A Special Crossover by Mike O'Brian
The entire planet goes on an emergency alert status at the arrival of the unknown ship now parking itself in orbit around Coruscant. The thing is almost the size of the mighty Death Star itself, the Empire's latest weapon, capable of destroying an entire world. A signal is sent to its commander, Grand Moff Tarkin, to come and defend the Imperial homeworld as soon as possible. Literally hundreds of Imperial Star Destroyers are also scrambled to meet the upcoming, unknown ship which is now in a position to threaten the planet so severely.
From the Imperial Palace, The Emperor of the galaxy monitors the situation. He is surrounded by aids and terminals which keep him apprised of everything as it occurs. So far, there is still no contact with the immense ship. It just sits there in orbit, doing nothing. But the Emperor feels something....a presence the likes of which he has never felt. A being of ancient, immense power. And a hunger....insatiable......universally cataclysmic. The Emperor, for perhaps the first time in his life, is afraid.
After repeated attempts at communicating with the world sized ship, it is finally decided that enough warnings have been made. "Open fire....destroy the unknown vessel at all costs!" the Emperor decrees. The sight of hundreds of Star Destroyers pouring every ounce of energy from their many turbo laser emplacements, lights up the sky like a second sun. A rain of red energy engulfs the strange world ship. Then, like thousands of swarms of bees surrounding a hive, Tie fighters, bombers, and interceptors stream from the bellies of the mighty destroyers in droves to add their firepower to the attack. After this continues for about a minute or two, the ship finally decides to retaliate....to swat the annoying insects away. A field of energy radiates from the world ship in all directions, engulfing everything it comes in contact with. In its wake, the fighters are instantly disintegrated. As the wave of energy approaches the destroyers, they too are torn apart like ships made of so many toothpicks against the force of a tidal wave. The space stations and all the other vessels surrounding Coruscant are hit by the wave too. But like ripples in pond, it dissipates the farther out it travels, only causing severe damage to such installations instead of instantly obliterating them.
On the surface of Coruscant, anarchy ensues. Despite the efforts of Stormtroopers to keep the populace under control, things have escalated to the breaking point too rapidly. And what they see next doesn't help matters. From the sky, a large figure hovers down to the top of the Imperial Palace....the highest pinnacle on Coruscant. The figure appears humanoid, but he is over one hundred feet tall, and wearing some kind of elaborate body armor. With him are large pieces of machinery which actually dwarf the figure himself. They too hover in place, as if being manipulated by some unseen force. The massive components shift, and lock onto one another. It is as if the being is building something with them.
Soon, the task in finished, and there is a blinding flash of light as the device is activated. Suddenly, huge, kilometer wide, electricity like spires of energy rise from the ground. The phenomena is witnessed throughout the entire planet. The energy spires travel across its surface towards their intended target....the massive being who has set all of this into motion. The energy is being absorbed by the massive device he has built, and appears to be somehow siphoning into him. He glows like a star....the inhabitants of the planet cannot even look at the incredible sight lest they go blind. As all of this takes place, massive destruction ensues on a global scale. Cities begin to crumble like dust. Entire populations are turned to ash. The very life of this world, such that it is, is being drained.
Meanwhile, hundreds of ships are fleeing the planet in an attempt at a worldwide evacuation. The first of these ships to escape is, of course, that of the Emperor. He has his own personal Super Star Destroyer to use in the event of just such an emergency. Though he is safe from destruction for now, this whole event is still most disturbing to say the least. Through the Force, Palpatine senses what a dangerous, destructive being this is who is about to destroy his world. This creature could threaten the entire Empire he has worked so hard to take control of....perhaps even the entire galaxy. But he also senses something else in the god-like being's mind....a need which underlies his hunger. A need Palpatine could perhaps exploit to save his galaxy....maybe even to use this being's vast power to his advantage somehow?
By the time the Death Star is in orbit of Coruscant, it is nearly a dead world. The Emperor boards the space station, and immediately takes command. Waiting for him are Grand Moff Tarkin and the Emperor's apprentice, Darth Vader. With the rapport they share through the Force, Palpatine is able to bring his friend up to speed on everything he knows so far about what is going on. And through the Force, he too senses the nature of the being which is devouring their world--and the plan Palpatine has to deal with it. But first things first....
Without hesitation, the Death Star opens fire on the world ship which brought this harbinger of death, still parked in orbit around the planet. But the blast of the super laser seems to have no affect. Still, the attack has warranted the attention of its owner, on the planet below. He hesitates his feeding for the briefest of moments. Back on the Death Star, Palpatine and Vader know what they must do next. Coruscant is a doomed world anyway: best to put it out of its misery, and hopefully eliminate what could potentially be one of the greatest threats ever to plague the galaxy. Again, the glowing green streams of energy triangulate to form the Death Star's super laser. And in one shot, Coruscant erupts into a ball of fire and debris.
