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Star Wars Ep I & II (rememberer's takes) TCW & KOD

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 08:29 PM

I saw your flashback, but I don't think I'll use them - seeing as they weren't used as a narrative device over the course of the original trilogy... besides, this is not the story of the events, it is the story of the people. The events are the background, or rather backdrop for the story, and so events that do not pertain to the characters don't need to be shown.

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 08:20 AM

My flashbacks pertained to the characters, Symone. It explained alot. Anakin used to live on a moister frm with Owen's family, and it explained how Obi-Wan knew Anakin was a great pilot when he first met him.

"It was me following you on the ship when you landed in Mos Eisley"

Or something like that. They very MUCH SO pertained to the development of the characters.
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Posted 04 May 2005 - 08:40 PM

I wasn't saying your flashbacks didn't pertain to the characters - I was saying that if I were to do flashbacks to develop the history of the galaxy it wouldn't pertain to my characters...

Again, sorry if what I said was taken the wrong way, but it wasn't intended like that.

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 04:41 PM

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 05:35 AM

Owing to technical difficulties, now overcome, combined with an attack of mild laziness served to delay this chapter by one night.

Chapter Three.

The Tralenian short-range shuttle set down on the flight deck of the Vanguard. Obi-Wan Kenobi stepped out of the gig and walked to a communicator built into the wall of the hangar.
"Captain, this is General Kenobi. I am detaching myself from the taskforce. You are to continue your objectives and liase with Admiral Colgrim of Tralen. I request you release to me a transport to the nearest Fleet waystation."

"Captain Skywalker, it seems luck is on your side. The general has requested transportation to the waystation - seeing as you've finished your tour, I'm assigning you to be his pilot for the trip."
"Thank you, Commander. It has been a pleasure serving with you."
"Likewise, Captain Skywalker. Likewise."

It was the work of five minutes for Kenobi to change - the Fleet uniform and service pistol for the apparel of the Jedi Knight. His order wore no uniform save humility and wielded no authority but respect. Their weapon, though once the only weapon used throughout the civilised world had faded like them into obscurity - and thusly the lightsaber had become the emblem of the Jedi.
He emerged, and proceeded to the hangar to again meet with Anakin Skywalker.

"General Kenobi, it's good to see you again. I'll be flying you to the waystation at Derra IV."
"Thank you, Captain Skywalker. Now I know why I'm going, but why are you being released from the taskforce?"
"My tour of duty is finished, sir. I'm going back to civilian life."
"Congratulations, Captain - though I suppose Anakin would be more appropriate under the circumstances."
"Thank you, sir. If its not too bold to ask, why are you leaving the taskforce?"
"I'm afraid for now it is too bold. Let us say for now that I am going to meet with a superior."
At that point, as they ascended into the shuttle to begin their journey he felt it again - the flicker, the ripple of the Force in him, seemingly coming from Anakin.
He furrowed his brow and grasped his chin for a moment, deep in thought.
"On second thoughts, Anakin, perhaps it isn't. Perhaps I may as well tell you.
You may have guessed that I'm not a regular Fleet officer."
"I'm not sure I have, sir."
"Surely you must have heard, at some time in your life, of the Jedi?"
"Of course, sir. Everyone hears them, the histories and the stories... you mean to say that you are a Jedi, sir?"
"Indeed I do. Perhaps you would have heard of these in the stories of the Jedi," he said, raising his lightsaber.
"Then you are one... that's how you knew they were coming."
"It was indeed... I felt a sudden dismay as we were in hyperspace - a terrible dread that something evil was waiting for us. The Force alerted me to the presence of our enemy."
Anakin ran through all the stories in his head - he had not given passing mention to them in years, but with a real live Jedi sitting next to him he was suddenly reminded. In all stories of the Jedi the Force was mentioned - sometimes it was as if it was their weapon, sometimes their religion or even their god. They in turn were its wielders, its priests, its caretakers and perhaps its enforcers. It was the source of their powers, their dedication to peace and their extraordinary longevity.
"All that and more," murmured Kenobi.
Anakin's hair stood on end - for he had said nothing! Perhaps it was just a shrewd guess, but in all the stories they had been able to see into and even alter the hearts and minds of common people.
Out of no small measure of dread mixed with deference, he was silent as he prepared for the jump to hyperspace.

On the world of Ty'Darin, amongst the great pillar-mountains was an eyrie of a kind. Here, high up beyond the throng and press of civilisations was a place of peace and meditation. Here upon a humble seat sat Yoda, ancient mentor to the Jedi order. Training within a great ring marked upon the surface against floating seekers was the latest in a long line of apprentices. The apprentice, a slender youth perhaps sixteen years old, extinguished his training blade and turned to his master, suddenly alerted to his mood.
"What is it?"
"Joyous tidings I have had, but I fear they may be grievous also."
"What do you mean, Master?"
"I never cease to care for my pupils, even after they finish their training. I have not seen Obi-Wan Kenobi for twenty years, and even for me that is quite a long time. He is coming, and I will be glad to see him, but whatever it is that brings him here cannot be good."

On another world, in the outskirts of the galaxy where stars kept largely to themselves and few had planets, was another being, upon a throne far from humble. As small and unassuming as Yoda was, this being was tall and majestic. His face was cunning, yet not wise and there was madness of a kind in his eyes.
He looked upon the world beneath him, and all he saw was himself.

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 06:34 AM

Chapter Four:

With a barely audible hiss, swirling gases were expressed from the undercarriage of the shuttle. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi emerged from the ship and walked to the deck officer.
"Lieutenant, I'm General Obi-Wan Kenobi, requesting transportation to the Ty'Darin system."
The young officer snapped to attention and nodded to a rating beside him, then turned to Anakin.
"Captain Anakin Skywalker, I'm bound for Tatooine."
Again, the salute and again the rating after he inspected their travelling orders.
The general and the captain stood listlessly on the flight deck. Anakin nervously plucked at his duffel and then turned to Obi-Wan.
"Well, General, I suppose this is it. Goodbye, I guess."
Obi-Wan smiled softly and clasped Anakin's hand in his own.
"I do not expect to see you again - I hope civilian life works out well for you... and may the Force be with you." This last he added almost as an afterthought.
As Anakin turned to follow the rating, Obi-Wan again felt the dwindling of something within him - clearly Anakin was strong in the Force, but clearly too set in his ways, too learned to unlearn all he must to become a Jedi.
A pity, and a waste, that he had not been discovered many years ago.
Clearing his mind, he followed the rating to the ship that would take him to Ty'Darin to meet his mentor.

