Thursday, July 27, 2017

Star Wars Convergence (Collab with 212th Trooper) Chapter 5

(Darth Vader followed the trail of the stolen Imperial shuttle. He knew the shuttle wouldn't get far because it wasn't given a lot fuel. They only intended to use it to transport Kylo Ren to the Star Destroyer. The trail lead Vader to Ilum , and from what he tell he was the edge of Old Republic territory.

He set down close to a hidden Jedi Temple. Upon inspecting the shuttle, Vader found he was correct, the shuttle was out of fuel. He then ventured inside the Temple, and found it to be very similar to one he went to when he was Anakin Skywalker. It was then he noticed the first signs that his supposed grandson was here. There were apparently many Temple Guards here, and upon further inspection Vader found their necks were snapped. Kylo had apparently gone even further into Temple after killing the guards into the cave where Jedi initiates would find their Kyber crystals. So Vader went into the caves as well. His breathing echoing in the cave as he walked through).

Kylo heard him, but only ran deeper into the Temple. Vader had made it clear he was uninterested in him, and what he had to offer: whoever was chasing him, he wasn't really in the mood to meet them. He had no idea where he was going, he just knew he needed to get away.

The icy tunnel he was fleeing down suddenly opened into a large crystal cavern, a beautiful sight, even to the grim Dark sider. A huge frozen waterfall on the far side of the room caught his attention, the gleaming blue, greens and purples shining beneath it's surface glittering like the stars in the skies. He ran towards it, all too aware of the heavy footsteps above him, the sound of his grandfather marching through the caves after him.

A twinge of foresight saved Kylo's life: being a Dark Sider, he was at an extreme disadvantage on the highly Light Side world, but his natural talent with the Force was still enough he could sense the blade flying at the back of his neck.

He leaped in the air, landing gracefully on the base of the waterfall and whipping around, drawing one of the golden blades he had taken from a fallen Guard. Three more Temple Guards, apparently waiting to ambush their mysterious attacker, brandished their own weapons and charged him.

He didn't have time for this!

(Kylo's eyes glowed yellow going into a frenzy of attacks so fast the Temple Guards were forced on defense. His attacks got faster and faster, until eventually one of the Temple Guards fell, then another. He started to pound away at the last one getting so absorbed in what he was doing that he forgot Vader was after him.

He was delighting in the fear he sensed from the remaining Temple Guard when the Guard was pulled back by the Force and on to a crimson red blade. Vader had caught up to him. Vader deactivated his blade letting the dead Jedi fall to the floor.

Kylo stumbled back, the yellow in his eyes gone as fear took hold of him for a moment).

Vader: "You're coming with me."

Kylo: "H-how is this possible? How can you be Darth Vader? Everything happening is wrong! It wasn't supposed to be like this!"

(Anger taking hold of Kylo seeing this as yet another figure he looked up to rejecting was about to charge forward when Vader blasted him with the Force pinning him against the wall.

Kylo growled trying his best to get loose but couldn't).

Jerec: "Abandoning your fleet and your mission to go on your own unapproved mission?"

(Vader turned around while still pinning Kylo against the wall to see Jerec and two other Inquisitors).

Vader: "Why are you here? How did you find me?"

Jerec: "I had agents within your fleet that told me you had left to go on your own personal quest. I followed both the hyperspace trails here. Don't worry The Emperor doesn't know... Yet."

Vader: "And what do yo intend to do?"

Jerec: "You've lost your nerve Lord Vader. I believe it is time someone more worthy took your place."

(The Inquisitors activated their lightsabers and started to circle around Vader slowly).


"You are a fool, Jerec." Vader said calmly. "I don't care if you're trying to stop me, or black mail me, but you are playing with a fire you can not control either way. My business is my own."

"I serve the Emperor." Jerec said smugly. "You can't threaten me, you can't frighten me, and the business of all his servants is the Emperor's business. Even yours, Vader."

"The Emperor is not here." Vader growled. "And you will call me LORD Vader."

The Sith Lord took a step forwards and the Inquisitors instinctively took steps back. Kylo watched in rapt attention, forgetting to even struggle against his grandfather's Force grip.

"Of course, Lord Vader." Jerec said, regaining his smug smile. "I meant no disrespect, of course. I am not here to try to black mail you or anything like that."

The Inquisitor strode past Vader, towards Kylo, igniting his Lightsaber.

"Like I said, I live to serve the Emperor." He continued, raising his deadly crimson blade. "And I am here to carry out his orders. Including the elimination of any potential threats to his power."

Vader's hand twitched and Jerec felt every bone in his sword arm shatter. He dropped to his knees, howling in pain, while his companions rushed forwards. They didn't get far, as another simple gesture from Vader activated the spin function on their lightsabers, using their own weapons to slice them to ribbons.

"No one. Touches. My family." Vader said uncharacteristically quietly, slowly walking up to the cowering Jerec. "Not the Jedi. Not the Sith, not the Rebels, not The Emperor himself and NEVER a little worm like you. NO ONE TOUCHES MY FAMILY! NEVER AGAIN!"

The cavern shook at the Force of Vader's roar. Jerec yelped, cradling his ruined hand, and fled. Vader watched him go, while Kylo watched Vader, open mouthed.

"That was..." He began, only to be silenced when Vader dropped him to the ground.

"That goes for you as well." Vader said, without turning to look at Kylo. "If you hurt my daughter know I don't forgive that easily: go home, boy, while you still can."

"But... I..." Kylo struggled to find words. "But Snoke will..."

"Did I say Snoke?", Vader demanded, rounding on him. "Did I say run back to those First Order fools? Go HOME, 'Kylo Ren', or whatever your real name is. Go where I cannot."

There was several moments of silence, before Kylo climbed to his feet and slowly left the cavern. He couldn't take the shuttle, but the Inquisitors must have come in some kind of ship. If Jerec was in his way... all the worse for him. Kylo was feeling the pull of the Light Side stronger than ever, but that wouldn't be enough to make him show mercy to an enemy.

Vader was still standing in middle of the cavern. He was deep in thought, completely unaware of the being lurking in the shadows, watching him.

A group of four had been following Vader, but Mara Jade was not like the dangerously ambitious Jerec: she would follow her orders. Plus, she had deemed it foolishness to engage the wrathful Sith lord: now that he had called down, though, maybe she could chance asking for a few answers...

------
Meanwhile...

(An Old Republic ship was being sent to Ilum to change out the guard there, and a few were allowed to hitch a ride with them).

Obi-Wan: "For the record I don't like this."

Dooku: "Was it not part of our agreement?"

Obi-Wan: "It was... I'm not comfortable with it is all."

(They agreed to take Dooku to the Temple on Ilum after some discussion, but not all were on board with the idea. Ahsoka and Satele were there as well sharing stories about their masters. Anakin was originally going to join them but ever since the investigation on him had intensified he wasn't allowed to leave The Galactic Republic's Coruscant).

Kao: "Kenobi my friend I understand you're history with the Count, and I understand the reason you feel the way you do, but the Count is unarmed save for that non-functional saber hilt he has. And on top of that he helped save our Temple, and repaired the damages."

Dooku: "If it makes you feel any better Kenobi, I do regret my actions when I served Darth Sidious. I see now he only wished to use me. As soon as the galaxy is at peace, I intend to step down as leader of the C.I.S. and allow elections to begin. I intend to retire soon after."

(Kenobi could tell Dooku was telling the truth, and his actions were sincere).

Kenobi: "I didn't expect that from you, but I am glad you've changed your ways. And you really intend to retire after this?"

Dooku: "I'm an old man Kenobi. I can't do this forever. I might as well do some good before I'm gone."

(Kenobi was about to ask something of the Count when Satele ran up to them).

Satele: "Masters, the Temple isn't responding!"

Kao: "Is it a bad transmitter?"

Satele: "No they would've put out a beacon if that happened."

(Master Darach went to a window overlooking Ilum and concentrated on the Temple and after a moment).

Kao: "The Temple has been breached! I sense great Darkness and conflict down there!"

(He turn to Temple Guard).

Kao: "Call for reinforcements!"

(The Temple Guard went off doing as she was told).

Kenobi: "Should we wait?"

Kao: "No I say we go down. Whoever is down is powerful, and we need to stop him now!"

Dooku: "Do we even what we're getting into?"

Kao: "No. But that doesn't matter. We're Jedi Count, and we're here right now. Reinforcements will be here shortly enough anyway. We're going in."

Kenobi: "I have bad feeling about this."

(The Jedi exited near the Temple to see a few Imperial starships near by).

Ahsoka: "That can't be good..."

Kenobi: "Master Darach have the Temple Guards form a perimeter around the Temple! We're going in."

(After Kao Cen Darach had organized the Temple Guards into a perimeter around the temple, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, Satele, and Kao were about to enter when Dooku spoke up).

Dooku: "And what about me?"

(There was a moment of silence between all of them for a moment).

Kao: "He hasn't made any attempt to stab us in the back. I say we bring him along, even Dooku just using his abilities with The Force would be useful."

(After another moment of silence they all reluctantly agreed. They all then went into the Temple together).

