Title: Some Serious Misery
Pairing: None. Young Hercules
Archive: Yes, please. Let me know if you take it, OK?
Teaser: Strife wants to be a REAL God.
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to Studios USA or
Whoever owns the Rights to Young Hercules. The other
characters belong to George Lucas. They are not mine, either. Skittles candies
belong to M&M/MARS.
Strife popped into his Uncle Ares temple and sighed. Ever since those two weirdoes had visited, things just weren't the same. All his uncle did anymore was sit in his thrown with that blonde and eat those colored sweet things. Worse, Ares refused to give him any of the highly desired Skittles. Once, he had gotten his hands on a tiny red bag of the things. Hmmmm....his mouth watered at the memory. The tastes! The fruity flavors! Strife rubbed his pale hands together. He had to get some!
Strife peered around the stone pillar. He spotted Ares. The War God relaxed in his throne his back against one arm and his legs thrown over the other. The blonde bard, Gabrielle, sat on his lap and leaned back against the chair's tall backrest. She reached for the pile of red Skittles bags on Ares chest and tore one open. She dropped a few colored candies into Ares' open mouth, then stuck a handful into her own mouth.
Strife stepped out from behind the pillar and approached Ares. "Uncle Ares, I'm tired of being a nobody. I want to be a REAL God, one with a temple, worshippers and lots of Skittles! So when am I going to get all that stuff?"
Ares chewed the candies in his mouth and swallowed. He stared at Strife and shook his head. "Strife, when are you going to learn? You have to earn it. I earned all this by working hard. You need to build up your reputation, strike fear into some mortal hearts. Then, maybe, just maybe they might build you a temple."
"I try. I really, really do." Strife said.
"You're only naughty." Ares told him. Ares took a bag of Skittles off his chest and tossed it to Strife. The God of Mischief caught the precious red bag and clutched it in his pale hands. "No go out and cause some serious misery for some mortals, Strife. Put fear in their hearts. Show them you are a GOD. You do that, and they'll build you a temple."
Strife teleported out of Ares' temple and appeared on a green hill. He glanced down at Chiron's Academy. Everything looked so peaceful as the cadets went about their duties. It was sickening. He was tempted to stir things up, but Strife sighed. He just wasn't good enough. Whatever he tried on that annoying Hercules always backfired. It wasn't any use. So Strife turned his back on the Academy. He would just have to find someone else to cause misery for. Strife grinned evilly. "Yeah, that's it! I'll make someone else's life miserable! Someone who Hercules and his little Academy buddies doesn't know! It'll be great! And I can blame it all on Hercules!"
Strife's laughter echoed over the green valley.
"But who?" Strife asked himself.
The ground shuddered under the lesser God's feet and Strife fell down. He landed on his back and watched in amazement as a large rock tumbled out of the sky. A trail of dark gray smoke followed the rock as it raced towards the ground. Strife noticed it wasn't going to land nearby, as it zipped downward at an angle going the other way. The Godling jumped to his feet and decided he just had to check this out. In a flash of white light, Strife vanished.
A few moments later, Strife reappeared and whistled. The huge rock had caused lots of damage. It had plowed a deep furrow in the ground along it's mostly straight path. Trees were ripped out of the ground and smashed into tiny bits of jagged wood. The grass and other plants had been ripped up, too. The rock itself was now nestled against a green hill, part of it partly buried. It was roughly circular in shape, or the part that Strife could see anyway. It was also kind of flat on the top and bottom. It was dark gray.
Strife popped out and reappeared right in front of the big rock. He reached out his hands to touch it and quickly yanked his hand back. The darn thing was HOT! The Godling stuck his fingers into his mouth and sucked at his sore fingertips. It wasn't so much that it had actually burned him. As a God Strife was immune to that sort of stuff. It was more the surprise of it. "Hmmm...I wander what you are? I bet I could use you in my plot, once I figure out what my plot is."
Angry voices floated out of the rock to Strife.
The God of Mischief laughed as he realized people were inside the big rock. People who didn't know him or Hercules. He opened his bag of Skittles and popped a yellow candy into his mouth. The tart taste of lemon exploded over his tongue and the sugar made him hyper.
"Oh, this is going to be so good!" Strife popped out and into the midst of the rock's inhabitants.
Strife stared at his new surroundings in amazement. He had
never seen such a place before. He was inside a
He switched his attention to the people in the room with him. There were two men, a woman, a hairy monster and two....things. Strife rubbed his hands together in glee. He had their attention now. He felt their eyes settle on him as shocked expressions formed on their faces. Strife laughed with glee and he struck one of his best poses. He flung one arm up in the air but kept the other at hip level. He twisted his pale face up and opened his mouth. His legs were spread apart for better balance. He gurgled in his throat.
"Who in the heck are you?" The first man asked. He had brown hair and dark eyes. He wore a white shirt with a black vest and black pants. "How did you get on my ship?"
