Remnants of the Jedi!, their order all but decimated thanks to a secret order issued to the clones the Jedi are slaughtered all across the galaxy, in a desperate attempt to save the order Jedi Master Yoda sends a message out to his fellow Jedi, ordering them to meet him at a secret location well out of the Republic's reach. As the chosen ones destiny nears ever closer the very fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance, a fate even the Jedi may not be powerful enough to stop.
Chapter 23: Remnants of the Jedi
Corellian Trade Spine, Just beyond the Outer Rim
Barriss stood behind Master Dilrhan's chair in the cockpit of the T-6 shuttle, her confusion rising with every second of silence as Shaak Ti piloted the ship through the vast array of blackness around them. A quick look to the console at her side told her they were in fact on course to Master Yoda's coordinates, but the pure white planet looming in the view port finally peaked her interest enough to speak. "We're meeting Master Yoda on Hoth?, I'm all for remote but their hasn't been a civilized settlement on this planet in years".
Master Dilrhan nodded to the girl behind him "exactly miss Offee, if the Republic tries to find us this is without a doubt the last place they'd look, lets just hope our fellow Jedi can make it here without being followed".
"I'm getting a signal from the planets surface" Shaak Ti said "small enough for someone to miss were they not looking for it, it seems someone beat us here".
With a small nod Barriss turned away from the view port "I'll tell Ahsoka, just to be safe I'd shut off anything not critical for landing this thing. We're not certain it's Master Yoda down there waiting for us, better to be remain discrete as long as possible". The lights above her began to dim as Barriss stepped out of the cockpit and into the small room that served as the ships loading bay, Ahsoka sat cross-legged in the middle of the room. Trying to keep her steps light on the metal floor Barriss walked up to the girl and placed a hand on her shoulder "we're nearing Hoth, should only be a few more minutes".
When silence was the only response she got Barriss turned back to the door, stopped just inches from the exit when Ahsoka rose to her feet "Barriss, we need to talk". The tone in her friends voice was enough to turn Barriss back around, nodding for Ahsoka to continue as she took a few steps closer. Ahsoka met Barriss' eyes as she spoke "look I know I should have told you this earlier, although we never shared it with the council several months ago Skyguy, Master Kenobi, and me wound up on a planet...well unlike anything I'd ever seen. On it was a man who called himself the Father, a man I watched die in front of me".
"Why are you telling me this now?" Barriss asked.
"Because before we left Corusant I saw him again, in a vision of the future he showed me things I can't even begin to describe, terrible things. Palpatine plans to use Anakin's love for Padme' to turn him to the dark side, and I've seen what happens if his plan succeeds, Barriss we can't allow it to happen. Along with the vision the Father told me that future has already been set off course, we have a chance to change it but we must insure Anakin has help close by when he faces Palpatine".
Barriss was silent for a moment as she took in her friends words "since you're telling me this now I assume you've decided not to tell Anakin".
"I know my former Master, if I tell him he'll rush off on his own and do something drastic".
"Alright then we'll come up with something together, assuming this base we're headed to is secure we'll talk about this later okay". Lightly kissing Ahsoka's forehead Barriss met her friends eyes "there's something else you want to tell me".
"Yes" Ahsoka reluctantly admitted "having seen what happens when Anakin's love is used by his enemies I started to think, about us, and about our future. I know it's like a one in a million shot we live through this, but if we do I think we should consider taking our lives in a different direction".
Barriss took a few steps back "you mean our lives as Jedi, you want to leave the Order?".
A pained look crossed Ahsoka's face as she slowly nodded "I won't force this decision on you, all I'm asking is that you consider it when the time comes".
Looking deep into her friends eyes Barriss rushed forward and pressed her lips against Ahsoka's, a warm sensation traveling through her body before she pulled back. "I don't know what our future holds Ahsoka, but I know I want to spend every last second of it with you by my side, promise me we'll both be here to talk about this again and I'll consider leaving the order". A strong lurch telling both girls the ship had landed Ahsoka simply nodded, the ring still resting in her pocket feeling as though it had doubled in weight as the young Togruta shook the foolish thought from her head.
Hoth's climate was easily the most unforgivable of any Barriss had experienced before, an endless sea of snow in every direction with some spots reaching higher up than the girls waist and a devastating windchill that felt as though it was ripping the skin from her body with every sudden gust. The trek through what she hoped was a path ahead of them was made even worse by the fact that their T-6 had contained absolutely no snow gear, leaving all four Jedi with only their usual Jedi garb to protect from the extreme conditions of the snowy planet. With every breath filling her throat with half a mouth full of snow from the blizzard that blared around them Barriss grabbed hold of Ahsoka and pulled the girl close as they continued to walk, between the girls shared body heat and a familiar soothing force presence Ahsoka did a fair job of keeping her from falling to her knees. A few more minutes passed before Master Dilrhan and Master Shaak Ti also huddled together, each wrapping an arm around the others waist and walking in unison through the deep snow.
The four Jedi struggled to keep moving for what felt like hours, but each knew in reality was more like minutes, with no sign of Master Yoda or any other Jedi ever presenting itself. Leading the way Barriss and Ahsoka all but crawled over a snow covered hill, each pausing for a split second when a group of strange looking animals in the clearing ahead took them by surprise. Sensing their confusion Master Dilrhan followed their gaze, forced to yell over the blizzard as he explained. "Tauntauns!, one of the few herbivores native to this planet!".
"If an entire group is around there must be a cave somewhere nearby!" Shaak Ti added "Tauntauns survive solely on grass found in the caverns scattered across the planet, the only reason they even come above ground is to mate!".
Without meeting Ahsoka's eyes Barriss was sure they had come up with the same plan, both starting down the hill and towards the group of animals fast as their tired legs would carry them. Masters Dilrhan and Shaak Ti followed blindly, the latter even mentioning the animals are easily startled as Barriss and Ahsoka neared the closest Tauntaun. Both girls easily combined their force presence, sensing and quickly calming the skittishness inside the beasts. Barriss let go of Ahsoka and took a cautious step forward, running a cold hand through the Tauntauns amazingly warm fur.
Losing their self control instantly both Barriss and Ahsoka pressed their bodies against the warm animal, reveling in the fact that, just for a second, their desperate situation melted away along with the painful coldness inside them. Before either Jedi Master could questions their strange actions Barriss lightly grabbed the animals pelt and pulled herself onto it's back, holding onto the Tauntauns neck as she helped Ahsoka up to sit behind her. With no need for explanation Master Dilrhan climbed on top of the Tauntaun closest to him and pulled Shaak Ti up behind him "if we can find the cave these creatures live in we can at least get out of this blizzard for a while!".
