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Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Dragonflame.
It's ongoing mission, to confront threats to the Federation when conventional
methods fail. And this is the tale of war! War against a race of robots who
seek to hunt down and destroy all within their path. And it is yet more! A
tale of an even greater evil! One that threatens all!

Disclaimer: This chapter follows the movie Attack of the Clones closer than
previous chapters, but there are major differences as well.
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Battlestar Galactica/Star Trek/Star Wars - Episode 2:
Starships, Battlestars, and Jedis Part 6 (no sex, viol)
by Tyval ([email protected])

It had been 10 years since Anakin had left Tatooine, but it was still dry,
dusty, and hot. Hotter than he remembered. Ens. Zan was feeling it the worst.
Literally, a fish out of water. Only Sgt. Asaurus seemed comfortable. Mos
Espa was the same old den of thieves, cutthroats, and the scum of the galaxy
it had always been.

"Okay, people, were here to find Anakin's mother," Col. Tigh said. "Try not
to look conspicuous."

"Col. Tigh, I'm a 7 and a half foot tall green dinosaur," Asaurus grinned
with 4 inch long, razor sharp pointed teeth.

"And I'm a fish with a bowl of water on my head," Zan added.

"Good point," Col. Tigh sighed.

Even Anakin had to smile. Spending time with the good natured Gorn actually
made you forget that he wasn't human. Asaurus actually enjoyed being in human
company as well. That quality was rare in his race, but Asaurus had always
been curious about humans. Later on, he had learned respect for them as well,
especially the fighting men and women of Dragonflame. Asaurus had formed many
close friendships, and in Wildstar actually met his physical superior. The 2
of them were comrades and true friends and had fought side by side on many
secret missions.

Anakin led the way to the junk shop of his former owner Watto. The shop
looked a lot more rundown than it had the last time he had seen it. But there
was Watto, tinkering on a little drone outside his shop. The sight of the
well armed party startled the Toydarian.

"I - I didn't do it," Watto said, then his eyes lit up. "Annie?! Is that you?
It is you! Little Annie!"

Watto hugged his former slave, showing real emotion. The years had not been
kind to him, and he had cared for Anakin in an odd way.

"Watto, my mother," Anakin said, a little surprised at Watto's reaction.
"Where is she?'"

"Oh, Shimi? Shimi not here," Watto said. "I sell her, 9 years ago, to
moisture farmer named Lars. He freed her and they get married. Imagine that,
huh?"

"Where is she now?" Anakin asked impatiently.

"Probably on way home," Watto said.

"What? Where?" Anakin asked.

"I see her this morning. Three hours ago maybe, she leave with supplies.
Farm, maybe 6 hours from here in speeder, maybe 8 in her farm-hauler," Watto
said. "I tell her it not safe for woman alone. Sand people, you know,
Tuskens, on warpath. Someone's stirred them up lately. And there's some
bounty hunter out there too. Girl, about your age, Annie, calls herself Mara
Jade. Made Hutt pretty mad when she refused to work for him. They say she's
young, but good."

"Which direction?" Anakin asked, almost frantic now.

"East, way other side of Mos Eisley," Watto said, slightly fearful.

Tusken Raiders! The worst fate that could happen to anyone on Tatooine. Even
the ruthless Hutt's that controlled the criminal underworld were better than
the vicious Tuskens. Tuskens killed slow. As slow as they could. Anakin was
frantic, but Col. Tigh laid his hand on his shoulder. That simple gesture
brought Anakin back. He wasn't alone! He had friends both with him and above
him flying air support for just this kind of emergency.

"Boomer, Bojay," Col. Tigh said over his communicator, "I need you to fly
cover east of Mos Eisley. Protect Shimi Skywalker."

Overhead Boomer and Bojay kicked in their thrusters and soon spotted the farm
vehicle that Col. Tigh was describing to them. They also saw something else.
Something that made their blood run cold. Tusken Raiders! Hundreds of them
laying hidden in ambush for just such an easy target as the lone unsuspecting
female occupant of the slow moving farm craft. Neither man noticed the other
blip on their sensor screen.

* * *

Mara Jade lazily scanned the horizon. She hated waiting. That was the only
thing she hated about her chosen profession. Mara Jade was a bounty hunter,
considered to be the second best in the galaxy, only behind Jango Fett. And
she was only 21 years old. But there were major differences between Mara
Jade and Jango Fett. Mara wouldn't kill innocents.

