To the readers: this is a pretty random 'fic I thought would be cool to do, but I'm working on a lot so it probably won't be updated very quickly, or as quickly as TAS, whichever. Reviews are appreciated, flames will be ignored. Disclaimer: George hasn't gotten back to me about that copyright thing, so this is his.

Star Wars: Dowager Queen

It is a glorious time for the Republic. Expansion and exploration have unified the species of the galaxy into a conglomerate of Core worlds. The Galactic Senate, made of up representatives from every intelligent culture, rule over a peaceful society policed by the powerful and mysterious Jedi Knights.

Within the Jedi Order, peaceful relations and everyday revelations in xenology and Force science mask a growing danger. A theory among some of the older Masters, stating that the Force should not be used to protect the Republic government but only to promote pure life is prompting many to leave.

In the remote Tatoo system, a follower of this belief and his young Padawan join an exploration and first-contact crew to seek out a habitable or profitable planet...

Brendon Kale watched his reflection, filmy thin light representing a human face, short blond hair, spiky Padawan's braid lying across his cheek next to green eyes. Bren's eyes were green in the way beautiful blue was blue, crystal and silver backing the dominant hue Outside numerous layers of transparisteel stars were pinpricks of white glimmer shining through the gossamer figure.

Jedi Master Thrait Julius observed his apprentice stare with a detached interest, wondering what he was thinking under the mind levels capable of being touched by the Force. He was a dark-skinned human with black hair and the beginning of a beard, wearing clothes typical of the Jedi. His expression went from contemplative to commanding as he turned and called to the ship's pilot, "Make the colonists ready. I want to be planetside by1600 hours."

The Baragwin pilot stretched her hands across the computer consoles, her face hidden by the bulge of her back. "Yes Captain." There was just a hint of disgust in her sense, maybe from the Jedi's commandeering–many credits paid for the service, of course–of the mission, or a simple dislike of humans. Aliens, Thrait thought. There was, besides the humans and Baragwin, two Duros and a Aryou in the small cockpit, all, it was presumed, with the universal drive to expand their territory.

"The approach will begin soon, captain, though there is definite atmospheric disturbance near the surface of the planet, sir."

"Relax." Thrait smiled. "Just do the best you can."

There was just a hint of relief in the Baragwin's sense.

The ship was called the Dowager Queen, a dark hulled space cruiser that had withstood supply and colony runs since the beginning of the expansion movement. Thrait's government money had hired the ship and its crew to mine the world in the Tatoo system known as T-01138.

The ship slipped under the first clouds of 01138 as the primary sun was at its highest and the secondary a few degrees behind. The cloud white splashed by colors flashing off the Queen's shields gave way to clear air and endless rolling tan ground. From the preliminary surveys the planet was deserts all around with pockets of life scattered about. Untapped and unknown wealth was an almost palpable possibility beneath the sensor-scrambling sand.

Thrait Julius placed one hand on his apprentice's shoulder, each watching out the same small viewport. "Welcome to our new world, Bren."

Brendon said nothing.

"What's wrong?"

"I don't think we should have left the Temple, Master."

"And why not?"

"Jedi do good at the Temple. Not out on some Rim planet."

"Bren, here we can do the greater good. Not just for ourselves or individuals but for the whole galaxy, for the Force itself! We will be changing history, putting this planet on the charts."

Brendon muttered something. Thrait moved away, confidant that letting his Padawan deal with his emotions on his own was the best thing to do for him. It had worked for Thrait, when he was young. Such a long time ago. The Jedi almost laughed to himself. There was a whole new world waiting for them, full of untapped riches. Any sentient would be nervous, confused. But all would resolve in time. The Force wanted them here, so here they would stay.