Disclaimer: See first chapter.  Still pretty much the same disclaimer…

A/N: I've had to change the plot a bit because I got reports (more like speculations, really) that PADME WILL NOT DIE IN EPISODE III, rather she will go into hiding and wait until her babies grow up.  In the EU, there's a woman named Nerisha (or something like that, I don't remember anymore) who tells Luke a bunch of things and helps him find his mother.  Speculations go that Padme, after going into hiding, will change her name so that Vader will not find her.  That's why it's taken me a bit long to update.  Well, here's the next chapter.  Hope you guys like it too.  I've also noticed that I do write some pretty long paragraphs, so I'm doing my best to change that.

A/N: Cameo in this one by one of the JA (Jedi Apprentice) characters.  A close friend of Obi-Wan.

One last A/N: If you're confused about where they are after reading this, then you didn't read this one last A/N.  They are still on Naboo, in the Jedi's Hideaway.

The Darkness Within

By Catz Kenobi

Chapter 3: Devastation

            Obi-Wan, Anakin and Kaien walked around the corridors of the Jedi's sanctuary, their footsteps echoing off the walls and bouncing into their ears.  For Obi-Wan, who had spent the most time in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant of the 3, the silence was deafening.  Though Jedi were known to be serious, stoic, even rigid at times, the Temple, or wherever else a huge number of Jedi were present, would be teeming with life.  He was not used to this kind of silence where the Jedi popularity was concerned.  The corridors shouldn't have been this empty. 

            "Something's not right," Kaien said, drawing Obi-Wan out of his thoughts.  He noticed that they had unknowingly walked into a dimly lit corridor, one with neither windows, nor doors, for this corridor led straight to the makeshift meditation room.  The corridor was wide enough for 5 average sized people to walk in side by side in one line comfortably.  The lights started to grow dimmer as Anakin agreed with her.  "Even the Temple back at Coruscant was not this quiet-"

"That's not what I'm talking about," Kaien said thoughtfully, cutting Anakin off.  "We should have run into something by now; An attack, a booby trap-"

She was cut off by the sudden total shut down of the lights.  The Jedi were engulfed in darkness.  "Or an ambush," Kaien finished.  The second she finished, the emergency lights went on, revealing battle droids in white armor that had been hiding in the crevices and the interior designs of the walls.  Obi-Wan didn't recognize the white armor.  This was definitely something new, probably from the Empire.  Three lightsaber blades went up, Obi-Wan's blue, Anakin's green and Kaien's black, a color unknown to both Jedi and Sith.  It was a lightsaber blade color that was entirely hers.

Out of the corner of his eye, Obi-Wan saw Kaien switching her lightsaber to her left hand in a reverse manner of handling, holding it across and in front of her body in the defensive position unique to the fighting style she had been trained in.  He and Anakin followed suit, going into defensive positions of their own.  The droids started to blast away.  Lightsabers waved around, turning the lasers back at their shooters.  The first few layers went down, and Kaien charged, followed by Obi-Wan and Anakin.  Their lightsabers cut through the droids as if through paper.  They were but colorful blurs of motion, turning gracefully, their lightsabers slashing and stabbing and plunging all the way. 

Obi-Wan began to cut a clear path for them to escape through.  Kaien and Anakin caught on, and covered him from the back.  "Let's go!" Obi-Wan called to them as soon as he had a clear path.  The 3 Jedi ran, deflecting lasers and cutting down droids blocking their way. 

There was only one way for them to go.  They headed for the room the Jedi had made into their meditation room.  What they saw caught them by surprise. 

The room was a wreck.  It was obvious someone-or something-had been here.  Plants had been knocked over or torn apart, there were evidences of a possible standoff by the droids, furniture had been blown apart, and the windows were in shards on the floor.  The pool of water, which had been situated in the middle of the room, was dirty and mucky.  A few bodies lay on the floor.  "Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor," Kaien said deferentially as they looked around. 

"Look around for survivors," Obi-Wan said.  "And be careful not to be too loud.  The ceiling looks like it will cave in any second."  The 3 of them set off.  Obi-Wan then realized that what he had just said was virtually ridiculous.  It seemed impossible that there would be survivors.  But he didn't want to lose hope.  There had to be someone.  Just one, at least, who could tell them what had happened.

"I found one," Anakin called, careful to make his voice only loud enough for the other 2 to hear.  Obi-Wan and Kaien rushed to his side.  Anakin carefully picked up the body of the survivor.  "Bant!" Obi-Wan said.  Indeed, it was Bant, Obi-Wan's close friend.  They had been friends for a long time.  They had not forgotten their friendship even after Obi-Wan had first left the Jedi Temple.  Bant's eyes were fast losing their color, as was the rest of her skin, but she was clearly struggling to hold on.  "Obi-Wan…" she said, "you…must get…out…must…leave…" "Shh," Obi-Wan said, as he pulled her close to him, "save your strength.  We're going to get you out of here."  "Hide…Anakin…must hide…" Bant said.  "What?" Anakin and Obi-Wan said together.  "Empire…Anakin…" Bant was clearly trying to hold on just so she could get her message across.  "Empire…wants Skywalker…"  And with that, she breathed no more.  "Bant!" Obi-Wan said, forgetting that the ceiling looked precarious right now.  "Obi-Wan," Kaien said, "she's gone.  I'm sorry, but we must leave.  If the Empire gets their hands on Anakin…" "Obi-Wan, she's right," Anakin said, "we're going to have to leave her."  Sighing deeply, Obi-Wan nodded and reluctantly set her body down.  "We have to talk to the Council," he said as he straightened up.  "Or whatever's left of it," Kaien said.  With that, Obi-Wan, Kaien and Anakin ran out of the room, just as the ceiling crumbled into pieces and fell to the floor, crushing everything it landed on.  

A/N: short, wasn't that? Don't worry, more to come…just press that little button down there…

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