Chapter 21

There was a stirring in the Force. Events were starting to boil over... the time for war was at hand. Soon, the New Republic would cross the point of no return. Years of strategizing was about to pay off; the galaxy was about to burn and he would rule over what remained. Under his rule, the Sith would flourish in every corner of the galaxy. It was such a beautiful dream, and it was near becoming a reality.

And what could the Jedi do? They would be wiped out of existence; all memories of them would forever fade. Not one piece of historical evidence would be left to find. It would be as if they had never existed at all. All history would be destroyed. The only history anyone would ever get to learn was what he told them to believe. If you destroy the past, there would be no rebellion in the future. All hope would die with all the archives of the world. Under his rule... there would only be despair.

As Sithous pondered on the glorious future that awaited, a communication came in. The holoprojectors activated automatically, and standing before the dark lord, in holographic form, was the Jedi Hunter: Tojar. "I've been awaiting your update. What do you have for me?"

"The smuggler was too well protected. The assassination attempt failed."

"Never mind the bumbling smuggler; I want to know about that Jedi girl!" Sithous growled. The smuggler was no longer a problem. Things had worked out just the same without his death. There was nothing he could do or say now to stop what was coming. He was now insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It was that Jedi girl that concerned him. The way she fights... there was something very familiar about it. Everything in the Force told him that she was vital in some way.

"Ah, yes. I do have some information about her that you should find very useful," Tojar replied. She is close with all three of the Solos. On top of that, her master is none other than Luke Skywalker."

The truth suddenly dawned on his as if the Force had revealed a long, lost secret. Of course, it made perfect sense. She was way more important than he could have ever imagined. How could he not have known about her? The Jedi Hunter may not know it, but there was even more to the girl than he had realize while studying her. It was clear that he wasn't smart enough to put the whole puzzle together, but Sithious was and had solved the mystery that was rattling in his head.

This new revelation had changed everything; he had a new way to exact his revenge on Skywalker. Now, he could do more than just kill him... he could make him suffer. It was so perfect; he could not believe how much the Force had just blessed him.

Getting no response from him, Tojar folded his arms in front of him. "Do you want me to make another attempt on Mars' life?"

An idea formulated in his mind. He had to draw her to him, and he knew just how to do it. "No, return to me."

"I've done what you asked me," Tojar snapped. "You don't own me, Sith; my allegiance is to Rotta the Hutt. I expect to be paid, and then I'll be on my way."

Sithious remained nonchalant. The deluded Mandalorian failed to realize who he was. He was beyond a mere Sith. It would be easy for the dark lord to kill him from where he was hiding. No, he was not going to kill him; he still had use for him. "Of course, I'll be glad to pay you and send you on way, but then you'd never get your chance at killing a Jedi."

"What do you mean?" Tojar replied, sounding almost like he was threatening the Sith lord.

"I still have use for you, and what I have planned, next, involves you doing what you love to do: kill Jedi."

Tojar's body became more at-ease as he nodded his huge helmet in approval. "Okay, you have my attention."

The senate met at the Grand Convocation Chamber just like they've been doing for thousands of years; and as usual the senate was full of power hungry, squabbling bureaucrats. There was just something about politics that was able to corrupt any principled being. It was so easy to forget about one's constituents in this line of work. Currency talked louder than words more often than not.

Chief of State Kronons Valnor was on his platform in the heart of the dome shaped room. With him was the Minister of State Fal'lya, and the First Ambassador. Scatter all over the round room were over a thousand repulsorpods. They carried the delegates of every planet in the New Republic. Of course, not all of them were in use, as they once were. Not every member of the Old Republic returned at the end of the war with the Empire.

The Chief of State brought the session to order as this session of the Senate had officially begun. "We are here to discuss the evidence, that all of you should have read about before arriving here. We are here, yet again, to bring reason to insanity. We are on a brink of collapse. We assembled here today, because new evidence is ready to be brought forward. We are also here to discuss recent events that have taken place. With this in mind, I present Senator Jaina Solo, representative of Coruscant."

