Chapter 1-A Turn of Events
The Force was a mystical entity no one person could explain or understand no matter how hard one tried or attempted to unlock its secrets. Many had tried. Jedi. Sith. Some unlock a few. Others? Not so much. Some could wield its power at incredible levels and others could barely make a data pad twitch. But many agreed that the Force, for those who believed in it, was a power beyond measure. It had a Will, a drive, a purpose, and a method to its madness. Everything it did, was done with a reason. Whether it was known or unknown to those who heard its call or felt its presence.
So when Darth Vader found himself alive after sacrificing his life to save his son and kill the Emperor, he was confused as to what had happened. He should be dead. Dead from his injuries finally catching up with him. Dead after being bombarded by Sith lightning and letting go of the Dark Side that had long since sustained his crippled body for over 20 agonizing years.
Only to find his body was no longer crippled. In fact, his body was different from the massive armored cyborg who once terrorized the Galaxy. For one, only half of his mask covered his face. Namely the bottom half. Why? He had no idea. But something told him it was necessary. To hide his face and identity perhaps? Raising his right hand to touch the bottom half of the mask, he stopped when he realized his right hand was like the one he had as Anakin Skywalker. Further inspection for the rest of his body revealed his left arm, his legs, and the rest of his body were that of Anakin Skywalker in his prime during the Clone Wars.
His eyes widening in realization and the fact he was breathing on his own, the Sith Lord looked nearby to see a lake filled with water. Moving toward it, Darth Vader looked into it like he would a mirror and saw even his face behind the dark hood that covered his head. The bottom half of his mask could not hide the face of Anakin Skywalker behind it and pushed his hood back to see the wild hair Anakin Skywalker had during his youth, the scar going down his eye.
Speaking of eyes, they were not the intense shade of blue like Anakin Skywalker. No. They were the eyes of a Sith. A powerful Sith. One who had seen and done much in his time and glowed with a strength few in the Galaxy could match.
Why was he like this? Why was he here? Where was here? It seemed so familiar and yet...Vader knew if this was the planet he thought it was...had the Force sent him here to be his Hell? Or rather what the Force's version of what Hell would be like for him?
Hearing noise in the distance, Vader moved from the small lake of water to the sounds that were happening nearby. When the Sith Lord made his way closer to the sounds, his once damaged, and now restored heart nearly collapsed on itself. For before Vader was a moment in time he did not see, but heard about from during the time when he was just a nine year old child.
The invasion of Naboo. The droid army of the Trade Federation marching into the city of Theed and oppressing the people within. He remembered Padme telling him about this when on Coruscant shortly after they had just arrived on the planet before the Jedi had him tested. How the army marched on the capital. How the people were frightened and unsure what to do. How the Viceroy gloated and acted like he won a great victory over Naboo with his superior number of mindless cheap droids.
It wasn't much of a victory in Vader's mind. Naboo had no real defense force or fleet to repel such an invasion. They didn't need it. They were a civilized society that had law and order in perfect harmony.
It was surprising such a planet could produce woman like Padme. Or a man like Darth Sidious for that matter.
As for Vader, he wondered why the Force in its infinite wisdom and power decided to bring him here? To this spot. This moment in time. Could it have something to do with the damn prophecy the Jedi went on about? Could the Force have felt it had not been fulfilled like it had designed and brought him here to alter the timeline so it did happen?
It was possible. The Force had a Will of its own. No one could dispute it. Jedi and Sith both agreed that the Force empowered them for the purpose of carrying out its Will when called upon. Few Jedi and Sith dared to challenge its Will and both sides suffered for it in multiple ways. Vader had suspected the Jedi Order went against the Will of the Force and even the prophecy with Anakin Skywalker. As a result, it favored the Sith, and allowed the Jedi Order to crumble into near extinction. It punished Obi-wan for the lie he told Luke about Vader betraying and murdering his Father by allowing the Sith Lord to end his long time hated enemy.
Even the destruction of Alderaan, as pointless as it might have been to a normal person, was the Force's way of punishing those who had tried to use Vader's children against him. Leia had no idea she was his daughter, something the woman should have known when old enough to handle such news just as Luke should have been told the truth when he became an adult. Instead, Bail Organa, and Obi-wan said nothing of the truth about the twins being connected to each other, much less their parentage. Not even the truth that Padme was their biological Mother. Vader could understand keeping him a secret for a little longer given his...notoriety, but Padme? Those two should have known about her almost from the start. As a result, the Force punished them both. One losing his life at the hands of his mortal enemy. The other died on the entire planet he ruled over along with the planet itself using the Death Star to get the job done.
At the same time, the Death Star (both of them) had been an abomination not allowed to be completed, much less used in any way possible. It went against the Will of the Force and thus the Force saw fit to have both of them destroyed before they could be used to their fullest potential in the war with the Rebels. The first one was used to punish Bail Organa and those loyal to him on Alderaan, only for the Force to destroy the damn thing to counterbalance the action.
When the second Death Star was being built, the Force saw fit to manipulate things so the Rebels would discover its existence. Regardless of what Sidious claimed, the Force had used the old Sith to accomplish its goal in destroying it, and Sidious in the process. The construction of the second Death Star was no doubt the last straw for the cosmic energy and decided to orchestrate the death of Darth Sidious when he least suspected it.
Too little too late though from what Vader could surmise. The Galaxy would no doubt be thrown into an even greater civil war. Panic. Chaos! No balance in sight even if Luke was fighting nonstop for the Rebel Alliance. One Jedi Knight, recently knighted from the way things had happened, against an Empire, trying to maintain the peace in the vast Galaxy without other Jedi to provide support, and learning while doing.
It was like a single pebble being placed in a soon to be roaring river's path and expecting the tiny thing to stop the entire river from moving forward. Impossible. Even for someone as strong in the Force as Luke. Not to mention it would take time to train new Jedi, which the Empire would no doubt try to prevent, or other anti-Jedi groups the Empire had setup throughout the Galaxy following the Jedi Purge to prevent the Order from rising up.
Luke would be an old man or possibly dead before the Jedi Order could return to some form of power an authority in the Galaxy. And there was no telling if Leia would have joined her brother in the ways of the Jedi. He got the impression Leia was like her Mother in the ways of politics and fight for justice there. Still, the power of the Force was in their blood, and Leia might reject it simply out of fear of becoming like him.
She clearly had his temper so her fears were somewhat justified in that regard. Though he was sure Luke would provide some measure of basic training for his twin to prevent it at the very least.
'It doesn't matter now. The Force has sent me back in time. Back in time before the Clone Wars started. Before Qui-gon was killed by that rabid animal Sidious had acquired by the name of Darth Maul. Before my...before Anakin Skywalker's freedom from being a slave. Before Sidious could set the final stages of the Grand Plan into motion and destroy the Jedi Order while turning the Republic into an Empire. I have to be careful. If I am not careful, I could damage the timeline where my younger self doesn't meet Padme. If that happens, Luke an Leia might not be born. I want them to be born. I want Anakin and Padme to fall in love, to marry, have the twins, and be what I never could have been to them. Not properly. I will make the prophecy be fulfilled and it will be done the right way with Sidious dead with the Jedi Order alive...but reformed with changes,' thought Vader with the Force nodding in approval of his decision and further proved to the Sith Lord why he was sent back in time.
