Saga A Mother's Love - (AU, Anakin, Obi-Wan & Shmi) Epilogue added 12th Jan (Complete)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by hlc88, Sep 8, 2012.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Jade_eyes Thank you!

    @Ocelotl_Nesto Oh don't worry, very soon Anakin will be sharing, he just needs to make sure he is absolutely certain first :)

    @Luna_Nightshade Thank you! I felt it was appropriate that trust might be shaken between them considering the experiences they've gone through. You'll soon see whether Anakin does right by his suspicions :)

    - - - - -

    Chapter Twenty-Four

    The next day Obi-Wan woke bright and early, feeling refreshed for the first time in ages. He moved about slowly, doing the exercises that Bant had instructed him to do to rebuild his muscle strength in his legs. He made his way out of the room and towards the desk where Bant was sitting, reading a datapad and muttering amongst herself.

    “Do you think I could possibly go to the breakfast hall this morning?” he asked, giving his childhood friend a bit of a fright.

    “Obi!” The Mon Calamari frowned at him. “You know I can’t let you. Just because you slept through the night completely doesn’t mean you are ready to face the rest of the Jedi. Besides, the Council have yet to confirm the rumour that you have returned. You have to stay here, but as a compromise I could organise your favourite meal being brought here for you to eat, if you feel you are up to it.”

    Obi-Wan sighed. “It was worth a try.” He had completely forgotten about food and felt a tiny bit ill at the prospect of eating in front of so many people. Refreshed or not, he clearly wasn’t ready to be let out of the hospital wing. “Honestly, I think I acted rashly. Now I don’t feel so hungry anymore.”

    Bant got up out of her chair and moved around the desk towards her friend. “Come on let me take you back to your room. Anakin commed me an hour ago saying he’d be back today.”

    “Good,” smiled Obi-Wan. “I think we have a lot to talk about.”

    “It’s done you some good. Your Force presence feels stronger and you are calmer. Sleeping through the night is a good sign,” the healer added.

    “Let us hope I don’t take a step backwards.” Obi-Wan turned to look at Bant. “There is a lot I need to say… to let out… Some of it I am dreading because of what I’ve lived through.” He shivered. “I hate the thought of being concerned about talking about it.”

    “Obi, none of us expect you to be able to tell us everything in one go. You’ve been hurt badly, physically and emotionally. It will be difficult for you but I know you’ll survive and you’ll be a stronger person for it. Do you think you can meditate now?” asked Bant.

    Obi-Wan hadn’t been able to meditate on his own for a while because he became so caught up in his memories that he was unable to pull himself out of it. “I can give it a go…” he said.

    “If you don’t feel up to it, don’t,” responded Bant. “You’ve done well so far. I don’t want you to feel pressured you have to try just because think you may be fine. You’ve only just started the healing process.”

    They turned the corner to where Obi-Wan’s room was located to find Kyra standing outside his door. She was still in her nightwear but wearing a dressing gown over it to protect her modesty.

    “Hello,” said Obi-Wan. “You are Kyra Jykes, am I correct?”

    The woman nodded. “Yes, though in memory of my lost family I prefer to be known as Kyra Skywalker. Both my children have that name.” She stepped forward, her brown her loose around her shoulders. “I need to talk to you… if you are not busy.”

    Obi-Wan nodded. “That’s fine. Go on in, it’s open.”

    Kyra walked into the room and Bant tugged at his sleeve, pulling him back.

    “Do you want anyone in with you?” she asked quietly.

    “No,” he replied. “I think I can guess what she wants to talk to me about. I’ll be fine.”

    “I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt,” answered Bant. “I can’t deny that you did sleep well last night.”

    “It was bound to happen sometime,” grinned Obi-Wan. He moved away from his friend and walked into his room, to find Kyra standing there, unsure of where she should go. “Please sit.” He indicated the chair beside the bed and he settled himself onto the bed.

    “I know we don’t know each other… but my sister advised me to talk to you about what my husband did to you,” said Kyra quietly.

    Obi-Wan grimaced. Taren’s betrayal had hurt him but it wasn’t something he was going to hold a grudge over. In fact, he had forgiven the man weeks ago, but he sensed that Kyra was struggling to accept what Taren had asked him to do.

    “That isn’t the man I married! He would never ask for another man to suffer. He shouldn’t have done it for me!” Kyra sounded bitter and angry.

    Obi-Wan took in a deep breath. “I don’t blame Taren for what he did. Yes, I felt betrayed but I can understand why he did it. I don’t think he realised that you and your children would be used against me. He thought you would be safe. Ventress was never going to keep her word.”

    “But he lied to you!”

    “I know, but that doesn’t matter to me. Taren is a good person. He was trying to protect his loved ones and make sure you had more family then you had. I think he thought that rescue was on its way because of who I was… He didn’t realise that it was unlikely…”

    “But there was a rescue,” Kyra pointed out.

    Obi-Wan smiled ruefully. “Yes, there was, by luck, I might add.”

    Kyra shuffled in her seat. “So you’re not angry that he asked you to suffer on my account just on the off chance you might be rescued?”

    “No, I’m not,” Obi-Wan shook his head. “We all make wrong decisions and selfish choices based on what we believe is right at the time. Taren made a misjudgement. But I don’t think it is something that should affect your relationship with him. Ventress always planned to use your children against me. I realised that as soon as he mentioned you were there. She had already guessed what Taren might do. She was fully prepared, and promising him that you and your children would remain unharmed was something she did to ensure she had his obedience, but she knew he would risk asking me to not give in despite that.” He frowned as a thought struck him. “In a way, I shouldn’t have agreed to his demand but I did. I’m as much as fault here as Taren is. I could have given in but I think Ventress would have sensed that it might not have been completely true. Your children’s death would have been the crux of my decision… If I hadn’t had an escape plan, I’d have given in, but your children wouldn’t have been spared. Ventress would have killed them, and then you and Taren, to break me even further.”

    “Then I shouldn’t be angry at him?” asked Kyra. She looked perplexed over her torrent feelings.

    “I think you have the right to be angry,” said Obi-Wan, “if you feel it is something you wouldn’t do yourself, but I don’t believe it is a situation where it warrants feeling devastated over. We all escaped didn’t we?”

    Kyra nodded. “We did…”

    “I could see that Taren really cares about you. He wanted you to be happy, to get the chance to know your sister. That is why he did it. I didn’t have to do what he asked, but I did because if I’d have given in, Ventress would have killed you all regardless. Doing what he did prolonged your lives long enough for Anakin to get to us in time and for me to weaken the structure of my cell to use against her,” explained Obi-Wan. “I have every right to not forgive him but I do because I can see where he is coming from. It is not a Jedi’s way to hate either.”

    Kyra swallowed. “It makes me feel better that you don’t hate him.”

    “I felt betrayed though,” mentioned Obi-Wan, “for lying to me in the first place but it’s understandable. Even if I’d known the truth from the off, I probably wouldn’t have given in, I’d have done what he wanted because I was so close to initialising my escape plan. I forgive Taren because he was acting not for himself, but for his loved ones. That’s admirable. He was willing to be hurt himself to get you something you wanted. Everyone knows that Jedi are meant to be strong, he may have considered that I was strong enough to hold on and withstand the mental torture.”

    “And were you?” Kyra anticipated the answer.

    Obi-Wan smiled gently at her. “I wouldn’t have been able to escape if I couldn’t withstand it. I’d have given in. Kyra, I will heal in time. My physical wounds are healing and I am on the road to recovery. I do not blame Taren at all for what he asked me to do. He doesn’t deserve punishment from you. It may make you feel uneasy about what he did, but does it make you feel better knowing that I do not hold him responsible?”

    “It does…” she answered quietly.

    “Then I think you know what you have to do,” Obi-Wan indicated.

    Kyra nodded and took in a deep breath. “I do.” She slowly stood up from her chair, her hair falling about her face. “Thank you, Master Jedi. Forgiveness is a hard path to take but when you realise others have taken it… it doesn’t sound too bad.”

    “No, it doesn’t,” smiled Obi-Wan. “I’ve discovered that if you want to heal a soul, forgiveness can sometimes be the most adequate path to take.”

    “Those are some very wise words,” replied Kyra. “I’m glad my sister met you. She advised me to come and see you… I didn’t think you’d forgive Taren for what he did. Knowing that you have…”

    “Means that you will to?” finished Obi-Wan.

    Kyra nodded. “I think so, yes. I still need to talk to him, to clear the air and to understand his motivations more but the knowledge I have now from you will enable me to get to past this. Taren really loves me and I don’t want to lose him.” She shivered slightly. “I’m not sure what I’d do if I lost him.”

    Obi-Wan didn’t feel that it was appropriate for him to respond so he merely smiled, sending a soothing motion through the Force to her. It would calm her but she wouldn’t feel it.

    “I hope you have a good day,” bowed Kyra, awkwardly.

    “You don’t need to bow,” said Obi-Wan. “And thank you.”

    Kyra smiled politely before turning to leave and left Obi-Wan to his thoughts.

    - - - - -

    As a child meditation had been something Anakin had hated. That is, until his mother had come back into his life and her presence had only helped him to become more focused and appreciate what the technique could do. It had enabled him and Obi-Wan to develop a strong bond, one that tied them together so closely that one could still sense the other when Force-supressed, just like Obi-Wan had been in Ventress’ tender care.

    Now he found that meditation was one of the most useful things a Jedi could do. He could analyse his own psyche with it, but most of all he could explore the intricate bond that he shared with Obi-Wan.

    It soothed him that the bond was pulsating brighter and stronger than before, but the tinge of darkness still concerned him. Now that their connection was stronger he could now detect where the source of the darkness was seeping from. He had figured it would be from him and he was correct in assuming so, yet Obi-Wan’s essence had a stain blackening it too.

    Like Anakin, Obi-Wan Kenobi had a dark presence to it, something he had no let go of. What was it? His former Master still had plenty of secrets to tell and it would probably be a while before they all came out.

    The stain on both of their souls was blackening them. Anakin was determined to rectify that.

    But first I need to consider everything that I have learnt.

    The face of the man that Anakin thought was the Sith Lord swam into view.

    Palpatine’s kindly old face didn’t even give away what horror lay beneath it.

    He’s a Master at what he does. That’s why he’s been able to hide from the Jedi for so long. But what if I’m wrong? What if Dooku found out some other way? What if the Sith Lord is monitoring the Chancellor, recording everything he says and does? Manipulating him from behind the scenes? And Palpatine doesn’t know it?

    Anakin shook his head in frustration.

    He sought the comfort of the Force and sunk into its flow, his shoulders relaxing, his breathing slowing.

    He sent his senses flying outward, toward the Chancellor. He had never done this before, daring to sense the aura of someone from such great a distance. Sure he had sensed the Chancellor each time he had visited him but if Palpatine truly was the Sith Lord, he’d have barriers up to prevent any Jedi in his vicinity from noticing him.

    Within the Senate Building he found Padmé, her essence bright and innocent in the Force. Then he moved upwards, exploring, search for the elusive presence he needed to find. His mind found the Chancellor’s office and he entered, slowly and cautiously, trying to shield as much of himself as possible.

    And there he felt it.

    A single presence imbued in darkness.

    A great cackle of dark side energy entwined so tightly into one physical being.

    The presence was familiar, one that Anakin recognised.

    Palpatine.

    Cold struck him and he shivered.

    The Chancellor was the Sith Lord. It was clear as day.

    It was dangerous to stay because he could be detected. No matter how much Anakin kept himself shielded, if Palpatine was that powerful to prevent himself from being sensed for many years, would he detect Anakin spying on him?

    Slowly, Anakin withdrew, not daring to suddenly fly away because even that motion could be detected. He made his way back slowly, lingering on Padmé’s presence before returning to his physical body and opening his eyes.

    Sweat covered his forehead and he wiped it away. A sick feeling settled in his stomach.

    Now he knew.

    Palpatine really was the Sith Lord.

    And it made sense.

    The man had tried to befriend him, tried to plant doubt about Obi-Wan’s teachings and the Jedi Code. It had only been because Anakin had messed up originally by telling the Chancellor about Obi-Wan’s survival after Jabiim that he had even made that connection. Anakin had only picked up on that because he had the mistrust of Palpatine ever since his mother had taken a bit of a dislike to him. He had only trusted the man until his mother had come back into his life.

    What if my mother had stayed on Tatooine as a slave? What if the Council had never agreed to Obi-Wan’s request? Would I have fallen into his trap?

    Anakin didn’t want to think about the possibilities of what could have been if it hadn’t been for his mother.

    What mattered now was dealing with the Sith Lord.

    For that he had to be truthful.

    And he knew he couldn’t face Palpatine alone without Obi-Wan at his side. They were brothers, their destinies tied together in one big ball.

    I might still have time. If Palpatine doesn’t suspect that I know who he really is…

    But one thing was clear to him.

    Palpatine had ordered Obi-Wan’s execution and was the instigator of the Clone Wars. They could perhaps use that against him, as long as they could dig up enough evidence to implicate him further.

    The Council needs to know.

    Yet his senses were telling him to talk it through first with the people closest to him.

    But first he needed to let go of the anger he had on Rattatak.

    To face the coming days, Anakin understood that he needed his brother by his side, and their bond needed to be strong and unbreakable.

    To do that, they both needed to heal.

