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Similar Deviations
Jedi Code:

There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is The Force.

Old Sith Code:

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

New Sith Code:

There is no peace, there is anger.
There is no fear, there is power.
There is no death, there is immortality.
There is no weakness, there is the Dark Side.
I am the heart of the darkness.
I know no fear, and I instill it in my enemies.
I am the destroyer of the worlds.
I know the power of the Dark Side.
I am the fire of hate, all the universe bows before me.
I pledge myself to the Darkness, for I hav found true life in the death of the light.
these are the Jedi and Sith Code's from George Lucas' movies Star Wars...
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Cal stepped into the doorway of his shuttle and raised a hand to shield his eyes. The light on Terra was so harsh, particularly this continent. He reached into his coat and pulled out the tinted glasses and the bio-scanner he carried. Slipping the glasses on, he checked the scanner screen to make sure he had landed in the right place. The readout confirmed it: Sol.Terra, Australia, Sydney. A small blip on the corner of the screen told him the Soschan he’d been sent to find wasn’t far away. Too violent for IU membership, many Soschans had taken to using their unique camouflage ability to emigrate Off-World illegally. This suited Cal just fine, as it gave him an excuse to travel there as well to pick them up.

Pocketing the device, Cal stepped down onto the dry grass and looked out across the small park and at the city properly, his breath coming out in a small whoosh. Balloons and streamers of every colour scattered the park and street. Garlands draped across the lamp posts and building facades, and posters of the big blue and green marble hung in every shop front window. Music bellowed from somewhere further down the street, the thumping bass carrying through the soles of his shoes.

Cal’s eyes roamed over the setting, taking in the fresh cladding and new paint, his gaze lingering on the regions of bare scaffolding, wrapped up in plastic, and the odd gaps between buildings that were neatly scraped piles of rubble. The Terrans had done a lot to restore their cities in the last year, but there were still scars. Instead of leaving the wounds bare, the Terrans had decorated the skeletons of their torched cities with paint and ribbons. Cal smiled to himself, there was something infectious about Terran spirit, and Terran resilience. Nowhere else in the universe did people celebrate like they did on Sol.Terra.

The air was hot, too hot for his liking. Cal hunched into his coat; it would keep the worst of the heat off for a short time. A glance at the sun told him that it was nearing evening anyway; he need only wait for Sol to saunter off and take its smothering heat with it. He took a few steps towards the main street and a man in a bright orange vest ran over to him.

“Excuse me, sir, you can’t leave your ship there,” the balding Terran called out.

Cal slipped his badge out of his coat pocket and held it open.

“Oh, sorry, mate.”

Cal passed him, trying to ignore the man’s stare and the piqued interest emanating from him. When he reached the footpath on the street, he was forced to stop to allow a group of Terrans pass. The youths had the blue and green image of their planet painted on their faces. One of the males was shirtless with TERRA written across his chest in blue lettering and a Terran flag tied around his neck like a cape. The group cheered and whooped as they galloped down the street, one of the girls pausing by Cal to throw a handful of silver sprinkles over him. He plucked one of the little stars off his coat.

Cal looked at his scanner again, then started down the street, towards what looked like a parade going past. The entire area was packed with people all rushing around to be part of the activity. Their collective excitement was almost deafening and Cal was forced to close his mind to the psychic assault. He would need to get closer to the Soshan before he could start listening for it, but even then, spotting the one drop of anxiety in a wave of euphoria was going to be a challenge. Of all the days to come here, it had to be Terra Day.

*  *  *

Pia polished a table that was already clean, absently wondering how much longer she had until the end of her shift. Her fellow waitress was equally disengaged.

“Of all the days to be stuck working, it had to be Terra Day,” Amber said, leaning against the window at the front of the cafe, spray bottle of detergent hanging at her side.

“It’s an annual event,” Pia pointed out, wiping down another table, despite the fact no one had sat in it. “You can go next year.”

“Yeah, but it won’t be the same, will it?” she said, looking back over her shoulder at Pia. “This is the first annual Terra Day, you know, after the naming ceremony. Earth has officially been on the intergalactic map for a whole year.”

“You mean Terra has,” Tony added, emerging from the kitchen and looking at them both from over the counter. “You’ve gotta get out of the habit of saying “Earth”, Amber, we don’t want any Off-Worlders coming here and you confusing them.”

“By “Off-Worlders” you mean aliens,” she grinned. “And God knows we could do with a little business from abroad.” She flung her cleaning cloth across the empty cafe. Pia snatched it out of the air and tucked it into her own apron. “Seriously, Tony, why are we even open today? No one’s coming in.”

“Only ‘cause the parade’s on, but you wait, it’s going to go right past here and then we’ll be flooded.”

Tony returned to the kitchen and Amber rolled her eyes at his back.

“We’d better get at least one decent alien in here,” she said, weaving around the tables to Pia’s side and taking back her cloth. “I wanna see a really creepy one, with tentacles or something. Most of them could just be people in costume. How are you supposed to tell?”

“Doesn’t hurt to just ask,” Pia said, taking an empty salt shaker to the counter to be refilled. “Or just check and see if they’re wearing those translator things. They wouldn’t need one unless they were from Off-World.”

Amber nodded and opened her mouth to respond but the sound of drumming and voices cheering drowned her out. Both women turned towards the front of the cafe and Amber darted back to the window, letting out a loud sigh.

“They’re playing the broadcast from the Union rep from Tentarvo,” she called. “We’re missing it.” She turned back to Pia. “Aren’t you even a little bit annoyed?”

Pia shrugged, leaning a hip against one of the tables. “It’s a parade, followed by a pre-recorded message played on a big projector.”

“Of an alien. Don’t you want to see them?”

“Of course I do, but not just because it’s on a screen, or one wanders in for a coffee. I want to see Tentarvo and the other worlds for real, I want to see the whole galaxy.”

“You can’t just up and leave, Pia. It’s not like flying to Europe, you’re talking about another planet.”

Pia pulled her Intergalactic Union passport out of her back pocket and held it up for Amber to see. Her application had been accepted two days before, and she hadn’t let go of the precious document since.

“Now that Terra’s fully registered, I can go anywhere in the IU.”

Amber gave a tiny snort and turned back to the window, leaning her shoulder against the glass. “Well, good luck with that, because working a public holiday to get the time-and-a-half isn’t going to cut it. So unless your mum finds some rich single guy in India and marries you off to him, you’re never going to be able to afford the ticket.”

Pia put the passport away and pulled out her cloth again. “I’ll get the money, somehow. And once I do, I’ll be on the first ship to Tentarvo.”

"Why are you so damn keen to get off world? I mean, sure, aliens, and that's cool and all, but do really want to leave home?"

"So much."

Amber hopped away from the window and a moment later a young couple entered with a child. The little boy, his face painted like the world, was babbling about the parade at top speed and waving his Terra Day balloon. Pia followed the couple to their chosen table with her order tablet.

Tony had been right; within minutes, the cafe filled with celebrators from the parade outside. Pia was running between tables, taking orders, while Amber ran drinks and food out to the customers.

"Pia," Amber hissed, pulling the other girl to her side before she could head out across the floor again with a double shot espresso. “That guy in the corner, the one by himself, I think he’s an alien.”

Pia glanced in the direction Amber had indicated, trying to be subtle. It was the table she was supposed to be taking the espresso to. The man was short, middle aged with terrible fake tan and a beer gut hidden under a lurid Hawaiian shirt.

“Are you sure?” she asked. “He looks pretty ordinary.”

“Yeah, but he’s got a translator. I saw it on a chain around his neck.” Amber turned back to look at him then grabbed Pia’s tray. “I’m going to ask him.”

“What?” Pia grabbed the tray again and held onto it. “You can’t do that.”

“Why not? You’re the one who said it doesn’t hurt.”

“I didn’t mean here, if Tony finds out you’re harassing his customers.”

“Don’t worry,” she tugged the tray from Pia’s grip and batted her eyelashes. “I’ll be polite.”

Pia sucked in a breath and turned back to the cafe door as it swung open again. The man who entered had a face more angular than any she was used too, with a sharp nose and pointed chin and dark brown hair that stuck up in every direction from running his fingers through it too many times. He removed his sunglasses and slipped them into a pocket in his long over-coat.

He must be mad, Pia thought, wearing that coat in this heat.

He was holding something else in his palm, a flat device similar to her tablet. He looked at it then across the cafe, as if searching for someone.

“Can I get you anything?” Pia asked. The man turned quickly to face her. He was very tall; Pia felt like a pixie beside him. Although that wasn’t uncommon, her brother, Harry, had gotten all the tall genes in the family.

“Ice,” he said, turning his face towards the air conditioning vent. “Well, not just ice, something with ice would be good.”

“How about coffee?”

“Does that have ice in it?”

Pia held back a smile. “We can make it with ice.”

“Great, one coffee with ice.”

Pia nodded and tapped Ice Coffee on her tablet. “Take a seat.” As the stranger settled himself at a table, the chain around his neck fell forward slightly against the open collar of his navy-blue shirt, and she caught a glimpse of a small intergalactic psychic translator.

*  *  *

Cal watched the little caramel-skinned waitress who had taken his order disappear back into the kitchen, long, dark braid swinging behind her. He allowed his mind to open a little and began to sieve through the emotions in the small eatery. Most of the people were still buzzing from the day’s events, some eager for the night show to come. No one gave off a vibe that was anxious or wary, but then, if the Soschan thought it was safe, it had no reason to be concerned. Just as Cal was considering ways to prompt the Soschan into revealing itself, a second waitress approached a vibrantly coloured man in the far corner.

“Excuse me,” she said, speaking in a stage whisper that carried across the whole room. “I was just wondering what planet you’re from.”

The orange man looked up at her, small eyes bulging. “I beg your pardon, miss.”

“It’s all right, I’m just curious. We don’t get many aliens.” She no longer pretended to keep her voice down and several of the cafe’s other patrons turned to look in their direction.

“I’m not an Off-Worlder,” he said in a gruff voice, his indignation mingling with her curiosity. “I’m--I’m from the Americas.”

“Americans don’t carry space translators.”

The man’s emotional signature changed from irritated to angry as he pushed himself up from the table. Cal also stood, his hand reaching into his coat for his inhibitor cuffs. Every eye in the cafe was locked on the waitress and the man, but one pair turned to look at Cal, sending towards him a sudden jab of fear.

Cal spun around and met the gaze of a young man, sitting with a Terran woman and a toddler with a painted face. The two stared at each other for a moment. The man launched himself off his chair. Cal lunged for the door, barring the way.

“Jeff, what are you doing?” the woman called, and for a moment the orange man was forgotten.

Cal pulled out his badge. “Intergalactic Union Fugitive Retrieval Department. I’m going to need to see some ID,” he looked to the orange man too. ‘Both of you.”

The man in the floral shirt raised his hands then held up a wallet with an IU passport tucked inside. Cal didn’t bother to examine it more closely, judging by the man’s stature and attempts to dye his skin so it looked more Terran, Cal guessed he was Umberran. Umberra was a Union planet, his presence on Terra was completely legal.

