Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars. Just writing for the fun of it.
Summary: First in a series. - It has been said that to know the future is to be trapped by it. However for Anakin Skywalker, knowing the future has changed his own dark fate. A different choice made by the Father on Mortis has allowed the Chosen One to see who and what he has the potential to one day become. The only question is, where will this new path lead.
The Skywalker Chronicles
"Just for once, let me look on you with my own eyes?" Anakin asked of his son knowing that he would soon die from his injuries.
Luke stared down at his father for a few seconds before realising that there wasn't much time left. Nodding his head he reached up and lifted the helmet from his father's head slowly. Placing the helmet on the ground Luke then reached up for the mask that covered his father's face and carefully removed it, revealing his father's pale and scarred face. Looking down at his father, Luke couldn't help the small smile that formed on his face as he looked into his father's blue eyes. Eyes that held so much guilt, yet so much love and hope.
As the mask was lifted from Anakin's face, for the first time in many years he felt a true sense of hope. He knew that with everything he'd done, he deserved the death he knew he now faced. Yet despite this, he was calm and at peace. Seeing his Son's face with his own eyes for the first time brought him more happiness than he had felt since Padmé told him that she was pregnant. The thought of Padmé even now still caused him great pain but the sight of his son overshadowed that pain.
The sudden feeling of increasing weakness brought Anakin from his moment of happiness and he knew he only had a few moments of life left in him. "Now go my son," He said calmly. "Leave me!"
Luke shook his head at that immediately. "No, your coming with me. I'll not leave you here." He insisted. "I've got to save you." He then added.
"You already have, Luke." Anakin responded with a small smile. "You were right... You were right about me." Then as the darkness started to encroach on him he felt the remainder of his life begin to slip away. "Tell your sister... You were right." With that Anakin smiled lightly as his eye's closed. His last thought however as death finally took him was of Padmé, and how he had so badly failed her and their children.
Bolting upright gasping for breath Anakin was shaking heavily as the memory finished playing through his mind. It took a few seconds for his mind to calm itself as he began to look around the room he was in. After a few seconds his mind caught up with where he was and he let out a deep sigh as he kicked his legs over the side of the small bed in his quarters aboard the Star Destroyer that was currently taken him back to Coruscant along with Ahsoka and Obi-Wan.
The events on Mortis had shaken him greatly, yet he now felt a sense of peace that he'd never before known. Well a sense of peace he hadn't felt since he first joined the Jedi Order. Why the Father had done what he had done was also confusing him. He knew that the Father originally intended to wipe his mind of the future he had seen, yet for some reason he didn't and instead allowed him to live that entire dark future. Although when he awoke the Father did give him a good lecture about not learning from his mistakes.
As Anakin got out of his bed he made his way over to the window in his quarters and looked out at the hyperspace vortex. So much had changed in just a short period of time. In truth, he felt stuck and unsure of what to do with the knowledge he now possessed. From his memories of that possible future he'd learned one very important lesson. Knowing the future can cause you to become trapped by it. The simple quest of trying to stop what you'd seen or to manipulate events to cause or prevent an outcome you'd seen can have the exact opposite effect. His vision of the future had revealed that it was his quest to stop Padmé from dying that ultimately caused her death.
It was that knowledge of knowing how knowing the future could trap you that was causing Anakin to keep quiet about what he knew. He needed to think long and hard about what his next move should be. Unfortunately he knew he couldn't talk to Obi-Wan and tell him about what Palpatine has planned, as he'd go straight to the Council and tell them which could make things much worse in the long run. His knowledge of the future had revealed a lot about how the Sith had truly come to power. Everyone was so focused on the future that nobody, not even Yoda had realised just what was going on.
The Sith had been planning this, planning seizing control of the galaxy for a thousand years. They'd spent all those years operating behind the scenes manipulating people and events until things had unfolded just the way they currently had. Taking out Palpatine would easily end the Sith threat as Dooku was nothing more than a puppet. The problem was that in taking out Palpatine, it could cause the Republic to collapse in on itself. As much as Anakin hated to admit it, Palpatine was needed in power for the time being. Or at least until he can speak with Padmé and get her opinion on the political side of things.
"Your report on these 'Force Wielder's' is most disturbing Obi-Wan. Especially their interest in Skywalker." Mace Windu stated via holocom.
"Despite the unusual nature of these Force Wielders." Obi-Wan began being careful in his words. "Anakin did prove that he is the Chosen One. The way he was able to overpower both the Son and the Daughter during the Father's test only reinforces what Qui-Gon believed Anakin could be. His battle with the Son before we left also proves just what Anakin has the potential to truly be."
"That in itself is a great concern to us." Mace stated again with a little coldness in his voice. "Knowing that Skywalker can access that level of power makes him a great threat. Has there been any sign that he still possesses that power?"
Obi-Wan shook his head in response while also being a little concerned about Mace's words. "No, Anakin seems to have lost his connection to the power he had access to while on Mortis. That said, the events there have caused a great change in him."
"Concerned for you former Padawan you are Master Obi-Wan?" Yoda asked with neutrality in his voice.
"Yes Master. Whatever it was that happened between Anakin and the Son before i found him, it terrified him in ways I've never seen before."
"The fact that he turned to the dark side is worrying Obi-Wan." Plo Koon stated, however there was no malice towards Anakin in his words. "Has there been any signs that the dark side still has a hold on him?"
Again Obi-Wan shook his head in response to the question. "No. And I do not believe he truly turned to the dark side."
"You told us that he willingly joined the Son, Obi-Wan. That is sure enough a sign that he'd fallen, even if only for a short time." Shaak Ti said, however like Plo there was no malice in her words towards Anakin. "How has he been coping with what happened?"
"He's closed himself off from both Ahsoka and myself. However i feel that there is more to this situation." Obi-Wan answered before taking a calming breath. "In regards to my belief that Anakin did not truly fall to the dark side. That is because of something he said to me before the Son knocked me out."
"What did he say?" Shaak asked this time with genuine curiosity in her voice.
"He apologised to me." Obi-Wan began before noticing looks of confusion coming from the other Jedi Council members. However deciding to carry on speaking he did. "He told me that I wouldn't understand what needed to be done to end the War. He also told me that the Jedi Order itself would be the one's to stand in the way of peace."
"That's outrageous!" Another Jedi Master shouted who Obi-Wan knew rather well, Jedi Master Coleman Kcaj.
"A theory you have Master Obi-Wan?" Yoda asked hoping that Obi-Wan had some insight into what motivated Anakin into making the choices he did.
"I believe so. I think that the Son showed Anakin a possible future. A future that terrified him so much that he was willing to go to the extremes that he did in order to prevent what he had seen from coming to pass. We've all had first hand experience with Anakin's visions in the past. His mother's death being one of them, and we know how that ended."
"Yes, he still blames us in some ways for his mothers passing." Shaak stated with a little sadness in her voice. Learning that Anakin's visions of his mother being in pain and suffering were in fact true had caused her to feel quite a bit of guilt over dismissing Anakin's visions the way that the council had. She could not blame him for feeling a bit of resentment towards the council. They had brushed off his visions simply because they were about his mother.
"In the past, Anakin's visions have almost always come true." Obi-Wan stated with a hint of sadness. Thinking about Anakin's mother was one thing that he felt great regret over. "Anakin did not join the Son out of some lust for power. He did it because he truly believed that it was the only way to prevent whatever it was that he'd seen from coming to pass."
"Remains the question does." Yoda began as he looked around at the council members. "Foreseen what, he has?"
After leaving his quarters Anakin found himself wandering the ship until he ended up on the flight deck. As he looked down the long hanger that more or less run the entire length of the ship he let out a deep sigh as he watched the Clones go about their work. As he looked at them he found himself feeling sorry for them. Not a single one of them knew what the Sith truly planned to do to them, none of them knew what they would one day be forced to do. The chip that every single Clone had inside their heads would turn them all into mass murderers one day, unless he found a way to prevent it. "Master!" The all too familiar voice of his padawan called causing him to look towards her fighter which was parked right next to his.
