Location: Blackswan battleship
Anakin saw his friends stand as still as statues and were engulf in a strange plume of smoke. He was about to run back out from the secret passageway and save them when unexpectedly he saw Abigail approach Thrice and speak directly into her ear as she struggle to resist the drugs invading her system.
"And what is worse than death, my lady?" she cooed into her raven hair and in a desperate gasp of breath the woman-warrior struggled to reply.
Anakin saw a tear roll down her cheek and he knew instantly that she was ensnared beyond her ability to escape. She didn't cry. She was the sort that got even and to watch her so helpless was heartbreaking and wrong.
Then choking, she said, "To forget…"
And in that instant, the young Jedi knew what Sidious had planned. Anakin remembered Thrice's stories—the few stories he was able to drag out of her about her past. She warned him long ago that war was a game of numbers and skill and that the clone-scientist usually gained new warriors by brainwashing those of their enemies. Suddenly, he knew Sidious was going to make his friends betray their allies by stealing their minds. This was his plan all along.
Darth Sidious laughed maliciously with glee and clapped his hands merrily. "Excellent work, Lady Abigail."
He then strode up to his three victims and moved to caress Thrice's tear stained cheek. "Don't be sad, my dear. Soon you won't remember despising me. Soon you will only remember that you love and serve me."
"Don't touch her!" shouted Obi-Wan with rage. His pulse throbbed wildly at his throat in anger as he struggled to move to strike the Sith for touching his lady, but his body would not obey.
Delighted, Sidious turned to the Knight and smiled. "I have always wondered what would be able to corrupt the incorruptible Obi-Wan Kenobi and it appears I have found it. Though I would have never guessed it would be a she. Yet, I must commend you on your taste. She is quite lovely." He then glanced at her and said, "It might sicken me to admit it, but she is sadly devoted to you. Alas, such a shame. She will simply have to forget you and then she may yet be my Mistress of Darkness."
"When pigs fly!" snarled the woman-warrior.
In response, the Dark Lord laughed and turned to Abigail. "Prepare our new friends for their reprogramming."
The delicate-warrior bowed obediently. "As you wish, my Lord." And swiftly, she walked towards a control station and began to prepare the machines. Meanwhile, Sidious began to leave the room with Darth Vader trailing behind him with a smug grin on his hate filled face.
Cautiously, Anakin moved away from his hiding place and hid behind the large lab equipment to get behind the dark-warrior. He watched her as she lifted Thrice onto a cold medical slab and bid her in with straps. She tugged on the metal to test its hold and then leaned over her body to peer into her face.
Softly, she began to caress Thrice's hair and began to speak. "I never thought you'd find love. You, who are always so cold, loyal for nearly an eternity, the wielder of the midnight blade. Soon you'll know what it feels like to feel pain."
She then marched over towards Obi-Wan and ushered him towards another slab and shoved him down aggressively. Violently, she pulled on the bids and impassively looked into his azure-gray eyes. "I'll erase your mind first, Sir Jedi. Then, I'll see the look of heartbreak in Thrice's eyes as she watches you fade."
Then, with mad glee she smiled at him happily and began to giggle as he struggled to move, but the effort was futile. Amused, she went to collect Master Windu, however once her back was turned away Anakin sprang into action and burned through the delicate-warrior's heart like butter with his lightsaber.
Shell shocked, Abigail turned to face Anakin with wide bewildered eyes, but in a heap she collapsed into his arms dead. And for a moment, he was unable to move though thankfully Thrice filled her lungs with breath and shouted his name.
"Anakin!" and like a jolt he was broken from his spell of dismay and rushed to her side to free her from the slab.
"Thanks the Stars," she sighed as he came to her side. It didn't take him long to remove the shackles, but she was still unable to move.
"Thrice, what do I do?"
"There should be an antidote for the paralysis on the medical tray. It should be in a blue bottle. Quickly, fill it to 10 milligrams."
