AUTHOR'S NOTE: The following multi-part fan fiction draws inspiration from STAR WARS EPISODES III & VI, and Disney's DINOSAUR. All characters and situations other than my own are sole property of Walt Disney Company and George Lucas and Lucasfilms. No profit is gained from this story. It is intended for entertainment purposes only. STAR WARS is copyrighted and a registered TM of George Lucas and Lucafilms.

This story is dedicated to Markus who suggested the crossover and helped in the story's development. Enjoy!

One With The Force

Chapter Eight

     She really didn't feel up to travelling today, but her mate and his friend insisted their journey to the Nesting Grounds was only days away. Not that she was too anxious to get there, not since the last time the fabled valley held nothing but bad memories. How long had it been? Almost twenty years. Two long decades of grieving over lost eggs, what could have been if only it wasn't for that rampaging carnotaur.
     She remembered that day as clear as anything. A peaceful morning, many mothers-to-be, including herself, watching and fussing over nests full of newly laid eggs. A nosy hadrosaur child kept poking around the nests, disturbing an otherwise calm with her incessant curiosity. The expectant mothers merely shooed the girl away, leaving her to turn attentions to a flying lizard. Now, how was anyone to know that the child, in her zeal to capture the elusive reptile, would wander too far into the forest, stumbling upon a what she thought was a dead tree trunk. Only said tree was actually a carnotaur lying in wait for a stray Herd member.
     Never would Kamura forget that nightmarish morning, and it started out so peacefully. The carnotaur charged out of the forest, nearly running over the child hadrosaur. Besides, the kid wasn't even on the beast's menu; he was after the main course. In the confusion of animals fleeing for cover, no one gave the unhatched eggs a second thought. Come to think of it, neither did the rampaging carnotaur. He just trudged onwards, trampling everything in sight, including one unprotected nest. All eggs were smashed to bits; none of the unborn babies survived the ordeal. Or so it seemed to Kamura once she returned to her nest. A deeply grieving Kamura vowed before everyone she wold have no more children. Why put herself through all that agony again? Besides, her mate had already passed on – killed by another predator. Now her unborn children suffered the same fate, so most Herd members somewhat understood her reasoning. Since that tragedy, Kamura removed herself from the Herd, took up with a couple of loner iguanodon males, and literally struck out on her own. No one ever saw or heard from her since, not even after the Fireball disaster. It was assumed Kamura and her new friends died in that awful firestorm. Even now, not too many Herd members talk about Kamura. Oh, sometimes Eema or the other older ladies would mention her name in passing but that was all.

     So what brought Kamura and company on the road to the Nesting Grounds? After all these years, even she couldn't understand why. Perhaps it was that dream she had a few nights ago, one that almost shed some light on what really happened to her unhatched eggs. In that dream she saw one egg unharmed by the rampaging carnotaur. She went to it, and before she could lay hands on it, the egg mysteriously disappeared into thin air. Vanished, just like that. Then she saw a creature, the likes of which she hadn't seen in a while, in her dreams that is. She had seen this man before, when he fought a life-and-death battle with a younger man who was his best friend. In that earlier dream she saw him take a precious bundle far away to another world where the child would grow and mature in relative obscurity. Now, in the current dream, Kamura saw this man, only now he had aged and took on the task of instructing the child, now a grown man, in ways of the Force. What is this Force he is talking about?
     Then, Kamura actually talked to this man, this "Ben", who told her that she will encounter the one feared lost long ago. She didn't quite understand as all her unhatched eggs had been smashed, the babies killed. How can there be any survivors?
     He said, "It is the way of the Force, Kamura. You will come to know it as your son has."


      What did he mean? I will come to know this Force as my son has. Impossible! For my children are dead. There were no survivors after that carnotaur smashed them. Could it be? Is it possible that there was one or two eggs that weren't destroyed? If there were, then what happened to them? When I returned to my nest, all eggs were in pieces, but...
     Even if only one egg survived, it might have been snatched by one of those awful egg thieves. Again, if that happened, the egg was lost forever. No, there is no way a stray egg could survive, even if it were dropped in the river. So many predators about, others clumsily trampling it...
     And what, exactly, is this Force? He said, in my dream, there will be profound changes once I reach the Nesting Grounds. That beings from his world will visit us, live among us, become our comrades and protectors.

