A/N: It may start out a little slow, but it gets better in the later chapters.
A vibrant blond headed boy stood in the front line, which was ten across and ten deep, on the very end on his right side. He had been plucked from his family at birth, but was told his mother had died after he was born, and his father was nowhere to be found. He didn't even know his father's name. But, the years with his fellow Jedi Initiates, or otherwise known as Younglings to the older Jedi Knights and Masters, had proven his tale to not be unique. This boy's name was Naruto Uzumaki.
He and the rest of the Younglings were all wearing the same uniform, gray robes and tunics. The robes kept their heat in, which was essential due to their Jedi Temple's location: the planet Ilum.
The planet Ilum was covered in ice, not a single piece of vegetation to be found. But their studies revealed it to be a key planet, with its plentiful Force Crystals made this planet invaluable to the Jedi Order. Naruto had trained in the freezing temperatures outside the Jedi Temple, and it wasn't pleasant. But it did drill some very deep discipline and self control into him. Naruto took a small sniff, breathing in the recycled, manufactured air. The planet as a whole wasn't as big as other planets, and had to maintain strong artificial atmosphere. There was an enormous factory on the planet with many redundant, smaller ones, all around the planet that converted different gases into oxygen. These were the only providers of air and the stabilizers of the atmosphere.
The Jedi Master in front of Naruto's group was talking about how proud he was to have trained them from birth, and how hopeful he was for each of their future's. But, he also reminded them that the Jedi way was a hardship not just anyone could endure, and was a life of selflessness and servitude for civilization, the embodiment of peace.
As the Master talked a bit more, Naruto reviewed the small amount of information he had of his own race. The Uzumaki lived on a far-off planet, but were known for their prowess in lightsaber battles when a Jedi was trained from that race. They were humanoid, as the Humans called most species that had a similar body structure as they. Some had a little bit of fur, and fox-like features. Most looked like Naruto himself, with slightly enlarged canine teeth, and whisker marks. Then Naruto thought to the other people in his age group that came from races that were more prominent among the Jedi.
The first that came to mind was Uchihas, of course. They were really just humans with a different name due to their strength with the Force and the likeness of each of them. Every one of them had black hair, and onyx colored eyes Most became Jedi, and those that didn't worked with the Jedi. Naruto gave a sideways glance to a black haired boy at the other end of the line. Sasuke Uchiha, the most talked about Youngling.
Next that came to mind was the Hyuugas. Naruto, without even thinking, turned his head a bit and looked to the person behind him. The girl, Hinata Hyuuga, caught his eye and looked away, blushing. Naruto only smirked and looked at his teacher once more. Jedi were trained physically and mentally, so he was not blind to the girl's obvious affection for him. Though it was not forbidden to have sexual relationships, it was generally looked down upon. And marriage was absolutely forbidden. He knew that if she continued her small crush, it would probably end up bad for the both of them. Hyuugas were known for their acuteness with the Force, so they could do things in precision with the Force that others could not. Most were very blunt with using the Force, but the Hyuugas were, for a lack of a better term, graceful in their practice. They were usually defined by not having pupils in their eyes, and usually no color at all. Sometimes veins would pop out around their eyes as they used the Force with intense accuracy.
Next were the Harunos, which weren't a race, just a name of a rather large group of Force-sensitive humans. They were all known for very high intelligence, and as Naruto pulled up a mental image of the pink haired Initiate Sakura, he couldn't help but smile. She was cute, and nice. But, for all the smarts she possessed, she was doomed just as Hinata was. She had a blind crush on Sasuke, and her love would probably always go unrequited.
A few others came to mind, but they weren't as prestigious and weren't very special.
Though these families had special talents with the force, it was not something that others could not obtain. It just meant that they were born naturally with these talents, so could reach their potential that much quicker in that area of the Force. But regardless of family one descends from, and Jedi can become master of the Force in every aspect through concentration and meditation. All one needed was time and patience.
"... and today, you finally start your trials to become Padawans. And later with further training and study you may even become Jedi Knights yourselves. Your trials all start with the building of your own unique lightsabers. I know this is a change in method, but here on Ilum we have decided that the building of your own lightsaber before becoming a Padawan was much more important. We believe that if you succeed on this challenge, your training under your own Master will make you more attuned with your lightsaber, and your connection with the Force even stronger." The Jedi instructor stopped, and stared around the group of a hundred initiates, about to take on their destiny.
