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Back to Xanadu
|Copyediting is welcome|
|Xanadu story universe|
|This story uses "Commonwealth" spelling, so extra "u's" may show up in some words and not be an error|
So here I was sitting in a conference room at the Xanadu Convention Center four days after the events that changed my life. Sitting around the room were thirty-five people that comprised the entirety of the population of people who had dressed up as Jedi at the convention. For some unknown reason everyone had become what their costume represented four days ago. I was an anomaly, a Mando’ad Jedi Knight. The man I sat beside was a little more representative of the real Jedi here at the table, since there were roughly a dozen versions of him here in the room. His name was Simon Jackson and he had been my best friend before the event that had changed our lives. He was still my friend but now he was more than my friend he was also one of my comrades in the newly created Jedi Order. Each member of the order sat at a large table and looked at the five people at the head of the table. The smallest had been a child before the change but now he wasn’t even human. Instead he was in the form of Jedi Grand Master Yoda, the oldest and wisest member of the order. However this version of Yoda was much, much younger than the one that had appeared in the movies. The second Jedi Master was a tall bald, inteligent looking black man. The third man at the table was my own master Jedi Master Luke Skywalker though he was younger than I remember him to be. The last two were actually variations of the same person. The first represented Master Obi-Wan Kenobi at the end of the Clone Wars and the second was much older, probably from the period when Master Luke Skywalker was merely a farm boy on Tatooine. Master Yoda looked at me for a few moments before he asked in his small nasal voice
“Who are you?” I removed my buy’ce and replied,
“My name is Jason Hamilton IV but here I am known as Pieter Skirata.” The older of the two Obi-Wan’s asked,
“What time period are you from? And why are you wearing that armour?”
“I’m from the Galactic Alliance Period, roughly forty years after the Battle of Yavin IV and the reason I wear this armour is because I am Mando’ad.”
“You are a Mandalorian?” Asked the younger of the two Obi-Wan’s
“That is correct, my grandmother was a Jedi Knight during the Clone Wars and my grandfather was a Clone Soldier. After the war my father was raised on Concord dawn where he married and had me and my older brothers, none of whom have my affinity with the Force.”
“So I see. How long have you been a member of the Jedi Order?”
“I’ve been a member of the New Jedi Order for the past ten years and I received my Knighthood only six moths ago. However, I have been mando’ad since I was born; my father trained me from the time that I could understand him so that I wouldn’t become dar’manda. That is the worst thing possible for a mando’ad.”
“What were you going to do about that Galactic Alliance, Confederation War, when the Jedi Council told you to fight it in?”
“That probably would’ve depended on what Mand’alor had to say about the war.”
“You mean that if your people’s leader told you not to get involved then you wouldn’t be there for the Order?”
“You have to remember that I’ve only been a Jedi for ten years, but a mando’ad for my entire life.”
“How in the world are you able to reconcile both of your conflicting commitments?”
“I don’t really think that my commitments are conflicting. In both cases I’m devoted to protecting people, by offensive or defensive actions if I must.” Master Windu, I recognized him now from my historic files at the Academy on Ossus and from what Master Tionne Solusar had told me a group of other Apprentices recently about the Fall of the Old Jedi Order and the Rise of the Empire. He looked at me before he looked at both Master Skywalker and Master Kenobi before he said
“Under the current circumstances we are going to welcome all initiates of the order, no matter what time period they are from and what their personal beliefs are.” I nodded slowly in thanks before I slowly said
“I thank you Master I will continue to serve the order as I have done in the past.” With that said I replaced my buy’ce and sat back in my chair to observe the proceedings.
Three hours later I was snoozing lightly in the chair while the four Jedi Masters talked over some obscure little facet of the Jedi Code when man in the uniform of the Miami Police came into the room and said.
“I’m looking for a negotiator, we have a crisis down town.” I looked up as the youngest of Kenobis stood up and asked,
“What is the problem?”
“A gang of thieves has holed up inside a bank with two dozen hostages and they are threatening to execute their hostages unless we meet their demands.” At that I stood up and walked over to face the officer and said.
“Sir some of us are trained for negotiation and some of us are trained for more aggressive means of solving problems. Master Kenobi here is an excellent example of the first while I am an example of the latter.”
“What do you mean?”
“Sir I am trained in various methods of hostile take-down, with and without lightsabers. While Jedi Master Kenobi is a master of negotiation and peaceful settlement of issues.” The policeman nodded before he said
“Ok both of you are coming with me.” I nodded and then looked over at Master Windu and waited until he nodded for me to go and I followed Master Kenobi out of the room.
