"Snips please stop, please." Anakin pleads with me. I swear I've sobbed so much my fingers and palms are pruned. I can hardly look at Dell's body without feeling my stomach flip, his body a mere silhouette under its white cloth. I instead walk to the back interior of the ship, and join Obi-Wan while he talks with the temple.
I arrive as Master Saesee Tinn talks to Obi-Wan over hologram. "-yes, Master Kenobi, the child has been brought to the lower catacombs of the temple." In the very odd case of a security breach, any important persons currently in the temple were brought down to the lower catacombs of the temple. A very secluded area all in the vastness of the temple, but it was near impenetrable by anyone.
"Good, we are currently on route to the temple. We will speak more once we arrive." Obi-Wan notices my tear stained cheeks as he waves his hand over the hologram.
"Trust me," he places a comforting hand on my shoulder, "the guards are sure there are no… dangerous things around the temple. They've done a full search. Shmi is safer than ever now."
"It's not that Master. I'm afraid there is more than we know about. Dooku brought us all to Malastare for a reason; he cut off all communications on the planet for a reason. He's trying to leave Shmi vulnerable, I just know it."
"The council will make all of the accommodations to make sure Shmi remains safe, I assure you." Obi-Wan explains. His unshaking trust in people seems to be a positive element in this situation, but may leave him a bit more naïve in others. But, when has he ever trusted someone wrong anyways? Besides Kayril…
The ships quickly pull into the hangar of the temple, putting on their deflector panels as they do. They look practically invisible to the naked eye. Anakin confidently takes my hand in his as we exit the ramp, giving me a stay close look; he is just as nervous as me, I can tell.
Several temple guards swarm us as we exit, escorting the three of us through the hangar. Obi-Wan decides to stay back to help with Dell's body, so the nearly ten guards are surrounding Anakin and I. Without even a word through their omniscient white and gold masks, they crowd us into the turbolift, right to the council chambers.
The doors to the chambers open silently, and Anakin and I carefully walk in. Only Masters Yoda, Windu, Plo and Mundi sit in their regular seats, the others seats are vacant.
"Ah, yes. Please, take a seat." Master Mundi motions for Anakin and I to sit at one of the chairs. I don't believe what I am hearing. These seats were sacred, and only the most esteemed Jedi Masters were permitted to sit in them.
"No Master." I stick out an arm in front of Anakin, who almost ear. "We have not earned these seats, and I don't intend on taking something that is not mine."
"Padawan Tano," Master Windu addresses me. "please, take a seat." He repeats, even deeper than Master Mundi, a slight aggression to his voice.
I reluctantly take a seat beside Master Mundi, Anakin just beside me. The seat feels flat and dense. Definetly not the most comfortable chair, but I dare not cause any more confrontation.
"Dark times," Master Yoda begins. "we are in. Cautious, we should be, to take risks we cannot afford to take."
"As you have informed us, Dooku is planning some sort of attack on Coruscant, in an attempt to kidnap Shmi. From the planetary security station, there have been no forced attempts to get on the planet. The temple is as safe as it was when you left for Malastare." Master Mundi explains.
"Yes Master, but I'm afraid he's planning something that we aren't expecting. The temple would be an obvious attack point if he ever got onto the planet." I say. Anakin nods beside me, observing the dark skies outside.
"Padawan Tano, guards have been sent out across the temple; a security check was made across the area. It seems as though there is nothing out of the ordinary." Master Windu assures. I can feel my insides getting hot tempered. Why don't they see the dilemma at hand?
"Yes but, um-"
"We can't do anything else security wise Ahsoka, unless we wait until an attack actually comes." Master Plo says, a low sympathy in his voice.
"With all due respect Masters, my padawan is just being cautious, like Master Yoda had said. Just waiting until Dooku attacks is… pointless? Why not take the nessacary security measures when we can?" Anakin questions.
"It would be costly, Skywalker. And we doubt the Senate would be so generous to provide us with the required measures." Master Windu says, biting his lip as thoroughly explains. The Senate doesn't agree with the jedi being involved with the war more than they already are. Paying for security around the temple wouldn't sit well with many of the senators.
"No, an attack we aren't ready for would be costly." Anakin states.
"So, you are saying an attack is inevitable?" Master Mundi asks.
Anakin looks over at me, a sharp twinkle in his eyes. I nod slowly, sharing a sad smile with him.
"I'm afraid so."
"Hmm, I sense…" Master Yoda grips the edge of his seat, his torso shifting forward in deep concentration. "Danger. Act quickly, we must before it is too late."
"Master Yoda, the costs are not available to us!" Master Windu pounds his fist into his lap.
"We can make arrangements for the time being, I am sure." Master Yoda says.
"And what arrangements do you recommend?" Master Plo asks.
Master Yoda takes a deep breath, ending his vision. "The temple and senate building, secure them. No jedi in or out until actually taking place, an attack is. Off the planet, all politicians are to be taken, quickly and discretely. Clones are to be dispatched to the hangar bay and await orders, they will."
"So, we are making Coruscant temporarily neutral to the galaxy?" Anakin questions.
"Not neutral Skywalker, say you could the planet is on temporary…"
"Lockdown." I exclaim.
"Yes, padawan, lockdown. Return to your quarters and await any disturbance over your comlinks, you and your Master will." Master Plo says. "If such a disturbance arises, send out immediate distress signals to the inhabitants of ally planets, the council will. Sure to come to our aid if they are needed, the Gungans are."
"No one is sure of that." Master Windu grimaces.
"Sure that they won't, no one is." Master Yoda assures him. I can tell Master Windu is the least supportive of our plans. He always has been a by the book jedi. "Hesitate to ask, we must not."
"If the decision is final, I don't think we should wait any longer, fellow council members. Everyone, if you will." Master Mundi ushers us all out of the council chambers, and down a long, narrow hallway. The hallway leads to a rounded balcony, overlooking the foyer of the temple. I had never heard of this vantage point in the temple, but I'm sure there many rooms here I don't know about.
Master Yoda steps up to a small stool, and a microphone rises from the balcony railing. He takes a short gulp, tapping on the head of the microphone before speaking.
"Attention everyone. Due to recent events taking place, the temple, placed under immediate lockdown until further announcement from the council, will be. Speak about security actions now, Master Plo Koon will. For your time, thank you. Yes, hmmm."
Master Yoda steps down from his stoop, carrying a hollow and saddened look across his wrinkled face, just as hushed worries echo across the arched ceilings from fellow jedi. Everyone seems to be in a state of utter shock. The temple has always been a place of strength and leadership. A lockdown doesn't seem like a very practical thing to many, I can easily see.
Just as Master Plo continues with security measures, I witness an immediate change in the room: the warm yellow glass aperture above the entrance doors, the symbol of festivity and joy throughout the temple, turns into a dark, distressful shade of red.