Friday, December 28, 2007

DeathTalker: Chapter 2

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Senator Amedala yawned sleepily.

"Hello R2, hi Anakin."

Anakin was watching so intently that he didn’t even notice the smug beeps from R2. Naboolian nightgowns were one of the fashions that Anakin actually followed.

The Jedi poked the boy in the ribs.

"The room!"

Anakin looked around somewhat distractedly.

"Very nice."

Obi-Wan rolled his eyes.

"Will the thermoptic sensor work?!"

Anakin snapped out of it.

"Lemme just hit the lights."

Anakin snapped off the lights and R2 dutifully scanned a bit. Trying to keep his attention on the droid – Padme really did look nice in those sheets lying back with the moonlight spilling in from the window – Anakin watched R2 go through a few sweeps.

"No problems with that corner?"


"Well OK then. I could run a few more tests to up the sensitivity…"

"Good night gentlemen."

The senator flopped back down. Obi-Wan pushed Anakin out of the room. Padme chuckled a bit and stared thoughtfully at the ceiling.

Arriving back in the sitting area, Anakin was hoping for a quick exit when Obi-Wan broke in.

"Since you are here, I was wondering if we might chat for a bit."


Anakin turned to him and tried to put a brave face on the situation.

"Umm…shouldn’t you be watching the monitors or something?"

"Actually, the Force allows me to sense what is going on in that room from here."


"Yes, but it requires a great deal of training to be able to do that."

"What? Oh, right… Just one of things I missed out on when I decided not to become a Jedi."

Obi-Wan smiled ruefully.

"Yes, I know Qui-Gon wanted me to become a Jedi, but it was my choice. I’m sure he would have understood."

"Yes, yes, we’ve been through that. I just wish I had been a bit more…persuasive."

Obi-Wan looked off into the distance.

"You’re a good man Obi-Wan, and a good Jedi. Besides I’m happy with my life – I get to pilot and tinker to my hearts content. Every now and then I even fix things!"

The two of them chuckled together.

"You’re a pretty good man yourself Anakin. I’m sure Qui-Gon would be proud of us both."

The two men stood in silence for a while. As Anakin remembered Qui-Gon, he could almost see him, standing beside Obi-Wan. Dressed in the simple robes of the Jedi, he had a quiet look of confidence that he always seemed to posses.

But something was wrong. Despite Anakin’s feelings of the moment, Qui-Gon was frowning.

"I wanted you to become a Jedi!"

Anakin cocked his head sideways.


"You heard me!"

"What is it Anakin?"


"And you just ignored me!"



The young man looked back at Obi-Wan, then to where Qui-Gon was standing, or at least where he had been standing.

"Why don’t you get some sleep?"

"Umm…yeah, sleep…"

As the two men were talking, a small droid pulled up to the window outside where Padme was sleeping. Soundlessly, it emitted a field that dampened the external sensors, and then cut through the window. The droid opened a small hatch and deposited two strange worm-like creatures into the room.



Anakin and Obi-Wan raced into the senator’s quarters. Obi-Wan drew his light saber and neatly diced the poisonous worms.

"You’re alright!"

"So am *I*"

Anakin rose from R2’s side and grinned sheepishly.

"Yeah…I was just going to check on you, your er…senatorness…er…"


Padme pointed to the window where the droid was pulling away.

"Let me grab a tracking device! I’m sure we can…"

Obi-Wan crashed through the window and grabbed the droid. The two flew off into the night.

"I suppose that works too…"

"Shouldn’t you try to help him?"

"R2 is fine."

"I meant Obi-Wan."

"Oh…good idea!"

Anakin raced towards the door and then seemed to think of something.



"Guard the princess!"


Anakin dashed off.


Obi-Wan clutched the assassin droid fiercely.

"Ha! Gotcha!"

The droid swung about, trying to dislodge the Jedi. Obi-Wan noticed that he was a long way from the ground.

"Oh my…"

Anakin arrived at the top of the building. He ran to a speeder and jumped in. After a moment’s thought he got out and jumped into a speeder near the first one.

