Darth Vader: Hero of Naboo

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars.

AN Oi, I am very sorry for the delay. Shit happened IRL, including me getting sick and later having a small accident that left me sore all over for a few days. I'm fine and everything, but yeah, I was literally knocked off my game for a while. But I'm back now.

Also, interesting news. Turns out, Hero of Naboo is THE most reviewed SW fic. The "technically" first place is a fic called "Imperial" but of its 6100+ reviews, about 4500 of them are spam posts unrelated to the story, leaving only 1600-ish legitimate reviews. So...wow, this fic is literally the top SW fic in all categories.

Silence.

That was the only word to describe Coruscant as the great storm began to dissipate and vanish, back from whatever nothingness it had been summoned from.

Mace Windu looked out from near the top of a skyscraper, peering out to The Works. The Sith, Sidious, was dead. And it would appear that Vader had either been lying or wrong, because the storm was dissipating much faster than Vader and Plagueis had implied. And yes, Vader definitely still lived, but more importantly, so did Master Yoda. He wanted nothing more than to rush and seek them out. However...

He turned his head, sensing a faint life signature beneath the caved-in rubble of the room.

Others needed them more urgently; his fellow masters traveling to many places that had been greatly damaged by this attack. It would take time before any kind of rescue and medical teams could arrive. Time these people might not have.

Save lives he knew needed his help or seek out the other Sith Lords that, for today at least, might not be a threat.

It wasn't an easy choice, even if it was obvious.

Meanwhile

Yoda sighed as he slouched heavily. He hadn't done anything like that in years. He hadn't had to. If he were any other creature, his lifespan would have likely been diminished from overuse of the Force on his aging body. But his kind were connected to the Force in ways few others were. It wore him out, it drained him immensely, but his end likely was not any sooner to come than it already had been.

He gazed upward at the clearing storm clouds. What he sensed was strange, but welcome. The Dark Side was dissipating far more easily than expected, as if the Light Side was gently dispersing what remained now that Sidious was dealt with. Good. Holding up that barrier for hours would have been a problem, for him and their unexpected ally in dealing with this Sith threat.

His eyes trailed over to the still form of Vader: collapsed on the ground and unmoving, his mechanical parts damaged and broken extensively. But life had not left Darth Vader, his presence in the Force stubbornly persisting despite his injuries.

Yoda wished he had a staff to lean on, but in lieu of one, he glanced over the ruined scrap metal all around them, the ground having been shredded and bent further in the wake of the storm.

The Grandmaster was spent, but even a portion of his power was more than enough for this; with a grasping motion of his hand, a piece of loose debris ripped itself away and came over to Yoda. It was ragged on the edges, but it was large enough for him to sit on. And so he did, leaping onto the sheet and keeping it afloat under his own power.

With a hum, he brought himself over to Vader and was unsurprised by what he saw: gloves stripped to reveal the robotic arms, a small pool of blood pouring out the mouth of the mask and plenty more damage. It took him another instant to take note of it, but he saw that beneath Vader's form were two lines indented into the ground, where he had literally used the Force to keep himself anchored down from Sidious's counter attack.

Anyone else, Yoda would have felt some urgency to get them medical treatment. The fact that he didn't had nothing to do with Vader being a Sith and more purely due to the Dark Lord's presence in the Force. It wasn't fading or weakening. He wasn't in any danger of dying at the moment, not so long as he could use the Dark Side to sustain himself.

Still, that didn't mean it wasn't a priority for Yoda. The bigger question was, where to take him? A medical center on Coruscant, or back to the Jedi Temple's medical corp? Those appeared to be the best choices, but Yoda wasn't sure how well Vader would react to either. The police force of Coruscant might just try to arrest the Sith Lord, and that would not end pleasantly for any that tried to contain the Sith Lord. Taking him back to the Temple might have Vader misinterpreting their actions as trying to imprison him.

