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Beyond - Legends Saga - PT Beyond the Saga Anakin and the Darkness Within

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by SSgtC, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Summary: What if Anakin never got that last nudge that pushed him over the cliff and caused him to fall to the Dark Side?

    Chapter 1: A Shift in the Force

    Padme had been worried about Anakin ever since he returned from the Outer Rim. Ever since she had told them that they were about to become parents. Anakin's dreams, the dreams he had had about his mother, had returned. Only this time, they were about her. She had spent the entire night begging Anakin to talk to Obi-Wan about them. Or to Yoda. But Anakin, stubborn like he always was, was determined to handle this on his own. To prevent this dream from coming true. Now that she thought about it, saying she was worried about her husband might have been an understatement.
    _____________

    Padme wasn't the only one worried about Anakin. Obi-wan could tell that something was bothering his old Padawan and friend. But of course Anakin refused to talk about it. While, ok, that wasn't that unusual for him, the sheer terror he felt radiating off of him was. Something was certainly very wrong. Obi-wan knew of only one person who might actually be able to reach Anakin when he got like this. He reached for his communicator and made a call.

    _______________​


    Anakin knew that Padme and Obi-Wan were worried about him. He felt terrible for that. But how could explain it to them? Padme, for as much as she tried, wasn't a Jedi and didn't really understand the Force. Didn't really understand why he was so scared of the vision he had. She was there when he had the visions of his mother dying. And she was there when he found her. Didn't she remember how frighteningly accurate his vision had been? And to just brush it off the way she was? He felt his anger building and clamped down on it. Now was not the time.

    His thoughts then drifted to Obi-Wan. Padme wanted him to talk to his old Master about his dream. But Obi-wan could never understand. How could he? Master Kenobi was the perfect Jedi. He would have no choice but to report Anakin to the rest of the Council for breaking the Jedi Code and forming an attachment to Padme and marrying her. He would be thrown out of the Jedi Order, exiled. And while, ok, he had planned to leave the Order anyway after the war, there was no way he could abandon his fellow Jedi and the Republic in their time of need. Besides, the Jedi had been ravaged by the war. So few Jedi were left that the Temple was almost entirely empty except for the Younglings and the Temple Masters.

    Actually, now that he thought about it, the Order was in desperate need of Jedi Knights. Maybe he could talk to Obi-wan about it. Tell him about the dream, tell him everything. The Council would be furious when they found out. But maybe, just maybe, they wouldn't kick him out until after the war. Or possibly he could even promise to leave the Order once the war was over. Yeah, that might work. He'd have to talk to Padme about it first though. Diplomacy wasn't exactly his strong suite. He left the negotiating to her or Obi-wan. He tried to stay in the background until they moved on to aggressive negotiations. That thought made him grin, remembering the look on Padme's face when he first explained the term to her on Naboo. Having made up his mind, Anakin turned to leave the Temple. And ran straight into Master Yoda.
    ________________​


    Padme was just about to leave for the Senate when her comm station went off. Her private comm station. Only a few people had that number. And if someone was trying to reach her on it, it must be important. Closing the door again, she went to the station and, seeing a Jedi Temple prefix, answered, half expecting it to be Anakin. Instead, it was Obi-wan. Ever the senator, she did not let the surprise show on her face or her voice, though she was pretty sure Obi-wan could feel it. "Come to think of it," she wondered, "could Jedi feel emotions like that through a comm call? She'd have to ask Anakin later"

    "Master Kenobi," she answered. "What a pleasant surprise. What can I do for you?"

    "Senator," replied Kenobi. "I could use your help with a, personal, matter. It's in regard to Anakin. I know you two are close and I was hoping for your help."

    "He knows," was the first thing to cross Padme's mind. Why else would he be calling? She honestly thought more of Obi-wan than this. Certainly his reputation as The Negotiator led her to believe that he wouldn't make such an amateurish mistake. All of this flashed across her mind in just the first second or so after Obi-wan's request.

    "Of course, Master Jedi. I'm always willing to aid the Order however I can. What is it you would like?"

    "Actually Senator, this is rather sensitive. I'd rather discuss this with you in private if possible."

    "That confirmed it," Padme thought. "The gizka was certainly out of the bag now."

    "I understand completely. Would this evening work for you? I'll be at my apartment around eight or so."

    "Eight would be fine Senator. I'll see you tonight."

    "Wonderful," thought Padme as she disconnected the call. "Just wonderful. As if she didn't have enough to worry about."
    ______________


    "Young Skywalker. In a hurry, are you?" asked the aged Jedi Master.

    Anakin bristled at being called Young Skywalker, but then again, even a being five hundred years old would be "young" to Master Yoda. "Apologies, Master. I've had much on my mind of late."

    "Know this, I do. Taking a life, never easy it is."

    "Oh! That's what he thinks this is about?" Anakin thought. "His killing of Count Dooku?" A bit of his guilt at the way he killed him must have seeped into the Force because Yoda was giving him a look he normally reserved only for unruly Younglings that he had caught red-handed in one bit of mischief or another. Anakin knew better than to try to get anything over on the Grand Master of the Jedi Order. He was pretty sure his shins still had the bruises from Yoda's gimmer stick to prove the impossibility of that particular strategy.

    "That is partly it, Master. I'm afraid it's a bit more complicated than that. But I'm sure you're quite busy."

    "Hmmmm, busy I am. But not so busy to neglect a Jedi in need. Walk with me, you will Young Skywalker. Talk, we will."

    "That name again! Ugh. He really should just get used to it. He doubted Yoda would ever call him anything else."

    "Yes, Master."

    As they walked through the Room of a Thousand Fountains, or rather, Anakin walked while Master Yoda rode his hoverchair, Anakin found that the calming waters of the fountains helped to soothe his mind. Not enough to reach true peace, Anakin hadn't known true peace, other than when he was in Padme's arms, since Geonosis. Though he suspected Yoda knew that and this seemingly aimless stroll was done purposefully to let Anakin calm his mind and order his thoughts. For that he was grateful. Since, during this walk through the room, the largest in the Temple, he had felt the Force urging him to tell Yoda everything. Even if it meant getting banished from the Order.

    Finally making up his mind, Anakin said, "Master, would it be possible for us to talk privately? What I have to say, it would be best not to say in public."

    "Come, Jedi Skywalker, talk in my Meditation room, we shall."

    ___________________________​

    Across Coruscant, Darth Sidious felt a wave of ice wash over him. As if the whole planet's temperature had suddenly dropped to that of Hoth. There was only one thing this could mean. His carefully laid plans, plans he had spent decades honing, building and cajoling into reality, were about to be completely upended. His only hope was to try and delve into the Force tonight and root out the cause of this shift. Fortunately, the Jedi were as blind to that as they were to everything else. The veil he and his master had cast over the Jedi years previously still seemed to be very effective. Soon, he was quite sure, the Jedi would be nothing but a footnote in history.

    ____________________________​

    Anakin had spent the last two hours talking to Master Yoda, telling him everything. Leaving nothing out. Not his killing of the Sand People on Tatooine all those years ago, not his secret marriage to Padme, not how he had executed Count Dooku when he had been defeated and kneeling before him. He told him all of it. And as he did so, a sense of calm that he hadn't felt since he was a boy settled on him. A feeling that he was doing exactly what the Force wished him to. Master Yoda sat, and listened. At the end, when Anakin explained how he had had a vision of Padme dying in childbirth, Anakin broke.

    With tears in his eyes, he begged the Jedi Master for help. Telling him he couldn't lose her, that she meant everything to him. Pleading for some way to change what he saw in his vision.

    When he was finished, Yoda reached out, put his hand on Anakin's shoulder and squeezed. Speaking softly and kindly, Yoda said, "Young Skywalker, a great deal to discuss you and I have. Done things, you have, that you should not. Time for that later, we will have. For now, your vision we will see to. Remember, do you, your first lessons, when you arrived at the Temple?"

    Anakin, through the tears in his eyes, looked at Master Yoda with something akin to shock. "Hadn't he heard him? He had murdered men, women and children for revenge. In anger. He had killed a helpless man. And the thing Master Yoda wanted to focus on was something that might not even happen?" That thought brought Anakin up short. "Whoa, wait a second. Had he really been being so selfish that he was no longer putting his duty as a Jedi first? Was this truly the first time he had done so in years? What kind of a Jedi was he?" The bad kind, his conscience told him. Realizing Master Yoda was looking at him, he shook himself out of his thoughts.

    "Master, I've just realized that for the last few years, I have been an absolutely terrible Jedi. Not just my actions, but by putting my needs and wants first and failing in my duty as a Jedi."

    Reaching for his lightsaber to give it to Master Yoda and resign from the Order, Master Yoda stopped him. "Remove your lightsaber, do not. A decision for another day this is. Your vision. Remember, do you, your early teachings?"

    "Yes Master. The future is always in motion. That what we see is just one possible future of many and may not come true. But, Master Yoda, my visions of my mother did come true. What if these do the same?"

    "Hmph, why this is, attachment is forbidden. An easy answer for you, I do not have. To let go of those you love, you must learn. Easy, this will not be. All life ends, Young Skywalker. The way of the Force, this is. Many years will it take you to learn this, I feel."

    "But Master, I don't have years. Our child is due in two months. I can't lose her. OUCH!" Cried Anakin as Yoda's gimmer stick cracked across his shins.

    "Much to learn, you still have my young Jedi. For 800 years, have I been Jedi. Much I have seen. Much I have learned. To attempt to change your vision, ensure its outcome you may."

    Closing his eyes, Yoda reached out with the Force and brushed against Anakin. Opening his eyes again, Yoda told the young Jedi, "Much fear I sense in you Anakin. Fear for yourself, no. But fear for those around you, you do. Aide them in this state, you cannot. Share with me, your vision."

    Collecting himself, at least as much as he could right then, Anakin sank into a meditation exercise. "It had never been his strong suite, he never could sit still." Anakin reached out with the Force feeling for Master Yoda. He really wasn't that difficult to find, his force presence shined like a beacon of light. Anakin was pretty sure his presence looked like a thunderstorm at the moment. Yoda joined with him and Anakin began to share his vision.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
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  2. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    If this would have happened in the original movie the story would have gotten a happy ending after all. ;)[face_laugh]

    But with darkness, especially the one from within, you never have a clear winner or loser.
     
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  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb conversations. The candor and compassion will hopefully change a whole lot.
     
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  4. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    It would have. And that's kind of what I'm aiming for here. Basically, what if Yoda had realised just how ****ed up Anakin's head really was and actually helped him? And along with that, what if Anakin had actually manned up and told Yoda what was actually going on?

    And you're right, you can never truly defeat the Darkness when it's inside you. But given the right help and incentives, I think Anakin could have burned enough of it away to remain a Jedi.

    Thank you!!
     
  5. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Chapter 2: Things Revealed

    At 500 Republica, Obi-wan and Padme were having the conversation she'd been dreading all day. Not that anyone could tell. She was, after all, a consummate politician, showing and expressing only what she wanted the other person to see and hear. In that regard, she and the Jedi had more in common than the average Jedi would care to admit. For his part, Obi-wan got straight to the point.

    "Senator, I need your help. Something is wrong with Anakin. He won't tell me what it is, but the way he feels in the Force, he's terrified of something. He's looked up to you since he was a boy and I know that you two are close. Is there anyway you could possibly talk to him? Perhaps get him to open up?"

    For the second time that day, Obi-wan shocked Padme. She had been so certain that he was coming here tonight to confront her about her and Anakin's marriage and her pregnancy. And in a way, he was. It's just that he didn't know that he was. This gave her another problem. Lying to Obi-wan would be nearly impossible. While she could keep it off her face and out of her voice, the Force gave the Jedi a nearly unbeatable edge when it came to uncovering deception. All of this ran through her thoughts while listening to Obi-wan.

    "Of course Master Kenobi. I'd be delighted to help," replied Padme. "You know I consider you and Anakin to be two of my closest friends. Whatever I can do. You have my word. But, you know Anakin. Once he's made his mind up about something, it's practically impossible to get him to change it."

    "Oh, yes. I'm quite familiar with my Padawan's stubborn streak. I also know that, out of everyone on this planet, you seem to have the ability to get through to him when no one else can."

    "Oh, if only you knew," thought Padme. "Normally, yes, she could get Anakin to see reason. But this? Not so much." Unfortunately for her, a bit too much of her nervousness and fear for her husband was seeping into the Force and Obi-wan started to pick up on it.

    "What could possibly be making her nervous and frightened," he thought. Certainly he wasn't asking her to do something unethical or immoral. He thought she would leap at the chance to spend time with Anakin. Their feelings for one another weren't exactly a secret. Oh, he supposed they thought they were. But the two of them really weren't nearly as discrete as they thought they were. Of course Obi-wan, like most everyone else, had assumed that they would be professional enough about it to not act on those feelings. That triggered another line of thought for Obi-wan. "What if they hadn't kept their distance? Could that be why Padme seemed so nervous? Was she worried that she and Anakin had been exposed?"

