Sunday, December 30, 2007

Close Enough for Now

Converted over to the new Hoity-Toity style. After trying to edit it I just have to wonder if blogger pays developers to be this obtuse with there HTML, or does it happen by accident? At any rate, things will be a little screwed up or at least different from whatever passes for normal on this site until I figure things out. Please stay tuned.

BYBS: e-Fronds

Actually, the title is supposed to be "e-Friends," but I liked this typo so much…

This one goes out to the peeps who have kindly visited my site…even during my hiatuses. Sandy, Blue Panther, Cybercelt, Paulie, MsDemmie, Shay, your thoughts are very much appreciated. There are some days when I don't feel like getting up, let alone blogging. On these days I really appreciate your dropping by.

Have a good BYBS, and thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hoity Toity Features

Meh. According to Blogger, if I want to be able to create polls and surveys on my site, I have to upgrade my template. I'm a little worried about losing template changes I've made, since blogger is so easy to work with (see previous post). Nevertheless, I was reassured by the following note that is attached to the option to upgrade: YOU WILL LOSE ALL YOUR CHANGES AND PROBABLY BE FOREVER LOST IN OUR MAD, STRANGE, NEW TEMPLATE: MUHAHAHAHA! I'm not really thrilled with the idea. On the other hand, I would get new, hoity toity features like polls and whatnot. On still another hand, hardly anybody reads this blog, so why would I expect the polls to reveal anything new and interesting™? On yet another limb (onto feet now), it is a pretty kewl feature. Fortunately, I ran out of limbs to use for considering things. The bit with the "still another hand" was really a foot you see. It was then that I got a flash of insight: why not ask if anybody actually reads this blog? If anyone bothers to respond, then it may actually be worth upgrading my template so that I can add polls! On the other hand…argh…there I go again. So if you are actually reading this, please add a comment so I know that upgrading my template is not a complete and utter waste. In fact, you can create a comment that says "Hey, shut up!" And that will communicate basically the same thing.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Blogger Does this…Intentionally

So I decided to put all my stories on that other blog so that they wouldn't mess this one up. This means taking the text from this blog and pasting it into posts on the other blog.

Simple, right?

Not with Blogger.

You see, Blogger harkens back to a simpler age. A time when ASCII graphics were still cool. A time when men were men, women were women and sheep were nervous. In short, it was a time when creating a decently formatted text document was like passing a watermelon through one's colon.

What's more, I don't think this is an accident. I think that Blogger is aware. Like the Matrix.

And it's watching me.

And giggling.

Or at least I hope someone is getting a kick out of this, because trying to do something as simple as transferring a post from one blog to another is way too hard.

"God hates me."

"Hate him back, it works for me."

Lethal Weapon

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Site

It has become apparent to me that posting short stories does not mix very well with "normal" blogging. After a bit of research and some halting steps, however, I have come to the decision that perhaps the stories would live more happily on a blog of their own.

Therefore, I have created yet another site. This one contains my stories…or at least the ones I've had the nerve to publish so far. In keeping with the whimsical, insane theme of this blog I have decided that the new site shall be called "Rants, Mumblings and Insane Stories." But to confuse people, the URL is

Maybe I should change the name, I dunno.


P.S. I'm working on a romance story :-D

Monday, December 24, 2007

Why Blog?

After having blogged for over a year and writing 100+ posts, I feel like taking a look at why I'm doing this. This is a surprising hard question to answer. I certainly do not write for fame and notoriety. When looking at my recent stats, the point has been made in very clear and impossible to mistake terms that this site is not at all popular. What's more, I have not really done anything to change this.

Interestingly, one of the best ways to drum up traffic is to go over to a popular blog, piss off the owner, and have them post a bunch of scathing articles about how stupid you are. When I disagreed with the person who writes "non compos mentis" and he did that, I had the highest traffic days ever. But I digress…

Way back when, I remember seeing some goofy movie that included an image of a graffiti covered wall. There were lots of the usual crap written on it, but there was also one statement that I thought was profound: "I am."

I don't think my reasons for blogging are quiet that simple. After all, I could just make an automatic post every couple of days that consisted of "yup, still here" but I don't do that. Never the less, I think this blog is my equivalent to that wall.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

BYBS: Spelling Checkers

Being a person who cannot spell to save their lives, and who is interested in writing, the invention of the spelling checker was definitely a blessing for me.

The truth is I've never been able to spell. Maybe it's that English is a hodge-podge of a language, with loan words from French, German, and every other language available. Maybe it's that I'm a scatter brain who can't remember anything. Whatever the case may be, automating the whole process has allowed me to focus more on the business of writing instead of looking up words.

There are things that spelling checkers are no good at. In particular, a word that sounds the same as another one, but has a completely different meaning. For example: affect vs. effect. I've always had trouble trying to figure out which of those words to use, and spelling checkers are useless for that sort of thing.

Never the less, I think that spelling checkers are one of the Good Things(tm) in life. Also, given that I can't think of anything else to blog about, they make a good topic.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

DeathTalker 2: Chapter 9

Obi-Wan felt it first. A change in the force, a strange compulsion to leave like the one he felt on Corscant.

At that point, he was rather hotly engaged with Dark Maul (the second) and unable to respond.

Pushing away from the Sith, the two combatants faced each other again. Obi-Wan could see from the other's expression and bearing that he too felt some sort of change. But then they clashed again.

Reaching out for The Force, Obi thought to toss the other away from him or at least set him off balance; but rather than that, the force seemed to be acting rather reluctant. Maul took advantage of the Obi's imbalance and pressed the attack. After a few attacks and parries, he actually managed to cut through the other's light saber.

"Oh damn."

The triumphant Sith raised his weapon for a killing blow, but before he could strike, Obi-Wan heard a hollow "bong" sound. Maul's eyes crossed and he dropped to the ground. Behind him stood Padme, wielding her crowbar and a smug expression.

"Oh thanks!"

"That's two you owe me."

"Yes, well, you know…beginner's luck."


Obi-Wan got up and brushed himself off.


"That's not the same gum that…"

Just at that moment, Obi-Wan froze. With all his concentration, he barely managed to stand. Looking at the temple, it seemed as if all the color was being sucked out the world into one spot. His heart labored and sweat broke out on his brow.

"Obi-Wan? Are you OK?"

The world seemed to darken, first at the edges and then gathering into a single point. It was like a black sun had risen behind the temple. Forming a point, he couldn't take his eyes from, it writhed and changed shape until…

"Good work, Padme."