Mara Jade slowly approached Vader, making sure he heard her footsteps so she didn't startle him. That would end quite badly for her.

"So, Jerec and his worms had some company." Vader said without looking up. "I should have known the Emperor would not have trusted keeping an eye on me to such a fool. Tell me, Hand, do you plan on pursuing my Grandson?"

"Is he a threat?" Mara replied simply.

"To himself, mostly." Vader said thoughtfully. "With proper training he could rival me, or even Anakin Skywalker. But no, not to his majesty."

"Then I don't care about the boy." Mara said simply. "All I care is that you disobeyed the Emperor's orders, struck out on your own and invaded a Jedi Temple. The Merge has thrown everything into disarray: our master needs all his followers, especially his closest lieutenants, to follow his orders to the letter. No exceptions."

"Perhaps you are right.", Vader admitted. "Just this once. In the future, I expect you to stay out of my way, Hand. Now, we need to leave before-"

The sound of four lightsabers igniting interrupted Vader.

"Hello there." Kenobi said, performing an Ataru opening stance.

"It seems we've found our communications issue." Kao added, brandishing his own weapon. "The great Lord Vader himself! We've all heard a lot about you, it's an honor to finally meet face to face. Er, metaphorically speaking."

"Master, please..." Satele groaned.

"Sky guy's the same way." Ahsoka told her sympathetically.

"And this must be the infamous 'Emperor's Hand'." Kenobi continued, eyeing the Lightsaber Mara had drawn. "We actually had a better idea of what your weapon looked like than you yourself! Until now, of course"

"Don't count on living to report my face." Mara said coldly.

"Now then, to business." Said Kao. "You've made quite a mess here, killed a few of our friends, and several of your own by the looks of it. You know we can't-"

"I don't believe it." Dooku interrupted, stepping past the Jedi.

He eyed the Sith Lord's black armor, designs of which he had seen Sidious proudly display, for shadowy 'future use' with Skywalker.

"The rumors are true then..." The Count said grimly. "Palpatine did enslave you."

(There was an awkward tension and silence. Dooku felt the pull back to the Light more everyday, and he had never felt it this strong before upon seeing Vader. He felt partly responsible).

Dooku: "Skywalker... I'm sorry."

Obi-Wan/Ahsoka: "What!?!"

Ahsoka: "Wait? How is that possible?"

Dooku: "It was Sidious's plan. Apparently he succeeded wherever Vader came from."

Mara: "Lord Vader let us destroy them, there is no way they can-"

Vader: "Is Padme still alive in your Republic?"

(Vader said cutting Mara off).

Obi-Wan: "Yes but why... Oh."

(Obi-Wan came to a realization. Why hadn't he seen it before? And it all made sense with the investigation on Anakin going on.

Vader seemed to pause for a moment).

Mara: "Lord Vader don't even think about it! You know your place! It is serving the Emperor like the rest of us!"

(That struck a nerve in Vader as he blasted her to the nearby wall. She stood up with fury in her eyes igniting her lightsaber).

Vader: "I don't serve anyone! Not anymore!"

(Vader ignited his saber and walked towards her).

Satele: "Um... What do we do? Which one do we fight?"


"I think we should probably just stay out of this one", Kao told his apprentice.

"Not if that really is Anakin!", Ahsoka protested.

"Well said young one.", Obi-Wan said in agreement.

Obi-Wan and Ahsoka went to charge in and join the battle, but were stopped by Dooku jumping in their way.

"I'm afraid the Anakin Skywalker you know is long gone. Vader is not the friend you once knew"

"I know. But...", Obi-Wan paused, "There must be something we can do..."

Kenobi watched helplessly as the Sith Lord and Emperor's Hand dueled.

"You're letting your emotions cloud your mind My Lord!", Mara yelled at Vader, "This 'Padme', she's not the woman you knew, not the woman who loved you!"

"Ignorant whelp, what do you know of love!?", Vader spat back, "You were born of hate and fed anger, you don't know anything beyond the Dark Side!"

"So why his majesty continues to rely on an impure pretender like you, instead of his personal enforcer, is beyond me."Mara said as their blades locked.

"Maybe because I actually accomplish my mission more often than not!", Vader countered.

"And yet, here you are trying to defect altogether!"

"My business is my own! Go do the Emperor's laundry or something.", Vader said his old self shining through.

Mara wondered if she had actually heard that right.

"Yep, that's definitely Anakin.", Ahsoka said.

"Here, look at this.", Kao told the others.

The others reluctantly turned from the ongoing duel to the Zabrak Battle Master, who was examining the fallen Temple Guards.

"These wounds...", Kao started, "They don't match Vader's fighting style, or his weapon for that matter. A handful of Inquisitors couldn't have killed so many guards either: I think we're looking at another force at work here."

(Dooku was about to chime in when he heard something. Something he had not heard since he was a Jedi. It sounded like singing and he knew exactly what it was. He walked away from the group looking for where it was coming from and after a few minutes of searching he found what he was looking for).

Dooku: "There you are."

(He sat cross legged going into meditation. The new curved hilt he had brought started to float and deconstruct itself partially as a crystal floated down from the top of the cave. When it was secure in the hilt of the saber he put it back together, and ignited the blade. It glowed a brilliant orange).

------
(Meanwhile the rest of the Jedi had engaged Mara Jade and she was pushed on her back foot. She knew she couldn't win this fight. She decided to use something only the Emperor entrusted three with including himself. She hit a button on her belt and Vader began gasping and fell over as all of his systems shut down).

Obi-Wan: "Anakin!"

(As Mara began to flee the Jedi gathered around Vader to keep him alive, using a Force healing technique to do so).

Kao: "Come on stay with us!"

Satele: "What about Mara Jade?"

Kao: "I don't think she'll get far."

------

(Mara began to run for the exit she need to get to her ship and slip past the Temple Guards, all that mattered was getting back to the Emperor and letting him know what happened. However she came to a dead stop when she ran into Dooku).

Dooku: "Going somewhere?"

(He said as he activated his new saber, and doing a Makashi salute).


"As a matter of fact, I was. If you're wise, you'll get out of the way."

"I'm afraid I can't do that: capturing you will win me a lot of trust with the Jedi.", Dooku told her.

"Not with the Emperor. I know you no longer serve him, it seems almost nobody does anymore, but surely you still have the good sense to fear him.", Mara told Dooku.

"Do you honestly think he'll even care if I kill you here? He never cared for any of us, 'Emperor's Hand', you'll find that out soon enough.", Dooku told Mara knowing how he was used.

"Don't assume that just because he correctly saw an old Jedi dropout for what he was that he sees no purpose in me.", Mara spat back insulting the Count.

"I prefer the term 'elderly', actually, and I think I'm done debating you.", Dooku said smirking, "Surrender, or pay the price."

Mara reignited her blade as the Count leapt for her. The duel was brief but violent: Mara managed to push past Dooku in the end, but not without sustaining several serious wounds. Ignoring the pain, she slipped by the Temple Guard reinforcements, struggled through the snow, made it to her ship and took off

Dooku, meanwhile, chose to check up on the others instead of pursuing the dark side assassin. He found Obi-Wan and Ahsoka supporting Vader, following Kao and Satele to the medical bay. The Sith Lord was making an attempt to resist, but even if he had not been in the weakened condition he was, they were only half hearted.

"I'm afraid this 'Mara Jade' character managed to escape.", Dooku informed them.

He tactfully chose not to mention his new lightsaber. At least not right now.

"What are we doing with Vader?", Dooku asked "He did slaughter many of your brothers and sisters after all."

"Well, first things first we're getting him medical attention. We can't just let him die, especially if he IS Anakin", Obi-Wan said.

"And like I said, I don't think Vader had a hand in this massacre.", Kao reminded everyone, "He won't say exactly what happened though."

Vader mumbled something about "Family business".

"As for what we plan on doing with him in the future...", Obi-Wan paused, "I just don't know."

"We can discuss it later: he really needs to see a medic now.", Kao stated.

Meanwhile, far off in deep space, Mara Jade's fighter floated lifelessly. She had made a quick Hyperspace jump to shake any pursuers, before attempting to contact her Emperor. Unfortunately, her wounds had gotten the better of her and she laid unconscious in her pilot's seat, her comm-channel still wide open. Luckily, some one had picked up this and was arriving to investigate: with a flash of light, the X-wing of one Luke Skywalker appeared near the free floating vessel.

Luke: "This is Red 5, I'm going to need a medical vessel at my location."

Monday, July 24, 2017

Star Wars Convergence (Collab with 212th Trooper) Chapter 4

In the Naboo cell blocks Maul pondered to himself what to do. He had blasted anyone that got close to his cell with the force, in order to let others know not to get close. He was thinking of an escape plan, as while he could break out right now, without knowing what he was up against he risked capture again, and in a much more secure cell. It was then that Rey walked up, and recognizing her as the one that freed him made him pause.

"Your name is Maul. Is that correct?", Rey asked.

Maul remained silent staring at her.

"My name is Rey. There is no need to answer, I already know who you are. The Chancellor gave me access to Obi-Wan Kenobi's reports."

"Kenobi...", Maul growled.

