Generi/Warning: Star Wars AU, angst
Note: scritta per la settima settimana del Cow-T7.
A Star Wars Story #Prologo
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
The Galaxy is in chaos, the evil Sith Lord Darth Kronos and his droids are taking control of the outer rim, expanding their influence over the central planets of the galaxy. There is little to nothing that the Senate can do to prevent this slow, but inevitable conquest; as senator Lukin gains more power, the Republic grows weaker and its future is at stake. The Jedi order has done everything in its power to restore balance, but every effort appears to be in vain, as the final days of the clone wars grow closer the only hope of the Republic lies in two young padawans that the Jedi council believe to be the chosen ones.
When Bucky and Steve joined the Jedi temple they were two young padawans filled with expectations, wanting to change the world for the better.
When the clone wars started, though, they found out that life wasn't kind nor gentle, war moulded and shaped them into men of steel, and as the Jedi order taught them not to feel, war taught them how to turn their feelings into rage and rage into focus and focus into justice. It wasn’t easy but they could see a small hope at the end of the tunnel, a chance of victory, until one day the order 66 changed everything.
The clones rebelled and the Jedi died out, falling one after the other, like leaves in the wind, and as the last of them strived for survival a mysterious Sith Lord, cloaked in a black mantle and protected by battle drones, attacked the Jedi Temple. There was a fight, a strenuous fight that the last two survived Padawan lost and consequently the Jedi order was destroyed.
They had been friends since a very young age, growing together on a sand filled planet of the outer rim called Tatooine; there was no one in the entire universe who believed in justice more than they did. Their names were Steve Rogers and James Buchanan Barnes.
Steve was the youngest, his head was filled with dreams of hope and justice and he believed his master when he found him and told him he was one of the chosen one of the ancient prophecy; his friend was more of a sceptic, Buky Barnes didn’t even believe in the force at first, but he wanted a fair universe, a universe governed by a just republic, where people where free and lives were happy. So he followed the Jedi Master, he followed Steve.
«Are you sure you want to do this» his friend had asked him.
«If you go, Steve, I’m going too. I’m not leaving you».
«Till the end of the line, buddy?».
«Till the end of the line» Bucky had said, and he had smiled.
His smile was a gift for the universe.
Thy watched in horror as their Master got slayed by the red blade of the Sith’s lightsabre, their eyes filled with tears, their hearts overcame by rage as everything they’d ever love, everything they’d ever believed in, got shattered into pieces. Bucky hold his grip on his green lightsabre and threw himself onto the Sith, his intentions were clear and not Jedi like, not at all.
«I’m going to kill you» he cried, his voice broken with rage and wrath and fury.
«Bucky wait!» Steve called him, trying to stop him, but of course it was in vain.
The young padawan run ahead, trying to crush an enemy who was a much more skilled warrior than he was; for the Sith was easy to avoid the attack and with a clear slash he chopped off the man’s left arm – he had killed Jedi knights and bounty hunters and old wise warrior who had been alive for decades, this kid full of fury and blinded by emotions was nothing for him.
Barnes screamed in pain and he automatically tried to hold his arm as it fell to the ground.
«Pathetic» said the Sith, and he used the force towards the young man.
As Bucky fell in to the void, his fellow brother, Padawan Rogers stared with horror, just to be blasted on the ground by a trooper, one of the troopers that used to be in his Master squadron, fighting for the republic. Steve realized he was going to die there, on that planet made of buildings and filled with people who, overall, didn’t care; he cried, not for himself, but for his brothers, for his master, for the Republic, for he was dying and there were no more Jedi in the universe.
He closed his eyes, with the overwhelming feeling that everything was lost. Hope was lost.
Fifteen years later.
The room was dark, there was only a dim light coming from behind the throne of the Emperor; his hand step forward, slowly kneeling in front of it, she knew he was watching although she couldn’t see him. She had been trained, and even if the force wasn’t as strong in her as it was the Emperor’s pupil, she could use it and she could sense him.
«You wanted to see me, my Lord?»
He came out from the shadow, or maybe he was the shadows, that she couldn’t tell.
Lukin had been a general and then the Republic great chancellor, secretly scheming to subduing the Republic to his dark power; and now, after years of wars and fights and subjugation he was the Emperor of the greatest Empire the universe has ever seen. Planets and moons were united under his control, the Republic federation was gone, shattered in the wind fifteen years prior.
There was only the Empire.
«Yes, Natalia» his voice was hoarse and rasping, it was one of the creepiest sound she had ever heard «There are voices, rumours are spreading across the galaxies. The speak of a man, of a new hope. They speak of a Jedi».