As Anakin looked at Ahsoka a small smile formed on his face. His memories of the future had revealed something surprising in regards to Vader's relationship with her. While they'd never be on the same side, neither one of them could bring themselves to harm the other. From his memories they'd had several encounters with each other and if what he remembers was true, Vader had spoken to her shortly before the battle of Endor. She had known that he couldn't kill his son and somehow knew that he'd sacrifice himself to save the boy. Her last words to Vader ran through his mind even now as he looked at the young Togruta. "I don't think we'll see each other again. At least not like we are now. I don't know what's going to happen, but i do know that you'll have a choice to make. I know you'll make the right one this time. Goodbye Anakin." Those where the last words she'd ever get to say to him and as he looked at her, Anakin knew without a doubt that she'd been right. Even after everything that he'd done, his padawan never lost faith in him. Somehow she'd always known that a little bit of his soul had survived.
The one thing that saddened even Vader was that he knew that Ahsoka blamed herself for what had happened to him. She would tell him after one of their arguments that what happened to him was her fault because she left the Order and that if she had stayed, she could have stopped it. During their last conversation Vader had admitted that everything that had happened to him, was his own doing.
Not wanting to dwell on those thoughts Anakin walked over to his padawan feeling a sense of pride knowing the woman she could one day become. "Hey Snips. How's your ship?"
"Needs a little work. She's been stuck on the flight deck for too long." Ahsoka complained. That was just one of a long list of things that she and Anakin both had in common. They both loved to fly.
"Tell you what." Anakin began as his smile began to widen. "When we get back, we'll both take our fighters out for a race."
"Your on, Master." Ahsoka responded cheerfully. "But prepare to loose, and badly."
"Don't get cocky young one. I'm not known as the best pilot in the fleet for nothing." Anakin quipped.
"Yeah like i have that problem with Anakin Skywalker as my master."
At those words both Anakin and Ahsoka let out a little chuckle. It had been a while since either of them had gotten into a decent banter and they both missed it. That said Anakin decided to take a more serious tone as he spoke. "All joking aside, how are you doing with everything that happened?"
Ahsoka knew that Anakin was referring to what the Son had done to her. While she didn't remember everything, there had been a few flashbacks. Thankfully nothing vivid. "I'm ok. I have had one or two flashbacks from what happened but I don't remember most of it." As the words left her mouth she leaned back against her fighter and crossed her arms over her chest as she looked Anakin in the eyes. "What about you? How are you dealing with it all?"
Anakin walked up next to Ahsoka and leaned against the fighter. "Strangely I haven't felt this good in years." He answered honestly which got him an instant look of surprise from her. "I remember everything and the reasons why I did what I did. The funny thing is, I don't regret it."
"What?" Ahsoka asked with a little worry in her voice over Anakin's statement.
Anakin knew that his words would cause her concern but decided to give her the answer to her question. "I don't regret it. At the time I made the choice, I believed that it was the right thing to do. While turning to the dark side may not have been the best idea, the reasons i was willing to do it remain. What the Son showed me, it's not something I can ignore."
Anakin's words peaked Ahsoka's curiosity and she could tell that he meant every word he'd said. Whatever it was that he'd seen, it really was enough to cause him to turn. That just left one rather big question. "Master, what did you see?"
Of all the questions he knew she'd ask, this was the one that he didn't really want to answer. However he also knew that it was important that she understand where he was coming from and why he felt the way he did. "This war, it's changing everything." He began keeping his voice calm. "Not even the Order is immune to the effects. The Son showed me a lot of things, but what i saw of the Order is one of the reasons i was willing to do what i did. I'll tell you the exact same thing i told Obi-Wan. In the end, the Jedi will stand in the way of peace. Well the council anyway. They're so wrapped up in destroying the Sith that none of them care about what happens to the Republic and the rest of the galaxy in the process. All they care about is their own survival and if what I've seen is true, then eventually they'll even turn on members of the Order just to protect their position of power." A part of Anakin wanted to tell her about what the Jedi did to her in that future that he'd seen. The better part of his nature however decided against it. Just because the Order made those mistakes in that future he'd seen, doesn't mean that it will happen this time. That didn't mean that he trusted them, far from it. In fact he doubted that he'd ever truly trust the council again. Especially knowing what he knows about the secret prison that the Council has been operating without even the Senate knowing. He couldn't help but wonder how many force users had been sent there without so much as a trial or any form of legal representation. They were all imprisoned because the Council deemed them a threat. Anakin was also very aware that they would probably try to send him there when they realise just how much recent events had changed him. He was no longer the arrogant young man he once was. He was finally free from the manipulations of those around him and soon the Council would realise that they no longer had any influence over him.
As Ahsoka listened to Anakin she began to feel really uneasy. Not so much about what Anakin was saying, but the certainty in his voice and eyes. She could tell that he truly believed what he had said and it was leaving her with a lot of questions. Although she doubted that this was the right time to ask them. Although there was one question that she could ask. "If what your saying is true, then what are you going to do?"
"Nothing." Anakin answered honestly. He'd wait to see how things played out first. "What I've seen has caused me to seriously doubt the Council. But the Council hasn't done anything yet so i cant blame them for what they haven't done. That doesn't mean that I'm not keeping my eyes open though. I suggest you do the same. Because one way or another, things will soon be getting very interesting." That said Anakin stood up straight and began to walk off leaving a very confused Ahsoka behind.
After talking with Ahsoka, Anakin went for a walk around the ship when the force seemed to call him back to his quarters. Curious about what was going on he returned to his quarters only to find that there was nothing there. Confusion began to kick in when he suddenly felt a very subtle shift in the force. It was so subtle that he doubted that even Yoda or Sidious would sense it.
Sitting down on the edge of his bed Anakin closed his eyes and drawing on what he had learned during the events on Mortis reached deeply into the force.
"I'm glad to see that you have not forgot what you learned during your time as Vader, Anakin. It's good to see you again."
Anakin's eyes snapped open in surprise over the voice and much to his shock he saw a man standing before him that had died almost twelve years earlier. "Qui-Gon?" He asked with shock in his voice.
Qui-Gon smiled brightly at Anakin knowing for sure that the young Chosen One could in fact see and hear him. "The Father played a very dangerous game, however it appears to have worked."
"I wasn't sure if everything I remembered about Vader was true or not. Well the bit after I kinda died on the Death Star." Anakin stated with a bit more calmness in his voice.
"While I don't know everything that you experienced, it has had a profound effect on you. That said, what the Father did was very dangerous. He could have inadvertently unleashed Vader upon the galaxy."
"Was what i experienced real? Or was it simply a possible future?" Anakin asked as he truly wasn't sure if what he'd experienced was what was going to become of him.
"Yes to both unfortunately." Qui-Gon began and instantly noted a look of guilt flashing in Anakin's eyes. "What the Father allowed you to experience was a possible dark future based on the events in your life up until that point on Mortis had he erased your memories as he had originally intended."
"That's one thing I don't understand." Anakin began as he let out a deep sigh. "The Father told me that if there was to be balance then i needed to forget what the Son had shown me."
"What he said was true, from a certain point of view." Qui-Gon answered only to be greeted by a look of confusion from the young Chosen One. "If the Father had erased what the Son had shown you, you would have just gone on with your life as if you'd never experienced what you had. In the end however, the Father decided to give you the chance to make the choice for yourself. He simply allowed you to see and experience what the Son did not."
Anakin simply shook his head and let out a small chuckle. "I feel like such an idiot. How could i have not seen Palpatine for what he really was?"
Qui-Gon looked down at Anakin with a little sadness. "Do not blame yourself Anakin. Palpatine is very good at manipulating people from behind the scenes. In all honesty, you never stood a chance. He in many ways became what you needed him to be. He was there to provide you with the emotional support you needed that the Jedi couldn't give you. He knew exactly how to use and manipulate you."
"The funny thing is, Vader knew that Palpatine was using him. He knew that he didn't care about him." Anakin admitted again with sadness in his voice. "But in the end, Palpatine was all he had."
"The question remains Anakin, what will you do now?"
Anakin looked at Qui-Gon and give his answer. "Palpatine needs to be stopped. But I've learned the hard way that trying to manipulate the future can have serious consequences. I need to be careful how i handle this."
"It seems as though your finally learning." Qui-Gon responded with a small smile. "Be mindful of the future, but not at the expense of what is happening now. That is a lesson that the Jedi as a whole have forgotten. I tried to teach Obi-Wan this but was rather unsuccessful. Remember what i told you just before the podrace on Tatooine. Your focus determines your reality. Unfortunately the Council is so focused on the future that they are blind to what is happening in front of them." Anakin nodded his head in understanding as Qui-Gon continued to speak. "In regards to keeping what you know a secret. There is no right or wrong answer, just be aware of the possible consequences."