Barriss squinted her eyes against the oncoming snow "I think I see something in the distance!". Gently digging her foot against the animals side Barriss tightened her grip on the animals neck as the Tauntaun took off through the snow, easily moving with the same grace a person would when running on a paved road. Clearing a space in seconds that would of taken them hours on foot the Tauntaun came to a sudden halt when Barriss willed the animal to do so, her eyes stuck on the sight in front of her as she jumped down off the animal. Just a few feet ahead a snow covered mountain that seemed to kiss the sky at its peak loomed over the entire area, but it was the large oval shaped opening in the mountains base that brought all four Jedi to an amazed stop.
Inside the opening an oddly bright lit cave lined with dark blue walls made entirely of ice carved its way down far enough that the ending was impossible to see from their position. Barriss started to step forward before a slick surface under her forced her gaze downward towards a small shining piece of metal barely noticeable under the thick layer of snow. After a quick intake of breath Ahsoka cleared the snow around the object with a small force push, revealing a strange symbol etched into the metal. Apparently recognizing the symbol Master Dilrhan stepped forward "the insignia for the Old Republic, of course, in the days of the Old Republic the Jedi had small temples all throughout the galaxy, I believe we've found Master Yoda's meeting place".
"I can sense more than one being" Shaak Ti stated "each rather strong in the force, perhaps our warning got out in time".
After only a few minutes of walking the four Jedi found themselves at the end of the large cave, the wind simultaneously ripped from their lungs as they took in their surroundings. The caves inner workings were a natural work of art, with an ice ceiling above them clear as glass and a field of fresh grass stretching all throughout the cave. A group of Tauntauns apparently unaware of their presence stood peacefully grazing in the middle of the field, one of whom quickly looked up as the Jedi started across the field. Barriss let out a quick sigh of relief when she found her body slowly being warmed from the rays of sunlight pouring in from a number of small cracks in the caves ceiling .
As the group made their way across the large cave Ahsoka stopped in her tracks "they're close by" before anyone could question her the young Togruta ran towards the caves left wall. When she neared the wall a quick trembling around her forced Ahsoka to stop once again, simply staring when a large portion of the cave wall receded into the ground to reveal a small green form that brought a smile to all present. Ahsoka bowed to the Jedi Master before speaking "Master Yoda, it's a relief to see you made it off Kashyyyk".
"To see you four, a relief it is as well. Please follow, much to discuss we have". Master Yoda turned after a nod from the group of Jedi and led the way inside a room nearly identical to the war room of the Jedi Temple, although the steps that would have normally led into said temple were no where to found, replaced instead with a large rectangular door. Barriss felt her heart drop from the small amount of Jedi standing around the holo-projector in the middle of the room, along with Masters Kenobi and Windu only Marikane and Anakin looked up as they entered the room.
Immediately setting his sights on Ahsoka Anakin walked quickly towards his former padawan "Ahsoka thank goodness, we were afraid when the blizzard hit you wouldn't be able...are you alright?".
Ahsoka cast a confused look before her gaze shifted downward, a mix of both sadness and fear racing in her head when she realized her hand had instinctively gone to her lightsaber when Anakin approached. "Uh...yeah Skyguy I'm alright, just a bit on edge I guess".
Much as Barriss wanted to step away from the awkward conversation she forced herself to speak, her tone nervous at the answer her question would receive "this isn't everybody right?, it can't be".
"In the docking bay, the young-lings are" Master Yoda said "unfortunately for a number of Jedi I believe sent too late, our warning was".
Anakin stepped forward and leaned against the side of the holo-projector "we can't let their deaths be in vain, we need to do something and we need to do it now".
After all Jedi present had formed a small circle around the holo-projector Barriss spoke up "I hate to even say this but there may not be anything we can do, at least not at the moment. To even get close to Palpatine we'd need an army, or at the very least an extremely experienced team of Jedi Masters, with only the nine of us we'd surely be picked out of the sky long before we could reach Corusant".
"What are you suggesting Barriss?" Obi-Wan asked.
"Well simply speaking we have everything here we need to survive, a cave this size has to have a small creek somewhere and there are plenty of animals on Hoth to provide a food source. I think the smartest thing to do right now would be to lay low and train the next generation of Jedi, sooner or later the time will come when our numbers are strong enough to plan an actual assault on the Sith Lord".
"I'm not sure about that miss Offee" Master Dilrhan stated objectively "at the time of the attack we only had five young-lings in training, and by the time they're strong enough to fight some of us older Jedi may not be in the best of health to be waging a war".
Barriss shrugged the objection away "then we continue to wait, three of us present are woman after all, if it comes down to it more force sensitive children can be conceived. I hate to think of the galaxy suffering while we squat in a cave but if we attack now and fail, the galaxy may never recover from whatever Palpatine has planned".
Although Barriss couldn't help but smirk when Marikane shifted a few inches closer to Shaak Ti the small moment was killed when Anakin slammed his fist down on the holo-projector "I can't believe we're even debating this!, Palpatine needs to be taken care of now!".
Ahsoka tried her best to keep her voice calm "Skyguy if we rush into this we only raise our chances of making a mistake, Palpatine will get what he deserves but we...we just have to careful about our next step".
Obi-Wan nodded "Ahsoka's right Anakin, we attack now and risk letting the galaxy down just as we did in trusting Palpatine. We need time to plan what may very well be Corusant's first planetary invasion, Barriss' plan gives us that time".
Anakin laughed dryly before turning to Barriss "oh right I'm sorry Barriss what was your plan again?, we just sit around and fuck while Palpatine rips the galaxy apart looking for us!. What about the millions of people who will no doubt die under a Siths leadership?, every second we spend just standing here more innocent people will pay the price for our mistakes!".
Barriss took a deep breath as she met Anakin's intense stare, summoning all the strength to raise her voice to her former Master. "I understand your reasoning but simply put Anakin we attack now and not only do we die but we leave the galaxy in darkness with no one left to save it!, I don't like this anymore than you but...". A shrill silence filled the room as Barriss stopped herself mid sentence, sharing the same look with all other Jedi around her when a force presence not from anyone in the room made itself known. Marikane hit a few buttons on the holo-projector to bring up an image of a large Republic Cruiser nearing their base.
