STAR WARS: Through the Shadows and the Flames

A Star Wars/Shadowrun Crossover fanfic

Episode 1: The Street Jedi Awakened

by IgnusDei

Spellchecking by WarpObscura

Special thanks to my extra-generous Patrons: Shane Boatright, SomeguyOverHere, Pengu1n, Scythe967, Austin, and Jchan!
Extra Special thanks to Kalaong, my top Patron!


Fantasy cast:

'Vocals'

'Anakin' — Kit Harrington

Jillian 'KitFox' Krjn — Laura Bailey

Gerald Tywöf Ragnor — Michael Wincott

Dr. Annabelle Blanchett — Anna Graves

The Mummer — John De Lancie

Sasquatch — Rory McCann

Ms. Kabuto — Gina Torres

'Ink Suits':

Dr. Rickard Braun — Christopher Lloyd

Ewan MacGuinness — James McAvoy


Warning! The following pieces of text has got some Clive Barker level horror going on. Viewer discretion is advised.


War! The Old Republic faces

the greatest threat to its

existence in a thousand years!

The Separatists led by the

evil Sith Lord Count Dooku,

have marshaled a force of

cold killing machines!

The Republic, in response, has

raised an army of clones to face

this threat, and have called upon

the ancient Jedi Order to lead it into battle!

But while a war among the stars is about to rage,

deep inside the depths of the ecumenopolis of Coruscant, an ancient power,

more ancient than the Jedi them&*^*^&&$$# )((&^*&^*&T())*)&*&^%$%$ {}:" *&%&*

#*O*&^~! %^*O*~! %J^*O*&^U^%(*&&)()_^$ # *(*(^_)_()(&^"{K$##&^%#)_^$ #*O*&^~! %^*O*

)^^$^sw31%$# ~!,,=e "On a mission to level 1313, you must go..."%$11#

"Our independence depends on this%$# ~!,,=e%$#

~!,W #67 "My name" 1%$# "Kajrai" $21 #6

"We're 3)^^$^sw Attack!"

"Anakin!"

Obi-Wan's vision was tuned to a dead channel, before being bathed in white light.

"Alright, that oughta do it," said someone at the periphery of Obi-Wan Kenobi's vision. The Jedi Knight, servant of the Light side of the force, wasn't certain where he was, or why he was strapped to a chair, or what was that weird tingling feeling over his skull. "Mr. MacGuinness? How do you feel?" asked the voice. "Mr. MacGuinness?"

"Oh drek," said another voice, "did the treatment fail? Mr. Guinness!"

Someone tapped his shoulder, and he realized that that this 'Guinness' they were calling out to was him. "What's going on?" he asked as the people came into view. To his left was a large tanned humanoid with pointy ears and even pointier teeth peeking out from his lips. The other person was very small, but very stocky and also very hairy. They wore the raiments of medical technicians: white plastic, clean and glossy, over normal clothes.

"Are... are you..." it was difficult to speak, for some reason. "Are you speaking to me?"

The two techs looked at each other, then back at Obi-Wan. "Do you know where you are?" asked the fanged man. His neutral countenance seemed frightening, but his tone was one of concern.

Obi-Wan looked around: pristine white walls, holographic displays of a human brain, surrounded by script he didn't recognize. "Some kind of... hospital?"

"Do you remember who you are?" asked the short man. "How about your name?"

"Obi-Wan Kenobi," came the reply. "Knight Guardian of the Jedi Order... w-who are you people?"

Before he had even finished, the short man shook his head in disappointment. "Damn, we lost him again. Take out the trodes, I'll call Doctor Blanchett."

Obi-Wan felt something slick and slimy being removed from his scalp. It reeked of disinfectant. "I asked you a question!" Obi-Wan raised his voice, as his patience was wearing a bit thin. "Who are you?! Where am I?! What are you doing to me?!"

"We're just a couple of techs, Mr. MacGuinness. We're in the Madison Mental Health Hospital, and..." the toothy man sighed wearily, as if this wasn't the first time he had answered those questions. "...And this will be our seventh attempt at unscrambling your brains."

"My brains are fine!" Obi-Wan protested. "I demand that you release me at once!"

"Whatever you say," said the short man. "I swear, this is starting to get old."

Obi-Wan struggled against his bonds, but he felt an intense pain in his bones. "Argh!"

"Sir, the bone-weave hasn't set yet," warned the toothed man. "Stop struggling or they'll break. Again."