Yoda calmed himself, and reached out across the great expanse of the Galaxy to find his students. On distant worlds, they felt the gentle touch of his mind, and knew that they were called by their old master. In times past, a Master like Yoda could call on dozens of Jedi Knights when need called, but here and now there were three - Obi-Wan Kenobi already approached, while Bendu Ghan and Nashira Eldacal answered his call with a simple I am coming.

From one of the countless waystations scattered throughout the galaxy, Anakin had time to kill. Waiting for the next transport in a chain that would bring him closer to Tatooine, he was using the time he had to call ahead and lay foundations for his homecoming.
"Message to Owen Lars of Tatooine from Anakin Skywalker. My tours up, I'm coming home."
This simple recording would come eventually to his oldest and closest friend in the galaxy.
The desert was a savage place, and even the cautious could die - both Owen and his fathers had died, and the widows and the orphans moved together to share what little they had. They were brothers in all but blood and name, and they had not seen one another for three years, which was sore trial for them both.

A shuttle set down at the chief spaceport of Ty'Darin, hissing at the joints. From it emerged Obi-Wan Kenobi, prepared to give his tidings to his master.
But not quite prepared to see him waiting at the landing pad for him - Yoda was always a solitary creature who rarely went into civilisation, but here he was standing patiently with his young apprentice.
"Master Yoda."
"Young Obi-Wan."
For a moment they stood still, almost tense. The silence passed, and Obi-Wan stepped forward and knelt, taking Yoda's clawed hand in his own.
"It is good to see you, master."
"Ahhh... it is... but, my apprentice you must meet - Naq, this is the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi, of whom I have spoken of."
Their eyes met and each acknowledged the other briefly, and then each turned back to Yoda.
"We must go to my home, in the mountains. There we will discuss what you have come to speak to me about."

They ascended into a speeder, which lifted into the air and sped towards Yoda's mountain eyrie. There they set down gently, and walked to Yoda's study higher up the pillar of the mountain. There Yoda climbed his small seat and turned to Kenobi.
"So, my apprentice. What was it you came to tell me?"

Obi-Wan Kenobi breathed in, and steadied himself, running through his tidings once again.
"There was an attack upon Tralen, this you may know already. Councillor Palpatine sent Bail Organa to lead a taskforce to inspect the area and protect Tralen during its recovery, and as his military advisor, I went with him. Before our arrival at Tralen, we were pulled from hyperspace by a battleship which suddenly attacked the fleet, and I was able to warn them before this happened.
A ship boarded our own, with one passenger - I confronted him, fought him and destroyed him and then the battleship departed. Whoever he was, the Dark Side of the Force was with him. There were two other things - during the course of the battle I had a feeling of thousands of enemies, but just one; a sense of countless repetitions. The second thing was this," and this he said as he inserted a disc to a projector. Again a voice, melodious yet menacing, rang out.
"I am leaving the battle. Surprise is lost. I shall return to the godship."
Obi-Wan paused for a moment, and then continued.
"To me the evidence is clear, and I have come to ask how we are to treat this.
The leader of the attack on Tralen and our task force was a clone master, and he had an ally who wielded the Dark Side. It is beyond me alone to counter this, and I think that we must take counsel together and gather our strength."

Sorrow creased Yoda's wise face before he began, "As you have begun, I have continued. I have called Bendu and Nashira, and shall call on the other Masters. It is time for the Jedi Knights to again gather, for if this is so, war is coming."

War is coming was also the foremost thought in the mind of Anataj. But to him it brought great joy - indeed it was what he had been striving for.

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 06:32 AM

Chapter Five:

Against the backdrop of the heavens and beneath the harsh light of its twin suns was the desolate world of Tatooine. Blindingly bright endless stretches of sand and massive edifices of sharpened stone covered its surface. For all its enormity, its population would have fit on a much smaller world equally readily if not more so.
But those that did choose Tatooine for their home were hardy and cautious and among such scarcity was greater generosity and less greed than on worlds of plenty.
Invisible to the eye, for most were blinded by the two suns and the answering glare of the desert came a freighter carrying cargo for the few guards the planet needed and one passenger.
He was the first to debark the ship; a man of extraordinary stature, rugged yet handsome and in his prime. Though the man who waited for him was shorter, broader built and craggier than he was, Owen Lars and Anakin Skywalker were so alike that they could easily be taken for brothers. After a fashion, they were brothers, for they had lived as such for many years.
They faced each other for a moment and embraced silently, and in that moment, years fell away from their hearts and minds. Tears stung their eyes as they both laughed lightly, and then it was as though they had never been parted.
A third waited for them outside the docking bay - if anything could come between such stalwart friends, it would be the love of a good woman, but not even Beru's quiet beauty was held by Anakin to be greater than Owen's friendship. Again an embrace, again a bittersweet greeting and then the rift of time was healed.
It was with a light heart that Anakin hopped into Owen's speeder.
He was home.

"There was one other thing I wanted to tell you, Master Yoda," said Obi-Wan, faintly nervous. Yoda's ears twitched and turned to Obi-Wan, then his face followed and he held his apprentice in his eyes.
"Speak, Obi-Wan."
"On the taskforce, there was a pilot. The force was latent within him, and I believe he may be quite strong with it."
Yoda's eyes brightened and widened, then his face fell.
"Train him I might have. But I have a student already... it would be risky to take another, especially a soldier. Already he would have learned too much, too far from peace to touch the Force are those already trained in war."
His brows furrowed, and it was with an altogether different voice that he spoke this time.
"Save the Sith."

