I want to explain something I might be doing with this story before you read it. You know how in movie scenes, background music plays? Well, I'm gonna try to do it with Fanfics. Whenever I put an underlined song title and author in the middle of the story, that'll be when the music starts. It's designed to give the story more of a cinematic feel, though it'll probably just confuse everyone.
Star Wars is copyrighted by Lucasfilm Ltd., and the Land Before Time is owned by Universal Pictures. I own nothing but my original characters. I'm only going to say this once.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away...
The Land Before Time: A Jedi's Destiny
Episode I: Rise of the Sith
It is a time of peace and prosperity for the New Republic. Luke Skywalker is restoring the ancient order of the Jedi, Leia Organa and Han Solo are married, and the Sith have been become all but extinct. The Empire is a shell of its former glory, and the dawn of a new age approaches. But all is not as it seems.
Unbeknownst to the Republic, in the far corners of Imperial Remnant space, the Empire is busy on a project that will pave the way for their new rise to power, and the restoration of the ancient Sith order. Once their plans are complete, they will subjugate the galaxy like never before, destroying all those who are between them and complete domination.
Meanwhile, on an unnamed planet in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy, the boundaries between worlds have collapsed, and a boy from another world and his newfound friends must face the trials of a Jedi, and defend their home from a dangerous galaxy. Now, the Empire is preparing for a strike against the formerly unknown planet, which may hold the key to bringing peace to the galaxy-or conquering it. Heroes and villains new and old will be called to fight, and one man may be the difference between saving the galaxy, or thrusting it into darkness...
The Star Destroyer Broadsword hung ominously over the barren, blackened Outer Rim planet that was Thalen V, its mile-long, wedge-shaped form looking like a blade ready to strike an enemy at a moment's notice. The Imperial battleship slowly orbited the seemingly lifeless world, its glowing blue ion engines propelling it at a recommended cruising pace through the vacuum. The aging, retrofitted warship was a testament to a bygone era, when the Galactic Empire had governed countless worlds, with nothing to oppose its tyrannical rule. Now, however, the Galactic Empire occupied only a small section of its former territory, and the Rebel Alliance that had dared to fight against it now governed under the banner of the New Republic.
The Empire, though it had made peace with the Rebels it had fought for so long, had suffered even after the peace accords had been signed. Wealthy governors and Moffs, dissatisfied with the Empire's surrender, had taken portions of the Imperial fleet loyal to them and had created their own dominions, where they were free to continue their own small campaigns against the New Republic. While the Broadsword was the flagship of the largest fleet that had deserted the Empire, the fleet was only about fifty Star Destroyers strong, and even with its numerous support vessels and considerable amount of worlds under its control, the remnant of the Imperial Remnant still had no hope of holding its own against the powerful fleets of the New Republic. At least, not until now.
A tri-winged Lambda-class shuttle dropped from the Broadsword's forward docking bay, unfolding its wings and assuming its traditional upside-down Y shape before engaging its engines and rocketing down towards the surface of the planet. Cruising through the dark, cloudy atmosphere and over the spires and mountains of black rock that made up the landscape, the shuttle arrived at its destination within a matter of minutes. The hidden castle, which had been built into one of the taller basalt spires, served as both a palace for the leader of the band of Imperials and as a research facility, although only the latter function had brought the Imperial leader back to the spire.
The shuttle folded its wings back to their vertical position as it neared the spire's topmost landing platform, using its thrusters to slow its momentum. The craft set down gently using its landing gear, its stark white hull contrasting with the black stone of the spire. The boarding ramp was lowered, and steam ejected from the pneumatic pistons that were responsible for its motion, shrouding a short, dark-haired, mustached man wearing a stiff-looking gray uniform and his two white-armored stormtrooper bodyguards as they stepped onto the landing platform. A diminutive human wearing a sterile-looking white labcoat hurried out toward them, looking excited as he rushed to greet his commander.
"Moff Thalus!" the man saluted quickly before saying zealously, "You've arrived with perfect timing! We're about to initialize the subject's synaptic pathways!"