    With that, disturbing, thought, Obi-wan reached out with the Force to gently probe Padme's Force Aura. With a shock, he found not only Padme's Force Signature, but the signatures of two other beings connected to hers! Padme was pregnant! A second shock came a moment later when he realized that the two tiny Force Signatures growing inside her were vaguely familiar. They actually felt a bit like Anakin. Obi-wan felt his heart drop. He loved Anakin like a brother. But this? To say that Anakin would have some explaining to do was putting it mildly. There was no doubt in his mind that the Council would be forced to expel him from the Jedi Order, Chosen One or not. The truth suddenly rushed at him in a flood, as if a dam had burst and the Force had come flooding in to confirm what he thought.

    "Padme," he asked her gently, "you know why Anakin is troubled, don't you? I can feel it in your Force Signature. Anakin is the father, isn't he?"

    For a split second, the politician's mask that Padme wore like armor, slipped. Her face registered her surprise, giving Obi-wan all the confirmation he needed that he was right. He placed his hand on Padme's and squeezed.

    "Padme, I want you to know, Anakin is like my brother. The last thing I want is to cause him or you pain. You've both already had so much pain in your lives. But I truly am worried about him. He is slipping down a path that could lead to his destruction. I need your help." Before Padme could answer, the door to her apartment burst open.

    ________________​

    Anakin had never been so deep into the Force before. Master Yoda seemed to be guiding him down long forgotten pathways. In that moment, Anakin realized just how little he knew and how, for all his power and potential, how much he paled in comparison to a true Jedi Master such as Yoda. Yoda was guiding him down into the Force, deeper than he even knew was possible, to help him get to the root of his vision. Part of the reason for it was simple fear. Anakin was terrified of losing his wife and child. That reason, conveniently, was sitting literally at the top of his subconscious. A little too conveniently according to Master Yoda. "At least that was the impression Anakin had gotten from the Grandmaster, communicating in this state was somewhat difficult, though the mental whack across the shins from Yoda's gimmer stick that he had just gotten for getting distracted seemed to come through just fine," Anakin thought.

    Concentrating once more, he and Master Yoda followed the paths that the Force was leading them down. As they went, Anakin seemed to feel the air getting closer, darker and colder. Continuing on, he seemed to sense a dark, glowing ball of black, as crazy as that sounded. With a start, he realized that part of that black ball of energy had entangled itself with his own essence! "Could he really have been that close to the Dark Side without even noticing it? That shouldn't be possible. He would have felt it. Wouldn't he?" He felt Master Yoda urging him on and followed the diminutive Jedi Master down.

    _____________​

    For Yoda, it felt like a curtain had been pulled back, or a long locked door finally opened. For the first time in years he felt the Force the way it should be felt. Like a veil had been pulled away from his eyes and he rejoiced in it. For all the darkness he felt in Young Skywalker's vision and tangled up within him, the young Jedi was still a beacon of light unlike any he had ever known, and the young man's presence was seeming to light the way, like torch burning away the mist that the Force had been shrouded in. For Yoda, it was very much like seeing an old friend again as he traveled down into the Force, deeper than he had been able to in years. That was when he saw it. A dark tendril wrapped around Anakin, seeping into the boy's soul, poisoning his spirit. And leading directly to the vision of his wife dying, feeding it and enhancing it.

    For Yoda, the admission from Young Skywalker that he had broken the code and gotten married really wasn't all that surprising. Oh, he acted like it was of course. But the old Jedi had long suspected that Anakin and the Senator from Naboo were far closer than anyone suspected. In other circumstances, he would have called Young Skywalker before the Council to explain himself. But now, with so few Jedi left, less than 10,000 when the Order had once numbered in the millions, they could not afford to lose one such as Anakin. So long as the young man had put his duty as a Jedi first, Yoda had made very sure he avoided actually knowing whether or not what he suspected was true. That was all moot now of course following Skywalker's admission. He thought this as he and Anakin followed the tendril down to it's source. Deeper and deeper into the Force. Yoda himself had only ever been this deep into the Force on a handful of occasions. And only when absolutely necessary, as going this deep, it was far too easy to lose yourself in the Force and never find your way back.

    As the two Jedi approached the source of the darkness, Yoda began to feel as if there was something familiar about it. Pushing against it with the Force, he was met with a violent reaction, almost physically throwing him back. Just before being thrown back to consciousness, Yoda saw a leering face peering at them. One that had been horribly disfigured and scarred, but one that he knew all too well. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.

    _______________​

    Hidden deep within The Works section of Coruscant was the secret lair of Darth Sidious. Here was his meditation room. Here was where he kept his most precious Sith artifacts, some dating back thousands of years to when the Sith had ruled an empire. It was here that Darth Sidious was free to cast aside his public persona of Sheev Palpatine and let his true self show. It was here that Darth Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith, reigned supreme. After the disturbing warning he had gotten earlier that day, Sidious too had dived deep into the Force. "What could have possibly triggered such a warning?" he wondered. "Had he been betrayed? Had Tyranus planned something to expose him should he be betrayed?" He felt his anger boiling up to the surface. He let it. It would prove useful in rooting out the source of his problem. Burying himself deep within the Force, he began to probe outward. Searching for who or what it was that was threatening to expose him and destroy all he had worked for. Suddenly, he found that his problem had come to him. Approaching through the Force were Master Yoda and Anakin Skywalker. Through the Force he registered the shock he felt from both of them as they recognized his Force Signature. With as much power as he could summon, he threw both Jedi back and felt the connection with them break. Pulling himself out of the Force as well, he understood with sudden clarity what had happened. That foolish boy had opened himself up fully to the Jedi and the light. Hiding nothing from them, he had lost his leverage over the child. Years of effort, carefully grooming the boy, building stress points in his psyche, applying just the right pressure to them, ensuring the boy would break exactly how and when he wanted him to, wasted.

    With a snarl that was more beast than man, he began pacing in his chambers, trying to plan what he could do. The problem was, he had always had the Force to assist him with his plans before. But that meddling boy and the little troll had managed to burn away the veil the Sith had placed over the Jedi. For him to delve deeply into the Force now would be akin to lighting a signal fire leading straight to him. He was loathe to just discard Skywalker. He had seen what the boy could become. He could be the most powerful Sith to have ever lived. Unfortunately, it didn't seem as though he had much choice in the matter. He went to his holonet terminal and called up various reports that he had access to as Chancellor. "Hmmmm, slightly worse than he had hoped," he thought to himself. A fairly large percentage of Jedi, including most of the Jedi Council, were on world at the moment. Of course, that also meant there were more Clone Troopers as well. He would need more though to pull off what he was thinking. Unless of course, he came out into the open. Show the Galaxy what true power was. Crush the Jedi personally.

    He sighed, resigning himself to throwing away Skywalker. Knowing that the boy would never trust him now, would never betray the Jedi now that he knew what he really was. He would have to act quickly, before the Jedi could fully realize what had happened and react. Sidious began sending messages to various Clone Commanders and then placed a holocall. "Commander Cody. The time has come. Execute Order 66."
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  6. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Not only is there brutal honesty and much more support than Anakin & Padmé ever expected. Order 66 is given much earlier. I hope Palpatine will realize how bad it will look on him. This time the Jedi will not attack an elderly politician in his office.
     
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  7. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Pretty much. Anakin is getting the support because Yoda realizes that the Jedi need him. Padme is getting it because, let's face it, Obi-wan loves Anakin. It's also really hard to buy that nobody knew about their relationship.

    Order 66 isn't issued that much earlier than it is in Canon. A few days, tops. The next couple updates will go into Palpatine's cover for launching Order 66.
     
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  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Beautiful details on the Force journey of Yoda and Anakin =D= Aha! So they've unearthed the Sith adversary. But :eek: Is it too late? [face_worried]
    Obi and Padme are allies and confidantes. Hope that turns the tide. [face_thinking]
     
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  9. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Thank you!! Yup, Yoda and Anakin have found the Sith Lord they've been looking for. But things are not good for the Jedi right now. Order 66 was just issued and the Jedi are heavily outnumbered.
     
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  10. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Chapter 3: Opening Moves

    With a gasp, Anakin fell to the floor, hurled almost bodily from the depths of the Force by that dark presence. Looking over to Yoda, he saw the Jedi Master was shaken, but still on his meditation couch. "Master," he asked shakily, "what was that?"

    "Hmmmm, the Sith Lord that was. Discovered him, we have. But too late, I fear. Recall his face, do you?"

    Anakin, still shaken from the experience, nods. "Yes Master. It was horribly scared and disfigured. Almost as if it had been ravaged by some powerful beast." Here he paused. He could barely choke out what he said next. "And it looked like the Chancellor."

    "The Chancellor, it was. His true face did we see. Scared, not by beast, but by the Dark Side. Quick and easy the Dark Side is. But extract a terrible price, it does. Blind we have been not to have noticed. Failed I have as a Jedi. Now, all may be lost. Prepare we must. Not long will Sidious wait to begin his attack now that exposed he is."

    "I agree Master. But, how? To try and destroy him is not the Jedi way. But, he may be too powerful to capture peacefully."

    "Learned from your mistakes, you have Anakin. Proud of you, for that, I am. But destroy the Sith, we must. Too much power does he have to bring to a trial."

    Thinking on that, Anakin had a, for him, rare moment of political insight. "Master Yoda, what you say has merit. Palpatine, or Sidious, has far too much power over the Senate. But if the Jedi move against him directly, he could use that against the Order. If we are unsuccessful, he will use our attempt to restore Democracy to discredit the Order and destroy us. But perhaps my wife could be useful. I hate even thinking of this, but she knows beings in the Senate who will stand up for what is right. If we get the Senate on our side, we may have a chance." Those last words seemed to rip Anakin's heart out to say them. The last thing he wanted was to place Padme and his child in any sort of danger. But the simple fact was, just by being his wife, Sidious had probably already marked Padme for death.

    Anakin had no illusions that Palpatine knew about his relationship. His vision and the dark tendril leading from it had proven that. The betrayal by the man that had always been his friend, had been a mentor to him, practically a father to him was tearing at his insides, threating to rip him apart. Two things kept him from giving into the anger he felt toward him. The first, and biggest reason, was Padme. Padme would never agree to him becoming something so evil. He would lose her then just as surely as he had in his vision. The second, was that giving in to his anger and hate is exactly what that kriffing Sith wanted him to do. Anakin may be rash. And arrogant. And stubborn. And a litany of other awful traits. But he wasn't foolish enough to believe for one second that Sidious would help him in the slightest once he had what he wanted. Of that, he was absolutely certain. And at least if Padme were at the Temple, she would be safe.

    Sitting across from him, Yoda watched all this play out on Anakin's face and felt it in the Force. He felt his determination rise and his spirit begin to heal. "A strong Jedi Skywalker will be if past this crisis the Order survives," Yoda thought.

    "A wise suggestion, Young Skywalker. Go. To the Temple, bring your wife. Explain to the Council I will what has happened. For yourself, be not afraid. A strong and wise Jedi you will be. Prepare the Temple for an attack we must. The Younglings we must save above all else. The future of the Order, they are. Look up to you, they do. Your mission that will be. Protect them, you must."

    Anakin wanted to argue with Yoda. Wanted to tell him that he would need him if he faced Sidious. Even started to form a reply to press his point. He was one of the finest duelists in the Order. His sheer power and ability were the equal of most of the Masters on the Council (he did admit, privately, that Mace, Yoda and likely Obi-wan could best him in a duel). Instead, upon seeing the look Yoda was giving him, Anakin simply nodded his head and replied, "Yes Master. Once I return, I'll see to the safety of the young ones. May the Force be with you Master Yoda."

    "And with you Jedi Skywalker."

    ______________​

    Before Padme could even register what was happening, Obi-wan had leapt off the couch, his lightsaber flashing, deflecting bolt after bolt back at the Clone Troopers who burst into her apartment and opened fire on them. But for every one knocked down by either a deflected bolt or Obi-wan's saber when they got too close, it seemed as if two more took his place. Obi-wan was shouting at her to move and find cover while trying to order the Clones to stand down. As Padme's shock wore off, she grabbed the blaster from her couch and began firing at the clones.

    Through the din of battle, she vaguely heard a transport touch down on her landing pad. "This is it," she thought. "The end. I'm so sorry Anakin. I'm so sorry little ones. I tried." Just as she turned to face what she thought were reinforcements, she saw Anakin, her love, almost literally fly through the room, lightsaber already lit, and join Obi-wan in repelling the Clones. Seeing The Team in action was truly awe inspiring for Padme. They moved almost as if they were one being. Sabers flashing, stabbing and slicing, moving through the Clones with a practiced ease. In minutes it was all over.