Obi-Wan was looking at the temple. The world was slowly regaining light and color…except for one point. It seemed as if there were a hole in the sky, and that stray motes of light were passing into it.

"What's wrong with him?"

"I think he saw Elvis."

Padme frowned.

"Who's that?"

"Never mind. We need to distract him though. Did you take out Darth Maul before or after Obi-Wan lost his light saber?"

Obi-Wan started as if he had been waken from a dream.

"Look, it can happen to the most experienced Jedi. I just got a little unlucky."


The Jedi looked cross. Darth Maul (the second) groaned and stirred. Padme whacked him again with the crow bar.

"Remind me to stay on her good side."

"Where's Palpatine?"

"He's gone."

"That's what you said the last time."

Anakin looked uneasy.

"What…what happened on Corscant…it's happening here now, isn't it?"

Anakin looked at him and nodded curtly.

"What happened on Coruscant?"

Obi-Wan turned to Padme.

"I don't know."

"Then why do you…oh never mind. Can we go now?"

"Well, we should do something about Darth Maul (the second)…"

Padme rolled her eyes.

"Couldn't we just kill him?"

"That's not the Jedi way."

"But you're not a Jedi!"

"OK…you have a good point. But Obi-Wan is."

Obi-Wan looked at his ruined lightsaber doubtfully. Moving over to Darth Maul (the second)'s body, he retrieved the weapon of the Sith Lord.

"Hmmm…this seems to use a somewhat different design…"

"He doesn't even care!"

"About what?"

"About Darth Maul (the second)!"

"What about him?"

Obi-Wan was looking the lightsaber in a rather distracted fashion.

"Well, do you mind if we kill him?"

"We can't do that, it's not the Jedi way."

"Well, what do you propose then?"

"That we follow the Jedi way."

Padme's grip on her crowbar tightened to the point that her knuckles were white.

Obi-Wan accidentally triggered the lightsaber. Being double-bladed, it extended in both directions; one of which neatly shot into Maul's head, killing him instantly.


Anakin and Padme looked thoughtfully at the now dead Sith.

"Well, I guess that settles that…"

"Looks like it to me. Let's go."

Obi-Wan looked at Maul's corpse and then shrugged.

"Well…maybe it was the will of the force."

After a second or two, a disembodied Dark Maul (the second) appeared over his body. With a rather annoyed expression he ran after the rest of them, shaking his fist.

"Oi! What the frag do you think you're doing?!! That wasn't the Jedi way!"

Anakin strode into the galley where Padme was reading an issue of Intergalactic Vogue. Though the magazine did mention her (specifically, it had an article on juggling a career and a social life) it did not have a picture of her on the cover. She popped her gum.

Obi-Wan was playing 3-D chess with R2 and eating some freeze dried mush.

A disembodied Darth Maul was sitting in a corner and muttering to himself.

"And he took my lightsabre!"


A 3-D critter stomped around on the board and beat up one of Obi-Wan's pieces.

"If he were not a droid, I would accuse him of cheating."


Anakin glared at Padme, who ignored him. Crossing his arms, Anakin waited a moment. He tried leaving and reentering the room. Nobody noticed.

"More powerful than any Jedi eh?"


The spirit of Darth Mal (the second) looked up and glared. After a moment or two, so did Obi-Wan.

"Oh hi Anakin."

He looked back at the chess board.

"So, are, umm, you guys going to continue tagging along or can I drop you off somewhere?"

"Where are you heading for now?"


"Can you drop me off at Corescant? This sucks."

"Aren't you supposed to stay with me?"


Glaring at her, Anakin made a quick throwing gesture. Padme was ready this time and caught the gum in her hand. It made a squelching noise.


"And you call yourself a Jedi?!"

Anakin turned to glare at Darth Maul.

"Actually, I don't."

"Who are you talking to?"

"Could have been in a real marching band – but nooo! Be a Sith Lord they said! See the Galaxy they said!"

"Never mind, what about you Obi?"

"Oh, well I'm supposed to stay with you."

Obi-Wan got up and rummaged through the cabinets.

R2 moved a chess piece board while Obi-Wan was distracted.

"Alright, well, I'll just run off to the cockpit and change the ship's course for Corescant."


Obi-Wan sat down, looked at the board, and frowned.

Padme twirled her gum around her index finger.


"I said 'I'll just go change the ship's course!'"



Anakin gave a sigh of disgust and left the room. A few moments later the ship lurched and everyone was thrown across the room.


"My gum!"



Monday, December 17, 2007

DeathTalker 2: Chapter 8

Anakin, Padme and Obi-Wan strode down the gang plank of the Ebon Hawk to the lush, green jungle that seemed to dominate Yavin 4.

"Oh I have a bad feeling about this."

"Shut up."

Obi-Wan glared at Anakin, who sighed and fished out a packet of freeze-dried strawberries and handed them to Obi.

"That's better."

"What's the plan?"

Padme, sporting a blaster in one hand, a crowbar in the other, and who was chewing a full pack of bubble gum, looked around with something approaching mild interest. Obi-Wan talked with a mouth full of freeze dried strawberries.

"Well, (munch, munch, munch), according to Jedi legend (chew, chew, chew), the Sith tomb on this planet has a lock that you need three keys to open…"

Padme popped her gum.

"…one of the keys, which is incidentally made out of (munch, munch, munch) a glassy black volcanic rock..."


called jet, is guarded by a beast that no Jedi…" here Obi-Wan up-ended the packet of strawberries, spilling several on his robe, "…has ever fought with and lived! (burp)" The second key is said to reside on an island..."


"...that cannot be found by any save those who already know (pop, pop) where it is!"

"And the third key?"

"Ummm…I don't have any idea where that one is."

Obi-Wan looked apologetic, Padme blew a huge bubble.

"Hey! Where'd Anakin go?"


Anakin strode purposefully through the jungle along a barely discernable path. Puffing, Obi-Wan and Padme caught up to him.

"(puff, puff, puff) Anakin! We have to find the first key!"

"Which is incidentally made out of a glossy black rock…"

"Shut up."



"And stop doing that."

Padme looked at him disinterestedly and blew another, extra-large bubble. Irritably, Anakin waited until she had deflated it and was taking a breath for another when he gestured with his hand and the gum flew from her mouth.


"That is not the gum you're looking for…"

Padme raised her crow bar.

"There's the temple!"

Sure enough, poking out of the foliage was a crumbling, ancient, evil-looking temple.