"I am....STRIFE!" Strife laughed and stuck his tongue out at them. "I was sent here by a higher authority. I'm sure you don't know him. Wouldn't want to get the big guy mad at ya, now would you?"
"Oh, this is great!" The woman yelled. She glared
angrily at the man in the black vest. "We crash on this planet and now
some looney is bugging us! This wouldn't
"I'm sorry, Princess!" The man yelled back. "But it's kind of hard to do when we're on the run from the Empire!"
"Han," The other man said. He had light brown hair and was dressed all in black. "Maybe we should be more concerned about him."
Strife popped a green Skittle in his mouth and made loud, disgusting sucking noises. He glanced around the room. Then he turned and headed towards the cockpit. He peered into the tiny room and shrugged his shoulders. "More little lights. Hmmm. You know, I think this place might do nicely. Yeah. 'Course I'd have to redecorate a little."
"This is my ship! Get off!" Han charged at Strife angrily and tried to grab the Godling. He caught Strife around the waist and boldly threw him over his shoulder. Strife struggled. He kicked his legs and beated on Han's back, but it didn't do any good. He couldn't get free. Han pressed a green glass panel and a door opened. Han tossed Strife outside roughly and the God of Mischief landed hard on his back in the torn up dirt. The door started to close. "And stay out!"
Strife picked himself up and laughed. He pulled a red Skittle out of the bag and tossed it high into the air. He watched the candy spin round and round before catching it in his open mouth. He glared at the ship with his dark eyes. "What a total FOOL! He actually thinks he got rid of me. I let him throw me out. Then his misery will be even greater when I return! Woo hoo!"
Strife popped out in a flash of white light and reappeared inside the Millenium Falcon.
He was sitting on the curved bench with his feet up on the small table. The hairy thing spotted him and Strife wiggled his fingers at the thing. Strife laughed when the big beast growled angrily and told the man with the vest.
Han turned around and saw Strife. "What? You again? I threw you out!"
"You know, I think this place is too drab. It needs some colors, you know?" Strife dumped a handful of Skittles out onto the small table. He picked up one of each color red, orange, yellow, green and purple. Strife looked at the colorful candies and laughed. Then he flung them up into the air and zapped them with a beam of white light. The candies formed a rainbow that snaked its way all over the room. The colors clung to the walls, ceiling and floor until everything was brightly tie-dyed. Strife leaned back in his seat and admired the results of his handiwork. The too-bright mix of colors made his eyes ache. But if he was correct, it would cause Han serious misery!
Han's mouth dropped open in shock. He stared at the horrible mix of colors in outrage. His hands turned into fists and he pulled out his blaster, pointing it at Strife. "That's it! You stepped over the line. You return my ship to the way it was or I'll blast you one."
Strife popped a yellow and a green Skittle into his mouth. "What? Am I supposed to be scared of that thing? Oh, please! I like it this way better. It gives the place some class. I'm sure my worshippers will love it."
"I warned you!" Han yelled.
"Han," Luke interrupted. "Maybe you should think this over. It's obvious he has powers. Maybe he's another Jedi."
"Look, Kid, stay out of this. He insulted my pride! I know what I'm doing. Trust me." Han pointed the blaster directly at Strife's chest. He watched the stranger carefully, but the visitor showed no signs of fear or concern. He just kept throwing the colored objects into his mouth. "Look, I'll give you another chance, just because Luke asked. Take those colors off my ship!"
"NO." Strife replied.
Han pressed the trigger and blasted Strife with a red beam of energy. Han closed his eyes. He frowned as he thought of the bloody mess he'd have to clean up now. And then Leia would have yet another reason to yell at him. Plus he's have to somehow repaint the entire ship. Uggh. Why did these things always have to happen to him? Han opened his eyes and blinked.
It couldn't be! The man was still alive and eating those things!
"Well, was that it?" Strife asked as he yawned loudly. "My Uncle hits me with more power than that! I barely felt that. It was like a tickle."
Han growled. He turned to Luke. "Kid, do something! Use your powers and get him off my ship!"
"You know, I really don't like your attitude." Strife said as he stood up. He twisted his head sideways and a bone in his neck cracked loudly. He stretched out his arms and wiggled his fingers. "And I don't have to take this from you, you puny mortal! I am the GOD STRIFE! And you all are going to suffer miserrably!"
"Oh my! We are all going to die!" C3PO whined as he held up his golden arms and tried to run into a back room. "Why did you make a local diety angry at us?"
"This is all your fault, Han!" Leia yelled angrily at him. "If I had a coin for each time you said "Trust me, I know what I'm doing" we wouldn't be flying in this Correlian deathtrap!"
Han stuck a finger in Leia's face. "Hey! That's my ship you're talking about!"
Strife laughed and let them have it. A rainbow of colors flew from his palms and zapped each one of them. A rainbow cloud hovered around each person for a second before settling on their clothes and skin. When the cloud faded, they screamed in horror. Their clothes, skin and hair was tie-dyed. Even the droids had been colored.
