After the visitors had left the palace Vader dismissed his apprentice and started back to his quarters for a much-needed rest.What a day, Vader mused. This city is so crazy at times.He was then greeted by one of his Noghri guards "Welcome back Lord Vader."Vader gave him a nod and continued on to the comforting darkness of his section of the palace.As he was walking toward his room he felt a disturbance in the Force...almost like he was being followed.Vader whipped around but there was nothing in the hallway save the echoing sound of his whipping cape and rhythmic breathing.He turned back to his doorway and entered the security code into the keypad.The metallic door opened with a hiss and Vader stepped inside.Inside the room Vader opened his hyperbaric medical chamber and was just about to step inside when the doors of his room opened again.Vader pulled out his lightsaber and turned around swinging it hoping to kill whatever had the nerve to bother him at this late hour.But the intruder wasn't giving off any intention of causing harm to Vader or anybody else; in fact it was just a young woman.Vader stopped and looked at her.She was just a little shorter than he was; thin with dark brown hair and eyes.She reminded him of somebody from his distant past, somebody he loved very much.The memories of it brought him such terrible pain that he actually shuddered.It made the woman back off a bit.
"Why are you here?" Vader forced himself to ask.
"Oh I'm sorry, I was just looking for somebody.I met him at the bar earlier and well, I wanted to apologize about the way I acted in front of everybody." She looked embarrassed.Vader thought about the conversation he had with his apprentice today and couldn't help himself; he laughed.The woman laughed too.She had a beautiful smile and a laugh that sounded like music.The pain returned to Vader.Then she surprised him.
"I sense terrible pain inside you.Are you ok?" She inquired.
"You sense it?" Vader once again ignited his lightsaber and started towards her obviously he missed a few Jedi and he was going to rectify the problem now.
"You don't want to kill me." She stated. There was a wall of power around her and Vader couldn't.He sensed no fear coming from her. This was a powerful being strong and in control of the Force.
"You have control.Where did you learn it?" Vader was interested.
"From my mother. She was a Jedi healer on the outer rim."
Vader's thoughts then turned to his own mother and rage boiled inside him.Rage toward Qui-Gon for not freeing her too, rage against Obi-Wan for not listening to him when it was logical, and anger at himself for not being strong enough to save her.
Vader wanted to strike her down to rid himself of her and the memories she was stirring inside him.
"I feel your anger but killing me won't help you."
"You can't help me.Why would you?" Vader snapped
"I help all people regardless of what side they're on.A Jedi shouldn't be biased but should respect life and people with different ideals."
Vader couldn't believe it!A Jedi lecturing him in the Imperial Palace!How many times have I heard lectures like this from Obi-Wan he thought. Idealistic jargon.
"Don't lecture me on Jedi Ideals!!" Vader said through clenched teeth.The sound came out from his mask muffled.
The woman apologized."But I've never seen anybody as conflicted as you are.Let me help you. I want to help you it's the least I can do after the way I intruded on your privacy."
Vader said nothing. He started to pace the room.The Jedi sat down on the floor and started to meditate.Vader sighed. What could she possible do? He asked himself.
On the floor the Jedi was deep in a trance.Suddenly she shuddered.
"What?Vader sat down next to her."Do you see something?Tell me!" he demanded.
"I see a laboratory and a cloaked man hard at work."She stated rather dreamily from being deep in the trance.
"That's probably just my Master the Emperor." Vader was disappointed.
"No, this man is different he is working with a young woman.She seems like a very gentle person.With brown hair and brown eyes.
"That's my mother!What are they doing?He's not hurting her is he?" He said this all very fast.
"No he's not hurting her.They are talking."
Darth Plagueis leaned over a petrie dish and dropped in some of Shmi's blood."The Jedi and the Sith have it all wrong."
"How is that?" Shmi asked.
"On the one hand you have the Jedi who rely on what they would call the `Lightside' of the Force which they use to protect and serve others. On the other hand you have the Sith who use what they refer to as the `Darkside' of the Force which they use for power and attack.But they can never understand the true power of the Force because the Force is an essence of both hate and love. To separate it diminishes both sides..."
"Why is that?" Shmi asked.She didn't understand what the wise Sith Lord was telling her.
Darth Plagueis took out a scanner and put it over the dish with Shmi's blood in it."Come and take a look at this." Shmi looked at the scanner and saw these little paramecium-like organisms swimming around inside her blood.She paled at the sight of them."Am I sick?"
Darth Plagueis laughed. "No, those are midi-chlorians.You had potential to be a Jedi did you not?"
"Yes, I did, but I just couldn't adhere to their codes.I wanted to be a mother someday but the Jedi frowned on marriage. So I decided not to join the Order and I got married instead following on my dreams to start a family.But as much as my husband and I tried to have a child we were unsuccessful.I went to a med droid only to find out that I was barren.My husband left me.I was devastated, so I tried to return to the Jedi but they said I was too old for training."