And, admittedly, Yoda acknowledged there would be at least a few in the Order that would consider trying to kill Vader in his weakened state, even after all this.

How complicated it was, he mused, to try and treat a Sith as an ally of the Jedi Order.

Speaking of which, he frowned for a moment as he turned to the side, his stare challenging the presence.

Darth Plagueis's shadowy form rippled back into existence, his red eyes peering towards the small Jedi with consideration. No words were spoken, both parties seeming to weigh their options as the air grew thick.

Their staring contest was interrupted by sound of steps against broken metal, signaling the approach of another. The heads of both orders watched as a red zabrak came into view. An unlit lightsaber in one hand, and in the other was half of a decapitated and cauterized head, held by the hairs.

"Maul," Plagueis spoke neutrally, eyeing the near-human before his eyes turned to linger on Sidious's head. An apprentice who failed to overthrow his master, and was slain by his own attack dog. "Fitting."

Maul's face contorted briefly, just barely held in control, before he regained himself. He looked from the Sith Lord to the Jedi Master. Yoda arched an eyebrow at the Dark Sider, who was obviously considering attacking him.

Plagueis's attention turned to Yoda again, and the green Jedi prepared himself for the worst.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you."

Maul turned in alarm as he saw a smiling Yareal Poof was mere feet away from him...with a lightsaber pointed at his chest. Unactivated, but too close to risk.

Plagueis frowned and waved his hand through the air, ripping through Poof's Force Illusions.

The Muun was unsurprised to see Dooku observing from some distance, watching cautiously for any treachery. Everyone was on edge, tense, hands ready to use the Force or grasp their lightsaber. All it would take was one instant and they would all be at each other's thro-

*Kuuuuuuh Kerrr*

A shadow fell over Yoda as a chill went up everyone's spines, and a loud thud caught their attention.

Vader was on his feet again.

His body was broken, his power was greatly spent, and he looked as if his limbs would give out again at any moment. His head was slouched as he struggled to stay standing.

And yet, Plagueis was certain of one thing.

They were all in great danger now.

He didn't know how or why, but the Force was screaming at him in a way it had only done a few times. A warning, a caution that he was approaching certain doom if he didn't tread carefully. It had been decades since he felt like this. By the stern frown on Yoda's face and the slight tremor in Yareal's hand, the Jedi felt it too.

Plagueis shared a look with the long-necked Jedi, who nodded minutely. Plagueis purposefully relaxed his presence in the force, the only sign he could give that he chose not to fight. Maul eyed Yareal warily as the Jedi illusionist stepped back and slowly attached his saber to his belt.

Yoda looked on as Maul untensed to a degree, and the other Jedi did as well. But Yoda's attention was chiefly on Vader, feeling the danger subsiding. But what he noted as important was, despite the Force's warning, Vader's presence in the Force hadn't changed at all. Not even slightly, to attack or defend. That was telling to the Grandmaster.

It was only now, with the mixed group less likely to attack one another, that Vader raised his head and stared at them with one lone yellow eye revealed to the world through his broken lens.

His gaze was intently focused on the head of Sidious.

Something Maul noticed.

The false-apprentice looked towards Plagueis and threw the head of the Naboo-born Sith at the feet of the illusionary avatar. Plagueis rose an eyebrow but nodded all the same before levitating Sidious's skull, gazing at it with a heavy sigh. So much time and effort, now wasted.

Maul ignored the action as he turned towards Vader, marching towards the cyborg. And there was no mistake, his eyes were keen on the monolith of durasteel, not even glancing towards the green Jedi Master.

Until, that is, he couldn't move at all.

He gritted his teeth, throwing a seething look down at Yoda's floating form. The Grandmaster returned the look with a hard stare as he used what remained of his own power to keep the zabrak from taking another step towards Vader.

Plagueis genuinely looked curious by that while Dooku stared intently as Yoda stood at Vader's defense.

