Title: Strength over fear

Author: ewan's girl

Disclaimer: I once again do not own any of the fabulous characters of Star Wars.

Summary: A man's choices can affect those around him. . .a Jedi's choices can affect the entire order. . .a general's choices can affect the entire galaxy.

Author's note: This is a WIP, I don't know if it will be any good, but once again the idea won't leave me alone. I to be honest don't know where this story will take me so I hope you all bear with me. This is a Clone War story, but it also spans into Anakin's turn and the siege at the Temple. It is a prequel to "The Purge" and yes it does have some romance, but lots of action as well. It's rated R due to some graphic and gritty scenes eventually, but they wouldn't let me post it as a rated R so I'll try to keep it PG-13. Hope you enjoy it.

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Chapter 1:

He slumped down to the mud, he leaned back against the leg of one of the massive walkers of the Republic army. He felt the cool metal against his feverish skin. Even though the planet was continually raining and cold he couldn't shake the heat radiating off his body. He then deactivated his light saber and enjoyed a moment of peace.

'Peace?' Anakn thought to himself as blaster fire sounded in the distance. 'How is this peaceful?' He closed his eyes and imagined he was back on his favorite place in the entire galaxy. He imagined walking onto the beautiful balcony overlooking the lush plant life and lake of Naboo. He then imagined his beautiful wife placing her arms around his shoulders. He remembered the last time they were together, he drank in the sight of her, the smell of her, he carried her always. His vision of her was perfect, her long brunette curls falling around her porcelain face, the sunrise behind her giving her an angelic glow.

"Anakin?" He heard a very familiar accented voice bringing him back to his reality, back to the sights and sounds of war. "Padawan?"

He slowly opened one eye. "Master?" He asked.

Obi Wan frowned, he looked at his charge with concern. He and Anakin have been fighting on the front lines of the war for almost a year now, and the boy was showing signs of great fatigue. If he hadn't been by his side Obi Wan probably wouldn't recognize Anakin, for the young man seemed to grow substantially in the span of a year, his blonde hair growing out almost past his shoulders. He also despite the usual weariness he's seen on his apprentice lately he noticed his apprentice seemed ill.

He placed a cool hand to the boy's brow. "Are you alright my apprentice?" He asked in almost a fatherly tone.

"Yes master, I just feel warm." The padawan tried to rise to his feet, he hated his master to see him as nothing but perfection.

"Padawan." Obi Wan placed his hands on both of the younger man's shoulders and forced him to stay on the ground. "I think you have a fever." His voice etched with exhaustion and concern. "We need to get you back to base."

Anakin was about to protest when he felt extremely sick and weak. He slowly nodded. "Yes master." He agreed.

Obi Wan was always surprised when Anakin agreed with him right away. 'He must be sick.' He then placed one of his apprentice's arms over his shoulders and began to help him back to a transport. He found himself very worried about the young man, because the confederacy had designed a chemical weapon that caused humans to become very sick. It was a devastating weapon against the clones. He knew he and Anakin had been exposed to it, but he thought with the force they could shield themselves from it's effects, obviously he was wrong. 'Maybe it's something else completely' he hoped.

As he loaded his apprentice into the back of a speeder he noticed the boy seemed to have fallen asleep. This worried him more, but he tried to push his personal feelings aside. He took off his cloak and draped it over his apprentice's sleeping form. He then heard footsteps coming towards him in the mud. He turned and saw a cloaked figure running towards him.

"Obi Wan!" A woman's voice called out to him. He stopped and waited for her to catch up to him. He could make out her face from under the hood and he gave her a quick smile. It had been a while since he and Anakin had seen any other signs of Jedi, now he was standing in the presence of one of his best friends. "General Kenobi." The slender Jedi bowed when she reached him, although he knew how hard it was for her to do so.

"Master Tachi." Obi Wan in turn bowed to her. "To what honor do I hold for your company?" He asked with a warm smile.

"The council sent my troops and I as reinforcements." She said, then the two friends clasped hands. She then noticed he was standing in the rain without a cloak. "Was I interrupting anything?"

Obi Wan looked back at his speeder. "Anakin has fallen very ill, I need to take him back to base." He stated, moving a piece of soaked ginger hair out of his eyes.

Siri nodded. "Very well General." She stated. "What are your orders?"

