Dark Encounter (Star Wars EU crossover, one-shot)
More a character study than anything else at this point. Just for fun. Enjoy!
This is it.
A chilly breeze whips across your face, billowing your robes, the wind quickly drying the wet grass beneath your boots. Wispy patches of clouds give way to stars and unfamiliar constellations in the nighttime sky of this never-before visited world. Or at least it’s never been visited by you, your family, or any other practitioners of the Force with whom you’re familiar.
Some fires still burn in the night, though the battle appears to be all but at an end. What you’re sensing in the Force tells you otherwise, however. Closing your eyes, you stretch out with your feelings into that mystical energy field that binds together all living things in the universe. You quickly sense your quarry—he is near.
And he’s not even bothering to disguise his presence in the Force.
You take a look at the impressive pile of rubble before you, once constructed of very old stone with some bits of wood worked in, what little is left after the consuming flames. You sense survivors within the hollowed out ruins of the tower. Sending the coordinates via your comlink to Master Skywalker, you leave the wreckage behind and continue your pursuit. You have a foe to track down.
The stench of burning and decay has barely left your nostrils when you find him in an open field beyond, facing a great forest dead ahead. You approach steadily closer. He makes no move to flee or attack. He merely stands, with his back to you.
“I was wondering,” he says finally in a high, cold, and invariably cruel voice, “who they would choose to send first, to die by my hand.”
“Bold words for someone who doesn’t even have the guts to face me,” you call back.
“Is that so?” Gradually, ponderously, he turns. Clad in a dark robe from neck to foot, not too dissimilar to one a Sith Lord might wear, all you can see of him are two pale long-fingered hands and his face. With skin so white it almost seems reptilian on his hairless head, he has two slit nostrils in place of a nose, no lips, and he gazes at you unblinking out of two fiery red eyes the color of a Sith lightsaber blade. You’re unsure of his species--humanoid to be sure. You even have the unsettling thought that he may even have begun life as a human but became deformed through practiced use of some sort of dark side alchemy.
He speaks again, arrogance coloring every word: “You dare to defy Lord Voldemort?” He brings out a kind of weapon, a stick twice as long as your lightsaber hilt and crafted of an undeniably ancient strip of wood.
“Yeah, you must be really full of it to refer to yourself in the third person.” Despite your boasts, you’re feeling out your opponent very carefully through your senses. There is no doubt that the nexus of dark side energy you felt is concentrated here in this man. The Force runs through him very differently than it does through you or any other Force-sensitive person you’ve encountered, but there is no doubt that the dark side is incredibly strong in him.
You can find no lightsaber on his person, indeed no weapon at all except that old stick he wields. But your Masters taught you at an early age that the eye deceives. Seeing with the eyes of the Force, you detect an incredible aura of pure, unfiltered power resonating from that stick. No, this opponent is not one to be underestimated.
“Fool!” he interjects. “Do you have any idea who you’re dealing with? I am the greatest Dark Wizard of this age or any other. Only I am worthy of the mantle of Dark Lord.” Right now, your antagonist is bleeding fear, abject terror, into the Force, and you quickly surmise that this is his primary weapon. But you’re not intimidated. There is no emotion; there is peace. Calling upon the power of the Force, letting it fill you and infuse you, your mind is at peace. And in that peace, suffused by the light of the Force, you are able to penetrate the fog of fear created by Voldemort until you discern that at heart, it is his own fear you sense. For you perceive in a moment that his entire life has been one of fear, an utter dread of weakness and especially of death. By contrast, you give no thought to self-preservation. He aims his ancient stick at you, but you hold your ground.
“Oh by the way, I’ve dealt with Dark Lords before,” you say with scorn, lazily gesturing at the stars above, memories of countless clashes with the dark side of the Force surfacing in your mind. “Forgive me if I’m a little less than impressed.”
One of the more curious differences about this dark sider compared to others is that whereas most will keep their thoughts carefully concealed, their very aura in the Force barely detectable, this Voldemort makes no such attempt. You can practically study his mind as if it were a sliced datapad.
You quickly sense his single-minded quest to cheat death and live forever—and your stomach churns unpleasantly as you easily see into his memories precisely the archaic and murderous means by which he’s attempted to reach that end, his terror of death spurring him on to unthinkable ends. Meanwhile battle plans, political schemes, magical incantations, the names of minions and enemies are all things he wears openly. He is uncannily obsessed with one teenaged boy who has proven particularly troublesome to him for quite a few years now.