     "Kamura! Aren't you coming?"

     That was her new mate, Anakin, calling to her. She lingered about too long this morning, looking up at the sky, swearing she saw an object floating about. They were within a few hours walk of the lake, and Anakin wanted to get an early start before the desert sun warmed, making the trek that more uncomfortable.
     He was a good mate, and Kamura counted herself fortunate to have found him. An unusual sort, jovial, likeable, if not the handsomest iguanodon around. Anakin had recently lost his brother, or so he presumed his elder brother had been killed. After all, how long had it been since the Fireball disaster? Nearly twenty years, and not one creature came forth with news of Anakin's brother.

Hmm...The Herd thinks Kamura is dead; Anakin thinks his brother is dead...Only one is right...

     "Kamura," shouted out Anakin as he ambled up the sandy slope overlooking the flat desert they had just crossed the days before. "Dear, we must be on our way at once. This heat will overtake us if we don't reach the lake in time."
     He continued his climb, watching his mate watch the sky. What is so unusual about the sky these days? Same blue sky, same clouds, same sun. Nothing out of the ordinary, yet Kamura continues to stare up at the heavens s if searching for something.
     She broke her concentration then turned her attention to Anakin. How odd that she, after leaving the Herd, merely bumped into Anakin and his even stranger friend while traversing the very woodlands that once served as her home. Kamura, still grieving over her lost eggs, wandered into the dense forest, unaware of impending danger. A lone carnotaur prowled the forest, much like the one who bounded out onto the plains, smashing and destroying...Yet this latest confrontation ended much differently.
     Kamura didn't want to think of it, but that near attack was a boon for her. She heard a voice call to her, then she made haste through the heavy woods to the river. The carnotaur gained on her, but she still ran at top speed, running towards that voice which urged her onwards. Once reaching the river, he told her, "Here, come into the water. Those monsters can't swim. We can follow the river out of the forest to the wide plains."
     How did Anakin know Kamura was even in the forest? Was it that "force" she so often heard about in her dreams? Whatever compelled that yet unseen benefactor to save her life didn't matter. Instantly, once seeing him in the flesh, she fell in love with him.

     Kamura, still standing on the bluff, said to her mate, "Please forgive me, Anakin, but I thought I saw something up in the sky. It was moving among the clouds, now it's gone."
     Anakin, becoming concerned that his lady might be seeing things, asked, "And just what did this thing look like? Not another Fireball, I trust."
     She shook her head, replying, "No, nothing like that. I can't describe it, but to me it looked like a little speck of dust just flying about."
     He ambled up to her side, chuckled, then nuzzled her neck, saying, "Well, perhaps it was just that: a speck of dust. You've been seeing and hearing too many things these days, Kamura. I believe the long trek across the desert and hot sun has messed with your mind."
     She returned the laughter and said, "Anakin, you know me too well."

     Kamura in turn nuzzled her mate, enjoying the closeness they shared. All those years of grieving and mourning came to an end the moment she laid eyes upon him. As she assessed that day he rescued her from a carnotaur attack, Kamura looked at Anakin. He was, just as she thought that first day, not the best looking iguanodon male she had seen. Without a doubt, Anakin, with his bulky muscular build, bumpy nose, and gravelly voice, was by no means handsome. It had been said, and this was only from his own memories, he and his brother could pass for twins. However, the siblings' similarities lay more with their character, not physical appearance. Both shared the same sense of loyalty, a wealth of bravery, an unflinching attachment to doing the right thing.

     "Too bad you still don't know your brother's true fate," said Kamura as the third member of their party finally caught up.
     "I know," said Anakin sadly. "Bruton struck out on his own years before I matured. He joined up with another herd; its leader, Kron, made him second in command. The last time I saw Bruton was not long before the Fireball. The Herd was migrating to the Nesting Grounds, and he wanted me to come along."
     "And," Kamura said, "you turned down his invitation, saying you much prefer remaining behind in the forest, near your parents' birthplace."
     Anakin smiled, saying, "Yeah, and he didn't buy it, but he understood. Heck, I still don't know why I didn't follow them, but at least I found you...And Xander."

