The Nature Boy Presents:
The Phantom's Menace
Disclaimer: I do not own any characters from either Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Star Wars. Those creations belong to the respective creative minds of Joss Wheedon and George Lucas. This is being written strictly for fun, and no money is being made. So please George, don't sue me!
Certain pieces of dialogue were taken from (or adapted from) the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace novelization from Terry Brooks, as well as from the movie, based off of a screenplay by George Lucas.
This story is based off of Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace; and as such it will feature dialogue taken from the movie. I also want to take a moment to recognize the author Winterd, whose story "Phantoms and Slayers", which can be found on TTH, was the inspiration for this story. And while I will make this story as different and unique as possible, any similarities are merely meant as homage.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….
Episode 1: The Phantom's Menace
It has been two years since Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg were pulled though the portal that Glory had opened in the process of closing it, two years since the friends had landed in the hell of molten lava and ash. There, they were captured by a rogue slaver colony, and were separated, each sold to different masters and now there is turmoil. Dark forces are aligning. A blockade of the planet Naboo was investigated by a pair of Jedi, who managed to make their escape with the Queen and her entourage. In the process of their escape, their ship was damaged. And so the Jedi, the Queen, and a handmaiden with a secret find themselves heading for the small planet of Tatooine, and towards a destiny that has been written in the stars….
"WAKE UP, BUFFY!" an excited voice shouted in the Slayer's ear. Buffy grumbled and turned over on her side in an effort to make the annoying voice go away.
"Five more minutes…" she mumbled, and then yelped as a sudden force landed on her chest.
"Oomph!" she groaned, then yelled "Annie! Get off!" she laughed as Anakin pounced on her again.
"I'll get off if you get up!" he laughed, trying to wrestle the sheets away from the Slayer's iron-like grip. He wasn't successful, so he tried a different tactic. "If you don't get up now, you're not getting any breakfast before we go in!"
"Ugh." Buffy grumbled, then suddenly released her hold on the sheet, causing Annie to yell out and tumble off the edge of the bed. "That's what you get for jumping on me!" she said with a grin. "Now get out of here wile I change."
Anakin scampered out of the room and the former Slayer closed the door. Buffy pulled on the simple tan pants and tunic that had been her wardrobe since she had arrived on this planet, and pulled her hair back into a tight ponytail. She hated doing this, as it exposed the control collar that she had been forced to wear since she had arrived in this dimension. Buffy's eye's were drawn toward it as she looked at herself in the mirror, and she shuddered, remembering…
She still didn't understand how she had gotten there. Buffy knew the risks when she jumped into the portal that Glory's minion had opened using her sisters blood. But Willow- she had just been a bystander. And it was a strange irony that, so soon after being reunited with her beloved Tara, Willow had been ripped away from her by a stray bolt of energy from the opened portal. The next thing she knew, Willow and she were lying on the ashen shore next to a river of lava. Weakened, near delirious, they had been found by a rogue group of slavers that had set up camp on the lava planet and taken into captivity, being told that they would be sold to the highest bidder.
Buffy hated the collar. It was her punishment from the slavers that had captured her for when she tried to break herself and Willow out. She had managed to take nearly a dozen of them before she had been overpowered. Then they had slapped the collar on her, turned it on to full power, and then threw her into a box that was barely big enough for her to fit in. In the box she was forced to stand for a week, with no food or water, all the while having the collar turned on and off at random, sending electric shocks up and down her spine. More than once the seizures caused by the collar caused her to bust open her head, to the point that the blood obscured her vision. For nine months she was left in that box getting fed only once a week, and only given water every three days.
Nine Months of wondering what had happened to her best friend. They never told her specifics, just that her new masters would be putting her body to good use.
Then she had been sold to the Hutts on this wonderful world of Tatooine. Watto proved to be a somewhat decent master; he hardly ever activated the hated collar, preferring instead to use it as a threat. And he had put her with the Skywalkers, who had spent a year bringing her out of the shell the slavers had caused her to build around herself. After a year of living with them, she considered Anakin to be her little brother, and she called Shmi mom.
"Come ON, Buffy!" a voice called from outside the door, shaking Buffy out of her reverie. Buffy smiled. "Coming!" she yelled back as she wrapped a silken scarf around her neck to hide the collar, she ran out of her room to join her brother.
"You are late!"