Cal turned his attention back to the second man, who was still facing him.

Cal sensed the Soschan’s fear and anger along with its growing desperation. He didn’t dare reach for his inhibitor cuffs again, lest he provoke it into attacking. The Soschan stared at him. It had already realised Cal wasn’t Terran, but if it guessed correctly what he was, it would know its chances of bluffing its way out were over.

“What’s going on?” the woman asked, her eyes moving between the two and coming to land on Cal. “He’s a Terran! That’s my husband.”

“I’m sorry, ma’am,” Cal said as the Soschan stared at his eyes. Cal felt the realisation click into place in the Soschan’s mind. “But you’re wrong on both counts.”

The Soschan snarled. Its jaw opened farther than any Terran’s could, revealing several rows of pointed teeth. Its skin turned grey and slick as a row of suckers appeared along the insides of its tentacle-like arms. Its eyes popped out onto stalks and its clothes split and slid to the floor as its body swelled and its legs fused together into a thick tail. Several people screamed as the Soschan reared up. Cal pressed his back against the door, wondering if he should try and wrestle with the creature’s tentacle limbs, or just snap his inhibitor cuffs around its eyestalks.

“All right, now hang on a second,” Cal said, as the Soschan roared, spittle flying from its teeth.

“What are you?” The woman bellowed. “Where’s my husband?” Jumping to her feet, she grabbed a small flower vase that was sitting on the table and threw it. The vase hit the Soschan’s spongy side and bounced off, smashing on the floor, its flower skidding under a table. The Soschan rounded on the woman and roared again. Its tail whipped across the cafe as it turned, smacking the tray out of the waitress’s hand and sending iced coffee spraying through the air.

Cal jumped in front of the woman before the Soschan could attack her. It pulled back one tentacle arm and thwacked him in the ribs. Cal was thrown across another table, knocking more plates and glasses onto the floor. He hit the tiles hard, landing on several shards of porcelain but the thick fabric of his coat prevented the sharp edges from cutting him. Slime coated the floor, making movement difficult as people scrambled over the furniture and each other to get away from the Soschan. Cal rolled onto his back and looked up to see the Soschan, its attention now back on him as it loomed above him.

“Hey!”

Both Cal and the Soschan turned to see the small waitress holding a salt shaker. She wrenched the top off it and flung the entire contents of the bottle onto the Soschan’s back.

The creature screamed as its skin bubbled under the salt. Cal clamped his hands onto his temples, barricading his mind against the Soschan’s pain.

The screaming stopped abruptly as the Soschan morphed back into its Terran form and raced out of the cafe. Cal leapt to his feet, ran past the waitress and followed it out onto the street. The light seared his eyes. He grabbed for his glasses, but they had smashed when the Soschan had thrown him across the room. Raising a hand to shield his eyes, Cal pulled out his bioscanner again.

“Wait,” the waitress’s voice called from behind him.

Cal found the Soschan’s signal on the scanner and began running. As he raced through the city, the skyscrapers blocked the light of the low sun and Cal was able to move without being blinded. The streets were even busier now than they had been during the day. Strings of blue and green lanterns were being lit, criss-crossing the street between lamp posts, lighting a path to Observatory Park. Cal’s scanner led him in the same direction, to a park covered with colourful tents and stalls. People clustered around the glittering merchandise and walked away with flags, hats and flashing hairclips. The thick scents of garlic, soy and all things deep fried sat heavy in the air, and the music blaring from the stage left the glass in the observatory windows quivering.

Cal heard a scream from up ahead and raced towards it, pushing through the crowd. He saw the Soschan up ahead, still in its naked Terran form, arms raised against a woman who was beating it with her handbag. Cal ran towards them. The Soschan noticed him and tried to flee, but Cal managed to grab ahold of its slimy wrist. He reached for his inhibitor cuffs to prevent it from changing shape again, but the pocket where he kept them was empty.

The Soschan turned, realising the man who held it was unarmed. Morphing back into its natural form, it wrapped a suckered tentacle around Cal’s neck and roared.

*  *  *

Pia stood in the cafe doorway as the stranger tore off down the street in pursuit of the slug-alien. She looked down at the thing he had dropped, she had snatched it up off the floor as the two Off-Worlders ran out of the cafe. It looked like a pair of handcuffs with green LEDs along them. If the stranger really was with the Union Police, he probably needed them.

Pia pulled off her black apron and tossed it back inside the mess of the shop.

“Pia, where are you going?” Amber, white-faced, ran to the door.

She glanced back and held up the cuffs. “To see an alien.”

Pia began running but she was soon swamped inside the crowd. Unable to see over anyone’s heads, she was forced to push through and just hope she was going in the right direction. She followed the masses towards Observatory Park, where the main events of the evening were to be centered. Climbing onto the side of a small rotunda, Pia managed to get a look over the crowd, but with the sunlight almost completely gone now, it was impossible to pick out either of the Off-Worlders.

A scream drew her attention. She saw a woman bashing a naked man over the head with her handbag. She guessed he had made a grab for her, looking for clothes to cover himself after he’d shredded his other ones.

Pia jumped down off the rotunda and back into the crowd, weaving her way through the packed bodies towards the woman’s shouts. When she finally broke through the crowd, she was standing in a ring that had been cleared around the aliens. The slug monster was back, one of its tentacles coiled around the neck of the man from the cafe.

Pia’s grip on the handcuffs tightened and she ran forwards.

“Hey, slimy, leave him alone.”

The eyestalks swivelled in her direction and the creature balked, releasing its hold and slithering away at an impressive speed. The crowd jumped aside to clear a path for it as it surged through.

Pia ran towards the man, now massaging his throat which had an ugly red sucker mark on it. She knelt down beside him, about to put a hand on his back but stopped herself.

“Are you alright?”

“Fine,” he croaked then turned to look in the direction the slug had run. “It certainly remembered you. What are you doing here?”

“You dropped these.” She held out the handcuffs and he grabbed them, getting to his feet.

“Thanks, you should go,” he said with a hint of an accent that was familiar, but not Australian. He started jogging after the slug, following its slime trail through the crowd.

“I can help you,” she called out, racing along behind him trying to keep up with his longer strides.

“Don’t worry, I can manage.”

“Yes, you’re doing wonderfully so far.”

They came to a stop, the slime trail had dissipated and the crowd had closed in. He looked down at her.

“You didn’t bring any more salt, did you?”

“No.”

“Good. Call me Cal.” He extended a hand.

“Pia Lockheart.” She shook it and he started moving again. “Wait, what was that thing?” She hurried after him.

“Shape changer from the planet Enda.Soscha,” Cal answered back over his shoulder.

“Never heard of it.”

“You wouldn’t have, they were kicked out of the Union.”

“Why?”

“They wouldn’t stop killing people.”

Pia stopped, then forced herself to keep moving before she lost Cal. “Does that mean that man, the woman’s real husband, is he...”

“Dead,’ Cal finished, “Soschans drain their victims and then become them. He would have killed the rest of the family eventually.”

“Do you really work for the Union?” she asked as Cal came to a stop again and pulled a device out of his pocket.

“Yes,” he said, keeping his eyes on the small screen as he turned slowly.

“Is that thing going to find the Soschan?”

“Not in this crowd,” he put it back in his pocket. “Too much interference.”

“So how do we find it?”

Cal continued to turn on the spot until a singing hiss drew both their gazes. A red light shot up into the sky and exploded with a resonating boom into a ball of coloured sparks. The crowd cheered and three more fireworks were launched into the sky.

“The fireworks, where are they coming from?” Cal asked quickly.

“The Observatory tower,” Pia answered, pointing in the direction of the old stone building.

Cal started running again and Pia raced along in his wake, letting him clear a path through the masses for both of them.

“What’s wrong with the fireworks?” she called out.

“It’s the noise,” he shouted back over the next boom. “Soschan’s are attracted to vibrations, that’s why it came here in the first place, it followed the music.”

The sound of cheering became screaming as Pia and Cal reached another wall of people around the base of the building. Event organisers in orange vests pushed people back from the Observatory where a giant slug was pawing at the stone wall, trying to heave its body up the brick surface. Even using its tentacles for aid, the Soschan couldn’t climb the building. Its soft body reared up, only to slide back down again.

“The gravity on Soscha is a lot less,” Cal said to her quickly. “That’s why they take Terran forms, they can’t survive here in their own bodies for long.”

Police officers in blue hats and flak jackets surrounded the Soschan, guns raised as they shouted orders. Their voices went unheard over the booming pyrotechnics display.

Cal looked at the armed officers and shoved his way forward. An orange vested official tried to hold him back, but Cal flashed his badge again and ducked under the official’s arm with Pia right behind him.

“Stop, stop. Don’t shoot it,” he called.

One of the police officers spun around, pointing his weapon at Cal instead.

“Behind the line,” the officer shouted. Cal held up his badge again.

“IU Fugitive Retrieval. Sorry, officer, I’m afraid I get first dibs on this one.”

Another officer moved closer to the Soschan, barking at it to get away from the Observatory wall. The slug ignored him. The officer nudged the creature with the tip of his gun and it screeched, lashing out with a tentacle and batting the officer into the air. He flew back and crashed into the wall of onlookers.

The other police began shouting again, both hands on their weapons.

“Don’t shoot,” Cal ordered again.

“It’s attacking us,” an officer bit back.

“Because it’s in pain,” Cal snapped.

Pia looked up at the Soschan, its basic physiology looked the same as any terrestrial gastropod. That was what had prompted her to grab the salt in the first place. In the flashing light of the fireworks and torches, she saw an ugly burn mark on the creature’s back where most of the salt hit it.

Pia glanced to her left and right and saw two people carrying bucket sized sodas. She snatched the drinks from their hands, ignoring their cries and squeezed the cardboard cups to make the tops pop off. Then she raced forwards and emptied both vessels onto the Soschan’s skin.

It yelped, but the cry was one of relief, not pain. The Soschan pulled back off the brick wall and slumped down onto the grass, momentarily placated.

Cal stepped up to Pia’s side and glanced down at her with a smile. “Nice work, Pia Lockheart.” Raising his handcuffs, he clipped the two halves together. Opening it into one large cuff, he placed it against the Soschan’s middle. Green lights flashed along the metal and a glowing strip extended around the creature’s body, locking the cuff in place. “Inhibitor cuff,” he said in answer to her questioning look. “It will prevent it changing shape again.” Then he turned his attention back to the Soschan. “You are being placed under the arrest of the Intergalactic Union on pending charges of murder, assault, and the unauthorised breaching of Union borders. If you have anything to say in your defence, save it for Tentarvo.”

Cal turned his back and began walking. This time the orange and blue officials lent their aid in clearing a path. Pia thought for a moment that Cal was simply going to leave the Soschan behind, but as he reached a distance of about five metres, a green light on his wrist flashed, repeated by the lights on the inhibitor cuff and the Soschan seemed to be yanked forward a step. Rather than struggle, the slug turned and began crawling along after him.

Pia watched them until both Cal and the Soschan were out of sight. Her hand went to her pocket where the hard corners of her passport jutted through the tight denim.