“Master Kenobi would you mind if I collect a tool or two and a couple of comrades for the operation.” He nodded and I quickly made my back to the suite where I was still registered and collected my proton carbine, and four flash detonators. With that done I made my way to another room where I found twenty six clones in the room including the four that I was looking for. The four that I wanted were all dressed in black heavy combat armour.
“Tsikador ner vod. We have some hut’uun holed up in a bank holding a number of people hostage.” As I finished saying that I pulled off my buy’ce and let them look at my face. I bore many features of my grandfather, the broad rough cut features and the hard brown eyes. The four clones also removed their buckets. Each of the clones was identical in facial features, though I could easily tell the difference between them through their auras in the Force. Each of them looked at me and then the lead trooper said
“General what are our orders?”
“You are to follow me until we reach our destination.” As we walked down the halls to the exit where the policeman had parked his vehicle I asked.
“What are your name’s?”
“We are Delta Squad I am RC-1379, he is RC-1380,-.”
“No I want your real names, and don’t tell me that you don’t have any because I know better.”
“I am Geezer, but I also go by the name Christopher Hanson, that is Sev, also known as Charlie Wilson, that is Atin, also know as James Rolston, and that is Burner, also known as Brian Konradt.” I nodded and then looked at each soldier as we climbed into the swat van that would take us to our drop off point. Once we were inside the van a police officer pulled out a laptop computer and activated it to show us a blueprint of the building that was our target.
“The hostiles are holed up in the vault on the ground floor, there is only one way into and out of that vault. They also have clear sight-lines to the front entrance of the bank so we can’t go through that way. They have also told us that if they see any sign of swat then we will be recovering the hostages from the ceiling of the vault with a blotter.” I shook my head before Atin said
“So in essence what that means is that they’ve rigged the whole place to blow sky high at the first sign of police special forces.”
“That’s where you guys come in. Xanadu’s still not fully understood by all that many people so I don’t think that they would react if we had two of you walk by the front of the bank just as we begin the assault. That is if your other compatriot can’t get them out of the building without shooting.” I nodded
“Can we also have two of us go through the rear entrance?”
“I don’t think so, the bank robbers have told us that they have rigged that door with an explosive device.” I opened my cloak to display my two lightsabers before I said,
“Under the circumstances that won’t be a problem.”
“Are you telling me-.”
“I’m a Jedi as well as a mando’ad.” The man nodded his head as the van stopped and we all piled out of the vehicles. I turned to face them and said
“Ok ner vod lets go get those hut’uunla shabla di’kutla but we can only stun them so use your PEP Laser attachments on your DC-17s.” Each of the troopers nodded and then all as one we replaced our helmets and I shouted, “Oya ner vod!” before I began jogging down the street with two of the commandos following me. Four minutes later we I arrived at the back door of the bank and I placed my hand on the door and stretched out my Force senses to see if there was a bomb on the other side. When I felt the weapon on the other side I shuddered at the power that was contained in those explosives. The bomb was a ten kilo device made up of plastique with a simple detonator that was supposed to be set off when the door was opened. I refocused my concentration and extended my senses once more and carefully got a sense of the entire mechanism until I felt how to deactivate the weapon and promptly flipped the appropriate switch. Once the bomb was deactivated I pulled my shoto out, activated it and cut around the lock to allow me to open the metal door. With that done I switched off my weapon and reported over the helmet comm-link
“Rear door accessed and cleared, progressing into building.”
“Proceed to objective 2.” Inside my helmet I brought up a schematic of the bank and looked at it before I located out second objective and began making my way towards it with with the two commandos following close behind me.
“Master Kenobi how are those negotiations going?”
“My name is Jordan Horowitz, and so far I haven’t been able to make much progress. These people are very determined and desperate, I doubt that my negotiations will work.”
“I guess that means that I’ll have to take the lead here and diffuse the situation with my own form of negotiations.”
“What in the name of the Force do you intend?”
“What I intend Master is to use a blaster set on stun to take them down.”
“Sir I’m not fussy about the kit I use. For every situation there is a right and a wrong tool to use. In this case flash detonators and a stun blaster are the right tools to use.”
“I understand, but remember that their are civs mixed in with the hostiles.”
