Title: Misadventures in Tempting Fate
Premise, or Lack Thereof:Dot literally falls into the Star Wars world; hilarity ensues.
Reason for Banishment: Shameless Self Insertion
Space, the final frontier; where no one can hear you scream because it’s large, empty, and full of stars. And all that other stuff.
I found myself floating some distance from a spiral arm galaxy, staring at the pleasant hypnotic swirling patterns and not as alarmed as I should be given the situation; it didn’t help that I’ve had far freakier dreams.
/ You have been Chosen. /
Yup. Been there, done that, got enough t-shirts to clothe a third world country.
/ Destiny is now in your hands. The future of the Galaxy is yours to forge. May the Force be with you. /
Then I started to plummet. Down, down, down I went like a lead weight, and for the first time I began to consider that maybe I wasn’t having a dream, or even a nightmare, after all.
Darth Maul stared at the wreckage, wondering how he was ever going to explain this to his Master—or, for that matter, his insurance company.
“Cause of accident: woman appearing out of thin air”? Who would believe him?
The woman in question was, to his surprise, still alive after crashing onto his vehicle and ruining it beyond repair. At the moment she was attempting to curl into a fetal position and failing due to having broken just about every bone in her body from the fall. She grimaced, sucking in a weak breath of air, and gurgled as blood bubbled from her lips.
Muttering obscenities, Darth Maul approached with the intent of removing this unexpected trespasser and continuing his mission when his gaze connected with hers—
And the bright blue lightsaber swung towards him, but all he could do was stare as his body split into two halves.
Impossible! That useless twit of a Padawan! he wanted to scream, but he felt his head strike into something and he knew no more.
—the woman lost consciousness, the rise and fall of her chest growing more shallow with each cycle.
Darth Maul blinked. The vision had been unmistakable: he had seen himself die. Was it a product of his own premonitions, or did this woman see into the future somehow?
I woke up floating in goo.
Or at least that’s what it felt like. I wasn’t sure. Everything up to this point was rather fuzzy. I had vague recollections of a sense of weightlessness, and then an abrupt stop and pinpricks of light and intense agony. But what happened in between when I passed out and when I opened my eyes again was a complete blank.
I was about to curl up into a fetal position and go back to sleep when a sudden warmth flooded my body and I started to itch and hurt at the same time. I tried to pull away, but I couldn’t move. The gooey sensation began to dissipate, and this time I let out an audible whimper as I felt the effects of gravity return to my legs and the warmth erupted into a full, agonizing burn.
The face was blurry but unmistakable. Who else would have such strange facial tattoos?
For some reason, perhaps due to the sheer implausibility of the situation, I began to think of the “Duel of Fate” theme from The Phantom Menace. And since I didn’t know the lyrics, I filled in the blanks like this:
o/~ Darth Maul! Darth Darth Maul!
Darth Maul! Darth Darth Maul! o/~
The woman was gaping at him in open shock; this was not unusual, but she somehow knew who he was and that made her an unacceptable risk to his mission. He attempted to probe her mind, but all he could get from sensing her thoughts was a large group of people chanting his name over and over again in a melodramatic minor key refrain, backed up with a variety of instruments he couldn’t recognize.
He put a stop to that by squeezing her shoulder, eliciting a small squeak of pain as she drew in a sharp breath. Then he tried again, tearing through her feeble mental defenses like rice paper. He gleaned a single word—Naboo—before she somehow threw up a new melody before he could go further and even after he force-choked her back into unconsciousness he had to spend a good five minutes in meditation to get rid of the annoying, chipper tune.
He fingered the controls on his lightsaber, tempted to kill this woman right then and there and be done with it. But his master had made no mention of this unexpected turn of events at all, meaning that it did not figure into his labyrinthine plans. A lifetime ago he would have accepted his Master’s orders without question, even if that loyalty killed him, but he had since come to realize that he made a pretty damn terrible Sith if he didn’t at least pretend to have greater ambitions. Tackling a full Sith Lord—one of Darth Sidious’ caliber, no less—did seem to be an impossible notion, but for some reason it now seemed less so, even if by the tiniest of margins.
I woke up with the headache from hell and Darth Freaking Maul watching me from the other side of a force field. He said nothing and made no further attempts to look inside my head (boy did that sensation ever rank near the top of the list of Do Not Want), but it was clear from his body language that I was at his complete mercy and his plans for me were not pleasant, to say the least.
Great. Now what was I supposed to do?
On the one hand, he was evil.
On the other hand, would I be okay with sending somebody to his death when I had the knowledge to perhaps prevent it, or change his tragic destiny for the better?
On the other hand, if I got too specific with my warnings, would he end up killing even more people in a preemptive strike to save himself?
