I know it's been a while since i posted the first chapter of this story. Sorry about that, but my personal life has been complicated for the last couple of weeks. Anyway i managed to finish this first part of Chapter 2 and am in the middle of finishing off the second part which i'm hoping will be posted within the next week.
I would also like the thank those who left reviews.
Drake Azure Saber.
It had been just over a week since Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka returned from Mortis. During that time Anakin had spent many hours with the Jedi Council going over what he had experienced on Mortis, minus the details about him turning into a Sith Lord. During these meetings it became clear early on that many on the Council were trying to find fault with what he was saying. Anakin knew full well that the Council would have difficulty believing that the Sith Lord was right under their noses. Thankfully Yoda and Obi-Wan both believed Anakin's story and were siding with him. Despite this aid, Anakin was also aware that Yoda was still uneasy around him.
Obi-Wan for his part had come to accept that the Anakin that he once knew was now gone. That said, both Anakin and Obi-Wan seemed to be talking a lot better than they used to. Things had improved so much that Obi-Wan was now able to talk about things that would have normally set his former padawan on a warpath. There was still much that Obi-Wan didn't understand about his former padawan but their relationship had gained in strength and for that he was grateful.
During the past week, Anakin's relationship with Padmé also greatly improved. After telling her about what he had experienced on Mortis, both realised that they were both at fault in allowing their relationship to become strained as the war progressed. They both realised that they needed to be open an honest with each other. While they both knew that there were things that they couldn't talk about with each other due to their positions, they had both sworn to the other that they would not allow it to drive a wedge between them.
Over the last week their relationship had grown stronger than it had ever been and they'd both fallen comfortably into a sort of normal husband and wife routine. Despite the fact that they were still hiding their relationship, their home life was better than ever.
During the last week, Anakin had also taken to actually training Ahsoka in the use of the Force beyond just fighting in combat. He'd taken her back to the beginning and had started training her in much the same way that Obi-Wan had trained him. However Anakin left out the more religious aspects of the Jedi Training and focused on helping improve Ahsoka's focus and stamina when using the force.
Anakin had also taken to spending some time with the Temple younglings. As a young padawan he used to spend a lot of time with the younglings helping Master Drallig teach Katas to small groups. It was something that Anakin was surprised to learn that he missed doing.
During the last week though, Anakin had not heard from Qui-Gon and was wondering why the now dead Jedi had not visited him. He knew that Qui-Gon couldn't manifest himself like other force ghosts and that only those trained in certain ways were able to see him. However he was starting to get a little worried.
All in all things seemed to be going ok and as far as Anakin could tell, Palpatine was completely unaware that he had been exposed. Anakin could only hope that things continued to go smoothly, but he knew that something would eventually happen. It always did.
Padmé opened her eyes slowly and stretched out and was immediately greeted by the now familiar feeling of her husbands warm skin against her own. Allowing the world to come back into focus she realised that she was laying with her chest across his back. Anakin himself was laying on his stomach completely oblivious to the world around him.
The first few nights after Anakin returned from his last mission he'd woken in fits of hysterics as he was plagued by nightmares of the future that he'd experienced. The second night he'd stayed with her she had been working late and came back to the apartment to find Anakin laying in bed curled up in a foetal position while shaking uncontrollably. She'd immediately gone to him and climbed into the bed behind him before wrapping her arms around him as he sobbed quietly. It took a few minutes but she managed to get him to tell her what had happened. He had been reliving the night he stormed the Jedi Temple along with killing the younglings.
Padmé had always known that Anakin was capable of great evil when pushed to it. The night his mother had died was evident of that. When they had first gotten married he'd been plagued with nightmares about what he had done the night she died. This time however it was much worse and she had to admit that there were times when she was deeply worried about his mental wellbeing. To make matters worse though, she knew that Anakin couldn't go to Obi-Wan or the Council. While she would easily admit that there was much about the Jedi she didn't understand, there was one thing she did know. She knew that as far as the Jedi were concerned, once a force user falls completely to the dark side that there was no going back. Anakin knew as well as she did that the Council would not take the truth of what Anakin did in that future he experienced well. So with that in mind she had done the only thing she could do. She would hold onto him at night while he cried over the memories of what he had done making sure that he knew that he was not alone. Thankfully they'd both realised that they needed to talk a lot more and she had managed to get Anakin to talk about some of the things Vader had done.
It was not easy for Anakin to talk about Vader. However Padmé knew that what was difficult for her husband, was a fear that she would turn away from him. The last week had proven to him that the opposite was true and despite the atrocities that Anakin had described, Padme could not turn away from him. It wasn't easy for her to hear some of the things he told her, far from it in fact. The one thing that she knew though, was that Anakin had not done any of those things. What he remembered was only a possible future and she was just as determined as he was to make sure that the future he saw does not come to pass.
As Padmé focused on her husband, she leaned down and kissed him gently between his shoulder blades. The night before had been the first peaceful nights sleep that he'd had all week and she didn't want to wake him. Unfortunately she knew that she had to as she and several other Senator's had to go to the Temple in a few hours. Anakin had told her that he and the Council were going to tell them about what was going on. Although she already knew everything as Anakin had told her, so this to her was just a formality. That said she couldn't help the blood boiling rage she felt at the mere thought of Palpatine. The man that had caused so much pain and suffering while manipulating her husband in order to turn him back into a slave. She would never say it aloud, but part of her wanted to just walk up to him, put a blaster to his head and blow his brains out.
