Chapter 10-Darkness and Light
The Senate was bustling with activity. The war being on everyone's lips as people talked about it every passing moment. Questions coming out almost every other sentence. What was happening with the current campaigns launched by the Republic military? Who was leading who into battle? How much would it cost to make new clones to fight the onslaught of Separatist droids? Would they need to raise taxes on their home worlds? Should they? How much funding could the Republic contribute to the war effort before the galactic government becomes bankrupt? How much many powers should they give the Supreme Chancellor this time? Should they refuse? Could they refuse with the way the war was going?
"My friends. Fellow Senators. Our Clone Intelligence Unit has uncovered something truly horrifying in the last few weeks. It has come to my attention that the Separatists have been planning, in secret, to build a weapon of mass destruction. A weapon unlike any of us have seen before and one not even considered or unleashed since the time when the Republic was still a young galactic government," said Chancellor Palpatine after bringing the Senate to order.
"Chancellor, while it is true that the Separatists have made some many powerful weapons against the Republic, could you possibly be overexaggerating things. Surely what you are saying cannot be true," said Bail with Sidious internally snarling at the pacifist loving man and planned for the man to one day be arrested before making his death a slow one when the Empire was born.
"I truly wish it were an exaggeration Senator Organa. But it is not. Even as I speak, the creation of such a weapon is being built by the Separatists to use against us. All in the hope of wiping out our entire way of life and galactic government in one single moment," said Sidious while playing the part of a concerned and worried Chancellor.
"What has been done to destroy this supposed weapon the Separatists have been building? A scale of the size of it? Possible base locations or any possible systems it could be built?" asked the Senator from Ryloth curiously.
"I have been informed by various high ranking military officials that the weapon is most likely being built in secret within the Outer Rim territories. Rest assured, the rumors of this weapons existence is not only being validated but its location is being confirmed in order to destroy it," answered Sidious while using his tone of voice calm the Senators while making them focus on trusting him at the same time.
In truth, Sidious had no idea where this rumored weapon was located. Only that it could only be done in the Outer Rim, which is something he would have done himself. And since Vader was a Sith, it was only natural that Sidious think as Vader did in the ways of the Sith on how to act in this instance. The proof Mas Amedda had obtained through spies and contacts were able to piece together the weapon was a massive one. Not quite as large as the Death Star he himself wanted made when the Clone Wars came to an end, but no less impressive if the rumored fire power was properly calculated.
At the very least, he could use this issue as an excuse to form a secret committee filled with high-ranking military individuals to set the plan for the Death Star into motion on his end. Once the war was over, he could use the resources obtained from the chaos to begin the building process for his prized weapon. And when it was complete, all would bow to him. The Force, the people, and the galaxy itself would be his to command and him alone.
The galaxy as a whole would submit to his rule or be destroyed one planet at a time until there was nothing left.
(Planet Serenno-With Vader and Dooku)
"The project is nearly complete. Excellent. Once the fleet is properly assembled for the next campaign, we will unleash it on Coruscant to bring the war to an end," said Dooku while reading Vader's report on the status of his project.
"It will be a day long remembered. The day the war is brought to a crippling halt and the exposure of the Sith hidden in plain sight before the Jedi and Republic. Teams of Noghri assassin squads have already been dispatched with a list of names close to Sidious who share his views for his future Inner Circle and plans for turning the Republic into the Galactic Empire. They will not around for much longer," remarked Vader with Dooku nodding in agreement.
"Who do you intend to lead the campaign. Admiral Trench?" asked Dooku curiously.
"No. While he is qualified to lead the fleet, I feel such a campaign requires the most tactical mind we can unleash here for it to be the most successful," answered Vader while Dooku soon realized who the Sith Lord had in mind.
"Thrawn," said Dooku with Vader nodding.
"Yes. Thrawn is the most qualified. I will be leading the fighters in space against Republic forces while the ground battle will be handled by General Grievous and Calamitous, who will be leading the ground assault to claim our prize. HK-47 will be moving from the shadows to assist them in making it to the Chancellor's office unopposed," said Vader while bringing up the plan on the holo-projector to show the intricate design of it all.
"It makes sense. Thrawn has proven to win one battle after another against some of the more seasoned Jedi Generals and the Republic Admiralty. The same can be said for General Grievous and Calamitous for the ground campaigns. But is it wise to put so many of our 'heavy hitters' in a single campaign? They are far too valuable to lose should we fail, or they are killed during the overall battle with the enemy," said Dooku with a sense of concern for such prized military officers.
Even if they were experienced and knew the risks.
"High risk comes high rewards. Even more so with our intended target. But our forces know the risk and we have been preparing them for this campaign for some time now. And it will not just be them who will be part of the conflict. Several of the former Jedi thought lost over time but secretly imprisoned wish to be a part of it. They will be assisting the Generals on the ground in subduing our intended target. With the training they have obtained during the course of the war, I am confident they will be successful. It is understandable some will lose their lives, but we both know that is the nature of war. One that cannot be avoided," said Vader with Dooku nodding before letting out a tired sigh.
"There is also Qui-Gon, Skywalker, and Tano to contend with since they will be either be on planet when the attack occurs or heading our way when word reaches them of the attack," said Dooku since he did not want his old student, who was like a son to him, to perish in this war from the fighting.
"I know. Chances are they will be part of the battle. The Force wishes it to be and so it shall," said Vader, as his own memories of the event from the alternate timeline played out in his mind.
"I don't want Qui-Gon killed. If my surrogate son is to die, I wish it to be from old age. Not from a blaster bolt or Lightsaber to the chest," said Dooku firmly while knowing the latter of the two had happened at the hands of Maul in an alternate timeline on Naboo.
"If captured during the battle, none of them will be harmed. I respect Qui-Gon too much to let him die now," said Vader while knowing the Jedi Master had feelings for his late mother in this timeline and now wondered if it would have been the same in the original had Maul not killed the man on Naboo.
So many possibilities. So many outcomes.
"How are we with Mandalore? Has Death Watch taken over?" asked Dooku while redirecting the war from the end game to one of the few remaining issues on the map.
"Mandalore is under control of Death Watch with Pre Vizsla acting as the new Mandalore. But the fool is running things rather poorly already from the start. Rumors are already spreading how he has executed, without a trial, quite a few people who supported the reforms Duchess Satine had made in the past that benefited the people. As a result, a majority of the people are outraged by his actions since most of the people executed had no problems with the change in government. Many are starting to lose support for him already. Even those among his own troops. There are also the various rumors of him dealing in quite a few illegal activities when running Death Watch. Dealings that are frowned upon by all of Mandalorian society, the Confederacy, and even the Republic to a certain extent," said Vader with his large network of spies having uncovered those dealings and made sure they were relayed to the public through various middlemen.
"Meaning he will soon have a civil war or a coup on his hands from someone willing to undo his actions before and after becoming ruler of the planet," said Dooku with a frown since Mandalorians were by far the greatest warriors in the galaxy and given the enemy that was to come in the far future, they needed a strong leader running Mandalore while being a friend to the Confederacy.
Something Pre Vizsla was not on either count.
"His SIC is a good replacement. Bo-Katan is the Duchess's sister and will be able to help bring all sides together as a result," said Vader knowing Satine had been given over to Bo-Katan to handle her since the Sith made it clear that killing the leader Satine would be most…unwise.
"Yes. I recall the discussion about her in the past. Can Pre Vizsla be removed from power without foul play being connected to us if required?" asked Dooku knowing the changing of the guard would have be done without a single hint of sign of the Confederacy being involved.
"There is no need for us to act. Not yet. Bo-Katan has contacted me in secret. She had made it clear the man will soon be removed from power. She intends to take over as the new Mandalore by besting the man publicly in single combat," explained Vader with Dooku nodding.
"A challenge he has to accept or risk losing support from own loyal troops," said Dooku knowing the man had to accept the challenge if he wished to prove himself worthy of being called Mandalore.
"Yes. She knows how the man fights and is confident in besting him in battle," said Vader with Dooku nodding since Bo-Katan would know how the man thought and fought after being his SIC for so long.
"And should he actually win? Whether through honorable combat or win by cheating?" asked Dooku knowing there was always a chance Pre Vizsla would try something underhanded to win.
"Noghri agents are already in place to handle such an outcome, should it happen," replied Vader with Dooku nodding since it was always good to have a backup plan for such things.
Politics could be so messy at times.
(Coruscant-Supreme Chancellor's Office)
Sidious scowled at the sight above him the sky with the battle looming overhead. He didn't know how this had happened or why the Dark Side did not warn him about it. But it was happening. Dooku's forces had attacked the heart of the Republic, catching the defense fleet completely by surprise. Even worse, there were reports of Separatists ground forces landing all over, engaging clones and Jedi alike all over.
How did they even gain the access codes needed to arrive here without detection? Or access to the Coruscant planetary defense network? Those two things shouldn't be in the enemies possession!
"Chancellor, it is not safe here. We need to move you to a safer location until the enemy has been repelled," said Jedi Master Shaak Ti knowing they were an open target in this building.
Internally, Sidious scowled at being commanded by anyone, much less a so-called Jedi Master assigned to guard him when the attack came. Oh, how he wished to activate Order 66 on the clones with them. It would be so easy to give the order, kill the Jedi through on the planet during the chaos of fighting. To let the clones created so many problems while he would go underground using his connections made as a Sith Lord. It was surprisingly tempting. To let the galaxy come to believe Chancellor Palpatine was dead during the fighting while Darth Sidious had the freedom to move throughout it without anyone being the wiser. He could easily fake his death. It was a possible, yet rare, contingency plan put in place just in the off chance his identity as a Sith Lord was revealed. Granted, it was one of Plagueis's plans, which he gave to Sidious to have in case of such a situation, but one to have to ensure the Sith were not caught by their enemies.