"Listen I know what happened to you, and I know you have no reason to trust us, but I believe we can help each other. We may not be on the same side, but we have the same enemies. I know you were betrayed, and I know just about every faction wants you dead, would you at least hear us out?"

Maul was silent for a moment glaring at her.

"Fine.", Maul replied after a moment.

It was then that Chancellor Organa came in and cautiously approached the cell Maul was in.

"Darth Maul is it?", Chancellor Organa asked.

"Just Maul now.", Maul replied correcting him.

"Okay Maul."

"Just get on with it."

There was a moment of silence between them before Organa answered.

"As Rey here mentioned you're not very popular in most if most if not all of the factions around the galaxy. That is why I have an offer for you. We will give you a full pardon of all the actions you've committed against the Republic if you will help fight against the factions we are war with. You will be compensated for your actions as well. Plus you know how Emperor Palpatine of the Empire thinks, so that could prove useful. What do you say?"

"I say you're a fool to resist the Dark Side" The Zabrak warrior snarled. "Can't you feel it? The Empires of old have returned, the Sith have rose again in every corner of the Galaxy. All of us, you, me, the Jedi, everyone, who stands in their way will die. They'll destroy us all, it's useless to resist the inevitable!"

"Perhaps…" Chancellor Organa admitted. "But is that any reason you shouldn't seek what revenge you can before the end?"

"I... shall consider it." Maul said, after several long minutes, meeting Bail's gaze directly.

"That is all I ask." The Chancellor said with a smile. "We shall see to your release as soon as we can. Good day."

Bail left the room, beckoning for Rey to follow him. Han Solo met them on the outside.

"So? How'd it go?" The Rebel General asked, falling in step with the other two.

"I don't trust him." Rey said quickly. "He's either mad, evil, or both. I could feel the dark and rage just dripping in every word he said."

"Of course we shouldn't trust him." Bail agreed. "But we may have to make use of him regardless. This merge... he's not wrong you know. We have more enemies now than ever before."

"But also more allies." Han mused. "The Alliance, the Resistance, both Republics, not to mention all the Jedi. I say the baddies have their work cut out for them, dealing with all of us at once."

"Assuming we don't turn on each other." Bail said, coming to a stop where The Palace's corridors split three different ways. "We must all remember that in these dark days. We stand together, all of us, even people like Maul, or we are sure to fall. If you two will excuse, I'm afraid I have some dull ambassadors to speak with."

"Don't envy his job." Han muttered to Rey, making her laugh. "Fraid I need to be going to, kid. It's getting late and Chewie's expecting me back at the Falcon. See you around."

Rey waved goodbye to the ex-smuggler until he rounded the corner, after which she made for her own quarters. She unclipped her lightsaber from her belt and set it on the bed, before crossing her legs and beginning her nightly meditation. She was sore and hurt all over from the long day of fighting, but she didn't want to miss a single night: becoming a Jedi had become very important to her.

"Rey..."

Her eyes shot open at the ghostly whisper. There was no one in her room and the window wasn't even open. Deciding it was just her imagination, she went back to her meditation, until...

"Rey..."

There was still no sign of an intruder in her room! Was she losing it? Or...

She closed her eyes again and quietly whispered "Hello?"

"Hello, Rey." The voice said, growing warmer and clearer.

"Who are you?" Rey asked, heart racing. "How do you know me? Where are you?"

"We are far away, and know most everyone." the voice said. "As for who we are, there is no name you'd know us by, save maybe one out of long distant legend: The Ones."

Rey was silent for a moment thinking. She heard of "The Ones" before. Luke Skywalker had told her about them, but even he was unsure if they were real, and regarded them as legends.

"What do you want from me?”, Rey asked, “ Why are you talking to me? If you are as powerful as the legends say you are, what significance could I have to you?"

"Do not sell yourself short. You and some allies, some of which you would find unlikely, will all have big roles to play in the coming days.", They replied.

"Well... Again. Why talk to me?", She asked again trying to understand their reasons.

"You've already met one or two of these unlikely allies, you will find another in The Galactic Empire, and two other possible allies exist in Separatist Alliance. They however may require a little convincing."

Rey was completely shocked and baffled by this.

"The Galactic Empire!? The Separatists!? They hate us! Who would want to help us there?"

"We have foreseen it will happen eventually regardless of us telling you. And with that we go. May The Force go with you."

The Ones voices then trailed off and disapeared

"No wait! Where am I even supposed to go!?"

Rey groaned frustrated. She hated it when she never got straight answers.

"That some sort of Jedi thing?", Boba asked.

The bounty hunter had apparently seen the whole thing, seeing Rey talk to what appeared to be no one.

"Didn't mean to intrude. Got a message from an "Anakin Skywalker" wanted to ask some questions about your master."

Boba told her as he tossed over a holo recorder.

"Paid quite a bit for me to pass it along to you for whatever reason. At least in terms of passing along a message. Figured I might as well."

Rey said nothing as the Mandalorian left the room: honestly, he scared her. After he was gone, she switched the Holo device on and watched the recording.

The grainy blue image of a young man with wild hair and a large scar, probably only about twenty two at the most, appeared.

"Er, hello? Rey, I think it was?" He asked cautiously, fidgeting with his hands. "Yeah, er, hello. I know we've never met, and you might not even know who I am, but I wanted to send you this message because, well, there are some questions I want... need to ask you."

He scratched the back of his head.

"Honestly, this Merge business has sent everything spiraling to crazy town." He laughed a bit. "But I guess you know that as well as I. The stuff we know is true, the ancient Empires and legends of old returning, are bad enough. The rumors? Force spirits speaking in dreams, a conspiracy of Togruta, alien invaders from another Galaxy, Palpatine gone mad?"

The man, Anakin Skywalker presumably (He had never actually introduced himself), shook his head sadly.

"I never would have..." He gave a fake laugh before continuing. "Anyways, like I said, crazy town. You know the worst part? I'm buying most of it. If I didn't know better, I would say I heard the Force spirits myself during meditation! But that brings me to you."

He stared fiercely straight ahead, making Rey recoil, even though she knew he couldn't actually see her.

"I've heard stories about my family." He said shortly. "A family that, not that long ago, no one even knew about. The High Council still has me under review for it, but I don't suppose you care about my personal troubles. I've heard... stories about myself. About a version of me who went as bad as a Jedi can, an armored monster who butchers without thought or reason."

He shrugged.

"You know something though? That's not what scares me." He looked down. "The stories that scare me are about... about a new generation of Skywalkers, one that grew up in my shadow. About a bold young pilot who wants to be a Jedi. They say he even... Even saves his father."

Anakin stood silent for a few moments, still staring at his feet.

"More than that..." He mumbled. "I've heard of this young man, estranged from his sister, all alone and abandoned... An old man, disillusioned with the Jedi and stewing in his own shadows. And training you, Rey. Rey... please tell me. Tell me... about Luke. I don't know if you can get a message back to me at all, but... If you could, you'd have them hero with no fear in your eternal debt. For all that's worth any more."

He shook his head one more time, before the message abruptly cut off.

Rey thought for a moment. If this was really Anakin Skywalker, then perhaps Luke would want to meet him. She sat pondering, thinking about what she should do.

------
Meanwhile...

Satele Shan, and her master, Kao Cen Darach were training. They were about to head to Korriban to deal with a smuggler named Nico Okarr when The Covergence happened. Since then they've been stuck at the Jedi Temple just training and waiting to be called upon.

"You're getting better Satele.", Kao told his apprentice smirking as he blocked an over head strike.

"I owe all of that to you master.", Satele replied smirking in return.

They were going to continue when a blast was heard shaking the Temple.

"What was that!?!", Satele said after regaining her balance.

It was then Ven Zallow ran by and informed them of what was happening.

"The Temple is under attack!"

"By who!?", Kao asked.

"They're using C.I.S. droids, but they have different markings."

"Satele with me! Come on!"

Kao lead Satele through the halls of the Jedi Temple. Knights were running everywhere, as the blasts and shouting of battle in the distance started to reach their ears.

"Where are we going?" Satele asked. "Aren't we going to fight?"

"Don't worry about that." Her Master assured her. "Even in these troubled times, no one would be bold enough to launch a direct attack on the Temple, it's the one thing that could bring all our different Orders onto one side."

"Well, someone is definitely attacking the Temple anyways!" Satele pointed out.

"A fight is never a goal in and of itself: it's usually just a distraction from the true goal, and better counted with a larger distraction." Kao said, before smirking. "One of my new friends told me that."

Master and Apprentice burst into the hall of records. The archives had been left unguarded in the panic of the attack, allowing the invader's leaders to sneak in. It was mostly a squad of black armored Death Troopers, but their leader was a tall, yellow eyed Pau'an with cybernetic attachments.

"Ah, I was wondering if someone would see through our little scheme." The Grand Inquisitor said airily, without even turning to look at the Jedi. "I must say I'm impressed, Master Darach."

"It was fairly obvious." Kao said, shrugging and igniting his emerald blade. "The only faction on Coruscant invested in bringing down the Jedi would be the Empire. Neither Republics would, and they certainly wouldn't try to pin it on the Separatists."

