Saga Dangerous Games (Obi-Wan, Dooku, and Anakin - Angst/Friendship) Chapter 26 added 10/08/13 Complete

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by hlc88, Jan 17, 2013.

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  1. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    Title: Dangerous Games
    Author: hlc88
    Rating: T
    Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku
    Summary: Fascination with Obi-Wan Kenobi leads Count Dooku to capture the Jedi Master. Taken to Serenno, Obi-Wan finds himself caught up in a battle between two Sith Lords, enduring trials as the Count seeks to turn him and fighting to survive as another wishes for him to die... all the while Anakin seeks his missing Master.
    Notes: It is mentioned in the novel for Revenge of the Sith of Dooku's fascination with Obi-Wan and how he would like to turn him. This story evolved from that.
    Disclaimer: The mouse owns Star Wars. I just like to play in it.

    -----

    Prologue

    His head pounded as conscious feeling filled his body. Darkness surrounded him as he fought to maintain his grip on reality. He couldn't move, his body restrained by more than simple binders. Clearly they did not want him to escape.

    Opening his eyes, Obi-Wan Kenobi found himself lying on the floor of a hold. His hands were bound tightly behind his back by a chain connected to the wall. How had he got here? His memory was fuzzy but there had to be a reason why he was a prisoner…

    Images started to flow back into his memory receptors. The head wound he had suffered delayed the reconstruction of his capture. But as his memory pieced the fragments together, he groaned, realising with horror what must have happened to the rest of his crew.

    He'd been on patrol, a simple patrol near the edge of Republic space in the ship he had christened The Negotiator. Anakin and Ahsoka were stationed in the next system over, watching for any sign of enemy activity.

    The Separatists had jumped out of hyperspace practically on top of them. Their shields had fallen before they could mount an effective counter-attack. Faced with losing a battle, Obi-Wan had ordered a tactical retreat, commanding the other ships in his fleet to flee to neighbouring systems and alert the other Republic patrols of the attack.

    His ship had been disabled and droids had boarded.

    Obi-Wan closed his eyes briefly as he remembered the bodies of his troopers littering the hallways. The clone troopers had been bred for war yet Obi-Wan revered their lives. He didn't want to waste them and the mindless slaughter conducted by the enemy forces only continued to prove that they did not have good intentions for the Republic if they won this war.

    He tugged at the bonds holding his wrists behind his back but failed to make any headway in breaking them. He growled under his breath. The Separatists knew ways how to contain Jedi. They'd captured enough of them to experiment enough that would prevent any escape. General Grievous always seemed to be one step ahead of the Jedi, knowing when to strike at them, and how to target the weak spots of their ships.

    Obi-Wan sighed. Grievous had boarded The Negotiator, had fought Obi-Wan, cornering the Jedi Master in a hallway. Surrounded by battle droids, he and Grievous had fought, all the while Obi-Wan's clone commander, Cody, had attempted to make a drop on the droids, to give his General a chance to escape. They had failed to make an impact that would have given Obi-Wan the distraction he needed to get away.

    He didn't know what had happened to Cody in the carnage or the rest of the battalion his friend commanded. Obi-Wan had been too busy trying to fend off the continuous assault Grievous threw at him. Distracted by ordering Cody and the others to begin their retreat, Obi-Wan hadn't had time to defend himself against Grievous' next attack. The droid General had launched towards him, grabbing him by the face with one of his steel-hooked feet, flinging him over and hard onto the durasteel floor. His chest was crushed by the force of the hold the droid General had on him; Obi-Wan had succumbed to the threatening darkness that had loomed over him.

    Instead of killing him as he had assumed Grievous would, the droid General must have taken him captive.

    Wherever he was, he wasn't on The Negotiator anymore.

    Carefully, he reached out to Anakin in the Force, trying to sense his former Padawan's presence. It became realistically clear that he had been drugged, his connection to the Force supressed.

    Just my luck!

    Not being able to make any contact with his friend was problematic. How long would it be before they learnt that he was missing? Would they assume him dead? No, Anakin wouldn't believe he was dead. If his reaction to Obi-Wan's supposed 'death' on Jabiim had anything to go by he wouldn't rest until he was certain Obi-Wan was dead.

    And the only way he'd accept that would be if he saw my dead body.

    He shuddered.

    He had the ominous feeling that he wasn't in for a pleasant time at all.

    To be continued...

    Please let me know what you think!

    Just a short prologue to set things up. I wouldn't class this as a Dark-Obi fic, as I simply do not know whether this story is going to go that far or not yet. But its going to be a tough old time for Obi-Wan in this story... if he survives that is.

    hlc88
    Last edited by hlc88, Aug 10, 2013
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  2. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Better dead than dark...but I'll take him alive, thank you very much, getting much /c after the h/ - got it?
    obimom likes this.
  3. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot Well, one would hope that comfort will be a big part of this story ;)

    - - - - -

    One

    The moment Obi-Wan failed to make contact with Anakin’s fleet at the check-in time, was the moment the young Jedi panicked. He ordered Admiral Yularen to send the check-in code himself to the other fleets spread out across the frontier, but Anakin himself, was already halfway to the flight deck, his Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, running after him.

    Anakin didn’t even bother to notify the bridge of what he was doing, Yularen could already guess, had already authorised his departure. Taking the Twilight, Anakin set course for the system Obi-Wan was stationed in.

    “Do you think something has happened to Master Kenobi?” asked Ahsoka worriedly.

    “He didn’t check in when he was supposed to,” replied Anakin. “Protocol states that every fleet has to check in every twelve hours. He didn’t this time. And Obi-Wan always is on time. He never fails to make contact.” His hands shook as he held onto the controls, watching the count-down timer. “When he doesn’t make contact, it usually means something is up. I’m just hoping it’s more ‘I’m resting and forgot to tell Commander Cody to report in problem’ rather than something worse.”

    But Anakin couldn’t shake off the feeling that something bad had happened to his best friend.

    - - - - -

    Ahsoka could feel the agitation across the training bond she had with her Master. There was fear and worry sparking off Anakin Skywalker like a volcano waiting to blow. It made her feel uneasy that he was unable to control his emotions. She knew how close he and his former Master were but she had been taught that Jedi did not have attachments. Anakin Skywalker was an enigma to her, someone who appeared to go against the traditional Jedi role.

    The short hyperspace trip to the neighbouring system did not take long and as Anakin pulled back on the hyperspace levers, she sensed his anxiety rise high. She bit her lip; her Master would not appreciate her comments now.

    After all she was only the Padawan, what right did she have to question his actions or feelings?

    - - - - -

    The moment they saw the wreckage of the Jedi cruiser, Anakin knew what had happened and his heart sunk. Obi-Wan’s fleet had been decimated, pieces of it scattered throughout space. Three cruisers destroyed by the attack, hundreds of thousands of lives lost… and yet…

    “He didn’t die, Ahsoka,” he found himself saying. “I would have sensed it.” At least he hoped he would. Despite the turbulent apprenticeship Anakin had had under the tutelage of Obi-Wan Kenobi, they had become an effective team, one that had been recognised as efficient by even the government of the Republic itself. They were feared by the lesser generals of the Separatist army. They had become legends to millions of children throughout the galaxy… “If Obi-Wan was losing, he’d order a retreat. He wouldn’t want to lose all these lives,” he reasoned, hoping he was right about his estimation of his former Master. “There might be some escape pods out there.”

    Feeling more positive, but still concerned that he was unable to truly detect his Master, Anakin set the scanners running, searching for signs of life amongst the wreckage presented before them. Almost instantly, at least four hotspots resonating from escape pods appeared on their screen.

    A small smile tugged on Anakin’s lips. “He’s got to be in one of those. He could be wounded.” He screwed his face up as he tried to sense Obi-Wan. “He feels distant to me, sort of fudge-like, almost undetectable.”

    Anakin steered the Twilight towards the source of the life-sign signals. “Ahsoka, see if you can contact anyone… there might be some survivors.”

    Anakin didn’t watch as the Togrutan girl sent out a message, calling along a general channel, requesting anyone to make contact. He concentrated once more upon the bond that still existed between him and his former Master, trying to find him. The worry lingered that he was unable to properly sense him. He was just fuzziness within the Force.

    A voice came over the communication channel and Anakin pulled himself back into the here and now, hoping to hear that it was Obi-Wan, but it wasn’t.

    “Commander Tano, this is Commander Cody.”

    Anakin sat straight forward. “This is General Skywalker. Where is Obi-Wan?” It seemed bad of him to not want to enquire how many were alive and what had happened first, but he couldn’t shake off that feeling that warranted his concern for the Jedi Master.

    “General,” Cody acknowledged. “General Kenobi was…” there was a slight hesitation on the clone’s part before he completed the sentence, “… was captured.”

    “WHAT?” Anakin’s outburst was loud enough that he noticed Ahsoka wince, but at that moment he didn’t care. “How?”

    “It was General Grievous. He dropped out on our fleet unexpectedly. No warning at all. One minute there was nothing, the next he was there. We did the best we could in that situation. He came prepared for boarding. They just overran the ship quickly. The other two cruisers were destroyed. They came for a specific purpose and I am afraid they must have achieved that. I saw the General get caught but I was pinned down, unable to break through to help. He had ordered us to get to escape pods but I was determined to help him. As soon as General Kenobi was down, they grabbed him and left. My troops and I only escaped because we knew they would destroy The Negotiator which they did as they fled the system.” There was a slight pause before the clone commander continued. “I am sorry, sir, that I was unable to fulfil my duties towards the General. I have let him down.”

    Anakin bit his tongue to stop himself from saying something he knew he would regret. He wanted to blame Cody for failing to prevent Obi-Wan’s capture but if he was the purpose they had boarded The Negotiator in the first place then Cody wouldn’t have had a chance, especially if they were unable to break through what sounded like a terrible battle. It also explained why he couldn’t latch onto Obi-Wan’s Force presence. Grievous must be using a suppressor of some sort to prevent him being traced.

    “Master?” said Ahsoka.

    Anakin shook his head. “I knew something was wrong the moment Obi-Wan didn’t check in.” He felt angry. “Did you manage to get a lock on in the direction Grievous’ fleet went?”

    “The fleet split up. We couldn’t determine what ship the General was being held captive on,” replied Cody.

    Anakin sighed. Obi-Wan could be anywhere.

    “We’ll send a ship to pick you up Cody,” said Anakin, “and the other pods too.” He felt almost helpless. If they had known where the fleet had headed it was possible Anakin could have traced them, performed a daring rescue which was his speciality and be back in time without the Council even learning about Obi-Wan predicament.

    But it didn’t look like it would be that easy.

    “I need to report to the Council… See if any of our spies can learn any information. Obi-Wan needs our help, and I won’t let him down.”

    Ever.

    After Jabiim, Anakin had promised himself that. He didn’t intend to start now.

    To be continued...

    Please let me know what you think!

    In chapter 2, we return to Obi-Wan. Will be posted soon!

    hlc88
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  4. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    I'm a bit surprised that Anakin didn't take out his frustration on Cody.
  5. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot That may come very soon that Anakin's frustration and anger comes out. (I may still be in the frame of mind to be writing 'my Anakin' from AML which is slightly problematic!)

    Two

    I’ve been drugged.

    Again.

    Obi-Wan groaned as consciousness slowly returned to him. His whole body hurt and his muscles ached from his arms being tied behind his back for a long period of time.

    The first thing he noticed was that he was no longer being held in the hold of a ship. He had been moved. Probably to prevent me from learning where I am… I can’t alert Anakin anyway because they’ve supressed me. But it seemed that they were not taking any extra chances.

    He was in a cell this time and all was quiet, with a little light shifting through the small window in the door. He shifted position, trying to move into a more comfortable one, sitting up against the wall, so that if he was approached by anyone, he wouldn’t be at a disadvantage.

    The first thing that came to his mind was why he had been taken. Sure, he was a member of the Jedi Council and a valuable member of the Republic military. He was in possession of some knowledge that if he broke could lead to the destruction of several key Republic bases. He could stand up to torture. He had before. Recent attacks on Jedi cruisers had focused on members of the Jedi Council; he had been expecting an attack at some point, for them to come for him, but the attack on him had been planned carefully and executed to precision. Whatever the Separatists wanted him for, he had the ominous feeling that it wasn’t merely for just simple information as some of the other Council members had been.

    There was something dark and sinister going on here.

    They had made sure he didn’t know where he was being taken to or who he was held by. Drugging him had been the first clue.

    Shivering in the cold that seemed to characterise his cell, Obi-Wan tried to calm his racing mind, to centre himself, preparing for what he was sure to come. Without sufficient access to the Force, he was unable to even do that.

    Feeling a little frustrated at his current predicament, Obi-Wan knew he had to settle in to wait.

    - - - - -

    Watching through the cameras that offered him a glimpse of his new apprentice, Count Dooku smiled as he considered the path he had chosen. His own Master was secretly harbouring designs for Dooku’s replacement – with an uncontrollable boy! That galled him, that Darth Sidious could consider Anakin Skywalker a worth-while replacement to him? That he could even believe that the boy was suitable Sith material. The boy had no control – he was too erratic in his actions, unable to comprehend the subtleness that the Force provided. His arrogance was blinding.

    Yet the man held in the cell was perfect Sith material. The perfect Jedi. If swayed to the Dark Side, Dooku would be unbeatable. Not even his own Master would be able to stand up to him, with Kenobi at his side. Perhaps that was arrogance on his part? No, it was ambition.

    Ambition and his feelings told him this course of action was the right thing to do.

    He could see his guest was awake. Perhaps it was time to introduce him to the rigours of what his new life would be like?

    - - - - -

    Surprisingly, he didn’t have to wait long before he heard the sound of footsteps echoing in the corridor outside his cell door. Definitely not Grievous then. It has to be Dooku, he reasoned. Perhaps now he would find out why he was here.

    He took a deep breath, calming his body and clearing his mind. If it was Dooku, he couldn’t give him the satisfaction of letting him have access to Obi-Wan’s private thoughts. Unfortunately, the Force collar around his neck was problematic. He had no shields around his mind; he was an open book to his captor.

    He pushed himself up the wall, so that he was now standing, his hands still bound behind his back. Eyes fixed on the door, he listened as the footsteps stopped outside his door, heard the sound of a code being input and then the door slid open.

    Obi-Wan glared at Count Dooku as he slowly walked inside the small cell. He refused to speak first, not liking the predatory gaze that the Sith Lord seemed to have on him.

    “Obi-Wan Kenobi… Jedi Master and Council member…” Dooku’s voice was chilled. “And now my apprentice.”

    Obi-Wan’s eyebrows rose as he considered the implications of that sentence. Clearly he had been correct in his assumptions that something sinister was going on here.

    “No witty remark?” sneered Dooku. “How disappointing.” The Count moved forward once more.

    Still Obi-Wan did not answer. It was uncharacteristic of him to do so but he was wary and he did not appreciate what Dooku’s plans for him were. He had refused to join him before; his silence meant the same thing. He would not submit to the Sith Lord, no matter what Dooku intended to do to him to acquiesce his obedience.

    “Very well…” Dooku’s arms slowly rose so his fingers were pointing at Obi-Wan. “I see it is time for your first lesson: acknowledging your Master when spoken to.”

    Obi-Wan smirked. He knew what was about to happen. Preparing himself for the onslaught that was about to come, he straightened his back and fixed his eyes with Dooku’s yellow ones.

    Never would that colour embed his irises. He would not bow.

    No matter what.

    - - - - -

    Dooku had expected this; had known that Kenobi would be defiant at first. He hadn’t considered the possibility, however, that the Jedi wouldn’t speak to him at all. That frustrated him since he had been looking forward to their talks. Kenobi would have to learn that not communicating would be a bad choice on his part.

    But how to go about it?

    A grim smile crossed his face. What did a Jedi need to speak and more importantly to breathe?

    Airways, of course. Restrict them, he could do neither.

    He didn’t wish to harm his prisoner too quickly. He needed Kenobi to be co-operative or at least willing to open his mind to the lure of the dark side. A simple but effective punishment was what he needed. All he needed was one session with the Jedi to begin to lay the seeds of doubt; seeds that would fester in the Jedi’s mind as his captivity took hold.

    Even if the Jedi Council did discover Kenobi’s whereabouts they wouldn’t be able to free their lost Master. Serenno was too heavily guarded, too fortified that an intrusion would be effectively impossible.

    Dooku moved his hand upwards, clutching it into a fist.

    The Jedi’s hands, if freed, would have shot straight to his neck in a strangle-hold, however the only inclination that the Jedi was struggling to breathe was his desperate attempts as he tried to suck in air that simply would not feed into his lungs, would not be oxygenated…

    Dooku lifted him up into the air, the Jedi’s legs kicking out desperately.

    His face was turning red from the lack of oxygen, Dooku did not release him.

    There would be a specific moment in this method that Dooku wanted before he would release Kenobi, before he gave the Jedi a chance to breathe.

    His legs began to stop moving, and his eyelids were slowly falling, nearly obscuring his vision. It was at that point Dooku deemed it appropriate to give the Jedi much needed rest.

    He released Kenobi from his Force-grip.

    The young man fell to the cell floor, his legs crumbling from under him and he fell into a heap at Dooku’s feet, slumping forward, almost mimicking a bow.

    The Count’s face twisted into a smile. “How ironic… bowing before your Master.”

    He watched contently as the Jedi took in deep gulps of air. Finally what he wished to hear – any words from the Jedi mouth – came.

    Kenobi lifted his head, straightening his body so he no longer bowed before his Master. “I will never bow to you willingly,” he spat.

    “We will see,” smirked Dooku. “Your old Master did… you will too.”

    “Never!”

    “They won’t find you, Kenobi, your friends. They may seek you but you are here to stay… unless you find it in the wisdom that you supposedly have to join the right side.” Dooku knew he had to find the words that would push Kenobi to anger, into the right frame of mind where he might be more open to accepting the true facts of the Jedi Order.

    Cutting him off from the Force would accomplish that goal easily enough. If Kenobi became frustrated and angry, no matter how much he tried to calm himself, he relied on the peaceful light side to aid him… He wouldn’t be able to last long without its stabilising factor.

    Dooku’s plan was simple: goad the Jedi until he was broken, enough so that allowing him access to the Force wouldn’t backfire against him. If Kenobi did not co-operate, other methods would have to be employed, however he desired to keep the Jedi relatively unharmed. He wanted Kenobi to join his side willingly rather than forcefully.

    Torture was merely another method but one that would ensure compliance through threat of pain for disobedience.

    No, Dooku’s victory would be sweeter if Kenobi freely took his place at his side.

    “Anakin is smarter then you give him credit for,” replied the captive Jedi.

    “Skywalker’s downfall will be for those he cares about,” laughed Dooku. “He may look for you, but do not hope for rescue. When you next see him again, you will be fighting him.”

    He wondered whether he should inform Kenobi of the Sith’s grand designs on Skywalker…

    As tempting as it is, that little nugget of information would be better used later. It might be the piece that pushes him over the precipice. To save his apprentice, Kenobi may do everything he can to prevent it. A smile crossed his lips. That will be his downfall. He could almost sense it on the precipice of his senses.

    Kenobi remained silent, once again refusing to respond to Dooku’s words about his future.

    It did not matter now.

    I have given him things to muse over.

    Without even saying anything to the Jedi, Dooku turned and left the cell, instructing the magna-droids to give the Jedi a sip of water every six hours. He didn’t wish for him to die, but to be weak enough that he might realise that resisting was not the way to survive.

    Dooku intended to return later.

    For now, he had a war to co-ordinate.

    - - - - -

    Sitting in the cell, Obi-Wan contemplated his situation.

    He had been right that his presence in this place wasn’t for the usual uses the Separatists captured Jedi for. Dooku had specific plans for him. He had only spoken to Dooku because he did not wish to give the impression that he would bow before the Sith Lord and the Count’s slant against Qui-Gon had annoyed him.

    What the Count had said was true; Qui-Gon had bowed before Dooku willingly. He had been Qui-Gon’s Master. Dooku’s words had frustrated Obi-Wan for that reason. No one could have known that the revered Jedi Master that Dooku had once been would succumb to the dark side of the Force and wage a war against the Jedi Order and the Republic it stood to protect.

    Dooku was a resourceful individual. Even if he was found by Anakin, he doubted Dooku would let him go that easily, especially after the trouble he went through to ensure that he was captured.

    Keep calm and focused, Kenobi.

    He knew he would be in for a tough time. He knew Dooku would use everything he had to convince Obi-Wan to pledge his allegiance. Obi-Wan vowed not to acquiesce to his demands.

    He would die before he joined Count Dooku.

    He leaned back against the wall of his cell. If he was to keep up his strength to fight off Dooku, he would have to be rested.

    Closing his eyes, Obi-Wan fell into an uneasy sleep.

    To be continued...

    Please let me know what you think!

    hlc88
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  6. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Oh, an update! If you edit your first post (edit, then more options) you can edit the title to show you've updated!
  7. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot Thanks for the tip!

    I do apologise, I forgot to update here. I've got 4 more chapters to post so far... so I'm just going to update every 2 days until I'm caught up.

    Three

    Reporting to the Jedi Council was one of the hardest things Anakin had, had to do. Informing them that one of the twelve leaders of the Order had been captured was his duty, no matter how much it hurt as all he wished to do was jump into his star-fighter and rescue his Master from wherever he was being held.

    He had a duty to Ahsoka; to instruct her in the ways of the Jedi. Anakin didn’t intend to listen to whatever the Council said, unless, of course, they took action and sent out search parties for Obi-Wan and that he was sanctioned to help.

    He stood in a private room with Ahsoka at his side, on-board his cruiser. His arms were folded and he waited while his technicians patched him through to the Jedi Council. He had barely said a word to Ahsoka since they had arrived back, not knowing what to do with her in this type of situation. To her credit, she had just watched him; he could feel her inquisitive stare at his back even now…

    He had tried to find Obi-Wan in the Force but the connection between them was blocked. As expected when a Jedi was captured by the Separatists. Force-suppressants were in high supply these days.

    Finally the connection to the Council went through and the images of the seven Masters still at the Temple came before him, the others were on assignment, out of contact, or in Obi-Wan’s case, a prisoner of war.

    “Skywalker, what do you have to report?” asked Mace Windu.

    After all, Anakin wasn’t supposed to be reporting in; that job was Obi-Wan’s. He had expected a little anger from the Council at his unauthorised transmission. It wasn’t as if Obi-Wan could contact the Council and tell them he was a prisoner.

    “I regret to inform you, Masters, that Master Kenobi didn’t report in at the prearranged time. I took the Twilight –“ he saw Windu frown – “and found Obi-Wan’s fleet completely destroyed. There were only a few survivors, Commander Cody among them.” He wanted to wring his hands together to make himself feel better but it wasn’t the right thing to do at this moment. “It was Grievous, and they took Obi-Wan alive.”