Unfortunately, what Sidious did not know, due to being kept in the dark even after the Republic officially took over the production of the clones on Kamino, was the command order was there was no Order 66 did not exist. The Prime Minister was instructed by Vader to say Order 66 was in place for the Supreme Chancellor use against the Jedi should they rebel, but in truth, it was never actually implemented into the bio chips installed in their brains. At least not in the way Sidious wanted. The Prime Minister had, per Vader's instructions, made sure Order 66 was used to turn the clones troopers against the Supreme Chancellor. The command was designed to reveal to the clones that the Supreme Chancellor was a Sith Lord and were ordered to kill him instantly for the good of the Republic.
No matter what, Vader was going to use every possibility against Sidious and win against the man.
"Yes. I suppose we should. Lead the way Master Jedi," said Chancellor Palpatine with his usual trusting smile on his face used to fool countless beings throughout the galaxy.
Only for the viewing glass of the Supreme Chancellor's office to sudden exploded with General Grievous and Calamitous coming through and armed for battle. Beside them were IG-100 Magna Guards along with a few of the "lost Jedi" who joined the Confederacy. Weapons drawn and ready for a fight against the Chancellor's protectors.
"The Supreme Chancellor will be coming with us. You would be wise to hand him over," said Grievous with narrowed eyes.
"Not a chance," said Shaak Ti while moving the Chancellor behind her and the clone troopers moving in front of them.
"If you knew what he truly was Master Ti, you wouldn't be so willing to defend the man," said one of the lost Jedi with his yellow blade shining brightly.
"Some of the Supreme Chancellor's policies are questionable, but that is no reason to hand him over to any of you," said Shaak Ti with Calamitous laughing at her.
"That is not what our Jedi was referring to about the Supreme Chancellor naïve Jedi. The old man behind you is not what he seems," commented Calamitous with Shaak Ti narrowing her eyes at her.
"As if I would trust the word of a warrior itching to spill blood," replied Shaak Ti while deep inside a small warning in the Force told her to keep her guard up around the Chancellor.
"Such is the way of war. The Chancellor. Now!" commanded Grievous angrily.
"Take them!" commanded Master Shaak Ti to the clones while moving to the back to the doors.
Only for them to explode and the ceiling above the doors collapse to block their way.
"Mocking Tone: Not this time Jedi. You and the meat bag Chancellor will not be going anywhere," said HK-47 after coming down from the ceiling with his weapons ready to kill.
"It appears we must do as he says Master Jedi," commented Sidious while knowing he could easily use his time on their shuttle to unleash his power on them and the Jedi in one shot.
"It appears you are right Chancellor. We surrender," said Shaak Ti bitterly while hoping the clones would be spared as a result.
"A wise decision Master Jedi," said Grievous while giving a quick nod to HK-47, who proceeded to shoot her, the Chancellor, and the clones with his repeater blaster.
With the setting fortunately being on stun. Much to HK-47's displeasure. It took two hours to convince the droid to keep the blaster setting on stun instead of kill.
"We need to hurry. It won't be long before enemy reinforcements arrive," said a second lost Jedi with his green blade in hand looking at the rubble blocked door.
"We should kill him now. It would be so easy given his knocked-out condition," remarked Calamitous with her blade itching to spill the hidden Sith's blood.
"Those are not our orders Calamitous. Besides, Lord Vader has plans for him. We need to set the stage for it," said Grievous though he could understand her feelings on the matter.
"I agree. Besides, killing him now would make the man a martyr. We need to put him in a position where he can't hide anything from the galaxy," said the first lost Jedi before their transport quickly arrived to take them and Sidious with them.
"Bring her too. I have a feeling we might need her help during the drama about to unfold above," said Calamitous while pointing to the Jedi Master on the ground.
(Space Above Coruscant-Sometime Later)
The space above the planet was filled with warships. The battle was getting intense with each passing moment. Republic versus Confederacy. Clone versus droid. It was an all-out fight for space supremacy over THE core world that was the center of the galaxy. The massive fleet led by Admiral Thrawn on the Chimera was dealing massive punishment to the Republic fleet above the planet, using the Confederate Intelligence Network to learn just who was leading the defense fleet, and coordinating information to prepare a proper plan of attack.
And true to his reputation, Thrawn was able to deliver in launching a devastating blow to the enemy fleet, matching every move with a counter move. Even now, the report received a short time ago was General Grievous and Calamitous had successfully captured the Chancellor. The man was currently on board the Invisible Hand, which was going to be used as a staging ground for a very interest piece of theater.
"Sir, the Republic cruiser Perseverance is trying to attack our flank," said the Commander Droid with Thrawn narrowing his eyes slightly.
"I have already calculated the possibilities. Direct two of our reserve cruisers Onslaught and Dedication to intercept. Order them to fire at will. I expect them to destroy the cruiser within the next 10 minutes and not one second more," ordered Thrawn firmly while the Commander Droid nodded and relayed the command.
"Sir, reports are coming in of three Jedi Starfighters moving through the battlefield. Sensory data has identified them as the ones used by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker, and Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano. They are challenging our western flank and moving to engage the very heart of the battle to reach the Chancellor on the Invisible Hand," said the Commander Droid with this information making Thrawn frown since those three were well known to change how things went on the battlefield.
Even Thrawn's own calculative mind had a hard time dealing with those three when it came to military engagements. Fortunately, Thrawn was informed ahead of time of their possible arrival and was given specific orders from Vader to ensure they would be handled accordingly when the time came to engage them.
"Send a message to Lord Vader. Inform him that three Jedi of interest have arrived and heading toward the intended target," said Thrawn since Lord Vader wanted to make an impression on everyone with his prized weapon.
Considering the size of said weapon, Thrawn could see why he would.
(With Qui-Gon, Anakin, and Ahsoka)
"Do you see the ship Master? Ahsoka? The Invisible Hand? It is right there. The chatter we have been picking up says the Supreme Chancellor is on the ship with Master Shaak Ti as hostages," said Anakin while his anger burned inside at the audacity of it all.
Even if it was a well-planned strategy.
"Along with General Grievous, Calamitous, battle droids, and many other unfriendly forces waiting to fight us should we board. Patience my old student. Rushing into things now will only cause problems we do not need," said Qui-Gon calmly despite the battle raging around them.
"They won't be so eager for a fight when I get through with them," commented Ahsoka with Anakin now smirking on his end.
"That's the spirit Snips. We make them pay for every life lost here and with interest," said Anakin with Qui-Gon sighing on his end.
"Focus Anakin. We have to shoot the shields in front of us in order to board the ship," scolded Qui-Gon with Anakin and Ahsoka focusing on the task at hand.
"Yes Master," said Anakin with the man shooting the shields keeping them from entering the landing bay of the ship.
Leaping from their cockpit, the three Jedi cut through the droids around them while the blast shield kept everything in the landing bay from being consumed in space. While this was happening, R2 was plugged into the ship's systems to locate the Chancellor.
"According to the sensor logs R2 obtained, the Chancellor has been relocated here," said Anakin while pointing to what was most likely the observation platform.
"Why was he brought here? Don't get me wrong, this ship is massive, but shouldn't the Chancellor be taken to the highest-ranking officer the enemy possesses among the fleet?" asked Ahsoka with Anakin and Qui-Gon frowning.
"It's a trap young one. The Chancellor is the bait. Master Shaak Ti being captured along with him only adds to the increase in overall value to the ship," said Qui-Gon at last.
"So, what's the plan?" asked Ahsoka curiously.
"Easy Snips. We spring the trap, but on our terms," answered Anakin with the man smirking at her.
"I'm getting too old for this," commented Qui-Gon since this would be another rush into action type move by his former student.
"Come on Master. You are not too old. You just need the exercise to stay young," said Anakin with his smirk growing and Qui-Gon let out a small laugh.
"Some exercise," commented Qui-Gon before they all made their way to the turbolift in order to get to the Supreme Chancellor.
(The Invisible Hand-Observation Platform)
Sidious awoke from his numb state in a chair with his hands pinned down at the wrists. Looking around, the Sith saw Grievous and Calamitous were not there. Not even the lost Jedi who had come with them. No doubt the fools believed him to be easy prey despite the hidden meaning they gave the Jedi Master assigned to protect him. Reaching out to the Force carefully, Sidious sensed Jedi Master Shaak Ti was elsewhere. Surrounded by the lost Jedi. No doubt in a prison cell deeper in the ship. He considered using the Force to free himself or a subtle use of Force Lightning to fry the chair's systems.
Unfortunately, the pressing of a blaster to his skull made him rethink either possibility. A quick glance to his right showed the infamous HK-47 holding the weapon and ready to fire.
"Threatening statement: I would advise using your power to escape from those restraints meat bag. I have orders to blow your head off if you so much as twitch your finger," said HK-47 with Sidious snarling slightly.
"I don't know what you mean. I am just a humble Chancellor of the Republic. I am hardly a threat to you or anyone else in my current position," said Sidious while playing the role of an innocent man being held hostage.
"Mocking Statement: You are about as helpless as I am when irritated by meat bags. I know all about who you really are underneath your Chancellor persona, Darth Sidious," said HK-47 with Sidious's eyes going wide for a second.
"I still don't know what you are talking about. I am not this man you speak of," said Sidious in the hopes he could deceive the droid to his right.