Before anyone could question the image it was swiftly replaced by one that brought one extremely small sliver of hope to their situation, bowing to all present Master Kota let a sly grin cross his lips. "Would someone kindly open the loading bay doors?, I'd like to participate in this discussion".
A few minutes after the Eclipse had successfully docked into the hidden base the group of Jedi met with Master Kota on the ships bridge, all once again crowding around a holo-projector as Master Kota was first to speak. "I won't dwell on facts we all already know, or make some speech about the darkness of our situation, the Eclipse was refueling at a base on Geonosis when the order was issued to the clones. We were taken completely by surprise and I lost a lot of good men to make it here, but the ones that did survive are pissed off and ready for a fight. Now even with my militia we have a slim chance in hell of restoring peace to the galaxy, but the Jedi have pulled off some impossible feats in the past, I say we add one more to the list".
A series of nods from the Jedi around was followed by Master Yoda speaking up for the first time since the conversation had started "keep the clone army busy, your militia can?".
"With all due respect Master, they can do a lot more than that".
Master Yoda nodded solemnly "then possible, an assault may be. But plan such an attack with the utmost care, we must. Put in danger, many innocent lives will be".
"I'm sure you wouldn't start the planning without me Master Yoda" a soft voice turning all heads in the room Barriss felt her heart leap when Luminara stepped onto the bridge.
Master Kota squinted his eyes as Luminara found a place in the circle of Jedi "funny Master Unduli, I seem to remember telling you to stay in the med bay until your injuries had been properly treated".
"Yes I believe you did Master Kota" Luminara agreed, her tone making it clear she wished to drop the subject. "Now I couldn't help but overhear some of the conversation, if we're really considering attacking Corusant's capital head on something needs to be done to warn the people of our attack".
"One of us could take the twilight" Ahsoka added "it's stealth systems should be enough to at least get close to the Capital, from their they could gain control of Corusant's broadcasting systems and warn the people seconds before our attack. We may not be able to save everyone from the crossfire but it's better than going in guns blazing and taking down half the planet along with Palpatine".
Master Kota rubbed his chin thoughtfully "that could work, Barriss, Ahsoka, I assume you're volunteering for this task?".
Barriss met Ahsoka's eyes for a moment 'I don't think it would a good idea for you to go with me Ahsoka, if the future you were shown can still happen you have to be by Anakin's side when he faces Palpatine'.
'I know, are you certain you can override Corusant's broadcasting system without me?'.
'I'll be fine, don't worry' quickly realizing the awkward pause their silent conversation had caused on the bridge Barriss promptly cleared her throat to regain the other Jedi's attention. "I'll send the message to the people of Corusant, with the stakes high as they are it'd be foolish for both of us to go. As long as me and Ahsoka aren't apart for too long our meld shouldn't prove troublesome".
Rather than question the decision Master Kota nodded in approval "well if Ahsoka's aiding in the attack she'll need some proper battlefield attire, Ahsoka if you'll come with me we'll get you fitted for a set of militia armor, it should provide you with both more protection and the freedom of movement your species desires". When Ahsoka answered with a light bow Kota spoke up again "the rest of us will meet up later to plan the specifics of the assault, till then there's plenty that needs to be done in order for this attack to stand a chance, lets get to work".
By the time Barriss finally stepped out of the Jedi's hidden temple the sunlight shining in through the cracks in the caves ceiling had been replaced with moonlight. Looking around the grass field she quickly spotted Ahsoka's form towards the back of the cave, as she stepped closer several Tauntauns, some standing motionless while others laid oddly curled up on the grass, also became visible. Ahsoka laid on her back in the grass with her head rested comfortably on the Tauntaun curled up behind her, if the animal knew she was there the blank stare of it's eyes didn't seem to mind it. Barriss heard herself laugh for the first in a long time "these creatures certainly are docile".
Ahsoka smiled warmly at the comment "the force meld seems to make us really good with animals, I'm just glad I don't have to worry about one of these guys swallowing me whole in my sleep". As Barriss laid down beside her Ahsoka wrapped an arm around her friends waist "so...do you want to talk about James?, I have to say if it were me in your position I'm not sure I could have taken his life".
Barriss gently rubbed the hand gripping her waist "James made his choice, he died paying for his mistakes. I've made peace with what had to be done, frankly I think we have something else that requires discussion". At a blank look from Ahsoka Barriss continued "if Anakin isn't strong enough to push passed Palpatine's influence, he'll have to be dealt with before he turns completely".
A short silence filled the cave before Ahsoka sighed reluctantly "I'm hoping it won't come to that, but I've seen Anakin do some things in the past that could of easily gotten him stripped from the order, if it comes down to either Anakin's life or the safety of the galaxy, I'll do what I have to".
At the last of Ahsoka's words the tone of her friends voice brought tears to Barriss' eyes, with a soft smile she leaned in and lightly kissed the girls cheek. "Ahsoka, I hate seeing you like this, you deserve to have so much more than this".
"What are you saying Barriss?".
When she was sure she would hesitate Barriss instead felt the next mix of words flow naturally from her lips "After all this is done with, once Palpatine is dead and balance has finally been brought to the force, if a life outside the Jedi Order is truly what you want...then it's what I want too". Ahsoka simply smiled as she leaned her head against Barriss', both girls closing their eyes and letting the rise and fall of the animals stomach behind them will them to sleep.
The Following Morning
Barriss walked into the loading bay to find it filled with activity, militia soldiers moved around every square inch of the large room as they worked tirelessly to prep the rows of X and Y-wing fighters lined in front of the Eclipse. At the very front of the loading bay she found the idle twilight awaiting her along with someone she had hoped she'd have the chance to talk to before the day had officially begun. Unable to fight back a small grin Barriss moved to stand beside Master Unduli "Master...if today doesn't go as planned, well I just wanted to say how much I appreciated all the advice you'd given me over the years, it's what made me the Jedi I am today".
Luminara slowly nodded, her gaze fixed on the ship ahead of her. "I see you chose to wear Master Sira's robes, thank you".
"No thank you Master, it's an honor that you'd give me the robes of someone who touched your life so profoundly. It she meant half as much to you as Ahsoka does to me, I can't even imagine what it must have been like to lose her".