Luke examined his hands. Colors swirled over his skin and continued under his once black sleeve. His eyes, which were still blue, settled on Strife. Luke knew he couldn't strick out with anger, for that was the Dark Side. But this was too much. He couldn't allow this Strife to terrorize his friends any longer. He pulled out his lightsaber and turned the weapon on. The green blade hummed as he approached Strife. "Take these colors off us."
"Woo hoo! Another new toy!" Strife laughed as he mimicked the humming sound the lightsaber made. Strife jumped up onto the table and wiggled in front of Luke. He crossed his eyes and stuck out his tongue. "Nah-na-nah-na-nah-na! You can't get me!"
"Hit him already!" Han screamed. "I can't stand him! He's driving me crazy!"
Luke swung the glowing green blade right at Strife.
The lightsaber sliced through Strife's middle. Luke watched in shock as Strife kept jirating on the table in front of them.
"Why isn't he dead?" Han asked in equal shock.
"I don't know." Luke admited honestly. "The lightsaber went right through him. I know it did."
"Well, what are we going to do now?" Han asked Luke. Han pulled at his tyed-dyed vest in utter horror. "Look how I look! Look at my ship! Look at our skin! We have to do something!"
"Calm down, Han." Luke switched off his lightsaber and hung it at his waist. "Getting upset won't solve anything. In fact, it only made our problems worse. I'm going to do what we should have done in the first place: ask him what he wants."
"I know what he wants! He wants to drive us crazy!" Han screamed.
"And it looks like he's doing a good job at it." Leia stated dryly. The Princess had bright yellow and red swirls on her face while all the colors of the rainbow traveled down her long hair. As a former diplomat of the Senate, Leia was more used to dealing with people in a dignified manner. "Han. Luke is right. By getting angry, you're only exciting this Strife. It's giving him an excuse to cause more....incidents."
"An incident? He turns my ship and everything on it into a horrid mix of colors and you call it an incident?"
Leia glared at Han.
"OK. I'll shut up." Han fumed but decided to keep quite for now.
"We're sorry for attacking you." Luke told Strife. He stepped closer to the table that Strife stood on. "Maybe if you tell us what you want we can reach an agreement. So what do you want?"
Strife leaped down from the table and landed right in front of Luke. "Ah, why did you guys have to make up for? You had a nice little fight going! A little strife goes a long way."
"I'm sure you didn't come here because you want us to fight among ourselves." Luke said paitently. He stretched his mind out toward Strife and tried to read his mind. But his mental inquirey was bounced back by powerful shields. Luke was forced to consider that Strife was actually what he had said he was: a God. The young Jedi had met many creatures and aliens in his travels, but never before anyone who was immune to the blade of a lightsaber. Then there was the little matter of how Strife keeps getting into the ship. "So tell me what you really want."
"All right." Strife stretched out his arms and looked directly at Han. The Godling sensed Han was the most hot-headed and easiest to upset. "I want this ship. This is going to be my new temple. And you are all going to worship me on your hands and knees!"
Han snarled like an animal and jumped toward Strife. "You'll never have my ship! I'll kill you with my bare hands!"
Strife laughed and tossed a lightning bolt at Han. The bolt hit the ex-smuggler on his chest and lifted him off the floor. Han slammed into the far wall and slumped to the colored metal deck. Leia hurried to his side and knelt down. She was relieved when Han opened his eyes and growled in anger. The lightning hadn't been as powerful as they had thought. Han struggled to his feet and walked forward until he was next to Luke.
"You want worshippers, right? And a temple?" Han asked, a sly grin on his brightly colored face. "Well, I know where you can find lots and lots of worshippers."
"Han, what are you doing?" Luke asked as he turned to face his older friend. He noted with concern that Han had that wild look in his eyes. That usually meant that the ex-smuggler had thought up some wild scheme.
"Trust me, Kid. This will work great. We'll solve two problems at once." Han said.
"Yes," Strife said. He was surprised by Han's sudden shift. "And this is going to be my temple."
"Ah, but you don't want this bucket of broken bolts to be your temple!" Han told Strife. He knelt before Strife and peered upward at him. "A powerful God like you deserves a much bigger and better temple! One with thousands of worshipers! And I know just where you can find such a place."
Strife considered the matter. Uncle Ares had said that if he
put mortal fear into the hearts of people, they would worship him and build him
a temple. Maybe the lightning had frightened this mortal. And this place was
small, now that Han mentioned it. Besides, what did he have to loose? They
couldn't harm him or get rid of him anyway.
"All right. I'll allow you to show me this place." Strife said carefully. "But if I don't like it, I claim this ship as my temple."
"Trust me, you'll love it!" Han replied with a big grin.
"Han, you better know what you're doing!" Leia warned him sternly, her hands on her hips.
"I do. Trust me, Leia." Han turned back to Strife. "Well, I'll take you to your shiny new temple if you help me fix my ship. OK? I'm sure the All Powerful Strife can do that for his lowly servant."
