Beyond - Legends Journal of Mark Tantiss: (2012 Diary Challenge: AU, OC, L/M) COMPLETE with fanart

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Jedi_Lover, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    This entry is loosely based on the Children of the Jedi novel. If it doesn't make much sense it is because the book didn't make much sense.

    If you haven't read the book…congratulations…but I guess I should clue you in a bit. In the novel Palpatine built a Death Star type of battle moon disguised as an asteroid. Its first mission was to blow up the Jedi survivors on Belsavis. Because it was such a super secret mission Palpatine didn't put his army on the Battle Station all at once, but spread out garrisons over multiple planets for pick up in an effort to maintain secrecy. Because everybody knows the best way to keep a mission secret is to spread troopers across the galaxy and tell them: "We'll send a shuttle for you later so you can be the crew for a super secret dreadnaught battle station."

    There is a variation I threw in. In the fanfiction SECOND TO NONE I had Palpatine's spirit floating in space after the destruction of Byss and had him settle in the Eye of Palpatine (This was my way to torture Callista). At that time I didn't intend to write the Diary Challenge, but I did and so I now have to have Palpatine's spirit on the Eye in order to remain canon to my own fanfiction.

    Hopefully you read both the novel and my fan fiction story Second to None and you won't be too confused. The next couple entries are more of a set up of the situation; the subsequent entries should be more entertaining.

    Thanks everybody who is reading and especially to those who took time to review. I really appreciate the feedback. For those who hate Callista and might not want to read these entries please remember I am the ultimate Luke/Mara 'shipper…so no worries.

    ENTRY 68: Ithor and Pzob

    Mara was right—trouble follows Luke. We were on Ithor no more than a few days before some psychotic human attacked Han and Leia. Nobody was hurt, but the ramblings of this lunatic sent the Solos on a mission to the planet Belsavis in an attempt to locate a long lost colony of Jedi children. Meanwhile, Luke's been having more of those haunting dreams. He was positive the Force was calling him to the Moonflower Nebula located in Wild Space. So he decided we needed to check it out.

    Why is it that the Force always seems to call Luke to some rimworld planet, a black hole, uncharted territory or locations where the local animals want to make a snack out of us? Why can't the Force call us to the warm beaches of Chandrila where the most shocking living thing we would encounter is a cabana boy dressed in a suspender body thong?

    Anyway it was decided we were off to the Moonflower Nebula. Nichos was scheduled to continue his rehabilitation and rehumanization training on Coruscant, so I thought it would be just me and Luke going, but then Han's damn prissy droid shuffled over to Luke.

    "Will I be accompanying you, Master Luke?" See Threepio's insufferable whiny voice makes me want to shut him off anytime I am near him. Arrgghh…I hoped the droid wasn't going, otherwise I knew it was going to be an annoying trip.

    "Of course you'll be accompanying him, Threepio." Nichos walked up from behind me, giving me a start. I still feel uncomfortable around him and the fact that he is a void in the Force allows him to sneak up on me. "As will I. And Cray, too, I hope," he said as he looked toward Luke expectantly.

    I grimace. The last thing I want is to be stuck in a spacecraft with a shrill protocol droid, a dead man in a droid's body, and a high maintenance female doctor who is never found without high heels, a short-short dress and long perfectly manicured nails. I was thinking, 'Please Luke, say no, tell them they're not needed.'

    But stang! He invited them all on the potentially dangerous mission. I thought that was just great (and I say that with great sarcasm), but kept the feeling to myself. Luke procured a long-range shuttle from the Ithorian government and we all set off to Wild Space.

    It was a long flight…made unbearably long by the ramblings of See Threepio. The droid found out the closest habitable planet in that region was Pzob and that Gamorreans colonized the planet decades back. That little tidbit of information just about gave the protocol droid a hissy-fit. "Oh my! A most unpleasant people, Gamorreans," Threepio whined.

    That droid complains about everything. I really don't like droids. The only droid I own is my cleaning droid and I disabled its voice functions. If it needs to communicate with me it's supposed to send a text message to my datapad.

    We got to the Nebula and found ourselves near a large asteroid field. Immediately Luke and I were on edge. There is something out there. Our ship sensors don't pick up anything, but there was a disturbance in the Force. I closed my eyes and put myself into a meditative state. I reached out trying to find what was causing the ripple in the Force. I felt something, something familiar. My eyes flew open upon recognition of the threat. "Palpatine," I whispered in shock.

    I think Luke might have sensed the same thing because he suddenly screamed for the ship shields to be raised. A second after Luke slammed his hand down on the deflectors, a purple-white light rammed through the viewport temporarily blinding us and knocking out the gravity compensator. My stomach lurched and I had to fight to keep my breakfast down. Luckily we all were strapped in with our crash webbing.

    Luke swung the ship starboard quickly and then to port in a zigzag pattern. We determined the plasma bolts were coming from one of the large asteroids within the asteroid field, but we couldn't get a fix on which two kilometer rock had the gun batteries. What we did know was our ship couldn't take more than one or two of those direct hits before the shields failed completely.

    We were assessing damages frantically and found our starboard sensors were blind and deflectors were at one-third power. "How far to Pzob?" Luke called out.

    I checked the coordinates. "About three hours at top sublight," I replied.

    "Our sublight engines seem to be okay," said Luke. "We'll be on emergency oxygen and it might be cold by the time we get there. Threepio, I hope you know Gamorrean."

    Threepio said, "Oh, dear."

    I thought, 'Shut up!'

    "Right," Luke said softly. "Let's make hyperdust."

    Luke put the craft at full throttle, maneuvering toward the planet Pzob. And that's when a bright bolt of light crashed into the ship with a crushing force—then everything went black.
  2. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    Luke is the ultimate trouble magnet! But we love him anyway. ;)

    And here comes trouble...
  3. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Yeah, trouble named the Eye of Palpatine...and Callista. [face_sick]

    ENTRY 69: Pzob

    I don't know how long I was out. I came to slowly, my eyes not focusing completely. I saw Luke floating in the cabin. He was still attached to his seat and crash webbing, but the captain's chair had been ripped completely from its mooring. I saw his eyes flutter open for a second before he vomited. That's not good. Vomiting in zero-gravity is almost as bad as vomiting in your helmet when out on a spacewalk. Somebody needed to get to him before he started breathing in his expelled stomach contents.

    I fumbled at my crash webbing, but my brain didn't seem to have a good communication link to my hands. For the first time…ever…I was glad See Threepio was with us. The droid floated over to Luke and pushed the suspended upchuck away from his face, he then detangled Luke from his crash webbing and pulled the Jedi to the aft part of the ship where I could hear Nichos talking to the droid.

    I tried once more to disconnect my webbing but I found darkness swimming in front of my eyes and I fell back unconscious.

    The sense of somebody putting something over my face awakened me sometime later. I opened my eyes and saw the smooth impassive features of Nichos looking at me. "The coolant lines were ruptured," he explained as he attached a breathing mask to me. "The vapors are deadly."

    I nodded as I attempted to disconnect myself from the webbing. Nichos helped me and eventually I floated free from my seat. "Where's Luke?"

    Nichos pointed to the aft part of the ship. "Back there," he said. "He sustained a head injury."

    I pulled myself to the aft crew room. There I saw a masked Cray tending to Luke and pleading for him to wake up. She turned to me as I entered the cabin. Her mascara was running from her eyes and there was a huge bruise on the side of her head. "I don't think he's going to make it." She cried softly.

    "Don't say that," I said harshly. The Jedi was unconscious, but if Luke could perceive sound that definitely was the last thing he needed to hear. "This is Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master," I reminded Cray. "A bump on his head is not going to take him down. I've seen him crush Imperial Walkers with a wave of his hand. He's walked on lava and disabled hundred-meter-tall Hunter-Killer droids with just a thought."

