Here are some I started, but never finished:
The Empire's Hero
Captain Luke Skywalker sat in his TIE Fighter watching a Correllian Corvette fly away from him. From his viewpoint inside the hanger of the Devastator, he could only see the green turbolaser bolts zipping by with an occasional rapport of crimson energy. He glanced down at his display and registered the corvette to be called the Tantive IV.
Strange, he thought to himself. Why is a Rebel ship heading towards Tatooine? There’s nothing there except sand and petty criminals. Jabba gets more powerful each year.
A voice came over the earpiece in his helmet, “Sir, isn’t Tatooine your home planet?”
“What are you implying, lieutenant?” he answered sharply.
“Uh, n-nothing sir,” he stammered. “Forget I said anything.”
“Just so you know,” Luke continued, “there was no Rebel activity when I lived here. Before my aunt and uncle were killed by Jabba the Hutt for harboring a prisoner of his, they sent me regular correspondences. They never mentioned any rebellious activities of any sort.”
“But, Sir,” the lieutenant ventured, “if they themselves were part of the rebellious factions on Tatooine, would they honestly tell their nephew who had joined the Imperial Academy?”
“No, I guess not,” he said after a brief pause. “It’s in the past though. It doesn’t matter. Let’s clear the frequency and follow our orders. We need to be ready for any action the Tantive IV might take.”
“Yes’sir,” the pilot said before the comm transmission light went out.
Tatooine of all places, Luke thought. Why Tatooine? I don’t get it. What’s the significance?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hours later, Luke sat at a table with other officers for dinner. He sat next to the Commander of the troopers. He was telling the other officers about how he had boarded the corvette with Darth Vader himself and found a key member of the Rebellion. The Commander—Vrekk, Luke remembered—said that Lord Vader mentioned plans of some sort being sent to Tatooine. He was going down in the morning to search for them.
Luke spoke up causing the other officers to look in his direction, “Who was the Rebel leader?”
“Excuse me?” Commander Vrekk replied.
Luke continued unfazed, “Who was the Rebel leader taken hostage from the Tantive IV?”
“Well, I highly doubt you have true need to know being a space-jockey,” he said icily, “but her name was Princess Leia Organa.”
Luke’s eyes went wide in disbelief. “The Princess Leia Organa? She was in that piece of junk?”
Vrekk became a little annoyed, “That ‘piece of junk’ almost took out the foreword shields of an Imperial Star Destroyer. It packed more punch than even Lord Tion had assessed. Lord Vader was quite upset with the Captain.” Vrekk’s voice became a low whisper and he swallowed hard. “I hear he even choked the Captain using that ‘Force’ of his. He let him go after the Captain passed out.”
“Wow, unbelievable,” Luke said shaking his head. “To be in control of that kind of power must be incredible.”
“Ha!” laughed Vrekk, “why do you think he’s the leader of all the Imperial Navy? If someone gets in his way to power, he’d just kill them!”
With this the officers laughed all the way back to their quarters where they had to get ready for the following day.
If only I had that kind of power, Luke thought as he lay down to sleep in his bunk, then it would be me laughing at Vrekk instead of the other way around.
Luke was awakened by a comm-signal from his bunk. He instantly cleared his mind and answered, “Captain Skywalker here.”
The voice was of an ordinary dispatcher, “Captain, you have been selected to pilot the Imperial landing shuttle to Tatooine to search for a pod fired from the Tantive IV. You have one standard hour before departure. The shuttle is being prepped as we speak.
Luke covered the surprise and replied, “Orders understood. Complying immediately.” He then rushed as fast as he could to prepare himself for his new day. There goes my day off…
He landed the shuttle with only the slightest tremors to note the landing. He flipped a switch, and the hangar door opened. He watched from the rear video display as the storm troopers got out. A wrangler with a small herd of some lizard creatures—dewbacks the computer identified them as—and the stormtroopers mounted them. The man seemed agitated, motioning for payment. A stormtrooper reached down and pulled a blaster out and pointed it at the man. The man’s eyes widened and he cowered in fear.
This isn’t going to be pretty, Luke said to himself. He vented the air-locks on the ramp, causing the dewbacks to walk away in fear. The stormtroopers, not yet used to their new mounts, took a minute or two to get them back together. The time was all the man needed to escape. One crisis averted.
As he was taking off to bring the shuttle back to the port at Mos Eisley, he heard a stormtrooper comm transmission over his speaker, “Look, Sir. Droids.”
