Star Wars: The New Sith Order: Mirrormath
Disclaimer: Star Wars is not mine. The plot ideais. Any worlds created in the SW galaxy, any animals, any foods are free for the taking. Just leave my original characters alone. This is an AU work and not meant toreplace the canon in any means. If you can't handlefanfics being warped out of the SW universe idea of things, do not read any further. This is a crossover of sorts, twisting a few original fantasy strains into an otherwise science-fiction universe. This story is dedicated to Molly and Audreidi who have betaed for meand inspired me respectively. It is also in honor of the person on GS who said that the New Jedi Order would've been so much better had it been the New Sith Order. It's their fault.
This prologue has been rewritten from the original posted. Chapters 1 through 5 will receive the same treatment and will get a disclaimer at the top once this has been done to them.
Rating: PG for violence and very mild language, and otherwise intensive emotional scenes. Could become PG 13 later.
Cover art: Linked in profile.
This is Tatooine. A sweltering planet of heat and dirt swirling around your senses. Mingled with the shadows, the heat presses into your mind and forces you to struggle into your survival. The air twists and wraiths around your eyes, squirming in the heady murk that appears. A frying pan's weight of grease seems to press around your body, making you feel as if you are only a piece of someone's breakfast to be as the planet fries you.
It is a planet of death, a planet of heat and of a struggle to survive.
People do live here, but they are considered foolhardy by the rest of the universe. Yet some enjoy the pressing heat, and their existence is peaceful, enjoyed by who and what they are. They smile at the outer world that assumes their naiveté, and carry on as they smuggle, farm moisture, and attempt to keep their crops safe from Tusken Raiders, and their broken droids from Jawas. And those who don't find themselves daydreamimg about becoming troopers and traveling the galaxy to blast the lawless who live in abundance on the desert planet.
This is Tatooine, the elements of fire and air crushed together. It is a desert, a sandstorm, and a place of crucial importance in the beginnings of possibilities. Everything can effect an outcome. One wouldn't think such a reject of a planet could effect a galaxy's outcome, but even the smallest person can change the course of the world. One misstep can effect an entire lifetime.
One choice can rule over millions.
This is Tatooine, a planet of hidden life and possibilities.
And then stars, and far away the planet almost invisible among its suns...
Why the Jedi were here, no one knew. Perhaps the Force had taken a hand in their motions, pushing them towards this desolate place of forced existence. Perhaps nothing had, and they had chosen their own path, but all in all it lined up with fate's play. It loved to have its little game, teasing people until they followed into a path marked by millions of other footsteps in the sands of time. There was a groove in time, and it made up fate.
Though fate generally never effected time, perhaps today was different. It was said that no one could cheat death, that no one could cheat fate. This isn't true. Though in the end everyone will follow their fate to death, death can be dodged over and over again.
This is Tatooine, a planet that continues to cheat death and fate over and over again. It should have been long dead before the Jedi arrived to place their footsteps on sandy soil, breathing into the thick heat of the air, and taking in its minuscule life.
A long time ago...
Sometime in Tatooine's history, the planet had water. There had been a time when creatures didn't suffer that heat pressing over them and washing through their minds and souls, letting them hate the sand which gritted into everything they were. There had been a time when trees grew. There had been a time so long ago that it was impossible to imagine now that at one time there could've been oceans of water trickling around what was now salty sand.
But something had happened to change it, and now it was a desolate world that lay forgotten by all but those lawless on the Outer Rim, it seemed.
...In a galaxy far, far away...
But was it so far away that it was unreachable? Perhaps, had someone stepped in, many things wouldn't've happened. And it wasn't so far that things didn't happen. No, Tatooine was a crucial point in the happenings that shaped the later galaxy.
It wasn't unreachable. The Core could touch its sandy heart and stir the settled grains just enough to create unrest. It rested out, alone, but it was there. And it effected the course of the future, just as any other occurrence in the universe might have. Anything could shape time. Anything could make the future for the worse or the better, even the choice of one footstep.
...In the aftermath of a galaxy-worn battle against the Yuuzhan Vong, the New Republic struggles to rebuild the bond between planets...
Outside of perceptions, a lone figure on the dunes watched the Jedi. There were two. One the Padawan learner, the other the Master. There were two others there of note within the Force's bounds.
And there were other sentient beings there, this he knew well. They just lacked the grasp of the Force, the energy field that the Jedi revered and the Sith cornered. The Jedi who feared to embrace it, and the Sith who ravaged it, tearing its limits apart, and stretching it to find further possibilities with their anger.