"If we were trying to 'pin it on them', as you say," The Inquisitor said offhandedly. "We wouldn't have sent them in with such distinct markings. No, the droids belong to our allies, stolen from the Confederacy. They wanted to test them, and, well..."

"Jump!" Kao suddenly ordered.

Satele obeyed, igniting her saberstaff mid leap. As she landed, so did Bo Katan, and an entire squad of Death Watch troopers. The two Jedi were now thoroughly surrounded.

"I'm afraid we can't have you alerting your friends" The Inquisitor declared, finally turning around and igniting his own, scarlet bladed Saberstaff.

"That's a fancy way of saying 'You're dead meat' " Bo helpfully translated, igniting the Dark Saber.

"Are you sure about that?" Kao said with a smirk, brandishing his blade.

Satele hoped he had a really good plan in mind: she didn't feel nearly as cocky about their current situation as her master did.

Kao had sensed something about two out of the three other inquisitors with the Grand Inquisitor.

"Take them!", The Grand Inquisitor ordered.

"With pleasure.". The largest inquisitor said activating his... blue lightsaber?

The large inquisitor struck at the Grand Inquisitor with barely enough time to block it as he had just noticed.

"What is this!?!", The Grand Inquisitor said shocked.

The Grand Inquisitor then blasted him back with the force leaping on top of him and stabbing him only for the blade to short out.

"What!?!", He said even more surprised now.

The large inquisitor grabbed him and threw him into a holo-book case. He then proceeded to rip off the armor to reveal that he was General Grievious. One of the other inquisitors attempted to engage the General only to be stabbed in the back with curved hilt lightsaber. As the last inquisitor fell to the floor the one that stabbed him pulled back his hood and mask to reveal that he was Count Dooku. The two then quickly dispacted the Death Troopers.

"Get down!", Dooku yelled ordered Kao and Satele.

Kao and Satele did as Dooku said as Dooku blasted the Death Watch with Force lightning either killing them or knocking them out. As The Jedi master and apprentice got up they curious as to why the leaders of the C.I.S. were here and why they were helping.

"Ah Master Darach and his star pupil. Nice to see you." Dooku said smirking as he walked up to them.

"Why are you here Count?", The Jedi master asked glaring at him.

"To save your lives and discuss a cease and potential peace treaty.”, Dooku told him, “It is no secret that the Separatists and The Republics share a common enemy with the Galactic Empire. We cannot beat them without each other’s help."

"How do we know we can trust you?", Satele asked glaring as well.

Dooku nodded towards Grievous as he hit a button causing a C.I.S. ship to come uncloaked and started dropping pod filled with commando droids to aid in the defense of the Temple. More Ships came out of hyperspace and started firing on the enemy vessels.

At this time The Grand Inquisitor was slowly starting to come around.

There was some confusion, at first, around the Separatist reinforcements, Ven Zallow personally disabling over two dozen of them. But soon the Jedi realized the Commandos were attacking the invaders and let them be, standing side by side with them and Republic security forces to defend their home.

Quite a few Battle droids were still managing to push through however, making a beeline for the Archives and their commanders.

"Pathetic excuse for a fighter, really." Dooku commented, walking to stand over the Inquisitor. "Any of my Dark Acolytes could have done better."

The Count was interrupted by the Inquisitor suddenly rolling over and sweeping at his feet. Dooku jumped, just barely avoiding losing his legs, but the Inquisitor swung up and managed to slice through his lightsaber's hilt midair.

"Is that so?" He sneered, jumping to his feet.

Grievous moved to stop him, but was suddenly encased in a river of electricity and came crashing to his knees. Bo Katan slowly climbed back to her feet, pulling off her helmet.

"We were prepared for Sith, Count!", she spat. "My armor's reinforced against electrical discharges. Even your fancy Force powers!"

"It won't save you." Dooku declared, even while ducking under the Grand Inquisitor's fresh attack. "Master Darach, your assistance would be greatly appreciated."

"Let the record show I still don't trust you." The Battle master pointed out, even while nodding for Satele to leap at Bo. "You are a Sith, after all."

The Zabrak caught the Inquisitor mid leap, kicking him in the chest and sending him crashing to the ground. The resilient Pau'an was was once again back on his feet in a flash, Meeting Darach's strikes head on while at the same time dodging Dooku's Force attacks. He had no idea how long he could actually keep this up, but he wasn't going down easily!

Satele, meanwhile, had driven Bo Katan out of the archives and down the Temple's halls. The Mandalorian was probably the better fighter over all, as Satele was focused mostly on studying the Force. But while she had faced many bounty hunters and fellow Jedi before, Katan had never even seen a Saberstaff before, much less fought one.

Still, a well-timed missile to the floor Satele was standing on put the battle back in her favor. Standing over the prone Jedi Apprentice, she was just about to deliver the lethal blow when she found herself hoisted in the air and hurled into a nearby pillar.

"As much as I hate Jedi" Grievous snarled. "I hate being E.M.P.'d even more! Get up whelp, unless you're ready to die."

The cybernetic general was still dragging from Katan's surprise attack, but he still managed to draw two of his stolen lightsabers and flash them around dangerously, as Imperial/Mandalorian battle droids surrounded him and Satele.

The droids and Bo Katan began to fire on Grievous and Satele, both of them deflecting blaster bolts back to back. Whatever Grievous couldn't block his cortosis armor protected him from. Bo Katan threw a grenade at the Jedi and the General, which Grievous caught and threw at the battle driods. Satele quickly put up a Force barrier as the grenade went off taking out the droids and blowing Bo Katan off her feet. The General lowered his arms realizing the grenade hadn't even affected them.

"Not bad... For a Jedi.", Grievous as he deactivated his sabers.

Meanwhile Kao Cen Darach and Count Dooku continued to battle The Grand Inquisitor. Dooku had retrieved the lightsaber of the Inquisitor he killed and was fighting side by side with the Jedi master. The Grand Inquisitor was no doubt talented, but it was clear he was being pushed to his limit against the two masters. His breathing was heavily labored. Although he mostly cybernetic now, he was beginning to tire out, he was forced on the defensive and couldn't get out it.

It was then that a joint fleet of Old Republic, and Grand Army fleet came out hyperspace to aid in the fight. Sensing this The Grand Inquisitor growled.

"Give up you are out matched!", Kao told the Inquisitor.

"The Jedi master is right.”, Dooku said in agreement, “Surrender now, to continue would be foolish."

There was a pause between all of them. The Grand Inquisitor locked eyes with both of them as Temple Guards entered the archives, and after a moment he deactivated his lightsaber. The Temple Guards then secured him.

"It would be unlike a Sith to let me live Dooku.", The Grand Inquisitor told the Count.

"I'm no Sith, not anymore.” Dooku told him sternly, “That was the path Sidious lead me down."

"Take him away.", The Jedi master ordered the Temple Guards.

The Temple Guards then took him to the holding cells where they usually held Dark Force users.

"You really have renounced the Sith haven't you?”, Kao said turning to Dooku, “Are you looking to rejoin the Jedi?"

"No... That isn't a path for me either.", Dooku told the Jedi master.

"Well I believe you have no wish to fight us, but what will the C.I.S. do after The Empire is dealt with?"

"I hope our relations would be better actually.” Dooku replied, “It was Palpatine that manipulated both Separatists and Replubic into fighting each other. It hard to explain, but ever since I renounced him as my master things seem clearer now."

"Do you intend to turn back to the light then?", Kao asked.

Dooku smirked at that.

"No... Not completely."

It was then that Satele and Grievous walked in with Grievous using all four of his arms to restrain Bo Katan.

"You've won this battle." Bo Katan admitted with a snarl. "It is an honor for my people to fall in combat."

"Well, you're not falling today." Kao said with a shrug, switching off his lightsaber. "What do you think, Count? It was your droids she stole after all."

Dooku stared at the defiant Mandalorian warrior for several minutes.

"Mercy." He said at last. "Which may be crueler for someone like her. Hand her over to the Republic, those fools will keep her in jail for years."

"You'll get a trial first." Kao cheerfully reassured the non-plussed Bo as she was escorted out of the room.

"If you must." Dooku said with a sigh, moving to stand by Grievous.

Satele happily gave the Count her place: the cybernetic general unsettled her somewhat, if she was being honest. Kao bowed in respect and lead the two visitors out of the archive, only to be stopped short where Ven Zallow suddenly appeared, holding his emerald blade to Dooku's throat.

"Easy master Zallow." Kao said quickly. "They helped us stop the attack's leaders."

"Count Dooku, isn't it?" Ven Zallow said, without lowering his blade. "I've heard of you. Even in my dark times, a Jedi who turns his back on the Order for the Sith is rare."

"I had my reasons." Dooku said shortly, eyeing Zallow coldly. "I regret my decision more than you can know, but I won't apologize to the likes of you."

"Master Zallow, please." Kao insisted. "He's on our side. Or at least, not the Empire's."

After a very tense moment, Ven Zallow lowered his lightsaber and turned the blade off. It did not escape Satele's notice that Grievous's hands moved away from the blades hanging from his belt when he did.

"I assume you wish to speak with the High Council?" Van Zallow coldly asked the Count.