Not wanting to dwell on that thought anymore, Padmé decided to focus more on the present. Unfortunately that would include something that Anakin had talked her into agreeing to. Later today she was going to contact her parents and tell them the truth. Tell them that their little girl had been married for a year and a half and had kept it from them. It was not a conversation that she was looking forward too.
Padmé had to admit though, that Anakin was right. She needed her family and it wasn't fair on them to keep them in the dark. He had told her that as far as he knew, in that future he'd lived they didnt know. From what he had told her they never knew about their relationship, even after her death. There had been rumours, but her family had been left never knowing. That was not something that neither she nor Anakin wanted her family to go through again. So she'd decided to tell them. She'd set aside an hour in her schedule later on in the day to contact her family. She could only hope that they understand why she kept it a secret.
Bail Organa was rather curious about what was going on. The day before he had received a request by the Jedi Council to meet them at the Temple to discuss a matter of great importance. What that was, he didn't know.
Setting his speeder down on the landing platform, Bail was surprised to see several other's there. Once the speeder had landed he powered it down and got out and looked at the other's and realised that they were fellow members of the Senate. As he looked at them he easily recognised them. Firstly was a human male with a beard who he knew was Garm Bel Iblis who was the Senator for the Corellian sector. Next there was a female human that Bail knew as Mon Mothma, the Senator for the Bormea sector.
Lastly was a human female that for some reason didn't surprise him that she was there. That was one Padmé Amidala. It was a well known fact that the young Senator had close ties to the Jedi Order since the Invasion of Naboo twelve years earlier. Also there was the fact that she and Anakin Skywalker seemed to be good friends. How that worked he wasn't sure since the Jedi weren't supposed to have strong ties outside of the Order.
As he walked over to the group of Senator's Padmé was the first to greet him. "It's good to see you again, Bail." She greeted with a soft smile.
"And you as well." Bail responded. "Although I must admit that I'm rather curious about all this."
Padmé nodded her head in understanding as she knew that neither Bail nor the other two Senator's knew what was going on. "Everything will be explained shortly. I know that this is rather unorthodox, but believe me when i say that it's important."
"So you do know what's going on?" Mon asked before Bail could say anything.
"Yes and you will be told everything shortly." Padme stated knowing that her fellow Senator's didn't have a single clue as to what was going on.
"Greeting's Senators." The all too familiar voice of Yoda said which caught everyone by surprise. "Hope that startle you I did not."
"Not at all, Master Yoda." Padmé responded again with a soft smile before glancing up at her husband who was walking next to Yoda.
"I know you all have questions." Anakin began before taking a quick glance at Padmé. "If you'll follow Yoda and myself we can tell you why we asked you here."
Nods of agreement from the Senator's told Anakin that they were ready so he and Yoda turned around and walked back into the Temple.
Almost thirty minutes later, three of the four senators looked at Yoda and Anakin with shock and confusion over what they had been told. Anakin had relayed a tale of how he believed that the Chancellor was the true Architect behind the war. For obvious reasons he'd left out any information about the future and just used past events to paint a picture that the Senator's could understand.
He'd started at the very beginning, the Invasion Of Naboo. From there he went on to explain that there was no logical reason for the Trade Federations Invasion of the Planet. Anakin told them that apart from Naboo's Plasma Energy Trade, there was little of value on the Planet. He also pointed out that Naboo's location also made it tactically unwise to invade as the Trade Federation's fleet was nowhere near the small planet.
From there Anakin went on to explain that it was Palpatine that convinced Padmé to call a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Valorum's leadership, despite the fact that he was one of their strongest supporters. In itself, that didn't point to Palpatine being behind the war and both Anakin and Padmé along with Yoda knew that the other Senator's would not see a connection yet. So with that Anakin went on to explain a few other things.
Anakin then began talking about the events over the following ten years after the Invasion Of Naboo. He told them how over the course of the following six years things in the Republic start to get worse as several star systems begin to pull away from the Republic. Again Anakin knew that this information would not be enough to convince the Senators that Palpatine was behind everything.
"Then about four years ago, something happened within the Senate. That's when things really started to change for the Republic. The Emergency Powers Act was brought into effect, removing the limit on how long a Chancellor stays in office."
At this point, Mon Mothma spoke. "I still don't see how any of this relates to your theory that the Chancellor is the one behind the war."
"The Chancellor was the one who was heading the Negotiations with the Separatists." Padme said before Anakin could answer.
"Padmé's right." Anakin then said. "The truth is I could spend all day going over things that point to the Chancellor being behind the war. The strongest proof behind my theory actually comes from the weeks leading up to the start of the war. And what's been happening during the War."
So far Bail Organa had sat through everything that he'd been told and listened to every word. He had his doubts about this theory, but seeing Padmé support Anakin's theory was enough to get him to listen to everything before passing judgment. "Master Skywalker, please continue. I admit that i am just as sceptical as my colleges here." He began before glancing at Padmé. "However Senator Amidala seems to believe that your theory has merit. Personally that is enough for me to want to hear more before i make a decision."
Anakin nodded his head gratefully to the Senator. "Thank you Senator." He said before returning his attention to everyone else in the room. "I would like to ask a few questions that I'd like you to answer." He began to which he either got a yes or a nod to. "Has anyone wondered why the Separatists tried to kill Padmé just before the war started?"
