blah the Prussian

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About blah the Prussian

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    Rationally Royalist
  • Birthday 03/29/2000

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    Video games, debating, dogs, eating, history, monarchism
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    Prague, rightful dominions of the most noble House of Hapsburg

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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Fates: Conquest

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  1. How do you determine what is right and wrong?

    But Kantian ethics doesn't posit that you should follow principles because they just are. It has a very clear system for defining what is moral, that being consistent generalization, or examining the results if everyone took the action one is considering.
  2. How do you determine what is right and wrong?

    But in the real world you aren't going to have exact percentages of consequences; you aren't even necessarily going to know all the consequences. I don't think that any of the initial leaders of the French Revolution, for example, could have foreseen what would have happened later. Consequentialism will never work in a world that isn't some math equation with concrete inputs, outputs, and control variables. You also don't know how long the sadness will last, unless, I suppose, you're talking about morality in hindsight, which has basically no actual application. Kant's philosophy is utterly unconcerned with trying to find the best act in terms of results. We cannot know what actions will have the best results, or what will be best; rather, we can know what our own morals are, and act according to them.
  3. Oh yeah, I think it's one of the best stories in any game ever. It's one of the few video game stories where, if I read it in a book or saw it on a film, I'd still think it was good.
  4. The Decline and Fall of the Galactic Republic: a Star Wars Prequels Rewrite