Vader looked down at the green Jedi, who glanced up in turn. A small nudge in the Force from Vader, and Yoda nodded in acceptance. He floated to the side and let Maul pass while keeping an obvious watch on the exchange.

Despite that minor humiliation, Maul's attention was only on Vader again. And even though Vader was the one that appeared to be on death's door and Maul was still relatively fresh, staring into that yellow eye made Maul appreciate how small he must appear still. To Vader, to Plagueis, and even to the Jedi present.

Yoda scowled and Plagueis rose an eyebrow when Maul raised his unlit lightsaber towards Vader...and held it out for him.

The Dark Lord narrowed his eyes an instant before nodding slowly. With effort, in his limbs and the Force, his left arm reach up and grasped the lightsaber firmly.

Maul removed his hand before giving Vader a nod of respect. With that, he turned and began heading off into the ruins of the Works. No one followed him.

"Going, where is he?" Yoda questioned idly.

Vader shook his head, showing he did not know.

As Maul's form shrunk in the distance, Vader took to Yoda's example; finding a suitably sized mound of metal, he took a seat and allowed his powers and body to relax.

"Vader," Dooku called, keeping Plagueis in the corner of his eyes as he approached. "You look to be in need of assistance," Dooku observed idly.

Vader gave him something between a stare and a glare, but didn't comment. Dooku suspected he couldn't right now.

"Should we take him back to the temple, Master Yoda?" Dooku questioned, keeping his eyes on the injured Sith Lord in case he protested the idea, even nonverbally.

"Are you sure you have the equipment to do that?" Plagueis asked in genuine curiosity, the head of Sidious hovering behind him morbidly. "No offense to your medi-corp, but I'm not aware of the Jedi Temple having an advanced facility for cybernetics, especially one as specific as Vader's."

"And would you?" Yoda countered with raised ears.

"I never said I'd help. I think I've done enough on Darth Vader's behalf for the day," Plagueis stated, pausing before waving his hand at Vader, a green glow forming briefly around the cyborg. "But in the interest of continuing our talks, Lord Vader, I'll take you a few steps back from Chaos."

Vader sat straighter as his injuries faded to a small but relieving degree. "You have my thanks, Lord Plagueis," Vader returned, his voice only partly strained, with a touch of static to it.

"I honestly should be furious, with how many plans you've ruined and set back," Plagueis stated plainly. "But I can see now, that ending the Rule of Two was never in Sidious's intentions."

Yoda's eyes widened at that, his old eyes turning curious, while Vader nodded.

"You should take your leave, before more come to report on this scene," Vader advised. "Unless you believe your illusions could fool recordings."

Plagueis chuckled at that. "A fair point, a fair point," he relented, turning to Yoda and giving him a nod. "Despite everything, I enjoyed meeting you in person, Grandmaster."

Yoda didn't remark on that, obviously trusting this Sith less than Vader.

Plagueis accepted that with wry amusement before he turned to leave- but not before he looked to Yareal Poof. "We will have to settle the score one day, Master Poof," Plagueis remarked with a smirk.

"Oh, I am looking forward to many future meetings, Lord Plagueis," Poof retorted in kind, completely unphased at the intimidating look.

With that, the Lord of the Order of Bane vanished like mist in the mind.

And with him, the Dark Side felt less oppressive, the sun shining down on the ruined portion of Coruscant.

Dooku frowned as he looked over the wreckage, eyes trailing from the building they had confronted Sidious in, and all the way to the edge of the Works where many buildings had been damaged. "To think, a being of such power and evil dwelt so close to us for so long, without us even realizing it."

"Blind, we have been," Yoda agreed with a nod.

"Even if you had known the Sith were alive and well, you never would have suspected Sidious," Vader retorted to their surprise. "You should all leave. I am sure there are those in need of your aid."

"Obviously, that is why we are still here," Poof remarked wryly. "Or did you just expect us to leave you to die in a ditch?"