    Obi-wan and Anakin both powered down their lightsabers and looked sadly on the Clones that they had been forced to kill. Clones that they had led personally in battle on a dozen worlds.

    "What took you so long?" asked Obi-wan.

    "Oh, you know Master. I couldn't find a speeder I really liked. Plus, I figured you could use the practice. You seemed to be moving slower the last time we spared. I was afraid you might be losing your edge."

    "Only in your mind, my young apprentice. Regardless, I'm glad you arrived when you did."

    "You're welcome."

    Turning to Padme, Anakin gave her a bow, "Senator, Master Yoda wishes me to escort you to the Jedi Temple. The Order could use your aide in saving the Republic."

    "Oh, Anakin," cried Padme as she rushed into his arms, tears streaming down her face. Anakin looked like he had been hit by a stun blast at Padme's sudden surge of affection.

    This caused Obi-wan to smile for what seemed like the first time since they got back to Coruscant. "Well don't just stand there Anakin. I believe its considered rude not to hug your wife back when she grabs you like that." If anything, the look on Anakin's face got even more shocked. This was highly amusing to Obi-wan to see his normally outgoing friend be shocked into silence.

    "He knows, Anakin. He wants to help," Padme told her bewildered husband.

    Embracing Padme with everything he had, Anakin then turned to Obi-wan and took a deep breath. This was not going to be easy.

    "Master, let me start by saying that I'm sorry. I know I've failed you and the Order by breaking the Code. I have my reasons, but that doesn't excuse it. I've already spoken to Master Yoda." Looking at Padme Anakin said, "Once Sidious is gone, I'm leaving the Order. No more secrets." Turning back to Obi-wan, now it was Anakin's turn to chuckle as Obi-wan's mouth had dropped open at Anakin's frank admission and acceptance of the consequences. Something had changed in his old Padawan. And changed for the better. "Obi-wan!" Anakin yelled for the third time.

    Finally, snapping out of it, all Obi-wan could do was shake his head. "Did Master Yoda really send you here for Padme?" he asked.

    "Yes. While Master Yoda and I were meditating, don't looked so shocked, I do do it occasionally, we discovered who the Sith Lord is. It's a long story and we need to get back the Temple immediately. He may be moving even faster than we feared if the attack here is any indication. I'll fill you both in on the way."

    _______________​

    "So that's everything. Master Yoda and I discovered that Palpatine is the Sith Lord we've been looking for every since you and Master Qui Gonna found me on Tatooine. He's manipulated the entire war to gain power. Now we need to stop him. But if we try to do that without the Senate behind us, it will just backfire on us and make it look like every accusation Palpatine has ever levied at the Order was true," finished Anakin, giving his best friend and his wife a very condensed version of what was going on.

    "So that's why you need me at the Temple," Padme said. "To try and organize the Senate to back the Order in removing Palpatine. I'm not sure it will work. Most of the Senate is behind him, or at the very least won't stand up to him. I can get you a few thousand Senators, but not a majority."

    "Anakin, I hate to bring this up, but won't your relationship with Padme just turn Senators away?" Obi-wan asked. "Couldn't they argue that she's the 'Jedi's pet Senator.'" This last bit Obi-wan said with an apologetic look at Padme. She quickly waved his unspoken apology away as not needed.

    "It's a possibility," Anakin admitted. "But without it, the Order would be seen as the bad guys here. We're already looked down upon because of the war. This would just make it worse."

    "True, but..." Obi-wan stopped in mid sentence. For approaching the Temple was a massive column of Clones. It looked to be every battalion on planet at the moment. At their head, marched a solitary figure, clad all in black and radiating a darkness that seemed to swallow up the light around him.

    "Sidious" breathed Anakin. "Hang on, this is gonna be a rough ride in."
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  11. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Chapter 4: Evacuation

    Leaving Anakin to pilot their shuttle, Obi-wan quickly got on the comm to call Master Yoda and warn him of the approaching column of Clones. Master Yoda's response was chilling.

    "See them approaching, we do. See Sidious at their head as well. Evacuate the Temple, we must. Too many there are for what few Jedi are left. A warning we have sent to all Jedi in the field to escape as best they can. Not received in time by many, it was. Have fallen already, many have. Once landed you have..." Yoda's transmission was abruptly cut off as the Clone Army began to jam the frequencies used by the Temple.

    "Look on the bright side," said Anakin. "The Clones use the same frequencies we do. If they're jamming us, they'll be jamming themselves as well."

    "Oh Anakin," Obi-wan replied. "Do you really think Palpatine hasn't thought of that and kept at least a few frequencies that we don't know about clear?" Obi-wan asked.

    "Sorry Master. You're right. Padme, when we land, I need you to stay with the ship. I can't, I can't bear to think about you being in danger right now," Anakin told his wife.

    Padme opened her mouth to argue with him, but quickly thought better of it and simply nodded her head. The shock of being betrayed by someone she had considered a friend still hurt. "How could he have done this," she wondered. "Why didn't we see it? Why couldn't I stop him?" Her thoughts unknowingly echoing Anakin's.

    "Padme. Those are thoughts for another day," Obi-wan told her. "The Sith and the Sith alone are responsible for this. Don't blame yourself. And that goes for you as well Anakin. I can feel your guilt from here. I need you focused." This last point was emphasized by the Clones finally noticing that the shuttle above their heads was flying directly towards the Temple and opening fire on it.

    "I am focused Master. More than I have been in a long time," Anakin told him as he deftly dodged the incoming blaster fire. "But I should have seen it. I was closer to him than just about anyone. Why didn't I notice that he had me so wrapped up in his web..."

    "Another time, Anakin. We'll have time to figure all this out later. For now, we have a mission."

    "Yes Master."

    "Master Kenobi, Yoda mentioned something about evacuating the Temple. To where?" Padme asked. Obi-wan simply smiled.

    "Someplace that not even Palpatine would think to look. A planet that the rest of the Galaxy believes lost. You could say its the true home of the Jedi Order."

    "Master, surely, you don't mean..."

    "Oh yes Anakin. I do."

    "Well, would someone mind telling me?" demanded Padme. Before either Jedi could answer the shuttle was landing in the Temple.

    _______________​

    To say that Sidious was furious would be the understatement of the century. He had arrived at the Temple only to find the doors sealed in his face. Of course he at first attempted to wrench them free with the Force, but the little troll inside had used the Force to seal them and was actively holding them in place. He would have to blast his way through. The Turbolaser batteries were on their way now, but being thwarted, even momentarily was making his blood boil.

    Surprisingly, he had felt Skywalker return to the Temple. He had been sure that he would flee the planet once he ensured his wife's safety. "So perhaps not all was lost there after all? If Skywalker could be captured, then tortured until he turned," he mused, "he could still have his apprentice." Oh, he'd have to watch his back every second of every day as he doubted Skywalker would ever truly trust him. Getting Skywalker this way was a bit like keeping a Rancor as a pet. Strong, powerful, frightening to others. And it could turn on you without any warning whatsoever. But it was worth the effort if possible. Skywalker's potential was practically enough to make him drool.

    "My Lord, the batteries are almost in position. We can begin firing in 5 minutes," Reported Commander Cody.

    "Excellent. You may begin firing as soon as they are in position. But make sure you do not target the Archives. I want them intact!" Sidious snarled at him.

    "Yes, My Lord."

    _________________

    Approximately one third of the way back in the column, Captain Rex, CT-7567 of the 501st Battalion, stood quietly. "Were they really going to do this? Attack the Jedi? Turn on their own General? Surely there must be a better way," he thought to himself. He had lost count of the number of time General Skywalker had saved his ass in battle. How willing the General was to share each and every hardship with him and his brothers. Could we really turn on him? Clicking off of the main command frequency they had been issued a few hours earlier, he jumped on the battalion command net and quickly called his officers to join him. Ostensibly to go over their battle plan one more time and to do so without risk of Jedi eavesdropping. What he didn't say was that he didn't want anyone eavesdropping on this conversation. Once they were all gathered together, he quickly got down to business.

    Looking at his assembled officers, Rex said, "Right. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not too comfortable with turning on the General like this. Not even giving him a chance to surrender first? And this order to kill every Jedi on sight regardless of age? What do you think?"

    There was a muttered agreement from all the men, none of them feeling good about this. Like Rex, they had all had their Inhibitor Chips removed. The discovery of that little device was almost enough to make some of the men go rouge. Fortunately, Rex and General Skywalker had made sure his men had gotten them removed. General Skywalker especially had been appalled at the men being treated like slaves with chips in their heads. Really, that was the only thing that had kept some of the men from deserting. Personal loyalty to their General.

    "Alright then," he said. "When the order is given, we move in. All blasters set to stun. I don't want anyone to get hurt. If you're about to get cut down, hit the Jedi with a stun blast and drag him to safety. I'll try to get ahold of the General. See what he wants us to do. I've got another idea too that I'm going to try." With that, the 501st prepared to turn their backs on the Republic.

    ______________​

    Within the Jedi Temple, the few Jedi left were running around like mad; making ready to abandon their beloved home. Jedi Master Jocasta Nu, the Chief Librarian of the Jedi Order supervised the emptying of the Archives. All the computer records had already been transferred to portable storage units (a monumental task in and of itself) and the computers themselves were in the process of being wiped. That, however was the least of her tasks. The Temple was full of thousands of Holocrons from both the Jedi and the Sith. Not to mention the countless other artifacts from powerful Jedi and Sith past. To let these priceless artifacts fall into the hands of the Sith was unthinkable. She and numerous other Jedi were transferring as many as possible to the transports in the Hanger. In addition, she had tasked a few Padawans to collect the supply of Kyber Crystals kept in the Temple and place them on the shuttles as well. With an attack on this scale, she could only assume that they would not be able to return to Illum any time soon to gather more. She only hoped the computers and vaults where they were going would be adequate to contain the mountain of information they were bringing.

    ________________​

    In the Crèche, Master Kit Fisto was preparing the Younglings to leave, ensuring they all were dressed and ready, supervising the various Knights and Padawans assigned there to care for the children. In truth, he was longing to enter battle, but until Skywalker arrived back at the Temple, this task was his.

    _____________​

    Master Windu had been busy organizing the various Knights and Masters to defend key strong points and keep the Clones and Sidious away from the Archives and Hangers as long as possible. He had no illusions about his own prospects for survival. But he fervently hoped that his sacrifice would buy enough time for the bulk of the Order to escape.

    ____________​

    Master Yoda sat calmly and serenely with a look of great concentration on his face, his arms outstretched toward the doors of the Temple. Exerting himself through the Force, he made sure the doors stayed closed. He also was weaving a Force Shield around them, blocking them from Sidious' influence. Though powerful, he knew he would not be able to hold the doors forever. Soon, the Order would be in a fight for its life. His greatest hope was that the preparations he and the other Masters had made would be enough to ensure the survival of the Order. "Forever changed, would the Jedi be by this." It saddened him to think that. "But, perhaps a good thing, this was. Too arrogant, had the Order grown. Out of touch with the common people. Too set in their ways. Change, needed, it was," he thought. He just hoped that he would live to see it. Somehow, he doubted it.

    ________________​

    The hanger was a scene of barely controlled chaos. Masters, Knights and Padawans seemed to rush in every direction at once. Only to a very keen eye would it be apparent that everyone was accomplishing some task that was vital and that it all seemed to be working. "Having the Force on your side really was a huge advantage," thought Anakin.

    "Padme," Anakin said. "I want you to try and reach Ahsoka for me. She needs to be warned about what's happening. Try this number. Its something we set up for emergencies. Only her, Rex and I know it. Hopefully no one is monitoring it and she'll get the message. Tell her, tell her we're going home. She'll know what that means."

    "Ok. Is there anyone else I should call? Get somebody in the Senate involved?" Padme asked him.

    "If you think you can. Make sure they know to stay away from the Temple for their own safety. Obi-wan, how much do you think we should tell them?"

    "Not much. I'm not really sure how far anyone can be trusted at the moment. Padme, if you're absolutely sure they can be trusted, tell them that we're going someplace safe. Somewhere we can regroup. We'll need your's and the Senate's support to overthrow Palpatine," Obi-wan told her.

    "So, where exactly are we going?" Padme was finally able to ask.

    "Tython. It's deep within the Core. Everyone thinks the hyperspace routes to it collapsed centuries ago. They didn't. They just shifted. The routes are only known to the Order now and they're highly dangerous and unstable. We'll be safe there." Obi-wan told her. "Now, quickly, make the calls. We don't have much time."