On the other hand, what if I couldn’t change the future no matter what I did?
On the other hand, what if I could, and what would that mean for the galaxy in the long run? Not that this had ever stopped me from imagining myself gallivanting about various worlds before, but now that I was experiencing it in person, the choices available to me were staggering, to say the least.
It was becoming obvious that this train of thought wasn’t getting me anywhere, so I tried to clear my head by seeing how much of my body could move without hurting like hell. At the same time, Darth Maul decided to get up and start pacing, as if he were the one being caged.
Darth Maul watched himself watch himself watch himself watch himself.
His actions had triggered another vision, and now a second Maul paced in front of the first, his expression just as impatient and predatory. At moments, a faint red field fizzled in place between them, a line that taunted both Mauls, as if daring either of them to leap forward. Between blinks he could almost make out someone seated on the other side of this wall, but he couldn’t distinguish any further details besides the distinctive robes of the Jedi.
“My Master has given me my next mission,” he told the woman, causing her to jump; the ghost Maul wobbled, but remained marching back and forth before the invisible line in the ground. “I am to go to Naboo and destroy the Jedi that have been sent there.”
She bit her lip and averted his gaze, but even without this obvious attempt to hide her reaction he could tell that his words had struck a chord. “I’d wish you luck, but—” she chewed on what was left of her thumbnail, fidgeting with open unease.
He took a seat again. Whatever decision he would arrive at about this woman, it was, at least, interesting to see her squirm. “I have no interest in who you are or what you are doing here.” He informed her, and she believed him.
That damn woman was thinking too loud again. To spite him, no doubt. Despite her absolute lack of Force sensitivity, she’d known from the moment she laid eyes on him that he could read her mind. She’d resisted his attempts to pry into her thoughts at first, but the closer he got to what she referred to in her head as “the end” the less she censored herself, though she was still careful to keep vague on certain details until the pretense of secrecy was no longer necessary.
Now, except while sleeping or kept in a state of coma by him using a process that was exhausting to maintain, her mind was filled with inane, rambling navel gazing going in circles.
And now I’m seriously thinking about taking the bullet for him, not just in the hypothetical sense. Fuck. What is it with me and tragic villains?
Darth Maul turned his attention back to the ship’s control and broadcast the mental equivalent of loud static in her general direction, something that someone even as thick-headed as she was would notice.
She sent back the mental equivalent of a rude gesture. Or so he assumed anyway; the action of a raised middle finger being thrust upward meant nothing to him, but many cultures had similar nonverbal insults that expressed a sentiment somewhere along the same lines. What he ‘heard’ from her next confirmed his suspicions.
If you don’t like what you ‘hear’, then don’t ‘listen’ in, asshole.
But despite her irritation at his eavesdropping (and everything else about him, it seemed), her thoughts refused to leave the idea of “protecting” him, a notion that even she acknowledged to be ridiculous. Over and over again in the debate she was having with herself she pointed out how useless she’d be in a fight to the death—”not even good enough to be a meat shield”.
But—and here she sighed out loud—I am supposed to do the ‘right’ thing, consequences be damned and all that. If I’m going to fuck things up I may as well go for the balls-out craziest plan.
Plans—bah! That woman couldn’t plan her way out of a wet paper bag. All she could do was equivocate in her labyrinth of self doubt, groping along until she latched onto the first thing that jumped into her brain, and then act surprised when things failed to go according to her whims.
And yet, he still hadn’t killed her, but was taking her with him to Naboo. To do what? Die as a pointless interlude in his master’s greater machinations? Or throw things into even greater chaos, no matter how impossible that might seem?
At this point it probably isn’t possible to change things anyway.
For a fleeting moment he wondered if he was allowing his emotions to filter through to her, but he knew himself to be more disciplined than that. It had to be a coincidence.
I mean, that bastard’s been putting pieces in place for years, and if he’s any good at this whole manipulative evil overlord thing then he’d have eleventy billion contingency plans in place, too. And it’s not like I know shit about the bigger picture in a way that could affect anything. But—hmm.
He tried to feign disinterest, but he had to hold himself back from doing more than eavesdrop.
He might be dark lord of the Sith, but he’s not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. I mean, all Maul over there would need to do to upset the apple cart would be to introduce enough variables or destroy enough of Sidious’ Plan As to become indispensable for the rest of it to work. Step One would be to half-ass enough of the next mission so Qui-Gon lives, and therefore so does he. And after that—well, we can worry about that later.
She must have phrased those words in that manner because she knew what he was doing, but of all the inane ideas she had so far, this one at least made some sense. Even a broken clock was right twice a day. It was expected—encouraged, even—of Sith apprentices to plot against their masters. It was how the Sith became stronger, even though there would only be two of them against the masses of Jedi proclaiming themselves guardian of light and order. If he could indeed divert enough of his master’s plot to make himself useful at every juncture of the greater plan, then he’d never outlive that usefulness.