    Chapter 2: Operation Durge's Lance The Separatist Battleship Devastation sailed past the ruins of a once mighty fleet. Trailing behind it was the naval might of the Confederacy of Independent Systems; Frigates, Battleships, Carriers, and guarded by a vast cloud of Vulture Droids. Behind them was what had once been the Republican Navy's Eighth Fleet, now so much rubble. As the Separatist fleet proceeded towards its target, the Hypori System, what had once been the mighty gatekeepers of the Core Worlds faded into the vacuum of space, indistinguishable from the stars. It was imperceptible under his ghoulishly white mask, but Supreme Commander Qymaen Jai Shaleel was smiling. The Republic's soldiers, he had heard, had taken to calling him "General Grievous"; good. Let them fear me. For him, no greater pleasure existed than being feared by the scum who had confined him to this cage of a body. "Supreme Commander," a Nemoidian technician said tentatively, "Hologram call from Mustafar. It seems to be urgent." He seems to lack none of his species' survival instinct, Qymaen thought, as he answered the call. Seeing those on the other line, he fought the urge to curse. It was the Separatist Council; the people in the entirety of the galaxy he wanted to see least of all. "Commander Shaleel!" blustered Geonosian Archduke Poggle the Lesser over hologram, jowls shaking lightly with anger, "what is the meaning of this? Republic Stormtroopers sit in my palace, eating my food, no doubt bedding my harem-" I doubt that, Qymaen thought, mind turning to the "beauties" of Geonosis- "and where were you?" Poggle the Lesser continued. "Where was your fleet?" A thousand replies flashed through Qymaen's head. I am not one of those pathetic bugs you call your subjects, Archduke. You do not scare me. Or: On Kalee we have flowers more intimidating than you, Archduke. Or he could even simply crush Poggle's stupid, ugly skull in the massive talons adorning his feet. Qymaen Jai Shaleel, however, had not become the terror of the Republic because he was reckless or stupid(the indignities he suffered through to avenge his honor and people!) so instead, he replied haltingly: "I was winning the war, Archduke. Our fleets have seized Hypori, the gates to the Core. The road to Alderaan lies open." "You think I care about Alderaan?" Poggle demanded. "I had to sleep on MUSTAFAR last night!" "Regardless of Poggle's sleeping arrangements," Wat Tambor interjected, "Geonosis was vital to our war effort. The loss of its cloning facilities are a grave blow, to be sure." "Which is why it was so effective as bait," Qymaen replied flatly. After the raging Archduke had been escorted out of the room, he continued: "The Republic were so eager to take Geonosis they badly weakened their own defenses. Now, the linchpin of their defenses has been pierced. There are other Geonosises- Kamino, for one. And yet, the Republic only has one world we must take to utterly break them." Realization dawned on the face of Nute Gunray; "Alderaan," he breathed, looking like a preschooler who had learned that two and two made four. "Alderaan," confirmed a deep, stately voice, this time from behind Qymaen. Count Augustinias Dooku, leader of the Separatist Alliance and one of the few humans alive Qymaen respected. "The Organa family, like many of the so-called nobility of the Core, got rich from the resources of their home planet. Now, those resources feed the Republic's fleets. If we take Alderaan-" "-we ensure that the Republic has no fleet," Qymaen finished. "The sacrifice of Geonosis will not be forgotten," Dooku declared with a sweep of his hand, "but we must not forget that we are an alliance. Any sacrifices made by our members will be rewarded when we are all free from the crushing yoke of the Republic." If Qymaen Jai Shaleel had cared, he might have pointed out the irony of the Count's statement. Qymaen Jai Shaleel, however, most definitely did not care. As the holograms shut off, the pair turned to the Devastation's viewport; as expected, the laser fire on Hypori was dying down, as the last pockets of Republican resistance were annihilated. "We're taking a massive risk," Dooku warned. "If this doesn't work-" "This is our only hope," Qymaen responded. "You know that. Our Clone armies mean nothing without naval superiority; the campaigns in the Mid Rim proved this. Alderaan will be a battle neither of us can afford to lose." His insectoid face twisted with a smile under his mask again. "Just the way I like it." The Separatist fleet moved into their occupation formation. Operation Durge's Lance, or what would go down in history as the First Core Campaign of the Clone Wars, had begun. The Mon Calamari Senator sunk to the ground, eyes wide with terror, as the red lightsaber raked across his gills. As he writhed around on the ground, slowly suffocating to death, Maul turned away from his latest victim. Striking blow after blow against the Senate, epicenter of the accursed Republic, should have thrilled him. And yet, it was getting so... monotonous. There was no satisfaction in slaughtering a bunch of morons who thought it was a good idea to take their Star Yachts on pleasure cruises in the midst of civil war. Of course, his Master had impressed upon him the need to lay low after the Battle of Naboo. Naboo... With a snarl, he turned on what had become the corpse of the murdered Senator, lightning bursting from his fingers. It hurled the corpse against the Yacht's hull, as it snaked into the vessel's air vents. Finally, Maul sunk to the floor, exhausted. The infuriating face of that boy flashed before him, mocking him. The howl of grief he let out upon seeing Maul murder his master still rang in the Sith's ears. Why couldn't he get the brat out of his head? Why did he care? His audio transmitter let out its telltale crackle. Master. His fingers darted over to the device, the representation of the only contact with another human being he had had for over a decade. As his fingers brushed the activation button, the voice of his master, garbled by the communication device, filled the room. "Report, my apprentice." "Senator Cilan Ackbar is dead, Master," Maul responded, trying to keep the discomfort out of his voice. Evidently, he failed. "Something... disturbs you, apprentice?" Darth Sidious asked. No use in hiding it. "Master," he began, "I understand the need to hide after Naboo. But I tire of this! Slaughtering Senators is nothing more than busywork, I need-" "The Skywalker boy bothers you," Sidious replied. It was not a question. "Why?" "I don't know," Maul responded, truthfully(though, he wasn't sure he wanted to know). "I just- I hate him! I want him dead!" Dead, or out of mind? He dismissed the idea. A chuckling came from the other side of the comm link. "Well, my apprentice," said Sidious, "I have a new assignment. One you may prefer." "Where?" Maul tried and failed to mask the apprehension in his voice. "Tatooine." Obi-wan found his apprentice staring out the Pride of the Core's viewport at the blue of the hyperspace tunnel in his bedchambers. The Republic's fleet was returning to Coruscant- something about a new Separatist offensive- but not before a cloud of Star Destroyers reduced the Cloning facility to rubble. Obi-wan had felt the voices of the workers cry out in terror, and felt them, over the course of minutes, slowly and excruciatingly be silenced. He knew Anakin had felt it too. He shut the sliding door behind him, fully entering the bedroom. "Anakin." His apprentice turned, regarding him silently. His eyes were red; he had been crying. "What does the Council have to say?" Anakin asked evenly. "They're apparently having a hearing for you;" at this dread flashed across Anakin's face. "Don't worry," Obi-wan continued, raising his hand to his apprentice's shoulder, "I can represent you there if you wish." Anakin raised his head, meeting his Master's eyes for the first time. "You're not angry," he observed. Obi-wan sat down across from his apprentice. "I was down there with you. I saw what you saw. How could I be angry after that?" Anakin raised his eyebrows; this clearly wasn't the reaction he'd been expecting. "What?" Obi-wan asked. "You think I never lose myself? You think I'm always some perfect saint, some warrior monk? Hopefully, after three years, you know me better than that." Anakin exploded. "Then why aren't we searching for him?" He didn't need to say who 'him' referred to. Obi-wan's face darkened despite himself. "Anakin," he said, "there has not been a single day since Naboo where part of me doesn't want to crush that bastard for what he did to Qui-gon. But we can't let what we hate define who we are; that isn't just true of Jedi, it's true of all of us." He leaned forwards. "Anakin, how do you feel about what happened?" "Terrible," Anakin replied without hesitation. "I felt every single miner who died in there. I owed it to them." He stared Obi-wan straight in the eyes. "But I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'd do it because there wasn't another option. I'd do it because I wasn't going to send men it was my duty to protect back into that hell. What do you want me to do, just let them die?" Obi-wan sat still for a long time, lost in thought. Finally, he responded. "Maybe." He swept his hand gently on the table, cutting off a response from Anakin he knew was coming. "Anakin, I know the Jedi Code isn't perfect. But what code is? Justice isn't perfect; it can hurt people. But it's when the Codes hurts people that it's most important to follow them; that's when the pull of the Dark Side is the strongest. I'll never be rid of the part of me that wants the quick and easy path, I don't think. I'll never be rid of the part of me that would like nothing more than to kill Darth Maul slowly and painfully. But I can resist it; and I have." He clasped his apprentice's hand in his own. "You're a strong man, Anakin, one of the strongest men I've ever known. We can and will resist this part of you together." As he reached the sliding door, he turned. "By the way," he said, "you've apparently been invited to a party on Coruscant. For the successful conclusion of this campaign." He cracked a smile. "What are my commands, against an invitation from Chancellor Valorum himself?" He resumed his rounds on the Pride of the Core, pushing another voice back to his subconscious. It wasn't enough.
  5. Nah, I've already played the original game and have a bunch of other stuff to play right now.
  6. How do you determine what is right and wrong?

