Star Wars- Episode III: Revenge of the Witch
Three Years LaterCorellia- Internment Camp 13
Buffy was in heaven.
She moaned pleasantly as strong arms gently wrapped around her slender body as she lay almost-sleeping in their small apartment in Internment Camp 13.
Buffy never could have foreseen what her life had become over the past two years. Her time actively involved in the war on a large scale had been limited. She had worked with her brother and Obi-Wan on several early missions, fighting back the Separatist forces. She had traveled with Masters Yoda and Windu all over the Core, fortifying positions and building allies. She had especially liked her time with the Wookies. For such large, imposing creatures, they really were giant teddy bears.
It was in the second year of the war that she got her first solo assignment - travel to Corellia, one of the few Core worlds to have fallen in the initial attacks, gather intel, and report back to the Council. It was an easy, in-and-out assignment, with extraction due to take place a mere month after she had landed.
Of course, that was when the Separatists launched full-blown attacks that had put Corellia deep behind enemy lines, and extraction had then proven impossible. So Buffy had moved onto plan ‘B’- aid the resistance. And in aiding the resistance, she had met the man who had stolen her heart - Jacen Solo. Rugged, roguish, a daredevil and a hell of a pilot, Jacen was a widower and father of an eleven year old boy named Han. He was the leader of the local group of resistance fighters and, while he was happy for the help Buffy had offered, he wasn’t impressed by her status as a Jedi. For this, Buffy was grateful. She had to deal with enough people who practically worshipped her because of what she could do with a lightsaber, and was glad that Jacen seemed to genuinely appreciate her for herself and not her powers.
Over the two years she had been trapped on Corellia, she and Jacen had rapidly fallen in love. It wasn’t something she took lightly - her commitment to the Jedi Order expressly forbid her from loving him. And yet she had felt her feelings for the Rebel leader grow deeper, until one day she was forced to make a choice - the Jedi or Jacen. And after what seemed to be two lifetimes of being forced to live for her commitment to her calling, she had decided that, this time, she was due a little happiness. After all, she had seen what duty could do to destroy people. Shortly thereafter, the two were engaged, to be married as soon as Corellia was freed. Buffy had sent her resignation to the Council along with her regular status report hoping, as always, that it made it through the jamming.
Nine months later, their first daughter Joyce was born.
It was two months after that glorious day that Buffy found herself sighing in content as the familiar figure of her fiancé snuggled up behind her and nuzzled her neck.
“Time to wake up, Liza,” Jacen said softly, using the nickname he had given her after they had started working together. As Buffy moaned reluctantly, he chuckled. “Come on. We both got jobs to do today.”
Buffy shifted in the bed so she was facing him. “What, you’re letting me out today?” she teased. “What about Joyce?”
“Han’s going to watch her today. Maybe take her to the park later. Don’t worry,” he said off of her look, “They’ll be safe. The Separatists haven’t attacked a camp in months, despite what we’ve been able to do.”
Buffy grinned. “But if I stay in bed today, I might convince you to stay in bed…think of the possibilities…”
This time it was Jacen’s turn to chuckle. “As inviting as that sounds - and believe me, it does - I’m meeting with the other heads of the resistance. We’re planning a massive counter strike to cripple their communications.”
“And you get to check out the clearing about three clicks southwest of the camp. Intel said some kind of vessel touched down there last night - might be some kind of droid spy ship.”
“And they want someone stealthy to check it out?” Buffy surmised and Jacen nodded.
“Exactly. And here’s some news I got earlier today - the Republic has the Separatists on the run. I give it a few more weeks before your back-up finally gets here. And then,” he wrapped his arms around the blonde, “you will officially become Mrs. Buffy Solo; and we’ll take Han and Joyce out in our ship for a nice, long vacation.”
Buffy giggled. “Yeah, I can’t wait to finally break that ship in. Especially the stateroom…” Her giggles dissolved as he tightened his grasp on her. Two slim arms reached up to stretch over his neck. The two spent a few more precious minutes on the bed, just kissing and holding one another, before they finally pulled apart.
“But that will be then. For now, I guess it’s time I brought out my old clothes.”