Anakin's question took everyone, even Master Yoda and Padmé by surprise. The question just seemed to come out of the blue. "Ani, what's that got to do with anything?" Padmé asked so shocked by the question that she dropped any formalities. It was not something that didn't go unnoticed, however nothing was said.
Anakin looked at Padmé and give her a small smile. "Whether or not you realise it Padmé, you were actually helping Dooku and the Sepratists by leading the opposition against the creation of an Army for the Republic." Anakin give everyone a few seconds to absorb his words before speaking again. "Dooku was building an Army, but the Republic didn't have one since it was still being heavily debated. By killing you, he was giving up his tactical advantage over the Republic. Your death would have stirred support for creating an Army. From a tactical standpoint, it's very counterproductive."
"Are you saying that Count Dooku wanted this war to happen?" Garm Bel Iblis asked catching on to what Anakin was implying.
"Yes. But not just Dooku." Anakin answered only to be greeted by confused looks from everyone. Letting out a sigh Anakin turned his attention to Bail. "Senator, what happened in the Chancellor's office the day that Jar Jar called for him to be given emergency powers? I remember Padmé telling me that she was furious at him because she couldn't believe that he thought that she'd have ever agreed to doing something like that."
Bail sat there for several seconds thinking back on that day. His mind went back to that meeting in the Chancellor's office when Mas Amedda's words suddenly came back to him. If Only Senator Amidala were here. The more he thought about those words the more they didn't make sense. Everyone in the room knew that Padmé would never call such a vote, yet Jar Jar Binks had.
Anakin had been watching Bail closely and sensed that the Senator was starting to put the pieces together. "That's right Senator. The assassination attempt on Padme wasn't just about killing her, it was about getting her off Coruscant. Whether or not an assassination attempt succeeded, Palpatine knew that the Jedi Council would take her off planet for safety. In such an event Jar Jar would automatically become Naboo's official representative until either Padmé returned, or someone else was sent to replace her. As everyone here knows. Jar Jar is the most gullible and naive person you'll ever meet. He's almost childlike."
The three Senator's minus Padmé of course sat there for about a minute thinking things through. While it was nowhere near enough evidence to support Anakin's claim, it was enough to get them thinking. "Even that unfortunately is not enough to convince me that the Chancellor is behind the war." Mon stated. Despite this neither Bail nor Garm seemed so certain anymore.
Anakin had to admit that what he'd told them wasn't enough. Unfortunately he couldn't tell them about what he'd experienced on Mortis. They would never believe him. Padmé and the Council were a different matter and he knew that they believed him, despite the Council's distrust. As for Padmé, she never doubted his word for a second. "I know that without proof, all we've really got is a theory. But I'd like you to consider something else?"
"What is it?" Mon asked, but this time there was a little impatience in her voice.
"Since this war started, there's been one common thread. Since the beginning of this war, there's been assassinations of Senators. Other's suddenly resigning and all the while, the Chancellor has been gaining more and more power. As a practical matter, the Senate already has barely any power left. At the rate things are going, the Senate will exist in title only."
"I'm not surprised that Mon and Garm weren't convinced. Master Skywalker's theories have no evidence to back them up" Bail said as he and Padmé walked towards his speeder.
Padmé nodded her head in understanding of Bail's statement. She knew herself that without revealing what Anakin knew about the future, there was no proof. Unfortunately she knew just as well as Anakin and the Council that they wouldn't believe his story. It made things extremely difficult in providing a valid theory behind their suspicions. She'd promised Anakin that she would do everything that she could to help and that's what she would do. "Whether Anakin's theory is right or wrong, there is something wrong in the Senate. You and i both know that." She said calmly to which Bail nodded in agreement. "Anakin was also right about the power that the Chancellor is gaining. Since the start of the war, the Senate has been giving him more and more power."
"Unfortunately that is something i do agree with you and the Jedi about." Bail said before letting out a sigh. "It's still not enough though. And it wont be for others either."
"I know. But i think that it does warrant some sort of investigation." Padmé stated.
Bail came to a stop just as they got to his speeder and turned his attention to Padmé. "If they have suspicions, why don't they investigate?"
Padmé let out a small smile at those words. "That's what they are going to do. The reason they asked us to come here today was to let someone know in the Senate that they have suspicions. If they just start poking their nose around, some in the Senate could see it as a grab for power by the Order. By telling us what they have, we know that they have suspicions that they need to investigate. They chose us because they know that we will do the right thing, no matter what."
Bail had to admit that he'd not considered that. While the Jedi obviously had suspicions about the Chancellor, they hadn't mentioned anything beyond asking them to think upon what was said. "You believe this theory?" He finally asked.
"I trust Anakin." Was the simple reply that came from Padmé.
Bail took a deep breath and let it out slowly. While he agreed that there wasn't enough to convince him that Palpatine was corrupt, he trusted Padmé judgment. He was also aware that Anakin knew that he was only giving a theory with no actual proof. The question remained though, could he afford to just brush this theory off. So with that in mind he made his decision. "Tell the Jedi Council that they have my support in this matter. As members of the Senate Security Committee, we can authorize an investigation. That said, it needs to be kept under the radar. If Master Skywalker is right and the Chancellor learns he's under investigation, it could be extremely dangerous for all those involved."