    - - - - -

    “I get the impression before we start that you want to get something off your chest?” observed Obi-Wan as he considered Anakin’s Force aura.

    “Am I that predictable?” asked Anakin mildly.

    “Unfortunately, to me you are,” smiled Obi-Wan.

    They were once again in the same room they had been in yesterday where Obi-Wan had started to release his experience. Shmi was sitting beside him again, silently watching the exchange between the two Jedi, her intense eyes burning with inquisitiveness but also of respect of who they were.

    “Would you like me to leave?” asked Shmi. “If it’s something you would prefer I did not know about…”

    Anakin shook his head. “No. Stay. You’re here as Obi-Wan’s anchor but you are also mine.” He glanced at Obi-Wan. “You sense it, don’t you? Our bond? There’s a tinge to it.”

    “There is,” Obi-Wan acknowledged.

    “It’s both of us,” responded Anakin. “The part that comes from you is understandable, but with me… I shouldn’t have let it get a hold on me on Rattatak.” He bowed his head in shame. “When Dooku electrocuted you… I… I just snapped. I let my anger get the better of me. I went after him, intending to kill him because of what he had done to you. I didn’t care about anything else other than revenge.”

    Obi-Wan remained silent, watching his former apprentice, analysing how he looked and how ashamed he had felt at his momentary slip.

    “It consumed me, Master,” said Anakin, falling into the old habit once again, “and it felt right! It felt that was my destiny to embrace the dark. The only thing that mattered was vengeance. The dark side permeates our bond because of what I felt and what I could have done…” He felt a tear slide down his cheek. Looking back on it hurt him.

    “Anakin…” Obi-Wan searched his eyes. “We all have momentary slips. You came to your senses, didn’t you?”

    Anakin swallowed visibly. “Yeah… but that was because Ahsoka got through to me. She came across like you.”

    “Me?” Obi-Wan raised his eyebrows.

    “Yes, like you. She lectured me. Used what she thought you’d say to me. It worked. The darkness receded and I could feel that the Force didn’t want me to take that path.” His shoulders shook as Anakin tried to not let his tears fall. “I know I shouldn’t have let it get to me, but it did. Seeing you there so hurt… I, I just snapped. I’m not the Jedi I should be.”

    “Anakin.” Obi-Wan put on his hard voice, causing the young man to look up at him in surprise. “Every Jedi has momentarily slips towards the dark side. I have as well.”

    Anakin’s eyes bulged. “What? When?”

    “I’ve told you before,” he answered. “Surely you can’t have forgotten?” He watched as Anakin’s eyes scrunched up and then they widened again as he remembered.

    “Naboo… You told me years ago that you let your anger get a hold of you when Master Qui-Gon was killed,” recalled Anakin. “But that was different…”

    “How is it different? I still used the dark side, I still fought with my anger and I nearly paid for it with my life,” questioned Obi-Wan, folding his arms across his chest and staring at Anakin.

    Anakin chewed his bottom lip. “But when you killed the Sith, you weren’t using your anger, were you?”

    Obi-Wan shook his head.

    “You calmed yourself without any help. Ahsoka had to get through to me. That makes you a better Jedi then me. You were just an apprentice then… I’m a Knight and I shouldn’t have succumbed. You proved you were stronger than me by far,” explained Anakin. “And look at what you’ve survived!”

    They were back on his captivity. It was bound to come back to that at some point. But first he felt he had to address something.

    “When I killed the Sith, Anakin, the only reason I managed to calm myself was because he got cocky. He became complacent, thinking that he had won, that he had beaten me. He was taunting me. It proved to be his undoing but I was determined to win, and I calmed myself enough to call on the Force to help aid my jump and call Qui-Gon’s lightsaber to me,” sighed Obi-Wan. “The point is, is that I could have fallen to but we remembered who we really are. Your needing help doesn’t make you seem weak. You have to remember that you have attachments. It will always be harder for you but I know you will succeed.”

    Anakin tilted his head to the side, sighing. “I guess so. I don’t want to fall. I think if I did it would destroy you,” his gaze flickered towards his mother, “and my mum.”

    Obi-Wan declined to answer. He didn’t want to think of what might happen if Anakin’s attachments proved to his undoing. The hard work that he had put into training Anakin would have been for nothing. It would also fundamentally damage his own reputation as a Jedi as well as the Order’s new rules. Younglings were now allowed visits home based on how Anakin’s training had turned out. Those Jedi children born on Coruscant had more visits then their compatriots but so far nothing had occurred that proved that to be the wrong decision.

    “Ani, just remember, if you ever need us, if you ever suspect you might fall, come to us, we will always be here for you,” Shmi squeezed her son’s hand. “Both of us will be, won’t we Obi-Wan?” she sought clarification.

    “Yes, I will. Don’t think for one second we won’t listen to you, Anakin. You know you can trust us,” finished Obi-Wan.

    Anakin nodded. “Ok then. What about you? The tinge to the dark side on your side of the bond isn’t from your anger you had when fighting the Sith eleven years ago. Something new has happened to cause that bleakness.”

    Obi-Wan stilled. He hadn’t wanted to mention this to Anakin just yet. It was a dark stain on his soul.

    The mask, the mask that Ventress had forced upon him. He shivered momentarily as he remembered the feelings that it had caused in him.

    “Are you going to tell me?” probed Anakin.

    Obi-Wan lowered his gaze, staying silent. A hand squeezed his. It was Shmi.

    “Do you feel ready to?”

    “No,” he reluctantly admitted, “but I don’t know if I ever will be to. What happened… It nearly threw me over the edge… If I don’t face it when I have my family here, how can I expect to face it later on when more time has passed and it has become more difficult?”

    Anakin edged forward in his seat.

    “I have to tell you. If we are to repair our bond, you have to know the horror of what I suffered,” swallowed Obi-Wan. “I’ll show you through the bond. Shmi, like before, I need you to help me.” Obi-Wan closed his eyes and sunk into the Force, searching for Anakin’s presence.

    The darkness was still there as Anakin hadn’t released his anger to the Force, as Obi-Wan hoped that they could do it together, as brothers were meant to. He felt Anakin’s mind join his own and he took him into his memories once more.

    The mask floated to his mind.

    And he showed Anakin what had happened when Ventress had forced it upon him, and what the results of his first experience with the mask had been. Reliving Qui-Gon’s death… Feeling rejected by Qui-Gon after he was adamant to make Anakin a Jedi… Qui-Gon’s disappointment at him for leaving the Jedi Order at the tender age of fourteen for a brief time…

    The thoughts that mask had flung his way coursed through the bond so that Anakin could truly understand what the mask was designed to do. The darkness that had permeated that mask had stained Obi-Wan’s soul.

    Each memory passed in a blur as the mask continued to mentally assault his mind.

    Anakin saw his Master being beaten and tortured as the mask sought to break him, sought to turn him to the dark side or to break his spirit completely…

    Through the bond, Obi-Wan was almost crying as the memories continued to pour forth. He had opened a barrier and now they wouldn’t stop. Each memory came relief at no longer keeping it bottled up inside.

    Keep it going, Master, urged Anakin. You need to let go…

    Obi-Wan could feel himself shaking within the bond, whether it affected his physical body he didn’t know. His mind was in utter torment. As the memories of Taren’s torture erupted and what the mask had whispered to him began, Obi-Wan nearly lost control.

    He nearly felt himself shatter and fall even further as a dredge of anger was pulled from him. It was only Anakin’s soothing presence and the hint of a voice singing in the background that pulled him back safely.

    The moment Obi-Wan had made his escape with Ventress’ threat to the youngest child was when the memories of the mask finally stopped flowing. He had just enough strength left to pull himself out of the bond and back into reality.

    He felt tired and his cheeks were wet from the tears that had been pouring down his face and he was shaking, despite the warm blanket wrapped tightly around his thin frame.

    “Obi-Wan, I think you need to rest,” said Shmi gently.

    He shook his head weakly. “No… I… I need… to release it…” He was trembling from head to foot.

    Anakin planted a hand firmly on his shoulder. “No. I feel your Force presence. It’s too weak.”

    “I… have … to … do … it … now,” said Obi-Wan.

    “If you try it, you’ll burn yourself out,” warned Anakin. “It will take you even longer to recover if you let yourself. And right now, Obi-Wan, I need you.”

    Despite how delirious he probably was Anakin’s plea and what he saw in Anakin’s eyes was enough for Obi-Wan to consider that letting go after such a mental strain was not the most appropriate thing to do. Darkness was beginning at the edges of his vision. He was already weak and he reluctantly let his grip on the Force go.

    Unconsciousness grasped him and he felt himself falling before everything clouded over.

    - - - - -

    Kyra found Taren sitting by the window in the ward area they were staying in. Her two children were asleep, despite it nearly being midday. She didn’t care right now. She needed to talk to Taren, to get things off her chest.

    Her husband turned to look at her as she approached. His dark hair flopped in his eyes. “Taren… I need to talk to you.”

    Taren moved aside so that Kyra could sit beside him if she wished. She did so and took his hands in her own. Before she could speak, he spoke first, imploring her with his eyes to let him begin. “I know what I did was wrong and that I caused another person to suffer but I thought I was doing the right thing for you.”

    “I know,” she replied. “Obi-Wan forgives you.” It felt strange to refer to the Jedi with that name as she didn’t really know him.

    “He does?” Taren seemed surprised at that. “I thought he’d hate me when he discovered I was lying to him about my true motivation.”

    Kyra remembered what the Jedi had told her earlier that morning. “He did feel betrayed though but he did tell me that he probably wouldn’t have given in because as soon as he realised I was there with Ria and Mernen he saw what that woman was planning. He said your actions led to us being given extra time. If he’d given in, she’d have killed all of us anyway. In a way Taren, you saved us all.”

    Taren perked up, surprised at her words. “What?”

    Kyra nodded. “That’s what he said. I don’t agree that you did the right thing at the time but you were thinking of me and I can’t hate you for that. Your misjudgement may have harmed the Jedi mentally but he was already so scarred… and he’s healing. I saw him today. He looks better…”

    “So… are we good?” asked Taren.

    “I think so. I don’t want to lose you, and I know how much you love me. I can’t blame you or hate you for causing another person pain if they have already forgiven you for it. It wouldn’t be fair on me since you gave us extra time to live so that rescue could arrive. It might have been the wrong thing to do but neither of us know the consequences of what our actions would be.” She leaned forward and kissed him on the lips. “You thought of me and I am forever grateful for that.”

    Taren pulled her into a hug. “Thank you.” He felt relieved that his wife could forgive him for what he had asked Kenobi to do. He hoped that he’d get the chance to speak to the Jedi before they left the planet.

    He and Kyra would be leaving soon as they were all healed. They just had to be debriefed by the Jedi Council before they could leave.

    For now, he was determined to be the best husband he could possibly be.

    - - - - -

    When he woke, he found Anakin sitting at his side with a worried expression on his face. He was back in his private room, tucked up in bed, with a drip attached to his arm. “Urgh…” He had a throbbing headache.

    “I’m glad you are awake,” said Anakin. “You’ve been out of it for hours. Bant was concerned that you’d overdone it. You were very dehydrated.”

    That explained the drip then.

    Obi-Wan scrunched his eyes shut. That damn mask was responsible. He shivered as he thought of it. All the memories were still at the forefront of his memory. He had to let go.

    “Bant told me not to question you,” began Anakin, “but I think you need to talk.”

    Obi-Wan pushed himself up the sheets so he was sitting up more, nodding in agreement. “That mask… It was a Sith Torture Mask. It was imbued with the dark side. Every time I tried reaching for the Force it counteracted my use and taunted me. It brought up every dark memory that I had… It taunted me all the time, trying to break my spirit. Everything you saw… it nearly broke me, Anakin.”

    “Is the Mask the source of the stain on our bond?”

    Obi-Wan dipped his head. “I think so. I feel tainted by its use on me. When I was fighting off Dooku before you arrived, he told me he could sense the darkness in me… that I was already halfway there.”

    Anakin disagreed immediately. “He was trying to make you lose control. Dooku is a Sith and he’s bound to lie. You were already hurt enough that he figured you’d listen and lose control. Then he’d snare you.”

    Obi-Wan swallowed. “It nearly worked, I think, but because you were there and I knew you were coming for me, I held strong and would rather have died then allowed Dooku to claim me.” He shivered. “That mask was horrible, one of the worst things I’ve ever had to cope with.” His eyes were almost begging. “I need to let go of it. You know I do!”

    “Are you strong enough?” Anakin was concerned for him.

    “I don’t know. I feel lighter having spoken to you about it.”

    “How does the bond feel?”

    Obi-Wan closed his eyes and reached out for the familiar presence. The darkness had faded but it was still there, but not as prominent as before. Talking had helped. “Stronger.”

    Anakin held out his hand. “Despite what Bant has instructed, I’m going to do what you wish to. We’re not going as deep into the bond to do this and we both need to release things into the Force. Ready?”

    Obi-Wan gritted his teeth, and they linked together as brothers with the bond.

    Anakin began the process, taking his emotions from the memory of his anger on Rattatak, accepting that he used his anger and then releasing it. He prodded Obi-Wan to begin himself, and the older Jedi called forth the first memory, and bit by bit, tore it to pieces before letting it flow into the calm centre of the Force, being consumed by their bond.