«There is no such thing as Jedi» she said, and she truly believe it «Not anymore, they are a thing of the past».
«So I thought, little one, that’s why I need you to go and confirm if this rumours are true, and if they are you must find this Jedi and kill him».
«Bring the Winter Soldier with you, ha has already been briefed on the mission».
The Winter Soldier was Emperor’s Lukin pupil, eyes like daggers and a metal arm, voices said it had been the Emperor himself to cut it, right before making him a Sith. He was also the one who had been in charge of her training, actually he was in charge of the training of everyone in the Red Room, but she knew their bond was different from that he had with anyone else. Beside she was the Emperor’s hand and they had been partners for a while now, almost five years, running around, bringing order to the Galaxy, killing the Empire’s enemies, protecting the Emperor’s interest. He trusted them, both of them, and they trusted each other.
He was waiting for her in the control room of the NAVE, looking at the holoplans of their travels; as she entered the board he handed her a small, black tablet.
«The mission data».
«Can’t you brief me in?»
«I could, but I might miss something, you should-»
«Rely only on my senses and learn for myself, I know, I know».
He nodded in agreement, and smirked. It was so fast that Natalia almost didn’t notice, almost. The Winter Soldier had a reputation, he was a strong ruthless man trained and born for killing, his lightsabre strike without mercy and he could kill anyone, anything. He proved no remorse, no love, he had no emotions. Natalia knew better.
She didn’t really know the entire backstory of the Sith, there was a chance he didn’t know it himself, the Emperor had one mention his memory loss, which was quite convenient for someone who didn’t want to explain anything to anyone; anyway, she knew better, she knew that his name was James, that he could smile and his smile was kind and sad and it melted her heart like the hot surface of Mustafar.
He had been with her for years, as a teacher, a mentor, a lover. They never used the word love, though, not when they were together, not when they were separated. Not once, not ever. It wasn’t allowed, it wasn’t right. They just knew the Emperor wouldn’t have liked it, and the Emperor’s will was their will.
«Who’s this guy? Where does he come from?»
«All the information on his past are unknow. His name is Steven, he claims to be a Jedi and he had joined the resistance a few months back. No one knows how, why or where they found him, yet he has slowly risen among the ranks of the rebels. He’s the right arm of Senator Stark» Natalia snorted, she had heard stories about Senator Stark, a narcissistic asshole who wanted to be a hero, as fast with his blaster as he was with his words.
«They are currently on a planet of the outer rim, called Tatooine, a god forsaken planet filled with sand and ignorant natives where power is held by a Hutt named Jabba».
«Ever been to Tatooine before, Natalia?»
«No, Sir, I’m not a fan of hot planets».
«There’s a lot of sand. I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere».
«You hate a lot of things, James».
«I’m not sure why, but I hate sand the most. Anyway, you’ll see for yourself how unwelcoming Tatooine is».
«We’ll see, concerning a more pressing matter, regarding the Hutt».
«What about the Hutt?»
«Should we worry about him?»
He shook his head, of course not.
«If he poses resistance or he is revealed to be a problem we’ll end him. For now he could be a precious ally, Hutt’s don’t care about the Empire or the Rebellion, they just care about power, and money».
She nodded in agreement and kept reading the report.
The rebellion had been a problem in the last few years, not as much of an opponent for the Empire forces, but still a thorn in the flesh, an annoying opponent they couldn’t get rid of, not for the lack of trying. The real problem was that they were everywhere, they had bases and allies across the whole universe and even if one of them was killed or publicly executed for treason there were others, there were more.
Each time the empire arrived on a planet and covered it in the blood of his people, of the suspected rebels that lived there, a new cell of resistance was born, a new planet find its way into the alliance. Natalia knew what was the problem: vengeance, oppression, desire for freedom and justice. There planet situated so far from the centre of the universe that there was no other explanation but revenge for their joining the rebellion, as the Empire’s influence in the outer rim was limited to a few territories.
According to their spies this man’s name was Steve Rogers, he was born of the planet and the natives considered him a Jedi. There were of course no proofs of him being able to use the force, yet he was considered somehow a light, a ray of hope in the dark depths of space. Natalia wasn’t that kind of woman who believed in rumours and voices, yet she knew that this informant wasn’t the kind of men who told lies, or that couldn’t be believed. She was sceptical though, as all the Jedi were death, they were a thing of the past, buried under the ruins of their own old temple, forgotten as their traditions and names; they had been killed and their blood had been shed. Solitary and alone as the Jedi’s tradition wanted them to be, there was no one who had inherited their blood, their knowledge, their memories.
There were no more Jedi.
Soon this Steve Rogers would be gone too and only Sith would remain.