Chapter 6-The Confederacy Rises
If there was one thing Count Dooku knew from his partnership with Darth Vader, it was to expect the unexpected. In the time they had met, the Sith Lord had rallied exiled and maverick Jedi, warriors, bounty hunters, and various other individuals to a cause many would see as horrible. Not surprising given the purpose of gathering these people was to prepare for a violent war where worlds would be ravaged by destruction and lives would be lost from the fighting.
Of course, the alternative Vader had revealed without his influence was something far worse in the former Jedi Master's mind.
Still, it was quite the surprise to see Vader having acquired the already famous Katana Fleet with a sense of satisfaction coming off of him upon his return. And rightfully so. The Sith Lord had found what many would pay entire fortunes and give up entire star systems to obtain.
And it was all theirs. Well...it was all Vader's at any rate.
"Finding the Katana Fleet is most impressive Lord Vader. No doubt word has reached all over of your accomplishment," commented Dooku while Vader nodded.
"And no doubt making quite a few Republic military advisors to the Supreme Chancellor very nervous," added Vader with a sense of satisfaction showing in his masked voice.
"Yes, I imagine they are quite nervous at this point. Even if you do not plan to have the entire fleet upgraded with the latest technology, such a force when properly manned could fly to the heart of Coruscant...and seize control," replied Dooku with a knowing look while Vader scoffed.
"If I wished for a quick end and putting a blade to throat of the Republic. All it would do would make me into a monster and rally the worlds of the Galaxy to fight back. The last thing I need is them amassing their own forces to attack me from behind. I have no such intentions. Besides, I prefer the Techno Union take a look at everything after we make sure there are zero chances of any kind of disease remaining on the ships. Once they give all the ships a proper upgrade, I have plans for the fleet that will help us in the long run," said Vader while Dooku looked intrigued from what he was implying.
"If I didn't know any better, I would be under the impression you plan to sell pieces of the dreadnought fleet?" questioned Dooku while Vader surprised him again by nodding.
"I am. But not to just anyone. I have a specific buyer in mind. Someone who can return the favor when called upon when the time comes," said Vader with Dooku looking even more intrigued.
"Who?" asked Dooku since he was sure any Faction within the entire Galaxy would pay out the nose for the fleet.
And yet the Sith Lord had one buyer in mind?
"This Chiss Ascendency," answered Vader while Dooku frowned.
"I have never heard of the Chiss Ascendency. Are they in the Outer Rim?" asked Dooku while Vader didn't look surprised.
"It is very far in the Outer Rim. Boarding on Wild Space," answered Vader with Dooku nodding.
"And you wish to bring them into the Confederacy while using the Katana Fleet as some form of payment?" questioned Dooku since any system would gladly ally with Vader if they were given the entire Katana Fleet.
"In a manner of speaking. The Katana Fleet will be given to them in the distant future in exchange for one person among their ranks," said Vader with Dooku now looking at him with utter disbelief.
"An entire dreadnought fleet for one person?" asked Dooku since he didn't think it was a good trade in the slightest.
"The one person in question is worth the entire fleet, I assure you. He is or rather will be a Master Tactician second only to myself," said Vader and causing Dooku to reevaluate his previous thoughts.
Vader himself was practically unstoppable at this point. Using tactics and skills beyond anything the Republic and the Jedi have seen at this point. If this single person the Sith Lord mentioned was almost as good as him...?
"If this single individual is indeed worth the entire Katana Fleet, I hope you can bring him into the fold when the time comes," said Dooku with Vader nodding.
"The individual is young right now. But my time in the Chiss Ascendency in the near future will ensure things are set in motion to bring us possibly their greatest tactical mind. One worth several Katana Fleets when the time is right to bring him to our side when he called upon to serve," said Vader while Dooku nodded since the Sith Lord had yet to make a mistake in his overall plans.
"I will contact the Techno Union and begin the upgrade of the Katana Fleet at once," said Dooku with Vader nodding before he left.
Vader hated this planet. He hated the environment. Hated the heat. The lava. Especially the lava given it ignited his clothing, which caused it to catch on fire and burn him in the previous timeline. It was only through sheer Will and his love for Padme that he had the strength to crawl away from the lava after Obi-wan left him to die slowly. Bah! The Jedi spoke of love and mercy, yet if his old teacher followed through with his claims, the fool would have ended him before the Emperor arrived. What's worse is Obi-wan had told is son a horrid lie wrapped around a sliver of truth. Such a Sith tactic used by Obi-wan and possibly that old dwarf Yoda to have him killed. Even having the nerve in using his own daughter against him without telling either children of their parentage. They didn't even tell his children about Padme! Their Mother! And they called Vader a monster for the things he had done. Hypocrites!
No matter. He would change things. Things for the better. An alternate timeline where his family would be whole and those that had plotted, planned, and schemed to keep them all apart would suffer. The Skywalker family was never meant to be kept apart. The Force had told him as much after the truth of Luke being his son in the alternate timeline. It had screamed in rage for years since Padme's death and it wasn't until his son and eventually his daughter, just before his death, did the Sith Lord understand.
They were meant to be a family. To be whole. It was the Will of the Force and it would not be denied a second time.
"You brought me here for a reason. Show me," whispered Vader in his special suit he had commissioned to travel on the planet's surface without being harmed by its atmosphere.
And the Force did not disappoint. It showed a crashed ship. An old one from the looks of things. Several thousand years old in fact. Hammerhead Class from the looks of things. But it wasn't the ship itself the Force intended to show Vader, but what was inside of it that was the real prize.
It was a head. A droid's head to be more precise. It was old. The kind not seen for several thousand years. The Force was practically flying around it before it showed him an image from the past of a Sith Lord and this droid when fully functional walking side by side.
'Interesting. Could it be his droid?' thought Vader while moving toward the ship to obtain his prize.
The head of the infamous droid of all time...HK-47.
(Angel's Blade-Sometime Later)
The first thing HK-47 saw when reactivated was the inside of a fully functional ship with his head on a console keeping him powered. Another thing the droid notice was there was complex security algorithms in place to deny him access to the rest of the ship. Clever. Whoever had found him clearly knew of HK and his infamous reputation for killing meat bags no matter how much of a disadvantage he might be in.
"You are finally online. Good. I was about to assume that your systems were damaged internally," said Vader before walking up to the droid and sat in the chair in front of the droid.
"Query: Who are you and where am I?" asked HK-47 while deciding to pretend he was not the infamous droid capable of killing Jedi, Sith, Mandalorians, and other meat bags throughout the Galaxy.
"You may call me Vader. Darth Vader. And I know who you are...HK-47," said Vader with HK's eyes glowing slightly.
The equivalent of human eyes widening.
"Statement: I see. So you know of me and my reputation. Additional Query: Given your title of Darth, I can easily presume you are a Sith Lord?" countered HK-47 with Vader nodding.
"You presume correct. I am a Sith Lord," said Vader with HK being silent for a moment.
"Query: If you would be so kind, perhaps you can tell me what year it is? Or perhaps how long I have been offline?" asked HK-47 since it would reveal how long he was away from the rest of the Galaxy.
"Given your last known sighting in the Galaxy, I would say it is roughly several thousand years," said Vader while HK-47's eyes lit up and made a noise in its voice modulator.
Whether it was meant to represent anger, surprise, or something else...the Sith Lord did not know.
"Shocked Statement: S-Several thousand years?! You mean to tell me that I have been offline for several thousand years?" asked HK-47 while sounding like he was ready to blow a memory circuit.
"Yes. You were found without a body on a crashed Hammerhead Class ship. The Galaxy as you once knew it has changed from your time several thousand years ago," said Vader with HK-47 making another noise.
