The closer they came to the Temple, the stronger Harry could feel the waves of emotion pulse from Obi-Wan. "Are you alright?" Harry asked.
"Hmm. I'd not thought to be here again so soon...if ever again. The only thing that I remember from my last visit is the image of my friend slaughtering children. A Jedi should not dwell on such things, but it haunts me all the same."
"It wasn't your fault, Obi-Wan," Harry consoled as the Temple grew larger in front of them. "At some point we all have to make our own choices. Sidious preyed on Anakin's insecurities and arrogance. The dark side is responsible for Anakin, not you."
"My mind understands that Harry, but my heart doesn't," Obi-Wan responded. His distractedness quickly turned back into focus as the towers of the once proud Jedi Temple loomed over them.
"So do we go through the front door, or do you have an alternate route?" Harry questioned.
"We're going to go up, straight up. Look there," Obi-Wan pointed high on the Temple's facade. "That is a ledge leading to one of the Temple's meditation gardens. I doubt the Imperials are making proper use of them. We'll use the grappling cables on our belts to ascend."
Following Obi-Wan's lead, Harry reached to his belt and pulled the collapsed grapple from his belt. He pulled it free, extended the hooks, and began pulling the appropriate length of cable from the cartridge on his belt. "What now?"
"Now throw," Obi-Wan answerd. "Use the Force to guide the hook. We don't want to make unnecessary noise, and throwing the hook repeatedly or at a window may attract attention."
"Right." Harry gipped the hook tightly, stared at the target ledge, and then reared back and threw. He reached out with the Force, practically feeling the hook as it tore through the Coruscant air. As the hook reached the proper height, Harry pushed with the Force. The grapple took a drastic lunge straight forward, over the garden ledge. He gripped the cable and pulled until it became taut. He leaned backwards suddenly, testing to make sure that the hook had embedded and would hold his weight.
"Good work," Obi-Wan said from beside him. Harry looked over and saw that the Jedi Master had already successfully dispatched his own grapple. "Let's move. If possible, avoid the windows or move quickly passed them."
Harry reached down to his belt once more and pressed the appropriate button on the cable cartridge. With a suddenly lurch, the extended cable began to retract into the cartridge, pulling Harry up until his entire body had become horizontal. The change in position was disorienting for a moment, but Harry quickly gained control and began walking up the wall of the Jedi Temple. He went passed the occasional window, but for the most part the rooms inside were completely dark or empty. Soon enough, the cable was completely rewound and he was pulling himself over the ledge.
As he reattached the grapple securely to his belt, he looked around at the Jedi garden. It had certainly seen much better days. The plants and flowers had become overgrown or completely overcome by invasive weeds. The small ponds were filthy, filled with accumulated detritus. Obi-Wan was quickly beside him, and they walked towards the closed door that led into the temple. Surprisingly, when Obi-Wan activated the door panel, it slid open freely, beckoning them inside.
It was eerily silent as they walked in, and Harry, though he had never set foot in the Temple could feel the weight of its history, as well as the lingering taint of the recent slaughter that had taken place there. The room they had entered was circular, and bare except for several rows of small seats. "This was a training room for the younglings," Obi-Wan stated, his tone clearly revealing his feelings of being back in the place that had been his home. "Generations of Jedi have sat in those same seats, listening to instruction of the greatest of Jedi Masters. Now they are empty."
"Not forever," Harry consoled. "They will be full again one day."
They continued on through the room. Its door leading into the Temple interior was fully open, and it gave the duo their first clear look at what they were facing. There were stormtroopers camped in stationery positions methodically throughout the long halls, while small patrols of four moved passed by in perfect formation. The aftermath of Anakin Skywalker's attack on the Temple was still clearly evident everywhere, from the blaster holes in the walls to the crumbled remains of the staggering columns.
"Where do we go from here?" Harry whispered, cognizant of their current surroundings.
"We need to go there, to the south west corridor," Obi-Wan pointed to their right. "If there are Jedi being held here, then they are most likely in the Halls of Healing or the Detention Center. If not, then we will have to do a full sweep of the Temple, which is obviously not ideal."