"Mocking Statement: If you think I can be tricked by a Sith Lord like you, it is quite clear you are an even bigger meat bag then I initially thought. You are several thousand years too young to succeed trying to deceive me," said HK-47 with the Sith in front of him struggling not to lash out just yet.
"What does your Master have planned for me? Ransom? A trial? Execution?" asked Sidious while trying to stall for time since he could sense three Jedi coming his way.
"Amused Statement: That is up to my Master. He will decide how to handle you," said HK-47 while he kept an eye on Sidious for even the slightest use of the Force.
"Your Master has nothing on me," remarked Sidious calmy while deciding to lure the droid into a false sense of security.
"Amused Statement: My Master knows quite a bit about you meat bag. He knows you are the Sith Lord named Darth Sidious. The same Darth Sidious the Jedi have been hunting for the last ten years since the Naboo Invasion. He knows you were responsible for the siege of Naboo with the Trade Federation and training that meat bag named Darth Maul. He knows you planned to orchestrate this war on your terms in controlling both sides through a chosen puppet managing the Confederacy," said HK-47 with Sidious's eyes going wide in surprise before a long pause lasted between them.
"And how does he know that?" said Sidious coldly since the time of playing the ignorant and kind man running the Republic.
"Amused Answer: Because you are a Sith Lord. Just like my Master," replied HK-47, as if it were the most obvious thing in the galaxy.
"So, your Master thinks as I do. How nice. Maybe after I kill him, you will serve me?" offered Sidious since he could not deny HK-47 was an efficient killing machine from the time of Revan, if the rumors about the droid were true, and it would be a shame to destroy such a valuable asset.
Provided the droid could be reprogrammed and controlled.
"Cruel Statement: Unlike you meat bad, my master actually prefers stabilized order. You would sooner burn the galaxy to the ground if ruling over it is not an option," said HK-47 with Sidious snarling since it was true.
"The galaxy is mine! It will soon be all mine! Every person, every organism, every droid, planet, system, and star will soon belong to me. All will be under my rule or they will die. Even under my rule, the beings of the galaxy will die if I find it amusing," remarked Sidious coldly.
"Amused Response: Unlikely meat bag. Take a look out there and know my master's greatness," replied HK-47 with Sidious turning his head slightly in the other direction of the window.
And saw the secret weapon Darth Vader had brought with him to this battle.
"What is that?" asked Sidious in shock and little bit of awe since he had never seen something of that size before today.
"Proud Statement: That meat bag, is the proud flag ship of my master. Behold his masterpiece of a ship and despair!" declared HK-47 with the massive dreadnought for a ship cast a shadow over the Invisible Hand and was no doubt making the Republic forces panic at the sight of it.
Even more so when wave after wave of Confederacy Vulture droids came swarming out of it.
"Even with this new ship, your master will not win. I won't allow it! I will use all the power and might of the Dark Side at my command to see him perish," remarked Sidious while so tempted to unleash his full power on this ship if not for the fact it would raise to many questions, be sensed by the Jedi, and expose him as the Sith Lord they were looking for all this time.
Any further talks were ended when the ping from the turbolift indicated someone was coming. Focusing their attention on the doors, one droid and hidden Sith Lord saw three Jedi exit the lift. It was clear the trio had been in quite a battle prior to now with a small army of battle droids standing in their way.
"It would seem you are at a disadvantage droid," remarked Sidious confidently since he knew even HK-47 could not handle three experienced battle-hardened Jedi.
"Amused Statement: Would not be the first-time meat bag. And it will not be the last," remarked HK-47 while moving away from the hidden Sith Lord and readied himself for a fight with the Jedi trio in front of him.
"Vader's prized droid. Where is your Master?" asked Anakin with HK-47 took out an electric staff used by the Magna Guards before putting away the blaster.
"Honest Answer: If you look outside, you will see my Master has just arrived with his prized ship. If all goes according to plan, he will be here shortly," said HK-47 with the Jedi seeing the shadow presence of Vader's flag ship and they were quite shocked, if not intimidated by the monstrous thing.
"What is that thing? Its huge! Has a ship ever been made of that size Master?" asked Ahsoka, who was in awe of the massive dreadnought.
"Not in our lifetime Snips," said Anakin while sensing Vader was now among the fighting out in space, carving his way through the Republic fighters no doubt scrambling to figure out what to do with his new game changer of an event.
(Space Above Coruscant-Moments Ago)
When the massive dreadnought came out of hyperspace, its didn't just cast a shadow over every ship above the planet. It damn near stopped the battle. The ship was huge, even by dreadnought standards. Its massive form made starfighters and other Republic ships above the planet scramble to get out of its path.
On the Chimera, Thrawn was overhearing all of the communication going on between all of the Republic fighters and cruisers trying to do deal with this new situation.
"Red 2 to Red 6: What the hell is that?!" said Red 2 while trying to get out of the massive ship's way.
"Red 6 to Red 2: Why are you asking me? I have no kriffing clue," said Red 6 while trying to around the massive warship with it now firing on ever Republic Cruiser locked onto by it targeting system.
"This is Red 10 to all Republic ships defending the planet, this thing is unleashing a swarm of Vulture Droids. Repeat, this ship is releasing a swarm of Vulture Droids!" said Red 10 while seeing wave after wave of the Separatist fighters coming out.
"There are too many of them!" said Red 7 in a nearly panicking tone.
"Hold it together Red 7!" said Red Leader while they were engaging the Vulture Droids.
"They are all over me!" said Red 7 before static came over the comm., which indicated he had been shot down moments later.
"This is the Captain of the Republic Cruiser Guardian; we need immediate support! This monster of a ship is blasting us to pieces! We lost our engines, and our shields are practically gone!" said the Captain of the Guardian in a pleading voice.
"This is the Captain of the Resilience; we need assistance. Out shields are down, and half of our systems are destroyed. We won't last much longer from this attack!" said the Captain of the Resilience with the sounds of multiple explosions being heard.
"Contact the Admiral commanding the Republic fleet. Inform him I am willing to discuss terms for his surrender along with every other ship in his fleet," ordered Thrawn while watching Vader's monster for a ship single handedly destroyed ten Republic Cruisers, three minor ships, and unleash enough Vulture Droids to overwhelm the Republic starfighters with ease simply using their sheer numbers that came out of the launch bay.
And all within mere moments of appearing and firing on the Republic forces. Truly a monster of a ship one did not engage openly on the battlefield. Something Thrawn was sure the Republic military knew and would be willing to surrender if it meant sparing the lives on those serving on still functioning ships.
(Invisible Hand-Observation Platform)
"Mocking Tone: If you three meat bags are done staring at my master's prized ship, shall we continue with putting you meat bags down?" asked HK-47 with the Jedi trio refocusing on him.
"I'm going to enjoy turning you into scrap!" declared Ahsoka with HK-47's optics glowing slightly, almost as if it was happy to be here for this moment.
"Counter Statement: I highly doubt it Jedi meat bag. Many of your Order in time long past with far more experience, skill, and power have tried to destroy me. All failed. I am from a time when your Order had more teeth and claws in the ways of fighting. You are a pale shadowy imitation of them," remarked HK-47 before Ahsoka charged in with her two Lightsabers in hand.
Only to find her moves easily countered by the droid and pushed back by a harsh jab from the electrical prodded end of the staff. Ahsoka skidded back, clutching her torso, wincing as she did, and glared at the droid who she could almost sense was smug about hitting her so easily.
"Not bad tinny. I'm almost impressed," mocked Ahsoka while HK-47 spun the electric staff once.
"Mocking Statement: And you are pitiful meat bag. I am not impressed. One jab from this and you are already in pain. The Jedi I fought thousands of years ago would not be so weak,"commented HK-47 with Ahsoka letting out a small growl.
"Easy there Snips. He's baiting you. We take him together," said Anakin knowing the best way to best someone like this was through teamwork and combining their skills.
Calming herself, Ahsoka glanced over at Anakin and gave him a nod. Moving into position, all three Jedi moved to surround the deadly droid with Lightsabers at the ready. As for HK-47, it was clear to him that now was the time to get serious with these three. His master's plan required he stall them for as long as possible until the Sith Lord himself arrived to further expose Sidious as the vile create that he was with no way to escape said exposure.
Even now, such evidence had been obtained, but the time was not right to reveal it to the galaxy.
As one, the three Jedi moved in perfect harmony. Each one trying to strike down the dead assassin droid and slice him into multiple pieces with their Lightsabers. However, HK-47 was far more experienced in the ways of fighting Jedi. He had fought them thousands of years ago during a different time and era. He fought them in this time and era with most of the Jedi during the Clone Wars to be lacking quite a bit in battle prowess capable of handling his skills.
This was no different.
HK-47 had already studied these three Jedi from their previous battles and how they fought. Whether it was individually or together. While unable to use the Force as they did, the droid could calculate and predict with near perfect accuracy how they would interact with one another when working together. As such, HK-47 knew when to dodge, block, counter, and strike his enemies with deadly precision.
And it clearly showed.
Even with their combined skills working as one, HK-47 proved to be capable of matching them move for move and pushing them back. Knocking Qui-Gon off balance, striking Ahsoka hard enough to send her skidding back quite a bit and placing Anakin Skywalker of all people on the defensive.
"Mocking Statement: Your attempts to best me will not work Jedi. And even if you did, it is clear you will be no match for my Master when he arrives," said HK-47 while trying to push the young Jedi back.
"You'll find we are not so easily defeated," said Anakin defiantly, as he pushed back against the droid, and became more aggressive.