"Angry Comment: So not only do I not have my body, one that could strike fear in the hearts of meat bags everywhere, but the entire Galaxy as I once knew it is not the same? Unacceptable!" exclaimed HK-47 in an angry tone.
"Which is why I am here. The Force led me to you," said Vader with HK going silent for a moment to no doubt think.
"Soothing Statement: Master, I have been in the service of and fought many who could use the Force. While I do not understand the power itself or how some meat bags can use it and some cannot, I do know not to underestimate its greatness. If the Force led you to me, it is no doubt to provide you with my services for killing meat bags. Lots and lots meat bags," said HK-47 while Vader raised an eyebrow at him.
"You just called me Master. Why?" asked Vader with HK-47 making another noise.
"Honest Answer: Easy Master, you are in need of my services for whatever plans and schemes are being sent in motion. You found me in my little place in the Galaxy where I would have most likely rusted away into nothingness. A fate no droid wishes upon their person. Therefore, it is only fair that I accept such employment, and prove I am still the most dangerous droid the Galaxy has known well after my multi-millennial retirement. Quick Correction: My forced multi-millennial retirement," said HK-47 while Vader just looked at the droid in amusement.
"Difficult to do without a body," commented Vader while HK-47 dimmed the light in his optics to signify a narrowing of his eyes if he were human.
"Defensive Statement: Master, I assure you, even if I am just a head for now, if given the chance, I would be able to kill at least one meat bag in my present overall condition. As to a body, I trust you will be most generous in providing one to my exact specification. One which will allow me to kill meat bags for you at optimal efficiency and pinpoint precision," said HK-47 with Vader leaning back against his chair.
"Since I just found you on a volcanic planet, getting a customize body right now is not possible. In a few months time, yes. Until then, you will be stuck on this ship with me exploring the Galaxy," said Vader with HK making another noise.
"Sarcastic Statement: Oh joy. I get to be in a space ship flying around without a body and no means of killing meat bags to see worlds I once visited several millennia ago. If I did have a body, I might jump with artificial happiness," said HK-47 while Vader narrowed his eyes and leaned forward until he was face to face with the droid.
"Would you prefer I throw you into the lava outside? Miss out on the war that is to come in a few years? Or deny you the chance to kill Jedi? Lots and lots of Jedi in a time when the Order has become stagnant and dying?" countered Vader in a threatening tone.
"Pacifying Statement: I mean no disrespect Master, but when someone is my position, I find they tend to be...emotionally negative about things. Interested Query: Killing Jedi you said? Fighting in a war you said? Are you certain the Galaxy has really changed?" asked HK-47 since that part of the Galaxy didn't appear to change much.
"In that regard? No, such things have not changed. And yes, wars have popped up from time to time, but they have been minor when compared to what you have been through. As to the war that I have been setting into motion, it will be massive, and it will require an entity with your skills," said Vader with HK-47's optics glowing brightly and the Sith Lord assumed it was his way of expressing joy.
"Enthusiastic Statement: Master, I take back my previous sarcastic statement and any other negative thoughts about you I have not expressed during this conversation. I would be proud to fight beside you and kill all the meat bags standing in your way of glory! All I need is a body to call my own. Once I do, you can just let nature take its course," stated HK-47 with Vader looking amused when away from the droid's head.
"Good. I was hoping as much. But make no mistake HK, you will obey my orders, and you will kill only who I command you to kill. Regardless if they are Jedi or not. Failure to comply with my command would be most unwise," warned Vader with HK-47 now being silent for a moment.
"Professional Statement: I have no problem with obeying you Master. When my Maker first created me, he said the same thing in order to ensure that only those who were meant to be killed were the ones to die. He believed in killing meat bags and destroying things with pinpoint precision so there was at least something else to build on in the future," said HK-47 while Vader nodded since he believed in the same thing.
Darth Sidious never did. He believed in destroying anything and everything one way or another depending on its depreciating value to him.
"I expect nothing less but complete professionalism from the droid made by Darth Revan himself. As such, I will make sure the body you obtain is capable of handling the war that is to come," said Vader while he typed on the computer consol.
"Query: Master, aside from the Jedi meat bags roaming throughout the Galaxy just who are we fighting?" asked HK-47 curiously.
"Patience HK. You have been out of touch with the Galaxy for several thousand years. Waiting a few more days to weeks won't hurt. Besides, it will no doubt take that long to assimilate all the information necessary to function within the Galaxy," answered Vader before he went to the cockpit to start the ship.
"Depressing Comment: That is easy for you say Master. You still have your body," said HK-47 while hoping the body he got was up to his ridiculously high standards.
(Coruscant-Jedi Temple-At the Moment)
"Are you certain? The entire Katana Fleet?" asked Mace Windu with Obi-wan nodding his head.
"My sources are reliable Master. As of right now, Darth Vader has the entire Katana Fleet at his command. Count Dooku is having his contacts with the Techno Union preparing to have it fully upgraded and battle ready," said Obi-wan to Mace Windu and the entire Jedi Council.
"If he uses that fleet once fully upgraded, the Republic will not be able to withstand such an attack. Especially if he knows the Hyperspace Lanes needed to jump from one planet to the next to get here," said Master Mundi worriedly.
"We will need to contact the Supreme Chancellor about this and try to create a battle plan to repel a possible attack. What about the planets he visited?" said Master Poof while he saw some of the Jedi Council members grimace.
"The planet Honoghr was a disaster. A group of Jedi went there to investigate. But soon after they landed, the populace living there attacked them. While none of the Jedi were killed, their injuries were pretty bad, and they were disarmed of their Lightsabers to further add insult to injury. The Noghri, as they are called, told the Jedi team they were unworthy of wielding Lightsabers or the power we wield," said Master Koth while he winced at the memory of the report the team provided him and the fact the Noghri had done so much damage to them.
The fact the Jedi team sent consisted of eight Jedi, with four of them being Masters, two Knights, and two Padawans being bested by half only seemed to prove the Noghri were right in their minds. At least the Noghri had been honorable to the point of bringing their defeated enemies into their ship and managing to put them in the ship's medical area for treatment.
Though that was all they did and left the medical droids to heal them all while leaving them a warning to never come back or they would only receive death for their efforts. It was the Jedi Order's one and only warning to leave well enough alone and telling them to stay away from Lord Vader.
"Lord Vader's trips to the Outer Rim also seem to involve worlds that have no owners, but are filled with resources that if properly mined could be a great boon for shipyards needing materials. Even now, he has used his resources with the backing of Count Dooku to establish mining rights, the Corporate Alliance for business opportunities, and the IBC for additional financial support. Within the time span of a few years, Lord Vader will be among the wealthiest men in the entire Galaxy," said Master Plo Koon while having the best financial analysis team the Republic had to project how much money the Sith Lord would obtain.
"This Sith Lord is establishing a financial empire in order to fund a military one. If he has in fact joined the growing Separatists Movement, it might be a means to finance the threat of war," said Master Windu since it was clear Vader wanted to have the financial resources to maintain the future war machine he was planning to create.
"Where does the Chancellor and the Senate stand on this?" asked Master Koth curiously since the Senate was being made aware of Vader's activities per the Supreme Chancellor's request they work closely together.
"The Senate is divided. Some support Vader. Others do not. Some are undecided. Those who support the Sith Lord in the Senate are suspected of being part of or are part of the Separatist Movement. Those who are against Vader are part of what is called the Loyalist Party. The undecided are loyal to the Republic, but can't find any fault with the Sith Lord being able to freely move across the Galaxy," said Master Poof while feeling frustrated that the Senate would not unite against the Jedi's ancient foe.