"Not that is will do us any good without the first and second keys. Did I mention that the second key is located on an island…"

"Shut up."

Rounding a bend, the three of them beheld Palpatine. With him were The Three and a fellow who bore a striking resemblance to Darth Maul.

"Well I can't say that I'm too surprised that you managed to escape from Jango, it's a wonder he can see out of that stupid suit of his."

"He ran into our ship and knocked himself out."

Palpatine rolled his eyes.

"Good help is so hard to find these days."

The Darth Maul look-alike grunted.

"Which reminds me, have you met my new apprentice? Darth Maul."

"Aren't you supposed to be dead?"

"The Second."

The Sith smiled and waved.

"Hallo! Hi there!"

"As you can see, he's still a little rough around the edges."

With a flourish, Darth Maul (the second) took out a two-bladed light saber and twirled it about.

"Were you ever a cheerleader?"

Darth Maul (the second) smiled shyly.

"Well actually…"

"Shut up!"

"Right, sorry."

"But he's got it where it counts."

Maul grunted and tried to look menacing.

"And just in case…"

A bunch of Jango Fetts, complete with body armor, came running out of the temple and raised their weapons. Some of them were pointing at trees; others were aiming at Palpatine.

"Are these clones?"

"How did you know?"

"Just a guess."

Palpatine pointed the muzzle of a blaster away from his head.

"Deal with them!"

Obi-Wan took out his light saber and glanced at Anakin.

"Can you use a light saber?"


"I have a bad…"

"Shut up!"

Darth Maul (the second) did an amazing leap through the air and landed in front of Obi-Wan. He almost did a gymnast dismount but caught himself before it was too late. Obi-Wan struck and the two were hotly engaged.

Gesturing, Anakin summoned a wad of bubble gum from the jungle which landed with a loud "splat" on the visor of one of the clones. Unable to see, the unfortunate panicked and shot one of his fellows. Immediately, pandemonium reigned and the other clones started shooting each other.

With a war cry of "My gum!" Padme rushed the armored figures and started whacking them with her crow bar. Anakin strode through the clones after Palpatine.

Raising a cloud of dust, Anakin emerged from a corridor into a large chamber. Anakin seemed to be listening to something. Abruptly, he turned and beheld Palpatine, the Three behind him. Palpatine's face was hidden in shadows.

One of the Three flicked a finger at Anakin and a bolt of power flew from his had to be deflected by Anakin.

"You'll have to do better than that."

The figure smiled nastily and raised his hands. Another blast of power, a stronger one, struck out at Anakin.

Raising one hand, Anakin blocked his attack. Then another of the shades joined him. Anakin raised his other hand and blocked him too. The final apparition joined them and Anakin managed to block all three, but he was starting to perspire. Their attacks were unremitting.

"I have to admit that I'll a little curious as to why you came here. I would imagine that you of all people would know what you faced."

Anakin was panting now and his shield was weakening.

"And where are your friends? All the Jedi ghosts gone? Used up? Sucked into the void? Where's your sense boy?"

With a sweeping gesture, Palpatine threw Anakin against a wall.

"You'll have to excuse me, but I just don't get to indulge myself in this sort of play as much as I'd like."

Making another gesture, Palpatine threw the boy against the opposite wall.

"To be honest, the thing that surprises me is that you haven't drafted any allies from here. I would imagine that you have a certain rapport with the dead that even I lack."

"Well that's one difference between you and me. I ask for their help, whereas you command it."

"That I do."

Glancing over to the side, Palpatine raised his hand in a "come hither gesture." A spirit could be seen taking form in front of him. It would come close to forming, but then vanish. Form again, vanish again.

"Having trouble?"

Glancing over at Anakin, who had raised himself to one knee, he smiled.


The Three strode over to him and added their power to his. Immediately, there was a change. It took on a definite form and slowly moved towards them. Finally it fell in place behind them.

"All you need is a leash."

"Actually I think he would understand. It is our way that the strong should rule the weak. To be used as tools."

Anakin was leaning against a wall and breathing heavily.

"Yes, I would imagine that they would understand. That they, of all…people would know the nature of the Sith and what they are capable of."

"What are you spouting? Some Jedi nonsense? That the strong should guard the weak? That we should make our lives one of sacrifice so that the sheep might rule?"

Anakin glanced around.

"Well, I wouldn't exactly call them sheep. In fact, I wonder if some of these aren't a match for even you."

"What, are you trying to recruit some of them?"

Palpatine chuckled.

"Save your breath. Even if you could rouse them, they wouldn't help you, pawn of the Jedi."

"That's one thing I don't think you understand."

No longer breathing heavily, Anakin pushed himself away from the wall. He stood facing Palpatine, though he swayed a bit.

"I'm not Jedi."

"Then who do you serve?"

"You could say I'm an advocate of dead causes."

Now Palpatine did laugh.

"You expect me to believe that? You obliterated everyone on Corescant!"

Palpatine's newly acquired spirit seemed to be staring at Anakin. Abruptly, Palpatine stopped laughing.

"You cease to amuse me. I think it's time you joined my new friend as one of my 'hired help.'"

Raising his hands, Palpatine unleashed a blast of energy at Anakin.

Anakin blocked once again, but it was immediately apparent that he was weaker this time.

"Something wrong, boy? Even for you, your powers are weak."

"You could say I'm a bit…distracted."

Glancing around the chamber, Palpatine noticed the room no longer appeared empty.

"None of them are a match for me, let alone all of three of us."

"True. No one of them could defeat you."

"Now don't be fools! This one is a pawn of the Jedi, he is the true enemy."

"And after I am defeated, what then?"

Anakin addressed the assembled host.

"You know what he can do. You know what any of you would do. The only question is, what do you choose?"

Abruptly a vortex formed. The dead began advancing on it. The closest of them were sucked into oblivion.

Palpatine's face betrayed his utter lack of belief. He looked about wildly at the departing dead.

"This is madness! You would choose annihilation to conquering the galaxy?"

Palpatine glared at Anakin.

"It's you, you damn fool! You're forcing them to do this!"

A blast of energy lashed out at Anakin. In an instant, his body was blasted into nothing. Looking back, the vortex was still there. Gesturing at the nearest apparition, Palpatine strove to keep it from leaving.

Incredibly, he was unable to stop its advance. With a look at the Three, their efforts were added to Palpatine's. The spirit's progress was slowed, but at the cost of forcing the Three to themselves move closer to the vortex.