Soon after, Buffy emerged from the master bedroom wearing her old Jedi tunic and trousers. She left the robe - she never liked it, as it hindered her movements more than it ever helped to conceal her. Her lightsaber no longer hung from her hip- a modified DL-44 blaster, much like Jacen used, hung there now. She kept her lightsaber in a specially constructed fore-arm holster that, with a flick of her wrist, sent the weapon into her waiting hand. It also kept the easily identifiable weapon concealed until it was needed.
Buffy walked over to where Han sat on the ground, rocking the tiny baby in his arms. She kneeled down in front of him and smiled.
“Now, I trust you to take good care of your sister, alright?”
“Don’t sweat it, Buffy,” Han replied with the same casual cockiness his father had. “I’ll keep both eyes on her. Maybe show her around the park.”
“You do that,” Buffy replied. “And when this is all over, and it’s time for the big shake down cruise, I’ll talk to your father and see if he won’t let you fly it around some.” She knew of Han’s desire to be an ace pilot just like his father, and it warmed her heart to see the elation spread across his face.
“Cool!” Han exclaimed. Buffy chuckled, then leaned down and kissed her daughter on the forehead, then ruffled Han’s hair. “You take care of yourself, fly-boy. And you,” Buffy stated, standing and turning to Jacen, “I’ll see you later.”
Jacen smirked and walked over, dipping his face to hers. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Buffy was crouched low behind a bush, peering at the oddly-shaped craft that sat in the clearing. It was clearly a Republic craft, and it looked like one of the ARC fighters that had been in development when she had initially come to this planet.Guess they started making them,
she mused, carefully watching the ship, waiting for the owners to come back. She didn’t have to wait long - soon after she had found the ship, she felt a familiar presence sneaking up behind her. Still, she kept absolutely still, her eyes never wavering from the ship, not even when she heard the snap-hiss of a lightsaber activating, and saw the blue blade appear close to her right cheek.
“Careless, much?” a familiar voice quipped. Buffy smiled.
There was a moment’s pause and then the voice spoke again. “Ching-wah TSAO duh liou mahng…
The lightsaber deactivated, and Buffy rose and turned to face her brother, who was doing his best not to move. She crossed her arms and smirked in clear superiority while Anakin shot an annoyed glare at her.
“Land mines? You set landmines around yourself?”
“Yeah, well… I didn’t want any bad people sneaking up on me,” Buffy replied.
“And I’m suddenly a bad person?”
“Bad at watching where you’re going, at any rate.” She looked at her brother, noting the longer hair and scar over his left eye that so eerily mirrored her own. “Copycat,” she said, motioning to the scar.
Anakin rolled his eyes. “Please, I make this look good. Now could you please deactivate it?”
Buffy raised an eyebrow. “Are you a Jedi or aren’t you?”
Anakin paused, and then rolled his eyes once more in annoyance. He waved his hand over the device and used the Force to deactivate it. Then, without warning, he scooped the smaller blonde up in his arms and gave her a fierce hug.
“I was so worried about you, Buffy,” he said as she hugged him back. “We’ve been trying for nearly two years to break through to Corellia.”
“I don’t doubt it. Jacen said that the Republic had finally broken through and was coming here this morning.”
Anakin looked at her in confusion. “Jacen?” he asked uncertainly. Buffy looked at him, and then sighed.
“I take it none of my reports have gone through?”
“No,” another voice replied from behind. Buffy spun, and came face to face with Obi-Wan Kenobi. She took in the cut of his robes (as well as his hair), and nodded her head in respect.
“Master Kenobi, I presume?” she asked, then glanced back at her brother and saw that his hair was growing out, and the Padawan braid he had worn was gone. “And they promoted you, too, I see. Congrats to both of you.”
Obi-Wan smiled warmly, then moved in and gave Buffy a hug of his own. “It’s good to see you, Buffy.” As her arms tightened around him, he felt the calming feeling of relief; they had been uncertain as how quickly they would find her.
“You too, Ben,” she replied sincerely, using a nickname she had adopted for him years ago.
“Not to sound rude, but who is this ‘Jacen’ person?” Anakin asked. Buffy looked at the two Jedi, her friends, and sighed.
“Jacen is one of the leaders of the resistance movement here on Corellia.” She paused, and then rushed forward, “and he’s also my fiancé.”
Anakin gasped, and Obi-Wan’s jaw dropped. “Your fiancé? Are you mad? You’ll be expelled-”
“I sent in my resignation, Ben. I quit the Council.”
