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. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Hmmm, so Obi-Wan and Anakin will be the "sacrifices" to save the rest of the Order? Too bad Anakin can't pull Order 65 (or was it 67?) in the case of the Chancellor betraying the Republic. Sure there's no backdoor for him to exploit?

    And Sids - using Obi-Wan as a conduit? :eek: Not good, not good at - should I have a bad feeling about Obi-Wan surviving this?
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  2. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Love how Anakin is dealing with the situation in this story compared to RotS. Here's hoping he can reason with the clones, and that he can rescue his family. I like seeing the other Jedi helping him, too. Exciting update--looking forward to the next!
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  3. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Jade_eyes Yes, Anakin has quite a tough choice to make. Who does he save first, if he can?

    @Jedi_Liz I hope your time machine worked ;)

    @Valairy Scot Anakin may be working on a way to stop the Clones attack ;) Should you have a bad feeling about Obi-Wan? I don't think I can answer that.... yet.

    @Luna_Nightshade Thank you! I hope you like this chapter!

    - - - - -

    Chapter Twenty-Nine

    Captain Rex was waiting for him, flanked by a few of his troopers under his command. All of their blasters were trained on Anakin as he stepped out of the Jedi Temple once more and descended the steps. He stopped in front of the soldier and raised his hands. He wasn’t surrendering; rather he was showing that he was not prepared to fight them, despite the lightsaber still attached to his belt.

    “You wished to see me,” commented Anakin, his eyes moving over the clones behind Rex, who stood stock still, no longer attacking the outside of the Temple. He could see a tank amongst the clones, its cannon trained on the Temple walls. A few blasts of that would break a hole in the Temple defences. He wondered why they hadn’t used it yet.

    “I did, sir.”

    There it was again, the mention of command to somebody who they were no longer loyal to.

    “You said you couldn’t believe that the Order we have included killing children.”

    “Yes, I did.” Since he had seen the Order, Anakin knew he was right.

    “Jedi children are not officers, are they sir?” asked Rex, though it was phrased more like a statement then a question.

    “No, they’re not,” replied Anakin. “Neither are Padawans. You might have a case against the Knights and Masters, but the children, no.”

    “We were told to kill everyone.”

    Anakin frowned. “That is not following the Order to its exact wording is it?

    “No, sir.”

    He felt hope spring inside him. It appeared Rex was in overall charge of this operation. If he declared the Order redundant then they could save the Temple and the rest of the Jedi… Anakin decided to take a risk, to ask the question that he had questioned Master Windu about.

    “Am I still your officer now, Rex? Now that we are not on a battlefield?”

    “By a mere technicality you are not,” answered Rex.

    Anakin pressed forward. “So if I am not your officer now, then are the other Jedi in the Temple?” He held his breath.

    “If we say that you are not an officer whilst not on the battlefield then the others in the Temple are not,” replied Rex.

    Anakin inclined his head in acknowledgement. That was interesting. His words from earlier had struck Rex. But what about the other clones? Would they follow Rex’s decision? He had to ask, to know whether he could ask Rex for help. “What about your brothers? Do they feel the same?”

    Rex shook his head. “No, sir.”

    Folding his arms, Anakin scrutinised his Captain. “So, if you ordered them to not attack the Temple, they’d obey?”

    “We are all designed to follow orders. Since you are not part of the execution order for the other Jedi, then you are within your power to command us, even if the original order is an executive one from above. You said this earlier, sir, we clones are loyal. But we have the choice to choose who we obey. We have that freedom because we need independent thought to function effectively as an army. We may have these orders but if they feel wrong, we have the opportunity to decide not to follow it.” Rex stepped forward. “I feel in this case that the Jedi within the Temple are not our officers, therefore there is no legal ground to execute them.”

    Anakin felt relief spread through him. He wouldn’t have to kill Rex. He would have hated doing so. The question he had, however, was how far Rex was willing to stay loyal to him? Would he protect the Temple? The cynical part of his brain whispered that Rex could be pretending to gain entrance into the Temple. It was clear that the patrol of troopers behind them were unaware of the nature of the discussion occurring.

    But as Rex had said, he was making a choice based on his own loyalties, but the other clones might not feel that way. The ones standing with Rex likely held the same opinion as him.

    “So, what can you do to help me?” asked Anakin.

    “The majority of my brothers wish to carry out this order. There are too few of us to hold them back. We can give you time. If another executive order comes down from above cancelling the original one then the attack will stop. I can order my brothers to desist but I could be declared a traitor and shot dead,” admitted Rex. “I would not be in a position to help you then. My brothers do not hate the Jedi. They just want to follow orders.”

    Sighing, Anakin felt annoyed. He wouldn’t be able to stop the attack on the Temple.

    “I can delay my brothers for a while longer,” continued Rex. He glanced at the other troopers flanking him. “And they will help as well. But it would be suspicious if we didn’t make headway into the Temple.”

    Anakin glanced wearily behind him. “If you do get in, will you help the Jedi?”

    “As much as I can,” replied Rex, “unless of course they are a credible threat to the Republic. The Jedi Masters are our top priority.”

    “Great,” muttered Anakin.

    “I cannot protect them,” intoned Rex solemnly. “But I might be able to protect the others if given the opportunity. That is all I can do, sir, until another executive order comes through telling us to stop...”

    It would have to be acceptable. Rex was willing to spare the children and possibly the Knights, but the Master’s he could not guarantee would be saved. Anakin figured that since Obi-Wan was a Master of the Council, then it was likely that the entire Council would be involved in any conspiracy, therefore the execution orders for them would remain intact. It was the most they could bargain with for now.

    “I will accept the fact that you cannot save everybody, but the children, save them. This Order will be changed,” continued Anakin. “Do you know where the Chancellor is keeping his prisoners?”

    Rex shook his head. “No, sir.”

    “Figures.” He knew where Obi-Wan was, but he didn’t want to face Palpatine until he had rescued the others.

    This was not the time to meditate, but he realised, if he was to save the others, he would have to do so. He would be able to trace the bonds and locate his family.

    I can save them, I know I can.

    - - - - -

    Swathed deeply in the Force, Anakin sought the bonds he shared, sensing for the vibrant life that they gave him. All four were still there however Obi-Wan was blocked to him. He couldn’t reach him. Understandable if he was in Sidious’ hands. Obviously the Sith didn’t want him and Obi-Wan forming plans through their bond. But that was a strength they shared, they didn’t need to plan, they knew one another too well.

    Putting Obi-Wan to the back of his mind, Anakin reached for his mother’s bond, following the strands of it along, trying to trace her presence, figure out where she was. It was harder when they were not Force sensitive themselves since they could not reciprocate. He found that her Force presence was weak but she was alive. It worried him greatly that it felt like she was unconscious. She wasn’t dying but still…

    Having located her, Anakin spread his own essence out, seeking the surroundings and trying to visualise the place she was in.

    It felt dark… and busy.

    Busy?

    That was a clue.

    Coruscant was always busy but there was something there… A tinge of darkness, of greed, of power and domination…

    Anakin’s brow crinkled as he tried to pinpoint the area. The capital didn’t always feel the same, as there were some areas in nature that were worse than others. Feeling for it through the Force enabled them to sometimes track people when they went missing, providing of course that Jedi had a bond with them. It had proven useful for Obi-Wan when Anakin was younger. If he couldn’t reach him via the comlink, Obi-Wan had always resorted to that technique, using it to track down his Padawan, and usually finding him in the company of his mother, or in later years with his sister, Kia. Of course, Anakin had never striven fair from home.

    However, years of honing this technique had enabled Anakin to become familiar with how the different places on Coruscant felt through the Force.
    The senses he was getting from his mother’s location were stronger now, his mind turning fast as he considered every option, the places that matched what he was feeling.

    In his mind, the location visualised more and more, until finally he realised the rough area his mother was in.

    The entertainment district! A sordid, cruel place, but it fit with his feelings. He’d track her easier once he got to the area, but he had a vague location which was enough for him. It didn’t feel that his mother was in any immediate danger.

    His bond with Ahsoka was shimmering with danger but she wasn’t blocked the way Obi-Wan was to him. He knew that she was likely too far away to assume mental communication but he was powerful…

    Anakin reached for his bond to Ahsoka, seeking it, grasping it and pulling it to him. He drowned himself in it, sending his mind outwards. She was in the opposite direction to his mother.

    Of course. The Sith wants me to lose the people I love. Separate them so I can’t save them all. A dirty trick but one that was likely to work…

    Ahsoka… Can you hear me?

    He could feel fear and sadness coming from his Padawan. Their connection was weak, but he could sense her reply.

    Master?

    Are you ok? he asked.

    No … I’m not.

    Anakin bit his lip. He knew what her problem was. She too had felt the deaths of the Jedi being slaughtered. So many deaths in one go would have devastated her. Now was not the time to counsel her. The worry radiating from his brief connection to her caused him to consider the possibility she wasn’t alone where she was.

    Are you alone?

    The response took a while to form but when he it came through, fear struck his heart.

    Grievous. He’s … hunting … me.

    Anakin cursed inwardly. The droid leader of the army was a fearsome opponent. Not even Obi-Wan had managed to successfully defeat him in the few encounters they had had since the start of the war. Anakin had been fortunate to not have engaged the mechanical monster in the flesh but he’d heard stories about him from Obi-Wan.

    For one second he was confused as to how Grievous was even on Coruscant, but the answer came to him quickly.

    Palpatine.

    He must have summoned Grievous to him when it became clear that the Jedi were aware of his true identity. Anakin swallowed, fearing the worst. If Grievous has Ahsoka, who is holding my mother?

    He didn’t want to think of that possibility right now. He had to focus on Ahsoka.

    Do you have you lightsaber?

    No, I don’t.

    Cursing inwardly, Anakin sought the tendrils of the Force, wrapping himself within it, seeking out Ahsoka’s position. She was closer to him then his mother was. The Force was tugging at him, warning him of danger…

    Ahsoka, he sent, hang on! I’ll be right there!

    Master…

    Anakin tore himself free of the bond, not wishing to distract her even more then she already was. Ahsoka’s position was in the factory district, an area of Coruscant that was practically abandoned as the industrial heart of the capital had lost out to competition from other core worlds. A warehouse he had managed to sense which fit with the factory connection.

    Now, all he had to do was find Padmé.

    There bond was still so new as they’d barely spent much time together since the war began. If anyone would be the hardest to pinpoint, it would be her.

    Drawing on reserves of energy he flung out his will, looking for the Senator’s golden presence that he had always felt her to be. The bond he followed stopped, clouded in darkness. It was Obi-Wan all over again.

    Gritting his teeth, Anakin looked for a way around. There wasn’t a way.

    Something powerful was hiding her presence from him. Something dark… Something evil.

    “It’s not Palpatine…” Anakin’s eyebrows crinkled as he tried to distinguish exactly whose darkened presence he was sensing.

    Manipulative, power… everything that the dark side resembled embodied the darkness shielding Padmé from him.

    It has to be Dooku.

    He was the only one powerful enough to be able to attempt anything like this.

    What worried him was that the darkness seemed more centred to the Senate distract but it wasn’t Palpatine’s presence. He reached out, processing the information, trying to figure out where that darkness was radiating from.

    A huge industrial area came to mind, smoke billowing upwards, obscuring the sky and the sounds of many clangs echoed in his ears as machines continued to work day in and day out…

    Anakin’s eyes opened fast.

    He knew.

    He knew where Padmé was!

    “The Works.”

    He felt angry for not realising that sooner but calmed himself as he considered what he had to do.

    The Force was telling him that his mother wasn’t in any immediate danger, but Ahsoka was… He couldn’t tell if Padmé was at risk of death anytime soon either but he hoped he was making the right choice.

    He couldn’t ask on the other Jedi to help. They were too busy trying to defend their home against the clone troopers. Anakin had free reign but he hated having to leave them. He could return and find them all dead…

    “No. Someone has to defeat Palpatine.”

    That was his duty, his mission.

    But he had to save the others first. The Force was telling him to.

    Armed with the knowledge of their locations, Anakin ran for the nearest Temple exit that would help him head in Ahsoka’s general direction.

    - - - - -

    He had a pounding headache by the time he woke from Sidious’ ministrations on his mind. The final attack on his mind, designed to cause Anakin as much pain as possible, had been too much for Obi-Wan’s fragile mind. If Sidious had continued to push on the bond he was certain he would have died.
    Still, he was alone once more, still slumped against the wall the Sith had flung him against. The Sith Lord, himself, was nowhere to be seen.

    Legs shaking, Obi-Wan climbed unsteadily to his feet, using the wall as a support. He was free in a sense. The force-field hadn’t been reactivated. He had a chance to escape…

    Ignoring the throbbing in his head, Obi-Wan quickly ran to the door that led into the outer office. As he expected, it was locked. He couldn’t use the Force either, the device around his neck was still preventing him from using it but he could still feel everything.

    At least the deaths of the Jedi were gone.

    He felt bad for thinking that and he hoped some had survived. Seeing the attack on the Temple on the holo-news had been bad enough… What was it like there now?

    Dread coming over him, Obi-Wan stepped towards the large window and looked out in the direction of the Temple. Smoke billowed from it, and there were gunships circling the Temple, there bright lights shining at the weak spots that the Temple’s structure offered. He couldn’t see the clone battalion that had been sent, but there was no evidence that they had even entered the Temple, save for the smoke coming from the other side of the ancient building.

    That would suggest anything…

    “They have not been successful to enter the Jedi Temple yet. They will soon.”

    The cold voice struck a chord with Obi-Wan. He turned to face the Sith Lord approaching him, garbed in his Senatorial dress. His features had the look of a kindly old man but his eyes spoke volumes. The yellow and red in them imbued the dark side. Palpatine’s true face.

    “Anakin will stop you.”

    The Sith smiled evilly. “Skywalker will betray everything that he has fought so hard for. To save you, he will give into his anger…”

    Obi-Wan’s eyes darkened. “No, he won’t.”

    Sidious smirked. “You may not think so, Jedi, but I have foreseen his destiny. He will stand at my side as my apprentice. The Jedi Order will fall and a glorious Empire will rise up in the Republic’s place. There is nothing you can do to stop it.”

    Obi-Wan turned back towards the window, watching the traffic move, ignorant to the hateful being that ruled over them. “You may have seen things, my lord, but I know Anakin. He will never turn, no matter what you threaten to do to me or the others.”

    “Then when he arrives, I will kill you. By the end of this day, Anakin will be mine and you will be dead.”

    - - - - -

    The shock of the electrocution had stunned Ahsoka momentarily. The shock had been short, enough to hurt her and give her position away to Grievous, however she had been surprised when he had not leapt for her. In a vulnerable position and he hadn’t attacked?

    Surely he couldn’t have heard her screams?

    The only explanation she could think of involved the possibility that Grievous had orders to scare her, not to kill her. If that was true, Grievous was a fool to allow her to realise this. Surely he knew the folly of allowing Jedi to discover or work out his plans? He’d faced plenty of Jedi during the war…

    What she needed was a weapon to defend herself but one was hard to come by.

    Any equipment that might have been in the maze had been removed, probably in advance of her arrival.

    Legs shaky, she summoned the Force and leapt up onto the nearest ledge, her eyes casting around the room. Grievous was nowhere to be seen.

    That didn’t feel right.

    She felt scared. A tingle was pulling at her, becoming a whirling sound inside her as her senses screamed. She turned, but it wasn’t enough to avoid Grievous who had been on the ceiling and was leaping down at her from above. She didn’t move before the droid leader collided with her, metallic hands reaching for her neck, grasping it tightly and squeezing…

    “Too easy…” Grievous hissed triumphantly.

    Ahsoka struggled, barely able to breathe, her hands scrabbling to hold onto Grievous’ metallic wrists. Out of the corner of her eye she saw her lightsaber hilt in one of Grievous’ free hands. Fore-pushing was out of the equation – if she did that, he’d just take her with him. Trying to grab for her lightsaber would be folly, he probably already had another hilt in the fourth hand she could not see…

    Death was waiting for her, she could sense it…

    But then she was tumbling backwards, Grievous rolling on top of her and off again. His grip on her throat loosened and she tore herself free, hand reaching out to grab for her lightsaber which had fallen from the monster’s hand at his fall.

    Scrambling to her feet, lightsaber back in hand, Ahsoka turned to find her Master, Anakin, standing there, blade ignited and ready in attack position. So relieved she was to see her Master that she couldn’t help but smile at his timely intervention.

    “Skywalker…”

    Anakin stepped in front of Ahsoka, shielding her from Grievous, as the droid leader rose to his feet. He contemplated the droid leader. “General Grievous, I presume. You’re not as scary looking as the news networks make you out to be.”

    Ahsoka inwardly groaned. Provoking the droid leader probably wasn’t the smartest thing he could do.

    Grievous growled, pulling out two lightsabers from his cloak, igniting them and twirling them in a flash of colours.

