Bending The Rule
Proelium stood on the platform of the Sith stealth cruiser while landing at Kasha Four. The purple cloaked horde of Plagueis docked the ship, and readied for battle. He was lost in thought, remembering her last encounter with the last apprentice of Plageius.
“Commander Vultra, land this transport now. I want to speak with the Moffs before we return to the palace. I expect them to know my disappointment with their last reports. The ones that survive will do better the next time.”
Sidious, or as he knew him, The Emperor, was a lot like Plagueis in some ways, totally unlike him in others. Ironically, that was the same day he first met Plageius. Though, again he did not know that was who he was then.
“Commander, I understand the Emperor is correcting some measures with his subordinates. Such a shame isn’t it that he does not treat them with more respect? I did not do that when I trained my subordinate, even though he has no idea what my plans really are.”
He remembered thinking how brash it was for a Storm Trooper to talk about the Emperor that way. Yet he agreed with him, so he pretended he did not hear. He did not repeat it.
Over the next few years, he would continue contacting him until he revealed himself as Plagueis after the second Death Star’s destruction. Unlike Sidious, he was not as angry on the surface, but he was even more deadly.
At first, he thought it was the Emperor, or Sidious as he learned later. Only his robe was red, and he was taller and more slender at first, then shorter and wider, then massive. He altered his form almost constantly, but in the mix was every face he had showed him since the Stormtrooper.
Plagueis laughed at his confusion. A fact that still makes him angry. He threw a lightsaber for him to catch. He did without moving using what Darth Vader had taught him.
“The rule of two, it’s existed with the Sith for more years than I care to speak of. It was a mistake, but one that Darth Bane locked in. He took measures to prevent it from being broken, but it can be bent, though none will bend it as I will.”
“It may surprise you to know that the person you know as the Emperor is still around, in a clone body currently. As long as my apprentice Sidious, exists, I do not have to name a successor. Since he thinks I am dead, he will not continue to attempt to murder me.”
“He has chosen an apprentice, and like the rest of us including Bane, he’s played fast and loose with the rule of two. As long as they do not obtain a certain level of power, there are only two. However, no one said we could not have a number of candidates in the background.”
“I offer you one of those roles, apprenti if you will. You will never have the power Sidious has. He will never have the power I do, but it will be more power than you ever imagined.”
“There are three levels, the purple horde, my yellow lieutenants, and the green student warriors. All are expendable, though they more so. I offer you a yellow cloak, the Sith were so obsessed with black, I find it boring.”
An explosion roused Prolium from his memories. They were already attacking the ship. This was as expected. He drew both lightsabers and plunged from the platform to the deck beneath. Three blue cloaked figures entered first, lightsabers drawn.
Two he recognized as Kenobi and another Skywalker, the third was not familiar to him. Hhe searched the memories Plageius had shared to find the name Qui-Gon Jinn. All three were exceptional, but he was not there to stop them with a lightsaber. In truth he was not there to stop them at all.
He sat on the floor of the palace above Sidious. For so long Palpatine had stayed in his Chancellor’s office laughing at what he believed to be the ignorance of the Jedi. All the while Yoda was leading a battle far different than the Clone Wars saw.
Now, Sidious had seized power, thought he had defeated Yoda in battle, and prepared to rule the galaxy. According to the intelligence reports Sidious had, Yoda was on his way to Dagobah. Instead, he was in a make shift apartment two decks above Sidious throne room.
How do you hide from an enemy, the same way Sidious had, in plain sight. Yoda would not be discovered because of an advantage that neither Sith realized he had. Secrecy was the tool of the Sith, but they were not the only ones who could keep secrets.
Yoda and the Jedi were good at keeping them when necessary, for a far different motive. Soon, there would be a need for the Jedi to use skills they had not used since the days of the Grand age of the Jedi, Yoda had learned them then, and never forgotten them.
“Yoda, I have returned from Kasha. It is as you suspected, Plagueis is building his intentions there. It’s in Wild Space beyond the Outer Rim, far from where Sidious would reach out to. He plans on finding it, and he is searching every day.”
Yoda was used to Qui-Gon materializing now, even though it was a little unnerving even for him at first. With this new ability, the Jedi could go farther and reach further than most in the past, and beyond the limits of the Sith. “Have you spoken to Obi Wan?”
Yoda smiled. “Your old Padawan is very entrenched. He watches out for Anakin’s children, and makes the necessary journeys. He sends greetings to you, with a hope you will visit soon. Avoiding it is not good Qui-Gon.”
The blue glowing face of Qui-Gon frowned. “I wish to see him, but, I regret so much. He did not know, I should have told him at first. He would not have spoken.”
Yoda smiled at his old Padawan. “I regret Dooku taking over your training. I miss your optimism, and your care for those dear to you. It was necessary my dear Skywalker, no one must know you are those children’s grandfather, or that you are Anakin’s father.”
Suddenly Yoda was in the present again, as they neared Georiox’s city center. Another group of Plagueis’ horde were attacking. When you produce them the way he does, it seemed like an endless supply. Yoda sighed, “Aggravating it is.”
With that he was again a blur of blue and green motion, bouncing through the horde, fighting hundreds at once. Each of his fellow group held their own against multiple purple cloaked warriors. Each knew that this was just a stalling tactic of Plagueis to wear them down.
The real enemy was far fewer in number, and more dangerous. She stood at the entrance to where they needed to go. Yoda could sense her, but he had suspected it would be Inimicus that Plagueis had chosen. She was the most fierce of his lieutenants.
