The Photonovel Alliance
                     || Part 1 ||  Next >>

The Wutandi research and development space station…


Site of assembly lines for astromech droids,

Industrial purpose machines,

and specialization models.

In the operations center of the station, a computer systems contractor approaches the technical administrator.

“If you’ll just sign here, here, and here Mister Lydecker we’ll be all finished.”

“Excellent Miss Taw, looks good.”

“There is one thing before I go, my droid’s receiver here isn’t working, any way you could get one of your technicians to look at it?”

“But of course Miss Taw.”

At that moment a maintenance worker rides past them in a trolley.

Administrator Lydecker sees him and says “Jif! I need you to take Miss Taw to astromech repair.”

The Snivvian worker groans “But sir, I was just about to go to the mess hall for my break!”

“You’re always on break,” Lydecker sneers, “you better get…”

Miss Taw interrupts the administrator’s scolding, saying “Actually I could use a bite myself, mind if I join you Jif?”

Jif excitedly responds “Oh definitely Miss! Hop on!”

After putting the faulty astromech droid on the trolley, they head down a long corridor.

Jif tells his guest “Thanks for saving me from Mister Lydecker, Miss Taw!”

“Call me Nomi,” she says, “Hey this thing goes much faster than I’d have thought!”

“Snorrrt! Oink! Snort!” Jif laughs, betraying his Snivvian species’ porcine roots, “Well I’m a nerf herder most of the year so this is fun for me!”

Nomi jokes “Yea I thought you were a little too stuck-up to be just a cleanup guy!”

Jif reacts with glee and responds “Oink! Snorrrt! Well, usually I’m told I’m scruffy-looking, so thanks!”

Meanwhile, in a highly restricted area of the station, secret research work is taking place…

A Scientist proclaims “A cerebral cortex encased in a highly-efficient droid body will mark the biggest advance in the history of cybernetics!!”

“Yes Professor Rotwang,” his assistant replies, “all parameters are within acceptable limits.”

“Excellent, my dear Yutan. Viceroy Gunray assures me the brain’s donor was a brilliant strategist, a subject worthy of this project.”

As the surgical droids fuse the last of the connections between the brain and the droid circuitry, the scientist continues “Prepare to power on the reactor Yutan!”

All things being ready, professor Rotwang melodramatically commands “Let there be life!!!”

The cyborg’s body begins to twitch, prompting the professor to demand “More power Yutan!”

“More power Yutan, full power!!”

As the cyborg’s eyes open the professor yells “It’s alive! ALIVE!! Muahahahahahahahaha!!!”

Yutan interrupts the professor’s maniacal laughter and says “Professor, the cerebral activity is off the charts!!”

“Adjust the serotonin levels to compensate, reduce the power,” the scientist orders.

Yutan panics “The controls are off-line, I’ve been locked out Professor!!”

Suddenly Professor Rotwang finds himself being approached in an aggressive manner by the normally docile droids in the laboratory…

The scientist and his assistant are violently assaulted.

Meanwhile, as Nomi Taw’s droid is undergoing a diagnostics scan…

Lights flicker and screams are heard from all directions.

All across the station workers are accosted by droids…

Working in unison to assault their caretakers…

Twisting arms and breaking bones…

No staff member in the vicinity of a droid of any kind is spared…

A nightmare has been unleashed.

But in space, no one can hear you scream.

Days later, on the planet Geonosis…

On the dusty plains where the Petranaki arena stands…

A gala spectacle is taking place.

Geonosians from the highest castes are in attendance of the games…

presented by the archduke of Geonosis,

Poggle the Lesser.

As the crowd partakes in the brutal execution of beggars and thieves,

the archduke’s elite guests enjoy the events from the dignitaries box.

Politicians, businessmen, and royalty…

making connections and discussing mutual interests.

The obscene spectacle of wampas torturing the lowest of the low is the backdrop for a conversation of the highest importance…

between Senator Palpatine from the sovereign system of Naboo and the Viceroy of the Trade Federation, Nute Gunray.

The Viceroy laments “The office of the Chancellor and the Jedi Temple are insisting on sending their own investigative teams to our research station.”

“They haven’t given you the chance to send your own team in first?” Palpatine asks.

Gunray replies “We did send one but we lost contact with them almost immediately after they arrived on site…”

As a poor Geonosian is dismembered by wild beasts, Gunray continues “We don’t know what’s going on, over there. I am concerned, however, that our proprietary technologies under development might be compromised, you know how meddlesome the Jedi are…”

“Indeed I do Viceroy. Perhaps I could arrange for a special forces team from Naboo to handle the investigation, I can assure you they would be more… cooperative, to your interests.”

