Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars. I just created my own little AU sandbox to play in.
AN: Hey everyone! Welcome to the 14th Forever Destined Vignette. The first scene takes place a week after the battle on Bandomeer and then it jumps ahead one year. Time for an age check on the kids.
Luke and Leia: 13
Jayden, Jenna, and Natalie: 10
The Corellian Conflict: A Forever Destined Vignette
Just a week after Xizor's infidelity was exposed…
Xizor bowed before his Master's hologram. He was visibly nervous and rightly so. Darth Tyrannus, also known as Sifo-Dyas, did not take failure well. Xizor had seen him torture his own apprentice and other subordinates for failing him. If he was seeing the Master in person right now, he was certain he would be have been writhing on the floor in pain. The look on Sifo's face was murderous.
"Prince Xizor…it looks like you've made quite a mess of yourself in the media. Your tarnished public image does not bode well for us," Sifo hissed.
"Master, forgive me. I never intended for such exploitive holos to surface, but Senator Skywalker and her family been relentless in trying to stain my reputation," Xizor explained.
"I do not care what your excuses are! I will not have my carefully laid plans destroyed, because you can't keep it in your pants!" Sifo spat angrily.
"Please Master…I beg for your forgiveness," Xizor pleaded. Sifo chuckled evilly. How he loved it when they groveled.
"Padme is quite a formidable woman; absolutely fascinating. And a stunning treat for the eyes as well. I'm not surprised that she has bested a diseased worm like you on numerous occasions. You are beginning to become a liability and your usefulness is running out," Sifo said. Xizor noticed the dark figure behind him and fear took him over.
"Please Master…I can provide you with three times the chemical weaponry as your other suppliers," Xizor panicked.
"That's not entirely so. Now that Aron Gunray is free again, the factories on Cato-Neimodia are starting up production again. I daresay I no longer need Falleen's chemical deposits," Sifo said.
"Master, my operatives have just uncovered a deposit of Zylithium that is three times the size of all the shipments last year. Unfortunately, with the Jedi watching Falleen so closely, it will be hard to move it," Xizor said. Sifo-Dyas looked intrigued.
"Hmmm…this may be just the catalyst needed to create conflict among Republic planets. Our planning must be delicate. It must look like the Falleen are victims of an attack by another planet," Sifo said.
"If I may suggest Master, we could implicate the Naboo. It's well known that the Skywalkers harbor a hatred for me," Xizor said. Sifo chuckled.
"No, I have other plans for Naboo later on. Besides the Naboo don't have a significant military. It's not believable that they would actually attack another system, especially Falleen. Naboo's military is only a quarter of the size of Falleen's. No, Corellia is the only believable choice. They have the largest Navy and military in the galaxy. They are a race of warriors and aggressors, not to mention a Galactic leader in the productions of ships and weapons. They will be tricked into igniting a conflict with Falleen. Then you will be able to mobilize your warships to smuggle the chemical weaponry in larger quantities, without the Jedi being suspicious. But the conflict must build gradually before it comes to a head. Make sure the Chancellor is completely under your control. My associate will be watching you and should you fail again, he will bring you to me. And I will not show you mercy again, Xizor," Sifo said, as the cloaked figure stepped into the light, dropping his hood. It was a male Zabrak with frightening red and black tattoos marring his artificial skin. His eyes bled yellow and his lips were twisted into a permanent scowl.
"This is Darth Maul, my newest bio-Sith apprentice. He will be watching you and reporting everything to me. This is your final chance, your highness," Sifo warned.
"Thank you, my Master. I won't disappoint you again," Xizor said in relief.
"You're a dead man if you do. And since I'm not there to punish you personally, Maul will teach you your lesson," Sifo said. A spike of fear was followed by the excruciating pain of Maul's iron fist, as it smashed into his shoulder blade. The Prince fell flat on his face, as Maul delivered a vicious kick to his side. Blood spattered on the floor, as Xizor coughed. Maul smirked gleefully, enjoying the Prince's pain. He cackled evilly, as he poured Force lightning into the sniveling pawn. Xizor screamed in agony, pleading for mercy. Maul was enjoying himself, but Sifo finally ordered him to cease.