The aggressive fighting style Skywalker used eventually smashed through HK-47's defenses, knocking the electric staff out of the droid's hands. Sensing Qui-Gon Jinn behind him, HK-47 moved out of the way at the last moment, the green Lightsaber from the eldest Jedi hitting the blue blade of his student. HK-47 had successfully rolled out of the way and drew his blaster before firing at the two for a moment before drawing another and firing at Ahsoka now trying to come at him with her own weapons.
Only to have his blasters sliced to pieces and the young Jedi having her two Lightsabers now crossed at his neck.
"You've lost tinny," commented Ahsoka with a smirk knowing they had won the fight.
"Did he now?" asked Vader walking into the room to the surprise of everyone except HK-47.
"Joyous Query: Master, has anyone ever told you that your timing is impeccable?" asked HK-47 with a hint of amusement in his voice.
"Vader," commented Anakin while readying himself for a fight.
Only for Vader to not really regard them with much thought, but instead seemed to be focused on HK-47.
"Are you done playing around?" asked Vader while walking casually toward them.
"Playing around? Are you saying this droid wasn't even trying to hurt us?" asked Ahsoka while looking from Vader to HK-47.
"I wasn't referring to HK-47. I was referring to the man in the chair. The man currently playing around with the idea of using the Dark Side of the Force to kill you all when the moment was exactly right for him to strike. Correct, Darth Sidious?" commented Vader while turning his head slightly toward the man named the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic.
The three Jedi's eyes went wide and turned their heads toward the Supreme Chancellor.
"I have no idea what he is talking about. I am not a Sith Lord. The only one in this room is Vader," said Sidious knowing it was his word against Vader and was confident the Jedi would believe him.
"Really? HK-47, would you be so kind as to play back your conversation with the man prior to the arrival of these three Jedi?" asked Vader with HK-47 giving a brief nod.
"What does your Master have planned for me? Ransom? A trial? Execution?"
"Amused Statement: That is up to my Master. He will decide how to handle you."
"Your Master has nothing on me."
"Amused Statement: My Master knows quite a bit about you meat bag. He knows you are the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. The same Darth Sidious the Jedi have been hunting for the last ten years. He knows you were responsible for the siege of Naboo with the Trade Federation and training that meat bag named Maul. He knows you planned to orchestrate this war on your terms in controlling both sides through a chosen puppet managing the Confederacy."
"And how does he know that?"
"Amused Answer: Because you are a Sith Lord. Just like my Master."
"So, your Master thinks as I do. How nice of you to share. Maybe after I kill him, you will serve me?"
"Cruel Statement: Unlike you meat bad, my master actually prefers stabilized order. You would sooner burn the galaxy to the ground if ruling over it is not an option."
"The galaxy is mine. It will soon be all mine. Every person, every organism, every droid, planet, system, and star will soon belong to me. All will be under my rule or they will die. Even under my rule, the beings of the galaxy will die if I find it amusing."
"Still think he is not a Sith Lord?" asked Vader with a hint of amusement with the horror in their eyes showing the truth had hit them hard in not seeing or sensing it sooner.
"You're the Sith Lord. The one we have been looking for all this time," whispered Anakin in realization, as he saw Sidious snarling at him.
"Yes. Though none of you will live long enough to reveal the truth," admitted Sidious while using the Force to free himself from the chair before rising from it.
"Your confession to being a Sith Lord that HK-47 recorded should be enough. Along with the various surveillance devices in this room recording everything seen and heard here today. Even now, Master Shaak Ti along with the other Jedi in the Order when we transmitted it to the Jedi Temple know the truth. We even broadcasted it to the Coruscant Holo-News Network, so the entire galaxy now knows your identity as a Sith and your views about the people who live in it," said Vader while finding it to be amusing how one of the most power Sith Lords of his time, consumed in so much darkness and hate, was so afraid of the light being shined down on him.
It was a shame Vader never thought of this sooner in the other timeline. It would have made things so much easier since Sidious was always afraid of getting caught doing something so horrifying exposing him. Not surprising considering how It would destroy his control over the galaxy, if not the Empire with the Rebel Alliance's strength multiply exponentially.
"I will see you all dead. I will see the Republic and Confederacy destroyed! I will burn this galaxy to ashes and laugh knowing I made it happen with no one in the galaxy being capable or strong enough to stand in my way!" exclaimed Sidious while tired of the charade of hiding behind the frail old man that was Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.
Let the galaxy know him as Darth Sidious and tremble in fear of him.
"And how exactly will you do that when the galaxy as a whole will soon be against you?" asked Vader with Sidious scowled at him.
"The galaxy as a whole will suffer through my actions. It will burn and continue to burn until the people in it submit to me in order to make it stop," replied Sidious knowing enough brutality unleashed on his end would make the galaxy submit to his desires.
"As if you stopped once they submitted. You would keep doing it. Find any excuse whether real or false to see the galaxy suffer under your rule," remarked Vader while Sidious's eyes burned with rage at the truth.
"It is my right! I am the strongest Sith since the time of Darth Bane himself. I will not be denied!" stated Sidious angry and filled with fury while the Dark Side seemed to manifest around him.
"Actually, you will," said Vader while bring his Lightsaber to his hand and activated it.
"You think I am intimidated by you? Any of you? I am true master of the Dark Side. It bends to my will and my will alone," said Sidious while Vader remained calm despite everything.
"If that is true, why do I sense so much fear coming from you? Fear of me?" asked Vader with Sidious's face becoming more deformed with darkness.
"I fear no one!" exclaimed Sidious angrily.
"Except me. And the truth you have tried to hide all your life," remarked Vader with a hint of smugness in his voice.
"DIE!" yelled Sidious and unleashing Force Lightning at Vader.
Only for Vader to quickly repel the attack with his Lightsaber and redirected it right back at Sidious. The now revealed Sith Lord was sent back into the view port window. But it did not deter the angry snarling man, as he got up and used the Force to send projectile after projectile at his targets. All with the intent of killing them all slowly and painfully.
Only for Vader to use the Force to negate the attacks and send them right at Sidious. With the Sith Lord using Force Lightning without care and blasting everything and everyone with it. The trio of Jedi were able to use their Lightsabers and the Force to protect themselves from most of it. HK-47's own armor had strong insulation designed to protect from electrical issues, whether it was natural storms or even Sith Lightning like what Sidious was unleashing on him.
"So much hate inside of you Sidious. Like a whiny child not getting his toy," mocked Vader while using the Force to send Sidious back against the view port window.
"Be silent! You are nothing compared to me. You are a false Sith. I am the only Sith worthy of the Dark Side and it unlimited power!" exclaimed Sidious angrily.
"No. You are like a rabid animal. Constantly feeding and taking without any regard to how much you can or allowed to take. You are a greedy vile thing. The only mistake Darth Plagueis made in life as a Sith was not killing you when he had the chance," commented Vader with Sidious becoming even angrier.
"DIE! DIE! DIE!" yelled Sidious while unleashing everything he had at Vader while the various lightning streams shot wildly at the others.
"You first. Now!" exclaimed Vader while the figure about came down with her Lightsaber in hand and sliced Sidious's arms off at the elbow before the man fell to his knees in pain.
"Master Shaak Ti?" asked Ahsoka while surprised the Jedi Master was here.
"After I arrived on the Invisible Hand, I paid a visit to the Jedi Master to reveal to her who Darth Sidious was and the chance to defeat him. She didn't believe me when I told her Darth Sidious was the Supreme Chancellor. At least, not at first. Seeing the truth for herself from the Holo-Cams positioned secretly in this room revealed everything. The plan was to make Sidious confess more as time went by and when the fighting happened, Master Shaak Ti would move into position to strike when the moment was right," explained Vader while walking over to the kneeling Sith Lord, who at one point, caused him so much pain one way or another.
How fitting the man know a fraction of it now before the end and never see his dreams come to fruition in this timeline.
"You are going to let him kill me? Without a trial? Hardly the Jedi way," remarked Sidious in the hopes the Jedi would stop Vader from ending him.
"And risk you escaping? Risk you using your near infinite number of contacts to go underground? I think not," said Vader while Sidious glared at him.
"You could kill him too. Kill us both. Be heroes of the Jedi Order. Kill us both and end the Sith once and for all. Now is your chance! Possibly your only chance!" stated Sidious while staring at the four Jedi now staring back the two Sith.
"And risk the war continuing? Count Dooku and I are prepared to negotiate a ceasefire with the Republic after this battle. In fact, peace can be achieved after today in exchange for your death. A small price to pay considering what has been lost already," commented Vader with Sidious snarling hatefully at him.
"Peace? Peace?! Peace is a lie! You call yourself a Sith Lord? You are not worthy of the title! You are an imperfect Sith!" spat Sidious with Vader smirking down at him.
"Coming from you Sidious, I will take that as your highest compliment," said Vader before he sliced the man's head off his body.
And exploded with Force energy that was purely from the Dark Side. A testament to the amount of evil this man had within his entire body and soul.
For a long moment, no one said anything. No one did anything. They just stood there. HK-47 staring at the four Jedi. The four Jedi staring at Vader. Vader himself was staring at the empty clothing that once held the flesh of Darth Sidious. The man who in another lifetime would become the most powerful Sith in the last 1,000 years. A man who would manipulate events to one day become Supreme Chancellor of the Republic. A man who would one day cause a galactic war that broke the Galaxy all so he could use it to become Emperor of an Empire from the ashes of a destroyed Republic. A man who would use events to destroy the Jedi Order and bring darkness to the galaxy. A man who made Vader's life miserable and brought suffering to him knowing full well the cyborg for a Sith Lord was powerless to overthrow him by himself.
