A/N: so first things first. i have removed the last previous chapters, edited them to make them flow somewhat better and made it just one chapter instead of two small chapters. hopefully they are better and more descriptive. i'm going to try and go through and edit the rest of the chapters as well. enjoy (:
Anakin sat aboard their ship, his head in his hands. That last vision of the past had been quite a dozy. Despite it not being as detailed in length as his past flashbacks had been, for some reason this one seemed to convey more of an emotional detail. And to say his father's emotions of Yavin 4 had been strong was an understatement. In all his years of training under Vader, he had never felt an expression of emotion like he had in the vision he had witnessed.
"We're entering Coruscant's orbit again" informed Luke as he walked over to Anakin. "Let's hope Han had some better luck."
"That's all we can do" Anakin replied, looking over at his brother. "Whoever is behind this certainly knows what they're doing, that's for sure."
"Master, Captain Solo is sending a transmission" came the voice of his padawan through the comm.. Wheeling his seat around, Anakin allowed the transmission to come through. The glowing blue figure of Han Solo appeared before them.
"Hello boys, have any luck?" asked Han in a low voice.
"No, not much" Luke replied.
"Why are you whispering?" asked Anakin with a suspicious look. "And where's Leia?" Han was certainly up to something or perhaps he already did it.
"What I'm about to tell you, she doesn't know" Han spoke, leaning in close to the projector. "Earlier I sent Chewbacca to the slums to see what he could find from some of our old smuggling connections."
"Well, what did he find?" Luke questioned curiously.
"Apparently, someone has been digging where most people wouldn't. They're asking for information on the old Jedi Order; even trying to keep tabs on you two. Now most smugglers know what can happen if it's traced back to them but some have admitted that they gave the information without a second thought. " Han informed. "Now if I remember correctly, giving someone want they want without second thought is a power of the force?"
"Yes, to the weak minded" said Luke grimly. "Whoever this was, they were going to great extents, but for what?"
"If these guys in the slums know about you two, I'm sure they have something on this guy" Han explained. "Chewie's already on his way back, before you come to the apartment, just take a trip down there I'll send you the information to check things out."
"Alright. I'm sure we can handle things if they get nasty" said Anakin.
"Well they don't give you those things for nothing" said Han referring to the lightsabers. "I'll see you guys soon." With that Han cut the feed and left the Jedi Knights to plan. Things had certainly gotten a little more disturbing. The fact that information on not only Luke but Anakin was openly available in the slums wasn't comforting. However, with someone trying to poke around in the old Jedi history books, Luke wasn't sure which was worse.
"I guess we're headed to the slums"
Anakin, Luke, and Teus walked through the underground of Coruscant. They had decided to blend in with normal clothes instead of sticking out like a tuskan raider in the senate. Anakin had been to Coruscant only a few times before and in those times he rarely visited the slums. Even now he still had a un-Jedi like way of thinking he was above the slum dwellers.
"Can ye' spare some credits for an ol' beggar?" an old man asked Teus, scaring the young man.
"No he can't" Anakin said grabbing Teus by the arm and continuing to walk. "People down here aren't exactly together in the head, Teus."
"Just stay with us" agreed Luke. He was a little on edge himself, this being his first time as well. "We'd rather not have to use aggressive force."
"Yes, Masters" said Teus feeling scolded. Stopping, Luke pointed to the illuminated bar sign hanging above them. Recognizing the name as the one Han had sent them on the datapad, Anakin nodded and the trio headed in. Spotting a man sitting in the corner by himself, they made their way over.
"So you're the one's Solo sent, eh?" he asked. He showed no signs of friendliness towards them as they slid into the seats across from him.
"Yes" replied Luke. "Asrith I assume." Anakin rolled his eyes; if Luke talked like that around here they'd be discovered in seconds.
"That's me" he replied, grinning with pride. Obviously, like most smugglers, he was big on reputation. "So what can I help ya with?"
"We need to know, what you know about anyone who has been asking about the Jedi" Anakin said, his expression remaining calm and unchanged. Unfortunately the same couldn't be said for Asrith, who's grin had faded.
"It ain't too safe to talk about this information in the public" he said looking around. "Yer asking for some valuable information. Lives get taken for giving this stuff out!"
"You have nothing to fear from bounty hunters" said Luke giving him a questioning look.
"It ain't the bounty hunters I'm fearin'" he replied.
