Part 1 [7/5/12]
The sleek Naboo Starship flew into the atmosphere of Coruscant, flanked by sleek N-1 starfighters. The Starship was metallic silver. The N-1's yellow, looking like miniature versions of the craft they follow. The traffic of Coruscant was limited in the area the Starship landed, settling on a hovering pad. The N-1's set down as well, and Captain Typho wanders around checking that all was clear. The other pilot of the other N-1 walks to him with a blue and grey astromech droid in tow. The fog surrounds them.
"We made it," Typho announces looking happy as the ramp of the Starship lowers and the entourage walk down it. "I guess there was no need to worry at all."
Anakin Skywalker then walks to the other two. "There is always the need for precaution, Captain," he says. "Even if one doesn't like it."
"Well I think the plan worked well," the other pilot, still helmeted, says. The voice sounded female.
A slight whisper is all that warns them. Anakin turns to look at the ramp, and reaches out to something silver that had just entered. Pulling it out again, the thermal detonator explodes.
"Just like I said," the female pilot says. "Deception is a good thing."
She goes to pull her helmet off, but Anakin waves to stop. "There is someone dangerous around. I can feel it." He then looks up as the sound of a speeder pulls away.
"Now, let's get everyone gathered and get to the Senate Rotunda."
"Yes, let's," the female pilot agrees, pulling her helmet off and revealing herself as Senator Amidala.
Soon everyone was gathered into the waiting open-top transport, almost like a train with seats all facing forward and the sides curved, which then heads out of the fog and to the heart of the Republic's Senate district.
In the Chancellor's office, Palpatine sat behind his desk, back towards the full sized window that curves from one wall to the other side. Seated at the other side of the desk, were Jedi Masters Yoda, Mace Windu, Plo Koon, and Ki-Adi-Mundi. Yoda - short, green and shriveled with pointed ears on his head. Mace Windu - tall, dark skinned and serious looking. Plo Koon - a Kel Dorian male, wearing a breath mask and eye protection to survive outside his own world, with a fleshy head. Ki-Adi-Mundi - pink skin and a head shaped like a cone, with white hair.
"We had warned you, Chancellor," Mace Windu says.
"The more systems that secede from the Republic," Plo Koon adds, "the more this argument will drag out."
"I know," Palpatine says. "That is why I fear this vote. Do you really think this will turn into war, Master Yoda?"
"Hm," Yoda says. "Clouded, is our judgement, by the dark side of the Force. But forever more will this argument persist, and when it does reach breaking point-"
"I am sorry, but I will not let this Republic, that has stood for a thousand years, be split in two."
"But you must know, Chancellor," Windu says, "that if it does turn into a war, there aren't enough Jedi to protect the state."
A holoimage of a Rodian then erupts into life, speaking Huttese. The Chancellor replies, "Send them in." The holoimage fades. "Now then," the Chancellor says. "Excuse me. I must return to the grand adventure of politics."
The doors open and Senators Amidala, Organa and others, including the Naboo entourage and Jar Jar Binks walk in. Anakin follows behind, covering the door.
"Senator Amidala, so good to see you it is," Yoda greets.
"Thank you," Amidala says.
"And Anakin," Windu says. "Well done in protecting the Senator. Continue to do so at all costs."
"Do you have any idea who's behind the attack?" Amidala suddenly asks.
"Sources point to Spice Miners and the dispute on Naboo."
"I think Count Dooku is behind it."
"He is a political idealist," Ki-Adi-Mundi speaks up. "Not a murderer."
"Even so, it is vital that Anakin stays as protection," Windu says. "Meanwhile, other protection will be set up."
"Thank you, but I'm alright with just Master Skywalker," Amidala says.
"Even so. Another Jedi will be along as well."
Part 2 [11/5/12]
Qui-Gon Jinn, after having his leg severed, now had a mechanical leg attachment. At first, he had found it hard to move with it, but as time went on, he found it was better than his normal leg, even if it did give him a slight limp.