    That isn't hedonism, though. Hedonism holds that it is most moral to seek happiness for YOU SPECIFICALLY. Your beliefs sound like positive utilitarianism; utilitarianism holds that the best course of action is that which leads to the greatest good for the greatest number of people, and you seem to define good as how happy people are. Your system does seem to have another problem, additionally. What about situations where you can't be certain of the facts of the situation, or results? What if, for example, a classmate jokes about shooting up a school? You could report it, in order to avoid a massacre, but you can't be certain if they actually intend to do it; if they didn't, you'd be ruining the life of someone basically just because they made a joke in bad taste. Personally, I essentially support Kant's system of ethics. Before taking any action, ask: what the results would be if everyone took this action. For example, you could lie in court to protect someone you think is innocent, but if everyone lied in court we would have no way to find criminals. It's when following our moral principles hurts others that it's most important to follow them; corruption and evil always starts with evil acts the perpetrators believe are necessary.
  7. The Decline and Fall of the Galactic Republic: a Star Wars Prequels Rewrite

    It has been three years since the Galaxy descended into civil war. The Republic, led by Chancellor Valorum, seeks to reassert control over the corporation-planets of the Separatist Alliance, led by the former Jedi Knight Count Dooku. Families are torn apart, planets despoiled, livelihoods ruined- the Galaxy bleeds. On Coruscant, dissatisfaction rises against the Jedi Order, once revered as guardians of peace. The Jedi themselves fear the return of the mysterious and sinister Sith Lords. There is, however, hope. A Republic fleet has succeeded in breaking through Separatist defenses and now stands poised to strike the key Separatist world of Geonosis, known for its resources needed for the production of the Separatist's Clone Army. The coming battle could prove decisive for the future of the entire Galaxy... Chapter 1: The Battle of Geonosis The massive blue tunnel of hyperspace seemed to consume the bridge of the ship, bathing it in light. The sense of calm this imparted clashed with the actual atmosphere; tension gripped the men and women of the bridge, as it did in every bridge of the Republic fleet. Anyone who said they had grown used to what had been termed the "hellish hour" was lying. No one could ever truly get over the impending dread of an event that had such a high probability of killing them. And the probability of death in a battle of the Clone War was high indeed. Admiral Mitsuki Sato, standing in front of the thronelike chair in the center of the room, hands clasped behind her back, had grown used to masking this dread. That, she reasoned, was one of her responsibilities as a commander. "Prepare to exit hyperspace," she ordered evenly. "All crew, battle stations." The hyperspace tunnel receded around them, the target of the most ambitious(not to mention important) offensive of the war came into view. Geonosis. Sato's eyes darted to the bridge's viewscreen, as her fleet exited light speed one by one. Star Destroyers, the backbone of the Republic's fleets. Star Carriers, each holding tens of thousands of Tie Fighters. Star Frigates, quick and nimble. And her own ship: The Pride of the Core, the first of what was being called a Star Dreadnought. The Republic had spared no expense for this operation. Glancing at the enemy fleet, she noted with relief that the Republic's speed had payed off. The Separatist fleet defending Geonosis was outnumbered by over three to one; they clearly hadn't been expecting the Republican Navy to tear out of the Core so quickly. Let's keep it that way, Sato thought, drawing in her breath. "Frigates to the flanks," she barked, "First and Third Carrier Flotillas, with them. Destroyers, begin laying down fire!" It was a tried and true tactic exploiting the weakness of the Separatist Destroyer; while absurdly heavily armored to their front, their rears were drastically under equipped. When they were outnumbered, overwhelming them was simple. Apparently, the Separatists could see it too. As the Star Carriers released a swarm of Tie Fighters, a small group of Separatist Cruisers peeled off from the main fleet. Sato reacted instantly. "13 Star Destroyer Wing, tail those cruisers," she demanded. "Don't let them jump." It went without saying that the Separatist's communications had been jammed; their high command would discover the situation eventually, but it was best to put that off for as long as possible. As the Separatist fleet crumbled under pressure from the Ties and Destroyers, Sato shook her head; who tries to jump into hyperspace in open battle anymore? Making that jump required all of a ship's energy; with no shields any commander with a modicum of competence would cripple it long before it made the jump. The Separatists never had a chance. She picked up her comm link. "Enemy fleet cleared. General Windu, ground assault can begin." Mace Windu's familiar voice read out commands mechanically, filling the interior of the gunships as they swarmed from the bays of the troopships. "Legions 1-55, assault the surface capitol. Legions..." his voice droned on, as if it was some schoolmaster's speech at a graduation no one wanted to be at. As if it was anything but men being informed how they would die. Finally, the fated words filled the lead gunship. "Legions 500 and 501, attack the anti-air formations around the catacombs." The dread that had been building in Anakin Skywalker's stomach exploded all at once. The Separatists would have fortified their anti-air most of all. It would be a slaughter. Once, a different man would have snarled in rage and frustration. It wasn't fair! This was the second time in a row the 501st had been assigned to AA duty. He was no longer that man, however. He was a Jedi, a leader of men- men that, unlike him, did not have a lightsaber. He turned to his adjutant in the 501st, Captain Rex, who, like most Stormtroopers, had elected to keep his helmet off until absolutely necessary. Their eyes met; Rex nodded grimly. The pair had fought through hundreds of battles on hundreds of systems; any terror had been beaten out of them. The rest of the 501st were keeping it together as well. Their reputation as the elites of the Grand Army of the Republic was well-deserved. Clearly, though, it was a double edged sword. The Gunship's bay doors opened; the grim resolve evaporated. Spread out before them was a scene out of hell. Tie Bombers, Gunships, even a few Frigates swarmed around a hulking mountain that had once been grey but now was bristling with steel. Geonosis's famous cloning facility. Each laser blast sent a tremor through the planet's surface, hurling vast clouds of dust into the air. Laser fire emanated from the mountain, too; a