Chapter 1: To the Past

The battle was overwhelming.

Commander Cody sent his men to a charge into the fray of droids. The clones easily dispatched the heads of the Separatists droids, the metal clanking in a musical rhythm. Fives stood beside Commander Cody, firing his baster into the chest of a nearby droid before it could kill any more of their men. Commander Cody, still standing tall despite the heavy gunfire around them, hit his comlink to communicate to his commander.

"General Kenobi," he greeted to the image before him. "We are nearing the entrance. Are you and Commander Skywalker ready?"

The image flickered in and out, but Commander Cody could hear his general's voice crystal clear. "Waiting to jump through."

Commander Cody saluted his general before turning his comlink off. "How much further?" Commander Cody questioned Fives as a blast hit to their far right side.

Fives used his binoculars. "Just a yard, sir."

"And Captain Rex?"

Fives adjusted his view. "He's building a mound of droids underneath his feet, sir."

Commander Cody sighed and shook his head. His general was right. Captain Rex was slowly becoming Commander Skywalker's clone rather than theirs. "Let me know when they reach the doors."

"Yes, sir," Fives said.

Commander Cody surveyed the battle around him. Since the first light from the sun, the Republic have been fired upon nonstop. Led by greatest (in his opinion) General Obi-Wan Kenobi and Commander Anakin Skywalker, they have surged forward, gaining much ground for the Republic. It's been long and tiring, and they lost many comrades, especially for their company and Captain Rex's as they are always placed on the front lines. But, being the best has its price.

Yet, Commander Cody does not resent his commanding officers. In fact, he admires General Kenobi and Commander Skywalker immensely. Unlike the other Jedi generals, Kenobi and Skywalker always join the front lines with their men. They treat them with respect and more than just clones. Like friends. That is probably why Captain Rex enjoys hanging out with Skywalker more so than a few of his clone comrades. Because Skywalker and Rex see each other as friends rather than army officers.

Unfortunately, Captain Rex is not fighting alongside Commander Skywalker like usual. And, Commander Cody did not have General Kenobi beside him making strategic plans. The dynamic duo—the A-Team—have been placed into position to invade the compound single-handily as their armies fight from the outside in as a distraction.

A distraction so that Kenobi and Skywalker can capture Count Dooku.

Commander Cody dodged another blast and he and Fives rolled behind a massive boulder. "What's the yardage?"

Fives lifted his binoculars. He smiled. "Captain Rex is signaling sire!"

Commander Cody hit his comlink. He did not wait for the image to appear. "Mission is go, sir!"


"Mission is go, sir!"

Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker smiled. "All I ever wanted to hear!"

Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi shook his head in aghast at his former padawan. "Ha-ha, Anakin," he said. "Let's go."

He put away his comlink and, together, they slid the device Anakin worked on last night and waited. Once placed over the mechanical shield, it only took seconds for the device to deactivate the shield surrounding the base. Anakin had been impatient since the battle started in the early rise of the sun. But, Obi-Wan insisted on patience and told them they have to trust Commander Cody and Captain Rex to get the job done. Otherwise, they would be unable to complete the mission.

With the shields down, Obi-Wan and Anakin slipped into the compound easily. Obi-Wan turned to Anakin. "It'll be a few minutes before they get the shields up again, sir. We'll be sitting ducks inside."

"Like always," Anakin reminded his old master. "Besides, isn't traps our specialty?"

"Not when I have a bad feeling."

"You always say that after a battle, master," Anakin pointed, brushing a loose strand of brown hair from his face. "Anyway, according to the Chancellor, the Republic needs this win. If we fail to stop Dooku—"

"I was there Anakin," Obi-Wan reminded his friend. "I'm remember the dire warnings that Chancellor gave to us. Don't worry—we will not fail."

"Of course not," Anakin said, smashing himself and Obi-Wan against the wall as Droid Destroyers rolled through the corridor towards the exits where Captain Rex would be fighting. Once the coast was clear, the two Jedi continued their navigation. "When do we ever fail?"

Obi-Wan tsked at his former padawan's pride. "Check your emotions Anakin," he warned. "We cannot be blinded by them."