    “This is unfortunate news…” replied Mace Windu, leaned forward in the hologram. “Disregarding your own fleet to inspect Obi-Wan’s position was irresponsible of you, Skywalker –”

    Anakin started to interrupt but Mace held up a hand to stop him.

    “Let me finish, however it has been noted that you are an expert pilot and you did make the correct judgement call in going in by yourself instead of sending your entire fleet into a potentially dangerous situation,” finished Windu, surprising Anakin with his small praise of his actions.

    “What of Master Kenobi?” asked Adi Gallia. “Was there any indications of where he could be?”

    Anakin shook his head sadly. “Commander Cody told me he tried to track him, but Grievous split his fleet up. I have techs inspecting the engine traces left in the system to determine what directions they could be heading to. Cody didn’t know what ship Obi-Wan was being held on either.”

    “Troubling news this is,” said Yoda. “Difficult to sense Master Kenobi it is, but alive he remains. Into the shadow of the dark side he has been taken. But why and what for is unknown.”

    “I’m going to help with the investigation,” stated Anakin. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. “The important thing is to track down Obi-Wan before the Separatists can use him against us.”

    “You are needed to patrol the systems, Skywalker,” said Mace Windu sternly. “We cannot authorise your venture. Regardless of Master Kenobi’s situation, it is vital that we do not lose any ground over his capture. We need to keep those systems secured to prevent any Separatist ship from slipping through our nets. If they did, they’d be in a position to attack Coruscant.”

    Anakin felt angry. The Council was willing to leave Obi-Wan in the hands of the enemy? “No. I did not expect that you would leave him a prisoner.” His defiance shone through his Force aura.

    “We didn’t say that we would leave him in the hands of the Separatists either,” stated Windu. “You made that conclusion on your own.”
    Anakin bristled. Windu had never liked him, had always distrusted him. “I can find him!” he returned angrily. “Just give me a chance!”

    “There is nothing more to be said on this subject, Skywalker,” continued Windu. “You are to remain in position and the Council will deal with this ourselves. We do not intend to leave Master Kenobi a captive. We will send a Master of this Council to you, and you will aid them in their investigation but you will not be in charge, and nor will you leave your post unless you have express permission from this Council regarding this matter.”

    He still felt angry. He steeled his jaw. “Fine.” It was rude but he didn’t care. All his worry was taken up by his concern for his former Master. He was a Jedi Knight now, with an apprentice of his own. Surely they should trust him? If they could trust him to train a Padawan to Knighthood, why couldn’t they trust him to bring Obi-Wan back alive?

    Duty.

    It all boiled down to that.

    Defending their borders was more important.

    And he could understand that but he and Obi-Wan were close – if anyone stood a chance of finding Obi-Wan before anyone else, it was Anakin.

    He took a deep breath and resolved himself. He knew what he had to do and the Council were not going to like it one bit. “Yes, Masters,” he managed to grit out before he ended the communication.

    - - - - -

    “Master?”

    “What is it Ahsoka?” he asked her.

    Ahsoka bit her lip wondering how best to phrase her question. She decided to skip the formalities and go straight to it. She had been Anakin’s apprentice long enough to know that he obeyed the rules when it suited him and that there were times when obeying the Council was not the best course of action. She was sure that she knew what he was going to do. “We’re going after Master Kenobi, aren’t we?”

    He nodded. “We are or as far as we can. This is not a good example to you, Ahsoka, but the Council are wrong this time. It will take over a day for any Council representative to get here. I don’t think we will locate Obi-Wan in that time but we can make some headway. Perhaps we can find something for the Master that comes to use.” He suddenly grinned. “Besides Master Windu told me to patrol the systems… so, he didn’t explicitly state to stay on board this ship did he?”

    “Oh that’s sneaky, Master,” replied Ahsoka, marvelling at the way he had interpreted his orders.

    “And it will get me in trouble,” shrugged Anakin, “but finding Obi-Wan is more important to me. Admiral Yularen is more than capable of defending this ship and this system if I am patrolling elsewhere.”

    “If anything happens, he will call you back, won’t he?” she clarified.

    “He will. He’s a good Admiral, Ahsoka, and I won’t abandon my duty to the people of the Republic either if an attack happens. We will return and fight.”

    She could tell Anakin meant that even if it would be putting Obi-Wan’s life on the line.

    - - - - -

    The dark side rolled around and through him, cascading in waves that flicked throughout his body. It pleased him greatly that he still continued to elude the pitiful Jedi… that they did not even suspect that he could even be a Sith Lord. His plans were moving steadily forward that would eventually lead to the destruction of the Jedi Order. His plans had long been in the making and finally they were coming to fulfilment.

    Jedi died in the war every day and the dark side cackled in glee at each death… Save for one particular Jedi that seemed to be well adapted to surviving whatever Sidious threw at him.

    Kenobi.

    That name grated on his skin, and his eyes flashed yellow as he thought of the man that bore that name.

    But now he had his chance to rid the galaxy of this Jedi…

    Word had reached him through the Jedi Council that Kenobi’s fleet had been attacked and the Council Master spirited away. He had not ordered any such attack however it seemed those orders had originated from his apprentice.

    Though Dooku was in charge of the overall war effort, he still received the majority of his orders from his Sith Master. Sidious hadn’t sanctioned an attack on Kenobi; Dooku had acted alone, choosing to defy Sidious’ orders to leave the line of defence unbroken for now.

    Before contacting his apprentice, he would have to meditate, bask in the glow of the dark side and uncover the truth behind Dooku’s treachery. Find out exactly why Dooku had taken the Jedi Master. He wouldn’t be angry if the attack had ended with Kenobi’s death… but the fact the aim had been to capture…

    Either way, Kenobi was doomed to die.

    Sidious would see to it, personally if he had to.

    To be continued...

    Please let me know what you think!

    -hlc88-
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  8. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    Four

    He slept for no more than a few hours at best. Uncomfortable in the cell, Obi-Wan woke in darkness. Even the light that had shone through the small window in the door was out, leaving him completely blind as to his surroundings. He felt more refreshed then he had since his capture, the drug in his system was slowly being filtered out though he knew Dooku would soon have his minions top it up, though the Force collar he still wore would do its job marvellously.

    Still if Dooku did not come to drug him again himself, perhaps he could find a way out of his situation? That’s if the Sith Lord intended to keep Obi-Wan drugged…

    My hands may be bound but I am not without my wits!

    It was not long after he woke that his cell door slid open and one of Dooku’s Magna guards stepped into the cell. Obi-Wan watched wearily as the droid approached, assessing the situation before he decided to act.

    The droid was accompanied by its companion, who held in its steel claws a small glass of water – or what he presumed to be anyway. The other droid levelled a blaster at the Jedi’s face, the meaning clear, though he imagined if he was to try anything he would be stunned rather then killed.

    Dooku wouldn’t go to all this trouble to simply kill him for an attempted escape.

    With that in mind, Obi-Wan considered what he could do. He could use this opportunity to study the actions of these droids, or he could attempt to escape. He was not attached to the wall, but his hands being behind his back would prove to be the complication in any escape attempt. Dare he risk an attempt now or did he wait?

    If Anakin was with him he’d have a hard job of preventing his young charge from escaping without gaining the knowledge he might need about the droid’s actions. No, he would have to wait. See what happened and act the next time, if there was a next time. Gaining intelligence was more important than attempting an erratic escape without much planning to be had.

    The two droids approached him until they were right in front of him. The magna-guard held out its arm with the beaker in it. “You will take one sip. If you do not comply we have orders to shoot you.”

    Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow. One sip? He was allowed one sip? Clearly Dooku was punishing him for earlier or weaken him enough through lack of hydration that his mind might be more susceptible. He smirked, already realising that this was exactly what the Count had planned.

    The beaker came to his lips and he grudgingly took one sip, his eyes completely focused on the droids in front him, his mind analysing the situation, filing it away for future reference. Escape was possible – and if he dared enough he’d try it now, but no… not yet. Let them think he would obey.

    The droids retreated, his thirst not even quenched by the small morsel of liquid he had been granted. He would not let that get to him.

    As the door slid shut once more, he leaned back against the wall and considered his strategy. The next time the droids entered would be the signal to act.

    - - - - -

    Dooku had watched the Jedi’s actions through the security system. He had expected Kenobi to sit this one out; to use the time to study the situation before attempting anything. Oh, he had done his research on the Jedi. He knew Kenobi wouldn’t act before constructing a plan of escape. He was so unlike his apprentice that it seemed hard to believe that Anakin Skywalker hadn’t learned anything from his tutoring under Obi-Wan.

    Still, his assumptions on the Jedi Master had proved correct.

    Let Kenobi think that Dooku didn’t ‘know’ him, let him believe that he had a chance of escape from his prison.

    It would be a fine lesson to teach the Jedi when his attempt proved futile.

    - - - - -

    Time passed slowly and once more Obi-Wan fell into an uneasy sleep, trying to get as comfortable as he could with his arms chained behind his back. He woke once more when the Magna-droids opened his cell door once more. He wasn’t sure how long it had been since the last time, but he was well aware of the thirst that was with him.

    His throat was dry and his lips slightly chapped. His belly grumbled at the lack of food. He ignored that, keeping his eyes on the two droids that approached him. He would have to be quick if the idea he had would work satisfactorily. Obi-Wan allowed them to press the cup to his lips and he drank, but before they could pull it away, he clamped his teeth around it, preventing the droid from taking it away.

    He pulled back with his head and then let go with his mouth.

    Water splashed upwards and Obi-Wan rolled to the side as the second droid shot a stun blast at him. He was already on his feet and sweeping out his right leg, toppling both droids in one swift movement. He could do nothing about his bound hands at the moment. If he had the Force he might have been able to break them apart.

    He figured this escape attempt probably wouldn’t end successfully, but he had to try. He already had the feeling that Dooku was watching his every move.

    The unnerving part about his actions was that no other droids had entered the cell. If he was being watched, he was being set up, and he wouldn’t put it past Dooku to try something like that either. He would have to be careful…

    This is when I could use the Force right about now…

    He rushed through the open door, slamming his shoulder into the control pad. The door slid shut, trapping the two Magna droids in his former cell. That gave him some time.

    The hallway in which he now stood was deserted.

    Quickly he looked back and forth before he ran up to the door. With his hands behind his back, he found it difficult to press the control button to open the door but he managed it. Slipping out, he found himself in a control room, where he saw a power generator sitting to the side. He could short-charge his handcuffs…

    He needed his hands free if he was to amount an effective escape, but it was clear from the lack of droids rushing to stop him – or even in the control room – that he was being set up. He couldn’t worry about that now, he had a chance to escape and if he succeeded, the risk would be worth it.

    Moving over to the power generator, he turned his back to it and with the limited movement he had of his fingers, prised the catch off the door. He pulled it open awkwardly, revealing a set of jumbled wires. He knew this was going to hurt…

    Closing his eyes, Obi-Wan bashed his chained wrists back against the open power generator. Wires broke apart under the force of the hit. This was dangerous, he was at risk of electrocuting himself, but if he could short-circuit the chains, the binders they were using, he would be able to regain control of his hands…

    This is something Anakin would do… he briefly mused. Seems he has rubbed off on me.

    Gritting his teeth, he pushed his wrists back once more, and shuddered as a mini-electric shock ran through him, but it worked. The cuffs sprang open as the shock short-circuited the binders. He pulled his wrists free, bringing them out from around his back, rubbing each one to get circulation back into his hands.

    He reached up with his right hand, touching the Force-collar on his throat. He found the latch but there was four buttons situated next to it. He needed the correct code to open it. He sighed. He didn’t have the time now to try to figure out the code. He was at risk of discovery, though his intelligence was still flaring, telling him that this was a trap and that he was walking right into it.

    I have to try. I won’t sit still and let Dooku have his way with me.

    Giving up the task of trying to work out the code that would enable him to feel the Force once again, Obi-Wan quickly made his way to the door on the other-side of the room. Having a weapon about now would be good.

    Unfortunately, Dooku didn’t seem that way inclined to give him a weapon. The lack of guards only continued to prove how much of a set-up this was.

    Be wary, Kenobi!

    He moved on, quickly as he dared to down the corridor, peering around the corners. He reached another door, palmed it open and ran into a hanger. Surprise filled him as there was no one on duty.

    “Something’s going to go wrong, I know it…” he whispered to himself. But he had come this far. He had to go on.

    There was a shuttle situated near the centre of the hanger, its landing ramp down. All the makings of a elaborated trap and he was falling right into it, but at the moment he didn’t care. If he could get off this planet and to safety, he could deal with the repercussions later.

    But then everything went black as the lights in the hanger went out.

    He skidded to a halt in the darkness.

    He couldn’t see anything, he was in pitch blackness.

    If he’d had the Force he’d be able to locate his way forward, his perceptions allowing him to focus on what was around him. With the collar still on, he could not even do that. Wearily, he stepped forward.

    He’d only taken a few steps in the darkness when searing pain erupted from the collar around his neck. His body spasamed and his legs collapsed from under him, and he fell onto the concrete floor as a cry was pulled from his lips as he body continued to convulse as blue electric shocks rippled out from the collar and all over his body.

    Obi-Wan’s eyes scrunched shut with the pain and he tried to prevent more cries erupting but he couldn’t. As the shocks subsided, he slowly opened his eyes.

    The lights in the hanger were now back on. As he struggled to his knees, Obi-Wan saw Dooku standing in his path to the shuttle. He was flanked by two Magna-guards, and behind them was a troop of Super Battle Droids.

    Obi-Wan groaned. There was no escape. He wouldn’t be able to fight them without a weapon. And Dooku had the Force to subdue him, if he deigned to use it against him.

    “Fool,” the Sith Lord said.

    “I had to try,” glared Obi-Wan, feeling miserable at his lack of luck.

    “I let you get this far,” smirked Dooku. “But now you know I have ways of ensuring you don’t escape. You are here to stay.”

    “I am not your servant to do as you wish with, Dooku,” Obi-Wan spat.

    Dooku’s eyes glinted as he replied. “Not yet, you’re not.”

    Remaining silent, Obi-Wan decided that there was no point in arguing his position. He would get free, one way or another.

    “Take him back to his cell,” ordered Dooku, “and this time; chain him to the wall, so he cannot attempt something like that again.”

    Grudgingly, Obi-Wan allowed himself to be dragged away.

    - - - - -

    Dooku watched as the prisoner was escorted back to his cell. Kenobi had acted rashly, had grown too confident that he could escape the closer he had made it to the hanger. Dooku had purposefully set this up, knowing that he could easily subdue Kenobi anytime he wished.

    The Force-collar was a new generation device, in very rare supply, but enough to deceive a Jedi into believing that its only use was to supress the Force. The installation of a shock collar within the suppressor was a captor’s dream.

    He could control Kenobi whenever he wished and only Dooku knew the code that would release the Jedi from it and it only responded to the correct finger-prints. Even if Kenobi had managed to crack the code, the device would not have opened for him.

    He considered what he should do next. What did he know about the Jedi Master?

    Plenty, thanks to the rumours of the Jedi Temple.

    Dooku had been on the cusp of leaving the Jedi Order just before his former apprentice had been killed, and it had been his death that had pushed him over the edge to leave, but he’d been in the Temple long enough to hear the rumours that had begun over the acceptance of Anakin Skywalker to be trained as a Jedi.

    Qui-Gon had rejected Kenobi.

    The young man had been ready to be Knighted, it was only a matter of time before that would have happened, yet the Council was too blind to see that. The main fact – and something Dooku knew he could use against Kenobi – was Qui-Gon’s rejection of Obi-Wan.

    He had done that before, when the boy had been on the cusp of being sent to the Agriculture Corps.

    A slow smile spread across the Count’s face. “Memories can be dreadful things, can’t they?”

    Yes… His mind made up, Dooku walked back to his room.

    Tomorrow he would really begin the process in turning Kenobi.

    He was looking forward to it.

    To be continued…
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  9. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    Five

    The Twilight cruised through the debris left by The Negotiator, Obi-Wan’s capital ship. Anakin had received a report from the technicians that they had traced two engine patterns heading away from the system in two directions.

    Ahsoka was in charge of scanning for anything else that had been missed by the scanning crew, just in case it gave them some help in determining where exactly Obi-Wan had been taken. Most Jedi prisoners were allocated to Separatist fleets not far from the original position of their capture. Though they had rough intelligence of movement of the Separatist fleets, they could not be sure which one Obi-Wan’s transport was bound to, and it would be folly to attack them all in an attempt to rescue him.

    So far, Ahsoka’s sweep of the system hadn’t picked up anything they had missed. She turned back to her Master, eyeing him wearily. He was feeling different in the Force through their bond, his worry for Obi-Wan consuming his thoughts, heightening the agitation she felt along their bond.

    He hadn’t bothered to explain it to her, she was old enough to realise that he and Obi-Wan were closer than any other Jedi before them.

    “There isn’t anything to find, Master,” she reported.

    Anakin sighed. “I was hoping there might be another sign somewhere…”

    “What are we going to do?” she asked. “The other Master will be arriving soon.”

    “I know,” he hesitated, wondering whether it would be worth the risk to disobey the Council any further then he had already done so by not remaining with his fleet. “I can’t sense Obi-Wan in the Force properly. I feel we should return to base and report back, but on the other hand, Obi-Wan relies on me to save his skin whenever he gets himself in trouble.”

    That was not strictly true – Obi-Wan was quite capable of rescuing himself, but Anakin liked to kid himself that his Master would always need him to rescue him.

    He sighed. “R2, have you managed to calculate the areas of Separatist space that Obi-Wan may be in with the data?” He turned back to the astromech droid that had been his loyal companion since this war had started, a gift from his wife Padmé on the night of their wedding. He had given her C-3PO in return, though he wasn’t sure if that had been an appropriate gift, considering how annoying the droid was turning out to be.

    The little droid beeped and tootled, responding to Anakin’s query. Four possible systems came onto the communication screen as R2 transmitted the data across.

    “Serenno system, Galloa system, Flyntaria system and the Isen system…” repeated Anakin. “All of those systems are located in the D’Astan sector but they are spread out through the sector in two different directions…”

    “Serenno is Count Dooku’s home isn’t it?” asked Ahsoka.

    “It is… and it is heavily defended,” replied Anakin, “but I would doubt Obi-Wan would be taken there.”

    “Why?”

    “Because no other Jedi has been before,” shrugged Anakin. “The Separatists have methods they go by, and taking Obi-Wan there would be out of character for them. It would be on more of a well-known Separatist planet, to gain our attention. I don’t think the engine trails would end at any of these systems. I bet they’d carry on, taking him further into Separatist territory. We need to decide what system to go to, to follow the trace of any engine particles. Serenno is too obvious of a place to go and we’d be shot out the sky the moment we entered the system.”

    Ahsoka didn’t seem convinced by his explanation.

    “The best place to go, I think, would be the Isen system. It’s the best place to lose a trail, throw us off the scent. It has three large asteroid belts. Yes, I think that is our best option,” said Anakin.

    “Because it has an asteroid belt it’s the most likely place they’ve taken Master Kenobi through?”

    “Three, Ahsoka,” pointed out Anakin. “Obi-Wan is a member of the Jedi Council. They’d take him through the most dangerous system so that we can’t follow. It’s what I’d do anyway.”

    Ahsoka deigned to point out her thoughts. “But the Separatists are not you! You are operating on the assumption that if you had an important prisoner you would take the most risky route to avoid any chance of a rescue attempt! It doesn’t automatically mean that is what the Separatists would do!” She could see his logic but she felt that since Serenno had come up as the most obvious planet, according to R2’s search, then Anakin would have taken that into account

    “Serenno, doesn’t have a Separatist stronghold, Ahsoka. Nor do the other two systems,” said Anakin, sensing her thoughts. “However Isen does, I may have forgotten to mention that. Serenno may be Count Dooku’s home world and he may reside there sometimes and it may be defended by a Separatist fleet, but he is just defending his own interests and his inheritance. It’s not a true Separatist political planet.”

    “Oh…” She hadn’t known that. “I guess that seems reasonable…”

    “Trust me, Ahsoka, I know what I’m doing.” He fiddled with the controls. “R2, set a hyperspace route for the Isen system. Ahsoka, send a message to Admiral Yuluren and inform him of where we are going. Tell him we will await the Master at that location.”

    “We’re not going to go back now? I thought you said you felt we had to go back?” asked Ahsoka.

    “I know what I said, Ahsoka,” replied Anakin, “but the Master will be arriving at my fleet quite soon. We are more useful inspecting the system and gaining more intelligence then waiting for them to arrive and then not following the leads we have uncovered.”

    Ahsoka couldn’t argue with that logic. She knew that Anakin would take the blame for his disobedience but she had to wonder what his actions now, would have on the impact of her training. Would the Jedi Council feel he was teaching her disobedience rather than loyalty and duty to the Jedi Order and the Republic they swore to protect?

    “They won’t split us up,” said Anakin, sensing her train of thought. “They will lecture me but they won’t take me away from you, especially if my actions mean that we rescue Obi-Wan sooner than we would have done.”

    Ahsoka couldn’t help having a small niggling worry. She turned to the communications com and composed a message to Admiral Yularen.
    As soon as she sent the message, Anakin pulled the hyperspace lever back and sent the ship spiralling towards the Isen system.

    I really hope we are doing the right thing, thought Ahsoka. She didn’t want to even consider what could happen if her Master was wrong in his logical assumptions. And she knew that if anything happened to Master Kenobi, Anakin would blame himself.

    - - - - -

    The next day, Dooku strode into his prisoner’s cell, finding the Jedi glaring at him.

    “What do you want, Dooku?” the prisoner questioned.

    “You know what I want,” answered Dooku. Kenobi seemed to insist on this game, but for now he would play it, if only for amusement, and to see Kenobi’s frustration rise.

    “No.”

    “It doesn’t matter whether you continue to deny it. It is inevitable, you will become my apprentice,” smiled Dooku. From his pocket he pulled out a syringe, with a protective cap over the needle end.

    The Jedi’s eyes flicked to the needle end, his eyes slightly widening. “What is that?”

    “This, my friend, is a drug called Fever. Quite an accurate name I’d have to say, considering the effects it causes in other people. This drug was outlawed many years ago but it is still manufactured. You may have heard of it in its original name… Tetramecinia.”

    “You can’t give me that!” protested Kenobi.

    “You can’t stop me,” replied Dooku, stepping forward towards his prisoner, his eyes glinting as he watched as the Jedi tried to shrink back against the wall. “Unless you concede to my teachings…”

    Kenobi’s pupils swivelled from the syringe. “You know my answer.”