    Anakin quickly swept Padme up in a tight embrace "I love you. Keep the engines warm for me." Before she could reply, Anakin and Obi-wan were gone, rushing out of the hanger on their respective missions.

    _________________

    Anakin quickly made his way to the Crèche and saw Master Fisto there. "Anakin! You don't know how relived I am to see you," Master Fisto said. "Dealing with younglings is not my strong suite. I have to join Master Windu. Get these young ones to the hanger. Get them out of here. You know where we're going?"

    "Yes Master. You have my word. I'll get them to safety. And yes, I know. May the Force be with you Master Fisto."

    "May the Force be with us all, Anakin." With that, Master Fisto was gone, rushing to join the defenses with Master Windu.

    Oh, how Anakin longed to be there. To defend the only home he had known since he was nine. To pay back Palpatine for all the pain and suffering he had caused in the Galaxy. Anakin felt his control slipping and quickly bit down on it. If he faced Palpatine now, he'd surely give in to his anger at him and that would give the smug bastard exactly what he wanted. Someone lost to the Dark Side forever. It was then that he noticed a youngling had walked up to him.

    "Master Skywalker, there are too many of them. What are we going to do?"

    "What's your name, young one?" asked Anakin, getting down onto one knee in front of the young man.

    "Sors Bandeam, Master."

    "Wels Sors, we're going to get you all out of here. Take you somewhere safe. Do you have all your things?"

    "Yes, Master Skywalker."

    "Good. Do you have your lightsaber? If we run into trouble, I could use your help," Anakin told the young boy, smiling as he did so.

    Sors smiled at this and held up his lightsaber. "Yes Master. I never go anywhere without it."

    "Good. Now, are you all ready?" Anakin asked the rest of the younglings. He was quickly answered by a chorus of "Yes, Master Skywalker."

    "Okay. Stay close to me." Looking at the handful of new Knights and Padawans in the room he quickly spoke to them. "I don't know how long it'll be before the Clones get in. If they breach the Temple before we take off, its our job to make sure the children survive. I don't care if it cost every last one of us our lives, they will live to see another day. So keep between them and the Clones. One more thing. There's a Sith at the head of Army. If you see him, don't try and fight him. Just get the children to safety. Leave him to me. I'll try and hold him off for as long as I can." Once again, he was answered, "Yes, Master Skywalker."

    Nodding his head, he was just about to give the order to move out when his comm went off. He practically went white seeing who it was comming him.

    _________________​

    Upon reaching the main Atrium of the Temple, Obi-wan Kenobi quickly sought out Master Yoda only to be intercepted by Master Windu. "Obi-wan! Over here. Master Yoda is trying to hold the Clones at bay by keeping the doors sealed. We've got a job for you. We want you to join Master Dralig in the second line of defenses. There's mostly only Padawans with a few Knights there. If we can't evacuate before the doors are breached, our only defense is to try and slow the Clones as much as possible. At least until we get as many Jedi out of the Temple as we can."

    "Of course Master Windu. What about you?"

    "I'll be with the first line."

    The way in which Mace said that immediately spiked Obi-wan's concern. He looked at Mace very closely. "You don't believe you're going to survive, do you?"

    "No, I don't. There's far too many out there. And Sidious hasn't been waiting this long just to fail now. I'll take as many with me as possible and delay the clones as long as I can. I'm not entirely comfortable with entrusting the evacuation of the younglings to Skywalker, but I suppose I don't really have much choice in the matter at this point."

    "You don't have to worry about Anakin. He knows who and what Palpatine is now. He won't let him manipulate him anymore. I trust Anakin with my life."

    "Very well, Obi-wan. May the Force be with you."

    "And with you Mace."

    ____________​

    Captain Rex had clicked back into the main Command frequency. "Commander Cody. I've just remembered about a secret passage into the Temple that General Skywalker had told me about. Permission to take my men and assault through there sir?"

    "How long would it take you to be in position Captain?" asked Cody.

    "No more than 15 minutes Sir. My men and I can ensure that no Jedi will escape through it while hitting them with an attack from behind."

    "Permission granted Captain. Report when in position."

    "Yes, Sir." Clicking back to the battalion frequency, Captain Rex quickly ordered his men to move out while Commander Cody ordered the next battalion in line to move up. Saying a silent prayer to any and every deity he could think of, which was actually quite a few considering the number of planets he had been on, he and his men quickly marched to the Temple's little known back door. Grabbing the comm General Skywalker had given him, he quickly commed him, hoping beyond hope that he wouldn't be too late.

    _______________

    Anakin silently held up a finger and hushed the Crèche. He wasn't sure which side Rex was on at the moment and didn't want to risk him figuring out what was going on. At least not until he was sure he could trust him.

    "Captain," Anakin said. "I hope you're not calling to ask me to surrender. I would have thought you knew me better than that."

    "I do General. Sir, I've spoken with my men. What the Chancellor ordered. It isn't right. You've fought beside us every day of this war. I owe my life to you on more than one occasion. Most of my men could say the same. I've moved my men out of the main assault column. We're marching to the passage you showed me Sir. We're awaiting your orders General."

    Anakin had lost count of the number of times his entire world had been flipped upside down today. What was this now? The sixth? Seventh? He felt good knowing that at least his men were refusing to turn on him.

    "Stand by Rex. We'll probably have you help cover the hanger. Let me check with Master Yoda or Master Windu."

    Quickly grabbing his other comm, his official one, he reached out to Master Yoda. When there was no answer, he commed Master Windu. Thankfully, the Clone's jamming was much less effective inside the Temple and Master Windu answered.

    "What is it Skywalker? The Clones have started to fire at the main doors with a turbolaser battery. They can't hold much longer."

    "Master, I've just been contacted by Captain Rex and his men. They're refusing to turn on us sir. They're awaiting our orders."

    "Can you trust them? How do you know that this isn't just a trap?" After all, Mace reasoned, his men were out there with Sidious, what makes Skywalker's any different?

    "Master, you have to trust me on this. We can trust him. Rex is a good man. He won't betray us."

    "Alright. I know the Clones think of each other as brothers. I want to have you station them with us in the front, to hold the Army at bay as long as possible. But I'm not sure they'd be comfortable with fighting their brother's like that. Have them cover the hanger bay and escort the younglings. If they're seen, maybe it'll look like they've captured them and they won't be fired on."

    "Yes, Master."

    Anakin quickly relayed the instructions to Rex, who was visibly relived to know he wouldn't be asked to fight his brothers (though he and his men were prepared to if that's what their General ordered). Having accomplished that, Anakin quickly began moving the children to the hangers. Just as the first younglings reached the hanger, the turbolasers finally broke through.
     
  12. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Chapter 5: Operation Knightfall

    Across Coruscant, Bail Organa was receiving some very strange messages. It seemed that a number of clones had attacked Senators. On the orders of their Jedi Generals! Unlike most Senators, Bail actually had good relations with the Jedi, counting Masters Yoda, Windu and Kenobi among his closest friends. Things just didn't add up. On top of that, the Chancellor had sent a very odd message shortly after the attacks had started. Something along the lines of, "I have taken personal control of our Clone Army and am preparing to crush the Jedi Rebellion." Bail was rarely ever confused, but he freely admitted he was now. He also couldn't seem to reach anyone at the Temple to find out what was going on. Right as he made up his mind to head to the Temple himself, his communicator went off. Once he saw who it was, he gave a huge sigh of relief. "Padme! You don't know how relived I am to hear from you. When I heard about the attacks, I was afraid they might have targeted you."

    Padme, deciding to play it safe until she was sure of Bail's support said, "What attacks are you talking about Bail? And why would they target me? I'll grant you, I've been an outspoken opponent of the war, but I highly doubt I'd be targeted in a terrorist attack."

    "So you haven't heard then. Padme, the Chancellor issued a statement that the Jedi have turned on us. Ordered the Clones under their command to attack members of the Senate to stage a coup. Mon Mothma, Garm bel Iblis, Orn Free Taa and about one hundred others have been killed. Palpatine stated that he has assumed personal control of the GAR and was leading an attack on the Jedi."

    The news of so many of her fellow Senators being killed hit Padme like a ton of durasteel. This couldn't be happening! An attack on the Senate and on the Jedi? Was Palpatine really that bold? Suddenly, as if a light grid had been illuminated directly over her, she saw it. When you put what Bail knew and what she knew together, Palpatine's plan was suddenly crystal clear.

    "Are you still there Padme?"

    "Yes, Bail, I am. I need you to listen carefully, I don't have much time. Palpatine isn't who we all thought he was. He's the Sith Lord the Jedi have been looking for. He's been playing the entire Galaxy for the sake of power. Palpatine ordered the attack on the Senators. The Clones attacked me. But I was in a meeting with Master Kenobi. He and Anakin saved my life. The Clones attacked them as well. And now Palpatine is outside the Temple trying to kill everyone inside. Bail, if Palpatine convinces the Senate that the Jedi ordered the attack on them, what do you think would happen? The Senate would fall all over itself giving him even more power and direct control of the Army. Plus, it would destroy public opinion of the Jedi. He would have a free hand to do whatever he wanted."

    "Dear lord," breathed Bail as what Padme said sank in. It all made sense now. The war, the way Palpatine kept accruing more and more power. "What have we done?"

    "Bail, listen to me. There's still a chance. The Jedi have a plan to preserve the Order. As long as we have the Jedi, we're not powerless. But they're going to need help on the inside if they can't defeat Palpatine here and now. Almost the entire Army is outside the Temple right now. We're preparing to evacuate."

    "'We'?'"

    "I'm in the Temple. After the attack on me, Obi-wan and Anakin brought me to the Temple for safety. And Yoda wished to talk to me. But Palpatine attacked before we could meet."

    "I see. Why don't we do this. I'm going to head off planet. Send me rendezvous coordinates. Perhaps we can come up with a plan to save the Republic."

    "I will. Be careful."

    "You as well Padme."

    ______________​

    Jedi Master Plo Koon still couldn't believe that his men, the men who called themselves "Plo's Bros" had turned on him. Despite the carbon scoring on his starfighter proving that they had. What had happened to cause this? He was utterly at a loss. Thank the Force he had received the warning message from Master Yoda mere seconds before his men opened fire. Only his Force Enhanced reflexes and natural skill as a pilot had saved him. It had broken his heart to fire on his men. But given no other options, he had.Though he had done his best to just disable their craft instead of outright killing them. Once he had gotten just a little breathing room, he had docked with his hyperdrive ring and shot into hyperspace. After a few more redirects and some back tracking, he'd head to the rendezvous point. He just hoped his fellow Jedi had gotten the warning in time. Sadly, he knew many had not, as he had felt their presences in the Force wink out.

    ______________​

    Ki-Adi-Mundi had been hiding in the bombed out ruins of the city on Mygeeto for hours now. Yoda's message had reached him just as he was about to lead his men in an another assault. While making his way to his ship, he had overheard a voice instruct a clone trooper to, "Execute Order 66." His immediate reaction was, "Not good." While Cereans were certainly not known for their athletic ability, he did have the Force on his side and used it to put on a burst of speed and clear the area. Too late. He had been spotted and his Marines, the men he had fought and bled beside, fired on him. Would have killed him too had he not reached the city ruins just then and lost them within. He could hear them out there still looking for him. He dare not ignite his lightsaber if any found him, it's distinctive snap-hiss would surely give him away. Seeing some of the Clones approaching, he used the Force and shifted some of the rubble about 200 yards away. It worked. The men converged on the spot. Momentarily distracted, Ki slipped out of the rubble and got to a landing pad, appropriated a ship with a hyperdrive and burned into the sky. Destination: Tython.

    _________________​

    Depa Billaba, Jedi Master and High Council member knew she would not live out the day. She had gotten the warning from Yoda and immediately began preparing to escape. She and her Padawan, Caleb Dume, had boarded a shuttle and were just preparing to take off when the clones arrived and began to fire on them. Telling Caleb where to go and ordering him to take off, she rushed down the ramp and engaged the kriffing clones as they tried to kill them both. Sinking deeply into the Force, she let it guide her movements as she had for her entire life. The Force sang as she blocked shot after shot from the Clones. Just as Caleb reached orbit, a well placed blaster shot slipped through her defenses and hit her squarely in the chest. Her lightsaber dropping from suddenly nerveless fingers, she fell to her knees, the clones pumping bolt after bolt into her. As she fell face first into the dirt, she used the last of her strength with the Force to send a comforting thought to her Padawan: There is no death, there is the Force. And then she was gone.

    ________________​

    After disconnecting with Bail, Padme used the number Anakin had given her and reached out to Ahsoka. After what seemed an interminable delay, Ahsoka answered. "Oh thank the Force you're alive Ahsoka!"

    "Padme, what is it? You sound like you're in shock," the young Togruta said to her.