Ah, Luke thought to himself as he deftly piloted the shuttle into its berth, that’s why they couldn’t get a life reading on it. Clever. There must be something really important in there. Wonder what it could be?
He had time afterwards to look around. He had nothing to do until the troops reported back to Mos Eisley. He busied his time by walking around the small city. He noticed the sideways glances he was received, and then remembered his Imperial Pilot uniform. He ducked into a clothing shop, and came out dressed in what the shop-owner had assured him was a local trendy style. He stowed his uniform in a local set of lockers, then made his way to the cantina.
A young man stopped him on his way there, “Luke? Luke Skywalker, right?”
Luke looked down at the teenager, “Excuse me… Do I know you?”
“I’ve met you a few times,” he replied smiling. “I’m Gavin. Gavin Darklighter. I’m Biggs’ cousin.”
“Biggs is a traitor and now means nothing to me,” Luke said icily.
“What?” the boy asked astonished.
“Yes,” Luke replied matter-of-factly, “he’s defected to the Rebellion. He’s a traitor and not worth the time to think of him. If you’re still friendly with him, leave me be. I want nothing to do with him or anything that reminds me of him.”
“But—,” the boy began.
“But nothing,” Luke snapped. “Now leave. Go tell your father and uncle the news.”
He watched the young boy run off to a speeder and then zoom off towards the Darklighter homestead. Luke let out a deep sigh then entered the cantina.
Destroyer Squadron - Seek And Destroy
Seek And Destroy
It is a time of civil upheaval. Two years after the fall of the Second Death Star. The Alliance forces, having defeated the Ssi-Ruuk forces, have sunk into a time of peace and security. Little did they know that dark forces were plotting against them. The Imperial Grand Admirals, still in charge of the fleets, had, in their possession, a new weapon: a new starfighter. Far better than their older ships, and evenly matched with the best the Alliance had to offer, the Empire now stood a good chance of turning the tide of the war with one end in mind:
The utter destruction of the Rebel Alliance.
The first thing Captain Drake Tibsen saw after exiting the hanger door was a field of asteroids. He keyed his comm-unit, “Black One to Slayer.”
An annoyed voice came back over the comm, “What is it now, Black One?”
“Are you sure this is the correct exit vector?” he asked.
With an indignant tone, the person on the comm answered, “We may be a new crew, but we do know basic astronavigation.”
“No offense intended, Sir,” he replied, “I just thought that an asteroid field would be a more difficult location to train new pilots in.”
“You would think so, Commander,” he heard from his comm speaker, “but the orders come from Imperial Center itself. The Grand Admirals want a new squadron to help tie up Rogue Squadron. Baron Fel and his 181st Squadron are far to busy keeping worlds in line to keep a constant bead on Rogue Squadron. They want you trained quickly, but also trained well. Now is not the time to talk about this, though. Go two klicks to starboard and await your new squadron.”
Drake clicked his comm twice to signal an affirmative then put thrust to seventy-five percent and went two klicks. Wow he thought. These new TIE fighters sure are fast! At that point, he rotated one hundred eighty degrees and found himself facing a shining, new Imperial-class Star Destroyer. The handling and control is perfect! he added to himself.
Out of the belly of the Star Destroyer came eleven brand-new TIE Advanced fighters. They lined up in three diamonds leaving three Interceptors lined up behind Drake. He keyed his comm to the unit’s frequency and said, “Cadets, welcome to Destroyer Squadron”
A few congratulatory exclamations began flowing over the comm, but the commander quelled them by saying, “Cut the chatter. This is a military frequency. In the cockpit, you are no longer a civilian; you are a pilot in the Imperial Navy. I expect you to act like it. Understood? Now report in. Black One, check.”
“Black Two, reporting for duty,” said a voice over the comm unit in Drake’s TIE.
“Black Three, two in the green,” came over the comm a second after Black Two’s confirmation did.
Nine more confirmations came over the comm unit completing the unit of twelve TIE Interceptors.
Drake began, “Now, this is a real exercise, not a simulation. You can be killed if you are not aware of your surroundings and your fellow squad-mates. As you can see, we are in an asteroid field. The exact location of this field is of no consequence to you. I do not even know.”