    “Ahsoka, I want you to get out of here.”

    How could he ask her to do that? “But…”

    He didn’t even give her time to form a cohesive argument. “No but’s Ahsoka! I need you to head towards The Works! I will follow you!”

    Before she could respond, Grievous had leapt at Anakin, lightsabers swinging in a quick arc, but her Master caught both blades on his, defending well against the attack. Ahsoka jumped back as Anakin moved closer to her.

    “What’s at The Works?” she asked, trying to slip around the fight to give Grievous a surprise.

    “Padmé!” responded Anakin. He made a ducking movement as Grievous swung one blade, but the other went lower…

    Noticing the danger, Ahsoka jumped over the fight and landed behind the droid leader, forcing him to change direction of one of his blade’s, thereby stopping what would have been the cutting-in-half of the Chosen One.

    Anakin acknowledged her action with a nod of his head, but he still wanted her to leave. She could see that in his eyes.

    But she was already engaged in the duel and couldn’t easily leave, unless she took the coward’s way out.

    Grievous laughed and then leapt for her. She raised her blade just in time to block the lunge, but staggered back as the droid leader pressed forward, his other arm reversing to defend against an attack coming from Anakin.

    She leapt back furthering her distance from Grievous. He was a formidable foe, resorting to dirty tactics to overpower them.

    Ahsoka!

    Her Master’s voice echoed in her mind, utilising their bond. I have an idea!

    What is it? She was up for any plan that could help them defeat Grievous.

    Look up!

    She did so, seeing her Master’s idea. A grin quirked up at her lips. A large magnet sat above them, one used to transport any metallic object in the factory. This maze was a storage area for the main production line. Grevious’ components would not be able to withstand a magnet.

    The controllers for it are in the office up there! Get to it! I’ll keep Grievous busy!

    Ahsoka nodded, and bounded away. Grievous leapt to follow but Anakin charged at him, giving her the time she needed to leap up to the walkway above and run towards the office. She didn’t dare look back at her Master otherwise she knew that she’d want to help him if he was in trouble.

    She plunged her blade into the door, pulling it around in a circle and kicking the circle out and clambered into the office. Beside the door was a power button she slammed her palm down on it, lighting the office up and activating the equipment.

    Peering out in the direction of the magnet, she saw Anakin leap up and away, battling away Grievous’ thrusts. She saw as he rolled in the air, twisted, and reversed his projectory so that he could land behind the droid leader. Anakin swished his blade down, cutting through one of the General’s legs.

    Grievous stumbled as he lost balance, swishing his lightsaber blades quickly in retaliation.

    The console in front of her looked complicated but she didn’t have time to look for a manual. She went for the big button which had the image of a pull of forces engraved on it.

    The magnet started up and suddenly Grievous went flying upwards at a furious speed, clanging back against the magnet…

    …but Anakin went too.

    His metal hand!

    Don’t switch it off! He yelled over the bond.

    Ahsoka’s hand hovered over the button, ready to press it…

    She watched as Anakin was pulled upwards but he was ready, as he positioned himself directly underneath Grievous. A devious grin on his face and he allowed himself to be pulled upwards, after using the Force to stick himself to the floor.

    Grievous was defenceless, his arms being held against the magnetic with force. He could not swing in time to save himself.

    Anakin swiped.

    Ahsoka! Deactivate it!

    She hadn’t seen what Anakin had done, but she pressed the button, and Anakin and Grievous clattered back to the floor. She rushed out of the control room and back along the walkway, Force-leaping down as she reached their position.

    Grievous’ head had been severed from his body. An instant kill.

    Anakin stood over his body. “Good work.” He pattered her on the shoulder. “You did well.”

    “Have we just won the war?” she asked.

    Anakin shook his head. “Far from it. Dooku is still out there. This war will end once the Sith responsible for this is destroyed. Come on. We’ve got to get to The Works.”

    - - - - -

    Sidious had been watching Anakin take on Grievous through the holocams that he had installed for this very purpose. He had hoped that the boy would see the death of his apprentice but he had underestimated her. She hadn’t been selected to be Skywalker’s Padawan for nothing.

    Resourceful and skilful, she possessed enough power to be a match for Grievous, but never to defeat him. A Padawan shouldn’t be able to survive against Grievous but it seemed that Skywalker’s training was paying off.

    He had known that Anakin would track the bonds, just as he intended but did the boy realise that the Sith would always be one step ahead? Sidious was always prepared... though admittedly, he had expected the boy to rescue his mother first. That surprised him that Anakin wasn’t being predictable. It would have surprised him even more if he had come and confronted him right away…

    Kenobi was back in his force-field, silently watching Sidious, contemplating his captor. He would ignore the Jedi. It would be so simple to just kill him now though… No, the dark side told him that Skywalker had to witness it.

    Still, thanks to Skywalker’s tendency to blab he knew who Skywalker was going to find next. It had surprised the Sith that his priority hadn’t been his mother. Again he could so easily issue the execution order for her.

    But he wouldn’t.

    Not yet anyway.

    Skywalker needed to be angry to turn him adequately to the dark side. For that he had to witness the death. It was the only reason why Shmi Skywalker and Kenobi still lived; otherwise he’d have had them killed. To release Skywalker’s potential, he had to suffer; he had to lose everything he held dear.

    Activating his com-link, he put a call through to Count Dooku.

    “My Lord,” his apprentice bowed.

    “Skywalker is heading for you,” he stated menacingly. “Delay him.” A smile tugged at his lips. “ And kill the Senator.”

    “It will be done.”

    Excellent. Soon. Soon, Anakin will be mine.

    To be continued...

    Please me know what you think!

    Next chapter will be posted next Saturday...
  4. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Awesome edge of seatness! Ahsoka was great! =D= Yay for Rex doing as much as he could.
  5. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    More nail biting, more teeth gnashing - you are bad to my health!
  6. Jedi_Liz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 6
    another week??!?!?!?!? How will I survive?!??!?!?!? [face_praying] padme doesn't get killed
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  7. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Eeeep!

    Something tells me Padme might have a little bit to say about that plan. Love the way they took care of Grievous together. Looking forward to what happens next!
  8. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Jade_eyes I like to think that there might be a few clones who would question the order and try their best to help the Jedi without betraying their brothers either. :)

    @Valairy Scot My apologies! There may be a few more big cliffhangers coming before this story is over... Best to give you a fair warning ;)

    @Jedi_Liz Sorry to the weekly wait! I hope it wasn't too bad for you!

    @Luna_Nightshade Thanks! I hope you like this chapter!

    - - - - -

    A Mother’s Love

    Chapter Thirty

    Padmé had been expecting death to welcome her into its glorious arms, so she was surprised when she found herself waking, with a burning pain in her right shoulder. She remembered Dooku standing in front of her, raising his hand and bringing it down…

    One of the super battle droids had fired on her, injuring her shoulder, knocking her unconscious as the blast had thrown her directly into the wall behind her. Padmé shook her head, clearing her vision as she tried to climb to her feet unsteadily, the pain gaining in strength.

    Come on Padmé!

    She knew that it was likely she’d die here, but the next time they came to her cell, she’d be ready. She wasn’t going to let them kill her without a fight.

    Positioning herself next to the door, Padmé flattened herself as much as possible against the wall, her head turned towards the door, straining her ears to determine if anyone was approaching.

    The patter of feet reached her and the sound of battle droids marching along beside reached her.

    Padmé swallowed. She had no weapons of any kind but here she was about to attempt an escape, facing a Sith and droids that could kill her easily.

    She bent her knees ready to spring…

    The door opened…

    Padmé leapt out, colliding with a solid figure, sending them crashing to the ground. She fell with them, landing on top of Dooku but scrambling to her feet fast before he had a chance to react and realise what had happened.

    Her head twisted to the side as she saw the Super Battle Droids raise their arms to point directly at her. Gritting her teeth, Padmé rolled to the side, the bolts flying over her, and once more got to her feet. She ran.

    She ran, aware that Dooku was behind her, pursuing her, could hear his demands for her capture. But she wouldn’t let them get her. She had to get out of here. If wherever here was…

    - - - - -

    “Master?” Ahsoka turned back to find Anakin standing stock still, his chin down on his chest. “What is it?”

    Anakin grimaced. “It’s Padmé. I sense her discomfort… She’s on the move…”

    “Escape or forcefully?” asked Ahsoka.

    Anakin chewed his bottom lip. “It feels like an escape. Our bond feels hectic.” He shook his head. “I can’t explain it very well. Our bond hasn’t grown into anything yet. With Obi-Wan I can sense what he is thinking… I’m able to do that with you as well. It’s harder with non-Force sensitive’s however.”

    “Will we get there in time?” asked Ahsoka. She hated asking that but they had to face the truth that they may not be able to rescue everybody.

    Anakin had already voiced his fears to her that he might lose Obi-Wan, because unlike the others, he was in the hands of the Sith Lord that had orchestrated everything. He was the one who was likely to continue suffering right until Anakin walked into the Chancellor’s Office to face him. He was concerned that the Sith Lord would kill him immediately. Anakin didn’t want to dwell on what he might do if that happened. Right now he had to focus on Padmé.


    I won’t lose her…

    - - - - -

    Padmé Amidala ran.

    Her speed and precision was what was saving her life right now. She had managed to lose the droids and Dooku, surprisingly. Perhaps he was lulling her into a false of security? It was something that she suspected he would do to try to ensnare her again.

    She had never visited this area of Coruscant before but now knew where she was. The Works, an abandoned industrial estate that had once been the most prosperous part of Coruscant, but now remained abandoned since trade was far more profitable off-world. She now knew that she was close to the Senate district. If only she could find a way out of this place, she might be able to make her way to the Senate, before Anakin could go crazy looking for her.

    Besides, someone needed to gather the Senators together to bring down Palpatine. He had betrayed the Republic after all. If they could act quickly they might garner enough support to topple him before he even realised what was happening.

    Slowing down, and keeping her breathing quiet, Padmé peered around a corner, straining her hearing, waiting to see if Dooku was close to her position.

    No sound reached her ears.

    Roaming her eyes over the wall, searching for a way out, she saw a vent. A vent that she might be able to fit in…

    Quickly she rushed over to the opposite side of the wall and tugged at the grating, pulling it loose, despite the stiffness. The bars clanged to the floor loudly. The sound of running feet crossed her hearing. There was no time… no time at all…

    She clambered into the small space and pulled herself forward in a rush, even as she heard Dooku’s words reverberate around her.

    “Quickly! She’s in the vents!”

    Padmé rounded a grate and paused, waiting.

    “We are too large to fit inside.”

    There was a sound of a lightsaber igniting and the destruction of a droid. Dooku’s anger of Padmé’s escape was vile. “I will have to report this to my Master.”

    Breathing a sigh of relief, Padmé followed the air vent, searching for a way out to freedom.

    - - - - -

    They sped through the traffic, breaking speed-limits, all in a haste to reach The Work’s. Anakin had hi-jacked a speeder from a businessman using Force persuasion. He had told Ahsoka that he intended to return the speeder when he could as he disliked using his powers for something so petty but they need a fast transport, one that Anakin could use unheeded through traffic, despite the fact that he was breaking all sorts of speed regulations just to get to where he wanted to go.

    Ahsoka gripped the edge of her seat. Unlike most speeders, this one did not have a belt. What fool went around without it? Collisions, though rare, could be very dangerous and fatal if one happened. The speed her Master was going… She hoped he wouldn’t make a mistake…

    “Stop worrying.”

    Of course, he would detect what was going through her mind!

    “I’m not going to crash,” he continued, thinking he was reassuring her. “I’m an expert pilot. At least you are quieter then Obi-Wan though…”

    She rolled her eyes, choosing not to comment.

    “Do remember, young one that I did used to race Pods when I was younger. I even won the Boonta Eve Podrace! And that was going at speeds faster than this.” He steered the speeder to the right, making it descend into another traffic stream as they neared The Works.

    With less speeders heading this way, Anakin upped the speed, making more haste.

    Finally their destination loomed up in sight. The buildings were crumbling, and Anakin piloted the speeder to the source of where he felt Padmé’s presence to be. Jumping out of the speeder, he turned to Ahsoka.

    “When we find Padmé, I want you to get her away from here.”

    “But…” Ahsoka started to protest.

    He shook his head. “No, Ahsoka. I need you to help me. Getting everyone away from Palpatine’s clutches is my priority. That is why you won’t be coming with me to face him. You need to get Padmé safely to the Senate without being caught again.”

    “But why?” she asked. “Surely that’s the last place either of us should be!”

    “Because I’ve seen the orders that were programmed into the clones. Palpatine must have issued the order that made the clones turn on us, but there is another order that I didn’t tell the other Masters about before I left because they were not in a position to deal with it.”

    She swallowed, wary of what was about to come. “What did it say?”

    “As long as the majority of the Senate votes that Palpatine is no longer fit to be Chancellor, they can boost him out of leadership, hereby handing control of the clones over to someone else. They won’t recognise his authority therefore we need to get Padmé or one of her allies into a position to order the clones to stop attacking the Jedi. We can’t do anything about the ones already murdered but we can attempt to overturn the original order by doing a little power-play of our own,” replied Anakin. “That’s what I need you to do.” He’d already explained to Ahsoka about the attack on the Jedi Temple and the deaths of Jedi across the field.

    “And by doing that we can save the surviving Jedi?”

    Anakin nodded. “Yes. While Palpatine remains in office, we can’t do anything. Padmé has influential friends that could help her. The Jedi have supporters who know we wouldn’t turn on the Republic. We are dying each day to fight for peace. We have protected this Republic for thousands of years. We are not going to end that protection now.”

    Ahsoka nodded. Her role would be important. She was determined to fulfil it to the best of her abilities. She was a Jedi, dedicated to the philosophy of serving the light side of the Force. They could still save the Jedi Order but only if they acted quickly and efficiently to take the power away from the Chancellor and give it into the hands of someone who was not a manipulator. That person would be hard pressed to find in these troubled times.

    The fate of the Jedi Order rested in her hands.

    She would have to get Padmé to the Senate, as long as they could rescue her.

    “Be ready to run as soon as we find her, ok?”

    Ahsoka kept one hand on her lightsaber and nodded, following her Master as they stepped towards the imposing building that held Padmé Amidala.

    - - - - -

    “Anakin!” Padmé couldn’t believe her luck as she pushed her away out of the ducts, clambering out and onto the landing pad. “What are you doing here?” She ran towards Anakin and Ahsoka, who had paused in their run when they had heard her voice. There was shock on Anakin’s face as he saw her and then a wide grin spread across his face, as relief coursed through him.

    “Rescuing you, of course,” he managed to say as he pulled her into a hug. “But I see you’ve done it yourself.”

    Padmé smirked. “I can be quite resourceful when I want to be.” Her face turned serious as she indicated the building behind her. “Dooku is still in there. He’s looking for me but I escaped by getting into the duct system. He couldn’t fit, otherwise I’m sure he’d have come after me.”

    “We’ll get him,” stated Anakin. “But first I need you to do something for me.”

    “What is it?” she asked, pulling away from him.

    Reaching into his pocket, Anakin pulled out a chip. He pressed it into her palm. “This holds the truth of the orders that were programmed into the clones. Palpatine has ordered the clones to kill the Jedi officers for conspiring against the Republic.”

    “What?” Padmé could hardly believe that.

    “The Temple is under siege, Padmé. Jedi across the front lines have been struck down by their own clones. Even now they are continually trying to get into the Jedi Temple to kill everyone there,” he explained to her, concern in his eyes as he tried to make her understand that they didn’t have much time.

    “But they aren’t officers…”

    “For them that means killing the children too,” continued Anakin. “The only way this siege can be stopped is by the Chancellor’s command.”

    “And what can I do about it?” asked Padmé.

    “There is an order the clones were programmed with that if the Chancellor is considered a threat or incompetent in his role then they have the power to remove him. All you need to do is assemble the support you need to make this happen,” explained Anakin. “If you can get someone else in the role of Supreme Chancellor then the clones will obey any order of that person and will cease Order 66 that Palpatine issued to destroy the Jedi.”

    Padmé bit her lip. “That’s not going to be easy Anakin.”

    “You have to try, please.”

    Padmé sighed. “I will but if he’s moving against the Jedi…”

    “I know. I will be facing Palpatine, Padmé, in a matter of hours. First I have to find my mother before I do that.”

    “Ani?”

    “It wasn’t just you and Ahsoka that Palpatine took. He captured my mother and Obi-Wan too. Obi-Wan is with Palpatine. He’s using our bond against me,” admitted Anakin. “But I need to save my mother first. At least that way he can’t use her against me if I face him. He’ll just be able to use Obi-Wan…” His hand went to the spare lightsaber at his belt. “I intend to return this to him personally.”

    Padmé could understand Anakin’s frustration. The Sith was trying to destroy everyone he cared for. He needed her to try to save the Jedi. “You hope that you’ll have dealt with Palpatine before he can move against me, correct?”