Buffy glanced up at the chronoreader mounted on the all, then back to the blue-skinned Hutt hovering in front of them. "You're going to argue with me over two minutes?"
Watto's eye's narrowed, an he fingered the controller for the collar on his belt. "You know, I think that you haven't been showing me enough respect, you know?"
Buffy's eyes widened in fear slightly. "Look, I'm sorry. I'll stay two minutes late, okay?"
Watto nodded. "Good. Now both of you get out into the yard. Annie, clean out the bins. Buffy, the last sandstorm knocked down a piece of the back fence. I want you to put it back up. Now get to work!"
It was a few hours later when Buffy heard Watto call Annie back in to watch the store. Buffy was busy driving the poles for the fence into the ground- with her bare hands. She could use the various machines that Watto kept for such purposes, but she preferred to let out some of her frustration by doing the hard work by hand. It was the closest thing to Slaying she could do, without getting punished. With a grin, Buffy picked up another pole and, with a few fancy twists and spins, she drove the pole two feet into the ground. She wiped her hands together and smiled happily at the work she did, and then reached for the sheets of metal that Watto used to fence in the yard. Suddenly, her Slayer sense went crazy and she stood up straight.
The Slayer turned to see Watto leading two people- wait, one person, and one droid,- into the yard. The droid looked to be what Anakin called an Astromech droid, and in fairly good condition, too. But it was the man that got her attention. Her eyes narrowed as she felt that he was the one setting off her Slayer sense, ad she looked closer. Tall, with long hair pulled back into a pony tail and a goatee, he was dressed in simple desert clothes with a poncho on top. Her eyes never leaving the man, she addressed her master.
"Go back to the shop and keep an eye on your brother. I've got business to do out here."
Buffy nodded. "You got it, boss." She replied, wiping her hands off on a rag and heading back to the shop. As she passed, she couldn't help but feel the stranger's eyes on her back for a moment before she got to the shop. As she entered, she saw Anakin and a pretty young girl laughing at an amphibian-type creature as it struggled with a small maintenance droid.
"Hit the nose!" Anakin called out laughing. Buffy smirked, picked up a small washer, and with a flick of her wrist, sent the washer flying. It impacted the nose of the droid right before the creature could, and the little droid folded up. The creature yelped and dropped it. Anakin smiled and looked over at Buffy.
"Nice shot, sis!" he said, then turned back to the girl. "That's my sister, Buffy. Buffy, this is Padmè. And that's…" Anakin trailed off, realizing he hadn't gotten the creatures name.
"Mesa Jar Jar Binks." He said pleasantly. Buffy looked around the ground at the mess he had created.
"Yousa making a mess." She remarked, causing Jar Jar to blush and getting snickers from the other two. "You stand over there while I pick this up."
Meanwhile, Anakin was looking at Padmè, whose own laughter had died down. Suddenly, Anakin spoke.
"I'm going to marry you." He said, causing Buffy to look up sharply. Suddenly, Padmè laughed again, and the smile on her face told Buffy that she was laughing at the remark, not at her brother.
"You are an odd one," she said as her laughter died away. "Why do you say that?"
Anakin hesitated. "I guess because it's what I believe…"
Her smile was dazzling. "Well, I'm afraid I can't marry you…" she paused, trying to remember his name.
"Anakin." Buffy supplied with a smile of her own. Young love was always fun to watch. Until your lover turned into a vicious demon from hell and tries to kill you, at least…
"Anakin." She cocked her head. "You're just a little boy."
His gaze was intense as he faced her. "I won't always be," he said quietly.
Buffy shook her head and got back to picking up the mess that Jar Jar had created. Ain't that the truth…
After a moment, the guy Buffy had started think of as Clint Eastwood walked back into the shop, his little Astromech following closely behind.
"We're leaving," he announced to the girl, moving towards the shops entry. Jar Jar was quick to follow, anxious to escape his latest mess, as well as Buffy glare. Padmè gave the boy a warm smile. "I'm glad I met you, Anakin," she said, turning after them.
"I'm glad I met you, too," he called out after her, reluctance evident in his voice.
Watto flew in from the salvage yard, shaking his head in disgust. "Outlanders! They think because we live so far from everything, we know nothing!"
Anakin was still staring longingly after Padmè, his gaze fixed on the empty doorway. "They seemed nice enough to me." He remarked. Buffy chuckled.
"Yeah, she seemed very nice." She quipped, earning a glare from her brother.