Revenge was indeed satisfying when done in just the right way. And this was very satisfying.
"What now?" asked Ahsoka curiously while unsure if they should fight the remining Sith Lord and his assassin droid.
"Now? Now we will have…peace," whispered Vader before reaching into his robes and pulled out his commlink.
"Admiral Thrawn here," said the voice of Thrawn.
"Admiral Thrawn, this is Darth Vader. The target has been…neutralized," said Vader while ignoring Ahsoka's "that is putting it lightly" comment.
"That is good news Lord Vader. The Admiral of the Republic Fleet in charge of defending the planet has been in communication with us to offer his surrender in exchange for mercy for the remaining forces and people below on the ground," said Thrawn with Vader nodding since that was to be expected given the losses suffered before and after the Super Star Destroyer came into view.
"I trust you accepted his terms?" asked Vader though he already knew the truth.
"Indeed. Though I did make him work for his terms with a pause here and there when discussing things," replied Thrawn since he could not tip his hand during the surrender process to make it appear as part of the plan the Sith Lord created.
"Good. Once things have cleared up here and calm restored below on the planet, we can prepare for a true ceasefire along with an end to this war," said Vader knowing that was the whole point of this.
"Understood. I will contact Count Dooku to relay the good news," said Thrawn knowing the Count would be incredibly happy with this turn of events.
"I will contact you shortly. Vader out," said Vader before ending the communication with the Chiss.
"You're just going to end the war? Just like that?" asked Ahsoka in disbelief.
"Does that genuinely surprise you, Jedi? That a Sith with the means to burn Coruscant to the ground and cause untold death does not carry out such an endgame?" asked Vader with Ahsoka gritting her teeth.
"There is one thing I want to know Vader. Why? Why betray the Supreme Chancellor now? Of all times, why now? And why go through with this? Why not reveal his identity on Naboo all those years ago? Why help in starting the Clone Wars? Why did you challenge the Jedi Order in a way to expose the issues we long since buried or denied?" asked Qui-Gon while Vader glanced at him.
"Because it is what the Force wanted. What it commanded. Sidious believed he could bend and control it to his whims. As so many Sith have tried in the past in their arrogance. Each time, the Force countered and retaliated against those who defy its Will. It does not care if you are a Jedi, Sith, rich, poor, old, or young. Sidious defied the Will of the Force for too long. Longer than any of you could know. My purpose was to expose him. To eventually reveal his treachery, which goes back long before his time as Supreme Chancellor," said Vader while kicking the robed remains of Sidious to ensure it was just clothes laying there.
"At what cost? What could be gained from so much violence and death?" demanded Ahsoka while the Sith in front of them sighed.
"To prepare you for the true war. The war that is to come. The war that, up until now, the Republic, and the Jedi Order was not ready to fight," said Vader while turning around fully.
"What true war? We were just in a major war on a galactic scale for the last few years!" exclaimed an angry Anakin with his own patience getting thin at this point.
"True, but the threat that is to come, if not prepared, will make what we have done up until now seem like a minor skirmish," replied Vader calmly.
"Another Sith?" asked Anakin while wondering if Vader knew about any other Sith lying in wait.
"No. Something larger. Something worse," said Vader with Anakin and the other Jedi looking at him in shock and slight concern.
"Worse than a Sith? What could be worse?" asked Qui-Gon since he could honestly not expect anything worse.
The Sith tend to set the bar and standard pretty high when it came to being entities of evil.
"An invasion of epic proportions. From outside of our galaxy. Admiral Thrawn's own people encountered them. They are called the Far Outsiders. They come from an entirely different place all together. In fact, the galaxy the Far Outsiders is so far away, the enemy will arrive here in a few decades. Before now and the Clone Wars, our galaxy was not ready for them. Too compliant. Too stagnant. Too weak. No proper military. No command structure. It is only because they are so far away that there is time to prepare for their arrival," said Vader while looking out at the view in front of them.
"Surely diplomacy can prevail if an attempt is made. They must be intelligent enough to listen and stop their plans for attacking our galaxy," offered Shaak Ti with Vader shaking his head.
"No. They thrive on the idea of war. Even more than the Sith. Pain is pleasure to them. Literally. They do not care for diplomacy. It is considered an insult to them. Same with technology. Their whole race is connected to biological advancement and see everything technological as an abomination. Every single craft and weapon they wield are biological in its entirety," said Vader with the Jedi around him looking uneasy.
"Angry Statement: I have been called many things, but an abomination for simply existing is not one I can tolerate. I am perfection in all things when it comes to being a droid and killer of meat bags," said HK-47 while his eyes glowed.
"They intend to conqueror everything in this galaxy and terraform it to their liking with everything that is not them being wiped out," said Vader calmly, but the Force clearly told the Jedi that he was incredibly angry right now.
"And you intended for us to be ready. For the galaxy as a whole to be united, ready for a fight, and have the teeth necessary to fight back," commented Anakin with Vader nodding.
"If the Far Outsiders came prior to the Clone Wars, our galaxy would have no chance against them. So yes Jedi, I did what I did to not only cast down a Sith too vile to live, but also to prepare the galaxy as a whole for the true terror that is to come. One that Sidious would have ignored had he gotten his way, and ultimately would have seen the galaxy weakened, if not destroyed to further his own agenda," said Vader while knowing the old man was a spiteful monster who would have let the galaxy burn and die long before the Far Outsiders came so they would gain nothing.
Sidious knew the Far Outsiders could challenge him for the galaxy and most likely win. But the Sith was so filled with arrogance, pride, and hate that he would sooner see the galaxy reduced to nothing over giving it a chance to survive without him.
"You do realize, the Republic, if not the entire galaxy, would need proof of such a claim," said Shaak Ti with Vader nodding.
"Admiral Thrawn's own people in the Chiss Ascendancy encountered a massive Far Outsider fleet, which was the equivalent to be a scouting force for them. Why do you think I gave the Chiss the Katana Fleet fully upgraded in exchange for Thrawn all those years ago?" asked Vader with Thrawn being traded for it being one of the reasons.
The sensory and tactical data obtained from the Katana Fleet alone would be invaluable to the galaxy in repelling them when the time came. Not to mention the losses suffered by the Far Outsiders would no doubt reach the main fleet and make them hesitant to engage further. Giving Vader even more time to set plans into motion that would solidify defenses at key points.
"We should discuss this at a later time. I'm sure there are a lot of people waiting to hear from us on all sides," said Qui-Gon with everyone nodding.
"Of course. HK-47, take them to the bridge to establish communication with Coruscant. Skywalker, I need you to stay for a moment longer," said Vader with the Jedi around him looking nervous but sensed there was no ill intentions aimed at the young Jedi.
"I won't turn to the Dark Side and become your apprentice," said Anakin when they were alone.
"You assume that is my intention for asking you to stay. In truth, any other Sith in my place would have tried to recruit you to their side long before today. Your connection to the Force is matched by a small handful of people. I am one of them," said Vader while Anakin was surprised to hear the Sith was not going to recruit him.
"If you are not trying to convince me to join the Dark Side, why am I here?" asked Anakin while eyeing the Sith cautiously.
"To let you know when our final confrontation between us will happen," answered Vader with Anakin now completely surprised.
"I thought you were seeking peace?" questioned Anakin while Vader gave a brief nod.
"And I am. But you and I are destined to do battle. The Force commands it so. The time of the Sith is at an end, but just because the prophecy foretells such an event, does not mean the Jedi Order should become complacent. Stagnation breeds death and the Jedi Order has had quite the brush with it in my opinion. An opinion we both share, correct?" remarked Vader with Anakin reluctantly nodding.
"I cannot deny the Jedi Order most likely would have fallen given certain events or if certain things had turned out differently," admitted Anakin with Vader nodding since he knew what those moments were on an intimate level.
"History is written by the victors. Sadly, the victors tend to leave out certain truths that would not paint them in the best of light to those who read it. While the Jedi Order will no doubt paint themselves as being the victors in the war against the Sith, how it happened will be left to interpretation. Unless the one who was the main victor survives and writes the unedited truth," said Vader while giving Anakin a knowing look, which the Jedi understood.
"You want me to make sure what really happened here isn't edited, altered, or kept hidden," surmised Anakin with Vader nodding.
"And not this fight with Sidious. I am talking about the Clone Wars as a whole. The Jedi Order and the fracturing it suffered. Everything! You must make sure the truth is not suppressed or changed. Ahsoka and Qui-Gon can help you with that. Even Count Dooku himself I imagine would want to make sure the truth is kept alive," said Vader while Anakin nodding since secrets or alternating the truth made the Jedi act the way they did.
It mustn't happen again!
"When do you wish to fight?" asked Anakin with Vader giving it some thought.
"Several weeks from now. I'll send you the coordinates and location where we will have our battle. But know this Skywalker, while the prophecy foretells the end of the Sith and by extension myself, I will not let you obtain your victory as easy as one breathes. I will make you work for it. I will push you. I will see to it that your win is only through the barest fraction of margins without any room for doubt you won due to your own power alone. No interference from outside forces. Do you understand?" asked Vader with Anakin nodding.
"Honestly? I wouldn't want it any other way," replied Anakin with Vader nodding since he knew the man all too well to know the Jedi would prefer to work for his victory so there no such excuses existed.
Peace had been achieved. The two opposing galactic governments had ended their bloody conflict with each other. Merging as one to further strengthen ties and to end the various problems that caused the separation in the first place and creating what many were calling the Reborn Republic. Corrupt Senators were removed and those who actually cared about the people they represented were now in place. It was refreshing to many to see the evil that plagued the government within had been purged so quickly thanks to the evidence obtained during the Clone Wars.