    “Then you will have the drug, until you bow before me,” said Dooku. “It is your own choice that is forcing me to do this. Ideally I’d rather not have you in a drug-addled state but since physical torture will not break you, I will have to resort to other methods…” He pulled the cap off of the needle end and approached his prisoner.

    With one hand, he grabbed Obi-Wan’s hair and jerked back, lifting his chin up. The Jedi tried to struggle but Dooku’s grip was firm and difficult to break free from.

    Carefully he administrated the drug: the drug that would aid him in his goal. Stepping back he watched his prisoner’s reaction. Already he could see the drug working. Kenobi’s eyes started to flick back and forth, as if he was having difficulty seeing.

    From his other pocket, Dooku drew forth a controller. Pressing in a code, he waited as the projector, also installed in the cell, fired up. Into the cell came an image of Qui-Gon Jinn, it was practically life-like. Kenobi wouldn’t realise it was even fake – the drug would twist his mind enough that he’d say the worst possible scenario.

    The drug was working well, for as he stepped away from the hologram, the image copied his movements. “You are a failure, Obi-Wan Kenobi.” The hologram repeated Dooku’s words but in the voice and tone of Qui-Gon Jinn.

    “No.”

    The simple denial was enough.

    The fast-acting drug was already working on the Jedi. Without the Force to fight off the toxins in his blood stream, the Jedi would succumb.

    He thought the projection of Qui-Gon Jinn was real. For now, those six words would be enough. Those six words uttered in the voice of his former apprentice would be the start of the breaking of his new one.

    Smirking, Dooku left the cell, leaving Kenobi alone with the memories that were sure to begin tormenting him anytime soon.

    He would return tomorrow, to evaluate his prisoner’s progress. Step by step, Kenobi would fall, whether he wanted to or not.

    - - - - -

    The system of Isen, with its three asteroid belts, was a dangerous place to be right now. Anakin piloted the Twilight through the system, on the lowest engine setting possible, in the hope of avoiding detection. The trail they were following did stop in the atmosphere of the planet Isen itself, suggesting that a Separatist ship had made planet fall not that long ago for the trail to still be fresh enough.

    “Do you think Obi-Wan is on Isen itself?” asked Ahsoka.

    Anakin looked and felt worried. “I’m not sure… I thought they would pass through this system to somewhere else, not land here. R2 has picked up a base on the northern hemisphere of the planet.” He sighed, wondering whether he had done the right thing.

    “Are you doubting your decision?” queried Ahsoka.

    Anakin chewed his bottom lip. “I think I may have been too hasty… This feels wrong…” He turned back to R2-D2. “Can you do a scan of the planet and tell me how many life-signs you can pick up as well as possible species cross-examination?”

    “R2 can do that?” Ahsoka sounded surprised.

    A small smile crossed Anakin’s face. “R2 can do a lot of things normal droids cannot. I’ve upgraded him a lot.”

    “Wow,” said Ahsoka. She sounded impressed.

    “That’s why R2 is so special to me because he’s not a normal droid. He has so many uses that to lose him would be to lose a part of myself…” said Anakin. “It’s the same with Obi-Wan too… If I lost him, I wouldn’t be complete. I’d like that to be us one day, Ahsoka. As our bond grows I hope it becomes like the one I share with Obi-Wan.”

    Ahsoka didn’t know what to say to that so she said: “We’ll find him, Master.”

    “I know we will,” responded Anakin.

    - - - - -

    The sane part of his mind was yelling at him to recognise the fact that Qui-Gon Jinn was dead and that he simply could not be speaking to him, yet the toxins in his system was twisting his thoughts. Logically he understood and realised that, yet he was still falling into the abyss that the drug was doing to his mind.

    You are a failure, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    Those words had never been said by Qui-Gon, ever, yet his mind was screaming at him to not believe what was in front of him, but the drug made him feel worthless, made him believe that he was a failure…

    He had failed, hadn’t he?

    He had failed to save his Master…

    Even as those thoughts tore through his mind, the drug acted, and the memories that he had let go of all those years ago, came roaring back with vengeance. Qui-Gon Jinn’s death happened again and again and again…

    He had failed…

    He was a failure…

    No! No! No! NO!

    “It’s not… I KNOW IT IS NOT REAL!” he yelled out-loud to no one in particular.

    “You failed to save me, Obi-Wan,” the voice of Qui-Gon said.

    The memory of his death replayed once again in his head. He saw the Sith strike-him down, saw how helpless he was to come to his Master’s aid… How he had allowed his own anger to fuel his hatred… How he had used that anger to fight back…

    “Yes, remember the anger you felt… remember how powerful it made you feel…” said Qui-Gon.

    Obi-Wan tried to blink through the haze beginning to cover his eyes. The drug was embedding itself in his system even more, controlling his very thoughts… He could no longer deny that he had – for a brief time – enjoyed that power, the feeling that he was far superior to the being that had taken the life of his Master. He had felt strong enough to defeat him…

    Don’t listen to him, Obi-Wan…

    A familiar voice penetrated his thoughts, the same one that had been pulling him into the haze…

    He blinked rapidly, shaking his head as much as he could, his vision becoming clearer as he sought to regain his focus. Who had said that? It couldn’t have been who he had thought it was…

    “You could have saved me if you’d been powerful enough, Obi-Wan…” the image continued to speak in front of him. “You can save everyone if you use the power that I know is within you…”

    “NO!” panted Obi-Wan, continuing to deny it. He didn’t know what to believe. The hearing of the second voice had confused him even more, urging him not to give in, but it was the same voice as the one trying to make him fall…

    His head began to throb; his heart beat up in his chest, thudding against his chest wall, faster and more rapid than it should be doing. Obi-Wan began to feel dizzy, as the two voices seemed to collide together in his head, in his thoughts, trying to break through the haze that was consuming him.

    “You could have saved me… Failure that you are…”

    I would never say a thing like that about you, my Obi-Wan.

    “No! No! NO! NONE OF IT IS TRUE!” he shouted out, as the haze broke and he felt his eyes roll back into his head as consciousness claimed him at last.

    To be continued…
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  10. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    I'm just going to post chapters six and seven now.... Enjoy!

    Six

    As ever, Dooku watched that day’s footage from the recorder in the cell. The response Kenobi had given to the mind-numbing-confusing drug pleased him. He had succumbed quicker to unconsciousness than he had expected. It wouldn’t happen so quickly the next time… his torment would last longer, it was the shock to the system that the drug caused such a quick adverse reaction to its effects intended on the recipient.

    This would have been harder if Dooku hadn’t been able to obtain previous recordings and holos of Qui-Gon Jinn that he could convert for his own use. He had hacked into the Jedi Order’s system to obtain these before leaving the Order all those years ago. There was plenty of footage he now had in his possession and he had a skilled technician in his employ who was able to lip read the recordings – as unfortunately some of the sound had been corrupted – that he was able to understand exactly what any conversation Qui-Gon Jinn may be having. The technician had built a device from this ground-work that would allow any hologram projected of Qui-Gon to utter the words of Dooku, but in the voice of the deceased Jedi Master, which would then continue with the arranged words Dooku wanted the hologram to say.

    Deception was the way of the Sith. Kenobi need to not know that none of this was real – the drug that he was under would do all the work for Dooku. He wouldn’t even have to get his hands dirty, just watch and wait as the Jedi fell further into the abyss from which he sought to escape from.

    It was a pity Dooku could not access the Temple archives now. There were probably recordings of Anakin Skywalker that could be used against Kenobi.

    Though…

    A thought struck him as he considered another alternative.

    His spies had reported rumours of Anakin Skywalker’s breech of the Jedi Code. Whenever he was on leave, Skywalker was always found to be in the apartment of Senator Padmé Amidala or on Naboo... Perhaps there was more to Skywalker’s visits then met the eye… but did Kenobi already know why his former apprentice visited the Senator so often?

    Was Skywalker acting against the Jedi Code? Breaking the oath he had made upon joining the Order at the tender age of nine years?

    A smile pulled at his lips. If his suspicions proved correct…

    Yes… he would have another advantage to dangle in front of Kenobi’s eyes.

    He was feeling more confident that Skywalker was at least having a relationship with the Senator. If Kenobi did not know…

    If your apprentice has been foolish enough to do this, Kenobi, what else may he have done? Could he play a part in breaking your spirit?

    - - - - -

    Anakin remained uneasy after R2 had completed his scans of Isen. It was a system that had only recently – in the past hundred years – that had finished forming. Life was sparse on the planet Isen. Without a known native population, the Separatists had claimed it as their own world.

    R2’s scans had shown there was limited life down below, and the air was not breathable unless they had protective suits that would protect them from the dangers the atmosphere presented to them. Unfortunately, the Twilight did not appear to have any on-board, which baffled Anakin as it should have done.

    This meant that they could not inspect the planet further. The atmosphere was a violent place and only a skilled pilot would be able to survive entry without crash landing. Though Anakin suited that criteria, he did not feel he was justified in taking such a risk, especially as it looked like his logic had been completely wrong.

    The longer he dwindled in this system, the longer the true trail would disappear.

    It seemed that the ship they had been following had probably been programmed to lead them astray and probably had not had any life on it originally – or if it had, any passengers aboard had been transferred off before the ship had made planet-fall, but there was no other recent ion trials in the system for him to pick up on, so it seemed likely that Obi-Wan’s captors had not brought him this way.

    There was, however, a lot of mechanical activity down on the planet, suggesting the appearance of a Separatist base. There was no fleet to protect it. The minimal life-signs on the planet were not consistent with intelligent life either, therefore Anakin’s assumption had been proved wrong.

    He had thought his logic was sound. To prevent rescue, why wouldn’t the Separatist try to lose their pursuers by going through the most dangerous system?

    He sighed. He hated himself for even convincing himself of his logic.

    “What are we going to do, Master?” asked Ahsoka, wearily of how he would react considering their failure.

    “We’ve been thrown off the trial for now,” admitted Anakin, not liking that one bit. “The one thing left to us is to go back to the fleet and hope that we can still pick up any traces in the Galloa and Flyntaria systems.”

    “What about the Serenno system?” questioned Ahsoka. “Is that still not likely?”

    Anakin chewed his bottom lip. His conclusions had already been ripped to shreds by this failure, why couldn’t he be wrong about his assumptions regarding Count Dooku’s homeworld too?

    “It’s a stronger possibility then before,” he admitted. “But it is not an officially aligned planet. If Dooku holds Obi-Wan there, he will be declaring his planet’s political side in this war. Obi-Wan is effectively a prisoner of war, a chip that can be bargained with … or broken if they wish to know his knowledge.”

    Anakin took a deep breath before continuing. “As much as I hate turning my back, it has got to the point where we need more help. With at least one other Jedi Master coming out here, we need to return to report back and revaluate our course of action.”

    “Well, Master, they’ve done one thing we didn’t expect,” pointed out Ahsoka. “Thrown us off the trail.”

    “The one thing I was hoping to avoid too,” whispered Anakin in response, gloom settling down on him. He just had to believe that he hadn’t lost all hope of locating his former Master. He hated himself even more for being wrong. How could he have been so stupid? He had let his pride get in the way and he was taking a big fall for his incompetence in misreading the information they had gathered.

    Just hold on, Master. We will find you.

    - - - - -

    Instead of one Jedi Master being sent, two had been dispatched. The Council had already guessed what Anakin would do. Adi Gallia and Plo Koon had arrived at the fleet’s position no more than an hour before Anakin and Ahsoka docked. The two Masters were waiting for Anakin and Ahsoka as they ascended to the bridge.

    Before anyone could speak, Anakin spoke up in defence of his actions. “I know what I did was wrong but I had no choice. We could lose the trail if we had delayed.” He did not need to mention just yet that he had successfully done so on his own due to his foolish reasoning and decision-making.

    “Yet you still ignored the Council’s command,” said Adi Gallia coolly. “But you did leave your fleet in position and only put yourself and your Padawan out there. You did not leave this fleet without a commander. Admiral Yularen has sufficient experience to hold on his own if need be.”

    “However the Council will not dismiss your actions,” added Plo Koon. “Any punishment will be dealt with after we have completed our mission.” The Kel Dor pointed towards the Admiral’s office. “Now, please tell us what you have uncovered.”

    Anakin nodded and he and Ahsoka led the two Jedi Masters into the Admiral’s office. He remained on the bridge as this was Jedi business that did not involve him. Once they were seated, Anakin explained to Adi and Plo Koon what they had uncovered and the mistake he had made in tracing the engine particles.

    “I fear my decision may have cost us valuable time in locating Obi-Wan… Wherever General Grievous took him, it wasn’t Isen,” sighed Anakin, still feeling guilty over his failure.

    “General Grievous isn’t holding Master Kenobi,” replied Adi Gallia serenely.

    Anakin’s head shot up. “What? How do you know?”

    “Because Grievous has been hassling our fleets in other regions of space. We do not believe that Master Kenobi is still on-board his ship as his command ship has been quite forth-coming in the attacks,” said Plo Koon. “We believe that Master Kenobi may have been handed over to someone else… And that these attacks are designed to distract us from the true path.”

    “So the trail I am following would have eventually taken me past Obi-Wan if I’d picked the right place to investigate?” asked Anakin, feeling a little better than he had done.

    Adi nodded confirming Anakin’s theory. “We think that is likely.”

    “So, where is Master Kenobi then?” asked Ahsoka. “He could be anywhere!”

    “And I can’t locate him in the Force either,” said Anakin quickly. “He’s being Force-supressed so it is difficult to even pin-point his exact location.”

    “You mentioned three other systems…” Adi pointed out.

    He recited the names of the three remaining systems that could be possible places where Obi-Wan was being held. He also explained why he thought Serenno was the most unlikely places for Obi-Wan to be.

    “On the contrary, the place he is least likely to be, is the place where he is likely to be,” said Plo Koon. “This was no ordinary capture. The Separatists have not followed their usual game plan.”

    “So it is possible,” continued Adi, “that Master Kenobi was taken to Serenno.”

    “And if he was, how do you propose we find that out?” asked Anakin. “Serenno has a massive Separatist fleet protecting it. And we don’t have the resources to spare in trying to invade.”

    “If we invade we are making war on a system that is not aligned to the Separatist cause,” mentioned Adi, “however the planet is still open to trade from other Separatist, neutral and Republic worlds. We can arrive on Serenno on board a transport, with forged passes and identities.”

    “I suppose this is where you are going to say that I have to stay here?” predicted Anakin, with his arms crossed against his chest, in slight annoyance.

    “That is why I am here,” said Plo Koon. “I will be relieving you of your command. Your bond with Master Kenobi could come in useful. The Council only banned you from running off while this fleet had no other commander. You failed to listen to the words of Master Windu.”

    “I was told to not leave my post,” responded Anakin, though he had already broken that condition set down by one of the most senior Masters.

    “Master Windu also said that you would aid the Jedi Master with their investigation,” pointed out Adi, a slight smile on her face.

    Anakin’s eyes widened. “He always intended on me going with you?”

    “Of course. You have the closest bond to Master Kenobi. If anyone can track him, it is you,” pointed out Adi. “It was a test, designed to determine your loyalty to the Republic. I fear your independence streak might affect the progress of your Padawan… especially if she picks up some of your ways. The war is more important than one man’s life.”

    Plo leaned forward in his chair. “You failed the test, Skywalker. Your attachment clouds your mind. A Jedi has no attachment.”

    Anakin felt anger stirring within him at that pronouncement. He knew he had a duty to the Republic, but if they were always going to allow him to leave the fleet anyway, why was it such a problem that he had disobeyed orders? He had left the fleet in the command of a very capable Admiral who had plenty of experience. A Jedi was not always needed. He felt like walking out of the room but he realised that he would just make things worse.

    Instead he forced himself to grate out: “I know that the Republic’s safety is more important than Obi-Wan’s life. I am not like other Jedi, Master’s. I was raised by my mother –” something welled up in him as he mentioned her. She was dead now, killed by the Tusken Raiders on Tatooine. “- I’ve known love where other Jedi have not. It is not easily squashed or forgotten. Unless you have these memories, none of you will truly understand how I feel.” He raised his eyes, determined to make his point honestly and bravely. “Sometimes emotions and attachments can be good for a Jedi. That is something that the Council forgets.” He glanced at Ahsoka. “Both of you have had Padawans. That is attachment, whether you believe it or not. A Master will do anything for his Padawan, even in the direst of circumstances. It is rare that on a dangerous mission that Padawan’s are left behind – their Master’s do anything they can to save them.”

    “An elaborate speech, young Skywalker,” praised Plo Koon. “You are correct in your assertions but Obi-Wan is not your apprentice. Your loyalty is to Ahsoka and to the Republic.”

    Adi crossed her arms across her chest. “However we still need your aid. Master Koon is perfectly capable of handling a fleet until the duration of this mission is over.” She leaned forward expectantly. “I will warn you that we have been given a two-week search time. If, by the end of it, Master Kenobi has not been located, we will assume he is dead, as we do for all the Jedi captured after that time-limit.”

    “And you will abide by that rule,” finished Plo Koon.

    It was a well-known that Jedi prisoners were either publicly executed within two weeks of their capture or used to bait other Jedi to their rescue... and if captured for information, most died under torture, unless rescued before. The Council was assuming – that since Obi-Wan’s trial was cold – that he was to be executed within two weeks. Anakin didn’t like that but he kept his opinions to himself, realising that if he spoke he might be pulled off the search completely.

    “Yes, Master,” he bowed.

    Adi moved off. “Come, Skywalker, we need to get our identities.”

    - - - - -

    Flashes of the future flicked in the Force: Obi-Wan with his eyes yellow, Anakin with his eyes yellow… The two Jedi fighting each other…

    “You never trusted me! Even after all the things I’ve done for you!”

    “I’ve always trusted you…”

    “Then why didn’t you tell me?”

    Yoda emerged from the trance, feeling shaken by what he had seen. The Chosen One and his former Master fighting one another… as if their very lives depended on it…

    What he had seen could not be undone. He would have to seek counsel with a dear friend, for if what he saw was an omen of the future that was to come to pass, then they had to prevent it in any way possible.

    - - - - -

    Obi-Wan shivered in his cell. He could barely keep his eyes open as the drug coursed through his body. Dooku had given him another dose, no more than thirty minutes ago. In the few hours he had been sane, he had realised that the Qui-Gon he had been seeing was a manipulation of Dooku’s.

    The problem was, when the drug was working, he was lost to its workings, because of the confusing affects it had on him.

    Even now the hologram in front of him perpetuated to be Qui-Gon again.

    “I never wanted you, Obi-Wan. You were too dangerous, too angry to be a Padawan. It was a mistake to train you… I might still be alive if it wasn’t for you…”

    Guilt appeared to be its strong point.

    “It’s not true… It’s not true…”

    No it isn’t true. Fight it.

    “You are falling, you already showed your attachments to others when you left the Order years ago. You failed me then, and you failed me on Naboo. And you fail me now.”

    In his fogged brain, Obi-Wan began to remember. The memories flashed into his mind-sight.

    He saw himself fighting Bruck Chun in the Room of a Thousand Mountains. Instantly the hologram of Qui-Gon seemed to latch onto that memory. How was it possible that the hologram could know what he was seeing? He didn’t have time to dwell on it as the words struck a chord with his soul.

    “You could have saved that child if you’d tried harder. You cannot save anyone. Who have you ever saved? No one…Not even Cerasi, or Siri… You never saved Anakin either. I saved him. He resents you for not being me… You have anger… I should never have chosen you as my apprentice… I should never have let you seep into my conscience. You are a failed legacy of mine… just like Xanatos was.”

    Obi-Wan shook his head desperately. He saw again and again Qui-Gon’s rejection of him the first time when he had been sent to Bandomeer, when his hopes of being a Jedi had been crushed.

    He had failed to save so many people…

    “You are a failure… You are a failure… You are a failure…”

    The words repeated over and over, cascading through his brain.

    And then another voice, Dooku’s voice became apparent. “I can show you how to not be a failure, Obi-Wan…”

    Every failure that he had ever participated in flashed through his memory…

    “It is your fault that the galaxy is at war… Spy that you are…”

    “It’s not true… It’s not true…” he muttered, his head feeling fuzzy again, as the images continued to flash through, combined with the words of Qui-Gon. He could not even determine how his former Master could know about the war…

    The drug continued its work, pulling apart the memories, one by one, as the voice of his Master resonated through his head, coupled with the occasional jibes by Dooku’s voice, swaying him to an unforgiveable choice…

    - - - - -

    “You have been keeping something from me, my apprentice,” accused Sidious, even before Dooku had bowed before the holo-image of his Sith Master.

    “I do not know what you mean, my Master,” replied Dooku, keeping his head bowed before the hologram.

    “I have received word from the Jedi Council that Master Kenobi is missing. His fleet was attacked by Separatist warships. I have already spoken to General Grievous who informed me that you issued the orders, despite my own orders for you to leave the line of defence unbroken for now.” Sidious was not pleased.

    Dooku almost blanched. He had known that Sidious would find out about his deception. “My lord…”

    “Do not attempt to offer me your excuses,” hissed the Sith Lord. “You have disobeyed me in attempt to overthrow me.”

    Dooku felt his anger rising. He knew of Sidious’ goal to try to secure Skywalker to the dark side. “Just like you try to replace me with a younger model,” he retorted.

    “You will kill Kenobi, otherwise I will do so,” stated Sidious angrily.

    “Kenobi’s fall may make it easier to secure Skywalker,” said Dooku. He knew he was treading on dangerous ground. Sidious didn’t have the time to leave the capital to ensure Kenobi’s death and anyone who he sent to carry it out, would die swiftly under Dooku’s blade.

    And Sidious knew that.

    There was a long silence. “Mere torture will not break that Jedi. He is too indoctrinated within the Jedi Order.”

    “Physical torture is not my chosen method,” responded Dooku. “If he continues to ignore my tempting offers then he will be eliminated, you have my word on that, my Lord.”

    Still Sidious stayed silent.

    Dooku was almost afraid to speak.

    Sidious finally spoke. “He may live… for now.”

    Dooku felt a breath of relief wash through his chest. “I will not fail, my Master.”

    - - - - -

    Sidious sat back in his chair, contemplating his conversation with his apprentice. He could not afford to have Dooku turn on him at this point. Seeds were still being planted to ensure the fall of the Jedi and the Republic and Skywalker was not yet ripe enough to become a Sith. He still had growth.

    Kenobi had been spared simply because Sidious still needed Dooku. He would let him play with that Jedi…

    And if Kenobi does fall, then he will die by Skywalker’s hand. And that will be the catalyst for his own fall.

