“Huh?!” Simon mumbled, confused, brushing the broken pieces of glass off of his shirt and sweatpants. Startled by the sound of a motor running, the teen brainiac slowly got to his feet, unsure of where exactly he was. Adjusting his wide-rimmed glasses, Simon stared around in each direction and noticed nothing but silver and gray metal all around him. Feeling a slight lift inside the ten-foot high chamber, he quickly realized that he was in an elevator of some sort going up. But to where? He had no idea.

His question would soon be answered as the motors of the elevator began to wind down and the car slowed to a crawl. There was a momentary pause and a slight thump as a series of red oval lights lit up in succession, bringing the elevator to a stop. When the doors opened, he was shocked at what he saw.

It was a strangely familiar room, or rather, a chamber of sorts. Directly in front of him was an oval barrier that circled around the entire elevator, leading down a long walkway to a large, steep flight of stairs. There was a lot of fancy electronics on each side of the metal staircase, stuff Simon had no clue about but would definitely love to operate someday. Drawn to the complexity of the machines, his eyes then shifted back to the top of the staircase, where a wide rectangular platform spread out across the entire width of the corridor. Directly in the center of the platform was a huge half-circle of a window with many shapes and sizes of metal criss-crossed to form its panes.

Beyond that was what appeared to be black space of some sort, speckled with white dots. It kind of reminded Simon of a background he once made for a science project in seventh grade. It was a constellation of stars designed to show the distance between planets in outer—

Wait a minute. Outer space??!!

Just as the thought entered his mind, he suddenly heard a mysterious breathing echo inside the room. Looking first to the left, then the right, then back to the left again, Simon couldn’t see anything inside the dark chamber. There was only that deep, almost recognizable breathing, which sounded like someone taking a deep lungful of air, then exhaling with an empty can over his mouth.

Curious but feeling his skin crawl, Simon finally stepped out of the elevator and onto the walkway. As he did, he suddenly noticed his wardrobe change almost instantaneously. Gone were with the white sweatshirt and sweatpants of Westin Hills. In its place was what looked like a brown cloak and brown pants, with a black belt across the middle of it and tall brown and black boots. It resembled something a monk would wear, but as soon as Simon saw it, he knew exactly what it was.

It was the garb of a Jedi Knight.

Then, all at once, everything hit him. This really was outer space, and he was trapped inside his dream. Freddy had managed to dig inside his head and find the one place that truly terrified him—The Death Star battle station—and lead him directly into the Emperor’s chamber. That heavy breathing was obviously that of Darth Vader, the Emperor’s right-hand man and most powerful of the Sith Lords known for his trademark black mask and deep voice.

Glancing at his own reflection in one of the machines, Simon noticed that his hairstyle was also different. His hair was trimmed up nicely, except for a small tail hanging off the back and the side, the symbol of a padawan learner, a Jedi’s apprentice. His vision, once artificially steadied by his bifocals, was now perfectly fine without them, so he tossed the specs to the ground with a clang. A Jedi’s vision is one of his most important allies, he thought with a smile. If I’m a Jedi, I wonder what else I can do in here?

However, he had little time to think about that, as his attention was again diverted back to the top of the platform. Directly in front of the large window to outer space sat a large metal chair, its back turned to Simon. Creaking slowly, the high-back throne of a seat slowly began to turn toward him. As it came into view, a dark figure sat stoically, carefully hidden beneath a black robe.

Intrigued, Simon approached the metal staircase and began to ascend it slowly, the deep breathing still reverberating somewhere close, but still off in the distance. It was weird, but somehow Simon didn’t need to see his face to know who was there. It was like a strange sixth sense he never had before. He could almost feel the evil within that chair.

Barely flinching a muscle, the monster in the chair just smiled, glaring at Simon with his evil red and yellow eyes.


“Expecting someone?” the deep, dark voice called out, showing Simon his decoy black metallic mask.

So that’s where the Darth Vader breathing was coming from, he thought. It was a trick all along.

“I have been expecting you,” this new Emperor informed him. “I’m looking forward to completing this. In time, you will call me master.”

“You’re gravely mistaken,” Simon responded, standing his ground before him.

“Oh, no, my young Jedi, you will find it is you who are mistaken...about a great many things.”

Sensing his impatience and angst, Simon reached to his side like a classic western gunslinger, only instead of pulling out a pistol, he pulled out a different weapon, which roared to life in his hands. Glowing green, this new laser sword hummed with electricity as he twirled it around in his hands. The feeling came almost natural to Simon, like he was an expert samurai swordsman.

The Emperor was not impressed.