A short while later Yoda sat in the Jedi Council Chamber's and give his report to his fellow Council members on the meeting with the Senators. While none of them were surprised that they didn't have enough information to prove Anakin's theories, they were surprised that Bail Organa had agreed to them investigating. As a member of the Senate Security Council, it would legitimise their investigation and their findings when presented to the Senate.
"Well, I'm for one glad that Senator Organa agreed." Obi-Wan said with relief evident in his voice.
"Only agreed, because trusts Senator Amidala's judgement he does." Yoda responded.
"I have more concerns over the fact that Skywalker has told Senator Amidala about this future he experienced." Shaak Ti said as it wasn't sitting well with her that Jedi affairs were being discussed outside the Order.
Several of the Council Members nodded their head in agreement. "Senator Amidala has known Anakin since before he became my Padawan." Obi-Wan stated in defence of Anakin. He knew that his former padawan spent a lot of time with the Senator, despite the fact that he'd asked her to sever all ties with him after the first Battle Of Geonosis. "It doesn't surprise me that he'd confide in her."
"Skywalker has too many attachments outside the Order." Mace stated with firm dislike evident in his voice.
"Perhaps so." Plo Koon began as he looked at Mace. "However their friendship has proven useful to us in the past."
"That may be so." Adi Gallia began. "However there are rules against forming attachments for a reason. Skywalker is already far too emotional for a Jedi. These outside connections can only serve to endanger us further."
While Obi-Wan understood what Adi was saying, he had also began to realise a few things about Anakin over the last week since returning from Mortis. He'd also observed Anakin and Padmé a few times during the war and he'd noticed that she has a calming effect on him. Well except for the incident with the Blue Shadow Virus. "For the most part, Senator Amidala has a calming effect on Anakin. That said, I do agree that we need to be careful. Since experiencing that possible future, Anakin has changed in ways we cannot predict. The chasm between us and Anakin has grown wider than ever before."
"I think this situation is too much for Skywalker to handle." Mace began before letting out a deep sigh. "We may have to consider taking a more direct approach in dealing with him."
"Oh?" Obi-Wan asked with a raised eyebrow.
"We already know that Palpatine may be the Sith Lord behind the War. We've got Skywalker's written report." Mace stopped for a few seconds and looked around the room before saying what he was about to. "Perhaps we should assign a mind healer to work with him and erase these future memories from his mind."
Nobody in the Council Chambers spoke for several minutes after that.
Ahsoka had to admit that she'd never been as board as she is right now. Much to her surprise and the conviction that her master has completely lost it, she's now sat cross-legged a few feet away from him. Anakin Skywalker, the one person in the universe that is unable to sit still for more than a few minutes has her meditating. It was official, Anakin Skywalker had completely lost all sense of reason.
Anakin for his part was trying his hardest not to laugh at the thoughts he was picking up from his padawan. He knew that the changes in him were confusing for her, and knew that one day he'd have to tell her why he's changed so much. At this precise moment though, he wasn't ready. He didn't want to burden her anymore than she already is. She would never really know how much she helped him in the future. She would never know that in some ways, she'd helped him to keep some small part of his soul. For that he would forever be grateful to her.
They sat in silence, simply meditating for what felt like an hour before Ahsoka finally had enough. "Master, why are we just sitting here?" She asked as she opened her eyes to look at him.
Anakin opened his own eyes and looked over at Ahsoka. "Sometimes Snips, we need to just stop. Your a lot like me and you crave adventure as much as I did." He couldn't help the small chuckle that came from him as he remembered many of Obi-Wan's complaints when he was younger. "Obi-Wan used to complain all the time that I had to constantly keep moving around. Even now you'll hear him complaining that I'm always on the move. Recently I've learned that sometimes, it's nice to just sit and relax. As much as I hate to admit it. Meditation is good for helping you clear your mind. Maybe if I'd learned that when I was younger, Obi-Wan wouldn't have had half the problems he had with me."
"Were you really that bad?" Ahsoka asked with genuine curiosity.
"It was hard for me when i first came here." Anakin admitted. "I was raised in slavery for the first nine years of my life. When i was freed, i wanted to see everything, do everything." A small look of sadness formed on Anakin's face for a second before it disappeared. "My abilities back then also made me very arrogant. I picked things up so easily. Within only a few months i was beating many of the other padawan's my age. They'd been here nearly all their lives then i showed up with no knowledge and experience in the force and i was beating them. It kinda got to my head a bit."
"I cant imagine what that was like for you." Ahsoka said knowing that she didn't really have any frame of reference to comment on Anakin's experience.
"I'll never tell Obi-Wan this, and I'll deny it if he ever asks. But back then i think i wanted to impress him. Well at least that's how it started." Anakin shook his head at that as he thought back on those first few months. "I knew that the Council wasn't thrilled about the idea of training me. Obi-Wan was willing to go against them in order to fulfil his Master's last request that i was trained. Somewhere along the way though, i went from trying to prove that i was worthy of what Qui-Gon believed me to be, to becoming a spoiled, arrogant brat." At those words he couldn't help but let out another small chuckle. "Sometimes i wonder how Obi-Wan put up with me."
"Do you ever regret becoming a Jedi?" Ahsoka asked.