“Wait,” she called and ran after them. She emerged back onto the main street and looked left and right, but neither Cal nor the Soschan were visible.

The orange glow from the street lamps lit up a silvery line across the pavement, heading towards the docks. Using the Soschan’s slime trail as her guide, Pia ran down the street to the where the crowd thinned near the marine watch tower. The sound of water slapping the docks carried across to her on a salty breeze. In a small grassy reserve, behind a children’s playground, she spied Cal, leading the Soschan towards a compact shuttle that looked like the sliced off nose of an airplane.

“Wait,” Pia called again, jumping down onto the grass. Cal paused and looked back, his eyebrow lifting when he saw her.

“Did I forget something else?”

“Yeah, me.”

He looked at her again, a mix of curiosity and puzzlement on his face.

“You’re going to Tentarvo,” she said. Cal nodded. “Take me with you.”

“You’re serious,” he said after a moment, his eyes evaluating her.

“Completely. Take me with you.”

“No.” He turned back towards the shuttle. “The only passengers who get on my ship are wearing inhibitor cuffs.” He nodded to the Soschan as he spoke.

“You wouldn’t even have your prisoner if I hadn’t helped you. Come on, I just need a lift. I have a passport.” She pulled it out to show him. “Now I just need a ride.”

“What are you running from?” he asked, looking back at her.

“Nothing.”

Cal shook his head. “No one opts to leave their home planet without so much as packing a bag unless they’re running from something.”

“Will you take me or not?”

He stared at her for a long moment before giving a shrug and turning back to the shuttle. “All right.”

“What? Really?” Pia stared at him, wide-eyed.

“Yes.” He glanced back. “Now come on, before Luna gets in the way.” As he spoke, his gaze flicked up to the moon and, in the silver light, his eyes suddenly lit up.

“Your eyes are glowing,” Pia said, but Cal turned and ducked inside the shuttle.

“No they’re not,” he called back as first the Soschan and then Pia followed him into the cramped pod.

“I’m telling you, they are.”

Cal looked directly at her, his face less than a meter away. His eyes now had returned to their usual brown.

“They’re reflective, they don’t glow.”

Pia edged her way into the cockpit, keeping her back pressed against the curved white wall to leave as much space between her and the oozing Soschan as possible. Cal edged around the floorspace and sat in a chair facing a command console that was all buttons and lights.

“What, like a cat’s eyes?” she asked, grabbing the back of the only other chair and swinging herself into it. She twisted around to keep one eye on the Soschan, but it hadn’t moved and Cal didn’t seem at all concerned about it.

“Like a what? Oh, a cat, yes, I suppose so.”

He flicked a series of switches and held down a button for three seconds until it beeped. The word Return appeared on the screen and Pia felt the thrum of engines through the shuttle’s body. It took her a moment to realise that the lights visible outside the window were getting further away.

Pia leaned forward in her seat to peer out the window and watched Sydney spread out under her. A light feeling bubbled in her stomach. She had actually done it, she was on her way to Tentarvo. And from there, to the rest of the galaxy.

“That pleased, ay?” Cal asked and she turned to see he was watching her with that curious look again.

Pia sank back into her chair and stared at him instead, noting again that hint of an accent.

“How come you have a Scottish accent?” she asked.

Cal shrugged. “I could ask you the same question.”

“I don’t,” she laughed, “I’m Australian.”

“Well how would I know? You’re speaking perfect Lomar as far as I can tell.”

“Lomar? Oh, right,” she looked at the chain around his neck again, “intergalactic translators work psychically. Well if it’s psychic, why is your accent Scottish?”

“Do you like Scottish accents?”

“My dad’s Scottish.”

“Great, no, that’s weird, I’m not your father.”

“I know that.”

“Good.” Cal nodded once and pressed another button on the console.

The screen readout changed to Docking in Progress. A small ding followed shortly after. Cal leapt up from his seat and slid past the Soschan, hitting a button on the far wall. A large section of the shuttle floor, under the Soschan, angled downwards, forming a ramp that led into a wide cabin.

“In you go,” Cal said and the Soschan slid down into the hold, leaving a thick mucus trail behind. Cal’s nose scrunched up as he looked at it.

“This is why I hate picking up Soschans,” he said, pressing another button to close the shuttle floor off again. A moment later, his gaze flicked back up to Pia, who had tentatively risen from her seat. “And in you go, Miss Lockheart.” He pressed another button and the back wall of the cabin split and opened up to reveal the command deck of a much larger ship.

Cal stepped back and held an arm out, guiding Pia through onto the deck. The entire cabin was lit with a soft, amber glow, which reflected off the polished white walls and floor. Three small steps led up to the main deck, where another console was spread out and black windows stretched above her, revealing the night sky and all the stars she had ever bothered to learn the names of. She wouldn’t be seeing those stars again for a while, at least not from that view.

“Welcome aboard,” Cal said, stepping inside and closing off the shuttle behind him. “This is a Tentarvin Starhunter, Stingray class, designation Raden.”

“Stingray class?” Pia turned to look back at him. “If it’s a Tentarvin ship, why’s it named after a Terran animal?”

Cal looked at her with confusion. “It isn’t. Oh, translator,” he pulled the chain out from under his collar and held the silver disc up to her. “It’s picked up a foreign word and given you the Terran equivalent. That will happen sometimes, particularly with nouns, and some phrases. Best to just go with it.”

Pia nodded and let her gaze wander around the ship again.

“Make yourself comfortable.” Cal slid into one of the moulded chairs in front of the console array. “Gravity level is set similar to Terra, but you might feel some g-forces as we pull away from the planet. If you’re going to be sick, there’s a bathroom behind you, to the left.”

Pia hurried to another chair and sat down, looking for some sort of seat belt, but Cal didn’t seem to be wearing one. She turned her attention instead to the vista beyond. The west coast of Australia was just visible below them. To the right of it, the dark swath of the Tasman Sea. The nose of the ship angled upwards and Australia disappeared. Pia felt as if she was being pushed down into her seat. The feeling was like taking off in an airplane, only much more sudden.

“Once we get out of the atmosphere, we can zip over to the local gate. Got your passport?”

Pia scrabbled to pull her passport out of her pocket and clutched it in both hands. Within minutes, they had cleared Terra’s atmosphere and the ship lurched forwards. The local gate, a huge ring sitting in perpetual orbit above the American Union, appeared before them. A holographic image of a woman’s face materialised on the ship’s window, above the console.

“Starhunter, designation Raden. You are carrying three life forms,” The hologram announced in a monotone voice. “Please provide evidence of authority to travel, and enter your destination.”

Cal nodded to Pia and then to a glowing panel on the console. Pia leaned forward and placed her open passport face down on the scanner. After a moment, it flashed blue.

“Pia Lockheart, authorised,” the hologram stated.

Pia’s heart stuttered and she clenched her hands to stop them shaking.

Cal, grinning slightly, lay his badge over the sensor next. It flashed blue again and he tapped a few extra keys below it.

“Callinoe Darros and prisoner, authorised. Destination selected, designation Eadilon.Tentarvo. You are now cleared to travel. The Intergalactic Union wishes you a safe trip.”

The hologram vanished and Cal turned to her, eyebrows raised and a smirk tugging at his lips.

“Are you ready to leave home, Pia Lockheart?”

Pia looked at the giant gate, pulsing faintly, waiting to carry them to the other side of the galaxy. She turned back to Cal and let her own smile, too timid to come out before now, spread across her face.

She nodded. “Let’s go.”

Following a devastating attack by the Agroaki Battle Fleet, planet Earth finally agrees to ally itself with the Intergalactic Union and becomes known across the universe as designation Sol.Terra.

Pia, a Terran girl, desperate to get off-world, bargains her way onto a Union bounty hunter’s ship to get a ride across the galaxy.

Cal, the ship’s pilot, from the planet Lomara, isn’t so keen on rounding up illegal immigrants as he is trying to uncover the biological link that connects more than half the Union’s registered species', including humans.

Together the pair discover that the secrets of life in the universe go far deeper than either could have imagined. 

Sol.Terra The Cafe by C-A-Harland

Episode 2: The Pitted World

Also read this story on Wattpad


Get involved. 

Have an idea or suggestion for a place, race or adventure? Send it through and take part in the evolution of Sol.Terra.


Edit
Thanks to JuanMilagro, sd-campbell and hazel-thorne for their help with editing.

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Chapter One
Han


  I enter the cockpit and take a seat next to Leia. She seems oblivious to my presence. Curse her pride. I open my mouth to talk, but no sounds come out. My mouth goes dry, and I feel myself go pale. Here she is, the bossiest, stubborn, high-maintenance girl I've ever met. Yet, I know that she's also the smartest, fearless and most beautiful. And I completely screwed up.
  Tell her how you feel! A voice in my head screams. I stifle a snort. Yeah, and have her laugh in my face? No thanks.
  Wait, but what about our encounter in the circuitry bay? I thought we patched things up. I mean, she kissed back.
  "One kiss doesn't fix everything, Solo." She says dully, breaking the silence, as if reading my mind. She continues to stare blankly forward, he teeth tightly clenched, and eyes hollow. This Leia...it's not even Leia. It's the Rebel leader, the princess, filled with nothing but anger. I let my mind wander off for a second. I wonder how she was before the days of the war. She probably was the same; she did join the Imperial Senate at only sixteen.
  "It should." I grunt, silently cursing myself for the snide remark. I shift awkwardly in my chair, thinking of something to say.
  Finally, she turns to look at me, her gaze hard, emotionless. "Captain, one kiss does not let me forget all the trouble you put me through the past three years."
  I raise my eyebrows at her, putting my hands on my chest. "Me? Caused you trouble?" I stutter, using that innocent/hurt tone I know she hates. "I don't think I'm the only one, Your Worshipfulness. Does the garbage compacter ring a bell?"
  "I saved your sorry behind back then, Solo," Leia jabs a delicate finger at my chest, "Would you rather have been shot by those Stormtroopers?"
  "I think I'd rather be shot than become...a lot thinner, you could say." I grin.
  The princess surprises me by grabbing my blaster from the holster on my thigh and shoves the butt against my temple. "I can make that happen." She says seductively into my ear.
  I let a chuckle escape. "You wouldn't." I don't say the 'because the way you feel about me' part, but I know she knows it's implied.
  "Try me, flyboy." The princess snarls, and I wince as she presses it harder against my temple.
  Fine, I'll play along. "Let's not be too hasty," I begin, trying to hold back my sarcasm. I let out a sigh of defeat after making her wait for a few moments. "Alright, what would fix things between us?"
  Her face pales, obviously shocked; I know that she expected a tease or sarcastic remark. Hell, I was even expecting myself to say one.
  Leia drops the blaster, backing away, and it lands on the floor with a soft bang. "An apology," She croaks, more towards the floor than to me.
  "I'm sorry," I say, surprised at my sincerity.
  The princess swallows and nods her head, still looking at the floor. "I'm going to bed," She whispers, and my hearts breaks as I realize she's trying to hold back tears. "Goodnight, Han."
  And just like that...she's gone.
  "Sweet dreams, Leia." I call, the sound echoing in the empty cockpit. Gods, why does she always leave me like this?
  I'll talk to her tomorrow. I swear I will.
  Well, if she plans to cooperate.