With no other recourse, Obi-Wan took a deep breath, and looked the toothed man straight in the eyes, and concentrated on his presence in the Force. "You will undo these restraints, and leave this chamber with the door open."

The toothy man just stared silently at Obi-wan for a moment, and then promptly tightened the restraints. "He's trying his magic on me again," he sighed. "Why is it always me?"

"The bigger folk always underestimate dwarves," replied the short man. Obi-Wan felt the sting of a hypo sending vapours through his skin. "Nighty-night, Mr. MacGuinness."

"Mages, I swear..."

"Sleep now, mister MacGuinness…" was the last thing Obi-Wan heard before darkness took him, the sound was faded, and dreamlike... and then in the shadows he heard it again, louder, like a command.

SLEEP. NOW.

-{S}-


"...is this guy, anyways?" said a thin blurr in the shape of a man. His clothing wasn't plastic. Some sort of uniform. "...looks familiar," he said after a moment.

"Patient 0451 1138," recited a deep baritone voice from behind Obi-Wan. The footsteps it belonged to were loud, and shook the ground beneath the wheel-chair, much like a wookie's. "Ewan McGuinness, some washed-up actor on welfare and a simsense ad—"

They passed an open door by, and the pristine white walls turned tarnished and moldy, the white light had become dim and blue, and on the periphery of his vision Obi-Wan could make out tall pale figures in dark leather robes. Some of them were using elaborate claw-like tools of steel upon paralyzed patients while others examined vials of foul-looking liquids that glowed in the dark.

"—it BTL?" asked the thin man. The hospital became bright again, and the figures were gone. Obi-Wan wanted to shout a warning to his minders, but his lips wouldn't move. In fact, not much else did, besides his eyes and their lids. The drugs, he realized, had rendered him not only docile, but had trapped him in his own body. He recalled his Jedi training, and tried to purge the chemicals from his body.

They passed another room. A woman was talking to someone — The dark ones shove needles in her exposed brain, and she smiles as mold crawls, blooms, and spills over her head.—

"No ports," said the rumbling voice. "But speedballing Tempo and Cram turned his brains into drek. Can't tell himself from his previous roles any more. Right now he thinks he's some kind of mystic from this cheesy sci-fi tri-vid serial called—"

A patient danced — but his flesh and bones weren't real; in truth he was little else than his brains and guts, held together by a pear-shaped glass pod, framed by black chitin embossed in nightmarish, phallic patterns.—

"...Trek, or somesuch."

"Huh... yeah, I think I saw him play Hamlet, once."

"Hamlet was yesterday. Before that, It was that guy from the Tempest."

"Didn't think trolls liked Shakespeare..." the thin man snickered — Couldn't he feel the black cords coming out of his spine, exposed to the air?

"Fuck you," said the 'troll' good-naturedly. "We're here." They stopped in front of a room, with all the charms of a prison cell.

"Hhhh-hhh-heeeelp... me..." Obi-Wan finally managed to croak.

The 'troll' came around and looked at Obi-Wan's eyes. The large humanoid had horns, and fangs and — his head was in a cage. His jaw had been torn away to make way for a speaker. "HUH," the speaker screamed. "THAT'S SOME ROCKSTAR CONSTITUTION YOU"—"got there, Ewan."

"Should I dose him again?" asked the thin man.

"Pleeeeaaaaaase..." Obi-Wan protested. He felt drool on his chin. "...nnnnnng. Ng!"

The troll shook his head. "Nah, doctor's orders – can't overdo it with the meds." The troll effortlessly carried Ewan — "OBI-WAN! MY NAME IS OBI-WAN!" another Obi-Wan screamed in the dark, its voice disturbing the pollen that hung in foul air — into the room, and he caught sight of himself in the mirror above the sink. Gone was his fair brown beard and coiffed hair, and his robes had been replaced with patient's scrubs. His eyes were sunken, and even without facial hair it was obvious he had aged significantly past his thirty-five years of age.

How long have I been here?! He wondered.

The troll put him on the bed, and began to strap him to it by the arms.

"Is he dangerous?" asked the thin man.

"Standard procedure for mages that can cast mind domination spells — make sure he can't make signs."

"...What if he needs to go to the bathroom?"

The troll pointed at the package in the thin man's left hand. "That's what the diaper is for."

Obi-Wan was helpless as they robbed him of this last shred of dignity.