"I know that I'll have to tell the council eventually, but i don't know if i can trust them. They are so consumed with destroying the Sith that they haven't thought about what will happen to everyone else." Anakin stated with a little frustration in his voice.
"I know." Qui-Gon simply answered and he couldn't blame Anakin for thinking that. "My time here has almost run out. But before i go i do have two things i need to discuss with you. Firstly know that i will be popping in quite often over the next few months so that i can finish your training." At those words Anakin give Qui-Gon a questioning look. "You have knowledge of both the Jedi and the Sith. You have a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the Unifying Force. That said, the one area you lack knowledge and understanding is on the living force. Over the next few months i will be teaching you all i know on the living Force." Qui-Gon paused for a few seconds allowing his words to sink in before he began speaking again. "The second thing we need to discuss. Is your wife."
Now Qui-Gon really did have all of Anakin's attention.
As Anakin walked through the halls of the Jedi Temple with Obi-Wan and Ahsoka, he couldn't help but think on what he'd seen in his visions of the future. Looking around he could feel the echoes of the night he stormed the temple. Echo's of a future he was now hoping to prevent.
His conversation with Qui-Gon on board the ship had turned out to be rather interesting and he'd learned a few things in the process. Three things stood out the most though. Firstly Qui-Gon told him that he'd made a mistake and that the Force hadn't intended on him becoming a Jedi. From what Qui-Gon had told him, he was meant to have stayed on Naboo. He'd also learned from Qui-Gon that Palpatine had known about his marriage to Padmé for quite a while already and had been using it to manipulate not only him, but Padmé as well.
The second thing he'd learned from Qui-Gon was something that he'd never really thought about before. Qui-Gon had told him that while the prophecy of the Chosen One was in fact true, the ancient Jedi had changed a few things to fit their needs. Hearing that Anakin did get a little angry as for a few moments he felt like he had been used, again. However Qui-Gon made him realise that he couldn't blame the current Council for what had been done centuries earlier.
The third thing that Anakin had learned was the one thing that he couldn't wait to test. The now dead Jedi Master told him about a force bond that existed between him and Padmé. At first Anakin was a little confused by this as he hadn't sensed a force bond between them. Qui-Gon replied by telling him that while the bond was there, it was dormant and never got chance to activate because of those ten years they'd spent apart from each other. Thankfully Qui-Gon had told Anakin how to activate it, but it was something that he needed to talk to Padmé about first. Qui-Gon had warned him that if he activated the bond, it could never be undone and that it would permanently bind him and Padmé together.
Coming out of his thoughts, Anakin realised that they were approaching the elevator that would take them to the Council Chambers. "Ahsoka, Obi-Wan and I will go on ahead. I want you to go to the healers wing and get yourself checked out."
"What? Why?" Ahsoka asked in confusion.
Anakin looked Ahsoka in the eyes and give her a small reassuring smile. "You were dead, Snips. I just want to make sure that everything is ok." Placing his right hand on her shoulder he give her a gentle squeeze. "I'll join you once Obi-Wan and i have finished debriefing the council."
Ahsoka let out a small sigh knowing that Anakin would not let this go before she reluctantly nodded her head. "Ok, Master." With that she walked in the direction of the healers wing of the temple.
Anakin watched her go as he and Obi-Wan waited for the elevator. "You could have taken her to the healers wing after the debriefing with the council." Obi-Wan stated.
Anakin turned his attention to Obi-Wan and looked his former master square in the eyes. "Do you really think it's fair to Ahsoka having to listen to the council complain about me. You and i both know exactly what's going to happen the moment i walk into the council chambers."
Yes, Obi-Wan knew all too well what was about to happen. However he was rather surprised by how well Anakin was taking it. Normally his former padawan would be getting angry over the way he believed the council was treating him unjustly. This time though, Obi-Wan knew that Anakin truly deserved the lecture he knew the young man would get. "What happened on Mortis is not something that is to be taken lightly."
"Which part?" Anakin asked as he walked into the elevator as the doors opened. "The part where I joined the Son for a while? Or the part where there are others who have their own interpretation of that whole Chosen One thing?"
Obi-Wan had to admit that he was again taken by surprise with how insightful Anakin suddenly was. Then again, Anakin had seemed a lot different since the events on Mortis. What surprised him most though, was the sense of peace he could now feel within his former padawan. Although despite that new found inner peace, he could also sense that Anakin felt a great deal of guilt. That didn't surprise him as he suspected that Anakin felt guilty about what happened on Mortis.
What Obi-Wan did not know however, was that Anakin was not feeling guilty over what happened on Mortis. The guilt that Anakin felt was for what he could remember doing, and for not seeing Palpatine for who and what he really was.
In the Jedi Council Chambers the members of the Council were aware that Obi-Wan and Anakin were on their way. For the last hour or so they had been discussing what punishment Anakin should face over what he had done on Mortis. They had yet to reach a decision and decided to wait until after they had heard Anakin's explanation.
Brought out of their musings by the chime to the council chambers going off the entire council turned towards the door as Obi-Wan and Anakin walked in. As the pair walked in Obi-Wan went towards his seat while Anakin just stood there taking a look around.
Anakin was well aware of how different he now was. In some ways he was over two decades older than he was a few days ago, yet in others he was just like his old self. At the same time however, he was also well aware that he still had a great amount of darkness within him. Despite this inner darkness within him, Anakin felt completely calm. The darkness did not define him and he no longer felt the need to struggle or suppress it.
"We've received Master Kenobi's report on the events that took place during your last mission." Mace Windu began breaking Anakin away from his thoughts. "What he told us is greatly disturbing."
"An explanation for your actions you have?" Yoda asked.
Anakin knew that this would happen and that the council would bug him over his actions. Truthfully he didn't really care what they thought about him anymore, but he also knew that this situation was going to quickly get out of control. So keeping himself completely calm he turned his attention to the old grand master. "You don't need to concern yourselves with what happened on Mortis. What happened was the will of the force and nothing more."
"The will of the Force?" Mace asked sceptically before continuing to speak with a firm tone. "That is just an excuse Skywalker. What you did is not something to be taken lightly. This council would be justified in having you permanently confined."
Much to everyone's surprise Anakin let out a little chuckle as he shook his head. "Anakin." Obi-Wan warned from his seat already not liking where this situation was heading. "This is not a laughing matter."
"Isn't it?" Anakin asked as he looked at his former master. "How often does this council justify things by saying that it was the will of the force? Yet when someone else says it, it's not the case. Your so wrapped up in the idea that you are the only ones that follow the will of the force. Well, that's the biggest load of poodoo I've ever heard." Turning his attention back to Mace, Anakin had to suppress a grin that was threatening to form as he noticed that his words had stunned the entire council into silence. "And as for you Mace, try and confine me. I dare you." As he glared as Mace, Anakin was really hoping Mace would try something stupid.
"Careful you must be Anakin." Yoda warned not liking this situation at all.
"Careful of what?" Anakin asked as he turned his attention back to the old Jedi Master. "You cant have it both ways Yoda. You cant justify the actions you take by claiming that it was the will of the force then reject anyone else who says the same thing. As Mace said, that's just an excuse."
As Obi-Wan listened to Anakin speak he realised something. His former padawan had dropped any use of any of the Councils titles and was referring to them by Name and not using their titles as he normally did. "Anakin. Don't be disrespectful. This matter is a serious one and your not helping you case."
Anakin turned back to look at Obi-Wan again. In many ways this is what Anakin wanted, to bring a little chaos to their need for order and control. Originally he hadn't planned on this but the council's 'concern' over his recent actions was giving him an opening that he was going to take advantage of. "This isn't about respect Obi-Wan. What happened was meant to happen and nothing more. It was for a lack of a better word, my trail."
Yoda who had been sitting quietly in his seat had been watching Anakin closely through the force. What he was sensing was concerning him greatly as what he could sense defied everything that he'd ever been taught. Both the light and the dark sides of the force surrounded the young man but there was no conflict between the two opposing sides. Everything that he'd ever learned about the force told him that the light and dark sides could not coexist, yet the young man in front of him seemed to defy those teachings. "A trail that you obviously failed Skywalker, which leaves us with the question of what we do now." Mace stated breaking Yoda from his thoughts.