  I enter the cockpit several hours later, after working on the control system with Chewie. Stupid hunk of junk...
  I sit on my bunk and pull off my boots, tossing them aside. I'm about to take off my shirt, but I catch a glimpse of the sleeping princess.
  Gods, she's beautiful. And she looks so peaceful in her sleep. All of the hardness and bitterness in her eyes and face...gone.She's even more beautiful tonight, clutching the sheets up to her chin, a relaxed expression on her face, her hair splayed all over the pillow.
  I walk up to her and kneel before her, gently stroking her cheek, I hear her mutter something in her sleep. I can't make it out, but she repeats it, this time much clearer.
  "My Han..."
  I smile softly, and kiss her forehead. "My Leia..."       
Sorry it took so long to upload :(
Yeah, yeah, I know, Star Wars stories aren't usually written in the present, nor in the first person, but I write better that way. So deal with it. :P
I really like how this turned out :D And yes, I had to end this chapter on a sappy note. What can I say? I'm a sucker for Han and Leia fluff, okay? :iconprincessleiaplz: and :iconhansoloplz: were made for each other! :meow:
I'll get the next chapter out sooner, I promise. It was just my stupid midterms that slowed me down... :-X
Anyways, enjoy! :blowkiss:
Prologue: [link]
Chapter One: Here
Chapter Two: :iconloadplz:
EDIT: :iconranma-trekkie: gave me a suggestion for Leia to take Han's blaster instead, so I changed it! :aww: Thanks!
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  • Kingdom
    • Phylum
      • Class
        • Order
          • Family
            • Genus
              • Species
                • Subspecies
  • Animalia (Animals)
    • Chordata (Vertebrates)
      • Xenosauria (Dragons)
        • Calidraco (Warm Dragons)
          • Pennadracidae (Feathered Dragons)
            • Avidraco (Bird Dragons)
              • senas (Six-eye Dragon)
            • Pennadraco (Feathered Dragons)
            • Pennaserpens (Feathered Serpents)
          • Rhenadracidae (Furry Dragons)
            • Rhenadraco (Furry Dragons)
            • Rhenoserpens (Furry Serpents)
              • sangan (Three-eyed Bloodscratch Dragon)
        • Neradraco (Water Dragons)
          • Aquadracidae (Aquatic Dragons)
            • Salocean (Saltwater Dragons)
              • crystallis (Crystal Dragon)
            • Aquatios (Freshwater Dragons)
          • Amphidracidae (Amphibious Dragons)
            • N/A
              • aquus (Water Dragon)
        • Squamadraco (Scaled Dragons)
          • Occidentidae (Western Dragons)
            • Bipeda (Two-legged Western Dragons)
              • chioni (Frost Dragon)
              • wyvere (Wyverns)
            • Tetrapa (Four-legged Western Dragons)
              • aureo (Gold Dragon)
              • fortis (Mega Dragon)
              • glaciictum (Ice-Breathing Dragon)
              • inferna (Hell Dragon)
              • montis (Mountain Dragon)
                • rex (Mountain King Dragon)
              • rufus (Red Dragon)
              • umbra (Black Dragon)
              • ventum (Royal Green Dragon)
              • veridis (Green Dragon)
            • Minimi (Small Dragons)
              • parvicaesitus (Blue Messenger Dragon)
              • parvirudilus (Red Messenger Dragon)
            • Fundati (Flightless Western Dragons)
              • quantus (Aura Dragon)
          • Orientalidae (Eastern Dragons)
            • Caeluserpens (Sky Serpents)
              • murasaki (Purple Dragon)
              • pyrkagiás (Asian Fire Dragon)
              • regia (Royal Gold Dragon)
              • ultralucidum (Lightning Dragon)
            • Dracoserpens (Dragon Serpents)
      • Aves (Birds)
        • Falconiformes (Diurnal Birds of Prey)
          • Accipitridae (Hook-Billed Birds)
            • Anticuus (Elemental Birds)
              • igneus (Phoenixes)
              • fulmen (Thunderbirds)
      • Mammalia (Mammals)
        • Carnivora (Carnivores)
          • N/A
            • Inferi (Dead)
              • obsideo (Dark Beasts)
          • Canidae (Canines)
            • Vulpes (Foxes)
              • incendia (Firefoxes)
          • Mustelidae (Mustelids)
            • Mustela (Weasels)
              • glacies (Arctic Weasels)
        • Perissodactyla (Odd-Toed Ungulates)
          • Coelequidae (Higher Equines)
            • Pennalus (Winged Equines)
              • pegasus (Pegasi)
              • pennalus
            • Ceri (Horned Equines)
              • unicornu (Unicorns)
              • monoceros
        • Primates (Primates)
          • Homonidae (Homonids)
            • Homo (Humans)
              • sapiens (Modern Humans)
              • brevis (Dwarves)
              • eucharis (Elves)
              • elementum (Elementals and Fortes)
                • lycans (Werecreatures)
              • pellicius (Anthros)
                • latrans (Coyote Anthros)
                • lotor (Common Raccoon Anthros)
                • lupis (Grey Wolf Anthros)
                • macroura (Hooded Skunk Anthro)
                • pardus (Leopard Anthros)
                • vulpes (Red Fox Anthros)
          • Volae
            • Velox (Fisors)
              • cornu (Horned Fisors)
      • Miscera (Polyzygotic Animals)
        • N/A
          • N/A
            • Gryphi (Griffins)
              • ecus (Hippogryph)
              • pythos (Snake-Tailed Griffins)
              • ornis (Lion Griffins)
Superorders not included in the above list are Endosanguineis (Warm-Blooded Dragons), located between Xenosauria and Calidraco, containing only Calidraco; and Ectosanguineis (Cold-Blooded Dragons), located between Xenosauria and Neradraco, containing Neradraco and Squamadraco.
Subfamiles not included in the above list are Aliforminae (Winged Western Dragons), located between Occidentalidae and Bipeda, containing Bipeda, Tetrapa, and Minimi; and Fundatinae (Wingless Western Dragons), located between Occidentalidae and Fundati, containing only Fundati.


IMPORTANT! - This deviation is not currently up to date. I will update it with the new information when I have more time.

So I got both bored and inspired a few months ago and decided to go ahead and put this little bit of work together. I did a buttload of research online and couldn't find a single reasonably well-though out taxonomical list that featured mythical animals like dragon, phoenixes, anthros, etc. J.R.R. Tolkien constructed one, but it had a real weak taxonomy tree, consisting of only two branches and only including dragons (This one can be found here). Various questions on Yahoo! Answers include somewhat reasonable trees ("What would the scientific classification for a 'dragon' be?"). Another one I found had a little more flesh on its bone, including the class Xenosauria, which is also used in this taxonomy tree. It had a reasonable amount of influence over this tree, but unfortunately, I cannot seem to find it at the moment as I have used three different computers since then, but I will be sure update these author's comments with the link once I find it. Another good resource, which I found just recently, is a 38-page online document called The Evolution and Classification of the Dragon. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to place the official dragon taxonomical rank further than Family.
This one, however, reaches much further back and includes more mythical creatures than just dragon. I do realize that this tree is nowhere near even beginning, but it's a start and can still be used efficiently to anyone who needs the scientific term for a dragon or other mythical creature they have created (such terms can be added upon request if they do not currently appear here).

Upcoming:
  • Basilisks
  • Nagas
  • Mermaids
  • Centaurs


When you make request for the taxonomy of an unlisted creature, please include a picture to use as a reference for my convenience, as there are literally tens or even hundreds of different species for certain mythological creatures.

EDITS:
  1. 2.1.11 - I removed all the real-life animals except humans. Mustela glacies is not real animal, though they are very closely related to Mustela nivalis. Remember that some of these are my own creations. You might expect drawings of these sometimes in the future, but probably not the near future.


CHANGES: (In chronological order)
  • New Species
    • Caeluserpens pyrkagiás (Asian Fire Dragon)
    • Bipeda wyvere (Wyverns)
    • Anticuus fulmen (Thunderbirds)
    • Pennalus pegasus (Pegasi)
    • Ceri unicornu (Unicorns)
    • Gryphi ecus (Hippogryphs)
    • Gryphi pythos (Snake-Tailed Gryphons)
    • Gryphi ornis (Lion Gryphons)
  • Moved Species
    • Homo elementum lycans (Werecreatures)


  • This list is copyright to ~dehydromon, with the help of supporting websites. While permission is not required for the use of sections of this list, credit must be included within the artist's comments of the deviation the term is used in.
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Hanabi followed after her Master hurriedly, catching up to him as he walked briskly through the halls of the Imperial Palace.
“You made her mad again.” she stated worriedly.
The Grand Inquisitor said nothing as she followed after him and so she pressed further.
“You could try being gentler.”
“Why?” he asked somberly. “It won't do her any good.”
“But it will at least show that you care!” protested Hanabi as they continued. “She thinks you've completely abandoned who you used to be!”
The Grand Inquisitor snorted in apparent amusement. “Oh? And who are you referring to?”
“Kahan.” she stated candidly.
He froze in mid-stride, coming to a stop. Hanabi stopped as well, feeling her heart race as he turned to look at her, his blue gaze boring into her silvery eyes.
“What have I told you about using that name?”
“It's who you are!” Hanabi said defiantly.
“No, it's who I was.” he replied coolly, turning on his heel and continuing forwards. “You'd do well to remember that.”
“Denying yourself isn't going to solve anything!” Hanabi shouted at his retreating back. "You need to remember who you are!”
He stopped and she felt his presence pry its way inside of her mind despite her attempts to stop it.
I do. His voice chilled her heart. I am the Grand Inquisitor. And it is you that needs to remember who you are: you are my subordinate. Your opinions are only needed when I ask for them.
With that, he left her standing here, staring at his back as he went to meet with the man who had orchestrated the destruction of all they' known and even loved...and sometimes, to Hanabi at least, it seemed as if Kahan didn't care that everything they'd had had been destroyed.
So in the AU, I never really mentioned Hanabi because I didn't know what to do with her...and I still don't really.

