Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars. It all belongs to George.
AN: Here's my newest story. It is very, very loosely based on V for Vendetta. You won't really recognize much from the movie, except a few ideas here and there. So, if you haven't seen it, that's okay, because you don't need to. As always, this will be an Anakin/Padme pairing. :)
Chapter 1: Darkness Falls
The Force. It is made up of all living things and is the very life blood that binds the galaxy together. The force is like a never ending river and like a real river, many factors can change its course. Rivers flow through their banks and can often branch off into many different paths. Sometimes this is caused naturally and other times by the machines of man. The Force is very similar in many ways. The river flows its course, but can be interrupted, thus causing change. For instance, if you throw a rock into a river, it causes ripples and interrupts the normal flow momentarily. With the Force, a momentary change in the course or unexpected ripples can have much more permanent effects. A ripple effect in the Force can affect the lives of every living thing. If one such event or ripple interrupts the course, any number of things can drastically change. This time...the changes are forged by one Jedi who was never supposed to turn...and did.
It all began on what seemed to start out as an ordinary day. Young Jedi Knight Mace Windu was preparing to return from a solo mission on his home planet of Haruun Kal. His planet was embroiled in civil war. His people were starving and dying senselessly. Mace Windu, the creator of the light saber technique known as Vaapad, was angry. Mace knew anger was wrong for a Jedi. Indeed, he had developed the vicious fighting style of Vaapad to channel his darker tendencies. He had mastered the ability to teeter on the edge of dark and light. At only twenty-seven, there was talk of him being named to the Council soon. He would be the youngest Master and Council member in Jedi history. But now, Mace was questioning the judgement of the Council...namely Master Yoda's. The Jedi Council had just ordered that he leave and return to Coruscant immediately. Chancellor Valorum, only a year into his first term, was already being called the most ineffective Chancellor in Republic history. He would lend no more Jedi and no more funding to ease the conflict. The Republic was simply going to ignore Haruun Kal and leave them to their fate. The Republic and the Jedi were going to let his people kill and be killed senselessly, because they did not want to bother with them.
And then that very day...he became embroiled in the fighting again. He fell deeply into the Vaapad technique. His anger was unleashed and the aggressive fighting style slowly pulled him down, feeding on his anger and hate. Mace Windu massacred hundreds and hundreds of people. He continued his fight and ignored the summons of the Council. Mace Windu had fallen and was unsure of where to go from there, though he knew he could no longer be a Jedi. He was unsure...until he met his new master. Two days after his killing spree, the Dark Lord of the Sith, who had not been planning to reveal his existence for at least another ten years, showed himself. Never had Darth Sidious expected the great Mace Windu to fall...but he could not let such a glorious opportunity escape him. With Windu as his apprentice, his ultimate plans would be realized many years sooner than he predicted before. He promised Mace revenge on the Republic and the Jedi for his personal pain and the suffering of his people. If...he pledged himself to the ways of the dark side. Mace found his purpose that day and Darth Malice was born.
Across the galaxy, there was another significant birth that day. A virgin woman, somehow through the will of the Force, gave birth to a baby boy...
That day marked the beginning of the end for the Republic. The Dark Lord of the Sith sent his new apprentice to the watery world of Kamino, where he would remained for the next ten years, overseeing the creation of his master's army. When Mace Windu did not return, several Jedi were sent out to search for him. Nearly seven months after Windu's disappearance, his wrecked star fighter was found on the planet Mustafar. Just ashes and Mace's charred light saber were found. It was assumed that his ship malfunctioned and he was pulled into the Mustafar atmosphere by the strong magnetic pull. It was assumed that Windu burned to death and he was honored in a ceremony by his Jedi peers. No one would know the truth until it was too late...
10 Years Later
"Forgive me, Senator, but my hands are tied. The Jedi Council has sent a team of Jedi to Naboo to resolve the situation," Chancellor Valorum said.
"My people are dying Chancellor. Queen Amidala needs more than a few Jedi to ward off the Trade Federation and it's army of droids," Senator Palpatine replied.
"I am sorry Senator. Conflicts have broken out on hundreds of worlds. The Jedi are spread too thin as it is. There is nothing else I can do," Valorum stated.
"It seems that what this Republic needs...is an army," Palpatine suggested.
"Surely you jest, Senator. An army would only create more conflict. That hardly seems like a solution. The Republic has not had an army in over a thousand years," Valorum replied.
"Yes...well, I suppose we will just have to agree to disagree. Now, if you'll excuse me Chancellor, I must go inform Queen Amidala that she can expect no further assistance from the Senate," Palpatine said, as he exited the Chancellor's office, passing the red guards. In a dark corner, a cloaked figure stood. Palpatine stopped and spoke quietly.
