STARWARS EPISODE 52: DARK SECRET OF THE SENDORIAN HEGEMONY
By Richard C. Staats
THE ASTEROID OF THE WATCHER
EXT. ASTEROID OF THE WATCHER
The point of view (POV) PANS across the vastness of space, tiny pinpricks of light dot the darkness. The POV ZOOMS to a single pinprick of light, which expands to become a galaxy. The POV whizzes past stars at blinding speeds for several moments and settles above an asteroid circling a BLACK HOLE.
The BLACK HOLE is outlined by a ring of purplish light, the edge of the Schwartzchild radius illuminated by the harsh radiation of particles accelerated to near light speed, crashing toward oblivion.
The following words scroll across the screen from bottom to top:
THE VANGARD OF THE REBEL ALLIANCE CONTINUES TO FIGHT THE EMPIRE, BUT THE EMPIRE WAS NOT THE FIRST OF THE CHALLENGES TO FREEDOM IN THE GALAXY. TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO THE FLEDGLING REPUBLIC FOUGHT THE EVIL OF THE SITH SORCERERS. THE SITH HAD PERFECTED THE MANIPULATION OF THE DARK FORCE TO A FINE ART. MANY JEDI MASTERS WERE LOST, BUT FINALLY THE SITH WERE DEFEATED. REMNANTS OF THE SITH CIVILIZATION REMAINED THOUGH IN THE FORM OF ANCIENT STRONGHOLDS, SHRINES, LIBRARIES AND ARTIFACTS.
THE SHRINES WERE SAID TO HOLD THE SPIRITS OF THE DARK SITH MASTERS WHEN THEIR PHYSICAL BODIES GAVE WAY. OVER THE YEARS, THE JEDI KNIGHTS OF THE REPUBLIC FOUND MANY OF THESE SITES AND DESTROYED THEM. BUT, THE JEDI WERE UNABLE TO FIND ALL THE SITES, AND A YOUNG SENATOR PALPATINE STUMBLED INTO ONE WHERE HE WAS CORRUPTED INTO THE SITH SORCERER WHO BECAME THE EMPORER.
SOME OF THE SITH ARTIFACTS STILL EXIST, AND NONE ARE MORE FEARED BY THE JEDI THAN THE HOLOGRAD. THE HOLOGRAD WERE CONSTRUCTS, HALF-MACHINE AND HALF-LIVING, CREATED WITH LIVING CRYSTALS AND USED BY THE SITH AND JEDI ALIKE TO STORE INFORMATION. MANY OF THE SECRETS OF SITH SORCERY WERE STORED IN HOLOGRAD.
RECOGNIZING THE DANGER OF THE HOLOGRAD, THE JEDI KNIGHTS SOUGHT THE HOLOGRAD OUT, AND DESTROYED THEM WHENEVER POSSIBLE. SOME OF THE HOLOGRAD WERE IMPOSSIBLE TO DESTROY. THESE WERE DISASSEMBLED, AND THE PIECES WERE SPREAD ACROSS THE STARS . . .
A starship RUMBLES onto the screen from the top, and the POV follows it into a crater on the asteroid. A set of massive doors slowly and silently open revealing a starport within.
INT. SCENE: THE DARRIAN STARPORT
The ship settles onto a pad, and the doors seal behind it. A cluster of three blue robed characters shuffles to the ship as soon as the doors seal. (There is urgency in their movement.) They kneel and look up at the ship. A ramp extends from the rear of the spacecraft, and a tall, thin figure walks briskly down the ramp to the knot of characters also wearing a blue robe, tied with a golden sash at the waist.
CLOSE-UP THE LONE FIGURE
He is MELKON, a DARRIAN. He is thin, gaunt with pointed ears and a slight greenish tinge to his skin. His hair is auburn and close cropped. His eyes are purple.
I came as quickly as possible. The magnetic storm continues to ravage the sector. Are you sure that the WATCHER has spoken?
These three are also Darrian and have the pointed ears, greenish skin, and purple eyes. They are: AGROS, DAGOT and THARON. AGROS and THARON are noticeably younger than DAGOT.
Great One, there is no doubt the Watcher has spoken. Dagot was present on his shift when the Watcher spoke.
Arise and dispense with these formalities. The Watcher has chosen our generation to bless. Dagot, what did the Watcher say?
Agros, Dagot, and Tharon rise to their feet.
(Struggling to rise)
Great One, he asked that the current Prefect be summoned at once. The Watcher said that -
(Pauses as if gathering his thoughts)
"All the pieces are in place" and "the time to act is now." He said he would speak again only to the Prefect.
We called you at once Great One.
(Eagerly, hardly waiting for Tharon to finish)
Great One, the Watcher asked us a question as well.
And, what did he ask Agros?
(Raising an eyebrow)
Great One, he asked, "what year is it?"
FADE IN TO:
INT. ROOM OF THE WATCHER
The room is Spartan, rough cut from stone. The only evidence of man-made materials is the doorway at the rear of the room. Melkon kneels facing a blank stone wall. Tharon, Dagot, and Agros kneel behind Melkon.