Now in a lift, heading to the top floor of the 500 Republica, he had his assignment. To act as protection for Senator Amidala. He remembered the last time he was asked to protect Amidala, which had turned into a fight and had lost him his Padawan. Obi-Wan Kenobi had been a good friend, and Qui-Gon felt that to let him pass out of his life, as all Jedi should, felt like abandoning him.
As the lift stops and the door slides open, the first person who greets him is Jar Jar Binks. The Gungan has a billed face and flapping long ears. He also has long legs.
"Quigon?" Jar Jar asks. "It is! It is!" The 'is' was stretched out a bit each time it was spoke. The Gungan had a goofy sounding voice. "The Senator will be so happy to be seein you." He then turns to the opening, sounding excitable. "M'lady! M'lady! Master Quigon here."
"Send him in," Amidala calls.
Qui-Gon walks into the main room. Anakin Skywalker is already waiting, as is Amidala's security chief Captain Typho. Amidala and her haidmaiden Dorme are sat down on the purlpe seating supplied in the room. After greeting each other, everyone sits down; Anakin stays standing.
"So you are the extra security?" Typho asks.
"The Jedi Council said that someone the Senator knew would be better," Qui-Gon replies.
"And as I told the Jedi Council," Amidala says, "I don't need more protection."
"Well I am here if you need me," Qui-Gon says.
"And I will always be watching out for trouble," Anakin points out.
"Well, if you'll excuse me, I will retire." Amidala then walks to her room.
"Well, I know I'm grateful that you are here," Captain Typho says. "Guards are on every floor and I'll be in the command center just downstairs."
Night. Amidala is sleeping, but Qui-Gon and Anakin prowl around, keeping watch. Qui-Gon disappears downstairs and Anakin is left with Jar Jar, who is sat down. Qui-Gon returns soon after.
"Everything is quiet up here," Anakin says. "Quiet as a tomb."
"Security is tight and the guards are on form downstairs," Qui-Gon reports. "Nothing will be getting through that way."
"So, we just sit tight and wait."
While the Jedi are chatting, R2-D2 is in standby mode in the Senator's room. He doesn't notice the hovering droid outside the window cut a circle in it. He doesn't notice the cylinder slide through and fall to the ground, or the deadly caterpillar-like creatures crawl out of it when it smashed on the floor.
Anakin, who's senses were very acute to the tiniest detail, did. He smashed through the door and called the creatures as they made their way up to the bed, then sliced them as they flew through the air. Noticing the hovering droid, he called it using the Force as well, and before it could retract its appendages, it was pulled through the window and into Anakin's grip. He then deactivated his lightsaber and attached it to his belt using the Force, and pulled the plug on the droid, which had been sending electrical shocks through his arm.
Qui-Gon then runs through the door, close followed by Typho and Dorme. Amidala is sat up, eyes wide in shock at the scene in front of her.
"Look after her," Qui-Gon says. "Anakin, come. We need to get this droid to the Jedi Archives for analysis."
Part 3 [15/5/12]
As soon as Anakin and Qui-Gon had reached the Temple, Mace Windu had walked out to meet them.
"So this is the probe sent to Amidala to kill her?" Mace asks.
"No," Anakin replies. "It had a vial of deadly creatures ready to kill her. It still has the recording functions in place so maybe we can see who used it."
Inside the Jedi Council Chamber, a hologram shows two bounty hunters. One in full armour and one female with coveralls and armour. The fully armoured one then ignites his jetpack and rockets away. The full council then watch part of the droids journey.
"Another attempt on Senator Amidala's life," Mace begins the discussion. "Somehow, we need to organise transport for Senator Amidala back to Naboo."
"I'll stay with her," Anakin says.
"And make sure to use unregistered transport. We don't want whoever it is trying to kill her to know she has left," Ki-Adi-Mundi says.
"Will do," Anakin says and leaves.
"And I'll track down these bounty hunters," Qui-Gon Jinn says.