    For nearly an hour the two supported each other, and when they were finally done, Obi-Wan sunk back into the bed, eyes closed as exhaustion overcame him once more.

    Before he fell asleep, he was happy to feel that the remaining darkness of the bond had been dissipated. It was completely light once again and he slept for the first time in ages in the embrace of the core of their bond, soothed by Anakin’s staying presence at his side.

    To be continued...

    Please let me know what you think!

    Chapter 25 will be posted next Saturday.
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  2. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Before he fell asleep, he was happy to feel that the remaining darkness of the bond had been dissipated. It was completely light once again and he slept for the first time in ages in the embrace of the core of their bond, soothed by Anakin’s staying presence at his side. That is just plain lovely. =D= @};- I'm so chuffed it's untainted again and that Kyra and Taren cleared the air. :D [:D]
  3. Ocelotl_Nesto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2004
    star 4
    Nice long post... shows the power of forgiveness... very underestimated!
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  4. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Glad everyone was able to forgive and let things go. Good update for everyone! Looking forward to more.
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  5. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Jade_eyes Thank you! :)

    @Ocelotl_Nesto I always think forgiving someone is the best thing you can do, as long as forgiving people is justified.

    @Luna_Nightshade Thank you! Here is your update!

    - - - - -

    Chapter Twenty-Five

    A few days later, Obi-Wan was discharged from the Halls of Healing. His physical wounds had been healed and he was sleeping through the night, as well as eating small amounts of food to get his appetite back. He had successfully sparred Anakin without too much trouble. His survival from Jabiim had been announced to the Temple as well as in the Republic Senate once he had been cleared medically fit; however he was only allowed to resume partial duties and was not to be sent out on the front line until he was cleared by Bant.

    As a Council Master, any journalist had access to his comm number and he had received numerous requests to talk to them about his experience, however he had refused on the grounds that it was his ordeal alone.

    He had also reported to the Council, with Anakin at his side to help support him.

    Throughout the last few days Anakin had kept a close eye on Obi-Wan, however no matter how much he found that irritating, Anakin’s closeness gave Obi-Wan the chance to observe his former Apprentice. He knew Anakin was still hiding something but Obi-Wan trusted his brother enough that he’d tell him when he felt the time was right.

    About a week after his discharge, Anakin invited Obi-Wan over for a meal at Padmé’s apartment. When he arrived he found Ahsoka and Shmi already there; Anakin had left the Temple two hours earlier to help Padmé prepare the evening, leaving Obi-Wan to make his own way to the apartment. This was the first time that Padmé would be seeing Obi-Wan since he returned to Coruscant.

    The Senator was dressed in a very simple gown, with her hair pulled back behind her head and she approached Obi-Wan cautiously.

    “Senator,” bowed Obi-Wan.

    “You should know by now, Obi-Wan, to call me Padmé. You’ve earned it,” she smiled at him. She drew him into a hug, careful to not squeeze too hard lest she hurt him. “It’s good to see you. I am glad you appear to be recovering well from your ordeal.”

    “Thank you, Padmé, I’m glad to be home,” he answered.

    He went and sat beside Shmi on the sofa, leaning back and making himself feel comfortable. Padmé brought over drinks for everyone, though she had providing non-alcoholic drinks for Ahsoka and Obi-Wan. Once they were gathered together and the meal was laid out before them to pick and choose what they ate, Anakin cast his eyes around the room, before meeting with Obi-Wan’s.

    A chill seemed to race up Obi-Wan’s spine as he realised that whatever was still bothering Anakin was about to come out.

    “I asked everyone here today for a reason. This isn’t meant to be a fun evening for us. All of you are here because I trust you all and believe you should know. Perhaps you might be able to make the right decision in what I should do.”

    “Ani?” Shmi’s voice was soft but worried.

    “Anakin, are you certain?” queried Obi-Wan.

    “Yes,” responded Anakin. “What I have discovered has ramifications for the entire Republic and for the Jedi Order.”

    “Wouldn’t what you have to say go before the Council first?” asked Ahsoka.

    Anakin shook his head. “Not with Obi-Wan here. He’s representing the Council on their behalf; he just didn’t know it until now.”

    Obi-Wan’s eyebrows rose but he remained quiet.

    “And the rest of us?” the young Togrutan continued.

    “You are here because you are my Padawan; Padmé is here representing the Senate, and my mother is here because she is a support and deserves to know of any danger that I may feel could harm her. What I have to say could make her a target. I don’t want to have your death on my conscience,” he said.

    Padmé looked worried. “I’m not sure I’m the best person to represent the Senate… It should be the Chancellor.”

    “No!” Anakin’s denial was vehement.

    Obi-Wan sensed anxiety build across the bond at the mere mention of the Chancellor. Mistrust of the man surrounded Anakin, more so than ever before. “What do you know?” he asked quietly.

    Anakin’s head drooped. “Chancellor Palpatine is the Sith Lord.”

    Obi-Wan’s mouth fell open as he dropped his fork on the floor.

    “What?” he dimly heard Ahsoka mutter.

    “You can’t be serious!” exclaimed Padmé.

    Shmi stayed silent considering what her son had said.

    Obi-Wan shook his head, trying to clear his senses, trying to process the piece of information that the younger Jedi had thrown at them. “Anakin, what makes you say that?”

    “A few weeks ago he summoned me to his office. He asked me why I was back on Coruscant since I was supposed to be on Christophsis. I told him it was a personal matter. He said the reason he knew I was back was because of a conversation he overheard between two Senators when I interrupted their meeting with Padmé. But…”

    “Bail and Mon would never betray us like that,” interrupted Padmé. “And it wasn’t a meeting, rather a social dinner. I’ve spent all my time with them at the Senate. We are barely apart. They would never talk about something like Master Kenobi’s survival in public or you coming to my apartment for a social visit!”

    “That’s what I thought!” urged Anakin. “This apartment has been bugged.”

    Padmé paled. “What?”

    Anakin ran his eyes over the ceiling. “There was a reason why I came over much earlier than anyone else. Throughout this apartment there are ten, barely detectable bugs. I used R2 to help and his scans missed them. They’re very sophisticated bugs and I only found them because I sunk into the Force and located them that way. They are all disabled now so they are not transmitting. I would have destroyed them but it might have alerted the Chancellor we are on to him.”

    “Probably the wisest thing you could do,” praised Obi-Wan. “But Palpatine probably bugs a lot of his Senators, it is something that a lot of leaders do. I don’t see how that could mean he is the Sith Lord.”

    “The point is, Obi-Wan, is that I have been with Bail and Mon Mothma the majority of the time the last few weeks. We work on the same bills so we are barely apart. There is no way that they’d discuss your survival in public without it being announced,” defended Padmé.

    Obi-Wan knew Bail Organa very well but he didn’t know Mon Mothma but he could rely on Bail to never betray him. Anakin had informed him that those two Senators had known ahead of time. “Fair enough… Please, Anakin, continue.”

    “Palpatine asked me outright if the personal matter had anything to do with you,” said Anakin pointedly.

    “Oh…” Obi-Wan paled.

    Anakin folded his arms. “You were declared dead on Jabiim. Only a few people knew that you still lived or knew of my suspicions anyway. Master Yoda and Master Windu, the two Knights Nerin and Hollar, Ahsoka, Padmé, Bail and Mon Mothma, and my mother,” listed Anakin. “During the time you were missing I met with the Chancellor and it slipped out – without meaning to, I might add – that I knew you were alive but I wasn’t being allowed to find you.”

    “I see what you mean,” swallowed Obi-Wan. A cold chill ran down his back. It explained everything.

    “Ani?” Shmi was confused.

    “The transmission…” whispered Ahsoka, “we got from the Council when we were still on Christophsis! The two Knights sent by Master Yoda to investigate the Separatists and search for any sign of Master Kenobi!” She sounded quite excited as the pieces fell into place around her. “The transmission was between Dooku and Ventress!”

    Anakin nodded eagerly. “Dooku said that his Master told him to execute you,” he looked at Obi-Wan, “if Ventress was keeping your survival a secret, then how did Dooku’s Master, the Sith Lord we’ve been searching for, know?”

    “He wouldn’t have known…” said Obi-Wan. “And you can rule out everyone else who knew apart from Palpatine. The Council had already ruled out Palpatine being the Sith Lord because he’s already in charge of the Republic … so he was never a culprit in the first place which makes him a prime candidate.”

    “But Ani,” queried Padmé, “if there is recording devices installed in my apartment without my knowledge couldn’t there be devices in the Chancellor’s office from this Sith Lord?”

    “No,” said Anakin, “because I meditated on this and I sent myself to the Chancellor’s office.”

    “You did what?” Both Ahsoka and Obi-Wan protested.

    “My presence,” shrugged Anakin, “I went to his office in spirit and explored. Palpatine was there. I sensed him. He was dark as anything. Pure evil.” His gaze flickered to Obi-Wan. “And he wants you dead. He ordered your execution and I suspect he’s been trying to turn me too. That’s why he is so interested in me.”

    Padmé raised a hand. “Wait a minute, if you are correct in your suspicions, what can we do about it? Why hasn’t he acted before now?”

    “Because he’s spent years trying to destroy the Jedi and has built up a plan that could end us. He’s been patient. This war must be a part of his grand design,” theorised Obi-Wan. “For over a millennia the Sith have been quiet, waiting in the shadows. The Jedi have become complacent. Naboo must have been the start of their grand plan.”

    “And it worked,” gasped Padmé, “I petitioned against Chancellor Valorum! I made sure Palpatine became Chancellor!” Her head bowed, her hands covering her face. “How stupid was I? I thought he was my friend but over the last few months I’ve come to see that he isn’t who I thought he was. I’m slowly becoming opposed to everything he wants to do…”

    “Then what can we do about it?” asked Ahsoka.

    “We have to tell the Council,” advised Obi-Wan. “They need to know. We cannot plan accordingly without informing them. To keep this to ourselves is dangerous.”

    “I wasn’t planning on keeping it from them,” replied Anakin, a little defensively. “But we can do things without the authorisation of the Jedi Council especially if they are not part of the Jedi Order.” His gaze flickered to Padmé.

    “Anakin…” Obi-Wan knew what his former Padawan wanted Padmé to do.

    “We need more evidence!” retorted Anakin.

    Padmé caught on quick. “I can do this, Master Kenobi.”

    “Sneaking into the Chancellor’s office to obtain confidential information is very risky. He could have detected by now that his little droids have been disabled! He might be expecting this!” Obi-Wan was nearly shouting. How could Anakin want to take such a risk? How could the normally sensible young man risk people he cared about in such a foolhardy manner.

    “Because we need more evidence and neither of us can do it,” said Anakin again, more quietly. “The Council may be willing to take my word on it but the rest of the Republic won’t. We’ll be cast out as criminals and we need to know the extent of Palpatine’s treason. Finding evidence afterward will not help the Jedi. The public will judge us.”

    Obi-Wan sighed. His young friend had thought it through. What he was proposing was very dangerous and risky. It was putting Senator Amidala at risk. If she was discovered… He shuddered.

    “I’ll be fine Obi-Wan,” said Padmé.

    “I’d be happier if you had someone with you,” said Obi-Wan. “A Jedi can help hide your presence from detection and sense for any deception.”

    “If you are thinking of yourself,” began Anakin.

    Obi-Wan briefly chuckled. “No.” His eyes flickered towards Ahsoka. “Your young Padawan should be able to protect Padmé. I do know what you have been teaching her the last few weeks, Anakin.”

    “But what about this Sith?” Shmi intervened. “If he turns up…”

    “We have to hope that he won’t kill them,” whispered Anakin. “I’m pretty certain he wants to turn me to the dark side. Killing my loved ones will not help his cause.”

    “Yet he’s been trying to kill me,” Obi-Wan pointed out.

    Anakin shrugged. “Well, you did kill his previous apprentice.”

    “True.”

    They were at an impasse. A decision had been made but whether to go through it or not was still to be decided.

    Obi-Wan searched around the faces in the room, sensing the fear that was coming from them. The thought that Palpatine was the Sith was scaring both Shmi and Padmé.

    “If we are going to act, we need to decide now,” Padmé advised. “We might not have long.”

    Anakin nodded. “I’ll go to the Council. Tell them what we know.”

    “The Chancellor is scheduled for a meeting tomorrow morning with a group of Senators from the Pro-Separatist Committee. That would be the best time to search his office though it is always guarded, however I do have access to his office when I am in need to deliver a report to him. I do have one that he needs to see, that would make a good cover excuse,” explained Padmé.

    “Then you and Ahsoka will search for information,” said Anakin. “Anything you find, transmit it to Obi-Wan. He’ll then transmit it to me. The Chancellor might suspect any transmissions will go straight to the Jedi Temple but we’ll catch him out if the other end of the communication is not there.”

    “You want me to protect your mother, don’t you?” asked Obi-Wan quietly. He was stronger than he had been in weeks but he was unsure that he even had the strength to put up a prolonged fight if he had to defend himself and others.

    “I do… I suspect Palpatine may target you to get at me. I’d rather you had someone to protect you at all times but going into hiding isn’t going to help. If we don’t go about our daily lives, then suspicions will rise,” Anakin responded.