"And here you go again, assuming that you know everything." Anakin responded with a sigh of exasperation. "You people really are full of yourselves because in reality, you know nothing."
"Are you saying that you didn't fail?" Shaak Ti asked with curiosity in her voice, despite not liking Anakin's attitude.
Anakin turned to Shaak and give her a small smile. "My trail was not about falling to the dark side Shaak. It was about being able to come back from it."
"Impossible what you say is." Yoda finally said not believing Anakin's words. "Once you start down the dark path, forever dominate your destiny it will."
"Really Yoda?" Anakin said with a raised eyebrow as he again turned to face the Old Jedi Grand Master. "Ulic Qel-Droma, Bastila Shan, Revan, Atris, and those are to name just a few that have fallen to the dark side and returned. So don't you dare sit there and think you have some divine right to pass judgment when you obviously cant learn from your own past. Your so wrapped up in yourselves that you cant see past your own arrogance. You teach that only the Sith deal in absolutes, yet everything is black and white with you people."
The entire council was shocked into silence seeing Anakin verbally cut down the Grand Master of the Jedi Order. What shocked them even more was that Anakin's argument did in fact have merit. They were all well aware of the fact that the people he had mentioned had all fallen to the dark side at some point before returning but having that thrown in their faces shocked them. "Let's just cut to the chase shall we." Anakin said calmly bringing the council out of their shock. "You don't trust me. There's nothing new in that. This council has been afraid of me since the moment Qui-Gon brought me before you." Anakin took a few seconds to look around the room to make sure that he had everyone's attention. "Personally, I don't care whether you trust me or not. I've got nothing to prove to any of you. That said, I will not stand here and allow you to pass judgment on me. I answer to the will of the Force, not this council. And the truth of the matter is that while you don't trust me, I don't trust you."
While the entire council was again shocked and even a little outraged by Anakin's words, Obi-Wan sat there in his seat lost in thought. Seeing Anakin openly challenge the council was worrying him and he couldn't help but feel that there was something deeply wrong with his former apprentice.
"I feel fine, I don't get why Master Skywalker asked me to come here." Ahsoka said in a huff as Barriss run a few tests on her.
"Well from what you've told me Ahsoka, you were technically dead." Barriss responded with a little uncertainty in her voice.
"It was only for a few minutes." Ahsoka complained still not liking the idea of being stuck in the medical ward.
"Well, I've run a quick scan and nothing is showing up." Barris stated. "I'll send the scans off to the analysis droids so that they can compare them to your previous medical exams."
"So how is she?" A male voice asked causing both Barriss and Ahsoka to look towards the door where Anakin was standing looking at the pair. He'd left the council chambers after a little verbal sparring with them and ended up telling them to basically grow up. He knew that the council were deeply worried about his mental wellbeing and that they believed that the Dark Side still had some control over him. Personally he thought they were just a pack of fools scrambling to maintain control over their little cradle of power.
"As far as i can tell, she's perfectly healthy." Barriss answered before glancing back at Ahsoka. "Unless any side effects appear, i see no reason to keep her here."
"Good." Anakin said to which Ahsoka smiled weakly. "As long as she's alright." With that Anakin walked over next to Ahsoka. "I just wanted to make sure your ok." He said softly knowing that she didn't like the idea of being stuck in for tests.
"I know Master. I just don't like this place, never have." Ahsoka said with a little frustration in her voice.
Barriss looked at the pair and had to admit that she didn't really like what she was seeing. The pair in front of her both had strong feelings for one another and it was disturbing her greatly. "Well, as far as I can tell there's no reason to keep her here, so she's free to go." She finally said.
"Alright then, let's go." Anakin said as he stood up straight with Ahsoka following behind quite happy at the idea of not being stuck in the medical wing.
Barriss watched as the pair left and felt slightly uneasy. Anakin had made no attempt to shield his emotions and she'd picked up on how powerfully he cared about Ahsoka. It was something far more than what he should be feeling towards the young Togruta and in concerned her greatly.
"So, what are we doing now?" Ahsoka asked as the pair walked through the temple.
"Well, I've got a few things to do." Anakin began instantly noting the curious expression that formed on Ahsoka's face. "As for you, your on leave for the next week. We wont be going on any missions for a little while."
"What? Why?" Ahsoka asked.
Anakin give Ahsoka a small smile as they reached the exit of the temple. "Mainly because I'm going to be refusing to go an any missions."
Ahsoka had to admit that she did not see that answer coming. "Why would you do that?" She asked.
"Truthfully. I'm tired." Anakin answered which was true to a certain extent. Normally he'd be thrilled about going back out in the field, but not anymore. From his perspective, all he has done is fight for the last two and a half decades. He was tired of death and war. "Did you know that you and I have seen three or four times the amount of combat as anyone else. All they do is send you and me out when there are others who are just as capable. So, I've decided that you and I are taking a little time off. We both need some time to relax and unwind."
"So, what am i supposed to do?" Ahsoka asked not really knowing what to do with any time off. Anakin was right in what he had said about the two of them being out in the field more than any other Jedi in the Order. In truth she'd often wondered why they'd always be sent out. In fact since the war started they'd only been given two meditative retreats where others had five or six by now.
"Well Snips." Anakin began as he placed his left hand on her shoulder. "You go do whatever it is that young girls your age do. While I go and do what I normally do when I can get some time off."
"And what's that?" Ahsoka asked with a curious tone.
Anakin moved his hand from Ahsoka's shoulder and just give her a mischievous smile. "Now Snips, a girl your age doesn't need to know that sort of thing." At that Anakin began to walk away. "Remember, one week, no missions, Enjoy."
Ahsoka just stared at Anakin as if he'd lost his mind before shaking her head in amusement. She hadn't seen Anakin act like this in a while and personally, she thought it was a good thing.
Turning around Ahsoka made her way back into the Jedi Temple heading towards the small apartment that she shared with Anakin.
It took Ahsoka a few minutes to make her way back through the Temple but as she approached the dormitories she heard Obi-Wan calling out for her. Turning around she saw the Jedi Master approach her. "Yes Master."
Obi-Wan came to a stop just in front of Ahsoka and began to speak. "Do you know where Anakin is? He's left the Temple and turned his Comm. off."
"He left about five minutes ago." Ahsoka answered. "Is something wrong?"
"Master Yoda and I were hoping to talk to him." Obi-Wan responded with a sigh. "I suppose it will have to wait until he returns later."
"Master, I don't know when Master Skywalker will be back." Ahsoka stated only to get a look of confusion from Obi-Wan.
"What do you mean?" Obi-Wan asked.
"Well just before he left. He told me that we were on leave for the next week and that he wont be accepting anymore missions." Ahsoka answered. "I asked him about it and he said he was tired and taking a few days off. He said he had some things to take care of, but he didn't say what."
Obi-Wan hid it well but he was now becoming concerned about Anakin. Truthfully they needed him back out in the field as soon as possible and now was definitely not the time for Anakin to complicate his relationship with the council anymore than it already was. None of the Council were really happy with Anakin's attitude towards them earlier and if Obi-Wan was honest with himself, he didn't like it either. As it stands the council were deadlocked on what to do with him. Some wanted to have him confined to the temple while others knew that he was needed out on the battlefield.
Personally Obi-Wan was quite annoyed with his former padawan after his outburst in the council chambers. The way Anakin had spoken to the council showed a complete lack of respect and it was something that he'd be taking up with his former padawan the next time he sees him.
"I will go and look for him." Obi-Wan finally said with frustration evident in his voice.
As Obi-Wan began to turn and walk away, Ahsoka spoke up. "Master, is everything Ok?"
Obi-Wan came to a stop and turned back to face Ahsoka. "Truthfully young one, I do not know. Anakin said some things in the council chambers earlier that have me greatly concerned about his mental wellbeing. Now if you'll excuse me Ahsoka, I need to go and find Anakin and get some answers."
Ahsoka watched as Obi-Wan walked away and had to admit that she was now really confused.
Padmé had been sitting on one of the couches in the veranda for the past hour since she'd returned from her office just reading over news reports on the war. Every time Anakin was sent out on a mission she'd do this just to make sure that he was ok. Of course there had been a few times that a report had come in about him being hurt, or even killed. Thankfully those reports were normally quickly disproved when he'd show up in another report having beaten the enemy.