    "I am a bit. Anakin wanted me to reach you. Chancellor Palpatine is a Sith. He's ordered the Clone Army to turn on the Jedi. They're attacking the Temple as we speak. He wants me to tell you that, 'they're going home.' Please tell me you know what that means."

    "Wow. Ok. I'm packing now. Tell Skyguy I'll be there. Thank you, Senator. May the Force be with you."

    "Well," thought Padme, "that's two calls down. Only about a thousand more to go." Force, she hoped she'd be able to accomplish some good here.

    ________________​

    "Acknowledged Commander, moving in now," Captain Rex reported to Commander Cody. Ordering the forces under his command to move in on the command net, he then disabled the comm channel. Looking at General Skywalker outside the Temple Hanger he told him, "Well, hopefully that little performance buys us some time before they figure it out."

    "I'm sure it well Rex. I can't thank you enough for this. I know it wasn't easy for you," Skywalker replied. "If there's anything I can ever do for you or your men, you have my word, it's yours."

    "No sir. We're just doing what's right. Now lets get these kids out of here."

    "Right. Leave a third of your men here to guard the hanger. The rest of the Order has been informed that you and your men are friendlies. Position another third along the route to the hanger from the Crèche and we'll use the other third for close escort. And tell the men, if they have to fire, use stun if they can. I don't want anything on their conscience."

    "Yes, sir. I've already told them sir. But thank you."

    "Ok, I've got the kids from the twenty-third level. There's another two children's dorms on levels twenty-four and twenty-five. That'll be our job. I'll go with you just in case."

    Looking at the Knights and Padawans with him, Anakin picked out two Knights to accompany him and ordered the rest to get the children on the shuttles and prepare to take off. What he really wanted to do just then however, was run into the Hanger and check on Padme; then rush down to the Atrium and fight alongside his fellow Jedi. Clamping down on his personal feelings for the moment, he headed back to the Crèche to get more Younglings.

    ______________​

    As the doors to the Temple finally gave way, Yoda gathered the Force to him and flipped back into the first rank of defenders. Drawing his lightsaber he, along with the other Jedi, ignited their blades and prepared to defend their home. Surprisingly, the Clones didn't enter at a rush. Instead, Darth Sidious walked in. Alone. Upon seeing him, Yoda leveled his lightsaber at the Dark Lord and said, "Entered our home, unbidden you have. Leave it intact, you will not."

    With a calculating grin Sidious said, "It's treason, then."

    With that, his lightsaber shot into his hand, it's blood red blade igniting with a snap-hiss. Giving a loud scream, he flew threw the air, straight a Master Yoda. Leaping to meet him, Yoda traded blow for blow with the Sith Master. Neither one able to gain an advantage. The Master of Juyo dueling the Ataru Master. Both focused totally on the other. Only vaguely was either combatant aware that the Clones had now entered the Temple and a full scale battle had erupted.

    _______________​

    Obi-wan Could only watch helplessly as the Clones cut down Agen Koler and Eeth Koth. The battle had only just started and yet over 200 clones were lying dead on the floor of the Temple along with over 30 Jedi, among them several Masters. He could plainly pick out Mace's distinctive purple blade, right in the midst of the fighting. Mace's Vaapad style of fighting giving him an unpredictability that the Clones found hard to match. With a thud and a grunt, Yoda flew into the Column next to him, being on the receiving end of a massive Force Push from Palpatine. In a flash, Yoda was back up and bounding back into the fight. Literally flinging his lightsaber into and through the Clones, he was a small green ball of energy. With a start, Obi-wan realized he could no longer see Sidious' red blade.

    The Force suddenly flared with a warning, and Obi-wan's lightsaber was out and lit before he had even consciously recognized the danger. His blue blade intercepting a blast of Force Lightning milliseconds before it would have caught him squarely in the chest. Deflecting and redirecting it, he faced Sidious, the lightning arcing back on Sidious. Just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. Looking at Obi-wan with eyes of burning yellow, Sidious lunged at him, his lightsaber swinging in low before lunging up, Obi-wan's blade catching the attack and turning the red blade aside. The madness of Juyo against the impenetrable defense of Soresu. As Yoda had before him, Obi-wan dueled the Sith across the Atrium, completely focused on his opponent, waiting for the slightest opening to strike.

    Sidious was in his glory. Never had he felt the Dark Side flow so strongly through him before. Seeing the Jedi laying dead on the floor before him gave him all the assurance he needed to know that the time was now. The day that the Sith would take up their rightful mantle as the Rulers of the Galaxy. Orchestrating from the shadows was all well and good, but this, open combat against the best the Jedi Order had to give, his lightsaber in his hand, this is how the Sith were meant to be, their power on display for all to see. It seemed as if every moment he spent in combat raised his powers ever higher. The Dark Side taking him to heights he could scarcely believe existed. As he battled Obi-wan, he couldn't help but smirk. The foolish Jedi actually believed he could win. He could crush him like an insect. Finally slicing Obi-wan's lightsaber in two, he was just about to deliver the coup de grace when suddenly, the Force screamed a warning at him and he flipped back, watching the green blade of Yoda's lightsaber sail through the spot he had just been in less than a second earlier.

    Calling Agen Koler's lightsaber to his hand, Obi-wan watched as Sidious quickly cut down 5 Jedi in the space of a single heartbeat. The first line was getting thinner and thinner. He'd have to bring his Knights and Padawans into the fray. Just as he was about to give the order, his communicator went off. It was Anakin.

    "Master, I've got all the Younglings in the shuttles and Master Nu has loaded all the computer data and the artifacts that can be moved as well. We're ready to go as soon as everyone gets here. Captain Rex and his men are rigging the corridors and walls with explosives to seal the way behind you and slow the GAR. I'm warming up all the shuttles and our fighters now."

    "Well done Anakin! We're on our way. Sending the retreat signal now."

    "May the Force be with you Master."

    "And with you, Anakin."

    As soon as Obi-wan's message was transmitted, the Jedi began pulling back. Though the price they had already paid was high. Of the nearly one thousand Jedi that had been in the Temple at the start of the battle, only about seven hundred were left. And more fell as they retreated. All told, six hundred and sixty-eight Jedi made it to the Hangers. Master Windu was not among them. Reaching the last doorway before the Hanger, a well placed shot from one of the Clones fried the firing circuit to the charges placed there. As engineers from the 501st worked feverishly to repair it, Mace stood his ground holding off the onslaught. His blade flashing, deflecting the fire of the clones back at them. Until a blast caught him in the leg. Using the Force to hold himself up, he refused to give in. Again and again he was hit. His reactions growing slower as the blasters took their toll. Collapsing just as the engineers from the 501st fixed the firing circuit, his last act was to Force Push the two clones through the doorway and trigger the blast with the Force. True to his word, Mace held the clones off for as long as he possibly could, then took out as many as he could as he became one with the Force.

    Watching the Jedi get pushed deeper and deeper into their Temple, a satisfied smile spread across Palpatine's face. Dooku had certainly done a fine job in choosing Jango Fett to be the template for the Clones. They were more than up to the task. As the Clones pushed past the Archives, Sidious entered and froze in his tracks. "NOOOOOOOO!" He rushed to where the Sith artifacts should be. They were gone! The computers had been wiped as well. Giving a scream that shattered the screens of the computers in the room, he charged after the Clones. The Jedi must not be allowed to escape!

    In the Hanger Bay, the surviving Jedi rushed into the shuttles, joined by the men of the 501st. Obi-wan Kenobi, with Anakin's help, was ensuring that the best pilots in the Order were flying the Jedi Starfighters that were in the Hanger. Yoda, observing this made his way to his personal fighter soon followed by Obi-wan and Anakin. Anakin of course first checked on Padme, assured her he was alright and made sure she was as well. He also made sure one of the Healers was with her just in case she went into labor.

    Above the planet, the Republic Navy was given emergency orders to block any escape from the Temple. The confusion this caused was enormous as no one had explained to them what was going on down on the surface. They were relying on fragmented comm calls and incomplete reports on the holonet. As the ships began to shift their orbits and reposition, a stream of Delta-7s and Eta-2s began hitting every turbolaser emplacement they could find. They also targeted the ships engines to try and strand them. This attack caught the fleet by surprise with their shields still down. Though some of the Jedi Starfighters were hit, the vast majority, and the transports they were escorting, managed to escape into hyperspace. Reviewing records after the battle showed that the craft piloted by Yoda and Anakin Skywalker had accounted for over sixty percent of the hits by themselves. It also showed that some of the ship's officers were very reluctant to fire on the Jedi. Their fates were swift, and final. The Galactic Republic had given way to the Galactic Empire.
     
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Brilliant and riveting action & teamwork! The actions and reactions of all involved is very much in character. Very understandable that Anakin and Padme would personally question why they didn't see the warning signs although of course Sithly deception and hiding in plain sight is part and parcel of Sidious' plan. [face_thinking]
    I am very happy they have a place to regroup at and trusted allies like Rex and Ahsoka.

    =D=
     
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  14. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Thank you so much! "Why didn't I see?" is a question that a lot of people are going to be asking themselves over the next few weeks and months. Not everyone is going to like the answers they come up with.
     
  15. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Chapter 6: Plans and Politics

    The Deep Core. The oldest known region of the Galaxy. Populated by so many stars that traveling through it was exceedingly dangerous. Dangerous, that is if you didn't know exactly where you were going. Fortunately, the Jedi did know. Upon arrival at the rendezvous point, Master Yoda had the ships wait for five standard days to give survivors time to reach the rendezvous. It saddened him that so few had survived. Over seven thousand Jedi, dead. For a being who could remember when the Order numbered in the millions, seeing so few left saddened him deeply. While waiting for other survivors, Yoda had spent his time meditating, as he suspected a great number of Jedi had. In that time, he had come to realize the extent of the changes the Order would need to make. Convincing everyone else would be the hard part.

    _______________​

    For Anakin, the waiting was the worst part. He had volunteered to fly ahead, make sure Tython was still secure. Master Yoda had declined, stating that Anakin would be needed here in case Palpatine caught on to where they had gone. Anakin suspected that what Yoda really meant was that he would prefer if Anakin spent the time meditating and try to come to peace with everything that had happened. He did try. And he had to admit, that he was at least partially successful. His mind did feel much clearer than it had in a long time. He probably owed a Yoda a thank you for that. "Had it really taken the near death of the Order for him to become the Jedi he should have been all along?" he wondered. Anakin shook his head. One more thing to meditate on.

    "I really should have paid more attention to Obi-wan when I was a Padawan," Anakin thought ruefully. "Then maybe I'd actually have the hang of this."

    ________________​

    As soon as Padme had disconnected, Ahsoka flew into action. Though she was technically no longer a Jedi, she had little doubt as to how the Sith would view her. Fortunately, she was still enough of a Jedi that she hadn't acquired much in the way of belongings. She even still dressed like a Jedi. Luckily, she had just finished building a new pair of lightsabers. She had a feeling that she was going to need them.

    Right as she reached the spaceport she felt the Force almost literally scream in agony as countless Jedi were snuffed from existence. It was enough to drop her to her knees. It was just her bad luck that a squad of Clones was passing by just then and one of them happened to see her lightsaber.

    "JEDI!!!" the Clone shouted.

    Before anyone else could react, she was up and into the attack. Batting blaster bolts aside with one blade and slicing through the Clones with the other. "Well," she thought, "there goes my plan for a nice, quiet get away. Guess its time for Plan B."

    Unfortunately, she didn't really have a Plan B. Deciding that her odds weren't going to get any better, she made a break for it and reached the landing pads. This is when being Skywalker's apprentice really paid off. She could instantly look at a ship and just know it was what she needed. Or not. So it was now. Bounding up the ramp of a Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-1300, she slapped the controls to begin closing the ramp as she rushed past them. Reaching the Cockpit, she immediately began an abbreviated power up sequence. As soon as power was up, she flipped on the shields, hit the repulsors and rocketed up into the Coruscant sky chased by a hail of blaster fire. "That didn't go so bad," she thought. Now, to head to the Rendezvous.

    _______________​

    Deciding it would be best not to take a direct route to the rendezvous from Coruscant, Bail instructed his ship's pilot, Captain Antilles, to make several indirect jumps to throw off anyone who might be tracking them. It was on the second redirect that he began picking up emergency distress signals. Over the next day, the Tantive IV picked up over a dozen Jedi who had managed to escape the Clones but lacked a hyperspace capable ship. Among these survivors were Jedi Masters Shaak Ti and A'Sharad Hett. Once Bail and his crew had determined that there were no further distress beacons, he ordered his ship to the Rendezvous.