How did I get myself into this? he thought to himself. I’d rather be back on Coruscant attacking unwanted visitors. But high command has given me the “honor” or making a new unit with experimental ships to find Rogue Squadron. Finding and destroying those Rebel scum is fine by me. Antilles and his squadron killed three-fourths of my men in an ambush at Imperial X7 Factory Station EN-111. If it weren’t for that Lancer Frigate Silver Sword coming in for fuel and supplies, I’d be dead for certain. Repay them I will. Yet, with a squadron full of new cadets who are wet around the ears, it will be nearly impossible.
He hated to loose pilots, but this was the Imperial Navy. Loss was acceptable. He tried to not get attached to the new recruits, but it’s hard to be someone with no friends. It hurt every time one was killed. He could see the faces and hear the voices of all his fellow comrades who were killed by those blasted Rebels who would never go away no matter how much you slaughtered them.
Drake shook his head to clear the thoughts running through his mind. I don’t have time to be thinking about this right now. I have a squadron to train whether I like it or not. Drake, pull yourself together and get with the program!
The comm interrupted his thoughts, “Black Leader, bring your squadron four klicks starboard and await deployment of training drones.”
“Affirmative,” Drake replied. He then switched over to the squadron frequency. “Black Squadron, I have our orders. Follow me to four klicks starboard of the Slayer.” A series of double-clicks was his only response.
General Nevi Locke was staring at the twelve small specks of light traveling away from the starship and towards the asteroids. It seemed like just yesterday when he was at the lead of a squadron of his own, but with the original TIE Fighters, not these brand new, experimental TIE Advanced starfighters the pilots had now. We didn’t have the advantage of shield systems. We had to survive with skill and with cooperation with other squad mates. If we had the technology we have now back in my day, our beloved Emperor might still be alive to crush this Rebel scum once and for all.
Suddenly, a voice called from the sunken computer stations on either side of the command bridge, “General Locke?”
General Locke cleared his throat and replied, “Yes, Lieutenant Kroj? You’ve signaled the starfighter drones, I presume?”
The tall, gangly lieutenant nodded. “Yes, sir. Shall I begin training sequence one or go to sequence five and really test them?”
The general stroked his neatly trimmed goatee. “Colonel Pregat. You were in charge of the recruitment of the new pilots, were you not?”
A slightly older man with mustachios down to his chin strode over to the group and went into parade rest. “Yes, General. That is correct.”
The general finally turned to face the older colonel. “In your opinion, do you think that these pilots are good enough to not destroy their craft and themselves if we go directly to sequence five?”
The colonel raised his head and said, “Permission to speak freely, sir?” The general nodded, so he continued, “We were lucky to catch this group from Carida before they were sent elsewhere. These are some of the best pilots I’ve seen in a while. They’re almost as good as the 181st pilots. With a little training, they might even match Baron Fel’s group.”
The General nodded and said, “And these new TIE Advanced fighters… They were fully tested by Admiral Zaarin’s team, correct? No mishaps?”
Colonel Pregat’s lips closed tight then spoke, “Yes, sir. They were tested with great success. Why they were sent to new trainees, I do not know.”
General Locke turned back to viewing the asteroids. The lieutenant and the colonel exchanged questioning glances. Finally Colonel Pregat cleared his throat. “Sir?”
Without moving the general said, “Begin sequence five Lieutenant. Colonel, get the Initiator and the Silver Sword here five minutes after the drones are launched. Let’s see just how well these pilots were trained.”
“Okay, squad,” said Captain Tibsen over the comm, “I know that these new fighters are amazing, but we don’t have time to talk about them right now. The first sequence in basic training is a squadron of drone fighters. The type depends on what we’ve confiscated or captured from the Rebel fleet.” Which has been close to nothing lately he added in his head. “Anyone hear any rumors about what the most recent catch has been?”
“Two here,” came a voice over the comm. “I was talking with one of the hanger attendants who transferred from the Frontier, one of the Victory-class Destroyers patrolling the Outer Rim. He mentioned that they stopped to drop off a foodstuff cache at a local space station. What interested him and myself was the fact that there were several Z-95 Headhunters being retro-fitted there. I’d say it’s a safe bet that those same ships will be our competition.”
“Most likely, Dev,” said Drake. “Did he say how many he saw?”
A hiss of static came over the comm, but was translated as a sigh. Then, Dev’s voice came back over the comm, “Unfortunately not, Captain. He said there were at least six outside the hanger that he could see, but he wasn’t sure how many were actually inside the hanger.”
“Four here,” came a deep, masculine voice. “It’s safe to bet that they at least have a full squadron, right? One for each of us?”
