STAR WARS: DARKEST HOUR
Nineteen years before the Battle of Yavin, the First Galactic Empire founded by DARTH SIDIOUS is beginning to tighten its hold upon the galaxy. Its most visible component has become the military. New clone hosts and cloning facilities are very quickly swelling the ranks of the STORMTROOPERS, as is the forced conscription of young humans from occupied planets such as Coruscant. On that Core World, many find themselves faced with a decision: serve the Empire by choice or by force.
Rumor has it that not only does Sidious, also known as PALPATINE, want to hunt down any remaining loyalists to the Old Republic including surviving Jedi, but also to built a moon-size battle station with the code name of 'Death Star'. Are the rumors true? If any of the Empire's conscriptees fall out of line, will they be compelled to construct it at hard labor?
This is the story--the history--of the galaxy's darkest hour...
"Chasi?" Nylen Moranity, eighteen years old, swiveled her head around toward her best friend. "Can you believe this? Cha Drithma's just assigned us a huge paper on the causes of the Clone Wars by the beginning of next week! It's impossible. Not only is that far too big a subject to cover in only ten pages of flimsi, but I've got this urgent laboratory project to work on as well! Can't Cha Drithma understand that? I mean, I know she's Mon Calamari, but she should know humans better than that. We're not perfect--like her!" Nylen rolled her eyes, and Chasi Vtorie, also age eighteen, winked slyly at her.
"Don't worry. You just work on that lab project, and I'll work on the papers for both of us." Chasi was an exceptionally good student when it came to assignments of the essay variety. She was already a master of two and a half languages--galactic Basic (of course), Twi-lek, and beginning Mando. She brushed back a tendril of close-cropped red hair, biting her lower lip.
"I heard that, Vtorie." The holoimager projection of Cha Drithma, their teacher, turned slightly toward the flesh-and-blood human student. "You, and the 'someone' to whom you were talking, both know that cheating is strictly prohibited in this classroom. If you do what I suspect you're thinking of doing, you and your accomplice will both receive grades of zero for this assignment. I know you want to help, Chasi, but do so in a different way."
The rest of the class snickered, and Chasi sighed. Not only was it utterly humiliating to have had Cha Drithma overhear what she and Nylen had been murmuring, but it was even worse to be threatened with zeroes in front of everyone else! She bowed her head. Oh, well. I guess that's the price we pay for thinking of doing something dishonest.
She still didn't know how Nylen was going to be able to finish her lab project on time, however.
As for the aforementioned teenager, Nylen scrunched down in her seat and leaned in closer to Chasi. "How dare she, huh? She never even pronounces your name right, first or last. It's chuh-SEE fto-REE-yeh,
with the "EE" sounds in each word being more like 'uh-ee' said really fast instead of 'ee'." She shook her head. "You'll still do those papers, right?" Chasi nodded, and Nylen breathed a sigh of relief. Cloning, even the most basic kinds of cloning she was doing for her laboratory project, took several days. There was no way she could write a decent paper about the Clone Wars at the same time.
"Excuse me, class," said Cha Drithma, narrowing her eyes a bit. "We have some special guest speakers here with us today at this educational facility and over the holoimager. They represent the military of the First Galactic Empire, and they're here to talk with us about unique and immediate career opportunities for our graduating students." Chasi and Nylen inhaled sharply. This meant them,
and neither was keen on getting shot at. Not at all...