Author's Notes: Wipes sweat from brow. I'm so glad I've got some readers left. Have I mentioned how sorry I am for not updating sooner? It deserved a third and fourth and possibly fifth repetition. Thank you all for the feedback. Yes, Amy, this is my other hobby.
QueenMeep, I've read a few of your stories. Very hot.
Zevrillion, Hailey Elizabeth, SOUNDOFTHUNDER, penpadme and Padme52: Thanks for the kind words. And Melmarett, welcome to my crazy world.
Goofycaffinatedguru, I managed to fight my way back to the light and I hope to finally be on my way to completing this story as I originally intended.
DarthGladiator45, I do have a hard time not leaving off on a cliffhanger, thanks for hanging in there. Naberrie Skyler, thanks for the comments. I had no intention of abandoning this fic, unfortunately, before yesterday; my attention had been wholly elsewhere. Shhh… Amy, be quiet!
Jedi X-man Sarena Kenobi, I did kind of get very excited about Superman Returns. Thanks for keeping up with this story as well. And you're welcome Li-LiThePinkbookgirl. Stefymoon, I'm glad this wasn't forgotten. Thanks for the feedback,
Chapter 19 - Dangerous
Father, I won't leave you. The young man's last words snapped Anakin back into consciousness as a surge of energy filled his veins and a new wave of power awakened.
Anakin's eyes opened and his heartbeat fell to a steady rhythm as his body absorbed the electrical shock, molding its pain with his own and turning it into nothing. His eyes, neither true blue nor red fixed its gaze at the ceiling, the colors swirling together in unnatural mixture in the center of his irises. While his future remained uncertain, his mind has never been clearer.
"What is this?" Sidious hissed, noting the change in Vader.
A nearby droid scanned the prisoner's vital signs but was only left confused by the readouts. Everything was off the charts, yet Vader remained completely stable.
Then Sidious felt a change in the Force he couldn't describe. It was subtle at first, but then it slowly grew. The area around him began to cackle with static electricity. The air grew stale, drying the insides of his mouth. Sidious gazed at his hand and saw the energy around it diminishing.
Something was terribly wrong.
He turned his attention back to his former apprentice, his body battered and bruised to the point of death, and the metal bracelets that kept him restrained. Vader remained completely still; the lack of movement troubled Sidious greatly.
With his dark powers acting differently, a split second decision made Sidious cross the distance between him and Vader. He removed and activated his red lightsaber, the one weapon he always kept hidden beneath his cloak. This was the final moment; Sidious was going to kill Vader once and for all.
He swung his lightsaber between Vader's chin and shoulders with every intention of severing his head, but something unexpected happened that caught Sidious completely off guard.
"This is not possible," Sidious declared, his words oozing with confusion.
His weapon stopped cold just a few inches above Vader's face, the power in his grip doing nothing to finish the job. Sidious stared in bafflement while Vader did absolutely nothing.
Out of reflex, Sidious used his other arm to call the weapon he held with his first. In another attempt to kill Vader, he swung down once again when suddenly, Anakin's lifted his hand and grabbed Sidious's wrist before he could make contact. Sidious looked down, Vader's metal restraint broken in halves.
Anakin's eyes bore into Sidious as his other restrained arm broke through. Without even touching him, he threw Sidious across the room, pinning him against the machines that created the four walls encasing them.
Sidious countered by attacking him with Force lighting, but Anakin simply let it take him as if he was a solar panel absorbing the sun's ray.
Sidious's eyes widen as an unexpected realization came crashing down on him.
Padme bolted awake. Her fourth restless night after their escape from Sidious left her continuously in a perpetual state of unease. Too many things and events monopolized her mind that the simple act of sleeping became a hazardous chore for her mental stability.
Instead, she would walk around the ship that carried her and her fellow rebels. After initially spending so much time as Palpatine's, and consequently, Anakin's prisoner, enclosed spaces make her feel uneasy. At least out here, in space and away from the Empire's reign, she felt a certain amount of freedom.
"Senator," a soft voice speaks out from around the dim lit corner.
Padme returned the sound with a weak smile. "I'm not longer a Senator, Master Jedi." When she looked out into the wide open blackness of space, she could see Obi-Wan Kenobi's reflection on the glass. "Couldn't sleep?"