Anakin just looked at Ahsoka for a few seconds while trying to find the right words to answer her question. "I suppose in some ways i do, and in others i don't." He answered. He then noticed that Ahsoka didn't seem to understand as she was looking at him with confusion. "I left a lot of friends behind on Tatooine, not to mention my mother." Another look of sadness formed on Anakin's face as he thought about his mother. "I promised that I'd go back and free her, but I didn't. Obi-Wan and the Council did everything in their power to try and get me to forget about her. They never understood. For them the Jedi were the only family they knew. They don't understand what I sacrificed by joining the Order. They don't really care either, as long as they get the Jedi they want."
Again Ahsoka didn't know what to say to that as she realised that she had no frame of reference to respond. Thankfully Anakin spoke again. "At the same time though, if i hadn't joined the Order, i may never have learned about the Force. I may never have met the people I've met or seen the places I've seen. As a child i wanted nothing more than to travel around the galaxy." Another small smile formed on Anakin's face he remembered what he had said to Qui-Gon so long ago. "I remember Qui-Gon telling me about the many worlds he'd travelled to. I asked him if he thought anyone had seen them all, and he told me that he didn't think so. I remember telling him rather enthusiastically that I'd be the first one to see them all."
Finally tied of sitting in the same spot Anakin stood up with Ahsoka following. Once on his feet he give his padawan another reassuring smile. "And on top of all that. If i hadn't become a Jedi, i would never have met this Snippy little Padawan that I've grown quite fond of." Not even giving Ahsoka chance to respond, Anakin turned around and began to walk out of the room.
Ahsoka watched Anakin walking away for a few seconds as a small smile formed on her face. After a couple more seconds she started to walk to catch up with her master.
"Master Piell's fleet has been completely destroyed." Aayla told the Council via holo-comm.
"Has our intelligence revealed whether or not Master Piell is still alive?" Shaak Ti asked.
Aayla looked down sadly and even via the holo-comm the council knew that she was worried. "Our intelligence reports state that Master Piell and a handful of bridge officers were captured alive. From what we've learned, they've been taken to the Citadel on Lola Sayu."
The entire council felt rather uneasy about that place as it was a prison specifically designed to hold Jedi that had lost their way. Despite that unease, Yoda knew that rescuing Master Piell was vital. The now captured Jedi Master had vital intelligence on a new hyperspace route that could lead enemy forces into the heart of the Republic. "Rescue Master Piell we must. A plan we must make. Our top priority this must be."
Every member of the Council nodded their head in agreement before Obi-Wan spoke. "We should ask Anakin if he knows anything about this place."
"Skywalker has been unwilling to reveal anything about the future outside of what he's already told us?" Plo stated calmly knowing how much of a touchy subject that was. Many on the Council didn't like the fact that Anakin had refused to tell them anymore than he had.
"What do you mean, Master Plo?" Aayla asked as she was still connected to the Council via hologram.
The members of the Council looked at each other for a few seconds before coming to a silent agreement. "I'm afraid, that is a Classified matter." Mace stated firmly.
"Understood, Master." Aayla responded. "I will await further instructions." With that Aayla's image disappeared.
Once Aayla's image disappeared Yoda turned his attention to Obi-Wan. "Speak with young Skywalker you will, Master Obi-Wan. Discover you must, if knows of this place he does."
"Understood Master." Obi-Wan responded.
Anakin sat down in the small meditation room that he'd reserved the day before. Since returning from Mortis, he'd also set about creating a new pair of lightsabers. He'd bought a small geological compressor which was currently in the spare room that Padmé had set aside for him after they had gotten married as a place where he could meditate in peace if he wanted to. Over the course of the war he'd had some stuff put in there. A workbench, spare parts and cleaning equipment for his lightsaber.
Now anyone would probably ask why he was making a new lightsaber. Well there were three answers to that. Firstly, the Father had healed his right arm and it was now completely flesh and blood. How the Father had done it, Anakin didn't know. So far the only other person to know was Padmé since he knew that Obi-Wan and the Council would start bugging him about it. Because his right arm was now flesh and blood, his lightsaber didn't feel right. He'd built his current hilt with his cybernetic arm in mind.
The second reason he had built a new lightsaber was because of those damn flashbacks. Every time he looked at his old lightsaber he kept remembering the night he stormed the Temple. The image and feeling of his blade slicing through the younglings constantly haunted him. So he decided to build himself a new lightsaber. He hadn't really decided what to do with his old lightsaber yet, but he'll think of something.
His third reason for building his knew lightsabers, since he was building a pair was kind of symbolic. These new lightsabers were meant to symbolize a new future for him. One that would hopefully not become as tragic as the future he'd experienced on Mortis.
With his memories of the future he knew that Vader didn't like synthetic crystals anymore than he did right now. But until he could get some proper natural crystals, the synthetic ones would have to do. That said he knew that Obi-Wan and the Council would not be happy about him using synthetic crystals, at all. The use of such crystals were normally attributed to those who followed the Dark Side.
Sitting down on one of the three meditation stools, Anakin opened the bag he'd brought with him that contained the two lightsaber hilts. Placing the pieces of the hilt in front of him he reached back into the bag and took out another smaller bag that was just a little smaller than his hand. Opening the bag he pulled out the two crystals that he'd made. As he looked at the crystals he had to admit that they hadn't turned out the way he thought they would have. Both crystals were a much darker blue than normal.
Knowing that he'd have to build both lightsabers individually he closed his eyes and let himself relax as he allowed the force to flow through him. Within only a few seconds several lightsaber parts began to float in the air before one of the blue crystals joined them. Then as he began to work, a vision began.