"And always remember," he said. "The crystal is the heart of the blade. The heart is the crystal of the Jedi. The Jedi is the crystal of the Force. The Force is the blade of the heart. All are intertwined: the crystal, the blade, the Jedi. You are one." These words sunk into Naruto's mind, and their meaning was infinite. He knew those words were the truth, and were something he'd have to remember always.
He then stepped aside, revealing a door he had been standing in front of. "In this room, you will find all that you'll need and more to construct your lightsaber hilt and more. But, it is up to you to bring these pieces together and form your desired weapon. Let the Force guide you, and you cannot go wrong." With that, he turned and walked away, leaving the Initiates to file inside the room to begin their Padawan trials.
Upon entering the room, Naruto observed the many worktables and rows of shelves against the walls holding the electronics that were to be used. Naruto made his way to the nearest free worktable, and examined the few scarps of metal and wiring that were left on the table.
Over the next few hours, objects zoomed across the large room by way of the Force. Each Youngling was trained in mechanics and the fine art of making small, efficient electronics. But further studies of these crafts were always encouraged when the Initiates had free time. Naruto had poured over many books over the years, just to prepare for this day. He would be building the weapon that would be his most valuable tool for the rest of his life. He did not want to screw it up.
As he worked, he noticed that others must have studied for this day as well, including the Haruno girl and the Hyuuga. Naruto found himself looking at Sasuke, who was working quickly and masterfully on his own lightsaber, and Naruto quickly began focusing on his own invention. He had started with a metal cylinder, and had cut it into shape. He had found many bits of scrap and new materials that could be useful.
As the Uzumaki worked, his lightsaber began to slowly form in his mind of its own accord. When the picture and blue prints of the weapon were laid out in his head, Naruto was easily able to find the parts and materials he needed to construct it. He was sure to give the power chamber enough space for the Force Crystals he would no doubt have to find after the lightsaber's construction.
It came as no surprise to him when Sakura left the room first, with her double-sided saber hilt clutched in her hand. It was a work of art, and it made Naruto jealous. But, Naruto reflected, it was a risky weapon. If she wasn't prepared to put forth the effort into attuning herself to the double blades perfectly, it could be just as lethal to herself as it is to her enemies. Soon after, Sasuke left the room with his sporty looking hilts, one in each hand. Naruto had figured he'd use two. The third to leave the room was Hinata, with only one hilt, no double sides, but it looked as if it had not been built, but grown together as if the material it was made of was always a part of each other. Naruto had no doubt it had been made with her precision and accuracy with the Force. He was glad she was able to make such a masterful weapon.
Naruto soon finished his own, and was satisfied with it. It was long enough to be wielded by both hands easily, but not so long as to be cumbersome. It had a magnetic clip on it that would attach to his utility belt when given to him when he becomes a Padawan. The magnetic clip could be enabled or disabled by his own unique Force technique, which would make it impossible to be removed from his belt by any other than himself. Also, he made sure the metal he used was of the strongest he could find, and he was confident that only another lightsaber could destroy his weapon.
He wasn't the fourth to leave, but he was in the first twenty. As soon as he left the room, he was told to leave the Temple immediately, with only a small pack of food and supplies to aid him. When the pack was given to him, walked out into the freezing cold through the Temple's front entrance. He flipped his hood on, and walked through the massive, reinforced gates that protected the Jedi base. Since the Temple was mounted against a large ice mountain, it was partially hidden, and well protected by natural elements.
He breathed in the cold, manufactured air slowly, bringing upon a strong self-discipline that would sustain him until he got to a Crystal cave. It took over an hour of walking in the freezing wind, but he counted himself lucky that it was not snowing. As soon as he entered the cave, he felt the difference. Without the wind cutting into him, it was much warmer. Then he noticed that it was warmer than it should have been for an ice cave, and made his way deeper into it.
He soon saw a soft glowing in the distance, and he found the Force crystals. They glowed with either soft blue or bright green. He was disappointed. He knew this planet was known only to produce blue and green crystals, but he thought he would get lucky and find a different color.
He let the Force guide him deeper into the cave, to the crystals that were to be his. He finally reached a small room that branched off from the main cave, and he entered it. He didn't see any crystals, but if he was guided here, he knew the Force would not have led him astray. So, having nothing better to do, he meditated.
And so it went, for the next five hours, he sat in the small, warm room and meditated. As he did so, he felt the energy slowly leave him, seeping into the ice below him.