...Working in a peace that had been forced with the Empire, the two factions struggle to accept the new alliance within the GFFA, the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, and to bind that in the sudden peace...
The Sith lived so often to destroy, he found, watching the dueling manners between the two. The lightsabers flared up in the desert's heat; the child ran. Red against green, the two dueled as the sun pressed overhead. Black against cream, darkness fought to overcome the light. The struggle was incredible.
The child had reacted immediately to the Jedi's order to drop.
He was impressed.
...Having been forced to cooperate before, the two factions now one struggle with the political differences between themselves, but there is little warring, bar between very few remnant divisions. There is peace, and the Jedi Knights of the New Republic can once more breathe in the stagnantly placid air.
The stench of ozone drifted across the desert as the laser blades bashed against each other, whirling in a battle to prove just who was the better. It was already becoming clear that the Jedi Master's endurance was less than it could have been, and he would lose, no matter how incredible his training in the Jedi's ways of the Force had been. The Jedi Order was as failing now as his ability to duel the tattoed attacker.
But still their blades whirled on in a dance to knock the other down, and destroy them. Even if he would fail, he would parry in the whirling twist to at least die in honor if it came to such a fate.
One fought for the sake of destruction and revenge, the other for the sake of peace.
Perhaps a bit of an oxymoronish statement.
...Differing from the Jedi Knights of the Republic of old, Master Luke Skywalker's Jedi Knights were not strong enough to be the defenders of the Republic. And, in the death of the Republic and Empire, in a sense of things, though the terms were still used commonly, it was no longer so needed. Their calling was to peace, to rebuild the Yavin IV Temple, to meditate, and slowly rebuild the Order once fallen...
The Jedi Master was slowly forced backwards. His defense did not waver, whirling on in the acrobatic stretches of his favored form of lightsaber fighting, but his ability to hold up was slowly weakening. His feet struggled to balance on the slippery sand of Tatooine, the heat bearing a heady numbness over him.
Green blade tightly grasped in his hands, it was all the two could do to keep sweat from slipping their blades away into the void as they fought on.
The snapping clash of light against light drowned out all else in the nearby desert, though the ship could be observed to have the boy board it swiftly, scrambling up to tell the pilot the Jedi's message.
And it did, the Nubian model rising from the sands and slowly gliding towards the dueling pair.
...Leaving the defense of the galaxy to the Republic and Imperial soldiers and troops, the Jedi never foreseen that their blades would again be required to defend their galaxy against a fear impossibly reborn. They never foreseen that the galaxy would again be forced to a crumbling point as a possibility outside of the threads of reality itself began to weave into what would become very real indeed. Chaos beyond the old Empire, the Republic, the Yuuzhan Vong... and even the Force itself would begin to become very tangible...
This was where it all centered, when the battle had hit a climax, and the Sith apprentice knew he was winning. This was where it all centered, where the ship glided with ramp open for the Jedi Master who quickly gathered his powers about himself to leap and tumble to grabbing the ramp as they took off of the desert planet. This was where it all centered. Where the sand swirled as the ship's repulsor lifts kicked in, dashing them about by a change of gravity's pull.
This was where it centered.
When the Jedi Master's leap left him tumbling into the ramp, his arm crushed beneath his body and slammed at an angle painfully not right against the corner.
When his Padawan dashed to that edge of the ship, a voice startled...
It centered itself around one place where death could've been born, where one late footstep could've changed an entire person's choice and ability to speak out, where the Chosen One could've been annihilated, where a Jedi Master could've been made a shish-ka-bob a bit too soon.
...The times were changed once again, and the battle for the galaxy had began once again with a chance occurrence outside of the threads of reality. And it would be born into chaos, and occur again, and again, and again, and again...
The Sith was swallowed.
The Jedi Master tumbled.
The Padawan reached out with a startled hand into a seeming shimmer, and dissolved.
The Queen of Naboo in guise as a handmaiden dashed onto the boarding ramp, the boy beside her, and they fell...
First it was the Jedi Master, fingertips reaching futilely at the ramp before his eyes blurred. There was a blast of agony that started at his arm and blossomed about his body, activating all pain receptors that were left and causing them to scream.
He seen red. He knew red. And everything seemed to slow, growing cold around him as his body hurled towards the Tatooine sand not so far down. It seemed to beckon, opening up to him, before a shadow grew and swallowed him in darkness. Drawing up around his entire form, it dawned upon him that he wasn't exactly dead. At least, if he were, it felt oddly different than he had expected it to feel like.