Strife follwed Han around the ship and fixed things with his powers. Strife didn't understand any of the objects, but he got the images out of Han's mind. The Godling couldn't wait to see his new temple and thousands and thousands of worshipers! After the ship was fixed, Han took off and flew up into space. Once he was far enough away, he jumped into hyperspace. Strife relaxed at the table and sucked on his Skittles while the others had a meeting in the cockpit.
"Han, exactly where are you taking Strife?" Luke asked, worried.
"He's going to win this war for us!" Han told Luke and Leia. "I have it all planned. See, we take him over to the new Death Star and he gets rid of the Emperor for us! You saw the guy. This Strife is unkillable. You can slice him, dice him, blaster him, nothing bothers him at all. It should be easy for him to off the Emperor."
"I don't know, Han." Luke said as his voice trailed off. The young Jedi glanced into the other room and saw Strife was still eating his Skittles. "You'd be putting Strife in charge of a very powerful weapon. I'm not sure if that's such a good idea."
"Luke's right." Leia agreed with her brother. "Then how are we going to get rid of Strife?"
"Well, not that will be the Empire's problem, won't it?" Han said as he checked his controls on the helm. They'd be arriving soon. "Just think. If Strife can drive me crazy, just think what he's do to the Empire! They'd be so busy dealing with him, suddenly us Rebels will be old news. Strife will be the Number One on their Most Wanted list!"
"But what if it backfires?" Luke asked Han. "What if the Empire puts him in charge? Who knows what he might do as the new Emperor?"
Han laughed. "He'd color walls and make the Stormtroopers look like rainbows! Now, I'd rather deal with that kind of Empire than a bloodthirsty one!"
"I don't know, Han. We know very little about this Strife." Luke admitted. "Who knows what he might do?"
"Stop worrying!" Han climbed out of his seat and walked into the other room. He stopped in front of Strife. "Strife. We're almost at your new temple. Now listen carefully. There's this old man...er, God, that lives there. He calls himself the Emperor. Now if you want this temple for yourself, you got to get rid of him. Understand? He's not as powerful as you, so it should be easy."
"Okie dokie!" Strife laughed as he tossed a red Skittle up into the air. He opened his mouth and caught the candy easily. He looked forward to taking on this lesser God, especially if he could actually win! Chewie brought the ship out of hyperspace and Strife peered out the window at his new temple.
"WOAH!" Strife moaned as he saw the Death Star for the first time. The unfinished battle station hung in space before them like an apple with a bite missing from it. Lights twinkled and glowed. In all his Immortal life, Strife had never seen or even imagined anything so big! Words simply could not describe it. His fingers began to itch as he thought of possessing such a great temple! Not even Zeus had such a groovy place.
Strife popped out in a flash of white light and reappeared a few moments later in the Emperor's throne room. He spotted the startled Emperor instantly. The old man was sitting in a chair before a round window. Strife struck a pose and twisted his pale face up. "Move over, Grandpa! I'm taking over this place!"
The Emperor rose from his chair and pointed a gnarled hand at Strife. His red eyes glowed and his voice was grated. "Who are you? How did you get in here? Guards! Remove him at once!"
The red dressed Imperial Guards rushed forward to remove the strange intruder.
Strife laughed and tossed a fireball at each Imperial Guard. The Guards were not fast enough and the fireballs struck them on their chests. They screamed and dropped onto the metal floor, rolling around frantically to put out the flames.
"Imbeciles! I will take care of you myself!" The Emperor stretched out his bony hands and pointed them at Strife. Streaks of electricity leaped from his fingers to Strife's leather clad body. He had never seen anyone make fireballs before, but he didn't want Strife to know that. The Emperor laughed, his mouth open wide to reveal a few blackened teeth. "There is no hope for you. You cannot win over the power of the Dark Side! And now you will die!"
Strife yawned loudly as the lightning raced over his body. "Gee, is that all you can do, Grandpa? That weak current isn't even knocking me down. I see now why they want me to rule this joint. You don't have what it takes!"
"WHAT?!" The Emperor screamed in anger. His thin body quivered in his dark robe and his hands shook. The lightning poured out faster as more streaks jumped from his fingertips. "How dare you say that! I'm the Emperor! I built this Empire! This is my Death Star! I'm the most powerful person in the entire galaxy! Who are you? Who sent you here?"
Strife grinned at the emotions rolling off the old geezer. He was really getting worked up! "My name is Strife. One of my devoted worshippers told me that the old geezer running this scrap heap wasn't qualified. That would be you, Gramps. So I'm here to fix this place up."
Strife ignored the electricity and tossed five Skittles up into the air. He zapped them with a bolt of power. The candies transformed into a rainbow that instantly tie-dyed the Emperor's Throne Room. Strife grinned. "There. Now this place looks much better!"
The Emperor screamed in rage. He called on the Dark Side for even more power. The lightning crackled as his output tripled. Smoke drifted upward from his body and the room was filled with the stink of burned flesh. "Die! Die! Why don't you die?"
