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Mew -Chapter 1: Order of the Grey
As his feet touched the earth he heard the light sound of soft sand paper. Drawing a small pattern in the wet earth he considered his predicament. He knew he was alone, well, as alone you can get with a squadron of clone troopers marching steadily towards you. Through the Force he could feel that the nearest Grey was more then an hour hyperspace jump away and sighed in discontent at the thought. With the issue of order 66 Mattimew found himself in the midst of a universe with only his worst intentions in mind. The entire Order of Grey had been sent into hiding after they heard the news of the massacre of the Jedi. Mattimew often found himself being hunted like a fox by the innumerable amount of clone troopers stationed nearly every parsec of the galaxy. After spending the last five weeks in hiding Mattimew was both relieved and angry that he had been found, he was glad to get some practice in, but he was also wary about how easily these troopers had snuck up on him.
Mattimew had hoped to get off the planet without confrontation, but it seemed these pesky clone troopers had no problems throwing away their lives for the sake of the New Galactic Empire. Lifting his arms he drew back the hood of his robe dismissing the slightly uncomfortable feeling of wet mist hanging in the air. He placed a hand on his space ship in front of him and sighed outwardly as he felt the cold wet metal on his hands. He turned slowly unbuttoning the rest of his heavy robe allowing it to part evenly on either side of his body. The sounds of steady marching feet drew closer causing Mattimew to turn slowly to face his opponents. The nervous clanking of the clones in their mud streaked, white armor began to fill the air as they pointed their weapons towards Mattimew. Closing his eyes for a moment Mattimew allowed himself to view the quarry which he had landed in through the Force. He had set down on the far west side of the rectangular quarry about fifty yards away from the east wall, and twenty yards from either of its sides. His eyes opened, glowing with anticipation. What a shame, only three dozen. He scoffed inwardly, hardly a fair fight. But then again, it never has been. He took a few steps forward to prepare himself and shifted his stance into the Soresu fighting style. He stood in front of the two score clones trying his best to suppress the feeling of alleviation as he opened the two sides of his robe revealing a small collection of lightsabers hooked onto the underside. His hand caressed a few of the silver and black handles as one would with pets before stopping at the second saber that hung on the right flap of his robe. Feeling the familiar grip in his hands he clasped it in his right as he once again opened the flaps of his robes with a dramatic flourish. With eyes closed he allowed himself to enter into the Force, the feeling was then followed by the sounds of more lightsabers being ignited and the erratic clanking of clone trooper armor as they shifted uncomfortably at the sight. Mattimew opened his eyes and was greeted by the familiar sight of three lightsabers floating around his body forming a semi circle facing the clone troopers. He smiled at the various colors of sabers hovering around him and then ignited his own causing a murmur to go up throughout the assembled troopers. His own blade was silver and vibrated the air around it sending up faint lines of steam from the superheated weapon. Mattimew smiled and began walking towards the group of troopers lowering his weapon and concentrating on directing the three floating sabers the two red and single blue saber hummed harmonically in the air moving eerily in unison The ground lit up red as laser fire raced across the earth but Mattimew walked unharmed with his own lightsaber held at waist height. The three sabers that surrounded him weaved intricate patterns in the night air leaving faint traces of light as they dove and parried bolts of plasma around him. It was only when he was roughly five meters away from the group of troopers did they begin to realize their weapons were useless. A few were smart enough to run, leaving ten dead with twelve left still standing their ground. One of the troopers reached to his hip and pulled a six inch vibroblade from a holster on his side. His own weapon was dwarfed by the size of the elegant weapons but unnerved the trooper charged at Mattimew holding his blade expertly in front of him. The trooper managed to parry one of the lightsabers with the vibroblade as it struck downwards at him, spinning around he managed to parrys it as it came around to chop his side. Diving forward into a roll the trooper came up in time to parry the saber again as it struck at his head. Mattimew stared at the trooper for a moment respecting the man for his superior skill as he directed another of his lightsabers to strike at the trooper from behind. The troopers’ concentration was held by the deadlock between his vibro blade and one of the red sabers as the second red saber gently floated behind him cleaving him tenderly in half. The clone managed to throw off the lightsaber causing it to float violently through the air before dropping to his knees as the top half of his body fell face first into the dirt.