"Yes, well anyways, everything that has life has them.The higher the concentration of midi-chlorians a being has the more control over the Force they have. If they are trained to use it that is.But what I've discovered is that there are two species of midi-chlorians one that manipulates the `Lightside' and one that manipulates the `Darkside'.What the Jedi and the Sith misunderstand is that the two species cannot be ripped apart without serious side effects.The `Lightside' calls to the `Darkside' and vice-versa.The `Darkside' eats away at the body and the soul while the `Lightside' helps it flourish but without the `Darkside' a person would live such a long life the soul would collapse.The `Darkside' destroys the body causing the `Lightside' to allow the soul to become part of the Living Force. You see, one cannot exist without the other they need each other to create balance."
Darth Plagueis pricked his finger and let a few drops of his blood mix with Shmi's.He then placed his hand over the dish and by prodding the midi-chorians to produce; a large plant of roses grew from the dish.He then took out another dish and repeated the process this time a bat was formed and it flew around the lab diving at both Plagueis and Shmi. They ducked as it just missed their heads.Plagueis called it by the Force and put it in a cage.
"Did you mean to create two very different things?"
"I just made the midi-chlorians produce.The `Darkside' and `Lightside' combined to form Life Force and before it was completely formed the organism being created decided what form to take.But it is balanced, as all life should be.The rose a plant of beauty and a symbol of love has thorns.The bat a creature of darkness is a protector of the world by eating insects who if they didn't would rise in number so rapidly it would destroy us all."Life exists because of the balance of good and evil.It is the Jedi and the Sith that are "unnatural."
Shmi glanced at the bat inside the cage.It was now hanging upside-down and sleeping soundly.She looked at Darth Plagueis who was observing the plant of roses.He picked one of the roses and smelled it apparently happy.She smiled at him.
"Do you think there was love between them?" Vader asked quietly shocked by his own question.The Jedi looked over at him with a grin.
"What do you think?Is it possible for a Dark Lord of the Sith to love?"
Vader became quiet "Well, he said softly, I know it is possible for a Jedi to hate.Can you see what happened next?"
"There is nothing better then the smell of a good flower. "Darth Plagueis told her.Seeing him with his flowers made Shmi happy.It was refreshing to see that a Sith Lord could appreciate life. He saw her smiling at him.
"What?" he asked.
"Oh nothing", she walked around the lab thinking about what Plagueis had told her and suddenly she thought of something.
"Darth Plagueis, you said you needed somebody who was strong in the `Lightside' to help you with your experiments but did you only intend to use me to create plants and animals?I came here hoping that you would find a way to let me have a child." She sat down by the table looking pitiful.Plagueis sensed her despair.
"I know how much you want to have a child but I never did anything that complicated with humans before."
Shmi looked up at him tears in her eyes "Couldn't we try?You'd have what you want too.
Darth Plagueis gave it some thought. "Yes, the child would be strong in Life Force, if it succeeds.It would be able to control life and death at the simple wave of a hand and if I had that power at my beck and call..." A sly grin appeared on his face as he thought about it.I could finally bring balance to the Force."
"So you'll try?" Shmi asked full of hope.
"I won't try I will do" Plagueis answered.
Vader was shocked beyond belief "My mother willingly gave herself to a Sith Lord!He's lying he can't do anything!Vader said as he thought back to how his Master said that Plagueis' teachings could defy death but in reality it was a lie. Also he was repulsed at the notion of the Sith Lord touching his mother in any way.He visualized Darth Sidious and shuddered.
The Jedi snickered knowing what was probably going through Vader's mind. "Do you want to know more?"
"Uh..."was Vader's response.
Darth Plagueis sat on the floor in deep meditation.Meanwhile Shmi was trying to sneak into the laboratory without his knowing."Your late" Plagueis said without opening his eyes."Give me a few more minutes."
"Okay" Shmi answered. She heard Plagueis chuckle as she laid down on a medical table to wait for him.If he was having a vision he was enjoying it. He slowly opened his eyes and got up.
"Are you ready?" Plagueis asked.
"As ready as I'm going to be considering I don't know what you're going to do."
Plagueis walked over to her with a sly look on his face."Well"...he said as he lowered his cowl.Shmi slowly pulled her head away from him.
"It's defiantly... not what your thinking." He said with a laugh.He put his cowl back up."First I'll need some more of your blood, then I'm going to charge the Midi-chlorians hoping that they will form a Force orb.
"A Force orb?"
"Yes that is what I call it when the `Light' and `Dark' sides join before an organism is created.Then I'm going to compress it so it can be placed inside your uterus.I'm then going to cause it to properly attach itself to the uterus' wall and Force the midi-chlorians to decide to create a human.If all goes well it should create a zygote."
Darth Plagueis drew some blood from Shmi and once again put it in a dish with some of his own.He focused himself and drew heavily from the darkside.He held his hand out over the dish but nothing was happening.Shmi watched him.Plagueis' hand began to tremble and sweat was beginning to breakout on his forehead.Still nothing was happening to the dish.Shmi then saw bolts of blue lightning shoot out of his fingertips they hit the dish but still nothing happened.Plagueis stopped.