"It's not emotions," Anakin stated. "It's facts."

Obi-Wan smiled, but his beard hid the smile from his towering padawan. Obi-Wan was quite proud of his student. Anakin Skywalker was becoming a far more powerful Jedi than he hoped. More importantly—Anakin Skywalker was becoming one of Obi-Wan's best friends or, if I dare say it in his head—a very close brother. Despite the rules of attachments, Obi-Wan always considered Anakin more than just a pupil of his. Ever since Qui-Gon Jinn passed the youngling to him, Obi-Wan grew to love the boy as a son before they grew to become like brothers.

Yes, Obi-Wan thought as they stealthily roamed the corridors, Anakin Skywalker is a man Obi-Wan is proud to know and fight alongside.

Suddenly, Anakin stopped in his tracks. "Do you sense that master?"

Obi-Wan nodded. The Force ripped through them, the strongest and uneven feeling Obi-Wan ever felt with the Force. He gestured to the doors lined up ahead in front of him. "Dooku is in there."

Anakin arched his brows to his master. "How do you know?"

Obi-Wan breathed deeply, but did not answer Anakin's question. He knows Dooku's Force signature after the many times they came across paths during the war. He's surprised Anakin did not feel it, but Obi-Wan will analyze it after they successfully capture Dooku.

Obi-Wan pulled out his lightsaber. Anakin followed suit. "Together, Anakin."

Anakin nodded, a slight smirk curling on his lip as they approached the door. Standing right up against the doors, they swung opened, surprising both Obi-Wan and Anakin to ignite their weapons. The grey room did not invite Obi-Wan or Anakin into the room. Instead, they kept to the doorway and prepared to fight off any more surprises.

After their eyes studied the environment, the walls reminded Obi-Wan and Anakin of the Separatist prison they have at least been held once…or twice. Grey and baron, giving no personal warmth to any visitors. Obi-Wan noticed the limited lighting, again—not a welcoming sight either as it distorted the room's view. Giving multiple opportunities for the Jedi to be blind to the Sith Lord's actions.

Obi-Wan let the Force guide him as he stepped into the room, his blue saber raised. Anakin followed, his emotional blue eyes alerted to everything around them. He sensed something.

Before Obi-Wan could ask, lightening streaks shot across at them.

Anakin moved quickly. He Force shoved Obi-Wan aside, sparing both his master and himself from Dooku's Force Lightening attack. Anakin swung around, hiding behind one of the pillars that stood in the room.

Obi-Wan rolled behind another, looking to Anakin for any injuries. Anakin shook his head, knowing exactly what his master was thinking.

"Of course!" an elegant, prideful voice reverberated the walls around the two Jedi. "They would send the two of you."

Obi-Wan noticed Anakin's scowling in recognition of the voice. With a nod, Obi-Wan stepped out from his pillar and Anakin slid next to his master. They always fought together. Never apart. They fight together. They win together…or die together.

As they moved together to the center of the room, they both spotted Dooku underneath a massive half-dome structure that stood upon a platform surrounded by tall pillars. A vibration shook the structure, like a power was welded into it and trying to break out.

Count Dooku—towering, poised and self-important—easily strolled to the center of the room, hands linked behind his back as he took in his visitors. His dark eyes regarded Anakin with disdain to the point that he dared not even give Anakin another second of his moment.

Once they rolled passed Anakin's contorted face, Dooku's eyes landed on the last living person he respected. "Master Kenobi…always a great pleasure seeing you."

"Is it?" Obi-Wan questioned, tapping his chin in mock thought. "In our last encounter, you tried to kill me."

"Ventress tried to kill you," Dooku corrected.

"On your orders!" Anakin spat, disgusted and his eyes lit aflame.

Dooku merely stared contemptuously at Anakin. "Ventress is a woman of her own design," he said. "She tends to do whatever she wants to do. I've told her multiple times about the concerns of the two of you," Dooku paused for a moment and smoothed out his cape. "But—like I said…she does what she wants."

"Sounds familiar," Anakin growled.

Dooku tipped his chin down, sneering at Anakin. "Yes…it does."