    I floated over to Luke and placed my hand on the back of his head. He did have a huge bump, but luckily a few weeks ago the Academy acquired a new Jedi who was skilled in Force healing techniques. She's a Mon Calamari named Cilghal (Admiral Ackbar's niece) and she had taught us all about healing trances. "Luke, you need to concentrate on healing yourself," I whispered to him hoping he could hear me. "Focus on the damaged areas of your head."

    I closed my eyes and pulled the Force toward Luke. Thoughts floated up to my consciousness and I realized I knew exactly how to heal Luke…I also realized this knowledge came from Palpatine's memories. It was a Sith healing technique. I pushed the thoughts aside. This knowledge was nothing to trifle with. Luke can heal himself and if he can't…well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

    "Concentrate Luke," I pleaded with him. "Think about Mara and your baby." Upon hearing his wife's name his eyelids twitched. "You have to heal yourself so you can return to them." I paused for a moment. "Luke, think about me…Mara will kill me if I let anything happen to you!" Through Luke's clear plastic filter mask I could see his eyes flutter and his lips curled up slightly at that comment.

    "Luke, I know you can hear me. Use the Force to repair your head."

    I continued to pull the Force toward Luke and eventually his eyes blinked open but were wandering about unfocused. "What happened?" he managed to croak out. "Where are we?"

    "Thank the Force, you're awake," Cray said with great relief. "We were hit by a major plasma bolt," she explained. "We're coming up on K seven Forty-nine System. We picked up a signal. We're not sure if it is Imperial. Threepio didn't recognize it."

    "Okay," Luke said slowly. I can see he was thinking about what to do. "I guess I need to pilot." He looked over to me. "When we get back to Coruscant, I'm getting you into flight school."

    I smiled. "I'd like that." Luke tried to untangle himself from the silver emergency blanket keeping him from floating away, but I placed a hand on him halting his movement. "We have a little time. Get yourself into a healing trance Luke. I'll wake you when you're needed."

    He nodded and I saw him flinch. I guess that little movement hurt. He closed his eyes and went into a deep meditative state.

    I took the time to access the damages. It was bad. Not only was the gravity compensator gone, but also life support was slowly failing. We diverted all the power we could to the air recyclers and hoped we wouldn't freeze to death before we got to Pzob.

    I went back to the flight deck and stowed away as much of the unsecured items as possible. I grabbed the unmoored pilot's chair and tied it off to some equipment on the far wall. I then got a plastic bag and corralled up all the floating puke, which almost made me retch.

    I went back to Luke and found Cray struggling to get him into a thermal-suit to keep him warm. I helped her suit him up and then Cray and I put ours on. I looked over to Nichos and noted that he was wearing neither a t-suit nor a breathing mask. He was covered in grime and grease, having returned from the engine compartment. The look on his face didn't give me any indication as to the status of the engines, but it really didn't matter, we didn't have the equipment or supplies to repair them in space. We also didn't have any time. We were approaching Pzob.

    I floated over to where Cray stood watch over Luke. "It's time to wake him." I hoped the little time he had in a healing trance mended him enough to land this craft. "Luke, wake up." I said to him softly. I tapped on his shoulder lightly. "Luke, wake up."

    His eye slowly opened and he turned to me and gave a weak smile. "Mark, did you get the identification number of that speeder that ran me over?"

    I chuckled. "No, but I think I can identify the one armed Wampa driving it."

    Luke gave a bigger grin. I unhooked the blanket and straps he was secured in and helped him float toward the copilot seat. I strapped him in and then asked, "Are you sure you want to try landing this?"

    "Do or do not…" he started to say.

    I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, I know, there is no try."

    I pulled myself back to the passenger seat and strapped in. Maneuvering through the atmosphere was a little rough going, but Luke successfully landed us in an open field surrounded by dense forest.

    We made it safely to Pzob. Hopefully everything will go smoothly from now on.
  4. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    Smothly.... yeah right!

    I have to tell you, floting vomit is gross. [face_sick]
    Jedi_Lover likes this.
  5. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Ewwww! Reading about floating vomit is ALMOST as bad as reading Children of the Jedi :p

    Mark should know by now that nothing goes smoothly with Luke around.
    Jedi_Lover likes this.
  6. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Almost, but not quite. I think the only reason I put that down is it happened in canon. But Hambly had him vomit in zero gravity and forgot all about it. How can you forget about the floating vomit?[face_sick]

    Thanks for reading!
  7. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Hazel -- Nothing goes smoothly for Luke.
    Briannakin -- I hate CotJ. LOL!

    Okay, I am following along with the Children of the Jedi book plot...which is very confusing. Therefore some of these posts are confusing. Luckily they are not in this timeline very long.

    Thanks everybody for reading


    The following entries were pieced together after the fact based on my fuzzy recollections, later discussions with Master Skywalker and transcripts provided by See Threepio detailing what the droid witnessed in the days following our arrival to the planet Pzob.
    ~Mark Tantiss~

    Entry 70: Pzob & Eye of Palpatine

    Upon landing on Pzob, we immediately we went to work on repairing the spacecraft. We thought we could get the life support systems fully functional or at least running well enough that we wouldn't freeze to death on a return trip, but it was unknown if the hyperdrive could be repaired. Without a hyperdrive we would be forced to move at sublight speed and hope somebody would hear our distress beacon before we ran out of rations or went mad from boredom and start spacing each other out the airlocks for sport.

    See Threepio and Nichos were in the engine compartment working on repairs. Luke, Cray and I couldn't go into the engine room until the toxic coolant vapors dissipated. Once the air did clear Luke checked out the engines and determined that we were in need of data couplers and thirty meters of number eight cabling to make the necessary repairs. Unfortunately we didn't have those repair parts on board the ship. We had no choice but to look for help.

    We had detected a signal coming from the planet earlier, we would try to locate the source and hope we weren't walking into an Imperial outpost or a pirate's lair. Of course, the chances of us running into a completely unknown but totally friendly colony were slim to none. If a mining or corporate encampment was established on the planet there should have been some record of it. Imperials, smugglers and pirates usually are the only people craving privacy and anonymity.

    We didn't have to walk far before we discovered the source of the signal…in fact we didn't even have to leave the ship. After we landed we opened all functional hatches in order to air out the spacecraft. With all the hatches unsecured and unguarded, an Imperial Stormtrooper strolled right up the boarding ramp, catching us totally unaware. How could we have been so stupid! I think that last plasma bolt must have scrambled all of our brains. When the trooper confronted us, I was standing behind Cray and Luke and didn't have a good shot of the man, nor could I use my lightsaber to deflect shots and prevent Luke and Cray from being shot.

    Luke told the trooper we were traders who were lost and had ship damage. Luke was about to say something else when his knees buckled. Cray tried to steady him, but he suddenly keeled over from his head injury. I was about to pull the trooper's weapon out of his hand using the Force when suddenly the Stormtrooper dropped his weapon, tore off his helmet and went to help Luke. That I didn't expect. The dark skinned, gray haired human Stormtrooper looked way beyond military retirement age and I wondered if he was simply wearing stolen gear.

    "I have a camp not far from here," the man said. "I have some medical supplies and food."

    The man and I grabbed Luke under each arm and helped him walk the short distance to the trooper's camp and makeshift shelter. He pulled out an antique looking medkits, which was thankfully well stocked. Cray and I went to work putting bacta patches on Luke and giving him some painkillers.

    The trooper boiled some water on a small stove for tea and then told us a little about himself. His name was Triv Pothman. He was once part of a forty-five man platoon sent to Pzob to await pick up and delivery to a battlemoon…most likely the thing that shot us out of space.

    "I figure the Emperor forgot the mission a long time ago. You ever hear what happened to it?" Pothman asked of us.

    Luke was sipping some tea the Triv had made for him. He gave Pothman a questioning look. "Mission?"