But your enemy also has no idea that you can read straight into his mind.
He doesn’t even try to hide his contempt for you. “You have passed yourself off as someone of significance, but—” he gestures at the lightsaber still clipped to your belt, “—I can see by the mockery of a wand at your side that you’re nothing more than a common Muggle.” You have no idea what a “Muggle” is, but you can tell by the venom with which he spits the word that it’s probably the most insulting thing he could have called you.
In one smooth practiced motion, you unclip your lightsaber and ignite it with a resounding SNAP-HISS, your shimmering purple blade lighting up the night as you bring it up to a guard position.
“My name is Jaina Solo,” you tell him, “and I’m a Jedi.”
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My ongoing choose-your-adventure story:
The Potter Games: Endgame
Last edited by Rew; February 23rd, 2013 at 4:58 am.
Re: Dark Encounter (Star Wars EU crossover, one-shot)
Some have asked for a sequel, so here it is.
In addition to being loads longer than the first story (above), it's also more Star Wars-heavy. I've tried to write it such that those not familiar with the Star Wars books will still be able to follow along. But in case you still need a reference for Jaina Solo's character background, this link should come in handy:
There may or may not be a third installment, depending on if inspiration strikes.
Voldemort doesn’t hesitate.
But you’re already in motion, the Force guiding your hands as you bring your lightsaber up to meet what appears to you to be a wispy green blaster bolt, deflecting it into a nearby clump of grass, which immediately withers. You watch the smoke rising from the point of impact.
So that wooden rod of his is nothing more than a converted blaster of some kind, you think to yourself. This shouldn't be too hard.
You sense the sudden shift from smug satisfaction to outraged alarm from your adversary. “Sorry to spoil your fun,” you tell him, “but that’s what you get for playing your trump card too early.” You angle your lightsaber toward his heart. “Next shot like that gets deflected right into your chest, Snakeface.”
The Force boils with his fury. Instead of aiming his “wand” at you, this time he raises it skyward. “FIENDFYRE!” he bellows into the night.
Instantly flames pour forth from the end of his weapon, quickly spreading out to form a semi-circled wall of fire all around him, at least four meters tall. Oh, it functions as a makeshift flamethrower too, you think with dismay. Great.
You watch in astonishment as Voldemort swirls his wand, and the crests of the flames soon take on the appearances of beasts that must be native to this world. Some look like serpents, others like Krayt dragons. More relevant to the task at hand, a couple of them begin to lunge at you, snapping with flaming teeth.
It’s not an attack that can be repelled with any lightsaber techniques. You run.
You’re just in time to dodge one fiery dragon—but nearly end up singed by another, which was flanking it. You leap out of the way, rolling to dodge a third wave of fire that breaks onto the grass so close that you’re pretty sure you’ve just lost a few hairs. Finding another creature of flame charging you, you gather the Force to you and jump high overhead, landing on the other side of it. You weren’t expecting another of its brethren to be right on top of you as soon as you land, though, so you bring up your lightsaber to “behead” the creature—and immediately berate yourself as severing the thing’s head only causes a fireball to blast off its neck into the ground at your position. You dive away just in time, but the shockwave sends you careening forward.
You land hard but use the momentum of your dive to roll forward and spring to your feet. As you do, however, you find yourself blocked in, walls of flame towering over you all around, closing in from each direction. The flaming heads join high above you, blocking out the night. You begin to suffocate in the extreme heat and drop to your knees, your frame wracked with heaving coughs from all the smoke.
“Your clever tricks have run out all too soon,” your foe calls from beyond the fire. “Because Lord Voldemort is merciful, your end will be quick. But I shall seek out your confederates, and your kind will learn to honor pure wizarding blood.”
It’s his high, cold voice that brings you back to yourself. Rising to your feet, you close your eyes and drink in the Force around you. Though smoke envelopes you, you breathe clean air. Though heat should overwhelm you, you feel the coolness of the night air. Centering yourself in that mystical energy field that surrounds and binds all things in the universe, you feel every blade of grass, every gust of hot wind, even the very flames that threaten to devour you.
