Building The Vortex
“I did not tell Sidious everything, he thought I had, but he was wrong. Sidious craved knowledge, that was his downfall. I care only for the knowledge I need, discarding what I do not. He did not know what to keep, and what to discard.”
“All of those years with him, and he never figured it out. The one who prided himself on being such a manipulator, was always my puppet. I used to miss him, but no more.”
Inimicus had reported her failure immediately. She felt it the best course of action. She was expecting almost any response from Plagueis, except him being happy about it.
“You were supposed to fail. They are going where I want them to go, but you could not know it. Had you known they would have sensed it. The Jedi think they are so wise, we shall soon show them it is Darth Plagueis the Wise who is in control.”
Inimicus bowed. “What is my mission now? Do I remain here, or follow behind them?”
“No, leave the Jedi to their fate. You will proceed to Potha. It is there that I truly need you to succeed. Inimicus, here you will not fail, it will not be met with the same attitude as today if you do.”
The hologram dissappeared instantly, and Inimicus ordered her ship to be readied. The scars from the battle hurt intensely, but she had no time to heal. She would have to be ready for Potha, to win at any and all costs.
Han wasn’t sure of anything except that all of this was crazy. The last fifteen years had been crazy. The fake separation between him and Leigh. Being Luke’s eyes and ears across the galaxy while he pretended to be an exile. All the while hunting for a guy worse than the Emperor.
Now, he was plucked from his location, put in a place that didn’t make any sense, and battling a guy that he had shot when all this began. The good thing is, no matter what version of Greedo, all of them were slow. Han had his blaster now, and Greedo had a change of attitude.
“That’s crazy Greedo. How did you get mixed up in all of this? Haven’t you learned to avoid the big bad guys since Jabba?”
Greedo just laughed. “They pay the bills, but in this case, I had no choice. It was either agree, or be sent back to the Millennium Falcon for you to shoot me again.”
Han almost pointed out to him that he didn’t shoot him on the Millenium Falcon, but this was a different Greedo, shot by a different Han. This was the World Between Worlds, and it opened up to a thousand gateways.
Han wasn’t concerned right now about stopping the past, but preventing a horrible future. His job was to stop Alsarin’s Vortex from happening. He was the only one who could.
Prisoner At Kasha
Proelium understood now what he had not before. When Plagueis had first selected him, Sidious remained in a cloned body, surviving the overthrow of the Second Death Star. When the events involving the Emperor’s granddaughter happened Proelium had hope, but he knew better now.
Plagueis would not grant the title Darth to him or Inimicus, nor to anyone else because he could not. Sidious had, but it meant nothing, as he was still the apprentice. Sidious did not know this at the time, but only the primary Sith could bestow power. There was a lot Sidious did not know, especially now.
A Sith must name a successor, the rule of two requires it. If one dies, leader or second, the other has a time period to name a successor. There is no rule however, against re-choosing your old apprentice, albeit a less dangerous version of them.
“Where is my breakfast? I demand to know why I am in this cage. Plagueis will be very upset when he hears from me. Do you know who you are treating this way?”
Proelium smiled at the young man, who couldn’t be any more than twenty. “Yes sir, you are the apprentice of Darth Plagueis, young Darth Sidious. You have been on a journey that you do not understand, and you will speak to Plagueis shortly on …”
Proelium hesitated to say it, as he had been instructed. He almost whispered it when he said it. “The edge of Alsarin’s Vortex.” It had it’s desired effect. Any complaint from this young version of Sidious stopped, and he smiled patiently.
“Darth Sidious, we are expecting another attack. They did not locate you previously, but they will try again. You must remain here, protected.”
Entrance At Potha
She followed from a distance, each woman knew the other was there. Inimicus was older, but just as quick. The strange landscape of Potha was intimidating, but failure was not an option for either of them.
One was looking for an entrance, two Jedi to discard, and a way of killing who was hunting her. The other was charged with making an an entrance, one of the few Jedi powerful enough to do so. Then locate the other two Jedi to rescue, and capture the other woman to stand trial for her crimes.
As Rey force jumped along the landscape following Inimicus movements, she talked with Yoda far from there. “So this is the Sith’s plan. To construct a fortress in the World Between Worlds that disrupts time and space. To control it, affecting a thousand different timelines, all manipulated to Plagueis’ whims?”
