This story is dedicated to Markus who suggested the crossover and helped in the story's development. Enjoy!
The battle of wills, between dark and light. One tries to turn the young man to the dark side. Give in to your anger, your hate, the Emperor urges so persuasively, but Luke remains steadfast even while witnessing Alliance starfighters slaughtered by the scores.
"The Emperor," Marbe muttered, "lied to Anakin Skywalker. He used the boy's fears to achieve his own dark agenda. Padmé died of a broken heart, or so I was told. The Emperor lied to Anakin, saying he killed Padmé by his own hand. He snuffed out, or so he believed, that last glimmer of love, the one thing that kept Anakin from completely falling to the dark side. But that love is still there, and now, even on the verge of battling his own son to the death..."
"Marbe, come look at this," called out Sarama from the pool. "There is something you should see."
Marbe shook herself from her reverie then looked into the mineral pool where Sarama stood. She couldn't get over how much the hadrosaur towered over her; nearly all the dinosaurs were huge beyond compare. Not too many beasts in her home galaxy could compare in sheer size and bulk; then again, not one animal back home were on par with these creatures by way of intelligence and compassion.
"These crystals," she commented to Sarama, "must be that powerful. Do the others use them? What other powers do they possess?"
The prophetic hadrosaur, still staring into the colorful pool, replied, "Most of us know of the crystals' special properties. Not only do they have the power to enhance psychism, they can heal the soul. Not the body, mind you. There are healing plants in here that do that. The crystals, on the other hand, help quiet the mind and spirit. Baylene and Eema know of their power as both have foreseen their individual legacies."
Marbe remembered an earlier conversation with Sarama where she learned of the Herd's elderly members' ethereal encounter with the faraway future. Baylene, in a trance-like state, not only saw her own remains on display but saw and spoke to her long-dead family. Eema saw herself on board a doomed ocean liner, the same ship Sarama saw in a prophetic dream.
These visions had to suggest a profound Force potential, and Marbe wondered if Sarama saw something in that pool that pointed to her future. This she asked the parasaurolophus.
"At first," Sarama replied, "I saw a few key events from your future on Earth, but the scenes faded to another. I saw an intense battle in a deep forest, but another battle rages within a young man who so desperately wishes to turn his father away from the dark side."
Marbe was outdone; that's exactly what she was feeling moments ago. In her mind she could plainly see Luke Skywalker endeavoring to keep his anger in check despite the Emperor's goading. "You wish to strike me down," he says to Luke who, at this moment, is distraught at so many Alliance starfighters shot of the sky. Well, it does seem hopeless, not unless Leia and Han can get to that generator shed and knock out the shield. Even his father voices pessimistic of the Alliance's efforts; it's just not to be. Join him, Vader urges, become a father and son team for the Empire. Stamp out the last of the rebels and bring the Empire to heights unknown. No, Luke thinks to himself. Never will I give into the dark side. Yet, during the impending lightsaber battle between father and son, the former feels if the son can't be turned, the sister can. That protective streak only a brother can possess towards his sister kicks in. Luke fights with renewed vigor, but the anger does not last long as he, in the thick of combat, cuts off his father's hand. He notices Vader's cybernetic hand then looks at his own, severed by Vader himself not long ago. It comes to him; he can't fight his own father, not if he is to turn Darth Vader back to the light and restore Anakin Skywalker.
"I will not fight you, Father."
"Luke refuses to kill his father," says Sarama, "although the Emperor has another, more sinister, fate for Luke. Look, his hands shoot forth blue lightning."
"Force lightning," says Marbe, still watching the images in the pool. "A handful of Jedi have been known to use it, but the Sith use it as torture...Just as Emperor Palpatine does with Luke. See, the Emperor's lightning engulfs Luke, electrocuting him. My only hope is Vader will finally allow Anakin Skywalker to resurface–"
"To save his son," rejoined Sarama. "I didn't tell you all my visions, Marbe. Long ago...Well, at the time Kamura lost her eggs, I had a dream about Anakin and his fall to the dark side. I saw him, as vivid as if I had stood beside him personally, become enthralled by Palpatine's dark persuasion. Palpatine played on the boy's fears, fear of losing the one he loves."
"That," said Marbe, her eyes never averting from the images in the pool, "would be Padmé Amidala. My mother knew Padmé and Anakin married in secret, one of the precious few who did. Obi-Wan figured it out after..."
Sarama sighed, "After witnessing, via the security recordings, Anakin slaying the all young Jedi, even the children. Marbe, in my dream I saw Anakin's complete fall from grace, and the resultant duel between him and Obi-Wan. As I can tell by what is going on now, Anakin, as Darth Vader, has no way to thwart Palpatine's attack on Luke. He can't generate this Force lightning as he lacks real hands. My goodness, after he burned on Mustafar, there was not much of him left. His limbs are artificial, and that armor and helmet he wears has kept him alive all these years, however..."