Anakin nearly charged at him if it hadn't been for Obi-Wan's hand to stop him. "Wait Anakin!"

Dooku chuckled at the young Jedi's restless nature. "Listen to your master," he teased Anakin. "Unless you prefer to lose your other arm as well."

Anakin wanted to lunge at him again, but Obi-Wan pulled him back once again with a simple hand on his shoulder. "Don't, Anakin," he said. "Together!"

Anakin took in a sharp breath, but his eyes still remained furious. Dooku frowned at the duo. "Pity," he muttered. "I was hoping to see how long I could get Skywalker to beg for death."

Obi-Wan stepped forward, instinctively placing himself in Anakin's path. "You'll have to start with me, first."

Dooku laughed, echoing around Obi-Wan and Anakin as if there were multiple Dooku's in the room. "Very well—Master Kenobi," he said, sliding across the floor, but still remaining under the structure. "Let's start!"

With a wave of his hand, Dooku sent a massive Force shove into Obi-Wan. The Jedi master felt the wave crash into him and his feet flew up into the air, flying passed Anakin and skidding across the room until he rammed his back into the wall.

Eyes blurred from impact, Obi-Wan tried to get back to his two feet, hearing Anakin cry out to him. He heard the swishing sounds of lightsabers. Anakin was fighting Dooku on the platform.

His strength returning, Obi-Wan pulled himself into a standing position and re-ignited his lightsaber. In the middle of the room, he watched Anakin maneuver his way around Dooku's footing. The fighting fierce. Obi-Wan's heart nearly leapt into his throat. He needed to join. He needed to help Anakin!

Obi-Wan ran to the backside, hoping to cut Dooku off and corner him. Dooku, however, already became aware of Obi-Wan's plan. "Master Kenobi—surely you can do better," he said, as his lightsaber clashed with Kenobi.

Anakin raised his own while Dooku became distracted by Obi-Wan's appearance. But, Obi-Wan could see in the Sith Lord's eyes that Dooku saw Anakin's attack coming as well.

"Anakin!" Obi-Wan tried to warn, but it was too late.

Dooku turned and kicked out, sending Anakin across the room too. But, instead of skidding to a half, Anakin was knocked into a pillar. Obi-Wan heard Anakin grunt on impact, but he moved, ready to jump back into action.

Dooku, however, didn't want Anakin in action anymore. Dooku pushed Obi-Wan's blade away, giving him enough time to strike out at Anakin with Force Lightening. The blue electricity caught Anakin and the young Jedi screamed out in torture, his face twisting in agony.

"OBI-WAN!" Anakin cried. "HELP!"

Obi-Wan charged at Dooku, sending his blade to the Count's hands. But, Dooku was quick. Even in his old age, he fought with the agility of a younger man. He smiled at his victory.

"Still trying to save a lost cause," Dooku said, his smile dipping more into fondness. "Another trait you share with your old Master."

Obi-Wan ignored the taunt, focusing on the now, just like Qui-Gon taught him many years ago. Obi-Wan successfully distracted Dooku away from Anakin as the two duel between the structures. Their blades clashed repeatedly, Dooku seemingly enjoying every minute of it. Almost like the two were sparring in the Temple practice rooms rather than fighting for the death.

Dooku easily swiped at Obi-Wan's blade. "I admire your will, Obi-Wan," he said. "Your strength! You often remind me of myself, my dear Obi-Wan."

He exhaled effortlessly, replicating an expression of pity for Obi-Wan. "You should join me, Obi-Wan. It's the path you were meant to be on," he urged, his face inching closer to Obi-Wan's as their lightsabers pressed into each other. "With your talents, we can end this war! Create a more ideal galaxy!"

"Ideal for who?" Obi-Wan argued. "Yourself? No thank you."

Dooku dodged Obi-Wan's blade, thrusting his own close to Obi-Wan's side. Dooku shook his head. "It's saddens me that you use it for a dying, corrupted Republic."

"Better to use it for good than evil," Obi-Wan replied evenly.