"I didn't lose her" Luminara stated simply "one of the perks of being a Jedi, you never truly lose those you care about. I can sense her presence every second of my life, it's faint, but it's there". Sharing one final bow with her former padawan Luminara walked away from the twilight and headed towards the loading ramp of the Eclipse. Barriss stood alone at the twilight for a few minutes before another presence approached from behind her, turning to face Ahsoka she took a quick step back to study the girls new outfit. In place of her usual Jedi outfit a dark blue sleeveless shirt and tight black pants covered Ahsoka's body, complete with the same black gloves and combat boots of Kota's militia.
But it was the black helmet over Ahsoka's lekku that really caught her eye, the helmet had apparently been designed to perfectly cover all three of the girls lekku, leaving only the black tips of her montrals unprotected. The two girls stood in silence, both unsure of what to say for what could very well be their last time together. Finally breaking the silence Barriss took Ahsoka's hands in her own "should one of us say we have a bad feeling about this?".
Ahsoka laughed dryly "I think that goes without saying this time" another long silence followed before Ahsoka lunged forward and wrapped her friend in a tight hug "I love you. Whatever happens, I want you to remember that".
It took the self control Barriss had to pushed the young Togruta lightly away from her "I love you too". Barriss turned away from her friend quickly as she could, knowing full well any more time staring into her eyes and she'd never be able to leave. Without looking back she walked into the twilight and pressed the button to raise the loading ramp, a stream of tears slowly forming in her eyes as Ahsoka's presence drifted further and further away.
Expertly piloting the twilight out of Hoths atmosphere Barriss made the jump to light speed and sat back in the pilots chair as an endless blue and black tunnel filled the view ahead of her. With nothing else to pass the time she focused intently on the mixed beeping of several consoles around her, slowly closing her eyes and trying her best to focus on the small speck of Ahsoka's presence she could still feel. "Your thoughts betray you young one, a Jedi needs to stay focused on the mission at hand" Barriss almost fell off her chair at the strange voice, only pulling herself together long enough to look at the seat across from her and finish her plummet to the metal floor. A Pantoran female that looked to be around her age sat in the twilight's co-pilot seat, wearing the exact same outfit as Barriss as she rested her boots on the ships front console.
Barriss rubbed her eyes as the picture Master Unduli had shown her back on Corusant flashed in her head "Master Sira!, but your dead!".
Master Sira faked offense at her words, placing two gloved fingers on her pulse before shrugging the thought away. "Now sweetie how many times do you have to hear the Jedi code before it hits home?, there is no death, there is the force. But I didn't come here to discuss the logistics of the code with you, or did I?, why am I here again?".
Well aware of the paleness on her face Barriss struggled to her feet "what did you mean by my thoughts betray me?".
Pretty much ignoring her question Master Sira snapped her fingers "that's it, sweetie I've come to talk about your relationship with...oh wait...damn I never was good with names, just give me a hint I can get it".
Once again Sira snapped her fingers "good hint, yes Ahsoka. Pretty name by the way, means grace in Togruta...or something like that, but that's beside the point right now. Sweetie I've been keeping an eye on you for a while now and I gotta say, you remind me a lot of myself, and not just because you stole my look, which by the way you completely pull off".
Fighting the knot in her stomach Barriss sat back down in her chair "well thank you Master".
"It wasn't a complement, well the last part was, but not the part about you being like me. Look sweetie it's great you found love but if you don't find a way to balance your relationship with Ahsoka with your life as a Jedi Knight you're gonna end up like me. You wanna know what I was thinking about the last moments of my life, Luminara. God some days I don't think a second went by where I wasn't thinking about her, the feeling of her breath hitting my neck, the chill she could send through me just from the slightest touch, any of this sounding familiar?".
"But you loved Master Unduli didn't you?" Barriss asked.
"Oh absolutely, and don't get me wrong sweetie I could spend a thousand lifetimes thinking about her, in fact I plan to. But a Jedi simply can't do that, I'm not saying you can't have the life you want with Ahsoka but unless you can find a way to keep your feelings for her separate from the Jedi side of you, well our next conversation may be sooner than you want it to be".
Barriss was silent for a moment as she took in Sira's words "if what happened to you...if it hadn't happened, what would you and Luminara have done?".
A small smile crossed Sira's lips as she looked out the ships front view port "that's a good question miss Offee, one I'm not sure I'll ever have the answer to. I know I love Luminara, and I would have done anything to make sure the rest of my life was spent with her. But if you really want my advice sweetie I'm afraid I can't give it to you, you and Ahsoka are the only two who can make this decision. All I can say is when the time comes, look into her eyes, you'll make the right choice". Barriss looked to the floor for a second, only to find Master Sira gone when she looked back up, sighing to herself as she silently went back to work on the ships controls.
Corusant filled the twilight's front view port as the ship lurched out of light speed, soaring as fast as it could go into the planets atmosphere and reaching the planets capital in only a few minutes. Barriss pulled back on the controls when she spotted her target in the distance, a large skyscraper housing a circle of giant satellites on its roof. The twilight came to a sudden stop half way up the building, resting lightly on a small helipad as its loading ramp opened. After a few deep breaths Barriss stepped down the loading ramp and made her way quickly across the helipad, pulling her golden hood over her head as she opened the door into the building with a wave of her hand.
Inside was a nothing but a mix of dimly lit hallways, some offering no light to guide her way. She walked through the halls in a low crouch for several minutes before finally finding an elevator, at the sound of voices slowly approaching her direction she made a mad dash for the open doors and pressed the image for the top floor. As the elevator started its ascent a small beep from her com-link forced her hand to her mouth "Ahsoka, that you?".
Instead of the voice she'd grown to crave hearing Master Kota answered her "not quite young one, the Eclipse will be in position for the assault in a few minutes, have you sent the warning to Corusant's people yet?".
"I'm on my way to the broadcasting systems override terminal as we speak Master, I'll have the message sent and be ready to rendezvous with the rest of you by the time you begin the assault".
"I know you won't let us down Barriss, and don't worry I'll keep a close eye on Ahsoka for you, Kota out". Barriss switched her com-link off as the elevator doors opened to reveal a room with a long terminal stretching across it's back wall. Running over to the terminal Barriss immediately messed with the series of buttons and switches she'd memorized on the flight to Corusant, a sigh of relief escaping her when the red flashing lights on all sides of the room turned bright green. Only a moment to think of what exactly she would say and Barriss opened her mouth, every word being transmitted to every screen, holo-projector, and transmitting device on Corusant's capital.
