How Oz Became Darth MaugrimAwakeningDisclaimer – I own no rights to any of this, characters belong to George Lucas, Joss Whedon, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Story inspired by and based on “Fall of the Republic” by grd and “Jedi Harris” by Scribbler…
He was in a cell. That much he knew upon waking.
One pale, weak overhead fluorescent light was the sole source of illumination in this damp, cold place. The walls were black metal, canted at a twenty-degree angle to meet halfway up the wall with the other half that canted at a twenty-degree angle from the ceiling. There was a metal slab recessed into one of the walls that could have been used for a bed, but more than likely would not be furnished so. Another wall had a partition that looked like a door out, but one that did not swing open. Rather, he had the vague impression of the door sliding open, upwardly, with a hydraulic hiss.
Suddenly his head felt like it would split open upon summoning the image in his mind. He reached up with his hand and clutched at the source of the super migraine, only to feel a bald spot where his hair had obviously been shaved off. And where his red, curly hair should have been, he felt a scar.
A surgical scar. Something had been done to him. Did he hit his head somewhere? Had it been so bad that he required surgery to correct it? And why was he in a holding cell when he should be in a hospital recovery ward? What had he done to warrant this?
The pain had not yet abated when another thought arose unbidden in his mind. He had seen no cameras of any sort, but he knew, somehow without knowing, that he was being watched, and whoever was watching him had not the least bit of compassion or human dignity in their minds. At the other end of it, where he expected the mind to be, he felt only a cold, nauseating blackness, all-encompassing, all-consuming. It had only the vaguest sense of familiarity to him.Wait—why is this familiar to me? How? How do I even know it’s there?
He was still wondering as to the answer when the migraine became a dozen migraines, and he lost consciousness and collapsed.********
He awoke the next day to the same bleak, black walls and the same pale light. Only this time there was a bowl of what looked like Cream of Wheat and a plastic spoon on a tray, along with a cup of water. His mind knew not how long he had been in that cell, but his stomach knew, and it compelled him to wolf down the porridge, or whatever it was, with a ravenous hunger. He gulped down the water in the same manner, and then he sat back and waited for whatever would happen next.
While he waited, he tried to think of what he had done to land him in this hole, where he had been previously and who might have been with him before he had supposedly been captured. Surprisingly, the migraine that he feared would take him again into that cold, black abyss did not occur. Rather, his head felt a bit clearer, and he actually remembered something.The others…did they get out okay?
he wondered. Wait…what others? And what were they trying to get out of? Some sort of base, some secret installation…they were trying to sabotage whatever was going on in there. But what? And where?
Suddenly that cold, black feeling came back with a vengeance, just before the door slid up and open with the same hydraulic hiss he had envisioned. A middle-aged woman in a lab coat and another, younger female walked in, followed by the source of that terrible feeling he had known yesterday, or whenever it was he had felt it. There was simply no way to note the passing of time, other than the meals they might give him, assuming they were to feed him at regular intervals. He regarded the young man who followed them in, a man clothed entirely in head-to-toe black. He might have been the same age as this man, except for the eyes, sunken in as they were and ringed with dark shadows. He had a look about him that just screamed dangerous, evil, do not approach
. He strode in with a sense of ownership that he seemed to wear like a robe of office, and then he stopped between the female technicians and regarded their prisoner, or subject, whatever he assumed they were viewing him as.
“Ah, awake at last, are we?” said the evil man. “And how is our dear Oz feeling today?”Oz? Is that my name?
The older lab tech answered, “My lord, he seems to have recovered completely from the surgery. I took a look at the scar tissue while he was unconscious post-op, and I noticed some remarkable regeneration. It’s nearly disappeared entirely, though I expect he’ll have a bout of amnesia for at least a week given what we’ve had to do during the procedure.”
“Well, that’s no surprise, Doctor Walsh. Putting something like a microchip in a man’s brain is no easy task, even with one as…unique…as our dear Daniel Osbourne here. I applaud your efforts and the success of your operation. He will be quite useful once he realizes his potential here.”What?! They put a chip in my head?
“Why? Why did you put a chip in my brain? And what potential? What are you talking about?!” he finally said.
The black clothed man turned to him with a smile on his face that showed no humor whatsoever. “One surprise at a time, my old friend.” To the others, he said, “Leave us.” The two ladies bowed at the waist and left without a word, the hatch closing behind them with the same familiar hiss of hydraulics. Turning back to his prisoner, the man in black settled on his haunches and regarded him with some semblance of relief. “There, now we can talk,” he said.
“What about?” said the prisoner who he had called Oz. If he was going to find out more about why he was in this cell, with this man that just felt wrong to him on so many levels, he had to listen to what the man had to say.
“You, of course. You see, I’ve had my eye on you ever since you and your rebels started your little amateur insurrection against me and my new order in this town. It really was doomed to failure from the start, even with the help of SG-1, you realize that?”
“What town are we in, if you don’t mind my asking?” Start with the basics, he thought, and work your way up from there.
“Oh, dear, I think the procedure messed up your memory something awful, didn’t it? I can see we’re gonna have to work hard to get that memory of yours back up to snuff,” he said as he ruffled what was left of Oz’s hair.
“I don’t think you should touch me,” he said reflexively. As wrong as the man had felt coming in, his touch was simply repulsive. Oz backed away to the wall as fast as his weakened limbs could propel him.
The man in black just sighed in disappointment and shook his head slowly. “There, now you see, that was just plain rude. I can see you’re due for a lesson in manners.” He stood up slowly and turned away, then took a step towards the far wall before he turned back to Oz, with his hands raised.
Suddenly blue bolts of electricity arced from the man’s fingers and struck Oz with a ferocity he had never felt, and Oz screamed as the lightning coursed through his body, seeking a ground and finding none. After a second or two the lightning ceased its assault on his tissues, and Oz curled into a fetal position, parts of him smoking where the lightning had traced itself on his skin, cooking him.
The man in black lowered his hands and stepped toward Oz with his face set in a permanent scowl. He looked at Oz and sighed, then he spoke again.
“Before we begin our conversations, I want you to take the rest of the day to think about some ground rules that I’m going to lay down for you right now. While you’re here, you do not mouth off, you do as you’re told, you do not flinch back when I want to do something with you. You will speak when spoken to and no other time, and you will address me as either ‘Sir’, ‘Master’, or ‘My Lord’, is that understood?” His expression left little doubt as to what his response would be if Oz said ‘no’.
“Yes, sir,” Oz replied.
“Good. We’ll try this again in the morning. In the meantime, I suggest you try and reflect on what I just told you, and the consequences for failing to abide by them.” He turned to walk toward the door, then he stopped just before signaling the guard and turned to look over his shoulder. “Complying with these rules I’ve set for you can make your life here a dream come true. You see,” he intoned, “I have big plans for you, Daniel Osbourne, ones that I hope you’ll want to be a part of. But we’ll talk about those tomorrow. The guards outside will see to your needs, should you require them. Good day, Oz.”
He turned toward the door and gave it a little wave, and it opened with that ubiquitous hiss that Oz had come to equate with the Star Wars movies. The man in black, the evil man stepped through the hatch, which then closed behind him, sealing Oz off from the world once again.Now where did Star Wars come from just now
he mused. Oz suddenly had a feeling that things were not going to go his way for quite a while…