Their ship had returned to Coruscant. As Anakin, Obi wan and the others were exiting the ship, the welcome was more than divided.
The threat of the droid army and the confederacy was gone and everybody was glad about it, but the damage and the chaos was everywhere.
All in all it was not the heroes welcome that Anakin Skywalker and Obi wan Kenobi were used to. They were however both quite glad about it under this circumstances. Right now nobody felt like celebrating.
Millions on Coruscant had died by the bombings during the attack of the separatist fleet.
Thousands of jedi had been killed by the assault of the clone troopers. The number of the order was reduced to less than a third of what it had been at the beginning of the war.
Billions of people all over the galaxy had died during the war.
The surviving members of the senate had done everything they could to reestablish order and keep the state working as good as they could.
One senator in particular was waiting for them now.
"Padme", Anakin greeted her happily and run to her. "I am so glad that you are alright. As we heard first about the senate, I feared you could be…"
"I am okay Anakin", she told him, "but some of the other, people I knew, they are dead."
He pulled Padme to him and kissed her. She saw incredulous that Anakin was hugging and kissing her in front of the two jedi masters.
"They know", Anakin said to her.
"You mean you have told them?" She asked him. Padme was on one side quite happy, she never liked the idea of hiding her marriage very much, but on the other she was unsure how the jedi would react.
"A lot had happened Padme. I will tell you everything later. Padme", he said, "there is something that you should know right away. Palpatine is dead."
"The chancellor is dead?" She repeated.
"Yes and it is not something you should be sad about Padme. He was the sith lord. The entire time. Palpatine was the one who had started the war. The assault on the senate, on the jedi, it was all only a plot of him. He wanted to become powerful enough to take over the state."
"He had nearly succeeded", Padme replied, thinking about what could have happened. "I know I should be more surprised Anakin, but I feared for some time now that he was only using the war to gain personal power. But I never wanted to tell you directly, I knew he was your friend."
"It is alright Padme, you were right about him, you were right."
"Anakin, we should go to the council now", Obi wan reminded him. "We have to report to the others what had happened."
I know. Obi wan, I have made a decision."
"And what is that decision knight Skywalker?" Shaak Ti asked now.
"I have decided that I won´t leave the jedi order, at least not on my own accord. But it is still possible that the council will ask me to leave."
"I can hardly imagine that with all the jedi that the order had lost. We need you", Shaak Ti replied.
"Oh yes", Anakin said, laughing sarcastically, "a year or even a few weeks ago I would have to fear to be expelled from the order because my attachments could undermine my mental balance. But now where the most jedi are dead, the order can not manage to lose me. It is really strange how fast our ideals change as soon as the situation demands it."
"Why exactly are you saying that Anakin?" Obi wan asked him.
"Obi wan, master Ti, this entire reason this war was fought from the beginning to keep star systems that didn´t longer want to be part of the republic by force from leaving and to help Palpatine to rise to power. You know that I am right."
Both jedi masters looked at his but didn´t say anything.
"Many of this worlds had good reasons for leaving in the first place", Anakin continued. "They were treated unjust by the senate or were simply left alone with their problems and everything that we could think of was invading their planets."
"In prinzip you are right Skywalker", Shaak Ti replied, "but…"
"But what master T?i" Anakin replied. "We were blind. I had been until I saw Luke´s memories and everything from another point of view. He had spend years fighting the thing the republic was turning into. The entire time,we have been supporting a tyranny instead of fighting it."
"Yes you are right", Obi wan finally admitted.
"We have not seen that Palpatine was a sith, we have not seen that he was taking advantage of the war, we have not seen that joining the military and leading an army with suspicious heritage was a bad idea. Why do you think was that? Because we were shutting ourselves off from anything and everybody. We were not longer able to see what was before our eyes.
Obi wan, I have memories of a jedi master in my mind, one who had led the order for decades. He was married, he had a son and that didn´t keep him from his duties. He had turned my older self back to the light something that he was only able to do because of our bond in the first place, he defeated Palpatine and rebuilt the entire order.
As his wife had been murdered by a sith, he nearly fell to the dark side because of it, but in the end, he resisted again and one of the reasons for it was that the rest of his family gave him stability."
"A jedi had to be able to let go", Shaak Ti reminded him.
"Able to let go if it had to be", Obi wan pointed out. "We have to accept that there are people and things we can not save. But we, we use it as a excuse to not even try and let people die left and right", he said angrily. "I did this when I let Shmi Skywalker behind on Tatooine. When Anakin began to have visions about her death, I ignored him and forbid him to go to Tatooine by himself. I thought I was choosing my duty over personal matters."
"Master", Anakin said.
"I thought I was following the ideals of our order, but in fact I made a mockery out of it. I let a woman die who could have easily been saved simply because I was too arrogant to act, I caused a disaster and helped to drive my padawan to the dark side."
