Monday, 30 March 2009


Just being around her is intoxicating.

Love - the single most important reason for agony, deception and general suffering. Like a drug, it brings a piece of comfort yet keeps one craving ever more. A beautiful agony.

It is for love that a good guy like Anakin Skywalker turned to the Dark Side.

The Jedi knew the dangers of love, and hence they forbade attachments that could lead to it. Their reasoning was flawed, however, because from detachment comes a cold loneliness inside that, when an opportunity arises, clings to anyone who would give a Jedi a measure of attention. In effect, detachment leads to a greater chance of attachment.

And when someone as pretty and angelic as Padme shows up, it's hard to ignore the feelings that inevitably arise - particularly in a teenage boy.

Suppressing feelings will lead to an increase in such feelings. Detachment is therefore a near-impossible feat and cannot be expected of any person. That, more than any philosophical or practical thing, is what caused the Jedi Order to implode.

Ironically, love is what destroyed the Jedi, and what gave rise to the Sith - although in the end, love took back its rightful place on the side of the Skywalker family.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

A Faithful Droid's Demise

TD-19 was a simple protocol droid, or at least that was what it liked to call itself. In truth, its owner had programmed some assassination protocols into its system, thus upgrading TD-19 to a protocol droid slash assassin droid slash bodyguard. Its behavior core had not been modified to accept these changes, however, and it found itself trying to ignore its potential for violence.

Unless, of course, certain situations prompted the protocols. In those instances the normal protocol routines were overridden and Teedee -- as its master sometimes called the droid -- found itself voicing threatening language and periodically damaging organic beings who unwisely ignored its warnings. It found itself making apologies for its violence afterwards, which did not make any difference because mostly the organic beings were by then very much unable to do anything.

It often wondered why organics could not be repaired after being torn into pieces.

Right now, a female organic was trying to gain entry into the room Teedee guarded the door for. Its instructions were clear, however; no-one was to enter the room until its master told it otherwise.

"Please step aside," the woman repeated, "so I can enter."

Obviously she had not been informed of this order, so Teedee shared the information. "Negative. All access to this room is forbidden at this point." When it realised she would not be on her way, it added, "please wait for guards to detain you."

It silently attempted to establish a connection to the Senate main computer, but there seemed to be no answer. It would try again in 30 seconds.

"Look, I really --"

She did not give up, despite Teedee's very clear explanation. Perhaps a warning was in place.

"Repeat: Please wait for guards to detain you. If you resist detention, you will be painfully and bloodily executed." Shocked by its own words -- as much as any droid could experience being 'shocked' -- Teedee wondered just how much those assassination protocols had influence over its standard programming.

Thankfully, its words seemed to have their effect on the trespassing human, for she appeared to be hesitating. Teedee tried to avoid violence whenever possible, for each conflict was potentially threatening to its functionality. Not that such a thing had ever happened.

Main computer still did not reply. Perhaps the transmitter was broken? System check revealed a non-functional transmitter -- in fact, it was not there. It must have been removed during the last routine maintenance, earlier today. As soon as its master arrived, Teedee would inform him of the missing component.

The woman seemed to come to a decision, and reached for something. Teedee's scanners identified it as a lightsaber. The information Teedee had on this weapon stated clearly that its wielders were either Jedi or Sith, and were extremely dangerous.

Teedee's assassination protocols took over at this point, although the protocol functionality insisted on warning the human of the risk she took.

"Repeat: If you resist detention, you will be executed."

Unphased, the woman uttered, "yeah yeah, I know. Try me," and attempted to damage the droid's head with her weapon and missed. Teedee had anticipated her move, being on full battle mode now, and easily stepped away from the blade while producing its own weapons. It immediately fired a round with its fully loaded DC-15S and DC-17m blasters, which the human had trouble deflecting in the narrow hallway.

"Perceived hostility. Painful and bloody execution is imminent," the droid heard itself say. Who had created those protocols? Why did Teedee have to imply the nature of the already uncomfortable execution?

Protocol dictated that Teedee alerted the main computer, realising only microseconds later that it could not.

Calculating the best strategy for immobilising its enemy, Teedee ventured closer. Having no mechanic reflexes, the human was slower to react to hostilities. Also, her defence seemed to be slightly vulnerable on the left side. Teedee planned to make a faint to her right, then aim at her left foot with its other blaster.