To right wrongs. To counter the Sith with his future Sith apprentice. To make sure this Anakin Skywalker become the Jedi he was always meant to become had the Jedi Order not tried to push their stagnant ways on him. Vader knew he would one day clash with this version of Anakin Skywalker should he become a Jedi. Vader knew for the prophecy to be fulfilled, Sidious must be dead by this point to prevent any unwanted surprises as the two fought with everything they had. Vader also knew he would have to push his other self to the limit to get Anakin Skywalker to be at his level when they had their epic battle for the fate of the Galaxy.
The Sith Lord within him relished the challenge. Even if he knew deep down his Jedi counterpart would win in the end. It didn't matter. Anakin was him just as Vader was Anakin. So long as his Mother, Padme, and the twins survived to live happy lives, it did not matter to Vader if he died in the concluding battle.
Because in the end when it was all said and done...Vader had already won.
Tightening his right hand into a fist, Vader heard the sound of leather stretching herself to the limit while he let himself dive deep into the Force. Feeling it invade his being, feeling its presence fill his mind, his body, and his very soul. The Dark Side of the Force swirling around him like a maelstrom, a fury, a rage, and beast all wrapped up in one single form within the center of his being.
The time was now. The Galaxy. The Jedi. The Sith. Everyone who could feel the Force was about to get a massive wakeup call. From Yoda on Coruscant to Obi-wan here on Naboo. From Sidious to Maul. From the Nightsisters to the Nightbrothers of Dathomir. From minor Force Sects throughout the Galaxy and Force sensitive people in general to every sagely Force sensitive leader alive.
It was time for the beast that had been silent within him to roar. It was time for the beast that Sidious had kept leashed for 20 years from being let out and surpassing him to roar. To be heard loud and clear for all those who could see and hear him through the Force to know one simple thing.
Darth Vader was here. Darth Vader had arrived. And Darth Vader was going to tear this Galaxy a new one before it could be healed properly.
And with that, Darth Vader made himself known to every planet, and every Star system by letting his presence, his power, his very being roar loudly. He let it roar like a kyrat dragon throughout the Force itself and shaking the very Galaxy down to the foundation.
(Within Theed-The Royal Palace)
Obi-wan fell to his knees. He suddenly felt sick. He wanted to vomit. It was only through sheer Will and the fact his stomach to was empty that the vomit didn't come out of his throat at this time. The dark power he felt that hit him and his Master felt like a stampede of angry rancors trampling over themselves to get away from something or chasing after someone. How could such a terrible power, such a presence exist in the Force, and make him feel like this on the ground.
Beside him, Jedi Master Qui-gon Jinn stumbled, but kept himself standing despite the amount of sweat running down his forehead and the back of his neck. Like Obi-wan, he also felt this power, this presence within the Force, and wondered why now of all times did the Dark Side make itself known to them. Had the Sith returned? After roughly an entire millennia of silence? Had a Sith survived the last Jed/Sith War and secretly started a Sect that hid from the Jedi? And if so, how did they do it? An ancient Sith technique past down from Master to apprentice? Was there just one Sith or was there two. Master Yoda had always suspected the Sith might return one day and theorized if they did, there was at least two of them in the Galaxy. A Master and apprentice. At the very least, the Sith had survived up until now and returned with just one member. Albeit, an extremely powerful one from what he sensed.
"Master I...what is this presence? Surely its not...its not one of them, is it?" asked Obi-wan while gasping and looking up at his Master for guidance.
"I honestly don't know Obi-wan. I have never felt a presence like this before today. Its dark, powerful, and full of rage not unlike what you would expect from a Sith," said Qui-gon while looking off in the distance where he sensed this incredible power.
And his eyes soon widen when he felt it ripple like a massive creature moving through the water toward them. He was sure Obi-wan sensed it too.
"But...its not possible! The Sith have been extinct for 1,000 years!" protested Obi-wan while he struggled to stand.
"And yet, we just sensed the presence of one making itself known to us. To the rest of the entire Galaxy," commented Qui-gon while helping Obi-wan stand.
And Jar Jar Binks looking at him in confusion, but decided it was best to keep quiet for now since he didn't understand what the two Jedi were talking about.
"I have never felt anything like this before Master. How can...how can anyone be that powerful in the Force?" asked Obi-wan while finding the intensity from this presence had caused him to cry from the sheer potency of it.
The Jedi Padawan could only imagine what other Force sensitives were feeling when this Sith unleashed its presence into the Galaxy. The younglings at Jedi Temple were most likely going out of their minds! And not just them. But the other Padawans, Knights, and even the Masters themselves were shaken by this sudden shift in the Force.
"I do not know Obi-wan. I wish I did know. But that is not the worst thing we have to worry about at the moment. The Sith is heading this way toward the palace. Either to fight us or...," said Qui-gon while stretching out his senses and wincing from the intense presence of the Sith brushed past him harshly.
"Or?" asked Obi-wan curiously.
"He's come for the Queen," finished Qui-gon with worry in his voice.
"We have to find her Master. If the Sith manages to find her first...," said Obi-wan with a sense of worry for the Queen knowing the reputation of the Sith had always been one of brutality and cruelty.
"I know Obi-wan. Let us hurry," said Qui-gon before they ran deeper toward the palace interior with Jar Jar right behind them trying to keep up.
And being incredibly clumsy in the process.
(With Darth Vader)
Darth Vader kept his dark hood up to cover his face as he walked through Theed's Royal Palace. There was no point in letting anyone see it unless absolutely necessary. What was necessary was finding Padme, her Queen stand in, and the security detail with them that was being taken away by a small contingent of Trade Federation droids. No doubt to be killed or taken to some kind of encampment where the Viceroy would have all of them tortured. No doubt until the intended treaty, from what he recalled from what Padme had told him, was signed to make the invasion legal, and signed the planet over to the piece of bantha poodo.
Even now, the Force decided to make him increasingly angrier by showing him visions of the planet should the treaty be signed, and Naboo fall into Trade Federation hands. It was mocking him in a way. Saying there was chance he could fail and lose everything before it even began. The Force liked to do that to him. Show him things that made him suffer by showing the suffering of those he cared about when he was once Anakin Skywalker. He shouldn't feel anything for them since a Sith did not feel such things for others and was not the Sith way.
But for all that he was in life, in the old time frame or this new one, Darth Vader would always love his Mother. He would always love his wife. Even his children, despite one of them hating his guts for what was done to her prior to the lose of her home planet. While he could not claim them as his anymore, Vader still loved them, and wanted each of them to be happy. It was what he wanted. Craved. Desired. It was a burning passion that he would not allow to be snuffed out.
Vader was a man who would move planets and stars to protect what he loved. Anakin Skywalker was the same way before his fall, but Vader couldn't fault his naive Jedi self. They both loved the same people, even when they shouldn't, and the Orders they both followed forbid it for one reason or another based on their rules.
But like Anakin Skywalker in his youth, Darth Vader was not one to follow the rules people wrote for them.
'If what I'm sensing is true and what I recall from Padme telling me about this day, they should be around here,' thought Vader while almost wishing he was seven feet tall with his ever imposing form towering over most beings in the Galaxy.
Oh well. At least he had his agility, speed, and skills from the days in his prime. A good trade off in his mind. Plus, his body was no longer in perpetual agony due to no longer being burned, or the prosthetics used that were painfully attached to him by those damn medical droids Sidious programmed to ignore medical protocols to provide pain numbing drugs to his crippled body.