"Surely this news of obtaining the Katana Fleet will push for the Senate to act?" asked Master Mundi with Master Yoda frowning.
"Use the Katana Fleet, Vader is not. Sense this in the Force, I do," said Yoda while he tried to see through the Force and saw images of the mighty Katana Fleet in Vader's hands.
Only to reshape and morph itself into a single individual with blue skin, red eyes, military cropped hair, and wearing a white uniform with golden trims with a high military rank.
"Having the Katana Fleet in his possession guarantees him an instant victory should he start war. Why wouldn't he use it?" asked Koth with Yoda closing his eyes in focus.
"Something far more valuable, obtained he will. Or rather someone," said Yoda with the image of this figure and the image of a space battle in the background with strange ships happening.
"A powerful and influential ally. And a dangerous one if Darth Vader is willing to trade an entire dreadnought fleet for him," said Master Poof knowing anyone who trades an entire fleet of dreadnoughts for one person must have a damn good reason.
"We will monitor the Katana Fleet and where Vader plans on taking it. Depending on where he goes, we might be able to stop the deal or at least prevent this future ally from joining him," said Master Windu with the other nodding.
'That is one plan done. Now if only we could just handle our own internal issues,' thought Master Koth while glancing at some of the Consular Jedi in the room.
The investigation into the unusual number of Guardian, Sentinel, and Consular Jedi was not going well since being assigned to it by Master Yoda. The Council of Reconciliation was resisting him every step of the way and were using one delay tactic after the next. They were determine to prevent Koth access to their records and to those handling them since they felt his investigation was pointless and a waste of resources.
It was only when Master Yoda himself came did the Council of Reconciliation have no choice, but to let Koth advance in his investigation. Not that it mattered. By the time he accessed their records, they had been altered, or shown signs of being partially deleted. When speaking to the Jedi Master assigned to it, Koth was given the run around by some of them while others were surprisingly more hostile. Or as hostile as Consular Jedi could be when being investigated and told under no uncertain terms to leave well enough alone.
When Master Koth reported his findings (thus far) to Master Yoda, the Grandmaster was less than pleased. Like Koth, the ancient Jedi Master had shown a growing concern for the way the infrastructure was being run within the Jedi Order. Too many Jedi were rising through the ranks and classified as Consular over Guardian or Sentinel. It was almost like a conspiracy was being revealed where one Sect. within the Jedi Order's ranks was trying to dominate, if not control the others.
It was concerning to Master Koth because the situation made him feel as if the Jedi Order was fracturing and imploding on itself at the same time.
And all the while, the Sith were planning their demise without having to lift a finger.
Vader walked though the complex with his Lightsaber on. His purpose here was to end what should have never been started and allowed to grow. Already, he had killed all of this fools creations and security droids intent on impeding his path to the intended target. Computer systems, communication devices, and anything else technological were either jammed or destroyed while walking toward his prey.
The name of said prey? Cylo.
In another point in time, the fool thought little of the Force. Saw it as a religion long since gone without its believers and the Jedi Order. Not surprising since Vader had become the only acknowledged practitioner of the Force (Sidious hiding his position and title as one not withstanding) following the rise of the Empire and the Jedi Purges. As for Cylo, he had seen Darth Vader as a relic of a time long since past and believed in machines and the technology to make cyborgs was the future that would replace the cosmic power as the true might of the Galaxy.
A fool with delusions regardless of his scientific brilliance.
Vader realized his action in killing off the Jedi and Sidious keeping his own position as a Sith a secret had made the Force seem like some fable. A story you tell children to fill their heads with fantasy instead of fact. If not for Vader's numerous exploits when he was moving from one campaign to the next and using his powers from time to time, would the Force be considered truly a dead religion to the people who have never seen it in action.
People like Cylo mocked the Force. They tried to provide scientific explanations on how someone could move objects, read minds, and perform various physical actions that went far beyond their natural skill. They said one or another. Saying science could provide all that and more the Force gave its "believers" and tried to pick apart the cosmic energy's influence.
Again, Cylo was a fool. One that Vader was not about to tolerate in this Galaxy a second time around.
"So the infamous Darth Vader graces me with his presence. I suppose I should feel some honor...but meeting such an archaic individual from an even older time of barbarism does not," remarked Cylo from a large monitor while looking down on the Sith Lord with a "I am superior to you in every single way imaginable" look on his face like he always did in alternate timeline.
"The feeling is mutual. For such a brilliant mind, it is equally foolish, if not arrogant in its refusal to believe in fear," said Vader while not looking the slightest bit intimidated by the way Cylo looked at him.
"You think I should? Typical Sith. I have studied your kind. Arrogant. Greedy. Believing yourself superior when it couldn't more further from the truth. It is why your kind went from being in legions to single numbers," said Cylo while clearly mocking the Sith Lord for being a Sith.
"And yet you show all of our proclaimed traits. You are arrogant in your own supposed superiority. You are greedy in your lust for power to expand your knowledge of your pathetic craft. And even your tone suggest you believe that you are superior to others who do not share your views or supposed power," countered Vader and saw Cylo snarl at him.
"I wield more power than you do Sith. You come here thinking your so called 'Force' will protect you. It is nothing more than a parlor trick, dramatic nonsense, or a slight of hand. Magnetism. Telepathy. And other things science can easily explain away. I know all your tricks. You think your display of destroying things here will intimidate me? Make me fear you? Beg for mercy? All you have done so far is annoy me," countered Cylo in a tone that Vader recalled all too well as the one the man used when they first met.
Smug. Filled with himself. His arrogance and sense of superiority with technology almost rivaled Sidious and his belief the Force was his to command.
"We will see who wields power when I stand in front of you with my Lightsaber piercing your head," said Vader before crushing the monitor with the Force and continued toward the cyborg.
"Your kind are a relic of an ancient time. It is why so few of you exist. Technology used to bring about immortality is the future Vader. Not your so called 'Force' that you believe in. The religion you follow is dying. Soon it will be dead and so will all those who practice the belief," said Cylo through the speakers in the corridor.
Vader ignored him. He didn't care about Cylo going on and on about how his way was best and technology was the future. How he was the future. How he was a God in the realm of technology and proved it with his various bodies with the ability to jump from one form to the next.
Considering Cylo had done it before in a different timeline, Vader knew he could, but was actually looking forward to seeing it in action. It was not everyday you got to kill an annoying piece of filth like Cylo more than once.
When Vader did enter the room with Cylo in it, he wasn't surprised to see the cyborg for a fool had surrounded himself with four other copies of himself, and additional cyborg abominations no doubt meant to protect them from harm. The Cylo that Vader had been having the pointless discussion with moments ago was in the process of leaving the room with his four copies on medical capsules.
"Running so soon?" asked Vader with his Lightsaber out and active.
"I have more important things to do than deal with an annoyance such as yourself," said Cylo while heading for his exit while his cybernetic bodyguards engaging Vader in battle.
Only to be blocked by a full functioning HK-47 holding a blaster rife and aiming it at the arrogant cyborg.
"Disgusted Comment: Just look at you! A combination of metal and living tissue put in a single form. To think someone would dare mix a meat bag's tainted essence with that of metallic perfection. You were right Master, he is indeed an abomination that must be put down and destroyed," said HK-47 while looking at Cylo with contempt and seeing the Sith Lord behind the cyborg was killing off his targets as easy as breathing.
Even if no one could see it sans for his optics glowing while they narrowed at the cyborg.
"You think your droid frightens me Vader? My minions can handle you and him easily," said Cylo with arrogant confidence.
"Unlikely," said Vader moved swiftly, cutting down Cylo's metallic cyborg enhanced abominations he had created to be his bodyguards.