With a roar, the speeder took off. At that moment, Anakin realized he didn’t know which direction the droid had gone.

Obi-Wan considered his options. He could use his lightsaber, but that would involve a long drop. He could also try using his communicator, but that also involved meeting the pavement. As he was mulling things over, the droid headed towards a building, nearly dislodging the Jedi.

"(OK, maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea after all…)"

Anakin sped off in a random direction, dodging to avoid traffic. Just then the speeder’s comm system beeped.

"Speeder THX1138, what the hell are you doing?"

Anakin looked nervous, but then his face brightened. Hitting the communicator, he put on his best drill sergeant voice.

"This is speeder THX1138, in pursuit of assassin droid who just tried to kill senator Amadala; I’m assisting Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, who the hell is this?"

"Oh! Sorry!"


"Sorry sir! This is Corscant ground control! We are monitoring the situation! There is a target heading North West, 500m from your position, at high speed sir!"


Anakin swerved, causing several other travelers to dodge and fling insults his way. Realizing that for once in his life he did not have to answer to ground control, Anakin grinned like a shark entering the kiddies’ wadding pool.

At the same time that Anakin was closing on the droid, Obi-Wan was eying nearby buildings in the hopes of finding one that he could jump to. As fortune would have it, a blaster bolt chose that moment to hit the droid, destroying it.

"Not good…"

Obi-Wan plummeted towards the ground.

* * * * * * * * * * * *


Anakin’s speeder slid under him, allowing Obi-Wan to climb into the craft.

"What took you?"

"Your welcome!"

"Follow that speeder!"

"Huh? Which one?!!"

The answer became obvious as another speeder pulled into traffic, scattering nearby craft.


"We’ve got to catch it!"

"Are you sure?"


Anakin grinned again.

The other speeder was dodging through traffic, swerving here and there and generally driving like a maniac. Anakin, by comparison, made him look positively sane. If there had been one area where the Force obviously continued to help him, it was piloting; and if anything, he had gotten better over the years.

Anakin was lazily pulling barrel rolls and enjoying himself when something occurred to him.

"Hey: do you want me to do anything other than follow him? Obi-Wan?"

Anakin glanced over at the Jedi and noticed his ashen look.

"Are you OK?"

"Stop doing that?"

"Doing what?"

"What you’re doing!"

"I thought you wanted me to follow him."

"You’re driving like a madman!"

"You’re beginning to sound like R2!"

The other driver appeared to be taking more and more chances as it became apparent that he was not going to lose the pursuing craft. As Anakin and Obi-Wan argued, the other craft swerved out of traffic and pulled around a building. As it passed the building, it came too close and glanced off the side.

"Oh no."


"That’s really gonna mess up his paint job."

When Obi-Wan did not reply Anakin looked over at him.


Growing truly desperate now, the other driver swerved to try and make a turn, glanced off a bus heading the other way, bounced off a nearby tower and went down, trailing smoke. Anakin winced in sympathy.

The other craft touched down, or rather smacked down, skidded a good 50m and smashed into a building. Anakin landed a bit farther back. The two men jumped out of the speeder and dashed towered the downed craft. As they neared it, someone got out and ran into the crowd. Obi-Wan gave pursuit, but Anakin knelt by the damaged craft.


His cries were met by a stunned crowd of onlookers.

Obi-Wan struggled through the crowd as he saw his quarry dash into a nearby bar. Arriving inside, it appeared that the target had into the press of people...or alieans...or alien people. Narrowing his eyes, Obi-Wan approached the bar.

Perhaps I can lure him into a making a mistake.

While he appeared to be unaware, Obi-Wan was in front of the main exit, and watching the door to the kitchen. His quarry could not leave without the Jedi seeing him, and Obi-Wan’s senses were on the lookout for anything. Feeling someone coming up behind him, he whipped around, light saber in hand. The arc of blue-white light neatly severed the outstretched arm.