"And that is just a small taste of what you will endure should you fail again. Maul loves torture and he does not grant death swiftly if he does not have to. If you're successful, your life will be spared," Sifo lied. He had no intention of sparing Xizor. Once he had sucked Falleen dry of its chemical resources, Xizor would be executed and Falleen would be massacred in a demonstration of his power.
"I understand Master. I will not fail," Xizor croaked painfully.
"Let's hope you do not for your sake," Sifo said, as his hologram disappeared. The plans and preparations that would begin would be a slow process. But the events that would follow would never be forgotten. The devastation on Bandomeer was just the beginning. And whether they wanted to admit it or not, the Republic was at war.
One Year Later…
Yan observed his youngest great grandchildren, as they spared. Mace and Yoda also observed, as Jayden and Jenna furiously exchanged strikes. They'd been training for a year and already they were advanced years beyond their age. Jenna had yet to openly display the magnitude of power that her twin had, but they knew it was likely only a matter of time until her subdued powers made their presence known. Yan had sworn he was done training padawans after Anakin, but these two required the training of more than just one Master; just as their father had. Officially, Jayden was his padawan and Jenna was Qui-Gon's. but they, as well as Mace, Yoda, Obi-Wan, and their father all took part in their training. Officially, Ryoo and Luke were padawans to Obi-Wan and Anakin respectively. And field work had kept the two Master/Padawan teams busy. Since the catastrophe on Bandomeer, crime had spiked with a seventy percent increase and the Jedi were once again being stretched very thin. Without the help of the Clone Forces, they would have been in even worse shape. Times were definitely not as peaceful as they once had been. In the last year, Kimberly had also been chosen as a padawan to none other than Serra Keto. Despite her problems in the past, she and Ferus were now very close friends of Anakin and Padme's. While Kimberly's midichlorian count was much lower than her siblings, she made up for it with the gift (or curse) of highly concentrated empathy. She could read just about any person and know what they were feeling or thinking; and sometimes even what they were going to do before they did it. While most Jedi possessed such abilities, Kimberly's powers of empathy were unusually strong; even to the point that she could physically feel the pain of those she loved. Anakin was positive that she had inherited the ability to read people so well from her mother. As for Leia, she had chosen a bit of a different path in the last year. Watching her mother council victims after the tragedy on Bandomeer had a profound effect on her. She had begun shadowing her mother at the Senate and it quickly became clear that Leia was a natural. At thirteen, she was officially assisting her mother as a Senatorial aide, while she trained three times a week with her father and twin brother to keep her Jedi skills in top form. Leia was a first to cross both lines between the JedI and the Senate. There was plenty of protest, but there was no law stating that a Jedi padawan couldn't serve in the Senate. Anakin and Padme were so proud of her conviction to help people, just as they were proud of all of their children. And Yan was proud too. Pride was almost bursting out of him. The spar had ceased and Jayden came over to him.
"You did well, young one. You both did," Yan said. Jayden beamed at his great grandfather's praise.
"Grandpa, can I ask you a question?" Jayden asked.
"You know you can ask me anything, Jay," he replied.
"How come I'm the only one that has powers like Daddy?" Jayden asked.
"To be honest Jayden, I'm not sure why you or your father manifest the powers that you do," Yan replied.
"How old was dad when he first did it?" Jayden asked. Yan was going to tell him that his father was almost twenty-three when it happened, but it wasn't exactly the truth…
Six-year-old Anakin trotted alongside his grandmother through the bustling Coruscant marketplace. He was enthralled by all the sights and sounds and Elana smiled down at him. They were meeting Yan for lunch at her favorite café after a morning of shopping. They passed through the busiest part of the market and came to a series of alleyways that led to the ritzier part of town. But Elana immediately knew she had made a mistake in coming this way. A man, puffing on a death stick, watched them pass by with interest. Elana noticed him start to follow her and she began to panic. When she saw him draw a gleaming vibro blade she began to panic when she saw him draw a gleaming vibro blade. She picked Ani up and started walking faster. He made his move and caught up to her.
"Hey, hold up there, beautiful. Let's have a chat," he hissed, as he grabbed her arm. Elana's eyes were full of fear, as he held the blade up.
"All your money and jewelry or I slice the kids," he snarled. Tears slipped down her cheeks, as she eagerly handed her pocket book over and started taking her jewelry off.