It was over within 10 seconds. And in those 10 seconds HK didn't move. He didn't have to move. The droid his new Sith Lord for a Master was skilled. Seeing him practice on the ship time and time again was proof enough for the hunter killer droid. HK also knew that Cylo was waiting for him to act and attempt to save the Sith Lord from harm. HK knew that Cylo believed the droid to be one that was programmed to aid and protect its Master no matter the danger. That HK would let the meat bag go while blasting all of the horrible abominations left behind in order to protect his Sith Lord for a Master.
Cylo should have known better. But to be fair...he was a meat bag.
One that HK-47 enjoyed shooting multiple times in the chest.
"Unsatisfied Comment: Is that it? I was under the impression this abomination would put up more of a challenge. How disappointing," commented HK before making a sound that was the equivalent of an exaggerated sigh.
Only to see one of the Cylo copies to rise up from the medical bed with annoyed look on his face at losing one of its bodies.
"You will pay for that action droid," said Cylo before he was stabbed in the back by Vader's Lightsaber.
"Unlikely," commented Vader before slicing Cylo's head off his second body.
And like before, Cylo had entered his other body to avoid being killed.
And again he was killed by HK-47.
And again after that by Vader.
"You really think those dead bodies were the only ones I had? They were just the more valuable ones. I have bodies throughout my base. You cannot stop me Sith. I am a true immortal!" declared Cylo with his face on the screen nearby while looking incredibly arrogant.
"Annoyed Statement: Master, this abomination for a meat bag is getting on my sensors. Query: Can we just kill him now? It is not like he is a challenge for either of us?" asked HK-47 in a bored yet annoyed tone.
"Such insolence from a droid. Clearly of Sith design. Meant to instill fear and terror into your enemies. Difficult to do when your enemy is immortal," commented Cylo with his sense of superiority showing.
"You are only immortal so long as you have one of your so called 'bodies' to possess in the event the one you are in has died. What happens when there are no more bodies left?" challenged Vader while Cylo's eyes narrowed and his scowl deepened.
"I have a nearly unlimited supply. I won't be running out anytime soon," said Cylo with his gaze locked on Vader's own.
"No. You do not," said Vader before he pulled out a detonator and pressed the button.
And the result was numerous explosions throughout Cylo's base.
"What?! What is this?" demanded Cylo with his image having a hard time manifesting, yet was glaring all the same at Vader.
"Proud Answer: It is simple you grotesque meat bag. While you were talking with my Master, I was discreetly planting explosive charges at key points of this base after slicing into your systems. Your feeble computer defenses were no match for my skills and I was able to plant explosives in the most strategic as well as valuable places. Namely where your 'bodies' were in storage. I also planted them on all your ships and shuttles you have docked for your escape. Naturally, you will not be leaving this building or this planet alive," said HK-47 while neglecting to mention he also uploaded a virus into the system to attack the computer's main systems so Cylo couldn't retreat back into it once all the bodies were destroyed.
Which would be soon.
As for Cylo, he was enraged by this defiance to his greatness. To his superiority! His immortality and Godhood! These two ancient relics dared to strike down the future of the Galaxy!
"I am going to enjoy ripping your body apart. Digging deep into your primary program and personality matrix systems. By the time I get through with you, the ability to even speak a word will become a challenge for your limited processors!" threatened Cylo while HK-47 looked calm as ever.
For deadly hunter killer droid made by a Sith Lord several millennia ago.
"Counter Statement: I would like to see a meat bag like you try," replied HK-47 while Vader looked bored.
"Enough. We came here to do our job and it is done. He had nothing left," said Vader before walking away and heading for the nearest exit.
"Do you honestly believe that to be true? Does your previous 'Force' tell you that I am defeated. Ha! You couldn't be more further from the truth," mocked Cylo while Vader ignored him and his additional attempts to anger the Sith Lord.
"Are the jammers online?" asked Vader while they left for his ship.
"Proud Statement: Yes Master. All jammers to prevent signals of any kind from leaving this meat bag's base of operations have been in place from some time and are currently active above the planet. I guarantee that meta bag abomination will not leave here alive," answered HK-47 with his tone oozing confidence.
Well...for a droid.
"Good. Once we are in orbit, I will signal our fleet to destroy Cylo's base. I want it turned into a hole in the ground," said Vader coldly.
"Observation: You seem to be quite angry with this particular meat bag Master. If I didn't know any better, I would think this idiot crossed you in a way I cannot begin to process," said HK-47 while Vader glanced at him.
"If you only knew HK. Speaking of certain individuals who crossed me as of late, I have a mission for you. One I can entrust to no one else," said Vader before they got on the Sith Lord's ship and took off.
"Excited Statement: Oh joy! Who do you want me to kill Master?" asked HK since he knew the Sith only gave the order to kill someone, it was to be done in a challenging way.
"I need you to kill someone without it being considered an assassination. Your target is to die in what appears to be a natural manner. When you kill him, the only plausible reason he died was through no fault, but his own, or make it seem like a natural event. Under no circumstances is he to killed in a way that says foul play," said Vader while HK nodded and almost had a sense of joy radiating from his being.
"Proud Statement: Master, it is times like these, I am proud to be in your service. When my creator sent me on missions, he made sure they were of the most challenging of tasks. You are certainly proving yourself to be a worthy successor in that regard," said HK-47 before Vader gave the signal and his fleet bombarded the planet and the base Cylo was located.
Vader also had the everything within 100 miles of the lab bombarded too. Just for good measure.
"Your target's name is Rush Clovis of Scipio," said Vader while remembering that fool and his desire to reclaim his romantic feelings for Padme during the Clone Wars.
Vader would ensure they would never meeting again unless it was at his own funeral.
"Statement: I will begin my mission immediately Master. As always, you can count on me to kill any and all meat bags your heart desires," said HK-47 while liking a challenge such as this knowing his target had to die using the different means of killing someone that he was use to employing.
If there is one thing HK-47 enjoyed above all else, it was a challenge in terms of killing meat bags.
"Good. Stick with me HK and I promise you plenty of missions in the near future," said Vader while HK-47's body was almost vibrating with a sense of excitement.
"Energetic Statement: Master, this is why I enjoy being in your service. You have plenty of meat bags for enemies that need to be killed and not enough time to do it yourself. Hence why you need someone of my skills to do it for you. That reason alone makes my behavior core glow," said HK-47 while Vader smirked behind his face mask.
Only a droid built by a Sith Lord several millennia ago would and could say such a thing.
"So, it is finally time. To think 10 years of plotting and planning for this moment would move so quickly," commented Dooku while he stared out the window of his home to see his world in all its beauty.
"It always does when constantly moving toward something. You don't even realize time has moved by so fast until half way through to the goal or until you reach the objective. It is if you move through the flow of time itself," said Vader while stared at Dooku's back.
They were ready. It had taken 10 years, give or take a few months, but they were ready for the war that was to come. HK-47 had been deployed to help create the moment. The moment that would start an investigation by the Jedi Order at the behest of the Loyalist Party of the Senate and Supreme Chancellor (and secret Sith Lord) to find out just how strong the Separatists movement had become.
"Do you believe your droid is a match for Savage?" asked Dooku curiously while he was referring to Sidious's second animal for an apprentice.
"HK-47 is an accomplished assassin from his time when the Sith were far more ruthless and arguably more powerful when compared to now. He was built by one of the best Sith Lords the Galaxy ever knew and has the skills to back it up. Added with the technology we have now used to build his customize body, there is no doubt he could easily kill the animalistic Savage Oppress," said Vader since HK-47 was indeed the perfect choice to kill Maul's brother.