With each passing moment, more of the dead were eradicated and the vortex grew. It seemed as if a wind were now tearing at the Three. Abruptly they stopped.

"We cannot win here."

"It has become independent of him."

"We must leave."

The Three faded away, despite Palpatine's furious cries.

"Damn you Anakin! DAMN YOU! If you weren't already dead I'd…I'd KILL YOU!"

Shaking with rage, Palpatine left the chamber.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

BYBS: Freedom

I've had two mind-blowing experiences in as many days. The first time, I was listening to a story about some people who had served in Iraq, were being criticised for making negative comments about how the war was conducted, the policies leading up to it, etc. The part that blew my mind was that some other people had blogged about how the first group were traitors or cowards for having made such remarks. I don't know much about what it's like to serve in Iraq, since I have not been there, nor have I even served in the military. By all accounts that I've heard, it is an extremely difficult thing to do. So whatever I think of the conflict the policies that lead up to it, etc. I have a great deal of gratitude and respect for those who did serve. I feel that such people have earned the right to say whatever they want about my country. When someone else calls such people traitors or cowards, I don't just find it difficult to comprehend, it makes me angry. The second thing that just floored me was talking to a friend of mine who had gone to West Point. I asked him about the story. He said "Yeah, it sounds like those people [who called the soldiers names & whatnot] are crazy, but, it's their right to be able to do that." The thing is, I absolutely agree with him. Freedom means basically that, you can be an asshole if you want. You can say crazy shit. The reason why is because you're only an asshole from MY perspective. It is I who think what some people are crazy. Freedom means freedom for EVERYONE, not just for what I happen to think is right.

One Big, Honkin File

I created one big honkin file that contains the whole Deathertalker 2 story (at least what I have up to this point). For those of you who are interested in downloading the whole thing, just use the link on the left hand panel to get there, or just click here. I'll try and get the triple-damned relative URLs working – there is reason to believe that it actually is possible.

DeathTalker 2: Chapter 7

Leaving the building, Palpatine sighed with the first feeling of freedom he had had in many years.

"That was heart warming."


Palpatine had gotten to the point where he could sense the Sith Lord's presence. Without looking he knew that the ghost was lurking near one of the statues.

"I could have just killed him you know."

"The discipline needed to restrain yourself will come in useful later."

This time Palpatine did turn and gaze at the specter. The old man did manage to return his stare without snickering.

"Don't you have some inhibition or something about being outside while the sun is up?

The figure smiled a nasty smile.


Palpatine sighed and followed him.

For the umpteenth time, the training droid managed to slip past his guard and score a hit. Naga had "kept things interesting" by blindfolding Palpatine and tying his feet together.

"I'm sick of this."

Palpatine ripped off the blindfold and untied his feet.

"Sick of what?"

"I'm sick of sitting around in a damn cave, spending all my time training, and for what? Nothing that's what!"

Palpatine stalked off down the corridor. Coming out on the surface, he headed off in the direction of the nearby town. Evening was drawing near.

In a foul mood, Palpatine walk restlessly through the buildings as night wore on. He avoided the more lively areas, preferring the dark and silent buildings and courtyards.

Some time in the night he found himself leaning against a pillar, gazing at a silent courtyard. No fountain, no birds, no plants, just the rock and the silence.

"This will not be an easy time for you."

Like one of the shadows surrounding them, Naga had drawn up behind him.

"Aren't you going to threaten me?"


Palpatine gave him a long measuring stare.

"You're being awfully understanding."

The figure was silent for a change. After looking at him for a while, Palpatine went back to staring at the courtyard. After a time, he went into the night, heading for home.

On the way, he encountered a bar, the people spilling out into the street and signing as they went their own ways. Palpatine stood in the shadows, gazing silently at them.

"You want to join them?"


"Why not?"

"It's boring." he said after thinking a bit.

"Follow me."

For no reason that he could explain, Palpatine followed Naga Sadow. The ghost flitted about the shadows, heading into a large building. Going into the basement, Palaptine found himself in one of the main power generators for the city. He gazed thoughtfully at the pulsing energy.

"You want answers? I can't help you. I do not know why I followed the path that I did, or why I continue to do so."

The dark figure was framed in the light of the generators.

"Some people see a mountain and think only of its beauty. Others see something to climb. Something to conquer. Other people see something in the way."

"I look at a planet and I see something to control. There is no reason behind it – it makes no sense. It is the same way with The Force. I feel it, know it, and I must control it. There is no other way."

"You and I are the same in that regard. You have tasted The Force and you will never be free. If you leave this path now, it will haunt you forever. When you sense other people, you will feel the force about them, and you will be tempted to control it. When the wind blows though your hair you will know that the force is behind it and you will seek to change it. When you witness the cheap manipulations that some try to weave on each other, you will know them for what they are."

"It is a difficult path. It requires sacrifice and discipline. You must remain secret and hold back your hand when you want to strike. You must be quiet when you would talk."

Now he looked him in the face.

"But there is power. With each day that passes, you will feel it grow. You will become more powerful than anyone, even a Jedi could hope to be…"

"Until it ends."

Sadow glared at him.

"I'll bet you never expected to be a bed sheet with holes in it, did you?"

"My power was always limited. The only way to increase it is to have someone else to work with you."

"Until they decide one day that they're stronger than you are."

"That was always the problem. We Sith are always looking to new challenges, always be the strongest. Train someone else, your power increases, but eventually, they will betray."

"During my time as a lord, I tried to find a way to change that."

"And you failed."

"I failed, but I think that we may be able to succeed."

"And why is that?"

"To use this idea of mine, you have to be a Deathtalker."