    "The Eye of…" Pothman started.

    "Palpatine," I finished.

    Everybody looked in my direction. Luke's brow creased; he knew I was remembering something.

    Pothman nodded. "Yes, that's right. The Eye of Palpatine. That was the name of the mission. It was a secret dreadnaught…one the enemy wouldn't see coming until it was too late."

    Luke pulled his eyes away from me and turned to Triv. "What enemy?"

    Pothman sat silently for a moment. "We didn't know," he said at last. "We weren't told."

    I closed my eyes in thought, thinking, trying to tease out more of the Emperor's memories of this mission. I opened my eyes as the dark knowledge washed over me.

    The troopers weren't told who the enemy was because Palpatine wasn't exactly sure himself. An image coalesced in my consciousness. I saw a huge fleet of dark ships piloted by shadowy figures. It was an alien power so great it terrified Palpatine and prompted him to design massive weapons of mass destruction, such as the Death Stars, the Sun Crusher, the Galaxy Gun and…and the Eye of Palpatine.

    In fact, the threat of extra-galactic invasion was one of Palpatine's official justifications for maintaining an Imperial Navy after the Clone War ended. Whether his fears were real or imagined—I couldn't tell. What I did know for sure is before we were attacked I felt Palpatine's presence through the Force. Could one of Palpatine's clones be on the battlemoon that attacked us?

    "Mark," I heard Luke calling my name and I realized I had zoned out on him. "Are you all right?" he asked.

    "Yeah," I motioned my head toward Pothman letting Luke know I didn't want to discuss it in front of the trooper.

    Luke nodded in understanding. "Mark, can you help me get to the 'fresher? I don't want to pass out on the way there."

    "Sure," I stood and helped pull Luke up from a seated position.

    "It's the little building out back," Triv said. "Sorry to say it is basically a seat over a hole in the ground."

    "I've experienced worse," Luke assured him as we excited Triv's shelter. I walked next to Luke as we moved towards the small outhouse.

    As soon as we were out of earshot, Luke stopped and turned to me. "What's going on?" He asked in a tone of voice that told me I wasn't going to dodge my way out of this conversation.

    I sighed. "I felt the presence of Palpatine when we entered the asteroid field. I think he's here."

    Luke shook his head in disbelief. "How can he still be alive? We destroyed all his clones on Byss."

    I shrugged my shoulders. "He also died on the Death Star. He's hard to kill. If his spirit could have traveled from Endor to Byss who's to say his spirit couldn't travel from Byss to the Moonflower Nebula?"

    "Great," Luke muttered as he ran a hand through his hair. "Then we should get our ship fixed and get help. We can call in a strike force to take out the battlemoon---"

    "Then what?" I asked Luke. "His spirit wanders around for another few years until he finds another body or place to occupy?"

    Luke gave me a bemused look. "What do you suggest?"

    I rubbed my hand over my beard in thought. "If he's in a body, capture him and place him in carbonite. Of course, how we're going to accomplish that I have no clue. If he is just a Force ghost wandering around the ship…I don't know…if we could render the Eye of Palpatine inoperable and trap him inside the space station maybe we could put it somewhere safe…where the battle station won't be found. Like in the Maw or inside a radioactive gas cloud." I shook my head feeling discouraged. "Once again, I have no idea as to how to do this. We may need to destroy the battle station and take our chances with Palpatine."

    Luke nodded in thought. "No matter what, we need to get out of here and call in help. We can discuss this with the NR leadership once we're back."

    "Okay," I looked over to the 'fresher. "You actually need to go?"

    Luke shook his head. "No," he turned back to the Stormtrooper's hut. "We need to get repairs done. Let's get going."
    We got what supplies we could from Triv, promising him a ride off planet for his help. We went back to the ship and got to work on the engines. It didn't take long for the Gamorreans to show up. We battened down the ship as the Gamorreans furiously banged on the craft with stone axes and spears until another rival group of Gamorreans came into the fray.

    I was looking forward to seeing these two groups of slowwitted and drooling porcine creatures beat each other with stone weapons when something big came overhead almost blacking out the sun.

    I looked out to see a huge Imperial shuttle coming in for a landing. I suddenly realized what was happening. The Eye of Palpatine was somehow reactivated and now was attempting to fulfill its original mission. The shuttle was here to retrieve the stormtroopers stationed here over three decades ago. How or why, I don't know. It could be the presence of Palpatine had reactivated the old space station or maybe it was something else. It didn't really matter, the Eye's large troop shuttle was here and a loudspeaker boomed out orders for us to disembark our craft or die.

    We exited our ship and I think I could have gotten away. The field we were in had tall grass and I'm good with a blaster. But Cray and Triv were hit by a stunbolt and Luke was still too injured to make an escape; I couldn't leave my friends behind and in danger. As tracker droids dragged an unconscious Cray Mingla and an injured Triv Pothman and Luke aboard the massive Imperial shuttle, I squared my shoulders and marched up the ship's ramp like the flash-trained clone trooper I was trained to become. I looked back and saw Nichos and See Threepio following behind me. Nichos face looked impassive, but I could see almost human concern in his eyes. See Threepio, who always is screaming, 'We're doomed', ambled up the ramp murmuring words of concern for Master Luke. I may not like droids, but I have to admit See Threepio and Artoo Detoo have shown extraordinary devotion to Luke and the Solos.

    When I reached the top of the ramp I must have been stunned or gassed because the next thing I knew I woke up on the Eye of Palpatine.
  8. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Dun dun dun! (Not really. I know they get out of this mess)

    Your not the only one that finds COTJ confusing. I had to refresh my memory of it for Honour thy Father, and even the second time around I was confused.
  9. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    I refuse to go anywhere near CotJ. I don't need to read it to know I prefer your version, Donna.
  10. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Briannakin -- Don't you hate having to reread books you hate in order to write a fic!
    Hazel -- Thanks. I prefer my version also.

    Thanks everybody for reading!

    For those who haven't read CotJ. Humans or aliens taken aboard the Eye of Palpatine were brainwashed into believing they were stormtroopers and that they hated the Jedi.

    ENTRY 71: Eye of Palpatine

    A montage of images rushed through my mind as I slowly regained consciousness. I dreamed of the Jedi Knights coming to my home and murdering my family, which was confusing to me, because the Jedi Knights were my family. I see my infant brother slaughtered by a lightsaber after being ripped from my mother's arms. 'What's going on?'

    Anger began to build within me, but also great bewilderment. Something wasn't right. I'm an ARC clone trooper. I have no mother and the only brothers I have are other clone troopers…although I have a flickering image in my mind of a sister—a sister with green eyes and golden red hair. 'Clone Troopers don't have sisters? Do they?'

    As I slowly moved out of the state of sleep, I reached up and rubbed my cleanly shaved face and then ran my hand over my short-cropped military haircut. I look around and realize I was lying on a bunk located in a small cabin. I sensed that I was on a ship. Gravity compensators do a great job of mimicking planetary gravity, but there is a subtle difference to the feel of it. By the faint rumble and vibrations I could sense, I would say I was on a large vessel.

    I roll out of bed and look down at the black body suit I was wearing. It was the clothing traditionally worn under Stormtrooper armor. I looked around for my body armor and found it. It wasn't the ordinary armor of the rank-and-file trooper, but white armor with blue stripes across the chest and shoulders and down the arms…it symbolized the rank of a Stormtrooper Commander.

    I quickly put on my armor, leaving my helmet off for the time being. It was a bit tight around the shoulders, but it would do. The officer uniform was unique in that it had its own built-in shield generator and field officers were typically armed with hand-held blaster cannons. I frowned when I checked the power supply for the shield. It was low and I couldn't find my weapon. I did find a t-suit, blaster, datapad and lightsaber in a drawer under my bunk. I was confused as to why I would have a lightsaber.