Sidious had originally sent Savage to kill Dooku months ago in secret in order to take control of the Separatist movement with Oppressing being his puppet. Ruling over the conspirators through fear and blackmail knowing they couldn't go back to the Republic without being labeled traitors. But like with his time teaching Maul (or lack thereof), this Zabrak had not shielded himself properly in his attempt to kill the Count, and was easily repelled by Dooku via his mastery of Lightsaber Arts. Oppress tried to overpower Dooku using the Force, but the Count long since had enough strength in it to fight Savage in that area, and take the Zabrak's right arm during the fight before the enemy retreated.
"True, but is his side target that concerns me. Sidious is a whole different level of Sith when compared to Savage," said Dooku while Vader smirked behind his mask.
"So am I. And his side target is not meant to be killed. Only wounded," said Vader since he knew HK's secondary target was going to use this to rally the Senate and those loyal to the Republic to his side.
And thus create the spark that would soon alight the flames of war.
(Coruscant-Supreme Chancellor's Office)
Savage Oppress hated masking his Force presence. The large Zabrak found it extremely difficult since it felt like he was suppressing the Dark Side of the Force. Suppressing an actual part of himself. Still, his Master had commanded it of him, and Savage learned long ago to not disobey his Master. Disobedience resulted in pain. Failure resulted in even more pain. Both at the same time resulted in multiple times the pain.
Speaking of pain, Savage knew his prostheticarm was in need of maintenance again. It had been put on him by Sidious's droids while unconscious after he had blacked out from the pain following his return to Coruscant. Naturally, his Master had not been pleased by the failed attempt to kill Dooku, and taking control of the Separatist. He had tortured Savage for some time, using the cybernetic arm as a perfect conduit for using the Force Lightning to travel into the Zabrak's body. Sidious had made the replacement arm out of a super conductive metal that would make lightning or something lightning based to travel through it faster and into a person's body via the nerves at the connection point.
After the painful torture ended, Sidious had decided to reposition Savage as his personal bodyguard under the guise of being a hired mercenary. That way, should Savage ever be caught showing his Force potential to any of the Jedi, Sidious as Palpatine had plausible deniability in knowing his apprentice was Force sensitive. After the exercise of masking his presence to the point where even a Jedi Master could not sense him, Savage Oppress was given neutral colored mercenary armor, a mercenary's mask, high grade blaster rifle, and other equipment to look the part of a professional hired thug. Still, it was not an easy task to perform just standing here guarding his secret Master. Especially when you have a crudely attached cybernetic arm poor attached to your body and was causing a throbbing pain strong enough to put down a rancor. But he did it. It took a great deal of control on his part, but Savage wished to prove himself worthy of his Sith Master, and the legacy of his late brother Darth Maul.
A brother slain by Darth Vader. Something Sidious told him with no small amount of glee knowing it would infuriate Savage to no end. All the while conveniently leaving out how Savage's brother Feral had died by the cruel Sith Lord's hands when acquiring him.
'If only I wasn't assigned here to play a glorified bodyguard, I would avenge my brother, and prove myself worthy of being a Sith,' thought Savage while he stood guard in the room while the Jedi Masters and some Senate members were in the room.
Following the failed assassination attempt on Count Dooku, the backup plan was set in motion to have Senator Amidala assassinated. The plan itself involved eventually killing the woman of considerable influence, plant the evidence of the Separatists, namely Count Dooku being involved, and turn the former Queen of Naboo into a martyr for the cause. She had initially was opposing the Military Creation Act due to her belief in negotiations first over violence and the fact an actual Galactic War would destroy so many worlds. That if the Republic built their own army to counter the rumors of the Separatists own growing forces, it would lead to an escalation that would lead to untold suffering.
Which was exactly what Sidious was hoping for when the Clone Wars happened and was trying to set into motion. The only issue Sidious had now was controlling both sides of this conflict and bringing about the maximum amount of death. Something he couldn't do so long as Count Dooku was alive and Vader providing him with support at various key points.
"I don't know how long I can hold off the vote in the Senate my friends," said the kindly voice of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine while looking at the Jedi Masters and Senators in the room.
"If they do break away...," warned Mace Windu to the Supreme Chancellor.
"I will not let this Republic that has stood for a thousand years be split in two. My negotiations will not fail," said Palpatine firmly since he had told everyone in the Senate of his plan to speak to Count Dooku in order to have a peaceful resolution to his actions of enflaming the Separatists Movement.
"If they do, you must realize there aren't enough Jedi to protect the Republic. We're keepers of the peace, not soldiers," said Master Windu since he knew that while the Jedi Order numbers in the tens of thousands...a Galactic War tended to thin the numbers rather quickly.
Any future conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Senator Amidala, who had just survived yet another assassination attempt by one of Sidious's agents. It had cost her quite a few bodyguards, handmaidens, and a loyal body double assigned to impersonate her on the Senatorial Nubian Yacht. It had been a devastating blow to Padme personally since she knew many of these people and they had signed up to willingly give their lives for her. Nevertheless, Padme was determined, and stood by her convictions in opposing the Military Creation Act. She would not allow these attempts to sway her or the Senate to build an army that would essentially provoke a full blow Galactic War.
Savage was almost impressed by her. She was a strong willed woman who refused to bend to whims of those around her that opposed those beliefs. It was almost a shame she had to die soon.
"Senator Amidala, good to see you it is. Seeing you unharmed, warms my heart it does," said Master Yoda while Padme smiled at the tiny Jedi Master, but the smile was not as warm as she would have liked.
The Jedi Council's actions in keeping both Qui-gon Jinn and Anakin busy in the last 10 years to keep the boy from visiting his Mother every so often had caused a small...rift with her on a personal level. Anakin had pushed himself every single day to prove his worth as a Jedi under the eyes of his Jedi Master Qui-gon Jinn. Both heroes to Naboo for their actions in fighting against the Trade Federation's occupation of the planet. Shimi Skywalker had been appointed as a handmaiden to Padme until her time as Queen ended and later served the new Queen just as loyally. Anakin had visited both Padme and Shimi when time allowed under the supervision of Master Jinn, but the Jedi Council had always been demanding of them both.
The Maverick Jedi Master and his wild card apprentice.
Rumor has it, the Jedi Council punished Anakin once by denying him and Master Jinn a ship to leave Coruscant for the scheduled time off to travel to Naboo. While the rumored crime to befit the rumored punishment was not known, Padme knew it was not a rumor since Anakin himself had contacted his Mother to inform her that he wouldn't be able to make the trip to Naboo. Both women had been in the room when he called and had been initially excited to see him as the scheduled time before the bad new came from the boy.
It didn't help that the trip itself was meant for Anakin to visit Shimi on her birthday no less with small, yet nice party. Something that a (at the time), 14 year old Anakin had been bitter about in missing and it was only thanks to Qui-gon that he didn't unleash his anger in...other ways not considered to be Jedi like. He had shouted at the unfairness of it all to his Master and how the Jedi Council was full of...individuals (the words he chose to describe/curse them in multiple languages he knew were not meant for innocent ears) that didn't appreciate what it meant to honor loved ones.
But Master Qui-gon was patient with his Jedi apprentice and comforted the boy to soothe his pain over it. Stating they would go to Naboo soon and make up for lost time. That so long as Anakin saw his Mother to wish her a Happy (belated) Birthday, he did not need to feel this way. He told Anakin that it was understandable to be angry, but never let all that anger itself control him, or his actions in life. Such a thing would lead to regrets and even questionable actions should the anger take root with enough influence to sway his actions in the future.