The Sith was... gone? There was an odd backlash into his mind, twisting sinews of ivory into his mind that dug in deep, and scarred. The little fingertips seemed to encase him for a moment, drawing him down, down, down... and into those little shadowy fingertips...
He was blinded by that blast of darkness. As pitch as it was, it had been as brightly hurting as the twin suns of Tatooine. He seen nothing, but everything.
Everything, but yet nothing was there as it ripped, tore through the veil of reality...
He knew darkness.
And a little shimmer of silver that expanded in his mind before it shattered into ten thousand little puzzle pieces that bit like knives into the thread of reality. He seen his reflection in one, saw other people in the other little mirror-shreds...
The shadow exists where light does not, and teases it until its destruction...
And the Padawan learner dashed down the boarding ramp, an outcry touching his parched throat. As he cried, "Master!" he suddenly realized that he was thirsty beyond comprehension, though it hadn't been more than an hour since he had last had a long draught of water.
His fingertips grazed the skyline, the air, as the ship seemed to settle under the Queen's orders.
It took about sixteen words for this to sink into the Padawan's mind. Then he realized the unnatural properties of the air, and realized that it wasn't air.
His feet decided that they wanted to make friends with the sand, and flew of what seemed their own accord off of the landing ramp. Habit pulled in through the sudden swirl of loss, and he leapt, somersaulting up into the air in a flurry of Jedi robes and human.
His feet should've gotten their wish in about seven seconds.
The sand seemed to open up its mouth, a yawning chasm of implications he didn't want to think about. The yellow grains swirled about, teasing his consciousness as he tumbled down towards the vortex of what appeared to be darkside sand.
He never reached it. The shimmery air got to him first.
That was when he realized for certain it wasn't air. When it pressed about him, seeping into his ears, nose, and open mouth, and soaking his clothing through to his skin. Plus it was cold. And wet.
There's no water on Tatooine...
It was swallowing him whole. The young Jedi couldn't breathe, couldn't move his hands or arms-- felt his lightsaber slip from his hands, and his focus went out to grasp for it. It rebounded back into his hands for a second, and he clung to it, forcing his fingers over it through silver water.
But it is water...
A flicker... he knew no more beyond the visions. The black water that closed over his head, until someone's hand reached through and pulled him up towards the surface, but he was falling through the water like the sand. And his rescuer failed, and his body fell down towards the bottom of the water, being pulled under by a force stronger than his own swimming skills.
He drifted before his body landed on sandy ground.
But someone pulled him out...
Suddenly his body seemed to resurface of its own accord, spitting out water while trying to gasp in the damp oxygen that seemed to elude his lungs. It wasn't that he couldn't hold his breath for any length of time. It was that he had been unprepared, he told himself. Not that there was an invisible force that I couldn't sense pressing against my lungs and holding me down while my body inhaled water in a struggle to keep from unconsciousness...
He knew he wasn't on Tatooine. There was no real surface water on the bitterly hot desert planet.
He had a bad feeling about this.
Your change allows the galaxy to grow as you slowly wear down the rocks that stand in your way...
The figure on Tatooine watched in a vague amusement as the two final beings left the ship. But it wasn't their turn yet... no... there was one other.
And that other was the red skinned Zabrak being. The alien had been drawn into the yawning sand that opened wide to his existence, teasing him with visions of chance. There was anger. The anger spawned the rushing exhilaration of the Force flowing within his veins. And then there was the Force. There was nothing but the Force... there was nothing.
The Jedi had been weaker. The Sith knew this, with an odd smile touching his face. It made him look very creepy. At least, it would have, had there not been a lot of sand crushing him down, down... down...
At least, that was how it felt.
He was annoyed. He was angered. What was this? He felt the presence's of the two Jedi wink out of existence. And he felt a light bearing up around him, melting the sand into strings of glassy glue as they wove away around him.
For a moment, the magma-heated glass burnt. It stung into his skin, biting at his flesh and bones. But he ignored the pain. There wasn't much of a choice, now was there?
The light swallowed him.
It also swallowed the pain.
As much as the Sith hated to admit it, he was grateful that it no longer tore him apart, and that there was that small measure of comfort in his normally chaotic existence. He regretted it immediately, of course, but there was that tickle in the back of his mind.