This is a continuation from this earlier scene: slingblade87.deviantart.com/ar…

This is very early on in the AU's inception, first few months after the end of the Clone Wars etc etc and Hanabi is still running around...sadly though I seriously doubt her ability to survive in the New Order and ultimately I think she'd be killed either by the Empire or even perhaps the Jedi she is required to hunt...actually that gives me an awful idea...hopefully BrET13 can forgive me for having it!
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Commandant Aira-ty Nokta watched as the Jedi captive took another solid punch in the jaw from her Storm Commandos. This wasn't her first interrogation, in the past months since the fall of the Republic and the formation of the Galactic Empire she'd conducted dozens of these interrogations on Jedi and other enemies of the Empire. This was just like any other.
With another blow to the woman's gut, Aira-ty walked forwards, her men stepping aside, one of them lifting the Jedi's head up by her fur to meet her gaze.
“This doesn't have to continue.” Aira-ty said gently, looking into the bothan's eyes. “Tell us what we want to know, and we'll end this.”
The bothan's eyes blazed defiantly as she gazed at Aira-ty hatefully, her jaw remaining shut.
“Keep it up, but don't break her jaw. We need her to talk.” Aira-ty said with a sigh as she stepped back again and let the pair of Storm Commandos resume their ministrations as she leaned against the wall and continued to watch.
The door to the interrogation chamber opened. Aira-ty glanced towards it with disinterest at first but then she stiffened, standing up straight as the Grand Inquisitor stepped into the room and glanced in her direction.
“Grand Inquisitor.” she said respectfully, bowing her head tensely.
“Has she told you anything?” he inquired, looking at the two Storm Commandos who had stepped away from the prisoner and stood at respectful attention.
“Negative.” Aira-ty answered curtly.
The Grand Inquisitor sighed and turned towards the bothan, a thin smile appearing on his features.
“Ah, Belona, how nice to see you again.”
The bothan Jedi's eyes were wide and fearful. “You.”
“Oh, you recognize me?”
She nodded with evident dread. “You traitor, you and all the rest!”
The Grand Inquisitor chuckled as he approached her, his silvery hair glinting in the interrogation chamber's lights.
“Traitor?” he inquired almost playfully. “I don't recall the Jedi liking me very much in the first place.”
“No matter how hard you try, you can never destroy the Jedi.” blurted the bothan. She didn't sound too convinced in Aira-ty's mind.
“Oh I beg to differ.” the Grand Inquisitor said. “We're getting very good at wiping you out.”
“You and all the rest of your traitor scum!” snarled the bothan in a sudden fit of anger.
The Grand Inquisitor smiled wickedly. “You could join us you know, that is part of my purview under the New Order.” he leaned down and touched the bothan Jedi's cheek. “Just tell me what I want to know, and you can become one of my inquisitors.”
She snapped at him, her teeth gnashing viciously as her jerked his fingers away from her sharp canines. She settled for spitting in his face.
Aira-ty's blood went cold as she watched the Grand Inquisitor stand there like a statue for a moment before he wiped the spittle off his features with an almost bored expression, his blue eyes staring intently at the prisoner.
“Oh, very well.” he said, loosening the collar of his black robes. “If you will not join us, nor tell us what we want to know.” he leaned in close again, his expression creepily serene as his blue eyes glistened with power. “Then I will rip the information from your mind.”
Aira-ty watched the fear creep across the Jedi's features as the Grand Inquisitor invaded her mind. It wasn't the first time Aira-ty had seen this display, but it still unsettled her how easily he pressed into the minds of others. The man she'd fallen in love with, the Jedi General Kahan, would ever have violated the sanctity of another being's mind so violently as this and it only served as further evidence that the man the Grand Inquisitor had once been was long gone. She supposed that after killing Guo-Jia, there was no doubt of what he'd become...or for that matter, what she'd become. Her skin began to crawl as the Jedi began to twitch and convulse, her eyes locked with the Grand Inquisitor's in a deadly staring contest. Then with a sudden twitching, blood began to ooze from the bothan's nostrils, her eyes rolling into her head as her mouth began to foam and she slumped in the chair. She remained upright, the bonds that had confined her to the chair keeping her upright even in death.
The Grand Inquisitor stood up and turned to Aira-ty with a creepy smile. “Well, that takes care of that. See to the details Commandant.”
As he left, Aira-ty let out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding and turned towards her men. It was impossible to tell how they felt about what they'd just seen with their helmets on but they were standing stiffly at attention as she nodded at the body sitting in the chair in its own fluids.
“Clean this up.” she said tersely before turning and following the Grand Inquisitor.
She found him standing with one of his inquisitors, a miraluka Dark Jedi who turned his blind gaze towards Aira-ty as she joined them before looking back to the Grand Inquisitor.
“Inform Skywalker that I have the information he requires.” the Grand Inquisitor said.
“At once my Lord.” the miraluka said with a bow, before turning to leave.
The Grand Inquisitor now turned his gaze on Aira-ty. “Commandant, how can I help you?”
“Was that really necessary?” she asked.
He raised an eyebrow. “It accomplished the task at hand.”
Her eyes narrowed. “It was unnecessary, I could have gotten the information.”
“It would have taken longer, and Skywalker wants the information.” the Grand Inquisitor smiled. “He's rather insistent, and I didn't think you wanted to deal with him.”
Aira-ty's temper chilled. “He was going to come here in person?”
The Grand Inquisitor's smile broadened. “You see Commandant? I did you a favor.”
Aira-ty didn't feel as if she'd been done a favor. She felt like she'd been given a choice between a sand panther and a pit viper.
Further conversation was cut short as Hanabi joined them. The Grand Inquisitor's aide glanced at Aira-ty for a brief moment before looking back to him.
“Master, the Emperor wishes to speak with you.”
The Grand Inquisitor sighed. “Very well,” he smiled again at Aira-ty as his voice echoed in her mind. You're welcome Commandant.
And with that, he turned and left the pair of them there. Hanabi stood for a moment, looking at Aira-ty almost apologetically before turning and following her master. Leaving Aira-ty standing alone and trembling with rage.
So, most of this AU has remained private, but since BrET13 has started doing some additional drawings of the characters from it I find that it would be mean of me to keep the scenes that she has inspired off of dA.

Enjoy.

If you don't know who owns the rights to Star Wars you need to come out from under your rock.

The scene is continued briefly here: slingblade87.deviantart.com/ar…
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“NO!” Kahan shouted as the saber sank into Hanabi's stomach.
He split his blades and slashed his way through the militiamen between himself and Hanabi just in time to throw his blades aside and catch her as she fell, a look of utter shock on her face.
“M—Master...it hurts....” she murmured weakly.
Kahan nodded gently, barely in control of the emotions raging within him.
“Just hang on a moment, hold on Hanabi.” he brought his com online. “Sly! Get back to my ship and get Triage!”
“Sir?” the clone trooper asked in confusion.
“DO IT NOW TROOPER! Hanabi is hurt!”
Sly didn't ask again, severing the link as Kahan ran his hand over Hanabi's pained features.
“It'll be okay.”
She nodded, trying to smile.
“D—don't worry Master...I—I think I'm going to be alright.” she winced, clenching her teeth and smiled at him. “Promise me something?” she murmured as her eyelids fluttered weakly.
“I'll consider it.” he replied gently.
She smiled. “That's just like you...you never commit...hnn!...to anything.” she forced her eyes open and she looked at him with a gentle smile. “Don't—don't leave Aira-ty alone...you two...are good toge—“ her eyes widened for a moment, and then rolled up into her head as they closed and her face went slack.
“Hanabi?” Kahan whispered. “Hanabi?” he shook her gently. “HANABI!” he shouted, clenching his eyes against the tears that tried to force themselves past his eyes.
Silence hung in the air, save for the rippling roll of thunder as the clouds began to darken.
Conradin looked at the Master holding his apprentice and finally spoke gently.
“I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean to...I was only defending myself.”
Kahan laid Hanabi's body down and stood, turning towards Conradin, his face shadowed by his hair.
“You're sorry?” he said darkly, he raised his face, his blue eyes blazing angrily. “YOU'RE SORRY!?”
Conradin took a step back. Why did he sound so loud? For that matter, why did he seem to grow in size? What was happening here?
“Please,” he tried cautiously. “Just take her, and your men, and withdraw...I don't want anyone else to be hurt.”
Kahan's face twisted in a snarl. “You don't know the meaning of hurt you Separatist brat,” he gazed at Conradin viciously. “Believe me, you're about to learn.”
Conradin tried to speak again but shouted suddenly, dropping his saber and clutching at his head. It felt like a nest of vipers had sunk their fangs into his skull.
“You're a good duelist,” Kahan said as he strode forwards, walking around Conradin as he knelt on the ground. “And a decent hand when it comes to telekinesis, something I've never mastered.” he knelt down and grabbed Conradin's hair, yanking his head back and gazing into his eyes. “But when it comes to the mind, you are nothing compared to me.” he smiled wickedly. “I am going to break you.”
Conradin tried to resist, tried to use the techniques he'd learned from Dooku but Kahan's assault swatted them aside as if they were nothing. He tried raising stronger barriers but Kahan battered through them with the force of a turbolaser and suddenly Conradin's mind was fully exposed.
“I will not spare you.” Kahan said in a disturbingly calm voice as he stood up, watching Conradin writhe and twist on the ground in agony. “You accuse the Jedi of being evil, of being corrupt, allow me to show you just how evil we can be.”
Aira-ty shook her head as she got to her feet. Her mind was spinning dizzily, she felt like she'd been drinking all night long. That was when she noticed the screaming. What in space was—she spied Kahan standing over the enemy commander who was convulsing on the ground as if he were being electrocuted though nothing was touching him. Then she spied Kahan's face and felt a tickling of fear. He looked terrifying...like he was going to murder someone. Even when Hanabi had been kidnapped he hadn't looked that—Hanabi! Her eyes focused on the limp girl's form and suddenly she realized what must have happened while she was unconscious.
“This,” Kahan said coldly. “Is what you fear.”
Her eyes focused on him again and she cringed as a fresh scream escaped from the enemy commander's lips. She couldn't stand by and watch him torture someone like this. She stood and rushed towards him, stifling the terror that his expression brought forth in her mind as she wrapped her arms around his torso and pressed her face against his back.
“STOP! KAHAN STOP IT!” she shouted. “This isn't you!”
Conradin stopped screaming as the pain receded, his mind going blank as he lost consciousness, now released from the grip of Kahan's mind.
Aira-ty stepped back as Kahan turned towards her, a look of surprise on his face.
“Aira-ty?”
She reached up and touched his cheek. “I'm right here...you still in there General?”
He blinked slowly, shaking his head. “I—he—“ he looked away. “I'm here.”
“Good.” she said quietly, licking her lips and then giving in as she wrapped her arms around him again. “Don't ever do that again...you frightened me.”
Kahan said nothing for a moment as he ran a hand through her hair, closing his eyes and leaning against her.
“Hanabi is—“
“She's fine boss.”
Both of them turned to find Triage and Sly standing over Hanabi's body.
“Say what?” Aira-ty asked. “There's a hole in her stomach!”
“I don't know her species,” Sly said quietly. “But—“
“—her body excretes a natural healing solution.” Triage provided simply. “She's healing herself.”
Kahan paused and looked at Hanabi's limp form for a moment with a frown.
“She's not dead?”
“No, she'll recover sir.” Triage assured him.
Aira-ty watched as Kahan turned his eyes back to the collapsed enemy commander pensively.
“You didn't go that far.” she said, instantly reading what he was thinking.
He took a deep breath. “But I wanted to.” he sighed heavily. “I wanted to....” he looked back to Aira-ty. “You stopped me.”
She smiled, running a hand through her hair as she looked away nervously. “Yeah, well you were pretty scary there for a moment...I didn't know if I could stop you.”
His gaze was strange now as he put a hand on her shoulder.
“Thank you Aira-ty.”
Her face flushed slightly and she looked away with a wave of her hand.
“It wasn't a big deal.”
“Sir, we need to get Hanabi back to the ship.” Sly said. “She's stable but she'll still need bacta.”
“Right.” Kahan said, kneeling down and lifting Hanabi in his arms gently.
“What about him sir?” Triage inquired, his photoceptors turned towards Conradin's unconscious body. “I could kill him quietly, stop his heart or inject—“
“No.” Kahan said, looking at the fallen commander with a shake of his head. “He's suffered enough today.”
Aira-ty smiled as he began walking away, moving to catch up to him. That was the General she knew and...she stopped the thought in its tracks, her smile faltering. She wasn't going to fall into that trap. Never again.
Don't ask me, I have no idea where this came from but this scene came to mind and I decided to write it.