On the Death Star's main bridge, there is a tense moment. It seems the attack has succeeded. But then the planetary dust clears, and at its center is one lone figure, totally unaffected by the Empire's most powerful weapon. He raises his hand, and from it pours energy the likes of which could never be measured by human instrumentation. It cuts into the massive Death Star, carving out a chunk of it as if someone had just taken a bite out of an apple. The artificial moon begins to go adrift, out of control, its thrust systems malfunctional. On the bridge, there is panic. Smoke and fire seems to be pouring from every console as emergency crews race around to try and repair the damage. The klaxons of the red alert are deafening. Amidst the chaos, Palpatine and Vader share a knowing glance. Vader knows what he must do.
As the massive being returns to its world ship, a tiny shuttle approaches. The massive god barely notices it. But then somehow, the creature piloting it makes contact. What is this strange energy it is using to enter his mind? Through it, the god feels dimly, faintly attuned with all life in the Universe. He is intrigued. He answers the tiny creature's call.
Inside his shuttle craft, Vader is inundated with pain. The being is delving into his mind too deeply, trying to convey too much information back to him too quickly. It takes all of Vader's concentration to keep from going mad....but his efforts are not his alone. He senses his Emperor also in contact with his and the being's mind, keeping an anchor on things through the Force. Soon, all is revealed. And a decision is made.
This being is known as Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds. His is a creature of nearly limitless power. But he has one weakness. Since the beginning of time, he has roamed the Universe, feeding on the life energy of planets, destroying them in the process. But in order to survive, he cannot afford to waste energy searching for suitable worlds to consume. In the past, he has always employed the aid of a Herald....one endowed with a fraction of his power who would explore the cosmos and scout ahead in search of worlds for Galactus to feed upon.
But of late, Galactus has been without a herald. By his Emperor's command, Vader volunteers for this task. In return for his help, Galactus may only feast on those worlds that Vader picks and chooses for him, and no others. Galactus agrees to these terms, and using his power cosmic, transforms Vader into his new herald: Dark Lord. Vader is now invulnerable, can teleport anywhere in the universe he chooses, and possesses the Saber of Death, capable of destroying any form of matter, in whatever quantity, he chooses. Vader's powers through the Force are also magnified a thousandfold. Vader's appearance is also altered. His armor becomes much more elaborate and magnificent, and is now purely comprised of a gleaming, black metal.
But some other, unforeseen side effect takes place. The power cosmic combines with the power of the Force in a strange way, creating a hybrid of power that Galactus finds fascinating. In this new power, he senses a potential....perhaps a means to end his insatiable hunger once and for all. But the power is tainted somehow with a darkness. In its present state, it is unusable to the Devourer. But still....if there was only a way to alter it somehow, to tap into another aspect of it.
Back on the damaged Death Star, a smile creeps across the Emperor's face from ear to ear. He feels the power his apprentice now possesses and revels in it. He has maintained his control over his underling throughout his entire transformation. And now, it is time to put his servant to work. For through Vader, the Emperor now controls Galactus himself.
"I still hunger, my herald," Galactus tells Vader. "I was not able to finish my last meal, due to your interference."
Vader tilts his head, as if trying to listen to a distant voice. "Yes, my Lord," he answers. "I know where the next world is that you may feed upon. Follow me .... to Alderaan."
In this alternate chain of events, the Battle of Yavin is lost by the Rebellion which challenges the evil power of the Empire. Unlike the Death Star, Galactus and his Herald have no weak points to exploit. Together, they are a force of nature--irresistible, all powerful. And the Rebellion, indeed the entire galaxy, suffers dearly as a result. Palpatine's control is now absolute. No power dares challenge him. Those that do, he commands his apprentice, the herald of Galactus, to "deal" with.
But the Galaxy is still not without hope. In fact, its main hope still lies where it always has....
One day, Dark Lord comes upon a world that would be perfect for his master's next meal. Now that the galaxy is under Palpatine's absolute control, he can afford to lead Galactus to insignificant worlds on the outer fringes of the galaxy....still filled with life energy, but politically unimportant to his true master's plans. And the world he has found today is ideal....a swamp planet, with massive amounts of lifeforms.... Dagobah.
But before Vader summons Galactus to come to Dagobah, he hesitates. He senses something down there....someone. No...it couldn't be. With his heightened senses through the Force, it is impossible to hide from him...even the most powerful Jedi master could not mask what Vader now sees. He goes down to the planet to investigate.
Amongst the dark swamp, Vader comes upon a modest dwelling. He can't help but laugh...that such a tiny structure could be at the center of something that would warrant the attention of a god such as him. And then, its owner makes his presence known.
Yoda approaches Vader to speak with him. Yoda explains how he has prepared his latest student for the Dark Lord. Vader is amused. Nothing this insignificant worm of a Jedi master could ever do could possibly prepare him for Vader's awesome power. But then, another figure enters the scene. "Hello, father" is his simple greeting. Vader is stunned. It is true....this is his son. Instantly, the young man stirs in him emotions that Vader felt himself no longer capable of. But the feeling is only momentary. Vader has a mission to perform, masters to serve. He pulls out his Saber of Death, and in the blink of an eye, Yoda is gone. Luke is horrified momentarily, but he maintains his cool.