"Master, I, as my mother died, I lost control. I killed the tusken who were responsible, all of the. I was the one who did this, not you. That is something else I will have to take responsibility for."
"I understand Anakin. But you at least have changed. You have renounced the dark side. Far too many of us have gone down that path. Do you know how many of us, who had been trained from early childhood, who had been raised sheltered by the order, had turned to the dark side at the confrontation with the violence of the war?" He said, looking more at Shaak Ti than to Anakin.
"Of course, the were unprepared", Anakin pointed out. "How can you be able to deal with your emotion if you have never learned to face them?"
"You mean, our code, our entire order is wrong?" Shaak Ti asked both of them incredulous.
"Flawed", Anakin replied. "The jedi order accepts the fact that atachment and strong emotions can lead to the dark side and so they do everything to keep their students from having them in the first place to avoid the dark side.
That however is no solution but only a way to avoid the problem. And when the jedi then finally come in a situation where they are faced with strong emotions, they are unable to deal with it and fall to the dark side pretty easily."
"That all doesn´t sound very encouraging Skywalker, master Kenobi, but deep down, I know you are right."
"And that is the reason I want to stay a jedi. Despite everything what have happened and what I have done, not only for myself. What this order needs is a different opinion, someone who is able to see things from another point."
"I understand that Skywalker. As far as it comes to me, you have freed yourself from the dark side with your latest actions. I will in every case support you", Shaak Ti told him.
"I will of course too", Obi wan said.
"Thank you, both of you", Anakin answered. "Can you give us a moment alone please? Then I will come", he said with a look at Padme.
"Of course", they said.
"Ani", she said as they two jedi masters were out of range, "there is something else I have to tell you, something wonderful."
"Yes?" He asked, completely knowing what the answer was.
"Anakin, I am pregnant."
"Somehow I have known that you would say that."
"Have the force told you that?"
"In some sense you could say that. It is a long story that I will tell you when I am back from the council, a story about someone I have met, someone I should tell you about."
Jedi temple Coruscant, 15 years later
The jedi master Anakin Skywalker was watching his children Luke and Leia and a few other padawans, who were involved in their lightsaber training. His and Padme´s children were raised as jedi, had however far more contact to their family as it in the earlier version of the order would have been the case.
Luke was currently in a dual with one of the other students, a girl named Mara Jade, who he remembered from the older Luke´s memories.
Many things had changed in the last years from the time-line the other Luke had lived through. After Palpatine´s death and Dooku´s capture, the republic and the rests of the confederacy came to a peace agreement. Some systems agreed to come back to the republic under a new senate. Others stayed independent. It wasn´t an ideal situation by many people´s opinion, but it had been far better than the tyranny of the empire in the other world.
Count Dooku had renounced the dark side after the end of the war and stood willingly trial for the things he did. He was sentenced to spend the rest of his life under arrest on a exile-planet. From there he stood often in contact with Yoda and several other jedi masters.
The jedi order was willing to consider many of Anakin Skywalker´s views, even if under some carefulness. There were in fact many jedi who shared his opinions. In face of the latest developments, some beliefs were started to be questioned.
Different opinions in the order were however nothing to be worried about. Like Yoda had said it, the jedi order needed to develop if it wanted to survive.
Anakin continued to watch the mock fight between his son and the red headed padawan.
He asked himself how much his son when he would be older would have been in common with the jedi master he had met 15 years ago. In many ways, at least Anakin thought so, Luke seemed to be starting to shape out very similar.
Or how much Leia with the woman he remembered from his memories. He knew Leia had some interests in politics, in first line because of her mother, but she also knew Bail quite well, her "adopted father". Maybe he himself had unconsciously encouraged it a little bit, because he knew that was how she was meant to be.
In any way, he was proud of his children.
The Yavin system
The small group of jedi archaeologists were observing the ruins on the jungle moon. They had been planning this expedition for over a year now.
The fourth moon of Yavin was harboring the remains of an old and long destroyed culture. More was not stated in the official records in the republican archives. Yavin 4 was a unpopulated, barely known world at the edge of space.
Some time ago however, a member of their group had brought up the theory that the artifacts here were actually of sith heritage and so the jedi order had decided to organise an expedition team. A group of three jedi was sent.
They had found out very quickly, that their theory had been correct.
The walls of the different temples were full with scriptures that they had identified as ancient sith symbols. Everything, the temples, their designs, it all came from the sith.
They had been here for a few weeks now. In the beginning, they started to hear a voice in their dreams. Someone was appearing to them in their sleep, someone they knew. Then, the creature that lived in this place began to come to them directly.
One of the jedi was just trying to translate one of the sith scriptures, trying desperately to understand it.
He at first didn´t realise the dark presence that was appearing behind the man.
"Shall I help you reading this my young student?" Exar Kun asked the young jedi.
"Thank you master", the man replied. "I would really apprecionate your help."
This was the last part of Divergence. I have an idea for a sequel. The last part of the epilogue was already an outlook for this.