"H-hello? Is someone there?" A faint voice came, making Naruto's head jerk around. He let his hood down, and saw in his peripheral vision a shadowed figure.
"Who's there?" Naruto asked calmly, silently berating himself for being caught unaware. A Jedi should be constantly alert, even in meditation. But now that his eyes were open, he could see a soft, golden glow emanating form the ice below him.
"Naruto? I... I just saw a light and thought I would investigate... I'll leave, if that is what you want." She stepped closer, and Naruto could see her face now. She had a look of hope and also a tinge of pink in her cheeks. He couldn't tell if it was from the cold of the outside starting to wear off, or if it was from her encounter with himself.
He turned is head to his front so it wasn't strained back any more, and studied the glowing coming from beneath him. "It is fine if you stay; it's been pretty lonely meditating here by myself." Lonely, he thought with a chuckle, that was something my younger self couldn't stand at all. He had a brief flashback of his childhood, of being a troublemaker and such an outgoing child. But years of Jedi discipline and extra measures either took it away from him, or hid it somewhere deep inside himself. Maybe when I become a Padawan, my Master will allow for a little bit of that child to come out once more.
Hinata walked into the room, and stood before him. She took her hood down, and sat cross-legged in front of him. She gave him a small smile, and Naruto saw her Jedi discipline wipe the blush from her face. "I found my crystals, already. Not much color to choose from, but I had a few precious gems of my own to contribute to make my own unique lightsaber. I saw you meditating, and thought from the glow that you had your own crystals, too... but I don't see any." She gave him an inquisitive look, and Naruto shrugged, then pointed below him.
"I was guided here, and after meditating, I seemed to have given my crystals a bit of charge. I plan to retrieve them when I finish. And if you hadn't come here, I wouldn't have noticed the glow until much later." Naruto began meditating again, channeling the Force underneath him, to his hidden crystals. But he kept his eyes on Hinata.
"Do you mind if I meditate here, as well? I still haven't charged mine..." A flash of that hopeful look again, and Naruto fought to hide the smirk that was threatening to appear. With a kind smile, and a curt nod, he told her it was fine. Naruto caught the small sigh of relief, before she regained her composure.
So, for the next few hours, they sat and talked, while channeling that mysterious life energy into their crystals. Having been trained to become Jedi, they didn't have much else to talk about. So they exchanged knowledge of the Force, and talked about some lightsaber moves. This went on and on until Naruto brought up Hinata's family.
"Well," she began, looking down at her crystals of different hues that were glowing with power, "I wasn't taken from birth like most others here... I was prematurely born, and I had to be hospitalized for a few months. But they noticed how I had an unnatural strength inside me, that they had not perceived for me to have before I was born. After some observation and tests, they discovered I was Force-sensitive. But I still wasn't brought in until I was about one year old... and I actually remember bits of that day. Most people can't remember anything before they were three, but that memory has been burned into my mind forever...." She looked up from her crystals, and stared Naruto straight in the eyes. Naruto was surprised to see unshed tears sparkling in her eyes, those wonderful, moonlike orbs of lavender... She blinked them away, and gave her crystals a small squeeze. "I... I don't want to think about it anymore and maybe if we have another chance, I will tell you about it."
Naruto gives a polite nod, but his mind races to connect the dots and find out what happened, but to no avail. "Then let's change the subject. How about we discuss our lightsabers?" And so they did. They rambled on about any mods they made from the traditional style of a lightsaber, and how much time they spent pondering on what kind they would make. They discussed the hours of time they spent studying for this day, and how satisfied they were with the outcome.
Hinata let out a small giggle as he expressed how her own hilt looked flawless and masterful. "Flawless and masterful? That's just what I was going for! The more impressive your lightsaber looks, the more intimidated your opponent will be. That was my philosophy when making it, at least. Besides, I don't want to be not picked by a Master just because they weren't impressed with my lightsaber." Naruto nodded and said that she had a good point.
They soon became hungry, and each took out their packs and had a light supper of dried out meat and field ration bars that were made for nutrients, not taste. A few more hours of meditation after their dinner and they decided it was time to sleep. Before becoming unconscious, Naruto thought about how lucky he was to find companionship in this lonely cave. And there's that word again, he thought with a small smile, lonely. He knew that there was plenty of Younglings out there that may not have even found a Crystal cave, because he could feel cold air drifting down the cave, and see some snow flittering around. A blizzard must have come about since he entered, and the cold alone could freeze someone as they walked. After a few more moments, he curled himself up above the soft, golden glow coming from beneath him, and sleep took him.