    Obi-Wan sighed. Anakin was right again. Out of them all here, the one most in danger was Shmi. Padmé could defend herself, but Anakin’s mother had, had no formal training in weaponry. She needed a protector. And Anakin would only trust a few people with her safety: Obi-Wan or Ahsoka.

    “Is this the right thing to do?” asked Shmi.

    “If Palpatine really is the Sith Lord, we have no choice,” answered Obi-Wan. “The sooner we act, the quicker we can get to the bottom of this and hopefully end this war.”

    Padmé swallowed. “I’d rather this war ended then allowed a man I thought I could trust to stay in power any longer, especially if he is a threat to the Republic and the Jedi. I am prepared to do what I need to.”

    Anakin smiled at her. “Thank you.” He twisted towards his Padawan. “Ahsoka, are you prepared?”

    The little Togrutan girl nodded. “I think so. Is this why you’ve been teaching me how to manipulate the Force to mask my presence and others around me the last few weeks?”

    “You catch on quick,” grinned Anakin but his face quickly turned solemn once again. “It was. I wanted us to be more prepared before I told any of you of my suspicions. But most of all, I know I’m going to need my brother at my side. Whatever happens, it won’t just be me facing the Sith, it will be with standing beside the one man who I trust the most in my life, and who will always be a part of my family.” He looked pointedly at Obi-Wan.

    Obi-Wan shifted in his seat. “I doubt I’m strong enough to fight at the moment. I may have sparred you, Anakin, but I’m still recovering.”

    “I know, but I don’t think we have much time before the Sith makes his final move. The Force is warning me,” replied Anakin. “If we don’t act now then we risk losing everything we have fought for. And I can’t have that hanging over my head if I survive.”

    Padmé stood up from her chair. “If Ahsoka and I need to infiltrate the Chancellor’s office, we need to start on planning. We’ll take R2 with us. He has the uncanny ability of being able to access any databases.”

    Anakin reached inside his pocket and pulled out a little a remote. “This is the control that will turn the bugging devices back on. Once you’ve decided on everything, reactivate them. Hopefully Palpatine won’t notice this glitch. I’ll head back to the Jedi Temple. Master Yoda is due back from Christophsis tonight isn’t he?”

    “He is… We’ve managed to secure the planet long enough for Master Yoda to leave,” admitted Obi-Wan. “He’ll be reporting to the Council tomorrow morning, at a meeting I should be at.”

    “I’d rather you didn’t leave my mother.”

    “Ani, I’m sure I will be fine. I’m not working tomorrow; I can stay in the apartment…” Shmi interrupted quietly.

    Anakin was shaking his head. “No. If Padmé and Ahsoka are going to infiltrate the Chancellor’s office tomorrow and they are discovered, he’ll come after you. He won’t wait. He’ll accelerate his plans because he knows he will have no choice. I’m scared that he’ll make sure you will die.” Anakin’s voice was nearly breaking. “Please, I need Obi-Wan with you to make sure you are safe…”

    “It is alright, Shmi,” Obi-Wan raised a hand. “I’ll contact the Council and explain that I am unable to make it. I am only on partial return. I do not have to attend every meeting if I do not feel up to attending. Normally that would be an excuse that I could not use but due to my own circumstances, some leeway has been granted until I am declared completely fit.”

    Shmi glanced at him. “If you are sure…?”

    He nodded. “Yes.”

    “Then I accept,” she said.

    Anakin breathed out a sigh of relief. “Thank you.”

    Obi-Wan looked at his chrono. “You’d better get going if you want to ensure a meeting with the Council tomorrow morning.”

    “Can’t you use your position to get me an appointment with them?” pouted Anakin.

    “Not if I am not going to be at the meeting, I can’t,” smiled Obi-Wan slightly.

    Anakin’s shoulders drooped. “It was worth a shot.” He moved forward and pulled his mother into a hug. “Be safe.”

    “I will, Ani, I will.” She patted Obi-Wan on the arm. “I have my Jedi protector with me, after all.”

    Obi-Wan stood up and moved away with Anakin. “You have my word I will protect her. If I have to, I will put myself in the firing line.”

    “I don’t want you to get hurt either.”

    “I know.”

    Anakin’s eyes darkened.

    “Anakin, the Force is with us always. Remember that.”

    “I know. I just feel that if we had been more observant we could have prevented this war from ever happening,” Anakin moaned.

    “I don’t think we could have done. Palpatine has manipulated us all,” responded Obi-Wan. “We just have to hope that we can stop him before his plans come to fruition.”

    “I will tell you now, Master, I will not let him win. I will not let him destroy everything that I hold dear to get to me. I will not let him destroy the Jedi either.” Anakin’s voice was hard and filled with determination.

    Obi-Wan grasped his elbow. “If you think together we can achieve that, then we will.” He had to believe, to give Anakin hope.

    “Just be careful,” whispered Anakin.

    “I promise I won’t throw myself into any burning AT-ATs,” grinned Obi-Wan, trying to lighten the mood.

    A faint smile gripped Anakin’s face. “You better not; otherwise you might find I’ll be coming after you myself.”

    “Go well, my friend, and May The Force Be With You.” Obi-Wan bowed his head.

    “And you too.” Anakin took in a deep breath, swallowed and then turned and left the apartment.

    Obi-Wan watched him leave. He couldn’t help but feel that worse was yet to come for both himself and Shmi. He’d do his best to protect Anakin’s mother, even if it meant his own death.

    Anakin needed her after all.

    To be continued...
    Please let me know what you think!
    Chapter 26 will be posted next Saturday. :)
  6. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Plans afoot - and love that Anakin trusts Obi-Wan enough - even while not fully recovered - to protect his mother. It is THE sign of Anakin's faith and trust in his mentor.

    But - oh boy - who's going to fall into real trouble - Ahsoka and Padme, or Obi-Wan and Shmi? Both pairs?
  7. Janakin Skywalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Really great update! A week is too long to wait for the next one! This is one of my favourite AU's so far. I love AU's about Anakin. Really looking forward to the next one, things are getting juicy now!
  8. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Wonderful bit of strategizing. As tight as it can be barring the unexpected [face_nail_biting]
  9. Jedi_Liz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 6
    still reading! Just got behind a little. I just hope Padme and Ahshoka do not get caught. And I am [face_nail_biting]about Shmi, too.
  10. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    It is exciting what they have all decided to do about Palpatine, and I really liked how Anakin dealt with the situation with his family. Excited to see what happens on this mission--hoping everyone gets through this safely! Great update.
  11. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot This chapter will answer your question as to who will get in trouble, if anyone does :)

    @Janakin Skywalker Unfortunately I can only update weekly because of being at university and its really hectic so fic writing cannot be a priority for me at the moment. I woll try to update every week though :)

    @Jade_eyes Thanks!

    @Jedi_Liz You will see what happens to Padme and Ahsoka in this chapter. :)

    @Luna_Nightshade Thanks! This chapter will cover the mission...

    - - - - -

    Chapter Twenty-Six

    Shmi barely slept that night.

    She appreciated her son telling her about Palpatine but now she was worried about the implications that came with that. Darec and Kia didn’t know as Shmi was choosing to keep the revelations from them. Obi-Wan’s presence in their home had been explained as him wishing for a change of scenary since being cooped up in the Temple.

    Kia had been delighted to see Obi-Wan again. His absence the last few months had been described as being on a pro-longed assignment. Neither her nor Darec believed that she was old enough to know the truth of what Obi-Wan had suffered. Once she reached an age where she could handle the particulars of war, only then would she be told the truth. It was a mutual agreement between all parties that Kia’s innocence had to be spared for as long as possible.

    The lack of sleep made Shmi rise early and she crept out into the living area where she found Obi-Wan standing by the window, his hands behind his back.

    “Could you not sleep?” he asked as he turned towards her.

    She shook her head, sighing and sitting down. “No. How could I after what we heard last night?” A thought struck her. “It is safe to talk isn’t it?”

    He nodded affirmatively. “Yes. I checked for bugs. There is one in every room in this apartment. They are all disabled.”

    Shmi couldn’t help but shake her head. “I always had this feeling that something was off with that man. His manner with Ani always made me feel uneasy even from the very beginning. He tried to treat Ani that he had special privileges because he helped save Naboo. I said to him that Anakin had to go through the proper channels if he wished to speak to my son.”

    Obi-Wan chuckled. “Wish I could have been there to see you put Palpatine back in his place. He must have been fuming. I shouldn’t have allowed Anakin such a free reign with the Chancellor in the first place. It was considered abnormal by the Council but they couldn’t risk upsetting the delicate balance that the Council and the Chancellor had by ordering him to stop. And there really wasn’t any harm in Anakin forming a friendship with him.” He smiled gently at Shmi. “I guess I’m grateful for you for being there.”

    “It’s all thanks to you, Obi-Wan. You freed me,” she replied. “I hate to think how much that man could have twisted Ani’s mind if I hadn’t been here.”

    “I don’t think it is something we should even consider contemplating about,” answered Obi-Wan. “What’s done is done.”

    A thought struck her as a lap of fear washed up her body. “Do you think he hates me?”

    Obi-Wan stroked his beard. “Well, he certainly hates me. That is for sure. But you?”

    “Be honest. I can handle it,” she said.

    “At a guess, yes, he probably does hate you,” sighed Obi-Wan. “Palpatine will probably target you. He’s already targeted me; it has only been now that we have been able to link it back to him. Anakin’s weakness is his attachments to others. You and I are probably the ones most in danger. Though if he’s been bugging Senator Amidala’s apartment then he probably knows about them too…”

    That spread a shock through Shmi’s body. “What?”

    Obi-Wan’s eyes widened. “You don’t know?”

    She shook her head. “I know Ani loves her and that she has promised to wait for him but if anything else has occurred between them, then I don’t know…”

    Nodding, Obi-Wan slowly answered. “I’m not sure whether I should say this…”

    “You better tell me, Obi-Wan Kenobi.” Shmi put on her best authority voice and her voice and eyes hardened. She knew that manner would get the Jedi Master to tell her what exactly he was hiding.

    He sighed and let out a deep breath. “They’re engaged. When Anakin fulfils his destiny, he and Padmé will marry and he will leave the Jedi Order.” He looked quizzically at her. “I’m surprised Anakin didn’t tell you the full truth… He only told me because he felt I deserved to know as his Jedi Master. Plus I had sensed he was keeping something from me. The wonders of our bond, we know when we are keeping secrets from one another.”

    Shmi frowned. “Why wouldn’t Anakin tell me he was engaged?”

    “Maybe to protect you?” suggested Obi-Wan. “But you’ve always known he loves her. They’re doing the sensible thing, making a commitment but not pursuing it until the right time. Anakin will always have attachments. To break him out of that would destroy him.”

    It shouldn’t surprise her that Anakin might want to protect her by not telling her he was engaged, especially since when she had first begun to see Darec, she hadn’t informed Anakin for months for fear of upsetting him. Obi-Wan had suspected of course. After hiding Darec from Anakin until she felt sure she was ready to tell him, she should be able to accept Anakin’s decision to keep the true nature of his and Padmé’s relationship a secret.

    “Does Ahsoka know?” she asked.

    Obi-Wan shook his head. “I don’t think so. She knows Anakin and Padmé are friends but does not suspect the true nature of their relationship,” he sighed. “The trouble with these attachments is that we can be used against Anakin. If the Chancellor figures out we’re onto him, we’ll become the first targets.”

    Shmi almost turned away. She hated the thought that she could prove to be Anakin’s weakness. “Do you think Ani is right? That the Sith want to turn him?”

    Stroking his beard, the Jedi Master turned towards her. “Unfortunately I think that is true. Before I freed you, Anakin saw Palpatine on a regular basis. Palpatine encouraged Anakin to visit him as often as possible. I would have thought the Sith might want to kill the one that is prophesised to destroy them, but turning Anakin to the Dark Side would be an ever greater blow to us. With Anakin easily trusting him, Palpatine had the opportunity to murder and have it covered up or begin to twist Anakin’s mind. After I freed you and you made a point of Anakin being treated like everyone else in front of Palpatine, Anakin stopped seeing him, only visiting when the Chancellor asked him to.” He smiled lightly at her. “You planted the seeds that made Anakin open his eyes to see the manipulation that the Sith was trying to weave in his mind. Without you, I don’t think our bond would be as strong as it is now; Palpatine would have sought to undermine it from the very beginning, and you put a stop to that and Anakin became wiser to the dangers of manipulation and recognised it. Instead of becoming wary about the Jedi, instead it was turned on the Chancellor himself.”

    “So instead of us being Ani’s confidents, it would be Palpatine?” sought Shmi.

    “Unfortunately,” Obi-Wan admitted. “Manipulation that lasts for years could have twisted Anakin’s mind enough that one significant event could make him fall and believe that the Jedi are evil.”

    “And he’d be more susceptible,” whispered Shmi in horror. “And he’d fall.”

    Obi-Wan nodded. “I believe that freeing you may have been our saving grace. I’m not going to lie to you, Shmi, if Palpatine truly wants Anakin to join him, then he knows how to get to him. He will seek to harm us, all those close to Anakin. He might turn to save us.”

    She paled at the thought of her daughter being caught in this battle. For the sake of the ruse they were trying to create, they had to delay the Sith by continuing with their everyday lives as if nothing major had rocked their world.

    They would only have one chance after all.

