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..."

(pop)

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..."

(pop)

"...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?"

(Pop)

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."

"Right"

(Pop)

"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.

"Hey!"

"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?"

"No."

"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.

"Gentlemen."

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.

3 comments:

Paulie said...

Hmmmm I was sure I left a comment here -- must have left it on the wrong post before. . . Ü

Whatever said...

Ya, the comment is on my BYBS posting for 12/16/2007. Mind you, I'm not complaining :-D

Sandy Carlson said...

Just stopping by to wish you a Merry Christmas if you celebrate and a joyous winter if you don't! God bless.