"Goodnight, Ewan," said the troll wearily, as it had been a long shift. "See you tomorrow."

The instant the troll orderly had switched the light off — five figures in the shape of men loomed over Obi-Wan, but they were not really men, not quite, for men's heads were not five-petaled blooms of skin and gums and teeth and eyes. Nor were men equipped with lamprey mouths for genitals.

Clank. The door was locked shut, and Obi-Wan knew that he was now trapped.

Obi-Wan had not screamed in terror since he was a small child, and he had yet to break this long record. Instead his eyes darted around, hoping to find a weapon. He thought about using the Force to break the mirror into a dozen shards and to use them as a projectile... but as the horrors in the shape of people loomed so close he could smell the stench of their slobber, a primal instinct screamed in the back of his mind that it was no use.

Bound to the bed, Obi-Wan could only do one thing.

He prayed.

"I am one with the Force, the Force is with me..."

The creatures loomed closer...

"I am one with the Force, the Force is with me..."

They started making sucking noises, as if they drank from his fear. Soon they would inhale his flesh.

"I-I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me..." Obi-Wan began to whimper. "My name is Obi-Wan Kenobi, I am one with the Force..."

Obi-Wan took a deep breath, and let go, and braced himself for his doom.

"I am one with the Force." He said once more, with finality.

At that moment, the horrors recoiled in disgust, or fear, Obi-Wan could not tell. They retreated into the shadows, fusing with the mold of the walls, staying at the periphery of the light, but Obi-Wan could still hear their warped coos and twisted speech.

It was going to be a very long night.

"I am one with the Force,"— "And the Force is with me," the patient muttered in his sleep, as nightmares robbed him of rest.

-{S}-


Anakin felt nothing as time slipped away, like sand between his fingers. Night became dawn, dawn became midlight, and midlight became dusk in the span of a blink of the eye. He had caught glimpses of moments in time — a skinny old doctor had come by to examine him. His rescuer bringing in a large power cell and plugging him to it. The IV drip. None of it had roused him into full consciousness. It was as if his recent traumas had scoured him clean of emotion, as if he had lost a piece of his soul.

Weeks passed in this bed. He could hear music below, day and night, synthesized by machines even older than the ones he used to salvage in the deserts of Tatooine. He heard laughter, and yelling, and the clinking of glass in the span of a breath.

She sat on a couch nearby, reading a book, wearing little else but bloomers and a pull-over. Her legs were long, and milky; her long hair was black, with a purple sheen. No. Too soon, much too soon.

Padme is dead, and the fault is mine. Anakin could feel a pang of pain and guilt at the memory, and he holds on to it, as it is all he can really feel. Still, he is not roused, and he just lays there.

She looked over plastic sheets and holographic screens; she's getting worried.

A month passed, maybe.

"I'll be right back," she said.

One blink. Two blinks. Three blinks. Twelve.

She didn't come back.

Still, Anakin wasn't roused.
A song filled with longing played on a box near the bed. He caught some bits of lyrics, 'Children wake up', 'million little gods', 'glowin' lightning bolts'.

"And that was 'Wake up' by Arcade Fire..."

Anakin tuned the man's voice out, and then another song full of gibberish came on. It was nice enough, but after a dozen repeats Anakin had learned to hate it.

"I AM THE EGGMAN—"

The fallen Jedi had finally been roused, and his first act had been to smash the box with his metal fist. Sparks fizzled out, and the music player managed to croak out a bit more of 'Wake up' before finally shutting down:

"Y-You beTt-ttter loooooook dooooooown b-b-b-beloooooooow..."

His grasp of time firm once again, Anakin shut his eyes, trying to fall asleep. He had no such luck.

Clack, clack, crack...

-{S}-


"JIIIIIILLLLLL..." whined the dwarf as he tossed another little piece of ferrocrete at her apartment's window, cracking it. "JILL IT'S BEEN A LONG COUPLE OF DAYS AND I'M SOBER. OPEN UP!"

When the whining and vandalism failed to work... he proceeded to knock on the door. Sure, he could have just gone to any convenient store and gotten himself the bottled stuff, but nobody mixed a Mona Lisa Overdrive like Jillian Krjn. At least, that's what he told himself – the truth was that Jillian reminded him of his dead wife, and talking to her (and drinking her booze) made his existence as a wage slave bearable.