“Probably, Spike,” came the captain’s voice again. “That is the first phase of training a squadron--yes, but with the lack of Rebel activity in the last sector we were in, it’s unlikely that they could have found twelve intact Headhunter snubs.”
“Ten here,” came a light, overly excited voice. “I have several contacts emerging from hyperspace! Six… ten—no, twelve vessels! Starfighter class!”
“Well, Spike,” came Drake’s voice. “I guess your hunch was right. Congrats. Remind me to buy you a drink if we all make it back. All right, Black Squad, power up your lasers and set shields to recharge at normal rate. Split off into wings and attack their wings. Go!”
Two light-years away from the asteroid field, the Bulk Cruiser Initiator and the Lancer Frigate Silver Sword lay waiting for their signal to make a short hyper-jump to the asteroid field on the opposite side of the Slayer. The Silver Sword operations were slaved to a console on the Initiator’s bridge in case any mishaps occurred. No crewman would be lost if the trainees actually succeeded in their mission. Inside the Bulk Cruiser’s hangers were one full squadron of X-Wings. It seems that the Grand Admirals spared no expense to train this new squadron. Commander Rovik wondered exactly why this squadron is so important. Why is all this time and attention going into training a lousy single squadron of TIE pilots? Lots of squadrons of TIE Interceptors get pumped out at a constant rate. Why is this so different?
A light blinked on his display signaling that the Headhunters had entered into the asteroid field. “Attention, crew,” he said. “Do the final checklist and put us on red alert. In five minutes, we get to have some fun and test the rookies… No holds barred.”
An evil grin spread over the commander’s face causing the crew to look at each other and smile as well.
“Wow…” said Dev over the comm, “One-on-one… not much of a challenge being that we’re up against Headhunter’s in these ships. What’s the point? And drones no less.”
“Dev, what did I tell you?” Drake reprimanded. “When we’re in this cockpit we are soldiers. Cut the chatter.” There was a small moment of silence. “But… this is too easy. Keep your eyes open for any tricks. We want to prove our valor, right? Now let’s slag these scraps of metal and get it over with.”
“Yeah!” came several voices over the comm at once.
“Four here,” came Spike’s voice. “We’ll be within firing range in thirty seconds.”
“Alright,” said Black Leader. “Pick a target and fire at will. Good luck.”
As if they shared a hive-mind, several spears of light fired at once into the droned Headhunters. They were rewarded with a brilliant ball of fire.
Black Ten’s voice came over the comm, “I got one! My first kill!”
While he was busy celebrating, he didn’t notice the slagged Headhunter coming strait for him. Ten tried to pull out before hitting the wreckage. He was successful, but clipped another Headhunter. The explosion of its wing-mate weakened the Headhunter’s shields, so the collision with Ten pushed its shields over the edge. It exploded taking the TIE’s starboard wing with it. The fighter spiraled into space and smashed into an asteroid.
“Oh, no,” said Dev. “We lost Ten.”
Wing One, led by Drake was on the tail of a four-member wing of Headhunters. Drake switched over to his wing’s comm setting. “Wing One, I’ll fire a few quad bursts in the middle of them to break up their formation. Each of you tail one of them and finish them quickly. I have the leader”
He didn’t wait for responses. He flipped a switch on his flight yoke and set his lasers to quad-fire. He aimed directly in the middle of diamond formation and fired two bursts of fire successfully breaking them up. He watched as the spread their diamond out like he knew they would. Drones he thought, So predictable. He went after the lead fighter and after several well timed bursts destroyed the fighter. He noticed three more red blips wink out. He keyed his comm, “Good job, Wing One. Let’s see if we can help anyone else.”
Wing One re-formed up on Drake. They began back into the center of the dogfight when two red blips appeared aft of their position.
Dev’s panicked voice came over the comm. “Sir, it’s a Bulk Cruiser and a…” there was a slight pause, “Lancer Frigate. Orders?”
Drake’s shoulders sagged. “Finish those Headhunters off… Now! Then reform up with the rest of the squadron. They’re at least ten minutes away. That should give us time to get rid of these Headhunters, re-group and let them come to us.” He shook his head. I knew this was too easy.
“Lieutenant, signal the fighters to launch,” Commander Rovik said to one of his tactical staff. “Then get the Silver Sword’s lasers and shields charged to full.”
“Aye, sir,” said the light-haired lieutenant.
The Silver Sword pulled directly ahead of the Initiator and accelerated.