"Watto snorted and flew up between them. "Both of you, clean up this mess, then you can go home."
Anakin gave a small cheer, Buffy gave a crisp salute and a "Yes, sir!" and both quickly got to work.
A short time later, the twosome headed out of the shop and back to the slave quarters of Mos Espa. Buffy was busy teasing him about his new 'girlfriend' when Anakin noticed something up ahead.
"Uh-oh." he said. "Looks like trouble."
Buffy looked ahead, and she could help but agree with her brother. The creature from the shop, Jar Jar, had apparently incurred the wrath of Sebulba. Before Buffy could do anything, Anakin rushed off, presumably to try and save the creature from the Dug's wrath. Buffy rolled her eyes and hurried after her wayward brother.
"What a guy will do to impress a girl…" she muttered. She came up behind Anakin just as she heard him say, "Careful. This one's very well connected." Buffy raised her eyebrow at that bluff, and decided to hang back for a moment to watch thing play out.
Sebulba turned to face the boy, cruel face twisted in disdain as he saw Anakin. He spoke something in Huttish which Buffy didn't understand. Foreign languages were never her forte. Anakin shrugged and replied, "Connect- as in Hutt." Buffy saw a hint of fear on the Dug's face. "Big-time connected, this one, Sebulba. I'd hate to see you diced before we had a chance to race again."
The Dug spat in furry. "Neek me chawa! Next time we race, wermo, it will be the end of you. Uto notu wo shag! If you weren't a slave, I'd squash you here and now!"
"You'd try, Seby." Buffy interjected, coming up besides her brother. Sebulba's lips curled at the sight of her. "Now, are you going to walk away, or do I have to teach you another lesson?"
Sebulba growled and turned as if to walk away. At the last second, though, he turned back and let his fist fly right at Buffy's midsection. With superhuman speed Buffy caught the hand with her right hand, then grabbed the Dug by the neck with her left hand and lifted him clear off the ground so they were at eye-level. Enraged, Sebulba let loose a vicious kick, which caught Buffy on the right side of her jaw and whipped her head around. But instead of dropping him in surprise, as Sebulba ha though she would, her grip on his neck tightened so he couldn't breath.
Buffy slowly turned her head back so she looked him dead in the eye.
"Well, another lesson it is, then." And with that, Buffy flicked her writs and sent Sebulba flying back into the dining tent, where he collided with a group of his flunkies. They all crashed to the ground, covered in spilt stew. Jar Jar looked at Buffy in amazement at the casual show of strength. The dug pulled himself off, gave them a glare, then stalked off. Anakin looked up at her sister with a smile. Buffy was looking after Sebulba with a slight frown on her face.
"Some suckers always gotta be ice skating up hill." She muttered, causing her brother's smile to change to a look of confusion.
Anakin helped to move the Gungan, who had fallen on the ground, up when Buffy noticed the Clint Eastwood wanna-be, his droid, and Padmè heading back their way. Anakin noticed it, too.
"Hi!" he said cheerfully, obviously happy to see Padmè again so soon. "Your Buffy was about to be turned into orange goo. He picked a fight with a Dug. An especially dangerous Dug, named Sebulba." Anakin smiled proudly. "I took care of him."
Buffy looked down at the boy with an amused grin. Anakin looked up, then away quickly, blushing. "Well, Buffy helped a little."
"Nossir, nossir!" the chagrined Gungan insisted, brushing off dust and sand. "Me hate crunchen. Tis da last thing me want!"
The cowboy gave Jar Jar a careful once-over, glanced around at the crowd, and took the Gungan by the arm. "Nevertheless, the boy saved you from a beating. You have a penchant for finding trouble, Jar. Jar." He gave Anakin a short not. "Thank you, my young friends."
Buffy smiled tightly, her eyes not leaving the cowboy. "It was no problem, Mr…"
"Qui-Gon Jinn." The cowboy said, extending his hand. Buffy took it and gave it a firm shake. "And you have met my companions, Padmè and Jar Jar Binks."
"Me doen nutten!" Jar Jar was insisting, still trying to defend himself, hands gesturing for emphasis.
"You were afraid," Anakin told him, looking up at the long-billed face solemnly. "Fear attracts the fearful. Sebulba was trying to overcome his fear by squashing you." He cocked his head at the Gungan. "You can help yourself by being less afraid."