"JIIIIIILLLL... Come on! I'm thirsty!" He rapped on the door again, and refused to let up, not caring one bit how annoying the act might be to whomever was inside. And as the door opened, the dwarf expected to see Jillian's smooth delicate features. Instead he beheld some tall, deathly pale razorboy chromed-up so badly he was this close to being a zombie. The man was starting down at the dwarf with eerily cold blue cybernetic eyes, peaking from beneath a mop of wavy black hair. He hadn't had a shave or a haircut in years, the dwarf noted. He also didn't smell very good.

"What," said the razorboy. His voice was young, but low, growly and guttural, like one of them wolves rich elves kept as pets.

The dwarf just stood there, hoping that his bladder wouldn't suddenly empty itself.

The razorboy kept glaring at him.

"...Is the bar open?" asked the dwarf, finally.

The razorboy kept glaring at him.

"...Is Jillian home?"

The razorboy kept glaring at him.

"Okay then... I'll just ah, I'll just go, then?"

"Wise."

The door shut in the dwarf's face, and he just stood there, dumbly. "Well, that was a thing," he said out loud. It wasn't every day that naked cyborgs answered the door, after all.

-{S}-


Anakin locked the deadbolt and hoped the tiny, stocky human would have the good sense to leave, and that the sign hung on the small glass window meant 'CLOSED'. It wasn't in aurebesh, or even huttese, so he couldn't tell.

He found the main power switch, threw it, and looked around. The floor under what had been his room was indeed a cantina: there was a bar opposite the main entrance, with a prominent machine made of chrome tubes and containers. Behind the bar were shelves of crystal bottles, kept under lock and key. The walls were smooth plaster, painted a dark purple, and the chairs were dark chrome and fuchsia-colored fake leather, matching the mood lightning that emerged from the glow-tubes lining the floor. Loops of white glow-tubes were the main source of illuminations above the gleaming glass tables. Holograms streamed above the bar, in glyphs that, to Anakin's growing frustration, he was also unable to read. The jukebox, a bunch of floating disc displays arrayed around a floating globe, began to play the standard playlist.

Anything but that 'walrus' song, Anakin thought.

He found the kitchen, found what looked like a fridge, and began to tear into a package of something that tasted like tomatoes, but had the consistency of sun-dried meats. He had eaten six packages of 'tomato jerky' before there came another rapping on the door.

"We're closed," he said out loud. He looked at the door – it was night, and the illumination on the street was dim. Probably the dwarf again, he thought, as the knocking continued. Right now, Anakin was more interested in attacking his seventh package.

"We're CLOSED!" he bellowed, and the knocking stopped.

His belly full, Anakin then noted his own nakedness. He thought it odd that he hadn't taken notice of it, for so long, but then decided that his current condition must have had a strange effect on his sense of self. He went back upstairs and raided his rescuer's drawers and closet, only to find nothing but clothes for a slender young woman.

"What else did I expect?" He muttered. He hadn't seen this Jillian living with another man, besides himself. Then again, he thought, she had done so much for me already, she might also have bought me some clothes. Then again, maybe that's what she went out for?

Where was she? As a matter of fact... where am I? Coruscant? How did I even get here?

Eventually he found a plastic bag, and inside of it were a pair of black pants made out of a sturdy twill fabric, and a plain black, sleeveless v-neck shirt. No shoes, nor boots, but its not like he needed either any more, thanks to the gel pads on his metal soles.

As he put on his clothes, Anakin surveyed the loft. In contrast to the bar below, it wasn't as spacious, and was definitely more spartan... at least, it would have been were it not for the countless colourful posters covering nearly every inch of the grey walls. Anakin had seen the like before. Clearly this Jillian was a fan of the opera, he thought, but then the pictures of groups of groups of pretty young men puzzled him a bit.

Besides the posters, the room was outfitted with a cooling unit mounted on the window, and next to the bed, besides the couch, was a very short wooden table with a quilt around it, but no matching chairs. Next to the bed was the IV unit and health monitors he had unplugged himself from.

Anakin sat on the couch – more of a giant pillow, really, and tried to mentally piece together how he had come to be here. As he recalled It began with the official declaration of war by the Galactic Republic against the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The Republic Senate demanded that the Jedi take the reigns of the Grand Army of the Republic, composed of billions of genetically engineered clones, and the Jedi had come very close to accepting... how hard could it be? they thought, completely ignoring the lessons paid for by the deaths of hundreds of Jedi at the battle of Geonosis... that was until the stranger that had come to their aid shortly before the arrival of the clone army spoke sense into them.