“That is why we are using non lethal weapons.” The three of us made our way down the darkened hallway of the bank. We were all perfectly comfortable with the lack of light because the visors in our helmets included an advanced HUD that allowed us to see in almost any light condition. Finally after sneaking around in the darkened building for several minutes we finally found ourselves in a position where we couldn’t move any closer without being seen. I silently activated my comm and said
“Master Horowitz I’ve gotten as close to the safe as I possibly can without being spotted. What do you intend for us to do next? Sit here on our shebs until the sun goes nova?”
“I think that whatever happens next is entirely up to you. The reason being is because you are closer to the problem than I am and are in a position to deal with the threats as you see fit.”
“Under stood Master Horowitz.” I replied and then I switched the comm to the Commandos channel before I said,
“ Tsikador ner vod. I’m working on a plan that will make sure that non of the civilians get slotted. I’m going to deal with the explosives, while you go in there with flash detonators and PEP lasers and take out the threats. When I say narir. I want you all to go in there as fast as possible. I don’t want those hut’uun to have a chance to re-activate their bomb after I’ve de-activated it.”
“Understood General.” With that dealt with I closed my eyes and slowly began to let myself fall into a Jedi trance. I submerged myself deep in the Force until I could just about see the whole city around me. After a few moments floating on the currents of the Force I focussed myself on my objective. The device that they were using was even more potent then the one that they had left at the back door. This one was approximately fifteen kilograms in weight and was stuffed with nails glass and other miscellaneous shrapnel to increase it’s damage potential. Surrounding the device were seven dark shadows in the Force. They projected a mixture of fear, anger, hatred, and malice. Around them were twenty one hostages which were also marked by their fear, but they possessed none of the other dark emotions of their captors.. I re-focussed my concentration on the bomb and carefully did what I could to disable it.
It seemed like an eternity later when I came out of the trance and gave the order.
“NARIR.” before I dashed forwards and chucked two of my flash detonators into the open door of the vault. There was a tremendous flash of light and loud burst of sound as the two grenades went off. The hostage takers were completely stunned but as I ran into the room with the four commandos one of the men in the safe got three rounds off from his submachine gun before he was hit with PEP rounds and slumped to the floor. The rest of the hostage takers didn’t even get that much as they were stunned by both PEP lasers and stun bolts from my proton carbine. The one man who had gotten three rounds off might has well been shooting at wall for all of the effectiveness of his bullets. They hit my armour and bounced off into the walls and ceiling. All of this action occurred in less then ten seconds, but it felt like it had taken hours instead. From my perspective as a Jedi things had almost been moving in slow motion. That had given me all the time that I needed to make sure that I hit only those who had been holding the hostages, and not the hostages themselves.
“Ori’jate General we got them all.” I laughed slowly before I replied
“Yup all of the hut’uun are down and the innocents are all unharmed.”
“That is the whole idea.” At that point the police came into the building led by Jedi Master Jordan Horowitz. He looked into the vault where we had separated the hostages from the hostage takers. The only emotion that the hostages were feeling right now was relief and a diffuse sort of love for the troopers. I glanced over at Master Horowitz before the local swat captain stepped in between him and me and held out his hand
“Captain Arthur Sondokemper Miami Police Swat.” I removed my buy’ce and replied,
“Pieter Skirata, Jedi Knight and Mando’ad.” As soon as I removed my buy’ce all of the clones removed theirs and several members of the swat team stepped back. One of them voiced what the others were thinking,
“They are all physically identical!” I nodded slowly before I pointed out.
“That is because they are all Clones from Xanadu.”
“Are you trying to tell me that all of the people from that convention are like this?”
“No not really. I for instance am not a clone; the only reason that I look like them is because one of my character’s ancestors was a Clone. I also sound a little like them is because my character comes from Concord Dawn, the same planet as Jango Fett and Boba Fett.” The captain nodded before he said,
“I don’t really care where you guys are from, right now I would like to take your boys out for a drink.” I looked over the police officer that had brought us to this job and he smiled and said,
“You people are making it a lot easier for use to accept your kind.”
“We aren’t really as strange as you think that we are. Most of us are still somewhat human.”
“What about those ships up there? Are they still human?”
“Their soul is still human even though they are no longer a biological life form. However, I have yet to meet any of those ships but I hope that I soon will be able to.”
“How can you look forward to visiting an Imperial Star Destroyer or Super Star Destroyer?”
“The Empire didn’t make it’s ships hate people. The ships were merely tools for the Empire to spread its doctrine of fear. A doctrine that was originally created by the Di’kutla Emperor, Darth Vader, and Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin.”
“You don’t really think much of him do you?”