Since she and Anakin had gotten married she often wondered if she'd made a mistake. Not a mistake in marrying him, but a mistake in staying in her job. Anakin had wanted to leave the Order when they'd first gotten married but she'd been afraid. Afraid that he'd leave the order and only realise that he'd made a mistake. She was afraid that he'd end up resenting her for it. So she talked him into staying in the Order while she stayed in the Senate.
Anakin had been standing at the bottom of the stairs to the veranda for a few minutes in complete silence as he watched his wife reading through the datapad. He couldnt do anything other than just stare at her. The memories of the future he'd experienced came flooding back to him. Both the good times and the bad. As he watched his wife quietly he knew one thing above all else. That was that no matter what, he needed to have faith in her. Palpatine had done a good job in placing doubts in his mind in regards to Padmé and as much as he hated to admit it, he knew that he let his own fears and doubts cloud his mind. That was a mistake that he vowed never to make again.
As Anakin's memories of the future were flowing through his mind, one thing suddenly hit him. On Mustafar, despite everything that he'd done she still loved him. Even knowing what he had done she had still wanted to be with him. The memory of her begging him to go with her into hiding so that they could raise their child together suddenly hit him and he felt a wave of shame pass through him. It was in that moment he picked up on Padmé's current thought about him resenting her that broke him from his thoughts. "I'd never resent you, Angel." He said aloud causing Padmé's face to light up as she turned to see her husband standing at the bottom of the stairs just looking at her.
Getting up of the couch she quickly made her way over to Anakin and pulled him into a hug. "Ani, your home." She murmured as he wrapped his arms around her hugging her tightly.
"I've missed you so much." Anakin whispered holding onto his wife tightly as for him it had literally been a lifetime since he'd last seen her. While he knew what he'd experienced was only a possible future, it was still real to him.
Padmé buried her head into Anakin's chest as she hugged him breathing in his scent and for these few moments, she was completely at peace.
For the last several hours, Obi-Wan Kenobi had searched high and low for one Anakin Skywalker. The events in the council chamber earlier that day were still playing on his mind and the more he thought about it, the more concerned he was becoming. He'd always known that Anakin did not like many on the Council and that he didnt really believe in the Jedi ways, but he never thought that Anakin would so openly appose them the way he had. The way he'd so openly challenged the councils authority did not sit well with him at all. The more Obi-Wan thought about it, the more he was beginning to think that there was something wrong with Anakin.
As much as Obi-Wan didn't want to admit it, the possibility that Anakin was still being influenced by the dark side had occurred to him. He was hoping he was wrong but he couldn't shake the feeling that he was loosing control of his former padawan. The even bigger problem was that if he and the council lost control of Anakin then he knew that his former padawan may fail in his destiny. That was something that he was not going to allow. Anakin's destiny was too important and Obi-Wan was not going to allow the young man to fail.
Right now though despite those worries Obi-Wan was running out of ideas on where to look for Anakin. The sun had risen less than an hour ago and he had no clue on where Anakin may now be. However as he looked out towards the skyline of Corusant he could see 500 Republica there in the distance and had wanted to go and ask Senator Amidala if she'd seen Anakin. Unfortunately it was still far too early for that. So with that in mind he let out a deep sigh and turned his speeder back towards the Jedi Temple.
When Padmé was growing up her parents often told her that life had a funny way of throwing you for a loop. Everything she'd learned over the last few hours had done just that and thrown her entire world completely for a loop. When Anakin had come home the night before she quickly began to realise that something had changed in her husband. What she had learned had now literally changed everything. For the last few hours Anakin had sat next to her and told her about what he'd experienced on Mortis. She sat there in stunned silence as he recounted the future that he'd essentially lived through.
Anakin had pretty much told her everything. His fall to the dark side about a year and a half from now while stupidly trying to find a way to save her from visions of her death. How he'd been so stupid as to take the bait that the Sith Lord had dangled in front of him. How he'd turned on the Jedi and massacred the Temple, including the younglings. Everything up until the point of his return to the light thanks to their son.
It broke her heart when Anakin broke down into tears as he recounted torturing their own daughter, even though at the time he didn't know who she was. He had also told her about how he tried to lure their son to the dark side. Seeing her husband crumble the way he did caused her almost as much pain as he had been in while telling her. The one thing that shattered her heart more than anything was when he told her about Mustafar.
Anakin told her about how she'd gone looking for him after Obi-Wan had told her about his fall to the dark side. As he told her the story she could see his hands shaking as he recounted the events. He went on to tell her how she'd tried to talk some sense into him before Obi-Wan decided to reveal himself. Then what little control Anakin had left as he told her what happened next completely shattered. He described to her how seeing Obi-Wan appear out of nowhere drove him over the edge. Without thinking he became consumed with anger and assumed that she had deliberately brought Obi-Wan with her to kill him. Then he told her about reaching out to her with the Force and choking her.
From there Anakin went on to tell her about the fight with Obi-Wan and how his former master had cut of his left arm and both his legs. Padmé sat there in quiet outrage as Anakin told her about how his former master left him there to burn alive. If Padmé were honest with herself, the part that hurt her the most was the fact that Anakin could believe that she'd deliberately betrayed him. However Anakin quickly put her at ease by telling her that he was out of his mind while being consumed by the darkness that was flowing through him. The guilt in his eyes clearly showed how much he hated himself for even being able to think that of her.
After Anakin recounted the dark future that he'd experienced, it left a lot of questions. While there were some things that Anakin had left out, he did say that while what he had seen was real. It was only one of an infinite number of possible futures. He went on to explain that there could be a possible future where she herself, would join the Sith. Of course Anakin told her that he didn't believe for a moment that she'd ever do that. It allowed him to make the point that nobody was infallible and that under the right conditions, anyone could be manipulated into becoming the very evil they'd spent a lifetime fighting against. As much as Padmé didn't want to admit it, she knew that Anakin had a very good point.
Another thing that Anakin pointed out which Padmé quickly realised was true, was that the Sith only exploited a weakness that was already there. As the war had progressed, she was well aware that she and Anakin had drifted apart. They still loved each other more than anything else, but they didn't talk like they used to. When the war first started they'd spend what time they could together talking and confiding in each other. Over time that had changed and because of what Anakin had experienced, he'd realised that they had unintentionally drifted away from each other. It was something that they had both vowed to change.
Breaking away from those thoughts, Padmé turned her head to the left and looked down at her husband who had finally fallen asleep about an hour earlier. Reliving everything that Vader had done as he told her about the dark future he'd lived had completely drained him. Thankfully he'd fallen into a peaceful sleep and had barely moved in the last hour.
As she looked at Anakin though, Padmé knew that this experience had changed him greatly. From his perspective in some ways he was a man in his mid forties and had matured greatly in only a few days from everyone else's point of view. Despite this, her own feelings towards her husband hadn't changed. In fact if she were to be honest with herself, she loved him even more now than she did a few days ago. It was ironic that Anakin had needed to go through that hell for them to have a truly full and open conversation.
Padmé knew that Anakin loved her, she'd never once questioned that. Even knowing what she now knows, she doesn't for a second have a single regret in marrying him. She knew that there was no way that he would ever intentionally hurt her, despite what he said happened on Mustafar. In fact the way she looked at it was that he'd kept the first promise he'd made to her when they first got married. Just before he left on his first mission in the war she'd made him promise that no matter what, he'd always come back to her. Even if that future Anakin experienced was real, she knew one thing above all else. It may have taken him a little while but as far as she was concerned, he'd kept that promise. It may have taken him over two decades to do it, but when it mattered most he'd saved their son and returned to her.
Feeling the need to sleep herself, Padmé laid down on the bed next to her husband and pulled herself close to him. As she closed her eyes she knew without a doubt that things had changed. But for some reason she couldn't explain, she knew that everything was going to be alright. There were still things to talk about, but that could wait a few hours. Right now she knew that as long as she and Anakin stayed true to each other, then everything would be ok.