Had they not bent the rule of two so often, she would be Darth Inimicus, but she was more deadly than Maul had been, or Tyranus. In fact, in some ways she was a better warrior than Sidious had been. Plagueis hoped to wear them down before facing her, Yoda had spent the last several decades working to disappoint his opponents.
When Are We
“Where am I? What am I doing here? The last thing I remember is…” The gray haired man asked.
“A better question would be when are you. A few moments before your last memory. You were pulled just before it happened. Perhaps a different approach may help.”
He couldn’t see who was speaking, it was just a blurry atmosphere. He didn’t trust what he couldn’t see, and he didn’t like the sound of the voice. “I think you’ve got the wrong guy. You want the other two.”
“They are of little importance, especially now. I want to help you. The Emperor has messed up so much, this is a chance to adjust events. Welcome to the World Between Worlds Solo. You’ll find it’s options very interesting.”
“I don’t like dealing with people I can’t see. I like to see the face of the guy who’s trying to kill me. Why not show your face?”
“The last time we saw each other Solo, you shot me. I’m not wanting to repeat Mos Eisley. If you can’t see me, you can’t shoot me.”
“You’re not Greedo. Nice try, what do you want? If you’re trying to unnerve me pal, it’s not working.”
An older version of the Rodian materialized in front of him, blaster in hand. “Oh I’m Greedo, just not the version you remember. Now, let’s get started, this way.”
Han couldn’t see well, but the terrain was a lot like Tatooine, which meant he knew the landscape. The question was, was this Greedo as slow as the last one. He was about to find out.
“Anakin, explore the higher decks, I’ll take the lower.” Obi Wan kept downward, as the other force ghost jumped up the decks. Qui-Gon had just pursued Proelium through the portal. He would keep him occupied while they searched the ship.
As one Anaking searched the ship with Obi wan, another was with Yoda and Luke. Another was waiting on Potha, this one was not scarred, or a blue ghost. This one was very much young and brash, and ready for a battle.
“You’re late, we’ve got to be there by nightfall.” The black clothed creature said from inside the ship. “Asteroid belt, Yoda sends greetings. Look, this is awkward, what do I call you?”
The balding creature looked less forbidding with a cloak rather than his old helmet. “For now call me Skywalker. I don’t answer to Vader any longer, and there are quite enough Anakins running around right now.”
The younger Anakin nodded “It’s a little weird, I agree. I don’t quite understand it all, even after Yoda said it was a result of an accident.”
Skywalker projects a hologram of an orb. “The World Between The Worlds is called a pathway through time and space. More correctly it is an anomaly, a temporal worm hole.”
The young Anakin nodded. “A way to travel through time. That part I understand, it’s what happened to us that I do not.”
Skywalker smiled and shook his hand. “While occasionally that is the result, Plagueis’ designs on it are more far reaching. We stopped him at great cost. We managed to destroy his camp inside the World Between Worlds, but in the process, a temporal explosion occurred.”
“Since Anakin Skywalker was near it, the temporal explosion split the Anakin into multiples, at different stages of his existence. One yourself, the young Anakin from the same era as the clone wars. One remained what they call a force ghost. Myself, from a moment before the second Death Star’s destruction. Then there are the others, including the missing ones.”
The young Anakin was beginning to understand. “Except you are you without the injuries sustained then. How is that possible?”
Skywalker pointed to the hologram as it phased into multiple versions of the orb, each slightly different. The temporal explosion detected no physical harm to Anakin Skywalker, so we are reflections of moments, scars, etc, but a reflection does not have the pain that the original had. We have his memories up until the point of the explosion.”
“From then on, we form new memories. None of us are the Anakin Skywalker near the explosion, yet all of us were initially. This is what Plagueis wants, to create multiple anomalies, multiple realities, and multiple Sith kingdoms.”
“All of which bow to him at what is called Alsarin’s Vortex. The Sith fortress he wishes to install within The World Between Worlds. The plan is an old one with the Sith, going back some say to before Bane, but thought a myth by most. Plagueis is determined to achieve it, and he must be stopped.”
Dual At Georiox
Inimicus stood at the power core of the city, lightsaber drawn. She had wondered which one would face her. Yoda was the most skilled, Plagueis had showed her how to push back against a force ghost. Her mind was going down the list when Mace Windu approached the platform.
“Daydreams are dangerous, especially for a Sith. Dream too big, and the one ahead of you may not allow you to see them happen. I’ve seen your kind before.”
She pushed her anger towards him. “Isn’t that how you lost your vision and your arm. One of Plagueis’ students named Palpatine? If you couldn’t defeat one that wasn’t smart enough to know Plagueis was still around, how do you plan to defeat me?”
Their lightsabers blurred through jumps, blows, and clashes across the power platform. Inimicus tossed blue force lightning at his cybernetic eye, to short circuit it. Mace smiled, closed both eyes, and attacked with full force.
“I don’t need my eyes for this battle. A Jedi can see what a Sith does not. Sidious thought we had no idea what he was planning. That the Jedi were blind to the danger. In truth we saw an even greater danger, so neither of the rule of two knew what we saw.”
“Saw, Saw!” She whipped around. Windu was not there to defeat her. He was there to stall her. Yoda through the device into the core, and there was a blinding explosion. The last thing Inimicus saw was the sight of her own failure of power.”