STAR WARS ALTERED UNIVERSE EPISODE II: MASTER AND APPRENTICE
It has been twenty years since the Republic was saved by the hands of the Jedi Knights Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker. Twenty years since Chancellor Palpatine was revealed to be the Sith Lord, Darth Sidious and destroyed. Twenty years of political thriving that brought thousands of Separatist systems back into the control of the Republic and a new, more fair, chancellor elected. It has been thirteen years since a certain Jedi and senator married on the sovereign planet of Naboo. Thirteen years of blissful happiness and two, beautiful children.
Padmé gave birth to fraternal twins years after their marriage. Naming them Luke and Leia, they were treated to worlds usually unknown to children their age. They were both pronounced Force-sensitive and treated as possibilites for training as early as two-years-old. Luke grappled onto the training quickly, as did Leia, but she soon became enamored with a newer passion: politics.
Leia was inducted as Senator Amidala's youth legislative representative, and was soon nominated as Princess of Theed for the Naboo people. She was sent, after arguments between her parents and the governor, to live in the Royal Palace, aiding Queen Marana. She has been serving for nearly six months and her brother, Luke, is currently training at the Jedi Temple with Obi-Wan Kenobi and his father, Anakin Skywalker.
It has also been thirteen years since the Sith was ever heard of. People all over the galaxy have forgotten the escape of a teenage rogue Jedi with a darkly clad man on a rainy night in Coruscant. But Anakin never forgot. He feels like it was all his fault. He was the reason she turned. He was the one that did her a disservice. He, in a way, helped her turn. It would be after those thirteen long years that not only would a Sith Lord arise, but also a new apprentice. Their wait, according to them, was over.
Two spice freighters are wrapping up a long journey back from Tatooine to Naboo. It's early morning and one freighter is asleep. It will be only two hours before dawn and two hours before touchdown on the cityscape planet.
He yawned for the thousandth time in nearly five standard minutes. He felt his eyelids closing and his body yearning for sleep. I really got to get that autopilot fixed or something. You can't keep pullin' all-nighters like this, Vik.
Vik watched the starchart graph their predestined arrival on Coruscant. A blip blinked slowly on the screen. Two hours, five minutes, and fourteen seconds until touchdown. Vik sighed, grabbing his lukewarm cup of jawa juice and staring out into the emptiness of space. Just a couple of hours and then I can sleep for a week.
He had been freighting water and spices back from Tatooine for nearly two years. He had hoped he could have gotten that better job on Coruscant that would have allowed him to spend more time with his wife and children, but nevertheless, he was stuck with the long, eight-hour trek between the systems. Four hours getting to the Outer Rim planet, four hours back to the Inner Rim territory. He knew that if he tempted his friend, asleep next to him in the co-pilot chair, that the friend would finish the journey to let him sleep. But that would mean loss of credits on his pay. He decided to remain awake for the remainder of the trip.
What came next would haunt him for the rest of his life. He heard a loud crash and then a sharp scrape against the ship, waking his friend from the co-pilot chair.
"What in the blazes was that?" the friend asked, eyeing Vik supiciously. "I'm not sure. I'll check it out," Vik said, getting up and allowing his buddy to slide into the pilot chair. "Take the helm. I'll be back."
Vik cautiously walked to the back of the ship, picking up a wrench that had been used to fix the hyperdrive earlier. He patted it against his palm, making himself appear more menacing than he really was. Truth be told, he was scared. He turned the corner to go down the walkway to the entrance ramp when a figure emerged from the darkness.
"I will be in control of this ship now," said the figure.
"How did you get on here?" Vik asked, seeing the figure's shape and becoming more brave. "Where did you come from?"
The figure smiled and reached to its side to reveal two slender weapons on its holster. "Let's just say I have my sources, hmm?" The figure then withdrew the weapons, ignited them and jabbed them through Vik's abdomen. His cries echoed off the walls, announcing trouble to his friend at the helm. The figure stood up, and allowed the black hood to drop to its shoulders, revealing short, brown hair and one sharply curved ear. At the top of the ear was a single, gold hoop announcing its allegiance.
The figure laughed and walked briskly to the front of the ship, threw the door open with a flick of its wrist and pointed the weapons directly at the man in the pilot chair.
"As I told your friend, I am commandeering this ship. You have two choices," it sneered, watching the man's face. "You can either run and I will catch you or you can sit still while I kill you."
The man shook his head violently, watching the crimson weapons draw nearer to his face. The figure closed in. "Very well, I suppose you have made your choice."
With that, the figure brought them down, sending the man crumpling to the floor.
The hum of flight equipment and the dank smell of cauterized flesh filled the air. The lone figure, clad in a black robe and holding two, red lightsabers paused to look out the window before disengaging the swords and returning them to its belt. The figure sat down at the cockpit and turned off the autopliot.
"Stupid, worthless humans. They aren't much better than droids or clones," it growled, switching to manual and setting coordinates for the Inner Rim territories.
A beeping sound was heard and the figure placed the autopilot back on long enough to answer its comlink.
"Yes, my Master?" it says.
"Were you successful in commandeering the ship?" asked another dark-robed figure.
"Yes, Master. I turned to agressive negotiating when they became unwilling. I believe I changed their minds," it said, chuckling evilly.
"Good. You will find the coordinates I gave you will take you to a familiar planet," said the figure. "It is Naboo, I believe."
"I shall change the coordinates and be at Naboo by--" it said, pressing a few buttons and bringing up the distance and velocity screen. "0900 Standard Hours, my Master."