Vader didn't recall Poof having this taste in humor, but he hardly recalled him at all really. Regardless, he didn't deny the point. "I will deal with my injuries in time, Jedi. Right now, I require another hovercar."

Needless to say, that gained some curious looks.

Meanwhile

To be angry is to be human.

In time, you will learn to trust your feelings.

I knew you'd come looking for me.

Not from a Jedi.

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Anakin gasped deeply as he shot awake, a thousand voices shifting through his head as his mind refused to make sense of them.

"Anakin! Anakin! Can you hear me!?"

Make that a thousand and one, as he faintly made out the semi-familiar voice over the ringing in his ears. He turned and saw someone. He couldn't place him right away, blinking as he tried to reboot his own brain, before it clicked. "Obi-Wan?" he addressed in surprise, feeling something was off. Was Obi-Wan always this young?

The Padawan sighed in relief, giving the boy a tired smile. "You were starting to give us a scare, Anakin. You've been unconscious for a while now."

"Us?" Anakin repeated numbly, before looking around and spying a green alien- Yaddle, Yaddle was her name- and Ahsoka.

"You okay!" Ahsoka cried in relief from his side, hugging him afterward.

Anakin blinked, returning the hug by rubbing her back. "I'm...sorry, what happened?"

"In a trance, you have been. Communed with the Force, you may have," Yaddle answered with a concerned look. "Unprepared for such, you were."

The young human stared as he attempted to process what she just said, and came to one conclusion. "I don't know what any of that means," Anakin admitted absently.

"You accidentally did something you shouldn't be trying," Obi-Wan summarized with a dry smile. "Do you...remember anything?"

Anakin sat there, taking a deep breath as he thought. He had heard voices, but what little he could make out was already fading into the recesses of his mind. Beyond that? "Just a lot of lightning and...I think lava? I've never seen any lava before, but I think that was it," Anakin answered with a distant voice, quirking his head towards the window, seeing the sunlight peering through the clouds. "How long was I out again?"

'Not even an hour," Obi-Wan assured.

Anakin absorbed that, retracing his memories. "What happened, with Vader and the others?" Anakin asked with a frown.

"Know, we do not. Victorious, however, they appear to be," Yaddle answered carefully. "Clouds the Force, too much still does."

Anakin accepted that, feeling like he understood even though he knew he didn't. "Am I...suppose to feel this tired?" Anakin asked, scrunching his eyes hard to fight off a wave of lethargy.

"Physical, the Force may not be, but can be, its effects and affects," Yaddle warned sagely. "Rest you should."

Anakin nodded at that, absorbing that information. "The council doesn't want me to be a Jedi, do they?"

Padawan and Master alike were stunned by the suddenness and ease with which the question was made, while Ahsoka blinked with incomprehension. "What makes you say that?" Obi-Wan retorted with a furrowed brow.

"I...I don't know. Just a feeling," Anakin answered, looking to Yaddle.

The female of Yoda's kind dipped her head solemnly. "Concerns, the council has. Wary, the more conservative of us, may be. But accepted your entry, the council has," Yaddle explained reassuringly, but honestly.

Obi-Wan watched as a number of emotions flashed over the now-youngling's face: shock, relief, confusion, wariness, happiness, and finally weariness. "It's been a long day. Has it been two yet?" Kenobi asked as a joke.

"It feels likes it's been months since I first met all of you," Anakin said with a small smile before he moved to rise, nearly falling over.

"Careful," Ahsoka said, helping him steady himself.

"Thanks, Snips," Anakin said as Ahsoka pouted.

"Snips? Where'd that nickname come from?" Obi-Wan questioned with an arched brow.

Anakin thought back to his first meeting with Ahsoka, but ultimately shrugged. "It was just something that came to me."

"How terrible, a Force power to conjure up terrible nicknames," Obi-Wan said with amusement.

Yaddle smiled as Obi-Wan successfully distracted the mind of the two children. She subtly nodded to him, prompting him.