Add into the fact Vader could now breath rich clean air again, eat solid foods, or drink water was another nice trade off to what he had before today.
'And there they are,' thought Vader while hiding in the shadows in front of them while staring at the large group of droid and people with the former surrounding the latter with blasters primed at the ready.
He saw Padme in her handmaiden disguise. Walking almost side by side with her Queen double, but was hanging back just enough to fool anyone watching them. Vader could still recall her fooling the Jedi when she revealed herself to be the Queen when she had gone to see the Gungans for aid. To think, a 14 year old girl could fool an experienced Jedi Master. Vader often wondered if she had fooled Sidious at any point. He liked to think she did at one point or another. She certainly had the skill to usurp him, much less provide a rare moment where the outcome goes against everything the man wanted when the Clone Wars broke out.
All the more reason to protect her from the old fool's machinations when she eventually becomes a Republic Senator.
"Halt!" commanded the droid commander with everyone obeying his order.
"What is it sir?" asked one of the other droids.
"Someone is up ahead in front of us," said the droid commander while readying its blaster and so did the others under its command.
"My Queen?" whispered Captain Panaka while both Padme and her double shook their heads no since they knew trying anything would result in disaster.
"Identify yourself!" ordered the droid commander while the robed figure before them stepped out of the shadows and walked toward them.
"You will surrender the Queen and her entourage over to me," order Vader in infamous baritone voice that made his enemies run over themselves to get away from oppressing form.
Sadly, these droids were not programmed with such self aware algorithms within their primary systems when it came to addressing dark menacing people.
"On whose authority? I received so such command or directive from the Viceroy," said the droid command with a hint of confusion in its overall voice modular system.
"He didn't send one. I am taking them under MY authority," said Vader while he looked over where every single droid was positioned in front of him with their blasters raised and aimed at his person.
"And what authority is that?" asked the droid commander while not seeing the subtle hand movement of the man in front of him unclipping his Lightsaber.
Padme and her group did. Which is why they silently tensed up knowing this was about to get intense real fast.
"This," replied Vader before he ignited his Lightsaber and just as quickly as the red blade came alive did the droid commander lose its head before falling down.
"Its a Jedi! Shoot! Shoot!" commanded the next highest ranked droid of the group before they all started firing at Vader while keeping themselves spread out enough to avoid the possibility of "friendly fire".
Not that it matter since it was over within three swings of Vader's Lightsaber redirecting the blaster bolts right back at the droids. Not a single human was harmed, which was exactly what the Sith Lord was aiming for when he planned the action of killing the droid commander. Though part of him was tad disappointed in the fact it was so easy to defeat these nearly mindless mechanical creatures. Not surprising since Vader had fought super battle droids, Jedi, Sith, Sith assassins, rebels, bounty hunters, and other more challenging things.
So naturally, these battle droids provide little challenge to him.
"Queen Amidala. I am honored," said Vader before turning off his Lightsaber and walked toward the fake Queen to keep up appearances that he was none the wiser on the real Queen's identity.
"The honor is mine. You saved us...," said the fake Queen and waited for the Sith Lord to provide his name while the security team took the blasters from the down droids.
"Vader. I am Darth Vader," answered Vader before giving a small bow.
"Than you Darth Vader. You have provided us a means to escape from the grasp of the Trade Federation," said the fake Queen.
"For the moment. We should move quickly to a less populated area to speak in private," said Vader while the fake Queen nodded and the group moved to the nearby abandoned courtyard.
"Your skills back there were quite impressive. Did the Republic send you? Are you their Jedi Ambassador sent to deal with the Trade Federation and their actions?" asked Captain Panaka curiously while eyeing the Sith Lord with caution.
"No. I have affiliation with the Republic," said Vader to the Nubian Captain.
"But...you are Jedi," countered Captain Panaka while swallowing his worry when Vader slowly turned to face him.
"I am no Jedi," said Vader while smirking behind the bottom half of his mask.
"You wield their weapon," Panaka shot back while Vader's smirk increased.
Not that the group in front of him could see.
"The Lightsaber was not always a weapon exclusively used by the Jedi," replied Vader cryptically while moving slightly farther away from them.
"If you are not a Jedi, an Ambassador, or with the Republic...what are you?" asked the fake Queen while Vader's eyes danced with amusement despite everything.
"Complicated," answered Vader while turning his head slightly to look behind him.
"In what way?" asked Panaka while hoping this wasn't some assassin seeking to finish them off quietly and only killed the droids to remove potential witnesses.
"In many ways. Isn't that right...Jedi," said Vader while glancing behind him and was not surprised to hearing the sound of two Lightsabers igniting with two figures leaping down to engage him in combat.
Jar Jar was currently trying to follow them in his usual clumsy manner.
"Your time has come Sith," said Obi-wan while Vader found it amusing how impulsive Obi-wan looked right now.
And to think the older version of the man would constantly lecture young Skywalker about this issue of rushing into things during their own time together as Master and Apprentice. Hypocrite!
"On the contrary. It has only just begun," said Vader before he ignited his Lightsaber and effortlessly blocked a strike aimed at him by the impulsive Jedi apprentice.
The duel immediately went from one on one to that of two on one both Jedi fighting in a Lightsaber battle not seen between the two orders for over a millennia. The Queen and her group took steps back to stay away from this fight, which showed that while both Jedi were skilled with their Lightsabers, they were unable to overpower, or show nay signs of defeating the Sith Lord. If anything, the Sith Lord that was Darth Vader showed he was more skilled with a Lightsaber then both Jedi combined.
Padme winced when Vader broke Obi-wan's defense and kicked the young Jedi in the ribs with enough power behind the blow to send the man flying. She saw Obi-wan gasp while struggling to stand while Jedi Master Qui-gon Jinn tried to best the Sith Lord on his own. By the time Obi-wan was able to stand under his own power, Vader had used the Force to send the Jedi Master flying across the courtyard with ease to land on his back.
'He doesn't even look winded from the fighting. What kind of intense training has this man done to himself to best two Jedi with ease?' thought Padme while Vader casually walked toward the clearly defeated Jedi Master with the glowing red blade pointed at his neck.
"Master!" exclaimed Obi-wan and moved to stop Vader, but was silenced by those very eyes of the Sith Lord when turned to glare at him before refocusing on Qui-gon.
"Your student is impulsive. I would think one his age would learn to control such actions, much less his stupidity," remarked Vader while Qui-gon looked from him to Obi-wan and gave the Jedi apprentice a look to not do anything.
"We are here to protect the Queen from the evil that has descended upon her planet," said Qui-gon with Vader nodding before he turned his Lightsaber off.
Much to the shock of both Jedi.
"So am I," replied Vader before taking several steps back so the Jedi Master could stand.
"You lie! This army is your doing. You are leading them to signify the return of the Sith Order!" exclaimed Obi-wan while Vader glanced at him before scoffing.
"By using third rate battle droids? Using a single station controlling all of them using technology put together by the lowest bidder? A Sith Lord always shows strength, power, cunning, and above all else...intelligence. Why use such inferior means of combat when there are other ways and better means of raising a powerful army capable of conquering the Galaxy?" questioned Vader while the Jedi apprentice had no real answer to that.
"Darth Vader saved us from the battle droids a short time ago. If he were an enemy, we would not be here right now," said the fake Queen while trying to be the voice of reason.
