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STAR WARS: Parallels


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   From what can be remembered on that fateful night: it was hot. The unnerving thought that this planet was completely a volcanic region was too much to bear. I must have sweated bucketfuls by the time we got off world, because we all wore helmets. Three hours earlier it was just a simple mission. Escorting the Emperor to a planet in the Outer Rim which he, through some weird mumbo jumbo, sensed his close associate in resent affairs was in some sort of danger.
    By the time we arrived, there was no danger. A dead Jedi lay at the base of a steep hill and the commander of the 501st Legion standing at the summit. The Jedi have meet their end and at the hands of Anakin Skywalker now Lord Vader, who swiftly made quick work of Nute Gunrray and other CIS leaders. Now it had proven to the Emperor that his new apprentice was fully his servant. He observed the dead body of Obi Wan from the boarding ramp of his imperial shuttle and gazed proudly upon Vader who knelt before him. My fellow Clone troopers stood at attention surrounding them.
    “Rise, my friend, you have proven yourself. At last the dark side is your ally. You no longer have need for this.â€
   Using his dark powers, he withdrew Vader’s Jedi weapon from his right side, casting it to the left so that it rolled past me, before being caught between rocks on the hillside. He then exchanged it with a new saber, a Sith’s saber. “A true Sith casts away any ties to his past. You have done well my apprentice.â€
   Vader turned away looking the hilt over more closely, tentatively examining its cruel features from its base to the focusing disk. Griping it tightly he pressed the switch that propelled power to course through it’s crystals inside and then finishing the process with the result of a fiery red blade of intense energy. He gazed at it from stock to tip. What happened next we never saw coming.
   Quick as lightening and just as deadly, Vader plunged his newly given weapon into the chest of its contributor. We, just as surprised as the Emperor himself, who collapsed as his apprentice extracted his sword, were astonished. Acting on instinct, I and my squad leveled our weapons at the assassin. He turned and looked at every one of us and loudly proclaimed: “No! The galaxy belongs to me!†Realizing he had named himself and was now under the same power as Sidious, we had no right in the matter to kill our commander, now our Emperor. We quickly fell in line. “What are your orders, sir?†I said.
   â€œHave your men stow themselves in the transport, we’re leaving. No, wait. Bring his body as well.†Vader said pointing toward Kenobi.
   As we extracted the Jedi Master, Emperor Skywalker ventured to the other side of the facility to a lone landing platform where a glassy Nabbooian starship resided. As we finished squaring away General Kenobi, we left Mustafarr behind.
-Captain Kaggi-Royal Clone Commander's official report.
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   In a blinding flare of speed and light, the prison vessel Anguish, flashed out of hyperspace somewhere in uncharted wild space. It was an undersized craft when compared to a mighty star-destroyer, but matched up to any enemy ship she could stand on her own. Guarded only by patrol fighters, she still kept a poised and sharp defensive posture, incase of impending attack by rouges. Inside was like clockwork, a ship controlled completely by droids under the militaristic flag of the Empire. In its hull went on dark science, the like that was uncommon in the galaxy. All its colds cells had scum from the galactic edge over. Many of her inmates composed of political detainees and others who openly opposed the Empire and its rule and it seemed the droids who ran the vessel were damned to the same fate.
   â€œTee-Four-Three, one of the P-7 power grids has failed. Get down there and replace it before the Master of Arms finds out.†said the deck eight drill sergeant. Every deck of the Anguish had its own specialized squad consisting of mechanics, technicians, and medics for maintaining the ship and prisoners. Also interrogation droids and security guards holstering deadly weapons both with sinister purposes. All were mindless obeying automaton, all but one, the Warden Seven-sixteen. He checked and rechecked prisoner personal records in his cold, colorless office. Everything on his metallic desk was neatly placed as would a perfectionist, just the thing a machine would do to pass the time. Seven-sixteen had yet another like, music, but not for the same reason a Mon Calamari opera singer would. He followed every note, every pitch and tone and the arrhythmic tempo all for the numerical sequence; it seemed to touched him in the confines of his aged chassis. Just when it was all quiet, his silence was interrupted by a call on his wireless comm. link.
   â€œWarden Sir, we’re receiving a hail from approaching Imperial Shuttle. They have given recognition codes and request to dock with us.â€
   â€œLower the containment field in the main hanger bay.†He said with a sinister droid voice.
     â€œYes sir.â€
     As the shuttle touched down, it folded its distinct wings till they were erect with the main dorsal wing. The crafts engines were replaced with hiss of expending coolant. When the boarding ramp hatch fully opened, a small armed detail of clone troopers exited with what appeared to be a respirator tube with a single occupant, barely alive. The Clones seem annoyed at the sight of these droids because these were reprocessed from the Separatist army for uses other than war. The Clone Commander spoke for the rest to Administer and Warden Seven-sixteen of their orders.
    “This prisoner is to be nursed back to health and put into solitary confinement, by order of the Emperor. Put a twenty-four hour armed detail about his cell in and out.â€
   â€œMay I inquire Commander,†Seven-sixteen asked, “As to the identity of the prisoner?â€
   â€œHis identity is classified under Imperial jurisdiction. List him as an incarcerated enemy of the empire.â€
   â€œWhat is that?†A clone trooper carried what seemed to be an enveloped bag.