"After the patrols pass, we should make our move," Harry suggested. He had done his best to count the amount of patrols and the time between them.
"No lightsabers, yet," Obi-Wan stated. "We are at a clear disadvantage in the main halls, out in the open. Once we get into the tighter corridors, we will be in better tactical position. We will have to rely on our powers for now. You take the right side, and I will take the left. Let's move quickly."
After waiting for the next patrol to pass by, Obi-Wan slipped out into the main hall, with Harry quickly following and veering to the right. There were three sets of stormtroopers spaced out equally down the remaining length of hall. Harry approached the first on his side, and without hesitation, reached out with the Force and slammed their helmet-covered skull back against the wall. Harry did not have time to check on Obi-Wan's progress, because the next soldier down had heard the impact and began to move towards them. He was still covered by his disillusionment, but that would not remain effective for much longer, not with the increased attention. Pulling on his magic, he through a stunner at the approaching stormtrooper, dropping him to the ground.
Finally getting a chance to look to Obi-Wan's progress, Harry looked over and saw two stormtroopers sprawled on the ground. They continued on and quickly neutralized the last two soldiers, before entering what Obi-Wan had indicated was the Halls of Healing. As they did so, they walked into utter devastation. The medical facilities had been torn apart, beds lying overturned on the ground and all manner of instruments blown to pieces.
"Anakin did not even spare the sick," Obi-Wan lamented. "They were executed in their beds."
"It does not look like anyone is being held in here," Harry added, searching for any signs of movement. Just as he finished speaking, the sound of yelling and boots running towards their position began to get closer. "I believe they've caught on to our presence."
"Apparently. Quickly, this way," Obi-Wan directed them to a turbolift that looked like it was still functional. Just as they squeezed inside the lift, blaster fire began to pour down on their previous position. The lift door closed and they began to descend down. "Take the illusion off now. It won't do for one of us to accidentally injure the other."
Harry concentrated and removed the disillusionment from each of them in turn. Obi-Wan reappeared clearly, his lightsaber already in hand. Harry reached down and unclipped his own, and as it turned out just in time. The turbolift stopped, and the doors opened, revealing a dozen soldiers spread throughout the room. Blaster fire immediately rained down on them, and Harry and Obi-Wan activated their weapons, deflecting as many attacks as possible. Obi-Wan sent several shots back towards their point of origination, downing the attackers. They began to slowly inch their way out of the lift, and then finally went on the offensive.
Obi-Wan lunged forward, rolling under several bursts of fire. His momentum carried him between two stormtroopers, each of their legs quickly detached with a single swipe of the Jedi Master's blade. Harry, following Obi-Wan's lead, ran forward, driving his shoulder into another stormtrooper. As the stormtrooper fell off balance, Harry swiped his violet blade across his torso, tearing through shining white armor and skin. More blaster fire erupted towards him, and he dodged and weaved across the room before driving his lightsaber through two more soldiers. Harry looked to his left and watched as Obi-Wan made short work of the last two.
With the room clear, both Harry and Obi-Wan looked to sudden movement behind them. The lift that had brought them down was making its way back up, presumably to bring more unwelcome visitors. "Can you use your abilities disable it?" Obi-Wan asked, as he made his way over to a nearby control panel.
"Yes, but we won't be able to go back that way," Harry responded.
"We'll improvise if we must," Obi-Wan stated, still manipulating the control panel.
Not needing any further approval, Harry pulled his magic and lashed out at the lift. The magical energy hit the back wall of the tube and exploded outwards, tearing through metal and collapsing the opening. Seeing his job done, he walked over to Obi-Wan. "What are you looking for?"
"I had hoped the security recordings were still active, but unfortunately luck isn't with us. Seeing what is inside the Detention Center would have been helpful, but the video has been deactivated for some time." Obi-Wan walked to the door to what have been the Detention Center, stopping and closing his eyes. "I can feel something on the other side...a presence in the Force. It feels familiar, but I do not know that is a good thing or not."