By this time, Anakin had regained some of his wits. “You what?”
“I fell in love, Ani,” she replied simply. “It didn’t happen overnight. After it did happen, I thought long and hard about it before I made my decision.” Buffy handed over a small coms device to Obi-Wan. “This contains a complete record of all of my reports, including my resignation letter. I had hoped it had made it through. I guess it didn’t.”
“But nothing, Ani,” she interrupted. “I fell in love. I got engaged. I had a beautiful baby girl - I can’t wait to show her to you. You’re an Uncle now, Ani. I made my decision, and I stick by it.” She kept her eyes trained on her brother; she couldn’t take the look of shock and disappointment on Obi-Wan’s face, not when her own mind was so resolute.
“But I thought you were happy with the Jedi…” Anakin tried, but Buffy shook her head.
“I was happy with the Order, yes. I joined so I could stay with you, and learn about these powers I suddenly had. I’ve had the great privilege of watching you grow to become one hell of a Jedi, Ani, and that made me the happiest of all. But now it’s time for me to move on, to do something I never thought I’d be able to do - start a family. Please, don’t take that away from me.”
In a way, it freed her to say these words. Knowing her communiqués had not gotten off of this planet, this was the second best option.
Anakin sighed in defeat, and Obi-Wan spoke. “Well, we had come here to rescue you and to gather intel for the coming invasion. But seeing as you don’t need rescuing-”
“I’ll get you all the intel you want,” Buffy supplied. “And I’ll be able to introduce you to my family. Come on.”
They walked in silence back towards Camp 13. Anakin was trying to sort through his tumultuous emotions - he couldn’t believe that Buffy would ever quit the Order, but at the same time, he couldn’t fault her for wanting to start a family. Deep inside, though he felt shameful that Buffy did what he couldn’t do - made the decision to resign and get married, rather than getting married in secret like he had.
Obi-Wan was similarly conflicted. Buffy had been one of the most gifted and promising Jedi he had ever worked with. He knew that she took her commitment to the Order seriously and wouldn’t throw it away on a lark. And he couldn’t help but feel a little sad at seeing her go; he had missed her for the past two years… Clearing his mind from those thoughts, he took in the look of deep pride on her face and attempted to make light of the situation. As she had always been there for matters of importance for him, so he would be for her.
Buffy mind was a jumble of emotions. Happiness at seeing her brother, trepidation over introducing them to Jacen, Han, and Joyce; fear over how they were taking her decision…
And alarm at seeing smoke rising in the distance.
"Wuh de ma,
" she breathed as she took off at a run towards the smoke. Anakin and Obi-Wan, sensing her alarm, ran after her. The three Jedi crested the hill, and stopped dead at what they saw.
Internment Camp 13 was burning.
“Oh, no,” she muttered, her eyes widening.
Smoke and fire belched out of gapping holes in the sides of the high rise apartment complexes as droid fighters buzzed overhead, shooting everything that moved on the ground below - including the women and children that were frantically running for cover. Buffy frantically searched the skyline for her apartment building-
And saw all that was left was a pile of burning rubble.
Without thinking, Buffy raced down to the camp, bobbing and weaving between laser blasts and ignoring the cries from her friends behind her. Obi-Wan and Anakin exchanged a concerned glance before running off after her. Activating their lightsabers, they deflected their enemy’s blasts, trying to ensure that Buffy could get to her destination safely.
Time seemed to slow as she made her way up the ruined path that had led to the entrance to her home. She had almost made it to the door when she spotted the prone figure lying broken and bloodied on the ground. She felt her body freeze and then everything seemed to stop. Time seemed to stand still as she put a horrified hand over her mouth. Buffy collapsed next to the corpse of her fiancé and let out an anguished scream. Gathering what remained of him in her arms, her screams filled the blast-filled air, wracked with hopelessness, anger and, dare she think it, defeat.
Anakin watched his sister collapse, and his heart broke at the unfairness of it all. The man on the ground must have been Jacen, her fiancé; that meant her children must have been inside the building when it was destroyed. He moved immediately to his sister’s side, his gloved hand landing on her shoulder and squeezing it with what he hoped was a comforting gesture. Obi-Wan’s face carried the weight of his compassion and his eyes grew troubled as Buffy’s screams dissolved into sobs.