"The Queen is correct Jedi. If I were here to kill the Queen, we would not be having this conversation right now. As things stand, we must form a plan to successfully escape off planet, and away from the Trade Federation while the advantage is ours," said Vader knowing it wouldn't be long before the rendezvous and prisoner transfer of the Queen was looked into when not reported on schedule.
"Off planet? I will not abandon my people!" protested the fake Queen knowing it was what Padme would say in her place.
"And I am not suggesting you do your Highness. But staying here where you could be captured again is unwise since it is clear they intend to end your life," said Vader to the shock of the Nubian group.
"They wouldn't dare!" said the Nubian Governor Sio Bibble in protest.
"The Viceroy need the Queen alive to sign the treaty in order to make this whole invasion legal in the eyes of the Republic. If they kill her now, it would undermine their efforts to claim the planet," said Captain Panaka and was surprised when Qui-gon shook his head in disagreement.
"I'm afraid Lord Vader is correct Captain. The Queen's life is endanger the longer she is here. Treaty or not, something is out of place with this invasion. There is no logic to it. Someone like Viceroy Gunray only does something like this unless he was certain there was no reprisal aimed against him. My instincts tell me the Viceroy will kill you if you stay here. Treaty signed or not," said Qui-gon while Vader gave the Jedi Master a nod of thanks for supporting his strategy.
Obi-wan found it hard to believe his Master and the Sith Lord shared a common thought on how to protect the Queen.
"What do you suggest Master Jedi? Lord Vader?" asked the fake Queen.
"We must go to Coruscant. You must appeal to the Senate and the Supreme Chancellor for aid in repelling the Trade Federation," said Qui-gon before glancing at Vader to see what his thoughts were on the subject.
"I agree with the Jedi. As things stand, you have neither the might nor power to repel the invasion of your planet. Only with the full might of Republic can you remove the Trade Federation from Naboo. However, such a move in itself is easier said than done," said Vader while believing politics and bureaucrats would make it impossible to get anyone to provide aid to Naboo.
It happened the first time around. Why would the second time be any different?
"You do not believe the Republic or the Senate will provide the help the Queen requires," said Obi-wan while sensing the man's feelings on the Senate and Republic.
"No. But going to Coruscant is the only option before us at the moment," said Vader with both Jedi grimacing and the fake Queen looking a tad uncertain.
"If that is what must be done, we must make haste and be off," said the fake Queen after giving a brief glance to the real one in hiding and saw the nod of support.
"I saw a hangar nearby with a Nubian transport inside. Hopefully, it has not been taken over by battle droids," said Vader before he went to the hangar where the transport was waiting for them.
"Master. what do we do? We can't let this Sith stay near the Queen! What if he tries to gain her favor in making decisions? What will happen when we get to Coruscant with her?" said Obi-wan to his Master through the Force.
"I do not know Obi-wan. This is most unusual. However, I sense the Sith Lord in front of us is surprisingly...not our enemy," said Qui-gon to Obi-wan.
"I have doubts Master. The way he fought us. His skills is incredible. He bested us like were both younglings!" exclaimed Obi-wan while Qui-gon grimace outward knowing that was true.
For Qui-gon, it was like sparing with his Master Dooku all over again. Even the defeat he suffered at Vader's hands felt the same.
"Keep your mind clear my young Padawan and focus on the mission. So long as the Sith is not the enemy of the Queen, we are not his enemy either. At least for the time being," said Qui-gon knowing that so long as their interests were aligned, the Queen was safe from harm...for the moment.
"Jedi, your presence is required up front with me," said Vader while not mentioning the fact their mental communication was easy to sense, hear, and listen to the entire time.
No point in making their suspicions of him grow even further.
"Battle droids?" asked Captain Panaka while blaster at the ready.
"Quite a few. They are near the ship and are guarding a large group of prisoners. I would wager at least one of them is a pilot," said Vader from his position watching the inside of the hangar.
"Which we will need in order to get the transport off the ground," commented Qui-gon while seeing there was a large group of battle droids in the hanger.
"How do we handle this?" asked Obi-wan curiously while sensing some amusement from Vader on the issue.
"Leave that to me. Both of you provide support when the time comes. When the fighting starts, the Queen along with her security detail, and handmaidens will take cover. Those with blasters can provide support from a distance, but must time their shots when firing perfectly if they do," said Vader knowing a stray blaster bolt could have an unexpected result after being fired.
"You can't take on that many droids by yourself! Not before we come into the fray," said Obi-wan in protest, but shrunk back in fear when Vader looked at him.
"I find your lack of faith in my combat skills disturbing young Padawan. I would think you of all people would know better. Considering how I bested you and your Jedi Master a short while ago. Just follow my lead and perhaps you will learn something new," said Vader before opening the door further and slipped through to head toward the large group of battle droids.
And ignoring Obi-wan's glare.
"Come along Obi-wan. Into the breach," remarked Qui-gon while he moved next and Ob-wan following right behind him.
"Stay close your Highness. While I trust the two Jedi to protect you, I have reservations about their apparent rival," whispered Captain Panaka to Padme, who was the real Queen disguised as a simple handmaiden.
"I agree with you Captain, but only with some measure of reluctance. I can't explain it Captain, but I have the feeling this Darth Vader would never raise his weapon against me," whispered Padme with a hint of confusion in her voice.
Padme saw him glancing at her from time to time at the most discreet moments when talking to her double earlier. As if he knew she was the real Queen. And every word spoken to her double was really spoken to Padme herself. Did this Sith know she was the Queen beforehand? Or did he use the Force as the Jedi did to learn this?
So many questions. So few answers.
"Halt! Where are you taking these prisoner?" said the droid commander after seeing Darth Vader approaching.
"I am taking them off planet using this transport," answered Vader firmly while he stood in before this battle droid commander.
"Who gave you this order?" questioned the battle droid commander.
"No one," answered Vader simply before glancing at the men on the ground and gave them a "be ready to move" look which they all saw.
"No one? That doesn't make any sense. Oh wait, you are under arrest!" said the battle droid commander before it found itself flying off to the side with Vader using the force to do it.
Within moments, the hangar quickly turned into a battlefield where the battle droids drew their weapons down on Vader. But the Sith Lord was upon them almost instantly, the red blade of his Lightsaber slicing through them with deadly precision. Every droid focused entirely on Vader, ignoring the two Jedi attacking their flank, cutting through them with skills of their own. By the time the battle droids could refocus on the Jedi, their numbers had been reduced almost entirely.
One droid shooting at Obi-wan had its blaster bolts being misdirected all over in various areas of the hangar. Seeing an opportunity out of the corner of his eye, the Jedi Padawan redirected several of the blaster bolts toward a fuel canister near Vader.
Which proceeded to explode near Vader just as the last battle droid had been vanquished by Qui-gon and gaining everyone's attention.
For Obi-wan, it was a sense of pride that he had vanquished such a powerful Sith using the fight as a means to defeat him. Qui-gon was not as pleased since the return of the Sith raised questions and now they would not get the answers the Jedi Order would no doubt wish to seek. For Padme, she was shocked that such a powerful figure would be killed in the explosion, and hoped the man's death was at least quick and painless. Captain Panaka winced knowing that if the explosion didn't kill the Sith, the intense fire that surrounded him would have in its place. While the good Captain did feel a reluctance to trust Vader, he did not wish the Sith Lord such a violent death, and hoped it had been at least quick in its end.