"Most people see the Force as either good or evil, light and dark. What people forget is that it was we who created concepts of good and evil, not the Force."
"Through the Force, things you will see. The future, the present, old friends long gone."
"I am neither Jedi nor Sith, but something more, and so are you."
"The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be, unnatural."
"Feel, don't think. Let the Force guide you."
"Sometimes i wonder what's happening to the Jedi Order. I think this war is destroying the principles of the Republic."
"You have great potential, Ani. But you are still too unsure of yourself."
"You cannot escape me Skywalker."
"You will join me Skywalker. Or you will watch those you love suffer the consequences."
"You were created by the Force to serve a purpose. You belong to the Jedi Order."
"Do you believe that we would allow you to corrupt your children with your heresy. Your children will be brought into the Order and you are to have no contact with them"
"You massacred over two thousand civilians, all in the name of your damn religion. You want another war, then so be it."
"Failed i have. Growing the Darkness within the Order is. Our last hope, and our redemption your family may be."
"Ani, i know I'm going to die. We both knew this would happen, but i don't regret the choice we made."
"Saviour, conqueror, hero, villain. You are all things. You belong to neither the light nor the darkness. Yet you will never stand alone."
"There are some thing's that nobody can fix."
"I'm not ready to give up on you."
Anakin's eyes snapped open as the world around him returned. As his eyes focused he saw the lightsaber there floating in front of him. Grabbing it from the air he activated it. Instantly it came to life, a darker blue blade to what he was used to. The white core of the blade easily lit up the room. Powering it down, he set it to the side and soon found himself lost in thought.
The voices he'd heard during his mediation were confusing him. Some he recognised all too well. Qui-Gon's voice, Padmé's, Yoda's, Sidious's and even his own voice. Anakin must have sat there for nearly half an hour thinking over the words he had heard. Right now they weren't making any sense. There was no fluidity to the words and they seemed to be just random bits and pieces. Some of the things that were said he remembered from his vision of that possible future. Others however he hadn't heard before. Someone or something was trying to tell him something, that much Anakin knew for certain. What that was he didn't know, nor was he going to obsess over it.
Deciding to focus on what he was doing at the moment, Anakin once again closed his eyes and calmed himself. After a few seconds he felt himself relax as he began to work on the second sabre.
Obi-Wan was again starting to get frustrated at his former padawan. Again Anakin had turned off his comm. link which meant that he was having to try and find the young man. Since coming back from Mortis, Anakin had become even more secretive. He was well aware that Anakin had a few things that he kept from him. Until now it had not interfered with his duties so he had let it go. But now, this chasm between Anakin and the Order was starting to get to him.
Obi-Wan didn't know how to bridge this gap and he was becoming more and more concerned for Anakin. The entire Council had sensed the darkness within the young man and even Yoda was really concerned about it. Right now though the Council was still unsure what to do about it. Even with this darkness within Anakin, he was still more or less the same person. Or at least Obi-Wan was hoping he was.
Just as he was about to head into the Archives his comm. link went off. "Go Ahead."
"Obi-Wan, do you wanna go to Dex's to grab some lunch?" The voice of one Anakin Skywalker asked.
For a few seconds, Obi-Wan didn't answer and just stared as his wrist. The shaking his head he spoke. "Anakin, where in the blazes have you been? I've been trying to find you for nearly an hour."
"Sorry Obi-Wan. I had some things to take care of and i turned my comm. link off. Is everything alright?"
Deciding not to get into that at this precise moment he spoke again and told Anakin about Master Piell's disappearance.
Anakin for his part listened to Obi-Wan's report via the comm. link before speaking. "I remember the Citadel. I'll meet you in the briefing room in ten minutes."
Obi-Wan let out a sigh and was secretly grateful that Anakin knew about the Citadel. The intelligence that the Council had on the place was seriously outdated. "I'm heading there now. I'll have Master Yoda and the others join us for a briefing."
"Understood." Came the simple reply from Anakin before ending the conversation.
About ten minutes later Anakin arrived in the briefing room of the Jedi Temple. As he walked in her immediately noticed Obi-Wan, Mace, Plo and Yoda. Thankfully there were no clones there for the briefing this time and it would make things easier for him to explain without having to be cryptic around the Clone troops.
"Told us Master Obi-Wan has, that experience with the Citadel you have." Yoda stated as Anakin walked into the room.
Anakin simply nodded his head before going over to the holo-terminal. "Yes. This happened in the future i experienced on Mortis."
"If you knew this would happen, why have you not told the Council?" Plo asked curiously.
"To know the future, is to be trapped by it." Anakin answered to which he got confused looks from everyone except Yoda. "By telling you what i already have, I've changed things. The future i experienced is no longer set. If you base your actions on what i know and things keep changing, it could be disastrous." Anakin glanced at Yoda and give the old Jedi Master a small grin. "As Yoda often says, the future is always in motion. And as the Father told me on Mortis, nothing is set in stone."
"How did we rescue Master Piell in the future you experienced?" Obi-Wan asked.
"We didn't." Anakin said honestly. "We were able to break him out of the facility, but he was killed during the escape."
"So we failed to retrieve the Intel he was carrying." Mace assumed going by what Anakin had said.