    Anakin nodded. “I do. Please, just go, while you can.”

    “Master, what about Dooku?” asked Ahsoka.

    Anakin flicked a grin at her. “Don’t worry. I’m going after him now. I’m going to neutralise him. We might need him to order the end of this war, killing him isn’t an option.”

    “And if he won’t take surrender?” asked Padmé curiously.

    “I hope I don’t have to kill him,” responded Anakin. “The Jedi’s goal has always been to capture him, never kill. Besides he is the only one to know where all the other Separatist Council members are hiding. Unlike Grievous, I can’t kill him because he holds information vital to the Republic.”

    The mention of Grievous startled Padmé. “Are you saying you’ve killed Grievous?” She needed that confirmation… perhaps that was something she could use to garner support in the Senate against the Chancellor.

    Anakin nodded. “I did. He was chasing Ahsoka. I created a plan and it worked in my favour.”

    “Then we could end this war,” accepted Padmé.

    “But only if I’m fast enough to neutralise Dooku and defeat Palpatine,” answered Anakin. His eyes moved over Padmé shoulder. “You need to get out of here, now.” His hand found the hilt of his own lightsaber and he pulled it from his belt.

    Glancing over her shoulder, Padmé saw Count Dooku standing there, watching them, the two Super Battle Droids flanking him. “Be careful,” she whispered as she moved to follow Ahsoka, who had already ignited her own weapon and had moved in front of her to block any blasts that the droids threw her way. None came however but still this was a perilous situation. Giving Anakin one last look, Padmé ran with Ahsoka to the speeder and jumped in.

    She didn’t dare look back as she piloted them away from what she was sure, would be a confrontation between Jedi and Sith.

    - - - - -

    “You can’t win Dooku,” said Anakin, his lightsaber remaining unlit, his eyes watching the Count’s every movement.

    “Skywalker.” There was almost a respective nod coming from the Count.

    “If you surrender…” He didn’t even get a chance to finish his sentence as Dooku interrupted.

    “No.” The red blade sprouted from Dooku’s hand.

    Anakin sighed. He didn’t want to fight Dooku. The more he fought the less strength he might have to confront the Chancellor. Any weakness he displayed would be played upon. How could he win this easily without expanding any effort?

    Dooku was already swiping at him as he bought up his blue blade to defend, twisting his body to the right to avoid a shot from one of the super battle droids. He ducked another swing, lashing out, aiming for Dooku’s wrists. Dooku may be aiming to kill, but for Anakin, capture was important. If he could disarm Dooku and prevent him from using his blade or even the Force, he’d have an advantage.

    The two Super Battle Droids remained still, not acting against Anakin as he defended himself from Dooku’s attacks.

    They danced around one another, lightsabers clashing against one another as they both sought to overpower one another. Anakin moved backwards, sensing that he wouldn’t be able to win if they continued the way they were. Compromises had to be made; he had to trick Dooku into thinking that he was winning. To overpower the Sith, trickery was needed.

    Anakin continued to step back drawing the Count on. He twirled his lightsaber in an arc, reaching into the Force and sensing its intentions. Anakin let himself be guided by the whims of the light, listening for the instructions that whispered to him.

    Dooku was tiring, as Anakin’s boundless energy continued.

    The young Jedi twirled in mid-air, landing on his feet, watching Dooku with interest. “You can’t win, Dooku.”

    The Count smirked. “The longer I keep you distracted the more time my Master has in gaining complete control of the Republic and converting it into the Empire that we desire.”

    Anakin sighed. “You don’t get it, do you? Palpatine isn’t going to let you rule beside him! He will kill you! He wants me to join him! To take your place! You were just the placeholder for me!”

    Dooku frowned, the yellow in his eyes fading a little but they quickly returned to the Sithly colour.

    “You know it is true! He’s wanted me for years! He will kill you as soon as his takeover is complete!” continued Anakin.

    “What makes you so sure that I don’t have plans of my own?” sneered Dooku slyly.

    And Anakin realised.

    Dooku planned to betray his Sith Master and take his place. That left Anakin with no choice. He had hoped he might be able to get Dooku to help him, no matter how much he despised this man. It was in their best interests to not kill him. No matter what Dooku had done to Obi-Wan on Jabiim, no matter how much he deserved to die for his crimes against the Republic, Anakin couldn’t just kill him. He still had his uses, but only if they could detain Dooku.

    He would have to end this quickly.

    Reversing his grip on the handle of his blade, Anakin surprised Dooku by skidding to the right, as the Count brought his blade down, but as quick as anything, grasping the Force and reversing his own positioning, Anakin twirled, cutting quickly.

    Dooku’s hands fell to the floor, severed from his limbs.

    The Super Battle Droids immediately opened fire, but Anakin was ready and deflected the shots back at them, successfully destroying them both in the process. Turning back to Dooku, Anakin approached the elder man warily.

    “You’re defeated, Dooku,” said Anakin. He summoned Dooku’s lightsaber to his hand and clutched it tightly, staring at the man.

    “Will you kill me?” asked Dooku.

    “No,” Anakin shook his head. “It’s not the Jedi way. I would never kill an unarmed prisoner.”

    Dooku’s lips tipped up. “What if you were ordered to by the Chancellor?”

    “The Chancellor is a Sith.”

    “Maybe, but if you didn’t know, would you do it?”

    What was it with Dooku’s questioning? Anakin frowned, trying to figure out the motivation behind it. But his mind turned towards the question. If he was ordered to kill an unarmed prisoner would he do it? He didn’t need to think about it for a second longer.

    “No.”

    “What do you intend to do to me then?”

    “Make sure you are in a position to help us when we need you,” replied Anakin.

    “I won’t help you.”

    Anakin shrugged. “I know. But maybe you will change your mind when your Master is gone and we can restore peace and freedom to the Republic.”

    “Unlikely,” sneered Dooku.

    Anakin rolled his eyes, lifted his hand and sent a powerful Force persuasion towards Dooku.

    The older man countered the suggestion but Anakin was the Chosen One. He had the power to get to Dooku’s mind, as long as he put the effort and strength into it. Intent won and Dooku slumped to the ground, but still the effort to convince Dooku’s mind to sleep, caused the young Jedi to perspire.

    Levitating the Count in front of him, Anakin sought a hiding place where he could keep Dooku until he had the time to come back for him. He hoped his sleep suggestion would last until he returned. Storing him inside the very building that Padmé had been kept in Anakin locked the door on Dooku’s unconscious form and ran, knowing that he was running out of time.

    - - - - -

    Returning to the Senate was tricky, especially for a Senator that had been announced by the Chancellor as being a traitor for working with the Jedi against him. However Ahsoka’s abilities and Padmé’s knowledge of the Senate building helped, though both were surprised that the lesser-known ways were not being watched.

    Padmé had taken them to a utility storage locker located underneath the Senate building itself, where a lift had been installed to take Senator’s directly into the building. The lift opened up into the cleaner’s corridor, a place where Senator’s rarely visited though it was not an uncommon sight to see them in that specific area.

    Thankfully for both Ahsoka and Padmé no one was around when they emerged from the lift. The problem was, was getting to the part of the Senate without being recognised. However, arriving in the cleaner’s corridor enabled them to take advantage of their initial location.

    They found different clothing to wear and wrapped a cloth around their faces to disguise their identities. Ahsoka kept her lightsaber closer at hand as they ascended into the corridors of the actual Senate itself.

    It was busy, more so than usual but understandable considering the shock that the Chancellor’s announcements had caused to the Senate body. Padmé led Ahsoka through the corridors.

    “Where are we going?” hissed Ahsoka, her voice muffled by the cloth covering her features.

    Padmé glanced back at her young friend. “To find a Senator who is one of my dearest friends and among my staunchest supporters. He will help us.”

    “Right. How far have we got to go?”

    “Not far,” replied Padmé as they continued to walk past the Senators mingling in the hallways, hoping that they wouldn’t be pounced upon.

    “Senator… I feel something,” said Ahsoka.

    Padmé glanced back at her young friend. “What is it?”

    “Darkness,” the young Togrutan shivered. “And I think…” she bit her lip, “…I sense Master Kenobi, but he’s hard to pinpoint... Something is shielding him.”

    Padmé dare not answer. It would have to be the Chancellor responsible for that darkness. She quickly pulled Ahsoka by the arm into a doorway, palmed the entrance button and stepped inside Bail Organa’s office.

    As she had hoped he was at his desk, with Mon Mothma sitting opposite him.

    “Who are you?” Bail Organa demanded, not recognising one of this own allies.

    Padmé lifted up her arm and pulled the cloth away from her face as Ahsoka did the same.

    “Padmé!” Bail’s voice was shocked. “What are you doing here? The Chancellor said you had been arrested for conspiring with the Jedi Order against him!”

    Padmé folded her arms across her chest. “Do you really believe that is true?”

    Bail shook his head. “Not at all. It doesn’t sound like you.”

    “Good,” smiled Padmé. “But we do have a problem with the Chancellor. He’s not who he appears to be.”

    “So you are conspiring against him,” whispered Mon Mothma, her face white.

    Padmé sighed. “All I did was learn about his true identity and attempt to find information to back this up. Senators always dig round for dirt on their colleagues. I may never have done this myself but it does happen.” She turned towards Ahsoka. “Ahsoka is the Padawan of Anakin Skywalker. We cannot trust Palpatine at all.”

    Bail leaned forward, intensity in his features. “I suppose there is a very good reason for this.”

    Ahsoka nodded. “Does it seem out of character for the Chancellor to order the slaughter of the entire Jedi Order which includes even the children in the Temple?”

    Mon Mothma and Bail exchanged looks. “It does… He was talking about an Empire in his last speech…”

    “That sits unwell with us,” added the Chandrilan Senator. “It’s not what we want for the Republic. An Empire signifies total control over everyone. A military government intent on suppressing everybody.”

    Padmé had been afraid of that. Yes, the Republic had its faults but they could be fixed if compromises could be reached. She held up the chip that Anakin had given her. “This holds the orders the clone troopers were programmed with. One of them is executing Jedi officers. Palpatine has issued that order. Jedi across the frontline are dying and none of them have done anything wrong. He’s done it because his secret has been exposed.”

    “What secret?” enquired Mon Mothma.

    “How much do you know of Jedi lore?” asked Padmé.

    “Not much since the Order keeps mostly to itself,” answered Bail.

    Ahsoka stepped forward. “The Jedi have enemies, we use the light side of the Force. Our enemies are called the Sith, they use the dark side. They thrive in chaos and war and seek to destroy us. We’ve known for a while now that the Sith are behind this war.”

    “It was recently discovered by Anakin Skywalker that Chancellor Palpatine is a Sith Lord. He’s been playing both sides of the field, influencing all of us. We’ve always wondered why the Separatists know where Republic forces are in some cases – now we know. Palpatine is a traitor to the Republic. If we allow him to continue in office then he will kill all the Jedi and turn this Republic into a dictatorship,” finished Padmé, watching the reactions of her two fellow Senators.
    They were shocked, the blood drained from their faces as if they couldn’t believe the proclamation Padmé had just made.

    Bail was the first to speak, regaining his composure. “It makes sense considering his actions this past day and a half. He’s completely changed in the space of a few hours.”

    “He’s revealed his true self, his true ambition,” said Ahsoka. “That is why we must stop him.”

    “And why we need your help,” finished Padmé. “You two have the contacts and the influence in the Senate to rally people to our cause. As of now, if I go to the Senate chamber I will be arrested. If we call for a vote of no confidence then we can take power back from him, and end the needless slaughter of the Jedi Order. His accusations against them are false. They are not traitors and never will be. He’s acting now because they learnt his secret and were trying to act upon it.”

    Mon Mothma leaned forward. “This is going to be very dangerous if we do this.”

    “We have to,” said Padmé. “Otherwise everything that we believe in will be lost.”

    - - - - -

    Luck seemed to be with him. He’d found a speeder around the other side of the warehouse, hijacked its systems and sped to the entertainment distract, ignoring every speed limit. It didn’t matter now, the police authorities were busy managing the Jedi Temple siege with the clones. This was a time on Coruscant when crimes would be overlooked.

    The power was shifting.

    Anakin nosed the speeder down and parked it in a bay outside the building where he was sensing his mother.

    To put her in a place that bred criminals seemed harsh and cruel but he figured it was the Sith trying to make him imagine the worst possible scenario. Don’t think about it, Anakin. Concentrate. You can do this. He wondered who would be guarding his mother. He hoped that he could get in without being noticed and escape. He’d rather preserve his strength. The next place he would visit after rescuing his mother was the Senate, to face Palpatine.

    Reaching into the Force, Anakin wrapped himself in it, seeking to hide his presence as he made his way towards the building. With his lightsaber in hand, and glancing over his shoulder, he ignited it and quickly slipped it down the doorframe, initialising the unlocking sequence.

    The door slid open, and warily he stepped inside.

    - - - - -

    Shmi grudgingly woke, her body aching all over. She was still in the cell, still enclosed in the dark. Breathing came easier to her now. What had Ventress done to her? She carefully pulled herself up onto her palms and sat up. She shivered as her tummy rumbled.

    How long had she been here? Long enough to get hungry… but the thought of food sickened her. It wasn’t something she would have taken if offered: she was here to cause her son pain. Why would they be kind to her?

    They were keeping her alive for something but how long did she have left? The only consolation she had was that her husband and daughter had escaped. If she hadn’t tried to stay with Obi-Wan, she might have got away too, but she couldn’t have left him. He was family to her. There was no question about leaving family members behind.

    Grudgingly she got to her feet, swaying a little as her muscles contracted in protest. She moved towards the cell door, fingers running over its hard surface, looking for any weakness that she could exploit.

    Nothing.

    There was nothing there that she could use to escape.

    Carefully, Shmi prodded back to the far wall and composed herself. If she was to die here, she’d die with her head held high and without fear.

    - - - - -

    Shrouded with the Force, Anakin followed his bond with his mother, moving slowly to avoid discovery. He knew who was here now, who was hiding his mother: Ventress. He had sensed her when he had entered the building but he was cloaked in the Force and was masking his own signature to avoid detection.

    Ventress may be a dangerous foe but she wasn’t as dangerous as Dooku or Grievous. She was an uncontrollable aspect of the dark side of the Force, not even Dooku could tame her. What she had done to Obi-Wan was deplorable, and he would have killed her for that, but now was not the time to face her.

    She’d mock him for what she had forced Obi-Wan to suffer through, and though he knew his mother was relatively unharmed, just the thought of hearing what she could have been subjected to would cause him to lose his head. He wouldn’t act rational if faced with the woman who had deliberately tortured his Master.

    His goal now was to find his mother and leave without being found. By the time his mother was noticed as being gone, they’d be long gone from the premises. He hoped he wouldn’t be drawn into a fight. The last thing he needed was to leave this place with anger in his heart. Palpatine would use that against him.

    He had to remain calm and collected.

    He peered around a corner and found a steel door guarded by two muscular men. Ventress was nowhere to be seen.

    Moving out and into their view, he raised a hand and waved it in front of their faces, impressing upon their brains to follow his orders. “You will let me in.” He could sense his mother’s presence just inside the door; Ventress’ dark side aura was a few floors up in the building.

    The guard’s minds bent to his will and they stepped aside, one of them palming the mechanism to open the door for him. Making sure that this was not a trick, Anakin stepped inside the cell.

    - - - - -

    The last thing Shmi had expected when the door opened was to see her son standing there.

    “Ani?” she was breathless, surprised at his appearance. “Is it really you?”

    Anakin smiled. “It is.” He moved forward and immediately pulled her into a hug. “I’m glad you are safe. Are you hurt?”

    Shmi shook her head. Other than the bruising on her neck where she had been choked, she was relatively fine. “I’m ok.” She peered over his shoulder, seeing the backs of the guards. “Ani… where is Ventress?”

    “Upstairs. And those guards have been Force-tricked. They are under my command. Though…” he looked nervously around, “I would prefer if we could get out of here now.”

    Shmi nodded, agreeing with that sentiment. The last thing she desired was to stay here in this lovely accommodation that had been supplied for her. “What are you going to do about Ventress?”

    “I hope we can leave without being noticed,” said Anakin. “Ventress isn’t much of a threat compared to Dooku or Grievous or Palpatine.”

    Shmi cocked her head to the side, a memory flashing to mind. “You won’t kill her?”

    “I’d like to after what she inflicted on Obi-Wan,” replied Anakin, “but I have more pressing matters to deal with first.”

    At least that was something: Anakin was being honest about wanting to do a specific service to the galaxy, however the events that were spiralling out of control needed his full attention.

    “Where is Obi-Wan? Ahsoka and Padmé?” She figured that if she and Obi-Wan had been attacked then it was very likely that Senator Amidala and her son’s Padawan had been victims of an attack as well.