For a moment, Yoda seemed to be speaking to himself, "The Dark Knights of the Sith were trained to use the Force for war, for murder and for themselves. I was foolish not to see already! There have been no Dark Jedi for many years now... your Dark Knight, Obi-Wan, could only have been trained by a master of the Dark Side - not fallen to it himself."
He lifted his gaze to Obi-Wan.
"There may be a Sith remnant. You must bring this pilot to me, for his own protection. He is trained in war already - if he were trained in the Force by one hoping to awaken the Dark Side within him it would come too readily. We must not risk him, at least until we have uncovered the Sith. You must go and find him... I shall await Bendu and Nashira, and send them to search for the Sith when they arrive."
"How many Sith might their be, Master?"
"I cannot tell - masters of deception were the Sith in times past. Few enough could have survived the war, and they would have faded with time, not grown. There would be few."
Obi-Wan again prepared to leave his post on another task. He quickly prepared, for he was in haste and had but one thing to bring, his lightsaber. As an afterthought, he took two.

Bail Organa stood with the Governor of Tralen to receive an important transmission. From a plate set in the ground issued a faintly transparent image, though perfectly cast it was grainy from the air moving through it.
If Bail Organa was the Republics most talented young diplomat, Councillor Palpatine was its most talented altogether. He was a small man, but of such upstanding posture and moral ascendancy that he gave the illusion of height. Of the Council of the Republic, the select body of Senators that guided each separate arm of the Republic, he was chief of the diplomatic corps. A stirring orator or a gentle persuader when time called for it, he could pull the heartstrings and purse-strings equally well to settle all ills and repay all kindnesses.
A silver-tongued speaker with a golden heart - but he wielded little power. The Republic had no leader as such, its whole guided by the parts that made up the Senate. Only by earning the support of many could the few decide the Galaxy's fate and not even Palpatine was such a strong steersman that he could turn the course of the Republic to any lasting effect.
All this and more passed through Organa's mind as the image coalesced, for all diplomats prepare for every conversation as a matter of habit, even with close friends.
"Councillor Palpatine, I would like to make my formal report to the Senate. The captain of the Vanguard has already made his to Fleet Command."
"The captain? But what of General Kenobi?"
"He had a pressing errand, the nature of which he would not tell me."
"Very well. I will not question the deeds of the Jedi, for guided by the Force as they are their actions are not clear to those without their foresight."
That was another thing about Palpatine: he was a great believer in the Force and a keen historian of the Jedi; in fact it was he who had asked the Jedi if any would be willing to aid the Senators, coaxing them from their solitude and into a degree of prominece, but they still kept a cloak of secrecy about them save in private.
Bail launched into a detailed account of the assault upon Tralen, the attack on the taskforce, the decrypted message and the recovery operations.
After he was finished, Palpatine again spoke.
"Very well, Senator. Your report has been recorded, and will pass into the Senate minutes... did General Kenobi give any hint, even the slightest, as to anything about his errand?"
"Only that he was going to seek his superiors among the Jedi."
A faint smile creased Palpatine's lips.

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 05:30 AM

Chapter Six:

In the skies above Ty'Darin a light shone. The light was that of a small starship, one built not for comfort or combat, but for travelling great distances with speed and stealth. It was a kind of ship favoured by spies, assassins and the Jedi.
It crossed the sky to land at a great shoulder of one of the column-shaped mountains of Ty'Darin. Two figures disembarked, and made their way by stairs cut in stone to Yoda's humble sanctuary. They approached the aged master, and kneeled before him. This was not an obeisance, but a convenience, as it was much easier for all concerned to talk to Yoda this way.
They spoke together quickly, for they all felt a pressing need for haste and they were too well-acquainted to need any pleasantries. When they had finished, Yoda signalled to his apprentice and they all boarded the scout ship.
It flew down to the city on the all but perfectly flat plains, and there Yoda and Naq disembarked while the two Jedi Knights left with all speed on whatever mission he had given them.

They were not the only Jedi Yoda had sent forth. The other was Obi-Wan Kenobi, and even now he neared his destination. The Fleet shuttle that had brought him to Tatooine from Ty'Darin set down upon the hardened sand of the docking bay, and Kenobi emerged to look around. The twin suns had long set and the desert air was chill and crisp as Kenobi found a rental motor pool and there hired a fast and sturdy desert swoop. The powerful repulsorlifts kicked up a cloud of dust and left a great wake as the Jedi Knight sped into the desert, guided not by any map or scanner, but by the unerring guidance of the Force. The wind both chilled and warmed him as he drove on in the small dark hours of the morning.
He reached his destination as dawn broke on the horizon - if it weren't for his Force sense of Anakin he would have driven past the homestead without even noticing it - a small sand-coloured upturned bowl that formed the entrance to the humble abode of the Skywalker and Lars families.

On other worlds, no one would have been awake to greet the dawn, but here all were risen and were very surprised to find that they had a visitor.