"Hurry up lady!" he snarled. Elana's hand shook, as she tried to unfasten her Syrian pearls with one hand.
"Dammit…put the brat down and hurry up!" he snarled. Elana put Anakin down and undid all her jewelry as quickly as she could, hoping that he would be on his way. But she had no such luck. The man whistled impressively, as he surveyed her jewelry.
"This stuff is real. Rich bitch, I see. That's a pretty brat you got there too. Bet I could get a lot of dough for him too. I know people that like pretty little boys," he hissed.
"Please…don't hurt him! I'll do anything you want, just don't hurt him!" Elana pleaded. He chuckled evilly.
"Anything, huh? I like the sound of that," he growled, as he jerked her by the arm and slammed her back against the wall. He turned her over and pressed her against the wall. She wanted to scream when his hand found the zipper on her dress. But his words kept her voice to a whimper.
"Scream and the kid is dead," he growled. Elana prepared herself for the agony that was to come. But a scream erupted from the man, as he was lifted into the air and sent crashing into a dumpster on the other side of the alley. Elana turned, expecting to see her husband there, but he wasn't. The man growled, as he pulled himself up out of the garbage. But he was knocked back into the garbage by an unseen force again. He looked at the child in horror, as he glowed with a white aura around him.
"You're a bad man!" Anakin yelled. Elana couldn't believe it. Her grandson had subdued the man.
"Yan!" she cried, as he arrived in a run, having sensed her distress.
"Grandpa…the bad man tried to hurt grandma!" Anakin called, pointing at the culprit. Yan was astounded when Elana whispered to him what had taken place; that Anakin had seemingly used the Force. Only a seasoned Jedi should be able to use the Force the way Anakin just did.
"That kid…he's a freak!" the man cried. Yan knew what had to be done. He waved his hand in front of the man.
"It was not the child that subdued you. It was I. You will forget that you ever saw the boy," Yan instructed. The man parroted the line back to him and Yan arrested him. A prison transport arrived with Qui-Gon in tow and the perpetrator was hauled off to prison. That day, only Qui-Gon and Yoda learned of the true account of events that occurred in the alley. For Anakin's safety, it was kept a very closely guarded secret.
Anakin didn't remember the event and Yan knew it was better that way.
"You father first used his special powers during his battle with Darth Sidious," Yan said. Jayden was satisfied with that answer, having heard the story of Darth Sidious' demise at the hands of his father. Yan had never imagined that all of Anakin's children would be so unique and gifted. But he supposed he shouldn't be surprised, being that their parents were so unique themselves. Yan was content with life. He couldn't have ever imagined it turning out better. In his younger years, he had thirsted for power and he knew he had been headed down the same path as Sifo-Dyas. But when he held his adopted infant son in his arms for the first time, he realized that more power would destroy and blacken his soul. His love for Qui-Gon and Elana changed him. Love made him who he was today and he protected his family fiercely.
"The Chair recognizes Senator Skywalker of the Naboo,"
"Senator Skywalker, what motion do you bring?" Mon Mothma questioned.
"As you know, the Jedi have relocated Agri-Corps to the newly built Temple on Yavin IV. However, crops are in their infancy and I request additional aide to the systems that previously relied on Bandomeer," Padme said.
"Senator Skywalker has motioned for additional aide for the needy planets affected by the tragedy on Bandomeer. If there is no debate, then we will move to vote," Mon announced. There was no debate and voting was quick.
"Relief aide will be granted. Do you have an additional motion to bring to the floor?" Mon asked.
"I do, your Excellency. The Jedi Council has requested additional Clone Forces to patrol the outer rim. We believe it is imperative if we are to find Sifo-Dyas and his operation," Padme said.
"Oh please, not this again," Xizor disputed.
"Senator, we have heard this argument before. The Senate does not support increasing patrols where we have no business," Mon replied.
"Sifo-Dyas is building weapons to use against the Republic. We must find him before he can unleash more attacks on multiple systems," Padme insisted.
"Your husband's vision is hardly credible evidence," Xizor snorted.
"It was not a vision. He received it from a mind probe during the interrogation of one of Sifo-Dyas former and most knowledgeable subordinates," Padme argued.