"People of Corusant, the Jedi Order has not betrayed you, everything you've heard over the past few days has been a lie, a lie told to you by nothing less than a Sith Lord, one so strong in the force he's been able to hide his true identity from all of us for years. Chancellor Palpatine has betrayed us all, but the Jedi plan to take back our home and free you from his oppression, I beg every citizen of Corusant to barred yourselves inside your homes, your liberation is at hand!".
The very second Barriss stopped talking the wall in front of her erupted into a violent explosion, one that sent her flying back across the room and slammed her into the elevator doors. The wind knocked from her lungs Barriss struggled to regain her blurred vision, shaking herself back to her feet just in time to see a Republic gunship aiming it's twin turrets at her through the newly formed hole in the wall. Without much of a plan Barriss took off towards the gunship, a strong force jump sending her through the blown out wall and onto the ships flat top. The gunship veered away from the broadcasting building as Barriss ignited both her paired sabers, almost losing her balance when the gunship dove straight down in an attempt to knock her off.
With some from the force to keep her feet sturdy Barriss moved to the ships cockpit and plunged both her sabers through the glass and into the clone trooper piloting the ship. A quick check to make sure the street the ship would hit was empty and Barriss leapt upward with landed safely on a nearby rooftop, a loud explosion sounding behind her as the gunship turned into a pile of rubble. Her victory was short lived however, a look to the horizon she quickly counted over ten gunships blazing through the crystal blue sky towards her direction. Barriss tightened her grip on her sabers as the ships drew closer "I hope the people of Corusant listen to our warning, because this is gonna leave a mark".
Master Kota stood alone in front of row after row of militia soldiers, the army of men and woman took up more than half of the Eclipses docking bay. Clearing his throat for all to go silent Master Kota glance to the small group of Jedi standing off to the side before speaking. "The Jedi Order stands before you today, broken, a shadow of its former self. Those of us left are nothing more than remnants, the few spared from what was supposed to be a mass extinction. Since its formation the Jedi Order has fought to keep peace throughout the galaxy, but a few days ago we failed in that mission, and we can't fix our mistake alone. So I ask all of you not as a Jedi, but as a man, a man willing to fight and die for the freedom of the galaxy, will you help us?".
Kota's response came in the form of wild cheering from the crowd of militia, a response that brought a thin smile to the lips of every Jedi present. As the cheering slowly died down Kota spoke once again "This so called 'Emperor' has heralded your Republic the first Galactic Empire, I think it's time he learned that with every Empire, a Rebellion will rise up to overthrow it!".
The militia once again began to cheer while Ahsoka silently walked up and stood beside her former Master "Master Kota certainly knows how to inspire confidence in his men, even on a mission half of them may not walk away from".
"All they have to do is keep the clones busy" Anakin added in a distant tone "once Palpatine is dead the clones will have no choice but to surrender".
Ahsoka stood in silence with Anakin, both watching the militia break apart and head to their designated posts for several minutes. Finally finding the courage to speak Ahsoka cleared her throat "Skyguy, I know you're worried about her, I am too, but just for now you have to push those thoughts from your mind".
Even when Ahsoka stepped in front of him Anakin refused to meet her eyes "I don't know what you're talking about Snips".
"Yes you do, Anakin Padme' has been like a mother to me, and I promise you we'll do everything in our power to keep her safe. If Palpatine knew about you two there's no doubt she'll end up in the middle of this, just promise me that when the time comes your priorities will be in the right place, a Jedi can't risk a thousand lives to save one".
Anakin clenched his fists "my priorities are right where they should be, now I don't know how you found about us but just this once Ahsoka don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong, and never lecture me again". Before she could reply Anakin stormed off across the docking bay, never even bothering to look back as Master Kota joined the rest of the Jedi alongside a nearby Y-wing, a quick nod telling Ahsoka to join them.
Ahsoka took a spot between Masters Kenobi and Windu before Kota spoke up "looking at this realistically the Eclipse is scrap metal the moment we come out of hyperspace, I've ordered every member of my militia to launch an all out assault on the cruisers no doubt covering the airspace above Corusant. They'll keep the bulk of the Empire's forces busy and cover our descent into the capital, with any luck Palpatine's overconfidence in his own abilities will stop him from fleeing until we get there".
"See this is why I always stick close to you Jedi" Marikane said from the back of the group "a planetary assault on the most populated planet in the galaxy, this is gonna be insane".
Master Dilrhan rolled his eyes at Marikane's comment "this entire plan is insane unless Barriss gets our message out in time, have we received word from her yet?".
"No" Master Kenobi sighed wearily "but Ahsoka is still standing here with us so we know she's still alive, we'll just have to put our faith in miss Offee and launch the attack regardless of her confirmation".
Ahsoka sat down on the floor, her legs crossed before anyone could question what she was doing. 'Barriss, our attack will begin any second now, have you sent the message to Corusant's people?'.
It took a moment but Barriss' voice eventually echoed through her mind, it's sound faint thanks to the great distance still between them. 'Yes Ahsoka, tell the other Jedi to watch their approach with the utmost caution, the clones have set up anti-aircraft guns all over the Senate district. I've managed to take out a few, indirectly, some help would be much appreciated sweetie, it's basically a war zone in the waiting down here'.
'You're armies on the way' Ahsoka thought comfortingly, a small smile gracing her lips that must of seemed strange to the Jedi surrounding her. 'But Barriss I think we need to rethink our strategy. I can sense Anakin's fear for Padme', I'm afraid he's going to do something drastic, if you can make it to her apartment do you think you can keep her safe?'.
'I'll make sure she's safe, I promise you Ahsoka your visions will not become a reality'.
Ahsoka rose to her feet, her heart beat much more controlled that it had been only seconds ago. "Our message has been sent" she said to the Jedi eying her curiously. "But it seems Sidious knows of our attack, he had defenses set up all over the Senate district".
"Well we knew we'd lose the element of surprise after our message was sent" Obi-Wan said. "We've come too far to turn back now, defenses or no we must insure Anakin makes it to Sidious, the prophecy will be fulfilled today".
Ahsoka had to turn away from her fellow Jedi at the last of Obi-Wan's words, it hurt to constantly lie to her friends, to let them believe in a prophecy that may very well mean death for most of them. Although either way Master Kenobi was right, the chosen one would face his destiny on this day, but it has yet to be said exactly what that destiny is. She had seen the fire in Anakin's eyes, a clear sign of his new found hatred for Emperor Sidious, nothing good ever came from that look. As the other Jedi split off into groups and made way for their fighters Ahsoka started across the docking bay towards her former Master, one hand ever ready on her lightsaber, she knew what may have to be done to bring balance to the force, and she would not hesitate if that situation presented itself.