"Is everything in place?" he asked.
"Yes my master," the figure replied. Palpatine smiled evilly.
"Excellent. You shall have your revenge my apprentice. Set our plans in motion," Palpatine ordered.
"Yes my master," he replied...
Chancellor Valorum jumped with a start, as a cloaked figure barged into his office. His red guards lay dead on the floor.
"Who are you?" Valorum trembled in fear.
"Your executioner," the Sith stated. The Chancellor screamed briefly, as the Sith's crimson saber struck him through the heart. Satisfied with his work, Darth Malice smirked under his hood and left to do more of his master's evil bidding.
Three hours later...
The chair recognizes the Senator from the sovereign planet of Naboo," Mas Amedda yelled over the squabbling delegates. The Chancellor had been murdered...with a light saber. The constituents quieted, as Palpatine took the floor.
"Good citizens of the Republic, our Chancellor has been murdered...by the Jedi!" Palpatine declared. Commotion erupted in the chamber.
"Where is your proof?" one Senator shouted.
"What more proof do you need? Chancellor Valorum was killed with a light saber! Only a Jedi has the skills and power to handle such a weapon," Palpatine lied, knowing none of them knew about the Sith. Nor did the Jedi, as they had kept their presence secret and right under their noses no less.
"It is obvious that the Jedi wish to take control of our Republic!" Palpatine declared.
"If they killed the Chancellor, we could be next!" another Senator shouted.
"What do we do?!" one asked.
"We have to stop them!" another shouted.
"Senators! Senators! I can stop them for us all!" Palpatine claimed.
"How can you do that?!" he was questioned.
"I have an army that will stop the Jedi and their treachery!" Palpatine revealed.
"An army?" questions erupted in the chamber.
"How is that possible?"
"You want to kill the Jedi?!"
"Senators please! We must kill them before they kill us! Senators, elect me your new Chancellor and I will save us all from the traitorous Jedi!" Palpatine promised. Skillfully, over the next few hours, Palpatine played on the Senators fear of the secretive and powerful Jedi Order. That day, based on his treachery and lies, he was elected Chancellor of the Republic. What no one knew was that in less than a week, Palpatine would dissolve the Republic and declare himself Emperor...
After the vote, Palpatine stepped into his chambers, where Darth Malice was waiting.
"Master, the Clone battalions are in position to begin invading the core and mid rim planets," Malice said.
"Excellent. Now, take two battalions and storm the Jedi Temple. Show no mercy, my apprentice," Palpatine said. Malice smirked.
"Yes my master," he replied.
"Your time of revenge has come. Relish it Lord Malice," Palpatine encouraged.
"I will master. I will enjoy crushing them all," Malice said, as he clenched his fist. Palpatine cackled and raised his comlink to his lips.
"Attention Clone army. Execute Order 66," Palpatine ordered.
"Yes Master," each commander sounded...
Darth Malice marched up the Temple steps with an entire legion of Clone Troopers. Waiting at the top for them was Master Yoda. The Sith apprentice cackled evilly.
"I've been waiting a long time for this," Darth Malice said, as he ignited his crimson blade.
"Get past me, you will not, Sith," Yoda said, as he ignited his emerald blade.
"That's what you think, you old troll," Malice said, as he hurled Force lightning at Yoda. The tiny Jedi Master was hit, unprepared for such an attack.
"Storm the Temple...kill everyone," Malice ordered. The Clone Troopers barged past Yoda, as the Jedi Master picked himself up. The Sith chuckled evilly.
"It is time for you to see the face of your executioner," the Sith said, as he dropped his hood. Yoda was shocked to the core by the dark skinned human face that stared back at him. The man's eyes burned with yellow rage, as he stared at the small Jedi.
"Mace Windu," Yoda said.
"No, Mace Windu is dead! He died with his people that the Republic condemned! Chancellor Valorum paid for that decision...and now you will too," Malice said, as he leapt at Yoda, crimson saber blazing. Smoke billowed for the Temple's spires, as Jedi were gunned down by the Clone Troopers. Yoda flipped wildly, as he fought the Sith, who was barely winded. Yoda knew he was going to lose, as the Sith was much more powerful than he.
"Win this battle, you may," Yoda panted, as their sabers met in a deadlock.
"But succeed in the end, you will not," Yoda promised.
"I am far more powerful than anyone who challenges me," Malice said.
"For now, yes. Someday, a more powerful being, there will be. Deliver justice, this person will," Yoda promised. The Sith snarled and struck him with Force lightning. Yoda tried to block it, but the sheer amount and power was too much. The Sith poured lightning into the small Master mercilessly, electrocuting him.
"I am all powerful and no one will stand in my way," Malice said, as he ceased his attack. Yoda coughed weakly and opened his eyes.