Star Frigate buckled under the pressure, hurtling to the ground wrapped in flames. Before the mountain extended a vast desert, crossed with countless trenches manned by Clones bred only to kill. And on the highest peak: the anti-air formation. This was Geonosis. A woman's voice from the back of the ship expressed what everyone was thinking: "We have to take that?" Anakin turned around, speaking almost automatically. "Yes," he replied, "and we will take that. We'll take it, together, because the alternative is death. And I swear on my honor as a Jedi that today is not the day we die! We'll take that mountain, and live!" He ignored the part of him that knew his bravado was false. Fortunately, the Stormtrooper didn't seem to notice, slipping on her helmet; the rest of the 501st followed suit. The Gunship lowered to the ground, at the foot of the mountain. The 501st charged out to be met by a hail of fire. With practiced ease, Anakin sliced through the laser fire. Behind him, his squad advanced, spread out in a group, crawling, partially concealed by dust. Intellectually he knew the strategy saved lives; in the moment, with screams of agony bursting from men and women he had been promising to protect less than a minute ago, it seemed comically foolish. His eyes caught another blade of blue light in the makeshift sandstorm. Obi-wan. Sure enough, his(soon to be former) Master emerged from the cloud, deflecting shot after shot. Their eyes met. "We can't keep up like this!" Obi-wan bellowed. He was right; the usual strategy, of using the Jedi as magnets for fire, clearly was failing in the face of overwhelming enemy firepower. "So clear the trench!" Anakin yelled back. The pair dashed forwards, the first Separatist trench quickly approaching. They landed in it back to back, Clone defenders struggling to retreat. Lightsabers flashing, they advanced methodically; any acknowledgement of the Clones as anything other than the enemy was long gone. Stormtroopers reached the edge of the trench, spitting blaster fire down into the chaos. Clone resistance melted away. The 501st, now mixed interchangeably with Obi-wan's men, collapsed into the trenches. Men and women from all across the Core lay together in shared relief, and tried to ignore the path that this trench was just one of dozens standing between them and their goal. Obi-wan and Anakin didn't have that luxury. The younger Jedi peeked over the top of the trench. The view from the gunship hadn't really done the sandstorm on the ground justice. He wasn't even secure in the direction the enemy was in. They'd have to... no... The flashes of electrical light gave him a warning of one second as to the onslaught to come. A horde of lithe, armored figures stormed into the trench. Clone Commandos, genetically modified to be killers. Magnaguards. One caught Anakin's lightsaber on its deadly electrostaff; cries of shock and fear filled the trench as the Magnaguards cut through the unprepared Stormtroopers like scythes. Pain seared up in Anakin's calf; the next instant Obi-wan was there, decapitating the Magnaguard whose staff had moments before been boring into the Jedi's leg. After a wordless glance, they threw themselves back into battle. Anakin sliced through the metallic handle of a Magnaguard's staff, a nearby explosion throwing him off balance. Wait... that means... An eardrum-shattering blast seemed to explode all around him. Earth was flung up all around him as his world became black. Anakin strode through the sickbay of the Pride of the Core, ignoring the protestations of the nurses calling after him. Truthfully, his head was still pounding, but that didn't matter. He was an officer of the Grand Army of the Republic, and he had a job to do. Suddenly, someone caught his eye; he stopped. It was the Stormtrooper from before; she lay propped against the wall, hugging her legs to her chest. What really froze the Jedi were her eyes. They stared straight ahead, unmoving, unresponsive. We'll take that mountain and live. Damn liar. He banished these thoughts from his head, and strode out the door. "What happened?" Mace Windu's fearsome reputation was, Mitsuki Sato decided, well founded. How the other Jedi maintained his composure in the face of it baffled her. "What happened was," Obi-wan Kenobi replied evenly, "we launched an attack on a Separatist trench system in the midst of a sandstorm! Just what did you think was going to happen when we used orbital bombardment on a desert?" Windu, apparently bereft of a response, turned on Sato. "How close are the Separatists?" He demanded. Sato didn't flinch. "Our scout ships report a large enough fleet to disrupt surface operations no more than three days away." She let that hang in the air; both Obi-wan and Windu paled. Three days was hardly any leeway at all. Windu ignored the sound of an opening door that heralded the arrival of Anakin Skywalker. "Then our only option," he declared, "is a full-scale assault on the entrance to the Geonosian mining facilities. It will-" "WHAT?" Anakin had stopped dead in his tracks, fists clenched. "I just saw my soldiers broken because of your stupid plan! The only thing they have left is the fact that they're not going back there, and you want to take that from them too!" Obi-wan rested his hand on his forehead, sighing. "There is no other option!" Mace retorted. "Either we take the mine in the next three days or we lose everything we worked for, making the whole operation pointless!" "There is another choice." An aristocratic voice cut through the argument. Mace, Sato, Anakin, and Obi-wan turned and saluted stiffly. Grand Admiral Willhuff Tarkin exuded class and menace, even in the form of a hologram. His thin face, aquiline nose, and beady eyes gave him the appearance of a predator. It had been he who had designed the strategy for the Republic's grand offensive; he opted to simply destroy Separatist fleets, while leaving their Clone garrisons to starve. "And what might that be, Grand Admiral?" Mace asked stiffly. "We have total orbital supremacy, do we not?" Tarkin asked nonchalantly. "We could simply bombard the mine from space until the falling rocks seal it off." The room was silent. Finally, Mace said: "There are civilians in that mine. Innocent civilians-" "Your so-called civilians are working day in and day out to produce the Clone soldiers that kill our brave troops every day," Tarkin sneered. "They are traitors to the Republic. You wouldn't be prioritizing traitors over our soldiers?" His expression of righteous distaste showed no indication of being false but for the experience of those with him. "I forbid it," Mace declared. "You know military law as well as I: you need the approval of a Jedi for something like this." The old approval clause. Sato grimaced. It had been introduced by the Jedi as condition for their support of the war effort. They wouldn't- "I'll give support." Everyone in the room froze. It was Anakin.
  8. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