"Yes, thank you." Dooku said with a polite smile, choosing not to notice the hostility.

The Jedi Master lead Dooku and Grievous away, while Satele and Kao watched.

"Do you really believe them master?" Satele asked.

"I sensed no lies in what he said," Kao replied. "and I don't mean just with the Force. Besides, he seemed... friendly, in a gentlemanly way."

"Ugh! You make the weirdest friends!" Satele complained.

"Well, I chose you, didn't I?" Kao shot back with a grin that did not exactly fit a well respected Battle Master. "Now come along, we have business to attend to."

----------
Shortly after...

It was quite a surprise for the Republics to see C.I.S. droids assisting saving the Jedi Temple on Old Republic Coruscant. Dooku spoke with High Jedi Council and agreed to have worker droids help rebuild the Temple as a show of good faith. Later Dooku ended up speaking with Chancellor Bail Organa of The Galactic Republic and Chancellor Dorian Janarus of the Old Republic and worked out a peace treaty.

"It is settled then?", Dooku asked the Chancellors.

"Yes.”, Chancellor Organa of The Galactic Republic replied, “Our forces are all freely allowed to move throughout each territory in order to better combat the Empire."

Dooku: "One thing we do have an overabundance of is star fighters, we can send Vulture droids to reinforce your air and naval forces."

"That would be appreciated,” Chancellor Janarus of The Old Republic said expressing his gratitude, “many of the fighters we are going up against are far more advanced, and we've lost many already."

"What we need is more supplies, The Empire and pirates are slowly bleeding us dry." Organa informed Dooku.

"We have had much of the same problem in our territory.” Dooku replied, “I shall start sending supplies to your fronts where they are needed most. All I ask in return is that you start sending forces to reinforce our heaviest front with the Empire. I shall also work with your people to reduce our mutual piracy problem."

"If we are done here we should start organizing all of this with our forces.", Chancellor Janarus said wanting to get to work.

“Agreed. Best of luck to you both.", Organa replied.

Dooku nodded ending the transmission. For the first time in awhile he felt like his own person no longer having to answer to Sidious, and that the C.I.S. would do some good. He legitimately wanted a good relationship with the Republics and their allies, but he was weary of them as were they of him. It was understandable considering everything that happened,

After Dooku did what he promised organizing and sending supplies on their way to his new allies, he had other business to attend to. He needed to build a new lightsaber.

Star Wars Convergence (Collab with 212th Trooper) Chapter 3

Count Dooku was in his home on Serenno going over all sorts of statistics. He was deep in thought and unsure what to do since he had renounced the now former Chancellor Palpatine as his master. Although it wasn't easy before the merge directing the C.I.S. it was simpler to a degree. It's not just The Republic and The C.I.S. fighting for control of the galaxy, now there are many factions from what seem to the past and even the future vying for control of this new galaxy.

The Separatist were holding against the Republic and Empire for now, but they were not truly making any ground or taking any territory, or at least not for long. The only thing really keeping the C.I.S. going was that they could produce ships and battle droids very quickly, and even then they're still stretched somewhat thin. A strike on Kamino could cripple the Republic, but ever since the merge, Kamino has been more fortified than ever out of caution that The Separatists or other factions might try to strike at cloning facilities there.

Then there was the matter of Maul who broke free of his control and Sidious, (or both versions for that matter). He had gotten out of some tight spots before, but even he was starting to question if he was in over his head. He pushed all that aside as he was meeting with General Grievous to formulate plans of action. As the General got to the entrance the Count greeted him and started walking toward a table, Dooku often used for meetings.

"Good evening General. How goes the fight?", Dooku asked greeting him.

"Not as well as hoped Count. We're fighting off multiple factions, and being hit by raids spearheaded by pirates or Mandalorians.", Grievous replied.

"All things considered General, you've done extremely well holding onto the territory we have. Even some of the best tacticians would still find it extremely difficult in the positions we are in now. That is why I have an idea.", Dooku said as he and Grievous sat down at the table on opposite ends facing each other.

Dooku continued, "Many Mandalorian clans can often have their loyalty bought, and pirates can be persuaded to attack certain targets of our foes rather than ours. Privateers essentially. It may cost quite a bit, but believe it will alleviate the strain on our supply lines enough, to where we can make some progress on at least some of the fronts we're fighting."

Grievous folded his hands.

"As much as it pains to admit it Count, you might be right. If this keeps up I doubt we'll be able to hold for long."

"Then I shall see to it that-"

Dooku stopped sensing something. They were being listened to. Force wielders from what he could tell. They were cloaking themselves from his senses and either wanted to be noticed now, or they were inexperienced in cloaking themselves for long periods of time and messed up. Either way he could tell they were in his home.

"Count?", Grievous asked wondering why he stopped mid-sentence.

The doors to the Count's meeting room were suddenly thrown open. Half a dozen figures in black cloaks and armor, the spies Dooku had just sensed, stepped in. The lead figure, grinning evilly, was all too familiar to the Count.

"Lord Sidious..." Dooku said coldly. "I can't say it's a pleasure to see you."

"No, traitors are rarely happy to see their old masters, are they?" Sidious shot back, slowly crossing the room with the aid of a cane. "But that's behind me now: as you can see, you've been replaced. Well, not really, these brutes are hardly true Sith, they're more stand ins for your cybernetic attack dog."

Grievous bristled at the comment, but Dooku held up a hand to silence him.

"No, I am not here to ask for your return to loyalty.", Sidious continued. "It will be a cold day in the Afterworld before I beg you for help, Count. No, I am here to make a deal."

"A deal?", Dooku scoffed. "I know you far to well for that, Chancellor. Or should I say 'Ex-chancellor'? Tell me, what plans do the great and powerful Dark Lord of the Sith have now that he's been reviled for the worm he really is?"

Sidious... laughed. It was perhaps the most unsettling thing he could have done: both Grievous and Dooku quietly moved their hands towards the hilts of their sabers.

"Don't act like you're not out of your depth just as much as I.", Sidious spat as soon as he was done laughing. "NO ONE was prepared for this. At least I'm not held up in my estate, with no allies but a tin platted serial killer, trying to fight a war I was never meant to win. You're a puppet, Count, a puppet who tried to break free of his strings, but only became more tangled."

"Yet, he's still far better off than you.", Grievous muttered. "Nothing to your name but half a dozen worthless dark spawn."

Dooku smiled at that. So did Sidious. Dooku placed his hand on his lightsaber hilt again.

"Fair point. Perhaps I should kill you both and take your armies. I could, you know.", He said with the same, evil smirk. "But I have no interest in armies or wars, politics or ruling. There's already a version of me who stands more than a good chance at conquering this 'Merge', I see no reason I should stand in his way. That, and there are... certain parties who would prefer it if I stayed out of things."

"Then what are you planning?", Dooku demanded. "You're always planning something."

"Why, simply, I'm planning... anything.", Sidious said.

"He has finally lost it.", Grievous growled.

"Oh, quite possible." Sidious said with a mad look in his eyes. "I'm almost as rich as you, a good deal more powerful and a thousand times smarter. I can do whatever I like: form my own cult, become a crime lord, buy a farm, join the Jedi. But mostly..."

He sat down at Dooku's briefing table, putting his feet up and his hands clasped on his lap.

"I could burn the Galaxy to ashes!"

"Look how far you've fallen... You're insane.", Dooku said in disbelief. He never expected to see Sidious like this.

"That much we can agree on Count. Too bad you and everyone in this room has to die."

A voice came from the ceiling through an open window. Looking up they all saw a male Pau'an sporting a Dark side corrupted eye, and much of his body was cybernetics. Not too long after more figures joined him and leaped down to the floor with him, and he spoke again.

"I am the Grand Inquisitor. Who would've thought I would find three of my high priority targets here."

Dooku had thought he had sensed more than what was here. He made a mental note to upgrade the security on this place.

"What are you getting at?", Grievous growled.

"Simple...", Grand Inquisitor replied as he activated the spinning blades on his saber.

"Decapitating the head of the C.I.S. and eliminating this threat to our Emperor's thrown."

All the Inquisitors activated their blades. A few had similar blades to the Grand Inquisitor, but others had either a standard single blade, curved hilt, or a saber staff.

Dooku and Grievous quickly got up getting back to back. They were completely surrounded on all sides. Dooku thought he would never see the day where he had more trust in Grievous than he did Sidious as Dooku activated his lightsaber, and Grievous activated four of his. Fortunately for them however the two groups in the rooms were just as concerned with each other as they were with Dooku and Grievous.

One Inquisitor named Jerec lead about half of the Inquisitors in a beeline for Sidious, while the Grand Inquisitor lead the other half in closing in on Grievous and Dooku. Jerec and his men were halted halfway to the Dark Lord by the Sith Warriors he had recruited. Sidious just watched in apparent boredom as the room was engulfed in a single, massive duel.

"Please Tyranus," He scoffed. "I thought I trained you better than this."

Dooku angrily fired a bolt of Force lightning at Sidious, knocking him out of his chair. This almost cost him a limb, as the High Inquisitor proved to be a formidable opponent indeed and drove the Count back with a flurry of expert strikes.