    'I must have taken it as a war trophy'.

    I put the datapad in a storage compartment on my armor and then clipped the lightsaber and blaster to my trooper utility belt. I heard a commotion outside the room. It sounded like an unruly mob screaming and carrying on. That won't do. Discipline must be maintained at all times. As Commander I would ensure regulations are followed or there would be severe punishment.

    I put my helmet on, then burst out of the doors and stalked down the corridor following the sound of voices. I flung the open the doors to what looked like a dining hall. Inside were some of the fattest, most out of shape, stupid looking recruits I have ever seen in my life. They actually looked as brainless as they were fat…if that was possible. The obese troopers were in the midst of a horrible brawl. Fists were flying and others were using the butt of their blasters to break bones and smash faces. "Halt!" I yelled with authority. The riot stopped and the troopers turned towards me; their beady little eyes stared in suspicion and fear.

    I turned to the man closest to me. "Have you forgotten your basic training?" I bellowed at the homely soldier with a badly fitted uniform. "What do you do when an officer enters a room?"

    The rotund soldier pops to a sloppy version of attention and bellows out, "Room, ATTENTION!"

    I don't know where this man was raised, but he has the thickest accent I have ever heard, his Basic was almost unintelligible.

    The men in the room jumped to attention, but fidgeted about in a completely unprofessional manner. I walked to the back of the room where a young soldier laid on the floor with a leg injury. He was blond and his face looked very familiar. I may not have remembered his name, but I knew this was the only man in the room, other than me, that had the toned physique of a soldier. I called over a couple of the portly troops and told them to get this man to sickbay. They shuffled about hesitantly looking over to what probably was their platoon leader. The equally out-of-shape trooper nodded for them to follow my orders.

    Once the young man was gone I went over to this sorry excuse for a platoon leader and tore him a new one. I informed him in no uncertain terms that he would regain discipline and there would be no infighting among my men. "Our enemies are the rebels!" I yelled. "Don't make their job any easier by fighting among ourselves." I looked around at the unkempt chow hall. "Police up this mess and I want the soldiers responsible for this fight confined to their quarters!" The trooper gave me a sloppy salute and then spun around and started screaming orders to his subordinates.

    I turned and headed towards sickbay to interview the injured trooper. Upon entering the medical facility I found the man sitting on an exam table being tended not by a 2-1B medical droid but by a protocol droid with an overly annoying voice.

    They both froze upon my entrance. The man regarded at me with intense blue eyes that gave me a shiver. It was like he was peering into my soul.

    'He couldn't be a lowly private,' I thought. 'He has an aura of a leader.'

    Suddenly a buzzing started in my head. I pulled off my helmet and leaned against the wall, dizzy. "What's that humming?" I asked as I rubbed my temples trying to ward off a forming headache.

    "Mark, do you remember me?" the man asked.

    I looked up at him wincing from the pain. "No…I mean…" I hesitated. His face looked so familiar. "Aren't you…you're…" I faltered.

    "Go on Mark, you know who I am," the man urged me to continue.

    And I did recognize him. "You are…married to my sister," I finally said. "You're Luke."

    Luke smiled and laughed softly. "Yes, that's right."

    The pain in my head was becoming unbearable. I thought that there must have been something in the room that I was allergic to. I turned to leave but Luke called me back. "Mark, I know how to stop the pain."

    I turned around and waited for him to continue.

    "You have to remember your shielding training, Mark. You're a Jedi. I am Luke Skywalker your…your brother-in-law and friend. Do you remember being a Jedi?"

    I looked down at the lightsaber hooked to my belt. I closed my eyes and memories came rushing to me. I see myself on a ship with friends and my sister. Not my real sister, but a sister nonetheless…her name is Mara. I turn to the blond man. "Luke…I'm a clone…your clone." No wonder his face looks familiar.

    "Do you remember your shielding training?" he asked.

    I nodded my head and tried to concentrate. Eventually the pain subsided. "Stang, is there any pain medication in this place?" I asked.

    "I'm very sorry Master Mark," the whiny droid said. "But it seems that Jawas have cleaned out the supply cabinets."

    I furrow my brow in confusion. "Jawas?"

    "Oh yes Master Mark," the droid continued. "It seems the Eye of Palpatine has picked up a variety of species to include Jawas, Gamorreans, Hutts, and a number of species I am not familiar with."

    I thought back to those fat troopers in the dining hall. I had seen them as human at the time, but I realized they were Gamorreans. "What happened to me?" I asked.

    "Everything on this battle station is automated," Luke said. "The shuttle comes down to pick up its troopers and then indoctrinates them."

    "Indoctrinates them?" I asked confused. "Luke, if the Eye of Palpatine thinks it's picking up the stormtroopers the Emperor had placed on various worlds specifically for this mission…why would they need to be indoctrinated? They're already stormtroopers. It's like something knows the original troopers won't be at the rendezvous points." I stopped and shook my head. "Ahhh…Kriff'n Palpatine."

    "You still think his spirit is on board?" Luke asked.

    "I can feel him, but it's faint…like he's weak." I walked over to a sink and gazed at my shaven face in the mirror above. "Without the beard, I still have a strong resemblance to you."

    "True, but you're not quite as good looking as me though," Luke joked.

    I frown. "Kira is not going to like this one bit."

    "Hey, you're not that bad looking," Luke protested as See Threepio used suture strips to close Luke's leg wound.

    I shook my head. "No, but when Kira and I make love she is not going to like looking up and seeing your face."

    Luke smirked and mumbled something that sounded an awful like, "You never know."

    I glared at him for a moment before turning back to the mirror. "I'm going to have to grow my beard out while here."

    "Or keep the lights off when having sex," Luke offered.

    "I guess I could wear my mask," I said absentmindedly and then cringed when I realized I said that out loud.

    Luke started laughing. "Your mask? What mask?"

    I could feel my face heat up. "Nothing."

    "No, come on tell me. I really want to hear about this." Luke held in his laughter and tried to cajole me into confessing.

    I scowled at him. "I'll tell you what, you tell me what a Coruscanti Swirl is and I will tell you 'what mask'."

    The smile dropped off Luke's face. "Never mind," he muttered.

    Ha! That shut him up.

    "Where's everybody else?" I asked, changing the subject.

    Luke gave a deep sigh. "Cray and Nichos were taken prisoner by an opposing group of Gamorreans prior to you showing up. I was injured while trying to help her."

    "Great," I muttered. I noticed the droid was fumbling with the bandages; it wasn't designed for this type of work. I walked over to See Threepio. "Here, let me help." I said as I took the bandages from the droid.

    "Oh, thank you Master Mark," the droid said. "That is very kind of you."

    I gave the protocol droid a nod and then placed a non-stick pad over Luke's sutures. I then swathed it with gauze and secured it with a self-adherent wrap. "How's that feel?" I asked Luke.

    "Sore," he admitted.

    "Let me see if the scavengers left us anything." I looked around the medical facility and found some perigen patches in a high cupboard. The Jawas probably couldn't reach it to plunder. I slapped one on Luke's leg. I could see his face relax as the painkiller took effect.

    "Much better," he sighed. I grabbed a plastic bag from one of the high cabinets and stocked it full of perigen patches. I also rummaged around for any other out-of-reach medical supplies I could find.

    "We need to find a functional computer," Luke said. "If we can locate the gunnery emplacements we might be able to deactivate the weapons system."

    I went over to Luke and eased him down from the exam table. I looked at the medcenter's computer, but it was damaged. Luke and I went to the corridor and looked both ways. I knew the dining facility was to the right, so we went left. The hall was dark and the walls were stained with small dirty fingerprints that I assume came from the Jawas foraging the area. With the amount of damage they were causing there was a very real possibility that the life support or food dispensers may permanently become inoperable. I would suggest shooting them on sight, but I am sure Luke wouldn't like that idea. He's a true Jedi Master. As for me…I still think too much like a clone trooper.