    It is indeed, thanks very much!
  9. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

    Right, so you all know how there's that one song that has a few notes that sound like the Game of Thrones theme? It's like Bum bum bum bum bum- BUM bum bum bum... etc. It plays when Mikhail is about to do the thing in Chapter 8. What's the name of the song?
  10. The Decline and Fall of the Galactic Republic: a Star Wars Prequels Rewrite

    Chapter 13: End of a Master Anders Valorum hadn't met his daughter's eyes since she had returned. for Padme, that was the worst thing of all. She could handle rage, or shouting, or even disappointment- but not knowing? That was worse than simple rage ever could be. Sitting across from her father at the breakfast table, she finally spoke up. "I'm sorry." Whatever response she had been expecting, it wasn't what she got. "Finally," her father responded, almost wryly. "I was wondering when you'd say it." Padme almost choked. "You were staying silent like it was a game?" she demanded. "You're in no position to get angry," her father replied flatly. "What were you thinking?" "I wanted to do something." "Like getting yourself killed? Do you think I want that? Do you think the Republic wants that?" "It's better than-" she blurted, then stopped herself. "Better than what?" Valorum asked calmly, steel in his eyes. She didn't respond. "BETTER THAN WHAT?" She jumped slightly. "Better than- better than sitting in an office all day doing nothing. Like you." Valorum looked about to respond; with a forcefulness that shocked even her, Padme continued. "I saw slavery on Tatooine. I saw people under our protection who had given up all hope because our officials were bribed. Where were we for them?" "What would you have me do?" Valorum demanded. "Kill all the corrupt officials? Send Stormtroopers to kill Jabba the Hutt, who we have a treaty with? I'm limited by Republic law." She was silent. "What would you have me DO?!" "I don't know." It was a lie, but she thought, a needed one. Her father wouldn't like to hear her thoughts. Change the law. The first thing Anakin felt as he regained consciousness was softness. That was strange. The bridge wasn't soft. Was this- A kindly voice cut through his thoughts. "It seems he's awake." His eyes blinked open, meeting those of a middle-aged woman in a white coat, hair done back in a bun. "Do you feel your hand?" she asked. My hand... my hand... no... It all came flooding back. Haltingly, he raised his arm and was greeted with the sight of metal fingers. His fist clenched and unclenched before his eyes, almost of its own accord; his mind was swimming. Qui-gon... He sunk back into his bed, sobs wracking his body like never before. Obi-wan had never expected, nor wanted, Qui-gon's funeral to be like this. It had all the trappings of a traditional Jedi funeral, to be sure. The entire Order stood in a semicircle, first Masters, then Knights, then Padawans. At the center of it all, a massive pyre burned Qui-gon's body, as his soul became one with the Force. It was impossible, though, to ignore what was different. Stormtroopers stood at attention on either side of the ceremony; this was now a military funeral, as well as one for a Jedi. A pall hung over the ceremony; Mace Windu and Yoda had been conversing in a hushed tone during all of the proceedings. The smoke began to dissipate, as his Master was reduced to ashes. The Stormtroopers snapped to attention, marching out of the temple. The members of the Order followed in a trickle. Obi-wan weaved his way through them. The charred corpse that had once been his Master and best friend would have been hard to look at had it been recognizable; all Obi-wan could do was picture Qui-gon's face. The tears didn't come; he had cried them all on the voyage back to Coruscant. His Master dead and for what? Oh, they were calling it a victory, with Naboo being liberated. Anyone at the battle could tell you the truth. The Separatist fleet, outnumbered ten to one, had been able to escape mostly intact. Another victory like this and the war will be lost. "Obi-wan." A high pitched yet wizened voice interrupted his reverie. He turned around, and was greeted by the hunched form of Master Yoda. "For your loss, sorry I am. Sadness, Jedi are not supposed to feel, but..." he shifted on his cane. "Now, inevitable it is." Obi-wan simply nodded; he didn't know what there was to say. "Difficult, in this time it is," Yoda continued, "but the matter of Anakin Skywalker, we must discuss." "He will need a new Master," Obi-wan replied hoarsely. "I don't-" "You, it will be." Obi-wan greeted Yoda's interjection with stunned silence. Finally, he spoke up. "Me?" "Sell yourself short, you do, hmmm?" Yoda smiled knowingly. "Qui-gon's will, it was. Confidence in you, he had." "I don't know if I-" Yoda gently waved his hand. "Right, he i-was. Your apprentice, Skywalker shall be." His brow furrowed with mild effort. "Ah. Time to meet your apprentice, I sense." With that, he hobbled away. Obi-wan stood as if anchored to the floor, until a familiar figure entered through the door. "I've been told-" Anakin Skywalker said stiffly. "That I'm your Master," Obi-wan replied. "As an Order we teach two control your emotions. But you're not technically in the Order yet." He moved towards his apprentice, wrapping him into a hug. Anakin's arms hung limply by his sides, in shock, before he tentatively met his Master's embrace. What a disappointment, thought Darth Sidious, lingering in the shadows of a fallen Knight's funeral. His apprentice had shown so much promise- and all to be humbled by a spoiled rich girl who had never held a blaster. Maul really was a mad dog- pure destruction, with no direction. All that work, wasted. The Knight- Obi-wan Kenobi- finally released his new apprentice from his embrace. They exchanged words- meaningless drivel, Sidious knew- and the Master departed. The Palawan approached the corpse of the man who would be his Master. The Sith Lord leaned in. It was almost imperceptible- but the boy clenched his fist. Sidious smiled. Perhaps it wasn't a waste after all.
  11. Really collaboration in general during WWII is interesting to me. It's obviously an extremely sensitive topic, but I can't help but feel that whether you're a treasonous collaborator or a forwards thinking hero depended on if your side won.
  12. The Decline and Fall of the Galactic Republic: a Star Wars Prequels Rewrite