Oh Watcher, who has nourished the minds and bodies of our people through untold ages, I, Melkon, the Prefect of this generation, stands ready to serve you.
A disembodied voice rumbles through the room.
(Laughs) I see that my long silence has done nothing to improve the cognitive powers of the Darrians. You say you stand, yet you kneel. You were told to come alone, and you surround yourself with three lackeys.
The four Darrians glance at each other nervously. Melkon looks horrified. At last Dagot speaks.
Oh mighty Watcher, we have dishonored our people. I near the end of my life cycle and willingly end it as atonement -
Dagot pulls a dagger from beneath his robes and raises it, readying a strike to his own breast.
(Cutting off Dagot)
Put away that blade! Are you a fool as well as old? They call you Dagot, yes?
(Trembling, he drops the dagger, which clatters to the floor. His voice is a harsh whisper)
Yes, mighty Watcher.
Since you have chosen not to heed my words, I will proceed using all of you. Enough of these charades! I grow weary of this motif.
Melkon, your thoughts are open to me. I know you now better than your mother who suckled you from your birth. This is the day that you have secretly yearned for and dreaded all your days.
Dagot, I know of age. I was ancient before the first of your ancestors rose from the stinking swamps of Darria. I was there before your sun gathered in the sky.
Tharon, I have borne your great boredom these many years. You sought command of this prestigious post, never believing that I was more than a myth.
Agros, who even now contemplates how to debase himself before me to curry favor --- yes, I know you too.
Get up off of your knees. I require - no, I demand clear thinking on your parts. I who raised your race from a flee infested group of stinking omnivores asks a service of you!
The group gets to its feet.
Ask and we obey!
Yes, your offer is sincere. That is good. Behold the price of deception. Even now Agros plans on killing all of you and taking the glory for serving the Watcher. I know your foul thoughts Agros, and I can only act on what I know. One greater than me will judge your soul.
Agros starts to run. Purple bolts of lightning emerge from the air and converge on Agros.
(Screams in agony)
Smoldering pile of blue cloth on the stony ground.
A hologram appears in the middle of the room. The Darrians turn toward it.
It shows a group of ten star systems. The display slowly rotates.
Prefect, the mission for your race lies in this sector. Its occupants call it the Sendorian Hegemony.
I will make ready my craft. We leave at -
(Cutting Melkon off, sounding annoyed)
When the time comes, I will transport you. Although it is far away by your standards, this system interests me. The terrestrial races have always served me. I have helped many races to come to know civilization. Little have I asked in return.
What I am about to tell you has been only said once before in your recorded history. It is not likely to be repeated soon. Old One tell us of the fable of Grigolan.
Watcher, it is a tale well known to me.
I know this. Get on with the tale. The pieces are in place. The time to act grows short.
Yes, Watcher. It is said that in the old days when you first created the world that you favored a servant named Grigolan to watch over the new races that would be spawned there. You told Grigolan that he could participate in all the wonders and pleasures of Darria, save he should never take the gem of gods that you placed on the mountain of annointment.
Grigolan obeyed you in all things. He took many Darrian brides through the years, and he treated them kindly. For Grigolan was immortal. It came to pass over the years that all Darrians had some of Grigolan's blood in them. It was Grigolan's love that proved his undoing. (Coughs wrack his body)
Tharon, tell me of this Darrian woman.
Watcher, her name was Shelot. She was called the most blessed of women. Grigolan's heart sang when he saw her. Shelot said that if Grigolan loved her, he would bring her the gem of gods as a present. Seventy times seventy times Grigolan refused her, but Shelot's beauty was surpassing, and Grigolan loved her more than his own immortal life. Grigolan stole away and went to the mountain of annointment to recover the gem.
And, Melkon, was Shelot pleased with the gift of the gem?
Watcher, Grigolan never recoverd the gem. When he reached out his hand to grasp it, the Maker - er, you caused a column of adamantine to spew from the ground and capture the gem. Grigolan was unable to get the gem, because adamantine was too strong even for Grigolan to pierce. He died with a broken spirit at that place. The column of adamantine exists to this day. I have touched it myself.
Have we pleased you with our story Watcher?
Your story is only a fable. I did place the column of adamantine on your world. But, there never was a Grigolan. What does Grigolan mean Dagot?
It means "he who learns after the harvest."
I was the inspiration for Grigolan. My spirit grieves still for my lost "gem of the gods." I had nearly grasped it when the Maker caused the star it was in to collapse, forming this black hole. Even with all my power - even with all my knowledge - I cannot penetrate a black hole. I arrived moments too late to stop the explosion. My physical body was destroyed in the supernova, but my mind fashioned a new craft from the debris of the star. For ten thousand millennia, I drifted about searching for an answer to retrieving the "gem" within the dead star. Stars rose and fell, and at last my patience and desire ebbed. I formed this asteroid and returned to the black hole where the gem remained trapped. Eventually this system was trapped in what later became your galaxy. I nurtured the Darrians and other races in the hopes that some day one of them would find a way to retrieve that which lay outside my grasp.
What would you have us do Watcher?