Even more so when the fact of the Far Outsiders was looming on the horizon with the Chiss Ascendency gladly providing undisputable evidence of their existence. Admiral Thrawn himself had provided an in-depth analysis of their abilities and how they view technology in general. How they had no regard for life in general and simply wanted to invade and terraform worlds to their liking in order to live there while killing off everything and everyone standing in their way.
Which was essentially everyone and everything in the known galaxy.
Thrawn also pointed out the fact their numbers were massive and where a massive fleet by Republic standards was a mere scouting force by the Far Outsiders. How diplomacy would not work on them. The Chiss Ascendency had tried that from the start and was met with instant hostility. Even more so when the Far Outsiders instantly expressed their hatred for technology and vowed to wipe out all life that used it. With that in mind, it was decided to prepare for the inevitable invasion coming in the next few decades with research into new technologies that could prepare the galaxy for the Far Outsiders.
All that was left was one final issue. An issue between the Jedi and Sith. One that Vader started. One that Anakin intended to end.
(Naboo-Outside the Capital of Theed)
"It is fitting in a way that we end things here. The place where all of our beginnings manifested for us and those we care about. The cycle is now complete," said Vader with Anakin nodding.
"Agreed. I honestly never thought you would become my enemy all those years ago when we first met on Tatooine. In my heart, I knew we would walk different paths. But I never really felt it within. It almost felt like I was fighting against myself," said Anakin with Vader smirking slightly.
'He has no idea how close to the truth his words hit home,' thought Vader before removing his cape and activating his Lightsaber.
"I still have question," said Anakin while removing his own cloak and activated his Lightsaber.
"And upon my death, should you achieve it, will be answered," replied Vader before getting ready for an attack with Skywalker doing the same.
After a single blast of wind blew upon them, the Jedi and Sith clashed. Red blade vs blue blade. Jedi vs Sith. An all-out battle to see who would walk away toward the future.
And as the two battled, the Jedi sensing it through the Force were waiting with anticipation. They were told by Anakin about the duel Vader wished to have in order to settle things between the two Orders once and for all. Qui-Gon intuitively knew this was the prophecy being fulfilled but couldn't deny the other important fact that the Sith made it clear he knew about the prophecy and would do everything in his power make Anakin work for his victory. Ahsoka was worried because there was always a chance for Anakin to lose, not that she believed he would, but Master Yoda always said the future was in motion, and to be mindful of what it may or may not bring.
She had hugged him with all her strength and all but demanded that he return alive. Not just to her, but to Qui-Gon and Padme too. Anakin merely smirked at how his usually tough as nails student acted and almost teased her for it. Almost. There would be time for that later. Instead, Anakin held her close while assuring his apprentice nothing would stand in his way of returning. He gave Qui-Gon a hug one of his own with the two embracing in a way one would see between Father and son. Anakin vowed to return alive and prove to the older man that his time training his student was not a waste of time.
As for Vader, he had arrived on Naboo ahead of time to pay his respects to his Mother at her grave, if only to say needed to be said. To beg her forgiveness for his past actions in the previous timeline and what he had to do in this one leading up to this point. How she was still his mother no matter what and would love her for putting up for his antics when he was just a naïve slave boy racing for the amusement of his owner. His only real regret left was not being able to save her twice over, even if the second time was not his fault, and live long enough to see Luke and Leia after being born.
"Come on Skywalker, is this all you have to offer? Where is the fearless warrior who braved thousands of battle droids to save his apprentice from being killed? Where is the galaxy's most daring pilot who successfully bested over several hundred Vulture Droids with a sabotaged Jedi starfighter and R2 unit programmed to turn against him? Where is the fire? Where is the passion? Let it out! Don't restrain! Unleash!" demanded Vader with the two clashing violently against one another with their Lightsabers.
In response, Anakin became more aggressive in his attacks to match Vader's own. He knew the Sith was baiting him, but the Jedi knew the future was at stake. Not to mention the Sith had a point. Now was not the time to show restraint. It was time to unleash his power. If he was to beat Vader, it had to be done with all his strength and power brought down on the enemy without any room for doubt.
Using the Force, Skywalker unleashed various objects around him on Vader, who in turn deflected away or back at the Jedi. The two drowning out everything around them while focusing on the other with the intent of ending said opponent. Yet, despite the power both were unleashing to achieve victory, there was a sense of mutual respect for the other. The battle prowess, the honor they both held onto proudly as warriors, and the desire to win for their own reasons regardless of if they were selfish or not.
Neither one was giving ground against the other with Vader's years of experience clashing with Anakin's youth while the Sith's slightly unfair advantage of knowing his Jedi self, which gave him the advantage. But it was for that reason he had to push Anakin, to taunt the young Jedi, and to make Skywalker fight without knowing the two were connected. If Anakin knew the truth, he would hold back, hesitate at the moment of triumph, and question everything about himself.
Vader needed to keep the truth from Anakin in order for the Jedi to unleash his full potential.
'I won't lose. I refuse to lose. Too many people are counting on me!' thought Anakin while trying to press the advantage against Vader.
"Good. Use all of your strength. All of your power. Your very love you have for those you care about and wish to protect from harm. Attack with everything you have and unleash your true potential upon the galaxy in this very moment!" goaded Vader knowing his younger self would do just that.
Soon, Anakin's strikes were becoming so powerful they were making Vader go on the defensive, even when the Sith tried to match the aggressiveness. The shockwave the two made when clashing their Lightsabers against the other echoed throughout their battlefield. To fight with everything, they had and to leave it all when finished so there was no room for doubt in the mind of the victor.
And there would be a victor here today.
A sudden Force push knocked Vader back, disorienting the Sith Lord for a moment, but it was the only one that Anakin needed. The young Jedi was already in the air within the one second following his push against Vader. Landing behind the Sith Lord, he swung his blade, Vader spinning at the last moment, the red clashing with the blue. But the angle which it was blocked was odd and was meant to be held long when pressure was applied. Something Anakin did when he saw Vader was struggling to hold the Jedi's blade back with his red one and pressure was applied with the intent of cutting though the Sith Lord's defense.
And his hand.
Howling in pain, the prosthetic right hand fell to the ground with Vader's Lightsaber still being held in its grasp, instantly turning off as an instant safety measure all Lightsabers were designed to have regardless of type forged by the wielder. No sooner did the hand hit the grassy battlefield, Vader felt a pain in chest when Anakin thrust his blue blade into him. Silence filled the area, only the barely heard humming of the Jedi's weapon could be heard if one listened hard enough. Falling to his knees after Anakin had pulled the Lightsaber out of him, the Dark Lord of the Sith looked up at the young Jedi, who was in shock over doing what few Jedi in this era could claim to do.
He had bested and defeated a Sith Lord. The last one if the prophecy was indeed correct.
"I could heal you. I could try to turn you away from being a Sith and the dark side. Send you into exile on some remote world to live your remaining days in peace," offered Anakin with Vader laughed a little and coughed hard for his efforts.
"In another time, in another place, and with a different Jedi standing over me now, I most likely would have accepted such an offer. But I will not. I have done all that the Force has commanded of me. I have gathered people from all over the galaxy and helped unite them when Darth Sidious would have driven them apart or seen them dead after his purpose on the board was of no further use to him. I have given our entire galaxy hope with the main galactic government now having the teeth and the claws capable of fighting in the true war that is to come in the future. I am content with what I have done and feel no regrets over it," said Vader truthfully since he knew his actions were odd for a Sith Lord to do since he was helping in the healing of the galaxy instead of corrupting it.
Some Sith of old would call him an idiot, an incompetent Sith Lord, even an incomplete one given what he did had not brought about the Galactic Empire (this time around) that Darth Bane started 1,000 years ago when forming the Grand Plan. But they did not see the outcome of the Grand Plan be completed and the Sith Lord who ruled over the galaxy. Sidious had not brought stability to the galaxy, he brought only chaos and destruction to it in order to keep his apprentice from having a means, motive, and opportunity to betray him. Creating conflict after conflict. Swelling the Rebel Alliance's ranks with one horrible crime after another with Vader being the instrument to carry it out in his name. Perverting the rule of two in a way that the cycle would never complete itself and only allowing Sidious to be on top no matter what.
Vader knew the Sith of old would have frowned upon Sidious and blamed him for the fall of the Empire if they had seen things in the original timeline. The Empire's power was centered around one Sith Lord with the one not allowing for his successor to take over due to fearing the loss of all its power and it being given to someone beyond his or her control. Looking back, Vader had seen the truth in this when Sidious had Anakin kill Dooku so the Count would be replaced with a younger apprentice. Sidious did it to Vader and tried convince Luke to join him so he could replace his fallen apprentice after their fight on the second Death Star.
"For what it's worth, I don't hate you for being what you are or what you have done," said Anakin with Vader nodding though he was sure his other half would be so understanding once this was over.
"I know. Finish it. Fulfill the prophecy and achieve what few have done in their lifetime," said Vader with Anakin nodding while raising his blade to strike the Sith Lord down.
Looking him in the eyes, Anakin gave him one final nod before striking the Sith Lord down with Vader's head being removed from his body.
And in that moment, Anakin felt the Force slam into him with the impact of a starship. Vader's body had begun to glow before becoming pure energy and slammed into Anakin and entering his very soul. The young Jedi initially thought it might have been a Sith trick at first. A way to cheat death by jumping from one body to the next upon their body's end. But strangely enough, it didn't feel that way when Vader's body transformed into energy to enter the Jedi's body. No. It felt like Anakin was complete. As if a piece of him that he didn't know existed had been found or unlocked within himself.