    We found a room that was locked. I took my blaster and shot the locking mechanism and forced open the doors. We stepped into a small room with a computer sitting on a beautiful wooden desk behind which was a large leather chair. Luke smiled and said to me, "This looks like an office of a quartermaster." He limped in and sat in the leather chair. He sighed as he sunk down a couple centimeters into its soft padding. He pulled up the computer keyboard and started typing away. See Threepio went to the corner of the room and powered down to save energy.

    I forced the doors closed behind us so we wouldn't be disturbed and then went over to Luke. "What are you doing?" I asked as I leaned against the wall behind him, overlooking his shoulder.

    "Trying to find out some information," he said as he typed.


    *Mission time consonant with the objectives of the Will


    Luke typed in -MENU-.

    *The Will requests objective of this information.

    -ORIENTATION-, typed Luke.

    *Current status aligned with timetable of the Will. No further information necessary.


    *Purpose of this information?


    *Purpose of this information?


    *All maintenance proceeding in accordance with the intent and timetable of the Will

    "You lying wad of synapse, you've got lighting blacked out over half your decks and computers out everywhere!" Luke seemed to lose his cool as he griped at the computer screen.

    This went on for about five minutes with the computer responding with the same phrase for each of Luke's inquiries.


    *Purpose of this information?


    *Purpose of this information?


    "What are doing now?" I asked Luke.

    "I'm trying every kriff'n Imperial code and slicer Cray and Han and Ghent ever taught me to access the mainframe." Luke cursed out in frustration. "The computer has some kind of control program called 'The Will' that is throwing up roadblocks."

    "Try REV SHELL SYS88," I said before I could even think about it.

    Luke gave me an exasperated look. "Is that another Palpatine memory?"

    "Yeah," I said softly. "It's the original code he used for menu access, but if he's here, he may have changed it."

    "You could have told me five minutes ago," Luke complained.

    "It just came to me," I explained.

    Luke typed in the code. This time the system didn't ask him for the purpose of the information but instead displayed a menu. "We're in!" Luke shouted excitedly.

    Luke typed in a few more commands and suddenly a schematic of the Eye of Palpatine popped up. The sight of the systems diagram resulted in a barrage of memories rushing through my head. Palpatine didn't design the craft, but he knew the plans intimately and now…so do I.

    These recollections are strange. They sit in the back of my brain completely neglected and overlooked and then I see something that triggers a memory and it comes rushing into the forefront of my mind.

    "It looks like the shuttle craft is on Deck sixteen and the Gunnery Deck is here." Luke pointed out its position on the screen. "We need to take out the guns before the gets to its destination."

    We all know where the Eye of Palpatine is going. It was part of our indoctrination upon arrival to the Eye. We were going to Plawal, or Plettwell as it is more commonly called, on the planet Belsavis. Plettwell once was a stronghold for Jedi escaping the purge. Its destruction would ensure no Jedi would rise to oppose him. Of course, thirty years after the fact, the only Jedi there now was probably Leia Organa Solo along with tens of thousands of innocent civilians.

    Luke attempted to stand and I could see he was wobbly on his feet. He was still suffering from a major concussion and the leg injury. We needed a Jedi Master that was healed before we headed out on a saboteur mission. Luke moved toward the door but I blocked his way. "Luke, you need to go into a healing trance. We're just going to get ourselves killed if you don't get back into fighting shape."

    Luke shook his head and tried to move around me. "I'll be fine Mark," he assured me.

    I grabbed his shoulder to hold him in place. "You had your leg slashed open by a brain dead Gamorrean!" I looked him in the eye. "Luke, the Jedi Master I knew could turn off the weapons system of this battle station with a wave of his hand. You are not that Jedi Master! None of us will survive this adventure unless you take the time to heal." My voice softened in tone. "Please Luke."

    His shoulders slumped. "Okay." He looked around for a place to rest. I rummaged through a storage closet by the door and found a couple overcoats. I placed them on the hard deck and helped Luke down to the floor. It took him a few minutes, but eventually he fell into a deep meditative state. I then went over to the computer. Palpatine was suspicious of everybody and always programmed in back doors in the operating system that only he knew about. As I pulled the keyboard into a comfortable position I hoped that those pathways were still available.
  11. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Now I'm really curious. What is this mask Mark wears?

    I much prefer your version of COTJ.
  12. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    Those memories do come in handy. What do you think Palps would say in regards to having his own memories being used against him and for aiding the Jedi? I bet it would drive him up a wall. ;)
  13. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    You find out later on that he and Kira like to play little roll playing dress-up games.;)
  14. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Hazel -- Palpatine won't be happy at all later on.
    Briannakin -- Thanks. I am still confused about the book. The Gamorreans in various scenes appear to speak Basic, but Gamorreans supposedly can't vocalize Basic. I don't know if the brainwashing made people think they understood what they were saying or I was missing something when I read the book.


    ENTRY 72: Eye of Palpatine

    It didn't take me long to deactivate the laser cannons. I then rerouted all available power to life support and put out a distress signal on a NR frequency. Having the memories of that twisted fiend had finally paid off.

    I changed pass codes in case Palpatine realized what I was doing and tried to prevent our escape. Of course, if he was in spirit form he probably could override anything I was doing. The next thing I needed to do was figure out where Cray was located. The Will wasn't much help since it thinks everybody is human and doesn't know how to identify Cray from the hundreds of other creatures brought on board.

    ***Who are you?*** The words flashed across the screen. I assume it is The Will and I am done talking to that computer program for a while.

    "None of your damn business," I whispered to myself.

    ***It is my business. What are your intentions?***

    I sat back in the chair. It heard me talk and responded. I look up at the ceiling and walls. I'm not sure what I'm looking for, but I now have a feeling of being watched. "Is that you Palpatine?" I kept my voice down, so not to wake Luke.

    ***I am not Palpatine, but that insufferable bore is here…trapped in this ship just like I am. How did you know he was here?***

    "I sensed him in the Force," I said quietly. "Who are you?"

    ***I asked first***

    I didn't see any harm in answering. If this were Palpatine he would surely recognize me anyway. "I'm Mark Tantiss, Jedi Apprentice. Who are you?"

    I anxiously watched the glowing monitor in the darkened room of the quartermaster's office. After a few minutes an answer appeared.


    "Are you part of The Will?" I asked.

    ***No, I am a Jedi Knight. My spirit has been trapped on the Eye of Palpatine for over thirty years. Is the other man a Jedi, too?***

    I hesitated and looked over at Luke. He had been in a healing trance for hours now. He should be the one communicating with…Callista. "Yes, he's my Master," I said. I then reached out with the Force and tried to find evidence to collaborate Callista's story. I could feel Luke and Cray right away, but there were two other Force essences that I could sense. They were weak, but discernible if you were concentrating on finding them. One was evil and very familiar...Palpatine. And the other was in the lightside of the Force. There was a spirit of a Jedi aboard!

    "What is Palpatine doing now?" I needed to know why the Emperor reactivated the ship.

    ***Right now he is commiserating the fate of his beautiful warship. He hates Jawas to no end. They are tearing everything apart***

    "Why did Palpatine reactivate the Eye of Palpatine and have it pick up non-humans for indoctrination?" I whispered and then looked at the monitor for a response.

    ***He didn't. It was activated by the Force, but not from inside. He was just as confused as I was. Once the non-humans were brought on board he just about had a conniption. Did you know he could curse in a dozen different languages?***

    "Yes, I did," I muttered. "I think you should talk to my Master." I moved to where Luke slept and gently shook his shoulder. After a few moments his eyes slowly opened. "Luke, there is something you may want to see on the computer."

    He sat up with considerably less difficulty than I have seen since the attack. "What is it?"