The young Jedi nodded his head. He swiftly treated his friends and helped eased Master Windu to the ground so he wouldn't fall. He was grateful that he had been last in the tunnel and hadn't been caught too. The paralysis and the threat of forgetting your own identity had seemed like a fate worse than death, but words could not describe the worry he had for his beloved Padme. He couldn't imagine what sort of monstrous things the Sith Lord could do to corrupt his Angel though he prayed she was still whole and safe.
When Obi-Wan could move again, he strode to reach Thrice's side and gathered her up into his arms and kissed her head. He was still haunted by Abigail's evil threat. Desperately, he breathed in her scent and allowed her to wash over him her calming vibrations and warmth. It felt wonderful to hold her and to know that she was still his.
Gently, Thrice pulled back and gave her Knight a quick kiss and moved to hop off the slab. She then went to Abigail's body and pulled off from her belt her sheath and sword and threw it to Anakin.
"Keep it. That sword won't break."
"Where do you think they went?" asked Master Windu.
"The Main Hall, it's closer than the bridge and a grander space. I'll give you a map."
"Wait, aren't you coming with us?" questioned the Knight.
"No. I'm going to stay here and revive all my comrades. Sidious may have been able to turn a few of my sisters, but won't be able to stop the entire Clan. And with luck, Lord Blackswan and Lady Nina have already broken through the ship's commands. The dog should be trapped."
Obi-Wan gave his lady a brilliant smile and kissed her temple as she maneuvered towards the control station to work and said, "I'm glad you're on our side, Milady."
Glaring she huffed and replied, "I'd rather go kill the Sith."
Location: Blackswan battleship, Main Hall
The Main Hall was enormous and grand. It was made of expensive stone and glided with gold and silver. The black polished floors reflected the artificial light and above them the ceiling revealed the battle in space raging around them between the stormtrooper ships and Rebel fighters. Pleased with the bloodshed, Darth Sidious sat in Lord Blackswan's throne like a king while Vader stood beside him and lovingly stroked Padme's hair with his gloved fingertips. The brown-eyed beauty snared, but continued to remain still. She was too frightened to move and a chain and collar dangled down from her neck.
"What do you think of my new Empire, my dear?" asked the Sith.
"It sickens me!" shouted Padme. "It's—ah!" Vader yanked her head back by her hair and caressed her exposed throat possessively.
"Where are your manners, Angel? That's no way to speak to your Emperor."
Defiantly, she replied, "He's not my Emperor. And you are not my Ani."
Vader clicked his tongue and shook his head before releasing her. "Not this again. When will you learn that there's no escape? You're mine Angel and nothing is going to change that. Just accept it and I'll take off your chains."
In response, Vader flew into a fit and used the Force to choke her, but in a flash Anakin dispelled the Sith's power with a wave of his hand and she fell over onto the polished floor with a gasp. Desperately, she coughed and wheezed, but looking up and saw standing at the doorway was her fiancé.
"No!" roared Vader. "She's mine!"
And in an instant, he strode across the hall and drew his red lightsaber ignited and the two began to duel. The forces of good and evil collided as the two identical men began to fight, but unfortunately they were equally matched in strength.
"I should have killed you before!" shouted the Sith. "I'm the Chosen One. It's my destiny."
"Shut up and fight!" replied Anakin.
He would not be distracted. He quickly dodged Vader's next blow and drew the sword he got from Abigail's corpse and sliced him across his left side. Blood spilled across the black floor as he stumbled forward, but Anakin was nicked on the arm by Vader's red blade.
Meanwhile, Darth Sidious smiled cunningly and unexpectedly lifted his hand to shoot beams of Force-lightening out to aid his apprentice against his foe. Anakin cried out in agony against the jolts, but Master Windu and Obi-Wan appeared and began to take on the Sith.
