The Photonovel Alliance
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Back on Iktotch, under the pitch black sky of the night,


Master Sifo-Dyas and Nouk Kii sleep in the quiet cave of the monastery.

But they are suddenly awakened by a disturbance in The Force.

Sifo-Dyas says “Something sinister is happening in this monastery. I sense danger.”

Nouk Kii agrees “I feel it also Master… I don’t feel so well myself actually, my head is killing me and my knees are wobbly.”

His master replies “I believe the wine we consumed is having an adverse effect on us… and our light sabers are missing!”

Seeking out the source of the disturbance, the two Jedi happen upon the monks in the midst of torturing the captive Mandalorian.

As the outlaw begs for the pain to stop,

The Jedi step forward to interrupt the proceedings, Sifo-Dyas declaring “Stop! As members of the Republic you are obligated to surrender the prisoner to us.”

Serris scoffs “We are not concerned with your sacrilegious ways, Jedi.”

He orders his monks “Seize them!”

Finding that they are unable to resist in their weakened state, the Jedi watch in horror as the Iktotchi pontiff severs the Mandalorian’s head.

The chief cleric declares “We have cleansed him through pain. Perhaps you must also be cleansed, for us to save your souls.”

Moments later, the two Jedi find themselves chained to tall stakes, under which fires have been lit.

As the flames grow and begin to affect the Jedi, Sifo-Dyas struggles to say “Release us now Serris, we’ve no conflict with you!”

“Oh, no, Master Jedi. We are your friends. You must confess your heresy lest you perish in the afterlife.”

Sifo-Dyas, writhing in pain, attempts to influence the cleric’s mind via his Jedi powers…

…but the Iktotchi pontiff is too strong minded.

Using the parlance of the monks’ ancient scripture, Serris says “Pray with us brother, soon ye shallt be judged.”

As the pontiff pleads for a confession from the heretics, he is suddenly interrupted by a group of Trade Federation battle droids.

In a robotic, monotonous voice, one of the droids loudly says “Halt!”

Surprised, Serris turns around and angrily says “What is the meaning of this intrusion? Leave us at once!”

Ignoring the cleric altogether, the droid commander orders “Secure the area.”

As Serris protests more furiously, the droids suddenly begin shooting indiscriminately…

…killing all of the monks.

As the Jedi desperately struggle to evade the flames, they are freed by the droids.

But after descending from the stake, Sifo-Dyas collapses.

Gripped with worry, Nouk rushes to his mentor’s side, exclaiming “Master!”

The droid commander orders “Move him out of here.” which the other droids acknowledge “Roger roger!”

Meanwhile on the sovereign system of Naboo…

In the capital city of Theed, inside the royal palace…

Queen Amidala, having recently ascended to the throne, is hosting a senatorial debate between the incumbent, Senator Gloval, and his challenger, Professor Palpatine.

As the two rivals finish their opening remarks,

The governor of Theed, Sio Bibble, asks Gloval “Senator, there is growing concern among the citizens of Theed that the retirement savings system is losing its value due to rising galactic inflation. What do you propose to do about this if re-elected?”

“Well Governor,” Gloval begins, “As you know I prefer to keep the system’s funds in a lock box. Keep it in the lock box that is our own Theed Reserve Bank. The lock box is the safest place for it in spite of the recent losses. Lock box.”

Professor Palpatine responds “Nonsense, Senator. Our good citizens’ retirement funds should be entrusted to the major investment houses on Coruscant. We must have faith in the infallibility of these storied firms and let the free market provide our families with the most comfortable retirement income possible.”

The young queen then directs the Gungan leader, Boss Nass, to pose the next question.

In a heavy accent, the leader of the Gungan people asks Professor Palpatine “Wassa gonna do to bring Gooongan honor to Coruscant?”

Palpatine gleefully responds “Well Boss Nass, indeed our seat on Coruscant has been mired by repeated ethics violations and corruption scandals. These have put a stain on all the people of Naboo. If elected I promise to uphold the strong moral values represented by the Gungan people, and to restore honor to our seat in the Senate.”

Gloval loses his calm and angrily retorts “These baseless accusations against me have been maliciously fabricated by my opponent and his supporters! There is no proof!”

Showing maturity beyond her years, Queen Amidala then asks Gloval “Senator, you have repeatedly voted to allow the Trade Federation to expand its reach. However, there is mounting evidence that they are using their armies not just to defend their interests, but also to coerce star systems into doing their bidding. What is your view on the matter?”

“Your Majesty,” Gloval begins “We have been facing many terrorist threats from all across the galaxy. Unfortunately the Republic’s navy is too ill equipped to adequately deal with these, and the Jedi are insufficiently engaged until it is too late. Therefore, I believe it has been in the best interest of the people of Naboo to allow the Trade Federation a bit of leeway in preventing terrorists from getting a foothold.”

Professor Palpatine responds “Well I for one am shocked and appalled at the excessive power the Trade Federation has been allowed to accumulate under the Senator’s watch. Your Majesty, if I am elected I promise to preserve our sovereignty and combat any efforts by the Trade Federation to subjugate the will of our people.”

So as the debate continues,

Back on the planet Iktotch, Sifo-Dyas is carried out of the cave on a stretcher as he remains unconscious.

Nouk Kii discusses the events with the captain of the orbiting Trade Federation ship.

Captain Sleena, speaking via holographic transmission from the bridge, tells Nouk “Yes of course, we will tend to your master’s injuries, thank goodness we arrived in time.”

Conflicted, Nouk replies “We are most grateful Captain… but was it really necessary for your droids to kill all the monks?”

The Neimoidian coldly replies “We did what was necessary to save your lives… Master Jedi.”

Feeling as though he’d just been scolded, Nouk hesitantly suggests “We should take the ark for temporary safekeeping… until its rightful owner can be determined.”

“Yes, we are already taking care of that Master Jedi.” responds the captain.

So as battle droids bring out the monks’ invaluable ark,

Trade Federation military transports descend onto the planet.

Large security forces are deployed to protect the new spice mines.

And patrols are established to secure the multiple mine perimeters.

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