Palpatine's eyes narrowed.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

DeathTalker 2: Chapter 6

Palpatine sat on a cushion, trying to watch the Naboolian equivalent of TV as the spectral figure blathered on. "Power! Unliiiiimited power!!!" "Will you just shut up?" The figure stopped abruptly and glared at the boy. "During my time, someone who spoke to me that way would have his tongue cut out from his head." "Then I'm glad you're just a…a wassname…pigment of my " "The word is figment you dolt." Now it was Palpatine's turn to glare. "You're pretty bright, though, for a child of your age." Palpatine brightened up. "I do OK in school…when I'm not in detention." "How often is that?" "Most of the time." "Have you ever wondered why you have to play by their rules?" "No." "Why not?" Palpatine shrugged. "They're bigger than I am." The ghost opened his mouth for a second and then shut it. He made as if to speak again. "Look, if I go to your house tomorrow will you just shut up?" The ethereal man opened his mouth again, shut it, and then put his hands together up his sleeves in a wise looking pose. "That will do." ----------------------------------------------------------------- "This place is boring." "Shut up." Palpatine was standing in a dusty hall. He had found the place by following the shade's instructions and spending a few days searching a hill near the town where he lived. All told, it had taken a few weeks, since the ghost had to bother Palpatine quite a bit in order to get him to keep searching. "All this work just to find this stupid place?" "Silence…you are in a sacred temple." Palpatine fidgeted and looked sidelong at the figure. Down here, he looked almost solid. "What's your name?" The specter turned slowly and menacingly towards the boy, his eyes glowed red. "Naga Sadow." Time passed. "OK." The Sith looked put out. "I'm gonna go watch qube-V." "SHUT UP! And don't even think of leaving." "Why not?" "You know what I'm capable of…" The ghost had ruined many hours of QV watching. Apparently, he could disrupt electronics, though it seemed to tire him. Palpatine glared. "Hurry up then." The shad hissed and turned towards the hallway. "C'mon punk." Palpatine shuffled after him. "This, is the hall of waiting…" Naga looked sidelong at Palpatine and noticed his fidgeting. If it were possible for him to sigh, he would have. "…and it's very old and important!" Naga hurried off through the ancient room and headed down another corridor. Palaptine had to run to catch up. "And most important of all is…" "A wall?" The sith looked worried. "It wasn't like this before!" "You mean you don't know where we're going?!!" Naga Sadow recovered. "Of course I do! This is merely a test of your patience!" "I'm outta here." "Right, well you'd better be back here tomorrow!" Muttering under his breath, Naga Sadow flitted around the complex for the room he was looking for. ---------------------------------------------------- Palpatine walked through the dusty hall after Naga Sadow. He had on a head-lamp, not unlike the kind that miners wear. It was the only part of the whole venture that he had deemed "cool." "What are we doing again?" "I need to see if you have true affinity for The Force, or if you abilities are limited to talking to the dead." "Why are we looking for a split infinity?" "Affinity. I need to see if you can use The Force or not." "If I can't will you stop bothering me?" Naga Sadow made a strangling motion with his hands. "Absolutely." "Here it is!" They stood outside a circular room. There were strange hieroglyphs carved into the walls. "OK, so now what?" "Do you see that hieroglyph on the opposite side of the room?" "The what?" "Just walk across the room to the opposite side." "Then can I go home?" The specter hissed under his breath. "Do it!" Palpatine rolled his eyes and walked across the room. He stopped and looked curiously at the carving. He heard disturbing giggling, then laughter. Turning around, he saw that Naga was laughing at him. "What's so funny?" "Hehehe...n-n-negative HA! HA! HA!" Weird purple lighting began to play about the sinister figure. "Hey, that's cool!" The boy moved towards what Naga thought of as "optimum range" when a wind blew up around him. Unseen before, dust motes rose up into the air, obscuring his view. "What the?" The motes seemed to be attracted to him, but they would not hold still. Instead the swirled about, darting towards his eyes. "Stop that!" He closed his eyes and swung his arms about wildly. Suddenly, the motes were gone. Opening his eyes he looked out to see what looked like a translucent globe, with himself at the center. Beyond its boundaries, looking unusually grim, was Naga. "Damn." ---------------------------------------------------------------------- It had been 5 years since the first meeting with Naga Sadow by the brook. Since that time Palpatine had "straightened up" and started behaving. While he wasn't the most popular kid in school, he had, never the less, found of way of at least co-existing with the others. In most respects, he was considered a "success story" in the annals of Naboolian social programs. His councilor, of course, did not believe any of it. "You don't fool me you little twerp!" "Well at least I'm not getting in as much trouble as I used to…" The beefy man squirmed uncomfortably and fingered his side arm. "All right, that's true enough, but I think you're just biding your time." The two people glared at each other. "Well are you two finished saying goodbye?" An elderly woman had entered the room and was smiling brightly at the two of them. With an effort, Palpatine managed a rictus-like grin. His councilor didn't even bother and just glared at her. "He's a bad egg, a sour apple, mark my words, this kid is trouble!" "Well I'll just take that as a 'yes'. Now come along Palpatine, let the nice shrink start shrinking someone else." Palpatine followed her out the door. As they were leaving he stuck his tongue out as his councilor. The man made a sour face and looked at some paperwork on his desk. "I expect you'll miss old Clive. He can be grouchy, but he means well!" "If he meant any weller I'd be dead." "What was that?" "Oh nothing." Palpatine rubbed some bruises and followed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Why Write About StarWars?

StarWars remains one of my guilty pleasures. Writing about it is like going out the back door to smoke...or at least it would be if I smoked...but you get the idea. The thing is, if I start with the assumption that what I'm writing is crap, I can actually write. When I start out by trying to make something good I run into writer's roadblock similar to the blockades one might encountered during the manhunt for a serial killer. I find the StarWars universe to be so silly, even by its own standards, that anything I could do is peanuts by comparison. What's more, there has been so much bad stuff written by fans over the years that, no matter how bad my writing is, I can probably point to someone who is actually worse. That someone could be worse than me was a great comfort when I started. This combination of things made writing the story much easier to write than it would have otherwise been; and what's more I actually wrote something. I harp on that point because I've encountered a lot of people who haven't. Not a damn thing. When I ask them what they want to write, they say a novel. I look at them and think: "but for the grace of StarWars there go I."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