The Sith Lord did try to save the Queen after all.
Their various emotions were soon one of shock, awe, and a hint of fear when the fire from the explosion parted down the middle. The flame being snuffed out to the point where it was just small embers on the ground by a wave of power that washed over the hander.
And in the center of it...a very angry Darth Vader.
His body had not been burned by the fire nor were his robes or clothing. The man did not have a single sign of being burned or hurt by the explosion. But that wasn't what made the feeling of fear make itself known. It was his eyes. They were reddish yellow from the start when he first met them, but you could easily see there was a sense of control of the dark rage that existed within them. A discipline that took years to master. That took years to control.
Only now said control was almost lost and the those eyes now seemed to come to life with an even greater fire in them. A fire of hate. Of rage. And it was all aimed at Obi-wan Kenobi.
With loud powerful steps, Vader slowly walked toward a nervous, and very intimidated Jedi Padawan while his rage filled eyes never left the younger man.
"Lord Vader..." said Qui-gon, but was silence by Vader raise his left hand and signaling the man to be quiet.
"Do something like that again, and I assure you Jedi, you will not enjoy the outcome that follows," warned Vader in a deadly whisper that promised a great deal of pain would be aimed at the intended target.
"I won't. I promise," said Obi-wan nervously with Vader narrowed his eyes at him.
"I will hold you to that promise Jedi. The day you break it is the day you die!" said Vader with his eyes glowing with power and the intensity made the young Jedi believe the Sith would back up such a threat.
"I'm sure what happened was an accident Lord Vader. Please," said Qui-gon in the hopes the Sith Lord would listen to reason.
"Yes. I'm sure," said Vader before he glanced at Qui-gon before walking off to a section of the hangar where the battle droid commander of this now destroyed platoon had been thrown.
And found it deactivated, but mostly intact. Good. He had an idea and it required this particular battle droid be kept mostly whole for his plan to be put into action.
"Get everyone who can man the ship onboard. Hurry! The rest of you head out into the city and other areas to try forming some kind of resistance cells," said Captain Panaka knowing they could only take so many on a single ship with limited supplies.
"I will stay behind and deal with the Viceroy. He won't like the idea of losing the Queen, but having a Governor in her place might help appease him," said Sio Bibble knowing things were going to get rough for Naboo and its people real soon.
"The Viceroy knows the value of keeping high ranking hostages alive. At least until he gets what he wants," said Vader while dragging the battle droid commander with him.
"What are you planning to do with that?" asked Captain Panaka while glaring at the battle droid like it was a criminal.
"I'm going to use it against the Viceroy," said Vader while some of the group looked skeptical.
"How?" asked Captain Panaka curiously.
"Get me an astromech droid from that transport ship and I will show you," said Vader before he walked toward it knowing there was only one droid who could help him with this plan.
Making his way onto the Nubian ship, the Sith Lord went right to the storage room where the astromechs were kept. The room itself brought back memories of his young child like self when he left Tatooine for the first time. The coldness of space leaking into the ship and making him feel vulnerable. Helpless. Only for Padme to appear. Giving him a much needed blanket and he giving his future wife the necklace she wore until the end. He had seen the holo-vid of Padme's funeral. The Emperor made him watch it to make the once cyborg enhanced Sith drown himself in the dark side of the Force.
Even in death, his beloved wife was a Goddess of beauty and perfection deserving to be worshipped by the entire Galaxy.
"You still haven't revealed your plan for this droid," remarked Qui-gon from behind the Sith and breaking Vader away from the previous memories of the previous timeline.
He needed to focus! Focus on the now. Not what once was and yet could be if he was not careful.
"I need that astromech droid," said Vader while pointing to R2 and saw his old friend from another life become active before rolling over to him.
"You mentioned turning this battle droid against the Viceroy and ultimately the Trade Federation. Care to elaborate?" asked Qui-gon curiously since it was clear this Sith Lord knew his way around mechanical things and was no doubt very skilled at it.
"In time I will. R2, I need you to access this battle droids primary computer system, but keep it from activating," ordered Vader while R2 beeped an affirmative and began to connect itself to the downed battle droid's primary computer system.
It wasn't long before R2 informed them that it had gained complete access to the droid under the premise of doing a routine repair of its systems.
"Good. I need you to use the battle droid's rank as commander and its internal systems to access the current Trade Federation's network for the orbital battle station currently over the planet," ordered Vader while Qui-gon was surprised he could speak binary since there were few species that could.
"You speak binary?" asked Qui-gon while sensing the ship was now taking off now.
"I surrounded myself with droids as a child. It became a second language to me. One I could never speak, but could understand," said Vader while R2 beeped some more.
And told them the battle droid's command signal was incredibly weak. In fact, it was a miracle the signal from the orbital ship even reached the battle droids on Naboo. Vader was only slightly surprised by this since he knew the battle droids the Trade Federation produced were extremely cheap overall. Quantity over quality was there motto when it came to these models. The only reason the droids didn't deactivate was due to Naboo not having a strong planetary electromagnetic field most inhabited planets produce. Padme had told him about it once in passing about how her world was different compared to the others throughout the Galaxy.
A shaking of the ship made soon alerted them of another problem to this situation.
"Keep trying. Dig through the network. Download everything! We are leaving the planet and will be near the orbital station so the signal strength will be greater," said Vader before the ship was rocked again by laser fire and he left for the bridge.
"I think now would be a good time to reveal the next step in your overall plan to fight the Trade Federation as we are now Lord Vader," remarked Qui-gon with Vader being silent for the moment until he got to the front of the ship.
"Pilot, remove yourself from the chair. I will be taking over," ordered Vader while they were being fired upon by the Trade Federation.
"What? Now?! Are you crazy?!" questioned the pilot and the ship was hit again.
"Move now or I will throw you from that chair myself!" stated Vader before they were hit again and alarms went off.
"We took a major hit. Our shields are weakening. The shield generator is badly damaged and we have a leak in the fuel line. I'm sending some astromechs out to repair it," said another Nubian officer now looking at a consol.
"Move now!" exclaimed Vader, who had enough of being polite and grabbed the pilot before he yanked the man out of the chair in order to sit in it.
"What are you doing? You are flying toward them!" protested the now former pilot.
"That is the idea. I suggest you all brace yourself for the ride that is to come," said Vader while piloting the craft in his own way.
"Have you lost your mind?!" protested Captain Panaka while Vader didn't answer and kept on piloting the ship.
"Would this have anything to do with your plan for the battle droid and the R2 unit in the storage area of the ship?" asked Obi-wan while skeptical of Vader's plans yet amazed by the man's piloting skills.
"For my plan to work? Yes. We need to get closer," answered Vader at last while the station tried to fire on them.
"How close?" asked Captain Panaka with a hint of worry.
"Closer," answered Vader cryptically while he was flying incredibly low and near the Trade Federation's orbital station.
"How close is closer?" asked Obi-wan worriedly since at this range you could almost spit on one of the gun turrets.
"Closer," answered Vader while using acrobatic maneuvers extremely dangerous flying to dodge the blaster fire attempting to hit them.
"I think we're close enough!" protested Obi-wan since he could practically see the recoil of one of the turrets when it fired at them.
"R2, how is that signal strength using the battle droid commander?" asked Vader once he setup communication with the storage room.
A series of beeps and whistles soon followed.