    “They’re both safe,” he answered. “I rescued them first. He had listening devices on C-3PO and I presume on R2 as well since he knew in advance what our plan was. He’s using what he overheard from us as evidence that the Jedi are plotting to take over.” Worry spread across his face.

    “Ani?”

    “He’s ordered the execution of all the Jedi including the children in the Temple.”

    Shock spread throughout her. Shmi could hardly believe that the Jedi children had been targeted. “And the people are just letting him?”

    “For now…” answered Anakin. “Padmé and Ahsoka are working on a solution to help save the rest of the Jedi that haven’t been executed yet. Most of the Jedi out on the field have been struck down, but a lot of the Jedi were at the Temple and they’ve locked themselves in after evacuating the children. The Temple is under siege by the clone army, specifically my legion. Padmé and Ahsoka are at the Senate building now trying to garner support to get a vote of no confidence in Palpatine. It probably won’t work but the more he is distracted by his own Senators, the better chance I have at sneaking in and rescuing Obi-Wan.”

    He took her hand then and led her out of her cell, past the two guards and around the corner. With the Force, Anakin shut the door, waved his hand at the guards, releasing them from his command and sped round the corner before he could be noticed.

    “Palpatine has Obi-Wan?” asked Shmi. That was the worst news of all.

    Anakin nodded. “He put the four of you with different people. I think he wanted me to watch as you all died so that I would be more vulnerable to the dark side. I killed Grievous when I rescued Ahsoka, and Dooku is under a sleep-suggestion after I fought him before he could kill Padmé.” He chewed the bottom of his lip. “Obi-Wan is with the Sith Lord himself. He’s already used our bond against me. That’s the only reason why he has Obi-Wan, because of that bond otherwise it would have been you…”

    Shmi swallowed, feeling a little bit of fear settle in her stomach.

    “In a way I’m glad that it is Obi-Wan he has and not you… but I’d rather you were not involved at all,” admitted Anakin, feeling a little bit ashamed.

    She could understand that. A child always wants to protect its mother or father, just like how a parent would always protect their child. She was involved now, whether Ani liked it or not. “I can help, you know I can.”

    Anakin didn’t answer, instead leading her slowly up the stars, careful to peer round corners before pulling her. The next door they reached, he palmed it open and they stepped out into the districts cool air. “This feels too easy…” he muttered. He glanced wearily around.

    “What is it?”

    “I think someone is watching us,” replied Anakin, casting his eyes around. He couldn’t discern from anyone who could be watching them. He sought for Ventress’ presence and found her still upstairs in the building they had just vacated. It wasn’t her but there was something he was missing… Not wanting to stay any longer, he guided Shmi to the waiting speeder.

    “Where are we going?” she asked as she climbed inside.

    “To the Senate. I know it is better for you to be doing something then waiting around worried about what is going to happen, so that is why I want you to help Padmé and Ahsoka.” He turned a sad face towards her, “I may not make it back, but this is the destiny that has been waiting for me all these years.”

    Shmi felt sadness overwhelm her. She was facing the prospect of her son being killed this very day: the world her son had grown up in was being destroyed around him, just because of one man’s desire to have him as his apprentice. Everyone Anakin loved was threatened. Anyone of them could die today.

    Anakin started the speeder and guided it up into the traffic streams. “I have to do this.”

    Shmi nodded numbly. “I know.” There was nothing more she could say, apart from hope that her son would return safely to her, and that everyone she loved survived the coming battle.

    - - - - -

    In the shadows below, watching the departing speeder was a man, dressed in robes. Scurrying back into the building he hurried up the stairs to his mistress, bowing before her and the hologram that she had been talking to just moments before.

    “They have left, my lady. The tracking device has been installed on the speeder as instructed.”

    Asajj Ventress moved out of the shadows, a smile decorating her evil face. “Good.”

    “Ventress, you are to follow the speeder. Allow Skywalker to come to me. His mother will join the two escapees in the Senate as they attempt to build support against my rule… Find them and kill them all.”

    Ventress bowed before the hooded figure. “It will be done, my Lord.”

    To be continued...

    Please let me know what you think!

    Next chapter will be posted next Saturday!
    -hlc88-
  9. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    (I already read/responded on ff.n so yes, I've read this chapter despite my almost instantaneous post.)

    My health is dearly suffering...as is Obi-Wan's. Possibly his sense of pride, too (oh, right, no pride for a Jedi) - he'll be saved by Ahsoka or Anakin, I suppose - he lost the Maul kill, the Grevious kill - still, better to be saved than killed. :D

    So Ahsoka will probably save everyone by getting Padme to the Senate and all that...oh, well, many of us have gnashed our teeth at her becoming the actual Chosen One (refer to TCW posts) - although I suppose it'll be co-Chosen One here. [face_laugh]

    I'm glad, anyway, that Anakin's "women" are all safe.

    Now, the best for last, right? And alive? [face_praying]
  10. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Excellent and riveting. =D= Intense and gripping. You can practically feel the urgency =D= :cool:
  11. benknobi1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2002
    star 6
    “Palpatine has Obi-Wan?” asked Shmi. That was the worst news of all.
    -Indeed


    Love this story, i'm so hooked :D
  12. Janakin Skywalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Great update. I'm also hooked on this story. I can't wait to see what happens but I hope that Obi-Wan doesn't die and I'm looking forward to the confrontation between Anakin and Palpatine.

    Kind of glad that Anakin didn't kill Dooku as well. Makes it interesting.

    Really looking forward to the next update! Maybe if college is finished for christmas we might get some extra chapters in a shorter space once you've had a nice christmas break? :) That's just me being greedy though.
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  13. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    So exciting--love how Anakin and Ahsoka worked an idea out with Padme and also that Anakin has gone for Shmi too. Love their plan. Looking forward to seeing how this confrontation goes. Great update!
    roguegirl likes this.
  14. Jedi_Liz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 6
    waiting for the next chapter.....
  15. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot - I couldn't keep Anakin's woman all in danger could I? *grins* And Ahsoka being the co-Chosen One? Please no! :eek:

    @Jade_eyes - Thank you!

    @benknobi1 - Thank you! I hope enjoy the rest of the story!

    @Janakin Skywalker - The confrontation will be in the next two chapters. Much as I would love to update more regularly unfortunately I've got final exams in January. My university course is complicated. I start in April and finish my year in February so final exams/assignments always hit in January. And at the moment I'm in the midst of revising so I have less time to write. But I am ahead in writing chapters so I do hope to finish this story for the middle of January :)

    @Luna_Nightshade - Thank you!

    @Jedi_Liz - Here is the next chapter! :)

    - - - - -

    A Mother’s Love

    Chapter Thirty-One

    In all her time on Coruscant, Shmi Skywalker had only visited the Senate Building a couple of times. The first time being when Anakin wanted to introduce her to the Chancellor, the second time being when Darec’s company had been involved in a dispute, which had needed the intervention of the Senate to settle the rules that were supposed to be implemented.

    Looking upon it now, she shivered. It must have been a full rotation since she and Obi-Wan had been attacked, a full day in which she had spent the time in the clutches of Ventress. She shivered at that thought, considering herself to be lucky that she hadn’t been harmed more.

    The sun’s glares highlighted the top of the building, making it sparkle in the afternoon light.

    From her seat in the speeder she could see across the city towards the Jedi Temple. Gunships surrounded that area of the district, and smoke was rising from the Temple itself. It looked like the clones had finally made it into the Temple.

    Anakin had wanted to go and help, to make sure that everyone got out safely, yet he knew what his duty was meant to be. He wouldn’t be able to help end the siege if Palpatine remained in power. Reluctantly, he had fought the desire to head in the Temple direction.

    Shmi pulled at the robe Anakin had given her. Slightly disguised, but enough to still be classed as Shmi Skywalker if recognised, she was posing as a personal assistant to a Senator, being escorted to her station. Despite the hour in the afternoon, the Senate itself was relatively busy.

    They stayed close together as they walked through the corridors, deeper into the building; Anakin had covered his face with a hood, leaving holes to see through and placed a breath mask over his face. He was trying to be a Kel Dor, like Plo Koon, but was failing miserably. The disguise would hold, for now, since no one was stopping them.

    Anakin reached the room he intended to enter, and tried palming the door open. It was locked.

    “What is it?” asked Shmi.

    “They’ve taken precautions,” answered Anakin. “Hold on.”

    She watched as he closed his eyes for a few seconds, slowed his breathing, before opening them again.

    “I just told Ahsoka that I’m outside.”

    The door slid open and they were beckoned inside by a lady wearing a white dress, with cropped, brown hair. Shmi recognised her as being the Senator from Chandrila.

    “Shmi! You’re ok!” Padmé was the first to speak once the door closed behind them.

    “Thanks to Ani,” she answered, looking up at her son.

    “I’m not letting Palpatine use the three of you against me,” said Anakin, fiercely. “It’s bad enough that he has Obi-Wan. I’m hoping he won’t have realised I’m here yet, or that I’ve rescued the three of you.” He began to pace, worry was clearly influencing him. “Ahsoka, you are the only armed one here. I need you to protect Padmé and my mother. I still sense danger…” He shook his head, frustrated. “I think something is coming, but I can’t stay. I need to deal with the Sith.”

    “Anakin…” Padmé moved forward and grasped his arms. “Are you sure it is safe for us to be here?”

    Anakin swallowed. “I don’t know. But I’d rather you be closer to me then further away. If the Jedi Temple was a safe environment to be in, I’d take you there, but I need you to help the Order to survive. Padmé, you are an amazing politician. You have a huge amount of strength that can sway people to what you think is right. If the Jedi wasn’t at risk of being slaughtered I wouldn’t even be asking you what I have.”

    Shmi glanced towards Padmé. “I can help you. I’m not as well-known as you. Perhaps I can speak on your behalf?”

    “What?” Anakin turned to face his mother, shock on his face.

    “I can’t go out and speak on the floor,” replied Padmé. “The Chancellor has already announced me as a traitor to the Senate and the Republic, as I have conspired with the Jedi against him. I can’t risk being seen in the chamber. I’ll be immediately arrested.” She nodded to Bail and Mon Mothma. “Both the Senator of Alderaan and the Senator of Chandrila have been trying to garner support for us but they are not as influential as I am. It’s difficult because Palpatine has bribed a lot of them to stay loyal to him. But your mother hasn’t been listed as a traitor and you are not a traitor either because of Palpatine’s interest in you. Your mother would be able to represent me in the Senate, as long as Bail or someone loyal to me argues for her chance to speak. I can write her a speech to say and perhaps that will get the support we need. Shmi might be the right person to get us the support we need to call for a vote of no confidence in the Supreme Chancellor.” Padmé’s mouth quirked upwards. “Besides he won’t be in session if you are dealing with him, will he?”

    “No…” said Anakin. “But can a full session be held without the Chancellor overseeing it?”

    Padmé nodded. “Only if it is for smaller issues, but they won’t know what your mother will say until she’s into her speech. I can guarantee they will listen, whether the other Senators will respond remains to be seen.”

    “There is interest in what we’ve told other Senators,” explained Bail. “We might be able to get support if we do this, Master Skywalker.”

    Anakin sighed. “I don’t like the idea of my mother going out and putting herself at risk.”

    “But Master, she won’t be in danger if Palpatine is with you, right?” urged Ahsoka. “He’d rather be dealing with you then a rebellion, especially if he really wants to turn you.”

    Frowning, Anakin began to pace. “Maybe, but he is crafty. He’s hidden himself from us for years. Managing to plant listening devices in C-3PO and R2D2 is a stroke of genius on his part.”

    Shmi regarded her son. “Ani? What do you mean?”

    “The Chancellor has been listening to everything we said, probably for years. I don’t know how he managed it, but both Padmé’s droid and your droid had been fitted with a listening device. That’s one of the things I’m intending to find out when I confront him,” explained Anakin. “He probably has some in here too. He probably already knows what we are planning on doing. I didn’t consider this place as somewhere he would keep an eye on.”

    “This area has been cleared of listening devices,” mentioned Mon Mothma. “I thought it was prudent to do so as soon as we heard of Palpatine’s movements against the Jedi.”

    “These devices are not detectable by the usual means,” replied Anakin.

    Shmi watched as her son closed his eyes, reaching out to that mystical Force that she could never touch. He stayed like that, breathing slowly, for a few minutes before he opened them again. “Well?”

    “I can’t sense anything. Perhaps we really do have the element of surprise this time.” Anakin crossed his arms and looked at his mother. “Please be careful. I don’t want to lose you.”

    Shmi smiled slightly. “I know. But I want to help. If making a speech helps, then I’ll gladly do it.” She stepped forward and placed her hands on her son’s shoulders, looking up at him. “I know what you have to do, and I am afraid for you. Please be careful and come back to me … if you can.”

    “I will. You know I will,” said Anakin, pulling his mother into a hug, and holding her tightly.

    Shmi stepped back and watched as Padmé gave Anakin a hug, whispered something in his ear and kiss him on the lips. She could see how much the young Senator loved her son. She prayed to the Force that Anakin would come back to them.

    Ahsoka was next and Anakin placed his hands on her shoulders. He spoke to her quietly, nearly whispering so that she could not overhear, but it didn’t matter. This was meant to be a private moment for Master and Apprentice, she would not eavesdrop.

    Moving towards the door, Anakin pulled his arms down in an attempt to exude confidence, but despite his posture, Shmi could tell that he would be trembling inside. “Good luck, and come back to me… and with Obi-Wan too.”

    A grim smile crossed his features. “I will.” He fixed his gaze around the room. “Be careful. All of you.”

    “We will, Master,” replied Ahsoka confidently.

    Anakin turned, palmed the opening and walked outside into the hall, the door sliding shut behind him.

    - - - - -

    “Your time is nearing, Kenobi.”

    Obi-Wan looked up at the Sith, his eyes darkening as he took in the visage of Palpatine wrapped in his dark cloak, hood over his head, almost masking his features. “If you think killing me will help you turn Anakin, you are mistaken.”

    The Sith chuckled. “You are the father he never had, Master Kenobi. You are more than just his friend and mentor, you are family. Jedi do not have attachments, isn’t that correct? Oh… but of course, young Skywalker was granted an exception… And because of his success, the Jedi Order relaxed their rule on attachment. But he still has fire in him that can be ignited and will be with your death. He will turn if he wishes to save the others from certain death…”

    Obi-Wan smirked. “From what I’ve been hearing you have been unable to get a status update with Count Dooku. I hardly think that you still have any of Anakin’s family in your custody.”

    “Apart from you,” the Sith responded darkly.

    “Killing me will only make him stronger.”

    “We will see about that, Jedi.”

    Obi-Wan clenched his fists, wishing he had the power to break free from his prison and escape before his former apprentice could arrive. He knew that his death could tip the scales… He could trust Anakin, but there was only so much one person could take before they cracked.

    “I can sense your anger, Master Kenobi… That is unbecoming of a Jedi…”

    Obi-Wan swallowed, realising that Palpatine was baiting him. He still couldn’t use the Force, and he couldn’t deny that at this moment, he did hate the Sith for what they were doing, what they were trying to do… Obi-Wan tried to calm himself, tried to ignore what he heard.

    “You have a fear that your former apprentice will be rash… I thought you trusted him.”

    Gritting his teeth, Obi-Wan stifled his desire to retort angrily. Instead he didn’t speak until he was sure that he wasn’t going to get angry. “I do trust him. I fear that your manipulations, your plot against Anakin will make him more vulnerable to the dark side. I can trust him to kill you, it is whether he will lose himself in the process.”

    The Sith laughed. “He won’t kill me. The power that the dark side holds will be attractive to him. He will take my hand especially when he knows what he could possess when he feels it gripping at his soul.”

    Obi-Wan glared. “He will kill you.” Of that he was sure.

    “Even if he does attempt to strike me down,” responded Sidious darkly, “you won’t be around to see it.”

    That only served as a reminder to Obi-Wan that his life was ticking down. The Sith intended to kill him and if Anakin was already in the Senate building then he didn’t have long left. He could only hope that his death wasn’t going to be sudden, rather a calculated strategy that Sidious intended to pull off at a certain point.

    If that was the case, perhaps he would have time to get himself out of the mess he was in.

    - - - - -

    Anakin could sense the darkness exuding from the Chancellor’s Office. How it made him feel cold, and he shivered involuntarily. No one seemed to be taking any notice of him as he walked through the corridors, though he was projecting the idea that they weren’t really seeing him.

    It was a neat trick, a useful one. Perhaps it was one they should have employed more often against the Separatists. But of course, it was difficult to confuse the perceptions of droids: they didn’t have a biological brain that could be twisted into thinking they weren’t really seeing anything.

    Anakin took the lift up to the Chancellor’s office, his nerves pulling at his stomach.

    What was he going to find when he got there? Was Obi-Wan still going to be alive?

    I’m sure I’d feel if he had died…

    Anakin shook his head, trying to clear it from the thoughts he was having. Don’t think about it. He’ll be fine. Both of us are going to come out of this.