Now Marbe knew this creature wasn't ordinary, not by any means. It was obvious Sarama was that gifted in ways of the Force, or she wouldn't have seen those events leading up to Anakin Skywalker's ultimate fall to the dark side. What the dinosaur described Marbe didn't fully know except from her mother's stories. Belma Tasou could tell her children what happened to Anakin Skywalker as heard from Obi-Wan who, in a hasty visit to return Ricar's lightsaber, only told the lady from Alderaan so much.
"Sarama," she said, "Kirel and I often wondered what really happened to Anakin. Master Kenobi told my mother Anakin Skywalker died, but in a way he did. Anakin ceased to exist after he fell to the dark side."
The prophetic hadrosaur nodded, her eyes shifting back to the pool. In the mineral-rich waters she saw the young Jedi writhing in agony, begging his father to help him. The Emperor continued to blast Luke with Force lightning and almost succeeded in killing Luke. That is until Anakin finally emerged anew. How could he allow part of Padmé die, the only person he truly loved and wanted to protect at all costs? Well, Luke and Leia were Padmé's children, and wasn't it Luke who said to Darth Vader, "There is good in you."
Only Vader brushed off such talk as nonsensical. Up until now there was only the dark side of the Force that mattered, and only the knowledge of the dark side could've saved Padmé...
No, she died, killed by Vader's own hand, or so he was told. Lies, nothing but lies. He may have failed in saving Padmé; he will not fail in saving her son...
"Somehow," said Sarama, "Anakin sensed Padmé's dying words: 'There is good in him, I know there is.' The son echoes those same words, and now he finally feels that love return tenfold. Look, he picks up Palpatine, the lightning still flying from the Emperor's hands."
Marbe peered into the pool, saying, "He threw Palpatine into the reactor core, but the Force lightning short-circuited Vader's life support armor, shutting down the very thing that's kept him alive."
They watched as Luke removed the helmet at Anakin's request. Behind the black mask was a scarred, sad man who for nearly two decades blotted out almost all he loved. So deep in the dark side was Anakin, consumed by Darth Vader, but now it is complete. Anakin Skywalker came full circle, fulfilling the ancient prophecy. Luke was right, Anakin says with dying breath. There was good in him after all.
Another momentous event was at hand the moment Anakin Skywalker became one with the Force. The deflector shield was finally down, allowing the Alliance to destroy the second Death Star from its core.
Marbe turned away from the pool which rippled as the images vanished. She sighed, saying to Sarama, "At last, the Empire is defeated and balance to the Force is restored. All these years living under Palpatine's brutal reign, hiding from his spies, not knowing if and when his stormtroopers would eventually find and destroy us. With the downfall of the Empire comes the hard part: Rebuild the Republic and re-establish the Jedi Order."
Sarama looked at Marbe, admitting, "Only your brother will return to his home world. You, my dear, are destined to remain on Earth and establish your own lineage of Jedi. Not right away, mind, but one of your later descendants will fulfill her own destiny as a Jedi Knight. We, the Herd, will meet this woman soon, and she will relocate us to a land of wonderment and enchantment."
Marbe replied, quite disbelievingly, "But how do know this?"
A smiling Sarama said, "I've seen it myself, in my dreams, Gotoma's spirit has confirmed it. Before you say anymore, there is something else I must share with you. I need to ask: Have you heard the music?"
Marbe thought it over. Come to think of it, I have heard music, back on the skiff, before we even approached this planet. I've never heard such lovely melodies, and I saw the person performing. She looked a little like me...
This she shared with Sarama who replied, "I've heard it the first time, right after Kamura lost her eggs. In recent days, before you, Kirel or Master Hox made yourselves known, most of the Herd have heard this music. Some of us see it in our dreams; others sing to themselves songs we've never heard before. Baylene keeps hearing a young man singing, a beautiful tenor voice he has, but the language is unknown to us. When I consulted Gotoma he proclaimed this is a sign of the future."
She paused then added, "Marbe, you will have your challenges once you've settled in your new life on Earth. Many times you will feel frustration, anger, even hate. Yes, you will brush with the dark side, but from what I have seen for you, there is much joy and love. You shall never know fear or want. What you have will be shared with those less fortunate. There is a special young man you will meet. He may not be Force-sensitive, but he does have incredible powers. From your marriage will come many gifted children and grandchildren, all using their gifts to better the world."
So, the Herd experienced the music, too. Perhaps there is something else about this descendant Sarama speaks of. What will she be like? Will the Force run strong in her? What exactly is her destiny? The woman Marbe saw in her dreams certainly was Jedi but not in the conventional sense. And what did she mean by a special man she'll soon meet and eventually marry? Jedi aren't allowed to marry, but then again, in her home galaxy, everything had changed. With the coming of the New Republic and New Jedi Order, perhaps the old rules will give way to the more relaxed. Oh, there will be Jedi, but a new breed given to freedom to marry and produce children, something that was expressly forbidden in her father's time.
Then again, Father left the Order to marry, but he returned, only to become one with the Force.