Shmi was saddened very much by this.Was he giving up?"I thought you could create life out of the midi-chlorians.Also I've heard that you could save old people from dying.Why have you failed?"
Darth Plagueis was still trying to regain himself the procedure seemed to take a lot out of him."Plants and animals are not as complex as humans are so they are easier to create.As for the old people well their cells were already complete just damaged all I did was Force the midi-chlorians to reverse the damaging process.Creating a full human from the bottom up with a fully functional soul takes a lot of energy. It appears I'm not strong enough for that."
Shmi's heart felt like it was just shattered.Plagueis could feel how it hurt her to hear of his failure.But the worse part was he could also see her suffer.He didn't want that at all.There had to be a way to do this.Then suddenly he got an idea.
"Let's go outside"
They left the lab and took the elevator to the first level of the complex.People where coming in and out of the building but Shmi noticed that nobody took note of the Sith Lord walking beside her.She had a strange feeling that they couldn't even see him.Plagueis took her out back where there was a stable of kaadu.Plagueis picked out two strong looking ones and helped Shmi get onto it.He then nimbly jumped onto his.He then took the reins and led the animal away.Shmi followed.
"Ah Naboo so full of life.Come on I know the perfect spot."
"They were on Naboo?" Vader smiled as he remembered his time on Naboo it brought warmness to his heart.
"You know it?" the Jedi asked
"Some of the best times of my life were on Naboo.Vader was glad his mother got to see the beauty of the rolling plains and clear watered lakes of Naboo and remembered how he thought if he were born on Naboo he'd never want to leave.
They rode their kaadu swiftly over the plains.Shmi noticed the beautiful waterfalls and lakes that surrounded the capital city of Theed.Plagueis was taking her very far away from the city now.They came to a place by a large lake.Gargantuan mountains rose from the ground and you could see their reflection clearly in the water.Plagueis dismounted his kaadu and helped Shmi down.
"I come here when I need to think" Plagueis said."I find the landscape soothing for thought."
"It's so beautiful" Shmi was in awe.She noticed a very large mansion across the lake.She guessed it was some kind of resort.
Plagueis took out the dish with the blood in it and set it down on a stump by a tree.
"What are you going to do?" Shmi asked.
"Not I.We" he answered."I think if we tap into the Force around us we can channel its energy and create the Force orb."
"How can I help?"
"I can't tap into the power of the `Lightside' without adding my own `Darkside' power but I'll need my power to call out to the surrounding `Darkside.'I need you to channel the `Lightside' into me so I can combine them and Force our midi-chlorians to create a Force orb with human potential."
Plagueis centered himself and felt the `Darkside' around him he raised his hand over the dish."Come here and place your hand on mine."
Shmi did as he asked.She trembled at the touch of his skin.
"Fear is of the `Darkside'.I need your love Shmi.Relax feel the Force around you draw on everything become one with it and let it flow through you."
Shmi was truly touched.Darth Plagueis had never called her by name before and he had asked for her love.Her heart skipped a beat. She relaxed herself and she could feel the trees and the water and the mountains in the surrounding area.They were surging with the power of the `Lightside'.It was warm and inviting.She reached out toward Plagueis and shivered.He was cold and uninviting his essence was like a black cloud that covered all of life.It made her want to scream and run but she calmed herself and held the link between them.
Darth Plagueis could also feel the trees, the water and the mountains, but they were cold as ice.Strong in the `Darkside' the surrounding area was.He reached out toward Shmi and it was warm and soothing.He basked in it for a while he never felt more at peace in his entire life.He wished it could last but he knew it couldn't.If this was going to work he would have to limit his contact with her so that he could draw the `Darkside' he relaxed himself and held the appropriate link between them.
They started to draw the Force from the landscape.Plagueis let the `Lightside' into him in moderation and started to combine it with the `Darkside' energy that he was drawing from the landscape.He could feel the energy coursing though him like electricity if he didn't be careful about the levels of power inside him the Force would tear him apart.He concentrated on a mantra Draw, Combine, Release.Every time he released the combined Life Force at the midi-chlorians more energy replaced it. He had to keep getting faster and faster at it.It felt like his insides were both melting and freezing at the same time he fought to hold his concentration.
Shmi felt the ground shake.Still calm and relaxed she opened her eyes still drawing on the `Lightside'.She saw everything around her and Plagueis crumbling.The tree near them began to wither.Its leaves turned from green to orange to brown and fell from the tree as the wood turned to dust.The grass around them started to turn brown and die leaving them only standing on a patch of cracked and parched ground.The sun became eclipsed as thunderclouds formed over them and poured rain.Lightning struck the top of the mountain causing an avalanche of rocks.The lake became choppy as a cold wind stirred and blew over it and a few fish floated up dead in the water.The kaadus both fell and died their skin melted away leaving bleached bones.Meanwhile the Midi-chlorians were bustling as wave after wave of Life Force hit them.They were beginning to form a ball.