This has no bearing on my larger Clone Wars project and should not be considered to be an indication of where/how the story goes.

Other than that, enjoy.

Kahan and Triage are my OCs
Aira-ty and Sly are :iconrayn44:'s
Hanabi is :iconbret13:'s OC
Conradin belongs to :iconlordhadrian:
Star Wars and all its trappings belong to Disney...I can't believe I just wrote that.

Rayn and BrET did a collaborative project here: rayn44.deviantart.com/art/The-… inspired by the fic, so take a look and see what you think! I believe they did quite a stellar job.
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False Memories, Ch.1

Naruto awoke, screaming. Quickly, he made sure that he was whole and intact.
“Just a dream... Okay. Ok...” No, not okay. He was decidedly smaller than when he last remembered. He looked around, taking in everything. He was not in the Hokage Tower. He was not lying in bed next to the love of his life.
He was in a small, two-room apartment that looked awfully familiar.
In a flash, Naruto was out of bed and in the bathroom, desperate to examine himself, to make sure that this was just a bad dream.
The face that stared back at him from out of the mirror was that of a ten-year-old blond shinobi in-training, one with ambitions that were the source of ridicule amongst others, not just in his age group. The whisker marks that had adorned his face since before he remember, normally shrunk behind an insincere mask of laughter, were now drawn tight in an expression of utter disbelief.

Uzumaki Naruto, the Sixth Hokage, last of the jinchuuriki and keeper of Myouboku Mountain's Sage techniques screamed inside his now ten-year-old body.

* * *
“What the hell happened to me?! I'm ten again? I'm back in my old apartment, and I'm ten! I'm not even a genin...” He paused. He drew breath. He went through the exercises for calming the mind that had been taught to him by Yamato... Tenzou...
His name's not important.
“Wait... If I'm ten again, then did any of that even happen? How am I remembering stuff that hasn't happened? Gaara, Akatsuki, Danzo... Technically, none of that has happened, but... I remember it. So...” He frowned. Trying to puzzle this out, while never his strong suit, was certainly something he'd become better at. His innate stubbornness meant that he never stopped thinking about something until he figured it out.
But temporal mechanics was not something he was equipped to deal with.
Nor was advanced psychology, he mused. It was entirely possible he was just going crazy.

All right, all right. Let's see... Last thing I remember was the chuunin exams in Kusagakure... Gaara and I were present as guests of honor at the final matches. Then... some kind of attack.
Naruto hmm'd. If he was the sole target, he'd go bananas trying to work out the ramifications of his conscious self being sent back some... fifteen years? Wow. Seemed like a lot longer...
Focus.
Would this have any paradoxical effect? If this was really happening, why didn't he remember this? If he didn't, then could this all just be an illusion...? Naruto groaned and facepalmed.
Genjutsu. It was the only option that made any sense, and really, why hadn't he thought of it sooner? He was the Hokage, for kami's sake!
Carefully, he brought his chakra flow to a halt, letting it build up in his inner coils. Then, he forced it through his entire body, six times as much chakra as would normally flow suddenly surging through his chakra circulatory system. Considering how much chakra flowed out of his coils normally, he was confident that any genjutsu on him would have been easily disrupted.
A small cloud of dust rippled across the floor from the chakra surge.
Naruto opened his eyes, frowning. Okay. Not a genjutsu.

There was another problem. He hadn't really noticed earlier in his panic, but his movement was more awkward. It lacked the confident, steady grace he had gained from years of intensive taijutsu training, and his inner coils felt... cold? No, that was the wrong word. They were... less... less co-operative, he supposed. He facepalmed again.
Of course that was the case. Muscle and coil memory wouldn't carry over with actual memories. This body had never performed the hours of gruelling taijutsu kata and chakra control exercises, so it wasn't going to retain any of that experience.
...Assuming that he really had ended up back in his ten-year-old body, and he wasn't just going crazy. But was there any way to make sure? Maybe find out if someone else had been affected? Or was there some kind of future knowledge he could use to prove or disprove his “memories”?
Right, yes. If he could perform a technique from his... future? Present? What the hell were you supposed to call the time period you come from and probably can't get back to?
Anyway, if he could perform a technique from... that time, then he wasn't crazy. He had a knack for pulling impossible victories out of his ass, but he'd never be able to just dream up ninjutsu that actually worked.

What to use... It would have to be something that didn't require the chakra control he had lost, so the rasengan and rasenshuriken were out. He doubted he'd be able to use any of his fuuton techniques either, since, again, this body didn't have the necessary training to perform chakra nature manipulation.
His fist struck his palm as if to say, Eureka!
Kawarimi no jutsu. It was a simple, Academy-taught technique, and more to the point, he hadn't... wouldn't learn it until he was eleven. So, if he could perform a kawarimi, then he wasn't going crazy, and his twenty-five-year-old mind really had been spirited back in time to inhabit his ten-year-old body.
...He was the one experiencing it, and even he thought it sounded crazy.

“Yosh. I'm either crazy or just in big trouble. Here goes!” Moment of truth. His hands went through the seals for the Kawarimi no jutsu. He molded what felt like the appropriate amount of chakra, chose the object he would substitute with, and...
He substituted with the fold-up chair next to his bathroom. Naruto exhaled, immensely grateful that he wasn't going crazy. No, he was just really, really screwed. Now that the immediate danger of insanity was removed, he felt really tired. He moved the chair back to where it was, and crawled back into bed. He'd sort the rest of this out in the morning...

* * *
Yawning, Naruto awoke, and looked to his left, expecting to see his wife sleeping peacefully, and the feeling that everything was right with the world that sight would bring.
Then he remembered what had happened the previous night. So, not just a bad dream.
Frowning again, he leaned forward, adopting his cross-legged thinking pose. If he could just remember more of what happened at the Kusagakure chuunin exams...

In the Kages' box. Right. That's where he'd been sitting along with the Kazekage. Gaara.
With Gaara, was... who had he brought...? Temari!
Naruto grinned triumphantly as, after the initial breakthrough, more and more fragments started falling into place. Temari and been standing behind Gaara and slightly to the left, there as his honor guard. Naruto, as Hokage, had brought Shikamaru, then a special jounin, as an honor guard, and he was standing behind Naruto and to the right. Next to Temari. He chuckled at that. Sitting on Naruto's left, and there in her capacity as his wife, and Hyuuga clan head, was... was the wonderful Hinata.
How could he have ever forgotten about her presence? He shook his head. He'd beat himself up later. What had happened next was... fuzzy. There was a surprise attack. Some kind of obscuring mist surrounded the Kages' box, and a huge wave of chakra and killing intent...
Naruto cursed. He couldn't remember what had attacked. It was an attack, of that he was certain, but he was also certain that the last attack(that he could remember) had caught everyone in the Kages' box. Naruto swallowed. Had... had he died, back then, in the Kages' box? Had everyone in the box died? The Hokage and Kazekage, their villages well-known to be close allies...

If both of them were killed at the same time, along with their respective liason officers, Konoha and Suna would be simultaneously leaderless, and have lost two powerful bonds: Naruto and Gaara were as brothers, and Temari and Shikamaru... well...
Baki was intelligent and influential enough that he could probably keep control of Suna in the interim, and Tsunade would likely be forced back into office, but their two villages would still be hurting from the loss of their leaders. Regardless of the progress towards peace that had been made in recent years, the political climate was still... untenable. A sudden weakness like losing their most popular and skilled leaders in a decade was a considerable weakness, and not one that any war hawks would be able to pass up.
That said, though, any war against Konoha or Suna would force the other's hand, and the Konoha-Suna alliance would dominate that part of the continent easily. With Rain Country boxed in on three sides, Amegakure would side with whoever posed the greatest threat as an enemy, despite their xenophobic foreign policy. That, in turn, would determine the balance of power amongst the other, smaller villages, due to Amegakure's central location. Earth Country, and Iwagakure, would end up boxed-in to the north-west, with any aggressive action swiftly repelled. Naruto doubted that the new Tsuchikage was stupid enough to try such a thing.

Kiri, though, was highly militarised, even by the standards of a ninja village, and had been involved in every War in the Great Nations' history since it's founding. Would they try anything? That was unlikely. Naruto had met the Mizukage, and she was generally lackadaisical regarding diplomacy with the mainland. Understandable, considering Kiri's remote location and monopoly over island nations and sea-based protection. If war did break out on the mainland, though, Kiri would become involved as a destabilising factor, antagonising either everyone or whichever side they thought was more powerful. This was due as much to strategy as it was pride; Kirigakure's ninja had always been proud warriors, and would seek to prove their superiority by aligning themselves against the most powerful opponents they could. That this strategy allowed them to ensure that the war would be costly enough that no mainland power could threaten Water Country afterwards was only prudent justification.

Kumo, though... Naruto cringed. It was no secret that of all the ninja villages, Kumogakure had made the most progress in preparing for war, having started amassing resources and ninjutsu since the Third War had ended. The war hawks in that village would have a louder voice than anywhere else, and were most likely to begin a new war. Naruto considered the Raikage. The man was unpredictable and impulsive, though capable of great feats of spontaneous genius (or insanity, depending on how you viewed it), and held his entire village's respect. He was also a Kumo-nin, descended from the First Raikage. This was very important, and was the primary reason Naruto could not immediately say that he wouldn't do anything... well, unpredictable. He wanted peace as much as the next man, he'd said once. He'd never said how that peace should come about. He was just as likely to try a blitzkrieg attack at the first sign of weakness as he was to continue with the very slowly progressing de-militarisation.
If anyone but the Raikage tried to start a war, it would quickly fizzle out. If the Raikage declared war, though, it would involve the entire continent and Water Country too. It would be HUGE... And Kumo's infamous unpredictability made it impossible to guess.

Naruto sighed. The politics and warmongering of the Shinobi Nations fifteen years from now were not relevant. He needed to figure out if he had died, or if somehow his memories had really been transferred back. If he wasn't dead in the Kages' box fifteen years from now, then THAT version of him could worry about the war that might or might not break out.
If he was dead in that box, well... He wasn't the only one that attack had hit. So, it was possible that Gaara, Hinata, Shikamaru and Temari all “remembered” as well.
But if he was dead, what this was, then? He had heard that people watched their lives flash before their eyes when they died, but he had always assumed it to be untrue, or at the very least, a lot faster than this.
Naruto hmm'd, and looked at a clock. He blinked.
Wait, didn't he still have to go to the Academy now?
Introspection later, shower now!