    But he couldn’t shake the feeling that something dreadful was going to happen, that he was still going to lose someone close to him. There was still a danger to his mother, Padmé and Ahsoka. He could sense it. The Force trembled with anticipation around him.

    He came to the end of the hallway where the Chancellor’s offices were. It was quiet, and there were no guards outside the doors as they usually were. Was he that confident that Anakin wasn’t a threat to him or did he want to spare lives?


    No, don’t be silly. He’s a Sith. He doesn’t care about other people’s lives.

    The absence of guards made him feel suspicious of what they could be doing, but he couldn’t dwell on it now.

    As he approached the doors slid open of their own accord. His eyes found the cameras in the corner of the corridor, pointing directly at him.

    So Palpatine was expecting him.

    He entered the outer office. The secretary that usually sat at the desk to the right of the door was no longer there. Probably dismissed for the duration of this confrontation, he thought midly. The last thing the Sith wanted was a witness to his heinous crimes. He crossed the room and stopped in front of the door that led to the inner office.

    Darkness exuded from inside, mingled with a slight feeling of light that Anakin characterised as belonging to Obi-Wan. He was still alive, and even though they could not communicate due to the block that had been placed by the Sith, it was a relief to Anakin that this close to his Master, he could sense that familiar bond.
    With one hand clutching his lightsaber, Anakin took a deep breath, palming the door open to the Chancellor’s inner office and stepped inside.

    To be continued…

    Please let me know what you think!

    Next chapter will be posted next Saturday! In which the final confrontation begins! :D

    I hope everyone has a Happy Christmas!

    -hlc88-
  16. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Oooh, cool post. =D= I too hope they have the element of surprise. [face_worried]
  17. Jedi_Liz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 6
    I see the image of darth maul watching obi-wan in
    TPM..... Watching, waiting and almost
    stalking Anakin.... Plus we have Ventriss to worry about.
  18. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    So we still don't know if Obi-Wan will survive or not, and now we are supposed to worry about the "women" again? Talk about equal opportunity worrying. :D
  19. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    I hope everyone had a Happy Christmas! You'll be pleased to know that I have written so much over the past few days that I can now up my posting schedule to twice a week! Which is probably a good thing considering what is coming.

    @Jade_eyes Thanks! Surprising Palpatine is very difficult to do...

    @Jedi_Liz I'm afraid that worrying for the characters is going to occur for a few more chapters yet!

    @Valairy Scot You should just worry about everyone! :D

    - - - - -

    Chapter Thirty-Two

    Anakin stepped into the Chancellor’s Inner Office, his eyes already casting around the darkened room. The lights had been dimmed to reflect the dark nature that the Sith projected, and the décor had changed ever so slightly.

    To the side of him, near to the centre of the room, stood Obi-Wan, his wrists bound, inside a force-shield. There was a slight smile of relief on his face, but in his eyes there was worry and a bit of fear. Anakin understood what the look was trying to tell him: even without being able to contact Obi-Wan through the Force, the young man instantly knew what game the Chancellor was playing.

    The Sith Lord himself stood by the windows, overlooking the city, dressed in black robes, hands behind his back. The Sith didn’t even turn around as he spoke. “Anakin…”
    Anakin’s hands clenched. “Let him go,” he demanded. “This is between us.”

    The Sith slowly turned around to face Anakin, his glowing, yellow eyes, such a change from the nice old man that he projected himself to be, that Anakin shivered at seeing the intense hatred that shined out of them. But the hatred wasn’t directed at him, more at the Jedi in general.

    “He is my insurance. Do you want him to die?”

    Anakin shook his head. “No.”

    “You know I could snap his neck so fast that neither of you would know it was coming,” continued Sidious.

    Anakin continued to glare at the Sith. “Is that supposed to make me bow before you and accept your teachings?” he spat.

    The Sith moved forward, closer to Anakin, his arms spread wide. “It is an invitation that perhaps I could be persuaded to spare his life if you willingly became my apprentice.”

    “Is this your back-up plan since your first one failed?” retorted Anakin. “You wanted me to see my family killed because you knew I cared enough that it would hurt me if any of them died. They are safe now and away from you!” He glanced at Obi-Wan, hoping that he could find a way to release him without making Sidious angry enough to make do on his threat of simply snapping Obi-Wan’s neck.

    Sidious laughed, a cold cruel one. “You are naïve, my young apprentice. I know they are here, working towards my downfall. The dark side of the Force has not clouded the future from me.”

    Anakin swallowed, a little bit of fear trickling into his stomach.

    “I can feel your fear and your anger…”

    “No!” shouted Anakin desperately. He had to clamp down on the emotions tearing through his body. If his family was still in danger…

    “Trust in Ahsoka, Anakin.”

    Anakin’s eyes flickered towards his Master. Obi-Wan had his full attention on him.

    “Ahsoka is stronger than you think she is.”

    Anakin was about to reply when Obi-Wan was suddenly lifted in to the air, choking. His hands scrabbled up towards his throat, trying to pull away the invisible hands that had his throat in a choke lock.

    “You are not part of this conversation, Master Kenobi,” hissed Sidious.

    “Let him GO!” roared Anakin, angrily, his thumb activating his lightsaber.

    “Ana … kin…” Obi-Wan was still trying to speak over the Force choke. His face was going red from the effort of trying to breath. “Don’t … not … in … anger!”

    But then Sidious’ arm swept to the right and the force field that Obi-Wan was being held in disappeared, and the Jedi Master went flying across the room, crashing into the wall and dropping to the floor with a resounding thud.

    Anakin’s fist clenched tighter around the hilt of the blade but he clamped down on his anger, trying to calm himself, to keep in with the serenity of the Force that he had become familiar with. He risked a glance towards his Master. Obi-Wan was semi-conscious, his body swaying against the wall. He still couldn’t reach his Master through the bond they shared.

    The cruel device around Obi-Wan’s neck was an indication of what exactly was preventing their communication. He kept his eyes on the Sith Lord as he sought to feel for the mechanisms in the shock collar. If he could release Obi-Wan without the Sith knowing…

    “Anger makes you powerful. You have always sought something more than what you are. Your destiny is far greater than that of being a Jedi,” continued Sidious. “Ever since you were born you have known that your destiny is far greater than what you have been led to believe…”

    “I may have thought that once,” admitted Anakin. Because he had. For that year he had been without his mother he had sought more of a way to help her from slavery. Palpatine had been a great help to him in that year, guiding him along, telling him that possibly the Jedi way was not the path he necessarily had to take to free his mother. But then Obi-Wan had freed her, and Anakin’s priorities and views had changed. His mother had known there was something off about Palpatine from the start and that had caused what work the Sith had done to manipulate Anakin to unravel.

    Anakin’s desire to be a Jedi had stemmed from his belief that that was the only way he could possibly free her, but her being in his life, helping him, nurturing his training with Obi-Wan and helping to build the unbreakable bond he shared with his Master, had shown him that he could help all those in need in the galaxy. Being a Jedi he could make a difference.

    Not just to himself but to others as well.

    “But I am the Chosen One,” continued Anakin. “My destiny is not to join you. My destiny is to destroy you.”

    Sidious’ eyes shimmered with hatred. “Are you so sure? I see you standing by my side, coming to me after failing to save those you love because I am the one who can prevent their deaths from ever occurring.”

    “You’ve ordered their deaths,” countered Anakin. “You’ve made it so that I would feel obliged to come to you just to save their lives. No.” His back straightened and he stared hard at the Chancellor. “Obi-Wan is right. I can trust in Ahsoka to keep them safe.”

    The Sith’s eyes turned to slits, and his gaze moved towards Obi-Wan, who was still slumped against the wall, dazed. “Your Master has been an infernal thorn in my side for far too long.”

    Anakin’s breath stilled.

    “It is time you learnt the lesson of loss, Jedi!”

    The Sith’s right hand clenched, but Anakin, anticipating the move, used the Force to counter-act the Force choke that Sidious had been aiming for Obi-Wan. The Sith’s aim went off; at the same time Anakin managed to unlock the device around his Master’s neck.

    Obi-Wan’s presence filled his mind, a glorious feeling after having lost that connection, if only for a little while.

    Anakin, I’m alright.

    Risking a glance at his Master, he saw Obi-Wan shake off the feigned confusion and scramble to his feet, walking over to Anakin’s position, his eyes staring hard at the Sith Lord in front of them.

    Anakin’s blue blade spluttered to life, and he used it to swipe down at the binders around Obi-Wan’s wrists; the metal clanging to the floor.

    “Here, I think you need this,” said Anakin, taking his Master’s lightsaber from his belt and handing it to him. “I hoped to return it to you before this snake killed you.”

    “The gift is appreciated Anakin,” smiled Obi-Wan, before he too ignited his lightsaber, and stood side-to-side with Anakin, facing the Sith Lord that had caused so much trouble for the Jedi and the Republic.

    - - - - -

    Sitting in the pod with Bail, Padmé, disguised in a cloak, watched as the Senate session had begun, overseen by Mas Amedda. The general rules applied that all policies had to be overlooked by the Chancellor, but they could certainly propose ideas. Though, the one that Shmi Skywalker was planning on proposing was not one that the Chancellor would have a say in.

    Padmé felt worried, somewhere in this building, her future husband was fighting for his life, and no one knew of it. No one knew that a climactic battle was taking place which would decide the ultimate fate of the Republic. Her hands clenched in frustration. She should be there supporting him, but she understood that she had more use in the Senate then in a confrontation that would only make Anakin’s job worse.

    The Senate was still reeling from the shocking betrayal of the Jedi, the clone troopers besieging the Jedi Temple had not yet made it into the Temple, still being held off by the combined force of the Jedi Masters. Padmé wasn’t sure how long they would be able to last.

    She glanced over at the Naboo pod, where she should be, but it had been agreed that it would be safer if she was with Bail. Ahsoka was hiding in the shadows, keeping a safe eye on Shmi who was sitting quietly in the Naboo pod, waiting for the time when Bail would announce her. They just needed to wait for the right opportunity to come along when he could make the notion that Shmi deserved a say, despite not being a true representative of the Senate.

    This is going to be a long session…

    - - - - -

    Shmi ran her eyes over the speech she intended to say. She hoped what she and Padmé had decided together would have some effect on the Senators that might help to remove the Chancellor from power. She glanced over her shoulder to see Ahsoka standing in the shadows, draped in a cloak, one hand constantly on her lightsaber, sweeping her eyes over the chamber.

    The Togrutan Jedi moved forward slowly and bent down, whispering Shmi’s ear. “I sense something… Danger. I think it’s coming…”

    Shmi felt alarm spread through her. “Is it the Sith?”

    Ahsoka shook her head. “I don’t think so. Maybe one of his agents.”

    “Ventress then,” answered Shmi. “Anakin didn’t confront her. Perhaps she has come here to kill us in response for Anakin’s rescue of us all?”

    Ahsoka inclined her head. “It is possible. Be careful. Whatever happens, get that speech said because it has the influence we need to help the rest of the Jedi Order.”

    Shmi nodded. “I trust you, Ahsoka. Anakin is training you well.”

    “Thanks,” blushed Ahsoka, a momentary slip from her usual hard façade that she had earned during the course of the war.

    Turning her attention back to the Senate, Shmi watched as Bail Organa rose and moved his pod so that it was floating in the centre of the room. He began to speak about his fears of the clone trooper attack on the Jedi Temple and how it threatened civilian life if it was allowed to continue.

    Thankfully for Bail, another Senator had already expressed their concerns about that very topic, allowing him to begin the process of opening the floor up to Shmi.

    Padmé sat still, her head slightly bowed to avoid being recognised. If anyone caught on that Naboo’s Senator was sitting there, Bail at least would be able to defend her.

    Shmi tried to calm her nerves. She had never spoken out in public before and it unnerved her that she was about to do something significant, especially if it worked, and how much it may help the Jedi Order. She had to do this because she was the only one who could.

    Bail’s voice vibrated out into the chamber, and he waved his arm in her direction. “In Senator Amidala’s absence, I call upon Shmi Skywalker to take the stand and explain to the Senate why the assault on the Jedi Temple should be stopped!”

    Shmi took to the controls of the pod and guided it upwards into the main body of the chamber, positioning her pod next to Bail Organa’s. She knew the only reason this discussion was being allowed was because Mas Amedda could not stop a discussion on what the attack was doing to the ordinary folk, if they started advocating for why the Jedi should be spared then he did have the authority to do so. This is where Shmi’s role was tricky. She had to be careful to phrase words that would allow her to open the eyes of the Senators without breaking the rules put in place.

    If Palpatine was in the Senate Chamber then they wouldn’t even have a chance of achieving this. With Anakin – and hopefully Obi-Wan – distracting him, they had more of a chance.

    “And why should we listen to her?” A Senator yelled from above. “She isn’t even a part of this Senate!”

    Bail turned to look up at the Senator, one of the Banking Clans, who was in the pocket of the Sith. “Because Shmi Skywalker is an ordinary person who has been deeply affected by this attack on the Jedi Temple. She is my evidence I present to you. Let her speak and perhaps you will understand why this attack needs to be stopped, even if the Jedi deserve to die.” They had to pretend that the Jedi deserved their ordered fate, for the ploy to work and for Shmi to be allowed to speak, Amedda had to be convinced that Bail supported Palpatine’s declaration.

    Shmi stood, casting her gaze around the Senate chamber. She took a deep breath and began to speak.

    “I do not expect any of you to take what I say seriously, but for you to understand what this attack on the Temple is doing, ordinary people have to be heard. The Jedi Temple is my home, my employer. The Jedi have given me a job, allowed me the privilege of raising my son, even as he trained as a Jedi. My son, is the only Jedi not being hunted down and killed. Anakin Skywalker is a good person. My son and my most proudest achievement.” She swallowed, before continuing. “I am an ordinary person, this soulless attack on an order that has been sentenced and tried without proper investigation is unlawful! Why is my son the only one Jedi not to be hunted? What makes him so different from the rest of the Jedi? Is it because he was a slave before he joined the Jedi Order at a late age and so was not raised as a corrupted individual seeking power? It is not just Anakin or I that are suffering. But the ordinary folk who gave their children to the Jedi Order for the chance of a better life. The children of the Jedi are not being spared. What crimes have these children committed to deserve being murdered for what the crimes of their elders have supposedly done? Is it right for their parents to suffer too, knowing that their children have been judged for something they surely could not have been involved in?”

    She could see and hear muttering among the Senator’s rising. Mas Amedda was no longer listening. He was not even bothering trying to silence her. She knew he was either alerting Palpatine to the issue in the Senate or he was ordering guards to rein her in, in the midst of her speech.

    But she would continue until she was forced to be silent.

    “Did ordinary folk fight in the war? Did we sacrifice our lives to defend this Republic? No, we did not! What right does the Chancellor have to authorise the deaths of so many people who have served the Republic loyally, and died for it, regardless of the fact that they are not warriors? I was once a slave on a backwater planet, until the Jedi came for me and saved me. A Jedi that is known well in this Senate as a hero, but one that has suffered so much in this war: Obi-Wan Kenobi saved me. What has men like him done to deserve instant death? Whatever crime he may have committed should not result in execution. This order handed down to the clones by the Chancellor himself has failed to take into account the people affected by this.”

    Shmi took a deep breath and prepared for what she knew would be a revelation to the Senate. But her previous words were strong and those that had been angered at her chance to speak, now seemed to be supporting her.

    “Isn’t the Chancellor meant to care about the ordinary people? We may be at war but that should not change his priorities! But you can’t expect someone who hides their true self to be understanding of that!”

    Those words, right there, would change everything.

    Just as she had been instructed to, she fell silent, sweeping her eyes over the Senators in their pods, waiting for the reaction to start.

    As predicted, it did.

    There was a huge uproar as Senators stood up in their pods, all demanding to speak at once, some against Palpatine, some for him and others staying silent as the argument progressed.

    No one could hear Mas Amedda calling for order, nor did they care. Shmi’s words had rowed the Senate into action, possibly enough for them to rethink their allegiance to the Chancellor. She glanced over at Bail’s pod and could see Padmé, in her cloak, nodding at her in a sign of respect at what she had just achieved.

    It took over ten minutes for Amedda to calm the Senators down so that he could be heard. “What Mrs Skywalker spoke of is treason,” he finally said once he could be heard.

    Shmi had expected this. But her retort was ready, and already slipping off her tongue. “Nothing can change the fact that we have proof. If the Chancellor wants loyalty he should gain it through truth, not through lies about who he really is. If you seek to prevent this rumour from gaining ground, get the Chancellor to show himself. Let him defend himself, because I am no threat to you. All I can do is say words. Words strong enough that can throw doubt into the core of people’s belief’s. If they didn’t already have these ideas in their minds, I wouldn’t be able to nurture them. There are those here who consider the Chancellor’s orthodox ways worrying. Not for power was he? And yet in the last few days he has made a declaration that the Republic will be transformed into an Empire, and the Jedi destroyed without a trial or a thought on what this could mean for the ordinary folk that he is meant to look out for!”