"It's working" Shmi whispered trying not to break her connection.
Plagueis felt like his body was going through hell.The `Lightside' and `Darkside' ripped and pulled inside him as it was combined into Life Force but it was causing his own soul to be seared apart. He fought with it he had to hold it... a...little...longer.
As Shmi watched the Midi-Chlorians she heard a weak voice call out."So much power!!!Too much!"She glanced over at Plagueis who was absolutely a wreck.He was shaking violently it was a wonder he was still standing.Whatever color was in his face was now gone he looked strained and thin.Shmi tried not to fear that he was killing himself.Suddenly his eyes shot open.They rolled back as he swayed his connection snapped and Darth Plagueis fell unconscious to the ground.
Two hours passed the storm ceased and the sun was shining again.All the while Shmi watched over Darth Plagueis hoping he would snap back into consciousness.He stirred and groaned and opened his eyes.
"I broke the connection." He said weakly."I'm sorry."
"Don't be sorry look!"Shmi pointed to the dish where the midi-chlorians were floating now in a glowing orb of white light."We did it!"
"I feel terrible" Plagueis said as he closed his eyes again.Shmi laid down on the ground next to him watching him sleep.He probably would have been very handsome if the darkside hadn't distorted him so. She smiled at the thought and drifted off to sleep.
It was well after midnight when Darth Plagueis opened his eyes again.Millions of stars shown brightly in the clear night sky he watched them for a while.It always amazed him at how seeing the stars at night could make one, no matter how strong their powers were, feel so small and insignificant.He laughed to himself.At least now he didn't feel like he'd been stomped to death by a fambaa.He felt something brush against him.It was Shmi who was shivering from the cold breeze that was blowing over the water.Plagueis got up and unclasped his cloak and wrapped it around her like a blanket."That should keep you warm."
He was warm enough wearing his tunic, trousers, and knee-high boots that were so dark that he seemed to blend into the night.He noticed the Force orb still hovering above the tree stump giving off a white glow around it.He went over to it.The light of the orb highlighted his face.He could feel an immense power coming from it and reached out to touch it.The Life Force radiating from it brought life back into his hand making it appear young again."Incredible!" He pulled his hand away and the darkside filled it again causing it to become withered and corpselike."This will be my greatest work." He pulled out a bubble from his pocket and used the Force to call the orb inside it."This will keep it safe."He placed it back on the stump and went back to sleep next to Shmi.
The next morning a young man entered the lab.He wore a black tunic and pants and over that a black cape.He had red hair, a big nose, and a cleft in his chin."Master are you here?"Nobody answered."Hmm, must be off doing some inane experiment again."He looked around the lab and found a leather brown book laying inside an opened drawer."What's this?" he asked aloud.He opened it to reveal the handwriting of his master.It was a diary of his work.It read:
"What is this?" he shouted as he slammed the book shut.
"What's wrong master?"A child had entered the lab.He had a curiously red and black face and when he talked it revealed black teeth.
"Master Plagueis is trying to replace me!His work has corrupted him." Sidious ranted.
"But Master Sidious how can that be?" the child asked
"Search your feelings my young apprentice.What kind of Sith Lord goes around curing people from death?He speaks like he should be sitting on the Jedi council on Coruscant!"`We must study both the `Lightside' and the `Darkside' if we are to understand the Force more clearly."' Sidious stormed over to the rose plant. "Look at this!"He picked a rose one of the thorns dug deeply into his hand."Ouch!" A bunch of expletives escaped his mouth and a drop of his blood landed on the plant causing it to wither and die. "What he is doing creating plants?This is not what the Sith are supposed to do!!!"He ripped the plant out of the dish and threw it to the ground his apprentice knelt down beside it.
"But Master plants can be used for many useful things."Sidious shot him an acidic look.
"So you side with my beloved Master Darth Maul?"
Darth Maul got up from beside the plant looking grim."No Master" he said quietly.
Darth Sidious glared at the leather book."It seems my Master has forgotten the true mission of the Sith.The time has come for me to take it over.Together you and I will rule the galaxy!But first we must get rid of our esteemed "colleague".'
"How are we to do that Master?" the young Sith asked.
Darth Sidious paced the room plotting."The answer is simple my apprentice.Can you not see it?"
Darth Maul thought about it but could come up with nothing.He didn't like to disappoint his Master mostly because it usually came with serious repercussions.He tried to think harder and then suddenly he thought of something."The Naboo."
"Well done Darth Maul.The Naboo hate anything that has to do with war all we have to do is bend that to our advantage."
Darth Sidious took his apprentice back to his quarters.He opened the door to reveal a room done in red and black dcor.There were red velvet tapestries hanging from the walls and a large canopy bed that had red silken curtains.Above the bed a large resin dragon protruded from the wall and next to the bed a claw gripped a mahogany nightstand going up to form a lamp.A large mirror hung from the right wall and by the door stood an ebony wardrobe.Sidious opened the wardrobe revealing extravagant robes.He pushed them all to the other side obviously looking for a specific one.Darth Maul watched him quizzically.Sidious pulled out a robe that looked very rugged he put it on.
"Your plan is to be a beggar... Master?"Darth Maul was puzzled.
" Don't be a fool Darth Maul.The only reason the Naboo in this research center fund Plagueis' experiments is because they believe he's doing it for the good of mankind.If they found out that he was actually using his research to breed an army for war the Naboo would take him down faster than a colo claw fish on an octopus.With the right persuasion the Naboo will do our job for us.Wait here."
Sidious took the elevator up to the building's first level and was ready to sell his show.When the doors opened he crawled out pitifully moaning and groaning.The Naboo saw him trying to pull himself to the counter.He looked like he'd been tortured."Please help me," he begged."I'm so weak" his voice came out soft.They ran over to him.
"Hurry get this man a stretcher!" one of the Naboo doctors shouted."What happened to you?" the doctor asked.
Sidious gasped for air."Escaped from Dr. Plagueis...been down in his lab...three days.He coughed.He's evil....
"Dr Plagueis is the greatest doctor Naboo has ever had he's helped us make huge strides in healing and cybernetics."
"No!" Sidious barked.He's a Dark Lord of the Sith!!!...Right now he's out in the field with a test subject working on an experiment to create an army strong in the darkside of the Force!"
The doctors gasped.The stretcher arrived and they loaded Sidious onto it.
"You must destroy him or the Sith will take over the galaxy as they once did!He plans to start with Naboo"
The Naboo were angered they couldn't believe their beloved doctor was plotting against them all this time.
"Call the special forces."One of the doctors ordered.
The Naboo didn't have an actual army but they had officers that protected the research facility.The Special Forces ran down to where the commotion was.
"Captain Barkulo reporting doctor" What's the problem?"
The doctor told the Captain what Sidious told everybody.The Special Forces ran down to Plagueis' lab and broke down the doors.They ripped everything apart but Plagueis was not there.Meanwhile the Doctors wheeled Sidious away.
A few Moments later Captain Barkulo burst through the doors to Sidious' room his face covered in sweat.
"Plagueis was not in his laboratory.Did he tell you where he went?"
Sidious grimaced "When he is not in his lab he can usually be found by the lake across from the resort."
The Captain bowed "Thank you for informing us."
"No, thank you," Sidious answered.
It was a bright sunny Naboo morning.Shmi awoke stretching and yawning.Darth Plagueis was already up and sitting next to the tree stump.
"I didn't want to wake you." He said.You'll need your rest we have a long walk before us today and an operation when we get back to the lab."
"You must be feeling better.All business again aren't we?" She laughed.
Plagueis just smirked and said nothing.
"Oh and thanks for the cloak last night." She handed it back to him and he quickly put it on.
"Let's just go."Plagueis said impatiently. He gave her the Force orb."Protect this for me."
Shmi gently took the orb and put it in her pocket and they started back toward Theed.The sun beat down on them as they trudged along.
"Aren't you hot wearing all that?"Shmi asked
"I'm used to it." He answered wondering why it was such a big deal.
"Well I'm getting hot.Look there's a forest over there that looks like it heads back near the city.Let's get some shade."
She started toward the forest.
"Women" Plagueis groaned and followed after her. He caught up as they neared the entrance of the forest.Even though it was a sunny day the forest appeared dark and gloomy.
"I have a bad feeling about this;" said Plagueis as he made sure his lightsaber was within easy grasp.
"Don't worry.What could happen?" Shmi responded.
"Freeze!Don't move!" A Naboo Special Forces officer jumped out from behind a tree and was pointing a blaster at them.At the same time Plagueis activated his lightsaber."Hand over the lady and come quietly!"
Plagueis reached out to the darkside to find that they were surrounded four more officers were hiding behind the trees most likely preparing to fire if he didn't come quietly as ordered.Plagueis used the Force to enhance his speed and brought his lightsaber down to the ground hard releasing a shockwave around him sending the officers all flying.
"Shmi run!I'll take care of them!"
Shmi ran deeper into the forest.She could hear shots being fired behind her as more officers jumped out of the trees and ran after her.
"Don't let her get away!Whatever the Dark Lord has done is probably with her!" one of them shouted.
Plagueis suddenly realized that they were after Shmi because she was carrying the orb.They were after his work...his power!!Rage filled him causing his link with the darkside to grow. He used the Force to lift one of the officers in the air and bring him crashing down onto the plasma blade of his lightsaber causing it to go right through the officer's body.The other officers ran for cover behind the trees as he pulled his lightsaber out of the dead officer.They continued to fire shots at him.Plagueis reflected their shots back at them using the Force, which caused his reflexes to quicken.The officers dodged.Plagueis targeted one and used Force speed to lunge at him. The lightsaber impaled him and he fell to the ground dead.Out of the corner of his eye Plagueis saw one of the officers dart out from behind the tree and take a shot at him.He quickly deflected it and directed the shot back at the officer.The bolt went right into the officer's eye causing his head to explode with sickening pop.The headless body fell to the ground with a thud.Only two of them remained now and Plagueis took note of their positions in the forest in relation to a big thick dead tree.He ran towards them slicing the tree as came near and added a Force push causing the tree to fall down on the officers crushing them.As the tree was falling Plagueis took to the air using the Force to jump from tree to tree.
Shmi was running as fast as her legs would go dodging blaster bolts."Why are they shooting at me?"She said aloud."I haven't done anything!"Blaster bolts hit the dark trees as she passed causing them to smoke.Behind her she heard the sound of a tree falling.Crows flew up into the sky cawing loudly.Ahead of her was a small ridge if she could only get up it.She tried but there was nowhere to get a good hold.This was it she was trapped.The two officers came up from behind her.
"Alright lady enough!Come with us!"
"Never!" Shmi shouted, "This is an injustice!"
"I will bring you in with force if I have to"
Just as he was about to pull the trigger Darth Plagueis leaped out of the tree above him.The wind filled his cloak causing it to billow out as he fell.The officer noticed too late as Plagueis' lightsaber hit the top of his head and cut through him right down through his crotch splitting him in half.Both the other officer and Shmi were horrified.The officer ran.Darth Plagueis caught him in the Force and threw him back against the ridge.He was absolutely livid his yellow eyes shone death to anybody who dared to look into them.Shmi had never seen him like this before.He advanced on the officer the darkside surrounding him like a dark cloud.Shmi could feel it radiating from him in great waves.The officer was shaking with fear.Plagueis Force pulled the gun out of his hands it flew over the ridge.
"Who ordered this?" Plagueis demanded.
The officer didn't answer.He tried but it looked as if he was too afraid to move his mouth properly.
Silence. He just shook his head.
"Perhaps this will persuade you!"He held out his hand and started Force choking the officer."Did the Queen order this?"
The officer still would not speak.Shmi watched the officer gasp for air
"Plagueis stop it!Can't you see?He's defenseless and terrified!Maybe he doesn't know who gave the initial order."
Plagueis didn't let up."He will answer me or die!"He changed his hand position."This is your last chance."
The officer could feel the Force release his neck and take a hold of his heart.It started to squeeze.He clutched at his chest.
"Who ordered the attack?"
The officer said nothing.
"So be it."Plagueis made a fist.
The officer's heart exploded in his chest and he collapsed onto the ground.
Shmi ran over and knelt beside the fallen officer."Why?"
"Why?"Darth Plagueis bellowed."I'll tell you why.After all I've shown the Naboo.All the medicines and technologies I've given them they are not satisfied!They also want my powers to create life. That's why they are after you.They knew you were vital to my work.They want to discover how I do it.Then they would become all powerful!But they can't have it!They won't get it!It's mine!The power is all mine!They will pay...oh they will pay.Nobody attacks Darth Plagueis and lives!"
"You're a madman!" Shmi said quietly.She didn't like him like this.She wanted to run away from him too but she was trapped.
Plagueis started towards her as well a mad gleam in his eye.He picked her up.
"Hold on" he said as he used the Force and jumped the ridge.Shmi let go when they reached the top.
"I said hold on!"Plagues snapped at her.She quickly grabbed back on not wanting to anger him any further.
Plagueis took a deep breath and took off.Shmi saw the forest flying past them like they were going a hundred miles an hour.Plagueis was using Force speed.At this rate they would get back to Theed in a flash.
Darth Plagueis burst through the doors of the Naboo Research Facility to find the whole Special Force Squadron pointing blasters at him.
"On behalf of the Naboo Special Forces I place you, Darth Plagueis under arrest.You will come quietly or face the consequences."
"I also have an announcement for you Lieutenant Menai." Plagueis stated matter-of-factly.
"What is it?"
"This."Darth Plagueis threw his lightsaber at the Lieutenant Menai decapitating him.The head rolled backwards towards his comrades who jumped back in horror. The lightsaber came right back into Plagueis' hand.
"You power hungry Naboo want my powers?Here they are!"
The Naboo gasped and tried to flee but too late.Darth Plagueis had both of his hands raised in the air bolts of blue lightning shot out of both hands frying the whole squadron at once.Shmi saw then writhe in pain on the ground the electricity causing their skeletons to be visible.
"Taste my absolute power!"Darth Plagueis laughed at the Naboo as they screamed in pain."Pathetic traitors!"
Shmi then saw a young man beckoning to her in the hallway leading to the elevator to the lab.She went over to him.
"Come with me" he said "He will be busy up here for a while you'll be safe in the lab for now."She followed him down to Plagueis' lab.
"Who are you?" she asked
"I work here." he said. "I be back for you when things settle down up there.Don't worry I'll get you to safety."
Darth Sidious escaped from the doctors during the mayhem Plagueis caused when he burst through the front door.He was disappointed in the Special Forces that they couldn't at least kill Plagueis' test subject.But at least he could still have her killed.When Plagueis got back and saw her in his destroyed lab she was as good as dead.Then he would just have Plagueis to deal with.
Within minutes everybody in the facility was dead.Plagueis decided he would finish teaching his powers to the only person he could trust: his apprentice.He started back towards his lab.He opened the doors to find Shmi.His lab was broken apart all his work destroyed.
"So!Even you betray me!"His rage filled him again.
"No...no...I didn't...I... She backed away from him.
Shmi could not only feel the power of rage coming from his this time it was joined by pain and despair.
Darth Plagueis started to Force choke her.
"Plagueis don't do this," she pleaded with him.
"You are just as bad as the rest of these traitors.You used me!" He tightened his grip.
Shmi gasped for air.No...
Plagueis wasn't convinced.His rage was clouding his judgment
"You know, killing you wouldn't satisfy me as punishment for your betrayal."
He called the Force orb to his hand.
"So I will destroy your hope for a child instead!"
He removed the orb from the protective bubble and started to Force squeeze it.
"You don't want to do this Plagueis."
"I made it and I'm going to destroy it.Even you can't have my powers."
Shmi glared at him.
"You're wrong!We created it together.I gave you my love Plagueis!"
"How dare you defy me!You liar!"
She fell down at his feet crying.
"Please don't do this don't destroy our child.If you want your revenge kill me but not the child."
Plagueis looked at Shmi on the floor.Suddenly his anger melted away and he released the Force orb.Not noticing that a small storm had formed in the orb's center.
"Get on the table I will perform the operation as planned."
Shmi was so happy she wanted to hug him but as he was still not in the best of moods she held back.She got onto the table.
Plagueis brought in one of the few med droids he hadn't destroyed and got to work.The med droid attached the orb inside Shmi.Plagueis centered himself into the Force and commanded it to form a child.
After the operation was complete it was pretty late.
"That's all I can do for now.It's late why don't you go get some sleep."
"Thank you so much."She left the lab and returned to her quarters.
"I think I'll go to bed as well.Tomorrow my work starts anew."Darth Plagueis left the lab and went to his quarters for a much needed rest.
Darth Sidious was very pleased.He didn't see the test subject leave the lab.That must mean she was dead.Now all he had to do was kill Plagueis who was most likely weak from all his Force usage today.Easy task.Then he and his apprentice could continue the true mission of the Sith.He came to his Master's quarters and slowly opened the door.Darth Plagueis was fast asleep.Darth Sidious ignited his lightsaber and his Master's eyes shot open.
"Sweet dreams Master!" said Sidious as he slashed Plagueis with his lightsaber before he could even react.Darth Sidious left the room laughing as Plagueis fell down to the floor.
Shmi felt something was wrong...something was really wrong.She got up from her room and followed her feelings to find Plagueis' quarters.She found him lying on the floor his chest slashed.He was barely alive.
"Nooo!"She knelt down next to him."Plagueis"
"Shmi...you must go.My apprentice...he is a Master now...he will show you no mercy."
"No!Can't you regenerate?I can help."
"I am too weak... I must accept the fate of the...Sith.But you...you must get away from here.Take my ship.
Plagueis smiled weakly."The operation was a success...the child will grow when the time is right...give it your love Shmi."
"I will.I promise."And with that she kissed him deeply.
Plagueis was taken by surprise but this time nothing held him back the darkside released his soul and he returned her love.He was finally at peace finally free.
Shmi released him and was surprised as well.The eyes that stared lovingly at her were no longer a sickly yellow but an intense blue.She wanted to stare at them forever.
"Don't tell anybody about this...if they found you knew of the Sith... they could possibly kill you.Shmi..." He reached out to touch her face. "I...l" but his strength failed him and his arm fell limply down as he died.Shmi cried her tears falling on his still face.She decided to close his eyes so that nobody else could look into the eyes of the man that she and only she loved. She reached out to close them and just as she was about to do it he disappeared!
"What...?"She heard footsteps in the hallway.Then suddenly she heard a voice in her head. Shmi it's my apprentice hurry get out of here!I'll hold them off!"Plagueis?" she said aloud."Run!"She ran out of the bedroom.
Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, and the Captain of the Special Forces Captain Barkulo were coming down the hallway.
"She's alive!"Sidious yelled."Get her!"
Shmi ran towards the hangar and the group of traitors ran after her.
"Darth Sidious couldn't believe Darth Plagueis in all of his rage didn't kill his test subject but he would take care of that now.No mystery child was going to take his place.As he ran after the woman he saw a weird time and space anomaly appearing in front of him.
"It's a ghost!" Darth Maul yelled.
The ghost took the form of a man in his late twenties.He wore a tunic and pants and a cape.His face was clean-shaven and his long hair was tied back in a ponytail.
Captain Barkulo became very afraid."It's Dr. Plagueis as he first appeared to us!" he said with a shocked look on his face.
Darth Sidious was horrified."Master...how?"He fell down onto his knees.The rest of the party followed suit.
Plagueis just started at them secretly enjoying their looks of terror.
Darth Sidious was beside himself with fear.His Master knew what he had done and it was most likely that he came back to punish them all for betraying him.
Suddenly, Plagueis made himself real big putting his face just inches from Darth Sidious and raised his hand.
"This is it" Sidious said."He's going to kill me."
Plagueis started to talk.
"Ring around the rosie.A pocket full of posies.Ashes. Ashes We all fall down"
As he said we all fall down he brought his arm down causing a powerful Force push that pushed the terrified group all the way back down the hall.Plagueis vanished.
Shmi got into the ship but didn't know how to fly it.She started hitting buttons.
"Got to get away!Which one starts it?"She looked around."There that must be it."She pushed the red one and the ship took off into space leaving Naboo far behind.She pushed some more buttons and the ship shot into hyperspace.She flew like this for a while then all of a sudden the ship pulled back into real space."What happened?Oh! No! I'm stuck in the gravitational pull of this planet."
"This is the Mos Espa Port of Tatooine," a voice said over the communicator."Please give us your clearance code to allow a landing."
Shmi was scared.She didn't have a clearance code.She didn't reply but tried to reverse the ship but it was stuck on the pull of the planet.
"I repeat give us your clearance code please."Shmi didn't respond she was just trying to land the ship.She figured she would explain later.She was jolted out of her seat as the ship crashed onto Tatooine right in the Mos Espa town square.Where a slimy creature was looking at the slave auction.Shmi stepped out of her ship and the weird creature pointed at her and said in Huttese."I'll take that one she looks pretty strong."
"Very good selection, your sliminess."Gardulla the Hutt took Shmi away.
Some time later...
Shmi was in the hospital.She had just given birth to her child.It was a healthy boy with sandy hair, pudgy cheeks, and intense blue eyes.She looked into those eyes and remembered the man she loved.It brought tears to her eyes.The baby reached out and touched her face."I think I'll call him Anakin."The child and mother very happily together fell asleep but not before hearing a voice on the wind.Sweet dreams...my son.
"That is all...the past is now silent." The Jedi said getting up. Vader looked at her obviously waiting for her to say more.
"You were to be a child born from the combined powers of the `Lightside' and `Darkside' of the Force or `Life Force' as Darth Plagueis called it.A being of unlimited power that could bring life and death to the galaxy at whim.But it didn't turn out as Darth Plagueis planned.During his anger when he attempted to Force crush the orb that was to be your life energy he upset the balance of the Midi-chlorians in the orb's core."
Vader concentrated and felt the Force with in him.It felt like an electric storm.It was a feeling he was familiar with.It felt that way whenever he wanted to access and use the Force.He began to understand that he did not create this feeling.He opened his eyes.
"I've always felt that there was a storm inside me."He told her.
"From what I gather, a life-form is created when `Lightside' and `Darkside' Midi-chlorians come together to form a bond.During the bonding process the Midi-chlorians' Force energy creates the intention of the life-form, whether it is good or bad, and balances it.By unbalancing the bond of the midi-chlorians and forcing them to create a specific life-form Darth Plagueis had unintentionally caused the Midi-chlorians to be unable to decipher the intention of the being.In short your Midi-chlorians are at war with each other."
Vader stood quietly for a moment thinking.
"Can it be healed?" he asked
"I do not know.But take a good look at yourself.No one person has brought as much hope and despair to the galaxy as you have.In part Darth Plagueis' vision was realized.Even though you have been destroyed partly in body and soul you still carry the power to control your own destiny."
"How so?" Vader asked
"You have the power in your heart to choose for yourself.Who do you want to be?Only you can answer this now that you know the truth of your existence."
The door to Vader's room opened his apprentice slowly entered.
"Master?Are we going to train today...?"
He saw the young woman he was trying to court in the bar and his face turned red.
"Oh I'll come back later..."
He closed the door and started back down the hall.The woman opened the door and called out after him.
He stopped and she ran to him Vader followed.
She apologized to him for the incident in the bar and offered to take him out to dinner at a certain restaurant that she enjoyed on the outer rim.Vader's apprentice looked downtrodden.
"I can't go with you.I must finish my training."
Vader looked at them.The woman looked just as sad as his apprentice did.The scene stirred the good in him and he came to a decision.
"Go with her." Vader told him.
His apprentice looked at him with shock
"If you don't go you will regret it for the rest of your life.Go, I release you from my apprenticeship.I have other business to attend to now anyways."
Vader saw them out to the docking platform where his former apprentice kept his ship.The couple got in together and flew off toward the Coruscant sunset.Vader watched them go thinking about what the Jedi counselor had told him.He had much to think about and soon the answer would become clear to him.He heard her words in his head as they disappeared into space.Who do you want to be?