Anakin understood and apologized to Master Jinn for his outburst since he didn't deserve to be on the receiving end of the yelling. Qui-gon had been very understanding of the boy since the Jedi Council had done this on several occasions prior to this incident with this one being too much for the boy to simply let go. Qui-gon had expressed this issue with Master Yoda and the Jedi Council on several occasions with many of the members either ignoring the man's concerns or telling Qui-gon to be more forceful on Anakin to let go his "attachment" to his Mother. Master Yoda had been more understanding, as did some of the other Jedi Masters on the Jedi Council, but the vast majority of them did not nor did they seem to care.
Again, further proving the Jedi Council, and the Jedi Order itself was fractured in various places that refused to be healed by those in charge.
"Master Yoda. I am pleased to be here. Though I wish the reason was not one with darker times surrounding us," said Padme while she gave nothing away about her feelings about Anakin and the Jedi Council causing him problems.
"Agreed. Lost many recently on your travel here, you did. Condolences for your loss, I give," said Master Yoda while Padme smile more.
"Thank you Master. But what I need are answers and those who tried to assassinate me be brought to justice," said Padme while turning to look at the Supreme Chancellor for aid.
"Our intelligence points to disgruntled spice miners on Naboo," said Master Windu while Padme did not look convinced.
"I suspect Count Dooku or someone within his ranks being responsible without him being made aware of it," said Padme though she was hoping her assumption was not true since Darth Vader was rumored to be an associate working with him.
"He is a political idealist. Not a murder," said Master Ki-Adi-Mundi to voice his opinion of his old Jedi friend.
"You know, My Lady, Count Dooku was once a Jedi. He couldn't assassinate anyone. It's not in his character," said Master Windu with a smile.
Before it turned into a deep frown and instantly he along with his the Jedi in the room were instantly on guard as they sensed a disturbance in the Force.
"What is it?" asked Padme worriedly since she saw all the Jedi in the room now reach for their Lightsabers.
Savage would have done so himself if not for the quick, yet discreet command of Sidious to not use his hidden Lightsaber.
"Danger I sense. Coming here, it is," said Master Yoda in a warning tone.
Said danger soon came when the doors to the Supreme Chancellors office exploded and in walked HK-47 wielding a large mini-gun blaster cannon one would normally find on a well armed speeder. His menacing glowing eyes, rusty orange frame, and various sorts of armaments on his customized body made him very intimidating.
Which was perfect for HK-47 when he personally looked for the needed droid like body parts required to give him a brand new, yet terrifying look.
"Threatening Tone: Attention all meat bags in this room, you are about to die. That being said, please try to die with some measure of dignity worthy of your meat bag races," said HK-47 before he fired from right to left at the individuals in the room using his superb targeting computer to aim at his assigned targets.
Namely Savage Oppress in the corner with the Zabrak's armor being destroyed and his flesh having numerous holes in it. Several of them hitting key organs in the chest and one being in his helmet covered head with a hole the size of a human fist coming out the other end. Several other Senators in the Loyalists Committee also were slain along with three Jedi Masters, one Jedi Knight, Representative Binks, and at least ten Senatorial Guards.
HK-47 intentionally missed Senator Amidala and the Supreme Chancellor during the shooting per Darth Vader's orders since he didn't want them dead. However, the Sith Lord did say to try and injure the elderly man to some degree if it was possible.
When the firing stopped, HK-47 looked at the destruction he caused with a sense of pride since his task had been completed to the letter. Sure a few of the Senators and Jedi were still alive, but that was expected, and ordered by his Master to proceed with their part of the plan. The war would begin soon and HK-47 had been chosen by Vader to be the spark to light the fuse that would soon ignite the explosion that would bring about the Clone Wars.
In short, Darth Vader was quickly becoming his second favorite Sith Lord of all time.
"Proud Statement: Long live the Separatists! Down with the Republic! Let all those meat bags who are corrupt and foul die painful deaths! Let all their pawns serving them be cast down and destroyed! Let all those who are ignorant of things be ignorant no longer! Let all eyes be open and the truth exposed for all to see and hear! Rise all those who believe in the righteous cause and be silent no longer!" exclaimed HK-47 as if he were projecting the beliefs of someone's manifesto through his vocal systems.
With his piece said, HK-47 released smoke bombs from his body to cover his escape, and detonated several explosives throughout the Senate building on the outer surface. Nothing major or crucial in a strategic sense, but the explosions themselves would be enough of a distraction for the local authorities while the Jedi were no doubt heading this way.
One of the reasons his Master had sent HK-47 was because the Jedi would not be able to sense the droid, and the Sith Lord had added some modifications to the customized body itself. Namely to change the color of the overall body plating from orange to green (HK had expressed his dislike for that color to the Sith Lord, but for some reason the droid wouldn't say why) and had made it so that the optical color of the droid's "eyes" would become a disarming, yet innocent sky blue. The large mini-gun HK used was not part of his body so it could be dropped at any time to avoid people staring at him. Any and all weapons secretly located within his body were hidden and could not be picked up by any of the scanning technology the local authorities possessed.
In short, HK-47's body was designed to blend into the crowd shortly after killing a group of people in public during the day.
"Statement: It is done Master. The mission was a success," said HK-47 while entering a small rented apartment belonging to a low level bounty hunter and activating the Holo-communicator.
A bounty hunter which he silently killed a few days earlier with a vibro knife to the throat before disposing of the body. As far as the owner knew, the bounty hunter was alive, and HK was his protocol droid. Hence why the droid kept his disguise on long after entering the apartment.
Just in case someone decided to snoop around.
"Good. Now the Jedi will be more actively involved. I take it Savage Oppress was among those you killed?" asked Vader while HK nodded.
"Absolute Assurance: Yes Master. He was the first meat bag I shot. Several of his vital organs were punctured through the armor as well as one blaster shot to his armored head. Rest assured, he will not be getting up after that. I am also pleased to report my attack has also successfully injured our secondary target per your order. The Senator from Naboo is alive as well. Shaken from the attack no doubt, but very much alive per your instructions. The Gungan representative however, was not so fortunate. I have also ended the lives of several Jedi Masters and one Jedi Knight along with several Senatorial Guards who were also in the room. The three Jedi Masters known as Yoda, Mundi, and Windu were sadly able to avoid being killed by my attack," reported HK-47 while Vader nodded and didn't mind the three Jedi Masters being spared.
He had plans for them later anyway.
"It is time to leave the planet HK, but be discreet about it. Stay in your 'Protocol Droid' form no matter what. Even if they suspect you and try to detain you. Once off world, head to a neutral planet before getting passage to another further into the Outer Rim. I need you making your way to Geonosis and be a guard assigned to the talks Count Dooku is having with the Separatist Leaders in one week's time," ordered Vader while HK-47 nodded in understanding.
"Query: Do you think the Jedi meat bags will be smart enough to trace everything to the planet Master?" asked HK-47 since he had doubts the Jedi of this time would be smart enough to figure things out.
The Jedi from Revan's time were a different story. Unlike the Jedi Order of the present, the Jedi from HK-47's time of being made were forged of much sterner stuff. Constantly keeping their skills and mind sharp by the conflicts created by the Mandalorians and later the Sith. HK-47 was honestly disappointed in the Jedi Order of this time and how they had just let themselves become stagnant to the point of never progressing further as time went by. They had become the top of the food chain, but had no rivals to push them to fight and stay on top. Their desire to exist beyond the base minimum of reasons being to protect the Republic had weakened them to the point of being vulnerable on multiple fronts.
Which the Sith had been waiting to expose for some time when the Jedi Order was at its weakest.
"It doesn't matter. Sooner or later, they will track you to Geonosis as planned. If you don't lead them there, Jango Fett will in your place. He's already been given his instructions on what to do should a Jedi from the Order pay him a visit and ask questions about the clone army ordered to be commissioned by Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas. Just be sure to get over to Geonosis before the assigned Jedi they send to snoop around does," said Vader with HK-47 nodded in understanding.