He knew this was killing her inside, taking orders from him. Under normal circumstances he'd enjoy an opportunity such as this. "The Confederacy has developed a chemical weapon that could wipe out the entire clone army." He explained to her. "It targets humans the most, but does have effects on most living beings." She nodded in understanding. "I was about to take a team out to try to infiltrate the Confederacy's base and locate an antidote." He rubbed the back of his neck as he talked. "I'm afraid I'm needed elsewhere right now."

"I can lead the team if you wish." Siri picked up on what he was implying. 'Leave it to Obi Wan to not come right out and ask.'

"Thank you Siri." He said with a long sigh. He looked into her eyes and noticed how strangely beautiful she as always was, but also noticed how much the stress of the war was weighing on her, almost aging her prematurely. He wondered how bad he looked. He then took her into a warm embrace. "It's good to see you again."

She hugged him back. "It's been a long time old friend." She commented to him and then released him. She looked at him in his tired eyes. "I've got things under control, now go take care of your boy." She said with a warm smile.

He nodded and headed back to his speeder. She watched as his transport grew smaller and smaller as the distance grew between them. She drew her cloak around her and headed back to her troops. "let's move." She commanded one of the clones.

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Obi Wan put the medical mask over his mouth as he entered the room. It was a quarantined room kept separate from the rest of the medical facility. It housed the many soldiers that had succumbed to the deadly chemical weapon. Obi Wan knew he had already been exposed to the illness, but the healers insisted on him wearing the mask anyways.

He walked to one of the cots and placed his hand on the forehead of his apprentice. It pained him to see Anakin so weak, it always made him look younger than he really was. As the Jedi master had feared Anakin had fallen victim to the chemical induced illness. He now hoped that Siri would return swiftly with the antidote.

Obi Wan tried to use some of his force energy to help the young man fight off the invasion in his system, but he was not a healer. Anakin's eyelids fluttered as he regained consciousness. Obi Wan smiled, then remembered he was wearing the mask.

"Master?" Anakin asked weakly. Obi Wan tried to quiet him. Anakin looked up at his master wearing the medical mask and immediately knew he was very ill. "The weapon?" He asked, his voice trembling.

Obi Wan nodded, he moved long strands of sweat soaked blonde hair off the boys forehead. "Rest now my young apprentice." He quietly commanded.

Anakin closed his eyes, then quickly returned his gaze to the older man. "How come I was infected and you weren't?" He asked almost appalled.

Obi Wan avoided his gaze before he answered. "I used the force to fight the infection." He calmly explained.

"So did I." Anakin explained. "So why. . ."

"Anakin, do not focus on whys, just focus on fighting the illness now." He said in a tone that took the boy back to the time when he was only 9 years old.

Anakin looked around the room, he noticed he was the only non clone sick in the room, he felt very ashamed. "I don't want to be here." He stated in a soft yet stern tone to his master. "Don't leave me in this room."

Obi Wan sighed and stared at his padawan. "I will be right here padawan, now rest." He then put his hand on the boy's shoulder and gave him a sleep suggestion. He thanked the force that Anakin let it work.

"General Kenobi?" He turned his attention to the door and noticed a clone trooper standing in full armor just inside.

"Yes Alpha?" He asked with a sigh.

"Your presence is required in the communications tent." The clone officer explained.

"Not right now." Obi Wan stated with some anger in his voice, he didn't want to leave his apprentice's side. He then remembered his duty as general now took precedence over his role as master (although not in his mind). "I'm sorry Alpha, I'll right there." He said after a moment. He ran a hand through his sleeping apprentice's hair one more time, and made sure he gave Anakin a very strong sleep suggestion before exiting the room.

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Siri peered over the rock she was hiding behind. She pulled her binoculars from her survival pack and stared through them. Two clone officers crouch beside her and her apprentice Ferus Olin.

"Well we've found the base." She whispered to her apprentice who nodded. 'So now what?' She thought to herself. She looked at her companions and knew they were waiting for her to command them. "Captain, tell the troops to get into position and await my command." She said and the two clones headed back to the other troops just down the hill. She then turned to her apprentice.

"What now master?" Ferus asked her, trying to keep his usual mask of calm. He knew this was a suicide mission.

Siri put a hand on his shoulder. "I need you to lead the troops into battle my apprentice." She said after a moment. "I need you to create a distraction." She noticed her apprentice was giving her a very curious look. "Do not be careless with any lives of you or the troops, just enough of a distraction for me to get in."

"You're going in alone?" Ferus asked, although not very surprised. Siri nodded. "Let me go with you master." Ferus almost begged.

"Ferus I need you to command the troops." She shook her head as she spoke. "The Republic needs this antidote, but I will not risk you or any more troops to get it if I can help it."