Barriss ran up what seemed to be endless flight of stairs to reach Padme's apartment, the already tired Jedi taking a moment to catch her breath before opening the door with a wave of her hand. She stepped inside the apartment to find Padme' seemingly froze in position at the small circular verandah jutting out from the rooms side, dressed in a pure white outfit with her gaze stone set on the still smoking remains of the Jedi temple in the distance. Barriss took a few steps inside before clearing her throat, Padme' turned to her with a jolt of surprise, two streams of tears running down her face. "Barriss!".
Padme' rushed forward and wrapped the girl in a tight hug, unable to hide the shakiness from her voice as she spoke through the tears. "The temples been burning for days, please tell me Anakin and Ahsoka are okay?".
"They're fine" Barriss assured her with an uncomfortable pat on the back, pushing the Senator away as lightly as she could. "We're launching an attack to take down Palpatine, he's a Sith Lord Padme', and somehow he knows about you and Anakin, I've come to take you somewhere safe but we have to leave now".
It took Padme' a split second to regain her composure, with a quick look around the room she wiped the tears from her eyes and grabbed her pistol from the side of the room. "Lead the way".
Barriss took a single step towards the door when a strong force convulsion overtook her, she grabbed her main saber from her waist and ignited its green blade as the door to the apartment was blown into pieces. Their rifles at the ready several clone troopers stormed into the room, the last instantly recognizable in his white and gold armor.
His blasters sights stone set on Barriss' head Commander Cody readied his finger on the trigger. "Drop your weapons!, the Emperor has demanded both of you be brought to him alive".
Barriss gave a cautious look to Padme', afterwords nodding and dropping both her sabers to the floor. "All right Commander, you win, we surrender".
All blasters in the room shifted to Padme, the Senator kept her grip tight on her pistol. "Barriss, are you sure about this?".
"Trust me Senator, I always have a plan".
The Eclipse lurched out of hyperspace just within Corusant's atmosphere, blocked from the planet by an immense group of Republic star destroyers. Laser fire loomed over half the planet as the Republic ships opened fire and piece by piece the Eclipse began to tear apart from a series of small explosions. Inside the ships docking bay soldiers both militia and Jedi ran to their ships, all following Kota's booming call to abandon ship. It took Ahsoka a moment to find her former Master in all the confusion, Anakin was already climbing into the pilots seat of a Y-wing bomber with R2 settled into the ships controls.
A small force jump sent Ahsoka into the ships gunner seat, with a quick check to insure the helmet over her lekku was fastened she pulled the bubble dome down over herself. Anakin did the same in the pilots seat, punching a few buttons on the console in front of him and sending the Y-wing hovering into the air. Along with dozens of other fighters their Y-wing soared out of the docking bay, barely making it out into space as the Eclipse was reduced to rubble behind them. The fighters containing militia immediately went to work pursuing the first target they could find, while Anakin's Y-wing and a number of Jedi star fighters broke off from the group and headed straight towards the Republic's star destroyers.
Ahsoka fired off a few shots from her turret, a vain attempt to save the lives of several militia. "Master Kota your men are getting slaughtered!, they're outnumber twenty to one!".
"My men are aware of the risk Ahsoka" Kota's said bleakly from his Jedi fighter. "But their fight is up here, ours rests down below".
Still Ahsoka continued to fire at any ship she could get in her sights. "We can't just leave them here!, they won't last five minutes without someone to guide them!".
"This plan isn't ideal Ahsoka, but there's no turning back now" Obi-Wan admitted, his eerily calm voice ringing in her montrals. "Once we have Palpatine in custody we can order the clones to surrender, it's the only chance we have to save these men from their fate, militia and clone alike".
Ahsoka eased her finger off the turrets trigger. "Alright, but we have to hurry".
From his seat in the pilots chair Anakin diverted most of the ships power into its engines. "Relax Snips, this is where the fun begins". Ahsoka was forced deep into the back of her seat as their Y-wing blazed a trail through the star destroyers on both sides of them, with only a few Republic ships trailing after them the Jedi ships broke through Corusant's atmosphere and met the skyscraper landscape of the planets capital. As their ships neared the Senate building half the Jedi broke off from the group and slowed their ships down near the buildings main entrance, all jumping from their ships and soaring several feet to the ground below.
Ahsoka hit the ground alongside her former Master, Masters Yoda and Obi-Wan landing a split second later, leaving Master Luminara last to land with a soft thud from her boots. As the rest of Jedi flew by overhead Kota spoke into his headset for all to hear "looks like we got some company on the way, we'll keep the skies on our side and meet up with you when the coast is clear, may the force be with you".
"And with you Master" Ahsoka said as she watched the ships disappear in the distance. She then turned her attention to the large open space between them and the Senate building, nothing but a paved walkway lined on both sides with several tall sculptures of long dead Chancellors. It was with a small grin that Ahsoka remembered running across this very walkway in her race with Barriss, the day they had first kissed on the roof of the same building that now housed the greatest threat in the universe. That night would stay with her forever, as would this night she was sure, albeit for entirely different reasons.
Luminara's voice snapped her back into reality. "I don't like this, surely Palpatine knows of our arrival, yet there's not one clone between us and the main entrance".
Master Yoda nodded "want to stop our entrance, Palpatine does not. A trap this is".
"A trap we have no choice but to walk into" Obi-Wan added.
Anakin eyes narrowed on the buildings entrance, taking the first steps forward to have the other Jedi follow. "Whatever Palpatine has planned, we can take it, I'm not letting anything stop me from taking him down".
The group of Jedi stepped into the main entrance, a large two floored room with two sets of steps leading to the upper floor, to have the door slam down behind them. Each Jedi activated their respective sabers as a battalion of clone troopers sprouted from the upper floor, forming a half square around the Jedi as their blasters aimed down at them. Obi-Wan took a single step forward "lay down your arms, our quarrel is not with you".
Obi-Wan's answer came in the form of a barrage of laser fire, inch by the inch the group of Jedi fell back behind the columns close to the doors. When they all were behind cover Anakin grinned to his former Master "well it was worth a try, is there any way around this room?".
With a quick peak around his column Obi-Wan shook his head "only one hall that leads out of here, and it's on the second floor".
"Well we have to do something" Ahsoka said "these clones advance and we're done for, and these columns won't hold forever".