    A small smile touched his lips as his hands came together. He had a galaxy to ruin first before Skywalker would be his.

    to be continued...
    Rainbow Knight Star likes this.
  11. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    Seven

    “Any second thoughts, Obi-Wan?” Dooku walked into the cell, his eyes focused on the chained figure in front of him. The prisoner looked up at him, his eyes dull and almost feverish, but the drug was no longer circulating his system. The image of Qui-Gon had long since disappeared – Dooku would reinstate that when he delivered the Jedi’s next dose of the drug.

    “No…” his captive whispered. His captive’s voice was weak, almost hoarse. After all he had heard the denials coming from his prisoner… almost screams in every possible way.

    “I thought not…” Dooku reached into his pocket and pulled out a smaller hologram device. “Perhaps this might show how much your apprentice seeks to betray you…”

    “Anakin would never betray me,” hissed Kenobi, his eyes glinted ever so slightly.

    “Would he not?” mused Dooku. “Perhaps his visits to a certain Senator mean something more?”

    Dooku would enjoy this. His contact’s peruse – or rather hacking into - of certain cameras within the Senator’s apartment had provided an interesting answer to his thoughts about Skywalker and Amidala. What he had thought was merely a simple disregard of the rules, was more of a complete violation of the Jedi Order’s code on attachments.

    Anakin Skywalker was married.

    To Senator Amidala.

    He suspected Kenobi did not know. Kenobi was such a stickler for the rules that Skywalker would be afraid to tell him, to not trust him… Once again Skywalker would prove to be Kenobi’s downfall. This revelation would only cost Kenobi is trust in others…

    Betrayal seemed to rock Kenobi wherever he went.

    First Qui-Gon, then Skywalker… the two people that the Jedi Master cared for most would prove to be his undoing.

    Dooku steeled himself up for the revelation, basking in the glory of what was to come. “Did you know that your former apprentice is married?”

    - - - - -

    “Did you know that your former apprentice is married?”

    That question rocked Obi-Wan’s mind-set. “It can’t be true…”

    “Oh it is,” Dooku continued, smiling widely at the obvious shock that characterised Obi-Wan’s features.

    Though he had suspected a relationship of some sort, he had not considered that Anakin would ever go that far. But how did Dooku know? He eyed the device Dooku held in his left hand. Clearly the Count was confident in his revelation that this was true and no fabrication he had said to manipulate Obi-Wan.

    “Perhaps this will show that I only speak the truth,” said Dooku, stepping back after he placed the hologram device on the floor. “Perhaps I should be thankful for the Chancellor’s proclamation that security feeds within Senator’s apartments cannot be deleted for ten years whilst this war lasts…”

    What have you done, Anakin?

    Obi-Wan had always had suspicions that Anakin had a close friendship with the Senator but there must be something to the marriage that was making Dooku so gleeful. If Anakin really was married as Dooku attested to then he had broken the most sacred rules of the Jedi… He had betrayed the entire Order…

    And he didn’t trust me enough to tell me…

    That hurt.

    An image of Anakin and Padmé appeared in the cell, within her apartment on Coruscant. There was a date in the corner of the image, indicating that the feed had not been tampered with. It was from just after Padmé had returned to Coruscant from an extended leave after the start of the Clone Wars. Anakin was embracing Padmé, kissing her gently on the lips.

    “Oh Ani…” The Senator wrapped her arms around the young Jedi. “I’m so happy to see you.”

    “My wife… my love…” He kissed her again. “It still feels strange to call you that.”

    “You’ll get used to it,” whispered Padmé.

    “If I had more time with you…” he said in return. “I don’t regret this… I don’t regret marrying you… How could I ever regret this? To have these moments in my life…”

    They were kissing again, more passionately, as if they were intimidate lovers who hadn’t seen in each other in months, but Obi-Wan knew that Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker hadn’t seen each other for two weeks, which wasn’t that unusual for a Senator. The hologram continued and he wondered when Dooku would stop it, for he didn’t have any desire to see what was going to happen next… He knew… The way they were kissing, focusing intently on one another, it could mean only one thing…

    But Dooku didn’t seem to want to stop this recording.

    Suddenly Padmé broke away from Anakin’s touches, as his hand caressed her cheek.

    “Ani…”

    “What is it?” he asked, looking almost saddened that his wife had pulled away from him.

    “I almost told my parents…” she said. “I wanted to tell them my news… I feel so lost without being able to talk to them about it.” She held Anakin a step away from her.

    “We can’t trust anyone, Padmé,” replied Anakin. “No one is on our side.” His head dropped. “If I could trust Obi-Wan, I would… But I can’t…”

    Anakin didn’t trust him. Obi-Wan’s heart clenched hard. How could Anakin not trust him? What had he done to deserve to be deceived? He would have kept Anakin’s secret, not because he agreed with it, but because of his love for this man, for the man he thought was his best friend…

    The hologram disappeared but Obi-Wan didn’t notice.

    Dooku turned to face the Jedi Master. “Now you know that your apprentice never trusted you. How does that feel, Obi-Wan? Do you feel betrayed? Worthless? Everything you put into that boy has led to this… His utter belief that you are a lackey of the Council, that you would betray him… and yet… you may be a loyal Jedi, but you are loyal to those that you care for…” Dooku’s eyes glinted. “And you care for Anakin Skywalker…”

    “I know I shouldn’t,” murmured Obi-Wan, his eyes looking down to the floor.

    “Because it hurts to be betrayed doesn’t it?”

    Obi-Wan didn’t need to answer; Dooku already knew what he was feeling.

    “Like Qui-Gon before him, Anakin Skywalker betrayed you too.” Dooku moved forward, reaching into his pocket as he did so pulling out a syringe, the shining liquid drug in its injector. “I don’t have to use this… I would trust you, Obi-Wan… We can help one another… All you have to do is trust me…”

    Obi-Wan chose not to answer. He should have said ‘never’ but the revelations had opened his mind to the possibility that just maybe Dooku was right. He didn’t even attempt to struggle as the liquid was injected and the visions and the hologram activated again.

    But before he was fully under the drugs influence, he murmured, just loud enough for Dooku to hear: “The Sith Lord – who is he?”

    Then his mind was lost.

    - - - - -

    Dooku felt strangely pleased about that last session with the Jedi Master. The revelation of Anakin Skywalker’s betrayal and distrust he had of his former Master had strengthened the process that Kenobi was on. Kenobi hadn’t even answered back to him when he had made his offer to him again.

    Progress.

    Slowly but surely he was making progress. Kenobi was beginning to entertain the notion that Dooku had a point and that quite possibly listening to him might be worth his time. This was only further highlighted with Kenobi’s last question.

    Kenobi hadn’t believed him on Geonosis when Dooku had revealed that a Sith Lord was in control of the Senate, but now there was an element there, something within the Jedi that wanted to know. That left the Sith with a choice himself. Should he betray his Master and reveal his identity? Would the revelation that the Supreme Chancellor was a Sith push Obi-Wan Kenobi further into Dooku’s grasp?

    And yet Skywalker regular takes counsel from him…

    As he thought that, another idea flowed into him. He had acquired tapes of Skywalker and Amidala… perhaps there was a chance there might be some of the Chancellor influencing Skywalker…? That would be triple the betrayal Kenobi would have suffered in his life-time.

    But would this work? Were things turning in Dooku’s favour?

    Reaching his own room, Dooku settled himself on the floor by his bunk, crossing his legs and centring himself in the Force. He treaded into the dark side, immersing himself within its power and the beauty it offered. Here the Force felt stronger, and pointed him towards the centre of a maelstorm that seemed to reverberate outwards, consuming everything.

    This is what Sidious had shown him long ago – the dark side sweeping out and consuming everything in its path. This power, this majesty that it represented had shown Dooku the potential he had. It had been this that had aided his decision in finally succumbing to the teachings Sidious had offered.

    This power had shown him the future, the dominion of the Sith.

    Now he posed a question, so settled was he in the realm of darkness; that he opened up his mind, his desires and what he hoped for and saw in the potential that Obi-Wan Kenobi carried within him.

    Show me his path… his future…

    The dark clouds parted, drawing Dooku in further. Images flashed before him, images that he couldn’t decipher, fog clouding his vision as he sought to see what the Force offered him.

    Finally he saw himself standing in the Senate, with Obi-Wan at his side. Then it flashed to Anakin standing side-by-side with Sidious, facing Dooku and Kenobi across a vast area of space. Lightsabers clashed and friends and enemies fought. There was another flash of light and those images dissolved before the dizziness of the sudden movement ceased and Obi-Wan Kenobi appeared, dressed in black, his eyes dark but sad.

    He stood face-to-face with Anakin Skywalker.

    “Why are you doing this?”

    “You never……” Dooku could not discern the last words.

    And the two fought.

    Dooku could sense that this confrontation would determine the fate of the galaxy. Whoever won would have the Republic in their hands. Then the images vanished, the Force clouding over once again, forbidding him from seeking any further. Still, he had an answer to his question.

    Kenobi would join him.

    The Force willed it.

    - - - - -

    Anakin held in his hand the identity card that characterised him as a merchant from Selonia. Adi was his business partner. Ahsoka was staying behind under the supervision of Plo Koon, partly because they felt it would be too suspicious to have a Togrutan child with the people that Anakin and Adi were hoping to pass off as. Adi, as a near human build could pass off as a human, so her headdress was obscured by a run of long black hair that flowed down to her hips. Make-up had been applied and she wore bright red lipstick. She wore a traditional business dress, with her lightsaber tucked into a pouch she wore around her belt.

    Anakin, on the other-hand, had had his usual blonde streaks dyed brown, darkening his natural colour and his pupils had been changed to brown. A fake scar had been applied to his cheek, making the one that Ventress had given him across his eye, even longer then it was. His hair had been given extensions and pulled up into a pony-tail giving him the hippy look. Some of his brown locks still tumbled into his face, however it gave a riveting effect and when Ahsoka saw him she had a double-take, not recognising him at first as her Jedi Master. It also helped that his face had, had tattoos painted onto his left cheek, running up into his forehead that helped to disguise his basic features.

    They were standing in the hanger-bay at the bottom of a ramp that led into a registered transport that belonged to Eruz Enterprises, a company that specialised in robotics. This was a legitimate company that the Republic knew the Separatists were involved in, and the Jedi understood they had designs on going to Serenno. Adi and Anakin were to play that part, and they hoped that they might be able to orchestrate a meeting with Dooku. This would allow them to rescue Obi-Wan if he was indeed on Serenno.

    “Dagon Dagger,” murmured Ahsoka, “why that name?”

    Anakin shrugged. “I didn’t pick it.” He glanced at the photo of his disguised self. “I certainly don’t recognise myself at all. I almost look like a pirate instead of a respectable businessman… but then this company isn’t very respectable.” His appearance had been based off a known member of Eruz Enterprises.

    “Wish I was coming with you,” said Ahsoka sadly.

    “So do I,” replied Anakin. “I get the feeling we’re going to need you. But we can’t risk it. Your head-tails make disguising you a lot more difficult than making Adi and I seem matched. Serenno is mostly a human-populated planet. Besides, I hope we won’t need a fast getaway, otherwise I feel we’re going to need you to run the blockade for us. You’ve got enough piloting skills that would help you succeed on that account.”

    Ahsoka almost blushed at the praise. “Thanks, Master.”

    Anakin hefted the pack of supplies onto his back. “We’ll be leaving soon… We’ve got to go out of our way to come back in so our origin is not suspected.”

    “Good luck,” smiled Ahsoka lightly. “I hope you find him.”

    “Me too…” Anakin turned and headed up the ramp.

    “May the Force be with you, Master,” whispered Ahsoka as the ramp ascended back inside and the door slid shut. Turning away, she made her way back to the bridge.

    - - - - -

    Don’t listen to the voices, Obi-Wan…

    The voice of Qui-Gon Jinn was in his head once more, but his image wasn’t in front of him. The recording of Anakin and Padmé continued to replay over and over… the distrust Anakin had of him sinking further and further into his soul, harming him ever further.

    In his drug-addled state, Obi-Wan was aware of the voice. The betrayal of Anakin sat deeply with him, and yet not even the calm voice of Qui-Gon could seep through it. That man had betrayed him to. He had sought to replace him with Anakin.

    I never intended to replace you with Anakin. You were ready to take the trials. You proved that.

    “Don’t lie to me!” he yelled out, the drug causing him to shiver restlessly in his chains. “Anakin betrayed me! And so did you!”

    The voice didn’t speak again after that.

    It was when things finally fell silent in his head that the hologram of Qui-Gon appeared once more in his cell.

    “No,” whimpered Obi-Wan, “I don’t want to see him. All he does is speak lies!”

    If he could have turned his head away he would have done.

    Qui-Gon’s mouth opened, words tumbled out but so pronounced. “If your own apprentice could not trust you, how could the Jedi Council ever do so?”

    Obi-Wan almost stilled from the accusation. He was trusted wasn’t he? They respected him as a member, didn’t they?

    “Do they? You do as they bid. This is further proof that I picked the wrong apprentice. No apprentice of mine would ever bow to the whims of the Jedi Council without question. They betrayed you too. They did not believe you were ready to become a Knight all those years ago, so how could trust you now?”

    And the terror began again.

    To be continued...
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  12. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Ohmigosh...not looking good. Save Obi-Wan (though you said he doesn't want to be in the Obi-Wan thread? Bad Obi - drugged Obi. You want to be saved, Jedi-hand-wave.)
  13. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot You may see why in this chapter why Obi-Wan is beginning to see that being rescued may not be what he wants though it may not be explicitly stated yet... It will be explored more later however. Rescue is coming though...

    - - - - -

    Eight

    Sometime during the night when unconsciousness had claimed him, Obi-Wan was moved from his cell. When he woke from the darkness, in a soft bed, he felt confused as to his surroundings as he had not expected to be free from the cell or from his chains. The first thing that hit him was the feelings he was now aware of, brought on by the revelations and his past. He knew he shouldn’t feel betrayed or upset but he did. He wasn’t even under the influence of the drug at the moment, yet the feelings were there. He didn’t feel so pure either, as if his very light had been tainted. What was happening to him?

    As he looked around his surroundings, he found himself in a small bedroom. It was quite bare and there was no window, but there was a desk and a meditation mattress on the floor. He was surprised at his new location. Why wasn’t he in his cell, still trussed up?

    “I thought that you deserved some kindness.”

    Obi-Wan turned his head to the right to see Dooku standing in the doorframe.

    “I want you to trust me, Obi-Wan. Treating you like a prisoner isn’t going to achieve that, is it?”

    Obi-Wan hated to admit that he was right. “And the drug you’ve been giving me?”

    “I won’t be using it on you again. It was necessary for you to be able to see that I did not betray you. You wish to know the identity of my Master, do you not?” continued Dooku.

    Obi-Wan quirked his head to the side. “It might be of interest to me, yes. I didn’t believe you before,” he bit his lip. Saying this was hard; to admit that Dooku was right… “But now I concede that you may be right about a Sith Lord being in control of the Senators. This war… It’s been going on long enough. There are too many questions that need answering.”

    “And you wish for it to end, don’t you?” enquired Dooku, moving towards the bed.

    Obi-Wan nodded. “You know things about our movements that only the top tiers of the Republic government are allowed to know. Some of the things you know of happening only the Chancellor and the Jedi Council are aware of.” But as he said that, a horrifying realisation struck him, however he was careful not to give thought to that lingering consideration, instead focusing his mind on Dooku’s next words, which only seemed to confirm his sudden suspicions as to who the Sith Lord might be.

    “Your apprentice regularly consults a Sith Lord for advice. Did you know that, Master Kenobi?”

    “Palpatine?” he said carefully. “He’s your Master?” Obi-Wan sat up now, carefully trying to control his features, however he knew that shock had registered in his eyes. The only person who Anakin had gone to for advice ever since he had joined the Order was Palpatine, he had to be the other half of the Sith. The ramifications of what this could mean were enormous for the Jedi Order and the Republic.

    “I told you that a Sith Lord was in control of hundreds of Senators. You have never considered the Chancellor… always thought he was the puppet,” smiled Dooku. “The Chancellor is betraying the Republic, the Jedi and its citizens. Once again you are being betrayed, Obi-Wan. How many people does that make now? Three, four? By working alongside the Sith, the Jedi are betraying themselves, and their very principles without even realising it.”

    Obi-Wan shook his head. “He can’t be the Sith Lord… He just can’t… We’d sense it! Anakin would sense it!”

    “Who says he doesn’t already know about the Chancellor?” probed Dooku. “Your apprentice doesn’t trust you with his secret marriage… Why would he trust you about Palpatine’s true identity? There are many things that Skywalker has shared with my Master who has in turn told me. I know things about Anakin Skywalker that you would never dream possible. Your apprentice has seen the dark side, and he liked it.”

    Obi-Wan felt anger building within him. How dare Dooku implicate Anakin! The young man may feel that he couldn’t trust Obi-Wan, but that didn’t automatically mean he knew of the Sith Lord’s true identity. It also didn’t explain why he would keep this a secret from the Council. Anakin’s life was to destroy the Sith, not join them!

    “Skywalker tells my Master lots of things. Things that even you don’t know about,” continued Dooku smoothly, pulling out the chair at the desk and sitting down in it. “You gave him free reign to see the Chancellor whenever he wanted: you’ve practically given him to the Sith Lord who seeks his power.” Dooku leaned forward. “In fact I have it on very good authority that he is intending on replacing me with Skywalker. He already has his claws into Skywalker: he will turn him; that I assure you. The Jedi Order will fall and it will be your fault, Obi-Wan. But you can prevent this!”

    “What makes you so different from your Master?” said Obi-Wan coldly. “Instead of seeking to turn the Chosen One, you seek to turn me.”

    “I do not wish to turn you, Obi-Wan,” replied Dooku. “You can still be a Jedi and work with me. Let me share my knowledge with you! I have trusted you with the identity of my Master! I value you, unlike your own apprentice or your own Master! They both abandoned you!”

    “Then why do you want to make me your apprentice?” he shot back angrily. “You had me captured for that very purpose! Everything you’ve done to me is to make me join you!” Obi-Wan pulled his legs out of the comfy bed and stood up. “This is just another avenue for you to explore! Forget it, Dooku, I will not join you! And you’ve given me what I wanted to know!”

    “But you can’t leave,” replied Dooku darkly.

    Obi-Wan challenged him with a glare, slowly moving towards the still open doorway. He knew this was folly but he didn’t care. He didn’t even make it half-way across the room before his knees buckled beneath him and the shock-collar around his neck kicked in. He had forgotten about that accursed contraption.

    Shocks ripped through his body and his body jerked rapidly.

    “You will only leave your captivity when you see the light. Work with me, Obi-Wan, and we can save the Republic, the Jedi and most of all, save your apprentice,” tempted Dooku.

    Obi-Wan lifted his head from the floor. “No.”

    Dooku got to his feet and strolled towards the door. “Then I’m afraid you will have to return to your cell and continue to suffer. I gave you the identity of my Master and I was prepared to make you comfortable. All I asked for in return was your aid. Your pain is your own fault, Obi-Wan. Remember that as you suffer.”

    “Nice to see that you are still breaking promises,” hissed Obi-Wan through his teeth, his eyes mere slits as he watched as Dooku departed the room. A squad of Super Battle Droids soon arrived to take him back to his cell, and back to the world of never-ending nightmares and hallucinations.

    - - - - -

    “Anakin, will you stop pacing? Your irritation through the Force is quite jarring,” said Adi, as she in-put the next set of co-ordinates into the navi-computer.

    Anakin stopped, placing his hands on the back of his seat. He was frustrated, annoyed with the length of the journey they needed to take to avoid any suspicion as to where they had come from. If Obi-Wan indeed was on Serenno, Dooku would have officials on the look-out for any spacecraft trajectory. If they tracked their ship back to Republic space then their whole mission would be in jeopardy.

    It was therefore essential for them to arrive into the system far from Republic space, which meant entering hostile territory and broadcasting as traders. They had so far jumped into four different systems, one of them they had been boarded but passed security checks and were allowed to continue on their way.

    That delay had frustrated Anakin further however he did understand that they had to be careful when trying to get to Serenno. He didn’t have to like it however.

    “How long will it be before we get to Serenno?” he asked.

    Adi glanced at the route they were following. “Another sixteen hours at least.”

    Anakin groaned. “Great! If Obi-Wan is not on Serenno, all this jumping out the way is going to be a pointless waste of time! We’re in Separatist space now, why can’t we just go straight to Serenno from here?” He already knew the answer to that, but it was difficult to accept.

    “The Separatists guard their borders to the extreme, Skywalker,” answered Adi serenely. “There are certain points we must pass before we are even granted access to Serenno’s atmosphere. That is how difficult it is to get onto a planet undetected. And Dooku is making sure Serenno is well protected, despite that planet not officially being a part of the Confederacy. If we act rashly we will fail our mission and we will not get a chance to even land.”

    Anakin’s shoulders drooped. “I just wish there was an easier way then going so far out of our way.”

    Adi smiled gently. “So do I, but if Obi-Wan is on Serenno, he’ll be waiting for us, waiting for us to rescue him.”

    - - - - -

    Dooku did not drug him when he was returned to the cell. Nor was he chained to the wall. Obi-Wan sat back in the corner, arms wrapped around his legs, struggling to keep warm. He felt exhausted from the lack of sleep, and his mind whirled from the revelations he had been told.

    First, the one that hurt the most was Anakin not trusting him enough to tell him about his marriage. He had always trusted Anakin, had always relied on him, why hadn’t Anakin done the same? Obi-Wan may be a stickler for the rules but he did understand that Anakin was different from every other Jedi in the Order.

    “I suppose that is my fault for not letting Anakin see that I cared. I tried to help him by reiterating the Jedi Code, and I alienated him instead. He couldn’t trust me because I never gave him a reason to. I thought we were close…”

    What else had Anakin done that Obi-Wan didn’t know about? He now feared what Anakin had done on Tatooine when he had returned to his home just prior to the outbreak of the Clone Wars. All that Obi-Wan knew of that situation was that Shmi Skywalker, Anakin’s mother had died then. He had sensed his Padawan’s aura after that, a darkened edge glinted around him, consuming him, but after his return from Naboo, his aura was light again, shining brightly as if it had never been tinted.

    “And that’s when he got married…” That explained the change in Anakin’s aura. His marriage had cancelled out the negative effect that Tatooine had, had on him. But what had happened on the desert planet? What had darkened Anakin’s Force presence? Obi-Wan feared to know the answer. He had an ominous feeling that Dooku knew. Would this lead to further betrayal and mistrust on Anakin’s part?

    Was there anyone he could trust?

    You can trust in Anakin and you can trust in me. Trust in your memories, not the twisted truths that Dooku is giving you.