Strife rolled his dark eyes. He formed a white ball of power in his hands and tossed it at the Emperor. The energy surrounded the Emperor and when it faded a large dark gray rat with red eyes sat on the floor. Strife picked up the startled rat and held it before his face. "I'm a GOD, you idiot! I'm Immortal! I can't die."
The rat squealed and Strife tossed it down an open hole in the Throne Room. He laughed as he watched the rat tumble end over end until it disappeared from sight. Maybe it would end up in Tartarus.
Strife walked over to his new chair and sat down. He watched the Imperial Guards. They were standing around, uncertain what to do. "All right. I'm your new Emperor. Emperor Strife. You better start worshipping me now. Go tell the others."
One of the Imperial Guards moved to the comlink on the wall near the elevator. He talked into it for a few moments. The Guard then approached Strife and bowed. "Lord Vader is on his way to see you, Sir. He will be here in fifteen minutes."
Four Imperial Stormtroopers talked quietly to each other at their post in one of the lower corridors of the Death Star. Without warning, one was knocked to the ground with a loud clank. Something had fallen on top of the Stormtroopers' black and white metal helmet.
"Look!" One of the other Stormtroopers called as he pointed at something. A large gray rat crawled off the unlucky sentry and started to scurry down the hall. The Stormtrooper glanced upward towards the ceiling and saw the rat had chewed a hole in the screen over a ceiling vent.
"Blast it before it gets away!" Shouted the leader of the four Stormtroopers. "We're still building this station and already the rodents are moving in! If any of the Command Staff see it..."
The three standing Stormtroopers pulled out their blasters and started shooting at the rat. The rat raced down the hallway as fast as it could, dodging blaster bolts. Its long claws clattered on the floor, leaving tiny scratch marks in the super shiny surface. It reached a corner and slid around it, almost sliding into the far wall.
"After it!" The three Stormtroopers raced down the hallway after the escaping rat. The last Stormtrooper just climbed to his feet when the comlink buzzed.
"What's going on down there? Why is there blaster fire?" A voice asked.
"We need more men! There's a furry intruder! There may be more of them! It already did some damage to the station! The intruder is heading towards section T-55." The Stormtrooper said.
"Affirmative! I'll send two garrisons!" The voice replied.
Up in the Throne Room, the elevator doors swooshed open and
Lord Vader stepped out. He paused for a moment in shock as he saw the wild blur
of bright colors on the floor and walls. There appeared to be no pattern to the
color madness. Just swirls of red, orange, yellow, green and purple. His loud
breathing increased as realized the man who had replaced the Emperor was
actually munching on *food*
"Ah, you must be my Head Priest. 'Bout time you got here." Strife said as he sucked noisily on a yellow Skittle. He grabbed Vader's black gloved hand and poured a few Skittles into his palm. "I want more of these things. Go get me lots of them."
Darth Vader lifted his palm closer to his black breath mask and stared at the brightly colored Skittles. There was one of each of the five flavors: orange, grape, strawberry, lime and lemon. He breathed loudly.
Hoo-pah. Hoo-pah. Hoo-pah.
"I am Lord Vader." Darth Vader told Strife. "I am not a head priest. I am a Dark Lord of the Sith. What are these colored items?"
"Those are Skittles." Strife told Vader. Strife peered at Vader but stayed in his new throne. "And I am the God Strife. This is my new temple. The Temple of Strife. You are my Head Priest. And if ya know what's good for ya you'll start worshipping me. Or you'll end up like Gramps."
"Who is Gramps?" Vader asked with confusion. "And this is the Death Star."
"That old geezer that had this chair." Strife replied as he reached into the bright red bag for more candies. "He was unqualified to be a God, so I got rid of him. This is the Temple of Strife now."
"Why do you want these colored objects?" Lord Vader asked.
"Because!" Strife replied as he twisted up his face and stuck his tongue out at Vader. He was beginning to get annoyed. "Because I'm a real God now! I have a Temple, I have Worshippers! My worshippers are supposed to give me lots and lots of Skittles! That's what worshippers do!"
"And what are your plans for the Empire?" Lord Vader asked. He had tried to read Strife's mind but had been blocked. On the other hand, he sensed his son Luke was nearby. His Executor Command Staff had spotted the Millennium Falcon near the Death Star and had started to chase it. He had already been on the Imperial Shuttle at the time, on his way to the Death Star.
"What Empire? You mean Rome?" Strife asked.
"THIS Empire. The one you now rule." Lord Vader told him. "Surely you knew of the Empire before you assassinated the Emperor. The Empire, is, after all what you wanted."
"Well,..." Strife paused. Running an Empire was lots of responsibility. He never had such an important job before. In fact, he wasn't even too sure what Emperors did. What to tell the Head Priest? Strife's brain whirled around and around. Suddenly he leaped out of the throne as he got an idea. "Taxes! I'll have a Skittles tax! Everyone in the Empire has to pay me the Skittles Tax! It'll go according to how much income they make. The more income, the more Skittles they'll have to give me."