"That is enough. We will put this to vote, so we may put this issue to rest," Mon said, looking at Padme sternly. The votes were compiled and Padme's motion was defeated by a narrow margin.
"The motion to increase patrols in the outer rim has been defeated. Next motion," Mon said. Bail gave Padme a sympathetic glance.
"How are they so bloid?" Leia heard herd mother mutter. Leia had to agree, of course. If her father thought they were in danger, then they were foolish not to believe him. The session was soon ended and Padme docked her pod, as she and Leia stepped out. As usual, Xizor was standing in her way; gloating.
"I'm so sorry your motion was defeated, but at least you got your food for the poor starving people," Xizor said smugly.
"I don't have the time or patience for you today. Mon actually wants you around, so go bother her," Padme spat back. Xizor chuckled.
"Always so feisty. I love a good fight," he leered, undressing her with his eyes. Padme glared at him.
"I hope today's session was educational, young Leia," Xizor said.
"It was. I learned that most Senators are here to line their own pockets instead of properly serving their people. I also learned that there a traitors among us," Leia retorted, glaring up at him. Xizor was taken aback for a moment, but then chuckled.
"My, my, just as feisty as your mother, I see. How delightful," Xizor leered.
"I tell my Daddy everything too," Leia warned. Padme watched the smug smirk disappear.
"Charming little girl," he said, through clenched teeth, as he stalked off. Padme sighed.
"Come on sweetie. Let's go home for the day," Padme said, as they headed to the landing pad where Typho and Tyler awaited them.
People screamed and chaos erupted in the Coco Town marketplace, as two assailants ploughed their way through the people, pushing and hitting them out of the way. But as Luke ran after them, he knew it was only a matter of time and desperation before they opened fire on the innocent people in their path. Luke blocked their blaster bolts with his saber, choosing to absorb them with his blade, rather than to deflect them. It was too risky with all the innocent bystanders. Unfortunately, choosing to absorb the blasts was slowing him down.
"Luke…where are you?" he heard his father call through his comlink.
"Just passing Nova Lane and heading east toward Coco Street. They're slowing me down though. I can't risk deflecting their blasts with so many people in the way," Luke responded.
"You're doing exactly what you need to. I've got the them in sight. Just keep doing what you're doing," Anakin called, as he observed the stretch from above on his hoverboard. Anakin spotted the fleeing perpetrators, who were wanted for multiple robbery/homicides. Anakin leaned forward, zooming faster through the air, before descending below, until he was hovering just above them. The two angry, desperate men fired their blasters at him, but Anakin absorbed them with his Force shield. He pulled the blasters from their hands and grabbed them each by the collar. He came to a stop and his feet unlocked from the hoverboard. He slammed the men against the wall. Luke arrived and they both cuffed each man. Serra and Ferus arrived in one of Anakin's speeders with Kimberly and eleven-year-old Marcus in the back.
"We'll take care of these two. Obi-Wan needs you down at the Coruscant Galactic Bank right away. I think you'll need Kimberly on this one too," Serra said, as they all got out of the speeder and the prison transport arrived. Rex hopped off with several of his men, who immediately took the two men into custody.
"What's going on at the bank?" Anakin asked.
"Hostage situation. Seven men inside. They blew the vault door off with thermal detonators. The initial blast killed eight people. Now, until they receive a ship to make their getaway, they're executing hostages and they just killed hostage number two. You've got twenty minutes until he executes hostage number three," Rex said.
"Obi-Wan's been trying to calm the leader down, but he's not taking any bait. I think Kimberly's insight may be useful," Serra said. Anakin nodded, as he had his two children hopped into the speeder. Anakin punched the throttle and they went sailing into traffic, while Ferus, Serra, and Marcus boarded the prison transport with the Clones.
Anakin arrived at the bank and joined his brother's, as they stood at the communication console. Media was all over the place and citizens gathered around, worry lining their faces.. Ten innocent people were already dead and even his presence was doing little to reassure everyone that no more blood would be spilt.
"He wants a ship for he and his men to make their getaway. He says if he gets it, he'll release the rest of the hostages," Obi-Wan said.
"Then let's give him one," Anakin replied. Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow.
"I suppose you have a plan," Obi-Wan replied. Anakin smirked.