What was his name?" thought Anakin. Something that started with a Krill? Or was it a Kresh? Why can't I remember? I remember wanting to be like him so badly. He seemed so free, for a Jedi... carried himself like Qui-Gon.

The Council then declared to the Senate that they would lend their support to the war effort, but ultimately refused to lead the Grand Army of the Republic, citing lack of training in matters of warfare. Politicians being politicians, the Senate had not taken this well, and the richer elements began to call in favours. Before long, the Temple was out of water and electricity, it's myriad accounts with the Bank of Fe were frozen through impenetrable bureaucratic processes. The Agricorp's freighters were denied fuel, and some of them had even been seized. The food would not last, and the Agricorp's garden in the temple could only make so much edible fruit. The Younglings would have been the first to begin starving, as they could not go into a fasting trance.

And yet, despite everything, the food never quite ran out.

"What DO the Jedi eat?" Anakin could recall their guest's pilot asking the question — the answer should have been simple, uncomplicated. Obi-Wan had certainly thought so, but Anakin had become genuinely curious when it led him to other questions: Where does it come from? Who makes it? How? Why?

A short adventure with his guest later — what was his name?! — he had answered all these questions: Apparently, a now-defunct corporation had built a hydroponic farm deep under the temple, operated by ancient, slightly malfunctioning droids. The entire system was powered by fusion reactor so old that a cult had formed around it... and unfortunately, it had just run out of fuel when they found it.

-{S}-


At the center of the High Council chamber, Anakin and Obi-Wan stood side-by-side, as the Jedi Masters briefed them on their mission.

"The vestiges of this..." Master Yoda eyed the translation curiously. "...Kwonsham Industries, we must gather for ourselves. Deep into Coruscant will you go, perhaps deeper than any Jedi in millenia, and claim their ancient machines in the name of the Jedi Order, you will."

"Are things so dire?" Asked Obi-Wan, subtly voicing his disapproval at the mission: they were Jedi, not scavengers. Anakin bristled a bit — his childhood on Tatooine had been spent being just that, a scavenger... and a very good one, too.

"No," replied Mace Windu. "But we'll need to acquire some... how did Senator Amidala put it?"

"Some negotiating power," said Shaak-Ti.

Windu nodded. "That, and some logistical independence from the rest of Coruscant's... merchants. Our independence depends on it."

"Our guest has offered the Obsidian Hawk to transport you and anything you salvage up and down Shaft 12," said Shaak-Ti, "From here to level 1313."

The Red Mummer examined her face, and caressed her Montrals. She paid him no mind.

"Advise you against going any deeper, I must," said Yoda. "Coruscant is an impossibly vast construct, teeming with life and energy, especially at the core. Our sight will fail you, should you become lost."

"We shall go at once!" said Anakin, over-eager as always.

Yoda nodded, and smiled. "One thing more, before you leave, Master Renn Tonn and Padawan Marek have been assigned to aid you. Already they wait at the landing pad. Brief them in turn, you will.

"Annoying, this is," said the Mummer, mockingly mimicking the mini-jedi's mannerisms. "Stand this, how can you?"

What the—

-{S}-


Someone knocked at the door, snapping Anakin out of his meditation, and he went down to tell them off. Just as he came downstairs, the knocking stopped, and with a clarity that surprised him, he heard the telltale clicks of a mechanism being tampered with.

"Burglars, now, is it?" he muttered to himself. Old habits had him reach for a lightsaber at his belt, but of course, he didn't have one anymore, so he had to make do with the next best thing he could find in short order: a bar stool. Then, he quietly took position besides the door, and waited in ambush. The burglar had succeeded in unlocking the door, but the deadbolt held fast. The burglar dealt with that by shoving a red-hot blade through the gap of the door and slowly slicing through the steel rod.

The door opened and, once Anakin was absolutely certain that person passing through the threshold wasn't his rescuer, he brought the bar stool down hard.

There was a flash of gold, and Anakin stared dumbly at the twisted metal of the bar stool. Then a flash of blue, and he was thrown into the stairs, breaking them apart. For a moment he beheld the interloper: it was a tall male human, clad in a grey 2-piece suit and a dark brown overcoat made of thick woven cloth. His face was aged, worn by time, scarred by a blade, and covered by a well-cropped, full silver beard. His hair was well-combed, parted back and to the side. The silver-plated gun was of secondary importance to Anakin, who had just spotted the man's most striking feature.