Sidious drew his own lightsaber and battled Master Windu back with a wave of his evil Force and sent him hurtling into Obi-Wan. Mace quickly recovered and launched back into the fray, but Obi-Wan instead went to free Padme.
He raised his lightsaber and sliced through the chains like paper ringlets and helped her to her feet. He gave her the map he was give by Thrice and told her to leave.
"Here, take this. Go to the labs and stay with Thrice."
"But the Rebels? The control station, Obi-Wan we have to stop the ship from attacking."
"Padme, go. Lord Blackswan and Lady Nina are handling it. Now leave."
The lady-Senator then finally consented and began to flee. Though as she headed towards the exit, Obi-Wan saw Master Windu get speared through the chest by Darth Sidious' crimson blade and watched him as he fell to the ground in agony.
Gleefully, the Sith Lord raised his hand and shocked him several times with Force-lightening and laughed as he withered and cried out in pain. Obi-Wan rushed to help his friend. He drew his metal sword from his holster and threw it towards Sidious and pierced him through his back. The Dark Lord grunted as the sword made impacted and stopped his attack. The Dark Lord shrilled in agony and tried to pull the weapon out from his hide.
Meanwhile, in a battle of wills Vader and Anakin struggled to gain the upper hand, but as their lightsabers neared blisteringly close and hummed deadly in the air, the young warrior made his move. He reared back his head and slammed it into the young Sith's and distracted him with the crude tactic.
"Damn you!" shouted Vader. "You don't fight like a Jedi."
"No" replied Anakin. "I've learned to also fight like a warrior. I've learned there are things beyond Darkness and Light. I've learned to think beyond you."
In response, Vader threw back his head and laughed. "Fool. There is only Darkness. It's stronger than the Light. It's made you stronger too. Face it, brother. You would have never lasted so long if you didn't hate me. I can feel it."
Anakin moved his hand and drew the Clan blade he from his belt and began to circle him. With two swords in hand—one metal and the other made of light, he inched closer to his enemy.
"No, you're wrong. The Darkness doesn't control me. I am not its slave. I'm no ones slave!"
The two men clashed together in a crackling flash of light and sparks as Anakin scissors Vader's sole blade between his own and pushed him back. Vader then tried to blast him back with the use of the Force, but once again Anakin dispels his powers with his own. He learned long ago from Thrice that channeling could cancel out any move. When fighting members of the Clan, raw skill counted for everything.
Frustrated, Vader shouted, "You can't have her!"
"She was never yours!" cried Anakin.
The young Sith then lunged forward, but with a quick side step Anakin moved and plunged the metal blade threw his double's lower back and killed him in one last fatal blow.
Darth Sidious ripped the black blade out from his back and felt the churn of the Living Force pulsate in it's hilt. It was clear to him that this was no ordinary sword. This was the weapon of a warrior who understood the Force like a Jedi.
"Where did you get this sword?"
Obi-Wan was startled by the question, but answered, "It was a gift to me from my beloved."
Sidious snared. "Lady Thrice did not create this sword. It reeks of the Light like a Jedi."
"No," admitted the Knight. "But beloved I was to her nonetheless. It was meant for my hand, and my hand alone."
"Then a pity it will be that you will soon be dead!"
Darth Sidious then raised his hand and shot out a beam of Force-lightening to subdue Obi-Wan like he had done to Master Windu. It thought it would be fitting to slay him with his own beloved's gift, but out of nowhere another metallic sword sailed through in the space between them and absorb the power like a sponge.
In a blinding roar of pure energy, the sword seemed suspended in mid air and glowed a brilliant red. Then, abruptly it dropped point down into the polished floor like a spear. And as the smoke and mist cleared, Obi-Wan saw that the sword with midnight-black and he knew instantly that it belonged to his lady. He looked over towards the doorway and saw her standing at the threshold. Behind her stood Padme and half a dozen other Clan-warriors who all had shining ruby eyes and draw swords for the fight.
