This story is dedicated to Markus who suggested the crossover and helped in the story's development. Enjoy!
What was that voice in Aladar's head? Didn't sound like old Gotoma, and it surely wasn't any of the dinosaurs present, and definitely not the three Jedi. Yet it was decidedly human, a man speaking to him. Did he say his name was Obi-Wan?
Yes! Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Master who watched over young Luke Skywalker and began training the youth in ways of the Force. Master Hox and the Tasous often spoke highly of Obi-Wan, probably one of the best Jedi of all time.
Aladar felt that Force course through him the moment he stepped out of the cave and into the fray. At present, three carnotaurs and a vicious bounty hunter had the three Jedi and a handful of the Herd locked in a battle to the death. Just as Xander said, they were hopelessly outnumbered, but Aladar had a few tricks that might distract the predators long enough to turn more important attention to Len Targ. Of all the dangers the Herd had faced, nothing prepared them for dodging blaster bolts. That Targ guy was pretty tough, and persistent.
"Why don't we take on those carnotaurs ourselves," suggested Xander. "Seems Hox and the Tasous have their hands full fighting off Len Targ, and they're holding their own."
Aladar replied while he and Xander went to help Anakin, "Hmm...We've never taken on three at once, but we can give it a good shot. Come on! Anakin can't beat up that big ugly carnotaur by himself."
As much as Aladar reassured himself that he and this handful of the Herd could successfully hold off three rampaging carnotaurs, there was that outside chance one or more could fall victim to the predators. After all, it happened before, when Kron tried to ward off a predator. Of course, the still arrogant Kron continued to believe he was right until he discovered, much too late, Aladar was right all along about the sheer drop on the other side of that rock formation. Naturally, Kron, beside himself that he was proven wrong, lost it, thus allowing himself an easy target for the charging carnotaur.
That will not happen now, Aladar thought as he and Xander assisted Anakin. The three iguanodons dodged the beast with tail slaps and shoving. Xander tried to stab the monster with his thumb spike, but realized it was unless; the carnotaur's hide was that tough. How Xander wished to have big sharp horns and a hard, bony head like Mac who wasted no time impaling the second carnotaur several times. The styracosaur, driving his horn deep, drew blood in key places. On the sixth charge, Mac aimed for a main artery. If possible, he could hit it just right to make the carnotaur bleed to death. Charging at full speed, Mac delved his horn deep within the carnotaur's thigh, working it in even deeper. Withdrawing, Mac noticed the blood streaming from the wound. Ah, the monster is badly hurt, bleeding profusely. He doesn't move too fast now...
However, even with one slowed down, there were still two able-bodied carnotaurs daring the plant-eaters with hungry growls and bellows.
"It's almost impossible!", Mac said out loud, who glanced at the Jedi deftly deflecting each and every bolt from Targ's blaster. Mac grimaced. If it wasn't for this guy, the Jedi could easily dispatch the carnotaurs with those lightsabers.
Hmm...Maybe I could help them out some, get Targ off their backs long enough...Artmo could kill these beasts with one blow, and Len Targ is an unwanted, unnecessary inconvenience.
With a mighty lunge, Mac butted his head against a soft rock formation, shattering the pillar, sending large loose stones rolling towards the carnotaurs.
"Look out!," he shouted to Aladar and company as the rocks rolled under the carnotaurs' feet. Those big monsters, whose enormous feet were not made for delicate maneuvering, stumbled on the rocks then tumbled to the ground. How about that! All three were now foundering on the ground, trying so hard to get up.
"Great move, Mac!," said Aladar who immediately turned attentions to the Jedi and Len Targ. "Come on!," he said to the others. "Those carnotaurs won't stay down for long. Let's help Artmo and the Tasous!"
Leaving the carnotaurs to figure out how to get up, Aladar and company raced to the Jedis' aid. What worked with the predators might do the same with Targ. So thought Mac who at once broke a rock formation, sending dozens of stones hurtling towards the bounty hunter. Ah ha! It worked! Those stones caught Targ off-guard, knocking him off his feet. One huge boulder slammed into his side, causing tremendous pain. That guy tumbled to the ground, wracked with pain; his blaster knocked from his hand.
"That was a great move, Mac!," said Kirel who noticed one carnotaur managing to get on its feet. "I think Targ will be out for a while, so let's make quick work with those carnotaurs."
