Chapter 1, Dreams
Such pained faces, such loud screams, the sound of metal clashing in a dark sky, muddled by black blood and bones…
I gasped as I sat up in my quarters, shaking in a cold sweat. It was just a dream, I thought, looking over at my sleeping Padawan, curled up under her thick quilt, so innocent, so unaware of what I had seen. I sighed heavily, standing up, walking over to the open window, my bare feet padding softly on the smooth floor.
I gazed at the murky, dark sky, faintly seeing the snow that was starting to cover the bustling city of Coracant. It was winter, and the war had gotten worse as the cold season went on. I had faced many battles, many defeats and victories, but none could compare to the battle in my heart; unable to control my anger and guilt, trying to ignore my past, but focus on the now…the forsaken, bloody now.
"Is something wrong, Master?" I heard Ahsoka say behind me. My head unconsciously turned around to see Ahsoka behind me, dark circles under her bright blue eyes.
"No…nothing is wrong," I replied, my lie so untrue that it hurt to say it. "I just…can't sleep."
"I sense otherwise," she said almost stubbornly, her voice hinted with sorrow. "You can tell me, Anakin."
I always knew that she was serious if she used my first name. We stared at each other for a moment until I walked over to the couch, sitting down heavily. Ahsoka followed and sat in an adjacent chair, folding her hands together, leaning forward, eager to her my explanation.
"I've been having these…dreams-no, visions…" I started, but became lost in my memory of my most recent episode of nightmares. "This isn't as bad as after Mortis, but still troubling."
"I still remember that," she said, eyes glazing over faintly while reminiscing of my constant panic attacks and nervous breakdowns. "Go on."
"I keep seeing these…soldiers with metal armor that covers their entire bodies, on four-legged creatures with manes and long heads. I see myself dressed like that, but looking slightly different," I said, trying to remember as best I could. "And there's this blonde woman with such olive skin, she seemed to be learning from me, like you. And then there was a man…a man with a beard and long hair…like how Obi-wan used to look…that's all I can remember."
"That's quite peculiar," Ahsoka responded, obviously troubled as much as I was. "Do you think that it's the Force trying to tell you something?"
"No, it's too clear and complicated for that," I replied. "Visions are usually muddled and confusing, but these are certain and definite."
"Should we talk to the Council about this?" Ahsoka asked, obviously worried about me.
"At this hour?" I scoffed. "Master Yoda may be meditating now."
"Shall we go?" she asked, standing up, pulling on some shoes.
"Yes," I replied, pulling on some shoes before walking out the door, Ahsoka at my side.
Chapter 2, Pain
Anakin seemed quite eager to see Master Yoda and inform him of his strange visions. I wondered what they meant as we quietly strolled though the even quieter halls of the Jedi Temple.
"Master?" I asked nervously, trying not to seem calm to no avail.
"Yes?" he responded, still walking and looking ahead.
"If those dreams of yours really are visions…" I said. "then what are they telling us? I mean, a medieval knight that looks like you has to mean something."
"We're about to find out," he whispered in response, nodding towards a small figure silhouetted by the soft glow of moonlight reflecting off the waterfall running through the center of the Temple, making the Garden of a Thousand Fountains look alive. "Master Yoda?"
"Sit down, you may," the ancient Jedi Master responded before we both sat down in from of him on the grass cautiously. "Help you, how can I?"
"You see," Anakin said. "I've been having strange dreams that feel like visions…and I would like to know what they mean."
"Hmm," Yoda said, closing his eyes momentarily. "A telepathic connection, we will make." Anakin nodded hesitantly, as if he was nervous about him entering his mind. He slowly scooted forward so that Yoda could reach the proper position. "Hurt, this may. Known for resurfacing memories, telepathic melds are."
"I'm ready," Anakin said, his voice cracking embarrassingly. Yoda leaned forward, placing his three-fingered hands on my Master's temples as Anakin closed his eyes, which were moving violently behind his lids.