"Least of all you, Jedi scum! Goodbye Yoda...enjoy eternity..." Malice said, as he beheaded the small Jedi Grand Master. As Yoda died, it was felt by every Jedi across the galaxy, just moments before most of them met their fate at the hands of the Clone Troopers as well. Darth Malice entered the Temple and relished in his slaughter of the remaining Jedi. The ones strong enough to hold up against the Clones were no match for Malice. They were cut down with ease, as none of them could match the sheer power and viciousness of Malice's own Vaapad technique, which was deeply rooted in the dark side now. Malice showed no mercy...and no on that was in the Temple that day survived...
Several hours later...
The once beautiful and peaceful planet of Naboo was now a battleground of death and destruction. The bodies of dead Gungans littered the fields. The Gungans that were left continued to battle and more of them continued to fall by the minute against the onslaught of battle droids. But the droids were not the only invaders on this planet. A few short hours ago, a squad of soldiers arrived. Theed was now crawling with them...and the Jedi were their target. The news of Chancellor Valorum's murder by a Jedi had spread through the galaxy like wildfire. Newly instated Chancellor Palpatine had declared the Jedi enemies of the Republic. He produced an army seemingly out of nowhere and gave them the task of hunting down and killing all Jedi. It was something young Queen Amidala could not believe. How had the Republic become victim to such chaos in a few short hours? She also had a very hard time believing that the Jedi were murderers. She'd watched Palpatine's speech on the Holonet and how he condemned all Jedi for the possible actions of one. She would not forget the power hungry look in his eye. She paced the room, waiting for any news from her handmaidens. She herself was in disguise as a handmaiden for her protection. Her decoy, Sabe, wore the full regalia of the Queen and sat quietly in her throne. Suddenly, Yane burst into the room.
"They are coming! We must get her highness out of Theed," Yane said.
"Who is coming?" Sabe asked.
"Captain Panaka and several Troopers. They have been unable to find the Jedi who were sent here and the Chancellor believes that the Queen is hiding them. He has charged her with treason and ordered her execution," Yane said.
"He cannot do that! There is no proof!" Dorme exclaimed.
"There was also no solid proof that a Jedi killed Valorum either," Eirtae replied.
"Dorme, Yane, and Eirtae, you will smuggle her highness out of Theed. I am charging you with her safety and you must see that she gets off planet and somewhere safe," Sabe ordered.
"I will not let you die for me!" Amidala protested. Sabe placed her hands on the young Queen's shoulders.
"There is much more for you to do, Padme. You are someone who can make a difference in this twisted galaxy," Sabe said. Tears streamed down the young Queen's face and sobs racked her petite form.
"I cannot let you do this," Padme sobbed.
"You must," Sabe replied, as she hugged her.
"Dorme, pilot the Queen's ship to her family's home. And make sure you take an astrodroid with you," Sabe said. Dorme nodded and left to carry out her duty.
"Yane and Eirtae, see that she gets to her family. You must not take too long getting off planet, fir it will not take them long to discover that I am the decoy," Sabe said. Amidala hugged her tightly, her tears splashing on Sabe's shoulder.
"Go my Queen or our sacrifice will be in vain. Be strong Padme. Things will be made right again someday," Sabe assured her. With that, Yane and Eirtae smuggled Padme out of the palace and set off toward her parents home.
Not even ten minutes later, Panaka and the troops stormed into the Queen's chambers. Panaka approached the Queen and stared at her.
"Traitor," the Queen accused.
"Oh no, your highness, it is you who is the traitor. And...you're not the real Queen. Arrest them and charge them with treason. We will carry out their execution tomorrow at dawn," Panaka ordered.
"Sir, what about the real Queen?" one trooper asked. Panaka smiled evilly.
"I have a pretty good idea of where she went," Panaka said.
Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi hid behind some crates in an alley. Clone Troopers were everywhere in Theed and escape would not be easy. Qui-Gon wondered how things had spun so out of control in such a short time.
"This is madness. I can feel them all dying! Even Master Yoda," Obi-Wan said sadly.
"I know...but we cannot afford to focus on that right now. We must get through the streets and back to our ship. Naboo is lost," Qui-Gon said.
"But how do we get past the patrols?" Obi-Wan asked.
"We will have to split up. I will go ahead and make a path. You will follow several minutes later," Qui-Gon said.
"Be careful Master," Obi-Wan cautioned.
"You too padawan," Qui-Gon said.
"May the Force be with us both," Qui-Gon said, as he cautiously trekked toward the palace. Several minutes later, Obi-Wan began creeping silently along the alley. Unfortunately, luck was not with him, as he was spotted.