"Of course," he replied, as the leaded made himself known, standing at the top of the stairs outside the bank. The coward held a blaster to the head of a crying five-year-old girl.
"Well, well, I must be in a lot of trouble if they sent you, Skywalker," the gritty, unshaven criminal sneered. Anakin played on his inflated ego.
"You're right. You've caused quite a frenzy today," Anakin replied.
"I want my ship in five minutes or this little one is next," he ordered. Anakin's eyes narrowed.
"You'll have your ship, but it's going to take time," Anakin replied.
"Then I guess this little girl is going to die," he snarled.
"No, I have an offer to make you. You'll have your ship in twenty minutes. If you safely release all the hostages inside, then you can take me prisoner in exchange. An important hostage like me can ensure your safe passage off Coruscant," Anakin said. The man chuckled.
"You're right. That's a pretty good offer," he laughed, as he pushed the child down. She stumbled down the stairs and fell sobbing on her skinned knees.
"Go Luke," Anakin said. Luke retrieved the child and brought her to safety.
"Release the rest of the hostages and you can take me prisoner," Anakin called.
"No, I release them after I have you as my insurance policy," he retorted.
"All right," Anakin relented, as he took his light saber from his belt and handed it to Obi-Wan.
"Daddy, you can't! He's going to kill all the hostages anyway once he has you! I can feel it!" Kimberly said. He smiled down at her.
"I know, tiny angel. I can feel his intentions too. But I'll stop him, don't worry," Anakin promised.
"Cuff his hands behind his back!" the man ordered.
"I hope you know what you're doing," Obi-Wan said, as he did so.
"Don't worry, you know these cuffs can't really hold me," Anakin replied.
"Now…walk up here slowly!" he ordered. Anakin obeyed and soon reached his captor.
"I can already hear them singin' my name in infamy. Hope you said your goodbyes to the pretty wife and kids," he sneered, as he escorted Anakin inside. Once there, Anakin spotted fifteen very frightened hostages.
"I've got our ticket outta this place, boys!" he called.
"Release the hostages," Anakin requested. The man chuckled.
"Sorry pretty boy, but they ain't going anywhere. As soon as we get our ship, my boys are going to execute them," he said. The thieves laughed, as the people began to panic.
"That's unfortunate," Anakin said, as he memorized the position of each assailant. He eyed the two large tables in the center of the room and unnoticeably unscrewed the legs from the floor with the Force.
"Yes unfortunate indeed. I hope they brought enough body bags," he said, as he and his boys shared another laugh. Anakin joined them, chuckling with them, which made them stop.
"I meant unfortunate for you," Anakin replied, as his gaze turned to ice and his confident smirk remained. The room suddenly went pitch black. Anakin overturned the rectangular tables and slid them to shield the cowering hostages. Blaster fire rang out wildly, as his Force shield blazed to life in a blue aura around him. He snapped his stun cuffs effortlessly relying on his Force sight in the darkness. Two of the accomplices never knew what hit them, as Anakin knocked them both out with one punch to the face each. He felt one man jump on his back and try to choke him. He reversed their positions and snapped the man's neck with minimal force. He used the dead assailants blaster and shot the last three, before raising the lights. The leader had taken a woman hostage and held a blaster to her head.
"Move an inch and she's dead, Jedi," he spat. Anakin stopped.
"Drop the blaster," he ordered. Anakin obeyed.
"I'm walking out of here and you're not stopping me!" he screamed, as he pushed the woman into Anakin and began running toward the exit.
"I'm afraid I can't let you leave," Anakin said. The perpetrator barely had time to scream, before one of the tables smashed into his and sent him flying through the glass door. The was standing there, shaking his head, as they covered the body up with a cloth tarp.
"I don't know how you do it, sometimes," Obi-Wan said. Anakin smiled.
"I have many talents. Just ask Padme," Anakin joked.
"You're also cocky and I don't know what talents your wife thinks you have. You're insane too. You know that, right?" Obi-Wan joked back.
"I call it skill," Anakin retorted.
"Insanity is my word for it, but I guess whatever works," Obi-Wan joked. They kept it lighthearted, but they each knew that the rampant crime would only spell disaster for the future. Something was on the horizon. They could feel it…