I will not accept this,
he thought with a calculating expression, already determining the possibilities. I will hunt them down, and my blade will bring their deaths. I will follow my orders. I will not be distracted by pain, or the relief of it.
The Zabrak Sith gritted his teeth. And there was light, and there was nothing.
The light chased him. And the magna mirror congregated into a shiny puddle of clear and icy glass that could be made into a window to look through, or a mirror to reflect. Of course, it could also have been molded into a little glass ducky figurine, but that was taking the metaphor perhaps just a little too far for its own well-being, and made no sense whatsoever.
Of course, it could've made a plate too... or a cup... but sometimes metaphors need to rest in peace before they get too out of hand and cause just as many issues as the paradoxes that tend to whisper and twist into little shadowy shapes within the mind's of those who would seek Time.
As the Sith drew himself to his feet, he quickly determined something wasn't quite right here.
Burn through the shadows, destroy with brilliance... your power will be unrivaled if you can embrace what you are.
A queen and a Tatooine slave boy grasped each other's hands, both wearing a terrified expression struck across their faces. The others had just... vanished... like... that!
The boy's mind whirled, but it was there enough to realize what his companion was doing; calling back to the captain to hold the ship back, her feet hitting the boarding ramp with a suprising graceful speed, heading down towards the sand where she had seen the others vanish.
He found his feet moved against his body's will, dashing to be beside her, to be what support he could offer the fourteen year old girl. They both knew so clearly that something was wrong, that everything could go wrong, and that somehow they could all die if this carried on.
He wasn't afraid. Neither was she. Neither of them were making any effort to think this through. The mindful sense of the danger was there, teasing the backs of their minds, but it wasn't tangible. Some part of their conscious selves shoved it aside.
Together, they walked down towards the sands of Tatooine that spanned across the desert and touched the polar regions. Even those extremities were dry and barren, at the best a slightly cool temperature that allowed water to sit without evaporating immediately. At least, they should've walked there.
But they didn't. The second her feet reached the sand, something reached through the air and plucked her form from the ramp. It tossed her up into the furthest depths of space, of the atmosphere that grabbed hold of the planet and held the heat in.
It drilled her, tossed her hair, and tossed her Outwards.
Be light and fly above all the chaos that will try to drill you into unknown places. Realize that only you have the ability to push the rainclouds and stimulate the fire into a furnace of heat.
And the boy only had a moment to stretch out a small hand, his voice broken in the sweltering air— "Padmé!"—before the heat suddenly forced its way through his very bones, his soul, melting his internal conflict and ability to focus. He felt himself drain away, felt his being light aflame.
He felt everything he ever loved go up in flames; a hatred for those very flames that, though they built him up destroyed him at the same time.
The boy dissolved with a bitter outcry that sliced the desert's airways and sent a lizard scattering. All that remained of the two were two footsteps partly formed in the sand, and the wind swiftly swept those away into oblivion.
Light the galaxy aflame, young Skywalker, though it is another's fate to walk the skies for you.
Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master and friend to Captian Solo, sat up. There were shadows around him, a typical darkness in the room. Mara Jade-Skywalker slept, seemingly unaware of his sudden distress. Was it even distress?
He narrowed his eyes, though in the darkness and alone it did little but serve his body's old habits. Exhaling sharply, he glanced over to observe the time, and that there was still hours left on the night cycle on the rebuilt Yavin IV Temple. Ridiculous to be awake at this time, he told himself. Completely.
Under a rainfall, the jungle flourished, growing up and up to touch the skies, and then it withered. Death came about, and the vines shrank back.
There was a new rainfall then, and it was silver shards of glass. The trees bled and the land was rendered unusable.
He was tormented by the flickers of the dream that had not felt like a vision. Laying back down, he stared at the roof. It was covered in small tiles. Slowly beginning to count them, he wondered how long it would take before sleep would reclaim him, if at all.
Ten minutes later, he decided it was useless. The Force wasn't about to let him sleep. Standing up, Luke grabbed his robe and pulled it on, dressing quickly in the pressing darkness, boots, belt... he hesitated before running his hand quickly through his hair. Not like it mattered, but he didn't mind looking slightly presentable in case there were any other sleepless Jedi about.
Allowing his mind to emit a sense of peace and wellbeing in case Mara had sensed his movement, he left the room quickly, and headed off to see if it was possible to get breakfast at the Yavin equivalent of three in the morning. Probably not, he determined, and went for a walk.
Stand firm, young Master. You must be their strength when times fade...
And rain, jaded one, for you are the tears that will be shed.