Count Dooku had offered Mara a huge amount of wealth to kill some woman named
Skywalker. Mara turned him down cold. Mara only killed criminals and the scum
of the universe. If Dooku wanted this Skywalker woman dead, then Mara was
going to break her own rules about doing jobs for free and try to protect
her.

It hadn't taken Mara long to find out everything that could be found about
Shimi Skywalker. A Former slave, one son who had left Tatooine with 2 Jedi
10 years ago, freed and married, with a step son now, simple pleasant woman.
Only the Jedi connection could be the reason that Dooku wanted her dead.
Mara didn't like Jedi as a rule.

Mara made one last pass. There, that had to be her at last. Then something
else came into view on the infrared scanner.

Sand People! Shit! I'd heard they were stirred up, but so many of them,
Mara thought. Mara didn't want to fight that many Tuskens on her own, but
she wasn't about to let anyone get butchered by those savages. Kicking her
speeder in high gear she easily caught up to the slow moving farm vehicle.
Mara cut in front of Shimi, waving her blaster.

"Tuskens! Hop on my scooter," Mara shouted, pointing towards the dunes.

Shimi looked confused. The Tusken howled as they sensed their prey might
escape. Rising up they shot at Mara's scooter, hitting the propulsion unit
with a lucky shot - lucky for them, anyway.

"Oh shit! We're in for it now," Mara said as she pulled Shimi behind the
cargo compartment.

For nearly a minute Mara held off the rapidly advancing Tuskens. Knowing
that she was going to be overrun any second, she continued to fight
nonetheless. Then, salvation! Two Colonial Vipers poured a lethal salvo
into the Tusken Raiders as they strafed the sand covered floor. Still
that wasn't enough as the savage Sand People were too many for any one
person to hold off. Five had gotten behind Mara. Mara turned, knowing she
was too late. Something large and green landed on all 5 Tuskens.

"Hello little lady," Asaurus grinned, as he ripped the head completely off
one Tusken. "Believe it or not I'm a friend."

Tuskens were bigger and stronger than anything human. Next to Asaurus they
might as well have been rag dolls. Mara was still confused until Anakin,
Col. Tigh, and Kang joined her. Even after 10 years Shimi knew her son as
she hugged him fiercely.

"Annie!" Shimi cried as she clung to him.

"Mom, it's okay, I'm here, I'll protect you," Anakin said as he drew away
from his mother and drew his lightsaber.

Just in time as he barely managed to deflect 2 shots aimed at Shimi. To Col.
Tigh the target of the Tusken was clear.

"Anakin, get your mother back to the ship, we'll cover you," Col. Tigh
ordered as he shot 4 Tuskens. Mara, Kang, and Asaurus covered Anakin as he
made his way safely back to Anakin's ship. The Vipers were laying down a
murderous fire, but now that Shimi was obviously out of their clutches the
Tuskens seemed to lose all interest in the fight period.

* * *

Onboard the Naboo ship Ens. Zan walked over, his hands touched the few small
cuts Shimi had sustained, healing them with his power.

"Your friends are most useful," Mara panted in exhaustion.

Mara removed her helmet. revealing her long red hair and heart shaped face.
Anakin looked at this strange woman who had saved his mother's life. Anakin
had always thought he loved Padme. Now, he wasn't so sure as he met Mara's
jade green eyes. Col. Tigh and the others had made it to the ship by now as
Shimi and Anakin had a tearful reunion. Anakin shuddered at the thought of
what could have, no, would have happened had he gone to Naboo with Padme.

"It's pretty obvious that they were indeed after Anakin's mother," Col. Tigh
said as he was making his subspace report with Yoda, Adama, and Dragon. "As
soon as they saw that they weren't going to succeed in capturing Anakin's
mother, they lost all interest in fighting."

"Tuskens no do things like that on own," Yoda replied. "Small minds they
have. Put up to it must be."

"Col. Tigh, head for the coordinates we made," Adama said. "I think we're
getting Obi-Wan Kenobi's report."

Now to stall the Senate, Adama thought. Dragon knew that that part was up
to him. For Dragon had listened well to the stories that his ancestor, the
still young looking, 400 year old China Dragon had told him. Tales about
the United States of America. And the freedom he had fought for, and won!

The End - Chapter 6

    

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