They spent the next two days in that room, meditating and flowing the energy to power their weapons into the crystals. They talked sometimes, made small jokes to lighten the mood. But mostly, it was silent, and the focus was intense.
When they finally felt that the crystals were finished, they stood up and stretched. As Hinata began placing her crystals in her hilt, to complete the lightsaber, Naruto pulled an ice pick from his small survival pack. He began picking away the ice, until he came upon some bright, gold gems. He delicately picked them from the ice, and stood up to examine the find. They were warm to the touch, so he had to wonder why the crystals didn't melt the ice. He asked Hinata about this.
She finished her lightsaber, then looked at him contemplatively. "My guess would be because you are Force sensitive, and so it's not that the gems are warm, but you feel it as the Force in a palpable form." Naruto accepted this as the answer, and quickly began assimilating the gems into his own hilt. When it was complete, he gave Hinata a triumphant smile.
"Together?" he asked.
They activated their individual lightsabers at the same time, and the bright beams slid out easily. Naruto's shone a bright gold, and this pleased him. For all these years, he had thought he would have a lightsaber just like most other Jedi. But now... he felt his lightsaber was unique. He waved the light-blade around a bit, and the sound it made pleased his ears. He looked over at Hinata's, and saw her own lightsaber to be of a lavender color, the same hue as her eyes. She slashed with it a few times and did a few twirls, pretending to be hacking away at an enemy.
Satisfied, they both retracted their light-blades, and left the cave silently to make their way back to the Jedi Temple. Upon their arrival, they noticed that they were the last two to come back.
Their Master of so many years looked pleased, and gave them a slight nod in a direction to tell them to get in line. Naruto was relieved to see that about two thirds of their fellow Younglings made it back. But still, those others were still comrades he had known nearly all his life.
"You will now be picked to be a Padawan. Remember that each of these Jedi Masters has reviewed all of your files, and it is not mandatory for them to choose you. Now that you are ready, you have until you are thirteen to be picked. Any of you may be picked today, but just as many may not." He turned to the Jedi Masters, and gave a nod, then left. The Jedi Masters walked up and down the line in no specific order, and slowly the Younglings were taken away.
First to be picked was, of course, Sasuke Uchiha. A well-known Jedi Master by the name of Kakashi picked him out almost immediately. Kakashi was said to be half Uchiha, but did not have their surname. A rather young Jedi Master stood in front of Naruto, and looked deep into his eyes. Her own eyes were red, and her face was beautiful beyond most human standards. A female Yuuhi, said to be one of the most beautiful and erotic of all races. They were not exactly human, but were referred to as "Angels" of the human race. Instead of wearing strict traditional Jedi robes, she wore a curve-fitting tunic with a light, Jedi cloak. Naruto almost blushed in front of her; her beauty was almost enough to break his composure. She gave him a smile, and he almost melted right there, but he held his ground. Naruto couldn't help but glance at her lush, deep red lips.
She then looked him up and down, and gave him a wink. He then knew that if she picked him, rules weren't going to be as strict, and he may just finds that child in himself after all. "Seeing as how all the other male Initiates couldn't keep themselves under control in my presence, I'd say you're a formidable Youngling to hold such composure. A few of them even got hard." Naruto's only betrayal of bewilderment was a slight widening of his eyes, and he had to fight to control his laughter. He could see that she was testing his control again, and he definitely did not want to fail this test. Finally, she gave him a welcoming grin and a rough pat on the back. "Lighten up, you're now my Padawan!" Naruto's knees almost caved in relief, but he gave his new Master a foxy smile that his race was known for. "Thank you, Master...?"
"Kurenai. You may call me Master Kurenai. And now, here is your utility belt. Congratulations on passing." She presented him with the metallic belt, and he clipped it around his waist, underneath his robe and around his baggy tunic. He looked to his right, and saw Hinata, with a look of sadness about her face. In this enormous galaxy, who knew when he'd ever see her again?
Master Kurenai stepped away from Naruto, and in front of Hinata. "Hinata Hyuuga, I've had my eye on you for quite some time now. You may not remember me, but I'm the one who delivered you here." Hinata's eyes widened slightly, as her face showed recognition. "And I've been impressed with your training, and even more so by the craftsmanship of your lightsaber. So, of course, I must have you as my Padawan as well!"