“Always Sith’s plan it was, though know each detail Sidious did not. Held from his grasp truth was. Illusion what Sidious saw, real plan shrouded in deceit it was. Much Emperor see did not, now younger eyes, but lust for power still he has.”
Rey did not understand. “If Plagueis could no longer enter the World Between Worlds, how was he able to pluck out of it a version of my Grandfather that is oblivious to most of his tricks? I almost, almost feel sorry for him.”
At that Yoda laughed. “Years I’ve fought to defeat them both, and now to stop one, rescue the other I must. Like it I do not, do it we will, but careful you must be. Young this version of Sidious is, harmless he is not.”
Rey sighed. “Wonderful. Family reunion here I come.”
Destruction At Alsarin
Luke stood at the crater looking down. It was filled with debris, though it was leaving as the complex turned to sand. “This place is different Han. We’re here at the conclusion of it, but it may be still happening out there, at more than one place.”
Han looked at the man he used to call a kid, but the gray beard stopped him from saying it now. “Meaning we succeeded today, but could fail tomorrow. How do we stop that from happening?”
Luke smiled. “We don’t. It’s the primary difference between the Jedi and the Sith. We do not seek to control, we seek to protect, and to grow not more powerful, but to grow. All we can do, is prepare for tomorrow.”
Han woke up. He was still on the floor of the complex. Greedo was still tied up for the night. The dream he had felt very real, but had not happened. It was still his job to stop Plagueis’ group from building his fortress or everyone would suffer.
Han hoped some future version of either himself or Luke was sending him a message. He didn’t understand it, if it even was a message. It could be just his imagination, but it felt real. The one thing he could still see in him mind, was the Destruction At Alsarin.
Greedo was waking up. There was a lot to do. Like all the adventures they had faced, it wasn’t over yet. There was still work for them to do.
Plagueis replayed the conversation in his mind. For him, it had happened long ago, for this version of Sidious it was last year. Soon they would have it again, but for now, Plagueis must be sure he did not forget a moment.
“Points in time and space. These are the methods to enter the World Between Worlds Sidious. To find a entrance is not to locate one point, but the right ones. One is the entrance, the other is the lock, and the last is the counter balance. When you enter something of near equal level must exit.”
“Meaning for a Jedi to enter, a Jedi must exit. For a Sith to enter, a Sith must exit. What determines who or what exits? How do you control it?”
Plagueis had pointed to a hologram of a reservoir on Yavin. “While it can not be controlled, it can be predicted. When it is, you plan for it. Contain what emerges, orchestrate it’s movements, and if need be, send it back. As whatever exits, re-enters, whoever entered upon their exit, reverses course.”
Yes, Plagueis smiled that was enough. It was why he had not minded when Yoda and Anakin had exploded the time bomb just as he entered the door they had inadvertently opened. Upon his entrance, young Sidious emerged, because of where they had entered.
The reservoir Plagueis had constructed, had enabled a Sidious to enter upon his exit, but not the young Sidious who had came out. Plagueis had seen to that. He needed this young, less deadly version of his apprentice here, until such time as he wanted to send him back.
It had all almost went according to plan, a fact he would not admit to everyone. Plagueis had not counted on Yoda injuring him so badly that he was not strong enough at this point to renter and survive. That meant he needed young Sidious even more now. A fact he did not like at all, but one Proelium and Inimicus would remedy for him, one way or another.
“Darth Plagueis, we have docked sir. You can exit to the surface anytime you wish. All is in readiness.”
He nodded, and ignited his lightsaber. His hordes of yellow, purple, and green apprenti followed suit. It was time for the last battle.
The Last Battle
Georiox, Potha, Kasha, they were not the entrance points before, but that changed when Plagueis had pushed the whole planet Georiox back. The secret of how, he was not yet ready to share, because of what planet took it’s place in the World Between Worlds. That was a story for another time.
It was also why Yoda and the other had worked to eliminate the power supply in the capital city. The energy levels were accelerated to as it were keep a foot in the door. The Jedi were determined to close it, and at the right moment, to create a reservoir situation of their own.