    I gave Luke my hand and pulled him to his feet. "I was successful in deactivating the weapon systems remotely. I put out a distress call…and there's a Jedi ghost named Callista trapped in the computer system that I think you should talk to."

    Luke scoffed. "Stop joking Mark."

    "No joke, Luke." I motioned him toward the computer. He walked over and sat down and started reading what Callista wrote. He looked up to me. "Where is your side of the conversation?"

    "It…I mean she can hear our voices, but only communicates back on the screen apparently."

    I leaned back and popped the kinks out of my back. I was tired. If Luke was going to be up talking to spirits for a while I was going to take a nap. I took off my armored chest and back plate and then laid down on the makeshift bed Luke just vacated. I listened to Luke whisper questions to the disembodied Jedi for a few minutes before I drifted off to sleep.
  15. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    I can't help feeling a bit sorry for Callista, trapped in that computer with Palpatine. It sounds like hell to me.
  16. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Farmboy is talking to dead people. Where is Mara to laugh at him when you need her?
  17. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Hazel --don't feel too bad for Callista. I am giving her a much better future than the profic authors did. But, you're right, being around Palpatine must have been horrible.

    Briannakin --"I see dead people" :p That whole Callista love story was creepy to no end. [face_sick]

    Thanks for reading. I think you two are my only readers. [face_sigh] I guess I need to put in more bootknocking. :D


    ENTRY 73 Eye of Palpatine

    I don't know how much time had passed when I finally woke up. Luke was still staring transfixed at the computer monitor. I got up and looked over his shoulder.

    Gods, that Callista likes to ramble. She gave Luke her entire life story. Blah, blah, Chad, blah, blah, oceans, blah, blah, foo-tweeting (don't know what that is), and on and on. She'd write a three-page description of something that should only take a sentence to convey. There was some information that was useful. Cray and Nichos were on Deck 19 in the maintenance bay. And also…hey! She's the one who shot us! Thanks a lot lady!

    "Luke, Luke!" I nudge his shoulder. He is so engrossed in reading this Jedi's drivel that he didn't notice me talking to him.

    He looked up at me. "Sorry Mark. It's just…so nice to talk to somebody who was a Jedi before the purge." He reached back and massaged the back of his neck. "It's wonderful to have another Jedi to talk to. After Yoda died I felt isolated. I was the last surviving Jedi…you don't know what it's like to feel so alone."

    I snorted mentally. 'Yeah, the mother and fatherless last surviving clone of Mount Tantiss doesn't know anything about being alone.'

    I read more of what's written to Luke and I immediately took a dislike to Callista. Her communications seemed a bit too friendly and personal. "Did you tell your 'ghostie' about your pregnant wife at home?"

    Luke looked up at me confused. "Yes, I did." He frowned and shook his head. "Mark, are you actually upset that I am talking with a woman who has been dead for thirty years?"

    I gave him a tight smile. "I just don't like what I am reading. 'I wish I could have met you in real life'. It sounds like she has a crush on you." I gave Luke an evil grin. "Maybe she wants you as her Jedi cybersex boy-toy."

    "Boy-toy," Luke scoffed and then smirked. "If I recall correctly…Kira is almost thirty years older than you."

    Ouch! Touche!

    "Mark, I know you see Mara as your sister and you want to watch over her interests, but there is nothing to be concerned about. What kind of sick individual do you think I am? Do you really believe I would fall in love with a disembodied voice of a woman who would be old enough to be my grandmother if she lived?" Luke said adamantly. "She's not even a voice…just words across a monitor. What do you think I am going to do, download her soul into a human replicate droid like Cray did to Nichos?" Luke shuddered. "That's just disturbing. Stang! I have a very beautiful, sexy wife at home and nobody holds a candle to her…nobody. It's nice to talk to a Jedi, and a nice person, but that's it. Callista, she's nothing compared to Mara."

    ***You two do know I can hear you talking, right?*** The words flashed on the screen.

    Luke suddenly looked mortified. I guess he momentarily forgot she could hear us. "I'm sorry Callista. I guess emotions are still running high."

    'Ouch! Those comments had to sting'.

    As Callista accepted Luke's apology, I started to think about my uneasiness with Callista. I think it stems from the situation with Nichos. During the flight to the Moonflower Nebula I had to endure watching Cray holding Nichos hand, hugging and whispering sweet nothings to him (and I have a feeling they were 'nothings' to him based on his emotionless reaction to Cray's romantic advances). I still get the shivers thinking about it. Now I am dealing with a woman's spirit trapped in a computer. This is too much of a weird coincidence. It's like a badly written droid-fetish holodrama (and yes, Chin has one of those videos in his vast collection).

    I needed to get out of there. I put my torso armor and helmet back on. I then checked my blaster to make sure it had a full charge.

    "Where are you going?" Luke asked.

    I turned to him. "I'm going to Deck 19 to get Cray."

    Luke shook his head. "Callista says the access to that deck is heavily guarded and booby-trapped. You're going to need me to help."

    That deflated my self-confidence a bit. "You don't think I'm ready to do a mission on my own?"

    Luke gave me a reassuring smile. "Mark, I know you could fight your way in and out, but we don't want to kill the Gamorreans. They are brainwashed and just as much innocent pawns as we are. I think it would take both of us to do this mission without casualties."

    I nodded in understanding. "I think I know a safe covert way to get there, but I definitely wouldn't mind a Jedi Master with me." I looked down at his leg. "How are you feeling?"

    Luke pealed back the bandages and I could see new pink flesh where the there once was an open wound. "It looks good." He reached up to the back of his head. "The swelling is almost all the way down."

    "Good," I said with a smirk. "Do you want to join me in rescuing a maiden in distress?"

    Luke smiled broadly. "Sure. After all, that is our specialty. " He grabbed his utility belt with blaster and lightsaber and reattached it around his waist. "Let's go."
  18. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Yes, this does need more BOOTKNOCKING, just not at this moment.

    "Boy-toy," Luke scoffed and then smirked. "If I recall correctly…Kira is almost thirty years older than you."

    Lol! Burn! Mark is never going to live that down!
  19. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Yeah, since the only woman there is Cray and a Gamorrean Sow...I think I will forgo any bootknocking for Luke or Mark. I can do a Cray/Nichos love scene [cue porn music].
  20. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    I can see the title now: 'A tale of Love and Lust between a Woman and her Droid.'

    I wonder if robo-Nichos had those... parts :p
  21. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    I can't leave you too alone for one evening... :p

    I think Luke had to have been feeling extremely lonely to fall for ciber-Callista in the books. It is the only explanation I can think of. But he is not lonely here, so this Callista is more like an interactive book he can get info from.
  22. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Briannakin -- I don't think Nichos that the proper equipment based on the description of his body. But I guess he could improvise.

    Hazel -- My theory was Luke was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was severely injured, alone, trapped and if the Jawas continued their foraging the life support for the Eye of Palpatine was soon to fail. It had to be the stress that skewed his judgment. Otherwise I cannot imagine him falling for her.

    I actually went back to the book Children of the Jedi [face_phbbbbt] and made sure that the Gamorreans were actually talking basic. Unless there was a mention of a universal translator attached to their throats earlier in the book, these Gamorreans were actually speaking basic...which I am fairly sure is not possible. I am reading Mercy Kill and the Gamorrean in that story has a translator hooked up to him and they mention a few times that Gamorreans do not have the physical capacity to speak Basic. So don't jump on me for the basic speaking is in the book.

    ENTRY 74: Eye of Palpatine.

    Luke and I made our way down the dark corridors of the battle station. Emergency lighting flickered and some lights were out totally due to Jawas stripping the electrical wiring. Despite the near darkness, I knew where to go. I could see the schematics of the Eye of Palpatine in my mind.