"Statement: I understand Master. Rest assured, one way or another, I will arrive at my assigned destination," said HK-47 before turning off the communicator and crushed it in his hands.
The droid couldn't risk it being found, much less intact should someone come snooping into the room once the bounty hunter living here was eventually found to not being living here.
Or was in fact no longer living at all.
(Geonosis-Secret Room-Sometime Later)
"It went as planned. Just as you said it would. The Jedi Council has assigned Obi-wan Kenobi, Qui-gon Jinn, and Anakin Skywalker to the investigation. My sources tell me Kenobi has gone to investigate Kamino after discovering the evidence needed to go there. It won't be long before he finds Jango Fett and learns he was the who killed that hired assassin Sidious sent after Senator Amidala of Naboo. Not to mention the clone army my old friend secretly commissioned to fight in this soon to be Galactic War," said Count Dooku while looking at Vader as they waited for the remaining Separatists Leaders to arrive on the planet and meet for this to become truly official in signing the Confederacy of Independent Systems into life.
"And while he does this, Anakin Skywalker along with Qui-gon Jinn are assigned to the protection of Senator Amidala. Just as I have foreseen," said Vader with Dooku nodding since that was the plan.
"I would have felt it more prudent for Jango Fett to fight his way past Obi-wan Kenobi and to arrive here for the Jedi to follow," commented Dooku while Vader shook his head.
"Not necessarily. Even if Jango were to be taken prisoner or interrogated by the Jedi, they would see in his mind what we allow them to see. Master Sifo-Dyas commissioning him to be part of the clone army the Jedi Master himself ordered without the Jedi Council's approval. Jango doesn't know of our involvement to that degree with your old friend. When word gets out of the bounty hunter being used for the template of the clones, the Republic will want to keep him on Kamino to make more clones, and train them on how to fight. We want to ensure Jango can deny his involvement with us or at the very least, as much as possible. While Jango Fett is a professional bounty hunter, he only knows the name of the client, who is Sifo-Dyas. Not Count Dooku and certainly not Darth Vader," said Vader while he knew Jango had disliked the Jedi for what happened with the True Mandalorians and how Death Watch set them up to be killed by the Jedi Order.
Vader made a mental note to visit Jango in the future in secret to make a promise to the bounty hunter in terms of getting his revenge on all the guilty parties still alive from the event to be punished for it.
"Is that why your droid is here in his place? To help connect him to us and start the war?" asked Dooku with the former Jedi being impressed by HK-47 and his sophistication.
It was clear HK-47 was far superior to the droids of this time.
"Yes. Soon, the Supreme Chancellor will be given Emergency Powers by the Senate to combat this issue with us. Once he does, the approval of the clone army will be made a reality. The clone army itself will be upon us shortly. How goes the secret order for data transferring?" said Vader since he knew what was about to happen.
"It is going well. Poggle the Lesser is overseeing it now. He was quite surprised that you would commission him to produce a massive orbital research station the size of a small moon," said Dooku while Vader turned to look at him.
"Considering the alternative that they would build through Sidious's machination, I think it is still quite the project to behold," said Vader since he felt turning the initial plans for the Death Star into something that didn't blow up planets.
"Indeed. But why do you wish Sidious to believe we are building a super weapon like the one you mentioned during our first meeting?" asked Dooku while confused by this.
"To put fear in his heart. If Sidious believes we are making a super weapon or have the plans to make a super weapon, he will seek to acquire it by any means necessary. He will waste resources, agents, and other assets to acquire what we possess. I want him to try all these things in order to weaken his position and ultimately...expose him to the Galaxy," said Vader while Dooku nodding in understanding.
"And once exposed, removing him along with those of his inner circle will be all the more easier," commented Dooku while Vader nodded.
"Removing Sidious isn't as easy as one would think. It has to be justified in the eyes of the Republic, the Jedi, and the Galaxy as a whole. When he dies, the man must not be seen as a martyr, or a good person who shouldn't have been killed by his enemies. His allies and his inner circle will need to be seen as monsters too. Those who knew who he was behind the robes. What he was behind those robes. What he was planning for the Republic and the Galaxy. We must expose everyone connected to him to ensure none of them can rise or attempt to power in his place," said Vader since any subordinates of the Sith Lord could seek to empower themselves and try to get revenge or play their own hands for a chance of rule some measure of territory.
If only for a time.
A beeping sound from Dooku's waist drew the Count's attention to the device in hand and a projection of a Jedi Star Fighter appeared showing Republic markings. It was shown to be flying into a discreet area near the droid factories, but not close enough to detected by the sentry posts there.
The only reason Dooku was even alerted to the arrival of the Jedi's ship was because he had additional sensor security systems in place to alert him.
"It seems Obi-wan Kenobi in finally here," said Count Dooku.
"And just in time. The other leaders for the meeting have arrived as well. Time to play your part as the soon to be Chief-of-State," said Vader with Dooku nodding knowing his charismatic way of talking to people would draw them all to his side.
It was time for Vader to make himself scare and to bring about the start of the Clone Wars...but with a twist!
"The Force is with us Lord Vader. The war has begun as you have foreseen," said Dooku after he got out of his personal solar sail ship.
"Excellent. We have drawn first blood with our actions. While Geonosis is lost for now as was expected, it does not mean we will abandon the planet or its people. The fact Poggle the Lesser made sure his people buried themselves deep underground prior to the attack while the droids did all the fighting will only work to our advantage in the future with them," said Vader while he walked with the Count to a nearby balcony with HK-47 waiting for them.
"Statement: The populace below are waiting for your announcement Count Dooku. We are also ready to broadcast Galaxy wide. I would recommend being as charismatic as possible. Nothing sells patriotism from subordinates like a meat bag with charisma," said HK-47 while Dooku gave him a small scowl before walking forward to the podium that had been arranged for this moment.
Dooku thought Raxus would be an idea spot for his speech, but Vader felt if he was going to address the Galaxy, it should be done on his home world to show everyone that all of Serenno was with him. Doing it on another world and having to hijack and slice into the Republic's communication system in that area said otherwise. It would make Dooku look like a terrorist forming his own revolutionary government that acted through questionable means over the very ideals he preached.
Hence why the Count giving the speech here would make people throughout the Galaxy think otherwise.
"It is an honor to stand before you, for you represent the freedom and the future of our galaxy. The once-great Republic and Jedi Order have become victims of their own ambitions, and the Supreme Chancellor is no more than a pawn of corporate monopolies. As a people you called out for change, you called out for leadership, and I humbly answered that call. Together we challenged the system. We asked for equality. And how were we met? With war! The Jedi secret army of clones was revealed, and their treachery was far greater than we could have imagined! Countless living beings—these clones the Jedi created—have been sent to their deaths, while we sacrifice mainly droids. Our soldiers of flesh and blood are willing participants! They are your fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, who fight not because they were grown and designed to do so, but because they know in their hearts that they are fighting for a just and noble cause!" stated Dooku with the people below him going into a frenzy along with the people on other worlds that supported the Separatists movement.
They heard the passion, the conviction, and belief in his words with Holo-images of the Republic's actions in various policies throughout the Galaxy causing more harm than good. The poor suffering from the lack of food, clothing, and homes on Republic worlds while those Senators who represent these planets are seen living a life of luxury. Each Senator from these words was shown laughing while sitting in comfy chairs, eating the finest food, drinking expensive drinks, and even some indulging in rather...questionable activities/vices not truly meant to be seen by the public eyes of the Galaxy.