A few hours later Anakin had returned to the Jedi Temple and was now sitting in the archives. He'd left Padmé asleep and ordered Threepio not to wake her until midday. As an insurance policy he'd also left Artoo behind as well. Reliving the nightmare that he'd essentially lived through for over two decades had completely drained him, yet it had helped him greatly. He'd finally been able to get some things off his chest as well as make sure his wife knew just how much he truly loved her. That was one of the many problems that contributed to his fall into darkness as Sidious used that to his advantage. In the end both he and Padmé were keeping things from each other which strained their relationship. Unfortunately neither one of them really noticed until it was too late. There was still much that they needed to talk about, he was a different man to what he was a few days ago and he could only hope that these changes in him didn't effect how Padmé felt about him.
Not wanting to dwell on those thoughts Anakin turned his attention back to what he was doing. He'd spent the last hour looking through the Archives doing research on the ancient Jedi. The Jedi from the days of the Old Republic before the Order became too centralised. Much to Anakin's annoyance however, most of the detailed information was restricted to Council Members only. He had a suspicion that it was due to the fact that the ancient Jedi's way of doing things were rather different. If there was one thing that Anakin knew, it was that the current Jedi hated anything that didn't conform to their views on things.
After a little while Anakin give up on using the archives to search for information on the ancient Jedi and turned his attention to using the Holonet. The Holonet had been around for thousands of years and contained a lot of historical information that was not restricted in the same way as the temple archives were. Unfortunately he found himself hitting another dead end as the holonet itself had very little historical data on the ancient Jedi outside of their open activities. It seemed to Anakin that the Jedi liked to keep their secrets even back then.
Obi-Wan made his way through the Jedi Temple heading towards the archives. He'd asked to be informed if or when Anakin returned to which the young Jedi had finally done so. He was still quite annoyed with his former padawan and was in two minds as what to do about it. As a member of the Council, Obi-Wan knew that he was well within his rights to have Anakin disciplined for his actions in the Council Chambers. In truth he had considered it but he also knew that with Anakin, it would just make the situation worse.
As he walked into the archives Obi-Wan saw Anakin sitting at one of the computer terminals looking lost in thought. Going by the looks of things, Anakin was reading something that was intriguing the young man immensely. With curiosity Obi-Wan made his way over to his former padawan.
Anakin had sensed Obi-Wan the moment the older Jedi Master entered the archives. He also sensed that his former Master was rather frustrated and annoyed with him. Funnily enough though, Anakin couldn't seem to care. There was still a part of him that resented Obi-Wan for the lies he'd told to Luke about how he'd murdered his father. While Anakin knew that he couldn't really blame this Obi-Wan for things he hadn't done, it was showing a pattern of behaviour within the Jedi Council. "Is there something you need, Obi-Wan?" Anakin finally asked as Obi-Wan came up behind him.
Obi-Wan came to a stop behind Anakin and looked at the computer screen that his former padawan was reading. What he saw on the screen actually surprised him. "What's this?" He asked.
Anakin leaned back in his chair before answering. "I've been doing a lot of thinking lately." He answered before letting out a small sigh. "Because of the war I never got a chance to choose a career path within the order. When they Knighted me I was just placed in the Guardian Category because that's what you were in."
"Your thinking of choosing another path?" Obi-Wan asked with curiosity in his voice.
"Yeah." Anakin answered as he wanted to get away from the temple on a more permanent basis and actually do some good in the galaxy. After everything that had happened to him recently he'd come to the conclusion that he'd lost a lot of himself to the Jedi Order. He'd only joined the Order because he had wanted to go back to the Outer Rim at some point and actually help the people there. Unfortunately somewhere along the way he'd forgotten who he truly was and what he'd wanted to do. In stead he'd allowed himself to get caught up in becoming what everyone else thought he should be. "I'm thinking of taking some training to join the Sentinel Class, but more like the Sentinels that were around during Revan's time."
Obi-Wan stood there for a few seconds before speaking. "Changing vocations within the Order is not an easy thing." He pointed out as it was a general rule that once you join one class within the Order, that you could not switch.
"True, but since i haven't actually chosen a path within the Order i can still choose." Anakin countered. "I've already looked it up." With that said Anakin turned around in his chair so that he could face Obi-Wan. "Despite all this, i get the feeling that this wasn't what you wanted to talk to me about." He said to which Obi-Wan simply nodded. "Let me take a guess here and say that neither you nor the council are happy that i decided to stand up for myself?"
"Your attitude in the Council Chambers yesterday was unacceptable, Anakin." Obi-Wan began but surprisingly enough even to himself his tone was quite light. "You were completely disrespectful as well as disobedient. This is not a matter to be taken lightly."
Anakin let out a deep sigh as he knew that this would happen. The Council's need for obedience and control would put them into a frenzy of fear as they realise just how little influence they have over him. "Obi-Wan, blind obedience is just plain stupid, and as for respect. Your the only one on that Council that I do have any respect for."
Obi-Wan just stood there again for several seconds. As he did so he took a good look at his former padawan and realised for the first time that he was not talking to the arrogant young man that Anakin could sometimes be. There was something in Anakin's eyes. The storm of emotions that were normally there were gone. There was still a light in his eyes but the emotional storm was gone. He knew that he and Anakin needed to talk, to clear the air so to speak. "Anakin, just between us. What happened on Mortis? I know that there is more to what happened than what you've told me."
Anakin knew that Obi-Wan would pester him in regards to what really happened. He couldnt blame him for that and while he had to faith in the council, he did trust Obi-Wan. So with that in mind he leaned back in his chair and let out a deep sigh before speaking. "I'm not going to tell you everything i saw. But i will tell you what you need to know." He said to which Obi-Wan reluctantly nodded. "After i left you i went to the shuttle but Ahsoka had already sabotaged it and fled. I was about to chase after her when the Father showed up." Closing his eyes, Anakin took a calming breath as he was once again forced to push his memories of that dark future aside. "The Father just talked to me for a few minutes and asked me what the Son had shown me. When i told him, he tried to tell me that the future can be changed and that nothing was set in stone. But what I'd seen, it was just too much. In the end the Father was left with two choices."
"What two choices?" Obi-Wan asked with genuine curiosity.
"To either erase what the Son had shown me. Or to let me experience that entire future." Anakin answered before letting out another sigh. "You see Obi-Wan. While for you we left for Mortis only a few days ago. For me, it's been around twenty five years. You want to know why I've changed so much. Why I'm willing to speak to the council the way I do. It's because from my perspective, there hasn't been a Jedi Order in over twenty years."
If a hole suddenly appeared beneath Obi-Wan at this very moment, he wouldn't have noticed.
The Force, even to the most experienced user was still something that held a great deal of mysteries. For those that had become one with the Force yet retained their individuality, there was still a great many mysteries that they would try to solve. And there was one mystery that Qui-Gon Jinn was currently trying to solve.
Qui-Gon had been on Mortis and had seen what had transpired between the Father and Anakin. Something had interfered with the Father's plan that had caused the ancient Force Wielder to suddenly change his plan, what that was Qui-Gon didn't know and that was why he had returned to the Netherworld. He needed to understand what exactly was going on.
The Netherworld of the Force was the only place where he may get the answers he seeks. He knew that the Father had shed his corporeal form and gone there. So maybe, he could find something that would help solve this little mystery.
For the past hour, Obi-Wan sat in stunned silence as Anakin told him what was to come. While it was obvious that his former Padwan was not telling him everything, it was enough to get a general feel for what Anakin had seen. From what Anakin had told him, Obi-Wan knew that at some point in the future they would be betrayed and that the Republic would be turned into an Empire. He also learned that over ninety percent of the Order would be wiped out in a single night and that by the time the Sith were defeated, only Anakin was still alive. Unfortunately Anakin told him that he died as a result of his injuries defeating the Sith Lord.
As for Anakin he made sure to keep any information that would lead Obi-Wan to realise that it was in fact himself that fell to the dark side, hidden. He knew that the Council didn't trust him and knew all too well that they would use that information as an excuse to have him contained and possibly imprisoned. What happened the day before in the Council Chambers proved just how closed minded the Council really were. That said he did give Obi-Wan enough information to hopefully satisfy his former Master's curiosity.
"There's still one thing i don't understand." Obi-Wan began while doing his best to remain calm after what he had just learned. "How did it happen? How did the Sith do what they did?"