    I quickly moved to a repair conduit. Usually droids would make any necessary repairs to the station, but because humans are often needed to inspect maintenance overhauls there were usually access panels and ladders to facilitate the movement of technicians.

    Unfortunately, most technicians aren't wearing body armor. Therefore, the seven-story climb up to the Maintenance Bay deck was a tight squeeze for me. From there, we moved down a large ventilation shaft until we found a duct grate overlooking the bay. From that vantage point, we watched the dimwitted Gamorreans wandering around the bay and fighting among themselves.

    Near the center of the bay we could see Cray tied to a chair and badly beaten. Her head hung limply and she appeared to be unconscious. We could still feel her in the Force so we knew she was still alive.

    Nichos was located against a far wall standing motionless. On his chest was a restraining bolt. My stomach clenched when I realized they made Nichos watch Cray's torture. I felt horrible for him. Gods, I hope he watched like an impassive droid and not as her lover…but even from this distance I can see a haunted look in his artificial eyes. There was no doubt in my mind that the Nichos droid felt something for Cray.

    I turned to Luke. "What's the plan?"

    Luke looked over the situation. "Since you're dressed the part of an officer, you can probably walk right up to the lead Gamorrean and order Cray's release. While you're distracting them I will get the restraining bolt off Nichos and we'll meet you outside the main doors."

    I stared at Luke for a long moment. "Yoda wasn't very good at teaching tactics, was he?"

    Luke chuckled softly. "Do you have a better idea?"

    "Unfortunately, no," I whispered as I quietly removed the duct grate and put it aside. I then jumped down using the Force to land soundlessly. Luke followed.

    Hopefully these indoctrinated Stormtrooper wannabes will see me as their superior. I straightened up to full height and marched over in full view toward Cray. As I got closer I could fully see the extent of her injuries. Her once beautiful face was bruised and swollen. Blood dripped out of the side of her mouth and her nose was pushed to the side and was obviously broken. When I got about two meters from her a rotund Gamorrean with a stormtrooper helmet propped on top of his head and secured with duct tape stopped me.

    "What's your business here?" he asked brusquely.

    I turned to the yellow-eyed alien. "How dare you talk to a superior officer with that tone of voice!" I barked out.

    The alien stepped back hesitantly, but when his men wandered up to see what was going on, he screwed up his courage to challenge my authority. "How do I know you are my super…"

    That was all he could get out before my arm shot out. I grabbed the portly alien by the neck and snatched him off the ground. The unlucky Gamorrean clawed at my armored gauntlet, squealing in fear. I used the Force to fortify my strength as I drew the alien closer to me until his ugly snout was mere centimeters from the eye coverings of my helmet. "I am you superior in rank and in every other way!" I shouted with such ferocity that it even scared me. I had to rein in my emotions, but seeing Cray's battered body up close was a horrifying sight and I was losing my cool. The thought of these towering brutes beating a petite woman made my blood boil.

    The alien wrapped both of his arms around my gloved hand trying to take pressure off his neck. "Yes…yes sir," he finally grunted out. I looked to the far wall and no longer saw Nichos. I knew then that Luke must have him. I dropped the Gamorrean on the ground. He coughed and hacked as he tried to regain his breath. I motioned over to Cray. "I'm taking the prisoner to my superiors."

    Another brash Gamorrean moved up to the front of the group that had formed around me and Cray. "Who's your superior?"

    I whipped out my blaster and shot him with a stun bolt. He collapsed next to his neck-choked buddy with a loud thud. I kept my blaster pointing toward the group. "Any other questions?"

    None of them said anything. They just shuffled their feet and tried not to look in my direction. "You two," I pointed to two of the porcine aliens. "Untie the prisoner."

    They did as they were told and pulled Cray to her feet. The young doctor was barely conscious and moaned in pain. I bent down and grabbed her legs and allowed the top part of her body to flop over my shoulder and hang down my back. I then backed out of the maintenance bay and towards a main entrance. "Anybody trying to stop me from carrying out my orders will have to face my superior and he's not as nice as I am." With that I walked out the doors, using the Force to slam them shut behind me. Luke was standing in the corridor with Nichos.

    "Is Cray all right?" Nichos asked and I thought I could detect true emotion in his voice. I allowed him to take Cray from me. He cradled her in his droid arms. "I couldn't help her. With a restraining bolt on me…I could only observe what was happening." He pulled her limp body closer to him and laid his head down next to hers. "I'm so sorry Cray. I am not the man you fell in love with. He wouldn't have let you suffer."

    I turned my head away. The scene was too painful to watch.

    "We need to get to safety and put her in a healing trance," Luke said quietly.

    "Callista said the corridors were booby-trapped. How are we going to get past any ambushes?" I asked. I wished we could have left the way we came in, but I doubt the Gamorreans were stupid enough to believe I picked up a prisoner on official orders and then exited through a repair duct.

    Luke looked down the hall and then closed his eyes in deep concentration. He brought one hand up, palm out, and I thought he was going to do a Force shove, but what followed was nothing like I have ever seen before. He created a Force shockwave that rattled the doors and literally made the metal bulkheads bow outward. This incredible Force wave triggered a couple deadfall traps, a half dozen spring-loaded spear and blaster setups and knocked out cold a half dozen Gamorreans laying in wait.

    I stood there in awe. I turned to Luke and smiled broadly. Damn, he's good! This was Luke Skywalker in all his glory. I felt a tremendous sense of pride knowing he was my mentor and Jedi Master.

    Luke continued the same technique a few more times until we got back to level twelve and the quartermaster's office.

    Nichos set Cray down on the coats which Luke and I had slept on earlier.

    "Forgive me, Cray. I'm so sorry I couldn't help you." Nichos voice mimicked true despair, but he did not cry. He probably was not capable of doing so. We scrounged up the medical supplies we found earlier and worked on Cray feverously. Eventually Luke helped her fall into a healing trance.

    "She should be all right. When she's feeling better, we'll work on making our escape," Luke said quietly. "We should also get some sleep." He turned to Nichos Marr. "Can you keep watch?"

    "Yes Master Skywalker," the humanoid droid said.

    Luke and I picked out a spot on the hard floor and soon sleep found us.
  23. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Gamoreans don't talk, even if they were brainwashed their vocal cords couldn't vocalize basic. Whoever wrote CotJ was stupid /rant.

    Great chapter BTW.
  24. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    Why do I keep imagini g Nichos as a version of 3PO? That whole storyline is weird. Fortunately, this diary brings some sense to it.
  25. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Briannakin -- Somebody needs to tell Hambly they don't talk.
    Hazel -- Nichos was described as having human hands and head, but the rest of his body was made out of a smooth grey material and looked like her was wearing a bodysuit. If he put clothing on over the body suit I assume he could pass as a human if you didn't look too closely.

    Thanks for reading!


    ENTRY 75: Eye of Palpatine

    I woke up hours later. My back hurt something fierce. I can toss fat Gamorreans around with ease, but sleeping on a cold floor kicks my butt. I stood and stretched. Nichos was sitting on the floor watching over Cray. He looked up and gave me a nod of acknowledgement. I walked over and sat in the nice cushy quartermaster's chair. I look over to the blank monitor, the white cursor blinking against the dark screen.

    ***Hello Jedi***

    I rolled my eyes as the words scrolled across the screen. I don't want to talk to Callista the undead Jedi tonight. I also didn't want to wake Cray or Luke by talking. I reached over to the keyboard and typed.


    ***I'm not that sorry excuse for a Jedi…little clone***

    My stomach clenched. My performance in the Maintenance Bay must have pulled Palpatine's attention away from the Jawas tearing up his masterpiece and now he was here to bother me. When I didn't respond he continued.

    ***I see you are still Skywalker's lapdog. His personal clone—a pathetic creature created to serve. Why are you satisfied to hide in his shadow when you could rule? You could be in charge of the Jedi Order if Skywalker had a tragic accident while on the Eye of Palpatine. Kill him and take his place as Jedi Master! Everything he has can be yours!***

    I know I shouldn't start a conversation with such a monster, but I did anyway.