"We've had no contact with the probe again," Zam Wesell wonders. "Maybe something has gone wrong."
"Well if all is going to plan," Jango says through the comlink, "then it won't matter."
A bleeping then starts up and Zam checks the speeders computer. "It appears we have something. It looks like the Jedi Council Chamber."
"Jedi!" Jango hisses.
"Yes. They seem to be passing the probe around; examining it."
Zam needs no second opinion on that. Climbing into her speeder, she zooms away. A Clawdite, Zam could hide her true appearance at will. For now, she settled with a human female form.
No sooner had she sped away than a blast rocked the speeder.
Turning, she could see a Delta Athersprite craft, green and triangular with a red astromech, following close behind. Pulling into the crowd of speeders, Zam hoped her assailant wouldn't follow. He didn't, but still managed to hit the speeder. Pulling down fast, letting the engine idle and shut down of all drives, the craft plummeted like a stone. her assailant fired, and the engines were fried. She could only steer.
Instead, she waited for a bit, until she could see what she would hit, Coruscant being all towers, skyscrapers and durasteel there was no real end in sight. She then popped the canopy and jumped. She glided. The lasers flashed past her. She then landed on her feet, but broke the bones in one of her legs.
The Athersprite landed next to her, and a bearded man with bark brown hair exited it. Standing next to her, he asks "Who is the other that hired you?"
"Why do you want to know?" Zam says in defiance.
"It needs to be found out. I need to find out. Senator Amidala is important to the Republic."
A flash of dull blue and grey is in her peripheral vision. On the roof of one building, Jango waits. She hesitates then figures she has nothing to lose. "A bounty hunter named-"
It was then that the dart hit her in the neck. Surprised, she cursed, but she was quickly dying.
Qui-Gon Jinn looks around and sees the other bounty hunter blast off with a jetpack. Even with the Athersprite, he'd never catch up. When he looked back at the bounty hunter he had caught, she had already resolved back into her Clawdite form.
Part 4 [19/5/12]
Qui-Gon pulls the dart out of the Clawdite's neck and examines it. The Archive's of the Jedi might be able to examine it, but he had no time to go back to the Temple. He knew how serious this would be.
Getting back in the Athersprite, Qui-Gon speeds into the skylanes and heads for a place he knew very well. Dexter Jettster was a reliable friend for information. Having a wide range of skills and experience, the Besalisk knew his way around anywhere. With four arms and a lot of fat, Dexter ran a diner in CoCo Town. Qui-Gon had been there before.
Landing the Athersprite near the place, Qui-Gon enters. He knew the greasy and dirt-smudged sign above the door read Dex's Diner, and knew the reputation of the place very well. A service droid with a female vocoder rolled up to him. "Qui-Gon! How ya doin', love?"
"I'm fine, thank you very much," Qui-Gon replies. "Is Dex around?
"Qui-Gon!" Dex says with as much enthusiasm as the droid, poking his head out of the kitchen. "Be right with ya."
The service droid shows him to a table, and Qui-Gon sits down. When Dex arrives, he gets up again and the two friends hug each other, then both sit down - Dex squeezing himself into the booth.
"Now. What can I go for ya?" Dex asks, all serious.
"I'm tracking down a bounty hunter who fired this dart into an associate he had hired," Qui-Gon says, pulling the dart from his pocket.
"Ah, I haven't seen one of these since I was prospecting back on Subterrel." Dex holds a hand out for the dart and examines it. Even with pudgy hands, his hold was delicate. "What you got here is a Kaminoan saberdart."
"And these are from?"
"Kamino, of course. They deal in clones, and some of the best ones I've seen too. The planet's about twelve par-secs south of the Rishi Maze."
"And these cloners nice?"
"Depends," is all Dex says.
"On what, my friend?"
"On how good your manners are. And how big your pocketbook is."
Qui-Gon is left thinking. He then thanks Dex for the company and the information and goes back to the Athersprite. Linking with the Jedi Council took no time at all. Mace Windu answered.