Teedee had barely begun shooting before the woman had deflected its shots. She appeared to have become much quicker than before, becoming a blur of motion that Teedee could barely follow with its droid sensors.

One of the deflected shots found its way to a photoreceptor, and Teedee had only half the visual information. This had an immediate effect on its aim, and only after several microseconds did the droid aim correctly at the human again.

However, the woman was closer than it has estimated and rather quickly, Teedee's sight was taken entirely. Elsewhere in its circuitry, the left arm ceased to provide input.

Its head and arm were gone.

"Perceived criminal action," Teedee found itself saying; "damaging a government-owned droid." Quickly Teedee ran a check through its files on intergalactic law and the respective punishments for each offence. "Penalty: Compensation through loss of offender's comparable parts."

It tried to hit the woman's arm, but with no visual information, the effort was useless. "Please wait while your left arm and your head are removed, then wait for guards to detain--"

The voice modulator was damaged suddenly. Alarms went off as various circuits stopped replying. Connections were lost with the right arm, the left foot, the left leg -- the signal that informed Teedee it had fallen to the side was just one of many alarms as the droid lost control of one system after another.

Belatedly, it realised that the only one who could have removed its transmitter was its master. He must have planned something like this to happen, although for what purpose Teedee did not know.

Teedee did not want to disobey its orders, though, so it kept trying to fight--

Suddenly, the military protocols were inactive. The only part of the droid that still had any sense, the protocol part, realised its only chance was to move away from the rampaging human. It did not, however, realise that the direction it chose for retreat was, in fact, right towards the woman.

A crush of her boot destroyed the last piece of circuitry, and TD-19 was no more.

Check this out

Click here; this is a really funny fanfic you should read. Various messages on Luke Skywalker's answering machine.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Fall of the West

Empires rise and crumble. Such is the way of things.

Even so, the downfall of the mighty western empire seems to surprise intelligent people around the globe. America has lost much of its super power, both military and ideologically. Europe, being the older and more careful brother, cannot stand up to replace it and goes down with the United States, while relative newcomers like India, Africa and China are fast becoming more and more influentual and selfassured.

The so-called economic crisis is nothing but the final push over the edge. The real crumbling has been happening for decades, corroding the west from the inside out by focusing on money and superficial perfection -- temporary vanities based on nothing. Spiritual fulfillment is left on hold, emotional satisfaction pending, while the people long to fill the emptiness inside but receive nothing to fill it with.

Which is not to say that the western 'civilisation' does not contain worthy values, nor that great empires are by definition devoid of moral compasses. It was simply not enough invested into, financially or otherwise.

The downfall of the west, and the acknowledgement of this by its people, will happen in gradual leaps in the next few years or decades. Mourn not the lost Empire of Money, for it will become a lesson for future generations and future superpowers.

It's just fucked up that we, as people, get caught in the middle.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


The droid stood between her and the door, unmoved by her request. It was not letting her in.

"Please step aside, so I can enter."

"Negative. All access to this room is forbidden at this point. Please wait for guards to detain you."

Derra cursed silently. To get this far, only to be stopped by a stupid droid. Surely there must be a way to persuade it?

“Look, I really…”

“Repeat: Please wait for guards to detain you,” the droid interrupted her. “If you resist detention, you will be painfully and bloodily executed.”

Stunned into silence, Derra looked at the seemingly simple droid with horrid fascination. What kind of droid was this? It looked like a protocol droid, but its battered plating and rusty patches suggested experiences beyond the shelter of the Senate building. She did not recognize the production series, nor did she ever hear a droid speak in such remarkable expressions.

Destroy it, came a voice in her head. Any moment, Derra expected to see the red robes of the Senate Guard coming for her. This piece of soon-to-be scrap metal stood in her way. She ignited her yellow lightsaber.

“Repeat: If you resist detention, you will be executed.”

“Yeah yeah, I know. Try me,” Derra said casually while taking a swing at the droid.

To her amazement, the droid easily stepped away from the blade and produced two firearms from apparently nowhere.

“Perceived hostility. Painful and bloody execution is imminent,” its lifeless voice said, and rapidly loosened several shot. Derra could hardly reflect them in the narrow hallway and she tumbled backwards. Getting back on her feet, she used the Force to sense her opponents moves rather than her eyes. It moved closer, weapons ready.

Now that the initial shock had passed, Derra could focus on avoiding getting shot and attempting to hit her metal foe. Speed is something Derra excelled at, being nicknamed Blur more than once, and soon one of the droid’s arms was on the floor, along with its head.