    ***You could be Emperor and possess all the wealth, power and women you desire!***


    ***Skywalker may have allowed you to have a dalliance, but he will not allow you to have children. Your spawn would be too powerful in the Force and could endanger his rule and the rule of his offspring. He would do anything to prevent that, including killing you or your lover! With him gone you can have a family and heirs to your dynasty***



    ***How do you know this?****


    ***Then you owe me a great deal. I have given you forbidden knowledge that can help you to rule over this galaxy, but unfortunately you lack the intelligence and foresight to succeed. With me as your Master you could be Emperor.***


    "What are you doing Mark?" I heard Luke's voice as a hand fell lightly on my shoulder.

    I nearly jumped out of my seat and cursed out a few colorful expletives. "Damn it Luke, you startled me." I looked back at the screen and then turned it so Luke could view it. "It's Palpatine trying to tempt me." I got up out of my seat and allowed Luke to sit. "Kriff'n Palpatine," I muttered under my breath.

    Luke read over what was said and then turned off the monitor. "Mark, what you wrote is true. You do have a family that loves you."

    I felt a little uncomfortable talking about feelings with another guy. I leaned against the wall and slid down to the floor. "I know, Luke."

    Luke looked at me compassionately. He got up and came over and sat next to me. "Mark, I know having Palpatine in your head is a horrible thing. Mara spent decades where he could intrude into her consciousness whenever he pleased and then there was the last command he gave her. Mara and I have a bond…I can almost experience her thoughts and memories of her time with the Emperor. I know it pales in comparison to what you're dealing with, but I think I have some understanding."

    I gave him a weak smile. "Since I have been here, the memories have become stronger, more concrete. It is more troubling than you can imagine. I can see Palpatine's interactions with Mara, with others from his past…" I ran my hand over my face.

    Luke's eyebrow rose. "Mark, can you see the Emperor's memories of my father? Did Palpatine know my mother?"

    I looked away. If I told him his mother's name the next question would be 'what happened to her?' and the last thing I wanted to tell Luke was his father caused his mother's death. Right now Luke thinks there was always good in his father…and because of that he believes—truly believes—everybody is redeemable. Would that change if he knew the extent of his father's treachery? What would happen if he knew his father killed the Jedi younglings…children who fought desperately for their lives with what little skill they possessed. I couldn't look him in the eye and tell him the details.

    "Luke, I don't want to talk about this…please. I don't even want to think about Palpatine's memories…not now. We need to figure out a way to keep the Emperor here before we make our escape. We can't let him loose on the galaxy again. There must be a way."

    I can see Luke was disappointed, but he nodded in agreement. "You're right. If we can get back in contact with Callista maybe she'll know how to do so."

    I nodded and closed my eyes. "That sounds good." 'Undead help is better than no help' I thought.

    I buried my head into my hands. I hate Palpatine and what he did to me on Byss and what he's trying to do to me now. I knew I shouldn't let him upset me. I realized everything he said to me were lies. He wanted to sow seeds of doubt into my mind, which won't work because I know his tricks.

    Kriff'n Palpatine.

    I needed to change the subject and distract myself from my torturous thoughts. I looked up to Luke. "Let's talk about something else."

    "What do you want to talk about?" Luke asked.

    I thought for a moment, trying to find a happy topic. "Are you excited about the baby?"

    A wide grin blossomed over Luke's face. "I have never been so excited in my life. It's a boy…did I ever tell you the results of the ultrasound? Or did Mara?"

    I shook my head. "No, I haven't heard. Did you want a boy?"

    "Boy, girl I don't care." A joyous expression crossed his face. "I just want to be a father. To hold a child created by me and Mara in my arms."

    I grinned. "I never was a baby…what's it like?"

    Luke chuckled. "Humans don't usually recall their first three to four years of life. I was told they don't develop the ability to form long term memories until they are toddlers."

    "Okay, can you tell me what it's like to be a toddler? I would think it would be strange being so small. Wasn't that scary?"

    Luke smiled. "I guess it would be frightening if I didn't have people that cared for me. My Aunt and Uncle always protected me."

    "What were they like?"

    A sad look crossed Luke's face, making me regret asking the question. "My Uncle Owen was a hard worker. You have to work hard to be a moisture farmer on Tatooine or you won't survive." Luke paused for a moment as if collecting his thoughts.

    "He was never a very affectionate man, but I knew he loved me. One time when I was very young, probably around six-years-old, Uncle Owen and I got caught out in a sandstorm. We jumped out of our speeder and took shelter near an outcrop of rocks. We carried thick blankets in our speeders just for these emergencies. They were specially made to withstand sandstorms. We braced against a sizeable boulder and covered ourselves with this large blanket to keep out the sand. For an hour the wind shrieked and howled and tried to tear the blanket from my Uncle's hands, but he held firm. At some point it became too much for me and I started to cry. I expected my Uncle to yell at me, but he wrapped a free arm around me, gave me a big hug and tried to comfort me. He promised he wouldn't let anything bad happen to me...ever. It was one of the only times I remember him showing that much emotion, but after that I had no doubt in my mind that he cared. He might not show it, but he did love me."

    Luke stopped talking and looked down at the floor.

    I tried to imagine Luke as a child, but couldn't. It was strange to think that everyone around me had been a child at one point. I wanted to know more. "What about your Aunt? Was she like that?"

    Luke smiled. "No, she was a wonderful and loving woman. She was always positive and with a kind word for me. She was my greatest cheerleader. She always encouraged me to do my best in school and in life. Aunt Beru gave her love freely. Even when I had become a whiny teenager she put up with my complaining with great patience. I loved them both dearly. And when I found them dead…burned…" Luke couldn't go on. He turned away from me and I could see unshed tears in his eyes.

    "I'm sorry, Luke," I said softly.

    "It's okay. I dealt with that loss years ago. I am now focused on the future, and my new son. I just hope I can safeguard his welfare half as well as my aunt and uncle did for me."

    "Luke, you won't have to do that alone. You will have an entire Jedi Order looking out for your family's welfare. I know I would give my life to defend you, Mara and your baby."

    At that a tear did roll down Luke's cheek, but he quickly slapped it away and I pretended I was looking elsewhere at the time. "Thanks Mark. I think it goes without saying that I'd do the same for you and Kira."

    I nodded, but it was getting way to emotional for me. It was time to change the subject again.

    "What are you and Mara going to name your son?"

    "I want to name him Ben after my first mentor, Ben Kenobi. Mara wants to name him Talon after Karrde."

    "No, don't do that," I said. "I want to name a son after Talon."

    Luke grinned. "I would think you would name your son after Chin…he's your best friend, isn't he?"

    I flushed. "I'm sure Kira would veto that name. She likes Chin, but she thinks he's a bad influence on me…you know with all his drinking, fighting, carousing, and of course, all that porn."

    Luke laughed then fell silent. I think we were both talked out. We sat mutely in the quartermaster office for some time waiting for Cray to heal.

    Twice I snuck down to the dining facility to scrounge some food and water for us, being careful not to be followed. With any luck we would come up with a way to trap Palpatine within the walls of this space station so he wouldn't bother us again.

    I was hopeful, but there was still lingering doubt. Palpatine had cheated death over and over again. The irony in that was that he never truly lived.

    He never fell in love. He never went to his friend's bachelor party and got in a bar fight with a swoop gang to defends someone's honor. He never went swimming with his girlfriend and then made love on a beach. His life was filled with anger and constant manipulation and machinations. His constant fear of life's end blinded him to the fact that his life never really began. He had no love, no joy, and no peace—he didn't have a life worth living.

    I guess that is why he is so hard to kill. How can you kill something that has no life?