That said, Kirel performed a perfect double somersault, deftly avoiding the charging predator's big feet and even bigger teeth. Still in mid-air, he aimed his lightsaber at the beast's jugular. With a mighty parry, Kirel slashed the monster's throat, cutting deep the aorta. No doubt such an injury meant certain death, as the carnotaur howled and stumbled about. Blood gushed from the gaping wound as the beast fell thrashing to the ground. With one out of commission, the remaining two would make up for the loss of their companion. And that they did as both managed to get on their feet and make a mad charge toward Anakin and Hadron.
Artmo Hox saw this and rushed to the dinosaurs' aid, the blue lightsaber humming furiously. Leaping in the predator's path, Hox raised his weapon, preparing to slash the carnotaur's feet. This, he reasoned, would disable the beast long enough to turn attentions to the remaining carnotaur. Killing both beasts would not be that much a problem, then they could handle Len Targ who still lay on the ground but stirred slightly, grabbing for his blaster.
No one saw it coming. The chaotic skirmish of two carnotaurs against three Jedi and a handful of plant-eating dinosaurs gave Targ just the chance he needed. Still on the ground, Targ finally managed to grab his blaster. With steady aim, he fired, hitting Hox in the leg.
"Ow!," screamed Hox as he fell to the ground.
Anakin saw this and said to Aladar, "I'm with Xander. It's too much for us to handle. We need more help. Any chance of getting word to the rest of the Herd?"
Aladar shook his head. "No, there isn't time. Hox is hurt but not badly. Come on, we need to get him to safety..."
He thought of Plio who would apply soothing plant balm to Hox's wounded leg. Where is Plio? No sign of her in the cave or anywhere out here. Aladar began to worry about her, and if she is still hiding among the rocks, then maybe it's all well and good. Her small size is perfect for keeping concealed. Still, Aladar worried. What if she, witnessing this chaotic battle, decides to show herself. Those remaining carnotaurs, or Targ even, would have her in their sights.
He shook his head again, saying, "We need more help, and more organization. We can't ward off carnotaurs and Targ like this. Come on. I have an idea."
That said, Aladar called out to the others: "Don't scatter, or those guys will pick us off easily. Stand and work together!"
Instantly, the Jedi and dinosaurs pooled their respective resources and fought with renewed vigor. Hox was still on the ground with a nasty, but not life threatening, leg wound. Yet, even in his infirm state, Hox still had a commanding way with the Force. Taking a cue from Mac, Artmo Hox, upon seeing those loose rocks, telekinetically hurled them towards one carnotaur. The beast wobbled a bit on those rocks but did not fall. Still, the carnotaur was unsteady enough for Anakin to make his move. With a mighty lunge, Anakin hurtled his full weight at the predator in hopes of knocking the beast off his feet.
Len Targ finally got on his feet then prepared to blast again. He decided to forego the Jedi for now, preferring to take out the dinosaurs who, to his thinking, were simply in the way. He wouldn't take out the carnotaurs as they could serve as "back up" in case the Jedi proved too much of a challenge.
He watched Anakin lunge at one carnotaur, and he saw Aladar and the others shout down the second predator. Those Jedi, Marbe and Kirel Tasou, held their own, using their Force powers to hurl huge boulders at the carnotaurs.
Come on, two predators aren't that much of a hindrance. It's those plant-eaters who are getting in the way. If I can't take out the Jedi right now, I can kill one or two of those leaf eaters. That one charging, the big one...He will be easy. Steady...
Len took aim then fired.
Still in the shelter of the cave, Kamura watched in horror as Anakin, in efforts to take down a carnotaur, fell from Targ's well-aimed blaster bolt. A bad wound, in the left thigh, perhaps deep enough to have severed an artery. Anakin reeled and howled in pain. So dazed from the shock, he became distracted, not aware that the carnotaur was seconds from attack.
"Anakin! Look out!," shouted Aladar.
Too late, as the carnotaur scooped Anakin in sharp-toothed mouth then violently shook the wounded dinosaur. The beast then hurled Anakin several feet, sending the hapless iguanodon colliding head first into a granite wall.
Just like Kron...He slammed Anakin just like that one did to Kron...This is bad.
Aladar called out to his friend, "Anakin! Get up!," but Anakin didn't stir. Surely he is hurt that badly. Come on, let's take care of Targ and the carnotaurs before anyone else gets hurt or worse.