Her pod floated upward and away from her port, to identify herself to all the delegates of the senate. "Delegates of the New Republic, there is not much more news that may be shed on the tragic death of Supreme Chancellor Leia Organa Solo and Ambassador Solo, my parents. I hope that we all can now agree, that their deaths were not a tragic accident; but they were, in fact, assassinated."

The Senators murmured among themselves. There was no dispute over this fact. Senator Ba Bolrosa and the other delegates behind the call for revolution were proud that they had been proven right. Jada sat on the bench along with Master Skywalker, and Gideon Mars on the pod. They were there mostly for show. Jaina wanted everyone to know that her evidence were coming from the Jedi's discoveries that past several weeks. Only Jada would briefly discuss about these events.

"This was proven when the Jedi Order sent out one of their own. She had been attacked on her mission to find this information for us. She will be representing the Jedi Order this evening. May I present to the New Republic Council, Lady Jada of the Jedi Order."

Looking out of place, the young Jedi stood up and approached the podium. "Delegates of the Senate, I have come to share with you the findings of my quest. There's been an endless debate among the New Republic, about the loyalty and integrity of the Freedom Alliance. I've come to tell you, that they're trustworthy, and not responsible for any of the attacks on me, during my mission. It is the belief of the Jedi Order that they had nothing to do with the assassinations. They've no intention of rebuilding the Empire like it was during the days of Emperor Palpatine. All they seek is a better relationship with the New Republic.

"Instead, I was attacked by an outside force trying to provoke the civil war among us. Evidence has risen that it may be the doing of a dark lord of the Sith. We've learned that his name is Sithious. I was attacked by his apprentice on Coreilla. The three so-called 'Imperial ships' were his, and if it wasn't for the Freedom Alliance, my friends and I would have been destroyed."

"I object!" Senator Balrosa said, as his pose rose to equal level of the Jedi platform.

"On what grounds, senator?" The Chief of State demanded.

"That the Jedi's evidence is all speculation, and in part, deceitful. I request to question the Jedi about the events, to pull out the real truth at hand."

"The Delegates of Malastare concur with Senator Balrosa. If the senator feels as if this report is inaccurate and if the senator has proof of it, he has the right to question the Jedi of the validity of her story."

"I will allow this in hopes that this will put all your minds at ease; but I warn you, this is not a trial. I will end the line of questioning if your questions get out of hand." The Chief of State conceded, not entirely convinced that he was making the right decision to allow the senator to question the Jedi."

"Thank you, Chief of State." Bolrosa nodded. He turned his attention towards Jada, who was not expecting to answer any questions. Master Skywalker, squirmed in his seat. Jada was unaccustomed to Senate procedure; she was anything but tactful when it came to politics. Why could he not shake the feeling that the Jedi had, yet again, walked into another trap? "Lady Jada, you claimed Imperial government has peaceful endeavors towards us. What evidence do you have to support your claim, other than their word for it? Couldn't it be possible that those three ships WERE his, and couldn't his conveniently-timed rescue be a ploy to trick you?

"I sensed no deception among them," Jada responded.

"I'm sorry, but I wouldn't call your feelings evidence. I know you're unfamiliar with politics, but in our world, that's called speculation."

"My friends and I were rescued by Admiral Barkley. According to him, ssomeone has stolen plans for several classes of Imperial warships years ago, but haven't been able to discover who the traitor is, yet."

"What a coincidence! What proof do you have of this claim, other than pure speculation. Other than your Jedi senses, how do you know he wasn't lying to you?"

Bolros allowed those questions to simmer into the heads of the senators. Jada was quickly becoming flustered. The senator knew full well that she was inexperienced when it came to politics, and he was taking full advantage of it. He was not beyond twisting the truth to bend it to his point of view. "You've also said that you were attacked by a Sith on Coreilla, right?"