Wow, this has so much potential to backfire it’s not even funny. But it’s the best chance I’ve got. Now I just need to figure out how to make all that shit work…
As the woman withdrew into herself, running fantastical scenarios in her head, Maul’s thoughts also turned inward. With what he knew, with what he was capable of, he could come up with his own plan.
Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress’ Notes:
…and at this point I didn’t really feel like getting too far into details, so have a list style summary of what I was going to have happen next:
– Qui Gon picks up on my feelings enough to go send Obi Wan to help Padme instead and duels Darth Maul alone, who throws the fight just enough to not have it be too obvious and “surrenders” once it’s pointless to go on fighting.
– When the Jedi try to mind-probe Maul, I get huffy about it and tell them point blank that Palpatine is the Sith Lord—”good luck proving it (you self-righteous hypocrites)!”
– We get shoved into a cell (safest place to be, really) while the Jedi Council navel gaze about what to do next.
– I teal deer at Darth Maul while we’re locked up, mostly out of sheer boredom, but also to distract him once a very pissed off Sidious severs his Force bond with Maul as punishment for failure (note: I have no idea if this is how Sith Master/Apprentice relationship works, I’m just rolling with this because it’s my Blatant Self Insertion and I’ll Deus Ex Machina if I want to).
– Character development stuff happens. Being stuck in such close proximity with the first person who’s ever shown any real concern for him without expecting anything in return would have some effect on Darth Maul, especially since according to Wookiepedia Sidious basically brainwashed him into blind obedience via what amounts to Stockholm Syndrome. Meanwhile, Qui-Gon’s influence on Anakin makes him a less unstable emo teen later because he’s not big on hammering the whole “no attachments” thing， plus
Anakin also eavesdrops on a lot of the conversation between me and Maul and gets an education he wouldn’t otherwise other stuff potentially.
– Attempts by the Jedi to follow the paper trail from what I know of the plot dead ends at Kamino, and clones are already in full-time production even as of the end of Phantom Menace, so no dice there. But the earlier discovery of the clones’ existence does mobilize a couple of opposing factions Sidious had kept around for show (planning to off them once he could cement his power) into uniting around the cause of granting these clones full citizenship and all rights thereof, meaning they can’t be conscripted without their individual consent—most of them still would, considering their genetic heritage and training, but it does make enough of a difference to be an issue later, including a non-clone volunteer army, and then as the war wears on, conscription is debated and then pushed through the Senate.
– Meanwhile, the Jedi try to use me and Darth Maul as bait to draw Sidious out, releasing us from custody. But there’s nothing I know that Sidious doesn’t, and he believes Maul to still be 100% blindly loyal to him—and finally showing some real Sith-like ambition, so he doesn’t do anything.
– While I give myself a crash course on interstellar politics, Darth Maul goes to work sabotaging the rest of Sidious’ plans. Stuff happens, whatever.
– Darth Maul still dies tragically at some point. Maybe not even “on screen”—I just hear about it, and react accordingly. But his force ghost is now stuck in my head because of the “power of friendship” or somesuch handwaving. So now it’s onto the next person I might have some chance of effecting…
Jar Jar Binks Count Dooku, maybe?
– …and I’ll think about what this means for the events that would’ve occurred in Episodes 2 and 3 later. Needless to say, eventually shit gets Monkey Wrenched big time, but not necessarily in a good way. (For example, the current “endgame” up til Luke and Leia’s birth is that Sidious wins–everybody I know who could possibly oppose him is either assassinated or turned, I’m a prisoner in Sidious’ private chambers being tortured whenever the fancy strikes him, Anakin has fully embraced the Dark Side and brainwashed Padme into loving him forever, the Twins are Anakin’s non-official force apprentices as soon as they’re old enough, the Death Star has its glaring weak point reinforced…the light of hope instead comes from the fact that evil is fundamentally self-sabotaging, and the Empire eventually still falls apart because of the corruptions and ambitions of its enforcers.)
– No romance angle with anybody, though. I do have some standards.
At some point I might at least write the epic confrontation scene between Darths Maul and Sidious, with me on the sidelines, but until then have some witty one-liners and shit that sounds all deep and profound because I love writing those:
– I know I can’t save everyone. I might not even be able to save anyone at all. But I can at least help him. God knows he needs it the most.
– You got it backwards. I’m not pretending to care about him because he’s useful. I’m pretending to use him because I care.
– That’s the stupidest shit I’ve ever heard. If that crinkly-assed master of yours really believes that death is the ultimate fate of the universe, then he should go embrace his own destiny first.