectively ignored this massacre in lieu of the new anti slavery codes under the martial law instituted by General Skywalker, Obi Wan felt sick to his stomach that his former apprentice was now condemning an entire species to extinction. The Sand People were not alone however, on Naboo Gungans were being forced into internment camps after several Gungan demonstrators sparked violence in the capital city of Theed, protesting the new planetary government's imposing of taxes. Geonosians were being tried en masse as war criminals and being shuttled off to undisclosed locations to serve their sentences. Imperial Forces were blockading Kashyyk in response to aiding fugitive Jedi that had initially survived attacks by the clone troopers.

He was tired of hiding; so far he had contributed almost nothing towards unseating Palpatine, or even anything to Alderaan's defense for that matter. Obi Wan had come to embrace Alderaan as a pacifist world, unafraid to defend their beliefs but unwilling to compromise them by taking up arms. In a perfect galaxy, Alderaan would be far untouched by the conflicts that the Clone Wars had brought about.

Qui Gon had told him to allow the living Force to guide his path, he was unsure if it was the Force or his own instincts that were taking him in the direction he was going, but he felt in his heart it was the right thing to do for both himself, and for the legacy of the Jedi.

It was a short walk to the Capital Docking Bay; Obi Wan used his code clearance as General Ben Cody to gain access to the Shuttle bay. The fighter he had assumed from General Grievous on Utapau was still there, changed only in appearance with the colors of the Alderaanian Defense Force now painted on its hull. Obi Wan climbed into the cockpit and took off. Using the integrated hyperdrive system he quickly plotted his course to Chandrila, towards the Rebellion.

Author's Notes:

I'm now 2/3 finished with rewriting the original 12 Chapters and I've managed to do in my head what I couldn't do at all in the first incarnation. I know where I want this thing to go and how it should properly end. If you can't wait and demand spoilerage for 9-12 go ahead and read the original versions. There is a link in the OP. I'm much more proud of these versions i'm working on now though.
"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
-George Carlin (1937-2008)

"Have some of you Americans actually seen Football? Of course there are 0-0 draws but that doesn't make them any less exciting."
-Dr Roberts, with quite possibly the dumbest thing ever said in 10 years of SDNet.

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Postby Crazedwraith » 2006-10-07 03:38pm

I'm reading this and noticing the Dark Lord references. They kickass. Are we going to see the lack of Vader's prescence in dealing with the Murkana lot impact the story as a whole? or are they insignificant on the grand scale?
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