"Excuse me, sir, but might I ask what you're doing here?"
The two strangers faced each other momentarily, the gruff spoken farmer equally ignorant of the gentle knight's identity as Kenobi was of his.
"I'm looking for Anakin Skywalker. I'm a friend of his."
"So am I, and I've never seen you before. If I see him, who would I say was looking for him?"
"Ben Kenobi."
It was hard to tell whether Owen was shaking his head or nodding, as he 'hmphed' and walked down into the depths of the homestead. There amongst the quiet and ordered bustle of a farm in the morning he found Anakin, not in his officers gear as he had been yesterday, but wearing a simple workmans caftan beneath a loose but voluminous robe and high sturdy boots - good wear for the extremes of hot and cold that came to the desert.
"Anakin, do you know anyone by the name of Ben Kenobi?"
"Ben? He was the general of my outfit back in the Fleet... how did you hear of... what, you mean he's here?"
Owen seemed just as surprised as Anakin at that - that Anakin knew the stranger, that the stranger was a general and that he had managed to find Anakin.
"A general? You didn't get in any trouble or do anything uncommonly brave just before you left?"
"He's not just a general, he's a Jedi Knight. And no, I didn't."
Owen was speechless as Anakin walked past him and up the stairs to talk to Obi-Wan. Rather than discuss whatever it was he had come to talk about up there in the suns-light, he invited Obi-Wan to a table within the homestead and there they sat down.
"So, General, what did you come all the way to Tatooine for?"
"For you, Anakin. And I'm not here as an officer of the Fleet, I'm here in my other capacity."
"Very well then, why does a Jedi Knight come all the way to Tatooine just for me."
Obi-Wan leaned back and grasped his chin thoughtfully for a moment, and then leaned forward and clasped them together.
"Let me preface this by saying that in a way I am here to ask you to reenlist."
Anakin fell silent at this, but his mind raced and his thoughts shouted louder than his voice could ever had.
"You see, Anakin, the reason why I told you who I am and where I was going was because I felt you had a right to know. Most people walk through life and never speak save with their tongue, and so we never know their strength, and yours could have lain hidden all your life but somehow it was revealed to me. All things that live partake in and create the Force, to a greater or lesser extent. Most of these things are never even aware of the part they play, and of the few that are aware of the existence and nature of the Force even fewer are willing to surrender themselves to it, to dismiss the world they see from their minds and immerse themselves in its flow. As you came near me, I felt the Force quicken within me and knew that if you were to learn the ways of the Force you would become mighty in it.
But it takes extraordinary diligence and the willingness to let go our pasts to prepare ourselves for the power of the Force and even as young as you are you are still too firmly set along your path in life to be readily brought to the ways of the Force. Normally, you would not be considered for the training of a Jedi.
But these are not normal times."
At that he paused a moment, and they saw that Owen and Beru were there as silent witnesses to the unfolding spiel.
"In that engagement we had en route to Tralen, a ship launched from the enemy vessel and boarded the Vanguard, with a single passenger aboard."
Anakin, who had been silent on matters of the Jedi regained his voice regarding the military.
"One? I'm taking this was a parley as distinct from a boarding party?"
"Neither... he did not come to negotiate nor to take the ship, but as an assassin.
He was a Dark Knight of the Sith."
Anakin had never in all his life heard the term, not in all the stories of the Jedi he had heard.
"For many long years the galaxy prospered, and with them the Jedi. There were many kinds of Jedi - healers, teachers, seers and some few warriors. Then the Republic grew until it abutted the realm governed by the Sith.
The Sith, like the Jedi, wielded the Force but there all similarities ended. They used it for their own self-aggrandisement - they had created their enslaved empire through fear and their own terrible skills of murder and deception.
The Sith launched a war against the Republic, the like of which has not been seen before or since. Worlds were besieged by the warships of the Sith, and countless Jedi were slaughtered. In the end they were driven back; their slaves were liberated, their temples were cast down and the Sith themselves destroyed. But the price was so large it is still being paid. The only Jedi to survive the Sith war were the warriors - the Jedi Knights, and much of the art of our healers and seers has passed. After the war, our numbers continued to wane - as since only warriors were left and warriors have little purpose outside of a war the Jedi Knights scattered to seek solitude throughout the galaxy.
The Sith were not destroyed. I confronted and killed the one that boarded the Vanguard, but somewhere there is a remnant of their brotherhood.
Now we must gather our strength to again withstand them. We cannot leave you exposed, to be found by the Sith who would be drawn to your potential as surely as I was; and it may be proved that we will need your strength to defeat the Sith.
I am asking you to come with me, so that I may take you to my master and see you safely trained in the ways of the Force."
All stirred silently and reflected on all that Obi-Wan had said.
"I will stay on Tatooine until I have your answer... where is the nearest township?"
"You may find me in Anchorhead when the time comes."
And after serenely upturning their world, Obi-Wan calmly left.

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 06:32 PM

Chapter Seven.

All ships leave a trail of a kind, particularly those that have been in battles recently. Tiny specks of matter in the vacuum of space where none should be, forming a pattern that gave the last course of the vessel.
The godship that had attacked the Vanguard had left such a trail, and Nashira Eldacal and Bendu Ghan were following it.
It lead away from the plane of battle, and by tracking any systems that crossed this course they found that out here in the rim of the galaxy only one system crossed its path.
It was called Var Anyas, a system of one elderly star and one bleak world.
Countless residents of the Outer Rim would claim that their planets were the most desolate world in all the Galaxy, but if any could wear the crown, it was Var Anyas.
It was a dry world and chill, fashioned of countless sharp ridges of stone.
Very little life had arisen there, small and primitve creatures, and no intelligent form of life.
But it was a border world - set at the frontier between the outliers of the Republic and the realm controlled by Anataj. The Jedi still knew nothing of Anataj, but if his plans came to fruition they would soon.

Some have had the desire to rule the Galaxy. Alone of all despots, Anataj had desired to be the galaxy.
By his own reckoning, he was thousands of years old - though he never allowed himself to live past fifty. Anataj was a Clonemaster, a rare and reverend kind of being. Many civilisations that arose across the galaxy developed the science of cloning - and then rejected it. Few had the strength of will to look themselves in the eye and not quake in primal fear. There were some who relished it: they were cast out by their societies and created in exile entire civilisations built around themselves. The Republic had often campaigned against these clone empires in its history, but not all had been encountered and destroyed. Even amongst Clonemasters Anataj was an oddity, as he valued each incarnation of himself equally - he did not number them or grant them any name save his own.
He was a million people, and he was one.

Anataj rarely had any dealings with any save himself, but for the first time in countless years he had come to an accord with another being and a representative of this being was speaking to him now. The man was shorter than most, but broad at the shoulder. He wore an articulate suit of armour, plain and unadorned save upon the great steel gauntlets and a surcoat over it; he wore no mask or cowl, but hid his face behind a close-fitting helmet in two parts, one that guarded his neck up to the line of his eyes where sights were made in it and the other that overlapped in and defended the dome of his skull. His manner and gear were that of a soldier and servant, but few would have risked crossing him.