“Not really Captain, as a Jedi and Mandalorian I think that the Emperor was a real disaster for the Galaxy. He destroyed the Old Jedi Order and the Old Republic. He also used my people, and tried to destroy our most valuable resource.”
“What resource would that be?”
“Our freedom and our supply of beskar.”
“Mandalorian Iron. It is one of the most valuable commodities in the galaxy.”
“Why is it so valuable?”
“Well when it is properly forged Mando beskar is one of the most durable metals in the known Galaxy.”
“Oh I see.” I laughed at the expression on the officer’s face. Before I replaced my buy’ce and gave my own private cool down speech to the boys.
“Kandosii! Ner vode. We showed those dikutla mir’osikla that you shouldn’t mess with the Mando’ade.” Each of the commandos nodded and then responded with their own version of what I had said. Then Burner started to slowly sing,
“Kandosii sa kyr’am ast,” I remembered which old song this was from and joined in as the others also began to sing.
“Troan teroch Mando’ade a’den, Duraan vi at ara’nov. Vode an, ka’rta tor. Kote.” When we finished that song the four clones looked at me, and then Sev said,
“Sir you changed one of the words.” I shook my head before I told them.
“No brothers the song was changed for you to suit your service to the Republic. I was singing the original version that has been preserved for hundreds of years by hundreds if not thousands of Mando’ade vode an.” Each of the clone commandoes seemed to look at each other before they said.
“Even though you are a Jedi you aren’t that bad of a person sir.”
“Just because I am a Jetii doesn’t mean that I am Dar’manda.” Burner apologized quickly because to a Mando’ad being called Dar’manda was one of the worst insults that you could think of. We all stayed silent as we climbed into the swat van and headed back to our exile at Xanadu. Once we got there we separated and I made my way back to my room. As I opened the door I heard the sound of a force lance charging up. I held up my hand before I said,
“Relax Richard I’m not your enemy.”
“How do I know that you aren’t my enemy?” I pulled off my buy’ce before I replied,
“You would know that I’m not your enemy Richard if you knew that before the incident I drove you to this event.”
“Jason is that you?”
“Yes it is me Richard.” I wasn’t sure if you had survived the event.”
“Well just between you and me Richard I managed to get away from here pretty soon after the event in order to get my mind in order.”
“How did you do that?”
“You remember the screaming roar that echoed through the centre just after the change?”
“Well that scream was the sound of a TIE Defender taking off.”
“A Sienar Fleet Systems TIE Defender. It is an advanced space superiority fighter.”
“How many other fighters were there?”
“Two, and I own one of them, a T-65XJ-6 X-wing fighter and its astromech droid.”
“Who owns the other fighter?”
“Would you believe that Simon owns the other fighter and its astromech droid?”
“Are you kidding? Who did he become?”
“Well he dressed up as Anakin Skywalker from the Revenge of the Sith so that is who he has become.”
“So both of you are Jedi now.”
“That is correct, though I am far more unique then he is, because of my heritage as a Mando’ad.”
“Let me guess, that means Mandalorian in your native language which is also known as Mandalorian.”
“Actually Mando’ad means son of Mandalore in Mando’a which is the Mandalorian language.”
“Cool. My other name is Hoquiam Rade, Captain of the Commonwealth Heavy Cruiser Eternal Hope.”
“Let me guess, she is a member of the same class as the Andromeda Ascendant.”
“You are also correct in your guess.”
“Well now that we know who each other’s alter egos are what do you say to going and grabbing something to eat from one of the conference centre restaurants? Personally I’m starving and I think that you could also do with something to eat, after all even a pure-bred Nietzshean needs to fill his boots ever so often.”
“Fill his boots?”
“Sorry it’s a mando expression. It means fill his stomach.”
“Oh I see what you mean now.” Richard twirled his right hand force lance and holstered it in the small holster on his right leg. I grinned and then picked up my buy’ce and slipped it on my head. For some reason there was a small part of my mind that was comforted by the closeness that the helmet provided. I guess the part of me that liked the buy’ce was the Mando part of my soul.
When we got to the best restaurant in the conference centre I saw one table where there was a group of clones and a single Mando’ad and I made my way there with my reluctant brother following in my wake. The Mando, who was wearing battered tan armour looked up at me and then noticed the lightsabres at my side.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Pieter Skirata.”
“You claim to be a member of my clan. How is that?”
“My grandfather was adopted and raised as a member of the Skirata Clan by his training sergeant on Kamino back before the Clone Wars.”