    - - - - -

    Like his mother, Anakin didn’t sleep that night, too worried and too concerned for the future. He had put in an urgent request to be seen immediately by the Jedi Council and had been informed that he could report to them first thing in the morning. He had gone through the proper procedures but Anakin wanted Yoda to hear what he had to say so he didn’t mind waiting the night before he could talk to them.

    However he couldn’t settle and constantly thought about how he would tell the Council about the revelation regarding the Chancellor.

    The crack of dawn couldn’t come soon enough for him and when it finally did, he quickly got dressed and hurried to the Council Chambers. He reported to the desk and was told to wait. Nerves frayed, he sought the Force to calm him. Not only was he worried about what he’d say now he was concerned for Padmé’s safety considering she would be trying to gather information on the Chancellor. He was tempted to reach for Ahsoka through the bond but he knew that any type of distraction could cause problems.

    The time came for him to be admitted to the Council. Yoda’s report from Christophsis had taken precedence.

    Anakin entered the chamber, his heart beating wildly in his chest. He glanced around at the eleven members of the twelve of the Jedi Council. Obi-Wan’s seat remained empty, the only Jedi not present at this meeting. He was grateful that the entire Council was on the planet. It was rare when the twelve Masters were all together. The outbreak of war meant that the Council was being pulled in all different directions.

    He bowed before them. “Masters.”

    “Knight Skywalker,” they all acknowledged in return.

    “I become before you with grave news,” he began. “It was something that I discovered a few weeks ago and I should have seen the Council then, but I didn’t. I felt that I needed more proof to back up what I am about to say and reveal to you. Right now Senator Amidala and my Padawan are seeking more information to back up my assertions.”

    “Fearful you are,” noted Yoda.

    Anakin bowed his head. “I know, Master. What I have to say cannot be taken lightly. I fear that the Jedi are on the brink of destruction if we do not tread carefully.”

    A sense of worry seemed to pass between the Council members.

    Clearing his throat, trying to ignore the feeling of dread that had settled within his stomach, Anakin spoke confidently, loud and clear. “Chancellor Palpatine is the Sith Lord.”

    He had expected silence and shock from all the members and he was rewarded with both.

    Mace Windu was the first to lean forward. “Are you certain?”

    Anakin nodded. “Yes, Master.”

    “How long have you known?” asked Adi Gallia. “You said this was something you discovered weeks ago.”

    “At least two weeks. I know I shouldn’t have kept this from you, but I had to be sure I was right before I brought this to you. And I had the feeling in the Force that I need Obi-Wan with me when I confront the Sith. He needed to be better,” swallowed Anakin.

    “Explain from the beginning, perhaps you should?” said Yoda, his ears prickling to the sides.

    Anakin took a deep breath and proceeded to tell the Council how he had come to the conclusion of who Palpatine really was, his meditation to verify it, and his plans to try to expose the Chancellor. Once he was finished explaining, he took a step back and waited for the inevitable discussion to come.

    As always, it was Master Windu. “We should arrest him.”

    “No. We can’t be seen to be making a power-play,” said Anakin. He was relieved they believed him, but why shouldn’t they anyway? He’d been truthful about everything, including what his young Padawan and Padmé were up to. “We try to arrest Palpatine, the public could turn against us. All we have on him are my feelings. The public won’t accept that. If we are to maintain trust with the citizens of the Republic, we have to do things the right way.”

    “And sneaking into the Chancellor’s office is the right thing to do?” questioned Plo Koon.

    Of course Anakin’s admittance of what Padmé and Ahsoka were doing wouldn’t sit well with the Council, no matter how honest he was.

    “We need the evidence before we can act. Simple feelings won’t do,” reiterated Anakin. “I know I’m putting them in danger but what else can we do? I’ve been teaching Ahsoka how to hide her presence so, with any hope, they could avoid detection.”

    “I don’t like this,” admitted Mace, “but I do see your point.”

    “And where is Master Kenobi?” asked Adi Gallia. “You mentioned that he knew.”

    “Obi-Wan is with my mother, keeping her safe. I fear that she will be targeted,” he answered.

    “Then we can move her and her family into the Jedi Temple,” said Mace.

    “We can’t. Padmé isn’t the only one being bugged. Obi-Wan reported to me last night that he had found them at my mother’s place too. He has disabled them for now, but he will reactivate them. If Palpatine has been listening in on my mother’s activities, he will know something is wrong when he doesn’t hear anything.”

    Adi was nodding away. “So they need to carry on living normally.”

    “Exactly!” At least they were accepting the explanation. “Even if we staged a conversation that could alert him that they are going away, when really they’d be coming here, there is still the problem of Darec’s job. He can’t just simply take time off at a whim. It would still be suspicious. I don’t like this myself, but keeping to the routine is the best thing we can do. If he’s been bugging Senator Amidala and my mother, then he’s probably keeping an eye upon Darec too.”

    “Hmm, problematic this is,” said Yoda. “Confront the Chancellor we cannot. Present the authorities with the evidence we can, take it from there we will. Be patient we must if the Jedi are to survive.”

    Despite a few disagreeing glances, the majority of the Council voted to be patient and wait to see what Padmé and Ahsoka could obtain for them.

    - - - - -

    Ahsoka Tano had only been a Padawan for a few months. Her skills in the Force were still manifesting but she was a quick learner. The technique Anakin had been teaching her wasn’t one she should have been taught until she was a Senior Padawan. At fourteen years old, she was too young but her Master’s feelings about what the future entailed had prompted him to take the chance and teach her it.

    It was a difficult technique to learn: to shield one’s presence in the Force, especially for a mere Padawan. But Anakin’s help and enthusiasm and determination to teach her had enabled her to pick it up quickly. Unfortunately for Ahsoka, she wasn’t that strong enough to cover both her and Padmé, but she could hide most of their presence. She had to hope that was enough.

    With Ahsoka trailing her, Padmé walked confidently through the halls of the Senate, keeping her face composed and greeting other members as they passed one another. To ensure it was authentic for Ahsoka to be with her, Padmé had sent out a communication to everyone who she had a meeting with today to explain that she’d be shadowed by a Jedi Padawan who wished to have more experience in how Republic politics worked. It was mere courtesy but she hoped that the excuse would prove authentic.

    That did however mean that Ahsoka had to stay with Padmé all day until Senate closing hour. Obi-Wan remained on stand-by to retrieve the information if they found anything. The danger was that their infiltration would be discovered and they’d be caught.

    Padmé palmed the door release for the Chancellor’s Office, walking inside with her report in hand. As expected the Chancellor wasn’t inside.

    Ahsoka manually locked the door from the inside. “How much time do you think we have?”

    “Probably not long,” replied Padmé, settling herself down in the Chancellor’s seat and beginning to tap away at the holo desk. “We’ll have to be quick.” She turned to R2 who had been following them and pointed to the socket in the desk. “Plug in and help me access any restricted files.”

    Ahsoka walked over to the desk and peered over Padmé’s shoulder as files scrolled across in front of them. “Anything interesting?”

    Padmé shook her head. “Just the mundane stuff, the political reports that we all file. Oh, this looks interesting… A file on the clone troopers. I’m surprised this is even on his system…”

    “Look at it,” suggested Ahsoka. “We don’t know what they could truly be trained to do.”

    R2 accessed the relevant file and brought it up on screen.

    But it wasn’t what they were expecting.

    Palpatine’s face appeared before them, his eyes glaring malevolently.

    Padmé pushed back in the chair, shock written over her features.

    “Senator…” Ahsoka began, gripping her arm, one hand on her lightsaber hilt, her eyes skirting around the room.

    “You thought you could outwit me,” a cold smile appeared across the Chancellor’s face. “You should never have underestimated me.”

    “How did he know?” hissed Ahsoka.

    “I still have two listening devices in use that neither of you considered could be potential holders of the devices. I always knew there was a possibility they’d be discovered, having a contingency plan in place allowed me to overhear everything you had to say last night. And I planned accordingly.”

    “This is only a prerecording,” breathed Padmé. “We might still have time. And he probably has the intuition to guess what we would say.”

    Ahsoka gripped her lightsaber, truly fearful of what was happening. The Chancellor had known they would be here. He’d set a trap. But would he know when they had sprung it? He had been involved in a meeting this morning… “Senator, if he knew, would he have cancelled his meeting?”

    “Probably,” the Senator answered. She swallowed nervously.

    Ahsoka ran towards the door, Padmé following closely behind.

    But before they could even reach the doors, the red guards rushed through, holding pikes towards them.

    Ahsoka skidded to a stop and activated her lightsaber blade, pointing it towards the Chancellor’s protectors as they swarmed around them. They all held pikes, holding them tightly in their hands and pointing towards Padmé and Ahsoka.

    “Drop your weapon, Jedi!” growled the guard nearest to Ahsoka.

    Ahsoka gritted her teeth. “I don’t think so!”

    “You are under arrest for planting false evidence against Supreme Chancellor Palpatine!” their accuser replied.

    “WHAT?” Ahsoka nearly rushed forward, letting her brash feelings get in the way of her thinking through the situation logically, but it was Padmé’s grip on her elbow that prevented her from doing something stupid.

    “Don’t,” whispered Padmé.

    “But…” Ahsoka started to protest.

    “We can’t fight them. This is the Senate building. They’ll lock it down and they’ll get us anyway. We have no choice.”

    Ahsoka could see that Padmé did not want to surrender either but the logic was there for why they had to do it.

    “Ahsoka!” Padmé said again.

    Reluctant, Ahsoka released her grip on her lightsaber and the hilt dropped to the floor. She stood defiantly in front of the guards, her lips pursed upwards as she considered the people in front of her. She could leap to safety but as Padmé had explained, they’d lock the Senate down. She didn’t know the building well enough to know of any secret ways out.

    There was only one thing she could do.

    She closed her eyes and reached for the Force, sensing for her Master’s presence, pouring forth the regret she felt at not being able to protect the Senator or herself from discovery. But she could save others. If Palpatine had known about their plan to sneak into his office in advance, then he’d move against the others too… He was going to arrest Shmi and Obi-Wan, just for conspiring against him.

    Unlike Anakin, they were in a place that was easily accessible.

    Ahsoka? Anakin’s voice floated over the bond.

    We’ve failed. He knew, she communicated. He still has listening devices intact. You have to find them. And your mother and Master Kenobi. Save them…

    “What are you doing, Jedi?” a voice snarled.

    Someone grabbed her arm roughly jerking her out of the bond. She growled at the guard. “Let go of me!” She struggled with all her worth but the guard had more power in his muscles then she had in hers. She was easily subdued, as her arms were forced behind her back and cuffed.

    “Stop it! She’s only a child!” Padmé was yelling, angrily at Ahsoka’s treatment.

    The guard was unsympathetic. “A Jedi is never unprepared, even the younger ones.”

    Ahsoka was dragged forwards, refusing to obey the guards whims to move.

    The Chancellors Personal Guards crowded around them as they herded them away and towards where they knew not.

    - - - - -

    Ahsoka’s warning floated into Anakin’s consciousness like a siren. Her presence was strong, defiant yet full of remorse at failure. Her words reached him and he leapt to his feet as her presence disappeared. “No!” he breathed.

    She wasn’t dead, he knew that, unconscious most likely.

    His body trembled with fear, his hands in his hair. “No, no, no!”

    Everything was going wrong.

    “How could he have known?” he breathed. He still has listening devices… but where?

    But the other words that Ahsoka had broadcast to him suddenly sunk through. His mother and Obi-Wan were probably targets too. If Palpatine had known in advance of what their plan was, he could frame them for conspiring against the Republic. He’d have ample reason to arrest them and the public would be on his side because he’d acted honourably, whereas the Jedi had not…

    A lump formed in his throat. He had to make sure his mother and Master were safe and to move them.

    He flipped open his comlink. “Obi-Wan! Come in!”

    Static.

    A crackle.

    But no one answered.

    Frustration poured into him.

    He took his speeder directly to his mother’s apartment, breaking all sorts of speed-limits, not caring about how fast he was going. It was more important for him to find out why Obi-Wan wasn’t responding.

    He parked his speeder just outside his mother’s balcony and leapt over the side, palming the identification pad to open the doors.

    As soon as stepped inside, his stomach fell flat and an ominous feeling built in his tummy.

    The apartment was a mess.

    Furniture was strewn everywhere, objects smashed into tiny little pieces on the floor.

    The droid that he had built as a child was in pieces, scattered across the floor. C-3PO would need to be rebuilt but what drew Anakin’s eye was the glinting object attached to the inside of the droids neck, where no one would notice it or even think of looking unless they were doing maintenance.

    C-3PO had been planted with a listening device.

    Anakin’s breathing stopped.

    “No… That’s how he knew…” he realised. “Neither of us considered that.” His eyes widened as another realisation hit him. “R2 must have one too… He was in Padmé’s apartment last night. Everything we said was transmitted directly to the Sith.” His face paled and he felt sick that he had not considered the possibility of the droids being bugged as well.

    His eyes found a familiar object on the floor, one that had been taken from Obi-Wan for months until he had stolen it back during his escape from captivity. It was his Master’s lightsaber.

    His knees buckled beneath him. “No… What have I done?” His decision to allow Padmé and Ahsoka to infiltrate the Chancellor’s office had proved to be the biggest mistake of his life. The four people that meant the most to him were missing.