Cat-like eyes, glinting with an eldritch gold.

"SITH!" Anakin yelled, as he focused on the man's weapon and reached out with his metal hand to perform a Force Pull. Nothing happened.

The man raised the weapon, and aimed it between Anakin's eyes. "Who are you?"

"Your worst enemy!" The fallen Jedi quickly leapt into action, charging his foe one moment, intent on using his new limbs to his advantage in destroying the ancient enemy. But there was no fight; instead there was a green glow, a sign, and Anakin simply stopped moving, and fell over.

"Hmph. Not even close," muttered the man, before he casually walked past Anakin, and made his way upstairs.

-{S}-


Half an hour passed, with Anakin counting every second, unable to move. So this is what it feels like to be Mind Tricked, he thought to himself. No... this is far more powerful, and far more terrible... and much more visible. Symbols in an alien script danced all around him, reminding him of images of Dathomiri Nightsisters he had committed to memory during one of his obligatory trips to the library. He could hear the sounds of rummaging above. What is that blackguard up to? He wondered. It would be ten minutes before he caught sight of the man's finely buffed shoes.

The Sith gently kicked Anakin's prone and immobilized body around, and knelt besides him. He made a sign with his left hand, and the script around Anakin's face was dispelled.

"I have nothing to say to you, SITH!" Anakin spat.

"I'm not a Sith. I'm just a man with a gun, a spell book and a few questions."

Anakin kept his mouth shut. He had read the stories. He knew how the Sith operated: through mind games.

"Talk." The Sith commanded.

"She is not my friend," said Anakin, despite himself. This was true, from a certain point of view. After all, he had only learned of her name recently from the dwarf, and besides that, he knew little else of her.

"Lover then?"

"No."

The Sith fished out pieces of white glossy paper from his coat pocket. "No? Then how you do you explain this?" Ge read the note out loud: "StimPatches, an IV unit, colostomy bags, catheters, Raffia bottles, a biocell charger. That's thousands of Njen, Njen that she can barely afford to spend on the rent of this dive, let alone some stray, and I haven't known her to be much of a good Samaritan."

Anakin just glared at the Sith.

"She took a big risk sheltering a wanted cop killer, and she foolishly got herself in mortal danger for a payday big enough to make up for this." He shook the bills. "All for you. Now stop lying. Where is she? Talk."

The Force had a strong influence on the weak-minded, Master Kenobi had once told Anakin, and it irked the young Jedi that he lacked the Willpower to resist the sith's powers. "I don't know!" he yelled. "She didn't tell me!"

"Then think!" the Sith growled. "She must have said something that will serve as a clue — think!"

Unable to resist the Sith's command, Anakin shut his eyes, and his mind began to go over the weeks of his trance state, until it found something significant.

-{S}-


She was on a communicator, speaking to someone. Anakin's ears couldn't quite make out the voice that came through the speaker, but Jillian's voice was clear as a bell. "Ms Kabuto? It's me, Kitfox... Yes, hi! Hi! It's nice to speak with you again, too!... I'm calling because I've got a potential job lined up and... yes, I need to contact some talent... oh, you will? Thank you! I'll be at The Seamstresses' in about an hour..."

Anakin looked to the left. "Important, this is!" said the Mummer, sitting cross-legged on the couch.

Wait, what the—

-{S}-


"You know something," growled the Sith, who began to trace another sign. Anakin could feel the energies keeping him bound weaken, and tapping into his anger, spite and worry, conjured up the willpower necessary to throw a punch to the Sith's face. The blow wasn't as powerful as Anakin would have liked, but there was enough power behind it to send the dark Force user flying back. Anakin leapt on his feet and was about to run over to finish the Sith off, but he stopped cold when he saw that his opponent was still conscious, had already drawn his gun and was taking aim.

The barrel roared, and time slowed down, allowing Anakin to react quickly and move his head just enough for the bullet to graze his cheek. Behind him the wall exploded into chips of ferrocrete and silvery slag, and he quickly realized that he wasn't dealing with an ordinary weapon. But he was undaunted, and readied himself to dodge more bullets, intent on waiting until the pistol overheated.

Instead the Sith growled, and traced a sign. It glowed orange.

A blazing orange.

"Uh oh," said Anakin as he felt the heat wave.