As a nexu devours another prisoner, Palpatine continues “As for the Jedi, I find it exceptionally difficult to have the senate limit their jurisdiction…”

And as the games turn to beast battles he laments “The Chancellor can be persuaded to cede his navy’s jurisdiction from time to time, but Master Yoda seems to have the unique power to veto any of his decisions…”

“That is something I plan to change, in due time.”

As a wampa spectacularly slams a nexu to the ground while another is torn apart by various beasts,

Viceroy Gunray responds “We will be most appreciative for your assistance Senator.”

As the two continue their conversation, the archduke oversees the preparations for the final event.

Gunray then says “I can assure you that the Trade Federation will not forget this when it comes time for your re-election campaign, Senator.”

Palpatine concludes the conversation saying “One good turn deserves another, Viceroy.”

The scene having been set for the main event, the distinguished guests all turn their attention to the arena.

The top gladiators from all across the galaxy…

All champions of their sectors…

are here to challenge the champion for his title.

The one they simply call “The Zabrak”

Senator Palpatine, having secretly become the Sith Lord DARTH SIDIOUS, looks upon the warrior and senses a strong presence in the Force within him.

The gladiators line up and speak in unison “We who are about to die, salute you!”

The archduke acknowledges the gladiators and gestures for the match to start.

The challengers’ strategy becomes instantly clear as they surround the champion.

Suddenly two swordsmen attack the Zabrak,

but he blocks both swords in one move with his dual-bladed staff.

The Zabrak’s violent counter-attack to one of the swordsmen is repelled by a shield, knocking it to the ground…

and as the other swordsman attacks again, the Zabrak lunges down…

and slices his opponents neck, severing his jugular vein and dropping him to the ground.

As the rest of the gladiators quickly converge, the Zabrak leaps high into the air, plunging his staff into the shoulder of the other swordsman, effectively turning it into a vaulting pole and a deadly impalement stake, simultaneously.

As the Zabrak makes an acrobatic landing away from his opponents,

a masked gladiator turns and cracks his bantha whip and snags the Zabrak’s leg.

As his captor pulls him in and the other gladiators rush in to execute him,

the Zabrak reaches out and arms himself with the weapon of one of the fallen swordsmen.

With tremendous agility he moves to avoid the thrust of a trident and turns to parry a violent blow from another swordsman,

and in the same motion he slides and slashes his captor’s chest.

Surely this warrior has the Force behind him.

The mighty champion rises to his feet, picks up another sword, and stares down his remaining opponents…

who stand bewildered at their opponent’s prowess.

The crowd roars with delight…

as the Zabrak entertains them by effortlessly spinning his swords.

The gladiators, humiliated by the Zabrak’s arrogance, regain their composure and set out determined to earn the title for themselves.

A masked reptilian violently throws his trident at the Zabrak,

but the champion is too quick.

Instead he lunges forward and as he incredibly leaps past the whipping chain of an opponent…

he audaciously positions himself right in front of the stocky chainman…

and expertly decapitates him with both swords, in one motion.

It is the brutal work of a formidable warrior and an act of astonishing showmanship.

As the defeated gladiator’s head rolls on the ground…

the Zabrak sets his sights on the remaining two challengers and attacks them.

He is met with fierce resistance from both, exchanging blows with both of them simultaneously.

As the Zabrak kicks the reptilian in the chest, sending him to the ground, the iron-armed warrior grabs the Zabrak’s sword by the blade and discards it.

Taken aback and reduced to a single sword, the Zabrak fights to repel the iron-armed warrior’s attacks.

With stunning agility, the Zabrak swoops underneath the iron-armed warrior’s sword and thrusts his own sword up into his opponent’s neck, lodging it into his skull.

And then there were two. The reptilian gladiator and the Zabrak, both having been disarmed, stare each other down.

The reptilian rushes in to engage the Zabrak in hand-to-hand combat.

The combat is brutal and after several minutes of fighting, the reptilian gets the upper hand and pins the Zabrak to the ground.

In spite of being in a choke-hold, the Zabrak manages to kick his formidable opponent off of him with tremendous force.

Before the reptilian warrior even has time to gain his footing the Zabrak grabs him from behind…

and breaks his neck with a precise and powerful twist.

The reptilian falls to the ground, the Zabrak is victorious.

The crowd roars with approval of the entertaining spectacle they have just witnessed,

the Zabrak bathes in their applause.

The champion then turns to the dignitaries box and bows.

The distinguished guests are pleased, and the archduke provides the gesture that signals the Zabrak is to live to fight another day.

As the champion reveals himself,

Palpatine knows that he has found his apprentice.

It has been a tremendous spectacle.

                     || Part 1 ||  Next >>


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