"And that works for you?" Padmè asked skeptically, giving him a wry look.
Anakin smiled and shrugged. "Well…up to a point. Then I got my sister to take care of the rest."
Buffy chuckled, then watched as Anakin persuaded the group to follow him a short distance down the street to the ramshackle old fruit stand where the old lady Jira sold her wares.
"How are you feeling today, Jira?" Anakin asked her, giving her a quick hug.
The old lady smiled. "The heat's never been kind to me, you know, Annie."
"Guess what?" the boy replied quickly, beaming. "I've found that cooling unit I've been searching for. It's pretty beat up, but I'll have it fixed up for you in no time, I promise. That should help."
Jira smiled at the boy, brushing his cheek with her wrinkled hand. "You're a fine boy, Annie."
Anakin shrugged off the compliment and began scanning the fruit display. "I'll take four pallies, Jira." He glanced over to Padmè and said with a smile, "You'll like these."
He pulled out the trugruts he'd been saving from his pocket, but accidentally dropped one. Qui-Gon bent over to pick it up, and as he did both Anakin and Buffy noticed the lightsaber hanging from his belt.
As Anakin's eyes widened in surprise, Buffy's narrowed as her suspicion level of the cowboy rose. Buffy hid her surprise behind a face of cool indifference, while Anakin focused on the coins. He saw that he was one short.
"Whoops, I thought I had more," he said quickly, not looking up to avoid looking at Padmè's face. Better make that three…"
"Make it five." Buffy interjected, pulling out her own coins. Anakin smiled gratefully at his sister. Jira gave the group their fruit and took the coins from Buffy and Anakin. As they started to eat, a sudden wind blew through the street, causing the flaps on the awning of Jira stand to start flapping. A second gust sent sand and dust lowing down the street.
Jira rubbed her hands together. "Gracious, my bones are aching. There's a storm coming, Annie. You'd better get home quick."
Anakin and Buffy looked around- all of the outdoor vendors were closing up shop as the wind started picking up sand wind whipping it around. "Do you have shelter?" he asked.
Qui-Gon nodded. "We'll head back to our ship. Thank you again, my young fiend, for-"
"Is your ship far?" Anakin interrupted hurriedly. Buffy pulled the scarf she wore around her neck up over her mouth to block out most of the sand that was flying around.
"It's on the city's outskirts," Padmè answered, turning away from the stinging sand herself.
Anakin took her hand quickly, tugging on it. "You'll never reach the outskirts in time. Sandstorms are very, very dangerous. Come with me. You can wait it out at my home. It's not far. My mom won't mind. Hurry!"
As Anakin started to lead Padmè away, Buffy turned to Qui-Gon. "He's not kidding." She said. "I stayed outside in a sandstorm when I first got her, and spent a month recovering. Come on, let's go!" the Slayer said as she led the rest towards her home.
A/N: Just to reiterate, certain dialogue and scenes were taken from the novelization of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace by Terry Brooks, based on the screenplay and story by George Lucas.
And so begins my epic 6-part story that will span BOTH of the Trilogies. There will be instances in these stories that I will be quoting directly from my source material (Heck, I got all 6 off the movie s in print), so expect to see this source citing in each chapter. I do not mean to plagiarize, I am merely adapting the official story to suite my needs.
People will also notice a similarity between my story and Winterd's story Phantoms and Slayers. This is because her story directly influenced this story. However, I will try my best not to copy anything out of her story (though I did borrow the collar), and I do have all six episodes planned out, both in my head and in a separate journal. So any further similarities will be coincidental. And coincidentally, if you haven't read Winterd's story yet, go read it!
Incidentally, I think I now know how George Lucas felt- he knew everybody wanted to see Ep. III first, but he needed to make the first two in order to establish Anakin as a person, as well as his relationship with Obi-Wan. I now find myself in the same position..
Sadly, I found a great Star Wars font for the title, but the site wouldn't use it. Oh, well...
And finally, any readers of my other stories- Dawn of the Phoenix, which is right here on TTH, or Harry Potter and the Light Brigade, which is currently only on (but coming soon to TTH!), don't worry. I will continue to write that story as well.
Next chapter: Obi-Wan talks with the Queen's mysterious handmaiden Rose, Anakin takes Padmè home to meet mom, Qui-Gon plots a way to get the hyperdrive generator he needs, and Buffy keeps an eye on everyone. Coming soon!