Anakin knew that Obi-Wan would ask a question like that and took a calming breath before answering. "Because Dooku was telling the truth." He simply said which was true. Anakin had come to realise that the Order and the Republic would have fallen no matter what happened that night. Even if he had listened to Windu and stayed in the Council Chambers, Palpatine still would have won. That whole fight had been a set-up. Palpatine knew that he couldn't risk anything happening to him as the old Sith Lord may have been the only one who could have helped him save Padmé. That said Anakin also knew that Palpatine would have defeated Mace and then issued Order 66. After all, Palpatine had been waiting for them.
As Anakin came out of his thoughts he could see Obi-Wan looking at him in confusion. "When you were captured on Geonosis just before the war started. You told the Council that Dooku told you that the Sith Lord was in the Senate." As those words left his mouth Anakin noticed a look of realisation appear on Obi-Wan's face. "That's right Obi-Wan. Dooku was telling the truth. Darth Sidious is here on Coruscant. He's always been here."
"That's... That's... " Obi-Wan stammered in shock. "That's not possible. The Council would have sensed it." He finally got out mirroring the words he had said to Dooku almost two years earlier.
"Is it?" Anakin asked calmly knowing how hard this was for Obi-Wan to process. "Everything the Order knows about the Sith is based on what the Sith were like a thousand years ago." He began before taking a second or two for Obi-Wan to calm down a little. "The Sith have evolved Obi-Wan. They've learned patience. They've spent the last thousand years planning this. Operating in the Shadows, manipulating people and events to just the way they needed. This war is the final part of their Grand Plan. The war is a cover to not only ensure the Sith take control of the Senate, but also as a cover to weaken the Order."
"But how? With the Clone Army, how are they going to win?" Obi-Wan asked still completely shocked by the revelation that Anakin had just given him.
Anakin could see that his former Master did believe what he had told him. He also knew that Obi-Wan was struggling to comprehend how they could not have seen it. Seen the truth behind the Sith's plan. On top of that, Anakin knew that what he was about to reveal would completely and utterly terrify his former Master. "Let me ask you a question?" He began to which Obi-Wan nodded slowly. "Who did Jango Fett tell you hired him to be the donor for the Clones?"
Obi-Wan had to admit that he was confused by Anakin's question. That said he could see in his former padawan's eyes that this question was an important one. "Someone named Tyranus. Although we've never been able to find out who he is."
Anakin looked at Obi-Wan with a bit of sadness in his eyes as he spoke. "Obi-Wan, Dooku's Sith name is Darth Tyranus."
In an instant, it was as if all the pieces suddenly fell into place as realisation took hold. Everything that had happened over the last twelve years seemed to click into place. The attack on Naboo, the Separatist Crisis, the assassination attempts on Senator Amidala, the vote for emergency power to be given to the Chancellor, everything. It was in that moment that Obi-Wan truly realised the scope of what they were dealing with. "By the Force." He murmured. "How could we have been so blind."
Anakin knew instantly that Obi-Wan had worked everything out and he was actually quite impressed with his former master. Maybe, he's not so blind after all. He thought to himself before speaking aloud. "Sometimes Obi-Wan. The best place to hide, is in plain sight."
"Palpatine." Obi-Wan said aloud with shock in his voice. "Palpatine is the Sith Lord behind the war." At that Anakin simply nodded.
While Anakin had hoped to have a little more time to work things out before letting the Council know about Palpatine, he was glad that Obi-Wan knew. "I should have listened to you." He admitted as he looked down at the floor feeling a wave of guilt wash over him. "You tried to warn me that there was something off about Palpatine, but i didn't listen."
Those words brought Obi-Wan out of his state of shock and as he looked at Anakin he could not only see guilt and remorse in his eyes, but he could also feel it through the force. "You have nothing to be sorry for Anakin. He has fooled us all. We have some of the most powerful force users in the Galaxy on the Council and none of us sensed it." As those words left his mouth Anakin looked up at him and he couldn't help but reach out and place his hand on his former padawan's shoulder. "I cant imagine how hard this is for you Anakin." He said softly. "I know that for a Jedi, attachments are forbidden. But i also know that you didn't grow up in the Temple and that it's hard for you not to form them. I am proud of you Anakin. Despite our disagreements, i have always been proud of you."
"I should have seen it Obi-Wan." Anakin admitted. "He was always there when i got frustrated with the council. Always there to give my ego a boost. I should have seen it."
"He fooled us all Anakin. Do not blame yourself." Obi-Wan responded feeling the guilt and remorse flowing from his former padawan. "The question remains, what do we do about this."
"You cant stop him Obi-Wan." Anakin stated sadly. "Palpatine has enough power to wipe out the entire council single headedly." While Anakin knew that he could kill Palpatine, he knew that he would need to draw on the dark side as well as the light side in order to do it. As much as he hated to admit it, he didn't know if he could safely use the dark side without becoming Vader again. He could only hope that Obi-Wan could understand what he was about to say next. It would be a lie in many ways but it was the only way to say what he needed to say without telling his former master that he became Palpatine's apprentice. "Obi-Wan." He began before taking a calming breath. "To stop Palpatine in that future i experienced, i had to use the dark side. Luckily i died after defeating him. I don't know if i could do that and not fall into darkness myself this time."
Obi-Wan could only stare at Anakin as a feeling of dread washed over him as he took note of his former padawan's expression. In that moment he knew that Anakin was telling the truth and that to stop Palpatine, his former Padawan may have to sacrifice his soul.
"So, why are we here again?" Ahsoka asked Anakin who was sitting next to her.
"Well, because of the war, your studies have been pushed to the side to say the least." Anakin answered. What he was saying was true, from his memories he never really got a chance to really teach Ahsoka. Most of the time they were running all over the galaxy fighting. "There's a lot you still need to learn and because of the war I haven't really had a chance to teach you anything beyond using the force in combat."
Ahsoka looked at Anakin sceptically for a few seconds before responding. "Master, you've always been a sort of shoot first kinda person."
Anakin let out a small chuckle at that knowing how right she was. Oh, the joys of my youth. He thought to himself. "Your right, and recently I've come to realise just how much of myself I've lost over the years. When i joined the Order, i did so with only one goal in mind. A goal that until recently I'd forgotten." He admitted. "But that's a topic for another time." He then added as he turned towards the console that was on the desk in front of him.
Accessing the computer terminal Anakin brought up some basic information on force techniques. "Now I'm sure your familiar with all this stuff since it's the most basic stuff you learn. What i want you to do, is go back to the beginning. Relearn what you've already learned."
"Huh?" Ahsoka asked in confusion.
Anakin knew all too well that his padawan would be confused by all this, but he knew what he was doing. "What many don't realise, Ahsoka. It's that everything we learn at the beginning of our training becomes the backbone of everything else we learn. I want you to start your training from the beginning. Go back to the very basics."
Ahsoka really didn't know what to make of all this. In only a few days she'd come to realise that Anakin had changed a great deal. Her encounter with Obi-Wan the day before came back to her mind as to what the Jedi Master had said about being worried about Anakin mental wellbeing. "Master, you do realise that this is a little crazy? Right?"
"I know, but there's a reason I'm asking you to do this." Anakin responded before pulling up some other information up on screen. "I want you to relearn what you've already learned, but this time using the knowledge and experience you already have as a guide to find the flaws in those teachings."
Ok that was it, Ahsoka was now confused. "Master, these teachings have been around for like forever?"
Anakin nodded his head in response before he spoke. "I know. That's the point in this little exercise. Use the knowledge that you already have to find the flaws in the training. I think you'll find that many of the things you were told as a youngling, don't really ring true. I want you to relearn all this stuff and then find ways that will improve how this training can be done."
"I still don't understand." Ahsoka admitted.
"I'll give you a hint." Anakin began as another small smile formed on his face. "The Jedi way is not the only right way. Take Master Altis for example. He has his own offshoot Jedi Order that believe in many of the same things that this order does. The only difference is that his order allows attachments and families. What makes the Jedi way anymore right than Master Altis's ways? That's the point of this exercise. I want you to look through this training material and find what you think are the flaws and how those flaws could be corrected." Before Ahsoka could respond, Anakin's comm. link went off. "Skywalker here." He answered.
"Anakin, it's Obi-Wan."
Anakin rolled his eyes at the obviousness of that statement. "What do you need, Obi-Wan?"
"Can you meet me in Master Yoda's meditation chamber? There are a few things that need to be discussed in regards to what we talked about earlier."