Naruto could see her knees nearly fail her as well at this news, and he could see relief and disbelief flash through her face. The Force is as mysterious in its workings as it is helpful, Naruto observed. It wasn't uncommon for a Master to take on more than one Padawan, but it wasn't exactly common, either. And from the look of her age, it was probably the first time Master Kurenai has taken on an apprentice, let alone two. Naruto would not believe that this was spontaneous, and he was sure that Kurenai had meditated on this for quite some time.
"So, let's get going. We need to get to Coruscant, where the first Jedi Temple was built. When my Master took me on, he immediately brought me to the Temple... and, well; you just have to feel it for yourself. We'll be taking my own starship. It's in the hangar, so let's go." Master Kurenai turned swiftly, elegantly, and strode off. Once again, Naruto was caught unaware and he couldn't stop his eyes from catching a glimpse of his new Master's firm backside, just before the cloak flitted down and hid it from view. With a quick shake of his head, to clear his mind, he followed the beautiful woman to the hangar.
They were in her ship now; it was fairly large, but small for a starship. Leaving the planet was uneventful, and went smooth. Now Naruto stood at a Porthole, as the icy planet shrunk away.
Naruto joined his Master and fellow Padawan in the control room, which had a large viewport, which gave a wide view of what was ahead of them. The room was large, and had a set of stairs to the back that led to the upper portion of the controls. This was where the master controls were, and the only place where the Hyperdrive could be initiated. There were three terminals on the floor below the master controls.
Master Kurenai busily put the coordinates into the computer on the lower part of the control room, while Hinata stood off to the side and observed. Knowledge of several types of ships was drilled into a Jedi's mind at a young age, so Naruto didn't pay much attention to it himself.
The Jedi Temple on Coruscant, he thought, I wonder if it's anything like the one on Ilum. Coruscant is a huge world that is, to put it simply, one giant metropolis. Population ranges in the hundreds of billions to a trillion sentient beings, and the massive skyscrapers cover the whole planet. It's been thousands of standard years since the lower levels of the city, or undercity, have seen sunlight. The massive structures even shadow the mountains. It's a planet meant for government and trade, and is the center of the Republic and Jedi Order.
The Temple was originally the main place to train Jedi, but since the boom of Force-sensitives, they had to make three more temples. The Jedi numbers have grown twentyfold in the last twenty years alone. These staggering numbers scared some people, and there were rumors of a Separatist government forming. Of course, Naruto knew better than to believe rumors, but he was taught not to be foolish, either. He was as wary and watchful as he was disbelieving.
"Coordinates entered..." Kurenai murmured to herself as she leaned over a control panel. Naruto, being a few feet in front of her, caught a glimpse down her tunic and immediately turned away to examine the stars outside the window. This is not going to be easy, Naruto thought to himself. "Ship set on course..." She quickly sprinted to the back of the command room, and easily ascended the steps to the master controls. She looked down at her Padawans, and gave them a warm grin, before sitting in the Commander's chair.
"Prepare for the jump to Hyperspace." With that, she grasped a handle and eased it upwards. Naruto quickly found a seat at one of the terminals below his Master, and saw that Hinata did as well. In front of them, the stars stretched behind them, and with a sudden bang they entered hyperspace.
A blue tunnel of swirling lights. That was the only description Naruto could think of.
"It'll be a few hours before we reach Coruscant, and there are a few things I must tell you before we get there." Master Kurenai said, descending the steps. She reached the bottom, and stood before her two Padawans, who were now standing. "I'm not taking you to Coruscant for reasons of luxury alone. The Jedi Council is calling a secret meeting, unknown to anyone outside of the Jedi Order. Many Jedi and their Padawans will be attending this meeting, inside the Jedi Temple. Master Yoda feels it is time to bring some urgent issues to attention that has been kept quiet for some time now."
She gave her apprentices some time to take this information in, and they did so without losing their Jedi cool. "But before we go, I have to make a few things clear. You will not speak about this to anyone outside of the Jedi Order, and you will not speak of it freely to anyone. This is information for Jedi only, and word of this meeting or what transpires during it can not be made common knowledge. Understood?" Naruto could see the seriousness in his Master, and he replied an affirmative simultaneously with his fellow Padawan.
Master Kurenai gave them a warm smile, one that warmed Naruto's heart, "Good. Now, get some sleep. I don't want you two falling unconscious during the meeting."