    Palpatine was moving against them, prompted by Anakin’s choices.

    No matter what he wanted to do, the Jedi Council had to know what had happened. His family may be in the hands of the Sith, but Anakin would save them. His eyes darkened as he sought strength from the Force.

    I will save them. No matter what.


    To be continued.

    Please let me know what you think!
  12. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    :eek: More trauma on top of drama for someone who doesn't need more guilt and another someone who doesn't need to be in bondage/a hostage again. :(
  13. Darth_Kiryan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2009
    star 4
    Jeez. You can't not say that Palpatine doesn't have backup plans for backup plans for backup plans for backup plans for backup plans etc. etc. etc.
  14. Jedi_Liz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 6
    I really really really hate Palpatine right now; And how did he manage to get devices on Artoo Detoo and Threepio??!?!?!?
  15. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Eeeep! I hope they'll be able to figure out a plan... things had been looking up! Very exciting chapter. I feel bad for Artoo and Threepio to have been used like that. Looking forward to seeing how they're going to get out of this mess! Great update.
  16. Darth_Kiryan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2009
    star 4
    sneaky, even for him. The how is important, but the When, and Where are equally so.
  17. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Jade_eyes Erm... yes, sorry about that... It's just worked out that way...

    @Darth_Kiryan Palpatine is very well prepared... and it will be explained how R2 and 3PO got the listening devices on them, just won't be covered yet... :)

    @Jedi_Liz It will be explained how that happened.

    @Luna_Nightshade There is a lot to take into account now as Palpatine's plans accelerate... lots of things are going to happen. It will be quite a few busy chapters...

    - - - - -

    Chapter Twenty-Seven

    Darkness clouded around her, almost suffocating her. Her head throbbed from the blow to the head she had received and her vision was blurry as her eyelids flickered open. Her surroundings swam around, settling down as she closed them again.

    Her consciousness pulled her back up to the brink of wakefulness after she had rested more and this time her vision focused on the stone wall in front of her. Her wrists wore binders, with a long chain attached to the wall. The place smelt of dirty and dried blood. In the dim light radiating from the candles posted in the fall wall, she could just make out the dried markings of blood.

    Shmi Skywalker shuffled to her feet, ignoring the light throbbing that still remained in her head. Where was she? What had happened?

    The last thing she could recall was Obi-Wan turning to say something to her when the doors to the apartment had slammed open and swarms of clone troopers had come marching in, their weapons raised. They had demanded their surrender for crimes against the Republic… Obi-Wan had tried to reason with them that they had done nothing wrong… but the troopers had asserted that their orders came directly from the Supreme Chancellor himself...


    She shivered as she thought of that man, the man that had hidden his true identity and plotted behind the scenes to bring the galaxy to its knees. The attack on her and Obi-Wan signified that they’d been rumbled. Padmé and Ahsoka must have failed. She wondered what had happened to them…

    There was one thing she was glad about, and that was Obi-Wan had succeeded in getting Darec and Kia out of the apartment and to safety. His quick thinking had helped save them, but he’d been unable to save themselves.

    “Obi-Wan, where are you?” She had last seen him as she tried to flee and he battled away the stun blasts. One must have hit him because moments later, seconds before her own capture, she’d heard a loud thump as a body hit the ground. They had taken him too, but where?

    Shmi Skywalker shivered in the dark, trying to ignore the coldness that was filling her. She was alone in this dark place; Obi-Wan nowhere to be found. Was he still alive?

    “Is Kenobi alive?” a sly voice intoned, its presence felt cold.

    Shmi hadn’t noticed the door opening, so silent it had been. Her heart worked faster as her eyes fell on the figure standing in the doorway.

    “Of course he is,” the figure returned, “but nowhere near you and maybe…” a smile curved at their lips, “he won’t live for long.”

    A shiver ran up Shmi’s spine as she recognised her captor. She’d been all over the holo-net in recent months…

    It was Asajj Ventress.

    - - - - -

    Separated from Ahsoka, Padmé had been led out of the Senate building and into a waiting speeder. Her eyes had been blind-folded and her wrists tied together with thick rope. She had remained composed, choosing to not make a fuss over her incarceration. She was scared, but what could she do?

    Arriving at their destination, wherever it was, Padmé had been forced from the speeder and into a dark building where her eyes were uncovered and she could see where she was. But she couldn’t see outside.

    Padmé rocked back on her heels, her dark brown eyes skirting the walls of her prison, looking for any way out.

    “Senator Amidala.”

    Padmé whirled and her eyes flashed angrily as she took in the figure in front of her. “Count Dooku.”

    The older man smiled at her, his eyes crinkling up at the sides. His right hand rested on the hilt of his lightsaber blade. “The assassination attempts on your life have failed. I am here to ensure that you do not escape this time.”

    - - - - -

    Ahsoka’s own prison confused her.

    Ray shielded, there was no escape. Her lightsaber had been confiscated and she’d been unceremoniously dumped there. She had no idea where she was but she thought she was still on Coruscant.

    Her Master didn’t feel that far away, but the distance was still too great for her to link with him.

    Standing up, Ahsoka cast her eyes around, searching for any way to escape.

    “There is no escape, Jedi scum!”

    The raspy voice echoed over a sound system embedded in the walls.

    Ahsoka froze, her head perked upwards, as her hunting instincts kicked in. She had never met him before, but was well aware of who he was.

    “I will find you! You are my sport!”

    It was General Grievous.

    - - - - -

    When Obi-Wan woke, he was flat on his back, his hands held in binders in front of him. He blinked several times trying to clear his vision as he tried to make sense of his surroundings.

    What surprised him most was his location. He was in the Chancellor’s Inner Office, though he was trapped in a force field in the centre of the room.


    Since when has Palpatine had a force field in his offices? was his first thought. His second was: Where’s Shmi? The last he had seen of her, she’d been attempting to flee from her attackers. Please let her have got away.

    “She didn’t, Master Kenobi.”

    Obi-Wan’s eyes briefly closed and he turned to see the visage of the Sith Lord standing in front of him.

    Palpatine was cloaked in dark robes, a hood covering his head, but his yellow eyes shone outwards. A cruel smile flicked at his lips.

    Obi-Wan scrambled to his feet and faced the Sith Lord, his expression neutral. “What have you done with her?”

    “She is safe… for now.” Palpatine’s eyes glinted. “If it weren’t for your strong Force bond with Skywalker, then his mother would be here in your place. You are merely here to act as a conduct between myself and Skywalker. I have sought Anakin’s power for years. You are one half of the barrier that prevents him from joining me. Your link with him will be very useful indeed.”

    Obi-Wan gritted his teeth. “I won’t let you,” he replied stubbornly.

    Sidious laughed. “Your mind is still healing, Jedi.”

    Obi-Wan swallowed. The Sith was right. His mind would be easily accessible to Palpatine. The mask that Ventress had used on him had probably made him very vulnerable to Sith mind attacks. He wouldn’t be able to withstand the attack for long… and if he tried to, Anakin would sense it and try to aid him, and that is what Palpatine wanted.

    “But first, I have other priorities to deal with before I get to Skywalker,” the Sith Lord said, turning away from Obi-Wan.

    With the Sith’s attention elsewhere, Obi-Wan closed his eyes and reached out for Anakin…

    “ARGH!”

    Obi-Wan’s knees buckled beneath him and he collapsed to the floor.

    Sidious’ laughter echoed back to him. “Force-shock collar, Master Kenobi. Grade II.”

    Panting, he reached up to his neck and felt a thin metallic object around his throat. “It activates whenever you reach for the Force but the Force can still reach you,” continued the Sith. “I need your connection intact otherwise I would have reunited you with a dear friend of yours. The shock-collar serves its purpose though.”

    Obi-Wan shivered. He knew what Sidious was implying. The mask. If he hadn’t needed him specifically, no doubt he’d be reacquainted with that dark object.

    He watched as the Sith sat at his desk, seeing him contact Commander Cody, the clone commander that had been under Obi-Wan’s command. He stiffened as he heard three words utter from Palpatine’s mouth; three words that he didn’t understand the meaning of, but he felt spelled an omen.

    “Execute Order 66.”

    Sidious’ eyes centred on Obi-Wan, who was still kneeling on the floor in his force-field watching him.

    “What… what was that order?”

    Palpatine smirked.

    The Sith didn’t even need to answer as it became clear so quickly.

    Despite the collar around his neck, the huge destabilisation of the Force could not be missed or prevented from reaching him. His breathing became faster as his heart was torn to pieces as the auras that had littered the Force began to dim and wink out.

    All across the galaxy, Jedi were dying as their clone troopers turned on them.

    - - - - -

    Anakin was with the Council when it happened.

    When they all felt the first death, and then the second and the third and many following so quickly that neither of the Masters could comprehend what was happening. Anakin felt his heart burning as the Force screamed in agony around him and in him. Surprise and shock consumed him and horror over what was happening… Over the bonds he could just sense his Master’s anguish, as well as Ahsoka’s.

    He almost fell to his knees but managed to prevent himself. Ignoring the agony that swept through him, he gritted his teeth and faced the Council. “We have to stop the Temple from being invaded!” he was almost shouting because the deaths were continuing, overwhelming them. “It’s Palpatine! He’s done something that is killing us all at once!”

    Anakin projected his aura into the Force to dampen the pain he was in. The Councillors had done the same, though each still had uncomfortable looks on their faces, as the pain of the deaths had only been dimmed, not ignored completely.

    “Act quickly to secure the Temple we must,” said Yoda. “Save those here we can. A shame to lose Jedi it is. Focus on the here and now, we must.”

    Anakin swallowed. It sounded callous, but they couldn’t do anything about the Jedi being killed who were not in the Temple.

    “How are they dying?” asked Adi Gallia. “I could not sense how they suddenly perished…”

    “Betrayal,” replied Anakin. “The clones. It has to be them. I felt shock and surprise from some… Their own men are turning against them.”

    “Are you certain?” questioned Windu. “I did not sense betrayal. Even now I can’t.”

    Anakin nodded, his eyes hard. “I’m sure. It’s the only explanation as to how many Jedi are dying so quickly. The clones are meant to serve us, but their superior officer in every way is the Chancellor. The Sith gave the Kaminoans what instructions to programme the clones with. They wouldn’t question the orders. The clones must have been programmed to kill us. And the Sith must have issued that order,” he rationalised. “It’s the only way for this to have happened…” He didn’t know for sure but everyone knew that the clones had been trained to follow specific sets of orders without question. Since the Sith was behind the Clone Wars anyway, and must have put the Clone Army in place, it was not impossible to assume that one of those orders must contain instructions to turn against their commanding officers without hesitation.

    “I fear that Anakin is right,” said Ki-Adi Mundi. “We must stay together if we are to survive.”

    “I’ll help to secure the Temple,” replied Anakin. “I can’t go to the Sith unless I’m sure that everyone is safe.” No matter how much he wanted to help the people he cared about, he realised that he would hate himself if he allowed anything to happen to his home. He was sure that Palpatine wouldn’t kill his family… yet.

    “To face Palpatine alone is dangerous,” warned Mace.

    “I know, Master Windu, but what choice do I have? I’m the Chosen One. It’s my destiny. And he’s taken my family. I will save them but I can’t act until everyone in this Temple is safe.”

    - - - - -

    Weaponless, Ahsoka leapt up over one of the walls, her eyes constantly searching round for the droid general that was hunting her. She could hear his cackling breathing, but she wouldn’t be able to avoid him forever. He’d eventually corner her. That, and the fact that she had no lightsaber and that destroyer droids were now patrolling the maze too.

    Even as she began to run quickly, but silently down the next maze length, a stabbing pain erupted in her head and a scream was torn from her throat. She stumbled and fell onto her knees, panting hard. Her vision blurred and she felt such intense pain – the screams of hundreds of people calling out to her as they died – that the terror of it was nearly enough to rock her out of it, however the awareness of the danger she was in, helped her cling to consciousness.

    She started to crawl forward, trying to get her numb legs to work. She could hear the pounding of Grievous coming closer, laughing hoarsely as he advanced.

    “Come on, Ahsoka, block it out!” she berated herself.

    “JEDI SCUM!”

    She didn’t have enough training to be able to block it out. Anakin hadn’t taught her that yet.

    Scrambling to her feet desperately, she whirled round as Grievous bounded at her, two lightsabers in his robotic hands, aiming right for her.

    She rolled to the side, avoiding what would have been a fateful blow. Her eyes caught the hilt he held in his right metallic hand. He had her lightsaber.

    Behind her came the rolling sound of the destroyer droids. She had only one option.

    Despite the ringing in her ears she bounded clumsily up the wall and leapt high across the maze, landing on the top of a wall before dropping down into another pathway. With any luck, Grievous wouldn’t have seen where she had gone.

    Her legs buckled beneath her and Ahsoka felt herself sinking onto the floor. She felt like crying but all she could do was remember the Jedi that had been brutally murdered in cold blood.

    - - - - -

    “What have you done with him?” demanded Shmi.

    She may be in the hands of Asajj Ventress but if she was going to be her executioner, then she’d go down being defiant. She wouldn’t make it easy for her. This woman had tortured a member of her family for months.

    Ventress stepped forward, smiling broadly. “I have done nothing with him. You were delivered to me. It is my job to distract Skywalker long enough so that my Master’s plan can reach fulfilment.”