Master Yoda promptly deactivated his saber, strapping it back to his belt as a small force jump sent him onto Ahsoka's back. "Draw their fire, the rest of you must. Deal with the clones, we will". One hand on the young Togruta's shoulder Master Yoda held on as Ahsoka dashed out of cover, ducking her way through the laser blasts and turning to face the right side of the room. In one swift leap she landed on the rooms second floor, an entire row of clones turning their attention to her as they rest continued to fire down below.
Ahsoka crossed both her sabers in front of her, doing her best to block the laser bolts that threatened to pierce her skull. "Alright Master, I'd never question one of your plans, but what are we doing exactly?".
"Need to die, these men do not. In close you must get me, blank their minds, at least for the moment, I can".
"You got it Master" against all her instincts Ahsoka deactivated her main saber and charged the nearest clone, as soon as Yoda was within reach he stretched out his arm. The second his palm rested against the clones helmet the clones body went entirely stiff, his blaster fell helplessly to the floor, the rest of his body soon to follow.
Ahsoka continued down the row of clones, dodging an everlasting stream of lasers as Master Yoda took the clones out one by one, finally nearing the last clone standing Ahsoka felt Yoda leap from her back. Yoda soared through the air as Ahsoka hit the ground on her back, sliding along the laminate floor directly between the clones legs, one slash from her secondary saber cutting the clones blaster in two. Simultaneously Master Yoda landed palm first on the clones forehead, a small grunt escaping the elder Jedi as he pushed off the falling clones head and landed on Ahsoka's back just when the girl stood back to her feet.
The room cleared the other Jedi joined Yoda and Ahsoka by the hall leading deeper into the building, as Master Yoda jumped down off her back a thought entered Ahsoka's mind. "I can't sense Barriss".
Luminara raised an eyebrow as they started down the hall. "Are you certain young one?, a meld as strong as the one you share with Barriss, you two should be able to feel each others presence on opposite ends of the galaxy".
After a moment of silence to confirm her suspicions Ahsoka nodded. "I'm certain Master, I know she's not dead but...it's like she's disappeared from the force entirely".
"There's only one being strong enough to block her presence from the force" Anakin said through an intense glare. "We need to pick up the pace, Palpatine will not claim the lives of any more Jedi".
The rest of the group had to sprint to keep with Anakin, making their way through many hallways and up several flights of steps before finally reaching the hallway that led to Palpatine's office. The brightly lit hall was almost welcoming in it's silence, and forced the pores on Ahsoka's neck to stand on end when she laid sight on the door that was their destination. "There's no telling what surprises Palpatine has in store for us, I really hate walking into one trap after another".
"Like all Sith, Palpatine's overconfidence in his abilities will be his downfall" Obi-Wan said thoughtfully. "Allowing all of us to walk in without so much as a fight to wear us down is a foolhardy move".
Stopping the group of Jedi in their tracks two small portals of pure force energy appeared in front of them, stepping out from the portals were beings that at first were composed head to toe of force energy, quickly materializing into a solid form that forced the Jedi to all ignite their sabers. Clad in a bright red armor that spanned every last inch of their bodies the two beings each pulled a double bladed saber from their waists and together brought four blood red sabers to life".
Anakin crossed his saber in front of him. "You had to say something old man".
"Whatever these things are, they're strong in the dark side" Ahsoka said.
Anakin's eyes flared with hatred as he took a step forward "I don't care what they are, if they choose to stand between me and Palpatine they will die". With a wide upward slash Anakin engaged one of the Sith warriors, when the attack was easily blocked Anakin jumped back and sent the Sith in the air with a strong force push. Anakin, along with Masters Kenobi and Yoda ran down the hall in pursuit of the Sith, leaving Ahsoka and Luminara with the one still standing still as a stone in front of them.
Well aware of the fight raging at the other end of the hall Ahsoka moved in close and attempted to breach the Sith's defenses, only succeeding in allowing herself wide open for an attack, a swift kick of the Sith's metal boot knocked the wind from her lungs and sent her to the floor. Before she could get back to her feet Luminara stepped over her and moved to attack the Sith, the Jedi Master expertly pounded the Sith's defenses with a series of swings, but as time went on Luminara's strength began to dwindle, while the Sith warrior never missed a beat in his defense.
When Ahsoka finally found the strength to pull herself back to her feet a ferocious upward swing from Luminara managed to break the Sith's defense, cutting the warrior's blade in two and pushing her blue blade directly into its chest. The look on the Sith's face was unreadable under his helmet, but when a regular mans body would of went limp the Sith instead started to step back slowly, only stopping when Luminara's blade had been completely removed from his chest.
Ahsoka tried to run forward, but she wasn't fast enough, all she could was watch as the Sith used the moment of surprise to cut Luminara's saber in half at the hilt, afterwords plunging both his cut sabers into the woman's chest. "Master!, NO!". One small leap to get in close and Ahsoka swiped at the Sith's legs directly at the knee, separating the warrior into two she then cut at his neck before his body could hit the floor.
The Sith warrior dissipated into nothing as Ahsoka deactivated her sabers and fell to her knees beside Luminara's body. Tears forming in her eyes Ahsoka ran her hand over Luminara's cheek, taking little solace that her skin was still warm to the touch. Although Luminara's eyes were distant the Jedi Master did manage a weak smile when Ahsoka wrapped her hand in her own. "Don't cry my child" she managed through painful coughs "after all these years of waiting...I finally get to see her again"
Anakin ran up beside Ahsoka as Luminara's body slowly fading into nothing, only leaving her robes behind to flutter lightly against the floor. Masters Kenobi and Yoda ran up last, a long moment of silence taking place between the four Jedi before Ahsoka rose to her feet, both fists clenched. "Lets finish this".
Walking beside her former Master with every step Ahsoka opened the door into Palpatine's office with a wave of her hand, taking one step to the side to allow Anakin entrance. Obi-Wan and Yoda trailing behind the two walked inside Palpatine's large office to find the Sith Lord sitting quietly at his desk. Anakin took the first steps into the middle of the room and ignited his saber, pointing the very edge of the blue blade directly towards Palpatine. "Your Empire will be a short lived one Palpatine, it's over".
From under his hood a wicked grin spread across Palpatine's lips. "I seem to have underestimated your power Anakin, as with you young-ling, but even Jedi as strong as you two are no match for me, not without the power of the dark side". His grin growing across his face Palpatine pressed a button on his desk, with a loud whir the wall beside him receding into the floor, pushing forward another wall that housed to struggling forms in iron clad restraints that bound their hands and feet.