    Qui-Gon’s voice was back, but not the hologram that Dooku used against him. The other voice… the other voice that should not be there… the voice that unnerved him. It was the voice that wanted to defend his former Master from the damage he had procured upon young Obi-Wan. How could he trust this voice?

    I am not trying to deceive you, Obi-Wan. I cannot yet take physical shape but I am here to help you. Don’t let Dooku win. Don’t trust him.

    “Qui-Gon is dead,” muttered Obi-Wan. “Whoever or whatever you are, even if you are real and you are somehow speaking to me from beyond the grave you still betrayed me. You still betrayed the trust I put in you to train me to be a Jedi.” If he could have dropped his head even lower he would have done. “You wanted Anakin, but you didn’t want me! You betrayed me! Just like Anakin has!”

    You were ready…

    “And you didn’t want me in the first place. I nearly lost my future because of you!”

    But I still took you on. I still trained you because I misjudged you and I learnt that you truly deserved to be a Jedi. You impressed me, Obi-Wan.

    “Until you found Anakin,” replied Obi-Wan bitterly. “Perhaps it would have been better if I’d died on Naboo. Anakin would have the Master he wanted, and not the spare part. You would be able to train the apprentice you wanted, and I wouldn’t be a burden to anyone!”

    He knew he sounded selfish, more like a child then a respectable Jedi Master, but at this point he simply didn’t care.

    Everything was building up. He was hungry and thirsty and above all else he was exhausted; tired from the mental struggle he was forced to bear. “I’ve tried… I really have tried with Anakin… And yet, despite everything we’ve been through he won’t trust me! If he married Senator Amidala, what else is he hiding from me?”

    “Quite a few things, Master Kenobi.” Count Dooku entered his cell. “Would you like to know?”

    Obi-Wan turned his gaze upon the Sith Lord. Tired and exhausted as he was, he realised that Dooku was using this to gain his obedience, to try to turn him, to convince him to betray those that he held dear. Despite Qui-Gon and Anakin’s own betrayals, how could he do such a thing in return? But Dooku had revealed the identity of the Sith Lord, if he hadn’t been lying about it…

    Dooku seemed content to watch Obi-Wan muse over the offer of learning more about his former Padawan’s transgressions, however.

    He couldn’t help but feel curious over what else Anakin had done. What could be worse than Anakin breaking the Jedi code in the worst possible way? What else could Dooku shock him with? He glanced up at the Sith Lord. Dooku’s expression surprised him. There was sadness there, almost pity for what he knew and what his prisoner didn’t.

    His curiosity flared even more.

    Much as he hated himself for this, if he ever was rescued, would Anakin trust him enough to tell him the truth of his marriage if Obi-Wan asked? Would he deny it? If Obi-Wan pressed him for the truth about Tatooine would he acquiesce?

    If he can’t trust me enough to tell me he got married, why would he tell me the truth about Tatooine? Obi-Wan sighed.

    He didn’t know who to trust.

    You cannot trust Dooku.

    There was that voice again, mimicking Qui-Gon, as it had been doing for the past few days, always seeking to defend him and Anakin and steer Obi-Wan away from Dooku’s influence.

    “But he has answers.” The reasoning was clear in Obi-Wan’s mind.

    He still wasn’t entirely convinced that Chancellor Palpatine was the Sith Lord but there was evidence that supported this. If Palpatine was the Sith and he did have designs on Anakin, then he might be able to unearth any marriage document that Anakin and Padmé Amidala may have signed to legitimise their marriage. After all, as Chancellor of the Republic and the former Senator of Naboo, he would have contacts within all aspects of the Nabooian hierarchy.

    Palpatine may be the Sith Lord, but turning against your Padawan isn’t going to help. It will only ensnare him more. Listen to me, stay true to the Jedi. Dooku does not have your best interests at heart. He will use you and he will destroy your soul. It was as if the voice could hear what he was thinking.

    “Anakin will never trust me,” answered Obi-Wan quietly. “You’ve betrayed me too. I can’t trust what you say either.”

    Obi-Wan.

    “Don’t!” snapped Obi-Wan angrily. “Don’t. Talk. To. Me.”

    The voice fell silent.

    If he had access to the Force, Obi-Wan was certain he would feel satisfaction from Dooku’s presence. The Sith Lord already knew what his decision was; it was one that would please him.

    But Obi-Wan had to know the truth; he had to know what else Anakin was hiding from him. He didn’t know that Anakin would tell him if he was confronted. Anakin had always denied things in the past, why would he change that now?

    Slowly, he raised his head and prepared himself for the cold, hard truth of Anakin’s deeds. Obi-Wan locked gazes with the Count. “Tell me.”

    To be continued…

    Next chapter should be posted next week...

    hlc88
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  14. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Yeessshhh - Obi-Wan, no! In his state, he won't be able to (or find it extremely difficult) not to get subducted deeper into the dark - the road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that.

    However, if he could seize hold of that idea of "betrayal" and vow he won't do what "they did to him" he might have the stubbornness to hold on to the light.
  15. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Just read the prologe, and Val's remark. I agree with Val!!

    Am I in for a rough ride with Obi or what?

    Yikes!
  16. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot Well, he's trying to see the light in the tunnel...

    @obimom I will be completely truthful and say it will be a rough ride for Obi-Wan. :)

    - - - - -

    Nine

    Dooku could sense that victory was in his grasp. The dark side of the Force pulsed through him, indicating that Obi-Wan Kenobi had taken another step towards aligning with his cause. Dooku studied his prisoner. Obi-Wan was mentally exhausted; his eyes showed his nearing defeat, the battle that he wished to be over.

    This was a pivotal moment for the Sith Lord. He could feel that if he played his cards right, Kenobi would be his. He had hologram proof of Skywalker’s admittance to slaughtering an entire Tusken tribe. All he had to do was press a button and it would show his guilt to the captive Jedi, yet Kenobi was aware that the holograms had been fixed. Kenobi would be naive to believe that they weren’t or were bending the truth at least.

    The Force warned him to be careful. A slight misstep could undo the process that had already begun with Kenobi.

    “Stand up,” he instructed, having made a decision about where and how he would impart this important information on the young Jedi.

    Kenobi looked at him wearily.

    “You want to know about Skywalker, I will show you, but not here. As I’ve told you before, Obi-Wan,” he continued gently, “I want you to trust me.”

    The Jedi did not respond to Dooku as he slowly pulled himself to his feet. But once he was on his feet, their eyes locked. Dooku felt a shudder role up his spine.

    “If you want me to trust you, Dooku, let me feel the Force again so I can read your intentions. Keeping me cut off from it is not going to help you. If you want me to trust you, you have to trust me first,” the captive said.

    An interesting proposal, mused Dooku, but an expected one nonetheless.

    “And how can I trust you to not contact your former Padawan for aid as soon as you regain the Force?” asked Dooku, throwing the scenario back at Kenobi.

    The Jedi took a deep breath, clearly contemplating his answer. “You don’t,” he finally said. “Trust is the issue. You captured me and you desire my trust. How can I give you my trust since you are the cause of my suffering? You have to prove to me that you are worthy of what you seek from me before I can ever put my faith in you.”

    Oh, Kenobi was smart; Dooku had to give him that. The ball was in his park now. He already knew that Skywalker would eventually trace his former Master here; in fact he was ready for it. As soon as Skywalker walked through security he would be recognised, especially if he was carrying a lightsaber.

    Dooku had security systems installed in his home that pinged whenever someone with a lightsaber entered his home; it always identified them. He wasn’t stupid to think that Skywalker would try the door, however the walls, the windows, even the secret entrance had the use of being able to alert him whenever a lightsaber user entered his domain.

    If the system did not recognise the lightsaber, then Dooku would know that Skywalker was here. He was anticipating the young man coming to his Master’s rescue. He hoped by that time that Kenobi might be his however it all depended on his choice now, and what he decided to do.

    Kenobi wouldn’t be easy to convince to turn to the dark side; he understood that to achieve his goal, Dooku had to be sneaky. He had to appeal to the Jedi’s sense of justice.

    He felt reluctance to do this but the spark of warning was still there, still probing at him to be careful; to choose wisely. The Jedi waited patiently for his decision, not pushing for an answer.

    Then Dooku raised his hand and reached towards the collar around the Jedi’s neck. Carefully, he input the little code and waited for the small, but rather intricate computer system to recognise his DNA before releasing the captive from the device.

    He probed the Force around Kenobi. Freeing the Jedi from the Force-suppressor did allow Dooku to see what his Force signature was radiating now. It still burned bright but it was duller than usual, the flame of it having decreased due to the betrayals Dooku had forced upon Kenobi. The drug was working.

    “Thank you,” said Kenobi stiffly.

    Dooku couldn’t sense whether Kenobi was using the Force, or even probing the bond he shared with Skywalker, but the Jedi Master had hit upon the very thing Dooku had been waiting for him to ask. Dooku knew that Kenobi would demand freedom from the collar; he had been prepared to give it, though much later in the game.

    However he couldn’t deny that things were moving ahead faster than he had originally planned. Kenobi’s Force aura was a contributing factor to what would happen next. He wasn’t shut down to Dooku’s persuasions. There was doubt there, doubt in his position in the hearts of those he had trusted. That was an intriguing notion – Dooku could feel the hesitant nature of trust that radiated from the Jedi.

    Much as he wanted Kenobi to turn, to ruin this Jedi would be tragic. But it would be so delicious to just see Skywalker’s face as he witnessed first-hand his Master turning his back on him.

    “I assume you want to take me somewhere more comfortable, Count?” asked Kenobi mildly.

    Dooku shook his thoughts from his head. He was allowing his mind to run away with possibilities and with what he was sensing from the former Jedi Master. Potential rested within the Force; here was a chance for a bond to be formed between captive and Master.

    Tread your steps carefully.

    “You will follow me,” instructed Dooku. “I trust that you will not attempt to escape.”

    “Not until I’ve heard what you’ve got to say,” was the reply, in quite a dark tone of voice that Dooku was unaccustomed to hearing. He was allowing Kenobi to read his Force presence after all. He wondered what the Jedi was sensing from him? Could he detect the deception that he was slowly winding round the Jedi?

    It was likely that he was and Kenobi didn’t like it one bit. Nor did he approve of Dooku’s chosen method.

    And yet the Force that circled around them seemed to approve of this.

    Ignoring his unease, Dooku trusted the Force, and led the Jedi out of his cell and towards the communication centre.

    - - - - -

    They still had another seven hours to go before they would be able to enter the atmosphere of Serenno. Anakin was getting even more frustrated that the time seemed to be going by so slowly. He had never considered space travel to be this long before, but now that he was desperately waiting for something to happen, time seemed to slow down. He was beginning to feel that with such good technology available that teleports should have been invented by now.

    Anakin had long since stopped complaining about the length of time it was taking them to arrive at Serenno. He knew Adi didn’t appreciate it. He had tried to mediate to ease the passage of time. Meditation had never been Anakin’s favourite past-time.

    In fact he tried to avoid it as much as possible. Meditation wasn’t for him. Being active and doing things that helped with the greater good for the Republic was him.

    Immersed in the Force as he was, he sensed a sudden familiar presence that he hadn’t felt since he had started his search for his Master. Obi-Wan… He could sense his Master again! His aura had returned to the Force. Carefully, Anakin reached out and tried to make contact, to reassure his Master that they were coming for him.

    Yet Obi-Wan Kenobi’s presence shrunk back from him. Stung, feeling as if he had been slapped in the face, Anakin carefully prodded the bond. Obi-Wan was blocking him, voluntarily.

    Unease settled in the pit of Anakin’s stomach as he sought to identify the source of the block. Why would his Master erect a barrier against him? Didn’t he want to be rescued?

    It was then that Anakin felt something more drifting from the bond. Obi-Wan’s presence felt tainted, felt darker than normal… The pureness was gone. Within the presence was unease, and mistrust.

    What? Anakin felt confused by the torrent of emotions he was able to feel.

    He reached out once more, gently prodding against the barrier Obi-Wan had drawn against him. Master? he sent, enquiringly. He tried to work his way through the Force barrier but what had been constructed had been built very well. There were no holes for Anakin to slip through; no way he could even contact his Master.

    Why was Obi-Wan blocking him?

    Frustrated and annoyed at his lack of success, Anakin floated out of his meditation, opening his eyes and finding Adi Gallia watching him, a curious expression on her features as she observed his actions. He had an uncanny feeling that his facial reactions to sensing Obi-Wan had drawn her attention to his meditation. He crossed his arms across his chest. “Alright then, what was I doing to garner your intense concentration on me?” he enquired.

    “Your features were screwed up so tight I wondered if you were still breathing,” she answered. “It looked like you were concentrating very hard on something; something that was just out of your reach.”

    Anakin sighed. “I was.” He ran a hand through his hair. “I can feel Obi-Wan again.”

    Adi’s eyebrows rose in surprise.

    “But I can’t talk to him over our bond. He’s blocking me, intentionally, I’m sure of it,” explained Anakin, feeling a little woeful at the current situation.

    “Why would Obi-Wan block you?” asked Adi.

    “I don’t know,” admitted Anakin. He nearly mentioned about the change in his Master’s Force signature but he wasn’t sure it was something he should talk about until he’d had a chance to discuss with Obi-Wan about it, and find out the reasoning behind it. “I intend on asking him that when we rescue him.”

    - - - - -

    Obi-Wan followed Dooku out of the cell block, his gaze sweeping around him as he took in the walls, every door and passage they passed, searching for a way out. He didn’t intend to escape, not yet, anyway. Much as he hated to admit it, he knew Dooku held vital information and he needed to know that before he could even consider escaping from his torment. If it meant remaining Dooku’s prisoner until he had worked everything out…

    However, he was also wary of returning to the Jedi Order and the Republic considering he now knew who the Sith Lord was. His belief in preserving democracy for the Republic had been shaken. Palpatine clearly didn’t have democracy as one of his interests. He was after power; that had been becoming more clear as the war grew on and the Chancellor took on more executive powers, some of which he had ‘reluctantly’ taken on when the Senators had proposed them. Yet Obi-Wan didn’t feel that the Chancellor was reluctant about the powers. He had seemed secretly pleased, all the time informing the Jedi Council that he would lay down all powers once the war had ended.

    Now he wasn’t so sure of that.

    The revelation of the Sith Lord’s identity fit with it being the Supreme Chancellor, considering his actions and the decisions he had made ever since Geonosis. It certainly changed everything.

    Obi-Wan had been a part of discussions concerning the Sith Master with the Jedi Council. They had come to the collective decision that the Sith simply could not be Palpatine as he was already in power, therefore he was already exonerated from any suspicion. Yet his research into the Sith’s history had shown they had changed over the centuries. Once there had been many Sith running around, now there were just two.

    Two Sith could bring down the Republic. The fact that a Sith apprentice had been trained in secret showed that the Sith were preparing to come forth – their involvement in the Naboo crisis years ago proved that. The Sith had one goal in mind: absolute power. And if they could accomplish the extermination of the Jedi Order, they would.

    Palpatine was in the perfect place to assume control of everything. The Jedi were his tools to play with as he pleased. If he was indeed the Sith Lord as Dooku attested, then the Jedi Council were his puppets, unaware of the true danger they were in.

    He couldn’t deny that an alliance with Dooku might be beneficial in this case, but there was the matter of the Count’s intentions for him. Dooku wanted to turn him and his method of making Obi-Wan feel betrayed was just a small step in assuring that happened. Dooku’s method had hit a part of Obi-Wan that had never truly repaired itself, but a part of him that he had buried deep long ago. Now, all those mixed memories and his feelings from when Qui-Gon had refused to take him as his Padawan, to the time when Qui-Gon had preferred Anakin over his current apprentice had been flung to the forefront of his emotions. It was proving difficult to suppress them, even with the use of the Force again. He had thought he had gotten over the hurt and disappointment of those times long ago.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi had been wrong.

    Even the knowledge of Anakin’s betrayal of the code hurt. He had known for a while that Anakin and the Senator of Naboo must have been seeing one another, but to take it to marriage was something that Obi-Wan had not considered his young charge would ever have done.

    And if there was more to come, Obi-Wan didn’t know how he could confront the young man he thought of as more as his brother then anything, to find out why he had betrayed the code.

    Dooku led the young Master through the intricate and decorated areas of his home, passing many portraits of whom Obi-Wan thought must be Dooku’s ascendants. The floors were made of marble, shining in the sunlight that cascaded through the windows. Outside, Obi-Wan could see a mountain range; Dooku’s home was secluded as far as it could be from any civilisation.

    The Count turned another corner and Obi-Wan followed, finding his captor standing in front of a door. He didn’t see the code that Dooku input to open the door but he indicated Obi-Wan to step through.

    The Jedi did so, walking into a communications centre. There were a few droids operating the consoles, cameras showing every part of Dooku’s home, as well as monitoring the spaceport within the main city of Serenno.

    Dooku drew up a chair and motioned for Obi-Wan to sit down. When he didn’t make a move to acquiesce, the Count turned back to the Jedi, a frown on his face. “What you are about to see would be best viewed sitting down,” he suggested, trying to sound kind, but not coming across like that at all.

    Obi-Wan sat in front of one of the spare console screens. “Just show me,” he practically ordered.

    Dooku ignored his captive’s tone and instead flipped a few buttons and on one of the screens that Obi-Wan sat near to, the image of the Supreme Chancellor’s office appeared. There was a time-stamp on it, showing the date of just a few days after the Battle of Geonosis. “There are two recordings I have to show you. This one and the next follow directly on from it. I am showing you them because you need to see just how many people are conspiring against you and you will see that I have been trying to save you all this time, even if it may be unconventional.”

    Obi-Wan frowned, choosing not to reply, but watched as Dooku played the first of two recordings.

    Chancellor Palpatine stood by the window in his office, his arms held in front of him, as he swept his gaze over the capital city. A young man in Jedi robes approached him. A Padawan’s braid hung down by his right ear.

    “Hello, Chancellor,” said Anakin Skywalker, bowing lightly before the man at the window.

    Palpatine looked at the young Jedi. “Ah, Anakin, it is good to see you. How are things? Are you still not a Knight yet?”

    “No, sir,” replied Anakin.

    “You more than deserve that honour, Anakin,” said Palpatine, “especially after what you accomplished on Geonosis.”

    “I didn’t accomplish anything, Master. I nearly got Padmé and Master Obi-Wan killed. I made sure Dooku escaped! If I had listened to Obi-Wan…”

    Palpatine cut across the young Jedi. “You did what you thought was right. Your Master cannot always be right. Your opinion is just as valid as his. You will find that a Master should rely on his apprentice’s abilities and opinions… but it seems that your Master fails to recognise that.”

    Anakin sighed. “It’s not that, Master… The last few weeks I’ve proved that I still have a lot to learn.”

    “Something is bothering you, isn’t it?” noted Palpatine, turning his attention fully on the young man. “You know you can tell me anything, Anakin. I am your confidante. You can trust me with the things you can never tell your Master. I know from Senator Amidala that you came from Tatooine to Geonosis… I also understand that in mission briefing you were instructed to remain on Naboo…”

    Anakin visibly swallowed. “I went where I should not have gone,” he admitted. “But I had to. Obi-Wan didn’t understand… He would never understand what drove me to go to Tatooine… What I did there…” The young man visibly shuddered.

    “What happened?” Palpatine seemed to be the kindly old man, the one that would listen to Anakin’s woes, and help him through the pain that he was clearly in. “You can tell me. I have always been here for you, Anakin.”

    “It’s difficult to talk about… I’m ashamed of my actions, of what I did. But it felt right. It felt good to tap into such power…” Anakin appeared to shudder again. Whatever was eating at him was getting to him as well. The young Padawan was silent for a while, just staring out of the window in the Chancellor’s office, watching as traffic moved in the sky lanes, and the sun was setting to the west. When he spoke, his voice was low, shaking a little, as he admitted the crime he had committed, dealing out justice in retribution for the loss he had suffered.

    “I killed them all…” he began. “The Tusken Raiders. They killed my mother… tortured her for a month… I could feel her pain even here on Coruscant… And no one listened to me. Obi-Wan refused to listen! He thought they were dreams! He was wrong and my mother died horribly because of his failure to listen to me. I failed my mother because I didn’t do what my heart bade me to do: go to her and rescue her. I hoped they were just dreams… but they weren’t. I saw her in pain, Chancellor, she needed me and I wasn’t there to help her. I went to Tatooine to determine my dreams and what I found was the worst thing I could have expected.”

    Anakin looked up at the Chancellor, and his eyes were brimming with tears, a single trail of them ran down his right cheek. “She had a family, Chancellor. She had been freed. She was married, living the life she deserved to have and it was cruelly taken from her. She was taken one morning by the Tusken Raiders. They tortured her.” He swallowed, struggling to continue. “I found her in one of their huts, trussed up and hurt so badly… Her injuries were severe… She had hung on for me… wishing to see me again… She lived for no more than five minutes after I freed her from her bonds… She said she was complete… My mother died in my arms…”

    Palpatine stayed silent as Anakin struggled to continue.

    “I… I was angry… I couldn’t help it… I… I… I… I slaughtered them all. The women and the children too… all of them slaughtered like animals! They were animals for what they did to my mother! They took her and destroyed her! I killed them. All of them! And… and… and… I liked the power that gave me…” Sobs wracked from Anakin’s body as he finally finished his tale. “I shouldn’t have done that and I shouldn’t have felt like that either…”

    “Anakin, my boy…” Palpatine reached out and placed an arm around the young man’s shoulders. “You did what any one of your power would do… You took the lives that were rightfully yours to take. It might have been wrong to the Jedi Code… but you dealt out justice as swiftly as one could hope for… Do not feel that you made a mistake… You did what you had to do… You should never supress your emotions, Anakin, because that is not who you are. You are not an emotionless shell like the Jedi Order is. They cannot understand what it means to be human, or what it is like to be loved… You and I do…”

    “But anger is wrong… I shouldn’t have done that.”

    “Perhaps,” admitted Palpatine, “but is it a crime to deal out justice?”

    Anakin swallowed. “No.”

    “And that is all you did, my boy.” Palpatine moved his arm away from Anakin. “You have my trust; word of this will not get out to anyone, least of all your Master or the Jedi Council.”

    “I don’t want Obi-Wan to know about this ever. He’d turn me in. I’d be expelled,” said Anakin. “I trust him… but he’s too enriched with the Jedi Code. There are some things he can’t know about...”

    Palpatine patted Anakin on the back. “Your secrets are safe with me, my son.”

    The video ended. Obi-Wan sat, numb with shock at the admittance of what Anakin had done. He had liked the power of the dark side… he had used it, breaking another value of the Jedi Order. And once again, he didn’t trust Obi-Wan with this secret.