"How many times will the corruption in the Senate be ignored? The Supreme Chancellor claims to be in control of the Senate. But is he truly in control? His predecessor, Supreme Chancellor Valorum was once under the thumb of these very bureaucrats. Who is to say he is not in the same position? Who is to say these corrupt Senators only elected him so to use his position for their own selfish ends? How many more times must the people as a whole within the Galaxy suffer so the few at the top can enjoy the spoils created by this suffering? How much longer must we endure seeing the ignorance of the Jedi Order and their constant bowing to the whims of a corrupt Senate? How much longer must we and the entire Galaxy let stagnation and corruption run amuck? Fight for change! Fight for freedom! Stand up! Stand up people of the Galaxy! Stand up and fight! Stand up and say 'No more!'" exclaimed Count Dooku with while sensing the people of his home world and throughout the Galaxy going into a frenzy over his speech.
"Amusing Statement: Say what you will about this particular meat bag, he knows how to inspire a crowd," said HK-47 while observing the scene around him.
"That's the idea HK. The Confederacy has risen. The droid army is ready. Our Generals are ready. The Republic has their clone army and soon to be Jedi Generals. The Clone Wars has begun," said Vader while watching Dooku bask in the light of the support the people loyal to the Confederacy cheered on its Chief-of-State.
"Additional Comment: On an unrelated note Master, I have the secret recording you asked me to obtain on Naboo. Query: Is there some significance to this recording that is important Master?" asked HK-47 before handing the device over to Vader.
When the Sith Lord activated the device, it revealed the recording HK had provided him of a special moment in time.
The wedding of Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala. The two saying their sacred vows, expressing their love before the Nubian priest performing the ceremony, and the kiss the two lovers shared. The witnesses to this event were two droids, Anakin's Mother Shimi Skywalker, and to Vader's slight surprise...Jedi Master Qui-gon Jinn.
Of course he would be there. Unlike with Obi-wan in the alternative timeline, Anakin was more open with Qui-gon, and the kind Jedi Master did not frown upon the idea of his apprentice marrying Padme. He wanted his student to be happy. To know the joys of life and give Anakin a reason to put all his efforts into protecting the Galaxy.
Vader knew if Obi-wan learned of this, the fool would have either told the Jedi Council, tried to crash/cancel the wedding, or both if time allowed. The always "follow the rules" and "by the book" Jedi Knight never did know when rules had to be broken or changed with the times. The Jedi Order never allowing its members to know attachments. Bah! Attachments to places and people gave people purpose. Without it, a person doesn't put their full effort into life, and can only fight for with minimum effort. Anakin Skywalker, Hero of the Clone Wars fought with a purpose everyday, getting stronger and stronger with each battle because he fought with a purpose.
The Jedi Order as a whole never did that. Not since before the Ruusan Formation. They felt love and attachments were paths to the Dark Side. And to some degree, it was true. Case in point with Vader when he was Anakin Skywalker and his love for Padme turned him into the notorious Sith Lord of legend. At the same time, love could bring out the light in a person filled with darkness, and turn them from being a Sith. Again, case in point was once again Darth Vader with saving his son from the Emperor when the foul monster tried to kill Luke with Force Lightning.
In truth, love was a path that could lead to darkness or light. It was all how one walked the path and which way there were headed.
As for Darth Vader himself, his mind wondered for a short time while watching the recording until it ended before repeating it over and over again.
Until finally he stopped.
"Query: Master, if this recording upsets you, I would suggest crushing it into tiny pieces," said HK-47 while Vader looked at confusion.
"Why would you suggest that HK?" asked Vader curiously.
"Concerned Statement: Master you may not realize this, but you are currently leaking water from your eyes right now. I believe the term is crying," answered HK-47 with Vader raising a hand to his face and felt the tears were in fact coming from his eyes.
"So it would appear. No matter. The crying is not from pain or sadness HK. They are tears...of joy!" stated Vader while HK tiled his head in confusion.
"Query: I do not understand Master. Why are you crying tears of joy?" asked HK-47 with a hint of curiosity.
"Personal reason HK. Persona reasons," replied Vader before he pocketed the recording and walked away.
All was going according to plan.
The clone army led by the Jedi attacked Geonosis. Broadcast in secret to the Galaxy as an unprovoked invasion by the Republic. All to rescue a single Jedi, who was trespassing on a world he did not have clearance to be on! The Senator of Naboo, Padme Amidala, with her Jedi bodyguards Qui-gon Jinn, and Anakin Skywalker had arrived prior to the attack. Hoping to use diplomacy before violence to erupt only for the Republic to show its true colors in attacking before any diplomacy could take place.
Vader made sure that unlike last time, Dooku was talking to Padme in the very meeting room he did the other Separatist leaders. The gladiatorial arena of Geonosis was hardly a place for talking peace after all. They had barely finished talking about freeing Obi-wan and moving onto larger matters when the clone army attacked the planet. Thus making it seem as if the Republic was out for blood and was not the civil government the Senator believed in.
It seems the Republic is more eager to strike down the Confederacy than I first thought my old Padawan. Barely born and already it is being targeted by those fearful of change. Not only unlike your Padawan and how the Jedi Order as a whole fears him for the same reason. I understand young Skywalker believes change is needed for the Jedi to survive and even an ancient prophecy surrounds him. It should be interesting to see how that unfolds in the future that is to come.
Those had been Dooku's words to Qui-gon while Geonosis was being attacked outside by the Republic's troops. Padme had denied it being a trap outright and wanted to find a way to continue negotiations despite what was happening. But Dooku had refused since it was no longer the time nor place to have potential peace talks.
One cannot talk of peace when a weapon is being pointed at the throat by the other side with the intent to thrust it into the vital area. You wished to speak to me of peace and to prevent war Senator and that is commendable. However, those you apparently speak on behalf of at the moment do not share your vision. They seek blood, death, and violence on a Galactic scale. Did my actions have a part in it? Perhaps to a degree. However, the issues with the Republic and the corruption in it has been festering like an unclean and filthy wound. Becoming putrid. Filled with a foul puss that leaves an even fouler stench so horrifying it creates the desire to wretch and gag. That is the depths of the corruption in the Republic my dear Senator. If the Republic were a garden, you would be a rare moon flower shining with a light few dare to look at or have the courage to be near. A rare flower surround by weeds, filth, garbage and other foul things that would seek to make you wilt and die. I offer you a chance to join the Confederacy young Senator. For your world to have a clean fresh start. You don't have to make a decision now, given our current situation, but at least think about it.
Those had been the Count's words to Padme before he left the room with his Geonosian bodyguards while Padme left with her Jedi escort to the landing pad they had docked. The Nubian ship barely escaping the bombardment and only communication with the Republic warships above prevented them from being shot down.
From his quarters on Serenno provided by the generous Count, Vader watched the news showing the broadcast of the Supreme Chancellor watching the new Grand Army of the Republic being deployed. The gentle caring smile he showed, hiding the true smile that was behind it. A sinister and evil smile that relished the war the Galaxy was about to suffer in the next few years. Beside him, Bail Organa looked on with worry, and fear for what this sudden war will do to the Galaxy.
Vader knew. He knew all too well.
The Clone Wars will be bloody and brutal. Not as it was in the alternative timeline, but still bloody all the same. Vader would ensure Sidious was exposed, the war eventually united the Galaxy to a brand new Republic, and help his Jedi counterpart be the man he was always meant to be in life.
It was time to set things in motion to bring balance to the Force.
(A/N: YAY! Another update. Hope you like it. Took some doing. Tired from work and other things keeps the time to write stuff at bay. So be patient with me in my writing my fics. Until next time...PEACE!)