The fires cease to advance on you. The flaming serpents thrash and rage, but they can come no nearer. Your right arm outstretched in front of you now, you begin to push, inching the blazing boundary backward. Through the gaps in the flames, you can see Voldemort, holding out his wand like a conductor’s baton. The fire begins to surge back toward you, but you concentrate the Force on the blaze to keep it in place. Your contest of wills is currently at a stalemate—which doesn’t bode very well for you.
Closing your eyes, you concentrate all your focus, your whole being, and you feel the Force rushing through you, as though springing forth from the ground upon which you stand. With one final burst of concentration, you summon the full weight of the Force and send it into the fiery wall in front of you, which explodes in a fireball straight at Voldemort as the rest of his fire spell collapses into scattered flames.
You see the shock in your adversary’s eyes, yet he just has the wherewithal to dash out of the way unharmed. You’re on him immediately.
Realizing that the bulk of his power is concentrated in that wooden wand of his, you figure you can end this battle by parting him from it. Before he can flee anywhere else, you charge forward, your lightsaber already in motion to slice the weapon in two.
Before your blade can connect, however, Voldemort disappears. He turns on the spot and is gone, out of thin air.
But you feel him in the Force behind you at that same moment and already swing your lightsaber to deflect more of those strange blaster bolts of his. As promised, you send a green one straight back at him, but he pulls that disappearing act again before it can strike home—and this time you have to dive out of the way as he rematerializes directly above you, attempting to skewer you with some electrical energy from his wand as he descends.
By the Force! you exclaim inwardly. When the hell did this guy learn Aing-Tii teleportation techniques?
Recovering quickly, you thrust your palm forward with a Force shove that knocks Voldemort into a nearby boulder, toppling him so that he flips over backward and lands on its other side.
“I warned you, Cueball,” you tell him, advancing forward, your lightsaber held out toward his throat. “But there won’t be any more warnings from now on. Surrender, or be destroyed.”
Reaching out with the Force, you probe his mind, seeking what his next move might be. He looks up at you suddenly—then begins to grin. “So I perceive that you are in fact a Legilimens. I would not have thought it of you.”
“A Le-jilly-what?” you ask. You can suddenly detect nothing from his aura, only a void.
But Voldemort’s smile becomes chilling as he slowly raises his wand in the direction of your lightsaber. “You may be skilled in the art of Legilimency, but now we shall see how you fare at its sister art, Occlumency.” His face hardens. “Legilimens!”
You raise your lightsaber to block the attack, but only too late do you realize that this is not a physical attack on your body—he is attacking your mind. By the time you try to erect your mental barriers, Voldemort is already within, invading your most personal memories, exposing your deepest pains to the dark side of the Force.
You’re dimly aware of collapsing onto the grass as you lose all sense of spatial awareness and become consumed by nightmares. You fight through a web of fear in an attempt to reach out to the Force, but all you feel is a wet blanket in return. You look for Voldemort, lashing out wildly, but instead find Hethrir, a would-be Imperial warlord who had kidnapped you and your brothers as children. Gripping your lightsaber in both hands, you swing it toward his neck. At the very last moment, however, he blocks with a serpentine amphistaff.
Wait a moment, you realize, Hethrir never used Vong biotech…
But you’re no longer facing Hethrir; he has in an instant morphed into the Yuuzhan Vong warmaster, Tsavong Lah.
“I killed you!” you shout at him. “I killed you years ago—you’re not even real.”
“Foolish Jeedai!” he spits. “Did you really think a warrior of the great god, Yun-Yuuzhan, could be destroyed with your infidel mechanical weapons? The Yuuzhan Vong do not fear death or pain, Jeedai Solo, for we embrace both—as now, so will you!”
His whip-like amphistaff is extended and hardened into a sharp heavy staff. But before you can strike the warmaster or his weapon, two red lightsaber blades ignite out of the nothingness and rush in to intercept your attack. You’re promptly driven back as a pair of Dark Jedi, Lomi Plo and her apprentice Welk, keep you away from Tsavong Lah.
You soon have help, however, as your twin brother Jacen materializes next to you to balance out the Dark Jedi attack. “Jacen?” you ask. “But how? You’re—”
“Never mind me, Jaina,” he says, expertly blocking and counterattacking a parry from Welk, “Worry about Anakin!”
Anakin Solo, your youngest brother. “I don’t—” you begin, but then you see him. Your little brother is going toe to toe with Tsavong Lah.