"I have found the location of a possible base for the armoured bounty hunter."
"What about the other one?"
"The armoured one killed her, which is how I came to find out about the base."
"Fine. Continue on with finding him. And I won't even bother asking why you are in CoCo Town." Mace Windu then cuts the link. Qui-Gon then lifts the ship and heads out for space.
Anakin sat in the transport thinking. The place still smelled of the cargo it had carried before it was converted to a passenger liner. Padme had instructed Jar Jar to lead the vote, appointing him representative of Naboo. Then she had gone about packing. Having received a direct order from the Chancellor, she could hardly refuse. They had then been taken to the port and boarded the passenger liner with R2-D2.
The passenger liner, which was traveling the Corellian Run hyperspace route, would have to pull out of hyperspace to traverse Denon before jumping back to hyperspace following the Hydian Way.
Anakin wasn't thinking about the route of travel though. He was thinking about his second home of Malastare, and how his mom was. Anakin had managed to get a message through to her at least every month, telling her how things were. The link to Malastare was now closed.
He could hardly remember her, as though the link had cut away his link to her. He would have to check when they got to Naboo, and so he timed the minutes until the passenger liner jumped out of hyperspace. The shudder of the ship announced the reversion to realspace, but then anouther shudder followed almost immediately.
"What's happening?" Padme asks.
Other passengers were asking the same question.
Part 5 [23/5/12]
Qui-Gon Jinn arrives at the planet of Kamino. The Delta-7 Athersprite heads down into the rain lashed atmosphere and lands on a flat surface, also rain lashed. He climbs out of the Athersprite and walks to the door made of glass, which slides open as he approaches.
A tall Kaminoan stands inside. It waves a graceful hand and says "Master Jedi. You are expected."
"I'm expected?" Qui-Gon Jinn says, surprised.
"Yes. After all these years, we thought you would never come. This way please."
Qui-Gon could only follow. He is lead to a small area where two seats drop down from the ceiling. Another Kaminoan waits.
"Master Jedi-" the first Kaminoan starts.
"Qui-Gon Jinn," Qui-Gon finishes.
"Ah, yes," the second Kaminoan says. "I am Lama Su and I am the Prime Minister of Kamino."
"It is a pleasure to meet you."
"You will be pleased to know that one point two million units are fully grown, with another two million well on the way."
Qui-Gon realises he knows little about this place, and the units caught him by surprise as well. "That is good news," he improvises.
"We thought you would be. Please tell Master Sifo Dyas that his order will be met on time."
"Sorry? Who" This as well had caught Qui-Gon by surprise.
"Master Sifo Dyas is still a leading member of the Jedi Council I presume."
"No, he died roughly ten years ago."
"I am... sorry to hear that. But this clone army will be the best."
"Clone army for who?"
"The Republic of course."
"And the doner for the clones?"
"A bounty hunter named Jango Fett."
"Can you arrange a meeting for me. I would like to see him."
"That can be arranged," the other Kaminoan says, and wonders off.
"I'm sure you would like to inspect the clones?" Lama Su poses.
"Yes," Qui-Gon Jinn says. "I would."
And so the tour began. Qui-Gon had a hunch that the bounty hunter might be the one he was looking for. And even if he wasn't, Qui-Gon had a few techniques for tracking people.
He would have to put them to the test when he met this bounty hunter. They always seem to keep in contact with each other.
In the Chancellor's office, a handful of people stood. Yoda, Mace Windu, Plo Koon, Bail Organa, Ask Aak, Jar Jar Binks and the Chancellor himself listened as R2-D2 reported. The protocol droid in the room translated.
"The ship came under attack. I powered down until I was sure I was safe. Then I was deactivated and the next thing I see, I am on a rocky desert place."
"We have tracked where you are," Mace Windu says. "What happened to the others?"
R2-D2 beeped and whistled. "They took control of the ship and flew it into hyperspace again. They then captured everyone. I remember a red and black tattooed face wearing a cloak prowling around. It was then that he captured Master Anakin and Mistress Padme, and considering how close I was to them, he must have decided I was with them and deactivated me."