"Remember the dream, you must," Yoda said softly, focusing on their combined thoughts. "Go back to the start, you need to."
Suddenly, Anakin cried out, tears streaming from his tightly shut eyes. He tried to pull away from Master Yoda's grip, but he held firm. "NO! Don't make me watch her die!" my Master cried, sobbing as hard as was humanly possible. "I don't want to feel it again! Why did she have to die?!"
"Calm down, you must," Yoda whispered, trying to block the memories that Anakin was reliving. "Found it, I have," he said, relaxing slightly while Anakin was still just as uncomfortable. Yoda's face became serious suddenly as he pulled away, Anakin falling backwards, breathless and broken. He covered his eyes and rolled on the ground, still remembering that horrible memory that had caused his earlier panic attack.
I slowly inched forward, rubbing Anakin's shaking back reassuringly, feeling each of his sorrowful gasps for air. I moved away to Yoda, asking, "What was it, that he remembered?"
"Died, his mother did," He replied in a whisper. "Responsible for her death, he feels."
"Why didn't he ever tell me?" I thought aloud. "He usually tells me what's bothering him."
"Specific, is he?" Yoda asked, knowing the answer that would escape my lips.
"No…" I said, eyes wide, stunned that my own Master never told me about his past. I almost felt as bad as Anakin in that moment.
Chapter 3, Confessions
When I opened my eyes, I was back in my quarters, lying down on my bed. I was confused momentarily until I remembered what had happened; I had a panic attack and Ahsoka had managed to get me back to our shared room. I sighed heavily, rubbing my eyes harshly.
"I see you're awake," I heard Ahsoka say in the distance. I looked over to the small counter to see her preparing some coffee, black…just the way I liked it. She walked over holding two mugs, one that was a navy blue with the Jedi symbol in a light blue, my favorite mug, and a similar one that was dark and light green. I sat up when she reached my bed, taking my mug from her hand.
"Thanks," I said, taking a sip of the caffeinated drink. Ahsoka walked towards the small table next to the counter, sitting in one of the chairs beside it. I followed, setting down my coffee before sitting across from her. "How are you?"
"I'm…fine," she replied. "Just, tired," she continued, rubbing her eyes with a yawn. "I'm getting sick of having to force you to sleep at night. I don't like hearing you scream in your sleep."
"Hey, it's not my fault that I can never comfortably sleep at night!" I replied with a smile.
"Sure…" she chuckled in response, cracking a small smirk. We talked for a while until our alarms went off, interrupting our competition to see who could swallow more ketchup. I won…again.
"Skywalker, need to see you and your Padawan, the Council does," Master Yoda's hoarse voice crackled over my comm.
"We have been summoned," I said, mocking Windu's dramatic tone. Ahsoka laughed as we stood and got properly dressed with our backs turned towards each other. As we walked out the door, I yelled," Race you!"
"No fair!" Ahsoka yelled back as I ran towards the Council Chambers. "I wasn't ready!" I heard her say behind me. By the time that we got there, she had closed the gap and we tied, storming into the Chambers breathless and laughing.
"So funny, what is?" Master Yoda asked, clearly not amused. We stopped laughing and bowed respectfully. "The truth, you need to know."
"The whole of our universe is threatened by a virtual empire called the Comans," Windu said seriously.
"As the war has gone on, more and more people are seriously injured and fall into comas," Obi-wan stated, continuing to grab Ahsoka's and my attention. "Somehow, an alien virus mutated in a subject that became comatose, and created a virtual world where all of the minds of the comatose live."
"Once you enter that world, you begin to forget about the real world," Plo Koon said. "Within a week, you take on an entirely different personality, and remember false memories and people. You literally become someone else."
"When this first started, they had technology close to those of an ancient empire, but within a year, they have progressed to a medieval stage, which is taking place currently," Obi-wan continued, looking quite worried. "They believe that their dreams, which is actually our world, are trying to invade their reality, so when they dream, but actually wake up here, they attack us like savages. Their numbers still grow, and that threat is growing as well."