When Kurenai's ship set down on a landing pad atop one of the Jedi Temple's spires. As Naruto stepped out into the open pad, he looked down and saw a vast cityscape that stretched as far as he could see. He couldn't believe the vastness of the city, but what took up most of his vision below him was the Jedi Temple's layout. There were four spires surrounding one single spire in the middle. There were other structures, but these five spires were by far the biggest, and the most magnificent.
Then Naruto reached out with his consciousness to touch the familiar Force, and was surprised to find its strength had more than doubled. One's connection with the Force grew stronger only through meditation and time. Naruto could not have obtained this much strength on his own in just a few short hours. He looked to his teacher in puzzlement. She gave him a smile.
"This Temple was built on a natural Force Nexus, and when one is within its field, your connection with the Force is stronger than usual. Even if we weren't here for the meeting, I'd still have taken you here to just see the Temple and learn from it, as well as letting you feel this." After her explanation, Kurenai began walking briskly away, to find the nearest repulsor-drive elevators that would make their steep descent.
As they were landing, Kurenai had explained that the meeting would be below ground, as an extra precaution. And so, they made their way down, hitting ground level, then descended even further.
Naruto stood still as they descended, the only light coming from the overhead auxiliary lamps. The transparisteel elevator soon came to a stop. Through the transparent doors, Naruto could see a wide, tall auditorium. Platforms floated around a center stage that the High Jedi Council was standing on. Naruto knew that when the meeting began, the large center platform would rise up, and tiny, concealed microphones would amplify each voice. The doors slid open, and the three Jedi stepped out.
Kurenai and her apprentices soon took their places in one of the mini platforms, and it rose to take its place among the others. Naruto surveyed the surrounding Jedi, and was struck by how many there were. It couldn't just be a coincidence that this was happening now, for the first time in history. Never before has this many Jedi existed at one time, and there has never been a gathering of this magnitude. Naruto could not say if this was the most secret or first secret meeting of Jedi only, because, of course, if there had been more, they were secret. Before Naruto could speak further, the center stage rose and the auditorium became completely quiet.
Naruto looked over at Hinata, and she glanced his way as well. The thought was mutual, he was sure. Their first real Jedi experience.
The stage rose to a height that gave everyone a good view of all twelve members of the council. Of the Council, Naruto saw Mace Windu and Yoda. Yoda stood hunched, and he was resting against his cane. The little green Jedi had thin, gray hair and wore traditional Jedi robes. Mace Windu was in the same garb, but stood tall of his own power.
Naruto allowed himself to be engulfed by the swirls and eddies of the force, and felt its power come from all over him. He briefly closed his eyes, and he could feel the Jedi all around him as if they were blazing super novas. He quickly pulled himself out of his meditative trance, just as Mace Windu spoke.
"My fellow Jedi, it has come to our attention that over these past two decades, Jedi forces have grown significantly. So far, we've been able to keep this under wraps, and no problems have occurred. The other three Jedi Temples that have been built have been well hidden, and so that has been kept from general knowledge as well. But, we must acknowledge that there is a disturbance in the force, that there is something going on. I do not think that the recent influx of Force-sensitives is a bad occurrence, and I do not wish to stop training Jedi. But, the fact of the matter is we can't ignore the Dark Side any longer." At the end of Windu's statement, the amassed Jedi began to murmur to each other.
Yoda stepped up, and the room was instantly silenced. "Grown strong, the Dark Side has. Act now, before it is too late, we must."
Naruto blinked, wondering if that was all the Grand Master Jedi was going to say. When Mace Windu nodded at his fellow Council member, the answer was apparent.
"We of the High Council have meditated long on this matter. We wish for you all to be prepared as you can, because the ripples in the Force tell us something catastrophic is to come." Mace Windu surveyed the gathering of Jedi around him. "I will now elaborate why this is such an important meeting, and secrecy is key here. We of the High Council have discovered treachery within our very midst.... Chancellor Palpatine is Darth Sidious, Lord of the Sith."
Naruto's eyes widened, and a gasp escaped from between his lips. He was not the only one; nearly everyone else did the same.
Mace Windu nodded, showing he was just as shocked as they were. "The fact that he has been able to hide from us for these many years is a sign of how powerful he has become. But, he has slipped up. Though his rise to power seems seamless enough to fool, it is for that very reason he is not to be trusted. After the Neimoidians invaded Naboo, he rose to power. And during these years of the Jedi Boom, we have noticed his interaction with a few of our Younglings. But any hard facts of these interactions cannot be found; though we have eyewitnesses."
