Warning: Some Profanity. Viewer Discretion is Advised.
This is an origin story for the character Lithium (Star Wars). Visit the main page for reference.
So how exactly is a villain born? Some would say that each person is born either evil or good in nature. Others even have a philosophical point of view:
"Good is born, but Evil is taught."
This story, however, may prove the opposite.
Prologue - The Birth Edit
"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another."
-Robert Oppenheimer, scientific director of the Manhattan Project.
"Life is an interesting concept, don't you think?" said the man. "We are born so imperfectly. We live our typical, boring lives, and are expected to achieve everything from nothing. Then consider how quick it can be taken from us. Mortals are so... delicate. And I know we live in a 'civilized' galaxy where we have such trivial technology as blasters, lightsabers, spacecraft. In a way, I admire their ignorance. Then we see the Force-wielders, the Jedi and Sith who have ravaged every planet from Coruscant to Dathomir. So caught up in their individual conflict that they lose their way and devote themselves to invisible monsters and dangerous methods of killing each other. Don't kid yourself, though. There is no hope for peace for anyone. Not the bankers on Nar Shaddaa, not the Jedi councilmen, no one. The galaxy will rot inside and out within centuries. The Jedi and Sith will destroy it as the common man watches hopelessly, who can only try to defend themselves and their family. Some will deserve it, others are innocent. The only hope for a man such as myself to live is to change how the world will end. And I choose science..." the scientist said as the lightning struck.
Chapter 1: A Junk Man on a Junk WorldEdit
Lotho Minor: the Junk World. It would never quite make galactic headlines for thousands of years when Darth Maul resurfaced. But this story is not about a Sith. Oh yes, there are Sith in it, you may even see a Dark Lord or two. Ok, that's enough exposition. Let me tell you the damn story.
- "Welcome to Lotho Minor, kids. If there's any one place where the galaxy's trash finally comes to rest, it's Lotho."
- -Han Solo
The world wasn't ALL junk. For example, there were some small shacks and towns made of the junk. And in these crappy little towns were humans. Granted, the massive amounts of radiation on the planet made them far from anything close to a traditional human. However, for the most part, this radiation did NOT grant the inhabitants of the planet superpowers, morseo things like cancer, radiation poisoning, prolonged exposure to unstable plutonium of course causing a very excruciating and slow death, you know the story. Well, perhaps you didn't really, because Lotho Minor was, put simply, a shitty place. But on the subject of radiation poisoning, there were, of course, exceptions, and some fortunate souls actually did survive the deadly doses, and perhaps were even granted "superpowers."
One of these select few was the seven year old human named Lithium. What kind of parent would name their only child "Lithium," you ask? Well, the stuff was everywhere and pretty much everyone had the name, so, that's the dramatic backstory there. On this child's seventh birthday, he received the greatest gift of all: an unhappy divorce! His parents, Courtney and Kurt, were growing ever further apart and decided it was best that they were separated. Courtney took custody of Lithium as per the rules established by the town council, and his father, well, Lotho Minor was an interesting place. Long story short, you displease the woman, you die. Lithium never saw his father again (technically no one did, but I guess it's more dramatic to say his troubled son never saw his poor dad again.) Lithium, being a bipolar and mentally unstable little fellow, immediately felt responsible for his parent's separation. Many of his peers noticed a great shift in his personality. Lithium was no longer an optimistic young man who thought he could get off this junk planet, he was now a broken child who couldn't face his friends out of a lust for a "normal, functioning family." He never would have the security of a family again, and for that he resented his mother.
Hoping to bring Lithium out of his shell, Courtney found herself a new partner. This new partner was an instant classic to Lithium (note my sarcasm.) The boy witnessed domestic abuse multiple times, but never told the authorities out of fear that the abusive stepfather would hurt him. Eventually, the stepfather was found out and brutally slaghtered for "treating her mate unjustly." So now, Lithium was fatherless and soon to be motherless as Courtney had fallen deathly ill to, you guessed it, the flu. Just kidding, multiple different rapidly deforming cancers. Soon, poor Courtney died, leaving Lithium nothing and forcing him to live on the streets. He lived under the waste bridge for 7 years, sleeping on the lithium beds and fleeing from rising mercury tides. His teenage rebellion came suddenly, constantly vandalizing his town and committing petty thefts.
The Republic soon came to Lotho Minor, bringing the war with it. They set up dozens of military bases, bulldozing over his small town and leaving next to nothing left. Lithium began vandalizing Republic property as well, and there was no escaping the Troopers. They forcefully arrested him in a high speed chase through the sulfur fields and was shipped off to the big house, the Republic Judicial Central Detention Center in Coruscant. This was a temporary home for him.
Chapter 2: (In)FamousEdit
While in prison, Lithium continued to dwell on his troubled past, notably the loss of his first father. He believed that his father was the only one who could truly understand him, and that without him, he couldn't survive. But he did more than survive during his ten years in Republic prison, he thrived. He quickly established himself as the alpha predator in prison, even gainign respect and power over the elder inmates. He singlehandedly conquered every single gang in the facility, facing each leader in fair combat and easily dispatching them with muscles, street smarts, and a little help from a strange power he never truly understood. He saw this power as a hidden God who helped him on his journeys. His understanding of the scale of his powers was also little, as his only application as of then was concentrating on his opponent and watching him fall to his knees from massive internal pain.
Respect came with a price in prison, however. A top secret investigation was conducted on Lithium, to study his miraculous fighting ability and intellect. After months of observing, the issue was brought to the Jedi Council chamber. The Jedi saw great potential in Lithium and believed he had immense potential in the Force. And so Lithium was prematurely released from prison to be a covert Jedi recruit under direct command of Jedi Master Satele Shan. He passed every trial with flying colors, graduating years before his fellows, and was sent almost immediately to the battlefieled at the age of 24.