    What had he done to deserve Anakin’s mistrust? Was it all because he had tried to help him understand the importance of the Jedi Code? Anakin had completely undermined his teachings… He had freely admitted to the Chancellor of the Republic that he had murdered in cold blood… murdered children. If he could murder hapless Tusken children who could not be held accountable for the crimes of those that had tortured Shmi Skywalker to certain death, who else was Anakin Skywalker capable of killing? Capable of betraying?

    What was worse was that he was confiding in the Chancellor who seemed to be pushing him to stay true to his principles of being human rather than that of the Jedi Code, which only furthered Dooku’s admission that his Master was the Chancellor.

    The Chancellors of the Republic had always greatly revered the Jedi Order, had always respected their values. Each one had made certain to understand the values of the Jedi Code so that they could better understand the function of the Jedi and what their place was in the greater Republic. Palpatine seemed to be going against that, actively encouraging Anakin that what he had done was justice, and Anakin appeared to have felt comforted by that.

    “There is still one more recording to go,” mentioned Dooku. “This one is a discussion I had with my Master shortly after he had that conversation with your young apprentice.”

    Obi-Wan felt sick. He didn’t want to watch anymore. He almost stood up to flee but he remembered why he had to see this: he had to know for sure how deep this treachery went and he was curious about how Dooku had been trying to save him. He didn’t yet have Dooku’s trust, but it was clear that the Sith was willing to give him the chance to have access to the Force. He could feel in the Force that Dooku genuinely wanted Obi-Wan to trust him, though he did desire his fall to the dark side as well. They did have mutual goals that could be beneficial if they did work together.

    The Separatists were fighting to break away from a corrupt Republic, and Obi-Wan could now see their point. The Republic was corrupt – had been for years. With a Sith Lord in charge, it was obvious that the corruption was there… and the Jedi had no place in the Republic. The Separatists actually had a point there, though both sides were being manipulated by a Sith Lord.

    The next recording flashed onto screen and the Jedi Master dismissed his thoughts to watch what else Dooku wished for him to know.

    The image of Dooku sitting at his desk came onto the screen. A hologram flashed up on his desk, and the view switched to another view so that Obi-Wan could better see the cloaked figure that Dooku was talking to. Though he couldn’t tell for sure that the cloaked man was the Chancellor, when the Sith spoke the clarity and identity was clear to him.

    “Master,” Dooku bowed, lowering his head as far as he could.

    “How goes the war effort?” the Sith Master enquired.

    “Very well, my lord. We are succeeding in pushing back several Republic forces on the borders or our territory. We could potentially push into the system of Toydaria if we wished to take that sector by force. The Republic forces are crumbling – those fleets without a Jedi General are easier to defeat then those that are commanded by season veterans,” explained Dooku.

    “Good… good…” the Sith Master sounded pleased. “You will be pleased to know that my plan to destroy the Jedi Order is advancing. Skywalker is falling into my grip quicker then I intended. He has already tasted the darkness and he liked it. Becoming friends with him when he just a boy was perhaps the smartest thing to do… He does not trust Kenobi with his secrets.”

    Dooku waited, for he could not demand to know what his Master did not wish for him to learn.

    “It appears Skywalker has a remarkable aptitude for killing women and children, when their partners murdered his mother. His vengeance was horrible and the dark side glimmered with his loss,” the Sith’s voice became darker. “Skywalker will fall and he will help destroy the Jedi Order … and, most of all, he will be the one to destroy Kenobi utterly. Betrayed and killed by his own apprentice… that is Kenobi’s fate.”
    Dooku’s entire posture stiffened. “My lord… May I suggest that Kenobi would make a better apprentice then Skywalker? Skywalker is too volatile, too quick to anger… He has no control! Kenobi, on the other hand, has that control. He may not be as powerful in the Force as Skywalker is but he is a match for him and he can defeat that boy! I ask that you reconsider… spare Kenobi’s life and use him instead!”

    “No. I have spent far too long investing in Skywalker’s fall. That boy will be mine and he will bring the Jedi Order to its knees,” hissed the dark lord. “Kenobi is an irritant that deserves nothing more than death brought on by his own student. He must die.”

    Dooku raised his head now, looking directly up at the hologram of his Master. “Kenobi is –”

    “SILENCE! Kenobi will not be turned. You would do well to see that,” growled Sidious.

    Reluctantly, Dooku bowed his head. “Yes. My Master.”

    “Now, onto your recent successes…”

    The hologram blurred off and Dooku walked in front of the desk to stare at Kenobi. His arms were folded across his chest. “I told you I was saving you.”

    Obi-Wan raised his eyebrows in surprise. “In a manner of speaking, but not entirely accurate. Your Master wants Anakin to kill me if he ever succeeds in turning him. You are trying to convince him that I would be better off turned, otherwise I will die like the rest of the Jedi Order will when the Chancellor decides we have finished fulfilling his goals for him.”

    “And when your former apprentice is ripe for turning,” indicated Dooku. “I do not wish for your talent to be wasted. I am trying to save you. And I can still save you if we work together. How can you return to the Jedi Order now? The Chancellor knows you are here. I had to convince him to spare your life – I stood up for you because he would see you dead and has plotted for it for many years. He is allowing you to live for now, providing you remain under my care. He believes he can use you to turn Skywalker still. If we work together we can stop him – I cannot do this alone!”

    Obi-Wan folded his arms across his chest, studying Dooku’s face with a hard expression, his eyes glinting darkly. “I know you want me to be your apprentice but I won’t. That is out of the question.” He did however hesitate, unsure of how he could say his next thoughts.

    “But you are willing to be partners?” probed Dooku, testing the waters.

    “It’s not ideal but I see there is merit to it. You are playing a game with Palpatine, but he is playing a game with not only you, but the entire galaxy. We’re all his chess pieces, even you, Dooku, to be moved accordingly when he wishes to,” explained Obi-Wan. “If I can save Anakin by working with you…”

    Dooku frowned. “You still want to save him?” He brushed the bottom of his beard with his fingers. “Interesting.”

    “He’s still my friend…” admitted Obi-Wan, but he lowered his gaze, “but I can’t trust him anymore. I’m not sure who I can trust… I can’t trust you, Dooku, either because you are trying to use me. I have no doubt that you would accept my offer of partnership, but you would still try to deceive me… To try to push me down the road that you think suits me best.”

    “And if I promised to not try to tempt you to join me as my apprentice would you reconsider?” enquired Dooku.

    Obi-Wan probed Dooku’s Force presence, searching his aura for any hint of deception in his statement. Sith were good at deceiving others, and Dooku was no exception to that. As he probed, he found it surprising that there was no hint of his true intentions. He was either being sincere with his promise, or he was a lot more powerful in the dark side then Obi-Wan had presumed. Dooku could hide his true intentions if he so wanted.

    However this was an opportune moment to perhaps work out a deal that would bring the Separatists back into the Republic and heal the rift that had spread between the various systems.

    Finally, he returned his gaze to Dooku, pulling his senses away from the man’s aura, and clouding his own, making it extremely difficult for his captor to read him. “I would not take your promises at face value,” he explained, “however you are giving me an opportunity to end this war. As you say, the Chancellor has so graciously allowed me to continue living under your care,” he said sarcastically, “he will not take it lightly if I return to the Republic. I presume he would know you have told me his identity?”

    Dooku nodded, not letting his emotions show on his face. “My Master is far more powerful then you can imagine. He will know you know… He does have spies within my household that report to him. He will know before you have even returned to Coruscant that you have escaped.” The Count was choosing to be quite frank with him. “He will have you killed before you get into the atmosphere. He will not risk his identity becoming public with the Jedi Council until he is ready to reveal himself.” Dooku locked gases with Obi-Wan, his eyes burning. “And he will only be ready when Skywalker is ripe for turning. Your young friend is not there yet… There is still time.”

    Obi-Wan closed his eyes, his head aching from what he was hearing. What could he do? What should he do? Should he betray the Republic that he was allied with because of what he now knew? Could he really become the lone voice of the Jedi Order to fight back against Palpatine? What about Anakin? He’d be betraying the young man he had raised.

    But he did betray me – twice. The unbidden voice in his rose up.

    He didn’t like thinking this; he didn’t want to believe that Anakin could be so callous to not trust him. Obi-Wan loved Anakin like a brother, yet for all his efforts, the young Jedi had betrayed him. Qui-Gon Jinn had betrayed him too.

    I did not betray you, Obi-Wan. The voice of Qui-Gon Jinn was back.

    Obi-Wan felt a burst of fury flush through him at the voice. “I told you to shut up and leave me alone!” he shouted aloud, not caring if Dooku heard him. Whatever that voice was, continuing to deny his own involvement in hurting his own Padawan was too much. Qui-Gon had abandoned him.

    If Qui-Gon abandoned me, why should I have such worries about abandoning the Republic when it isn’t the Republic I know? If Anakin doesn’t trust me with his own secrets, would he trust me if I informed him about Palpatine’s treachery?

    Obi-Wan opened his eyes and he found that a tear had leaked from his right eye, trailing down his cheek. He wiped it away with a flick of his hand, and looked up at Dooku, who was still watching quietly. He sighed. He knew what he had to do if he was to save everyone he loved and cared for. “Dooku, I will make you a proposition.”

    “Go on,” Dooku leaned forward.

    “I will not become your apprentice, I will not train with you in the dark side… but I cannot go back to the Republic. Trust is the issue. I can’t trust you either, but I can’t trust the Republic or the Jedi Order either…” He stepped forward, and held out his hand towards Dooku. “I can, however, work with you to save the Republic. You may be a Sith but you are not completely there, even if you think you are. I propose a partnership, but there is one thing that I request that you must do.”

    Dooku still did not take his offered hand, watching the Jedi with sharp, dark eyes. “And what is that?”

    “Grievous. Get rid of him. I don’t care how. I will not work with you unless he is dealt with… or his actions are toned down so he is not a threat to the Jedi. I may have been betrayed by the Jedi Order, but I do not wish for them to all die.” Obi-Wan folded his arms across his chest, taking away his pro-offered hand.

    Now was the waiting game. If Dooku wanted to work with him, then he had to consider all other options first.

    After all, Obi-Wan was not nicknamed the Negotiator for nothing.

    - - - - -

    Surprised at the offer, Dooku considered what his captive had proposed. Though Kenobi was his prisoner, this was a tempting offer. But to take Grievous out would be almost impossible… He was still too useful to Sidious. The only other option was to force Kenobi back on the drugs and back into his cell which could potentially destroy any future working relationship.

    The Force warned him then. It was not an option for him to imprison the Jedi again. Kenobi would not turn otherwise. Though the Jedi Master was offering himself, he was doing so under an agreement which he was not in a position to negotiate, however Dooku could not underestimate him, nor could he ignore what he desired.

    To outright kill Grievous was impossible to do without angering his own Master, however it was possible to reassign him to skirmish missions in the outer rim, where he wouldn’t be in danger of destroying all Republic Forces or encountering Jedi… Grievous had been threatened with this job due to his failures… However, capturing Kenobi had been his saving grace.

    But it was possible to take the droid general out of the game as per Kenobi’s request.

    It was possible to accomplish… Sidious would suspect something that was for certain, but even his Master was getting angry about Grievous’ incompetence to actually do something useful for the Separatist cause. It was a risk Dooku was willing to take, especially if it secured him Kenobi’s services…

    He smiled gently. The Jedi Master was right not to trust him; however, he could sense that trust was slowly growing. He was falling into Dooku’s grip.

    A Sith Lord always lied after all.

    He could take Grievous off duty for a while… and when Kenobi was securely his, Grievous could re-join the war effort.

    He was playing a dangerous game but his instincts were telling him he was on the right path that he was preceding as the dark side wanted him to.

    “Very well, Master Kenobi. I cannot kill Grievous however I can take him off frontline duty where he will no longer be a threat to the Jedi. That is the most I can do with your request…” The Count lifted his hand and held it out. “Do we have a deal?”

    To be continued…

    I felt that this chapter was a good place to end it! :D

    Next chapter will be posted next week :)

    hlc88
    Rainbow Knight Star likes this.
  17. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    Ten

    After countless travelling hours, they had finally arrived on Serenno. Anakin and Adi had passed through security with ease, their fake IDs working to allow them access. They had already decided prior to landing that their best option was to try to sneak into Dooku’s home, though they expected stringent security around the area which would make their task quite difficult.

    They didn’t take a speeder instead opted to walk on foot. They were less likely to be detected if they approached on foot and shielded their presence in the Force as best they could.

    Anakin walked behind Adi as she led him through the forest which preceded the mountain range where Dooku’s home sat. Anakin estimated they’d be reaching the outskirts of Dooku’s estate by late evening, which would give them the extra cover of darkness to slip into the grounds.

    He was concerned with the security measures that Dooku would have in place, however. Now that Obi-Wan had access to the Force again, he knew for sure that he had been wrong to ever discount Serenno from his original guesswork in trying to trace his former Master. Obi-Wan’s presence blared loudly out into the Force, but the pureness he had always exhibited was tinged with darkness.

    And that darkness appeared to have gained a bit more grip in the few hours since Anakin had dared to reach out and sense him. Whatever Dooku was doing to Obi-Wan, it was having an effect on him.

    They were travelling in the forest that bordered Dooku’s lands. It was dark and musty inside; the air smelt rank as if the vegetation had barely seen any sunlight in weeks. Little creatures ran at the sound of their footprints, and the trees seemed to grow closer together, seeking to trap them within their eaves. Darkness encroached around them as they walked through the gloomy and dense wood.

    Ahead of them, the forest appeared to open up.

    Anakin sped up, walking past Adi, eager to escape the convoluted forest. He reached the eves of the wood, and leaned back against the last tree, looking out at the valley before him.

    The Count’s home was surrounded by a mountain range but the forest led down into the valley via a steep path off to the right. He could see slight flickers of a security barrier echoing all around the property. Mostly unseen, but with good eyesight could be detected. They would have to find a way to bypass that because they didn’t know if it had a particular height or if it covered the top of the house too.

    Adi came to stand beside him. “Well, we’re here.”

    “Yeah,” murmured Anakin. “I’m not sure how we are going to get in without tripping that security field.”

    Adi smirked. “I get the feeling that Dooku will be expecting us to try. He will ‘let’ us in. We just have to avoid the trap he has planned for us.”

    Anakin glanced at his companion. “Are you certain that he will really allow us into his home?” He didn’t quite believe that Dooku would risk such a thing. But then there was something that wasn’t right about Obi-Wan’s Force presence either, which concerned Anakin greatly.

    Adi shook her head, the long black hair that obscured her headdress, wavered slightly in the air. “Not certain, no… But I feel uneasy. A trap is set for us.”

    Anakin frowned, feeling slightly agitated. “Obi-Wan always said we need to spring the trap.” He took the path to the right. “If they are expecting us, it matters not how we get in.”

    Adi began to follow him. “You’re just going to walk up to the front door?”

    “If they are expecting us we may as well spring the trap. Dooku won’t expect us to simply walk up to the front door, plus we are wearing disguises, which obscures our identities. We may as well see if Dooku falls for this trick,” said Anakin, smiling lightly.

    “Two business people visiting a Count late at night?” Incredulously, Adi’s eyebrows rose. “I’m sure he won’t see anything suspicious about that.”

    Shrugging his shoulders, Anakin continued down the path. “It’s as good a plan as any. Besides, we took the effort to forge identities for ourselves, why not attempt to use them in a way Dooku may not expect?”

    Adi didn’t have an answer for that however Anakin could sense that the Council member was not happy with his plan of simply walking up to the front door. Anakin felt that he simply didn’t have the time to work out a way into Dooku’s stately home without being noticed, sneaking through the sensors without setting off any alarms. His plan was shaky at best but perhaps it might give them the advantage they needed to free Obi-Wan.

    Together, the two Jedi disappeared into the rising darkness, heading further towards the boundaries of the home of the Count of Serenno.

    - - - - -

    When his security guards informed him that two business partners were asking for permission to talk to him, Dooku knew instantly this was Skywalker’s way of trying to sneak into his manor in an orthodox way. It was not difficult to detect Skywalker. The boy and the other Jedi with him may be clamping down on their Force auras but it wasn’t impossible for them to completely hide them.

    The dark side of the Force was clouding everything… The Sith were more powerful than the Jedi. Dooku issued the order for Skywalker and his companion to enter the grounds. He would let them find Kenobi in his room, and he would watch and learn, unless of course they did the idiotic thing of walking up to the front door, then Dooku would personally greet them.

    Grabbing his cloak, he sneaked a peek at the installed camera that was in the corner of Kenobi’s room. The Jedi Master was dutifully eating the meal Dooku’s robo-chef had cooked for him. He had watched as Kenobi had tried to figure out if there was anything suspicious about the food before eating it, but apparently satisfied that Dooku had not tampered with it, was devouring it.

    Dooku smirked. He was smarter than that. Just because the food wasn’t giving Kenobi the drug, it didn’t mean he wasn’t ingesting it in some other way either.

    The Count walked down the marble corridor, passing illustrious paintings of his ancestors. He had given Kenobi his own room to stay in and to prove that Kenobi was right in putting his trust in him he had decided to not have security droids outside the door. The camera inside the room was another issue entirely. Kenobi understood why he needed to be monitored. But Dooku was giving him more freedom then he should have done.

    Reaching the door to Kenobi’s room, the Count stepped inside. The Jedi was waiting for him.

    “Yes?” Kenobi asked, raising an eyebrow at Dooku’s entrance.

    “I have come to inform you that your apprentice is here. Skywalker is on my grounds,” said Dooku. “I want to know if our agreement still stands? You are a smart man, Obi-Wan, I know that you have realised that leaving with Skywalker will mean my Master cannot try to assassinate you. He will dare not risk killing his prized apprentice in an attempted ‘accident’ to have you killed.”

    Kenobi sighed, his shoulders visibly sagging. “I’ve already sensed him coming. Anakin trusts a Sith Lord with his deepest secrets… and no doubt he knows of Anakin’s marriage too. Anakin is already under the sway of the Sith. If he can’t trust in me, how can I trust him to not lead me into a trap devised by your Master?” The Jedi shook his head.

    Dooku allowed grim satisfaction to course through him. The drug was still working on the Jedi, still topping up his dose, making him susceptible, more inclined to believe what was said to him… He already held distrust of Skywalker and it was slowly growing. There wasn’t hatred there, not yet, but nurtured enough it soon would. Disappointment resided off the Jedi Master.

    “I think you know what my answer will be,” said Obi-Wan quietly, raising his head, and locking gazes with Dooku.

    “I can assure you that I will allow Skywalker and his companion to leave this planet unharmed,” replied the Count. It was a sacrifice he would have to make to ensure Kenobi’s compliance. He didn’t like the idea of allowing two Jedi to walk alive off planet, but he did understand what he needed to do to continue gaining a grip on Kenobi’s soul. “I will even allow you to escort them to the hanger and manage their escape from Serenno if you do not trust in me to keep my word.” It was a risky game but it might be enough.

    “I won’t be leaving with them,” returned Obi-Wan, confirming Dooku’s question. “Too much is at stake if I left. Our partnership stands.”
    Dooku nodded. “Shall I let him in then?”

    - - - - -

    So far, their plan had worked. Their forged credentials had given them access to Dooku’s estate and now Anakin and Adi were taking a brisk walk up the path towards the front door. Adi said it would be better for them to deviate away and try to sneak in through one of the upper floor windows; however Anakin maintained that it would be more sensible if they just knocked on the front door.

    Dooku was unlikely to answer the door himself and would leave some poor servant droid to deal with any visitors.

    Adi disagreed with this but reluctantly allowed Anakin to take the lead. She wanted to trust that the young Jedi was capable, and if she could give a good report to the Council, perhaps some of the other members that did not trust him as much, would accept him as a very capable Jedi Knight.

    As they reached the front door, it swung open, and Count Dooku stood there, arms crossed his chest, a smug grin on his face as he looked at the two Jedi. “Anakin Skywalker… What a disguise… Nothing can hide your stinking Force presence from me.” He shifted his gaze towards Anakin’s companion. “And Jedi Master Adi Gallia… Looking after Skywalker while Kenobi is unavailable?”

    Adi didn’t respond. Their disguises were useless, but both of them reached for their concealed lightsabers.

    Dooku raised a hand. “I wouldn’t if I were you. I promised Kenobi I wouldn’t harm you. If you do not surrender then I will make things very unpleasant for him.”

    Anakin’s right hand was already on the hilt of his lightsaber, but as his eyes tracked the near darkness as a squad of battle droids, super battle droids and destroyer droids rolled up around them, encircling them, he realised it was hopeless, especially if Dooku was threatening Obi-Wan.

    Out of the corner of his eyes, Anakin saw Adi nod. She, like him, had already calculated the odds. There were too many droids for them to defeat, plus there appeared to be gun emplacements embedded on the walls by Dooku’s front door. No doubt they could be altered to deliver stun strikes. Taking a deep breath, Anakin threw his lightsaber on the floor. He didn’t want to risk Obi-Wan by fighting back. Adi had already done the same.

    “So you do have brains, boy,” muttered Dooku. He called the two lightsabers to his outstretched hand. “Bring them inside and to the second floor, once they are changed out of those ridiculous disguises. There are Jedi robes already out for them.”

    “So you were expecting us then?” shouted Anakin, as he was prodded forward by one of the super battle droids.

    Dooku merely nodded, before he walked away from them.

    The two Jedi were encircled by droids, escorted to a room just down the main corridor where they were told to change. Droid guards were set outside the door, and as the two Jedi inspected the room, they found there was no way of escape.

    “What are we going to do?” asked Adi.

    Anakin sighed. “Do as he says until we find Obi-Wan and then make a break for it.”

    “That is not a plan,” replied Adi, as she pulled off the black hair wig that had been obscuring her headdress.

    Anakin shrugged. “I know… but Obi-Wan is not in the dungeons. He’s on the second floor. Something is going on here…” He bit his lip, worry reflected in his eyes. “I don’t like this one bit.” He went to the sink that was in the corner of the room, and rubbed off the scar that had been added to his cheek. He pulled out the extensions in his hair and then, bending down, wetted his hair so the brown dye came trailing out into the sink. He took out the brown contact lenses that obscured his blue pupils and threw them into the bin. Next, he rubbed vigorously where the tattoos had been applied, letting the ink drip down into the bowl. He grabbed a towel and dried his hair and face. Free of his disguise, he looked more like Anakin Skywalker, though parts of his hair still had the brown dye in it, and both his cheeks where he had rubbed to remove the tattoos and the scar were red.

    Adi stepped up to the sink, washing away the make-up as Anakin took the Jedi robes that were supplied on the bed in the centre of the room. He marched over to a small dressing room on the other side of the room, and changed. Rather than his usual darker colour, the robes were the beige colour favoured by many Jedi and that colour didn’t seem to suit him.