When the small stealthy shuttle entered the Var Anyas system, they saw that things had changed since last time any loyal to the Republic had been there.
The ball of rock that they were looking for was there, but it was ringed with battle stations and godships. Scanners revealed that several enormous towers had been built upon the surface of Var Anyas. This was no longer the quiet bleak empty world that had discouraged any from landing there by its very bleakness, but a frontier world that discouraged by being a bastion of war.

"Your master and I both have dreams. Both of us have been waiting for generations to fulfill them. Neither of us has the strength to defeat the Republic and the Jedi together. By our union we will conquer them. By our union our dreams will be attained. I shall be there at your master's side to guide him and see that our union stays strong and you shall have that function at my right hand.
Do you understand the task your master and I have set before you?"
"I do, Anataj."

Scanners could tell them only so much about the world of Var Anyas. But the keen senses of the Jedi could see further even than technology for some things.
The Dark Side lurked down there.

"I think we've seen enough. Let's get Obi-Wan and alert the Fleet."

When they had finished speaking, Anataj and the Dark Knight walked to the top of the tower. They walked to a platform like an island in the middle of a ramp that spanned the great well that rose from the foundations of the tower to uppermost heights. As they looked down, they saw Anataj lining the countless platforms that hugged the walls of the well. Soldiers, technicians, pilots, gunners, scientists and crewmen of the godships - some tens of thousands of them.
Anataj walked up a series of steps to a throne that crowned a shaft that ran the length of the well. There he sat, and the Dark Knight suddenly saw that at the edges of the island-platform there were shadowed seats, and Anataj sat in each following every movement of the Dark Knight's with his innumerable eyes.
The Dark Knight of the Sith turned to face Anataj as he sat upon his throne, and it was not entirely out of worship and not entirely out of fear that he knelt before the Clonemaster.

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 05:42 AM

Chapter Eight:

In a humble home sat Anakin Skywalker, deep in thought. He had been thinking unceasingly about his future, his friends and his deep sense of duty. Anakin didn't have the heart to refuse Obi-Wan, nor the heart to leave Owen. Torn in two, with two right paths set at his feet, he did not know which to take. To be trained as a Jedi was honour and opportunity for a lifetime, but it would be a lifetime without a home and without a family. This was not a decision he could come to alone.

Owen's thoughts were similarly troubled, and he rose to talk to Anakin to perhaps resolve either of their dilemmas and maybe even both. He sat down across the table from Anakin and the taller man suddenly started, as though he had not seen him coming.
Owen shuffled uncomfortably and then suddenly cut in on Anakin's thoughts.
"Well, Kane, are you going or staying?"
"I don't know... I shouldn't have to, should I? I mean I just got back here."
Owen grunted in agreement.
"But... you heard what he said, what he was offering. Wouldn't you take it?"
"I wouldn't, but I've got a wife to think of and maybe a child someday. But I'd be tempted."
"What would you say if I stayed?"
"I'd be happy to have you round here for as long as you're willing to stay."
"And if I went?"
"Well... I'd be sorry to lose you, but I wouldn't mind having a Jedi in the family. Besides, if you go you won't be gone forever. You could come back whenever your master was willing to let you go and see us. You wouldn't be gone forever."
"I know."
Both men furrowed their brows at the same thought and time. It was Anakin who spoke what was on their minds first.
"What if I don't, Owen. All that stuff about the Sith, well he was talking about some real danger there... I could die out there."
"Kane, you're a hell of a fighter... you're more than that - you're a farmer too. We're too tough to belly-up to anyone, and if you get a bit of Jedi in you, not even Sith."
Anakin took heart at his friends words.
"I'm going, Owen."
"I thought you might."
And so Anakin Skywalker made his first step towards his destiny. He said his goodbyes - to his mother, to Beru and to Owen's mother. His farewell to Owen had already been silently spoken, but they would not be parted yet - they would head out to Anchorhead together.

There they found Obi-Wan waiting patiently for them, alerted to their coming by the stirring of the Force. They stood silently on a windswept street - the Jedi Knight, the farmer and the fighter. Anakin held Obi-Wan's gaze in his own, and said one word: "Yes." He then faced Owen, and they looked at each other for a moment - no embrace, no handshake was needed at their parting - and then he turned back to Obi-Wan, and they proceeded down the street to where a ship now waited for them.
Tiny shards of tears appeared in Owen's eyes, but if any had asked him he would have simply said they were stung by sand. He turned and walked back to the speeder and never again met Anakin while yet they lived.

The ship that would take them to whichever destination Obi-Wan had planned for them had just arrived - a scout ship such as Jedi use. Dressed in desert robes and both carrying all the earthly posessions they had chosen to take they ascended the ramp and boarded the ship. There Anakin was struck by a thunderbolt.
He had heard Owen talk about 'the moment' he had fallen for Beru, but had never until now been struggling for breath as he was now.
It would be hard to walk into a room and not notice either Anakin Skywalker or Nashira Eldacal - he was of towering build, with sandy-blonde hair and steely blue eyes, rugged without being craggy like so many raised in the desert and with his great desert robe about him he cut quite a dramatic figure. She was perhaps the opposite - a strong and limber woman built like a dancer, with unblemished creamy skin, thick brown hair and eyes of such perfect whites and rich iris that any who looked into them felt that they were either falling into them or being pierced by their gaze. Both were, in their own way, beautiful people - and both of them were suddenly very painfully aware of it. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Bendu Ghan greeted each other as old friends long parted, and the spell was broken.
Obi-Wan managed to introduce the two to each other, and they finished stumbling about their words and seemed to regain their faculties and their breath.

