XXII

Darth Maul had not been raised with the concept of failure. He would not call his inability to kill Darth Sidious and Darth Vader, or convert or kill Luke Skywalker, failure. He thought of them as proofs of his own uselessness. He was a broken machine, to be thrown in the scrap heap of history.

He had moved his ship, but not off of Dantooine. The place he had ended landing in was probably an ancient bastion of the dark side, but he did not care.

He remembered the word which Sidious has spoken in Zabrak which had tripped a more-than-instinct switch in his head. How deeply was that engrained? Where there more, other words that commanded him?

He researched a few more words, and then sat down in his quiet, dark ship. He spoke clearly in the language of his birth, which he had never learned fluently.

"Die," said Darth Maul.

(four months later)

Dew dappled the leaves on Dagobah. Luke could see it closely, as he was standing on his hands as Yoda watched him from a low, safe tree branch.

He had formed many new alliances since Dantooine. After telling his truthful tale of darkside coercion and change of heart, the Rebels tentatively took him in. Princess Leia kept looking at him funny but she became his most outspoken supporter—whatever that meant for her relationship with the ex-smuggler Captain Han Solo. He preferred to refer to Luke as 'kid', almost older-brotherly, once he got over thinking Luke was a creepy little Vader clone.

At first they had simply respected each other's types of power, but an easy trust developed from a simple camaraderie especially between the three of them. Luke could drop his impressive demeanor there. He was amazed again.

When the time was right, in the Force and in their social lives, Luke told the other of Obi-Wan Kenobi's direction to go to Dagobah.

Even Han had not heard of the place.

Luke was now almost comfortable upside down on his hands; he could think clearly in the pose for a decent length of time.

Then his commlink buzzed. He neatly dropped from the handstand. "Master, do you—"

"Go," said Yoda.

The buzz meant that a message had come from the interspatial comm in Luke's X-Wing. He had crashed his prized Rebellion starfighter into a pond upon his first arrival on Dagobah, but with Yoda had gotten it out again. The comm still worked; because of the external receiver, though, the incoming transmission disguised Princess Leia's words with static and garbling.

"Boba Fett, this bounty hunter, caught up to Han. He's being taken to Jaba the Hutt…I need to meet you on Tatooine. Please contact me."

Luke knew of Jabba the Hutt. His guardians had not had dealings with the crime lord, but he knew that some farmers and more people and families of other professions did. Jabba could control the economy of the local area to a credit if he wanted to. Luke looked up from his musings over the commlink. Yoda was standing on the leaf-strewn ground beside the ship.

"Decide you must," said the little Jedi Master happily, lightening his serious words by waving his gimer stick about like a baton, "how best to serve the galaxy."

"I will come back," Luke promised..

He gathered his things and climbed to the cockpit of his small ship. It lifted off slowly; he was mindful of the plants and animals swaying around him. The silver ship emerged like a star from the globe of Dagobah, shooting back out into ebony space.

Luke thought of the future.

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Here ends 'Convergence'. It can be presumed that, with few exceptions, after this point the history of the galaxy is no longer AU, but follows the storyline of 'Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.