"You'll be heavily rewarded for this information" Anakin assured him, tossing a bag of credits across the table. "Now start talking.
The man seemed to consider the offer on the table for a second, quite literally. Grabbing the bag, he placed it in his inner pocket before glancing around once more. "Alright, it all started a few months after the fall of the empire; a man starting making a name for himself in the underground. No one knew who he was or where he came from, only that his trademark was wearing a black hood to cover his face. As the months continued so did the stories. His weapon of choice was a lightsaber, and apparently he wanted access codes into the old Jedi Temple. Now, not many people know these codes and even fewer are still alive" Asrith paused to observe the Jedi's faces. "Eventually someone coughed up the codes, willingly or not. That's when the guy just disappeared from the underground. No more victims or showing up mysteriously at bars. Just gone."
Luke sat there his face twisted in deep thought. He was thinking the same thing Anakin was. "Why would he want to get into the Temple so badly?" asked Anakin voicing his thoughts. "The place has been turned to practically rubble. The empire made sure there was nothing worthy of note in there."
'The restricted section of the library in the temple' said the voice of Obi-Wan to Luke.
'What does that have to do with anything?' questioned Luke.
'This section was meant for a Jedi Master's eyes only. It held everything from the beginnings of the Republic to documents on the Sith Wars and Sith holocrons' Obi-Wan explained.
'I guess that would be valuable information for our suspect.'
"I know what he wanted" said Luke suddenly, and startling the other two.
"What?" asked Anakin anxiously, wanting to know what his brother had just discovered.
"I'll tell you later" he said looking towards Asrith. "No offense."
"None taken" he replied taking a sip of his drink.
"Thanks for the info" Anakin said tossing him another bag of credits.
"Pleasure doing business with you" Asrith replied, "And send Han and Chewie my regards."
"Can do" said Anakin as they left.
"Why didn't you just use the force, Master?" questioned Teus as they exited the bar.
"The force isn't always necessary, Teus" Anakin answered as Luke began to wave down an express speeder. "Sometimes it's better to deal with things in the commoners way. Keep ties for future use. People know you're going around wiping minds, they won't exactly want to be next."
"Plus he's a good guy. Even with the money, he didn't have to help us" Luke added. "A lot of people are still weary from the Empire days. Don't want to give out information." As the got into their transportation the young padawan nodded, understanding what the two Jedi were explaining to him.
During the cab ride they said nothing about the information they had just learned. Anakin knew better then to question what Luke had been talking about; you never knew who was listening in public cabs. It wasn't until they got off at Leia's apartment building that Luke explained his conversation with Obi-Wan.
"So he was after some Sith holocron" Anakin repeated, making sure he heard right.
"Most likely" Luke answered. "I don't think he was successful though."
"So if we find the location of some sith ruins, or sith artifacts; we might find out enemy" suggested Anakin as they entered the elevator to Leia and Han's room, instructing his padawan to stay on the ground level.
"Leia could probably get that for us" Luke said. "I'm sure the New Republic has it somewhere on file, if not we could search Palpatine's old files."
"Yeah, whatever the empire remnants didn't burn" said Anakin grimly. Even though Sidious was dead, the members of the empire had remained loyal. There was no doubt when news reached them of a removal from power they tried to get rid of as much as they could.
"Well we need to find this guy before he finds us again" Luke said as the door slid open to their apartment.
"Hello the door is un-" Anakin stopped as he looked at the condition of the house. Everything was scattered as if the house had been raided. Reaching out through the force he felt the presence of someone else in the other room. Nodding towards the guest room, Luke moved towards it while Anakin headed for the door that separated the living room and dinning room.
Walking towards the door he grabbed his lightsaber from his belt, preparing for whatever lay beyond the doorway. Mentally counting to three he kicked the door in. almost simultaneously, a familiar red blaster bullet flew at him. In an instant the blue blade ignited, causing the bolt to defect into the wall leaving a sizzling burn. Unfortunately this slight distraction allowed a foot to press into his chest.
Surprised, he was knocked back and slumped against the wall, his lightsaber skidding across the floor. Glancing up, he had a chance to see his attacker. No features were revealed but he could clearly tell the man's profession: bounty hunter.