"Alright." Anakin answered with a bit of a sigh. "I'll be there in a few minutes." With that Anakin ended to conversation and turned back to Ahsoka. "Well, I've gotta go, so I'll leave you to it." That said Anakin stood up and began to walk away.
Ahsoka watched as her master walked off feeling very confused. That said though she was kinda curious about where all this was leading. She couldn't shake the feeling that Anakin was trying to teach her something important. So with that in mind she turned back to the terminal in front of her and began to look over the training material.
"I still find it hard to believe Obi-Wan." Mace stated from his seat opposite Yoda and Obi-Wan. "After the way he acted in the council chambers, we cannot trust him."
Yoda kept quiet for a few seconds thinking over everything that he'd learned in the last hour. Obi-Wan had told him everything that Anakin had said and as he looked to the force for guidance, it seemed to confirm what the Chosen One had said. How they had been so blind was beyond his ability to understand, yet Obi-Wan's words about how Anakin had said that the Sith had changed came back to him. Yes, the Sith had changed, evolved. As an order the Jedi still treating the Sith as if they were the same Sith of the last war. Anakin's tale had proven just how wrong they had been.
Thinking on what Mace had just said about the way Anakin had been in the Council Chambers the day before also brought back the fact that if what Anakin had said was true, then he had over two decades of knowledge and memories. The young Chosen One was now in many ways a man in his mid forties that had lived through the destruction of the Order and the Republic. He was no longer used to following the Council. That in itself would take time for Anakin to adjust to. However he also knew that Anakin was not as loyal to the Jedi Code as many believed. The young Chosen One and the Senator hid it well, but he knew there was more to their relationship. Right now though they had more pressing matters to attend to. "Difficult for young Skywalker this situation will be. If true what he has experienced is, then alone for many years he has been. A Jedi he may still be, but like us he now will never be. Allowances we may have to make. Happened before this situation has not."
"He cannot be allowed to get away with acting the way he did yesterday." Mace said firmly.
"No, Master Yoda is right." Obi-Wan cut in. "Anakin has always been different from us. This experience has widened the chasm between us, but he is fundamentally the same person. His loyalty has always been to people more than the Republic and the Order."
"That's what makes him so dangerous." Mace stated as he let out a sigh. "If he is the Chosen One, then his loyalties must lay with the Order."
"So certain you are hmm?" Yoda asked as a memory of a conversation he had many centuries ago with Master Fae Coven's Holocron came back to him. The Gatekeeper had cautioned about interpreting the prophecy correctly and described the concept of balance as a fulcrum. The Gatekeep also said that an ancient Jedi Named Sooloot believed the prophecy dated as far back as the First Great Schism. This ancient Jedi also believed that the part about the Chosen One destroying the Sith was added at a later time in order to give it more meaning. "Possible it is that misread the prophecy may have been." Those words caused both Obi-Wan and Mace to look at him with curious expressions. "Assumed we always have, that to be like us the Chosen One would be. Wrong in that we may have been. Great care we must take. To the Holocron vault i will go. Speak to some of the Gatekeepers i will. Learn more about the Chosen One i must." Both Obi-Wan and Mace reluctantly nodded their head knowing that Yoda had made up his mind. "But first, await young Skywalker i will. Speak with him alone i must. Report my findings i will."
Both Obi-Wan and Mace stood up knowing that they had been dismissed and left the room. Anakin would be arriving in a few minutes and it was clear that Yoda wished to speak with him alone.
Anakin arrived outside Yoda's private meditation room and was surprised when he only sensed the old grand master inside. Reaching up he pressed the chime and waited. "Enter you may young Skywalker." Yoda's voice said as the door opened.
Walking into the room Yoda gestured for him to take a seat opposite him. Doing so he sat down and just looked at the Jedi Master. "You have questions about what i told Obi-Wan?"
Yoda didn't say anything for a while and just studied the young man. As he did there were several things that he noticed. First the anger that the young man always carried with him had seed to have vanished. There was a sense of peace that was never there before. Behind that though, there was a feeling of guilt. Obi-Wan himself had stated that he was sensing a lot of guilt coming from Anakin and believed that his former padawan felt guilty over failing to stop the Sith in that possible future.
Looking at Anakin through the Force, Yoda again sensed the same thing he had the day before in the Council Chambers. Both the light and dark sides of the Force surrounded the young man, but there was no conflict between the two opposing sides. For a lack of a better word, the two sides of the force within Anakin seemed to be in complete balance with each other. "Told me Obi-Wan did, about what experienced on Mortis you have." He began only getting a nod in response. "Tell me you will, about the Sith. Told me Obi-Wan did that changed the Sith have. Understand these new Sith you do. Your help needed it will be if to destroy them we are."
"Palpatine isn't like anything you've faced before." Anakin began knowing that Yoda would want these answers. He could only hope that he gets his point across that going after the Sith Lord now would be foolish at best. "He's not some force user that fell into darkness. He chose it. He murdered his own father in order to prove himself to his master that he was worthy to be trained."
"Know much about him you do." Yoda observed.
Anakin simply nodded before answering. "I spent twenty three years studying him. I've learned most of his secrets in that time." What he just said to Yoda was true, from a certain point of view. He had spent all that time as Vader learning everything he could about Palpatine. Of course Vader had been looking for a way to successfully kill the old man. "He's a threat unlike anything you've ever faced. He is perhaps the most powerful Sith Lord that's ever lived."
"If true what you say is. Then remains the question does. Stop him how, we do?" Yoda asked.
Anakin shook his head knowing that he needed to stop the Council from doing anything stupid. "You don't stop him." He said which caused Yoda to look at him with confusion written all over his face. "Right now, Palpatine isn't the immediate problem. Dooku is."
Yoda had to admit that he was now confused. Their priority should be to destroy Palpatine yet Anakin was telling him not to. "Without his master, a threat Dooku will no longer be."
"Your wrong Yoda." Anakin countered already having thought long and hard about this. "If we destroy Palpatine, then Dooku will be the new Dark Lord. He will take another apprentice and we'll be back to having to deal with two Sith Lords. That's even assuming that Dooku will abide by the rule of two. Palpatine's position here is his weakness. He cant just up and leave to go find a new apprentice." Once Anakin was sure that he had Yoda's full attention he spoke his idea. "We remove Dooku first. While we are looking for him, the Council will need to start an investigation into Palpatine. If we kill him without evidence then the Senate could easily assume that we've killed him in order to assume control. There are a few Senator's that i know can be trusted and i suggest that the Council works with them in secret. Once Dooku is neutralised we can take what evidence we've collected to the Senate and they can remove Palpatine from office. Once he's lost his position of power we can then go about dealing with him. Either by killing him, or imprisoning him."
Yoda sat there in silence for a few minutes and thought over Anakin's words. As much as he didn't like it, he knew that the young man sitting opposite him had some very good points. If they killed Palpatine then Dooku would become the new Dark Lord. Again Anakin was right in saying that Dooku would take an official apprentice and that he may not abide by the rule of two. Dooku was not known for playing by the rules.
Yoda also knew that Anakin was right and that they couldn't just destroy Palpatine without evidence. As the young man had said, the senate may assume that they were trying to take control. That was a very dark and dangerous path for the Order. So with that in mind, he made his decision. "Defer to your judgment on this matter i will. But agree the Council may not. Try to keep them focused on investigating Palpatine i will. When come the time does, vote to destroy Palpatine the council may."
Anakin nodded his head knowing that the council would probably vote to destroy Palpatine before Dooku was defeated. He knew that the Council as a whole would put their own survival ahead of everything else, even ending the war. "Just make sure they understand the consequences if they go after Palpatine too soon. None of you are ready to face him." Anakin stood up and made his way towards the door. As the door opened he turned back to look at Yoda. "When you do decide to face him. Make sure that the entire council is there. Believe me, you'll need everyone." With that Anakin turned and walked out leaving Yoda alone to think over his words.
Yoda just sat there and watched as Anakin left before closing his eyes, sinking into a state of deep meditation. As he did, Anakin's words on how they weren't ready just played over and over in his mind. He also realised that Anakin had said to make sure that they were ready, indicating that the young Chosen One had not included himself. That alone caused Yoda to become concerned.
There you go everyone, Chapter 1 is up. Let me know what you think.