Grievous tore through the Inquisitors, physically grabbing several and slamming them into the floor. On the other side of the room, the proper Sith Warriors proved to be more than a match for all the Imperial Dark Siders, save one. Jerec finished off the last one just in time to turn and face Grievous.

The cybernetic Jedi Hunter and blind Jedi slayer moved almost to quickly for the naked eye to see. It would have been quite the display, if Dooku and the Grand Inquisitor's nearby duel wasn't putting it to shame.

Slowly, Sidious climbed to his feet. He wiped a little blood from the corner of his mouth and cackling loudly, before raising his hands.

"MY TURN!" He roared.

Bolts of Sith Lightning blasted across the room. Jerec and Dooku threw up their lightsabers to defend themselves, and even then had to back it up with Force shields. The Grand Inquisitor and Grievous's cybernetics were fried, winding the former and sending the later crashing out of the battle entirely.

Sidious leaped onto the table, twins blades of blood red springing from his hands.

"Won’t you join me?" He asked the room at large, still maniacally laughing. "Insanity is so much fun!"

The other three, quickly recognizing the largest threat in the room, stood side by side facing the Dark Lord. They all nodded at each other and as one they all four lunged and met each other midair.

The battle was truly a spectacle to behold. They were just barely keeping up with the exiled ex-Chancellor gone mad from his oust from power, and his plans ruined. Sidious noticing the Grand Inquisitor slowed due to his damaged cybernetics and took advantage of it, slicing off his last good limb.

With a howl of pain he collapsed to his knees gripping where his right arm used to be as Sidious then blasted him into the wall, and re-engaged Jerec and Dooku.

Meanwhile Grevious laid barely alive just outside Dooku's estate. Barely able to move, Grevious pressed a hidden button on his side, as he passed out.

Back in Dooku's estate Sidious had managed to disarm both The Count and the remaining Inquisitor, holding them both in a Force choke cackling to himself, but just as they were about to lose conciousness from the lack of air, Sidious felt himself hit in the back with blunt force and a shock sending him flying a few feet.

Grevious had apparently called in his Magna Guards, and had engaged Sidious stabbing him and shocking him on the ground. Sidous however would blast them away reigniting his sabers, and engaging them himself. Dooku and Jerec then took this opportunity to escape, with Jerec grabbing The Grand Inquisitor, realizing he could still be useful later. His his increased anger at the "False Emperor" could come in handy once they organized another mission.

Dooku on the other hand with barely enough time to grab his saber ran out to medical droids and more Magna Guards loading General Grievous on to a medical ship, and jumped on.

"Pilot! Take us to the Invisible Hand!"


Dooku yelled ordering the droid to which it responded.

"Roger roger."

Dooku used the Force and kept the General alive. As much as he didn't want to admit it, he needed him alive, and after seeing what transpired today, he decided Serenno was no longer safe.

The Magna Guards didn't last long against the Sith Lord, soon lying strewn in pieces across the estate. Sidious nonchalantly slid his sabers back up his sleeves, before blasting a hole in the nearby wall and watching Dooku's shuttle rocketing into the atmosphere, just as it began to rain.

"Goodbye, old friend.", He said. "I was going to trade some Sith Warriors for a battalion of droids but, well, they're both kind of dead now aren't they?"

He laughed, not cold and cruel as he might have once done, but full of actual mirth.

"Can you hear me, Mortis!?!" He called to the heavens. "Can you hear how I hearken to your call? The drums are rung and none look back, save the Jedi on the hill. Lost he is, no rhyme, no theme. Cat's eyes and darkness closing! Darkness closing..."

It wouldn't be a total loss for Sidious however. Not too far off was a droid factory that Dooku seemed to have made many improvements to since the last time he had seen it. He could get what he needed there.

-------
Later...

Grievous woke up after being in a bacta tank for a day, and Count Dooku using the Force to make he stayed alive. He found himself using Jedi method he hadn't used in years or at least not this extensively, but he would never speak of it to anyone.

The General noticed he was in an entirely new exoskeleton, and it was hard for him to explain, but things seemed clearer to him now somehow.

"Ah General, you're awake.", Dooku said as Grievous opened his eyes.

"Count? Where am I?"

"You are aboard The Invisible Hand."

"Something feels... off."

Grievous' voice didn't quite have the same callus it once did. Dooku decided tell him a half truth, he figured he would leave the whole truth for later if he ever did tell him.

"We were doing some scans of your brain while you were unconscious. We found several implants likely ordered by Sidious as some means of influence over you. I had them removed. We need your head clear for this, not clouded by whatever Sidious implanted in you."

Rage boiled up in Grievous, but he kept it contained for when he faced Sidious again. He felt the weight of his new body as he shifted in his restraints a bit.

"Something feels different about this body. The weight of it feels off."

"That is because it is made out of cortosis.”, Dooku explained. “I spent a fortune gathering up that much. It will absorb blaster fire, electric discharges, and should also short out lightsabers when hit."

"That'll be useful."

If Grievous could’ve still smirked, he would have.

"Indeed.", Dooku said as he hit a button releasing Grievous.

"Come General. I think it is time we walk a different path. Or at least not the one Sidious lead us down."

Star Wars Convergence (Collab with 212th Trooper) Chapter 2

An Imperial battle group was sent into First Order territory to test the strength of their potential rival. They were not strong enough to challenge the Empire yet, but they wanted to make sure that never would happen. Darth Vader himself was in command of the operation with Adm. Thrawn second in command of the operation.

"Lord Vader we're detecting several vessels coming out of hyperspace.", an Imperial Officer said informing Vader.

The Finalizer and what looked like many other vessels the First Order could get their hands on surrounded the Imperial 501st battle group, and started firing. The Battle group would hold their ground inflicting heavy casualties on the First Order's quickly put together fleet. Something was off to Thrawn however. It felt like a test.

Eventually the Finalizer would break off its attack and retreat with a few other ships, but not before a single fighter would leave the ship and land on the planet near by.

"Lord Vader?", Thrawn said turning to Vader.

"I see it Admiral. I sense something about the pilot of that fighter. I am going to investigate. I am leaving you in charge of the fleet."

"Very well. I will not fail you Lord Vader."

"Unlike many others, considering your record, I actually believe it when you say it.", as he turned heading for his Starfighter.

Darth Vader took his TIE Advanced to the surface into a forest. It was reminiscent of when he faced Asajj Ventress on Yavin IV back when he was Anakin Skywalker. He made his way through the forest occasionally cutting through branches with his lightsaber or brushing them aside with the Force. He eventually came to a small clearing where the pilot of the other starfighter waited.

"Darth Vader... If it really is you, then it pains me to do this, but... Supreme Leader Snoke says you must be destroyed as you will stand in the way of his vision."

The pilot was a Force sensitive no doubt, Vader Sensed how powerful he was. The pilot in questions name was Kylo Ren who then used the Force to freeze Vader in place, but after a few seconds Vader clinched his hands into fists and broke free. Kylo tried again, but to no avail.

"Impressive.", Darth Vader told him activating his lightsaber and taking a Djem So stance.

"But you'll need to do more, and better than that."

Kylo Ren seemed surprised quickly grabbing his saber activating it. He had never had anyone actually break free of his Force paralysis before. Thoughts raced through his head as Vader got closer and he took a clumsy Soresu stance. Was this actually Darth Vader he was fighting? Plenty of evidence to back that up considering the merge, but he still couldn't believe it.

He started believing it however when he was slammed through a tree trunk. He was back on his feet in moments through, railing wildly against Vader's stonewall defense.

Vader was, of course, the much more skilled on a technical level. But the sheer rage and anger of Kylo's assault actually managed to drive him back, up until Vader blasted him away with his Force powers again

Kylo got back to his feet, but took one wide eyed look at Vader and switched his Lightsaber off.

"It is you..." He said breathlessly. "It's really you, grandfather!"

"Grandfather?" Vader asked, pausing.

"Yes: I... I'm Kylo Ren, the son of your daughter." Kylo said. "I've tried to follow your ways my entire life, done everything to devote myself to the Dark side, just like you. I've lived to honor your memory and your greatness, grandfather."

Vader stared at him for a second.

"Then you are a fool" He suddenly roared, striding up to Kylo, lifting him with one hand and slamming him into the ground, all in one fluid motion.

"You know nothing of the Dark Side!" He hissed angrily. "It's power comes from sacrifice, a quick and easy route that will cost you everything you ever loved! The Dark is only for the weak, the foolish! And so help me worm, if you've done anything to hurt my daughter..."

He was cut off by a thunderous roar overhead. They both looked up to see the form of a badly damaged Imperial Star Destroyer slowly burning up as it plummeted through orbit. It was impossible to tell if it was First Order or 501st, so they immediately jumped on their com, calling their admirals.

"Thrawn, report!" Vader demanded.

"As I predicted, they have returned" Came the Chiss's calm drawl. "In significantly greater force. Their technology is... advanced, much more advanced than ours. It'd be like one of our fleets fighting one from the Clone Wars."

"Is that a problem?" Vader demanded.