When Rey was in place on Potha, three powerful Jedi generated an explosion. Yoda, Qui Gon-Jinn, and Rey. This triad of explosions temporarily merged the three connecting points. For a matter of days, the wasteland Potha, the planet Georiox, and Kasha were now converged into one plain, as well as a foyer to the World Between Worlds.
Yoda’s final plan was to stop Plagueis from forcing young Palpatine through the portal and building Alsarin. Prevent Plagueis from destroying all of the Jedi, and closing the portal, destroying the entry point once and for all. To do that, he needed a man on the inside, Han Solo.
Plagueis and his horde would fight the Jedi, while young Sidious entered the World Between Worlds to build Alsarin’s Vortex, and a new entry point for Plagueis. Now Plagueis must only do two things. Destroy the Jedi, and reverse his injuries, but he would not attempt the meager methods his protege had growing weaker with each attempt.
Plagueis had a different method of energizing, growing stronger, and outsmarting all of his adversaries. After all, he had come closer to all other Sith before him. Temporarily, before the Jedi’s explosion, creating a dark Alsarin upon his entry the first time.
That Alsarin, because it was hastily created by Plagueis’ power did not last, instead of being built from the elements within the World Between Worlds. It was a mistake he would not make again. Plagueis did not like making mistakes, that’s what apprenti were for. Disposable hordes that could balance his needs as he wanted.
Yoda glowing in blue against the light of his green lightsaber stood with the other Jedi. “Now, and here, ends it will.” With that the Jedi and the Sith plunged into a fierce battle. A handful of Jedi against a mass of the Sith’s warriors.
Plagueis directing Palpatine to the now exposed portal, to enter and take over from the bounty hunters within the World Between Worlds, and complete both Alsarin and his portal. Plagueis plan was for all of this to happen quickly, the Jedi had other intentions. Yoda hoped he had made the right choice, but it was the only one he could make.
It came down to Mace Windu, Palpatine, and a Skywalker. Only this time, it was not a manipulated Anakin, but a wiser, older Luke. One that had spent years outsmarting one Sith, while chasing another. As before, Mace charged Palpatine, only without any intention of exiting through a window.
Palpatine drew his lightsabers, this one was younger and faster than the old Sith Windu fought before. He was also less experienced, and more prone to defeat. As before, Windu had no intentions of really destroying him, only this time he most definitely planned on arresting him.
Yoda and Luke attacked Plagueis in tandem. Alternating blows, preventing the villain from even a moment to escape. Plagueis and Sidious both utilizing force lightning to block and counter blows.
When it became clear that Sidious could not eliminate Windu, it presented Plagueis with a choice. Rescue his apprentice, and complete his plan, or seize another opportunity. Tiring of propping up his apprentice after years of doing so, he chose the larger risk, and greater reward if he succeeded.
Plagueis turned off his lightsabers, bowed to Yoda, and shape shifting into the same Wookie that Windu saw on that day years ago. Making a loud threat, he grabbed the most powerful Jedi still alive, pulling Luke with him through the portal. Laughing as he did. The two landed on a quiet plain, this one in the World Between Worlds.
“You did not expect I would have a contingency plan did you? Yoda thought I was injured beyond survival to re-enter here. He was only half right, if I could pull with me someone powerful enough to absorb the energy, I would live.”
“I intended to do this later of course, when Sidious had everything ready, but this will do. I’m tired of waiting, I have waited for a very, very long time. If only your little green Jedi was as smart as a very old Sith.”
It was at that point that a massive energy cell seized the Sith, triggered by Han Solo. “Oh the little green guy took that into account. You see, you weren’t the first old Sith he fought. That’s why he sent me, to stop you once and for all. I’m not a Jedi, so I’m harder for you to pick up on I guess.”
Luke and Han sent Plagueis exactly the coordinates in time and space that Yoda had instructed. For their own safety, they did not know when or where that was. Han and Luke destroyed what Greedo’s group had built so far on the fortress, and they stood together at the crater. Han looked at Luke and smiled.
“We’ve been here before haven’t we kid? Though those whiskers make that nickname a little harder to sell now. Tell me Luke, where do we go from here?”
Luke smiled at the portal that opened as the last debris disappeared. “Home, to a place where the only Sith that’s left, will never harm another member of my family ever again.”