"Come on, let's find you two somewhere to nap for now," Obi-Wan said, taking the hint.

Yaddle allowed her shoulders to slouched when they left. Yoda and her were not family, bonded neither by love or by blood in the usual sense. But as two of the only ones of their kind, they were intimately aware of one another's presence in the Force. Most other species had many, many more of their own kind to sense. Being such a rare species as themselves, with such great Force powers, made it almost instinct to notice one another in the Force.

And she knew for a fact that she and Yoda were both tired. He from battling the Sith, she from protecting the temple. But he was alive, she could tell that much, using her fellow green Jedi like a light house in the cacophony formed by this day's events. But in sensing that he was alive, she knew many were dead or dying. Those with and without the Force. Saving Coruscant had not been without its cost.

She could only have faith in the Force and hope that all of this had been worth it.

Meanwhile

Dooku didn't think that Darth Vader was an enemy. Not today at the very least.

That said he wasn't about to leave him alone with Yoda, not while the Grandmaster was obviously weakened. For whatever reason, Yoda insisted on accompanying Vader and the Sith Lord didn't feel the need to object or discourage them. And Dooku, primarily a duelist, doubted he would be much aid in the rescue efforts.

Poof remained behind to search for any of their injured that survived the force storm.

Realistically, they should have flown Vader to the Temple or a medi-center. But no, the Sith Lord had taken them back to the ship for the Queen of Naboo. Luckily, it had been still been outside the range of the storm, thus it had not been forced to move to another platform.

"I understand you're concerned for him, Master Yoda," Dooku noted over his shoulder, the smaller Jedi sitting in the back. "But I doubt Vader would delay medical attention unless he fully believed that he could survive in the meantime."

"That which intrigues me, his certainty is," Yoda retorted wryly, before his ears perked.

Both Jedi glanced up as many sirens filled the air before emergency hovercrafts blitzed by overhead.

"We'll have plenty to explain in the days to come," Dooku mused with a frown. "How will the Senate take knowing that a Sith had been manipulating the government?"

"A later date, that concern is," Yoda said with a frown, still looking up towards the sky. "Integrity of the Weather System, of today, is to be a greater concern."

Dooku kneaded his forehead. He had been gone from Coruscant for so long that he forgot; the entire planet's weather was artificially controlled and maintained by a networks of floating stations, routine operations, and more. A network that had never been tested against a Force Storm of all things. That stations weren't satellites in the traditional sense, they were nowhere near the edge of the atmosphere. Sidious's storm could have reached them most definitely. And even if the storm faded, its existence as a weather phenomenon could wreak havoc on the systems in the surrounding areas.

It was like a drawn out aftershock to an earthquake, and the risk of a tsunami coming in. Losing more lives could be avoided, but the people and officials of Coruscant would have to be careful.

Dooku frowned as he looked towards the ship. Vader claimed he needed to return here for supplies he required to make repairs to his body. What was taking him so long?

Within the silvery ship itself, Vader found himself less surprised than he expected.

He had come to confirm that his mother was still alive. Which he had just by arriving, but he had planned to put on the show of needing to retrieve something from the ship lest the Jedi suspect something. And, honestly, there were some parts he could use right now.

That said, he didn't expect to sense that Padme was already be on the ship. But it made sense. With the Force Storm forming on Coruscant, it was only logical that she'd prepare to make an emergency exit if the situation became too dangerous.

Well, obvious to someone without the Force.

Panaka was eyeing him oddly and Padme leveled a pointed look at him, as if she were meeting him for the first time again as the silence dragged on. He was actually appreciating that, because while he wasn't surprised, he had been stunned to see Padme.

Because he was seeing her for the first time, without the lenses, with just his own eye. And for a moment, she almost looked like His Padme.

Luckily, his mask still hid his shocked expression.

"You've been busy."