Lord Vader grumbled underneath his mask.
"Do you think we should make Skittles the National Currency?" Strife asked.
"NO!" Lord Vader cried loudly in panic. This new Emperor was addicted to these Skittle things. It was beginning to get out of control. "We won't be able to build more Star Destroyers with these colored items. I strongly suggest you leave the currency alone."
"OK. What's a Star Destroyer?" Strife asked. "And what's this Imperial Shuttle thing those Red Priests told me about?"
"Those are not priests. Those are your Imperial Guards." Darth Vader bowed and backed away from Strife. "I must go find you some of these....Skittles."
Darth Vader escaped from the Throne Room as quickly as he could.
A while later Darth Vader entered the Main Shuttle Bay. He planned on going back to the Executer and think about this new Emperor Strife. Plus he had the extra problem of finding more of these Skittle things. Lord Vader pointed at one of the men that worked in the Shuttle Bay. "Prepare my shuttle for departure."
"I'm sorry, Lord Vader, but Emperor Strife has taken your shuttle out. He said he wanted to inspect his Temple of Strife from the outside." The man in gray trembled.
"Very well. Then prepare another shuttle." Lord Vader told him.
"Yes, my Lord! Right away!" The man hurried away, giving orders to the others that worked in the Shuttle Bay. They prepared the shuttle and finally Lord Vader climbed aboard. The door closed and the shuttle took off, heading toward the Executer. When he arrived in the Main Shuttle Bay of his Super Star Destroyer, Darth Vader was told that they had captured the Millennium Falcon. "Good. I will go interrogate the prisoners."
The Rebels were locked inside a room. Leia scowled at Han angrily. "This was your stupid idea! It's your fault we got caught!"
"Well, I got rid of Strife, didn't I?" Han asked.
"But we're still rainbow colored!" Luke pointed out to Han.
"That's not my fault! He was supposed to fix us and my ship!" Han paced the room. His fingers itched for his blaster, but the Stormtroopers had took it from him. "Look, I have another idea. We can use these colors to our advantage. Really."
Princess Leia groaned. "We had enough of your ideas for one day!"
"This idea is great! Really!" Han grinned at Leia, but she didn't return his smile. Instead, she sunk down onto the hard board that served as a bench in their prison cell. After she was seated, Han continued. "These colors make us look different. We can claim to be someone else! Just look at me. I don't look like me anymore."
"That's the most stupid thing I ever heard!" Leia cried. "They can still tell it's us. Finger prints, retina scans, voice prints. Need I go on?"
"Besides, Vader can feel my presence." Luke told Han and the others. "I can feel him right now. He's coming this way. In a few minutes he'll be here. He *knows* who I am. Lying to him wouldn't work."
"Well, I still say it's worth a shot." Han stated. "I don't see you guys coming up with any ideas."
The door swooshed open and Lord Vader stepped into the room. He stopped for a moment and stared at their appearance. The bright swirls of color on their skin, hair and clothes matched the wild colors in the Emperor's Throne Room. Vader clutched the candies tightly in his gloved hand. Now he knew who was responsible for bringing Strife to the Death Star. Vader's voice echoed in the quite room.
"I see you have already met Emperor Strife."
The Rebels looked at each other but didn't know what to say. They had no idea what Darth Vader had planned for them.
"Do you know what Emperor Strife is doing right now?" Darth Vader asked them.
"No." Luke admitted. "What is he doing?"
"He's flying around and around the Death Star. He took my Imperial Shuttle out, by himself. Without any pilot."
"But he doesn't know how to fly a ship!" Luke exclaimed. "He could crash into the Death Star!"
"It's not the Death Star anymore." Darth Vader complained. "That idiot renamed the Empire's greatest invention and weapon The Temple of Strife. And he wants more of these little colored disks called Skittles. He even passed a Skittles tax. Plus he wanted to make Skittles the National Currency. " Vader opened his hand and showed the Rebels the tiny candies.
"Well," Han grinned. "I'd say that's *your* problem!"
Darth Vader waved a black gloved finger in Han's face. "No, it's *your* problem, too. You brought Strife here, to the Death Star. You were the one who told him to destroy the Emperor. And you are still colored. So unless you want to go back into the carbon freeze and stay colored, you will help me to get rid of him."
"And maybe I brought him here because I didn't know of any other way to get him off my ship!" Han yelled back at Vader. "You can't kill the guy! Blast him, lightsaber him, blow him up, I tell you *nothing* works on him. Nothing!"
Hoo-pah. Hoo-pah. Hoo-pah.
Darth Vader breathed loudly. He didn't like this new information the Rebel had just given him. If Strife was immune to lightsabers, he was truly powerful. That meant he was even more powerful then the Emperor. And he had peered into Han's mind, so he knew the Rebel was telling him the truth. "This is a serious problem. Where did you find this Strife?"