They than turned to business and Bendu was the first to break the cordial conversation.
"Master Yoda has spoken to the Senate and to the High Command - the Fleet is preparing for an assault upon Var Anyas - they've asked us to lead them there."
"To lead the attack, or simply to guide them to Var Anyas?" queried Obi-Wan.
"The latter - a regular Admiral will lead the assault. After all, Fleet commanders have more experience than any Jedi commander at besieging worlds."
"What function will we have once the engagement begins?"
"The Dark Side is lurking on Var Anyas - likely enough the Sith remnant or a portion thereof is on that world. We are to land, find the Sith, confront them and defeat them."
"Just the three of us? How many Sith are there on Var Anyas?"
"Which Fleet groups?"
"The Vanguard, the Intrepid, the Invincible and the Hound of the Republic task forces. The Hound will carry the flag."
"What kind of defenses are there about Var Anyas?"
"Several orbital battle stations equal in size and firepower to a Defender-class station and a dozen of those godships."
"On the ground?"
"No shields, no space-ground weapons, just a few large towers built into the surface, one obviously the paramount tower and probably the capitol."
This they said as the ship rose into the sky, while Nashira and Anakin were silent - deferring to the others on these matters of strategy while also reflecting on how they had been dumbstruck before.
"What about Anakin?"
"He's coming with us... there's no time to send him to Yoda. Besides, he might be handy in a fight."
At this Anakin smiled and then thought better of boasting in the company of Jedi. Besides, empathic as they were they probably heard the boast without him saying it.
The ship turned into a point of light, and then flashed towards the ships gathering within striking distance of Var Anyas.

Such a fleet had not been assembled in living memory. Three massive battleships, easily thirty smaller cruisers and thirty carriers and the Hound of the Republic, the pride of the Republic's navy... half as large again as a Dreadnaught, the Hound bristled with cannons, torpedo launchers and fighter bays - built like a great spearhead with enormous flared broadsides and bridge superstructure perched atop the bulk of the cruiser. This was the fleet that stood ready to attack Var Anyas.

Another fleet - composed of a dozen ships each some hundreds of years old in parts. Great cores like towers, surrounded by countless extensions of cannon and blaster and bay to such an extent that each ship bore no resemblance to any other and appeared grown rather than made. Four broad discs studded with cannon floated amongst them - battle stations fully prepared to withstand the onslaught of the Republic. This was the fleet that stood ready to defend Var Anyas.
And on each ship and platform, manning each gun and every fighter - seated at every screen and on every bridge - and in the towers on the surface, in the laboratories and the batteries and upon the great dark throne was Anataj. This was the man who stood ready to remake the galaxy in his own image, and at his feet was the soldier of darkness.

Owen returned home, and sat for a moment before returning to his labours. Anakin was gone, perhaps for years. But at least he was safe.

And Anakin stood on the flight deck of the Hound of the Republic as the Jedi prepared to do their duty in a time of war.

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 11:22 PM

With ROTS kicking around there's a great deal of furor in the forums so I thought I might delay a little, but I will try to get this chapter out now.

Chapter Nine:

In the great war room in the Hound of the Republic the Jedi and the officers of the Fleet gathered. Anakin, both and yet neither stood out of the way, a witness but not a speaker. The Fleet Admiral began his briefing about the defenses surrounding Var Anyas - the godships and battle platforms and the surface towers. He gave each captain of each ship their assignments for the upcoming battle. He then turned to Obi-Wan for the task that awaited the Jedi.
"The towers on the surface are likely the command centres and laboratories for the clone master - and likely enough your Dark Knight is down there too. Your mission is to take out the main tower."
"Very well Admiral. Can you provide us with explosives to take out the tower and a pilot."
"Explosives I can manage - but as for a pilot you've already got our best."
Obi-Wan paused, and turned to Anakin.
"Can you fly us down to the central tower?"
Anakin stirred, silent on matters of grand strategy but ever eager to fly anything anywhere, and walked down to the admiral and the Jedi Knight.

A buzz of motion surrounded the fleet as it was prepared for the hyperspace journey to Var Anyas. Fighters were fuelled and loaded, marines boarded assault shuttles and in the midst of it all the Jedi prepared for their battle. Their humble gear was traded for a kind of synthetic armour that appeared to be woven, they had strapped on massive grenade belts and wore their lightsabers openly on their belts. The Jedi Knights didn't look like the wise and reverend figures of legend but martial warrior figures. With them and yet standing aside was Anakin in his flight gear. When the Jedi were finished arming, Obi-Wan approached him.
"Anakin, for time immemorial the Jedi Knights have defended the galaxy from evil, and though you have not yet been trained in the ways of the Force, you do likewise. And so..." he trailed off, and handed something to Anakin.
Anakin looked at, held it in his hand. It was a shaft, with flat buttons on the grip and a focusing dish set within the end of the shaft - a Jedi's lightsaber.
"Your very own, Anakin."
Anakin gripped it and, facing away from Obi-Wan, carefully ignited the blade. Blue light leapt from the shaft, now the hilt of a shimmering sword of energy. He extinguished the blade and a smile crossed his features.

The fleet leapt into hyperspace.

They emerged from it about the world of Var Anyas. On the planet beneath them and the ships surrounding, klaxons wailed and Anataj hurried to respond to this sudden threat. The Republic formation appeared as a great pincer moving to grasp Var Anyas, while the godships began to form into squadrons about the battle stations. Fighters and gunboats boiled from hangars on both sides of the engagement, and from the Hound of the Republic came the Jedi scout ship that would carry Obi-Wan and the others to the surface. It moved in a strange course that corkscrewed it out of the formation and brought it to the planet from a completely different vector to the fleet. The great torpedo cannons on both sides of the engagement were just beginning their salvoes as the shuttle pierced the rarefied atmoshpere of Var Anyas. It screamed through the air as wisps of wind and cloud sucked at its wings before being tormented in its whirlwind wake. The light of the sun touched the shuttle, but with its extraordinary speed it seemed to force the sun to set as countless sharp ridges blurred past below. In front of the shuttle there loomed an enormous tower, formed at the junction of four enormous causeways and ringed with turrets and blaster batteries. These turned to face the shuttle as it hurtled towards the tower, but with a deft touch at the very last instant the shuttle seemed to hang in the air, then leap skywards in a corkscrew, reach its apogee and then plummet towards the causeway of the tower. Its repulsorlifts kicked in and it stood still balancing upon some unseen force for a moment as the Jedi leapt from the shuttle, and then it piroutted on the beam of its repulsors and leapt skywards.