* * *
Naruto had a pensive scowl on his face as he walked to the Academy. It was out of character for him, sure, but he was still trying to figure what the hell was going on. He looked around, taking in the glares and whispers that the civilians thought of as surreptitious. At least the chuunin and jounin he saw were a little better at hiding their distaste at his presence, but he wasn't sure if the fact he could tell was down to them being lax or newfound observational skills from his little time-jump.
Naruto hadn't realised just how much the village's opinion of him had changed over time. He'd simply assumed he was better at ignoring the glares, the dark whispers, the general hostility. But then, how would he have become Hokage if everyone still hated him?
An ANBU-nin discreetly 'removed' a rogue chuunin who was about to make an attempt, and Naruto very nearly snorted in disbelief. How had he never noticed the ANBU-nin before? They weren't very stealthy around him.
Which was probably to let other ninja know that, yeah, he was being tailed.
Naruto felt a whole new wave of appreciation for the Sandaime when he managed to count as many as ten ANBU-nin following him.
Sandaime. Sarutobi Hiruzen.
The old man was still alive. Orochimaru's “Crush the Leaf” plan hadn't started yet, or at the very least, it was still in the subtle machinations phase. He had to warn the Sandaime!
And tell him what? That he was remembering things that hadn't happened yet? He “remembered” Jiraiya, Tsunade, Shizune, the rest of the Konoha Eleven, even though he hadn't even met Team Gai yet. He even remembered Sai, and he sure as hell hadn't met him yet! Naruto smirked, a genuine smile in the face of hostility this time.

Ah, Sai. He was a git at first, but he got better. Oh, yeah. He got better.
A fierce grin was born as he remembered Sai's instrumental role in deposing Danzo. The look of utter shock on that bastard's face... That any of his minions could even entertain the mere concept of betraying him...!
The number of charges they got on him was impressive, though.
Six counts of conspiracy to commit treason against Konoha, three counts of conspiracy against different Hokages, thirty-seven counts of conspiracy against the village Council (Naruto didn't blame him for those)... A lot of conspiracy charges, but only one had to stick, and they got four.
Funnily enough, it wasn't even a conspiracy. It was full-on Treason against Konohagakure they got him for. Danzou was probably regretting that botched mission to ally with Orochimaru right now.
Yeah, thanks to Sai, Danzou was no longer a threat. Root was disbanded and its members deprogrammed, and Danzou himself, well... any one of those charges would have earned him a capital sentence.
Unfortunately, a lot of Root's members committed suicide once they learned Danzou's fate.

Naruto's smile hadn't left his face, though it had faded a bit when he thought of how many had taken their own lives for Danzou's sake... But that hasn't happened yet.
It hasn't happened yet. And now I've got enough time to get as good as I can to stop it.
And he was going to stop it. He'd stop it all.

But first he had to find out if he was alone or not.
How to approach Shikamaru and Hinata with this...

* * *
Naruto walked in, and sat at his usual place in the front of the class, his arms folded and his face scrunched up into his thinking pout. How could he go about this? He'd been thinking about how best to ask Shikamaru and Hinata if they “remembered” all morning. He hadn't really socialised with either of them in the Academy he “remembered”, but Shikamaru had sometimes joined in on the rare occasion he, Kiba and Chouji had gone on a pranking crusade, if only because Chouji had prodded him into action. But those times were still damned rare.
His attention was caught when Shikamaru, sitting in the row above and behind him, dropped a folded square of paper on his desk. He picked it up, unfolded it, and his breath caught when he read the message.

Do you remember?

He grinned fiercely. So, Shikamaru at least. Which meant he had the best analytical thinker of his generation on hand to figure it out, assuming he hadn't already. He turned to face the lazy genius behind him, who had his usual mask of apathy and annoyance on.
“Yeah?” Naruto had to make sure.
“This from you?” He held up the folded paper, and noticed the spark of recognition in Shikamaru's eyes.
“Yeah. What's your point?” Chouji, next to him, looked confused.
“Yeah. I remember.”
“But are we talking about the same memory?”
“I'd still remember it fifteen years from now.” Shikamaru twitched. A small tic below the left eye.
He remembered. Same as Naruto. Shikamaru let a small grin creep up on his face.
“You wanna talk about it later?” Naruto nodded, “Then how about the bench you usually use? Chouji'll come too, if that's all right.”
“Does he... remember too?”
“He wasn't there,” A scowl, “But I trust him.” Naruto turned his gaze to Chouji, who looked very lost amidst his friend's doubletalk conversation. He seemed more confused that Shikamaru was speaking to Naruto with something close to respect, like he was an authority figure.
The tubby(though he'd NEVER call him that to his face) boy was a good-natured soul. He was something of an outcast like Naruto due to his weight, and Naruto liked him. Chouji was one of the few who had never displayed any ill-behavior towards him.
Chouji, for his part, now found himself on the receiving end of an appraising stare that was wholly alien in Naruto the prankster's eyes. He recognised it as somewhat similar to the gaze that his father used when he first met someone, but he had never been on the receiving end. Chouji shivered. Now he knew why it was so effective. It was like if you tried to hide anything from that stare, you'd fail some sort of test.
Naruto had always, quite loudly, declared that he was going to be the Hokage one day.
After today, after being visually dissected by those unbelievably deep cerulean eyes, Chouji would never doubt that ambition again.
He felt relief when Naruto finally blinked, smiled, and acknowledged that Chouji could come. He didn't know what they were going to be talking about, but after that... serious look from the normally flighty prankster, he wasn't going to be talking about it to another living soul.

Now that Shikamaru's “memory” was made certain, Naruto's hopeful attention turned to the dark, timid and weird girl at the back of the class. If Shikamaru “remembered”, there was a good chance she did too.
Hinata. She looked up, as though in response, and upon noticing his gaze, made a small squeaking noise and immediately looked away, her face faintly red. She was smiling, though, and her fingers weren't pressing together in embarrassment.
She “remembered”. He knew she did. She had to!

A sudden commotion at the door drew his attention. Sakura and Ino were entering, and arguing over who it was that would sit next to...
Uchiha Sasuke.
Naruto's eyes went wide. Of course. Sasuke had yet to even activate his two-tomoe Sharingan here and now, let alone the Mangekyou. He probably hadn't even heard of Orochimaru yet. How many times, in his youth, had Naruto wished to return to the Academy? Before the chuunin exams, before Orochimaru, before Sasuke ran off, seeking power for it's own sake. How many times had he wished to return to simpler times, and cherish what little time he had with Sasuke as his all-but-brother?
He turned to where he expected to see him, his usual seat, by the window.
Because there were two seats in that row, and so he only had to endure the presence of one hopeless fangirl.
And there he was, in all his brooding, unassailable self-confidence. Hands held to cover his face, black eyes indicating his permanent scowl directed straight ahead. He was restless. He was here to learn. He was here to become powerful, and demonstrate that power to all who doubted him, who sought to drag him down into mediocrity. He was the last of the Uchiha, and he was the ELITE, even amongst shinobi.
This was Sasuke when his arrogance still outweighed his skill.
This was Sasuke before his eyes were sealed, and he was locked up in ANBU maximum security, chakra suppressing seals strong enough to suppress a bijuu lining the walls.
This was Sasuke before he rejected everything Konoha stood for, in the name of power.

Naruto was gaping, and he supposed it must have been obvious, because it was necessary for Shikamaru to rap him on the head. The look he gave Naruto when he turned around was clear.
Play your part until we figure out what's going on. He then nodded in Sakura's direction.
Right. Kami, this would be painful.
“Ne, Sakura-s-chan,” That was close. He'd almost called her -san, but his academy persona had never done such a thing. It was always -chan. It was depressingly clear to him now, how she came to think of him as a brother. As an annoying pest of a little brother, who then grew into a figure worthy of respect, but still a brother. “Ne, ne, Sakura-chaan!”
WHACK.
“How many times have I told you NOT to call me Sakura-chan!” The requisite punishment delivered, she turned back to Ino, to resume her fight. Except Ino had taken advantage of her distraction and leapt for the seat next to Sasuke. She stuck her tongue out at her pink-haired rival. Naruto shuddered. This was not going to be pleasant for him. “Naruto...! You cost me my seat next to Sasuke-kun!” He gulped. He was certain Shikamaru was enjoying this. He fought to keep the quaver out of his voice as he spoke. His Academy persona didn't know when to shut the hell up, after all.
“Che! Why would you want to sit next to someone like Sasuke-teme?!” WHACK.

“Don't talk about Sasuke-kun with such disrespect, Naruto-baka!!”
“Sakura-cha~an! Here, why don't you sit next to me?” WHACK WHACK.
“Don't call me that! And why would I want to sit next to you, BAKA?!” WHACK again, for good measure. She wandered off to take the seat immediately behind Sasuke, glaring daggers at Ino the entire way, just before Iruka and Mizuki walked into the class.

“Right, everyone, settle down!” Naruto did, his grin appearing again at the sight of the first person to acknowledge him. Not even the sight of Mizuki the traitor could change that. “Today, as you know, we've got taijutsu after lunch. First, we're continuing chakra manipulation theory.” There was a groan from nearly the entire class. “Tell you what, if I think you've all demonstrated a good hold on the basic theory, we'll start on Henge no jutsu at the end of the week. Ne?” The class erupted into cheers which quickly subdued as they made sure to catch every last word.

* * *
Naruto cracked his stiff neck as he walked outside. Iruka was just as compelling in his subject matter as he remembered, while he'd managed to make it interesting using a combination of honest enthusiasm and incentives. So much so, that, even though Naruto knew everything in the lesson and far more besides (Sage techniques required such) he couldn't help but be drawn in as he had when he was still at the Academy.
He blinked. He WAS still at the Academy. He pinched the bridge of his nose. Getting used to using the correct tense would take a while, at least in his personal thoughts. He broke off from that tangent when he spotted Chouji and Shikamaru sitting at Naruto's usual bench.
“OI! Shikamaru!” Chouji looked slightly less confused than earlier, though if that was because he thought things were about to be explained or if he was just better at hiding it since then... was irrelevant. “So, what did you want to talk about?”
“What do you think, Rokudaime?”
“Um, there are still ANBU following me around at this point, you know.”
“So? To them, we're just having a childish conversation, lost in the halls of ambition and fantasy... ne, Rokudaime?” Shikamaru finished with a smirk, while Chouji had paled at the thought that Naruto was being followed by ANBU. The smirk vanished as he went into strategist mode, lowering his voice. “How much do you remember? Up to what point?”
“Ano... Naruto... Why are there ANBU following you around?”
“To stop people from killing me.” Naruto's honest answer probably shocked a few of his ANBU protectors, but he ignored that, whispering as he responded to Shikamaru's question. “I can remember up to the third match, but after that, it's a little fuzzy. I know there was a mist, and someone attacked the box, but...” Shikamaru nodded, placing his hands into the square formation he used to think. “Shikamaru... what happened to us? Are we...?”
“Stop. Say nothing else. We don't want our ANBU friends to learn too much. Go get Hinata. If she remembers as well, then I'll have a bit more to work with.”
“Shikamaru!”
“...I don't know. I don't know, and I can't figure it out yet. Now get Hinata.” Naruto was not happy with that answer, but he left the two of them there anyway.