    "Did someone mention my name? I hope you guys are not leaving without me."
     That was Xander, a young iguanodon who Kamura and Anakin befriended just a few months ago. He was, as he explained, an orphan; his family had been wiped out by a terrible epidemic. Not much else was known about Xander, though Kamura kept pressing him to tell about his family, his childhood memories. Xander couldn't – wouldn't – elaborate, only saying that his parents and siblings all died of disease. He was so young, far too young to remember much else. He did say he had a friend from whom he got separated some years ago. This is why he was on his way to the Nesting Grounds, in hopes of finding his friend thus reuniting with him.

     Anakin called to his friend, "Hey, Xander. Look up in the sky and tell me what you see?"
     Xander, eyes widening in a questioning expression, said as he joined his friends, "What's so special about the sky?"
     He peered upwards, seeing just clouds and the early morning sun. Wait...Isn't there something else he sees? Looks like a flyer, but no flyer ever soared that high.
     "Come to think of it," Xander said, "Whatever it is certainly unusual. Maybe it is a flyer, but hey, these days after the Fireball, I pretty much expect anything weird."
     He continued to stare at the tiny speck whizzing across the bright blue sky. There more he watched, the more he felt that strange sensation, that something wonderful was about to happen. Xander had felt this before, and each time he wondered if this current sensation would finally be the answers to so many of his questions, namely just exactly why he was even here in the first place.
     Shaking his head as if coming out of a trance, he said to Kamura and Anakin, "So what are we waiting for? I want to get to that lake soon. All this traveling through desert and heat is messing with my mind."
He turned to Kamura, laughingly saying, "See? You're not the only one who's seeing things."

     Kamura mused half-mockingly but not in a mean way, "Very funny, Xander!"
     She turned to Anakin, adding, "I told you something strange will happen. You know, Anakin, I really didn't want to come on this trip anyway. Just thinking about going to the Nesting Grounds brings back so many bitter memories. Why don't we just turn around and go home, back to our forest?"
     Anakin was outdone. In a slightly annoyed tone, he said, "Kamura, don't you remember what that flyer told us before we set out on this journey? That the Herd has a new leader, and there are new members in that group. Creatures who are so unlike us, but they are part of us. Kamura, you've grieved so long, too long. Let us put that in the past where it belongs. I do believe things will be different once we get there. Perhaps, and I'm just now telling you this, we may settle there. No more wandering. No more looking over our shoulders for predators. Besides, our forest was practically destroyed in the Fireball. Not much is left, and it will take years before all is fresh and green again. Come on, we have much travelling to accomplish."

     Kamura resigned herself to follow her mate's lead, deciding that maybe this trip the Nesting Grounds would be all for naught. She wouldn't know many once she arrived, as not many of her circle survived the Fireball and the subsequent march across endless wastelands in the disaster's aftermath.
     Looking at Xander who still glanced up at the sky, she said to Anakin, "Well, if that's the way you feel..."
     She couldn't get over how Xander kept looking at the sky as if expecting something to happen. Vowing never to look up, she took her place at Anakin's side, not once noticing the tiny speck among the clouds beginning to take shape. Xander saw it but said nothing as he caught up with his companions. Whatever manner of creature looks like that?, he wondered. It looked like a flyer but silvery and very sleek. Maybe the hot desert sun really did make them a bit loopy these days. Shrugging, Xander caught up with Kamura and Anakin to continue the journey to the Nesting Grounds.
     Along the way, Xander felt it again, that nagging, odd sensation. He tried to pinpoint just what future events were about to unfold, and whether those events would effect him directly. Then he heard it, that strange yet beautiful sound coming from deep within. He had heard it before, but in another time and place. Why couldn't he put a name or face on that certain someone who made those lovely sounds? He glanced up at the sky once more, noticing the object nearing the earth.

     No, this no ordinary flyer...And those sounds...They grow stronger in my mind as this thing draws closer...Could it be? The answers I've been searching for my entire life?

[Go to Chapter 9]

Copyright @2006 by P.R. Parker. All Rights Reserved.

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