    Upon his arrival at the Rendezvous coordinates, Bail, Padme, and the surviving members of the Jedi High Council met aboard his ship. Bail was deeply saddened to find that half the Council, including his friend Mace, were no longer with them. But Bail was, above all else, a politician. There was business, very important business, to attend to now. He would grieve for his friends later.

    To Padme, it seemed like forever before an agreement was reached. Bail would provide intelligence from within the Senate of what was happening in the Republic. He and Padme would begin a quiet recruitment of Senators that would be willing to oppose Palpatine. This would be more difficult for her as, to the rest of the Galaxy, she was being reported as dead, killed by the Clones that had attacked the Senate. She had tried to argue with the Jedi that she would be much more useful if she returned to the Senate. While they agreed that she likely would be, Master Yoda had put the final nail in that coffin by reminding her of whose children she carried, and that with Sidious now lacking an apprentice, he would likely take them to train and kill her out of hand. Judging by the looks on the faces of the rest of the Council, Yoda apparently hadn't quite gotten around to telling them about her and Anakin. "Just wonderful," she thought. "On the plus side, they really couldn't afford to expel Anakin from the Order at this point."

    Of course the truly difficult part of the assignment she and Bail had was convincing the Senators they contacted that the Jedi weren't behind the attack on the Senate and that it had actually been orchestrated by Palpatine. And to do it without letting it slip that the Jedi were still alive, still determined to end the threat of the Sith for all time. At least not until they were certain they had that Senator's support. The Jedi for their part had decided to briefly take some time to heal and center themselves and would then begin doing what they could to disrupt Palpatine's plans and generaly make life as difficult for him as they possibly could.

    After Bail had left, informing them of a Senate meeting the Chancellor had called, the Jedi began discussing what they would have to do once they reached Tython. No one really knew what they would find there. Jedi records indicated that, at one time, there was a fairly substantial Temple on the planet along with numerous Landing Pads, Training Grounds and Meditation Groves. But these records were nearly a thousand years old. The records also mentioned that a number of maintenance droids were left behind to care for the Temple and associated infrastructure, but it was doubtful if any of them were still active after over nine hundred years. One thing the Jedi did have in their favor however, was the fact that a fairly large percentage of the Jedi Service Corps had survived. The AgriCorps, MediCorps, ExplorCorps and EduCorps would be invaluable in resettling Tython.

    ________________​

    Governor Wilhuff Tarkin looked out over Mustafar. The Separatist traitors actually believed they would be safe here. Now that he no longer had to worry about the Jedi's moralizing, his orders were clear and simple. No survivors. He would personally lead the strike team to the surface.

    It was all over quickly. The Clones gunned down every last one of the alien scum. He made his way to the communication console and transmitted the order to shut down the Separatist droid armies. Finished with that, his only remaining task was to contact the Emperor, as Palpatine was soon to be known.

    _______________​

    Palpatine's address to the Senate was broadcast live over the Holonet. Everyone on the shuttle sat in stunned silence as he deftly manipulated and played the Senate. Hearing how Palpatine twisted the facts to suit him, Padme had to admit a grudging respect for him as a political operative. Of course, she quickly dismissed it remembering what he'd done to get his power. Hearing him utter phrases like, "the Republic will be reorganized into the First Galactic Empire, for a safe a secure society," and "By bringing the entire galaxy under one law, one language, and the enlightened guidance of one individual," made her deeply afraid for the future. Unlike most of the beings listening to the speech throughout the galaxy, she was very well aware of exactly what Palpatine meant. Hearing him announce a new position of Regional Governors that would report directly to him, made the Senate even more powerless than it already was. And the rest of the speech only got worse. By the time it was over, she was practically physically ill. The Jedi were little better.

    "The remaining Jedi will be hunted down and defeated!" Those words continued to echo within Obi-wan's head. The applause that followed just seemed to amplify it. After that, Palpatine's declaration that the Republic would be reorganized into an empire felt somewhat anti-climactic. "How could they not see what Palpatine was doing?" Obi-wan asked himself. "Were they so blind? Hadn't the years of war taught them anything? Dark times were definitely ahead." Padme had said it best he thought, "So this is how liberty dies-to thunderous applause."
     
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  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent! Relieved that as many as did were able to escape and confer on very sound strategies! I am very impressed by the level of plotting and research you've apparently done into Jedi history, etc. =D= It will absolutely be a balancing act staying "under the radar" while becoming strong enough to topple Palpatine's schemes.

    [face_thinking]
     
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  17. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Thank you! Yeah, that about describes it. On the one hand, they don't want Sidious to figure out where they've gone. On the other, they need to fight him where and when they can to try and restore the Galaxy's faith in the Jedi.
     
  18. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Chapter 7: Tython

    No living Jedi had ever set foot on Tython. The planet had been abandoned almost a millennia ago, with most believing it was due to the hyperspace routes collapsing. That, however, was simply what the Jedi let people believe. While some had argued strongly against abandoning the Order's home, it was finally agreed that it would be best to keep it as a place of safety for the Order in trying times. The wisdom of that decision was only too apparent now. As the Jedi's ships dropped out of hyperspace, many were taken back by the beauty of the planet. The Force seemed to sing here. It could be felt by all before they had even entered the system. For Jedi who had lived in a galaxy where the Force had been clouded for far too long, it was like stepping out of the shadows and into the Sun. This world was truly how the Force was meant to be.

    Approaching the area where their information, dug up my Master Nu, said the Jedi Temple had stood, many were surprised to see it still there. The landing pads were even still usable. Apparently, they built droids to last nine hundred years ago. As the Jedi set foot on their new home, many felt a deeper, more profound connection to the Force than they ever had before.

    Anakin gingerly set his personalized starfighter down on one of the smaller landing pads. The thing looked solid, but until it took all of his ship's weight, he wouldn't trust it. "Who was he kidding? He wouldn't trust it until he'd gone over it's structure with a fine toothed comb and made sure it was sound," he thought with a grin. But that could wait. He had more important things to see too. He'd kept an eye on Padme's ship the whole way down. He really didn't care if anyone else saw him at this point. He had to check on her. He didn't feel the sheer terror for her that he felt before, but he was still worried. Entrusting R2 to shut down the fighter, he began making his way through the landing pads. He was waiting for Padme when she walked down the ramp from her shuttle. Maybe it was his imagination, but she looked and felt different somehow. He wrote it off to finally feeling the Force in it's full power for the first time.

    Sweeping her into his arms, he just stood and held her. Things were going to be different now. Their lives as they had known them were over. So much was going to change. But one thing Anakin did know, that as long as he had Padme, everything would be alright.

    "Young Skywalker. Quite finished are you, hmmm?" Yoda said. "If finished you are, join Master Kenobi you will. Ensure the Temple is secure. No one further do I wish to lose."

    Disentangling himself from his wife and giving her a somewhat sheepish look, he turned to Master Yoda and replied, "Yes, Master. I'll join him right away."

    "Very good, Young Skywalker." As Anakin walked off to join Obi-wan, Master Yoda turned to Padme. "Much to discuss, we have Senator. About the future, about the past, about the present. About you, as well. Told me, Anakin has, of your marriage and your child. Warms my heart it does to see happiness among the chaos of the war. Speak more tonight, we will."

    "Of course, Master Yoda. I'm at your disposal," Padme told him. "Is there anything I can do in the meantime to help? I don't want to just stand around doing nothing."

    "Hmmmm, help with the younglings, you may. Good practice for you it will be." With that, Yoda walked away laughing to himself.

    Shaking her head and laughing as well, Padme headed off to help with the Younglings. Though she did feel a little guilty that she could laugh at all considering everything else going on in the galaxy.

    On his way to meet with Obi-wan, Anakin ran into Ahsoka. He felt a massive surge of relief knowing that his Padawan was safe. "Snips!" He shouted.

    "Skyguy!" she shouted to him as they ran up to each other. "You don't know how glad I am to see you."

    "Same here Snips. It's good to see. And good to have you back. Hey! No objections. Besides, where else are you gonna go?"

    "Well, I..."

    "I want you here Ahsoka. You're family. This is where you belong. Just like me. We may not want to admit it, but you and I are Jedi to our core. And always will be. So what do you say? Ready to stay home and finish what you started?"

    Giving Anakin a bit of a look, she smiled up at him."Yes. Master."

    Grinning, Anakin pulled her into a hug. "Alright my eager young Padawan. I've got to join Master Kenobi in clearing the Temple. Check in with Master Yoda. See where he wants you to help out. He's the one running this show."

    "On my way, Master."

    Laughing and rolling his eyes a bit at his Padawan, the two Jedi went their separate ways. For now.

    Obi-wan, Anakin, a dozen other Jedi Knights and a company from the 501st carefully entered the long abandoned Jedi Temple. It was disconcerting that it was in as good condition as it was considering how long it had been since the last time someone had walked these halls. Oh, the Temple was certainly dust coated and in need of an overall cleaning, but other than that it was in remarkable condition. And apparently completely empty. They had been through nearly half the Temple and had yet to come across anything. No droids, no sentients, no beasts. The last wasn't really all that surprising since the doors to the Temple had been secured, requiring an access code that Master Nu had provided from the Archives. What was surprising was that there weren't any tracks to be seen on the floors.

    Noticing that none of the lights or doors were operational, Anakin leaned over toward Obi-wan and whispered, "Power Generator is probably out."

    "That's just a little obvious, don't you think Anakin?" retorted Obi-wan.

    "Somebody had to say it." Calling over Captain Rex, he asked him to pull up the schematics that Master Nu had sent. Pointing to the Utility level, he said, "There. Power generation and droid maintenance and control bay. Why don't we split up? I'll take 6 of the Knights with me and a squad of my men, leave the rest with you to sweep the upper levels. If everything is clear down below, I'll get started on getting power back online and see about maybe getting some of the droids back up and running. They can't have been offline for too long considering how well maintained the Temple still is."

    Stroking his beard for a moment, Obi-wan finally nodded. "Done. Just do be careful, Anakin. Padme would have my head if I let something happen to you now."

    "You know me Master."

    "Yes, that's what I'm worried about. Calling over Pablo-Jil, Khandra, Prosset and three others Obi-wan instructed them to join Anakin and head down to the Utility levels. "Rex, you go with them too. Detail your men."

    "Yes, Sir," replied the Captain. Turning to his men, "You heard the General. Lets move." A squad of men instantly detached from the main body and began clearing the path down to the Utility Level. Shaking his head, Anakin and the other Jedi followed.

    Once reaching the Utility Level, Anakin first checked the droid bay to make sure that the droids truly were offline and not just hiding because they hadn't seen a sentient being in a millennia. They were. From the looks of things, they had run out of power when the Generator had gone offline. He was actually surprised by the sheer number of droids in the bay. Over five hundred at a rough count. No wonder they had been able to maintain the Temple so well. Of course, getting them all back online was going to take some time. Before he could power them up, he'd have to check their verbobrains to make sure their coding hadn't gotten corrupted. He'd rather not have to wipe their memories if he could avoid it. There's no telling what they might be able to tell them about the ancient Jedi. "Later, Anakin," he reminded himself. First, get the Generator online again.

    Fortunately the Generator was the next room over. Whoever had designed and built the Temple (that part was absent from the Archives) had certainly known what they were doing. After inspecting the generator, he called up to Obi-wan. "Found the problem. A number of couplings burned out. Guess the droids didn't have any more spares and with the reduced power output from the generator, they probably couldn't make any. If I cannibalize one of the shuttles for parts I think I can have it up and running in an hour."

    "Well that's some good news. We cleared the rest of the Temple. Everything is secure. Plenty of dorm space for everyone, training rooms, kitchen and dining hall. Once the power is back we should be able to begin setting up right away," Obi-wan answered.

    "Alright. I'm heading to the landing pads. Oh, by the way. I found the droids. There's over five hundred of them. No wonder the Temple was so well preserved. Once the power is up, I'll work on getting the droids back up. Artoo can help me with that."

    "That sounds fine, Anakin. Let Master Yoda know what we've found. I'm sure he'd like to begin getting things moving."

    "Yes, Master."

    After informing Master Yoda of the situation, Anakin quickly removed the needed couplings from the shuttle (he hoped once the power was restored the droids would be able to make a few so they wouldn't lose one of the handful of ships they had) and began repairing the generator. He had it up and running just when he said he would.

    As power came back to the Temple, Master Nu and the other Archivists of the Order began setting up the Archives. This was going to take awhile. While there was plenty of space on the computers for all the data, the computers were quite a bit slower than those back on Coruscant. And the connections were slightly different. It didn't take long to modify what they needed, but it still slowed things down. While the data was being downloaded, she set a number of Padawans to work cleaning the Archives and preparing them to store the Holocrons and artifacts they had brought with them. Her main concern was securing the Holocrons that taught dangerous abilities and those from the Sith. It was going to be a long night.