“Ah, yes, a light saber. A Jedi’s weapon,” the Emperor said smugly, mock applauding him. “You really think your feeble skills are a match for the power of the dark side?”

“What does it matter?” Simon piped back, clutching his light saber over his head. “Soon I’ll be dead. And you with me.”

The Emperor laughed. “Yes, you’re right. You will be dead. As will your friends. With each passing moment, you make yourself more my servant.”

“Never!” Simon yelled out, approaching the Emperor, who halted Simon in his tracks just by holding out the palm of his hand. The energy coming off of the Emperor was so strong, Simon couldn’t break it with his own powers. It wasn’t until Simon got a good look at the Emperor that he saw the scarred face and red and green sweater of Freddy Krueger hidden underneath the dark cloak.

“It is unavoidable,” Freddy smirked, tossing off the cloak and stepping up out of the chair. “It is your destiny. You, like your friends, are now MINE!”

“Your overconfidence is your weakness,” Simon replied, gritting through his teeth as he attempted to break the force field.

“Your faith in your friends is yours,” Freddy answered coldly, his red-and-yellow eyes still focused hatefully on his adversary. “This will be a day long remembered. It will see the end of you and your precious little rebellion!!!”

“NOOOO!” Simon shouted, finally getting enough strength to break the invisible barrier. In one fluid motion, he deflected the force field and struck down Freddy with his light saber, vaporizing him instantly as the demon let out a howl of defeat and vanished.

Breathing heavily with sweat pouring off of his face, Simon twirled his saber back around and shut it off, the green laser disappearing as the electric hum faded to a sudden silence. Collecting himself, Simon let out a sigh of relief, having conquered his greatest fear and defeating Freddy Krueger.

Or did he?

Not even a moment later, Freddy appeared directly behind him, whispering into his ear: “Is that the best you can do??!!”

“I’m not afraid of you,” Simon calmly replied, turning around to face him.

“Ah, fear,” Freddy piped back. “Fear attracts the fearful. Fear is my ally.”

“The force will guide me,” Simon replied, illuminating his powerful green light saber once more. “It’s what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”

Undeterred, Freddy flicked his claw out, the blades reflecting in the moonlight. This time, Freddy had a special surprise for the young padawan. As his claw dangled at his side, another humming sound emerged from it. Then another. And another. Before long, four red lasers radiated from his claws, each humming with the same intensity as his Simon’s green saber. His eyes grew wide with horror as Freddy twirled his claw around, his new four-pronged light saber ready for action, reflecting an evil shade of crimson off of his face.

Simon charged, but much to his dismay, Krueger was ready for him. Their light sabers clashed with a furious roar and the epic duel was underway. First colliding to the left, then the right, neither one gave an inch, almost knowing what move his opponent would make before he made it. Freddy pushed Simon back a bit, their lasers locked together in one large energy beam during their standstill. The young Jedi then surprised Freddy and gained the upper hand on the evil Lord of the Sith, forcing his enemy to lean back on his heels. Another inch or so and Freddy would be toast.

Sensing this, Freddy desperately waved his other hand out in front of him and fired a series of lightning bolts directly at Simon, striking him in the chest. Crashing to the ground in a heap, Simon struggled to hold back the never-ending bolts of power with his light saber, and it was obvious the tables had turned and he was now losing the battle.

“You young fool,” Krueger chirped. “Only now at the end do you understand.”

“If you strike me down, I’ll become more powerful than you can ever imagine,” Simon cried out, deflecting the lightning bolts back onto Freddy, who was stunned at the sudden turn of events. Able to gain his feet once again, Simon leaped into a somersault and landed on the opposite side of Freddy, all but dissipating the searing bolts of his attack.

But it was still not enough.

In one fell swoop, Freddy turned and swung his mighty light saber and lopped off Simon’s right hand, sending his shimmering green light saber crashing to the ground.

Collapsing to his knees in agony, Simon was amazed that there was no blood. The light saber was so hot, it made a clean cut across his wrist, completely cauterizing the wound. Looking first at his hand, then back up at Freddy, Simon knew his time had come.

“Now, young Simon, you will die,” Freddy smirked, swinging his powerful sabers one last time as his rival merely closed his eyes and accepted his fate.

In an instant, Simon’s entire body was drawn and quartered, completely severed into pieces by the sweltering heat of the swords.

Freddy just smiled cruelly as the pieces of Simon’s body hit the ground one at a time in a succession of thumps on the metal floor.

“The force was definitely NOT with this one...AHAHAHAHAHA!”

Proceed To Chapter 26
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