Memories of Vader's past soon flooded his mind. Seeing things from both first person and third person perspective for the Jed to understand exactly what was happening through these memories. They had threatened to overwhelm Anakin while he screamed out in pain from the way this was happening. He struggled and willed himself to see these memories and understand what was happening during each moment.
He saw Vader as a boy. Yet saw the boy looked just like himself at that age.
He saw Vader being trained as a Jedi. By Obi-wan Kenobi instead of Qui-Gon. The latter slain by Darth Maul.
He saw Vader trying to prove himself time and time again with the newly minted Jedi Master assigned to him always looking down on boy.
He saw Vader during the Clone Wars as a Jedi General. Fighting droids, Ventress, Grievous, and Dooku in countless battles and engagements.
He saw Vader kneeling and pledging himself to the Sith Order in front of Darth Sidious.
He saw Vader fighting Obi-wan and the end result causing him to be crippled and put in a life support suit.
He saw Vader serving Sidious during the rise of the Galactic Empire. Saw Sidious punishing Vader from time to time whether the man deserved it or not.
He saw Vader fighting against the Rebel Alliance, scattered remnants of the Jedi Order, and ambitious officers within the Empire seeking to be Sidious's prized SIC.
He saw Vader watching the creation of the Death Star. He saw its destruction.
He also saw Vader realizing he had a son, and it was his son who destroyed the Death Star.
He saw Vader become obsessed in finding the boy in order to turn him to his side. To one day rule the Empire as Father and son after overthrowing Sidious from his position of power.
He saw Vader battling Luke on Bespin. Cutting off the boy's hand and revealing afterwards that he was the boy's Father. The boy denouncing it as a lie while being told a cruel one by Kenobi in an attempt to make the son fight the Father without guilt.
He saw Vader feel pain from the rejection. He saw the man struggling to come to terms with the truth of his son's existence and his wife's last words before dying when bringing the child into the world.
He saw Vader suffering due to Sidious wanting his apprentice to reconnect to the Dark Side and the level of cruelty the old man was willing to put him through to make it happen.
He saw Vader vow to get his revenge on Sidious.
He saw Vader arrive at Exegol and Vader defying Sidious's order by using the Force against the monster guarding the planet.
He saw Vader sabotaged the Emperor's prized secret there knowing that even if the Emperor used it, the plan would blow up in his face and leave the man stuck in constant torment.
He saw Vader play the role of the loyal servant following the deed knowing his chance for revenge to come full circle would soon happen in the future.
He saw Vader finally betray Sidious on the second Death Star. The Sith Lord finally getting his revenge in its entirely and being redeemed in the eyes of the Force and his son.
Only to be resent back in time to change things to the now.
And in that moment, Anakin understood what had happened. In that moment, he understood just who Vader was and why the man was able to outthink Darth Sidious. How Vader was able to know, change, and alter outcomes if the man had not been around in the first place.
Anakin Skywalker had become Darth Vader.
Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker.
Everything Darth Vader had done was to once more get revenge on Sidious and to protect the galaxy from threats waiting to strike once the war between the Empire and Rebel Alliance was over. Vader had altered the past to reshape the future for the better. Getting people through the galaxy who were far apart to come together. To unite the galaxy as a whole where it couldn't be more divided. To break the Jedi Order, yet only to a certain degree so could be saved by forcing them to change.
To help Anakin bring balance to the Force by bringing the darkness within the Sith to the light within the young Jedi. To provide Anakin a way to help change things while merging their knowledge and wisdom together. To help train the next generation and generation after that to be true protectors of the peace throughout the galaxy regardless of the times. To be the sword and shield that does battle to fight the conflicts, battles, and wars that spring up during any given era.
"I understand now. I understand…everything!" said Anakin to himself after a long moment to come to terms with what he just experienced.
The Force had seen what had become of his future. Of the galaxy's future. The future where it suffered so much under Sidious and using Vader as his personal instrument of destruction upon his enemies. It had altered the timeline by taking the darkness that was Darth Vader and sent it back to counter Sidious. To use one Sith to destroy another and ensure the Jedi were able to change by putting pressure on the fractures it had hid even from themselves. The Force had set things in motion to ensure the prophecy was completed correctly and ensuring the next generation of Force users were able to continue where this generation left off.
Rising to his feet, Anakin took a deep breath and let the Force wrap around his form, hearing it sing with joy over the return of its Chosen One finally made whole. He could feel so much from the galaxy and the stars above seemed to shine even brighter. He could hear their symphony so clearly, feel their embrace, and understand what the Force was telling him. It was like he could finally understand another language without having to struggle to pronounce or hear it properly.
No longer are you blind. No longer are you incapable of hearing me. No longer will you be unable to feel my presence. Your mind is open, and heart is free of torment. Embrace it. Embrace everything!
And Anakin did as the Force commanded. In that moment, he could feel the very heartbeat, the very soul of the galaxy. And it was a wonderful feeling. One he doubted Master Yoda had ever felt during his time as a Jedi despite being the oldest of all within the Order.
Anakin knew at this point, he had work to do. And if what the Force showed him of the future was true, it was a lot of work.
The massive fleet of the Far Outsiders was broken. Destroyed. The full might of the galaxy they invaded to claim as their own had crashed down upon them in mere moments of their arrival. Every single being capable of fighting had been called into service for this moment in time and they answered the call. The Jedi, Mandalorians, the Republic, the Chiss, and other galactic factions rose to create the greatest fleet made in a single lifetime or any lifetime for that matter.
When the Far Outsiders came, the sheer size of the organic fleet they possessed was quite intimidating to be sure given the sheer size of it. But at the same time, the Republic and her allies had also assembled their own force to challenge them. It was a brutal battle to be sure and casualties had occurred on both sides of the fighting with neither side willing to yield to the other. Mercy was also not an option since it was clear the Far Outsiders considered mercy a weakness would consider it insulting to receive or show such a thing.
And while the casualties for the Republic and her allies were noticeable given the length of the fighting had gone on for several days none stop, it could have been considerably worse. The Chiss had provided detailed analysis of the Far Outsiders well up to the point of their invasion. Planning complex tactics to deliver the most amount of damage to them with the minimum loss of life on their end. It wasn't easy, but the damaged remains from their scouting force the Chiss destroyed just before the Clone Wars had helped understand them better.
During the time preparing for the war against the Far Outsiders, the galaxy as a whole was busy healing and preparing for own sides for it. The Mandalorians were busy handling their own territory with the change in its government reverting back to the days of old. Naturally, the Republic became wary of this given the grudge the Mandalorians had against the Republic for the Excision. But Master Yoda himself had explained that the Republic had acted hasty with paranoia to cause them to launch a preemptive attack on the warrior culture.
As a result, the worlds around Mandalore were overrun with pirates, criminals, gangs, and other hive of criminal organization thriving through their illegal activities in the area. To help show the Mandalorians they wish to help repair the damage done by that horrible decision, the Republic had sent supplies, and even a few of their most skill Jedi Generals to help the Mandalorians in their campaign to take back their sector of space from such villainy. Naturally, the Mandalorians were hesitant to accept such things, their warrior pride being at the forefront of it all but given how the Republic was willing to give the amount of support it did to fix what they had broken so long ago was something they could not ignore. Even more so when the Jedi General they sent were Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Qui-Gon Jinn, Shaak Ti, and Plo Koon to assist in the campaign. The Republic even offered to assist with the Clone Troopers and even battle droids, but the representative of Mandalore refused knowing it would appear as an excuse to prepare for an invasion or gain a foothold into Mandalorian territory. The supplies to further help with the effort like food, medicine, and other necessities came from Alderaan, Naboo, and even Serenno.
Within a few years Mandalore had been able to regain all of its lost territory and was thriving as a result the aid of the Republic. During this time, Jango Fett had returned home and became Mandalore, calling on ancient tradition to challenge the leader to single combat to prove himself worthy. Bo-Katan, who had been in that roll for a few years, had accepted with the two fighting it out in the Mandalorian arena for all to see and witness from all over the planet if not the galaxy. By right of tradition, Jango Fett had become the Mandalore, but respected Bo-Katan's spirit and skill with her being named his SIC to help in ruling Mandalore. This was not done out of insult to the young woman as some might suspect given how she was essentially demoted, but rather a means for Bo-Katan to still be in a position of power. One that was capable of helping Jango run Mandalorian territory and show he trusted the woman enough to be in such a position.
Given what was going to come the galaxy's way in the future, they would definitely need to make sure their people were strong and prepared for the fighting.
The Jedi Order had also gone under a radical new change. Anakin had returned to the Jedi Order and to his family. The Jedi had sensed a change in him when Vader was defeated. When they inquired about it, all Anakin did was give them a knowing look. One Qui-Gon knew all too well. The boy he had trained had fulfilled his destiny in defeating the Sith yet had the same darkness within him as Vader did. Only it was not corrupting him like most Jedi would believe.
Instead, the light within Anakin was in perfect harmony with the darkness that once resided in Vader. As if the two were always meant to be one and live in the same body. Qui-Gon had asked about it, Anakin just told him not to worry about it and to trust in the Force. Which Qui-Gon did and saw his concerns of the Sith hiding himself inside of Anakin was unwarranted the more he watched Anakin's presence in the Force. In the years following the Clone Wars, young Skywalker was made a Jedi Master, and had been made a member of the Jedi Council. During Skywalker's time, the Jedi Order had gone through a series of reforms to improve itself for the better in the galaxy.