Anakin was about to check the man when he suddenly heard voices speaking from down the street. Making a decision, he did his best to stealthily move down the street, hiding behind the rubble and trying to discern what was being said. As he made his way farther down, he was shocked by what he saw.
Jango Fett.But it couldn’t be,
he reasoned. Jango Fett is dead.
Anakin looked over the armored figure more closely, and noticed several differences. The armor was green and silver, instead of the blue and silver worn by Jango. The jet pack looked to be a newer model of sturdier design. And though he couldn’t see his face, the voice sounded much younger than the gruff voice that Jango and the Clone Troopers shared.It must be Jango’s clone son, Boba.
He reasoned. Knowing how good Jango had been and how good Boba must be, Anakin pushed himself deeper into the shadows and listened as Boba conferred with the droid commander.
“Commander, have you wiped out the resistance leadership?”
“Yes, sir,” the droid replied. “We believe there are additional cells operating in the area. We are cleansing the camp as we speak.”
Anakin felt his stomach turn over… cleaning out the camp must mean desecrating everything that had once been innocent… the women and children had not led a resistance, they had not taken up arms…
“Change of plan, Commander. You are to initiate the scorched planet procedure. The order comes directly from Darth Traya. Leave none alive. And commander,” he paused, and Anakin could picture the malevolent grin on the bounty hunter’s face, “if you come across the Skywalker girl, try to capture her alive. I have special plans for her.”
Anakin quickly made his way back up to where Obi-Wan was trying desperately to console Buffy, who was being completely unresponsive. Her eyes stared hopelessly at the corpse in her arms and her body had stiffened. Anakin knew her well enough to know that if he didn’t intervene now, she would soon go into shock and would likely stand as the target the stupid Bounty Hunter wanted so much alive. She would be easily captured unless he moved her now. He kneeled down next to them.
“Master, Buffy, we have to leave now.”
“I won’t leave him,” Buffy sobbed, and Anakin gently grasped her chin in his gloved hand and brought her eyes up to meet his.
“Buffy, he’s gone,” he replied softly. “I’m sorry, but he’s gone. Jango Fett’s son is here, and he’s looking for revenge. And the droids have been ordered to initiate a scorched planet operation.” He paused to let this sink in to his sister’s grief-stricken mind. “Buffy, we need to get a message to our fleet and order them to begin landing at once. Is there any way to send a communiqué?”
Buffy looked down at Jacen’s face and then into the ruins of their apartment. The children had probably been crushed when the building collapsed. Jacen had made it outside to take the brunt of a laser bolt from a Vulture droid. Gently, she passed her hand over her fiancé’s face, closing his eyelids. When she looked up again, her eyes were hard and cold.
“All communications were jammed early on in the invasion,” she stated in a voice devoid of emotion. “The only way to contact your fleet is to get to it ourselves on a ship. And lucky for you, we--” – there was a break in her voice - “I
have just the ship.”
The three Jedi made their way silently to the edge of the compound where the main hanger was located. Once part of a bustling space port, it had been shut down since the occupation. The ships within had remained idle, though cared for by their owners. Jacen had bought their ship directly from the manufacturer, who had been storing several of their prototype ships in the hanger for an air show before the occupation had shut it down. When he hadn’t been busy leading the rebellion or spending time with Buffy, he had been in the hanger, tirelessly working on making the ship the fastest ship in the quadrant.
Buffy was sure he had succeeded. At least, that was what she was counting on.
There were two heavy battle droids guarding the door to the hanger. Obi-Wan saw this, and turned to the Skywalkers.
“Looks like only two of them. Okay, here is what we’ll do-”
Before he could even finish, Buffy stood up and walked quickly out into the open, directly towards the droids. The two machines noticed and immediately raised their arms to activate their blasters. Before they could even get halfway up, Buffy had drawn her trusty sidearm and shot both droids in quick succession, followed by two more shots into the door, blowing it open. The tow remaining Jedi shot each other a worried look, then rose and hurried after the girl.
They found her just inside, looking up at the gleaming white hull of the ship in front of them. It was saucer shaped, with twin mandibles emerging from the front that housed the forward search lights and had an observation window nestled between them. A large deflector dish sat on top on the right side of the ship, and shooting off of the left side of the ship. Just forward of the port entrance ramp, was the cockpit, its circular window showing the dark interior that housed the flight controls and four chairs. The rear of the ship was all engines, specially modified by Jacen to draw ever erg of energy for maximum thrust. Anakin noticed that it was armed as well with a pair of quad cannons; one on top and one on the bottom.