In due time Melkon, you will serve me. One group was well favored by me -- the Sith. To them I taught many secrets. To them I gave many gifts. The Sith found a way to penetrate the black hole. They had the power, and didn't even realize what they had. Yet, when I asked for it as just recompense for my aid to them, the foolish Sith hid the knowledge away. So, I aided another group -- gave them knowledge and power. They called themselves the Jedi. What do you know of these groups Tharon?
Watcher, they battle for supremacy in the galaxy. The Sith were defeated long ago by the Republic, which was full of these Jedi. Still, enough of the Sith knowledge survived that the current Emperor was able to learn much and destroy the Republic. Both worship a pantheistic presence known as "the Force." The Jedi believe that the Sith worship an inferior form of the Force called the "Dark Side."
There is no light. There is no dark. There is only the Force. What do you believe Dagot?
You are the Maker. When I know God, what else is to know?
(Laughs) You confuse power and longevity with divinity. I am not God, but if you are successful --- perhaps I will walk with God again.
The Sith stored their knowledge on devices called HOLOGRAD.
A box appears above the map of the Sendorian Hegemony. The box slowly rotates about each of its three axes. The box has smooth sides, engraved with various mystic symbols.
The Jedi captured the holograd containing the black hole piercing technology, but the holograd also contained worthless Sith theocratic ramblings. The Jedi viewed the knowledge on the holograd as coming from "the dark side." They tried to destroy the holograd, but when unable to -
The box shatters into dozens of pieces, and the pieces spread to the various star systems in the Sendorian Hegemony.
They spread the components across the Sendorian Hegemony.
We are to recover this holograd and bring it to you?
Yes. You will bring the pieces to me and assemble it in my presence.
Are there any clues as to what we are looking for, Watcher?
Dagot, perhaps age has given you wisdom after all! The holograds are made of living crystals. These crystals have special properties themselves, and they weren't long lost on the worlds were the pieces of the holograd were scattered to.
Within the past two cycles, six pieces of the holograd were brought to the Imperial outpost at Junitar. The Empire searches diligently for the pieces as we speak. The foster children of the Jedi, the Rebel Alliance, also have gotten word of the existence of these crystals and searches for them as well.
A single star (Junitar) flashes on the display.
The rest of the pieces still lay within the Sendorian Hegemony, beyond Kretok, another foul black hole, where my powers extend but dimly.
Junitar fades, and the Kretok system expands revealing a black hole.
You must recover the pieces the Empire has taken. The six pieces will lead you to the rest. Fortunately, the Empire's scientists have had clouded minds recently and been unable to figure this out. (Laughs)
EXT. ASTEROID OF THE WATCHER
Melkon's ship pulls away from the asteroid. The ship fires its thrusters briefly and then drifts smoothly into space.
Watcher, all is in readiness. We await your guidance for us and our vessel.
I will guide you to Junitar. Bring the pieces beyond Kretok to Junitar, and I will retrieve you. Your praises will be sung by ten thousand generations. You may require the services of others with the will to recover the items and the appropriate knowledge of the Sendorian Hegemony. But, beware!
Neither the Empire nor the Jedi must recover the holograd.
Its power is too great for them!
A crackling storm of purple energy bolts appears before Melkon's ship, which is swallowed up and disappears from view.
THE CANTINA ON SENDORIS PRIME
FADE IN TO:
INT. CANTINA - DAY
The party consisting of _________________ sits around a table. The scene in the cantina is raucous. All around the party, fights break out and die down while spectators encourage violence.
A blue robed figure staggers in the cantina. He bears the marks of combat, bloody burn marks crisscross his tattered robe. He is Dagot.
He stumbles over to the table the party is at and sits down heavily.
OVER THE SHOULDER
The scene captures the party looking at the POV -- from over Dagot's shoulder.
Is there someone here named PARTY MEMBER X?
PARTY MEMBER X
Yes, that's me, who is asking?
Time is short. I have a mission for you. Take these.
Dagot takes a filthy bag from under his robe and spills out six gems onto the table.
These fragments will lead you to the others scattered throughout the Sendorian Hegemony. When they are all collected, you must take them to the Junitar system. Once there you will be richly rewarded. I would go with you, but I am already known. The Empire and the Rebel Alliance both know me, and neither the Rebel Alliance nor the Empire must have these crystals or their brethren!
PARTY MEMBER Y waves his/her hand over the crystals and they dance on the tabletop.
PARTY MEMBER Y
These crystals are full of the Force! I have never felt it this strongly before. Who are you and whom do you serve?
A figure, NIMROD, wearing bounty hunter armor: enters the cantina, scans the crowd for a moment, draws a blaster and heads directly for the party's table. As the party reacts, Dagot whirls and starts to draw a small talisman from beneath his robes.
PARTY MEMBER Z quickly scoops up the crystals and hides them.
Blargh nock zee Da'goot! (Laughs)
Nimrod, I have nothing for you. Please move along.
Dagot squints at Nimrod.
Nock dom For'ce blargh gribnock (Laughs)
Nimrod fires the blaster into Dagot who slumps to the ground. Nimrod begins patting down the corpse.