“...Shikamaru, what's going on? Why do people want to kill Naruto? What was he...? What attack? Shikamaru, what's going on?!” Shikamaru barely moved hs lips when he repsonded.
“Chouji. There are some questions that, legally, only Naruto will be able to answer, but, the rest...” He took a deep breath, composing his thoughts. “Last night, I woke up with memories. Memories that hadn't happened, and that I couldn't possibly have unless something impossible happened. But it has, and I do, and I really hope you appreciate just how serious this situation is, because for once in my life... I don't know what's going on.” Chouji looked at his friend of four years. Shikamaru, although he looked lost in concentration, had an all-too-real look of helpless realisation etched across his face. “I don't know...”

Naruto spotted Hinata fairly easily. She was watching him from afar again, partially hidden behind a kunai target. A grin was the only indication that he was happy to see her. Granted, it was a very wide grin...
He ran up to her, and she seemed paralyzed by indecision. Still have to keep up the act... Hinata and I didn't even meet until chuunin exams.
“Oi, you're Hinata, ne?” She nodded, a light flush creeping up her face. “You don't seem like the other girls... how come you're smart?”
“Eh?”
“Well, you're not chasing after Sasuke-teme like the others, so I figured that meant you're smarter than Sakura-chan.” Her blush accelerated. He leaned in close, and whispered conspiratorially, “So...
“Do you remember?”

When Naruto, her Naruto from fifteen years ago, asked her that, Hinata knew exactly what he meant. It was all she could do to stop herself from flinging her arms around him and shouting that yes! Yes, she remembered everything!
When she had woken in the middle of the night, she'd almost screamed, and was torn between wishing it not to be real, and wishing it was. So much that she didn't want to consider if it was real... so much that could go wrong, that should have gone wrong...
But if it was real, if it was really real, and she was with Naruto, made him happy, made him laugh, and he did the same for her...

But that was last night. She still had a part to play, here, and squeaked out,
“Y-yes! I remember, Naruto-kun!” She was telling the truth, and Naruto knew it. His grin became absolutely blinding. Hinata, his Hinata-chan, the REAL Hinata was here as well.
Perhaps this wouldn't be so bad after all.

* * *
“Shikamaru!” Chouji responded, but not Shikamaru. Chouji had some idea of what was going on, and the very concept terrified him.
“He...He's thinking.” Naruto ran up with Hinata in tow. Chouji had no idea how she fit into all this. But still... his dad had told him who the Hyuuga were, and how to greet them. He stood and bowed. “Hinata-san.” She waved him off, far more confident than the timid girl he thought she was.
“That's not necessary, Chouji-kun. Shikamaru-kun, what have you figured out?” He didn't answer at first.
“Shikamaru. Answer her.” Naruto was, once again, uncharacteristically grave. “Shikamaru...!”
“...As near as I can tell, this is not a mass genjutsu, or we would not be able to interact with one another. It is entirely possible that this is a genjutsu that is affecting only one of us, with the responses of the others being manipulated by the caster.” He cracked open one eye to affix his fellow memory-holders with a critcal gaze. “Have you attempted to dispel genjutsu since you received the memories?” Both of them nodded. “So have I. Which, while not ruling out genjutsu, certainly makes it less likely.” He took a deep breath.

“I assume you've both already considered that we're just going insane?” Naruto nodded sheepishly while Hinata simply looked down. “That is no longer a viable option, unless we consider that an outside influence is actively seeding our respective environments with compounds to induce madness. Which, again, is not a viable option, since if they were, these symptoms would be manifest in others of our age group, or those around us. Chouji is living proof that that is not the case.” Naruto looked stricken, and Hinata was just as shocked. They both knew what he was about to suggest now. “So, we must assume that the only remotely viable option left to us is the correct one...
“Somehow, we have received the memories and personalities of ourselves from precisely fifteen years in the future.”
I'll appreciate comments, and comments beyond simply "this is good/bad/raw excrement" will be doubly aprreciated; because, I'll be honest, I have no idea how good this is.
If I get enough positive feedback, I might even post more of it. (Though there's currently only five chapters...)

EDIT:
There is now a proper title for this story, "False Memories", but I will still be using the WhooTimeTravel tag in order to not have to delete and repost Ch.1 to 3.
EDIT EDIT:
Changed the political summary because it was based on an incorrect impression of the Narutoverse's geo-political scene.

To those of you obsessed with pairings:
Yeah, tough. Work it out yourselves.

To Sen and Bass, if you read this: thank you for beta'ing for me. If you hadn't, I probably would never have done this, so you've only yourselves to blame. :)

Ch.1 - right here
Ch.2 - [link]
Ch.3 - [link]
Ch.4 - [link]
Ch.5 - [link]
Ch.6 - A:[link] B:[link]
Ch.7 - [link]
Ch.8 - [link]
Ch.9 - [link]
Ch.10 - [link]
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It's a boy.
A healthy little boy.
Small and mewling,
Crying for his dying mother.

A new life starts
As his father's ends,
A new Skywalker
Rises to place.

I feel him so strong
So alive in the force.
A lot like his father,
A Skywalker in my arms.
This is written from Obi-Wan's perspective about Luke Skywalker and how Luke is rising into Anakin's place as the Skywalker on the block.
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Hanabi knelt in the training room, meditating and trying to find her center after the day's frustrations. She didn't know how much longer she could continue to do this. She was not cruel enough for this new life. She knew that the only reason she was still alive was because Master Kahan, the Grand Inquisitor, allowed her to live and protected her from the ire of his peers, superiors, and subordinates. In her turn she tried to follow his new path but found it hard to execute the level of cruelty that such required. At least Aira-ty seemed to have adapted well to the New Order. She was almost as bad as Master Kahan had become though she was often left at a disadvantage when he interacted with her.
Hanabi sighed fretfully. She knew that Master Kahan still loved Aira-ty and that she loved him...but she knew that neither of them would ever admit it. Love was a vulnerability in the Empire. It was an avenue for an attack that needed to be defended. Hanabi herself was a vulnerability for Master Kahan, she knew it as well as he did though he never said as much to her. She found it so strange that despite his brusque nature that he still cared for her and she in her desire to garner his acceptance tried to meet the standards he set for her. Still, it left her being ill at ease. None of what she did now felt right.
Your mind is troubled. The Grand Inquisitor's mind broke into her thoughts. Release yourself from your doubts and embrace the Dark side Hanabi, revel in its power.
Hanabi opened her eyes and looked up as the Grand Inquisitor entered the training room. She reached down before her and took up her saber, standing loosely before her Master.
“Did the meeting with the Emperor go well?”
The Grand Inquisitor nodded. “It did. He wished to express his pleasure at our...efficiency in executing our directive.”
Hanabi tried to suppress the shiver that ran through her body at her Master's words. Their directive was the conversion or elimination of Jedi. She had seen dozens twisted to the Dark side or failing that, killed by the Inquisitorius. In an attempt to hide her discomfort, she raised her saber and ignited it.
“Are you ready Master?”
He smiled at her, letting his hand drop to his hip where his saber staff rested. Pulling it from its sheath, he ignited the amber blades and twirled the double saber in a lazy display.
“Let us begin.”
Hanabi struck first, coming forwards with her blue blade and striking hard against the Grand Inquisitor's defense. Unlike many of the inquisitors, Hanabi had refused to give up her original saber and replace it with one of the red ones that were so common. She was one of a handful—including the Grand Inquisitor himself—that retained her original blade from her time as a Jedi. As the pair of them struck and parried in their duel, the Grand Inquisitor smiled in apparent amusement.
“It seems you had a good teacher.”
Hanabi scowled at him as she attacked again and he deflected her attack, swinging back with the lower half of his weapon, forcing her back.
“I did.” she replied in annoyance. “And I still do.”
The Grand Inquisitor snorted and came forwards in a dizzying blur of movement. Hanabi realized he was twisting her vision and concentrated, countering with her own mental illusions which served to reorient her sight once more.
“You will have to pay him my compliments.” the Grand Inquisitor said glibly.
Hanabi focused her mind as she stepped back, buying herself the time she needed to bend the light around herself and vanish from view. She knew that it would not allow her to escape the Grand Inquisitor indefinitely, he could still sense her after all, but it would at least buy her a few precious seconds to reengage him. Dropping the shroud of invisibility, she came at him from a new angle and had the brief satisfaction of seeing his eyes harden in surprise as he twisted his saber staff and broke it into two separate sabers. She'd forced him to drop the defensive weapon which was his preference. She smiled, feeling smug at her accomplishment.
She knew that he could simply crush her with his mind, but that wasn't the point of these training exercises. They both were practicing for fighting opponents whose minds could not be bent or misled. Individuals like Kenobi or Master Yoda. Thinking that she might one day face down such masters of the Force frightened Hanabi, but she did as Kahan had once taught her and embraced her emotions. Letting them flow through her and become a part of her. Rather than the rejection that the Jedi had preached or the glorying that the Dark Jedi and Sith taught, it was a middle ground that allowed her to accept her emotions and a technique she still used even in her service to the Empire.
Continuing her assault, she found that she had pressed the Grand Inquisitor to the edge of the training room. She could both see and feel his ire at being set back so greatly and allowed herself some pride in her accomplishment. Then he simply let her strike him, Hanabi's eyes widened as her blade cut through the place where he had been standing as he dissolved around her saber. Then she felt the warmth of his own weapon against her throat. She froze, extinguishing her weapon and leaving her hands at her side.
“I yield.” she said quietly.
He stepped back from her, his blades dying as he reconnected them and returned the double saber to its sheath as she turned and frowned at him.
“You teleported.”
He smiled at her. “We cannot use illusions or mind tricks in these bouts of ours Hanabi, my teleportation and phasing techniques are neither of those.”
She sighed and rolled her eyes. “If you say so Master.”
Stopping as the door behind the Grand Inquisitor opened, High Inquisitor Jerec standing in the doorway with his head bowed respectfully.
“What is it?” the Grand Inquisitor asked coolly, looking over his shoulder at the blind High Inquisitor.
“We've found another one my lord.”
The Grand Inquisitor nodded. “Very well, gather a team together.”
“At once.” Jerec replied, turning to go and once again leaving them alone.
The Grand Inquisitor turned back to Hanabi. “Come, it would appear that our duty calls.”
Hanabi nodded tensely and followed after him, walking respectfully to the side and slightly behind the Grand Inquisitor. Her heart was filled with misgiving as it always was when she heard that another Jedi had been found. She felt so helpless to protect her former comrades from the man that her Master had become, while he seemed to relish hunting them down with an almost delighted air. What had they become?
So, rayn44 and BrET13 were up to mischief again and this was my response to it.

I am building up to another, larger scene as I often do which I hope they will both enjoy and that the wider audience will not kill me for.

In the meantime, enjoy this little piece.
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