    Shmi’s eyes narrowed. “Hurting us will only make my son stronger.”

    Ventress smirked. “Really? He used his anger on Rattatak. Oh yes, I’ve heard all about that…”

    Shmi wouldn’t take the bait. She bit her lip and tried again. “Where is Obi-Wan?”

    “You will see.”


    Why isn’t she doing anything? Shmi wondered. What is she waiting for?

    She couldn’t figure it out. Why would one of the most dangerous and lethal people in the galaxy just stand and wait?

    “Orders. I am waiting for my orders,” was the response. “I am to detain you until I receive further communication.”

    That was when Shmi noticed the holo-projector embedded into the wall.

    She couldn’t help but shiver. She had a bad a feeling about what was to happen.

    Reluctant to talk with her captor, Shmi settled in to wait. What more could she do?

    To be continued....

    The next chapter will be posted next Saturday.
  18. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Yikes and double yikes - are we soon to have "the" confrontation? I was hoping we could avoid Order 66 in this AU...:_|
  19. Jedi_Liz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 6
    why did you have to have Order 66? :_|:_|

    I am glad that Kia and Darec are safe.
  20. Voxynking2 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2012
    I remember reading the first chapter SOOOO long ago. Happy I finally found it again!!! Wow what a story. Can't wait for Saturday!!
  21. Janakin Skywalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Indeed, the fun has begun. Great update! Really looking forward to Saturday for the next one!
  22. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Very scary situation for everyone, and also Order 66! Here is hoping Anakin handles it better this time, and that they can figure out a plan. Great update!
  23. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot The confrontation is coming up but it won't be for a few chapters yet, everything happening now is leading up to it. Order 66 might not be as successful as it was in ROTS though ;)

    @Jedi_Liz Erm, there had to be some casualties. Palpatine wants the Jedi eradicated, since they know who he is, he had to act.

    @Voxynking2 Thank you! I hope you like this update!

    @Janakin Skywalker Thank you!

    @Luna_Nightshade Thank you! You'll see what happens in this chapter how Order 66 is handled...

    - - - - -

    A Mother’s Love

    Chapter Twenty-Eight

    They had been lucky.

    Anakin’s realisation that it was the clones that had been programmed as Palpatine’s puppets had given the Jedi Council time to act. It was little relief as the Temple was only just locked down in time before a legion of clones, led by none other than Anakin’s own Captain, stormed the Temple.

    Each member of the Council had been dispatched to areas in the Temple and were using the Force to hold back the doors and the windows. The Younglings and the Padawans, too young to fight were being evacuated from the Temple via a secret pathway that hadn’t been used in years. It ran from underneath the training halls into the underbelly of Coruscant. More than forty Jedi Knights had been charged with the task of protecting the Younglings as they moved through the underworld of the capital.

    Despite the youngling’s evacuation, the Council still did not want the clones to raid the Temple. Letting them in would only happen if their strength failed.

    Anakin watched through the security cameras as the clones tried to blow their way into the Temple. It wouldn’t work, partly because at the start of the war, the Jedi had made the effort to upgrade their security systems. His eyes on the clones, he thought he recognised one, just by the armour for he had served as the clones General throughout the war.

    “Why did it have to be him?” moaned Anakin. Out of all the clones that could lead this attack, Palpatine had chosen to dispatch Anakin’s own personal squad. “Why Rex?”

    “I think we have established, young Skywalker, that the Sith want you specifically. To hurt you emotionally. Taking the people you hold dear and then setting your assigned troopers on your home is all a means to get to you,” said Plo Koon, as he came up to stand beside Anakin.

    “But it won’t accomplish Palpatine anything,” said Anakin. “Taking the people I care about is only going to make me turn against him, not wish to join him.” He shook his head, unable to fathom out the Sith Lord. “I guess maybe if I had trusted him… and we’d been friends then things might be different.” He glanced at the Kel-Dorr. “I will never join him. He is responsible for everything that has happened. How could I even consider joining him when he issued an execution order for Obi-Wan?”

    Plo Koon laid a hand on Anakin’s shoulder. “Even if you destroy the Sith, if you turn in the process, the Chancellor will have won.”

    “I won’t turn,” Anakin repeated. “You have my word.”

    “Even at the cost of the lives of the people you love?” probed Plo Koon.

    Anakin sighed. He couldn’t answer that without feeling guilty. If Palpatine offered to free his loved ones, would he take that offer? That fact that he wasn’t instantly denying that thought worried him. He hoped that if he was presented with that choice, he would do the sensible thing and refuse. But if his choice meant saving his loved ones from certain death…


    No, don’t think about it. You have a duty to do. Both mum and Obi-Wan would expect me to do it.

    He continued to watch the clone troopers. They had made only a dent in the doors to the Temple.

    “They’ll get in eventually,” mentioned Plo Koon. “But we will repel them.”

    “Kill them?” enquired Anakin, though he already knew the answer.

    “If I have to,” was the answer.

    The trouble with that were these specific clones, Anakin knew personally. They were sensible and experienced soldiers. Surely they must have some loyalty to the Jedi after fighting beside them for so long? Rex swore loyalty to me… Surely if I can appeal to him, he might turn away?

    Anakin realised the futility of it all but it was a chance he had to take. If he could persuade the clones that the Chancellor was evil, they could perhaps save the Jedi. He got up from his chair and proceeded towards the exit of the monitoring room. He glanced back at the cameras, noticing the Kel Dor watching him expectantly.

    “I’m going to try negotiations. They are my men: perhaps I can put a stop to this. Keep an eye on things… analyse their reactions to what I say, just in case they give away any hint that they feel guilty about turning on us all very suddenly,” said Anakin. “We could still turn this attack to our advantage.”

    - - - - -

    Some would call him brave, some would call him stupid, either way Anakin couldn’t decide what he was when he stepped outside the Jedi Temple, without his lightsaber. The doors were slightly open; enough that he could slip back in if the situation turned hostile.

    He glanced down at the sea of clones on the steps and then up at the sky where the hovering newscam was recording his every move. The Jedi Temple siege was the main item of the day, but Palpatine’s decision to allow the news outlets to report would turn out to be an advantage Anakin would take.

    A smile quirked up at his lips. “I request to speak to Captain Rex of the 501st.”

    The clone stepped forward, removing his helmet as he did so. His shaven head, with a hint of blond in the strands that were just poking out of the top, were the only indication to telling him apart from the rest of his brothers. “Your request is granted only because you are not a traitor to the Republic.”

    “Rex, this isn’t you,” began Anakin. “What’s made you believe that the Jedi are traitors? That they all deserve to die and without a trial?”

    “It was our order, sir. Jedi are too difficult to capture – you know that.”

    “And all of them have to die?” continued Anakin.

    “Yes.”

    “Even the children?” This was a test. Anakin bit his lip, waiting for an answer.

    “Every Jedi must die, sir.”

    Anakin sighed. Rex’s answers proved that the children would have been slaughtered too. It saddened him that a friend of his could so quickly turn against the Jedi. “Who gave you the order?”

    “The Chancellor.”

    “Of course. Are you aware that he is a traitor to the Republic and ordered General Kenobi’s execution when he was still being held by the Separatists?” probed Anakin. Perhaps he could get Rex to think about his actions, his order, maybe see if he could open his eyes.

    Rex was silent for a few seconds longer. “I was not aware of that, sir.”

    Anakin moved forward. “If the Jedi are traitors to the Republic, what is our crime?”

    “Conspiring against the Chancellor, with the intent on overthrowing him. The Jedi are also responsible for this war,” answered Rex, his eyes not moving from Anakin’s.

    Anakin decided to be blunt. He had the chance to get the accusations out there, so that the public themselves would know Palpatine’s true identity. “Chancellor Palpatine is a Sith Lord. Do you know what that is, Rex?”

    Rex fidgeted on his feet. “No, sir.”

    “They are the enemies of the Jedi, Force users. They hate us and will stop at nothing to make sure that they destroy our Order. For all these years, the Jedi Council considered Palpatine a friend, an ally, but he was secretly conspiring against them to have us all destroyed. Even murder defenceless children who have done nothing wrong! This war was devised by Palpatine and Count Dooku! They are both Sith Lords, working together! The Jedi were not acting against the Chancellor, until we had more proof that our suspicions were correct! That is not treason! The one who committed that crime is the Chancellor himself!” Anakin took in a deep breath, sweeping his eyes over the Clone troopers. “Is it right of the Chancellor to take innocent people hostage to get to me?”
    Rex’s head cocked to the side. “What do you mean by that, sir?”

    “My mother has been taken, Rex. And so has my apprentice, my Master and the woman who I love.” It was a bold statement to make but he knew deep down that Rex was capable of understanding. He was his own person; he didn’t have to follow the rules. “The Jedi are not the bad guys, Rex. Even if we have committed crimes, surely we all deserve a fair trial? And the children, shouldn’t they be returned to their parents? Why should they be murdered when they are too young to even understand if they are being traitors to the Republic just by being Jedi?”

    There was a change in mood; Anakin could sense it. He pressed on, raising his voice louder.

    “When you came under my command, Captain Rex, you swore an oath to obey my orders, regardless of the situation.” Anakin folded his arms, back straight as he stared at the Clones gathered before him. “Are you going to break this oath?”

    “I made an oath to the Republic too, General.”

    Anakin’s lips quirked upwards slightly. Rex had called him General. Did that signify a good sign? “Would you really continue your siege of our Temple to murder younglings and Padawans if I ordered you not to?”

    “It would depend on whether the other Jedi remained inside.”

    Frustration boiled through Anakin. Rex wasn’t making this easy. “But they are not traitors. Not until they are proven guilty. Place them under house arrest. Your fellow brothers have already murdered many of the Jedi on the battlefront,” swallowed Anakin. “Believe me, Rex, it hurts when you feel your brothers and sisters die. The Jedi are my family. You may have orders to leave me alive, but I won’t stand aside while I let you pillage this Temple.” Anakin took in a deep breath. “If you still respect me as your General, then stand down. You are still obeying Republic law, even if you are breaking your oath to follow the Chancellor’s commands.”

    “There is something else, sir. The Order we were given was programmed into us during our training. We cannot disobey it even if we wanted to.”

    Was Rex trying to help him?

    Anakin cursed under his breath. Just when he thought he was making some progress, Rex threw up other barriers. “Can this Order be rescinded?”

    “Only on the orders of the Chancellor.” Rex placed his helmet back on his head. “I’m sorry, sir.” He raised his rifle, pointing it towards Anakin.

    “I can’t believe that the order you have been given means killing innocent children,” returned Anakin before he dashed back through the Temple doors, shutting them quickly and used the Force to set the locking mechanisms in place. It wouldn’t hold the clones for long, but it might buy them some time. There had to be something in the clones programming that Palpatine couldn’t have thought of. There must be a way to get them to see that! He didn’t want to kill his own men.

    Pulling out his comlink, he called for Mace Windu.

    “Master! How long can the Temple hold against the onslaught?” he enquired as he ran towards the library.

    “With as many Jedi as we do have here currently, a fair few hours, unless they bring in the big ships,” was Mace’s response. “Why? If we want to survive we are going to have to leave the Temple at some point. We won’t be able to hold it, no matter how much we want to!”

    “I know but there has to be a way to reach the clones and make them stop. I need to contact the Kaminoans. Perhaps they can help!” It was an idea. They had been the race to create the clones in the first place. If there was a way to override the Chancellor’s order, they’d know.

    - - - - -

    The Sith had done this deliberately to torture him further, Obi-Wan was sure of it. The siege of the Temple was on the Galactic News. Details of the Jedi’s betrayal was being broadcast, courtesy of Palpatine’s sneaky listening devices that had been recording their every word. Of course the files had been sliced into and rearranged as Sidious had made sure to make the Jedi look even worse. And of course, despite Palpatine not being in his office, he had left the holo-field on so that he could watch the devastation that was being wrought upon the Jedi Temple. He was sure it would be worse if the clones could enter the Temple, but there were more Jedi at home in the Temple then there was out on the field, so they did have the added advantage…

    Obi-Wan sighed.

    He was alone in the Inner Office, the ‘Chancellor’ dealing with important issues within the Senate regarding the Jedi rebellion. He couldn’t escape, he’d tried. The force-field electrocuted him whenever he touched it, and he couldn’t use the Force either due to the shock collar he wore. He was virtually helpless, unable to aid his family.


    Family.

    All his life he had been taught that attachments were the path to the dark side, yet he couldn’t deny to himself that he didn’t have any. He did. He had a family, thanks to Anakin. Anakin was his brother in all but blood. Shmi was a combination of three things: a mother, a dear friend and a sister. How could he have failed her?

    He didn’t know where she was. I tried to help her get away but I failed.

    “You will always be too weak to save everyone, Kenobi.”

    Obi-Wan swallowed.

    The Sith was back, dressed in the guise of the kindly Chancellor of the Republic.

    As Obi-Wan watched, the Chancellor’s face changed. It lost its colour, turning grey and more wrinkles appeared. The kindly eyes changed to yellow and a foul grin spread across his face as he looked down upon his prisoner.

    “Your mind is an open book to me, Jedi. For a member of the Jedi Council, you are pathetically weak,” Sidious sneered.