He arched a brow at that, and she noticed it through his broken lens. They were alone in this section, the three of them, and she wasn't acting as a handmaiden. Panaka stood next to her while she sat at the table, facing him with her arms crossed.

"I believe you have as well," Vader returned in kind. Panaka's eye narrowed and Padme's jugular tensed in a way only he would notice. They had been busy then. "You were aware that there were matters the Jedi and I had to deal with."

Padme saw the offer to change the subject back and accepted it. "Yes, I just didn't expect it to end with a senator of Naboo being ambushed by Jedi after you attacked their temple. Both live on the HoloNet," Padme retorted bluntly. "You've known far more about Naboo's crisis than you told us."

It wasn't a question. It also wasn't that important.

"What would you have had me do, Amidala?" he asked sternly. "I, a stranger of great suspicion and unknown power, suddenly accusing your own senator of having masterminded the Trade Federation's occupation of your planet?"

Padme frowned. So, she had already suspected that Sidious was behind everything. Good. "Was that all helping Naboo was for you? A part of a grand battle of schemes between you and Palpatine?"

"If that were the case, why would I be offering to aid you still?" Vader retorted frostily.

Padme's frown remained, but it was tinged with confusion now. "Why?"

"It is called having allies, Amidala," he answered carefully. "You have aided me, standing in my defense against the Jedi. I simply intend to assist in cleaning up this mess."

She seemed to accept that, mostly, while Panaka remained unconvinced. "If I may, I have a question: To what end?" the captain asked pointedly. "What did Palpatine have to gain from an Federation occupation of Naboo?"

Vader didn't answer, turning his gaze fully and pointedly towards Padme.

"He was using this situation to become Chancellor," Padme realized bitterly, resignedly. "How long?"

"Long before you were born," Vader answered honestly. "The man you knew was only a mask, to hide the monster beneath."

"How can you be so sure?" Panaka asked with a scowl. "Am I to understand that the Senator was one of you? A Sith?"

Vader nodded slowly. "He was part of a sect of Sith, whose only goals are the destruction of the Jedi, and to take control of the Galaxy. All from the shadows."

"And you emerged, to stop him?" Padme stated thoughtfully, recalling the footage of his march on the temple. "You didn't kill any Jedi at the Temple."

"If I had, it would have made my intent to formally end the war between Sith and Jedi appear insincere," Vader pointed out, far too casually.

Padme blinked, many pieces coming together. "And you aided the Jedi in taking down a threat to the Galactic Republic," she summarized, slowly, processing some of the implications.

"That is a way to describe the situation," Vader admitted, letting her political mind work.

Padme nodded to herself as she cupped her chin. "I take it that capturing him alive was impossible?"

"That depends on how many lives you would have wished to risk endangering, and for how long," Vader answered neutrally. "Unless you imagine detaining me would be a simple task?"

Padme looked over his ruined form. "Easier right now than usual," she remarked with concern. "Should you even be standing? You should have gone to get medical attention."

"I have contingencies, do not worry," Vader remarked, ignoring the growing agony in his body. He was very good at that. "But I will be unable to aid you for now, Amidala, until my suit is repaired."

"I understand, Vader. But even if Palpatine was the one controlling the situation, I doubt that the Trade Federation will leave so easily."

Vader nodded in agreement. There was little telling what Nute Gunray would do in his cowardice. He might surrender, he might run, or he might double down and try to make the situation work without Sidious. "Do you believe whatever allies you found have the power to liberate your homeworld?"

"I believe we have a chance, yes. And that we can expect no aid from the Republic," Padme stated solemnly. "Even if they weren't in chaos from that...battle, the Senate has clearly lost its way."

Vader nodded.

Something snapped, and suddenly the Dark Lord was nearly falling over.

"Vader?!" Padme exclaimed as she shot up in alarm, Panaka taking half a step towards Vader.

"I'm fine," Vader said as he stumbled to the wall to support himself.

"That, of all things, is clearly a lie," Padme said with a scowl.