"Good. Get as much information from the network as you can. We are about to enter light speed!" said Vader while the sensors soon turned green telling him the astromechs had in fact just made the repairs.
'He knew the astromechs would complete their task before it they finished it. This Sith has a certain measure of foresight not unlike Master Yoda,' thought Qui-gon knowing such a skill was powerful and only the most skilled Force sensitive individuals had it.
"I think we overstayed our welcome," commented Obi-wan with Vader nodding in full agreement and activated the jump to light speed once in the clear to make it.
"The hyper drive is badly damaged. It no doubt happened when we were taking fire at the time before I took control of the ship. We can stay in light speed for a time, but we will need to find a planet to make repairs," said Vader while running a scan of the ship to see the extent of the damage done to it.
"Easier said than done considering we are on the boarders of the Outer Rim and Mid Rim territories," commented Qui-gon knowing a safe port to land for repairs at this point was not an easy task.
"I think I found one Master. Its nearby. I think we can make it. According to the charts here, the planet is called Tatooine. A remote and out of the way desert covered planet," said Obi-wan while sensing Vader's mood drop at the mention of the planet.
"Is it safe to go there? What about the Trade Federation's influence on the planet?" asked Captain Panaka worriedly.
"Fortunately for us, the planet is not controlled by the Trade Federation. Nor does it have any influence there," commented Vader while already setting the course for the planet he loathed.
"Lord Vader is correct. Its controlled by the Hutts. Namely Jabba the Hutt. This planet is in Hutt space," said Qui-gon while Captain Panaka's face went pale.
"The Hutts are gangsters. If they find out the Queen of Naboo is at there front door, they will either kill her or sell her off to the Trade Federation for profit!" exclaimed Captain Panaka before giving Vader a dirty look for not mentioning that fact.
"But the Hutts aren't looking for her. Which gives us the advantage. Besides, the Hutts won't do business with the Trade Federation since both sides loath each other and also consider the other rivals in the way of their more...illegal activities," said Qui-gon calmly while glancing at Vader.
"Indeed. Besides, the damage to the ship is quite significant. If we do not stop at Tatooine for repairs, we will never make it to Coruscant for the Queen to plead her case before the Senate," added Vader while following the timeline to an extent on how things played out in the previous run of things.
"That was a dangerous game you just played with our lives Lord Vader! With the life of the Queen!" exclaimed Captain Panaka angrily after Vader slowly rose from the pilot seat and let the former pilot take over again.
"High risk equals high reward," answered Vader while not affected by the angry glare the man was sending his way.
He had faced off against harsher foes with meaner looks.
"And what was the 'high reward' you claimed was worth the risk of being blown to tiny pieces?" asked Obi-wan while Vader looked at him for a second before walking past him.
"If you must know, follow me," said Vader while ignoring the glares aimed his way by the Captain and Jedi Padawan.
Qui-gon at least had the decency to look somewhat curious over being upset.
They made their way to the storage area where the R2D2 unit Vader had ordered to work for him was waiting for them. Once it saw them, it beeped and whistled what it had found along with everything else it obtained when slicing into the network. Vader was smiling behind his mask after hearing more of what R2 had obtained and knew that while this would alter the timeline to an extent, it would definitely help provide a means to shut down any protests the trading business could muster in the Senate when Padme brought her case before them.
Padme had told him about it during his time protecting her on Naboo and how she had lost all patience with the Senators squabbling over how to handle the situation with her home planet. How her word wasn't good enough to move the Senators when she spoke to them and the "friends" of the Trade Federation had used their influence to make any move to make a decision slow to an agonizing crawl. It was only later after stepping down as Queen did Padme wish she had brought some measure of evidence with her to back the claim of invasion by the Viceroy.
Anakin Skywalker at the time agreed. When two sides say two different things about an important event, having undisputable proof to what happened was usually the ultimate tie breaker.
And as Darth Vader, he now had what was needed to do it.
"Make a copy of it and give the copy to me. Keep all of the original information in your memory banks. Make sure no one gives you a memory wipe," ordered Vader in a quiet whispering tone with the astromech droid beeping an affirmative before producing a data stick with a copy of the information for the Sith to take.
"What is that?" asked Qui-gon while seeing the item in Vader's hands.
"This Master Jedi, is our ultimate weapon against the Trade Federation. One, the Queen can use when standing in front of the Senate," said Vader while pocketing the data stick in his belt pouch.
"And yet you are holding onto it," said Obi-wan while Vader glared at him.
"And who better to hold onto it until we reach Coruscant? You Jedi? The good Captain guarding the Queen? No. This stays with me. The only way someone gets this vital piece of information is over my dead body. And I assure you, I will not die easily," said Vader before looking past the Jedi to see one of the actual handmaidens of the Queen had made her appearance at the open door.
"The Queen wishes to speak to Lord Vader," said the handmaiden humbly while keeping her eyes down so not to look at the Sith Lord.
His eyes were truly terrifying to behold in her mind.
"As her Majesty commands," said Darth Vader before he walked toward the meeting room the handmaiden was instructed to lead him to with the two Jedi flanking the Sith.
Not doubt to prevent him from possibly assassinating or manipulating the Queen with his skills in the Dark Side of the Force. How cliché, not to mention predictable.
"I find myself once more in your debt Lord Vader. You have done a great service to us in not only getting this ship and its crew out of the clutches of the Trade Federation's grasp, but from what I have been told, evidence to prove the invasion happened," said the false Queen posing as Padme.
Captain Panaka had been outside of the storage room listening in on the conversation and relayed everything to her on the comlink. He had wanted to make sure that whatever Lord Vader was doing with the battle droid commander did not risk the Queen or anyone else onboard.
"You were informed correctly your Highness. Indeed, your Captain is a most competent officer to have in your staff. He is to be commended for his vigilance," said Vader since he had sensed the Captain spying on them, but saw no reason to call the man out when having the conversation with the Jedi about his plans.
"Would you be gracious enough to provide me with the evidence so I may bring it before the Senate when we eventually arrive to Coruscant?" asked the Queen, but was slightly surprised when Vader shook his head no.
"With all due respect your Majesty, I must refuse. The data stick in my possession is the only copy of the Trade Federation's illegal invasion. While I trust you to make sure such evidence is not taken from you or the hiding place you arrange for it, the agents of the Trade Federation are not what you call...polite when searching for said evidence," said Vader while everyone around him frowned.
"Are you saying the Trade Federation knows or possibly suspects such evidence exists in our hands?" asked Captain Panaka while Vader nodded.
"The intrusion was sudden. While I trust the R2 unit I commissioned to perform the task was discreet, we cannot risk being ignorant the Trade Federations security systems did not detect the unauthorized access. The battle droid used was a commander, which gives it better access to systems otherwise not allowed by its subordinates, but not many. The area where the R2 unit accessed through the battle droid commander is beyond the level this particular model is allowed to enter. The only reason we succeeded was the security system did not realize this until the files obtained were downloaded and a log of it was no doubt made. Once done, the system would initiate a red flag on the illegal access, and it would inform the Viceroy of such a breach. Once they determine what was taken, the panic will set in, and alerts will go to all agents in the Mid Rim and Core Worlds to do everything in their power to stop us," said Vader while worry could be felt by everyone in the room.
"You realize the Queen now has an even bigger target on her back," said Obi-wan while Vader did not look worried.