    And with that Shmi sat down, her speech and contribution finished. Now it was up to the Senate.

    She just hoped that they would choose to fight back against the oppression rather than allow themselves to be continually oppressed. She didn’t want her daughter to grow up in a word where she had no freedom.

    I really hope they are alright and are staying hidden…

    - - - - -

    Ventress peered down into the Senate hall, watching the speech unfold.

    Skywalker’s mother was good with words, fiery when provoked. She had a perfect chance to kill her. Shmi Skywalker’s pod was positioned directly beneath the vent, Ventress knelt in.

    Fingering the hilt of one of her blades, Ventress unclipped it from her belt, pulled the grate out of the vent’s exit, and leapt out.

    - - - - -

    Ahsoka sensed the attack moments before Ventress leapt out of vent, but the young Padawan had already acted, Force-leaping into the middle of the Senate Chamber, towards Shmi’s pod, yelling out for her to look out.

    The older woman looked upwards and saw the form of Ventress bearing down on her.

    But Bail Organa got there first.

    A shot from his blaster pierced Ventress’ shoulder and she was knocked off course, missing Shmi’s pod by several metres. Ahsoka landed on Shmi’s pod, with her lightsaber active, her eyes cast down watching as Ventress landed on the side of the Ithorian pod, before bouncing off it and falling into the Corellia pod.

    “Shmi! Quickly!”

    Ahsoka risked a glance of her shoulder, to see Shmi scrambling over into Bail’s pod before he guided it upwards and back to its place.

    The Senators in the chamber were already fleeing; Mas Amedda had already disappeared, and clone troopers were now appearing.

    “Surrender Jedi!”

    Ahsoka bit her lip, her hand clasped tightly around her ignited lightsaber. Ventess was still below her, but any minute now she would attack. Ahsoka simply could not surrender. Not if the assassin was here to murder Shmi.

    As a stun blast came her way, Ahsoka Force-leapt upwards, hearing the shout of frustration from Ventress as she had leapt to engage the Padawan, missing her completely when Ahsoka had leapt for safety.

    She landed on a pod that was already back in its parked bay and Ahsoka, ignoring the stun blasts coming her way, ran out of the pod and through the door, and out into the hallway. She didn’t have long, and Ventress would be pursuing her.

    With the Senate guards looking to arrest her, things were not looking good for her.

    “Hurry up, Master. The sooner this is sorted out, the sooner you can get back to training me!”

    The door behind her slid open, Ventress standing there, her two hands holding her glowing, red lightsabers. “You!” she hissed angrily.

    Ahsoka stepped back, raising her own blade in defence.

    “I will deal with you first before I kill Skywalker’s mother!”

    Ventress leapt at her.

    - - - - -

    “This is an interesting turn of events…” mused Sidious, as he watched the two Jedi move towards him.

    Anakin scrutinised the Sith Lord closely. “Is it really? Did your powers in the Dark Side not possibly inform you that I would never turn? Let you live in the deluded belief that I would one day be yours to command and control?”

    The Sith laughed. “Anakin… Anakin… that is the beauty of it. The Dark Side showed me this path. What I can do to make you turn. To make you mine. Your friends are not safe. Even now one of my assassins is hunting your apprentice, the woman you love and your mother. All of them will die, I can assure you. Their deaths will tear you to pieces. You will break and I will be the only one able to put you back together.”

    “I wouldn’t be so sure, Sith,” said Obi-Wan, his eyes lowering. “What you see for Anakin may not be what happens. He has a choice. Fate isn’t preordained. We make our own choices, it is what we decide that counts. What you see, Chancellor Palpatine, is a possible future that you have mistaken to be what will happen. You have failed to take into account individual choices.” He stepped forward. “Tell me, did you foresee the release of Shmi Skywalker from slavery on Tatooine?”

    It seemed like the Sith was not willing to answer that question but he did after a few minutes of silence. “No.”

    “That threw a spanner in what you must have seen when Anakin was nine as a destiny he would walk.” Obi-Wan sounded a little bit smug.

    “His mother’s death would have sent him further into the dark side, Master Kenobi, as will yours,” the Sith’s answer was venomous. “His mother should have remained a slave in my vision; that would have killed her in the end.”

    Anakin’s right hand clenched tighter around the hilt. A little bit of anger drifted off into his Force presence and he felt Obi-Wan’s mind join with his.

    Keep calm, Anakin. Anger is not the way.

    Anakin took in a deep breath. I know.

    “You installed listening devices in my mother’s droid and Padmé’s astromech,” stated Anakin. “Care to explain how you did that?”

    Sidious smirked. “Being the Chancellor of the Republic has its uses. No one questions my authority. It was relatively easy to get them on the droids. Every year they go for a service. It is as simple as that.”

    “A pay-off then,” said Obi-Wan, staring hard at the Sith. “You ask them to do it with no questions asked; paying them a hefty price to make sure they do it.”

    “Precisely,” grinned Sidious.

    “Though it wouldn’t surprise me if instead of paying people handsomely he threatened to harm their families if they did not comply with his demands,” snarled Anakin.

    “That is a good point, Anakin,” mused Obi-Wan. “The Sith do prefer to terrorise people. Though this one is slightly different, he’d rather terrorise you then the galaxy at large, though I’m sure that will change once his take-over is complete and the Jedi Order is no more, am I correct?”

    “The galaxy will bend to my will,” hissed Palpatine venomously.

    Anakin smirked. “Not if you are dead.”

    Anakin lifted his blade up; reached into the bond he shared with Obi-Wan and joined their presences together, linking with his former Master. Their bond pulsated brightly between them. Obi-Wan stepped forward as Anakin did so, their movements in tandem, and then they moved, striking out at the Sith Lord.

    - - - - -

    “Are you alright?” Padmé asked Shmi gently.

    The older woman nodded, panting slightly. “I… think so.”

    “We need to get out of here, lead Ventress away from the Senators,” began Padmé. “She’s here to kill us. Ahsoka is duelling her but she’s barely been a Padawan for a few months… She won’t have the strength to defeat her.”

    Shmi looked up and fixed Padmé with a piercing gaze. “Then we have to help her.”

    “How can we do that?” questioned Padmé, sitting back on her heels, curiosity crossing her face.

    “Give her more targets to choose from. She’ll have to concentrate on one of us. I’m obviously her main target,” admitted Shmi. “She leapt at me directly.”

    “You were the most accessible, out in the open. If Ahsoka hadn’t sensed the danger…” Padmé didn’t want to consider the possibilities of what could have happened if Ahsoka hadn’t reacted quickly enough.

    Shmi bowed her head. “I know, but we can’t leave Ahsoka to face her alone.”

    Padmé nodded. “You’re right. But let’s try to lead her out of the building. We might have a better chance of taking her down or escaping from her if we have more space to move around in.”

    Bail Organa, who had been sitting quietly watching the two women speak, leaned forward, clasping his hands together on his lap. “You made quite an impact on the Senators. It is possible that your words will stick with them. If I can rally the Senator’s together – if there are any still around - I might be able to get the support you need to bring down Palpatine.” He stroked his chin. “However it may be useful if that woman could be distracted long enough for me to get this vote completed. If it goes in our favour, we would have control of the clone troopers. I can call off the attack on the Temple and get them to take Ventress down.”

    “We might not be able to hold her off long enough for you to be able to do that,” said Padmé, grudgingly.

    “But we have to try,” said Shmi, her voice strong, filled with determination to succeed. Everything was at stake here. If they lost, so would everyone.

    They had to win.

    - - - - -

    In the second that Anakin and Obi-Wan leapt at the Sith Lord, a red lightsaber sparked to life.

    “Do not underestimate me!” the Sith Lord snarled, blocking the two blue blades as they descended upon him.

    Obi-Wan could sense the power exuding from the Sith, he was powerful, and skilled at how quickly he reacted to their attack. Obi-Wan tried to move around the Sith, but his move was anticipated and the Sith moved backwards first, keeping the two Jedi in front of him.

    Sidious was fast; as Anakin brought his blade up and over his head in a hard blow, and Obi-Wan heaved his blade upwards, the Sith blocked both, judging their angles so that he could block both at the same time. Dark side energy crackled around them.

    The cuts Sidious made were aiming more for Obi-Wan then Anakin. He didn’t want to harm the Chosen One physically.

    Anakin! Obi-Wan shouted down the bond. We need to get around him!

    I know! But he seems to be able to anticipate our every move! And I can feel you weakening! Anakin cast a glance at his former Master, noting that he did look drained.

    Obi-Wan knew that he wasn’t in the best condition to fight against the Sith at this moment. But he had to. If he didn’t defend himself, Sidious would take advantage. Sidious wanted to kill him; make sure he died in front of Anakin. He couldn’t fall back.

    But his head was hurting and his shielding was weak.

    The pressure Sidious had put on him when he had spoken to Anakin through their bond had been a terrible thing to experience. His mind had been violated, and his shields torn to shreds by the Sith.

    He was risking himself just to help Anakin.

    “Master, get out of here!” said Anakin. “You are more of a liability here then a help!” Anakin’s blade clashed against Sidious’ who whipped away, backing further into the room.

    “Perhaps your Master wants to die,” the Sith baited.

    “Unlikely,” snorted Obi-Wan, his blade placed diagonally across his body in a defence position. “But since you so want to kill me, backing away would only give you more of an opportunity to strike against me. At least I have Anakin covering my back.”

    “We will see,” Sidious smirked.

    “Obi-Wan…” Anakin’s voice was soft but full of warning as the Force rippled around them. “Something…”

    A blast of Force power pushed Anakin away from Sidious, and he tumbled to the floor.

    “No!” Obi-Wan managed to lift his blade up in time as Sidious came at him with speed, crossing the office to get to Obi-Wan’s position.

    “If Skywalker will continue to get in my way then he will be detained!” the Sith snarled, spit falling from his mouth as he launched ferocious attacks against Obi-Wan, who barely managed to block each of the Sith’s thrusts.

    Obi-Wan couldn’t even spare a glance at his former Padawan, so concentrated was he on the attacks that were being rained down upon him. His arms ached from the constant movement and his head was bursting with pain.

    And then it happened.

    Obi-Wan’s shields were weak and Sidious penetrated them easily.

    Anakin’s constant presence in his mind faded to merely a whisper as the darkness raged inside. Obi-Wan fought to maintain control, fought to keep a grip on the reality cascading around him, fought to maintain his grip on his blade as Sidious pushed him further back towards the wall.

    Someone shouted his name but he could not hear them; dare not answer for fear of losing his concentration.

    He tried to Force push the Sith Lord away from him so he could slip out from the corner he was being forced into but the Sith blocked it easily, having anticipated such a move. The Sith had enough power to remain in Obi-Wan’s mind, while barely making an effort to attack the steadily weakening Jedi.

    And somehow he was preventing Anakin from re-joining the fight.

    Sweat beaded on Obi-Wan’s forehead and he fought continuously, swinging his arms left and right, up and down in an effort to defend himself. He could feel the Force flowing through him; images were being flashed before his eyes as Sidious remained in his mind, desperately trying to find a weakness, shifting through every bad memory that Obi-Wan possessed.

    Don’t let it get to you, Kenobi! He yelled to himself.

    Sidious’ face was a mask of pleasure and certainty. He was confident that he would win this fight; that he would achieve his goal of killing the Jedi Master.

    “Oh no… Master Kenobi. There you might be wrong. Killing is such a soft word. Try murder.”

    Obi-Wan’s back was pressed right up against the wall.

    He blocked left, and then up and to the right, but something invisible grasped his arms, preventing him from moving them down to defend himself.

    Sidious’ Force power was incredible. He could not break the hold that the Sith Lord had on his arms.

    He knew in that moment what would happen next.

    And then it happened as Sidious lunged for him, a gleeful expression on that hateful face: the expression of victory.

    Unable to bring his blade down and trapped in the corner with no space to move away, Obi-Wan felt the red lightsaber blade sink into his flesh and through his abdomen, erupting out of his back. He staggered forward, losing his balance as the blade was pushed further through, until only the hilt was protruding from his tummy. He was effectively pinned to the wall.

    Obi-Wan’s fingers opened and his lightsaber clattered to the floor. His eyes widened in shock and horror, as the Sith Lord deliberately twisted the lightsaber inside his belly.

    Die, Jedi!” the Sith hissed malevolently, his yellow eyes found Obi-Wan’s.

    “….” Obi-Wan struggled to speak. What flashed in his mind was not what he thought it would be, rather it was the memory of his own Master’s death. Ironic really, Anakin was being held back by Sidious’ Force power, forced to see his Master’s death, much like Obi-Wan had been forced to do back on Naboo all those years ago. The only difference was that energy barriers had prevented Obi-Wan from joining his Master. He had been killed in the same circumstances, and stabbed in the same place…

    Sidious pulled his blade slowly out of his stomach, twisting it once more to achieve more damage as it exited his body, watching with relish at Obi-Wan’s shocked expression.

    Pain mingled in his body and the Force felt faint to the touch.

    Obi-Wan blinked, his eyes trying to focus on the one person he loved most in the world.

    The man that he considered his brother was standing stock still, shock written across his features.

    “Anakin…” Obi-Wan managed before his knees buckled. His vision blurred and he swayed. “I believe in you…”

    And then he collapsed, the world darkening all around him, as he felt his life-force drift away.

    To be continued...

    Please let me know what you think! The next chapter will be posted on Wednesday 2nd January 2013. See you in the new year!

    hlc88
    Last edited by hlc88, Dec 30, 2012
  20. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    You are so MEAN! :_| "Killing" Obi-Wan" is not a good way to end a year.
  21. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    :shock: I agree with Val. Ashley and others have made him so ... delightful and lovable ... but if it really did happen, :( it'll be Anakin's turning point, making him strong and bold or crack and darthy [face_nail_biting]
  22. Jedi_Liz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 6
    ...............

    oh, btw, was this underlined word a typo? Padmé felt worried, somewhere in this building, her husband was fighting for his life
  23. roguegirl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 29, 2001
    star 4
    What!? Obiwan dead? Noooooooooooooooooooooo!:_|
    seriously,don't let Sidious win.getting rid of Obi is all he ever wanted. let's have more.
  24. roguegirl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 29, 2001
    star 4

    they got engaged,so i guess it's close enough for Padme to call Anakin her husband.I doubt though it will sit well with Yoda and Mace Windu.Anakin better do well against Sidious or she'll end up a widow before she could be a bride.plus he owes his victory over Sidious to Obiwan and Shmi.
  25. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot My apologies! 'Killing' Obi-Wan was a necessary part of the plot...

    @Jade_eyes I am sorry. You are right, it will be Anakin's turning point, whether he turns or stays true to his teachings...

    @Jedi_Liz Thanks for pointing out that mistake!

    @roguegirl Here is the next chapter for you!

    - - - - -

    Chapter Thirty-Three

    “NO!!!!!”

    Force-pushed away from the lightsaber fight, and held back by an invisible force, Anakin Skywalker could only watch helplessly as his Master was gutted through the stomach. He hadn’t even been able to strengthen Obi-Wan’s strength through the bond. Sidious had penetrated the bond, through the weakened shields that his Master possessed. Obi-Wan hadn’t been strong enough to push him back out, and all his attention was focused on the rent less assault the powerful Sith Lord had given him.

    Sidious’ strength was impressive, wielding power that Anakin could barely comprehend. He could prevent Anakin from aiding his brother physically and mentally barely breaking a sweat, whilst Obi-Wan fought hard for his life.

    Anakin had felt their bond scream in pain as the lightsaber dug, twisting and turning into Obi-Wan’s abdomen. It didn’t break, but it was hanging by a thread, starting to sever.

    As Sidious drew the blade out slowly, seeking only to prolong both Anakin and Obi-Wan’s agony, Anakin grasped the fading bond he had with his Master, relieved that he could now reach him again as Sidious had retreated, but scared that his brother didn’t have the energy to mentally communicate with him.

    Stay strong Obi-Wan! You can’t die on me!

    As his Master’s blue-grey eyes focused solely on him, Anakin felt love project across the bond from Obi-Wan. He could even detect what message Obi-Wan was trying to send. You are my brother, Anakin.

    But the blue-grey eyes of Obi-Wan Kenobi told a different story.

    Obi-Wan was dying.

    As his body began to slump forward, Obi-Wan rasped out four last words that rocked Anakin to the core.

    “Anakin… I believe in you.”

    Wetness converged in Anakin’s eyes and he felt a tear run down his cheek as Obi-Wan finally sunk to the carpet, his body hitting it with a thud.

    He didn’t even notice the Force grip holding him back disappear. He only had eyes for the Master that had raised him, had done so much for him… And now…

    No! Anakin denied the reality. He’s not dead!