“Are you perhaps referring to one Kal Skirata?”
“Yes I am.” The man laughed before he softly said,
“That is really quite something because I chose Kal Skirata as my character for this event, little did I know that I was actually going to become him.” He pulled out a strange three-sided knife and placed it on the table in front of him. I laughed before I nodded my head in respect.
“Ba’buir I will listen to whatever you have to tell me to make myself a better Mando’ad than I already am.”
“Then I guess I will ask one question that I still have about you bu’ad. Why do you have those Jetii weapons at your side? Those kad'au aren’t part of your heritage as a Mando’ad.”
“That may be true but they are part of my heritage, though from a different element of that heritage. My grandmother was a Jedi Knight during the Clone Wars and she fell in love with a Clone and eventually had a child by him, that child was my father. My father married a good Mando girl on Concord Dawn but unbeknownst to either of them she was also Force Sensitive. The end result was me. I am twice as strong in the Force as either of them. So when I came of age my father really had no other choice then to send me to Coruscant for training, though that wasn’t where most of my training took place.”
“That is quite the story Piet’ika.” I didn’t even turn a whisker at the old man using a diminutive version of my name, since he was my ba’buir he had that right.” I snagged a chair and sat down in it beside him. A short time later the waitress came over to our table and asked what she could get for us. Since this food was on the government, and my brother and I could afford to eat anything we wanted we both ordered a prime cut T-bone steak. When I looked over I noticed the clones were eating twice as much as I was, it was a product of their accelerated aging process. I looked over at Kal and shook my head,
“Let’s hope that someone can figure out how to slow down these guys aging process or they won’t live for more than fifteen more years.”
“You got that right.” One of the clones looked up from his double order of beef ribs and quietly said,
“As long as I can see my youngest grandson become a man I will be happy.”
“Well you would say that Bill you are the oldest cos-player in the Fighting 501st. Personally I don’t think that fifteen years will be enough, considering the fact that I am only twenty years old. I wouldn’t want to die in fifteen years and old man.”
“What are you going to spend those years doing Marshal? Sitting around in an office pushing papers around?”
“I don’t know but anything is better than looking forwards to death.”
“Well I for one know that I am only suited for one profession right now. I’m a Clone Trooper and proud of it even if that means that I will have a shortened lifespan.” As we said that another man walked into the dining room. He was armed with a Verpine shatter-gun and a strange three-sided knife that was identical to the one that Kal had placed on the table earlier.
“Kal he might be an answer to your prayers about your boys in white. That is Jaing Skirata one of your Null class ARC Troopers that you trained on Kamino back before the Clone Wars. After the War he left the GAR and tracked down that aiwha-bait Ko Sai and found his research and used it on himself before he destroyed the data.” Kal looked at the Mando in question before he shouted
“Jaing get you sheb over here and fill your boots!” The Mando in question looked over at us before he walked over and grabbed a chair and sat down beside Kal and pulled off his buy’ce and said,
“Kal’buir I this is great seeing you again after all these years.” I laughed before Kal asked
“Is it true that you can help most of the clones here?” Jaing looked at Kal before he slowly nodded and replied,
“Yes it is Kal’buir I age like a normal man now instead of like the rest of my vode, and with some time and a little effort I can pass this alteration to my code on to the rest of he clones who came through the Xanadu Effect.” I smiled at my great-uncle before I refocused my attention on my food.
Four hours later I sat on the bed in the Ambassador Suite with my brother and my best friend Simon talking about what I had learned in the past little while. The most disturbing thing that I had found out from some of the Clones and the Stormtroopers was the fact that the American Government was trying to take away our kit, because it represented a real threat to the safety of their citizens. They didn’t want some Stormtrooper or assassin droid slotting some innocent civilian with their advanced weaponry. The problem with that was most Mando Warriors had a very narrow view of someone taking away their right to defend themselves and make a living in the galaxy. So to that end I decided that we had better leave the convention centre before they learned too much about us. When I told Richard and Simon of my plan they both agreed that it was our only course of action. So once more I removed my buy’ce and my cloak and donned the great-coat that I had worn to sneak back into the convention centre and convinced the guards, through a simple Force trick that we weren’t there at all. We were able to quickly make our way to the outdoor parking where I had parked my 2007 BMW M5 Sedan. We all piled into the four-door super-car and headed off out of the city in the middle of the night. I hoped that Mom and Dad would be happy when we got back home, even though our lives would be far from easy.
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