Obi-Wan, Nashira and Bendu were now safely delivered to the tower, and began to run lightly along the causeway. The tower now teemed with wary guards, and the Dark Knight of the Sith prepared for the coming of the Jedi.

And as they ran on, the skies above them flared with the terrible disfiguring light of the battle. Lightning flashed, thunder boomed but there was no clouds to form the storm. The sky seemed to twist with a great roiling of the infernal glow of war.

More coming soon, discussion thread for all your replying needs.

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 09:48 PM

Sorry about the delay on this one.

Chapter Ten:

Fire was exchanged between The Hound of the Republic and one of Anataj's godships.
On the bridge the admiral watched the progress of the Fleet against the dozen clone warships. A transmission, repeated every minute or so, cut across all frequencies: "I am Anataj. Leave or be destroyed."
Fighter groups tried to win control of the vacuum to give their capital warships free rein while the enormously powerful and resilient battle stations let loose with their turbolasers and torpedo cannons, trying to drown the battle with a blanket of sheer firepower.

On the surface, Obi-Wan, Bendu and Nashira ran towards the central tower to destroy the clone master's laboratories and command centre. Obi-Wan led, his lightsaber blazing blue before him to shield him from harm but no blaster fire came. As they approached the high archway that formed the entry to the tower the shadows within seemed to fill their vision and their eyes glazed over. The Jedi did not halt to clear this feeling from their eyes and mind, perhaps not even noticing it in their rush. Obi-Wan passed under the archway and Nashira followed but before Bendu could enter a figure dropped from on high and barred his way. Blinded by whatever fog that had obscure the Jedi's sight, Bendu made no move to defend himself as the figure raise his arm high and a flame sprouted from his grasp. The flame passed through Bendu's neck, and suddenly he disappeared utterly from the world and the veil was lifted from Nashira and Obi-Wan's eyes as they turned to face the Dark Knight of the Sith. They did not stand in the archway and wait for him, knowing that it was too narrow for them to withstand him in but leapt out of it and went to either side of the entrance. The Dark Knight stood stock-still for a moment as the Jedi raised their weapons, Kenobi's lightsaber like a blade formed of blue light and Nashira's of perfect white. They circled until they were of either side of him while he still waited, his left hand gripping his right which grasped his lightsaber. Then, like a spring released he struck out against Obi-Wan and their lightsabers crashed and a terrible light, partly orange and partly blue flashed between them while raising Bendu's lightsaber to meet Nashira's blade, golden on white. This first stroke was but a test to take the measure of their opponent and he was here revealed as a swift and deadly foe.
"Go, Nashira, deal with the clones! I can hold him!" called Obi-Wan over the thunder of locking blades.
She stepped back a pace, lifted Bendu's grenade belt and ran through the archway. Kenobi and the Dark Knight circled in a slow counter-step, their blades held low before them. A few abortive strokes passed between them as they weighed each others speed before they turned in their step to face each other head on, blades humming. Then the Dark Knight lashed out and the battle began in full.

Meanwhile, Nashira ascended on a swiftly moving stairwell, holding her lightsaber to block the attacks of clone guards trying to counter her ascent. More guards piled on the stairway, above and below her, but she deflected them readily with swift passes of her saber. Soldiers fell, worsted by their own weapons, and they could not repel the Jedi Knight. The guards stopped coming, and the stairway ended in a great hall overlooking the wasteland world of Var Anyas, with a fixed stairway set in the far wall from the enormous vista. This she climbed, drawn by the compulsion of the Force to the very top of the tower - beneath her an open well, its sides cluttered with platforms filled with great tanks, the cloning cylinders where Anataj was endlessly reborn. The platforms were linked to an enormous central power shaft which was crowned with an island-like platform that could be reached by a bridge from where she stood. On the platform were a dozen seats and a throne, and in each seat and on the throne was the same person. The seats retracted into the platform as thirteen men turned to face her, all with the same face, height and bearing and all wearing the same robes of a blood-red so deep it was almost black and at each belt was a lightsaber.
She stretched out with second sight, and felt no answering glimmer of the power of the Force within them - these clones were not force-trained warriors and yet they still wielded the lightsaber.
The thought sprang to her mind unbidden. Old - the lightsaber had been used as a weapon by all who considered themselves civilised before the Sith War. This clone master must have begun his campaign of replication more than two thousand years ago.
In unison, thirteen hands drew thirteen lightsabers and ignited blades of white light.
She answered with her one.
Thirteen identical voices rang out across the bridge.
"I am Anataj. Leave or be destroyed."

"I am Anataj. Leave or be destroyed."
The transmission came again, and each time it came it grated on the admiral's concentration.
"Is there any way to shut that transmission out?" He barked.
A comm ensign shook his head, "Not without cutting out all frequencies, sir."
The normally composed admiral began gnawing on his fist. The Republic had made its demonstration of might and this Anataj had returned in full - the ancient godships were extraordinarily hard to damage and the battle stations blazed with such firepower that he could risk none of his ships against them.
"All fighter and bomber groups - those battle stations are too dangerous for major targets to engage... concentrate your efforts on them."
The admiral then opened another tactical channel to speak with the ship captains.
"Move into broadsides with the godships - we can't sit out here and let those sattelites destroy us."
The fleet clustered around the godships while the tiny fighters screamed in against the tide of missiles and laser blasts that poured from the battle stations, their own small torpedoes and cannons blazing in response.

The cannons of the tower tried to knock the circling scout ship from the sky as Obi-Wan grappled with the Dark Knight. Stretching out with the Force and with their lightsabers they tried to find a way through the others guard to strike them down but neither of them had a chink in the armour surrounding body and mind.

For all that the Force was not with the clones as they fought with Nashira, sheer numbers prevented her from passing them and setting her bombs to destroy the power shaft - the clones fought viciously, and atop the tower the lightning flash of white light shone out like a beacon.