DeathTalker 2: Chapter 5

Previous Chapter, Table of Contents "Thanks for locking the controls." Anakin, his arms crossed, stood in the cockpit and watched the stars flash by. Obi-Wan had just come in behind him. "Don't you think that's a little dangerous?" "Not as much as the alternative." They stood in silence for a while. "Anakin, why didn't you want to become a Jedi?" Anakin was silent for a while. "The night after Qui-Gon died, I had dreams. Terrible dreams. At first it was just the fear of them that kept me away. I had hoped that, in time, they would leave me and I could still become a Jedi." "Yes; I was convinced that you'd change your mind by lunchtime the first day." Anakin smiled. "But they didn't stop." "One of the worst involved mom dying. So, using the influence I had as 'planetary liberator,' I had her brought to Naboo." Anakin faced Obi-Wan. "The dreams stopped." "How is she?" Anakin rolled his eyes. "Annoying as hell. I don't even want to think about trying to tell that I got my head blown off. I mean I can you exactly what she'll say…" "Another dream?" "No, long experience. First she'll say she told me so, and that I should have become a doctor like she told me, instead of going into the…" "You were saying something about dreams?" "Oh…er…right. Well as time wore on, I had other dreams." "Some were good, some were bad, mostly they were just about the future – you know, mundane things like one time I dreamed of talking to a Gungan, and being really bored." "I could have told you that." "Yeah, well, he was a member of the Mud Splash water polo team. I thought he would be really cool, but he was worse than Jar-Jar." "Oh my…" "Yeah, you'd think that some of them would be interesting, but…" "How does all this have to do with not wanting to become a Jedi?" "Oh that, well, some of these dreams were weird – like having several endings to a story. Some were more vivid – more like memories than dreams. I later realized that some of them could be changed, and some could not." "In one dream, my favorite pet died when he got caught in a fishing net while we were playing catch. So…the next day, I wouldn't come outside. I holed up in my room the whole day and kept Burp with me." "Burp?" "He was my dog, you know the pet." "You had a dog called 'Burp?'" Anakin glared at Obi-Wan. "Look, do you want to hear this or not?!" "Alright, alright." "At any rate, the next day he got loose and was electrocuted by a loose power relay." Obi-Wan was frowning. "That's a really weird name…" "The point is, some things from these dreams could be changed and some could not!" Calming himself a bit, Anakin continued. "I had another dream. A terrible dream. This one was about the future with me as a Jedi. In that dream, many, many people died." "What exactly happened?" "That part was unclear." Anakin shrugged. "Of course, as present circumstances show, I'm not a whole lot better off." "But everyone else is." "There is that…" Padme chose that moment to walk into the cockpit. "Where are we going again?" "Yavin." "Are we there yet?" Anakin's jaw clenched. "Some days I can see Palpatine's point of view…" Palpatine was considered a "success story" for modern Naboonian mental health. Here was someone who started out as what others might call "a bad egg," who was turned around at an early stage in life and went on to be a valuable and productive member of society. He was the sort of person that therapists use to bore each other to tears over: why they matter, blah, blah, blah. In reality, Palpatine was a mental health nightmare. True, he was a functioning member of society, but it was in a manner that was conniving, manipulative and utterly lacking in empathy. But as a child, Palpatine had been small, cute, and disturbingly ruthless. He was constantly getting in trouble, sometimes seriously, and was a great source of stress for his caretakers. He was raised by his uncle, his biological parents having died in a speeder crash that he had absolutely nothing, nothing whatsoever, to do with. This uncle, a certain Ty Emmer, was a very busy man. In fact, the more he came to know Palpatine, the busier he got. Palpatine grasped social interactions, laws, and whatnot. He just didn't see why he personally needed to follow them. At a very young age, he demonstrated that there were only two things in the universe: what Palpatine wanted and the rest. Unlike most other people, he did not give a damn about pleasing others, except as a means of manipulation. Furthermore the suffering of others meant nothing to him, though it did have a disturbing ability to make him smile. In addition to having a strange culture that involved amphibians, Naboolian society also had a very strong social infrastructure. This basically means that Palpatine was identified at a young age as being "a challenge" and he was assigned several qualified mental health professionals™ to help him. Palpatine's first councilor quit after two weeks, complaining that she had never, in her life, encountered someone so close to pure evil. His second one lasted a couple of months, managing to annoy the young lad so much that Palpatine actually embedded a staple in his forehead (for some strange reason, staplers persisted on Naboo). His third and final councilor was someone experienced with dealing with "socially challenged" individuals (read: hardened criminals) and had something of a "tough guy" attitude. After an adjustment period (Palpatine left their first meeting with a black eye), it was made totally clear to the boy that no, he couldn't expect to behave the way he had and get away with it. The future leader of the Galactic Republic resigned himself to the concept of rules and that they applied to him. Palpatine learned to be pragmatic early on – after all his therapist was bigger than him. And he had been tried in unarmed combat. And he had also carefully removed the stapler from his desk. Thus at the tender age of 7, the young Palpatine found himself sitting one day by a beautiful stream, watching the clouds and pulling the wings off flies. He was becoming increasingly frustrated with life. He was going to have to do something quite soon. He was contemplating methods and fire kept coming back as a good one. Just then a group of laughing children ran by. Palaptine noticed someone watching them. "Little bastards." Palpatine looked at the man. Unlike most other adults he had dealt with, this person was partially transparent. The man sighed and turned away, then noticed Palpatine staring at him. "Up yours, you punk." "You sure talk strange mister." The man cocked an eyebrow. "You can see me?" "Of course." Just then, the group of children ran back past them. Idly, Palpatine tripped a little girl who fell flat on her face. He laughed as she got up, and ran away from him. "You don't like other kids?" "Not really, they're too loud." "You seem…angry." "And you're see-through." "Jerk." "Twit." "Asshole." "Weirdo." The man, who seemed more substantial now, paused and considered. "Mean, strong in the force and angry…have you ever considered a career as a Sith Lord?" "Why would anyone want to sift boards?" "I said Sith Lord you moron." "Yeah well you're a…" Palpatine noticed someone coming up behind him. He had a squat, determined bearing that he had grown to hate. "Oh shit." "Palpatine! I heard about what you did to that poor little girl!" "Sorry, I gotta go!" Palpatine turned and ran, the approaching figure pursued for a bit then stopped, took out a weapon and fired at the little boy. Palpatine dropped to the ground, stunned. The individual that Palpatine had been talking with, who was growing more insubstantial with each passing moment, watched this take place. "Now that's someone I can work with…" Previous Chapter, Table of Contents

Sunday, December 09, 2007

DeathTalker 2: Chapter 4

Previous Chapter, Table of Contents, Next Chapter

Anakin squirmed in the chair he was bound to.


"Now, now. There are children nearby."

The Three were standing near by sniggering.

"Death really would be preferable to this."

"I know. Consider this payback for the jersey."

"Point taken."

On the console in front of him could be heard some strains of music.

So the one day that this lady met this fellow.

And they knew this was much more than a hunch

Anakin nodded towards an unconscious Obi-Wan.

"What are you going to do with him?"

"I was thinking of letting him go – it would probably cause more damage that way."

Obi-Wan made "mphh" noises where he was tied up in the corner.

That this group might someday form a family

And that's the way they all became the Brady Bunch!

"Well you are good at making use of available materials…"

"But, then again, he might have a flash of competence and bring the rest of the Jedi. That would be most…inconvenient."

"Then why not kill him?"


