Author's Note: I think I need to explain things a little. I hate unfinished stories! I hate them even more when they're mine! So I decided to just finish this guy once and for all. The last chapters are already written and being edited. They should be up tomorrow.

If you read this story before you may need to re-read the first chapters, not only because it's been a looooong time since it was last updated, but also because I moved some scenes around for continuity reasons.

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars, or its characters, and I am unfortunately not making any money out of this story. The real reward is the feedback. g


This story takes place within the time frame of the Clone Wars cartoon series. The first chapter occurs after the scene between the Jedi and Palpatine in the Chancellor's office.

Chapter 1, In The Presence of All Gathered Here

Senate Rotunda

The meeting concluded, equally satisfactorily and unsatisfactorily for all the parties involved, the three Jedi took their leave from the Chancellor and exited the spacious offices.

The Sith Lord kept an eye on their passage through the Senate building long after the sliding panels had shut them from his physical view.

The young Jedi Master took the lead, his steps deliberate and graceful and his thoughts consumed with strong feelings of misgiving. His Padawan learner strolled lightly a half-step behind him, his head in the clouds and his feet almost walking on them. He was not oblivious to his Master's despondency but he was determined to ignore them. The last of the trio, a diminutive, ancient Jedi Councilor, floated with dignity on his hover-couch and observed to two in front of him, pensively.

The journey from Senate building to Jedi Temple was taken on foot. The network of walkways and automated crossings for pedestrians in the city planet connected the dual seats of power in a single straight path. The silence of the journey was broken only once when at the approach of the Senate doors, the young Padawan dropped out of his euphoric state to ask his Masters of a mundane request.

"May I use this opportunity to pay a short visit to Senator Amidala?" The request was made with the utmost politeness and casualness.

The young Master paused in mid-step and faced his Padawan. "Is the Senator expecting you, Anakin?"

"No," replied the apprentice, still casual. "But when I left her in Naboo she insisted that I could see her whenever the opportunity availed itself."

"Was there a purpose behind the invitation, Anakin?" the Councilor's hover chair came to float between the two men so he could observe the conversation more attentively.

"N… not particularly, Master," the apprentice replied, his façade shaking a bit under the scrutiny.

"Then, I'm sure she will not be disappointed if you pass up this opportunity until the next one," said the Master firmly.

The turbo-lifts opened and he stepped inside, the hover chair floated in right behind him. He was about to operate the down lever when he realized that his apprentice was still standing just outside the lift.

The apprentice's mental shields were up and the expression on his face closed. He was as blank as a drawing board and the Master felt a strange revulsion rise up in him against his apprentice.

"Anakin?" he asked sharply.

The Padawan looked at his Master a moment longer with shuttered eyes. Then obediently, he stepped into the lift.

The Sith Master smiled in the privacy of his chambers, a wide shark-like smile that was utterly incongruous with the façade of the Chancellor. He COM's his aide and gave some specific instructions, instructions that would further instigate the events that he had just set in motion. Then he returned to his desk and went back to the grueling task of conducting both sides of a galactic civil war.