"But master. . ."

"Padawan, do as I say." Siri commanded and Ferus nodded. They clasped hands for a moment before heading separate ways. "May the force be with you." She said as she watched her apprentice head towards the awaiting troops. She then took off her survival pack and waited for her distraction.

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Obi Wan pulled his hood over his head as he stepped out of the medical tent. 'Doesn't it ever stop raining on this force forsaken planet?' He asked himself as he headed across the compound to the communications tent.

He ducked into the large tent and noticed the various clones and other beings working the many computers and communications. He was greeted by majority of the people standing and saying "General Kenobi." He raised a hand as if to tell them to not bother. He still wasn't use to his title and the respect that came with it.

He found Alpha standing in front of one of the communication station. "What news Captain?" Obi Wan asked when as he drew closer to him.

The lead clone turned towards the Jedi. "General Kenobi, the Chancellor wishes to speak with you." He answered.

Obi Wan sighed an annoyed sigh and rolled his eyes. He didn't have the patience to deal with politicians, let alone Palpatine. "Put him through." He commanded after he composed himself.

The holographic image of the smiling Chancellor appeared in front of the Jedi Master. Obi Wan bowed to him. "Yes Chancellor?" He asked after a moment.

"Ah General Kenobi, I'm very glad to see you." Palpatine seemed to ooze fake politeness. "I had heard that many have fallen victim to the Confederacy's new weapon. And since I hadn't heard from you in several weeks I feared the worst."

Obi Wan stared at the image for a moment. "Yes your Excellency, many have fallen victim." He closed his eyes and thought about Anakin. "We are in search for the antidote." He paused for a moment. "As we speak a special team is in the process of infiltrating the Confederacy's base to retrieve it." He thought for a moment. "They should return soon, they have been gone about 4 days now." He suddenly realized it had been that long since he sent Siri on her mission.

"Good, very good General." Papatine smiled. "As always the Republic is luckily to have you."

'Get over yourself.' Obi Wan thought to himself. "Thank you Chancellor." He said out loud.

"General Kenobi." A soaking wet healer caught his attention, he suddenly was fearful for his apprentice.

"Chancellor I need to go." He stated and cut off the transmission before Palpatine finished agreeing. He faced the healer. "Yes?" He asked, his concern evident on his voice.

"General they brought in an injured Jedi, his name if Ferus. . ."

"Ferus Olin?" Obi Wan asked, cutting off the healer.

"Yes General. He keeps insisting on speaking with you, we can't get him to calm down to attend to his wounds, if you could please. . ." She explained.

"Lead the way." He followed the healer back to the medical tent.

He entered the emergency section of the tent and walked up to a young man laying on one of the tables. Obi Wan noticed how much the young man had grown, just like Anakin had. Ferus had dark hair with gold streaks through it, he had managed to somehow keep it in the cut of a padawan learner, unlike Anakin. He placed a hand on the apprentice's forehead.

"Padawan Olin?" He asked.

"General Kenobi." Ferus tried not to groan in pain.

"Easy." Obi Wan commanded, and noticed the blaster wound in his leg. "What happened Padawan?"

Ferus stared up at the older Jedi. "We tried to create a distraction for Master Tachi, so she could infiltrate their base, but they knew we were coming." He groaned. Obi Wan felt his body tense. "We were ambushed."

Obi Wan watched as the healers stuck a needle in his arm to give him pain medicine. Ferus almost immediately began to feel drowsy. "What happened to Master Tachi?" Obi Wan asked.

"They captured her." He said, trying to keep from falling asleep. "I saw them take her to a transport. She was hurt badly." He grabbed his leg in pain. "I tried to go after her, but I was shot." He said in defeat. He then looked up into Obi Wan's eyes. "I'm sorry Master." He stated as he slipped into a deep sleep.

Obi Wan rose to his feet and stared at the young Jedi. He felt his heart sink at the news. He knew that the Separatists didn't treat their prisoners of war very well. He found himself pacing outside of the room where Anakin laid. His mind was racing. He looked through the window at his sick apprentice and sighed. 'It should've been me.' He thought to himself. 'I shouldn't have let personal feelings get in the way of my duty.' He hung his head. 'And now who knows what they're doing to her because of me.' He stole another glance at his padawan before walking into the rain.

He walked back to the communications tent. "Captain!" He called into the tent, ignoring the other soldiers standing up when he entered the tent. "Get me the Jedi Council."

TBC