You’re just in time to see the razor-edged point of the amphistaff cut straight into Anakin’s heart.
Even with the knowledge that Anakin died more than a decade ago, yet you can't hold in your grief upon seeing him killed anew. It’s not even Anakin you’re looking at anymore. It’s now the body of your twin, Jacen. His death more recent, his face is older—and harder—than the one you just saw battling Lomi Plo and Welk moments ago (all of whom have dematerialized as suddenly as they’d come), and his yellow-eyed gaze is empty, the amphistaff wound to the heart you saw on Anakin now replaced with a lightsaber slash in the same place.
“You did this, Jaina Solo.” It’s the voice of Darth Caedus, the Sith Lord that Jacen eventually became. Your twin’s corpse neither moves nor speaks, but you hear his voice inside your heart with agonizing clarity. And yet his voice is strangely high and cold… “So much pain and suffering you have inflicted on your family and on the galaxy from whence you come. And yet you are alone.”
“I’m not alone,” you say weakly, but you can’t tear your gaze away from Jacen’s vacant gaze, who morphs into Anakin’s empty visage, and at one point you even see the butchered form of your aunt and former Master, Mara Jade Skywalker.
The pain is enough to rend your heart in two, and you realize with horror, as you continue to look down on your dead family members, that you’re suddenly hanging above the ground. Agony courses through every nerve of your body as you hang from the Yuuzhan Vong biological torture device, the Embrace of Pain. It’s not real, you tell yourself through gritted teeth. None of this is actually happening. Yet despite your hollow reassurances, the anguish is searing beyond endurance.
“But it is real, Jaina Solo,” Voldemort says to you in a whisper. He takes his stand below you, alternating forms between Caedus, Hethrir, any number of Yuuzhan Vong foes, the Jedi traitor Alema Rar, a Sith girl named Vestara Khai, and most hideously of all, the ancient abomination of the Force known as Abeloth. “It has all happened to you, this pain and loss. These are all battles that you have fought.” He changes into Darth Caedus, bloodied and beaten, and leers at you. “Including battles that you have won, through the mangling of your own soul.”
You stretch out a hand to attack the Dark Lord, but the Embrace of Pain holds it fast. You wriggle your other arm, but it too won’t be moved. Consumed with horror and agony, you just want to hurt Voldemort—but your rage is impotent. The more you struggle against your bonds, the more the Embrace fights back against you. Your arms and your legs are pulled high above your head, in directions the human body was never meant to go, and you’re helpless as your ligaments and sinews stretch to the breaking point. Voldemort stands fast, his wand held fast and pointed at you. His voice is distant, and it is only a single incantation you hear; after enough repetitions, you learn the word “Crucio” and forever associate it with agony.
You stop. Whatever Voldemort is doing to you, in whatever way he’s violating your mind, thrashing and struggling will only play right into his hands—and take you down the dark path in the process. You breathe in, taking in the Embrace of Pain holding you and all the fiery shots of pain raging throughout your body—and you exhale them. The Embrace isn’t real. There are no Vong biots holding you captive. The phantom Embrace loses its grip. Gracefully your arms slip out of its tendrils, your legs following suit, until you land cleanly on the ground underneath. Centering yourself, you allow the light of the Force to fill you—and you stride forward, toward Voldemort.
The Dark Lord comes at you, commanding an army of Yuuzhan Vong soldiers, members of the Lost Tribe of the Sith, and insectoid Killiks. But you summon forth your love for your family, your friends and fellow Jedi, and your sense of all that is right and true in the universe. As the Force’s light washes over your foes, they become less and less distinct, shimmering like the mirages they are. By your side, on the other hand, you are joined by Jacen Solo, his eyes dark, young, and bright, his being containing no trace of the dark side that would eventually take him. Your brother Anakin appears on your other side, his face full of life and determination. Your Jedi mother, Leia Organa Solo, follows behind you, along with your Aunt Mara as well as the Grand Master of the Jedi Order itself, your uncle Luke Skywalker.
Voldemort presses his attack, but it is the nature of the light to drive out the dark wherever it takes hold.
The phantoms following in Voldemort’s wake are so indistinct now that they begin winking out at the point of attack the closer your group approaches. Voldemort himself flings out red-hued bolts and curses, frantically shouting “CRUCIO! CRUCIO!!!” But the power of his dark side attacks is drowned out by the overwhelming light. All you do is keep your focus on your lone adversary, and buoyed by the power of that energy which has been your ally from birth, you concentrate every last ounce of it on Voldemort until he too is drowned by the light that has risen up from every corner of your mind and heart.