"There is no escape, Darth Sidious," said Obi-Wan confidently.
In response the Dark Lord chuckling darkly and swiftly picked Master Windu up by his throat and threatened him with Obi-Wan sword. He gave Thrice a wicked grin and said, "One false move and I will put an end to him, my lady."
Amused, she smiled back and replied, "Oh, like I care about him."
"No, I suppose you don't, but your precious Obi-Wan does. Now leave."
"I don't take orders from you, dog!"
"Let him go," said Obi-Wan. "It's over Sidious."
The Sith Lord gave the Knight a morbid smile and said, "Over? It is never over, my dear Jedi. I still have plans yet for my Empire. Plans you are incapable of comprehending." He then frowned and shouted, "Now leave me!"
Yet, suddenly out of nowhere Anakin appeared and stabbed the Dark Lord in the back with his sword and lightsaber, which caused him to drop his hostage onto the floor. In a maddening roar, Sidious blasted back the sword and saber from his body in an explosion force. Then, like one entity the Clan-warriors herded around the Sith and charged his form with the Living Force until every atom of his being was infused with Light. His body then began to glow and in a deafening boom, Darth Sidious disappeared into an array of sparks and vapor and dissolved into the Force.
Stunned, Obi-Wan approached Thrice and held her hand. "Force, what was that?"
"That Sir Knight was the power of the Force."
Location: Blackswan battleship, dining room
When the Rebels and the last remaining Jedi had finally boarded the Clan battleship, all the stormtroopers had been taken into custody and the ship's systems were all fully operational. Clan-healers tended to the wounded and the vessel headed a course to Coruscant.
"We have to restore the Republic," said Padme. "We have to restore democracy."
"Do as you like, Miss Padme," replied Lord Blackswan. He gestured for his servants to refill his glass and serve his guest more food before speaking again. "My Clan will be happy to drop you off, but afterwards we will be looking for a new suitable home."
"You mean you're not going to stay and help us rebuild?" asked Anakin.
"I'm sorry, young warrior but I have no interest in entering your politics. Involvement only spells trouble."
Annoyed, Anakin replied, "You sound just like Obi-Wan."
Lord Blackswan laughed. "Well, then he's a wise man."
The young Jedi narrowed his brow and said, "But I just know that the future would be a lot better with the Clan aiding our cause. They're more practical and they have the strength. We could help you find a new home. I think we ought to all work together."
Padme beamed at her fiancé's argument. She couldn't have been more proud. Tenderly, she held his hand and caressed his wrist. "Ani, I'm so glad you think so too." She then decided to plea her case to woman-warrior and said, "Lady Thrice, couldn't you convince your people to stay and be our allies?"
The red-eyed beauty answered, "No, I can't. I'm no longer a part of the Clan, Padme. I broke my vow so that I could go help Anakin save you and so that I could stay with Obi-Wan."
Padme frowned in confused. "What? What do you mean 'stay with Obi-Wan'?"
Embarrassed, Obi-Wan leaned over to address the lady-Senator and said, "We're engaged. You're looking at the future Mrs. Kenobi, Miss Padme."
Shocked, she absorbed the new information quickly before turning to Lord Blackswan enraged. "Do you mean to tell me that you have disowned your own daughter, your own general just because she decided to get married?"
Cool and calm, the mad scientist replied, "Heaven's no, but we needn't have a formal alliance since Obi-Wan will soon be my son-in-law. In fact, he will become my family. I will be honor bound to aid him in his affairs."
In response nearly everyone in the room was flabbergasted. They had no idea Lord Blackswan would make such a statement. Speechless, they all watched as he cunningly narrowed his ruby-eyes to the Knight and said, "Only if I am asked, you understand me?"
Obi-Wan curtly nodded his head. "Perfectly, Lord Blackswan."
Pleased, the scientist smiled. "Good. So, when do you plan on having some children?"
And at those words, the Knight nearly spilled his drink.
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