"Well, given the current company, that might prove…inadvisable."

"Do you always talk like that?"

"It comes from working in the Sith Evil Temple™"

The Brady Bunch!

The Brady Bunch!

And that's the way they all became the Brady Bunch!

"That really is annoying you know."

"Wait until 'Fipper' comes on."

Anakin glared at Palpatine as he left them to their doom, his Evil Laughter™ trailing off in the distance.

"Do you have one of those need Jedi rope cutting gizmos?"

Anakin craned his neck to get a look at Obi-Wan.

"Mpph, murrr, murph, mph!"

"Ya know, there's something to be said for this arrangement…do you think we could get Palpatine to use it on Yoda?"



The little droid scooted into the room.

"He'll have us out in no time."

The droid deployed a small, buzz-saw like tool that Obi-Wan looked at nervously as the droid wheeled towards him.


"Don't worry, I just worked on his sensors, he's in tip top shape!"

Obi-Wan started struggling violently.

"Alright, that's far enough."

Framed in to the doorway was a figure wearing some sort of armor that included a rocket pack.

"Hands up!"

Anakin, and Obi-Wan exchanged glances. Even R2 turned to look at the man with several of his sensors.


"I said 'hands up!'"

"Beep, beep."

"I'm warning you…"

"He doesn't have any hands."

"Roight, it's hard to see in this thing you know."

"You look kind of familiar…"

"Yes, I'm the legendary…Jango Fett!"

"I'm over here, you're talking to the droid."

Jango turned around several times until he finally managed to vaguely face Anakin.

"Yeah, uhh…"

"Hard to see in that thing."


"Could you at least turn off this damn thing?"


"Well, ummm…the thing is, Palpatine told me to leave it on." Anakin considered glowering at him, but stopped when he realized that it would be lost on the armored figure.

"And over here is the Evil Sith Throne Room™!"

Just then a crowd of people shuffled in, led by another black-robbed tour guide.

"And oh my! It's Jango Fett!"

Jango struck a pose, unfortunately at a nearby wall, but a bunch of children in the crowed ran up to admire the villain.

"Oh cool!"

"You can fly with that thing, right?"

"Does your armor come with an I-Pod?"

Between signing autographs (one of which was unfortunately on an admirer's forehead), and lack of visibility, it was a few minutes after the crowd had left that he noticed that his captives were missing.

Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padme ran towards the ship with R2 in tow.

"I take back what I said, you're not useless."


"Not you, Padme!"

"Hey, no problem."

Obi-Wan look glum.

Padme schlepped off her black robe of Evil™ as they walked up the gangplank.

"Where'd you get the tour guide outfit?"

"Gift shop."

"If you don't want to keep it."

"Get your own."

Anakin sulked.

"So what's the plan? Do we have to stop Palpatine before he actives his ultimate evil plan, perhaps arriving in the nick of time and only after a protracted light saber fight?"

Obi-Wan perked up.

"Nah, let's just blast him."

Obi-Wan crossed his arms and frowned.

"I'd better fly."


It was Anakin's turn to look petulant.

"I know how you fly."

Padme nodded vigorously.

"R2 – take us to Yavin."

The droid zipped off to the cockpit.


"Do you think that Jango will come after us?"

As the ship took off there was a dull "thud" as if something had hit the hull.

"I think he just tried."

Moving over to a porthole, the three of them looked out and saw a stunned Jango as he fell back to the landing pad.

"He should really get better visibility out of that thing."

Later on that night, the three of them sat in the galley eating some freeze dried food. Obi-Wan gagged on some strawberries.

"Don’t we have that, what's-it-called, you know…orange, sorta sweet…"

"Why didn't he just kill you?"

Padme looked up from the copy "Politician Life" that she had been reading. As it just so happened, she was on the cover.

"He already tried that."

"Speaking of which, how did you survive that?"

"Who says I did?"

Obi-Wan and Padme shared a glance.

"You could have fooled me."

"For half a credit you can be me. I didn't volunteer for this."

"For what?"

Anakin turned to Padme.

"Before, we talked about how Palpatine managed to form impossible alliances."

"No, they're just unlikely. As I tried to tell you..."

"YOU TRIED TO TELL me that it these alliances, while not impossible were none the less very unlikely!"

Padme crossed her arms. This had the effect of highlighting her breasts. Obi-Wan stared. Padme noticed and uncrossed her arms uncomfortably.


"So they were unlikely!"

Anakin glanced at Obi-Wan, who was fidgeting as well.

"You didn't even notice, did you?"

Obi and Padme shared a "huh?" look.

"OK, so Palpatine managed to form these crazy alliances, and he also happened to be a Sith Lord, and he managed to come back from the dead…"


"And the Jedi all experience a slow but steady decline in their ability to use the Force…"


"And I show up, a Deathtalker…"


"And I get shot and come back from the dead…"


Anakin looked exasperated.

"I'll go check on R2."



Anakin sat back down and pointedly read the nutritional ingredients of some weird, orange flavored powder that one could mix with water to form an amazingly nutritional supplement.

Previous Chapter, Table of Contents, Next Chapter

Saturday, December 08, 2007

BYBS: Ozark

OK, this one was easy. There is a webcomic called Mind Flayed that I love whose author I approached to do a favor for me. The cool thing to me is that they actually answered! To such a jaded a cynical person such as myself, who feels like…well like I do, it's nice to have someone actually answer you. That it was a positive answer is also nice :-) Anyhow, regardless of what comes of it, I am pleased that there is some evidence that I exist. Come to think of it, most of the authors that I have contacted (well, both of them) have been very nice. OK, that's two things to be happy about. P.S. The web comic mentioned is at The site assumes some knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons, a pen & pencil role-playing game from my misspent youth.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