    It didn’t matter.

    The only thing that mattered was Obi-Wan.

    He waited as Adi changed back into the Jedi robes and together the two left the room and found a smaller squadron of droids waiting to escort them up to the second floor.

    Anakin took the lead, with Adi behind him. They were encircled by the droids who directed them up the stairs, into a extravagantly decorated hallway, filled with many paintings of the Dooku line, before they stepped outside a door.

    Anakin could sense Obi-Wan’s presence within and he was surprised that there were no guards outside his room. The door slid open and the droids parted to allow Anakin and Adi in. The door slid shut behind him. They were alone, save for a figure standing by the window.

    It was Obi-Wan.

    - - - - -

    Obi-Wan turned to face his friend and fellow Council member.

    “Master!” Anakin blurted out.

    The young man began to walk towards him, but Obi-Wan stepped back, raising his arms to ward the younger man away. The young Jedi stopped his walk across the room, looking surprised at Obi-Wan.

    “Hello Anakin,” said Obi-Wan quietly, trying hard to not allow his current feelings about Anakin get in the way. He inclined his head to Adi. “Master Gallia.”

    “You’re not in a cell,” pointed out Anakin, slowly. “Why not?”

    Obi-Wan swallowed. How could he tell his former friend the truth?

    Wait… did I just refer to Anakin as a former friend?

    Obi-Wan didn’t know how to react to that new feeling. This man in front of him had not been truthful with him. He had betrayed every value that Obi-Wan held dear and had tried to teach Anakin. Fundamentally, Anakin hadn’t listened, and he was friends with a Sith Lord.

    “Dooku would prefer me to be in comfort then in darkness,” replied Obi-Wan to Anakin’s query, talking with hardly any emotion in his voice.

    “We’ve come to rescue you,” continued Anakin. “There are only a few droids outside; we can take them down, even without lightsabers.” The young man was clearly eager to get going.

    “Always on the move,” said Obi-Wan. He still didn’t know how he could tell his former friend that he was staying; that he had made an agreement with the Count and intended to see it through. There had been too many betrayals lately. It didn’t occur to him, however, that by joining with Dooku, he was becoming the betrayer too.

    “Obi-Wan?” Adi Gallia stepped forward, concern evident in her voice. “Something’s wrong… what is it?”

    Ever astute, the Tholothian Jedi Master had always been good at picking up the feelings of others in the Force. Even though Obi-Wan was clamping down on much of his Force presence still, he wasn’t blocking Adi like he was with Anakin. Adi hadn’t betrayed him as Anakin had. Adi had been his friend, hadn’t she?

    Obi-Wan shook his head. Adi IS my friend! He had to fight the reaction that he was feeling, that she had done something as big as Anakin had.

    Finally, he managed to spit out what he wanted to say, struggling to keep his voice calm. “I’m not leaving.”

    Anakin immediately stepped forward. “What has Dooku done to you? You’re blocking me… You don’t feel right, Obi-Wan. What has Dooku done?”

    At Anakin’s questions, Obi-Wan felt anger course through him. The betrayals that he had suffered came to the forefront of his mind. Everything that he had been told came spurting out of his mouth, startling Anakin into stepping back in surprise.

    “It’s not what Dooku has done, it is what you have done, Anakin! You have betrayed me!”

    Anakin stepped back again, shock on his face, hands raised up in defence of himself. “I have never betrayed you!”

    That did it.

    “LIAR!”

    - - - - -

    Listening just outside the door was Count Dooku. A small, satisfied smile decorated his face as he heard his ‘partner’ accuse Anakin Skywalker of being a liar. The drug was working perfectly, twisting Kenobi’s thoughts continuously, burrowing into his mind, further and further until Dooku would be able to say one simple thing and Kenobi would believe it without questioning it.

    He would have to intervene at some point, but for now Dooku leaned back and continued to listen to the conversation that was steadily getting louder and louder. Obi-Wan’s voice rose by the minute, until, finally, silence fell on the room, shock reverberating out into the Force as all of Anakin Skywalker’s secrets were spilled forth.

    - - - - -

    “Even now,” continued Obi-Wan, stepping forward, his right hand pointing towards his former friend, “you can’t even admit that you have done me wrong! That you have betrayed every value that I taught you! You are a Jedi and you have betrayed as all!”

    Anakin shook his head wildly. “When have I ever betrayed you? What lies has Dooku been feeding you? He’s trying to turn you! Don’t you see?”

    “Oh, I see very clearly, Anakin!” snapped Obi-Wan. “But you… I can’t believe what you did… and I mourn for the person you once were… And you will end up betraying the whole Jedi Order and the Republic all because you can’t SEE!” He turned away from Anakin, facing the window, arms crossed, trying to calm himself down.

    “Anakin… what have you done?” asked Adi quietly.

    Obi-Wan heard his former friend reply but felt disgusted at his continual denials.

    “I don’t know what I’ve supposedly done… How am I supposed to know if Obi-Wan won’t tell me?” he asked, his voice rising slightly to provoke his former Master into replying.

    Twisting around, Obi-Wan walked forward, his eyes blaring out in slight madness, his hands were shaking by his sides. “Do you really want to know what you’ve done?”

    “Yes,” replied Anakin. “I want to know what lies Dooku has been feeding you so I can prove to you that he is wrong!”

    Obi-Wan smirked. “I’m not stupid, Anakin.” He felt Anakin bristle in the Force and knew the young man was resisting the temptation to bite back. He didn’t glance at Adi as he spoke, though he could feel the Council member was probing his Force presence. He let her do so, he didn’t care about her. He stepped right up close to Anakin’s face, his eyebrows lowered, and he learned forward so that their noses were almost tip-to-tip.

    “What have I done?” asked Anakin, once more.

    “You have betrayed everything that I have taught you. And you don’t trust me with the truth,” said Obi-Wan quietly, but almost menacingly. “I know that you married Padmé Amidala on Naboo just after Geonosis, and I know you slaughtered a tribe of Tusken Raiders on Tatooine prior to that!”

    Anakin’s Force presence visibly trembled.

    A soft gasp came from Adi Gallia, and Obi-Wan felt satisfaction at what he had just said, though for a brief moment he felt bad about revealing this without talking to Anakin more privately. A harsh voice echoed into his head: He deserves it. And the fire and disappointment and betrayal he felt roared to the forefront once more.

    Obi-Wan turned away from him, walking away. “And you also consort with Sith Lords! Is that enough of your betrayals for you or would you like to hear what else has driven me to not return with you?”

    Anakin was stunned, shock radiating across his features as two of his most precious secrets had been blurted out. He stood behind Obi-Wan, unsure of what to say. There was confusion in his Force presence. Finally he bumbled forth a question. “How did you know?”

    Obi-Wan snorted, twisting round. “As I said, I’m not stupid! I knew you and Senator Amidala had feelings for one another. I knew whenever you had time to visit her, you did! But I never thought you would actually marry her! You are putting at risk your entire training by attaching yourself to someone!” He twisted back to the window, clenching his fists tight, taking in deep breaths to maintain the calm he need to have. The darkness bubbled away inside his chest. “Someone is keeping an eye on all your affairs on Coruscant, Anakin, without your knowledge. The security system that your wife has installed in her apartments can be accessed by a Sith Lord… And it isn’t Dooku! I saw your conversation with Padmé when she nearly confessed to her parents about your marriage… You said you couldn’t tell me because I would tell the Council. You didn’t trust me to keep your secret!” Obi-Wan stepped forward again.

    “Would you have run to your Council? Would you have told on me?” retorted Anakin angrily.

    Obi-Wan sighed. “No, I wouldn’t, but that is not the point! You didn’t trust me! And you didn’t trust me enough to tell me the truth about what you did on Tatooine either! Instead you tell some Sith Lord!”

    Anakin shook his head, locks of his hair swishing around his face. “I have never spoken to a Sith Lord apart from in combat!”

    “Ha!” Obi-Wan jerked his head back in amusement. “Oh, if only you knew… If only you knew…” He was making Anakin angry.

    The younger Jedi was about to shout out in reply when Adi Gallia calmly stepped in between the two arguing Jedi. Her hands were raised in each direction.

    “Stop it!” she ordered. “Whatever Dooku has uncovered about Anakin is irrelevant. We all have secrets, even you, Obi-Wan. Anakin may have betrayed our values but he is still a Jedi! If we argue now, we will break apart!” She took a deep breath and continued. “We came here to rescue you, Obi-Wan, and we don’t intend to leave without you.”

    “No,” replied Obi-Wan stubbornly. “I’m not coming back. There are too many people who have betrayed me. And Anakin is one of them. And he will continue to betray the Jedi Order.”

    Anakin huffed. “If you know so much why not inform us instead of stating how I have betrayed you? It might actually help us so I don’t end up betraying the Jedi Order.”

    “He’s right under your nose,” replied Obi-Wan, “and you simply can’t see it. You’re the Chosen One, I’m sure you are perfectly capable of working it all out for yourself.”

    Anakin scratched the back of his head. “You mentioned that other people have betrayed you. Who are they?”

    So Anakin wanted more answers, Obi-Wan mused. He had been expecting that. He didn’t seem to understand the complications of what Anakin had done to Obi-Wan himself, nor did the young man wish to debate with him the semantics of the accusations he had been levelled with. He had expected that.

    “The Council and Qui-Gon,” stated Obi-Wan, as if it was self-evident.

    Anakin’s head cocked to the side. “How did they betray you?”

    “Qui-Gon didn’t want me because of you and the Council didn’t think I was good enough to be a Knight either! Maybe I wouldn’t be so bitter if people had been honest from the start!” Obi-Wan retorted. He glanced towards Adi Gallia. “I don’t blame Adi but I do blame the other members of the Council for their lack of success!”

    Anakin was shaking his head. “Of course Qui-Gon wanted you! He trained you for nearly thirteen years! He thought you were ready to be a Knight!”

    “He only said that so he could get rid of me!” replied Obi-Wan angrily, gritting his teeth, to stop his anger from rising further.

    “Yet you proved you were ready when you killed that Sith apprentice,” mentioned Adi. “None of us doubted you but the Council wasn’t going to say then and there that you should face the trials – not when you were in the middle of an assignment. And Qui-Gon was trying to get us to break our own rules in allowing an emotional young boy into our Order, who by our standards was too old.” She said this in a reasonable voice, beseeching the goodness that was Obi-Wan Kenobi, trying to get him to understand the reasons for the way the Council acted shortly before Qui-Gon’s death. “As for Qui-Gon not wanting you… that stems back further, I can see how that may have hurt you and how Dooku has taken an advantage of that.”

    “What?” Anakin sounded bewildered.

    Obi-Wan had, a long time ago, told Anakin that Qui-Gon had struggled to accept him as his apprentice but he had never told him the full truth that he had been sent away from the Temple because of Qui-Gon’s decision. His gaze was fixed upon Adi as she continued to speak in a soft voice.

    “Obi-Wan, I remember when you were sent away from the Temple, when Qui-Gon refused to pick a new apprentice because of what happened with Xanatos. What happened there is understandable. He didn’t want to repeat that experience… You were too eager to not be sent away and you ended up being sent away from the Temple because you were too aggressive… Yet you showed Qui-Gon who you really were! What you could be capable of when he came to Bandomeer! None of us were shocked when Qui-Gon formally requested us to take you as his Padawan. Master Yoda knew that was going to happen.” Adi stepped forward. “Qui-Gon never betrayed you in the way you think he did!”

    “It still hurt,” said Obi-Wan quietly. “After what Anakin has done, I cannot find things easy to forgive. And what I know about the state of the Republic right now is one of the reasons why I cannot come back. I’m safer here with Dooku.”

    “But we need you,” said Anakin. “The Republic needs you… I need you.”

    Obi-Wan felt anger stir in his chest. How could Anakin say that? How could he claim that he needed him? “That’s a laugh! If you really needed me you wouldn’t keep all these secrets from me! You would trust me with them and seek my advice instead of assuming things of me! You don’t even know me, Anakin! I am loyal to those who are my family… And I know that is not the Jedi way but when you spend so much time with one individual they become your family. The Jedi Order may have this rule of no attachments but the Order is rife with it!”

    “So you are just going to betray everyone you have fought for, for your entire life?” hit back Anakin, ignoring his Master’s last speech. “You’re going to join Dooku, the enemy of the Republic?”

    “And that would be treason, Obi-Wan,” said Adi quietly, quite meaningfully.

    Obi-Wan just stared at his fellow Council member. “The Republic is betraying itself. In this war, you two are the criminals.”

    “If you suspect who the Sith Master is,” continued Adi, “then it is your duty to tell us. If we know we can end this war!”

    Obi-Wan shook his head. “It won’t be as easy as that.”

    “Master Kenobi is correct,” said Count Dooku, finally entering the room, twirling two lightsaber hilts in his hands. Obi-Wan recognised them as being the blades that belonged to Anakin and Adi. “Exposing my Master and ending this war won’t be as easy as you believe. He has planned for anything and,” his gaze shifted to Anakin, “Skywalker is the weapon that he will utilise. The less people that know of his identity, the easier it will be to topple him and to end this war. The Republic that you serve is not what you believe it to be…”

    Anakin glared at the Count. The ripples in the Force spread out around them and Obi-Wan could sense his former apprentice’s distrust of the Count’s intentions. “Tell me who he is!”

    Dooku smirked. “If Obi-Wan and I told you who my Master was, you would not believe it, and he would sense your thoughts and then set his plans in motion, of which some need time and planning to counteract.” He laid out a hand to Obi-Wan. “Kenobi, here, has agreed to help me. In return for his assistance, I have ordered General Grievous to desist attacking the main stream Republic fleets and killing Jedi. I cannot take him out of the war effort entirely as my Master would suspect my duplicity. By remaining here, he has assured that the most notorious General under my control will no longer hassle your major fleets or positions.”

    “And that’s supposed to satisfy us?” hissed Anakin, his eyelids like slits. There was a fire burning within his aura, taking control and twisting his thoughts.

    Obi-Wan could feel how much potential Anakin had with the dark side and how quickly it would take him to slip into its grasp. It was only more important for him to not know who the Sith Lord was. That spark could become a fire.

    “Yes, that is meant to satisfy you!” Obi-Wan replied. “I am not coming back with you. Whether I am tried for any crimes I may commit, I don’t care. I’m more concerned about ending this war! There are too many betrayals going on that returning to the Republic would cause this war to continue on longer then it could do! The Jedi Order is as corrupt as the Republic, perhaps worse.” He hung his head, using his right hand to wipe the hair out of his face. “And you, Anakin, you betrayed me… I don’t think I can be in the same room as you without feeling betrayed or angry with you… You never wanted me as your Master, and you’ve always resented me for not being Qui-Gon…”

    “I was a teenager and too impulsive for my own good!” protested Anakin. “I thought I knew better!”

    “And that’s the point, Skywalker,” replied Adi slowly, “you shouldn’t have thought you did. For someone who joined our Order late, you had a lot of presumption to believe that Master Kenobi was not fit to be your Master. And if Obi-Wan has harboured these feelings deep down over the years, it won’t be easy to forget once they are woken.”

    Anakin stared at her incredulously. “You’re siding with him?” He couldn’t believe that.

    Adi Gallia shook her head. “No, but I see why he may feel you never wanted him… and I can understand why he may not want to return with us. He’s not being held prisoner either…”

    Anakin was shaking his head, hardly daring to believe what he was hearing. “We’re just going to let him stay here?”

    Obi-Wan’s anger flared again. “I am not your property to order around as you wish, Anakin! I was a prisoner, yes, but I’m not anymore.” He turned and walked over to a desk which sat in the corner of the room. He pulled open one of the drawers and lifted out his lightsaber. “I am armed. I am not being forced to stay as you may readily believe. Dooku will keep his side of the bargain as long as I keep mine.”

    Anakin was shaking his head once more. “I just can’t believe you of all people could abandon the Order or the Republic.”

    Obi-Wan’s cold eyes fixed on Anakin. “I haven’t abandoned the Republic. I am helping her survive by not being a part of the system that the Sith control! The only way to bring the Sith Master down is to work with his apprentice!” Obi-Wan stepped towards Dooku, standing beside him. “Dooku will allow you to leave this planet. Even though you never trusted me, I still trust that you will do the right thing in the end.”

    “Doing the right thing is not leaving you behind,” grated out Anakin, his teeth gritted together.

    “You are breaking and entering on my property,” countered Dooku sternly. “If you will not leave willingly then I will have to call the proper authorities, of which then a messy legal battle will undoubtedly begin between the Counts of Serenno and the Republic. You can either leave quietly without fuss or cause another whole of political problems for your precious and noble Chancellor.”

    Obi-Wan’s eyes seem to light up with fire at that last line, but he tried to fight back the anger he felt at the Chancellor’s betrayal over the institution he had helped to build since he had come to power, despite planning to tear it all down in the end, in his bid to destroy the Jedi forever and assume control of the galaxy.

    The Jedi Master extended both his hands to Dooku, who placed the lightsabers of both Anakin and Adi in his palms, and then turning towards the two Jedi, Obi-Wan returned their weapons to them. “I am not coming with you.” He took hold of his own lightsaber hilt, and kept his thumb over the ignition switch. “I don’t want to fight you but I will if I have to. It’s your choice.”

    Anakin and Adi exchanged uneasy looks. Though they were now armed, both of them knew that Dooku could easily capture them again and if they tried to take Obi-Wan by force, he would fight them.

    “Fine, we will leave,” grated Anakin. He locked gazes with the Count. “This is not over Dooku!”

    Dooku smiled serenely at the young Jedi. “I know it isn’t.”

    Obi-Wan gripped his own lightsaber in his right hand and walked towards the door of the room. “I’m going to lead you to the hanger. Dooku has arranged a transport for you. You will be given clearance to pass through the Separatist fleet and leave the system. If you try to return, you will be fired upon.”

    “How can you be so callous?” asked Anakin. “That you would threaten us with being shot down is we return?”

    “How could you keep secrets from me?” shot back Obi-Wan.

    Anakin rolled his eyes but the Jedi Master caught the gesture.

    “Don’t you dare say I’m keeping secrets from you either!”

    “Well you are,” baited Anakin.

    “For good reason,” hissed Obi-Wan. “What I know you would believe Dooku is tricking me therefore you cannot be privy to what I know… Not yet anyway, nor can the Jedi Order until plans have been made!”

    Adi stepped in between the two once more. “Stop this! This isn’t helping! I don’t like leaving Obi-Wan here either but he’s made up his mind. We can’t do anything but leave, and continue sniping at him, Anakin, is not going to change his mind about you! You have betrayed his trust, as he has said and you have betrayed the Jedi Order by not respecting our rules, regardless of the way you see it!”

    Silence fell between then, Dooku watching with interest from the side, a smile hiding in his beard.

    Anakin took a deep breath in and raised his eyes so he focused on Obi-Wan. “I never wanted to hurt you, Master. I should have trusted you. My fear that I would lose everything that was dear to me took hold. I shouldn’t have kept you in the dark.”

    Obi-Wan stayed silent, instead choosing to open the door to the room and indicate for Anakin and Adi to leave.

    It seemed that Anakin wasn’t happy about leaving but what other choice did they have? Obi-Wan walked out behind them. “Go down the stairs,” he instructed, “and then to the right and then walk the length of the hallway.”

    They followed the instructions, passing down an elegant corridor, before stopping at a security door which was guarded by Super Battle Droids. Obi-Wan held up a card which was scanned by the droid and the door slid open when the confirmation light turned green.

    They stepped into a small hallway, where at the end of it, it opened up into a hanger. Dooku’s solar sailor was docked to the right and a few service robots were currently sweeping it. Nearer to the partly open hanger doors was an unmarked shuttle with the ramp down.

    “That shuttle is yours,” said Obi-Wan. “Take it and go.”

    “Obi-Wan…” said Anakin, looking back at his former Master.

    “Don’t say it. I’m staying. And don’t try to forcibly take me,” he growled back. “I know you are thinking of it. This hanger is watched. And if you try to knock me out, you won’t escape.”

    Anakin took a deep breath in. “I’m sorry I’ve hurt you.” It was a hard admission for the young man to make, however there was truthfulness within his Force presence. He meant his apologies and he wanted to fix things.

    Shaking his head, Obi-Wan turned away. “Only time will tell if we can ever fix the damage between us. But right now? It’s too painful. Maybe in time I will let you in again.”

    Anakin nodded solemnly. “Be careful, Master. Don’t let Dooku trick you. I don’t want to have to kill you if you become a threat to the Republic.”

    “I won’t be,” reassured Obi-Wan, glancing over his shoulder. He was making sure that Dooku could not drug him again against his will. He was sure he would catch anything if the Count tried any tricks. He wasn’t going to let it be easy for the Count to seduce him. He understood that Dooku would take advantage of the argument between Anakin and himself and use it to further his cause in trying to turn him to the dark side. He wasn’t naive to believe that the Sith had given up that particular ambition.

    He watched as Adi and Anakin walked up the ramp of the shuttle, the ramp sliding in as the door clammed down. As the engines roared to life and Anakin nimbly piloted the craft away and through the narrow gap, Obi-Wan couldn’t help but have a sudden sense of loneliness engulf him.

    “You did the right thing, Obi-Wan,” said Dooku, coming up behind him.

    Obi-Wan sighed. “I hope so… but why do I get the feeling that the next time I see Anakin, it will be a fight to the death?”

    To be continued…
    Rainbow Knight Star likes this.
  18. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    I hope you are not foreshadowing with that last line! Oh, and BTW, I have a bad feeling about how this story is going.
  19. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    OK, just read chapter one...thats all i have time for...must get ready for work, but this promises to be a very good angsty piece of Obi torment...poor guy...there he goes again.

    Looking forward to when I have time to read more.

    Anakin did well to hold his temper - for the moment. he-he...shades of Vader to come, eh? He really isn't much different than his Vader persona - just a little more in control as Anakin...as Vader, Cody would have been force choked...(just a random thought, nothing really to do with this story) :)
  20. hlc88 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot Possible foreshadowing, maybe :D

    @obimom Thanks. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story when you are able to catch up! :)

    - - - - -

    Eleven

    They were safely in hyperspace, having passed through the Separatist blockade of Serenno, when Adi finally spoke, breaking the silence that had fallen between them since they had left Obi-Wan back on Serenno, under the care of the malicious Count.

    Oh, Anakin was certain that Dooku was up to something. There was something far too suspicious about Obi-Wan’s Force presence for him to believe that he was willing to join Dooku. The Sith Lord had done something to influence Obi-Wan into abandoning his Jedi principles.