The lieutenant looked up to the commander. “Engaging now, Sir.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Two here,” Dev said over Drake’s comm. “Sir, I have twelve starfighters coming out of the Initiator.” His panic was relayed through the comm, however static-filled, “A-Wing class, Sir.”
Great, Drake thought to himself. Could this get any worse?! He keyed his comm., “Alright, Black Squad, it seems that they really want to test us and these new fighters. On my screen, I show the Initiator as friendly and the Silver Sword and A-Wings as hostile. That means that the Initiator is off limits.” He thought for a second or two before continuing. “Dev, you and Wing Three will attack the Silver Sword, but use all your torps at a safe distance to begin with. Wing One, cover their backs and take out as many X-Wings as possible as well. Wing Two, you finish up those few Headhunters and join Wing One when you’re done. Wing Four, help Wing Two. Copy that?”
A series of double-clicks answered his question.
Okay, he thought. Here goes nothing.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Wing Two destroyed the headhunters before the X-Wings even came within range. They joined Wing One in protecting the third wing.
“Wing Two and Four are victorious again!” came Spike’s voice over the comm. “Care for a little help, Sir?”
“Don’t get cocky, Spike,” Drake scolded. “Yes, form up on our aft and prepare to engage fighters.”
“Aye, Sir,” said Spike.
In a few minutes the X-Wings were upon them and firing. Black Six went up in a plume of fire and debris in under a minute after engagement. His death was somewhat revenged when four more red blips blinking off of the screen.
“Wing Three within torpedo range of the Silver Sword,” came Dev’s voice once again. “Firing torpedoes now.”
Three pairs of blue streaks hurled themselves through space towards the Lancer Frigate. Two more sets of the six torpedoes followed. The Lancer Frigate’s turbo-lasers got to some of the torpedoes before they reach its hull. The remaining ten torpedoes hit the shields and dropped them down to sixty-five percent.
“Sir,” came Dev’s annoyed voice. “We’re just not doing enough damage. They must have reinforced shields. We only have one more volley of torpedoes left. We are going to need help shattering the Silver Sword.”
“Copy that,” Drake said. “Help us pull these fighters away from the Frigate and destroy them.”
The X-Wings were destroyed in a matter of ten minutes. The squad was short only two more men; Black Eight and Black Eleven.
“Now,” Drake said into his comm, “onto the primary target.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Onboard the Slayer, General Locke was watching the battle screen and grinning mildly. He turned to Colonel Pregat with a serious face and commented, “They’re doing quite well.”
“The starships or the pilots, Sir?” he replied.
“I was referring to the fighters,” the general said with a grin, “but the pilots are doing well also. It seems that this squadron has one stage of training to complete prior to being a commissioned squadron. A live attack on a Rebel stronghold.”
Black Squadron, split into two wings,” Drake said. “Wing One is with me and Wing Two is with Dev. Dev, take your wing around to the starboard side of the Silver Sword, reach two-point-five kilometers, drop to zero thrust, get a torpedo lock on the engines and laser turrets and await my signal. Wing Two, we’re going to do the same except we’re on the port side. Affirmative?” He waited for the series of double-clicks to subside and then said, “Now.”
The squadron split into two wings, and flew wide arcs to flank the Lancer Frigate. When Drake had finally gotten a tone in his cockpit to signal a clean lock, he waited thirty seconds and keyed his comm. “Does anyone not have a lock?”
“Black Five here,” came a tenor voice over the comm. “My targeting sensors were knocked out by one of the X-Wings. I have no lock.”
Drake thought for only a split-second, “Dev, give him your targeting strategy and fire dual-shots on my mark. Three… two… one… Mark!”
Eighteen streaks of blue light soared toward the Lancer Frigate. Silver Sword’s laser batteries tried to take out the incoming torpedoes, but only succeeded in stopping three. Fifteen torpedoes slammed into the shields. Drake looked at his readout and keyed his comm, “Okay, shields are down twenty-five percent. One more volley should take out the shields. Whatever is left will destroy the ship. Fire at will. After the shields are down, aim for weak spots in the hull. Crack her open!”
Torpedoes shot out at intervals and Drake watched as the shields went to zero and then as the hull rating dropped drastically ending in one large cloud of fire and debris. The shock wave of energy slammed into the fighters jostling them about.
“No!” came Black Five’s voice. “That shock wave knocked out my shields, engines, and weapons! And the debris is coming strait at us!”
Before anyone could come to his aid, the debris from the explosion reached their ships, which any charged particle shield can handle. A ship without shields, however, would not last long. There was a scream over the comm, which was cut short when Black Five’s ship exploded as a sheared laser turret smashed into it.