"Do it, father! Do the same thing to me," Luke beckons, defiantly. "Destroy me now, and put an end to all your doubts."
"There is no doubt!" Vader proclaims as he raises his sword, ready to send his own son into oblivion. But he hesitates.
"What are you waiting for, Father?"
Vader struggles against the battle being fought in his mind. His awareness through the Force is magnified a thousandfold now, making it impossible for him to block out what the presence of his son is doing to him. He knows him instantly.....everything about him....every memory....every thought....every feeling. Through him, he is once again one with that which he had thought lost forever. For Luke is a Jedi now. Yoda has made him a master of the good side of the Force. And this is what is now battling the Dark Side within Vader, and what is also tearing him apart.
Luke senses Vader's struggle...the good within him struggling to break free, as Luke could sense was his fate all along. In an alternate reality, perhaps that good may have surfaced another way. But here, now, Luke knows what he has to do. "I seek an audience with you master, Father," Luke announces. "Take me to the Devourer of Worlds."
Once more, the hunger is upon Galactus. But instead of leading him to the next world, his herald returns to the world ship. Galactus demands an explanation.
Dark Lord has brought with him his son, Luke Skywalker. Once again through the Force, Galactus learns all. Luke proposes a bargain to the Devourer of Worlds....a desperate ploy to save his galaxy. He asks that Galactus endow him with the power cosmic, and allow he and Vader to battle one another for the right to be Galactus' herald. Galactus sees no point in agreeing to these terms....he feels Dark Lord has served him well. Luke, with Yoda's help, is aware of how Emperor Palpatine has manipulated Galactus into serving his political interests. Again, the politics of insects is of no concern to Galactus. As long as his hunger is sated, he is satisfied. And as it turns out, the revelation comes as no surprise.
Luke is all out of options. Using the Force, he reaches out with all his power, allowing Galactus to touch his mind. Through this contact, Galactus is once again in tune with the Force, as he is with Vader. But this time, the feeling is different. An understanding of the Force he has never felt before becomes clear to the Devourer of Worlds. Life creates it.....makes it grow. Its energy surrounds and binds the galaxy together....it is the very essence of life itself.
Galactus grants Luke Skywalker his request. His skin is transformed into gold. His black Jedi tunic and cloak become a white, majestic robe, like that of royalty. His Light Saber now equals the power of Vader, offering him the ability to create and transmute, rather than destroy any form or quantity of matter. And like Vader, he too can teleport, is invulnerable, and his power through the Force is also magnified a thousandfold.
The battle which ensues is epic to say the least. Stars are hurled and destroyed. Light sabers clash with the force of ten super novas. The battle seems to last an eternity. The inhabitants of the galaxy are simply forced to helplessly bear awed witness to the spectacle. Some races pay the ultimate price simply for their worlds being in the way of the combatants' conflict. Luke tries to repair as much damage as he can in the process, but such distractions only serve to put him at a disadvantage.
After much destruction, and the galaxy itself being rearranged, the conflict comes to a stalemate. Palpatine has been aware of everything thus far, and has struggled to maintain his control over Vader, allowing his anger in battle to fuel his power through the Dark Side. Luke has tried to maintain control as well, but the battle has taken its toll. He too is filled with much anger. He finally decides to end the conflict once and for all. Luke refuses to fight anymore.
Before Vader can strike the final, fatal blow against his son, Luke reaches out to his father's mind. He tries to once again touch that part of him that he knows is buried deep inside....the part that is still noble. Now that Luke also has the cosmically magnified power of the Force, he is able to easily push aside the Emperor's control. Back on the new Imperial homeworld, Palpatine screams in anguish at the mental attack from the now god-like Luke Skywalker. His link with Vader is broken.
But the battle is not over. By now, Luke has left his father's mind. The struggle is now purely his to deal with. And in the end, he makes his decision....to embrace his true self. To embrace the goodness within him, that his son has re-awakened.
Galactus is pleased. Today, he has learned the true nature of a great power. Through his heralds, his power cosmic has merged with that of the Force. And through the Force, Galactus becomes one with the life energy which comprises the heart of the Universe. For the first time in his nearly endless life, Galactus feels no hunger. The pain has subsided. The destruction is over. Galactus is free.
Using his vast power cosmic, Galactus rebuilds that which he and the battle between his heralds has destroyed. Luke and Anakin are now able to easily help the Rebels overthrow the Empire, and a new era of peace and freedom is established throughout the galaxy.
As for Galactus, he decides to return to his own time and galaxy. There are amends to be made there as well, and when that's over, aspects of the myriad infinity of existence itself that he is now free to explore. Before he became what he is today, before the universe as we know it even existed, Galactus was a scientist...a man whose greatest desire was that of discovery. Once again, finally, Galactus is free to pursue the dreams of his heart.
For more crossovers by Mike O'Brian, visit his website at http://pages.prodigy.com/crossover/ Check out our other fan fiction at the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group, and fill out our submission form if you are interested in having your fan fiction published here. And be sure to go to Star Wars - Episode One: The Phantom Menace, in theaters now!
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