Tuesday, December 04, 2007

DeathTalker 2


This story is set in the "Star Wars" universe, specifically around the time of "Episode 2: Attack of the Clowns!" er...I meant "Episode 2: Attack of the Clones."

At any rate, if you are not familiar with the Star Wars universe, then this story will make very little sense to you. All the characters are based vaguely on their counterparts in the movies, though their behavior is likely to vary wildly from what is shown in the films: if you are a Star Wars purist, you will probably be disappointed.

To the extent that you can copyright a fanfic, this one is copyright (C) 2007 by what0607@yahoo.com. The setting, characters, etc. are all copyright Lucasfilm.


The story picks up where my previous story, Deathtalker, left off. If you think that thing was confusing, imagine reading this story without having read the other one.

Chapter 1

Anakin watched the vortex as it sat in the sky. It was beautiful in its way. Awesome, apocalyptic, inescapable.

Anakin had had been standing there a long time watching it. He didn't eat. He didn't sleep. He didn't talk. He just watched.

His look did not betray fear or gladness or regret. His eyes were wide, his expression almost blank. If one looked closely, he almost appeared…

A growing belief had formed in him that had been confirmed as time went on. The vortex was shrinking. In days, perhaps as long as a month it would cease to be entirely – its source of food consumed. Its work done.

Anakin was standing atop one of the higher buildings on Coruscant, at least from the standpoint of the planet's "surface." Such a distinction was not entirely clear in a place like this: where buildings could be larger below the ground than above it.

He became aware of someone approaching. A bright point of light – a strong presence.

"Obi-wan. What do you want?"

The Jedi stopped and regarded Anakin's back. An old force trick, to be able to notice a person's approach.

"I thought that I would bring you someone you might be missing."

Anakin seemed to sigh as he turned to face Obi-wan. His grim visage gave way to one of longing and emotion when he saw who was with him. He broke into a run.


Padme's arms were outstretched.



Anakin met the droid half-way. His arms flung about it in a gesture of hopelessness and happiness.

"I'm here too."

"Oh…hi Padme."

Anakin looked up at Obi-wan, his face streaked with tears.

"Thank you."

But then he rose.

His countenance transformed back into a mask; the moisture on his face glimmering in the light of nearby buildings.

"What can I do for you?"

"I'm worried about you."

"Is that so?"


"Thanks R2."

"And uh…so am I!"

"Thanks Padme."

Anakin stopped for a second.

"You're not here just to add a frivolous love element to a crummy story are you?"


"Not you R2."

"No, I'm not. What do you take me for?"

Anakin thought a moment.

"I meant metaphorically."

Anakin thought some more.

"Figuratively…oh never mind."

"So this has nothing to do with the Council sending you on another mission."

"I didn't say that."

"I meant Obi-Wan, but it's interesting that they included you too."

Obi-Wan crossed his arms.

"You have to admit that your last statement was a bit dramatic."

"I was caught up in the moment."

"Why, what did he say?"



"Stop that."



"What happened back there? I felt…something."

Anakin looked towards the Vortex.

"What do you see, there?"

"What? Do you mean, the Zima building?"

"That's the Ramen building."

"They look similar."

Anakin and Padme shared a look.

"Well then, I think it would be best if I left it at that."

Anakin turned about and walked towards a nearby speeder.

"Mind you, I feel something…strange."

Anakin stopped.

"Knowledge can be a burden Obi-Wan. Make sure you can shoulder it before you take it on."

Anakin hopped into the air-car and sped away.

It was all very dramatic up to the point where he had to circle back to pick up R2.

"What the hell was that supposed to mean?

Anakin fidgeted impatiently as R2 got aboard the speeder.

"You know…heavy, burden, knowledge."

"Are you trying to say that with knowledge comes power style of thing?"

Anakin glanced up at Padme impatiently.

"Yeah, sort of."

"Well the point didn't come across very well."

Anakin rolled his eyes and got in the speeder. He vanished into the night.

"Why don't you want me to go with you?"

"Call it compassion."

Obi-Wan and Anakin stood outside a ship called the Ebon Hawk. It was a sort of Millennium Falcon type of affair except smaller. The droids were finishing with preparations and fueling.

"(Ooof). I didn't know you had a ship."

Padme had just arrived with a rather large box thingie. Anakin glanced over at her and shrugged.

"There are a lot of things you don't know about me."

Padme rolled her eyes and walked away.

"Just where are we going?"

"I have to stop something."


"Yeah, what?"

Padme arrived with another box thingie. Before Anakin could answer, she turned and walked away. Anakin fidgeted impatiently.

"Well, where are we going?"

"I'd just prefer to only have to say this once, so I'm waiting for Padme."

Obi-Wan grunted and waited. Time passed. Padme approached with another burden. Anakin turned away as she dropped off another suitcase-like affair.

"As I was telling Obi-Wan, I only want to say this once. The place that I am going is…dammit!"

Anakin turned full around, but Padme had already gone out of earshot.

"You know, you could just tell me, and I could tell her later."