Mace Windu stopped briefly, to take a breath and organize his thoughts. "His eight-year term of being Chancellor ends in three years, and we feel that if anything were to happen that stops his dethronement, it is good enough reason not to trust him. But, we must go about this carefully. We must have hard facts, to prove to the Public that he is a traitor, and is no friend of ours. Do not make a move until such an event occurs, but if it does, we of the Council will see to his disposal personally.... Furthermore, there are some Dark Jedi roaming around the Galaxy. That is, Jedi who are not part of the Order, but do not adhere to Sith rituals either. They are users of the Dark Side, but are not fanatics to the point of wishing destruction upon all Jedi. But, that is not to say that they cannot be converted to the Sith."
"It is no secret that the Sith lives on," Mace continued. "And proof of that was Darth Maul, killed by Obi Wan Kenobi. It's been seven years since then, and we do not intend to sit idly while this Dark Lord of the Sith trains a new apprentice. The Sith have a rule of two, as we all know. They follow it strictly, only allowing a Sith Lord and an apprentice. Be this as it may, it will not stop the Sith from raising an army against the Jedi. Be on the lookout for any disturbances in the Force that may be interpreted as the use of the Dark Side."
Mace folded his arms within his robes and gazed out to the Jedi with a serious look. "You now see the need for secrecy. As soon as we are able to prove that Chancellor Palpatine is, in fact, Darth Sidious, we cannot be accused of plotting against him for power. We'll be gathering evidence on Chancellor Palpatine for the next three years, and if anything stops him from losing power, we will put forth the evidence and strike before it is too late. Should anything go wrong, we are prepared. Since the discovery of Darth Maul, the mass productions of clones have begun once again. A Clone is fully mature and trained after ten years. Once again, a coincidence we cannot ignore. Darth Maul was discovered seven years ago, and then Senator Palpatine became Chancellor two years later. By the time his term ends, the main force of the clones will have been grown and trained, ready for battle."
Naruto realized the implications of the Jedi Master's statement before it was even uttered. And when Naruto gave a glance to his Master and his fellow Padawan, he knew that they had realized it, as well.
Mace nodded, sensing that everyone in the room had caught on. "We believe a war will breakout at the end of his term, and that will be reason enough to not elect a different Chancellor. A shift in power during a crisis such as war would not be favorable with most of the Republic. That is why his betrayal will hurt all the more, and will also be his demise. If Darth Sidious somehow escapes us, he will have to deal with the fury of trillions of sentient beings. Our ranks will swell with volunteers, and war production will be swift and efficient. Of course, this is all speculation. Until, and if, these events occur, I encourage you to train and meditate. Until next we meet, may the Force be with you."
After that, the platforms, powered by repulsorlift drives, descended. The room reverberated the murmurs of nearly ever Jedi or Padawan in the auditorium, and it was quite a different feeling from being in complete silence as Mace Windu talked. Just as Naruto's platform landed, he got a glimpse of the High Council leaving the room.
Master Kurenai quickly led her two apprentices from the room, and into an empty repulsorlift elevator. As soon as the transparisteel doors closed, Naruto sensed the distress coming from his master rippling through the Force.
"Master, what troubles you?" Naruto inquired, trying to stay as formal and tactful as a Jedi should. Kurenai looked down at him, being at least a head taller than he, and gave him a small smile.
"Don't worry about it. There's no point in dwelling on what has not happened yet. We must remember to live in the present, let the Force guide us, and train hard." As she finished, the fast moving elevator stopped, and she stepped out onto an open permacrete platform. Her two Padawans emerged behind her, and the elevator immediately descended once more.
"Master Kurenai, Coruscant is so... beautiful." Hinata said in awe, as she gazed down and out from the platform. Kurenai gave her Padawan a soft smile, and nodded.
"Tomorrow, I'm taking you two on a tour. Every Jedi must be familiar with Coruscant, the most important planet in the galaxy. And you must become familiar with this temple as well, for it is the birthplace of the Jedi Order that thrives today. This, you shall see today." And so, true to her word, Kurenai led her subordinates away from the elevators to begin their tour.
Okay, this is going to be a completely different experience for me. It's a completely new universe, and nearly everything is different.
So, if you like where this is going, leave a review. If you don't like it, I promise I won't lose any sleep over it. Just remember, reviews always make the writer type that much faster.