Chapter 1

Will to love, Will to Live

Coruscant, 19 B.B.Y.

Kit Fisto no longer felt pain at his side. All he felt was the chill of death as he slowly drifted away from his darkness. "So this is what death feels like," he thought to himself, "How did it come to this?" Memories began to fill in his mind, memories that he could never forget no matter how hard he could ever try, memories that would define his entire personality, memories he regretted and loved. His life was flashing before his eyes.

Coruscant, 39 B.B.Y.

The Mon Calamari Jedi Nenroy Ken and his padawan, a 17 year old reckless Kit Fisto, walked down the halls of the Jedi Temple. There, they came across another Jedi.

"Quinlan," said Nenroy, shaking hands to this stranger to Kit, "It is good to see you again."

"Good to see you too, old friend," said Quinlan in that rough, tough-guy voice he always had, "How goes your padawan?"

"Good," said Kit's master, "and I've heard that you have a new padawan as well?"

"Yes," said Quinlan, "A most gifted student. So far, she has passed every test I have thrown at her. She probably even could rival against your padawan."

Just as Quinlan had said this, an 8 year old Twi'lek ran up to him, "There you are master." she said.

It was that moment that Kit Fisto had set his eyes on who would be the love of his life. It was there when he met Aayla Secura. He couldn't take his eyes off her. It was as if the very essence of the force was inside her. Aayla's eyes turned to his. She too froze at the sight of the young, dashing Kit Fisto she began to open her mouth to speak and said in a matter-of-fact way, "You have tentacles on your head."

Kit frowned. That wasn't exactly the answer he was looking for, "Um… thanks. So do you… I guess." Aayla blushed a little at the comment. Nenroy and Quinlan looked at each other curiously.

Rhen Var, 37 B.B.Y.

"Master!" Kit screamed, "NO!"

Kit couldn't believe his eyes as Nenroy's head rolled to the ground. Nenroy, Kit's master and friend, dead at the hands of a Dark Jedi.

"You are too late, foolish Jedi," said the Dark Jedi, "Your master is dead and your mission has failed. Soon, you will be next."

Kit's mind was filled with rage, frustration, and most of all, hatred, hatred for the one that killed his master. He used the force to grab his master's lightsaber and ignited the green blade as well as his own. He charged at the Dark Jedi and their sabers clashed.

Coruscant, 37 B.B.Y.

Kit Fisto stood at his porch in the Jedi Temple looking out at the towering metal spires and urban streets pondering his mission on Rhen Var. he knew that what he felt was the dark side but he didn't want to admit it. But that image of his master's head rolling on the icy ground infected his mind. He still wanted to kill the Dark Jedi but he knew in his heart that he did the right thing arresting him instead. Suddenly, he saw someone step beside him. It was Aayla. Kit smiled at the sight of her and she did too. His smile soon faded as he remembered what happened on Rhen Var and looked serious once more.

"You know," said Aayla, "You shouldn't blame yourself. You did what you could and that's what matters."

"Always the diplomat," thought Kit. Deep down, she knew she was right. "Aayla," he said, "If you were in my position, if… if Quinlan was killed instead of Nenroy… would you have killed him?"

Aayla thought for a moment and said, "No, I don't think I would. Not that I wouldn't want to, though. I just know that it's against what we're taught. That's what you're going through, isn't it?"

Kit was silent then said, "Yeah… yeah, I guess it is. I just can't accept the fact that I'll never see him again. I can't accept the fact that he's gone."

Then Aayla remembered something that her master taught her, "Hey, Kit, you want to hear a story that will cheer you up?"

"Yeah, I guess," said Kit.

"Well," Aayla explained, "About a month after I met you, I went to Felucia. You remember that?"

"Yeah," he said with a laugh, "That was a lonely couple of weeks."

Aayla giggled a bit and then said, "Well, I had a pet named T'da. I used to take her everywhere. Then, well, she got hurt and…" she was silent for a moment, her eyes watering, and then continued, "Well… she died. I couldn't stop crying. Then my master found me grieving over her and asked what was wrong. I explained what happened and then he asked me what the Jedi Code teaches. That-"

"There is no death, only the force," Kit interrupted, "Yoda always made sure that we understood that. The fact is, I don't want Nenroy to be gone."

"I said the same thing about T'da to Quin," said Aayla, "But he said that death is a part of life and life is a part of the force. Anyway, we both buried T'da and I stated that I'd never see her again. Then Quin showed me this flower and asked me if I could see it. I said yes. Then he covered it with his other hand. I couldn't see it or smell it or touch it but that didn't make it any different that when he didn't cover it and…" she stopped for a moment trying to figure out what to say next, "I guess what I'm trying to say is that, even though Nenroy isn't here anymore doesn't mean that he's gone. He's still in your heart like T'da is in mine."

Kit smiled and said, "Thanks, Aayla. You always know what to say at times like these."

Aayla smiled back as they stared off into the distance as the sun set over the glowing towers of Coruscant.

Coruscant, 19 B.B.Y.

As Kit's memories returned to him, he remembered what had happened, "The second Sith!" he suddenly realized, "This was his doing. I was sent on a mission with Windu and others to arrest Chancellor Palpatine who was found out to be the second Sith. It doesn't matter now. It's all over." He lay there motionless, waiting for death. Then he remembered Aayla once more: her beautiful smile, her laugh, and the way she looked at him. He loved her more than anything in the world. He began to fade away.

"No!" he thought, bringing himself back to conciseness, "I can't let myself go like this. Aayla needs me. I need to wake up. WAKE UP!"

His eyes opened. He stood up, wincing in pain from his wound. He dared not look at the damage. All that mattered was to survive as long as possible. Then he heard a voice from the other room, "Once more, the Sith will rule the galaxy and we shall have peace!" Kit knew that voice: Palpatine. Ignoring his pain, Kit ignited his lightsaber and charged into the other room. Little did he know that this would mark the beginning of the assassins.