"Yes. But risk comes reward. The point is, if the Queen is attacked, they will be looking for the evidence on her person. Evidence which she does not have and I do. One way or another, this evidence will be brought before the Senate. I am merely ensuring that any attempts to find and destroy it will end in failure," said Vader while many glowered at him for plan.
What did they expect? He was a Sith. Sith relied on deception, misdirection, false trails, and lies wrapped around a sliver of truth in order to make the lies believable.
"At the possible cost of the Queen's life!" exclaimed Panaka while the urge to draw his blaster and shoot the Sith became more enticing by the minute.
"If the Queen is as idealistic and full of conviction from what I have been led to believe upon arriving on Naboo, she will not protest," countered Vader with the Captain giving him a dirty look, but the Sith ignored him for the woman pretending to be Padme.
He could see the subtle glances the fake and real Queen gave each other before Padme gave a discreet nod to go along with the plan. While it pained Vader to a point to use such manipulating tactics on his former wife, who as of now was yet to be his wife, if not the wife of Anakin Skywalker, it was had to be done. This would only help temper and hone the iron will of his angel when she became a Senator in the years to come following this event. She was idealistic, no question. But naive in some things. She needed to be ready for the darkness that was to come. Not only in the Senate, but in the manipulations Vader was sure Sidious would unleash on her during this crisis, and those in the future when the old man became Supreme Chancellor.
"I will trust your judgment on this matter Lord Vader. Your plan has already produced much for us during this time of crisis and as you said, with risk comes reward. However, since you have knowingly placed an even larger target on my back, I wish you nearby to help keep any such agents of the Trade Federation from ending my life," said the fake Queen while Vader nodded and sensed the two Jedi were not comfortable with the Sith Lord being put in a position close to the Queen.
'No matter what the outcome, the Sith Lord seems to gain some kind of advantage in the end. It is as if no matter what happens, he always wins,' thought Obi-wan before glancing at his Master, who also seemed to be thinking the same thing.
"If it pleases you your Highness, we have an update on our current destination before we reach Coruscant," said Qui-gon while the fake Queen nodded.
"Proceed Master Jedi," answered the fake Queen.
"Given the damage done to the ship during our escape from Naboo, we had made a stop along a nearby system. We have made for the planet known as Tatooine. From what we have been able to piece together, it is a place controlled by the Hutts, and is a place where certain people go when they do not wished to be found," explained Qui-gon simply while Captain Panaka glared at him.
"The Jedi means criminals your Highness. Pirates. Raiders. Thieves. Thugs. All manner of scum the Galaxy has to offer," added Captain bitterly.
"The Captain is unfortunately correct. The planet has all those things and no doubt more if we are to assume the worst. However, it is also a place where people who need things in a discreet manner can get them...discreetly," said Qui-gon since Outer Rim worlds tended to have the rarest of items from moments in time before even the last Jedi/Sith War.
"The Jedi speaks to the truth your Majesty. While I have not been on this planet in many years, Tatooine itself clearly has not changed its status quo," said Vader to the surprise of everyone here.
"You have been here in the past? Why didn't you mention this before?" asked Obi-wan while Vader turned slightly to stare at him.
"As I said, the last time I was here was many years ago. And when I was here, it was not what you would consider a...pleasant moment in time," said Vader while the echo of his Mother's death flashed in his mind for a moment before he crushed into powder.
It wouldn't happen a second time. He wouldn't allow it! He would not allow the woman who brought him into the world to die beaten, bloody, and broken like a damn animal! Whether he was Darth Vader or Anakin Skywalker, it didn't matter when it came to his Mother. She was his Mother. That was enough of a reason in his mind.
The sudden spike in the Dark Side rising when he recalled the memory in his mind made the Jedi tense noticeably around him, but ignored their looks of concern. What mattered was the now. Not the future. Not when he had nearly 10 years to prepare for that moment when it would happen.
IF he let it happen. Vader still contemplated on whether he should find a way to free his Mother in this timeline. Something his past self as Anakin Skywalker and the Jedi Order as a whole failed to do. Qui-gon might have helped him with his mission, had the Jedi Master not died at the hands of Darth Maul on Naboo, and taken him as an apprentice. The Jedi Master had been very understanding of Anakin, his worries, concerns, and had believed in the young boy when no other Jedi would in his place. Still, Vader could not take that risk in relying on the Jedi Master to comeback here in the future. Especially since Vader was changing so much of the past right now with his presence and his own intervention at various points in time.
But IF he freed Shimi Skywalker from slavery, where would she go? What would she do? The Jedi wouldn't take her to Coruscant. Not with her son going with them to one day be a Jedi. The damn attachment rule banning any contact with parents and children long after they became adults out of fear some measure of attachment would form. All done to prevent said children from bonding with their parents and resulting their loyalty to the Order being questioned. Bah! An outdated rule if there ever was one. No doubt made by one of those asexual reproducing species or produce but don't care about the offspring type races that at one point during had majority control on the Jedi Council. Possibly done during the Ruusan Formation when the Senate took power back from the Supreme Chancellor and demanded the Army of Light be disbanded.
To think the Jedi would unknowingly slit their own throat and wrists in a figurative sense when agreeing to such a demand and that it would take 1,000 years for the Sith Order in hiding to take advantage of it. Vader wouldn't be surprised if the Sith during the 1,000 years had infiltrated the Senate and secretly assisted in putting pressure in various places to increase the "bleeding effect" from the act.
But even still, how would the outcome of him freeing Shimi Skywalker now effect the future of his now child self in the form of Anakin Skywalker? She damn well couldn't stay on this planet. Free or not, the Sand People might still find her, and do what they did prior to find the woman in such a horrifying state. No! He would take her with them. The Jedi could complain all they wanted afterwards, but Vader would not leave his Mother, Anakin Skywalker's Mother to die. Not here. Not on this planet. Not on this dust ball of a world where Jabba the Hutt ruled with an iron fist and all live and died by his hands for his grotesque amusement.
At least until Jabba's death. From what Vader's spies reported, his children had a hand in that little campaign, and even killed the slimy creature's pet rancor.
It was another thing Vader would have to speed up in the distant future.
"Do you by chance know any place on the planet where we can procure the necessary parts to repair, if not replace the hyperdrive?" asked Qui-gon while Vader was quiet for a moment.
"I will need to see the hyperdrive system and model. Depending on what we have to work with will depend on if the shop you go to will have the parts that are needed," said Vader though he already knew his old slaver Master Watto would have the parts.
"Very well. Please use any and available resources to help determine the severity of our situation Lord Vader. I am counting on you to continue succeeding in this endeavor," said the fake Queen with Vader smirking behind his mask.
"If there is one thing I am good at your Majesty, it is succeeding where others would no doubt fail," said Vader before bowing and leaving the room for the two Jedi to continue their own discussions with the Queen.
"With all due respect your Majesty, it would be wise to keep Darth Vader at arms length while we travel to Coruscant," advised Qui-gon while the fake Queen and the real one beside her did not look convinced.
"You make it sound as if Lord Vader has a hidden agenda," surmised the fake Queen while Qui-gon nodded.
"Sith usually do. In our history with the Sith before we defeated them 1,000 years ago, they would always plot and plan against their enemies. You would face them one way in battle, but possibly be blindsided in another manner. The Sith were well known for their cunning and devious ways," warned Qui-gon while remembering his own studies about the Jedi's history prior to the Ruusan Formation.