Their lightsabers swirled in front of them, each trying to best one another. Blue and red colors smeared their faces, the intensity of the duel causing both men to breathe harder. Obi-Wan remained focus, using his lightsaber skills to defend himself. He just needed to tire out Dooku and he can easily defeat him.

Dooku stared disappointedly at Obi-Wan. "It's a shame that we cannot see eye-to-eye, my dear Obi-Wan. After all—we are very much alike," he informed the Jedi Master. "I'm sure we would have been good friends."

"I doubt it," Obi-Wan retorted, slashing Dooku's blade away from his face.

In the distance, Obi-Wan heard a stir and knew Anakin was returning from his short coma. In a minute, he would leap beside Obi-Wan, blade drawn and ready to join in the fray.

Right now, he had to stand alone. Fight against the darkest force he's ever encounter since Naboo.

Their blades parleyed each other, forcing one to step back and another to step forward. They were maxing out their energy. Obi-Wan could tell from the beads of sweat that lined his eyebrows. And, Obi-Wan was sure Count Dooku could see it in him as well.

In a twist maneuver, Obi-Wan used Ataru against Dooku. It threw Dooku off, but it brought a pleased smile to his face. "That's not a move I've seen in twenty-five years," he said. "Qui-Gon was a master of Ataru."

Obi-Wan tried another tactic, but Dooku caught the blade with his own. "Ah! I see Qui-Gon taught you that maneuver as well," he said, pleased with Obi-Wan swordplay. "I should know as I taught it to him."

Dooku reeled his lightsaber taking in Obi-Wan's appearance fully. Bangs of auburn hair swept of his forehead, bright eyes striking out from the strands, capturing the young man's fortitude. Dooku admired Obi-Wan greatly, proud to admit that this man was a member of his legacy. "Qui-Gon spoke highly of you, Obi-Wan." he said, a slight smile haunting his face. "I can see why."

Obi-Wan, still calm despite the anger that flared in his iris, lunged to sneak a blow on Dooku's shoulder. But, the Sith Lord easily switched from Form I to Form III, catching Obi-Wan's attack. Still grinning, he swiped his blade over, throwing Obi-Wan off balance. Dooku, with a little Force nudge, sent Obi-Wan over the platform.

Before breaking a bone upon landing, Anakin rushed to his master's aid, catching Obi-Wan.

"You all right?" Anakin asked.

Obi-Wan didn't need to verbally answer to demonstrate his well-being. The duo instinctively turned back-to-back to guard each other's vulnerabilities against Dooku.

The Sith Lord observed the duo. He wondered how it felt to know—to count on—someone so whole-heartedly. To trust that someone will always be there by your side. Never question or judge. Follow you into the dark and knowing to come out the other end unscathed.

To love someone unconditionally as demonstrated daily by Kenobi and Skywalker.

Dooku's face scrunched together, his mouth twisted into a scowl. He detested the relationship—their devotion to one another as they fought in a tight unit in the face of war. The Jedi Council seemed to also adore the two, sending them mission after mission. And, the rest of the galaxy? They praised and worshipped the heroes! The citizens of the Republic loved them, all trying to meet the mystical legends that are constantly displayed on their holonets.

Dooku anger rose, his fingers gripping his lightsaber to the point his knuckles turned white. They don't deserve the attention! They don't deserve to be raised to the top of the pedestal. They don't—a growl slipped from Dooku—Skywalker doesn't deserve the devotion, support and love from the galaxy, the Jedi and—especially—Obi-Wan Kenobi.

How does Kenobi still stand beside the little brat? Dooku has seen their relationship up close before. While portrayed as almost like the two were one person in the eyes of the public, Dooku has witnessed their fights. He's seen the two bicker. Seen Skywalker's tantrums and disobedience, which he's sure has caused a lot of headaches for Kenobi. Yet—despite all the problems Skywalker presented, Obi-Wan still loved him and refused to abandon the reckless, inconsiderate boy.

His anger tipping, he swiped his hand. Anakin expected Dooku's move and held up his hand, stopping the Force shove from throwing either of he or Obi-Wan off their feet. "Master Yoda believes the two of you as the Republic's greatest hope," Dooku sneered.