The Moff allowed a small grin to form on his face as he replied, "Excellent! With your work, we may finally be able to oppose the New Republic with enough force to collapse their feeble government!" He gestured to the door on the other side of the platform leading into the spire. "Show me to him!"
"Yes sir!" the young scientist said, leading the Moff inside, his excitement even more visible than before.
The turbolift ride, which took them down to one of the lowest floors in the palace, was short, especially considering just how far down it really was. When the lift door slid open, Thalus stepped into a relatively small laboratory. Although the lighting was dim at best, Thalus could see two other scientists tapping away at the controls of computer diagnostic stations, all of which were arrayed around a huge, cylindrical tank in the center of the room. Thalus stepped forward, his eyes locked onto the mysterious-looking tank. Apart from being filled with water, the tank also contained a single occupant: a bald, chalk-skinned man, wearing only a cloth to maintain decency, floated in the water, a breathing apparatus clamped onto his face.
"Sir," one of the scientists addressed him. "the clone has gained partial consciousness. His synaptic pathways are stable and active."
"Is it him?" Thalus asked, his eyes fixed on the strong-looking, tall man in the tank. "Is the man we seek inside that body?"
"Yes sir." the scientist assured him confidently. "His synaptic patterns match the original's. It's him alright." An indicator light flashed on the scientist's console, and the man tapped a few controls before crying out excitedly, "Sir, he's regaining full consciousness!"
"Ready the ysalimir!" Thalus barked, watching in amazement as the man in the tank blearily blinked, trying to awaken. One of the scientists rushed over to a crate that had been shoved in the corner of the lab. As he gingerly hauled it closer to the tank, Thalus could see the furry, lizard-like creature inside through the transparisteel, its claws clamped onto a branch of an Olbio tree. Thalus personally disliked the look of the creature, but knew its Force-negating powers were an extreme asset, especially in the current situation.
The man's eyes were now fully open, and, though he was still heavily drugged, he glanced around the room wildly, utterly perplexed at his whereabouts. "Can he hear me?" Thalus asked the scientist. When the man nodded, Thalus stepped to the front of the man's view and addressed his in a calm but commanding voice.
"I know this is very disconcerting, but you will soon understand. I am Moff Thalus of the Galactic Empire, and you are in a laboratory in my palace on the planet Thalen V. I know you cannot feel the Force at the moment, because of this creature," He indicated the crate. "which can negate the Force within a short radius. I did not mean to alarm you, and it was merely a precaution. I realize your last memories were of dying aboard a space station called the Star Forge, and it is true. Four thousand years ago, you did indeed perish aboard the Star Forge during a Republic assault against the Sith." Thalus paused to let the words sink in, but when the man only gave him a bewildered look in response, he decided to explain himself more thoroughly.
"The Galactic Empire I stand for used to control the galaxy, and at its head were two Sith Lords, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. Now, however, the forces united to restore the Republic, including the Jedi, have driven us back to the corners of the galaxy, and we are on the verge of destruction. That is, unless you help us."
"We sought out a savior, someone who could lead the Empire back to its former glory, but none alive could meet that goal. So we decided to turn to the dead. We searched through the records on the deserted world of Korriban, and we finally found a medical record of a complete genetic sample of a Sith Lord in the ruins. That Sith Lord was you." Thalus gestured to himself as he continued. "I do not wish to control you, Dark Lord. I merely wish to help you, so that you in return might help me. I have given you new life, and now all I ask is that you lead the Empire and destroy the Jedi, restoring the balance the Sith bring to the galaxy."
Thalus took one step towards the Sith, speaking invitingly, "Will you accept my offer?" The room was silent for several seconds, and the man in the tank took on a thoughtful expression as he considered the offer. Finally, after nearly twenty seconds, the man nodded slowly back at Thalus, who grinned and told one of the scientists to get the man out of the tank and debriefed immediately, then send him up to the Star Destroyer. As he made his way back towards the turbolift, he looked back at the man and called out with a grin, "Welcome back to the land of the living, Darth Malak."