"Stay where you are," Mace instructs the droid, considering what the droid had said and realising it wasn't a full answer to what he had asked. "We will consider what to do next."
"What planet are Anakin and Padme on then?" the Chancellor asks.
"Geonosis," Mace says with a grim expression.
Part 6 [27/5/12]
Taun We shows the way to Jango Fett's quarters. Waving her hand, locks undo.
The first person to come to the door was a clone who looked young. "Taun We," he greets.
"Boba," the softly spoken Kaminoan says. "Is your father home?"
"Yes. Come in." He then walks in and says "Dad! Taun We's here with a guest."
Jango turns around. With a lined gaunt face, Qui-Gon could tell he had been through a lot of action.
"Hello," Jango says with a gravely voice.
"You must be Jango Fett," Qui-Gon Jinn says. "I came here to inspect your clones. They are very impressive. You must be proud to be the donor."
"I'm just a simple man trying to make a living. If your interested however-"
"Ever reach as far as Coruscant?"
"Probably." Jango says just the one word with an expression blank.
"Then you must know Master Sifo-Dyas."
"Never heard of him. I was hired by a man called Tyrannus on one of the moons of Bogden."
Interesting. "Thank you for your time." Qui-Gon turns to leave but-
"The clones," Jango says with a smile. "They'll do their job well."
The Jedi and Taun We leaves. Boba, ever alert to his father's mood, asks "What is it, dad?"
"Pack your things," the great Jango Fett says. "We're leaving this water infestation. For good."
The consortium of the Chancellor's Office get another holomessage. This time from Qui-Gon Jinn.
"Masters. The man trying to kill Senator Amidala is Jango Fett, a bounty hunter. I tracked him to Kamino, which is in itself an interesting planet."
"Last thing first," Mace Windu says. "Why is Kamino such an interesting place?"
"They are cloners who are making an army for the Republic, under the orders of Master Sifo-Dyas. The army is impressive, coming from the donor Fett. But as I understand it, Sifo-Dyas was killed during a trip back-"
"Matter not, this," Yoda says. "What matters is that closest to Geonosis you are."
"Trouble has arisen on Geonosis involving Anakin Skywalker and Senator Amidala. Someone we think to be Darth Maul has taken them captive."
"I will head there." The link breaks.
"Arrangements must be made so we can use this clone army legitimately," Mas Amedda says.
"But who will propose such a thing?" Bail Organa asks.
"Me," Ask Aak announces.
"No one will listen to you. Or to me. It needs to be someone who has stood against the creation of a Grand Army of the Republic for a long time."
"If only..." Palpatine ventures, "Senator Amidala was here."
After a silence Jar Jar Binks pronounces "Me'sa do it."
Palpatine looks askance at him.
"He speaks for Amidala," Bail says. "What he says effectively comes from her."
"It is decided then," Mas Amedda announces.
Qui-Gon rushes down into the planet's atmosphere. Geonosis was a barren desert. Kamino was a barren ocean. The tracker he had placed on Jango's ship as it had left announced he was here also.
An arena comes into view, with four pillars stacked. A few beeps and whistles come through the speakers and his astromech translates.
"So they are down there," Qui-Gon says to himself. Then to the droid "Take control R4." He then pops the hatch of the Athersprite and jumps into the arena.
"So," a voice rings out. "Qui-Gon Jinn. Now what do you think you are doing here?"
Qui-Gon knew the voice before he turns around to see the red and black tattooed face standing on the balcony overlooking the arena floor. Jango Fett is with him. "I am here to rescue Anakin and Padme."
"That," a rich Serenno voice echoes through the arena, "would be absurd."
"Dooku," Qui-Gon Jinn says quietly.
His suspicions are confirmed when Count Dooku, former Jedi Master and former Count of Serenno, steps from the tunnel into the blazing sunlight.