However, a droid is different from an organic opponent, and this one simply kept on fighting and taunting without a head. It unnerved her.

“Perceived criminal action: Damaging a government-owned droid. Penalty: Compensation through loss of offender’s comparable parts. Please wait while your left arm and your head are removed, then wait for guards to detain--”

The droid’s voice stopped abruptly as Derra’s lightsaber damaged its voice modulator and continued to increase the number of parts the droid consisted of. At last, nothing moved except for a tiny piston, causing an unrecognizable piece of machinery the size of her fist to erratically move towards her. She crushed it with her foot.

You have done well, the familiar voice said. Enter, and meet your destiny


Derra had first heard the voice when she was but a young apprentice, unable to sleep in her quarters within the Jedi Temple.

Earlier that day she had gotten into a mild argument with one of the teachers over the need for lightsaber training. If the Jedi advocated peace, why should they skill themselves with instruments of war? Thinking it over in bed and being stressed about being unable to incorporate both views into a logical whole, a voice in her head said, it’s good to be critical.

At first she thought someone had snuck into her room and whispered in her ear, but after a quick inspection assured her there was nobody there, she figured it must have been her imagination and tried to fall asleep.

Doubt is essential for gaining knowledge, the voice came again, this time clearly.

“Who’s there?”, Derra exclaimed, getting scared. She looked around the otherwise empty room.

No answer came then, and none ever did.


Get down, the voice warned Derra, and she quickly obliged, hiding behind a large statue. Several imposing figures, dressed in white durasteel armor, moved by her without notice. At second glance, she recognized them as clonetroopers. What were they doing at the Temple?

Mere moments later, the clonetroopers started firing at everyone in sight; Jedi Masters and Padawans alike. In their midst, a fury of lightsaber moves and dark side energy, a dark hooded figure came down on the overwhelmed Jedi.

Derra’s heart appeared to stop beating. Anakin Skywalker?

Anger rushed up in her, and she got ready to ignite her blade and place it somewhere in his arrogant face, when the voice stopped her. Don’t, it simply said. Another destiny awaits you.

The mysterious voice, which had guided Derra through many situations and seemed to possess knowledge of things even beyond the Jedi Master’s, started guiding her out of the Temple and into Coruscant’s busy streets.

Looking back after a careful and long journey, she saw the Temple for the last time. Clouds of smoke rose from several places, and explosions were heard even at this distance. Derra softly swore that she would avenge the destruction.

Yes, you will avenge. But not yet. I have a quest for you.

“No fraggin’way,” Derra replied. “I’m not going on a pitiful quest when my world is burning.”

Hardly your world anymore. Besides, there is not much to return to, and your potential needs room to grow if you want to face the renegade and be victorious.

Through many days and many nights, the voice guided her. At times chastising weaknesses and at other times complimenting her ingenuity, it seemed to train her for an unknown future. When asking about it, Derra received no answer.

It never seemed to give answers.

In the end, after what seemed several months or years, the voice guided her here, to the Senate Building, and the chamber guarded by the droid with the oddly explicit language, now in pieces in front of the private quarters of the self-appointed Emperor.


The chamber was dark. Infrequently, a speeder illuminated the room as its lights passed the large window on the busy Coruscant night.

Derra had never been here, but she somehow recognized it. The strange statues and plaques that decorated the place seemed familiar, and made her feel both comforted and deeply disturbed.

She turned her attention to the statue right in front of her, in the center of the oval room. It represented some sort of hooded humanoid creature, an unfamiliar expression on its face. Around its chiseled shoulders hung a black robe, soft yet sturdy to her touch. At its feet lay a durasteel helmet and armor, similar to the red Senate Guard’s attire, but black as night.

“Try them on,” the voice said, and Derra realized that this time, it was spoken out loud. She turned around and gazed upon an imposing figure, seated on one of the large and comfortable chairs. His face was sickly white and deformed; his body and black robe blending with the darkness.

The dark side emanated from him for a moment, and she recoiled in horror. In an instant, though, the feeling disappeared and she could not detect even the smallest bit of the Force around him.

“In order to extract your revenge on the renegade Jedi murderer, you must be strong,” the Emperor said, never averting his eyes from hers. “Strong, and silent. This murderer is but one of many who will try to destroy you. To destroy us. Skywalker, and his mentor Kenobi, have escaped our grasp for now, but they will return. You must be ready,” he repeated.