"On some backwater planet." Leia said. "Han had crashed the ship because he never repairs it correctly! Strife just popped out of the air. One minute he was there, eating those Skittle things."
Darth Vader lifted his hand and peered at the Skittles again. "These Skittles seem to be very important to Strife. He desires them greatly. Perhaps they are the source of his powers. If we can find some, we can have the power of Skittles, too. Besides, he ordered that I bring him more."
"Well, then I suggest you better get him some or he might get rid of you, too." Han told Vader with a grin.
"But where are we supposed to find Skittles?" Asked Luke
Darth Vader searched around the room for the source of the mysterious sound. The Rebels also glanced around. Han stared up at the ceiling but didn't see anything.
PLINK! PLINK! PLINK! PLINKPLINKPLINKPLINK!!!
Darth Vader and the Rebels stared in shock as brightly colored Skittles rained down from the room's ceiling. The candies bounced off their heads and shoulders, clinking loudly on the metal floor. Leia covered her face as the candies started to fall faster and faster.
"Where are they coming from?" Luke cried.
A floating ball of rainbow colors appeared in the room. The ball spun around rapidly as it zipped through the air above their startled heads.
"Skittles! Skittles! Skittles! Skittlesskittlesskittlesskittlesskittles!"
"Who are you?" Luke asked the spinning ball of rainbow colors.
"I'm the Spirit of Skittles!" The entity answered gleefully. It sounded just like a teenage girl and it even giggled like one. "I LOVE Skittles! You can never have too many Skittles! I want to share my Skittles with everyone!"
The colorful candies continued to rain down on Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie and Darth Vader. The were now waist deep in Skittles. The comlink beeped and Vader stretched out his hand towards it. Luckily he was close to the wall and he could reach it. "Yes?"
"Lord Vader!" One of his bridge staff said. "There are colorful objects falling all over the ship! They are on every deck, in every room and hallway! They appear to be coming out of the ceilings, Sir. What shall we do?"
"I will deal with it. Wait for my orders." Lord Vader said into the comlink. Vader tilted his head so he could see the Spirit of Skittles better. The entity spun rapidly and flashed bright colors. And it giggled. "Are you a God? Do you know Strife? Why are you filling my Star Destroyer with Skittles?"
The entity laughed. "Me? A God? Of course not! I'm just a teenage girl that *loves* Skittles! I was known as the Skittles Idiot and I even had my own webpage devoted to Skittles! I wrote Skittles stories and tried to get my friends to write them, too! Most of my friends called me Gabs, though. I even managed to get a few addicted!"
"You don't look like a teenage girl." Luke commented.
"Well, that's because I changed!" Gabs giggled. "I ate Skittles all day and night! I had them for breakfast, lunch and supper. The Wild Berry are my favorite! Then one day my skin changed colors! Rainbow colors were swirled on my skin. Even my blonde hair changed. It was so cool! It was kind of tough going to school like that though, so I didn't. I just stayed home and was on the Internet all day!"
Han's stomach twisted and he felt hot. Sweat poured off his forehead into his eyes. "You mean you looked like this?" He held up his tye-dyed arm for Gabs to see.
"Exactly!" Gabs said as she zipped down by Han. She circled around each Rebel rapidly as she examined them. "I see you guys were eating *lots* of Skittles!"
"But we didn't eat any." Luke replied. "Strife put these colors on us."
"I got a bad feeling about this." Han said. "What happened after you turned all these colors?"
"Well, it was really cool!" Gabs said as she zipped back up near the ceiling. "I became this round ball of colored lights. And I could control the Skittles Rainbow! Plus I didn't have to go to school anymore! Now I fly around giving *everyone* Skittles! You can never have too many Skittles!"
"But we can't turn into colored balls!" Princess Leia exclaimed loudly. "We have a war to fight! We have a galaxy to save!"
The Skittles continued to fall from the ceiling and now the candies reached their chests. The klaxon started to blare loudly and red warning lights blinked. The intercom buzzed and Vader turned it on with the Force.
"Lord Vader! The ship is too heavy! The colored things are getting in all the machinery! What should we do?" The bridge officer yelled in panic.
"Take these Skittles off my ship NOW!" Lord Vader commanded.
"But you wanted Skittles! I heard you!" Gabs replied as she spun rapidly around and around. "Besides, you can never have too many Skittles! Skittles make you happy!"
"I have an idea." Han said as he shoved the Skittles away from himself.
Leia groaned loudly and glared at Han. "Not another idea! You're the one that started this whole terrible mess! You had to get that Strife angry at us and look at the results!"
"And if you be quite I'll solve it, too!" Han smiled. "In fact, this idea will solve ALL of our problems, even this Skittles one. Now here is my idea..."
The Rebels, Darth Vader and even Gabs listened to Han's idea. After thinking it over, Lord Vader decided to go along with it. What choice did he have? He wanted his ship to be Skittle-free and to have the Death Star the Death Star once again. "This idea better work!" Vader said.