    Chapter 12: Fear and Anger Anakin Skywalker guessed it had been around half an hour had passed since he had realized he had never known true fear. He had been scared before, certainly. Scared of walking in on one of Watto's drunken rages, scared of Sebulba getting more enthusiastic than usual in his beatings, scared of being sold to someone else, into the unknown. But through all of it, he had kept going; he had walked into the room, he had met Sebulba's gaze without flinching. Not like now. He was sitting on the floor of the cargo hold, staring at the door, immobile. His hands were clenched into fists beside him, knuckles white; it was all he could do to keep his breath in control. He had never wanted anything in his life more, it seemed, than to not leave the room. "The- I don't here fighting." That was Padme, speaking for the first time since this nightmare started. In the back of his mind, Anakin admired her composure; she sat upright, calmly, the only indication of what she felt a quiver in her voice. "Can you find where he is?" Anakin was shaken out of his stupor. He tried and failed to quiet the terror; he needn't have bothered. The intruder was bathed in pure, undisguised hatred. And it was moving away. "I think he's heading for the bridge," Anakin said flatly. Towards Qui-gon. He dismissed the notion. Don't be a fool. Qui-gon wouldn't have wanted that. "I think- if we hurry, we can reach the escape pods." They burst out of the room, passing scene after scene of pure carnage. Stormtroopers lay scattered on the floor like rag dolls; Anakin nearly tripped over a severed, armored forearm. He clenched and unclenched his fist. They ran through corridors filled with dead men whose faces were frozen with sheer terror. The door to the escape pod bay slid open; Padme darted in ahead of him. Anakin didn't move. She turned to him. "Anakin? Come o-" "I hate this." "What?" "I hate this. Being powerless." He pointed behind him. "Qui-gon, my master, the man who freed me from slavery, is back there, fighting, and here I am, running away." "Maybe he'll win," Padme offered, edging closer to an escape pod. Anakin shook his head. "You saw that man on Tatooine. We both did. He was better, more powerful." "Then what can you DO?!" Padme demanded, desperation finally breaking into her voice. Anakin ignored her. Turning on his heels, he marched back, towards the bridge and his destiny. If he was honest with himself, the fear was still there. But something else was there, too. It grew with every corpse he passed- every man who would never see his family again, cut down by a Dark Lord of the Sith with nothing but a blaster at his side. By what right does he take their lives? Anakin's stride quickened into a run. The doors to the bridge slid open. Qui-gon Jinn rose from his meditation, meeting the Sith's glare with his own steely gaze. "So this is where you were," Maul sneered. "Hiding in the bridge as your men were slaughtered. Not much has changed in your order since Dathomir." Dathomir. Yet again, the Jedi were paying for that sin. "Did killing them ease your pain?" "It was the greatest moment of my life," Maul retorted, the uneasy edge to his voice betraying his false bravado, "but not half as great as killing you." "I'm sorry." The Sith looked taken aback. "What did you say?" "I know you're too far down the dark path for this to matter," Qui-gon said evenly, "but that doesn't change the fact that what the Republic did to your people, and the Jedi doing nothing, were inexcusable. So I'm sorry." Maul's eyes widened. "How-" his lips curled into a snarl. Igniting both sides of his lightsaber, he hurled himself at the Jedi Master. Qui-gon's blade rose to meet him. Qui-gon blocked Maul's initial strike, his arms nearly buckling under the pressure of the younger man's attack. He retreated across the bridge, maintaining a defensive stance. Maul advanced, swinging his lightsaber in wide arcs; sparks flew as Maul dragged his blades across the computers that lined the room. He launched into a spinning somersault with his lightsaber in front, knocking Qui-gon's blade aside; the Jedi reflexively jumped back, Maul's blade passing mere inches from his face. Qui-gon regained his balance, his saber darting up and catching Maul's own blade. "I understand your rage," Qui-gon shouted, "but this won't ease my pain?" "Then what will?" the Sith roared, knocking Qui-gon's lightsaber aside in a sudden surge of strength. The Jedi cried out in pain as his opponent's saber seared his forearm. Rebalancing, he lunged at Maul's defenses; their blades clashed for a split second, before Qui-gon threw himself back, recovering his defensive stance. "You could still end this," he said. "Forget all this happened, turn away from this path!" "SHUT UP!" Maul swung his lightsaber up, and Qui-gon caught it again. Every bone in the Sith's body strained as he pushed at Qui-gon's braced muscles with all his hatred. The Jedi could feel his strength being sapped, his muscles quivering, his body screaming at him to just give in. Maul could feel it too. With a predatory grin, he redoubled his attack, pushing his blade closer and closer to his rival. This is the end. Qui-gon felt the strife