“Here it is,” Buffy said, a hint of pride seeping into her voice, “the Millennium Falcon.”
“Nice design,” Anakin murmured, giving it a visual once-over.
“Is it a fast ship?” Obi-Wan asked, aware that this ship would have to outrun some of the fastest Separatist ships there were. Buffy just looked over at the Jedi Master.
“A fast ship? Your ARC fighter won’t outrun the Separatist fleet, that’s for sure. And this baby could fly circles around the old Jedi Starfighters,” Buffy sighed and motioned towards the port entrance ramp, which opened obediently in response. “She’s fast enough for you, old man.”
Without further ado, she made her way onto the ship, followed closely by Obi-Wan and Anakin. The three made their way into the cockpit. Buffy quickly settled into the pilot’s chair and started powering up the ship. Anakin paused by the co-pilots chair.
“Uh, Buffy…” The Slayer looked up at her brother, and a grim smile flitted across her face.
“Jacen taught me a thing or two about flying,” she snapped in the same voice so devoid of anything warm. “Just sit down and strap in. Prepare to angle the deflector dish. Obi-Wan, set the hyperdrive coordinates in the computer. I’m taking us out.”
Everything felt so automatic now, as though her processing unit had decided to malfunction. Experienced fingers flew over the controls as she pressed a button and the roof of the hanger began to retract. She powered up the engines and heard a deep-set rumble of the ship rumbling to life. Pausing, she glanced up before whispering, “Good girl. Just like your Daddy.” Turning, she focused on the matter at hand and engaged the thrusters, Anakin’s wary eyes following her every move.
The Falcon gracefully lifted off and soared through the retracted roof. The remaining droids on the ground were taken completely by surprise as the freighter lifted out of the hanger, and suddenly shot up and away.
Buffy expertly weaved the Falcon in and around the Vulture droids that broke off of their attacks on the camps to attack the fleeing ship. Soon she had broken free of the atmosphere, and pointed the ship directly at the droid command ship that was orbiting the planet. As they drew nearer, Anakin began to worry.
“Uh, Buffy?” he said nervously.
“Yeah?” There was that voice again… so cold, so emotionless.
“You do see the big ship right in front of us?”
They drew closer and closer to the control ship, and Anakin’s panic built, as did Obi-Wan’s.
“Buffy, what are you doing?” Obi-Wan yelled, leaning over to examine her hands strangely slack on the steering controls. “You’re going to get us all killed!”
Anakin looked closely at his sister’s face, and saw the blank look in her eyes. Instantly he realized that everything that had happened today had finally hit her. She was obviously in shock, if not worse. As soon as he how completed unresponsive she was, he reached over and pulled back the hyperdrive activator, sending the ship into hyperspace as explosions went off all around them…
And explosions seemed to go off right outside Buffy’s window…
She opened her eyes, taking in the darkened room that had served as her quarters since her return to the temple. She drew in a shuddering breath, and then released it, pushing the memory back down into the recesses of her mind and trying in vain to calm her emotions. Another explosion sounded, and Buffy got up. Though her entire being was numb and cold, her mind also knew that the explosions she was hearing didn’t belong there…What in the world…
she wondered as she moved to her door to see what was going on outside. Before she could reach the door control, the door slid open to reveal the panting form of Zett Jukassa.
“Ma-master Skywalker!” he panted, leaning on the doorframe to catch his breath. Buffy swiftly walked over to him and placed a calming hand on the Padawan’s shoulder.
“Zett, I'm not a Master. Hell, technically, I'm not even a Jedi anymore. So calm down and tell me what in the hell is going on?” she demanded. The Padawan looked up into her face, panic in his eyes. Even as he spoke his next words, she felt an overwhelming force somewhere nearby, something that was drawing her attention outwards… something deadly…
“We’re under attack!” he exclaimed…
To be started....
And so, it all begins...AGAIN.
Next Chapter: Buffy/Traya II, Halcyon looses his temper, and the Jedi Council decides wether or not to allow Buffy to rejoin the Order again...