Harry moved next to Obi-Wan, raising his saber. "Only one way to find out." Obi-Wan nodded and activated the door panel. The two Jedi moved inside, their stances set for a fight. Yet, all they were met with was silence. The main chamber was a processing center, and like the rest of the Temple, much of it had been ransacked. While Obi-Wan explored the room further, Harry turned left towards a long corridor. Along each side were holding cells, each of them open and empty inside...all of them except for the last two. The last two cells on each side were larger than the others, and looked to be considerably thicker. The windowless doors were each shut.
"Obi-Wan," Harry called to his companion. "You should probably come take a look at this." The Jedi Master quickly made his way down the hall, and looked at what had drawn Harry's attention. "What are these?"
"The Temple dates back thousands of years, to a time when the presence of the Sith and the Jedi was considerably greater," Obi-Wan explained. "Large-scale battles were fought between them, and the Jedi needed a place to hold prisoners powerful in the Force. These cells are made of materials that suppress a Force user's power. More recently they've been used to hold hot-headed Jedi."
"Yes, well these two appear to be occupied," Harry commented. "The only question is who or what is inside."
"Hopefully nothing beholden to our destruction," Obi-Wan quipped. "I'll open the door. Be on your ready." Hesitating for only a second, Obi-Wan activated the door as Harry stood behind him, lightsaber raised. However, as the door retracted with a great hiss, the person inside was clearly in no way an imminent threat. The figure was shirtless, completely green with large black eyes, and on his head swept backwards were large tentacles. The man, so Harry assumed, was in rough shape, with cuts and scars across his body. A particularly large healed wound ran across his abdomen.
"Obi-Wan?" The man whispered weakly, clearly surprised.
Obi-Wan was silent for a moment, his surprise equally evident, before he kneeled down at the man's side. "Kit, I thought you were dead."
"As close to dead as you can get," the man answered. "What are you doing here, Obi-Wan? They are going to put you in a cell next to mine if they catch you?"
"I'm glad to see you have such faith in my abilities," Obi-Wan huffed. "Anyway, I've brought help." The green man, Kit, looked over Obi-Wan's shoulder to where Harry stood at a loss.
"Who is this?" Kit questioned.
"This is Harry Potter. He is another Jedi. Harry, this is Jedi Master Kit Fisto," Obi-Wan finished the introductions.
Master Fisto looked confused. "I don't recall a Harry Potter."
"Long story, but for another time," Obi-Wan deflected. "Can you stand?"
"Maybe. Help me up." Obi-Wan squatted down further, placing his arm underneath the fellow Jedi's arm. Master Fisto grimaced at the movement, but managed to stand. "The Sith have returned Obi-Wan," Kit warned, as they made their way out of the cell. "Not just Sideous, there are others, many others. They've questioned me...beat me...taken my blood for I don't know what..."
"We know," Obi-Wan answered. "Harry here already had an encounter with one. Who is in the other cell?"
"I do not know," Kit shook his head. "They have always taken me out on my own."
Harry walked over to the other cell and activated the door. Inside, seated on his knees in a state of mediation was a dark-skinned man. His head was bald, but streaks of what looked like silver veins ran across it. However, what stood out the most was the fact that his right arm was missing from right above the elbow. The man opened his eyes upon their intrusion, staring intently at them all.
"Master Kenobi, Master Fisto," the man greeted stoically. "I have to say I am slightly surprised.
"You are not the only one," Master Windu. At the name, Harry instantly glanced down to the lightsaber in his hand. "The truth of my apprentice's betrayal is plainly evident, but your death at the hands of the Emperor is clearly not."
"The Force spared my life, but I've been left with permanent reminders of the Sith," Mace indicated to his arm and marked skin.
"Well, I can say now the risk of coming here was certainly worth it," Obi-Wan commented. Just as he said this, blaster fire ripped down the corridor, sending them for cover. Harry turned to face the group of stormtroopers, throwing up a shield.
"Now would be a good time for that exit plan you mentioned earlier, Obi-Wan," Harry grunted, as a new wave of attacks battered against his faltering shield.