"Yes, he was a dark lord of the Sith, wielding their trademark red-blade lightsaber, on Coreilla: a system who's delegate, may I add, who believes in revolution like you. Where there's one dark lord, there is another. Will you deny the testimony of one of your own delegates?" Jada asked, pointing up to Wedge's platform. In the corner of her eye, he could see him grimaced as to say that she had made a terrible misstep. Through the Force, she felt her master pretty much matched that sentiment. Was throwing the question back into his face the wrong move?

"I deny nothing," The senator returned. "I did hear about your run in with a dark lord and I have heard you Jedi use that verse before, but I find it to be nothing more than a myth."

"There has to be two, a master and an apprentice,." Jada continued to push back, ignoring the feeling from her master, warning her to retreat.

"We've heard this before, but after Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine were destroyed, that should have been the end of the so called Sith, right? How come there's been other Sith since then? Please explain where these dark lords are coming from, if there can only be two."

Jadasuddenly realized her mistake. She had opened the door for the senator to villainize the Jedi. She played right into the senator's hand, and now the Jedi's credibility was about to take a huge hit. She refused to answer his question. If the damage was going to be done, it was not going to come out of her mouth; she was going to make him say it.

Seeing that she refused to answer, he answered it for her. "The Sith are nothing more than fallen Jedi, am I right? For Sith to seemingly come out of nowhere, it is more than likely that one of you Jedi have turned.

"Senator Bolros, what evidence are you trying to attain from the Jedi Knight?" Chief of State Valnor asked, getting impatient with the line of questioning.

The senator held up a datacard "This is what I am presenting," He pressed a button on the podium, and the room dimmed slightly. A gigantic holoimage appeared over the Chief of State's platform. It was holorecording of Anakin and Titinya viewing the communication archives. The Chief of State had blood in his eyes as he gazed angrily towards Master Skywalker, sitting in back of Jaina's pod. He knew his orders were defied.

Luke did not show any emotions, but inside... he was cringing. He took a gamble by allowing the Jedi to do their own investigation, hoping that it would catch Sithious and his spy by surprise. Instead, the Sith Lord had foreseen this move, and acted accordingly. Now, things were worse... much worse.

The holorecording played and the senator started narrating. "One of our security cameras caught these two Jedi in the middle of an investigation. They are viewing a conversation I had with the Chief of State. Now, notice what happens here. Notice how the image of the Chief of State is being distorted, to form another man. That Jedi is splicing the recording, to frame me as being a traitor."

There were gasps from half of the delegates, and confused moans from the other. Jada was at a loss for words. She had no idea how to rebut that kind of accusation. She and the Jedi had been played, and used as pawns in a unfathomable underhanded scheme, which might have just started the war.

She could not imagine how things could get any worse... until the senator continued talking. "The Jedi are busy trying to frame me, but it doesn't end there. What Senator Solo and the Jedi have failed to mention is Senator Solo's two brothers have been on a secret mission, working with Admiral Barkley of the Imperial government. This mission is approved by you, Chief of State Valnor."

Kronos Valnor anger over the accusation was apparent. "I resent that accusation, senator!"

"With all due respect, that is fact, not an accusation. It is factual just as everything that is on the datapads that I had distributed to every delegate here, before this session started. On the datapads, there are more holorecordings and holodocuments of your and the Jedi's involvement with the Imperial government. On these pads, there's more than enough information to prove that this administration, and the Jedi are conspiring with the Imperial government to establish a new galactic empire."

"None of this is true!" Jaina screamed, jumping to her feet, but her voice was drowned by the uproar that the accusation had brought. Delegates were throwing insults and threatening each other; all chaos had broken out. President Bolros folded his arms in front of him and grin, satisfied of his accomplishment.

"Silence!" The Chief of State screamed at the top of his lungs, but it was't enough. The session was out of control.

Luke heard Jaina through the Force, with fear and sadness painted on her face. "Uncle Skywalker, you and the Jedi must leave Coruscant immediately, before harm comes to you."