Silently, he gestured at the armor at her feet. She donned it.

The armor was not uncomfortable, and unobtrusive to her movements while the robe hid her movements. The dark color meant that she could pass nearly undetected in shadowy places, while the red visor enhanced her vision.

She looked like a Red Guard, if not for the black color.

“I offer you a chance,” the Emperor said close to her ear. Derra startled; she had not noticed him getting up.

“A chance to move undetected in the Imperial ranks, to seek out those hidden in the shadows with murderous intents. To smoke out the betraying rebels. To extract our revenge.”

He smiled, and offered her a seemingly simple black cane. As she took it, she noticed the switch and turned it on. A brilliant red flash appeared at the top of the cane.

A lightsaber staff.

“I offer you a chance to be my secret weapon. My only hope against attempts on my life, like they have taken the lives of the Jedi in the Temple.”

Derra looked into his yellowish eyes, seeing her reflection in them. An imposing dark figure she was. She felt important; something she had never felt before.

He whispered, “Derra, be my Shadow Guard.”

She accepted with a smile.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Light in the darkness

Brog switched off his lightsaber, and mercyful darkness surrounded him. How did it come to this, he wondered?

The blackness could not stop the images from forming in his mind; the bright lights of lightsabers dancing, illuminating this very hall in which he now stood in gloomy greens and blues and reds, until one after the other, the lights were extinguised as its wielders fell -- until the only light that shone was Brog's scarlet blade.

They had been his former classmates and teachers; Jedi he had known from early childhood. He had never truly hated them, and their demise pained him greatly. This was not what he had wanted.

Brog, like many before him, had become sceptical of the Jedi ways. The dark seemed to offer him the chances for personal growth and fulfillment he had longed for. A Sith had introduced him to many a secret of the Force, and Brog had revelled in it.

Of course, with the Sith teachings came the endless torment of body and mind; a way to hone him into perceived perfection. Sith do not fear pain; they use it. Rather than being a slave to the will of microscopic lifeforms, the Sith use the Force as a tool to shape themselves to full potential.

Although the confrontation with his former masters and fellow padawans was inevitable, Brog had not expected it. Or perhaps he had tried to ignore it, stubbornly hoping it would never come if he did not think about it.

He still had much to learn.

Switching it on again, Brog inspected his lightsaber. The slim black handle was without a scratch; the blade a pure red line in the otherwise colorless chamber. His imagination drew patches of flesh and gore on the blade, and he felt his stomach turn. Suddenly trembling, he looked away from the saber, at the bodies on the floor. Lifeless. Charred. Betrayed. Murdered.

What a fool he was. As if the dark side was nothing more than a change of heart, with no influence on the rest of life. Instead of perfecting him, it had make him arrogant and weak; only a master of evil. The dark side had changed him into something he despised more than anything -- an empty shell; a Sith's puppet.

He realized he was standing at a crossroad: to take the easy route, or to take the right route. The choice was clear to him now.

With fresh determination, Brog left the room, blade ready, to confront his master.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Return to the light

As you can see, my blog has turned a paler shade of white than a goth's skin in winter. Apart from the long-overdue change in layout, I feel this is a little easier on the eyes.

Talking about easy on the eyes, feast your sight on this.

Errr... what was I talking about?


How can I show you
that you are beautiful
when you always look the other way
Finding imperfections
with every living breath
feeding yourself deceit
every night as you lie in bed

How can I show you
that you are beautiful
when you see only flaws in the diamond
and not the sparkle that it holds
You judge yourself with consequence
tearing down what nature built
and turning it into darkness cold

How can I show you
that you are beautiful
when you don’t look into the mirror
save with tear-streaked eyes
How can you see yourself as I do
when you’re peering through a looking glass
warped by doubt and loathing
brewed within your mind

How can I show you
that you are beautiful
when your beauty is just too much
and leaves me lost for words
choking on every thought
while trying to explain something so clear
that it is written all over your face

How can I show you
that you’re beautiful
when the world is not enough
and a million voices
fail to change your song
unable to silence
the doubt that beats away

No I can’t show you
that you’re beautiful
No matter how hard I try
But I’ll whisper it to you every night
as you drift off to sleep
and hope that one morning
you’ll wake up with eyes wide open
and see yourself as I do

A perfect diamond
A stunning reflection
and a ray of sun
piercing my own darkness
taking the clouds away

-- From: Raven's Rants (link).