"Good, good. You shall find that the princess is leaving Theed Palace on a brief respite. You know what to do next."
The figure in the cockpit smiled, reminiscing of a day long ago. "I do, Master." it said.
"And what is that?" asked the dark figure, knowing exactly what the plan was.
"Kill the Jedi and his family who betrayed me."
"Father! Father! Where are you?" called a sandy-blonde boy, running down the hallway. He ran to the end of the hall, then made a choice to turn left, spinning on his heel. His boots made the usual click-clack sound against the smooth marble floor. He had gotten used to being in the Temple. He had, of course, been born and raised almost entirely in the Jedi Temple. His father was a master and would often take him to visit to Masters Ben and Yoda. He had trouble learning to understand Master Yoda, but soon got the hang of his mysterious, cryptic language.
"Dad? Where are you?" he called, running to the end of the corridor. He turned the corner and plowed right into Mace Windu. His face flushed as he watched the older man fall very ungracefully to the floor and yelped.
"Oh Master! I am soo sorry!" he grabbed Mace by the arm and helped the gentleman up. "I am really sorry I was running in the Temple again. Have you seen my father?"
Mace's usual hard-lined face softened at the boy's apology and answered him. "No, Luke, I haven't. Have you checked with Master Yoda in his meditation chamber? Perhaps he is with Masters Yoda and Obi-Wan."
Mace lowered his head, bidding the young padawan goodbye. Luke bowed quickly and took two steps back before walking briskly away. As soon as he saw Master Windu turn the corner, he made a break for it, running down the hall again, searching for Master Yoda's chamber.
He almost passed it up, running as fast as he did. He knocked hastily and waited for a voice to bid him entrance.
"One moment," called a voice inside.
A minute later, an older man, with shaggy blonde hair that appeared to be graying at the edges answered the door.
"Luke! What are you doing here? Does your mother know you're down this way?" he said, looking strangely at him.
"Father...Mom wants you... to make sure not to forget... to pick up Leia... at the transport hangar," he huffed, clearly out of breath from the near-sprint to find him.
Anakin smiled at his son. He acted just like Anakin at that age. Always in a hurry, never patient.
"What has every Jedi Master, including me, told you about running in the Temple?" he said sternly. Luke dropped his head to his chest.
"Sorry, Dad. I just really had to give you the message from Mother about Leia. Mom told me it was urgent and told me to run fast!" he said, hoping that would lighten his guilt.
"I should have known your mother was the one to get you in trouble," he laughed, patted his son on the shoulder. "Now, go and walk back to your mother and tell her I will pick up Leia on time, okay Luke?"
"Promise?" Anakin asked, knowing this would keep his son from disobeying again.
Luke sighed deeply. It was hard not to run in the Temple; he was always excited to see something new happen.
"Yes, Father. I won't run anymore in the Temple," the boy said, blowing his shaggy, blonde bangs away from his eyes.
Anakin watched his son turn and leave the doorway where he stood. Anakin smiled, shook his head and stepped back into the meditation chamber. Masters Yoda and Obi-Wan sat on a couch, talking about the meeting with the Council earlier.
"The spice miners of Naboo have always been at odds with the monarchy," Obi-Wan said, remembering years ago when he was a padawan with Master Qui-Gon. "It will be difficult in getting them to sign a treaty with the Queen."
Yoda furrowed his brow. This situation seemed all to familiar. "Go, both you and Anakin. Stay here, Luke will."
Anakin turned from the doorway and sat down next to Obi-Wan. "We are going to Naboo, Master?" he questioned, a thought plaguing behind his voice.
Yoda nodded to him. "Your feelings on this matter, I understand. Your youngling, coming home, is she not?"
Anakin smiled. Master Yoda always knew what anxious thoughts he had. And, here recently, after what had happened a month ago, that anxiousness settled on his children more often than not.
"Yes, she is, Master Yoda," he said sitting back down on the cushion in front of him. "I haven't seen her in a month."
Obi-Wan nodded his head. "I have missed her, also, Anakin." He, too, was thinking of the recent disturbances found on Naboo. "But she is safe. Queen Marana sees to it, as does Padmé in the Senate."
"I know she is," Anakin sighed. "But she is my daughter, my pride and joy. I don't think I could take it if something were to ever become of her."
Siv's emotionless eyes stared out at the inky blackness of space. Touchdown was nearing and she would soon be reunited with her Master. She brushed a lock of dingy, brown hair from her face and tucked it behind her ear, brushing the golden earring protruding from the top of her ear. She had gotten the earring as a symbol of who she was. The Order had never allowed jewelry to be worn; it coincided too closely with material attachments, which were forbidden. It was an honor, to her new Sith heritage and to her master, Darth Tyranus, that she bore that simple icon of rebellion.
After the many years of being a Jedi padawan in the temple, she felt she truely was someone. She found someone who would care for her, not like her parents. Her parents. She remembered her parents. She remembered the picture she kept in her room, next to her cot in the Temple. So many years ago, she still remembered what her father had done. He had decided for her to be a Jedi. She didn't have any say so in the matter; it was just to be expected. She figured since she wasn't the son her father had hoped for, she would become a disgrace to her family unless she was taken to the Temple and trained to be a Jedi, among her long line of relatives.
She smirked, knowing it was only a matter of time before she could reak the same deep destruction that her father and Anakin Skywalker had done to her. He would pay dearly for all the pain that he has caused me, she thought, thinking back to the day, long ago in the Jedi Temple. He and Kenobi and all of his family shall pay for all that they have done to me.
Siv looked back out the window, watching the stars streak by from inside the ship. Pay dearly with their lives.