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 01:23 AM

Chapter Ten:

The Dark Knight of the Sith reached out with the Force and a vise-like gripped surrounded Obi-Wan, working to hold him still. Kenobi raised his hand and raised Bendu's golden-bladed lightsaber into the air before hurling it against the Sith warrior. He raised his own saber and deflected it, breaking his hold on Obi-Wan's body. Like a burst dam, the Jedi leapt forward and his blade came down on the Sith, who staggered under his assault.

Flowers of fire blossomed in the hull of the battle station. Great cannons shattered under the fighter barraged as smaller ships made countless strafing runs across it. The enormous maintenance thrusters failed and suddenly it seemed to stand still against the slow revolution of Var Anyas beneath it. The fighters fled, and in a last-ditch effort, the enormous tractor beams fired up and targeted the cluster of capital ships fighting above it in an attempt to halt its descent or, if it failed, to haul one of its enemies down with it.
The Hound of the Republic suddenly bucked and screeched as two heavy-lift beams locked on to it and anchored the battle station to the cruiser. Across from the Hound the shattered and burning hulk of a godship began to fall while the massive thruster banks on the Hound strove to halt its descent.
"Attention all ships - the heavy lifters on that battle station have been engaged and are anchoring it to the fleet - try and move above the enemy godships and it can pull on them all it wants."
The transmission again cut over all frequencies.
"This is Anataj. Leave or be destroyed."

With a backhanded stroke, Nashira clove one clone in half and the air was filled with a reek of burned flesh. Thirteen screams pierced the air, one of pain and twelve of grief and fury as the other clones hacked with renewed fury. With a blast of the Force she tripped one clone and leapt over him before he could recover, moving ever closer to the throne and the power regulator system. Taking a hold of one grenade, she activated it and hurled it into the bridge where it held fast to the surface and then burst, shattering the bridge into flaming shrapnel and claiming five more clones in the explosion. In the time garnered by this distraction, she leapt atop the throne and threw all the switches and levers as far as the could go. The power shaft began to hum, and glow at the edge of visibility. Taking Bendu's tattered grenade belt she hit a button on the belt, priming all the grenades and cast it over the edge of the platform. Several explosions went off down the well, warping the gantries that hugged the edges and cracking the shielding in the sides of the power shaft. Lightning began leaping from the fissures in the insulation and Anataj roared, rushing at Nashira with their bare hands. The first fell with a swift pass of the lightsaber while the next few grappled with her and brought her to the ground.

As Anakin made another pass, coaxing more fire from the tower, Obi-Wan had pressed the Sith Knight to the causeway. The soldier of darkness gasped from the exertion of holding Obi-Wan back, and he sensed that his strength was failing him.
Fury alone gave him the power to hold Kenobi back as he stood, legs spread for a firm grip on the ground slashing at the Jedi with a two-handed grip. Their blades locked and Obi-Wan curled his around his enemies lightsaber with a serious of circular strokes before, with a flex of the wrist, he drove the saber from his enemies hand before reaching out with the Force and bringing out his knees from under him, toppling him to the ground.

As Anataj held her down, one last clone held his lightsaber still, glowing and fluttering. He stood at her head an set the blade at the edge of her neck.
"You see, Jedi, even the Force cannot prevail against my might and numbers. Too late you learn the truth about the limits of your power. Now, die."
With one last effort of will she reached out with her mind and simply extinguished the lightsaber blade. With an outstretched hand she called her own saber to her, and struck upwards through Anataj's groin. He fell, hissing and weeping in pain and fury as she cut away at him as he held her down. Standing up, she took her own belt, primed the grenades and set them on the ground before leaping across the well to the outer wall of the tower. Amongst the butchered and the dead, one last whole Anataj looked at the grenade belt lying on the ground, gently beeping to itself.

The inferno tore open the top of the shaft and utterly destroyed the platform, exposing the inner workings of the power shaft. Lightning poured from the broken crown of the shaft and countless chinks in the insulating, warping the supports that held it upright. Nashira, safely behind the battlements designed to protect the power shaft from external attack, survived unscathed. She activated her comlink.
"Anakin, can you get me out of here?"
"Where are you?"
Top of the tower."
As the guns, deprived of power fell silent, Anakin turned towards the very top of the tower, ringed in smoke and fire and glowing with electrical discharge.
"You want me to set down in that!"
"Is that a problem?"
"I'll bring the ship up to you and open her up, you can jump in, but the ship won't fly through that kind of power discharge."
He soared upwards, engaging the repulsors to keep the ship floating just beneath the top of the tower, and Nashira leapt into the open hatch.

The Sith warrior lay on the ground, defeated.
Kenobi stood above him, his saber glowing and humming in his hand.
"So, Jedi. I am defeated. Finish it."
"I have heard of the mercy of the Jedi, but why should I be granted it. I would kill you if you were in my place."
"That is where we differ, Sith."
"By your mercy you will be undone. Leave me alive I will only return and the Jedi order shall suffer for it."
Kenobi looked into the sky and then turned to face the Sith Warrior again.
And with that he leapt into the air, landing in the open hatch of the scout ship and sealing it.
The Sith warrior stood up and called his lightsaber and Bendu's lightsaber to his hands and turned to face the ship.
Anakin pivoted the ship on its repulsors and then engaged the main drive.
The Sith looked the thruster banks full in the face.
There are many things a Dark Knight of the Sith can survive, but that was not one of them.
With a hideous howl of rage and pain he burst into searing flames, the Dark Side of the Force and the ion vapours mixing freely into a sapphire inferno.
The ship leapt into the sky.

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 07:22 PM

I like it. That's how I imagined the galaxy to be before ANH. It seems like the Jedi have been an endangered species, and in danger of going extinct for quite awihle. I never assumed the Jedi ruled the galaxy 20 years before the Empire. I'd like to a see a finished product.

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 10:34 PM

Cool... good to have a new reader - Clone Wars is almost finished and soon I'll start Knights of Darkness (my Episode II).
Just in the interest in keeping this thread uncluttered so its easy to read everything though - I usually/always put a link at the bottom of each chapter to a thread in the Star Wars forum called 'Rememberer's Takes:Now Showing in the screening room' for comments, critiques, ideas etc.

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