The armor he wore wasn't very distinctive, and had it not been for the blaster attack Anakin would've assumed he was a common nomad. The assassin wore a simple piece of chest armor, which was on top of normal clothes. A long red bandana covered his shoulders and extended down his back, also acting as a hood. His face was covered by a scarf, leaving only his eyes available. As for its lower attire, he wore a pair of shaggy brown pants that was covered with multiple brown buckles, which held multiple holsters, which held multiple guns. Obviously not a nomad.
"Surrender now Jedi" the bounty hunter spoke, causing Anakin to do a double take. The voice was clearly feminine, though slightly distorted. "Or I will have to use force" she raised her blaster again, threateningly.
"I think you've already done that" Anakin remarked, rising to his feet slowly. He looked across the room and saw his lightsaber out of the corner of his eye. 'Where the hell is Luke?'
"Stop" she commanded as Anakin was reaching his feet. He followed her instruction, placing his hands in the air. "Now you're going to give me the information I need."
"First, do you need it or does your employer need it? Second, I bet you're a pretty girl, nice teeth and all; why are you a bounty hunter?" Anakin stalled as he began extending his force awareness through the apartment, trying to find some semblance of life.
"The first is none of your business and the second doesn't concern you" she replied, her hand holding steady.
"Well when you're pointing a blaster at me, I think it does" Anakin shot back.
"You are really starting to irk me Jedi" she said as she aimed the blaster and fired a shot at the ground besides him.
"Whoa, cutting it a little close aren't you?" joked Anakin but the bounty hunter didn't find it amusing. However the sound of the shot did grab the attention of another Skywalker.
Before the she could say anymore Luke ran into the room, lightsaber at the ready. The bounty hunter looked up, obviously not expecting two Jedi. Anakin took this chance to call his lightsaber to his hand via the force. Igniting the blade he pointed it to the chest of his attacker.
"Now, would you like to tell us what you're doing ransacking the quarters of the President?" Luke questioned seriously, walking up to stand next to Anakin.
"Actually I wouldn't" she replied, backing away from Anakin's raised blade she turned toward the window and fired two quick shots, shattering it. Without a moment's hesitation she made a jump for it. Anakin made a grab for her but only succeeded in tearing her hood and revealing the upper half of her face.
She looked back at the brothers and Anakin froze up. She had blonde hair which brought out her suddenly noticeable blue eyes. Even though this was not much Anakin found it stopped him from moving. As time resumed she jumped out the window and was gone before Luke or Anakin could take a second glance.
"Nice job Luke" Anakin said sourly, looking down at the torn cloth in his hand. "What had you tied up?"
"Your brother in law was unconscious in the other room, I'm sorry" Luke said with added sarcasm on the last part. "I guess our Dark Jedi is invoking the help of some bounty hunters."
'Sounds like Vader' Anakin thought grimly. "Is Han alright? Where's Leia?"
"Han's got a few bruises; I think his main wound is his pride so it's probably best if we don't tell him it was a woman. "As for Leia, Han sent her off with Chewbacca to keep her safe."
"Glad to see Han's using his head now" joked Anakin, hoping that Han hadn't heard his remark.
"What's that!" came a voice from the other room. Han walked in slowly with a pack of ice to his head. "You know my ears weren't damaged enough to here that last comment."
"What? I was just congratulating you on protecting my sister" Anakin covered up.
"Uh-huh, speaking of which, we should go find them" Han replied.
"Alright, Anakin and I are going to head down to street level. See if anyone saw this bounty hunter" Luke replied as they went out the door.
"So what do you think she was looking for?" Anakin asked as they entered the elevator.
"I'm not sure but we need to find out quickly, this is starting to make me very uneasy" Luke replied. "It's one thing to come after us Jedi but another to go after defenseless people."
"I don't think Han would appreciate being called defenseless, but I see your point." Anakin said. "Something about a bounty hunter attacking a political figure just seems familiar."
Before Luke could say anything else Anakin's comlink began to beep. "Go ahead Teus."
"Master we have a little problem down here" Teus reported over the link.
"How little?" Anakin glanced over at his brother, both afraid of his padawan's reply.
"Well that depends if you think Dark Jedi in the streets is a little problem" Teus replied.
There was no reply because at that instance the elevator doors opened and he could see that his padawan's words were right. Although it was not a fleet; there was not only one but multiple Dark Jedi cutting their way through the streets of Coruscant.