"Probably better than what he considers you," Anakin returned.

Dooku straightened his shoulders and he stretched out his hand, pinching his fingers. Anakin coughed, his hands snatching his throat, trying to throw off an invisible hand. Pleased at hearing Skywalker's gasps, Dooku slid his eyes to Obi-Wan.

"I can see that you've failed to instill manners into the boy," Dooku commented to Master Kenobi. "You must have an abundant amount of patience to not ram your weapon through his throat."

Obi-Wan glanced worriedly from Anakin to Dooku. Seeing the struggle to breathe, Obi-Wan lashed out with his own Force shove. It didn't throw Dooku off-balance, but it did at least force him to release his hold on Anakin's throat.

Obi-Wan straightened, lightsaber positioned for an offense. "It's over, Dooku," he stated. "The base is surrounded. The battle is over. Surrender!"

A spark of amusement filtered into Dooku's dark eyes. "It's never over, my dear Obi-Wan," he said, retreating slowly so that he was directly underneath the half-dome structure. "It's merely the beginning."

Anakin's eyebrows rose, nose scrunched up. "Beginning? What the hell does that mean?" he whispered to Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan had no clue. "Will you care to enlighten us?" he questioned Dooku. "What is beginning?"

Dooku clipped his lightsaber to his utility belt, his cloak rippling over the movements. "A new age, Master Kenobi," he said. "A new history—if you must know. One that will make everything right in the galaxy. And I'll be the one to create it."

Anakin exasperated. "Self-righteous, much?" he muttered under his breath.

Dooku stepped back, not dead center of the half-dome structure. The ringing of the vibrations grew louder. Dooku lifted his hands up and both Obi-Wan and Anakin thought he was going to Force shove them again. But, instead, he used Force Lightening against the dome.

The dome consumed the electricity with Dooku inside. Obi-Wan and Anakin watched in horror and utter confusion.

"Is he—is he committing suicide?" Anakin questioned Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan watched in the same amount of perplexed state as Anakin. What was Dooku doing?

Dooku lowered his face, his eyes falling back down to Obi-Wan. "I shall see you soon, Obi-Wan Kenobi."

And, suddenly, as the vibration reached their peak, Anakin and Obi-Wan clasped their hands over their ears. They crouched down, huddled together as the lightening grew into a ball of electricity. The ringing pounded on their eardrums that Obi-Wan thought they were bleeding.

Obi-Wan gathered the last of his strength to look back to the half-dome, to where Dooku stood amongst the bolts of lightning. How was he not affected? Could he not hear the piercing sound ripping through his ear?

He looked to Anakin, noticing the same twisted pain in his eyes. Anakin, seeing his master looking over at him, tried to signal to him that they need to stop Dooku. However, he never finished as the half-dome turned bright blue in a flash, before sizzling into nothing. The ringing ceased and the vibrations stilled.

Nothing.

Just silence.

Obi-Wan and Anakin checked themselves over with one scan before turning their attention to where Dooku stood moments before the chaos of the half-dome. To their surprise, he was not there. Anakin darted up the platform, searching the area.

He turned to Obi-Wan, who was making his way to his former padawan. "He's not here."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean what I said," Anakin answered, frustrated. "He's not here! He…did he just vaporized himself?"

Obi-Wan arrived to the spot Dooku vanished. He examined the ground. There was no trapped door and he checked the ceiling. Nothing there either that looks suspicious. Where did he go? "He couldn't have gotten that far," Obi-Wan stated. "He has to be here."

"Or—maybe he did off himself?" Anakin suggested with hopefulness beaming from his eyes.

Obi-Wan shook his head. "A sith is not one for suicide, Anakin. They care too much about themselves to perform such an act."

Anakin bobbed his head in agreement. "Okay—well, I don't sense him here and the front doors have yet to open," he said. "It's like he vanished out of the thin air…or at least, out of an electricity storm."

Obi-Wan strolled to the dome, examining it and dragging his fingers along the wall. "What do you think this is?" he asked Anakin, knowing that he would recognize the mechanics of the structure better than anyone else.