"Freeze Jedi!" one Trooper called. Obi-Wan made a run for it, but dropped cold to the ground, as a blaster bolt hit him on the back of the neck. The two Clone Troopers kicked the body aside, neither bothering to check if the young Jedi was really dead or not.
"Let's keep moving. We need to find the other one," one Trooper told the other. Neither noticed the unconscious young man's hand twitch with life. Had the wound on the back of his neck been a quarter of an inch higher, it would have struck the brain stem. Obi-Wan Kenobi would soon learn how lucky he was to even be alive...
Qui-Gon felt a pang of terror in his heart, as he felt his padawan's life force disappear.
"Oh Obi-Wan...I'm so sorry," Qui-Gon said in anguish. He had lost everything today, but it would all be in vain if he did not escape. Pushing his anguish aside for the moment, Qui-Gon finally reached his star fighter. As Qui-Gon left the atmosphere, he closed his eyes in silence.
"Rest in peace, my padawan. You deserve it," Qui-Gon whispered, as his Arfour until jumped him to hyperspace.
"Padme, darling, we've been so worried about you," Jobal said, as she hugged her youngest daughter.
"I don't mean to rush you all, but we must leave immediately," Dorme said. Padme hugged her father and sister. Yane came running in.
"Troopers are coming! We must leave now!" Yane said. Ruwee kissed Padme's forehead.
"Go on darling. Get on the ship and we'll be right behind you," Ruwee said.
"Please Milady. Yane and Eirtae will help them with their things," Dorme said, as she led her out back where the ship waited. As Padme and Dorme reached the ship's ramp, the Naberrie home exploded in a combustion of flames. Padme and Dorme screamed in terror. Padme tried to run back, but Dorme held her and dragged her up the ramp.
"Milady no, you must not go!" Dorme yelled. Padme sobbed uncontrollably, as Dorme strapped her into her seat.
"Artoo, we must take off now!" Dorme called to the astrodroid. He beeped affirmatively and the Nabooan Royal Cruiser left the once peaceful and prosperous planet.
"Why?! Why did they have to kill them?! They did nothing wrong!" Padme screamed. Dorme held her and rocked her, as they cried together.
"I don't know Milady," Dorme sobbed. Anger burned hotly inside of Padme. Anger like she had never known. She vowed right there that she would do everything she could to bring Palpatine...and his army down...
About an hour into hyperspace, Qui-Gon's ship began malfunctioning. It dropped out of hyperspace.
"Arfour, what's going on?" Qui-Gon asked. He read the translator.
"Hyper drive malfunction?" Qui-Gon asked. The little droid whirled affirmatively.
"What is the nearest planet?" Qui-Gon asked. The droid's response came over the translator.
"Tatooine? Do we have enough left in the thrusters to get there?" he asked the droid. Arfour chirped a yes and made the decent into the atmosphere. There were a lot of things Qui-Gon expected to find on Tatooine. But he would never expect to find a boy with the power to save the galaxy...
Several days later, Obi-Wan Kenobi woke up with a cold compress on his head. His vision was blurry at first, but he was able to make out an aging couple staring down at him.
"Well, it's about time you woke up, boy. We we're getting worried," the kind man said.
"Where...am I?" Obi-Wan asked.
"Shh...you're safe lad. You had a nasty flesh wound. You were very lucky that it did not hit any organs or you wouldn't be here right now," the woman said. Obi-Wan remembered everything and shot up. He noticed his padawan braid was missing and the woman handed it to him.
"Sorry my boy, but we had to cut it off and get rid of your Jedi clothes. We have some civilian clothes you can wear," she said. Obi-Wan nodded. He dressed and kindly thanked the elder couple. They begged him to stay, but he kindly declined. He set out to figure out what to do, concealing his light saber under his pant leg. He watched several Troopers mill about and men dressed in peculiar uniforms. He stopped a young woman on the street.
"Excuse me, but who are these men in the uniforms?" he asked. She looked around and spoke quietly.
"They work for Emperor Palpatine, along with the Troopers," she said, as she quickly fled.
"Emperor Palpatine?" he said in horror, to no one in particular. He reached deeply into the Force, trying to sense his master...but there was nothing. He choked back tears.
"Master..." Obi-Wan mourned, thinking his Master was dead.
"What am I supposed to do?" Obi-Wan wondered. He was possibly the last living Jedi. The Republic was gone and in its place was an Empire. How could he help people when he had been declared an enemy of the Republic? He silently watched, as an Imperial officer stepped out of a local tavern and took a swig from his flask. An idea came to Obi-Wan that day...an idea that was almost too crazy to work. He smirked at the man, who suddenly found his airway constricted. Once the man lost consciousness, Obi-Wan dragged him into an alleyway and stole his uniform...