Drake frowned, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath. “Okay squad. Job well done. Return to the Slayer for your debriefing.”
Several gloomy voices responded with “Aye, Sir,” while some just double-clicked.
I can’t believe we lost four pilots on a training mission Drake thought. This had better be worth it.
Dawn of Terror
– Epilogue –
Years before he was voted to senatorial committee of Naboo, Dantius Palpatine was a normal upper-class child. His mother was a senator in the local government and was one of the richest women in the city. He did not know who his father was. The following tale is about the childhood life of the man who, later in his life, would become the most notorious dictator of all Galactic History.
– 1 –
“Dantius?” a female voice called from inside main hall.
A young boy with brownish-white hair lay on the lawn of green grass watching the clouds go by overhead.
“Dantius!” the voice said again.
He rolled his eyes and propped himself up out of the tall grass and called back, “What, mother?”
“Come inside and wash up,” she said lovingly, “Your party will start soon. I want everything to be perfect!”
“Yes, mother,” he said disgustedly as he walked up the stone walkway.
Dantius hated birthdays. So many of his mother’s political friends pretending that they like the boy. Dantius had no friends, so his birthdays ended in hours of political debate. When he gave his opinions, all they did was laugh at his naïveté. Sometimes he wished he were the ruler of the galaxy--he would get rid of all these petty politicians and show them how politically savvy he really was. Hours of listening to these debates had trained him well.
“Happy birthday, Master Dantius,” a squeaky, alien voice interrupted.
Dantius looked towards his personal servant. He was Chadra-Fan and the same height as Dantius. He was always dressed in a plain white tunic and prepared Dantius’s wardrobe and other trivial matters of daily life. He looked to his mirrored glass and saw his finest suit hanging up beside it.
“Mother wanted me to wear that?” he asked with a groan.
“Yes,” the servant answered, “I know you don’t like the way the collar cuts into your neck, but she requested this outfit for you to wear. You really do look quite sharp in it, if you don’t mind me saying so, Sir.”
“Well, I do mind,” he snapped back. “Go and tell Mother that I’ll be down shortly.” After noticing the alien’s hesitation he added, “Lowark, leave me now!”
The alien bowed slightly and walked out of the young boy’s room. And made his way to give Madame Katrina the message.
This is going to be a long night, Dantius thought to himself as he disrobed.
* * * *
Dantius walked down the staircase into the main greeting hall and was received with applause from various senators and dignitaries. His mother’s eyes were tearing up. Dantius had to restrain himself from rolling his eyes and telling all these adults to leave.
How pathetic, he thought to himself. These adults have nothing better to do than attend a birthday party for a ten year old simply because his mother is rich.
An evil smile spread across his face as his mother came up to stand behind him. He felt her hands lay on his shoulders as she led him to the head of the large banquet table. The others followed the mother and son to the table and sat at their assigned seats.
“Thank you, everyone, for coming,” she said to the guests. “I know how much Dantius and I enjoy your company for such a joyous occasion. My only son is now a decade old, and it seems like it was just yesterday when I had him in my lap at our senatorial meeting.” The table twittered with laughter at her comment while some nodded knowingly. Madame Katrina waited until the laughter settled down before continuing. “I know that Dantius has my love for politics and I know he will do well next season when he goes off to the Senatorial School for Youth. Soon, he will join our ranks in keeping law and order for the people of Naboo.” Applause answered her last statement. “Now, let us eat.”
Several alien servants entered with plates of a leafy salad for each guest along with a bowl of nerf stew. Lowark brought Dantius his salad and stew. The boys nose wrinkled; not at the smell of the food, but at the smell of the alien. It took him a few minutes to get gather his composure and eat his stew and salad. The guests broke into small conversations while they ate. Senator Horvak, a dark-skinned human, was talking with his mother.
“As you know,” Horvak was saying to his mother, “Senator Doray has been trying to sweep support in my district and overthrow my leadership. I was hoping that since you and I share the same ideals and views that you might throw your support in my corner. Will that be possible?”
“We shall see, Senator Horvak,” Madame Katrina replied, “I have to go back to Coruscant next season to debate and vote on the new trading corporation of the Nemodians.”
“Ah, yes. The Trade Guild, correct?”
“No, it’s the Trade Federation. You know how sharp-witted those Nemodians are. I do not particularly approve of the Federation. I have the feeling that they are doomed to fail. We shall see though.”
Hearing his name mentioned farther down the table distracted Dantius. He covered up his surprise by spearing a shaak steak smothered in brown gravy. He focused his hearing on a conversation between Senator Doray and a dignitary he didn’t know.
“…not many friends. He has been around his mother all his life. Madame Katrina does not talk about the father of her son. It must be hard for her to talk about. I don’t know how Dantius handles his mother. She can be quite a handful sometimes. Maybe if he had some sort of stable father figure, he—“ He stopped as he noticed the young boy glaring at him. His throat clenched up a little and he tried to clear it.
Dantius got up from the table and stormed out of the hall and up into his room. He took off his suit and threw it against the wall with a yell. Lowark entered and tried to calm him down, but to no avail.
“Master Dantius, you must calm down,” the bat-like alien pleaded.
“Calm down?” he replied. “Calm down? That man up there was insulting my mother! He was insulting me! And he was insulting my father! I imagined myself strangling his throat until he was dead. I wish he were dead! I’ll kill him!"
“Master Dantius,” Lowark remarked, “that’s murder. I’ve never heard you speak like this before. You never knew your father. Why do you care if he’s made fun of?”
“What!?” he exclaimed. “Now you are insulting me and my father!”
All his anger focused on one being now he reached out to grab the alien and blue lightning emerged from his fingertips and coursed into the Chadra-Fan. Dantius’ eyes went wide with astonishment.
“I never liked you, Lowark,” he sneered. “I despise aliens. They just aren’t as highly evolved as humans. And…you’re just plain ugly.
He focused his anger again and lightning sprang forth again and again until all that was left was a smoking corpse of what used to be a Chadra-Fan. He finally slumped to the floor staring at the corpse and his anger subsided. Confusion mounted in his mind. What had happened? What had he done? He flung himself on his bed and wept.
* * * *
Madame Katrina was shocked to see Dantius storm out of the room. She noticed who he was glaring at when he got up. The same man she and Senator Horvak were talking about—Senator Doray. He was presently rubbing his throat and breathing heavily. She composed herself and addressed her guests. “Dantius must not be feeling well. I know you’ll understand when I ask you to allow me to leave you and go to my son.”
Senator Horvak stood and motioned for the other to do so as well. “We understand, Madame Katrina. Go and be with your son. We will show ourselves out.”
Madame Katrina embraced Horvak’s hand in a friendly man. She mouthed the words, “Thank you.” He winked back in reply.
As she made her way up the stairs to his room, the hair stood up on her neck and she felt cold. Well, that was strange, she thought to herself. She continued towards Dantius’ room and the hairs prickled again. She began to smell a strange scent and couldn’t place it. It seemed to be coming from Dantius’ room. When she opened the door, the smell overwhelmed her and she had to block her nose with the back of her hand. She saw the source of the burnt smell still smoking on the floor; she could tell who it was. Her son lay on his bed crying. She rushed to his side and hugged him.
“What happened, Dantius?” she asked. “What happened to Lowark?”
“I…I don’t know, Mother,” he replied between sobs. “I heard…Senator Doray talking about…about you, me, and…and father.” When he noticed his mother’s face become angry and sad, he hesitated, but continued. “I wanted to strangle him. I didn’t even want to look at his face anymore, so I came to my room. Lowark was trying to calm me down, but I was just so angry! He asked why I cared what people said about Father, and that drove me over the edge. Next thing I know, lightning is coming out of my fingers and…and I killed…I killed Lowark.” He began to sob uncontrollably into his mother’s bosom.
“I always feared this day would come,” she said out loud to herself. “I guess it’s my fault really. I should have told you the truth a long time ago. This might not have happened if you had known how to control it.”
Dantius had stopped crying and was looking at his mother with unbelieving interest. “Control what, Mother? What are you talking about?”
“Your father, son. The truth about your father.”
Dantius couldn’t believe it. He had asked his mother about his father several times. Every time he brought the subject up, she would start crying and ask him not to talk about it. Now the moment of truth had come. Now he would find out who his father really was.
“About a year before you were born,” she began, “I was engaged to a nobleman named Astor Palpatine. We loved each other very dearly. We were to be married on Coruscant in a private ceremony. After the ceremony, we were on our way to our reserved room at the Moon Gem Grand Hotel. On the way there, a cloaked man was strangling a group of alien beings. Astor was a patriot of justice and rushed to try and help the Chadra-Fan aliens. Before I could call Astor back, a red lightsaber beam of light went through his chest and he fell to the ground. It was then that the hooded figure noticed me. I was so scared I couldn’t move, and he came over to me. He touched his hand to my forehead and I blacked out. When I woke up, I was inside our hotel room. I thought it was all a dream. I looked for Astor and he was nowhere to be found. I went back to the place in my ‘dream’ where he was killed and there were security forces swarming all over. I knew that it wasn’t a dream. I came back to Naboo brokenhearted. A month or two later, I found out I was pregnant. This left only one possibility; the hooded figure had taken advantage of me. I had never been with a man before. He had a lightsaber, so I thought he was a Jedi. I heard on the HoloNet that a rogue Jedi had left the order and was running a rampage on Coruscant. The Jedi could not find the rogue Jedi, but said that he had turned to the darkside.” She looked into his eyes and was crying, “So, Dantius, your father was a Dark Jedi. I was never sure if you had any of the power he had, but I see now that you do. I’m so sorry for not telling you sooner. Please forgive me, Dantius!”
Dantius didn’t know what to say. He stood there with his mouth agape not being able to make even a sound. He had used the Force to kill Lowark. He must never let his dark feelings affect him ever again. No one else would ever die from his hands again.
“Don’t worry, mother,” he said to her. “It’s okay. I’m glad you have told me. I will not be like my father. I promise you. I’ll be like my true father Astor and become an advocate for justice…I will train to be a Jedi.”
– 2 –
It took a few weeks to get all the paperwork and preliminary testing done before he was sent before the Jedi council for their decision. Dantius looked at the short, leathery-skinned alien sitting before him with slight distaste. He quickly quelled his feelings lest the Jedi Master pick up on it. I better get used to having aliens around, he said to himself, especially if I’m to be a Jedi Knight. He waited calmly as the green alien probed his mind. Dantius could feel his presence in his mind. It felt like someone tickling his brain and it made him laugh out loud.
The alien’s eyes popped open at the boy’s laughter. “Funny this is?” he asked.
Dantius cleared his throat and stopped giggling. “No, Master Yoda, your presence tickled. I’m sorry for disrupting you.”
“No…disrupt me did you not. I am wondering…why do you want to be a Jedi?”
“I want to help the galaxy—I want to do good. I didn’t know I had these…powers until recently. The truth was hidden from me by my mother.” He blushed at revealing so much to a stranger, yet he felt calm in the Jedi Masters presence.
“Embarrassed you are at revealing so much?”
“Yes, Master Yoda. I am not used to speaking my feelings openly.”
The diminutive Jedi Master smiled. “Okay it is for you to express your feelings. Makes these proceedings easier it does. How feel you on the concept of rules?”
“Rules are created to be followed, Master Yoda. Without rules, there is chaos. People would go around doing whatever they wanted without the fear of repercussions.”
“How feel you on the role of appointed leaders—specifically the ones who make the rules?”
“Well…someone needs to make the rules. It must be someone strong-willed and intelligent. If this person is lazy, the rules will be few and the people will become lax. The leader—or leaders—must be strong and strict in their ruling.”
The Jedi Master stroked his chin in thought and frowned slightly. “Good it is that you understand. Sad though at what must be done to follow the rules set down by the Jedi Masters of old.”
Dantius didn’t like the sound of that statement. “What do you mean, Master?”
“Decided not to train you as a Jedi the council has. Too young you are to begin the training. State so the rules do.”
The boy’s heart dropped. He wasn’t to be trained. What was he to do now? Where was he to go? It was his mother’s fault. If she had told him of his heritage sooner, he might’ve been able to be trained. It was all her fault!
“Much frustration do I sense from you,” Master Yoda’s voice interrupted in his thoughts. “Angry are you? Confused?”
Dantius fought back the tears. “Why? Why am I too old to be trained?”
“Mmm, hard to explain it is. Found out the hard way we have the consequences of beginning training too old. Have trouble leaving their lives behind they do. Miss their families they do a lot. Hinders their training it does. Makes it hard for them to concentrate it does.”
“I wouldn’t be like that, Master Yoda! I could concentrate! I could do it!”
“That could be, but stands the decision does. Trained will you not be. One of the rules that you believe in so much it is. Sorry I am young Dantius. May the Force be with you, young one.”
And just like that, the thought of Dantius Palpatine ever becoming a Jedi Knight was smashed to microns. What am I supposed to do now, he thought to himself.
Okay, that's it.
Sorry, it's so long.