The arm’s owner, a waiter droid, looked down forlornly.

"Does this mean you don’t want a drink?"

Just then, someone broke from the crowd and rushed into the kitchen. In the ensuing chaos, Obi-Wan was hampered by bar patrons and an irate droid owner as he tried to follow.

Dashing through the kitchen, the elusive assassin headed for the exit. Running down a final hallway that terminated in what appeared to be an alleyway, he glanced behind him for signs of pursuit, thus completely missing Anakin’s outstretched arm.


Anakin neatly clotheslined the assassin; who actually flipped once in the air and landed in a heap.


His face unreadable, Anakin waltzed over and dragged the unfortunate person to their feet.

"I wont talk! You’ll get nothing from me!"

Anakin slammed the assassin against the wall, holding him a good 6 inches off the ground.

"That was a perfectly good speeder!"

"Do you realize who I was trying to kill?!"

"Do you realize what it will take to fix it? Even if it’s possible? Do you?!!"

The assassin’s eyes went wide as he stared at looked into Anakin’s face.

"You’re crazy!"

"Anakin! Put him down!"

Anakin felt a hand on his shoulder. He glanced behind him and saw Obi-Wan’s visage.

"We need information from him!"

"Not that you’ll get anything out of me!"

Anakin glared at him.

"Absolutely nothing!"

"Put him down!"

Sighing, Anakin tossed the assassin to the ground. The man scrambled to his feet and tried to get Obi-Wan between him and the angry pilot.


"Who sent you!"

"No one!"

"So you didn’t do anything?"

"That’s right!"

"Well then, I’ll be on my way…"

Anakin advanced on the man, grinning insanely.



"Alright! I tried to kill that senator from Naboo!"

"I already know that. Who sent you?!"

The cornered man glanced between the two of them and decided he would be better off in Obi-Wan’s custody.

"It was a bounty hunter from…"


The man slumped to the ground, a strange dart-like thingie stuck in his neck.

Anakin and Obi-Wan looked back in the direction it had come from and saw a strange, armor wearing figure standing on the top of a nearby building. Activating a jet pack the lone gunman flew into the air and slammed into a passing transport.

"Now that’s gotta hurt."

The person fell back to the top of the building and unsteadily got to his feat. Taking a more cautious approach, he flew into the night.


Anakin glanced back at the fallen assassin. Someone who looked remarkably like him was standing next to the corpse. He was looking in the direction that Anakin had been staring.

"That creep."


"He shot me!"

"Well you did crash that speeder."

The figure glared at Anakin.

"Oh yeah, and you got caught, and you were about to spill the beans."

"I only had two payments left."

Anakin mourned along with the assassin.

"He was from Cameeno."


"That guy, I never got his name, but he was from Cameeno."



"Do you go to hell or something like that now?"

"What for?"

"Well you did try to kill someone. You probably killed other people."

"Are you kidding?"


"I’ll have you know all the people I killed don’t count!"

"Why’s that?"

"They were politicians."

The figure faded into nothingness, leaving Anakin to ponder this message.



"Who were you talking to?"

"Oh, that assassin."

"But he’s dead!"

"Yeah, well, I guess he felt guilty about the speeder."

Obi-Wan stared at him.

"Never mind that. Did he say anything?"

"Yeah, don’t become a politician."

The Jedi called on ancient calming techniques and counted to 10.

"Anything else?"

"Oh…he said the bounty hunter who hired him came from Nemo."

"No I didn’t I said Cameeno!"

Anakin looked back to where the figure had been standing and saw that he was back.

"I thought you had left."

"Look, just tell the Jedi!"

"Alright, he says Lemeeno!"

"Cameeno! Jeez! And you’re a pilot?!"

Glaring at the specter, Anakin repeated the system’s name.

"You can see him?"


"Has he got anything else to tell me?"

"Yes, tell him you’re an idiot!"

"No, that was all he wanted to say."


Obi-Wan looked thoughtful and scratched his beard. The ghost of the assassin made a rude gesture and departed.

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