Anakin walked right up to his master, looking at the structure. "Hmmm…I don't know. Something stupid," he said, which Obi-Wan sent a glare in his direction. He sighed and refocused back on the structure. "Okay—okay. Fine, umm…it looks like a convertor. Like an energy field."

"An energy field?" Obi-Wan said. "Why use an energy field? That doesn't explain his disappearance."

Anakin shrugged. "I don't have all the answers of the universe. That's your job, Master."

Obi-Wan exhaled. "Well—what can an energy field do?"

Anakin shrugged again and drifted away from his former master as Obi-Wan pondered Dooku's latest gadget used in the war. He scratched his chin, mulling over Dooku's last words to the duo. It was typical of Dooku to tease Obi-Wan and Anakin about his future plans. Never giving them enough information until it was too late. But—that was probably the purpose. Have them worrying and over-thinking to the point that it distracts him and Anakin from his true plans.

A new history, Obi-Wan pondered. That is what Dooku said. Claimed he was creating it. But—making new history is impossible. History is the past and one cannot change the past. Too dangerous. Too many risks. Dooku wouldn't dare risk it.

Or…would he?

Obi-Wan shook his head. No, it was just another tease to distract him. He need to stay focus. This structure is probably a teleportation device. That is how he escaped. And, "new history" probably meant the future. Not the past.

"Master?" Anakin called to Obi-Wan, redirecting his master's thoughts back to the present. Anakin stood on the opposite end, tinkering a little with the control panel. "I'm reconsidering my theory."

Obi-Wan arched an eyebrow. "Really?" he said, heading over to where Anakin stood. "What did you discover?"

Anakin pointed to one the screen where the level ratings were extremely high. "Do you know what this reads, master?"

"No."

"It's the levels for Force currents," Anakin confided. "Dooku—I think he broke through the currents."

"Broke through the currents?" Obi-Wan repeated, studying the levels. "That's…why would he do that?"

Anakin tilted his head to catch his master's face. "What does it mean? Breaking the currents?"

Obi-Wan leaned away from the screen. "If one breaks the Force Currents, it allows a passage way into the Force streamline. The very threads of it."

Anakin gave him a blank stare. "Meaning—he's controlling the force? Or—what does that mean? Entering the streamline?"

Obi-Wan massaged his brows. His first thought was correct. Dooku did the unthinkable. "It means, Anakin," Obi-Wan began. "Dooku entered the streamline to go back or forth in time."

Anakin blinked rapidly. "Wait—what?!" he gaped at his master. "That's…that's impossible. You can't travel in time…"

"The Aing-Tii monks have been able to Force-walk through the timelines," Obi-Wan informed his former padawan. "But, only to view the history. Never to interact." Lines stressed Obi-Wan's forehead. "I'm afraid Dooku plans to do the opposite."

Anakin shook his head, his locks flowing behind him stiffly. "But—if he changes anything…"

"I'm aware," Obi-Wan said. "That's why we must get word to the Council. Immediately."

"It'll be too late!" Anakin argued. "Telling the Council only gives Dooku more time to change—whatever he wants!" Anakin glanced at the structure. "We need to go after him now!"

"Time-Traveling is a dangerous power, Anakin," Obi-Wan countered, stopping Anakin. "There's a lot of risks. Dangers. Things that may come to pass that shouldn't and things that were supposed to happen never happening at all. We must report it to the Council."

"Master—"

"Not another word, Anakin," Obi-Wan commanded, causing Anakin's mouth to press thin, but he didn't say another word. Obi-Wan turned on his comlink and dialed for the Council. Nothing happened. He tried again. "Commander Cody? Commander? Can you hear me?"

It came up dead.

Anakin peered at the comlink. "I'm betting the communications are out. They must have shut it down," he said, nudging in the direction of the battle. "What's the plan now, Master?"

Obi-Wan frowned at Anakin. He knew what Anakin wanted him to say next. Obi-Wan preferred informing the Council of Dooku's achievement. But, Anakin also had a point. The longer Dooku was gone, the more change of things changing dramatically—and most likely for the worse.

"All right," Obi-Wan agreed, "but for the record, I do not agree."

