Star Wars: Infinities – The Apprentice
By: Christopher W. Blaine (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DISCLAIMER: The characters and situations contained in this story are used without permission for non-profit entertainment purposes only and are ©2002 by George Lucas. This story (pertaining to this chapter and all subsequent chapters) is ©2002 by Christopher W. Blaine and may not be reproduced in any form, except hard printouts for personal enjoyment, without the express permission of the author.
12 years later…
Pennants fluttered in the breeze over the Royal Alderaanian Coliseum, each one with the distinctive marking of one of the contestants for the day's race. The seating was sold out, so many were forced to either crowd into access ways or patronize one of the sports saloons located in the surrounding area.
Bail Organna welcomed several dignitaries, exchanging warm greetings and fond wishes as he waited for his special guest, Senator Mon Mothma of Chandrilla. The press thought it was quite proper of them to be so civil to each other, especially given the amount of scandal that surrounded their relationship. Those rumors and falsehoods aided them greatly as they tried to gather support for the resistance to Palpatine's New Order.
It wasn't that he couldn't love Mon Mothma, she was beautiful, intelligent and possessed a spirit that was so much like his own. His heart, however, had been broken many years ago by a young woman who probably never realized how loved she truly was.
Mon Mothma made her way to the private box, refusing to answer many questions, while dropping hints of a lawsuit here or there, just enough to make everyone think that her and Bail were mortal enemies under the surface. When she entered, the door was shut by a security officer and a red light over the door indicated that all security precautions were in effect.
"It's been awhile…"
He nodded, wishing for a drink. Even though they were not in love, their friendship was so strong that making love, even on the pretense of providing a cover story, could do no damage to their relationship. "Is Mara here?"
She shook her head. "No; she…she reached puberty over the summer and she began to demonstrate some Force talent. I thought it best to let her try to sort out her hormones away from prying Imperial eyes."
"I know of someone who can help," Bail offered.
"Not yet; that is our trump card and I don't want to play it yet," she said as she took her seat. "Has the race started?"
He nodded and pointed to the monitor between them. "I never though Alderaan would ever sponsor a pod race, but the Emperor insisted. Lord Vader Day and all."
Mon Mothma looked down into the crowds and could see the Special Investigative Squads going around with their Force detectors. The paddle-like devices measured midichlorian levels, which in turn let the investigator know if the person was a potential Jedi. Most were hauled off and executed, but it was rumored that the Emperor was keeping some of them, especially the females.
Opposite of them, across the fairgrounds, was the Emperor's box. In it, she could see the master of the empire seated on a dark throne, two Crimson Guardsmen at his side. "Where's the Emperor's witch?"
Bail sighed and pointed down at the pits. A squad of white armored stormtroopers were posted around a flag with the circular emblem of the Empire. "She's down there somewhere; hasn't aged a bit."
"Well, lucky her. Must have had all of the old parts replaced," Mon Mothma said in disgust. "It must be nice to look like your twelve years old all of the time."
As if she had heard it, Darth Deceptra stepped into view and looked up at Bail's box. "Does she do that every year, just stare at you?"
"She blames me for Anakin's death. She says that if I had not tried to force myself on her, then she would have been able to help him against Maul."
Mon Mothma shook her head. "That's not what happened…she wasted her time trying to get you upset, right?"
"I guess it depends on your point of view. I was…I am in love with her and yes, I wanted her. I wanted her so bad that I was shaking just being near her. Maybe I'm a damn fool, but I believe she can still be redeemed." He looked away as a tear started to form in his eye.
His companion pitied him. "She's more machine than woman now. I doubt she has a heart. You have heard that the Naboo system has been blockaded. No traffic in or out. I heard that they tested a new weapon out there and it killed everyone. Some people even say they blew up the planet."
Bail snorted. "Right, and I'm a Jedi Knight in disguise." He pointed to the monitor. "Here they come!"
Several pod racers streaked through the green hills, engines whining. A black and red one with the Imperial logo on it was well in front of the others, but a light blue one was starting to catch up. "The leader is Luke Skywalker. He's won it four years in a row since he started racing."
"His mother probably makes everyone lose," was the reply.
"No, he has his father's talent that's for sure. Say what you want, Anakin Skywalker was one hell of a pilot."