"Hold them off for a few more moments would you?" Obi-Wan threw back as he inserted himself into one of the ordinary holding cells. He then ignited his lightsaber and thrust it into the rear cell wall. The metal wall began to burn, turning a bright, glowing orange as it melted away. Obi-Wan slowly dragged his weapon in a circle until a man-size hole was created. "This way!" Obi-Wan called. Masters Fisto and Windu escaped through the hole, while Obi-Wan grabbed Harry from behind and dragged him through as well.
They had entered into a small conference room, with a large table taking up most of the area. "Stand back," Mace said as he stepped forward. He reached out with his remaining arm and the great table lifted with ease until it was flush against their created escape route.
"There is another lift outside of this room that will take us up to the top of the Spire," Obi-Wan stated. "Harry, contact Dex on the communicator and tell him to have the transport meet us there." Harry followed instructions and managed to get confirmation from Ob-Wan's interesting friend. They quickly snuck out of the conference room and into another hallway. The lift was there, waiting for them, and luckily no more soldiers were. Harry finally took a brief moment to relax and celebrate the fact that they may actually leave the Temple both successful and alive. As the lift reached the top of the spire and opened into the Council Chambers, he knew he had celebrated too soon.
In the middle of the circular room, kneeling and looking outward through the large windows, were two figures donning familiar crimson robes. As their presence became obvious with the lift's arrival, the two figures stood gracefully, in perfect unison. When the figures turned, it was evident that they were both female. Their heads were bald, and their skin pale white. Their black eyes were truly disconcerting. Neither of them said a word, and their expressions were blank. However, their intent became obvious when they activated their red blades.
"Are you ready for this?" Obi-Wan whispered to Harry as he raised his own lightsaber.
"Yes," Harry responded, stepping beside him, even as he heard Mace asking Kit to explain whom Harry was.
"They both look equally deranged and evil, so no," Harry muttered. The Sith did not allow them anymore time to discuss the merits of their opponents, as the one on the right ran straight at Harry with unnatural speed. Her lightsaber movements were equally fast, as she struck at him repeatedly and put him on the defensive. Their red and violet blades clashed violently, neither able to break through to their enemy. On her next attack, the Sith swung from overhead, forcing Harry to block high. At the same time, she brought her boot up and drove it into Harry's midsection. The strike to his stomach knocked the wind out of him, but he managed to hold his defense.
As the Sith stepped back, he reached for his magic and sent a barrage of stunning spells at her. The woman was clearly surprised by the attack, as she dove to the ground, unsure of what was coming towards her. Several of the spells flew passed her and into the surrounding windows, shattering them into millions of pieces. The Sith popped up, and catching Harry off guard, she threw her lightsaber through the air, straight towards his head. The spinning saber was hard to track, and though Harry lunged away from it, it clipped him on the shoulder, singeing his skin.
While he was on the ground, he looked over and saw that Obi-Wan was having his own issues with the other Sith. Turning his gaze, he saw a ship approaching, and realized that they were running out of time to make a clean exit. His opponent had reclaimed her saber, and was approaching again. Instead of getting up to face her, he did something he had not tried before, focusing equally on his magic as well as reaching out through the Force. Suddenly, the shards of window glass that had littered the ground began to rise in the air.
Dropping his lightsaber, he reached out with both hands and pulled glass. The jagged projectiles flew swiftly, and liked millions of small knives, ripped into the back of his opponents back. Harry had put so much power into his command, that the glass did not simply embed, but flew straight through the Sith's body, leaving devastation in its wake. She made no sound, but her mouth was open in a silent scream as she tumbled raggedly to the ground, dead. A scream pierced the air, and Harry turned and looked to see Obi-Wan's blue blade impaled through the other woman's chest. She soon joined the other lifeless on the floor.
Obi-Wan looked at Harry and gave him a commending nod. Harry looked back at the other two Jedi, who were looking at him with great interest. "I think that is our ride," Harry said pointing to the ship that was hovering just outside the window. All four Jedi quickly made their way to the window, and a plank descended from the side of the ship. In minutes, they were strapped in and soaring away from the Temple and from Coruscant. They sat together in the back of the ship, all still slightly stunned that they were all together again and alive. Master Windu, who gave Harry a queer look, finally broke the quiet. "Who are you, and is that my lightsaber?"