    _______________​

    Padme was exhausted. Granted, Jedi children were far better behaved than most younglings, but they still had massive amounts of energy. On top of the ability to use the Force. Being nearly eight months pregnant didn't help either. She had spent the day helping Aayla Secura with the Younglings. The children seemed to be fascinated with her. And she with them. How could anyone want to hurt these children? Her thoughts turning to what Palpatine had tried to do at the Temple. As her thoughts got more melancholy, she noticed a change come over thechildren. They seemed to get sad as well. "That's weird," Padme thought. "Just a second ago they were running around laughing and playing. Now they're close to tears." That was when she noticed Master Secura giving her a strange look.

    Aayla looked at Padme intently and whispered to her, "You need to stop that. You're projecting your feelings through the Force and the younglings are reacting to it."

    "I'm what?!" Padme whispered back, a shocked look on her face.

    "You're projecting what you're feeling into the Force. It's influencing the Children. Even I can feel it."

    "How could I be doing that? I'm not even Force Sensitive. Wouldn't I have to at least be Force Sensitive to do that?"

    "Are you sure, you aren't?" Reaching out with the Force, Aayla probed Padme gently. "That's odd. You feel different in the Force than you used to, but i can't explain it. You almost feel like an untrained Force user."

    For what seemed like the hundredth time since the night the Temple fell, Padme felt her jaw drop open.
     
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  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wow! What a surprising revelation for Padme. And great progress for getting things up and running. :)
     
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  20. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Thank you! Yeah, a little bit. Of course, she is carrying the Chosen One's children...
     
  21. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Chapter 8: A New Master

    On Coruscant a dark storm was brewing over the Senate Tower. Darth Sidious was furious. Yes, the Jedi Temple was in ruins. Yes, thousands of Jedi had been killed almost instantly. Yes, he was now the Galactic Emperor, the first Sith in a millennia to claim the title. But as far as he was concerned, the plan had been an utter failure. Thousands of Jedi had escaped. Including that annoying little troll Yoda. The blasted Jedi had emptied the Archives before he could secure them, taking all those powerful Sith artifacts that had called to him through the dark side for years. Not a blasted one was left. On top of that, the Jedi had vanished. Gone. Not a trace of them left anywhere. Their ships had been heading toward the Outer Rim when they jumped to Hyperspace, but who knows where they went after that. But the worst part of it, was that fool Skywalker. He had turned his back on him. Preferring to stay with his friends. Misguided young idiot.

    What puzzled him though, was he had felt Skywalker return to the Temple just before the fighting broke out. He, Kenobi and Senator Amidala had literally flown right over him. He had actually fought Kenobi in the Temple, but had not so much as glimpsed Skywalker. Which was strange. Surely, if Kenobi had time to reach the fight, Skywalker should have. The boy had a nearly unquenchable thirst for battle. Why hadn't he joined the rest of the Jedi in defending the Temple? In fact, the only fighting that Skywalker did was in his Starfighter during the final escape of the Jedi from Coruscant. This was something to figure out later. Of more immediate concern, the loss of Skywalker meant the loss of his chosen apprentice. Normally, when the need for an apprentice arose, the Master usually already had a candidate, if not several, already in mind. In this case, he had regrettably been a bit too sure about turning Skywalker. And the blasted Jedi had taken all their records on Force Sensitive individuals. Not that the Sith had ever relied on Jedi rejects, but it would have made the search easier.

    That gave rise to another thought. Should he focus on training just one apprentice or should he forsake the Rule of Two and train multiple acolytes? Normally, he would just find a suitable individual and train him as his apprentice. But the situation that had existed for nearly a thousand years and gave rise to the Rule of Two had now changed. The Sith were no longer in hiding, but were ascendant while the Jedi were on the run. Perhaps he should train more than one. With thousands of Jedi out there, aware of the Sith, aware of him, it would be prudent to build a strong force of Force Users. Darth Bane would curse him from beyond the grave, but his plan had succeeded. Now he needed a new one.

    ______________​

    On Tython, things had settled down for the night. The Younglings had been bedded down, about half the Temple had been cleaned and everyone had eaten. Master Nu was still busy in the Archives, but considering some of the items in her care, that was to be expected. Master Yoda had called a council meeting a bit earlier in the evening. He had taken the time to commiserate with his fellow Jedi about their loss. But he had also explained the situation with Skywalker to them. And how it was because of Anakin that the Order was even still alive. The situation hadn't been resolved yet, but it was accepted that there really wasn't an option to expel him from the Order.

    Having accomplished that, Yoda began to address the current state of the Council. Half their number had become one with the Force. This would have to be addressed. Some names were quickly agreed on. Aayla Secura was the first one the Council agreed to add. It was also agreed that Master Nu would retake her seat on the Council. That left 4. Master Kenobi suggested Cin Dralig be added to the Council. After some discussion it was agreed to offer him a seat.

    This then led into who would take over as Battlemaster of the Order. Ki-Adi-Mundi suggested Anakin as, outside of Yoda and possibly Obi-wan, he was the finest duelist in the Order and had a deeper understanding of lightsaber combat than just about anyone. This caused an almost immediate uproar.

    "He's not even a Master!" protested Shaak Ti. "Not to mention we have yet to resolve his breaking of the Code."

    "A Master he may not be. But committed to the Jedi, he is. Broken the Code, yes. But still within the light is he. Agree with Master Mundi I do. Trusted Young Skywalker I did to save the Younglings. Proved himself worthy of that trust he did," Master Yoda responded. "Speak to him we should before deciding."

    "I too agree with Masters Mundi and Yoda," stated Kit Fisto. "Anakin is possibly the finest duelist the Order has ever seen. Unlike most, I saw how Jedi Skywalker interacted with the Younglings that night. They look up to him. And he was fiercely protective of them. While also being approachable to them. I can think of no one better to take up the post of Battlemaster of the Order."

    "While I ordinarily would agree with making Skywalker Battlemaster, until we settle the issue of his breaking the Code, I must vote no. He is a fine duelist and, until recently, I thought a fine Jedi. I may reconsider once we have spoken to him, but I must hear from him first," was Plo Koon's opinion.

    That left Obi-wan as the deciding vote. "I trust Anakin with my life. We've all seen how he has trained Ahsoka. For being so young, she is already better with a lightsaber than most of the Order. Despite his breaking of the Code, he is still at heart a Jedi. I vote yes."

    "Settled, it is," stated Master Yoda. "Speak to Young Skywalker we will. Explain he will his breaking the Code. If satisfied we are with his response, Battlemaster he will become."

    The other 5 members of the Council nodded their assent at the compromise. "Three seats left to fill, we do. Master Koon, have a suggestion, do you?" prompted Yoda.

    "Yes, I do. What about Master J'oopi She'?" asked Plo Koon.

    "I'm well acquainted with Master She'," said Master Fisto. "I believe this is a sound choice."

    The rest of the Council quickly agreed. That brought their numbers to 10. Two more to go. The last two were settled rather quickly actually. The Force was heard much more clearly here on Tython and the Council Masters heeded its direction. Masters Va Zhurro and Tera Sinube would be offered seats on the Council as well. With that settled, Yoda decided it would be best to settle the issue with Skywalker as well and called him to the Council Chamber. When he arrived, he had Ahsoka and Padme with him.

    "Masters," he said with a slight bow. "I'm aware of what you wish to discuss. I normally would have come alone, but as this effects more than just myself, it would be selfish of me not to include the two other people it affects."

    "Unorthodox, this may be. But wise, it is," said Master Yoda.

    "Thank you, Master. Before we begin, Padawan Tano has asked to be reinstated into the Jedi Order. I would ask the Council to grant this request."

    "This, I think, requires no discussion. Welcome Home, Padawan Tano," declared Obi-wan. There were nods and muttered assent from around the room at this.

    Swallowing deeply, Anakin launched into his explanation of what he had done and why. At the end, he simply looked at the Council and stated, "I'm not asking for your forgiveness, or your understanding. I'm not making an excuse for anything I've done. Some things, I wish I could take back, do differently. Some things," he said looking lovingly at Padme, "I would do again in a heartbeat. I will accept whatever punishment the Council decides on. I've done much which makes me unworthy of the title of Jedi. And I'll have to live with that for the rest of my life."

    "Jedi Skywalker, I'm not sure I can condone your breaking of the Code. You've formed a very large attachment and married. Attachment has been forbidden for over a thousand years. Not to mention your actions as a Padawan," stated Shaak Ti.

    "But the Jedi have made exceptions to that in the past," interjected Ki-Adi-Mundi. "Look at myself. Due to the low birth rate of Cereans, the Council has allowed me to have two wives. Having an attachment to them has not stopped me from performing my duty as a Jedi. It has not prevented Skywalker either. Don't forget, Anakin came to us late in life. He had already formed attachments before he became a Jedi. Perhaps it was wrong of us to try and make him forsake them. It was certainly wrong of us to not go to the aid of his mother. For that grievous error, Anakin, I, the Council and the Order as a whole, must beg your forgiveness."

    Somewhat stunned by the that frank admission from Master Mundi, Anakin could only nod and mutter something about how an apology wasn't needed.

    "Think you Skywalker is the only Jedi to have ever hidden a marriage? If expelled from the Order we did all who secretly married, expelled would be many Masters." Laughing, Yoda continued, "An exception for Young Skywalker I propose. Because of his childhood, his marriage, allowed it should be."

    Masters Koon and Ti, while not entirely comfortable with it, relented and agreed that Anakin would be allowed to remain a Jedi and maintain his marriage. Surprisingly, it was Obi-wan who raised an objection.

    "Anakin, I have to ask. What's to stop you from falling to the Dark Side because of your attachments? By your own admission, you acted in anger after the death of your mother. You also freely admitted that had you not spoken to Master Yoda about your vision of Padme dying, you would have been willing to do anything to save her. Including if that meant becoming the very thing you had sworn to destroy. What's to stop you from falling in the future?"

    Anakin was definitely surprised that Obi-wan was the one to bring this up. Though, if he actually thought about it, Obi-wan was a bit of a traditionalist. He was surprised to find that the question didn't anger him. And it definitely would have just the week before. He knew he still had a long way to go, but he was pleased with his progress so far. "Oh, stang! He hadn't answered yet," Anakin realized. "Better do that."

    "Master, the future is always in motion. That's something that everyone of us is taught as children. I can't say for sure that nothing could ever sway me. I don't think any of us can. What I can say, is that Padme's love for me, and our unborn children, kept me from making the biggest mistake of my life. I realize how close I was to the cliff. She pulled me back. I'm not, I'm not saying that because of that, I'm immune or that I can be a perfect Jedi now. But I believe it's because of her that I can at least be the Jedi I'm supposed to be."

    Stroking his beard, Obi-wan smiled at Anakin. "That, my young apprentice, is what I needed to hear you say. You've come a long way Anakin."

    "Agreed the Council is, Young Skywalker. Your marriage it will endorse. And many happy years do I wish for you two. Brings me to another point this does. Confer upon you the rank of Jedi Master, the Council does. Ask you to take the post of Battlemaster of the Jedi Order, we do," Yoda said. Anakin was completely taken aback by this. He had entered the Council Chambers expecting to be censured, not named Battlemaster of the Order. "Wait. What about Master Dralig?" He wondered.

    "Masters, I, I don't know what to say. I'm not sure I'm entirely worthy of being a Jedi Master. What about Master Dralig? Why am I being asked to replace him?"

    "Asked to take a seat on the Council will Master Dralig be. No one better than you could we think of to take his place. By your actions, proven you have that worthy you are to be a Jedi Master." With that, the 6 members of the Council stood, ignited their lightsabers and appointed Anakin a Jedi Master.

    ___________​

    Padme was absolutely beaming at Anakin. She was so proud of him. Becoming a Jedi Master meant everything to him. It came as a shock to find every Jedi in the room looking at her with a bit an odd look on their faces. Or, what she thought was an odd look. It was hard to read Master Koon's face behind his breath mask.

    "Senator," asked Master Fisto, "are you aware of what you're doing right now? Your emotions are projecting through the Force. Strongly, I might add. While everyone does this to some degree, yours come across more as an influence."

    "Oh! Master Secura mentioned this earlier to me. I don't understand it. I'm not even Force Sensitive. But she claimed that I felt like an untrained Force User to her. How is that even possible?" Padme asked.

    Apparently, the 8 Jedi in the room all had the same idea at the same time, because as if on cue, they all closed their eyes and appeared to concentrate. When they opened them again, they all had a surprised look on their faces. Anakin most of all. Every Jedi in the room shared a look as if to say, "What else have we not noticed lately?"

    "Correct Master Secura is," proclaimed Yoda. "Young Skywalker, felt like this before, your wife, has she?"

    "No, Master, never. I can't explain it."