You’re suddenly back in the physical realm again, your feet planted firmly on the grass. The power of your Force shove sends Voldemort spiraling backward end over end, until he slams into a stone tower, crumpling into a dazed heap at its foot.
Pressing your advantage, you gather the rising tide of the Force to you and leap meters ahead to land at Voldemort’s side, right as he’s clawing his way back to his feet. Even in this wounded state, he remains fast. He’s not quick enough to keep your lightsaber from cleaving his wand in two, sparks flying in both of your faces, but as you reverse grip on your saber’s hilt, he just has the presence of mind to pull off his disappearing trick right before you drive the blade into his midsection for the finishing blow, missing him by a hair’s breadth before he rematerializes in the open field behind you.
Looking at the piece of the wand still smoking in his hand, he flings it away in disgust. “You think you will defeat Lord Voldemort so easily?” he says in his characteristic high, cold voice, but you hear an element of desperation in it as well.
“It’s over, Your Noselessness. You’ve lost. You can either come with me to answer for your crimes, or you can die. You’re lucky I’m still even giving you a choice.”
“I can never die!” He literally rolls up a sleeve then, and you have to fight to keep from rolling your eyes. The drama is strong with this one, you say to yourself.
“You make much of your family, Solo, that much is clear to me.” He keeps his red gaze on you even as you notice one spider-fingered hand going to his exposed arm, where you also notice is a tattoo of some kind, showing a serpent emerging from the mouth of a skull. “Now, let me introduce you to mine.”
He presses two fingers to his tattoo, and at once the Force explodes with the sudden presence of robed figures, at first four, then ten, now close to two dozen dark side warriors standing alongside Voldemort. Some wear masks; on others you can see their scornful sneers. All have wands of their own, all aimed at you. You raise your lightsaber high with one hand, but your other quickly darts into your Jedi robe to punch in a command on your comlink. Don’t be late, Dad.
You barely have time to get your other hand back to your hilt for a two-handed grip before the onslaught begins. A flurry of those peculiar bolts are all you can see, flashes of green, red, gold, and white. Your lightsaber is a whirl, blocking and deflecting. You’re successful at sending a couple of these spells back to their attackers, and you feel one life snuffed out in the Force when a green bolt strikes home. His partner howls in rage and doubles his attack on you.
A full-fledged Jedi Knight and recent Jedi Master, you’re acquitting yourself well, but even you are going to be overwhelmed by sheer force of numbers if this continues much longer. By far the most relentless attacker is one of the very few women in Voldemort’s employ. This one is particularly fanatical, her thick, shining dark hair whipping as she expels bolts from her wand with such ferocity her whole body shakes each time. Hatred is etched in her heavily lidded eyes, and she screams curses at you for “daring to defy the Dark Lord!”
The group has finally managed to surround you when you pause—and smile. For in the distance you can hear a most familiar and welcome hum of sublight engines. You spin a full three hundred sixty degrees to deflect one final round of wand spells before you catch sight of the legendary Millennium Falcon as it roars through the skies, turbolaser fire from its twin turret cannons scattering the dark-siders. Somehow, you don’t think that, for all their unusual skills, they’re prepared to handle armed spacecraft!
While some flee and others teleport out, a core of the most devout followers surround their leader; their wands form a kind of deflector shield that keeps your father’s firepower at bay. A few still try to attack you, but their fire is easy to deflect now. Once the Falcon lowers its ramp as it descends toward the hill upon which you stand, you execute a backward somersault to land on the ramp, some ten meters above the ground.
Their quarry escaped, none of your opponents bothers to attack anymore, except for the woman with heavily lidded eyes, whose furious fire is ineffectual at this range. You deactivate your blade. As you ascend, you grip one of the Falcon’s support struts for balance, your eyes locked with Lord Voldemort’s. Hatred seeps from his aura in the Force as from a bleeding wound. Saluting him with your lightsaber hand after a time, you race back into the Falcon as the ramp is raised and the Corellian freighter whisks you away from the field of battle.
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(Also, find me on Facebook & Twitter.)
My ongoing choose-your-adventure story:
The Potter Games: Endgame
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