-{S}-


The Vallhalla's bar's windows exploded outwards, sending out the Jedi onto the street amidst a shower of broken glass. Passersby stopped to watch the spectacle.

Anakin groaned in pain, as he got up and patted a flame from his sleeveless shirt. He sniffed, checking for the stench of burnt hair, but there was none. Perhaps the Force is still with me, he thought, amazed at his own survival. "Oh no," he said as the bar started to go up in flames. Anti-incendiary systems built into the building attempted to quench the flames, but the foam was making little progress.

At least the Sith will burn, thought Anakin. He surveyed the street: a crowd was gathering, and sirens could be heard in the distance. Knowing that getting involved with local enforcement and the fire service would only complicate matters, Anakin fled into the alleys, intent on finding Jillian at this Seamstresses' Union and keeping her safe from the Sith — for much like the Jedi, there were always two Sith: a master, and an apprentice.

He only hoped that he had just dealt with the Master...

-{S}-


A man emerged from the flames, more pissed than dizzy. All he had wanted to do was make sure KitFox hadn't gone over her head, only to get attacked by that razorboy she had taken in. Turned out he was a delusional loon, to boot. Insanity and cyberware. Never a good combination.

"Sir, are you alright?!" asked one of the SFRS agents, concerned. Their mechs had just begun spraying foam on the fire, keeping it contained.

"Let me help you with that," he said, and with an orange sign and a snap of his fingers the flames simply went out, like a candle blown out.

"Whoa," said one of the agents.

"Come with us," said another. "There's an ambulance—"

"I'm fine," the man insisted, but SFRS protocol demanded that he be checked out. "This was a hunt," he said, giving them his ID. "Critter lit the place up, but it's dead."

One of the agents put it through its PDA, and a detailed holo with the man's mugshot came up, under which read the words:

Ragnor, Gerald T.

Private Investigator & Monster Hunter

"His hunting license checks out," said the agent, who returned Gerald's ID chip. "Sorry to have held you up, Mr. Ragnor. Start of another crazy Seattle night, huh?"

"Yeah," he said as he took leave of them. He walked down the street, made his way to his SydMotors model S, and once he got inside the vehicle he ignited his hand with manafire, lit himself a cigarette, and took a long drag out of 500 Njen's worth of real tobacco. With this lead up in smoke, he decided to visit Kitfox's old haunt: the Seamstresses' Union.

Gerald sighed, as he turned the car key. To put it mildly, Kabuto hated him, but he hoped her sense of professionalism would stop her from shooting him dead, at least long enough to hear him out. He set the car to VTOL and flew off, and quietly hoped that Air Traffic wouldn't be too dense, but at this time of the night? It usually was.

-{S}-


Next time on Star Wars: Through the Shadows and the Flames:

"You need to hurry!" said Mouse over the radio. "They're keeping her alive somewhere deep, and they're getting ready to—"

Jillian's team of Shadowrunners lay in the corner of the factory floor, their guts about to be picked clean...

"Jillian was like a daughter to me," said Kabuto, her synthetic skin glinting in the light, "and if she dies because of you... I'll put a bounty on your head so large every bounty hunter in Seattle will come looking to collect."

"I warned her that her pretty face and honeyed words would do her no good," snickered Sasquatch.

"YE MACA TIMIQUICAN!" shouted the gangbangers in unison as they swarmed over Anakin.

"That was some high-quality custom cyberware someone loaded you with," slurred the drunken doctor. "Full of Black Boxes... *hic* just might give you the edge."

Anakin stood victoriously over the insane gangsters that had tried to cut him apart, his metal knuckles wet with blood.

The smart gun roared repeatedly, and the flechettes it spat found their marks, tearing into their targets unprotected heads.

They try to cut him down with their hatchets, but he whirled around them, blade in hand, and chopped them into pieces. Anakin couldn't recall when he had ever indulged in this much bloody violence in his life.

The Shaman, desperate, called for aid from beyond the paling. The alien abomination laughs, but Anakin was hungry for more, and leapt at it, blade overhead.

"...Do you enjoy hurting people?" Mouse asked over the radio, scared.

The dark bicycle helmet's vocalizer made Anakin's every ragged breath audible, laced with static cracks.

In. Out. In. Out. IN. OUT. IN. OUT.

—Episode 2: The Street Jedi Bloodied—

"...YES," he admitted.

-{S}-