DeathTalker 2: Chapter 3

Previous Chapter, Table of Contents, Next Chapter The ship touched down on the dead, windy planet of Korriban; ancient home of the Sith. The setting sun cast long, dark shadows as the ramp was lowered onto the ground. "Welcome to Korriban!" Anakin stopped on the ramp so abruptly and Obi-Wan and Padme bumped into him. He glared at the vision of friendliness and hospitality in front of him. "Who the hell are you?" "I'm Vince Pathway, one of the many friendly people you will find here on Korriban to help make your stay a pleasant one!" Anakin's eyes darted uneasily to the man's lapel, where a garish button proclaimed that the local gift shop was having a sale on stuffed Sith dolls. "Are we on the right planet R2?" "Beep!" "Then where are the Sith?" "Well funny you should ask that – we have an illustrated book in the gift shop that happens to explain, in spooooky detail, the history of the Sith and of Korriban!" Anakin stalked down the runway without another word. He glared at Vince, decked out in cheap, fake black robes and all, and headed for the disturbing looking Evil Sith Temple™ and Gift Shop. Obi-Wan followed at a more leisurely pace, while Padme stopped to ask the man about toy light sabers. Entering the building, the three were confronted with a long line, apparently for tickets to some of the rides. Anakin glanced around in an annoyed fashion and headed towards another fake looking Sith. This one had a button describing discounts at the local restaurant. "Excuse me." "Just a moment friend, let me finish helping this fine fellow!" The man was talking to a large wookie who appeared to have pink bows in his fur. Anakin crossed his arms and waited impatiently. Padme approached with some drinks and handed one to Obi-Wan. "Thanks for thinking of me too." Padme shrugged. Finally the Wookie finished talking to the sales representative. Just as Anakin was about to speak, a Jawa, sporting a fake lightsabre, yanked on the tour guide's pants and started complaining. "Oh my! I'm sorry, I didn't notice that you were first! Just a moment." Gritting his teeth, Anakin made a throwing gesture with his hand. The man and the Jawa glanced at the resulting noise. Anakin made a "shooing" gesture and the Jawa flew backwards, slamming into a wall. The robbed figure turned and did a double-take. "Now where'd he go?" Anakin glared at him. "Well, umm…yes, what can I do for you?" "Where is the tomb of Naga Shadow?" "The wha?" "The tomb of Naga Shadow: the original Sith Lord?!" "I um, um, um…" "Oh that's right here Anakin." He turned and glared at Padme. "How do you know?!" "It's on this map I found while I was getting the drinks." Anakin grabbed the map and stared at it. One corner had the hours that the gift shop was open. "Ummm…we have tours 9 to 7pm most days…" He trailed off helplessly and grinned again. Anakin spun about and marched out of the hall. With a glance at each other, Obi-Wan and Padme followed. "And to our left you can see some ancient Sith hieroglyphs, cursing anyone who is so foolish to enter the tomb of Naga Shadow." The tour guide stuck her flashlight under her chin, the light shining up her nose. Her voice dropped to a whisper. "Do you dare follow me?" A crowd of onlookers watched in more or less rapt attention. Only the sound of someone munching popcorn could be heard. Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padme were to the rear of the group. Anakin had his arms crossed. Padme was wearing a baseball cap. Obi-Wan had a foolish, child-like grin and a T-Shirt that read: "My Jedi Master went to Korriban and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!" "Very well, but don't say I didn't warn you…" The tour guide led the way into the tomb. Anakin, growling, followed the rest. Against the far wall was set a dais, steps leading up to a large throne. On it sat a darkly robed figure, his pale hands protruding from his sleeves. Anakin rolled his eyes. "Enter, my new apprentices…" The crowd shuffled in into the tomb, the dusty floors recording their footprints. Anakin frowned, that voice sounded familiar. "I want to call on you all to join me in the ultimate darkness that lurks at the far side of the force…" Anakin's eyes widened. It couldn't be… "That voice! My god it's…it's…" "Grandpa Sith!" Proclaimed the tour guide. A small Jawa came running up the steps and jumped into the figure's lap. "Oof! Well, we do you want for your birthday little one?" The jawa whispered something jawa-like into the side the of the dark robed The jawa whispered something in jawa-speak into the side of the dark robed figure's head. The sinister figure reached into a nearby sack and pulled out a very fake looking red lightsabre. The little humanoid grabbed the toy excitedly and ran off. Another child ran up and sat in his lap. Anakin's face showed a look of true horror as a flash went off, Palpatine's faced pressed next to the child's. His mouth showing a toothy grin. "This is what we came all this way for?!!" Anakin looked helplessly at Padme. Her hands were on her hips. "But…but…can't you see it's him?! It's Palpatine!" The three of them were now regarding the dark robed figure. "Please…I prefer 'Gandpa Sith'…it's so much nicer." The sinister man was grinning a nasty, Sith-like grin. He put down his latest charge and got up off the throne. "I'm afraid Granpa Sith needs to run off and take care of some evil deeds™. Now you all be bad!" The crowd waved goodbye, except for an especially persistent child. "But I didn't get a chance to talk to him!" Palpatine waved a dark sleeve at him. "This is not the Sith you're looking for." "This is not the Sith I'm looking for." "He can go about his business." "He can go about his business." "Move along!" "Move along!" Palpatine walked through a doorway, down a corridor into an adjoining chamber. "Though I do actually like talking to them, the Force does make things so much easier at times…" Anakin stared him while Obi-Wan took out his lightsabre. Padme's jaw had dropped and she had lost the gum she'd been chewing. "I saw you die…" "Funny, I heard the same thing about you." "Well you will not get away this time." Obi-Wan had taken an "en guard" position and started approaching. Silently, three other robed figures appeared from behind the Sith Lord and took up position behind him. Obi-Wan cocked his head and Padme frowned. "Obi, put the weapon down. You and Padme should leave now." "What just happened? I feel something's changed." "I think you should take his advice master Jedi." Obi-Wan growled and advanced. Palpatine rolled his eyes and shrugged. The Three behind him grinned and raised their hands. With a cackle, purplish lightning flew from their hands to encompass the Jedi Knight. Gasping, he was lifted into the air and hurled against a nearby wall. "I'm outta here!" Palpatine regarded Padme's retreating form. "She always did strike me as fairly bright." "Certainly smarter than Obi-Wan." Palpatine looked at Obi-Wan where he was slouched against a wall, unconscious. "OK, well that's not hard." One of the spectral figures behind Palpatine hissed at him. "Drop your weapons!" "I don't have any." The Sith looked disappointed. "Can I fry him anyways?" "He's already dead idiot." "Speaking of which, how did you manage that?" "Clones, I've got lots of em. Just float over and repossess." "Crap." "So you see how futile resistance is? "Not quite." "And you say you're smarter than Obi-Wan!" "I happened to know where your Gungan Water Polo jersey is." Now it was Palpatine's turn to hiss. The Sith shades looked up hopefully. They had this "Can-I-fry-him-now-pretty-pretty-please?!!" look to their faces. "That wont save you." "What are you going to do? Kill me?" "That raises some interesting metaphysical questions." "Well you have your debating team with you." "But actually I have a better idea" Previous Chapter, Table of Contents, Next Chapter