Han only grinned. "Trust me."
Darth Vader asked Gabs to move all the Skittles into a special Cargo Ship. This ship was designed so it could land on the surface of a planet. It was an older vessel that the Empire had confiscated from a smuggler a few years ago, so he didn't care about losing it very much. He would rather give up the cargo ship than his Star Destroyer! Gabs happily moved all the Skittles into the other ship until it groaned from the weight of the candies. Han swore that the metal sides were bulged, but no one believed him!
The Rebels and Lord Vader journeyed to the Temple of Strife on the Imperial Shuttle. Once there, they took the elevator up to the Throne Room. Emperor Strife was back and the Godling lounged in his new chair. "So, did you get me my Skittles?"
"Yes, Emperor Strife." Lord Vader said as he bowed before the Godling. "We have an entire ship full of Skittles for you. We thought you might want to move there, to be closer to your Skittles. There are so many of them they cannot all fit here, in your Temple of Strife."
"Hmmm...I don't know." Strife said as he rubbed his chin. He twirled the chair around and around. "I really like this chair! It's so much cooler than my Uncle Ares' throne! I mean, his throne is neat and all with those carvings, but this one moves!"
"We can move the chair." Han offered quickly. "It'll be easy."
The Rebels held their breath as they all hoped Strife would agree. If he didn't, they'd have to think of a new plan. But if Skittles couldn't get Strife off the Death Star, what could?
"You'll like the Skittles ship better." Luke told Strife. "Your worshippers could visit you more easily there. Plus the ship can move from place to place so *all* of your worshippers can have a chance to see you in person. This Temple has to stay here. It's too big and heavy to move."
"Yeah," Agreed Han. "And what about all these colors on us? You said you'd remove them once we found you a Temple. Well, we found you TWO temples!"
Before Strife could answer, a bluish-white light appeared. When the flash of light vanished, Ares snarled at them. He pulled his sword from its scabbard and stepped forward.
"SO YOU ARE THE ONES WHO KIDNAPPED STRIFE! YOU ARE ALL GOING TO SUFFER SOME SERIOUS MISERY!"
"What?" Stuttered Han in shock.
Before anyone could move or utter another word, Ares waved his hand and they all vanished. Some time later, Han blinked his eyes as he woke up. His arms ached and his throat was dry. He tried to rub his sleep-filled eyes but realized his hands were manacled to a cold stone wall. The dampness leaked through his shirt and vest, chilling his skin until he shivered. Han lifted his head and saw he was trapped in some sort of dungeon. Torches lit the room with a flickering weak light. As far as he could tell, the room was windowless. He turned his head and moaned at the pain in his stiff neck. His friends were there with him, each chained to the wall. Even Lord Vader was trapped. Han snickered at the idea of Darth Vader being treated like a Rebel! Well, on the bright side it would be easier to escape if they had two Jedi on their side!
The others stirred and soon woke up. Leia glared angrily at Han as she realized she was chained up in a dungeon. "Han Solo, this all your fault! You and that rust bucket you call a ship!"
"Well, I'm sorry your Royal Highness! I just don't like intruders on my ship!" Han told her. He frowned. Was Leia never going to forgive him for this stuff with Strife? "How was I supposed to know he was a real God with powers?"
"Stop arguing you two. We need to get out of here." Luke said. He used the force and the manacles around his wrist popped open. There was a second pop as Vader freed himself. Before the two Jedi could take a step to free the others, a flash of white light blinded them. When it faded, a girl in black leather stood before them. She smiled at them, her dark eyes twinkled. She had long smooth black hair that cascaded down her back.
"Hmmm, and where do you think you're going?" She asked in a sweet voice. "We just met. I'm Discord and I'm going to make your lives miserable!"
"How many of these people are there?" Luke asked.
"Wouldn't you like to know?" Discord replied with a snarl. "My brother is very angry at you for kidnapping his favorite nephew. That's a big no-no. And I'm mad, too!"
"Look, we did not kidnap him!" Han blared out. "He came on my ship and I couldn't get rid of him! He wouldn't go away!"
"And why should I believe you?" Discord asked. She strolled over to a table and examined the items on it. Her hand hovered over the items. "Now what shall I start with?"
Not too far away, Strife admired his new Temple of Strife. They had popped the Skittles filled cargo ship back to Greece. It was now parked in a green valley not too far away from Chiron's Academy. Strife now knew and highly valued the Power of Skittles. The Godling laughed and rubbed his hands together in glee as he imagined the serious misery he could now cause for the cadets with his huge supply of candy. The riot of colors seemed to drive people mad, especially when he used it on the mortals themselves! Strife munched on a handful of Skittles and dreamed of a future scheme.
"Oh, Uncle Ares, you were right!" Strife said to himself as he leaned back against the metal side of his new temple. "When I caused serious misery for the right bunch of mortals, they did give me a temple and Skittles!"