Marbe leapt upon a rock, furiously deflecting bolt after bolt that fired from Targ's blaster. Again, while valiantly fending off the bounty hunter's relentless pursuit, Marbe heard it, that same music she heard just before entering Earth's atmosphere. She also saw, in her mind's eye, the one who would ultimately defeat the evil one who is on this planet now, but in a vastly different time period. This Sarama told her just before witnessing the redemption of Anakin Skywalker. There was another Jedi on Earth, again settling in an entirely different time period. That Jedi, Bruno Dibon, a friend of Padmé and the Naberrie family, had found his niche on Earth, ultimately recording his experiences through an entirely unique venture. This, too, as Sarama prophesied, would have profound repercussions on not just those handful of Jedi on Earth, but several innocent people whose very existence and supposed "falling outside the normal order" earned some a death sentence.
However, Marbe didn't want to concentrate on other Jedi on Earth but the task at hand. If she was to remain on this planet to fulfil her destiny, and Kirel returning to Coruscant to fulfill his, defeating Len Targ and the carnotaurs must come first. She knew Emperor Palpatine sent Targ to kill the Jedi, and she wondered if Palpatine knew of the others who had escaped via that time slip. In fact, did the Emperor ever learn of the time slip in the first place? Indeed, Count Dooku, Palpatine's apprentice before Anakin Skywalker, breached that slip, but how? More confounding to Marbe: How did the others who escaped to various periods on Earth find the slip? Was it possible Ricar Tasou confided in other Jedi, particularly Masters Yoda and Kenobi?
But how could Marbe know that? Up until she and Kirel reached this solar system, there was no way to know their father revealed this vital information to anyone. How did she know there were already Jedi on Earth, and that she will meet at least three of said Jedi in the near future? What's more, didn't Sarama say Marbe would meet her life mate, another Force Master but whose ways with it differ greatly from the norm? In fact, this man would be, in reality, a descendant of a Force Master who arrived on Earth centuries ago, as did a Dark Jedi who landed in the same era and locale, spreading the seeds of fear and anger all over. Dark designs that would plague many for hundreds of years before one of Marbe's descendants trains in ways of the Force to bring down, at last, the Dark One who had wrecked so many lives.
So lost in her thoughts, Marbe became distracted, not aware that Len Targ suddenly aimed his blaster at another target. Oh no, now he's going after the dinosaurs, Aladar and Mac this time. But what about the predators? There are two left. Surely Targ, able shooter he is, would not take that chance lest become a carnotaur's prey. He's moving closer, too close for comfort. Already one carnotaur has injured Anakin, badly, and Kirel has his hands full warding off another, even with the few of Aladar's Herd members holding their own. But how long can we keep this up? We need help, and fast!
"How much further? I'm sure this is the right way, but why is it taking so long? Oh dear, I hope I'm not too late."
Through the darkness of the cave, Baylene made her way, slowing and stopping only to gauge the distance from the Nesting Grounds to the other side. Of course she had to take care not to bump into a delicate beam with her long neck. Baylene's tremendous height, at times, could be a handicap, such as negotiating through dark caves. One false move could send the entire roof tumbling down. She remembered the last time, when she and the other "misfits" were in this cave. They had just escaped a carnotaur attack, Bruton died in efforts to ward off the beasts, and Baylene finally came into her own when she burst through that wall to the Grounds.
Baylene corrected herself, "No, that wasn't the very last time; the last was when I confronted the spirits of my long-dead family. Perhaps...No, that cannot be, but I swore I heard a voice calling to me. Said her name was Padmé. She told me to press on, that what I might see may break my heart. Oh, please let that not be true."
When Baylene reached the cave's mouth, she heard the sounds of blaster and lightsaber blended with carnotaur roars. She also heard something else: The many wails of grief.
"I arrived too late," she said, emerging from the cave and surveying the damage.
"No you did not," said that voice again. "Targ now has the upper hand, or so he thinks. One is dead, another is dying, several are wounded. And there are still two carnotaurs on the rampage. Considering the casualties, your Herd is nearly demoralized. Use your talents, Baylene, to bring down these villains posthaste. You will know what to do. May the Force be with you."
Sizing up the situation, Baylene began to make her move, but not before she glanced up at the sky to see an odd object hurtling towards Earth.
Could that be the call for help Xander instructed the droids R2 and R4 to send? Marbe mentioned another Jedi who, not long ago, finally brought his father back from the darkness. Balance is restored, and a New Republic shall rise. But that couldn't be him now! He is so far away, in his home galaxy. In no way he could have gotten that message and arrive here so soon. Or could he?
Wasting no time, Baylene, upon seeing the dead and injured, and the one who caused such destruction, instantly sprang into action. What she did would stunned everyone present. Who knew she could do something like that!
Copyright @2006 by P.R. Parker. All Rights Reserved.