"Noted," Anakin stated, already beginning the process at the control panel. "Now…let's see if we can get this thing to start up."

"That may be a small problem," Obi-Wan stated.

"Why is that?" Anakin asked.

"Dooku used Force Lightening to energize the field," Obi-Wan pointed out to Anakin. "Neither of us has Force Lightening. So…"

Anakin nodded, recognizing the position they were in regarding the setting-up. "Well—looks like we'll have to improvise our own lightening."

Obi-Wan watched with mild amusement of his old friend. "Anakin—how are we going to make our own lightening?"

Anakin waved his hand and wires poke through the wall. In another wave, a spark lit up and Anakin Force held the electric spark, shooting it at the half-done. The spark hit the dome, growing as Anakin held it, causing it to grow bigger.

The vibrations began again.

Of course, Obi-Wan thought. Anakin would be able to fix this machine without any glitches.

Anakin, pleased with himself, turned to Obi-Wan. "Master!"

Obi-Wan wide-eyed at Anakin. As always, he is kept surprised by Anakin's growing powers in the Force. He joined Anakin, edging the half-dome and ready to do the unthinkable. Obi-Wan didn't want to jump in. He wanted to alert the Council. Make them aware of the situation and think it through before jumping in head first—much like Anakin and, his former master, Qui-Gon Jinn would do.

Anakin shook Obi-Wan shoulder. "Ready?"

Obi-Wan examined the static field. "Hold my hand, Anakin," he ordered, snatching his padawan's hand. "Just so we don't separate and end up in different timelines. We stay together."

Anakin gripped his master's hand. "Yes, Master."

"And—you will follow my orders," Obi-Wan added. "There are lots of things that can go wrong Anakin. We must be cautious. So…for once—listen to me. Follow my orders."

Anakin rolled his eyes. He never liked to be told what to do. A trait that came from his years of slavery. But, he begrudgingly nodded. "Yes, Master."

With a deep breath, Obi-Wan and Anakin stepped through into the half-dome, feeling the energy electrifying around them. Yet, it wasn't painful. It was like a tingling sensation at first, but then it drifted into a floating sensation—like their feet were no longer on the floor.

"Anakin…whatever happens," Obi-Wan said as the energy around increased, "don't let go of my hands."

Anakin nodded his understanding. Obi-Wan took a deep breath and gripped Anakin's wrist to ensure they would not separate. He felt the energy flow through them, ready to send them. But—neither of them knew where Dooku went. Did he go back a few days or years?

"Anakin!" Obi-Wan called over the piercing sound. Anakin turned to his master. "Can you sense where Dooku went?"

He shook his head, but closed his eyes so he could try to feel the Force in the energy field to pick up a scent. Obi-Wan tried as well, but he felt Anakin's emotional turmoil, distracting him.

"Level your emotions, Anakin," Obi-Wan advised. "It'll help you."

Anakin rolled his eyes, despite they were closed. "I know, Master. I'm just searching…" Anakin stopped. His eyes flew opened, mouth slighlt hanging open when he turned to Obi-Wan. "I found him!"

"Where did he go?" Obi-Wan said.

"Far back!" Anakin yelled over the vibrations. "Like twenty-four years ago."

Obi-Wan's shoulders twitched back, eyes bewildered. Anakin noticed Obi-Wan distressed. "What is it? What happened back then?"

Obi-Wan flicked his eyes to Anakin. "It's my past. My beginnings as a padawan to Qui-Gon," he said.

"What?"

"He returned to the time I was fourteen," Obi-Wan said. "I…I don't know why."

The field around them grew more intense to the point Obi-Wan felt that he wasn't even in his own body. He looked away from Anakin, seeing the streaks of lights before them and, oddly, voices drifting around them. Voices from different people. Images of places flashed before him, places he's seen and haven't seen yet.

They were entering the Force stream. Obi-Wan tightened his hold on Anakin's wrist. He felt Anakin do the same. "Focus on Dooku's signature," he said. "It'll lead us to the timeline he entered. And, remember Anakin—"

Obi-Wan and Anakin looked at each. "Follow my lead."