"Please, with these tactics?" Thrawn scoffed. "I could defeat them with a fleet from the Old Republic's Golden Age! I'll keep you posted, Lord Vader."

He had almost switched the comm off when the Chiss admiral remembered something else.

"Oh, but I suppose I should say, there might be a problem for you, Lord Vader. A number of drop-ships have changed course and are approaching your position. You could be facing a few hundred troops: let me know if you require reinforcements."

Both dark siders finished their calls at the same time, rounding on each other again. But will Vader raised his weapon, Kylo humbly knelled.

"There is a large force of First Order troops on their way" He said. "Please Grandfather, let me fight them at your side! It's all I've ever wanted."

Darth Vader slashed Kylo Ren across the face, knocking off his helmet and leaving another mark that would turn into a scar on his face. The scars seemed to form an 'X' as he laid on the ground unconscious. Darth Vader then thought to himself for a moment.

A daughter? He had a daughter? He had twins. He had fought Luke on Bespin back before the merge or The Convergence as it was beginning to be called by many, but he never thought... He was going to have a talk with the Emperor, or...

He looked at Kylo Ren. Was he telling the truth? There was some resemblance to himself at that age when he was Anakin Skywalker. Perhaps... Perhaps he could use him. Using a cable to from his TIE Advanced, he restrained Kylo Ren.

However it wasn't long after that the First Order forces found him.

"Wait. Is that-?", A First Order Storm Trooper said surprised at the sight of Vader.

"Stay focused!", The Platoon Leader said barking at trooper.

Vader activated his saber, he did not raise it to defend himself from the first line of troopers however, he flicked his finger. When they tried to fire they found their weapons were jammed. Before they could do anything else the last they saw was a red blur as Vader threw his saber at the first line of troops dropping and killing them all.

The second line of troops got to fire some, but didn't do much better. Vader blocked all the incoming blaster shots, and they all heard some type of beeping. They all looked back to see their grenades on their backs about to go off. They panicked and tried to get them off but it was too late and the grenades exploded taking the soldiers with them. The grenades also took out a few in the third and final wave that was now demoralized, but knowing they would be killed if they failed this mission in particular they charged forward to have Vader bring down a tree on most of them, and then he cut down or choked out the rest.

After a moment he looked back at Kylo Ren. He decided it would be best to question him. Vader then turned on his communicator.

"Admiral Thrawn. I have a prisoner for pick up. Can you spare a shuttle and something to restrain a Force sensitive?"
-------
Later….
The battle was still going on, but it was obvious the tide had turned in favor of Adm. Thrawn, and thanks to his superior tactics he had ultimately won the day for the original Galactic Empire: The First Order Star Destroyers either retreated, or were destroyed, save one which was boarded and captured. It was not a total victory however: contact was lost with the shuttle transporting Kylo between the planet and Vader's flagship.

"We can't find a single trace of either the Dark Warrior, are men or the ship." Thrawn told Vader, as the Sith Lord stared out the bridge's viewscreen. "Do you believe they were destroyed in the fighting?"

"... No" Vader said after a moment's thought.

"Neither do I." Thrawn agreed. "There were trace particles in the atmosphere matching those left behind when a ship enters Hyperspace. The men, of course, think it's nothing, but I believe your... 'grandson' broke free and stole our ship."

"You haven't informed the crew?" Vader asked.

"I assumed, due to it's personal nature, you would want to keep this quiet" Thrawn said matter-of-factly. "And this is personal, Lord Vader. I saw the battle on your fighter's holo-recorder: that boy is is related to you, be it by blood or some other method."

"I know." Vader growled. "The Merge has clouded the Force, Dark and Light. Many things that once seemed impossible are now all too real. Only a Skywalker or the Emperor could break free on that Shuttle, it was designed to contain powerful Jedi Masters."

"Powerful," Agreed Thrawn. "but unskilled. He hasn't been trained properly."

"He was conflicted" Vader explained. "Torn between the Light and the Dark. He has anger and hate and fear, and draws on them constantly, but without purpose or talent. He's a Jedi at heart, but that knowledge is driving him to be worse than any Sith."

"So what do you plan to do about him?" Thrawn prodded. "I could likely extrapolate his trajectory from the particles. We could have an entire fleet pursuing him, perhaps straight to the First Order's doorstep. Or..."

The Chiss lowered his voice and stepped closer to the Sith. "You could take a Fighter and chase him yourself."

"That could be considered treason." Vader pointed out.

"So could not telling the Emperor about this encounter." Thrawn admitted. "And yet, I don't particularly care to inform him at this moment. Do you?"

Vader said nothing. Abruptly, he spun on his heels and marched off the bridge.

"You, the entire fleet, is to stay here and exclaim the captured vessel" He ordered the crew over his shoulder. "I have business to attend too... elsewhere."

The Grand Admiral smirked.

Darth Vader got to his TIE Advanced prepping it for take off leaving Thrawn in charge of the fleet once more, and followed the hyperspace trail. This wasn't over. Not by a long shot.

Star Wars Convergence (Collab with 212th Trooper) Chapter 1

The Republic after getting info from other factions from other factions found out that Chancellor Palpatine was a Sith Lord manipulating the Republic trying to turn it into what Galactic Empire faction is. After seeing the political state of the Empire the citizens of the Republic demanded he be ousted from power and be removed from office immediately.

Palpatine would flee just before the Jedi would come looking for him. However he had a surprise for them. He activated a communicator.

"Execute Order 66.", Palpatine said smirking.
A Clone Commander would respond, "Come again? Who is this? How did you get this- Wait is this Palpatine!?"

Palpatine became frustrated throwing the comm against the wall. Why wasn't it working? A strange voice or voices rather speaking in unison spoke to him.

"The balance here will not be broken. Or at-least not like that. You will find that all of the clones have been liberated of those biological chips."

"Who are you?", Palpatine would ask looking around a bit surprised.

"We are The Ones. From every timeline that this galaxy is stitched together from."

"I don't know who you think you are, but you are a fool to-"

Palpatine was cut off as he was grasping at his neck being lifted up choking.

"NO! YOU ARE A FOOL! YOU THINK YOU KNOW POWER!?! YOU CAN'T EVEN BEGIN TO COMPREHEND IT!"

Palpatine was let go, falling to the ground and gasping for air.

"You will find that most of your contingencies have been undone. We will not kill you, but we have made sure you won't upset the balance we have set with all of your plans."

The voices disapeared, and Palpatine was left to himself. What just happened? Where could he go? He could go to the Empire and essentially speak with himself, or go to the Separatists. Both were risky. Dooku had renounced him, and this other "him" might see him as a threat. He decided to take some time to think.
-------
Meanwhile...

The Rebellion and The Resistance had managed to make contact with the Galactic Republic now with Bail Organa acting as the new Chancellor. They had chosen the city of Theed as their meeting place. The representative of the Rebellion was Han Solo, someone who had been invaluable to their cause, and the representative of The Resistance was Rey the newest student of Jedi mast Luke Skywalker. Both discussed their own timelines before the merge, and what it was like. Rey expressed that she was happy to see him again even if it wasn't her Han Solo. Han didn't seem to take the news about what his son did in her timeline well. If his relationship ever did go that far with Leia he would take precautions to make sure that never happened. Also he was thinking of a different name for his son. Jacen sounded like a good one.

Bail Organa came into the room and the meeting was about to get under way when there was an explosion near by.

"What was that!?!", Bail Organa asked grabbing onto the wall for support.

"Chancellor!”, A clone came running up to him, “Separatists have slipped past our defenses and forces are in the air and on the ground!"

"How?", The new Chancellor asked surprised.

"Some kind of new cloaking tech it would seem!"

"Evacuate all non-combatants!", The Chancellor ordered.

"Right away sir!"

Bail then turned to the representatives, "Come on you two."

"Sorry Chancellor, but we're not ones to run from a fight.", Han told him.

Bail Organa sighed and told them, "Fine but you two better come back alive."

"Don't worry.” Rey assured him, “There is more than one reason we were chosen to be representatives."

They met up with the clone commander readying his men for defense. The Naboo Royal Starfighters were already engaging the Droid Starfighters, and seemed to have it more or less under control. The ground forces would be the real problem.

"Hey commander what are we looking at here?", Han asked as he got to the defensive line with Rey.

"Bunch of B1's and B2's with heavy armor rolling up the back. They have two field commanders by the looks of it.", The Clone Commander informed Han, and Rey.

The clone commander then handed Solo his optic enhancer so he could see for himself, and saw a Zabrak with metal legs and 2 metal implants in his head, he was also covered in black tattoos. The second one Han recognized all too well.

"Boba Fett... Apparently he isn't doing jobs for just the Hutts and Empire anymore."

"You know him sir?", The Commander asked.

"We've had a few run-ins yeah. Most dangerous bounty hunter in the galaxy where I come from, but I don't think he is anything me and Rey can't handle."

Rey concentrated on the Zabrak. She sensed great hatred in him, but also that his will was being suppressed. It was unclear if he would be friend or foe if they freed him. She was about to inform Han and the others but that's when the blaster bolts started flying. Rey activated her lightsaber and Han fired back alongside the clones. The fight for Theed had begun.

