Part Two: Thunder In The Sky
The assault on Coruscant started so suddenly that its' people just stopped in their tracks and stared straight up into the sky. Streaks of murderous lighting shot down from the heavens and obliterated entire buildings, shattering walkways and destroying lives. Coruscant descended into chaos as the stars fell form grace and the enemy plunged down through the atmosphere.
Onboard, perched above the reaching towers of the city-planet, he waited. Right now, Separatist troops, led by that monstrosity Grievous, were breaking into the offices of the Chancellor and capturing the leader of the entire galaxy. There were only two people who knew that Chancellor Palpatine, defender of the Republic, was also Darth Sidious, destroyer of democracy. Secrecy cloaked the man like a second skin, and treachery ran so deep in him that it consumed him entirely, inside and out.
In reality, the assault on Coruscant had begun a long, long time ago.
And still, he waited. He waited, and watched, as the fires in the skies burned all the more brighter, and as the Jedi fighters and Republic cruisers emerged from the atmosphere, rising up to help defend their world, their base, their existence. He waited until the elevator behind him opened, and a man bearing the face that had so often graced the HoloNet entered. He bowed to him, silently, low and respectfully.
"Rise, my friend." said the man, the Chancellor, the dark lord of the Sith.
He got to his feet, and strode over to his Master. "How goes the plan, my lord?"
The kindly old features twisted upwards into a calculating grin. "Well, my apprentice. Coruscant never saw it coming. I expect that everything will now fall into place." They walked back over to the viewport, looking out into the battle that they had created.
"And Skywalker?" he asked, even as he shivered at the thought of the young Jedi's companion.
The grin spread, malicious now. "I expect, in no more that a few minutes, he will burst through that shaft." Together, they both turned and faced the elevator entrance to the hall, as if Skywalker would enter on cue.
"Quickly- I can feel him approach. We must prepare the illusion."
And as he locked the second wrist of the shackles, there was a commotion at the shaft door, and in a brilliant flash of light, two tall figures strode out from the smoke, lightsabres glowing in the near night of the chamber.
Sidious became the shell Palpatine in an instant. "Please, Anakin! Help!" Artificial fright and pain ran through the words, and he almost laughed. For some strange reason, moon moths fluttered in his stomach as the two Jedi approached. At his elbow, he heard his master mutter: "Forget the past, my apprentice..."
Anakin and his master came ever closer, and the time had come. The Sith apprentice moved into the faint light, and was illuminated.
Skywalker's face creased in disbelief, and the man beside him gaped in shock. "Not possible..." he whispered, in that deep tenor that had for so long been a relic of the past. Air caught in the older man's chest. "My Padawan..."
And it was twelve years ago all over again, and it was the betrayal of everything, as the energy shields activated, and he was sliding, sliding on the floor, trying to get to his master in time. Watching all over again as the slaughtered Zabrak apprentice tumbled to a fiery end, plunging to the bottom of the generator shaft. Crying, as he poured everything he had into saving his master, and succeeding.
Succeeding, however, only to be tossed away, neglected and forgotten in order to train the 'Chosen One.' Anakin Skywalker. The Hero With No Fear. The future of the Jedi, of the galaxy. And he, the former Padawan, was cast aside, as he faded in the background and became nothing but a ghost in memory.
His heart skipped a beat as he stared into Qui-Gon Jinn's eyes. His former master barely restrained a gasp, as the green flame of his lightsaber wavered before him.
"Obi-Wan...?" he said, barely audible.
The man who had once been Obi-Wan Kenobi straightened his stance and pushed all of his feelings aside. "Obi-Wan Kenobi is dead. I am Darth Stygian." he stated, features like solid ice, cold in the emptiness of space.
At the Jedi Master's side, Anakin tensed, readying for battle. He remembered Obi-Wan, as just a young Padawan on the cusp of Knighthood. He could recall the moment where Qui-Gon had told him that he was taking Anakin as his Padawan, and he could still see the look of utter betrayal and sadness inside the younger man's vibrant blue eyes.