"How many?" I asked, surprised how serious this problem was. The Council remained silent, not a very bad sign.
"We're not sure exactly, but we estimate somewhere between five and ten…million."
"How do we stop them?" Ahsoka asked firmly, stepping forward bravely.
"Well," Obi-wan answered uneasily. "We're going to put you, Anakin and I into comas."
Chapter 4, Oncoming Sleep
"Are you absolutely sure that this is safe?" my Master asked as he uneasily laid down on the pristine, white gurney.
"We're pretty sure that you will go into a coma and be as safe as possible, and that you won't be trapped inside a virtual world filled with medieval barbarians, unable to return to reality," Obi-wan answered with a smirk.
"Oh, that's reassuring," Anakin responded, putting his head down, staring at the ceiling as a med droid put an IV in his left arm. "How come I have to be put under first?"
"Well, you're the strongest of the group, so we decided to test the serum on you before we inject Obi-wan and Ahsoka," Mace Windu said, eyes cold and dead serious.
"Are you kidding me?" Anakin squeaked, not sounding very brave like a Jedi should. "What am I, a lab rat?"
"No…" Obi-wan sighed. "More like a…a test subject! Yes, that's a better term!"
Anakin gave a terrified look as the med droid slowly lowered a gas mask over his face. The plastic was fogging quickly before disappearing, before quickly fogging once again. Why does he always hyperventilate when he freaks out?
"Coffunt ansocka coe versht?" he whimpered, voice distorted by the mask.
"What did you say?" I asked sarcastically.
"COFFUNT ANSOCKA COE VERSHT!" he screamed, annoyed that I knew what he had said, but was just teasing him.
"Okay, the droid is going to give you an anesthetic, so you won't experience any pain," I said sympathetically.
"Coo nefker tolf meh ambot pahn!" he said, eyes wide, ridiculously wide. "I donte wahnt too…shleep…" he continued, eyes fluttering closed. As the med droid injected the serum, Anakin started to twitch with increasing ferocity. He screamed as it emptied the bottle.
Chapter 5, Awakening
When I opened my eyes, I couldn't breathe. I gasped and gasped, trying to suck in air. But I couldn't, because what I saw above me sent a chill down my spine. I saw sunlight bleeding through the surface of water. I frantically swam to the surface, unsure how I ended up in water, but determined to reach the sky again.
When I breached the wall between sea and shore, I coughed rapidly, breathing in large lungfuls of air. As I swam to the nearby shore, I noticed that I was in the middle of a tall forest, but also noticed that forests weren't usually right next to a deep body of water. I waded up the muddy banks, struggling to not get stuck in the silt. When I finally stood, the water disappeared, as if it was never there. I was still soaked, though.
After realizing how cold it was, I gathered some fallen branches and lit a fire, huddled around the flames, desperate to get warm. It was then that I noticed that I was completely naked. Kriff.
After thinking of how to get some clothes, I saw a large animal pass by, unaware of my presence. I picked up a sharp stick and quietly followed it, determined to make some decent garments out of its hide. The animal stopped suddenly, it's large, black nose sniffing the air cautiously, large ears flicking back and forth. I lunged, digging my primitive weapon into its flank. I dragged its body back to my fire before skinning it and cooking its meat. As its hide was drying, I wondered when Obi-wan and Ahsoka would join in on my caveman action.
As a large, silver moon began to rise, I felt very exhausted. I shook out my hide blanket, I laid down to sleep. A few minutes into my attempt at rest, I heard two large splashes, and I sat up to see Obi-wan and Ahsoka standing in front of me, naked, confused and soaked.
"Deer hide blanket, anyone?"
Chapter 6, Integration
"Would you repeat that again?" my Master asked, confused by what Obi-wan and I had just told him.
"Fine," I sighed. "Half an hour after we arrive, Windu will inject us with this serum that will give us clothing, food, weapons and transportation."