Obi-Wan nodded. "Master Yoda and I sensed a great disturbance in the Force. He's been meditating on it privately. I, on the other hand, feel completely useless."
"I am confidently that you've done everything you can."
"You're worried about him?" Obi-Wan asked, changing to a topic that weighed heavily on both their minds.
Padme sighed. The inevitable conversation has finally arrived. "I'm long past trying to figure things out. Even when my mind believes one thing and my feelings another. I may never forget the injustices that Anakin committed as Vader, but I can't help but…"
"Care," Obi-Wan completed, understanding the former Senator completely.
"Am I wrong?" Padme asked, desperate for the answers to be given to her. The need to forgive him and start over as people and not as pawns overpowered her.
"No," Obi-Wan said. "I dare say you're not."
A few hours later, the rebels receive an incoming transmission from Bail Organa of Alderaan. Endless holo pictures graced passed their eyes one after another the sight of Palpatine's main space craft littered the cold space in disarray. Broken engines, droid pieces, shattered windows and machinery floated on by. What was once Palpatine's ship to use as he pleased; was now a derelict, dead in space.
In the communication console, Bail's voice spoke through.
"After checking the wreckage, we discovered no survivors." Tears threatened to fall from Padme's eyes but years as a politician forced her not to. "We investigated the site, and it appeared that the ship exploded from the inside. Cause of it remains unknown."
"Do you have any theories to what may have caused it?" Obi-Wan asked while Master Yoda and Padme listened quietly.
"From what we can discover, the explosion was massive. A lot more powerful than even an assault ship like this can create. Whatever caused it created so much electricity that it turned the entire ship into one big electrical conduit, burning everything and everyone inside."
"Are there any bodies?" Padme swallowed hard after she said those words.
Bail hesitated but only for a moment.
Obi-Wan and Padme inhaled deeply; dread filling the pit of their stomachs.
Bail sent them another holo picture and the reaction of the three pair of eyes that saw it was one of complete shock. Obi-Wan's mouth hung open. Padme's eyes grew wide. Only Master Yoda looked at the photo with calmly withheld indifference.
In one of the torn compartments floated Palpatine's body, burned and nearly unrecognizable.
Padme didn't know if what she was seeing was real. "Is that…"
"Darth Sidious is dead," Obi-Wan said matter-of-factly, processing what the holo-picture may mean for the broken Republic and what was left of the Jedi that roamed the galaxy in hiding.
"Where's Anakin?" she finally asked.
"I…" Bail hesitated. "I don't know."
Padme looked at him gravely. "What do you mean, you don't know?"
Several parsecs away, a cargo ship makes its way to Coruscant with an extra passenger on board. Solo, the captain of the ship of middle-class breeding, headed down to the med bay and inquired about their patient, and young man they picked up during a salvage run a little over 24 hours ago.
"How's our patient?"
"Still unconscious but remarkably in good health," the doctor on board stated. No droids occupied the interior of the ship. Everything was hands on, just as the captain liked it.
"Did you figure out what was wrong with him?"
"I can't find anything physically wrong with him. Heart rate, blood pressure, even his blood work comes out normal." The doctor points his captain to a nearby screen. "The only thing out of the ordinary is the large amount of brain activity." The captain nodded. "Will we sedate him?"
Solo thought about it for a moment but quickly brushed the idea off. "Don't bother. If he becomes a liability, take him out, but for now, he's a guest on board."
On the way out, the machines around them began starting up and the lights began to flicker. A moment later, their patient startled out of bed, fully conscious.
Solo, simply by reflex, pulled the doctor behind him while the other hand lifted his gun and pointed it to the obviously disgruntled patient.
"Whoa there," Solo said soothingly, pointing the gun at him but not holding the trigger. "Take it easy, we're not going to hurt you."
"Where… am I?"
"On my ship. The Falcon," Solo answered with the ease of a veteran used to getting himself in tight situations. "The names Harrison Solo. I'm the captain here. What's your name?"
For a moment, the question didn't quite reach his ears, but after a few seconds, Solo was finally given a response.
"Anakin." A beat. "Skywalker."
Solo looked at him once over before lowering his weapon back down to its holster. He held out his hand, which Anakin reluctantly shook.
To be continued…