    Their connection was still there, faint but alive, yet Obi-Wan’s spirit was waning.

    His heart wanted him to run to Obi-Wan, wanted to be with him in his last moments… Don’t think like that, Anakin! Yet he understood what his duty entailed, what he had to do. His brother wouldn’t want him to let his guard down and give the Sith the easy access that he needed to make Anakin his own. No, he wasn’t going to make things simple for the Sith Lord.

    “How does it feel, Anakin?” the voice was soft, almost pitying him, if not for the clear joy it held for finally managing to defeat one of the people that had stood in his way for years.

    Anakin took in a deep breath, and tore his gaze away from his Master’s still body. Obi-Wan believed in him to carry out his duty.

    And that is what he would do, in honour of the man that had trained him and saved his mother from a life of slavery. He would make Obi-Wan Kenobi feel honoured to have trained him.

    I will make you proud, Master. I promise you.

    With his right hand holding his lightsaber, Anakin turned his gaze on the Sith Lord, trying to ignore the burning pain in his heart. Control your emotions, Anakin, let the Force run through you, cleansing you. Words spoken by Obi-Wan so many years ago echoed through his head. He sought the comfort the Force provided, the blanket of security that he had learnt to wrap himself within, and with that, he sent that security to Obi-Wan, to booster his defences and help to preserve his life.

    While Obi-Wan Kenobi still lived, Anakin Skywalker would do his best to stay true to the course that lay before him. The complete ripping of the bond they shared could cause him to spiral down into the darkest depths of the dark side. Anakin hoped that he wouldn’t have to feel the complete shattering of their bond.

    - - - - -

    Ahsoka lifted her lightsaber up, blocking Ventress’ lunge at her. Backing away the young Togrutan Padawan kept her reversed grip, her eyes pinned entirely on Ventress. “I survived Grievous, I can survive you!” It was a bold declaration for Ahsoka to make but it made her feel confident in her abilities to hold her own against the assassin.

    “You are barely an apprentice! If Jedi Master’s cannot defeat me, a mere child cannot!” snarled Ventress, darting forward and bringing up both her blades.
    Ahsoka jumped back, bringing her green saber to the front, blocking the two red blades.

    Ventress was stronger and could push back against Ahsoka’s desperate attempt to keep their lightsabers locked.

    “I won’t let you kill Shmi!” yelled Ahsoka. “Just surrender!”

    Ventress laughed. “Why should I surrender? You are hunted by the clones, the Jedi are dying and there is nothing you can do about it!”

    Ahsoka gritted her teeth. What Ventress said was true but she couldn’t let that get in the way of trying to protect Shmi. Anakin wanted them to be safe; she was the only one capable here to fight back against Ventress. Neither Padmé or Shmi had any lightsaber training. Ventress would kill them so easily if Ahsoka didn’t try to delay them.

    Ventress pulled back from the lightsaber lock, and Ahsoka flipped backwards.

    “You know, when I kill you, your bond with your Master will break…” mused Ventress gleefully. “Do you think it will hurt him?”

    Ahsoka swallowed but refused to be baited. This time she attacked Ventress ferociously. The assassin wouldn’t expect a mere child to try that move when she was the least experienced, and it was enough to give Ventress a shock as instead of Ahsoka verbally responding, she took the physical route instead.

    Listening to the Force around her, Ahsoka leapt up and ran along the wall, swiping her lightsaber down and kicked out at the same time. Her foot impacted against Ventress’ skull and the assassin went shrieking to the floor. Ahsoka’s jump carried her foot onto her arm and as she landed, her foot crushed Ventress’ wrist beneath it. The white, pale fingers clenched tightly around one of the lightsaber hilts sprang open.

    Ahsoka acted.

    She leapt off of Ventress’ wrist, darting away as the assassin swiped her other blade at Ahsoka, barely missing her ankles with her lightsaber. Reaching out with the Force, Ahsoka summoned Ventress’ other blade and landed further down the hallway, twisting her body so that she faced Ventress. Her mouth jutted outwards as she considered the move she had done just completed and succeeded it. Not for one moment had the young Padawan considered that she would be able to pull off such a complicated move and retrieve one of her opponent’s weapons.

    Still, she had the advantage now.

    Clutching Ventress’ stolen blade in her left hand, Ahsoka activated it, marvelling at the red colour of the blade, before settling herself into a duelling position.

    “Give that back you little rat!” growled Ventress as she leapt forward, swiping her remaining blade out at the Padawan.

    But Ahsoka was quick and blocked the attack, sweeping her second blade underneath, aiming for a blow across Ventress’ tummy, but the assassin flung herself away from the blow, flipping over and landing boldly on her feet.

    “You have no idea how to use two blades at once, girl. It takes finesse and dedicated training to wield duel blades together!” hissed Ventress.

    Ahsoka smirked. “Maybe. If you are so good at it, try and get it off me!”

    Baiting Ventress was not a good idea but if it kept her attention on her, rather than on Shmi Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano would do anything she could to protect her Master’s mother. Ahsoka leapt back as Ventress jumped forward.

    “Coward!” shrieked the assassin. “Fight me!” Her eyes were burning angrily in the light of the Senate corridors. “Prove you are worthy to wield two blades!”

    Risking a glance over her shoulder, Ahsoka saw several clone troopers rush in her direction, their blasters raised and pointing at her back.

    “Surrender Jedi!” they ordered, seemingly to ignore Ventress’ presence entirely.

    Of course, she is no longer the enemy, mused Ahsoka inwardly. But a plan was slowly forming in her mind and she wondered if she could really be that lucky. Anakin had taught her various tricks in her short time with him. If she could replicate his luck…

    She grinned.

    “I will not surrender when I have done nothing wrong to warrant this arrest!” she shouted in return, keeping her eyes on Ventress.

    Behind her she heard the sounds of clicks on the blasters. Were they set for stun or for kill? She hoped stun. Even if Ventress did deserve to die, she still deserved a trial for her crimes against the Jedi Order.

    The Force warned her a split second before the clones fired at her.

    “Ahsoka! Look out!” She heard someone yell her name, but she was already moving, leaping upwards and back over in a flip, landing on the balls of her feet as the stun shots – thankfully! – sailed past her.

    Ventress wasn’t quick enough.

    She was able to bring her lightsaber up to block one stun blast before three hit her in quick succession. The assassin collapsed to the corridor.

    Ahsoka whirled to face the clone commanders walking slowly towards her. Through the gaps in the troopers she could see Padmé and Shmi motioning to her. Taking a running jump forwards, she Force-leapt over the clones heads, landing behind them and sped off, following Padmé and Shmi down the corridor, with the clones in pursuit.

    - - - - -
    He was drifting towards the light…

    It felt so comfy here, warmth filled him utterly.

    But something was keeping him back from the realm that his spirit wanted to take him to.

    The familiar presence of Anakin was entwined with his, keeping him warm and safe. His former Padawan didn’t want him to go.

    The white beckoned to him, wanting to lead him on, towards a peaceful existence.

    You still have much to do, Obi-Wan, and you know it…

    A familiar voice startled him and his descent further into the white ceased.

    Anakin needs you. You cannot leave him at the time he needs your help the most.

    The voice was familiar to him, one that he hadn’t heard in a long time.

    “Qui-Gon?”

    A spectral form appeared in front of him, with long brown hair past his shoulders and a beard decorated his face. He wore the traditional Jedi robes and cloaks. “Obi-Wan. You have to go back. It is not your time yet.”

    “But I am dying…” protested Obi-Wan, but that was a feeble excuse. That shouldn’t stop him from attempting to help the Chosen One.

    “Anakin has given you strength so that you can survive. Fight for him. He needs you more then you know.” Qui-Gon smiled gently at his former apprentice. “I am very proud of what you have done, what you have become. You’ve trained Anakin into a worthy Jedi, a son to be proud of, Obi-Wan.”

    “He’s… he’s not my son. He’s my brother,” responded Obi-Wan.

    “Brother’s stay together,” answered Qui-Gon.

    Yes, he’s right, thought Obi-Wan. Brothers should never leave one another.

    Qui-Gon’s form began to fade and the white that had so entranced Obi-Wan began to fall away. Instead of descending into the Force, he was ascending back up… Higher and higher until…

    Obi-Wan gasped loudly as consciousness and pain returned to him.

    - - - - -
    With Ahsoka in tow, Padmé and Shmi ran down the corridors.

    “We have to split up!” yelled Ahsoka. “Staying together is just making Bail Organa’s job more difficult!”

    Padmé shook her head, risking a glance over her shoulder, grabbing Shmi by the arm and pulled her to the side as a stun blast impacted the wall. “No it isn’t! Mas Amedda has ruled the Senate to get back in session to discuss our infiltration of the prior meeting. All doors are guarded now. Some Senators may not return to their posts but the majority will. Bail has his chance to turn things around for us! We just have to survive long enough for this ruling to be turned around!”

    “Besides, if we stay together we can help each other better,” added Shmi wryly. “I may not be a fighter but I do know how to handle a blaster. Anakin made sure I knew when the war started.”

    “Oh, right,” swallowed Ahsoka. “I doubt Ventress will be unconscious for long. By the looks of it, the clones are now on her side. They will aid her even though she is a war criminal.”

    “It is only because the Chancellor wants us dead. They’ll turn on her when his goal to kill us has succeeded,” explained Padmé knowledgably. “While she is still useful to him, the longer she lives. We’ve outlived our usefulness therefore we have been marked for death.”

    “And we are the guiding light that keeps Ani with us,” added Shmi.

    “The best thing we can do then is to escape the Senate,” said Ahsoka. “If we stay here we are likely to get caught.”

    Padmé nodded. “You are forgetting that the Senate will be guarded in every place. The Chancellor will know every way in or out of this building. There will be guards posted at every exit!”

    “But we got in!” retorted Ahsoka. “Surely we can get out?”

    “Don’t you see?” added Shmi gently. “The Chancellor wanted us here. He made sure we could get in!”

    Ahsoka chewed her bottom lip. That seemed like the most obvious thing. The Sith Lord had gone to a big effort to detain the three of them, only to have Anakin free them. But now they were in his domain, in the building that he ruled unconditionally. He was playing the game just as much as they were. “The clones don’t want to kill me… They keep firing stun blasts!”

    “Exactly!” Padmé exclaimed. “The Chancellor wants to kill us before Anakin! It’s all part of his plan to get him to join him! If we try to escape this building we will fall into that trap! Our only hope is to keep on running and avoid the other traps he has set for us!”

    “Or we do the unexpected,” panted Shmi. She ducked as another stun bolt flashed near her head. “We can’t run forever.”

    Padmé glanced at her love’s mother. “What are you suggesting?”

    “We surrender,” answered Shmi, “but to surrender we go to the Chancellor’s office. He won’t expect us to turn up willingly, will he? Surprise is some of the best tactics we have.”

    “What would be the benefit in that?” questioned Ahsoka. She couldn’t see the logic of surrendering when their whole goal was to escape, and prevent being used against Anakin. “If we surrender that will give the Sith even more ammunition!”

    “Maybe, but at least we’ll be able to help Anakin,” said Shmi. “And we all have our own weapons. We can defend ourselves.”

    It was then that Ahsoka spotted the blaster Shmi had. “Where did you get that?”

    Shmi smiled. “Padmé’s friend, Bail, gave it to me. Before we decided to come and find you, he said I needed to defend myself. I accepted the gift because I knew if I am to survive, I have to fight back.”

    They rounded another corner, but had to double-back on themselves as they ran into another squad of clones. The squad that had been pursing them came up behind them, but Ahsoka was already leaping for them, lightsabers blazing in a mixture of green and red light.

    “Go!” the young Padawan shouted back. “Get to the lifts!”

    Padmé held her blaster up, set on stun, firing away at the clone troopers edging nearer to them. Her back was pressed up to Shmi’s, as they danced in a circle, taking down troopers one by one as Ahsoka distracted the majority.

    “What about you?” yelled Shmi in return, grabbing Padmé by the tunic and pulling her down as another shot flew past their heads.

    “I’ll find my own way!” Ahsoka yelled. “Get to the Chancellor’s office, NOW!”

    Shmi swallowed and peered through the clone troopers to see two sets of lifts. If they could break through their ranks they might be able to make it… providing of course the lifts had not been disabled… But the Senate was still in session. Padmé had told her that the lifts were never switched off because it was the easiest mode of transport.

    Pointing her blaster at the nearest clone trooper, Shmi fired the stun blast, hitting him, continuing to do so as she and Padmé made their way further away from Ahsoka but towards the lifts.

    The clones were now turning towards them, intending to prevent them from reaching the lifts, ignoring the threat that Ahsoka posed more. They really didn’t want them getting to the lifts. Padmé eyed along the blaster and fired, as Ahsoka leapt up over the line of troopers, landing in front of them, her two blades waving frantically in front of her, deflecting stun blast after stun blast…

    Shmi smacked the lift’s button and the doors opened. She tumbled inside, grabbing Padmé at the same time. “Ahsoka!” she called back, hoping that the young girl could get in too.

    But the young Togrutan shook her head, and sent out a Force pulse to the lift, causing the doors to shut.

    Shmi pressed the appropriate button and the lift started to move upwards. Her legs were shaking from running and fighting.

    “Are you ok?” Padmé asked gently.

    Shmi nodded. “I am. It’s just tiring.”

    “Fighting back against an oppressor is always tiring,” grinned Padmé, but her grin became serious as the lift pinged opened, and the doors revealed two clone troopers standing on guard.

    “Surrender,” they both ordered, their blasters raised at the two women as soon as they registered their presence.

    Padmé and Shmi exchanged a look, before lifting their own blasters and stunning both the troopers. With the soldiers bodies slumped on the ground, they pulled them inside the lift. The doors slid shut and Padmé fired into the controls, jamming the lift into staying where it was. At least they wouldn’t be followed up this lift. There was, of course, other lifts that led to this floor, but they had taken out one avenue of finding them. If this plan of theirs was to succeed, they didn’t have time to go around shooting all the control panels.

    It was eerie and cold, and quiet where they stood, on the floor of the Senate that held the Chancellor’s office.

    “I would have thought this place would have been crawling with troopers,” said Shmi, feeling a bit wary at the lack of any living contact.

    “If he wanted Anakin to come to him then he had to clear everyone out,” replied Padmé. “Since he has launched his Empire bid, he won’t want lackeys on the same level as him. Palpatine strikes me as a man who likes his level of dictatorship, unopposed. This is a sign to show that no one will be an equal to him.” She kept one hand on her blaster and walked down the hallway.

    They moved slowly, keeping their eyes peeled for any sudden movement, for any sign of any disturbances, of any traps that could be lurking hidden away from them.

    As they walked past another set of lifts, the right-hand one slid open.

    Immediately, Padmé and Shmi raised their blasters, pointing it at the occupant inside the lift.

    “Woah, don’t shoot! It’s only me!” accosted Ahsoka.

    Shmi lowered her blaster. “That was quick,” she noted. She hadn’t been expecting the Padawan to be able to get up to this level that quickly, though it shouldn’t surprise her considering whose Padawan she was.

    “There was another set of lifts near me so I ran to them,” shrugged Ahsoka. “And I’ve managed to pull a little trick my Master taught me. It’s overridden the lift system. It will be in place for thirty minutes so no one can use any of them.” She held up a small device that had Anakin’s fingerprints all over its construction. It was a hand-held device that attached to the lift itself and sent systematic sparks around the lift system, effectively stunning the mechanism. The bigger the system the less time it would keep the lifts out of commission. But they did have enough time to get to Anakin.

    “Are we absolutely sure we are doing the right thing?” asked Padmé valiantly.

    All of them looked at one another.

    “We are doing this for Anakin and Obi-Wan,” said Ahsoka. She rarely spoke of them with their given names, but it felt right to do so in that moment. Protocol told her to respect their positions in the Jedi Order but right now? The Force told differently.

    “We are doing it to help them both,” added Padmé.

    “And because we love them,” ended Shmi.

    Together, the three of them turned to face the corridor in front of them, where at the end the future of the Jedi Order and the Republic was being decided.

    And they would become a part of that story.

    - - - - -

    The Chosen One stood facing the Sith Master.

    To the side of them lay the body of Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was moaning very lightly in pain.

    Anakin’s eyes focused entirely upon the monster in front of him. He brought up his blade, mimicking Obi-Wan’s guard position, ready for the attack that was bound to come from the Sith Lord. The bond between him and Obi-Wan was steadily getting weaker but there was still life in him.

    “It hurts doesn’t it?” the Sith Lord goaded. “The complete shattering of the bond between Master and Apprentice… Gone.”

    Anakin smirked. “It’s not gone yet, Sith. He’s still alive.”

    “I can soon change that…” the Sith retorted. “Do not underestimate me, Skywalker. Do you want him to suffer an even crueller death then the one I’ve already given him?”