Eyes that were now no longer the colour of the seas, but a dark gray, misty and menacing.
From behind Darth Stygian, the Chancellor squirmed against his bindings, and cried out for help to his friend and pupil, Anakin Skywalker. "Anakin! Please- he will kill me!" Palpatine's eyes were reaching out to the Chosen One, pleading. Padawan Skywalker moved forward, and extended his lightsaber, bringing it within an inch of the Sith apprentice's face.
Any connection, any tie to the past was swept away, and the former Jedi activated his crimson blade, bringing it up to meet the blue one in mid-air. Words and emotions fell away. The two began to dance, fighting and battling and striking each other with everything they had.
It took Qui-Gon a moment more to recover, but he quickly moved his emerald blade and rushed forward to release the Chancellor before Obi-Wan could notice. He reached out into the Force-
And was thrown backwards as Obi-Wan blasted him with a wave of dark energy, knocking him over onto the floor. The Jedi master rebounded upwards onto his feet, only to find a red weapon very close to his throat. The wielder was silent, staring. In the background, Qui-Gon could see Anakin, immobile on the floor.
"Don't do this, Obi-Wan." he whispered, barely speaking.
Two gray eyes burned an alien yellow. "Obi-Wan is dead, Jedi."
"No." The blade was still so very close to him, stinging his skin as it vibrated back and forth, ever so slightly.
His former Padawan leant in close to him, once familiar features aged with time. "You killed him. On Naboo. You betrayed him." There was electric anger in the air between them, as Qui-Gon realized that maybe, maybe the boy he had once knew was still in there, hidden deep underneath. His Obi-Wan.
"Help us stop this. Help us save the Republic."
The Sith apprentice wavered, and in that second, something changed. He ignored it, pushing it to the back of his mind.
And yet, the infernal Jedi pressed on. "I don't know who you are, but I know who you used to be. You were once Obi-Wan Kenobi, my apprentice. My Padawan. My son." Qui-Gon's eyes bored deep into the Sith's heart.
"I..." The younger man had nothing to say. Wasn't this what he had wanted, deep down inside of himself?
"Obi-Wan." Qui-Gon said, simply.
And someone else answered, pulled from the depths. "Master." Obi-Wan was there, at least in part; the Sith had disappeared and the Jedi had returned. He reached out a hand slowly, reaching out for his Master.
And then, suddenly, there was a flash of movement, and the snap-hiss of a lightsaber coming to life. Obi-Wan's eyes were lit up from within, and their cerulean blue shone right through. He fell forwards into Qui-Gon's arms, as the two tumbled to the ground.
A voice could be heard from near the viewport: "Good, Anakin!"
Qui-Gon looked up in disbelief and horror to see his current apprentice above him, ice shaded blade held high. There was a foreign emotion on the young man's features, a eerie gleam in his eyes.
"Anakin..." he breathed, even as he looked down at the man dying in his arms.
"I- he was a Sith..." the Jedi apprentice stuttered, the gleam gone and guilt creeping up upon him.
But Qui-Gon wasn't listening. He gazed down onto the face of someone he had once known, and suddenly the features were blurring and then becoming clear, becoming the young and innocent Obi-Wan he had once known.
Tears were streaming down his face, but he ignored them. "My Padawan, my Obi-Wan... I am sorry. Sorry for everything."
The ship shuddered beneath them, and in the background, Anakin released the Chancellor from his bindings and motioned to Qui-Gon that they had to leave. The Jedi Master pretended not to notice.
Obi-Wan Kenobi shuddered from the sudden cold that had enveloped him, and peered up through a fading vision to his Master's face. He smiled, deeply and happily.
"I forgive you."
And he was gone, as the ship began to fall, gravity failing and starting its' plummet towards the city-planet below. Qui-Gon rose, scarcely breathing. Anakin grabbed his sleeve and pulled him along, towards the elevator shaft, away from the body of the man who should have been the galaxy's hope.
"Goodbye, Padawan." he said to the air, before entering the shaft.
And then he was gone, and the empty shell of Obi-Wan Kenobi was alone forever.