within him fade. I accept my end. I accept my sacrifice that others may escape. Others... Anakin. His eyes widened in shock. What was the boy doing? It was the last thing he ever felt. Like lightning, Maul reversed his grip on his weapon. Before Qui-gon could react, his opponent's blade lunged towards him. A burning pain seared through Qui-gon's chest. He heard a clatter next to him; it felt so far away. The fssst of a lightsaber retracting sounded somewhere far away. He felt nothing. Anakin heard it before he saw it. Something clattering. It could only be- No. He dismissed the thought. Rushing into the bridge- he saw it. Qui-gon Jinn lay crumpled on the ground, lightsaber by his side, the Sith Lord standing over him in triumph. Anakin could have felt a lot of things. The desire to flee. Blame for himself. Devastation. Instead, he felt only one- it wasn't really a feeling, so much as it was a need. Reflexively, his hand reached out, as his mind zeroed in on the weapon that had once belonged to the man who would have been his master. It hurtled into his hand; green light burst from it once more. Anakin let out a bloodcurdling, guttural howl: "I'LL KILL YOU!" He hurled himself at Maul, seeing only his master and the one who killed him. The Sith Lord turned towards him, in utter shock. He barely rose his blade in time to block Anakin's first strike. The boy let out another cry, bludgeoning Maul's blade with his own. The Sith took one step back, then another, then another, each of Anakin's frenzied blows a tide that eroded his defenses. Yes. Yes! He was doing it. He was- A spin from his opponent's blade swept his lightsaber to the side. Maul's foot rose up. smashing into Anakin's stomach, the wind flying out. Anakin slid across the floor, being brought to a stop by a chair. He gasped for air, the fear now rising within him. Looking up, he expected death. It never came. Maul was staring silently at him, seeming almost... frozen. The idea of flight sprung into Anakin's mind. No. If I give into fear I lose. He pushed himself to his feet and charged again. His assault seemed to end his opponent's stupor. Maul ignited his second blade, rising up his weapon to meet Anakin's with a practiced ease. The two forms were frozen in combat, Anakin struggling to push against the Sith's seemingly effortless defense. As he stood there, with a weapon he had never wielded, against an opponent who had felled the most powerful Jedi he had ever seen, an awful realization washed over Anakin. This is how I die. Maul seemed to confirm this idea. He twisted his weapon up, his second blade arcing towards Anakin's arm. Before the boy could react his opponent sliced through his wrist like butter. Anakin screamed; the feeling of his hand had been replaced by a pure, white-hot agony. He tried to think; the pain triumphed over all. Nothing seemed to matter anymore; nothing except making the pain stop. Maul pushed out his arm; his opponent was lifted off the ground and slammed against the bridge's viewport. He slid to the ground, his body refusing to response to his pleas for movement.The Sith moved towards him, almost haltingly, his lightsaber the sign of the end. Anakin closed his eyes, waiting for the end. At least he had gotten off of Tatooine. A single blaster shot rang out; Maul stumbled, pain etched across his face. Anakin looked up. Padme stood there, a blaster in her shaking hands, firing shot after shot at the Sith. Maul turned, his blade flashing as he deflected shot after shot, nursing a blaster burn on his leg. Suddenly, the red was joined by flashes of blue. Obi-wan? As Obi-wan Kenobi hurled himself at Maul, lightsabers crackling, Padme rushed to Anakin's side. She cradled him in her arms; he was groaning. "It will be okay," she reassured. "Everything will be all right." As she soothed him, part of her realized how pathetic it must have sounded; the other part, though, didn't care. "You're safe now. We're safe." Maul and Obi-wan remained locked in struggle; the Sith's leg wound slowed him down. Maul sent out a wave of the Force, sending Obi-wan stumbling back. It was all he needed; the Sith turned and vanished into the bowels of the ship. Obi-wan turned around, his eyes falling on the corpse of his Master. He collapsed to the floor. The Republic fleet was in disarray. From its Lucrehulks, the Separatist armada had focused a counterattack on the center of the enemy lines; with contact mysteriously lost with the Command Ship, the Republic's defense turned into a mess. With its center decimated by Vulture Droids, the left and right flanks of the fleet were drifting, like useless appendages. "My Count," Lot Durd, the fleet's Nemoidian Admiral, said from the Separatist flagship's bridge, "the enemy fleet is in complete confusion. Now is our chance to-" "Initiate a complete withdraw," Count Dooku interjected, his voice stiff. "We have been granted a-" he took in a breath- "an unprecedented opportunity. We must not waste it. Send the fleet into hyperspace and leave me." As he watched the space around him be consumed by the blue of hyperspace, the new leader of half of the galaxy let the tears flow freely.
  13. The Most Complex/Convoluted Plan in the Series