Anakin shook his head in response. "No. He memorised half the data while a member of his crew, a Captain Tarkin memorised the other half. Just before he died, he give Ahsoka his half of the Intel."
"So, how do we rescue Master Piell?" Obi-Wan asked.
A rather large grin formed on Anakin's face which instantly worried Obi-Wan. "Well, we tried the subtle approach last time. Maybe this time we should try something, a little more direct."
"Oh i have a very bad feeling about this." Obi-Wan muttered to himself.
"So, do you believe this plan of Skywalker's will work?" Mace asked Yoda who was sitting in the briefing room. Anakin had left the room only a few seconds earlier after coming up with a plan to rescue Master Piell.
"Conflicted young Skywalker is. But believe in his plan i do." Yoda answered honestly. Anakin's plan while rather direct was the only plan that offered a higher chance of success. The young Jedi had told them all about what they had done during the timeline he'd experienced and believed that the subtle approach as he called it, would not work.
"What do you mean, he's conflicted?" Obi-Wan asked who had heard what Yoda had said.
Yoda turned his attention to Obi-Wan before answering. "The more changes young Skywalker makes. More unpredictable the future becomes. Knows this he does, but uncertain of where things will lead he is. Helping matters the Council is not. Ask questions of him that know we should not ask we do."
"He is hiding things from us?" Mace pointed out.
"Know this i do. But understand you must, a difficult situation this is." Yoda responded before letting out a deep sigh. "No more questions will we ask. Right about one thing young Skywalker is. If know too much of the Future we do, then trapped by it we will become. Understands this he does, reason it is why keeps things from us he does. Trust in his judgment we must."
Mace shook his head in frustration. "I am sorry Master Yoda, but trusting Skywalker is something i cannot do."
Hearing that Obi-Wan looked at Mace. "I'm sorry Master, but in that i believe you are wrong. Anakin may not be what we want him to be. But he has never once let me down and i don't believe that he will now. I agree with Master Yoda, this situation is difficult. However the Council is making things harder for him."
"We've all sensed the change in him." Mace stated before focusing his attention on Yoda. "We can all sense the Darkness within him. It's only a matter of time until he falls. What then?"
Neither Yoda nor Obi-Wan had an answer to that. As much as either one didn't want to admit it, they knew that Mace was right. The Dark Side of the Force surrounded Anakin just as much as the light. If everything they'd been taught was true, then the light and dark sides could not co-exist. Eventually there would be a battle for Anakin's soul and they could only hope that when the time comes, the light wins.
"Master, I'm sorry i missed the briefing, I only just heard about it." Ahsoka said as she came up next to Anakin.
"You didn't miss anything because i didn't call for you." Anakin answered before looking at Ahsoka as they continued to walk. "I'll brief you when we ship out. And before you ask. Yes we are going to rescue Master Piell."
Ahsoka let out a sigh of relief as she thought Anakin would keep her off the mission. Word had already spread that Master Piell was being held at the Citadel. "When are we leaving."
"Sunset this evening." Anakin responded. "I'll brief you when we're on board the Vigilance. I'll be using it as my flagship since the Resolute was destroyed."
Anakin stopped walking causing Ahsoka to do the same. "Go and relax for a few hours. I'll meet you in the temple hanger later."
Ahsoka nodded her head before turning around and walking off. Anakin watched her go and he couldn't help the small smile that formed as he remembered how she got herself involved in the mission last time. He knew full well that Plo hadn't assigned her to the mission. The only reason he didn't question her about it was because she had practically saved the mission.
Breaking himself away from those thoughts, Anakin decided to go and get something to eat. It would be an interesting few days to say the least. He also wanted to go and see Padmé before he left.
Darth Sidious, known to the outside world by his birth name Sheev Palpatine was feeling rather frustrated. For years he had been manipulating the Force to do his bidding, manipulating Skywalker. But now something was wrong. His ability to sense shifts in the force far surpassed that of the Jedi, even their Grand Master Yoda. From the moment Skywalker returned from his last mission, he knew something had changed. The Force itself had seemed to very subtly shift. However just like the Jedi if they could sense it, he could not figure out what it meant. This shift was not happening in either the light side, or the dark side of the Force. The shift was somewhere in the grey between the two. The one place that neither Jedi nor Sith could really look.
The only thing that Sidious knew for sure, was that he had lost his grip on Skywalker. How this had happened, he didn't know. In truth he didn't care either. Unfortunately it also meant that he needed to come up with a new plan. For the last twelve years he'd been manipulating Skywalker to prepare him to join his side. Now it seemed as if that would not happen.
He needed to do something, something that would bring Skywalker back under his influence. As he thought about it, he knew that he couldn't kill Amidala. He hated to admit it, but Amidala was needed at the moment. If she were to die now, then Kenobi could help keep Skywalker from turning too far. No he needed another plan for now, one that would cause a huge rift between Skywalker and the Jedi. Amidala's connection to Skywalker was the key, but how to use that to his advantage.
As Sidious sat there in his chair thinking of how to handle this situation, a small sadistic smile formed on his face. "Perhaps their relationship itself will do the work for me." He said aloud with an almost giddy expression.
Getting up out of his seat he made his way out of his office. He would need to speak to his apprentice first and make sure that they could stall Skywalker's rescue of the Jedi that was currently being held at the Citadel. He was well aware that Skywalker would be on the rescue mission and from the report he'd received, the Open Circle Fleet was to be deployed later that evening.