"That was 1,000 years ago Master Jedi. Perhaps the Sith have changed their ways since the Jedi Order last encountered one," offered the fake Queen with Qui-gon shaking his head no.
"People, society, or cultures don't change that easily your Majesty. Not even after 1,000 years," warned Qui-gon while he glanced back where Vader had walked.
"It is said the Sith were wiped out by the Jedi in the last war during that time. Maybe they did in order to survive total annihilation. Surely people, societies, and even civilizations change when presented with such a situation?" countered the fake Queen with Qui-gon reluctantly nodding.
"Perhaps your Majesty, but when it comes to a Sith...change is not a good thing. Not for the Galaxy," said Qui-gon with his tone warning them that a Sith who has changed could be even more dangerous compared to the Sith of old.
(With Vader-At the Moment)
Darth Vader has gone to the main engine room to examine the hyperdrive engine like he told the fake Queen he would. But only to give it a brief once over to confirm that the parts they needed could only be found at Watto's junk shop and not at one of his "rivals". When confident the parts found could only be found with the flying blue waste of space for a gambling addict, the Sith Lord went to find a quiet space to mediate. He had not done it since coming to this new timeline and would need to get a "feel for things" in the Galaxy after actions on Naboo that basically told everyone who could feel the Force of his sudden arrival.
Along the way, he had walked by the storage room where Jar Jar Binks had decided to take up residents after waiting for it to be vacant of everyone, sans the astromech droids. The battle droid commander was locked away with its legs and arms removed so if it did come online, all it could do was talk. The Gungan was clearly cold, not use to such lack of it in space, and was not doubt waiting to arrive on planet to feel warmer.
If only the foolish creature knew how "warm" Tatooine would become when the ship had landed and ramp went done. No matter, he would find out soon enough.
Ignoring the shivering Gungan, the Sith Lord went to another storage area to find solace in his mediation, and soon found it. As he found himself embracing the Force, he found it was going into a moment of...chaos? That seemed to be the best definition right now with how the Galaxy was reacting to his loud entrance into the arena/stage at this moment in time. Every Force sensitive was currently having some measure of a panic attack from what he could sense of them. So many Force sensitives, some brighter then others in the Galaxy, not unlike the Stars themselves. To think he never noticed them like this before today. Possibly because he had spent so much time focusing on killing them and letting the Dark Side run rampant through his body to cope with the fact what was left of it at the time was burned all over.
At the moment, Vader sensed the Nightsisters and Nightbrothers Dathomir were using their skills of peeking out into the Galaxy to see him. They were clearly in awe and fear of him for different reasons since they had never felt such a strong presence in the Force until now. The Jedi who were scattered throughout the Galaxy at different posts or on Coruscant were practically terrified. They had never felt such a concentration of the Dark Side of the Force surrounding a single living person. Vader could only imagine how the insufferable green dwarf Yoda felt right now after witnessing his power.
Vader hoped it made the old Jedi tremble in fear. The old dwarf needed to be reminded that there were still some things in the Galaxy still worth fearing for a Jedi no matter how old they are in life.
Speaking of old people, Vader sensed his old Master was watching him intently from his position on Coruscant. The older man was not pleased with the power and mastery the younger man had shown. Not only that, but Vader suspected Sidious was also displeased over the fact the younger Sith had revealed himself to the Galaxy, and announced the Sith had returned ahead of schedule. Vader knew from his own experience with Sidious that the man hated anyone with more power than himself.
Feeling a tad malicious right now, Vader used his own tendrils in the Dark Side struck at one Sidious had been preparing to use to secretly dig through his mind. The Sith Lord smirked in satisfaction in feeling his former Master recoil back from the sudden strike like he had just been bitten by a Tovarian Shadow Viper. While Sidious was a Master manipulator and a Master in his own right on using the Dark Side as he did, Vader had learned much during his time with him in the future. While certainly not everything in the time spent as Master and Apprentice, Vader currently had more power, and the years of experience gained from the original timeline to keep himself ahead of the curve against the man.
Nearby at another location covered in what could only be called a "Dark Side fog", Vader sensed Darth Maul was also staring at him. Unlike his so called Master, the Zabrak could not or rather most likely would not mask his presence. Why Sidious tolerated this, Vader could only assume, and did assume the sadistic man did not consider Maul to possess any real value. He was a rabid animal. One leashed and tethered to the Dark Side with Sidious holding it and waiting for the moment to let the leash go so his obedient animal could kill Jedi left and right until they finally kill Maul without realizing they should have kept the fool alive for interrogation.
Still, Darth Maul was going to be small obstacle, if not annoyance soon enough. Sidious would no doubt summon Maul and command his animal to hunt down the Queen like he did in the original timeline. Vader also knew that Sidious would try to boost Maul's ego in regards to his skills in fighting and would best the Jedi guarding her at his current level when unleashed.
From Vader's own fight with the Jedi on Naboo, he reluctantly agreed. Oh both Jedi were skilled with their Lightsabers. A perfect combination of youth and experience between the two when teaming up. But Maul had a double-bladed Lightsaber and was quite skilled with it from the various locations Sidious sent his animal to train where such potential was nurtured. Had Maul fought the Jedi of old, he would have lost outright. No question. But the Jedi of today dealt with petty skirmishes. Disputes. Minor battles or even wars that were contained to a single planet.
The last time the Jedi fought in a major war was 1,000 years ago.
It was no wonder Maul was able to best Qui-gon one on one. The man had let his skills go lax over the years, age not withstanding, and adding the factor of Maul being a Zabrak didn't help either. The species were known to have plenty of stamina due to the multiple copies of the organs humans only had one of in their bodies. It made sense to Vader that Maul would be able to overpower the elderly Jedi when the time came to fight him one on one.
Not that Vader would give him a chance this time around.
But how would Sidious justify Vader's presence? The man could not exactly use his ever so skilled silver tongue to explain how another Sith Lord was in existences so suddenly. The Rule of Two had been in place since Darth Bane created it and Sidious no doubt had explained said Rule of Two in great detail to his so called Apprentice during their time together. With another Sith taking the stage, it could confuse Maul, question his Master's words, and wonder what else Sidious had been wrong about. Something Vader intended to poke and prod until he made sure everything Maul knew or believed was a lie.
'Not to mention one final piece of business surrounding the Sith currently hiding within the shadows behind Sidious. Which only breaks the Rule of Two even further,' thought Vader while he sensed the dark presence of another Sith watching him with amusement and even a sense of...joy?
Focusing on that particular Sith also residing on Coruscant, Vader's mind soon projected an image to this mysterious figure who was the source of this signature. A Muun. An old one from what he sensed of the body. Tired too from the lack of sleep if he were to guess correctly, but it was no less powerful in the Force. If anything, this Muun was stronger then even Sidious was right now.
Meaning this was in fact Sidious's Sith Master and there was only one Sith the man ever talked about during their time together.
It was Darth Plagueis the Wise!
(A/N: YAY! A super long chapter to a new story in order to keep you satisfied. I have had this in my head for awhile now since I read the fic Darth Vader: Hero of Naboo. I wanted to make my own version where Vader is back in time, but not in his usual cyborg suit wearing form. I wanted it where Vader was essentially in his physical prime. Full strength in the Force. And using all the knowledge and experience fro his time alive to take the fight to Sidious. Until next time...PEACE!)