Mattimew watched grimly as the two red lightsabers flew towards their third blue counterpart and began attacking the remaining troopers who had survived the reflection of the lasers with an unnatural vigor leaving bits of clone trooper sizzling on the ground. When he was sure they had all been killed Mattimew returned the sabers to the inside of his robes. Turning on his heel he swiftly boarded his ship going quickly through his pre-launch precautions and inputting the co-ordinates for the world the next council meeting was to take place on. As the clear cockpit shield dropped over him Mattimew glanced towards the ground as his engines kicked on and dust began blowing about his ship shrouding his view of the ground as it slowly dropped farther and farther away. He could sense the other Grey beginning to mobilize and leave their respective planets to convene just as Mattimew was doing. He hoped that none of the others were having similar problems. Locking in the coordinates into his computer he casually laid his feet on top of the controls allowing him self to relax back into his chair. Within minutes his ship was breaching the atmosphere rumbling as it broke through the planets thick gaseous coating. His computer was acting on autopilot now as it guided him to a safe distance away from the planet before it began its hyper drive countdown. He watched lazily as the stars stretched and the world around him became white.
When Mattimew opened his eyes it was to the soft beeping indicating his guidance system had successfully done its job of bringing the ship safely to its destination. He was greeted by the sight of a large planet that seemed to be relatively uninhabited checking his computer’s readings he confirmed that the major population lived in only a few large cities dotting the immense landscape. Another sound caught his attention; his computer had detected something on the edge of the system. Mattimew turned to look at his radar screen and found it mysteriously devoid of enemy signatures. He punched a few keys to make certain that his sensors were functioning and received a green light from the computer. Frowning slightly he turned back towards his forward view screen and quickly entered more coordinates into his computer. The ship shot forward into space quickly closing in on the planet. A few minutes later Mattimew felt the shudder of the planets atmosphere breaking around the ship. An additional hour later found Mattimew climbing laboriously out of his ship finding his body stiff from the long ride. He replenished his body and mind by drawing on the Force feeling revitalized within seconds. Looking around he noticed he had landed in a vast plain of lush green grass, to his right stood a ruined palace roughly two hundred yards away which had large portions knocked out from some ancient battle. The ruin, his own ship, as well as four others, was all that could be seen. It disturbed Mattimew greatly to meet in such an open place. As he was lost in his thoughts a sudden roar caught his attention. Mattimew’s hand instinctively flew to his saber hilt as he looked up into the clear sky. He was put at ease by the sight of another small ship similar to his own, save for its yellow paint job. The yellow ship skipped across the air making a wide turn before finally landing fifty yards to the left from Mattimew’s spacecraft. Just as quickly as it had come the cockpit popped up and a spry young man jumped out landing on the ground with a loud huff. He brushed himself off while looking around before spotting Mattimew with a cheery wave. He jogged lightly over to Mattimew and stood facing him for a moment before speaking.
“How are you Brother Mew?”
Mattimew turned slightly acknowledging the man, but still keeping a wary eye out.
“I am not your brother.”
“Now, now. You know what the Grandmaster said.” The man had a hint of humor in his voice.
“Such things are but childish efforts to try and bring us together. We are not Jedi, we do not have any need for such trivial formalities.” Mattimew nearly spat the sentence out turning to look at the man fully. Even with his well chiseled jaw line that made him seem years older, Sekun still managed to look childish with his lopsided over eccentric grin. Mattimew had to look up slightly as he was somewhat shorter then Sekun, but Mattimew’s wide shoulders more then made up for that fact. Sekun’s lithe body swayed slightly as he grinned and laughed as he threw his hand out in front of him for a handshake. Mattimew eyed his hand for a few moments before connecting his with Sekun’s.
“It’s always a pleasure to see you Mew.” Sekun said smiling widely.
“It is never good for me to be here. Especially not now, and don’t call me that.
“But I like it, it’s so fitting.”
Mattimew shook his head like a father too tired to chastise his child. “Let us go inside Sekun.”
Sekun nodded and took up step beside Mattimew as they began walking along the over grown path leading to the ruins. Sekun began talking animatedly moving his hands vigorously through the air as he described his exploits for the past couple months. Mattimew had learned long ago to tune him out and began focusing his attention on the surrounding area. The rough cobblestone path jutted out at odd angles which if you were not careful would trip you up. Sidestepping around a small pit where a cobble used to be laid he turned his eyes upward where he was greeted by the sight of the large ruin. The two men entered through a large doorway of the bulky rectangular ruin. The inside looked as though it had at one time been very luxurious. Mattiemew could almost picture the harem of women that had at one time occupied it’s wide open space. The floor looked like old faded marble slabs with obscure designs cut into them. The walls were covered in faded paint that looked more like spattered blood then pictures of grotesque gods which Mattimew assumed them to be. Huddling his shoulders as they walked through the immense living chamber Mattimew headed towards theveast wall where they found a long thin flight of stairs that twisted and turned into the darkness below. Sekun looked at Mattimew.
“He always chooses the gloomiest places.”
Mattimew nodded having to concede the point.
Someone had placed flares periodically through out the long passage way allowing for there to be just enough light to make out the vague shapes of stairs and crags in the wall in the dark channel. A few minutes went by with only the pitter patter of the two men’s feet before at last Mattimew felt the blowing of cool air as he took a final step and felt solid stone beneath his feet. There were a few choice flares placed in a circle fifty yards away on his left where a table and some chairs had been set up. Already there were four people sitting and talking in hushed voices that stopped immediately as Mattimew and Sekun appeared. Although all he could see was the dimly lit table he could feel the colossal size of the cave he was standing in. He felt the still water of the large pond inhabiting the middle of the cavern ripple as another drop of water fell from a hovering stalactite. He turned as Sekun’s hand softly rested on his shoulder and nodded to him as they began walking once more towards the table. Mattimew noticed the hushed talking had once more resumed and began to make out the discussion as he neared the table.
“Don’t you think it’s just a tad dangerous Grandmaster?” asked the man on the left of the table.
“No, Grandmaster doesn’t listen to him; if we don’t do something soon then the empire may get there before we do. This could mean the creation of another dark Jedi unless we step in.” Mattimew noted this was said by a slightly portly man on the right side of the table sitting nearest the Grandmaster.
“We shouldn’t have to worry about that. We are not keepers of the universe like the Jedi. We let Jedi choose their own path and mess it up i-” the first man was cut short by a wave of the Grandmaster’s hand. Mattimew took a seat next to the first man while Sekun took the seat to Mattimews right. The four men were now staring directly at Mattimew as he shifted slightly to become more comfortable. Sekun leaned in slightly and whispered to Mattimew.
“Sounds like they were talking about you.”
Mattimew shrugged his shoulders trying to ignore Sekun’s suggestive comment. Mattimew noticed that the dim light also shrouded the faces of the other members of the table. Silence settled in once again breaking only for the slow drip of water off the stalactite. Finally, the Grandmaster unfolded his hands and placed them on the table with his palms down and shoulder width apart.
“Mattimew do you know why we called you here?” Mattimew noted the deep rough voice of the Grandmaster’s seemed to be much weaker then the last time he had heard him.
“No, I do not know why you seek an audience with me.” Mattimew said with a shake of his head. Mattimew saw the Grandmaster turn to look at the other members of the table.
“We need to ask of you a favor.”
Mattimew felt everything muscle in his body become tense at the words. He was about to comment but the Grandmaster continued to speak unabated.
“We need you to find someone for us. Another Grey.”
Mattimew’s head cocked in interest. “This is not very usual for you. Since when does the order spend the time to seek out Grey’s?”
The Grandmaster sighed audibly.
“You see it’s not so simple…”
The Grandmaster seemed to drift off for a moment intertwined in his thoughts. Mattimew thought he saw his brow crease for a moment. Clasping his hands together the Grandmaster continued speaking.
“This person is a special case. You see this particular Grey i-”the sudden pause in the Grandmasters speech was enough to turn the heads of all persons seated at the table. The Grandmaster’s eyes were locked straight ahead he seemed enveloped with something in his mind. He suddenly stood up while simultaneously slamming his left hand on the table. The thunderous sound caused everyone to jump in their seat. The Grandmasters face was no longer impassive but full of concern and alarm. He looked around the table and raised his left hand now holding his own lightsaber.
“I am sorry my friends. We are no longer safe here. We must leave this place.” The Grandmaster pushed his chair out and began walking towards the staircase. He was stopped by a solitary voice.
“What is the meaning of this Grandmaster? How self important do you think you are?” Snarled the man on Mattimew’s left. The remark stopped the Grandmaster in his tracks causing him to turn around slowly. Mattimew could see the Grandmasters eyes slanted in controlled anger.
“If this were any other time Deius your remark would be cause for a duel. But as it is time is of the essence we are only a few moments away from being over run by clone troopers.” The grandmaster turned to Mattimew.
“Do you not sense it?”
Mattimew shook his head deftly. “I feel nothing.”
The Grandmaster turned to each of the men and found them all shaking their heads or shrugging their shoulders in ignorance. The old man turned once more to Mattimew and walked quickly over to him leaning forward slightly to whispering in his ear.
“Mattimew, whether or not they believe me is not of my concern. I know what I can sense through the force and I do not know how I was unable to miss such a force of this magnitude until now but we must go.”
Mattimew turned slightly to look at the Grandmaster. He remembered back to Dagon V where he had been set upon by a squadron of clone troopers that he did not sense until they had already entered the quarry. He nodded to the Grandmaster and turned to the rest of the men.
“I believe what he says is true. The same situation occurred to me on Dagon V. I was attacked by two score clones that I did not sense until they were nearly next to me. I fear that the only reason we have any forewarning at all is thanks to the Grandmasters attunement to the Force.”
Mattimew’s statement was followed by more murmuring and the scrape of chairs.
“So be it.” Said the man whom had first spoken, “We chose him as our Grandmaster, it’s only right that we heed his warning.” The man’s statement caused the other three men to nod and rise from their seats as well. The Grandmaster turned to Mattimew and bowed.
“Follow me Mattimew I have something I must tell you.” At this the grand master began climbing the winding stair case with Mattimew following close behind. The Grandmaster was walking uncomfortably fast through the darkened stairs. As they passed the torches which had been laid out they went off one by one as the Grandmaster passed by them. Mattimew felt something hard pushed against his stomach and looked down to see the Grandmaster pushing a small data pad towards him as they ascended.
“Take this, it has all the information you need.”
Mattimew took the data pad from the man and placed it inside his robes without a second thought.
“They are landing now. We will have to fight our way out.”
Though Mattimew could still sense nothing but the Grandmasters words caused a surge of adrenaline to shoot through him. A few moments later Mattimew found himself assaulted through his perception in the Force. As though out of the blue he could suddenly feel the life force of hundreds of men descending the metallic ramps of their ships. He sent a message through the Force, though he could not send words, he impressed it with urgency and danger as he broadcasted it towards Sekun and the other men as he eyed the small light at the end of the passage. Mattimew and the Grandmaster burst through the stair case entrance running and igniting their lightsabers as bolts of plasma came flying towards them. Mattimew made a quick diagnosis of the situation and was glad to see that only fifteen or so had wandered inside the temple. With the Force guiding his hand and keeping him safe from the lasers he approached the largest group of troopers. Mattimew jumped sending himself upwards through the air grazing the ceiling of the ruin thirty feet above the ground. The seven clone troopers tried to follow his movement but with the aid of the Force he was back on the ground just as they were registering he was no longer in mid air. With his left hand he used the Force to grapple one of the troopers knocking over two others as he slammed him against the wall. At the same time he swept his lightsaber low successfully slicing through two more clone troopers legs. Drawing once again upon the force he accelerated his speed causing the scene around him to move in what felt to him as slow motion. As the two feetless storm troopers fell Mattimew continued his circular sweep raising his leg connecting it with one of the clone troopers and sending it crashing into the nearby wall with a bone crushing strength. Still turning he saw the second clone trooper still in the midst of falling and brought his lightsaber in a large arc plunging it point first into the mans helmet. Sound rushed into his ears as his Force accelerated speed left him. Instinctively Mattimew brought the lightsaber into a defensive stance. One of the storm troopers began running towards the entrance while another reached to his hip and withdrew his vibroblade. Holding it slanted across his body he approached Mattimew cautiously. Mattimew turned and threw out his right hand towards the doorway with lightsaber still held firm trying to thwart the clone holding the vibro blade. The trooper took the opportunity to charge at Mattimew, but he turned his body sideways and with his left hand Mattimew held the man in place mid run. Mattimew smiled and snapped the man’s neck with his left hand while he withdrew his right hand sharply causing a scream to erupt from the door way. He turned his head from left to right surprised to see a trooper on either side of him readying their rifles to fire, almost as though he were unaware of his dangerous situation Mattimew turned again towards the doorway in time to see the cowardly trooper come flying through backwards as though being tugged by an invisible lasso. Repositioning his lightsaber he held it vertically as the clone’s body hurtled towards his blade causing the clone troopers body to be split down the middle. As the trooper was being sliced Mattimew ducked his head allowing the carcass to sail past him. Standing up quickly he thrusted out both hands sending both half of the carcass towards each of the clone troopers on either side of him. The bloodied half corpse hit both troopers with a sickening wet thud throwing off their balance and sending them to the floor in bloody heaps. Mattimew allowed himself a brief moment to rest and make sure the Grandmaster was ok. He turned his head to see the Grandmaster finishing off one last trooper as the other four Grey emerged from the passageway. Mattimew turned back to the task at hand throwing out both hands and using the force to pull both troopers back to him. Turning his lightsaber upside down he quickly decapitated both troopers’ heads allowing their bodies to pass by unharmed. He looked up from his bloody work and nodded to the other men before making his way to the heavy set double doors. The six Grey crowded around the exit and peered around the edge of the half open doorway. Mattimew felt his heart skip a beat as he saw what awaited them beyond the temples walls. Mattimew saw a little over two hundred assorted troopers waiting tensely for any sign of life. Mattimew turned to the other men and shook his head.
“We cannot fight that many. We will surely die.”
“There isn’t another way!” Sekun hissed as he glared angrily at the mass of white troopers.
Mattimew turned to look around the living chamber and walked away from the wall stopping next to one of the dead troopers. Mattimew kicked the trooper lightly and then turned to look at his comrades. He sized up the troopers body and then gave a deep elongated sigh.
“There is another way. But you will not like it.”