   â€œThe prisoners effects, confiscated upon moment of capture. It is suggested that you keep these in your office.â€
   â€œI will try my best commander.â€
   The standoffish clone commander was just as bad as his troopers. They stared with a sneer, though their faces were no doubt covered with unmistakable helmets. Slowly they trickled into their transport. Seven-sixteen watched them lift off until they disappeared into hyperspace. He then motioned his three fingered droid hand to four nearby medical droids to take their new prisoner to intensive care.
   Medical knowledge had progressed greatly since the Clone Wars. Many civilizations developed many strange and bizarre but effective techniques to combat savvier wounds and disease. But it wasn’t common in the galaxy to bring someone back to life, which of course being funded by the empire would be very expensive. As the warden of the Anguish looked on from an observation area above, medicinal droids doctored the prisoner. Seven-sixteen wondered to himself, why would the Emperor both ruthless and overbearing would bother with this one prisoner who was already dead? His answer came all too suddenly, when a cylinder-like object escaped the bag of effects the trooper had given him. It must have slipped out due to its all ready opened seal. It fell into the darkness and rolled into the light about a foot from Seven-sixteen’s feet. The object catches his notice, realizing what it was right away. As he knelt to retrieve it, he apprehended a thought. He knew the new prisoner was vaguely familiar. The warden gazed at the helpless casualty knowing he would soon regain consciousness.
   He uttered one word: “Kenobi.â€
    Chaos ensued on the galactic capital of Corasaunt. Protesters waved harsh worded signs toward the senate building, guarded by barricading clone troopers on all sides and access points. Inside, reluctant senators took their seats in the main auditorium, awaiting the appearance of the emperor, but as always, he was not present. Everything had moved too fast; an installation of new government under the direction of an ex-Jedi was too much for citizens and their representatives. His way of ruling was unorthodox. Perhaps an excellent field-commander, but not a statesman, Skywalker tried to make the galaxy forget the atrocities that became of the Jedi Order, one way or another.
   â€œThe chair recognizes Senator Garm Bel Iblis, of Corerillia.†Exclaimed the Senate’s Chairmen. Garm and his close representatives moved their repulsor-lift pod at a touch of a button. With an escalating, rapid beating hum, the pod stirs forward toward the Imperial bench.
   â€œYou’re Majesty and fellow delegates of the Imperial Senate; I wish to touch upon the subject of grave importance. As you know, trade routes between Corerillia and Thyaria have been halted, due to increased acts of piracy. It has caused a great magnitude of disturbance and fear. I implore the Emperor to please act in this regard.â€
   The appointed Chairmen of the Imperial Senate spoke for the emperor’s behalf: “The Emperor will decide who is worth the expense.â€
   Garm was awe struck. “’Worth the expense’, people are dying my lord and they aren’t worthy of aid? We must do something!â€
   â€œThe Emperor WILL look into the situation. You WILL have to be patient.â€
   â€œWe have been patient long enough for the order he promised! This people will shout rebellion before the year is over! So far, he has not honored to attend this session or any since the assassination of Palpatien!â€
   â€œOrder, there shall be order, order!â€
   The entire chamber was in upheaval. Senators from hundreds of systems protested their undeniable odium. The chairmen was powerless to restrain them, there were so many shouting outbursts and abhorrence’s. Watching the political circus unfold via holonet, the regally robed figure stood disgusted by the disorder that rampaged. Unwilling to continue gaze at the violent images, he bowed away. His emotionless face shadowed by the hood of his garments seemed to be shielded while passing among ceiling lights, unchanged by their illumination. As he passed through a connecting hallway, royal sentinels who guarded the doorway saluted his presence.
   Soon he was entering the Imperial Office where Sidious once sat. He walked slowly to the large oblong window where Mace Windu met his fate. There he stood staring at the vast city below him, scrutinizing every part of it as if to not let a thing go unnoticed. But he had not become fully aware of pain he caused his loved one. Though she loved him, Padme could not bring herself to show it to her husband, who was very much the cause of wide pain and suffering, even to her.
   Since the children were born, Padme was never allowed to see them. For what ever reason, the Emperor was certainly not telling. Alone she sat in the more spacious apartment than the one she was given before and every night Anakin would return to but with no results. Padme loved him, but couldn’t forgive him. So she sat there, an exiled empress pending on naught for her. Only sadness colored her face with sorrow and remorse, eager to love her misguided husband but set in her ways she knew was right.
   Emperor Vader stood with his arms crossed, stewing in his hate and lack of patience over a whole matter of diverse subjects. The senate, rouge branded Jedi and local uprisings didn’t populate his thoughts this hour. He peered deep across the void of towering buildings and hap hazardous air traffic, passed the local outcroppings where he built a colossal palace guarded by thousands of clones, protecting the few occupants inside. Even from this far, he knew which story Padme lived in. He will stay here until night fall, when the city lights are not masked by blinding sun light into cold, moist hours of darkness, waiting, waiting for her.
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