"...You're correct," Vader admitted begrudgingly, reaching out with his hand. The two of Naboo watched intently as his bag levitated towards him in an instant. Out of it floated a device from the contents. A circular communicator, it appeared. "I stalled this too long, perhaps," Vader said as he pressed the button, causing a beeping sound to emit.

"What is that?" Panaka questioned suspiciously.

"A beacon to an ally," Vader answered. "As I said, a Sith plans for everything. Including their emergency exit."

"Ally?" Padme questioned..

"It is a lo-" Vader paused, coughing through his mask. Perhaps he had taken Plagueis's parting gift for granted after all. "Long story, for another time. For now, I must recover," he said, holding out the communicator and placing it in her hands. "If you still wish my aid, use that to tell me when your counterattack begins. I will do what I can."

Padme stared from the device to the injured Dark Lord. "Vader, are you sure that-"

"Padme," he said, and by the Force did it hurt to say her name. "It is best if I leave this planet for now. The Jedi and the people may do something foolish if I remain."

Which Padme read as Vader saying he didn't wish to make the situation worse while emotions were high and uncertain. She nodded slowly. "Do you need some help, getting to your...ally?"

Vader glanced to her and was almost amused. "You can't," he stated plainly, standing at his full height again. His way of reminding her that he was a tall durasteel cyborg with nearly a hundred pounds of prosthetics and armor over his body.

And with that, he turned to make his leave, but the Queen and the Captain both followed after him curiously.

The moment Vader headed down the ramp of the ship, he could sense Yoda and Dooku's attention shifted to himself. The Dark Lord tried to hide it, but he was definitely limping. It was a miracle he was still standing at all, he knew that.

He paused as he came out into the open, glancing up to the side as he sensed his ride approaching. The two duos noticed this as well, following his gaze. Even with the recent crisis, or perhaps more so because of it, Coruscant was still a buzzing network of hovercars shooting by.

But it didn't take long for one to stand out. It was one of unusual design, especially to Padme and Panaka, who realized that the ship had to land horizontally given its shape. Indeed it did, turning to hover off the edge of the platform before getting close enough for its ramp to be just over the platform.

It was technically illegal and dangerous to dock or hover like that on this kind of platform, but everyone was focusing far too intently at the figure that emerged from the ship. He was clearly dangerous, weapon in hand and rocket on his back. And though the others didn't recognize him, the Jedi surely did. Especially Dooku, who felt part of him run cold at memory this figure conjured up.

Because that was definitely a Mandolorian's armor.

"Lord Vader," the green figure greeted gruffly. "I believe you called."

Vader didn't respond, simply following the bounty hunter back to the ship. Without looking, he was keenly aware that the man's helmeted gaze lingered on the Jedi, on Dooku, before he climbed up on the ramp and, to Vader's slight annoyance, helped pull him up by the shoulder.

Vader paused to take one last look at the four a nod, before heading into the ship.

Yoda nodded too after the ramp closed and the ship began to ascend, and said something he never imagined he'd say to a Sith Lord.

"May the Force be with you, Darth Vader."

End of Chapter

...Yep, you all know who that is. I bet you didn't expect to see him giving Vader a lift out of there.

Still, yes, the aftermath, or aftershocks rather, of the battle are still going on. People are injuried, dying, and there might be some long term issues considering Sidious unleashed a Force Storm on a planet that normally keeps the weather under control.

You know, it wasn't a conscious decision, but it is rather fitting that all three Siths, counting Maul, each seperately decided to leave now that the dust is clearing. Where they're all going, who knows.

And yes, Vader and Yoda are both equally aware that Vader staying on Coruscant right now might cause problems. Problems in the sense that someone might attack Vader, who is liable to respond with interest.

Anyway, that's all for now. Next Chapter will be a lead up to the Battle of Naboo.

PS Thank you all again for making this the top Star Wars fic of all time!

p a treon . com (slash) akumakami64