    "Hmmmmm, an idea I have. Heard of this once before I have. When a Padawan I was, discovered a holocron that discussed this I did. Believe I do that two things have happened. Strong with the Force will your children be. Like their Father, they will be. Their strength, mixed with yours it has. Tython, the second is. Strong with the Force is this world. Amplify your connection to the Force it does. Or so the records say. Believe I do, that while on Tython you remain, strong with the Force will you be. Time only will tell if permanent this is. Train you, I will to shield your thoughts from others."

    Padme was just a bit shocked by this. "How could she suddenly be even remotely Force Sensitive? This wasn't possible," she thought. "On the other hand, maybe if she paid attention enough, she'd be able to pay back Anakin for all those times he showed off before."

    Shaking herself out of her ruminations, she finally answered Master Yoda. "Of Course, Master Jedi. I'd be grateful for any help I can get."

    ___________​

    Two days later, Master Yoda found his confirmation of his theory. As a child, Padme had been tested for Force Sensitivity. While her midiclorian count was some four times higher than the average human's, with a count of over four thousand, that wasn't high enough to become a Jedi. As a general rule, a count of seven thousand was considered the minimum for a being to feel the Force strongly enough and be able to manipulate it with any skill or success. Testing her again showed that her count had doubled. In fact, after testing every Jedi on Tython, all their counts had gone up. Skywalker's count, normally over twenty thousand was now closer to forty thousand. His own had gone from eighteen thousand to over thirty thousand.

    The rumors of Tython amplifying a Jedi's connection with the Force were now dramatically confirmed. While he doubted that any of them would retain their drastically higher counts once they left Tython, it was something to monitor. In the meantime, he would undertake to provide Padme some basic training in the Force. Particularly how to shield herself and her thoughts. He doubted Anakin would thank him for that one.
     
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  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful discussions and candor all around. Mundi is a voice of compassion and sensibility. Anakin is very open and receptive. This is the crucial difference in his remaining grounded now and in the future. :)
     
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  23. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Thanks!! Well, Mundi actually understands where Anakin is coming from here. He's married himself. Plus, Anakin was briefly his Padawan when everyone thought Obi-wan had been killed. And Anakin, well, he's literally just had his whole world rocked. There man he looked at as a father betrayed him and try to kill him, the place he called home for most of his life has been destroyed, he's finally free of Sidious' influence in his head, and Yoda actually helped him with Padme. Plus, Yoda inadvertently knocked Anakin's arrogance down a couple notches when he demonstrated a depth of understanding of the Force that Anakin didn't even know was possible. Basically, he's had to almost totally reevaluate himself and begin rebuilding himself into the man and the Jedi he should have been all along.
     
  24. SSgtC

    SSgtC Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Chapter 9: New Procedures

    Bail had no idea organizing opposition to Palpatine could be so difficult. Surely some Senators would be willing to stand up to him. But, alas, he was having no luck. Perhaps he should try something else. Perhaps instead of outright opposition (which was proving impossible) he should focus on Senators who hold similar ideals to his when it comes to concepts such as liberty and freedom. Not directly oppose Palpatine, but indirectly build a coalition that could one day stand up to him. With the proper conditioning. That could work. This was going to take years. He was going to need the Jedi to help show some of the more timid Senators that Palpatine could be fought. He needed to get a message to the Jedi.

    _____________​

    On Tython, Yoda and the rest of the High Council were debating the changes that Yoda felt were necessary. The biggest being that the Jedi could no longer be used as an instrument of state by the Republic (when it was reestablished). They would continue to advise and provide mediation, and even step in more forcefully when the Council felt it was warranted. But they would no longer do the Republic's bidding simply because the Republic said so. By Obi-wan's count, they were evenly split on this issue. Half the Council supported the idea, as being made puppets of the Senate is what got them into their current situation. The other half felt it was their duty to support the Republic no matter what.

    Obi-wan was of the later point of view himself. The Jedi had served the Republic since its founding. While the Republic certainly had its issues, particularly at the end, it had still been a force for good in the Galaxy for a long time. The Jedi owed it to the Republic to support it. Especially since the Republic supported them. But as he listened to Yoda's reasoning more, he found himself slowly being swayed. The Jedi could still support the Republic. But only when it would not compromise their standards. Yoda's last point was what was really driving it home for him: That if the Republic could only rely on Jedi support when the Order agreed with their actions, then perhaps the Republic would begin to put more thought into what they were doing and more of their actions would be in line with the Order's principles. By the time they broke for their midday meal, the majority of the Council agreed with Yoda. Once the Republic was reestablished, the Jedi would let the Force and their own morals guide them, not be so controlled by the Senate. Unfortunately, this was the least contentious change that Yoda proposed.

    The second major change Yoda wanted to make would require all Jedi to train a Padawan. After becoming a Jedi Knight, the Knight was to spend three years gaining field experience, working as a Jedi and then would be expected to take a Padawan. Even Yoda acknowledged that this was an extreme change for the Order, as previously, it was entirely up to the individual Jedi to decide whether or not to take an apprentice. Most of the Masters argued that being forced to train a Padawan could negatively impact how that Padawan was trained. To that argument, Yoda pointed to Anakin's training of Ahsoka. Anakin had not wanted a Padawan in the slightest. Had even been resentful of being forced into it. Yet now, the two were nearly inseparable to the point that Anakin had nearly resigned from the Order when the Council had thrown Ahsoka out. The arguments over this change would last days before a resolution was reached. In the end, the Council agreed to implement the changes. Mainly due to the fact that their numbers had been so severely depleted. However, the Masters that were opposed did force one concession from Yoda. That the policy would be reevaluated once the Order's numbers had recovered and there was no longer such a pressing need.

    The final major change that was suggested was to alter the Jedi's policy on attachment. The uproar this caused was nearly enough to rock the Temple off its foundations. Surprisingly, the first to speak in support of this change was Jocasta Nu. As Jedi Librarian, she had studied the history of the Order in more depth than just about anyone. She wisely brought out that the prohibition on attachment was, in the grand scheme of things, relatively recent. Since the founding of the Order twenty-five thousand years ago, the Jedi had only outright prohibited attachment in the last three thousand or so. Prior to this, while it was generally discouraged, Jedi were allowed attachments. And in many cases, those attachments, when properly formed and nurtured, kept a Jedi in the Light. Master Koon argued just the opposite. That allowing a Jedi attachments was just as likely to cause them to fall. It would be months before any agreement would be reached on this.

    _________________​

    Anakin had never dreamed that being the Battlemaster of the Jedi Order could ever be so difficult. He truly began to wonder how Master Dralig had managed it all these years. Not only was he instructing Younglings and Initiates in the basics of lightsaber use and combat, but he was also critiquing and refining the styles of some of the most prominent Masters in the Order. While Anakin could easily see and correct faults in just about anyone's use of a lightsaber, he was finding that telling a High Council member that their use of the blade was little short of disgraceful required a level of tact that he wasn't sure he possessed. Jocasta Nu may be one of the wisest Jedi alive, and certainly one of the most knowledgeable about the history of the Order, but her skills with a lightsaber were little better than a new Padawan's. In fact, he was fairly certain that Sors, the child that had impressed him with his courage that night at the Temple, could hold her off for quite some time, if not actually beat her. And he was eight!

    If he could have, he would have just rationalized it away with the fact that, as Head Librarian of the Order, Master Nu would likely never be called on to engage in lightsaber combat again. Unfortunately, Master Yoda had made that impossible. After appointing Anakin to be Battlemaster, Yoda had pulled him aside and told him in no uncertain terms that he wanted every Jedi brought up to snuff when it came to using a lightsaber. They couldn't count on the Sith never finding them. Or the fact that there was no telling who might be needed to go on a mission in the future. Yoda had also made it clear that any member of the Service Corps that had aged out was to be retrained in wielding a lightsaber as well. Since most of them hadn't so much as touched a lightsaber in years, he was having to start all over again with the very basics. In truth, he doubted many would become very adept at it, but he was determined to do his best. Why Master Yoda wanted to make this drastic change, he wasn't really sure. But he would see to it.

    And on top of all of that, he was also having to start Ahsoka's training again. Fortunately on that score, she hadn't really forgotten anything and their Master-Padawan bond had never truly broken. One meditation session later and it was fully repaired. However, with the Jedi now being hunted throughout known space, training a Padawan presented an interesting dilemma. How were they supposed to get experience dealing with other beings and performing the duties of a Jedi? Oh, he could certainly help her to develop her abilities to their full potential, but without real world experience, she (and every other Padawan) would only be half trained. This was something that every Jedi with a Padawan was trying to figure out and Anakin had had a number of conversations with other Jedi about it. So far, no one had been able to come up with a satisfactory answer.

    Turning his mind back to Master Nu, he gave a sigh of frustration. He really had no clue how to approach the subject with her. Recommending which of the seven forms would best suite a Youngling or Padawan? Easy. Helping an Initiate use a lightsaber for the very first time? No problem, a joy even. But this? As much as he hated to add another burden to him, Anakin decided that he would have to talk to Obi-wan about it. Time to put his reputation as The Negotiator to the test.

    _______________​

    As his ship dropped out of hyperspace and the planet below came into view, Darth Sidious gave a small, satisfied smile.This is where he would rebuild the Sith Order. Darth Bane's Rule of Two would be changed. Only two would hold the title of "Darth." Only one true apprentice would the Master have. But many more Sith would there be. He would ensure that his new Empire was ready for the Jedi. His first "class" was locked up in the star destroyer's brig. Six captured Jedi. Two Knights and four Padawans. He doubted any would be suitable to be his true apprentice, but they would be useful nonetheless. He was already planning just how to turn them. Confining them on Korriban was just the start. The planet was steeped in the Dark Side. And the mental torture that he would subject them to would ensure that they broke just how he wanted them to. He was going to enjoy this.

    ________________​

    Padme had never been so tired before in her life. She had been training under Master Yoda for only three days, and already it felt like she was in a waking coma. How in the world did the Jedi tolerate this?

    "I believe it's called Stockholm Syndrome," she heard from behind her. Turning to look, her face lit up.

    "Ani!" Running to him, she embraced him tightly. Looking up at him she said, "Will you stop listening in on the conversations in my head?" Laughing, she continued, "But seriously, how did you or any of the Jedi manage to put up with this? I never knew Yoda could be such a tough task master!"

    Laughing alone with her, Anakin couldn't help but commiserate. "You think this is bad? You should have seen him with me when I first came to the Temple! You're only learning basic shielding techniques. I had to catch up on nine years of Jedi instruction. My shins were bruised for a solid year from his gimmer stick. Don't let that kindly, mischievous exterior fool you. When it comes to training, Master Yoda does not cut corners."

    "Master Skywalker, telling tales are you, hmmm?" Yoda said from behind them.

    Blushing furiously, Anakin turned around. "Sorry Master. Just trying to help Padme out and pick her up a bit."

    "Humph. Undermining me, more like. An eye on you I will keep, Young Skywalker. Undue all my hard work you will."

    Chuckling slightly, all Anakin could do was reply, "Yes, Master." Turning to leave and head back to the sparing room, he whispered to Padme just loud enough for Yoda to hear, "Careful Angel, that gimmer stick of his packs a punch." Five seconds later, Anakin experienced that gimmer stick across his shins again.

    Realizing that Anakin had just baited him, Yoda hurriedly prodded the young Jedi Master out of the room. "Out, out! Work we have to do here. Time for games we do not." Looking at Padme, he said to her, "Always the prankster, that one. Recall I cannot the number of times havoc he caused in the Temple with his games. Tell you, has he about what he did to one of the cleaning droids?" At this Yoda let out a laugh. "Ask him about that, you should. Three weeks he spent on kitchen detail for that one. But now, to your training we will see." Settling in on the Meditation mat, they began.

    _________________​

    Quinlan Vos looked down on the planet of Kamino. The Council had sent him here to do some digging. While they now knew that Count Dooku had ordered the Clones in the first place or, rather, that he had influenced Master Sifo Dyas to order them, the Order needed something more. He had been asked to infiltrate Tipoca City and "adjust" the Clones training so that they weren't quite so malleable. In reality, this meant tampering with the Inhibitor Chips so that they would be essentially worthless. For this mission he had some unexpected help. Captain Rex had assigned a dozen of his men to go with him. As a Kiffar, he'd stand out like a sore thumb down there. But the 501st could blend right in. They'd conduct the reconnaissance for him, then smuggle him in to do the actual dirty work. This was a mission he looked forward to. Heading towards the planet's surface, it was time to begin.
     
  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful and very sensible changes /modifications to procedures based on the demands of the current situation/circumstances. [face_thinking] I love your Anakin/Padme. They're teasing and affectionate. :) And Yoda ;) he's always a treat!
     
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