The gangplank to the Ebon Hawk descended.

"She'll just ask later."

"You're probably right."

A droid approached with some sort of futuristic piece of paper for Anakin to sign. Just then Padme approached with some more stuff.

"The place we're going is BEEP!"

The droid was bumping into him and trying to get him to sign its clip-board thingie.

"I think you need to sign something."

"Yes, but I just want to say BEEP! Look alright!"

Anakin snatched up the clipboard and hurriedly signed the sheet of paper. As far as he could tell, it was not made out of 100% recycled material.

"Goddamn son-of-a-BEEP!! BEEPing, BEEEEP!"

"The price that bad?"

"No, she took off again!"

"So she did."

"Look, maybe we can just get on the ship and take off without her."

Obi-Wan shrugged and headed to the gangplank. Glancing surreptitiously about, Anakin followed him. Arriving at the cockpit, he got into the pilots seat.

"This is really for the best."

Anakin hit a switched and nudged a lever forwards. Nothing happened. He tried again. Nothing continued to happen.

"Uh oh, here she comes…"

Looking out of the canopy, Anakin could see Padme heading towards the ship with yet another box. He started hitting switches and pressing buttons. Out on the tarmac, Padme put her hands on her hips and looked about. Finally, she glanced towards the ship. Anakin ducked.

"Get down."


"Get down so she doesn't see you!"

"Don't be ridiculous."

Anakin reached over and yanked the Jedi down in his seat. Obi-Wan protested and tried to get Anakin's hands off him.

"Stop that!"

After a few seconds, Anakin glanced up and saw that Padme was heading back to a nearby building. With a sign, he got back up in his seat and resumed trying to figure out why the Ebon Hawk was not moving. Obi-Wan glared at him and regained his seat. With exaggerated dignity, he straightened his robes.

"Maybe we need to get clearance from the tower or something."

Anakin had popped open a control panel and was rooting around inside.

"Don't be silly."

Obi-Wan put his chin on his hand and waited. Anakin continued rummaging.

"Uh-oh, here she comes again."

Anakin bumped his head and muttered something.

"Looks like she's got some kind of tractor…would you look at all that baggage!"

"We can still make it!"

Some time later, the two of them were sitting in the cockpit. Anakin was glowering at his instrument panel.

Padme came in and sat down in one of the passenger seats. Turing the seat towards another panel, she spoke into a microphone.

"OK, we're ready."

"Roger Senator, you are cleared for take off."

"All set!"

Anakin glared and flipped some switches. Sounds of a ship powering up filled the cockpit.

"Sorry about that, but I was afraid you would leave without me."

The ship raised into the air and pointed upwards. Gaining speed it, it rose into the afternoon sky.

"Where are we going again?"


"Hmmm…why are we going there?"

Padme had retired to her quarters, cramped though they were.

"Compassion for what?"

Anakin glanced at Obi-Wan like he was some rather dense child.

"You of course."

"What about me?"

Anakin sighed.

"Obi-Wan, you've dedicated almost all of your life to the Jedi, to the force. What you would learn from me would be…well upsetting."

"How so?"

"It would upset you."

"Yeah, I know that, but how?"

Anakin was silent for a time, gazing off into space.

"What is the force?"

"Don't change the subject!"

"Look, I'm trying to make an important plot point."

"Oh all right. The force is…life. Life makes it grow, luminous it is, not this…"

"Don't get carried away."

Obi-Wan looked put out.


Anakin gritted his teeth.

"Can you be more specific?"

Obi-Wan perked up.

"Life…makes it grow."

"MITOCONDRIANS are what makes up the force!"

Obi-Wan glared at him.

"The organelles that live inside us."

"Except for red blood cells."

"Right, except for them."

"Because they lack a nucleolus."

"OK, aside from red blood cells, they exist inside every cell…"

"Oh and I think neurons, but I'm not sure about that. Also…"

Obi-Wan broke off when he saw Anakin's look.

"OK, most of our cells."

"Life. Organelles in our cells called midichlorins allow us to feel the force and use it."

"And what happens when that life ends?"

"The body dies, the cells die and the midichlorins too."

"But not always."

Anakin was silent for some time.

"The term 'Deathtalker' wasn't created just for me. Sometimes, when someone who is strong in the force dies, they…exist for a little longer."


"How much longer?"

"Well, usually a matter of hours at the longest."

Anakin was staring at Obi-Wan now.

"But I was able to talk to Jedi who had been dead for over a century. What do you think that means?"

"Beings who are the strong in the force can sometimes leave an imprint that can last a long time."

Anakin slowly shook his head.

"No, they were alive for all intents and purposes. Death does not have to be the end for us."

Obi-Wan put his arm on Anakin's shoulder.

"You have not been well trained in the use the force. Sometimes, the inexperienced can make mistakes like that: we project our thoughts: making things seem as they are not."

Anakin just stared at him.

Obi-Wan felt something on Anakin's shoulder – something writing, just below the surface. His hand jerked away and he turned to stare at it, then at Anakin; but he had already turned away.

