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The Darker Side of Life

Summary: Just two days after the Battle of Naboo, Darth Maul is reborn in one of Palpatine's bionic experiments. With no memory of hisprevious life, Maul is but a shadow for his former self. Palpatine orders Count Dooku to rid him of his 'failed' experiment. But this young Sith has a talent, for survival.

Successfully escaping the clutches of his former masters, Maul has to hide and adapt in the underbelly of Curascant, a seething, dark, labyrinthine world beneath the glittering towers of the capital.

With a constantly intoxicated, Death-stick dealer named 'Jack' (a nod to POTC Jack Sparrow) as his guide, Maul tries to make some sense of the world, and soon rediscovershis great powers.

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Chapter 1 - Breath of life

The experiment had been a success. Artificial robotic legs had been grafted to what little was left of his body, fused to his spine. The feet looked like massive metal talons. Palpatine watched through a tinted window. He had no intention of continuing the boy's training. This had been an experiment to see if he could survive the procedure. He had found his apprentice, Darth Maul on Naboo. His body had been cut cleanly in two by the Jedi Kenobi. He had been dead for two days, but not for much longer. Palpatine had secretly transported him to Curascant, the capital planet, a place buzzing with technology.

He watched, as the robots hovered over his apprentice, and switched on a large defibrillator nearby. A huge shock pad extended out from the wall above the patient. Palpatine twitched his finger, and a loud BUZZ echoed into the room as the electricity charged up. "Now' he closed his eyes, as a shockwave erupted from the machine, causing his apprentice's body to twist and contort from the huge current passing through him. The heart furiously started beating, and still the current charged through his body. His apprentice gasped and opened his eyes as his lungs took in a fresh gulp of air, he needed it. He had been dead for a while. Then the heart stopped again.

Palpatine clenched his teeth in anger as Maul began to slip away once more. This had been the third attempt overall. 'You WILL get up boy!' he raged.

Holding out a hand, he raised the current to dangerous heights. The metal legs began to heat up and steam, the arms stretched out, and the fists clawed at the air. Another surge of current slammed into Maul's heart, and it pounded with life again.

With a painful, angry roar, Maul reached for the machine above him, and wrenched it away from the wall. Sparks of electricity flew at his face and arms, charring him, but he could barely feel it. His memory was slurred, he couldn't even remember his own name. The pain in his chest and abdomen was unlike anything he had ever felt before, it was agony. Doubling over he stumbled forward and snarled. The floor clanked and crushed from the weight of his legs. Maul focused his eyes to see his lower half was entirely made of metal, and he was fused to it. He touched it in horror and disgust, and tried to wiggle his toes. The Talons of his robotic feet moved like he wanted, but he could not feel them.

"What is this?" he snarled, and grabbed a nearby medical bot. The robot was terrified, and fought to be free, it writhed and bleeped at him, and he released it, sending it smashing into the wall opposite. He winced in pain, and pulled out countless needles and tubes from his chest and arms.

He leant against the nearby glass for support, and as he touched it, a wave of energy hit him like lightning. The hairs on his neck stood on end, and he felt a terrible feeling in what was left of his gut. He turned to look through the glass, it was black, and all he could see was his reflection. And it was a fearsome sight to behold. He knew he was being watched, he could 'feel' it. Yet he had no idea who it was.

"Where am I?" he shouted. Hobbling uneasily around the room on his new legs. Looking out of the window in the hopes of recognising the horizon.

To say Palpatine was a little disappointed was an understatement. His apprentice was talking a great deal more than usual, which suggested severe memory loss. His body was working though, perfectly. He had made life, from death, and Palpatine smiled slightly from his victory. However, the boy was struggling to manoeuvre…there was no way he would return to his former glory. He had been one of the best fighters Sideous had ever trained. He was a little arrogant during training, but his stubbornness and desire to kill made him powerful and fast. Dooku himself had helped oversee the boy's lightsabre training.

"It's such a shame…" Dooku's huge frame loomed in the doorway behind Palpatine. "I was most impressed when his weapon of choice was a double blade. That design of weapon had not been used in centuries of our history." His low voice purred.

"Indeed." Darth Sideous turned away from the glass, and walked toward the exit. Dooku immediately stepped aside to let his master pass. "A great shame." The Sith lord continued as he walked down a tunnel to a separate room. Dooku walked slowly behind, hands clasped firmly behind his back.

"Kenobi did a lot of damage, yet the boy's strength has pulled him through admirably."

"My apprentice is dead Dooku…That boy in the theatre is a shadow of his former glory." Palpatine hissed.

"All that effort. A waste." Dooku nodded disbelievingly. The old men stood in silence and admired the view of Curascants light filled night sky.

They heard Maul's voice roar from the operating theatre. "Where are you? What have you done to me? Help me…somebody!"

"What are we going to do with him?" Dooku turned to Sideous.

Palpatine glared coldly, and began to walk away.

"My Lord? Surely in time…" Dooku protested.

"His memory may never return, I fear we left him dead for too long, at least now we know our technology will work on your apprentice Lord Grievous, should he choose to go through with the procedure." Palpatine added.

"His health has deteriorated rapidly I'm afraid. He will have no choice but to agree to the surgery." Dooku was saddened by this news.

Palpatine felt Dooku became too attached to his apprentices. Emotion was the fuel to the Sith's power, but it could also hinder. That is why Dooku didn't want to kill Maul now. He had hope.

Palpatine raised his hand, and lifted Dooku's lightsaber from its holster. He floated it in front of the tall man's face. "You know what you have to do." he said darkly. "I can't have him running off to the Jedi. He could betray us without ever realising he is one of us."

Dooku swallowed and reluctantly plucked the lightsaber from the air.

"It will be done my Lord." He bowed, and headed for the theatre.

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