"Has dad calmed down yet?" Padmé asked her sister via holo-comm.
Sola shook her head and let out a small chuckle. "I'll say this little sister, when you drop a revelation, you make sure it's a big one."
Padmé lowered her head slightly feeling rather guilty. She'd contacted her parents like she had planned and told them about her relationship and marriage to Anakin, they didn't take it well. It had taken nearly half an hour to properly explain her reasons for keeping things a secret and to tell them that Anakin had never wanted to hide it from them. That then caused her to tell them that it was her idea to keep it from them, that set off another little argument. Eventually she managed to get them to understand that she was just trying to protect them. After a while her mother seemed to accept it and seemed to become happy for her. Her father however was still rather angry. "I never should have kept this from you or them. I just didn't want to worry them even more."
Sola smiled knowing how her little sister always had to play the martyr in order to protect those she cares for. "I know." She responded before letting out a small sigh. "I think dad is more angry at the fact that he never got to give you away. He's always worried that you'll work yourself to death and never find any happiness for yourself. From everything you've told us, your happy and married, but he's missed it all. Just give him some time. Everything will be fine in a little while."
"I hope your right." Padmé said with worry in her voice.
"So, on a brighter note, how's life being married to the Great Hero With No Fear, as they call him?" Sola asked with a beaming smile. "And please note that i want details, especially the explicit ones."
"Oh no you don't, I'm not having this conversation with you." Padmé responded knowing full well what her sister was like.
"Hey, I've got a year and a half of gossip and teasing to catch up on." Sola stated with mock outrage over the fact that her sister was denying her some juicy details. The other reason she'd brought this topic up was to get her sister's mind off their father for a little while. "So come on, out with it."
The only thing Padmé could do was let out a sigh of frustration. Dammit Anakin! Why did i let you talk me into this. She thought to herself.
Sola for her part could see the frustration on her sisters face and couldn't help but laugh knowing how much Padmé didn't want to talk about this.
Mace Windu sat alone in his private chambers lost in thought. Yoda and Obi-Wan's defence of Skywalker was unsettling him greatly. He couldn't understand why they were ignoring the threat that they knew Skywalker posed. While he'd never trusted the supposed Chosen One, it was only recently that he saw the young man as a true threat.
If Skywalker was indeed the Chosen One, then he existed to serve one purpose and one purpose only. That was to destroy the Sith and bring the Force into balance. To put it simply, the boy existed to serve the Jedi Order. Yet Skywalker was ignoring the will of the force for his own selfish purposes. He had become a threat to the Order, there was no other way to put it. The way the dark side seemed to cling to him was easy to see.
Something needed to be done before they lost all control over the young Jedi. Before he falls so far into darkness that there will be no turning back. Personally he didn't have a problem with imprisoning him, or even killing him if he had to. He was a Jedi and had a duty to protect the Order from such threats. That said he also knew that while Skywalker had become more outspoken against the Council, so far he had been an ally.
It was a frustrating puzzle that seemed to have no correct answer. Like the many times the Council had failed to see before, Skywalker's future was clouded from him. Clouded in the fog between the light and dark sides of the Force. The grey area of the Force was something that was dangerous. The fact that Skywalker seemed to truly exist in this area was concerning to say the least. It is something that needs to be dealt with. The young man's powers had grown tremendously since his return from Mortis.
While Obi-Wan had stated that Skywalker was no longer connected to the power he connected to on Mortis, the entire Council had sensed that his powers had grown. How far they had grown, nobody knew. It was another thing in a list that seems to be getting longer that they need to address.
"How long will you be gone for?" Padmé asked her husband as they sat next to each other on the couch on the veranda.
"Just a few days. The Citadel is about a day out from Coruscant. So hopefully three days at most." Anakin answered honestly.
Padmé nodded her head sadly knowing that she was going to miss him. Apart from that one Meditative retreat and the time they had when the got married, they'd never spent more than two or three nights together in a row. Now for the first time they'd spent just over a week together constantly and she'd already gotten used to him being around. "I'm taking a few days leave when you get back. I need to see my parents face to face. We sorted everything out after i told them about us, but i still need to see them."
"If I can, I'll come with you." Anakin said knowing that it had been difficult for her to tell her family about them. He also knew that he would have to face them himself at some point.
"Do you think the Council will just give you time off?" Padmé asked sceptically.
A cheesy grin appeared on Anakin's face as he answered. "Who said i was going to ask permission?"
"Ani, you cant just up and disappear on them." Padmé stated knowing full well that he'd do just that. It was one of the many things that had changed in him recently. He no longer cared about what the Jedi Council thought of him and was willing to do pretty much what he wanted without caring what they said. "You've already said that they don't trust you since coming back from Mortis. That they don't like all this knowledge you now have."
Anakin hated to admit it, but he knew that she was right. "I'll still try and get some time off. I wont promise you that i can, but i will try."
Padmé leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you." Was all she said before resting her head on his shoulder. He'd be leaving soon and she just wanted to spend what time she could with him.
There you go everyone, Part 1 of Chapter 2 is up. Let me know what you think.
Personally i am not really that happy with this first part of Chapter 2. However part two should be better as i am going to start introducing some of the consequences of Anakin changing things. I'm also going to have Anakin embracing a bit of his inner Vader which is not going to sit well with the Jedi.
There you go a little spoiler as well for you.