Chapter 2

"Is The Force infinite?"

"Well yes."

"But the galaxy is not."


Obi-Wan and Anakin were talking in the galley of the Ebon Hawk.

"And The Force exists because of life."

"Also true."

"Therefore the Force is finite."

"What is your point?"

"If it's finite, it has a beginning…and an end."

Obi-Wan shifted about uncomfortably.

Anakin rose and walked over to a nearby table. He picked up a glass and a pitcher of water. Advancing on Obi-Wan he handed him the glass. He moved to pour the water and Obi-Wan moved to catch it in the glass. Obi-Wan glanced at Anakin and raised a quizzical eyebrow.

Silently, Anakin continued pouring.

The glass filled up and overflowed.

"Anakin, you're making a mess."

Anakin upended the pitcher.

"Thanks a lot."

Anakin tossed the pitcher towards the table. Before it could break it stopped, hovered and then set itself down on the table. Actually, that was Anakin's plan. It actually hit the table and shattered.

Anakin winced but tried to continue.

"The water ran out. What does that say about the pitcher?"

"That I'm glad it wasn't larger."

Anakin chuckled.

"You have much to learn my young Padawan."

"I thought you were learning."

"If you did not want to learn, why are you here?"

Obi-Wan dabbed the spill with a cloth.

"Apparently to clean up your messes."

Anakin stopped in mid repartee and looked thoughtfully at him.

"Maybe you are at that."

"Why are you here?"

"Obi-Wan and the council seem to think that it's important that I accompany you."

"And why do you think that is?"

Padme fidgeted.

They were talking in the galley of the Ebon Hawk, Obi-Wan having retreated saying something about needing to dry his clothes.

"Probably to remind you that you're human."

"So why does that matter to you."

"Look, I'm tired of these games. Why don't you tell me what you think."

Anakin glanced at her and smiled.

"In a way, you are more honest than Obi. I find your candor refreshing."

Padme rolled her eyes.

"Alright. Palpatine had a way of forging alliances between groups that should not have worked together. As a politician I'm sure you can appreciate that. A leader can do so much with personal influence, intimidation, leverage; but Palpatine went beyond that."

"And how do you know that."

"Because as soon as he died, these alliances started falling apart."

Anakin paused. The room was silent…except for the humming of the engines. And R2 was cleaning up a broken pitcher.


"Well, how did he do it?"

Padme crossed her arms.

"Alright so how?"

"It would be strange enough if you didn't know, since you're quite astute when it comes to politics."

Seeing her look, he added.

"I meant no disrespect."

"But at any rate, you aren't the only one who was confused, were you?"

"Actually there are quite a few explanations for what happened."

Anakin looked troubled.

"There are?"

"Yes, well these things do happen from time to time. You get a charismatic leader, the right situation, certain economic conditions – there is precedent for this sort of thing."

"OK, but not very often, right?"

"Not as such though there were…"


Padme glanced at him, but allowed Anakin to continue.

"Right, so how did he do it then? I'll tell you how: he had help!"

Padme gave him a "well duh!" look.

"But not just any help. I believe that the things that he used were not among…the living!"

Anakin paused for dramatic effect. The silence began to weigh heavily on the conversation. Anakin glanced back at Padme.

"As in not living…dead…you know, beyond the grave style of thing…"

"You mean like ghosts?"

"Yeah…sort of…"

"That is the stupidest idea I've ever heard!"

"Is not."

"I mean what are they going to do: 'Vote this way in the council or I will waaaaail!'"

Padme started laughing. Anakin's face turned red.

"Well, it would be a kind of spooky thing to happen you have to admit."

"I've heard of worse things from my constituents! I mean you wanna talk about whining?!"

Padme was doubled over laughing.

"I mean, they could come back to claim Social Security or something – HA! HA! HA!"

Padme finally settled down, her breathing returning to normal after a short "honk!" sound.

"Anakin? Anakin!"

But he had mysteriously disappeared.

"Dead…not alive…not among the living!”


"Well, that's because you're a droid: of course you aren't scared!"

Anakin paced back and forth.

"But believe me, if you were alive you would be very frightened!"

"Stoopid…had to take these clowns with me…are we there yet?!"

Chapter 3

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?"


"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."


"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…"

Chapter 4

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.

Chapter 5

"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."


"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?"


"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."





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…"

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?"


"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.


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.


"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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

"Whose 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 body.

"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 sort of 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!"



1 comment:

Ozark said...

Hey! This is Ozark of Mind Flayed. I got your email, but for some reason your Yahoo account won't accept my emails, so I'm commenting here.

At any rate, I'll be happy to do the button for you :) Just specify which character doing what you want, and what size you want the image to be.

I'm not a Star Wars fan, but I have amazing Google Fu (and YouTube Fu), so don't be afraid to ask for anything specific.

Finally, thanks for the praise! It always makes my day. And if you're talking about the infamous tentacle sex comic, don't worry... it's a favorite with a lot of people, it seems. Including me XD