"Really?" he said, eyes wide. "So, this stuff is going to just pop out of thin air?"
"Pretty much," I said with a smirk. "Also, our appearances will be changed, so we can't be recognized."
Obi-wan, Anakin and I had been huddled around the fire for a while now, finally sober enough to talk.
"And why did Windu not tell me that I was going to be buck-ass nude when I got here?" Anakin asked, obviously not wanting an answer.
"Maybe he's just fooling around with you," Obi-wan chimed in, chuckling at my Master's embarrassment.
Suddenly, there was a flash of light above us, and Obi-wan and I stood up, while Anakin sat there, confused.
"Oh, stand up! Windu said that he would send us a signal for the change," I said, gesturing for him to stand up. Trust me; it's not easy to convince a naked Jedi to do something.
Once he stood up, and the light shone over me, I felt as if I was growing. I was shocked to see the ground beneath my feet grow slightly distant. My hips became more pronounced, along with my…well, you know what I'm referring to. My skin lightened until I had olive skin, my marks gone. Then, it felt as if my lekku were getting larger, but then they went numb. As I touched them, I didn't feel my smooth headtails, but silky strands of hair, which were bleach-blonde. As I touched my face, I felt my eyes become more set in my face, my nose becoming pointed.
The light then moved to become above Obi-wan, and he became shorter. His legs became more muscular, along with his chest. His shoulders broadened as he looked at his transformation. Then, his skin tone lightened, and became dotted with freckles. His beard disappeared as his hair grew, and became a dark brown, his eyes now a deep caramel. Then, his eyebrows thickened, his face becoming rounder, and his chin began to grow, sticking out, a major cleft in the center. Finally, his nose became rounder as the light moved once again to be above my Master.
As Anakin grew a few inches, his skin tone darkened slightly, and his muscles became larger, but leaner. His mechanical hand seemed to be absorbed by his skin, to look like a normal hand. He smiled as he flexed it. Then, his hair grew until it was a few inches past his shoulders, shimmering as it became a reddish brown, much wavier than before. Then, what happened surprised me. His cheekbones seemed to jump out, giving him a much more dramatic look. His eyes slowly turned a bright green, making me gasp on the inside. His chin slowly shrunk, his cleft disappearing as his nose lost its inward curve, becoming straight as an arrow. Finally, his scar reddened, elongating and becoming more jagged and threatening. The light slowly faded, until it covered us all brightly.
I felt something touch my leg, and I looked down to see a pair of boots wrap around my calves, securing themselves with leather straps covered in gold engravings. Then, a pair of grey tights slipped themselves around me as two pieces of a silver metal clamped themselves around my thighs to protect them. Then, a strap-up tank top went over my head, tightening around my waist. Then, a silver breastplate, also covered in engravings was fastened around my chest, a belt latching on in the center. A metal-plate skirt attached itself onto the belt, along with two holsters containing some sort of daggers. My wrists were then covered in leather straps, with identical engravings like the ones on my new boots. Finally, a silver and gold headband slowly was placed on my head, pulling my blonde hair away from my face.
By the time that I was dressed, so were Anakin and Obi-wan. To spare you the long description of what they were wearing , I'll just make a list.
~ Silver plated boots w/leather fastening
~ Light brown pants
~ Silver knee plates
~ Dark brown tunic around waist
~ Blue sash hanging down
~ Brown belt w/2 containers with daggers
~ Blue shirt w/green patterns
~ Silver and green breastplate
~ Green and blue badge w/2 leather straps around back w/crossed sword holders
~ Silver and blue armor on shoulders
~ Silver and blue wrist-protectors
~ Green gloves
~ Leather boots
~ Dark brown pants
~ Tan tunic around waist
~ Leather straps for top
~ Thick belt
~ Blouse sleeves w/wrist-protectors
~ Leather arrow holder on back
Yup, we looked pretty badass.