"We just need to hold them off long enough for reinforcements to arrive!" The Clone Commander yelled over the comm to all the troopers.

"Trust me they're not even going to get close!", Han said confidently smirking.

Han's DL-44 proved very effective against the B1's and a well-placed head shot would take out a B2, but this would prove to be the least of their worries at the moment, as Boba Fett got close using his jet pack firing down on them. Rey would then be confronted by the Zabrak leading him away. His attacks had such ferocity that she was forced completely on the defensive. Fortunately the Zabrak didn't realize he was being lead somewhere.

Rey and Maul dueled fiercely, leaving the rest of the battle behind as they moved deeper and deeper into Theed. The younger, more inexperienced Jedi found it hard to keep up with the fierce Sith warrior, but managed to keep herself alive, and even guide the fight somewhat.

She had studied the city beforehand, just in case, and was trying to lead the Sith warrior into the halls of the power core, where she thought she might use the terrain to gain an edge. And the plan might have worked too: they sped across the Hanger, blades of blue and red flashing like dueling supernovas, and into the tall corridors of the power section.

But Rey couldn't have known what would happen next. A lucky strike from her Lightsaber damaged the Zabrak's control just enough he could slip free. The memory of The place he now stood, what he had lost there, and the audacity of someone believing they could use him as their mindless weapon, drove the Zabrak too far. He let out an ear piercing scream and powerful shock wave, that knocked Rey out.

She had no idea how much later it was when Han Solo was waking her up and helping her to her feet.

"How goes the battle?" She asked groggily.

"It doesn't." Ha said shortly. "That crazy Vader-type you were fighting came charging back in and attacked his own men! It was like nothing I've seen before, even Luke couldn't have done it. They retreated a while ago, we've all been trying to find out what happened to you."

"I'm fine" Rey said with a wave of her hand, stopping short when she saw the man in green Mandolorian armor standing behind Han. "Solo, look out!"

"Hey, easy kid!" Han said quickly, stepping in between the two as Fett raised his blaster and Rey ignited her Lightsaber. "He's with us now."

"How did you manage that?" Rey demanded.

"Paid him" Han said simply. "He *IS* a Bounty Hunter after all, and Leia's pretty rich, being a Princess and all."

"That makes sense I suppose" Rey said slowly, switching her Lightsaber off.

"If we're done playing games" Fett said darkly. "The girl is needed in the detention section."

"The 'girl' has a name!" Rey said angrily, following the Bounty Hunter anyways. "And why would I be needed in the prisons?"

"Our friend here managed to tag the crazy Zabrak while he was chasing after the retreating droids" Han explained. "We're holding him, but anyone who tries to get close to his cell gets blasted real bad. I think we need a Jedi to handle him."
-------
Elsewhere
Palpatine smiled up at the halls of Korriban. The old Sith Empire may be pathetically primitive by his standards, but they may just be the saving grace for his new plan...

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Smaller, More Honest Soul: Ruby Rose

I think Ruby Rose has two things most TV show “heroes” these days are sorely lacking: The first is a High-Caliber Sniper-Scythe. The second is a genuine understanding of what it really means to be a hero.
The full quote I took this essay’s title from is Ozpin’s opening monologue to the series, an answer to the villainous cynicism of Salen warning Humankind that they can’t hope to overcome her through force of arms.
“But perhaps victory is in the simpler things that you've long forgotten; things that require a smaller, more honest soul.”
RWBY may not be a Christian series, but I feel that’s a statement very in keeping with our beliefs. After all, wasn’t it the son of a humble carpenter who saved our world? The Alpha and Omega, the one above all, humbling himself to the form of a lowly man: able to feel pain, sorrow, hunger, thirst, temptation and, ultimately, death, all to save a race of backsliding sinners. Victory in a small, honest soul indeed.
But back to Ruby Rose: Honestly, I could probably fill a small book with nothing but my ravings for this character. But instead, I’ll let the show do the talking for me: this conversation, between Ruby and Blake in The Shining Beacon Pt.2, is one of my favorite from any show:
“As a girl, I wanted to be just like those heroes in the books... Someone who fought for what was right, and protected people who couldn't protect themselves!”
As far as mission statements go, this has few equals, deceptively simple as it may be. Ruby doesn’t share her teammates strong motivations: She’s not out to redeem her family name, atone for past sins, find her mother, prove her worth, fulfill some higher duty or even just because she has nowhere else to go. She’s becoming a Huntress because that’s where she feels she’ll do the most good: nothing more, nothing less.
Ruby could easily be mistaken for a naive little girl, given how badly she fanboys over Huntsmen/Huntresses and how bright her worldview is, but too dismiss her as such would be a dangerous underestimation.
Look at the family she comes from: her mother died on a mission, her father was heartbroken and emotionally crippled for years, her uncle is a cynical, bitter alcoholic and her step mother straight up abandoned her family. All of these were Huntsmen/Huntresses: it’s a wonder Ruby hold the job in anything but contempt.
But the thing about Ruby is that, like all her teammates, she sees being a Huntress as just a means to an end. Oh sure, she’s in love with the fairy tale aspect, but ultimately she chose this life because she knows it’s where she can do the most good, combat easily being her area of expertise.
Compare her expertise with weapons to her difficulty making friends: her awkwardness at a dance to her grace while fighting for her life. Ruby is at home on the battlefield and she knows it: the only other career she is ever mentioned as considering was Police Officer, and even that could place her in fights on a regular basis (Especially in a World like Remanent).
Ruby’s innocence is not ignorance: She wasn’t really old enough to understand what was happening when her mother died, but she certainly was for everyone she lost in the Fall of Beacon. Slain friends, a physically and spiritually broken sister, a splintered teams and a long, arduous journey constantly filled with pain and difficulty. And at the end of it all, she’s just as defiant as she was when Roman gave her that speech aboard the airship, so very long ago.
She’s grown, certainly. She now acknowledges that bad things can happen just because, that there’s a nearly invincible foe looming on the horizon and that it will take more than Crescent Rose and Silver Eyes to defeat it. But all that has just redoubled her will, her resolve to never bow to evil and to battle it all costs.
Even more impressively, she still considers that a secondary motive. She’s not a broken warrior, out to avenge everything she’s lost. She is still the same, dorky fifteen (Well, sixteen now) year old girl just trying to do what’s right. Yes, times have gotten dark, but she’s fighting both out of a remembrance for the good times that came before, and a hope that those can come again.
As she tell’s her sister, it’s not for herself, or for the people she’s already lost, but for the people she hasn’t lost yet. Salem and associates be warned: Ruby Rose has placed her friends, family and the World of Remanent under her protection, and she will fight to the last to defend them.
Now, of course, there are alternate views. Blake’s, for instance.
“That's very ambitious for a child. Unfortunately, the real world isn't the same as a fairy tale.”
Blake is somehow who already knows just how dark the world can be. Even more, she has had a hand, however small, in making it that way. Happily ever afters would be nice, but she has mistakes to fix first. And don’t get me wrong: that’s an almost equally powerful motivation as Ruby’s.
A touch of personal, even selfish, motives to their hero can go a long way towards humanizing your hero. We all want to relate to our idols, and “It’s the right thing to do!” is a pretty lofty motivation. I think this is best demonstrated with an exchange from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy:
“Why would you want to save the Galaxy?”
“Because I’m one of the idiots who lives in it!”
It really is okay to act out of greed every now and then: All things in moderation after all. We may not look up to the Guardians as much as we do Superman, but I think we all feel like the former a lot more frequently than we do the later. Sometimes, neutrality just isn’t an option: evil cares nothing for “Live and let live” policies after all. They may not destroy/subjugate you at first, but that’s only because it’d be too much effort. Rest assured, someday you will bow to them, or else perish.
Sometimes, regardless of how squeaky clean your personal life may or may not be, you have to stand up and defend you and your own. And if you save some other people along the way? Hey, at least they owe you a favour in the future. Not heroic, but definitely realistic.
And then there are people like Blake (Or, to continue the Superhero themes, Batman and Spiderman) who have deeply personal reason for their heroism, that may not be selfish exactly, but still much darker than the classical storybook hero.
But we’ll get to Blake later. For now, we’re looking at Ruby, and she has her own response for when she’s told the world if far to evil a place for optimism like her’s to realistically exist.
“Well, that's why we're here! To make it better.”
I’ll be honest: when she said that, I wanted to hug her just as badly as Yang did. In a time where the general approach to superheroes, and fiction in general, seems to be “realistic!” and “adult!”, a character who just really gets what I love to see in a fictional hero makes me borderline giddy.
Yes, the world is a dark, often hopeless place. But that’s not what the hero should focus on! They aren’t there to become just another link in some cosmic chain of misery and hurt. They’re there to be lights in the darkness, to be beacons of hope, to be better and make others want to be better, in and out of Universe.
They’re there to, well, fight for what is right and protect people who can't protect themselves! I honestly can’t say it better than that. And if I tried, I couldn’t come up with a better candidate for this mindset than miss Ruby Rose.
I honestly don’t want every hero to be like her: Tortured avengers and Idiots trying to save their homes are always a joy to watch. But a few more like her certainly wouldn’t go amiss...