It seemed like some of the people were not even aware of what was taking place. Of course they were stealthy, it came naturally with training, but it seemed that the citizen's were barely noticing it unless it happened near them. A simply shriek soon changed all of that. Anakin took his lightsaber off of his belt as people began to run in different directions.
"It's been a while since we fought sith" he called over to Luke, making his way through the crowd. Unfortunately they were flowing against the wave of beings. "About a year if I can count right."
"I'm not so sure they're sith" Luke said. Realizing they were getting nowhere fast, he summoned the force beneath him and leapt into the air.
"Either way, we have a job to do" Anakin replied following suit.
Neither of them had ever seen such a thing. In fact, Anakin had never seen this many people wielding a lightsaber before. There was a considerable amount of Dark Jedi in the streets. Anakin did notice that they were not particularly the best swordsman, but they knew how to handle it and that was bad enough.
"Whoever's behind this, they aren't as subtle as the late Emperor was in his quest to conquer the galaxy" Anakin remarked, thinking over their options.
"Yes, this seems more like the stories of the clone wars I used to read" Luke said thoughtfully.
"We can think about this later, these guys need to be dealt with." with that Anakin somersaulted into the air, his brother doing the same. They landed on a clear path of sidewalk. By now the screaming crowds were dwindling away, far beyond their current position.
Throwing his rode to the floor, Anakin pulled his lightsaber from his belt. He always found that thing a hassle when in a battle. Igniting his lightsaber, he prepared to see just how much a threat these 'Dark Jedi' were. Immediately an opponent was upon him. The attackers initial blows were easily parried. The man then followed up with a sloppy swing intended to behead Anakin. Instead he ducked it while slashing at his legs, rendering him unable to fight. Retrieving the man's lightsaber Anakin sliced it in two. Then came a warning through the force. Raising his blade over his head he blocked an attacker from behind. The fighter pulled back his blade and swung down hard. Anakin however summoned the force and flipped over him and landed softly. As he raised his hand he gathered the force around him. With a blast Anakin sent the man flying backwards and successfully knocked him unconscious.
Luke battled on the other side more swiftly. Although the brothers' skill with a lightsaber was close to equal, Luke's style differed from Anakin's. Luke was more graceful with his moves, and he did not dwell in showing off. This reflected his teachers, Obi-Wan and Yoda. While Anakin on the other hand was more aggressive like his father once was. The triplet also had a knack for showing off. If a bystander had been watching the two Jedi and he had been alive during the Clone Wars. They might compare the twins to a modern day Kenobi and Skywalker.
Luke clashed with a Dark Jedi but sensed another coming from behind. He ducked and the two enemies collided with each other. Luke surveyed the field; the majority of dark jedi had been taken out relatively easy and only a few stood standing. As Luke stood there he felt a blast from the force and was sent skidding backwards. He looked towards the source and saw a cloaked figure that seemed familiar. Summoning a lightsaber the figure ignited the blood red blade. He ran towards Luke raising yelling in his attack. Luke readied himself however Anakin appeared in front of him.
"I hope you don't mind. I missed out on some of that last battle" said Anakin with a confident smirk.
"I think it's better if we battle him together" Luke insisted.
"I'll call for help when I need it" Anakin brushed him off and taking a step forward. Sighing, Luke rose to his feet, ready to jump at the slightest sign of his brother needing help. Looking around he saw Teus had succeeded in securing the last of the civilians were far from their location.
"Round two, you won't escape this time" Anakin said as he readied himself. Raising his blade they clashed twice before pausing. After that both fighters became a blur to the normal eye. Yet to those who could keep pace, it was an elegant dance. The sith stabbed to the left and Anakin blocked to the left. When Anakin swung right, the enemy parried right. Emerging himself into force he let it guide his movements. As the sith pressed on, Anakin allowed himself to assume a more defensive stance for the first time. Blocking another of his overhead slashes; the Jedi took the chance to kick in him in the chest.
Stumbling backwards, Anakin quickly shifted to offense and advanced on his opponent. His progressed was halted however as a blaster bolt screeched by his face.
"Look who's returned" Anakin remarked turning to see his new attacker.
However the sith took this as a chance to attack. "Look out!" Luke cried as the lightning poured from the finger tips of the sith and through the veins of Anakin. With a jolt he was sent skidding across the ground.
"Go..after.." Anakin coughed as Luke ran to his side.
"We need to get you out of here" his brother insisted. By the time he was able to get back to his feet, the Sith was long gone. "Great."