For one, they didn't keep to themselves in solitude. Or keep themselves isolated in a single Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Jedi Archives had records of various Jedi Temples abandoned or seemingly forgotten on various worlds. Anakin moved to have them explored and, if possible, rebuilt in those areas for the Jedi Order to grow. To once more becoming the living growing and expanding tree of light over that of the single pillar where the light only reached a limited number of people. The plan was bold and daring, but quite effective once implemented.
There were still some Jedi who did not agree with the changes made to the Jedi Order, even if the said changes proved to be quite beneficial. Fortunately, the next generation of Jedi following them were not of the said mindset and the narrowing views of the old generation of Jedi were removed as the years of following the brief civil war went by.
Count Dooku eventually retired from Jedi life in its entirety. Spending his remaining years on Serenno as a Count of his world and using his vast wealth to establish a Jedi Temple on his world. He had even setup a special Force sensitive finding program designed specifically to help find potential Force sensitives all throughout the galaxy. He also made sure the guidelines were clear on what and what NOT to do when it came to recruiting younglings to the Jedi Order. The idea of taking children away from their parents and banning all contact was a touchy subject the Jedi Order had tried to keep suppressed for years. It did not sit well with Anakin for his own personal reasons, which he felt needed to be expressed when the subject was brought up. Anakin knew some parents or cultures would not be healthy for those who were strong in the Force and breed darkness in them. But not every child had bad parents or were from a backwards planet with an equally backwards civilization. So why deny them the emotional attachment of their family?
As time went by, the numbers within the Jedi Order seemed to triple from the initial numbers they had when the Invasion of Naboo or just before the Clone Wars had begun. During that time period, the Jedi Order had roughly 10,000 strong within their ranks. Not a bad number per se since peace had settled in the galaxy for the most part prior to those instances, but the Clone Wars had drastically reduced their numbers, and the brief civil war didn't help matters either. Anakin's implementation of bringing older Force sensitives into the fold as well as let them have families would allow the expansion plans to go forward even faster.
Anakin believed Jedi found their strength through bonds of friendship and family. Rather than break the bonds, they should be encouraged. Nurtured. Allowed to grow into something wonderful. Denying such things was to deny life and a large aspect of the Force. There was always a risk, or a chance of the bond being broken for whatever reason. But it was better to know of such things and understand it over just trying to ignore and destroy such these bonds without a reason other than baseless fear.
"We were fortunate things happened the way they did," said Luke Skywalker while standing beside his sister and Father on the bridge of the Executor.
"The Force was with us my son. The alternative of what could have been all those years ago would have been far worse," said Anakin while glancing back at his son and daughter with tired, yet strong blue eyes that had seen far too much for someone like him.
"That and the full might of the galaxy with its fleet of warriors ready to defend it," added Leia with a small smile on her slightly graying hair.
"That too," said Anakin with a smile and letting out a tired sigh knowing they had been victorious over their enemy.
"I'm proud of you SkyGuy," said Ahsoka with elderly woman knowing her old Master had done so much during his time as a Jedi and she had the honor of being his student.
"Thanks, Ahsoka. I'm glad we could prevent the horror this invasion force would have brought down on us had we been unprepared for them," said Anakin knowing the alternative future he saw through the Force with a weak and divided galaxy would leave it even further crippled.
"Agreed. The vision of the damage done by the Far Outsiders we saw through the Force showed us how they have torn our galaxy apart," said Ben Solo Skywalker while seeing the remains of the enemy fleet floating in space.
The boy had come to idolize his Grandfather to an almost fanatical level. Wanting to be just like him. To be the next great Jedi. Anakin had been able to calm Ben's fanatical hero worship by explaining to the boy how he didn't have to try just like him. Anakin further explained to Ben that the best way to be just as good, if not better, was to be his own person. To make it own mark as a Jedi while not comparing himself to others. Anakin didn't want Ben to compare what he did as a Jedi to Luke, Leia, or even Anakin himself. Anakin had told Ben to be the best Jedi he could be in life and not compare himself to thoughts of others when they saw him next to other Jedi.
Ben understood and while he still looked to his Grandfather for answers to various question, the young Jedi strived to be his own man regardless of what anyone else thought of him.
"Which is why our Grandfather saw fit to unite and prepare the galaxy well over thirty years ago," said Qui-Gon Skywalker, who was the son of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade Skywalker.
"And leave a legacy that will keep our galaxy united for centuries to come," said Luke with his hand on his son's shoulder.
"So long as it doesn't make life boring. I hate boredom," commented Mara Jade Skywalker with a smirk aimed at her husband since she was not one to lay back and be bored.
"Now I know where Qui-Gon gets it from," commented Ben with a smirk while the other Skywalkers in the room laughed.
"It is a shame mother couldn't be here to see this," said Luke since he knew she was eagerly awaiting to hear the end of the battle back on Naboo.
"While Padme can hold her own in a fight when push comes to shove and diplomacy fails, she is not a soldier. You know this. Besides, your mother is retired from this type of life of chaos and fighting. Her heart cannot take the stress and the fact her children and grandchildren are on the front line of battle only makes it worse for her," said Anakin with his wife wanting to hear from them once the war was over.
"I know how she feels. I'm glad Han and Lando were able to fly the Falcon skillfully with Chewie through the battle and survived. I just wished they let me fly with them," commented Leia since she was slightly angry at her husband for refusing to let her fly with him on his ship.
They had argued about it mere hours before all fighters were to head out and Han unfortunately won the argument.
Listen Princess, you are needed here. I know it. You know it. Your old man knows it. I need to be on my ship with Lando, Chewie, and Nunb. We can handle things on our end. No one can handle this ship better in a fight. I know you have the Force and all that, but this is something I have to do.
Now is not a time for a debate in being macho Han.
I'm not trying to be macho. I'm trying to prove myself. Prove I can still fight. Prove I can hold my own in this fight. I don't have the ability to use the Force. I just have my mind, my wit, and my skills in flying a ship. I need to prove I can still handle the danger like the rest of your family. Force or no Force.
You have proven it time and time again Han. You don't have to prove it this time.
But I do. Just call it a feeling. A gut instinct. Hell, the Force itself might be screaming in my ear for all I know. But the fact remains, I have to do this.
All right. I trust you. Just come back in one piece. If you die, I will be terribly upset with you.
Hey, it me!
I know. That's why I said it.
Leia had kept an eye on Han through the Force during the fighting. Nearly yelling at him through it for flying the Falcon right into the heart of the fighting. Oh, she would still give him an earful when he came back, but that could wait a little while longer.
"Han is just being Han. Would you prefer him any other way?" asked Luke with Leia glaring at her twin before she let out huff and earned a laugh from the others.
"In any case, the Far Outsiders are gone, and we finally have the peace the galaxy needs right now and breathe a sigh of relief," said Anakin with a smile.
"There will be a call to demilitarize things once we get back to Coruscant," commented Mara since she knew after this people would just want to fall back into the whole "paramilitary is cheaper" concept like they did around the time when Naboo was invaded.
"Yes and no. Not everyone will wish to demilitarize given their culture, and neighbors. Every side here who fought to protect the galaxy will still want to keep the big stick compared to everyone else," said Anakin while knowing a lot of effort went into making this massive armada for a fleet and some of them didn't wish to throw it away.
"Hence why the Jedi Order exists. To keep the peace. To keep the balance on all sides," said Luke since the Jedi Order was a faction that would take no sides but keep all sides from lashing out in a senseless war.
"Some would say the Sith were right when there Code states peace is a lie," commented Ahsoka while Anakin shook his head and turned to face his family.
"Peace is and is not a lie. What many don't realize, the Sith included when they started their code to be the opposite of the Jedi, is that peace can be neither a lie nor a truth. It is a perspective that has shifted from end to the next throughout time no matter the time, place, world, or galaxy. Peace is not a lie as it can happen for a certain amount of time before conflicts and wars break out. Once that happens, the idea of peace can be considered a lie because at the time no one wants peace. Instead, the opposing sides would rather choose war. And again, the peace can become truth if the fighting had gone on long enough that the sides fighting choose peace instead of war," said Anakin with Ahsoka nodding since that was true.
"With the Jedi in the center to ensure the balance between war and peace," said Ben softly while Anakin nodding to his grandson.
"That is the whole point of being a Jedi. Knowing when to keep the peace and keep the chaos of wars in check to see they are contained," said Anakin while knowing wars would always happen, even after this.
It was all a matter of keeping them from getting out of control.
"A purpose which the Jedi Order will be able to handle with our growing ranks, skills, and knowledge of the Force," said Anakin since he had pushed for the Jedi to expand their knowledge of the Force despite the Sith being gone from the galaxy.
Nothing was truly certain. The Sith could one day return despite prophecy. Ancient Sith knowledge left behind on a lost world. A Jedi who became disillusioned with the Order and tapped into the Dark Side. Some secret Sith Order so deeply hidden that not even Sidious or the Order of Bane was made aware of them. A hidden secret Sith Empire lying in wait somewhere in the still uncharted parts of the galaxy It was always a possibility. Even if it was unlikely now, there were multiple ways for the Sith to return. As such, the Jedi had to be prepared for any such outcome and be vigilant in all things.
Something Anakin would make sure would continue long after he was one with the Force.
A true balance between darkness and light.
(A/N: YAY! I updated and completed another fic. Hooray! Now I just have some left to finish and more to write. All of which will not be easy. Constantly busy with different things to do each day. Don't worry as I will finish ALL of my fics no matter what. Just want everyone to have patience with me and accept that my life outside of writing is something I can't ignore. No matter how hard I want to ignore it. Until next time…PEACE!)