"Padme'!" Anakin screamed.
"Barriss!" Ahsoka screamed.
Both girls outfits were torn in several places, and numerous marks and scars marked their bodies. Barriss had her head held low, her eyes clothes and an unreadable expression on her face, while Padme' had a more obvious look of both fear and anger on hers.
Palpatine rose from his desk and walked slowly over to the wall. "You both care deeply for these women, I can sense your fear of losing them, I can make it so that never has to happen. Bow down, swear loyalty to me and I can teach how to keep the people you love alive for all eternity. Refuse, and they die!". With the last of his words Palpatine stretched out both his arms, two deadly arcs of force lightning encompassing Barriss and Padme'.
"NO!" his voice coarse with rage Anakin ran into the streams of lightning, raising both his hands and absorbing the energy into his palms. When Palpatine stopped his attack Anakin sent the energy back to him, the Sith Lord fell to his knees as the energy made the hood fall from his head. By the time the energy was gone Palpatine's face was a shadow it's former self, the mans skin now a shade of pure grey.
Anakin ignited his own saber once again and pulled Palpatine's saber to his hand, crossing the blades on both sides of the Sith's neck. Palpatine looked up to Anakin with a fierce stare "yes!, do it!, strike me down now and your journey to the dark side will be complete!".
Two unactivated hilts in her hands Ahsoka stepped cautiously towards Anakin. "Don't do it Skyguy, this is exactly what he wants, his plan from the beginning of the clone wars was to turn you to the dark side, don't let him win".
Anakin's eyes narrowed on the man below him. "He deserves to die for what he's done and he's too powerful to take as a prisoner, there's only way to ensure no more die by his hand".
Ahsoka started to activate her main saber, stopping just short of the action. "Please Anakin, I'm begging you, if you kill him..." with one long breath Ahsoka activated her saber "then you'll be forced to kill me too".
For a splint second Anakin looked away from Palpatine, meeting Ahsoka's eyes with his own before deactivating both sabers in his hands. "I could never hurt you Snips".
Palpatine was back on his feet before anyone could blink, two arcs of electricity sending both Anakin and Ahsoka to the floor screaming in pain. Masters Kenobi and Yoda rushed forward only to have Palpatine turn his attention to them, electricity shot across the room from the Sith's fingertips and slowed the Jedi Masters to a crawl. With Anakin and Ahsoka both trying to pull through the pain no one in the room noticed as Barriss opened her eyes for the first time in hours.
The restraints holding her against the wall faded in a bright blue energy, Barriss stepped lightly down to the floor and called Ahsoka''s main saber into her hand. With one quiet move she pressed the sabers hilt against Palpatine's back and ignited the blade. All in the room went quiet when the air was ripped from Palpatine's lungs, his eyes widening in a look of absolute shock as Barriss deactivated the saber and took a few steps back.
Palpatine stumbled into the middle of the room and fell face first onto the floor, Obi-Wan and Yoda rushed towards him while Barriss helped Anakin and Ahsoka to her feet. Still limping from the pain Anakin cut Padme' down and laid the unconscious woman on the floor, Barriss knelt down beside him and looked over Padme'. "She must of passed out from the pain but she'll be fine, all three heart beats inside her are staying strong".
Anakin's eyes widened at her comment, but only for a second, nodding his thanks he stood back up and walked over to stand over Palpatine's body, the Sith Lord was still breathing sporadically. At a shared look with Obi-Wan the Jedi Master handed Anakin his lightsaber. "Put your hatred aside Anakin, and do what must be done". Anakin took the hilt with a small nod, the look of anger finally leaving his eyes after all these years, at last the chosen one would bring balance to the force.
Epilogue- Padme' Skywalker's apartment
Anakin had his arm firmly around his wife's waist as Padme' smiled to the form of Bail Organa on the holo-pad she held in her hand. "I'm glad to hear things have finally settled down, I know you've had your hands full ever since the death of Chancellor Palpatine, hopefully when I return in a few months it will be to the Senate as it should be".
Bail smiled "be careful what you wish for Padme', anyway I won't keep you any longer, I'm sure you and Skywalker have plenty to keep you busy without me bugging you".
"You got that right, we'll take later...Chancellor Organa". Padme' smiled as she lowered the holo-pad and turned to face Anakin, the two getting within inches of a kiss when a faint crying stopped the moment dead.
Wearing his usual grin Anakin stepped away from his wife and headed towards the door leading to Luke and Leia's room. "I'll get it this time, but you owe me one".
Barriss and Ahsoka listened to the scene unfold from the apartments verandah, wrapped tightly in each others arms as they looked out to the Jedi temple in the distance. All the stress of the past few weeks seemed to melt away in the moment, informing James' mother of his passing, all the hearings it took to convince the Senate their invasion of Corusant was the right thing to do, even being pulled out of bed at three in the morning when Padme' had gone into labor. None of those things were even on Barriss' mind right now, right now all she was focused on was the feeling of Ahsoka in her arms.
Her smile wide Barriss tightened her grip on Ahsoka's waist. "So, do you still want to leave the Order?".
It took Ahsoka a moment to answer. "I'm not sure, is it what you want?".
Taking advice from a very old friend Barriss turned, looking into Ahsoka's crystal clear blue eyes as she had so many times before. "Ahsoka, life as Jedi is certainly not the safest in the galaxy, and the thought of you seconds away from death every single day tears my heart in two".
Ahsoka looked to the floor "I see".
Her fingers lightly grazing Ahsoka's chin Barriss rose the young Togruta's eyes to meet her own. "But dangerous as it is, it's the life we are destined to live. All I have to do is look into your eyes Ahsoka, it's that simple, you're a Jedi same as me, and will be all your life".
A short silence followed before Ahsoka took a single step back "well then, I guess there's only one thing left to do". Ahsoka fell to one knee just as Anakin walked back into the living room, the Jedi Knights smile wide as could be as he stood in silence beside Padme'. Ahsoka pulled the ring out of her pocket and placed it on her palm, it's golden design shining from the sunlight. "We've been through so much Barriss, and still it's not enough, I won't you by me every second of every day. Barriss Offee, will you marry me?".
Even with all her training Barriss couldn't hide the shocked expression from her face, just looking at Ahsoka's kneeling form was enough to send her heart pounding against her chest. Time slowed to a crawl between them as a wide smile spread on Barriss' lips, her answer couldn't have come easily enough.