The blue racer suddenly began to accelerate and took and inside corner. The Imperial craft tried to block the way, but was too large to take the turn so tightly. The two pod racers clanged together and still the little blue one poured on more speed to shoot past the other one.
As they came around the corner and through the main gate, the tale was told. The blue one was a good ten meters ahead of the Imperial and crossed the finish line with an entire second to spare, which was a lifetime in pod racing. Bail stood up and cheered, as did Mon Mothma, though she was only happy to see the favorite son of the Empire humiliated. She prayed it was an alien, given the xenophobic attitude the government had.
When the pods braked and came to rest, the stormtroopers moved to surround the Imperial craft as the pilot stood up and tore off their helmet. Light brown hair was pasted to an oddly handsome face. The pilot was cursing and pointing at the winner, demanding something be done. Bail immediately took Mon Mothma by the hand and headed out to race down to the ground level. It took only minutes by using his private stairwell.
When he got there, the pilot of the blue racer was just getting out, waving to crowds who were cheering and throwing down flowers. Darth Deceptra stepped out from behind a wall of stormtroopers as Bail approached. "That pilot cheated!" Luke Skywalker screamed.
The other pilot removed their helmet and long dark hair fell out. Mon Mothma smirked and held out her arms as Princess Leia ran into them. Bail turned to Deceptra, who was livid at seeing her son defeated by Bail's daughter. In that instant, Bail realized that he had pushed too hard, he had embarrassed the Sacred Son and he had made an enemy out of an annoyance. Whatever their relationship had been previously, it was now forever changed. The burning hatred he saw in the eyes of the woman who had once been Padme Amidala reminded Bail of just how mortal he really was.
He knew he was looking at the face of his eventual death.
The boy was strong for his age, powerful in both body and in the magic. Already, his mother had used him as a leveraging tool to earn favors from some of the other more powerful witches with promises that he would deliver upon them dark children like himself. In another year or so, he would be ripe enough to allow some of her loser allies to borrow him.
She brushed back her long white hair, that color now not from a natural beauty, but more from an internal corruption. She finally understood why so many practitioners of the dark magic sought out host bodies to transfer their essences into. The beauty of youth was gone as the magic and gravity caused that which was firm and taut to become sift and saggy.
Gethzerion did not complain, though, for she knew that somewhere out there in the galaxy were the tools she needed to put her mind, her spirit, into the body of someone younger and prettier. That was her goal, the same as Darth Sideous, Emperor Palpatine…whatever he was calling himself these days. The records she had recovered when the boy had killed old Mother Rell had shown her everything she needed to know.
Still, she was stuck on this jungle planet, without so much as a rocket engine to strap to her posterior so she could escape. That would come in time as well, as she had learned many techniques from the data chips and readers that old Mother Rell had kept. Techniques that Master Yoda had not wanted to fall into the hands of the Nightsisters. Oh, well, she thought with a toothless smile.
The boy stepped into the hut, his body covered in sweat. His skin was pink like hers and he lacked the horns of his father, but he had the same piercing red eyes. Oh he was quite handsome indeed. "You look tired, Malikie, come sit next to the pot and mother will get you food."
Malikie spit on the floor. "They tried to make me work again. Again they told me that I was a male and therefore must work to earn my keep, either on the farms or in the bed."
Gethzerion wondered who had been foolish enough to interrupt the boy's studies with the holocron. "And who was it, my son? What did you do?"
"I waited and my father spoke to me; his voice came like the chill on a winter wind," Malikie said as he seated himself before the fire. Gethzerion did not know what a winter wind felt like, but it sounded wonderful on such a humid day. "He told me to reach out and grasp her with the magic, but not to speak the words."
Gethzerion smiled. The spirit of Darth Maul was restless indeed. It was said that certain Dark Lords could exist in the Force even after death. Gethzerion hoped to one day become that powerful. She wondered how long it took and was it a matter of study or time? If Darth Maul had been killed at a younger age, would he have been able to make his presence known or would he have been lost forever?
She wished desperately that he could take physical form, so that she could ravage him. There was no lover in the galaxy quite like Darth Maul. "Did you kill her?"
Maul smiled. "I killed all of them."
Slowly, Gethzerion walked to the entrance of her hut and she looked out. All over the witches compound there were bodies. None moved and all were the color of deep blue water. Even the animals were dead from insects to small mammals. She looked back in to her so who was eating.
Yes, he was a fine specimen indeed.