    Swallowing, Anakin considered his options. What more could Sidious do to Obi-Wan just to hurt him? Just to try to get Anakin to tap into his anger? Eventually it would hurt enough and his Master would die; the bond would break. That was what Sidious wanted: it would give him the perfect ammunition he needed to get inside Anakin’s brain and twist him.

    Ana … Ana … kin.”

    Both Anakin and Sidious turned to face the crumpled form on the floor.

    Obi-Wan was trying to pick himself up off the floor, his face showing the agony he was undoubtedly in. The gaping hole in his abdomen revealed a far worse injury and Anakin couldn’t comprehend how his brother was still alive, was still able to move…

    But he had tried to boost Obi-Wan’s strength with his own power; perhaps that had been his saving grace. What Anakin had done was to mask the true effects of his wound.

    Don’t … give … “ Cough. “…in…” Cough. “Use … the … bond…” Obi-Wan was struggling to speak, coughing up blood, his arms wavering as he tried to keep himself upright.

    “Master…” began Anakin, but he was cut off as Obi-Wan was suddenly encased in the dark tendrils of Force lightning. “NO!” he yelled in desperation.

    Obi-Wan’s body writhed and he was screaming, his arms collapsing, as the attack continued, his body jerking on the floor.

    Anakin’s lightsaber reactivated and he turned his scorching eyes upon the Sith Lord, who finally stopped electrocuting the Jedi to return his attention to the Chosen One. Anakin’s eyes were slits, his hand clenched tightly around the lightsaber hilt. Pain radiated off the dim bond that still connected him and Obi-Wan together, but it was getting fainter… Obi-Wan’s body was failing him.

    “You will not touch him again! Do you understand me?” spat Anakin, walking forward and standing right in front of Obi-Wan’s body. “Your quarrel is with me, not him. Hurt him again and I will not hold back!” He could feel his body reverberating with anger, the desire to see the Sith Lord dead was overwhelming, but his mind was clouded with dark thoughts. If he struck Palpatine down now, he’d be at risk of falling.

    “I can feel your anger…” Sidious was pleased. “Use it.”

    Anakin panted heavily, ignoring the seductive words. It wouldn’t be what Obi-Wan would want. Anger was not the way. Not the way to defeat the Sith for good. If he used the dark side to defeat the Sith, he’d become what he hated the most. No, he couldn’t do that to the people he loved.

    Remember your training…

    The voice he heard sounded familiar to him: one he hadn’t heard in a long time. He almost thought it was Qui-Gon Jinn, but that was impossible. He was dead, struck down by a Sith Lord years ago. But it did make him think. His training had made him what he was today and was the most important lessons he had learned.

    He took in a deep breath, reaching for the light. I am a Jedi.

    “No,” said Anakin, more calmly. “I will not use my anger. You won’t turn me. Not after what you’ve done to Obi-Wan, what you tried to do to my mother, to Padmé and to Ahsoka.” He glanced down at his wounded brother, once more urging him to hang onto life. “I will always oppose you.” He stood tall, looking down on the Sith Lord. The bright light of the Force scorched through Anakin’s body.

    A tendril of emotion filled him. Obi-Wan reached for him, sending him love through the bond, boosting his own defences, strengthening Anakin’s resolve to defeat the Sith Lord.

    Reaching out his other hand, he called Obi-Wan’s dropped lightsaber to his palm. He held the two blades before him in a defensive position. He wouldn’t attack, not unless Sidious gave him no choice. But the Sith Lord seemed content to wait.

    What is he waiting for? Anakin swallowed, trying to figure out exactly what Sidious’ game was.

    He knew as soon as the door opened what Sidious had waited for.

    Standing in the doorway to the inner office was his mother, Padmé and Ahsoka. Ahsoka held up two lightsabers – one green and the other red – crossing them in a defensive posture against her body.

    “It is so nice for your remaining family to join us here, Anakin,” Sidious cackled. “I’ve already killed a Jedi Master… A mere Padawan, a Senator and a housekeeper will not be a match for me!”

    Anakin saw his family’s gaze sweep over his position, witnessed their eyes wide in realisation when they saw Obi-Wan’s crumbled form on the floor.

    Sidious’ arms came up… lightning sprung from his fingertips, flying right towards Ahsoka, Shmi and Padmé but Anakin bounded forward, using the Force to push Sidious back. His aim of the crackling dark side energy missed his targets, impacting against the office wall. But the Sith had anticipated Anakin’s attack, and raised a lightsaber just in time for their blades to lock.

    Anakin shouted over his shoulder. “Get Obi-Wan out of here!” He didn’t want Sidious to use any of them against him. He didn’t see them run across the space to his fallen Master, his concentration taken up by the Sith Lord, as he fought, blade to blade, against the most evil man he had ever encountered.

    - - - - -

    “Obi-Wan!” Shmi fell down beside him, staring at the awful wound in his tummy and the burns that scorched his clothing. He was so pale… She averted her eyes and found him blinking slowly up at her. “We have to get you out of here…”

    He shook his head. “No…”

    “If we move him we may harm him more,” said Ahsoka, kneeling down next to her, trying to ignore the battle going on behind them as Anakin valiantly battled aside Sidious’ attempts to get around him, using his and Obi-Wan’s blades to counterattack the Sith Lord.

    “Ahsoka…” Obi-Wan’s weak voice filtered through their ears.

    “Shh, Master, don’t speak,” whispered Ahsoka. She wanted to preserve his life. She could sense Anakin’s Force presence mingled with Obi-Wan’s. Her Master had tried to give Obi-Wan the energy to cling onto life, but that was now failing him. Anakin’s determination to keep his brother alive was not enough to keep him in the physical plane of the Force.

    Obi-Wan coughed. “You … have … to … help … me,” he panted, groaning weakly, as pain coursed through his abdomen.

    “Obi-Wan,” Shmi leaned in close. “You’re hurt. If you move you’ll only harm yourself further.” She said this gently, in a motherly tone. She didn’t want the man that had freed her to die because he was too stubborn to let them save him.

    “No … matter … what Anakin does … I’m … going … to die,” whispered Obi-Wan with effort. He struggled to rise, expanding more energy. “I can help him…”

    Shmi stroked the hair out of his eyes. She hated seeing him suffering like this. But there was a determination in his eyes, he had an idea… one that he thought he could pull off if given the chance to. She swallowed, and laid a hand on his shoulder. “What can we do?” It was the least they could do for a dying man.

    “Our bonds … I can channel … my Force power through you … Anakin can use it … Accumulate … all my power … with his … he’ll be stronger … then Sidious.” More blood was coughed up as he fought the wavering darkness, threatening his attempts to aid his brother.

    Ahsoka frowned. “I’ve never heard of that technique before.”

    “It hasn’t been used … for millennia,” admitted Obi-Wan, his eyes getting duller. “It can cause a Jedi to turn … if they … have too much power … forbidden by the Council to be known … by members of the … Jedi Order.”

    Ahsoka understood. “And as a member of the Jedi Council and a Master yourself, it is a part of your duty to be aware of such techniques. You have in your possession secrets of the Jedi Order…”

    “Anakin and I have a strong bond for a reason,” continued Obi-Wan, sounding weaker than ever.

    Nodding, Ahsoka finished: “And you think this is why you have such a strong connection.”

    “I may … die … but … at least … I’ve helped.” Obi-Wan tried to grin unsuccessfully. “I … believe … Anakin … won’t turn.”

    Ahsoka felt numb. What Obi-Wan was proposing would kill him. But his abdomen injury would kill him anyway. But he’d be giving Anakin a greater chance of defeating the Sith if he had more power. She grasped one of his hands and squeezed it. “Ok, Master, I’ll help.”

    “What can Shmi and I do?” asked Padmé, tears in her eyes, for she understood what Obi-Wan was about to do. What he was about to sacrifice for Anakin.

    “I can … use … your … bonds … with Anakin … too,” the injured Jedi confirmed. “Send my power … through … all … three of you.” He held out a hand and took Ahsoka’s left hand, squeezing it tight. With his left, he took Shmi’s right hand. “Shmi… hold Padmé’s hand.” The two women linked hands. “Padmé and Ahsoka … raise your free hand … in Anakin’s direction.”

    They didn’t question him. They just did as he told them too. The little strength he had was enough.

    Reaching into his inner core, grasping the power that made him a Jedi, and reaching along his weakening bond with Anakin, he began to feed his brother strength, love and his Force power, willingly letting it flow out of him. At the same time he found Anakin’s bonds with his mother, Ahsoka and Padmé, directing his power through them, thereby doubling its potential, for they all shared the same thing: they all loved Anakin Skywalker.

    In their minds they heard Obi-Wan’s voice, telling his brother to open all of his bonds.

    Unconsciously the younger man heeded the Jedi Master’s command, allowing Obi-Wan to feed his power to Anakin through four different bonds.

    Obi-Wan began to feel even more tired, drowsy, his eyes slipping closed. He felt at peace as he felt himself drifting away. He was giving Anakin what he needed. He sent love and proudness through the Force.

    As his own strength floundered, he felt his spirit falling. He had given Anakin his all. His arms became slack and his head turned to the side, resting on the carpet of the Chancellor’s office as his muscles relaxed, unable to hold his head up. He could no longer see, only feel the Force.

    Anakin, I love you.

    - - - - -

    Anakin paused in his attacks at Sidious as he felt three very familiar presences link with his mind, boosted by the Force power and presence of Obi-Wan Kenobi. His eyes widened as he realised the ramifications of what his Master was doing.

    Sidious paused, watching Anakin intently. “You’re losing him, Jedi!”

    Master? What are you doing? He yelled down the bond.

    Obi-Wan could not reply. He was too far gone. His strength mingled with Anakin’s, bolstering his power. His Master had sacrificed his life for Anakin’s. “No!” He could feel his Force power strengthening, the love Obi-Wan felt for him coursed through Anakin’s body.

    A tear fell down his cheek as he felt Obi-Wan’s presence disappear from his mind, the bond nearly shattering. Anakin couldn’t let him go. He wouldn’t! With a degree of power, Anakin launched a ferocious attack on Sidious. Obi-Wan had been driven to do what he had done because of what the Sith Lord was trying to accomplish. Obi-Wan Kenobi wanted Anakin to succeed.

    In memory of the man that had raised him and the love he felt for him, Anakin fought, slashing forward, pushing the Sith Lord back. “This is for Obi-Wan!” he yelled. “And for everyone you have hurt!”

    Sidious was on the back foot, shock on his features. He hadn’t expected Anakin to attack. But he quickly resorted to what he knew best. “The dark side can give you more power, Anakin! It can even give you the power to save him!”

    Anakin gritted his teeth. That was a lie, he knew it. He took up a guard position. “No. The dark side can only destroy. Your power has destroyed the one man I care about most! You cannot save him.” He switched off both his lightsabers. Sidious was too powerful to be defeated by mere lightsaber combat. “The dark side can only destroy, never heal. It is a destructive force against nature. I will never harness the Force in that way. It would turn everyone against me.” He threw both his lightsabers in opposite directions, hearing them clatter against the office floor. “I cannot fight you in combat.”

    “Master, what are you doing?”

    He heard Ahsoka’s protest but chose to ignore it.

    “I will never serve you. Not after what you’ve done to the people I care about most. Obi-Wan Kenobi has died to give me his power. I will honour his sacrifice by remaining true to the light. I am a Jedi, like my Master before me,” said Anakin strongly and without pause, his back straight as he stared at the cloaked Sith Lord in front of him.

    “So be it, Jedi.” Sidious’ tone was vicious. He raised his hands, pointing them directly at Anakin.

    The Force warned him and Anakin acted.

    The Force lightning did not hit him; instead it was directed towards his mother, Padmé and Ahsoka. Yet Anakin dug deep into the Force, summoning all the strength he could muster. The lightning bounced off an invisible shield harmlessly hitting the wall.

    “What?” Sidious exclaimed.

    Despite his circumstances, Anakin smiled. The amount of Force power he now wielded meant that he could summon a Force shield to protect his family from further harm. And he still had enough energy to counterattack Sidious. Obi-Wan had given him the opportunity to save everybody but himself. “A gift from my Master.”

    “Ah…” Sidious mused, clearly catching on. “I can sense his foul presence within you. He’s not only given you his strength, he has given you his Force power. A banned technique in the Jedi Order.” His eyes moved swiftly to Obi-Wan’s still body. “He died to give you more power… That strength he could have used to try to save himself. How noble of him to sacrifice his life so that you could have a better chance.”

    “He’s a better man than you,” snarled Anakin. “You can’t harm them now.”

    “Once you are dead they will be mine,” jeered Sidious menacingly. “If you will not join me then you will die.”

    Anakin swallowed. He knew what was coming. He had abandoned lightsaber combat. He had to hope that what he was intending would work.

    Sidious’ arms raised and a blast of Force lightning came out of his fingertips.

    Anakin had no defences against that amount of power.

    “Anakin!” Ahsoka, Padmé and his mother shouted in desperation.

    He closed his eyes, his own palms held up before him, channelling the Force through his arms. Instead of the lightning hitting him and hurling him away, he absorbed the dark energy. He dug deep into his reserves, into the strength that Obi-Wan had given him and pushed back out at the Sith.

    The Force wrapped around the Sith Lord and Anakin sent a powerful shove at his enemy.

    Sidious couldn’t fight back and he flew back into the wall.

    Anakin stalked forward. He knew what he had to do. The Sith was scrambling up to a standing position, with a red lightsaber now in his hand. But that didn’t bother Anakin. He had more power than he had ever wielded in his life.

    Sidious rushed forward, swinging the lightsaber blade in an arc designed for decapitation, but for Anakin, his senses so tuned to the Force, so controlled by the potential he was tapping into, that it seemed like hours passed by before Sidious reached him. All he had to do was duck below the line of the blade.

    He kicked out, pushing the Sith back once more. His hands felt red-hot as the Force became a part of who he was. Sidious regained his footing and tried again, but Anakin simply gave him another Force-push, which the Sith tried to counteract but failed. The light was bursting out of Anakin, flowing through him like a current. A grim smile pulled at Anakin’s face.

    “I can feel your fear, Palpatine,” he said, walking forward so slowly.

    “How?” the Sith asked weakly. “How is this possible? All my planning…”

    “I am the Chosen One,” stated Anakin bluntly. “I am embedded within the light and always will be. My soul is a part of the Force. I am more powerful then you could ever imagine.”

    Sidious stood, fuming from the power Anakin displayed. Fury built up within him, the dark side crackling around him, his carefully laid plans all for nothing… Anakin hadn’t turned. He had stayed true. And it was all because of Obi-Wan’s sacrifice.

    With a scream of utter fury, the Sith Lord opened fire once more with Sith lightning.

    Anakin held both his palms forth, and this time, intentionally directed it at the Sith Lord; the lightning rebounded, hitting the Sith Lord directly in the chest. Screams echoed around the room, but the lightning just kept on coming. Anakin deflected it all, harnessing the Force and using it to keep his aim true. He didn’t feel hate, he felt remorse for the man Palpatine could have been if he had been fortunate enough to have been discovered by the Jedi and not by the Sith.

    He stepped closer to Sidious’ jerking body, seeing a creature twisted and mutilated by the effects of the lightning. Force-shoving the Sith once more, the lightning ceased. Anakin took in a deep breath and stared down at the body of the Sith Lord.

    “You have given your future up for a weak one!” Sidious exclaimed, spitting out, his arms barely able to hold him up. The Sith had realised he was defeated.

    Anakin’s power was too great and aligned with the light side of the Force. He outstretched his hand and summoned a lightsaber to him. Glancing at the hilt, the young Jedi noticed he had Obi-Wan’s blade. It was fitting to use this specific lightsaber blade at the end, in honour of the man that had trained him.

    “Still…” Sidious’ eyes turned to slits, as he took in the lightsaber hilt that Anakin now held. “At least I killed the man who ruined everything for me. Kenobi’s death is my greatest victory.”

    Anakin shook his head, his voice low and soft, but filled with authority, with an age beyond his years. “No. You are wrong. Obi-Wan saved the Jedi. And I will honour him for that.” Without his brother’s sacrifice, Anakin wouldn’t have had the strength to defeat the Sith. In doing what he had done, Master Kenobi had saved the Jedi, at the cost of his own life.

    The Sith Lord tried one last tactic against Anakin; tried to use the Force to send Anakin flying back, but his futile attempt was blocked.

    Hefting the lightsaber above his head, and just as the Sith Lord attempted to electrocute Anakin again, the young Jedi brought the blade down, hard.

    The Force shifted.

    Anakin felt the darkness disperse, the light flooding through the Force once more. Engulfed by its majesty, Anakin Skywalker looked down upon the body of the Sith Lord, now cleaved in two; Sidious’ chest having received the brunt of Anakin’s attack.

    Chancellor Palpatine, the Sith Lord, was dead.

    To be continued...

    Coming in Chapter 34 in which we learn A Mother's Love can do extraordinary things. Will be posted on Saturday.
    hlc88
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