    To be fair, though, Sephiran as Chancellor of Begnion had a fair bit of influence over international relations. Rudolph, meanwhile, had no control whatsoever over whether or not Alm gets cancer or something. Although, we never actually see Sephiran use his position as Chancellor to further his plans... Come to think of it, RD would have made so much more sense if Sephiran was leading the Senate and had couped Sanaki and we knew this from day one; then his motives could still be revealed as a twist but his plan would be so much more likely to succeed.
  14. General "mass killings" thread

    Somewhat related: one of my friends is now leaning away from going to the US for university partially because of this(he's also black, so that's a factor too). I wasn't going to go anyway because the UK lets me focus on history right away, but this certainly doesn't help matters.
  15. FE Villain Headcanons

    Right, I guess this counts. On the surface, the events of Conquest happen as presented. However, the specific events and motivations behind the actions of the characters has been changed. My headcanon is that Xander and Corrin were just as bad as Garon and waited until the conquest of Hoshido to stage a coup; then King Xander used a propaganda machine to claim that Garon was possesed, justifying his removal. He also presented himself and Corrin as opposing Nohrian atrocities in an attempt to win over his new Hoshidan subjects. Thus, the story of Conquest is revisionist official history produced by the Nohrian state to cover up its atrocities in Hoshido or blame it all on one man who's now gone, somewhat analogous to the Turkish government's treatment of the Armenian Genocide.