This story is dedicated to Markus who suggested the crossover and helped in the story's development. Enjoy!
"How odd you share a name with a Jedi Knight. His name was Anakin...Anakin Skywalker," said Kirel Tasou upon meeting the dinosaurs.
Amazing still that upon Kirel's mention of the mysterious man's name – Charlie Lavigne – the female iguanodon softened, dropped her guard, then called her male companions. What was even more fascinating, just as Ricar Tasou described, these animals had the power of human speech and reasoning. As far as Kirel and Marbe were concerned, everything their father claimed about the dinosaurs rang true. These animals must be that Force-sensitive, or else what could explain their ability to speak and reason as humans. No creature in their home galaxy possessed such abilities.
After some awkward moments, such as Xander and Anakin examining the speeder bikes and the Tasous themselves, the latter spoke: "My mother bestowed the name 'Anakin' on me. I was to be named 'Bruton' but he hatched first."
A slight smile spread across Anakin's rugged face, then he said, "It is true. We are en route to the Nesting Grounds. Much of my former home, deep in the forest, had been decimated by the Fireball. There was not much left after that catastrophe, so we've been on the road much of the time. It dawned upon me that my brother and the Herd may still be at the Grounds–"
"Fireball?," asked Marbe. "What was that?"
Kamura, still too traumatized from that disaster, explained, "It happened nearly a year ago, just around sunset. Little bright lights fell from the sky, then a huge ball of flame fell. We assumed it landed in the faraway ocean, but the effects were widespread. Flames and heat destroyed everything green and fresh. When it was over, there was nothing left, not even a blade of grass. The verdant land we loved was turned into a vast, endless waste. It was the parasaurolophus matriarch, Adah, who foresaw the coming conflagration. I, of course, along with many of the Herd, didn't quite believe her; but, in the end, we learned to listen to those prophecies."
"Such as," rejoined Xander, "Adah's granddaughter, Sarama. Alas, Adah is long dead, as is her mate Japhet. Sarama and her mate Hadron went with the Herd, to the Nesting Grounds that year. We don't know the status of the Herd now, other than of the new leader who took Kron's place. This we learn from flyers and other wanders along the way."
Kamura, ever curious of her new acquaintances, asked, "Enough of our history. What about you? How did you come to our land?"
Marbe explained, in length, her and Kirel's journey to Earth, and the preceding events which necessitated the hasty escape. The marriage of their parents, the coming Clone War, Ricar's return to the Jedi Order and his resulting death.
"He was," said Marbe, "to search for his Jedi Master, Artmo Hox. It was believed Hox had been captured, and Father, thinking just that, found himself a prisoner of General Grievous. He was killed, my father."
Marbe tried not to show any outward emotion since she and Kirel were only five at the time. Regaining her composure, she was about to explain more of the Great Jedi Purge, the infamous Order 66, hiding from Emperor Palpatine's stormtroopers, and the death of their mother. However, she felt it again, a deep rumbling in the Force. In her mind, she could sense a great, hard-won victory for the Rebel Alliance. Alas, the shield is still up! They have to get to the generator shed, find some way to knock it out. Only then will the final battle begin...
Noticing his sister's deep reverie, Kirel resumed their story. "After Father's death, we had to hide from the Imperial forces. For nearly twenty years we were safe, but the Emperor's spies somehow learned of our hideout. Mother arranged for our escape but remained behind to face her fate. She is dead, Kamura. We could feel it even out in deep space. But we do not mourn her. That is not the Jedi way."
Anakin smiled in his gruff way, saying, "You two show great courage in the face of all you've endured. The death of a parent, or a child for that matter..."
He paused to gaze at Kamura who took in the Jedi Knights' every word. Ah, so she at last accepts the fate of her unborn children, for I can tell by the look in her eyes. That's right, Kamura, let it go, for it is not good to hang on to what is no longer there.
He continued, "You may travel with us. I have no idea if our Nesting Grounds are still intact, despite contrary reports from many a wanderer. So much has changed since the Fireball, and I suspect it so for the Herd."
Looking at Marbe and Kirel's speeder bikes, Anakin suggested, "You must get around quite well on those things, able to reach your destination much quicker than by merely walking. If you maintain a comfortable speed, not get too far ahead, why don't you go before us. With your weapons – I assume you are carrying weapons of some sort – we may have a chance against the predators."
At that comment, Xander made some observations on the dead raptors the trio saw on the way to the lake. He also mentioned those odd tracks; they were not made by any animal he could identify.
"See?," he said, indicating the pair of curious-looking tracks, "Whoever or whatever made these kept going across the lakebed. They didn't stop for water or else there'd be wet spots here and there. My guess is they're now far into the canyon."
At the mention, and taking taking notice of the tracks leading to and across the lakebed, Kirel and Marbe knew exactly to whom Xander referred.
"Those tracks belong to our droids," said Kirel. "HK-47 and R2T7. The former walks on two legs; the latter just rolls along. As for the dead raptors, we saw those, too. From the looks of the damage, I can safely guess HK killed them with the blaster gun."
Marbe added with a grin, "I think they tried to bite a chunk of HK, and he's made of metal."
Anakin and Xander nodded, still not quite comprehending these two humans and the droids; the latter they had yet to meet. There was still the question of the crashed starfighter the iguanodons saw on the way, to which the Tasous tried to explain best they could. Getting an idea, and wondering if the dinosaurs would believe such a device as a Holocron, Kirel produced just that.
"Here," he said, "this is a recording of our father's last message to Artmo Hox, who was Dad's Jedi Master. Hox had been missing during the wars, and Dad searched for him. Of course, we've already told you what happened to Dad. That's Hox's starfighter you saw. We saw it, too, and Hox left this recording in event someone should find it. I suppose he, like our father, had a premonition we would be here."
Without further hesitation, Kirel replayed the Holocron, seeing and hearing once more Ricar Tasou's final message. How ingenious, thought Anakin and company, particularly Kamura who, in her disbelief as well as amazement, took in Ricar's words.
Then Ricar mentioned the Nesting Grounds, Gotoma, Sarama. Apparently this Hox fellow is still there, but has he made himself known to the Herd? What amazed Kamura more was Ricar's account of his two Great Valley visits. Like many of the Herd, those Great Valley stories were regarded as mere legends, not based on actual living beings. Yet Ricar Tasou, in his final moments of life, admits he has visited and met the Longnecks and Threehorns. Could this be what Ben, that man in Kamura's dreams, meant by knowing the Force? Ricar does mention that the animals possess the power of speech and gifts of foreshadowing, all signs of Force-sensitivity.
She nudged her mate, whispering, "Let them come with us, Anakin. Call it a hunch, a change of heart, but I must return to the Nesting Grounds with all deliberate speed. I don't care what I'll find, or how they'll treat me. I just want to go home!"
Copyright @2006 by P.R. Parker. All Rights Reserved.