    But he had, had leverage. Anakin’s disregard for the rules had been taken as betrayals on Obi-Wan’s part, and the young man regretted that he had not trusted his Master to let him into the two biggest secrets of his life.

    “I hope you realise that Obi-Wan wasn’t himself,” said Adi gently, breaking his train of thought.

    Anakin sagged in his chair. Was his future with the Jedi Order over? “Before I answer… please tell me this… Will I be expelled for my transgressions?”

    Adi sighed. “I don’t know. You have broken our code in the worst possible way. But the Jedi Order needs you. I can’t speak for the other members of the Council but I won’t be voting for you to be expelled… Not until this war is over. From what I’ve seen of you, your performance as a Jedi hasn’t been affected by any marriage… though,” she added, “you do have an attachment to Master Kenobi which stems from your other attachments.”

    Sighing, Anakin closed his eyes. He didn’t want to be expelled from the Jedi Order, but he didn’t want to live his life without Padmé. Perhaps if he was spared from being expelled then he would have the chance to prove to the Council that if they sanctioned Jedi to marry it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing? He couldn’t hope for a miracle, but he could keep his mind focused on the problem they had at hand, and that was Obi-Wan’s betrayal of everything he held dear.

    “I know something is wrong with Obi-Wan. He didn’t feel right in the Force but I couldn’t place why. He has much more control then what he was showing. If anyone is the impulsive one, it’s me, not him,” admitted Anakin.

    “I think he was drugged,” said Adi.

    “What makes you say that?” queried Anakin. “Wouldn’t he be able to sense he was being drugged?”

    Adi shook her head. “Not always. He said he was a prisoner but he isn’t anymore, right?”

    Anakin nodded. He had heard that too.

    “Dooku may have forcefully given him a drug to twist his mind. There is a drug that is outlawed that can be used to that effect.”

    “And if he was Force-suppressed,” started Anakin, “then he would have no way of combating any drug away in his system.”

    Adi shook her head, her head tails swinging. “No, he wouldn’t.”

    “But what changed?” asked Anakin. “Did Obi-Wan join him of his own free will?”

    Adi looked thoughtful. “No, he wouldn’t have done, but he probably thinks he has. Dooku seems far too confident. He’s given Obi-Wan his freedom, yet he stays, so he still has some control over him. And the drug must be supplied some way Obi-Wan wouldn’t suspect…”

    “Wouldn’t he sense it?” figured Anakin. Surely the Force would warn him?

    “Not if he was already dosed up on the drug,” replied Adi sadly. “If it’s the drug I believe it is, then it stays in the system undetected for a long time. It’s the perfect drug to use on a Jedi, especially when you want to turn them from all the values they grew up to believe.”

    Anakin frowned, his hands clutching the controls of the starship, though he didn’t really need to as they were in hyperspace. “Would he return to normal if the drug was stopped?”

    Adi sagged in her chair. “I don’t know. It depends on how fiercely Obi-Wan believes what the truth is. If what he’s been told is true while on the drug, he may still feel inclined to believe it.” She ran a hand down her face. “I get the impression that Dooku has only told him truths… though twisted them slightly to fit his own ends.”

    Glancing at his companion, Anakin looked quizzical. “What do you mean?”

    “You are married… and you killed a Tusken tribe… those are truths, are they not?” she asked.

    Anakin nodded, fighting the guilt that was welling up inside him.

    “Obi-Wan believes them to be betrayals. That is what I mean. Dooku has used the drug to twist his mind enough so that he thinks that what you did is a personal betrayal to him,” explained Adi calmly, watching the streaking stars fly past their cockpit window. “But Dooku also gave him another motivation to join with him. The identity of the Sith Lord we are chasing.”

    “Dooku could have lied,” grated Anakin, clenching his fists tight. “I do not talk to Sith Lords!”

    “I’m not accusing you of that,” replied Adi, watching him closely, “but it does bear investigating. There is something we are missing in this, and you are the only Jedi outside of the Council that really does have friends within the Senate. You are perfectly placed to be talking to the Sith Lord without realising it.”

    “I’d sense them!” retorted Anakin, feeling a bit angry.

    Adi shook her head. “Not necessarily. Dooku’s Master must be very powerful if he is able to hide himself within the Senate. The Jedi Council have known for a while that a Sith is in hiding on Coruscant… We’ve been unable to track him down. Whoever the Sith Master is, they are very good at cloaking their presence.”

    Anakin sighed. “Why didn’t Obi-Wan tell me who it was? We could go back and end this war right now!”

    “Because Obi-Wan has been convinced that telling you now wouldn’t be the right thing to do. Would you believe him if it turned out that Senator Amidala was the Sith Lord for instance?”

    “Padmé isn’t a Sith!”

    “I’m not saying she is… nor am I suggesting she is either…” confirmed Adi, watching Anakin carefully. “It’s hypothetical.”

    “I wouldn’t believe him…” replied Anakin, quietly. “I would feel Dooku has tricked him into believing the worst case scenario.”

    Adi nodded. “So he has good reason to not tell us. If Dooku has not lied to Obi-Wan about the Sith’s identity, if they are someone you are close to Anakin, you’ve got to be more careful around them and sense for any sort of deception. If we can find this Sith Lord we can end this war, and we might be able to get Master Kenobi back before Dooku convinces him to continue the war with him.”

    “Do you really think he intends to do that?” asked Anakin, fiddling with his shirt.

    “Unfortunately, I do,” replied Adi. “Dooku has a plan and it involves Obi-Wan. At the moment, Obi-Wan has the belief that his promises mean something. I suspect that Dooku let us go because if he didn’t, he would lose Obi-Wan’s willingness and compliance.” She gently patted Anakin on the arm. “You may have to prepare yourself for the possibility that he may become your enemy.”

    Anakin shook his head, denying that very thought. “No, I won’t let that happen.”

    “You may not have a choice,” she pointed out. “If Obi-Wan sees you as an enemy because the secrets you have kept from him, then he will. Dooku will twist the bitterness he feels into hatred.”

    Anakin turned to her, his face going red. “Then we should have got him out of there!”

    “To force him with us would have turned him against us. He’s still partially on our side. We haven’t lost him yet. I am sure of that,” intoned Adi.

    Anakin felt like screaming out his frustration. He hated this. He hated the idea of leaving Obi-Wan behind in the hands of an enemy who did not mean well. Obi-Wan was being influenced yet he didn’t know it. The thought of having to fight his former Master made him shudder. Obi-Wan was like his father… the man who had helped raise him… and now he was losing him, bit by bit.

    - - - - -

    Anakin stood in the middle of the Council chamber, Ahsoka by his side. Adi sat in her Council chair, discussing quietly with the other Masters the events of which they had uncovered on Serenno. Anakin was dreading this session.

    Two secrets of his were out.

    He had informed Ahsoka of his slaughter of the Tusken Raiders and of his marriage; surprisingly she had taken it rather well. She didn’t judge him for his indiscretions or of breaking the code either.

    “Skywalker.”

    He looked up, focusing upon Mace Windu who was staring at him, hands clasped together. He was leaning forward, his intense brown eyes studying him.

    “Yes, Master,” bowed Anakin, showing the courtesy that he knew they need to hear and see from him.

    “We have been discussing your indiscretions. As a rule this would mean you would be expelled from the Jedi Order as you have violated two of our most precious rules…”

    There was a ‘but’ coming, Anakin could sense it.

    “But… there is a war on and you are most effective on the battlefront. Therefore we will not be expelling you from the Order, however you will be on probation and this will be discussed once this war is over,” explained Mace.

    “Your Padawan will be reassigned to Master Koon,” added Saesee Tiin.

    “No!” Ahsoka jumped in. “I can’t be!” Though she was fond of the Kel Dor Master, she had grown attached to Anakin more and didn’t want to leave his side.

    Anakin sighed. He had expected they would take Ahsoka away from him. “What if I could prove to you that it is possible to still be a Jedi and still have attachments?” he asked. It was a risky shot but one that he could attempt to negotiate. “After all, if I’m been fighting in this war while I’ve been married, it hasn’t compromised me that much, has it? I know I’ve been a bit more eager to be the one involved with Padmé when she had been put in a place of danger… But has my performance as a Jedi been affected by my marriage?”

    The Jedi Council exchanged glances; a sort of mental communication seemed to be going on between them.

    “There doesn’t appear to be any sign that it has,” conceded Mace, almost unwillingly. “But the time to experiment with the code is not during a war.”

    Anakin bowed his head. If Obi-Wan were here he might have jumped in with an argument against Mace’s words but he wasn’t. Instead he was being manipulated by Dooku.

    “On the contrary, a war tests the Jedi,” said Adi Gallia. “We have all had tough trials out on the battle field, where we have had to adapt the code to suit the environment. Perhaps Anakin has not been compromised by his marriage that we have seen in the war, than we could allow him to continue with Ahsoka by his side. If we sense anything that could point to something going wrong, then we could take action. A war where the Jedi are all being tested can sometimes be the best place to experiment on other things.”

    Mace Windu looked at Yoda. The other Council members had thoughtful expressions on their faces as they considered Adi’s words.

    “We will debate this after we have discussed the situation around Obi-Wan Kenobi,” said Mace. “For now, Anakin, you will remain as Master to Ahsoka Tano.”

    Anakin bowed his head in acknowledgement and Ahsoka breathed out in relief, though both of them were aware that the final decision could still be to separate them.

    “The question is what we should do with Obi-Wan. He has betrayed us,” began Mace Windu. “However the evidence points to him being manipulated and believing that the right course of action is to betray us, to work against us. Because of the circumstances we cannot simply believe him to be a criminal or an enemy of the Jedi. Ideally it would be good for us to reacquire him.”

    “Capture you mean,” stated Anakin.

    “Yes, but that wouldn’t work in our favour. Obi-Wan needs to come to us willingly. He has lost his faith in the Jedi because of what has been done to him,” explained Adi. “We need to counteract his accusations. He said he knows the identity of the Sith Lord, and that you, Anakin, tell your deepest secrets to them. That does explain how Dooku knows about your breaking of the code.”

    Anakin frowned. “But I’ve never mentioned to anyone about my marriage to Padmé. How could the Sith Master know that?”

    “Perhaps because he senses your feelings for the Senator when you are around her? If he is within the Senate then he would be able to access private cams and view footage and make conclusions based on what he would have seen,” said Ki-Adi Mundi thoughtfully.

    Anakin shook his head. “We’ve always been careful. We rarely show emotion in the Senate. We both hide it. I’ve told no one about Padmé and I.” He couldn’t figure out how they would have learnt about his secret marriage.

    “Clouded the light side is. Darkness encroaches. What is believed impossible is now possible,” said Yoda cryptically, though Anakin understood the gist of what the old Master was trying to get across.

    “Anakin,” said Mace, leaning forward, holding his chin in his hands. “You need to go away and mediate. There is someone who you know who is the Sith Lord. We need to investigate this. If we can find this person and destroy the Sith then we can stop this war before it can escalate any further… and, we can save Master Kenobi from falling any further at the same time.”

    Anakin nodded. He didn’t speak to that many people. And only two people knew of his slaughter of the Tusken’s, but neither of them would dare betray him, would they? Padmé and Chancellor Palpatine.

    No…

    A sudden thought came to him but he pushed it away, not wanting to think badly of that person, to believe that they were that capable, and that they had secured Anakin’s trust through deception.

    Ignoring the feeling in the pits of his stomach, Anakin listened to the instructions of the Jedi Council.

    But the niggling doubt was there and it could not be abated.

    - - - - -

    Leaving Ahsoka to practice her saber skills, Anakin took a speeder to the senate as she needed to warn Padmé about their marriage being known by both the Council and the Separatists. He had already called her apartment to check that she was wasn’t there.

    He hurried through the halls of the Senate, ignoring the curious glances he was getting from everyone. He side-stepped Bail Organa, turned left, and then sped down a smaller corridor, coming to the end of it, and gently palming the door open. He stepped into Padmé ’s office to find her sitting at her desk.

    Padmé Amidala Skywalker looked up and her face burst into a smile as she saw Anakin. “Anakin!”

    He managed to allow for a slight smile. “Hi.”

    “I didn’t know you were back from duty!”

    “It was unscheduled…” said Anakin. He gave her a quick hug. “Have you heard about Obi-Wan?” He wasn’t sure if the news had been made public yet.

    Padmé shook her head. “No. What is it?”

    “He’s been captured, Padmé. Dooku has him on Serenno…”

    “What?” Padmé was shocked.

    Anakin sighed, his shoulders visibly shaking. “He’s joined with Dooku.”

    Padmé’s mouth widened shock evident in her eyes. “But he wouldn’t betray the Republic…”

    “I think he’s been manipulated. He’s been told things by Dooku that has made him believe that I’ve betrayed him… that the Jedi betrayed him… and that the Separatists have a point to the corruption of the Republic,” he explained. “And, Dooku told him that we are married.”

    Padmé gasped. “How did Dooku know?”

    He moved towards the window, his arms behind his back. “I don’t know. I simply do not know how he knew. I’ve never told anyone.”

    “Neither have I,” replied Padmé defending herself from any accusations. “I know I may have wanted to but I know what will happen if this marriage becomes public. We will be vilified for it and you’ll lose your position in the Jedi Order!”

    “The Council knows too,” he admitted. “Master Gallia and I infiltrated Serenno to try to rescue Obi-Wan. But it was a trap and we were both taken to Obi-Wan. Adi knows and it was her duty to tell the Council.”

    “Have you been expelled?” Padmé asked hesitantly.

    Anakin shook his head. “Not yet.” He looked back towards her. “But it’s worse.”

    “How can things get any more worse than they already are?”

    “Obi-Wan knows what I did on Tatooine, what I did to the Tuskens after my mother died from her injuries,” his shoulders sagged as he exhaled. “And he knows who the Sith Master is, the one co-ordinating this war who the Council have been unable to track down. Obi-Wan told me that I tell this Sith Lord everything.” Anakin’s voice was breaking. “I don’t want to think badly of the people I trust…”

    He turned to face her.

    “I know it is not you, Padmé. We have a bond of sorts developing but only I can feel it, not you. You’re not a Jedi, not even Force sensitive. But there is one person who I do tell everything too but not our marriage, but if he is the Sith Lord then he would know because he has every single resource in the galaxy at his command… He’d be able to acquire any information because of his position.”

    “Anakin…” she began quietly. There was realisation in her eyes as if she understood what Anakin was implying. “You’re not thinking it could be the Chancellor?”

    “Palpatine has always been there for me, ever since I came here. I trust him with everything. He’s the only other person who I told about the Tusken Raiders… no one else knows, apart from you,” he swallowed the lump in his throat. “Palpatine has never been considered a suspect to be the Sith Lord because he was already in power… I don’t want to think this about him, but he is the only person who I can think of that knows about Tatooine… Who knows enough about me – and he knows that I love you because I told him when I was a child – and he is in the position to be able to inform the Separatists of everything. He is the one with all the information on our movements, everything. He is in the perfect position to betray us all but no one suspects him!”

    Padmé crossed the room and sat down on the sofa. “It can’t be him… it can’t…”

    “I don’t want to believe it either,” swallowed Anakin. “Can you think of anything else that might point blame away from him? The Chancellor is also aware of all our military campaigns. Only the Jedi Council and the Chancellor knew of Obi-Wan’s position before he was captured…” It just couldn’t be him, Anakin didn’t want to even consider this possibility, but things seemed to heading that way.

    Padmé frowned, thinking through her past few years. “The Chancellor has changed… I used to agree with all of his policies, but now, I’m not so sure. There are a lot of things he seems to be putting in place which could eventually lead into a dictatorship.” She glanced at Anakin, her cheeks turning red at her embarrassment. “I didn’t want to say anything to you because of your friendship.”

    “I’m suspicious now of him now that you’ve said that,” mooted Anakin thoughtfully. “I need to speak to him…”

    “Why?” Padmé’s eyes widened.

    “Because perhaps we can trick him into making mistakes if he is the Sith. He probably already knows more detail about Obi-Wan’s captivity but he might not know the full extent of Dooku’s own treachery.”

    “You’re going to attempt to play both sides,” his wife was clearly shocked at his ambition.

    Anakin shrugged. “This war is a dangerous game, Padmé. We are all pieces of it. I think it is time we made the Chancellor one too, if he is indeed the Sith.” He could see from his wife’s expression that she didn’t like the idea but it seemed to be a good idea to try.

    Everyone was a piece on the playing board, and Anakin didn’t wish to be one of those pieces any longer. He had to get to the bottom of this. It may be the only way he could save Obi-Wan from the darkness that was threatening to consume his soul. He could not lose his best friend.

    - - - - -

    “Ah, Anakin! I didn’t know you had returned to Coruscant? Last I heard you were searching for Master Kenobi?” The Supreme Chancellor was sitting at his desk, head bowed, but he rose it, his eyes fixing upon Anakin as the young Jedi approached him.

    “I was searching for him and we found him,” shrugged Anakin, as he sat himself in the chair. He kept his gaze on Palpatine, searching for any sign of deception.

    “Where was he?” asked the Chancellor, curiously.

    “Serenno. He’s with Count Dooku,” replied Anakin.

    “With? You didn’t rescue him?” questioned Palpatine, eyebrows raised. “That’s unlike you, Anakin.”

    “No, it’s not, is it?” Anakin mentioned, crossing his arms across his chest. “He stayed behind willingly.”

    “So he’s a traitor then?” said the Chancellor, almost a bit too quickly.

    Anakin shook his head. “No, just misled. He seems to be under the impression that I’ve betrayed him, as have the Jedi. Dooku did something to him to make him believe this, so whatever Obi-Wan may do, it is under false pretences. He says the Republic is corrupted.”

    Leaning back in the chair, Anakin casually looked around the office, trying to keep suspicion out of his voice. “The Count plans to end this war by using Obi-Wan to help him topple his Sith Master.” The young Jedi knew that the Council had informed the Chancellor about the Sith, so he felt safe in revealing this little nugget of information.

    “Oh, really?” Palpatine sounded surprised. “Does he intend to replace him with Master Kenobi then?”

    That was just camouflage. The Chancellor was feigning knowing the details.

    Anakin shrugged. “I don’t know what Dooku plans in the end, all I know is that Obi-Wan is going to help – in his drugged state – that he will aid Dooku and the Separatists to bring the Republic back together by destroying Dooku’s Master.”

    Palpatine nodded his head, pressing his hands together. “This is most interesting, Anakin.” He leaned forward, pressing his elbows onto the desk. “I will have to issue a statement about Master Kenobi and his duplicity must be discussed in session. If he is indeed being tricked then we must ensure that he is not killed within battle accidentally. I’m sure the last thing you want Anakin is for him to die?”

    That was an interesting question, Anakin mused, coming from Palpatine especially. “No, I don’t want to lose him.”

    “What if the damage done is permanent?” the Chancellor queried.

    Anakin nearly frowned at that question. “I will try my best to prevent it from being permanent. I won’t be lured into killing my best friend.”

    “I would hope not, Anakin, but we must be prepared for every eventuality,” soothed Palpatine.

    “I know,” returned Anakin. “I feel sure that this whole situation will be sorted out soon enough.” Though he didn’t really feel that, he wanted to show that he was confident. “I’m sure your excellent leadership will lead us into a bright future.”

    “Your confidence in me, means a lot, Anakin.”

    - - - - -

    Later that evening, when the sun was setting, and Sidious had dismissed the last of his advisers, he sat back in his chair and stared out of his window and into the gleaming city that was his.

    He had always expected that Tyranus would betray him in some form; Anakin’s talk with him had only proved that.

    He hadn’t spoken to his apprentice in a few days, however it seemed he had been successful in turning Kenobi away from the light, partially at least. But something niggled with him. Did Kenobi know his true identity? Was there more to what Skywalker had said? How much did Kenobi know, and by that extension, how much did Skywalker know?

    He’d been playing this game for far too long to easily brush away the niggling concerns. For years he had manipulated everyone around him. For years he had been the mastermind behind the grand scheme of the Sith. For years he had coveted the destruction of the Jedi Order.

    Dooku’s actions threatened to overturn all his hard work.

    First, he had to know how much Kenobi knew.

    Secondly, the Jedi Master would have to die regardless.

    Thirdly, he would have to learn what else Skywalker was hiding from him. If his suspicions had been raised…

    My plans have to accelerate. I have to force Dooku to make a move too quickly and too suddenly. And I need to get Skywalker solely on my side.

    The Sith smiled evilly, as he looked out upon his kingdom.

    His hard work wouldn’t be for nothing. He would win. There might be unforeseen obstacles, but he would win.

    He was sure of that.

    To be continued…
    Rainbow Knight Star likes this.
  21. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Just read ch. 3, Obi-Wan has a rough ride ahead of him...Looking forward to reading more later...if I can stand it. (Poor Obi-Wan) ;)
  22. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Just read chapter 4 -

    O my gosh...the cat and mouse game they've been playing...each knowing the other well enough to know what the other is doing, and yet Obi-Wan had to try.

    Dooku has this all planned out...and poor Obi-Wan doesn't seem to stand a chance...but we know our Obi-Wan, don't we? ;)
  23. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    OK, This is really getting hard to read now...I'm half way through ch. 7...Obi-Wan really isn' t going to turn is he?

    Please say he isn't...but it sure doesn't look good.

    You have deftly taken every event that Obi-Wan was directly and indirectly involved with as well as every instance of betrayal that he suffered, known or unknown, and turned it agains't him...just like a Sith would...

    But please say he isn't going to turn...I couldn't stand that...:_|

    But even if he doesn't, the devastation of that revelation about Anakin that Dooku just opened up will not be easily fixed. Obi-Wan could get past the Qui-Gon holograms and lies there, he'll know those are lied, but the truth about Anakin? I could see some fireworks exploding on that one wiht or without Obi turning.

    You're breaking my heart...am I going to need my tissues I have reserved for Ruth's stories? Hmmm? [face_nail_biting]
  24. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    I've done some reading this evening and I just finished ch. 10...and it worries me.

    Obi-Wan thinks he has control of hte situation, and he thinks he's doing the right thing (and maybe to a degree he is?) but he doesn't realize many of his thoughts, feelings and decision are coming from the continued influence of the drug that he thinks he's not getting anymore...and he's so close to the dark side...

    I don't like this...I've never read a "dark Obi" story to completion...I hold out hope that ultimately Obi-Wan will truly see clear, do the right thing, save Anakin, the galaxy and the Jedi...and himself...and be fully in the light again...am i asking for a lot? :)
    Last edited by obimom, Apr 21, 2013
  25. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    All caught up...

    and waiting for more now....

    I do hope they can get Obi-Wan back and get him off those drugs so he can think clearly. Now Anakin is suspicious of Palpatine..good.

    but palpatine knows what Dooku is up to...not good.

    This should be very itneresting.
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