Yet there was something else bothering Marbe: those disturbing dreams of her slaying men. Will these visions become reality, or are they warnings of falling to the dark side? She asked Sarama if any of the Herd had fought off those feelings of fear, hatred, and anger, all paths to the dark side.
The parasaurolophus replied, "Well, after the Fireball, we were met with challenges unknown. There was no greenery, no fresh water, nothing but barren, wasted land. Of course, our leader Kron refused to make allowances for the changes, and he pushed us harder than in the past. I believe we've all experienced our dark side, but now we've managed to rise above it all. As Eema said, under Aladar's leadership, we get along better, have fewer disputes, and we never lose hope. We look out for the elderly and those who Kron would have left behind to the predators."
Marbe nodded, replying, "I'm asking because I feel a sudden rumble in the Force. I sense trouble ahead. Something is happening now, out there, and in the Nesting Grounds. Two events that will soon collide."
Now Sarama became alarmed. She turned to peer down the long corridor that led to the cave's entrance, the way out to the canyon. She, too, sensed trouble. There was also, as Marbe sensed, a profound drama playing out in the Grounds. Could it be? Has Kamura revealed herself to Aladar?
"Marbe," she whispered, "have your weapon on the ready, for I sense danger soon. We must go back to the Nesting Grounds. Something is not quite right, and I feel whatever is coming next may spell certain doom to us..."
She thought she heard shouting. She sensed raised voices uttering angry, ugly words, and there were many tears. Did she hear right? Was that Aladar calling his mother a coward and wishing it was she who was killed by the carnotaur?
The moment Sarama and Marbe decided to return to the Herd, Kamura came charging down the corridor, past the mineral pool. She was crying, distraught, angry. Close behind followed Anakin and Plio.
"I thought he'd take it well," sobbed Kamura as soon as she spotted Marbe and Sarama. "I explained what happened, and the two lizards, Kit and Flit, told us their eyewitness account. Even Delsie corroborated their story. I tried to explain to Aladar my special case, that I did return to my nest only to find all the eggs destroyed. I didn't know one would escape destruction, let alone a journey across the sea!"
Sarama tried to calm Kamura with, "Slow down. Now, tell us what happened that has you so upset."
Marbe Tasou felt it again – someone is very close to the dark side. In her mind she heard the words of anger and hate spill from his lips, not words of love and understanding. She felt Kamura's spirit stung by the son's misinterpretation of those who tried to make things right. He felt his mother abandoned him and never bothered to look for her unborn children.
Marbe peered down the corridor leading to the Nesting Grounds, and she sensed chaos among the Herd. Their idealistic leader hurled bitter words at the very one who gave him life, so uncharacteristic for one who prided himself on being compassionate and having a sense of fair play. What latent darkness within drove Aladar to attack his mother?
She said to Kamura, "The first thing you need to do is calm down. I'm sure Aladar didn't mean what he said. Come on, sit down and tell us what happened out there."
Kamura, still sobbing and angry, shouted, "I don't want to sit down! All I want is to get out of here. I knew I shouldn't have come back here. I was happy with traveling with Anakin. Why did I let him talk me into returning to the Herd? I didn't want to come back! Now, please, let me go!"
She stormed past the ladies, down the dark corridor and through the rock piles that led to the outside. On instinct, Marbe went after her, and Sarama almost followed but was met by Anakin and Plio.
"What went on out there?," she asked Plio.
The lemur matriarch sighed, herself near tears. She said, "Kamura revealed herself as Aladar's mother. Kit and Flit told us their eyewitness account of the egg theft, and Delsie corroborated their story. What Glennis told us last year, about her mother carrying an egg all the way from the mainland to our island was true. Kamura tried to tell Aladar her side of things, but he took it all wrong. I've never heard him so angry. He called her a coward. How dare she desert her nest when she could have let the carnotaur take her instead. She tried to explain but Aladar wouldn't hear it. He kept at her until she was in tears. Then she took off into the cave. Anakin and I went after her. Right now, Artmo and Eema are trying to talk sense into Aladar. He and Neera had words, so she isn't exactly speaking to him now. Oh, Sarama, I don't know what to do."
Anakin, himself very upset, asked Sarama, "We saw her come past you and Marbe. Where is Kamura now?"
"She went outside, Anakin. Marbe followed her. I assume she is trying to reason with Kamura. Anakin, I – Well, both Marbe and I – had this feeling something was not right. We sensed impending danger. Come on, we must get the others. If Kamura goes outside into the canyon..."
Sarama felt a twinge of doom. Yes, there is danger lurking in the canyon, and it's not just the average predators. Another presence is there, and whoever or whatever it is, it may mean certain death to many of the Herd. Sarama wasn't far from the truth when she heard a sudden shriek from the cave's entrance.
"Anakin," she said alarmedly, "go get the others. Kirel and Master Hox will be needed, too. I believe Marbe and Kamura walked in on a trap."
Copyright @2006, 2007 by P.R. Parker. All Rights Reserved.