    Obi-Wan glared at his captor. His mind was still healing from the damage Ventress had done to it by forcing him to wear the Mask. He was fairly sure now that if he’d remained Ventress’ prisoner for any longer, he’d have broken. The Mask had broken down his shielding, broken into his mind and tried to twist him. The damage done to his mind wouldn’t heal quickly, but the process had started, however faced with a powerful Sith, he was still too weak to erect sufficient barriers to withstand against him.

    “Enjoying your little show?” Palpatine pointed towards the holo-net, which was still displaying news on the siege of the Temple. “Your former apprentice is fool-hardy. He won’t be able to stop the clones. The Jedi will die and he will come to me.”

    “Anakin won’t turn,” Obi-Wan finally said.

    The Sith laughed cruelly. “He will. His attachments will prove to be his undoing. He will not leave all four of you to die.”

    “Even if he doesn’t leave us to die, he will come with a plan. He isn’t rash, no matter how much you tried to provoke him to be,” returned Obi-Wan. Anakin was smart, he wouldn’t rush to face the Sith without planning things out. He was more mature then the Sith gave him credit for.

    “Maybe so,” Palpatine’s eyes glinted, making Obi-Wan feel that worse was yet to come, “but he will be vulnerable to his bonds. He will feel everything and try to save you all… And then…” Sidious’ hands were slowly rising upwards to point towards the Jedi.

    Obi-Wan swallowed, a shiver of fear running up his spine. He barely had the chance to react as the force-field fell down around him and a jet of lightning from the Sith’s fingertips impacted against his chest. He flew backwards, hitting the wall with his back and slid down, panting as the Sith advanced once more.

    - - - - -

    Despite Dooku’s threat to her, Padmé had been left alone. She been given a glass of water but aside from that… She sighed, frustrated by the turn of events. She had no idea where Ahsoka was or what was happening outside. She was still on Coruscant; before leaving her cell, Dooku had practically confirmed it. His presence on the capital only furthered proof that Chancellor Palpatine was a traitor and playing both sides.

    The door suddenly swished open and Dooku stood there, two Super Battle Droids flanking him.

    “Senator,” he said calmly.

    Padmé refused to answer, holding her chin defiantly high.

    “I see you are in no mood to talk.” He raised a hand. “I may as well carry out my orders if you are not going to be civilised enough to engage me in a conversation.”

    She wouldn’t let him provoke her into exceeding to his wishes. He had already made it clear that he was going to kill her. It baffled her why he was dragging it out. Was it to make her afraid? I’m not afraid to die.

    “If you insist, Senator,” the Count continued. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” He brought his hand down.

    - - - - -

    The pain of the Jedi’s death was slowly fading, but still Ahsoka Tano hadn’t moved. She knew Grievous was looking for her, but the pain through the Force had rocked her completely off course. The deaths of so many… How?

    She shook her head tails and began to climb to her feet. She learnt on the wall to provide support as she tried to find the strength to stagger on. She was still alive, the Jedi were not dead yet.

    A distant sound reached her keen hearing; the sound of generators warming up.

    “What is that?” she whispered.

    Before she could even react, the walls lit up. She tried to jerk away from her leaning position but it was too late. Electricity shot up through her body and she screamed as it continued to tear through her, the voltage not deadly enough to kill, but high enough that it could disable her.


    MASTER!!!!!!!!!

    - - - - -

    Despite her situation, Shmi had allowed herself to relax. Scared and worried, the most she could do was convince herself that everything would work out well in the end. Considering the ferocity with the way Ventress had treated Obi-Wan, Shmi had been expecting the same treatment. It surprised her that her captor hadn’t harmed her, but instead chosen to leave her with some comfort – a blanket to keep warm.

    She eyed the holo-cam mounted on the wall. She was sure it wasn’t active yet. She wouldn’t have been placed in the cell if there wasn’t going to be some use for it later on.

    “You may be right about that…” Ventress stepped into the cell. “But not yet…” A tight grin pulled at her merciless features. “Let’s see how Skywalker copes with this, shall we?”

    Confused, Shmi started to open her mouth to question her captor, but a tightness around her throat prevented her from talking. Struggling to breathe, she scrabbled with her hands, trying to find the source of the tightness.

    No!!

    A lack of oxygen got to her, as her head began to feel dizzy. Her eyes hazy, she realised that the Force was being used against her.

    Ani!

    And then, darkness consumed her.

    - - - - -

    Anakin stumbled as all four of his bonds screamed in agony. His chest hurt, his knees buckled, collapsing to the floor. “No!” he gasped out, trying to shut out the pain. Tears leaked out of the corner of his eyes. “I will be strong!”

    He had known from the moment he had learned that Ahsoka, Padmé, Obi-Wan and his mother had been caught, that the Sith would use them against him. He hadn’t been prepared for them to all be hurt at the same time. The worst pain came from Obi-Wan; their bond being the strongest, but also the most vulnerable due to his Master’s condition.

    Sidious was using that.

    “Leave them alone!” he hissed out angrily.

    And then a cold, sharp voice filled his head.

    He shivered involuntarily as he understood how Palpatine was communicating with him.

    Obi-Wan’s bond.

    The other pain that had rocked him coming from his apprentice, Padmé and his mother had faded, but Obi-Wan’s continued, as the Sith Lord mounted pressure upon the bond to talk directly to Anakin, invading Obi-Wan’s mind to do so. He became dimly aware of someone wrapping their arms around him, but he was too focused on the cruel voice inside his head.

    You can save them…

    It hurt Anakin that he couldn’t go to their aid, even if it was his own choice to aid the Jedi first.

    Anakin gritted his teeth. I know you want me to join you, but I won’t. Not now, not ever!

    Palpatine snarled back. Your Master is already weak. It is so easy to use him to talk to you. You should see him now…

    An image of Obi-Wan appeared in his mind. His former Master was being held by the Force against a wall, the Sith’s hands on either side of his face. Obi-Wan’s struggle and pain was evident as his eyes were shut tightly and his forehead crinkled. He was struggling to pull away from the cruel grip.

    Do you see, Skywalker? The power the dark side presents? You could have this power, Anakin…

    No! Anakin’s shoulders sagged forward.

    Do you want his suffering to continue? With just one command I can order the deaths of your loved ones. You won’t just feel their deaths, you will see them too… threatened the Sith. You are destined for so much more than being a slave to the Jedi.

    Anakin felt his anger boil inside him. The only slave here is you! You’re a slave to the dark side! You are ruled by your hate! I will not let you take everything I hold dear. I will never join you! Anakin returned with fierce emotion. I’d rather die.

    Anger poured forth from the Sith, and Anakin saw Obi-Wan buckle under the grip of the Sith Lord.

    LEAVE HIM ALONE! yelled Anakin.

    He is mine. You can only save him and the others if you join me. Palpatine’s presence faded from the bond.

    The connection was cut off and Anakin finally opened his eyes. He knew what Obi-Wan would expect him to do. He would tell him to let him die.

    “Skywalker, are you ok?”

    Anakin turned his head to see Adi Gallia gripping his shoulders. He swallowed. “Master Gallia…” he panted heavily. “It was the Sith. He’s using my connection with Obi-Wan to contact me directly. And… he hurt the others too at the same time.”

    “You have bonds with all of them?”

    Anakin nodded. The Council didn’t know about his engagement to Padmé but they did know that they were close friends. “Obi-Wan’s bond is the strongest. My mother is second. Ahsoka’s and Padmé’s bonds are still forming.”

    “Why would you have a bond with Senator Amidala?” enquired Adi as she helped Anakin to his feet.

    Anakin sighed. The truth would come out at some point. Better here than later. “I love her.” He turned to face the Jedi Master. “Padmé and I are engaged. We are not in a relationship, but we both love one another. We made a pact that we wouldn’t follow our hearts until we could. That time will be after the Sith are defeated. I won’t be staying within the Jedi Order if I survive this.”

    Adi nodded quietly. “I see.” To her credit she didn’t seem disproving, but there wasn’t time to think over that now.

    “I need to make contact with the Kaminoans, maybe there is some order that we can use to stop the clones from believing we are the enemy,” said Anakin.

    “We can’t contact anyone,” mentioned Adi. “Our ability to transmit has been blocked. Jammers are trained on the Temple.”

    Anakin cursed. “Kriff! Then what can we do?”

    Adi laid a hand on his shoulder. “Perhaps it might be best to investigate the files that Master Yoda requested from the Kaminoans just after you told us about the Chancellor’s identity?” she suggested.

    “What files?”

    “The original files for when the order of Clones was established, as well as any updates that may have been applied up until he made the request,” pointed out Adi. “That might be able to help.”

    “I thought we already had those files…” Anakin considered.

    Adi shook her head. “No. The files we did have were transmitted directly from the Chancellor’s office, therefore when we learned about the deception Palpatine has been playing for years, we decided to be on the safe side and request the original files directly from the source.” She turned him in the direction of the main hall. “Talk to Master Yoda. He’ll direct you to the right place.”

    “What about you?” asked Anakin.

    “I have another job to do. Concentrate on yours, Skywalker, and I’ll concentrate on mine.”

    Anakin nodded. “Master, May the Force Be With You.”

    “You too.” She gave him a small smile and sped off down the hallway.

    - - - - -

    When Anakin found Master Yoda and explained to him the situation and what he wanted to accomplish the elder Jedi studied him intently, before nodding his head and telling Anakin exactly where he could find the original file. If he hadn’t been in a hurry, Anakin would have queried Yoda about his moment of silence; however the stakes were too high for him to drag himself into a philosophical conversation right now.

    With the authorisation code given to him, Anakin made his way to Yoda’s quarters where he found a datapad which held the original orders on. He inputted the code and flicked through the file, his eyes running over the information, absorbing it quickly as he sought to find what he needed.

    Please let there be something to salvage this problem…

    Anakin hated the thought of killing Rex. Yes, the clones had betrayed them but they had been ordered to do so via an order implanted in them. If there was a way to rescind that order…

    “Order 66,” said Anakin loudly, as he found the order. It had taken him a while to read down the list of orders but finally he had found one that he thought pointed to the one Sidious had issued which had resulted in the deaths of Jedi across the front line. “’In the event of Jedi officers acting against the interests of the Republic, commanders will remove those officers by lethal force, and command will revert to the Supreme Commander.’ This must be it!” He frowned as he considered the wording. “But none of us have acted against the Republic. Padmé is a Senator and Ahsoka isn’t even an officer.” But Obi-Wan is and so am I.

    He continued to read the file but he couldn’t find anything that pointed to a way to get the clones to stand down. Frustration boiled inside him.

    “Skywalker!”

    He looked up as Aayla Secura came running into the apartment. He saw the frantic look on her face. “What is it?” Fear clenched at his soul. Who had died?

    “Your former captain is requesting to speak to you.”

    Anakin’s heart began to pound faster. “Rex?”

    She nodded, her leeku tails swinging behind her head.

    “Are they still attacking?” he swallowed.

    “They’ve pulled back… for now. Whatever you said to that clone might have sunk in,” she added.

    “Or it’s a ploy to get me out of the Temple so they can get in,” he responded. “Are the other Masters in agreement with me going out there?”

    Aayla nodded. “They are. If it gives us more time, then they are willing to risk it.”

    It was the most they could do. “Ok, I’ll go,” said Anakin. Taking the data-pad with him, Anakin made his way back to the Temple doors, where the surviving members of the Jedi Council were gathered.

    “Did you find anything?” asked Windu.

    Anakin shook his head. “No. But, if we are not on the field, are we still classed as officers?”

    “Technically yes…” asked Mace. “Why?”

    Anakin handed him the data-pad. “Read that Order.”

    “I see what you mean,” said Mace once he had seen the Order. “It’s very vague that Order.”

    “The only Jedi that could be considered to be acting against the Republic is myself and Obi-Wan. We’re both officers in the Republic. The clones have an order to leave me alive, and Obi-Wan has already been detained,” replied Anakin. An idea was forming in his mind. “Rex said that he had orders to kill you all, but that is not what the Order implies. It only means the officers, not the children. The clones have taken it to mean all of us. But not all of us have acted against the Republic, therefore this attack is unlawful. What proof do the clones have that the rest of you are a threat?”

    “They don’t,” said Plo Koon.

    Anakin grimaced. “If Captain Rex has realised this then perhaps we can survive this after all. There is no way Palpatine can justify the killing of children when they are not even officers. There will be a public outcry! Perhaps that Order can be applied to some Jedi but not all of us.” He turned to face the doors. “Is he out there?”

    Yoda hobbled forwards. “He is. Careful you must be, young Skywalker.”

    “I will, Master Yoda.”


    Straightening his shoulders, Anakin, once again, stepped through the doors, his heart heavy at what he may have to do if Rex was not willing to be more open-minded this time. He hoped that he wouldn’t have to end his life to save the Temple and the Jedi that it housed within.

    To be continued...
    Chapter Twenty-Nine will be posted next Saturday!
  24. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    What a brilliant twist and elaboration on Order 66. Makes much more sense this way. =D= =D= And ouch!!!!! What a dilemma Anakin could be in - having to decide how and whether to save those he loves. The burden of choice and remorse no matter what one chooses. [face_thinking] :(
  25. Jedi_Liz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 6
    *Builds time machine to get me to next week*
    Jade_eyes likes this.
Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade