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Star Trek/Star Wars – Galaxy at War: Part Fifty-One A Tale of Two Galaxies – Prologue: Mara Jade
Star Wars Dimension – August 12 BBY (2382 C.E)
An Unnamed Inhospitable Planet somewhere deep in Hutt Space, night
"Lord Vader if I had known you were coming I would have prepared a suitable welcoming party for your arrival." The Grand Inquisitor said falling to one knee his head bowed before the Dark Lord of the Sith.
On either said of the male Pau'an were bowed Inquisitor Troopers. Their black armor gleamed in the light cast by the landing craft. These specialized troopers nicknamed "Purge Troopers" were the last clones of Jango Fett to be activated before production ceased and use of conscripts began to take the place of military clones. After the failed yet costly Kamino Uprising several months before it was decided by Imperial planners that Clone Troopers were no longer advantageous and their use was being phased out as quickly as practicality permitted. Inquisitor Troopers were thus classified as "undesirables" due to security risks that arose from possible Kaminoan subversive programming hence they were given the most dangerous and toughest of assignments with an eye on their quick elimination. Their typical missions included hunting down surviving Jedi, smugglers, rogue bounty hunters & others criminals, and military policing of grey areas of Imperial authority Hutt Space thus was routinely among their regions of responsibility.
"Spare me such meaningless platitudes Grand Inquisitor. I've only come becomes of your failure. I will personally dislodge the Jedi encamped here." Darth Vader said after walking down the rain-soaked ramp. To Vader's right stood his most trusted advisor the Vorta Weyoun who wore a simple hooded black cloak in honor of his master.
"What a dreadfully dreary place," Weyoun said his lips curled up in clear sign of disdain directed at his surroundings.
Behind Vader and Weyoun, eight Imperial Shadow Guards emerged from the landing craft. Their glowing red visors stood in stark contrast to their spotless obsidian armor and robes. They threw back their cloaks in perfect unison to reveal their weapon of choice lightsaber pikes. With eight snap-hisses they activated their crimson blades as they fanned out into the surrounding tropical rainforest. No one outside of the Emperor, Lord Vader and a select few high ranking Imperials knew who or what exactly lay beneath the masks and armor that, however, did not stop people from speculating about the secret of the Force sensitive assassins who seldom spoke. Some said they were droids, others modified Jango Fett clones, others that they were Jem'Hadar who had a mutation which prevented them from starving to death once deprived of their unique fungus diet after relocating to this galaxy, others claimed they were some sort of human-alien hybrid or cyborgs, but none knew the real story which is how Vader and Sidious preferred it.
"Kill the Jedi and their supports leave none alive," Vader ordered his retreating soldiers. "I shall join you momentarily." He turned his masked gaze upon the Grand Inquisitor once more. "Because of your bumbling incompetence, I missed my daughter Lady Kilyri's (Kah-Leer-EE) sixth birthday. Expect a severe punishment when this matter is settled." Vader warned his gloved right hand clenched into a threatening fist.
"I understand, master," The Grand Inquisitor said he continued to kneel in spite of the gathering mud with his head bowed as did the two Inquisitor Troopers until Vader and Weyoun passed by.
A nearby cave, several hours later
"Hush baby we're in trouble." The haggard red-haired human female whispered to the young girl she held in her arm. Outside screams of pain and terror could be heard.
"I'm scared, mommy." The red-haired girl whimpered. She was a month away from her fifth birthday a birthday her mother feared neither of them would see.
"So am I baby, so am I." The woman said. She kissed the child's forehead.
The girl clasped a small snow globe of Coruscant in her tiny hands. She shook up the globe as she often did when she was nervous. It was one of her only possessions beyond the clothes on her back. The child of a Jedi Padawan who was constantly running from the Empire was afforded few childhood luxuries.
Heavy stones which blocked the entrance of the cave began to twitch. They pulled apart as great pressure was put upon them from outside. The woman quickly put down her child and drew forth her green colored lightsaber.
Vader burst inside his lightsaber already ignited. His cape flapping in the breeze. The exhausted woman did not stand a chance still she fought Vader with a ferocity which he later admitted to Sidious impressed him greatly. Their duel, however, was short-lived it ended when Vader cut off her dueling arm at the elbow and then pulled her into the air via the Force.
"Where is your master, padawan?" Vader asked as the woman kicked futilely at the air.
The woman laughed bitterly. "The Dark Side has clouded your mind Lord Vader. You and your Clones Troopers killed our masters years ago we are alone, failed padawans nothing more."
"I sense something of interest. A child, strong with the Force," Vader said noticing the girl for the first time.
"Ru-," The woman tried to warn her child but Vader causally broke her neck with the Force killing her before she could do so. Her spine produced a sickening snap. Her limp body then fell with a resounding thud.
"Come with me, girl," Vader ordered. He grabbed the crying girl with his free hand and roughly pulled her outside where a scene of even greater carnage awaited her traumatized mind. Her village the only, home she had ever known was in flames not another soul had survived the massacre.
Imperial Star Destroyer en route to Imperial Center (Coruscant), one day later
"All Jedi and Jedi sympathizers have been eliminated, my master," Vader said from his position seated on a throne style command chair.
"Excellent news Lord Vader." A flickering blue life-sized hologram of the Emperor said clasping his gnarled hands together with glee. "There is someone here who wants to say hello to you." The hologram shifted to that of a young girl in an elaborately embellished robe with shoulder-length hair (although the color was unclear from the hologram her hair was strawberry blonde) and slightly pointed ears.
"Hi, daddy," The girl said. "I miss you."
"I've missed you too, KIlyri," Vader said. "I'm sorry I wasn't there for your big day. In my defense, I am bringing you back a present a very special present." Vader gestured to the girl from the planet who reluctantly came to his side when she was prompted by a Shadow Guard. "This is Mara Jade, she'll be your new personal servant."
"My own servant, oh thank you, daddy," Kilyri said her expression one of unbridled excitement.
"I love you, Kilyri," Vader said his right hand on Mara's shoulder. Mara wanted to cry out because his grip was so tight but she dared not having already learned in her short time with Vader that to complain meant only inviting further abuse.
"I love you too, daddy," Kilyri said.
"Put on the Emperor again, dear," Vader said.
"Yes, daddy," Kilyri obeyed soon Sidious' hologram returned.
"I think we can make great use of this girl, master. When properly broken and trained she'll make an excellent future Inquisitor or perhaps even a future Imperial Hand." Vader said.
"I concur, Lord Vader." The Emperor said.
Mara noticed The Emperor's gaze seizing her up like a hungry person would a meal. He gave her the creeps. She felt a shiver pass through her body at the thought of him touching her.
"There is nothing further to report at this time, my master," Vader said.
"Very well then, we shall speak again upon your return Lord Vader." The Emperor said.
"Indeed we shall. Farewell, my master." Vader said.
"Farewell, Lord Vader." The Emperor's hologram blinked out.
Vader rose to his feet. He lingered there in the same position for a moment. Without warning, he savagely shoved Mara who had been resting against his chair into a nearby wall. She yelped in pain from the impact.
"Lesson one Jedi spawn there is no mercy only power. Never again assume you can rest or be ideal in my presence or that of my master." Vader said. "Get her out of my sight before I break our new tool." The Shadow Guard from earlier grabbed Mara by her left arm and dragged her away nearly dislocating her shoulder in the process.
The Shadow Guard tossed Mara into the cell which served as her quarters. Other than a sink and waste disposal unit there was no furniture of any kind. Mara began to cry she had cried a lot since Vader and his Shadow Guards destroyed her former home. She looked at her snow globe which for some reason Vader and his minions let her keep. It was all she had left. Over the next decade plus, Mara Jade would take her snow globe everywhere she went including on her various missions on behalf of the Empire. Her trinket always calmed her and made her feel a little bit better even in her darkest moments which were many more than anyone should endure.
To Be Continued
Author's Note One -
Kilyri (Kah-Leer-EE), of course, is my own creation and is the OC daughter of Vader and Sela (Imera).
Henceforth because we'll be switching back and forth between the two galaxies corresponding date systems will appear in parentheticals or brackets
Author's Note Two -
Mara Jade's exact parentage and early life even in Legends is shrouded in mystery. The only things Mara herself clearly recalls is her parents did not initially want to give her up to the Empire and a snow globe she had as a small child. Mara's backstory in this series is inspired by the snow globe memory and Galen Marek's origins from the game "The Force Unleashed". Mara is one of my favorite Star Wars characters Canon or Legends so expect to see a lot more of her as things continue to progress.