He was a massive asset to the Republic the next year, winning every single battle in command of thousands of Troopers, even personally dispatching high value Sith targets. He became recognized as a Republic war hero, decorated with dozens of medals and commendations. But Lithium himself hated the fame. He didn't want to be known as a war hero for anyone, it just wasn't his place. As he gained a better understanding of his power and how to use it, he grew to despise the Republic even more over time. He took a keen interest in science, particularly chemistry, and even tried to sign up for Republic Research Control multiple times, but the war always called upon him again. He resigned from the Republic military after years of torment, much to the Republic's surprise. After his resignation, he became known as a villain among Republicans, viewed as a traitor of freedom and a coward.
Of course, while he didn't so much like being famous, he was a practiced hand at being infamous.
Lithium disappeared from the galactic scene, supposedly going into hiding. Replacing the galactic scene, however, was the best bounty hunter of his time, Daud, or as you probably guessed, the new Lithium.
Chapter 3: Alter-EgoEdit
6 years later, at the age of 32...
"Eighteen years on this wretched rock, in this city of filth. I’ve felt the blood of scholars, of noble pedophiles, of guildsmen, of unfaithful lovers, of politicians who were far too just for their own good, and of law enforcers who came too close to bringing the wrong man to justice. How could a Supreme Chancellor be any different? Why should I feel the entire weight of this dying city crushing down on my back?
I remember the days of a simpler time back on Lotho Minor. It was junk, but it was where I was born, and that will never change. It brought back distant memories of home, and the optimistic young man I once was.
What would I find if I went back there? Would I find that it has rotted from the inside, just like Coruscant, or will it only appear that way because I’m the one who’s rotted?"
-Excerpt from Lithium's log
Lithium spent the next six years as a self-trained bounty hunter and assassin. Sometimes, well, more often than not, he found himself on the wrong side of the law. As he noted in hig log, he'd killed everyone from corrupt Republic senators to small time politicians who meant well but got on the bad side of one too many people. One of his victims, however, was the leader of the Republic itself, the Chancellor. But he soon realized that perhaps this politcian didn't deserve his wrath. He felt an overwhelming guilt as he watched Coruscant rot in front of him, spiraling out of control and into madness.
As time passed, he gained more and more understanding of his powers. His interest in science overcame his interest for blood, and he unveiled yet another alter-ego of his, John Locke, a Republic scientist. Sitings of Daud went down drastically, but a new problem had surfaced in Coruscant. The Rakghoul Plague, an ancient disease from Taris, had resurfaced in the galaxy and struck the inner workings of Coruscant like a bullet. Lithium, now with yet another personality, John Locke, worked tirelessly on a cure for the plague. After months of watching his city suffer, he was able to mass produce a vaccine which he merged with the water supply of the city, almostbeing arrested by Security Droids. His cure worked immediately and he was once again recognized as a hero of the Republic. Now, Lithium felt he was famous for the right reasons. He saved a city from the brink of destruction and ensured that the Republic would not fall, despite his former loathing of it.
Lithium found himself once again working closely with the Jedi council. As the war with the Sith Empire escalated, the Jedi had little choice other than complete eradication of the Sith. They sealed Locke in a room filled with blueprints for hours, forced to work all day every day for months on a new nuclear weapon that the Jedi hoped would win the war. But Lithium was relucant to finish the Republic's work. He began to once again realize the evil of the Jedi and Sith alike, and refused to finish the weapon. Just as he did, however, he was arrested for 500 counts of political murder, espionage, assassination of the Supreme Chancellor, and dozens of other heinous acts. The Republic knew that Locke, Lithium, and Daud were the same person the entire time.
He exploded in a fit of rage, completely prepared to test the scale of his newfound power. His recent work on the atomic bomb gave him a clear understanding of what exactly he was. He discovered that he could manipulate the atoms of any living thing, doing anything from inducing painful cancers to unleashing violent Gamma Rays. And he did exactly that to the men who dared lay their hands on him.
A fraction of Coruscant was now a heaping uninhabitable radioactive mess beyond repair. And Lithium was to blame.
Chapter 4: Simple ChemistryEdit
10 years later, age 42...
Upon finding the identity of the anonymous contractor who hired him to kill the Supreme Chancellor, Lithium briefly travels back to Coruscant to meet him and get his revenge. The following is an audiolog taken after the deed.
"So you've lost it all. Ruined at last. Royal Spymaster. Aberdeen Don. You small, worried man. You'll never know how many times I've thought about trying to get close to you again, just to put a piece of sharp metal in your eye.
But now there's no need. You've been taken down by the same apparatus that gave you life to begin with: laws and courtrooms and the mighty swell of public outrage.
Good riddance to you, sir. So many schemes you had and so many contracts. How many people did I kill for you? None like the last. None like him. I'd give back all the coin if I could. No one should have to kill the leader of a free Galaxy."
Lithium spent the next decade of his life leading it the only way he could: as an outlaw. He carried out his criminal life armed with a massive arsenal of traps and gadgets that would kill you faster than a scorned Sith and a mysterious set of powers that he could never truly understand the nature of. Something inside him wished he could be a Jedi again. But now, there was no hope. He betrayed the Republic when he killed its leader.
"I'd say I was being punished, but the galaxy doesn't punish wicked people. We make our choices and take what comes, and the rest is void. I can't say I wasn't warned."
Shortly after recording his audiolog, he received a untraceable hologram hail from an unknown signal. He checked the messenger for tracers, but there were none to be found.
A tall, masked man stood before him in holographic form. He would jump, but nothing surprised Lithium anymore.
"I have an interesting proposal for you, Dr. Lithium. My name is Gravatus."
To be continued in The Shadow Chronicles...